Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sight to the Blind

Do you believe in fate? Kismet? I am never really sure where I stand on the issue but I'm leaning towards the affirmative lately. Why did we end up here in Colorado...does there have to be a reason? Not really...but one may have just emerged.

We've found a treatment for Heather's vision. Yes, really. This is the Doctor who pioneered the treatment, the Doctor who is presenting this method the world over, the Doctor who is less than four hours away! They are so confident in the treatment that if at least one line of vision is not gained then a full refund is provided. We've been researching this for some time and have decided several things...

There is no better use of vacation/leave time from work. Sorry family and friends…we’d love to visit this year but this is a chance to restore vision.

Santa Fe, NM is so close that travel expenses will be minimal; we’ve found lodging that offers fantastic rates for patients.

We’re going to fully document the process and post day by day…so early next year the blog will be buzzing.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where In the World Have We Been?

Life has been moving along at a fairly quick pace lately...I've not written/posted a blog for over month now. I write them but I've been in a writing slump, dissatisfied with everything and therefore not posting anything. That's the way it goes...we did celebrate our 10th anniversary so that was a nice milestone.

We have been busy, however. The Pueblo Chili Festival is always a fun time. Pueblo chilies are nice and warm, they make fantastic wraps, rellenos, green chili, and so much more. They are good on eggs, hamburgers, and any kind of -ito or -chalada. We ended up going both days... Saturday was hot as Hell and almost shoulder to shoulder. Sunday we were supposed to meet friends at the festival but never found each the day and age of cell phones it may be inexcusable to some but to us it's just commonplace...however, thanks a freaking lot, Tommy for the phone call. Hours after we're supposed to meet up we get a call with a rather gruff voice... "We're still by the bridge waiting on you guys." How we missed each other initially we'll never know...a very blonde family by the bridge...but, alas, Tommy made us pay.

At some point we also trekked up to Denver for a concert, a sort of belated birthday present or annivarsary outing. We went up to the Gothic to see Buckethead. Now, for those unfamiliar with this guitar genius, you've got to have a high tolerance for WTF? Yeah, he wears a bucket on his head. Yeah, he wears an expressionless white mask. Yes, he wears a blue jumpsuit. Yes, his hands are freakishly large and he was listed at the #8 guitar player of all time. Just him on stage. He has all background music on an iPod, setlist ready to go. He is a machine. Here's a clip of moderate quality...worth the watch.

Work has been quite work days have been shuffled and now am off Tuesday & Sunday. That's ok, I have steady work, decent pay, and a weekday off to go do things when no one else is out and's a nice day to go to the grocery and run errands. I will be thankful for what I have and not complain.

Otherwise, left has been good. Autumn is certainly here, the sunflowers are gone as are the orioles and hummingbirds. The greens of summer along with the multitude of colors are replaced by a brief burst of autumn and then...snowboarding! snowshoeing! winter hiking! atv trips to closed mountain passes! nights spent watching silent snow fall... bring it on!

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Stop Motion Movies

I am working on several stop motion movies at this time. Scroll down to see some of the odd short films I've posted...

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Hummingbird aerial attack! The lower left is zooming up to attack and the top center hummer is in retreat...

It's been too long since I've been by... the new job is going well and even though I am back working at home, I seem to be busier than ever. We've been on a planting spree... 15 trees this year and we're beginning to take on the looks of a yard. It is such a gorgeous day, 80 degrees and light breeze, nice sunny September afternoon... I do believe I am going to ditch this task and go sit on the front porch with a glass of scotch and watch the hummingbirds.

I promise I will keep in better contact...

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Friday, August 14, 2009

The Week of 8/10/09

Heather, near Cripple Creek, CO.... feeling small in the world.

The previous post dealing with some of this has been removed, formatting problems that I could not control were really bugging me, so a fresh go is in order...

It's a cloudy/rainy morning and the urge to write is not upon me, so we'll go with a bullet point rundown of events...

  • We went hiking near Cripple Creek, 10,500ft+
  • Won money in Roulette (B) and slots (H)
  • I hit 8, 11, and 35 direct, made $1 bet on each and pays 35:1.
  • Why those numbers? I turned 35 on 8/11
  • B started a new job after passing MSCE & MCITP, IT for a financial services firm
Thus concludes the update section of the blog. We now turn you to the future plans desk...

Nothing to report. I think our plans this weekend include yard work, eating veggies from our garden, and taking a nap.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Benefits of Good Credit

We tried to use our credit card the other day and were denied. We hadn't used the card in a while and since we recently re-negotiated interest rates (upon threat of cancellation) we decided to put a power lawn implement on the card (Ryobi brush trimmer is an amazing tool.)

We work on the cash system. If we don't have the money budgeted for it, we don't get it/do it. We've become quite disciplined about this. For this reason we keep forgetting the negative impact that having a card and not using it can have (how stupid is that?) so we used to have dinner once a month and pay it off...we'd forgotten about that. We want to retire someday and so being fiscally responsible is a necessity, not an option.

So, after a long discussion with the Fraud team our purchase was approved. We came home and immediately signed on to where you can find the link to your government mandated free yearly credit report. No gimmicks, nothing to sign up for... it's real and it's your free report from the three main credit reporting agencies.

After a thorough look through our vitals we discovered something. There was nothing. Not one speck of negative for either of us, not a late payment, not a ding, nothing but a few inquiries. All those pre-approval letters you get in the mail, well...they check your credit report and numerous inquires can have a negative affect. You can opt-out of this by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688)

So, why were we declined? Turns out we hadn't used the card in a while. Since we lived in another state, in fact. So I can see why they wondered why someone from the E Coast was buying a weed eater in the mountain states on a card that had not been used in a year. To our point, we did change our address when we moved...but...there are some odd side effects from not incurring debt.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Continuing Story of Bob Travis

Somewhere west of Rye, CO...

We enjoy visitors and it seems we have a lot of friends who come visit us in our various locales. One of the more regular/loyal is Davey who we met quite by accident.

Several years ago while living in Sarasota, FL another friend was coming to visit...we got a call
"We're at the border."
"Good to hear. Did you say 'we'?"
"Yeah, I brought two friends."
And so it turned out that Davey was one of them. While on that trip he spent bits of free time on the computer messaging some chick. Not long after the initial visit, Davey comes to visit once again, with Rachael. They visit us onboard our sailboat, Davey has crewed with us for several days, we've thrown him from a waverunner/tube and given black eye/concussion, and this time he came to visit for a three day week-day weekend. His wife Rachael and son Griffin stayed behind, travel with a 1-year old must be rough. But, we've seen the evolution from the initial awkward IM's to the marriage and birth...and all from thousands of miles away. The great thing about good friends and family is that distance does not matter, a good relationship is good regardless of the miles.

By this point you may be asking yourself "If Davey visits then who the hell is Bob Travis?" This is where the good old-fashioned weirdness comes in. After a good night's sleep sans 1-year old, Davey gets up...
"I feel like a new man."
"Who are you then?" asks Heather
After a brief pause... "I'm Bob Travis."

Hence, our Adventures With boB...palindromes are cool.

Bishop's Castle is one of our favorite places to take company. It is a one man project in the mountains and if you're lucky you'll run into Jim Bishop himself working on some feature of the castle, moat, or such and he'll give you a full blown, full volume rant on some news of interest or politics. I won't direct you to a particular website but if you Google Bishop's Castle you'll find a bevy of conflicting information and some fantastic pictures. Oh, look, here's a couple of them now...

While in the area we also hiked part of Mt. St. Charles. We had no intention of making it to the peak but hiked for about an hour and made it to probably 10,500' or so and headed back to the vehicle for lunch. It was a gorgeous hike and we'll head back soon and shoot for the peak. It's about a 5-hour hike so we have to plan and prepare well. While in town, we also took Davey & the atv up to Penrose Commons and spent some time buzzing around the trails.

Three days and a few brain cells later, Bob returned home (safe and sound, no injury or seasick...) to his wife and child rested and relaxed and ready to take on a 1-year old who is learning to walk and talk. He'll (they'll) be back. And it will be fun.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pink and Blue

Rainy Afternoon...

We got into a discussion this weekend with unhappy friends. We got caught in the middle of a "he doesn't/she won't" discussion and it didn't take us long to remember how thankful we are for each other. I guess that's a positive about being around negative people once in a can be a real eye-opener.

Who does what is one of the biggest problems in almost any relationship...the responsibility for chores and such. We both got lucky. We don't really have any of the 'gender-based' chores, "pink and blue" we call them. We both participate in yard work. Heather likes putting things together and helping install/fix things which is great for me. I enjoy running the vacuum and she doesn't complain. Laundry is about 50-50. The only real place that we have "regular chores" is just serendipity, it just happened that way...Heather likes listening to books on tape while she handwashes the dishes and I just got into doing the cat litter at the same time every morning and it became habit. So the only two chores that we really split regularly are for no real prejudice for the chore. And hey, I almost always load/unload the dishwasher so I get some credit...

So after hearing another couple whine and bitch about the shortcomings of the other, we spent our drive home listing the things we liked and appreciated about the other. 45 minutes later we hadn't run out. Life is good.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Salad Is Really Made

My next attempt at stop motion... a little longer and a little more c omplex with some synched music. I hope you enjoy a little.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mouse Attack! A Stop Motion Experiment

It's always fun to learn something new. After a couple years of owning our Nikon Coolpix digital camera, we're still finding new things to do with it. Stop motion photography is the latest. Thanks to a very patient cat, it worked out well for a first attempt. I give myself a B.

How I Did It...

The camera was set on the lowest setting so that the memory chip did not fill up. A tripod was used for stability. Each picture was taken x3 and then JPGVIDEO was used to string the pictures into video. You have to tweak the frames per second as well as the duplicate deletion rate. It helps to play around with the codec to find out which gives you the desired effect.

What I Would Change Next Time...

I would like to add music
Make the view switch a little less jumpy
Expand each scene/frame, make them a little tighter together

But all in all I am happy with the first attempt at stop motion video. Thanks again to the very patient cat.

No mice were harmed in the filming...

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