So long 2011!

Second post for the year, woot! Been a year full of good and bad, happy to see it end and move on to the next challenge. Working for Sympoz has been fantastic and is one of the best decisions I could have made personally and professionally. The people I get to work with are the best ever and I have learned so much more in 11 months than I did in the previous 8 years at my former job. Granted without the knowledge I gained in those 8 years I wouldn’t have been in a position to be where I am now.

This has been by far the busiest year of my life with work and other goals. I graduated from college finally, it took a really long time, but I always wanted to get it done and it’s D-O-N-E DONE! I do wish I had finished years ago, but better late than never right? Diploma is of course just sitting on my desk here at home, still in it’s protective cover. Maybe I should add to my todo list framing that puppy.

Speaking of college, on October 13, 2011 little Elvis passed away. He was 17. He came into my life as a tiny kitten that could curl up in the palm of my hand and sleep when I was going to school at CU Boulder. Elvis witnessed many changes in my life, lived at 5 different addresses with me and left behind a legacy of science test questions at Prairie Middle School thanks to Chad. It’s been a hard adjustment without him, when JJ passed away 4 years ago we still had a cat so the routine was still in place. Now we are cat free so those routines ended and it was tough to make those adjustments.

Kona-Bob is still crazy as ever, each year he mellows out a little more. He had trouble with Elvis passing away as well, but has come around and enjoys being the sole center of attention around the house.

Took a nice vacation in late Summer, spent a day in Vegas then a week in California with family. Rode the 100K ft ride again this year with Andrew, needed a shortcut this year as I just didn’t have it in me to do the full route. Had to skip RMIHR (aka the Scout show) because of the California trip, hope to make it next Summer. Put in ten days of skiing last season, which were some of the best ski days I have had in a long time. New skis help!

As I sit here fending off this end of year cold, I look forward to celebrating the new year and as always seeing what the future holds. Here’s to the new year! Considering the world is supposed to end next December, do something you’ve always said you’d do but never did. If you’ve done it all, try something new, or help someone else accomplish something great. Lastly, be good to yourself and the people around you.

Vegas Summer 2009 Post Mortem

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What can I say, Vegas is always a blast with friends. It really was not promising that we could go, but I did take the time off and booked a room on the chance we could make it work.

As the trip grew closer I kept my trap shut for the most part because I didn’t want to be pressured to go if it was out of my control. In the end, we decided it was a go and worse case we come back a day early.

We drove out to Vegas, took about 9.5 hours this time. Only one stop on the way and that was for gas in Green River, Utah. Once we reached Vegas we got checked in to the MGM Grand, then retrieved the car to head over the highway to In-n-Out. There is an In-n-Out in St Georg, Utah which is closer to Colorado, but in terms of location this is the best if you can’t be in California. If you do decide on IN-n-Out while in Vegas go to the on on Tropicana, it is the best.

After a double-double we headed back to the hotel and proceeded directly to Fat Tuesday in the star lane shops section of MGM Grand. That is accessed from the lobby. We bring out insulated mugs back each time for a discounted refill. I got my favorite mix of 190 Octane and Cat 5 Hurricane. At this point we had a rough idea of where people were supposed to meet and I monitored their facebook postings to find out what was going on. In the end I had to make a call to find out and was able to surprise a few folks.

The first night brought us to Ghost Bar at the Palms. It has an incredible view and seems like a neat place. It was dead and out group of about 20 constituted half the patrons in the place. We got in trouble for jumping on the window in the floor and a few other innocent things. I thought there were no rules in Vegas?

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After the Ghost Bar we headed to the Playboy club. Again, dead as a doornail and nothing risque. The bunny dealers were more covered up then most the cocktail waitresses on the casino floors. Again we made up the majority of the customers. I got out my phone to stream some video, security then chimes in “Sorry, no video, but you can take all the photos you want.” Now this guy was pretty cool because I was able to joke with him about how there really is no difference. I mean a video is just a bunch of still photos put together. They also had this platforms that were lit up for the dancing girls on certain nights. I guess they forgot to remove them. I got on on one and had my picture taken, later Brigette did the same. After that anyone who dared set foot on a platform was quickly escorted off of it. lame.

I think at this point we were all pretty far gone, got a limo back to MGM, then some drinks and bed!

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Day two was a usual routine for Renee and I, get up, get some food, fill our Fat Tuesday mugs and walk the strip. The only issue was that it ended up being 112 that day. It just kept getting hotter and hotter and hotter. So we spent more time in casinos than usual and didn’t hit all the places we like to go. However, one highlight was at the barbary coast big bills gamblin hall while getting a $2 hot dog and a 99cent margarita this druk guy tried to befriend me and asked for a dollar. Since it’s vegas and I was bound to lose the dollar somewhere I said okay, to which he replied, “I said $2 right?” He got his dollar, and we moved on. A few hours later we were coming back down the strip and ducked in at Margaritaville. There were a handful of wooden beach chairs inside and I look over and see this same guy totally passed out. I had to stop and take a picture. Hey drunk guy, thanks for a great memory!

The evening consisted of dinner, some folks hit the roller coaster at NYNY afterwards, then we met up down at the fountains of Bellagio…of course not before refilling our Fat Tuesday mugs again. From there we hit the new volcano show at the Mirage, I have to admit I liked the old one better. At this point some people went back to their rooms, the walk was too much. Not to mention it was still like 95+ out in the dark. A couple of guys had to leave the next day so we took the long walk back stopping in for cheap drinks. Along the way Jim ended up with a pitcher of beer in his hand and Ryan and Billy got these giant bottles of bud. I mean just huge. Of course I tried to get someone to buy the $32 80oz guitar drink. It looked just like a guitar, strap and all, but with a big straw and lots of booze. Shots were had, someone had trouble with theirs but I wont name names.

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Day three…LAZY RIVER! My feet were still tired so it was good we were hitting the pool. Chad n Wendi secured our favorite spot and we stayed cool in the shade and in the water. Many beers were consumed, nowhere near what was accomplished last summer, but based on the numbers it was a good effort.

In the evenins we hit Battistas, this is behind the barbary coast big bills gamblin hall. Italian food, even with a tinly old man playing the accordion. It was about $30 an entree with all the wine you can drink and a espresso for dessert. After dinner it was off to the forum shops at Ceasars, a little more Fat Tuesday, then back to the MGM for a couple drinks. We turned in early as we had to hit the road the next day.

All in all this was a fun trip, we could have done one more day, but as I always say, if you feel that way after leaving Vegas you stayed the right number of days.

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Hopefully Renee and I will make it out there again in the fall, if not, Little Brown has a birthday next year and I think it will be crazy.

PS.. Pictures can be seen here: http://www.jaygietl.com/v/trips/2009/07132009

A little spring…er…summer cleaning

For those that visit frequently you’ll see a new look to the site. I figured it was time for a change. Hopefully everything works okay. I also finally installed a spam blocker so now I wont need to spend so much time reviewing every comment posting and deleting 99.9% of them.

I recently uploaded all the pictures I took from the last Vegas trip. I have some videos I posted on You Tube as well.

Some other things to note, we picked up a new car, not unlike my old…um…current car. Okay, so if you aren’t aware I have way too many cars. One of which is a 2006 VW Passat. I leased it, the lease is coming up and we wanted to get Renee a car. After shopping around we actually though about buying out the Passat, but the residual is too high compared to market value. However, we stumbled upon a great deal and a great sales experience with Emich VW. We ended up getting a 2008 VW Passat, same exterior color of Deep Black but this time the interior color is classic grey. It has resulted in great confusion for the dog, but he’ll get over it.

The Scout will be done soon. I dropped it off in Penrose, CO back in early December 2007 to have some work done on it. When I get it back I will do a more formal post with what has been going on, but I got some more pictures today and it looks great. Once I get it back we well be heading to Rocky Mountain International Harvester Rendezvous. After that I need to finish up a couple items then get it into paint. I am still deciding on color(s) but I think I have it figured out. I think.

Lastly, well, I can’t think of a whole lot. We went to a party for a little bit on the 4th then met up with my parents to go watch fireworks. It was a great show, we sat really close to where they were being launched so it was really exciting.

I hope everyone is having a good summer and as I always say, lets get together soon!

Sin City 2008….the aftermath

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Well it’s been a few days now, I have totally recovered from 3 days of fun in Las Vegas. Yes, we were just there in March, but this was the “big Vegas trip” with everyone. Well not everyone because there were people who should have been there, but they weren’t.

Anyway, we got into Vegas all around the same time last Wednesday. Six of us were on the same flight out which was pretty cool. After a short cab ride to MGM Grand we got checked in and headed to our room. About an hour later we were grabbing food at Nine Fine Irishmen (which now has a Gluten Free menu!) at New York New York and then back over to Fat Tuesdays for a fillup. We also met up with Chad’s cousin who flew in from Chicago.

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Somehow that evening I became a tour guide for those that had not frequented Vegas as much as we have. We walked down the strip to about Ceasars Palace for a refill on the Fat Tuesday’s and to wreak havoc at FAO Schwartz. Afterwards our drunk asses hobbled over to O’Sheas and I think the Flamingo, or maybe Harrah’s. Oh, we also hit Barbar…er Big Bills. They have a new slot machine that replaced the old GIANT Wheel of Fortune machine. It is eBay, yes, there is an eBay slot machine. I was losing on it, I was down like $8 (pennies) and this lady next to me hit something that paid us all out. I got like $10, woot. Maybe it was the Jello shot or the second Fat Tuesday but there was a point I could no longer feel feelings and I think I wanted to just pass out. Still, I found a way back to the room and proceeded to sleep it off.

The next day consisted of about half the group hitting the pool and the other half (including Renee and I) doing our own thing. We hit the strip, worked our way down to Treasure Island slowly as we had been abruptly awoken by the sounds of hammers and phone calls. Did a little gambling, then worked our way back to MGM to take a nap then meet everyone for dinner.

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That evening we dined at the Burger Bar over at Mandalay Bay, then decided that we were going to head down to the Keno Lounge at Bally’s to do some gambling and some drinking. This is where the night got interesting. We waited until Little Brown and Baby Brown arrived in Vegas and headed towards Bally’s. Once we arrived we attempted to settle into the Keno lounge to play some keno, take a load off and get some drinks. Unfortunately, there is this jackass named Stu that works the Keno lounge at Bally’s. Little Brown ran into him the last time he was here. Maybe it has to do with working the keno lounge at 1am or maybe he is just a bitter bitter man.

The gaming begins, we buy the first ticket and we win..woot, $6 on a $2 ticket. I don’t think I have ever won at keno before…ever. So then we go buy another, and another. We’ve gone trhough three rounds, no drink service and we have already given back all our money. Keep in mind there are 8 of us, and if you keep us around we’ll spend a lot more money. We get another came or two under our belts and one of our group members heads to the bar to request a server. I head to the counter to buy the next game. Stu, the friendly guy he is, snaps at me and demands to see my id, I’m so flattered. I politely hand him my identification and he throws it back at me. To which I reply politely, thank you. I sit back down, the game proceeds and you can actually see Stu squirming in his seat. He gets up makes a call after the game ends then comes waddling out to us. He then DEMANDS that each of us plays a ticket every game otherwise, no drink service.

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If you have ever been to Vegas gambling, especially at slot machines, it’s no mystery people work the drink system. The casinos know this, but they also know, if they ply you with drink and you are happy you will spend money. Stu on the other hand has no comprehension of this idea. After his little tirade against us which was loud, finger pointing and just plain incredibly rude we decided to get up and leave. Of course a few people wanted to have words with Stu, but that would do nothing. We were all pretty miffed about being mistreated. It’s not like we were 19 year olds trying to sneak in and drink. One member of our group sought out the casino manager and talked to him. The manager of course was very apologetic and said what Stu did went against casino policy and as long as our group is spending any sort of money we should be offered drinks, no question.

At this point you may be saying to yourself, all this over drinks. We were a large group, we had a lot of money to spend this week, and a lot of places to spend it. We are all adults, and we are on vacation. If you want money from me, you are going to have to give me something in return, either a jackpot or a bunch of booze.

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After talking to the manager the buzzkill was complete and we decided to move on. One person had some chips we needed to cash in at another casino from the night before so we headed to O’Sheas to do that and watch some beer pong. Then back to MGM, some of us were still raring to go, but after a bit of sitting around and playing some video poker figuring out what to do Renee and I went to bed around 4am, the rest stayed up til dawn.

Friday morning we awoke to more construction above us. I was appalled. I failed to mention this before, but the afternoon before when we took a nap I called the front desk to complain about construction above us. I said there was hammering and a power saw. I was told by the hotel there is NO construction going on anywhere in the hotel and they would send security up to investigate and get back to me. I never heard back. So, back to Friday morning. Awoken by more hammering I call he front desk again to complain.

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I explain to them that this is the second morning in a row we are being brought from out sleep by this apparent construction. This time the front desk fesses up and explains that there is widespread renovations going on throughout the hotel. I then asked why were we not made aware of this at check in and had we known, we would have stayed elsewhere. Well doy, they want our money so they aren’t going to say a word. I press the front desk gal to at least take the opportunity to help us out, all she is willing to do is hand me over to a manager. I speak to the manager who was very nice, he quickly arranged for us to change rooms. That was it though, not even a few free drinks, or a buffet or anything like that. Bear in mind, we were staying in a suite and stay at all the MGM properties and come out at least twice a year. Granted we are no high rollers, but we spend money well.

We go get some breakfast then go get the keys to our new room which is two floors down. Of course we have to pack up and move our shit. Then we get this room with a crummy view, but no biggie, we just sleep in there so I’m not to bent about that part. After settling in, it’s time for the pool!

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I haven’t been to a pool in ages, suited up and met everyone downstairs. We headed into the MGM pool area and secured a primo spot with some shade under a walkover right on the lazy river. I went and got my Fat Tuesday mug filled and proceeded to drink. The lazy river was a blast, unfortunately I can no longer drink beer so I missed out on the mass beer drinking. Upwards of 80 beers were consumers and lined up along the river.

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After five hours at the pool it was time to clean up, and then head out for a nice steak dinner at Craftsteak at MGM. The food was great, I had Bison and Renee got a filet. Of course we shared our meals. We also had some incredible Potatoes Au Gratin. They were so damn good! Once we finished dining some people called it a night, the rest of us headed out for some more entertainment. Chad n Wendi needed to get to Caesars to go get a gift for their daughter and we just wanted to go out and have some fun. They took the monorail, we walked with Justin. Of course Justin and I filled up at Fat Tuesday first. We got to stop and see a couple water shows at the Bellagio as well, including the last one of the night which was the national anthem.

Once we got to Caesars some folks wanted to go back, no big deal to us, so we headed back. Then Renee Justin and I headed over to Tropicana to play some 5 dollar table. We played Let it Ride, I had never played it before, it was pretty fun. I still prefer blackjack, but I will give it a shot again next time.

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Once Saturday was upon is it was time to head back. Renee and I felt we could have easily done another day in Vegas. In my opinion that’s how you should feel when you leave. That means you stayed long enough and you will be excited about going back.

There are pictures to be seen, I will upload them soon and share them. For those that couldn’t make it, we are going to do this as an annual trip. So get ready for Vegas 2009 everyone. Start stashing the money now and you’ll be able to fund the trip.