Cats & Cactus

Cacti: The only cat-proof house plants.

A Metaphor

It was snowing. I thought, "What would be the most usual thing to find in the snow?" A pineapple popped into my head. Rob said it's a metaphor: I am the pineapple, having grown up in Hawai'i.

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Soup

 

 

The stomach flu is a horrid illness. Constantly needing to purge out both ends - Give me any other sickness!

As someone who rarely vomits, it truly is hell on earth.

This is my first meal that isn't apple sauce, dry toast, and Pedialyte.

Miso soup with buckwheat soba noodles.

 

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The Boulder Star

Every middle of November, a string of lights is erected in the shape of a star on the side of Flagstaff Mountain. You can see it twinkling from miles away - a happy reminder of the holiday season. It's always fun to make the trek and see it up close.

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Turquoise Arches

Did you know that there are only 4 McDonald's in the world with different color variations of the classic golden arches? In California, there is one with black arches, in France and Belgium, 2 with white arches, but in Sedona, there is one with an intriguing turquoise hue. Sedona, like Santa Fe in New Mexico, has very strict design rules for buildings. They must blend in with the surrounding landscape, or at least compliment it. 

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Margaritas

There is nothing better than margaritas in the cocktail world, but only if made with fresh limes, and fresh orange juice. Triple sec (in my humble opinion) taints the bright flavor profile of lime juice, while orange juice lets it shine. I like Tropicana just as much as the next guy, but that pure, fresh squeezed sweetness is unparalleled. 

 

1.5 oz 100% agave tequila (blanco, reposado, anejo…)

.5 oz agave nectar (simple syrup will lend a cleaner taste but agave is better for you!)

1 oz fresh orange juice

2 oz fresh lime juice

 

*Pro tip - add a little water to your lime juice to dilute it slightly, and chill beforehand.

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, give it a few good jostles, and pour into an ice filled glass. 

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Coloradan Suburbia

I used to get so excited when I saw deer in Boulder, but quickly came to realize that they were commonplace. They are tame; dangerously so - I've seen countless injured deer because the sounds of cars just doesn't scare them.

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Mountain Waves

"A lenticular cloud is a lens-shaped cloud that normally develops on the downwind side of a mountain or mountain range. This occurs when stable, moist air flows over a mountain, creating a series of oscillating waves. If the temperature at the crest of the wave equals the dew point temperature, condensation occurs in a lens formation. As the air falls down the trough of the wave, where the temperature and dew point temperature are not equal, evaporation occurs. Thus, a wave cloud, or a series of lenticular clouds, is capable of forming."  - Weather Underground

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La Veta

After an amazing weekend in Santa Fe seeing Alvvays at Meow Wolf, I went west off I25 to the town of La Veta. It is a VERY tiny town of about 700 residents, which according to some locals I spoke to becomes even smaller in winter. The stores had began adopting their winter hours, closing at 5 PM. The hotel I stayed at, the La Veta Inn, was mostly empty. Tourism had obviously come to an abrupt halt. At 7,000 feet, most of the leaves were long gone. Everything was dead. I didn't know what to take pictures of. I knew I should have just driven straight home, I thought to myself, disappointed... But, I had to at least try. As expected, what little I got was decidedly underwhelming. Mediocre content can be saved with a little experimentation in editing programs, so at least I had a little fun making chicken soup out of chicken poop (a photojournalism saying that can be applied to many aspects in life!)

A bit of history: La Veta is most famous for being closely situated to the Spanish Peaks, two mountains formations that are National Natural Landmarks. Their indigenous name from the southern Ute tribe is "Wahatoya", meaning breasts of the earth. 

Radiating from the base of the West peak is a geological dike named Devil's Stairway (or Staircase, Stairsteps.) 

The last picture of Buffy

When I was 10, we came home from a party one night with a filthy and tick covered puppy who was fearful of tall men. Buffy had her quirks, but we loved her. She was a patient and gentle soul who could be full of energy and playfulness when you wanted her to be.

When I visited my parents in late June this year for my birthday, Buffy was approaching 15. She had a stroke a few months prior but looked to have made a full recovery. Old age had nearly taken Buffy’s hearing and sight, but she happily joined us on a hike along Oak Creek in Sedona which is where I took this picture.

It was earlier this month that Buffy developed a tumor on her throat. I thought I’d have a chance to see her one last time for Thanksgiving but the cancer was aggressively metastasizing. My parents made the difficult decision to put her down before it got any worse, scheduling the appointment for this morning.

My mom said she was peaceful and left this world quietly.

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Mt. Elbert

Twin Lakes is a gorgeous slice of Colorado that we camped at this past weekend. After going through Leadville (the highest town in the United States at 10,152 feet!), you continue on Highway 24 alongside the Arkansas River which is a beautiful drive in itself. Mt. Elbert is what overlooks the lakes. 

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The Flatirons

Ever since I visited Boulder for the first time, I fell in love with these unique geologic formations that make up a tiny yet stunning section of the Rockies. In a way, it reminded me of home on Maui. My favorite view of them is to the side, where you can see how they got their name.

Springtime can mean that Colorado's famed sunny days are nowhere to be found. Last night's rain brought low laying clouds to Boulder, gently enveloping the peaks in a serene mist...

 

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Nigel in the Studio

My once minuscule kitten is becoming a lanky little teenage boy cat. His blue eyes have gone green, and chocolate chip of a nose turned pink.

Nigel

Meet Nigel, a barn bred tabby kitten that I picked up from some lady on a farm in Arvada.

That day, October 6th 2015, would be a big day for both him and I.

As soon as we put him in the crate to take him home, it hit me that I now had an animal that I'd have in my life until I was quite possibly 40 years old.

He calmly sat in the crate the whole way back, not making a peep even once. I watched his tiny face from behind the wire door quietly observe his surroundings. A small sense of pride came over me; what an easy-going little guy!

Like a baby, he sleeps a lot, and is just the right amount of playful when awake. It's astonishing to see how much he grows week by week.

Snow / Night

 
 

The electricity went out in our building when we were having dinner.

The snow glows with faint ambient light from elsewhere. 

Toe chilblains aside, I am still captivated by winter. 

If you're wondering, yes, that is a baby bottle.

No, we do not have a baby!

At the restaurant Le Refuge des Fondus in Paris, they serve wine in them. 

It is my only souvenir from Europe other than some coins.

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Megan / Betasso Preserve

When a lovely girl you meet has pink hair and also is graciously willing to pose nude, you take advantage of it (Thank you Megan!).

I am always impressed by how easy it is to access seemingly remote wilderness in Boulder.

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