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Monday, December 27, 2010

Short post

Just making a short post before I leave the country - looking to see a bit of Japan before the new year hits! If you want to read some excellent deaf news about Japan, check out the Deaf Japan News blog here:

Catch you all when I return!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Seafood = ew?

Food is good. Heck, when I'm not stuffing myself full of gobble gobble turkey, I tend to rummage around my fridge looking for the next great meal to cook. Tonight, for instance, I threw together the following interesting ingredients just like I would on Iron Chef:
1) Shrimp, tail-off, pre-cooked
2) Gluten free angel hair pasta
3) Cucumber, sliced
4) Red roasted pepper tomato soup
5) Balsamic dressing, gluten-free

I ended up with:
Angel-hair pasta with shrimp and sliced cucumbers, drizzled with balsamic dressing, and tomato soup to keep warm

DELISH! Would eat again+++++++!!!

Now, the silly thing is, earlier this week, I got a universal consensus from my dining partners who all said "Seafood? Ewwww" when I ordered fish for dinner one night. I grew up eating just about any kind of food under the sun and people here are going "ickpth?" What's up with that?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Super-logoff" of the 'net

I've been pondering about privacy and things we do in our personal lives that may directly reflect upon our professional and community interactions. Let's face it - stuff happens and we're unable to control what happens if we're not aware of it, such as rumors or bad mouthing or even stuff that's just mis-interpreted. To my knowledge, I haven't been a victim of such things (lately!) so nothing of the sort is prompting this blogpost, but what is piquing my curiosity about this phenomenon of "super log-off" is the fact that maybe it's not such a bad thing to gain more control over one's life, especially when your life could be full of drama otherwise!

Since I've had so little time to be on Facebook lately, sometimes it feels like my life is passing by without me being involved. Sure, stuff happens anyway with or without Facebook, but since now our lives are being put online for just about everyone to see, it should hypothetically only take a moment or two to see how everyone is doing, and taking even that brief moment to do so is very difficult at the moment. I'm concerned about losing touch with the people that make my life so very rich and pleasant while I'm buckling down and working longer hours.

Mind you, it's not the end of the world, and this extra workload is only temporary, but again, life is short and our days are numbered. Just trying to grab what time I do have and enjoy the marbles I have in my fishbowl, so to speak.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Challenging myself

Everybody experiences a period of insanity at least once in their lifetime. Usually, this happens right around finals week when you're cramming all night for those 2-4 hour tests the next morning. I've come to learn it's never a good idea to try to jam stuff you're supposed to REMEMBER into your brain at the last minute. Heck, I think our brains are supposed to be sponges, but it's not exactly via osmosis that we're learning here.

So, right now I'm trying to juggle my work obligations, community obligations, health obligations (volleyball!) and even trying to add to the workload something that involves actual studying - preparing for the GMAT, which I haven't even scheduled yet. The Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT for short, is a 4-hour adaptive test that's supposed to test your aptitude for solving difficult questions and be some kind of indicator as to what level of success you can expect in MBA graduate school. Frankly, I've forgotten more since I graduated with my BA than I think I'm gonna learn over the next month which is when the applications are due for Spring 2011. There's no excuse but to try and make the time to brain up whenever I can.

What's the lesson to be learned here? There's only so much I can do - and I'm definitely somewhere at my limit right now. Over the next few weeks I'm going to be making some tough decisions on what to cut back on - all the things I've committed myself to are good things, but I can't do it all - so time to figure out where to drop the axe. That's never a fun thing but I think overall everyone will benefit from having a fuller me present at the things I can commit to.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cccccccold and HLAA young adults

I just went from:


Okay, so Kansas City's not THAT cold right now, but brrrrr! I did have the foresight on Wednesday to bring a jacket with me on the flight, but man oh man the weather in Orlando was faboo! Light breezes, low humidity and the perfect temperature for shirts n' jeans - yay!

It looks like HLAA has posted their sponsorship opportunities for the 2011 convention online. In there, it shows on page 6 that the planned young adult event will be a scavenger hunt - from talking with Nancy Macklin from HLAA, it would be throughout the Capitol Mall in DC, which is huge and an awesome place to explore. See the Young Adult Off-site event summary on the right side of the page here:

Thinking about DC - I really do enjoy visiting DC. Not so sure how much I'd like living there, even though I am a city boy and am used to traffic/smog/people. I love love love the Smithsonian Museums - especially the Air & Space (which happens to be the national favorite too - drat! Always busy, always packed. I wanna scope it all out by myself!)

Speaking of the Smithsonian museums - the month at the museum in Chicago is still going on! Check out the five finalists and vote before October 5th! I wish I was going to be in there... a month of science!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I think I left my brain at home. Well, of course I did!

It seems a bit more often lately I'm forgetting I'm supposed to do something important or follow up on something I promised. I write stuff down, I catalog it, I post reminders, but I keep missing something like a delivery date at work or even a simple emailing of a list of emails to my HLAA folks before heading off on a work trip. Heck sometimes I even go to bed and wake up remembering I forgot to feed my boys!

Boys with tails do not let you forget lightly. Sharp claws pawing the covers in the middle of the night are no laughing matter. Ow!

I'm wondering if I'm just too busy. I've got the largest stack of books sitting on my dresser ready to be read. I can tear through one of them in minutes, yet by the time I'm home from the office after spending an hour reading emails from the west coast, then working out, then cooking some tasty gluten-free yumminess, I'm done for the night. And weekends! At least some weekends I can do fun stuff when I'm not trapsing all over Orlando or Los Angeles.

I'm on my way back home from the AARP conference where I ran into quite an assortment of characters - Mickey, Donald, Goofy -- oh, oh, oh, you mean about the people at the conference -- elderly special-forces men who shouted that they heard on the phone fine while their wives were all "gimmie that CapTel phone!", magazine writers and bloggers who were all agape over the newest technology from Sprint, and even catching up with folks from the Deafness Research Foundation and HLAA National.

It sounds like HLAA will have some fantastic stuff lined up for the 2011 convention. I can't wait for them to publish it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Ah, hah, I'm laughing my tail off catching this show. So it's pretty witty and hits all my geek points, but the really sad thing is that this show also makes me think of the Gilmore Girls. Back when I was in college, I had a few unfortunate nights where I was forced to watch the aforemented show and the whole thing reeked of ADHD-infused talking heads that just couldn't stop delivering their lines as fast as they could or else their heads would explode and the world would come to an end and so on and so forth and nobody could ever stop to take a breath and would keep on talking until they keeled over fainting...... *wheeeeeze gasp!*

But, in this case, Psych just has me rolling in the aisles..... well, until they call an MBA a Monkey Basketball Association. :-p

Monday, September 6, 2010

I need a maid

"Life's too short to do housework." I see that slogan on a bunch of ads around here - touting maid services and every other week cleaning. The only thing I'd have to do is make sure my place is picked up on the day the maid service comes.

I do keep a somewhat orderly house - at least, I'd like to think so. Thing is, I could also spend all day every day doing chores and I feel like I'd never get anything done. Dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, laundry, bathrooms, kitchen counters, filing, landscaping, mowing, whatever, just so much to do!

Ever since I moved to KC, I've hired a neighborhood kid to do my lawn. That has been an excellent timesaver. I think it's now time for me to focus on just that little extra oomph on keeping the house clean with some help - and so I think starting tomorrow I'll get that maid service scheduled and give it test drive.

Anyone else ever tried a maid service?

Try to keep up!

Argh. I'm 6 days in on Insanity and my body can't keep up. Gah. So I was trying to get a 60 day workout in and my joints are complaining daily. Is this what it means to get old?

Hopefully I'll be back on the grind tomorrow with Plyo Cardio Circuit after a day's rest. Bring on the pain! (and, body, please try to keep up!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Lately I've been feeling like my body's about to come apart.

I workout to stay in shape. Unfortunately, the workouts I choose usually require the shape to be a bit..... contorted. So yesterday evening while I was jumping around doing Insanity Plyo, I got some twinges in my knee and hip. Now, no pain, no gain, I think is the motto, but in this case I think it's supposed to be no burn, no gain.

I gotta figure out how to minimize these aches by my next workout tonight - can't exactly be a walking, jumping, spiking, killing machine when the body ain't cooperating.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back on track

I'm kind of a health nut. Not nutters, but close. I think that being healthy and strong and of sound mind and body kind of goes hand in hand with living long and enjoying life. I took a short hiatus from my exercise regimen over this past month, kind of due to injuries, hiking Colorado, and then trying to recover. The last time I pulled a formal workout was 8/7/2010, and now it's the end of August.

Time to start all over. Reboot!

Back on Day 1 of Insanity again. Guess I get to work on my summer body while summer's winding down. :-D It's not the end of summer until the pool closes for the season!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm such a paintbrush

I like to think that words and stories have many layers to them, like peeling back an onion, revealing many meanings behind a simple statement. Thus, "I'm such a paintbrush" -- which, while the statement prompted some people to call me a dork, really, sums up what I've been feeling lately.

I've been painting a room inside my house, one that hasn't been painted since I first moved into my home. One of the things I struggled with growing up was making the effort to do interesting things, take risks with creativity. Like, my room at my mom's home - I never took the chance to explore what it would be like to paint a room growing up. Without going into some long and rather droll story, the point is - I can do that now, and I really should take advantage of making this place my own instead of just some place I live, y'know?

Paintbrushes absorb and give color to all things. I think we're the sum of all who we meet, who change your thinking, who color your life. Well, I'd like to say that I've met many people who have colored my life, molded me into a better person. And I hope to keep on adding more color to my life. Even though I'm a superhero or famous or rich, there's more to life than those things, and what I'm getting out of life is making me happy.

Heck, maybe I'm getting just a bit too philosophical tonight. Really, you wanna know why I'm such a paintbrush? 'Cause I keep splattering paint all over me. No matter how careful I am, sometimes the color just doesn't end up where you want it to be. And no amount of wiping it off works. Seems like the paint is just gonna stay there forever. Oh, well, all you can do is move on and keep painting, right?

By the way, liquid blue is just awesome!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Taste the rainbow

In my search for new and exciting foods to eat, I happened to learn that Skittles are indeed gluten-free. Says so on the label (while not online, it is printed on the package directly underneath the ingredients) which means yay for me! Since I was taught to share while growing up, it was doubly awesome that my fellow Colorado traveler, Kel, also likes skittles (and particularly the new Crazy Cores, pictured above) I got to enjoy a double sugar rush on the road! That's always awesome, 'cause, well, I end up doubling over with laughter when mixing sugar with fun!

Speaking of doubles (and not the tennis kind) I was home today and found my leftover skittles were indeed spread out in a rainbow fashion around my office. My two cats decided that a bag was not the right place to keep candy, and instead the floor was better, and thus I had to clean up a colorful assortment of tasty rainbow pieces. Bad kitties!

Color is the order of the day. On birthdays, I often think of multi-colored candles adorning a cake, ready to be blown out. Thus, I do want to wish my August buddies a happy birthday, Kel, Chris and Sarah S. I guess that means soon enough I'll be facing my own annual tick when I step more firmly in to my 4th decade (hint: this century is the 21st century. I am not yet 40) later this summer. Yes, I am a summer baby. Some people are in denial that a birthday before labor day in September is anything but a summer b-day. Get with the program, people!

Off to make my night a bit brighter - I'm painting my younger bro's old bedroom a nice sheen of white in preparation for a real color to be put in. I'm having a hard time choosing one, to be honest. My main color is blue but I've already got an awesome blue for my office. I'm probably gonna end up just throwing darts at a color wheel. That sounds like fun, actually. But just so you know, getting paint in your mouth isn't very tasty. Don't taste that kind of rainbow, yo.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Boy, this mountain is high....

A while back, I came across the phrase "runner's high." Apparently, a phenomenon happens to a number of people who run where they get a sense of peace, euphoria, or a 2nd wind of sorts, when they've been running. Such a state exists and has been documented, and a number of people continue to run so they can achieve such a high. Well, not too long ago, I came across another such state called "Rocky Mountain high" where the euphoria comes during the course of hiking a mountain.

I already enjoyed mountain hiking before I heard that term. Last year, I hit a number of peaks, including Mt. Yale, with Kelly and another couple. That was a great time, exploring the great state of Colorado and braving the chilly nights above 9,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL). This year, I took a shorter trip and nailed Vail and Mt. Lincoln, the 8th tallest mountain in Colorado, the 23rd tallest peak the United States.

The most difficult part of this trip was due to weather and timing, we had to make the summit of Mt. Lincoln earlier in the trip than desired. Acclimation to 10,000 feet and above is vital to lessen the chances of altitude sickness. I was definitely feeling the effects of reduced air - some light dizziness, shortness of breath, and lack of energy. I'm not sure how Kel managed it - she kicked my tail up and down that mountain! Way to go!

I'm glad I was able to reach the top and see the fantastic valley surrounding the Mosquito range of the Rockies - it reminds me that nature is out there to be found and enjoyed. Sometimes it's a bit hard to remember that when we're struggling with details of the latest new technology to come out or the fight we're having with movie theaters over captioned movies. I'm coming back refreshed and ready to rumble!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

GF Bread, part 3

Yeah, no pics 'cause I'm a hungry dude.

GF dough is amazingly hard to mix by hand. The stuff gets thick so fast, it's like trying to mix cement. Really dryyyyyy cement. Yeast, flour (a mix of cornflour, rice, xantham gum and other components that I won't bore you with), oil, eggs, and water - that's all that is needed!

However, fresh GF bread is TASTY. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I needed a 2nd opinion and so I twisted Kel's arm into being a taste tester. I think she survived.... she did eat all of her steakburger, however, steak on just about anything is tasty! ;-)

So, there you have it - I definitely prefer my homemade bread over store bought. It takes about 2 1/2 hours all told, from mixing to setting/rising and then baking and cooling. Add some slicing in and freezing (since it doesn't keep very well, the instructions are to freeze it as soon as possible after baking) and I've got bread for a week!

Now off to make some French GF toast.... :-D

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gluten Free bread, post 2

I'd forgotten how good hamburger buns are. Well, let me back up. Tonight's dinner was used toasted GF bread with turkey cheeseburgers and smoky BBQ sauce. Mmm mmmm! I've been mostly eating hamburgers by having a side of rice or mashed taters, then a veggie of sorts - perhaps a medley, perhaps some green beans, something like that. A pretty well rounded meal there, y'think? Well, I'm expanding that a bit more so that if I were to make bread, I'd be able to make my own sandwiches to carry the hamburgers in!

One of my biggest frustrations with GF dieting these days is that it's nearly impossible to eat out, especially when on the road. Suppose I'm driving back from a job in St. Louis, and I'm not interested in stopping at a sit-down restaurant that serves GF food. Fast food is my remaining choice - not healthy, but at least it'll save me time so I can get home and get a proper workout in, or perhaps a real meal. Thing is, the vast majority of fast food places have nary a thing on the menu that is GF - McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Sonics, Wendy's, Hardees. I might be able to get away with ordering a salad - but that's no good when I'm driving. Ever tried eating a salad at 70mph? Most of the food ends up ON YOU.

One thing I'm contemplating is ordering things like Arby's where they can serve to me without a bun and then using my own bread to eat. If I can make or get some good bread, then I'll be set! No need to starve when I can grab some meat and make into a GF sammich! The roads will be a tad safer too.... ;-)

GF Bread goal, step 1

Some of the steps I've taken recently to reach my goal this week:

1) Found some websites for recipes, getting an idea just how much work it'll take to get a passable loaf of bread going! (example:

2) Went out and got what I figured was as good as possible bread out there, to compare tastes with - "Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread." It's frozen for freshness, so I toasted a few slices and ate with butter - yum! So.... maybe I can make this work!

3) Went shopping and compared prices for the components I'll need - mixers, bread loaf pans, and even bread machines that do all the work for ya! Work smarter, not harder, eh? ;-)

Next steps - to put together a recipe and schedule time to bake!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Goal for this week in July (4-11)

Starting with this post, I intend to commit to and execute a plan towards meeting goals that I wish to accomplish in 2010. The year is halfway over and some of the things I keep reminding myself to set out to do keep getting deferred. Well, I'm going to defer no more and blog to keep track of what I want to do that week. I do open up my blogsite most every day to decide if I want to post or scan the RSS reader on other people's blogs. But mostly, since only I can be in charge of my own self improvement, I'm gonna use it as a way to keep myself accountable. If you wanna join the fun and keep me accountable yourself, fine by me!

My goal for this week, the first full week in July, is to bake a loaf of bread. Not just any loaf, mind you. A loaf of honest-to-goodness gluten-free bread, and hope that it'll taste somewhat better than stuff that passes for "bread" at the supermarket.

By the way, if you ever get a chance to eat gluten free bread from the store - don't! Of all the varieties I've tried, whether frozen or sitting on the shelf at the health food section of Hyvee, I've never found one that was even remotely passable. Tapioca bread, brown rice, white rice, it doesn't matter, it tastes dry and stale even when I open the recently shelved bag. My mom complains too - she'll get the frozen raisin bread and toast it twice, putting copious amounts of butter on it to make it salvageable. All just to deal with sammich bread!

From what I hear on the GF boards, fresh homemade bread is the only way to go. So, I'm gonna have a throwdown with my oven and figure out how to properly mix yeast with rice or potato flour. Most likely I'll start with a pre-mixed bag from Hyvee and see how it turns out. Maybe soon I'll start getting back into sandwiches for my lunches, or even being able to take my own buns to a restaurant and getting something decent cooked out of it!

In any case, I've got an idea where to start, and my deadline to cook is by Sunday evening. Let's fire up the oven!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gulf of Mexico

Here I am flying enroute from Houston, TX to Orlando, FL over the Gulf of Mexico. All throughout my life, I managed to miss out on visiting the gulf – I grew up on the Pacific coast and enjoyed the beaches there, and a few times hit up the Atlantic for its lighter blue-green coloration. About two years ago, I finally reached out in Naples, Florida and took in the calm, greenish seas of the gulf.

I’m glad I did, because right now outside my plane is a plethora of lights in the sea, supposedly from boats that are being used in the effort to stem the oil leak from hitting the fair shores of the southeast US. Interestingly enough, it feels almost like I’m watching a game of Battleship – I see ships with two three and even four light beacons on the masts, the ships lined up parallel to each other as if they were arranged on a game board. I could almost yell out “C4!” but I think my fellow airline passengers would have a conniption with that.

Vic, it’s now dark and I’ve yet to see anything that I could attribute to a big fire in the seas – you led me on, man! I so brought the smores, too! ;-)

Update: It’s about 45 minutes before we land and there’s some real good storming happening off the starboard bow… high flying clouds with a lightning show storm! Sweet! Interesting that it’s the leading edge that’s doing the lightning…..

Update 2: Ah! I see the Florida coastline! I’m writing like 4 blogs at once so I can update everything…

I’m looking forward to this weekend. The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf conference this weekend is always a good place to get a pulse on the hearing loss community. The professionals that attend are always up to date with the latest in techniques and products, the exhibitors get to show off their services and wares, and the throngs of parents present with their young children who have hearing loss are absolutely hungry for information! It’ll be nice to help make lives better by giving out information on resources and make connections with people.

I think that’s the most fun for me at these kinds of conferences. While I love to learn from workshops and exhibitors, and marvel at the sights and sounds of new cities, it’s definitely the connections and networks made that brings me back. Helping a parent understand what options their kids have, or an audiologist to learn how to help their patients, or even young adults like myself who just want to improve their lives, just gives me the best feelings.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Ahhh, Jamba Juice. How I miss thee! A Choco Moo’d certainly hits the spot when you’re rustling around Houston’s main airport, waiting for the next connection. Even three hours of a layover can’t entirely be killed by having dinner with a great bud!

Airports (and airplanes) have long been a part of my life. I’ve frequented small airports like Van Nuys with my Dad – the story being every Saturday or so he’d go flying in his plane to keep up his flight rating, often just jumping to the “next town over” just to get breakfast and fly back. What would have been a two hour drive turned in to a 45 minute airplane jaunt. A good number of times I would go with him – in a rented Piper Dakota or one he eventually part-owned. Now he’s a part owner of a Cirrus SR22, that comes with its own parachute in case you feel coming down on your own three-wheels is too mean a feat.

Nowadays, I’m often enough finding myself sitting on the tarmac in a 737 or 757 – ready to jaunt off to the next big adventure. Zoom, zoom!

Do you like flying? I love it.

Dinner in Houston with Vic!


That’s the name I call my bud Vic in Houston. Even though I just hung out with him last week (not enough, really – I mean, most of the time we were either in workshops or he was on stage improvising ;-) ), it was awesome seeing him again and getting some dinner together during my extensive layover in Houston.

We managed to pop over to a series of restaurants not too far from the airport. See, I like Godfather’s Pizza chain, because they have gluten-free pizza in some (but not all!) restaurants. You could imagine my chagrin when I discovered this particular spot didn’t have them! Curses!

Since I was prepared to accept a setback at Godfather’s, we hopped over to the backup plan – Adalwi’s Mediterranean food – Greek food, essentially. Usually they’re really good about not putting things I can’t eat into food, and it’s family run, so I hit up the shish kabobs and man, were they good! Beef, steak and chicken – faboo! Vic had a gyro and fries, those looked good too! What was it, man, lamb?

What I’m really bummed about is that he’s supposed to be up in Kansas City next week, the 4th of July weekend – and both Kel and I are going to be away! One of Kel’s cousins is getting married up in Minneapolis, and I’ve not really gotten a chance to check out the city much. I figure this year, instead of climbing a 14Ker like we did last year (which was a freakin’ blast and hard as heck!) we’ll do something a bit more civil and do the roughing it thing some other time.

In the meantime, Vic – have fun while I’m out! Make sure you wear the big glasses! ;-)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Can't escape work

I've almost accepted it as a normal part of my life to be working at any time. I've put out fires at 11pm at night, worked on presentations until 2am, and put off attending events until I could get a document just right. But it still amazes me how much work still needs to get done even when I take a vacation.

I'm at HLAA in Milwaukee and actually doing some business while I'm here. Hopefully, that'll mean I'll be done before noon and can take the rest of the day to just have a good time learning and bringing back HLAA presentations to my members. But, really, can we ever be entirely "off" from our jobs? After all, even when I'm not working, I do talk to people about my company, and advocate for the services and products we provide, and show off the work I do.

It's a dangerous line to walk between being a corporate shill and just passionate about my work. Just the other day, Kel made a bet that I couldn't say "EVO" for 1 hour. I kind of stopped talking for a bit.... then one hour later started talking to someone else about it, right in front of her. It was a joke at the time, but I realize this: my work isn't my life. Life needs to be in balance, and I need others to tell me when I'm out of balance.

Hopefully I'll be able to put this to rest for the time I've got left here in Milwaukee. I'm ready to go have fun!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lightning is beautiful

crack-BOOOOOM goes the dark sky. Something flashes out of the corner of my eye as I drive down the Kansas highway, the green covered rolling hills looking a bit greener than usual today. A heavy downpour coats the road and car, adding a film that makes everything look shiny and slick. Another flash - on the horizon, a bright, jagged spear is connecting the sky with the ground, pulsing momentarily before it is gone. crack-BOOOOOMmmmmm......

I stare at the space where the lightning was. Did it hit anything? Would there be disaster where it struck? Or was it harmless, passing through a rod connected to the ground?

The lightning itself is beautiful - dazzling white and yellow, with a hint of blue, against an outcropping of white clouds and grey skies. The sun has lost the day's battle and is retreating to return another day. Soon the lightning will have the skies all to itself, a pitch black canvas at which to brighten to nearly daylight, if only for mere moments.

I remember growing up and parking myself by the huge window, gazing outside to catch a glimpse of the bursts of light. I learned early that you count the seconds between flashes and the thunder to determine how far away the lightning was. Today, I was running from the torrential rains into a store and stopped to check out how bad it was getting. A huge flash was almost immediately followed by a tremendous, ear-splitting, chest-rattling thunder. Boy, was I glad I came out of that rain!

I guess in some ways I still want to be awed by nature and realize how little control we really have over the world. Lightning is certainly one way that does that for me. It is a powerful force that is only rivaled by the surface of the sun. But it's a beautiful thing, and I certainly look forward the next light show!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I've never been much of a storyteller.

This past week, I shared some stories from others that I thought were absolutely excellent and ought to be immortalized (or at least digitalized) electronically. Creativity should be recognized and applauded, and my way of doing that is by selecting such stories that are worth remembering and putting the pen to paper, so to speak.

Yet while it is enjoyable for me to pay attention to others when they give their epic tale of daring do, I believe I have a challenge sharing stories with others. I'm not the type to stand up and get people's attention, and say "oh, you've got to listen to this!" I've always been content to let others get the spotlight, to be the engrossed and engaged audience, to ooh and ahh at the right moments in the story, encouraging the actor/storyteller to fully immerse themselves in their craft.

My own memories are hardly worth remembering - I think that the way I could tell something, like my college pledging experience in a fraternity, or my high school time spent TPing random people's houses at 3am in the morning, or my frustrations dealing with my family as a kid, hardly compare to "Well, one morning I woke up in a dumpster in Connecticut" or "This one time I went out for cookies and booze..."

Sometimes it feels like other people's lives are more interesting than mine. So I'll listen to their stories - and enjoy the exploits of the Pink Gorilla and the Swedish Swordsman while I'm at it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

YASS (Yet Another Silly Story)

So, continuing with the silly story saga. This one happened to a co-worker of mine who is legendary in his mishaps while working for my company.

One day, he flew to another state to attend a board meeting for some community members. His flights were delayed, but otherwise he arrived without incident. Since it was late, he crashed into bed for the evening.

The next morning, he woke up and realized he overslept. Frantic, he got dressed in his nice black suit quickly and dashed out to the door to his rental car. He rushed to the supposed location of the meeting, then realized he was lost. With the clock ticking, he searched the town for the right place to be. He stopped off at a gas station, asking the attendant where the building was. Learning that the site was nearby, my co-worker hurried back into the car and floored the gas, not quite paying attention to what was in front of him. His car dropped off the curb and knocked into the asphalt - immediately setting off the airbag in the car. POOF!

Everything went white. Literally.

The whole car was full of particles from the airbag. My co-worker's face, hair, and suit were covered with some kind of talcum powder. He looked around, saw no damage to the car, and still in a hurry, shoved the deflated airbag back into the steering wheel and jammed off to the meeting.

Arriving slightly late, he popped into the board meeting, still dusting himself off. The board members looked at him, mouths agape, astounded at the sight of a partially ghost-white monster leaving a dust trail behind him. Apologizing for the tardiness, he sat down and started preparing his presentation.....

I can't imagine the heads that were scratching themselves when he returned the car to the rental place! No damage to the car.... just a slightly sneezy guy after that!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Silly stories

In my line of work, I listen to many stories. Some heartfelt, some touching, others knock-down drag out hilarious. I'd like to share two that I've recently heard (one I've heard before but figure it bears writing out) and hopefully I'll never have these situations ever happen to me....

One of my bosses many years ago took a trip up to South Dakota for a meeting. For the trip back home, he was scheduled to board a tiny 17-seater turboprop plane. Since it was storming a bit in the area, the flight was delayed getting in. People were at the airport bar drinking it up somewhat heavily, since those prop planes aren't exactly the most pleasant to fly. Oh, and did I mention this plane doesn't have any restrooms? I think that's a key point here.

So, the plane finally arrives and everyone boards. It's a full flight, except for the last row of the flight, which consists of 3 seats across. Everything else on the flight is tiny and jam packed, with no room for carry-on luggage. The flight was going to be two hours long in bumpy weather - so everyone settles in for a rough ride.

They take off. My boss was seated in the next-to-last row in the back of the plane. Across from him, barely 2-3 feet away, was a woman who looked very uncomfortable to be flying. The plane gets cruising and things are relatively smooth for the first hour.

Something odd happens. Getting up near the front of the plane, a man starts walking down the aisle to the back of the plane. He looks like he's had a bit to drink. He reaches my boss and the woman in that row. He's making the universal sign for wanting to go to the bathroom. I guess when you've got to go, you've got to go! He asks them "do you mind if I use the airsickness bag behind you?" Both my boss and the woman are astounded by this guy's audacity. But before they can do something, the man sits behind the woman and starts doing his business with the bag. My boss just lets it slide and pretends to ignore the whole thing, while the woman is clearly freaking out. When the guy's done, he leaves the used bag on one of the back seats. Ugh.

It didn't end there though. The guy returns to his seat. About another half hour later, a woman from the same row starts coming down the aisle. My boss is slow to put the pieces together, but the woman next to him apparently gets it faster than he does. She lets out screams when she figures out it's the girlfriend of the man who just used the airsickness bag behind her. This woman apparently also has no shame and lets loose into one of the remaining airsickness bags. The woman on the same row as my boss gets up and runs to the seat the woman let vacant, screaming. Meanwhile that airsickness bag woman settles into the first woman's seat, leaving the filled bag in the back on the seats.

Does it end there? No, not quite! The plane lands in one piece then discover there's no stairs or entry for the passengers to disembark. All gates are being used. So the entire passenger manifest has to deal with the bags just sitting there in the far back, until a gate opens up. When that finally happened, they couldn't wait to exit! I'm sure the maintenance people were warned about what to expect coming in....

The second story will come next time!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

HLAA again!

Just a few more weeks and I'll be off to Milwaukee for some education and networking!

Last year, when I headed to Nashville, I really had no idea what would be in store for me. There's been a big push to introduce more young adults into a traditionally aging organization geared towards late-deafened and older Americans who have lost their hearing post-lingually. Last year, there were approximately thirty people under the age of 35 attending the workshops, talking about their life experiences, making plans for coordinating future events.

When I attended, I was the newly-minted Vice President of the recently established Kansas City HLAA Chapter. I had no idea how to use my role to benefit my chapter - all of the officers who trekked out that way were brand new at this business. I was actually more interested in the research symposium about stem cells (which I blogged about in depth last year) and took copious notes for those who were unable to attend. I intend to do the same this year, but do that for more topics - hopefully all the workshops I can attend!

This year I may be spending a little more of my time doing chapter activities as the President of the KC HLAA chapter. We've just recently grown with half a dozen new members and I intend to make their membership wholly worthwhile. How? Interesting activities and relationship building is the prime reason I believe people do anything together. So you bet I'm gonna pick some braaaaaaains at Milwaukee!

Monday, May 10, 2010

See What I'm Saying!

Yeah, I like catching movies. Taking some creativity, mash it together with some eye candy, and flesh it out with a great plot, and I'll eat it right up. Last weekend, Kel and I watched the original 1951 Alice in Wonderland - quite a few weeks after we saw the Johnny Depp version in theatres. I gotta tell ya, I know I've seen it before as a kid, but this movie is TRIPPY. Nothing made sense, you just know those animators were on acid, and yet it was very pretty and actually somewhat coherent to follow. I wonder what else in my childhood I just enjoyed while being a kid, but now as an adult I would be utterly flabbergasted to believe I even made sense of it!

So what am I sayin', anyway? Oh, yeah, I'm getting a kick out of seeing some of these classic Disney films. But coming up next week will be a documentary that my company graciously sponsored, "See What I'm Saying" showing in Olathe, KS for the week only. I'm excited about seeing it as I wonder just how these entertainers are overcoming the stigma of deafness in Hollywood, I mean, even these days people with typical hearing are playing the parts of people with atypical hearing! Errr, I was being politically correct, apparently there's a push to stop alienating people with hearing loss and labeling people who are hearing as "typical" and deaf as "atypical." One of these days we're just gonna start saying "Smurf smurf smurf blippety SMURF!" in our daily language at the rate we're going.

Now if only the weather would let up. Man, it's almost summer and it's still cold! Come on out, sun!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kitty nap

So I got home from work and immediately set onto doing my plans for the evening:

1) Get changed for a invite-only event happening in the office a bit later and meet some industry heavyweights
2) Gobble some dinner then dash off to
3) Kickball!

Instead, I was faced with the equivalent of the above picture - kitty nap therapy!

I've been traveling pretty much for the whole month of April. South Padre Island, Columbia, St. Louis, Birmingham, and Pomona. It finally just all caught up to me. Once I sat down and a kitty took over my lap... game over, man, game over!

Nap attack!

Traveling takes a lot out of you. By my calculations, I have traveled:

2,200 miles roundtrip KC to SPI
520 miles roundtrip KC to STL
300 miles roundtrip KC to COU
1,200 miles roundtrip KC to BHM
2,600 miles roundtrip KC to ONT
6,820 miles total (and not all of them at 500+ MPH, my usual speed ;-) )

I will admit that it was nice meeting new people and seeing new places - even an unusual place like the South. Chalk up one more state to my "been there done that" list!

May all of your travels be safe and your naps kitty-filled... an hour with Rascal curled up and twitching on my lap definitely made my day. Let's go 6th graders!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Running diary

Foolish Dennis. So easily tricked into being a willing running buddy. ;-)

I've resolved to get back into endurance training by running, and my goal is to be able to run the Waddell and Reed 5K (combined with half and full marathons) held in October.

I figure the best way to train for it would be to keep a running diary. Kel has this neato Nike+ running accessory that maintains some kick-ass numbers (math! Yay!) on stuff like pacing, miles run, averages over a month, etc. I'm gonna keep it simple and just record when and where I run to keep up my motivation!

So, on Sunday 4/25/2010, I walk/jogged 2.0 miles in Heritage Park. Since I had actually woken up at just about when training started, I kind of took it easy and am easing into it. Less than 6 months to go!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

101 posts

101 Dalmatians is a classic, classic film. I remember I enjoyed watching this Disney film back when I was little, it was the best Disney dog movie ever. It's also one of those movies where I did try to count every single unique dalmatian and from there helped spark my interest in numbers and math.

101 is also another big number as that's how many posts I now have on my blog today! Well, with this post, it becomes 102, but in less than a year, even though I've slowed down posting a bit, I've got about 90 more posts that I ever though I would end up doing. Here's to another 101 posts coming soon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kick that ball!

A question I've often pondered. Am I smarter than a 5th grader?

Well, kickball answers that - "Not always." ;-)

In continuing my saga of trying out different new sports, I'm now onto kickball with my butt-kicking gang of elite athletes. It's been about 4 weeks since the season was supposed to start, but like 3 weeks in a row mother nature conspired to make the baseball fields a bit... muddy. In fact, it took 3 MMA-crazed girls to wrestle me to the ground and wear dirt. Ahhh, I let 'em do that, makes them feel like they got one up over on the guys who wear the Y. :-p

This whole trip down elementary school lane makes me think of other sports I played on the recess playground. I was sporty but not the social one. Games are where... it didn't matter how you fit in, only that you played the best. So, handball, tetherball, butts-up, and 4-square remain my last vestiges of youth I haven't brought to my adult leagues - maybe it's about time we formed a 4-square league ;-)

In any case, in honor of our elementary school antics, I have dubbed our kball team the "6th Graders." Hope that'll bring us luck in tackling this season!

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm a forgetful bum.

I don't think it has anything to do with aging. Some days I struggle just to remember who I am and what I'm doing. I swear, sometimes my brain is a sieve and all my memory is just leaking out my ears. Like, tonight is supposed to be Deaf Night Out (or whatever it's called 'cause some guy apparently thinks in order to use the "DNO" name there has to be a contract between him and this group of us who threw this together...) but I've completely forgotten until now. Or, last month I accepted the position of Vice Chair for the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - forgetting that I'm out of town a bunch of weekends when they need to meet.

I figure one of these days I can turn to science and actually recall these things at the moments they're important. Well, other than what I'm already using, like a PDA, or an online calendar, or a reminder system, or email, or.... you get my drift. Heck, I'm waiting for a pill!

Maybe someday I'll get my wish. In the meantime, I'm gonna also start to use Twitter again, and start my posts with "Note to self....."

Off to the rat race again!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Charge me!

In this article, I ask the ever burning question that is on all of our minds - When the Zombies take over, how long until the electricity fails?. Well, that's actually pretty easy to answer, as you can see from the article. How important is electricity to us? I would think if you want to read my blog, you definitely need a power source!

My thought today came from spending this past week conserving my CI batteries. See, my batteries are rechargeable, and I have 3 of them to change out every day or so. However, without warning, my cable that powers the box that charges the batteries decided to die out - and the only way I could recharge was to drive around using my car charger until my replacement parts arrived. It took 3 days..... 3 long days of making decisions like "can I afford to listen to music right now, knowing I need my CI at work for the phone?" or "should I go through the drive-thru, getting some charge on the 2 batteries, but sacrificing charge on the 1 battery I'm wearing now?"

Kel laughed me. But I took it seriously because it could mean a difference of 10 minutes of battery life at my job! :-o ;-)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Hunger Games

I haven't been really doing much reading lately. Setting aside the time to peruse a good book is a luxury these days, consumed as I am with training, sports, work, friends, relationship, family, and pets. Silly pets, to tell you the truth. Not quite as funny as those on LOLCats but darn close! My boys, Rascal and Fizzlesnitch, generally take it upon themselves to make it worth keeping them fed and pampered - for example, Fizzy will walk the tightrope of my railing between the split level living room and kitchen, a fall of about 12 feet. He will even turn around on all four paws, balancing precariously, as if he's unfazed by the prospect of meeting his doom below. These kitties have skillz, I tell ya.

So it's freezing outside. Nothing new, but it's getting old. I got two books over Christmas - "The Hunger Games" and its sequel "Catching Fire." Excellent reads. The notion of society breaking down and the only way to maintain order is by forcing different "districts" to annually send "tributes" of teenagers to compete in a battle royale to the death where only one winner can emerge.

The story follows a female, Katniss, as she enters the tourney motivated to win. Since this is set in post-modern times, every move in the tournament is televised and broadcast. It's almost as if it's a teenage version of Running Man or Survivor with quite a bloodbath involved. But the magic of the book is the insights and introspection of the character and the inequality of society - it could just as well be applied to today where people see America (the Capitol) being all lavish and abundant in resources while other countries (the Districts) are lacking.

The sequel has some interesting twists and kept me guessing. Fantastic stuff. Looking forward to the 3rd installment - coming out on 8/24/2010!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Soooooo pretty.

Caught Avatar last night with Dad. He's in town for the weekend, basically a last minute jaunt over to see myself and my younger brother. This is like the most difficult time in the world to travel to Kansas - snowfall happens randomly and heavily affects flight schedules - so just our luck that his flight into KC was only delayed an hour. Lucky for him, as my flight to KC from Vegas for work earlier this year was cancelled entirely! Thankfully, that time I still made it home in time to meet up with Kel when she drove back from Colorado. Talk about great timing!

The fictional world of Pandora featured in the movie (actually, it's a moon of a gas giant planet - but we're not gonna nitpick ;-) ) was a lush jungle world that nearly was a living being all by itself - the moss on the ground lit up wherever people stepped; whole mountains were floating in air, tethered by vines; and gigantic trees taller than the Empire State Building ruled the skyline. The whole message of the native peoples living there was a bond with nature; when the natives hunted, they apologized for killing their prey.

I can absolutely see why people have said they would be depressed after seeing the movie. Here is this perfect world, full of harmony, that completely exists only in the mind. There's no place to visit - I bet not even a virtual reality simulator of the place would be enough to satisfy someone's thinking that they were born in the wrong reality.

I'm hoping this isn't a trend towards creating more ways to make of reality-escaping pasttimes. The real world is hard enough with people who have a tenuous grasp on reality at best. What will happen when more and more people start confusing virtual reality with meatspace?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Home Improvement

See that hole Tim Allen is peering through? Yeah, that looks to be about the size of the hole that was in my ceiling.

Let me back up.

Right before my Turkey Day party in 2009, I was cleaning up things around my house and generally ready to have a blast! Well, I had done some changes around the house before that requiring a small hole drilled into my basement ceiling to fix a pipe. Well, this day, I find that it was dripping a bit - hmm, can't have that now, can we? So I go up on a step-ladder and do a tiny, tiny, TINY adjustment to a lever to close up the drip.

What happens instead? A deluge of epic baby-raining proportions (an inside joke - this was definitely an outpour!). Oh, frack! A whirlwind of activity ensues - looking for towels, finding the water shutoff valve, trying to fix the leak, having more "oh no!" moments, and finally, succumbing to calling the 24 hour emergency plumbing hotline.

So, after all is said and done, I've got this big hole in my ceiling. Next job? To patch that hole.

My dad's coming out this weekend to see my place for the first time. Admittedly, I'm not much of a toolman, but I'm gonna give my best shot to see if I can at least cover up one glaring problem with the house. I've got the sheetrock, the nails, the 2x4's, and the plaster.... wish me luck!

As an aside.... Go CSUN! We're #1 in the nation in college men's volleyball... just beat top ranked USC.,0,6707624.story Rawk!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


There aren't too many drummers I can name - Meg White and Jules de Martino are two I can come up with offhand. But you'd think with drummers being such a vital part of any band, that they should be a known quantity and practically SYNONYMOUS with the band itself. After all, the rest of the band tends to look towards the drummer to keep on beat at ALL times, and without the drummer, the sound usually falls flat.

However, my favorite drummer is definitely Travis Barker of Blink-182. People rag on him -- calling him a hack, a poser, a showboater. Puh-lease. The guy's really good at what he does, and that's entertaining. Plus, his drum solos in just about every hit Blink-182 song - What's My Age Again, All the Small Things, First Date, and many more - really sound spot on and energetic.

So, here I am, trying to emulate the spikey-haired percussionist with my brand-new Band Hero drum kit. Yeah, watch my living room turn into a band practice haven. This kit is AWESOME. I feel like I'm actually learning how to play - now if I could only read music, I can't exactly learn to play by ear here. The game that came with the set is HARD - even on the easy setting! You have to think in so many different dimensions than when you're playing guitar - you don't just slide up and down a neck, you have to figure out where in the kit you're supposed to hit, all while keeping your eyes on the "music highway."

What I really enjoyed was turning it on and going to one of the older Guitar Hero games I picked up last year - Guitar Hero 5 had a smashing number of hits I love, and I got a kick out of playing those a whole new way. "Steady as She Goes," "Blue Orchid," "Feel Good Inc," and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are just so great that I could listen to them over and over - and I've always wanted to drum to them. Yehaw! Living the dream.... ;-)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bacon bacon bacon!

Yeah, so I'm hog-wild for bacon lately. Not necessarily eating it... but talking about eating it. There's a difference!

Why talk about bacon? Well, it all kind of started when I got to teasing Kel about bacon chocolate. Bacon CHOCOLATE? Heck, yeah, I really have been wanting to try out that delicious sounding combination back even before I found out that they have a chocolate bar for it:

Yessiree, that is an actual product, that I have seen with mine own eyes, at the Better Cheddar store in Kansas City. Yummy place to go, by the way, highly recommended, the cheese samples there are great and have educated me quite a bit about cheese. In fact, I've discovered a favorite cheese there - the Norweigan Gjetost, a goat cheese that is excellently sweet and tastes like caramel.

Anyway, the whole bacon joke has culminated in me hosting "The Big Game" (ya'll know which game I'm talking about) at my house on Feb 7th with bacon as the theme. So I'm gonna make some bacon and chocolate for all my friends, and maybe even highlight some more goodness about bacon. A sample site is below....

On the other hand... not everyone appreciates the goodness that is bacon chocolate. *sigh*

I guess what I'm getting to is, maybe I'm talking a bit too much about a good thing. Y'know? You can only take so much of a good thing before you get sick of it. So I'm gonna blog about it, get it out of my system, and then get ready to enjoy it the day of the kickoff.

Bacon was actually one of the first things I learned how to cook. My mom let me learn how to make eggs and bacon on the stove at home when I was in middle school. I didn't think it was all that fair that she had to make all the food in the house. Little did I know that knowledge would save me in college, and eventually lead the way for me to enjoy cooking often at home once I was diagnosed with celiac disease. Bacon is naturally gluten-free, as is most meat. So I'm gonna take that as a sign that bacon is good for me... in moderation. ;-)

When I was in high school, one of my favorite lunches to have off-campus was the Jimmy Dean's BLT. Jimmy Dean didn't have the Western Bacon Cheeseburger (referenced in a past blogpost), but the BLT was darn good stuff. Then you have the bacon cheese fries... man, my arteries are clogging up just thinking 'bout it.

I'm just looking forward to a great time playing with the pigskin, laughing at crazy million-dollar commercials, and seeing all my friends. If I can combine that with bacon... that's just the icing on the top. Yum!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting back in to HLAA

I try to be a leader. Genuinely, I try. I aim to shape my world into being the way I want, a better place to be. Some days, I think I'm only doing this for myself, but I honestly do want to improve everyone's life and make being alive something to enjoy.

I've been slackin' lately, though. My work with HLAA (Hearing Loss Association of America) needs someone dedicated to keeping on top of things every week, not once a month or "whenever I feel like it." I've had a lot of my plate towards the end of last year in terms of job, family, relationships, friendships, and generally just a lot of stuff to do. I think it's getting a bit more stable to where I've figured out how much more time my work will take from me, and I see how much effort I really want to put into my relationship with my brother who lives with me, and I'm taking a (short!) break from vball and X to heal, so maybe I can start putting more time back into things like DPHH (ahem! Oh, it's Deaf Professional Happy Hour) and HLAA.

HLAA is not a social club for me. The previous president of the chapter looked at the group as a way for us to all get together and talk about our challenges with losing one's hearing. I see a place for that, no doubt - but HLAA will always be about RAISING awareness, making connections, and using our numbers to shape our world. The only way that's going to happen is if we drive together towards a common, long term advocacy goal.

So, I'm actually searching for a one point advocacy goal to focus on in KC in 2010. Is it Arrowhead Stadium football game captioning? Is it working with the KC metro police so that accessibility for people under arrest is mandated and apparent? Is it making captioned movies more prominent in the KC area?

I'm going to establish a committee to search for that goal in 2010. Then I'll head up a group of people who will fight for that goal. It's important to show that we can accomplish something with HLAA - people will join if they see they can make a difference, no matter how small.

I'm also setting up a blogsite for the KC Chapter of HLAA - In there will be posts keeping everyone up to date on our next events as well as the actions towards advocacy. Being communicative has been my weakness in the past quarter so I'm stepping up to make the change.

Let's rock, people!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I'm just a lap

Sometimes, it seems like I'm just another piece of furniture around my house. So I'm having a night in with my bro - I've been trying to connect with him better since he does live here and I do make myself scarce with all the activities I do outside the house. It seems like the best way to do so is to play games together. I got pretty miffed at him yesterday when we agreed to go in halfsies on a game and then I went out to have dinner with Kel - then he played the game despite my telling him that the whole point of getting the game was to play together! He seemed pretty bored with the game already when I played with him tonight - he already knew the beginning steps and was leaps and bounds ahead of me when I was trying to get acclimated - but maybe he'll figure out the whole bonding thing soon enough.

In any case, as usual, the whole night while we were playing and when I was taking a break for dinner later, my kitty Fizzlesnitch kept trying to get on my lap. In fact, as I'm writing this now, Fizzle is comfortably on the crook of my right arm, making it quite difficult to use the mouse, but he looks pretty content and sleepy. Ah, yes, he is purring gently, happy to have found the self-heating furniture again. I hope he doesn't think to himself, "Curses, the warm furniture keeps moving around! Why must it make me work to find it again and sleep on it?!" ;-)

My two boys are the best cats I've ever had. Both have a really sweet disposition, aren't afraid of strangers, and Rascal seems to have taken quite a liking to Kel. ;-) They entertain themselves and have gotten really good at the kitty therapy thing. However, in addition to the whole "give me lap or I'll never leave you alone!" thing, Fizzle's developed a thing where, if I'm wearing a hoodie, he'll burrow under the hoodie and sleep on my tummy. So not only am I furniture, I'm also a blankie! Multipurpose..... *sigh*

I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I never grew up with cats. At one time at my mom's place, we had 18 felines - 3 mother cats (that had not been spayed!) and 15 offspring from those three - and I was kind of attached to 'em. I gave 'em all names - Cuddles Jr, PJ, Skitty - but all of them had to be given away. I'm not inclined towards any other kind of housepet, so I don't think I'd be as caring of a person to anyone or anything if I didn't have a pet to keep me grounded.

In any case, I'm enjoying my night in - tomorrow's another HLAA meeting (movie night!) and then Sunday's the first night of dodgeball. Things are picking up now!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

So I gotta stop riding for a bit....

See that guy's form? That was me yesterday. Well, I probably didn't look as cool as that, but my point is that the guy is falling down and is putting out one of his arms to break his fall. I want to direct you to his left arm. You know what happens when you land like that? For me, it resulted in what feels like a dislocated elbow. The pain was so bad I had a hard time getting down the mountain and locating Kel then getting to the ER. Yay for the buddy system!

I thought it would be a broken arm, but they didn't find anything that bad. Thankfully, that just means I'm out of commission for several weeks instead of months.

I was doing pretty good on the slopes, too. I've been picking up things at a rapid pace - being able to turn on the board, stay upright, maintain some speed on flats, go through light powder (not like Tara's and Kel's waist high experience!) in only about 6 1/2 days of snowboarding. Well, only if you count the two days at Snow Creek in Kansas (which absolutely does NOT compare, not even remotely!)

Comparing Snow Creek to Vail or Steamboat is like comparing a snail to a Porsche. Or like a recreational C volleyball player to 2-time beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor. Just... wow. In Vail, I was going on some runs that took me an hour to get to the bottom - when in Snow Creek, it's maybe 2 minutes to the bottom (at the skill level I'm now within). The slopes can be wide and long, or narrow and bumpy, powdery or packed.... when Snow Creek's just all ice, ice, baby.

As soon as the girls get home from their staying an extra day on the mountain while I hit up Vegas, I'll get some pics up. It's been a fantastic trip!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Another day, another year. What new possibilities does this year bring?

I'm posting from Steamboat Springs, CO, staying mosty toasty in the hotel room getting ready for another day of shreddin'.

Yesterday and the day before were quite the experience. It's not often that I get to put my life in the hands of someone else during a blizzard - especially when going through someplace hazardous like Rabbit Ears Pass between Silverthorne and Steamboat. After having been awake for some 24+ hours. Thing is, if Kel and I had waited until the next morning, we would have had to do the while thing with another 3+ or so inches of extra fluffy snow - not good when you're driving my rear-wheel drive SUV with (not so) all season tires. Earlier in the week, I had to dig myself out of maybe 1 or 2 inches of snow where I got stuck - and now we're tackling the Everest of snow locations?! Bring it on! We made it in okay, thank goodness....

Now we're on for almost a week of snowboarding. I'm getting banged up pretty good just from the blues and greens - I can't imagine what it'd be like on the diamonds. At this pace it seems like it'll take me forever just to make it down a mountain without falling. I have some pretty good incentive not to fall - my tailbone's already almost had enough of me. I'm kind of fond of my tailbone....

What's next for us? Another day at Steamboat, then hitting up Vail, Breckenridge, A-Basin, Beavercreek and Keystone.

With all that excitement, I'm kind of glad the whole NYE celebration was low-key. Riding high all the time makes for... some rough crashes. I hafta be fresh on Wednesday when I meet in Vegas for work!

Off we go... hi ho!