Smog Fog and Snow

So far, this January has been better than the one from 2013.  We’re still dealing with some nasty smog, but the storms that drive it away are a) more frequent, and b) less severe.

As the country is currently being wrecked by a Polar Vortex, Salt Lake City is business as usual.  Smog, Fog, and Snow.

Smog and fog over the Salt Lake Valley


Snowfall obscuring Salt Lake

Gay Marriage – Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City

Today a federal judge struck down Utah’s Amendment 3, which banned gay marriage in our state.

Shortly after, couples arrived at the Salt Lake City courthouse to receive their marriage license.  You can read the full story here.

Beth and I went down there a little after 7:00 p.m., to see the couples and just to be a part of this amazing day.  The courthouse usually closes at 5, but the line to the licensing office was over 200 people deep, officials said anyone in line at 5 would be allowed in.  When we got there at 7, there was a good 50+ people still waiting.

Here’s what Beth said about it on twitter:


It was great.  There were several news crews and photographers there, of course, and families of those getting married.  But it also appears there were people who just came down to the courthouse to, like us, just observe.  People were getting married in the hallway and spaced outside of the clerk’s office.  Several people officiating the marriages at once.  Everyone was so happy.

Who could be there, among all those lovely happy people, and say, “this is a bad thing.”  It was beautiful.

Eventually, they had to turn people away because it was past 7:30, but Senator Dabakis addressed the crowd and said they’d be trying to get the clerk’s office open tomorrow to process more marriage applications.


Here are some pics from the night.

Gay Marriage Utah 2013 Conference

Senator Dabakis addresses the crowd after they closed the clerk’s office.


Gay Marriage Amendment 3 Utah

A couple gets married outside the clerk’s office


Gay Marriage in Salt Lake City

When we first arrived, the line of people waiting to go into the clerk’s office to make things official

First Snow – 2013

Sean Markey | snow day

Say hello to the first snow storm of 2013.  It was quite unexpected!

I snapped this pic as Beth and I were leaving for work.  The only shoes I have are minimalist sandals, so it was a very interesting, cold morning.  Time to go shopping for some proper winter shoes, I guess!


A Perfect Circle – By and Down

markey a perfect circle

Being a fan of A Perfect Circle requires patience.  Their debut album, Mer de Noms was released in May of 2000.  Three years later, the band released their sophomore album 13th Step.

Other than a contractually-obligated third album (which was an album of…interesting song choices), there has been no new music.

Since this is my blog, I’m going to talk for just a moment about what this band means to me.

I was 17 when Mer de Noms came out.  It’s hard to try and talk about the effect this music had on me without sounding like an enthusiastic jackass, but it really did.  As a drummer, as a writer, as a person.  It changed the way I thought about music and writing, and I believe I’m a better person because of this music.

All of that being considered, it’s been a long decade and a half.  But there is happy news.  There are several rumors floating around that new music is being worked on.  And while that means we really won’t see a release for another year or two, at best, it’s a nice thing to hear, since the last official release was 2004.

But to tide us fans over, and maybe torture us a bit, A Perfect Circle has released a studio version of one song.  Written in 2010/2011, By and Down moves slowly, and the sounds and lyrics are wounded, more similar to APC’s first album than their follow up.  I don’t understand all of the lyrics, but I appreciate the layers and the depth.

If this is the kind of music A Perfect Circle is going to be making (and we honestly have no evidence either way), then the long days and years until their next album are just going to pass more slowly.

Until then we have By and Down.  Have a listen below:

Bright Ladybug

Taken @ work on a walk around the building.

Wilting Orchid

The first flower of six to wilt.

Autumn at the Edges

Aspen leaves in July

It seems like the heat came early to Salt Lake this year.  On the other hand, a January that never went above freezing makes even moderate heat feel like too much.

Still, we put in our 100+ degree fahrenheit days, as we do every year.  It’s how we earn our Autumn.  It’s called having seasons, and in Florida, we didn’t really have them.  (In Florida, it goes from HOT, to LESS HOT, to I CAN MOSTLY GO OUTSIDE WITHOUT GETTING SUNBURNT, MERRY CHRISTMAS).

At my new job (which I never really wrote about, but probably will someday… maybe for THANKSgiving, because I’m so THANKFUL for it), at my new job, there are a few aspen trees I see as I go for my hourly walk around the building.  As the days became incrementally less hot, I noticed the edges of the leave changing.  In the fall, aspens are one of the bright yellow/oranges trees that decorate the mountains, and make Autumn the best time to go exploring on mountain trails.

Summer = Fires

We didn’t escape the summer without having to endure wildfire season.  Luckily, the valley was spared, but other spots, like Rockport, were not.  Though we didn’t have to deal with the flames, directly, we did end up with a weak of smoke hanging around the valley.

wildfires 2013

Oh, the glamor.

On a few consecutive mornings, when I went to the car to leave for work, there was a build up of ash on the windshield, and more ash coated the car and stood out very clearly against the black paint.  On one particular morning, it very softly rained ash, like a timid, toxic snow storm.  It didn’t last long.

I’m looking forward to September and October.  Last year we hiked Timpanogos in mid October, and it was so beautiful.  I’m hoping to do something similarly adventurous for our wedding anniversary this year.  Surely there will be pictures.

But the smoke has finally cleared, or is almost clear, and the temperatures continue drop.  Autumn marches closer!

Tiny Pinecones

Almost Fall

Kitty Feet!

This.  This makes me happy.


Salt Lake City Flowers

Spring in Utah is always lovely.  Spring this year is particularly welcome because this past Winter was one of the fiercest since the 1800s.

For proof, here is a quick look at January 2013’s Weather Statistics:

Since 1874, this January was the 5th coldest and 13th snowiest.

Every single day in January saw at least 1 inch on the ground (because temps never went above freezing, and the snow kept coming down).

There were 22 straight days of Red Air Alert (unhealthy air) alerts.

The average temperature was 18.8 degrees.

There were 25 days where the day’s high did not rise above freezing.

Almost 24 inches of snow in the valley.

February saw 10 days of below freezing HIGH TEMPERATURES.

Now, though, it is warm, and the plants have come alive.  Enjoy these flowers in our yard (and near our house).



Lilac (the light colored ones)



Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth