We're going camping next weekend, and in our house, that doesn't mean tents and air mattresses. We pulled the 5th wheel camper out from the side of the barn, where it's sat for the past two years and started dusting it off today.

Bob worked on all the technical stuff, cleaning out the pipes and making sure all the electrical still works, which I worked on the physical dusting of the insides. The section to the left, that goes over the bed of the truck is a bedroom with a queen bed. there is a living room in the middle there, and then the back on the right is the kitchen with oven, microwave and fridge.

We went shopping and stocked up like we're off for the apocalypse. It should be a fun weekend at Mueller state park in Southern Colorado with friends. Lots of board games, reading, etc.. but I need my creature comforts.

Holy crap Gideon has gotten big quick.

The benchmarks for us are the other dogs. He started out smaller than the basenji's, Jarod and Sugar, and is now bigger than Rusty, our akita/beagle.

He is super-rambunctious, which is to be expected for a 6 month old puppy. He loves to chase the other dogs around the house, which they don't think is quite as fun.

He's also super-cuddly. He's going to be a big boy, some I'm enjoying the days when I can still pick him up and wrestle with him.

We're doing rounds of classes with him at petsmart. He passed puppy classes, and is moving on to obedience classes in June.

The picture above is part of a set I posted to Facebook yesterday. Pictures are just easier to post there.


May. 15th, 2011 06:33 pm

I did not have a bonfire this weekend.

We had planned to have a bonfire this weekend.

Last Monday and Tuesday, red flag warnings were in place. It was hot and dry, so no fires allowed. We saw rain on the calendar for Wednesday, which sounded good. A little bit of rain to abait the problem, and we'd be dry and ready to go for a bonfire on Saturday. We even picked up a keg of Sierra Nevada last weekend.

Shoot to Tuesday night, and the rains came. It rained from Tuesday night to Thursday night, 3" in 48 hours, saturating the grounds and turning our backyard into a mudpit. The forecast called for continued rain into Saturday, so we cancelled the bonfire.

We're all set for a fire once the weather turns nicer again, but we're glad we didn't have one this weekend, although it would have been nice if the conditions were right. So much for a month of planning.

Work Sucks

May. 2nd, 2011 04:49 pm

This is the new Adam's County Government building. It just opened, and all of the administrative departments have taken up residence in the building. The building is completely secure, meaning that you have to have a key-card to get anywhere past the lobby, even to make the elevators work.

Being the account manager of a print shop, I need to be able to access my clients that have now moved into this building, and that is no longer possible. I'm no longer able to make deliveries to anywhere but an ancillary loading dock area. I can't show customers a proof of their job without them having to come down to the lobby to see it. If the contacts I have there now quit or retire, there is no way for me to continue working for them/with them, because I won't be able to get in to see the new staff member.

I had to make a delivery to the building today, to the Finance Department. They told me to deliver it to the 4th floor, to their office as I used to do in their old building, however the woman at the front desk lobby was not happy to see me with a delivery in her lobby on a small dolly. She told me I could not make the delivery, and that I had to go to the loading dock. I said it was a rush, and that Finance was waiting for the order that they had to have by 4:30. The front desk receptionist reluctantly called up and my contact came down. I could not go up into the building. My contact had to take my dolly up to her office while I waited for her to return with it. What a victory for National Security.

Leaving the building, I ran into Jimmy from Canon. He was there installing copiers in the building. Not only is the county doing everything they can to make it hard for me to work with them, they are taking a lot of their work in house, instead of supporting local small businesses.

It's really hard to succeed right now.

Lots of things aligned this weekend in going back to the Bay Area, the penultimate of which was getting together with my family for some food on Easter Sunday. Now, I see my family on occasion, but normally someone is missing, or someone's girlfriend can't be there (or I wasn't able to bring Bob). This was the first time that Both my brothers and I have brought our partners to the same place at the same time when both my parents have been able to be there. Serious cat herding here, people.

My older brother Colin's girlfriend Maria even brought her two kids, Sophia and Hannah. My mom is crazy obsessed with these girls, and they are fun to have around. It brought a very different energy to us all getting together. I took a lot of pictures and burned discs for everyone before we left.

We cooked a little tri-tip, drank some beers and socialized. The afternoon flew by and before long, half-way through the Easter-egg hunt actually, people had to get off to the airports, including us.

The annual Egg Party was this past weekend in San Francisco, thrown by my good friends Mark and Steve. Here they are with Chris Turner and Armistad Maupin, who were at the party.

Bob and I flew to the Bay Area for a quick weekend trip, flying in on Friday morning and back on Sunday night.

We also attended [livejournal.com profile] sftekbear's party on Friday night, the Hunky Cheeses party, which was also a lot of fun. Both events were a great chance to catch up with friends I look forward to seeing when I'm back visiting the Bay Area.

Pictures say it better, so here is the link to both events over on my flickr page.

Last night was this month's book club meeting for Denver's Front Range Bears. We read "The Life and Times of Harvey Milk: The Mayor of Castro Street". It was a really good turn out, as people were encouraged to come even if they had not read the book and just wanted to hang out or participate in the discussion.

I read the book after last month's book club, finishing it a few weeks ago. I was afraid it would not be fresh in my mind when we went to discuss it last night, but I found myself being able to quote passages and correct other's chronology. One of the biggest problems was that some of those attending had not read the book, and just seen the movie, Milk. Sam who hosted the book club meeting had the inside scoop on why the book and movie are a bit different chronologically. Sam knew Randy Shilts and had helped research "Conduct Unbecoming". Randy left his rights to the last guy he dated, whose mother has ended up with the rights to "The life and Times of Harvey Milk". There was some back and forth about making it into a movie in the 90's, but she got the reputation of being difficult to deal with, so the film "Milk" was based on events that are publicly known, with less of the in-depth insight Shilts is able to uncover.

The biggest divergence is Dan White's trial at the end of the book. Many of the men at the book club did not realize how hard reporters tried to fight to get the stories out of what really was happening inside the trial. Editors blocked the stories, claiming the jury would get biased, even though they were sequestered. The trial is still known mostly for the twinkie defense, and not for the complete mal-fesence of the prosecutor.

The discussion last night was lively, ranging from thoughts on the book and movies to the "It Get's Better" campaign and whether Harvey's mandate to come out, whoever and wherever you are still extends to everyone. At the end of the night, a few people came up and said they never realized how political I was. I was taken aback, as I don't think of myself as being nearly as political as I could be or should be. I guess one man's political activist is another man's former San Francisco resident.

The next book will be Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" weighing in at a hefty 56 pages. We'll be reading "Mary Ann in Autumn" by Armistad Maupin for June. No book club in July and then Patti Smith's "Just Kids" for August. I've read all three.

Kele Okareke of Bloc Party touring on his solo album, really rocked the Gobi tent!

The 2011 Coachella music festival. Nice to be back for a 6th year for me. This year's first day saw some of the highest highs and lowest lows for my years attending. Goldenvoice really upped their game as far as audio visuals for the sets, and the installations on the grounds are magical at night. The sets have been some of the best I've seen in Indio.

It took us forever to get out last night though. For some reason, they would not let the ADA lot out from after a certain time and until 1:45am when the festival was over. We sat in the lot for 45 minutes and by that time there was a huge back up. We crept along through police poorly directing traffic, and didn't get back to the resort until 2:45am. As we were on the field at 1:30pm, it made for a ridiculously long day. I've never gotten in that late from Coachella, even when staying on the other side of the valley.

The bands we saw were:
The Rural Alberta Advantage
The Drums
The Morning Benders
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Lauryn Hill
Sleigh Bells
Cut Copy
Chemical Brothers

The selection of bands was huge, and I barely saw some people through the day. I had a great time though, up until the end.

The Resort

Apr. 14th, 2011 11:56 am

This year for Coachella I'm staying at the WorldMark Resort in Indio. WorldMark is is the timeshare side of Wyndham and my buddy Dan is a member. He booked for the week of Coachella almost a year ago and
invited Robbie and I to stay here. The property is nice with lots of ammenities like pools, hot tubs and a gym complex. We've got a 3 bedroom apartment for the week with a full kitchen and our own rooms.

The resort has an odd cruise ship feel, with lots of families staying for the week. Its odd for it not to be summer but see kids here mid week. I guess it is spring break for some. More Coachella guests are supposed to arrive today.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

I'm sort of spinning my wheels today with not much to do but wait on a package to arrive and a meeting this afternoon. My flight from Denver to Ontario, CA is at 8:35am tomorrow morning. I'm pretty much packed and ready to go otherwise. I'd rather be busier than not, so the next 22 hours are going to be about the wait.

I wanted to share the packaging that the Coachella passes came in this year. They tried RFID wristbands for the first time last year and the process of trading in tickets for wristbands at the gate really bogged up people's entries. This year, they mailed out the wristbands themselves. The didn't just throw the wristbands into a UPS envelope though. I've posted some shots of the packaging and wristband itself behind

this cut )

Shoot back to a few weeks ago and the band Arcade Fire announced a show in Colorado at the 1st bank center in Broomfield. It was a quick addition, and the pre-sale was on as soon as the show was announced. By the time I looked, right when tickets went on sale to the general public, the floor was sold out and seats were $60 and up. I'm seeing Arcade Fire @ Coachella, so I figured I'd pass. Most of my money is tied up in the upcoming trip, and an expensive concert was a luxury I didn't think I could afford.

About a week after I made the decision to pass on the show, I saw a tweet from @ArcadeFire looking for volunteers for their Broomfield, CO show with Partners in Health. The tweet took me to a link that asked some questions about my volunteer experience, specifically outreach. I filled it out and threw my chances out into the void.

Flash forward to Wednesday of this past week and I got an email asking me to volunteer at the show. Myself and 11 other people had been chosen to be the outreach team.

The gist of Partners in Health is that they have been in Haiti since 1987, have the infrastructure to work with the people of Haiti and are there really making a difference. Arcade Fire went to Haiti in March with PIH founder Paul Farmer, who is also the Deputy UN Envoy to Haiti, under Bill Clinton.

When I got to the venue, I met the other volunteers outside the box office, and they were all really cool people. When we got inside, we spent about an hour before doors opened with Marika from Arcade Fire, Kathy the Creative Director of Arcade Fire's tour and Brande from PIH. Hearing Marika talk about the band's trip to Haiti was really cool, and we were all pumped to work the crowd.

They had us walking around with clip boards requesting Arcade Fire's fan community to "Stand Up for Haiti" and collect donations for PIH. I did really well at getting emails, but not so good at getting donations. Most people at the show were really nice, and we worked through the opening band, Local Natives. I got about 95 emails and $45 in donations.

We were released about 5 minutes before Arcade Fire went on and our passes got us down onto the floor. The crowd was pretty heavily packed in, so I got as far up as I could on the right side. I hung out there for the first few songs, but the crowd was too talkative, and spilling a lot of beer. I walked back to behind the sound booth and watched the show from there, where there was a lot more room and less distraction.

As far as the Arcade Fire set goes, I found it to be very heavily about the first album. For the record, they are touring on their 3rd, Grammy winning album, The Suburbs but they played less than 1/2 that album. The did not play City With No Children or Half Light II, my 2 favorite songs on The Suburbs. It's funny, because their first album, Funeral, is still my favorite of theirs, so I guess it is theirs too. I really rocked out to Neighborhood #3: Power Out into Wake Up as the end of the main set, and Rebellion (Lies) as the last song of the encore.

At the end of the show, I went back to Partners in Health and sold PIH T-Shirts to the departing crowd. It was great to see Arcade Fire without having to pay for the ticket, and it was nice to get to support a cause while doing it.

Getting ready for Coachella, I've got a playlist that's just for my favorite songs of bands playing this year, and I thought I'd share that list with you.

Duran Duran - Boys Keep Swinging
Elbow - With Love
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Stamp
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down - Cool Yourself
Eliza Doolittle - Go Home
Two Door Cinema Club - You're Not Stubborn
Kele - On The Lam
Hurts - Better Than Love
The Black Keys - Everlasting Light
Adele - Rolling in the Deep
Freelance Whales - Kilojoules
Good Old War - Sneaky Louise
The Strokes - Machu Picchu
Cage The Elephant - Shake Me Down
Bright Eyes - Jejune Stars
Sleigh Bells - Infinity Guitars
The Joy Formidilbe - A Heavy Abacus
Marina and the Diamonds - Shampain
Yelle - Unillusion
Cut Copy - Need You Now
CSS - Believe Achieve
Scissor Sisters - Running Out
Arcade Fire - City With No Children
Kings of Leon - Radioactive

I leave a week from tomorrow.


Apr. 3rd, 2011 05:54 pm

Gideon will eventually be a balance dog for Bob, if he needs him incase his balance goes with the MS. Right now the training is basic obedience, things like sit, stay, etc. Because we want to progress the training into service training, Bob got Gideon a service dog in training vest so we can take him out. He needs to get used to being out in public, and get used to people. He has learned to sit when someone says "can I say hello?" so that people can approach him to pet him. He'll learn later that when he is at work he has to focus, but he is still young and shy, so getting him used to new people is good. We took him to Bowling on Friday, had friends over last night, and took him to the apple store at the mall today. He has had a very social weekend!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

My Mii is still chubby, but I'm down to 226 this morning. I've had a lot of back and forth in the past week, feeling like I wasn't going to get under 230, which is where I always seem to plateau at. A few weeks ago my BMI was up in the obese catagory, but now I'm down to overweight. I'm now at a weight I'm happier with for Coachella, so the goal for the next 12 days is to maintain, keep working out and watching what I eat so my body can get used to being back in the 220's!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

I took a look at the completed orders at the printshop this morning and saw a name I recognized. I walked back to my desk and checked the CRM (customer relations management) tool I use and saw it was a contact I had emailed a few weeks back. I told my boss it was someone I had contacted. The order had come in over the phone and I wasn't listed as selling it. The customer just came in to pick up the order and my boss asked how she heard about us. She confirmed that I had contacted her boss. it's a good thing I said something, as I'm working on comission and I every customer counts!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Rumor has it this is cheap compared to some spots around the country. I just hope I don't look back at this and think "WOW look how cheap the gas was!" $3.31 a gallon. Not a good time to have a job where I need to drive.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

This whole seasons thing is just a suggestion, right? It got cold enough last night that our spring storm turned to snow and left about an inch on the ground. It won't last long as it is already 35 degrees at 8am. We're slated for more rain/snow on Wednesday and then solid 70's Thursday on. It's crazy to see pictures of the Bay Area flooding. I remember driving in those conditions and I don't miss it.

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

Pyro in SF @ 255lbs, February 21st, 2011

Pyro in CO @ 229lbs, March 26th, 2011

Saturday mornings are puppy class mornings over at PetSmart )

This doesn't work. I tried one yesterday and I was yawning an hour into it. If I hadn't gotten it free, I'd ask for my money back.
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