Saturday, November 3, 2007


We had a nice Halloween this year. Martha carved a couple pumpkins and we put a bunch of candles in the the windows.
Carved Pumpkins

View from the inside of the house View from the outside of the house

We managed to give out all the candy by about 8:30. One group of kids did this song and dance after we had handed out the candy. It was funny.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Those Home Improvement Projects

So, we got this new ceiling light fixture to provide reading light while in bed a while ago, and so I finally decided to tackle it on Sunday. The complexity of the project was that there was not fixture there before, and it is being installed in a ceiling of a bay window.
luckily, the main roof is the bay window roof too, so there was access to the attic. So I cut my hole, pushed a bunch of wire up it, and then went to the attic to pull it over to where the light switch is. Murphy's Law kicked in and the wire had gotten hung up on a roofing nail. So, now I had to go body surfing head first down the vaulted ceiling to were the roof and ceiling meet to fetch the wire. Even though it was cool on Sunday, it was still sopping wet with sweat hot in the attic.
Figure 1

The rest of the installation went smoothly. I ran the wire to the existing switch box in the room and added a switch fixture with three switches and a dimmer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chama New Mexico

On Monday, Oct. 1, after staying in Santa Fe, we headed north to Chama to visit with my parents. The terrain was scruffy, and sometime rich in red colors. Georgia O'Keeffe spent some time at the Ghost Ranch, which was on the way, but not open when drove by.

Along the way, we stopped to take some pictures at a lake.

There we saw a rock wren and and a female mountain blue bird. There where also some nice views.

We finally made it into Chama, had lunch and then went to Twin Rivers RV park my parents were staying at. They drove in towing their Fifth-wheel. After unloading the car, we all jumped in and took a ride up the mountain to do some train spotting. My dad told us that the train we were seeing today was only ran once a year. It comprised of freight cars such as boxcars, tankers and flatbeds, rather than the normal passenger cars they use on the scenic railroad.

After the train chase, we went out to dinner at the High Country restaurant, they have good food and it showed as they were busy.

Tuesday Oct. 2

Today my dad Tom and I started off with walking through the railyard. While we were doing that, Martha and my mom Bobbi did a little shopping. Once the train left the station, we drove up the mountain and took pictures of it making the trek.

Here we got completely off the road and hiked down to the tracks and then up the tracks a bit.

Here we made it to the top at Cumbres Pass, Colorado (10,022 ft). They removed the front engine as the rest of the train trip is downhill, so the extra pulling power was not needed.

The rest of the day we spent driving out and visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This is an impressive place. Its hard to imagine them until you see people sanding on the top of them and the people look like the size of ants. We stayed here until dinner, which we had in Alamosa, and then drove back to the RV Park.

Wednesday, Oct. 3

If you haven't guessed already, my dad really likes the railroad. I can appreciate that. It is really neat. I do enjoy trying to get that perfect or unusual picture of it. Today, we actually rode it.

The ride is about six hours with lunch in the middle. They didn't mess around with lunch, it was delicious. They offered a full traditional thanksgiving meal, a Meatloaf meal or a very complete soup and salad bar. The turkey was great!

The views from the train was great. We managed to time the vacation just right to be in the Chama area for the turning of the aspens.

Thursday, Oct 4

Today we went up to a lake near the pass and hiked around it. At 10,000 feet, there was some huffing and puffing on this hike. There where some nice views up there. We managed to have our time just right and made it back to the car when it started raining. We then went to see the land my parents had bought to build their retirement home. They ended up selling because the cost to build in the forest, not near a major town, got too expensive.

Friday, Oct 5

Today we drove up to visit Martha's cousin, Kathy who lives in Taos. Just before you get to Taos, you cross the Rio Grande Gorge. The bridge is the third tallest in the United States at 650 ft.

Here are some views from around Kathy's place.

Saturday, Oct 6

We did some walking and hiking today. First we did a walk around her neighborhood.

Then we hiked in a nearby park.

Kathy has three dogs and two cats. The dogs are very laid back.They almost make me want one.

Here are a few random photos from the trip.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Santa Fe

We arrived safely in New Mexico. Here are some pics from the first couple days. These are from the Santa Fe area.

Add a brief downpour, but it made for some good rainbows.
IMG_7156 IMG_7151

View on the drive up to Santa Fe on the Turquoise Trail. The rain was following us. The view didn't live up to the hype, but that's probably because of the clouds. We stopped into a Sears to pick up a pair of binoculars. While there, a storm came through and knocked out the power at the mall. Since our plane took off at 7am, we were zonked by bedtime.


Today we did some shopping for some gifts. We also went to the Georgia O'Keeffe museum. Very lovely art exhibit.
We then did some hiking.
Rock Squirrel IMG_7181

Had some very good indian food this evening.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Big Kitties

We went to Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary to see the tigers. It was one of the tigers birthday and it was the first public showing of their newest tiger, Izzy. Izzy was a photo cat (a cat that people posed with), but her previous handlers had too many other cats at the time, so they sent him here.
Izzy had not really been around trees, so he loves to attack branches of them and chew all the leaves off.
Izzy is only 7 months old, he still has needs to grow into those paws!
Izzy Izzy eating leaves Izzy Izzy

Thor is a big goofball, just loves playing around. The small kids really gets her attention. Hmmm, tasty snack?

Raja loves those lazy days. Raja Rohan Rohan catches some Zzzzz. When awake, he roars a lot.

Guess the big kitties are not that different than our our pet kitties, they all sleep all the time.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race Glow

A coworker let me know that the balloon race was this weekend, as I normally miss it. This year I made it to the Glow night, Friday evening. There was a lot of people there, but it didn't feel too crowded. I used the Metrolink to avoid parking near Forest Park, everyone else did this too :)
It was really cool as they let walk right up to the balloons, they even sometimes ask for your help by being ballast to keep the balloon on the ground.
Here are some pic's:
IMG_6829 CRW_5962 CRW_5998 CRW_5991 CRW_6006 IMG_6808-001 IMG_6836-001 IMG_6859-001 IMG_6820-001 IMG_6845-001