Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Where did the Summer go?

My kids go back to school on Wednesday and this blog is crying for attention.

What exactly does that sound like?

Yesterday, we were in a weed pulling frenzy next to the privacy fence. The neglected Golden Retriever next door gave up barking after I tossed a couple of sticks over for it to fetch. Then - here comes the pathetic part - it sidled up to the fence and looked through a crack with one sad eye and whimpered piteously while wagging its tail. The poor thing was just happy to get any attention at all. And we are not dog people.

The blog sounds exactly like that.

On the bright side, Google has still been getting my love with posts to G+ photo communities. It's fun, but I miss the long form and the Typosphere. You know - the long form I have not had time for because I have been on G+... and Twitter... and LEEDUser... and that pesky thing called work.

In the spirit of keeping this poor blog alive and breathing, I'm sharing a few snapshots from our July and August thus far. We traveled. I kept a daily journal on a fabulous Olivetti Lettera 22. I took a ton of photos from Fourth of July in Colorado to a County Fair in Kansas. We watched a ton of the reborn Doctor Who as we started to catch up with our daughter's awesomely geeky friends.

So, here we go with a whirlwind photo tour of the last six weeks, give or take. It's like an old-timie projector slide show, but not nearly as cool and analog.

So there you have it. We spent over a week in south central Colorado in the town of Crestone. We ate amazing food and got to visit the farm where it was grown while seeing their Yak herd. We hiked, and soaked in hot springs and miraculously bickered minimally considering we were living together constantly for over ten days. We saw amazing art at First Fridays and at the Nelson-Atkins galleries with a bonus appearance by a Devo cover band. I got to see a demolition derby and spend time street shooting on the carnival midway.

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty great six weeks!  As always, thanks for looking!

P.S. I have started a hashtag on Google+ by the name of #whatisthetyposphere  You know what to do.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Ode to Fire and Leftover Vacation Smores

This is the last of the typecast entries I wrote during our family vacation.  Originally scheduled to post on June 29th, it has been radically delayed given the massive damage that unplanned fire had been causing in Colorado Springs.  Posting this in the midst of all of that misery just seemed a bit insensitive.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the residents of the mountain west that had a really tough time this summer.

As we just passed the autumnal equinox, the evenings here are getting crisp and we are adjusting to mid-60s instead of the mid-100s of just a month ago.  I've been cutting down dead shrubs and planting new grass in the spots turned to compacted dust in our drought.  Thank goodness for the remnants of hurricane Issaic!  We'll try to think of fire for its warmth and light during the coming cold, dark months.

Now on to the post written on June 29th...

The adult members of the House Full of Nerds are only a little bit into campfires.  We did enough backpacking in the pre-nerdling era to appreciate the joys of cook stoves and little, itty bitty fires that won't attract the Nazgul.  But we needed 'smores.  Given a proper fire ring, I am prone to building really hot pyres.  Yeah, fire...

If you look closely at this photo, you might see a fire Genie and a demon cow-thing.
Yep, having problems with that whole "I" before "E" thing there, Chief.

There was a light breeze.  At one point the flames underneath an old hunk of 2"x8" pine wer close to white hot.  The thing in the foreground is an optimal marshmallow so well done that the molten core is turning freely on the stick.  Put that together with Hershey's Dark and generic grahams and you have a little slice of Heaven.  Yum!
The Vacation Postscript (Do you have the time to listen to me whine?)

I'll finish this entry with a few post summer vacation thoughts.  First, I am pathetically behind in my blog and keeping up with other blogs, recreational reading and correspondence.  My resorting to resurrection of a draft entry is evidence.  School started right before Labor Day and the Nerdess and our adorable spawn are back in school.  This leads me to thought the second:  I humbly apologize to any parents of teens who I thought were horrible at keeping in touch.  Now I get it - you didn't have lives other than in cars, fund-raising meetings, work and school related events!

We have a new definition of busy in our house.  Freed from the tyranny of the pace of middle school and with access to all honors and pre-AP classes, Hannah is over-achieving like a bandit!  She is second chair in Chamber Orchestra and first section violin in Olathe Youth Symphony.  Not bad for a freshman.  Add church youth group, Girl Scouts, training to be a counselor with their equestrian program and Shakespeare Conservatory classes and she is one busy girl.  Claire is the president of her middle school Kansas Association for Youth club and first chair flute.  They have great public school teachers and private music teachers and are asking for and taking every opportunity put before them.

It's all good, but I'll ask for a little slack when I fall behind.  As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Only Slightly Competitive Sisters

This is a continuation of the vacation typecasts.  The series will end eventually, but not before I share about the many the near disasters we encountered on the road.  An already scheduled celebration of campfires, "An Ode to Fire", has been postponed indefinitely.  It just seemed a bit insensitive given the horrible fire that swept through the edge of Colorado Springs this week.  As mentioned in the first post, we were pretty much unplugged during vacation.  I took advantage of several days of digital downtime to do some typecasts.  I'm glad I brought the typewriter along.  Typing in the woods is an extraordinarily pleasant experience.

Ah, sweet, clean Rocky Mountain stream water!  We were 3-5 miles downstream from the snow melt fed alpine lake at the head of this stream.  The water temperature was at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take.
I can't overstate just how refreshingly cold this water was!  It worked pretty well on swelling bug bites, but not as well as soaking in one of the 108 degree hot spring pools located elsewhere in the San Luis valley.
Common sense is pretty much overrated when it comes to competitive siblings.
Both of our girls shipped out to separate regional Girl Scout camps last Sunday, just in time for the hottest week of the year here in Kansas.  Yesterday, it was 106 in the shade.  Fortunately, we had freakishly low humidity so it felt more like the desert.  I usually expect 60-70% daytime humidity this time of year and it was just under 20%.  As I write this, they are loading gear and getting ready for the trip home.  We'll get to find out how sunburned and bug bitten they are.

We are looking forward to hearing their camp stories.  Last year they were at the same camp and at least saw each other in passing.  MEK had the unpleasant experience of watching them leave for different camps without troop buddies while I was at the Art of the Car Concours .  Hannah wanted to spend time with horses and Claire wanted to get in a prerequisite for a ten day canoe trek next year.  We are blessed with children who actually like each other and are willing to take some risks doing new things on their own.  Soon the house will again be full of the sound of the violin, the electric guitar and the Wii.  We missed them, but we also enjoyed dining out for two in their absence (how delightfully cheap!).

Photos do not do this campsite justice.  Except for the skeeters, it was pretty much perfect.
I am now a week and a half into vacation withdrawal.  The blog is a comforting memory of a good time.  I hope your summer vacations are (were) equally satisfying.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Sleepy Bear Tail

OK, you may have trouble believing this story.  While we were comfortably sleeping in a National Forest Service campground, our next door neighbor was having a late night encounter with a warm and fuzzy friend.  Read on if you dare.

This image is yet another gift from "The Kingdom of Nature".  I was disappointed that "The Happy Zoo Book" contained lions and tigers, but  no bears.  What kind of kids book is that, anyway?

Here is one of the family campsites.  We are perhaps fortunate that our tents were not shaped like sleeping bears.
There are few better places to typecast from than this.  The bear story just made a great vacation better!

Friday, June 22, 2012

No Kitty Cat Pajamas Allowed: Typed with a Campy Aristocrat

Welcome to the first of several posts from our most awesome family vacation to the San Luis valley in southern Colorado.  We were unplugged for a good portion of the trip.  I brought along my one compact typewriter, a Hermes Baby clone branded as an Empire Aristocrat.  I bought this last year after looking at the Hermes version.  I can't say I like its stock paint colors.  Besides, the Aristocrat has a somewhat universal keyboard with pound and dollar signs.  I also like the glitzy red keys apparently ripped off from Olivetti.

This most awesome typing locale was right behind our campsite.  The rushing white water is great for sleep and for causing the family to make multiple trips to the pit toilet.

Um, that would be "schlep".  The anniversary part refers to the date upon which MEK and I were hitched.  I can think of worse places to spend an anniversary.

And now for the sorry story behind the "No Kitty Cat Pajamas" camping dictum.  As you read the following typecast, realize that I was sleep deprived.  I got the sequence a little mixed up.  We most decidedly did not go camping last year after this not-so-pleasant episode.  The event in question happened after primitive camping on the Cedar Mesa in southern Utah.  The closest cell tower was around 30 miles away.  The closest neighbor was perhaps 5 miles as the crow flies.  That is the way I like it.

I could try and pass off "diesal" as a warped sense of humor thing.  Alas, I was brain dead and misspelled it while the the grips of the luscious white noise from the stream.

Thus spake the gingercat: "You misspelled whatever."  Watever.
Now you know how we roll.  We aren't misanthropic.  We don't necessarily hate people.  We just want our dose of nature to not involve loud humanoid noises in the night.

Here are a few more images of the Empire Aristocrat.  It isn't a bad little machine.  At some point I will have to try a small Olivetti or Skywriter.  Unlike some Typospherians, I actually like the short throw on the Olympia SF and Socialite machines that were gifted to my daughters last year.