Saturday, December 29, 2007

tancriibe christmas adventure part 2

after 5 days with my family, we flew to seattle to spend some time with Lindsey's family. we went to Laura and Joe's to have a slumber party with all the Riibe siblings. those kids stayed up until 4am. i wonder what they were doing?

the next day we had christmas eve eve eve dinner at Laura and Joe's along with the DVD gift exchange.

christmas eve at Joan's was a real christmas story. we went to Tai Ho for dinner and even had a christmas duck. no head chopping or christmas carols, sadly.

we also ate lots of good food, drank lots of good coffee, watched a little arrested development, and took lots of pictures.

for even more pictures from Laura and Joe's, click here
for even more pictures from Joan's, click here

tancriibe christmas adventure part 1

we started our christmas adventure with a trip to santa rosa to visit my family. we visited the steinhart aquarium in san francisco with Rob and the kids, where we saw lots of pretty tropical fish, some gigantic and kinda ugly fish from deep cold waters and some cute african penguins.

Mom took us up into the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas to visit grandma and grandpa Lemieux.

we shredded until our fingers bled (well...maybe just until our hands cramped) on guitar hero 2. i am so getting it for my birthday.

we also ate lots of good food, played some games, crafted some felt animals, watched Planet Earth on my dad's new HD plasma tv, and laughed a lot.

more pictures

Friday, December 14, 2007

once in a lifetime

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

fed no more

on November 19 of this year i officially ceased to be a park ranger (or forest ranger, as so many people mistakenly called me). in reality, i had ceased to be a park ranger many years before when i left Mineral, CA, to live in the relative metropolis of Flagstaff, AZ. it is a bitter-sweet parting for me. much of my identity has been wrapped up with the National Park Service for many years. what am i to become if i am not a park ranger? good question. some ideas for what i might wanna be when i grow up:

  • librarian
  • native bee taxonomist
  • court reporter
  • professional dog walker
  • information technology professional
  • union researcher
  • web developer
  • computer support geek

i still haven't quite figured it out, but in the meantime I have a few projects to keep me busy. i am working on a National Park Service project as a contract programmer developing a computer application designed to be a decision support tool for park managers. Leslie (one of Lindsey's sisters) and I are collaborating on a project to completely overhaul the website of lesbian artist Loraine Inzalaco; Leslie is handling the site design and i am working on the nuts and bolts programming. i also have a small group of clients in Tucson for whom i provide computer and website support. I am considering expanding this into a real business. Check out my fledgling website, if you like: Sparky's Computer Support. The website is more of a place holder than anything and I am still looking for a better name, but you get the gist of it.

psycho kitten

a feisty kitten joined our household in October. lindsey swore that she just wanted to foster a kitten. this changed when she first met the kitten, who left her alley behind Santa Theresa Tile Works to come live with us. sooner than the time it took for Magritte to find a safe hiding spot under the couch, we had adopted her. she has since come out from under the couch and enjoys attacking anything that moves, biting toes, snacking and napping.


we did make it back to Tucson, even though it seemed from my blog as though we vanished into the Badlands on our way back from Vermont. the end of the summer and the fall was a bit of a rough section and this blog needed some quiet time.

quiet time is over, now, and i am ready to update the world (or at least the 3 people who read my blog).

some sad news to start off with, unfortunately. Lindsey's dad passed on in Ocotober after a long fight with cancer. it has been, and still is, a sad time for Lindsey and her family. my condolences go out to his family and friends. Rest in peace, Larry.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

driving and driving

we drove for about 13 hours today, starting out in Angola, Indiana, and ending up in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. in between we passed through Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. lindsey has determined that Michigan and Minnesota are the 2 stinkiest states. we drove through Michigan on our way to Angola from Montreal a couple of days ago to visit Douglas. we are on our way to the Badlands tomorrow and might even see some dead white guys carved into a rock, too. we are heading home.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

au revoir

today we are packing up the car, saying farewell to Minnie & Kirk & Cairo & Olive & Lola and getting back on the road after one more perfectly greasy breakfast at Doughboys. we are headed into Canada for one night in Montreal and then on to visit Douglas somewhere in Indiana. who knows where we will go in-between there and Tucson?

Listening to: The Budos Band - [The Budos Band II CD1 #01] Chicago Falcon [foobar2000 v0.9.1]
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, July 15, 2007

immaculate machine

i am obsessed with Immaculate Machine, a canadian band with insanely catchy and upbeat, yet intelligent, pop songs. you must at least listen to C'mon Sea Legs off their new album, Fables, by clicking the play button below.

oh, those teenage years

lindsey is about 13 or 14 here. and super excited about the photobooth.
photobooth - les and linz

love bunny

love bunny
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.

linz found a box of old photos at her parent's house and has been scanning them and sending me the best ones. i want to share the love.

olive sunbathing

olive sunbathing
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.

Monday, July 02, 2007

aye aye captain

aye aye captain
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.

minnie's friend and co-worker, barb, graciously took 3 rookies on her sailboat for a beautiful saturday afternoon. our departure from the mooring was a bit rough, but once we got out of Shelburne Bay, it was easy sailing. we were out on the water for about 5 hours, tooling around Lake Champlain, with gorgeous views of the Adirondacks (across the state line in New York) and downtown Burlington, and lots of other stuff. sailing is really fun, especially if you are just a passenger and don't have to remember which rope to pull at what time.
Thanks, Barb!
more pictures


one of minnie's kittens - lola - likes to talk a lot.

some vermont swimming holes

Bingham Falls
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.

we found a couple pretty great swimming holes (thanks Bingham Falls was really spectacular, cold and clear green water.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

our first few days in vermont

minnie and cairo
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.

we got lost hiking around in the overgrown woods. well...we didn't really get lost, we just failed to find both the waterfalls and the beaver dam. we stayed at a beautiful old farmhouse. we rode our bikes along the edge of lake champlain. the weather is beautiful (a really hot day is when it reaches 92 degrees). burlington is a cool little town. everything is so green. i like it here.

more pictures

ending odometer: 227,617

we finally made it to Minnie's house on Thursday night after nearly 3 weeks on the road. my odometer says we traveled 4,226 miles. google maps says it should have been 3,810 miles and 2 days 16 hours of driving. we almost got a divorce on our final day of driving (the New Jersey turnpike and hangovers are not a good combination), but that was really our only spot of trouble (except for the disgusting and sketchy hotel in Cleveland, TN). lots of driving, lots of friends. nothing stolen, nothing broken. it was a good road trip.

annapolis, md

we stopped in annapolis, maryland, for a quick visit with Nick and Suzy. while they were working, we rode our bikes into this little touristy boat town for the best greasy breakfast ever at Chick and Ruth's Delly. we got called "gentlemen" as we shopped for books. we saw a house fire. we met up with Nick and Suzy after work for happy hour where both the food and the martinis were free. after a few of those we decided to finish off the night with a few too many mojitos, setting the stage for yet another long day of driving with bad hangovers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

the district

we arrived at jody and erik's downtown DC condo late Friday night, ready for the city life, AKA something to do. saturday we walked through Rock Creek park and stumbled upon a baby panda posing for pictures (at the zoo). we managed to gather all our DC area friends together for drinks at Madam's Organ and ten-pound falafel pitas. they all wanted to meet again the next day for brunch in baltimore.

jody and erik took us on their soon-to-be patented "Monuments by Moonlight" bike tour. we rode our bikes from their condo down to and around the national mall, finishing up at the whitehouse. we took lots of pictures. erik caught a firefly. it was a spectacular way to see the monuments - highly recommended.

other big city activities included: witnessing erik go to the rescue of a pedestrian hit by a car, playing with bunnies, and receiving a parking ticket minutes before our departure.

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brunch in baltimore

bottomless bloody marys and mimosas at little havana. a perfect prequel to a 5-against-1 game of giant chess at the Visionary Art Museum.

everyone should have a driftwood tree house in their back yard.

more pictures

Sunday, June 17, 2007

happy father's day

Great Smoky Mountains

the Great Smokys are beautiful, but not very exciting. so we took lots of pictures.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

a one-day driving tour of the south

driving from New Orleans to Cleveland, Tennessee, with a very bad hang over is not something I would recommend. we traveled through Mississippi, Alabama, and a sliver of Georgia stopping only at the Welcome Center at each state line and gas stations before arriving in Cleveland, TN, on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains. our first choice in hotels at 1am that Tuesday morning was not the best and we had to leave. the preponderance of very bad odors and strung out hotel residents necessitated a quick getaway. we learned a valuable lesson about hotels advertising $25/night rooms.

New Orleans

we arrived in New Orleans late Saturday night after a day-long drive from Austin. we ate and then passed out. our stay was short and sweet. Sunday we walked around the garden district and shopped on Magazine St. during the day (sweating balls the whole time), cooled off in the hotel pool, and then ventured into the French quarter for the night. a short trip down Bourbon St. quickly showed us that we would have much more fun going to see a band play than doing any of the traditional New Orleans night-life activities. we found One-Eyed Jacks, where the band Vietnam was playing and proceeded to make friends with some locals, get very drunk, see the band play and then stumble back to our hotel. our new friends told us funny stories about the weeks after Hurricane Katrina and then shook their heads at how they could look back on that time so fondly.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

which side of the river does your tube float on?

we stayed in Austin for a long time because suzy and andrea kept thinking of cool things for us to do (and we liked it there and they were good hostesses).

some cool things we got to do in Austin: ride in a fire engine, watch tens of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats fly out from under a bridge at dusk, get drunk on texas martinis and eat too much tex-mex food, watch a hot drag queen sing a song about menopause, sweat a lot, AND go toobin' on the Comal River.

as we were floating down the river, enjoying our cocktails - a guy yells out to lindsey from a huge group of rednecks "hey, my cousin thinks you're hot! the way my cousin is a girl....i don't know if your tube floats on that side of the river, but..."

goats and peaches

the drive from Las Cruces, NM, to Austin, TX, was surprisingly pleasant with lots of greenery, well-spaced rest stops, an 80 mph speed limit, and a nearly empty freeway. a couple hours west of Austin the rolling hills were covered with oak woodlands, under which herds of goats frollicked in the grass. we stopped and bought some lovely peaches from a roadside stand.

we arrived the same day as electrelane and accompanied suzy and andrea to the show. it was amazing. tender forever opened. she wore lindsey's glasses for part of her show. lindsey bought one of her shirts. it was real cute.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

day 3: Chaco Canyon

a little biking, a little hiking, a lot of sunburn. i love this place. the campground is lovely, but the lack of shade makes it difficult to stay for longer than a day when you forget to use sunscreen and get burned to a crisp.

we packed up under yet another threatening thunder storm and began the long drive to Austin.

more pictures

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