Category Archives: Life

Camping at Woods Canyon Lake

#latergram ?

I haven’t done a good job of keeping to my goal of one post per week… obviously, but I’m not giving up.
A few weeks ago, Sam and I got to go camping up at Woods Canyon Lake. It was a first time visit for both of us and the first time in too many years we’ve gone camping together.

We arrived around midday, picked our spot to set up the tent, then headed to the lake for an adventure.



The lake was a little crowded, as it’s a popular recreation spot, but it is a sight worth seeing.

Sam and I decided to hike the trail around the lake:







As we hit what we thought was the half way point, storm clouds began rolling in. We quickened our pace a bit only to discover we weren’t near the half way point at all. Luckily, the clouds moved around us, for the most part, and we only had a small sprinkling of rain.




The hike turned out to be 5.2 miles all the way around and worth every step.

At night, we could hear Elk bugling which is something that just needs to be experienced. Imagine a broken steam whistle blowing at full power… that’s the best description I can offer.

The next morning, we rented a boat and cruised around the lake for an hour or so. It was a beautiful morning; the weather was calm and being out on the water was very peaceful. We witnessed a hawk dive out of the trees and pull a fish out of the water about 20 yards from us. A sight we may never see again, in person! I was driving the boat and wasn’t able to get a picture, but, like the whole trip, it was an experience we won’t forget.

Out of the Valley for the Weekend(s)

Continuing our travelling weekends, we spent the previous two getting out of the valley to better climates and fun events.

First up, Bad Decisions at AZ Hops and Vines:

This event was so much fun, even if I did make my wife camp for one night. I talked about this event in an episode of the new podcast that you will see posted this week. So tune in for fun stories about camping

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After all that fun, we took off to Prescott the following Saturday for the Mile High Brew Fest. Not many pics of this event, but it was a great time. Not too crowded, great weather, delicious food and beverages. How could we go wrong?


This weekend has been much more relaxed. Time with family and making delicious food. I guess we have to slow down once in a while…


Driving For Family

We drove to the Bay Area last weekend for a family event, stopping in Solvang and Paso Robles (two of our favorite places) along the way.

Traveling with my wife is my happy place.

Here are a few picture from the weekend.
Dinner time at one of our favorite places.
Just hook it to my veins!!!
So delicious
Elephant seals along the 1
No monsters found in the mist.
The fog, burning off around midday.
Yes, I laughed out loud when I saw it. I'm 12.
I see what you did there…
So, so delicious.

Believe the Guardians of the Galaxy Hype!

Thanks to our friend, Bob, we were able to get passes to the press screening of Guardians of the Galaxy, last night.

Nerds gone wild!
L-R Austin, Bob, Jonathan, and some random photo bomber

I don’t have anything to add to the mass of positive reviews you’ll find out there, other than to add my voice to the throngs of viewers who loved this movie.

Go see it!

Thanks again, Bob, for hooking us up!

The Sweet Just Isn’t As Sweet

This is a story of contrasts, or choas theory, or karmic retribution, or some kind of deterministic cause and effect… or maybe something else all together.

Exibit A: Last Week (The Sweet)

Last week was full of good music, laughter, tasty food and beverages, friends, and family. I think you’d agree the tl;dr alone would be enough to illustrate it was a great week, but allow me to satisfy certain internet rules with the following photographic evidence:

Wednesday: The Double Clicks – Live

I took my kids to see this show which was great. Small, fun crowd, good music, and swag!

We all really enjoyed the show.

IMG_4591 IMG_4600 weirods rollin

After the show, I asked the kids which of the songs was their favorite and they all agreed it was A Lullaby for Mr. Bear:

Thursday: Rifftrax Live – Sharknado

How do you make a supremely entertaining movie even better? You get the guys from MST3K to give it their treatment.

The show did not disappoint! There is a second showing tonight; if you didn’t make the first broadcast, I highly recommend getting tickets.

There’s something about 150 nerds gathering in a theater to watch this cinematic masterpiece that just needs to be experienced. Stating how fun it was does not do it justice.

Also, this awesome fan was there!


Saturday: Tasty Food and Beverages

Saturday, after a fun afternoon at the pool with my kids, Adrienne and I met our friend, Robin, for an evening of food and drink.

We started at The Gladly for some delicious food and of course a cocktail:

DIY Cocktail - Jameson Irish whiskey, housemade spiced ginger ale, Fee Brothers barrel-aged bitters
Bottle Shock: DIY Cocktail – Jameson Irish whiskey, housemade spiced ginger ale, Fee Brothers barrel-aged bitters

Their housemade ginger ale was fantastic; I am determined to make my own.

Afterward, we headed over to Whole Foods for an Arizona Wine tasting event which turned out to be quite crowded. That wasn’t a bad thing. We sampled some of our local favorites, discovered some wineries we hadn’t heard of and Adrienne met another tall wine lover and they instantly became friends.

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We ended the night at The Whining Pig; a great beer and wine bar. If you have been there, go. Like, now. Stop everything you’re doing and go.

This pic should tell you everything you need to know about how great this place is:


Sunday: The World Cup Finals at The Brat Haus

The new week starts on Monday when I have to return to the reality of work and responsibility. On Sunday, after picking up our car (because we’re responsible and didn’t drive home Saturday night, also thank you Uber for being such an awesome service) and after a delicious breakfast at Snooze AM Eatery, I met up with our good friends Austin and Laura to watch the world cup finals at The Brat Haus. 40-50 of our closest friends drinking German beer and cheering on Germany to a 1-0 victory.

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It was a good week.

Exhibit B: This Week (The Sour)

Monday: Ovens and Swarms

Yesterday we came home from work to discover our A/C had gone out. Those of you living in Arizona will understand. For those of you who may not have had this experience, it can be best summed up by the following image posted by my friend Greg:

To further complicate matters, while checking the A/C unit outside, I noticed there seemed to be a lot of bees around. I looked up and discovered the source:


Yep, those dots up in the corner are bees who apparently agree that our house is a good place to live. Not sure when they moved in, or how to charge them rent, but we have a few hundred new tenants in our roof line.

I understand, if I take the world view, these are luxury problems. There are many places in the world where people don’t have nice homes, with A/C, and have to deal with things much worse than bees in the roof.

This post isn’t to complain about a hot house or freeloading bees. (Seriously though, can I at least get some honey?)

These events, for me, are a reminder of how lucky I am to enjoy the life I have and the good fortune to share it with people I love.

The joy of last week’s events became a whole lot sweeter last night around 6:00 pm.

LINK – View from the ISS at Night on Vimeo

I can watch ISS videos all day…

“Every frame in this video is a photograph taken from the International Space Station. All credit goes to the crews on board the ISS.I removed noise and edited some shots in photoshop. Compiled and arranged in Sony Vegas.Music by John Murphy – Sunshine Adagio In D Courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory,NASA Johnson Space Center, The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of”

via View from the ISS at Night on Vimeo.

Taking a Stab at HDR

My first crack at HDR images. It seemed only fitting that my first attempt be with photos from my favorite place on Earth.

Zion Canyon. Click for full size.Click for larger image

I don’t have a camera that does bracketing so I had to manually adjust the shutter speed for each exposure. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how they came out. what do you think?

As you can tell from the watermark, I don’t have the full version of photomatix. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that investment yet.