Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Link And Some Hope

Yup. I'm going to pimp our website to you one more time (today)... before I click on my daily ad here.


I've really got to get myself to the County Clerk's office to get our DBA and all that. Somehow, making everything official will make me feel better... legit.

Maybe I'll take half a day off tomorrow to do that.

I'm starving right now. Ok, there. Now I'm eating a chicken breast sandwich

as I type.

This morning in a meeting, we were told not to go into certain neighborhoods alone, or at all after certain hours. They are considered "Red zones" which means they are extremely dangerous. Part of the reason for this call is because some brilliant DEA agents disguised themselves as phone technicians while staking out some crackhouse or something like that. Apparently the word is out among the kindly and neighborly gangs around this area. So, thanks a lot for the target on our backs, DEA. The red looks great against the AT&T blue.

Oh what a happy day, the day I leave this place...


Friday, August 21, 2009

Last Day

Last day on the beach. We're hitting the road and heading back to Houston in the morning. ::sob::

One last sandcastle...




Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Day At The Beach

Too bad we forgot the tripod. I would love to get some real family portraits out here.

Mom pinching a smile... or a scream out of Tristan. Jees...

Still building 'em...

Number 3

The ravenous gulls descend upon the helpless sandcastle... after Amy sprinkled Pringles® all over it. Haha! Made for some cool pics.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Another Lovely Day

Awesome day today. I spent a couple of hours building another sandcastle. I lose track of time when I'm doing that. It's just so relaxing.
Yesterday, a kid that was watching asked if I was an architect. Today an older woman walked up and asked if I was a sculptor.
Gotta love that subtle flattery. haha

Here's one I worked on today.

We came back several hours later and got a few more photos of it.


Swimming And Sandcastles

Today was a great day.

The storm, or remnant of it, was completely gone. It was just a nice, partly cloudy, temperate day.
I went for a swim along the coastline, trying to get beyond the breakers, but the breakers went out to the horizon.
I started out swimming against the current so the swim back to where we were on the beach would be easier. On the way back, I crossed over a big stingray, maybe 4 feet long. I was only in about 5' of water, so it felt way to close for comfort.
I realize that they are mostly docile and all, but I JUST watched the show "When animals strike (or attack)". The episode was about the old man who got "stung" in the chest by a stingray that had jumped into his boat. The doctors were talking about the 3" piece of stinger that had broken off in his lung, and, with every breath, the barbed stinger kept ratcheting itself closer and closer to his heart until it was finally actually IN his heart. So, when I saw the ray, I was freaked and started paddling hard and fast for everything I was worth. When I finally stopped and looked up, I had passed Amy and Tristan on the beach.
Now when I'm swimming, I won't put my feet down on the sand until I've looked underwater to make sure there's nothing there. Yeah, it's humiliating...

Here's the first sandcastle of the year. Gonna make another one tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Beach

Tristan and I are about to head out to the beach... oh, we're in Destin. Amy is already down there. She, unlike Tristan and I, is an early riser. We like to sleep in and get that 'I'm on vacation and can wake up whenever I want to' feeling. heh

Sill having fun.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Tropical Storm Claudette-On-My-Nerves

So we're in Destin on vacation right now, and so far it's been an interesting trip.

Tropical Storm Claudette blew through this morning and that sort of put a damper on getting in the water. It turned out to be not much of a storm, at least on this side of it. I can't say the same for Panama City and other cities east of here, but we were ok. The power went out for about an hour this morning. No biggy.

It should be relatively clear and calm for the rest of the week, scattered thunderstorms, I think.

We hit the beach yesterday, and after the storm, we went down this afternoon and got a few pics.

I think Tristan and I are going to build some sand castles tomorrow...


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good Friends

Oh, I almost forgot...

Some friends came over last Sunday to have dinner with us. It was actually the same friend who I did some recording with (coming soon).
They surprised me with a birthday cake that was about 3 weeks early.
Anyway, it was really cool of them, and I had to get a photo of it before we dug into it.
Good friends are priceless...


Saturday, August 15, 2009


We arrived in Destin today at around 4:00. We love this place.

I can't believe I've been slacking so bad on my writing lately... not that it's very good writing or anything, I'm just supposed to be sticking to this thing for a year.
I'm going to do better. While I'm on vacation, I plan on catching up with it. I mean, it's something I want to do, so I'm just gonna. Also, we're going to have a lot of fun on this trip... regardless of the tropical storm that's on it's way here.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jam On It

Didn't write...

...because I was JAMMING all night!

A drummer friend came over and we recorded some tracks. I got video too, so I'm going to edit it and put it on YouTube in a few days. I forgot how much fun this was.


Thursday, August 6, 2009


...from the Houston Butterfly Museum.
Angel Butterfly


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I didn't write on this day either... what up, man?


Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Nope, didn't write on this day...


Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Good Day

Today after church, we spent time with our friends in The Woodlands. They have a couple of kids that are younger than Tristan, but he still has a pretty good time with them.
We had pork loin for lunch, jammed around a little on the bass and drums(he's a musician too), then we took the boys fishing.
All in all, a very good day.

I'm going to get a shower now. I smell like chicken livers.
Cya tomorrow.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Weekend

I had to spend a lot of time rehearsing today. Just a couple of new songs for church.
It was soooo nice to wake up a little late (10am), have a nice breakfast, and then an ENTIRE pot of coffee. Yes, I was BUZZING today. It made the rehearsal go down a lot easier.
Before rehearsal, Tristan and I watched Saving Private Ryan... well, I watched the first 30 minutes of it anyways, the battle scene. Tristan was a little shocked, and completely engulfed in it. We talked a little about the horror of war when it was over. He gets it, I think. When I went back to rehearsing, he broke out the Call Of Duty WWII game. I'm sure we'll be talking about it a lot in the coming days.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Bring It

Tonight, we are just hanging out and watching movies. This is a highly anticipated "do nothing" weekend.
We're all tired.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Doctor Visit

Again, thank you all for your kind words, thought, and prayers.

Lets say: It worked...

...because Tristan is ok!

So here's the deal before I explain the details. The doctor does NOT think that the lesions are malignant and does NOT think they need a biopsy or any kind of surgery at this time. He does think Tristan should be scanned again in 6-12 months, but only as a precaution. If they've gotten bigger, then we can think about a biopsy and go from there.

When we first got to the hospital, the doc asked Tristan lots of questions about how he felt, and if he ever had any trouble breathing. Then he asked about our family medical history, if Tristan has had any bad infections in the past.
Bottom line is he's a bit puzzled as to what the lesions are, BUT as a pediatric surgeon who has done many pulmonary surgeries, he does not think this is anything to worry about... 99% sure.
For that 1% remaining, he thinks we should get a second opinion by a pulmonologist(his word), but he really feels like it's nothing to worry about.

Needless to say, we were thrilled to hear this, especially after everything we had heard from the doctor's assistant:
"...multiple lesions, some can be removed through surgery, some are inoperable... biopsy... surgery before September."
THOSE phrases really freaked us out, and frankly, I think the doc was a little irritated at his assistant for doing that.
Also, I think she is an idiot.
She was basically reading from a computer generated diagnosis on the actual CT scan results.
I think that was a big no-no on her part.
A little pissed, yet ENORMOUSLY relieved is what we are right now.
I am incredibly thankful for my family with whom, I don't think I would want to live without...
...and you guys gotta know, I am extremely thankful for you too.
You can make a grown man cry.


Now, let's party.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good News

I just wanted to drop by quickly and say, Good news from the doc!
I'll be filling in the blanks tomorrow. Gotta run.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thank You (Blogger Peeps And KCL Peeps)

Guys… thank you so much for your care and concern. In some strange, internet community way it absolutely helps.

We have decided to wait until our designated appointment to see the doctor before we make a huge fuss. This is because I believe we are being seen just about as early as we can. This particular doctor comes highly recommended, and we like his manner. We want him.
When Amy had called their office back to schedule an appointment, the secretary told her it would be end of August.
Amy told her that she was obviously talking to the wrong person.
After a couple of transfers, she got back to the Doctor’s Assistant who set us up with that ‘first day back’ appointment. We don’t want to mess up that relationship… I guess.
At any rate, we’ll see where things go tomorrow at 1pm.

We’ve decided to only tell Tristan that we are being seen by the doctor to go over his scan results. He’s 12 years old, but believe me when I say, he is much MUCH better off not knowing right now… not when there is nothing that can be done about it. He will worry and fret himself to death, and it just won’t do any good at this point.
This whole situation hits Amy and I on and off at odd times, the worry I mean. It very well could be nothing, and that’s what we are hoping, but, unfortunately in this case, I was born with a pretty vivid imagination.
We try not to think about it… we even went ahead to a 20 year highschool reunion and enjoyed it, but mostly, we are focused on spending lots of quality time with him and moving forward.

There is a lot of anticipation (and anxiety) about tomorrow for that same reason, so we can learn what we need to, move forward, and fix it.
Our son is going to be ok.

Thanks again, everyone for your kind words and concern. When Amy and I read your comments, it moved us to tears.


Monday, July 27, 2009


I just got home from a really good workout. My brother-in-law is in town and we've really been working on "building". I'm definitely getting stronger, and can't wait to see how it's improved my swim/bike/distance run.

I think the supplements that I've been taking are helping a lot too, protein, complex carbs, and some other stuff that you take before a workout that just gives you a HUGE amount of energy. It also rushes a massive amount of blood to whatever muscle group you're working... or something like that. My BIL is really the one who uses most of this stuff, I'm just kind of along for the ride. It seems to work.
I also like getting these workouts in the evenings rather than the ungodly early morning hours that I do my distance workouts.

Eventually, I'm going to start back with those longer endurance workouts. One thing that I need to figure out is how to build my speed/endurance/conditioning without losing all of my muscle gain. I spoke with a trainer tonight, and I might do a few sessions with him with focus on finding a balance of performance/physique. I'm sure it's it can be done. He had a point though: Muscle isn't exactly "bouyant" and it's going to be a little harder keeping 15 lbs of extra muscle afloat on a long swim.
Ah, this is the burden I bear. haha


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Reunion Second Night

Saturday night's reunion dinner was "meh". The food that is, the company was great. I saw more friends from school that didn't make it to the Friday night bash. I was actually a little surprised at how few people were at the reunion. There were somewhere between 50 and 60 couples total. my graduating class was around 370 or so.
Oh well, maybe more will show up next time... but probably not.

Some cool things that DID come out of this reunion are the connections Amy and I made with people that are from Houston. One guy even lives in a neighborhood right across the street from me. He has lived there for the past 13 years!
Anyway, there is a group of us that want to have some get togethers at least before school starts back.
I'm really looking forward to it since we don't really have a lot of people that we hang out with. We're kinda lazy like that.

Another cool thing is that I'm seriously thinking about doing a race with a couple of old school friends. It's in Dallas and consists of a 10k run through a military style obstacle course... buried and covered in mud. I've never tried anything like that before, but you know me, I'm willing to try almost anything once.
Bring on the dirty.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Reunion First Night

We had a good time last night in spite of ourselves. It was so good to see old school friends again. I hadn't seen some of them in twenty years.
Last night was more of an informal, relaxed gathering. it was at some country club place. I haven't been out to a club of any kind in more that 3 years, but as soon as we got there(a little late) we were swarmed by people and cameras. haha it felt kind of like the paparazzi. The funny thing is, back in school, I wasn't all THAT popular or anything. I mean, I was sort of the funny guy/artist/nerd type I guess.
It's actually Facebook, that got me reacquainted with all the school folks over the last year in the ramp up to the reunion. I've "met" school chums online that I never hung out with at school, never even spoke more than a few words, so it was a little odd coming back and being treated like a long lost friend.
I gotta admit, I kinda liked it. Sure, the cheerleaders aren't as hot, but they were STILL cheerleaders right?
...Right? ha!
Twenty years of life will change a person.

Tonight will be the more formal gathering and dinner at a Hotel in Beaumont. I suppose there will be a lot more people there too since not everyone likes to parte'.
Should be lots o' fun.


Friday, July 24, 2009


We are leaving for the class reunion which begins tonight through the weekend.

More later.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Call From The Doctor

So here's the deal...

We got some very unexpected news from the doctor the other day concerning our son, Tristan.

A few weeks ago we had taken him to Texas Children's Hospital to have a CAT scan of his chest. The reason is, he has a condition know as "Pigeon Chest" where the sternum and ribs have some sort of calcium malformation, or something like that. It basically makes the middle of his chest poke out further than it should and can cause some difficulty breathing. It's not terribly common, but it is repairable with a surgical procedure done by a pediatric surgeon. It's mostly a "cosmetic" disorder.
At any rate, Tristan is embarrassed of it, and we wanted to see if we could have something done about it.

Well, Amy got a phone call from the doctor's assistant last Friday. She wanted to talk about the scan. Of course, she was glad to hear from her and asked if we would be able to get his chest taken care of.
The assistant seemed a little confused by this and said, "Has anyone called you yet?"
No, she was the first person we had spoken to since the scan.
"Oh" she say, "Umm, ok, well there seems to be a problem, are you sure no one has called you yet?"
"Ok, then I should tell you now."
"It appears that Tristan has several spots in his lungs... pulmonary lesions. There are quite a few, I count about 12. We need to get him seen by the doctor ASAP, however, the doctor is on vacation for two weeks out of country. Ok, I'm going to call the doctor now and let him know. He'll want to know this."

Needless to say this freaked Amy right out. So she shot off a few frantic questions like, what are pulmonary lesions? What does this mean? Will he need surgery? What does this mean? We want to be seen NOW!

Apparently, the lesions can be caused by a number of things, and until the doc actually sees the scans and does a biopsy, they won't know if they're malignant or not. She told us to call our pediatrician to get them up to speed on what was happening.
Amy did all that and then called back. The assistant looked at the scans again, and recounted. She said it looked like 5 definite lesions(I don't know why the number changed) in each of his lungs. She said some were operable, some were not... I don't know what THAT means either.
We're basically pulling our hair out at this point.
She said that she would have us seen as soon as the doctor gets back in country.

The day before yesterday, Amy called back and they have us scheduled for an appointment on the day the doc comes back to work, next Wednesday. I've taken the day off so I can be there for whatever news we get.

We're scared and we really don't know what to do at this point except wait.
We haven't told Tristan or anyone else for that matter... We don't know how...
Should we just let the doc tell him when we get there, or should I break the news to him on the way there? We DEFINITELY don't want to tell him now because all he will do is worry and fret. Nothing good can come of that right now.
It's gotta be our burden to bear until next week.

Pray for us.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Not Jealous

Amy is going to a Coldplay concert tonight with a friend.

I'm not jealous... nah... not at all.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Tonight Tristan, my brother-in-law, and I will be consumed in a protracted game of Starcraft... just like back in the day.

Tristan wants it, therefore, it will be so.

He has an important doctor's appointment next Wednesday.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh Yeah

11.2% Body fat.

Not braggin', just sayin'.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pump You Up!

Good workout today with the Brother In Law. I've been focusing on building muscle lately rather than heavy cardio.
I need Power and more muscle mass is where I'm going to get it.
We're going to pump ::clap:: you up!

I've got more work to do, but it's coming around.
Another three weeks and I'll be ready for a real endurance build up.

Good stuff.
Sleep well.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Slick For The Reunion

last night and today, Amy and I went shopping for some outfits.
My 20 year class reunion is coming up in a week and we want to be looking sharp.

Mission accomplished.

She got a very sexy little black dress from The White House Black Market, I got a sleek black suit from Dillards. I've got a cool black shirt to go with it, but it looks like I'm going to go back for the right tie.
I want us to be trendy, but not overstated. What I don't want is business conservative, navy suit, blue shirt, red power tie.
No thanks.

Anyway, I can't believe that I've been out of school for 20 years. I truly am getting old now. I don't FEEL old, but I AM old...er.
It's going to be a blast hooking up with everyone from high school. I've been reconnecting with a lot of them through FaceBook.

Good times. Can't wait.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Bad News

Not a good day today. We got some pretty awful news that sort of rocked our little world.
I don't feel like talking about it right now. Maybe I'll catch up this weekend.


Thursday, July 16, 2009


I cannot think of ANYTHING to write tonight so I'm just going to say
Good Night.
I'm going to write in the morning for sure.
For sure.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Harry Potter And The Half Ton Fat Dude Sitting Next To Me

Went and saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince tonight.
I tell ya... I am sick to death of this place. This town. This ghetto town.
It was a pretty good movie I guess... I dunno because I kept getting distracted by the 300lb LOUD guy sitting right next to me... almost on top of me in fact, scratching his balls every chance he got, making "HUH" sounds and grunt sounds when something remotely interesting would happen. And the breathing... that heavy, labored, fat breathing the entire time.
And it was so friggin' HOT in that place. It was a packed theater and all, but man, it was stifling. Amy walked out to go to the restroom. When she came back she whispered "It STINKS in here! It smells like pickles!"

When we finally left the theater later, she told me about the guys standing outside the women's restroom, eyeballing the women as they passed by... with that creepy "I dare you to look at me funny." kind of malice in their eyes.
I swear North Houston is turning into a huge ghetto.

I'm going to start carrying a handgun in the car, and I think I may get Amy one too.
We gotta get out of here!!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gearing Up

Man, that bike ride kicked my butt last night. I hadn't ridden since the CB&I Triathlon so I was rusty.
We did almost 20 miles with pull intervals. I definitely need to kick it into high gear if I'm going to ready for a Ironman in November. Jury is still on that one. I may do an Olympic distance in September to wrap up the year.
I said I would I do four races this year and it looks as though I may be keeping my word.


Monday, July 13, 2009


Going on a bike ride tonight with a friend. Should be cool. Tristan is spending a few days at his grandmother's... well, actually they are all going to Dallas for a few days to hang at Six Flags.



Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Is UP??

I dunno WHAT is wrong with me, but I have GOT to stop neglecting my (non)writing. I've been missing a lot of days the past fcew weeks.

p.s. We attempted to watch "Bruno" last night, but walked out and got a refund.
Pure filth. I mean, We GOT that he was gay, but he reeeeaally ruubs your face in it. Too much. Made me sick. I hope it flops.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

UFC 100!!

UFC 100 tonight!!

That's the 100th Ultimate Fighting Championship for the lay person.
We're going to have some friends and family over to watch it on Pay Per View tonight. I've never ordered a UFC at home before. I've always just gotten the DVD after the fact.
It's going to be a good one.

What are you doing tonight?


Friday, July 10, 2009

Working The Weekend

Looks like I'm going to be working tomorrow.
I volunteered, actually, but I didn't think they would call me in. I'm a little torn because I don't WANT to work, but I do want to make a little money for the next trip coming up in August. Wow... It seems like I'm always going on vacation.
That's not a bad thing.

If Amy gets her job this week, like we're hoping, that may change.

We shall see.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Coming Down

This is Lamarr and I coming down from the peak. It started snowing about this time which was just incredibly strange it being July and all...
Gotta love Colorado!


Final Ascent

I think this was the final ascent. Fun!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009



I am currently posting entries from the backpacking trip. In keeping the dates as accurate as possible, Blogger seems to be inserting the entries into their proper sequence, so just scroll down to read them.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Alive And Well

I have been terribly remiss in writing since I've been back from the trip.

Obviously, I'm alive and well.

I'm going to start transcribing my written journal entries today. I've also got tons of pics to show, over 1,400!

What a great trip. Just wow.

Stay tuned!


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Marmot Food

Marmot. This one wanted something to eat and he wasn't taking "No" for an answer.
He pushed one of us off the mountain just to prove he wasn't kidding.
We gave him a Snickers bad...


Saturday, July 4, 2009

4-Wheeler Mechanic On The Fourth

After I got home yesterday, Amy and I packed up and headed to her parent's in Madisonville for the fourth.

No fireworks because of the dry spell we've been having, but we still had a nice time. I got Tristan's 4-wheeler running and we rode that around until we hit some sort of metal spike thing. We wer about 5 miles from home.
I was kind of clever here: The spike was about 9 inches long and protruding from the center of the rear tire. Thinking fast, I carved a stick that was slightly larger in diameter than the spike and was maybe 3 inches long. I pulled the spike, then immediately jammed the stick bout halfway into the tire before the air had time to leak out. We were able to drive it all the way home without loosing all the air and ruining the tire. Sweet.
Later, the muffler fell off.
I fixed that by taking the manifold/muffler screws out of his little dirt-bike and used them on the 4-wheeler.
I was a regular mechanic that day. I think I'm also Tristan's hero which is a pretty cool way to be on the Fourth of July.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Long's Peak Expedition 2009 Day 6

Today, we fly out. What a great trip!!
I'll be glad to get back home though. We have some cool plans for the Fourth.
See you on the flip side!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Long's Peak Expedition 2009 Day 5


Today, we hiked out of the Boulder Field and headed to the trailhead.

One of the other guys headed down earlier. Seems he has cracked a tooth or somesuch and is going to see if he can get a cell signal a few miles from here. For some reason, there IS cell service down there. He's going to schedule an emergency dental appointment to get a root canal or something.
It always seems like SOMETHING with that guy.

Anyways, we told him to take off and we would catch up later. We're taking our time packing up.

He's also the same guy that flipped out on us when we got down from the peak. You see, he panics at the notion of danger. I revel in it. He managed to get another guy panicked too and they almost left us on the peak to go down and find a Ranger... 7 miles away!
Sure, we didn't TALK about a time that they could expect us to be down (it took 3 hours), but common sense should have taken over at that point and they should have waited before getting so freaked out. As it was, these two guys were pretty upset when we finally made it down.
We more or less told them to get over it. This was one of the guys FIRST backpacking trip and he needed to understand that we knew what we were doing. The instigator of the panic attack may not be coming back.

Other than that little incident, the trip was a HUGE success. A great time was had by all, and now we're talking about doing another trip for next year.
Maybe a canoe trip that crosses state lines up north, Maine and New York. Who knows, but it'll be good.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Long's Peak Expedition 2009 Day 4


It is dark, raining, thundering, and lightening, but NOTHING can dampen, or take away from the fact that we made the summit of Long’s Peak this afternoon!

It was no easy task, I assure you. In fact, not all of us made it, only 3 of the 6 did. That would be Jonathan, Lamarr, and I.
I feel kind of bad for the other guys. One of them just had a “bad feeling” about the whole thing, another realized that he was afraid of heights when we got to the “narrows”, and the other guy was nervous about the weather, which was looking pretty bad and can turn very nasty, very fast. Those three DID make it up to 14,000’, which is still no small accomplishment.
These three had decided to leave while I was waiting under a large boulder/cave for the weather to clear. The other two guys came up to where I was and we waited… I told them that I was “…prepared to wait in this cave for the rest of the day if I have to, but I am GOING TO MAKE THE SUMMIT!” haha
Turned out, the weather cleared up in about twenty minutes. We strapped on our gear and climbed up a very steep 200’ snow/ice bank to the summit.
The view was AMAZING!
We found a capsule up there with a parchment inside with the scribbled names of those who had made it. Totally cool. We signed our names and the date there.

The hike up was grueling, maybe even harder that running in that 70.3 Ironman last year, but the hike back down was even worse because I started snowing pretty hard. That turned into sleet and freezing rain the further down the mountain we got. The granite boulders were really slick with the water. Not cool.

Anyway, by the time we got down, I was absolutely exhausted, just drained.
After some Excedrin migraine and a little food, I started feeling better.

The guys who had gone down before us, were flipping out a little, and really just over reacting because they had been worried about us. Apparently, we had taken too long to get down and there had been a really bad storm on their side of the mountain. I guess we should have given some sort of time frame on when we would be down. Oh well. Live and learn.
This was the best trip ever!

This was the last entry in my written journal. I'll be posting a bunch of photos and explanations from here on ou. Get ready. haha.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Long's Peak Expedition 2009 Day 3


I didn’t sleep so well last night, but that’s to be expected. I never sleep well on the first night out.
Tonight I will look for a site that’s not as hard, maybe on a bed of pine needles.
Rick was the first one up this morning, followed by Jonathan and Chris.
Lamarr, Blake, and I woke up about an hour later, which would be around 8am.
After a breakfast of oatmeal, granola bars and coffee, we decided to do a day hike up to Mill Moraine Pass and then go down to Chasm Lake. However, once we got up to the pass, we decided to head back to camp for lunch and then hike back up with our packs since it was also the route to the Boulder Field.
It was tough enough with just the weight of a camera. Climbing it again with a 45lb backpack will be brutal. Once we get to the pass, we’ll leave our packs there and head down to the lake, then back up to the pass, grab the packs again and make our way up to the Boulder Field.
There are tons of mosquitoes here, but they are mostly leaving me alone.
On our way up to the Boulder Field.

I am in my tent now, about to go to sleep. I wanted to write one more time about the day.

We made it to the Boulder Field which was about 3.5-4 miles from the previous camp site. It is definitely colder here, probably high 30s right now, and we expect below freezing temps by morning. The elevation is 12,700’, I think.
Long’s Peak looms over us.
The snow covered peak is beautiful and majestic and even a little forbidding…

After we had set up camp, we saw a group of guys coming down from the “Keyhole” pass. After a while, I walked over to their camp and asked if they were able to make the summit. They had indeed made it, but said it was treacherous and difficult..
One of the younger ones is from Houston. They looked pretty tired.
Actually, I was a little surprised that they had made it. Out of a dozen people we passed on the way up, only two had summited and they looked like serious mountain climbers.

These guys I’m with are crazy. I’m having SUCH a great time!
Hopefully, there will be many more trips in the days to come.

We saw a herd of elk today and I got a few nice shots. I’m going nuts with my camera, tons of photos coming.

Tomorrow, we summit Long’s Peak
Good Night


Monday, June 29, 2009

Long's Peak Expedition Day 2


This morning, we had a great complimentary buffet breakfast. After we got our gear situated and repacked, we made a few customary and essential stops at the local outfitters. I love those places, lots of big boys toys. We rented our cramp-ons (metal spikes that strap to the bottom of your boots, and are for walking on snow and ice), and ice axes for the climb that will definitely be done in the snow and ice.
After all the shopping and outfitting, we drove the 30 miles or so up to the Long’s Peak trailhead.
There was a Ranger’s Station there, and one of the Rangers told us that we MUST have “bear canisters”, no hanging food bags in the trees. SO, we piled back into the SUV and drove into Estes Park and rented bear canisters and Scot’s Sports.
When we finally hit the trail, it was 3:00pm, a little later than we had planned on, but we only had a 4 mile hike in front of us so no big deal.
Right now, we are at our camp site about to turn in for the night.
Tomorrow should be about the same distance to the Boulder Field where we we will be staying for the next two days.
Good Night.
I took this on the way up that day.
Waterfall trick.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Long's Peak Expedition 2009 Day 1


Long’s Peak, Co Expedition 2009 "Guy's Trip"

It’s Sunday and we are in Colorado again.
This time it’s me, Chris S., Jonathan P., Rick F., Lamarr E, and Blake H.
Great group of guys!
We’re already having so much fun and hardly ever stop laughing. Everyone seems to be a comedian.

After the flight into Denver, we all met up and headed to the car rental area. They tried to put us in two Ford Cobalts. Yikes. That would have been a tight fit. We told them we weren’t happy with that, so they hooked us up with a Ford Excursion which was much better. All the gear fits and it is much more comfortable.

After that, we went on a search for food and ended up eating at BJ’s in the plaza. Very good food. We talked about our plans, and determined a route up to the peak. When we had eaten and laughed enough, we went to the Inn where we had reservations… THOUGHT we had reservations. Turns out, they reserved Jonathan a room back in April when he had first called them. So we drove up the road a bit and finally got into a Residence Inn suite (Marriot).
Very nice.
Here's the group beneath the peak.


Saturday, June 27, 2009


Welp, tomorrow is the big day.
I'll be playing at church until about 1pm, then it's off to Bush Intercontinental Airport.
I'm all packed up, finally, and ready to go. The rest of the guys are excited too. They've been chattering on Facebook... don't laugh, we use Facebook to coordinate our trip... of course we also waste vast amounts of time playing and doing other things on there, but I'm not here to talk about my addictions.

We're going to COLORADO!!!


As usual, I'll be keeping a hand written journal on the trail. When I get back I'll have tons of stories to tell you about our grand adventure in the Summer snow.

(I didn't take this, but WOW.)



Friday, June 26, 2009

Blow Out...

Wow, what a hectic day.

Amy was driving my Jeep today and had a blowout on the Interstate.
She was pretty shook up when she called me so I left work to rescue her.

She was really scared from the blowout and near crash trying to maneuver to the shoulder, but was terrified of the crazed, oncoming cars.
I got there about thirty minutes later, and wow, it was really freaky. She had pulled just in front of an on ramp, and people were speeding so fast up that thing. The merging lane was so short, and I45 was so busy that the on-ramp traffic couldn't merge, so they were coming into the shoulder where we were. Many near-wrecks happened in the 20 minutes I spent changing the tire. There was a cop there, but he wouldn't even get out of his car... well, he did for a sec to yell over the noise, "She's going to owe you big time for this, buddy".
Thanks... for nothing.

Anyway, I finally got the tire changed and we got off the death trap.
That's when I finally saw the damage that the blown out tire had done to the side of the Jeep.
The passenger side rear bumper is bent up, the door step is bent down, there's a pretty nice sized dent in the door, and an assortment of dings and scratches on the fender.
I can get most of it fixed pretty easily. That's the great things about Jeeps, the parts come off pretty easily and can be replaced.

I'm just glad Amy and the dogs are ok.
We all lived.
Although, while I was changing that tire with the traffic speeding by, I realized, if I get hit by a car now, I won't even know it. I will be here one second turning on this jack crank, and the next I will wake out of a three year coma... or I'll be dead. At any rate, I probably won't be aware of what happens in between. It will just be like a big blank... that thought kind of freaked me out.
I turned the crank faster.


Thursday, June 25, 2009


Today was



It got up to 102˚... at least. The humidity was 71% which just made it feel like 110˚ or so. We broke records, and it isn't even Summer yet.

We are in the dog days of Spring...


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Jam Session

I'm going over to a fellow bass player's house tonight to have a much needed jam session.
This guy is a MONSTER. He wants to learn a thing or two from me, but I promise, most of the learning will be on this side of the table.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wolves In Wolves Clothing

This moose was pregnant when she was attacked by a pack of wolves two nights before she gave birth. She was torn up pretty bad and stayed in the same place for at least three days. The photographers and onlookers inadvertently kept the wolves away and the Rangers were pretty sure they would both survive. Cool stuff there.

This was a very long shot for my lens, about a 1/4 mile, but I managed to get this wolf stalking buffalo on the plains. I think there are only about 154 wolves in all of Yellowstone. Ultimately, they are not expected to survive because all of the pups keep dying from disease. In a way it makes me not so sad for the moose and buffalo that the wolves take down.
Life in Yellowstone is hard.


Monday, June 22, 2009

More Buffalo

Why did the buffalo cross the road?

I still don't know...

What does a herd of 2000lb buffalo do during the day?

Whatever they want to do... everyone else can wait.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy father's Day Bear

Amy shot me shooting a bear.

Shooting the bear.

A little closer...

These were taken right off the side of the road in Yellowstone.
There were a couple of Rangers out there making sure the flock of people didn't try and get too close. It's kinda funny because that is exactly what happens. People will just hide behind there camera lenses and inch closer and closer... until finally they're right on top of the bear or buffalo. Or, another "friendly" buffalo will walk up on your blind side while you're paying attention to the one in front of you.

Fun fun stuff there.

Oh, Happy Father's Day!


Saturday, June 20, 2009


Work was a blast. I almost managed an "on-time" post, but it's hard to edit photos in the glaring sunlight.

...also, I'm apparently pretty lazy.


Friday, June 19, 2009


"Lumburg is going to have me come in on Saturday."
I like that line... and not just because it's true.

I'll be workig tomorrow. Sweet!



Thursday, June 18, 2009

No Complaining

I forgot to write.

I'm trying to get an old laptop working again so I can take IT to work(in harms way) rather than my Mac.

Always fun working with ancient technology, but I shouldn't complain... just because I shouldn't.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Amy and I just watched Taken.

Overall it was pretty good if not predictable and a little unrealistic... of course.

Sobering issue there, having your child kidnapped. Yikes!

Man, I need to get to the gym...


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Old Friend

I got to hang out with an old friend tonight. We sort of hammered out some rough spots, misunderstandings... Maybe there's hope yet.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Movie Night Alone

Chillin' at home all alone.

Amy, Tristan, and the rest of the fa are still in Galveston. I had to come home early to play at the Saturday night church service. Ugh.
Yeah, it pays, but it's not paying enough for this. I wish they would work out a new schedule...

Looks like it's going to be a movie night:

The Mist, Valkyrie, and SNL if I can hold out.


Friday, June 12, 2009


Right now, I'm lying on the bed, at the Hiton, in Galveston, Texas, United States of America, North American Continent, Earth, Milky Way... in case you were wondering. We're staying the night here because we're going to the Schlitterbaun waterpark in the morning.
It's going to be a good day.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wide Open Places

Near The Devil's Gate, Wyoming.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Amy And The Horse

We found friends all over the place in Colorado.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Those Crazy Deer

They were helping each other over the fence.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Good Times At Memorial Park

So yesterday, after all the church services and whatnot, we went to eat at Outback.

We usually go out to eat after church on Sundays, and we've developed a system where each week, someone different gets to pick where we eat. This week was Tristan's turn and we all knew where he would want to go because it never changes: Outback.
He really likes the cheese fries there and he's also a carnivorous, enthusiastic steak eater. We spoiled him on fillet mignon earlier in his childhood, so he's a bit of a steak snob now. If the steak has a hint of fat or gristle, he won't eat it.
Like father like son...
Anyway, I used to think Outback was ok, but some time back, they obviously changed their meat suppliers, because their steaks have tasted like CRAP ever since.
Tristan FINALLY realized this, and says he doesn't want to eat there anymore.
And all the family rejoiced!

After a quick lunch, we got home, took the top off the Jeep, loaded up the mountain bikes, and headed out to Memorial Park for some trail riding with friends.

We haven't done that in SO long, like 9 years! The last time we were on these trails, we had just gotten our bikes. Tristan was 3 years old so he rode on the back of my bike in a baby seat. haha! WOW, I didn't even wear a helmet back then, and everyone we came across on the trails were criticizing me for having a baby out there.
But I didn't listen.
He was having a good time zipping up and down the hills, and I managed to keep my head attatched. I wasn't going to do anything even remotely crazy with him on board.

Anyway, yesterday, he had his own bike and was absolutely LOVING the trails. We were both filthy, drenched in sweat, and exhausted after a few hours out there. It made me feel really good because FINALLY there is something that I think we both love and can share together.
Don't get me wrong though, we definitely have things in common, and we have a great relationship, but lately I feel like we are growing apart.
There was a time when I thought he would be a star drummer. He was doing relatively good with it, but for some reason, and it's probably my not being there, he lost interest.
Maybe it's just a "kid" thing. I'm sure he'll get back into it when the mood strikes. I guess my fear is, and it's probably a bit unsubstantiated, maybe I drive him away from things... like maybe I'm a little too much of a "teacher" when we do things together. I dunno...
More realistically, it's probably just his interest flowing in a different direction.

The thing is, he loves his video games with an addicts zeal, and has mostly shunned any sort of outdoor activities for the last year or so. He isn't ACTUALLY addicted, but he doesn't want to do anything else but talk about them, or play them, or go to the store and buy the latest greatest.

I'm hoping this new activity, at least new for him, will lead to other areas where we can relate. I KNOW it will if I don't suffocate the fire and just let it catch and burn on it's own.
I'll just supply the firewood.
For now, we'll just have fun getting out to the trails as much as possible.
Then eventually he can become a swimmer, a musician, an artist, a runner, a cyclist, a photographer, a... haha.



Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Photo

Just a photo because I'm really tired. I'll write about why I'm tired, tomorrow.
Good stuff.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Missed It And New Tech Stuff

I was too tired to write last night.

I worked yesterday, which was no surprise, since I had an off day on Tuesday. I like that option because I can almost always extend a vacation by one day that way.

I have so many more photos to work with. I don't have my laptop right now, so it's text only for this entry.

I DID find a new mobile browser though. It's called Skyfire, and it allows you to see a webpage as if you were on a computer. It even loads flash content which is pretty cool. I actually may be able to load photos and stuff from host sites. I'll check it later.
Have a great weekend, all.


Friday, June 5, 2009


A lone buffalo at Yellowstone.
I caught a shot of this guy just before he crossed over the ridge.
Buffalon On The Horizon


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Old Faithful

And, of course, we had to see the one and only Old Faithful.

It was still pretty impressive.

Some of the pools, hot springs, and geysers all around it were equally impressive.

Heart Spring

Eventually, I'll post more of the others.

This is the Old Faithful Inn. It was built in 1903 and had some amazing architecture, especially inside.


We didn't stay the night there, but we did get a nice hot bath at the end of our stay in Yellowstone. Niiiice...