Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hey, thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are reading this!  Even if  you're not American and this isn't a federal  holiday for you!

I got up this morning at the predetermined time to make it to the annual Turkey Trot.  The weather forecast wasn't too favorable, but I was willing to give it a go.  Skies were overcast with temperatures in the mid 20s, so I was still willing.

I layered up, slathered my face with Burt's Bees, then went outside for a little road test.  I went nearly to the bottom of our driveway with hardly even moving my feet.  That's what happens when there's practically no friction to be found.

The whole outside was covered in a thin film of icy frosty slippery.

I contemplated.  Then I went inside and contemplated some more.  Then I went out the back door and contemplated some more.  Then I decided that running a race in those conditions was a trip to the ER waiting to happen.

So, no Turkey Trot for me this year. But I'm sure they got plenty of registrants, and the proceeds go to stock local food pantries, so it's all good.  It just would've been nice to have the traditional 5k included. Race people notified us to be careful, and that they were putting ice melt on the course.  I still got the shirt, but #2078 was a no-show.

Online results showed that about half the typical number showed up, and finish times were noticeably slower.  But I'm glad the event happened.  No major injuries that I know of!

In the meantime, I've got stuff cookin'.  It's just us this year, no dignified guests at our table, and we're not travelling.  I don't work very hard at it.  The most difficult part so far has been stuffing the bird, and I don't mean in the traditional sense.

I cook it in the slow cooker overnight up until eating time, and every year, it's touch-and-go getting the bird to fit.  I really should get one of those oval cookers, but I only think of it on Thanksgiving.  I managed to just wrestle another sacrificial turkey this year, but it took some exertion on my part.

So Happy Thanksgiving!  I'm thankful to all who continue to visit me and hoping you're all comfy, warm, and satisfied!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

go do hoodoos

Our Thanksgiving week roadtrip was derailed, but that's okay.  I'm getting stuff done around here, and today we played tourist in our own backyard.  Here's the story:

It was a dark and stormy night It was a warm and sunny day.  A day off of work and school.  We said, let's do something before this big cold front gets here.  Off to the Paint Mines!  It's an "interpretive park" and we're not too sure what that means, but we think it means you guide yourself on the "tour" rather than be led by knowledgeable docents.

So that's what we did.  We went out there and interpreted.  It was an enjoyable time among the "geological, archaeological, historical and ecological resources"

Here they are, interpretting, Chaco hamming as a knowledgeable docent.

In the meantime, recall that Wolfgang is off in the tropics with the girlfriend and family.  He sent me a photo of a huge avocado because I don't like avocados.  (go ahead, tell me how daft I am for not liking avocados, I bet I've heard it all before).

So back here at the Paint Mines, we got all educated while enjoying a nice day out in unique natural surroundings.  We were also impressed by the vast windmill farm out there.  See 'em?  Must've been at least 50 humongo windmills out there.  Reminded us of War of the Worlds.

It was a great day for it. A bit muddy from last week's blizzard, but I suppose that's part of the experience.  I'd heard of the Paint Mines, but it's not necessarily a destination like other points in Colorado.  We practically had the whole place to ourselves.

So if you're ever in the area, looking for an interesting outing involving natural wonder and intriguing technical windmillage (because you never know when that urge might strike), head to Calhan!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

It's a lovely Sunday morning here.  Sunny blue skies, birds a-chirping, a kid riding a motorbike up and down and up and down and up and down and up and down... the street.   I don't really understand the fun of riding a little motorbike up and down the street, but maybe it's all a big kid on a little motorbike's got to do at the moment.  And so that's nice.  Thanksgiving week begins, school's out.

This was a nice week, albeit very snowy and windy.  I know that other parts of the country are feeling similar.  It was quite a reminder of how everything shuts down when a storm like that comes through.

In other news, I had a birthday yesterday.

Yup, 51 now.  I'd say that puts  me officially "in my 50s".  For the past year, I was just hanging out on the edge of the pool - out of the 40s, but not fully into the 50s.  Now I'm all in.  What a thrill.

... which reminds me that I still need to schedule that colonoscopy...

ANYWAY,  we didn't have a wild bash or anything.  Magnum's birthday is Tuesday, and we just traditionally do our birthdays and Thanksgiving in one big lump.  Yeah, those kids with summer birthdays have all the fun.

We were actually planning a little getaway this week.  Remember how I've been itching for a trip of any kind?  So much that I was willing to travel with the high school band??  And sorry to have not been able to?!

Last week, we thought we'd plan a little trip for this week since we're off from school and work.  But alas, the weather report doesn't look conducive  + we ran into snags getting snow tires for the van (long story I don't feel like getting into at the moment) + I have a larger load of school work than originally expected.  So, we will attempt to make the most of our Stay-cation until we can do a proper trip.  Soon please!

In movie news, Magnum and I watched "Ex Machina".  I liked it, although it was creepy.  But I suppose a movie about AI should be creepy.  Despite a couple of things that had me, "well THAT wouldn't happen", I thought it was well done and well acted and made for an engaging plot.  I didn't much like the ending, but it fit with the movie's creepiness and wasn't a surprise.  I'll give it a 3.5 out of 5 overall.

Happy Thanksgiving week!


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

fall has been cancelled

We're having us our first snowday and it's a doozy!  School's closed, even the university.  With my online classes, I don't get to do a happy dance - still "went".

I snapped this selfie when I went to go out and clear the driveway.  It was full on blizzard when I started getting dressed, but by the time I was all geared up, the blizzard had blown away.

Oh well, not complaining.

I did get the driveway cleared, it took me over an hour, and I had to shed most of that get up.  There was a crap ton of snow out there!  Afterwards I felt probably similar to how Rhonda Rousey felt after Saturday night.  Then again, no.  Not that bad...

As I was convalescing afterward, I was reading emails and realized that it's NaBloPoMo - y'know, where people blog every day during November?  There are helpful prompts at this site, and I thought maybe I'd do the Cliff Notes version to get caught up:

What was the one toy that a friend had that you wished you had when you were little?
My best friend had a whole play kitchen - oven, sink, countertop - the whole caboodle.  GAWD, I wanted such a one.  That and a Mrs. Beasley doll.  
What did you think was the coolest job in the world when you were younger? Do you still feel that way now?
When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be an artist, but I remember when I first learned about stunt doubles.  I thought that was a cool job, but I didn't necessarily want to be one.  I guess I still feel that way a little.
When you were a kid, did you want to have the same job or a different job than your parents when you grew up?
My mom was a stay-at-home-mom who did lots of volunteering until I was 15.  My dad was a teacher.  I didn't think about having the same job, but it kinda ended up that way, nuh?
What is the most important lesson you learned as a child, and who taught it to you?
My dad taught us to be grateful, not forcefully, but he'd just often say stuff that started out with, "We sometimes don't realize how lucky we are to have/be/do..."  And then I'd be all, "Dang, he's right!"
What was your biggest fear as a child? Do you still have it today? If it went away, when did your feelings change?
Strangely, my biggest fear was losing the stuff I had to be grateful for that my Dad would remind us we were so lucky to have!  Like my family, my home, my friends, my health.  Yup, still have it!
What is the first thing you do every single day (I mean, after you hit the snooze button)? When did that step in your routine begin?
I do some kind of exercise thing.  I usually run three mornings a week.  On the other days, I do some calisthenic type stuff.  That routine began once we had kids.  I knew that once they were out of bed, there'd be no time.
What is the hardest part of a big project: getting the energy to begin, finding the time to work on it, or feeling down that it's over?
That second thing - finding time.  Feeling down that it's over?  Can't remember that ever happening.
What was the last thing you fixed or built?
Other than the glacier of a driveway?  Over the weekend, I swapped out Bella's summer tires for the winter nobbies.  Just in time, apparently!
If you had a personal assistant who would do your most dreaded tasks, which items from your to-do list would you assign out?
Swapping out tires on Bella.  Not a fave task.  
Describe your ideal day off. What would you do with your time?
Just one day?  Actually, my schedule isn't overly harried (by design, and I'm grateful to have that choice!), but I rarely have a full day with no obligations.  If I had a full day of nothing, I'd drive down to see my dad.  It's about a 5-hour round trip.

Pretending you have the expertise to make the product a reality, what do you wish you could invent?
Time machine.
What is one place you need to see to feel like your life is complete?
Hmm, I don't have such a place, such a "need".  My life feels complete by whom I'm with, not where I am.  I've been to nice places with obnoxious people and to scuzzy places with fun people.  Guess which were more fun.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Silver Liningness Sunday

Greetings at the end of another fine week.  Amid all the chaos in the world, I'm thankful for this mundane blog and those who come visit.  

It was a productive week that I expected to spill over into the weekend, but the weekend has actually been nice and restful.  I had a group project due for school, and we knocked it out rather efficiently.  Then our team member who was to submit it online submitted the wrong version.  I'm all thinking, "you had ONE JOB!"  But yeah, other than that, it's been mellow.

We were actually planning to go mountain biking today - Meego's idea.  But the weather turned a bit cranky and I left it up to him.  My words:  "It's up to you because you know I'm chicken and am fine if we don't go"

I like bicycling on friendly trails and pathways.  Leave the hucks and jumps and ruts and crap to the young and resilient.  So he said we'd wait for a better day.  Whew.  

We had a short visit with Wolfgang this weekend.  He's getting ready for a fun trip with the girlfriend's family over Thanksgiving week and was rummaging around the house for a few things.  They actually planned for this months ago so they could get tickets in advance.  I was wondering what would happen if they had a falling out in the meantime, but thankfully, that hasn't happened.

Services for Sean were on Monday.  I understand that several of the band kids shared fond memories.  Probably not a dry eye in the house.  I didn't really know him, but I don't think I'll ever forget him.

On a lighter and more distractive note, Magnum and I enjoyably finished all of season 5 of  The Walking Dead.  And since spoilers are impossible to avoid, it seems, I'm well aware of the current tumult surrounding a certain character's demise in season 6.  I'm fine with it because, to me, it's all just escapist entertainment with fictional characters portrayed by actors.... 

Just Pleez, not Glenn!!!

Speaking of which, you've seen this Glenn TWD meme?  

It reminded me of something my Filipino nephew posted this week for Movember.   I think he's actually my first cousin once removed, but what a pain.  I refer to him as nephew, he refers to me as aunt.  Simple.  Anyways...

Yeah, Asians in general aren't known for facial hair production capability.  He's quite proud as you can see.  We all are.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


"You have been selected to serve on Hoopa Choopa High's Site Improvement Committee..." so began the email.

I have been selected, or I was the only sucker who applied?

A few weeks ago, the high school set about recruiting volunteers for this committee.  The message stated:

"This committee is charged with identifying and 
prioritizing the needs of [Hoopa Choopa]
and then presenting a final report of needs to the 
District Growth and Capital Needs Committee. 
Identified needs will be of a capital nature that 
will improve the educational environment of the school."

And I was thinking, there are a lot of "needs" in there.

Then I was thinking this could be interesting, but as far as I knew, the high school doesn't have any glaring capital needs that I know of.  I considered throwing my hat in the ring, but what if I was selected to serve and still felt there were no capital needs?  Should we spend money just because it's there??

See, Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.  A good bulk of the tax revenues are meant to go toward education.  Well, the pot business is going like gangbusters, so now there's all this pot revenue floating around.  I assume that is what gave rise to this site improvement committee - to help find ways to spend the pot money.

The recruitment message included:

"Membership will include at least three parents, two students (grades 10 / 11), 
three teachers, two classified employees and two administrators. "

So that seemed like fun enough.  I've cut back on the tutoring since I'm in grad school, and this sounds like a nice mesh of my interests.  But I put off applying until the final day.  In addition to our contact information, we were to provide

"a brief summary explaining your interest in being a part of this committee"

and I didn't lie.  I mentioned my interests in secondary education and project management and added a bit about  *paraphrased* - I'm a bit bored and isolated right now, plus my participation might help me get a real job in the near future.

Okay, so I've been selected.  How many people even answered the call?  Would they have turned anyone away?

Our first meeting isn't until January, so maybe I'll snoop around for needs of a capital nature in the meantime.  I've asked Meego for input, and he just has complaints about the librarians (not of a capital nature) and the fact that the vending machines are off limits during lunch - apparently thanks to Michelle Obama.  I think she's got  more pull than I do.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

the case of the gluten invasion

We've noticed a strange phenomenon in our back yard.  Where's Encyclopedia Brown when you need him?

It started a couple of weeks ago.  Magnum was back there working on the Great Wall (yes it's still in progress) when he came upon a... thing.  An unexpected... thing.  It was.... strangely enough... it was... it appeared to be...

a dinner roll?

A fist sized roll like is served warm in a basket at fine dining establishments.  Why would such a thing be buried in our  hill?  Don't tell me the cat is going vegetarian.  NEVER!

So we thought that strange enough and just thought maybe the kid next door chucked a dinner roll over the fence.  Yeah, that happens.

Then on Tuesday, I was in the backyard with China and I went to take something off the clothesline (yes we have one and use it!).  China was snorting around nearby as she does, then goes walking by with... it was a.... she had in her mouth.... yeah, it was a...

a freaking dinner roll!

I thought maybe Magnum just left the one he found for the gophers or whatever and now China had it.  So later when he came home, I asked him what he did with that mystery dinner roll he found.  He said he'd thrown it away.  Well then what the hell dinner roll did China find??

I'm perplexed.  We've found soccer balls, tennis balls, and other stray playthings that wind up in the yard, but dinner rolls?

In other intriguing outdoor things, I rounded a corner on the bike path today and was greeted by this road hog of a tree:

So how's your Aspen?