Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Anyway, before Aaron came, I had to clean up some of my mess. This is the highly organized pile of rocks we have in the outdoor room for the time being. I am a bit obsessive about moving rocks around in the backyard. Can you guess how many categories of rocks I have piled here? The answer will be at the end of this post.
We also had a tree stump ground out from the garden area. Then we were ready. The guys got to work putting in the lines for the lawn area.
So I wouldn't forget once we covered everything up, I annotated a photograph of the valve box.
It is a pretty sweet system and will save mucho time and thousands of gallons of water as compared to hand watering.
Oh, and I'm working on another project too. Through a geology connection and a trade for some bike parts I got the these granite boulders we had in the backyard drilled out for a future fountain. It'll be wicked cool.
So it has been a productive late spring in the backyard. Here is a picture from May 13 showing my affinity for junk piles and weeds.
It isn't a huge garden this year because I still have to install the pathways, but we'll get some organic veggies out of it. So things are coming along outside (at the expense of finishing the work inside!)
Answer to the quiz: Eight. Wonderstone flagstone, small angular cobble, large angular pebble, slate, junk rocks from digging, granite boulders, leftover granite countertop, and sandstone top cap we were going to use for a mantel. If you said 10 because you counted the brick and concrete paver, you're wrong because they are not rocks.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The trip did not start out smoothly. We left the house at noon on Sunday, a truck full of bikes, tools, supplies, and cats, but on this first warm day of the year (85 degrees), before we even made it to the freeway, we discovered the AC did not work. It has been such a cold spring that I haven't needed the AC. Rough finding out it doesn't work with a packed truck on a Sunday! So after running around to 3 or 4 different Firestone stations, we found one that could work on the truck. We settled in for an hour or so to the lobby of the service station, cats in their carriers and us on vinyl seats.
Finally at 6 PM and $700 later, we were on our way. We used the AC even though we didn't need it anymore. :-(
For all the people through the condo, it was in pretty decent shape. We spent Monday patching paint and deep cleaning. The new trail we wanted to try was on the agenda for the afternoon, but vicious winds prevented any cycling activity and closed the pool to boot. Bummer!
Instead, we waited until the wind died down a bit and hiked Mill Creek Canyon, just on the edge of town. Neither of us had been up this canyon, and we get asked for hiking suggestions all the time from our renters, so we were doing necessary reconnaissance. It was a fabulous hike, even though we missed the side canyon reportedly containing a shangi-la waterfall.
The trail follows Mill Creek very closely,
and has many crossings.
The best part about the hike was observing how the course of the stream is dependent on the jointing (geo term) or cracks (non-geo term) in the Navajo Sandstone.
The stream tumbles over bedding plane ledges and follows the joints, widening them over time.
There were cool micro things to see too. These insect creations looked like mini termite mounds or nuclear reactor cooling towers.
And these rocks were cool stuck like shingles into one of the joints in the streambed.
The evening light on the sandstone and distance view of the La Sals was magnificent.
Tuesday morning we spent cleaning some more and getting a tear in the carpet fixed, but we were both itching for some pedal time, so we managed to ride UPS and LPS as a loop. Last time I did this trail was on my old Titus. I remember it being at the top of my technical ability. This time, on a 29er, was a whole different story. I can't get over how much easier technical trails are on the big wheels. Wow! It is almost cheating. Drew shot some video, but it might take a few weeks for him to find time to edit it. We'll make sure to post it when he does.
Tuesday we packed everything up and headed home really late. Not a great recipe for both of us working the next day, but that's the price ya gotta pay to play.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Afterward, our Revolution Peak Fasteners team hosted a potluck barbeque. Too bad Drew had to miss the rhubarb crisp I brought. Yum!
Monday, June 6, 2011
Late March is when the regional science fair is held here in the Salt Lake Valley. An organization I belong to, the Salt Lake Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists, puts almost $400 toward cash and prizes for top projects by girls that contain a geology component. Our national foundation matches that, so together we award up to $100 each to 9 girls for a great project. To do this involves me reading through about 300 abstracts by 5th through 12th graders to pick out those projects that have some geology in them, then rounding up and coordinating five of our members to interview and judge those projects,
then meeting with the judges to get their final decisions and making up some nice award certificates for the girls. The judging involves reviewing each project board and an interview with the student.
Each student is judged on how well her project followed the scientific method (theory, experiment, reproducibility) originality, and presentation. It is pretty cool to see kids so excited about science!
The best part about this year is that the winner of our junior division last year was a winner in the senior division this year, which means that we probably have a budding earth scientist in our midst. Hopefully our cash and prize last year encouraged her to stick with the subject.
After the science fair was over, it was time to switch gears to our April 29th fundraiser, the 22nd Annual AWG-SLC Silent Auction and Wine Tasting Scholarship Benefit. I took on the big job of gathering items to put out for our silent auction. With the work of a fabulously motivated auction committee, we complied 156 items by 49 different donors ranging from original artwork by award winning local artists to gift certificates for dinners and massages and everything in between, including, my favorites, natural stone jewelry and rocks!
Our venue was the Founders Room on the 18th floor of the downtown Zions Bank building (thanks Zions Bank for the free use of the space!), which comes complete with a grand sweeping view of sunset over the Great Salt Lake.
We had delicious food and went through dozens of bottles of wine. Our attendance was up this year to about 119 super generous people, which combined paid out $3271 in the silent auction! While Drew worked the bar along with a few of the other members' husbands, earning $78 in tips, I was out bidding on items. Because the hard work of gathering items was over, I let myself indulge in a bit too much wine, which is probably why we went home with a few items of jewelry and and the promise of an original caricature drawing of Drew and me by famous Salt Lake Tribune cartoonist Pat Bagley!
This was all in the name of raising money for scholarships, which we awarded and presented that night to four bright young geology majors.
Our gross total raised including entrance donations, private donations, corporate donations, and the silent auction was $6200! Doing everything on the cheap with volunteer labor, we netted $4600, which makes it one of our best fundraisers in years thanks to the hard work of our fundraiser committee. Great work ladies!
Sunday, June 5, 2011
We loaded up the cats and the bikes for a quick trip to Moab on this first hot day of the year, only to be waylaid by a bad AC before we even got out of town. At first, Firestone tried a flush and refill, but that didn't fix the hole in the condenser, so instead we settled in for an afternoon of WiFi, sewing, and bike maintenance with the cats in the waiting room. 6 hours and $700 later we are on the way with a new AC and very restless cats.