Saturday, May 31, 2008

I think I pood a little

Ski-Gliding, for those rocky days on the slopes:


Friday, May 30, 2008

Local media

Just found a link to the movie that was filmed in Prescott years and years ago. Featuring none other than Kendals!

Balboa park

Monday we finally remembered to set our alarm, and checked out of the hotel by 7am. We headed right for Balboa Park, and at this early hour the massive press of other tourists had yet to show up. We parked, and started meandering around.


I have to say, I was really impressed by this park. It is a photographers playhouse, with ridiculously ornate architecture all over the place.


Along with a very nifty reflecting pond:


And plenty of trees to take photos of:


We even managed to get a cutesy photo of us on the tree


As we got ready to leave the park we came upon a big fountain (apparently one that many people photograph), and decided to take our obligatory photos.


Oddly, as we are taking pictures a homeless man decided that he wanted to meander around the fountain. Figuring that he saw us there taking pictures, I decided he was fair game as a photographic subject:


After the fountain we found our way back to the car and headed over to meet Matt for breakfast, and then made the drive home.


Vacation successful. :)


All photos from the vacation. <--- Trying something new here, and would like to know if you guys like this presentation, or would rather see the photoset view.

Pic of the day

Statue at the USS San Diego memorial:

Flight of the bumblebee

Ala accordian:


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pic of the day

The Katheryn Ann fishing vessel in San Diego Bay:

3 Exposure handheld HDR

A day for us



Sunday was the day that we had dedicated to just us in our plan. No friends, no expectations, just a little me and D time, acting like our goofy ass touristy selves.


We were determined to get up early and go shoot some photos downtown and by the bay. Sadly though, neither of us remembered to set the alarm clock. So our 5 o'clock picture time got moved back to 8 as we scrambled to our destination.


We meandered through the Gaslamp quarter, and all around downtown, taking pictures. Sadly, neither of us were inspired by the area, and so photographs weren't what we had imagined.


We caught breakfast at MJ's CoffeeShop. This was honestly the best food of the whole trip. Awesome meat/egg/cheese sandwiches for both of us, and a latte. The wait staff was very friendly as well, so it was a winner. If you don't mind spending $35-40 on breakfast for two, this is a darn fine place to go.


From breakfast we decided to head over to San Diego Bay for some pictures of the boats.


There were some fishing boats in the harbor, which fish for everything from Lobster and Cod to Shark and Sturgeon:


Due to the naval base nearby there are some cool memorials and naval ships to see. Like this memorial for WWII Sailors:


And this sculpture, created from the iconic photo of the end of WWII:



There is also the venerable USS Midway aircraft carrier hanging out in the water, which has been converted to a museum:

We of course did the museum tour, and spent two hours taking plenty of pics inside.


After wandering around by foot we decided to drive around a bit and locate a bridge that had caught our eye while driving. After making plenty of wrong turns and U-turns we finally found it. It is the Cabrillo Bridge, which leads into Balboa Park.


Upon driving over the bridge we were greeted with thousands of people milling about. We were also greeted by some very pretty architecture, and decided that we would come back before heading home on Monday.


We left the masses at the park, and headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.


I was determined to have a sushi dinner while in California. Sadly, since Matt was unable to provide any restaurant recommendations, I was forced to abide by the whims of Internet reviews. A restaurant was decided on that was 15 minutes away. It was called Ono Sushi.


If you are ever in San Diego do not, I repeat: DO NOT eat at Ono Sushi. I should have known better.

Sign 1: I walked in and not a single sushi chef was Japanese.


Sign 2: With the exception of me and DaNece, everybody there was a hipster. Most wearing $300 sunglasses inside, toting overpriced hand bags, and flashy watches.


Sign 3: Nobody sitting at the sushi bar.

The food was barely mediocre, and the chef didn't know how to properly slice a scallop for sushi, so I got a mangled mess of meat on top of rice. Had a spicy tuna roll which was almost decent, but overall I was un-impressed. Hell, Esoji is worlds better than this place, and much closer to home.


Post Dinner we decided to catch a movie. In particular we decided to catch the new Indiana Jones movie. The movie was decent, but neither of us were big fans of the storyline. They did do a great job on filming it in the style of the original movies though, and there was plenty of humor injected in for good measure.


A great day for just the two of us.

Master the internet

Hilarious infomercial from the 90s. It only took 10 minutes to find the temperature in Dallas!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pic of the day

The Gaslamp Quarter sign in downtown San Diego:

3 exposure handheld HDR.

A graduate in our midst


Friday we departed from our fair town in search of the coast. We were headed to San Diego. A good friend was graduating from SDSU with his master's degree. I figured you only get your master's once (unless you are a total masochist), so it would be worthy for us to make the 7 hour journey to wish him well.


We decided to make it a bit of a vacation, what with it being a holiday weekend and whatnot. We arrived at our hotel at around midnight, and were up early the next morning to go to the ceremony.


Matt and his Mom. See the relief on her face that he is finally done accruing debt for school?:


After meeting up with Matt and family, we headed into the Cox Arena and spent the next two hours of our lives listening to the droning on of hundreds of names. All graduates from the Business Administration program at the school (apparently they have seven different graduation ceremonies, to accommodate the ~2000 graduates).


The graduates of Business Administration, taking up nearly the entirety of a basketball court sized area:


Afterwards we headed to PB Bar and Grill for lunch. Hamburgers were darn tasty. Post-lunch me and DaNece did some driving around, looking for things of interest to take pictures of the following day, and eventually we all met up again downtown for dinner.


Now, whoever thought this would be a good idea, was sadly mistaken. Because they failed to take into account the fact that it was Memorial Day weekend, in addition to the Gaslamp Jazz Festival also going on a few blocks away.


The wait for a table of eight was 3 1/2 hours. So we walked and talked to a few other restaurants, and Matthew was able to get us into a restaurant called Dussini within ten minutes, though the group was split into two tables.


What a disappointment this place was. Not only was the service just plain bad, but the food wasn't on par for what the joint was projecting. When I'm paying $60/plate I expect to be wowed. And while the food wasn't bad, it wasn't nearly worth the money, and putting up with the rude waitress. Marked on the list of places never to return to. :)


Once dinner was completed all the boys went out to the bars, while DaNece and I made our way back to the hotel to catch up on the shut eye. We had a big day ahead of us on Sunday!

Dell once again screws the pooch.

So remember how my laptop needed a replacement motherboard? Well on Friday I received the motherboard, and went through the process of replacing the son of a gun.


During this process I found out what had caused my old motherboard to die. Before I get to that though, a little information on how laptop cooling works:

You generally have 2 or 3 major sources of heat in your laptop; the CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the biggest source of heat, since it is doing all of the major processing for the computer.


On many computers (including my laptop) you also get a decent amount of heat from your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). This is the guy that makes video games look good, and considerably helps take some load off of the processor when running graphics intensive applications.


To cool these items you have a heat sink that sits on top of them. This heat sink conducts heat very well, and is constructed so that the heat gets funneled into a set of thin fins, which have a fan blowing on them, pushing the hot air out of the computer.


To further assist in getting the heat from the processing units to the heat sink, you have a thin layer of thermal grease, which makes sure that there is as much contact as possible between the chip and the heat sink.


It looks something like this (that square at the top would sit on top of one of the processing units, and the fan blows on the fins to the left):


PHOTO CREDIT: kprogram


So, what was the cause of all my woes, that caused my $500 motherboard to go on the fritz?


Whoever assembled my laptop at Dell, failed to remove the plastic that covers the thermal grease on the GPU. So instead of conducting its heat through grease and heatsink, it was just melting a bit of plastic and overheating.


SERIOUSLY DELL? Again I ask; Where is the quality control? The stupid things they do never cease to amaze me. The best part was that on the replacement motherboard they sent me the GPU had a bunch of hardened junk on it when it arrived. So I had to spend 20 minutes cleaning that off before I could even re-construct the stupid thing.


This is the exact reason why buying the warranty on laptops is a great idea. If it weren't for the warranty, the average user would have to take this to a private shop to diagnose the problem, and pay for that labor (generally $70-100/hr) before Dell would consider sending a replacement board. And you know they would take their sweet time doing it too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pic of the day, and movie excitement

Coca-Cola Sign:


AND I am totally psyched for this movie:

The search for a perfect meatball

I have to admit that the mere thought of eating spaghetti without meatballs is quite depressing to me. Sure, you can turn hamburger into a meat sauce, but meatballs are just so.... fun!


They make the dish entertaining AND tasty, and that's hard to beat. The problem though, is that I have yet to find the perfect meatball. But that hasn't stopped me from trying.


So when DaNece brought home a package of italian sausage along with some hamburger my thoughts went right to meatballs.


Pasta and Meatballs


- 1/2 lb sweet italian sausage

- 1/2 lb hamburger (I think we used 90/10)

- 1 box pasta (medium shells in our case)

- 1 jar pasta sauce (to be improved upon)

- Fresh parmesan and romano cheese cheeses, grated (about a fistful of each)

- 1 egg

- a fistful of bread crumbs (or Ritz crackers all crushed up if you don't stock bread crumbs)

- Worcestershire sauce (just a splash to boost flavor)

- 1 Left-over kohlrabi (optional, but I needed to get used)

- 1/2 onion (again optional, but it was on its way out as well)

- 1 tablespoon of butter

- Fresh garlic (3 or 4 cloves), minced

- Fennel seed (large pinch), rosemary (medium pinch), thyme (medium pinch), oregano (medium pinch), salt (small pinch), black peppercorns (small pinch), paprika (small pinch), sugar (3 or 4 teaspoons), parsley (garnish)


Cooking the rest of it:

- First get your water boiling for your pasta


- Using your mortar and pestle (you have one right? If not, consider getting one. They are cheap, and are the best way to grind spices) grind together the fennel seed, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and black peppercorns.


- Add in salt, and paprika to the rest of the spices.


- Throw your jar of pasta sauce into a pot


- Add about half of the cheese (because who doesn't like cheese in their pasta sauce?) to the sauce, reserving the other half for sprinkling on top of the pasta.


- Add 3/4 of the sugar to the sauce, and 1/2 of the spice mixture


- on low or medium heat (to prevent the butter from burning) cook the onions, kohlrabi, and about 1/2 of the garlic with a tablespoon of butter until soft.


- Cook your pasta according to directions (and toss with a bit of olive oil after cooked to prevent it from going all sticky in the bowl).


Meatball Magic:

When it comes to cooking meatballs, everybody will tell you the best way. You can bake them, broil them, grill them, pan-fry them, or even deep-fry them.


I used to always pan-fry my meatballs, because it's easy and you can baby-sit them so that they don't get overcooked. This generally turns out decent meatballs, but generally doesn't give you the nice crisp exterior that I look for in my meatballs.


I've also tried broiling them. This created much better dispersion of crispness, but left them slightly overcooked and dry, plus required flipping. Me + Remembering to flip something under the broiler = bad news. Inevitably they burn because I forget about them.


So this time I tried baking them. And it was a vast improvement. Turn your oven to 400F, line a cookie tray with foil and then get crackin'!


To make the balls - take a large bowl and mix the following: Italian sausage, hamburger, 1/2 spice mixture, 1/4 of the sugar, 1 egg, Worcestershire sauce, and the other half of the garlic.


Once these are mixed, add in your bread crumbs until you get a nice consistency. You want it to be soft enough to easily form meatballs, but it shouldn't stick to your hands when handling it.


Now take a gob of meat and form it into a ball. Mine were just a little smaller than golf balls, and this mixture netted me about 25 meatballs. Line them up on the cookie sheet as you form them, being careful not to overcrowd them (they need room for that hot convection action to work).


Now stick them puppies in the oven and cook until done to your liking. Mine were in there for 15-20 minutes. Once they started getting nice color on them I would pull one out, cut it in half, and make sure that it was done (just a touch of pink in the middle). I still managed to miss it by a bit though, so they were a little dry.


Throw them on top of the pasta, sauce, and kohlrabi/onion. Garnish with parsley.


So were they the perfect meatball?

No, but they were way better than any others I've made before (and good enough that I am still eating them a week later). There was a bit too much italian sausage for DaNece's taste, but it was good to mine.


Next time I will make them slightly larger (the same size, or slightly larger than golf balls) so that the center will be a little more moist and I won't feel the need to put 6 or 7 on my plate. The fennel seed was spot on though, and added a great smell and taste to them.


Overall; a great meal!

Some randomness

- An Awesome 'Popping' Dancer from some TV show:



- CRAZY SMALL new DSLR from Olympus:


The E-420

"One of the World’s Thinnest Lenses Meets the World’s Most Compact DSLR
The world’s smallest DSLR deserves a similarly compact lens, and Olympus has it: the ultra compact Zuiko 25mm f2.8 digital specific lens. This 0.9 inch-thick lens offers a fixed 50mm equivalent angle of view. Together with the E-420, the Zuiko 25mm f2.8 lens will offer the ultimate combination of ease of use and portability."


- A new movie starring Jenna Jameson, but I don't think it's porn:

Zombie Strippers!

Check out this site for the trailer. Helarious!


- A super awesome recipe website. You type in what ingredients you have, and it gives you recipes that you can make with them.


- For those who like PostSecret, check out the Facebook Mini-Feed, with some secrets that don't get posted to the regular site.


- Crash test videos. The driver would totally die in most of these:


Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hey, another somebody used my picture!

Check out this site about the Chino Valley airplane crash

Pic of the day

The Laptop that needs a new motherboard:

No blogging

No real blogging until next week probably. The motherboard is looking like it is bad on the work laptop, so it is not currently operational, parts should be here tomorrow.


Doing side work for a client, and ended up having to do a hard-as-hell data recovery (MBR Records destroyed, and the File Table got f*cked up, so many hours spent recovering files), which I need to deliver tonight. This means I need to get windows installed, and up to date so that they can start installing their programs over again.


Getting packed and ready to head out to California tomorrow for a Matt's Graduation from SDSU with a Masters in Accounting. Crazy bastard, but congratulations regardless!


We will be in Cali until Monday, at which point we come back, and then I turn around and take my Mom down to Phoenix Monday night, for her flight early the next day. Then I drive back to P-Town tuesday before work, and hopefully get my clutch squared away on wednesday.


Busy busy busy. :) See you all next week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pic of the day

Santa Fe Railroad bridge over Little Hells Canyon from the weekend:


Taken with the SD800is, since both batteries were dead on the G9 during this trip (oops). :)

3D photos

Check out this site.

CRAZY COOL 3d images that you get the 3rd dimension by crossing your eyes.


I have a little trouble focusing on the 3d image, but it is still stellarly cool.

Start your day with some sexy

The old people's expressions are priceless:



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pic of the day

Well, working in our Chino office today provided a whole new bit of scenery on my lunch hour walk.

So my pic of the day is this defunct gas pump sitting in the weeds:

Pesky DNS lock-outs

Today I get the supreme pleasure of working out of our Chino Valley Branch office. This is nice because it is only a few short gas-guzzling miles from home.


It is also nice because it is quiet out here, and my phone isn't ringing much. Maybe people think I am dead?


One downside to working out here though, is that I don't have my very own dedicated internet connection. So now I have to go through all the same web-blockers and DNS blocker as the other employees here. The web-blockers isn't such a big deal, because hey! I'm the IT guy and I have the password to that.


The OpenDNS system though, is a bit more of a pain in the butt. I don't want to turn it off, since I still want the other employees to be blocked, but I also want access to my stuff without interruption.


The Answer? Well after 20 minutes of searching around it turns out to be totally easy. See the way that the OpenDNS system works is this:


1. When my computer turns on and asks for an address from the server it is provided with that address as well as a DNS Server address, which is an OpenDNS server.


2. Now every time I type in an address (e.g. my request is re-directed through OpenDNS, where they check to see if it matches any of their qualifications for rejected sites.


3. That particular site is categorized as 'Blogs' and so the nice OpenDNS people re-route me to a page tell me that I am blocked.


So the way to get around all this is just to find a Public DNS server, and manually give my computer that address.


Battabing, I'm in! Now onto the cool - unfiltered internet. :)

Very cool illusion

It makes sense really, but to see it in action is pretty cool. Movement from a static image.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Pic of the day

Almost forgot the pic of the day. :)

Small flowers carpeting the ground near Sycamore Canyon

Hmmm... that's weird.

Driving home from flagstaff on Saturday (another post on that, once pictures are copied and corrected), me and DaNece decided to do some poking around in the back roads beyond Paulden.


For a few days before-hand the truck had been getting a little hard to shift, and I figured that it probably needed to be bled due to air or some such thing in the system.


So out in the boonies of Paulden, and I can suddenly no longer find Reverse gear....


"Hmmm.... that's weird. I could swear I knew where that gear was. There? Nope. There? Nope. There, ahhh there it is!" Which was followed by a horrendous grinding noise emanating from within the belly of the truck.


I distinctly recall that I had never heard that noise before.


Sunday consisted of troubleshooting the beast.


1. Check fluid in slave and master cylinders - Full.

2. Check transmission fluid - slightly low - Fill.

3. Check for cracks in clutch pedal bracket (had it break before) - None found.

4. Bleed the clutch, managing to get fluid FREAKING EVERYWHERE - Done.

5. Pull out the shifter to make sure that shifter seat bushing isn't mangled.

6. Call to the all-knowing god of motorized mechanics (My dad) - Done, with agreement that clutch needs replaced.


So there it was, time for a new clutch. I really can't blame the truck. The current clutch has been in there for 7 years and 130,000+ miles. It's just time for it to happen.


Today was spent getting the repairs figured out. Replacing the clutch is not something that I am comfortable doing in my dirt driveway, with a floor jack, and no help, so I've got to take it to a shop.


This normally wouldn't be a problem. I would just take it down to Independent Toyota, and Lindy would get it squared away. Sadly, when I called Lindy, the number was disconnected....


"Hmmm... that's weird. I could swear I knew what that phone number was."


So I tool down to the shop on my lunch hour and ask if Lindy is around. I am informed that, not only does he no longer work there, but indeed the shop is no longer Independent Toyota! It is now Brinkley's Automotive. So I talk to the owner (good vibes, which is always a plus and he worked for Lindy for a while so I know he knows Toyotas), he quotes me a price of $500 for parts and labor, and I tell him I will give him a call later.


I decide to get a second quote, just to make sure that I don't overpay so I go over to 'Car Care by Bob', which Sadira had recommended to me. I am then stunned into silence as I am quoted $900 for the job....


"Hmmmm.... wait, what?" $400 more than the other shop? They both use the same brand clutch (LUK), so I fail to see how it can cost that much more for the same work. They both include flywheel resurfacing, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing. I politely thank the man at Bob's shop, and leave; incredulous.


So, now I get back to work and start researching LUK clutches. The general feedback on them is iffy. Some people have good luck, some people have lots of problems. So I opt to go ahead and buy a Marlin Crawler clutch, which have been getting great reviews. I upgrade shipping (2nd day) and still comes in at $220, which is $10 less than the shops quoted price plus it's a better clutch (1200ft-lb pressure plate vs. 900ft-lb) which will be nice when offroading.


Hopefully I can get this all sorted out and fixed before leaving for California on Friday. Else it will be waiting for me after the holiday....


Thankfully, the emergency money is in place, and should be able to absorb this little problem without killing me in the process.


Ahh the joys of everyday life.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pic of the day

Stencil on a dumpster. Superstar.

Computer - Done


Ahh the joys of the modern internet age.


You wait to hook up your freshly built computer to the internet until you have installed your antivirus software.


Finally, antivirus software firmly planted, you connect to the wireless network at the coffee shop so that you can download the newest virus definitions right out of the box, and enjoy your latte while you do it.


In the fifteen minutes it takes to download those definitions, you get 2 viruses.


No, I'm not even freakin kidding. That's what I get for not waiting until I get to work to connect to the net this morning.


Oh well, I got it all cleared up, and now appear to be entirely up and running. And with the exception of lightroom (which I forgot at home) all my programs are working flawlessly now.



Thursday, May 15, 2008

Windows installed

Another hour gone, but I've got XP with all the security updates and IE7 installed.


Now to start installing all the hardware drivers and then I can start the apps.




Two hours

and 50GB of data copied to the desktop computer.

Let the re-installation of windows begin.


I did find an image that sums up my thoughts to an extent (just replace automatic update with microsoft in general):


Pic of the day, and god-forsaken windows

Well I did manage to get out on my lunch hour to take a few snaps. The only one that really turned out was an old Ford Ranch Wagon that was in a salvage yard. Had to work around the fencing, but I think it turned out allright:


On another note: My partial rebuild that I did on my laptop earlier apparently did not resolve all my problems. I am now having some serious performance issues. So tonight while DaNece is out with friends the laptop will be getting a nice reformatting and re-installing of all necessary programs. The only downside is that installing Adobe software takes FOREVER.


I guess that is what I get for going the half-assed approach fixing it on monday. :)

Playing a bit of ketchup.

Finally, after three days of feeling like a poo sandwich on stale bread, I feel human again! Hooray! And I think I might even make it through a whole day at work. What's not to love?


So now onto some interesting things:

- Microsoft released their WorldWide Telescope application. I installed it and played with it for a bit, and I have to say that it is a pretty nifty little app. I'm not much of an astronomer, but I like looking at pretty pictures of the sky as much as the next guy, and this program is pretty good for that. You can see lots of pictures from famous telescopes, and you get a pretty good 3-d representation of the sky with the constellations marked for your convenience. Of course, the bad part is that it is a microsoft product, and is a pretty big resource hog. But I can totally see using this as a tool to get kids interested in astronomy.


- Granny J linked to a courier article about Tsunami on the Square's main light truss (~1,000 pounds worth of aluminum) getting stolen from the Prescott College's WolfBerry Farm location out in Chino Valley. Now this does bother me, because I really do enjoy Tsunami on the Square. It is one of the few events that happen downtown that I actually put on my calendar to attend. They always put on a good show, and it is primarily local folk who show up. So the fact that this happened to them totally sucks.


BUT, can they really be surprised that it happened? Anybody who has driven by the WolfBerry farm knows that it is not a secure location. Half-assed is the description that I would give to every bit of that place. Half-assed building (I've been inside), half-assed fence, and half-assed senior projects littering the grounds unfinished. Plus, its location leaves it pretty vulnerable. Miles away from anything but the Yavapai College Agribusiness center. To me, storing $15,000 worth of aluminum out there is like covering yourself with chum and getting in the water with sharks. It's just plain stupid.


I hope they get something figured out, because I was definitely looking forward to going to it this year and would be bummed if it couldn't happen because of this set back.


- FOOD - We made a great dinner last night (no pictures because I was still not feeling great) using DeCio pasta and some local grass-fed beef strips that we got at the farmers market saturday. I cooked the beef two different ways. Mine had a balsamic marinade (made of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, fresh garlic, pepper, onion, and a whole bunch of other spices). I turned the marinade into a sauce after searing the beef, by reducing and adding some sugar and butter. MMmm... tasty.


DaNece's beef got some italian spices, salt, pepper, and a quick sear in the pan (she isn't a balsamic fan).

Overall it was darn tasty, though the sauce didn't really compliment the tomato-basil-garlic pasta all that much. Oh well. :)


- I started reading my Robert Frost poetry book. I'm not generally the type to enjoy poetry (some about prose just doesn't work in my head when reading), but by golly this book is good. After I read each poem about twenty times, I start to think that I might have a glimmer of what the hell it means. :)


Making this book much better than what I have read in Unweaving the Rainbow so far. Three chapters in and all this book has conveyed is a ridiculous number of analogies, interspersed with the basic idea of "People are stupid and believe whatever is presented to them. So go ahead, and just believe me, because I'm right anyway." Okay, that may be over simplifying it a bit, but that is how it strikes me. The book tries to give a near-existential scientist point of view, which is just plain funny to me.


Hoping this one gets better.


-No Photos. It's true. I haven't taken a single photo this week. I'm seriously feeling the itch for it, and hopefully will get the chance today on my lunch break.


So that is my life at present... :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pic of the day

A pollen filled flower on a cactus:

Freaky Flying

The blades are rotating at the frequency as the camera's refresh rate, creating this freaky ass illusion.

EDIT: YouTube stopped hosting the video.


Check it out here

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shark Surfing

Not sure if it is real, but it is real funny!


Pic of the day

Well I spent the day working from home, trying to keep from spreading the disease to co-workers.


Pic is a cute little tentacle monster painted underneath an overpass:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sunday Hike

*Firstly, let me apologize for the lack-luster writing ahead. I apparently have yet another bout of the flu, and am having trouble making cohesive sandwiches while at work*


Sunday found us 2 hours away from home, slowly driving bumping our way down a back road to the North side of Sycamore Basin, following Rich and Sadira.

We arrived at Trail 63, and began the hike into what we were hoping would be a water-filled valley. Sadly this was not the case. An hour into the hike and we hadn't spotted a single drop of the wet stuff.


We did, however, spot lots of cacti in bloom, like this little guy:


So, a bit turned off by the heat, wind, and lack of watery goodness, we turned around to head home. Along the way home we stopped at the a dis-used and abused house along the way. I totally copied Rich and took some shots to later convert to HDR.

The house:


A water tank outside:


And the green water inside the tank:


I even managed to get a right fine picture of DaNece:


From the house it was back home to cook mom a mother's day dinner of Chicken Apple Quesadillas!


All in all it was a very pretty hike, but not one that I will be repeating anytime soon. Hopefully the next hike will be either the lava river caves, or wet beaver creek.



Pic of the day

Well the laptop appears to be back up and running, so a happy computer guy I am. :)

Pic of the day is from Saturday night downtown.

Microsoft Woes

Well the work laptop wouldn't boot this morning. This, after loading Service Pack 3 (windows XP Pro) less than a week ago. Coincidence? I think not.

So now begins the process of trying to recover everything once again... Hooray for wasting part of my work day!

Thanks Microsoft!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Lunchtime Rodeo

*Patriotic Horse Fence*

My lunchtime walk yesterday found me meandering up to the Prescott rodeo grounds, home of the world's oldest rodeo.

Technically, it really isn't the oldest rodeo, since the Spanish have been having competitions of cowboys (referred to as vaquero) since ancient times. What it really claims to be is the World's oldest continuous rodeo, as it has been running every year now for 120 years.

Anyway, my lunch hour walk found me wandering around the rodeo grounds, not entirely sure if I was allowed to be there or not. I didn't see a single 'No Trespassing' sign, but there were a lot of locked gates which were easily gotten around by taking the long way.


*Patriotic Seating*

So as I take a few snaps from down in the arena, an older guy drives up to me in a big white truck and I think to myself; 'Surely, now I am screwed. Now comes the questions of what exactly I think I'm doing here, and did I notice the fact that the gates were locked? And can I please delete all the pictures you have taken and we will consider not calling the cops on you."


Down comes his window.


*Livestock Building B*

"What are you doing with your spare time?" he asks somewhat gruffly.


Mind racing I try to think of what the right answer is.... Right, honest best policy.


"You're looking at it." I reply quietly, trying to get a read on his attitude from his eyes. They are as blank as ice.

*Sponsors of the Prescott Frontier Days*


"Well...... would you mind helping me take some crates up to the announcer's box?"


Wait.... what? My mind reels, and I stammer that affirmatively, I would help him move the crates.


PHEW!!! Totally not in trouble. So I helped him move a case up to the announcer's box, and he tells me about the event this weekend that he is getting setup for. I wished him well, and told him I would stop by to check out the event.


*Staging stalls around the arena*

So we are totally going to the rodeo grounds this Saturday night to checkout the Roughstock Explosion, AND I didn't get in trouble! Truly a Win-Win kind of day.

Pic of the day

The utility road leading to our picnic area Friday night:


"Motion is the ingredient which music has in common with emotional states and which it is able to shape creatively in a thousand shades and contrasts."

Eduard Hanslick


I have been accused of being a fancy cook by my fiance. She says that I am incapable of actually making something easy and not very time-consuming for dinner.


And I have to admit that it is true. I can turn an easy pasta with olive oil into a 45-60 minute affair. But it's all just because I enjoy being in the kitchen so much.


But last night I finally created something tasty AND fast! Maybe not as easy or fast as she would have made, but for me it is a step in the right direction.


I made a STAC sandwich.  ???






Admit it - the thought of those four ingredients has activated your drool glands, right?


The longest part of this dish was getting the chicken cooked. I pounded it out a bit while a pan was pre-heating so it would cook more evenly. I seasoned it with a bit of Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Into the hot pan it went, cooking until almost fully done, then pulled off and allowed to rest under some tin foil.


While that was resting I sliced the avocado and tomato that were left over from Saturday's Mexican shenanigans. Once fully cooked, and now slightly cooled down I sliced the chicken, and along with the other ingredients, proceeded to stack a sandwich of pure delight. A little mayo, in addition to a touch of salt and pepper finished off the meal.


So for 20 minutes, and only a handful of ingredients that were already in the fridge, it was a damn fine dinner!