Friday, July 18, 2014

The Heist, The Brake Job, and The Redemption

The dead of night, a faint howling in the distance, a weak streetlight...  Joe Q and I slowly cruised past the Ace Hardware...  Yes!  Two beauts chained to the store, but not for long.   We backed up to the front, I hopped out with the bolt cutters, and snip, snip and huff, huff, they were loaded on the back of Joe's truck.  Then for the getaway...clean, swift, easy...  and up the canyon in a cloud of dust, choking the moose and raccoons.   Now we were safe, and soon our booty was installed...


Now we were ready for the weekend.  Bring on the steaks, the marinated chicken breasts, the elk, the fish, small children...  Dinner is served!  And breakfast, too!


Later that day, a junk yard run...  out with the old!


So with bellys full, the weekend's festivities began.  Lots of music...



The infamous Bobby D showed up (after a long absence from tequila driven excess) with his buddy Sid.  Then there was  the payoff to one perpetrator of crime.



Alas, perhaps due to some bad karma, the revenge of Ace Hardware, festivities were interrupted for emergency vehicle repairs.    And back to Ace Hardware/NAPA, for parts. (Paid for parts... I think...)


Still, for others, it was more celebration...  Ah, the corruption of youth...




Sunday morning found us all wallowing in guilt for our drunken, thieving, wanton, lustful ways...  and seeking redemption for all our sins.  But first breakfast...



There were a couple of hangovers...



Sunday services began with sacrament...  ah, that multi colored blood of christ...


Soon we all gathered for Church...  led by our favorite gospel duo...



Some were saved...


Some were still skeptical...  


But soon, overwhelmed by the "holy" spirit (or more tequila), we all turned into butterflies.


Thanks to the Berts for another great weekend.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Piano Man

Recently I hosted a competitor in the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition.  Miriam was in France for the month, so I was hoping to host a hot East European babe.  Thinking that request would disqualify me, I was surprised to be assigned, well,  a young man from...  yep, Eastern Europe.  Vasyl Kotys is from Ukraine, now living in Germany.  So with some trepidation, knowing I'm not the most social animal around, and finding that Vasyl was fluent in Russian and German but not so much in English, we spent two weeks bonding over the NBA finals and the World Cup.


But first, on to the competition.  What an amazing pianist!  I'm not much into classical music,  but I sure enjoyed Vasyl's practicing on our OK, but not Steinway, baby grand.


Speaking of Steinways, thanks to the folks at Daynes Music, especially Matt who could speak some Russian, Vasyl was able to practice on the super Steinways in the Daynes recital room.  Even more special, Vasyl also spent some time playing Van Claiburn's personal Steinway, on display in the store.  He even received a certificate confirming this experience.



Unfortunately, Vasyl did not make the advanced rounds of the competition (a wrist injury probably was a factor, considering the quality of competitors, but his amazing second round performance is available on YouTube).  So we had some time to explore the Salt Lake area.  Since he was fascinated by the mountains surrounding the valley (Ukraine is more like the US midwest), I took him to the top of the tram at Snowbird.


Vasyl also wanted to see the Great Salt Lake, so teaming up with Rodney and his photo equipment, we headed to Antelope Island.  Some of my shots of the crew:




We had to wait around quite awhile for the sunset so Rodney could get his pic...  and he sure did.

Unfortunately, I did not get a pic of the nachos fest at the Wasatch Brew Pub in Park City.  Sure was fun turning someone on to their first 'merican bar treat.  He ate 'em all including the jalapenas and hot sauce.  Good man!

Vasyl insisted SLC was the most beautiful city he had ever seen.  Since it was his first visit to the US, I can kind of understand that.  SLC, surrounded by the mountains, really is beautiful once you step back from the cultural melieu of this place.


Anyway, Vasyl Kotys is a fine young man, and I wish him the best in his performance career.  Hopefully we will see him back here for the next Bachauer competition.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Real Great Salt Lake Photography

Well, my photo action has been upstaged, big time.  No NatGeo work for me...


Rod Daynes took this pic, capturing the infamous green flash from Antelope island.  The bugs ate him alive, but he got the shot.  Check out his photos sometime.