Monday, October 29, 2007

Boo At The Zoo!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:37 AM


Michele and I went to Boo at the Zoo yesterday with some friends and had a good time with Cedric who enjoyed his first trick or treating of his young little life. :-)

Here, we take a family picture. I played a guy choking. Michele was Eeyore with her little Winnie the Pooh. :-)

Awww, we're both so cute. ;-)

Cedric was really into the trick or treating. Here he is demanding he receive more Butterfingers. He really was a chocolate fiend.

Ah, some quiet time alone for the little fella. It was nice to have those meddling parents away for a little while. ;-)

Johanna was plant life, Arthur was Tivo. :-) (No, not really.) Their daughters, Jade and Jasmine, were Mother Nature and a geisha. Very cute!

Thad and Becky, seen here shortly after marriage counseling (at least the swords were plastic this time!) are seen with son, Fox, as the Pirates of the Caribbean crew. Two Jack Sparrows! That's the subject matter of the fourth part of the trilogy.

Cedric Says Hello!

posted by John Blanco @ 7:28 AM


Cedric! You gettin so big, kid! :-)

Baseball Roundup: How Bad Are The Cubs??

posted by John Blanco @ 6:21 AM


Another baseball season is over. Here's my little summary of the season and postseason as told by a disgruntled Mets fan.

The regular season was great for a long time. The Yankees played like puke and the Mets took an early and consistent control of the NL East. As the season wore on, though, the Mets were struggling. After a month of completely lethargic play, the Phillies and Braves were back in it. However, we got our sea legs again and swept the Braves out of it.

Unfortunately, we absolutely could not beat the Phillies, losing 8 straight to them, including two series sweeps. If we'd have won JUST ONE of those games, we'd be NL East division champs again.

Not to be.

Meanwhile, the Yankees signed Roger Clemens in a much publicized effort to get back in the race. His contract broke the record for salary. WHile pro-rated, he made more money per-game than anyone in sports history. Laughingly, he went 6-6 on the season with a 4+ ERA and his K/BB ration was merely 2-1. I think it's time for his retirement.

The postseason saw only one returning playoff contender from last year: the Yankees. Everyone else was new this year. And a hideous postseason it was. Here was the *exciting* first round:

Rockies sweep Phillies.
Diamondbacks sweep Cubs.
Red Sox sweep Angles.
Indians ALMOST sweep Yankees, 3-1.

OMG at least one of the losing teams won a freakin' game! Well, this really was highlight...watching the Indians sink the Yankees again, watching Clemens sink, watching A-Rod choke again in the playoffs...definitely the highlight.

Round 2 was a little better:

Rockies sweep Diamondbacks
Red Sox comes back from 3-1 down to beat Indians

These two series really highlight what's been going on in Colorado these last two weeks. The Rockies won something like 21 of 22 games! AMAZING! At the same time, the Red Sox made an epic comeback against the Indians that -- well -- changed their fate.

Last night, the Red Sox won the World Series. Had the Indians won one more game against the Red Sox, perhaps the blazing-hot Rockies could have won it. But not to be. And the Red Sox are certainly deserving. They beat the Rockies in 4 straight games when only one team in 22 chances could do it previously.


And that's your season. A-Rod has just declared free agency, so the Yankees may have lost their best hitter. Hot Stove League has officially begun!

See you next year!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mitt Romney's "Ethics"

posted by John Blanco @ 1:34 PM


"Because the world is looking at you, you're representing not only yourself but your country," Romney added. "The kids or America are looking at you. One piece [of instilling values] is acting the part, acting the part of higher ethical standards."

So, for example, don't tell lies and bomb the fuck out of non-threatening countries would be one of those ethical standards, right Mitt? Or are we talking about BJ's? Cause, no no no, the kids in the abstinence programs would never stand for that. :-)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Little Reminder of Why I Hate Republicans

posted by John Blanco @ 6:32 PM


This is a US Congressman. He is debating against SCHIP, a law Bush vetoed (it had pssed Senate and the House by huge margins) that would make so many more children eligible for healthcare in the absenceof their parents being able to afford it.

Just think, because your parents are poor, YOU have to go without healthcare. I find it heart-breaking enough that even the poor parents have to go without healthcare (so their first visit to the doctor will be major surgery instead of preventitive care), but the CHILDREN? The mother-fucking CHILDREN?

So, here's Mr. Republican. The pro-life party? The party of "moral fucking values"? My ass. And here is making up a funny little acronym for SCHIP, ON THE HOUSE FLOOR! He represents the United States. He is mocking a US Senator. Disgusting.

No Republican should represent the United States. They are disgraces.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Little Guy is Eating

posted by John Blanco @ 7:45 PM


Sometimes I realize that I don't post enough about my little fluffernutter, Cedric. I'm guilty of this because Michele posts lots of excellent items on her blog, Abstract Expression.

In the last couple weeks, our little guy has started eating food (he's been on a strict breastmilk diet since birth) and had his first swimming lesson. OK, more like a splashing lesson. ;-) But it was cute. hehe...

This weekend he will be going on a little jaunt with us to someplace unknown in Colorado. Michele and I need to relaaaaaaaaax a little. If anyone knows of any neat vacation sport in Colorado, let us know!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Elmore Leonard, Really?

posted by John Blanco @ 7:20 PM


It's occurred to me over the last few weeks that I really love to read during my commute. The revelation began when I decided to read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons (it is so hard for me, as a software developer, to not type daemons let me tell you).

I consumed it in less than a week. I'd read it while I walked to the bus, on the bus, on the train, and while walking to work. When I was done, I was sad. I had such a fun time, but back to work for me, right?

Well, no. I decided to finish the collection of my favorite author, Mr. Brown, and read Digital Fortress That also took about 4 days. So, done again. Today, I was quite bored on the train. Aside from doing real work, I missed reading.

So, I pored over our library this evening and I'll now read Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard. Funny story behind Mr. Leonard...I was turned on to him while reading books on writing fiction. I loved the style -- the excellent dialogue. So I bought this book, and I think I read the first several chapters, then stopped.

So, time to start again. Who knows, maybe I'll go through his whole collection, too, whilst I wait for Dan Brown's new book next year, The Solomon Key starring Robert Langdon once again. :-)

Monday, October 08, 2007

My wife is SO hot...

posted by John Blanco @ 9:34 PM


She is sitting here in bed. Exhaling. Moaning. In such a passion...tossing her hair around like a babe in a heavy metal video...she has a hot scowl and totally wants it.

She is playing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. I think it's the hottest thing ever. :-)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Race For The Cure Sunday

posted by John Blanco @ 9:43 PM


Please, please, don't rain. :-) Oh, and GO BRONCOS.

Update: - It didn't rain.

Update Again: - This is gonna be a looooooooooong year for the Broncos. :-/

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Goodbye, Old Friend

posted by John Blanco @ 8:05 PM


At 7:45 AM, this morning, I officially became no longer Chester's daddy. :-( I sold my car.

It was almost 10 years ago, during my last year at Colorado State University, that I bought him. I'd been working at my first career job (a UNIX System Administrator) for over a year and my poor fingers and toes had had enough of freezing during the cold winter bike rides to work. On top of that, I would soon be moving out, leaving college, and needing a car to get around in the wild jungle of downtown Denver.

I trekked out on my own looking to buy my first car. (Well, my *real* first car bought from my sister by my mom when I was living in New York and had since been sold since I was no longer there.) I walked along College Ave., looking for something I liked. I knew what I wanted. I'd seen it on TV. But I *owed* it to myself to at least LOOK at other cars.

I think I started at a Honda dealership, but left the salesman when I didn't see anything I liked. And then I went...there.

The Volkswagen Dealership.

It had been in the previous two months that I'd seen the commercial on TV. The VW Golf. I loved that commercial. And I loved that car. It was to be mine.

The same car. The same color. The same model. Here it is, preserved by YouTube after all these years. The very car I bought:

I walked to the dealership and talked to the salesman, David Meredith. He took me on a test drive. I'll never forget it. He drives me out of the busy area to a nearby neighborhood, and then lets me give the car a spin. There was only one problem:

The model was a stick shift. (DOH!)

No bother, "I'll teach you, it's easy," he said. So here I am. 21 years old. Test driving to find my first car. And the salesman is teaching me stick shift. :-) Needless to say, I didn't do all too well. But, not bad. I liked the drive anyway, and we got back to the dealership to buy my car!

VW had a great deal going regarding financing. If you were a college student who was graduating within a year, you could lease the car with no co-signer. This was GREAT as it would surely get me a credit score. And it did. Never once have I had to co-sign on anything. All thanks to Volkswagen getting me started.

I find it strangely ironic that I never did graduate within that year. It took me til 2006. ;-)

Anyway, I had to wait a few days for the right car to arrive at the dealership. Red with black interior. I entertained the thought of buying the "Da Da Da" CD, but never did. Good thing, the car didn't have a CD player. ;-)

I'll never forget that first drive home. I was neurotic. I was simply terrified to get in an accident on THE FIRST DRIVE. A brand new car should never be ruined by that kind of trauma. SURELY it's happened to someone. But not to me.

The early rides were electric. I constantly turned back to see my new car. It was like gold to me. Brand-spankin new and this blazing red. I was so happy and proud. The first drives accentuated the utility...MY GOD how it was so much easier to buy groceries and put them in the trunk rather than my bike's handlebars. ;-) I could buy things I never could before because of the weight. I could DRIVE to work. It was so awesome!

Soon after, I moved to downtown Denver and enjoyed 5 different jobs while driving my Golf. Ironically, two of those jobs I didn't drive it to. (My first job I walked to work, my current job I am transiting.) With the most recent job, in downtown Denver, it was time to part ways. 10 years together, but having a new Honda and having no need to use the VW for my work commute made the decision simple. That and the 100K+ miles I put on it.

Goodbye, old friend.

Over the years, I've named my car Chester. I named him that because several reviews of the Golf I'd read before buying it referred to it's body as "chunky." Most recently, Michele and I drove Chester everywhere we went. When we got the Honda (whom we dub Yoshi because we had to wait a month while it was built and delivered from Japan), we didn't drive Chester anymore. And when I left Fiserv, I wasn't driving him to work.

Time ran out on my friend.

So, this morning he was sold to a man named Emilio. Things are looking up for Chester, though. He'll have a family of four to carry around. Next week, he's also going to visit Mexico, where he was made! :-) I hope Chester enjoys the good times.

There will be no more stickers to show off. Chester, you have fun out there. Go give em another 100K of miles...and your love.