Monday, September 26, 2011

Idiots on the Internet

I'm not referring to myself.

For my work I have to read the news. So I'm pretty much cruising the Internet hours each day looking for news stories that will interest my clients' readers. And I admit, that every once in awhile, I'll click on a non-client-related story because it looks interesting to me, looks crazy to me, whatever.

So a recent story I clicked was about how this man is suing White Castle because he cannot fit into their restaurant booths.

Hmmm. Really?

So I clicked and it's true.

Let's break this down: Turns out this dude has been eating White Castle hamburgers for 48 years. And he's suing because he can't fit into the booths. Now, I'm no super genius, but even I can probably draw a pretty quick scientific conclusion.

A) You ate sliders for 48 years.
B) You got fat.
C) You can no longer fit into a White Castle booth.
D) You are embarassed because you tried to get into a booth and couldn't.
E) You decided to sue.

Does this man not see that his own actions led to his problem? I'm flabbergasted.

But it gets better. In his lawsuit he discusses how he has been such a loyal customer, why doesn't Whitey's fix their booths? And better yet, he hasn't stopped eating White Castle. No, now he sends his wife out to get them and bring them home.

Call me crazy, but if you perhaps stopped, or even just cut down, eating White Castle, perhaps you COULD fit into a booth?

What has happened to common sense in this country?

No wonder we're the butt of every other country's jokes.

Good grief.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I Love About Fall

Changing leaves, warm days, cool nights, snow back on the mountain tops. One of the most beautiful sights to me is a bright blue sky, yellow aspen leaves, and snow capped peaks, and sometimes a dusting of snow in the red canyons.

These are things I love about Colorado's falls, which I've grown accustomed to and love.

But, I will say, that fall in Ohio was my favorite season. I still miss the red maples. We don't get huge piles of fallen leaves here. I raking leaves in our backyard growing up. We hated it, come to think of it, but we did love raking the leaves into mazes or "houses" and we chased each other through them.

Then we complained that we had to put the leaves in bags. Blisters. I remember lots of blisters from raking leaves. Plus, the leaves in the backyard were from some nasty tree, not a pretty maple.


My Mom usually had a pot of soup cooking on the stove every Saturday. Chili, vegetable, bean. The whole house smelled so good. Then there was that time she put lima beans in the vegetable soup and we all freaked out.

Earlier today I went to the Food Network's website and they had a whole section about tailgating, and it reminded me that this is something else I miss about growing up in Central Ohio--football Saturdays. Specifically, Ohio State football. There is nothing like Columbus, Ohio, on a football Saturday. I'm a third generation graduate of The Ohio State University. On those Saturdays we were raking leaves and getting blisters, I remember my Dad having the radio on and listening to the game. I heard Archie Griffin's and Cornelius Green's names all the time. I even remember their jersey numbers (45 and 7). I can't remember my anniversary, but I can remember their jersey numbers. I don't know what that says about me, except that I might need to take some ginko.

I remember the first time I ever went to an OSU game with my mom took me. It was the era of Art Schlicter and Cal Murray, which will mean nothing if you're not from Columbus. But I loved it and every fall I'm a little annoyed that I can't get OSU football on TV, except for the rare occasion.

These days I get OSU football game updates from everyone on Facebook who puts the game info as their status updates while the Buckeyes are playing. Gives me some angst, but it's better than nothing!

What says fall to you?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

First Snow

This is early. Mighty early, people. I love winter and all, but...well, it's early.

I suspected yesterday that we might get snow last night. Because basically, that's what the weather people said. Actually, I think someone in the neighborhood told me because I don't remember watching the news yeterday.

Anyway, a cold rain was falling and even at our elevation it dipped waaaaay down into the 40s, so you just KNEW something was going to be afoot at the higher elevations.

When I peeked out this morning, the clouds were right down in the valley so I was clueless. Snow or no snow?

Finally, around 3:15pm, the clouds lifted a little and I could see.

Yep. Snow.

I looked back at the pictures I take each year to mark when the first snowfall on New York Mountain occurs.

2010: September 23 (Tara's birthday!)
2009: September 20
2008: Hmmm, apparently I hadn't started marking the occasion yet

So now as I look, we're not too far off the trend. I confess I'm hoping for a very nice, long Indian Summer now. I'm not ready to wear socks.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Alone in the Valley

Well, of course I'm not really alone in the valley. But today I feel a little bit alone. Tara, Craig and Garvin took off yesterday for another adventure. They will be roadtripping around the U.S. for this fall, and then after the holidays, they will be spending six or seven months in Thailand and China.

Good grief. That's long when you calculate it in sister time.

I am already missing sister time.

This is when I start calling Erin an inordinate number of times a day and driving her out of her gourd. If she has a gourd left after six kids.

Anyway, if you want to follow Tara, Craig and Garvin's adventures, they are at: www.nootsonthego.blogspot.com.

It's sure to be good fun. Not as much fun as if I were there with them, but fun all the same.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Do I make that same lame (Green Day) joke every year? If not, I feel like I should.

The school year. It's here and I'm glad, but September is also a nightmare in terms of schedules. The kids' schedules. My schedule. Eamonn's schedule. The schools--two different ones this year now that middle school is in the mix. Sports.

A month ago, my September schedule was amazingly clear. Now, it's nearly black with pencil marks, erasings, and more pencil marks. (I still keep a pencil/paper calendar if you can believe it)

Where the heck did all of these meetings, sports practices and volunteer thingys come from?

Last weekend we decided to get out of town for the Labor Day holiday. We headed southeast to a mining area called Cripple Creek. We camped at 10,000 feet (my sister said, "What is it with you guys and camping at high altitudes in the fall?") at the world's highest KOA. It was very fun. We visited the Florissant Fossil beds and saw the gold mines and just had a relaxing time in general.

Some pictures:

We stumbled upon a llama farm. This llama was very interested in Finn!

Cool old dead tree as we started a hike at the fossil beds.

I discovered I love, love, love the pondersosa pines in this area. In our valley, the trees tend to be lodgepole pines (and aspens), which, incidentally, have been partially eradicated by the pine bark beetle. Bummer. But these ponderosa pines were so beautiful and green. I'd never seen pine cones in this green stage before.

One of the things offered by our country's national parks system is the chance for kids to earn a junior ranger badge. It's pretty cool and the boys have done it at each of the national parks we've visited. Here we are out on the Ponderosa Loop at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Stunning scenery and great temps--in the high 60s or low 70s and a light breeze. Coat on. Coat off. Coat on. Coat off. Colorado is fickle like that.

One of the assignments to become a Junior Ranger was to see if you could find an animal track. Any guesses as to what animal left this track?

Indian Paintbrush

Taking the oath and earning their badges.

The Hornbeck Homestead. First homestead in the area was started by a single woman (who outlived three husbands) and her children!

Leaving the fossil beds park.

A chilly morning. Trying to get the fire started.

This area of Colorado was known for its gold mines, which produced more gold than the California and Alaksa gold rushes combined. This tire is from one of the big earth movers.

Views of the very beautiful Lost Creek Wilderness Area.

I couldn't stop staring at it.

Car picnic in the Lost Creek Wilderness Area

Top of Guanella Pass. This pass has been closed for the past two years for construction and paving. It's still not finished, but we could take it as a direct route to Georgetown, finally.

Top of Guanella.

The reason we wanted to get to Georgetown: Our annual trip to the soda fountain. Malts and shakes all around. If the pass had still been closed, it would have taken about two additional hours to get there!

Came out of the soda fountain and...

...ran into my friend, Paige, who I met through an online travel forum many moons ago. We have met once in person, also many moons ago. Now we both live in Colorado, but several hours apart. A huge coincidence!

So now we're home after a great weekend away and the week is in a full-blown frenzy. Next week I'll actually get to work a 5-day day week. I've forgotten what that's like.