Thursday, November 27, 2008

Boys' Day

Tyler got off school yesterday, but it being a Wednesday, Tracy had to work. Being the lazy worker that I am, I decided to spend the days with the boys so Tyler would not have to spend his holiday in La Petite. We decided to have a "Boys' Day" in Golden. Most of our trips to Golden involve the Colorado Railroad Museum, but this time we decided to try a couple more Geocaches. (see my entry Geocache if you are wondering what geocaching is).

Our first stop was in the "Historical District", full of old historical looking houses. The geo-coordinates brought us to "Golden City Brewery", which as you can tell from the sign is Golden's 2nd Biggest Brewery. You probably know this, but in case not, the Coors Brewery is Golden's Biggest. This 2nd one is a distant 2nd. It is about the size of our house. I think it actually IS someone's house.

The cache had a bunch of stuff to trade. Tyler grabbed our first Travel Bug, so we are now in possession of troop1013 Little Buggie. Now, of course, Tyler wants to start a Travel Bug of his own. I think we will buy 4 and have a little contest to see which one moves the farthest. I think we are also going to have to set up a cache of our own. Gosh this is addictive.

After the Brewery, we walked down to Washington Avenue, the main road through downtown Golden, and across the bridge over Clear Creek.

We walked about half a mile to our next set of coordinates which brought us to a park with a pretty good sized pond. We were unable to find this cache. It looks like from the log, the last person here was unable to find it too. I hope Muggles did not get it! (Isn't it exciting... I am calling non-geocachers muggles already) It is listed as a micro-cache, so it is pretty small, so it might just be we missed it. I think the boys were itching to throw things into the pond and maybe hit the playground. So, that is what we ended up doing.

After the park, we walked down the Clear Creek bike path towards down town where we had lunch at the Capital Grill.

After lunch, the kids played down by the creek some more.

So, we had a good day before Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Do you know about geocaching? I know at least 33% of my blog regulars know about it. Apparently, my sister sent my wife something about it some time ago. Of course neither my wife nor my sister thought that telling me about it would be worthwhile. I guess it is ok because a co-worker told me about how he does it, and I signed up on a few months ago, but we have never taken the time to try one.... until this weekend.

So, Saturday morning, I thought I would look around some of our usual weekend haunts for easy geocaches. After awhile, I found a couple of them in Idaho Springs. Beautiful. That gives me an excuse to take the family to TommyKnocker Brewery.

So, really, if you have kids and need an activity to do with them on a nice weekend day, two or three geocaches is a great idea. Whoever came up with this idea is a genius. Basically, a geocache is a treasure hunt. You need a GPS receiver. The web site is just full of GPS coordinates of little hidden containers all over the place. Your job is to go to the GPS coordinates and find the treasure.

We parked about 1/10 the of a mile from our first geocache. The GPS took us to a gas station in Idaho Springs. I felt a little self-conscious searching around the place, but it did not take long at all to find the geo-cache container. It had a few toys in it. On the advice of my co-worker we had made sure we brought little knick-knack type toys to leave in place of a couple of the toys in the container. So, Tyler got himself a little toy ostrich and Connor picked out a Rocky Mountain National Park pencil.

We took a picture of Tyler with a "travel bug", which is a special prize which is meant to be moved and tracked from Geocache to Geocache. As this was our first one ever, we decided we did not want the responsibility of recording this little thing, so we left it. If we ever come across another, we will probably take it and move it to the next one.

As we were walking back to our mini-van, a lady I think was an owner of the gas station asked us "did you find it?" Apparently, I did not have to feel self-conscious about looking around her establishment.

The coordinates of the second one took us to the parking lot we always use when we are visiting our favorite Idaho Springs establishments. Finding this one was a bit more of a challenge. The first one was out in the open. This one was under a smaller rock which was under the rock Tyler and Connor are sitting on in the photo below. The container was too small to hold anything other than the log book and a pencil.

So, our first two geo-caches were successes. And, more important than finding the treasures, now we have a pretty activity to do just about anytime we want.

It was too early for lunch, so we drove up into the surrounding mountains for a little hike and family photos. Here are a couple of the pictures we took up there:

So, if you have a GPS receiver and need something to do sometime, go out to and get yourself a few coordinates. It is absolutely a fun activity, especially for families with kids like ours.

Friday, November 21, 2008

7th Commandment

"You shall not commit adultery" -- Exodus 20:14

I am listening to the book-on-CD version of The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. I am about half-way through and so far I recommend it. It is informative and entertaining. Basically, it is about a year in Jacob's life where he tries to live a whole year in accordance with all biblical teachings. Some of God's laws are downright perplexing, especially as you go through the Pentateuch, and especially for Christians, or maybe I should say especially for non- Orthodox Jews. I have tried to communicate some of my confusion in my blog entry "Eat Pig", but the food laws are not necessarily even the strangest of the rules and regulations gave gave his people. And, in fact, my point of "Eat Pig" has more to do with the fact that Christians tend to ignore old-testament laws than the fact that the old-testament laws seem strange.

But, some of the rules that A.J. is following in his book do seem strange.

When God commands, "You shall not commit adultery", it is not strange at all. I think just about everyone with some sort of moral compass believes adultery is wrong. And, truth be told, like most of God's laws, following the no adultery commandment is for your own benefit. When it comes right down to it, all of God's commandments have little to do with what is good for God. He made rules for us for our own good. It is a lot like the rules we as parents give to our children. Only, on a much bigger scale. That is part of what worries me about the ham and bacon ban.

Anyway, while listening to the book, I learned something that surprised me. It probably should not have surprised me, but nonetheless, I was shocked to learn that in the Israel of the Pentateuch Bible, adultery for a man means sex with another married woman. A woman is not allowed to have relations relations with any man other than her husband, but a man is allowed to have make love with any woman as long as she is not married to (owned by) another man.

It makes sense. It seems that everyone back then had several wives and concubines, and God never seemed to have a problem with that. Yes, it was a double standard, but it was a socially acceptable and God-sanctioned double standard. And certainly, ancient Israelites do not have a monopoly on sexism.

I do not have a problem with sexism. I order my wife to not have a problem with it either.

So, when God told Moses the commandment, I assume God knew that he was talking not only to Moses but to all of Israel. He picked the word "adultery" when his audience understood the word to mean what it did at the time. In other words, he was commanding men to not have sex with married women and had no problem with married men fooling around with women not their wives as long as these women did not belong to someone else.

This is potentially freeing information. Here I was working under the impression that the rules for me were the same as they were for my wife. Apparently, God supports my right to have more than one woman. I asked my wife last night if I could have a concubine for Christmas. I carefully explained the old-testament definition of adultery, and pointed out that great biblical men like Abraham, Issac, and Jacob had many women in their lives. Not only did they each have several concubines, but most of them had more than one wife. The logical conclusion to the whole thing is that God wants me to have many women, or at least has no problem with the possibility.

So, when I asked my wife if I could have a concubine, do you want to guess what she answered? Apparently, she is not as God-fearing as I would like my possession (I mean wife) to be. Don't worry, I'll get over it.

In case you cannot guess, a summary of her answer would be "NO!" And in case you are wondering if maybe she just has already something else in mind for my gift and just does not want to get me a concubine for Christmas, the answer is no concubines whatsoever at anytime past, present, or future whether or not the concubine is given to me by her or anyone else or even if I find one of my own. There will be no concubines.

Please don't tell my wife this, but quite honestly, I do not want a concubine. I certainly do not want a second wife. I have enough of a problem understanding and controlling wife #1. For some reason, I just had a vision of Thing 1 and Thing 2 from Cat in the Hat (otherwise known as Candy Cane Hat Cat) running amok through my house with hair curlers and rolling pins. Running about with big bumps, jump, and kicks. Oh the things they would bump! Oh the things they would hit! This is not to mention all the other kinds of bad tricks.

I would not like it, not one little bit. Sure, it would be nice to have two women to cook my dinner and wash my dishes, but can you imagine the downside? Think of twice as many honey-do's. Actually, it probably is honey-do's squared rather than double the honey-do's. Think of every time I say or do something stupidly offensive (it might surprise you to know that this happens once and awhile) getting twice (or squared) the rebukes. Think of nagging squared. And, twice as many birthday's, anniversaries, gifts, flowers, chick flicks, and shopping trips. And, crying! There would be twice as many women crying (usually for some reason that I would be unable to understand), which would almost certainly be an exponential increase in the amount of crying. I am getting a headache just thinking about it. It was probably easier back in the day when the man basically owned his women and the women knew their place, but let's face it: those days do not exist anymore. Or at least they do not exist in my household.

So, I suppose the "freeing" information is not quite as "freeing" as I first thought.

Don't worry, I'll get over it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


These are my two favorite kids in the world. I can't help it. I love them so much. I always will.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Branch Rickey Photos

Here a a couple of pictures from the Branch Rickey Event. They are taken from my phone, so not that great, but ok for a web page I think.

I do not usually get much of a chance to pay much attention to much above and beyond the Silent Auction itself, but this time I listened in on a couple of the speeches, including quite a bit of Trevor's and some of Brad Lidge's. If you do not know, Lidge was the closing pitcher of the Phillies in the world series. Brad went to high school here in Colorado and he got to introduce Trevor.

The Rotary Club of Denver put on a great event and were a pleasure to work with.

It was nice to have a good event to close out my Auction year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Branch Rickey

The Rotary Club of Denver is holding their annual Branch Rickey Award Banquet and silent auction tonight. I will be attending with Auction Automations. Fun will be had by all. Last year's silent auction raised a little over $30,000 which puts this event not quite in what we would call one of our big ones, but it certainly is not one of the small ones either. And, of course, the real money is made from ticket sales. All the proceeds from the event go to Denver Kids, Inc which is a counseling and mentoring program for Denver Public School children, certainly a worthy cause.

The winner of the Branch Rickey award is Trevor Hoffman this year. Trevor is the closing pitcher for the San Diego Padres and MLB record holder for most saves. Or at least he was the closing pitcher for the Padres. It looks like he is moving on to another club via free agency. Maybe he will come to the Rockies (ha).

Why did he win the award? Well, basically because he does nice, philanthropic, charitable things with his time and money. The Branch Rickey award recognizes individuals in Major League Baseball for exceptional community service. His list of baseball and humanitarian accomplishments is impressive. I am sure he deserves the award for all the wonderful things he does with his time and money.

It looks like Trevor made 7.5 million dollars playing baseball last year. One thing I wonder about millionaires like this is what their charitable contribution plan looks like. The bible tells you to give sacrificially meaning it should be a sacrifice for yourself. You should give more than what you think you can afford. You should give like the woman at the temple who gave not out of abundance but out of true generosity. Your charitable contributions should literally hurt a little bit financially. Most people don't.

The bible also mentions a Tithe, which depending on who you are can be sacrificial, but for those of us rolling in money (like Trevor and myself), 10% of your income really does not hurt that much. Tithing is my giving strategy, but it is not sacrificial, because it does not hurt me financially. I am still giving out of an abundance, and do not truly miss the money literally or figuratively. This year, my charitable giving will be more like a tithe and a half, and I am still not close to causing myself financial pain.

My pastor told me that he and his wife are trying a double tithe... meaning 20% of their income. I do not know exactly what they make, but I assume that really is a sacrifice to their secular standard of living.

But what does Trevor give to his church? His bio lists all kinds of things he gives time and money to, and I assume he does more than is on his bio. But, the biggest monetary amount on his bio was $81,000 to the Padres Scholars program since 1995. Trevor made 7.5 million dollars playing baseball last year. I assume he made something in endorsements. $81,000 is a bit more than 1% of his 2008 salary, and he gave this amount over 13 years. So, although $81,000 dollars is a wonderful contribution and I do not wish to diminish its importance, when compared to amount of money he made over that time frame, it is pocket change. $81,000 from Trevor does not really impress me much. $81,000 from Pastor Chad and his wife would impress me a whole lot more. And if I had to, I would bet PC has given more than $81,000 to various charities over the same amount of time.

But, I appear to be picking on Trevor, and I do not mean to. The time he spends with any one of his charities is probably more important than the money he gives, anyway. As I have said before and will probably say again "money is easy". Giving of yourself is much more important than giving of your money and possessions. And it appears Trevor gives of his time generously.

And I still wonder what the charitable giving dollar amounts look like from multi-million dollar athletes and other celebrities. What they give is their business, so I probably should not even think about it. But I do.

Listen to me, I sound like Obama, picking on the rich and telling them to redistribute their wealth. I'll shut up now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full Moon

I was attacked last night by a Siberian tiger. One second, my younger son was asking me if he could watch a DVD and the next second I was fighting for my life. For some reason, a smaller tiger was trying to help fight off the bigger tiger and that probably saved my life. Thankfully, my kids were smart enough to disappear when the attack began and so they were not hurt by the vicious fight for my life.

Eventually, the tiger decided I was not worth the trouble.

Almost immediately, my kids were back and somehow I was transformed into a slide. Being a slide is almost more terrifying than being attacked by wild animals.

Here is a picture I took of the full moon last night. With the clouds and full moon it was very pretty.

My photo did not quite turn out as I had hoped. I need to figure out how to take better night photographs.

My little one has recently been calling everyone in the family "Nacho". I have no idea where he got that or why. My child is tres bizarre sometimes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Cute Pictures

My wife recently blogged on with a few cute pictures of and update on our boys:
Rather than re-post all the pictures, I'll let you follow the links above if you want to see them.

Note, the intent of the Trash Family Blog was to allow Tracy's Mom and Dad and all their kids (5 brothers plus Tracy) to be able to post things of interest to each other. Originally, it was created around information specific to a Family Reunion, but I was envisioning everyone using it like Tracy did in the two posts above. If you look through the posts, you can see my vision was not quite realized. Since the reunion, Tracy (BuckWheat) has posted 3 times; I (TrashyShep) have posted 3 entries; Big Jer has made one post and Tracy's mom has made one post (about a possible place for the next reunion).

Oh well. At least it gives Tracy a place to post things for her T.R.A.S.H. family to see.

I wonder if she would like to create one for her Dad's family. It shows what a complete geek I am that I am thinking about possible domain names for such a thing. At some point, I will probably even try some of them at GoDaddy (which is where all my current domains are registered).

Just what the world needs: more blogs.

I've tried to convince Tracy that we should buy a domain name for her. She does not see a need.

I've also talked to Tyler about getting one for him to blog on. He actually likes the idea.

Of course, I own, so if I wanted to save a few bucks I could just go with and . But, I would hate to have someone come in and take any good domains right out from under Tracy, Connor, and Tyler.

Seriously, I need help. Normal, sane people do not think about this kind of thing, do they?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My Cute Boys

Lately, Connor has been sneaking into Tyler's room after we put the kids to bed and Tyler has been reading to his little brother. It is so cute that I let it go on. Usually, I know about it and get Connor into his room after Tyler is done reading a story or three.

The other night, Tyler went to Connor's room to read books, and I had no idea about it until Tracy asked me if I knew Tyler was in bed with Connor. Tracy thought it was so sweet, and I had to admit it is very cute. I even took this picture of them sleeping together.

The truth is, I am glad to have boys who like each other so much, and I am very glad that my oldest son is willing and able to read books to my youngest.

And it is so cute!

More about the EC

Alright... I guess I have become obsessed with this whole Electoral College thing. I now know a bit more about the EC. I do not know a whole lot more, but some.

One thing that I did know yesterday, but did not mention in my blog entry, is that 2 states, Nebraska and Maine are not "winner take all". They have a system where two of the EC Reps are based on state-wide voting and the others are based on the Congressional districts. I guess that matches how they vote for the House and the Senate. According to my research, neither state has actually split the vote based on this system. Every other state gives all their Electoral votes to whoever wins the state.

Colorado has also proposed changing their system to split their votes based on a percentage of the popular vote. I do not think this will ever pass, because it makes Colorado less relevant in the whole presidential race. It would always (almost always) go 5 to 4, so no matter how hard a candidate campaigns in Colorado, the best they would hope for is a two vote swing. Personally, I think this is a great idea, but only if all the states (or at least the big ones with more than 3 or 4 votes) agree to do the same thing.

In regards as to whether or not a EC Rep has ever voted against their "pledge", the answer is yes. My dad left a comment on my last blog "338 to 161" pointing out that a Minnesota Electoral College Rep voted for Edwards for both president and vp. It is true, you can see it here: . I want to know who is was and why they did that. That seems to me like some sort of careless mistake, but I do not know. It was one of these people:
  • Sonja Berg
  • Vi Grooms-Alban
  • Matthew Little
  • Michael Meuers
  • Tim O'Brien
  • Lil Ortendahl
  • Everett Pettiford
  • Jean Schiebel
  • Frank Simon
  • Chandler Harrison Stevens
But I do not know which one did it. If you know, please tell me. If you know why she did it (I am assuming it has to be one of the women ... or maybe the guy named Chandler), I really want to know.

In 2000, Barbara Lett-Simmons for DC cast a blank ballot for President and Vice President. I saw somewhere that she did this in protest that DC has no representation in Congress. If this is the case, it does not seem to have been a very effective protest. I do agree with her that it is unfair that this is the case.

Looking back in history (thanks to my dad's reference to the url), I found that:
  • In 1988, one rep for West Virginia ignored his (or her) pledge by voting for Lloyd Bentsen for President and Michael Dukakis for V.P.
  • In 1984, one rep for Washington voted for Ronald Reagan for President.
  • In 1972, one rep from Virginia voted for the ticket: John Hospers and Theodora Nathan.
  • In 1960 6 reps from Alabama voted for the ticket: Harry Byrd and Strom Thurmond despite the fact that the state voted for JFK.
  • In 1956, 1 Alabama rep voted against the state as well.
I did not look back much further. I do not why most of these people ignored their pledge, but based on this data, I would say that Electoral Voters can do whatever the hell they want to do. But, it does depend on the laws of the state you live in.

Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:
  • ARIZONA - 10 Electoral Votes
  • ARKANSAS - 6 Electoral Votes
  • DELAWARE - 3 Electoral Votes
  • GEORGIA - 15 Electoral Votes
  • IDAHO - 4 Electoral Votes
  • ILLINOIS - 21 Electoral Votes
  • INDIANA - 11 Electoral Votes
  • IOWA - 7 Electoral Votes
  • KANSAS - 6 Electoral Votes
  • KENTUCKY - 8 Electoral Votes
  • LOUISIANA - 9 Electoral Votes
  • MINNESOTA - 10 Electoral Votes
  • MISSOURI - 11 Electoral Votes
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE - 4 Electoral Votes
  • NEW JERSEY - 15 Electoral Votes
  • NEW YORK - 31 Electoral Votes
  • NORTH DAKOTA - 3 Electoral Votes
  • PENNSYLVANIA - 21 Electoral Votes
  • RHODE ISLAND - 4 Electoral Votes
  • SOUTH DAKOTA - 3 Electoral Votes
  • TENNESSEE - 11 Electoral Votes
  • TEXAS - 34 Electoral Votes
  • UTAH - 5 Electoral Votes
  • WEST VIRGINIA - 5 Electoral Votes
As far as punishment for breaking the law, obviously, this varies by state as well. I tried to figure out the penalty for Colorado, but was unable to find a reference that I understood.

There is all kinds of information on the EC at:

My sister left a comment on my last blog ("338 to 161") basically asking "why do we still have an Electoral College". The quick, simple answer to that is that the Electoral College is in the Constitution of the United States and it is not easy to amend the U.S. Constitution. All it takes is agreement. Two thirds of both branches of Congress and then Three Quarters of the States have to agree. Getting that many people to agree on something that for the most part has remained unchanged since the founding founders wrote it down is not easy. Not only do you have to get agreement that the system should be changed, but also as to what it should be changed to.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

338 to 161

For those of you who have lost hope because Barrack Obama won and John McCain lost. Don't worry. There is still hope.

Until December 15th, it does not matter what happened last night. Until December 15th, technically there is no president elect, and technically there is a possibility that McCain will still win. Technically, it is possible that Obama will be president and McCain or Sarah Palin will be vice president. Technically, Michael Jordan could be leader of the free world with Oprah as his Vice President. I might be wrong about M.J. I do not know if the EC has a write-in option.

Practically speaking, I think that is a lie. I think state constitutions are for the most part (or maybe completely) set up so that the results last night have to be honored December 15th. But, technically speaking, we did not elect a president yesterday. Technically speaking we all elected a number of nameless, faceless people to the Electoral College who have pledged to vote as instructed by their state. Those people don't vote until December 15th.

I do not know what happens to someone who does not vote in the electoral college as their state instructed them to vote. My guess is that it varies by state. Texas probably shoots the guy. California probably whines and gives him (or her) a slap on the wrist. Actually, I think maybe it is totally legal for the Electoral College Representative to vote as they wish.

I also do not know if it has ever happened that an Electoral College representative has gone against the wishes of his or her state. It seems in the dark, lonely fringes of my memory banks I remember from high school history class that it happened before, but I might be thinking of people who won the college but not the popular vote, which not only has happened, but happened as recently as 2000. Didn't one of the Washington DC votes go to the wrong person in 2000 as well? I do not quite remember.

What sort of surprises me is that today, when I mentioned the election not being official until December 15th to people, they have no idea what I am talking about. I understand not knowing that December 15th is the day, but based on the context, I would think their answer would be more like "Oh... is that when the electoral college votes?" Instead of, "what do you mean?"

One guy I was talking to as we were looking at a map and I mentioned that it is not official yet was shocked that the College actually casts votes. He thought because all the maps on the Internet and on T.V. showed which states had which electoral votes, that meant they had already been cast. It took me awhile to convince him that those are actually projected based on what should happen. Incidentally, this is a guy who did not vote and as I mentioned in my blog yesterday, I do not think he should have voted because he is sort of clueless. He is a very intelligent, highly talented C# developer, but did not really take time to get informed, and so that means to me he should not vote. Of course, in my opinion, he should have taken a little time to figure it out so he would have been prepared, but that is not really what I am blogging about.

This same guy said something about it being theoretically possible for someone to win the electoral votes but not the popular votes. It turns out he did not remember or did not ever know that this happened as recently as 2000. Sometimes I wonder about this guy. He also says stupid things about sports, which to me is even more annoying than not knowing much about how our country works. But I digress again.

As we were looking at the map, someone wanted to see Wyoming's county by county map. (Most of Wyoming was red by the way... I am thinking of moving up there or to Montana to get away from all these damn liberals ... just kidding ... sort of). Another guy asked "how many electoral votes do they (Wyoming) have ... one or two?" When I said, "Well, it has to be at least 3." He did not believe that it was that many until he saw it was 3 on the website. He asked how I knew it had to be at least 3, I told him that each state get the same number as total Senate seats plus total house seats, which is at minimum 3.

Now, apparently, I am the resident electoral college expert. Pretty much all I know about it is here in this blog entry, so being the expert says a lot more about the ignorance of the people around me than my lack of ignorance. What is sort of funny is that I consider at least a couple of these people way more politically aware than I am. But, apparently, I know more about the Electoral College than they do (or at least I did before I told them everything I know).

And again, practically speaking, it does not matter that technically Obama has not yet been officially elected. The people have spoken. The only possible scenarios I can think of that would cause the college to not cast the appropriate votes as appropriate are actually horrifying enough that I will not even bring them up.

But, wouldn't it be interesting if the college just decided to go in their own direction and ignore "the will of the people"?

Maybe interesting is not the word. Chaotic would be more appropriate.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Our Weekend

Today is election day. It looks to me that Obama will win. That is a shame, but I'll get over it. Hopefully we all will.

I do not completely agree with those who make the call for everyone to go out and vote. It is a right, a privilege, and a responsibility, but in my opinion, making an uninformed vote is worse than not voting at all. If you are not going to take the time to understand what you are voting for, stay home. Just my opinion.

And, personally, with mail-in ballets an option, I do not understand why anyone would go to the polls at all. It just seems so inconvenient to stand in line and have to fill out the ballet at a certain place at a certain time. If you have the opportunity to fill out the ballet in the comfort of your own home with a laptop and the internet in front of you at your own time an pace, I do not understand why you would not take advantage of that option.

Anyway, we have had unusually mild weather lately. This weekend was very nice. Almost what you would call hot. Considering that it is November, absolutely I would say it was very warm out.

Saturday, we decided to go for a bike ride. Tyler decided he would like to ride up Waterton Canyon. Waterton Canyon is a very popular place to start mountain biking. It is the beginning of the Colorado Trail which runs almost 500 miles across the whole state. The first 8 miles or so go up the Waterton Canyon on a nice wide trail along the Platte river. For the most part, it is pretty flat or at least only a slight uphill grade. Once you get past the first 8 miles, it becomes a single track and one of my favorite mountain biking trails.

But, the wide, only slight-uphill part of the trail is part that we were obviously going for. And, considering what a rookie Tyler is at bike riding, he did a really good job. We made it a bit past the 3-mile mark, so the round-trip was a little longer than 6 miles. Tyler was very proud of himself for making the ride, and quite frankly, so were Mommy and Daddy. Even Connor was pretty impressed.

And, it was very very fun.

On Sunday, we raked leaves. Tyler and Connor were actually very helpful, especially the bagging part. I actually do not mind the raking part. I do not like bagging all that much, but this time I had my two helpers doing most of that. Tracy helped out a bit as well, and not just with the camera. We all had fun raking and bagging.

Of course, half of the leaves are still in our trees, so we will have the opportunity to do this a few more times.

It was a great weekend.