November 10, 2008

Reserved to Fight Update

Filed under: iraq,veterans — jbchristensen @ 5:11 pm
Tags: , , ,

It will be showing on Nov 12 at 9:00 pm on KUED. If you’re not in Utah it will be playing nationally on most other public TV stations, check http://www.itvs.org/shows/broadcast.php?showID=7649 to check listings in other areas.

They are also going to be featured on several local radio stations that are also available online. Here’s the lineup:

Tomorrow (Tuesday)–
Nov. 11 at 11:00 am (MST) on Radio West with Doug Fabrizio KUER FM 90.1 (you can hear it online at http://www.kuer.org) The rebroadcast is at 7 pm

Nov. 11 at 6:00 pm (MST) on KRCL’s RadioActive. 90.9 FM (http://www.krcl.org/listenlive.htm)

Nov. 11 at 12:23 pm (MST) on Canada’s CBC Radio (http://www.cbc.ca/calgary/)

Nov. 12 at 2:30 pm (MST) online at http://www.utahfm.org


September 20, 2008

Whew, What a Day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jbchristensen @ 9:11 pm
Tags: , ,

I didn’t help much with the peaches, but finished making about six gallons of grape juice. The grape yield was down about 50% from last year. I think that was due to an unusual spring and early summer. The juice is still wonderful, even if there isn’t as much as last year.

As far as the peaches go, we made filling for 22 pies (and ate two of them tonight), 20 quarts of freezer jam and six quarts of peach puree for smoothies and peach ice cream. We also kept about 1/2 bushel for eating fresh. That’s off of one tree, with probably about as many peaches on the ground as were picked. If we would have picked before they started dropping we would really have had way more than we could have dealt with.

Linda and I didn’t do all that by ourselves – our son and his wife and two of our daughters and one son-in-law (the other one had to work) pitched in as well as a couple of close friends. We had quite a full kitchen! Great conversation and good times were had by all, but we are all pretty worn out from the day in the kitchen.

September 18, 2008

Greatest Peaches on Earth!

Filed under: utah — jbchristensen @ 10:07 pm
Tags: ,

Utah’s motto is “The Greatest Snow On Earth.” Well, I’m not a skier, so I can’t comment on that with any degree of credibility, but I can comment on our peaches. I grew up in Brigham City and our annual agricultural festival is called “Peach Days.” We had peach trees in our yard growing up, and I have a peach tree in our yard in Orem. I’ve been to Georgia and bought peaches from fruit stands on the side of the road and just don’t understand all the hoopla about Georgia peaches. Maybe they beat Utah in quantity, but I prefer the peaches from my back yard hands down over the ones I’ve had in Georgia. These peaches are worlds apart from the stuff that gets imported from California too. Ours wouldn’t ship well, but they sure are sweet and juicy! Nothing better than eating a fresh peach that is five inches in diameter and so juicy that the juice runs down your arm and drips off your elbow.

I finished picking the peaches tonight and Linda and I will be making pie filling tomorrow night and freezer jam on Saturday. I’ll probably puree some so we can make peach smoothies this winter. Somewhere in there I need to press about 85 more pounds of grapes too.

Last year Alton Brown of “Good Eats” had a program on peaches. I emailed him and told him if he were ever in Utah, he should try some of ours, but he hasn’t called to see if he could drop in. Oh well, his loss.

My poor tree has seen better days though. The borers are starting to get to it, so I think I’ll be buying another one and next spring I’ll graft a start from the existing tree onto the rootstock of the new one. Even though I can buy the same variety as the one we have, I haven’t ever found an elberta peach that is as good as the one we have in our yard.

July 30, 2008

American Culture

Filed under: Uncategorized — jbchristensen @ 1:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

A few days ago my daughter Jenna and I watched the documentary “God Grew Tired of Us.” It is a documentary that follows some of the “lost boys” of Sudan. These were young boys were separated their families during the second Sudanese civil war. Some researchers have said that these boys are the most war-traumatized children ever examined. They went from Sudan to Ethiopia back to Sudan and then to Kenya. Eventually a few thousand of them were relocated to the US. The movie is a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit. It is well worth a watch.

One of the things that really struck me was the huge cultural adjustment they had to make when they were relocated to the US. Watching their struggles adapting to the way of life here made me think how hollow American culture has become. They were puzzled by Christmas trees and Santa Claus and no one could explain to them how they fit into the story of Christ’s birth. One of the young men told how a neighbor called the police because he had knocked on the neighbor’s door wanting some directions. Another young man told of finding a woman crying in the store in which he worked. People were just passing her by without offering any aid. He was the only one who approached her and asked what her problem was and comforted her.

I’ve been blessed to be able to travel to many parts of the world, both to developed and undeveloped (or underdeveloped) countries. Most of the time I’ve been able to see what day-to-day life is like in the places I’ve visited. When I come back home I have many feelings. First, I realize how truly blessed I am and wonder how I can share those blessings to others. I also feel that the stereotype of the “ugly American” has some basis in truth. So many of us seem to be insular, arrogant and parochial. At the same time many of us are willing to share our resources with those in need. I just wish that all Americans could have the opportunity to see what life is like elsewhere and to see that in other parts of the world people are much more open with their feelings, not just their pocketbooks. If we could combine those attributes, it would truly be wonderful.

Again, the movie is “God Grew Tired of Us.” Give it a go – you’ll be touched.

February 26, 2008

Spring’s Right Around the Corner

Filed under: Uncategorized — jbchristensen @ 6:29 pm

Spring has sprung,

The grass is riz,

I wonder where the flowers is?

My mom used to always quote that about this time of year. Don’t know where its from, but it brings a smile to my face.

We had a late “January” thaw in Utah this year, so I don’t know if we’ll get any more substantial snow over the next few weeks. The snow is pretty much gone from the yard, the ice on our pond is gone and I see my fishies made it through another winter. Birds are chirping and the buds on the Lenten roses are pushing up. Crocus should be popping up pretty soon too! I can go for walks and the occasional bike ride instead of using the elliptical machine. The TV in the room with the elliptical machine is dying, so it has been particularly boring to use the elliptical. Thank goodness for MP3 players!

February 14, 2008

Defending Food

Filed under: Uncategorized — jbchristensen @ 10:52 am

Back in the beginning of January, NPR interviewed Michael Pollan, the author of several books related to food. The interview is in regards to his latest book, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. His advise is simple, and the book can be distilled down to seven words – “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I’m looking forward to reading it in the near future.

Here’s a link to the audio interview.

NPR : Author Comes to Natural Food’s ‘Defense’

I’m currently reading Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. I grew up on a farm, not a corn farm, but we grew more than 1,000 acres of wheat and barley. Even with that background, this book has been an education for me. I’m only a few dozen pages into it, but so far almost every page has given me several “wow, I had no idea” moments.

Many years ago I read Diet for a New America by John Robbins. That was also an educational read, but I think Robbins’ agenda was to turn us all into vegetarians. Pollan’s agenda is subtler. He wants us to be aware of the costs to our health and to the environment of our food choices, and how interwoven agribusiness, politics and health have become. I recommend The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals to anyone interested in gaining a better understanding of how what’s on your dinner plate ended up there.

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February 7, 2008

Reserved to Fight

Tuesday night, 2/5/08, I had the privilege of attending a screening of an upcoming documentary named “Reserved to Fight.” This film follows four Marines – members of Fox Company 2/23, a Marine Reserve unit headquartered in Utah. The unit was among the first to enter Iraq during the invasion and was the spearhead into Baghdad. The purpose of the documentary is to show not the war, but how these Marines struggle to readjust to society upon their return from Iraq.

I thought the film was superbly done and is a must see. Of course, I’m a little biased. One of the producers was my daughter-in-law, Leith Tarr Christensen. It is because of this project that she and my son McKay (who was a member of the unit) met.

It will be aired this fall on PBS. The distributor and the producers also want to do a tour of colleges and high schools where the documentary would be shown. They have received enough funding to produce the film for PBS, but are seeking additional funds for the tour. If you’d like to make a contribution, they would be most grateful. Information on how to contribute as well as the trailer and other information can be found at http://www.reservedtofight.com.

Just one other note regarding Leith and Mack. They are expecting their first child, and our first grandchild. She’s expected in late June. (She is a she)

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October 14, 2007

Holiday to South Africa

Filed under: Africa,Cape Town,Joburg,Johannesburg,South Africa — jbchristensen @ 7:53 pm

Wow, it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything significant here. Several family members and I recently went on holiday to South Africa. We’ve been back for a week now. It’s going to take a while to put something together, but I will post thoughts & pics of the trip.

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August 2, 2007

‘Nother Blog

Filed under: antioxidant,health,healthy chocolate — jbchristensen @ 9:36 pm

I started another blog to talk about antioxidants and healthy chocolate. Take a look & give me some feedback.

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February 6, 2007

Wonderful Day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — jbchristensen @ 10:08 pm

What a wonderful day today! I say that for two reasons. First, it was a very cold January in Utah. We had the 2nd longest stretch of sub-freezing weather in Utah’s recorded history – 18 days. This week has been quite warm, getting up to 50 today. It allowed me to go on my first bike ride of the year. (the pedal kind-not the powered variety) It will get cold again, but it was great to take a little spin.

Second, it is the first day that I heard birds singing. Songbirds usually sing to attract a mate or to mark their territory. When they start singing is controlled by day length. So, it means that in my latitude the days are long enough for whatever kind was singing to start their mating rituals. Spring is on its way!

I have been rather negligent in posting over the last several months. Maybe now that the days are getting longer, I’ll feel more like posting.

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