Yeah, I know. I’ve been scarce. I am liking the Instagram connections with the blog, but I get that it isn’t saying much.

My last “normal” post was on January 5th, about my Instant Pot that I got for Christmas. But let’s now play a little catch up. This post will be full of photos and YouTube videos, so bear with us. More »

03. August 2016 · Comments Off on Mother’s Day 2016: The Red Pandas at the Denver Zoo · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,
As my sons get older, their posing together for photos is becoming more and more rare...

As my sons get older, their posing together for photos is becoming more and more rare…

Almost exactly one year after Timmy and I spent the day at Denver Zoo to celebrate his stock market contest win, I took both boys up there for Mother’s Day in May. Dave was in Pennsylvania visiting his own parents, and as I’ve said for many years, I only ever want a fun day—doing something I want to do—with my sons. More »

02. August 2016 · Comments Off on A Love Letter to My Local Library · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
Image credit: P. Vollmer

This was my teen son’s first library book in about 5 years. Image credit: P. Vollmer

A version of this post originally appeared on GeekDad.com in May 2016.

As you know, we’ve gotten around quite a bit. I am on my 8th home since graduating from college, and our sons are now on their 5th home. Each move brings new discoveries. With each new community we learn about our local schools, local churches, local grocery stores (I miss you, Publix!), and local health care capabilities. One of those things we explore at each location is our local library. More »

24. August 2015 · Comments Off on Utah Discoveries 11: Alta Ski Area · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , , ,
This was a shot I took in between snow showers at the top of the one of the numerous mountain peaks at Alta Ski Area.

This was a shot I took in between snow showers at the top of the one of the numerous mountain peaks at Alta Ski Area: Sugarloaf Peak (just over 11,000′). Note how much snow there was here compared to at Park City 48 hours prior, just one canyon south.

For our last day in Utah, we decided to make the trek over to Alta Ski Area, which is one canyon south of Park City. It seems so simple, but in reality, what we had to do was take a route that was a 270 degree loop that was ~40 miles to visit a resort only 10 miles away from our condo. It was about a one hour drive.

Please note that Alta Ski Area is a ski only resort. Snowboards are not allowed. I know that for many families this might be a show-stopper.

We are very happy that we elected to visit Alta during our Utah trip. It was some of the best skiing we’d ever experienced. We weren’t sure about making the trip over to the next canyon, for fear of being disappointed. More »

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This was one of two times I donned a uniform since early December. For a dining out. Photo courtesy of our friend Paige.

I’ve purposefully been elusive about my employment status. Family and close friends know most of what I’m up to, but even they haven’t heard the latest. So here’s a summary. More »

12. May 2015 · Comments Off on Our Stock-Savvy Son · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , ,
We got to spend the day at the zoo to celebrate Timmy's team winning a Stock Market Contest in his school district.

We got to spend the day at the zoo to celebrate Timmy’s math class team winning a Stock Market Contest in his school district.

Last fall, Timmy’s gifted math class took part in a Colorado program called the “Stock Market Experience”. Many of states do this, and I remember a similar program while I was in high school, although I wasn’t part of it. Students are given a notional $100,000 bank account and are allowed to make investment choices in the stock market. At the end of the period, the winners are the teams/individuals who earn the most money.

Students in grades 3-12 can take part here in Colorado, and for the Fall semester Timmy’s team of four won for their grade level in the Pikes Peak Region, which is Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas. It’s one of 5 regions in the state: besides Pikes Peak, there’s Denver Metro, Northwest, Northeast, and South/Southwest. I don’t know the precise borders of these regions. More »

Lunch for 4 for under $30? Yes please!!

Lunch for 4 for under $30? Yes please!!

For those who don’t know, Dave and I are “Eastern People”. He’s from New York, and with the exception of 3 years or so in Hawaii when I was very young, I grew up on the Eastern Seaboard. We are accustomed to humidity, high populations, and rich colonial U.S. history around us.

People from the western U.S. have their own set of traditions and nuances (calling “interstates” “freeways”, for example), and apparently In-N-Out Burger is one of them. There aren’t many of these restaurants, and they’re all concentrated in a 5-state area: California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Texas (why they completely leapfrogged over New Mexico is beyond me). In-N-Out has no plans to expand beyond this small market, unlike Five Guys, which now has well over 1000 outlets. We had a chance to check it out! More »

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Staring skyward at their Elastic-Launched Glider. We’re so proud of Jacob (on the left) representing his school at the state Science Olympiad competition. 

In March and April, our family was busy with Jacob helping his team for the Colorado Science Olympiad tournament. Plenty of after-school sessions, evenings at the kitchen island tuning his handiwork, and family trips to Colorado State University – Pueblo and Colorado School of Mines (known around here as just “Mines” — note the URL if you click through the link) for the competitions.

Science Olympiad is a set of competitions in a wide assortment of science and technology topics. You can click the link above to learn more. I remember hearing about it when I was in middle and high school, and for a while I thought I had participated in a regional tournament when I was growing up in Virginia, but now I’m more certain I had participated in Odyssey of the Mind.

I’m thrilled Jacob expressed interest in this group; he has a wonderful group of friends, not just in his own grade, but also in 7th and 8th grade.

The competitions blend of classroom testing, problem solving exercises, and hands-on homemade projects that are built to achieve some sort of goal. Jacob represented his school in the following competitions:

  • Solar System test
  • Road Scholar, which involves a problem solving exercise with maps. Jacob needed to be familiar with USGS Quads to be successful in this.
  • Elastic-Launched Glider competition. The students craft a glider from lightweight wood, launch it with an elastic launcher of some sort, and see how long it stays airborne.

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Jacob’s glider had a LOT of trouble and wasn’t airborne for very long. I didn’t take any video. But here’s a video of one that stayed airborne for nearly 30 seconds (and won!) at the 2014 North Carolina competition at NC State.

Reminder: This is NOT Jacob’s team! This is NOT even in Colorado!

Jacob’s school finished in the middle of the pack for the state, and we’re particularly proud of Jacob’s performance in the Road Scholar competition, where he and his partner placed 7th out of the 30 teams! He’s looking forward to joining the team again next year. He was taking keen interest in the better-performing gliders and seems to have a lot of ideas for next year.

Timmy studies his scrambled cube for 15 seconds before the timer starts.

Last week, Timmy was on a team representing his elementary school at a regional Rubik’s Cube competition. It was his first experience, and was the first time his school had entered a team. Timmy was the only 4th grader, the rest of his team were 5th graders. While the team didn’t take home any prizes, they certainly are competitive and I’m sure all the students learned a lot.

Dave, Jacob, and I certainly learned a lot. We had never seen a competition like that! More »

20. February 2015 · Comments Off on Timmy’s (Almost) GoPro Action at Copper Mountain · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last weekend we spent some time skiing. My dear friend Megan and her son Aidan came into town for the President’s Day weekend and we skied for two days. Timmy took advantage of the beautiful skiing weather to take some video with his new camera mounted to his ski helmet.

I’ll share with you right here the favorite of the three we’ve put on YouTube, which is on the Main Vein trail at Copper Mountain, and will link you to the other two.

TDV Camera: Copper Mountain
TDV Camera: Monarch Mountain

There is about 30 minutes of footage total; we’ve only edited/shared about 7 minutes of it so far.

I promise we will aim the camera a bit higher next time.

Enjoy!