Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Jamie and Tyler's Wedding

Livia is always good for a funny face

John demonstrates proper ear cleaning technique

Does anyone *ever* look as smooth as Jason?

Ryan B knows how to make an entrance.

I think Jamie is about to eat Christine

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Picnic

After a nice long ride this morning, Christine and I went up into the Poudre Canyon for a little picnic. One of Christine's friends got us a picnic set for our wedding, and today seemed like a great day to try it out. We parked the car next to a field, and then walked a short way until we found a nice grassy spot near the river that was perfect for a picnic of bagel sandwiches, mango, and a German Riesling.
cnic, by ryan_l" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryan_l/4420660733/in/set-72157623435134547/">

I love this sequence of Christine and Kuzca playing. I'm so glad they are around for my entertainment.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

In bloom

It's no surprise that Christine and I would rather be riding/climbing/running/etc than digging holes in the yard. It's nice, though, that sometimes the hole digging leads to things blooming.

(The lilacs smell great)

Our autumn purple ash isn't blooming, but it's fun to see the new branches growing.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Whatever happened to free speech?

It started (lately) with the suspension and subsequent firing of Don Imus for jokingly snarking that the players on a women's basketball team were "nappy headed hoes". Now, this isn't something you'd go ahead a say a normal situation, but on a comedy show this type of comment shouldn't be any surprise. (Unless, of course, you’re Al Sharpton and you need to get your face in the news again. I don’t want to get started on how funny it is that people look at him as a leader.) I find it frustrating that CBS radio paid Imus to do an off-the-cuff comedy show, and then doesn't even have the balls to stand up for him against a hypocritical, vocal minority. Since then, other radio talk show hosts have befallen the same fate from spineless management that won’t stand up for the talent that they hire.

A couple years ago I subscribed to XM Satellite radio because they hired a radio duo from New York that I used to listen to before they got fired for a dumb radio stunt. Opie and Anthony are horrible people. Their show is at times racist, offensive, and disgusting. And it makes me laugh; it's my own guilty pleasure. XM was a great platform from them because they were free from the increasingly oppressive FCC rules and oversensitive program directors.

A couple weeks ago Opie and Anthony had a homeless guy on their radio show (there's a story behind that, but it's not worth getting into). While on the show, the homeless guy said some offensive things about having sex with Laura Bush and Condoleeza Rice. The following day at the start of their show, the radio hosts read an apology for comments made on their show.

Last week, the duo was suspended from the XM satellite radio show for 30 days. This is shocking on a number of levels for me. For one thing, they didn't say anything. Ultimately, they're responsible for what's broadcast on their show, but this was tame compared to any number of other things that are said on their show on a daily basis. This kind of censorship was exactly what fans of the show were hoping would be missing on XM. It's why a lot of us put up the money for XM (and even used to pay extra for their show when it was on a "premium" channel).

Did I miss something about the freedom of speech that we enjoy in this country? Do we also have the right to not be offended? I thought sticks and stones could break my bones, but words wouldn’t hurt me. I've got an idea: If you find a show offensive, how about you turn the channel and not listen?

My 2 XM accounts have been cancelled for at least the next month and a lot of other fans are doing the same. XM is offering people 30/60/90 day credits so that they'll keep their subscriptions active. (XM's yearly investor's meeting is coming up and they'd rather not have thousands of lost subscriptions to explain.)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

San Jose

I'm traveling again for work this week. I'm going to a PCI developers conference, and I'm actually looking forward to it.

I don't know what I did to get such bad karma, but for the second trip in a row I'm sitting next to a women with a child on her lap. This one, however, is far more restless than the last one. Again, thanks to Etymotic and iPod for helping block out the vast majority of the noise. (But no amount music can distract me from getting kicked repeatedly.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Always stake

Friday evening we packed up our climbing and camping gear and drove out to meet Livia, Carol, Tyler, and Lauren for a climbing trip at the Monastery. The good thing about car camping is all the extra amenities you can bring. The bad thing about car camping is all the other people.

When we arrived at the camping area there was a small group of high school aged kids hanging out around a pretty large fire. There weren't any other good choices for campsites, so we took it. More kids showed up and we put up with annoying high school kids drinking and screaming the night away.

Despite the lack of sleep, we all rolled out of bed early Saturday in the morning sunshine. The hike to The Monastery is a pretty rough steep up and down roller coaster, but the rock at the end is nice. Between the 6 of us, we had 3 ropes so we were able to get in plenty of climbing even after waiting out an afternoon shower. I stuck to some easy stuff, but Christine went up a really tough looking 5.10.

We learned a good lesson when we got back to the campsite. Always stake down your tent, because even with 3 sleeping pads and sleeping bags it can still blow away. We found our tent about 100 yards down the side of a hill, with our gear strewn about along the way. Amazingly the tent itself was still okay, but the rain fly was ripped up. We ended up recovering all of our stuff except my lip balm (and I'm real broken up about it).

We set the tent back up, ripped rain fly and all. Then we borrowed a rain fly that Carol had in the car and draped it over as much of our tent as we could. It worked for the most part. Shortly after we set everything up, I was in the tent when another storm blew through. I can easily see how the tent blew away now. The winds were really pushing the the side of the tent in, and I was pushing pretty hard to keep it from blowing in too much more. After the rain blew through, we had and amazing double rainbow to look at.

Sunday we decided we were tired enough to not hike around, so we went home and cleaned up all our gear.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

But wait, there's more...

On Monday I sent our systems to my hotel via FedEx *overnight*. They still haven't arrived, but they should be here this morning sometime. So now I get to go to our vendor, come back and pick up our packages, then go back and hopefully make some progress.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Parking at DIA

I'm in the Seattle area for the next couple days on business. My flight back on Thursday night doesn't get into Denver until after 11PM, so I decided to take my own car and park in the garage. Being able to walk out to my car instead of waiting for a shuttle to the rental car dealers means a much quicker departure.

I couldn't believe it when I got to the airport and found out that *both* garages AND *both* economy lots were full. I'll have to check their web site later, but I heard that they had the garages largely closed for maintenance. It also looks like that may be building another garage. I ended up parking in the Pike's Peak shuttle lot. It never ceases to amaze me how full the parking lots at DIA are in general. Even in the middle of the week in a non-holiday season the economy lots are nearly full.

Just to give you some indication of how this trip is going, here is what else is happening:
  • I forgot to do my online checking last night. When I did it before leaving home, I was stuck with a middle seat on this completely full flight

  • In the window seat is a mom with her small child on her lap who frequently likes to reach over and smack my keyboard. Special thanks to my Etymotic headphones for blocking out all the noise while I watched some World Rally action on my laptop.

  • My back is jacked. I was hooking up some sprinklers for our new trees on Monday and I must of tweaked it funny. This airplane seat isn't helping.

I'll try to make up for the hassle by finding a *really* nice place to eat tomorrow. I'm open to sugestions from the PNW'ers.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Lookout Mountain

Another race this weekend: Lookout Mountain Hill Climb. I didn't enter this race with any expectation other than bettering my personal best from last year. I'm fitter than last year, but I was a little fatigued and I ended up around 30 seconds slower than last year. Harumph! I think part of my problem was doing too hard of a warmup. I also haven't ridden the course since last year. I hope to rectify those problems next year.

A trip to the REI Denver Flagship Store

REI is having their anniversary sale this week, and that mean members get 20% of one item. Christine and I stopped by while we were in Denver so we could pick out some new camp cookware. (We went with the stainless steel MSR Alpine Classic. We wanted to avoid the nonstick stuff because it's nice to be able to scrub your pots with sand.) It's hard not to love the flagship store, even when it's a madhouse (and you have to park at the Denver Aquarium just to find a spot). I spent quite a bit of time looking at books for an upcoming backpacking trip and Christine found some new clothes. A good time was had by all.

When you're at the Denver REI there are a couple near by places that you shouldn't neglect. On the opposite corner from REI (Platte and 15th St.) is a place called the Wilderness Exchange. It's a small place, but you can find some great deals there. I think they get overstock or older items from places so they frequently have some good prices. They have a bunch of climbing gear, but I have no idea what's a good price on that stuff. They also have used gear.

After all that shopping at REI and the Wilderness Exchange, you're bound to be hungry. Just around the corner, at 2401 15th St, is Proto's Pizza. They have really good crispy thin crust pizzas and on a nice day it's great to sit outside. (Apparently there are Proto's in Boulder and Longmont too, but I haven't been to those.)