Sunday, August 06, 2006


08-06-06_2005.jpg, originally uploaded by bthemn.

Ah the joys of a new camera phone. The return of the bored self portrait

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I'm back

hey all. I know I've been derelict in my duties. Life happened, I can't make any excuses other than that. For what it's worth, I haven't even been on my bike in a couple of weeks. It's been a pretty miserable cycling season. Tomorrow, I head off to Cornerstone to do my yearly duty running the festival coverage website. Check it out next week if you get the chance. Anyway, I can't promise I'm going to be perfect, but the blogger widget is installed on the new computer I just got for the freelancing I have coming up so it should be easier to make a quick post. 

More soon. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I'm still alive. Buried, but alive.

Catching up though, it's just hard getting used to this new workflow.

It's not like the work I'm doing is hard, it's really not. But, with the performance of machines and other types of things, it just seems like things take more time than they should. It doesn't help that I don't have a good/bad switch. I wish I could just do crappy substandard work that still makes people happy and be satisfied with it, but I can't.

Anyway, it all adds up to a full workload when one of the five days of your week is devoted to service production. The other four days have to include everything else that needs to get done. It's a compressed week every week. I'm tired. But I guess that's ok for the moment. Things will get fixed... now if only they'd introduce that brand new day with more hours people are always asking about.

I miss y'all, I'm so busy during the day I don't even really get a chance to keep up with all the blogs I'd like to keep up with. Now while I'm writing this I discovered that some animation I created is flickering in a way that it DEFINITELY isn't supposed to, so I'm off to troubleshoot that. Joy. That's my life in a nutshell.

Talk more soon if err, I mean 'when',I get the time to breathe.

Monday, April 10, 2006

ah, it's longer, but I can definitely say that it's nicer riding to work in the morning now. The trail I take down is the same trail I use to take up but it's much different terrain on the way up. Heading up towards Monument, CO you basically enter a big giant field. Everything seems to stop because there really isn't anything around. Even if you're moving quickly you feel like you're not moving at all. In contrast, heading south through the airforce academy it's mostly wooded.

anyway, it was a pretty quiet ride downtown today. It was already in the low seventies when I left the door and it continued to rise a little over the 45 minutes it took.

About 2/3 of the way down I saw a cyclist in a blue jersey ahead of me and chased what I thought was a woman down (they had long hair) Anyway, I sped up and caught them and hustled by. I ran out of a little juice and what turned out to be a guy caught me and the race was on. I hung on his wheel for a mile waiting for a time to break. FInding my spot I shot ahead and kept checking back to make sure I was still ahead. I let him catch me on a little hill where the path splits mostly because I was lazy and didn't want to charge up it. He took one side of the path on the other side of the creek, I took the other side. We caught up again as we were both exiting into downtown. At a stoplight we finally got a chance to talk.

I guess when I shot past him he wasn't sure that he was going to be able to keep up. I wasn't sure that 'I' was going to be able to keep up when he shot past me. It was kind of nice to know that we pushed each other to have a better workout even though we didn't say a word most of the ride. 

Now, a little office cleaning before I dive in. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there's a dinner ride tonight. If there isn't, Ang and I are planning to ride anyway, but it would be nice to ride with the club.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm in my new office...

.. and as I dig through the shelves, it seems that they're already filled. I'm not sure how that's going to facilitate bringing my design magazines in. Oh well, I'll figure it out. In the meantime, everything feels a bit overwhelming, but what're you going to do. I think everything's overwhelming at first. I'm not getting any of that "Oh Lord, how am I going to do any of this!" kind of vibe yet, but I'm going to have to figure out what's going on with regards to this editing system. I'm not a PC guy and will probably never be a PC guy. I don't like editing on the PC, but I suppose I'll have to learn. HOPEFULLY I can find room in the budget to move to a Final Cut System as soon as I possibly can, but that'll probably be a few months down the line.
I suppose I should go and try to find my way out, the church's layout is almost labyrinthine in it's complexity.
Lots to do, lots to do.
More later.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

a quote I found while cleaning out my office

I wanted to post it here, lest I forget it.

The majority of men meet w/failure because of their lack of
persistance in creating new plans to take the place of those plans
that fail.

I guess that's not a bad word for the day as I clean out my office of
the five years worth of detritus. Tomorrow, a new plan, and if this
one doesn't work, a new plan after that.

I'm done clearing out, but I'm just waiting for my last two backup
files to finish copying. Then, I'll turn the lights off and head out,
no longer a full time employee. For whatever reason I'm not that sad.
Maybe it's because I've been watching the tail spin the past couple

Anyway, I'll post more after I sign the paperwork tomorrow.

Friday, March 31, 2006

I forgot to mention...

the work week there is considered to be 35 hours. Obviously there are ups and downs (which you could probably guess if you were to look at a church calendar... Christmas and Easter? big times, start of the school year and youth programs? big times. But, at the same time, Brian my boss flat out told me, "If you're done with what you need to do, you go home. There's no reason to have to hang around." SO that will hopefully be a nice thing, along with the fact that I'll be able to utilize my Y
 membership more (it's RIGHT across the street). It'll be a longer commute by bike in the morning (about 15 miles) but it'll be mostly all downhill and with the wind. (Wind here generally blows from the north in the morning and the south at night. I think it has something to do with the mountains)

here's one of the routes (with elevation info)

the job situation...

 well, today I'm being laid off by the non-profit side of the company I've been working for the past five years. (and contractually for longer than that) There's no more money, and the side company we started to leap to when the money ran out didn't ramp up in time. It'll still continue to ramp up and I'll stay on contractually on the
 for profit side (Red Penguin), but it's kind of the end of the line for me. It's been an interesting couple of weeks realizing that things were coming to a close.

 A little over a week ago we were hanging out at a local mexican restaurant / bar after church and I asked my friend Dave about how our mutual friend Brian was doing at First Pres (the churhc I interviewed at in January). He mentioned that he was a bit streesed since they still hadn't found anyone and had been asking Dave how I was doing. I had promised Brian a call in March and figured I'd check in the next day.
 We had a meeting Wednesday morning between the other guy I work with and myself about our finanacial situtation and we worked the numbers over, trying to figure if we had another month of salary left. I brought up First Pres and we decided that it would  be best to give him a call.

 Talking to Brian, I worked out the possibility of coming on board for a 90 day trial period just to see how things went. Brian went to HR and talked it over, but they said that since they were an At Will employer (like all of Colorado), it made more sense to just hire me so that I could get benefits. So, I had an interview last Thursday...  an interview that I really feel I knocked out of the park. It was one of those moments where I felt like every word popped out exactly where it needed to pop out. Brian got called back into his supervisors office to talk about the interview afterwards, but he had a glimmer in his eye when I left.

 Tuesday I got a call that they were moving forward, but Jim the worship pastor (the aforementioned supervisor) needed to talk to Jim the senior
 pastor and Jim the executive pastor. Yesterday I got the call saying I'd been offered the job. It was maybe the mostly strangely worded job offer I've ever had.

 he said something along the lines of being "desirous to take the next
 step and engage with me".

 anyway, I go in to sign the paperwork on Monday, which apparently will also be my first day. It'll be a bump in pay along with a budget to buy
 production oriented toys (hopefully including a MacBookPro with the newly released bundle of universal apps until Apple releases the new PowerMacs.). I guess my first task will be to evaluate where the church is currently at with their production equipment and start to craft a new plan to focus where they're headed in the future.

 I turned the position down before in January, but the main issues at that point was this nebulous two months. I really wanted to turn things around
 at Red Penguin so I could stay on board there. Thankfully, with the position still open, now that I know that it's not going to happen I've
 got a pretty great safety net. God's a good God.

 In any case, it's a new adventure... one that I wasn't really planning for. It seems like it's a God thing though, so I'm going to go and be obedient doing it, and be to be able to make a bit more money is I think going to be a real blessing. Thanks to all of those who've been praying the past few months. Ang and I really appreciate it.


not getting enough of my blather?
check out
and the Colorado Springs Film Society at

Thursday, March 09, 2006

a proposal... (and not even an indecent one)

this morning while I was driving back from my weekly breakfast, I took
a side route that I drive every once in a while that takes me up and
around the foothills on the north side of the city. I've driven it
quite a few times, but I've never ridden it and every so often I think
about riding it.

While thinking about riding it, I came upon an interesting idea. To
the best of my knowledge Mr. Bolder in Boulder has never actually been
to the Springs. And I, for whatever reason, have never made it up to
Boulder. So here's my proposal... I propose two epic training rides.
One in Boulder and one in Colorado Springs that rides the most
difficult sections of road. Bolder (and crew?) come down here for a
ride and then I'll come up with my crew for a ride... A little give
and take if you may.

On the Colorado Springs side, we'll start on the Northside where I
live and work our way down to Garden of the Gods. We'll climb through
the Garden to Old Colorado City and then work our way up Gold Camp
Road, we'll then continue on Gold Camp and wind around to the Cheyenne
Mountain descent. From there we'll ride back around through downtown
and back up to Centennial Boulevard where we'll ascend up and around
to Woodmen. All said, it should be at least 5000' worth of climbing

I don't have a suggestion for when this ride should take place, but I
definitely think it does need to happen.

I don't know what kind of a route Bolder would put togeher but I can't
imagine that he can come up with something nearly as butt-kicking (and
I can make it even more butt-kicking if I need to)(I think that's a

Monday, March 06, 2006

what's up...

not all that much actually, just work and more work. sorry for the lack of posting.

Last monday the cycling season started with an absolutely gorgeous day. the president of the bike club exclaimed that even though dinner rides didn't start for another month, it was definitely too nice not to have a dinner ride. Angela and I rushed across town to get there in time and showed up what we thought was 15 minutes late. We went out for our own little ride and turned around because Ang was hungry. We got back to the park and saw people were showing up. Apparently we misread the e-mail and showed up an hour ahead of time. so, we got two rides in for probably around 26 miles for the dya.

Saturday was ride number two. The Saturday rides with the bike club tend to be a bit more hard core than other rides and so i knew that I'd be in for at least a little bit of pain. It turns out of course that I was in for much more pain than that. 'The Normals' aren't out yet, so it was all hardcore riders and we were starting out by climbing a couple mile stretch to a Fort Carson entrance. Did I mention 35mph windgusts and dust storms? i ate a lot of dust and was still hacking up things this morning.

Sunday was ride number three. Nothing too exciting, the clubs Sunday Social Ride is just that, a bunch of people gabbing while they pedal. my butt REALLY hurt when we started out. Thankfully things settled down. I got some sprinting practice in posting corners and a good time was generally had by all. heh.

anyway, the seasons started. There's a 5k on Saturday, but it's not in our budget and there will be time for races in the future. We sat down and actually wrote out a budget for the first time tonight. We've goofed around with it in the past, but we really want to get serious about paying debt off. I don't think we designed the perfect budget, but hopefully this will give us a leaping off point.

sorry for the quiet. hopefully it will end soon. i'll explain more about what's going on when I can, but let it be known that things are alright. There's still a chance things could dive into the beyond, but we're doing what we can to avoid that happening. next month i learn whether I can go straight from learning to walk where I'm at in the company I work for to learning to run. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that that transition to running is going to happen smoothly. Keep praying if you would though.

more later.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


1. To father; sire.
2. To cause to exist or occur; produce: Violence begets more violence

E.J., the pastor at the Refuse has been talking about beget quite a
bit lately... the cause and effects of situations. The type of thing
that, when you're in a reflective mood, makes you stop, pause, and
ponder. Sometimes the reflective mood in my head comes from
depression, though mostly that's just moroseness. Other times, the
triggers are smaller things. Tonight, Angela and I saw Elizabethtown
and it got me thinking about begetting.

I have a small list of movies, not even necessarily what I would call
my 'Favorite' movies, that make me want to make movies. They're not
necessarily great movies, they're just the ones that for whatever
reason poked me and told me to create, to cause to exist or occur, to
produce. There are maybe half a dozen to a dozen movies on the list.
It's rare when one comes around.

Tonight, the movie added to that list is Elizabethtown. A friend lent
me a pre-release copy because I hadn't had a chance to see it. Cameron
Crowe, like John Hughes in the early part of his career, tends to be
one of my button pushers and I'm not entirely sure why I never got
around to seeing it in the theaters. Actually, I do know why. It
appeared in the dollar theater for a week and left before Ang and I
could get there.

In any case, I've had this copy for a couple days and I've been vowing
to overdose on a whole series of Crowe films.

I don't want to turn this into any sort of a review. I just want to
say it inspired me to create. if only I could bottle the feeling up so
that I could use it at a time more practical than 1:10 AM on an early
Sunday morning.

We've hired a sales guy at the office. I don't know if it will help,
but it certainly can't hurt. On top of the fact that we hired a sales
guy, we hired a guy who has a long history of selling creative and
already has thoughts on places to hit. I hope it's the answer.

I turned down a job this week, partially because I wanted to fix this
existing problem, but also because it wasn't truly what I wanted to
do. Thankfully, my friend offering the job, told me to call back in
March when I might better know the situation.

I've been buried in work this week trying to finish a promotional
video for the music festival I work at every year. Thursday night was
an all-nighter and Friday could have been if we hadn't had a friend
coming over for dinner and a movie. Today was a full day and tomorrow
will be up until the Superbowl. It IS almost done though, and then
I'll post so you can see what's taken me away from blogging.

Go rent Elizabeth town when it comes out on Tuesday and pay close
attention to the last twenty minutes. Those were the magic minutes,
the film-making and creating moments. Those are the ones I'll rewatch
and try and inspire myself from. Those are the minutes from which I'll
take the music that carries me there when I need to create.

more later.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

a thought for the evening...

I've never actually gotten up out of bed to blog about something that
was racing through my head. But I was thinking about something my
friend and pastor E.J. said at church tonight. We've been working our
way through the day of pentecost, but at the end of the sermon, E.J.
went off on a tangent about the way we mistranslate the word amen. (we
had been talking about the imperfect and perfect in Greek and how this
particular piece of scripture was meant to imply that instead of it
being something they had done, it was something they were continually
doing... that it was the imperfect tense, indicating that it was


When we say amen, we generally ascertain that it means "So Be It".
It's an ending. The Amen rings and people are done with whatever it is
they're doing. The proper translation though is much more of an
action... "I'm going to do everything on my part to make it happen".
Strong's concordance says this "a primary root; to build up or
support; to foster as a parent or nurse; to trust or believe, to be
true or certain..." I didn't think it affected me as much as it did
until I was lying in bed rolling it around in my mind.

I put my final save the company plan into effect today and it's
already bearing some flowers. I'm not going to say fruit yet, but I
think it could help. If not, I turned in the resume my friend had
requested and I should hear about the other job relatively soon.

and as I continue to pray about the company and job switches, I say "Amen".

ok. Back to bed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

an update

hey everybody,

sorry for the lack of posts since the nebulous post. I had a second job interview the other day for a job I really don't want but feel like I might need to take and I spent the weekend really up in the air about what I want to do. My heart is really with the company I'm currently with, but if the work isn't there, the job isn't there. I've been hesitant to talk about it because things are still relatively up in the air. I'm not sure what to do. Do I take the job (which would actually be a raise) even though I don't really have any passion for it, or do I continue to do everything I can do here to try and get things to work and then take my chances on not having a job March 31. It's been a pretty confusing couple of weeks.

In the meantime, I've been busy the last couple days on a promotional project for the Cornerstone Festival, the festival I spend the week shooting website photos for every summer. It's been kind of nice immersing myself in the video tapes I've been editing. Seeing the grounds makes me a little homesick for that dusty, humid, hot slice of Western Illinois farmland. I'll post a link to the finished video when it's ready for distribution. Y'all can hear my professional broadcaster voice doing the narration.

I guess if I have any prayer request, it's that we'd put enough business together that I could keep my job... and if you have a need for any quality professional design or video work, visit my agency's site or e-mail me and I'll send you a demo reel and portfolio on DVD. Quality work, cheap prices... and you'd get to work hands on with me (which I would hopefully think is a good thing. :-D)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Sorry about the lack of blogging...

it's been an interesting couple of weeks. There's not a lot I can go
into, but there's been some major things going on at work that to say
they're good would be a major misnomer. In any case, it's fairly
depressing stuff and I've been a bit of a zombie since the beginning
of the year.

I've been hitting the weights pretty hard this month. One of the
things I've been happy about the YMCA having is an assissted pull up
machine. I've never had the upper body strenght to match my lower body
strength. I haven't been able to do a pull up EVER, so to have a
machine that can offset some of that weight so that I can work up to
doing them without weight assistance has been great.

I'm also happy that I'm pressing over 500 lbs on an incline leg press
now. The thing that sucks about it is that it's plate loaded so it
takes a while to haul the 45lb plates to get up to that weight. I'm
interested to see how that will translate to the cycling season. I
haven't been losing weight this month, but I can see that there's been
a dent in my love handles.

Anyway, if you're the praying sort, now would be the time to pray.
I'll say more when I feel i can, but I hate watching things collapse
in on themselves.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!, originally uploaded by bthemn.

A remnant photo from a pre Christmas trip to Ikea with Ang's dad. Fun, fun.

thoughts on the new year...

I've never been much for resolutions. I generally work towards goals.
Sometimes those look more like resolutions like the fact that I need
to work on my climbing this year. Working on that climbing is going to
mean, at the very least, trying to tackle some of the weight. I think
that's always a goal though... weight loss. I don't know when working
on losing weight has ever not been part of my goals. Inevitable I
sabotage myself and never actually go past a certain marker (which in
my case tends to be 225) but it stays as a goal.

At the Y yesterday I did a weigh in for the year. Last year, I started
out around 237. I hit the holidays WAY too hard and the cycling off
season lasted a little too long. This year, with a much more active
off season (though I did get so busy last month that there was an
almost month long gap) I'm starting off at 232. With cycling season
scheduled to start in a couple of weeks that should start coming down
soon. Who knows. I'd like to drop 20lbs or an equivalent amount of
body fat, but we'll see if that happens.

My main goals for the year, sporting wise? I want to get back to
long-distance tri racing. (though racing might not be exactly the word
to use). I was hoping to do an Ironman, but with paying off debt, I
think the local half-ironman in Boulder is going to be a lot more

I'd also really like to run the Pike's Peak Ascent this year. It's my
challenge to the Triathlete Alliance to come out to Colorado Springs
and do it with me. I don't know that there's a more challenging half
marathon in the country. 13.3 miles up 7,000 some odd feet. It sounds
hellish, but it sounds curiously fun. It would be great to run it with
some tri-blogger friends.

Cycling wise, I'm hoping to get a few centuries in and one double
century. I've only completed the 200 mile distance once. The second
attempt I made on it was the year I had defective spokes on my
then-new Fuji Team and broke a half-dozen of them within a couple
month window. Last year, I was hoping to do the Paul Bunyan for the
first time in a couple of years, but it got cancelled due to road
construction. This year, I really hope to change that.

I don't think I'll be attempting Triple Bypass this year. It's still
on the list of things I want to accomplish, but I just don't think I'm
ready. Plus, I hate the fact that it's not an out and back, so you
have to have someone drive to the other side of Vail to pick you up.
Not fun.

Anyway, those are my sports goals for the year. There are professional
goals too, but I don't think those are nearly as interesting.

More later.

New Years wrapup pt2

the rest of the lineup Ang, myself and a couple of others watched New
Years Eve. After the first three, we finally got a chance to watch
Grizzly Man. If you haven't had a chance to see it, it's a really
interesting study in mental illness. At first you think Timothy
Treadwill is just a little too interested in bears. Then, after a
while, you realize that he really wants to BE a bear. It's actually
kind of a sad movie. I felt bad that his illness led him down the path
he went down... and I can't imagine anyone wanting to end up bear

When Grizzly man finished, we headed off into the foriegn part of the
evening. I picked up a Criterion Collection edition of the Norwegian
version of Insomnia a few months ago and hadn't had a chance to watch
it yet, so we paired that up with my favorite find of the year Elling.
While Insomnia was interesting (I have the remake and haven't had a
chance to watch it yet) Elling still stands up to repeat viewings.
It's the story of two guys living in a Norwegian institution together
who are moved into an apartment to see if they can live on their own.
It doesn't sound like too much of a setup, but the way things played
out led to it being optioned in the US for Kevin Spacey and Ed Norton.
The film is so Scandinavian though, that I can't imagine how it would
translate to the US, but I'd see it if it ever goes into production.

After Elling, we watched an import DVD of Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.
Ang and I got the chance to see Oldboy a couple of years ago at Butt
Numb A Thon. There was ONE 35mm print with subtitles created
specifically for Harvey Weinstein's viewing and it got shipped to
Austin before it got sent to his desk. To say that Oldboy is intense
would be an understatement, so I was excited to see what he'd cooked
up in the third edition of this Revenge Trilogy. It's a slow burn.
Midway through the movie, you might even begin to have doubts about
Park, but then you start to see how things play out. When the revenge
comes, it comes heavily. I'll have bloody raincoats burned into my
brain for a while. It's being released in the US sometime this Spring.
Make sure you see it if you get the chance.

Now on to the butt-kicking. I had two more import DVDs on the
schedule... and after a little nap we got to them. Reading the reviews
of Butt-Numb-A-Thon, it seemed that one of the biggest hits of the
fest was this film called Banieu 13, written and produced by Luc
Besson. I love Luc Besson. Luc Besson is one of my favorite directors.
He's also one of the most prodigious forces in French cinema. The man
has his hands in all kinds of things. He hasn't directed in a while
(he has a new film coming out soon that will change that) but he's
produced all kinds of action movies recently. Anyway, after hearing
about it at BNAT, I started to hunt down a foreign edition of the
movie. The film gets released here in March(?). While it's not a GREAT
movie, it's fun... and watching Leito, the main character, doing his
acrobatics and knowing that there aren't any wires is unreal.

The final film of the morning was an import disc of Tom Yum Goong, the
Ong Bak follow up from the director and actor of Ong Bak: Muy Thai
Warrior. To quote Harry Knowles of, "TOM YUM GOONG
is the single most kickass asskicking film I've seen in 2005 or 2006."

That might be a little bit of hyperbole, but it's not far off the
mark. It's also not a good film, but you don't watch these films for
the plot, you watch them because you get to see Tony Jaa participate
in insane fight scenes. On that count the movie works and there are
too many to try to describe them all. Who knows if it will ever come
out in American theaters, but it will probably get a domestic DVD
release at some point.

Yesterday evening I saw my first great film of 2006... though that's
not to say that it's a 2006 film. I've been sitting on a copy of a
Japanese film called Ping Pong for a couple of years now. I just never
seemed to get around to watching it, and Ang and I buy too many DVDs
to keep up with what we've seen and not seen anyway. We forget to
watch things that we've picked up and then discover them later on.

It takes a lot to make one care and invest in a couple of high school
ping pong players. At first, you can't even figure out why they'd
create a movie entirely about the world of high-school ping pong.
Eventually, you forget about the fact it's ping-pong and just let the
genre's formula wash over you.

The movie basically narrows down to Table Tennis as life. All the
extraneous stuff is cut out of the movie. You never meet Peco or Smile
(named because he never does)'s family. There are no love interests,
just table tennis. Everything in their lives revolves around the sport
and I couldn't help but think about triathlon parallels. For the
coaches involved, they know they'll never be world class professional
ping-pong players (even saying that sounds humorous) but they love the
game and they love to instill that joy that they find in their sport
into the lives of the students they coach. I know I'll never be a
world-class cyclist or triathlete. Even if I had my life to devote to
it, I don't have the physiology to compete. I'm a big guy and it's my
guess that I'll always be a big guy. That doesn't change the fact that
I love my sport.

I love cycling in a way that I'll never love triathlon, but I still
hold a special place for long distance tri stuff. The weird thing is
that I'm not really all that interested in short-distance Tri. I'm
hoping to get a couple done this summer, but I think I'm going to
focus on the Boulder Half in August and then maybe start to look for a
double-ironman to take on. As extreme as the 140.6 is, I think it
would be fun to go 281.2. That seems more exciting and more
unreachable. This is about movies though and not triathlon
specifically, so I'll pick this up in another post.

I wish I could tell you that you should see Ping Pong, but it's never
had a domestic DVD release. It's a shame, because it's surprisingly
accessible and it plays with Hollywood sports cliches in a way that
makes them new and refreshing. I'm really happy that I finally had the
chance to see it. Hopefully Ang will go through her thoughts over at
her blog, I'll bug her about getting that done.