Saturday, December 23, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Glad Tidings

Good things can come our way, even from people who are thoroughly confused about most everything.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Thanksgiving revisited...

Book of Remembrance

In the First Presidency Message this month, President Eyring reminds us all to recognize, remember, and give thanks to the Lord for all His the bounteous blessings.  Eyring quotes from President Kimball,
Please follow the counsel you have been given in the past and maintain your personal journals. Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.  (Spencer W. Kimball, "Listen to the Prophets")
This blog fulfils two purposes for me.  It serves as my personal editorial page, and as my personal Book of Remembrance.

Though I don't always express it in obvious ways, I am ever grateful for Heavenly Father's providence.

In the Book of Mormon, Alma testifies,
...All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.  (Alma 30:44)

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we have further prosaic testimony about the nature of God and His creations,
  He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever.
  And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
  And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man.
  The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God.
  Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand?
  Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power.  (Doctrine and Covenants 88-41-47)

The banner of this blog, a photograph of Mount Timpanogos, represents my reverence and gratitude for Heavenly Father's magnificent creations.  He has blessed us beyond our ability to receive it.

I borrow a beautiful photo of a Columbine in blossom, from my long-time Internet friend Dave Kennison.

 Another beautiful glade of flowers on the Wasatch Plateau, photographed by my sister Beth.

The very earth upon which we stand, the air we breathe, the beauty and freedom of the hills, the trees and flowers, even the rocks and flowing waters.  All of it testifies of the great love that our Heavenly Father blesses us with.

For all these blessings, and many more, my heart overflows with gratitude.  My life has been filled with many good things, and I am joyful and thankful.   

And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—

Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;

Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;

Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;

Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.

And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion.

And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments. (Doctrine and Covenants 59:15-21)

Institute for Banana Ballistics Research

Yesterday, I stuck a ripe banana in my pocket.  I wear utility scrubs, they have lots of pockets.

Anyway I was summarily  interrupted from my intention to assimilate the comestible portion of said fruit by an urgent and immediate call of nature.

My response was not a timely one, and as I neared, the objective spot, I peed my pants and made a big puddle on the bathroom floor.

This led to my first discovery of formal physical science, hereafter to be known as "Porcelain's Law".  The law simply states that, in the spirit of Occam's Razor, there exists a proportional direct relation between the distance to the bathroom and the propensity to make a puddle on the floor.

This principle was tested and demonstrated through exhaustive empirical research methods.

In fortuitous serendipity, as I mopped the floor, my banana dropped out of my pocket, and I subsequently drove over it with the wheelchair. I was presented with observational results of the kinetic energy released, and the characteristic ballistic function of hydro static force generated in the dispersal and pattern of subsequent banana-like ejecta.

Then I had the opportunity to clean walls and wheelchair as well as mopping the floor to dispose of  the experimental detritus.  In addition to a load of laundry.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Walking in Darkness

I don't feel like I belong here any more.  I am all alone in a very dark place.  I am no longer someone who matters.  Love is gone, no hope, nothing left but feeling shame to be so worthless.

Why do I even ask why?

People help me in my helplessness, but it makes me feel even more worthless and hopeless.  I have no escape.  No place of refuge...

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Living Water

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.  (John 4:13-14)

These latter days are a time of great spiritual thirst. Many in the world are searching, often intensely, for a source of refreshment that will quench their yearning for meaning and direction in their lives. They crave a cool, satisfying drink of insight and knowledge that will soothe their parched souls. Their spirits cry out for life-sustaining experiences of peace and calm to nourish and enliven their withering hearts.
Indeed, “there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.” 14 Let us work with all our heart, might, mind, and strength to show our thirsty brothers and sisters where they may find the living water of the gospel, that they may come to drink of the water that springs “up unto everlasting life.” ( Elder Wirthlin, Living Water to Quench Spiritual Thirst)

Another setback

Another episode of stroke affecting me last week.  This was probably what the drs characterize as a TIA, Transient Ischemic Attack.      By definition, a TIA is a temporary experience, leaving no permanent brain injury.

Last Thursday night, I had an episode that included dizziness, everything spinning around me, diminished sense of awareness, vision compromised with encroaching gray out, and more confusion than usual.

Someone helped wheel me up to my room, but she was behind me, so I wasn't sure who.  I thought it was my friend Lilian, but she said no, she saw me weaving around the lobby, and was concerned about my drunken careening, so she got the nurse.I asked to be left alone, because I was wanting to avoid another ER fiasco.  They can't seem to do anything much about events like this except compile extravagantly expensive billing for inconclusive tests.  I went to bed felling dizzy and groggy.

The next day, I was feeling recurring weakness in my lower body, and my speech was slurred more than the previous day.  Back to the routine of trying to recover...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Enduring Well

Life is carefully designed to produce for us, if we are willing, a harvest of relevant and portable experience...

Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us and do so in ways which sanctify these experiences for our good (see D&C 122:7). Thereby, our empathy, too, is enriched and everlasting.  Elder Maxwell, Enduring Well

Saturday, October 14, 2017

In darkness I cry...

Alone and lonely,
runnels of hot tears
course across trails
long traveled.

No balm for ills,
impossible challenge
blocks every effort.

I live in the blackest well,
subterranean existence
devoid of a glimmer of light,
bleak and hopeless.

Ugly bigotry, self-recrimination
damns every thought -
bleak lives don’t matter.

I struggle to rise to the level
of support and charity
extended by so many.

But still inside myself,
I cannot break past walls
that await in front of every hopeful turn.

Contemplating the potential peace of non-existence,
I consider the horror of self destruction.

It would be so easy.

It would be so easy.

It would be so easy.

But my counselors remonstrate,
Just a change of scenery”.

And those professing care and love,
injured beyond imagining,
wounded to the heart
by my selfish impulse,
unable to comprehend
the dark force that ever drives my thoughts.

Helpless and naked
I cry unto God for relief.

What answers mocks my pain.

I cried because I had no shoes
until I met a man who had no feet.

The mist of darkness will cover you at times so much that you will not be able to see your way even a short distance ahead. You will not be able to see clearly. But you can feel your way. With the gift of the Holy Ghost, you can feel your way ahead through life. Grasp the iron rod, and do not let go. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, you can feel your way through life. (See 3 Nephi 18:25; D&;C 9:8.) Elder Boyd K Packer: Lehi's dream and you

Suicide: Some Things We Know, Elder Russel M Ballard

Friday, October 13, 2017


Moved to a new location.  Senior Living center in Orem.  New Church ward, lots of nice people.

Treeo Orem

Extra charges for pets - I won't be getting a poodle.

A bit too expensive for my budget, but otherwise ideal for my needs at the moment.  Working on stroke rehab - again. Insurance refused to cover any further treatment, so I am on my own this time. Done this enough times, it is a familiar trail.

Looking for another place in Salt Lake County; my boys said move closer to them, so they can visit more often.

Could no longer justify living at my moms house.  Cannot help her any more, I'm more handicapped than she is.  Folks from her ward and community promise to help her, and she will be getting home health visits.

Suggestions for nice future apartments  welcome.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Another stroke

Another weekwe y in rehab hosptakl, recovering. Another week orslo. Changes coming in  my life....

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Flowers Were Made for People

The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.  (John Muir)

Abronia fragrans, Sweet Sand Verbena

Balsmamorhiza sagitata, Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Calochortus nuttali, Sego Lily

Delphinium occidentale, Tall Larkspur

Epilobium angustifolium, Fireweed

Fragaria vesta, Strawberry

Geranium viscossisimum, Sticky Geranium

Helianthella uniflora, One-flower Helianthella

Iliamna rivularis, Mountain Hollyhock

Juniperous osteosperma, Utah Juniper

Lupinus caespitosus., Utah Lupine

Mimulus guttatus, Yellow Monkeyflower

Nasturtium officionale, Watercress

Oenothera fruiticosa, Evening Primrose

Pedicularis groenlandica, Elephant's Head

Quercus gambelii, Gambel Oak

Rosa woodsii, Wood's Rose

Solidago missouriensis, Goldenrod

Tragopogon dubius, Salsify

Vaccinum scoparium, Low Huckleberry

Veratrum californicum, False Hellebore

Wyethia amplexicaulis, Mule's Ear

Xerophyllum tenax, Bear Grass

Yucca baccata, Spanish Bayonet

Zigadenous elegans, Death Camus

Monday, August 07, 2017


When you see such an image, you must be thinking of some specific word, in your mind.

What is that word?  Have it fixed in your mind. Now, tell me, how is that word pronounced?

For me, the word is M.O.U.N.T.A.I.N.  But for a distressingly growing number of the local populace, it seems to be pronounced something more like "mou-un".  I've been trying to imagine where the traditional middle part of the word got lost.

How does this mysterious evolution of language take place?  Who started it?

I fully recognize that the actual spelling of the word, M.O.U.N.T.A.I.N., has never in my recollection been strictly related to how we actually pronounce it.  But I was always of the impression that the mangling we do is fairly unanimous, and we have some consensus, about how to say this and most other words.

It appears that my impression was mistaken.  Not only do words change meaning, right before our eyes, but they also sound different.  I feel somehow let down by all of this.  Like an article of faith that I cling to has been callously violated, with some impunity.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pioneer Tribute

Faith in Every Footstep

In Utah we have parades and fireworks to celebrate the arrival of Mormon pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley.

Many of my ancestors were among those who trekked here from Winter Quarters in 1847 and after.   The Cobabe ancestor FFL Cobabe joined the Church in Copenhagen 12 Oct 1862, and immigrated to Utah in 1864.  He and his family arrived in Salt Lake City on 15 Sept 1864 with the William B. Preston Company and a group of LDS converts from Scandinavia.  More of his story here.

We have all been pioneers in our own life, finding our own way.  My sisters Mary and Kathy helped the handcarts roll into Temple Square, around 1970.

My sister Beth was born on Pioneer Day.  Her birthday celebration is rather lively.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Ham Radio - more mixed signals

Just noting a slight grammatical inconsistency.

In recent HAM radio dialog, the term "destinated" has come into common usage.  While the term is not grammatically correct, the meaning is unambiguous.  It means "I have arrived at my destination and will not be talking to you any more, so let's say farewell now."  This is a good deal of useful information to deliver in a compact and economical package.

In order to implement consistent habits, I propose that all such terms be treated with equal grammatical mangling.  One of the frequent terms I hear on the air is the awkward "mobile and monitoring".  It might as well be shortened to "mobilated", with the same "-ated" suffix as the previously noted term.

I was imagining this kind of grammatical foreshortening applying to all such phrases, but some come across as too arcane or obscure.  I occasionally employ the popular term "kerchunk" which is coined in aonomatopoeia, a word that phonetically imitates, resembles or suggests the sound that it describes.  In this case, the radio repeater makes a noise at the end of a PTT transmission, a "kerchunk" which lets listeners know that it is their turn next.  This is needed since FM dialog on radio repeaters is "simplex", only one speaker at a time.

Anyway, absent further esoterica, the term "kerchunkated" is far too awkward and cumbersome to be useful as a shorthand term.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Telling the Truth

It matters not that we manufacture endless categories of nuance.  Fifty shades of gray is still not white.  Darkness is the absence of light.  Wrong is never right.

Whatever you decide to call the dog's tail, it will never be a leg.