Friday, August 31, 2012

8-31-12 Blue Moon

last night's preview

and tonight's rising

Sunday, August 26, 2012

8-26-12 Girls Night: Bonnie Raitt at Red Rocks

I think I've blogged before about Steph and Deana, but since this is my page and I can't remember, I might as well play the senile card and tell the story again.

Stephanie and I have known each other since the first grade, when we shared the beloved Mrs. Tulloch as our teacher. That's me in the front row center, blue jumper, and Stephanie, front row, further to the right.

And for the rest of our classes at Easthaven through 6th grade, there we are, both on the front row, in every class picture. Then I moved to Thompson, she went to Broadway, and we both ended up at Dobie, in very different crowds. We never had classes together. The most I saw of her was when she was working at Luby's and I was eating there all the time.

It wasn't until myspace came along that we reconnected, and then migrated over to Facebook. There were plans to see one another at the 20th reunion, but Steph didn't end up going. Finally, in 2010, we got together over the September 11 weekend, the day after I'd done my first Red Rocks 9/11 memorial stair climb, to hike the Chicago Lakes trail near Mt. Evans. She brought along Deana, who had also gone to Easthaven, but only in the summers, when I didn't attend. Deana was also at Dobie, but we only vaguely knew of each other's existence. Since Steph was only in Colorado for a short visit that time, she combined both of us into a visit. I'm so very thankful she did. 

This was the infamous hike all day in which, combined with the strain of the stair climb the day before, finally blew my knee out. Deana and Steph carried all my pack while I Franken-hiked back the whole way. But then there was pie. And much rejoicing. And a lovely friendship blossomed between the three of us.

Which brings us, finally, to the subject of this blog, which was Sunday night's concert at Red Rocks to see Bonnie Raitt.We hit old town Morrison along with a bunch of other concert goers to eat at Morrison Inn (mexican food, of course) and took our time visiting before getting to the concert. 

This was a change of pace for me, since I am usually going in as soon as the gates open, and typically have a reserved seat. We'd gotten general admission (aka, nosebleed) this time, so whatever space was open was where we were sitting in the very top rows. 

But honestly, who cared where we sat? This is the view from the nosebleed section:

And this is the sound (and some more of the view. Don't miss the moon.)

That voice.

The whole amphitheater is naturally formed and believed to have once been home to sacred rituals of the Ute tribe. The first concert was played here in 1906. Red Rocks was once called the Garden of Angels. And this is simply a magical place. When Bonnie sang "Angel from Montgomery? there was not a sound, other than that amazing voice carrying us all out over the top of the city.

Friday, August 24, 2012

8-24-12 the 21st

Since the computer tanked on me the day before the anniversary... all that's around from the 21st anniversary are a couple of grainy cell photos.

One from Outback, with the Captain's Mai Tai

and then Saturday night Mom, Dad, Sam, and I enjoyed Maggiano's

This cake was enormous. (And really good with coffee.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

8-23-12 Gah!

My possessions are causing me suspicion but there's no proof...

Actually, yes, there is. Yesterday my printer began displaying the message "Error: unplug printer and call service center." And when you google that fault, do you know what information you can find? That's right. Canon has very helpfully listed this error on the interwebs with the explanation: "This means unplug the computer and call the service center." Like I have time to find a printer service center and drive the dang thing to them for them to say, "Yup, it's broke." when I basically work 12 hour days just to keep up. No one else in the world appears to have encountered this error that I can find. Google has failed me.

Last night, for the upteenth time, I was kicked off the internet and no amount of restarting the router or the Qwest  box did anything. Restarting the computer took more than an hour and it still didn't reconnect to the net. Remember that "hard drive failure imminent" thing from a few weeks back?


This morning, no internet. No go on the resetting the router. And, after another hour-long restart, no computer. It loaded the desktop and then just sat there, mocking me. It even gave me an error when I tried to open the task manager.

Have I backed up everything from the past two weeks when I've been flying to Michigan and driving to Texas? Of course not.

So off the office I went, which took half the day, so I'll be working until midnight to catch back up. I am now the unwilling owner of a new Seagate 1TB 2.5 5400RPM SATA that is being surgically implanted into my baby. I had to go home with a temp computer and it's like driving a vintage stick shift pickup truck with no shocks or radio or seats for that matter, after I've been spoiled tooling around in a a luxury sedan for years. Even the space bar sticks.

I also have none of my files, so I am working entirely from memory and I never fully appreciated how many times I need to open various documents until I didn't have them.

Oh, and since my dealers' operating systems require me to use Windows Professional and they can't locate the ID key, it's going to take even longer to finish the install.

And, it appears, the wireless issue is traced to the router, which is also going south and needs to be replaced.

I'm pretty much ready for this week to be over and done with.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

8-22-12 The Glass

I had mentioned being on the team that won the prize at Audi training, which turned out to be a heavy metal cylinder housed drinking glass with a laser etched A8. I've been using this thing since I got home, and I have to say, it's pretty nifty. 

It's a nice, heavy weight and the glass is well-designed with a slightly smaller mouth so you don't drench yourself tipping it back. Since I primarily use it to drink ice water all day and then a diet coke in the evening, the metal band around the glass stays frigidly cold, so I'm assuming it's keeping the ice from melting on the inside as well. The top probably functions the same way, although I'm not a huge fan of the screw-top.  They bevelled this thing so deeply that you have to spend way too long getting it the top removed. But since I'm not toting it around in my A8, I supposed it doesn't matter.

So yesterday my curiosity got the better of me, and I went into the Audi catalog to find out how they described it. First off, $40 for a drinking glass?!? Right, right... A8.

The marketing copy says, "This distinctive water bottle reflects the elegance of the A8 itself. Designed with maximum durability and an airtight seal, this wide-mouth 16.9-oz. glass has a protective stainless steel cover. A smart, eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottles, as it is reusable, recyclable, dishwasher-safe, and 100% plastic-free. A built-in tea hook makes it easy to hold tea bags. Laser engraved A8 logo. ... $39.00"
Now I have looked all over this thing for a built-in tea hook and I must be a barbarian because I am not spotting it. And I'm not sure why you would have a built-in tea hook for a glass that is only intended for cold beverages?

The maker is Tkaro, who boasts a 1% donation of its profits to Charity Water and who mentions that this glass bottle has won the Red Dot award for design. They also are not exclusive to Audi but offer private branding of your choice, if, you know, you find that you need a $40 drinking glass at some point. (And just watch how long it takes them to get the top off!)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

8-21-12 Sunset

Splendor of the ended day floating and filling me,
Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past,
Inflating my throat, you divine average,
You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.

Open mouth of my soul uttering gladness,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection.
Natural life of me faithfully praising things
Corroborating forever the triumph of things. . . .

Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of death. . . .

Wherever I have been I have charged myself with contentment and triumph.
I sing to the last the equalities modern or old,
I sing the endless finales of things
I say Nature continues, glory continues,
I praise with electric voice,
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe. . .

O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated adoration.

~Walt Whitman

Monday, August 20, 2012

8-18-19-12 the rest of the trip

Saturday morning I was on my own while the Maddoxes had other commitments and Hershey and I watched the sky turn from a pale gray to very dark. I sipped coffee, spoiled Hershey, and edited Nick's paper that was going to be due on Monday. By the time I was through I realized I was sitting in almost complete dark except for the glow of my laptop. And then the skies opened in sheets of rain, thunder, and lightening. I was delighted.

We made our way in the deluge over to Salt Lick Barbeque for lunch and I discovered they had actual beef ribs on the menu. Dad and I would spend a Saturday lunch at Brown Sugars when it was behind Wolf nursery across from Almeda Mall splitting an order of 6 beef ribs and 5 million napkins. It had been a long time. And they were really good. 

There was pie, albeit pecan. Marci chose the cobbler. 

After lunch I took their truck back over to Georgetown for the football meeting. This is no small truck. I get behind the wheel of this thing and have an overwhelming desire to start running over things. 

Nick met me with his new student ID and we walked across campus. It is a beautiful place.

Later that night Marci and I headed downtown for dinner at the Moonshine Grill which was just down the street, about four blocks, from Bull McCabe's Irish Pub where we were planning on catching our former Dobie classmate's band play. As we were heading out, Ren suggest we pack along the umbrellas. It had tapered off and the skies were back to their pale gray, but he'd checked the forecast and said it would probably be best if we took them with us. 

We got to Moonshine at 7:30 and didn't get a table until after 9:00. This seemed to be the theme of the weekend: choose a wildly popular local place and manage to show up at exactly peak times. It didn't matter. Marci and I found a corner to stow the umbrellas and relax on the couch to talk. Dinner was definitely worth the wait. We split a jalapeno hanger steak that was just bathed in butter and beyond tender. 

So it was getting to be 10:00 and we decided we'd better start hoofing it to Bull's. I'm assuming the name comes from the title character in the play and later the film (portrayed by Richard Harris) The Field. We'd noticed the rain beginning to fall from our table on the covered patio. But it wasn't until we stepped out onto the street that we realized what a walk we were in for. The streets were flowing like rivers as we crossed each block. The bubble umbrellas protected only from the shoulders up, so everything from the waist down was soaked within a block. We were both in flip flops. It was a wild, adventurous walk that resulted in my uncontrollable giggling with each squishy step. I'm sure everyone on Red River thought we'd been hitting the sauce already. But we made it, drenched to the bone, and found a corner table just a minute before Ralph found us. We visited for a few minutes before he had to go on. The reviews about the pub were right. This is the place for a perfectly poured Guinness. Johnny and Gerry were both behind the bar that night. 

I'd read Johnny makes a mean shot, quite Irishly named "Sex with a Dublin Man" that I was thinking I'd have to order before we left. When Ralph's set was over he joined us and, having drained the pint, asked if I wanted anything. So Ralph got the honor as asking Johnny for Sex with  Dublin Man instead of me. After the second band started up and we had to scream to barely understand one another, we walked outside so I could ask Ralph the all important question: where can we get good pie at this time of night? 

It was finally settled that we'd meet up at the 24 hour diner not far away. And at exactly that moment, it started pouring again. POURING. Right as we were setting off to walk four blocks back to the car. With winds picking you up off your feet, had we not had the bubble umbrellas, they'd have been turned inside out and we'd have been soaked from head to toe. Once we made it back to the parking garage we got through the insanity that is 6th street, down Congress, and over to the diner.

Ralph actually loaded up his entire kit and beat us there, which tells you how fun it was to traverse ankle deep water in flip flops across slippery pavement stones.

We had a great time catching up. Ralph is exceptionally easy to talk to. Coffee and pie at 1:00 in the morning makes it that much better, although my maniacal face here looks like I probably should have skipped the 5th refill. Finally fell asleep a little before 4:00 a.m.

The next late morning we woke up to find Ren had made a donut run for us. 

These babies are this yellowish orange color, hand-rolled yeast, and very tasty. 

I have been informed that I missed out on the Texas-sized version. Maybe next time. 

One last cuddle with Hershey

And one last picture with my boy until Thanksgiving. Sigh. 

I will miss my big goof of a son, even though he insists on singing falsetto songs I can't stand. At the start of the trip, we were golden. I was driving a route I knew, my ipod was on the stereo, and Nick had his beats to drown out my stuff and listen to his. But on the second, longer day, we were in trouble. When Nick drove, his ipod was on the car stereo, so I had to use the beats, which do a great job of cancelling out all noise, but also manage to get stuck IN my ear (the headphones come out, but the little rubber noise cancelling piece gets stuck in my oddly shaped ear canal. It was a little too freaky for me.) And listening to his music makes me want to punch someone in the face. But, after lunch, with my phone already losing most of its battery life, we had to plug in the Garmin, so we found ourselves scanning the radio channels across Texas and playing the "name that tune" game, either band or song title. I think I should get 5 bonus points for Nick's calling out "The Police" on BOC's "Burning for You." 

And I should get a million for these:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

8-17-12 Ruter Dormitory: Move in Day

Nick's dorm. 
In a lovely alignment of the stars, it turns out Martin Ruter, a prominent Methodist missionary to the Republic of Texas, was finally interred with a granite monument to him in . . . wait for it . . .  Navasota.

Nick's view, with the chapel tower far center.

Coach Austin (and Eboh in the background) stopped by to check on Nick and give him the names of the other 10 or so players currently on the roster that are in Ruter. 

Nick's space

You could fit the bed IN the closet. This one private room is bigger than the room he shared with Clay at Blinn. By the way, that dorm at Blinn was condemned and demolished after the spring semester. Nick has the distinction of being the very last person to sleep a night in it. 

Every student was a different Pokemon. The little 6 year old kids who obsessively collected all 151 original ones are in college now. (And there's something like 600 these days.) The fact that Nick could still tell me all the names was a little scary.

The common room not yet set up, with Jackon's door to the right.
This is what all the other rooms in the dorm look like: single room, bunked beds. I'm not sure how Nick scored the end of the hall three-roomed spot, but he was very appreciative of the space and privacy.

On the way back to Marci's, he drove me by the stadium where he will play his first game on 9/7/13:

Go Pirates!
Friday, August 17, 2012

8-17-12 Road Trip photos, part 1

Fisher helps pack up Nick

...a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge . . .
an area which we call the Texas Zone.

Nick and proud grandparents

The next morning, one of only two fill-ups needed to get there.

Albert's Diner before we hit the road.

The Road.
The neverending road.

Guess what's for dinner...

Hershey, who was just a puppy when I was last here four years ago.

Lunch at Hopdoddy

Next up: the move