Friday, April 11th, 2008 05:29 pm
flwyd: (1895 Colorado map)
The sun is shining and snow is falling at the same time.

Go Colorado.
flwyd: (rose silhouette)
Yesterday's forecast was for "rain in the metro area, snow in the mountains." But in the clouds and all-day downpour it wasn't clear how disturbingly accurate that was.

This morning I began my commute by heading west from suburbia. The arched backs of the foothills were white, dotted by evergreen trees drying off from a shower. The front-most hills were merely sprinkled with powdered sugar, a green sweet loaf waiting for a hiker's dessert. The aptly named Red Rocks Amphitheater spread its auburn wavelength proudly, reminding passersby that soon the benches would replace the sky's deposit of snow with rock fans raising their arms and cries in a heavenly direction.

Heading north, I saw that Green Mountain had been rechristened White Mountain, a smooth blob of shortening atop seasonally lush green fields, the snow stopping approximately as the slope leveled. The drive up C-470 was not unlike a summer trip up Trail Ridge, but instead of passing the enchanting timber line I instead crossed an eerie snow line -- for a hundred yards the right side of the highway kissed the gossamer snow sheet.

The mountains stretched north from Golden, a white wall delineating the watered daily world from the snow-covered land of adventure. But Golden's guard to the east, South Table Mountain, sat resplendent in its green dress, not a speck of dandruff to be seen.

Some say that on Samhain the veil between the worlds is thinnest, that we may catch a glimpse to the other side. Yet this morning, early Beltane season, I have passed through the very edge of winter as I passed from one point of spring to another. Perhaps masculine and feminine are not blue and pink but white and green.
flwyd: (Trevor shadow self portrait)
Tree Blossoms at NightIn April, it may snow on Easter, but the next day the white is all gone, leaving a bed of green. The sun brings warmth, the clouds puff along. The only thing that would make it better is if I were enjoying that spring feeling while eating Illegal Pete's or Kim to Go on the Norlin Quad between two panels at the Conference on World Affairs. This featured photograph (and this icon) came out of wandering campus after the jazz concert three years ago. If you've got any free time in the vicinity of Boulder this week, stop by campus for an hour or two. You can even participate in A Moment NOT of Silence in Honor of Molly Ivins (Feel free to bring pots and pans to bang!).

I'd take the week off to play with the minds, but I'm saving that time for a week and a half visit to northern California for Zane's and Michelle's preception and ring ceremony. I need to start making firm plans for the last week of June and first couple days of July. In addition to cavorting on the shore and woods with friends old and new I hope to spend some time in the Bay Area. If I get my act together, maybe I can interview and/or meet with folks from Google or Apple and see if those would be the good places to further my professional development. I have a strong desire to work on fundamental and fascinating things with a bunch of people who are smarter than me. The fact that I've never visited San Francisco should also be rectified.

I'm also saving a week of vacation for Burning Man, but I haven't made any positive movements in that direction like buying a ticket. I totally dig this year's theme (The Green Man), but nothing has particularly grabbed me yet. Maybe I should seek out a camp to adopt me. In exchange I'll bring a lack of words.

Your assignment this week is to get outside and frolic. Then continue the habit for the next six months.

County Blanket

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 08:00 am
flwyd: (1895 Colorado map)
My morning commute reaches its apex at the offramp from C-470 to I-70. This is the last mountain slope on EB I-70 until Appalachia and there's a stretch of several miles which affords a clear view of the Denver metropolitan area. Often as I head for my office I am saddened to see the infamous Brown Cloud covering about one degree of arc along the eastern horizon and wishing I could practically take the bus and reduce that cloud.

Today, I saw no brown cloud. As usual, the Jefferson County skies were crystal clear, but the fluffy white clouds were 30 degrees below their usual position. I could see through a gray fog mingling among Denver's downtown skyscrapers. Along the Platte valley and covering Adams county sat a cotton comforter not quite as thick as a water tower. A few cumulus formations rose up, a knee pushing up the blankets as Aurora and Commerce City slept through their alarm.


Thursday, February 8th, 2007 09:33 am
flwyd: (charbonneau ghost car)
I worked at home for the last two and a half days on the grounds that I seemed to have flu-lite (ache-free and 30% fewer calories than regular flu). I think I consumed 10 pots of tea in that time, most with lemon juice added. (Free advice: never add lemon juice to vanilla hazelnut tea.) I spent most of the time sitting at the kitchen table using my laptop; my shoulder and back aches are reinforcing my decision to stand to program at work.

My throat was still scratchy this morning, but when I looked out the window and saw thick fog as far as the eye could see, I got excited. Metro Denver only gets serious fog every few years. And after nearly two years of broken, my fog lights got fixed on Saturday. I'd be damned if I missed a chance to use them! As a bonus, the rush hour commuters who drive slowly on C-470 if there's an accident in the ditch on the other side of the road managed to handle the fog with surprising sensibility and flow.


Saturday, February 3rd, 2007 02:36 pm
flwyd: (rose red sky blue)
5 to 50 in 24 hours. Colorado's a meteorologic sports car.

White Man's World

Thursday, December 28th, 2006 09:24 pm
flwyd: (smoochie sunset)
I've often felt like it snowed more when I was a kid than it does now. Maybe it's global warming. Maybe it's a sun spot cycle. Maybe the photos from the Blizzard of '82 that I've looked at all these years have become worth three years of non-snowy memories. Maybe I just remember going sledding better than I remember running around on dead grass.

Whatever the reason for warm winters, this is the first season that's felt like I remember the winters of the '80s. There's a blizzard right now and the last blizzard hasn't finished melting yet. That seems to be an appropriate prototype of winter weather.

Last Thursday it was too snowy to drive to work. Instead of carpe tobagum (seize the sled), I slavishly tried to get work done all day.

The next morning was Drumming Up the Sun at Red Rocks. I woke up at 5:30 and drove to Red Rocks without a problem. I then missed the way to the top parking lot and instead turned at the sign pointing to the Upper South lot, figuring that it wouldn't be a bad walk from there up to the amphitheater. Unfortunately, the snow plow had left two feet of snow along the road, so pulling into the south lot was impossible. I continued down the road, looking for a place to turn around. As I went down the hill it got windier, blowing snow into drifts across the road. I figured I'd get down to Morrison, turn around, and go back up when I encountered an abandoned car stuck in a drift. I figured this would be a good place to turn around and attempted the maneuver. Unfortunately, I'd progressed to far into snow drift land to make that an easy task. Out came the folding army spade! 15 minutes of windy shoveling and back-forth-slide action I'd turned my car 180° and could see the sky brightening. I stepped on the gas and went nowhere. I put the Subaru in first gear and gave it a touch of gas. Still nothing. Between the hill, the blown snow, and my male-pattern balding tires (just before I was going to replace them I had $2,000 of repairs under the hood), I was stuck. So I grabbed my drum bag and walked up the hill.

Wading through ankle-deep snow I climbed the ramp and stairs and made it to the top of the amphitheater just as the sun crested the eastern horizon. I caught my breath, took a few pictures, and joined my fellow drummers for a few minutes before they all concluded and headed for breakfast. I got a ride in an SUV close to my car. I was going to try to start it again, but in the intervening time a guy in a pickup had gotten stuck in front of my car. He explained that he'd tried to go around, but that hadn't worked. Reverse also didn't work. He further explained that he was wearing sandals. Who the hell wears sandals in a blizzard? I figured the sandal man would take action to get his truck out of there, so I caught a ride to work in the SUV, figuring I could come back in the afternoon and a combination of plow and sun would have made escape easy.

Sure enough, plow and sun had improved the situation, but my car was now surrounded by plow walls. Again out came the folding army spade. I dug out the front of my car, but still couldn't get going up hill. I started to dig behind my car and the plow driver gave me a proper snow shovel. With the right tool, I was out in a few minutes, driving happily back to work.

I see about a foot of snow on my porch rail right now and it's still snowing hard. If, miraculously, it looks drivable tomorrow morning, I'll head to work; the office tends to be less distracting than home, especially if there's nobody else there. If I do stay home then by gum I'm going to carpe tobagum.
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