Sunday, December 31, 2006

my yard

some pics at 10mm (35mm equiv of 17mm) shot from the front deck this morning. click on each for a large, high res version.
looking north, south and east across my yard and street (winter construction zone) up French Gulch. this gulch eventually leads up to the Continental Divide.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

more Christmas Day pics

Mary, Bill, Diana and Josh all came up. It was great. I even got to eat too much and roll around on the floor.

Christmas Day pics

early morning sunrise pic, after I came down the stairs hoping Santa Claus brought me a cool new mountain bike. I took Montana for a little hike around 9:30 in the morning. It was beautiful out.

some pics from around the house

was with Alina this afternoon. didn't get a chance to venture outside.
montana. looking out the back porch.

Holiday Blizzard II

sounds like a horror movie, but that's the truth. It has snowed about 5" here so far today. But since the low pressure is around NM/TX border, it is upsloping hard along the Front Range. they say up to a foot in Denver metro area by tomorrow am, and another 10-20" Friday night into Saturday morning. crazy, esp. since we just had the big one last week. Summit County mountains should see 12-24" when it's all wrapped up and done. That would be nice, especially around the 7th of January or so, when people start to leave town and I have some more time.


I saw one just a couple hundred yards from our house this morning as I was pulling out of the alley. pretty cool, I usu only see them in the summer and fall.

work is crazy, again. i've re-heated my coffee 5 times since 7am. many calls from many concerned travelers. i wish I could control the weather.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

warm dreams

when we're in the dark days of winter as we are now, I like to look over my pics from the past summer. these were both great days in the middle of June. playing with Alina in the pool and waiting for Helen after she won the San Juan 50-mile race in Lake City.


i just walked back in the door after taking Montana out one last time for the eve. it is a warm 19 degrees, usu the balm before the storm. while I was out walking (and looking into the new neighbors' houses since they don't have blinds), I thought about how great of a mom Helen is for Alina. She'd run 1000 miles for Alina. well, that's a sad comparison, b/c Helen would prob run further than I think she would. but Helen has always sacrificed her own time & energy to ensure the best possible care for Alina. she always makes sure we can afford to buy the best food for her. she feels guilty that she can't be a stay-at-home mom. she always makes sure we both spend as much time with Alina as possible, not just letting her play on her own. thanks Helen. Alina couldn't possibly have a better upbringing at this point.

never thought I'd be cursing snow in late December

yeah, I have a great job, but this time of year it is indeed less great. all in all, things are going well, but the prospect of Holiday Blizzard II has me worried. we're running at 100% occupancy now, so we may have some guests affected yet again by mother nature. but I think most of them don't depart until Sun-Tues, by which time they will have a handle on the conditions. more later, as in an update on the weather most likely. Denver's airport had some bad press from the blizzard last week, so now they seem to be more proactive.

local Denver news channel 9 says-

Travel will become very difficult across the front range and eastern plains Thursday when this storm winds up late in the day producing snowfall rates of 1-2" per hour by Thursday evening. The forecast for Denver for tonight calls for mostly cloudy skies with light winds out of the south. It will be a dry night and not overly cold. Lows in the mid to upper 20s. Thursday the first wave moves in early leading to cloudy, windy and colder conditions by midday when light snow will develop. 2-4" of snow forecast for Denver tomorrow afternoon with another 5-10" tomorrow night as the storm intensifies. Thursday highs in the mid 30s downtown. Friday will be colder with cloudy and windy conditions. Heavy snow is likely. Forecast highs in the mid 20s. Snow will continue until midday Saturday. In the mountains tonight A WINTER STORM WATCH has been posted with cloudy skies and snow showers. Lows in the single digits and teens. Heavy snow and wind forecast for the mountains Thursday and Friday. Total snowfall accumulation amounts in the 12-24" range by late Friday. Check ahead for the latest on road conditions and travel advisories.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

shopping with all the tourists

after work tonight we went downtown (Main St Breckenridge for all you city slickers) to Marty's for Kids. a co-worker gave us a gift certificate to this store when Alina was born, and we finally found it again when Helen was cleaning out her old wallet. We found some cool mittens for Alina that might have a better chance of staying on her hands.

here's a pic of Alina taking a little break in the store by the mittens & socks.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

finally, winter sports!

got out the office for about an hour. considering we didn't get nearly the snow Denver got in the Holiday Blizzard, the conditions were surprisingly good and it was not crowded at all. I took the Beav up to mid-loading station for the Super Connect, then 6 chair (below) up to the Imperial Express. snowcover in Imperial Bowl was a bit bony and rocky in sections, but other sections were like riding smooth velvety cream cheese. a beautiful sunny day made it that much more fun. a great start to my season for sure. I think I'll even get out and ride some more tomorrow.

6 chair

Friday, December 22, 2006

still no winter sports

It is December 20th, and I haven't done any winter sports. Sad. Last night I could have gone up Gold Run with my touring skis, but I didn't. No real reason. Even sadder. I hope to change my horrible streak sometime tonight (skiing) or tomorrow (snowboarding). I only have 11 days left to do something winter-related for 2006. My last winter sport outing of 2006 was a day snowboarding in late April. I can still remember the slow sticky snow as I was trying to keep my speed blasting by tourists on Four O'Clock Run. When I finally got down to the bottom, my board and boots were covered in mud.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


been a bit too long between posts, but such is life in Breckenridge around the Holidays. we are very busy, and now we're under the grips of a major winter storm. DIA is closed, I-70 out on the eastern plains is closed. They're saying 24-36" in the northern foothills, which is pretty much where Bill and Mary live. Maybe 12-18" here in Breck, since this southern/upslope storm is favoring the foothills. As much as we need the snow in time for our Holiday rush, it has been a real pain in our ass here at work. We have some guests who are scheduled to depart today, but of course their flights are cancelled. They wonder why they need to leave today if the people scheduled to come into the same property today might not be able to get here. Well, for operational reasons, we have to assume that all check-ins might show up today. Most guests are understandably just a bit stressed and not sure of the best course of action. It's not like we're rolling in the dough for a few extra nights here or there. Believe me, we'd love nothing more than to have the roads and airports open and people leaving on time.

The true off-season is awesome now. Not even a remote itch to ride a bike now. And I don't think I will want to ride until at least late January.

Friday, December 15, 2006

pasta night

a couple nights ago we had pasta for dinner. alina really enjoyed it. last night we went to Cafe Alpine for my employee party. food was great. tonight was the opposite, we had cereal for dinner!

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Holiday card from Specialized

this Holiday e-card from Specialized was too good to pass up. Cool for us bike geeks, others might not find it as appealing.

I played tennis today in the drop-in clinic at the rec center. Boy do I suck. Wanting to try a placebo, I tried out one of the demo racquets from Head. Didn't make much of a difference. My free ski pass is in the mail box. Although I am getting excited to get out there and snowboard, we haven't had much fresh snow, and the crowds are coming. Maybe one day next week I can sneak out for a couple runs.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kranked 6 trailer

these vids always get me amped up, whether it's just for the drive home, a couple hours up on the hill, or a nice mountain bike ride.....they always do the trick.

a little snow

but not really enough to get me psyched about winter again. It has been relatively mild, at least by Breck standards. If it's above 15 degrees in the morning, and you think it's warm out, you know you live in the frozen tundra some locals call BreckenFRIDGE.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Alina loves lemonade (and almost any other form of sugar)

We went out for dinner at Hacienda Real in Frisco, our favorite Mexican joint in Summit County. The food was great, and it was the first time I almost felt guilty about how messy Alina was with her food. She was squeezing re-fried beans between her fingers, and flinging rice all over the place. I left a 25% tip and hoped it was good enough. Here is a crappy shot from my cell phone of Alina sucking down the lemonade.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Corey Martinez tearing it up...

this video is incredible. I've probably watched it 20 times this year alone. For the uninitiated, Corey Martinez is one of the best freestyle/street BMX riders out there. It is so impressive to see his skills. Imagine how many broken bones he must have endured while honing his skill set. Another reason I have so much respect for him. Do you have any idea the cojones needed to learn those skills?!

Oh yeah, the song is cool too. It is called "Mario Takes A Walk", by guitarist Jesse Cook.

oh yeah, racing is done

nice the season is finally over. racing without training was fun during cross season, until it stopped working about 2-3 weeks ago. oh well, I was pleasantly surprised my fitness and solid results lasted as long as they did. Helen snapped this photo just before the start. There I am waving, calm, cool and collected, just minutes before the muddy, sloppy, cold, pain and suffering began. I've done quite a few races since the Koppenburg in early April. although I am glad they're done, I also already look forward to racing again in the spring.

wide angle lens

pretty decent shots of the lower level of our home at about 10.5mm on the lens, which is the 35mm equivalent of 17mm. click on each for a nice large view, 1600x1067 pixels. no flash. hand held, no tripod (hence Helen's featureless face). our house doesn't have very good lighting either. I generally don't shoot interiors after dark. although it can add a nice warm, cozy look to the photos, a brighter image generally is more appealing in most applications. since I've been shooting interiors of our rental properties for 10 years now, I've really learned a lot. flash or no flash. some fill flash seems to be best, esp. since I need to be efficient with many properties to shoot (and the many other facets of my job). and I also don't have the time and luxury of being able to spend 10-30min per image doing some Photoshopping. I wish I did, it is pretty fun.

Helen's doing some Xmas cards in the first one. the second one is shot from the rear entry looking across the dining and living areas, and Montana sulking about something on the floor.

1/8s f/3.5 ISO 100

train jump

you can tell by the bright colors this is from the late 90s, but still awesome.

cx states at Xilinx

didn't go well at all. I can only race without training for so long, and that prob ended a week ago. My lack of fitness was obvious yesterday. Good start, even without clipping in right away, was in top 5 after 1st lap, and then a flurry of attacks from Paul and Ward saw me losing ground quickly. My lack of fitness saw me struggling through flat muddy sections like a mosquito in a hurricane. The slickness was fun going downhill, but the slower boggy sections that favored a power rider saw me losing multiple spots. Once Georgia passed me on the last lap,, I knew I got girled, and then a few more guys passed me. I considered quitting, but before I knew it the race was over. Thank goodness. A great overall cross season, highlighted by my podium at USGP Xilinx and win at Red Rocks cross on S. Table Mountain. Second place in BCR isn't bad either, and Ward has consistently been the strongest rider all season. Too bad we couldn't have raced with Jared together all year. I think that would have been fun.

Friday, December 08, 2006

net neutrality

this has been a buzz topic around the web lately. Easy to understand. The telco and ISP companies are getting attracted by the big players and their big wallets. Yet they are also hearing the smaller companies with less capital crying about the potential lack of a level playing field. Just imagine trying to compete!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

hike with Alina

Alina and I went for a walk earlier today just before sunset. we had a blast hiking around the neighborhood and up Gold Run Rd a bit. the new backpack Helen got down in Boulder worked out well. I hardly noticed the 21 lbs. After about 15min I could hear her snoring. She seems to easily sleep when in transit, whether it's in a car, baby jogger, bike trailer, or backpack.

Last race of 2006 is Saturday over at Xilinx. I am not too fit anymore, but I can still mix it up in the top 5 without any big mistakes. I look forward to hopping the ditch again.

Monday, December 04, 2006

first shots with the new lens

got a Rebel XTi and a new ultra wide-angle lens for shooting property interiors. The lens is a Canon EF-S 10-22mm USM. With the Canon 1.6x DSLRs, this lens becomes the 35mm or full frame equivalent of 16-35mm. The glass seems to be of very high quality. Not a great everyday lens (too wide), but for its primary purpose of shooting interiors, it is going to work very well I think. For all but interior shots, I will prob be shooting in the 16-22mm range of the lens. Check out the lens review from Bob Adkins.

last day for Alina...

in the infant (chickadee) room was this past Friday. I went to pick her up to savor the moment and snapped a few quick pics. the last one is with Caroline, one of her favorite teachers and one of our babysitters.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

red rocks cross 3

today was the last race in the red rocks series at the elementary school near the park in Morrison. They had about 6" of snow there a few days ago, and it has stayed cold. Today it was in the 30s race time. I was riding the course pretty well considering I didn't have low enough tire pressure (sound familiar?), then I tried to pass Opperman before a corner and dumped my bike. The rear skewer loosened some, so I had to tighten that to prevent the brakes from rubbing. By the time I hopped back on the bike, I had dropped from 4th back to 10th. The rest of the race I chipped a way a little bit, finishing in 7th. I could see 4th place less than a minute in front of me. I am burnt on racing now, but racing in the snow and mud kept me motivated. A good off-camber section traversing a hillside brought out the crash test dummies. Luckily I kept my bike upright there on every lap.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

hallway fun


another Arctic blast

Well yesterday Helen and I were happy to see the low temp was about 15. This morning another shot of cold air slid south from Canada into Colorado. As I write this it is 5 degrees. We'll have to really bundle up before we head out tonight for the Lighting of Breckenridge.

the site, as you can see, has a new look. Right now I don't like it, but Blogger Beta has some powerful new layout tools available. Once I can configure my header picture, I can get started on drop and dragging new page elements. This will make it super easy to put in a bunch of widgets like weather, visitor tracking, AdWords, etc..

Race tomorrow in Denver. Not sure I really feel like going at this point, but I am sure I will get motivated overnight. After all it will be snowy, muddy and cold at Red Rocks...perfect cross weather.

Friday, December 01, 2006

it's December!

what that means is that this past November was the first November in the 11 years I've lived in the which I have not done any winter sports. pretty weak, given the nice snows we've had so far. But it's by design...I've been racing cross every weekend. Luckily (for Helen and for me), there are only 2 more weekends of races. So I should be skiing sometime next week!

lynx shooting

Lynx have always fascinated me. I would pay money to see one. I am sure they are out here, probably somewhere on or near my favorite trail, The Great Flume.

The pile of cash for information on who killed two endangered lynx in southwestern Colorado keeps growing. First it was $500 offered by the state. Then conservation groups kicked in $4,500 more. Now they've added another $2,500.

Would you sell out a friend for $7,500? Of course you would if you were the type of guy who has friends who shoot lynx. Cops rely on the old addage: Dirty, underhanded people have dirty underhanded friends.
It may only be a matter of time before someone gets fingered.