I love mountains. Adore them. Among my dreams for the future is building and living in a cabin at the base of or up in the mountains, preferably in the Pacific Northwest. I have never really been to the Pacific Northwest.
Until last week, I had never climbed a mountain.
On Sunday, March 9th, my friend and I set off on a roadtrip to Colorado. Neither of us had ever been. When I started planning the trip, I didn’t realize that my friend had never been on a multi-state roadtrip with friends, so from the get go the whole thing was an adventure.
So I stopped planning. I asked not+entirely for some highlights and they were really helpful once we got there, but besides a couple of vague ideas and a hotel for night one, I didn’t plan anything. We didn’t even know when we were coming back.
This is completely atypical for me and it could not have gone better.
Sunday was 15 hours of nonstop driving. We got on the road around 7 and drove straight through with one two stops. I’ve done this plenty, my buddy had not. The first half of the drive, because I live in the middle of the second largest state, was monotonous but in the panhandle, we finally hit the upstate windfarms and had some pretties to look at. Then a few more in New Mexico, and a whole lot more around the CO border. It was a gorgeous drive.
When we got to Denver, we were pooped and in dire need of some rest.
First thing in any new city, I have to find the good coffee and boy did I. Purple Door Coffee was awesome and the staff could not have been more friendly.
For that matter, no one we interacted with in the whole damn state could have been more friendly. The baristas gave us more ideas for the day than we could have possibly covered. After a durn fine cup of joe, we headed to an old factory that has since been retrofitted into an indoor market. I give you, The Source:
A taqueria, coffeeshop, grocery, liquor store, bank, bar, produce stand, butcher, baker, and firehouse pizza place (that that order, left to right). Comida, the taqueria, had the best green sauce I’ve ever had and we had the sous prepare a quart to take home. I wonder if there is any left in the fridge… Highly recommend.
But let’s speed this up. Day one was euphoric, the start of vacation, and we got a little smashed and lost our car in downtown Denver. The 16th St. Mall is a big pass—all corporate—but we had plenty of time to sober before we found our wheels again. There are a lot of ends and ours in there, but I’ll stop there.
Day two, we made a plan. We have a buddy who moved to Fort Collins, CO a while back and we wanted to catch up, so on
We got up, got ready, and headed north.
I cannot express how much I loved Fort Collins. It is a perfect Little Bit City. The corporate and local veins have their own special sides of town, so for folks so inclined, you can avoid the corporate trappings all together. We did.
In Old Town (the locals side), they have art student painted pianos at regular intervals, kept in working order.
We went to innumerable shops and and breweries, so again it is hard to say all we did.
Stuft - good burgers
Equinox Brewing - good beer
With quite a few strapped on, we followed some strangers home after the brewery closed to hang out with locals. PSA: Kids, don’t do this. Adults probably shouldn’t either, but I’m no fan of living in fear.
A bit later, we stopped by our friend’s restaurants for some grub and then headed out to the mountains around midnight to star gaze.
My goodness it takes a long time to rundown Tuesday, but it was a fantastic day. After all that, though, we needed to decompress.
On Wednesday morning, we had a very late breakfast at Silver Grill Cafe and bummed around Old Town shops. I can’t even recall the names of most of the shops we stopped in, but all of Old Town deserves a nod. True to my nature, I stopped in Old Firehouse Books and picked up Col. Hadfield’s book.
With a nice morning under the belt, out local friend was thoroughly convinced he should blow off work for another day and we should climb Horsetooth Mountain. It was my first and damn was it wonderful.
Alright, that’s enough of that. I just thought the pictures would do it some justice I would not. Plus this post is growing long winded …On Wednesday, we got a late start for Estes Park, CO (thanks, not+entirely) to see, among other things, the Stanley Hotel, inspiration for King’s The Shining.
With no where to be, we were so taken with Estes Park that I booked a room for the evening and we spent the day on barbeque, local shops, the public library, and then off into Rocky Mountain National Park.
After a good night’s rest, and with the frugal goals of the trip in mind, vacation came to an end on Friday morning and we started the 17 hour trip home.
There is so much more I could say about the trip, but I’ll leave it with this:
1) I’m going back as soon as I can with my lady.
2) It was exactly what I needed.
A Final Note: No, I didn’t proof this post. I’ve been scrambling for time to write it between catching up on work and my personal life. I sorta apologize for any errors found herein.
I’m back. Have been for days. But as is usually the case, so very many things piled up while I was gone. I spent the weekend catching up with my lady, the first and most important task. There was a lot of binge TV watching. Wow.
I dove back into the novel on Sunday after a week writing absolutely nothing, so again, wow.
I have some 20 odd TV shows I’d like to catch up on which are at present on the back burner, turning black.
Though the office was close during the vacation, I returned to plenty of work. Surprising how that happens. Yesterday was jam packed but pretty manageable. I felt productive, but the work continues.
I would like to come back and give at least a cursory run-through of my trip to the Rocky Mountain state, a place I would absolutely love to call home, and the fantastic people that call it home, but it will have to wait for now. Suffice it to say, the vacation did everything it was supposed to.
One last note, more to the regular point of the blog. Yesterday I finished a chapter I left half done before the trip and this morning I dove right into a very enjoyable action and contemplation sequence. Fun to write and, if I can presume, fun to read as well.
Back real soon…
You may notice that I’ve posted (okay, maybe reposted) something every day this week. I’m on vacation next week and unlike Spring Break ‘13, I may not write at all while I’m away.
On to the point:
In the last week, the story about Keurig working on the next iteration of their coffeemaker has made the rounds. If you haven’t hear, here’s CNET’s story and I’ll condense it real quick as well.
Keurig makes pod coffee makers that use K-cup, which they also sell. They are far from the first pod coffee maker, but they are undoubtedly the biggest and best know. You start with this:
Drop it into this:
And get this:
Not a great cup of coffee, but it could definitely be worse. It has no place in my kitchen, but at the office…?
So this thing took off and of course it did. Why not? Then, a bunch of companies started making competing K-cups. A little different in form and vastly different packaging. Keurig no like, so now they are working on getting DRM into the cups so that only their’s will work. You know how your HP printer whines when you use someone else’s ink? It’s like that, but it won’t work at all. So really, it’s more like trying to play your Audible audiobook on a “non-standard” device. No worky.
My immediate reaction was revulsion. There are so many efforts in so many places trying to close the ecosystem. You use Company X’s platform, and you get only their content. Unless you work continually to get around it, which I do, but not everyone knows how.
Especially not the people most devoted to these machines. As Rob Beschizza at boingboing pointed out, people paying a premium for the convenience of a Keurig are quite likely to go back to shelling out more for official K-Cups because they others won’t work.
But that pisses me off. Part of me wants to say if they won’t put in the work, screw ‘em. But the more mature part of me says that we work together to make this suck less and I told my lady, upon hearing the news, that I would likely buy a Keurig 2.0.
I don’t want one. I don’t even want the one that doesn’t try to screw the buyer. But I want to make it work. I want to reverse engineer it and make it work like it ought to. I have no engineering background, but I’m good at troubleshooting and I’ve hacked enough hardware to think I’ll do a good job. Then, when I’m done, instructions go up online and I sell the bastard contraption and go about with my life.
It rather amuses me that a coffeemaker I don’t even want is the first device about which I feel so motivated.
As I’ve written recently, there’s not a lot of case-law on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the law that prohibits “circumventing…effective means of access control” to copyrighted works. In the past, we’ve seen printer companies and garage door opener manufacturers claim that the software in their devices was a “copyrighted work” and that anyone who made a spare part for their products was thus violating 1201. But that was 10 years ago, and it’s been a while since there was someone stupid and greedy enough to try that defense.
I think Keurig might just be that stupid, greedy company.
Cory found the positive in the charlie foxtrot to come. I’m inclined to agree that this may be just the “awful stupidity we need.” I hope that works out for the best.
I think I’m still gonna hack Keurig’s stupidity out of the first gen of 2.0.
Anyways, enjoy the week. For those of you who have it off, drink some proper coffee and kiss a loved one often. For those who have to work, maybe drink a cup of Keurig with a resounding hatred, courtesy of your old pal simsian.
On the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.