Category Archives: Site Updates

Where I’ve been

So yeah, I took November off from blogging.  I didn’t plan on it, but that’s obviously how it worked out.  I’ve got a good excuse– about 11 of them, actually:

Washington, D.C.
New Mexico

For a combination of familial, professional, and recreational reasons, the Thomsen gang took a three week whirlwind tour of the country.  I hoped to find time to blog about the usual stuff along the way, but whenever I weighed time at the laptop against time adventuring (i.e. driving, eating at roadside barbecue shacks, taking pictures of abandoned buildings and old bones), the blogging lost out.

But…that gave me a whole lot of awesome material to write about for the next month or so.

Also…some change is afoot.  I’ll tell you all about it in the coming days.

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Posted by on December 7, 2010 in Site Updates, Trip Reports


Quick programming note

Just a quick note to let everybody know that things really aren’t dead here.  There’s a lot going– it’s just that none of it has involved new posts for a few days.

I’ve been working on my long-promised review of the new Jack Johnson album (which will include a non-review of his recent SLC concert), and I’ve done some brainstorming on a new post series about good podcasts.

I’m polishing off the next-to-last installment of Best Sleepover Ever.  Expect that on Monday.

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Posted by on August 25, 2010 in Site Updates


Coming this week…

I feel bad about breaking this semi-regular posting streak I’ve had going this month, but the last few days in the Mariner household have been nuts.  This is just a quick note to 1) keep regular here and 2) let you know what to expect the rest of the week.

Wednesday: After writing about Coulter’s Asperger’s syndrome recently, I decided to make it a subject for my column last week.  I’ll post that article here tomorrow.  If’s a more in-depth look at AS and Coulter’s need for mountains.

Thursday:  A Halloween round-up. There are a few stories I never got a chance to tell or link to.  Thursday’s post will gear you up for the weekend.

Friday: This year’s big Halloween story.  This one’s about a trip I took last weekend to the Pony Express Trail and a spooky little place called “Old River Bed.”  It should be a good one!

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Posted by on October 27, 2009 in Site Updates


It’s Halloweentime at!

The decorations and costumes have been in stores now for over a month, but with the weather now turning (at least here in Utah), their presence on the “Seasonal” aisle finally seems appropriate.  Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, but the last few years it’s kinda sneaked up on me.  Somehow in the hustle and bustle of work and newspaper and kids school parties, the oh-so-sweet Halloween spirit has passed me by.

Not this year, dangit!  The house is already decorated, the Goosebumps books already put in the kids’ nightly reading rotation, and I’ve already downloaded an iPod full of old-time horror radio shows.  Bring it, October!

Here on the blog, I’ll be dedicating the Thursday slot to posts about Halloween, ghost towns, and general spookiness.  [I say Thursday, but don’t hold me to that schedule– I’m a busy dad riddled with adult ADD.]

I’ll be re-adapting and re-posting some of my older stuff that you might not have caught back then.  I’ll be linking to external sources of eerie goodness, and I’ll be blurbing about some of the more Hallweeny places I’ve been.  So sit back, grab some candy corn, and enjoy Halloweentime here at!

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Posted by on October 6, 2009 in Announcements, Site Updates


To better serve you…

I’ve long been aware that this blog lacks one of the proven foundations of successful blogs:  Focus.

Most topical blogs focus on one specific theme:  politics, photography, hunting, tech, etc.  Or they cover a variety of topics but are geared toward a single demographic.  Mine does neither.

This blog’s tagline is ‘Adventure, History, Americana.’  It might as well read “Random Stuff I’m Interested In.”

But that’s not completely true.  Everything I cover here really is interrelated in my own mind– different cuts of the same fabric, so to speak.  I have interests other than those I blog about here, but I tend to omit them because they’re not part of that contiguous stream of consciousness that I’m trying to tap.

If my goal was pure numbers, this modus operendi would be fine.  I get plenty of hits on certain posts here.  Stats-wise, I’m doing well.  The problem is that the majority of these hits are one-time visitors.  Somebody Googles a topic, finds a post here, uses it, and never comes back.

My goal isn’t to attract hits.  My goal is to attract regular readers who think my blog, for whatever reason, is worth spending a few minutes reading.  To that end, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a second and respond to the following poll:

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Posted by on June 25, 2009 in Site Updates


UPDATED: Weekly Run-Down: Little D, my column, and the real Four Corners

Boy, it’s been a while since I posted a Weekly Run-Down! I guess some new responsibilities at my paying job and a brand new baby boy have discouraged regular blogging as of late. But the dust is settling now and I should be able to be post more regularly now.

Speaking of the new baby…
Aside from some early reflux-related projectile vomiting and his downright insistence on sleeping in our bed with us, the little fella is doing quite well.

Poor Mommy is another story, though she’s still tickled pink that the pregnancy from hell is finally over. She just wishes she didn’t have to feed him every two hours (because of the afore-mentioned reflux), something that, by nature of my male gender, I cannot help her with. There must be a special place in heaven for mommies like her.

Several readers have asked me to post pictures of Little D, which I’ve been hesitant to do. Not exactly sure why, since he’s virtually indistinguishable at this point from most other babies in the world (except much, much more adorable than most other babies in the world). But I still don’t love the idea. I have yet to post even one picture of his older sister, Miss Ella. Overprotective? Maybe. Wise? Likely.

New online subscription for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin
So I’ve been told that my column in the Tooele Transcript Bulletin—at least the online version—is now part of the newspaper’s fee-based content. I’ve always been wary of paid online news content as a business model. Personally, when I click a link that requires a subscription, I skip it altogether. Small town newspapers operate on a different dynamic, so it may yet end up being profitable for the TTB.

Still, it poses a problem for non-local readers. But since I’m a freelancer, I own my own material, and I’ll continue to post my column in full here the day after it’s published in the newspaper.

Discovered: The Real Four Corners
If you’ve ever visited Four Corners monument and took pride in standing in 4 states at once (or urinating in 4 states at once), the joke’s on you. This From AP:

National Geodetic Survey officials say the Four Corners marker showing the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 2.5 miles west of where it should be.

The only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together was first surveyed by the government in 1868 during the initial survey of Colorado’s southern boundary. The survey was inaccurate.

I’ve never been to the monument, but it’s nice to know that when I do visit Four Corners with my little toy Garmin, it’ll be the real deal.

UPDATE: I had originally embedded a Google Map of the area showing the Four Corners monument 2.5 miles west of the border lines. When I previewed my draft, however, the map wouldn’t show up. Thinking my embed code was somehow bad, I opened up a new browser and searched the location again. This time, an entirely new map appeared, sans monument location and place marker. I’m not a Google Maps buff, but I’m guessing Google updated their map when the news came out, and the map and embed code I pulled this morning were cached versions.

UPDATE AGAIN: Now I’m not sure. I zoomed on the current map and switched to sat view, which clearly shows the border convergence overlaying the monument. So unless they’ve been able to pick up and move the monument, its road and parking lot 2.5 miles west, Google Maps is displaying inaccurate state borders.

MSN has them wrong too. I wonder if they’ll correct this on future maps or simply leave it as it is.

FINAL UPDATE: Finally found a report that didn’t just copy and paste from the AP story. Lynne Arave at the Deseret News writes a satisfyingly detailed account of how this all went down. I’ve got to go to Costco for baby wipes and lunch-time samples, so I’ll let Mr. Arave take it from here.


New home for the Outdoor Bloggers Summit

I’ve written a time or two about the Outdoor Bloggers Summit, an organization that encourages outdoor recreation, conservation, and supports outdoor writers.  It’s a fairly informal organization (no formal registration or fees).  I became an OBS supporter to network with other outdoor bloggers and refine my writing skills.  Plus, I’m always up for some good reading, and the OBS blogroll features a bunch of worthwhile blogs.

Anyway, as part of the OBS’s continuing evolution, they’ve switched web addresses.  The OBS can now be found at  If you enjoy outdoors writing or are an aspiring outdoors writer yourself,  I encourage you to check it out.


Posted by on April 2, 2009 in Site Updates