Author Archive for

07
Jan
17

A Thousand Tress Deep

Here at Kabletown, work comes in waves. Some nights, I am slammed from 8pm to 6:30 the next morning. Other nights, everything gets wrapped up by midnight. Nights like that, I spend a lot of time online reading, walking around the building, and watching stuff youtube. I thought, for fun, I’d compile a short list of my favorite watches over the last year and a half I’ve been on overnights. In no particular order:

 

Ninja is a skater in Las Vegas who has been making youtube videos for a few years. His videos are mostly skateboarding, but every now and then he throws in some life hacks and Q and A stuff. He’s a decent skater, runs his own board company out of his living room, skates with a very colorful crew, and has a refreshing don’t give a fuck attitude. He updates pretty regularly so check him out sometime for some bullshit-free hard knocks.

Get your weekly dose of skateboarding news from Gary Rogers at Skateline. Toots is right, he should do standup.

 

I stumbled upon Solo Travel Blog one night researching oysters. This Tokyo Oyster Bar tour piqued my interest and upon viewing, I soon decided that Dustin was the coolest guy on the internet.  He’s an American English teacher living in Tokyo, and every week he goes to some wild restaurant, bar, shop, or cafe and films his experience. His narration is classic and his updates are the ones I look most forward to each week.

 

Classic Norm telling a story of meeting one of his childhood heroes and then a twist!

 

John Hill! John Hill is a “vlogger” on youtube who lives in Long Beach, films his day-to-days and then uploads every night. I’ve been a fan on John Hill for over a year. I like his editing, he’s a fantastic skater, adventurous (that does not look like it’s spelled correctly, but it is), and an all around interesting guy. He moved to Cincinnati, OH last year on a whim, but just recently moved back to LBC. I think it’s fascinating to watch him grow and “progress daily” both as a filmer/editor, and as a person. He is unfiltered and genuine, but not in a “ratings jackpot” type of way. I don’t know, if you got 10 minutes to kill, there’s probably a new John Hill video to watch.

Side note: The above John Hill video is from one year ago and is a personal favorite of mine. He heads into Brea/Fullerton and kills that 12 stair. When I was much younger, my friend Lane lived in Fullerton and every summer I’d go spend a week or two with him, skating the suburbs of Orange County. Best times of my life! We often went to this park and stood at the top of those stairs, imagining what insane tricks could go down it. We never did anything but it was so cool to see John knock out a couple bangers all these years later.

Bonus! One of my favorite scenes from Seinfeld!

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10
Dec
16

Golden Age

Well, it’s been one week since we lost our beloved Beatrix Kitty. We are still very sad at the moment, but slowly getting better. Losing a part of your family is tough, especially when it happens unexpectedly. We’ve received a lot of support from friends, family and even coworkers, we thank you all.

It all started last Thursday. Per usual, I had laid down to take a nap in the afternoon before the start of my work week. The alarm went off at 5:30 and I got up to take a shower. I peeked around the house looking for the cat. I thought she had been acting a little funny earlier in the day but didn’t think too much of it. I checked the guest room, my office, laundry room and even outside. I could not find her. Odd, I thought, but no big deal. I prepared to take a shower when I heard her meowing. She was in the laundry room. I went over there but couldn’t find her. She kept meowing. Was she under the house? In the dryer? No, she had fallen down the carpeted tube that holds up her kitty castle which was in the corner of the room next to the hot water heater. I reached all the way down the inside of the tube and could feel her, meowing like crazy. I had to grab her by the scruff and lift her out. She had peed herself and was soaking wet. I brought her out to the living room and set her down on the rug. She seemed limp. I called Jessica at the vet immediately.

I attempted to rush Beatrix to the vet, but it was a Thursday night, 6pm, and I was stuck on Federal Boulevard. Kitty in her carrier riding shotgun, I was concerned but confident that whatever the problem was, one of the doctors would fix her up right away. I got to the hospital at 6:45. We took her back to the clinic and Dr. Feighner began an examination. She listened to her heart, took temperature, drew blood, all the basics. Beatrix was cold, especially the lower half of her body. Her hind paws were not responding to anything. Doc had concluded that there was most likely a blood clot somewhere in her system, blocking the flow of blood to her lower body. A call to the local animal cardiologist and a second opinion from another doctor confirmed this. What do you do? Blood clot surgery on a cat is very expensive. Even if it were a success, more clots would likely return. We kept waiting for Doc to suggest an alternative, but she had none. She said these conditions are nearly always fatal. That’s when shit got real. This whole time, I was waiting, anticipating that quick fix, “…antibiotics and some fluids, she’ll be good as new.” That was not the answer this time.

We took Beatrix home and got her comfortable on the couch. Doc had given her some kitty dope and she was relaxed. I had to go to work. That night was rough. It was busy leading up to the weekend, like always. 6:30am rolled around and I sprinted home, not sure what to expect. Jessica was up with Beatrix, back on the couch. Marty was on the opposite end of the couch, just looking at her. Beatrix had slept with Jessica in bed last night and peed in my spot. I didn’t care. I grabbed the bedsheets and put them in the wash. She had peed again on the couch. We saw no improvement. Jessica called the vet and let them know we were coming back. As I picked up Beatrix to put her back in her carrier, she cried out. It was the saddest sound I have ever heard. That was pain. She was not doing well. Jessica and I cried all the way to the vet.

8am, we spoke with Dr. Feighner again, hoping for a miracle. There was none. Her temperature was still very low.  We spent a good 30 minutes petting and cuddling with her, hoping and preying to see some movement in her legs. We got to press her paw prints into some soft clay to take home. One of the techs brought us a consent to euthenize paper. We signed it. I called my mom as Jessica and Beatrix went back to the clinic with the doctor. I could hardly spit out a sentence. I went outside to smoke. Jessica came out a few minutes later, she had donated Beatrix’s carrier.

We drove home in sniffling silence. I had her collar in my pocket. It has a little bell on it. The dogs greeted us as usual. We sat on the couch, coming to terms with what had just happened. I was exhausted. Time for a beer. I had just kegged a new batch of IPA the day before and it was ready to be served. It’s delicious. We watched the Avalanche game from the night before and cuddled with our two boys. We cried, the Avs lost. We talked about what we could have done differently, what we should have done differently. I called into work for the night. I got clean sheets out of the dryer and we made the bed. I crawled into it at noon, hardly slept a wink.

We moped around the house all Friday and Saturday. We were sad. Our beloved Beatrix, who, just days ago, was bouncing off the walls like all good kitties should, was gone forever. We met Jessica’s friend Jenn Saturday night for dinner. We talked about Beatrix and shared memories, had some laughs. It felt good. I then had to go back to work. It was a quite night. I spent hours googling feline blood clots, and everything I read ended the same. As hard as it was for us to make that decision, it was the right decision to make.

Every day we are feeling a little bit better. We took a long hike in Morrison on Monday. Adam came over for hockey bingo on Tuesday. Yesterday, I took the tags and bell off her collar and attached them to the angel atop our Christmas tree. Jessica gave her cat scratcher to our friend David and we’ll be donating her food to the clinic. We got a sweet card and a little flower arrangement from the vet staff earlier today. I’m not sure how our boys are feeling at the moment. Marty has been especially lazy the last few days, but I think that’s due to the freezing weather. Miles is being Miles.

Go hug your pets, they’re awesome.

04
Dec
16

Boys don’t lie

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11
Oct
16

Sitting In The Park

Greetings! I was cruising 5 Points last night when I came across the Numero Group Pop Up store at 27th and Arapahoe. I bolted inside and before I knew it, had dropped a pretty penny on some top notch vinyl. Let’s see what what’s in the bag!

Jacobites, S/T – LP. A British duo recording in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Echoing the sounds of T-Rex, Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop. Although he wouldn’t admit it, I bet Morrissey loved these guys.

Shoes, Black Vinyl Shoes – LP. A power pop band out of Zion, Illinois. Recorded in 1977, this one is just good old fashioned rock and roll. Crack open a tall boy and throw on some denim while listening to this one.

V/A Eccentric Soul, Sitting In The Park – LP. A famous Chicago DJ by the name of Bob Abrahamian who spun nothing but deep cut soul, passed away in 2014. Numero raided his collection and remastered a handful of the best of the best. With permission, of course.

Jeff Cowell, Lucky Strikes and Liquid Gold – LP. A recommendation from the Numero maestro. Haven’t listened to it yet but it appears to be a late 60’s/early 70’s protest record. I can dig it.

Dry Bread – 45. A funky record out of the Bahamas.

The Perfections – 45. 2 killer tracks from 1969. Sweet soul harmonies from the obscure Twinight Label.

Amethyst – 45. Another recommendation from the maestro. A funky disco dance number that isn’t really my cup of tea, but he assures me I could resell it in a few years for a nice profit. Okay…

Them Two – 45. My personal favorite of the bunch. The A side, Am I A Good Man, is what first turned me onto the Numero Group about 10 years ago. Though thorough internet investigations have turned up no other recordings from Miami, Florida’s Them Two, Numero had unearthed a second track of theirs only very recently. Love Has Taken Wings is a real heartbreaker that you can’t help but keep on repeat.

In addition to the vinyl, I picked up a t shirt and a tote bag. Afterwards, I met Jessica at Cart Driver for pizza and oysters. It was a good night.

19
Sep
16

Flight Patterns

Oh jeez, has it been this long? Sorry. Life has been getting in the way. Let’s catch up. Still working the overnight shift at Kabletown. I still like it there. My days off are not ideal but i’ve learned to accept it and adapt. Having Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday off has it’s perks, you just have to find them. Here I am, Monday morning, Renegade Endpoint in my hand, about to go to bed. Tomorrow will be household chores, the usual doldrums, minus the depression. Been taking the Zip Zinger out thru the neighborhood lately. Haven’t missed a beat! Except my thigh hurts after a bunch of pushing uphill. Who cares!

Jessica and I got married a couple weeks ago! Crazy, right!?

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Big shout out to everyone who traveled far and wide to make it. It really means so much to Jessica and I, I hope you had fun. The beer served at the reception was a recipe of my own that our local friends at Chain Reaction were more than happy to scale up and serve for us. It was my third time brewing a different recipe of my own with those guys. The best dudes ever!

I caught a bit of the Emmys last night. It was great seeing Aziz Ansari/Master Of None get so much recognition. Not to mention Silicon Valley as well. Game Of Thrones killed, no surprise there. I’m often asked if the whole “cutting the cord” fad has me worried about my job. Is cable TV on it’s way out? The answer is “no.” There will always be a market for cable television. Additionally, what I do in the media delivery super-chain will always play a vital role. Wherever the end product is viewed, it will most likely still go through my hands first. Go watch some TV!

Ty Segall’s latest effort, Emotional Mugger, is total crap and and I didn’t bother to see The Muggers at The Gothic when they came by a few months ago. I guess he’s started another new band called GØGGS. I should look into that more. Numero Group is, as always, killing it with the re-issues. The Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music comp is in heavy rotation at the moment. I’ve also been digging into the I’m Losing Tonight comps as well. Great, buried 60’s rock with some killer gems hidden in the weeds.

Fall and Winter are approaching which always bums me out a little bit. I am looking forward to hockey season, though. The Avs got a new coach after Patrick Roy’s abrupt departure last month. Let’s see how we do. I discussed hosting a Hockey Bingo Night down at the brewery every now and then. Nothing is set in stone yet.

I plan on brewing a batch of beer on Tuesday. I have a can of Conan/Vermont Ale/Heady Topper yeast in the fridge that I gotta use sooner than later. I plan on doing a big, bad IPA of the double variety. My freezer is full of Chinook and Summit hops at the moment, so I better put them to good use! I’ll be going heavy on the Pearl malt, and a few specialty malts to give it some complexity. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I treated myself to a garage refrigerator for my birthday back in April. It was the greatest investment I’ve ever made. I had slowly been buying kegging equipment over the last couple years and the fridge in the garage (which fits!) was the final piece of the puzzle. I no longer have to suffer the agony which is bottling beer at home! No more saving bottles. No more clearing out a solid three hour chunk of time to transfer my beer to a bucket, sanitize 40 to 50 bottles, risk infection, prime with sugar, wait two weeks…. the list goes on and on. With a kegging system, I do one transfer, chill, pressurize and serve. The beer comes out so much cleaner too!

If yer bored, please watch some Solo Travel Blog, or John Hill. They keep me entertained when the work hours are slow.

That’s about all I got going on at the moment. Other than just working a lot and ironing out our post wedding obligations, things are pretty chill around here, despite our unusual living conditions at the moment. It’s honestly no big deal. See ya!

18
May
15

sleeper

Rain. That’s all we’ve been seeing here in Denver lately. It’s kinda cool but it’s coolness fades fast. My yard looks good. Jessica and I caught a break in the weather yesterday and took a sweet bike ride downtown. Our destination: Crooked Stave. Our route: South Platte River Trail.

We hit the road just before noon. It’s a quick ride downhill to the path. Once on the path, we were cookin! It’s a great ride because it runs parallel with the Platte River, which is actually pretty beautiful right now because of all the rain and snowmelt from the mountains. We cruised next to the highway, under 8th avenue, across 13th and Strange! I had no idea how easy it is to get to Strange by bicycle! We continued on the path and I spotted a sweet skate spot. A bump to ledge that has seen some action! I might have to come back! Our journey continued past Sports Authority Field, past Elitch’s and eventually to Confluence Park. Did I mention it had been raining a lot? Our path was flooded! We weren’t sure which way to head because I didn’t know if the path would be un-flooded further north. We explored Confluence and eventually found an alternate trail that headed north on higher ground. We stayed on the path that reconnected us to the original Platte Trail and took it all the way to 31st. Up to Brighton Blvd. and we had arrived at our destination!

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We got a traditional flight, then I went back for a full pour of Original Sin. Jessica has the Raspberry Surette. We also picked up some swag and headed for destination two: Breckenridge Brewery on Blake st. On our ride to Breck, we were overtaken by a fixie-gang of about twenty, all riding fast and reckless. They all pulled over to a liquor store next to River North. I bet a few of them were jelly of my sweet whip. Jess and I grabbed lunch at Breck and watched the Ducks/Hawks game. Go Ducks! we watched the rain fall and decided to wait it out with a couple more pints. Our route back home was to take us through LoDo to the Cherry Creek Trail, then meet back up with the Platte River trail. I’ve never cycled the streets of downtown before, I was a little nervous. We both handled it like champs. Just ride like a car would drive and you’ll be fine. Back on the trail and headed home.

Jessica suggested we stop at Chain Reaction, I think as a way to avoid the steep hill to our house. I thought it was a good idea. A couple more pints and some laughs with friends could’t hurt. A taco cart was there, the elusive “…taco cart with a TV strapped to the front,” we’ve heard so much about, but had never actually seen, until yesterday!

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The tacos were delicious too!

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Here’s a rough sketch of our trip, roughly 14 miles round trip. I am very proud of Jessica for riding the whole way and I’m proud of myself for doing it all on my fix. Well done! And I’m not even sore today!

I scored tickets to the Rockies game tonight from work, since I’ve been kicking ass in my position lately. I just hope the weather holds up. Also, the Rockies suck, I hope they can win one tonight against the Phillies whose been on a 5 game winning streak. We’ll see!

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09
May
15

autumn leaves must fall

Holy shit, it’s been awhile. I’m so sorry. Life in Denver has been crazy, yet still the same. Where do I begin? I got a new job at Kabletown. I am now a Media Management Technician 3. I got out of the Originations department because Kabletown has decided to revamp the whole group with new high tech automation technology which means less man power needed. I smelled a rat and jumped ship! Smart move on my part, if I do say so myself. Joe did the same thing. I hope he’s happy over in CDOC. Everyone on the team has been sweating bullets since the announcement. The management had promised us “..we expect little to no turnover with this adjustment..” blah blah blah. The Media Management Group handles any type of media that comes into the building, whether it be for Originations, VOD, independent clients etc… Regardless of what happens in Originations, my job is secure. Bolts! Unfortunately, I’ve been working overnights in the “coal mine” until I’m trained up.

Enough about work. No, haven’t been skating. Sorry.

In other news, let’s talk beer! I’ve been brewing beer at home since the beginning of last year after Jessica bought me a homebrew kit for Christmas. I’ve slowly ramped up and improved my system over the last year and have produced a handful of quality beers. One in particular was “Grant’s Belgian Wit” which is basically a Hoegaarden/White Rascal style beer. It turned out pretty good. I brought a few bottles down to my local brewery, Chain Reaction, and they loved it. Chain Reaction has a very small brew system which allows them to experiment with small batches every week. We agreed to run a small batch of my Belgian Wit recipe since they liked it so much and because I have become a “favorite regular” of their establishment. We agreed on a brew date which happened to be my birthday, April 7th! Several weeks passed and the beer was ready to be tapped!

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They call me Skywalker because my last name is similar to Mark Hamill…Skywalker… you get it. Anyways, we brewed 11 gallons and it sold out in 3 days! I was very happy that it sold so quick, and was happy to hear that one customer in particular really liked it. The owner of High Plains Tap House in Littleton happened to stop by and had a couple pints, liked it so much that he demanded that Chain Reaction make more, a whole barrel’s worth, so he can pour it at his tap house! Skywalker Wit will live again, in the future. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I think my next home batch will be a “special reserve” of the original, Grant’s Belgian Wit.

My brother Scott and I headed down to Phoenix in mid March to catch a few Cubs games and to escape the brutal Colorado winter that kept on lingering. Phoenix was dope! I’d love to share pictures but my new Mac and my new phone aren’t connecting at the moment but I’ll share the highlights: The Cubs new stadium in Mesa is awesome! Our hotel in North Downtown was pretty sweet too! We had In-N-Out Burger first and foremost when we landed. Camel Back Mountain is a rough hike. Phoenix loves “West Coast IPA‘s.” Phoenix is dry, hot, old school, lovely, has stolen my heart. Phoenix is a lot like LA, and if you remember my post about my trip to LA/Burbank last summer, you’ll recognize a lot of similar notes. Due to the simmering, unchanging weather, Phoenix is flat, untouched, preserved, encapsulated. I felt like I was in the 1960’s. I wish I had brought nicer lounge clothes, show Don Draper some respect. And in the same way, it reminded me of my family. Our parents used to take my brother and I to Phoenix all the time when we were much, much younger. We have home movies to prove it. Phoenix equals nostalgia to me on so many levels, it’s really weird.

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I felt like Scott and I had gone back in time. Nothing changes in Phoenix because there is nothing to tear it down. The city is like a snow-globe, but full of heat and sand, rather than drastically changing elements. I remember walking two blocks from our hotel to the local Safeway to buy beer and admiring the sidewalk. So smooth and original, untouched. One particular slab in particular had an imprint in it, “1963.” Beautiful, classic, romantic, always the same. Two blocks to the north, Scott and I noticed an empty lot that some local skaters had converted to a DIY skate spot, fucking awesome! If I’m ever “on the lam,” check Phoenix, I’ll probably be there.