Paradise ponders... Yesterday morning Debbie and I made an early morning trip out to Hardware Ranch, looking for wildlife. In order to leave early, I went out before sunrise, when it was just light enough to see (and I have great night vision), to move hand lines (irrigation pipes). These three strings of hand lines belong to my friend and neighbor Tim D., who asked me to move them for him while he was on a trip to Montana with his son. The three strings have a total of 18 pipes in them, mostly 40' long with a few shorter ones. In all three strings, the job was the same: one at a time unhook and pick up the pipes, move them 30' to the next location, put them down and hook them up. There are always a bunch of small challenges – pipes that are jammed such that they're hard to unhook, pipes that are bent and hard to hook up, getting the pipes in exactly the right place, and so on. There's nothing really hard about the job, either physically or mentally, but still it requires one's full attention – you can't do that work well while daydreaming about something else. You can, however, take a few moments here and there to look around you at the beautiful early morning scenery, which I did. I particularly love the play of the early morning light on the mountaintops to our west, which occurs long before the sun rises from behind the mountains to light the valley floor.
After I finished moving the hand lines, around 7 am, Debbie and I took off. It was a lovely morning, clear and crisp, and we were nearly the only ones on the road. That meant we could easily dawdle wherever we felt like dawdling, to gawk at whatever was gawkable. We made generous use of this opportunity :)
Yesterday was Pioneer Day, a Utah state holiday, though today is when it's generally observed. The Boy Scouts came early this morning to plant a flag by our driveway, and all the local roads are now festooned with flags just like it in nearly every driveway. The Boy Scouts charge a nominal fee for this service, but if you multiply that by how many households participate, you'll see that they're raising a substantial fund. This patriotic spirit is so different than what we saw in San Diego, and I'm sure it's the same in every big city in the land. You'd feel odd there if you were to put up a flag on the patriotic holidays. It's basically the complete opposite here, where you'd feel odd if you didn't.
Monday, July 25, 2016
BLTs, again... Those BLTs we had the other day were so good that we decided on a repeat performance. Everything was the same except for how I cooked the bacon – I tried a technique I'd heard about: baking the bacon in the oven. Bottom line: I don't think we'll ever cook bacon any other way again! I used a aluminum cookie sheet, lined it with aluminum foil, and baked the bacon in a 400° oven. The bacon was thick-cut, and I cooked it for 14 minutes until my eyeballs said it was done. All the strips were identically cooked, which was already much better than stove-top. I didn't have to turn over the bacon, and the cleanup was a breeze. No more stove-top bacon for us!