Just Shelley Travel

Pardon me—whose unwanted baggage am I tripping over?

The storm had cleared and with it took much of the humidity. The temperature was still warm, but manageable. Best of all a gentle breeze was blowing down off the mountains.

I went walking around Temple Square, drifting in and around wedding parties, tourists, and Mormon Sisters who were helping folks. I walked by one Sister and she gives me a big smile, asking how I was doing and if I needed help. I realized I was next to the Tabernacle and had hoped to hear the Choir sing. When I asked the young lady about choir performances, she not only gave me times when they were playing but enlisted the help of another sister to work out a strategy for me so that I could get excellent seating. They worked with the precision of enlisted soldiers determined that I, visiting from San Francisco, had a chance to hear the choir at its best (tomorrow morning, be there early, sit in this location – got it, Sergeant).

photo of Temple

I also splurged on a horse-drawn carriage ride throughout the city – I am a sucker for horse-drawn carriages. My driver, Emily, obviously loved the city, and the horse, Cleo, was young and very spirited. I had a wonderful trip, not only seeing what really is a beautiful city – a unique city – but also talking with Emily and enjoying the antics of Cleo (who does NOT like loud rock and roll by the way).

After the ride, I asked someone on the street for directions and she not only pointed me out where I needed to go, but also took me by the arm, walked me to the end of the street and literally pointed out the building I was looking for, chatting with me the whole time about making sure I see the Beehive house and the Joseph Smith Museum and…and…

Sometimes we can view things, people, and places through glasses shaded by past trauma and sadness. Rather than rose-colored glasses, these are smoky at best, fogging our vision and impacting on our interpretation of what we see. When I walked out this morning, comparing the City of Salt with young memories, all I could see was Ozzie and Harriet on one side of the street, Undergrounders on the other. This afternoon, I took the glasses off and I saw a city made up of Undergrounders and Ozzie and Harriet, true; but I also saw people like me, like you.

I walked around downtown enjoying the beauty when I noticed a crowd gathered around a group of young women with harps. These were students and friends of Elizabeth Smart the young girl kidnapped from her home June 5th. They were performing at a concert to raise awareness of Elizabeth’s kidnapping and to provide support for Elizabeth’s parents.

Elizabeth’s parents spoke first, not 15 feet in front of me, mother stoic, father breaking down in tears. In another place, in another time, they would be Ozzie and Harriet. Today, they were the grief-stricken, terrified parents of a little girl who was stolen from everything she knew, a family of love and taken for what reason we may never know.

photo of harp players

And then the harp players, ages 4 and up, started playing:

Bah, Bah, Black Sheep have you any wool?

Yes, marry have I,

Three bags full.


Storm, salt blizzard, and The Trucker and the Biker Gang

I left Reno late – about 10:00am. Heading east, the clouds begin to gather and the sky darkened. Around the highway, lightening flashed and you could see sheets of rain in the distance.

The wind was blowing and dust devils appeared here and there in the plains. One particularly audacious devil seemed to parallel my car at one point. It’s presence said: One more tree down in the forests of Brazil and I would be a tornado instead. And you and your little aluminum can would be tossed into the next county. Hee Hee.

The storm broke on both sides of the road, but the freeway itself was remarkably free of rain. Just when I thought I would miss out of my first thunderstorm driving experience, a wall of gray crossed the road. Wet. Very wet. Lots of lightening too.

photo of thunderstorm

The thunderstorm was fun, but the salt blizzard in Utah, with visibility reduced to about 2 feet was a bit intimidating.

Salted in the shell, Shelley. That’s me.

Worst part of today’s drive was somehow getting in the middle of a biker gang – and this was a gang, not Sunday bike riders – who were playing chicken with a trailer-less semi. I was surrounded by bikers, trying to avoid the semi as it would cross back and forth across the freeway. Ugly, ugly and very scary. As soon as a path cleared, I hit the gas – I had to exceed 100 MPH in order to finally get away from this group. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t particularly care if a cop stopped me at that point.

Other than this bit of macho bullshit, drive was nice and I’m in Salt Lake City. I’m taking a break from driving tomorrow. Hopefully more pics for you Sunday.

BTW, the ThreadNeedle discussion is getting quite interesting – stop by and add your 0.02. I’m particularly interested in people’s take on “filtering” out posts from a discussion. My first take was “no way”, but now…is there room for regular and extra-crispy in ThreadNeedle?

Quick: Look for the faces in the photo (answers provided tomorrow, winner to be checked for drugs.)


Technology Travel

Reno calling

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

A quick update because connection charges are ruinously expense at the hotel (Silver Legacy, Reno).

Long trip was cancelled and I’m heading to St. Louis direct. The move this last week was, well, horrible. Thankfully the folks at Delancy Street (non-profit foundation that employs people in various positions), came through and rescued me today, packing up the rest of my stuff. I am sicker than a dog is all I can say.

Heading to St. Lou in easy stages.

Thanks to everyone for the incredible efforts with Thread the Needle, or ThreadNeedle, or Needley. The great thing about this project is it’s the first to be designed via the weblogs.

One thing I have been stressing with TheadNeedle is no popularity – no rank – no listing of buzz – nothing of that sort. We’re here to have a conversation, to connect. Quality of conversation should matter, not quantity of links.

Am I out to lunch on this one issue? Should popularity of threads be denoted in some way?

Looking out hotel window at a massive thunder storm rolling in. I get to drive through my first t-storm tomorrow. Cool.