Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More pix from spring break

This is hard work!

If you can't see the video, go to

We didn't have the right size safety equipment so we gave him his swim goggles, ski helmet and sneakers.

The Draco Lizard

I don't know what a Draco Lizard is but Leo found it on Wild Kratts game. This is his costume version of a Draco Lizard.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Short video of spring break ski vacation

Our first family ski vacation. Leo spent most of it exploring little passageways through the trees. He skied us into the ground. His kindergarten friend Lily joined us for a few runs. If you don't see it, go to

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pizza making party

Up at Copper Mtn this week, we spent a lot of time with Leo's kindergarten friend Lily and her brother Archie and their parents. The kids made pizzas at Pizza Carlo's. It was a fancy event, with the kids decked out in their own hand-decorated chef hats and tours of the kitchen.

They each then made pizzas for their families. Quite a good idea, we thought, having the kids make our food, while we gabbed and shared pitchers of beer. First the sauce:

Then they went to town on toppings. Lily and Archie made a smiley face pizza. Leo made a yummy combo pizza.

The finished product:

Then the best part - they each got to make dessert pizzas. These were really tasty. Leo spent a really long time making his. He said each piece was exactly the same so it didn't matter which one you chose. Paul ate about half of it before I was done with my regular dinner pizza.

Video of the dessert pizza making effort:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top of the turbine

I got really lucky this week - I managed to get in on a climb up the 270 foot GE 1.5 MW wind turbine that we installed at my work a couple years ago. My boss was taking our DOE client up and I managed to tag along.

If you can't see the video below, you can view it here -

This is the turbine that we climbed:

The three of us entering the tower. I'm the one on the left:

There is a very tall ladder that goes most of the way up, with floors separating the sections and little hatches that you close so that you don't drop stuff (or fall) on the guy below you. They had to train us on use of the protection equipment. The blue cable is a climbing assist. It takes 25, 50, 75 or 100 lbs off you so you can climb easily. Climbing up is a breeze as long as you don't look down, although my knees got bruised cause I kept hitting them on the rungs. Climbing down was a pain, because I had to hold onto the ladder all the way. The big guys could lean against the tower wall and just let themselves down the ladder pretty easily but I wasn't long enough to do that.

After you reach the top of the tower, you climb through the giant ring bearing to the nacelle where the gearbox and generator and all are. This the nacelle, looking at the generator:

Then we climbed out the top of the nacelle and stood on top. We clipped in to hooks on the top in case we fell. It was pretty windy up there. This turbine has no safety rail - the 0.4 MW turbines do. This is looking off the back:

This is looking off the front, toward the blade which is right behind me (I'm on the right):

From the blade, there is this metal pipe that you can clip into and swing yourself over the edge of the nacelle and drop yourself over the front hub of the rotor. You're dangling 270 ft in the air. You can open a hatch there and then do maintenance on the rotor. We did NOT do this.

The other turbines on the site include the 3 MW Alstom which is the big one closest to us and then the 2.3 MW Siemens which is behind and to the left. There are two little 0.4 MW in the background too. And smaller ones as well:

Leo's love

Can you be in love with someone that you only knew a few months? Even if you haven't seen them for half a year?

Leo was at the Boulder Montessori school from March to August of last year. We made a lot of friends there and continue to have playdates with some of the kids from his class. One of the kids that he spoke of at the end was a girl named Foster. Paul and I never met her and she was always on vacation according to Leo. He asked for playdates with her but we never saw her or her parents so never did anything about it. After we left that school, we figured he'd forget her. Well, he hasn't. In January, he made this school project of him "Singing With Foster". We sent emails to her mom and never heard back. He and his best friend Claudia were talking about marriage when he finally said that he was already going to marry someone else, and that was Foster. Well, finally, he and Paul went back to the school where she had already left for the day, and left a note and asked the teachers to tell her that Leo was looking for her. It took about a month, but we finally heard back from the mom that she had found the note that Foster was thrilled to hear from Leo and that we'd do a playdate when they had time in a month or so.

Such a crazy little romantic story. I can't wait to see what they think of each other now, nearly a year later.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lego Mania!

We are very fortunate to be borrowing a gigantic set of Legos from Patricia, while those guys are in Brazil. The box is bigger than Leo. Needless to say, every waking moment is spent making new Lego creations. They are nearly all fighting vehicles of some kind. Some fly, some roll, some travel through worm holes. The bottom left hand corner is a very elaborate house, but it has attack missiles and the like and fake entrances to fool the enemy.

The one in the foreground here is a particularly big space fighter.

Here's Leo's description of it: