Monday, December 29, 2008

apre' ski fun

Trying to get Doodle to sit still thru story time after a good day freezing butt while skiing outside can be a bit of a chore.

Boy seems to really love the snow.

Now THAT is a GOOD thing!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Cabin cookin

First good snowy night at cabin. Lovely 15 degree out. Thank goodness for down coats. I'm out here grilling the pork loin while wiffy n boy cozy warm playing games in side. Ok, me finger cold now, going back in glove.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lord of Nordspeps

Supreme commander of the Nordspeps riding his ski sliding slave creature.

OK, the sled is now in retirement. Although heavy, this works. He is happy as a clam in his shell (ducktape and all). He just mumbles along. Giggling when sliding gets fast and bumpy. Since he loves to bite his gloves off, I took his suit and gloves and made a modification. I sewed strips of velcro "hook" to suit and then strips of velcro "loop" to gloves. Hopefully this replaces the need for ducktape. Although ducktape is not necessarily a fashion problem. Many a skier has had to improvise a patch to the torn clothing when needed. That is probably where the term "ripping skier" evolved from.

take me to your leader

Alexi preparing to go into the snow. At least I think he is in there somewhere.

Note the duck taped gloves to stay on hands.

jeep safari

G-ma lin get him the Jeep. Quickly becoming most fascinating toy. It was the matchbox car before, but now it is becoming the Jeep.

Another hot contender is the the Elmo laptop.

This one is "just like mommy and daddy" who spend lots of time staring at these things instead of paying attention to him. So he wants to play too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New phone shot

Guess what Santa brought Papa. ....The new 3G i-phone!!!


OK, I hear you!... but the old one couldn't take pictures anymore. And I need to take Alexi pics and instant-blog them. Isn't that enough justification???

Anyway, here is one of the first pics with it. Alexi found Papa's hat and was putting it on. Then taking it off. then On. Off, on-off on-off. Just had to blog the shot.

Now the pic posts should be easier again.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chillin at G-momma's

"Oh I dont feel so good."

Theo is suffering from a bit of a bender at my Mom's Christmas party at their house in Denver, a.k.a., Crab Shack Studios. This is a gathering of their music lover friends. Lots of food, libations, and a merriment of music were served, so who knows what theo might have gotten into that night.
Alexi had a good time too. Here he is with G-ma Lin. Who took time out from a blur of activity to stay in focus for a moment for a photo. Alexi on the other hand was too enthrawled and incapable of sitting still with all the music going on.
And of course the big hit for him was watching and distracting G-maw from squeezing it, all night long.


Louie on the other hand, was less than enamored with what he considered just a bunch of noise in between tasty treats falling from platters and plates.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

new hat

New to Alexi fetishes is the "new" hat he found. Picking up on the excitement of the first good-snow-of-the-year backcountry tour, boyo finds momma's ski helmet.
But he thinks it looks best in the reverse orientation.
Skiing with him is not quite as good as it was last year, when he would sleep for hours in the sled. Wake for bottle, then back to sleep.

This year though, it's different. Alexi only handles about 1hr cooped up in the back before he starts to whine from boredom. He then needs to be let out to stomp around. and around, and around.
Thus did not get a chance to get turns, but did see that at the top of Porterfork road, there was about 15 inches of fresh, right-side-up snow. A cruchy crust at the bottom of depth-hoar crystals toped by a poorly-bonding thicker layer and then the last 10 a good "cold-smoke" of about 4%.

Alexi my boy, you gonna need to start learning these snow dynamic principles. It is part of our life, and may help you keep your life when conditions get dangerous in the backcountry.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hm, I look good.

boy has become the hat man.
One of his new found favorites is the china merchant hat.

Also a new found interest in seeing himself in the mirror.
Boy's got himself some other hats. The Andy one, a crabby-dongle thing that glows with is face. And the Moose one, with antler horns. That one is the chick magnet for him.

Took him for sushi at Takashi's tonight. As usually, he was mostly all good behavior. Hardly a raised voice. A bit of rice thrown on the ground. Some fondling the neighbors. But mostly he was a delight.

We had to eat fast because we only had 30 min to Pumkin Time. Like the Cinderela story, he is pretty much clockwork now. At the end of the evening, the clock turns to 7:30, and he undergoes a conversion. Mind you, we did not know from watching the clock that this was the time, but rather from the switch in the Doodles attitude. Booger brains turns from the giggly happy boy to temper cranky boy right at 7:30. Eye rub and whiny mumble, yes it is time to get out of the restaurant and get him home.

Back at the house, the key words are spoken "Oh, somebody looks tired. Its time to go night-night." That triggers a Pavlovian response, and Alexi's eyes glaze over. A quick round of kissy-good-night and it is off to bed.

How did we get so lucky????

Monday, December 8, 2008

Facing down the Private Invader

Ok, I did it. I've been dreading it for a while now. Holding back and seeking the truth. But now I can put it off no longer, because everyone is doing it.

And what is it you ask? the simple one word answer:

Facebook

What does this privacy invading monster mean?

Where will it go? What does it want from me?

What buried daemons from my past will it summon?

Word is people from the distance past will appear like magic in the internet ether. A supreme strength of Networking connectivity awaits. No other media is needed.

Does this mean the end of this blog. Will Facebook steal away precious idle time and Choppingtwigs-life will fade away into distant memory?

Only time will tell.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

turkey day

Thanks giving a time to remember. Remembering my vacation with Alexi down at "the Port" (the beach house of Papa and Sharron on the Lagonna Madre just outside Port Mansfield, TX)."Wow, the ocean," Alexi was so thrilled and interest in the water. Had to keep a watchful eye on him because he kept trying to crawl over the edge. Into the rough and choppy waters.

Standing at the edge facing into the bay, time for introspection. Time slowed nicely in the Port.

Now it is thanksgiving day. I wait, Alexi naps, the Bird cooks. Soon friends will show and a party will begin. Not quite the family gathering though, only Christy's mom is here. My Dad and Sharron remained in the Port. They too enjoy a mellow holiday. Same with my Mom and Rob. Neither parent making the turkey feast, just keeping it mellow.

Mellow has been our approach, bird went in early and is just on low heat now. Christy's squash-mushroom soup made and gently stewing. Judy's fruit salad slowly blending flavors in the fridge. Time for introspection and rest.

Soon though, the guests will show. The bird will be carved. Food served. The party will begin.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Electronic Miracle, sort of

Suppose one could say it was bound to happen.

There I was a fishing from the dock catch the "specks." Below is a pic made from the iphone of me papa, tossing the plastic for the salt water trout. The "plastic" are glow in the dark shrimp mimics and they are hot for the hooking when used under the green floodlight in the late evening.
I was out on the pier, chatting with the papa and we got pretty worked up in some conversation that I am now forgetting. Was it lamenting the big one that got away? or was it the discussing the principle of green (490 nm) wavelength radiation maximally stimulating aquatic photoreceptors horizontally throughout the foodchain? Not sure,.... never the less, I was on the pier and was stepping back as part of a rod casting to stick the plastic out into the sweet zone. As my back foot was going down it just clipped off the back edge of the deck. realizing I was going to take a drink, I sprung backwards with the front leg that was still on the deck. This was a rather reflexive action that would allowing me to land on my feet out in the water. But the jump also gave me time to think. In the air, I realized my cell phone was in my pants pocket.

Let me ask you a question:

Do you think a cell phone and salt water are a good mix?

Is 310 osmolarity of charged electroltes a good thing for electronic devices?

....NO! being the obvious answer, I splashed down into mid thigh deep water. Quickly grabbing for the phone, I had trouble releasing it from its now dripping wet, zippered pants pocket. Many explicatives later, I finally freed the phone, but it was too late, the iphone was dripping with salt water. After running to the house to splash with fresh water and then frentic flinging out any residual liquid, I tried to shut the phone off. It refused to switch off because it auto restarted after powering down. About 10 trys latter it finally succeed in switching off (...or did it just give up the ghost and die?). I became emotionally drained from the subsiding adrenaline rush, so we decided to go to bed and I would deal with it in the AM.

The next morning hooked it up to data transfer to my laptop. I wanted to see if I could extract my photos off first, because they were the only items not automatically backed up. It fired up and I was able to get the pics. Even more miraculously it still surfed the internet and did email. Audio was dead upon attempting to use for a phone call, but I was quite surprised it had any functionality at all. The next day though was another surprise as it took a phone call and the audio had started working again. Now the only thing still not working is the camera. I have not tried the ipod functionality yet, but that would be unlikely to be impaired if memory access functions are still alive.

This has been a mixed blessing though,. The phone has retained enough functionality so that I no longer have a good excuse to get the new "3G" iphone !!!????#@$#.

christy reports from china

Back in SLC now. As I mentioned in an earlier post, part of the reason I snuck out down to Texas was Christy joining a Medical Ambassador exchange program to China for two weeks. Here are some pic she sent that need posting. Below we have the obligate photo-op at the Great Wall of China.
Here we have exotic cuisine (yes those really are scorpions). She did not send a photo of split duck head soup (thank goodness).
and here is amazing shots of the acrobatic troupe.
christy thinks this is where they get those amazing gymnast (or is it where they go after gymnastics?)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Alexi n da YaYa

Bug was bonding with g-pa while lazing in sun.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Patch clamping

The dog (patches) and alexi are good buddies. That's papa in bkgrd.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beachhouse hanging

Booger digs the AM action on the deck. Been swiming. Now napping.

New place does not have Internet yet so blogging from phone.

Flying alexi

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Terracotta Army of Mischief

Just dropped Christy and her mom, Judy, at the airport. As part of a national medical ambassador program, she and her fellow doctors are going over to China for a cultural exchange of medical information. Her itinerary is Hong Kong, Bejing, Shanghi, and a stop in the interior at Xi'an where the terracotta army was found. This is the clay army of 8000 that the first emperor had burried with him when he died. Guess he was being a nice guy, bucking the tradition of having all his army, women, and slaves to be buried with him when he kicked the bucket.

With the many cultural trips planed, it sound like a once in a lifetime opportunity for Christy and her Mom. I am jealous and I gave some serious thought to going, but traveling with Alexi at 16 months on a 15 hrs flight was just too intimidating. I like to think of their trip as a reconnaissance mission. Go get a taste of what interesting things travel to China can offer us in the future.

To test the travel waters with Alexi, I have scheduled a get-out-of-town while Christy is gone. I head of to the Texas gulf coast for a week to visit my dad in his second home at "The Port." Papa, the avid (or is it rabbid) windsurfer, got himself a waterfront property on the Lagona Madre outside of Port Mansfield. He and Sharron head down to the gulf regularly. Fishing (Sharron's passion now rubbing off on Papa) and windsurfing (crazy Papa only), are two very fine activities down there.

To join them in two days will require a 3 hr flight to Houston then 1 hr to Harlingen. I am a bit fearful/dreadful towards this travel. Alexi is an active little spazz, but he does not comprehend self restraint. Keeping him happy and out of mischief is likely to be a difficult/impossible task.

I hope my fellow passengers will be understanding.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Scary green dinosaur

Geared up Alexi in a dinosaur outfit for Halloween. The significance of the holiday escapes him, but he sure likes the attention from mom and dad laughing at his cute get up.Took him over to Chris and Em's, as their street in the Avenues is prime harvesting the candy. Up and down the street in the radioflyer was just about right for him.
The major concept in Halloween was a bit confusing at first. We'd put the bucket in his hands, he like that. But then he would cry, when we tried to hold out his bucket for him to receive his treat. Took a few houses to realize that we were collecting things in his bucket.

Nearing the end, it turned out a rather meager harvest for him, what with parental food inspection/tax and all.But hey, give the kid a break. At 16 months, this was pretty much just a practice run for latter in life. He will have plenty more years to reach that professional status. Remember? when we would score huge hauls by the time we were 8 or 10.

Being a "practice run" Alexi grew tired very quickly.
And he was not sure what to think of the crowds of scary, ghoulish kids that pass him by.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shaping it

Did another Mt Wire today. Took the "Thrones Direct" route, then scuried up the ravine to give the dogs a break from the heat (heat? you say, this close to November?) Well the ambient was an unseasonal warm of at least 75 and the route is a west-facing, afternoon-sun catcher. This view is a gimps of the now defunct airport beacon at the summit.

Alexi is a great backbacker. Loves the ride up, then out-and-about at the top.
No so enamored with the impeding beautiful sunset, Alexi turns his back on it and explores more intersting things, like rocks and.....
"Hey, wait! What that up there?????"

Alexi discovers the airport beacon tower and is suddenly enthralled.It became difficult to keep him off it as the ladder was just too inviting.

Speaking of attractive nuisances for mischievous hands, Alexi is taking to crawling up on things. He just figured out how to climb up on a chair. And you know where that extends....

Distracted for a second, I turned around to see him up on the table, getting set to stand up and walk-the-plank.

We need to get that sibling for him, yesterday. cuz he needs a play pall pronto.

T, her Peo, and the cap of the funk

Talia (aka the "T") retains a deep attachment to Theo (aka, in T vernacular, "Peo").
This relation ship between T and Theo developed nearly two years ago when Rolf and Andi stayed with us for a few months. The had renters that needed their house before they were set to leave to the east coast for Rolf's Nurse Anesthetist School. So to help our friends out of a financial pinch. They either would have to rent some other place for themselves to stay a few months, or go out early and try to live on shoestring budget before the jobs and school loans kicked in. So what do friends do for friends in a bind??? .......Come On In, Stay a While!

Their recent visit was short but sweet. Prior to the wedding, we organized a gathering of the old core of compadres. Everyone together and lots of kids running around now (sorry no pics, forgot my camera).

Party wound down on early for a Saturday night. I guess we getting to be old-folk now, feeling that 9:30 is seeming just-a-bit late. Only late night parties for Christy and I are the pee-puke-n-poop parties occasionally held by Alexi in the wee hours of the morning. Lately we have been blessed with a good nights sleep, with goober seldom rising before 6:30-7.

Andi is incredible in her fashion sense. She gave a cute/goofy looking hat to Alexi which he loved. Somehow the color was just right to bring out facial features.

Alexi in heaven: His "new" used cell phone, a cool hat, .......and strip of drool across chin. YEA!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Andy and Rolf's brief visit

Good friends Andy and Rolf came back to SLC for a wedding. Originally Salt Lakers, they have been back east in Providence, RI, for a few years, while Rolf finishes up training as a Nurse Anesthetist. Luckily, we were able to convince them to stay with us, allowing us to enjoy their good company.

Their darling little girl, Talia, gave us a glimpse of what Alexi will soon be like, all chatter and lots of questions. Here we have The T demonstrating how she is going to send herself to Africa, in a cardboard box. To her regret, she did not quite fit, so we had to find some other activity besides the shipping business.

To wear out the T'zer, we took the family on a walk in the foothills. We went to one of my nearby favorites, the shoreline trail up behind research park.
My good friend, and fellow blogger, James was able to join us.

We all go back years. To our days in college when we used to run trips with the Outdoor Program at the U. It was nice have a beautiful day for reminiscences of the "good ol days." The views of the mountains behind us were an aid to our mental reflections.

Friday, October 17, 2008

more pics of Gobblers Knob

A few weeks back we hiked Gobblers knob with Alexi. One of the guys on the trip, got some pretty good shots that seem to beg posting. Here is a beauty of Mt Raymond.Golden Aspens Dribbling Downslope.

Minature Girl Angry with Her Owner

Alexi Still up for MORE, DADY, MORE.
Crazed Lunatic Photographer in Self Portrait

...thanks Michael for the good pics.

Reflector towers

"Hey papa, you gonna teach me how to ski this year?"
"Papa, we need to break down those barriers. That chain link fence that keeps us cooped up. Get me out there this season"

....Well, If I am to get him out, I need to get out. Need to get in some training.

Took the man up to the reflector towers yesterday.
Extricated from the backpack at the top, Alexi stumbled around and collected rocks.

This is one of my standard get-out-and-get-in-shape routes. Its is a quickie, but a goodie. Start at base in Research Park. Hike to top (the red fire-tower) and back down in one hour is good fitness goal.With Alexi on my back, I definitely did not achieve this goal. The added weight slowed me to 56 min in the 2000 ft climb to the peak. Going down was also slow at 30+ min.

"Papa, you gonna have to do better than that!"