Last night, August 28, 2008, Andrea was priviliged to be among the 84,000 people who heard Barack Obama accept the 2008 Democratic Nomination for the President of the United States. I had to watch on TV at home but it was truly an incredible moment. I was most impressed by the speeches of Al Gore, and Obama himself. Andrea got some wonderful pictures of the event from inside the stadium as well. To quote Hillary Clinton, "Barack Obama is my candidate and must be our next President!"
Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:44 PM
Last night, Andrea and I went downtown for a White House Project party at the Denver Newspaper Agency building downtown. Since we had to go downtown anyway, we took the opportunity to wander down the 16th Street Mall towards the Pepsi Center to people watch. And what people watching it was!
The 16th Street Mall had more people on it than I have ever seen. It was packed! The first "protester" we encountered exhorted us to "Stop Bird Porn!" The meaning of that, we've yet to figure out. Then we found some anti-gay and anti-abortion protesters. There were the obligatory riot police at the Federal Reserve Bank and a cart selling Obama action figures.
We then moved through Larimer Square and out onto Speer where we were greeted by the best use of the $50 million in security money for the DNC. We had the eerie experience of being able to walk right down the middle of one of the busiest streets in Denver, Speer Boulevard, on our way closer to Fortress Pepsi Center.
The protesters were thick around the security entrance to the Pepsi Center as the cops looked on, clearly bored by the whole thing. We then headed back through Larimer Square and up the 16th Street Mall before heading to the party.
The White House Project party was a celebration of 10 years of the White House Project. We hung out with a few friends and watched the Biden acceptance speech there before heading home.
As I write this, Andrea just got into Invesco Field for tonight's Obama acceptance speech. Her seats are in the 500 level, so she'll be a long way up, but I'm jealous that she's there at all. The whole thing has been interesting to watch the security and political processes up close in our home city.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008 8:12 PM
This past Sunday, August 24th, Andrea and I went to the Green Sunday concert at the Red Rocks Ampitheater for the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The concert was a free concert for DNC delegates, volunteer captains and others associated with the convention. It was a wonderful concert featuring Sheryl Crow, Sugarland, and Dave Matthews. Between the acts, various politicians including Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, Senator Ken Salazar, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine addressed the crowd. It was my first concert at Red Rocks and we had a great time.
Monday, August 25, 2008 10:39 AM
This past Saturday, August 23, Lauren and I attempted to climb Mt. Evans for the second time since we failed to reach the summit the first time, back in September of last year. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas.
We started out from the Guanella Pass trailhead at about 7:15 am and quickly worked our way into the Bierstadt Willows. It had snowed the week before, though that was all gone, and rained the night before. Little did we know that we would be heading into a nightmare.
We took a little different route than we had previously to attempt to avoid the muck. The trail through the willows is only well marked where there is so much mud that people sink in, so we tried to stay up on the ridge to avoid the mud. It didn't work. It didn't take long working our way through the willows until both of us were pretty soaked and our boots were covered in mud.
After about an hour and a half of slogging through the mud, we were barely a third of the total distance on the trail and completely frustrated. We decided to head back and then drive around Mt. Evans and go up the Mount Evans Road and try to summit from Summit Lake. As we left Guanella Pass, three frustrating hours after we had started, our spirits were improving and the clear skies left us hopeful of summiting yet. But Mother Nature had other plans yet again.
By the time we reached Summit Lake about 45 minutes later, the clouds were building rapidly over the mountain. It even spat some raindrops while we were eating lunch, but hearing no thunder we decided to set out up the mountain. The route from Summit Lake is pretty short and there is a lot of traffic on the mountain in case the weather got us stuck on the top.
About halfway up the trail though, our window of blue sky was closing rapidly. We debated for a bit, but then a couple of nearby lightning strikes that were a couple of peaks away sealed the decision for us. We hustled back down and got in the car right as it started raining and hailing.
On the drive back down, there were portions of the mountain where it looked like it had snowed because the hail was so deep. We did stop and take some pictures of some really beautiful clound formations that had filled the valleys below the thunderstorms, but we headed down toward Denver, defeated by Mt. Evans yet again.
When we got back to Denver, we had dinner of hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill with Andrea. Andrea then had to leave to go work with DNC volunteers at her hotel and Lauren and I watched the Rockies game while I washed both of our muddy clothes.
More photos from the hike will be forthcoming soon.
Update - August 26, 2008 - Photos from Mt. Evans on August 23, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008 8:23 AM
Today marks the official beginning of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Andrea is working as a volunteer captain all week at one of the hotels in Lakewood, and last night we attended the Green Sunday kickoff concert at Red Rocks. I've also already ran into one of the protests on the way to the Rockies game yesterday.
It will continue to be interesting to see how the rest of the week plays out here in Denver, from the security theater that has made most of downtown inaccesible, to the overhyped protests, to the news from the Pepsi Center, and finally, Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday night. The DNC is in Denver for the first time in a century. Let the party begin!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:39 AM
My anniversary present from Andrea was this beautiful painting by Clyde Steadman. It was based on a photo I had taken at Coors Field in September 2003. The painting will be the centerpiece of my sports room once we get that set up but, for now, it is hanging above the TV in our living room. Clyde even customized it by putting my name in the painting as the name of the batter on the scoreboard. Thanks Andrea!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008 11:19 AM
This morning, I released the first version of Four Corners Solitaire for the Windows Mobile Smartphone. Four Corners is the classic game of "Four Seasons," "Corner Card," or "Vanishing Cross" for the Windows Mobile Smartphone. Four Corners is available for purchase on Mobihand or through this site for $6. For more information and to buy Four Corners, please visit my Smartphone Software page.
Monday, August 18, 2008 2:37 PM
Two years ago today, Andrea and I were married at the Des Moines Botanical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. It's really amazing how fast the 2 years has flown by. I love you Andrea!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:48 PM
After the primary yesterday, our local House District race, HD24, remains undecided, going to an automatic recount. Out of 4,889 votes cast, Sue Schafer leads Andrea and my preferred candidate, Dave Ruchman, 2,453 votes to 2,436. 17 whole votes!!! 17 votes out of almost 4,900 cast! If you think your vote doesn't matter, think again. 17 whole votes!
Update - August 14, 2008 8:11 am: Rocky Mountain news article discussing the current state of the Ruchman v. Schafer race. They're evidently in the process of counting the provisional ballots at this point.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 7:14 AM
Today is Colorado Primary Day. Andrea and I went and voted this morning at the Lakewood Public Library. At 7:30 am, we were voters #2 and #3 in the Democratic Primary. Not surprisingly, turnout was expected to be low with only one contested primary on our ballot. We both voted for Dave Ruchman in the HD 24 primary over Sue Schafer.
If you live in Colorado, go vote today!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 7:05 AM
About 2 weeks ago, I released Stirling Weather Tray 2.1.3133. This release fixes an issue preventing the application from running at startup on Windows Vista. This release is also updated to the Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5. On Windows Vista, application startup will be delayed 60 seconds due to the "startup boxing" functionality in Vista. More information on the Windows Vista "startup boxing" functionality can be found at the Commercial Technical Support Windows Server Performance Team blog.
Thursday, August 7, 2008 1:18 PM
This pas weekend, Holy Shepherd hosted the ELCA National Synod Hunger Leaders Gathering. This event brought people from every synod in the entire ELCA to our church in Lakewood to discuss hunger issues. Andrea, as the Holy Shepherd Hunger Contact, organized the local volunteers for the entire weekend, and we spent most of the weekend at church making sure everything ran smoothly.
On Friday, I went over at lunch to help with dishes because it was the one meal that we didn't have enough people to help with. It turned out that they had it well under control, so I went and caught up on Planning & Staffing issues with Barb in the office. When I tried to return to work, the Fed Center had been shut down due to a water main break, so I went back to church. I spent some time with Pastor Michael discussing some of the Planning and Staffing issues before I went to see what I could sit in on in the conference.
The first session I joined was on Taking Root. It is a new education curriculum to bring hunger issues into Sunday School. I then went to the session on HIV/AIDS. This was a particularly fascinating session dealing with the links between HIV/AIDS and poverty and hunger issues. We spent quite a bit of time going over ways to introduce the discussion of HIV/AIDS into church and ways to minister and be hospitable to those with the disease.
Andrea and I then helped with dinner, spending most of the time helping with dishes before heading home for the night.
Saturday morning, we got up early to go take Andrea's car to get new tires before heading over to the Gathering. We sat in on the first plenary session before setting up for the snacks at the first break. After the dishes were done, we headed off to some of the other sessions.
I went to a session on Hunger Ministry in the 21st Century. The session wasn't really what I pictured based on the description, but it did have some interesting moments. The session was largely on how to engage politically for hunger action without being partisan. It also talked a lot about goals for per member giving to hunger issues.
I then went and helped with lunch, again spending a lot of time doing dishes. Everything went smoothly once again, and I took off in the afternoon to go to a BBQ at one of our friends' house.
I got back in time for the 5:30 service in the evening. I'm sure the normal crowd of about 35-40 people was stunned at the size of the turnout with all 150 or so of the Gathering participants joining us. The Gathering participants were woven into the service, including a guest preacher from West Virginia. The sound of the singing was really only rivaled by Easter from what I could tell.
After service, we ran a couple errands and then met a number of people from the Gathering for dinner at El Jimador on Union. It was a very good dinner with a wonderful group of people.
We had a great time over the weekend, and everyone from the Gathering couldn't have been more appreciative of the efforts of Holy Shepherd and how smoothly things went.