Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fun: Poodle Party

Continuing with the dog theme for the week: 

My neighbor has three standard poodles--a mama and two of her offspring. They are high-energy, inquisitive dogs who like to stand on her garden wall and look over the fence.

Sometimes just one:

Often two:

Occasionally all three:

It never fails to crack me up.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Doggie Olympics

If you heard an unusual amount of happy barking last weekend, it might have been because the Larimer Animal People Partnership hosted its 17th annual Doggie Olympics. (Sadly, it wasn’t in London, but I did see Corgis fit for a Queen.) LAPP is a local non-profit organization which promotes positive human-animal bonds in therapeutic settings. Their services benefit children, victims of domestic abuse, the elderly, and many people with mental and physical health challenges.

Along with disc dog, carting, obedience, herding, and trick demonstrations, canine participants competed in a variety of events, including an obstacle course and a whole lot of tennis ball chasing. (I did not enter my special dog because there was no Laziest Mutt category, which she would have won paws down.)

I think there also should have been awards for:

Best Drooler

Most Prepared

Best Combined Profile

And Best "You are going to share that, right?" Expression

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photo of the Week: Moose Moose Baby

Just a few minutes after leaving the Moose Visitor's Center in Gould, Colorado, feeling disappointed that I hadn't seen hide nor hair of a moose, these two crossed the road in front of our car. Moose don't have very good eyesight, and I don't think they saw us coming. Thankfully, my husband's vision is just fine, and he spotted them in time to slow down. I'm glad I had my camera handy, because the moose apparently weren't interested in sticking around to have their portraits taken.

(If you're old enough, you might now be humming the 1990 Vanilla Ice song Ice Ice Baby, which was stuck in my head for the rest of our drive. If you don't remember that one, there's always YouTube.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs is a mountain community about 3 hours northwest of Fort Collins. After promising to make a trip up there all summer, we finally made it last weekend. James Crawford first settled there in 1874, and in 2010, the town's population was about 12,000. The area is home to many natural hot springs, the bubbling of which reminded early French trappers of steamboat engines. 

Steamboat is a mecca for winter sports, but there is a lot to do there in the warmer seasons, too.

Hot air ballooning (which we didn't do)

Strawberry Park Hot Springs

Riding the chair lift to the alpine slide

View of Steamboat from chairlift

Hiking to Fish Creek Falls

We also visited the botanic garden and wetland boardwalk, shopped, and ate entirely too much barbecue. Good times.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Photos: Burn Zone

We recently drove up through part of the burn zone of this summer's High Park Fire. We didn't see any of the structures that had been destroyed, but I was struck by how close the fire had come to many of the homes that were still standing. Most were no doubt saved by the efforts of the firefighters, but I'm sure good luck helped out in some cases. 

At one point, this was the view out my car to the right:

And to the left:

The pictures look like they could have been taken miles apart instead of just across the road. It was rather eerie. But we also saw lots of evidence of new growth on the ground and know that in a few years, the area will look very different.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pinball Jones

Way before Hogwarts Wizards there were Pinball Wizards. Pinball machines date back to the 1930s, thirty-some years before The Who’s rock opera Tommy immortalized that kid who “sure played a mean pinball.” I also played pinball as a kid—though I never came close to achieving Wizard status—but the machines are harder to find these days. They’ll turn up in dark corners of bars and bowling alleys, but not in places where I want to play them. Or take my boys to play them.

But we recently discovered that Old Town has Pinball Jones, a cool little spot for pinball aficionados of all ages.

It's below street level, which adds to the fun:

It has a lot of pinball games:

And, other than some snacks in the back, that’s about it. But what more do you need? We played a few games while escaping the summer heat, and I wowed my younger son with my amazing Ms. PacMan skills. (By that I mean the game lasted longer than two minutes.)

PBJ’s started with one machine and has grown to include tournaments and league play for serious pinball players. It’s also available for party rental. But I imagine my family and I will just drop in whenever we feel the need for a few quarters’ worth of retro fun.


If you’re feeling nostalgic about pinball, check out Popular Mechanic’s list of 11 Things You Didn’t Know About Pinball History

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Five: Tour de Fat

Last weekend was the crazy Tour de Fat, which is a bicycle costume parade followed by an outdoor festival. It started here in Fort Collins and now has expanded to 15 events across the country. We rode last year; this year, we just watched, which is almost as much fun. These are five of my favorite costumes from the event:

Santa and Reindeer

Pirate Ship

Model T

Disco, complete with lights and music


Have a great weekend!