A Snowy Drive

This past weekend (you know the last two days without photos) we were in Trinidad for a family event. My grandparents were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this weekend. When we’re down there in Trinidad, we usually stay with my Schwiegermutter, but she doesn’t have internet service; so I have to tether via my phone. Uploading pictures isn’t really an option.

Not that I had many to upload, really. We had a pretty nice, relaxing weekend all things considered. Saturday was a gorgeous day, and we spent the early afternoon horseback riding at our friend Jenn’s training facility. I’m a novice rider, if that, but managed to not get myself killed at the trot on my horse.

Sunday we woke to big, fat, wet snowflakes falling. When you haven’t got anywhere to go, days that start that way can be awesome: Cuddle up on the couch with Wendi and watch some TV. But… We didn’t have that option. We did putter about a bit in the morning, then joined everyone at my grandparents’s house for a short time.

With 200 miles to cover and snow falling from the sky, we decided we couldn’t stick around long. The first part of the drive went well. We got to the imaginatively-named town of Pueblo without incident.

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South of Pueblo, though, I had a small flashback to the Cloud Factory:

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While we were in Pueblo, the snow picked up for a bit. When we got to north Colorado Springs, though… The snowflakes were huge and very wet. I’ve seen that type of snow in that part of town before, and it’s clogged up windshield wipers. Intersections ice up quickly and slick only begins to describe the roads.

We stopped and ate dinner before getting back on the road. Going over Monument Pass, we saw all the people making the trek south from the Bronco game. It was mile after mile (five or ten miles) of solid headlights. Road conditions were too icy to get any more photos. Wendi tried, but the grimy windshield and the snow sort of defied the camera.

South of Castle Rock, the roads cleared up and so did the sky. We got home under a mostly clear sky; a few clouds hid the stars we could see and the air is pretty cold (31° F/ -0.56° C). Since we’ll be heading down there for the Thanksgiving holiday later this week, we left the kiddo with her Großeltern

And my wife and I have the apartment to ourselves for a few days.

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American Media Whines About Dress Code

The American media has its collective knickers in a knot over a dress code issued for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit. The media seems to think it’s such an important entity that it can do whatever it wants.

New York Magazine reduced the two members of British Royalty to “an air ambulance pilot in training and a former chain-store accessories buyer” as if the pair wasn’t a political figure at all.

Why should the United States’ press corps — who barely bother to brush the muffin crumbs off their polo shirts before lobbing questions at the President of the United States — schlep extra pieces of clothing to work just so they can make small talk with a (perfectly nice-seeming) British air ambulance pilot-in-training and a former chain-store accessories buyer?

Well, here’s a thought: the President of the United States is a servant of the people. They tend not to think of themselves that way lately, but America is a Republic founded “of the People, by the People” and the President is accountable to the people.

So the whiney media elite can feel perfectly justified in being the utter slobs that they are when addressing the President. But the Royal Family isn’t in a station of servant to its people. And the press is going to sell advertising because there’s an (incomprehensible) fascination with the Royal Family, so I don’t see what the fuss about the dress code is about. The Royal Family is scrutinized in every aspect of their lives, often by the very same hypocrites whining now about having to wear a coat and tie to interview the people they’ll be criticizing later.

Personally if I were the gatekeeper I’d turn away any and all of the American journalists who didn’t make the cut. And I wouldn’t feel bad in the least. America needs to get over itself and realize there are other nations in the world with their own customs and traditions, that the history we believe to be true isn’t necessarily that. If we Americans wish to return to the once-great nation we had, we need to stop weakening our country from the inside.

And maybe then, the whining leftist elitist snobbish and utterly inconsequential media can make demands on foreign nationals when they come to visit.

A New Gig

I started a new job this week. The first day didn’t go so well and I wasn’t sure I’d made the right choice in leaving my old job. But the rest of the week picked up and was pretty cool. If it weren’t for the drive in, that is.

I realized that all my unhappiness with Denver drivers was really just the drivers in Lakewood and the surrounding areas. Once I started venturing beyond my usual haunts, I was horrified to learn that drivers in Denver are much much worse than I’d first imagined.

This new job is downtown and I can personally attest that getting there is not half the fun. It is all of the horror, though. I had avoided downtown gigs in the past; and now that I have one, I’m subjected Clockwork Orange style to scenes of driving atrocities.

For instance, no one seems capable of reading the signs that the lane ends at a certain street (there are at least two that I’ve seen); and these people deliberately go to that intersection before trying to get into the through lane. Which holds all of us up who need to turn onto that street and is patently illegal and piss poor driving etiquette. And the Denver Police Department does it too, so there’s no hope that it’ll change or get corrected.

So the commute is miserable, at least twice as long as it was before, but exposes me to exponentially more bad drivers. But the first week once I got to the office went pretty well.

There’s always ramp-up time when starting a new gig, and this is no different. But the project here isn’t the train wreck that the last one was, and that helps to get familiarized faster, which makes for a productive first week.

My wife pointed out last night that we’re the type of people who have to go home feeling as if we accomplished something. And it’s true: I spent months when I first started at my last job trying to figure out the byzantine codebase. I wasn’t entirely unhappy with my last job, understand. I worked for a great boss and that offsets a lot of the headaches that can come with a job.

But the ability to walk out the door the first week with tickets in the Quality Assurance queue and feel reasonably confident that they won’t come back… that’s pretty awesome.

Eine Fotogene Katze

Hier sind mehr Bilder von meiner Katze, Rose. Sie scheint nicht allzu glücklich.

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English translation:
Here are more pictures of my cat, Rose. She doesn’t seem too happy.

Close Ups

Back to the Colorado Railroad Museum: my wife, brother, and I checked out the old roundhouse they have on the site. They’ve turned it mainly into a machine shop, but still let people check it out. Along the west side of the building, though, we came across a steam engine and I took a couple of close up photos as well.

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And that bell looked pretty cool in color, too:

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It’s pretty fascinating how steam powered so much advancement in our civilization. It still does, really. We don’t often think that steam is typically what we use to drive turbines in ships and power stations, but it is.

Union Pacific 844

I’ve posted quite a few pictures of trains this week. All of the previous posts have been from the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, Colorado. But a couple years ago (also in November, coincidentally), I saw the Union Pacific 844 in the wild. I was driving back to Colorado Springs from Trinidad, having visited my mom for the weekend. Seeing trains wasn’t anything new, but when I was passing the engine, I noticed it wasn’t just any train engine. It took me a long time to get home that day because I kept leap frogging the train to take photos, but I think the pictures were worth it.

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In Color: Trains

More photos from the Colorado Railroad Museum, these in color.  I thought the black and white photos I made a certain amount of sense since they were old trains… but these are gorgeous old machines in color, too.

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