Friday, September 24, 2004

It's beginning to look like ... Halloween!

Another week that just flew by - had fun attending yet another shin-dig at my wife's company where I'm apparently the official BBQ Griller - but the Nathab gang is always fun and I enjoyed talking to guides from all over the world.

Wendy is out this weekend with "the girl's" ... so "the boys" are bach'ing it. She's also gone the following extended weekend for a work trip to Yellowstone - this is probably one of the less interesting places they go to! ;-)

So I'll have my hands full ... but the boys are getting older/easier, and they are going to help me put out my halloween decorations which should be a riot again this year and is the warmup for the infamous christmas lights.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

BBQ this, BBQ that ...

Continuing our burst of social frenzy, we had two sets of neighbors over at our house this week - their kids are about the same age as ours, and things are getting easier as the kids get older. We played some bridge with the first couple - I've played for years with my folks/siblings, and Wendy recently took some lessons, so this was fun - laying the groundwork for the retirement years! ;-)

So on Sunday we had BBQ Shimp - both sweet and spicey - once again, this was a huge hit. And on Thursday, I made Flank Steak which got compliments too - highly recommend folks give these a shot along with the rest of my bbq recipes - you won't be disappointed!

The neighborhood pool closes after this weekend, so we'll try to get a few more dips in there - Dirk is quite proud that he can swim the width of the pool underwater on one breath ... and Kyle enjoys touching the bottom of the 8' deep end - I give him a bit of push to nudge 'em down. They both enjoy diving for stuff underwater - Kyle especially looks like a duck when he goes under.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Party Update

The Hazel Miller party across the street was a ton of fun - you know it's a good party when the cops stop by (twice) ... although this is suburbia, so it was 8'ish or so when they came by. It was actually kinda funny as they said to the host "wait a minute, is THAT Hazel Miller playing in your backyard" to which he replied "Yes it is" and they responded "WOW, she's great" and then he offered to let them stay.

The neighborhood Margarita party was also a big hit - including the coconuts used as drinking cups and the Pink Flamingo lights. BTW, as I was leaving for that party, I turned on my sprinkler system, and unknown to me, I had previously run over a sprinkler head with the mower ... so I had a 20' geyser coming outa my grass - people walking to the party said "you got a problem" ... my kids thought it was hilarious.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Hurricane Colorado

Hurricane Frances is churning up Florida right now (my father-in-law had to bail from his place), but it felt like we had one of our own on the "boys campout" in my Colorado backyard last night. As you can see in the picture below, our friend Brenden joined Dirk and Kyle in the "winnebago" tent last night (sleeps 8 adults ... comfortably ... it's big, but cheap). Every other time we had tried camping this summer, we had gotten rained out, but there was some blue skies as we set up ... but as you can see to the West, that didn't last for long. We had a great time hanging out and telling stories - highlights were the Billy Goats and Three Little Pigs where everyone got to play a part - guess who I was in those stories? We then turned the lantern off, and as we started to doze off, we could hear the thunder from the first wave of the storm approaching. We had quite a light show and it rained fairly hard, but not for too long ... but it is REALLY loud inside a tent. I thought the boys might be scared, but they laughed through it. After that, everyone went to sleep except me - my nice queen size air mattress had a slow leak, so it wasn't that comfortable of a night. About an hour later, I could hear the second wave coming ... and this one had a lot more thunder and lightening, and pounded us with rain for a while (sounded like hail inside the tent) - amazingly, the 3 boys slept right through it ... and the tent didn't leak! I asked Wendy in the morning if it had really rained that hard and she said it poured. Then in the early morning before dawn, the wind came up - again the boys slept right through it while I waited for the non-aerodynamic tent to collapse ... but it held up. Needless to say, I didn't sleep too much, so I might be hurting at a party we are going to tonight. My 40th birthday party was just a "regular" shin-dig, but this one is going pretty upscale and includes a tent/performance in their backyard by a noted (even "uncool Alek" has heard of her) local musician named Hazel Miller. Good news is that it is right across the street (less than 100' door-to-door), so I don't have to worry about drinking and driving. Ditto on the neighborhood Margarita party next Friday - wow, two adult functions (no kids) in less than a week!
"Hurricane Colorado" coming

RTD X Followup

RTD X was (as expected) a great success. I was on the road shortly after 6:00AM and there was not a cloud in the sky to be seen - glorious weather! About 50 people met at the Boulder Justice Center by 7:00AM. Dan gave his typical pep talk, we did a "comm check" (walky-talkies are kinda fun on the trip), and then we drove up past Rollinsville to the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel where trains go through the Continental Divide. They have a "straight shot" into Winter Park, but as mentioned below, we have 2,500 vertical feet to go up ... so by 9:00AM, we started the bike ride up. Because of the good weather, we dilly-dally'ed a bit more than previous years, and we reached the top after 1:00PM - still great weather - one year, I was in the lead providing lightening updates via the walky-talks ... yikes! BTW, the "highlight" of the trip is dragging your bike over Needle's Eye Tunnel which is closed - a bit of a haul when you have a 50+ pound bike with child seat on back. The top of Rollins Pass is 11,671 feet - I didn't bring my manometer to verify that, but the air is skinny. I mentioned before about zany things people bring - previous years, I had brought "Pepperoni Sticks", CrunchBerries, Worms & Dirt, Twinkies, so this year it was Hulk Chips (don't ask! ;-) But people have really gotten outa control, so we had not one, but two watermelons at the top ... and Mike (with dragged a bike carrier the whole way up) opened it up and we had a Fiesta at the top of the Pass - see picture below. Oh yeah, I had found one of the original pepperoni sticks, "best if used by Dec/1996", and we stashed one in the sign at the top of the Pass - we'll check in future years to see if still there - on RTD VII, the hermetically sealed Twinkie made it through the first night, but was gone the following year. The ride down is a bit easier/quicker than the ride up, and we were in Winter Park by 4:00 - time for quick shower, and then dinner, hot tub action, ice cream social, and then party time. I crashed early, so I missed the Naked Congo Line - probably for the best! Most of the gang then biked back on Sunday, but Wendy and the boys drove over and picked me up, and we had a fun family outing in Rocky Mountain National Park ... which ironically had closed the road on Friday due to 2+ feet of snowdrifts - remember that nasty weather just before our bike trip - whew! A few pictures are shown below (click on them for larger size) and this really is where the train went before the Moffat Tunnel was built as you can clearly see in the picture of me on the trestle. I got these courtesy of JeffK and you can see more on his web site