Loving This Weather!

The following has been the routine since roughly mid-December.

  1. Wake up in the morning, look out the window, see that it's snowed.
  2. Our driveway this morning before we plowed/shoveled it

  3. Try and figure out how deep it is to decide if we need to wear ski pants and/or boots to take the dogs out. Anything under 2 inches is sweats and an old pair of sneakers.
  4. Michelle and Loki walking in the backyard

  5. Feed the hyperactive dogs, take them out. Curse the fact that you forgot to wear socks and get snow on your bare ankles. Curse the dogs for always having to go in the deepest part of the yard.
  6. Loki buried in the snow

  7. Look at the driveway. Depending on how much accumulation there is on the driveway, either plow or not plow at this time. How hard it's snowing doesn't matter. Remember the blizzard when there was 2 feet of snow on the driveway and begging the neighbor to use his ATV plow to do it. Vow to never let 2 feet of snow accumulate on the driveway again.
  8. Brian Scares the Swede

  9. If outside plowing/shoveling, yell to all the other neighbors doing the same thing. Strike up various conversations with them. Watch the kids play in the all the snow piles on your lawn, sometimes making them fall on your nicely shoveled driveway. Realize it doesn't matter since the snow just started coming down harder and you'll have to plow again in a few hours.
  10. Kurt Has to Put the Snow Someplace...

  11. Join the club and help the kids make snow jumps and little hills. Watch how easily amused they are.
  12. Erin Sledding

  13. Realize you're still a kid and join in the sledding.
  14. Michelle Takes a Turn

  15. Repeat the process every few hours until it finally stops snowing.
  16. Leif shoveling snow in his shorts

  17. Over the next few days, watch the snow start melting, and breathe a sigh of relief you don't have to shovel again. Each morning try to convince the dogs to NOT go to the bathroom in the deepest part of the yard like they enjoy doing.
  18. 5 days later, watch the weather report where they once again predict snow.
  19. Go to 1 and repeat the cycle

AND WE LOVE IT!!!!

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The Denver Blizzard of '06

Well, if you've watched any sort of news today, no matter where you are, you've probably heard about the big blizzard that hit the Denver area today. With nowhere to go, and no place important to be, it's been a pretty fun day actually for me. Probably not for the people stranded at the airport though.

All the schools were closed today (as well as tomorrow), so I had several neighborhood kids over this morning to watch movies (High School Musical, and Elf), and play Xbox 360. Kids get so restless! I guess I was the same way as a kid, but I swear towards the end of Elf they all wanted to finish it, but were extraordinarily fidgety. I sent them home for lunch, then went next door since Karyl was home (school teacher), and we made the dough for sugar cookies. Then we decided the snow was deep enough, so off into our backyard it was to play with the snow puppies. Loki and Odin were soooo happy to have so many friends play with them, they didn't know which way to turn. We buried Loki in the snow up to his neck, and threw the football for them and watched them dig and act like little bunny rabbits jumping up and down in the snow drifts.

Then it was an hour of silence as they went off to build a snow fort, then back to Karyl's to finish the sugar cookies, and then just general hanging out the rest of the afternoon/evening until it was dinnertime. Cathy brought over some chili she had made, and we had that, sugar cookies, cheese and crackers, and beer.

We gave up trying to plow the driveway - the drifts were too deep and even now it's still coming down like mad. Brian tried to do his and our driveway with his 4x4, but it got snowed over too fast, so he decided to wait as well.

No pictures yet - with all the blowing snow, I can just imagine ruining Leif's camera and he definitely wouldn't be too happy. I'll get some for sure tomorrow - it's supposed to stop snowing around noon. :)

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Snow in the Mountains

Oh look, it's snowing in the mountains today. I think we'll go snowboarding in the morning...

Damn, that's just never going to get old...

We went on a lark on Sunday morning when we woke up and let the dogs out, and I checked the weather report and found out Loveland had just received new snow. Headed up there at 8:30, got there around 9:30 (damn Leif, having to stop and get an Egg McMuffin), and boarded for a few hours on fresh, ungroomed powder. It started snowing while we were there, which was still a lot of fun.

Loveland still only has 3 lifts open, but they had the snow cannons going (which they didn't really need to) and I'm guessing they'll open a few more very very soon. We hit all the runs on lift 2, having not done them before, only to discover that 2 of them had moguls. Moguls on a snowboard = bad. It sucks to attempt to go down the run, and hit the top of a mogul when you're on your heel edge, and you catch air like that, and there's just no possible way you're going to land it.

I shouldn't complain though, the resorts at Lake Tahoe aren't even open yet. :)

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Scaring People on Halloween

Much to Leif's chagrin, I put a nail in our front door, and put a Screamer on it for Halloween. It's a scary face that's motion activated, and he'll say stuff, and then at the end of whatever he's saying, his eyes light up and bug out, his mouth opens and he screams.

I'm having much more fun with this than I thought.

First off, we're getting a ton of kids at the house - we had to supplement our initial 10 bags of candy with extra Laffy Taffy that we had (which is ok, because it's sour Laffy Taffy and the neighborhood kids all told me to buy sour stuff when I asked them last week what candy I should get). After the first few little kids, the older ones (9-12) started coming. On one group, I got the bright idea to wait until the Screamer screamed, and at the same time open the door and scream real loudly too.

I did it a couple of times, and scared a few in the group, but the last group I hit pretty good.

I heard they were middle school kids coming up the walk (I can hear the groups from my office), and thought I knew who they were but wasn't sure. They rang the bell, the Screamer said something, and then said "come closer.....closer" and then he screamed. Just as he screamed, I opened the door and screamed REAL loudly. All the kids jumped and screamed, it was great.

What was even better, was that one of them was someone who had helped me put the Screamer up last week, knew what he did, and still leaned in close to it.

I'm still laughing. What a great way to amuse myself.

I love living in a neighborhood and getting a lot of trick or treaters. I really like Halloween and I enjoy handing out candy and seeing the kids in their costumes.

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Really Weird Weather and Snowboarding

I have to say, Colorado has the absolute weirdest weather I've ever seen. Not only can it get overcast, rain for 10 minutes, and then get nice again, but there can be a 30-40 degree temperature difference between mid-afternoon and evening. Not only that, but yesterday it was about 67 degrees and I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Today it's below 32 AND IT'S SNOWING. Wet snow sure, but hey, there's still white stuff coming down from the sky, and white stuff appearing on all the grass. The dogs were romping in it earlier.

Also finally Leif and I were able to go boarding for an hour this morning. "Only an hour," you might say, but hey, the resort is less than an hour from us, so it's not that big of a deal. We got 3 runs in at Loveland, and wow was it a long run. It was officially labeled as a green, but there were parts of it that were creeping into the blue area.

Michelle Going Down the Run

The Resorts are Opening!

I called it, mid-October, and while I didn't think resorts would ever open that early, both A-Basin and Loveland are open for business! A-Basin only has a blue run open, while Loveland has a green, but that's not the point is it? The point is that we can actually go snowboarding in Colorado now, and the season runs through May or June usually. WOOHOO!!!

A-Basin apparently was the first resort in all of North American to open too.

While we won't be able to go this weekend, that's fine since we have season passes to Loveland and I'll go during the week while Leif is working. :)

Link about A-Basin opening.

It Won't Be Long Now, My Pretties

Snapshot from the Loveland Basin Cam

Captured this morning from the Loveland Basin Cam. The snowmaking has started, and they're due to get real snow this weekend. Soon my plan to snowboard during the week while regular people work will come to fruition.

Weird Al - White and Nerdy

I just can't stop watching this video. Weird Al, the master of parody, is releasing another new album on Tuesday. This week he released the video for White and Nerdy, a parody of Chamillionaire's song "Ridin' Dirty". I haven't stopped laughing in 2 days - Leif and I are just watching it over and over. I guess that means we ARE white and nerdy?

Cool too is that someone already created a Wikipedia entry for White and Nerdy which talks about all the little subtle things in the video.

All About Me

Well, I usually don't do stuff like this, but I'm bored, so here's some random questions that I found on someone else's blog, with my answers. I'm sure on some of the answers you'll notice a trend...

Three things that scare me:
1) Religious fanatics taking over the politics of this country
2) Losing all my constitutional rights in the name of security
3) Something happening to Leif or my puppies, or anyone else in my family

Three people who make me laugh:
1) Leif
2) Adam
3) the Viking Table group (miss you guys!)

Three things I love (besides family members and my puppies):
1) Chocolate
2) Rock music
3) Reading a good book

Three things I hate:
1) US Cable support
2) US Cable support
3) the fact that my brother puts out very little effort to have any sort of relationship with me, besides the occassional email.

Three things I don’t understand:
1) People who don't take responsibility when they, themselves make a mistake
2) People who believe we don't have free will/choice, and instead we're controlled by a higher power
3) Why after 6 calls and 1 email in a week I can't get a US Cable technician out here to figure out why our network goes up and down randomly

Three things on my desk:
1) Macbook Pro
2) new 24" Dell LCD monitor
3) the book "1776" which I borrowed from a neighbor

Three things I am doing right now:
1) Looking forward to the start of hockey season.
2) Figuring out which internet provider I should switch to since US Cable support sucks ass.
3) Deciding what book I'm going to read when I go upstairs.

Three things I want to do before I die:
1) The terrain park on my snowboard at any resort
2) Teach my kid how to play hockey (when I have one)
3) Do something good that will make a difference

My personality:
1) Humorous
2) Outgoing
3) Restless

Three things I won’t do before I die:
1) Recommend anyone get US Cable as their service provider
2) Become a fanatical soccer hooligan
3) Root for Ohio State

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How Many Pieces of ID do I Need?

Today was our second Colorado DMV experience. It actually went very smoothly being that a) we didn't go to the main office, we went to a minor office, b) we got there early so didn't have to wait forever, and c) I had called yesterday.

"c" is the most crucial of these actually. Previously when we attempted to go to the Colorado DMV, having your unexpired out-of-state driver's license and your US Passport were sufficient to prove your identity. And why not? Both are government issued, and both have your picture on them, making it a win-win situation.

Someone must have been having a slow, unproductive work day one day, gotten yelled at by his boss, and told to "make something happen", so he thought to himself, "now how can we mess people up even more when going to the DMV," and while shooting up crack, decided that no longer was a US Passport good enough identification, you needed yet another piece of ID!

I mean come on, a US Passport *by itself* is usually good enough ID for places like...oh I don't know...the airport, going through customs, foreign countries, but nope! Not for the Colorado DMV.

I randomly happened to call them yesterday to verify that the minor office we were going to did out-of-state transfers, and they happened to mention that the policy against passports JUST CHANGED yesterday. Oh, and note that it's not *all passports*, you guessed it, just US Passports.

So as a born, raised, patriotic, and bred US citizen, my totally 100% genuine US passport isn't good enough, HOWEVER if I had been born, raised, and bred in another country, my foreign passport would have been fine, and sufficed as a secondary ID.

ON TOP OF THAT, I pretty much only had 2 choices of a third ID: a certified marriage license (which fortunately I had), or a state certified birth certificate. NOT A CITY CERTIFIED which is what I had in my "important papers" file, but a state certified. Note that none of these have a photo and the person glanced at the marriage license for like half a second before actually turning back to the license and the passport.

Foreign born citizens had a choice of the marriage license, and 6 OTHER CHOICES INCLUDING THEIR FOREIGN PASSPORT. I should preface that though by saying if I had been adopted or in the military I could've used those documents, bringing my possible total up to 4.

From the list, Leif literally had 4 other pieces of ID in his possession, I had 1.

So I was able to get a driver's license with little trouble because I had called ahead and known to bring the other ID (note to Colorado DMV webmaster, it's kind of cryptic on the site talking about this issue, you may want to fix it...), but what exactly is this issue supposed to solve besides making it more difficult for people to get driver's licenses? Have there been that many issues in Colorado where people walked in with forged passports? And wouldn't it just be easier for them to walk in with a fake foreign passport anyways since most people probably can't tell a real one from a fake one? And seriously, why couldn't they just link into the California DMV database to verify my information, that would be one seriously useful piece of technology.

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