A Final (?) Week at Home

As a start point for this week here are some photos that I missed from last week, enjoy!

Interestingly this sign, or similar, appears at all sorts of doors around the area. I guess that is quite sensible and logical.

And here I am talking to the giant horse that toured us around the elk refuge.  He really was a big lad.

And on to the shorter week, which I worked, all week.  Yay.  Silly work will be getting in the way of life soon πŸ˜‰  So to the week, it was relatively uneventful.  I had a whole host of reading to do for Fargo, although I did get the RFP read last week I hadn’t got through everything in the dataroom, and with a project that has been on the cards for ten odd years and then actively in design for at least six, there is a heck of a lot of information available.  That was mind-numbing.  I also had an arm wrestle with Mark, of course I let the boss win, he has delegated to me to do the presentation on Tuesday regarding the scope for Fargo.  I guess it is logical, I’ve spent much more time than he working through the dataroom etc.

What else did I do during the week?  Checking my work calendar (to jog my memory), nope, nothing interesting, a few meetings for Jennings and Fargo and that’s about it.  Mark went to Raymondsville, Texas to look at a job.  He started with texting me that he doesn’t like the town because they have bad food, then managed to get himself bogged (maybe due to the mapped route I suggested, mostly because he looked at the road and kept going), then he missed his connecting flight in Dallas, then he got to DIA and was greeted with a flat battery.  Sounds like one of those not-so-pleasant trips.

Checking my life calendar, nothing particularly interesting in the evenings there either.  I guess I finally got down to Parker for a haircut.  This was on Thursday, another of these freeze-absolutely-everything-off days.  I guess we had another of those cold snaps come through on Tuesday night.  There were all sorts of warnings about the cold and not going places unless you have to, and that there would be anything from 10″ to 2′ of snow.  Those totals may have happened elsewhere, but not at my house.  On Wednesday I got up thinking if its super snowy I’ll work from home, I looked outside and it was about three inches.  That is easy enough to deal with at that hour, before everyone gets on the road and makes a mess.  So I went to work both days, though the office was very quiet.  Charmingly, Mark sent me messages every now and then just to let me know that it was 75 degrees in Texas, while it was less than 10 in Denver.  Yay.  Otherwise the weekend is where its all at.

Friday night I got a little nerdy.  The new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, came out some time ago and Earl has been champing at the bit to go and see it. He was waiting to see it with his brother but TJ is quite busy in winter.  So he settled for my company and we spent Friday night at the cinema.  It was a decent movie as movies go.  There was a bit of a story and there was a decent amount of blowing shit up, so I wasn’t complaining.  I am not enough of a Star Wars nerd to be able to comment on how it ties in with the other movies or anything nice and nerdy like that, all I know is that Earl didn’t hate it, actually, he seemed quite excited by it!

Saturday we had a hike planned.  The weather cooperated and gave us an amazingly sunny day, though the temperature was in the low 20s, the sun really warmed it up.  We headed to the White Ranch Park Open Space and trudged through the snow.  We didn’t take snowshoes but we did have our traction, which wasn’t necessary but useful.  I’m sure you read the details in the 52 weeks of adventure post, but here are all the photos again because I like them!


White Ranch Park – Benno may recognise it, I did as soon as I drove into it.  I think we did a loo stop here when we were driving south from Boulder for one reason or another!



It was an amazing day – absolutely amazing day.  That is North Table Mountain in the background.  Note to self: go walking around NTM!


There was almost a foot of snow in a lot of places, thankfully the trail was somewhat compacted by previous hikers.  It was so warm that Earl was in short sleeves.  To be fair, I was in a long sleeved t-shirt.  Earl did get quite cold after walking through this sort of forested bit for a while, but we got to the sun and warmed up!

Best photo of the hike, love it!

The hike turned into a decent six miles (yep, I forgot to start the tracker at the very start, but Earl started his at the first turn off so easy to work out).


A love of Red story. When we got there the carpark was thick with frozen snow-slush, so I pulled into the haphazard line in reverse to when we left I wouldn’t have to deal with the less frozen slush.  Turns out others don’t like slush either so they parked nose to nose with me…annoying, now I had to leave through the slush.  We just got ourselves all sorted and in the car when a lady was trying to drive out the way we needed to go. She was struggling to the point where a host of guys came and pushed her out of it.  I love Red, she just went okay, done it, now what? Gold.

Saturday afternoon we initially had no plans.  During the hike I’d worked out quite a list of things that I needed to do in the afternoon given that I’d not be home until later on Sunday and I was travelling on Monday afternoon.  We got back to Earls and he had a message from his brother, TJ, saying that he’s got the evening off and that we should come by and say g’day.  Okay, the message didn’t say that, he wouldn’t say g’day, but the gist is there.  So because I had so much on my mental list, we headed back to mine for a little bit.  I did some washing and made Earl do some baking (nougat bar, yum!).  Then we headed back up to Lakewood.  Hilariously, we were on the way and Earl gets a text from TJ saying Here is my new address, let me know when you get here and I’ll open the gate.  Turns out that TJ and Constance moved house a couple of months ago and didn’t tell Earl – hilarious!  TJ works in HVAC so he is super busy when its cold.  And when its hot.  I guess he gets to relax a bit during spring and autumn.  I may have given Earl some stick for that, I should learn to be nice one day.  So we get to the new place and Constance is an absolute riot, she’s from Kentucky and doesn’t just talk with her hands, she talks with her entire body!  TJ is a character, Earl says he’s hilarious, I think he is amusing, but in an insulting way, so I guess he could be a lot more funny.  He sure is smart/remembers a lot.  Constance cooked up fried chicken and vegetables for dinner, which was really scrummy!

It was kinda a late night so we slept in a bit on Sunday morning then headed to Chads Grill for brunch.  It was a pretty cool place.  They had some awesome artwork by Shay Davis, its some really cool stuff, click the link and have a look.  Super quirky and fun, but also really well done, and they do some amazing work on realistic stuff too, have a look at the painting of the wave in the gallery, there is little quirky about that but its so well done!  Absolutely love the paintings.  The breakfast wasn’t too bad either, I challenged Earl as to why he doesn’t frequent this pub, its all of half a mile to his house, he’d never been there!  I gave him some guff for that too, oops πŸ˜‰

Then we went to the stock show.  Yep, the National Western Stock Show started on Thursday and I had tickets for three shows.  Amusingly due to the insanely cold weather on Thursday they cancelled the annual opening parade through Denver city.  It was really quite cold even though there wasn’t as much snow as they predicted.  So we started the stock show fun with the same show as I started last year with – Cowboy mounted shooting.  Last time I saw the end of it, this time I saw the start.  There weren’t any kids on the cards but the adults were super impressive with their pistols, shotguns, and rifles, most of the runs had a combo of two guns at least.  The fastest was a really quite accurate 15 year old girl on a super swift pony.

Yes yes they are a long way away. The first guy is firing a shotgun, the second is the fast girl.

We then wandered out to the stockyards and walked along the bridge in the sun.  I like that, watching the people primping their beastly cattle, using hair dryers and clippers etc.  We followed that up with a walk through the truly pampered cattle, those housed inside the building and a pause at the cattle show to have a look at how the proceedings for the Angus judging are run.  Earl, and then I, got a little distracted with a little math problem that Becky sent through.  Apparently someone was googling incorrectly when they were grading the test.  So the question was to use the FOIL method to expand (9+4i)^2.  I really don’t see how the assessor got it wrong except if they googled it and just graded to the first this that google popped up with, which is this:


This is what Google says.


This is what using the FOIL method actually looks like (yes – I went home and wrote out the steps because that’s what I do).

Okay, my nerdy moment is over πŸ˜‰

So after doing a little high school math we headed into the Coliseum for the Mexican Extravaganza Rodeo.  I hate to say that I really didn’t enjoy the Mexican extravaganza.  It was bright and fun, but in terms of the rodeo, I think it was lacking somewhat.  The show started with five broncos, which was really interesting because they have a different technique, there are two hands on the horse but they’re not tied in like the single handed American way, it seems you really have to hold on strong and the pick up crew doesn’t have to get the guy off, its more of a calm-the-horse-down-and-get-it-outta-there crew.  

Difficult to see with phone photos but the first is the bronco the second the bull.

Then there was a whole lot of filler, a round of mutton bustin’ (always a crowd favourite), and it finished up with riding four bulls.  Similar style in terms of the hold, but of course bulls.  For a two hour show, there really wasn’t much rodeo.  They did have an Aussie guy who did a whole lot of horsemanship type stuff, that was interesting… but overall somewhat disappointing.  Can’t believe it went for two hours!  At least the final ticket I have is for pro rodeo, that will be better.

They’re riding side saddle, there was a lot of that.

After leaving the Mexican Rodeo a little earlier than it finished (our next show was scheduled for 1600), we popped down to the food area and Earl had some BBQ (American style, not Aussie style) and I had a Bratwurst (closer to Aussie style in that it was grilled!).  Next up, Freestyle Reining, this is a link to a facebook movie of it, you can clearly see that the highlight for the crowds / judges is the stopping quickly and the spinning in tight circles.  Heck, the first guy (the fat bloke in coconut shells) only galloped end to end and stopped and spun, many times.  There was a loose interpretation of ‘freestyle’, some competitors had people in the ring with them helping set the scene, one had another horse and rider in there with him, which seemed odd because the guy being judged had another guy to act with, so I thought he was a bit better.  The second one was quite impressive – the whole thing was done without a bridle and just using a magic wand and the normal bodily aids to keep the horse doing what was planned.  Impressive.  So this show was one that was interesting for me but Earl had absolutely no understanding therefore it was just silly dressed people on horses.  Kinda like me with Star Wars πŸ™‚

This is the guy with the magic wand, stopping. Again.

Then it was home for me and I cooked up some Asian style pulled pork, finished up the presentation for Tuesday, and packed my bags for Chicago.
I guess I should explain the post title…Last week was about the last time that I’ll get to spend a full week in Denver for the foreseeable future.  As of next (this) week I am scheduled to travel to Minneapolis each week until June or July, though Chicago it is for next (this) week.  This will be a barrel of fun with plane delays in winter and the mad humidity in Minneapolis in summer, maybe spring time in Minneapolis isn’t too bad…I’m sure you’ll hear all about it as time goes on πŸ™‚

While I’m doing housekeeping, I’ll try and post these on Wednesdays rather than Mondays.  For two reasons: 1) I like the Monday morning quick post for the 52 adventures, so don’t worry I’ll still be aiming for a post on Monday, it will just be somewhat shorter than this regular one; and 2) It will give me more time to type out this bigger one.  With the travel, it will be a nice way to spend some time while on a plane or at an airport, etc.  To quote the always-awesome-Ally “Sorry not sorry”.

And let’s end the post on a rant. The Context: in the mornings I’ve been going to the gym and spending a little time there, a lot of it on the bike (my shoulder hurts to run and any lifting has created worse pain). So on the bike I turn on two televisions to keep me vaguely entertained, one one sport the other in news, both on mute.  I saw an ad (here it is on you tube if you want to play along at home) for rheumatoid arthritis and nearly flipped. I did a brief Google and discovered that he is a golfer and she is a chef, sweet, no worries, the ad starts off with them doing their jobs.


Now to the rant part…the rest of the ad is a split between the two newly improved lives. He fuels the car, she waters the garden.  He checks the tyre pressures and goes for a drive, she goes to the supermarket and chooses some peanut butter.  He’s driving the car, shes driving a shopping trolley.  He plays football with the son, she goes for a ride with the daughter.  The longer ad (which I can’t find on you tube) includes him putting out the bins, while she serves dinner.

And they say sexism is a thing of the past.

One thought on “A Final (?) Week at Home

  1. I actually did recognise it in the 52 post. But i figured there’d be heaps like that, dont be silly. Well there ya go i was right!
    So did you make Earl cook nougat bar to quash the sexism bit? Haha…
    Not enough pics/no C&H πŸ˜‰


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