Well 2012 came and went. All I really did here was think about posting. Everything went to Facebook or whatever since I was too much on the run. Well I am done running and back in the swing. Cathy had a conference in California. I finished my program and passed my registry exam. I have a sister who lives in California. Why not go out, hang out and avoid the tuesday snows of a Colorado spring. So I did. She went to San Francisco and I went to San Jose. Got to spend time with Brigid and her little dog. She lives adjacent to the Rose Garden neighborhood in SJ and everywhere there was blooming roses to be seen.
We got to eat and see some sites. Went to Chinatown and the Beat Museum in SF. It is across the alley from the Hungry I and kitty corner from City Lights. If you haven't spent your children's inheritance yet you can do it there. To see a gallery of images you may click here
I haven't posted to here as often as I have posted to Facebook, Flickr and the blog. The last post here was over Labor Day Weekend.
That weekend, my wife and I (along with our friends Carol and Mike) went for a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a beautiful day and a strenuous hike, but us old folks did well. We hiked the Mills Lake Trail. It was a 10K hike in and out. The major elevation gain that hurt was the 500 feet up to the trailhead on the return trip. You can view the photo set on Flickr here. I concentrated on the post processing and achieving a real film look to my G9 shots. I started to think more about HDR and tone mapping my images.
At this time I also started school... again. I've enrolled in Radiation Therapy for 15 months. Will keep advised.
So it has been a while since I change this post but I have been keeping current on Facebook and on my blog page here .
This past weekend my wife and I (along with her sister Kris) made a journey to the Four Corners region of Colorado. Kris is a free lance graphic artist/art director. She has a client in Southwest Colorado and Cathy thought she could kill a couple of birds with this one stone. Kris got some face time with her client, got to see the product and Cathy got to finally get the the western slope.
I passed this way last September with the moto and it rained on me. This time everything was beautiful!
Well the weather has finally gotten to the point where one doesn't freez (all day) on the motorcycle. I was determined to spend the last day of my forties on the bike. Tried to get a couple of friends together but it ended up be John B and myself. We met in Longmont at Aunt Alice's Restaurant and had a very nice breakfast. The day started at 27° so the 32 mile ride there at 65 mph was brisk to say the least. After a hearty breakfast we motored the back roads north to Larimer County 27. This road is west of Loveland and takes you up the back way to Poudre Canyon and US 14. Lot of twisty turns and 10 mph turns. Stopped once to check map and stretch the legs. Met a few motorcyclists as they stopped too. One guy saw my map and ask "where does this road go?". He was just out for the fun. By the time we got to the river the weather had warmed to the low 60's and it was time for lunch. US14 is all down hill to Fort Collins so John and I stopped at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre for some lunch. Since we are not the type to bar hop and John had never been to New Belguim Brewery, we headed off to take the tour. Only thing we had the tasting but the tour was too crowded.
John and I head to our respective homes and called it a day. 143 miles and as many smiles!
Happy New Year!
So I joined a motovlogging group on the internet. Motovlogging is the like blogging but with video tape and motorcycles. This group calls its self the Polar Bear Challenge . You need to show the outside air temp, your odometer (start and finish) and minimum three minutes travel. The more below 32º, the better. The weather was not cooperating with me. When the temps dipped below 32º, they went into the single digits and that snow thing happened. Now if I can get the weather to warm up, dry out adn then cool off, I will be set.
Well it is time for some more change. Since graduation I haven't had the time to focus on this site (Facebook and the iPhone makes everything so easy to share). Well that is going to change and the change starts with a new address...
We are moving to Greeley CO. 1st thing I hear from people is "have you been there?" Yes I have but as Cathy is working on her doctorate there and I have yet to be gainfully employed in my chosen field, we are giving it a shot. The picture to the left is a gif of me morphing from 1986 to 2010. Slight changes to say the least. I guess the hair is the biggest change, for the less. Hope the move goes well!
Fall has found me in possession of a new motorcycle. Well new to me. I purchased from my brother in law a 2007 Suzuki SV650. Tony wished for me to join the ranks of big better cycling and wanted to pass the karma along. he has been riding for 30 years, and while a fan of my Vespa experience, thought it was time.
So I flew to San Jose and spent a few days with my sister, while Tony was out of town. On the Saturday, Tony and I went over maintenace and repaired a leaky fuel line. Rode around San Jose for about 40 miles and got up the next day and headed for the hills.
Well hills plural. Tony and I rode down Interstate 5, where we parted company. He turned right for the coast and I went left for Bakersfield. Ended my 1st day in Tehachapi, CA. The next morning after the fog burned off I went over the pass and down through Barstow, Ludlow and the Mojave to Needles. 106° is warm to ride in and I stopped in Kingman AZ.
Day 3 was all Az all day. Super slabbed (rode the Interstate) all day except for the side trip to Winslow for a little touristy adventure. The sun set as I arrived in Gallup NM.
Day 4 was the rain day. I-40 was a mess so I rode up throught the reservation to Colorado. By the time I made it to Cortez, I was starting to leak around the edges. Made it to Durango for the night and was able to dry off and get some sleep.
Day 5 was Wolf Creek Pass and the adventure that is 285. Rt 285 is the flat part and was battling cross wind / head wind gusts of 30 mph or better. Spent the night in Fairplay and made it home for lunch the next day. Click here for a gallery from the G9 and some from the iPhone.
School is done for both Cathy and I, so we took advantage of free time, and motored up to Cheyenne to visit our friends Ric and Kim. They had moved up there last Winter and this was our first chance to get up and see them.
The weather was nice for a change. We drove to the Medicine Bow National Forest and went for a hike on the Turtle Rock trail. To see the photos from it, click here
Made another fast trip out to Beverly to help Eamon move from his dorm to an apartment. He was able to get all of assignments done before that weekend, so when everyone else was cycling down to the end, he was already finished.
Flew from Denver to Milwaukee to Logan via Frontier Airlines. Eamon picked me up at the airport, we picked up the rental ride and made for the Bev. 1st stop was Bill and Bobs for some food. Eamon had a beef and some Cheezer Teezers (fried cheese...go figure), while I had a Big Beef and no cheese, thank you!
So he is done with the dorm and on his own (with a roommate) and enjoying a place of his own. We went to IKEA and Dream On Futons , bought the needed and unneeded, and 3 trips in the car and he was moved in. They have a free TV and a free couch. That and a $8 coffee table they are ready to rock. To view the set on Flickr click here .
Well school is done (for now). Graduation was held at the Buell Theater in Denver on the 12th. It was cold and raining outside but hot and muggy backstage... typical.
Of the 29 members of the class of 2010, only 7 of us went through with the exercise. Not much difference between this event and the 8th grade/highschool/college version I have already participated in but it closes the chapter.
To see pictures from the event you can click here to see them on Flickr!
ps...don't wear a fleece jacket beneath your robes...it can get hot!
Before school starts again for us two, Cathy said getting away and going to Scottsdale and experiencing some sun. We took a 2 nights free voucher at the Best Western and some obscenely cheap airline tickets on Frontier and we we off.
So after an early morning flight we were in a rental car (an Aveo) and cruising downtown Phoenix to get the lay of the land before lunch. We found downtown Scottsdale and spent the afternoon in Old Town. The next was to be the adventure. We went to Taliesin West to pay hommage to Mr Wright's winter home. That night we went to the Old Town Tortilla Factory and had an excellent meal and did the Old Town Art Walk . Please give it a try if you get the chance...
Happy New Year to all! Decided to take a break during the break in the class schedule and get away. My sister and her husband joined my wife and I at a cabin in the Crystal Lakes region of Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.
We had a blast! Being from the Great Lakes, outside in Winter is usually a cold experience. Still wrapping my head around the idea of outside activities let alone HOT TUBS! Something to be said about a 5° above zero ambient temp with a steady breeze blowing.... and sitting in 104° water. Watching the stars and the Blue moon at New Years with a 40mph gust was even more excitement.
To see the album that I posted on Facebook click here
Happy Holidays to all! Yeah I said Holidays! Christmas, Hanukkah and Solstice or what ever is celebrated in the bossom of your family. Winter is here and we have nothing to look forward to but the return of the Light! Viva El Sol! Peace!
Weird how the first real snow of the season resembles the last from April? I thought so....
Took some more time to be with the missus and went to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Crested Butte, Gunnison and Montrose, Colorado. We traveled with Cathy's coworker Carol and her husband Mike and drove down to Gunnison. We made it there faster than we thought and decided since it was a Thursday, we would go up to Crested Butte and see some of the Wild Flower Festival befor the weekenders get into town. CB was adorable (as Eamon would say) and is on the list for a repeat visit.
After a short visit to CB we headed for Montrose. The Black Canyon is closer to Montrose than Gunnison (which are 60 miles apart). This canyon is so deep that to get from one side to another you have to drive upwards of 90 miles to get to a spot directly across from the Visitors Center.
Click here for a page of panoramas.
Cathy suggested a getaway. She suggested that I take out the 5x7 field camera and shoot it. She suggested Devils Tower WY. Guess what? We went to Devils Tower, I shot a half dozen sheets and we were away for the weekend. I love her stick-to-it-ness!
The image to the left is of Tower and the camera on my Gorillapod. Got a few "Wow thats a cool camera!" but mostly we took the trail not taken. The trail around the Tower it self is a paved one. Everyone was going counterclockwise around the tower. We chose to go clockwise (as no one was going that way). We asked a Ranger later if counter was the prevalent way to go. She said that she was obligated to go clockwise as that was the accepted direction of the Native Americans. That and her Superitendant is a Lakota. Buddhists travel clockwise around stupas and temples so I think that just makes sense.
Click here to see a SimpleViewer gallery of the trip.
Here is the start of the images from the road trip Cathy and I took to New England to pick up Eamon. He finished his first year and we took the chance to drive out and see old friends along the way.
The image to the right is of Newburyport MA, the link will take you to a series of panoramas from the trip. We stayed with our friends Melissa and Chris, in Brockport NY,over the busy graduation weekend and enjoyed the humidity and the vegatation. Click here for a web gallery from Brockport.
More links to become available as I make them but for now it is back to school for me...
Well the last snow storm has plowed through the Front Range. ( I hope). On the 15th, it was almost 70¡ and on Friday the snow started coming. rain and snow. Snow and rain....and then a lot of snow. Some places in the foothills received snow in feet. Plural. We were spared the dumping but on Sunday, the temp was almost 70¡. Let's hope the snow doesn't come back.
Cathy and I had some errand to do and thought it would be nice to get a walk in. We went out to Bluff Lake and looked for the first signs of spring. The yucca's and cacti loved the moisture. The two geese on the water were in the mood to make more geese (at least he was), and a coyote was on the prowl. I say coyote because I have never seen a dun colored fox that big before. Gotta love the nature....
The above panorama is a six shot stitch of the front range and Downtown Denver. I think that may deserve printing.
Last weekend before Spring and it was almost 65° outside. Cathy did not want me to waste it studying (though I still studied) and she was off to the mountains on Sunday and wanted to get out... so we did. We went to Barr Lake (about a half hour north) to see what we had been missing. Everytime we drive on I-76, we drive passed the lake and go "I wonder what is there?". Yeah we are pretty dopey.
The weather has been great this winter ( Iknow that I am jinxing it) but I really haven't been getting out. School has been busy and hectic but I am learning a lot. More about school to follow but for now just deal with the pretty outdoor photos of a prebloosom state park.
Well every couple of years the whole family gets together. Or at least we thought so. The last photo was 9 years ago at a funeral and the last Christmas photo was 1985! Cathy and I drove to Madison via Interstate 90 through South Dakota. Cathy was amazed that I had never been to the Badlands, we had to stop at the visitor center. I grabbed some nice photos but is was blue skies and 5° (so the there are not that many photos).
We spent time with my sister in law Kris and her husband Todd with a quick side trip to Spring Green to see Marianne. Xmas Eve at Kris and Todd's and a Late dinner the next day with Cathy's parents. On the 26th we ventured to Chicago through fog and rain to pick up Eamon and his girlfriend Kendal at O'Hare. Had dinner with Deirdre and saw my niece Laurel at her work and stayed at her apartment. Over night and ALL the next day the remnants of the major snow storm of the previous week disappeared durning the monsoon like rain showers. My nephew Jason hosted the family get together and FUN was had by all.
We made a mad dash back to the WI to show Eamon his GP's and then our 4th feast at Mariannes before driving 15.5 hours back to Denver. I am tired. Click on the photo of the family to see a hodge podge of the photos from the adventure. I will break them down to specific times when the pressure on my brain eases...
Fall break is the last week of November (and finals are the next week) so to get away from it all Cathy and I went to the hills. Cathy had a couple of kids to see on out reach, with her trusty driver (moi) we went to the thriving metropolises of Hot Sulphur Springs and Craig ,Colorado. We then took a day for ourselves and stayed in Steamboat Springs. It was a great time because we left 24 hours before the hills opened for the season, so we had the chance to avoid the skiers.
Ski Town USA is the largest town inthe county but take the recreation out of it and it just an overpriced little ranch town. We hiked the trail near the river and I went back t o the room to study while Cathy got to shop. Win Win situation if there ever was.
Click the ice photo to the right or here to see a page of the photos from this trip
To see some panoramic photos click here . This page uses the Zoomify plug in from photoshop. You can zoom and pan through the images
Senator Obama came to Denver today. Cathy said "...lets go see him. What better do you have to do than study?" So we went. Along with 100,000 other people. It was a blast. Former Mayor Pena and Mayor Hickenlooper were there. Congresswoman DeGette and Congressman Perlmutter. Future Senator Udall and Senator Salazar. Everyone was there. Including the FBI Sniper Team. Way cool!
To see photos of the march click here .
My sister Marianne came out to see the moountains in Fall and we took her aput her curiosity to the test. We stopped off to see the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins on our way to Red Feather Lakes. I don't think I have done a brewery tour since the 60's when we did Schlitz in Milwaukee. We bailed early on the tour so we could sample. FUN. Then we headed up hill saw the color change from slight color to peak and past in places. We dragged Marianne on an eight mile hike. She loved it. To see photos of the march click here .
Since the circus was in town and the boy was off to school, Cathy wanted us to get away. We went to Breckenridge to stay with friends and used Breckenridge as a base camp. On Friday, we went to Leadville and Aspen via Independence Pass. The sights and the weather were optimal. Saw a guy at the top of the pass with a vintage Vincent motorcycle. I asked if I could grab a snap. He asked me not to if it was alright with me. If was an ass I would have any way but it was a cool bike nonetheless. Aspen was everything I thought it would be but nicer. i still don't have the money to spend there.
The next day we got a semi-alpine start and were at the trail head for Quandary Peak at 7:30am. We had the best of intentions and the resolve to complete the ascent but lack the knees. Maybe with a little practice and a little more synovial fluid I could have completed. We made it 12,820 feet (a passing climber had a GPS to verify the altitude) and the hard part was the down. Cathy's irrational fear of falling and poor depth perception made her go slow down the rocks. I am glad I made it as far as I did and if I ever attempt one again I know what to expect but don't need to do it. But then again who needs to do anything. Click on the photo of the intrepid climber to see a page of the photographs. It will load the images randomly and be sure to navigate to the top of the page.
You can use your arrow keys to navigate through these images when you click here .
The boy is off to school and Cathy and I are empty nesters, after a fashion. We mailed all his belongings out to Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA and he and I flew out a friday and the orientation was that saturday. We moved all his stuff in less than 10 minutes. He had everything unpacked and the boxes broken down in less than 45 minutes. He is on the 2nd floor with a floor of girls below and above. 21 total people live in the house.
Cathy did not fly out with us to avoid confrontation and stress. If you click on the foto to the right you will see the pages of the apartment and my journeys around Beverly and neighboring Salem.
Well we finally did a vacation. The Mrs and i have travelled before but never with a serious destination involved. We've done Disney but with the boy and numerous family visits but never to this extreme. Cathy got a email from Frontier Airlines announcing an introductory fare to Costa Rica. $300 round trip non stop. We went with my sister Brigid and her husband Tony and Cathy's sister Kris and her husband Todd.
I also have recently received a Canon Powershot G9 (12 megapixel camera) with the 2x extender lens. Our list of subjects to check off our list was zip line tour, birds, monkeys, beach, sailboats with dolphins and coffee. We batted 1000. To see the 594 photos I edited it down to click here . When I figure out how downsize the videos for the web you can see Cathy repelling off a 70' platform!
Cathy and I ventured up to the mountains for a hike before Winter set in. I know what you are thinking but October is Winter here. We drove up through Ft Collins and up 287 to Livermore. We headed west and I could see trees in full color and as we went up hill, was like driving into the future. Some of the aspens were in full color and they lost more leaves proportionally to the lavation gain. By the time we stopped in Red Feather Lakes the deciduous leaves were almost totally gone.
The view to the right is a of an area north of Rocky Mountain National Park and The Never Summer mountain range. We are getting to like this area as it is not where people ( read that as money) likes to go. Click on the picture to see the photos from this hike.
My nephew got married to Julie and a fun time was had by all. They tied the knot at the Garfield Park Conservatory and held the reception immediately afterwards. That was the fun part. My family is large and extended, meaning that travel was involved.
Cathy and I flew out from Denver at 6am to arrive early in the day to avoid weather. Eamon took the train the previous Saturday to avoid flying and I am glad he did. By 9am in Chicago, the winds of the Windy City were blowing. I have been in a Cessna that experienced a windy approached but I have never been on a passenger jet that moved in that many directions at one time. Cathy almost broke my hand and after the first right to left correction the plane became real quiet.
Click here to get pictures of the week end
Well it is that time of the year again to go to the mountains and give the boys of the Troop 69 an adventure in orienteering. Eamon had to work, so he was obligated to elsewhere but I had the free time, so I went to help. Eamon's Scoutmaster, Marvin (pictured to the right helping a scout with his bearings) has a course marked out in the National Forest that really teaches the boys ( and the dads) what the compass is all about.
We drove up into the mountains on Friday night and camped at 9800' on a saddle between two hills. Besides myself and the Scoutmaster were 3 other dads with a total of five scouts. We split up the hike with the boys going either clockwise or counter clockwise around the course. 3 boys in the morning and then two in the afternoon on saturday. That means that I got the one mile twice. Th e hard part is to let the boy drag you around and not to correct individual mistakes but general compass mistakes. It was probably closer to three miles.
Sunday was a fun day walk up to Hill 1023. This image was taken from three exposures on that hike with just a Canon Powershot G2 (4 Megapixel camera). Just use the tools at the bottom of the viewer to navigate around the image. To see photos of the weekend click here.
Finally received CS3 and here is the zoomify export feature with a panorama from my recent visit to California. Click on the image and use the controls to zoom in on the photo.
Today is a snow day. yesterday was a snow day. tomorrow will be a snow day. Not how I would teach children (or ESL students for that matter) how to conjugate. I live on the 4th floor and do not have to shovel, but again I couldn't get out of our complex either. The bus driver told his passengers wednesday night that service will be suspended at 7PM. That was at 6:45. He got stuck along wiith 3 other buses. No bus service thursday. Click
for some pix...
Christmas photos here ...
A week after the snow and guess what it is doing? Yeah well it is only nine inches of discomfort this time. The Vespa is getting lonely. The 31st is it's 1st birthday. I drove it home from the dealer with only 2.5 miles on the odometer. She is now at 3900+ and sitting waiting for the thaw...
Cathy and I took Eamon to Boston for more potential college choices.
He looked at Montserrat College of Art , School of the Museum Fine Arts Boston , Mass Art and RISD . No choices were eliminated at this time.
Click here to see more images.
These pages were generated by Apple Aperture with minimal me input, just the way I like it.
Eamon and I headed out to visit Santa Cruz and Berkeley as potential college choices.
Being Califonia, February means rain but being Smyth means that it snows too. The rain was good for charecter but SNOW in San Jose was over the top. Eamon enjoyed Santa Cruz but Berkeley was not really a choice...
Click here to see more images
Click here for a Vespa movie!
Eamon got out of Summer camp this year, because he had some classes and projects to work on. In addition he had only a couple merit badges left before his Eagle project. We don't have any vacation time in August and September because it is our busiest time at work.
First off they move us to the last week in July instead because the Church of Latter Day Saints want the whole camp to themselves. No comment. By the time I get Eamon convinced that we should go, camp is closed due to an outbreak of the Norwalk virus. Two weeks of boys together in 100 plus degree temperatures and a highly contaigiuos virus. Where can I sign up.
As a fall back we went on a fishing weekend up in Byers Canyon outside of Hot Sulfur Springs, on the Colorado River. We camped in the National Forest and due to fire restrictions we decided to have all our meals out. Eamon likes that kind of camping. Click here to see more images
Not being the bar hopper I was in my youth, I limit my nights out and I have been getting out for the Guinness promotional night. This year I went with my friend Geoff. We have done this night before here in Denver and back when we both lived in Rochester. Having a ringing in my ear and a slight hearing loss (high frequencies - probably the Pretenders concert back in the early 80's) makes it hard for conversation. Something tell sme I won't be going out til next February. This happened on the Friday night of NBA All Star Week heree in Denver. A lot a people spending more money than is economically or politically responsiblie.
Wishing everyone a happy and safe new year! Click on the link to the left (FREE SPEECH) to see Eamon's site. This is just a portfolio piece for him.
Well, everyone came to the mountains last year (see photo below) and for a change we all went to Akumal, Mexico. Akumal is about a 100 kilometers south of Cancum on the Myan Riveria. Spending 5 days in a tropical paradise is not as painful as one would think. Click here to see some of the digital photos I took and here for a link from another party monster
I know I haven't fixed the photos from Xmas but I had to post these from Pikes Peak. We took the Cog Railway to the top. For $26 you can go from about 6,000 feet above sea level to 14,110 feet. It was fun. Someday I may walk it but til then I will have to live through this memory. My sister Marianne and Cathy's sister kris and her husband joined us in the adventure. Find pictures here . Don't let the old man to right scare you... he won't bite! But that is not a promise. I would recommend the train versus the 23 of road to the top.
Well the family came to town...and it was fun. In the picture to the left you will see my brother, a brother-in-law, 4 sisters, a wife, a nephew , a niece, my son and a old family friend, at Snow Mountain Ranch. SMR is located north of Winter Park Colorado and an all year facility operated by the YMCA ofthe Rockies. I know what you are thinking but forget it , it was a fun weekend for all. Just ask them if you can find them....(link to follow with the pictures)
Both Eamon and I miss the colors of New England but Colorado has a beauty all it's own. To the right is a shot of the Beirstadt Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. We climbed that trail the first weekend of the month and found that trails have gotten so popular that they have put in a Park N' Ride about half way up the dead end road instead of putting a larger parking lot at the trail head. We parked and waited for the 3 school buses to take us up the road. We wished to do the trail at Bear Lake but decided that it would be more like a school field trip than anything else. The buses stopped at Beirstadt and we got off our bus and found that we were the only ones getting off. The trail is only a mile and a half but it rises 566 feet over 9 switch backs (about 1/4 mile in the south to north direction. It was fun.
Just got back from a short trip in-state. Covered 350 miles and still didn't get to camp. Eamon had a cold and was a little feverish. The temperature dropped to 38 degrees by dinner and then came the rain. Cathy didn't want to wait for it to turn to snow so we did the motel route. Photos can be found
I had fun considering it has been so hot here this summer that I have only worn shorts and when we get a chance to go camping it threatens the first snow!
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