Jeff & Kevin

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Category: Fun

Sirius-ly Addicted to Derek & Romaine

For over three years now I’ve been listening to a show called Derek & Romaine on Sirius Satellite Radio‘s OutQ channel.  The four-hour show airing from 5-9pm in the Central time zone (6-10pm on the East Coast, 3-7pm on the West) features content ranging from political opinion, to pop culture, to advice on sex and sex toys.  I have found myself addicted to hearing what  hosts Derek and Romaine, producer Sam, associate producer Greg and their guests have to say.  Their regular segments such as What’s Your Gay Problem?, Desperately F#@!@ng Angry! and The Dildo Whisperer are some of my favorites, almost always both entertaining and informational!  And thanks to my Stiletto portable radio, I can satisfy my addiction by listening live on my evening bus commute, then record the rest of the show so I can listen to it the next day.

I’ve mentioned the show before in this blog, and talk incessantly about it to everyone I know, but until last week, only Sirius subscribers could hear the show by tuning into Channel 109.   Now, however, a whole new group of people can enjoy the zany antics of Derek & Romaine, because OutQ is now also available on XM Radio Channel 98!

Now there’s no excuse!  Tune into Derek & Romaine on Sirius 109 and/or XM 98 today!  You may be shocked by what you hear at first, but soon you too will find yourself addicted!

Flashes in the Sky

This weekend our friend George once again hosted a gathering at his photography studio to coincide with the Target fireworks show that concludes the local Aquatennial festival.  We had a great time visiting with Mitzi, Barb, George, Bill and Julie, among others.  We had a little fun teasing Bill’s friend (just ask who’s cuter) and then of course, had a great view of the fireworks show.

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Thanks once again George & Barb for including us in your festivities.  Someday soon we’ll have a gathering at our place and hope you can make it!

Longest Day Once Again

As has become custom with my flying club (Club Cherokee), the Thurdsay nearest the longest day of the year was once again time for the annual Thursday Flyers trip to East Gull Lake airport.  Since I’m bumping up on accruing the maximum vacation I can bank and I haven’t been flying as much as I’d like, I decided to leave work a little early and participate in this year’s trip.  I have gone a couple of times in the past and really enjoyed it.

I took the whole afternoon off.  I wasn’t current to carry passengers and needed to get a couple of take-offs and landings in if I hoped to actually pilot on the trip.  So I got to the airport around 3:00 where I found a couple members already there.  Although it was a bit warm on the ground, I decided I should go ahead and take the plane out for a couple of times around the pattern.

They had already started some construction at the airport, and the winds were moving around enough that I got a little excitement during my practice.  I even got some additional excitement when suddenly the pattern got a little busy, tower changed the landing runways, and another aircraft entering the airport didn’t quite follow their directions.  But it’s always nice to know that I can handle improvising with the tower controllers when something like that happens.

dscn0711.jpgFinally it was time to head back in.  By the time I got back to the hangar, all the other aircraft were out and much of the gang had arrived.  It turned out that the aircraft I was using wasn’t going on the trip…so I turned around and moved it to the back of the line.  After finding another plane and a partner, it was decided that I’d fly out, and he’d fly back.

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer night for flying.  The wind already seemed to be waning and the air was much smoother than it can be during the summer days.  The trip up went fairly quickly.  Although we were the first to taxi out, we were in the Warrior, so we weren’t the first to arrive! (However we weren’t the last!)  And although the approach can be tricky and it had been quite a while since I’d done a soft field landing, things went really smoothly. (And thank goodness, because everyone already there was watching!).

dscn0715.jpgWe shuttled over to Cragun’s for a nice dinner and chance to all visit with one another.  We had a new member along and it was great to meet him as well as catch up on some pilot stories from many of the other members.  Then it was time to head back to the strip and get ready to make the trip home.  This time it was my buddy’s turn to fly, so I got to look around.  We were off the ground well before sunset, but it seemed just after a front was passing through.  Off to one side we saw a great rainbow, and to the other, well…it’s views like this that make it all seem worthwhile:

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Fresh Snow, New Friends, and OutWest Adventures

Nearly a week has passed already but still fresh in my mind and soul are the fond memories and wonderful experiences of our visit to Telluride, Colorado.  Since mid November we have been planning our mountain get-away, with high hopes and expectations that it would provide a much needed respite.  We anxiously awaited this trip because for us it signified several firsts.  It would be our first visit to Telluride, Colorado…our first participation in a Gay Ski Week event…and our first group trip taken with a travel/tour company. And as it turned out, it did not disappoint!

We started early Monday morning, and after a close call at the MSP airport, we managed to make a smooth connection in DEN and arrive in Telluride by 10:30a.m.  We arrived to emerging sunshine that glistened and danced on top of several inches of fresh new snow.  Although our official tour didn’t start until that evening, a short stroll down the quaint Main Street of Telluride was all that it took to make us realize we simply couldn’t wait until the next day to get on the mountain!  We checked into the beautiful Hotel Telluride and opened our luggage like kids with their presents on Christmas morning!  The mountain was beautiful!  Fresh snow, bright sunshine made us forget all about the  possibility of altitude sickness.  We were in heaven as we warmed up for the coming week.

Equally exciting was the meet-and-greet reception scheduled for the evening.  Having never attended a Gay Ski Week event before, we had decided that maybe it would be best to go as part of a packaged trip, and found that OutWest Adventures seemed to have the perfect solution.  Rather than spending the entire week like two needles in a haystack, OutWest offered the chance to meet and bond with a group of about 16.  This was the night we would meet the other group members, and start forging what we hope will be lasting friendships.

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C’est la vie…

Le Tour EiffelMonday evening we returned from a wonderful vacation to France.  We both needed to get away for an extended period, and it turned out to be exactly what we needed.  My friends Stephen and Cayetano in Nice were wonderful hosts, showing us all around the côte d’azur (the Blue Coast), including Monte Carlo, Cannes, St. Paul sur Mer, and Antibes.  The weather was in the lower 80’s and sunny with light breezes off the sea.  It was amazing.

We then took the high-speed train (TGV) from Nice to Paris.  The 5 1/2 hour trip took us westward along the coast to Marseille, then north to Paris through central France.  The scenery was beautiful, and the ride was smooth, quite and comfortable!

Paris … wow!  We spent the next 6 days wandering the streets and Metropolitan from sight to sight, café to restaurant from dawn ’til dusk.  Okay, maybe not dawn…after all, we were on vacation!  I could go on for hours about the trip.  But will restrict myself to maybe a couple separate posts.  I will also put up some photos once I get a chance to go through them.

We returned home to find a couple of surprises, including some water damage from crossing a frosty evening with exposed irrigation system pipes (oops!).  But all in all it was a wonderful trip.  I’d highly recommend a visit to France to anyone!

Wicked!

For my birthday, Jeff surprised me with tickets to see Wicked, the broadway musical based on the novel Wicked:  The LIfe and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.  Two years ago when we went to New York to see Kathy & Mo, we stayed at a little hotel that happened to be across the street from the theater in which Wicked was playing on Broadway.  It was relatively new then, but tickets were impossible to come by.  Ever since, I’ve been saying how I’d like to see that show.  Finally, it’s touring, and made a brief 10-day stop in town…and the dates just happened to coincide with my birthday.  So thoughtful Jeff jumped on the opporunity and it was an awesome gift.

As we found our seats in the Orpheum, I noticed the curtain was a map of Oz, with the emerald city glowing magically in the center.  Little did I know that it would be only a hint of the wonders we would experience over the next three hours!

For those that don’t know, the story dovetails with the classic story we all know about Dorothy and her experiences in the land of Oz.  But it’s from another perspective…that of Elphaba, the Wicket Witch of the West.  We learn of her origins and her relationships with some familiar and some new characters not mentioned in the famliar story.  It weaves in quite well, and provides some very interesting perspectives.  While being entertained, we are challeneged to re-think our perceptions of good and evil.

As for the production itself…it was amazing!  From scenery and lighting to costumes to choreography and vocal performance everything was stunning.  Combined with the story and the music, it may very well be the best show I’ve ever seen!  I would highly recommend anyone that enjoys theatre in the least make an effort to see this show if they can possibly do so!

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

For me, it was independence from work, and independence to do something I don’t usually get a chance to do in Utah. There is a small road, open only during the summer months, that connects Brighton to Park City and Heber City. I’ve always seen the road, and wondered about it, but never had a chance to drive it. Well today I did! I rounded up Scott from work and we went on a little road trip.

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This is the view as we reached the top of the ridge dividing Big Cottonwood Canyon from, well, I’m not really sure! But from the other side! I’ll have to do some more research to see exactly where we drove!

The intense morning heat put a lot of energy into the atmosphere, and some storm clouds developed. I was hoping to get lucky enough to capture some of the magnificent lighting strikes, but at least the lighting here is still pretty cool.

We continued along a narrow stone/dirt road until we found ourselves descending into Park City, right behind Park City Mountain resort. We notices a lot of new construction of homes and condos and they look pretty amazing. I could see myself living there!

After a quick tour of Main Street Park City even through the pouring rain (there’s something about me and Park City..it rains or snows every time I go!), we headed down into the Heber Valley. Heber is a place I’ve only seen in the distance, from the tops of Brighton and Alta resorts. So it was time to venture into the valley. We passed Dear Valley resort and the Jordanelle reservoir (??) and a coulpe state parks and rec areas before driving down “the main drag” of Heber City. It’s a cute small town, but doesn’t have the character Park City does. We managed to find the Heber Airport, but through the pouring rain, didn’t go exploring.

All in all it was a nice way to spend the afternoon!

Kathy Griffin Rocks!

We were so excited for the date to come, and Wednesday it finally did.  We had a wonderful dinner at the Capital Grille followed by our first live show by comic Kathy Griffin!

After work we stopped out for dinner at the Capital Grille.  Neither of us had been there for dinner before (Jeff had had lunch there once before).  We were seated promptly and introduced to our waiter, Michael.  We started with an incredible bottle of Bordeaux, Chateau de Pez.  It was the first time I’ve had a bottle of wine decanted at the table…it was a treat!  The boquet really opened up, and the flavor was incredible.  Then, I had the Lobster Bisque.  It was thicker in consistency than I was expecting, but had a great flavor and quite a bit of lobster meat.  We followed up with a Delmonico and a Steak au Poivre and a fresh-cut-from-the-cob sweet corn side dish.  All were excellent!  And Michael did a fantastic job.

We left dinner just in time to get into our seats before the show started.  Kathy came out right on time and gave a great show.  She was funny as usual, with new material.  What I think I liked most was how “natural” she seemed to be up there.  It was almost like being at a party where there was a funny guest who loves to tell stories.  She’s really comfortable on stage, and she’s doing what she seems to be meant to do.  Her tour is pretty big…so go see her if you can!

Some faith restored!

The other day I was looking for child-hood songs containing French words…but I forgot one important one:  Alouette!  Well, it’s easy enough to find, and it’s kind of funny.  I think we should sing it in class to learn body parts of a bird!  (He he).  If this brings back memories for you, check it out, including a sing-along!  Let me know if it makes you feel hungry 🙂

Ought to sleep well tonight!

The rain has finally stopped here in SLC, and the winds from the south have brough with them respectable temps!  Tonight I finally got out on my inline skates for the first time this season.  Actually, it’s been since the summer of ’04 that I actually last used them.

After leaving work “early” (6:00), I changed clothes and headed to Liberty Park.  I managed to eek out 10 1.25 mile laps in an hour and a quarter.  Not too bad I guess!  It surely felt good to get some cardio-vascular exercise!

p.s.  Stouffer’s Corner Bistro Chicken Carbonara is really good!

SLC Redux

Since mid January, I’ve been working 50% in our Salt Lake City (from now on referred to as SLC) office. This means commuting out there every other week. As the Winter Olympics are underway in Torino, Italy, it’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since the 2002 SLC Olympics…and I was there then too!

At least for now I’m making the best of it. I’m commuting mid-week for win-win situation. Airfare is cheaper going from Tuesday to Tuesday than Monday to Friday. And during snow season, it allows me to be in SLC every other weekend, where I can take advantage of access to at least 7 ski resorts, rather than having to fly home from work and get right back on a plane to a ski vacation.

While the work is demanding, Jeff has been able to come out and we’ve done some snowboarding in Park City, Brighton and Solitude. We enjoyed snowy days at the Canyons Resort and Park City Mountain Resorts, and sunshine at Brighton and Solitude. Jeff has enjoyed getting out, and I think I’m finally reallygetting the feel (this is my third year) for the snowboard.

As the snowboard season wanes and the work deadlines evolve, my commute schedule will likely change. But for now, I’ll make the best of it.

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