Paul Straightens Out His Jeep

This little Jeep tale is best told in photos and video.

Damage to Jeep from sliding on ice

Paul slid on some ice on a mountain trail two weeks ago

Removing the Jeep grill

Today Paul straightened out his Jeep. Daniel removes the grill

Floor jack and chain

This contraption will pull the bumper free that is tangled in the body

A chain is attached to the Jeep bumper

A chain is attached to the bumper

Floor jack up a tree

A floor jack is attached to our tree

Video: Freeing The Bumper

Video: Removing The Bumper

Bumper is removed from Jeep

Once the bumper is removed the body can be pulled clear of the wheel

Freeing the Jeep body from the wheel

The chain is attached to the body

Video: Freeing The Wheel

Jeep Wreck

Now don’t you weep
Over your Jeep.
In just a day or two
It will be good as new.
Beep, beep. Beep beep!

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How to Build a Snowman in 3 Steps

This is for today’s youth that can’t build anything without first looking it up on the Internet.

  1. Roll large, medium, and small snowballs.
  2. Stack vertically.
  3. Add eyes, nose, and mouth.

A Simple Snowman
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Jake and Rachel’s Wedding Gift Opening Gathering

Crockpot at the wedding gift opening gathering

Yesterday Jake and Rachel opened their presents at their Wedding Gift Opening Gathering. It was hosted by Rachel’s mother and family were invited to attend. Jill and I took photographs of Jake and Rachel opening their gifts. Later I emailed the photographs to the givers with a short message. If you are thinking of trying this you could write something like this in your email:

Jake and Rachel received many wedding presents. When they were opened yesterday evening we kept track of who gave what so that we could send to the giver a photograph of the gift being opened. We hope that we matched the right gift with you. Jake and Rachel will be sending a traditional “thank you” presently.

It worked well when I tried this the first time at Steven and Adelaide’s gift gathering. But this time, with four grandchildren adding a significant distraction, our list of gift givers was not very easy to interpret at evening’s end and so far I have only sent out five emails.

From a male perspective the coolest gifts were tools and camping equipment. A local author gave a copy of her book, along with other gifts. Very cool.

Toolset at the wedding gift opening gathering

Tools at the wedding gift opening gathering

Camping stove at the wedding gift opening gathering

It's In The Bag at the wedding gift opening gathering

Adelaide and Sarah at the wedding gift opening gathering

Adelaide and Sarah at the wedding gift opening gathering

Of note was a personalized hymn book and a framed copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Jake and Rachel also received a lot of gift cards and cash which will be very helpful indeed.

Personalized hymn book at the wedding gift opening gathering

Receiving money at the wedding gift opening gathering

Money, the ultimate gift card

Thank you to all who gave to help Jake and Rachel start their new life together. Your kindness and generosity was highly appreciated.
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Daniel Bearing Gifts From Afar

The real deel

Daniel in the real deel

Daniel brought back from Mongolian some traditional garb gifts. He allowed us to try on these Christmas presents ahead of time. First up is Daniel wearing a deel that appears similar to a caftan. Deels in blue, olive, or burgundy, made from cotton, silk, or brocade, reach to the wearers knees and fan out at the bottom.

The deel looks like a big overcoat when not worn. Instead of buttoning together in the middle, the sides are pulled against the wearers body, right flap close to the body with the left covering. On the right side of the wearer are five or six clasps to hold the top flap in place. There is one clasp below the armpit, three at the shoulder, and either one or two at the neckline.

A deel is usually worn with a large belt, usually made of silk. The area between the flaps and above the belt creates a large pocket in which Mongolians keep many things.

Jacob and Rachel wearing Mongolian clothes

Jacob and Rachel wearing traditional Mongolian garb

I brought out my old crusader sword to assessorize my Mongolian vest, which prompted Daniel to draw his Genghis Khan dagger. The clothes were made by one of Daniel’s investigators, since baptized.

Crusader sword and Mongolian vest

A Crusader sword goes well with my Mongolian vest

Dressed Mongolian

Left to Right: Daniel, Jake, Rachel, Jill, and Rick

As an alternative to the above photograph, take a look at this.

Mongolian fight

Mongolian fight

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Married in the Bountiful Temple

Bountiful Temple

Jacob and Rachel were sealed in the Bountiful Temple

Yesterday Jacob and Rachel were married in the Bountiful Temple. For those not familiar with Mormon weddings, I will explain. Members of the Church believe that marriages performed in temples are “sealed,” or blessed to last for eternity. Those who are sealed in the temple have the assurance that their relationship will continue forever if they are true to their covenants. They know that nothing, not even death, can permanently separate them.

Bind On Earth

Vancouver Temple sealing room

The Bountiful Temple has sealing rooms similar to those of the Vancouver temple pictured here

The concept of eternal families comes from scripture and modern-day revelation. For instance, the New Testament reference in Matthew 16:19 records Jesus Christ telling the Apostle Peter: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The Church equates the word “bind” with “seal.”

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles proclaim that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” When a man and woman are married in the temple, their family can be together forever.


After the sealing ceremony, Jake and Rachel changed into traditional marriage clothes for photographs in the temple grounds. Family and friends, after witnessing the sealing, waited patiently for them outside the temple doors. Here are a few photographs, mostly via my camera. Click on the images to enlarge.

Bountiful Temple

Jake and Rachel have yet to emerge from the temple. Brothers wait.

Bountiful Temple

Sister and cousin wait.

Bountiful Temple

Families wait.

Bountiful Temple

Everybody waits.

Bountiful Temple

Rachel and Jake appear.

Bountiful Temple

Rachel, the beautiful bride.

Bountiful Temple

Photographs. Parent of the bride.

Bountiful Temple

Parents of the groom.

Bountiful Temple

Parents of the bride and groom.

Bountiful Temple

I'm not sure what caused this response. Maybe a snowball fight started.

Bountiful Temple

Family of the Bride.

Bountiful Temple

More family of the bride.

Bountiful Temple

Family of the groom.

Bountiful Temple

Siblings of the groom.

Bountiful Temple

Baby Cassandra was amused by all the posing and picture taking.

Bountiful Temple

Snowball fight (originally started by the groom).


Wedding Reception

Jacob's boss (and mine and Paul's) with the bride and groom.

Wedding Reception

Paul readying the slides using my TV, laptop, and Nexus One hot spot. With a family of engineers, everything has to be complicated.

Wedding Reception

In the end, it all worked. Photo Credit: Susan Ward.

Wedding Reception

Jake had the usual decorating done on his car.

Rachel and JacobHere are some more photographs, courtesy Still Timeless Photography, of the Wedding of Jacob and Rachel.
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Rachel and Jake at the Bountiful Temple

Rachel and Jake at the Bountiful Temple doors

Rachel and Jake at the Bountiful Temple patron doors

Today Rachel, my soon to be daughter-in-law, went to the Bountiful temple to receive her endowment. With her were her family and fiancé, Jake. Jake’s parents Rick and Jill; siblings Steven, Sarah, and Paul; and a brother-in-law Derek, were also in attendance. Daniel still has three days of his mission left to serve.

After the ceremony we took some photographs (click to enlarge) in the temple grounds. The temple had a few Christmas decorations and a nativity scene that I haven’t seen before.

Bountiful Temple Nativity Scene

Bountiful Temple Nativity Scene

The Gift of the Endowment

For my readers that are not familiar with the temple endowment I will give a short overview.

An endowment is a sacred ordinance. Endowments take place in a dedicated House of the Lord, or temple. Temples were centers of religious worship anciently and Mormons build temples today to administer the ancient ordinances of salvation that have been restored to the earth.

The dictionary defines an endowment as a gift given by a higher power. The temple endowment is a gift of knowledge that helps Mormons understand who they are, where they came from, and where they are going. It helps members understand what they should do to prepare to meet God, and how Jesus Christ offers salvation to each of us.

The temple endowment conveys information in a highly symbolic manner. Symbols used in the temple endowment and the meanings of those symbols are sacred to Mormons. Mormons don’t talk about the details of what goes on in the temple—it is too sacred to be discussed, except in the most holy of places.

Temple Covenants

When presenting the endowment, Church members are required to make very specific covenants with God. A covenant is a two-way promise. In religious terms, a covenant is a sacred promise made between an individual and the Lord:

Vancouver Temple Celestial Room

The celestial room of the Vancouver temple, smaller but similar to, the Bountiful temple

The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King, the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions. (James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord, p 84)

Bountiful Temple Moroni

Moroni atop the Bountiful Temple

About the Bountiful Temple

In 1897 John Haven Barlow Sr. purchased forty acres of land from the United States government. There was little that could be done with the land until in 1947 some of the land was cleared and four hundred apricot trees were planted. Bountiful City requested the use of the soil from the site to build a dam and over two hundred thousand cubic yards of soil was removed, leaving the area an ideal spot on which the temple would later be built. The temple is the 47th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I remember well helping to direct traffic at the open house and being one of 200,000 members attending the temple dedication. Sarah and Derek were married in the Bountiful temple. Some temple details:

Announced: 28 May 1988.
Site: 11 acres.
Exterior finish: Bethel white granite.
Architect: Allen Ereckson.
Rooms: Baptistry, celestial room, four endowment rooms, eight sealing rooms.
Total floor area: 104,000 square feet.
Dimensions: 145 feet by 198 feet. 176 feet spire.
District: 30 stakes in central and south Davis county.
Groundbreaking: 2 May 1992 by President Ezra Taft Benson.
Dedication: 8-14 January 1995 by President Howard W. Hunter; 28 sessions.

Source: 2011 Church Almanac, p 210


Family at the Bountiful Temple

Paul, Jill, Sarah, and Steven

Sarah at the Bountiful Temple

Sarah at the Bountiful Temple

Family photograph at the Bountiful Temple

Paul, Steven, Rachel, Jake, Jill, and Rick

Rachel and Jake together at the Bountiful Temple

Rachel and Jake

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Taking The Jeep For A Spin

Have you ever felt like you were going around in circles? That all you were doing was spinning your wheels? That the next round that life dealt you would be just the same as the last? Well no, not normally. That is until today when Paul asked me if I’d like to get out of the house and go for a spin in the Jeep.

A few minutes away was the Centerville City ATV Area where you are welcome to drive your vehicle in the “dike” as long as you don’t deviate from the marked area. I took some short videos while we were there.

This is what making those circles looks like from inside as a passenger. The initial filming is of the view from the side window. I don’t mind telling you that it made me a little sick. There is a reason why I work on F-16s and not fly them.

I had had enough of the circles so Paul drove up and around a bank.

This is what it looks like from the inside:

And now you know why I don’t carpool with Paul to work.
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Spiral Jetty At Rozel Point

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson. This is a view of the Jetty from the dirt road.

Last Tuesday afternoon found Paul and I heading north to visit Spiral Jetty at Rozal Point. It was a warm day for Northern Utah in November. We drove past the Golden Spike Visitors Center and followed the signs to Spiral Jetty. The dirt road was being graded in places as we traveled closer to the northern shore of the Great Salt Lake. Google Maps on my Nexus didn’t know about Spiral Jetty but responded to Rozel Point.

I took several photographs of our visit. Click on the images to enlarge.

In 2008 it was announced that there were plans for exploratory oil drilling approximately five miles from the jetty. The news was met with strong resistance from artists, and the state of Utah received more than 3,000 e-mails about the plan, most opposing the drilling. Shown here are the remains of prior exploration just a few hundred feet from the Spiral.

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long, 15-foot-wide counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake which is only visible when the level of the Great Salt Lake falls below an elevation of 4,197.8 feet. Paul stands by the Spiral entrance to give you some perspective on its size.

Spiral Jetty

Due to a drought, the jetty re-emerged in 2004 and was completely exposed for almost a year. The lake level rose again during the spring of 2005 because of a near record-setting snowpack in the mountains and partially submerged the Jetty again. Here are the ruins of a building right by the Jetty. Whether it was built by the pioneers or was used for oil exploration, I know not.


Notice how sand has filled in the spaces between the rocks. The current exposure of the jetty to the elements has led to a controversy over the preservation of the sculpture. There is a proposal to restore the original colors with the addition of more rocks, noting that the Spiral will be submerged again once the drought is over.

I did a 360 degree video at the top of the hill overlooking the Spiral. The issue of preservation has been complicated by ambiguous statements by Smithson, who expressed an admiration for entropy in that he intended his works to mimic earthly attributes in that they remain in a state of arrested disruption and not be kept from destruction.

I shot this on our return. It was a smooth ride once we were a few miles from Spiral Jetty. The wipers quit working so the windshield had to stay dirty.

Spiral Jetty

The Spiral is built entirely of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks, earth, and water. This is the end of the long arm of the Spiral as it makes its first curve.

Spiral Jetty

At the time of its construction in 1970, the water level of the lake was unusually low because of a drought. Within a few years, the water level returned to normal and submerged the Jetty for the next three decades. Seen here is Paul standing on the innermost spiral.

Spiral Jetty

Lake levels have receeded and, as of fall 2010, the Jetty is again walkable and visible. Originally black basalt rock against ruddy water, it is now largely white against pink due to salt encrustation and lower water levels.

Spiral Jetty

The Spiral was financed in part by a $9,000 grant from the Virginia Dwan Gallery of New York. A 20-year lease for the site was granted for $100 annually.

Spiral Jetty

The only other visitors were a couple walking south of the Spiral towards the waterfront.

Spiral Jetty

Paul stands by a relic of some past exploration activity.

Spiral Jetty

To move the rock into the lake, Smithson hired contractor Whitaker Construction's Bob Phillips of nearby Ogden, Utah, who used two dump trucks, a large tractor, and a front end loader to haul the 6,550 tons of rock and earth into the Lake. The Lake edge is currently several hundred feet from the Spiral.

Spiral Jetty

Smithson began work on the jetty in April 1970. Construction took six days. Smithson died in a plane crash in Texas three years after finishing the Jetty.

Spiral Jetty

The sculpture is currently owned by the Dia Art Foundation of New York, acquired as a gift from the Estate of the artist in 1999.

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Jake Executes A Flawless Inverse Proposal

Rachel and Jake

The short version: The wedding is on Wednesday 15th December 2010.

The detailed version: The proposal was kept top secret. No-one knew. Steven helped to figure the ring size from photographs by counting pixels. So he knew that a proposal was coming but he didn’t know when.

Jake explained to me in an exclusive interview for Rickety blog that he wanted to execute an inverse proposal. It works by asking for her hand in marriage at the beginning of the evening, and then the rest of the evening can be enjoyed as an engaged couple. It also contributes to being a complete surprise. I added that if she says no then you can cut your losses and cancel the rest of the evening.

Rachel, ring, and Jake

Once Steven had figured the ring size from pixels, Jake bought a cubic zirconium, to preserve the surprise, on Friday 8th October. On Sunday 10th October Jake knew he was going to ask Rachel that day but didn’t know exactly when. In Testimony Meeting at the Davis Park YSA Ward, Bishop Visser gave a strong testimony about not delaying important decisions. With that, Jake decided the proposal was to be done as soon as possible.

Jake drove Rachel towards her home but turned off and drove to their favorite hill nearby. Rachel noticed but didn’t think anything of it. Jake suddenly stopped the car and immediately got on one knee, showed the ring, and asked the question. Rachel was so shocked that she did not say anything for a long time. Jake eventually said, “You haven’t said ‘Yes’ yet.” Rachel responded, “Yes.”

The following day, Monday 11th October 2010, Jake took two of my home-made candles and arranged an Olive Garden-to-go candle-light dinner.

On Monday 17th October Jake and Rachel will pick up a ring (with a real diamond this time) that Rachel has chosen.

Thus was executed a flawless inverse proposal. Jake, you should work for the military.

Rachel and ring

Rachel by picture of Sarah

Rachel by a wedding picture of her soon to be sister-in-law Sarah

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