cc: file, Andrea, Tony Hafen, Sara and Des Penny, & Maxine Shirts
"Every week seems to be pivotal. This one was for me because it is the week Sara got her Peace Corps assignment:
It was pivotal for Grandma Shirts because she got a new and better back yard and had her 80th birthday party. It was for Arnold Schwarzenegger because on Thursday he announced his candidacy for Governor of California. It was pivotal for the wife of one of the Bishop's in our building because she had to call me and request the building for her child's baptism (pride is pandemic). And in addition to all of these things, it was an interesting week.
Monday through Wednesday I was working on the Casey Ranch project. Rachel had her last day of work at the mall. And she spent a couple of days packing up to go back to school. Thursday was our travel day. Since I had just made the trip, after leaving the car at Park 'N Fly, getting our boarding passes, and clearing security, I walked her right to McDonalds for a breakfast burrito. I had stayed up late again, and so I slept on the plane. I had two books to read: `Airframe,' and `Timeline' both by Michael Crichton. They are both good books. I particularly liked `Timeline.' Maybe it is the physics.
I left Rachel in Salt Lake. She flew on to Cedar, while I went for a meeting with Bob Ehrlich. The original plan was to have another meeting at The Church Office Building, and as previously mentioned they were not interested. Bob and his wife Sarah took me to lunch to a pizza place. It was very good. I sure hope something comes of the things we are talking about. There is so much to learn, and Bob is one of those who can teach it to me. Being around him is like drinking from a firehose. Andrea asked me to be in Cedar City by 7:00, and so I timed it so I was. With the 75 mph speed limit, I-15 is as quick as going down through Delta. I still think that way is prettier, and yet I did not hit a rabbit nor a porcupine. However, I did hit a piece of metal on the freeway, got a flat tire, which could not be repaired, and ended up buying a new tire for the rental car. Oh well! It was my first time to meet Robert's wife, Janet. She is bright and teasable. After fixing the tire, we went back to Grandma Shirts' house and visited. Andrea moved with me over to Sara and Des' house, so Robert and Family could stay where she had been sleeping.
Friday morning was spent digging up lawn and putting in sprinklers. When we weren't working I was reading `Airframe.' Friday afternoon I took off for a couple of hours and had a very interesting meeting with President Bennion, the Provost, and two geologists. There was a commitment to make geology a primary focus area at SUU. There is interest in pursuing the Geoscience Repository, and whether or not this happens, the commitment I heard was to tie geology into continuing education, and to turn it into more of an emphasis at SUU. All in all the discussion was wide ranging, covering water, condensation, nitrates, core repositories, continuing education, as well as some details about geology. I have not heard a word since the meeting, and so I'm not sure whether it was as good as I thought it was. One of the related things which came up 6 days later was an article about a solar thermal power station in Australia which Les Denham forward to me (http://www.cbc.ca/storyview/CBC/2002/08/21/aus_power_020821):
|Attachment 1: _________________ Attachment 2:
Artist's rendition of power plant ___ Tower prototype in Manzanares, Spain
Imagine the following scenario for Cedar City. The base of the steep contours on Cedar Mountain are at 6,000 feet (city hall is at 5,834 feet) and the top of Lone Tree Mountain (above the `C') is 9,134 feet. This is a 3,134 foot drop over 13,000 feet, or a slope of 0.24. Judging by the small artist rendering, they have about a 5,000 foot radius of greenhouses feeding a tower which is 1 km or 3,288 feet tall. Building the greenhouses in the shape of an alluvial fan at the base of the mountain, there are places south of Cedar City where a 1 1/2 mile hemisphere of greenhouses could be built against the slope of the mountain. Instead of building a free standing tower, the Leaning Tower of Cedar City will be built up the side of the mountain. I believe it could be camouflaged so it is not obtrusive to the view. This Leaning Tower of Cedar City would carry hot air up from the greenhouses, passing through generators as the hot air rises, and carry water down from large condensation collectors on the top of the mountain. The water would act as an insulator, minimizing heat transfer between The Leaning Tower of Cedar City and either the mountain or the atmosphere. This approach milks the atmosphere of water and uses solar energy to create a energy independent and water sufficient community for 200,000 homes. I realize this is a larger community than Cedar City wants, and I figure it is simply a matter of time before this becomes a necessity. Anyway it will be interesting to see if the President or the Provost at SUU ever follow up with me about our meeting on Friday afternoon, the 8th of August.
I went out to the farm and spent a few minutes with Darrell and Nancy Krueger and with my cousin Neil Nelson, Uncle Ted's oldest son on Friday evening. Neil and I have sent a couple of e-mails back and fourth since then. This was the day Ben sent an e-mail telling me Mike Leavitt was nominated by President Bush to be Director of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). I expect you will hear more about this. Later in the evening, Rachel, Andrea, Janet, Janneke, and I went to see `Freaky Friday.' It was a fun movie, and it was fun to listen to Andrea and Rachel react to the various things in the movie. I'm not sure why I am so inhibited. But I am. I also get embarrassed when the reactions are too loud and become obtrusive to others. This evening was nice.
Saturday morning we went for the first Shirts Family Golf Tournament. It was fun. Randy said he only played golf once before, and was pretty adamant it was only with Ray Gardner on the Cedar City Course in 1968. I seem to remember being in that golf game. Anyway, Andrea, Randy, and I made up a team. It was the first time Andrea and I have played golf together. It was fun. On nine holes Randy got a 69, I hit 73, and Andrea hit 92 strokes. I expect we will do more of this.
After the golf game we worked on the sprinklers and I read. I had volunteered to make Dutch Oven potatoes, and had been given a bag of potatoes by Darrell Krueger's renter when I went back out to see him after attempting to get him with President Bennion. And it took longer than anticipated to get them cooked, to have a shower, to get cleaned up, and to get them over to Steve's house. By the time I got there with them, Matt had left because someone had been teasing him. I went back over to Grandma's house and was able to get him to come back with me for dinner and photos. Saturday evening was the night of the bar-b-que and photos. I have posted most of the photos I took at:
However, they are not labeled and organized like I intend them to be yet. Everything in its time. It was a nice evening. I particularly enjoyed the talents shared by some of the grandchildren. The family meeting and division of genealogy responsibilities was interesting. It is neat to watch a family where everyone is active in the church, everyone is interested in their heritage, proud to be descendants of Hyrum Smith, knowledgeable about their ancestors and where they lived in Nauvoo or Kirtland, and involved in the planning. It is also interesting that despite all of this activity, they have not done very much in terms of pulling everything together. I think some of my ideas about using the web, and some of the things I learned setting up Computer Genealogical Services 25 years ago will prove to be of considerable worth to the Shirts family as they bring their information together.
It was a pleasant evening, sitting around the fireplace, and letting baby Stephanie put ice cream buckets on my head. Janet Shirts decided to get back at me and to take a photo, so I told her where the camera was, she got all set, and learned there was no space on the disc. She was not pleased. I thought it was really funny.
Sunday those of us still in Cedar City went to church at the Cedar 7th Ward. It was a nice service. I wrote the following possible Prime Words stanza in the meeting from a talk by Denice Sheffield (a):
We went back to Grandma Shirts', ate lunch, and then Andrea and Matt took the plane back to Houston and back to school. I stayed with Sara and Des and read my books. The nice thing was it felt and seemed like Maxine Shirts' 80th birthday party was a real success."