Sunday, August 31, 2008
Sniagrab: I find their namesake bargains to be excellent. However, they charged me $10 extra for my fleece (which I discovered today after clipping off the tags) and have made parking around the Tower of Odd Smells unusually difficult for a Sunday afternoon. One thumb up.
Raspberry Zinger Tea: An exceptionally delightful cup of tea with smooth sweetness and good color. Perfect for soothing a grumpy throat. Two thumbs up.
The New Santa Fe Super Target: Truly staggering in its size, this retailer has a plethora of goods and good prices. The new Target has new everything: new clever baskets, new carts, new credit card readers, and new employees. Unfortunately, shopping here means a couple of U-turns of questionable legality, and escaping the new Riverpoint shopping compound with its twisting narrow one way streets makes it a feat worthy of Steve McQueen. One thumb up.
Starbucks Vivanno Chocolate Banana: Smooth. Chocolatey. Banana-y. Yummy-y. Two Thumbs Up.
Public Urination: When I saw two guys talking outside my window, one seated and one standing, I thought little of it. When I noticed the odd posture of the standing man as he leaned over a knee high wall towards some trees, I took notice of his hands in the pee position. The following shake-tuck-zip operation confirmed my suspicions. Not classy, guys. Two thumbs down.
Annett Louisan: This charming chanteuse has great vocals and fantastic percussion, making for fun upbeat songs. I have yet to figure out what they're about, since they're in German, but my 2 years of college Deutsch are creeping back in. Two thumbs up.
Three Day Weekends: Perfect for getting things done and relaxing in the same weekend. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
This morning Jen and I toddled over to the Boulder Tea House for some chai and breakfast. We passed through the farmer's market and the festival and also had a nice time walking up the creek and talking alongside the rushing waters.
After that I came back down to Denver to start the recuperation from the damage done by last weekend to my to-do list. I ran a few errands and made my way down to the Sniagrab (bargains spelled backwards) sale to pick up a highly discounted new fleece and a little neck cozy that I hope will keep me healthier this winter. It certainly isn't for the fashion statement.
I'll admit I'm looking forward to winter a bit. Even despite the heat, I can feel coolness at the periphery of things. The subtle pull towards hibernation is tugging at me, and the idea of curling up under a blanket with a book and a cup of spiked cocoa is highly appealing.
I turned off of the clogged thoroughfare and started driving behind an incredibly slow person. They turned down the street I had planned on using so I went a little further and turned on the next street. I followed that through construction and found myself funneled into an area where I couldn't turn left onto 14th. I ended up getting pushed all the way to Colfax, where more construction had blocked the left turn lane, so I boldly turned left from the right turn lane (gasp!) and went down further to another street and headed back down to 14th through yet more construction.
Finally, I was able to park in front of the post office, though I found I had no change for the meter. I still opted to take my packages to the desk, only to find that the post office was closed through the 29th. The replacement post office was at 915 Logan Street ... about 2 blocks from where I live. Needless to say, I was not amused by this reward for my valiant navigation efforts. I grumpily headed to work, not wanting to back track to find the temporary office. Since work wasn't exactly productive, I ended up leaving early and dropping the packages at the Sunnyside post office near where I work.
I also took in the form I had received recently from the postal service. A while back I had returned some media to Corrie through the mail. However, the wrapper around the package came off and the DVD and books were lost in the mail. They sent me a form to have them search for it. A couple days ago they sent the form back with no indication of what had happened. All that was different was there was a stamp on the form from the center where I mailed it to. I assumed the worst, so I took the form to the post office for the promised refund of my postage. Unfortunately I hadn't insured the package. Thankfully the clerk at the post office did give me the refund, though he was as puzzled as I was about the whole thing.
Not a good day for the ol' USPS.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Oh, and is there a convention or something in town? I think maybe there is. That would explain the hordes of folks heading the opposite direction down Cherry Creek as I came home. Hmm. I hope the sign pointing in the wrong direction didn't screw anyone up. Well, I may as well fire up the old television to see what's going on tonight. I hear someone's giving a nice speech or something.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Emergency crews and police were quickly on the scene, but the snapped line was going to take a while to fix, so after a meeting with a client, we all just went home. The irony of a Sustainable Living Roadshow causing a power outage does not escape me, especially since they were setting up a big exhibit of solar power cells right next to our office. Buddy, can you spare a watt?
Here's why: On my birthday, she got up early and went downtown with me and the other friends and family of Nils to pick up trash around the Denver Rescue Mission. Thanks to everyone who showed up to help me celebrate in this idiosyncratic way. After the clean up, we took a nap and then decided to go some shopping. I figured I could drop some money on myself since it was my birthday, so I headed to the Plastic Chapel. On the way there, Jen gave me a gift certificate to spend at the Plastic Chapel. She knows me well! Once there I got a few more BambooZoo figures and one from a different collection called Pets and Owners.
On the way home, Jen said we needed to stop at a store, and not just any store, but a specific King Sooper's. I agreed since I needed groceries anyway. When we got there, she shooed me off to go get my groceries while she made a covert purchase. We then went to my apartment and started getting ready for the evening. Jen got into her dress and I got into my suit. Then she produced her secret purchase and announced the theme for the evening. "I'm taking you to prom," she said, and pinned the bouttaniere she had procured to my suit. I bust up laughing with glee.
Now, not all of you have heard the story of the disaster that was my prom, centering mainly around a missing cummerbund. The bottom line is: my senior prom was a fiasco. Now my amazing, creative, and awesomely brilliant girl was giving me a new prom, a redeemed prom as a 30th birthday present. This is part of why my girl rocks.
So I took Jen on my arm and we proceeded to the first stop of the night, which was the Fort restaurant in the hills above Morrison. It had a great view over the foothills, but the best view was sitting across the table from me. We had a great dinner, which I will recount in probably excruciating detail. Bear with me.
We started with some wine and appetizers. There were so many things on the menu that I couldn't imagine how they'd taste, so we ordered a couple of appetizers. One dish was called bison eggs. A bison egg is a quail egg wrapped in buffalo sausage, encrusted with something tasty and then fried. It was served with a raspberry-chipotle dipping sauce, and they were fantastic. We also got jalapeno peppers stuffed with mango-infused peanut butter. These weren't quite so good. The peppers were super hot and were an odd match with the peanut butter. We stashed them in a take away box and prepared for salad and bread.
The salad was fantastic. It had seasoned sunflower seeds on it. Jen had hers with an incredible honey chipotle dressing and mine was graced with a good jalapeno buttermilk ranch dressing. We also had some soft ciabatta-like bread and delectable muffins dotted with fruit and nuts. It was a good set up for the entrees to come.
For my entree, I had a prime rib of buffalo and Jen had a couple teriyaki quail. The stars of this course, however, were the potatoes. My goodness. Jen had some delicious new potatoes that were smooth and flavorful, but the white cheddar garlic mashed potatoes I had blew my socks off. They were so creamy, so rich, and so flavorful, I wanted to take these potatoes home and sleep with them on the pillow next to me. Rather than fading from their initial great taste, they were good to the last bite.
After the entrees, our waiter came up to us and asked us if we wanted to be subtle about my birthday or not. Not being subtle would mean that they would bang on a drum, chant, and place a buffalo head on my head. We opted for subtle. He brought out this chocolate cake that was pretty good. As we started eating it, we noticed something interesting. There was a peppery taste to the cake dancing on the back of our tongues. The cake was actually a Chocolate Chile Bourbon Cake and was quite good. After some coffee, we headed out.
Now what is a prom without dancing? As we left, Jen made a right onto 285, heading deeper into the mountains. I told Jen that I thought she had made a wrong turn. "Oh, did I?" she slyly asked. We had not. We ended up atop Mount Falcon Park with the city spreading out below us in a carpet of twinkling lights. Jen then produced a converter and plugged a string of Christmas twinkle lights into it. We arranged the strings in a circle on the ground to form our dance floor. Jen then produced a stereo and a CD. The CD had songs that were popular in 1996 when my first prom occurred. We started with the Macarena. Of course. We also danced to Ice Ice Baby, Run Away, Sweet Dreams, and more. There we danced in a ring of lights underneath the stars and above the glittering carpet of Denver's nocturnal glow. I have such an awesome girlfriend.
We then made our way down the mountain hoping for a good after prom party. However, I am 30 years old now and in my advanced age I couldn't stay awake. On the car ride home I would start sentences and then nod off. Jen would ask me what I was saying and I would start awake and ask what she was talking about. When we got home, we immediately grabbed some Z's, with me on the couch and Jen in my room. See, there is more to come.
Following the awesome redemption of prom, we got up to meet my parents and go to church. After that we drove straight downtown to have a meeting of Jen's parents and my parents. We had a good meal at Rodizio and watched the SWAT teams, protestors, and mounted police go by. Ah, time for the Democratic National Convention.
After our meal we wandered through downtown looking at the protestors and the police who were at about a 1:1 ratio. We saw the bike cops struggling to ride slow enough to keep pace with the protestors, and the mounted police with their visored horses. Through the throng we made our way to the Gelazzi gelato store and got some fantastic gelato. We then chatted for a while in the cool of Union Station before parting ways. Thankfully the meeting went well and the parents maintained the conversation so Jen and I could mentally rest from our exhaustion. See, not only had we done all the activities of Saturday, but we had also driven to Fort Collins for a joint birthday party Tirzah had put on.
We were exhausted and frazzled by the time Sunday afternoon came around, so we went down for a much needed nap before driving up to Flatirons Crossing for dinner with my friend Angie who was visiting from Switzerland. Her boyfriend Matthias and our friend Dan were also there. It was a long, jam-packed weekend. What a champ my girl is! She put together an amazing treat for me and came along to meet so many different people. That's part of why I've got the best girl ever!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Woohoo! I passed the Flex 2 Certification Exam, so this developer is now an Adobe Certified Expert in Flex. It also means I’m going to the MAX conference, per my deal with David. I passed with an 83%. I got an 81% in the UI section, 100% in the system architecture section, 79% in programming fundamentals, and 76% in the remote data section. Whew, that’s a monkey of my back!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Work today was frustrating, with me being blocked from progress every which way. I gave up on one project and moved to another, which had spontaneously developed some problems that wouldn't let me update my project. Once I got that updated, I got pulled back into the first project. However, this time I actually was making some huge progress. David helped me remotely and I was able to do some really cool stuff and make a major breakthrough that left me chuckling in delight. Take that, Connect!
I also scheduled my Flex certification exam today. I'll be taking it at 9AM on Wednesday. I'm nervous, as Flex is huge, these tests are hard, and the questions are slimy and badly worded. Please pray for me as I take this, as it would be exceptionally bad if I didn't pass.
Oh, and between being up in Boulder and taking some breaks from studying last night, I was able to complete a Sunday New York Times Crossword puzzle with help from Jen and only one Internet look up to confirm what I had already entered. Not quite obituary material, but noteworthy nonetheless.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
This morning we went to Flatirons Church and then I sped back to Denver for an appointment with the Comcast guy to get my Internet back up and running. That's why I haven't posted recently. So, enjoy the pictures, brought to you by Comcast. And may I say, in a world of terrible customer service, Comcast's customer service has been quite good to me.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
If I were to use any of these, I would use TweenLite for small projects and Tweener for larger projects. Just in case you were wondering.
This post is cross-posted to my work blog.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
On Saturday, we went down to the dunes and hiked to the top of High Dune. We had planned on going to Star Dune, the highest dune in the park, but the dogs were tired out and smarting from the hot sand. We headed down and returned to camp to nap and play games.
That night, I started out inside the tent, which was a good thing. I started raining as we were heading to bed, which wasn't a surprise. The lightning and thunder had been around us for some time, but not on us. It ended up raining pretty hard, but I was safe inside the tent ... or so I thought. Halfway through the night, I felt something on my face and brushed it off. In the process of brushing it off, I felt that the mystery object on my face was rather large and alive. I grabbed my head lamp and found one of these guys stunned on the tent floor. It was about an inch-and-a-half long and succumbed partially to a quick blow from the butt end of my police-sized Maglite.
This is a photo of a Palo Verde Root Borer from the What's That Bug site, and isn't exactly the beetle I had on my face, but is fairly similar to it. Needless to say, after having one of those drop onto my cheek, I was paranoid for the rest of the evening that some more were lurking in the darkness.
In the morning, we struck camp and Gavin, Sarah, Matt, and Alicia went up to Zapata Falls and over to the alligator ranch (gators in high, dry alpine valleys. why not? ), but Jen and I had warmer waters in mind and drove over to the hot springs north of Moffat and soaked for a couple of hours before driving home for some Luciano's and Ticket to Ride. More pictures will be coming, and I'll try to get an ID on the bug that dropped in last night.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Today, Jen is out of town, so I spent the day lazily, getting far in Zuma (almost done!), washing the car, and doing quite a bit of cleaning. I also got several more Bamboo Zoo figures. I got Froderick, Albie, Bamboobi, and Skee Jee.
Skee Jee has a little jellyfish or octopus that sits inside of him. You can see the little guy through a transparent bit of his belly.