Aug 222017
 

Slick and I drove to the center of the path of totality for the solar eclipse. It was excellent and I’m glad we went to the effort. Here is an animation of the field where we parked, had a picnic and laid on quilts in the grass, staring at the sun through protective glasses.
Eclipse

Very cool. I know the traffic was terrible for many, but we were close to our goal to start and stuck to the back roads. There was about an hour total spent on gravel roads, but we had almost no traffic woes at all. That was nice.

Jul 122017
 

After a couple years’ break, Slick and I went to DCC again this year. We had a great time, probably in part because we spent less time at the actual convention than previous visits. In times before we’d hit every panel we were interested in and stay the whole day in the building, only getting free at night. This time, we decided that many of the panels were simply not worth the fuss. It is difficult to tell which ones will suck ahead of time, but our experience in the past gave us a decent suck-to-not-suck meter of judgement. We spent more time sleeping in, hanging out, looking at costumes, and wandering around the Denver downtown area. Between that, the fast moving lines, and some delicious and delightful detours, we have our system down pat.

Here are some photos, mostly in order.
Denver Comic Convention, 2017
Final Fantasy mage. Thought I was going to miss this guy, but he turned around, in pose, looking right at my raised camera right before I gave up.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
An adorable Squirrel Girl, and she held her photo pose like a pro!

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
Sweet.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
Very nice.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
I have no idea.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
Walking back to the hotel after the first after-party (so many parties all over!) we found ourselves behind a couple carrying a kitten each. Somehow, amongst the good music, tasty food, way too strong drinks (I am such a lightweight anymore) and general exhaustion from assorted merriment, this is the only photo I have from the night. Sometimes I find myself having so much fun and being broadly overwhelmed that I forget to take photos to remember what I was doing.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
While in a line.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
This guy was on two sets of stilts, hands and feet to pull of this costume. He was working hard, I saw him catch rest breaks, balanced on the stilts, between shooting sessions.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
Gender-bent Daenerys and crew, complete with baby dragons.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
What a mohawk!

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
Minotaur. If you can’t tell, the eyes are LEDs lit up. The victim cosplayer had a monopod stool to sit on for long shoots (like this one) and a Minotaur assistant (seriously, she was wearing a shirt with her title on it) to hold that big sword and manage the line of people who wanted photos with him. This photo was taken while in between guests.

Denver Comic Convention, 2017
This guy I saw while waiting in line at Starbucks, so pre-coffee obviously. I know I was tired from the night before because I found a part of my brain idly wondering why this guy wasn’t holding his box and what was he doing with this wrapped box in a Starbucks line that was so crowded. That was enough to actually make me look and see this was a dick-in-a-box costume. Hah.

This was a good mini-break for us. And thanks to our steadfast friend, Shplink for the daily cat care while we were away. With five spoiled cats, it was a necessary favor to ask and Shplink is a minor cat hero. Hero to us, just another human assistant/servant to the cats.

Feb 102017
 

First and most importantly, I have to say thank you to all my friends, who are so very supportive in so many ways. AmyKatt and Christina are at my figurative back, and helped gently push me into showing at an ArtWalk evening, whilst providing practical things like space, tables, walls, setup assistance and, literally, the brass tacks. Ymabean came and stayed for hours, helping me talk up my work with strangers, playing tag-in hostess, and being a fount of excitement and creative inspiration. Leialalani boosted the event on social media and followed through with an energetic visit and photography. Krisneener was unable to swing by, but texted her support. And finally, Dondee is one of those gifted people who constantly provides reinforcement, genuine compliments, appreciation, and at all times favors you with her endorsement and favor – she’s like the artistic fairy godmother you always wish you had.

One of the little sayings I live in my life is to fight your corner. Having friends like these in your corner makes it easier.

Here are two shots I took during setup. There were two more quilt additions and I never even took a photo of my table display, but this is something.

The first side people saw when they walked in.


The backside. It was fully lit for the event, with more quilts back there and more light. You get the idea.

At my side, as always, was my gorgeous Slick. He is the one who climbed the ladder to tack all those quilts up and helped me haul things in and out of the car. He was no help with finding stray threads, and for the best of reasons. He said, ” I think the threads are part of it.” I know, he’s sweet.

I hadn’t seen my quilts all hung together like this and it incites me to make more, although I am currently trying to work with clay and get a feel for it, so sewing, carving, and claying with all have to share my creative time.

Feb 012017
 

Hoarfrost covers Cheyenne today.

I love it when this happens. Everywhere you look you are now in a magical winter fantasy. The greater landscapes, long stretches of white fields and hills with puffy marshmallow sparkle trees, are amazing.

Jun 282016
 

This morning was full of fog and there was a lot of mist coming off Sloan Lake.
mist coming off Sloan Lake.
So, this ruled out any fancy sunrise shots. My hair was frizzy by the time I got home.

 Posted by at 7:33  Comments Off on Misty Morning
Jun 082016
 

Last week’s trip to Vedauwoo.
Vedauwoo
Gentle morning sunshine. It was still early, so it was chilly and I started off bundled into my hoodie and trying to keep my fingers warm.

Vedauwoo
The cold snow melt filling up the creeks and ponds made it cool, too. Everything was fresh and budding or blooming.

Vedauwoo
There were a few more people on the Turtle Rock Trail than I was in the mood for, so I hopped a creek and went off on my own. Good views, lots of quiet.

Vedauwoo
By the time I got this far, I didn’t need my hoodie anymore. Even this hawk was having fun on the thermals.

Vedauwoo
At the top. Between me and the TR massif you see behind me here is the trail (much lower) and the stream I hopped. No dorky hat today; I let my hair go free in the breezes, thus the tangles!

Vedauwoo
Lots of chipmunks out this day, although mostly in the more people-filled areas as far as I could see. I think they like cleaning up the picnic areas.

Vedauwoo
I had to get up early in the morning for this hike, as rain was expected by midday. The timing was perfect – the skies were clear for my hike, but clouds were seriously rolling in as I departed.

Jun 062016
 

My new bike and I are getting along splendidly. Sometimes, Slick and I go for short rides in the evening.
Lake Absarracca at sunset.
This is Lake Absarracca at sunset. The spring evenings are still cool now, soon they will be too warm for me to really enjoy.

Geese with goslings.
These guys were out enjoying the evening as well. The little goslings are so cute!

Our bikes Lake Absarracca at sunset.
Back from the short walk around the lake, our bikes looked rather picturesque, framed by foliage as they were.

 Posted by at 7:30  Comments Off on Bicycles
Jun 022016
 

Still over two weeks behind on this one. Cheyenne had its first Comic Convention mid-May. Since Slick and I are not going to the one in Denver, this was an easy sell for us. Comic convention during which we have a quick drive home and sleep in our own beds? Don’t have to arrange cat-sitters? Don’t have to pack a bag? Done deal.

The whole event was small, as is Cheyenne. It was held in Little America, which I am generally ambivalent about. I bring it up because the decor there is all reds and yellows, with yellow lighting and lots of sound absorption – which is all great for a homey feel in a hotel, but not so good for taking photos of costumes in hallways, as you will see below.

We missed the two panels we cared about and I didn’t catch the costume contest due to a schedule change at the last minute. We were bad attendees. So here are some pictures of costumed folks.
Cheyenne Comic Con, costumes
This chick was happy to have her picture taken. Her companion, out of frame, was disappointed to give up her slammer hammer for the shoot, which he’d been carrying when no cameras were out.

Cheyenne Comic Con, costumes
This guy was great. While he stood in that location, with the shadows down the next hallway, it looked like he was the guardian of the passage whom you had to pass. He was very friendly though.

Cheyenne Comic Con, costumes
Cardboard Chewbacca is still taller than me.

Cheyenne Comic Con, costumes
Slick, incognito with an eyemask AND glasses. No one will ever figure it out!

Cheyenne Comic Con, costumes
Variety of expressions; happy, mild, irritated.

Cheyenne Comic Con, costumes
Stan Lee lookalike! Seeing a Stan Lee alongside all the costumes seemed completely normal and expected.

Cheyenne Comic Con, costumes
Most excellent, even better if you play Ingress.

The whole event seemed to be well attended and the vendors looked happy, so I predict a sequel. If they have one next year, we’ll probably attend again. I enjoyed the smaller size and convenience of location.

 Posted by at 7:22  Comments Off on Cheyenne Comic Convention
May 282016
 

With the spring weather finally as stable as it was going to get, I went for hike in a new place two weeks ago. A coworker recommended Curt Gowdy State Park because they have lots of trails and he loved it there. I’ve learned that this coworker doesn’t give good recommendations, but I figured I could get a decent hike in, and I’d not been to this place before.

Curt Gowdy State Park
Sunny, morning arrival to the park. The visitor’s center has trail maps and the folks on staff will give you suggestions that match your goals for the day. When I went, all the lower, easy trails were flooded due to the heavy winter runoff, but I didn’t mind since I wanted a slightly tougher trail anyhow. Mind you, I’m not an overly fit person – I work a computer all day and a sewing machine for most the night. Chair butt is my figure. But, I can do a moderately challenging trail if I’m alone – when the going gets tough I go slow and take breaks. It might take me longer than others, but I get there all the same.

Curt Gowdy State Park
The park was busy cutting down trees. My trails were littered with cut down trees. I didn’t see evidence of beetle infestation or blight, but I’m hoping they were cutting down all their trees for some reason, especially since they don’t have too many trees there to begin with. Someone built a hovel out of some of these off cuts along the trail. Ugh.

I didn’t take too many pictures on the way up since there weren’t many good views. There were many switchbacks, which made the trail manageable, but halfway through, I realized there would be a much better view on the tougher trail. So, I changed it up for the better view, although my progress went slower.

Curt Gowdy State Park
At the top of this more scenic area, I sorted out how to work my self-timer. I have a remote for my camera, but didn’t have it with me, so this was the first timer use. Worked out well. Check out my dorky hat!

Curt Gowdy State Park
And I took some photos and stitched them together into a panoramic shot. You’ll have to scroll to see both sides, unless you have a very wide monitor.

The hike back down was uneventful and I was glad to get home. I won’t go back to Curt Gowdy for hiking; it is not my kind of place. That branch hovel is one example of why. I don’t go hiking to see the primitive outdoor projects other people have built to fuck with nature – I go to get away from people and see some nature. The whole park was that way – many signs, amenities, those damned stupid rock stacks everywhere, trash, overly marked trails, etc. The whole place was overly cultivated, like I often imagine parks to be before I’ve seen them, and usually after, too. The whole park was full of “trails” which were merely heavily used paths with lots of markings. Picnic tables, campgrounds, RV hookups, fishing spots, marked areas everywhere. There was even a snack shop by one of the lakes. And people! I came in the morning and there were already too many people; there were twice as many as I left.

Summary:
If you want to park your RV, have a big family picnic, fish with a hundred other people, or maybe be social in an outdoor environment with a lot of well-maintained grass, I recommend this park to you.

If you want to get out into some minimally-altered nature, without many people, and you’re fine sitting on a rock to eat your sandwich, I recommend Vedauwoo to you. That is where I’ll be.

 Posted by at 7:07  Comments Off on Hiking Curt Gowdy State Park
May 032016
 

The snow and cold wind over the weekend meant lots of workshop and sofa + movie time.
Sloans Lake, in Lion's Park, Cheyenne.
The weather finally sorted itself out long enough for Slick and I to have a bike ride. We made it through two parks and halfway around Sloans Lake before heading back. That was pleasant.

Budding tulips in my back yard.
The tulips survived the recent spring snow storms. They’re going to be good this year, I think. I feel like a little watercolor sketch of them is in order, to celebrate their continued survival.

 Posted by at 6:43  Comments Off on Spot of Spring
Feb 242016
 

The other day, I had cause to walk through the Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center. To my surprise the tourism office was open (WY locations are more likely to be closed on winter weekends) so I had to stop in for a quick look.
Colombian mammoth skeleton cast.
This is a cast of a Colombian Mammoth. They have an open tent, cot and gear on the ground level, as if it were a dig site, which provides an excellent sense of scale for the beastie.

I will definitely go back when I have more than a spare minute. There are more displays and neat, nerdy stuff to look at, read, indulge in whilst there. I recommend it already, but I’ll tell you more when I get a chance to go back.

 Posted by at 6:59  Comments Off on Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center