Sunday, May 19, 2013

Denver: Happenings

My wife and I got back from our vacation from the Denver area this past weekend and I wanted to publish the first of three posts about the trip.  I'll share my thoughts, be warned they might be brief, about the places we visited and a few pictures too.

Garden of the Gods: The ride from Denver to Colorado Springs was very nice with many mountain views.  The park was well kept with a lot of unique red rock formations.  There were several trails and a good bit of horse manure along the way; there were regular horse rides throughout the day in the park.

Goorin Brothers: Denver offered our first in-person visit to a Goorin Brothers store; we'd done our previous shopping online.  We found hats, hats, and more hats there as well as great service.

Sombrero Ranch: If I had ever been on a horse before this trip, I certainly didn't remember it.  We decided before we got there to book the breakfast ride, and it was a good choice.  We got a lot of good views on the trails to and from the breakfast spot, the horses were nice and not too ornery and our guide kept us safe and provided good conversation.

Rocky Mountain National Park: The Park offered a lot of wonderful mountain views, but unfortunately a lot of the roads were still closed due to the winter season.

Tattered Cover Book Store: A block from our hotel was the Tattered Cover Book Store; it was a two-story building full of glorious reading.  They offered many types of books some with autographs; we picked up coffee and breakfast from their cafe.  It was a place I'd like to go back to.

Colorado Rockies Baseball Game:  We were able to catch a Rockies game while they were playing the Yankees.  The Yankee's fans were a bit obnoxious but oh well, we did our best to stay warm on a cold and soggy night the best way we could: trash bag ponchos.

The 1up:  This bar near the Rockies baseball park offered a lot of old video games; though I think I had more fun playing with their enormous Jenga sets.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013


Ashfall (Ashfall, #1)Ashfall by Mike Mullin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's the end of the worlds as we know, the super volcano under Yellowstone erupted and spirals everything we've ever known into a dark place. Chaos reigns in the days, weeks, and months after the event, a teenager sets out to find his parents in Iowa, who left for a weekend trip just before the explosions. He deals with some very tough choices, but finds a friend along the way.

The book was easy to read, it was written for younger readers though it tackles some tough subjects. The author who's from Indiana like me, gave me a bit of hope that I'll be able finish my story and get it out there.

On to Ashen Winter, the second book in the series.

View all my reviews

Thursday, May 2, 2013


Yesterday, I got up early and took care of my weekly sprint intervals at the indoor track at the Monon Community Center (MCC).  This has become a Wednesday morning ritual, a time when I wear no headphones and leave the phone in the locker.  I try to let it all hang out and listen to my body and just push.

Yesterday didn't feel too different, especially when I cursed the alarm when it went off at 5:00am; I got myself together and headed to the MCC and got started.  My method is to go 4 laps normal, then 1 lap sprint and repeat until finished.  I usually go 34 laps which is 4 miles, signs at the MCC state that 8 laps is a mile but we've figured out it's really closer to 8 and a half laps for a mile.  Anyway, yesterday I went in deciding to just push as hard as I could and ended up finishing the 34 laps in 33 minutes and 21 seconds (Avg. 8:20 mile/min).  My previous best was 34 minutes and 22 seconds (Avg. 8:34 mile/min), I pushed and finished a minute faster than my previous best.  It felt good even though I was completely gassed when I finished and started my walking cool down laps.  I gave it all and left nothing on the table.

I plan on changing to 3 laps normal and 1 lap sprints in the future; that will help push me even further along.  It'll be tough, but what's the point in playing it safe and taking the easy road?