Grand Canyon Addendum

Family members who have seen this video have requested that I post it. A kind of Grand Canyon addendum to our recent trip. I about fall over laughing every time I watch Jill’s little stumble.

Rickety signature

Model Railroad Festival

At the model railroad festival

One of the several rooms with layouts at the Ogden Union Station

Today we visited the Ogden Union Station to attend The Hostlers Model Railroad 2011 Festival. There were HO, N, G, O and S scale layouts in several rooms. During the three day show over 8,000 people will visit (it seemed like all of them were there right at the time we arrived).

The Hostlers Model Railroad Club was founded in February 1988 in Ogden and has now grown to over 180 members.

We headed straight for the model railroad layouts. There was a lot of them to see.

Watching the trains

Watching the trains: Bryson, Sarah, Adelaide, Cassandra, Jill, and Aurora

Lego display

There was even a large Lego Layout

Watching Trains



Climbing on Trains

At the Union Station are locomotives that were designed to pull large trains over steep Western terrain. The 833 steam engine (at left in the photo below) is a Union Pacific Northern. This 4-8-4 saw both freight and passenger service between Utah and Wyoming. Also featured is a restored Red Cross Hospital Car, Railroad Post Office Car and the 2002 Olympic Winter Games Cauldron Car.

Ogden railyard

The Ogden railyard has trains that you can climb on

Inside the steam engine

Here is what it looks like on board a steam engine

Union Station train

They'll let anybody drive a train

Riding a Train

It is fun watching the model trains and climbing on some old full-size trains. But there is nothing like a ride in a train.

Aboard the train

All aboard the train

Riding in the train

Riding in the train even if it is just around in circles


The Long Train Movie

If you don’t have a movie for the evening then perhaps you could try this video. It doesn’t have much of a plot but there is one exciting part where one of the guard posts is knocked over. You can then watch it being put back in place. This video can also be used in place of a sleeping pill — no prescription needed. They way it works is to count the rail cars instead of sheep.

Rickety signature

Sledding Near Miss

Sarah, Bryson, and Aurora ready to sled

Sarah, Bryson, and Aurora ready to sled

There was snow on the ground so Adelaide, Sarah, the grandchildren, Jill, and I went sledding. We picked a very small hill for the grandchildren and took our cameras. Click on the images to enlarge. The videos are usually not visible in a feed reader. In the screencap below I have circled a girl in pink at the bottom of the hill. Keep your eye on her when you play the accompanying video of Bryson and I sledding.

Sledding near miss

Sledding near miss

Adelaide took the photograph below as we narrowly missed the little girl in pink. You can see how close we came. I still had the camera rolling.

Near miss, different angle

The near miss, taken from a different angle

Aurora in the snow

Aurora in the snow

Bryson with a snowball

Bryson with a snowball



Adelaide, Aurora, and Cassandra sledding

Adelaide, Aurora, and Cassandra sledding

Sarah and Bryson sledding

Sarah and Bryson sledding

Rickety signature

Antique Oil Painting of Jill

Oil painting of Jill
Well no, it isn’t an oil painting of Jill. It is just one of my old photographs of her that I ran through Funny Photo’s Antique Oil Painting effect. After cropping a photograph of Jill so I just had her head, I produced the antique oil painting above with just a few clicks. You don’t have to register to use the Funny Photo website.

JillIf you click on the image you will see that the antique effect is somewhat over done. This makes the “painting” appear to be three hundred years old instead of just three decades.

Of course Jill looks good at any age.

Opposite is the original untouched photograph, circa 1980.

Rickety signature.

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

Rickety signature.

A Changed Woman

Jill looks the same but really is a changed woman. See if you can find the differences between the photographs. There is another difference puzzle at There Are Differences Between Us.

Spoiler Alert — don’t read the comments until after you find the differences.

Jill Differences

Rickety signature.

No Bears At The Zoo

Rocky Shores at Hogle Zoo

Rocky Shores will open Spring of 2012

We discovered at our last visit to Hogle Zoo that Tuff, Cubby, and Dale had been moved to the Oregon Zoo. Construction is proceeding on the Rocky Shores Exhibit, an extensive multi-animal habitat featuring polar bears, sea lions, seals and possibly other bears. According to Hogle Zoo:

Guests will experience unprecedented environmental immersion through realistic, cutting-edge habitat design. Educational information about the animals what they eat, their behaviors and instincts, and their future survival will be presented through interactive technology and innovative educational programs, adaptable for Zoo and classroom use.

Rocky Shores will be the largest exhibit ever created at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, and is a major step in its transformation to a 21st century zoo. (Hogle Zoo)

Rocky Shores construction

On our visit to the zoo on Wednesday Aurora and Bryson also saw the animals, rode the train, and clambered in the playground.

Zuri with mother

Zuri the baby elephant

Aurora encounters the Aldabra Tortoise

The shells of the Aldabra Tortoise are not very hard. Giant tortoises are slow moving, non-aggressive animals. Most of their time is spent foraging. Although the tortoises are primarily vegetarians, they will eat decaying animal matter. Paths to and from their favorite feeding and drinking areas are scraped into the soil by the massive shells. These tortoises can weigh up to 550 lbs. and shells up to 55 inches long. They live up to 200 years.



Splashing water

Train ride

Watch the video and see how intent Bryson is as he rides the train.

Rickety signature.

There Are Differences Between Us

These photographs have some real differences to reconcile. See if you can help.

Spoiler Alert — don’t read the comments until after you find the differences.

Update: The solution has been posted in the comments. Remind me to make the next one more difficult.

A hat tip to Adelaide for giving me the idea.

Zoo Roundabout (original)

Zoo Roundabout (altered)

Rickety signature.

Patsy’s Mine Hike: Part 2

Patsy's Mine Hike

Melissa by Patsy's Mine entrance

On Friday we hiked to Patsy’s Mine in the mountains above Farmington. The trail to the mine is marked and we had no difficulty in finding the entrance. The mine does not go very far and most of the time you can stand upright, though in places one has to stoop. I found out how hard the rock is when I banged my head against it.

Patsy's Mine Hike

Melissa found the bat first. We wondered if it was rabid

There was a bat about 20 feet into the cave. We wondered if it was rabid. It must have been, to want to go hang from the roof of an old mine. Apparently exposure to rabid bats increases with the migration season. This year, four elementary-aged Davis County students have been exposed to a bat that could not be tested. Whenever bats aren’t able to be recovered or are too decomposed for testing, it is not known if they carried rabies. Therefore, to err on the side of caution the children are treated with post-exposure vaccine because the disease is virtually 100 percent fatal.

Patsy's Mine Hike

Melissa, Susan, and Jill with the mine entrance in the background

I walked past the bat and caused it to fly out of the cave past the girls which provoked an appropriate round of screaming. Further into the cave we could hear a faint rumbling sound. We thought maybe it was the freeway traffic or the train. We were a long way from the valley though.

The last time Jill and Susan visited the mine, they navigated by the light from their digital cameras. This time they were more prepared.

There is graffiti on the walls of the mine that in 2,000 years will have archeologists wondering what manner of intelligent life wrote it. They will be figuring that out for a long time.

Patsy's Mine Hike

The right fork is basically just a big puddle

The main tunnel is straight with a fork at the end. The right fork ends in a few paces and the only thing of interest is a rusty rail. The left fork does not go much further before ending. Off of the left tunnel is a small space where you can clamber through and stand upright. Nothing to get excited about.

Patsy's Mine Hike

The left fork soon comes to a dead end

According to the deep thinking and creative Chanelle (her blog no longer accessible), there is an old steam engine that has become hidden from the main trail with years of plant growth. If we had known this beforehand we would have searched for awhile to see if we could find it. According to Chanelle, copper is the most available mineral in the mountain. Shes writes that “…even though there are large quantities of it, the quality is lacking. Because of this, the mines in this area were abandoned and closed up.”

Patsy's Mine Hike

There is an opening in the left fork that goes nowhere

Patsy's Mine Hike

Patsy's Mine entrance. That's it for the tour

Patsy's Mine Hike

Jill says she enjoyed this mine and that she wouldn't mind finding another to explore

Rickety signature.