Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The advancement of Artificial Intelligence

Eliza was an early AI program that was sometimes said to act as a psychiatrist. We studied it in AI classes. How could a computer respond to questions and adapt? But it was pretty easy stuff as it just mimicked back what you said to it. I had a version of it on my Mac and played with it a bit.

Social engineering
is a technique used to gather personal information from people by cyber criminals. I first came across the term when starting at MCI in relation to people calling and getting PBX information. How to hack a companies phone system so you could use it to make long distance calls.

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) "bots" are "robots" (computer programs) that join a IRC channel and then monitor it. They can be good or bad. I've run them before to record all information on a channel and write it to a file, so we can always go back and remember what was said. There is also an infobot named purl which records information as it seems it or as someone tells it, and then monitors questions so it can answer them back later. An interactive "person like" way to store information on user chat channels so that someone doesn't always have to be on and responding to user questions.

Now, in Russia, they've all been combined. Now when someone is on a singles channel (or some other channel) and someone starts flirting with them, striking up a conversation and then asking them personal information... that "person" may not really be a person. It may be a new flirtation bot built to do just that... gather personal information from a social engineering point of view. That information can then be used to steal that personal information - which can then be used in any number of cyber crime sort of ways.

We've come a long way since Eliza...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Carrier security outsourcing making connections

For those that wonder "So... what exactly is it that you do?" This article doesn't really answer that, LOL, but what I do contributes to this stuff. In particular some of the stuff I've been working on lately is pretty interesting and is related to this quote:
"There will always be opportunities from an attack perspective for us to take action and protect customers on the backbone, and we'll do that," she said. "We've also driven a lot of internal innovation in last three years for fighting issues such as targeted attacks; we're building out the honeynets and doing more correlation of data. Now we're in the phase of launching services as both stand-alones and value-adds."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tif and I on Mount Lemmon

As I mentioned in the previous post, Tif and I went up to Mount Lemmon. The ride was really nice and we actually drove through the town this time. Last time Tina and I went up there the road was all torn up with major construction.



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Cap'n Jack & The Axe: Adevntures in the AZ Badlands

Since we trailered Captain Jack to AZ; I figured I should make take the opportunity to do some good rides. Nothing too long, since I wanted to spend time with Tif and the Pea; but just get out and take advantage of the warm AZ Nov. weather. A few hours here and there.

So - the last Friday we were there I decided to head down to Madera Canyon. I had been looking for an 'M' for Harley ABCs Tour, and it had shown up. Tif and I went and got the 'M' at Mount Lemmon, but the web page had looked cool so I decided to head down. Tucson is pretty cool in that; although you'd think it was pretty much "pure desert", you can get an hour or so out of town and be in all different kinds of terrain. Another "ride up into the mountains" sounded fun.

So I did some google mapping and found a pretty good loop. South out of town, down the S Nagoles Highway, then down Whitehouse Canyon Rd and into the Canyon itself. Coming back out I'd take E Box Canyon Rd, over to Hwy 83 and north back into town. All in all a pretty good ride and shouldn't take too long.

So we (Captain Jack and I) head south out of town, and avoiding the interstate, we take Sahuarita Rd west to Nagoles... only deal is that they are graveling it and its got fresh gravel. Not to great on the bike, but we brave it - at least traffic is flowing at 25... Until we hit the one lane. So Cap'n Jack and I kick back in the 90 degree heat, Aerosmith blasting, and trying not to get too fried. After about 5 minutes I turn him off (to keep cool - or at least not get so hot) but still listen to the tunes. Finally the pilot car comes and we are on our way. I'm not sure how much longer this construction is going to last; but at least Wilmont should be soon and we can head south (not wanting to take this road all the way to the Nagoles Hwy).

We get to Wilmont... and its a dirt road - so we continue on our way. Finally we find a paved road heading south and we roar off, picking up some speed and some wind. Going along through the Pecan orchards; the temperature drops a good 10 degrees. Its awesome... until 5 miles later, yup - it turns to dirt. So we turn around, head back north and stay on Sahuarita till we hit the Nagoles Hwy, and head south on that, following the signs to Madera Canyon.

We are heading south, and then east, but it doesn't look like we are going to get that much closer to the Mountains... but then the road starts heading due south and says the National Park is about 8 miles ahead - so we should at least get into the foothills. Cool deal.

We then get closer to the park and see this sign, about 20 feet past the park sign:

Just in case you can't read that... here is a close up:

Yeah... that's right
Gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling doesn't it? Especially when I've seen like ONE car so far.

Anyway, we are up for it and continue on. I get into the park and it is pretty cool. Saw: deer, wild turkeys, quail, squirrels and all kinds of birds. And there were plenty of people around picnicking, hiking, etc. Up into the canyon, dessert giving way to foothills with all kinds of trees, little stream. Very nice.

Coming back out of it we head north on the road and get to the Box Canyon turn off. "14 miles to 83".... and the road is dirt! But it doesn't look "that bad", and surely its not all dirt - so off we go.

A little nervous, given the sign and all; but we're doing 35 - 40, so moving right along. Then we see a sign (after about 5 miles) that says something like "9 miles of narrow road ahead". 5 miles back or 9 miles ahead? We continue on.

And the road just gets worse and worse. We are now doing maybe 10 MP, and sometimes almost coming to a complete stop as we cross what look like 4 wheel drive roads. Single lane, switchbacks, soft dirt or rocks everywhere. I'm expecting someone to jump out at any corner... Kind of get this "Badges... we don't need no stinkin' badges" picture in my mind.

Anyway, we continue on. And we are going slow enough to see the 3 inch flying bug things in front of us that keep slowly flying out of our way as we pass.

The road keeps switchbacking up and up. Not like going over Independence Pass or anything, since we are in the hills... but still very twisting and you can't see more than about 10 feet in front of you and some of the corners feel like they are about 5 miles wide. We did see one truck on the road. We pulled to the side and he passed us in the opposite direction and then we ate his dust for the next mile or so. Eventually we started heading back down and came to this little canyon.

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Pretty cool! The only place I stopped to take a picture. The rest of the time we just kept moving! Before we got to 83 we did hit pavement finally and went through some ranch land. Again... a different part of AZ. Looked like CO to some extent. Pasture land, windmills, cows, trees. Very pretty. Then hit 83 and roared home.

All in all, quite the adventure and it all turned out well. I wouldn't do it with Cap'n Jack every again - but a dirt bike or a pickup might be fun. It was very pretty.

Brian's response when Tif talked to him on the phone and told him I went down to Madera and then across Box Canyon on the bike by myself... "Is he nuts?"


The Biker Pea - Bad to the Bone

PeaBaby's first "ride" on a Harley. OK... so we didn't actually move, but it was on so he "felt the rumble!" He told me he can't wait till he's old enough to go for an actual ride!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Creamed Leeks

Sunday I made a good, but very rich, dinner. Not really on my diet... but hey, it was only one dinner.

Chicken Marsala
Onion Risotto
Creamed Leeks


1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C butter
5 Leeks, cut in about 1 inch sections, washed well! (soaked and rinsed 3 times). Used the "stem" part as well as most of the "leaves" part.

Heat the oil/butter and saute the leeks for about 5 or 10 minutes till soft. At this point I had quite a bit of liquid, so I poured some off. So you can probably use less oil/butter or more leeks.

Poured 1 C of Heavy Whipping Cream on them and let them saute until the sauce thickened, about 15 minutes or so.

Seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

That's it! Easy, rich and a great taste. Definitely something I have to keep in mind as a standard.

Just like when she was little

When Tif was a little girl (2 or less) and I had the Camero in Big Timber (1968 Camero SS with a 500HP 454 in it, 3/4 racing cam, straight-line shifter), when we would cruise the drag, the car would always lope. She would sit in the back seat and say "Hot Rod Daddy, Hot Rod!", wanting me to hit the gas and make the car rock.

I took her for a rid up to Mount Lemmon a couple of days ago. I took off from the stop-light and put it through the first three gears. From behind me all of a sudden I heard her start giggling. "I LOVE it when you do that!"

Yeah, took me right back. Some things never change. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Riding around town

We trailered the bike down here and I've been itching to go somewhere. We forgot to pick up bagels at the store on Friday, so I said I'd go get some yesterday. Brian's favorite is Einstein Brothers - which is about 40 minutes away - longer if you get a little lost and take the long way!

Tif and Tina were going to do some shopping and Brian was working, so I took the bike out for a ride. Ended up spending about 3 hours out. Went and got bagels, then stopped at Trader Joe's and got some coffee and carb-free chocolate. Then stopped at Eegee's for a Hot Pastrami sandwich and a lemon eggee. Yum. There was no place to sit inside, so I just sat outside on the sidewalk, back up against the building, eating my sandwich and slurping down the eegee. It was pretty warm out, but there was a little breeze. Very cool. After getting some snow at home I have no problem sitting in the shade in almost 90 degree weather, sucking on an eegee to stay cool. AZ is great. :)

Then rode back towards home, got stuck in some traffic (something was going on) and turned around and took another long way home.

All in all - a great drive, warm weather, good food. A fun time. I'm very glad we brought the bike!

Watching the "boys" come home

Friday a squad of A-10s returned from Afghanistan. Brian was working so was there, and then Tif, Kian and I went over to see them return as well. It was pretty cool. We hung out in the hanger for a while and then went out to the line and watched them fly in, come down the airstrip and pull into their individual spots. There weren't *tons* of people there, but probably a good 50 or so. Mostly family members and friends.

It was very cool watching them fly in and then come down the line and pull into their spots. Basically a big carport kind of thing - structure with canvas over the top and about 1/2 way up the sides. Each plan has a spot and the family and friends of each pilot were waiting where they park. These guys had been deployed for 6 months I believe. A few things that stuck with me:
  • They've been deploy for 6 months and have done a ton of sorties, dropping quite a few bombs, strafing runs, etc. They have hit targets in the hundreds. They fly in support of ground troops. They had the stats up on the board. In any case - lots of action, and yet we never hear that there is a war going on in Afghanistan. All we here from the Main Stream Media is how we pulled out of Afghanistan to go to an un-just war in Iraq. Well there is a war going on in Afghanistan and we have folks over there fighting it every day.
  • I'm feeling my age. We hung out for a while with some of the wives waiting for their husbands to fly back. All "women" that Tif knows. There is Tif and Kian talking to all these wives and their children. They all look like kids to me. Girls with their kids, waiting for their boys to return home from war. Boys who have been over there fighting for us, protecting our country. Missing 6 months of their child's first year. And they'll be going back. And its just what they do. I'm impressed by all these kids do for us (both the young men and women), and saddened by how little we do for them as a country.
  • It was very cool to watch them pull up. They have to sit in their planes *forever*, ok - maybe 5 minutes, while the ground guys get the plane all set. During this they are giving thumbs up, mouthing "I love you" to their wives / girl-friends, waving to their kids, etc. Then finally they climb off the plane, run over and hug/kiss their wives (who they haven't seen for a long time), then hug their moms - who cling to them, then their dads, then shake hands with all their friends. It was very touching.
  • The noise of the plane has a rectangle on it, with a dragon, and silhouettes of bombs, rockets and other things. This represents bombs dropped, strafing runs, etc.

It was all very cool, and I'm glad I went.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The grief I take ;)

Stopped to pick up new cell phone batteries for Tina and Jaime on my way into work. Took Tina's phone so that I could make sure the battery was correct. I was riding the bike. Went into the store and there was a woman waiting around and all the customers were in the back. Eventually the clerk came out.

C: Can I help you?
M: I glance towards the woman.
W: I'm already being helped.
M: Can I get two batteries for this cell phone?
W: *You* carry a *pink* cell phone?
M: It's my wive's.
W: laughesJust harassing you... surprised to see you with a pink cell phone.
M: Yeah - its my wife's.
W: I know, but its just funny with you riding up on a Harley and all.
M: Well I told her I'd stop and pick up a battery for her and my daughter.
W: Yeah, no problem. There's no way *my* husband would do that for me. I just had to give you grief. It just looked funny.

People just don't expect you to flip out a pink cell phone when you're riding a Harley and all dressed in leathers and everything. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Its been a while since I read Paul Graham. I read his essay on How To Do Philosophy and passed it along to Jaimer, because she is loving logic in school right now. I then looked to see what else he had written that I had missed... Gee, guess its been a while, there is quite a bit. But I read Holding a Program in Ones Head because it looked similar to Great Hackers. As always, he gets it:
The weakest point in big companies is that they don't let individual programmers do great work.
Good programmers manage to get a lot done anyway. But often it requires practically an act of rebellion against the organizations that employ them.
How true... I'm feeling that a lot lately.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


FamilyWatchDog is a public site that uses google maps to show known sex offenders in your neighborhood. Put in your address and colored boxes show up in your area. Click on a box and it shows the person's name, convictions, alias, etc.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It feels just like you'd think

Yesterday we went up to the Golden Dog Park because they had a Colorado Greyhound Adoption picnic. Yes... we have a new dog. 'Nuff said. :)

Anyway, Tina and I took the bike up and it was a nice ride, spent an hour or so checking out the dogs and stuff. Kind of like a bike rally for dogs, i.e., food, vendors, activities. Tina bought some stuff and we had a good time. But it was *really* windy.

Coming back we were doing 70 on a particular road, with the stereo blaring, wind pounding us, and kind of just hanging on and going for it. Up ahead there was a lot of home construction and you could see the sand just *blowing* across the road. All we could do was hit the throttle and go for it. We'd never been through one before and yeah, it feels just like you'd think. Like going through a sand blaster.

But actually - it was kind of fun. Going fast, music up loud, bike rumbling, zipping through the sand - we just laughed and then I yelled and we were out of it and down the road. Hit another one, which wasn't as bad; and then we were home.

Nice warm fall day - it was good to be alive, on a bike, with my babe. :)

The Coz

Jaime and I hate a Daddy/Daughter day today. We went to Jack Quinn's for lunch. It was really good. Had Guinness and Corn Beef & Cabbage. Yum. Then we went to the Pikes Peak Center and saw Bill Cosby. He was awesome. And we had 4th row seats so that was very cool too. It was like sitting around with a grandpa and listening to really funny stories.

It was fun to get downtown early, walk somewhere for lunch and then catch a great show. We are going to a number of other shows as we got tickets to Broadway in Colorado Springs. We'll see how much I like Musicals... but I have great hopes. I think it will be a fun time with Jaimer.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Yet another thing VMS did right

For Geeks - a story on why VAX/VMS base time is 17-Nov-1858 and why it won't have any problems until 31-Dec-9999, unlike Unix which is going to have issues in 2032.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kian Pics

Uploaded some pictures of Kian. Birth through our last trip down there in Sept.

4 Corners pics

Uploaded some pictures of our ride down to Four Corners. Mostly pics between Ouray and Durango. Some very beautiful country.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shrimp Cocktail

I decided to make some shrimp cocktail this weekend because we were going to Becky's house for dinner. Rather than the normal "shrimp and cocktail sauce" dish, I decided to actually make a shrimp cocktail salad so to say, with a bit of a Costa Rica flare to it, and put it in avocado halves. Wouldn't have even though about writing it up; other than the fact that Becky took the left-overs to a neighbors house and they liked it so much they asked for the "recipe"... so here goes :)

1.5 lbs 51-60 count pre-cooked peeled shrimp
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green chili
1/2 red onion
1/2 12 oz jar Heinz Chile Sauce (Chili sauce! not Cocktail Sauce)
1 lime
3 avocados split in half with the seeds removed

  • Pull the tails off the shrimp and cut into 4 pieces
  • Dice pepper, chili and onion in small pieces (maybe 1/8th inch square)
  • Mix shrimp and veggies and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime
  • Add about 1/2 jar of the Chili sauce. You don't want it too soupy, but enough to coat it.
  • Rub lime juice on the flesh of the avocado so it doesn't brown.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add more lime juice if you want it more tangy, more chili sauce if you want it more sweet or tomato flavored.

Scoop out a bit of the avocado flesh making a "bowl", but leaving some avocado, and fill it with the shrimp mixture.

You'll have extra which you can serve in a bowl, nestle the avocados in the extra, or whatever fits with how you want to present it.

We ate it about 45 minutes after preparing it, but I've eaten it immediately after putting it together as well.

Takes maybe 30 minutes to prep. You might be able to use small salad shrimp and it would be faster, or use raw shrimp and "cook" it in the lime juice for a few hours; but I like the 51-60 pre-cooked shrimp the best.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

4 Corners

As I mentioned on Durango Diner, last weekend we went to the Four Corners Rally. There is a ton to do, but folks we were going with didn't want to stay for the entire time, so we planned a pretty fast trip. Head down on Friday, taking the long route through Montrose and Ouray, go down to Ignacio on Saturday, and then head back on Sunday going to South Fork, up 285, across 50 to Canyon City and up 115 to home.

I notified folks at work about 6 weeks previous that I'd be taking that Friday off. We planned on leaving between 7:00 and 7:30 from a meeting place about 30 minutes from our house, so we planned on leaving home about 6:30 AM. About a month out my boss mentions that we need to head out to DC that weekend. OK... what days, since I'm taking Friday off, remember? OK. No problem, we'll go Mon - Thur. That's kind of cool because many times we fly on Sunday and then you basically just lose a day of being off. Since I'm on salary we don't get paid for overtime... although we charge our internal customers. Yeah, weird and one of my pet peevees/hot-buttons, but I'll save that for another post. Anyway, out Mon and back Thur, getting into the springs at 9:05 PM. That's cool - should be home by 10:00 and plenty rested for the trip the next day.

The business trip is pretty good - a few frustrating/boring parts, but some really good productive sessions as well so that is all cool. We get to the airport with plenty of time to spare and get on our flight... and then we sit there for 2 hours on the plane because "there is some weather mid-west that we want to avoid". We finally take off and are told "Even though we are 2 hours late, you'll probably make your connecting flights because Dallas is having weather problems and so the planes are way behind." We have 50 minutes to make our connection... and are 2 hours late. Yeah - the math isn't hard to figure out. Anyway, we get into Dallas and all get off the plan at separate times. Hans is off first, and when I come off he is no where in site. I see that our flight has been delayed (Yah!) till 9:30... and its 9:28 now. :( - Everyone else comes off and says Hans already figured gate C- and we are in Terminal A. He is waiting by the train. So we rush over there and the train takes *forever*. But finally it arrives and we jump on, get off, and RUN through the terminal. We get to our gate, "Sorry, the plan is already backing away." Now I'm starting to sweat it... Come on... I've got a rally to go to. Not to mention hotel fees that I can't back out on at this late date, so if we miss the trip, we lose the $$.

Lukily Hans is in the "Admiral's club", so we go there and a guy hooks us up with tickets. "OK, here is what I can do. I'll get you on a confirmed flight to Denver (close enough)... tomorrow at 1:00 PM" (What???) "But there are two flights out tonight, one at 10:30 - so you better rush over there, and if you can't make that one on standby, you can roll over to the 12:00 flight and maybe make that one."

Ok - so there is still a chance. So we quickly head to the gate and get there... and there are people everywhere. There are 63 people on standby. Hans is #4 and the rest of us are #23 - #27, with me being #26. Folks tell me, "You can take my spot so that you can get home and do the rally, if I don't make it I'll only be late for work." Which was a great thought, but turns out you can't do that. Anyway - they call Hans and it looks like he is going to make it; but then a pilot shows up for the jump seat and he misses it by one.

We FINALLY eat dinner at 11:00 PM and then head to the other gate. Get there and there are 63 people on standby - but Hans is #1 and I've moved up to #16. So the odds are looking better - but the last gate only 3 people made it on standby. So we figure Hans will go but maybe not the rest of us. He uses some upgrades to bump us up to first class, in the hopes that will improve our odds. They start boarding and he is called immediately and disappears onto the plane. We are then watching the "standby monitor" and watching our names move up the list. There are quite a few people hanging out - not looking good. Then they start calling people in groups of 5, "Mr Jones, Mrs Smith, etc., etc." - no one shows up! They wait maybe 30 seconds, "Last call for Mr Jones, Mrs Smith..." - nothing. So we just jumped 5 places, then the next group... no one. Then the next group, a few folks show up. We are within 5... we wonder how many seats they have open and whether we'll make it or not. Then they call our names, and we rush the counter. :)

We make it on, and first class no less. I thought they said they didn't have any food service, so I conk out. Its almost 1AM and I've got a rally to leave for at 6:30! I sleep the entire trip and we get to DIA and Hans says, "Man, you didn't even enjoy the cookies, nuts, drinks or anything - see if I ever upgrade you again!" I think he was *half* joking... but he had to spend a ton of upgrades to upgrade 4 of us. Very cool of him.

We land at DIA get a car and head home to COS, grab the jeep and my head hits the pillow at... 4:45 AM. Set the alarm for 6:00 and a little over an hour of sleep and I'm up, quick shower (skipped washing my hair or shaving), and I throw on my leathers, load the bike, and off we go. (Luckily we packed before I left so it only took a few minutes to get everything onto the bike).

We get to the Safeway right off 24 and there is everyone we are going with, most of whom we didn't know. But there is Wes Rutter! - which was very cool. Old friend from Impact and turns out he is a friend of a friend and going with us. All in all we had 14 people and bikes on the road were at least 7 with sometimes up to 11. There were two trucks with trailers and some folks trailered their bikes either down or back and some trailered them off and on during the trip.

The buzz of being on the bike kept me awake and I did pretty good. About an hour out I was driving down a stretch that was pretty straight, with hills on both sides, when I caught sight of a 4 point buck (western 4 point, thats 4 points on EACH side), in mid-flight leaping onto the road from the left side... about 30 yards in front of me and me going 70 or so. Heart-pumping, a quick light squeeze on the brakes and release of the throttle, and he hits the road, leaps from the left lane onto my lane, and I'm about 15 yards away and realize he is going to clear the road, and so I let off the brakes. We flash by him and he is gone and Tina catching a flash of brown out of the corner of her eyes says, "Was that just a deer?"... "Yeah". OK - so I'm totally awake now!

The rest of the trip was really good, although I did zone a bit for a while when Tina was riding in the Hummer with a friend. Next stop I told her that so she got back on the bike and the rest of the trip was pretty good. Going down the million dollar highway (Montrose, Ouray, Silverton, etc.) was BEAUTIFUL. Someone at work told me, "This part of CO is pretty, but that part is the prettiest part of the state." and after seeing it, we agree. Lots of twisties, mountain roads, etc. Great riding. One girl did dump her bike, but it was right when she stopped and her feet hit the gravel and she just teetered over. No harm done, other than a bit shaky. The last 30 minutes or so it starting raining... hard, and I couldn't see very well (I'm going to have to rethink my goggles or something) and was going very slow, which slowed up all the bikes behind me. About 30 miles out from Durango I pulled over and wiped them off and told everyone else to go ahead and the Hummer could just stick with me. Tina was back in the Hummer by now because she didn't want to go over the mountain roads on the bike. But then 2 miles later we got to the place we were staying. None of knew it was going to be so far from town, but it was in a great place and we were so glad to see it sooner than we expected.

So... some cat-naps on the plane, 1 hour of sleep, and then a 10+ hour bike ride down to Durango. It was all good and quite the adventure and a great ride!

This is already quite long for me, so I'll just quickly wrap up the rest of the trip. Into Durango for dinner that night, which is a great ride down the valley. Next morning back into twon (after discovering that a bear had messed with one of the bikes during the night - but luckily didn't hurt anything) and ate at the Durango Diner. Then down to Ignacio to check out the rally. It was a pretty good street rally. Ate some good food. Tina got a great jacket she's been wanted to get. Saw one for $175, and then found one she liked even better for only $75 that matches her chaps. Rallies are great for this kind of thing. Visited with the Bad Pig owner. We always stop in and talk with him. Last time in Red River we talked with him and his wife, discussed grand children, etc. She wasn't with him this trip because her son was in the hospital - serious but recovering, so that is good. (Our prayers are with you guys). Tina got some good discounts for some of the girls with us that wanted to get some Bad Pig clothes. She always does. He laughed when we asked where his wife was. He said everyone was asking. The night before he was in the bar after setting up, and this girl walks up behind him and says, "Hey... what are you doing in here without your wife! I'm keeping an eye on your and telling her if you don't behave." He called her laughing and told her she has spies everywhere. :)

We spent a couple hours there and then Tina was getting hot, so we headed back "home". Hit a bit of rain on the way (looked like it might be worse) and so after stopping quickly at the Durango Harley store and getting some stuff, we returned "home" w/o getting any food or anything. Back into two later that night (which again is a very nice ride) and headed home way after dark. I don't like driving at night, but with someone in front of me it wasn't bad... and I came to ride; so all was good.

Up the next morning, back into town and a quick bite at McDonald's and then home up over Wolf Creek Pass.

All in all a quick, and somewhat exhausting several days, but well worth it. I had great plans for Monday, having been gone a week - like mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, etc. Instead I checked the mail, paid some bills, and zoned in front of the TV with Jaime all day. But like Peter Fonda said in Wild Hogs, "Ride hard or stay home!"

I'd go back down there again. The rally was... ok. No where near as cool as Red River, imo - but the ride is awesome and it was still a good place to check some stuff out. I *definitely* want to go back to the area. I'd like to spend more time there and check out more of the area. Actually go down to Farmington, NM, over to Cortez, hit Utah, etc. Perhaps we'll go that way some trip down to Tucson. We'll see...

Chuck Schumer - who votes for this guy?

I have no idea of Senator Schumer's voting record, and good things he might have done, etc. - but I can't believe after how he lied the other day, that anyone would re-elect this guy. I truly hope he gets beat in the next election, even if it is by another Democrat. Here is part of what he said:
The violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al Qaeda, said to these tribes: "We have to fight al Qaeda ourselves."
As noted on numerous web sites, including Hugh Hewitt and RadioBlogger; its not so much that he even believes it, its that he felt it would be politically savvy to say so as an anti-war liberal. When is someone going to hold these guys accountable?

Coloardo Helps Hillary become president?

In Hugh Hewitt's article, As The Campaign Turns, he states:
To win in '08, the Dems will need to get one or more states President Bush won in '04, and the best bets for Hillary are Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Nevada, and Virginia --in roughly that order of probability.
I guess I never really thought about it. I know that because of the size of Denver and Boulder, CO frequently votes for Democrats, even though the Springs and much of the rest of the state vote Republican. But I guess I just never thought about it long enough to realize that Hillary might take CO and in doing so gain the presidency. What a depressing thought.

On the other hand, looking for a silver lining in his statement (and based on other things he said in the article), with CO being one of the important states, there is a good chance many candidates will be here, and that could be interesting.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Italian/Chinese Stir-fry Chicken and Veggies

Wanted something quick the other day and was at Whole Foods and they had some great looking Spring Onions - which sparked the whole thing. Decided to stir fry some chicken and veggies. I could get the ingredients and throw it together pretty fast the next night or two when getting home from work.

Chicken Breasts - I'd just grill them, that way they'd cook pretty fast and I wouldn't have to prep them much. Just through them in some Teriyaki sauce, grill them, then slice them after cooked.

I wanted something fresh and green... so I got the Spring Onions, some snow peas that looked really good, and then figured I'd throw in some cabbage I had at home.

So the next night I get home from work and immediately start dinner. (I usually get home a bit late and we are all hungry so I get right after it). Threw the chicken in a ziplock bag with some sauce to marinate for a few minutes and turned on the electric skillet. Chopped the onions and went to put some oil in the skillet and ... ok, wait... What would really be good is an Italian dish! Yeah... olive oil, garlic, these fresh veggies and maybe tomato paste! So I poured in some olive oil, threw in the onions, and then grabbed the chicken and threw it on the grill before the Teriaaki could soak in too much; not that I was opting for Italian rather than Chinese.

Added a bit of broccoli, some sliced up cabbage, and then after cooking for a few minutes minced garlic and the snow peas. Then threw in a few small cans of mushrooms as well. After a few minutes pulled the chicken off the grill, sliced it and tossed it in and let that cook a few more minutes till everything looked done. Then added a small can of tomato paste and stirred until the paste was mixed it. Thought about adding some basil or oregano, but wanted the flavor to be pretty pure.

It was fast and great. I probably wouldn't do the Teriyaki again - but the chicken had been in it for such a short time it didn't add much flavor. And the snow peas in the "Italian" dish were really good. Their sweet flavor and crispy texture were really nice with the deep rich flavor of the tomato paste.

Everyone loved it and it was a hit. :)

Durango Diner

Went to the 4 Corners Rally last weekend. More on that later. But as you know, I'm always on the lookout for some great "road food". Got in Friday night and Saturday morning we were meeting in the Denny's parking lot before heading down to Ignacio. The small group we were with wanted to go to Starbucks, which I'm usually up for but: a) I'm not doing carbs and needed some protein, and b) I was on a bike trip and so was on the lookout for road food. We headed down Main Street and passed a few places that looked good on our way to Starbucks. Once there I told the others that Tina and I were going to look for somewhere to get breakfast and we'd meet up with them at Denny's at the appointed time.

Heading back up the street I was looking at store fronts where I saw a number of bikes parked. Numerous bikes parked in front of a building early in the morning is either an indication of a place to sleep or a place to eat. :)

I almost missed it, but there was a sign that said "Durango Diner" about a small store front wedged in between two other builds. I said "There we go" and Tina said, "Where?" She hadn't even see it, the front was so small. "Diner" mixed with the look of it screamed "road food" to me. So we stopped and went it.

It was awesome! :)

The building is pretty narrow. A small set of tables up front, all full, and then a long counter. On the right are all the grills and cooking areas, running about 1/3 the length of the building, with about 3 feet for the cooks to work and then the counter running the length of the cooking area, and then a few tables in back. Just enough room between the wall and the counter to get by, and then enough room between the counter and the grills to cook. So we grabbed a seat at the counter, right across from where all the action (cooking) was going on.

There were at least 3 cooks. One making hash browns (to our left), the owner cooking the main ingredients (right in front of us) and another cook plating the dishes - putting them all together, smothering them with green chili, etc.

The hash brown cook just cooks hash browns... continuously. He has a big bowl with peeled potatoes (restaurant baked potato size) and a grater. The kind that looks like a box with a handle on top, opening on the bottom, and different size grates on the 4 sides. He grabs a large potato, grates it holding the grater towards the grill, and then dumps the entire grated contents onto the grill, pilling the hash browns next to the last order. This creates a single "order" that is about 4x2x8. We are talking a large plate covering of hash browns. Not doing carbs anymore... but I could definitely appreciate it. :) The main cook then takes this plate of hash browns, covers it with a helping of scrambled eggs (more like a flat omelet that is about 8 inches around, flipped in half), throws 4 strips of bacon on the top, and hands it to the next line cook who covers it in green chili and then sets it up to be served to a customer. Yeah... we're talking heaven. :)

So I asked for 2 eggs over medium, 4 bacon and smoother it.

Sitting there, talking to the locals (fireman on one side of us talking about the local goings on, teasing Tina about the rally, etc.), folks coming in, the owner turning around and yelling "Hey Joe, your usually", other folks, "Hey, hows the coffee today?", etc. The place had a great feel, and I just sat there, drinking cups of coffee with cream from the kind of creamers that all the restaurants used to have - the metal kind with real cream in them, not little individual containers.

The waitress slide our food to us and it was great. Chili wasn't mild, but wasn't too hot. Could of sat there for a while, but we had to make the meeting at Denny's, so ate up the food, and off we went.

If you're looking for road food and our in Durango, I highly suggest it. As their home page says:
"The Diner" is well known for their nostalgic no-frills meals, local buzz, and the Green Chili, Southwest Salsa, and Enchilada Sauce sold through-out the country.

It was awesome. The best road food find I've had in quite a while. I'll definitely go back next time we are down there, and would have gone again if I could have worked it out with everyone else's schedules.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Prosciutto and Asparagus Appetizer

Seen on Dinner Impossible tonight, Prosciutto and Asparagus Appetizer. Blanched Asparagus, just enough to get it tender, wrapped in prosciutto and cream cheese. Didn't how them make it, but I believe put a thin layer of cream cheese on the end of a slice of prosciutto and then wrap that around an asparagus stalk. Probably 1/2 a slice. Looked good... have to try it.

I'll have a Betty with cheese

So we are up in Victor this weekend because it was beautiful out and we just wanted to do a ride. We rarely stop in Cripple Creek, but prefer to go on to Victor. This summer I was out there with Ted and Kristi and stopped at the Fortune Club (I think it was called). A little place to eat that sells sodas, shakes, rings and fries, burgers and hot dogs.

Due to some diet issues lately, I'm really watching the carbs. We mainly stopped for a diet soda, but were sitting at the counter and the burgers smelled so good I decided to have one without the bun. There were two people working the counter, a young female and an older guy would actually owns a place a few doors down (Buck) but comes over to help out during lunch. Yeah - how cool is that. Very small two.

Me: I'll have a cheese burger, no bun.
Female: What?
Me: I'll have a cheese burger, with no bun.
Female: starts laughing.
Me: What?
Female: That's just so cute.

Female: turns to Buck. Can you write up a cheese burger, and turning to look at me, with no bun.

Buck: A what?
Female: Cheese burger with no bun.
Buck: Oh... we call that a Betty!
Female: A Betty?
Buck: Yeah - there is a woman named Betty that is a friend of ours, and she has no buns.

Tina: That's awful!
Buck: What... we say it to her face. She knows she doesn't have any buns...

Buck: Turning towards the grill, yells out One Betty with Cheese.

Well... there ya go, next time I know what to order.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Someone talking on the phone near where I'm at:

"You can't microwave dynamite... Well actually you can, its pretty cool."

Hmm... I'll take his word for it.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Every time I watch Hell's Kitchen, I think... come on, he *always* wants them to make risotto, they make it every dinner service, and they always mess it up for the first half of the season or so. Therefore, if I was going on the show, one of the first things I'd do is learn how to make risotto. And besides, how hard can it be?

While down at Tif's, and cooking most the meals, I decided to give it a go. I googled it and how a page on making risotto. Didn't seem to hard so I gave it a shot. I think I used chicken broth, shallots, green onions, leeks and garlic. Something like that. Anyway, it did take a while (I used the "add a ladle of broth at a time" method), but it wasn't difficult and I think it turned out pretty well... I've never had it before, so its hard to say if it was correct; but it wasn't "grainy" and it wasn't "too salty", which are common complaints of Chef Ramsey. If there were any issues, I don't think it was creamy enough - but that will probably come with time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Work hard, play hard.

We were down in AZ last weekend. Kian's one month birthday. How cool. He's such a cutie and it was go good to go down and see Tif, Brian and him. I am extremely blessed that I can work off-site. We went down Friday, got there that evening and stayed till Tuesday. Didn't get off as early as I had hoped, and ended up getting home about midnight that night - then up at 5:00 the next morning for work and had tons to get caught up on. Worked remotely - but there is a lot going on right now so had to do numerous meetings.

And then this week I've got quite a bit going on, meetings, getting some deliverables caught up, and then it is off to DC the following week.

My boss, Hans went to UofA in Tuscon, and suggested we go to eegees, so we did. Very good. Had a lemon eegee and the pastrami sandwich. Yum.

Anyway - been busy and lots going on, so not much blogging of late. Expect it to be a very busy week this week - then like I said, off to DC. Leave Monday and get home late Thur - and Fri morning (7 AM) we leave for a bike rally in 4 corners. I think there are 14 of us going! We are going with some friends and they are setting it all up, so I don't know the exact details. Staying in a condo - so I don't think I'll have internet which means no connectivity for several days. How weird.

Anyway - its all good.

First day of school

Jaimer's first day of school is tomorrow. She's starting at UCCS. Tomorrow its philosophy and psychology. Yeah - what a liberal arts major. :) Not what I did, but I did take philosophy and thought it was great. I think she'll have a good time with them. I'm so excited for her. Thinking about this brings up a story I wanted to blog but haven't gotten around to.

So we went to UCCS for orientation. Parent's can come and I was deciding if I should go or not. Jaime said it was ok if I went, so I had pretty much planned it - but wasn't sure if I would spend the whole day or what, since I had a lot going on at work. But the night before:

J: So you're going tomorrow right?
M: Yeah
J: Are we taking one car?
M: Well I thought we'd take two, then I could do the parent thing and then maybe go to work for a while.
J: But you're going to stay and help me register right? And its only a few hours between the two.

At this point she kind of had that excited but scared first day at school when you drop them off for kindergarten look on her face. Yeah... a young woman in many ways and still a kid in others.

M: We can take just the one car.

So we get there and she is nervous (introvert like me in these situations) and feeling somewhat weird that she brought her dad, but then we see most everyone has parents with them. So its all cool.

So we spend the day listening to talks, getting tours, eating lunch, etc. I'm actually really glad I went and feeling a bit excited. Its been a while since I went to school (on a campus) and I'm getting more and more excited for her. This is going to be awesome. So its all good and very cool.

We then go to register. This is basically an advisor for your program talking to all of you that will be in the program, and then a few of them helping you figure out what classes to take. Turns out Jaime's program is very structured and loaded. Since she is going to be a teacher, she basically is getting most of her classes in 3 years, so she has no electives. She can take other stuff if she wants, but it won't count towards her degree. So she pretty much has to take what is listed. There are choices, but if its not on the list - she shouldn't do it.

Anyway - we are stumbling a bit through stuff and then the head of the program comes over, after working with several students, to help us out. We are a bit worried at this point, because it looks like most the classes she needs are full. So we tell him that, and he says no - its just some sections that are full and he should be able to get her into what she needs. So he sits down and asks for her paperwork.

A: Looks at Jaime, ask for her papers, looks down at her ACT scores, then looks at her again. Wow. These are very impressive.
J: Just kind of grins.
A: Where did you go to high school?
J: I was home schooled.
A: Looks at her, looks back at her scores, looks up at her again. Well I guess that worked out well for you!

He then talks to her about a few classes, then:

A: Do you know your GPA... Oh, I guess not because you were home schooled.
J: Explains that she went through an off-campus school and that they kept her transcripts, scores, etc. 3.954
A: Looks at her again... OK... so you could have told me *that* sooner. Home schooled huh...

He then puts her in some tougher classes. He then asks her about work, what she's been doing, etc.

J: I've been out of school for 2 years, so I studied quite a bit for the ACTs.
A: Looks down at her scores again then up to her. Apparently.


Anyway - it was very cool. He was very impresses with her scores, her grades, what she had been doing, and remarked how well home schooling had worked for her. Given he is the head of the program... cool stuff. I was the proud parent.

What a smartie. :)

Driving under water

Its been raining here every afternoon - pretty typical for this time of year. I've been riding the bike to work most the time anyway, because we haven't done as many weekend rides as we did last year and I just want to be on it; plus is so nice in the morning.

So Thur I rode to work and got soaked coming home. I dropped the bike off at the dealership in the morning for maintenance, and got a Heritage Softail for a loaner; which I really liked. Anyway, ended up leaving work when it wasn't raining and as I drove towards the dealership could see it start to rain. By the time I was half way down GoGs, I was getting pretty soaked. Then got to the dealership, got my bike, and it was pretty much just a sprinkle the rest of the way home; with it totally clearing up by the time I got home. Was wearing just leathers, so soaked crotch and neck, but none the worse for wear.

Friday... take rain great - nah, how bad could it be. I made it yesterday. So off to work (up to Monument for a Dr. appt, which was a fun ride) then to work. That afternoon, "Hmm... maybe I should leave before it starts raining." But walking through the atrium I realized it was already raining, so stayed at work for another hour - not much letup. Finally left and when the back way - less hills and less highway, which I'd like to avoid in the rain. Again, pretty quickly I was getting pretty soaked; but actually not as bad as the day before. My glasses got pretty wet/foggy; so I stopped at a gas station about 2 miles from home (Union and Woodman) and dried them off; then made the dash for home. Meanwhile it was lightning and thundering (some very big bommers), which was a little freaky, but fine.

So, I'm getting pretty close to home but now the road is covered in water in spots. I start up the hill towards Lexington, and the person next to me actually backs off some as we go through a big water puddle, as we can both see the water roster tailing and covering cars as they go through it. Nice of him. I go through w/o getting too wet and then he goes through next to me, but a bit behind. Through the light at Lexington and down the hill. I'm going a bit slower than the traffic, 'cuz of all the water, but not too bad. At the bottom I notice a very large puddle and water roster tailing like crazy. This time the person next to me is not so aware/kind as right as I'm about to hit it, he passes me - and up comes the water... and the road disappears. I can't see a thing. I've had this happen in a car before; but never on a bike. The water comes up over my head; actually runs down the inside of my jacket; drenching me in water, and runs down the front (inside) of my chaps. I'm soaked, gasping for air and sputtering water, and just hanging on and going straight. Only lasted a few seconds - and the bike handled it fine. No sliding, loss of traction, etc. Apparently Ultra's can ride under water. Good to know.

Anyway; home totally soaked, but none the worse for wear, and yet another story to tell. Its all an adventure and about the journey. :)

A few things I learned:
  • I need to put some defogger on my glasses.
  • Turn north on Lexington and take the backroute the rest of the way home, which is slower and won't have big "lakes" in the road; and finally
  • Yeah... I should probably start taking my rain gear. Leathers are fine for getting "caught out in it" or if it is sprinkling, but if I know its going to rain, and potentially big; I should take the rain gear.

The software awards scam

Interesting article on 5 star awards given to software on download sites:
I put out a new product a couple of weeks ago. This new product has so far won 16 different awards and recommendations from software download sites. Some of them even emailed me messages of encouragement such as “Great job, we’re really impressed!”. I should be delighted at this recognition of the quality of my software, except that the ’software’ doesn’t even run. This is hardly surprising when you consider that it is just a text file with the words “this program does nothing at all” repeated a few times and then renamed as an .exe.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Always watch out for the other guy

Yesterday I had a meeting with my boss, in which the following took place:

B: "I guess you'll be more carefully riding your motorcycle!"
M: "Why?"
B: "Didn't you hear Tom* (not real name) died this morning in a motorcycle accident."

Drag. He wasn't a "friend" of mine, but an acquaintance. I'd been on one business trip with him and been in several meetings. A very bright and seemingly very nice guy. Apparently working late trying to get some testing done, left his laptop at work running some tests and was heading home at 1AM and someone backed out in front of him w/o seeing him. Don't know all the details.

Guess they were reporting it on the news and all they said was "Verizon employee" and "accident this morning". Several folks worried it was me, since they didn't give the exact time.

Just a sad thing. 2nd or 3rd bike accident I've heard of in the last few days, but hits you harder when you knew the person.

Yeah... I'll be more careful - but then again I'm always pretty careful. And folks die in cars all the time too, so I don't think riding a bike is super dangerous or anything.

Anyway - make me stop and think and choke up a few times yesterday. My prayers go out to his friends and family.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Road Food, Restaurant or both?

As I've said before, I like the whole "label" concept that Blogger uses. I use it quite a bit. Today I mentioned Sauce in a post, and I didn't want to label it "Road Food" so created a new label for "Restaurant" and then went back and relabeled a few of my past entries.

So what's the difference? They are both places to eat, and a place to eat is a restaurant. Well to me, road food is a bit more like a diner. Some place regional, not too fancy. Not sure burgers and fries, but maybe Mexican as well - as different locations have their own "road food". Whereas a place listed as a Restaurant might not be so "colorful" or "local". Not a place you might just pull in off the road and grab a bite.

So that's the difference - perhaps not always obvious, but some distinction in my mind. :)

Yeah, that was me being chivalarous

Yesterday Tina wanted some pizza from Sauce so she called it in and I went and picked it up. As an aside, Sauce is a Fox Restaurant Concept's restaurant, very good. And they have one in Denver. We'll have to check it out!

Anyway, I'm walking out of the place carrying four pizza boxes and a bag with two salads, so yeah, my hands are totally full. I get to the door and I'm trying to push it open with my arm and not drop anything - and these two 20 something (young) girls walk up towards the door. "Cool", I think, "they'll probably hold it open for me." But no, they just kind of stand there and I open it with my arm and then slowly spin around as I'm walking into it, holding it with my back so it doesn't slam against me and knock the pizza to the ground; at which point the girls totally misread the situation and seeing the door open with me apparently "holding" it for *them*, say, "Oh wow, thanks" and whisk into the restaurant; leaving me still balancing the pizza and trying to know it down. I just look after them...

Sure no problem - glad I could be of assistance. :-S LOL

Heading Home

Heading back home today. Guess we can't stay here playing with the Pea, swimming and just generally hanging out, forever. :( - It was a good trip. He is starting to move from new born into baby mode; actually lying around with his eyes open for some amount of time. But work and life call - so we'll be heading home this morning.

I am truly blessed. It was great to be able to come down here on a moment's notice. I actually put in about 24 hours of work this week - which is a blessing too. The ability to be able to work remotely and stay in touch. No email or irc logs to catch up on when I get home. Not *quite* as effective as being in the office - but was still able to get some good stuff done.

So anyway - all in all a good trip; other than I miss riding the bike.


So the Pea and I are watching the National Collegiate Paintball Championship semi-finals... because hey, his Dad is totally into sports, and I'm an ex paintball competitor (yes... I have a few trophies to prove it), so who knows. Anyway, we are watching the championships. Well mostly he is sleeping, but once in a while he wakes up.

I'm a little sweaty, because even with air conditioning its a bit warm here and I have this 6 lbs of warm snuggly human all curled up against me. He is mostly laying on my hip, but he starts waking up so I move him up to my chest. He makes a few squeaks, we watch about another 20 minutes of paintball (he wanted Penn State to win - go Big 10! - and they did), and then he starts looking awake enough that I should go find mom.

So I take him into his room and put him on his "tummy time" mat and he starts practicing paintball moves. Well ok, so he mostly just lays on his back and squiggles around - but hey, that's important in paintball. So I'm laying there starting to cool off, now that he is no longer attached to my body; when I notice that most of my shirt is cooling off except for one spot that feels a little sweating now. So I look down...

OK Pea... you don't have to live up to your name. Yup, a nice wet round circle about 4 inches across in the center of my shirt. I guess all that squealing wasn't just waking up. :O

Well I'm sure it won't be the last time. ;)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pea Baby - more pics

Here is a link to a photo album that contains pics of the first few days of the Pea's life.


Looking back through the entries, I don't see one announcing PeaBaby's birth. Hmm... in all the commotion I guess I forgot to do that.

Born: 12-Jul-2007, 04:52
Weight: 6lbs, 0.7oz
Length: 19 inches

What a cutie!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

At least it was Diet

Not feeling well - slowing looking through code trying to figure out what is wrong with something - waiting for a 3:00 meeting so I can go home and get some sleep. Also absentmindedly sipping on a 32 oz cup of Diet Mt Dew with one hand while slowly scrolling through the code with the other hand.

WHOOSH - the sound of the cup falling out of my hand, hitting my lap, spraying the keyboard with pop and flooding my lap/chair.

The silver lining from a helpful co-worker. "Hey, at least you drink diet so its probably not as sticky." Yeah... a ray of sun-shine. ;)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Byron's Hot Dog Haus

When Tif was 17, we went on a mission trip with Pastor Mark to Chicago. While there we ate at Byron's Hot Dog Haus. Pastor Mark is out there now, and called me and I googled it, found it, and gave them directions (while they were looking at a map) so they could find it. So - they'll be eating a Chicago Dog there today. Very cool. :)

Byron's Hot Dog Haus
1017 W Irving Park Rd

Take the LSD north past Lincoln Park, turn West on Irving and its about 4 blocks down. If you hit two cemetaries, you've gone too far. On the corner of Irving and Sheridan. Sheridan is also one of the side streets for Wrigley, so its about 4 blocks north of there.

If I ever get back to Chicago, I *have* to eat there!

Technology is cool. :)

Love ya Pastor Mark. Hope the dogs are still as good as when we were there!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

volcano cake

During the rally last week we were eating dinner with some friends in a nice place. Food and service was good and pretty fast. Then we asked for dessert. The Chocolate Volcano Cake looked pretty good. Something about flour-less cake, chocolate, ganache in the center, raspberry drizzle, etc. Yum.

We waited about 20 minutes.

"Do you know when our dessert will be here?"
"I'll check"... "We're very sorry, apparently the cook is having some issues. It should be out any minute now."

This went on for a while. Finally after about 40 minutes we said we're done, we're out of here, never mind. So they comped the appetizers and salad. The waiter told us:

"There is some process you have to go through to make a volcano cake and the cook has already blown up 6 of them trying to get it right."

Wow... who knew. Volcano cakes really erupt! :)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Watching your kids grow up

Watching your kids grow up is a bit sad, but exciting as well.

Jaime was home last night when I got home. We'd been away at the rally since last Sunday, and when we got home on Friday she was heading out of town to go to church camp. She is one of the youth leaders. When I got home last night she was there.

It was really good to see her and she talked about all kinds of camp things. The worship, the kids, the food, etc. Brings back lots of memories.

All the kids calling her "Miss Jaime". Kind of weirds her out - she is trying on this whole new "adult" thing. And people that she grew up with as leaders/adults (like Miss Janie) who know include her as one of the adults and talk to her that way. And a teen girl guessing her age... "30 maybe?" WHAT! "Ok... so I'm terrible with guessing ages." Jaime kept ribbing her all weekend. And the kids leaving her cards, "You are such a great leader", "We had so much fun in your cabin, you are awesome", etc.

Its with pride I watch my little girl grow up... its also with a bit of sadness. She's going to be gone before I know it - but I'm going to enjoy all the time left while she is here.

And then there is PeaBaby to spoil too. Life rolls on.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ride Hard or Stay Home

Its 5:05 and I've been up catching up on work for the last 15 minutes. We are staying at the Great Divide Lodge in Breckenridge - and our window looks out over the valley. Its still dark out, but I've been hearing bikes leave since I got up.

Some folks have a long way to go - so are leaving before the crack of dawn to make it in one day. For others - it just hasn't been enough of a trip yet. JR, his friend and their wives, are from St. Joe MO. They rode out in 1 1/2 days - did the rally and are heading to Durango today. Then down to Four Corners and Mesa Verde. Then its on to Albuquerque and then heading east home.

Also met two women who are heading back to Dallas - then is off to the Posse Ride (ride to Delaware to start the ride, then 18 days to Portland OR, then home), home for a few days then on to Tenn/NC for another rally.

Live to Ride, Ride to Live...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Its a brotherhood

Tonight was a dinner and the "Rider's Meeting".

Cool stuff. Basically HD does a really good job of combining with HOG and making you feel like "part of the family". The company is into "riding with the customers". So lots of reps on the ride. People from HD put the event on, etc. A National "Road Rally" like this is very cool. Its not the "stay in one place and party" type of rally as much as a "lets go ride" type of rally. Not guide, but "Here is where we are stopping and here is a general direction - but do what you want." For instance, being a ride leader for a small group and from here - we've decided to go off map a bit and take some better roads (to suite our needs) and take a few side trips (to see some cool stuff). And that is all encourage. So cool.

But the whole "family" thing was very cool too. They went through the crowd (1045 people) and found
  • youngest - 10 (and there was an 11 and 12 year old too)
  • oldest - 79 and there were quite a few over 65 as well.
  • representation - Australia, Mexico, Canada, 45 states and DC.

There was someone who had been on the very first HOG road rally - 15 years ago - which was in CO. Yup, CO was one of the stops on the first road rally ever.

Really makes me want to do some of the other rides.

Other interesting things:
  • How many people 35 or under... probably 20 or so. Yeah - most are our age or older
  • How many first time road rally - over 1/2.

Big plans for next year... HD 105 year anniversary and HOG 25. Big party in Milwaukee... Ted and Christie - our new friends, really want to go. If Tina can get the time off, it would be a blast. And its *so* close to MI. We could take the ferry across the lake and go see Pat and Ward. Big Trip, Big Celebration, Part of the family. Its cool.

New nickname

Ok... so we met some cool folks and have gone out to eat with them, done some riding around, and now I'm going to be the lead rider for our group, since I know most of the areas and they are all from out of state and basically flat-landers.

And Ted is quite like Tina in many ways, and now I have a new nickname "Skunk".

Yes... I ran over a skunk with the bike. I'm fairly certain it was already dead, cuz it didn't move, but it wasn't dead for too long, judging by the smell and the sound of crunching bones.

To go back... Today was a great day. Got up at 5:30 - did a bit of work, took a shower, and then was on the road by 7:00 heading for Wyoming to get a 'W' for ABCs. Then coming back I took a few small roads to pick up a 'N'unn. Oh, also got 'W'eld County. So 3 letters (1 state, 1 county, 1 city). Driving across the plains, cool temps, bright sun, great ride. Hit a small stretch where the road has shaded by trees on both sides and pretty dark. As my eyes got accustomed to the light, I spotted something in the road and tried to swerve a little (not too much, no use dumping the bike) and "crunch, crackle, pop,".... stink.

Got back to the room... maybe its not the bike, maybe I can just still smell it. Tina, "What is that smell!" Hmm... "You need to go wash the bike." I go out and take another look... yeah, blood, tuffs of hair - off to the car wash.

I got most of it off, and by the end of the day it was fine - but everyone had a big laugh and now call me Skunk and "You should put a skunk tail on the back of the bike", etc.

Its all part of the adventure.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


You can now renew your license plates online, at least in about 5 of the counties in CO. Painless and only takes a few minutes. Did cost $5.03 for a processing fee. Is it worth it or that much easier than just writing a check?

Well... probably not for some folks - but I hate writing checks and mailing them, for some reason; so I procrastinate. If its payable on the web, I'm all over it. So yeah, for me, its worth it. :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

yeah, yeah, I know - license and registration

While at the Red River Rally, and buying patches, one that cracked me up was

Yeah, yeah, I know
License and Registration

But then I thought... Hey, I've *never* gotten a speeding ticket on the bike, so it wouldn't really fit... Must have been a prophetic moment and I guess I should have gotten it.

Coming home from Questa, NM towards San Luis, CO - its just a pretty straight flat, 65MPH road. Most everyone on it was doing 70 to 75, and I was staying with the flow... but then I got behind a car and trailer (and I hate being behind stuff on the bike, makes it harder to see, etc.), so I figured "I'll just go around him then slow back down" - of course going around him required me to hit, apparently, 83MPH, because the white SUV that came toward me right as I pulled back in happened to be a Sheriff and she hit her lights. Busted.

I just pulled over right away, no use making her follow me for a while. Tina said, "Do you think the lights were for us?" - "Yeah."

So I pull over and get off the bike and she pulls up behind and starts walking towards me and is talking. A number of Harleys go by right then and I can't hear a word she is saying, so I start walking towards her, pointing to me ear. Behind me Tina says "JAMES!" and I stop, turn around and then look back at the officer to notice she is putting her hand up in front of her in a "Don't come any closer" motion.

Hmm... a couple of bikers. Me over 6 ft, 220+, dressed in leathers, bandana on my head and a scowling wolf snarl dust cover across my face. Yeah... maybe not a good idea to get in her personal space...

I pull off the cover, pull my glasses up and "Yeah yeah, license and registration". I get in the back of the bike, thinking all the time, "Man, I hope I have all the current stuff in here." and I do. Phew. She takes it all and says "Stay off the bike and don't get into any of the compartments." Yeah, I guess you never know and pulling over someone who apparently looks a little intimidating out in the middle of no where - I stayed away from the bike just to put her mind at ease.

She was all business about the whole thing until I signed everything and she was headed back to her vehicle:

Tina: Wow, that was *really exciting*. I haven't had a speeding ticket since I was 18.
Cop: Turns and grins Well maybe you should speed more often!
Tina: Throwing her thumb over her shoulder and pointing at me, Nah, *he* takes care of that for me.

And it ended with a "Ride safe, slow down and have a good day out there." and us saying "You have a good day too."

BTW: For those keeping track, last ticket was Oct 2005. I just can't make it the 3 years without one... New date for getting points off my license and insurance, Memorial Day - 2010. :(

Anyway - guess maybe I should have gotten the sticker... or yeah... or slowed down! :)

diver bomber

We always have birds that create nests in the bushes in the front yard. Usually it is one out by the sidewalk and mailbox, but as the bushes in front of the house get bigger, the birds are starting to nest there too.

Saturday I was mowing, and the mother actually started dive bombing me! This usually doesn't bother me too much, as they just kind of swoop once or twice and sit in the tree and yell. I get it. Just trying to protect the nest.

But Saturday this female really took it to extremes. She was dive bombing me over and over. One time she brushed my arm as she went by, and then another time I heard her coming (kind of a buzzing noise) and flew close enough I could feel the wind as she went by.

Sunday as I was washing the bike, she was on the garage roof yelling at me again, and dive bombed me a few times. Apparently she has decided that I am "the dreaded enemy" and must be constantly harassed, no matter where I am in the front yard, even if it isn't close to her nest. Tina just laughs and me and says "She doesn't understand: 'That's enough now!' or 'KNOCK IT OFF'". I thought about splashing her with the hose, but I get she is just being protective.

Although after Tina moved Jaime's car this morning, which requires walking up the driveway, she did say "That bird has GOT to go" and "If you go outside make sure and wear your helmet."

Should be interesting to see how things progress.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


My Uncle Danny (Cosmo) just sent out mail that he has a myspace site set up. He didn't include the direct link, but I found it here. Its got four songs he has done on it, which is very cool. Ticket to Ride is a cover by Chocolate Hare - which is very cool that was my uncle's group at the same time we were touring so we got to know all the guys pretty well. Gilbert who is playing organ on the song was in our band for about a year after Chocolate Hare broke up, which was a blast.

Anyway - check Cosmo out!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Math - its a cool thing

One more thought...

Helped Jaimer with her ACT math practice tests. Yeah - its been a long time. I don't remember how to do things like quadratic equations and other things - but I'm still good at graphing (which she was having a problem with). For the most part, I might not be able to quickly figure out the right answer... but given a problem and a multiple choice set of answers - I can usually figure out which one makes sense. So we spent time going through all the problems she missed, and when all was said and done, I showed her how to get the right answer on many of them.

I thought it was fun and why I like math so much. One answer makes sense and it is "easy" to see. "The graph kind of pops out in front of your face and you can see what a line represents", etc. She wasn't so thrilled with the concept as I was - but she got it much better than before, so that's good.

One of those nights

Lots going on at work - and we are in planning stages, not actually coding anything yet. So having big design discussions. Woke up at 1:15AM with all kinds of thoughts flowing around in my head. They'll just stick there and keep me away if I don't get them "on paper". So logged in and updating the wiki with new interface specifications and design thoughts. There... emptied the brain out for now. 3:10 AM - time to go back to bed for a few hours.

Night all...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Red River Rally - Sunday

Another good day. Road the Enchanted Circle "road rally". Won $10. :) Paid for the entry fee.

Bought a bit more stuff, talked to some folks, ate vendor food and local food and watched the bikes. Tomorrow's weather looks good. We aren't staying for the parade. Its been a great time - but time to get home and get ready for work and the week to come. So we are leaving early in the morning. Have a few good stories that I'll post later along with pics.

Just wanted to post we are having fun, its been a good time and we'll be heading home tomorrow. I imagine this will be the first of many Red River rallies.

First full day of the rally

Mostly what you would expect. Buy stuff, going on rides, listening to bands do covers of classic rock tunes. Doing a few jello shots... Yeah I know - but hey, you only live once and I've never done a jello shot before! Fun stuff. :)

A few observations:
  • At least 90% (if not more) of the bikes are Harleys
  • Probably 90% of the people are bikers. There are also some tourists that come up for the day to look around
  • Just like bands, bikers apparently have groupies too
  • They sell a lot of little kid stuff and "My grandma" or "My grandpa" - yeah, bikers are aging.
  • There are some pretty harmless looking people - and there are some pretty scary looking people at bike rallies.

I'll have to post the conversation Tina had with the vendor from Bad Pig... but I've got to go get ready for todays ride. Should be fun... although maybe a bit wet.

There are kids at rallies


Those folks we road in with from Denver to the Red River Rally - they had a 10 year old girl with them. And I've seen a number of kids at the rally - some dressed in leathers. Not too many... but I figured I'd mention it anyway.

Maybe Red River won't be your first rally - but we'll have to take you somewhere! :)

Love ya,


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Trip to Red River

We had discussed going to Red River and had made hotel reservations in Taos - the closest hotel we could get. But then on Wed we were both feeling kind of sick and the weather wasn't looking too good - so we called and cancelled the room. Still have to pay for one day that we could use some time in the next 6 months - so we said that was fine.

Friday morning - sun is shinning, we both have the day off and the road is calling. We decide to go, so I call the Best Western in Red River - and they had one room free up for the full 3 days. Woo hoo.

We leave town at noon. Stop south of Pueblo at a Taco Bell to grab some food and decide to get gas. We see 8 other bikes. We gas up quick, pull up behind them and ask if they are going to RR. They are and say we are welcome to tag along. So we travel with them all the way to Cimarron. They traveled as a group pretty well (stagged, hand signals, etc.). Its always nice to travel in a group - just feels safer - like people can see you, etc.

Weather was looking wicked bad when we hit Walsenburg (towards the west), but they were heading south, so we stuck with them. We eat in Trinidad, then head to Raton. Hit rain, but not bad. Going south towards Cimarron it got worse and one bike stopped so we all pulled over. Just sitting in the cold rain/sleet, letting it pour down. Its all about the adventure! 10 minutes later it stopped and we broke off from them at Cimarron and headed up to Red River. *Beautiful* ride. Stopped to put on my leater jacket ('cuz I had rain gear on), as it was getting very ccld.

Pulled into town and there were bikes *everywhere*. All down the middle of the street and on both sides. Vendors everywhere.

Ate quail for dinner at Texas Rob's and called it a day. Of course... it is a rally - so folks blow-drying their hair at midnight and bikes up and down the road all night - but they, that's part of the deal.

Beautiful Saturday morning and we're off to find food, check out vendors and do some rides.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The pros and cons of getting older

Getting older is very cool because then you have grandkids. I cannot wait to come roaring down the street on Capt'n Jack and to have PeaBaby come bursting out his front door yelling "PapaJames PapaJames" - similar to how Jaime would welcome me home from work when she was little. I just cannot wait and I think about him all the time when I see little boys on the plane, in restaraunts, etc. Yeah... I obsess.

And its cool that I've worked my way up and have the money to do things like have Capt'n Jack and go on rallys, etc.

On the other hand... you start realizing you're not going to live forever. Little aches and pains and high blood pressure and the doctor worrying about your glucouse count, etc. make you realize that your body will eventually break down.

Its just one of those reflective mornings... Like Sis says - she can't imagine us not being close, as her dogs miss us terribly when we are gone - she can't imagine how PeaBaby is going to handle it. So I just can't imagine not being around for ever and seeing PeaBaby (and all the other babies) grow up and then seeing their kids and on and on. But you take the good (we can make some trips down there and its going to be so cool) with the bad (we can't live next door to them and follow them around the us) and make the best of it. But sometimes you still think "Wow - I'm getting older and I'm just not going to be able to do everything I want to do. But I'm so blessed, so quite whining and get to work." :) [Some times I have to snap myself out of it].

I am a blessed person and love my family so much.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Trip to DC

So - just a brief summary of the trip to DC... [As a side note - mostly if I don't blog something right after it happens - I don't blog it. But this was pretty cool so I figured I'd post something - more for myself than anyone else - so years from now I'll read it and be like, "Oh yeah - that was so fun!"]

Flew out Sunday - got to the hotel pretty late, but in time to watch the very end of Survivor. Terry and I are both fans so we decided to meet in the lobby after and go find food. We ended up with McDonalds, because apparently 10:15 PM in Sterling VA on a Sunday night is NOT a good time to find food - other than maybe a pub somewhere, and we weren't too up for that.

Monday was a blast - and exhausting. We basically spent the day driving/walking in circles and getting lost now and then - but having fun the whole time. Took the Metro from Falls Church. EVERYONE says "Don't drive in DC - take the Metro." I'm always like, "Yeah right" - but for once I decided to listen to people - including Terry who said, "I think we have to because I don't think we'll find anywhere to park". So now I'm one of those people who says - if you are going to DC from the outlying areas... "Don't drive in DC - take the Metro!". It is cheap - you can get an all day pass for $6.25 - as long as you start after 9:30 AM, and it goes most everywhere and once you get the hang of it, its really easy. Took a few exchanges to get the hang of it - but apparently most the staff is used to tourist. All I had to do was stare blankly around like I was lost and most anyone in a uniform (staff, security, some guy sweeping) would be like, "You want to go that way" and point... at which point I figured how could they possibly know that, since there are many possible destinations and I'd start to say "But I want to go to XXX" at which point they'd just nod and say "Yeah - that way". All in a not overly friendly manner, but also not rude. More like, "Yeah, yeah - another lost tourist - move along." It was fun.

Anyway - went downtown and spent the first 1/2 of the day around the mall. Saw the Vietname War Memorial - different that I had expected; the Lincoln Memorial - awesome - in the true sense of the word... inspiring awe. Very cool. The WWII memorial and Washington Memorial were cool as well. Went over to the WhiteHouse where the park service was doing a tour for some elementy school kids - 3rd grade maybe:

PS: "See this fence. Its kind of low. One time one kid bet another kid that he couldn't jump the fence and make it to that fountain... Do you think that was a good idea?"

Many little kids: "NNNnnnnoooooo"

PS: "Thats right. You can't see them right now, but there are men on the top of the Whitehouse that keep an eye on things. Do you know what they did when they saw him?"

One little boy: "They killed him?"

PS: trying to stifle a laugh "No... but they did come down and talk to him to find out what he was doing."

And so forth. Cool stuff. I saw the Whitehouse Christmas tree... which you can see from the Washington Memorial and I thought "Hey - that looks like it would make a cool Christmas Tree." And it is!

Anyway - much walking around, going to musemes, getting lost down by the riverfront and eating good food. Was a fun day - and yeah, you can't see it all in one day, even if you are booking along.

The rest of the time was spent working (met to discuss 4 different projects, with many teams and all of it was extremely productive - which was very cool) eating and sleeping. Ate Thai (of course), Sweetwater Tavern (good halibut special), Irish Pub (cornbeef and cabbage - with a carrot/parsnip mixture which was awesome). We discussed being "adventurous" and heading into DC for dinner on our last night but: a) we would have gotten there about 8:00 - which was cool with me but too late for many people, and b) what we could find looked pretty expensive - over the per diem for the day just for dinner. So we decided to do Thai fairly close - but far enough away that it was somewhere different (Reston) and we took two cars, and we both got lost on the way - so that was fun.

Yeah... since my internet connect was pretty hosed at the hotel (finally got it working the last morning) and so there wasn't much to do but watch TV - eating late and getting lost on the way there is just fun. I mean - what else is there to do? One way to see the area. :)

So all in all a good trip. I'll definately have to think about going out early or staying late next time as well - because it would be cool to go downtown again.

Freedom Memorial Ride 2007

Went up to the Freedom Memorial Ride 2007 yesterday. Turns out there wasn't much of an organized ride (not like most rides I've been too) - it was more like "Hey, come up and see us." But we went with 5 bikes from the Springs to Denver and came back with Robert, on Hwy 83. So it was a great trip, beautiful day for it, and it was a good cause. They hope to have it in place and the dedication next year, that would be cool.

Ate some vendor food and stuck around for the official ceremonies, part of which was mentioning the 52 people who have died in Afganhistan or Iraq in the latest war. Seth Staton's name was mentioned.

Having just returned from DC and having visited a number of memorials there, I think the idea of this memorial is a good thing.

Spanish Tapas

Ate at the Washington DC La Tasca while I was out there last week on business. Its a Spanish Tapas restaurant. Very cool food. I had the:
  • Berenjenas fritas con queso cabrales,Fired eggplant with a cabrales cheese dip
  • Selecion de embutidosA selection of Spanish cured meats
  • Vieiras gratinadas, Scapplos sauted with garlic, onions and peppers.
  • Gambas al Ajillo, Shrim sauteed in olive oil, garlic and "Guindilla" peppers.

I liked the eggplant the best, as it was different from anything I've had before. Sliced pretty thin and deepfried, almost like a chip. And the cheese dip was very good. But all of it was good and it was a nice atmosphere. It was Monday night and they had a special for $25 get 4 Tapas and 2 Sangrea. If you are in the DC/Maryland area, check it out.

Turns out there is a Tapas restaurant in Denver - the 9th Door. I'll have to check it out some time!

Friday, May 11, 2007

google humor

  1. go to google
  2. click on "maps"
  3. click on "get directions"
  4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)
  5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)
  6. click on "Get Directions"
  7. scroll down to step #23 (or so)

Some companies get a sense of humor. :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

What a cutie

Got home Mon night and was sitting on the couch watching TV and getting warm. Heard the garage door open and then Jaimer walked in.

"Hey... who is in *my* house! No one lives here except ME!"

What a cutie.

She didn't have to be to work till 11:30 yesterday, so we spent a good hour or more just catching up and talking about what is going on in her life. Her day with Miss Christie was awesome. She told us all about it, "Miss Wagner... Miss Wagner - can you come eat lunch with me?" "Miss Wagner - you are my bestest bestest friend."

She spent the day in kindergarden - and now she wants to go to college to be a teacher! Not a big surprise. She has always loved little kids and wanted to do *something* with them. And Miss Christie's class was so fun. We talked about college quite a bit. The good and the bad. How you'll love it - and hate it at times. I loved school and have always missed it. So much I went back for my masters and thought about getting a doctorate - and maybe I will some day - but not right now. I just treasure my time with my family too much and school takes quite a bit of work!

But I'm so excited Jaimer is seriously looking into it. It will be a great time for her. And while teaching isn't about the money - it is something she is passionate about, has been "called" to do since day one probably - and will love doing. So its all very good.

It was great to be home and spend some great quality time with my kid - talking about what's going on in her life and what she sees for the future.

Long distance is hard


Just read your mom's latest post about our visit.
While it was amazing and fun and I'm so grateful that they were here, I can't help but be really heartsick at the fact that visits are all we will have, and too brief and infrequent at that. I really wish we could live near them during this pregnancy but more importantly after he's born. I can't believe he won't get to spend the weekend at grammy's whenever he wants.
:( Yeah - no kidding. It was so awesome being down there. We missed Jaimer tons - but it was so great to hang out with your parents. That is always such a good relazing time of just catching up, eating good food, and playing X-box with your dad! And buying stuff for you was so fun. When we were looking at furniture I just *had* to buy your crib. Something for my kid - and for her kid. So every day you'll be sleeping in the crib I got you. Makes me feel closer to you - given we are so far away.

And we buy stuff like little Harley vests and discuss, "Some day you'll have your Fat Boy and I'll still have Capt'n Jack and PeaBaby will be up for a summer vacation and we'll take him to a Rally and then he can pick out his own patches and get them sewn on his vest! It will be sooo coooool!"

I wish your folks lived closer too. Even if it was Albq - we could make it in one day on the bike. As it is, I'm thinking about 4 day weekends... I don't think we could make it in one day on the bike - so probably lots of car trips. Long day down - spend a day or two with you guys, and then a quick day back and back to work. I just can't imagine only seeing you once or twice a year though. And that's only for another year or so - after that who knows where your folks will end up and if its in FL or something - the trips will be way less frequent.

Anyway - it was an awesome time down there and we can't wait to come down in Aug and see you for real.

Keep getting bigger, and stronger, and have fun playing with your mom.

See ya in a few,


Loud pipes and car alarms

My boss Hans tells a story of how he helped his boss Kevin go pick up his first Harley. He drove it back to work and going through the parking lot it was so loud it set off car alarms. So I've heard of this, but never experienced it... till this trip.

Day 1 of the Rally we parked in a parking garage - and as we pulled in to park, the alarm in the car across from us went off! And then when we left (a bunch of us at once) all kinds of alarms went off. Wow... its true - loud pipes will set them off. But maybe its because its in a parking garage.

Then yesterday when I went to the store I was slowing down to go over a speed bump in the parking lot and reved the engine... and a car alarm went off.

I know - probably pretty annoying to the owners... but I think its kind of cool. :)

AZ State Rally - Trip home

Left Tif's about 11:30. Forecast was sunny through AZ with maybe showers in Albq. and showers on Monday. Forecast didn't look better through the week - so we decided to go ahead and head home, rather than waiting and trying to do it on Mon/Tue. We weren't sure if it would take 3 days or not, in case we had to hang out and wait for rain to stop.

Ride through AZ was great. We took it pretty fast - not a lot of side trips - as we were trying to beat any rain. But really only clouds on the horizon. Took 26 from Deming to Hatch and the back way all the way up to ToC and then up to Socorro for the night. We thought about trying to make it to Alb. but Tina was beat and we had put in a good day. Stayed at a Motel 6 - which was clean and sleepable - but had NO ammenities. No hair dryer, no coffee pot, and NO INTERNET! So - no update or upload of photos. :(

Got up the next morning and it was sunny out. Figured we'd try and make it to Raton or Trinidad that day - stopping when we hit the afternoon showers.

We took back roads all the way up to Alb and ended up on the west side of town. Hit I-40, took it east to I-25 and headed north. It was a nice lesiurely drive up to that point - although a bit cool. We were layered up pretty good.

Stopped in Las Vegas for gas - and so decided to eat. We ate at Pizza Hut - which is usually pretty fast - but took forever. Got some pizza to go - yeah, just threw it in the "trunk" and headed out. The windy was coming up and it was looking like it was going to storm any second. The rest of the trip was pretty much spent in the "maybe we can make one more town" mode. Figured we'd maybe make it to Raton - Trinidad was looking less likely.

But it was beautiful as we headed north. Large storm clouds in the distance - but then the road would turn and the clouds would be over some mountain and we'd be heading towards a clearing in the clouds. Hit Raton and decided to try for Trinidad. Not that far and if we hit rain it wouldn't be that much. Going into CO it got beautiful. Looks more like "home" and less like desert and the sun was shining off of everything. Hit Trinidad "What to stop?", I asked Tina. "Nope, Walsenburgh is only an hour a way, lets see if we can make it". Hit Walsenburgh, "What to stop?" - "No, its only 90 miles to home, lets keep going". It was getting cloudier and cloudier and we could see a big storm to the north. Walsenburg was cool because all the clouds were along the mountains to the west. Looked like it was snowing and the sun was shinning through in spots - but out on the plains it was sunny, where we were headed.

The closer and closer we got to the Springs, the worst is looked. Looked like it was really bad up there. "Do you think we can make it?" - "Sure", I replied.

By this time it was getting pretty cool and there was moisture in the air. I was shivering - but didn't want to stop. Neither did Tina. Just get home, so on we went. Gas was getting low - but surely we could make it. Just get home.

Getting closer to town and a rain drop hit the windshield. I looked over to the side of the road and there was the "Colorado Springs City Limit" sign - and from then on it rained. Not poured, but rained - stinging the face. I don't like doing 75 or 65 in the rain - so when we hit the south Nevada exit, we got off. Wound our way through town, getting wetter and wetter. Probably would have been faster to head up I-25 - but again, I don't like driving fast in the rain. Stopped about 2 miles from home for gas. The light had been on a while and I did NOT want to run out of gas a mile from the house or something.

Pulled into the garage cold and wet... But really it was just the front of my neck warmer (which was up over my mouth) and my beanie. My bandana on under it was still dry! Brought in all the stuff, got out of the wet clothes and we were home and snug and dry once again!

It was a great trip home. Really only 30 minutes of rain or so, and given the forecast that was a blessing. Did 480 miles the last day - probably the most we'd done in a day, getting home close to 7:00PM. But it was worth it to get home.

Trip total: 2093 miles!

Next morning I was choming at the bit to hit the road again... Usually after a long ride Tina is ready to be off the bike - but I go through withdrawls and want back on it. I mowed the lawn, went through the mail, paid some bills, got caught up on work email... But then at 4:00 I couldn't take it any longer and road the bike to go get groceries. :)

Then I looked up the Posse ride... a Coast to Coast HOG ride. This year it goes from Delware to Oregon - through Montana. Right through Big Timber. We are already booked - but would have been a fun ride... Maybe someday. 18 days, 14 states, over 3K miles. :)