Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Court Date #1

Yesterday was the first court date for my "speed exhibition" ticket. It was pretty much a non-event. My legal counsel (Christine's mom) and I met with the DA for a few minutes and they offered to reduce it to a "reckless driving" ticket and 8 points. Ummm, no thanks. So we set a date for a pretrial conference, where hopefully they see that the ticket is completely baseless. Stay tuned for details from the March 23rd conference.

Av Savvy

Christine and I took an avalanche safety course from The Mountain Shop last week. Wednesday was the "classroom" session where we watched some video and had a couple of people from CAIC (Colorado Avalanche Information Center) talk to us about snow instabilities, safe route finding, rescue, etc. It was all very interesting and I was glad I had recently read Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain because seeing the information for a second time helped solidify it in my mind.

Sunday we drove up to Cameron Pass for our field session near Lake Agnes. What a fun drive up. It's been quite a while since I've driven the R32 through Poudre Canyon without a dog in the car and with the road being dry most of the way up, the high speed canyon carving was a blast. By the time we got up to Cameron the winds were blowing snow all over the place, creating near white-out conditions. I was very glad that we had brought extra warm layers because it was quite chilly when we weren't moving.

One of the major items for the day was beacon finding practice, which was great because I haven't practiced much with my beacon. Hopefully I never have to use those skills, but they're absolutely essential. It was frustrating at first, but than it was kind of fun to find buried the beacons.

Following lunch, we did some touring to practice safe traveling techniques and later we dug a snow pit to learn some snow stability tests. Digging a pit was fun and interesting. The snowpack itself was pretty boring, but we were still able to find some layers in the snow and make them slide. It looks like we should have lots of good safe snow for our upcoming yurt trip. And now I'll hopefully be able to avoid dangerous terrain.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Good day

1/22/06 will go down as a pretty good day.

The Steelers clobbered the Broncos and are going to the Superbowl. I like it any time the Steelers win. I like it more when they win the AFC championship. I like it even more when they beat the hometown Denver Broncos and shut up those arrogant fans.

I also got my Ghia started yesterday. I thought the car was going to thwart me once more, because my first attempts were in vain. It turns out that I had the fuel lines on my new fuel pump hooked up backwards. (The new one didn't come with any markings that showed which was the input and which was the output.) After I got that straightened out, it started up relatively easy. The next problem is that the carb is leaking. The last time I made a parts order, I also ordered a carb rebuild kit. I think rebuilding the carb will be tonight's task.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Snowy Range

We wanted to go backcountry skiing yesterday, but all the new snow made for some slightly dangerous avalanche conditions. Erring on the side of safety, we decided to go elsewhere. Snowy Range is a small ski hill west of Laramie WY, and we had always wanted to go and check it out since it was relatively close.

To start with, the drive was way better than going to Summit County. We just headed up 287 to Laramie and went west. All told, I think it took us about 1:45 to get there, and not sitting in traffic was a big bonus. Unbeknownst to us, Snowy Range was holding their annual "Winterfest", so our lift tickets only cost $20 each. I can imagine the snow at this place can get pretty hard because of all the Wyoming wind that blows through there. The snow that made our backcountry trip dangerous made the conditions at Snow Range decent. It was a little cold, but it felt like we had the whole mountain to ourselves sometimes. It wasn't uncommon to do a whole run without seeing anyone, and there was never more than a dozen people in front of us at the lift. Sure the runs are short and it's not the greatest resort in the world, but for $40 and a pleasant drive it was a killer day.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Wedding ideas

Christine and I want to have an outdoor wedding in the spring or fall. Got any suggestions for fun outdoor venues that won't break the bank? It would be kind of nice to have the reception at the same place, but it's not a requirement.

We're also accepting applications for flower arrangers and reception DJ's. ;)

Go Steelers!

I can't believe the Steelers won yesterday! After watching them against Cinci, I didn't think they had a chance, but they proved me (and everyone else) wrong and beat down the Colts for 3 quarters before falling apart. I didn't get to watch very much of the game because I was on my way to the airport, but it's probably better for my heart that I didn't see it. I still don't know if they can beat the Broncos next week, but I'll be watching and hoping. I have a yurt reserved for Superbowl Sunday, so it would figure that the Steelers would actually make it all the way. If they do, I'll have to Tivo the game and watch it Monday.

Turn It On

The airport pickup plan for Friday night was for me to call my dad when we got off the plane in Detroit so he could swoop in from his undisclosed offsite location and arrive the curb at precisely the same time as our faces felt the cold chill of the midwest. The choreography would rival that of a George Bush Q&A;, and It would have worked great had it not been for one small detail: My dad never turned on the cell phone. So instead, we hung out at the airport waiting to see if my dad was driving around, while my mom was at home freaking out wondering what happened to my dad. Eventually, he parked the car and came in lookingfor us and we finally got back to Toledo around 2AM. What a long day, especially for Christine.

The trip home was fun but short. After sleeping in on Saturday, we putzed around the house for a while before going over to my aunt's for a potluck dinner. After catching our second wind, Christine and I went out to Mickey Finns to hang with Brandon and hear some music. The first band was pretty blah, but Chaselounge was surprisingly fun to watch and listen to. Again, we slept in on Sunday and then went out to breakfast with my aunt and uncle before heading to the airport.

Friday, January 13, 2006


I feel like Dante from Clerks every time someone comes to my office this morning. "I'm not even supposed to be here today."

Hold that plane...

Christine was in Oregon this week for work, training people 10+ hours a day so she could get back here in time for our trip to Toledo this weekend. She was supposed to fly back to Denver this morning and we were meeting at the gate to fly to Detroit, but it just wasn't meant to be. She had to get up reeeealy early to make her 6:20AM flight, and her alarm didn't go off. :( So she got booked on later flights, and I changed mine so we can still at least fly together. It was hard to come to work today after thinking yesterday that I was leaving for a long weekend, but I've got plenty to keep me busy.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Karmann Ghia

I finally got back to working on my Ghia over vacation. It's been sitting there for a long time and I'd really like to get it running. The latest thing to replace is the fuel pump, so I removed the old one and while I was at it I removed just about everything else from the engine bay.

I pulled all the engine tin so I could repaint it. It was looking pretty ratty after several years of no attention.

A collection of parts

Cylinder tin before paintCylinder tin after pain

Now I'm waiting on some parts so I can put everything back together.

Sunday, January 1, 2006


I started the new year out with a bike ride this morning. The temperature outside was quite nice. The wind...not so nice.

From home, I headed south into Loveland and had a fantastic 25 MPH tailwind. I was trying to enjoy it as best as I could, because I knew it would suck on the way back. After I turned around and north, the wind shifted and became a strong cross wind with some very strong gusts. I was regularly leaning as hard as I could into the wind to stay upright. Eventually, one extremely strong gust came up and pushed the bike out from under me then blew it another 5 feet off the road. Now that's some strong wind. I, of course, went down hard. I scraped up my knuckles on one hand, and banged up the pinkie on another. I also mush have hit the side of my knee on the way down, because it's feeling pretty sore. It was a hard, bloody half hour ride back to the house.

Happy New Year!