Monday, December 29, 2008

Digital Disobedience

Got Tiffy a new camera for christmas so we have been taking and deleting copious amounts of photos. This one is a keeper though. Who knew, dogs can't read? 

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tradition.....Tradition

When you see the title of the post don't read it, sing it, like you are the Fiddler on the Roof!
A few weeks ago we decided it was time for our pumpkins to recieve a proper burial, so we shot them to pieces. The kids loved it and even Tiff has a little whitetrash in her! I think this is going to be a new yearly treat.
Hurry up and shoot Max, before Obama takes our guns! ;)

Noah practicing his redneckin skills
cause girls only want boyfriends with skills

Tippy the redneck princess!
(She's lethal with a Glock from 30 yrds so watch out!)
So once we finally killed the Halloween/Thanksgiving punkins it was time for the Christmas tree to make its entrance. I love Christmas, but in our family the tradition is that no one is allowed to listen to Christmas music until the Thanksgiving Turkey has been properly stored in my belly. The rest of the tradition handbook states that Paul will bring the tree downstairs and assemble said tree on the day after Thanksgiving. Once the tree is assembled Pauls only remaining duties are to hold the couch down, drink pepsi and eat starkles. It really is a great tradition!

My work here is done!

OK, now my work is done!

Post Thankgiving tradition used to dictate a long cold day spent goose hunting on the banks of the Colorado River. That tradition morphed into a long cold day spent Kayaking on the Colorado River. I did see a lot of geese though and even some people hunting our old stomping grounds.
Last years kayak trip down Westwater.

This years Westwater Trip!
(can you tell what new piece of "paddling" equipment I got this year?)

And now it looks like Tiff is trying to start a new tradition by taking herself to Hawaii for a week. I think at some point the boys and I would like to get in on that one. (Although I wouldn't give up a day of paddling to go anywhere, not even Hawaii! ok, maybe Hawaii)

Na Pali

That brings us to our most recent tradition. The infamous lighting of the park in Mapleton. The lights failed to turn on at the flip of the switch as usual. And the 1st graders sing songs but they put Noah on the ground where no one was able to see him, but we continued the Tradition anyway.
The kids wore reindeer hats and Sunglasses for the reindeer rap. Max figured he would get in on it too! He refused to take them of the entire night.

Little Corey Hart!
(wondering who Corey hart is? Click the video)


Monday, November 17, 2008

T Minus 10


Spaceman Spliff

Thursday Tiff, Noah and I hopped on a flight to Orlando with one goal in mind. AVOID the      D-Word at all costs. Well that might not have been part of Noahs plan but we never even told him that Orlando was the home of the place that shall not be named. We went to Orlando to witness a far greater type of ride. A ride with a sign that states "you must be this smart to ride." Someday Noah will get to ride. The shuttle was scheduled for Liftoff from Cape Canaveral at 7:55pm for it's last night launch. We arrived early and decided to drive to the Kennedy Space Center for a look around, yeah, ummmm, you have to have passes to even go down that road on launch day! So we drove up to Titusville along the Indian River. We found a place to watch from and parked our badselves on a bench to wait for 8 hours. About an hour in I realized we were going to need some other seating options, so after a quick visit to a local fleamarket and 4$ later we had some sweet chairs. We eventually were surrounded by people. Some great folks from Scotland, Germany, and some guys that own a astronomy shop in North Carolina set up some telescopes right next to us. Noah had a blast looking at the Shuttle on its launch pad. I don't really know how to descibe the launch other than it was amazing.


Sitting and waiting




our super sweet chairs




video
Video speaks for itself
(So why can't I keep my stupid gob shut?)

Smoke trail, moon and shuttle on the left


Just a couple interesting facts; at 2 minutes the solid rocket boosters have burned all of their fuel and fall away, at four minutes the shuttle is traveling at 6000mph, and at 8 minutes they are in orbit. To give you an idea of the power of this thing, the largest commercial airliner engines in use are on the 777. each engine on the 777 produces 1 Hundred Thousand Pounds of Thrust. So a 777 takes off with a total of 200,000 pounds of thrust. By comparison the shuttle at lift-off is producing 7 MILLION pounds of thrust.
Needless to say it was pretty frickin awesome!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Of Elections and Elk Hunts


Well, in a way I have come full circle to my redneck roots. I bought a permit to shoot an Elk. My permit was for a spike Elk only and the weapon of choice was a muzzleloader(for those that don't know, think civil war rifle) I have never killed anything with my muzzleloader though I have tried multiple times. I was obviously not in the hunt for a trophy Elk(spike only tag) nor was I in in solely for the meat, but more a reason to get out and hike my ass off before the snow hit, to spend some time alone in the mountains and just to be outside. All of these goals were accomplished with the exception of bringing home some natural steroid free meat. For those that read this and are opposed to hunting let me say this, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be a human being on this earth and not have a negative impact on animals. If you eat meat, someone killed that animal. If you brush your teeth or take medicine, those were tested on animals. If you live in a house, you have evicted an animal from its home. We cannot avoid having an impact on them. Anyway, yesterday I did finally, after 12 years of trying, get my first shot at an Elk, and I missed, I hit the only tree between me and the vital organs of one lucky Elk. However I had a fantastic time hunting with my Dad. During the course of the day we had time to talk about the election and Obamas policies and it came out that Obama is not the best friend of the hunter and that he may propose some new gun laws. I am not afraid of this, I keep hearing people say so many negative things, Obamas gonna take my guns, he's gonna take my money, he's going to support terrorists, all of the crap people are saying is coming from the rightwing fearmongers. I hear so many people saying things that I know are not coming from them but just something someone told them to try and scare them. My mother-in-law said it best the other night. She said "once I knew he was going to win, I really started to listen to HIM and I am impressed with him." and that is the key people. Stop listening to Sean Hannity and Rush telling you to hate and fear, listen to Obama speaking himself and make up your own minds. The country has a great opportunity to come together. Will you be the one that holds us apart? And for those of you who are complaining about the media coverage of the first African American President. I know it's getting old, but it is a huge deal. It was not that long ago that African Americans were being hung in peoples yards, so yes it is a big deal. I am excited Obama won, I look forward to seeing where he can take us, but like he said in his acceptance speech, he needs our help! 

You might not like the video but it definitely had an impact on me.
YES WE CAN!
My favorite line from this speech is,
"In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about HOPE"

and now I am going kayaking before Obama dries up all of the rivers, steals our water and diverts it to the terrorists and forces all Mormons to drink alchohol!
(it's true, I heard it from someone)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BaseBall


I'm not really a huge sports fan. I played highschool football and basketball but I don't really like going to watch games. I do love watching the NCAA Basketball tourney in March and I might catch a game or two of the NBA finals. I watch the superbowl with the sole intent of catching a Cindi Crawford Pepsi commercial. With all of that said, I am sitting here watching game one of the world series. I voted early(Obama) and I don't have work or homework to do, nor do we have cable, so here I sit watching the Phillies and the Rays go at it in a game that is almost as slow to watch as golf. I have two major observations I'd like to make about baseball. The first thing that really bugs me about Baseball is that it is the only sport that you can be actively playing while eating. You have never seen Michael Jordan or Peyton Manning eating Sunflower seeds while playing. My next complaint has everything to do with this picture.
This is Don Zimmer, he's with the Tampa Bay Rays now(I think) but used to be with the Yankees. You can use this picture as a representation of what I am about to ask. Why do Baseball coaches or managers as they're called, wear uniforms like the players? I don't want to see Jerry Sloan in shorts and a tank top at a Jazz game, nor do I hope to see Bronco Mendenhall in helmet and pads at a BYU football game. In no other sport that I can think of do the coaches wear a uniform. It just looks stupid. Can you imagine Michael Phelps swimming coach walking around in a speedo, or the womens gymnastics coaches in their little whatever that uniform is.
And just as a parting thought, one good reason to not wear a uniform if you are not a player is that no one else will mistake you for a big fat old player and throw your face in the dirt.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Work?

I am sitting reserve at work this month, which means I am on call. I have not been flying very much and the upside to that is that I am home alot. The down side is that reserve pay stinks. So I have been sitting around contemplating the things I hate about my job. There are some really good things about it also, mostly the scenery.

I started out with the goal of becoming a bush pilot in Alaska. I achieved the goal only to give it up after four months. The flying in Alaska was great, the town I lived in was not.
Typical Alaska load.

Typical Alaska "Overload"


Inside the "Sled" Cessna 207
It is nicknamed the sled because it essentially replaced the dogsled in Alaska. At least in rural Alaska you cannot go anywhere except by plane.

video
Video shot during Mustache May 2006 in the village Russian Mission, flying over the Yukon river. No Alaskans were harmed during the making of this video.
I loved this Job. I had no uniform, no facial hair restrictions, no other pilots sitting next to me. I basically got to fly around rural Alaska low and slow taking in the sights. Unfortunately, Bethel, Alaska is no place to raise a family and the commute was killing me. So, in the fall of 2006 I went to work for Salmon Air, flying boxes on a UPS contract out of SLC. If nothing else the Salmon job provided me with some beautiful photo ops.

Salt Lake in the morning.



More SLC.




Piper Chieftain.


Inside the Chieftain




Ice is bad JuJu for aeroplanes!



Typical uniform.



Welcome aboard, now sit down and shut up.



Heavenly View.
(man that was cheesy)


Then in the fall of 2007 Salmon Air went belly up after a string of bad luck and accidents (none involving me)

This is what happens to a propeller when the pilot forgets to put the landing gear down!    (again, not me!)


Last day at Salmon Air, bye bye long hair

So, In January of 2008 I started at Skywest Airlines. We are the largest regional carrier in the U.S. and we fly all over the continental U.S. and Canada and Mexico. I however am based in SLC as a First Officer in the Brasilia Turbo prop(jet engine that turns a propeller) and as such I fly to such exotic places as Rock springs, Wyoming and Elko, Nevada. The job has some serious downsides ie: Uniform, short hair, no beards, annoying pilot sitting next to me, whiny passengers, long days away from home, more
 regulation and less freedom. There are positives as well, mostly scenery. And for the first time in my adult life we have insurance.



Los Angeles



Landing on the south complex at LAX


San Francisco


Part of the overhead Panel in the Brasilia
lots of switches and buttons



Backside of British Airways 747


Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest


This is middle of NOwhere Alaska right be fore I came home for the last time.



Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Animas

Let's start with a disclaimer: If your last name is Murdock, Stop reading now! This post is about dogs and we all know you are heartless dog haters! We have had Ani for about 5 months now and she has grown like some kind of mutant. We're just guessing but she's got to be over 50lbs and getting bigger.

When we brought her home she was so small.

Not only has she grown in size but also in our fondness for her.(I hesitate to say love because I know the Murdocks are still reading) The thing that amazes me is how attached I have become to an animal. I know she is just a dog and I am far from being one of "those people" who let their dog lick their face and live in the house and sleep on their bed. Thats not me, but every morning and every night either Tiff or I take her for a walk and it is a joy to watch her work the fields. She averages 2 pheasants each day and she works hard to find them. It really is nice to walk around the alfalfa fields watching a dog and seeing the sun rise or set. I don't have to think about work or money or the state of the economy when I am out there.
Before she gained an interest in pheasants.


Frisbee lessons up the canyon.

Back side of Maple Mountain.

Some friends recently had their dog die and it got me thinking. It sucks that animals have such short lives. So thats one thing that got me on this subject. The other is a book I read about Haines, Alaska and in said book the authors Lab has to be put down. She talks about the time spent with the dog and how it became a huge part of her life. Even when her husband was at work and the kids at school, she still had "Good dog Carl". So today I took Ani to be spayed(sp?), just doing our part for Bob Barker. When we brought her home tonight she is wasted from the drugs they put her out with. Normally she is an overly hyper dog, but tonight I had to pick her up to put her in her kennel and it got me thinking about the day she is going to be gone. Noah lost a salamander tonight named Lightning. He only had it for 15 minutes and he cried at its loss for far longer. So I dread the day that Ani has to go. I know my children will be crushed as will Tiff. If you Murdocks are still reading and I know you are, make fun of me all you want but your father bawled like a child when he called to tell us Old Paint was down.
Max's Best Friend

My point here is this. Each day is a gift, everything that makes these days more enjoyable is a good thing. Walking a dog each morning is both blessing and curse, but it is worth the joy my children get from her. Call me a sappy dog lover if you want, but until you have one you won't know what you're missing. Also know this, dogs are like children. Yours are horrible but I love mine!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Humble Pie!


Well, here we go, taking the plunge into the blogging world. Don't tell anyone! This whole thing seems like a great way to say "Hey, look how cool I am", or how stupid, I guess it depends on your point of view. If you know nothing else about me, know these two things. I like to kayak, and humility is not my strongest attribute. (I am the most humble person I know). So in an attempt to start off with a dose of humility, Yesterday I ate the biggest slice of humble pie in my short paddling career. The setting was the Ogden Mountain2Metro games and the river race on the Ogden narrows. This is a class IV stretch of whitewater that I have previously paddled without incident. Showed up at 8 am to catch the start of the recreational release flow from Pineview dam. Typically the Ogden River runs about 15 cfs but for the race they released 500. Signed up for the race and then went for a pre-race lap with some friends. All was well until "Poison Ivy" a pour-over with a fairly powerful recirc behind it. I got stuffed cold and sucked back in, stern squirted and landed on top of another boater (Chris Jones) coming through. Made it out alive and headed down through "Demon" and here is where things went poorly for polly. I go over and just as I start to roll up I hit my hand on a rock and lose my paddle from said hand. No worries I've been here before, just reach over and get paddle back...WHACK! I introduced my head to a rock with enough force to crack my carbon fiber helmet. Scratched but didn't break my glasses, and bruised my nose and cheek. I don't think I have ever been hit in the head that hard, not even by Ray Newberry! So at this point I drop the paddle and decide to get the hell out of the boat. Pulled the grab-loop to get out of my boat and lost my hold, now I start to panic. I gotta get out of this boat before I drown. My thought process was sped up by the continued pummeling of my head on the rocks. I get out and start swimming and there goes my new paddle that I spent and exorbitant amount on. I started swimming for it then realized that by the smallest of margins my life is worth more than the paddle so I gave it up and swam for shore. My boat pinned itself down stream and Chris found my paddle so once I was coherent again I was able to complete the run. I haven't had to swim from my boat since my first year paddling so I was pretty shaken and humbled by the whole thing. I did get in again and run the race where I almost ate it in the same spot again. Finished somewhere in the middle of the pack of about 60 racers. So there you go, my story of humility. Don't expect any more.

Here is the Ogden prior to the release



same stretch right as the flood came down.




and here is the abuse to my ugly mug. Note the bruised forehead(thats from the foam in my helmet pushing into my skull. Also note the swollen (drunk guy) nose. I was just a few millimeters from completely rearranging my face. Might not be a bad thing.