Really Max?
Is it really so hard just to let us all be? You win the game, redeeming yourself from last year's embarrassment. For a moment it looks like Thanksgiving will be saved and then you go and crap in your hands and smear it everywhere,..........again!

Max, can you honestly think that you are the only person who has ever had their family insulted? Furthermore, can you possible think that your family members are the only BYU fans who have ever had to put up with mouthy Utes at a game? I'm sure to have your family treated that way must be aggravating but GROW UP! and quit dragging us all through the mud with you. Get some moral fiber, and while your at it tell you friend Jorgensen to grow up too.

almost would have rather lost than had to deal with the kind of publicity that you seem to attract. As far as I'm concerned you are the Harry Reid of the Cougar football team.

In the words of Eunice Burns,"Don't you know the meaning of propriety?!"



As I'm on the verge of receiving my second paycheck (that's right, second), I thought I might as well let you all in on the bad news. I've come out of retirement. No more mid afternoon naps, mowing the lawn in the middle of the day, and shop time has been relegated to evenings and weekends.

I decided that as long as I was coming out of retirement I was going to go all the way. Instead of just getting one job I got three.

First: I got a job at the Nevada Northern Railway. This is a tourist railroad that runs steam trains. The rail yard and rolling stock is a national historic landmark. The entire complex was built during the very early part of the 20th century, and has remained virtually unchanged since that time. Any building that need saving or infrastructure that needs replacing becomes my project. The pay is very low (mostly nothing), but it's a pretty fun job. Come out some time. I'll try to get you a train ride. Just come and talk with the Project Manager.

Second: I'm the front office manager at a Dental Office. This is the job that pays the bills. The other office employees are fun to work with and the work schedule is fairly flexible.

Some pearls of joy from the dental office:

"Ely Family Dental, this is Nathan, how can I help you?"
"No, Nathan."
"Well David I need to ask some questions about..."

A little while later, LTD...

"Ely Family Dental, this is Nathan, how can I help you?"
"Nathan, I was talking with David. Is he there?"
"No, he has stepped out?"
"Well, David told me that..."
"David is new and was mistaken, that isn't the case."
"Well, I'll call back when David is in."

The fun really never ends between the Medicaid patients and the kids who have never brushed or flossed (see the case of the 12 year old with the $14,000+ treatment plan).

On occasion I help with some projects for a small engineering firm that a friend of mine runs. Helping usually entails holding the surveying rod or talking him into buying new equipment. He is also the Ely city engineer so I deal with him quite a bit on projects for the railroad. This job is mostly fun and pays for some car parts.

Currently, the plan is to work here for three years so that I can save up to return to grad school, but I've seen how plans tend to go. Only time will tell.


All I Need

What I've always needed is a garage; somewhere to put my cars and unpack my tools; somewhere I can turn on NPR while I let my hands marinate in dirty engine oil. Obviously, this need has become much more acute since my retirement.

Well, that dream has finally come to fruition. It's a nearly 20'x40' building located a few blocks from the house. Infact, this garage used to be owned by a retired diesel mechanic that helped me with my cars when I was younger. I've spent the last week cleaning it out and arranging my stuff. My new garage can easily hold four cars or comfortably hold three, but currently I only have two cars housed in it.

One of my favorite features, apart from the automatic garage door, is the work bench. The work bench is accessorized with an overhead light, a set of drawers and a peg board for hanging tools on. It still needs a vise and a chair to finish it off.

To round out my publicly uninteresting piece on my new man cave, here is a small excerpt from the champion of the shed, James May.

...all the best things in the world came out of sheds: the aeroplane, television, radio, the power loom, home-brew, blasphemy, potted hyacinths, the machine gun and, if we stretch the definition a bit further, Jesus... I've often thought that there is something about the ambiance of a shed - the way it liberates its occupant from the stifling conventions concerning decoration, function and acceptable behavior that apply to the rest of the house - that stimulates inventiveness.

James May - Telegraph, Feb. 2008

Expect great things.


Closed for the Season

For the last couple of weeks I have been out state. As nothing much has been happening with the job search--apart from me sending applications to people I am beginning to believe don't exist--I packed the wagon and headed off to the great white north (or somewhere near there). It was, needless to say, a very long drive. However, with the cooler weather and no one in my car to make comfortable but myself I opened the sunroof, rolled the windows down, and turned up whatever the hell I wanted to listen to. (I spent most of the trip flipping between NPR and the Beatles) It was a pretty nice drive once I got off the freeway.

The instigation for the trip was an invitation from the parents of the goddaughter who live in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. They were nice enough to show me around and feed me lots of Huckleberries, and a lot of other really tasty things. My goddaughter is closing in on her first birthday and is as cute as ever. I am miserable about taking pictures so you'll have to see pictures of her on their blog.

Some of the trip's events included a trip to Canada (Yes, it is every bit as weird as I had imagined), a visit to the Spokane County fair complete with an escaped criminally insane murderer and a deep fried Twinkie, Huckleberry picking, pie eating, nature seeing, football watching, Beatle's Rockband playing, muscle car driving, Food Network watching, apple picking, farmers market donut eating, copius amounts of laughing, and a lot of other things I can't seem to remember at the moment.

What made the drive so nice was that I just kind of took my time and stopped when I felt like it. I usually stopped at a rest stop which was always interesting. Most of these rest stops were there in conjunction with some kind of historic point. The best "historic point" that I saw was one regarding the pioneers on the Oregon trail. It read something like, "Outside of Indians, prairie fires, cholera, famine, cyclones, cloud bursts, quick sand, snow slides, and blizzards they had a tolerably blithe and gay trip." Really? Who writes this stuff?

In short, I had a great time. On the way home I stopped in Salt Lake and had a job interview. It went as well as I could have hoped for. In all honesty, he didn't ask many questions. I just sat there and listened to him talk about the job. Even though the interview went alright it was just kind of weeding-out interview. I think I'm still a long way from finding anything out about that particular job. Until whatever's next comes, bring on the next trip!


Who Needs Julia Child? (probably me)

Okay, I'll admit I saw the movie and I liked it. Really though, what's not to like about copious amounts of food porn and Merle Streep. So with that movie as the instigator, I've been playing around in the kitchen some. The pictured dish is, from scratch, "killer" tomato soup. It turned out pretty good and went well with the spinach salad and homemade rolls.

Thanks to some (i.e. A LOT OF) great pie while I was visiting friends, I worked up the nerve to try my hand at the keystone of the Thanksgiving Holiday again. The last time I tried to make pie the oven caught on fire, the crust was inedible and the end product resembled pecan based concrete. This time I attempted an apple pie and thanks to some moral support and a couple of good recipes it turned out 500% better than my first attempt. The crust wasn't the prettiest, but it was flaky and fantastic. Bring on the turkey season!


Now, who's for Dennys?

Okay, so the big news since arriving is that Ely got another stop light. We have been sitting at just three for a good decade or more due to one of our downtown lights being removed because it had become pointless. The day I arrived they had a big ribbon cutting and everything. Big stuff.

In other news: I spent some time this last week down at the Grandparents in Logandale, Nevada. It was hot, but nice. I went to Vegas with Grandpa one day and Grandma made me a batch of her dinner rolls that I pretty much consumed myself. They were even nice enough to turn the A/C up so that it was less than 85 degrees in their house. In fact, once you get past the unbearable heat and the scenery that resembles the inside of a giant dust bin, Clark County really is kind of nice.

I got cornered into sub-ing for the 12-13 year-old Sunday School class this Sunday. The kids weren't too bad and the lesson went okay. However, the room was a little warm (no a/c) so the window was open, and I found myself trying to talk over the top of this ->

The station is just a block from the Church and they were being very liberal with the whistle. I don't know how many people have ever had their Sunday School lesson disrupted by a 1910 steam locomotive, but I love it. Highly recommended.

In my spare time I mow the lawn in the middle of the day, glare at the neighbor's dog, and tinker with my car. I'm planning to head up to extreme Northern Idaho this week, and I've got a job interview in Salt Lake this Tuesday.


This, this is mine.

Be forewarned, this is going to be one of those posts.

Friday was my last day at work. I'd been slowly packing for the last week or so. The next morning I threw all my boxes in the trusty wagon and left. Leaving what is known and familiar is always slightly disconcerting. Nonetheless, if I was going to do this I was going to do it all the way. When I eventually hit the state boarder I took out my worn work shoes, tossed them over the "Welcome to Utah" sign, and peed on it. TAKE THAT!

However, my cathartic male euphoria may have been a little premature. I may have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire. As my current plans consist of ____________________ I decided that I might as well head home to stow my crap, take a little R&R, and plot my next trip. While the sagebrush filled, rain-soaked air of northern Nevada is intoxicating I may have inadvertently become one of "those people". Let me just say, that I don't plan on staying, but on the other hand I really don't have a fixed date for my departure either.

I have been very hesitant to tell people that I've moved home. Locals keep asking,"How long are you visiting for?" and "Just stopping by at home before school starts?" I just smile and say whatever it is they want to hear to end the small talk rather than explain that I actually don't live in Provo anymore, I graduated in April and I moved home. Those who are aware that I moved home keep asking me why don't I go out and get a job somewhere--like I haven't been making 10 applications a week for the past four months. Now there's the quandary of whether or not to go out and just pick up a mine or BLM job (and wonder why I bothered going to college for five years) or just sit around and wait for one of my bazillion applications to bear fruit.


In the mean time, I've had fun catching up with friends and spending time with my brother (he really is well behaved and a lot of fun when there isn't a crowd to impress)


Holy Ground


I've been talking about going for years (no, really this time), and last Tuesday I finally made it out to Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats. It was fantastic!

It was a cool, slightly hazy morning, but by 10:00am the sun came out with a vengeance. When the sun hit the salt my polarized sunglasses did little to keep me from having to squint.

All in all it was a gorgeous day. The cars were amazing and it was evident that participants had spent just as much time preparing their pit transportation as they had preparing their race cars. People were touring around the pits in everything from '57 chevy wagons to rat rod '65 Lincoln Continentals. (this picture is neither of the aforementioned models)


The best part about the event is that everyone is so friendly. We were able to get down right on the starting line to watch cars take off. Everyone in the pits was eager to talk about their machines and without a second look would invite you to kick the tires and sit in the driver's seat. Gear heads at their best.


If any of you are wondering what a Volkswagen enthusiast is doing at an event called "Speed Week"-- my people are everywhere.



What a ride!

Man's greatest adventure reached an amazing benchmark 40 years ago today. Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the Moon.

Now those of you who know me know that I don't care for the Sci-Fi channel, I'm not a Trekkie, and for the most part I hate science fiction books. However, I am in awe of the space program especially the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. The fact that 40 years ago we were able to send a man all the way to the moon and back with slide rules and computers the size of houses is simply mind boggling. It really is one of the coolest things that humans have ever done, and the pictures are amazing!

Further more, the fact that 40 years ago they were able to run computers and programs reliable enough to get to the moon and back, and I can't seem to get a word processor that doesn't crash on a regular basis or an internet connection that isn't crap is baffling.


What's Next?

This is a question a get quite a bit. Much to the questioner's dismay I never have an answer. This usually elicits a pitiful look and a change of subject from the questioner. I'm getting pretty use to the process. However, the other day I get a call from the father of the goddaughter who is also a recent BYU grad seeking employment. "Just wait 'til you hear about this!", he said. "They've got openings in the US Boarder Patrol for the US/Canadian boarder."

Now, I can see exactly what this guy is envisioning. The father of the goddaughter is a fanatic of the Andy Griffith Show. As soon as I finished the application
(yes, I did fill it out) I saw the vision: Andy and Barney bouncing along in a US Boarder Patrol truck out in the neither reaches of northern Montana, and you know that I won't be playing the part of Andy Griffith.


Bryce Canyon

I went to Bryce Canyon for the Ellison Family Reunion the other weekend. I camped with the grandparents and had a great time. The weather was beautiful and it is always great getting together with the extended, extended family. As per Robertson tradition we even got some bike riding in.

I went on a hike or two too. Not that it wasn't pretty, but quite a bit of Bryce Canyon looks a lot like mine dumps. I don't find anything wrong with mind dumps, but I know that some meadow muffins start having cows about piles of dirt. I wonder if they've ever been to Bryce Canyon. One of the most curious things I saw was a spot at the bottom of one of the canyons where someone had taken way too much time to stack rocks on everything.

The most annoying thing about this is that everyone decided that this was what was worth taken pictures of. Yes, I traveled all the way from Hamburg Germany so that I could tour the National Parks of North America and these rocks that some hippies stacked up last week are what I'm going to spend my time ooo-ing over. I decided to fix this situation.


Spare Time

Nothing better than grease under your fingers.

Finished Product


So, is that your brother?

The caption to this picture in the Ely Times reads, "Ely optometrist Kent Robertson has an understandable edge in selecting his protective eye gear for this weekend’s Fears, Tears and Beers Mountain Bike Race in Ely." I just thought it was funny. Yes, this is a 48 old (today in-fact), father of five, LDS Bishop, and local eye doctor. (incidently his father also rides mountain bikes) He may act like a 16 year old--even in matters where he shouldn't be--but he's my dad and I wouldn't have him any other way--most of the time. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!


Mr. Librarian

"So, what brings you to volunteer at the library?", the lady asked. I know she's expecting an answer along the lines of needing the volunteer opportunity to pass a class or get a merit badge or something like that. I could easily make up an answer to this effect. I quietly weigh this option against telling her that I'm a recent college graduate without a job and just need a chance to contribute to something where I don't have to directly help greasy homeless people, sniveling kids, and/or senior citizens with their unsolvable problems.

"I just like the Library", I say as I smile and hand back my volunteer application. She gives me back a look that says she's suspicious that that isn't entirely the case but says nothing. I really do like the library. I've always envisioned myself working in a library, probably not unlike how George Costanza always envisions himself working as an architect. Holding a degree in Construction Management in no way qualifies me to work in a library so volunteering is about as close as I'm going to get right now. At the very least I figure it will give me something to do, and as a bonus will allow me to feel good about myself (read: better than others) for giving my time to the community.

"Can you come and help us for two hours on Thursday from 4-6pm?"
"That will be fine. I'll be here."

On my first Thursday I show up and am unceremoniously led the room where books are returned. There are carts and carts of books and my task will be to organize all the books on a cart so that they're easier to place when employees take the carts out to re-shelve them. As far as service goes this isn't so bad. I don't have to talk to anyone. I can sit there and listen to the employees talk and judge a vast unseen group of individuals on the books they choose to check out.

My first cart is full of romance novels. I can't figure out why a public library would bother carrying these books. Aren't they a dime a dozen at any used book store? Even new from the grocery store check out line they don't cost much. I soon find out that one person will check out 20-30 of these novels at a time. I read the titles as I organized them on the cart: A Pirate of Her Own; Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang; Flirting for England; The Passionate Diplomat. As I tried to picture the kind of person who would take home 20-30 of these titles I suddenly wished I had asked for some rubber gloves.

The only thing more disturbing than the romance novels themselves is listening to the bitter and unrequited library employees talk about the romance novels coming down the chute. "I just love the covers of romance novels." I'll spare you the graphic description of why she liked the cover of romance novels, though I'm sure you can imagine how her monologue went.

For the most part I am an invisible person in the room. Every now and then one of the employees working in my vicinity will try to make small talk. "So, what brings you to volunteer at the library", they always ask. "Oh, I just needed an outlet for my O.C.D. and organizing books seems to help." I always thought that this was a pretty good joke, but it never even gets so much as a smirk from the inquirer; nonetheless, I keep plying it on any person who will fall into my trap hoping someone will laugh. I find I do this with most jokes I come up with. One of my favorites is one that I use when my family mentions a relative of ours,"oh him, he hasn't worn a pair of pants since he married her." No one ever gets it. The best I get are blank stares or someone who says,"he doesn't wear any pants?"

On the upside this keeps me from having to make small talk with the employees in the book receiving room, and I hate small talk.


Into the Wilderness

What do you do when you begin to get stir crazy from living behind the zion curtain? Apparently you go Wyoming and get prairie madness. A couple weeks ago a friend and I threw caution to the wind and hit the dusty trail in our trusty rental car. The premise of the trip was to get out of Utah and to see as many weird touristy things as we could.

I personally had never been to Yellowstone. It was amazing! We saw most of the park and because we are proletariat elitists we skipped seeing Old Faithful. We pulled into the LARGE parking lot and couldn't see the geyser due to the large strip malls and huge throngs of people (read- seething masses of humanity), so we skipped it. The rest of the park was fairly empty which was perfect.

It was quite a site to see all that steam and water shooting out of the ground all over the place.

This is me, pulling a Newhouse picture face. I'm actually licking the sulfur of my lips, it makes you young. But seriously, no suitcase smells worse than one full of dirty cloths mixed with the smell of sulfur.

The colors in the pools were real brilliant. As you looked across the Firehole River all you could see on the other side was the steam rising up and reflecting all of the blues and oranges and yellows. (sorry, I'm just not one for taking pictures, they always turn out like crap anyway). FYI- skip Mammoth Hot Springs, it sucks.

From Yellowstone we headed south to Pinedale, Wyoming. Great town! We stayed at the Log Cabin Motel; highly recommended. We had some great food and went to the Mountain Man Museum. We had initially gone to Pinedale to eat at Pitchfork Fondue
only to find out that it wasn't open until June. However, we managed to eat ourselves sick in another location, necessitating a midnight run for Tums.

From Pinedale we headed back up through the parks to beautiful, scenic Butte, Montana! There, we went to the World Museum of Mining, the Berkeley Pit and the Radon Health Mine (ask me about that episode sometime). We tried to go the Butte Museum of Prostitution and found it to be closed; very disappointing. We also found out the people in Butte don't eat out.

I paid to look at that.

Now after seeing these pictures you may be asking yourself,"Who in their right mind would rent a car and drive 1600+ miles just to look at those things?" Well, me obviously. The joy really is in the journey. I hadn't laughed so hard for four days straight since the last trip I took. The scenery was really great, and I got to see some more of this vast country. And let's face it, what else have I got to be doing right now? My life is currently like a Simon and Garfunkel song.


Because I do

I hadn't heard this song forever and it came on somewhere the other day. Plus, I just can't get enough of old music videos. Who can?! As far as old music videos go this is one of the best, and the song can't be topped for weird, British, late 70's music. Enjoy!


No School, No Job,....No Problem!

If you haven't picked from the title, I've entered extended, post graduation, single, twenty-something vacation limbo. (see Jamie Cullum for further explanation) When it initially looked like I was going to be graduating with no immediate job prospects I was rather concerned. However, it slowly began to dawn on me that I had actually been given a nice break. How many people actually have to go rushing off to a 40 year career as soon as they graduate? Not me! Luckily I hadn't taken out tens of thousands in student loans to pay for a bachelors degree in English (no offense to the English Majors). I'm pretty sure something will come along sometime in the next.........well whenever Obama gets around to sending my check. Things have gotten quiet in happy valley with the exodus of all my friends who graduated. In the mean time I'm still putting in some time at my part time job, applying for real jobs, and working on the the ever needy fleet of aged German cars (and loving every minute of it). I definitely want to make the most of my pre-career vacation. The well traveled road has ended and now it's time to start making my own.



Phew! Thought I'd never make it, but all of the sudden I was finished. Graduation was quick and nice. Rain was avoided and the sun was even shining. I'm glad I took the time and spent the money to get an education, even if I am still unemployed (maybe especially).


California, anyone?

Snow, snow, snow. Not only does snow mess up a perfectly clean car, but it also.........well, actually that's probably the most upsetting thing about snow.

The worst of the cold here in Provo is most likely
over. Even with the snow the temperature has been hovering at freezing or above-verses single digit temperatures. Last Sunday was almost warm. As I watch the weather channel I can't help but notice the sunny forecast and mid 60's temperature of California. While the CA smog is bad, it's rarely as bad as a well set in Utah Valley inversion.

I spent most of last week in Reno at a construction competition. The BYU teams did alright. We did better than we did last year and improvement is always good. Having gone to this competition three times now I am more than willing to let someone else give it try. It's fun, it provides some great opportunities for jobs, but it is exhausting.

As I happen to be graduating in a couple of months, finding a job was pretty high on my list of things to do at the competition last week. I spoke with a lot of employers, and found out about a lot of companies. On a side note, did you know that the Army Corp of Engineers is staffed by mostly non-engineers and none of them are in the army? Perhaps a name change would solve the confusion. I don't have anything official yet, but I do have some good prospects. Some of the jobs are out in California and I've been debating whether or not I could even afford to live out there. I spent the better part of a morning looking for homes on the internet in areas I would possibly live, and come to find out now would be a great time to buy a home in California! I've been told by just about everyone that going back to Ely for work would not be the best idea as a single male.

At this point who knows where I will end up. All I can say is that the more it snows the better California looks.


The Beginning of a Season

the new president
The cameras of C-span would probably be hard pressed to find a more auspicious gathering than the crowd gathered for the inauguration of our nation's 44th president. Seated on the historic Mall on a this cold January day were veterans of wars past, soldiers of current conflicts, families dealing with present problems, past leaders bent low from the strain of public service, and the promise of something different. I can probably say with some certainty that this was probably the largest gathering on the Mall in Washington that my generation has ever seen and it was impressive.

As I listened throughout the day (on NPR of course) to people who were calling in to express their feelings about the day I was impressed with the number of people who remarked that the events of this day had helped them to realize how deep they had buried their patriotism over the past years. Conversely, hearing these people made me realize how refreshing it felt to finally hear someone say what needed to be said; that there are problems and with work--work meaning some service and sacrifice on our part--we can change the situation we currently find ourselves in. I think the majority of Americans have also felt as I have that finally, our human nature has been appealed to as apposed to our ideals of capitalism or our sense of entitlement. I am deeply encouraged by this vast positive response from people all across this country. I may not agree with all of the ideas of President Obama, but there probably isn't anyone else who's ideas I completely get behind either. However, unity is definitely something I can completely get behind, and if President Obama can obtain that for America--and I believe he just might--then I believe our future as country has the potential to be very bright.

For the next four years my prayers are with our new President, Barack Obama. I hope and pray that he will be able to deliver on his high ideals. He has my service and sacrifice at his disposal.