Friday, May 30, 2008

not with a rusty bayonet


Three months ago (seriously? three months? wow, my life is such a waste of time) I went off adventuring with my grandpa Gordon and idiot Mikey. At the time we had agreed to seek another adventure on Memorial Day. I had completely forgotten about that until Gordon called Sunday night to see if we were still on. I invited Scotty along on this trip as he likes adventure, and it would be a good opportunity to fire some weapons.

I didn't want to go back to Eureka (been there, done that) so I planned to head southwest toward another abandoned minding town, Ophir.

On the way to Ophir you pass through historic Camp Floyd, where in 1858 one-third of the U.S. Army came to put down those pesky Mormons. The Army hung around for a couple of years but then had to leave to fight some other war back east.

Camp Floyd is always interesting. There's like, a field, and an old schoolhouse, and some other stuff, and - uh-oh.

Those look like Yankee tents. That can only mean one thing...

Oh shit! A ghost regiment! Doomed to march the fields of Camp Floyd for all eternity, this spectral brigade serves as a grim reminder of the damning essence of war.

Wait nevermind, they're just Civil War re-enactors. Not every day you stumble into one of these.

Don't worry, Wyatt Earp was there to keep the peace.

As usual, Gordon is on the outside looking in.

This poor guy wasn't invited to the festivities.

"But I've got all my Civil War stuff on!"

"Forget it Ricky, you can't come!"

Ladies and gentlemen, civilization.

Some guy put testicles on his truck. That's not a standard feature. Some guy had to have the idea, obtain the testicles, and then attach them to the truck. Plenty of time to have second thoughts, but no.

After we'd had out fill of Camp Floyd we crossed into Tooele County and found Ophir Canyon (just follow the signs), one of many abandoned mining towns that dot the West.

Perfect day to be up there. Pouring rain, light grey skies, mist rising from the coniferous peaks.
They had to give up mining in Ophir after one too many Balrog attacks. Either that or the hills ran out of riches.

The town is actually much more populated than I thought it would be. The 2000 census lists the population as 23, but there has to be more than that now. Including this guy, who lives in an old mine.

I have a feeling if you get too close he'll skin your hide.

Finally it was time for shootin'. Gordon had bought a couple guns of his own, which nobody knew he had. When I picked him up in the morning he hauled the guns out to the car and my grandmother asked "What is that you've got?" to which he snapped back "Nothin'!"

Gordon was irritated that Scott and I were unwilling to shoot in the National Forest, or on fenced-off land. We finally found a good spot to shoot and he took off a wanderin', just checking stuff out, as is his wont.

My grandmother likes to tell the story of the time in Germany where he wandered away and ended up on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall.

Here Mikey shoots a gun for the first time.

What a dope, trying to look all "gangsta."

Here I am getting ready to fire the .40, the one that made me go deaf last time.

I gotta give Mike credit for his camera work here.

In hindsight this might have been a bad idea. Good thing Scott is a crack shot.

This was the highlight. Scott recently got himself an M1 Garand, the standard issue rifle for U.S. infantrymen in World War II. This particular one dates to 1944. Awesome. You may know that I'm a wannabe WWII buff, and that the mini-series Band of Brothers is one of my favorite things ever. So it was real nifty to shoot this thing.

I'm wearing my helmet for added authenticity. It's a good thing I'm such a geek though because when the clip came flying out it bonked right off of my head with a nice "ping" sound. If I wasn't wearing the helmet I would have experienced very slight pain. I don't even want to think about it.

Overall, pretty great day.

When I dropped Scott off Gordon spent twenty minutes standing in his socks and washing mud off his shoes.

Here I am relating my exploits to this tiny human, as he looks at me with disbelief.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

as seen in space

Saturday morning started way earlier than usual as I woke up before 10am to meet some folks for breakfast. Up the canyon we went, to Ruth's Diner, an up-the-canyon institution.

Look at this napkin.

Kind of sad that Ruth didn't realize that Betty Crocker was a fictional character. She also has napkins signed by Captain Crunch and the Headless Horseman.

After breakfast I wasn't even sure if I was really there or not, so I was going to go home and catch-up on my missed sleep. But then I got a better idea. What about going to the mine?

The Salt Lake Valley is more than just Dee's and neon signs and the zoo and places to shoot. It's also home to the world's largest excavation. The Bingham Canyon Copper Mine.

The usuals gathered and we pointed the car due west. Y'see, the entire western half of the valley is owned my the mining company.

Scott brought a basketball because he wanted to see if he could drop it all the way to the bottom of the mine.

Interesting country as you get closer. Lots of greenery and unsettled land.

Here's a huge pile of tailings (the stuff they've dug out of the ground). It's known affectionately as Mt. Doom.

Behold, the mine!

Not impressive? Let's put things into scale for you. This is one of the tires used on the mine trucks.

Now take a look:

It's a big damn mine! 2.5 miles wide, almost 1 mile deep. Full of copper.

It was a mountain once, but a little over 100 years ago some guys looked at that mountain and said "let's just tear that sucker down."

Interesting experience, gazing into the depths. This guy approves.

Do you even know how important copper is? Without it we'd have no golf trophies, no tv/vcr combos, and no miniature ovens.

I always thought the richest hole on earth was this guy:


Odd that the gift shop would sell Kanchos, and that they would spell it wrong.

This is one of the best souvenirs I've ever gotten. And for only 51 cents.

I love my Beehive logo stretched penny. Seriously.

After our mine visit we sought out the tiny burg of Copperton. A bucolic oasis isolated out in the middle of nowhere.

The only place to eat there was The Best Little Ore House in Utah (get it?) but it was kind of intimidating.

We still had the desire to eat in a strange place so we went to a place on State St. called Jim's Diner (not to be confused with Jim's Family Restaurant).

This place was really eerie, and after a while we began to suspect that we had died and this was some sort of after-life waiting room.

Charon's boat, perhaps?

This perverse fry didn't help anything.

Later that night a few of us got together at the Bud, which was fun until Lee lost his temper and got all stabby.
Somehow we ended up taking turns reading from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe. You ever heard this poem Annabel Lee? Man, that Poe could really spin a word.

Much to everyone's delight Scott read aloud a passage from his memoirs. The story of The Enterprise Mug that is Huge. I think it's the finest thing he's ever written, and to hear him perform it is really something else. If your lucky you'll hear it sometime. If you see him you should bug him to put it on his blog.

Also I wrote and performed some impromptu slam poetry. Pretty great.

Monday, May 26, 2008

don't matter how many times you get burnt, you just keep doin' the same

I have significantly upped my street cred by purchasing a du-rag. It's pretty great.

Now I look just like Bodie from The Wire. See?

What do you mean I look like an idiot? Are you saying Bodie looks like an idiot? I don't see why you're having such a hard time comparing me to a tough streetwise African-American drug dealer. Look again. We have similar headwear!

Mikey says I look like an unemployed pornstar. I don't see it.

Ah hell, who am I kidding. I don't even look like an unemployed pornstar. I look like Elektra.

Even the cat knows it's silly.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

rise up, my minions!

Phase 1 of my fiendish plan is complete.

Thursday April 03 2008
DUBLIN - An adventurous orang-utan went on-the-run yesterday in Dublin Zoo, making a bold bid for freedom after 24 years in captivity.
Maggie managed to enjoy an hour on the loose wandering around in front of her enclosure.

Sunday May 18 2008
TAMPA — A 10-year-old Bornean orangutan escaped from her new exhibit at Busch Gardens for nearly an hour Saturday before she was recaptured.
Luna Bella, who weighs about 85 pounds, climbed up the outside edge of a visitor viewing window in the park's new Jungala exhibit and then onto the roof of the exhibit about 6 p.m.
Caretakers were able to lure her back about 7:20 p.m. with apples, carrots and vanilla ice cream.

Sunday May 18 2008
LOS ANGELES - A 29-year-old male orangutan named Bruno escaped from his enclosure at Los Angeles Zoo on Saturday evening after making a hole in the wire fencing.
Zoo staff said Bruno never managed to enter the public areas and was quickly sedated by his keepers.
"He was calm and responded well to the staff," promotions co-ordinator Gina Dart said. "He was never aggressive."
Once out of his enclosure, instead of trying to flee, Bruno hid in an area behind his pen, where one of his keepers spotted him, the Los Angeles Times reported.
ABC News quoted zoo director John Lewis as saying that Bruno was easily sedated because, like the other five orangutans at the facility, had been trained to allow his keepers to administer medicine:
"Fortunately all of our great apes, the staff trained them to allow medical procedures, so the keeper actually put him through his behaviours, and he allowed her to hand inject him with anaesthetic and went right to sleep," Mr Lewis quoted as saying.
"They carried him to his bedroom, and it was all over in about 20 minutes," he added.

Monday, May 19, 2008

can i borrow your belt?

Friday. Game 6 in this epic Jazz/Lakers series. For the event I grilled my now famous B-Burgers (or Bryton Burgers d'Especiale). They were a hit.

Jazz game. Homecourt, fighting to stay alive in the post-season. Surely an easy win for our boys, forcing a decisive game seven. I predicted that we would explode out of the gate, going on a quick 12-0 run before the Lakers even scored.

Well not quite. The Jazz played like they were asleep and went into the half nineteen points down.

Some guys still had the fire though.


Seemed over when were down by eleven with a minute and a half left, but somehow we clawed our way back to pull as close as two points down. After a long foul-filled thirty seconds, the Jazz had possession, down by three, with only seconds remaining. Three point specialist Kyle "the Haircut" Korver got the ball, had a clear shot, but passed it. Two agonizing unsuccessful three point attempts later, and the season was over. Bummer. Also it felt like a metaphor for my wasted life.

Saturday, see previous entry.

That night I watched Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. It wasn't as bad as I'd heard, but it wasn't really necessary either. I really would have preferred to see what happened after the series ended instead of seeing what happened before it started.

From what I gather the original cut was five hours long and did have scenes set after the last episode. Oft-rumored director's cut DVDs never materialize though. Drag.

Sunday! More life wasting. Finally near the end of the day I accomplished something. Headed down to the Depot to see M.I.A. in concert.

Opening it up were the old school beats of the Egyptian Lover. He's been doing this for twenty-five years, and he will not let you forget it.

I enjoyed the skull-rattling bass, but I started to lose interest after about five minutes.

But somehow he found a way to renew my interest.

Trying some stuff out in photoshop. Trying to go for a James Bond opening credits vibe.

Maybe blue is better.

I worried that this might be too suggestive for the blog, so I whipped up a more family friendly version.

M.I.A.'s show started with a video of this weird Asian politician guy. If anyone knows who he is please tell because I'd like to do more research. I think the message of the video is that you shouldn't bother to vote.

M.I.A. didn't fake the funk.

Since we arrived before everyone else we had a great spot up front, but as the show went on I was edged out by sweaty shirtless hippies. Ah well. It was too hot up there anyway. Gatsby will have better pictures on his blog, eventually.
At one point she invited the entire audience up and stage to dance around like idiots. Then after the song ended it was all "get off the stage! everyone off! you're ruining everything!"


The end.

After the show this girl was preaching the merits of positive energy, and how we can use all this energy to create anything we want. We can use this energy to further the cause of peace. She insisted she was completely sober.

Here she is telling me that I spend too much time worrying about the brake lights up ahead. Also she's 28, just like me, which is important for the cosmic side of things.

She might have been crazy, but I still think I'll take out a "missed connections" ad on craigslist .