Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nikki Post: Pool Party in the Office!

Another great theme for the office white boards: POOL PARTY!!

The deep end of the swimming pool

  • Concession stands are an important part of any community pool. Kids can buy candy and get themselves jacked up on sugar, and adults can buy hot dogs and eat their frustrations away with nitrate-flavored tubes of meat.
  • I'm a bit worried that the diver will hit his head on the diving board if he doesn't get enough distance while jumping into the pool, but the judges seem to approve of his form. (Except for that damn, judgy Russian judge.)
  • Marshall added David Hasselhoff to the picture, much to Tracy's annoyance and horror. However, I overrode her veto, as he IS an appropriate thing one would see at a pool.
  • That red thing is a pair of swimming trunks...

The shallow end of the pool

  • The general consensus of the office is that Cookie Monster is a MUCH better life guard that Mr. Hasselhoff. While David flexes his muscles and checks out girls in bikinis, Cookie is actually paying attention to the people who are swimming in his area. Well...
  • ...Cookie has apparently missed the fact that there is a shark (or something that looks suspiciously like a shark) in the shallow end of the pool...
  • ...which is really unfortunate for the guy who doesn't know that his bottoms are floating on the other side of the pool.
  • That square thing in the back is a hot tub. I was going to drive a fat, hairy guy wearing gold chains sitting in there next to some pretty blonde girls in bikinis, but that was way too complicated for a white board.
  • The lady with the vicious sunburn has obviously never read Dr. Lori Crane's research on skin cancer and tanning. Dr. Crane is one of the professors at the School, and Lyndsey felt it was important that people understand that this woman on our white board was not representative of the employee's feelings on sun-tanning. (For the record though, the only reason she's red is because Kevin was hogging the brown marker at the time.)

The finished product!

Domo Arigato, Teacher Agnes!

So y'all might remember my friend Agnes from her adventure with Nikki at the Paper Moon Diner back in March. Well, Agnes finished her Masters degree in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) earlier this year, and she already has an exciting, awesome new job! She's gonna go to Japan to teach English as a second language for a whole year!!!! Can you imagine how cool that'll be? I mean, I've never been to Japan (yet), but I've seen anime and Ponyo and kids dressed up crazy at nerd conventions, so I'm pretty sure it's similar to that. [Nikki Note: I'll have a talk later with Claire about the differences between cartoons and reality as far as different cultures are concerned.]

Anyway, Agnes is writing a blog about her adventures, and you should totally check it out, since you OBVIOUSLY like my travel blog, and a blog about travels in a foreign country is almost as cool as a blog about an armadillo going to awesome places! You can check out here blog here: Nikki and I will be reading it often, and if there's anything cool in it, I'll make sure to link ya. Although Agnes informed me that there aren't armadillos in Japan, which I think is a pity, because I'd love to meet an Asian Armadillo! [Nikki Note: *facepalm*]

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sneak Peek!!

Nikki's mom (Diane), grandma (Shirley), and aunt (Charlene) are in town to visit and go geocaching and exploring around Colorado (and parts of Wyoming!). Nikki and I spent last Sunday with them driving around the Rocky Mountains, but we can't post the pictures yet because we let the family borrow Nikki's laptop, and she doesn't have time to edit the photos at work.

In the meantime, I've stayed on with the ladies to go exploring and see parts of Colorado that I haven't seen with Nikki and Steve yet. Diane sent Nikki this picture via text message yesterday:

This is me hanging out in a rock at Garden of the Gods. I'll link more info when I get to post about the trip.

Can't wait to share my adventures with y'all!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Armadillos on the Internet

I TOTALLY wish I could tell you who took this picture or made this little guy, but it's on some random photo-hosting site. Nikki was looking up silly pictures to send to her work friends when she came across it and emailed it to me so I could add it to the blog.

Camping in the Cold

During the second weekend of September, Nikki, Steve, Eva, and I all piled into Steve's over-packed car and drove two-and-a-half hours south of Denver to Spruce Grove Campground, which is at a higher altitude than Denver, as it's in the Rocky Mountains, near Pike's Peak. It was a tiring but pretty drive, with some of the aspen leaves already transitioning into their autumn yellow, but it would've been A MILLION times better if Eva hadn't whined and whimpered THE ENTIRE WAY DOWN. Seriously. I thought Nikki was gonna leap into the back of the car and strangle the dog!! I don't know when Eva developed a dislike of riding in cars, but she was quiet for only maybe fifteen minutes the whole time.

A rare quiet moment. Note the crazy eyes.

When we finally arrived to the campsite, we discovered that, while it was idyllic, it was also a walk-in site, which meant we had to park the car and carry all our stuff over a bridge to the site.

View from a little hiding spot behind the campsite
that Nikki had to go to because she was having an anxiety attack
and needed quiet.

After the tiring trip, we decided that before setting up the tent, we were gonna chill on the nearby riverbed with Mandy and Camden and Mandy's friends Allison and Andrew. Allison brought her dogs Gonzo and Trixie, so there were several pups all running around and vying for our attention.

Relaxin' I do.

Trixie is the black dog, and Gonzo is the little one.

The gang. Andrew is in the chair in the background,
and Allison is in the blue jacket.

Eva, acting crazy as usual

A little later, Nikki and I decided to hike up the mountain (for lack of a better term) and climb on top of this giant rock formation right next to our campsite. The climb was steep, but Nikki said that the climb to Hanging Lake (check out her pictures starting with this one) was waaaaaaay worse and longer. Now, I'm not really scared of heights, but standing on top of a giant rock that towered above the whole valley was kinda making me nervous. As such, I made Nikki not take any pictures of me; I didn't want my fans to see me freaking out. :p

View to the right of where we stood on the giant rock.
We couldn't find a way to get to the lake from the campground.

View from the backish part of where we stood.
The space inside the red box is our campsite!

View to the left of where we stood. This is the rest of the campground.
I think Pike's Peak is one of those mountains, but I don't know.

For a while, Nikki laid down on the rock and just looked at the sky and listened to the Christian youth group down below perform slam poetry about Jesus and finding their future wives. (I'm not joking. We couldn't hear all of it, but it was hilariously awesome and very earnest.) Nikki wanted to take some "selfies" (formerly called "MySpace photos," but that site barely exists anymore, so someone made up this new name, which is a shortened version of "self-portraits"), but it's REALLY hard to do with a fancy camera like her Nikon D3000. These are the best out of the ten or so she took:

Steve's favorite. He thought it was hilarious.

Nikki's favorite. At least you can see the mountains in the background.

Obviously, Nikki's arms are too short to do a selfie properly, and she won't let me touch her camera, since I have the tendency to break her things by accident. :p

Eventually we climbed down and joined everyone else. Cam and Steve had gone snake-hunting in the river, and Camden actually found a snake!! Nikki didn't get a picture of it, unfortunately, but Andrew did. If he ever sends the pictures to Mandy, I'll add them here. It was a garter snake and kinda big too. The other kids playing in the water were SUPER excited, and Cam was proud to show Steve that he had found a snake.

On the hunt with his trusty net

The rest of the night went pretty typically. We set up a campfire, cooked hamburgers (except for Andrew, who keeps kosher, so he brought some "boil in a bag" Indian food), and Nikki read a zombie story that she had started during the last camping trip. Camden LOVES ghost stories but gets scared easily since, you know, he's 6 years old. Mandy likes listening to Nikki tell the stories because Nikki does voices for every character. We stayed up chatting then went to bed.

Like the first time we went camping with Eva at West Chicago Creek,she and Steve took up most of the room on the air mattress. Only this time, THEY STOLE ALL THE COVERS TOO!! We had our usual set-up of two flannel sleeping bags, the comforter, and two extra blankets, and Nikki and I got a sliver of one of the sleeping bags and that's it. I woke up at one point and noticed that Eva was actually under the blanket Nikki had been using!!

Somehow, we survived the night and spent the morning packing up the campsite. (Well, Nikki and Steve cleaned up the campsite. I don't do manual labor.) Eva was shivering, as it was still about 40* outside, so Nikki tied her hoodie around Eva, as no one could find Eva's dog sweater before we left to go camping. Eva would've appreciated it, I'm sure, were she not super uncomfortable in it. Camden, however, kept Eva calm by petting her and talking quietly to her.

The Dog Whisperer

Nikki offered to drive home, since Steve had driven all the way down. Eva still whined, but much less than she had on the way to the campsite. We stopped at a Safeway in a small town to pick up some breakfast food. Nikki got a burrito for herself and a bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwich for Eva. After having such a heavy meal, Eva DEFINITELY calmed down.

While we were driving back, Nikki pulled over to take a picture of a sign she had seen the day before. It was a "point of interest," as the sign said, but the part that stood out to Nikki was a bunch of white rocks that spelled out a giant "YOLO." YOLO stands for "You Only Live Once," and according to Nikki, it's only used by "idiots on the internet and teenagers." [Nikki Note: The link takes you to, which is a great resource for finding out the meaning of slang words, but is user-generated, so it contains adult language.]

Dang kids. Pretty good prank though, if you ask me.

This is the real reason why this location is a point of interest: it's a historical site that used to house Native Americans of the Ute tribe. Of course, it's kinda lame to look out at a place with fields and a pile of used tires and a small gold mine and think "Native Americans used to live here until settlers moved in and kicked them out." I'm not gonna get into it, but I'll just say that I think the Utes got a raw deal.

It's hard to read the text on the board, so I recommend
going to the website I linked above.

This point of interest was located just outside of Florissant, Colorado, which is a small town that's claim to fame is the Fossil Beds National Park, where people found a TON of fossils in this lake bed. (We didn't get to stop here.)

(More info on the Ute Indians too)

The other big deal about Florissant is that they're a part of the Gold Belt Byway, which we *also* didn't get to see. [Nikki Note: We had a psycho dog in the car. I wanted to get home as quickly as possible.]
You can *almost* see the little gold mine that was there to the back right
of where I'm sitting.

So that was our trip. Not super exciting, but at least it was really pretty and we got to go camping before it REALLY gets cold out! Nikki has also sworn that Eva will NEVER go camping with us EVER again, as it's too stressful for everyone involved. Maybe next time we go camping, then, I'll actually get some blankets!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nikki Post: Git Along Little Dogies!

Tracy and I have decided to make drawing on her white boards an "official" team-building exercise to boost office morale. We've come up with a few themes that we think will be fun for people to draw, and we've added more colors to the marker collection. Our last theme was "Wild West," and after a period where no one quite knew what to draw, our scene exploded with dancing ladies, a covered wagon, and a robbery.

These were my contributions to the scene. Here you can find Dirty Harry (in his signature poncho) robbing a gold prospector. This may be out of character for Harry, but seriously, if YOU saw a guy with that much gold, wouldn't you rob him too? Rowdy is a "buffalo" (actually a bison, per the PCC, but we'll let this one slide) that is the mascot of the University of Colorado. Tracy has a stuffed Rowdy in her desk area, so I attempted to draw this majestic beast. Obviously, the drawing was awful, so I drew wings on her and left it.

The more elaborate second half of our scene. I added the graveyard because I'm creepy like that. You'll find our town's reluctant sheriff, saloon dancer with a heart of gold, homesteaders, and the mine from which my prospector hit it rich in this photo. We are obviously not concerned with artistic things like "perspective" in our drawings because let's face it, it's hard to draw really intricate things on a white board.

The completed scene

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nikki Post: Worktime Silliness

While we wait for Claire to "be inspired" (her words) to write about her recent adventures camping near Pike's Peak, here's a little filler entry that shows how silly my workplace is.

My friend Tracy is the HR liaison for our office/school. She has a small whiteboard on the wall by her desk. My boss Lyndsey had taken to drawing pretty pictures on there to cheer up the office and because drawing on whiteboards is incredibly fun. Well, others in the office started joining in and creating very elaborate scenes on this 1' x 6" (approximately; I have no concept of size) whiteboard. Obviously, something needed to be done, and as the only person in the office in charge of ordering office supplies, I stepped up and purchased a second, larger whiteboard "to boost office morale." Finally, we had enough room for our elaborate scenes!

The inaugural theme for the new duo-whiteboard combo was "under the sea." I started us off by drawing what was soon interpreted as being inspired by The Incredible Mr. Limpet. However, I was actually aiming for the drawing to look like Pete the fish, a stuffed animal that Tracy keeps on her desk.

As you'll see from the photos of our finished drawing below, my drawing of Pete wasn't too far off from its source material. The Nemo I had originally drawn, however, was shameful and made people think it was some kind of floating trash debris. :p

  • It's a well-known fact that elephants love to swim.
  • Fun fact: The turtle was originally attacking some fish, but we declared it "too morbid" and erased the carnage.
  • The seagulls in the corner are obviously inspired by the ones in Finding Nemo.

  • Note my AWESOME drawing of Pete the fish in the middle there.
  • The Siamese fighting fish in the corner is what took the place of my hideous Nemo drawing.
  • Another Finding Nemo reference is in this picture. Can you find it?
  • I forget why we have Cookie Monster in this picture, but he'll probably show up in more of our drawings.
  • There's one more pop culture reference in this picture. What is it?