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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Chris Warner's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010
12:27 pm
Lodging Information

Eagle Grand Motel
738 Grand Ave, Eagle, CO, 81631
Phone: 970-328-0100
Wedding Rates: $69 / Night (Includes Taxes)
Amenities: Log Furniture, Rustic Appeal

Holiday Inn Express
75 Pond Rd, Eagle, CO, 81631
Phone: 970-328-8088
Wedding Rates: $99.95 / Night(double or single)
Amenities: Pool, Free Internet Acess, Hot Breakfast

Silverleaf Inn & Suites
0315 Chambers Ave, Eagle, CO, 81631
Phone: 970-328-3000
Wedding Rates: $62.99 / Night
Amenities: Kitchens, Virtual Tour at http://www.silverleafsuites.com

View Naomi's hotel photos

Thanks for coming!!!
We'll see you Aug. 20!
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
4:13 pm
Of course there are people out there that need a good deal more than a power adapter.
I was one of them.
I still am.
Thank you.
Saturday, April 25th, 2009
1:37 pm
Cryptic musings on the future
Recent events have made it clear that I'm going to need
a pair of climbing shoes. My new hiking buddy and I aren't
always content to stay on the trail, and the off-the-trail
path isn't always content to remain sufficiently horizontal.
Her boots worked well enough last week, but my shoes did not.
I'm thinking we'd both be better off adding a pair of climbing shoes
to the sets of Yaktrax in my pack. I also plan to start an Expedition
Blog in the near future (plungingwestward.wordpress.com), in tandem with
the Coffee Blog at plungingforward.wordpress.com. The
christopherwarner.com web address will probably be moved to that blog
eventually. I'm already two very noteworthy trips behind - No
Thoroughfare in Grand Junction and The Flatirons in Boulder - and racking
up new material every week. (I've also been working for Hyatt for a year
now, which means free hotel nights.) Finally, today marks the official
start of "Project: Beeline" - rough economy my eye!
Friday, August 22nd, 2008
8:02 pm
Summer Goof-Off 2008, Grand Finale
RMiller has come and gone. Stephen's wedding has passed. Margaret moved out.
Lauren and Nick returned to Rhode Island. The Worm is back with his family.

So I've got just one more excuse.

I admit it - I've spent my summer goofing off. In fact, I actually called it SUMMER
GOOF-OFF 2008. It was part of the plan - in as much as "inevitable" can be
considered "part of the plan." I goof off every summer. Why would this one be
any different?

And I'm not done yet.

Some time next week, I'm going back to Boulder to get WARMACHINE: LEGENDS, walk
the bike path, drink some Turkish coffee, hike a cool trail and, weather depending,
possibly take a dip in Boulder Creek.

Then Chris Warner goes back to work.

Actually, I've already started. I've got some rather big goals for what's left of 2008
(and the start of 2009), and I'm already building the support structure and putting
in some of the grunt work I'll need to reach them. The other thing I'll need is a lot
of blood, sweat and sustained effort. Fortunately, after a summer spent getting
myself off life support, exploring my new environment, learning the basics of my
new day job and, of course, goofing off, the will is there. I'm ready and eager to
get started, and have a long Colorado winter to keep me company.

But first...

Summer was great, August is still with me - barely - and I'm pretty excited about my upcoming trip to Boulder. In the meantime, maybe I'll take a hike or two when I'm not stockpiling coffee shop reviews, writing this here short story or or investigating the
state of local journalism. There's no reason I can't ease into all this...

See you Sept. 1.

P.S.: Some of you might have heard the bit about a McCain Staffer dissing D&D players
recently. I was going to respond to that here, but I've decided the guy missed his target so
completely he already looks ridiculous. I really don't have anything to add.
Friday, June 27th, 2008
4:20 pm
The Dead Horse Debacle
I guess I should start building crushing defeats directly into my Friday schedule.
Today I decided to explore the Dead Horse trail that branches off of the popular
Hanging Lake trail in Glenwood Canyon. In all honesty, “trail” is a term only
loosely applied to Dead Horse – really, it’s a literal uphill climb through miniature
rockslides and legitimate cliff faces. Someone – I’m assuming a team of forest
rangers – had the foresight to extend some really long, knotted bungee cords down
the most difficult parts. Even with the bungee cord, a steep earthen sluice full of
loose gravel isn’t the trail I expected. If the trip up isn’t tough enough, the trip
DOWN consists of creating an avalanche and riding it down.

Back when I wrote outdoor columns for the Eagle Times in Claremont, N.H., I
frequently advised readers never to be too proud to turn around. After advancing
about two body-lengths up the side of a cliff, I took stock of my situation and
decided to take my own advice.

PLUS: I have plenty of water. I’m not tired yet.

MINUS: I’ve already twisted my ankle. Nobody knows where I am. Getting safely
back down this cliff will be considerably harder than getting up it. If I break my leg
getting down this cliff, getting back down the first bungee cord will be even harder.

Without the proper equipment, I rappelled down the side of the cliff using the
bungee cord. I cut my hand up a bit, but I made it down. While rolling down
the rockslide in a mini-avalanche, I took a flying rock to the back of my leg
pretty hard, but once again made it down in one piece. That’s about the only
victory I can claim here.

This isn’t over, though. I need to do some research, then come back with a
hiking buddy and a pair of gloves. The irony of being beaten by a Dead
Horse just doesn’t sit well with me.

Current Mood: determined
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
5:39 pm
Chris Warner, Rented Mule
As a native of the greater Boston area, verbal sparring is an important part
of my cultural heritage. However, it seems I’ve spent too much time picking
off the slow antelopes of Colorado and trading snipes with errant
Pennsylvanians and not enough running with the wolves of my native pack.
Spar too long with those who don’t really spar back, and one starts to
develop a lax defense.

Last Friday, Chris Warner, Turtle, was hammered into his shell and flipped on
his back early in the fight. From there, it was all about spinning the shell as I
flailed about – helpless, ridiculous and a little bit tragic. My opponent’s opening
salvo was so good that whatever tactic I tried after that seemed like – and in a
sense, was – desperate overcompensation.

Lately, I’ve been getting into the game WARMACHINE. Every WARMACHINE
sourcebook includes what is simply called “Page 5,” a page-long rant (on the fifth
page each book, no less) on how the game should be played. Nearly every Page 5
asserts that there is more glory in being beat down hard by a worthy opponent
than in lording it over less practiced players. By that measure, there was a lot of
glory meted out Friday. By another, less oblique, measure I was beaten like a
rented mule.

I’d best get back in practice.

Current Mood: Sardonic
Saturday, June 14th, 2008
9:52 pm
Frequency is Courage

Current Mood: Grim
Thursday, June 12th, 2008
8:57 pm
I probably shouldn't have even been in Glenwood Canyon. The Colorado River was already running high, and if the afternoon's scattered rainfall ever managed to get itself organized the bike path I was hiking would probably flood dangerously. Still, I was dead-set on witnessing the carnage wrought by uncontrolled whitewater, so there I was.

I wasn't alone. A suicide squad of criminally reckless mountain bikers had grimly soldiered past me as I worked my way toward Grizzly Creek Rest Area, ignoring the "Bike Path Closed" sign and half an inch of water. At Grizzly Creek, a group of Amish-like tourists wanted directions to Hanging Lake. Now, as I carefully picked my way down to the raft launch,I saw a young woman eating open-faced peanut butter sandwiches on a rock beside the raging river. She eyed me lazily as I approached.

"Nice place for a picnic..." I began, pulling out my camera to get some shots of the river.

"Indeed." She replied. She was sitting Indian style with a half-bagged loaf of bread on her lap and an open jar of peanut butter to her side. Scattered breadcrumbs spotted her dark pants. "Is there anywhere else nearby to get a good picture?"

"Well, back toward Eagle there's some decent flooding, but the whitewater's not nearly so impressive. I'm pretty excited to check out the rapids near Hanging Lake."

"Oh. I'm not from around here, I don't know where any of that is." Peanut butter gathered in the corners of her mouth as she licked her finger clean.

"Oh yeah? Where are you from?" I didn't see any knife near the peanut butter.

"Chicago. I'm driving to California. Normally I'd take the train, but I need to get my car and all my stuff out there." Her finger slipped into the peanut butter.

"Cool! I just drove myself and all my stuff two time zones as well, Eastern to Mountain." Near a breadcrumb on her pant leg was what looked like a smudged, light-brown fingerprint. Unconsciously, I took a step back up the raft launch. "Managed to get all my stuff into a little Saturn without blocking line of sight at any angle."

"I got a Volvo. An old-school one. Like a tank." She half-pointed with her peanut butter slicked, crumb-speckled finger, turning her head toward the hand with the open-faced sandwich. The spread of the peanut butter was disturbingly uneven.

I tried to concentrate on the river as she took a bite...
Friday, June 6th, 2008
6:35 pm
Things About Coming My Way
Yesterday, I redeemed my Yeti's Grind frequent customer card for a free beverage, and told Travis to make me whatever he felt like making. He came back with something that was more than a macchiato, but less than a latte or cappuccino. It also had just a drop of vanilla - not enough to actually taste, just enough to make the milk taste a little sweeter. Before long, he was selling the things out to everyone who walked in at my urging.

Today, I'm in Boulder, taking time to explore while I wait for a Kan'Nal concert. At the Brewing Market Coffee shop on Baseline Road, I found Turkish Coffee. This is made almost like instant coffee over a legit OPEN FLAME, and the result is halfway between espresso and a french pressed dark roast. They also put a little sugar in the mix ... again, not enough to really taste, just enough to enhance the flavor to the point where I thought there might be cinnamon in there as well (there wasn't). Meanwhile, it's awesome out today, I found a Panera in Colorado (where I'm writing this as I wait for the parking meters to become free downtown), and tonight I get to see a really good band.

Here's the bottom line: Once a few months ago, an interviewer giving me a psych evaluation asked, "Are you a lucky person?" Without even thinking about it I answered, "Yes. Very much so."

NEXT UP: Peanut Butter Fingers, Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos, and, at long last, the bit about WARMACHINE.
Sunday, June 1st, 2008
1:02 am
RMiller, again...

RMiller, in Denver to check out a graduate program, was my first guest here in Colorado. All told, we probably had an even better time than we did in Boston - whether we can chalk that up to location, superior weather or just more opportunities remains an open question. Highlights included Boulder, Felonius Smith, Pulled Pork and Coleslaw, Missy Higgins, Chicken on a Stick & Noodles, the rampant Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon and Beth (Rebecca's traveling companion) getting sick and having to go home early. (She's O.K. now.)

Fortunate circumstance has led RMiller and I to see quite a bit of each other over the past several months. Unfortunately, those circumstances have pretty much run their course, so it could be a good long time before we see each other again. That said, my parents and I have plenty of space for visitors here in sunny Eagle, CO. Any and all East Coast homies welcome.
Monday, May 5th, 2008
7:28 pm
Hanging Lake
I hiked the Hanging Lake trail in Glenwood Canyon today, and it was pretty cool. The water in Hanging Lake takes on a crazy blue hue, and looks somewhat tropical. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a notebook (to put a trail description up at Plunging Westward) or the memory card for my camera - so instead of facts and photos, y'all get this. Sorry. The trail gets steep in places, but it isn't very long (just over a mile) and is more than worth the payoff of Hanging Lake itself. At some point, I'm going to have to walk the rec trail through Glenwood Canyon - at 17 miles, it is actually shorter than the Walk for Hunger. (I missed the Walk for Hunger this past weekend, by the way. Damn. Maybe Dave will want to walk through the canyon instead...)
Friday, April 18th, 2008
11:14 am
Art's in the Woods
Last week's cross-country trip was mercifully uneventful, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Art's Garage in Ipswich, MA. When I bought my rebuilt Saturn there on the cheap, my uncle told me Arthur would continue to take good care of it, and that his repairs were cheap and reliable. My uncle was right. Most recently, an oil change, safety check and emissions filter replacement - taken from the corpse of another ruined Saturn - cost me $40, and kept Barbie (that's what I call my Saturn - she is made of plastic, after all) up and running for four days of long-range driving. I'm sure when it's time for a similar treatment here in Eagle, I'm due for sticker shock.
Thursday, April 17th, 2008
10:47 am
Nomads at Last
The April 12-18th issue of The Economist magazine has an excellent, 14-page "Special Report on Mobility." The stories and sidebars that constitute the report look at mobile technology, how it is evolving and how it is changing our lives. I figured I should mention this because the magazine's cover (a snail with an American flag shell, with the headline "The Great American Slowdown ... and what it means for the world economy)seems about as sensationalist as The Economist gets. Even the teaser across the top calls the special section a "report on mobile telecoms," which is about as uninteresting as you can make it sound. Oh well. I suppose not every issue is going to have the best cover ever.
Monday, April 14th, 2008
9:34 pm
Odd Intersections
Mix CDs from RMiller and the Worm were my bully companions for last week's trip west. When you're in a car listening to music for days on end, from time to time enough variables will converge to create a proper coincidence. When you're all by yourself, you're more inclined to notice these odd intersections between lyrics and life.

Here are a few:

WED: I'm on Interstate 90, driving up the Skyway into Chi-Town. I've never driven this road before, and I'm a little nervous at the degree of the uphill slope. Suddenly, the slope levels, and then I'm coming back down. The effect of my new angle is awe-inspiring: A massive city skyline seemingly sprouts out of the road ahead. As nervousness fades and is replaced with the awe and joy of seeing the city, I become aware of the song playing on my radio. It's Snow Patrol's "Hands Open." The first line I'm aware of is "Chicago bursts to life, and your sweet smile remembers you..."

THURS: The weather is getting increasingly rough as I roll into Grand Island, NE. I pull off the highway into an exit - my second Nebraska exit, since I also checked out Lincoln a little - and, like Lincoln, it's cold, wet and flat with little going on but bad weather. "Is it just me," I say out loud to no one in particular, "Or
does Nebraska suck?" And that's when Brandi Carlile's "What Can I Say?" breaks in with "...and I can't stand the state that I'm in."

FRI: I-72 is a lonely, empty highway going from Nebraska through the flat part of Colorado to Denver. For the first part of the drive, I am beset by tumbleweeds. Once I realize they're harmless, I toss on the Worm's "Epic Adventure" CD and start plowing through them. It's great fun, but soon even the tumbleweeds thin out and a badly banged up stretch of highway forces me to cut my speed significantly. As "Epic Adventure" draws to a close, I toss in RMiller's "Step Into the Clear." This CD of driving music comes into its own as there's nothing on I-72 but sun and road. No service stations, no people, no mountains or noteworthy terrain, very few cars and no animals. I've made it to the last song on the CD, Switchfoot's "Dare You To Move," and just as the lyrics kick in I notice a my first "services" sign since I left Nebraska. So it is that I'm staring at a huge image of the Starbucks Siren as the song begins "Welcome to the Planet, Welcome to Existence..." Indeed.

Thanks for the CDs, guys.

NEXT UP: Art's in the Woods, and WARMACHINE
Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
1:56 pm
Grove City, 3 a.m.

Dear L(W)C,

I gave away my pound of Komodo Dragon coffee before I realized how delicious it was. Please send more ASAP.


Christopher Warner
Saturday, April 5th, 2008
2:28 pm
Bald Tire Blues
FYI: Dollar Rent-A-Car tried to kill me by renting me a car with worn tires. They then went on to put a really big charge - more than the amount of the rental - on a card they said they couldn't accept. So, for your own good, never use Dollar Rent-A-Car.

While I was driving my Dollar Rent-A-Car back from Denver, it started to snow. As a result, I was plowing and fishtailing all over the road. Mercifully, I was near an exit and thus able to get off the highway. Unfortunately, while I was off the highway, they closed the Vail Pass, stranding me in Frisco even after the snowfall stopped*.

I wound up asking for help at the Best Western, where a blank-faced desk attendant seemed content to let me die wandering the streets without so much as making a phone call, offering any advice or even demonstrating basic empathy on my behalf. So, again, I'm voting with my wallet and never going to a Best Western ever again.

So, to recap, no Best Western, and no Dollar Rent-A-Car. Ever.

Next Up: Art's Garage, and Westward, Ho!

*Thankfully, the pass was only closed for a few hours and I was able to escape Frisco that night.
Friday, April 4th, 2008
1:43 am
Shout it to the Bedlamites...
Sheryl from High School works at Newbury comics. I saw her today when I went looking for a DVD for Daly (which they didn't have). I told her about the move to Colorado. As we looked for a Boston-worthy car accessory (I settled on a bruins bumper sticker) and shared a few pleasant memories from MHS, she called over her co-worker. "This is Chris," said Sheryl, "We went to high school together ... but don't bother getting to know him, he's moving to Colorado."

Current Mood: contemplative
Monday, March 24th, 2008
5:58 pm
Friday, March 21st, 2008
3:06 pm
The Eye of God
A few weeks ago, the head of my power adapter snapped off INSIDE my laptop, ruining both. After spending a week without my computer, I finally got it back but was still waiting for my new adapter head to arrive by mail. That being the case, I went to my sister's place and used her adapter to recharge my computer. Driving home, I was seriously hoping to find the adapter waiting for me.

With nowhere else to turn, I fell back on my huris to find a solution by cutting a deal with the Creator:

"I know that for reasons of philosophy and inherent fairness I don't believe you really interfere in human affairs at the personal level, but I really need my power adapter," said Warner unto the Lord. "Please just have it be in the mail when I get back. If it is, I will concede the point that it's POSSIBLE for God to meddle with people's business individually."

That said, I left it up in God's hands and moved on. My languishing had so distracted me that my radio was on static (radio stations drop in and out between my sister's place and my own) and I didn't realize it, so I flicked the scan nob ... and it landed on K-LOVE, which I didn't even know was available in RI. The song playing was one of my mother's favorites, the Newsboys song about givin' it all to God and "Wherever we go, That's Where the Party's At..." If you've ever listened to K-LOVE for more than 10 minutes, you know the one. Appreciating the coincidence for what it was, I cranked it up and let it play out before moving on.

My power adapter was waiting for me when I got home. Still, I figured as I brought it up to my room, it HAD been 10 days, and the shipper had said to wait 6-10 days for delivery. So, just as I told myself I might be able to call this one a draw, the doorbell rang.

When I opened the door, a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses were outside, inviting me to a faith sharing event and waving a picture of Jesus at me that said "Who Loves You?"

Alrighty then. Point conceded, and thanks for the power adapter.

That said, the same hubris mentioned above compels me to remind an omniscient being that there are people out there that need a good deal more than a power adapter. Here's hoping God throws them a bone every so often, too.

Next Up: My Awesome Aztec Statue, and Bald Tire Blues

Current Mood: hopeful
Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
9:24 pm
Living in the Past
Greetings from two hours ago! Yeah, for those of you who missed it, I'm back in Colorado. The idea is to find a job out here so I can relocate, and I have some very promising leads.

The decision to come here wasn't so much a secret as very, very abrupt. One day, I just decided I was going to Eagle County. Now here I am. I'll be back in Mass (probably to pack up the Saturn and head back out), and I'll try and track down my people when I do. I'll be back for Stephen's wedding, and periodically after that I'm sure. In the interim, any and all of my people are welcome in the Valley. I know I say this every time but fall short on delivery, but I'll also keep everyone informed through this LiveJournal.

So - What the heck brings a New Englander to the Rocky Mountains?

Let's face it - I have allergies. Seriously annoying allergies to pollen, mold and other moisture-loving horrors Colorado just doesn't have. It's time to stop fighting, stop sniffling & wheezing and start climbing around in a new set of Mountains for a while. New England is still the best place on Earth (and Boston is still the center of the universe), but I was in a bit of a rut and nothing breaks a rut like two time zones of displacement.

Next Up: The Eye of God, and My Awesome Aztec Statue
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