Monday, December 31, 2007


For those of you that are looking for some ideas of documentaries to watch, Kevin Kelly (founder of Wired) has put together an eBook of "200 documentaries you must see before you die". Since we've gotten a Netflix membership, we've been on the lookout for good documentaries, and this book is chock full of suggestions.

Some time ago, my brother turned me on to Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools list. It's a list of, well, cool tools. In Kevin Kelly's own words:

Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it. Items can be either old or new as long as they are wonderful. We only post things we like and ignore the rest. Suggestions for tools much better than what is recommended here are always wanted.

It's a list worth putting on your RSS reader, as are some of his other online publications. Or you can get a conglomeration of all his blogs with Kevin Kelly's lifestream.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Furry Christmas

We've been watching a couple friends' dogs for Christmas, and tonight we decided to torture them for our own viewing pleasure:

We laughed so hard we cried as we tried to get them to sit still long enough for that picture. I don't feel too bad tormenting them though, because they've been having all sorts of fun terrorizing the house together. Here's Kuzca wrestling with her friend Zeke:

More pictures on Flickr.

Monday, December 17, 2007

New Year, New Job

Following in the footsteps of Shana and Tyler, I too have decided to change jobs. Is it something in the air? Starting January 7th, I’ll be working for Avago Technologies in their ASIC design lab.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Xmas tree

Look, we're all festive and stuff:

The best part is that it's rosemary, so I can eat it when we're done.

History of Programming

Good morning geeks.

This page has a cool timeline of programming languages from Fortran to Java:

O'Reilly also makes a color version.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bread In A Can

I'm sure this type of thing has been around for a while, but I just stumbled on it while looking for some baked beans:
Bread In A Can

It tastes how you would expect some bread from a can to taste. But it's still better than Vegemite.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snow Day

It took all the way until the middle of December, but Christine and I finally got our ski season kicked off today at Winter Park. Our original plan was to stay closer to home and go to Eldora, but we made an early morning decision to check out some of the 6 inches that Winter Park was reporting.

It was a rough ride down from Fort Collins, with fog and slick roads all the way down I-25. In the end, it took us 3 hours to get to the resort and we were second guessing our decision to go to Winter Park. Once we got onto the snow, however, we were glad we came.

I'm used to ski resort over reporting their snow totals, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a full 6 inches (and then some) on the the slopes. Unbelievable conditions today. From the first run to the last, we were skiing through knee deep powder. Beautiful.

Sure beats work!

2007-12-12_01_christine rejoices in the snow

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Smart Playlists

I learned something new about the smart playlists on my iPod yesterday.

I have a smart playlist called "New Podcasts" which, as you would expect, contains all the podcasts that I haven't listened to yet. The rules are were:

Podcast is true
Play Count is less than 1

This correctly created the playlist for me, but when I would finish a podcast they weren't disappearing from the list (even though their play count no longer fits the criteria). It turns out that some playlist rules keep the live updating from working. My new smart playlist rules are:

Genre contains Podcast
Play Count is less than 1

Now my podcasts are correctly removed from the playlist after I listen to them.

Bored yet?

(I found out about this here.)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Kuzca's Birthday

In honor of Kuzca's 6th birthday, I uploaded some puppy pictures. There are more up on Flickr.





Sunday, November 25, 2007

Toledo Wrapup

We’re back from a whirlwind week in Toledo. It had been over a year since we were in Toledo, and it was fun to catch up with friends and family.

The Thanksgiving table gets bigger every year. It started out as an extension that my uncle built to fit on top of his dining room table. Later it became its own standalone table and was big enough that it had to be set up in the garage. Now it’s big enough to accommodate 30 people, and even has a train that drives around delivering olives and pickles. (The train is a bit extraneous, but it’s fun.)

Friday night, mom had an early birthday party for me and invited my friends over for snacks and drinks. After we were sufficiently warmed up at home, a few of us went out for some karaoke. We, of course, lit the place up with our vocal stylings.

I forget how lucky I am here to have a lot of great beers to choose from when I go out. It was a little rough when the bars we went to only carried Bud, Bud Light, etc. I don’t want to be a beer snob, but I really like beer. And since I try not to drink much while I’m training, I like those beer “splurges” to be with tasty beer.

I will, however, take a poor beer selection over a pretentious bar. One of the bars we went to made me want to gouge my eyes out due to the massive douche-baggery of the clientele and staff. I’m glad we were only there for a short while before heading to a smoky towny bar to play some darts. Oddly enough, despite the statewide smoking ban in effect in Ohio, 2 out of the 3 bars we went to had numerous smokers.



Joe with a sketchy burrito:

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Christine and I shared some good food, good wine, and good times with Livia, Shana, and Jason last night. We wouldn't normally test out new recipes on our unsuspecting friends, but I'm glad we gave it a shot last night because everything turned out great. Good food is always better when you can share it with good friends, and last night we had both.

The menu was
  • Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Sage Maple Glaze

  • Steamed Broccoli

  • Lots of miscellaneous cookies for dessert

We've never made tortellini before, and man were these things good. The assembly took some time, but it gave Christine and Livia some time to chat as they folded up some wonton wrappers and I prepared some other stuff. The pork marinade was a last minute decision as we looked to find something that would match the flavors of the tortellini well.

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

(Recipe from the Food Network)

Squash Tortellini:
1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 package small wonton wrappers

Brown Butter Sauce:
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or mixture of both
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To make the tortellini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On a foil-lined baking sheet toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the crushed amaretti cookies, the nutmeg, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth. The tortellini filling can be made one day ahead.

To make the tortellini, lay out 6 wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place 1 tablespoon of squash mixture in the middle of each skin. Dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air pockets inside. Dampen the two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure. Place the formed tortellini on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Before laying out another 6 wonton sheets, be careful to dry the work surface. This will help keep tortellini from sticking to the baking sheet. Continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used. There should be approximately 36 tortellini. (The tortellini can be formed, frozen on the baking sheet, transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to six months. To cook, simply toss the frozen ravioli into the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)

To make the sauce and serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.

Add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with salt, and pepper.

Stir to combine. Then, gently place the tortellini in the boiling water and gently stir. When they begin to float they are done, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon the tortellini onto a serving platter, Top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Sage Maple Glaze

(Recipe from here)

3 pork tenderloins, about 1 pound each
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Combine salt, white pepper, garlic, butter, maple syrup, Dijon, fresh sage and vinegar in food processor and whirl until smooth. Place pork in a shallow pan and pour half of the marinade over top. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Toss the sliced vegetables with some of the remaining marinade.

Remove pork from marinade and discard marinade. Pre-heat the grill to medium high heat and lay the vegetables on one side of the grill. Turn the vegetables and baste them with marinade as they brown and begin to char.

Quickly sear tenderloins on all sides. This will take 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and grill pork over indirect heat until cooked through and still pink inside to an internal temperature of 140-150E F, or about 20 to 30 minutes, brushing with reserved marinade every 10 minutes to form a nice glaze. The pork should still be slightly pink inside.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

On the Cross (and other Saturday adventures)

Saturday Christine and I ventured down to Highlands Ranch for the On The Cross CX race. It was a very fun course and I finished 30th out of 60. One thing is certain: I stink at starts. Even though I started in the second row, I was just about at the back within 100 yards. I guess it didn't help that the start grid was 20 people wide. This was a really good race for me because it forced me to work on some things I'm not good at (like loose off-camber corners, and loose corners in general), and I could feel myself getting better as the race went on. That's a great feeling.

Afterwards, Christine and I got our shopping on at Park Meadows Mall. Oddly enough, we ran into Ashley as we were wandering around. Strange since neither of us ever go to that mall.

After dealing with the supreme douchbaggery of Highlands Ranch we mustered up enough strength to go to REI. We bought a new tent earlier this year (the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL3), and we just weren't ultimately happy with it. I won't go into detail, but there were a number of things we weren't happy with. One of the reasons I continue to shop at REI (even after they banned dogs) is their 100% satisfaction return policy. We took our tent back, and did some shopping for a new one. We're going to get a Black Diamond Skylight, but we're going to wait until we get a 20% off coupon because it's pretty pricey. Laura - if any of your REI cohorts have anything good or bad to say about the Skylight, I'd love to know before I pick one up.

I saw someone at REI with a Mountain Madness Everest 2004 jacket on, so I felt the need to talk to him. We recently listened to the audio book of No Shortucts To The Top by Ed Viesturs , so I was familiar with the Mountain Madness name. We didn't talk much, but the guy did say he make it to the top and that the sherpas are amazing. He made it back with all his fingers and toes and he said he'd do it again. It's kind of cool to talk to someone who's been to the top of the world. I'd love to know what that kind of thing costs and I'm kicking myself for not asking him.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

E Book

This is a repeat from last year, but I think it's worth mentioning again.

Colorado people, pick up an "E" Book coupon book from King Soopers (or various other outlets, including the Eduproject web site). At $10, it's a real bargain, and you're helping to support education in Colorado. (Unfortunately, their website doesn't contain information on the disbursement of funds, so I have no idea how much goes to "the cause". I've emailed them about that. It does make me a little uneasy when they say that some of the money goes to "select" non-profits.)

If nothing else, each book has 4 $5 coupons for groceries, so you already come out $10 ahead. Assuming you buy groceries of course. Last year, the 2 for 1 Loveland Pass coupons saved us a bundle too. There are also 2 for 1 Copper/Winter Park coupons.

You can get a full list of the offers here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


It's about the time of year for New Belgium's raspberry brown ale, Frambozen. When we didn't see it at the liquor store I got a little impatient and I called the brewery this afternoon. It turns out they just tapped it today. I just couldn't wait for the bottles to show up in the stores, so Christine and I took our growler over to the brewery after work and filled it up with some super fresh Frambozen. Man that stuff is good.

It's great to live near that brewery. In addition to the regular beers, they also have experimental brews that you can only get in the tasting room. Today we had a new Belgian trippel and a pale ale. Both very good. And we also learned that mixing 1554 with Frambozen is a good thing.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Weekend report

Christine covered most of it, but it was a busy weekend.

With a freshly shave mustache, Christine and I drove down to the Boulder Reservoir for a cyclocross race. In addition to the usual Blue Sky crew, I had a rocking cheering section including the Dyers, Livia, and Christine (and Kuzca). I wanted to do well in this race and be a little more aggressive in moving to the front of field so the cheering section would have something to scream about. In the end, it just wasn't to be. I had a poor start, and got stuck behind a lot of congestion. It's a bummer to be stuck in a traffic jam while the leaders of the race are speeding away. It wasn't a particularly good course for me because I suck at riding loose gravel and sand. Something to work on I guess. It was also hard to pass people, because if you got off the racing line, you were likely to get a tire full of goatheads. In the end, I got somewhere around 54th place. I did manage to beat someone in a sprint to the line, and that was fun. Although, it's kind of funny to sprint for 54th place.

The rest of the day went something like this: Lunch, watching the elite men race, watching Christine and Livia climb, Williams-Sonoma, Sushi, Dancing, zzzzzz. Tiring day, but fun.

Sunday I did some stuff around the house before riding down to another cyclocross race on my motorcycle with Owen. It was quite windy on the way down, which is unsettling on a bike. The race was good (Trebon ran away with it), and I took a lot of pictures.

All good things must come to an end, and now I'm faced with the prospect of going to work again tomorrow. Oh well. It pays the bills.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Cross Eyed

Time for some more cyclocross racing. This weekend there are two big races in Boulder. And by big, I mean the top pro's will be coming in from around the country and even from abroad. I'm going to at least race Saturday and would love any and all additions to the Blue Sky Velo cheering section.
Need something more reasons to come out?

  • I know you don't like me, but Christine will be there too

  • If Christine isn't your style either, Livia will be there (fresh off her latest food-poisoning diet)

  • A lot of guys in spandex

  • 100% chance of watching other people suffer

  • 100% chance of seeing me with an awful mustache. (I got lazy with the shaving and decided to shave the facial hair into a 'stache for my next race.)

  • A fun, festive atmosphere at the Boulder Reservoir

  • If you like food or climbing, you can do that afterwards with us

My race start is at 10:10AM, and I'll be doing laps around the course for about 45 minutes. More race info (including directions) can be found here.

Sloppy Joes

I don't know how it started, but we always had sloppy joes for dinner on Halloween when I was younger. Maybe it was because it was an easy meal to cook before the Halloween madness ensued.

Rest assured mom, Christine and I had sloppy joes last night. We skipped the Manwhich this time and made it from scratch using some of our beef.

To the wine drinkers

How green is your bottle of red?
What is the greener option, in terms of carbon footprint, for a hypothetical wine-drinking citizen of Ohio: a California merlot from Napa county, a cheap Australian bottle of Yellow Tail shiraz, or a French bordeaux?

Also linked in the article, is this paper:
Red, White, and "Green": The Cost of Carbon in the Global Wine Trade(PDF)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Word Games

Kill time, learn new words, and help feed some people all at once:

For each word you get correct, they donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations. They're up to 477,995,590 since they started earlier this month.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Busy weekend

Our weekend started out after work on Friday with a trip to Denver.

Monday, October 22, 2007

CX results

I managed to get 44th out of 100+. Sweet, I'm in the top 50%. Only 43 more people to pass before I start winning. And if that doesn't work out, I can always work on my calf modeling career:

Yikes. Looks like those horse steroids I've been taking are doing to trick.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boulder Cyclocross

Today was my second cyclocross race. On today's menu was the a course at Interlocken that consisted of a lot of grass, some sand, and a deep stream crossing. The Senior Men cat 4 field was huge, with something like 110 people. As I'm not too concerned about placing well, I started pretty much on the back row and just worked my way up the whole race. Not only is it more relaxing for me that way, but it's quite fun passing people the whole race.

My team (Blue Sky Velo showed up in force today and set up a tent near one of the major course features. Also making the trip out to watch some pain in action were John and Annette Dyer. I can't even begin to tell you how great it is when your friends show up and cheer for you at a race. If you're miserable on the whole rest of the course, you can at least look forward to riding by your friends cheering you on, as well as taking jabs at you when they can.

I'm not sure where I ended up finishing (they'll post the full results in a couple days), but I had a good time riding around outside. Plus, I kept the rubber side down which is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Grand Canyon Part 3 - Roadtrip home

After we left the canyon, we drove to Page, AZ. Not exactly your hippest town in the world, and I wouldn't recommend it for your next vacation destination. Christine and I started our road trip with a stop in the Glen Canyon Dam visitor center. There's a lot of controversy surrounding that dam (and the amazing canyon that they flooded) and it was really lame that they didn't mention it in *any* of the educational displays. The dam and the Lake Powell have done a lot of great things for the area, but to not even address any of the controversy is completely dumb.

After Page, we drove up to Durango via Monument Valley. Monument Valley is pretty cool, but I must admit that it would have been way more impressive if we had stopped there before we experienced the awesome scenery of the Grand Canyon.

2007-10-05_06_monument valley

We stopped in the small town of Bluff, UT for some lunch and we stumbled on the type of road food place that I imagine when I think of a road trip. It's no gourmet cuisine, by the old lady that was running the place solo cooked up a tasty ham and cheese.

2007-10-05_17_dairy cafe, bluff, ut

Note the "Beer to go only" sign
2007-10-05_13_dairy cafe, bluff, ut - beer to go

On the last day of our trip, we drove from Durango back to Fort Collins. The drive from Durango to Ouray is pretty spectacular. The low clouds and moisture in the air made for some cool sights, although they were difficult to capture with a camera. We stopped in Silverton for a bit and checked out some shops. One of the places we stopped was a combination coffee/bike shop. What a great idea. I could probably pass the time in a town like Silverton playing with bikes while Christine serves up coffee...

2007-10-06_08_view driving between durango and silverton

2007-10-06_14_view down valley into ouray

We also stopped in Montrose for a bit to shop at the farmers market and find some lunch. We found a great place called Daily Bread and enjoyed some great breakfast food for lunch.

2007-10-06_19_breakfast at daily bread in montrose, co

It was a great trip, but it's always nice to get back home.

Grand Canyon Part 2 - In the Canyon

If it's not the hardest day hike I've ever done, I bet it's pretty darn close. Conceptually, having gravity help you down a canyon seems like a good idea, but in all actuality it takes a lot of leg strength to slow yourself down. The canyon profile looks something like step-slope-step-slope.... and the way you get down the step portions is be zig-zagging down rockslides that occur in a weakness in the step.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Grand Canyon Part 1 - Roadtrip to the Canyon

I've been looking forward to our Grand Canyon backpacking trip since I got the permit in June, and finally the time arrived. We spent Friday night packing up the car with all our backpacking gear plus our roadtrip stuff, and Kuzca was none too happy about her backpack not coming up from the basement. She pouted all evening and into the next morning, but I think she forgave us when after our her dog friend showed up for a week of playing.

We rolled out of the house Saturday morning and started driving west without much of a plan. We figured we'd try to make it to Bryce on the first of our two driving days, but we agreed that we didn't really care if we stopped earlier. We've driven I-70 across the state numerous times, but I can't remember ever doing it in the fall. It was a pleasent surprise to see all the aspens changing into their autumn golden colors.

Aspens along I-70
2007-09-29_02_fall colors along i-70

After we got into Utah, we got off the main highway and took some smaller roads and drove through Capitol Reef National Park and Escalante Staircase before making it to Bryce in the evening. Having not made any advance plans, we didn't have any reservations. We figured that it'd be no problem this late in the year, but we were quite wrong. Long story short, we ended up staying about 20 miles away in Panguich.

The next morning, we got up really early and drove into Bryce Canyon National Park to catch the sunrise. It was super cold (25 degrees), but we put on our down jackets and braved it until the sun started peeking up over the horizon. Totally worth it. From Bryce we drove over to Zion with a quick stop for some pie in Mount Carmel Junction. Just in case you go some time, the pie at the Thunderbird Cafe is really good. The pie at the dive across the street sucks. A few years ago, the park service closed one of Zion's roads to normal traffic. Instead, they have a shuttle that takes visitors around. It's a cool idea because it cuts down on traffic an polution, but I must admit it felt a little weird to be taking a bus tour. There were plenty of stops where you could get out and walk around, but we unfortunately didn't have much time. It'd be nice to go back sometime and hike around.

Bryce at sunrise
2007-09-30_16_bryce canyon national park - inspiration point

Thunderbird Restaurant
2007-09-30_34_thunderbird restaurant - mount carmel junction, ut

From Zion, we drove to Kanab ,UT to meet up with Owen and Erin at the Rocking V Cafe. Cheesy name, but really good food. And they're open on Sunday in a town where everything else was shut down. We enjoyed our last meal in civilization and then drove down to trailhead at the edge of the rim in the Kaibab National Forest.

View from Crazy Jug Point on the Grand Canyon rim
2007-09-30_45_grand canyon national park - view from crazy jug point

Grand Canyon

I'm working on getting all my photos organized from our Grand Canyon trip, and I'm hoping to have some stuff on LJ this evening. (I need to hurry up and get it posted before Jamie gets back from Italy and puts our little week long desert trip to shame.)

Pumpkin Carving

HP and the World Wildlife Federation put some endangered species pumpkin stencils online:

Go forth, and carve away.

Friday, September 28, 2007

On the road again

We're all packed up and ready to hit the road tomorrow morning. I'm looking forward to both the road trip and the backpacking trip. Stay tuned for photos...

Free Colorado shirt

This one comes from my dad:

If you go to that site, you can select a T-shirt and then go pick it up at one of the Colorado welcome centers. I picked one up today.

Where's the Beef?

A couple of Christine's friends raise cattle, and the 1/4 cow we bought from them this year just arrived.

It's all free range, grass fed raised just outside of Fort Collins. We've had steaks at their house before, and they were really good. We don't eat all the much meat, but having some high quality meat around will change that I'm sure.


Apparently I need to work on bunny hopping curbs. At my cyclcocross practice on Tuesday, part of our course went up and over a curb. I've hopped curbs countless times, but I managed to screw this one up at like 15 miles an hour. My front wheel didn't clear the curb, and you can imagine how that went. The bike is perfectly fine, because I took most of the impact on my shoulder. It was super sore the next day, but it feels like it's gradually getting better. Hopefully I can sling a backpack over my shoulder soon, or it's going to be a long trip down into the Grand Canyon on Monday.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This is pretty fun. It's a 9V battery powered VW Van toy with a built in speaker. It has a needle on the bottom and plays a record by driving around it.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

First Cyclocross Race

Today I drove down to Colorado Springs with a teammate for my first cyclocross race. Long story short, I finished 16th today out of 30 or 40 people. I'm pretty happy with that and I'm pretty happy with the fact that I could feel my skills getting better as the race went on. In particular, I was getting better riding in some of the loose dirt through corners. My dismounts need some work, but by the end of the race I was really nailing the one run-up on the course.

Cyclocross has some advantages over road racing:
  • More laid back atmosphere (mostly because there's not multiple fields of 100 people trying to register at the same time)

  • My races only last 45 minutes. It's 45 minutes of high intensity, but it's only 45 minutes.

  • The start time for my category isn't until after noon. Even though I had to drive all the way to Colorado Springs, I didn't have to leave my house until 8. Sure beats getting up at 4AM to do a flat road race in the middle of nowhere.

  • I'm more relaxed because I realize that I'm doing these races for fun and I'm not too concerned about my results.

  • I can drink a couple glasses of wine the night before a race. (See also previous bullet.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Small World

After cyclocross practice this week a teammate and I were chatting as we rode back to the car and he said something about being from Ohio. It turns out that he's from Toledo (my home town). That's relatively unusual. So then he asks where I went to high school, and we went to the same high school. Even more unusual. I tell him what year I graduated and it turns out that we were actually both at the same high school at the same time (he was a senior when I was a freshman). That's extremely unusual.

Of course, being the good teammate that I am, I went right home, dug out a yearbook, and sent his high school picture to our whole team.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tent for sale

If any of my outdoor-type friends are looking for a tent, I'm selling my Sierra Designs Hyperlight AST. We replaced it this year with a larger one.

I actually think it's a better tent than our current one, but it's not big enough for both of us plus the dog. I don't know what a fair price is. $100? It's still in great shape. I bet it's been used maybe 6-10 nights. It packs down pretty small, and is super sturdy. Set-up is super easy. Comes with footprint too.

More pictures on Flickr. Let me know if you're interested. I'll probably put it on eBay in the next day or so.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

1st anniversary trip to the American Lakes

The first camping trip Christine and i took together was to the American Lakes way back in 2004 (my lj post from back then). It seemed fitting that we spend our 1st anniversary at the same camp site.

I'm too lazy to write much but here are a few pictures and there are more on flickr

A self portrait:

Ther American Lakes are close to Thunder Pass, which is on the border to Rocky Mountain National Park. I haven't been to RMNP in years because they don't allow dogs. Her's Kuzca breaking the rules by entering RMNP at Thunder Pass:

We made a tasty lunch with salami, spinach, avocado, cheese, and cheddar bunnies:

1 year

One year ago today:

I can't believe it's been a year already. And what a great year it's been!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Emmaline Lake

For most of the holiday weekend, we stuck around the house and avoided the crowds. I even went in to work on Saturday while Christine rode her bike. (Don't worry, I'll make up for that time by checking out early on Friday.) On Monday we decided to venture out and head for the hills for a day hike to Emmaline Lake.

Emmaline Lake is in the Comanche Peak Wilderness area, and it's a lake I've wanted to visit for several years now. We were considering a backpacking trip there this year, but you can't camp anywhere near the lake so it was a good candidate for a day hike.

We started the hike under sunny skies, but some clouds quickly rolled in and brought some rain. It's pleasently unusual to be hiking in the rain in Colorado, and we found a nice place to hang out and watch the rain come down. The whole route was suprisingly damp for Colorado and there had clearly been a lot of rain up there lately. In addition to the mud, there was also a lot more mushrooms than I've ever seen in Colorado.

Most of the trail was a moderate uphill, but the last mile or so got steep and rocky. We weren't moving too fast, and that was a good thing because the rain had made the rocks and exposed roots very slippery. The skies cleared up when we got to Cirque Lake (below Emmaline), and it stayed clear long enough for us to make the quick trip up to Emmaline and snap some photos. After that, the rain came back and we just trekked the 6 miles back to the trailhead at a fairly brisk pace.

More pictures on Flickr

Monday, August 27, 2007

Out of season gear

It's hard to think about snow sports when you're picking bugs out of your teeth from your latest ride in triple digit weather. Maybe it's been the recent cool nights, or the rapidly approaching cyclocross season, but I've thought about my equipment needs for the winter season and I need some suggestions.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bourne again

Christine and I went and saw the Bourne Ultimatum tonight. Pretty good movie with lots of action, as you would expect. It's been a while since I've seen the second one, but if I remember correctly this one has the same type of camera work. It's kind of shakey (maybe shot handheld without a steadicam?), and it makes the whole thing feel more tense. The director really loves an over the shoulder shot where you're behind one person looking at another and the view is partially obscured by the first persons back and shoulder. I lost count of how many times they used that shot.

A couple comments:

There's a VW commercial where they mention some role of VW's in the movie. They're there, but I wouldn't exactly brag about it. I don't think it's a good commercial when someone hotwires your car in 3 seconds, or when your car is demolished but an airbag never goes off. Not that I expect things to be too realistic in the movie, but still...

I had to laugh when the CIA-esque chief walks into a cramped room full of worker bees and huge television screens that seem to be able to display anything at a moments notice. The dialog always goes something like: "Drop everything. This is super-duper top priority. I need you to find out everything about Person X and be so inside their head that you'll know their next move before they do. Quick, somebody put the take-out menu for In-n-Out on screen 1 immediately..." I would love to see a scene like that where the worker bee interrupts the commander before he can open his mouth and says "Alright. We get it. You need all sorts of info."

Good movie though. Go see it.

(I was just looking at movie reviews and say this hillarious comment from a negative reviewer: "Director Paul Greengrass insists on utilizing cameramen with Parkinson's disease and editors more concerned with celluloid masturbation than continuity.")

1000 miles

In April my mom awoke her bike from its winter slumber and made a goal to ride 1000 miles over the summer. She accomplished that goal at the beginning of August. Way to go mom! Truely an iron butt worthy accomplishment.

Christine and I made her a commerative plaque:
Mom's 1000 mile plaque

Roadie makes good on dirt

I did my first mountain bike race of the year yesterday at finale of Winter Park's summer series on the 25 mile Tipperary Creek point to point course.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


We just bought a new washer recently, but maybe I should have waited for the Cyclean.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Road trip

We're hiking in the Grand Canyon in October (awesome!), and our hiking permit is for Monday-Thursday. This means that we have some weekend days on either end of the trip for road tripping. We'll probably check out Bryce and Zion since they're kind of on the way and pretty cool. Got any suggestions for other places to visit? We'll have some time to kill, so I figure we can check out things in southern Utah, northern Arizona, or northern New Mexico. Of course we like tree-huggin' kind of stuff, but I'm also envisioning cheezy roadside tourist attractions (e.g. World's Largest Ball of Yarn).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Copper Lake , Crested Butte

2007-08-18_17_copper lake
I've always heard that Crested Butte is a beautiful place, but I had never actually been there until last weekend. Christine and I took Friday off to go backpacking to Copper Lake.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Wikipedia says: Cyclo-cross (sometimes Cyclocross, CX, cyclo-X or 'cross) is a form of bicycle racing. Races take place typically in the autumn and winter, and consists of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5  km or 1.5–2  mile) course featuring pavement,wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike whilst navigating the obstruction and remount in one graceful motion.


That's my new Specialized Tricross cyclocross bike. I'm excited to go play in the cyclocross races this fall. I rode my new bike into work today and it was great to have a bike that can run over so much more stuff than my road bike. It was more like riding a bike through the neighborhood as a kid: riding through grass, off curbs, through gravel. Good fun.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I used to be...

A UK (Remarkable)company is making products from recycled materials that tell you what they used to be. While I highly doubt that they can say only a certain type of recycled material went into the product, I still think it's a fun idea. I want a pencil bag that says "I used to be a dirty diaper", or maybe a pint glass that says "I used to be your hippie neighbor's bong".

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me

The NPR program Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! was in Boulder last night to tape this week's show and Christine, Shana, and I attended.

The taping was at the Chautauqua Auditorium, which is essentially a very large barn in Chautauqua park. (For those who came to the wedding, Chautauqua is where we did our hike.) Even with some light drizzle, it was quite a warm evening. The barn doesn't have AC.

Being at the live taping you get to see all the things that don't make the radio show. The version you hear on NPR always comes off so flawless sounding, but there's a lot of stuff that gets edited out of the final cut. Hopefully they cut out as much of Kyrie O'Connor's dialog as possible. I never realized how unfunny she is. She was terrible.

The most entertaining portion of the show for me was the "Not My Job" segment. The guest was Kevin Fitzgerald, a vet from Denver who has been on several Animal Planet shows as well as being a former bouncer for bands like The Rolling Stones. He kind of has a Tommy Chong sounding voice and drawl and he was pretty entertaining.

It's always interesting to see the people that you've only heard on the radio before. I think Shana now has a crush on Peter Sagal. I don't know if that is in place of or in addition to her voice crush of Carl Kassell.

Vélib - Paris bike program

A few weeks ago, Paris unleashed 10,000 self-service bicycles on the city for public use. With a €29 yearly subscription you get a free half hour use of a bike every day, or you can purchase a day pass for €1 and take a bike around Paris.

So far it sounds like it's working. According to this article in the London Times, the bikes have been borrowed 1.2 million times in the first 3 weeks. The program is not without it's difficulties. Some bikes have been vandalized and stolen. It's amusing that the bike stations on the downhill sides are crowded with bikes because people will pick up a bike uphill and coast down. I wonder if they have some way to re-allocate bikes to the 750 Vélib stations throughout the town.

Hopefully they can become a model for other large cities as a way to reduce traffic congestion.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Fort Collins has a new cinema/cafe called the Lyric Cinema Cafe. It's a small place with 2 screens and you can grab a beer and some light food while you watch some independent and foreign films.

Last night Christine went and saw Once. I really liked this movie and would recommend you go out and see it (or put it on your Netflix queue if that's your deal). The theater itself is pretty plain. No stadium seating, so for shorties like us that means making sure we don't go to a crowded showing. If movie seats aren't your thing, they also have some couches. I think they should replace every other row of seats with tables (like they do at the Alamo Draft House). As it is, there's no place to set your beer, and I don't know what you'd do if you got a pitcher or some food. It also helps alleviate the problem of having someone tall sit in front of you.

Testing Waterproof

I decided to ride my bike to work yesterday morning because I was up early enough to beat the heat and the forecast wasn't showing rain. It was a really nice ride in with cool weather and little traffic and I made it to work in a little over 20 minutes.

The weather forecast changed throughout the day, and eventually there was some rain moving in. A few minutes after leaving work it starting sprinkling rain and got steadily harder all the way home. By the time I got close to home, the rain was coming down with face pelting hardness and I could barely see. I was soaked and it was actually fun to be riding around. I was riding with my Timbuk2 messenger bag and this was about as good a test for its waterproof-ness as anything. There ended up being a few drops in the bottom of my bag, but everything else was dry. I'm not sure how the water got in there, but it may have been road spray sneaking past the top flap. Overall, pretty impressed.

Kuzca usually gets all excited when I get home after work but yesterday she stood back when she saw the water dripping off me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gear Engine

And you thought you wasted time on Steep And Cheap. Check out New gear every 3 minutes. You can sell your own gear on Gear Engine too.


We finally broke down last night and got an LCD monitor to replace our 17" tube. I'm glad I waited for the prices to go down because Best Buy had a 22" Westinghouse widescreen on sale this week. It looks great and takes up way less desk space. If nothing else, it was nice to carry the monitor up to my desk with one hand. Try doing that with a CRT.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

LJ-cut in RSS readers

Does anybody know how to get a LJ-cut to work for RSS feeds? My last post had stuff behind a LJ-cut, but anyone who is reading on an RSS reader gets the whole post.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Deathly Hallows

I finally finished reading the new Harry Potter book (Christine had to help me sound out some of the bigger words). It was good and all, but I could have done without the Hollywood/Happily Ever After ending. I think it would have been way more compelling to end it with the chapter where Voldemort "kills" Harry.

I was put off by how contrived things were in this book. It was like Rowling was inventing the rules that govern that world in order to build a story, which I guess is one of the nice things about writing about a fictional world. The loopholes in the wizarding "physics" (that somehow hardly anybody in all the years of wizarding had figured out) was hack. Maybe I'm no fun and that's why I prefer non-fiction on the rare occasion that I actually pick up a book.

I don't know how the Harry Potter licensing works, but I would expect to see some spin-off books involving the children in that were introduced in the (shiny, happy) epilogue. And I wouldn't be surprised to see a prequel (a great way to rehash beloved characters that got axed in the last installment).

Friday, August 3, 2007

High and Dry

Wow, did it ever rain last night. Christine and I (and Kuzca) have a dog training class in a park on Thursday nights. It started raining on our way there, and when it didn't look like it was going to let up, the class was canceled.

On our way home, it start raining harder than I've ever seen. On top of that, it was really really windy. There were a couple times when I couldn't even see two feet in front of me. And then there were the trucks driving by that throw a huge wave of water on car windows.

Kuzca isn't a fan of rain. She's not scared of it, she just doesn't like getting wet. It's pretty funny. She just wanted to hang in the back of my car until the rain stopped.

I didn't see any damage around my house, but on the way into work I saw a huge tree limb that had fallen over. There were literally rivers running down my street and this morning I saw the small landscaping rocks from one yard had been carried all the way down the road (and around the corner).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fun in the sun

The Environmental Working Group did an interesting investigation of sunblock:

In a new investigation of 785 name-brand sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found widespread evidence that many products on the market are not safe and effective, including one of every eight high-SPF sunscreens that does not protect from UVA radiation. We have also identified 130 products that offer very good sun protection with ingredients that present minimal health risks to users.

Check out the data here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I'm joining the Flickr world. I've had a free account for a while, but I just upgraded to a Pro account. You can check out my Flickr photos here.

Backpacking - Twin Crater Lakes

I had never been to the Rawah Wilderness before last weekend. The reason we ended up there for a backpacking trip was because I looked on a map and found some lakes to check out. The destination: Twin Crater Lakes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back to the Canyon

Recently my request for a backcountry permit in the Grand Canyon was granted, so we're going back in October with a couple friends. We're hiking down to Deer Creek Falls, which is a place we went to on my raft trip. While we were there on the raft trip, we saw a couple backpackers and I thought that would be a really cool place to hike down to. I'm totally excited.

We're going to hike down one day, hang out the next, and then take a couple days to hike out. Since our permit is good for Monday-Thursday in the canyon, we also have a weekend on either end to take a nice leisurely road trip there and back. We're going to try to hit some other parks like Bryce and Zion. We're open to suggestions if anyone knows of some cool things to see in that area.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


One of my coworkers has a Slingbox. Essentially, it takes video from his TV and streams it over a network. What that means is I can use his TV to watch the Tour de France while I'm working at my desk. No that's my kind of multitasking.

Home for the holidays

Christine and I just booked plane tickets to come home for Thanksgiving. We'll be there 11/18 (late) - until 11/24. Ah, vacation in Ohio in November. Dreamy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I was Christine's personal SAG (supplies an gear) vehicle yesterday during the Triple Bypass. I had a cooler full of cold drinks and a bag full of gear to keep her ready for any weather. I also had my own gear so I could ride along with her as much as possible.

I dropped her off at the start area early in the morning and then drove down I-70 to the Georgetown aid station. From Georgetown I geared up and and rode the opposite direction on the course until I found her. I ended up making it almost all the way up to Echo Lake before we crossed paths. We rode down into Idaho Springs and on to Georgetown together. After a bite to eat in Georgetown, we continued west.

When I did the ride a couple years ago, I remember the stretch from Idaho Springs to Loveland ski resort being a tiring uphill drag and I wanted to ride as much of that as possible with Christine. After leaving Georgetown, the route follows along some bike paths and frontage roads for a while before getting onto the shoulder of I-70. I rode almost up to I-70 with her and then turned around so I could get the car and meet her at Loveland resort. I would have loved to ride the whole way to Loveland with her, but that would mean I'd eventually have to ride back on I-70 alone and it didn't seem like a good idea.

The timing worked out well because Christine got to the ski resort a minute or two after I parked the car. I got back on my bike and rode with her up to the top of Loveland Pass. They had a camera man up there, so hopefully there will be a good picture of us together. I said goodbye to her atop Loveland Pass met her again briefly at the Summit County High School Aid Station before driving up to the top of Vail Pass. I hopped on my bike again on Vail Pass and rode down to meet Christine at Copper Mountain.

Of the 3 passes Vail is the easiest, but after almost 100 miles of riding, it's plenty hard. It's a great feeling to pull into the Vail Pass aid station because you know you've ridden about 100 miles, and the remaining 20 miles are all downhill. I said goodbye to Christine one final time and then met her at the finish.

At the end of the day, I had actually ridden 80 miles in between shuttling the car and riding with Christine.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Third times a charm

Christine rode the Triple Bypass today, start to finish. She dug deep into her suitcase of courage to conquer this very difficult course, and I'm proud of her for taking it on..

Christine got her hot new Blue Sky kit earlier this week:

Even after 120 miles and 10,310 feet of climbing, she still looks amazingly chipper: