Monday, March 18, 2013

Done

A goal set long ago, has been finished.

Recall that in October of 2010, I publicized that I wanted to hike all of the 29.5 miles worth of trails contained within our city limits here in Los Alamos.  

It has sure taken a dang while.  But not for lack of getting out on the trails by any means.  Rather, it got to a point where it was just simpler to hike the trails that were close by over and over than it was to go to the effort to load up everyone in the car and drive to a trailhead that wasn't easily accessible on foot from our home.  Also, one of the trails I had left to do wasn't immediately accessible from a trailhead...you had to hike a few miles down another trail just to access it.  So it was just easier to put off for all those reasons.

This past weekend, Leni suggested we drive up into the Jemez mountains for a long hike.  It sounded like a nice prospect, but then I realized that, as long as we were up for a long hike and getting in the car to do it, we might as well knock out the last 2 trails (totaling 3.1 miles).  

So we did it.  To get both the trails involved an almost 6 mile loop.  This was my view most of the time:


It is finished.  The whole point of this challenge was not so much for the goal of putting all those 29.5 miles behind me so much as just a chance to see parts of town that lots of people never see.  But there are tons of trails outside of town as well that I'm excited to turn my attention to.

Huge thanks to Leni for his support in hiking a lot of these trails with me when he might have wanted to do other things.

Keep It Real!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Winner Emerges

In spite of all the things I've started in my life with good intentions of finishing, I'm afraid there are more than a few things that are yet to be crossed off the list.  In the last couple weeks, however, I decided to knock off a big one.

More than two years ago, I thought it would be cool to eat at all the dining establishments in the county that offer breakfast burritos.  Breakfast burritos are one of my most favorite foods and I will happily eat them at any time of day.  When paired with a Dr. Pepper and something nice to read, you've attained my definition of contentment.  

So in that 2+ years, I've been slowly visiting the various burrito-serving eateries, with the exception of one* (see note below).  This was, at some times, a challenge because many places stop serving breakfast burritos after 10 or 11 AM.  And shame on them.  In that amount of time, some places closed their businesses for good before I ever got a chance to try them out.  To balance things out, some new ones have opened too so I figure it all balances out.  So as of this day, I have tried breakfast burritos at the following establishments (in absolutely no particular order):
  • Chili Works
  • El Parasol
  • Viola's
  • Hot Rocks
  • Morning Glory
  • Knapp's Wraps
  • Coffee House
  • Daniel's Cafe
  • El Rigobertos
This was tough to judge, folks.  Every burrito I tired was great.  Many were fabulous.  I always ordered the burritos with bacon and green chile.  Judging was based on several things such as tortilla quality, tightness of the wrap, spice level of the chile, crispiness of the bacon, ingredient proportions, how well the ingredients were mixed with each other vs just layered, etc.  In the end only one could be crowned a winner, given the competition parameters.

Ladies and gentlemen....I give you the winner: Knapp's Wraps of White Rock


Congratulations, Knapp's Wraps :)  If you haven't been down to White Rock and eaten here, you are missing out.  Street food is all the rage these days and these folks know how to do it up right!

Keep it Real!

*Sonic Drive-In, in my opinion, is good for only drinks and dessert.  The food has no place in my life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dresser Redo

On one Saturday two summers ago, I hit up an estate sale and came home with some pretty good finds: 2 wine racks, a watering can for flowers (which have long since died), and a dresser.  The dresser, I remember, was $10.  I gave the family the money and came back with Leni and the truck a few hours later to pick the dresser up.  

Ever since that time, the dresser has rested in the room that later became Josh's room.  It was functional, but didn't match anything in the room.  I didn't really care, because it was the good price and the functionality that pleased me.  Recently, however, I saw a picture of a piece of furniture online that inspired me to re-paint the one we had.  So after a trip to the hardware store for paint and new hardware, I got down to business.
Before

Dresser painting: done

Painting the drawers (bulk of time)

After!
Leni helped a little bit here and there, which was great.  I worked on this off and on for about a week but considering all the drying times, etc, it probably would have been about a day and a half job if there hadn't been a baby involved, but that's cool.  I definitely learned a lot and wouldn't be opposed to another project like this in the future.

Keep It Real!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Post Olympic Thoughts

  • What's up with competition attire not being red white and blue for the US?  Purple gymnastics leotards?  
  • Many congratulations to Michael Phelps, his coaches and family on his medals.  To be honest though, I actually don't like when people say he is the Greatest Olympian of All Time.  I tend to prefer Most Decorated.  I'm still having trouble getting over his lack of humility during interviews the last two weeks, which, for me, is part of "greatness".  It's still an absolutely incredible feat that deserves recognition.
  • Having DVR REVOLUTIONIZED how I watch the Olympics!
  • Rules for eligibility regarding the all-around in gymnastics are BS.
  • Synchronized diving should be limited only to identical twins
  • Women shot putters frighten me.  FRIGHTEN me.
  • It is amusing to me that the female beach volleyball players from Brazil have "Bra" written across the chests of their outfits.
Days until the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: 543....FAR too many.


Keep It Real!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympic Party

After months (read: years) of waiting, the magical time has finally arrived!  As I compose this, I'm also watching women's gymnastics on TV.


Confession, Part I: I'm a Michael Phelps fan.  Well, maybe not him personally so much as his accomplishments.  He's two medals (of any color) away from being the most decorated Olympian in modern Olympic history.  You have to admit that that's pretty epic.


Confession, Part II: If Phelps misses his target and doesn't beat the record, that's okay with me, because I'm kind of enjoying his flop.  That might make me a bit of terrible person, but I'm okay with that.  But in the last two weeks, I've seen some interviews that painted him with a less than humble brush.  He has admitted to not working as hard as he should have, skipping practices, and other such related poor choices.  Bad decisions certainly have their consequences and he may be realizing that more than ever right now.


On Friday, we hosted two couples for a small Opening Ceremony Party.  I'd LOVE to be able to have invited more but our living room is small and I've recently realized that us and 2 more couples is about all we can accommodate comfortably.  So my brother and sister came up from Albuquerque and our friends Chris and Sarah rolled in from Santa Fe to enjoy this event with us.


For dinner, we had some Shepherd's Pie in honor of the hosting nation.  For dessert, a cake decorated with the Olympic rings in fruit:




In addition to themed food, we had some games of our own.  First was a little croquet:

Of course, there had to be a podium for the winners:

Sarah, Chris & Claire


I'm sure you didn't notice the beers they were holding.  In a stroke of brilliance, Chris and Sarah brought beer that was themed towards Olympic medals.  As pictured below, we've got a beer with the word "GOLDen" in the title, Coors (the SILVER bullet) and a Dos Equis Amber, whose label was quite BRONZE if you ask me :).




In addition to the croquet action, Claire and Nick had brought some hula hoops to play with.  It needs to be pointed out that these were not regulation hula hoops.  They were made out of irrigation tubing and INCREDIBLY heavy.  Quite the ab workout, even painful at times when more than one hoop was used at the same time.

Look out into it Leni got!
Enjoy this video of some of our hula hoop games:


video

Without a doubt, my favorite activity was our very own torch relay!  It was planned to include everyone but be a surprise to Chris and Sarah upon their arrival:

video


Oh yeah and we watched the Opening Ceremony, long as it was.  I was impressed with the entire orchestration.  The amount of times that the staging and props on the floor changed right in front of our eyes was amazing.  It was a great blend of history, dramatics and humor.  Favorite moments included the live performance of "Chariots of Fire" with a cameo from Mr. Bean, the Queen "parachuting" in from above, and the part with the five huge rings coming together overhead.  I wasn't overly impressed with the actually lighting of the torch but the torch apparatus itself was pretty cool.  Great Britain should be very proud of the show they put on.

Hope everyone enjoys the next two weeks of events.  I know I will!

Keep It Real!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mid-Summer Update

I've been so neglectful as of late.  Many apologies.  But I don't feel too bad....I can think of very few followers of this blog who don't catch on to what's going on in the Moore household via Facebook.  Still....it is time to give some attention to the blog.


So Far This Summer...


My most recent post before this was immediately following Joshua's baptism over Memorial Day Weekend.  Good times.  Since then, we've been keeping busy:


First, there was the Gorski wedding:




This kid was a real hit at the wedding....and exhausted from it all too!
When we got back from the wedding (which was in central Virginia), it was HOT in Los Alamos!  This shouldn't be news....the whole nation was (and still is) having a ginormous heat wave.  Our home is without central AC or a swamp cooler, as are most of the homes this old in Los Alamos.  Since last summer, we've had a window unit in our bedroom.  It was so hot when we got home that I started having to take Josh into our bedroom after lunch time to stay cool enough...it was getting up into the upper 80s and low 90s in our living room.  After about a week of that, I'd had it.  We had a HUGE window unit for the kitchen, dining room and living room area, but it needed to be installed and since it required a 220 volt outlet, it wasn't your typical installation.  God bless our friends Chris and Sarah....they came over one Saturday and Chris helped Leni install the beastly window unit while Sarah and I kicked back and watched.  Now our house is much more comfortable during all times of the day.




Next was a trip down to Silver City, New Mexico, the new home of Leni's parents!  Paul has accepted the call to serve at the little but very active Episcopal church down there, so we had to go down to check things out.  On the way down, we knocked off 3 breweries from the New Mexico Brew Challenge (more on that below).  In Silver City, we enjoyed the small town feel, the cute downtown (complete with farmers market and art market), bike trails, apricot picking, and the town's proximity to the Gila Wilderness.  We did a challenging yet beautiful hike on Saturday afternoon with grandparents, parents, baby, and 4 dogs.  Difficult but well worth it!




We also found the people at Paul's new church to be tremendously nice and welcoming.  On the drive home, we picked off one more of the many Albuquerque breweries.


Speaking of breweries, you may recall our commitment to the New Mexico Brew Challenge, or, as my sister-in-law refers to it, the "Beer Blast".  So far, we're in the lead!  Even though many folks in Leni's office said they wanted to participate, the only folks taking it seriously are us and our previously mentioned friends, Chris and Sarah.  As I said, we are in the lead but very cautious to assume future victory.  You never know when one couple will shoot out ahead of the other (it has happened in both directions).  But those breweries down south this weekend afforded us many points (points are assigned to breweries based on their distance from our area).  Still 6 or 7 places to hit up, so we keep chugging along....pun intended :)


Yet to Come This Summer...


We are looking forward to visits from some folks we love.  Later this week, we'll see some good friends from my high school days in Arizona, Amy and her sister, Allison.  A couple days after that, we'll see Leni's brother, Landon, and his girlfriend, Marcie, from Idaho.  I've got some friends from the Dallas area who say they might come visit....I hope they are reading this and looking at their calendars for trip planning purposes :)


Next week, I resume my work duties at church and am quite ready for that.  We've connected with a friend of a friend who will be watching Josh during my work hours and are quite confident that it will be a good fit for our family.


We are hoping to squeeze in a whitewater rafting day on the Rio Grande River sometime later this month.  Each time we drive north along the river on our way to Taos or Colorado, we always comment that it would be fun to be one of the groups in the rafts enjoying the river below.  Hope we can work it out....it looks really fun!


Olympics....SO close!  The opening ceremony is a mere 18 days away and my excitement is growing.  Having the Olympic trials being televised on a channel that my television receives has been such a teaser.  Such a great time in life to have DVR :)


That's about it for now.  I hope this has found everyone else's summer going well.  Stay cool out there.


Keep It Real!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Kids' Table

We've all been present at large gatherings of people in someone's home before.  It was perhaps at a holiday meal or big weekend family gathering.  There were lots of people, tons of food and, of course, not near enough seating to accommodate it all.  That's okay though, because there was usually the same solution: the kids's table.




Odds are you've been there before...the rickety card table from the closet or, if the weather was nice enough, the patio table outside.  This was where "the kids" were herded so that the adults could be together at the dining room table.  I've had both good and bad experiences at the kids' table.  If I was stuck with some dining partners I wasn't familiar with, it was sometimes awkward.  But that was okay because awkward silence could easily be overlooked by the fact that everyone's mouths were full of food anyway.  As I got older, I often wanted to be at the grown-up table because I found their subjects of conversation to be more preferable to the things being discussed at the kids' table.


Tough luck, though.  I don't know if I've ever sat at the grown-up table.  Last week I turned 31 and, a few days later, found myself in the middle of a large gathering of friends and family.  There were 13 of us in my home enjoying some burgers following our son's baptism (see photos here).  The....more seasoned crowd ate at the table inside and we "kids" found ourselves outside on the porch.  There were 8 of us and the average age was 28.5-years-old, but it was still the kids' table.  I realized that, although Leni and I are in our 30's now and just became parents ourselves, it just may be a while before we graduate to the grown-up table.


And that's okay with me.


Keep It Real!