29 March 2006

Chipping slash

The slash finally poked throught the melting snow enough so the Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District could chip the branches. It took me probably 12 hours to cut down the trees, haul the logs and drag the branches to the drive. It took them about half an hour to chip the slash. I wish it was the other way around. They were hustling!

I took a look at the tires on their truck - Toyo Open Country M/T. Looks good. I need a set of those for my Dodge!

First camping trip of the year

I forgot the camera so I couldn't photodocument Julia and I playing tortoises in a burrow (under the sleeping bag) in the back of the truck. We've done this on every camping trip for a year now. Julia was really excited to go camping and climbing at Shelf Road. We met up with Christie Jespersen and Deb Piranian. Good weather and many trips to come in 2006.

Climbing? Eveyone is doing good. Deb's leading the 11's. The rest of us are leading 10s. My wrist is hurting but I'm climbing pretty good w/ a wrist brace and 1-1/2 legs.

I think ski season is over for us.

20 March 2006

Under contruction - Bob's Dam

I looked at the Pine Brook Water District site webcam, last week. The dam is really coming along. In dry years, the reservoir will be really good for the Pine Brook Hills community. Here's an image from last friday (Mar 17).

Can't wait to do some illicit skinny dipping. Let's hope the webcam isn't redirected at the reservoir on nights of the full moon. :-)

15 March 2006

Spring in the Rockies

Dang, I just shoveled the deck! As always, click on the image to see the full effect.

12 March 2006

Tracking a Mountain Lion

This morning, I walked down to get the paper. Sound familiar? See this post. I crossed ANOTHER set of lion tracks. I rounded up my posse of lion trackers, Margit & Julia, from inside the house ... and grabbed a ruler this time.

We followed the tracks back. They came from Timber Lane and walked up the property line next to 67 Wild Horse Circle, crossed our property, 69 Wild Horse, and continued uphill to the west onto the neigboring property. The picture shows Steve and Julia measuring a track.

I measured a number of tracks. They measured from 2-1/2" long x 2-1/4" wide to 3-1/4" long x 3" wide. I've added the track pictures to a Flickr album here. You can decide yourself how large they are. Also here's a very clear shot of a lion's 3 lobed pad.

Margit made a very obvious but also an astute observation. "These lions are not just walking here because of the snow. They're here all the time."

By the way, I know the correct common name for mountain lion is cougar .. :-)

A quick ski up Butler's Gulch

Charlie's daughter, Jaimie, was willing to babysit Julia while Charlie, Margit and I skied. A quick trip to Butler Gulch was in order. The snow was great, even if a bit heavy. It was snowing a bit and best of all, little wind. At timberline, we switched into downhill mode. Skins were stripped off and I put my brace on. (The brace connects my prosthetic lower leg with my thigh.) Then we cut our own tracks through knee deep snow coming down.

I was a bit hesitant on my new ski gear. The boards turned well on powder, though. I just need to control my speed and build my confidence in modern gear. Here another shot of Charlie and I. No he's not really that tall. He just standing uphill from me. Hah!

09 March 2006

Mountain Lion tracks

This morning, I walked down to get the paper. We had a few inches of snow yesterday and overnight. A line of tracks headed down the drive. Backtracking, I saw they came from the property below, 1981 Timber Lane. I suspected a mountain lion because the tracks were round and large. I walked back to the drive and picked up the paper. The tracks continued down Wild Horse Circle.

Back in the house, I found a site comparing mountain lion tracks to dog tracks. Definitely a lion. Here's another picture from the drive.

I've add another mountain lion post, so I put all the track pics in one photo album here.

07 March 2006

How to get a child into her pajamas quick

Abstract: This is about how to get a Rug Rat into her/his jammies quick-like.

The subject under study is my daughter, Julia. Julia is almost 4. She sometimes will take 10 minutes to get into her jammies. She is unfocused in the process of putting on her jammies. She is a master of delaying tactics. Frequently, I need to help.

Goal: Improve the process time of clothing removal and putting on jammies

Current Best Result: 95 seconds improved from an average time of 7 minutes. This assumes normal initial conditions.

Initial Conditions: No more than 1 pullover, 1 shirt, 1 pair pants and 1 pair undies. Note that socks do not count. Jammies are right side out before initializing stopwatch.

Operations resulting in this miracle: Kids are interested in mechanical things and games. The stopwatch was really cool in both categories. It is a big game to beat the stopwatch. Improvements in clothing removal and putting on jammies occurred immediately. Last night was 2 minutes. Tonight was 95 seconds.

Ending Comments: With practice, the child will improve more and more. The limit is, of course, asymptotic to a specific, much improved, time. The child will, of course, lose interest much before this. In the meantime, enjoy it.

06 March 2006

Julia's modeling career begins

King Soopers should be paying us for this modeling action. Hah!

Julia and her cough

Julia coughed a few times this morning. I asked her where that came from. In all earnestness, Julia (almost 4 years old) sighed, and said: I've been coughing every day for a number of years now.

Trying not to smile, Margit said: Yeah, at least 5 or 6.

01 March 2006

Smoke pouring over the ridge - forest fire

Julia came into my office and reported with a resigned voice: "Papa, there's a fire ... ". Margit & Julia had seen it from town before driving home. I took a look. It didn't look good. Smoke was pouring over the ridge to the South. A call to our neighbors, the Hendricks, confirmed it was over in Sunshine Canyon. Jan said Bristlecone Way, at the top of the ridge, was being evacuated. I wouldn't have been so worried except the wind was gusting 50-60mph in our direction.

Margit & I talked about what to pack .. a couple changes of clothes, official documents, camera, checkbook, computers (at the last second only). I pulled the truck out and loaded up skiis, climbing gear, sleeping bags and the camp setup. We were pretty much ready. Everything else would be toast if it came to that.

We tuned the TV to the Boulder Station. Usually not worth much, it had some solid information this time. The fire was 3.3 miles up Sunshine Canyon and only 5 acres. It had potential to grow fast since the winds were out of control. South and West of Linden had mandatory evacuation notices (a new change from the voluntary evac notice). We were west of Linden. The Boulder station also displayed the Boulder City and County Emergency Hotline: 303.441.4300.

We weren't ready to leave until we saw the fire crest the ridge. We waited and watched the smoke and ... the helicopters who were waiting for a story to unfold.

The wind started to die and the smoke stopped pouring over the ridge. My neighbor, Kirk and I, drove up to Bristlecone Way to take a look. Only a smoky haze was left.

This evening, I pulled up the google mapping tools and estimated the fire was about 2/3rds of a mile away. The image, to the right, shows our house (red call-out) and the fire (black call-out). Close enough for me. I thank Boulder Mountain Fire Protection District and the other fire departments responding to this fire.