Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Meet Pandora!

We got a dog!!!  Meet Pandora!  She's a 2-ish year old lab mix that we brought home from the shelter this past weekend!  We'd been talking about getting a dog for a while, but it was never really practical when we were going back and forth from my place to his.  And when I moved in with S in August we wanted to let the kitties have time to adjust to their new home and then it was the holidays.  Once February rolled around we decided it was time.  We started looking Valentine's weekend and thought we'd found the right dog, but that adoption fell through.  So this past weekend we spent pretty much all day Saturday going to adoption events and shelters.  On our sixth stop we found Pandora and we took her home the next day!

She's SUCH a well behaved girl already - she has a playful side and lots of puppy energy but she's also so smart and definitely a lover.  She is house broken and knows "sit", "down" and "kennel".  We're working with her on other commands and her leash skills, but around the house she's a dream!  She's reached an uneasy truce with the cats (she had cats in her previous home and so she's respectful and wary of them).  Dante had a standoff with her when they first met and they just stared at each other for a few minutes from about a foot apart and then walked away, so it definitely could have been worse.  Since then Dante has taken to baiting Pandora by hiding under the bench in the bedroom and then hissing and swatting at her.  But Pandora really handles it well.  Zoe is curious and yet indifferent, but she's been pretty good too.  I think they'll learn to coexist fairly quickly, which is such a relief as the dog-cat interaction was really my only concern in bringing her home.

We're so excited to have this pretty girl as a new member of our household!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Weekend In Review and Fun Links

We really didn't have much to do this weekend and it was amazing.  We rented a few movies from Redbox, spent some time with S's family, slept in, ran errands, and I cooked up a few yummy meals.  In general it was pretty low key and exactly what we needed.

Since I don't have much to report from the weekend, I figured I'd amuse you with a few funny/interesting that links I've found recently:

  • Have you heard of the Mars One mission?  It is a plan for a mission to colonize Mars (one way trip there only) and the plan is to fund it by packaging the whole process up as a reality TV series.  The project received over 200,000 resumes from people who want to be the first humans to walk on Mars and the organizers just narrowed down the applicant pool to only 100 people, 50 men and 50 women.  Only 24 people will actually go, but of course back ups will need to be trained as well.  The coolest part?  I actually KNOW one of the top 100 finalists!!!  George and I were friends back at KSC and he was recently interviewed by MSNBC about reaching the top 100.  You can watch the video above to see the interview.
  •  Do you use Amazon?  Did you know about all of these 20 secret tips?  #3 kind of blew my mind!
  • The Cathy Comic of the 90's meets the Louis CK rants of today and it's brilliant: http://thecathyckpage.tumblr.com 
  • This video about confronting sexual harassers on the streets of Lima, Peru made my day!
  •  You can't fight logic against someone who refuses to be logical...http://io9.com/8-logical-fallacies-that-fuel-anti-science-sentiments-1679442426
  • And while I'm talking nerdy science stuff, have you heard that my favorite astrophysicist (yes, I have a favorite, doesn't everyone???) is getting his own late night talk show?!
(top image from here)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ski Weekend Recap

Instead of going skiing on our own or with one other couple this year, we decided this year to join in on our friends' yearly group ski trek to Breckenridge.  It was quite a trip - 12 people, 3 Suburbans, an 8,000 square ft mansion with 6 bedrooms, 2 games rooms, 1 movie room, and a hot tub, and 4 glorious days in Colorado!  We arrived on Wednesday evening and since S and I were the only ones not to check luggage and skis, we headed out first with our friend D to get the rental cars.  You'd think that 3 Chevy Suburbans would be plenty for 12 people, but all of the luggage and ski equipment added up FAST, not to mention the $400 worth of groceries and $250 worth of beer and booze that we picked up on our way out of Denver.  I was the driver of the red suburban.  The drive to Breck was easy at first, but once it started to snow it became a bit stressful.  We got to the house in once piece, though, and proceeded to unpack the cars, explore the massive "cabin", and claim our rooms.

S and I wound up with the master suite and while it was quite luxurious (reading room, remote controlled fireplace, heated toilet seat), we didn't really take much advantage of the perks - we wound up spending most of our time skiing and hanging out with the group and our only time in the bedroom was to sleep.  Or to try to sleep at least.  Breck is higher than our usual ski haunt of Winter Park and I got elevation sickness BAD that first night.  I usually get a headache in the mountains, but in addition to that this time I was also super dizzy and nauseous and I kept jolting awake in the middle of the night gasping for air.  Fun stuff.  I wasn't sure if I'd make it skiing the next day, but luckily the symptoms subsided over the course of the night.  I was tired, but ready to ski!

 S and I drove into town with 2 of the other guys to pick up our ski equipment and then took the gondola to Peak 8, where we checked in for our ski lesson.  Since this was only S's second time on skis, he definitely wanted to take a lesson to make sure he felt confident on the mountain.  I decided to sign up for the lesson as well this time because while I've been skiing for about 20 years now, I've never really made the effort to get better at it.  We both signed up for the full day lesson and I think it was definitely worth it.  By the end of the day both of us were skiing more parallel and I was even working on my hockey stop!  After a full day of skiing (we were on the mountain from 10 am to 4 pm with only one break in the middle) we were exhausted and immediately jumped into the hot tub when we returned to the house.  That evening we ate dinner in town at Angel's Hollow, our group's traditional night out restaurant.  When we got back to the house after dinner everyone else was playing games and drinking, but I was still recovering from my elevation sickness and a poor night of sleep, so I crashed somewhat early.

We tried to wake up early on Friday to hit the slopes before the crowds, but we were admittedly dragging a bit.  We had breakfast with the group and then finally headed back out to the mountain around 10:00.  We started out the morning doing a couple of runs with our friend K (first picture above) on the green runs at Peak 8.  After 2 runs we were all hurting, so we found a table and took a break at the base for about an hour.  The weather was unreal.  We'd had awesome fresh powder on Thursday and on Friday we had temperatures in the 40's - so nice!  S and I went on two more runs after our break and then called it a day - we were exhausted.  We got back to the house and then I got a burst of extra energy and decided to build a snowman (the weather was so warm that the snow was actually packable instead of just powdery)!  I'm such a little kid.  After about an hour of playing in the snow we hit up the hot tub for a bit, I checked on my crockpot full of chili that I was making for dinner, and then we started a Scrabble game with 2 of our friends.  Midway through the Scrabble game the electricity went out (for the 3rd time that day actually). 

The house didn't have much by way of emergency supplies, but there was a gigantic fireplace in the great room that we were able to start up.  One guy brought matches so we were able to transfer the chili to the stove top to finish cooking.  We wound up hunkering down in front of the fire playing games and eating chili until 10 pm when the electricity finally came back on.  While the inconvenience of not having electricity was a pain in the ass, we definitely made the most of it and wound up having a lot of fun!  We finished up our last game, cleaned up the kitchen, and then all called it a night.
On Saturday we slept in a bit later than we had been (we definitely needed it after 2 days of skiing!) and then headed into the town of Breckenridge to meet up with our friend K, who drove in from Denver for the day, at Breckenridge Brewery and Pub.  Parking in Breck was a bitch, but the town itself was delightful.  After lunch we perused the shops, swung by the annual snow sculpture competition (the unseasonably warm weather had rendered many of them giant mishapen piles of snow by that point, but the pictures and sculptures still standing really gave you a sense of the amazing amount of work that went into them), bought souvenirs, and snacked on french fries.  When we finished up in town we brought K back to gaze in wonder at the mansion that we were renting.  We watched a movie in the in-house theater and then all had dinner together with the group.  K eventually left to drive back to Denver while everyone else headed to the game room with the poker table.  I watched S play a few hands and then retired to our room to start packing up our stuff before bed.

On Sunday morning we had to check out of the house.  So we ate as much of the leftover food as we could, packaged the rest up to give to K, packed all of our stuff into suitcases and then our suitcases into the car, and hit the road by 10 am.  On our way back to Denver we stopped in Idaho Springs, home of the famous Beau Jo's Pizza, which both K and S had been raving about to me for years and which I FINALLY got to taste for lunch that day!  It's also across the street from my favorite landmark along highway 70, a gorgeous frozen waterfall, so I had a great view while I ate.  We ordered a few pies for all 13 of us to share and afterwards walked down the street to Tommyknocker Brewery for some beers (I was mostly avoiding alcohol due to the whole elevation sickness thing, but the almond creme soda at Tommyknocker's was yummy!).  We then all piled back into the cars and drove to downtown Denver to have a few more drinks at Denver Beer Company and so all of the outdoorsy people could peruse the REI store just down the road.  Around 4:30 we said goodbye to K (always so good to see her!), packed back into the cars, and drove to the airport. 

It was not a relaxing weekend, but it was definitely a fun weekend!  We always have such a good time with all of the people on the trip (and made some new friends too!) and I always enjoy the opportunity to go skiing out west (the powder and the long runs are awesome).  I am already looking forward to getting to explore more of the runs at Breck next year!

Since we wore ourselves out last weekend, we're planning on taking it easy this weekend.  We will definitely be sleeping in, are planning to finally watch Gone Girl now that it's at Redbox, and are hoping to get in some family time first with with S's nephew at his Robonaut Robotics open house and then with S's parents that night for dinner.  Maybe we'll get something done around the house too, but we're not planning on it at this time.  We just want to relax...