Sunday, December 31, 2006

Review: Patton

We caught Patton on AMC last week sometime so I'm sure somethings were left out. Nonetheless this was a three and a half hour session on the couch, this is a monster of a movie at 170 minutes run time normally.

The casting on this film is wonderful, George Patton is a huge SOB and George Scott plays him to a T. The screenplay was done by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North who shared the Oscar that year for best screenplay based on . . . ok done typing that, and of course Scott won the Oscar for best Actor that year as well.

The story itself is very good, it jogs back and forth in the beginning between following Patton and following an aide at Nazi HQ who is assigned to do background research on him. Seemingly the Allies won the war because the Nazi brass would do the research but only do what Hitler wanted even when wrong. Patton of course did his own research by reading his chief opponents book, you see books were the blog of the 1940's. The thing I expected more of in the movie was battle scenes but that is not what this movie is about. There are one or two battle scenes in the film but if you are looking for a World War 2 movie with battle scenes this is not it.

The thing I think I liked most about the movie was the cinematography, great locations and great camera angles make this a really beautiful film to watch.

If you are looking for a biography with World War 2 as the backdrop get out there and get yourself a copy of Patton. If you are looking for a World War 2 battle movie this is not the film to watch, try Saving Private Ryan.

Brain dump new years eve edition

John Edwards is running, get involved, seriously.

We signed up for the two week trial with the Blockbuster Online service, so I'll be trying to write reviews for the movies as we get them and watch them. We should get our first DVD in the mail Tuesday so watch for the review later next week.

I have switched over to the new Blogger so you will start to see and be able to search for tags or labels as they are calling them with the posts.

OK I seriously had more to say when I sat down to write this, really! OK well I guess I'll start on that first review then.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Holiday Blizard 2006 part deux!

Snow, heavier this time, it was last night anyway. The branches on the big tree out in the front yard were dropping more than they were last week. Last night the city finally got a scraper and a front end loader working on our street, which had been mushy slushy and wet for the last 2 days and has had snow on it for the last 8 days, it finally looks decent and was passible this morning!

I few days ago I had mentioned to my wife that if it did snow again the tag should be "Holiday Blizzard 2006 part deux!", and as we were watching 9news for updates last night we heard the male anchor say it, schweet.

Well long story short my office closed yesterday at 2:30 and I was home by 4, big thanks go out to my buddy eckoe for that one since I was dropped off at my driveway, which I then immediately started shoveling it and the sidewalks. I did a pass at 4:30, did another pass at 8:15 and then the latest pass at it this morning at 5:45. So far we've gotten probably 8 inches in Arvada with another up to 10 inches on the way. There is a blizzard effect on the eastern plains till 6pm Sunday, yeah, Sunday.

I'm working from home today, the Boulder office is officially closed. My wife is already at work, a coworker with four wheel drive picked her up, and is the only one there the last time she checked in.

I'll leave you with yet another photo of the snow, this is our front walk. Stay warm out there folks and if you live in Colorado/Wyoming area don't go anywhere unless you have to.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

. . . I started to think that . . .

Ah the voice over narration shows, some of my favorite shows fall into this category of sorts. Scrubs is a great one, I wish NBC would start the season in September like they do with some of the crap they air. Doogie Howser, M.D. was a bit of a voice over, I think, I don't really remember. How I met Your Mother has some voice over bits and gets bonus points for having Bob Saget do them, and I've realized that Neil Patrick Harris is in both. The original, original because it's the oldest one I remember and it's my blog after all, was Wonder Years. Again bonus points for the narrator, Daniel Stern. A recent addition to the pack is My Boys on TBS, pretty good and you can view all the episodes online for free, as in beer, on AOL's video site. OK please go ahead and comment and remind me about all those other shows I have forgotten about and why the shows I listed do not match the genre and what rules of grammar I have forgotten about.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Basil got in the garage!

This morning we ventured out to see if the big tree in the front lost any branches in the blizzard. To do this we snuck past the foot of snow on the front stoop, into the garage, open the garage door and peek around the corner. This was not a good enough view so we started to shovel down the driveway, something we would need to do today anyway to get the car back into the garage but something I was not looking forward to. We got a skinny path shoveled out down the driveway but still could not see onto the roof. At this point we figured shoveling down driveway was easy so down to the sidewalk from the stoop would be too. After 15 minutes and 15 feet of progress I thought to ask my wife "Honey did you shovel this part yesterday?", "No just the driveway". Well that would explain why I was 15 feet down the 25 foot drive and she was already done with the entire driveway. 15 minutes later we had the entire walk cleared and had started on the sidewalk which only took about 5 minutes or so. At this point we had most of the snow taken care of, we just needed to get the car up the driveway and into the garage. My wife was getting help last night from the neighbor trying to get it up the drive but it was either high centered or just sitting on ice as the front tires were just spinning and she wasn't going in either direction. So we got the driveway cleared off, cleared out a foot or two behind the car and made sure that the pavement in the direction of the driveway was clear of ice. We got the car warmed up, no crack in the windshield fortunately, and it backed up with a little help from me pushing. I had my wife roll down the window and told her, "gun it and try not to hit me", she did and with no pushing Basil made it up the driveway and into the garage. There was probably a foot of snow still under where he had slept for the night last night but that was easy to clear off as well. With that done we turned our attention to knocking the snow hanging off the garage, over the gutter, thinking as it melts it might rip the gutter off the garage. After a few hits we had knocked some of the snow off but it was still hanging over the roof by almost a foot. I got after it with the longer snow shovel and was slowly going to work my way down the garage like my wife did, after two smacks though a chunk of snow 12 feet long by 1 food wide and deep sheared off the garage, fortunately without the gutter. So now we're officially done with shoveling, the backyard can melt on its own, and starting to figure out the getting to work scenarios for tomorrow. At this point the car can get about 1 foot into the street and then will be stuck again so it's not looking good for either of us to drive unless a plow goes down our street, Wadsworth has probably been plowed by know but we'd have a heck of a time getting there. RTD is on a Sunday schedule tomorrow which would get me to work right around 11:15am unless I get a ride from a coworker from a semi close Park and Ride. Either way tomorrow should be a little warmer but stay bundled up and drink some cocoa.

The first photo is one my wife took last night when she got home, that's how far the car got. The second photo is the result of our hard labors shoveling the walk today and the third is another spot of Basil stuck in the snow last night, poor boy.

These last two photos are of the compost pile in October and a view of the pile this afternoon from the same spot, just for comparison.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Santa Clause is stuck on US 36

It is snowing, still, sideways. It is supposed to do this until tomorrow at noon. I think there is about 3 feet of snow in the backyard and it is not the light fluffy stuff it's the heavy wet stuff, that should be fun to shovel off the driveway eh?

Ok let's recap the day.

5:00am - snooze button 3 times
5:30am - shower, I think, I was still asleep a little
6:00am - up and functioning, I had coffee finally yeah! So there is no snow on the ground here but 9news is reporting Douglas county, Jefferson county and Denver public schools are all closed, already.
6:30am - on the bus, it is windy but so far so good, blizzard, this isn't a blizzard!
7:15am - I'm in Broomfield and my second bus is only 15 minutes late, the commute home might be lame but so far this is easy!
8:30am - from the kitchen at work I can see the Flatirons.
9:00am - ok who stole the Flatirons?
10:00am - hmmm yeah, blizzard, sweet.
12:00pm - going home, now, work is officially closed, no problem US 36 is still open, even in crappy weather I get home in 3 hours, we'll say 4 today but just to make sure I'll get a ride with a coworker to the Park n Ride in Broomfield.
1:00pm - It is slow going but we're already 5 miles down the road, by 2pm or so we'll be in Broomfield and then it'll be 30 - 60 minutes to wait for a bus down Wadsworth and then I'm home by 4pm or so, nice.
2:00pm - we're still on US 36 and we've gone oh, a mile, ruh roh.
3:00pm - still on US 36, been staring at a Best Buy from the same spot for the last 30 minutes, and we're starting to get text messages that 36 is closed ahead at the Sheridan exit.
3:30pm - the fuel light goes on, our driver is a little freaked out, no problem, we'll cut across 2 lanes of traffic, cross the grass to the on ramp, drive up the on ramp past parked cars, get stuck in 2 feet of snow.
4:30pm - thanks to stealing a shovel we've somehow managed to dig the car out, only took 30 minutes and we are now the hero of a friend for going backwards up the on ramp, digging out the car from 3 feet of snow and managing our way back to a road going the correct direction.
5:00pm - first gas station is closed, and the pumps aren't . . pumping.
5:05pm - second gas station is open, has coffee, has horrible sandwiches, has trail mix, and has working pumps. We get directions and as I'm paying I overhear someone ask the clerk if the pumps are turned off, no, they must be frozen then. We lucked out, we lucked out big.
6:00pm - we're on Wadsworth heading south, other than a quick delay at 92nd due to 150 thousand broken down cars, ok 12, blocking the intersection we're well on our way.
6:15pm - I'm home, I'm cold, I'm wet, but I'm home.

Mom thanks again for the long johns, they kept me warm while digging out the snow.

Lauren and Joe thanks a ton for giving me a ride tonight, I would probably still be on a bus otherwise, I owe you a shovel.

Stay warm out there folks.

Monday, December 11, 2006

5th annual holiday Party tree setup

Our 5th annual holiday party is now only 5 days away, less than 120 hours until the fun commences, we'd better get the house ready!

The first thing we needed to do was get the tree up and decorated. We made space in the corner of the living room where a box chair usually lives, we have space now that we have a house. It has been three years since we put up the tree and I do not remember it being so difficult to set up that stupid tree stand. My wife reminded me that is because she was the one who always set it up, oh yeah.


We managed to get the tree and lights up yesterday but my slothfulness prevented us from getting ornaments on it. I thought it still looked great, it is shiny. Tonight we got the ornament boxes out and started putting them on the tree, then we remembered that you are supposed to take the ornaments out of the boxes first. Wouldn't it be much easier to take down the stuff if you left it in the box when you put it up? Don't worry Mom, we took them out of the boxes.

While we were busy putting up the all steroids team ornaments my wife told me about a coworker who was putting up her tree with her husband this past weekend. They realized they didn't have a tree topper. He asked if he could put something on the top of the tree, she said sure. He finished his beer, put a hole in the bottom and thus the Coors Light Tree Topper was born. Now I would never stoop to doing this, Coors Light, come on! But we do have a Santa Spud that would look killer up there, and he does.

Mr. Potato head gives the 5th annual holiday party a big thumbs up! For all you slackers who have not RSVP'd yet give us a call or drop us an email. If you are smart you will direct said communications to my wife because I really stink at remembering things like who has RSVP'd to our holiday party.

Friday, December 01, 2006

That's so Web 3.0


I was thinking last night that my brother should star in a show called "That's so Web 2.0", it's a long story that's really only funny to him so I won't share it. It turns out that Web 2.0 is now passe.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Laramie pt 1 (Homecoming)

Homecoming in Laramie is one of a few weekends especially good for local tourism, hotels, restaurants and especially bars. Two weekends ago was no exception and we helped on all 3 accounts, as always.

I've been a graduate of the great learning institution called the University of Wyoming since the Spring of 2003 and again in the Spring of 2004, so this was technically my 4th homecoming as an alumni but in reality my 3rd since being a student of any kind. There has always been talk in our circle of friends about how to manage to maintain a moderate level of intoxication throughout the entire weekend. It seems like an easy proposal, we have plenty of people to take care of us and drive us around, getting a DWUI in Laramie is the last thing you want to do, and we've all experienced plenty of time working on various levels if drunk while we spent our years in Laramie so it seems like an easy proposition. Let me tell you brother, drinking to that level for 2 solid days is hard work. To really do this you need a plan, no a program, and you have to stick to the program, there can be no deviations, or you'll end up waaaaayyy to drunk and the drive back towards Colorful Colorado involves squinting at the bright light interrupted by the need to pull over for bouts of nausea, this is not a good place to be. The other end of the spectrum is being the guy who quit drinking too early, the program has a specific wagon jump on point, if you go too early then you're the guy who's falling asleep at the bar while the rest of the group is having a good time, or since you're sober enough you have to retrieve the other guy who went off plan from the bathroom floor, he's been there for an hour, super.

There are a couple of things to note about the program, it is dependent on scheduled Friday and Saturday evening events. Our Friday evening choice is favorite Laramie bar, The Library and the closing down at 2am there of, I recommend any of the house brews! Saturday is a little more flexible, either a house party by one of the band kids, unless they're on the way to Casper for the state marching festival, or hit Mingles and claim the middle pool table, pool is a good way to avoid way too much drinking on Saturday night.

So part one of the program is designed is to avoid the first situation of too early and too much intoxication followed by pain, this involves two things, moderation at night and preparation for the morning. The moderation is something that must be practiced. This year the preparation for morning included Advil and Gatorade, both very good ideas, also stongly suggested is to make your last drink of the night a pint of water, trust me your brain will thank you in the morning. This part of the program, was done with a high degree of success this year, no hangover or queasy stomach on Saturday or Sunday mornings by anyone involved. Also highly recommended is getting yourself to the Chuckwagon for breakfast on Sunday morning, but go early, it's busy on a Sunday after all, I recommend the breakfast burrito with the sausage gravy, hm hm hm.

And now, some actual homecoming events! You already know where we were Friday, The Library, remember, ask for the stout, tell them James sent you. On Saturday morning you have to be up early for the Parade, and you have to see it in a location near Coe Library. Why Coe you ask, because it's near the front of the parade so you're done watching first and can get to the bookstore first*, and because there are free coffee and donuts at Coe!

The Parade is just good clean fun for the entire family, let's leave it for the fraternity boys to be drunk at that one, morons. After the parade there are multiple options for food and beverage, virgin bloody mary's and margaritas in the Union along with popcorn and cotton candy and the student LDS group has given out free hotdogs and orange drink the last two years, you can't beat a free hotdog. The best bet for free food and beverage though is tailgate part. The College of Business tent, a bastion of free food and drink, they have bratwurst, hamburgers, hotdogs, sodas, chips and the real kicker, give out a free beer coupon to anyone in line, genius!

After tailgate park it's gametime! This year's game was excellent, a win over Utah for the first time in 6 years! It was a great game for the Pokes and showed how much better they were than the 2-4 record, let's just hope some more wins and timely conference opponent losses can get them into a bowl game again!

After the game we always do dinner with my family, I was the first of 3 boys to go to Laramie for some higher education type learning and both folks have a degree from Laramie as well, heck I spent time in the classrooms there in utero one summer! Dinner with the family is always good, and our family is getting extended, what used to be just the 5 of us is now at least just the 7 of us, my wife and the middle one's wife, if not 8, the youngest's girlfriend, if not 11 like this year, we were also joined by my sister-in-law's mother and brother and the youngest's girlfriend had a friend in from Utah to see the game, she only got to drink water though.

If there's a part one there must be a part two correct? Of course, part two is the actual continuation of a pleasant buzz the entire weekend. This year we got close, but we missed, there was a large chunk of complete soberness on Saturday. We did learn from our experience though. We've identified several places to insert some strategic drinking on Saturday morning/early afternoon for next year, and next year is when you will hear about them. I don't know if we'll ever get to that buzzed for 2 days state, or if as we "grow-up" we'll ever want. No matter how next year turns out it should be another great year of rabble rousing with a great bunch of friends and family. -JH

*On a separate note, there has got to be something embedded in that diploma paper that alters your genetic makeup making you need to drop an ever increasing amount of money at the UW bookstore after graduation, we're not up to the 3 digit dollar values yet but we're getting closer every year.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

rot redux


I finished up the compost bin today and since I promised Jack a photo, here you go. It is a two bin system to make turning the pile easier. Right now it is mostly leaves, it is fall after all. The scary part is there are probably about 4 bins worth of leaves still on the big tree in the front yard. I talked to the neighbor today who said he rakes up leaves from that tree till the weekend of thanksgiving most years, well at least the raking will be spread out. So there you go, our compost bin.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A lesson in civics

In a debate between Bill Ritter and Farmer Bob, the Congressman said "I'm going to appoint judges that apply the law, not interpret it." I learned in elementary school that the judicial branch interprets the law, the legislative branch makes the law, and the executive branch enforces the law. See the debate here, or read about it here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Here's how the movie would have gone with a bigger budget provided by MTV Films;

Intro - A perfect little girl gets second place in a local pageant show when she's a state away to visit her cousins.

Backstory - The mother works at the local megalomart, the father has a harebrained idea about selling a self improvement idea, the 9 steps. The older sister is a counter culture wack job.
The grandmother is a former beauty queen who's only passion is now teaching the little girl what it takes to become little miss sunshine, they live in Arizona, next year.

The Story - turns out the girl who won the local pageant was disqualified so our perfect little girl is now able to compete in this year's little miss sunshine pageant! Golly Gee! But it's in 37 hours, cue clock on the lower right hand corner. Proceed to have the entire family need to ALL drive the hours long trip to the pageant, oh did i mention they're not well to do. Insert hijinks here about cars breaking down, losing bags, grandma dying, taking a side trip to try to sell the motivational program one more time (this time it works!).

Final scene cuts to perfect little girl performing the act that grandma taught her, and getting a perfect score just enough to push her to the title of little miss sunshine.

OK now substitute all the funny things working out parts for things not, substitute a drug using grandpa for perfect grandma, insert a gay suicidal uncle who plays off the now counter culture brother and have the ending still be touching and you have the movie we went and saw, and it was good. Rent it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Adventures in rot

I've mentioned before that we got a compost pile started in the side yard of our place, I've been putting mostly grass clippings and kitchen scraps into it to this point. The weekend we cleaned out the gutters we put the already rotting leaves into the compost pile and I figured it would be a great time to turn the pile since my wife had mentioned it was starting to stink a little bit. When you compost correctly it shouldn't stink, I was not sure what to expect. Well when you put mostly grass clippings into a compost pile and don't turn it every week or so like you should you find layers of rotted grass; slimey, stinky, rotted grass. So I used my nice new pitchfork to turn everything onto a tarp, flipped it all over and put it back into the pile, then we dumped the leaves from the gutters into the pile.

Last night there was a good bit of wind in our area that blew down a few leaves, not as many as I will be raking up in October I am sure though. Leaves are a great thing to be putting into the compost pile and since it had been a few weeks it was time to turn the compost pile again. Today's experience was much nicer and turning the compost pile did not bring a swarm of flies and the compost is staring to look like, compost!

The next compost related project is to turn our bin into a two bin bin so turning the pile is an easier endeavor, which no doubt means I do it more often creating less stinky compost much faster than would happen otherwise.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Cows go moo

The CowParade has come to Denver and we spotted one that reminded us of home, so we naturally had to take a picture of its butt. Hmmmm rump roast . . . .

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Review: Talladega Nights

We were downtown having lunch with friends yesterday and after paying for 7 hours of parking at Union Station, good deal at only $5, we thought we'd catch a flick at the theater at the pavilions. Not too much was playing that we wanted to see or had not already seen. It was a toss up between Talladega Nights and Accepted, seeing as Talladega Nights would have better big screen affects that was the choice, oh and there was a cougar in it.

The movie was OK, not great, not horrible and I think better than Nacho Libre which we also saw this summer. The driving scenes were really well put together and as a NASCAR fan I appreciated that they got some drivers and both the NBC and Fox TV crews into the movie. Will Ferrell was of course good, he plays dumb very very well. I left the theatre not thinking that all the funny parts were in the previews or commercials but the more I thought about it not all the funny parts from those previews and commercials were actually in the movie either, is that false advertising?

So I give it 3 and a half stars plus one rocket ship on my non-existent scale of movie ratings, catch it at the cheap seats, it's worth it for the big screen but don't pay more than $7 to see it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

scenes from the bus

I got to over hear snippets of a conversation today between two probably 17 year old girls that went something like this . . . "i'm into like underground bands, bands that're so underground like nobody's heard of 'em" and this . . "have you heard of the Atari's, and their song Boys of Summer, I like got it and the original and the techno version and listened to them all in a row, for a month" and finally "why does music suck so much these days, I mean I never see anyone I like on TRL anymore" does that mean you did like TRL before, because it's the same crap just a different band!

Yes, I should post scenes from a bus more often, I agree. Please, move along, nothing more to see here folks.

so i posted last when?

So . . . yeah, it's been awhile. I've been, uh, working, and uh, seeing my folks alot lately, yeah, and really that's about it, well 99% of that is the working really, ask my wife, she'll tell ya. I promise a bigger than 3 line post sometime before the next Chinese New Year, and now I must catch a bus, yeah i'm still at work!

Monday, August 21, 2006

ok, where's that sand man at?

Can't sleep. It's 12:05am. It's probably because we're in the middle of annual review season at work, and I'm the guy giving reviews, joy.

Anyway, tonight I'm surfing through some of my newsgator links catching up on non-work type stuff like a /. link about poker driving AI research, and that T.O. might someday, maybe play again, baby, and how to build a glider from the top of a MickyD's breakfast container, wow, that is cool, I must be tired. Ok time to try this sleeping thing again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

18 . . . innings

That was brutal. We stayed for 15 innings, it went 18. We saw the 14th inning stretch. So sleepy today, IM me to keep me awake, please!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My Wife is awesome

I'll post some photos as soon as somebody sends me some to go with this story.

Saturday was my birthday, the big 27. My plans for the weekend were a poker game on Friday night and going to the Rockies on Saturday with my wife and folks, just kicking back and having a good time with the family, so I thought, this weekend was full of surprises.

My first surprise was Jack showing up in my office Friday morning, he had flown in for the weekend to make the poker game and had other plans with friends. I was very surprised and it was good to see Jack again after just about a month of him being in California. Jack of course got sucked into a meeting or two at work but enjoyed his day off nonetheless.

The poker game was a great time with a total of 14 folks playing, two tables! I played ok but not great as I was out before we combined tables. Congratulations to Amanda for taking down Tony and Dan both in about 2 minutes total. Poker was a great time, I got to see a ton of friends and had a giant birthday cookie, I was figuring this was the high point of my weekend and that was just fine with me.

The next morning my folks showed up to our place with a surprise, my little brother. Since Karl had joined our group we would need another ticket for the baseball game, no problem Marcy was in on the surprise of Karl coming down and had ran over to the stadium to pickup an extra ticket while I was mowing the lawn.

For lunch we met my wife's family for our monthly birthday lunch, and this one worked out to be exactly on my birthday! The restaurant we usually go to is starting to recognize the group and we get the same waitress who knows to split up the check for us and who usually goes with who. I was expecting some cards but the gifts that I received were not expected and very thoughtful.

I had been asking my folks for weeks where the tickets were that we had and they had been putting me off for weeks. Finally as we get to the first base gate my Dad handed me my ticket which I looked at as I walked through the turnstyle. Dad had told me we were in section 306 for the game, my ticket said section 60B Row general Seat admission, I do not know where section 60B is. I've sat in almost every section at Coors Field and I have never heard of section 60B. As we start walking towards the stairs to hike up to 306 my wife says she needs to use the bathroom so my folks go ahead of us. I'm still not sure what is going on at this point, not at all.

While Marcy was in the bathroom I first take a look at the map of the stadium and cannot find section 60B. The Row General and Seat Admission part made me think we had Rockpile tickets, but the price on the ticket made me think maybe we were down the Warning Track Party Room. I had to go find out so I went and asked one of the ever friendly ushers who work at Coors Field where section 60B was and how to get there. He ever so politely turned me around and said "That's an elevator behind the glass doors, it will take you to the party suites.", yeah no kidding that's an elevator . . wait did he say party suite?

When Marcy came out of the bathroom I told her we'd need to take the elevator so she'd need to get out her ticket. Check the pockets, check the purse and no ticket, so she runs back into the bathroom and back out, and no ticket. We sure hoped we could get up the elevator with only one ticket, so arm in arm we approach the elevator and show him our one ticket. Fortunately he's ok with us having only the one ticket, ok we're good to go! The elevator man says that we'll get off the elevator and go to the left where Jim will take care of us, super we have to get past another usher! Again arm in arm we approach Jim and show him our one ticket. Jim's a good guy and tells us we're in the first entry and the door on the left while looking at just the one ticket. As we walked to the suite we discussed how cool it was for my folks to get the 5 of us into a suite, this was going to be a good game!

I opened the door for Marcy and heard a rather loud and rowdy group yell "surprise" and as I followed Marcy in I saw 30 friends and family. Holy Crap. How did you guys keep this a secret for 9 MONTHS! I never suspected a thing and man am I feeling a little dim today. A huge thanks to everyone for coming last night, I feel very lucky to have so many friends who came out to see me on my birthday, thanks guys! And a special thanks to Marcy, you are awesome babe!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

AAAAARGH!!

*note* I forgot to get this posted on Wednesday, d'oh!

How oh how can you let Josh Fogg pitch a 1 run ball game and then give him a loss? A ND is better than a loss after a great pitching performance like that and Fogg at least deserved that! How can you get the leadoff guy to third and then not bring him in in the bottom of the 9th! These are the kind of things the Rockies need to do to really breakthrough as a division leader, fortunately the NL West is a forgiving mistress and they remain only 3 games out of first place and under .500

The game itself was fun though, the first foul ball hit towards us all year and it was just over our heads. Rob got a chance to do the flyball challenge thing and caught one out of two, not too shabby. And of course our favorite mascot was near our section to deliver a pizza to some lucky fans. Hey Dinger spin your head around, it freaks out the kids!

Friday, July 28, 2006

2138 . .

. . that's how many people started the Main Event at the World Series of Poker today, on day 1A. There are still 3 day 1's to go with 2000+ players on each day for a total of over 8000 players in this year's Main Event. To put that into perspective that is over 7 times the population of my home town, oh and at $10,000 entry fee per player that is $80 Million+ in one poker tournament. Yeah, that's enough to pay each payroll of just over half the teams in the MLB this year, the Marlins 4 times even but who wants 4 teams like the Marlins?

Yes Manda, I am obsessed.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Early Morning Blogging

Something, I think the pipes, is making an ever worsening sound when the AC kicks on, so loud that it woke me up this morning, at 4:30. /annoyed. Got up to investigate and turn off the AC so that it quits happening and to start looking up numbers for AC/plumbers, sounds like a great start to a Saturday.

If you are at all interested in keeping up with the WSOP this year you might want to add this blog to your bookmarks/rssfeeds. It is not the official update page but I really enjoy the writing style of Wil Wheaton who is writing most of the updates on days he is not playing, and after a poor showing in yesterday's Event #31 Wil is looking to be writing more than playing the rest of this World Series.

So the reason I have rediscovered the Pokerstars blog is Newsgator. I was starting to have rss feeds and bookmarks in so many places I was losing track of links that I either wanted to read everyday for personal enjoyment or needed to read everyday for work. The answer of course was a web-based rss reader. del.ico.us was and still is working well for my bookmarks but I'd rather not click through 50 bookmarks just to see the 5 that have updates. I have been using Sage for my rss feeds at work and home and really wanted that list combined, only way to go was with newsgator. The features I really enjoy are being able to mark individual posts as read versus the entire feed and the import of opml files which made getting both sets of Sage lists into it easy. So far I do not have any major complaints about this service at all.

Back to Poker for a minute and then this rambling is over.

A few weekends ago I went up to Blackhawk with some friends to play in a poker tournament. I had played some pretty bad poker in our last couple home games so I was not real thrilled with the prospect of heading up the hill to drop $70 quickly and then wait around for the rest of the group because I had played poorly but I did want to hang out with those guys so I went along. My strategy was to just play very tight, only try to steal when in position and nobody limped in ahead of you, and hope for decent cards.

The tourney started at 2pm and when we showed up at 12:30 to get register there was no one around yet other than the normal games going on in the Poker "Room". The Poker "Room" at the Ameristar is more of just an area with a fence around it that contains poker tables, I've always thought rooms had walls, see how much I actually know. When we registered there were maybe 10 names on the list already, we put it up to 15, and the pay out was guaranteed to the top 4, more if there are enough players.

Since it was lunch time food was in order and a greasy cheeseburger and a coke fit the bill just fine. I tried to lay off of the soda as much as possible to avoid getting jittery at the table and having to run to the bathroom during the breaks. It was also a rainy dreary day in the mountains and the casino still had the AC cranked on so I was freezing, soda does not help that shivering to stop much.

The game started with 3 tables of 10 or 11 each. I was immediately to the dealer's right at table 2 when play started, Jade was to my right and Leo was also at our table. Nate and Jay were at table 1. Rounds are 20 minutes long and blinds started at 25/50 with each stack at I think around 1500. My memory is not real good about this kind of thing and if I want to start blogging more about my poker playing I should probably start taking some notes every once in awhile.

The first round went by with no one getting knocked out but Jade was quick to exit once the blinds went up, unfortunately I did not benefit from his departure but I was not just giving away chips either. I was playing very tight and folding a ton of hands including a few middle aces if there was quite a bit of action before it was my turn to act pre-flop. After the third round we were down to 2 tables and I was one of the smaller stacks on the table but I focused on not doing anything dumb and going all in on the first pocket pair I saw, this worked out well as before too long Leo, Jay and I were all sitting at the final table of 10.

After a few hands I have the dealer chip and look down to see pocket Queens. Blinds are 200/400 at this point and everyone limped to me, I raised to 1000 and got 2 players to call. The flop comes Ace-Ace-Queen, full boat. The exact betting from here I am not exactly sure on since this was 2 weeks ago, notes I need notes! The turn was another Queen and my thought process was immediately damnit, he hit the boat too. Then I realized what I had, 4 of a kind, I pushed all in. I got folded to and pulled in the chips, I didn't quite double up on that hand but it was close and got me a lot closer to getting into part of the pay out.

This Saturday there were only enough players to pay out the top 4 so the final 6 of us were getting very fidgity almost everyone rooting against the short stack whomever it was, and it was rotating around the table. When we were at 6 I was trying to stay out of the way and not let a short stack double up but as soon as we got to 5 I got impatient and started calling those all ins with middle pair or top pair. Poker wise these were good moves, reality wise I got sucked out on 3 times, the last time busted me out where my queens got beat by a set on the river. Getting put out 5th in a tournament that pays out to the top 4 hurts quite a bit but I was happy with my play up to those last couple hands when I got impaitent. I am a firm believer that nothing is a waste of time as long as you learn something from it, and my lesson on this Saturday was to stay paitent and let the cards come to you.

Jay ended up taking 3rd and pulling in almost $400 and having 3 of the 5 of us at the final table was pretty impressive we thought, especially since none of us had played a tourney like this before. I think this was probably the best way I have yet to find to lose $70 in Blackhawk and look forward to my next trip up for a tourney, in a few months that is.

Ok an hour later this post is done!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Culture of life?

I figured it out, we should not be lobbying the President or Congress to get a bill on stem cells passed, we should be lobbying those folks the President owes his political capital too. So what do we lobby them with? How about supporting the entire culture of life, like pre and post natal care or maybe early childhood education, or how about saving kids from malaria in Africa? Shouldn't this agenda be about a culture of a decent chance at life too?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pirates of the ongoing sequels

It was a nice lazy Saturday today for my wife and I. We woke up around 9am which was justified sleeping in after staying out semi late to attend Jack's going away party at Casa Bonita. *side note about CB . . we did not venture into Black Bart's cave this time, which is a good thing as the 25 or so of us may have decided to camp out in there until escorted out * I got out to mow the lawn around 10am, the rain did wonders for the side that I still can't get the sprinklers to automatically turn on on, and my wife went to the bank and her folks place to avoid that lovely freshly mowed grass smell. After cleaning up a bit it was time for some lunch, not much too cook with in the fridge today but a package of those nifty tortellini from Barilla and a tin of Italian style tomatoes turns into a decent lunch.

After lunch it was time to venture beyond our own neck of the woods and over into Aurora to check out an apartment for my brother and soon to be sister-in-law who are relocating to the area. The place was pretty nice we both thought and hope one of the places we have looked at for them works out well. The second stop on our adventure was to the Pavillions to get some makeup for my wife. Since we had paid for 5 hours of parking it did not make much sense to leave downtown after only 30 minutes so we decided to catch a movie there, fortunately Pirates was playing in just 20 minutes, and the theatre was air conditioned, even better.

Here is where the reviewing of the movie takes place, so for those of you who have not seen it yet and do not want me to ruin it look away, come back some other time to read my blistering and witty writing, yes witty.

So that was not what I expected, and I do not know how I feel about that yet. I liked the movie in as much as the fight scenes are great, the visual effects blend in well, somewhat over the top though, and the locations were of course visually stunning. I know I should not expect a great story when I decided to see a sequel to a swashbuckler, and I didn't. I expected a swashbuckler, would that have been so hard to provide? The movie was drawn out, could have cut about 30 minutes out of this pretty easily. The injection of some of the characters from the first movie was a bit odd and I'm not even talking about the last scene. Ah the last scene, I actually admire the writers here, they already know there will be a 3rd movie coming out, hell it's already in production. They did not have to write in that subtle there could be a sequel wrapup if this makes a good bit of money for the producers ending that so many movies have now, which of course the first one did.

So my rating? I hold judgment until the final installment, since this was just part one of what is really a two part movie. My suggestion though, if it's hot outside and the theatre has AC go for it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

New Closets

So very much has gone on around the house in the past month, the latest of which was getting closet organizer stuff for both the closet in our bedroom, wife's closet, and the guest room, my closet. Before I run through the closet adventure I'll recap the other stuff we've been doing.

The night before our housewarming my folks were in town to help get ready and Dad helped me put in our $5 chandelier, that's right $5. We were at Lowe's a few weeks ago and were walking down the front isle and spotted the 90% off pallet with a few bits of lighting still on it including two chandeliers that for $5 would be perfect to replace the wobbly ceiling fan above the dining room table. I think it looks pretty good in there and man is it bright! To the left is before and to the right after.



The other piece of home improvement we endeavoured on that weekend was the sprinkler system. I did not write about the previous adventure with the sprinklers. Seized valves don't turn, even with vice grips, that sums it up. So $200 later there were two new valves and a new backflow preventer but still no sprinklers running. The box said everything was ok but the continually browning lawn told me a different story, that and the trying to run a manual cycle resulted in no water shooting. A good friend had put in a sprinkler system last summer so I thought he may have some hints or advice about what was going on. At the house warming he quite quickly got the valves turned on and sprinklers were running. The next morning things kicked off just fine for most of the zones. I still have one zone that won't kick on with the automatic programming but the valve is turning so hopefully that will be resolved this week.

OK back to our regularly scheduled post, closets. My wife has clothes, lots and lots of clothes. You'd think a smaller girl would have smaller clothes and they'd fit in a smaller space, smaller clothes just means more clothes to put in the same space, super. So we needed new closet organization stuff. We spent Saturday drawing up some plans about what we thought we wanted, mine was easy, double bars on one side, shelving in the middle and a single bar on the other side. Closet Maid makes exactly what I wanted for under $100 bucks and Lowes had it, awesome. My wife did not know exactly what she wanted, so to Lowe's we went, and she decided what I wanted would work as well, so for just under $160 we had two closet organizers.

First thing to do was rip out the existing closet, the hardest part of which was taking out the shelf that was in there that was wedged in. The solution was pretty easy, hacksaw and hammer, demolition is fun. Now that that was done it was time to get installing. The installation was pretty easy except for the part of the old closet we didn't take out. There were two pieces of half inch board that held up the old rod and shelves that we didn't take out, that moved the whole unit away from the wall one half inch. To allow for the attachment of the shelving to the back wall we had to attach some 2x2 blocks to the wall to attach the L shaped bracket to the shelves and back wall. I did forget to put the bracing on the side walls a half inch forward so I had install those in twice. Again we have before and after, left and right.

The only thing left to do on the closet in the guest room is get out the DREMEL Tool and cut down the rod for the side that is only 18 inches. Tomorrow I'm going to get my wife's closet put in, should be pretty easy now that I know what I'm doing. Here's a before shot of the closet, fortunately I don't have to empty it out.

And for those of you who thought you would escape the infamy of the clothes line post removal, I have a special blog post for that in the works.

Friday, June 09, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Go see it. We did tonight at the Mayan in Denver with the rest of the Young Dems.

First I want to talk about the Mayan, it is a great theater. I am a big supporter of having a full bar available with your movie theatre experience. I did think that once I sat down I had been transported to Disney World. The theme of decor in the Mayan is right on target, statues, colors and lighting, I was certain that the statues would start singing or chanting at some point, ala The Enchanted Tiki Room, that woulda been awesome.

Now to the movie.

It was good, seriously. Some folks will no doubt say it is Gore's way of getting the base fired up about him before primary season 2008 begins. Even if that is on target it does not change the fact that this is a good movie and proves a good point, but I still have issues with it, but only 2.

1. We both agreed, wife and I that is, that we could have done without the 2 minute side bits about Gore's life tidbits such as the election loss, his sister dying from cancer, his son getting hit by a car, they just didn't really fit into the film at all for me.

2. There is a discussion about the number of articles regarding global warming in peer reviewed journals and in the mainstream media. The discussion says that of 928 articles in peer reviewed journals zero questioned that global warming was fact. I just wonder how many were submitted for peer review and not published.

That was all I saw that made me question things. I also learned how to answer a question I get quite a bit about the topic from some folks, won't we kill our economy if we save the environment? My answer is this; If the state of California is allowed to raise fuel economy standards, which the big 3 auto makers have sued to stop, over the next 5 years in 2011 cars sold in California will meet fuel efficiency standards of cars sold in China, today. We're more than 5 years behind the Chinese in auto technology, more if the big 3 win their suit, in a field that Mr. Ford of Detroit created.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

comings and goings

I'm alive, really.

Let's catch up.

We went to the Crush game last Sunday, it was a good season that fell apart in the first playoff game. The old cliche of the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win reared it's ugly head. The cliche should be "the team that can capitalize on opportunities will win", that's what happened to the Crush, it seemed that every mistake they made turned immediately into a touchdown for Chicago. Regardless of the outcome of the game we really enjoyed the season and will probably be getting season tickets again next year.

Memorial day was a busy one, I made tortillas and breakfast burritos, mowed the lawn, bought lamps, bought a slip cover for the couch, got a new chandelier for over the dining room table and had dinner with my wife's folks.

It was a busy week at work, that's enough about that. Friday night we met a friend for dinner and desert in Boulder. The mall in Boulder on a Friday evening is always entertaining, as I was walking to dinner I over heard a street performer blow into a whistle and yell "I'm going to do a show if 10 people come see me, I'm not very good". I need a whistle and bongo drums, I could do that, I wonder if you need a permit.

This weekend was fun, my family was having a reunion, which I forgot about until Thursday night, so much for the weekend home improvement plans my wife had, oops. It was good to see my Dad's siblings, Grandpa and other assorted family. We weren't able to stick around for dinner but did have a great time visiting with everyone and I'm glad we were able to make it since this kinda get together only happens for my family once every other year or so.

Saturday night we helped my father-in-law take down some wall paper in the living room of their place in preparation of stairs from the living room to the basement. Getting the wallpaper off the wall was easy, getting the two layers of glue paper was not. If you are ever going to take down wallpaper get a scrub sponge and a water bottle, it makes it tons easier.

Today was a pretty slow day around the house, watered the lawn, trimmed the bushes by the garage and grilled some pork chops and corn for dinner, hmmm grill.

Well that sums up the week very briefly, and now to watch a few minutes of Iron Chef, battle Bacon!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Tortillas on Demand

This morning's blog post is on demand for Devour.

Tortillas are super simple to make, I made my second, well third really, batch ever this morning. Here's the play by play.

For 1 dozen 8 inch tortillas;
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Shortening
1 Cup water

Sift together the first three ingredients, cut in the shortening and then add the water. Combine till it makes a nice ball, add flour/water as necessary but only 1Tbsp at a time.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.

Heat a cast iron skillet at medium high for at least 15 minutes before you're ready to cook the first tortilla.

Cut the dough ball into 12 equal portions. On a floured surface roll out each dough ball, or for the fancy pants people use your tortilla press, somebody buy me a tortilla press please, pretty please.

Toss a rolled out tortilla onto the cast iron and let sit for about a minute, you should start to see air bubbles, big ones, show up. Check the under side after about a minute and flip when it's to your liking, let the other side cook for about 30-60 seconds. Toss the cooked tortillas onto a plate or into a warm oven.

This morning I used the above proportions but made 8 instead of 12 tortillas, they were between 10 and 12 inches each, none too round though, I'm still learning that part. They made great breakfast burritos, well worth the extra hour and a half of prep time.

There ya go, tortillas on demand.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

McCain says he's for legalized segregation

Ok he didn't really say that, but if Senator McCain's vision of states deciding on the issue of gay marriage becomes a reality that is in essence what will happen. Normally I think McCain has some decent ideas, campaign finance for instance. This article says that McCain will have an issue with the GOP base in 2008 if he continues to buck the trend and vote against a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. If the states get to decide the issue what happens is legalized segregation, if you're gay and you want to get married you cannot live in Kansas, move to New York, or California, or Vermont, and that's a throwback to the days of separate but equal. This is why we have a federal government and federal law, to ensure that everyone gets treated the same, in all of these United States. Thanks for reading, rant away.

Mr. Coffee shall be mine!

The object of my desire is at Sears for less than $50. It only makes 8 cups, not that I ever make more than 3 on average unless we have house guests, that means you Mom. The stainless steel (thermal is the word the manufacturer uses) carafe is what sealed the deal for me, and of course programmable, it has to be programmable, I'm a geek.

I've actually done pretty well this week considering I go two and a half hours before my first espresso at work, ok double espresso at work. Not too cranky, not too sleepy during the bus ride in, at least I think I'm not, you'd have to ask other passengers to make sure.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Best Week . . . Evar?

714.

I could rant and bitch and moan about the steroids but I'll just throw this out there, it took Ruth 8,388 at bats to get to 714 while it took Barry 9,234 at bats, and to put that in perspective it took Hammerin' Hank 11,219 trips to the plate to hit 714.
*fast forward 5 minutes*
OK, I was going to go into some stats about the Babe not being as big of a threat on the bases as Bonds was but how he was a pitcher and all that so I searched for "babe ruth versus barry bonds stats" on Google and the first result was . . Popular Mechanics. Nerds run the earth.

In the spirit of semi-live blogging we're watching the Family Guy season finale, good in and of itself, but also getting to see some good previews for this summer's movies. X-Men, Superman Returns, Nacho Libre, Cars, The Fast and Furious: Tokyo . . wait, they made another one, gonna go out on a limb here and say the latest Gran Turismo has more of a plot than this movie. I cannot wait till the Pirates trailers show up.

To finish up today's post a note on the settling portion of the new house; I parted the sea of boxes that had taken up most of the basement, they are now broken down and stacked up and the ever so trendy 60's brown and tan asbestos tile is again out and proud.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Twicebuzzed Nirvana

A local brewery, Twisted Pine, has an Espresso Stout that was featured in the Post today. Why has it taken me so long to find such a brew! Coffee and Beer, good stuff.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Radio in Wyoming

My Dad had his retirement party today at the school he's the elementary Principal and District Superintendent and I drove up to surprise him. I was fully intending on spending that 2ish hours listening to some music off the trusty iPod but lo and behold I left it on the table right by the door last night when I walked into the house, no iPod, no tuneage. This was an acceptable situation as far north on I-25 as Cheyenne or so, most of the Denver stations still come in, but by mile marker 25 or so I was out of range and into what many refer to as the black hole of radio. Basil scrolled and scrolled through the 5 radio stations that came in, religious Rock, NPR, the same rock songs that were being played 8 years ago, the same country songs that were being played 8 years ago, 70's/80's/90's rock mix, Top 40/TRL craparama and back around to the God Rock. Super. Now I don't mind country, I had a phase when I listened to it, bought CD's even, but are the songs on those CD's still popular enough to be playing on the radio, Strawberry Wine, that was what like 1997?

Ok so I'm a "cultured" kind of guy, NPR is fine. Top stories today on BBC News Hour were on the reports coming out about the bombings in London last July, the revelation of a database of phone numbers being collected by the NSA, an Italian soccer scandal and a couple close up pieces. One of those pieces was about the death of Corinne Rey-Bellet a Swiss skier, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4961784.stm. The case was solved, the husband shot her. I learned that all Swiss men are required to serve in the Swiss military and take their side arm with them when discharged. Ok first off why does a country with stated neutrality need a military . . eh? The next thing I learned was that in Switzerland everything is very precise and run on time and with a plan including people's lives, so when couples have issues and/or break up, as was the case with Rey-Bellet, people do not handle it well. So we have men with easy access to guns who do not handle break ups well. Turns out this was not an isolated event or even type of event, the Swiss media even has a term, Family Drama, for these types of events. The report wrapped up and I found myself saying, out loud, "What is wrong with the Swiss!".

Dad congrats on your upcoming retirement, you're the best big guy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

another misc post

Too early, not enough coffee . . .

Ok so I love having a camera phone, I just wish I could take pictures of stuff more than 10 feet away and be able to tell what it is . . and get my finger outta the way, d'oh! Oh well, I had to take a pic of the yellow Beetle with the yellow rims to send to my wife, not as cute as our Mini, but pretty cool nonetheless.





Ok so some random thoughts that might lead to posts later;
  • I need to do the blog I promised in a comment on Marshall's blog about some stupid MTV show, yeah stupid, anyway the denverpost did an article about it yesterday and got a show on Bravo into the mix as well, good stuff.
  • I was wondering with all this talk of illegal immigration and amnesty how the existing and proposed paths to citizenship compare to the rush of immigration in the mid 19th century and the early 20th century? I'll need to do some looking.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Workin' on the chain gang . .

We checked out of the duplex yesterday and the landlord said it looked great, besides the carpet which he was already planning on replacing so he ignored it. This probably saved us a full 8 - 12 hours of cleaning because it was in pretty bad shape. We did plant some flowers last Sunday at the old place for the new tenants, of course then it snowed on Tuesday but they looked pretty good yesterday except for the pansies. A few of those blossoms had wilted some from the cold.

After getting checked out of the old place yesterday morning we started on our own yard. First up was getting the dead grass raked out of the front lawn and getting the leaves from last fall picked up. Now the yard, in the bed of ivy and the south side of the house all look much better and I have a good pile of dead grass and leaves to start a compost pile with. After getting that done it was time to finish up putting the pavers in to make a path from the driveway to the front sidewalk. I had buried a few of them the weekend we painted but the progress was slow since I was doing the work with a hand trowel. The newly acquired shovel from Lowe's made a world of difference and now they are all nicely burred and do not stick up to catch the mower.

Today's agenda was to get the inside of the house looking presentable in case we have dinner guests tonight and this week. My folks are going to be staying with us for Mother's day so the storage bedroom needs to turn into a guest bedroom in the next two weeks. The galley kitchen is much less of an obstacle course now that there are not two dozen boxes in it either. This week we will get the sprinklers turned on, fertilize/seed the lawn, get the wire mesh put up for the compost pile, get the grill put back together (hmmm pork chops), mow, and maybe, just maybe get some of the redwood chips from the back yard into the front yard under the trees.

Finally I need some help. What plant/flower is this? I have been told it might be Day Lily but I'm not real sure.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Politics win over doing the right thing

Yesterday the President decided he better step into this whole energy prices soaring thing and try to shore up some approval points for the upcoming midterms, I don't know about you but if I was a congressional candidate in a close race I wouldn't want somebody with a 33% approval rating coming through town to try to get the undecideds. I digress . .

So the President has a plan, my comments are in italic;

Bush's plan

President Bush's proposals probably won't have a major immediate impact on gasoline prices.

The proposals include:

Cease filling up the nation's emergency oil reserve this summer. That would provide a little more oil to the market, which could lower crude prices slightly. - Not a bad idea considering we're only 40 million barrels short of the full 727 million, the pay back is from when the strategic reserve was used after the hurricanes last year, wait doesn't that season start soon?

Investigate whether there is price manipulation or gouging. That could spur some companies to lower prices, but oil companies have been investigated dozens of times and never charged. - Might wanna get Cheney and his energy commission in on this one, they might know something.

Open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling. The Senate has blocked that several times. Even if passed, oil likely would not flow for a decade. - This is the crux of it, if people perceive a problem they'll be happy to give up ANWAR for an extra million barrels of oil a day, in a decade. Of course the Bush administration is blaming Clinton for this.

Waive fuel requirements that create a patchwork of gasoline blends throughout the United States. That could reduce prices and possibly prevent a price spike to a region unable to obtain its own blend of fuel after a pipeline rupture or refinery fire. - I appreciate that in order to save ten cents a gallon we'll all be breathing in more toxic fumes and run up further health care costs because of it, ok I can't prove that but you get the gist.

Remove $2 billion in tax incentives to oil companies to purchase equipment or drill in deepwater areas. That might save taxpayers money but it wouldn't lower gasoline prices. - hold on a minute, did the Energy Task Force approve this?

OK so to prove I'm not one of those people who just bitches and has no original ideas to bring to the table how about this;
  1. Take the bus or car pool to work one day a week.
  2. Write to your elected officials asking them to support increased fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, power plants, etc.
  3. Get your house energy efficient to save you money, that's right, you can save money and save the world.
OK enough ranting on that subject.

So my camera phone sucks for anything farther away then like 5 feet. I rant about that now because I really wanted to post a picture of the old timey bike I saw outside Starbucks this morning. Oh well, it's the second time I've seen it in the neighborhood, I'm sure you'll see a picture of it yet.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Moving Day

We loaded, drove over and unloaded the truck all in about 5 hours with a break for lunch. There
is some stuff still at the old place and hardly anything unpacked at the new place but all the big stuff got moved over thanks in huge part to Jack, Rob, Nate, Manda, Betty, Kristie and of course my amazing wife. Enough about that, here's a picture of our gnome!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Brain Dump

So much going on, so little time to blog about it lately.

So first up we're moving this weekend, oh joy. I was a horrible husband and didn't get on the packing in March bandwagon and so we'll be up late packing tonight and be moving alot of stuff next week, totally my fault.

We did get a Dyson as a "Happy house warming/memorial day/anniversary/birthday/labor day gift to each other" last night at Lowes. I know what you're thinking, $400 for a vacuum, but if it picks up all of my wife's hair it is so worth it, and it does, we tested one out and they actually work! And it's yellow.

I finished reading The Truth with Jokes earlier this week. That was a great book. It is full of actual facts about how somebody is screwing up the country with proof of how things are going wrong. I did try to read it with a grain of salt and I realize you can dig up studies about how Clinton screwed up the country too and was a horrible President so don't go there. All in all it reinforces my belief that everyone should get involved in Government and be informed about the issues. By Government I don't mean politics, I mean email your elected officials when you have a problem with something, there are tons of tips out there on how to including why not to snail mail them anymore. *that last link is just for all my Republican friends out there*

Ok what else . .

Going to the Crush game tonight with PBED and Eckoe, it's eckoe's bday this weekend so we're gonna get him drunk. I mean . . wasted.

Well I guess that is about all I got for today, happy weekend.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Temporary Post

We've been at the new house till at least 10pm every night since last Thursday so I have not had a chance to get all the photos uploaded and things written about the process of fixing up the new house.

I do have part of a monster post written up and I am hoping to finish that up tomorrow and add in the pictures.

In the meantime here is a sneak peek at a before and after shot of the living/dining room.

*The picture on the left is before, on the right is after, yeah we choose those colors!

Tape, Primer and Paint Oh Boy!

Who's up for a recap of the weekend!?

I took off from work around 4:30 on Friday, yes that is early for me, and hopped the bus south to the new house, a quick hour and a half later I was standing in my new living room admiring the job my inlaws had already done taping up the trim. Not until later in the weekend would I really understand how much that job had probably sucked but how important it was to the paint job turning out looking so good.

My first duty on Friday was to put down masking tape and paper in the new TV Room. This fun little task involves jamming the carpet down as far as you can and getting the tape as close to the wall as possible to ensure you paint as much trim and as little carpet as you can. After getting the first layer of tape down it was then time to tape newspaper over the top of it, sounds silly but this lets you slip a dropcloth down under the newspaper; it works out to be a really slick little system of carpet protection. Upon getting the seal of approval on my works as a master tape and newspaper layer I was assigned to opening the 5 gallon bucket of primer and pour it into the paint pan. Let me just say right now I am horrible at pouring liquids other than coffee and even that gets iffy so my wife deciding I was the best candidate to pour a 5 gallon container of primer must have been based on the fact that 5 gallons of primer weighs about 65 kazillion pounds, ok not really, let's try 40.

I did pretty well on the pour thanks in large part to Kristi sacrificing her hand to scoop primer, thanks Kristi!

Now that primer was in a paint pan it was time to arm myself with a roller and start in the living room. Then the dining room, ok that's cheating the living room and dining room are just one big room, then the master bedroom and bathroom. Only two walls of the living room got the white primer as we had tinted primer for the walls getting the Merlot. All that priming got done around 11:30 that night, not bad for 5 hours of work that's for sure.

Fast forward 8 hours to Saturday morning and you find two very tired new homeowners, only 2 full days into it, this bodes well eh?

Saturday morning started with primer in the bathroom which was the only room that started with actual color, so what are we doing with it, painting it white, completely logical. The final walls that needed primer were the ones getting the merlot. I learned something on Wed, when you are painting walls shades of red or green **my wife informs me it is actually for dark or bright colors** you should buy primer that you can tint. Before tinting the paint is grey, after tinting it turns, gray.

The first walls getting color on Saturday were the big walls in the dining room/living room, Bermuda Sand, aka one of the 400 shades of tan that Olympic sells. Somebody somewhere will have in their obit that they were the inventor of Bermuda Sand, the single biggest selling tint of tan that Olympic sold in 2006, trust me, I never make stuff like this up.

Next up was the master bath getting a lightish blue, I actually helped with the painting in this room! The master bath has black trim on the floor and the tile has black in it but this turned out to look really good actually.

After the bathroom came the green walls in the dining room, at this point I was back to observing and ordering lunch duty, no painting. That suited me just fine and Pizza Hut was soon on the way for the brave and valiant painters!

After a quick lunch it was back to work toiling in the dining room with the Sweet Anne, olive green, kinda. The color goes pretty well with the other two walls in the living/dining room, we will have to see how it goes with the furniture and china settings to really see how it all works.




Finally to the master bedroom we go, Kimono Blue with white trim. After the first coat it was a little faded denim blue but a second coat cleaned that up to where the room looks really good, at least I think so and I sleep there not you! Except for you who's reading over my shoulder right now, you sleep there too honey.

So that's it. That's 15 hours of painting, wrapped up in like 500 words, probably alot less. We spent Sunday and Monday evenings doing the trim in the dining/living room, TV Room, master bedroom and master bath. Tonight my wonderful wife got all the tape, newspaper, and trash cleaned up and the house looks great. We're ready to move in on Saturday and if you're reading this you've probably been invited to help, see ya Sat!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Washing Walls


Home improvement started last night, *scratch that, two nights ago*, with the washing of the walls. TSP (Trisodium Phosphate as it is called by smart people who probably would never actually use the stuff) comes in two sized boxes at Lowe's, a little and a big, we had walls and cupboards to wash, we got the big. Turns out we probably did not need the big but now we are stocked. So I was a little worried about cleaning with a detergent that says on the back "Wear suitable clothing and eye protection. Keep away from skin and out of gloves. Any foliage near where TSP is to be used should be soaked with plain water prior to the application of TSP, and rinsed down afterward. Be sure to read and follow all warnings on the product's packaging.", yeah that is real reassuring, might as well say "don't touch it or it'll hurt, it'll hurt bad".




So once you get the walls washed you have to put down tape, paper and tape. It sounds pretty easy, LIES! I learned that you have to get the tape squished down somehow between the carpet and the baseboard. I cheated and used a putty knife, worked much easier.

So that was the first night of home improvement at the new house. I should get a post and pictures up about priming and painting up tonight, ok probably tomorrow. Back to the house we go, two walls to prime and 5 rooms to paint!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

All Grown Up


Today my wife and I are closing on a house. We're not the first in our group of friends to make the big purchase and probably not the last. It seems like I should be more excited about buying a home but for some reason I do not have that Christmas morning anxious feel. I am excited about getting to work on the new place, infinately more so than I am about packing the current place that is for sure. The other thought that crosses my mind is who the hell would loan over $200K to two 26 year old kids 2 years out of college? Are these people nuts!

**Update**
They are nuts. We closed, bought paint at Lowes and are now on the way to clean the walls and change the locks. We'll be painting this weekend, I'll be sure to include some photos of before and after.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Podcasts!

I heard a great podcast today from a Slate article and I figured I would write about the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis.

Most of what I listen to is political but there are some others thrown in for fun.

So the podcasts that update once a week are;

Washington Week
- I usually start with this on Monday morning, it's the first of the weekend shows so it's the first peek at what will be talked about on Sunday morning. The roundtable is always pretty good but the show is only 22-25 minutes.

Newsweek On Air - A good wrapup and usually a good piece on something that wasn't major news during the week. The interviews almost sound like they take sound bites from other interviews and script questions for the hosts that fit.

This Week - Always a big name guest, I usually really like the roundtable, without the visual the Sunday Funnies bit is sometimes lost with the Podcast.

Meet the Press - The Cadillac of the Sunday Morning news shows, it's been on the air forever. They recently switched up the format to match This Week, Russert interviews the headline guest and then there is a roundtable. I like the switch.

Face the Nation - I just started listening to this one, last week the round table was two people, the host and a newspaper columnist, how is that a round table?

Security Now - I started listening to this almost 6 months ago to answer a question for my brother in law and ended up continuing to listen, some weeks it's good, some weeks it's fun to listen to what Steve Gibson is freaking out about now.

the ones that update daily are;

Hardball - Sometimes it is an interview, sometimes it is a story that leads into an interview, without the interview. I just wish Chris Matthews was more like they write him on SNL, now that's good TV.

Newshour - Usually 3 bits each day, why they don't just slap it into one long podcast I'll never know, I don't watch the show when it's on though so I don't know the normal format. Regardless it is usually really good stuff.

Nightline - another news magazine, by the time I get here I'm usually covered but they sometimes have an interest piece that is . . . uh, interesting.

Slate - I lied, I usually start here with their Friday's Political Gabfest, they drift but it's funny. The articles on slate are great, I had it in my RSS feed but couldn't keep up, I can usually listen to a podcast and work but it's really hard to work and read articles at the same time.

Most of them are pretty good stuff, slightly left leaning if you ask some folks but overall keeps you in the loop on what's up with politics and the news.

In other news . . . we got new phones tonight, picture phones, oh yeah. Expect to see some really stupid stuff up in here soon!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Jefferson County Democratic Assembly

I was a delegate for my precinct at the Jefferson County Democratic Assembly today and took some notes as things went down. The following is just a summary of what happened to the best of my not so great recollection and scattered notes, good stuff. I also realized today I need to start carrying and more importantly using my digital camera more OR get a camera phone. In all actuality I'll probably end up doing both.

First off I gotta say I noticed that the next Jefferson County Young Democrats meeting was listed in The Colorado Statesman list of political events. Great work by our publicity people, hopefully every Young Dem there today saw it and will be coming to this month's meeting!

I didn't start with times on who was speaking and since we didn't exactly stick to the schedule as posted I don't have a time for each speaker and there was a mix of nominations for county candidates and other speakers but I think I have the order pretty close to right, and if not blog it yourself man, let's get going;

First speaker I remembered to write down was Mel, why didn't I write down the last name!, who is running for CU Regent at Large. I feel for these guys because the Regent at large is a STATEWIDE election and they do it with less money than most House District candidates run with.

Next up was Mark Udall. I'll call this one now and say Mark should run for Prez in 2012 or 2016, he'd be great, a senator from a western state would have national pull, at least more than a New England one does.

Up next was the nomination for County Commissioner, only one nominee this year for District 3 and that is Kathy Hartman.

The first contested nomination was for County Clerk and Recorder with Linda Rockwell and Stevens. Vote turned out 470 delegates for Rockwell and 51 for Stevens, well short of the 30% needed to get on the ballot.

Moving right along we got to see the first speech of the day from Ed Perlmutter who was the only one of three candidates to go the caucus and assembly route. Peggy Lamm and Herb Rubenstein are taking the petition road onto the primary ballot.

Up next was Dave Ruchman from the RTD Board of directors with news that the Board had voted to approve the contract the Union had approved the day before. Another woo hoo for the end of the strike from the bus rider! Dave only got a minute or two of talking time before we got the first mandatory break of the day courtesy of the fire alarm.

After the excitement of the fire alarm we heard from House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald who is going to get to run again. Both great speakers and both would have been great candidates for guv.

Next up was the candidate for State Attorney General Fern O'Brien. The State Party webpage indicated there is another candidate who we didn't see today, Robert Johnson. I'm not 100% caught up on the buzz so he may have already dropped out of the race.

Up next was Ken Gordon and his famed video spot, very amusing. He should add a crack about the horse going backwards was the way things are working now not how he wants them to run, it would kill at rallies.

Mark Ferrandino is the State Party Treasurer and was stumping for money, wouldn't be a political event without at least one person asking for money.

Cary Kennedy is running for State Treasurer and gave a quick run down of her qualifications including working in the Budget Office under Roy Romer.

Once county commissioner candidate Bob Moser is now running for County Treasurer.

Rocky Germano is running for County Assessor.

Congressional District 6 Candidate Bill Winter was there.

Bill Ritter ran a little over on time but managed to touch on renewable energy, health insurance, K-12 Education and tied it all together with a theme for the need of leadership in the governor's mansion.

Rounding out the nominations for county positions were Katherin Loughrey-Stemp and *frantic scanning of notes* the other candidate . . crap. Ok if anyone knows who it was please comment and I'll post an update. Katherin was nominated and will be on the ballot in August.

Candidates for the offices of Sherrif and Surveyor will be filled by the vacancy committee.

Finishing up the candidate speaches was Steve Ludwig who had a great speach for CU Regent at Large.

Finishing up the announcements before the late lunch break was a plug for the May 2nd West Metro Fire District election. You can vote at any fire house on May 2nd.

From here we broke up into Congressional Districts, House Districts and finally Senate Districts. I'll explain, no is too much, I'll sum up; in CD7 Ed Perlmutter went up to and left the stage to chants of "ED, ED, ED", I'll repeat the popular sentiment that this is Ed's race to lose in Jeffco, Karen Middleton is going to need to win in Jefferson county in order to keep her appointed position on the State Board of Education, in HD 24 Cheri Jahn is once again not going to have to face Republican opposition in November, in SD 20 Moe Keller who is going to face tough opposition in November, was again nominated by acclimation.

So that sums up to the best of my abilities today's Jefferson County Democratic Assembly, discuss among yourselves and let me know what I missed or blatanly screwed up.