Sunday, June 27, 2004

We have tickets to see Rush at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary tour which means that they were forming the same time we were starting our freshman year at O'Reilly! Actually, two of the 3 members, Alex and Geddy have been performing together since 1968! Neil joined in 1974 and 17 studio albums later, all certified gold or platinum, they will play for 3 and half hours to a sold-out crowd, no warmup bands necessary .

Here's a photo that shows them as they were back then. They could pass for high school students pretty easily, since they hadn't been out of high school very long before they formed the band. Alex and Geddy were only 12 years old when they started performing together.

Red Rocks is a visually breathtaking amphitheater set in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains just outside of Denver among some incredibly large rock formations. It will be the very first show for Rush in this amphitheater, which is often seen in the U2 'Under a Blood Red Sky' music video.

Rush will be on the East Coast later this summer, including a stop in Scranton on August 7th, 2004 so you guys have no excuse to miss them this time around! You can find their tour schedule here. Joe Petrasek and I saw their Vapor Trails concert tour in 2002 and it was outstanding, and I highly recommend it.

Friday, June 25, 2004

I mentioned in my last posting that Kati (Wood) Gardner is in Colorado this week. Tonight we got together in Boulder for dinner and I got to meet with Kati and her husband Tom and their three beautiful daugthers, Kathleen, Helen, and Ava, ages 12, 6, and 5. We had a great time catching up on things and had our own little reunion. As you may remember, Kati wasn't able to make it to the reunion in 2002, and we all missed her. I can assure you that Kati hasn't changed a bit. She's still the same sweet, charming, charismatic Kati we all knew and loved back in high school. She even got carded when we went into a bar to get out of the rain. Honest, I was there and I witnessed it!

If everything works out, we may get to see a lot more of the Gardners since they are thinking of moving to Colorado!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

As you may have heard this week, Burt Rutan, the guy who designed the airplane I fly, was the first to put a man into space using private funding. I always make sure to see Burt Rutan and Mike Melvill, who is now officially an 'astronaut', at the big Oshkosh fly-in each year. They generally give several presentations where you can walk right up afterwards and talk with them. They've been talking about this space ship for several years now, so it's great to see them get it into space. I hope they win the $10 million X-Prize for their efforts.

I recently had some visitors here from The Netherlands who were looking forward to seeing the Colorado Rockies but in the four days they were here, we had nothing but low clouds and rain and they never did see the mountains. So yesterday, the sun finally appeared and I pulled over on the way to work to snap this photo of Long's Peak to send to them. It's been really sunny and calm here for the past two days, to make up for all the rain and clouds. We can always use the extra moisture here in Colorado since it's generally quite dry so I'm not complaining, it's just odd to have a 4 day spell of rain since we get so much sunshine (they like to advertise 350 days per year).

Kati (Wood) Gardner is in Colorado as I write this. She and her family are on vacation in Vail and doing some house hunting to see if Colorado would be a place they could live. I hope they do decide to move here. It would be fun to have someone from home living nearby. We hope that we can get together for a visit later this week.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Congratulations Homer on the 'Homer' team taking the Stanley Cup. You goaded me earlier and I resisted the temptation to respond, and I'm glad I did not take the bait as the Colorado Avalanche never did fully recover from the beating they took at the hands of your Tampa Bay team. Thanks for rescuing the cup from those Canadians, Ay.

Speaking of Canada, Terri and I just got back from a trip to Montreal, Quebec. We have been following Formula One Racing pretty closely on TV this year. F1 racing is popular all over the world, but not so much in the U.S. probably because of competition for fans with other U.S. races like NASCAR, Champ Car, and Indy Race League. They are currently holding the U.S. Formula One GP in Indy this very weekend. As we were watching a particularly dramatic F1 race unfold on the streets of Monte Carlo, Monaco a few weeks ago, Terri declared that we really needed to see one of these races live. Who am I to argue with logic like that? It's not often that one's wife makes such declarations. No sooner did she say it that they mentioned that the Canadian F1 Grand Prix was coming up in June, just in time for our 19th wedding anniversary. So I got to work immediately securing airline and race tickets and hotel reservations before the mood passed.

Since we had never been to Montreal, we decided to have a little vacation and ended up spending 6 wonderful days there, watching all of the events surrounding the race, seeing the sights, and visiting many wonderful restaurants. Visiting Montreal is a little like going to Europe since they almost insist on speaking French to you, but will quickly switch over to English, but not unless it's necessary. My two years of high school French under Mrs. Zabresky and Sister Fritz finally came in handy, but was just a tad rusty after not having used it for nearly 30 years!

HP sponsors the BMW-Williams team and so we have been cheering for the HP team this year, but the team has not been doing as well this year as in previous years. We were hoping to see their luck change in Canada. We were also hoping to be able to get close enough to see and feel the excitment of the race and we were thrilled to find our seats were just four rows up from the starting grid. I could almost reach out and touch the track, or so it seemed.

The noise from the cars screaming by was deafening and ear plugs were a definite 'must'. We also got to walk the pit lane and get very close to the cars prior to the race, close enough to touch them! There are F1 races held in 17 different countries this year and there are only two races where the racing fans are allowed to walk the pit lane, and one of them is at the Canadian GP. It was one of the highlights of the event and you can see from the pictures that we got very close to the cars.

It was particularly exciting to see Ralf Schumacher win the pole position with the fastest qualifying time. The other driver for the HP team, Juan Pablo Montoya, qualified 4th and so there was an HP car in the first and second rows. We had great expectations. Ralf Schumacher held the race lead for 14 laps but lost it to his brother Michael in his Ferrari who has dominated F1 for the past 10 years. Ralf regained the lead briefly a few times throughout the race, but ended up in second place after Michael Schumacher.

Montoya came in 5th. We were thrilled with the results which would have been the best for the HP team all season. I say 'would have' because the next day we found out that they had disqualified both cars for having the ducts too close to the brakes. The Toyota team had both of their cars disqualified for the same reason. It was a major disappointment but rules are rules and I hope to see the team recover this week at Indy.

If you've never watched a Formula One race, I'd highly recommend it. The races are covered on the Speed Channel in the U.S.. And if you haven't vistited Montreal, it's a great getaway, especially for those of you on the east coast since you can drive there if you like.

I hope to post a little more often here, and would encourage others to do the same since the blog is getting checked daily and I'm sure that others would be eager to hear about how things are going with you. So if you have a story to share, please contact me if you need any help in posting pictures or with the blogger in general. It's going to be a few years before we see each other and so it's a good way to keep in touch.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

How's it goin' Homer?