Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah

Beautiful Cedar Breaks National Monument--like a mini Bryce with more pink and fewer people.  This is another of Utah's red-rock wonders.  There are no established trails down into it, but there are some nice ones along the rim, like the spectacular Ramparts Trail (use caution with the sheer drops).  Be careful too with the elevation:  over 10,000 feet at the park's highest point.  

How to get there:  We drove from Parowan down and then to Kanab, but you can also drive from Cedar City.    

(Photos taken August 2021)

On one side of the road:

On the other side of the road, at our picnic place:

More great views:

An ancient bristlecone pine at Spectra Point.  Some here are 2000 years old!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Reinventing the Wheel?

Yeah...some things have gotten a little more comfortable.  :) 

From a sort of outdoor museum of old farming equipment in Parowan, Utah.  

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

Exhalation, by Ted Chiang

This was a very interesting collection of concept-driven science fiction short stories.  I found it strange--but somehow fitting--that most of the stories had some sort of indirect narrative structure.  We had a man telling the story to a caliph, a woman praying her story to God, a scientific record, a warning to future generations, a catalogue entry for a museum exhibition, and a journalist's essay.  The literary devices kept me a bit at a distance from the characters, but I really enjoyed them anyway.  

Sometimes Ted Chiang's stories reminded me of Asimov's.  And for me, that's high praise indeed.

Rating:  4.5 stars.  Thought-provoking and unusual.   

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Love that Dog, by Sharon Creech

I'm not a huge fan of poetry, to be honest.  At least not the opaque, hoity toity kind.

So I totally sympathized with our protagonist, a young boy who at first thinks poetry is stupid and that only girls write poems.

Over the course of the short novel--written in verse, of course--he slowly and adorably changes his mind.  

I smiled.  I cried.  I felt happy about good teachers and about kids who discover all the worlds they can unlock through the written word.    

It was creative and well-written, and I think it might help lessen some young readers' poetryphobia. 

Note: the poems referred to in the novel appear in the back of the book, but I wish I'd known that as I was reading.

I Love that Dog and I Love that Book.

5 stars!  (And I don't often give 5 stars to fiction)