Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's Bronco Time!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:20 AM


Going to the Broncos-49ers game today! Leaving in an hour. First, have to dig our way out of the driveway. First time on the roads since Thursday at noon. 3 straight days in the house. Hopefully, the roads are clear "enough."

We're taking LightRail anyway.


PS - Is it OK to both hope for a win AND hope the Colts don't face us in the first round? ;-)

Update: SUCK!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions for 2007!

posted by John Blanco @ 3:07 PM


Holy shit it's 2007 already? :-) One of my favorite times of year. Yes, I dislike New Year's as a holiday, but I love the resolutions. The last two years' worth have gone well and perhaps may be the reasons why I am a college graduate and a solver of Rubik's Cubes. ;-)

Before I begin, let's make one thing clear. The biggest change in 2007 will be fatherhood. Rest assured, I am prepared for the change. Since making up a 2007 resolution like "be a great dad" or "change 10 diapers" are either stupid or obvious, my resolutions will not include such things.


So, if they sound superficial, that's because they are. They are fun! So deal! *cough* OK, without further ado, my 2007 resolutions:

1) Learn how to play, and win one game of, Go.

A few months ago, I bought a book on Go. I have never seen, touched, played, or have any idea how Go is played. I want to learn Go. My goal is to learn it completely from scratch and win one online game.

2) Pay off all our remaining credit card debt.

I want to bring the American Express bill to ZERO. At this point, we would have no unsecured debt and can begin saving and investing extra money each month. I want to reach this mark soon.

It is a very import financial step.

3) Teach Cedric baby sign language.

This is the one baby-related resolution, because it is totally optional. US law states that I must feed, shelter, and change the diapers on my baby. Nothing says I must teach them sign language. :-)

For over a year I have told Michele that sign language would be my pet project for baby Cedric. I've seen first hand how effective it can be. I'll learn and teach it to Cedric very early.

My resolution is to have baby Cedric relay THREE signs to me correctly. OK, Cedric, your sharing responsibility for this one. Ya ready, kiddo?

4) Play DDR 100 times.

Sounds weird. The point is exercise. With a baby on the way, I can't be lax. So my goal is to play 100 DDR games. That's at least a half-hour session -- no easies. :-) This will be good for staying fit.

5) Learn how to type.

Yes, I said it. I can't type. I've been called the "fastest hunt-and-pecker" in the world by some of my peers and college mates. This year, I need to learn to type for real. This will be VERY difficult. But, this is a perfect resolution. I love these challenges.

My goal is to reach 50 WPM. (I don't know, does this seem reasonable?)

6) Obtain at least one work certification.
I'm sort of an old-time programmer. I prefer typing all my code out by hand, I prefer cohesive development languages instead of robust environments, and I prefer a more eclectic knowledge of languages to being good at any one thing.

I hope to change that this year. I'd like to keep my focus strictly on Java and Ruby. And I hope to obtain a Java certification, likely in something JSF related. Maybe? I want at least one to get me going.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Look Back at my 2006 Resolutions

posted by John Blanco @ 5:18 PM


As 2006 comes to a close, it's time to look back and see how I did on my resolutions. :-)

1) Become a dad.

Almost done! ;-) Three months to go, so cross your fingers all stays well! Baby Cedric is due March 17th, 2007! Want the proof?

2) Complete Chess Avatara and try to turn a profit.

Not done. However, Avatara did take a dramatic turn in 2006 when I converted the front-end to Flash. This was SMART. Development accelerated and I was actually able to login and play games on the system and move around and such. Development stopp this summer, however, as I took up a second job to help pay off some debt before Baby Cedric.

Avatara will make a reappearance sometime in the indefinite future.

3) Continue my ban on Wal-Mart. Ban Target. Purchase a membership to CostCo and do my big box shopping there.

I did very well with this. First, I never set foot in Wal-Mart. Check! Secondly, Michele and I want to target about half a dozen times. That's less than once a month. Very good. Thirdly, we did buy the CostCo membership and we loved it! We shopped there once a month for the things we need and love the prices and service.

We'll be renewing this January.

4) Volunteering my heart out to get Bill Winter voted into office in the CO-6 district.

Accomplished...though, Bill Winter was defeated by Tom Tancredo in the November election. :-( Still, Michele and Vincen and I did many yard sign trips, attended a house gathering with Bill held by my boss, and I even generated some support for Bill at our office amongst the less politically inclined.

Twas a good run!

5) Witness the 2006 election results at a Democratic party of some type. :-)

Check. We attended the Bill Ritter gubernatorial election party and it was a good choice, he is our new Colorado governor!!!

6) Read at least 5 political books this year, including My Life by Bill Clinton. (A billion pages!)

Done. Read 9 in fact, including Bubba's 1,000-page tome:

  • The Raw Deal :: Joe Conason
  • The United States of Wal-Mart :: John Dicker
  • Blinded By The Right :: David Brock
  • Crashing The Gate :: Jerome Armstrong & Markos Moulitsas Zuniga
  • Don't Think of an Elephant :: George Lakoff
  • The Truth (With Jokes) :: Al Franken
  • The Exception To The Rulers :: Amy Goodman
  • Against All Enemies :: Richard Clarke
  • My Life :: Bill Clinton

7) Register and consult with CSU (Colorado State University) about finishing my degree beginning Fall '06 -- if it's possible.

Well blows me the story here! I not only consulted with CSU -- I GOT MY BACHELOR'S DEGREE!!!! :-D

8) Be able to solve a Rubik's Cube, from any position, in 2 minutes.

Done! Solved it in a minute and a half just a few months ago. :-D

9) Make inroads into organizing our finances so that our money works for us, not us for our money! I must take at least 3 concrete financial steps -- including retirement plans and investing -- this year to accomplish this goal.

Done! We took the following financial steps:

  • Started a 401K.
  • Opened up a trading account with ScotTrade.
  • Taken a second job and have reduce our credit card debt to less than a fifth of what it was! We anticipate paying it off within a couple months -- before Baby Cedric arrives. :-)

10) Avoid using an InsureWorx paper cup for the whole year! I've been wasteful. I will use my official InsureWorx ceramic cup instead. :-)

Done! I used one paper cup all year, and that was to house some popcorn I grabbed from the kitchen. :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Is Over Already? NOOOO!!!!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:55 AM


Wow, today is the 26th. Wow, Christmas is over. And it's been a long time since I blogged. Really, I mean, my last real blogging has been the NY vacation in review. But now, it's time to get back in the groove, so let's go...

With Michele and I "done" with our Christmas shopping to go into last week, everything was hunky-dory. And going home Tuesday from work, all was normal. Normal? Enough of this normalcy!

Word broke Tuesday that a blizzard was coming in Wednesday. Michele and I worried about the weather Wednesday morning -- and we were not dissapointed. The next morning, just as we discussed if we should take the day off because of the threat of snow, we went to the front window and realized it was no longer a threat. It was very real.

A ferocious snow was starting and it DID NOT let up until after noon on Thursday. I took THREE days off work total because of it. Much of that time was filled with reading tutorials as I don't have much vacation time to spare for freakin' snow. :-)

For three days, Michele and I did the following to pass the time trapped in our house by the over 2 feet of snow:

  • We played the original Legend of Zelda
  • We solved the original Legend of Zelda
  • We played Wii altogether
  • I solved Contact for Nintendo DS
  • I played a lot of Call of Duty 3 for Nintendo Wii
  • We cleaned up the garage
  • I put some of my old video game systems into storage
  • I created a new blog
  • I finally finished some Rainer work
  • I worked on the Adventure Club Web site
  • We backed up our digital photo albums
  • We downloaded our NY video camera movies

So, got some work done. But, the real fun was hanging out with Michele for 6 days. :-) Prolly our last time together for an extended period before little Cedric comes along. We had a lot of fun and it was sad to have to leave for work this morning. :-)

Anyway, Michele and I did get out of the house a times at the tail end of the blizzard. And it was usually hectic. We went to the mall for a couple last-second gifts for each other and went out to dinner on Christmas Eve. (Scary! It was snowing again!)

For Christmas, we woke up in the morning and did our traditional stocking and gift exchange. Michele got me Final Fantasy III for DS, cute teddy bears, a statuette of 2D from Gorillaz, some Christmas ornaments, and a ton of chocolate. :-) Michele has all the detail here.

At around noon, we headed over to the in-laws' house. They prepared a big feast that was basicaly a Thanksgiving meal except there was chicken instead of turkey. :-) it was delicious! Dessert was even better with cupcakes (which Michele made) and cookies (from Shannon) and ice cream!

The present exchange went a little more sanely than last year...I made out with some clothes, Happy Feet for the Wii, a Pirated of the Carribean chess set, and some gift cards and cash. So, we have some shopping to do this week. :-)

So, back at work this morning. It's dead in the office, so I'll get stuff done. Except this blog, which came about during mini-breaks. Now, back to full throttle!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:13 AM


Merry Christmas to all! Enjoy your holiday! You have work tomorrow, you know. :-)

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Triforce Quest!

posted by John Blanco @ 10:30 AM


I have started a new spin-off blog called the TriForce Quest. My goal is to replay all of the Zelda games.

On every system.

As I go, I will keep a written history. I will also update a timeline with the story and my theory of the order of events. It should be fun. :-)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Shovelin', Shovelin'

posted by John Blanco @ 7:59 AM



Shovel Madness

posted by John Blanco @ 7:58 AM


Here's our driveway. Day #2 of Blizzard '06. The snow is still coming. I just shoveled and my gosh I'm tired.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Snow Days?!

posted by John Blanco @ 5:53 PM


Wow, it takes a lot to knock me out of work for a couple days straight due to weather. However, that happened today!

Colorado is being hit by a blizzard of massive proportions. Our airport is shut down. Our highways are shutting down. There are people stranded in their cars and in the airport.

People who arrived this morning by plane were told they can't get their luggage because the planes can't approach the terminal. People who had their flights cancelled are also being told the same thing -- their baggage can't be returned quite yet.

It's a mess!

My co-worker, Dorrie, was supposed to have her in-laws arrive today from Texas. I'm not sure if they made it (Mike, you out there?) or not, but if their flight was anywhere in the afternoon then I'd say no. Otherwise, they are here and have no luggage??

I already called in and am skipping work tomorrow. Luckily, I don't have any pressing deadlines, so if the timing for this thing can be considered good -- then it's good.

Just 4 days til Christmas, can ya wait??

Saturday, December 16, 2006

An abortion story (or what I say to pro-lifers)

posted by John Blanco @ 11:05 PM


This Daily Kos blog was so moving, I had to link it here. It's a must-read:

An abortion story (or what I say to pro-lifers).

Wii With Me!

posted by John Blanco @ 6:37 PM


For anyone who has a Nintendo Wii and wants to link up, here is my information:

Wii Blanco - 1858 0988 6506 5514

To register, enter in my Console # and Name in your Wii Address Book. Respond to this post with your own information so we can link up! To get your Console #, go to your Address Book and hit the left arrow to look at the cover page.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Solved My First Wii Game!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:02 PM


I solved Rayman Raving Rabbids tonight. :-) First Wii game I've solved. W00t!

Monday, December 11, 2006

For The DDR Fans Out There...

posted by John Blanco @ 4:51 PM



Monday, December 04, 2006

Day #1 - Arrival! Passing By Shea Stadium

posted by John Blanco @ 9:40 PM


We arrived in NY in the early morning of November 21st. We were greeted at the gate by my sisters, Pam and Susan, and my nephew CJ. They were actually waiting at the wrong door, and the funny thing is that we were looking for each other and I walked right by Susan -- she'd died her hair black (she's blond normally) and I only recognized her after I heard Michele say, "Susan?" and I'd heard her voice. :-)

The drive home to see my mom took a while. Traffic was heavy and we got a little lost on the way. I snapped the pic of Shea Stadium as we passed by.

UPDATE: Michele's blog has more pictures. See it here.

Day #1 - Me and My Mom

posted by John Blanco @ 9:38 PM


We made it home a little past 8. We were sooooooooooooooo tired! Said hello to my mom who was at Susan's house and played a quick game with CJ and then essentially went back to Pam's to sleep. (We were staying there during the trip.)

We slept til past noon. We hadn't slept at all on the red-eye flight. My voice was also getting scratchy, with I took as my lack of sleep...but it turned out to be a cough I had THE WHOLE TIME WE WERE IN NEW YORK!

Day #1 - Some NY Pizza!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:37 PM


For dinner, Michele and I went to my mom's to have a special dinner. She can't get around too well right now because of recent medical nightmares, so we ordered pizza in. Just us and my dad. However, my dad doesn't get home from work til about 8:30, so we ordered some pizza and chatted the night away until he got home.

The pizza was great. ;-)

It was really the first time Michele and I and my parents spent quiet time together. No kids, no siblings, no in-laws, etc. It was a good time.

Did I mention the pizza was amazing?

Day #2 - Putting the Lights Up

posted by John Blanco @ 9:36 PM


We passed by "The Tree" in Rockefeller Plaza. They were still a good week from having the lights displayed, so i got some pics of the workers on the scaffolding doing the chore.

Man, look at all those lights!!!

Day #2 - The Tree Still Nude

posted by John Blanco @ 9:35 PM


Here's a pulled back pic of "The Tree."

Day #2 - Toys R Us World Store!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:34 PM


The next day, we went on the first of three trips to Manhattan! This first trip we went with Pam. Lucky for us, she's a cop and got us on the train for free. :-)

We went to midtown, where we've gone many times before but we had better ideas this time. We hit some new places, including the Toys R Us World Store! It's a big place, and right in Times Square. The highlight is a huuuuuuuge T-Rex thing-a-ma-jig that roars every 10 minutes or so. It was so creepy. :-)

After coming home, we went to Cheesecake Factory (Mmmmm, nachos!) and then Susan's for a while to finish off the day.

Day #2 - Yummy Pretzel in Manhattan

posted by John Blanco @ 9:33 PM


Michele and I posing in front of some balls. Christmas balls! The bulge in my cheek is a NY pretzel. Normally I'd say "Yummmm!" here but in all honesty I think they are disgusting. (I was hungry, though.)

Day #2 - My Sister, Pam, at Jamba Juice in Manhattan

posted by John Blanco @ 9:32 PM


As my cough was noticably getting worse, I seeked out a fruity haven to get a vitamin OD. Sure enough, we found Jamba Juice! Pam never heard of the place, but it turns out that the only Jamba Juices in New York happened to be in Manhattan. :-) She liked it.

So did my cough...but not for long, it never went away.

Day #3 - Thanksgiving With The Blancos!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:31 PM


Ah, and now the reason why we were in New York...Thanksgiving with the family!!! This pic is of Carolann, my sister-in-law, and Pam. Susan and Al graciously hosted the dinner and we had 17 people!! A huge buffet with outrageously delicious food. :-) Oh, I miss New York cooking!

We had 3 turkeys...

Day #3 - Thanksgiving Family Photo

posted by John Blanco @ 9:30 PM


The family photo to cap the night. From left to right: Sal (Al's new brother-in-law), Dad, Theresa (Al's sister), Ed (Al's dad), Susan (Sister), Doris (Ed's wife), Al (Brother-in-law), Michele, Mikey (Nephew), Christopher (Nephew), Carolann (Sister-in-law), Me, Tyler (Nephew up above), Anthony (Nephew down below), Pam (Sister), Mom, Mike (Brother).

Day #5 - Long Train Back To Manhattan

posted by John Blanco @ 9:29 PM


On Saturday, we went on our second trip to Manhattan. This time, we went down with one of my bestest friends, Glenn, and his girlfriend who I met for the first time, Danielle.

They showed up at Pam's place at about 9. Danielle is real sweet -- Glenn got lucky. And I'm not just saying that because Danielle might be reading this. ;-)

We took the train downtown from Tarrytown ($15 per person, round-trip). We took bunches of pics on the train and then arrived at Grand Central 45 minutes later. From there, we seeked out the mecca of all happiness and joy:


We had a blast! Games, clothes, toys, etc! Everything! I bought a lot of stuff (I'd go back to get more later...) and Glenn and I had a field day. You can see my new 1UP hat in the other pics. :-) (Look for the green one.)

From there, we headed to the south part of the island, Greenwich Village, to meet up with Calabro and his girlfriend, Theresa.

(Feminist's Note: I am not referring to the ladies as "girlfriends" of the men because they are possessions. I merely use the term because Glenn and Chris are longtime bestest friends to me and I was meeting both of the ladies for the first time.) ;-)

Day #5 - Nintendo World Store!!!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:28 PM


HAPPY HAPPY, JOY JOY! This pic is of me on the stairs. I love the silhouette effect. :-)

Day #5 - The Boys and Girls

posted by John Blanco @ 9:27 PM


From left to right: Glenn, Danielle, Theresa, Chris, Michele, and Me.

Day #5 - Glenn Mugging Me In Subway

posted by John Blanco @ 9:26 PM


On our way down to Greenwich, I got mugged on the subway. I mean it! I swear! Here's the photographic evidence!

(I assure you that it's not actually my friend, Glenn.)

Day #5 - In Washington Square Park (See The Arch?)

posted by John Blanco @ 9:25 PM


After meeting up with Chris and Theresa at Union Square Park, we walked southwest to Washington Square Park. My big reason for coming here was that this is where a young Bobby Fischer learned how to play chess -- by watching the homeless people play. We never did find chess boards, but we had something else to do.

This is also where the famous arch is. This is featured in lots of NY-based movies. You can see it in "Barefoot In The Park" to name one. We took TONS of pics in front of the arch, here's just one of them. :-)

Day #5 - Magnolia Bakery In Greenwich Village!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:24 PM


Michele and I made it a point to go see Magnolia Bakery. It first came to our attention when we saw the legendary SNL skit "Lazy Sunday," a Digital Short featuring Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell. It was also featured on Sex and the City!

Magnolia Bakery is famous for their cupcakes. They are the best in town!! In fact, they are so famous, there is always a line wrapping around the block. It's amazing! We got about 18 cupcakes to share with the family.


Day #5 - Waiting In Line With Theresa, Glenn, and Danielle

posted by John Blanco @ 9:23 PM


The line for Magnolia Bakery was about 25 minutes long. WOW! Here we were waiting. :-)

Day #5 - Happy Pic On Train To Tarrytown

posted by John Blanco @ 9:22 PM


After saying our goodbyes to Chris and Theresa who took the subway to Brooklyn where Theresa lives, the rest of us took the train back to Tarrytown. We took some goofy shots while on board -- here's the uber-happy shot. :-)

Day #5 - Glenn and Danielle Asleep (HA!)

posted by John Blanco @ 9:21 PM


And about 20 minutes later, they were asleep. Bua ha ha! I snarked this photo onto Danielle's MySpace page as well. :-)

Day #8 - Ground Zero

posted by John Blanco @ 9:20 PM


A few days later, it was BACK to Manhattan once again! The first place to go was Ground Zero. I'd been to New York, alone, in September 2001 just after 9/11 -- when I'd been laid off at my job (the company went OOB on 9/11) and just days after breaking up with my then-quasi-girlfriend. It was a sad time, especially with the disaster.

I wanted to go to Ground Zero then, but it seemed inappropriate to join in with the throngs of gawkers. In hindsight, I regret it. However, we made it a point to go this time.

Basically, what you'll find at the former site of the World Trade Center is a viewing platform and construction. The viewing platform was created some years back to help keep the crowds at bay while business continued as usual nearby. The platform has a 9/11 timeline and pictures, but the real gravity hits you (ironoically) when you turn your back to it.

Behind you is something amazing -- the routine. Banks, delis, etc. All operating as if nothing never happened, but it's amazing to think that just 5 years ago, this was the site of terror and mayhem. What was it like to be sitting at the dei eating a turkey sandwich when the plane hit? It's amazing to think about. On top of that, seeing pictures back from that day and recognizing the scenery is amazing.

Afterwards, we did indeed go eat at the nearby deli. It was gross, by the way. (Stage Door Deli, avoid it like the plague.)

Day #8 - The Brooklyn Bridge

posted by John Blanco @ 9:19 PM


Nearby the site of the WTC, you can see the Brooklyn Bridge. This famous bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn together. (There are other options, too.) Michele took this picture and I really like it!

Day #8 - The Daily Show Line To Get In (We're #169!)

posted by John Blanco @ 9:17 PM


And now, the REAL reason we were downtown for the THIRD time this trip...We attended the taping of The Daily Show!!! WHOOOO!

Located on the West Side, we headed to the studio after our sightseeing. We had to wait in line about 2 and a half hours. The tickets are free, but it's first-come/first -serve, and they overbook intentionally to insure a full house.

When we got in to the studio, we were amazed at how small it looked. They seat you where they seat you, and it didn't take long to get things started. First, a stand-up comic warms up the crowd. The guy was really good. :-) He gets everyone in a rage, and then Jon Stewart comes out for a meet and greet. Jon was hysterical off camera, a really great comedian's mind!

The show films quickly. There aren't multiple takes, it happens FAST! The only delay was when they set up the stage for the closing spot, which was Tom Waits (the guest) doing a musical performance. I really liked it, though Michele was sour on Tom Waits being the guest. She was just angry though because the next day's guest was GEORGE CLOONEY!

Doh! Off by a day! ;-)

Day #8 - At The Daily Show Studios!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:16 PM


Day #8 - Theresa...ROOOWWWWRRR!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:15 PM


After The Daily Show, we met up with Chris and Theresa. I'm glad we did, because we almost didn't! Luckily, they both made it and after Michele and I did some quick shopping in our last minutes in Manhattan, we had dinner at a place called Vynl. The theme was, uh, vinyl records. :-) It was very hip and even had GREAT FOOD! Michele and I each had the fried chicken -- yumm!

Here's a pic of Theresa when she gets in girl fights.

Day #8 - Michele And I @ Vynl

posted by John Blanco @ 9:14 PM


The cutest couple in the world, no? :-)

Day #8 - Chris and Theresa @ Vynl

posted by John Blanco @ 9:13 PM


Chris and Theresa...what a bunch of meatballs! :-)

Day #10 - Michele, Tyler, and Me

posted by John Blanco @ 9:12 PM


On the last day we were scheduled -- SCHEDULED -- to be in New York we went up to East Fishkill to visit my brother's new home. They'd moved there just after our last NY trip.

The house was really nice. It's surrounded by these old pine trees and during the summers the regular trees fill out in back and the whole place is enclosed. It's a surreal and cool feeling.

Inside, the house had plenty of room and was well layed out. When we went up, Carolann was there and we chatted for hours before my brother and nephew showed up at around 3:30. Carolann was cooking chicken cutlets for dinner and my brother and I left a little later to pick up my other nephew from school late where he was practicing for a play.

After dinner, the kids did their homework and my brother and I had a rival game of Madden 02 on GameCube. :-) The game went down to the wire, but he was able to hold on in the end. DANG! Beaten by my brother? Unheard of!!

He dropped us off at about 10 PM and Michele and I prepared to enjoy our last night in New York.

Day #10 - My Nephew, Tyler

posted by John Blanco @ 9:10 PM


Tyler's even tinier in person. :-)

Day #11 - First Time Seeing Grandma In 11 Years!

posted by John Blanco @ 9:09 PM


On what we thought would be our last day in New York, Michele and I said our goodbyes to Susan and the kids and then went over to my mom's place to await the arrival of my grandma from Florida.

Completely coincidentally, she planned her trip at the tail end of ours. If luck was on our side, we'd get to see her for a couple hours. Michele had never met her, and I hadn't seen her since I was 19 years old -- when she came up with my grandpa when my mom had her cardiac arrest and I was going to Colorado State University at the time.

Thanks to some bad luck, her flight was delayed an hour -- however, we got to see her for just over an hour before we had to go! We had good times...and we all enjoyed a traditional liqure (sp?) when she arrived. OK, it was nasty, but they enjoyed it. ;-)

At 4 PM, my brother showed up to take us to the airport and we said our goodbyes. Goodbye New York, we had so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cue the music...da da da, dum dum...

Day #12 - Me, Dad, and Al On Line To See Ron Guidry

posted by John Blanco @ 9:08 PM



Not so fast! Michele and I had a nightmare night on what was supposed to be our last day in New York. Here's what happened:

My brother picked us up at 4 PM to bring us to JFK airport. Along the way, Michele called in to see if the flight was running on time and found out it was in fact an hour and a half delayed. It was to leave at 9:30 PM. Crap, we have a long wait ahead of us.

It took a while to get to the airport, about an hour, and when we did my brother dropped us off and we said our goodbyes. He dropped us off at Terminal 4. We walked into the gate and looked for Jet Blue...

And looked...

And looked...

No Jet Blue. In fact, Michele had objected to the determination that Terminal 4 was where we had to be when she said we were supposed to go to Terminal 6! Sure enough, Terminal 4 is an international terminal. We were in the wrong place. :-(

Lucky for us, however, we weren't in the typical "You're screwed!" airport in New York and JFK actually had an AirTrain that went between the terminals. We found our way to it and were able to take it to Terminal 6. No problem. Just some extra walking, but we were where we needed to be.

Once at Terminal 6, we checked in (shoes off!) and had some dinner. We had cheeseburgers...and they were a lot greasier than we'd have liked. Then, we headed to Gate 22. We follow the signs and realize, hold on just a sec, we're headed down a dead-end hallway...

The security guard said Gate 22 is actually a shuttle bus away. What?! We had to take a bus to this particular Gate! So, we walk to the bus (waddled in Michele's case, as she's getting very pregnant now) and took it to the Gate.

We get to the Gate and hang out for a while. The Gate is marked for "Boston" because our flight is so delayed. After a while, the woman gives the announcement:

"The plane for flight 98 to Denver is still sitting in Phoenix, Arizona. We will let you know when it has left the airport. Flight 98 has been delayed until 11:30."


So, we're sitting in New York and waiting for a plane that is in ARI-FRICKIN-ZONA to pick us up to take us to Colorado! AND IT IS STILL THERE!!!

So, we're looking at 5 hours of waiting at the airport. Dandy.

So, I start reading my Daddy-To-Be book and Michele is reading her magazine. We wait and wait and wait. The woman gives another announcement:

"The plane for flight 98 to Denver has left Arizona and is now en route to New York."

Whooo! At least we know there will be no more delays. Michele and I wait some more. And after, a couple hours, we go for a walk around the Gate to move our muscles.

After taking a restroom break, we're walking back and we look at the Departures on the TV:

"Flight 98 cancelled."


Our flight was cancelled. :-( We scurry to the gate to see what the heck is going on -- what happened to that plane??

We're sitting at the gate and Jet Blue seems incapable of explaining what's going on and what we need to do. How do we get home?? What a mess. After 5-10 minutes, a Jet Blue rep comes over to help and announces to the gathering crowd that we need to reschedule and to call 1-800-JET-BLUE. He said there were still available seats on the next morning's 8 AM flights. He also says our luggage is being release back to us (like this is supposed to make us feel good) and if we don't want it released back to use yet, to go to the Gate Services area and tell them to keep it held.

I immediately fish for my phone and start calling 1-800-JET-BLUE. Depressed that we may not have any options available to us, we hope that we can at least get a morning flight. I tell Michele I can stay at the airport all night, but Michele is more concerned that her pregnant frame can't sleep on the floor and she's probably right.

Still on hold with Jet Blue.

15 minutes of holding later, I talk to the rep and explain my situation. She checks the 8 AM flights and says they are now full and we didn't call in time. WHAT?! You didn't answer in time, lady!!!! The woman says she needs to put me on hold while she checks the 8 PM flights.

Now I'm on hold again -- meanwhile, we're being chased out of the Gate area we were in that I had sniffed out when I needed silence to hear my phone.

After 10 minutes, the woman gets back on again. There's a big rush on those flights, but she says I need to go to gate Services to reschedule. WHAT?!?!?!? The guy gave the wrong info!!!

Michele and I run (and/or waddle) to Gate Services!

The line is long. Oh my god, when are we EVER going to get a flight?! We're waiting on line...waiting...for about 15-20 minutes. Then, the doofus from earlier who said to call 1-800-JET-BLUE comes over to the line again. Haven't you done enough, doofus?

He tells us that the "other" line is just about empty and some of us should go there. I don't hesitate and immediately take off. Michele follows. We get to the line and we're immediately 2nd! Awesome, at least we can get this done with.

We wait.

And wait.

Having a conversation with the woman in front of us who's trying to get to Tampa but her flight is 5 hours delayed.

20 minutes -- for two people!! Finally, we get to the rep. We tell her what's going and on and she gets us reserved for the next day's 8 PM flight.

Now, the real problem. Where do we go? After much debating, I call up Chris to see if we can maybe take the Air Train to Theresa's in Brooklyn. Well, that was going to be too much of an adventure. So, we call Pam...and saves us.

We get home way past midnight. WHAT A NIGHTMARE! 8 hours and we're still in New York! One more day I guess...


On the last day in New York, we spent more time with my grandma and sister, Pam. Then, at around 2, my brother-in-law Al and my dad drove us to the airport -- but first we stopped at Last Licks. Al got a signed autograph from Ron Guidry, and I got a pic of them together.

From there, we went to the airport where we spent 4 hours waiting around and then we got on the plane to Denver...

Where we waited on the tarmac for 45 minutes!

But, FINALLY, we were off! And 4.5 hours later (the flight was slower due to winds), we were in freeze-your-ass-off cold Denver, Colorado.

The End. :-)

PS - Oh, we had trouble getting out of the parking spot at the airport due to ice. :-) OK, now really, THE END.