Sunday, October 29, 2006

Further Observations

...about life in Salt Lake City...

~ It is casual out here. I just spoke at three services of one of the United Methodist Churches here near Salt Lake. I went in slacks, shirt, tie, and a really sweet sweater - you know, the sweet kind that have a zipper about a quarter of the way down in front? - as my Pa-Paw would say, I looked sharp. But, I was still afraid that I would be under-dressed, as I am used to everyone wearing a jacket to church, especially people who are speaking. I was the only one in the church with a tie. This is pretty indicative of all church services's just plain casual out west. Pretty nice.

~I am already dreading that I have to leave in about twenty-two months. Well, not really dreading leaving as much as dreading leaving behind fry sauce. I am already hooked.

~Snow covered mountains are very pretty. And they surround me. I am in the midst of constant beauty. I hear the mountains say the the same thing, well, ever since I moved out here.

~Everyone loves a southern accent. And in Nashville I don't even have one.

~ Nobody says ya'll.

~ Everyone tries to say ya'll after they hear you say it.

~It never works.

~A t-shirt and a pullover - my normal winter garb - isn't even heavy enough for the fall here.

~If you are at a fast-food restaurant, the first question you hear is "to stay or to go?" It throws me off every time. I'm used to hearing"For here or to go?" Honestly, little things get to me.

~I went to Temple Square a couple of weeks ago and saw the Tabernacle, which is closed until April for renovations. I then left and walked by this establishment:

It's funny because LDS members don't drink, or condone drinking, and this bar is just a play off of one of their central buildings and most famous entity - the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I haven't been in there, but it cracks me up. I am intrigued by the duelin pianos so I will probably check it out before too long. It's just 5 blocks from Temple Square...pretty ballsy...

~My SEC bias isn't so well received when I'm not in the Southeast.

~Oriental Markets are super cheap compared to the Asian section of regular grocery stores. If you are interested in becoming an Iron Chef like me...visit one of these. I guess the things they sell are just staple items for most of their clientelle (sic?), not specialty items so they don't mark them up. Seriously, I got 3 bottles of sauce/seasoning, wonton wrappers, and egg roll wrappers for 7 dollars. I priced similar items in my normal grocery store and it cost 12 dollars. Highway robbery.

~Downy Wrinkle Releaser is very hard to find in Salt Lake. I went to about 10 different stores looking for it to no avail. I finally broke my Wal-Mart boycott to get some. I don't like to iron.

~My Wal-Mart boycott is mainly a convenience thing. Meaning, it's more convenient to not go. If I were still in Pulaski, TN it would be all Wal-Mart, all the time.

Well, these are tidbits of wisdom that I thought I would pass along in my ongoing effort to educate you.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ensign Peak

Last week I had the occasion to go up to Ensign Peak here in Salt Lake City. This is supposedly the spot where Brigham Young and his posse planned out the city.

(You can click on any picture I post on here to make it bigger)

I guess this site is one of the big reasons that SLC is one of the most well-planned cities in the world. The grid system of roads makes navigating the city very simple...anyone can find things easy...and the roads are very wide. I think I've written this before but since I am so committed to your education, I will inform you again on why the roads are so wide. Apparently, Brigham (we are on a first name basis) wanted the streets to be wide enough to turn around a horse/oxen carriage without having to back up. I can see why wide streets are needed. Urban legend says that Briggie Y (that's what he likes to be called) just wanted to walk arm in arm with his many wives...I've heard 20ish wives as a number and I've heard 50ish...not sure which is right. I think the urban legend mythos of wide streets is hilarious...

You can see the well-planned out the city in this picture...and the wide streets. You can also see where I live...I think...

Ensign Peak is one of the lower mountains surounding Salt Lake. Actually, I'm not sure if it is considered a mountain. It's high though. Legend says that Brigham Young and a group of fellow sojourners were going through this area and Brigham Young stopped the driver and said "This is the place." He had apparently had a vision of Joseph Smith (Founder of LDS Church) showing him this exact place.

The fact that Brigham Young rode up the mountain/foothill/whatever tells me that he was much smarter than I walked the trail up the mountain. The entire time going up I thought I was going to die. My friend I was travelling with didn't seem so winded so I blame it on the high altitude. And my being out of shape. But mainly the high altitude. And possibly the mexican food I'd had for lunch.

But something tells me that with either 20ish or 50ish wives, Brigham Young was in pretty good shape and would not have had much trouble walking, running, or roller-skating up Ensign Peak.

It was so worth the pain and angush though. It was beautiful from the peak. You could see the whole valley. Aren't I a good photographer?

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I could probably do a post about these Bus People I am about to describe if I would have engaged either person in conversation rather than just eavesdropping on their conversation. But, I didn't engage because I was too enamored by my own thoughts that sprang forth because of the conversation that these people were having.

It started:

Lady with Very, Very Thick Glasses (LVVTG): "Wow man, you have a lot of hair to be so old."
Very Old Man with Very Thick Hair (VOMVTH) "Thanks. I like to call it my little gift from God. Did you know I'm 86 and have never had to do anything to keep my hair? It's all natural. Original color too." Editors Note: His hair was very brown.
LVVTG: "Yeah, I have a little gift from God too. I have better than perfect vision." Editors Note: Remember, she has very, very thick glasses."
VOMVTH: (With confused look on his face) "That's nice. Eyesight is very important."
LVVTG: "Yeah, I don't even need to wear these glasses. They just help me see better. I already have better than perfect vision. My doctor told me."
VOMVTH: "Then that is truly a great gift. I wish my eyesight were better."

It went on like this for a little while longer. LVVTG would say something that didn't make much sense. VOMVTH would keep saying gift. It got old an monotonous but, as I said earlier, did spark some internal questioning.

What is my physical feature that is my "gift from God?"

I'm sure most of you are like "Geez Adam, you're well put together. I would say God really blessed you and then broke the mold. You is fine. All of your features would be a gift to anyone else in the world." You are all too kind. And have very good taste might I add...

But, though I am very beautiful, these two people focused on things that don't really make up beauty...super human eyesight, an uncanny ability to keep your hair. So, my question is...what is my trait that is like this?

I came up with two answers on the bus ride. 1. My calves. 2. My triceps. Let me explain.

1. My calves.

This is actually fairly easy to explain. After further thought I no longer believe that my calves are a gift. I think they are the outcome of carrying the rest of me around all of the time. Most any muscle that has to support a big guy all of the time is gonna be pretty developed, so, my calves aren't a gift from God. Just a gift from Marie Callender, Li'l Debbie, and Captain D.

2. My triceps.

Okay, so I admit this is a bad picture, but it's hard to get a picture of your own tricep...and have it show the definition. And let me tell you there's some serious definition there. And I have no idea why it's there. It's been years since I've worked out regularly and for definition. All of my other muscles that used to poke out have long been gone. But, my triceps remain. This has to be a gift, as I have done nothing to nurture them. Why are they still there and defined (again, bad picture - I almost don't want to put it up as I feel some people will look at it and say, "How cute, Adam thinks he has triceps. I do...BIG ones.)? This is a mystery that I have no answer to. My triceps...a gift from God.

Anyways...I should have jumped in the middle of the conversation between LVVTG and VOMVTH and put on a flex show. I think they would have agreed that my triceps are a gift...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Patriot Act

I have a renewed sense of nationalism after a very patriotic act that I performed a couple of days ago. Actually, I performed the most patriotic act for the first time a couple days ago. I voted. Absentee. So, I made my mark on Nashville and Tennessee from afar, even though those two fine places can't claim me for the next two years as a resident.

I sent in a letter about a month ago to register to vote absentee. Early in the week I received my ballot and filled it out the very same day. I wanted my vote to get back in Nashville on time to count. You know, first time jitters.

Actually, I shouldn't have first time jitters as I have voted before. In person even. But, two months after the 2004 presidential election I received notice that my vote didn't count. They said that I wasn't properly registered or some bologna like that. Anyways, the same day I received that notice I registered to vote. So, technically this is my first time to vote, even though in actuality it's not.

I must say...I'm glad that I am voting absentee for this election. The ballot was huge...both sides full of writing. For my county there were about 10 amendment initiatives to vote on. I would have gotten flustered inside the voting curtains had I had to read all of these amendments. Even more flustered if it was busy when i went to vote and people were waiting on me. I probably would have frozen...similar to the urinal stage fright freezing that happens every now and then in busy bathrooms.

This renewed sense of nationalism really came through when I was preparing to put the ballot back in the mailbox to send to Nashville. I went to one of those Fed-ex type mailing places that is right down the street from where I work to mail it off, as I wanted the feel of actually sticking the envelope in the mail- being part of the process - than having a mail carrier take it out of the outbox in the lobby. The store was kind of crowded when I got there so I was able to talk a couple of ladies into singing the national anthem with me while I opened the mailbox. One man had brought a pair of cymbals to ship to his son in college and he unwrapped them just in time. "And the rocket's red glare (chhh (cymbal sound)) The bombs bursting in air (chhh) gave proof through the night....

The owner of the store even offered the flag he had flying outside to me, so I could wrap it around my shoulders as I placed the envelope in the mailbox, but of course, I didn't want to desecrate the flag so I thanked him and said no.

I encourage everyone to vote. Renew your nationalism. Be a Patriot.

This is Adam Burgett, and I approve this message.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Here is my flickr account address:

You can go here to see pictures I've taken. Right now all that is on there is some of the pictures I took at Big Cottonwood Canyon a couple of weekends ago. I will continue to add pictures as I learn to use the site.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I must say, I feel a little cheated...

Riding the bus has allowed me to enjoy my ipod more than I had been able to before I was en route , walking, or waiting for about an hour a day. Not only has this down time allowed me to enjoy the ipod more but it has allowed me to enojoy the music that I am listening to more.

A lot of the music that I listen to are my old reliables: Amos Lee, Dixie Chicks, RENT Broadway Soundtrack, Elton John, Snow Patrol, and quite a few others whom I have listened to for a while or enjoy a lot. Katharine McPhee included. However, since I have 3828 songs on my ipod you can imagine that there are songs that I don't listen to regularly, or in the cases of the music that came to me through friends, songs I have never listened to at all.

Also, because itunes makes it easy to enter your credit/debit card once and then just buy and buy songs until your heart's content, I have music that I have purchased that I don't listen to regularly. In a lot of cases, I think "Wow, I would like to hear this artist, and it's cheaper to buy his whole cd now rather than buy one song now and then buy the whole cd later, so I'll just buy the cd" and then never really listen to the musician.

Until now. Prince is one artist that I'm really getting into. Now, by way of explanation let me say that Prince was an itunes purchase during a late night in US-2 training in New York. I don't remember what had gone on that day, or even why I was on itunes late at night, but I remember my rationale in purchasing Prince's Greates Hits. Heres the rationale: "I have $35 worth of itunes gift cards." Sound reasoning, huh?

Actually, though that was my reason for buying Prince I have had it in my mind for some time that I would like to listen to Prince. This desire stemmed from my Dad's love of Prince. I actually don't know if my dad loves or at one time loved Prince, but I do know that he owns the VHS to Prince's movie - Purple Rain. That translates to love in my book as I own the VHS to Runaway Bride just because the Dixie Chicks had a song on the soundtrack.

Anyways, since I've been listening to Prince I realize that he is really, really good. His music is awesome. Actually, he is so good that I wish his music caught on with my generation like some of the other older rockers - Elton John, Billy Joel, Meatloaf, etc. I want to talk about Prince with some of my friends and they might know him as "the guy who likes purple" or "Oh, I love his song 1999." But what I desire is for me to be able to walk into a room of my friends and me say "This is what it sounds like, when doves cry" and then the entire room in unison breaking out with "dum do do do, dum do do dum" and then trying to impersonate Prince's shrills. That would be so awesome.

But no, for whatever reason Prince didn't catch on with us millenials and I'm stuck singing Pink Cashmere to myself. I guess I'll stick to being able to walk into a room full of my friends and say "Everybody clap your hands" and have everyone in unison clap their hands to the beat of the ChaCha slide. That's fun too I guess, but I would rather hear "dum do do do, dum do do dum."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


If college football doesn't interest you then you will probably want to go ahead and stop reading now.

Something has been on my head the last few days that I just have to write about. I know I'm biased in the football conference area, but it is a fact that the SEC is the best football conference in college football. Being away from the area only strengthens my assurance in this fact.

Take this weekend for example...the SEC beat up on itself. Two previously undefeated, top ten teams were beaten by teams in their own SEC division. Now, in a conference that just a couple weeks ago had something like 4 teams that were undefeated and in the top ten now only has one undefeated team, and still several in the top ten. Even if by some chance Florida does make it through the regular season without a loss, they still have to play the SEC Championship - a game that is sometimes harder than the national championship.

I'm quite sure that Florida won't make it through the season undefeated. Just a hunch. Even the crappy teams in the SEC are pesky. The number 3 ranked team in the Country - Michigan - got played very well by Vanderbilt, the perennial worst team in the SEC. Vandy plays everyone close though...something that pains me to no end.

I guess I should get off of my soapbox...just know that I think the SEC is the best conference in the nation in college football. Not all agree...many would point to USC's killing of Arkansas as proof of the Pac-10 being dominant. I would counter with UT's whooping of Cal. Anyways...we're all right. It's should not be as important as we make it. But I can't not make it an all consuming thing that dwarfs everything else in the world from August through January. All SEC fans are like that. That's why we're the best.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Me and Nature...we be tight

Last weekend I went up to Big Cottonwood Canyon - one of the seven canyons within a short drive of my house. The accessibility of nature - beautiful nature - out here is amazing. In twenty minutes I could be at any number of hiking, climbing, skiing, or rapelling spots. All very beautiful.

So, this trip last weekend was great. Very relaxing. It kind of makes me want to rethink my assertion of myself as a city boy. Actually, no, I like the city. But I like nature in small doses too.

Speaking of small doses. This little guy caused me to seek a new pair of undergarments shortly after we arrived to the Canyon.

I can't wait until the Spring when I can just make a short drive and go sit in this wonderful nature and do whatever - write, read, listen to music - You know...relax. Who couldn't relax when you can just chill beside something like this:

As I am hungry I will just put a couple of other pictures here. I took about 80 that day. I am in the process of learning about a new picture sharing site a friend told me about called flickr and will probably start posting all of my pictures on this site. I will post the address when I learn more - unless I learn that I can't post the site and show other people my pictures.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What's the Deal?

Every morning I always read the Tennessean online - for those of you who don't know that is Nashville's newspaper. I read it mainly for the sports page, so I can keep up with my Commodores and Titans (though I am increasingly not caring as much about the Titans as I used to). However, every morning I do read the headlines on the front page and see if anything interests me.

You could all imagine my surprise when I saw this headline this morning:

Wednesday, 10/04/06
Nashville's 25 most beautiful
Honorees enjoy the lighter side of being on magazine's annual listing

How is this unknown to me? The gathering of the 25 most beautiful people in Nashville that is apparently an annual event and I had to hear about it in the newspaper after the fact? At first I thought "Oh,they have started a new contest in Nashville. Too bad I've been in Salt Lake for a while. That must be why I wasn't included in the article or invited to the gathering." But then, after more thought I realized that the headline mentioned the annual listing and event. This has been going on for some time and I never knew. I couldn't understand how I never knew. I could understand if the headline read:

Wednesday, 10/4/06
First Annual Gathering Honors Nashville's 25 Most Beautiful
Only persons living in Nashville for every day the last 5 months eligible for designation as one of most beautiful

But, the headline didn't read this. It read as the first headline - the real one.

I must admit, I'm a little offended. Not only was I not included in the magazines listing and gathering. I have never even received notice that I was a runner-up to that was almost included in the magazine. This implies that I have not even been nominated. How disturbing. I know that I haven't been nominated because I would have either been included in the magazine or been a runner-up if it ws a bad picture of me. I am certain that runner-up receive some sort of notice.

Working at an institution that works with people who don't normally have a voice I have realized that people sometimes slip through the cracks. However, I have never seen someone slip through the cracks as much as I have for however long this listing and event has taken place. I should be featured in this article. We should right this wrong that has been done to the Nashville Community.