Well, that's about the biggest change. In June, I transitioned from my previous job in printing to studying for my real estate license.

In September, I got completed Kaplan's Colorado licensing course, passed the Real Estate Licensing exams (Colorado and National) went to work for the RE/MAX office a mile from my house and joined the Denver Metro Association of REALTORS. So much change!

I love it. It's a lot more work than I've ever done in my life, marketing myself and trying to get my business off the ground, but it is a lot less stressful that the print shop was. I finally feel like I am doing something that excites me and I can have a future in.

So, I've been licensed in the State of Colorado for almost 4 weeks, and right now it's about just getting my name out there. I'm using a referral program, plus some "boots on the ground" marketing strategies to get my business going. I don't have any listings yet, but I'm doing my first open house for another agent this weekend and have 4 or 5 people who'd like to work with me in the New Year. My problem isn't a lack of Marketing ideas, it's focusing in on one or two and being consistent with them.

So, wish me luck and let me know if you know of anyone moving to the Denver, Colorado area.


For those arguing that Live Journal isn't dead, I don't see you arguing that it's necessarily alive either. It's a ghost of what it used to be. Therefore, I'd like to propose what it is now is 'Zombie Live Journal'. You can argue that it's alive and win the argument. You can argue that it's dead and win too. It's Zombie Live Journal.

I went over and read [livejournal.com profile] brunorepublic's treatise on the whole thing because Jeb/[livejournal.com profile] 50poundnote commented on it. I agree with his assessment, and wish I had read him back when this was the social network. I wrote a lot of my thoughts here but it was the commentary I got on them that kept me doing it. I changed my opinions on many things because of thoughtful discussions I had here, and although I stuck around for a long time after the "exodus", I ultimately stopped when that dried up. Yes, I miss the writing and creativity, but the commentary will never return.

I'm proud.

Dec. 21st, 2011 06:59 pm

My Paternal Grandparents

My Grandfather passed away today.

I went to see him 2 weeks ago in Southern England and I got the chance to sit with him over the 2 weeks that I was there. He told us stories about his life, and asked me questions. Some days were better than others, and there were times when all we did was sit with him.

Unfortunately he wasn't eating much, and he had lost a lot of weight. He had no appetite, and despite us offering to bring him things, he wasn't too interested. He was in an incredible hospice, a fantastic place called Saint Michaels. He'd gone into heart failure and the doctors were providing palliative care for him.

I learned some amazing things about my Grandfather. One of the first nights I was there, he told my Mom and I about his 12 siblings. He was the youngest and the last left. He had a story about all of them, especially Uncle Fred, who was everyone's favorite. When he was a young boy he saw his brother Frank killed in front of him with a cricket bat. His older brother Jack had a falling out with his father, and never talked to his mother again, even though he lived 4 houses down. My grandfather was the only one to have a relationship with Jack, as Jack had a son is age, and taught them how to box.

There was a Pyro in my family before me. Uncle Fred produced the Fire Works show at Crystal Palace in London every Thursday night. Fred would come over and give my grandfather a box of fireworks to play with. They grew up in Anesley, just down the hill from Crystal Palace. They could hear all the events going on there from their back yard. I feel an amazing connection to the place just from hearing their stories. When my grandfather was 17, he watched Crystal Palace burn to the ground. According to Fred, the fire started in the zoo. (family thought points to monkeys with matches. My father didn't even know Crystal Palace had a zoo.

In the army, he served in World War II and was in the Dorset band. Although they lived in South London, Fred was very smart, and convinced them to flee the city and move to Dorset before the war even started.

My grandparents were married for over 60 years. He would have been 93 in February. I'm really proud to be have been his Grandson, and I know he was proud of me. I'm thankful for the time I got to spend with him.

Thanks for your hugs. I don't feel like I've lost anything, and I'm not in grief. Living till 92 is an incredible accomplishment. I just hope to live half the life he did. If you heard the stories I did, you'll know that's a lofty goal.

1) Pretty much given up on Live Journal here. I've been reading almost daily, but it seems all but about 10 of my 220 friends on here have jumped ship or just given up. I've tried to post here and there, but wasn't able to. The iPhone app is mostly useless. I don't know if I'll continue, but I felt like updating today.

2) Tomorrow is my Birthday. 33. This milestone is prompting the LJ post. This is the first Birthday though that I'm letting pass by relatively un-pomp and circumstanced. I can't remember working on my Birthday before, but I'm working this year. I don't see the point in taking a Thursday off work when I'd go unpaid if I do.

3) Not REALLY a Birthday present to myself, more something I've been needing to do.. I bought a Jeep Wrangler yesterday. It's a 2007 Wrangler X. Automatic, but otherwise very bare bones. I went to my bank last Saturday and got pre-approved for the auto loan, so all I had to do was hand over the check when I went back to the dealership yesterday. Buying the Jeep took about 20 minutes. I had looked at a few others over the past few days, but slimy dealers caused me to walk away. The reason I went for the Wrangler is because I want something rugged enough to handle the rougher winter weather, but small enough that I can park when Bob and I go to event in Denver. So far I'm really happy with how the Wrangler handles, coming from driving an SUV (Ford Explorer).

4) My older Brother Colin bought a Toyota Camry on Friday, and my parents bought an Audi A4 on Sunday. My brother Jeremy said "Screw keeping up with the Jones, it's the Orr's you have to watch out for!" He's in the market for a new car too now that he's a full time employed teacher. It's pretty funny the 3 of us made car purchases in the same week without any pre-planning.

5) Damn, I'm going to miss Summer. It rained for the first time today, and was in the 60's. Colorado broke a record for average high temperate for the month of August. It was in the 90's for most of the month, and I kinda liked it. I'd rather have it be too warm than too cold, and too cold is just around the corner.

6) Work has been really busy. I'm not doing sales any more though. That sucked. I hated it, and I just wasn't any good at it. I've gone back to doing production. It's a lot more challenging, especially project management when it is busy. I like deadlines. I like producing a quality product. When I was doing sales, the production quality was out of my hands, and I was often disappointed in the output of the girl who replaced me in production. In one case, I lost a customer because of a production screw up I would never have let happen. It's too bad production management in printing doesn't pay great, but it's OK for now. I'm just happy to be working full time, and right now, even getting overtime. Election season is around the corner, and that's bringing work in.

Still 32.

My Mom flew in yesterday to go see Incubus at Red Rocks last night. The view from half way up was great. The stage in front of us, and then the metro-area in the background, all of it under the stars.

Incubus were good. Playing some of their new album and a lot of the hits.

Pool Party

Jul. 17th, 2011 07:06 pm

Yesterday was the Front Range Bears Summer Picnic and pool party, which is held at [livejournal.com profile] mtnkodiak's place. It is a highlight of the summer around here, with 140 guys there, eating drinking and splashing about it what is often one of the warmest weekends of the summer. The pool got really flirty, but not so bad that the pool needed to be decontaminated afterwards.

We've been experiencing serious monsoons around here, with heavy rainfall every day, starting as early as 1 in the afternoon or not even hitting until 9pm at night. Last night the rains held off until about 5, so it didn't dampen the event, but got people packed up and moved out quick. We ran to the car with our coolers in hand, and got a little wet in the process.

Friday afternoon I ducked out of work a little bit early and saw a late afternoon showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 a film I've been looking forward to for a long time. Most of my expectations were met. I wasn't blown away to any degree, but I left the theater satisfied.

It was so hot and humid today that I really didn't feel like doing much. It was up to 91. Errands got done though, and things got done over the weekend, like lawns mowed and laundry done. Being in the pool yesterday was nice, and the air conditioning inside today was nice too.

It's nice to have pool parties to go to when it's averaging 92 this weekend. Yesterday, our friend Wayne had people over to his apartment complex. While it was painfully obvious to me that it wasn't a private event, some of the attendees acted like it was. Wayne wasn't the only one in the 12 unit building to have friends and family over to use the complex pool on a hot day. One guy was in the pool with his kid, a group of girls were drinking Mimosas, and one girl had her parents over. I already felt bad that the 30 of us that Wayne had over were dominating the grill and picnic table. It started to get out of hand when one friend decided to "pants" another, pulling his shorts down from behind. Luckily the kid who was there didn't see, but I was embarrassed by it. I like Wayne, and I want to be able to go over to his pool again, so I don't want his neighbors complaining about bad behavior. I love a good joke, but the immaturity level was out of control. Most of the bad behavior was one or two guys, one of which is a really good friend, so I wanted to ring the guy's neck by the end of the afternoon. What's OK at a private pool in someone's backyard is NOT OK in mixed company at someone's apartment complex.

OMG, Shoes!

Jul. 2nd, 2011 05:25 pm

We took Gideon over to the Cherry Creek Art Festival today and it was really hard to walk around. First off, Gideon isn't a big fan of crowds at this age. Secondly, it was 80 out and he was constantly looking for shade. Top that off, every other person wanted to stop and ask us about him. "what kind of dog is he?" "how old is he?" and especially, "why is your dog wearing booties??" The last one can be answered knowing that when it's 80 out, that asphalt can be really hot, so here in the mile high city, vets and dog trainers recommend you have them. People wanted to know if he likes his booties and how long it took him to get used to them (yes and 2 weeks), so all in all, it was hard to walk more than a few feet without getting questioned. We don't mind though, and it was nice to get Gideon meeting more people and more doggies.

UGH. I just tried to upload a photo post to LiveJournal using their iPhone app, and it would not load. I kept getting a failure to upload image message. It just keeps taking you back, letting you try to upload again. I tried about 20 times, and no luck. Whatever. Sometimes the LJ exodus seems abundently clear.

Sometimes I wonder why I still pay to use LJ when both Facebook and Twitter are free, and at least when twitter is over-capacity (which, honestly, I haven't seen in awhile..) you get the fail-whale screen. I used to LOVE posting here, and honestly, it's a much easier interface elsewhere that posting here seems laborious at times.

I know I don't comment much, but I still read LJ daily. It's disappointing that I now post, and typically get little to no comments. (hint, hint)

I've been in San Diego this past week. The reason for the trip being my parents 40th wedding anniversary. They wanted to go away somewhere with us, so they rented a house in San Diego, and we all came down.

The main event was a big party on Saturday night at the house they rented and relatives flew in from CA, TX and DC. The last time the family was all together was in April, 2010 for my Grandmother's 90th Birthday. Some of my parents and brothers friends came as well, so it was seeing a lot of old faces.

San Diego itself has been fun. We did some touristy stuff like Old Towne, Seaworld and The San Diego Zoo.

We spent some time with locals too. I was invited to the 619 Bearcast on Wednesday night, Bears in the Park on Friday, and we spent some time on Pecs Patio on Sunday too.

The best part of the trip has been relaxing and checking out of everything. Today was the first time I've pulled up facebook and Livejournal while I've been here. Lots of time has been spent drinking beer in the pool.

More pics to come. I need to sort and upload.

Left to Right - Top Row: Great Uncle Jim, Great Aunt Margaret, Maria and Colin, Alan, Sharalyn and Jeremy (Jeralyn), Aunt Petra and Uncle Bob, Mwah!
Bottom Row: Cousin Kira, Jude, Gideon and Bob

I had a really great experience with my father this past year. That's him in the picture up above on the left. He was in England in September at the same time we were, and he found out that the last day he was there the Southhampton Boat Show was going on. My dad LOVES boats. He sails on the San Francisco bay as often as he can.

Bob, my dad's friend Dennis and I joined my dad at the boat show. It was so cool to see my dad in his "candy store", geeking out with Bob and Dennis over the aquatic tech toys and drooling on the yachts.

So, this year on father's day, that's the thought that pops into my head. I hope that you've gotten to see your dad in his element like I got to see mine in his. It's a really cool feeling.

When [livejournal.com profile] mudcub came to my bonfire, he gifted me with a copy of See a Little Light, the autobiography of Bob Mould.

Bob is a casual acquaintance and Coachella friend. The book spans his life, including the 2009 Coachella set I got to see him play. Bob's party, blow off, was on in DC on a weekend that I was there and Bob was amazing to walk me around between his sets and introduce me to some of his DC friends.

Bob's story was interesting. The book flows well, with just the right amount of introspection, and not too much navel gazing. I should probably admit to not knowing a lot of his music. I was too young for Husker Du and Sugar never appeared on my radar. I found that I didn't need to know these two bands to be able to follow along.

The book progresses from album to album through his career and I found myself wanting to go into Mould's back catalog as I read along.

It started with two sets of steps, one off the front of the house, and one out from the kitchen, down into the dog run. Over the years, the dogs (mostly Rusty) dug out underneath the dog run steps, and they became unstable and needed to be replaced. Over the course of the past few months we've talked about replacing the steps, and building a deck in their place.

Friday Bob took down the dog run stairs and built a set of box stairs in their place. On Saturday, we staked out, measured and drilled 12 30 inch holes (6" diameter) in the front yard for the support poles. The holes took most of Saturday to do, drilling down that deep into the clay was really tough. We put 40lbs of concrete into each hole and let it set over night.

We were joined by our friend Jeff today and we demolished the old steps, set the support posts, and framed the whole 12ft x 30ft deck today. It was a lot of work, and I documented the process on flickr here, so you can get a better idea of everything we had to do. The pictures don't do the small details justice, but we put a lot of work in.

Pictures are here

Bob and I are both thrashed. We're completely drained. We're also super-happy with the progress we made and that we really go something accomplished this weekend.

Next weekend is Denver Pride, so we'll be out having fun, feeling like we've really deserved it!

Coachella announced the above this past Tuesday.

[livejournal.com profile] djrottenrobbie and I have been talking, and it makes sense, to us, to go to both weekends. Coachella is something that we love to go do, and attending both weekends seems like a way to cut down on conflicts and get to experience the sets we loved once all over again. The cost of flights are the same, the additional expenses would be the house, rental car and time off work.

I'll probably get lay away tickets for both weekends today, and then start saving up for the rest. Getting the time off work is up in the air, but then there's just as much of a chance that I won't be working where I am now when Coachella comes around next year. Even if I end up passing on one of the weekends, I can easily resell the extra Coachella pass that I get now.

Also, it would be nice to have the week in-between to relax and enjoy Palm Springs. It's always a rush to get up and get back on Monday, even to make an afternoon flight.

I'm curious as to the different dynamics that will come into play between the two weekends. The bear contingent that goes is already talking about going the first weekend, so that first Coachella may be more social, and the second ends up being about catching all the bands that we missed or loved the first weekend.

My older brother, Colin, called and asked me if I could do a little graphic design project for him this week. His Boss is leaving, and the guy has an expression, "Don't bring me any stinky fish!". His team wanted to blow up the guy's badge to poster size and have everyone sign it. Colin thought that looked too much like something you'd see at a memorial service, and I tended to agree. Colin's idea was to take the book cover for Douglas Adams' "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" and make it into a poster.

Let me preface by saying Colin is a smart guy. He's got a poly-sci/Rhetoric degree from UC Davis and works in HR for Genentech. The image he sent me for the "So long and Thanks for All the Fish" book cover was the above 400 pixel wide 72 dpi file he downloaded from Amazon.

I told him it would be OK, and that I'd just re-create it. I put a request out on Facebook, and had two friends who had a physical copy scan it and send it to me at a higher dpi. I grabbed a background file, typeset it, and grabbed the images off of the higher scan.

So, here is my re-created "Happy Trails Ken" poster:

Colin and his team were blown away by what I did. It's simple photoshop for me, but I guess for them, it was a rather daunting task. It was nice to be able to spend an hour on the couch creating it, and in the process helping out my brother Colin.


May. 28th, 2011 03:37 pm

Summer is here, because today, our water park, Waterworld opened! Opening day is the best day to go because the weather still isn't great and a lot of people stay away. The park was deserted and we did not wait in line for anything. We rode everything in the park in about 2 hours, and played in the wave pool.

There are no new rides this year. Instead they invested in the infrastructure and making ADA improvements. The steepest hill is gone and in it's place are stairs on one side and a slow sloped switchback ramp on the other. They also took down the low wall around the wave pool.

The park will be packed next weekend once we're into nicer Summer weather. We've got season passes, so we'll be back soon.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Hiking (Left to Right): Rudy, Dustin, Brandon, Mike and JD.

Friday afternoon Bob, our friend Rudy and I took off with all 4 doggies and went camping. We took Bob's truck and the 5th wheel camper I posted the picture of last week.

It had rained on Wednesday and Thursday, and predicted to stop Friday. We drove 3 hours west of Colorado Springs to Grouse Mountain at Mueller State Park. We met 4 other friends there; Mike, Brandon, JD and Dustin. After we got set up and seated around Mike and Brandon's fire, it started sleeting. It was a sign of what was to come for the weekend.

Friday night was super cold. We had a nice dinner, and talked around the campfire, but we were all in multiple layers of clothing and blankets.

The trip was nice, but the cold weather continued. The wind was icey on Saturday, and although we got out hiking for a bit, even that did not warm us up. On top of that, we packed SO MUCH food. We crammed our camper full of things. If an apocalypse had come for us, we would have been quite comfortable for a few weeks.

I was really cold on Saturday night, and not feeling great, so I went to bed early. I got up at 6am on Sunday morning, and it was probably warmer out then than it had been around the fire on Saturday night (the wind had died off.) We made french toast for breakfast and had a sucky feeling as we left the campgrounds to the nicest weather we'd seen all weekend.

I'll still go camping again, but maybe not this early in the season, and maybe next time to a spot where there is more to do.

frozen Pyro behind cut )

At a book signing in Minneapolis, recently declared the hippest and gayest city in America, I greeted 2012 GOP presidential contender and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with a shower of rainbow glitter.

"Feel the Rainbow!" I shouted. Gingrich was conducting the book signing as part of The Minnesota Family Council & Institute Annual Dinner 2011 celebration. The MFC has been an instrumental mover of a marriage inequality amendment that would enshrine discrimination in Minnesota's state constitution.
- Robert Erickson

I really don't see how this furthered any cause.

It just goes to show how rudderless GLBT activism has become.

I get the point of why the guy did it, but it was a childish response. Politics are big money, and marriage equality is a hot-button issue. Like abortion in the 80's, all the GOP has to do is push the gays ruining marriage button, and their constituents hop on board with whatever they want to do. Glittering Newt Gingrich is just another way for them to say "Oh look at those silly gays. At it again.."

When asked "Why?" after he did it in the video, he had little to no response. He had no talking points. The man escorting him out said "We don't show up to your events" and he stands there silent. Even I could have retorted that their event denies equality, that protesters for religious groups have been picketing AIDSWALKS for over 20 years. His isn't the kind of dialog we need to be having.

What a rip

May. 16th, 2011 01:07 pm

Hit Starbucks today for the first time in forever, a store I used to go to all the time last year. The drink I get has gone up $1 in the last year. I like the occasional Starbucks but damn, they've just pushed me out of the price point.
Good luck selling a $5 venti iced mocha in the 2011 summer economy guys.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Monarchy. Monarchy. Twitter = @MonarchySound www.facebook.com/monarchysound

Monarchy. They occupied this little empty spot on Friday night between Cut Copy and Robyn, just a tent over in Gobi. I'd looked them up before Coachella, but the album I found turned out not to be them. As it turns out, they're a pop music DJ Duo from London who burned up Bestival. Orme and JP were psyched to see them, and that's a good sign, as Orme turned me on to one of my favorite bands post Bestival last year, Delphic.

Monarchy's set blew both [livejournal.com profile] djrottenrobbie and I away, and when we got back, Robbie, Dan and I found out that their album wasn't available in the US yet. Like Daft Punk, Monarchy play in masks and don't reveal who they really are. It's supposed to be about the music, not the rockstar.

Since Coachella, Robbie has been getting his hands on the remixes of every Monarchy song he could find, and all the remixes Monarchy did of other bands. Last week I got my hands on the UK release of their debut, self-titled album and I've fallen deeply, deeply in love.

My favorite song, Maybe I'm Crazy takes me right back to the Gobi tent at Coachella, going ape with the crowd, feeling like the song would play for ever, a glorious, euphoric feeling.

Another favorite of theres for me is their single, I Can't Let You Go. Here is the video from youtube. Judge for yourself.

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