Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bounced

The boys had some good snowboarding today. It was almost a whiteout, medium wind, but snowing when we went up. However the Sunday after Thanksgiving was fairly deserted. We didn't wait more than 1 or 2 chairs for any lift and so we went around and around.

The snow was better and there was one more run open today. It was a little chilly, but overall a good day for skiing. Lots of fresh snow and we had fun sliding around.

We stuck together, with Delaney's board going slow on some of the flat parts and Kyle doing pretty well on his board. We found a jump near the Endeavor lift, so we stopped there a bunch of times to let Delaney jump. I put together a little video below.

video

We went for 90 minutes, then got some lunch and then went back out. On our 3rd or 4th run, Kyle wanted to go all the way down and back up, so we started, but on the bottom shoot, I was following Delaney and he caught an edge and bounced off the snow. As I got next to him, I could hear him screaming, and so I stopped. Apparently when he bounced, his elbow was in his side and his hand hit the ground, driving his elbow into his side and bruising him a bit. He calmed down and Kyle caught up and we got to the bottom.

After that he was done, and Kyle had gotten hit by a skier's pole, so we headed in and called Tia for our pickup ride home.

A good weekend skiing, disappointing because Tia couldn't ski, but fun for the rest of us. This is turning out to be a good Thanksgiving tradition.

Dragging

Everyone else is, not me. Actually it's the little kids, Kyle wants to go boarding again. I think he's getting better at it and it's becoming more fun. I was tempted to leave everyone, but that wouldn't be fair, especially as I can come back any week I want.

We've convinced Delaney to go, so it will be a boys boarding day with Kendall hanging out with her DS and Mom. She said "I heart Mom", so she wants to stay here. I think she's a bit tired, sleeping in quite a bit this morning, plus the runs are short and the bottom is icy, maybe a little scary for her.

Last night was a calm night, me getting a tiny nap, and then everyone going out to dinner where I had a great cheddar beer soup. I was tempted to get another cup for desert, but I resisted, having ribs that already got me my allowance of bad food for the day.

We finished the night with more Apples to Apples, the game that Delaney really likes, but it wasn't as rousing as it was Thursday. I think everyone was a bit too tired; I know I was, ready to fall asleep on the floor.

It's been a good vacation, and I'm glad we got up here, though I'm definitely looking to get home and back into my routine.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Teased

After I back from running, I sat in the hot tub, or rather, warm tub since it's not working great, with Tia and Kendall for a bit. My neck and back are tired after two days of skiing. Then I showered and lay down with Tia and Kendall in our bed briefly and fell asleep, but got woken up quickly. Everyone's hungry, so time to go eat.

I would have loved another hour of sleep. Or 8.

Day 2

A better skiing day for everyone. We got going earlier, Kendall and I taking the bus down to the slopes and Tia bringing Kyle and Delaney later.

It was more crowded, but the snow was better. It was cloudy and snowing almost all the time we were out, but very little wind, so a good time skiing. We stuck together a bit, but Kendall wanted to go a bit faster and we did, leaving the boys a few times. We tried one of the other lifts, thinking we might get a longer run, but it was barely longer, maybe a few hundred yards and a long wait.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Half Day

We woke up late today, had a slow start to the morning then packed up everything in our condo. Actually not everything, I forgot my pillow, which I had to go get tonight.

Once the trucked was packed up. Tia drove us all to Winter Park and we unloaded. She was then going to hang out while we skiied. After renting stuff and picking up our 4-packs, we finally made it to the slopes. Kyle was still learning to board, so we started on the magic carpet, giving Kyle a chance to get used to boarding. Kendall wanted to try the pull bar, so I went up with her on that. She almost made it, but fell and then was upset she didn't get to the top. It's a long or great run, and I didn't understand, but she wanted to go to the top.

So she went again and Delaney came up, saying Kyle felt good. So while Kendall was in line, Delaney wanted to try it. I should have coached him on how to get up there, but I didn't and he tried to face forward while getting pulled up on the bar. It didn't work and he fell after 30 or 40 feet. He was a little upset, but I pointed up the slope, which wasn't steep or long, so he was OK.

The four of us rode the lift up and it went well. Everyone got on and off without an issue. We started down, and the slope was pretty flat, so it was good for Kyle, but not great for Kendall. We split up about halfway down and little K and I shot to the bottom, which was a bit steep and icy near the bottom. Then we went up and down again a couple times before Kyle called and said they were hungry. So we went down and met them and had lunch.

Afterwards, Kendall was a bit upset because it was snowing and she didn't want to ski in the snow, or at least that was her current excuse. We convinced her to start and all four went up again. Then we went to the lift halfway up and Kendall wanted to ride up with Kyle (it was a 3 person lift), so Delaney and I rode down. Then we did it again and Kendall wanted Delaney, so I let them go for 2 runs together while Kyle and I went down a few times.

For someone not that experienced, Kyle did pretty good. He had some trouble turning, but doing down on one side, he did pretty good not falling too much. A couple more days and he should be doing pretty good.

Kendall was getting a little upset, so she and I went down a few times fast, which she likes. Tomorrow I'm hoping she'll go up the long life to the south with me that goes to the top of hte mountain. I don't think she fell at all , but was happy to remind me I fell 5 times. 2 were on jumps, which I got a little air on, and 2 were just silly ones while watching the kids. The other was when I tried to take a picture of Kendall was we were sliding. I was looking at the camera, trying to get it set while boarding and caught an edge, falling pretty hard on my left side. I got a good bruise on my hip and hit my head.

A good day, and great weather, no wind, not too cold, hoping for more tomorrow.

A Neat Idea

I went to the Winter Park Athletic Club tonight, thinking I'd get a run in and purchase a pass for a day or two. When I got there, however, I had a surprise. The door is locked, with a bar code key system for access. No one was at the desk (4:00 on a Friday), so I couldn't knock on the door and get access. However they had a sign on the door, so I called the number.

A lady answered and said she'd be happy to set me up with a day pass. Actually I wanted 2, and they're $10 a day, but she said she'd do $15 for 2, so I said great and I was at the club.

So she walked me through their process. There's a lock box on the wall, which has bar code keys (keychain sized) inside. I grabbed one, which had a number written on it, and held it up to the reader in the glass. It let me inside and there were envelopes on the desk, each with numbers corresponding to the bar code keys. I grabbed mine, and inside mine was a waiver and info sheet that I filled out, including my credit card number, and marking 2 days along with the charge. I dropped it in the slot, my credit card in my wallet along with the bar code reader, and then worked out.

Tomorrow my bar code reader will work, and they'll have updated their system to mark it for 2 days. When I'm done I drop it in the slot and they reuse it. They have cameras set up for remove monitoring and recording, so they can tell who came in and double check their charges. I'm sure they do it randomly, but it's a neat way to run a business, track users, and save on employee costs.

I bet other businesses that are service related like this, or rental related, could work like this, at least on a small scale.

A Big Lazy Day

Thanksgiving was quiet for us. We got a late, but not too rushed start, drove to Winter Park, stopped at the grocery store for some food, thought about turkey, but passed, and then checked into our hotel.

Actually it's a 2 bedroom condo, and it's nice, we ate chili dogs for lunch, played games and watched movies. No one wanted to ski when we arrived, and it as 12, so we decided to save the passes for another day.

A quiet night, salads and pizza for dinner, and both Tia and I dropped off a little early. The kids woke her up and I assume she got them to bed because I woke up in the night and everyone was sleeping.

Now the first day of vacation and skiing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Good Start

To our Thanksgiving vacation. I was up at 6:15, did my run, and we’re almost packed up to leave.

Looking forward to 4 days of skiing, and hoping Tia can get out there to do some as well.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Working at home

 

It’s usually nice, sometimes challenging, always interesting.

Yesterday both Tia and I were working in the “spare” office when Delaney came in to snap a photo.

 20081125_office

This isn’t how I always work, but I do tend to do editing up there rather than in the basement if I get the chance. Tia’s usually down at her main desk, but with the fractured ankle, she’s been trying to spend more time in bed resting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Eleven Weeks

I've been running for 11 weeks today, 77 days, and I'm amazed. I never thought I'd have a streak this long. I joked about getting a Nike Plus when I hit 100 days, not sure that I'd actually get there.

Now I can imagine actually getting there. If I can get past the skiing days over the next month, I'll get there before Christmas.

Over 11 weeks, I've run through some pulled muscles, including sore ankles, pulled calves (slightly), pulled hamstrings, and a pulled groin this week. By moving slow, steady, and keeping my speed under control.

I can actually imagine getting to a year now, though that's a long way away. Moving through ski season, more travel, and baseball will be a long journey.

Working in Bed

This was quite an afternoon. I finally came upstairs to work in bed a bit with the laptop and Delaney was here, feeling much better, and Tia was trying to rest her ankle some.

Now that's an office environment.

Why do I work in bed? I have the laptop up here, and it's better than the basement. Really that's the reason. I can't do it a long time, but it actually is relaxing to lay down and work a bit.

I have a picture, or Delaney took one, and I need to download it and post it up here.

Plain and Boring

Last week at the Museum of Flight, Delaney and I got to tour a Concorde. They’re out of service, but I was excited to see one. I’d heard good things about them, but once we got in there, I was surprised at how bare bones and plain it was inside.

I forgot to take photos, but here’s a shot I found from someone else:

 

Not anything special, though I guess you’re paying for speed, not space or luxury. Still.

This photo of the inside of a new Zeppelin tour service doesn’t look much better:

Airship Ventures is starting a new tour service, which is cool, and probably better than more airplane and helicopter tours, but you’d think they’d make the inside better than an elevator with seats.

Sick

Delaney wasn't feeling well yesterday, having trouble swallowing in the morning, so we let him stay home, thinking it was a cold. He had some energy in the late morning, so I was thinking he was faking a bit, but then he lay on the couch and slept a bunch in the afternoon.

I woke up this morning to the sound of vomit hitting a bowl. He'd crawled in our bed this morning with his bowl and apparently got sick. Tia gave him some saltines to try and get some food and salt into him and they lasted about 10 minutes. A second chance 20 minutes later had the same result.

Poor kid :(

Gemini

I'm not a big fan of Gemini, the horse Tia bought a couple years ago. He's the gelding on our property and he's the one that kicked me in the stomach a little over a year ago. We had a friend watch him for awhile and I thought he was gone, sold, but it didn't go through. Then we had someone else looking to buy him, but their vet was worried about his knee. Tia and I had him x-rayed and examined at Littleton Large Animal Clinic and they didn't see anything major, but he's still here.

:(

However Tia likes him. She thinks he's smart and that he's a good horse to train. He bucks a bit, but she overlooks that. Apparently it's not a huge deal to her.

I think he's trouble, and this morning was a good example. I was walking hay around the track and he stopped at the first pile. So a few of the other horses stopped near him, arguing a bit over the next pile, not wanting to get too far from him. He's definitely the dominant horse and herd leader. Then as I was coming back, Abby started to walk down to get hay and all of a sudden Gemini decides he wants to run down to the next few piles.

And everyone follows. Abby and I had to duck to the side as they ran past.

Grumble, grumble, he might be a smart horse, but he's a PIA.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Frantic

I'd say it was the caffeine, but I've had two cups of decaf, a bottle of water, and two protein bars today (as of 1:52pm). OK, I had a small bite of Delaney's birthday cookie, but that was hours ago.

However I have a frantic feeling, like I'm running, I have so much to do, I'm inspired (been writing) and I need to keep going at high speed.

So I'm going running, try to burn some energy before podcasting.

Seattle 2008

A few photos from our trip. I'll get more when I have time

Museum of Flight
Underground

The Underground Tour was pretty cool, and I'd recommend anyone try that if they go. It's an interesting, albeit not too flattering, history lesson on the early part of Seattle's history. It's neat to walk underneath the sidewalks and realize that so many of them are hollow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hacienda

Tia and I got to go out to dinner, for the first time in weeks. We had a bit of a time crunch, so we decided on Hacienda Colorado, or at least I did. We've been there a few times before and like it. Tia really likes it, though I think it's pretty good as well.

We got there and went in, deciding to sit at the bar because it should be faster. After 5 minutes of no one acknowledging us, we decided to get a table. A nice 3-4 minute wait there before someone came by, then another 5 minutes to get a drink. Things got better from there, but how hard can it be to really just pay attention and come by and say hi.

I used to wait tables, and I know you get busy, but you find time to say hi and then get back to them when you can. Or send someone else over.

Definitely the worst service I've had in awhile and I'm tempted to write them a note.

Still Two Up

Despite a very lackluster performance, it appears that San Diego is trying to give the division to the Broncos. Just saw Indy kick a last second field goal to win that game.

Snooping

With the proliferation of cell phones, this could be a problem: snooping on Obama's records. It's not an issue with him in particular, but every senior official in government probably has a personal cell phone for some reason. And since these are provided by various vendors, not necessarily business accounts, and used by these people for all types of business, this could be a problem.

I'm sure that there are plans set aside for certain officials, and perhaps people like Congressman, the President, etc. shouldn't even have a plan, but I bet we'll have more and more issues as individuals have these "devices" that they use personally prior to getting into office.

It's something I never considered.

Strange

This is the first year in about 8 or 9 years that I haven't played fantasy football with friends. I still enjoy the games, but I don't have a stake in the stats, so I rarely check them this year. In the past, I'd know who was leading the league in yards and points.

Still it's been a good day. Some stumbling from the Cowboys, but they pulled one out. I've seen about 2/3 of that game, but switched over to watch the Broncos and they're stumbling quite a bit, just making mistakes. Not looking good at almost 3/4 of the game gone.

Enjoying it today since I likely won't see much on Thanksgiving with us skiing and probably only one TV in the hotel.

A Lazy Sunday

I was feeling bad. Tia said it was beautiful when she went to feed horses, I could see the sun shining, and actually sat out on the front porch with her and drank a cup of coffee this morning.

Then she kicked the kids out to run around a bit before I helped occupy a horse while she tried to trim hooves. As the wind kicked up, I decided it wasn't a good day to do anything outside, not that I felt like it anyway. After being gone for 8 days, some of which was vacation, but some wasn't, and then having to work all week, plus expecting 3 busy days before we leave for skiing, I decided I could take a day off for relaxation.

Watched some football, then ran, a bit more football and now I need to shower and then cook a bit for the kids and enjoy the rest of the day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Clear World

Delaney's been asking about his glasses, but they weren't ready before our Seattle trip. I picked them up today while running errands and when he put them on, he said the world was much clearer. I think none of us realized how bad his eyes are.

Not that they're bad, but they're bad enough to need glasses.

I think he looks good:

Running Around

It should be a relaxing day, but it's a run around day. Kyle drove himself to work, but then lost the car because Tia had horse training and I had to get Delaney to karate so I could then run errands and pick up a present for him. Kendall and I did a few things and then got Delaney after hiding the present in the Prius.

We ate lunch and were heading home when we remembered the cookie, so we had to detour and go get that, finally getting back a few minutes ago.

It's non-stop around here.

Sleeping In

Felt good this morning and I feel very recovered already. Now if I didn't have a bunch of chores and things to do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Eight Days

I finally got home about 4:30 today after 8 days in Seattle. It was a long day, starting with a wake up at 4 to call Frontier and rebook my flight, then waking up at 7 to run and pack, a nice breakfast, but then a delayed flight and traffic in Denver, plus a side trip to get a picture of our townhouse, kept me from home.

Now it's off to Scouts for an hour.

Tired and Sore

But I still got up at 4 to book a flight so I can get home. I'm done, I would never have made the 6am, but I did manage to get the 11am booked and it was worth the $100.

I woke up a little sore, hungry, tired, and not really in the mood to get up and run, but it was something I wanted to get out of the way. After flying back to Denver, and with Scouts tonight, I wasn't sure that I'd want to get on the treadmill.

So I did. Day 75 in the books.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Back to Twirl

Tia and I have been playing Twirl for a month or so ever since she found it on Facebook. Last week sometime we started challenging each other so we take turns playing separately and comparings scores. She's ahead 5 games to 3, so I wasn't surprised when I got an email this morning that told me to "play my damn game."

I've been too busy to check on things this week, so I've been slacking. Well, I jumped on and took the two turns I had and I'm ahead. We'll see if it holds up!

Sore

My back is definitely sore today. After attending an aikido class last night with a couple of colleagues, I felt pretty good. Lots of throws, forward rolls and breakfalls, a few of which weren't done that well. Still I felt good last night, but I am definitely sore this morning in the lower back.

It's been a rough week here as far as health goes. I haven't eaten well, or much at all this week. I felt ill, had half a Cesear at lunch, and that was it other than Gatorade for Tuesday. I had OJ for breakfast Wed and then a decent lunch for once. The workout last night made me miss dinner and I had some appetizers afterwards at a few parties, but no real food. Even today's breakfast was light, fruit, yogurt and granola.

I need to get home.

On the Mat

I went tonight with Kalen Delaney and Gail Shaw to Puget Sound Akikai and had an aikido workout, something I haven't done in 15 years. They're both shodan (black belt) and SQL Server colleagues, and I think they had a good time tossing me around the mat.

It was interesting, much different than the karate workouts. Etiquette is to be silent unless necessary, and I broke that a bit, questioning the people I worked with to be sure I was soing something in a semi-competent fashion. Still it was good and exciting for me to do an aikido work out after many years off. I remember know how smooth it can seem and how hard it can be to do the workout.

I enjoy karate, especially with Delaney, but I do look forward to us both getting black belts and then moving on to aikido.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 71

I popped Tylenol as I was writing the last post. I lay down for a bit, but couldn't rest, so I went running.

And I feel better.

An Investment

I spent most of the night waking up with a splitting headache. It came on during the party last night, which went great overall, but lasted a long time. I was busy and by the time I was done, pushing a cart with the remaining books and shirts around the conference center until I could unload them at 10:30 last night, everything around here was closed. I was too tired to walk down and see if CVS was open, so I took my 2 gatorades and went back to the room to sleep.

I woke up at 8, showered, and made it to the keynote, where I was supposed to be live blogging. I did that on OJ and then took a nap in the lobby sitting with Andy and Chris. Finally at 12, almost 24 hours since I last ate, I went and had some salad, rice, and plain chicken for lunch.

The nap helped, but I was still beat. I made it through the presentation with Andy, letting him do most of the talking, and now decided not to push things. Time for a short nap now. It's an investment since if I push too hard today, I'll just be miserable for the next two days.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Little Ill

I had a couple beers last night with people from Red Gate, then we went to dinner and I had a couple drinks. Wrong order.

I'm not hung over, drank lots of water, but my stomach felt a little queasy this morning. Actually it still does after a run. I forced myself to get going, though today is the day I'm most likely to have time later to run on.

Still I got the run in and now am in search of some semi-greasy food to calm things down.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Long Day

Between shopping for giveaways, getting Delaney on a plane, seeing some friends at the convention, having coffee with my boss, and then dinner with colleagues, it's been a long day.

Getting to the room now, checking on work and getting ready for another long day, probably longer tomorrow.

sidekick

Waiting at the airport for Delaney's flight and he asked me about Matthew Reilly's next book. So I used my Sidekick to check his blog.

Then I decided to try blogging after Delaney asked me if I could blog from here

I can!!

Time To Go

Delaney's getting packed, heading back to Denver today and I'm heading to work. It's been a great weekend with him and I think he enjoyed it. I know I did.

Last night was quiet, pizza delivered, watching TV, Delaney exploding things all around me. We finally slowed down after a long, action packed weekend.

This is a nice area, and a good hotel. I'll have to remember this if I come back for vacation. The Mediterranean Inn on Queen Anne.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Seattle Pictures

Delaney at the Museum of Flight


Trying to get away from Dad on the bridge


The Concorde


Dad in the Seattle Underground

Delaney in the Seattle Underground


It's been a good weekend.

Qwest Field

Delaney put up with me for a couple quarters. I went late, we left early, and I got to enjoy part of a game in Qwest field in Seattle. The Cardinals were clicking pretty well, the Seahawks weren't. Just some bad luck as well, they fumble a couple times, the Cards fumble and recover again, not much of a game. Most people had left by the end of the game, we left in the 4th early.

It was amazing that they Seahawks get to the 3, they have 2 chances, a pick on 3rd down, then running out the Cardinals fumble, so the Seakhawks get it 1st and 10 at the 11. They manage to get to the 2 on 3 more tries and go for it. Why not? 2-5, might as well. They get the first down and then finally score. 8 tries from the 3 for them to score.

Earlier we went to the Museum of Flight again and had a good time, seeing the first Air Force One and the Concorde. I was amazed how base bones the Concorde was, not much luxury at all. The original Air Force One, a 707 from the late 50s, was OK, definitely old and small. They have a 747 there, but you can't go in. With that being such a distinctive plane, I'm surprised.

Still it was fun, got some pictures, need to download them. We'll see if I get time later.

Underground Seattle

I first read about the Seattle Underground in one of Ridley Pearson's books. Not sure which one, but when I mentioned it to Delaney this summer, he wanted to tour it. So I checked around, and sure enough, there's a tour company. So after the EMP museum and the Pacific Science Museum, both hits with Delaney, we headed out for the last tour of the night.

Once again, struggling through the city streets (lots of one-ways here), but we made it and toured 3 or 4 sections of the Seattle Underground. It's a neat story, and I wasn't sure how it happened, but the tour explained things. There was a fire in the late 1800s and most of Seattle burned. Since there were tremendous mud issues with the road (because of the level), they decided to raise it in some sections of downtown.

Merchants were rebuilding after the fire, but the road was being raised, so they actually built these 10-12ft retaining walls that would line the road. So they were built, essentially surrounding city blocks , creating this moat. Ladders were placed at the corners so people could get up and down, and using water sluicing, mud was flowed down the hill to fill in the roads with dirt. Eventually bricked Roman arches were used to create the sidewalks at the main levels and they were cemented over. The first floor of these buildings became basements, and the sidewalks are hollow, essentially a sidewalk over a sidewalk.

Very cool. Delaney got a little nervous in places, though it was well lit and the guide was funny, but he enjoyed it. Pizza for dinner in our room and he crashed early, not surprising after a busy day of tourism.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seattle

We made it. After me messing up the flight times, a mad dash to the airport and a missed flight, we made it to Seattle about 2:45pm PST.

It's early here and I'm beat, feeling a little sick. Need to get on the Zicam today, but it should be a relaxing day for Delaney and I. After a whirlwind yesterday, with us racing around, we had a relaxing night and I fell asleep as he was watching The History Channel.

Our day started out OK yesterday, I was up early, went running, and showered by 6:45am. We should have left then, but for some reason I was sure it was a 9:25 flight. Or so I'd thought. Delaney was up and ready and I decided to give Kendall a shower before we left. It was the first snow of the season and it was blowing, so Tia said to check the flight. I did and saw an 8:25 departure.

In a panic I raced downstairs and confirmed it on the papers I'd printed. I grabbed Delaney, and about 7:10 we left, and immediately knew we wouldn't make it. As we turned off our private road, the Porsche started to slip and I realized that I needed to take it easy. We missed our sharp turn halfway down the road since when it's icy that one is almost impossible to make. We slowly crept about 20-25mph down the main road, along with everyone else. At the big left turn onto Smoky Hill, going about 25mph, I goosed the accelerator slightly and we spun out. Fortunately no one was behind us close enough to have to try and avoid us. A quick reverse and slow acceleration had us moving.

We got to the airport, raced in, and found an agent. We had 20 minutes to go and she called the gate, but they said they were leaving early to de-ice and no chance for us. :(

Delaney was worried, but we were 1st and 2nd standbys on the 12 o'clock with 12 seats. We had breakfast, two of the Jones boys eating burritos and reading. Then we walked to the gate, read more, hung out, had a minor bottle fight with plastic bottles banging off each other and ended up in row 2 of the next flight. Things were looking up, but we were delayed taking off and landed 30 minutes late.

We immediately grabbed our bags, got a car, and then headed to the Museum of Flight. I was operating more off instinct since we were in a hurry and I kind of remembered being there 3 or 4 years ago. We walked in about 3:45, paid, the girl telling us we had just over an hour, and then Delaney started racing through. At first I think he was trying to see everything, but then we slowed down, looked at some exhibits, he walked into a space station mock-up and talked to the docent for a few minutes, tried to land a space shuttle, simulated a pilot taking air traffic control instructions and more.

At first he wanted to come back again, but we had more time than he thought, we even walked through the original Boeing "Red Barn" factory, and he got to see lots. By the end he was pretty satisfied in an hour and we hit the gift shop for our pins (for our vests) before heading out.

We headed downtown, which is easy to find. I've driven it a few times and know how to get to the Convention Center. From there you can see the Space Needle, so I wasn't worried about finding it. Our printer must have run out of paper because I was missing printouts from the hotel and the aikido studio. But I could see the Space Needle and so we drove there and I pulled over in front of it. My Sidekick got a Google Map, which showed us a couple blocks away and we drove over and checked in.

It's pretty cool, we can see the Space Needle from our room, we're close to the Seattle Center, which is where everything happens we want to see. After a short walk down for Mexican (Delaney said better than Chipotle/QDoba, not as good as Bamba), we drove over to the Aikido studio and watched about 20 minutes of people throwing each other around. The first two demos were the beginnings of moves, leaning people over and I'm not sure Delaney thought much of it. Then the sensei started launching a few people in demos and I heard a "whoa" quietly whispered next to me.

Next was the Space Needle. I've been there a few times, but never up to the top. So we walked over, a nice stroll on a not-too-cold night, got tickets, and went up. Delaney thought it was really cool with lots of interactive screens that have Seattle history up there. He liked the ride, I had my usual level of fear riding up the elevator on the outside of the structure and then being at the top. I didn't like being outside and didn't stay there long, letting Delaney look around.

A late night decaf, cinnamon roll and Gator-ade at the top and we headed back to the room. A full day for us.

Today it's the Underground tour, the Science Center, and the Experience Music Project.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Right to be Stupid

I ran to the gas station today for a soda at lunch and was listening to the sports talk station on the way there and back. They two men on the radio were talking about the Texas football player that was booted off the team after he posted a racial slur on Facebook.

There was a lot of discussion and it was interesting. One of the guys is black (on the radio), one white, and it was interesting to hear them talk about it. The black guy, Alfred Williams, used to play for the Broncos and was on the team when Bill Romonowski had a racial incident with another player. Alfred said Romo apologized, and he was surprised by it, but he never had dinner with him again. And still hasn't.

As they talked about whether the kid should have been kicked off the team, I wondered, and hoped that the argument against him being kicked off was for the sake of argument and it wasn't serious. Especially coming from a white guy.

The last thing I heard before I turned off the radio was the white guy asking about this football player's rights and his "right to be stupid."

Racism still exists in the country, and always will. You have the right to be racist, but you also have to deal with the consequences.

A Little Frantic

Trying to get things done for my trip to Seattle. Delaney and I leave in the morning and I have a lot to get done. I compiled my stuff for Scouts and turned it over to someone else. I feel bad that I couldn't get to the store, but there's too much editing to do.

I cleaned up a couple articles and got them loaded, more to do if I can. Podcasts are all shot, but more editing to do. I'm good through Tuesday, though I need to edit the one for Monday's DBW newsletter. For now I'm editing things and I'll leave the rendering until later, so I can be a bit more efficient.

Packing to do, need to get another 4 pass for Keystone for our Feb trip, move a bunch of stuff to the laptop, get itineraries ready, it's a busy day. Plus I need to pack for Delaney and I.

Up and Down

On one hand, literally both hands, I'm feeling better. Both hands are less sore, which I expected. It's just time for the trauma of banging on a shovel to subside.

And I'm feeling strong. I went for a run on the treadmill before lunch, after shooting a few podcasts and felt good. I struggled for the first 5-6 minutes, and it was cold, no sweat on my until about 9 minutes in. I didn't even take off my shirt until then. Day 65 in the books!

But my throat is a little sore and my voice a little shot. Definitely glad that I'm not presenting next week, at least right now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

52

It's Nov 12th. In Denver. I've been skiing this season. It's sunny.

All of which I expect to find in Denver, and probably a lot of people might expect. What they might not expect is that is 52F today. Long sleeve shirt weather.

I love Denver

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Feeling My Age

My hands hurt.

I worked a bit last night and finally put an ice pack between my hands while I watched some sitcoms late at night. It was annoying and a little painful, but they felt a little better when I went to bed.

But this morning they seem worse, just sore and hurting when I pressure them, like opening the sugar jar (it has a tension fitting on it). It's annoying and it bugs me throughout the day with little things. Luckily typing isn't one of them.

I know it's because I'm getting older and I worked them too hard on Sunday. It was trauma to them trying to dig holes in the ground for the fence posts by hand with the post hole digger. Too much banging into the clay to get the holes deep enough because I didn't want to spend 20 minutes switching out the bush hog for the auger on the tractor. They were tired when I finished and I had trouble grabbing things.

Hard to remember that I can't go as hard as I could 20 years ago.

Better Late than Never




A few pix from Halloweeen:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Scout

Delaney is getting close to the end of Cub Scouts. We had our meeting tonight for Nov and they worked on some of the Boy Scout stuff and then did some leatherworking for the Craftsman badge.

It's neat to see him getting near the end. I remember this with Kyle, when we had worked on so many things and we were trying to get his shadow box done. For Delaney I'm not sure what we'll do, but it's exciting to have him getting ready to move on to Boy Scouts. I remember when I did it as a kid and I had great memories of Cub Scouts. Good ones of Boy Scouts as well, but it wasn't "cool" and I dropped out, something I regret a bit.

We're close to 4 more badges, need to help push him a bit to finish them up and get him on a good path for his Arrow of Light and Akela awards later in life.

Relaxing the Body

After Tia signed up for Massage Envy last year and sang the praises of regular massages, I decided to give it a try. My plan was to get one, but the one was good, my flexibility improved, so I signed up for the year plan. Since then I've been pretty good, I'm one behind on my monthly's, though I did get two one month during baseball season. Tia's now 4 or 5 behind.

I've been feeling a bit beat up over the last few weeks. Between going back to karate and running, my body has been pretty tired. I meant to go last week, but blew it off. After pulling muscles and struggling through the weekend, I decided to go today and get one.

And it was great. I had a medium/hard sports massage and it was different than the deep tissue massages I've had, but it really relaxed me. It helped me to just take it easy and I feel much better. It was a good fit for a sore, beat up body and now I'm ready for my daily run.

Slow

I went to get a massage at lunch, which I needed, and then Wal-Mart to get glasses ordered for Delaney and contacts for me. I'd been there with Delaney for an appointment two weeks ago, and then we stopped off one night before karate. The guy couldn't check insurance, but he said he could the next day, so we left our contact info. He called the next day, confirmed benefits, and then said to come in.

We got busy, so we went back last week at night, but we were jammed up for time and couldn't order them. But Delaney picked out frames and the plan was for me to come back the next day. I did, however they'd neglected to mention they needed to measure Delaney's face.

So we go last night, get him measured, but two new people and they can't confirm benefits.

Unbelievable. I realize now that the discount in $$ comes back as a charge in time and frustration. I go back today, get the guy I remember from last year that's really got a bad attitude, and he takes forever to get things put into the system. He's also confused because some of Delaney's order is in there. After 40 minutes (luckily I could wander around the store), he's done and I get things confirmed. They didn't even check the signature on the credit card, which was the only good thing. It was Tia's HSA card, which we're trying to use up, so at least one thing went right.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Working Against Me

That's what it feels like. Between the heater that constantly cycles on and off and the microphone that wasn't plugged in (5 podcasts toast), it's a rough work day.

It's Snowing

Or it looks like the first snow.



Will this be our first snow of the season?? I'm wondering.

Take a Bow

My wife is cool:

How I Voted

And why. Or part of it. I missed the financial connection between the need to get re-elected and the time, but I got the fact that there's a problem. Prof Lessig says it better than I:



Change Congress (change-congress.org)

Saves the Night

I was watching some football, feeling slightly under the weather last night about 6:30-7 when the power went out. Actually it went out, came on for a few seconds, went off, on, off, then came on for a few seconds as I walked downstairs. I could hear Kendall upset and Tia comforting her in the kitchen as I made my way by. The generator was turned off as a small propane leak was in the fitting, so I had to go down and turn it on.

I'm glad that I had looked at it a few times so I knew how to do it in the dark. I turned on the gas and got it going, bringing light to the house. With the whole neighborhood dark, it's nice to have power. Things came back on an hour or so later, which Tia noticed since she was working downstairs. I had all the kids up in my room watching TV.

A good investment, I think that generator has really helped.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tired

I am glad that I ran this morning because I would be struggling to do it now. I am beat, my hands hurt, I'm having trouble typing and I'm ready for a beer and to relax with football.

I decided that I should get up and get things done today. It's supposed to get cold and rainy tonight, so I figured what I got done today is likely all I get done for the week before I head to Seattle. My big plan was to get metal on the other shade shelter and then Tia asked if I could get a second section of stockade fence done on the East side of the barn to stop the wind. Since I wouldn't likely get enough of an awning done to make a differance, that sounded like a good idea.

So after running, showering with Tia to get a few minutes, and checking emails, I went out and dragged the 4 12' pieces of metal 800' across the yard. That was fun and the start of hand abuse today. I had to stop a bunch of times to take a break since gripping two sheets at a time is tough. They're too big and heavy to lift completely, and the half drag is rough on the hands.

Then I put those up on the roof and was glad I did. That shelter has been up for about 5 months with just the OSB and it was pretty beat up. I waited too long to get the metal there. But they went up easy and then I got one piece of trim on the front to prevent water from getting under the metal.

I needed to cut the next piece and didn't have a blade, so I went to Home Depot, which was a good break, and got a blade along with wood for the side trim and for the fence. I came back and thought I'd let my batteries charge up more and decided to build the fence next to the barn. I got both posts in, had Delaney help me with the two cross braces and then realized I'd angled out from the barn. So I dug it up and moved it 4 inches over, which is always fun. Then tamped down the posts to set them in there, more hand abuse, and then screwed in the pickets. I was going to have Delaney do some of them, but he couldn't quite get enough force on the drill to prevent slipping, so I had him hand me screws and we ran them in there.

At this point I was ready to pack up and rest, already having trouble grabbing things with my hands, but I wanted to get the trim finished on the tops at least. So I went and put up the first piece on the front of shelter #2, measured another piece and went to cut it. That was simple enough once I'd wrestled the blade in the circular saw. It probably took longer to get the blade in than cut the trim. Once it was cut I took both pieces, screwed one on each shelter, and I was done.

So both shade shelters have metal on the roofs and trim across the front of the high side. That's enough for now. If I get a chance one day this week I'll get the sides on or start them. We have another fence blocking wind from whipping around the corner of the barn, which will help with snow and rain management. It was a busy day for me and now I need to let my hands rest, or try to. Perhaps I'll shoot podcasts tomorrow and try to save my hands for later in the day or Tuesday for more writing.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Game 1

Kendall woke up this morning and didn't want to go to soccer. She said she wanted more practice and didn't want to go. Then after she had a horse back ride, she said her ankle hurt, but I thought she was faking pretty good. So I made her go and she didn't put up too much of a fight. I talked her through giving it a try and she agreed.

So we went early, her, Delaney, and I practiced a bit and then she went with her team. They play two 20 minute halves and she didn't start, so she got to rest. She ended up with 2 5 minute sessions each half and did OK. She kicked the ball near her and ran towards it. In the 2nd half she was limping around a bit, but she kept at it and I thought that she made a great effort. I told her I was proud of her and she said she was proud of herself. That was great to hear.

Locking Down

The other day we noticed that the Filly was inside the middle of our pasture paradise. At first I had to stop and make sure no other horses were in there and once I realized it was just her, I was confused. My first thought was that they’d pulled down a section of fence or it had torn in the wind.

Tia later told me she’d seen Filly go under the ribbon, apparently unaffected by the shocks. I walked out there and tested it and it seemed to be working, so we were confused a little, but decided that she’s insulated enough now that it doesn’t bother her.

This morning Tia asked if we could string a line low on the poles to keep her out. Since her legs are less wooly, they likely aren’t insulated that well and she would stop. So Delaney and I went out there, him driving the ATV with the electric string on it and my slipping it into the posts. They have a bracket, so it went pretty well until Delaney went too far and we snapped a piece.

Not a big deal, we took it off the ATV, grabbed plastic brackets for the corners and stuffed our pockets (Delaney pretended they were grenades) and then started stringing again. I tied the pieces together and kept pushing string in the brackets, Delaney walked backwards feeding it out. In about 10 minutes we were 3/4 of the way around and ran out of string.

My plan was to go to Big R, but since the ATV belt light was on, I wanted to drop that off before I left for my trip. Delaney agreed to help, though he didn’t want to go to Big R. So I drove the 2 miles to the has station and strip mall, Delaney following on the ATV. He put on his snow helmet and goggles, so he was protected, and we made it up there and dropped it off. Then I brought him home for more play time and I went and got more string.

My return trip picked up Delaney, drove him up there and he rode the ATV back. A little over 1/2 way he was feeling confident and passed me and I then followed him. We did this early in the spring and he was nervous. He actually rode Kendall home with the ATV, but they went about 12-15mph the whole time, which is slow. This time he was pretty comfortable and he looked like he was in control about 25mph, which is what I paced him at most of the time.

We got home, he abandoned me, and I went to finish stringing the low line. I had more plans, but it’s getting late, Kendall has soccer, and we have errands to run, so I decided to knock off for now. Likely more metal tomorrow if the weather is OK and then some football and I’d like to try and make 4-5 pens this week to take to PASS.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Booked

I was double checking a few of the things for my trip to Seattle last week and couldn't find my hotel reservation. Actually I found one, but I was supposed to have two. Delaney and I go on the 14th and I was looking for a low cost hotel for the weekend and then when he leaves Monday, I have reservations for a hotel next to the convention center.

I thought I had booked one, but checking through a variety of emails couldn't locate one and I had no idea who I'd used. I thought it was a Days Inn or Holiday Inn, but I couldn't find anything. After talking to Tia and thinking they wouldn't charge me, I went searching again on Expedia. I found one downtown, right near the Space Needle, which is near our Underground Tour and The Pacific Science Center, so I booked that.

Looking forward to traveling up there with my boy. Lots of stuff to do that weekend.

Horsey Girls


From Tia and Kendall's Trip:

A Little Down

I felt that I'd pulled my left hamstring last night at karate, though a bunch of my body was sore. I put some ice on it last night in bed before going to sleep. However when I woke up this morning, my right knee is sore, almost like I twisted it, which I don't remember doing.

Walking around it is sore, so I added ice to it again today and I'll do a bit more ice soon, however I'm slightly worried about getting in my run. I think I'll wait until later this afternoon or tonight and then try to push through it. I'm thinking I might need to run slower, and then longer, though I'll see. I'd rather run my normal 6mph and knock off sooner.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ouch

Pulled my left hamstring a little at karate tonight. We were running errands and I was late getting there and didn’t have a chance to stretch. And I paid for it during round kicks.

Need to go get some ice.

I Didn't Have to Drive!

Kyle's first real trip. He got to go to a friend's the other night, but this was his first real car ride himself. He took the Prius to work tonight, so the rest of us don't need to head down there this early. Very cool!

I went and registered his car, and it went smoothly with the rebuilt title and all down in Elbert County. The have an assessed value of $9200 and it cost me $180 to register it. Along with the cost of the car and the estimated repairs, we're looking at a one day total of $5700. Not a bad deal, though hopefully it doesn't end up being much more.

Another Car

We went and purchased an 05 Cavalier today, the one I'd looked at the other night for $4800. Tia was nervous about taking the cash down there, but it worked out fine. We have the rebuilt title and the paperwork and I need to run down and register it. Unfortunately Kyle won't see it until tonight since we dropped it off at Brakes Plus for a little work, but he'll get the chance to start learning a stick tomorrow.

I drove it back and it seems fine. A little underpowered, which is probably good for 16 year old, though it's not too bad. It's certainly no Porsche.

So here we are, car #25.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Proposition 8

I wish I could be this eloquent. Definitely something for me to work on, but I thought this was great. From Prof. Lessig:

Negotiating for a car

Not another one for me, though I wouldn't mind trying another one. I'm not giving up my 911, but I do miss trying another new car. It's been 2 years since we've had a different car and I feel the itch.

But after talking with our insurance agent and running some checks, I called the lady that was selling the 05 Cavalier and offered her $4200 for the car (it was listed at $5500). She's selling it for a friend, I guess some mechanic that fixed it up from salvage but doesn't speak much English.

So we'll see what they say. If it goes well, I might be buying a car for Kyle here soon.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Obama

We have a new President, a black man, and I cannot believe it has happened in my lifetime. As we watch the election coverage, it appears the projections have shown Obama having crossed the 270 electoral college votes.

We're watching one of the local stations (our @#$%#$# satellite is missing some channels tonight) and it's absolutely amazing. As we talk with the kids, Tia and I agree that non-minorities just can't really understand how huge this is. Voting for someone of color, after what has happened in the past, is just huge.

I didn't vote for Obama. I picked the Libertarian, hoping that party will grow, but I recognize and am amazed that we actually elected someone of color to lead this country. I think he'll be a good leader (I think McCain would be as well), and an inspiration to so many people. Minorities and many educated people think so as well.

I do worry with the heavy Democratic wins I think we might swing too far to the left, but you never know. James Carvell talked a bit tonight about how fiscally irresponsible the Republicans have been for 8 years while the previous 8 showed a Democratic President bringing us a surplus for the first time in a long time.

It will be interested to see what happens in the future. Watching John McCain give his speech, I think this is his speech and it shows how he deserves our respect. He would have been a good leader if he had won.

Thanks, Mark Cuban

I agree, and I'm proud to be an American.

I didn't agree with some of Obama's plans, but more I was worried the Dems will swing things too far to the left, spend too much money. Can they be worse than the GOP has been in the last 8 years? Not sure, but they might try. I heard this morning on the radio that this is a golden opportunity for the Democrats if they can stick to the centrist model and not take too much advantage of their majorities.

I think Obama is the better leader. He's a better speaker, more charismatic, and he inspires people. I felt proud of McCain's concession speech last night, thought it was from the heart and it made me proud of him as a patriot and hero to the US. I think it confused the crowd who were looking for some way to bash Obama. But even though emotions welled up in me at hearing that speech, it was still stiff. It was rough, and you could see him struggling with emotions. That's probably how I'd speak as well, but it's not the steadiness, the polish, and the energy of an Obama, which is what the country can use.

I voted Libertarian for the President, which I think is like voting GOP without the right wing conservative crap and the church influences. I still wish they had done better, but with less than 1% of the vote, that wasn't a great showing. Perhaps I'll try to push them a bit more over the next few years and see who I can convert.

Other than that I was disappointed that more people didn't get thrown out of office. I was hoping for more judges to get launched in Colorado. I had the kids mark my ballot and try to kick everyone out of office, party ignored.

Still Mark Cuban has summed it up well. I don't agree with everything he writes, but I liked this one.

No Bandwidth

At least not much today. Everything is slooooowwwwww

I even cut off a few of the devices around the house, but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Buying a Car

I've purchased a lot of cars in my life, over 20, and now I'm working on yet another one. Tia has been searching for a car for Kyle and we had a fairly narrow set of criteria. Less than $6k, less than 90k miles, relatively close to us, a smaller car, and we ended up with Jettas, Cavaliers, and a few other models that are virtually indistinquishable. Knowing roughly what car you want helps, but these days searching on general criteria works well.

We initially started on cars.com, but expanded to Craigslist as well since that has a bunch of private owned cars. Cars.com seems to be dominated by dealers over the last year or two.

So she called on a few, talked to some people and I went to look at one last night. It was a stick, which she can't really drive with her ankle, so I drove out to the west side of Englewood last night as the sun was fading to look at a car. I walked up to the house, spoke to the owner, who turned out isn't the owner, but selling it for a friend. That sounds a little shady, but it happens.

The car looked good, no leaks I could see, it's clean, in decent shape, apparently was wrecked since it has a salvage title and she admitted the front end had some work done. I drove it down the block for 10 minutes, got through all the gears, jerked the clutch, half pushed it and rev'd it, checked the AC and heat, everything seemed to work.

So I took it back and arranged for an inspection today. I got a call from the owner and then called the shop to arrange payment. We'll see what they say and need to do some research on salvaged titles, but hopefully this will work out.

We have a new driver

Kyle went with Tia this morning to get his license and I just heard he passed!

So we have a new driver here at the ranch. Now we just need a vehicle.

Election Day

It's going to be interesting. Everyone is excited, mostly because they think Obama will win. Delaney tried last night to convince me not to vote Libertarian, using Tia's argument that my vote is wasted and he wants Obama to win. It's where the Mommy influence comes through strong, though I reminded him that most of the military is Republican, so something for him to think about.

I also had to remind him John McCain is a great American, and a Patriot. Even if you don't agree with him in terms of his choices or how he votes, he cares about htis country and has served it for a long time.

The kids are getting ready and we're going to vote before school. My philosophy, Libertarian, which is GOP without the right wing crap and church influence, for President. Other than that, vote everyone out of office.

I read through the Colorado ballot initiatives last night and I found myself more conservatively voting for them. Less government, less amendments, more legislature battles on issues.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Working Hard

I have a soaked, sweaty T-shirt from karate tonight. I had a good workout, which I can't seem to avoid. It's been a long day, I was thinking to take it easy after some yard work and a run, but I keep getting sucked in and worked hard.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Early Morning

Daylight Savings Time, really the start of another winter for me. Last night I got home from soccer with the Ks and had brought a pizza. Our plan was to hit the townhouse and get some cleaning done, but I was tired, and more important, Tia had rolled her ankle. So it wasn't a great time for work and we relaxed, the whole family watching some specials on McCain and Obama in our bed.

Now I'm up early, catching up on some work before going outside to do some roofing, and then likely some cleaning at the townhouse.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Soccer

Day 1 of soccer for Kendall, grades 1-2 and she's the biggest kid out there by far. She did OK, running well, a little shy. We'll see how this goes.

Trick or Treat

I was tired, but everyone wanted to go. I pounded out a run, then we drove over with neighbors to another neighborhood and let the kids walk around. I was amazed how well a few people had decorated houses and the kids had fun. 3 girls running ahead and Delaney walking behind them. Kendall had her glittery soldier costume again and Delaney was camo'd out. With a gas mask he borrowed from a friend, he was quite the soldier.

One house had people dressed up like Star Wars characters carrying light sabers in the driveway, a storm troop costume that was playing clips when kids walked up and a huge Death Star meditation chamber with Darth Vader in the garage. Obviously too much time on their hand, but people enjoyed it. The kids were nervous walking up there and actually paused, afraid to get to close until one of the characters motioned them forward, then they thought it was great.

A nice, fairly warm, calm night of fun for the kids.

Skiing in October

I've never done that and I'm amazed that we could. A couple ski resorts opened a couple weeks ago and I've been watching the snow at one. At Arapahoe Basin the snow has been slowly building, but they still had only a few blue runs open. The kids were nervous, but when I talked with a neighbor yesterday, their older son was up at Loveland this week. So we checked it out and with a couple green runs, the kids decided to check it out.

We've never skiied there, and it was nice to get us up there with no stops, no need to get any rentals, all three of us having our stuff in the Prius. We got up on the chairlift, which was a good experience and all of us got off pretty well. Delaney fell the first time, but he got up and we ended up going slowly down. Both kids were nervous and went slow, but ended up having fun. We went up a few more times and every time they built up more confidence and went down smoother. Kendall and I even raced at the bottom each time to see who was faster. I was giving her longer and longer head starts, but still catching her until the last time, when I gave her 6 seconds, was closing, but I think she would have beaten me. However I wrecked nicely, feeling the board slip and I tucked and then slid for a good 50-60' while Kendall crossed the line of flags and raised her arms.

We got tired, too a few breaks, everyone with new boots had sore feet, I had a hard fall at one point, not paying attention, and hitting the ground hard. A slightly sore neck today. We leaft around 3, headed back, having a great day. It was about 50F, no wind, sunny, the snow wasn't great, but not horrible.

A good start to the season.