Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's Coming!!!!

And just in the "Nick" of time.  We've a few inches hear and there..........but this is maybe going to be enough to stick around for that White Christmas.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dave Brubeck - From the Soundtrack of My Life

Certain music transports me to long ago moments in time.  When I hear the music of Dave Brubeck, I can see Dad sliding the album out of the cover, oh so carefully, and putting it on the turntable.  I can see the needle come down  with that distinctive crackle and the house filled with jazz.

The floors are hardwood, oddly patterned curtains at the windows, that distinctive decor of the early sixties.  Somehow, though just a toddler really, I knew the saxophone was a special instrument, and when combined with the piano, slapping bass and the "shush" of the drums, well,  JAZZ happened.

I'd look at the odd "modern" artwork of the album cover, liking all the purple and when just a bit older, read the liner notes.

Just the other day, as I put together Thanksgiving dinner, I picked this album off the Ipod and played it while I cooked.
Dave Brubeck.  A life well lived to age 91.  RIP.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Tunesday - Christmas Edition

One of my favorite songs, by one of my favorite singers.


Thursday, November 29, 2012


Enough is enough.  Some of us here want some snow.  Please?  I'm thinkin 6"- 8" would work just fine.  It's nearly December after all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Friday, November 09, 2012

And So It Goes

What a grim week this has been.  Full of malaise.

While I drive around with the top down on the Chrysler, our fellow citizens back East sit in the dark and the cold, anger growing exponentially.  Can't imagine the stress and distress.  Oh, we'll get our snow as well, (tomorrow I hear) but we here in Colorado are mostly spared from natural disasters.  And when the snow does bury us, the sun comes out the next day and melts it all away.

I believed Hugh Hewitt when he looked me in the eye and told me everything was going to go our way. He once again visited our fair city and told a roomful of us that the tide was moving Mitt's way, and Karl Rove agreed.  I remained a bit skeptical, so I wasn't in complete shock.  But grimness ruled the week.  I work for one of those small business owners who will now have to sit down and look at what our Nation's choice will mean for us.  We'll tighten our company's belt, put off hiring new people, and see which way this ship tosses us.

Still grateful for this Country we live in, and a State where we live a little more spread out.  Come to think of it, I think I'll drive around the bend tomorrow and take a look at the buffalo who are my neighbors.  And look out over "My Valley". 

That should do the trick.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Beginning 29 Years Ago

While reading through my daily blogs today, I ran across this................



 Holds some significance around here.............as a 19 year old  Marine, the Husband was fresh out of Infantry, then Sniper training school.  He received his orders to be deployed to Grenada. You remember the whole Grenada thing?   When news of the bombing hit, he was aboard a Navy ship, en route to Grenada,  and they were detoured to Beirut.  His unit ended up staying there for two weeks.  In a seldom told, or even known story, they spent those two weeks taking and returning fire.  He did what was asked of him as a Marine. Taking and returning fire.  He took shrapnel in the arm.  The scars are still there.

These are not distant impersonal events.  And with some retrospection, this was the beginning of a war that continues today. Little did we know. 

I don't focus on the political around here...........others do it better.

But last night, Governor Romney used the term "jhadist".  A word the left can't bring themselves to utter.

God forbid we should forget.

Friday, September 21, 2012

After The Storm

Back in June, which seems like a lifetime ago...............we had a huge hailstorm.  Worse one this Colorado native has ever been through.  Lasted a long time, and when it was done, the tiny garden was stripped bare (almost) and the paint was ruined, and as we came to find out, the roof was in need of replacement was well.  So everyone in the neighborhood and the area was in the same boat.  File a claim, hire some contractors and move forward.  Suddenly the neighborhood became a construction zone again.  But as the paint goes on, everything looks new again.  Funny how we didn't realize how faded all the colors had become.  Painting was going to be needed anyway soon.  So for the price of a deductable, we all have brand new "30 Year" roofs and new shiny paint.

Here's the results.............................


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ah Rich..................

It hit me this morning when I was looking at the calendar date on my iPhone.  September 19..........hmmm...........I know that date, but I couldn't think why.  So I kept saying it out loud to myself, September 19th, September 19th..............and then it hit me. 

It was 15 years ago today that we lost Rich Mullins.  A man who's music has meant so much to me that it's hard to put in words.  So I found someone else's words online.  And Brant, (who hasn't posted in a very long time....sad...) summed him up well.  So read it here and then come back..............

Letters From Kamp Krusty

Yes that was the Rich I knew of as well.  Yes I was around him a few times, and yes, he was aloof and distant..............until he hit the stage.  Then he seemed...........well, "like us, only more so".

I love music, and listen as much as I can.  It soothes me.  The level of my stress is in direct correlation to how much music I have or have not listened to.

But Rich's music is special.  Yes even "sacred" to me.  And some of you reading this know just what I mean.

Sure wish I could sit you down and listen to every CD I have.  On headphones, and let his music take you to some other place...........so instead take a few minutes, listen and close your eyes, pictures will distract you,  and headphones are recommended.   Let Rich and his hammer dulcimer take you on a tour of the great American prairies.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hey Girl

With a big Hat Tip to the blog that makes me smile every day.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

RIP Blinky the Clown

A slice of growing up in Colorado for those of us of a certain age.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney Ryan

Been a fan of Paul Ryan for some time now.  I am thrilled with this choice.  When he sat across the room from President Obama and debated budget, I knew he was something special.

In case you missed it watch this, and look at the Presidents face.  If  you can't sit through the budget talk, jump ahead to 4:00 and especially, at 4:35.  There you go.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Summer of 2012

How bout we move straight forward to fall?

A few of my out of town readers have wondered, and let me know that they are wondering, how we're doing here At Altitude.

Well, it's been..........difficult at times.  Up and down, but as I've said before, everything is a matter of perspective.

Colorado has had a rough summer.  Hail storms, followed by wild fires, drought, record setting heat.  The non man-made variety.

But then the trauma and devastation of a mad man who murdered my fellow Coloradoans.  Man made mayhem.  (And by the way, I hate it when everyone refers to it as the "Colorado Theater Shootings".  I used to use that word, "shooting".  But no.  Murder, it was murder.)

We've had it all this summer.  And that sense of mayhem is all too familiar. 

So what is my perspective on all of this?  My perspective changes all the time.  But I can see the bright things.  We must.  We can't let the darkness win.

Houses will be painted, roofs replaced.  Plants will grow back.  Some will build an entirely new home where their old home lies in ashes.

People, however, cannot be replaced and there are people who lost someone they will never have back.  Others will be traumatized for a long time to come, at the sights and sounds they experienced and had burned into their mind.  I know.  I remember.  And it never leaves you.  Never.  Sure, it gets easier, but "time heals all wounds" is a lie.

We will move forward. 

And those of us with just a damaged house, should remember the heavy toll others in our state have paid, and be glad for our fortune.

Best 2012 Olympics Moments

There are so many things to watch, and I try to see as much as my schedule will allow.  I must admit to a preference for certain sports, gymnastics being one.  Anyone paying attention has seen the footage of our athletes.  But this video really makes me happy to watch.  I literally can't imagine what it feels like to be the parent of an Olympic athlete, but it must be a roller coaster ride of emotions.  Watch as the parents of Ali Raisman try to literally "will" their daughter to do her best.

What a ride!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mike Boogie - Hermey the Elf

This will make no sense to most of you..................

But I'm just saying.............

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rumer - My New Favorite

Just can't get enough of this amazing British artist.  Beautiful song, great lyrics..........take a listen.

Okay, one more............singing a Bacarach classic.  And it doesn't get any better than Burt.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Red Sun in Colorado - Again

Fires to the north.  Fires to the south.  Some good news, some bad.  Some just sad and tragic.

Out my front windows tonight...........the sun is red.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Two weeks ago, we had the scariest hail storm I've ever heard here in Colorado.  It began around 9PM and lastest for several hours.  I was amazed we had no broken windows.  And that garden of mine was devastated. 

But everything will grow back.  And Farmer's insurance will buy us a new roof, and pay to have our whole house painted.  A hassle?  Yes.  $1000 deductable.  Who wants to fork that out?

But its all a matter of perspective. 

Because meanwhile, many of my fellow Coloradoans are watching their homes go up in flames.  And the pictures on TV are hard to believe.  All over the state, and just an hour south..............

The Springs are in flames.

To all those who read this from out of state..............pray for rain.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Beating The Heat

Last summer, here at altitiude, we never broke 100 degrees.  Came close, but never got there.  And this year we've already been 100 or over, several days, and we're not even out of June.  So with a forcast like this, what's a great solution?


Well one solution is a frozen, blended yummy drink. 

This no doubt does the trick, but not something you can indulge in every day.  Well you could, but you probably wouldn't get much else done. 

So one of the ways to beat the heat is to increase your altitude.  About 3000 feet or so, to be exact............


Keystone Colorado.  And an amazing mountain home, compliments of a generous boss.  More pictures to follow.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

She's Baaaaack

Keep forgetting to mention that one of my favorite bloggers has been back up and running for a while now. Filling the blogosphere with her always witty, sometimes profane, commentary on just about everything.  From Texas to England.......and now in Italy.............Rachel Lucas is back and making me laugh just about every night.  Proceed at your own peril................


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

June The 6th

Some years come and go, and some are more difficult than others to face.  I know for sure that I am not the only person on the planet that notes the dates, and the significance of those dates.

What day where you born?  What day did you graduate?  What day did you start your job?  Birthdays, Anniversarys.  And on and on.

 "This Day in History". Each of us have days that are significant for some reason or another.  As a culture, we share days on which something significant happened.  Who, alive that day, doesn't remember November 22 1963? The day President Kennedy was assasinated. No one forgets 9/11. 
In these parts, we all remember April 20, the day that the Columbine massacre happened. 

Oddly, I know two people who died untimely deaths on September 19th.

So today is June 6th, and if you google it, you'll find that it's D-Day.  The day the Allied Forces stormed the beaches and invaded Europe.  A significant day for sure, in the history of the world.  A day that changed the course of WWII. 

For me, June 6th is the day that my world turned upside down, and I lost two friends to a violent death.  The years have passed by, yet each year, I remember, and I mourn.  But I also have learned to smile a bit.  And remember the happy memories of those two men.

Dan's silly ideas, and Frank's kindness to me.  And dozens of other small things.



Blessings on you.  And all those who loved you, as I do.

Rest in peace.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Unbroken - Book Review

My book club picked this book, and we waited two months before we got together to discuss it.  It's a long book...............and worth every moment of the time it took to read.

Been quite a while since I read a non-fiction book that gripped me the way this book did.  Had a hard time putting it down and it seems I'm not the only one.  From the first few pages,  the story draws you in and doesn't let you go.  One of those books that you think about when you're not reading it.

Unbroken is the story of Louis Zamperini,  a young man growing up in an Italian American family.   A bit of a rascal growing up, a risk taker, trouble maker.  Louis found he had a knack for running.
Without giving up too much of the story, he ended up running for the USA Olympic team, in the Berlin Olympics. 

But the gist of the story is the nearly unbelievable story of what happened to Louis in World War II.  As the subtitle suggests, survival, resilience and redemption.  The story is gritty, violent, shocking.
But ultimately inspiring. 

I can't encourage you enough to invest the time to read this larger than life story.  You will be moved and awed by that "greatest generation".  As we look toward Memorial Day next weekend, this is a great way to be reminded of the men who fought for our freedoms...............some paying the ultimate price.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Wow. Another Deja Vu

Those of us of a certain age.................get ready for flashbacks.  Bet you don't remember all these till you see them.  Worth the 15 minutes to watch..............

So what was the deal with those Sid and Marty Croft shows?  Looking back, think there were some chemical "influences" happening with the writers?

And how fitting, it closes with a Bobby Sherman song.............my first crush.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Garden Update

Such a weird weather year here At Altitude.  But my garden is so far ahead of what it usually is in early May.  Weather is just a part, the other are some garden "supplements" I've tried.  Bought some Root Blast last year and I think it's made a big difference.

Haven't tried the tomato version yet, but will probably give it a try.  This stuff can only be purchased online but it's fairly reasonable.

Then I got a tip about using fish fertilizer.  Found some at Home Depot and gave it a try. 

It's brown and sludgy like mud and smells, not really like fish, but more like the way an aquarium smells.   But the smell fades in a few hours.  Does it work?  My peonies, taken 3 weeks ago.

Two weeks later. 

Started my herb garden in a pot.............

Several other new projects being worked on, and more fish fertilizer success stories.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh NO, Not Again

No more cabinet space................really.  Why does Fiesta do this to me?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review - Blue Like Jazz

Took a few days for me to process before I could write this.  There were a few other things happening in my world.


This guy I know...............Steve Taylor,  has a movie he directed in theaters across America.  I sent some money through Kickstarter to help get the movie funded and made.  Why would I do that?  Because the book spoke to me and I believe in Steve Taylor.  The whole process was difficult and bumpy but I believed.  So here we are. The movie came out, and I saw my name in the credits................

The movie took some time to think about. My expectation, no my HOPE, was that the movie would be good.  Something in me was taking it all so personally.  Oh yah, because I helped pay for it.

I went and saw the movie last weekend. 

My palms were sweaty.  I was really nervous.  I really wanted to like it.

Blue Like Jazz is a good movie.  I liked it. I laughed.  And at the very end............I cried.

Steve Taylor, I am so proud of you.  Donald Miller, I want to hang out with you. You two are funny, real, witty, innovative and inspiring.

Go see this movie.

Never Forgotten

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Before seeing the movie............

I like to tell stories.

So here is the story of The Chick Voice and Steve Taylor and Blue Like Jazz.

I grew up in Denver.  I went to church ALL the time.  We heard some innovative and progressive music at our church. This exposure gave me a taste of "Christian Music" that was off the beaten path.  I liked the revolutionary approach.

In the early 80's, I was introduced to the music of a local guy, named Steve Taylor. His guitar player was a personal friend.  His drummer was also a local guy, as was his sax player.

I soon learned that his Manager ( who I later worked for) was a local guy as well. 

The music.............

Fresh.  Innovative.  New Wave.  Punk.....ish.

Lyrically...........jaw dropping.  Controversial.  Honest.  Shocking.

I was hooked on the music of Steve Taylor.

His "Meltdown" album was the first "CD" I ever owned.  New technology.

I listened to that album one day with my Dad who didn't like the music, but was impressed with the lyrics.

In later years, as I ended up involved in the Christian Music industry, I had the opportunity to meet Steve Taylor.  And found him to be kind, engaging, humble, and, above all accessible.

 Just Steve............from Colorado.

Over the years, our paths crossed.  I ended up working in radio and he was above and beyond accessible as he called in to our little local show to say hello.  Despite the fact that he was live on stage............during a concert.........using a cell phone to talk to us on our silly little local show.

Steve Taylor is just that kind of guy.  In 2008 I got word that he was trying to get a movie made and I posted my thoughts on the book..............

Blue Like Jazz Book Review

And now it's a reality.  I went to a theater today, with The Husband and Lil' Bro.   More to say later tonight............

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Back to Back Thunderstorms

It has been a wild and chaotic weather year here At Altitude.

We had one of the snowiest Februaries on record.

I thought it was lovely.  But then, I like snow.  And it has been a while since we've had one of those "Oh my gosh I wonder if I'll make it home" days...................

Then came March.  Typically my least favorite month.  Snowiest month each year, and extremes in temperatures.  This year.............unusually warm.  AND dry.

Nearly halfway through April and so far, a little snow.

But back to back thunderstorms.  Yesterday I drove home in a very cool downpour.  And then it tapered off.............only to come back with a vengeance around 11:30pm.  I was still awake but it woke up all the other inhabitants of Casa Rancho.  And my furry friend Bessy is NOT a fan of thunderstorms.

As I sit here now.............it's doing it again...........to the south and the east of us.  Bright flashes, like fireworks.  And the muffled retorts of the thunder.  Bessy is at my feet.

Personally...........I LOVE thunderstorms.  The brighter the lightning and the louder the thunder, the better.  And as an old Mylon LeFevre song says..........."Come on and crack the sky for me".  

Hate that it makes Bessy anxious.

Meanwhile..............bring it on!  We need the moisture.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mystery Solved

All my life I have wondered.  And now I know my true identity.

 I'm a White Hispanic.  How great it feels to have a label.

According to a caller on Dennis Miller, by that logic.................

Our President is a White African American.

Friday, April 06, 2012

As Requested

As a fan of Dennis Miller............I've been instructed to tell you his radio talk show is great.  "Great" is an overused word.  Singular, scintillating, and just plain more intelligent than me.  I like smart guys.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Places To Go in Santa Fe (Part 1)

Disclaimer: This post is a blatant attempt to draw blog traffic.

With a few days behind me now, here ARE my thoughts concerning Santa Fe:

  • Wow, is it dry there! I guess ARID is the correct term.   Yes, it's dry in Colorado, but it's more so in Santa Fe.  I came back with chapped lips and cheeks.
  • We hit the weather jackpot.  The temps were perfect, in the low 70's the whole time.  But I believe now they got hit with snow just like we are.
  • It's a fairly quick drive from Denver to Santa Fe.  Most of it down the highway at 75 mph.
  • If you are a fan of Southwestern Decor, Santa Fe is overload.  Adobe and Stucco everywhere you look.  I like the consistency of the obvious building codes.  But as my lil bro would say, "everything is the color of dirt".
  • Are you a fan of Southwestern silver and turquoise jewelry?  The quantity available is, actually, overwhelming.  But since I'm a fan of the vintage dead pawn variety.........that narrowed down my choices, and I was very conservative in my purchases...............more on all that later.
And then there is the food. 

I'm very picky about Mexican food, due, in part, to the food served by my Aunt Nikka when I was a little girl.  In her little northwest Denver house.  I can see her flipping the tortillas from hand to hand as she made them from scratch.

So as you would expect, Santa Fe has so much Mexican food, it's hard to find anything BUT Mexican food.  But there were a few highlights.  Everyone we talked to told us to go to The Shed.

This place is full of locals.  Walking distance from The Plaza.  And the food didn't disappoint.  One of the New Mexico distinctions is lots of posole and I love that taste.  This was a chicken soft taco (in a blue shell) and a cheese enchilada.

Because we were eating more than usual, by the time dinner came around, we ate very light.  Sharing an app platter at the La Fonda hotel was enough, and this one was quite tasty. Each selection had great, well thought out taste.  Never had such a good quesadilla.

And then there was the "Frito Pie".............

  •  I've always wanted to stay at the La Fonda, and much of my photos of "The Digs" show how wonderful it was.  It's an historic hotel, which I'm quite fond of.  Maybe not as luxurious as other, newer places, but right in the heart of downtown.  Full of shops and restaurants.  We got a great $99 spring rate, and I looked out my hotel window at the Loretto Chapel.  Not bad.

More in part two about the museums and other observations..........meanwhile........

Free music on The Plaza


Ahhh.........Springtime in the Rockies


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