Archive for the ‘Observations’ Category

Mountain Folks

08 Oct

Some friends took me to a concert last night in Denver (Ghost, which is probably described as death metal or death pop) and by the time I got back up to my home in the mountains, it was well after midnight.

This morning I decided to go to the Sundance Cafe for breakfast. I rarely go out for breakfast, but when I do, it makes the day special.

Even though I didn’t know anyone, when I looked around the restaurant I saw mostly locals. I’m not sure how I can tell. Maybe it’s the practical clothing and the lack of style. I think it’s the winters that make us that way, where all the trappings of the city are put aside for survival. In January, when the winds are howling, I just stop caring about style and wear whatever will keep me warm and dry.  I remember one night my first winter up here, I was startled when getting out of my car to go into the house. The wind was carving the snow into a moonscape and it was bitter cold. The cold was now serious business.

And the couple sitting at the next table somehow knew I was a local, too, because they struck up a conversation with me of local topic. All of the other conversations I overheard were about local topics as well. Perhaps it’s just because the locals know if you’re going to eat out on a weekend, breakfast is the only option before the hordes of tourists drive up from Denver.  By lunch time, the cafe will be packed and with a waiting list.

Even though I’m not very active in the local community, I am still part of it.


Fall foliage on the ground, Yankee Doodle Lake.

Fall foliage on the ground, Yankee Doodle Lake.


Cold Springs Fire: Two Weeks Later

26 Jul

Click on photos for larger versions.

This evening I went back to one of the view points I had of the fire a little over 2 weeks ago. I took some “after” photos for a comparison.

Little did I know at the time when I took this first photo, that there was a house in the upper right. All that stands now is a chimney and some solar panels.




The following two photos are also aligned. The houses in these photos appear to have escaped major damage.




The next three photos show what had to have been some remarkable structure protection efforts by the fire fighters.




I’m not sure if the house in this final photo escaped damage.  From this angle it looks okay.


What to say

06 Dec

I’ve been meaning to update for months.  But on the other hand, there really isn’t much to say.  It’s all trivial stuff.

  • Still working too much.  Except for today because I woke up with no heat and dread going down into the crawl space to see what’s up.  If it weren’t for the spider webs, the crawl space wouldn’t be so bad.  I’ll just keep typing here to avoid going down there.
  • The winter has been very mild with higher than average temperatures.  The reservoir, which is normally long frozen by now, is still liquid.  For my short, after-work hikes, I’m still wearing hiking boots instead of snow boots or snowshoes.
  • My computer took a major dive a few weeks ago.  I fixed it and then bought a new computer which runs side-by-side with the older one.  The new one is running a Linux desktop (Linux Mint and Ubuntu are both good).  I don’t know why anyone is still using windows (you can run most windows software on Linux) or why anyone pays the premium to use an Apple.  I’m tired of the extortion of repeatedly paying to have the same functionality as before.  I have to keep running the old Windows machine because of the engineering software I use is “locked” to it (anti-copy protection).
  • I’ve been feeling reclusive lately.  I hate all of the stress of the holidays, not necessarily my own stress, but other people’s stress.
  • I’ve loved my old Sorel boots.  This season I finally needed to get some new ones.  The old ones were made in Canada and were of high quality materials.  The new ones are made in China and are made of low quality materials.  Were they less expensive?  Nope.  Just the opposite.
  • I’m tired of hearing about the economy, as if it’s something we should all be concerned about.  The stock market is at record, all-time highs. The US dollar is at a multi-year high.  Crude oil is at a multi-year low.  There is nothing wrong with the economy.  The problem is the corporations that do not pass along this great wealth to their employees.
  • Ok, something positive. A fox has moved in across the road.  My neighbors who lived there for 35 years, moved away this past summer.  They always had dogs.  A recluse moved in, but never ventures outside.  As a result of both of these scenarios, the foxes have moved in.   I’ve got a great view through my windows.


A fox curls up for a nap in the neighbors yard.

A fox curled up for a nap in the neighbors yard.


Fox hunting outside my house.

Fox hunting outside my house.


The yard across the road is surrounded with a 6 foot fence.  The foxes have no problem climbing up and over.  It will be interesting to see if there are pups in the spring.  The fence might be an issue for them.  I imagine the pups would have to be grown up to get over the fence.

I wish it was easier to determine the gender of a fox just by looking from a distance.

Ok, I guess I’ll start moving furniture to gain access to the crawl space and figure out what’s going on with the heat.