Monday, December 31, 2007

Judy would be proud...

After visiting BK & Amy in Bartlesville with their 4 Christmas trees and getting the scrooge comments, we decided we'd go shop for a tree on the after Christmas sales this year. I've never owned a fake tree, but these days they look good and just make more sense.

So we hit up a couple stores, but finally found nice trees on sale at Hobby Lobby. Really nice looking trees at 66% off were just what we were looking for. It was a bit of an adventure between the "we'll take this one" and the completion of the whole transaction, but it gave me some time to scoop us some decorations at bargain prices as well.

Pics? Not this year. I contemplated briefly about setting it up when we got it home, but that thought was quickly fleeting as I realized I had a lot of other things my time would be better served doing.

When all was said and done we got the tree and tons of ornaments, which normally would have cost a bit over $400, for around $130. Not bad eh Judy? And get this, we were only gone a couple of hours, not all day! :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Holiday Shuffle

Well the holidays are coming to a close, especially since I don't truly consider New Year's Eve or Day to be "real" holidays. A week before Christmas, we did the tour de Oklahoma then hosted my parents here over the actual holiday. We were significantly lazy, but had a good time just spending time with each other.

Lots of nice presents distributed to the group, but without a doubt the hit was Sarah giving me Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii. Considering the White family is rhythmically challenged, Jill was definitely the star of DDR. You can't simply go through the robotic motions like I tried, you've got to commit to it.

The drama of the week has been doggy health. First Baloo had bloodied his tail at Sarah's while we were in Oklahoma, and he continuously opens up the wound which causes every wall/surface he passes to get a small line of blood smacked onto it when his perpetually in motion tail contacts it. The more you try to get him to not wag his tail, the more excited he gets and it wags faster.

Then we had the second round of bleeding dogs, only much more serious. Molly had some sort of tumor in her ear that got ruptured, which caused her to bleed somewhat profusely for quite some time. After contacting the emergency vet and getting their recommendation, we decided to wait and go to her normal vet the next day. After a consultation with her normal vet, she recommended taking her to a specialist in Wheat Ridge for laser surgery removal.

In the meantime, MJ & Yack's flight got canceled for the next morning due to the nasty snowstorm that moved in. So they got an extra night at Chateu de White, but had to endure dog bleeding incident #2. I created "doggy jail" in the kitchen to keep Molly from bleeding everywhere and ended up sleeping by her in the kitchen on the tile. The next day we braved the bad roads and got her to the clinic, where she had successful laser surgery and is doing much better now. She still has a sensitive ear, but it appears to be getting better now.

Yesterday we got another visit from family as BK & Bob dropped in. They had bigger plans, but squeezed us in for lunch yesterday. Got to enjoy some Pasta Jay's, which was excellent as always although they only had 1 chicken julianna special left. I conceded it to BK, and opted for the shrimp scampi ravioli which was dynamite as well.

Now its time to get back to the daily grind, resume the diet and get back on the bike. I've been really bad about my eating habits over the holidays, but it gives me motivation to get back to my pre-holiday diet and training plans. I'm blatantly ignoring my scheduled weigh-in today as I don't want to know the damage just yet, maybe next week...

And here are some more random doggys pictures from the last couple days...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Oklahoma!

Fearing the inevitable holiday travel nightmares and the potential travel ending snowstorms like we received last year, we opted to do our "Christmas Tour" the week preceding Christmas. We got some super cheap flights on Southwest, which made travel easy.

We had a slight detour through Dallas due to weather in OKC, but we did finally get to OKC albeit a bit later than expected. Some lunch at Charleston's with my parents, then on to BVille by way of Tulsa. Judy cooked up more food than we could eat, per the usual, and we got to get caught up with Jill's parents and the ageless Grandma Vi.

Judy & Jill pose with peppermint bark, my personal favorite holiday treat

Too much to do and bad weather left us grounded in BVille, but we were able to at least make it across town to BK & Amy's house to watch the OState/Pitt game, and of course play some trains with Ty. Ty was quite happy to see Jill, but I'm pretty sure he could have done without me.

After we let the streets melt out Sunday morning, we headed back to the big town of Union City. By my request, we spent Monday morning checking the cows out west with my parents. Its always nice to get out into the serene terrain, and all the cows are very happy to see the truck that brings them cake.

Momma cow hides her new twins

One of the many cute babies that took interest in us as we fed

Lots of the 75ish herd have names, and several are quite forward about getting their cake. It was evident though that they weren't sure what to make of me, regardless of how much I resemble their beloved Yackster. Penelope, the queen of the herd, finally did warm up to me a bit but she still preferred the 'Ster...

Penelope doesn't bite the hand that feeds her

P took interest in me when Yack ran out of cake

P posed for even more pics

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Labs love snow

Worked from home today, so I took my lunch break today and let the pups play in the backyard while I snapped some pics. Thankfully we've gotten easy to deal with snow as opposed to the dreadful ice storms that Oklahoma has gotten.

Baloo looks up

Look out!

Molly isn't sure she wants to give up the ball just yet

Puppies playing together

Baloo looks on

First turns of the new ski season

In a blink of an eye, the ski areas went from being brown and barren to having plentiful white powder. Several feet of snow (yes I mean feet) have fallen in the high country in the last two weeks, and Sunday Sarah & I headed for Winter Park to shake the rust out of our ski legs.

The first day out is always a bit of an adventure, and with another 6"+ of fresh powder Sunday was no exception. Feeling a bit like Bambi on the ice, we hit up a couple of steeper blues. Sarah's newly reconstructed knee didn't seem to keen to be skiing, so after a couple of runs she headed for the comfort of some hot chocolate.

I took the opportunity to power out some runs while the crowds were nonexistent. I was hitting the lift up, hopping off, powering down the long blues and skiing straight up to the chair and hopping on again. No lines at all meant I could carry speed off the base of the slopes straight through the lift lines with zero wait. Nice.

45 minutes later I had pounded out 5 runs and stopped by the restaurant at the top. Sarah was ready to give it another go, so we hit up a couple more runs before skiing back to the car with pretty burned up legs. The rutted powder and first day out combined to work me over pretty quickly despite all my trainer time the past couple of months.

Of course the first day out wouldn't be complete without a good crash and a pic of the aftermath. I caught an edge in the deep powder and went head over heels, sinking almost to my waist while trying to recover my lost ski.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Studio C Time

I'll admit it. I've got a bit of a man crush on the Boulder radio station KBCO. Every since I've moved here, I've been pretty enamored with the music they play. One of my favorite things about it is their "Studio C", which is basically a small studio where artists come in and play a couple of songs, typically acoustic. Most of the higher quality live, acoustic performances you'll hear are from Studio C.

Every year the first Saturday in December they put a CD on sale that features some of the best tracks from the previous years Studio C. This year was volume 19. Its hard to understand just how big of a deal this day is in Boulder County, but people begin lining up hours before they go are released. They only cost $10 and the proceeds benefit local charities.

Last year, I was shocked at the line as we arrived in Boulder to pick up our CD. It had to be 1,000 people lined up, even a couple hours after the doors had opened. Despite temps in the 20s and heavy snow falling, the line wrapped all the way around the Ultimate Electronics building. We killed some time, let the line dissipate then snuck in around 11am and grabbed a CD.

They cut 30,000 copies of the CD and its sold out by noon every year. This year we headed to Westminster, thinking avoiding Boulder would be the best option. We arrived about 9 a.m., but the line was still huge. I'd guess about 750 people in front of us when we arrived, but after about 45 minutes to an hour we had our CDs.

So for now I'll enjoy the acoustic melodies of Volume 19 and dread standing in the cold next year for Volume 20.

And since I'm on the topic of music, I'll serve up some "Joel Recommended" music that are currently getting lots of play on my iPod...

1. Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun
This is from the Into the Wild soundtrack, and doesn't sound like anything Pearl Jam or solo Eddie Vedder to this point, but I like it. Nice to know Eddie still has some good left after several disappointing Pearl Jam albums.

2. Spoon - The Underdog
A very Bill Joel-esque sounding song, but has a good flow and a lot of instruments.

3. Finger Eleven - Paralyzer
Just a good rock song that won't stand the test of time as a classic, but its hard to not turn up right now.

4. Mushaboom - Feist
Sure her iPod selling "1234" is much more well known, but this song is a hidden gem from an older album.

5. Incubus - Dig
What? They can still make decent music? Pleasantly surprised at their latest album, Light Grendades, it reminds me why the Solarc crew saw this band numerous times in at least 3 different states.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Toy Shopping Time

No not for me, I do that pretty much all year long. I mean Toys for Tots shopping, which has become a steadfast White family tradition. This year Jill & I are doing two rounds, one here in Colorado and then another in Oklahoma with Martha & Yack. The first round happened last Sunday, after meeting up with Sarah and Bill & Chris Houston for some brunch, the 5 of us headed out to Target to fill up some baskets with toys.

We carefully cruised the aisles looking for just the right mix of toys for old and young, boys and girls. Of course I had to stop and reminisce at the toys of my youth that have suddenly made a comeback (like G.I. Joe & Transformers), before continuing on my way.

When all was said and done the 5 of us had filled up 6 shopping baskets of toys. Hopefully these will find some kids who need a little Christmas cheer.

Some pics from the end of the shopping:

Jill posing with one of the baskets

6 baskets later...

The funny part was the strange, often glaring, looks we got from people likely thinking "What kind of spoiled brats do these people have?" as we grabbed toys rapidly. Most people weren't subtle at all as they gawked, but we just had fun with it.