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August 20, 2007

First Day of School 2007

Originally uploaded by gcrgcr
Today was quite a milestone for this Bartel family. All three kiddos - AJ, Max and Jesse are now in Elementary school. Fourth grade, third grade, and Kindergarten respectively. Wow. Time flies when you are having fun.

It is hard to believe I took 46 photos in about 20 minutes time, but for such an event - I suppose that is reasonable.

So enjoy the photos. The full set is here, and try the Slideshow.

Otherwise, as a slowly-becoming-a-not-necessarily-new Flickr user I continue to experiment more with the service.

I've uploaded this mornings photos as a set to my Flickr account. I'm actually posting this blog entry, to my blog, right out of the Flickr interface - not using my blog tools, but Flickr's.

The fact that I can do this is very, very slick. I'm not overly impressed with the coding however - so I made some very minor tweaks to the resulting post.

Still, Flickr seems to think of the right feature sets that users want- and when they do something - as with the conversion I went through - it seems to work, really, really well.

There seems to be more for me to experiment with, so I'll post further updates (and photos!).

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2007

Finally - Book is Out!

I can't believe I missed this update from my Dad, but as I've blogged here before - he's written a book for publication. I've been waiting for notice that it has it the presses - and it has!

I get a fair amount of email, and do my best to keep up, but my personal email at home is a bit messy with newsletters and years and years accretion, general noise, and buildup. Enough with the excuses though - oddly enough I went searching for a different email from my Dad he mentioned that I missed - an email with access to the friends and family ordering sight for where he works.

In the process of digging for that I found his announcement that his book had been published and was now available at!

So, in light of this new found (but outdated) knowledge - I'm happy to report I have some very recent email which I have seen and have not lost track of - that reads in part:

The following items have been shipped to you by 
Qty      Item                           Price  Shipped  Subtotal
--------------------------------------------------------------------- items (Sold by, LLC):
   1     His Grace is Enough              $9.99      1    $9.99
Shipped via UPS Ground (estimated arrival date: 06-August-2007).
Tracking number: 1ZA7820W63430505W927
               Item Subtotal:  $9.99
         Shipping & Handling:  $3.99 
                         Total:  $13.98

Congratulations Dad - Great job and I can't wait to get my copy! Maybe you can sign it for us when you visit next? See you then!

Oh and if anyone is interested in checking it out... here ya go. Already reviewed twice!

Posted by gcrgcr at 6:19 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2007

Hamster Eulogy

Well, it may not come as a surprise to anyone when I say this, but "hamster" and "eulogy" are not two words I ever would have expected to Google. At least not together.

My son Max's hamster, Stripe, passed away this week. Pet loss for children is one of those milestones most all of us pass.

Max was fairly saddened by the event. We did our best to carry out the proper procedures. This included:

  • Nice box coffin for Stripe
  • Pleasant storage in our onsite mortuary (our garage - enabled by the abnormally cold Colorado winter this year)
  • Hand crafted wooden cross (Yellow Pine #1)
  • Burial site in our yard

Our preparations were spread over the past few days - like human funerals are I suppose (at least those of close family and friends I've been through). As the funeral for Stripe was today, it came time for final preparations. Settling on the exact burial plot - and, a eulogy. This is where Google came in.

Now, while there were 48,700 hits for "hamster" and "eulogy" - that is a bit misleading. This is not that prevalent an Internet topic.

Even still, I was impressed with Rob Zarzueta's contribution as well as the operators of the Happy Hamstery Home Page. The Happy Hamstery even has a Hamster Memorial page.

I have to admit, when it came to considering a eulogy, I had much the same thought as Sam Jenning did here:

“Beatrice… was… a hamster. But she was also more than a hamster. She… um… yeah, she was a hamster.”

Ultimately, what I chose, comes from an unknown author:

Eulogy for a Companion Animal

Our Father in heaven, we thank you for all creation, for flowers of field and garden, for friends and family voices, and especially for our faithful friend and constant companion, STRIPE.

This beloved pet, though unable to speak, told us in many ways that we were loved by one of Your creation. It has been said that actions speak louder than words. In many ways, STRIPE spoke of his/her constant love, respect and loyalty to us. Would that mankind could do likewise.

We have come here to say farewell to a true friend and loving member of our household. We thank You, Lord, for sending us this beloved companion. STRIPE will not be forgotten.

I found that one while searching for "pet" and "eulogy" I believe. This is a good standby - one to always have on hand for that unexpected pet passing. I think for our next pet funeral I'll attempt to compose one from scratch. We'll see.

Finally, had lots of prayers and poems for animals of all kinds.

In any case, Stripe and his passing is now behind us. We had a lovely service and the eulogy was a hit. Well, as much as there can be "hits" at funerals (or should be). Google's results for "hamster" and "eulogy" will soon grow by one with this post.

More importantly, Max has a new pet - a parakeet, as of yet unnamed, which he picked out this afternoon. Life moves onward.

I've got a feeling we'll get pretty good at pet funerals.

Posted by gcrgcr at 5:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2005

Vacation: Days 6 - 9

I can't decide what to title this post - either AJ Strikes Back or Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful. Either one works...

First, Max caught the 3 pound monster a few days ago - much to AJ's chagrin. A few days ago, on the one rainy day we had, AJ pulled amazing lake trout out of the water. For fishing in 8-15 feet of water just off our dock, this is a fairly remarkable catch. The stats: 2.2 pounds and 20.5 inches. Nice! Consider that Lake Pend O'reille is something like the fourth deepest lake in North America at just under 1200 feet - there are big fish down there with plenty of places to hide. Great work AJ!

Jesse doesn't fish, but she's a beach babe, so thought we'd put her in the update. She dresses herself every day - three times a day - you should see the other outfits!

Finally, all eleven of us piled into the rented speed boat last night and took the 20-minute boat ride up to Bottle Bay to dine at the marina. The scenic photo below is on our trip back, probably 45 minutes ahead of an amazing sunset.

Enjoy! We are... :)

Posted by gcrgcr at 2:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 8, 2005

Vacation: Days 2 -5

Short and sweet. The lake house is great. Fishing is good. Max caught the biggest fish so far. AJ had to help him hold it. A picture says a thousand words (and two say two thousand?). Max and the scene of the action both are shown below (click each for larger photo):

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:35 PM | Comments (1)

July 6, 2005

Job well done...

I posted several days ago a note from my sister, Kim Legg, during her recent mission to China.

She's returned to the US after a successful journey. While I haven't yet received a full download of her experience to pass along, I did receive these three somewhat telling photos.

Service to others is a great thing - these simple photos are a strong reminder. I look at them and imagine literally travelling 27 hours nearly non-stop around the globe to get there -- just to help others (teaching English, building furniture, spreading the Good Word).

I'm very proud. Way to go Kim!

Note: Click each photo for a larger version

Kim 3

Kim 1

Kim 2

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:35 PM | Comments (0)

July 4, 2005

Vacation: Day 1

There are no guarantees that I'll post every day. On the contrary, this may be my only one for all I know. Stiil, as I settle down at the Wingate Inn in Missoula, Montana - I figured I'd quick post on how today went.

The event: Family Vacation 1005
The destination: Ponderay, Idaho
The departure: 4 AM MT

That is not a typo. Joie and I were up at 3:30 AM - enough time to transport the three sleeping kiddos (AJ, Max, and Jesse) from bed to car seat and take off.

Good by Longmont, hello Loveland, CO, Fort Collins, CO, Cheyenne, WY, Casper, WY, Sheridan WY, Billings, MT, Bozeman, MT, Butte, MT, and finally Missoula, MY.

Seriously - we did that today.

No I don't think this is our idea of a fun vacation, but we are headed to Lake Ponderay and figured the first day out was the best for a power drive. 12.5 hours or so and about 880 miles from our doorstep to here.

The Wingate Inn has a very cool indoor water park. Two cool three story water slides. It took us 2 hours to finally convince AJ to go down - then we couldn't get him to leave.

Anywayt, off tomorrow to Idaho. Couer D'Alene for supplies, Sandpoint for fishing gear and keys to the lake house and then we'll hit the dock.

I sure hope they're biting - but even if they are not I think we'll have fun anyway... :)

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:37 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2005

Just something that folks do...

We recently visited my wife's family back in Iowa. Joie's Grandpa Lee (whom our son Maxwell takes his middle name from) passed away last Fall. This was one of those important treks (we drove - 12 hours straight - *each way*) that had to be made.

Joie's Grandma Wanda is doing well, and has been here to visit twice since Lee's passed. I think the Colorado clan coming to see her in Iowa was needed and cathartic in its' own ways.

The tangible purpose of the trip was to clean out Lee's barn - yes on the farm. For Joie's Dad and Uncle, this was seemingly an obvious chore that they figured they had to do eventually. I'm not sure I was alone in thinking that it maybe was a bit more than that for them.

For my part in all this, well, I basically spent three days as a hired hand. The work was long, the conditions warm (85 degrees) and humid (50%), but it came with room and board - and I mean lot's of board. As Joie recalled Grandpa Lee saying, "Around here you eat to keep from getting hungry". Boy ain't that the truth! I was happy to help where I could - mostly keeping to the background and out of the way.

At the end of it all, we had several loads to the dump, plenty in the burn pile, many artifacts and treasures for saving, passing along, and reuse.

One treasure we landed (well, it doesn't look like a treasure yet, but it may some day) is a 1966 Chevy Impala - 2-door hardtop. That project needs some local repair work to get it running and then we'll get it out here. Joie's Great Grandma Helen bought this car new, and eventually Grandma Wanda used it to commute to work daily, back in the day when she worked. It is a good thing to keep in the family.

The boys and Jesse enjoy the farm. We caught three garter snakes around the crop fields. We cornered a possum (not difficult) under the deck one evening. We caught fireflies (they prefer lighting up when free - not in a jar).

More of the Iowa Siegrist clan visited from Northern Iowa. Young cousins met and played with our young ones, for an important, and albeit infrequent encounter. Certainly more to come, but just not as often as all would like.

All in all, it was a good three days for everyone - and just a lot of stuff that folks just do at certain times.

My minimal but hopefully lasting contribution - I'm the de facto archivist in the family, and we captured a group photo. Something we should all do when the opportunity presents itself - here, a remarkable congregation of four generations and dozens of branches on family tree's. So simple to execute in minutes and seconds, yet likely to last generations.

Fittingly, the photo was taken with my digital camera on timer delay, sitting atop an old chair of Wanda's from the shop, on which rested a box, on which rested a car-jack rest from Lee's barn. Your typical Iowa tripod.

I'm far from my family, back on the East Coast in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and wish I could have managed similar visits with them. As it stands, you do what is feasible, and much of the time what is natural.

I'm only party to this fine group by law (my kids aside), but I couldn't be more proud to be in this photo. If you get your chance to capture such a moment, be sure to take it.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2005

A day in the life of...

... parents with three kids.

I haven't blogged for a while - this effort to get back on track should, at least in part, serve as explanation. I've been busy - mostly I've been focused on family, work at Return Path, and a struggling a bit with seasonal illness as of late.

This day - Saturday, February 27th, is nearly over, and I thought I might itemize it here - with some details - to give an idea about what an average weekend day is like in our household of five. That would be Joie and myself, and our three kids, AJ (7), Max (5) and Jesse(3).

Setting the table a bit - I've been sick, since Tuesday. Same with Max and AJ - Jesse too for that matter, going back a few weeks. We all have variations of Flu, Sinusitis, and common colds.

This choronology starts the 24 hours or so since last evening, Friday night to Saturday night.

• 8:30 PM: AJ and Max who are recovering from colds etc... are "camping" in Mom and Dad's room. In sleeping bags, on the floor. this is a common occurrence when on or the other is sick. Of course even if one is ill, the other has to camp as well - equal rights and all. Jesse, thankfully, is somewhat healthy, and in her own bed.

• 9:30 PM - 12:00 AM: Various coughing fits can be heard emanating from our room on a sporadic basis, but nothing overly concerning - and spaced out enough that no one wakes. Joie turns in around 10:15 PM - I crash on the sofa attempting to watch some Saturday Night Live, but to no avail. Around 12:25 I wake and stumble to bed.

• 1:00 AM: AJ wakes from coughing and whines a bit - we think his throat hurts, but he mostly is in a half waken and freaked out state. He asks for a kleenex, snorts into it, and settles back in - now in our bed, between Joie and I.

• 2:00 AM: AJ wakes again - has a much more serious cough and freak out session, resulting in a nebulizing treatment there in our bed, 15 minutes or so after we calm him down. We've been to the emergency room before, mind you, and this really doesn't qualify. This is just parenthood.

• 4:00 AM: My own sickness has had me generally miserable, but now my eyes are itchy. I wake, cough up a bunch of phlegm and put some moisture drops in my eyes. My sinusitis is intensified and I now lay back down with a severe head ache. Joy.

• 6:30 AM: I wake up and trudge downstairs and turn on the TV. Cough up a bunch of phlegm and wait for the full days rays outside to emerge. Thank goodness for Tivo. No "57 channels and nothing on" for me. I watch an episode of "CSI: NY" and nod off.

• 7:00 AM: Not much solace - Jesse, the healthy one, is up, clambering about hollering for anyone. I hustle up, as the boys and Joie are enjoying some much deserved rest, as to not have her wake them. I get her some juice and we make Caramel Rolls - the Pillsbury kind, from a tube.

• 7:20 AM: The Caramel Rolls are cooked. Jesse loves hers. I eat one too. They look great. I can't taste mine.

• 8:30 AM: I'm back on the couch resting, and the rest of the crew emerges.

• 9:30 AM: I'm vacuuming the entire house. It is part of the 5% or so of official "house work" I do. That's Joie's number. I suppose it's right. I have no idea how "housework" is defined. Still, this feels contributory, so away I go. Meanwhile, AJ and Max are doing puzzles, and Joie is cranking away in the kitchen upstairs (and some of the other 95% of the house work - I should go take notes).

• 10:30 AM: I'm out for errands. Most importantly, I have a prescription for anti-biotics for my fluid filled noggin. I drop that off. Meanwhile, I head to Home Depot and return a large waste basket I purchased two weeks ago for the kitchen. Joie couldn't stand it. Then to Office Max or Office Depot (they are the same thing, right?) to get some home office supplies. Back to Walgreens and I get my pills. Yippee!

• 11:15ish AM: Back to the house - Jesse is getting herself dressed, all in pink, and doing a fantastic job. She's begged to go over to Uncle Mark and Aunt Laurie's house. Mark and Laurie have recently moved into the neighborhood, about 3 minute drive down our street and another. Max decides to go, so I haul them over.

• 11:30 AM: Leave the two kids and head back to our place. Find Joie and AJ on the front stoop playing with a new toy tractor that we won in the raffle at last Saturday's pancake supper out at the Hygiene Firehouse. It's a nice day, so we decide to finally hang the birdhouse. I "swappedfor/stole" this at the Return Path holiday party in December during the "Yankee Swap" party. It is a fine and sturdy house, provided by Joe Carvalho who may have built it himself for all I know (I don't think so, but he could have - he can do anything). First we pound a shephards hook into the ground, but it is only 6 feet tall or so, and the house ends up only 4 feet off the ground. Seems somewhat suscept to squirrels and such, if not cats and kids under 4 feet tall. We move it to a tree and are happy with the outcome.

• 1ish PM: AJ takes to his go-kart. We have probably an acre or so of land that is just dirt and prairie grasses of too the side of our house and landscaped yard. We had dirt delivered all last week in an effort to level it off so we can fence it. 58 dump trucks worth so far. Looks good but need maybe 20 more. AJ is in heaven as we've just created the greatest go-kart track a kid could ever imagine. I eat a sandwich while we watch him bounce around and around the "track" having a ball.

• 1:30: PM Grandpa, Grandma, and Uncle Mark show up, from around the way, in the Golf Cart, to check out AJ in the go-kart. AJ is showing off doing donuts and such and on his next big lap, cranks the wheel, and digs out a nice turtle sized rock with his rear left tire. The resulting impact blows the bead and the air in the tire is gone. The Golf Cart Pit Crew heads out and pushes him in.

• 2:00 PM We need to go get Jesse and Max, who by Joie's plan, were to only stay at Mark and Laurie's for an hour. AJ heads off in the go-kart, followed by Grandpa, Grandma and Mark in the Golf cart. Joie and I follow thereafter in our Jeep. Don't you just wish we were your neighbors?

• 2:30 PM: At Marks, we watch Grandpa Neil chainsaw some stumps off to ground level. We throw them into the smoldering burn pit from last nights bon fire. Meanwhile, Jesse and Max are inside throwing a fit because they don't want to leave. Finally we get AJ (driver) and Max (passenger) into the go-kart (it's a two-seater) and Joie, Jesse and I follow them back to our house. It's not quite the Clampetts, but I think the neighbors are used to us by now. Yesterday I had AJ tow our christmas tree that's been on the side of our house since January 1st down to Mark's with the Golf Cart from our house and we threw it on the bon fire.

• 4:00 PM: Home! Joie and the kids take "quiet time" in our room - they watch a new DVD - "Imax Antartica" in our bed with the new electric blanket cranked up. Meanwhile, I take care of some work related issues and other personal business, bill paying, tax preparation etc... on the computer.

• 3:30 PM: AJ and Max emerge from the bedroom. Joie and Jesse are crashed. Imax is over. They proceed to play cars.

• 4:00 PM: AJ and I start another Cub Scout project that is due Monday - earning the "Heritage" belt loop. So, we talk about family history in general, paternal surname lineage, our particular families, and then we sketch a family tree with him writing in his relatives. Then we make a poster with markers. Fun - but I find that sometimes working with first graders and keeping them on task is like "herding cats".

• 4:30 PM: Joie and Jesse emerge. Joie takes to the computer and scavenges a recipe for Chicken Marsala, which she soon initiates in the kitchen. Meanwhile, Aunt Laurie stops by because she forgot to return some things to us when we were there. The kids all play and are pretty well behaved. They are rested, but you can't let the food level get to low or that gets them cranky too.

• 5:30 PM: We sit down to eat. AJ leads us in a new grace prayer: "Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub, yea God!". Short and sweet. The food is good. Max and Jesse eat their chicken with ketchup. AJ needs soy sauce for his. Mine is fabulous as prepared.

• 6:00 PM: Dinner is done, and as I'm doing dishes, Max shows us his new "silly dance". He's naked and wiggling around crazily. So I crank some "silly" music off the computer. I start with "Weapon of Choice" by Fat Boy Slim. Followed by Gene Autry - Home on the Range. I don't really have a "silly" music category with my digital music. It's the best I could do on very short notice. All the kids dance for a while. Good, maybe they'll sleep.

• 6:45 PM: Bathtime for Jesse and/or Max, and/or AJ. I can't remember - Joie did it. Following tha, AJ and Joie do some of his nightly reading, at least a few chapters of "Kung Fu Pigs" (which is optional, non-school assigned if you didn't guess). Don't laugh, he already owns the "Captain Underpants Collection".

• 8:00 PM: Herd the kids into bed. Again, don't laugh. Herding is an apt descriptor. We just don't actually use rope - though tempted at times. AJ and Max "camp" on the floor in our bedroom again in their sleeping bags as they still qualify as sick. Joie gives AJ a nebulizer treatment just prior to ensure he's okay through the night.

• 8:30 PM: Jesse is tucked away, storied told, books read. I've only made three trips to her room after the final "Goodnight", so we're doing okay.

• 9:00 PM: Joie and I manage to actually sit down, together, in the same room, with no kids around. So, we do what comes natural to parents at such an occacsion - we watch TV. We watch The Oscars for a bit. Sadly we note that among all the nominations, the only movie we've seen is "The Incredibles".

• 10:00 PM: Joie turns in. I again attempt to stay up to watch some news, but alas fall asleep, probably within 15 minutes. Sometime around midnight I sleepwalk to bed.

And, a new day starts again. That my friends is 24 hours or so, in the life of the Bartel's. Family of five. All joy, all happiness, all love. Lot's going on, but not much sleep. Keep in mind, this example is from a day where we did not have anything planned! You can imagine what the rest of the week is like.

And people wonder why I can't remember the day before yesterday. We also wonder when Joie and every other stay-at-home Mom will be canonized.

No sympathy needed or desired, we planned this family and signed up for it, and technically I guess you could say we love every minute of it. Okay, not every minute. But we love it. And I just wanted to share that snapshot of our lives with you. Don't ask Joie though, I'm sure I got it all wrong.

That's it for the family update. More "geeky" entries to come as I pick back up on the blog. Thanks for listening. :)

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:27 AM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2004

Photos Section Minor Update

Egads, I haven't posted new photos for a month. If you are not family, you may find this gallery rather uninteresting - heck maybe if you are family you still will. I grabbed a bunch of pics from August 2004 and posted them. Quickly commented as well. Best to get AJ's first day of first grade up there before he becomes a second grader...

August and September 2004 - Miscellaneous - AJ and Max First Days of School

This is how shoddy I'm doing this... the pics are mostly AJ and Max and their first days back to school a few months back, but I pick a photo of Jesse for the cover of this gallery! Oh well.

Plus, I've never used the word "Egads" before. It was fun to type, and to think. Maybe if I get a chance tomorrow I'll say it in conversation - see if I get any strange stares... Well, strangER stares - than normal that is.

Yeah I know, I'm curious now too: " Egads"

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 10, 2004

Did you ever notice?

So my Dad just called - he lives in Phoenix - and being too busy with the kids to really chat, I handed him right off to AJ, my 6 AND A HALF (he makes me say that) year old.

AJ likes to talk on the phone. He can chat like no other. It is almost 15 minutes later and I make sure to track AJ down. AJ gets to chatting and wandering with the cordless phone. You have to find him and ensure that the person on the other end of the line doesn't need to be rescued.

I find him, and settle down and listen. AJ is about 45 days into 1st grade, and I assume he is speaking about school when he says:

"Did you ever notice how Graders - y'know when you become a Grader - after kindergarten, well school - it, y'know gets harder? It's like, they expect you to know that 50 + 50 is 100... and that y'know 100 + 100 is 200... "

I'm thinking that this is a pretty sharp kid. Kind of sly I think, to demonstrate with examples, presented as difficult, but at the same time answering them away, as though they aren't so tough. Kids like to boast, especially about new found knowledge.

Yet, he continues:

"...and 200 + 200 is 300... and 300 + 300 is 400 - I mean it just gets tougher and tougher!"

Ha! So much for a Nobel prize in Mathematics. Still, his spirit and joy to me is prodigious in a way that satisfies like nothing else. The smallest moments with your kids are some of the best. Thanks AJ!

Posted by gcrgcr at 7:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2004

Simple Stuff....

My oldest of three children, AJ - who is 6 and a half (just yesterday I heard him speaking and he's officially added the "and a half", so I have as well), has started Cub Scouts.

Officially, this began back in middle of summer or so. The ground level for Boy Scouts apparently is now what they call "Tiger Cub". Then you are a Cub Scout. Then a Webelo. I can tell you what that means, but I won't. It is a super secret. But, it is in the Tiger Cub manual and probably all over the web if you Google it. I just won't be the one to blow it. Anyway, from there a Boy Scout and I suppose after that an Eagle Scout. I'm not sure. I'm way back here at Tiger Cub.

Now, I don't know if we'll have the wherewithall, fortitude, or bandwidth in general to get all the way down that path. I say we because Tiger Cubs generally do everything with their "akela" - parent or guardian. It is really a two person thing. Anyway, we have a lot going on otherwise, and so far it has been a great learning experience for both of us. If AJ wants to stick with it, I'm all for it, otherwise, I'm fine with following other initiatives down the road if he likes.

For now it is a good thing. We are a part of a Den. Den 5. There are 6 boys which is a good size. Meetings are 3 - 4 times per month, with some outings planned and larger group activities with other Dens and the "Pack". We are part of Longmont Pack 166 - which has a website AND a Google Group. Wow, Scouts have come a long way since 1910.

Tonight we attended our first Pack meeting. It is fun. Scouts of all ages receive patches, badges, and other awards are doled out. Tiger Cubs get their first glimpse at what lies further down the path.

I guess I should have a point. The points are:

1) Youth activities are important. In general, youth sports, activities, things outside of family and school help contribute towards a well-rounded and appropriately socialized person.

2) Parent / child time is important. Specifically, families should have activities that include all members, as well as activities where specific members spend time only with specific others. e.g. Mom should have unique time/activity separately with each child, etc... This may get hard to manage, and is an easy ideal to state, but working something in over the course of each year should be plausible.

3) Organizations like the Boy Scouts provide a good infrastructure for both 1 and 2. There are countless options, 4h clubs, Youth Sports activities, etc...

I had a lot of fun, sitting in the back of the pack meeting, watching AJ participate, for the first time, in this large event. Just watching him take in the experience, the fun, excitement, laughter overtake him at times (all the kids) is one of the joys and benefits of parenting. We may not stay in Cub/Boy Scouts forever, but I'm sure we'll do activities like this and I'll cherish each moment like this that it brings.

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 30, 2004

And on we go...

From Ogden we travelled to our next waypoint - Pendleton, Oregon. We had some interesting stops planned along the way.

First, we hit Three Island Crossing State Park in Idaho:

Approaching Three Island Crossing (of the Snake River) meant the emigrants had a difficult choice. They could make a dangerous river crossing here for a direct route to Ft. Boise or stay on the south side of the Snake and follow the river around the bend. About half made the decision to cross using the three islands in the Snake as stepping stones. It would not be easy.

This is one of the famous points along the long, harrowing, Oregon Trail. The stories surrounding it alone are abundant - as we found plenty of books to choose from on the topic in the Interpretive Center Gift Shop.

Three Island Crossing is a general term for the place where travelers on the Oregon Trail crossed the Snake River. Two Island Crossing was the second crossing located one mile upstream from Three Island Ford. At this point, crossing was more difficult because the wagons had to be floated across the river. Men would swim to the opposite bank of the river. Then by the use of ropes, they would pull the wagons across.

Gus Glenn was the business man who finally installed and operated a ferry service. Glenn's Ferry, OR eventually incorporated and is still there today.

A lot of history to be found in this part of the country, and in some cases not much else (this state park was fairly remote, and really the only thing around).

Following our lunch and stay here, we made our way into Pendleton, Oregon for a nights stay.

The next day our travels took us toward the Oregon coast, and for a few solid hours we drove the Oregon/Washington state border, on Interstate 84, along the Columbia River.

I wish I had my photos ready for blogging, but I don't. The Columbia is an extremely impressive river, I'll let the photos speak for themselves once I have them posted.

We lunched and lounged this time at The Dalles, Oregon. The Dalles is another important Oregon Trail point. Here, the Columbia narrowed distinctly:

At The Dalles, the Columbia River rumbled through a narrow chasm. It was here that Jason Lee set up a Methodist mission in 1838. History does not tell us how many were converted at Lee's tiny outpost, but The Dalles did become a critical stop for the emigrants. That's because it was here that the trail ruts came to a complete stop--blocked by the Cascade Mountains. Unfortunately, the Willamette Valley--the emigrant's destination--was still 100 miles further on. In the Trails first years, there was only one solution--float the wagons down the Columbia River.

Ultimately, in more recent times, hydro-electric power was harnessed by damming the Columbia here. We toured the information center - which demonstrated in various ways what a feat of human engineering this was (much like any other dam in the US or around the world I suppose).

Then, back on the road and on to the coast. We've been here now for two or three days, but that'll be the next blog. I'm enjoying the beach!

Posted by gcrgcr at 7:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 25, 2004

Im in Ogden, Utah

Well, I'm on vacation... and I'm blogging. Geek.

We are on our way to Pacific City, Oregon, where we'll spend a few days, then on to Northern Idaho.

Traveling with, well three kids under 6 and 4 adults - making it from Longmont, Colorado to Ogden, Utah was about as good an objective as one could conceivably set - and meet.

Well, it's not that bad, but when your driving, you just want to power through and get somewhere.

Ogden seems like a nice town. Green and nestled right up on the rugged mountains on one side - wide spread contact and access with the Great Salt Lake on the other.

I don't think we'll get a chance to go to the lake. I'd like to see if my kids float in it, or myself for that matter, but that I suppose is for another time. For now we are just passing through.

As for me, now we are winding down and I've discovered that this Holiday Inn Express has wireless LAN access. Sweet.

Not gonna check email though. Just a quick blog. Hopefully I'll get some pictures posted after several days of downtime and fishing in Idaho.

Till then...

Posted by gcrgcr at 7:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 21, 2004

Just a good day...

This past Sunday was Father's Day. Not that you probably weren't aware of that. I guess I've had about six of these so far. AJ turned 6 in March.

I've not yet experienced the stereotypical Father's Day of yesteryear - atleast in terms of gifts. I'm not quite sure what I would do with a new tie. I like ties, and I have more than anyone I know would probably guess - and though I think many of them are cool, they are in fact pretty old - and thus they may not be as cool as I think. In any case, a new tie for Father's Day may be in my future, and that would be fine.

Instead, this year, I just got to be Dad. There could be nothing better. We all slept in, which was nice. In a family of five, with three kids under six, it is rare for everyone to sleep in past eight o'clock, let alone seven, or geez, even six. So, off to a pleasant start.

Next, Scooter and I (Scooter is my only daughter - Jesse Dale - dubbed Scooter long ago by Grandpa Neil. She's 2 now.) foraged into town for breakfast, finally settling on call in to "The Egg an I" as we were driving in.

After eating, we all cleaned up and headed out to Grandma and Grandpa's to plant pumpkins for the coming fall. A yearly ritual now for the kids, they expect to grow their own pumpkins. Now as they get older, I venture to guess this will turn into competition. I look forward to the pumpkin contests to come...

Towards the afternoon I found time to head out for a run, about 6 miles. Sunny for most of the morning, some foreboding clouds had moved in and I intended to beat them. I had made it about 2 miles before the first drops hit me. Still, as I ran, I took note that while the pattern of drops on the ground were more and more prevalent, my "running" seemed to alleviate me from being hit as often. Now, I'm not sure how scientifically true that is, and we could probably calculate it and argue, but it wouldn't matter. In two short minutes the rain escalated to an all out torrent.

Soon I had gone from merely speckled with drops, to completely drenched. It was like running in ankle weights, as I sloshed through 6 inch deep puddles at intersections, my socks and shoes were heavy with water.

Initially I was a bit perturbed at the deterioration of the conditions, but quickly I realized - this was FUN. Nevermind that most who witnessed my sprint home through the rain probably thought I had lost my marbles.

No matter, it was easily one of my most memorable recreational runs.

After returning home, and drying off, we all took "quiet time" - mine spent watching "Animal Faceoff" with AJ, and the remains of the US OPen.

Finally, the sun returns just in time for us to throw steaks on the grill. A thick T-bone and a Corona. Nice.

Oh, and no tie. None needed. Just being Dad is more than its own reward. Thanks guys.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:08 PM | Comments (1)

January 20, 2004

How To Give The Last-Minute

How To Give The Last-Minute Gift of Blog

This seemed as good an item as any to get back to the ol' blogger.

Give the gift of Blogger! That way, someone else can share in the oscillation of effort that comes with blogging... we for me anyway. I love my blogger, however sometimes I get so busy that I can't blog. It's a cruel dichotomy.

Still, I encourage you to start your own Blogger. It's good old fashioned entertainment - since as early as October 12, 1999,
Blogger has been helping people blog their way into history.
Meanwhile, I'll provide the latest on us. Spent this weekend back up at
Uncle Dennis and Sherry's - sawing down trees, hauling logs, cutting
and splitting. Everyone helped and it was good to be out in the fresh
mountain air doing some work. The boys run the hydraulic wood splitter
pretty well. I think they'll go union before too long... AJ was
complaining after about 30 minutes that his hand was getting tired from
pushing the handle that ran the hydrauling piston that gracefully split
massive stumps. Kids these days...
Beautiful day up there - loads of sunshine, slight breeze here and
there - little snow scattered around, and for the guys with chainsaws
(like me) - lots of shouting "Timber"! Good timese.
More later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2003

Christmas 2003 So sorry for

Christmas 2003

So sorry for the disappearance - we've been busy. In early December we ventured up into the high country - Joie's Uncle Dennis and Aunt Sherri live on a buncha land back up beyond Carter lake. Spent some time there then drove in the old Willy's trucks for 45 mintues or so into the higher country, not on real roads mind you - roughed out paths that have been driven on a bit. All in search of some family Christmas trees. I updated the photo gallery with the pics.

It was fun. The kids of course loved it - including Jesse. You can see
she finally crashed on the way down the mountain next to Grandpa Neil.
Bouncin' up and down, snoozin the whole way... too much!

Got home, late, but do you think those kids were going to sleep, much
less let us sleep, without decorating it that night? No way! It was fun and they did a great job. Awesome preparation for the holidays and
great family times.

Skip ahead to after Christmas, Sunday the 28th we awoke to find our car had been vandalized out in front of our property. Windows were smashed out - driver and rear. Bummer. Expensive. Kids no doubt. Turns out after talking to police, there were dozens. Newspaper this morning
reported 81 cars hit since Christmas Day. Some kids have gone a bit
overboard and will hopefully be caught.

Kids had a blast at Christmas. Looking forward to CSU playing Boston
College in the San Francisco Bowl. Kit and family will be up for what
is like the 8th CSU Bowl Game Chili Cookoff. A tradition we started
sometime around 1994 and the Sonny Lubick era brought bowl games as a
regularity to CSU alum and fans. Kit shall try again to dethrone the
chili king - me - but he'll enjoy second place... again... :)

More later...

Posted by gcrgcr at 4:55 PM | Comments (0)

November 3, 2003

Brother Bear

Brother Bear -- The Official Movie Web Site

What a fun weekend. First we celebrated my birthday, on Saturday, November first. Scott and the Greens came over for supper - Martha Steward meat loaf, really really bad for you best mashed potatoes and salad. I got a new watch that AJ was very proud to have picked out. He did a great job - it is a sports watch, with all the basic features I need/want - and it has a compass built into the band. Very Cool.

I got new shoulder pads as well - for ice hockey, which I've been learning for the past several weeks. I'm just an instructional clinic or two away from being comfortable enough to start a novice league and compete. It is a fun sport. And, it is not hard on my knee - which from running I acquired some patellar tendinitis.

Sunday, Joie, Dale, AJ, Max, Jesse and I all went to the movies - to
see Brother Bear. What a great flick and a great time. Jesse just loves going anywhere and doing whatever everyone else is, especially her older brothers. We ate at Noodles & Company then off to the movies.

Jesse crashed during the previews and woke up with 5 minutes to go.
Perfect for her first movie! AJ and Max had a blast.

There is nothing that warms my heart more than watching my kids laugh - during funny parts in the movie, I would glance down the row and watch them as they reacted. The sheer glee in their faces is timeless and I hope I remember it always. It was a good weekend. Looking forward to more.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2003

Motivation... AJ starts kindergarten


AJ starts kindergarten on Monday. Tonight we went to an open house at the school so teh kids could find out what class they had, which friends they had in class, and meet their teachers.

AJ's teacher is Mrs. Donahoo (Don - A - Who). His two good buddies, Sam and Nicholas ended up all in the same class with eachother. There were no guarantees or ways to request this, so it just happened. This can be a good thing or not.

I remember when I went to college up at CSU. My best friend Kit and I
purposely set out to ensure we would not be in the same dorm. Part of
new experiences is getting outside you comfort zone. That is how we
grow. But, this is kindergarten - so I suppose I'll give the kid a
break. It will obviously be a new enough experience over all that
having his buddies there is probably going to add some stability during the new experience.

AJ is a great kid. The great thing about AJ, is he's really friendly.
No matter where we go, whether its a park we've never been to, a store
somewhere in a different state - AJ always makes friends. He asks kids
their names, do they want to play, etc. I'm sure he will do really

We got home from open house and get this, AJ is very upset that he can
not go to school until Monday. I suppose that may change someday, but
for now I'll take it as a good trend.

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:01 PM | Comments (0)

August 20, 2003

Motivation... I've ramped the running...


I've ramped the running up as of late. I'd gotten a bit busy, and was only running 3 mile sets maybe twice a week, but over the past few months I've gotten up to 6 or 8 mile loops at least three times per week. The image here is my 6 mile loop. The hardest part about the running thing is just getting started. Every time. It maybe gets a teeny bit easier, but the alarm goes off at 6:30 AM and it is SO HARD to get up, change, stretch and go. It is EASY to stay in bed and snooze.
But... after you get going, man - as all runners know - it is awesome.
First of all, if you run early in the morning, you catch the initial
hustle and bustle of the day. In the neighborhoods I run through,
initially there is little or no traffic. Little by little this picks
up, as early risers head out to work, school, etc...
Also, there are the other excercise heads - lots of older folks out
walking, jogging, biking. Many other runners as well.

The sun continues its rise - the temperature starts to creep up, and
you start to loosen up and really feel good. Somewhere about mile 2 or
3 I'm already really happy I'm up and out.

My days tend to go alot better when I start out this way. I recommend
running to anyone. Not many people can explain the "runner's high"
enough to have folks who haven't felt it understand - but its an
"endorphin" thing I guess, and you just feel good!

So, anyway, for fun, I did the aerial view of my basic running route.
Click the image for larger view. Where the orange line and arrows start and end is my house.

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:07 AM | Comments (0)

August 19, 2003

Urban Legends, Hoaxes, and all

Urban Legends, Hoaxes, and all around Hocus PocusI
got an email from my Mom the other day, God love her... The message
started like many you may have seen forward to you by people you know:

Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 08:27:32 -0700
From: "Patty Dowdle" <snip>
Subject: FW: You may have a computer virus

I found this computer virus on my computer at work and deleted it.

The eventual body of the message of course contained the payload:

Hi All - On July 29, 2003, a "teddy bear" virus (better known as
"jdbgmgr.exe" INFECTED our computer along with our address book. Since
you are in our address book, it is likely that you will find the same
virus. The bad thing is that neither Norton nor McAfee can detect it.
This virus apparently sits quietly for 14 days before damaging
everyone's systems. It is sent automatically by messenger and by the
address book, whether or not you sent emails to your contacts.
(Unfortunately, it is never revealed where or who it came from.) It is
transferred without an "attachment" file. Here's how to check for the
virus and how to get rid of it: (Brad did this last night on our
computer and got rid of the virus.) :

The message proceeds to step by step provide instructions on how to
delete the VIRUS file from your system. After several years as a power
email user, I can't believe I still get this type of message forwarded
to me. Hasn't everyone already seen at least one of these urban legend
/ hoax emails yet? I guess people still get bilked out of money by
Nigerian Funds scams via email. What is worse is that people who maybe
are aware of the "hoax" Nigerian Funds scam, still believe the Kenyan
Funds scam via email.
My advice - before forwarding any informational email of any sort, if
it is at all possible that it may NOT be true... check it out first!
Before you waste even 5 minutes of time, of the first 50 or so people
you can think of and address the message to - check it out.

This site, Snopes
has always had good data. It is a great hoax, scam, urban legend site.
It seems to detail myths of all origins and indicates their validity.
Many things are TRUE - and reviewing the evidence is very interesting.
Most of the time, checking with Snopes will provide ample proof that
the email you are about to blast to your loved ones is a colossal waste
of time. We all win.
I won't give away the status of the particular message my Mom forwarded
to me... I'll let you all check Snopes yourself.
Well there is your update. Post more later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 4, 2003

Vacation and Miscellanea I'll have

Vacation and Miscellanea

have to do a more detailed blog entry on vacation. In a nutshell here
is what happened. Left Longmont, CO to Billings, MT. No reason, just a
good place to stop after being on the road with three kids ages 5, 3,
and 1 for 6 hours. Next, on to Bozeman, MT, for a fun visit to the
Museum of the Rockies and Rosa's Pizza. Bozeman is a college town -
Montana State Bobcats. Bought a T-shirt. Jesse barfed in the Bozeman,
MT mall. What a claim to fame. She pooped too, but no one noticed that,
and well, that's pretty normal for her. Met up with Grandma and Granpa
in Missoula, MT, home of the U of M Grizzlies. Wrong day to wear my new
Montana State T-shirt. Always the underdog it seems. From there to
Sandpoint, ID. ID is Idaho by the way - it's probably a rare state
reference for most of you. Didn't see a single potato. I swear.
Sandpoint, sort of like a little Estes Park, CO. 50 miles north of
Coeur D'alene. CDA - sort of like a little Boulder, CO. The panoramic
photo above. The lake. Very cool. Fished there. Stayed 4 days. Had to
dive in to save Max's fishing pole. 9 ft deep, no biggie. Max was
happy. Water was good. Click the above panoramic for a large version
- it'll open in a new browser and then pan right. It's about oh 120,
maybe 150 degree view. Yeah, I know the dock at the far right gets
munged. I like my digital camera. Never used the panoramic setting
before. Basically it sucks. Thought it'd do the work for me. Maybe it
was operator error. Who knows? Last on the pic. When you view the
large, if Internet Explorer shrinks the image on you, just hold your
mouse still over the image and an icon will appear in the lower right
of the image - you can click that to force viewing at full size.
After ID, we hit Yellowstone on the way back. 2 Days. That's Wyoming
basically. Then Rock Springs, WY before getting home. Rock Springs -
what a bleak place. Even saw a dead Denny's. If Denny's can't make it,
well you've got issues.
Check this out - heard about the new McGriddles? I haven't tried it
yet. Have you? If not - here is a great review on them. Photos and great stats like:

FAT: 23 G.

Don't cha want one? They are ingenious
ya know... I may have to try one... sometime.
Back at work and high speed. Oh, got a new book on the trip. It's
strange, but it's fun to read about other's misfortune (or stupidity -
a lot of it). It's called Death in Yellowstone.
I'm maybe a third of the way through. Amazing. Maybe I'll read a happy
book next. Maybe this one get's happier toward the end. Maybe not. I've
been through Thermal Pool Deaths and Stupidity, Buffalo Deaths and
Stupidity, Eating Plants and Stupidity, Lightning and Stupidity,
Noxious Fumes and Stupidity... I'm 1/3rd the way through... WHAT ELSE
COULD THERE BE??? I'll report more later.
Well there is your update. Post more later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

June 13, 2003

Heels??? Already? I knew when

Heels??? Already?

I knew when we had Jesse, well that this whole girl thing was going to be different. Check out my 14 month old, at left (click for larger image) happy as a clam (with her friend Renada - Jesse is the one on the right) in these high heeled shoes. Fun. Better put money in a shoes fund now, right along next to College Fund.

Jesse likes shoes. She puts on my shoes. She puts on Joie's shoes. She
wears the boys shoes. Heck, she probably already has more shoes than I do!!!
Yeesh. Plus, I can tell she likes money. She took my change - $2 - at
the store the other day as I was handed it by the clerk. She fondled
that money all the way home and, I'm not kidding, slept it with while she napped that afternoon.
This may be a bad sign. Well, maybe she'll just go into a lucrative
profession. Though, with high heels I hate to speculate. Lawyer sounds
Running in the Sunrise Stampede in Longmont tomorrow AM. Then am
getting a massage that Joie bought me later in the afternoon. I'll post
on what that experience is like. We are planning on seeing Finding Nemo
at the theatre as well. Should be a pretty good weekend.
We sold Assurance Systems, but still, it wasn't really a company unless
you had a tee-shirt. So, in ex post facto fashion, I made these up
after the fact for limited distribution.
Well there is your update. Post more later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 4:12 PM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2003

Whoa...Time Warp It's been way

Whoa...Time Warp

been way too long my blogger friends - life has been busy. Mostly
working on DistanceWeb since December has been taking my time. My
largest "contract" has been with Assurance Systems - another startup.
It's a great oppurtunity for me to use my email techie and permission
compliance backgrounds, as well as web graphic design.
Other things keeping me busy, let's see... oh, yeah those THREE kids we
have. AJ is like 5 goin on 23 now. I take him to school on Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday mornings. He has soccer practice on Friday nights
(there is a sign of parenthood, Friday night and I'm at the YMCA with
12 5year olds). Soccer games on Saturday. Max is 3 and a half going on
16. He participates in a "play group" now on Mondays and will start
preschool in the Fall. He sleeps like I did in college. Late to bed (9
to 10 PM for him) and late to rise (9 to 10 AM). Jesse, well she turned
one in April - she was walking by 11 months or so -- and if you ever
see that girl sit still anywhere (besides the supper table) for more
than 30 seconds, call a doctor!! She is in constand motion, wandering
our house, room to room, out to the back yard, back in - checking on
everyone and everything. She is a blur.
I've registered for the Bolder Boulder upcoming on Memorial day. Should
be fun. I've been training, but fairly modestly given my work hours. I
run ~6 miles each Saturday or Sunday and do a speed run (a fast 3
miles) during the week. As long as I finish, I'll be happy. I've lived
around Boulder since 1985 - I've watched people run the Bolder, but
have never participated. The 25th annual seemed like a good one to
start. I hear they are expecting 45,000 and pushing to get 60k
registered. Sheesh!
playing hockey. Well, not playing yet, but Wednesday afternoons going
over with Buster, George, Andy to skate at Boulder Valley Ice at
Superior. I've got new hockey skates that I used for the first time
today. Spectacular! For someone like me just picking things up (never
skated in my life) these make a tremendous difference from the rental
skates. A pair of CCM 552 hockey skates - what a great investment. Now
I need all the other junk, helmet, gloves, got a stick (thanks Andy),
pads etc... So far having a blast.
Well there is your update. Post more later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:16 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2003

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs... Well,

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs...

Well, it definitely wasn't what I expected. Signs
starring Mel Gibson was a very suspenseful and entertaining movie. Even
frightening at times. Regarding the trailers for the movie, because of
the strong emphasis on the crop circles, I had always thought this film
would be some hokey mystery about that. Turns out, it's not a primary
element. There is some mystery surrounding an initial circle that shows
up in Mel's field, but after that, they sweep out of the spotlight.
Attention is turned to the cause of the circles.
"Signs", I had thought would be a play on what the circles were for.
Turns out the storywriter, screenwriters and producers had a different
play on words. "Signs" really is meaningful in this movie.
You can tell as I dance around this, I don't want to spoil it for
anyone. Ah, whatever... I'm a movie slowpoke. This is old news. Mel
Gibson plays Graham Hess - a "former" preacher, whose wife is killed in
a tragic car accident. The devastation to Graham and his family is such
that he loses his faith and quits the reverendship (if that is a word).
The fun part of this movie is how the "signs" finally start to come
together toward the end. The story line of "war of the worlds" and the
attack by the visitors is such that you forget a bit about the Graham
religion story line. End result, Graham gets his faith back - and with
good reason.
Seems like I just read that Mel Gibson funded a new non-denominational catholic or christian church.
One of the stories mentioned he is directing or producing a movie about
Jesus' last 12 hours on earth. I believe it is filming in Rome and is
in Latin and Aramaic. Not sure if that'll make it mainstream over here
in the ol' US of A, but we'll see. As for Signs, I recommend the movie
if you haven't seen it. Enjoy.
BTW - Comments are back... so I guess if you've seen signs, feel free to comment and give it away...

Later -


Posted by gcrgcr at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

March 4, 2003

Peep Stamina Just in case

Peep Stamina

in case you didn't know, March of 2003 marks the 50th anniversary for
marshmallow peeps. I am a peeps fan, as are my kids. Joie can't really
stand them. Dale loves em. I don't know that I'd pay money to join the
peep fan club, but i'll eat em no problem.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

March 1, 2003

Casa Bonita Happy Birthday AJ!!!

Casa Bonita

Happy Birthday AJ!!!

AJ turns 5
this Thursday, March 6th. Wow. That alone is pretty trippy for me. Sort
of a watershed birthday, that fifth one. I guess I'll ruminate on that
We had AJ's party with his friends down at Casa Bonita in Denver today.
Casa Bonita is a fun mexican restaurant that has been operating in
Denver (Lakewood) for almost 30 years. It's a surprisingly large
facility, known for cliff diving shows inside the building and all you
can eat meals - simply raise the flag at your table and more food is on
the way.
AJ and the kids had fun. It was a great place to have a party. Munch on
chips and salsa. Take a tour. Whack a pinata to death. Watch the cliff
diving show. Open presents. Eat burgers, fries, chicken fingers and
cake. Play in the arcade. It was a blast.
It was as much birthday as anyone would want, and no clean up for us!
BTW, AJ's HSP is also looking much better. His swelling in his knee and
elbow are all but gone and his rash continues to change to less
threating colors and fade. Keeping our fingers crossed, but medication
appears to be working.
That's it for now. Later. Tom.

Posted by gcrgcr at 5:50 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2003

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Go ahead... say

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Go ahead... say that three times fast...

is what AJ was just diagnosed with. Starts with a respiratory
infection, which he had. Then a rash appears. Not like chicken pox, or
anything else you can really classify.
Took him to the doctor, but they had never seen it. So on to the
hospital to draw blood and urine.
Wait, wait, and wait for lab results, of course incrementally fearing
the worst.
Apparently HSP is common in males aged 2 - 7 (females too, but just
more common in males) and tends to occur following a respiratory
infection, as mentioned.
He's on a steroid now, and being lavished with comic books and other
items... his spirits are high. The steroid contains a pain killer. That
helps I'm sure.
That's it for now. Later. Tom.

Posted by gcrgcr at 5:36 PM | Comments (0)

February 3, 2003

You say tadpole... I say

You say tadpole... I say polliwog...

Max turned three this past December, Grandpa Neil and Grandma Dale
bought him some tadpoles.
A great little ecosystem aquarium with two tadpoles, some shallow
water, and some higher "rock like" grounds and "vegietation" for the
frogs that they will become to hop around. I "quote" the "rock" and
"vegetation" because the entire thing is made of plastic. It is very
cool - I wish I had one, and of course Max was thrilled.
He named his tadpoles, Grandma and Granpa - aptly enough.
Well, Max (and an equally obsessed Joie) have been religiously feeding
(we keep a block of blood worms in our freezer - yum!) these fellas and
patiently awaiting legs to sprout and hopping to ensue.
As of yet, nothing. Maybe some bumps appearing back in the hip/leg
area. Things are going slow but well till now.
Till now. Problem.
Grandma died.
Fortunately this is not referring to Grandma Dale, but rather to
Grandma Tadpole. I got to preside over services by the toilet, which I
guess as a father of three, is yet another milestone I eventually had
to reach. Consider it done. Grandma is in the big happy tadpole party
in the sky, and Max, well - he's okay with that... so long as we go to
the store tomorrow and get a Grandma replacement. With Grandpaa - the
real Grandpa that is... they will do just that.
That's it for now. Later. Tom.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

February 2, 2003

Gave Blood I wasn't planning

Gave Blood

wasn't planning on it... but when I was at church getting AJ out of
Sunday School, I ran into Dave. Dave is one of the guys I play hoops
with on Wednesday nights and he convinced me to give blood.
Blood - medical stuff, it's always made me a bit squeamish... maybe
just the sight of a lot of blood, or say a bag of blood - which is the
end result of giving blood. Still, it seemed like a good idea. Joie
gives blood. When Kit was sick, both times, he had to get a lot of
blood. I guess since my life is better with him around, I owe the blood
supply some contributions.
Not too tough. Fill out a questionairre. Prick your finger. Take your
blood pressure. Mark your vein. Poke you w/ a needle (doesn't hurt).
Sit and drain some blood into a bag. Eat some cookes and snacks. Drink
AJ hung out with me too... So, if I can do it, anyone can. Give blood!
It helps someone somewhere for sure...
Later. Tom.

Posted by gcrgcr at 1:43 PM | Comments (0)

January 7, 2003

Haircuts... Since the beginning of


the beginning of time, or their lives, the boys have had "buzz cuts".
They like em. I started buzzing my hair mostly because we started
buzzing theirs. Then, this winter AJ and Max decided to grow their hair
out. Okay, Joie decided they would...
Still this created a different problem. Actually having to know how to
cut hair, or to remember to transport the boys to a barbershop in a
reasonable amount of time. Suffice it to say, I mistook Max for a sheep
dog on several occassions. So finally Joie brings the fellas to her
stylist who happily clips them up into fine upstanding young boys. That
was just Saturday.
Then today, Joie called AJ to lunch and notice "hair clippings" on his
shoulders etc... the short interrogation that followed revealed - okay
AJ blissfully reported, that he had cut his hair - just touching up a
bit. Well - he thinks it looks good, and that's really all that matters... right?

Parenting provides good, if nothing but simple, humor. God love em. :)

Later. Tom.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:44 PM | Comments (0)

December 19, 2002

Know your RealAge RealAge is

Know your RealAge

is a site that has seemed to survive the bubble burst.
I'm not sure how they make their money, but they have an interesting,
and free (as far as I know) service. Basically, you fill out a profile
(they have a short and extended) detailing your exercise and eating
habits, as well as other profile information. In short, while I may
physically be, say 31 years old, like I am, my calculated "real" age,
based upon exercise and lifestyle may be 26 or 46. Whether your "real
age" is higher or lower than your age, the site provides suggestion for
ways you in particular can decrease your "real age".
An example - smoking is bad for your "real age". Smokers probably
almost always have a "real age" greater than their age. I didn't check
that, but I'm guessing. When I did my profile it actually suggested I
drink more alcohol! :) I don't imbibe in the adult beverages much, but
research has shown one glass of wine on some frequency (I don't
remember) is actually good for you.
Here is an example that came in an email newsletter I receive each day:
It takes only three weeks of healthy habits to lower your risk for disease.

In a recent study, people who adopted a low-fat, high-fiber diet
and added exercise to their day experienced dramatic improvements in
their disease risk after only three weeks. Not only did their blood
pressure readings go down, but also their cholesterol levels improved,
despite the fact that they lost little or no weight during the three

RealAge Benefit: Keeping your blood pressure at 115/76 mm Hg can make your RealAge as much as 12 years younger.

Bottom line here... any exercise is good for you. Period. I like the information, check it out...

Later. Tom.

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2002

Catchin' some flak... Okay, I've

Catchin' some flak...

Okay, I've been a non-blogger for way too long... thanks for the hint there Tim!

These kids are growing way too fast...
This photo was taken this past Sunday, after AJ and Emily's Christmas
program at our church. AJ and Max of course are the Bartel's in this
photo... Emily and Rachel represent the Green's -- the Scott and Cindy
Greens hailing from various resort locations in Iowa, USA. I swear
Rachel and Max were just born 6 months ago. By the way... click the
image to see a larger one.
This photo after the program took Joie and I by surprise... all kids
have great smiles and that is cool - but the maturity in the faces of
Emily and AJ in particular... strikes a chord with you as a parent.
Parenthood is alltogether fastpaced, challenging, trying at times, but
the ultimate joy with the greatest rewards. These kids are just plain
For the red-blooded all-american or non-american, but testosterone
controlled male gender types out there, especially the computer geek
types, check out DesktopGirls. I don't
recommend this as a productivity enhancement. While I am happy to spend
more time in front of my screen now, somehow I'm less productive. Go
Other interesting things... close to signing a contract as a vendor for DoubleClick. I've been looking at other opportunities as well, so hopefully things will work out. DistanceWeb will be my new company that services the DoubleClick account.

Sent out the 2002 Bartel Family Holiday Email Card
yesterday. After I got Tim's via email last Friday or so, I had to
spring into action... Thanks AGAIN Tim... :) Check it out... the best
ideas come in a flash.. the trick is getting it out in time. I'm pretty
happy with the result this year. Now what to do next year?
That's it for now... Later. Tom

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:49 PM | Comments (0)

November 26, 2002

Pepsi Center No, I did

Pepsi Center

No, I did not take this photo. And, it didn't look like that where I sat... but I was
in fact there! Yes, along with friend Dandeeno, I attended my first
ever hockey game at the relatively new PepsiCenter here in Denver,
Colorado. Wow. You all are thrilled for me, I can tell.
Even though we sat in the "nosebleed" section, the view was great. It
must work out better for hockey than hoops... I don't think we'd have
enjoyed a basketball game from there, but the hockey game was great.
Note to folks who haven't attended a professional hockey game: Wear
your coat indoors. I lucked out... Dan left his in the car. Sitting in
the arena watching the game is sort of like sitting in your
refrigerator at home watching hockey on TV. For a more authentic
experience, do that.
During "breaks" in play, there were lots of entertaining bits and
scoreboard antics. A 'chubby' fellolw was really boogie-ing out during
upbeat music sets - that caught alot of laughs. They have a thing
called "Kissing Cam" on the scoreboard. Sort of a lovey looking
red/hearts frame and then cameras focus in on couples in the audience.
You get put on kissing cam, you'd better kiss! It was obvious when the
longtime couples were sighted, they would not hesitate to kiss. Then,
awkward moments were created when strangers or maybe folks on a first
or friendly date were framed... "nope... not gonna kiss" their
uncomfortable smiles said loud and clear. The finish was great as the
camera focused in on two Chicago Blackhawks players. Pucker up boys!

Posted by gcrgcr at 2:06 AM | Comments (0)

November 8, 2002

Back in Time to Back

Back in Time to Back To the Future...

or something like that. Hey, I was born in 1971, November 1st. I grew
up in the 70's (bell-bottoms in 1st grade - *thanks* mom!) and 80's
(argyle sweaters??? ugh!)... There haven't been many movies as
appealing and entertaining as any in the Back to the Future series.
It's not common for any film these days to have a successful sequel,
much less a third successful follow up. Lethal Weapon did well with
two, and even three, but the wheels fell off that train by the fourth
I'm putting this on my Christmas list... Dad? Mom? Anyone? Pick this
up, it's a great buy! :)

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

October 28, 2002

Open Source Web Now, as

Open Source Web

as a web site designer, I commonly surf the web for ideas... certainly
when working on projects for customers, we research the "competition"
in an attempt to not only be different, but try to outclass them as
shows that this can go to the extreme... it's amazing how people can
rip a site off and expect to get away with it. Also amazing is that
alot of these sites would take design skill and talent to "mock", so
why not design fresh from the get go? Oh well, until someone pirates (not likely...) I'll just view this site from time to
time and laugh at the copy cats...

Posted by gcrgcr at 2:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 14, 2002

Gone Fishin' Well, October 13th

Gone Fishin'

October 13th yesterday and we managed to get one last fishing excursion
in. The boys and I went with Joie's Uncle Mark out to the ponds in
Longmont. A gorgeous day, and as the lakes are private, we were the
only ones there to pull these poor fish out of the water. I'd say in
about 2 hours we each pulled 6-7 fish out. AJ and Max caught some
massive Crappie (funny looking I know, but for the non-fisher types out
there it's pronounced CROP - EE). We also pulled out some small mouth
bass, perch, blue gill, and "wipers" -- a cross between a white bass
and stripped bass - they are fighters and really are a fun catch.
Although AJ and Max like to examine each fish thoroughly upon landing
them, and touch their eyeballs, etc... -- we are strictly catch and
release... not sure if the boys are ready for cleaning fish yet...
we'll get there though!
Oh well, one last run was good, now here comes winter!

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2002

Viva IOWA! Iowa has been

Viva IOWA!

Iowa has been
fun so far... travel with all three kids was remarkably uneventful.
Well, we stopped 3 times in the first 45 minutes, getting maybe 50
miles from home vor various "potty" breaks, but from there on out, it
was a breeze. We stop and stay in York, NE, about the halfway point to
Ft.Madison/Denmark, Iowa.
We spent today loading bails of hay, okay, I was doing most of the
loading, but that's okay. AJ and Max helped and AJ found a kitten a
mama cat stowed away in these bails... pretty cool! Probably only a few
days, maybe a week old? I'm not too good with cat ages.
The boys worked hard today, helping Grandpa and I run the tractor
around, loading the hay, various other chores on the farm here. They
are tired but having fun.
I should mention, AJ has started soccer! It's pretty non-competitive
for 4-5 year olds, though they do have teams and play against
eachother. There is no scoring in games. Four quarters of seven minutes
each are played. AJ has had two practices and a game now. He is having
a blast. I liken his performance so far to the equivalent of mouthing
the words in the choir. He's always around the ball, active, jostling,
bopping, ducking and diving... he just needs to kick the darn thing
now! Actually he got his foot into it twice in his game and has done
great in practice and he is having a BLAST, so mission accomplished.
BTW, before first practice when we brought home his cleats and chin
pads, he put them on and probably wore them for several hours before
being denied the opportunity to bathe and sleep in them. Yes, he is
Back to present tense, we will baptize Jesse on Sunday, here in
Denmark, IA at the congregational church where we baptized both AJ and
Max, and where Joie was baptized, and her Dad, and his Mom, and so on,
back six generations or more...
Jesse is 5 days shy of 6 months, and two days ago when we stopped to
dine on lunch at Burger King in North Platte, Nebraska, she "learned"
how to sit up on her own. Learning is an uderstatement, she simply did
it for the first time and has not stopped since. Dag nabit these kids
grow fast!

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:36 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2002

Not So Fast Sonny Cool.

Not So Fast Sonny

Cool. Got my copy of CSU Head Coach Sonny Lubick's book... Not So Fast Sonny
No, I haven't read it yet, just skimmed it... also, I have attended
enough "Lubick Luncheon's" and what not to anecdotally pick up a lot
about Sonny.
Buffalo fans in the state are about the only ones that rail against
Sonny, probably because of their CU loyalty... aside from that tainted
view, Sonny is a tremendous person with a lot of character. He's done
alot for the community of Fort Collins and the State of Colorado and
Colorado State University through the rebuilding of the football
program. More importantly, he's helped build men of character and
graduated them through football and university on into life.
I look forward to reading the book and reading more about a great role

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2002

Papa Renwick! Jim's a Daddy!

Papa Renwick!

Jim's a Daddy! Congratulations to my friend Jim and his wife Yuki on their first child - Shota Michael Renwick:

Born: Wednesday 8/21/2002
Gender: Boy
Weight: 6 lbs., 4 oz.
Length: 19 inches

Jim reports that Shota's docs give him a clean bill of health, and Mom is doing great as well. Congratulations!


Posted by gcrgcr at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

August 4, 2002

More FormerMMers are born...Well, the

More FormerMMers are born...Well,
the slide continues... Jen Hausman and Josh Galloway officially became
formerMMers on July 31. There are not many of us left... Brad P., Bob
A., Clinton B., Pat H., Pam R., Eric G., Lee L., Mark K., Dave K., Matt
C., Craig M., Harry P., Juliet B., Mimi H., Francis K., David K., Bryan
D., Lucinda N., Michelle P., ... that's all I can remember now. Also
notable is that with Lisa D., having departed in January, and now with
Josh gone... Losh Gallovan has now left the building in all parts. Losh
hails from the former Repulick States of the Slobaknian Czechtenstein.
One of the only photos ever of Losh is seen here. Bummer. Did make it
to the Boulder County Fair parade yesterday with the boys. It was long...
- since it's an election year, numerous politicians (their supporters)
also marched... I guess the parade was 40% larger due to this (and
longer). Yuck. Didn't get to go see lisapotumus run her dogs at the
fair... hopefully she did well! (and Brooke and Plaide).
I'm running way behind on several web projects... however the next
phases on some of them are really interesting work. Hopefully this
Dandeeno and I entered the Doubleclick "Summer Coding Carnival" - a
programming contest for worldwide DCLK employees. There is a two hour
conference call on Thursday to explain the problem that needs solved.
Should be interesting.
I ordered Cable Modem service from AT&T today... they are
installing on the 13th. Cross your fingers (mine are). This is a major
breakthrough, especially for where I live (a 30 year old neighborhood
in Longmont).

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:10 AM | Comments (0)

July 2, 2002

DoubleClick Offices So, as of

DoubleClick Offices

as of Monday we are now working at the Doubleclick Denver Data Center
in Thornton. The MessageMedia days are truly over as we have moved out
of our Louisville office, where we spent18 months? I'll try and get a
snapshot of this building up here... it's pretty nice, and it's a
fantastic data center.
It has been really HOT here lately,
but looks like a little relief is on the way.
Jesse Dale is doing well, she's sleeping most nights through until
5-5:30 AM, so we are pretty happy with that. AJ and Max are growing
terribly fast. Max is catching AJ in the blabbing a mile-a-minute
Former MessageMedia Director of Interactive Marketing turned World Traveler, Scott McDaniel has a fantastic new website up...
Be sure to check it out, the programming still has a few bugs, but
Scott seems to have the site about ready to go... I think it's stellar.
Great work Scott!

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:24 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2002

just like work Michelle sent

just like work

sent this last week... it's unfortunately fitting for our work
environment the past few months... click on it to see it larger.
The fires in Colorado are a big deal,
however for many of us who live north of Denver, they are no threat and
not even visible... although, the amount of smoke and distance it's
travelled is amazing. When I left work in Louisville the other day, it
was literally like standing around a campfire...
I got a Carolina Hurricanes shirt
in the mail last week... just in time for Detroit to rap up the Stanley
Cup in 5 games against them. It's always good to root for an underdog.
I especially liked the Hurricanes shirt for sale that says "Old Time Hockey - est. 1997".


Posted by gcrgcr at 1:15 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2002 So I was harrasing
So I was harrasing my friend eldi100 about her "stale" blog - hadn't
been updated since 6/3/2002. Turns out, mine hadn't been updated since
6/4/2002. Better, but not by much. Here is a not so interesting thread
on the matter:

guess I'll consider taking a poll for whose life is less interesting.
Then again, you're reading this... so maybe you are in the running?
I'll blog something more interesting later...

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 4, 2002

Tim Hortons This is a

Tim Hortons

This is a
good Canadian thing. Think the Starbucks of the north, but older.
Actually think the Dunkin Donuts or Winchells of the north. Josh
suggested a Boston Creme donut, which I had. Very good. Only about 68
grams of fat and 750 calories. Next I need a "medium double-double"...
which I'm told is coffee with 2 creams and 2 sugars. I'll try that

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:13 AM | Comments (0)

FlyDenver.Com So the last time I

FlyDenver.ComSo the
last time I came to Toronto, in February, I got up at some ridiculously
early time to leave my Longmont home and catch my 8:30 AM International
flight. Seriously, I was in line long before they wanted to deal with
anyone for that flight. Brad showed up safely (my traveling co-worker)
*hours* after I had been there.
So this time, I was not to be so liberal. I barely made it.
Turns out they instilled a new 1 hour check-in policy. You must be
"checked-in" at the ticketing counters one full hour prior to your
flight's departure time.
Since I walked up about 5 minutes inside an hour (though now I realize
my watch is slow and it may have been more like 15 minutes over), the
checkin woman did not want to check me in.
I was offered a 9:15 am flight through Chicago (bear in mind it is
about 7:43 AM for an 8:30 departure at this time) or an 11:50 AM direct
to Toronto.
I think the fact that I stared, unable to respond, for a solid minute
freaked her out a bit.
Finally she relented a bit, issued me an itinerary that would get me
through security, and let me "go for it".
Alright, here we go... and as we emerge around the corner, we see... the security line.
Since I was not able to check my bag, I now have two carry-on bags, and
therefore do not qualify for the "express" lane. Dang.
Also they look like they are checking for "boarding passes" before you
proceed to be screened. I don't have one of those, just a similar shape
and color type ticket itinerary that basically has the flight number
and meal information.
Fortunately it does have a seat number on it and they let me through.
Reading the rules on the big board I realize that I also have an
"illegal" razor in my toiletry bag... one that would normally be fine
for checked bags, but now I'm carrying on. What to do? Let them catch
it? Face public shame and ridicule? Open my bags now and fetch it and
throw it away?
Well, x-ray eyes on the x-ray machine missed it or didn't consider it a
threat... so another inhibitor avoided.
Okay, no one else stopped me, this time, like last time, to x-ray my
shoes (Skechers) or pat me down or anything.
So, now on to the trains. Finally one arrives and precious seconds
continue to tick away as I'm unable to do anything but patiently work
toward my gate: B46.
As I approach the terminal, I jog the final 100 feet.
"Did you check in?" they ask? No I tell them, I came straight here.
"You should have been on the plane 5 minutes ago" they tell me.
Can I get on now, I ask? After a final, at the gate, security search of
both my bags (no they missed the razor/shaver also), wanding my shoes
after I have to remove them and put them back on... I am on the plane.
And here I am in Toronto.
I love the airport.
Yes, my life is boring. But you just read this didn't you? What's that
say about you?
I'll try to add some Canada updates as they occur. But remember, it is

Posted by gcrgcr at 5:24 AM | Comments (0)

May 20, 2002



year marks the first time the Celtics are in the playoffs since
'92-'93. Toward the end of the regular season there was a time when it
seemed like they might fade... but they ground it out and secured the
#3 seed in the east. Now they are in the Eastern Conference finals vs.
the number 1 seed (and their Atlantic Division rivals) the New Jersey Nets.
I actually used to like the Nets... it's easy to root for an
underdog... these guys had never played in an Eastern Conference final
game in franchise history until yesterday. This is a team that in the
25 years prior to this won just under 40%
of all their games, and had just 7 winning seasons in 25 tries. This
years success makes it 8 in 26. But, how can you not like Jason Kidd
and his story? After watching the playoffs, I'd say he easily was more
valuable to his team than Tim Duncan -- and should have won league MVP.
I also like Keith Van Horn a WAC/Mountain West product from hoops
factory Utah. Throw in rookie Richard Jefferson from Arizona (I wish
he'd had stayed with the Cats) who is an exciting leaper and looks to
have a promising NBA game. But you know what? After yesterday's loss
104-97 to the Nets I can now say I don't like 'em at all.
And those refs! Can we get a call in the paint? Cahn we get a cahl?
It's a pretty weak tactic to try and blame a loss on refereeing, so I
won't -- totally. I'll just say that the Nets got the edge... the refs
let a physical game get played but the whistles didn't come when the
C's needed them most, usually getting mugged in the paint. To further
exacerbate the situation, the C's shot very poorly at the line when
they did get there. *And* they were terrible on the glass, especially
offensively. And where was the defense? Sheesh. No defense sure helps
NJ scorch the nets and shoot 49.4% from the field
for the game. Ouch. The C's managed just 41%, and that looks high to me
based on my impression of the game. The nets were 25-28 from the free
throw line and the C's were 19-29. There is your game. Even with the
poor rebounding, shooting and defense, make your shots and you could've
stolen this one in Jersey. Well... it was a similar type of game as the
series opening loss in Detroit. Hopefully the C's will figure out how
to make their shots and play defense. And for the Nets, I can't imagine
they can keep up the blistering shooting percentage. Detriot couldn't.
If they can and we lose, good luck in LA. But you have to go through
Boston. Let's get em Tuesday. Go Celts!
Oh, why do I like the C's - I have to... I was born here.


Posted by gcrgcr at 9:26 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2002

Windows Family I'm >this close<

Windows Family

I'm >this close< to officially joining the anti-microsoft campaign....

I bought a new printer for digital photos. Its a spiffy Epson 785.
Anyhow, I've been running Windows 98 successfully on my main PC at home
for a while. Hadn't had any real issues until I tried to install the
software for the printer. The printer is a USB device - which is
supported by Win 98 (and I have several successfully usable USB devices
alread). During installation some hardware was automatically sensed and
installed. I was supposed to click cancel when that happened, but as I
was too slow reading the instructions, it was too late.
Thus the melee began. After that occured, I cound't even boot up
without hitting a "Windows Protect Error". Finally after researching
the fatal error in VXD usbhub (05) and realizing no one had an easy
fix, I re-installed 98 over my existing, to get the usb services reset.
This cause havoc with re-establishing all of my other devices (monitor,
vid card, other peripherals).
So, now I am sort of back to where I started, but the printer still
won't work.
I am reluctantly going to install Windows 2000 Professional... though
I'm liking Bill Gates less and less. The biggest thing I'm losing is
the time it will take to backup all my data, install the new OS clean,
and reinstall all apps. Even *then* my printer may or may not work.
Thanks Bill.

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2002

The Official Site of the

The Official Site of the Boston Red Sox

am a Boston Red Sox fan. Maybe you didn't know that. I was actually
born in Massachusetts. Lowell, MA to be specific. I guess it's a
birthright of sorts. Having resided in Colorado since I was 8 years
old, I am of course a Colorado Rockies fan, from opening day of their
inaugural season in 1993. Funny, neither the BoSox or Rockies have done
much since then... though the BoSox have been in the playoffs.
Boston just took 3 of 4 from the Yankees, before beating Toronto (14-3
romp) today. It's good to see them on top of the standings anytime of
year, though it is pretty early. Also, 3 of 4 from the Yankees is
great, but it was in Boston. It is always tough to play the Yanks, but
winning in NY will be tougher.
Dandeeno, Josh, Brad and I should end up at the Rockies game today...
it's a 1:05pm start. Colorado hosts the Dodgers. The game we attended
last thursday resulted in a 10-5 Rockies win. Hopefully we'll have
another victory and exciting game.
Here's to springtime... NHL playoffs, NBA playoffs, Baseball opens and
football is on its way!


Posted by gcrgcr at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2002

Tom Bartel (& Joie) Baby

Tom Bartel (& Joie) Baby Pool
Well, the pressure is on... so to speak. Joie is going to the doctor
again tomorrow to get checked out. Last week she was at 4 cm dialated
and 60% effaced... for those of you in the obstetric know... so anyway,
we expect that she's made progress.
I'd expect if there's been enough progress we may get checked in
tomorrow. Either that or schedule to come back next day. Or... come
back in a week!
So, be sure to make your guess in the baby pool soon before it happens!


Posted by gcrgcr at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2002

Canada Update eh... So...

Canada Update eh...

here in the Great White North... so to speak. Mostly it was grey...
though actually saw blue skies and weather is a balmy 7.22222 (for
those of you residing withing US borders, that's about 45 degrees
Am staying downtown in Toronto. After taking care of some business, I
wandered down to "Eatons", which is either the entire largest mall in
Toronto, or the anchor store to the largest mall in Toronto. Guess
what? There is a ROOTS store with all that crazy Canadian olympic gear
you've seen anywhere and everywhere... not tempted yet...
Quick poll - Most Popular Coat Color for Torontonians: Black.
Also, I have no idea how populous this city is, but *damn* there are a
lot of people here.
Funny Money. Loonies and Toonies. Ask Josh Galloway... not me.

Oh, and I'm watching "curling" right now... and it's NOT the Olympics. Yes. Canada. No that's not a joke, and y'know, I think I like curling.

That's it for now, more Canadian info soon though, so stay tuned...

-- Tom

Posted by gcrgcr at 3:49 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2002

Canada Celebrates Hockey Gold Okay,

Canada Celebrates Hockey Gold

Okay, seriously I have not read any stories breaking down the game,
so I will attempt to give my unadulterated analysis of Canada's Olympic
victory today over the USA. As far as the game goes, this was a good
match up. Both teams are extremely talented and strong. This seemed to
come down to how they played this particular day. Canada definitely was
passing more accurately during the first period. Both teams seemed to
play even during the first 20 minutes -- I'd go so far as to guess that
shots on goal / shot opportunities were pretty even. USA struck first
with a breakaway goal to lead 1-0 after one.
The second period might have been the most exciting period of hockey I've ever seen.
Amazing. Though it was during this period that Canada asserted
themselves and took the lead for good. The Canadians (is that right? Do
I need any funny accents on that?) definitely applied the pressure and
just out hustled the Americans. It was so frustrating watching the USA
team try to simply dump it into the Canadian zone and chase it with two
guys or less. I'd guess on average Canada cleared these pucks from
their zone in 5 seconds or less.
When the Canadians were in their offensive zone, it seemed like they had 22 players on the ice,
I swear. Anytime USA defensively knocked the puck loose around the
boards, it seemed like at least two other Canadians jumped to it and
beat Americans there. Sure, USA must have been very tired from playing
in the defensive zone so much, but this momentum was difficult to
watch... and I'm sure even more difficult to battle as a player. After
2 periods, Canada takes the lead 3-2.
The Americans used the short break between periods as their momentum
shift, coming out in the 3rd period attacking. Despite increasing their
shots on goal and opportunities, Canada's defense still played nearly
flawlessly and continued to clear the puck well. Usually in Hockey and
other sports, when you are playing well, things go your way... or maybe
you just notice it more, but Canada did seems to always have a man in
the rights spot, or get a puck in the right area.
Final score: 5-2. A bit misleading as they did add two goals in this
final period, though USA was attacking during the majority of it. A Joe
Sakic breakaway salted it away with about 18 minutes gone. Canada
played really well. They had the story - 50 years *to the day* since
their last Hockey gold. This is a country that claims Hockey
supremacy... so while an Olympic gold medal was an important dream to
all players on all teams... the Canadians seem to have more attached. Gretzky, eh... sort of turned whiner
earlier during the Olympics. I guess he won't be so frustrated anymore,
and winning probably cements in his mind that he's that much more right
about everything he vocalized. In some ways I respect him for what he
said... in others a little luster came off... the great "quiet" one,
who used to say it all with the stick and puck. Now in retirement, we learn he's got a mouth. Well, here is someone else's take on the meaning of victory for Canada.

later -- tom


Posted by gcrgcr at 12:16 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2002 - Sale, Pelletier - Sale, Pelletier share gold with Russian pair

Just because this has been *so* overdone... I thought I'd offer some relief to folks... here at's "the blog" we have absolutely no comment on the situation. Let's all move on shall we?

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:46 AM | Comments (0)

February 8, 2002

Teddy's Patriotism We just finished

Teddy's Patriotism
We just finished watching the opening ceremonies for the 2002 Winter
Olympics in Salt Lake City a short while ago. A lengthy ritual, there
were many allusions and direct representations of patriotism and
American spirit in the various dances and performances.
It is still very easy to get emotional about the events on 9-11 -- and
many are still stirred into a nearly frenetc tirade of anger and
infuriation over the losses. After watching the ceremony, I recall the December 3, 2001 issue of Newsweek,
which profiled widow Lisa Beamer, who's husband Todd heroically
perished on Flight 93 - the flight theoretically bound for a Washington
D.C. landmark and that ultimately crashed in a Pennsylvannia field.
that issue, Teddy Roosevelt was quoted and I tore it out and have held
it since. After watching tonights ceremonies, the words not only speak
to the true patriotism shown by those who gave their lives at 9-11, but
they ring true for those who carry on -- and those who now compete,
from all nations of the world, as Olympic athletes... "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena ...
who strives valiantly, who knows the great enthusiasm, the great
devotions, and spends himself in worthy causes. Who, at best, knows the
triumph of high achievement and who, at worst, if he fails, fails while
daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and
timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

It's okay to dream. It's okay to try, and yes -- as someone else once
said, "You miss 100% of the shots you never take" (whom that someone
is, I don't know, but it wasn't me!). That said -- go ahead, dare
yourself to be successful... and make sure you don't regret not having

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2002

Avoidance and sundry things... Well,

Avoidance and sundry things...

Well, my word for the day will be avoidance,
because for those who know me, there are some other obvious things I
could be blogging, relative to MessageMedia's retirement. Instead I'll pick on fellow blogger ldonovan whose blog today was Seinfeldian
in nature. The unique words just flow from the blog of eldi, and I'm
duly impressed. To the point that I had to reference the online
dictionary for "sundry". Cleft palate reference to "Sunday" perhaps?
No, instead we get this:

ADJECTIVE: Various; miscellaneous: a purse containing keys, wallet, and sundry items.
ETYMOLOGY: Middle English sundri, from Old English syndrig, separate.

So, with that, we learn that "sundry" is a fancy way of saying "various". And eldi amazingly described her day as having done "more various and sundry uninteresting things. -- or translated: "more various and various uninteresting things." -- now that is alot of uninteresting things. Let's see what happens next -- check out eldi blog

eldi -- it's just not the same around Superior without you... thank God for blogger. :)

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:45 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2002 Well, it's no secret...
Well, it's no secret... now that DCLK has purchased MessageMedia and
the deal is consumated... there will be layoffs, likely next week.
MessageMedia's loyal staff will have at the end of next week been
through four Reduction In Force (RIF) in about 12 months.
That being said, Tim Thiessen
is starting as a community for ex-employees to stay
in touch and more (I'm hoping to contribute as might others). Look for
it soon!

Posted by gcrgcr at 8:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2002

bisque1 Yes, this came up


this came up the other day at lunch with co-workers... as there was a
"tomato bisque" available amongst the soups of the day... hence the
almost mandatory "Seinfeldish"
like discussion concerning the definition and origin of the word
Most importantly, what exactly should one expect from a bisque? As
opposed to soup, or stew? We, as we quickly learned, were a collective
group of culinary clueless...
Additionally we learned that we need more interesting lives... and
though you suspect you have a more interesting life than we... see if
you can resist clicking here.

Posted by gcrgcr at 12:20 AM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2001

BabyCenter - Your complete resource

BabyCenter - Your complete resource for pregnancy and baby information
Well, the cat's out of the bag now! We are pregnant! - Check that, Joie
is pregnant... there are so many angles on this news, but it's been 13
weeks, so that's expected. I'll cover some of these angles later, for
now, I just wanted to get the fantastic news out there. Um, so for
something, here is the quick note I sent some close friends:
We're pregnant! No not you and me, and not me, but actually Joie.
So we're gonna have another baby and be officially outnumbered! :) Joie
is doing great and is just closing out the first trimester, so we
wanted to share the news. Hey, a guy can't just sit around dinkin with
web sites all the damn time! So now you know why I've looked extra
tired at times over the past 13 or so weeks.. . I've been doing my best
to help out a lot more at home with AJ and Max. Small potatoes compared
with what Joie's gonna do! ;) Also, she's been mentioning the word
'snip' alot -- not sure what that means but it doesn't sound good.
Anyway, so that's it. See most of you tomorrow.

As I said, more bloggin on this phenominal news later -- Tom

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2001

CU loses to Fresno

CU loses to Fresno

Thanks to Darren, I got to attend the game. Only downer was the Buffs
lost. As a die-hard, green and gold bleedin' CSU graduate, I want to
stomp the Buffs anytime we play 'em... but, having lived in Colorado
for over 21 years and growing up outside of Boulder, I want the Buffs
to win.

Perfect scenario would've been Fresno playing well (which they
did) and showing us all CU's weaknesses (which they did) and then CU
coming back and winning at the end (which they didn't). Still, it was
good to get the College Football season underway.

Saturday, AJ went horseback riding with Grandma and Grandpa... *all by
himself* (we're not over-protective are we?) ;) Seriously, he was so
excited... he got his red and black cowboy boots on, jeans, t-shirt,
black cowboy hat (sounds good so far eh?) and Blues Clues

Also, he informed Joie that he needed his pocket knife, which in his case is from his Playdoh set and is about the size of a large cellular phone. Once that was clipped on his belt, he was ready to roll.

Joie, Max and I went to church and then out to breakfast. The
spooky part of things for me, was that when we set down to eat at BC's
cafe, and it was just the three of us (even driving around) it was
really lonely without AJ -- I haven't realized how much of a complete
family we've become, the four of us, until Saturday.

Poor Max was just lost... "AJ, AJ" he would excitedly speak every so often, as if he'd just materialize there with us. Of course once we got AJ back he told us all about everything - probably didn't stop his motor mouth the whole time he was there.

They checked fence and cattle on Ken's property and jumped over some ditches (maybe 2 foot across, 1 foot deep) -- went through some creeks (1 foot deep).

Posted by gcrgcr at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

August 15, 2001

Da Boyz Today

Da Boyz

Today Joie had a doc appointment, so I left work around 11:30 and took
the fellas to Gymboree in Boulder ( a play group they've attended for a while, it's pretty cool, but I'm typically the only "dad" there).

After that, I worked from home.

After dinner I was hanging with the fellas in the backyard... the
weather was great, like 75 degrees, the sun was approaching the
mountain horizon, and I was just really pleased.

AJ was playing with me, he had a strip of fabric, about 2 feet worth,
and it was his "bandaid" and he was applying it to various hurt places, my wrists, head, ear, ankle, etc... really he was playing very
creatively and learning "knots" at the same time.

What struck me though is that the whole time this 41 month old child is just chattering away all sorts of instructions, insights, thoughts etc... and I just thought, this is the best. Max would rimble by every 30 seconds and jump on me, toss in a word or two, and be on his way again. Then I thought... I am so lucky -- and rich - not in financial terms though.

So, I thought I'd share this composite photo I made for Joie for Mother's day this year.

Digitally edited and created from two separate snapshots, I had it printed as an 8x10 at Shutterfly.

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2001

RamSpam - Volume 2, Issue 5

RamSpam - Volume 2, Issue 5

Well, it's been a busy week or so... I *finally* got another RamSpam
out of my system... the last issue was early May, so it was long

Took the boys to the county fair again, last Thursday, with Joie and
the inlaws... AJ let me take him on the "roller coaster"... it's for
kids... it's a real coaster, but it's pretty small... he loved it... I
figured Max would be the adrenaline junkie of the two, but I've got a
feeling we'll have two of them on our hands...

Ran 4+ miles on Saturday, about 40 minutes round trip... running
outside really stresses my muscles and joints alot more than the
treadmill, but it sure is more interesting, and despite not having a
"computer" it is more motivating relative to "making progress" and
"getting somewhere"... although as far as you run... you have to run
that far back as soon as you turn! :)

The whole WGD gang at work had today off, but it ended up being no
biggie... did a basic HTML typesetting job for Countrywide and Josh
wrote the American Red Cross thing for me (thanks man!)...
Oh well, I'm out -- later, Tom

Posted by gcrgcr at 10:02 PM | Comments (0)

August 4, 2001

Boulder County Fair & Rodeo

Boulder County Fair & Rodeo

Well, we went to the county fair today... we go every year, and will go back next week for the "tractor parade" (AJ'll love it), but today we went to see Lisa in the Sheep dog trials... Lots of folks from MM went, all the FG's (Scott Green, Cindy, Emily and Rachel), Jenny Lynn, D to the MC Keen, Tim and his posse... etc...

Here is proof... in case you were interested... Also, Tim took that picture with his new Pen cam, I'm sure his blogger will tell you all about it.

Here is a classic shot of some Sheep Poop.
Anyhow, Lisa and Plaide did well -- Ken apparently gave her some issues that she'll deal with "offline" (there's probably some sheep herder equivalent to that geek term).

Walked around after that with the Green's and JL for a while. AJ met a
girl, about 6 years old or so, and helped clean her calf. It's name was Beauty. He had fun. We all did. -- later.

Posted by gcrgcr at 9:52 PM | Comments (0)




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