Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I was in Portland, Oregon, for a very quick visit. So, there isn’t too much to say. But two things happened that I feel are worth mentioning. The first was eating at the Peruvian restaurant Andina. The food made me think about all the fun times I’ve had in Peru. It is interesting how a taste or smell can trigger a memory that you otherwise might not remember.

The other thing that I think is worth mentioning has to do with dogs. I was at a park along the river in Portland when I saw a guy and his Great Dane walk by. It was an impressive animal and they went down to the river and the guy would throw a large branch in the water and the dog would go get it. I’ve thought about getting a dog before and I like Great Danes. So, I enjoyed watching them. It made me think of my nephew and a conversation we had earlier this year. I told him that I was thinking about getting a dog and that I wondered what kind he thought I should get. He got an excited smile on his face and told me I should get a poodle. I wasn’t too excited about that idea and told him that I think a dog should be similar to its master and that I didn’t really consider myself poodle-like. He thought about this for a minute and then exclaimed that I should get, “a weenie dog!” LOL He explained that since I’m tall and long that would be a good dog for me. It still makes me smile thinking about that story and honestly I like weenie dogs too. :)

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I hope we all take a moment to reflect on what the Earth means to us and what it gives us each and everyday. Then, I hope we think about what we give the Earth in return. Are you doing your part to make it a better place?
Leaves near Cascade Springs - Utah

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kentucky Horse Country

Kentucky Horse Country – I had a hard time finding a hotel close to downtown because of a horse competition that is taking place this same weekend. I can’t complain about the beautiful animals though; there is something appealing about the horse theme that runs throughout Kentucky. There is one park in particular that is dedicated to this equestrian enthusiasm. Here are a few pictures from the Thoroughbred Park in Lexington. (Above and Below: these huge statues are by artist Gwen Reardon. Right: this is a hitching post in front of Ashland Estate)
Neck and neck!

In the middle of the race!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kentucky in Spring

Lexington - Having grown up within view of the Rocky Mountains, Kentucky’s landscape is very intriguing to me. A great place to get a feel for the flat, smooth, lineal Kentucky horizon is from the 18th floor of the Patterson Tower on the University of Kentucky campus. I’m in Lexington for the Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC); it is the largest language conference in the USA. There are people from all over the country here to speak, listen, discuss, and improve. A colleague from the U and I were scheduled to present this morning. We were the first presenters for the day and so we arrive early to get set up. We were all ready to go at 9:00AM when we thought our presentation started, but there was a little problem… No one was there! We started wondering if we were in the wrong place, where the moderator was, where the other presenters were, and if we should just go ahead without anyone. Then, around 9:15 people started showing up and we found out that the session actually started at 9:30. The presentation went well and it ended up being well attended. Lexington is beautiful in springtime here are three pictures of tulips on the UK campus.

Tulips on University of Kentucky Campus

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lexington KY

Historic Lexington – There are two houses in Lexington that I’m very interested in. The first is the Mary Todd Lincoln House. This is the house where Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary, lived before they were married. It is an interesting place to visit as it has many items owned and used by both the Todds and the Lincolns. The house is a great example of the hard work, dedication, and love that goes into restoring and maintaining historic houses across the country. One of the best parts of any visit to a historic home is all the fun things that tour guides tell you about the house and the people connected to it. One story they shared that I enjoyed was about when Lincoln first met Mary, his future wife. They were at a dance and Lincoln approached Mary and said, “Ms. Todd I would like to dance with you in the worst way” and then he evidently did dance with her in the “worst way”. Good thing he was a better president than he was dancer.

The other house that I find interesting is Henry Clay’s Ashland Estate. I’m posting a few pictures from Ashland and hope you enjoy them.

The Mary Todd Lincoln House - This combination of windows, angles, and shadows intrigues me

Henry Clay's Ashland Estate

Ashland Park, Lexington KY

Church in Lexington

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Frankfort KY

Frankfort Kentucky – I flew in and out of Louisville (which the locals pronounce as Lullvull) and drove to Lexington. The capitol of Kentucky, Frankfort, is between Louisville and Lexington. I decided to stop in for a visit and to take some pictures. I love architecture and Frankfort has its fair share. It has a nice gritty historic downtown, a gorgeous governor’s mansion, several grand old neighborhoods, a giant capitol building, a great frank Lloyd Wright house and a generous amount of flowers and trees to add that splash of springtime. Here are a few pictures. I hope you enjoy. (To the right: Good Shepard Church and the Old Paul Sawyier Library)

Downtown shops in Frankfort Kentucky. It makes me smile to see small the barber shop squeezed in there.

Blossoms - I love the different layers of blossom that I found on the Capitol grounds

This photo is nice because of the roof of branches on top, the wall of and window of blossoms and the green carpet that rolls out into the distance

Capitol Building in Frankfort Kentucky

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dallas, Texas

Dallas Texas - I didn't have as much time as I would have liked in Dallas, but what time I did have I used seeing the city, exploring, and of course taking pictures. Here are a few that I like. I hope you like them too. :)
Sculpture in the Art District of Dallas - I like the lighting, shadows, and different materials and textures in this photograph.
Bank of America Plaza - Dallas Texas

Main Street - Dallas Texas

Thanksgiving Square - Dallas Texas

Chapel at Thanksgiving Square - It was even better in person, if you can believe that. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dallas Texas - longhorn cattle

Dallas, Texas - I had heard about this statue (or rather this group of 40+ statues) of a longhorn cattle drive and I had to check it out for myself. It is in Pioneer Park, near the old cemetery and starts at the top of the hill and goes down a path over a river and to the edge of the park. It really is hard to describe how cool and fun this work of art is. You can walk around it, touch it and feel it. There are three mounted cowboy statues that keep the stare cattle from leaving the group. Each longhorn is unique and some even seem to be smiling (just like the people who are enjoying this impressive site). My photographs don’t do Robert Summers’ artist work justice, but hopefully you’ll enjoy them and if you are ever in Dallas you should stop by for a little cattle rustling.
Cowboy on a hill over looking the longhorn cattle drive and downtown Dallas

Detail of one of the cowboy statues in Pioneer Park

Cowboy racing after the stray cattle

Cowboy on horse

The longhorn cattle drive (sculptures by Robert Summers)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Denton, Texas

After my painfully long trip from Salt Lake City to Texas, I was pleasantly surprised with Denton. I spoke at the University of North Texas in the morning and spent the afternoon talking with people at the workshop. Then in the evening we went to El Gaupo's mexican restaurant and ate some good food. We also walked around Denton Square which is the heart of the historic downtown area. Its a charming place with losts of interesting shops, art, and buildings. I took a few pictures, enjoyed the pleasant weather, and then headed back to my hotel because I was feeling the effects of only three hours of sleep on the red-eye flight to Atlanta. On the way back to the hotel, we passed through some neighborhoods that were full of beautiful old houses. It would be nice to have an old place like that to fix up some day. Overall I liked Denton and think I might go back there someday. (Upper Right: Old Courthouse on Denton Square)

Lights on the square

I really liked this sculpture by David Iles called "November Devil"

"November Devil" sculpture by David Iles

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spending all day at SLC International

As you many of you already know, I like to travel. I enjoy the rush of packing up and going someplace new. I like watching people at the airport. I love the feeling as the jets kick in and the plane is pushed into the wide open sky. In general, I just enjoy everything about travel. Today was a day that made me wonder why…

I arrived at the Salt Lake City International Airport around 8:30am and soon learned my flight was delayed 30 minutes. I was fine with that; it would give me more time to get through security, grab something to eat, and maybe surf the internet before the flight. When I got to security I was pleasantly surprised to see that there wasn’t even a line. It was looking like it was going to be a good travel day… boy was I wrong.

After waiting the extra 30 minutes for the delay we boarded the plane and got settled in for a direct flight to Dallas. We sat on the runway for about 30 minutes and then they announced that we were being delay for another 3 hours! The reason? Strong winds in Dallas. They took us back to the terminal and we all got off the plane. Within an hour, they had cancelled the flight completely. So, now there were 60 people all trying to get to Dallas (or other places) all at the same time and only two more flight scheduled for that day.

Long story short, after being on standby for two more flights and not getting one either, I finally got a spot on the red-eye flight to Atlanta with connection to Dallas. It left SLC at 12:50am. I couldn’t stand being in the airport any more that day (9 hours and counting), so I called a friend and you went out for dinner and I was back in time to catch the night flight.

The red-eye flight to Atlanta was only three hours, but I slept through the whole thing. I was on the last row by the window, so I was literally the last passenger to get off the plane. I had just enough time to catch my connecting flight to Dallas. I arrived at 8:53am in Dallas and my presentation started at 11:00am in Denton. I ended up taking a taxi to Denton (35 minutes) and arrived right when the presentation before me was starting. I changed in the bathroom and listened to the end of the presentation and then I presented. It went very well (maybe better than if I had had a full night’s sleep) and everyone was glad I had made it. I still love to travel and see new places. I still enjoy people watching and that feeling when the jet FINALLY leaves the ground… and yet I think I like it most of all when everything runs smoothly and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. :)