Friday, October 31, 2008


Note to self: next year buy more candy!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

The RAGBRAI banjo

The old banjo needs an update:
Here it is with some fellow school teachers at RAGBRAI XXXV

Here are some more recent pictures

Detail of broken tail piece
I was at Avo's bluegrass jam last night when the old banjo began to cry out for help. This particular banjo was made from an old pressure cooker and a furniture leg. It was played for many years, exposed to all kinds of weather, stored in a car trunk during the winter months, and it never, ever had it's own protective case.
Last night while at the Avo's jam, certain structural abnormalities of the tail piece were noted during the playing of the instrument. The banjo quickly lost tune and it became apparent that the banjo could no longer hold tension on the strings.
The tail piece, which was probably 35 years old, decided to fold!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Time for Change

Sunday afternoon at the CSU Oval:
We were there by 10:30 am and joined our group of V.I.P. ushers.
Jeanne was posted at the blue ticket collection area left of the stage and I was the crossing guard between the left stage entry and the bomb squad. ( Actually, I was at the cut-off area between the V.I.P. entry and the main roadway. I got to see who was coming and going!)
The AP estimated that there were more than 45,000 people in attendance.  I recorded some of Barack's speech with my Zoom H2 Handy Recorder and used it in the video.
Jeanne was able to leave her post and get close to the center stage, but I stayed near a speaker tower to get the audio.  I stood on top of an electric generator trailer to get a quick glimpse of Barack doing an interview after his speech. 


Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Big 'O' from Chicago

Honestly, some people thought Oprah was coming to town!
We volunteered to work this Sunday at the big rally. There were about 300 of us, and when the organizers asked for ten people to serve as VIP ushers, I was the first to yell "ME, ME ME !!!! "
We are tired so we will get some sleep and report on it tomorrow maybe.

BTW, remember Colette and Chris? Look at the UTAH blog!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Signs of Humanity, Part Third

The Summer is better for this sort of thing. Here's the latest:
At Drake and Shields
For only a buck you could be a member of the Pulse!

At Mulberry and Lemay
Another furniture store going down!

...and a review of College avenue


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heart of a Giant

On this day I hiked up to the top of the Horsetooth!
Here's the view looking east

The Native Americans legend is that an evil giant roamed this area. The giant was killed by a warrior who cut out the giant's heart and then slashed it. The remaining rocks are parts of the giant's heart. Of course the white folks thought it looked more like horseteeth so they named it horestooth rock. It is now the symbol of Fort Collins.

See the teeth marks on the left of the Fort Collins logo?

Some kind of rodent lives near the gums!

Between the teeth, looking down and westward. On a clear day, you should see Pikes Peak. Not today!

There was some snow in the shaded areas. The altitude here was about 7,200 feet.

These deer saw me before I saw them!

Happy to say, I made it back home safe!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shrooms with Kevin

Kevin Cook was back again to tell us that there are these eukaryotic organisms living all over Colorado!
...and that they are heterotrophic organisms possessing a chitinous cell wall, the majority of which grow multicellular filaments called hyphae forming a mycelium!
In short order, the amount of information from this lecture began to mushroom! a full house of Fort Collins residents.

LOL! Here's one of my favorite basidiomycots!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Judge Jeanne

Jeanne is an election judge in Colorado!
Unlike Illinois, they have early voting in Colorado, so Jeanne will be busy until November 5th!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Piaf Pure

I saw this van on Shields Street today:

This afternoon we saw the last performance of "Pure Piaf: The Life and Music of Edith Piaf" at the Bas Bleu Theatre.

Alex Ryer as Edith Piaf

Le petit homme souse le ciel de Paris. C'est a hambourg, la vie en rose, mon dieu, je T'ai dans la peau & les amants D'un jour!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Main Street, not Wall Street

Here are three buildings in Fort Collins built in the late 1800's:
I've seen this architecture in other places

Maybe in some of the older towns in Iowa while on RAGBRAI

Then again...

When we had breakfast with the mayor of Fort Collins, he mentioned something about how the old town section inspired the idea of 'Main Street USA' in Disneyland and Disneyworld. It turns out that one of Disney's art directors, a Mr. Harper Goff, grew up in Fort Collins. His vision of Disney's Main Street came form the architecture samplings of old town Fort Collins! Some of the better examples, like the old courthouse are no longer around, but you can still see a little bit of Disneyland in certain sections of town if you take the time to look for them!


Friday, October 17, 2008

The Farm at Lee Martinez Park

This seems the be the place to bring your kids and see farm animals.
Of course, Fort Collins Can Has Chickens!

The Silver Grey Dorking is one of the oldest British breeds of chicken being descended from stock brought to Britain by the Romans.

The White Houdan originated in America, the result of crossing White Polish with Mottled Houdans.

Originated in Asia and brought to this country in mid-1800's, Brahmas are exceptionally quiet, gentle, and easy to handle.

They gots little pigs too!

...and sheep.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Home away from home

I'm here at least once a week.
Avo's patio

The gazebo

The snake fountain

The Tree House

The temps are in the mid to upper 70's so the patio is still a great place to meet and play with fellow musicians. We will have to move inside to the regular stage area when it gets colder however!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Failed Franchises

Fort Collins is a great place to live but...

They don't "get" pizza! Oh, sure, they have a few places that claim to have New York or Chicago style pizza, but they don't come close. All the campus style pizza places are clones of Domineeks! and taste like Chuck-Up E. Cheese! The high class joints are not much better-- just more expensive. And what's with the sausage? All of Fort Collins must be contracted out to some dog food company in Sterling. There really are some fabulous restaurants in town, but PIZZA ! Fergeddaboudit!

Oh, and I think the Jeanne is becoming a Colorado Rockies fan!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Someone's in the kitchen with Sarah!

We had guests this weekend:
"No way the earth is only 6,000 years old!"

Chris and Colette were here for the weekend to help with the canvassing effort in Northern Colorado.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chop chop?

Front Range Forestry students learning how to chop wood!
I guess you have to learn how  to do this sometime! 


Friday, October 10, 2008

False Alarm!

Saw this big cat strolling by our window!
Well, it could have been a bobcat! From a distance it was hard to tell!

OK, here's a bunny. We see them a lot around here! Bobcat food?


Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Reservoir

Horsetooth reservoir!
I took a new route to the reservoir today...
via this Wall-Mart bike!

It took a while to get up there

... but it was worth it!

This is Dixon Reservoir looking East.

The ride down hill was quicker (and more fun too!)

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

105 09 04 W 40 33 40 N

The foothills have this letter painted on the side:
You can see it from the road, and you can ride your mountain bike up to it.

You can see it from an airplane

Maybe even from outer space?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Joe and Hannah @ Harmony for Humanity

We were entertained by this fabulous duo the other night:
They call themselves ACOUSTIC EIDOLON
It was a special concert as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days in October.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Water Works

If you go Northwest of Fort Collins and follow the old Cherokee Branch of the Overland Trail, you will find this place:
It's the old water works building dating back to 1882-83, when it was built to deliver the first piped water to Fort Collins.

Water was transported to Fort Collins though wooden pipes. Iron replaced most of the pipes in later years, but there are still some wood pipes in use today!

They would dam up a branch of the Poudre River and use water power to pump the water out to stand pipes located in Fort Collins's central district.

If there was a fire in town, the local fire brigade could hook up their hoses to a standpipe and fight the fire.

The original reservoir is gone, but the building remains, along with an apple orchard with tree varieties common in the late 19th century including Irish Peach and the Esopus Spitzenburg.


Saturday, October 4, 2008


How cute! A little fox was taking a nap outside our kitchen door!
Rats! The camera is focusing on the screen door, so I can't get a clear picture!
Zoom in a little! Not much better.


Let's try it in movie mode and try to open the door. Oops! He heard us!

We expect we will see more visitors as food gets harder to find. Our HOA president claimed he has seen bears and cougars in his back yard in the three years that he has lived here! So far we have seen in our yard:



Friday, October 3, 2008


At Avo's Patio:
About 75 people in the patio watching the Biden Palin debate.

Say "DRILL" ! ... Please?


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Zoom H2 @ Avo's

I was trying out my new Zoom H2 digital audio recorder at Avo's Jam last night:

I still need to figure out the best way to capture audio, especially in a noisy barroom situation. Here's an example of the music at the jam (I didn't record this one! The audio I have is too distorted because I had the mic gain too high). When I figure out how to adjust the gain properly, I will be able to start using it as a sound track in my videos.

Glendale Train

The above link is an MP3 from my server. If it works, you should be able to hear what goes on at Avo's every Wednesday night!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A few more...

Of all the 150 metal lawn ornaments
I liked this one the most!

...not sure what he used for the head.

Most of his animals have oil pan craniums.

or weird birds like this one.

Unusual vehicles can be found out back.

... but there appears to be plenty of room on his front lawn for even more!