Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Satellite Shots of New Orleans

NASA - Be sure to let the animated gif at the top stop and then compare it to the normal view at the bottom.

Global Security - Views of numerous sites

Americans Aiding Americans

If you're interesting in the amount of aid coming forth for those affected by Katrina - check out Chuck Simmins page

Music for Relief

Found this via Michelle Malkin at Slublog:

    WKIT-FM 100.3 here in Bangor is having a "Pay for Play" day to benefit the American Red Cross. If you're in WKIT listening area, call the radio station at 1-800-287-1003 or 990-3100 and request a song with a minimum pledge of $10.

    Station owners Stephen and Tabitha King are matching, dollar for dollar, every donation. It's a rock station, so I'm tempted to call in with a request for Barry Manilow.

Yep - That Stephen King. What a great idea.

Katrina - How to Help

It's easy. Point and click - anyone can do it.

I prefer The Salvation Army as they have an excellent record of low overhead but there are many others including the American Red Cross

And as many issues as I have with the ELCA they are already there helping out.

Please give. Generously.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Smash meets the Donald

Rumsfeld - not bad hair guy.

Looks like Operation Thank You was a 'Smashing' success!


It's bad enough that a Class 4 hurricane trashes your city. But what really gets to me is when people loot. I don't understand how one can justify taking something that isn't yours, that you did not pay for or otherwise earn, just because the windows are blown in?

Hopefully any shop owners that braved the storm are properly equiped. I think a emulation of the Korean business owners during the King riots is in order. AK-47's for everyone!

Local coverage - WWLTV

He's growing up

Thing1 has been back at school for a week now. He helped move freshman in, organize activities for them (last year there was nothing for the freshman to do), and be a listener. A freshman came up to him, almost in tears, as things weren't going well. Roommate issues, no friends, etc. Thing1 sat down and talked with her - relating his similar experience last year. When they were done she knew that she had someone to talk to. Thing1 knew he was in the right place at the right time.

God is good. All the time.

Second Annual Chicago Custom Knife Show

The Second Annual Chicago Custom Knife Show, which will be held on Friday, Sept. 9th and Saturday, Sept. 10th at the Sheraton Chicago Northwest in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

For more details, please go to

This year's show features even more great knife makers, as well as exciting door prizes, seminars, knife throwing exhibitions, drawings for limited edition Strider knives and much more. The world famous Ron Lake, Virgil England, Warren Osborne, Joe Kious, Todd Begg, Richard Rogers, Ricardo Velarde, Barry Gallagher, Rick Dunkerley, and Jim & Joyce Minnick are among our new exhibitors.

Come to the 2005 Chicago Custom Knife Show, where you will have the opportunity to view and purchase some of the best custom knives available in the world, meet the finest knife makers, learn more about your hobby and have a great time!


I went last year and had a blast. I'll have a bit more to spend this year so we'll see what goodies come home with me

Sunday, August 28, 2005

What Soldiers think

    "just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. At a celebratory gathering at his parents' home, we chatted a while, and I asked him what he thought were the biggest problems facing the military. Without hesitating, he shot back: "The terrorists and the media.""

More thought insight.

DC Freeps Rock!

Gunn Nutt has all the details.

Personally I think he needs to give broccoli another chance. Communists - none. Never.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Number 22

On August 27th, 1983 the wife (then the girlfriend) and I were married. It was hot in that little church. No AC either. Her nephew, playing he role of the ringbearer was a tad figity. He almost knocked over a candle and set the altar on fire. Doesn't sound like much of a start.

Well the party afterwards was great. I think we set the standard for weddings in our group of friends. Not one since has been quite as fun.

Hard to believe that it was 22 years ago. Where did the time go? Kids? Lets see - scouts, sports, karate, school. Thing1, now 19, is a sophmore in college. Thing2, at 14, is in 8th grade. Our second cocker spaniel, Buffy the Cockatiel Slayer, lays on the floor next to me. We're in our second home and getting ready for the second part of our life together.

Has it been perfect? No. Life never is. We learned a long time ago that some things just aren't worth arguing over. We've learned to live with each others unique traits. We learned, that sometimes, you have to walk away rather than say something stupid. We learned that "I'm sorry" can solve a lot of problems. Patience and love can go a long way.

My wife is a special person. I'm not the easiest to get along with and yet here she is. By my side the whole way. I don't deserve her but I'm glad I got her.

I love you sweetie pie

Carnival of Cordite #28

Available for your reading pleasure

No more Ben and Jerry's for me

I like their ice cream. It's a treat every once in a while. I know they lean to the left and I lean to the right but - it's good stuff.

However - after reading that they are funding Camp Casey I'll never spend my money on their product again.

Thanks for the link Professor.

My letter to the editor

The wife noticed it in the paper when she read it. I guess the red sharpie square around it helped. :-)

I sent it off to Thing1 as he doesn't get the Daily Herald at school. He sent it off to one of his high school buddies and she read it to her father. According to Thing1 I got a 'Hooah' from her Dad. I'll take that as a compliment.

Project Valour-IT

Chris Muir has spoken (drawn?)

Have you contributed? It's a worthy cause for America's best. It's easy. I've done it. So can you!

Blackfive donates the net proceeds from his shirt sales to Soldiers Angels. What a deal!. Get a unique shirt - help a great cause.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Michael Yon

Honest front line reporting from Iraq. Thats what Mr. Yon provides. Todays dispatch is a must read.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back to school - A near death experience

And off we went. Fun driving on 355, 290, and other roads here is Chicagoland. Thats where I expected problems but none occurred. Got everything into his room. This was fun as Thing1's room was the second farthest from the elevator on the top floor of the dorm. Great view but a pain to get everything to it. Computers, clothes, furniture - it's all there. Funny thing about computers - he took three. One for school work, one for gaming, and one as a 'server'. Easy to tell he's my kid.

After we got everything into his roon and all the boxes and duffles that were coming back home unpacked I took him and Thing2 to lunch. Since I had only one seat in the van I had Thing1 drive so we could all be belted in. On the way back from Subway some lady decided to try and turn left across the road in front of us while only looking right as we were coming from her left. It would have been very messy and Thing2 and I would, at the very least, be in the hospital right now. Given the size of the SUV she was driving I'd probably not be here. Thing1 did a great job getting as far away from her as possible without going into oncoming traffic which gave her enough time to stop. Our hearts skipped a few beats there.

After we got safely back to school we walked around a bit and then Thing2 and I took off. No tears like last year. Just a hug and we were on our way. Thing1 was off to put his gaming machine together before a meeting.

Great kid I got there.

The look

Thing1 heads back to school today. He's on the freshman welcoming commitee so he goes in a week early. Thing2 and I are driving his stuff down while he takes his car down. In preparation for this the wife took him to the bank to give him access to his money without going through us.

So they are at the bank signing forms. The clerk askes for two forms of picture ID. Thing1 only has his license plus his credit card. The wife produces her license and FOID card. The clerk stares at the card trying to figure out what it is. And when she does she gives my wife one of those nervous looks over the top of her glasses as she finishes the paper work.

The FOID card is what the great (yea right) state of Illinois uses to identify gun owners. Illinois doesn't register guns, just their owners. The wife has one in case she feels the need to buy me something.

She said the look was priceless!

Friday, August 19, 2005

Carnival of Cordite #27

At Gullyborgs place.

Carnival of Cordite Home

Thursday, August 18, 2005

You Don’t Speak for Me, Cindy

Will the media fawn all over the You Don’t Speak for Me, Cindy tour like they do Cindy?

Somehow I doubt it.

A letter to the NY Times

Following the theme of my letter to the Herald Jason sends one to the NY Times in response to this. His is much better than mine. Excellent work Jason!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Letter to the Editor

A couple of days ago the local paper had an article on Iraq and the theme was that there was "No room for complacency on Iraq". Here's the letter I sent in.

    Why are Americans complacent about Iraq? Could the answer be any closer than the pages of the Daily Herald itself? Like the rest of the Main Stream Media, the Daily Herald only tells the bad news. One can read about the deaths of Soldiers and Marines, IEDs, and failures at the bargining table but never about the new schools, the increase in oil output, Iraq's first independent news agency, a radio station dedicated to women's issues, etc. Why do Daily Herald readers have to search for information that a paper who's founder stated " tell the truth"?

    If the Daily Herald is serious about the problem of complacency with regard to Iraq and the Global War on Terror then the Daily Herald needs to take a step back and review it's own reporting. The information is out there. It's time the Herald start reporting it.

Will it get published? Probably not. Most of the letters that get printed lean to the political left.

August 18, 2005 Update:
    I got a call from the Herald verifying that I sent the letter. It's been forwarded to the Editor for consideration.

August 25, 2005 Update:
    Published in todays paper

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Peace not Walls

I was raised in a Lutheran Church. Baptized, confirmed, and married. Thing1 and 2 were both baptized as Lutherans and Thing1 is a confirmed member of our Church. Thing2 will be in another year. This is the same church that I've mentioned having some issues with.

Our Church is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and I'm not sure thats a good thing. Parent organizations provide many forms of support but they also sap funds that could be used locally. These parent organizations also do things like 4 year long sexuality studies. After tens of thousands of dollars the ELCA position is the same as it was.

But thats not whats bugging me today. The ELCA 2005 Churchwide Assembly voted "to participate in a campaign -- "Peace Not Walls: Stand for Justice in the Holy Land" -- designed to build awareness, and engage in accompaniment and advocacy activities for "peace with justice" between Israel and Palestine." The ELCA is upset about the wall Israel was building to keep its citizens safe from sucide bombers. The wall makes sense to me. Keep the bombers away from the citizens. The position of the wall may be up for discussion but if it keeps the citizens safe I'm all for it. (The U.S. could use one along it's southern border...)

This area of the world has been fought over since before Christ was born. And now the ELCA wants us to stick our collective noses in. On the side of the nation sponsoring terrorism. I can't do that. Not at the expense of Israeli citizens. They need to be able to protect their people.

Trample someone, get a iBook

As much as I'd like to have one at home (especially at $50.00) I would never do this.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Casey's Mom might just be dumber than a rock

From Drudge

    "You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism," Sheehan declares.

Thing1 had just gotten up so I read that to him. He had his usual insightful opinion

And Leprechans will dance in the fields. How dumb can she be?

Great kid I got there.

Casey's Mom is also not going to pay income taxes. I hope the IRS goes after her with extreme prejudice. As unfair as I think the tax system is (flat tax anyone?) everyone needs to pay their share.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

War for Oil?

Not according to Austin Bay (from a link on PowerLine)

    Under the agreement, oil revenue would be shared by the central government and Iraq’s 18 provinces, and split roughly according to their populations. It was unclear which entity would control the money, though one Iraqi leader said it would be the central government.

    “The agreement is that the distribution would be under the control of the federal government,” said the leader, Saleh Mutlak, a member of the committee charged with writing the constitution.

Hmmm - no mention of the US in there. An elected goverment controlling their nations prime export and sharing it equally. Excellent.

Makes sense to me

From Right Thinking

" Being against the war is not unpatriotic. Cheering for America to lose is."

This is just perfect and describes so much of what is going on today. It doesn't bother me if a family member, friend, or co-worker disagrees with me with regard to Iraq. This is America and brave men and women have sacrificed all so that we have that freedom. But when they want more bloodshed, more body bags coming home, more carnage just to they can attack the President and his policies - that makes me sick.

I don't agree with everything that Bush does nor did I agree with all of the policies of Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Ford, or Carter. (Before that I was to young to care) But I never wanted the US to lose, to walk away from a task left unfinished, to give up, because I knew that we would have to come back. And that coming back would cost more.

If you want to be against the war - fine with me. It's your right. But lose the "War for oil", "Bush lied, people died", etc, crap. Be against it for a real reason as the babble spewed forth by the antiwar crowd just doesn't hold up to any real scrutiny. And be ready to back up your reason with a logical, fact based argument.

Road trip

Not like vacation but a trip to Thing1's school. He's taking a car back and had never driven there before so we hit the road and went for a drive. Outside of needing to use his turn signals earlier when changing lanes on the expressway he did a great job. Hopefully the wife won't be so worried when he goes back to school in 10 days.

Wow - 10 days. Summer sure went by fast. Need to hit the range one more time before then. Well two ranges - gun and golf. Combine the two. Hmmm - that would be fun. Have a trap shooter try and shoot down the ball when the golfer tees off. Extreme golf. That might make it worth playing!

First comment spam!

I must be getting somewhere. I had my first spam message show up in a comment. It's almost like the scene in The Jerk where Steve Martin finds himself in the phone book.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Casey Sheehan's Mom

Since it was Casey who died in service of our country and his mom seems intent on using his death to, well, I'm not really sure what she's trying to do. She claims to want to talk to President Bush about Iraq but, she's already done that and from the published account was ok with the meeting. While I have no idea what it's like to bury a child I do know that if my son or daughter died doing what they wanted to be doing I would not attempt to blame someone else for his or her death.

I believe the war in Iraq is just, the right thing to be doing, and started a decade late. The world should not have spent a decade putting sanctions on Saddam. Everything was in position in 1991. It should have happened then.

Back to Casey's mom. If it weren't for the ultraleft organizations that were supporting her I might think it was personal. But with Code Pink, Michael Moore, and other behind her this is nothing but politics. It's just another attempt to embarass the President.

It was mentioned on a blog I read (and I can't seem to find it again) that Bush should offer to meet with her. One on one. The only condition would be that she would not discuss the meeting with anyone. Ever. The idea has merit but since Casey's mom either lied about the first meeting with Bush then or now - well I don't trust her. Neither should the President. Remove the liberal bias from the MSM and this would have been a non-event.

The MSM media should be covering the 9/11 commission omission. Or all the good news from Iraq. Or maybe even just talking with the writers of Iraq the Model. But no - we get night after night coverage of yet another leftist stunt. Sad.

When this is all over Casey will still be dead. Nothing can bring this brave American back. Casey's mom will still be bitter. She is the only one who can change that. We will still be in Iraq because we have a President who is commited to finishing the job. Hopefully the American people are as well.


There is now a picture of Casey's Mom and President Bush, hand in hand, with the President kissing her on the cheek circulating around. It was apparently part of a memorial web site to Casey but, for some reason, has been pulled. My already low opinion of Casey's mom is now zero. She's so consumed with hatred of the President that she will blame him for what happened to her son. So very sad.

Carnival of Cordite #26

Hosted by Gullyborg

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Cowboy Diplomacy

So many of the world's problems could be solved this way

Day by Day needs your help

All it takes is a couple of mouse clicks. Start by clicking on the cartoon below.

Project Valour-IT

A one who makes his living in IT this project makes a huge amount of sense. Soldiers Angels want to provide laptops and software that

provides voice-controlled software and laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand and arm injuries or amputations at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field without having to press a key or move a mouse.

What an awesome idea. Thanks to Blackfive for link to SA

SA makes it easy to donate with Paypal so please be as generous as you can be. Let your friends know. Every little bit helps.

My donation has already been sent.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Why Math is Taught in School

From a (female) coworker...

Why Math is Taught in School---- (Written By A Very Wise Man)

I was riding to work yesterday when I observed a female driver cut right in front of a pickup truck, causing him to have to drive on to the shoulder to avoid hitting her.

This evidently angered the driver enough that he hung his arm out his window and "flipped" the woman off.

"Man, that guy is stupid," I thought to myself.

I ALWAYS smile nicely and wave in a sheepish manner whenever a female does anything to me in traffic, and here's why:

I drive 48 miles each way every day to work. That's 96 miles each day. Of these, 16 miles each way is bumper-to-bumper. Most of the bumper-to-bumper is on an 8 lane highway. There are 7 cars every 40 feet for 32 miles. That works out to be 982 cars every mile, or 31,424 cars. Even though the rest of the 32 miles is not bumper-to-bumper, I figure I pass at least another 4000 cars. That brings the number to something like 36,000 cars that I pass everyday.

Statistically, females drive half of these. That's 18,000 women drivers! In any given group of females, 1 in 28 has PMS. That's 642.

According to Cosmopolitan, 70% describe their love life as dissatisfying or unrewarding. That's 449. According to the National Institutes of Health, 22% of all females have seriously considered suicide or homicide. That's 98. And 34% describe men as their biggest problem. That's 33.

According to the National Rifle Association, 5% of all females carry weapons, and this number is increasing. That means that EVERY SINGLE DAY, I drive past at least one female that has a lousy love life, thinks men are her biggest problem, has seriously considered suicide or homicide, has PMS, and is armed.

Flip one off? I think not!......

Michael Yon

If you aren't reading his blog - well this entry would be a good start.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Back to work

Really - I mean it. Today is back to work day.

I've really gotten used to being at home. The weather was basically crap (mid 90's and high humidity) so working outdoors wasn't much fun. Got some things done inside, saw a few movies, and relaxed. I needed that more than anything else.

Time to go make money

Carnival of Cordite #25

Over at Gullyborg's place

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Cable Guy

Not the movie. I spent the afternoon waiting for the cable guy to stop by and see whats going on. During the morning we had two 10 minute cable TV outages. After the second the high channels were much clearer. Hmm. Checked the signal strength on the cable modem (SA modems have built in web servers) and it was much better.

Cable guy shows up right in the middle of his four hour window. I told him what was going on and he decided to check the signal at the entry to the house. Everything was ok so he was off to his next stop. And I went back inside to get out of the heat.

I miss the mountains.

Vacation 2005 - Back to work


Another week off for me! Took a look at the cable coming in and bypassed the splitter that separates the tv and Internet lines and the cable modem sync'd up so it looks like we have a low signal. We're at the end of the trunk so it looks like more people have hooked up and I lost out. I put a lower loss splitter in and both TV and cable modem were ok. TV is still a bit fuzzy.

We went out to the kennel to pick up Buffy the Attack Cocker Spaniel. She's a little dog with a big dog heart. While we were waiting a greyhound came out and decided the wife was a big dog fan (she is) and nuzzled up to her. The owner apologized after she noticed but the dog wouldn't move.

We went outside to wait for Buffy as she has a habit of squatting when excited. And she was happy. She moaned the whole way home. She had to count noses once she was in the door. Once she was sure we were all here she rolled around on the carpet like the silly dog she is.

I guess it's over.

Vacation 2005 - Day 10

Heading for home. After breakfast we hit the road. Heavy rain in Iowa. After that it was smooth sailing till we got home. Twas nice to be there.

Interesting thing about the Iowa rest stops - they have wireless Internet available.

After we got home we ordered some pizza and relaxed. The kids went to check their email and couldn't. Thing2 was depressed. Checked the cable modem and the link light was off. Cable TV was working but the upper channels were weak. Called the cable company and a tech is coming out in two days. :-(

Vacation 2005 - Day 9

A day for a drive. On the road at 5:00 am. Hit Lincoln, Nebraska at 3:00 pm. Probably could have gone for another 2 hours but we've learned from experience to not push the kids too far. Checked in to the FairField Inn and relaxed. Grabbed a sandwich for dinner and sat in the hot tub for awhile. Nothing like bubbles to make ones legs feel better.

Hooked up my DVD player to the TV in the room and we watched "First Daughter" with Katie Holmes. Cute movie that everyone seems to enjoy. Since we had wireless connectivity Thing1 fired up his iBook to read mail. He had gone 7 days without internet access. I think he was losing his mind :-)

Then the wife decided she wanted to read her mail. I fired up my laptop and let her read all 35 messages waiting for her. After she was done I read mine. About 100 messages between my own domain and gmail accounts. I took a peek at my work account - 3000 plus just in my inbox. That'll wait...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Vacation 2005 - Day 8

Our last day here. Breakfast at a local place called the Prospector. Biscuits and Gravy - yumm.

Lots of Corvettes running through town as Vettes in the Rockies is going on starting today in Frisco. Last time we were out here our vacation was at the same time at VitR so we went to the show and shine on Sunday. This year - no such luck. Still fun to see all the Vettes crusing around.

There was an art fair going on in Main Street Station right by our condo. Picked up some interesting metalwork as well as some beautiful prints of some of our favorite places in Colorado.

Then it was time to pack. No one really wanted to leave but it was time. Finished up the ice cream and cookies and got ready for the long drive the next day.

Vacation 2005 - Day 7

A down day. Nothing going on but a trip to the top of the ski hills for some hiking. Can't wait! We took the Colorado Superchair up to the top of Peak 8. After a check of the ski run map (Thing1 was looking for the sign for the run named Psychopath to take a picture) we headed off.

Fifty yards down a trail the wife came across a elderly woman that was leaning over one of the signs. The nurse in her kicked in and she did a triage assessment just like she does every day. The woman was having shortness of breath, pain in her left arm, and tingling lips. We lay our jackets down and got her to the ground. Another family sent their kid off to the top of the lift to get help. After the lift employee arrived the wife gave her the rundown on the woman. A minute later there was oxygen on the was from the base and one of the ski patrol was on his way on his bike. Till they arrived the wife and I kept the woman calm. When the other two arrived they radioed for transportation and for an ambulance to meet them at the bottom. The wife and I assisted as necessary. Finally the truck arrived and we helped the ski patrol get the woman in the stretcher and into the back of the truck. An interesting way to start the day! Seemed strange that there was no oxygen at the top of the hill... It was interesting to see the lifts run at full speed - 1000 feet per minute. This is normal during the winter. In the summertime the lift runs at 650 feet per minute.

Hiked around, took some pictures

(got the moon over the mountain)mountains

and had lunch on the deck at Vista Haus.

Did a bit more hiking and we decided to go down. The wife and Thing2 took the life down. Thing1 and I decided to hike down. We stopped for a picture half way down.

It was great. Once we were away from the lift it got real quiet. Except for the occasional mountain biker we had the mountain to ourselves (or so it seemed). It took us about 45 minutes to get down. The thighs were not happy. Twenty minutes in the hot tub fixed that. A great day finished by a gourmet dinner of Macaroni and Cheese.

Vacation 2005 - Day 6

A trip to Vail is the plan for today. The first two times we visited Colorado we had stayed in Vail. At that time Vail was a very snobby place. Over the years it had become more friendly but today we noticed that most of the stores had moved upscale. Could just be a sign of a good economy or just that the retailers have gotten tired of rabble like us.

We started out at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Over the years they have turned into a beautiful place to visit. We've had a family picture taken at the gates of the garden every time we've been here. It has been interesting to see how we (and the garden) have changed over time.

After a few hours of wandering (Thing1 was looking for someone with Mental Gear hats in stock) we met up with the girls at Pazzos for lunch. Their calzones are excellent as is their pizza. After that it was back to Breckenridge for some swimming.

While swimming we had a gust of wind come through. It reminded me of a microburst downdraft - something that we had experienced back home. It collapsed several umbrellas and sent one on a 20 to 30 second flight into the pool. It was one of those times that you wish you would have had a camcorder going.

Thing2 picked out 'Princess Diaries 2' for the nightly movie. Cute story. Ann Hathaway. Need I say more...

Vacation 2005 - Day 5

Sleep. Still waking up early but at least I'm falling back asleep for a while. Watched the shuttle lift off. Always a beautiful thing to watch. Thing1 was commenting that there needs to be a replacement for the shuttle. I think that NASA should contract that development out to Burt Rutan. Time to go hiking!

Saphire Point is a easy walk. Just about anyone can do this. Beautiful views of Lake Dillion from various points of the trail. This is the four of us at Saphire Point. We've had our picture taken here every time we've been here. It's been interesting to see the change in water levels.

Did some hiking on the shore of the lake as well. Cold water...

The wife and I had dinner at a local mexican resturant while the kids went out for pizza. Great food at a excellent price. The margaritas weren't bad either...

Vacation 2005 - Day 4

Slept in. Again. Getting used to this. :-)

Today was the designated shopping day. The outlet malls at Silverthorne are 20 minutes away so off we went. Like most malls the stores cater to women and fashionable men (which Thing1 and I are not) so we were a little on the bored side. Thing2 found some tops she liked the so trip was worth it.

On the way back to Breckenridge we stopped at High Country Furniture. Nice stuff made from logs. We have a few bears from there. Found a couple of chairs we liked but the shipping charges were a bit much. Off to town as Thing2 wanted to wander the shops. I dropped the girls off in town and went back to the condo to grab one of the indoor parking spaces.

Thing1 and I walked down to town later to meet up with the girls for dinner. Beef Brisket - yum. On the deck with a beautiful view of mountains (Can there be a bad view of the mountains?) As we walked back to the condo the afternoon mountain rain started up. Got indoors just as it cut loose. I wish we could get some of this rain back home...

When the rain stopped the wife and Thing2 went swimming. Well Thing2 swam. The wife spen ther time in the hot tub. Thing1 and I watched "The Professional" with Jean Reno and Natalie Portman. It's a well made movie. Portman is a bit creepy at times but the story is excellent. After the girls got back we watched "Ella Enchanted". Thing2 brought this along for family viewing. It's a cute movie that is safe for everyone.

Vacation 2005 - Day 3

Slept in. Well for me anyways 5:30 is sleeping in. After breakfast the wife and I went for a walk. There was a farmers market going on in the square by our condo. Picked up some great fresh bread. Had a loaf of it (Asiago Basil) for lunch. Hit the pool till the thunder started up. Amazing that people will stay in a outdoor pool when there is thunder and lighting happening... The wife made some dinner and we made plans to watch a movie. A perfect relaxing day. I need more of these...

We watched "Man of the House" with Tommy Lee Jones. Way better than the critics may have lead one to believe. Lots of laugh and only the necessary amount of violence. The PG-13 rating is right on. Worth the rental or the addition to your Netflix queue.

Vacation 2005 - Day 2

Free breakfast at the Fairfield Inn- yumm. Back on the road. A couple of hours later and we hit I-76 and Colorado. A bit of a chop to the road but a 75mph speed limit :-). After a stop for gas (costing more than back in Illinois) and we were on the way to Denver. The wife drove most of this leg as I napped. I took over as we got close to Denver as she doesn't like to drive in the city and has never really driven in the mountains. For a Saturday afternoon traffic was light in Denver. Once we were through the city and started up into the mountains the traffic on I-70 was very heavy. Not unusual for a Saturday afternoon but very heavy. Once we cleared the Eisenhour Tunnel it was wide open. We stopped in Frisco at Wal-Mart to pick up some essentials. As we got back on the road traffic was stop and go. Took almost 45 minutes to get to Breckenridge. This is usually a 15 minute drive. Saw a couple of wrecked cars off the road but nothing that should have caused a delay. Checked in at our condo and headed back out to eat. One of our favorites here is Downstairs at Eric's (cause everywhere else just sucks). Great pizza. Picked up some groceries and found the hot tub. Perfect thing after a couple of days of driving. Sit in the tub and stare at the mountains. :-)

Vacation 2005 - Day 1

Our usual start - oh dark thirty. Actually around 4:30am. Living in a congested suburb and wanting to get a head start on traffic (we drive on vacation) we leave early. Traffic was light but fog was fairly heavy on I-88 in places. Once that broke we hit construction (the other season in Illinois is winter) which slowed us down. 30 miles of one lane road at 45mph is not fun. Still we hit Iowa City, Iowa for breakfast at McDonalds (this is a tradition for us on our drives west) about 20 minutes later than normal. Fill up the tank and we're back on the road. A quick stop for in Nebraska for gas and our next stop was Kearney, NE. The first time we stopped here 11 years ago it was a small town. Now it's over 30,000 people. Still a friendly little place in a state with a nice speed limit. After dinner we hit the pool (cold pool) to relax. Met a nice family that was moving from Detroit to Denver. They were pretty excited to be starting a new adventure in their life.