Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another spring storm

Blizzard conditions late yesterday dumped maybe 8" on us but it is melting super fast. The Direct TV goes out when too much snow piles up on the dish so I had to go out this morning and clear it off. I actually like shoveling the driveway so took care of that too. This snow was perfect for making a snowman so we decided to do that. I really wanted him to be ginormous but it didn't end up being all that huge.

Somebody call for a plumber?

Cucumber for eyes, carrot for a nose, and an authentic pipe.

Dharma and Bodhi hardly stop when they're out there running and playing but we got the fat man to stop long enough for a picture.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lemme show ya shumthin!!!

Fire Marshal Bill would probably not have been a very happy camper at my house today.

The dryer has been making a strange noise lately so I decided to tear it apart this morning and see what I could see. This dryer has gotta be close to 30 years old. This thing was here when we moved in but it didn't produce much heat. The dryer we lugged out from St. Louis was gas so we had to keep this dinosaur. I tore it apart then and found a few of the heating elements were broken and I replaced them. I was pretty sure the current noise was the drum bearing getting ready to go and I am a cheap bastard so I decided to try and keep it going. This is what it looks like all apart. Really not too much to these things.

I did find enough lint/dog hair to make a third animal of some sort. This much lint is probably a fire hazard so I gave it a thorough cleaning. I lubed up the drum sliders and the bearing (which actually looked good) and threw it back together. It's quiet as can be now. I wonder how long this thing can last?

Rocky Mountain Health Care

Has me scratching my head. Several months ago I got a fishing hook embedded in my hand and could not get it out for the life of me. Because it was metal and dirty I decided it would be best to go to the doctor. Now...the place we went was an in network provider. However...several weeks after the incident, we were notified that the doctor that performed the work was an out of network doctor. How the hell am I supposed to know this? So...after talking to my insurance company, they tell me that I'm going to have to pay for the visit out of pocket. $500!!!! They tell me I can write a letter of dispute so that was done. A few days ago I received a letter from them stating that they would be making a decision in a few days as to whether or not they would pick up the tab or if I would have to. I don't understand (and no one at RMHC has been able to explain/justify to me) how the *%@! I'm supposed to know that the doctor is out of network. Why is he even able to work at an in network provider? This seems odd to me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Light near the end of the tunnel

Today I worked on my paper for several hours. It's days away from being submitted ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!!! So far I've gotten 100% on each section of it from my professor so hopefully my academic advisor will feel the same way. It's gotta be turned in by April 5th but I should be able to fire it off sometime this weekend. Then I'm off until June when I gotta make up that 3 hour course that I "forgot" about until it was halfway over last summer.

I wonder where the UPS man is?
Last nights storm was a pretty good one. We woke up to about 6" I guess (that wasn't meant to sound that way). Bodhi and I went out and shoveled the driveway. I like shoveling. He likes to run around like a jack ass. At one point I called him over and he was covered in snow. He's a freak.

This is a picture of Jay while he was slaving away up in Alaska. I couldn't get a pic of Bodhi when he was really trying to impersonate Jay P but it brought the funny.

Are your knees cold?

Here's your solution.

These have been sold for a 4 pack of Maredsous.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You're looking at my least favorite thing to do this year. I'm just really tired of the trainer. I rode it darn near every day last winter and I just can't bring myself to do it again this year. As I'm typing this we are getting dumped on and it doesn't look like it's letting up any time soon.

This is the ugliest light fixture I have ever seen in my life. You can find the exact same fixture on our front porch and just outside one of the garage doors. I'm guessing this was just what the contractors had left over and could save a buck by installing inside. Other than the fact that it looks like butt, it's also mounted a bit high for my tastes. It's hard to find a wall sconce that actually shines DOWN but that would be ideal. Today we settled on one that shines up. I had it all wired up but then found out that I need to do some modification to the mount because the wire box is a bit too far recessed in the wall.

In other news...we have gotten tired of filling the dog's bowl with water. Two dogs just go through it too fast. So...we have decided to stop giving them water all together. Just kidding.

We looked at Stock Pots but then settled on this massive contraption that looks just like an office water cooler. It's fantastic. The only problem is that both dogs sit there and bark at it. Wonderful. They don't like it when the bubbles present themselves. Now I have dogs that are trying to drink out of the toilet, drinking out of our drinks from the coffee table, eating copious amounts of snow (Bodhi does this until he vomits), or they stand 3 feet from it and cry until I sit down next to it and assure them that all is ok. So much better than filling up a small bowl 73 times each day.
Bodhi is now about a year and a half old. Something occured to me this morning when we were out in the yard. He's still doing the squat to pee. Wonder when he's gonna pick up a leg like a real man? Heather thinks I'm gonna have to show him. Not sure how that would go over with some of the neighbors or the HOA.

One of our neighbors (we'll call him The Creeper) owns a Poodle. I wont even get into how I feel about Poodles but it's not good at all. Probably goes back to when I was a toddler and the family dog was a Poodle named Nicky. Nicky used to pee all over my toys. Let's not even talk about all the nasty eye boogers that dogs of that type generally have no shortage of. I digress though...there have been times when Heather and I have seen The Creeper out in the yard with said Poodle. I'm sure he thinks he's under the cover of night but little does he know that I have eyes like a damn hawk. We've seen him peeing in the side yard late at night. Creepy. I like to greet him with a "Good evening Clarice." Not sure he gets it though. I'm also reminded of the scene from that same movie where Precious (the Poodle) falls into the pit and the creepy dude starts in with the whole, "Rub the lotion on the body and then put the lotion in the basket" thing.

I suppose he could teach Bodhi to pee tripod style but I couldn't ever subject either of my pups to that kind of torment. No telling what else would go on. I'm just gonna say of the biggest reasons I have an issue with Creepy McCreeperson is that he made a point of asking my wife if she sunbathed topless when we were in Mexico last year. That's a little strange. I wouldn't even ask my good freinds wives if they did that without expecting to lose a few teeth. In the past I've done the whole neighborly thing and accommodated the small talk but I find that I'm beginning to find it more and more challenging.

I wonder if Heather's gonna have odd jobs for me to do today?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pretty fine day

Did I mention that I'm on Spring Break? Of course I slept in a bit today and then got up and had waffles and coffee before I went out for a small ride. The temps were the warmest they've been in a while. The forest roads are a mess and there's so many little cinders on the roads that I don't wanna take my road bike out. The road bike is a great way for me to get in some big hours without all of the abuse that comes with mountain biking but I'm not looking all that forward to it this year. Oh well...eventually when this degree is done and it gets warm I'm going to make it a point to do an overnighter each week I think. Anywho...this is where I rode my Alma today. I saw lots of elk, mule deer and F250's but this is the one picture I got off before the batteries took a crap. It was still in the afternoon when I got back. Mere mortals were probably sitting in their desks at work, shuffling papers or performing other critical tasks. Being that I had nothing else that I HAD TO DO...I grabbed a beer and went out on the deck to sit in the sun. Soon after finishing said beer, I did fall into a deep sleep that lasted for several hours. After dinner I decided to cap off the day with a fine cigar back out on the deck while watching the sun go down behind the mountains. What a shitty day.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be even warmer. I think I shall go to one of my usual haunts on the beautiful South Platte river and chase trout. Of course I'll take pictures to rub it in I mean share.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

1 job down....

and I've lost count of how many more I've put off for so long now. The Cherokee has been needing a radiator for a while now. There's no sense in tearing into this job unless you're gonna do the whole shebang. Radiator, water pump, thermostat, hoses and clamps. Here it is 2 hours in and time for a lunch/coffee break.

I have no idea where any of this stuff goes.

Since I'm on Spring Break, I took my sweet time. All said and done I was about 5 hours for the job. The jury's still out on whether or not the old school hip hop from the Boombox station (channel 846) on Direct TV slowed me down or actually moved me along but who was saweeeeeet.

Part of the reason for fixing the Jeep today was that it has to be reliable for the break cuz I think we're gonna take some day trips. We're for sure gonna head up to Leadville and check on Chris and Brian at Cycles of Life. I think we're also gonna hit up the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs too. My Speedo needs some dusting off and if nows not the right time...I don't know when is. We got dumped on last night but didn't get near the foot we were expecting. Supposed to get another round on Wednesday so I'm not holding my breath for any riding. I do think I might get a good cigar and see what my fishy friends are up to though.

I was supposed to head back to the Lou on Tuesday to pick up the Subaru but that's not gonna happen. The decision to go back was really rough and we both decided (for multiple reasons) to just wait until next month and then take a long weekend to pick up the car and have at least another day or maybe two to hang out and get stupid with friends.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New car

I talked about getting a Mini and would love to but the truth is...this is a horrible time to be in the teaching business. Cuts are being made at an alarming rate every where and all I need is a big payment to create more stress. it is. This is my friend Adam's car and he wants to get rid of it to get something bigger to haul his family and tow his race car with. Right now it's in the garage under a cover but at some point I'll have to fly home and pick it up. It's an 02 Outback Sport with a new motor that our very talented Subaru tuner friend Ron installed. Check him out....he is known all over the globe for the insanely crazy Subie motors he builds and tunes. Ron literally has a room full of STI parts laying around. It could be turbo'd in an afternoon but I'm actually happy it's not. It's got STI suspension and brakes so it should handle nicely and every thing in the AC system is new. Pretty excited about getting it. I'll sit on the van until it gets warmer and then do a few repairs to it before I put it out to pasture.


Last night was ruff and I wasn't even out drinking until the wee hours of the morning. Instead...Bodhi was up all night with the runs. Heather and I got back from dinner and the house wreaked from his butt. I let him out 3 times and was terrified to go to sleep because I knew he'd lose control of his bowels at some point. This is a dog that will bark at a pine needle in the driveway that's not even moving. Yet...he can't give me a whine at 3 a.m. when he's got a case of the squirts. I don't even remember what time it was when I jumped out of bed after hearing SOMETHING. After a quick smell, it turned out to be a brown mess on Heather's new white sweater.

I'm normally pretty eager to get out on the river but I was pretty darn happy to get a call from Scott this morning saying that he was running late and that I could get another hour of sleep. I finally got to the river at 11. It was cold to say the least. Easily in the 20's with winds gusting hard. It was one of those South Park days where you gotta try and remember which way the river's flowing. I climbed in the back of the van for what could be one of the last times and sat there drinking warm coffee watching these knuckleheads dress outside.

Scott got there shortly afterwards and we headed out just as the storm was blowing in. I haven't fished the Dream Stream in a long time. This section of the South Platte is tough. Always windy as hell and the fish are big, strong, and smart. The water flows are a bit low for the this time of year and with the overcast skies, and wind making the surface rough we knew today was gonna be hard. This time of the year the fish typically stack up in the deeper pools. I HATE fishing when I can't sight cast to trout but today I was having to fish water that just looked fishy.

You can see the seam right down the middle of this run where the faster water meets the slower water. Perfect spot for a cast.

Scott had the hot hand today. Not only did he catch the smallest trout of his life but he also caught this super nice Snake River Cutt out of a hole that looked marginally fishy. Nice work Scott!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

No denying the smooth taste

A guy I know is celebrating his 40th birthday tomorrow. I can't think of a more appropriate gift to party with than 40 ounces of one of the finest malt liquors around. An ounce for each year he's been on this Earth. I think the name's even fitting for him as well. I only hope someone is as thoughtful as me when I get to be an old geezer.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ride the Spine

Recently three guys from California completed a dream ride that started at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska and finished in Tierra Del Fuego. The trip was 20,000ish miles and took them 3.5 years to complete. They have a huge website with some really insane stories and even better pictures that you can check out here. They completed the route on Surly cargo bikes and one of the guys did it barefoot (he had taken some really simple flip flops and attached them to platform pedals and that's what he rode with but all walking was done sans shoes). Pretty freakin' mind-blowing ride to say the least.

Cool art

Thought this was pretty neato.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I bet it's been at least 2 months since I've been on a bike longer than my 7 minute commute to work. I wanted to do 2 hours max but yesterday's ride ended up being a 6 hour death march for me. I was never lost in the true sense of the word. I always knew generally where I was but that wasn't much comfort. The temperature dropped 20 degrees at the end and although I did have my bivy and bag and a decent supply of food left, a GPS sure would have been nice. It's amazing how many fire roads we have out here.

Strange place for a nest.

Unlike the past...I ate through almost everything I had yesterday.

Saw lots of this.

And this.

A Pugsley would have been real fun here. I walked miles upon miles of this slop.

Don't know if it was because I'm not in shape right now but for much of the ride I felt exactly like I did when I was going through Sargents Mesa and the Cochetopa Hills this year. Just never ending walking and huge amounts of stress. Not a good feeling but very happy to have kept pushing. It was probably very good training that I normally don't encounter all that often. I want to do more rides like this because this is one thing I'm lacking that many of the finishers force themselves them to do. I need to spend a lot more time this year suffering through the lows.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


A guy I work with was fortunate enough to spot one of these beautiful cats Thursday on his way home. She was taking advantage of a deer that had recently been hit by a car. As he rounded the bend on a fire road his son noticed it. They stopped and watched for a second as the cat took another bite, looked at them and then slowly walked away.

I like to shy away from work related banter here but......what a Friday it was. The morning started off with me losing one of my favorite students. He was taken in for probation violation and I won't see him again. It was entirely his choice but it is frustrating to put all the time and energy that I had in him only to watch him throw it away. Truly a neat student that I will miss but...this is the nature of the game and sometimes that's easy to forget. That investigation took a bit over 4 hours to get to the bottom of and as soon as I said goodbye to him I moved on to another one. Two gone. Back to my room to find out that 2 more additional students of mine are being ticketed for offenses that aren't gonna go over well in court at all.

Don't know what the hell is going on. Full moon's not until the 16th. Could be the warmer weather and spring fever. Could be that Spring Break is coming up. Could be that we're in the middle of state testing. I know that it's not a result or reflection of me but those that know me know I will take it on and beat myself up for no less than a few days because of it.

On a brighter note...I think I'm gonna pack up some stuff and go explore some new fire roads on my bike today. It's been a while since I've ridden and I truly don't know if I can ride for longer than 2 hours so I'm bringing my bivy and food just in case I need to take an emergency nap or do an overnighter. I might even have to bring the SPOT in case I need to call in the troops to get me when things go to hell 8 miles from home and my bottom lip starts to quiver like a puppy trying to pass a peach pit.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

chopping block

I hate to say it but the van is about to be sitting atopeth it. I need to wait for the weather to warm up. I'm not gonna spend much more money on it but I'd like to do a bit of body work and probably change out the carpet in the middle after I find a better replacement. I also need to do my OCD thing on the engine bay area so it looks presentable. I also neeed to take it on a few more camping trips before we part ways. I already have another vehicle lined up and it's not going anywhere. I've talked about Mini's but I really don't want to get into a car payment until we're back in the Lou and we know what our house in Ladue is going to run us. The only hint I'll give is that most know that I'm a sucker for wagons. Aw hell...I'll give ya another one too. It's a non-turbo and I'm actually happy about that. This vehicle is in St. Louis. Damn it that's 3 clues.

Enter the Dragon

I just got done watching one of the all time best Bruce Lee movies in history. Way back when...I used to have almost all of his movies on VHS (thanks to Wal-Mart). I have no clue where they're at now but tonight the dream lived on.

In other news...Bodhi is still utilizing the modified squat to pee. To play off a scene from tonight's show..."His pissing style is unorthodox....but very effective."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Nibbly bits

So I was unable to attend a recent party and am more than a little disappointed. I had massive writers block while trying to get through a section of my thesis but thanks to my good buddy Scott, it was almost like I was there with all of the texts and pictures he sent. Some of what I missed: seal ribs, Beluga whale, Mule deer pizza, BBQ pheasant, Moose meatball, swan goose, and mountain lion sausage. Not to mention a gaggle of tasty Belgian beers.

Bright light...short tunnel

I just registered for my final course to finish my grad program. Pretty psyched about being done with this thing. I could be a pretty darn happy guy come mid-August.