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It’s Broken And I Don’t Care

June 8, 2015

My system broke today. Apparently in a pretty nasty way. I don’t care. In fact, caring about it would be a complete waste of my time. 

For the past 15 months, I have lived and breathed my job. (Work/Life Balance Is Overrated.) I’ve been on call 24×7. I’ve taken calls at church. I’ve taken calls during kids’ concerts. I’ve taken calls in the middle of the night. I’ve even taken calls while on vacation. The only place I refused to take calls was on an airplane. 

Oh, I could, if I chose to. I could just pay for wifi, log into Skype and forward my cell phone. It is the  one place I drew the line. Until this week. 

I’m writing this by the light of a coleman lantern. We’re camped next to the San Rafeal river. Night comes quickly in the desert. It was 90 degrees earlier today. Slightly cooler near the water. Once the sun dipped below the horizon, the temperature followed suit. 

Utah’s Southern desert has a unique beauty. It’s a harsh landscape, replete with dry gullies framing table top mesas. It’s easy to think of the desert as a dead place. And the environment is certainly harsh. The rivers are marked by thin bands of green meandering down the draws and gullies. But, get more than a few dozen feet from the water’s edge and the verdant green melts away to be replaced by sagebrush and greasewood. Not even the scrub oak of Northern Utah can withstand the blazing heat and the miserly rainfall. 

But, the desert is far from a dead place. It’s teeming with it’s own fauna. My son and I looked for as many different evidences of animals as we could find. 

  • We saw lizards darting across the hot sand, feet bouncing off the ground
  • A circling hawk cast a hungry eye on our little four footed friend
  • An army of ants were quick to attack any stray piece of our lunch that happened to spill
  • Beetles scuttled across the ground in search of whatever beetles search for
  • A snake basked in the warmth of the dirt road we drove down
  • This is all range land, and cows wandered along the road side, seemingly oblivious to the heat
  • Wild turkeys called to each other through the underbrush around the river
  • As night fell, coyotes offered questioning yips just out of view of our campsite
  • Gnats and mosquitos came out with the cooling temperatures, and we saw bats come out to hunt them

Moonrise preceded sunset by about 45 minutes. I know that everyone sees the same moon, but maybe it’s the elevation that makes it appear so much bigger and brighter from the desert. 

The stars winked in one by one, mostly overshadowed by the brilliant moon. The mesas that during the day had been so bright and colorful, with alternating layers of red and gray rocks, faded to pale silhouettes. The night sounds surrounded us. Bats and bugs, crickets and coyotes.

 Today is the first day of a 5 day High Adventure trip with three of my sons and their scout troop. After a night in the beauty of the San Rafeal swell, tomorrow we head to Colorado for three days of whitewater rafting on the Arkansas river. 

Yes, one of my systems broke today. I can get just enough cell coverage for my phone to download my email, wether I want it to or not. And I glanced at the status emails that started this morning at 6:30 and are still being sent at 10:00 pm. On a normal day, I’d be working that issue. I’d be taking those calls and I’d care very much about the time we lost. 

Today is not a normal day. Not by a long shot. I cared about a lot of things today. Broken IT systems didn’t make the cut. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2015 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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