Sunday, December 21, 2008

Dan Burk Family Christmas Letter 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

2008 has been a great year for our family. We currently live in lovely Salem, Utah in an older home that Dan’s folks fixed up. We are happy to be in a house and ABOVE GROUND (until now we have always lived in a basement apartment). The home is on half an acre so there is plenty of room for the kids to play. It has beautiful hardwood floors and a wood burning stove and a lot of country charm.

By far the neatest thing that happened this year is that we added Joy Anne Burk to our family. She was born on Feb 3rd so she is almost a year old now. She is such a delight with her chubby/rosy cheeks and strawberry curly blonde hair. Her middle name, Anne, comes from one of Faith’s favorite heroines, “Anne of Green Gables” and she has a little bit of Anne’s red hair and temper too. =-) She crawls all over and pulls up on things and takes little steps. She will be walking soon!!

Grace LOVES being a big sister and she does such a good job! She will give Joy toys, help feed her, rock her, play with her, and get Faith diaper changing supplies when I need to change her diaper. Watching our two little girls interact and seeing how much they love each other brings us so much joy. Grace also knows her shapes and colors and is learning the alphabet. She is a very smart two-year old! She also LOVES going to nursery at church and playing with her friends.

Another huge blessing for our family is Dan’s job. He graduated with a BS in Geology from BYU in December of last year and got hired on at Intermountain Paleo Consulting after substitute teaching for a few months. We feel very blessed to have steady income and for Dan to be able to gain experience in his field. He works in Vernal, Utah and does 3 days on 4 days off. Dan’s job consists of doing paleontological surveys, monitoring construction, writing reports, and preparing fossils so that they can go to museums for research. We are so glad that he is working in a field that he loves!

In addition to being a stay at home mom Faith has been learning magic tricks. She has done a great job with her disappearing act because she has lost 50 pounds since giving birth to Joy. She has found a new love of jogging and has participated in various 5K’s and a 10K. She also substitute teaches when Dan is home with the girls and is taking a BYU independent study course to keep her teaching license current.

We wish you a all a VERY Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Dan, Faith, Grace, and Joy Burk

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Opposites Attract : My First Tag

I don't do forwards or tags, normally. This one has to do with music though and I love music. However, I won't tag anyone else to do it, because nobody reads my blog anyway.

1. Put your iTunes (or other music library) on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write that song name no matter how silly it sounds.

These are my responses.

If someone says, "Is this okay?", you say.
Tha Crossroads

What would best describe your personality?
The Beginning of Wisdom

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Sad Songs and Waltzes

How do you feel today?
Bittersweet Eve

What is your life's purpose?
Son Borinqueño

What is your motto?
Alley Oop

What do your friends think of you?
The Morning Breaks

What do you think about very often?
Angel from Montgomery

What is 2+2?
Under the Boardwalk

What do you think of your best friend?
Black Bear Road

What do you think of the person you like?
C is for Cookie

What is your life story?
Side of the Road

What do you want to be when you grow up?
An Old Friend

What do you think when you see the person you like?
Pushing the Sky

What do your parents think of you?
I Know That My Redeemer Lives

What will/did you dance to at your wedding?
Even After All

What will/did they play at your funeral?
You Piss Me Off

What is your hobby/interest?
A Song for Sleeping

What is your biggest secret?
Waiting for the Blow

What do you think of your friends?
Drive in Drive Out

What's the worst thing that could happen?
The Call of Ktulu

How will you die?
Beautiful Day

What is the one thing you regret?

What makes you laugh?
Mama Told Me (Not to Come)

What makes you cry?

Will (why did) you ever get married?
Gravity Rides Everything

What scares you the most?
Visions Near and Far

Does anyone like you?
Don't Look Back

If you could go back in time, what would you change?
Carrying the Banner

What hurts right now?
Whenever, Wherever

What will you post this as?
Opposites Attract

Peace Attack,


Thursday, December 18, 2008

What cold is

Now I know it's supposed to be cold everywhere, but come on, claiming that these cold winters is further evidence that global warming is a real danger? You've gotta be kidding. Average global temperatures are colder now than in some of the past interglacials (periods of warm weather between ice ages). Most paleoclimatologists and geologists agree that we are simply in another interglacial. Anyway I'll get off my high horse and post some pictures of what real cold weather looks like. I'll have no more of this "It's 55 degrees and there's an inch of snow! I feel so cold!" garbage.

Frozen Desert

Snow-Covered Palm TreesRadial Icicles

Strawberry fields forever,


Wednesday, December 17, 2008


In the course of my travels I found this fixer-upper. If I make some improvements to the property and pay the taxes for 7 years, I can get this baby for free... or something like that.

Everybody knows it,


Sunday, December 07, 2008

End of the Work Day

This is what I look forward to at the end of a long day out in the field.



Friday, December 05, 2008

The cliff that nearly killed me and the cliff that saved me.

Back when I first started my current job as a paleontological surveyor, I had to go to this area to monitor construction on the evaporation ponds you can see in the background. To get there, I had to drive this road, only it didn't look the same back then. Back then, there was no barrier on the right and it wasn't paved. The surface was entirely composed of quarter-sized pebbles. Anyway the second day I worked on this job, I was driving down that hill a little to fast. I was also driving down that hill in two-wheel drive (instead of four-wheel drive). I lost control and began to fishtail. There was a very good possibility that I would go over the cliff on the right side. Luckily I didn't and I crashed into the upper side of the cliff on the left. I've got a nice dent in the bumper and skid plate to show for it too.

So today, I was surveying some proposed wells in this same area and I saw the improvements done on the cliff of life and death. It's really nice that they thought of me and made it safer in case I ever had to go down there again.

Wearing a tutu,


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I like to eat Oreos with my lunch, but regular Oreos won't do. I always get the Double Stuf Oreos. But Double Stuf Oreos aren't good enough either. I always twist the two chocolate cookies apart and eat the one without the stuf. Then I set the stuf half aside and repeat the process. Then I take the two sides each with double the stuff and put them together. Now I've got a quadruple stuff Oreo. That's good enough.
You fill me with sweet sugary goodness,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lapoint, UT

Yesterday as I was looking for roads that would lead me to the area I needed to survey, I found that I was about to cross onto private land. Though it took me a bit to realize that's what the sign was trying to say.On the other side of the dirt road I was on, I saw a related sign. I liked this one better.Needless to say, I didn't cross the cattle guard, but turned around. I thought it was prudent because I figured that the person who made these signs is the type to shoot first and ask questions later.

Keeping out of your private properate,


Friday, November 07, 2008

Seven Sisters

This arrangement of cairns on the hilltop is called the Seven Sisters. It's a local landmark in the Oil Fields south of Vernal. The main road through the area is even called Seven Sisters. The only thing I don't get is why are there eight of them?

Whistling in the dark,


Thursday, November 06, 2008


I saw some animals this week.

First was an owl or some other large bird. I couldn't tell what it was because it flew away before I could get any closer.Then as I was driving I saw a fox just strolling through the badlands.That's how we make it right,


Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Now that our nation has voted for a communist just as Nikita Kruschev told Ezra Taft Benson we would, I realized that the sun was setting on the free world.

Just easy as A. B. C.,


Monday, November 03, 2008

Our new national anthem

I hope not.

Catching all the lights,


Thursday, October 30, 2008


These are the pictures I took today in the order that I took them.You were such a P.Y.T.,


Saturday, October 25, 2008


Over the summer I gained a strong appreciation for the beauty of the desert. We generally think of the desert as barren and lifeless. But it's quite the contrary. I think that through my posts we've seen that there is an abundance of life there. I haven't even seen or been able to photograph most of it.
Anyway, what I want to get at is not just how surprised I've been at the beauty of the desert, but specifically the flowers I've seen. It's amazing to me that plants living in such an arid region would expend so much energy producing flowers so lush and moist. But I guess if one of your primary goals in life is reproduction, the flower is quite important and worth the energy.

Get ready to ignite,


P.S. The first four were taken with our old camera so the quality isn't that good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oil and Gas Jobs

A while back I googled "oil and gas jobs". I accidentally did an image search instead of a regular web search. This is one of the images I found. I just want to say that if this is what oil and gas jobs look like, and I have a job in oil and gas, then I should probably grow a sweet handlebar mustache.

Sing to the B.E.A.T.,


Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Facial Hair

So i mentioned in the previous post that I would have like to do weird things to my facial hair. These guys are my inspiration. My heroes if you will.
Willi Chevalier
Stefan Gölz
Memili Rüstüoglu
Karl-Heinz Hillekalle
Ian Grahm
Heinz Christophel
Alois Plettl
Alf Jarrold
One, two, three, four, fight,


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Facial Hair

Before Faith and I started dating, I had a mustache. I used to want to grow it out and stuff, but sadly, my genetics denies me this ability. I knew however that I would be in good company if I ever did grow it out. Look at all the famous and accomplished people with facial hair.
Martin Luther King Jr.Pres. William H. TaftPres. Theodore RooseveltPres. Chester A. ArthurNapoleonCary GrantMark TwianGandhiCharlie ChaplinAlbert Einstein

Do your D.A.N.C.E.,