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Life in Ogden

So I just moved to to Ogden a few weeks back and decided to start writing about the things I discover as I go. I got job not far away, though not too close either. I’ll not give out too many details about what I do or where exactly I live for the sake of privacy. I moved in with the help of my parents. They had the truck loaded down with all my junk and I led the way to a house I hadn’t even seen the inside of. A room mate from my last domicile did house hunting for himself and let me know that there was an extra room available, so I took it. Not a moment too soon either, because I was this close to being evicted. Anyway, I got moved in and then we went out to eat pizza at the pi pizzeria. Probably the best I’ve eaten. Then my parents had to leave. I sat in an empty apartment for a few minutes and considered my situation. All my friends were at least sixty miles away, granted that’s not very far, but deal with it. I was lonely. If I hadn’t already stuffed myself with pizza I would have consoled myself with food. Groceries were next on the list of to dos so I hopped on over to the closest grocery store and grabbed a few essentials such as milk, cereal, and fixings for p b and js. Oh and cookies for dessert. After putting the food away I took a little drive east to find a good view of the sunset so I could watch it while I ate cookies.

My First Acquaintance

The next day I was aware that I was no longer alone in the house, but I left early and didn’t see anyone until after work. As I entered I found a manbun and an impressive beard attached to a tall skinny man with black rimmed glasses. We introduced ourselves and started into conversation. He gave me a very different view of life in Ogden. My impression of it up to that point had been that of a crowded city with lots of businesses and concrete. I thought of gangs and dumpy neighborhoods, a place people lived only because there was work. My new room mate told about rock climbing and hiking trails, social activities and community events. My eyes were opened. Living here might not be such a step down from the college town I came from.

The Drive Home

Every day for the first couple weeks I took a different route home from work. My eyes were peeled and my head was on a swivel as I tried to absorb every detail of my surroundings. I take note of grocery stores, thrift stores, recreation locales, restaurants, and municipal buildings. I watch out for shady areas and piece together a mental map of everything with relation to my domicile.

I discovered that Smith and Edward’s is right in my way, and often lures me in for a look at their wares. I found Mountain House meals there and decided to try a few. In fact I ate a freeze dried chicken casserole while writing this.

I gave every Ogden exit a go so I would know where I was at wherever I made it off the freeway. It happened first by accident when I missed my exit.

Ogden Canyon

From I-15 I could see the gap in the mountains known as Ogden Canyon. One day I made a b-line for it. It was very narrow, in fact it looked like it might not go anywhere. I followed the road right into it. I noticed that the shops and businesses leading up to it were more geared for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists. RV accommodations were common as streetlights.

The first thing I encountered was an enormous pipe that was strung across the canyon way up high. It bows down over the road and comes back up to its original elevation. Right next to it is a waterfall which is hardly visible on the way in since it is on the inside of the first corner.

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Story Time

I love stories. I like to read them and I would like to write them as well. But I don’t really let my imagination wander in fantasy or fiction. I like to concentrate on real life. I want to create a story but in real-time. I want to live it. I want to make something of my life worth writing about.

I am a home schooled boy who grew up largely in isolation. I spent my youth in the hills and woods. I used to trap and hunt. I’ve skinned more critters than I can count. I served a mission in mexico during some of the worst of the drug cartel wars, where you were never sure if you were hearing fireworks or a gun battle. When I returned I worked a couple of jobs before going to school. I decided that the university was not for me and went to a tech school to study drafting. I used that as a front while I studied in my apartment about social media, blogging, finances and business. I wrote and read and wrote and read. I am in the process of creating a life for myself, one where I am financially independent and I dedicate my time to seeking out the best thoughts and paradigms. I am surveying the world to find a path. I am pioneering the cloud of information and thought and culture. Just as I used to study which plants were edible or harmful in the wilderness, I now roam the jungle out there to apply my gift of discernment to identify the good from the bad.

People are confused about how the world works in spite of all the advancements in science and trial and error of various ideas and inventions and thoughts. There are those who have learned to manipulate how we see the world. There are others who would wrest these individuals of control of mans vision. There are those who have unwittingly altered the lens of right and wrong until they are befuddled and confused. There are those who would stand in for forgotten or lost signals. I wish to be among those men who restore our vision and direction. I would do so by sifting through the knowledge we have, reconnecting the circuits that have fallen out of repair. diagnosing the causes and finding the cures for the mutations and malfunctions.

I may not be a wiz with computers or mechanics but I can wield a pen, and my mind is active and daily increasing in skill and dexterity. I feed on truth, vision, and motivation.

I always have a paper and pen handy, ready to capture thoughts and ideas that come to me. I haven’t found a use or application for all of my inspiration, but as I record them I show that I am receptive and the stream becomes more steady.

I need to be more active in testing out my ideas and spreading my thoughts so that when I strike it may hit home.

This home schooled boy from the mountains will become a success in business. he will show people that there is a way out of the cave we have cornered ourselves into.

People have problems. I would like to solve them. Or at least open their eyes to the possibilities and their own potential.

What problems do people have? Lack of money. lack of education (even the college grads). Unhappiness. lack of nutrition (even the well fed).  Is it wrong to think that there are malnourished people who get plenty to eat? Or that there are people who have gone through the entire educational system and yet be ignorant?

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My education goals

My educational goals are divided into two categories, though they support each other in critical ways. The first is for the temporal security of my family, the second is for the enrichment of my understanding and enjoyment.
My short-term goals involve getting certified in Drafting so that I may obtain employment somewhere that will permit me to earn enough money to continue living and studying independently. I decided on Drafting because such knowledge and experience will bring me much closer to my next educational goal to become an engineer. Also, I may explore the various branches of the Engineering field while I study Drafting, and this without the distractions and demands of the typical university curriculum and campus life, which one normally must go through to reach such academic exposure. The school I plan on attending is connected to a nearby university so that a certificate at this school translates into 30 credits toward an associate degree. This plan will put me closer to my goal of becoming an engineer, while, not only saving money, but also providing a source of income.
As I work to enhance my employment opportunities I intend to busy myself in developing my skills and interests such as creative writing, languages, political science, music, and sports.
With grants and scholarships I could better my situation instead of working full-time just to maintain the status quo. I do not seek more than a supplement for my limited resources

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The daily grind

So I have about three weeks of steady work under my now greasy belt. The place is big and dark and has a thick patina of grease and metal shavings that seems to spread like a disease. I have learned a ton in these few weeks, among them are with whom one can joke and at whom one is better off not looking. there are so many machines to learn how to use but so far I am only proficient in using the grinder and the broom.

There is an interesting variety of characters among the crew, some of them even have nicknames to add to their flavor. To mention a few there is Toad who mostly keeps to himself and works steadily and without too much action, then there is Critter, the skinny guy that always wears his jacket from the oil fields and has a toy skeleton stuck on his car window, also there is Brown Spot, I guess he got that name from his Latino heritage. Personally I would have given that name to any of the others who constantly are fingering Tobacco into their gums.

My average week day goes something like this: My cell phone goes off and I press snooze to get in another ten minutes. I get dressed and scrounge something up for breakfast. I load my lunch, coat, gloves and fancy safety glasses into whatever vehicle is available and cruise off towards the rising sun. I pull up outside the gates because that is where the new guys have to park. I clock in and go searching for the foreman to put me to work. I drift from one end of the shop to the other cleaning up after the certified welders.

 

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I got a job

The other day I spent several hours in town on various errands. Feeling the freedom of wheels I decided to be decisive and take some steps for the development of my future. I went into Murdochs and asked for a job application. The nice lady at the check out desk informed me that they were not hiring at the moment but the manager was taking apps.

I then drove to the Metal fabrication shop I had worked at more than two years ago and chatted with the owners for a bit before taking an application and scooting. I drove home feeling very manly for having been such a big boy about it all.

I was sure there was no reason for filling out the app because one of the owners had told me a few days earlier to drop by the shop for a job. I knew it was in the bag but I was also sort of hesitant to dive into regulated time. I was sort of enjoying all the free time with no obligations on my hands. I was a slave only to the dinner bell.

i drove into town ready for a day of work. I went in and plopped my application onto the desk. They looked at me like cats receiving a fresh can of tuna. Before I knew it I had some fancy safety glasses, earplugs, and a pair of fresh white leather gloves. I punched in a time card and started grinding on a piece of I bar.

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Getting Back

I have decided to continue the account of my doings starting from about one month from returning from my mission in the Mexico Monterrey East Mission. The account of those best two years is not covered here but I may make reference to it on occasion. I will make sure to explain the contexts.

Following my return I have fallen into a routine of irregularity. I find myself tied up with a range of activities, only half of which turnout to be worth the time. With no other obligations on my time I like to read or visit with my sisters or parents who lend an ear out of love, or pity I’m not sure which. My activities consist of reading or talking, sporadic sessions of exercise, occasional naps, late nights, and general dawdling.

I have made up my mind to learn to milk the cow and get used to doing such duties at home. Dad said that I didn’t do too bad for a first attempt, then he took over to get the job done.

I have made a good practice of keeping the basement stocked with wood and coal. The coal-burning is a new development here. One chunk the size of my shoe will keep the fire from going out until morning so we only have to put a log on instead of building a new fire every morn. Dad hasn’t had to start one but once this winter. Pretty good I’d say.

Not being a missionary lets more trivial activities creep into ones time at the expense of other worthwhile things like scripture study. That can’t happen. I probably would have gotten into trouble had I not written myself a letter as a missionary to my future self, reminding me of what I thought of returned missionaries that pour their knowledge and experience down the drain for things of naught.

I am vulnerable to insignificant project ideas that get me no closer to my long-term goals. I found a video on the internet about how to build a rocket stove out of tin cans. I tried it. I put one together and cooked myself some eggs and chorizo, a Mexican dish of which I am fond.

On another occasion I took a walk and decided to test my outdoor survival skills by making myself a bow drill fire. I crunched through some six-inch deep snow in tennis shoes to a grove of trees and found an old fallen aspen tree. I grabbed some dry branches and fashioned myself a shaft, carved a socket into the log as I straddled it, and put together a bow using my shoelace and a curved stick. I don’t know how long I was out there drilling my shoelace to a frazzle but I finally gave up and ran home bragging that I had succeeded in producing smoke. I must say a shoelace is a high price for just a stupid waft of smoke.

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