Wolf Creek

Riding Wolf Creek


Wolf Creek


Mid Dec.

Well, it's mid december.  A$ and I have been getting up to the mountains a fair bit; we spent Saturday skiing Vail.  The snow isn't great yet, but it's plenty for me to learn on.  This time around we actually had snow to play on, instead of the man-made stuff that was freezing up at Keystone last weekend (it was at the end of a great condo trip with friends though, so I can't be heard to complain too much).  It's nice to have a new sport for this season, especially since I think this is the longest period of time I've been out of my kayak since I started kayaking.

As the photos below can attest, I had a batch of beer turn south on me.  Looks like it was a Brett infection, and it turned what should have been a nice pale ale into a cidery mess.  I ended up tossing the bucket.  In the meantime, I've made a tasty milk stout and another pale ale.


My first infected batch



A. and I went out skiing/snowboarding yesterday, and I'm starting to feel like an actual snowboarder.  By the end of the day I was linking all of my turns and feeling very in-control.  Of course, this was on one of the easier greens at Breck, but it was still good to feel like I had a solid handle on the basics.  We headed down one of the steeper greens for a bit, but it was packed with people and I had a hard time concentrating on what I was doing.  Hopefully as the mountains get more snow, other terrain will open up soon and spread out the people a little more.  We headed up to the mountains early, and came down off the mountain at about 2:30, which let us miss most of the traffic in both directions, which was nice.  Hopefully we'll be able to get out again after the holiday weekend.


Beer Labels



A., P., and I managed to get out on what will probably be the last hike of the season last weekend.  We drove up to the Gore range, car camped, and then did a day hike the next morning.  Our campsite was pretty, and pre-bonfire bocce ball went over well.  Sleeping wasn't too terribly cold, though I don't think my sleeping bag is an honest-to-God -10 degree bag.  The hike was pleasant, though it alternated between being icy and muddy.  Then, pumpkin ravioli.  

I had veteran's day off, so we headed up to Keystone for my first snowboarding lesson, ever.  Things went fairly well, though I never got off of the bunny hill.  By the end of the day I was able to link 2-3 turns together though; once I can link them together without getting close to stopping/falling, I should be good to go.  I figure I'll need about one more morning on the bunny hill before I'm ready for more challenging terrain.  We're planning on heading up to Breckenridge this Sunday, if the weather is decent.

Also, A$ and I have been playing Borderlands, an xbox game, quite a lot lately.  It's a fantastic game, with lots of guns.  Hooray!


Zombies. A made a trick or treater cry.

Zombie halloween. JFK style.

The commute


Getting sworn in.


Well, I'm now the veteran of a root canal.  I had a tooth that had been bothering me some last weekend, and it continued to get worse.  I managed to see a dentist, who referred me to an endodontist, and sure enough, one of my molars that had a deep filling in it had died.  Root canal time.  Fortunately, the procedure has gotten a lot easier than it used to be, and now it's really no different, experience-wise, from a deep filling.  Also, the hydrocodone helped.

Not a lot else new around here, aside from my fantastic ski helmet.  Spent the weekend hanging out with some friends, and had a tasty dinner at Le Central the other night.  Today I get sworn-in with the other newly-minted attorneys, which should be fun.  


ND game watch


Star wars ski helmet take 2

Star wars ski helmet



Attended another great wedding this past weekend; very fun and informal.  It was preceded by a bachelor party that consisted mainly of shooting things, drinking beer, and cooking steaks in the woods.  Oh, and an attempt to cook chicken-in-the-hole, which ended with a tasty meal of chicken-grilled-on-the-gas-grill-that-we-hauled-into-the-woods.  

I went fly fishing up in Rocky Mountain National Park on Sunday.  It was my first time up there, and though I still think there are plenty of places to go backpacking in Colorado and avoid the crowds and cost of RMNP, it sure is beautiful.  Didn't catch any fish, but saw some sizable elk.

I have a dentist appointment today, which promises to be pretty fantastic; I have a tooth that has been bothering me quite a bit for the past few days.  Blarg.

Though we had a cold snap a week or so ago, it's beautiful around here now.  Hopefully the sunny weather will stick around here and some more snow will start to drop on the mountains.  


Star wars ski helmet. Gonna be sweet



Denver Snow.



This past weekend I flew to Chicago for M's wedding.  It was a really fun weekend; mainly just bumming around Chicago with D. and his brother, eating giant pastrami and brisket sandwiches.  The only stroke of bad luck came when we didn't make it to Hot Doug's before closing in order to sample their foie gras hot dogs.  Something to look forward to for next time I suppose.  The wedding was beautiful, and the reception was a lot of fun.  It was nice to get a bit of a sense of the varieties that weddings come in; events with my family tend to be huge, loud, and always include the chicken dance.  Getting back to Denver was a bit brutal; my flight left Midway at 6am.  I'll try not to make that mistake again.


Tour de fat



Got out backpacking last weekend, which was beautiful.  P&C and I hiked up to Crater Lakes near Moffat Tunnel.  It was a short trip, just out for a night, but the lake was beautiful and the weather was good right up until when we hiked out, when it started raining.  Then Denver was socked in with clouds and drizzle for about 4 days.  First time that's happened since I got here.  It looks like it's finally passed though. Feels like fall.

I brewed a wheat beer last night, and am brewing my first consignment beer tonight.  My neighbor owns a brand-new graphic design firm and wants to give out bomber bottles of a stout and a pale ale as Christmas gifts.  When I went to the brew store last night I stumbled into a presentation by a company that produces brewing yeast on their new lager strains.  They had free food and beer.  It was fantastic.  

Continental divide


Spam. Cheese. Dried pineapple. Awesome.



The only bad thing about the first day of work is that a woman walked off with my newspaper when I was having lunch in the park.  You turn your back for one second to toss the sandwich paper, and your WSJ is gone.


The readjustment to Colorado has gone well; I managed to get out kayaking and brew another batch of beer, a Cascade-based IPA, since I"ve been back. A. is back in Atlanta for a bit, which takes some getting used to, and I'm about ready to start work. The month or so off is just about the right amount of time. Not a lot else new and exciting; it took me a full day to get my car emissions-tested, titled, registered, and to get a Colorado driver's license. Good times at the DMV.



I failed my moped test the other day with the rental guys.  You almost drive into a van in the parking lot and they yank that bad boy right out from under you.  ATVs it was then.  Santorini is beautiful, though it was good to get away from the crowds when we could.  Today we're bumming around for the most part, and then we catch a fast ferry for Crete.  We're in Crete for less time than we had hoped; the ferry and plane schedules didn't quite work out the way we wanted them to.  So we're there for a full day, and then we're out on an early flight to London via Athens.  Should be a pretty big change from the islands.



We have arrived in Santorini, perhaps the most beautiful of the greek islands, but maybe the most tourist-infested as a result.  Most of those sunset photos you've seen where the sun is setting over whitewashed buildings on a cliff were taken here.  Fortunately, we found a great hostel on the quiet side of the island that is on a cliff just above the water.  We will be here for a few days, just hanging out today, but renting a moped tomorrow and cruising out to the volcano the day after.  Naxos was great; my favorite day of the trip so far was probably tooling around the island on an ATV, hiking Mt. Zeus, and playing in the surf.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.
No pictures for the time being; I need to have wifi to upload them from my phone. 


Planes, trains...


The acropolis



A. and I have made it to Athens.  Amsterdam was fun; we stayed with fantastic couchsurfing hosts.  They let us cook dinner for them on the first night (we did burgers with blue cheese and balsamic, with sauteed shallots) and they made dinner for us on our other two nights.  We did a boat tour, saw the Van Gough museum and Our Lord in the Attic (a Catholic church built among the attics of three houses while Catholicism was outlawed) and did a lot of wandering about.  It looks like we may have budgeted an extra day or so in Athens, but I'm sure we'll find something to do. 



Well, it's off to Amsterdam today. Annie and I are on different
flights but we will arrive within a couple hours of each other.

Beth and I went backpacking over the weekend. Out campsite was great,
but over half of the trail wa open to 4wd travel, which was annoying.
We were going to hike a peak too, but the wind was gusting to 60 or so
ond the ridges on both days which made it tough to stand. Fortunately
our campsite down in the valley was well-protected.


Well, we're done with the Colorado Bar Exam. It went fairly well; I'm sure I missed some questions but I think it went all right on the whole. I'll find out in a couple of months. We brought a bocce ball set and played a few rounds during the lunch breaks, which was a nice way to break things up. Some people were studying during the break and looking pretty miserable. I didn't see anyone completely freak out, though when we started the second essay period, the whole group of us got a bit of a lecture about how they know that we're under a lot of stress but that we need to be cordial to the staff, especially since they're there to try and help us. Someone must have freaked out.

We had some people over last night to celebrate, and today is pretty low-key. A. wants to hit a water park before we take off for Europe, and I may go backpacking for a couple days. Then we're off.


Study Study Study. We're less than a week and a half out from the bar exam. I saw Andrew Jackson Jihad last night at Rhino, and it was a fantastic show. It also must have been over 100 degrees in the venue by the time the show was over. Fantastic though. Harpoontang was also there, and similarly fantastic. I brewed some more beer the other night as well, this time an IPA that should be deserving of the name. We've got tickets booked for Europe; flying into Amsterdam, then Greece, then London. If you have a place to crash out there, let me know.

Now, back to studying.


Had a good Fourth of July; did a lot of boating and got away from barbri for a bit. Now it's time to buckle down; the exam is about 20 days away. I feel pretty decent about it; I did well on the practice exam, though my essays are still a little hit-or-miss.

The beer continues to improve; I've got the IPA, APA, Red, and Wheat all into bottles, along with a german hard cider that needs to clean up a little bit. I've also got a Scotch Ale, a Stout, and a Brown Ale in fermenters. The APA is fantastic; it's a clone of Mighty Arrow, the New Belgium summer seasonal. Great hop profile, nice body; good beer. I'm still waiting for the Red to even out a little; it's still a little overly sweet. Both the IPA and the Red were from pre-packaged kits; I think I'm going to do recipes that I've hunted down from now on.

No other big drama around here; I've been trying to bike to class as much as I can, though we just have a few of them left and then we're on our own to study. A random guy with a cape joined our group at the bar the other night, and we did not-fantastic at the local pub quiz (we need a deeper bench). Now I'm off to MN for a de-facto family reunion.



Fresh brew grain bread


The beer brewing is going pretty well; the IPA turned out nicely. I'm bottling a Red Ale and maybe a wheat beer this week, a week after that maybe an American Pale Ale if I clear enough bottles, and after that a german hard cider. Then the brown ale that I'm brewing on Wed. That should build up a pretty healthy pipeline. After that, who knows. Maybe I'll get started on a porter or a stout to let it age for a long time before fall rolls around.

A. and I booked our tickets for our bar trip. We're flying into Amsterdam and out of London; staying in Europe for 22 or 23 days. We want to hit Greece and maybe France; flights through Easy Jet are pretty cheap, and it looks like we have somewhere to stay in London. Should be a good trip.


I made beer


Beer brewing party. Note brownies.

Cooling my third wort. Big time cold break.

Post-thunderstorm clouds over the first friday art walk on Santa Fe.


Well, we're pretty well settled into Denver. The apartment actually looks like an apartment, and I've already hosted a number of houseguests. The bar courses are going into full swing this week. We just had a few courses the past couple of weeks, but now it's a 5 day week from here on in for some time. The classes are fine, though since they're being recorded we can't ask any questions, so we're just talked at for three hours every morning. I've been getting a fair amount of kayaking in; I figure that as water levels go down, studying will go up, and the water tends to run out once July comes around anyway, which is really when I need to start putting my head down.

In other news, I wish people would quit stealing my stuff. Annie and I went down to the Santa Fe district for First Friday, when all of the galleries open up their new collections. While we were there, someone unbolted my bike seat and seatpost. They brought tools. Jerks. They've both been replaced, through the generouisity of friends and dropping some cash at REI.

I've been brewing some beer lately; I have both an IPA and a Red Ale in primary fermenters. I'm going to bottle the IPA later this week, and a couple of weeks after that it should be ready to drink (though technically it's beer as I type this). Brewing is quite a bit of fun; it's like cooking with a little bigger focus on procedure and chemistry. It's nice getting somewhat immersed in something new and trying to get a handle on, if not master, the technique. Next up is probably going to be a Gumball Head wheat beer clone. We'll see how it goes. It's helpful that there is a pretty well stocked homebrew store not far from REI.

That's most of the major news. I've been meeting some new friends in Denver and trying to reconnect with some of the old ones. A. and I have gotten into watching Friday Night Lights, and saw Terminator last night. So far, she's studying more than I am, though I'm ok with that so far. We've picked up and rehabbed furniture, and broke down and bought a new bed after the first one was too marshmallow-ey. So far, the apartment is working out great, and now it's time for cocktails.


What's that you ask for? A tour of the new apartment? I suppose. We actually got freaked out about the new apartment, since I tried to use my key in the wrong house, which had a trashy yard and, perhaps, a puppy farm. Then I found the right one. Horray! Flowers! High ceilings! A porch! The only other hiccup was getting ticketed when the landlord erroneously told me to move my car because of street sweeping, and I moved it to the far side of the street the one day out of the month it was illegal to do so. She let me knock the cost of the ticket off of rent. Awesome.

The sort-of-galley kitchen.

The TV now has something to sit on. Woo! More art to come once the frames get here.

Bookshelves. The bedroom is through the pocket doors.

Looking into the bedroom, past the now-deoderized couch.

The bar. Stools to come. Flowers from our landlord, from the garden.

Bed. With custom chalkboard paint.