Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stop Your Jibber-Jabber and Get Some Nuts!

An all-Mr. T post!? Yeah, sure, why not? I mean who doesn't miss Mr. T!? Well, he's back, with an awesome series of Snickers Commercials. Pure marketing genius right there!

If you are Mr. T, and you are going to show the world that it needs to eat more Snickers, well then, you are going to need the proper equipment. Just like in most A-Team episodes, B.A. Baracus certainly isn't afraid to take matters into his own hands;

This commercial is my absolute favorite- with or without the controversy around it. See, it's been playing in the UK, but amazingly (or maybe not), the U.S. lobby group, Human Rights Campaign has taken offense to this ad, and claims that it condones "the notion that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is a group of second class citizens and that violence against GLBT people is not only acceptable but humorous". Um... I didn't know you had to be "GLBT" to be a speedwalker. Rather, I would argue that it's actually the Human Rights Campaign, that is propagating the stereotype, that if you are a speedwalker, then you must be GLBT. Anyway, watch the commercial, then laugh your nuts off;

Here is the first ad from the series... you may have seen this one, since apparently according to the Human Rights Campaign, playing soccer doesn't make you gay;

And just because everyone needs more Mr. T... here is just plain a good ol' Rant from Mr. T. I'm sure it was inteded to be chopped up for various clips and sound bites, but it's fun all-around.

I need some nuts... I wonder if the vending machine has any Snicker's bars in it?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Doping Cheeto Christ

This just in!!!

You know... in case you really thought maybe some mistake was made, and Ricco really was telling the truth, and there was no way a fine upstanding cyclist such as himself would actually lie about doping, even if his teamate who hadn't tested positive (initially) hadn't admitted that he too had doped.

But I mean this news is barely news, when you have the Lord Jeebus making himself apparent in a bag of cheetos.

On a much more practical side... I really want this coffee table! But I mean, it hard to really buy it, considering that they dropped the actual radioactive elements from the display. I mean, you can't even pretend that it's complete when it doesn't have those elements. I wouldn't have minded even if they were tucked away inside little lead-lined boxes or something. Of course, you know some fool would have tried to take them apart in that case.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Last week was a real bummer, as we lost another one of the family puppies. This time it was Craig's boy, and my "nephew", Draven.

I remember the first time I met Draven; he wandered nonchalantly, on his own, into the bike shop that I was working in. He promptly ignored me, and trotted further into the store, just checking to make sure everything was in the right place and in good order. He had obviously been there before. Draven did however introduce me to his dad, Craig.

Draven got used to me though, and became a great buddy. When I got Neo, he was a little annoyed at a new puppy, but he eventually, took over teaching Neo just how to be a dog. Draven was always ready to go for a run, a mountain bike ride, drink a beer and get into a fight (no, really), or even put on the kit, and work the feed zone.

Draven lived a long, happy, productive life, but finally, got beat by an evil case of pneumonia. Never a good thing when you are the equivalent of 80-some human years old. I have no doubt that everyone that knew Draven will miss him dearly.

I don't think it was a fluke that there was one of the best rainbows I have ever seen on his last day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


The final leg of the honeymoon, was a stop off on the island of Crete. We decided, admittedly at my behest, that it would be fun to take a high-speed hydrofoil from Santorini to Crete... but it wasn't that fun. It was more like riding on a cattle car, everyone packed in, traveling on the cheap, from island to island, rather than flying. Well, at least it meant less time in the airport, though Jessica and I were situated several seats away from one another. At least there was this dude, rockin' a sweet Euro-mullet, kinda going for the Phil Collins look;

Anyway... Crete was pretty cool. I knew it was mountainous, but I didn't think the mountains were quite so tall, over 2400 meters! Rising up, very nearly right from the sea. Our hotel was very cool, and sticking to the pattern, was a totally different style than the other two we had stayed at so far. The Minoa Palace was HUGE, and very "resort-ish". It reminded me of a cruise ship or something - a place where you wouldn't ever have to leave the hotel if you didn't want to. It had something like 6 restaurants and 2000sq meters of swimming pools!

And a trendy interior;

The hotel was located right on the beach, just a nice short walk from the room. It was the first sand beach of our trip. The water here was even warmer, still very clear, and pretty calm most of the time.

We spent a good portion of one day exploring downtown Chania. There were a good number of historic locations, including this Venetian lighthouse protecting the harbor.

The small harbor in the old(est) part of Chania;

Jessica stormed the Byzantine fort!

But mostly we were happy to get back and relax on the beaches, or swim around at the pools. Most nights we had a great view while eating dinner.

Including the night I named my lobster friend, Fred... and then ate him while sitting next to the sea where he used to live. The top of the food chain is a pretty comfy spot.

Other than that, we spent a ton of time on the beach, at the pool, or just plain relaxing. And who could blame us with the views?

Entirely too soon, it was time to return to reality, and jump on the plane for the long ride back to Colorado. It's good to be home... but it's always better to be on vacation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Before we knew it, we were back to the airport in Athens, and climbing onto a plane for Santorini. Santorini is a small group of islands about 80 kilometers north of Crete. The islands are a product of an active volcano, which has had some major eruptions over time, the last one of which was around 1500 BC and which destroyed all life on the island. The present-day crescent shape of the island is a consequence of the this huge eruption. The collapse of the caldera allowed the sea to come rushing into what was the center portion of the island. The highest parts of the island reach up over 300 meters above the sea, while the caldera itself extends over 400 meters below the sea! The island itself owes its very existence to the volcano. The mild activity of the volcano after this major eruption continues into the present building up two small islands within the caldera, Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni. These islands represent the volcano's most recent activity. These two small islands in the center of the Santorini caldera, are the youngest volcanic lands in the Eastern Mediterranean. Palea Kameni (Old Burnt Island) is less than 2000 years old, while Nea Kameni (Young Burnt Island) began to form only 425 years ago and its youngest lavas are less than 50 years old.

We stayed at an amazing hotel, Xenones Filotera, located in the village of Imeroviglio, just north of Fira, the capital of Santorini. We had an awesome suite, and we were located on one of the narrowest portions of the island, and high up on a cliff, so we could watch the sun come up over the Aegean Sea in one direction, and watch it set over the sea in the other direction! The hotel was small, and quiet, but had an amazing staff that spoiled us. This is looking north towards our hotel, which is one of the buildings in the group along the right side of the picture.

Jessica relaxes, and takes in our view of the caldera from the hotel. We had to "deal with" this view for breakfast each morning, while swimming in the pool, and just plain in general. It was rough...

First mission was to rent ourselves a 4-wheeler for transportation around the island. It was about 1 million miles away from being "sprite", but we soon adopted our trusty little friend into the family, and named him Flash - mostly because of his "blinding" speed.

The first beach we hit was Kamari on the Southeastern side of the island;

Later that same day, we wound our way down to The Red Beach, which turned out to be our favorite. It had crystal clear, calm water, and though it looks cool in pictures, it doesn't compare to the sight in person!

The next day we hit Koloumbos Beach, up on the North side of the island. This one was less developed, so featured some nudists, and also had rough seas as there was a strong on-shore wind that day.

So we went back south to hit up The White Beach next. This one was pretty cool too, oddly enough, fairly similar to the Red Beach, except that it was white. The sea was calm here too, though didn't feature as much sea life.

Jessica at the Southern tip of the island, in Faros, overlooking the sea;

Looking from the Southern part of the island, across the caldera and back up to the Northern tip, where the town of Ia is.

Another day we took a boat out to the islands that make up the volcano. They forgot to mention the nice hike from the shore up to the top of the cone, across deep black volcanic rock, but it was well worth it. This is the view from Nea Kameni, overlooking the (still active) double crater at the top, and looking back towads Fira at the top of the cliffs.

The boat made a stop-off when we circled Palea Kameni at one of the hot springs along the shore. Jessica thought it was especially cool that there was no place to really dock the boat, so you had to jump off the rail of the boat, and swim a ways to shore and into the springs. It was definitely cool, but not hot like the hot springs you have around here!

I have no idea how, but when we got back to port, I convinced Jessica we should hike up the 500-some steps that climb back up to Fira. Even I thought they were rough, not eased by the mid-day sun and 100 degree temps. Jessica was a rockstar though, and made it all the way up, brushing off the pleas of others coming down that we should just turn around and take the donkey ride up!

Everyday on Santorini ended with an amazing sunset, this one from our hotel pool.

Even though it was a rather small island, and I tend to get restless, I would have been happy to stay there longer than we had planned. But once again it was time to move on, and I have to admit, I was excited to see what Crete had in store for us!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


It was honeymoon time and the first stop on our trip (minus a layover in Hot-lanta), was Athens Greece! Originally, Athens was just a layover, and international airport on our trip to Santorini, but it seemed absolutely foolish to go all the way to Athens, and not spend any time in one of the more historic cities in the world. So we chose to stay at the Athens Gate Hotel, a nice modern hotel, with a prime location for a quick visit to Athens since it was right in the middle of all the sites you would want to see. From the rooftop bar, you could see all around the city, and the view of the Acropolis was stunning at first sight;

The coolest part of the hotel, is that it faces the great Temple of Zeus, which is directly across the street in the other direction. It made for quite the view from our room!

Fighting jet-lag, I woke up and rolled over to a great view of the temple, just as the dawn was breaking that first morning;

That day, we were off early to see some sights, and try to get a jump on the heat, which was supposed to be over 100 degrees. First stop of course was the Acropolis. I could bore you with a bunch of observations and discussions about the architecture and design on the buildings, but I'll just skip to the photos and let you do your own research. Here is a great "tour guide" though, to give a brief description of the history, and structures.
Going through the gates of the Acropolis is very cool in it's own right, and every time you are impressed by the size of one structure, the next is even larger. Then you come out on top, and are faced with the Parthenon;

The Erecthion, and it's "Porch of Maidens". A very cool site, until you read that the maidens have actually been replaced with copies, as several of the originals are in museums, and another one was stolen by some inbred English Lord and put into the British Museum.

You can look into the Theater of Herod Atticus below the Acropolis, which is still used today;

But cooler than that one, just down the way, is the Theater of Dionysious. It features some really cool stone seating and sculptures, and is a good half century older than the other one. Also supposedly the first of the stone theaters, and Jessica even gave us a quick performance while we were there;

After that, we took a short break, before heading off to the Temple of Zeus. While we had seen it from across the street, you really have to get up close to appreciate the massive size and complex Corinthian architecture of this temple. The columns are 55.5 feet tall, and though only a few remain, there were originally 104 of them!

We strolled our way through the National Gardens near the Temple, mostly for the shade, but also to check out all the different plants and trees that we weren't used to. We stopped to briefly check out the Zappion Building, but our main goal was the Olympic Stadium. Originally built in 330 BC, but then rebuilt in 1896 completely in marble for the first of the modern Olympics. It's truly an impressive stadium.

Still not done, we also made a trip through the Ancient Agora which looks mostly like a jumble of rocks, sculpture and monuments thrown into one area, but was really a busy neighborhood in ancient times. We checked out a lot of the sites, and wound through the museum there, but also climbed up to the Temple of Thission.

Of course, while we were in Athens, we took in a dinner with traditional food and entertainment, wandered the maze of streets and shops, watched the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and just plain wandered around town... when we weren't trying to catch up on sleep. Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the airport for our flight to Santorini!

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 4th, 2008

The big day...

So yeah, I'm totally married now. Seems like such a crazy grown-up thing to do! But Jessica is awesome, and I get to call her "The Old Lady" now, and she can't complain. Plus, now she has to pack my lunch, and do my laundry, and have dinner ready when I get home... that's the way it works, right!?

Mostly on the day of, I tried to get some rest in, knowing it was going to be a long night. So that meant hanging out with the boys, and endless games of quoits. I think everything else was set by that point... and if it wasn't... it was too late to do anything about it anyway. Time to relax and hang out! Before I knew it, it was time to head down to Lyons for the festivities.

Jessica had nothing to fear; I showed up ready to go, on time!

And instead of faking her own abduction, Jessica also showed up on time!

Pleasantries were exchanged, and promises were made;

And before we knew it, we were married, and it was time to get down and party!

People told me a million times before the wedding that the day would fly by. And I was definitely prepared for it to go by super quickly. But I don't think words can really tell you just how quickly the day will pass! It was a great time though, and we were so glad so many of our friends and family could make it to spend the special day with us.

We weren't ready to end the night though, and after the grand departure in the limo, we drove directly down the hill and stopped at Oskar Blues for a bit more partying. I mean after all, how often do you get to roll into a bar, fully dressed in your wedding attire!? -Hopefully, a grand total of "once"! We have some "old-fashioned" film pictures from the trip that aren't developed yet - but I can't wait to see the one of Jessica playing pinball in her wedding gown. A few friends met us, and we had some drinks, played some pool and the amazing collection of classic arcade games that Oskars has, before departing once again to the hotel for a well-deserved night of rest!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We Made It!

Well, we made it not just through the wedding, but also home after an amazing trip to Greece! I've got lots of catching up to do, so my two or three loyal readers will just have to stay tuned for a (hopefully) steady stream of updates with plenty of pictures and all that jazz.

The week leading up to the wedding was just absolutely crazy! I think I was running on pure adrenaline by the time we climbed on the plane for the honeymoon, where I promptly passed out and fell asleep before we even made it to the end of the runway for take off.

Tuesday Jessica and I worked, and even snuck out for a long lunch to meet up J9, Nickle, and the young-uns who all made the trip out for the wedding. It was awesome to see them, and finally meet that little Damien guy! The Parents flew in from South Carolina that afternoon, and met up with us after work so we could all head down to Denver to have dinner with Jessica's parents, and some more of her family that had flown in that day was well. Then we were off to the airport straight from there to pick up Brent. Of course, it turned into a late night before we were home and finally in bed.

Up early the next morning so I could get into work early, again, to ensure I could get everything done that I needed to do. Plus, I was planning on bailing from work an hour or so early to get things done. Straight from work to the tuxedo shop for fittings and meeting up with my Brock, Craig and Harry who were all coming into town that day. That Craig is one daper-dude;

Straight from there to the Rehearsal, so we could practice our "act", and memorize those lines;

Straight from there to rehearsal dinner, and THEN straight from there we headed down to Denver, to meet up with some of the gang, for "boys night out". That, needless to say, also led to another very VERY late night, and of course feeling a bit "worn-out" the following day. Ouchie.

Thursday I finally had off from work, and we mostly just hung out around the house, trying to recover while getting in as many games of quoits as possible. The ladies were off doing their girly-things, and we had enough things to do, in order to get ready for the big day, including final fittings and picking up of the tuxedos. The boys stopped long enough for a quick picture;

Then that evening some of the gang had plans to head back down to Denver so we could catch the cabaret show at Lannie's. If you get a chance to make one of the shows there, do it, you won't be sorry. It was a great show and I had a blast. The hosts were great; guy did a Michael Jackson sort of skit, that had me cracking up;

...and the whole reason we found out about this show, and to make it even better, J9 was doing a couple acts while she was in town, and it was awesome to get to see her flaunt her skills! I mean, what show isn't better when you know someone that is performing?

Not surprisingly, the show meant another late night of getting home. Straight to bed, so I could try to get as much rest as possible, before the big day that was to come...