Friday, August 12, 2022

Abraham Shakespeare

Annnnd the winning numbers arrrrre…

The Mega Millions lotto went down a few weekends ago, and I was eating guacamole and fajitas with friends and washing it down with cerveza as they called the winning numbers.  Nobody at our table won, unless you consider that guacamole a win (which I did, along with the Texas-style mesquite fajitas).  There were many winners that night all over the country, but I’m pretty sure the big winner was an airline flight attendant from Illinois.   The state of Illinois is fortunately one of the states that doesn’t require a posting of the winner and actually allows anonymity, which is a good thing!  People will come crawling out of the woodwork as soon as they publish your name, and winners have attested to this nightmare to the point many published winners have to go into hiding and become a recluse.  

She cuts her teeth on wedding rings in the movies 

I had always heard, in passing, about the curse of the lottery, but I never really actually believed it.  I thought maybe it was one of those urban legends serving to detract you from doing anything remotely fun.  As with most rabbit holes, I immediately jumped down, and  I started researching the lottery curse on my phone.  And, I quickly realized that, like the actual lottery itself, the odds ain’t really in your favor.  Wasn’t it Ambrose Bierce who said that the lottery is nothing more than a tax on stupid people?  But then the reciprocal argument would be:  you can only win if you play!   It’s almost like a government-run social experiment to show how free money can’t build wealth or buy happiness, even when it’s straight handed to you in enormous lump sums, minus all the taxes that go right back into to the government-run social experiment which is around 40% of your earnings.   

First, statistically speaking, over 70% of winners are destitute and miserable within 7 years of cashing in.  Seven in ten people fair WORSE after winning the lottery than their simple and peaceful lives before the big win!  Have you ever seen the movie “A Simple Plan” with Billy Bob Thornton and Bill Paxton?  It’s one of my favorite movies themed around “the things that you own end up owning you.”

From really strong marriages completely crumbling to people’s lives being destroyed to the very core, there are not very many long-term happy endings produced from lottery winnings.  Probably the worst one I read about was Abraham Shakespeare, from Tampa, Florida.  With a birth name like that, you know his life would turn out stranger than fiction. He was an illiterate black man, an hourly manual laborer, who randomly won the $30 million lottery in 2009, and his life legit came unglued.  He was riding with some other workers that day and went in to buy a drink and use the restroom and fatefully bought a lottery ticket.

Abraham Shakespeare


Suddenly, out of nowhere this blonde woman, Dorice Moore, with an unbeknownst history of being a transient and a shyster, befriended him with promises to grow his earnings.  And, by 2010 ol’ Abraham vanished into thin air.  It’s like he fell off the earth.  He went missing, and nobody, not even his family knew where he was.  They found “poor” Abraham in a block of concrete buried in the back yard after using ground penetrating sonar.  Dorice is serving a life sentence for the murder of Abraham with no chance of parole.

Abraham published on his big day and Dorice the psychopath…

Sometimes you think the lottery will solve everything, but the truth is, the odds are not great at all.  Many winners have attested that they wished they had immediately ripped up their lottery ticket!

May the odds forever be in your favor,

Kimmie 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Schooner or Later: Dock Dynasty

Ello Mates!

I was sitting on the back of a boat full of guys after tying off with my friend.  We had paddle boarded from her boat over to a boat party where these guys offered us pizza.  We were being handed beer and jello shots for just being cute in a bikini, and the club music was pumping.  A boat of 20 somethings had just cruised into the cove and were booty dancing on one of those inflatable dance floors.  The sun was beaming and there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  The breeze was incredible...which brings me to some theme music.  What's a Colorado Kimmie blog without some tunes?  Sorry no club music here...



Okay, where was I?  Oh yeah...so having already experienced a black out drunk moment my first time on a lake in Colorado, I knew that you really have to know your limits, have plenty of food, and plenty of water.  The sun exacerbates and highly amplifies the sedative effects of a delicious alcoholic beverage.   Most people have social anxiety and are afraid of meeting new people, which is why a lot of people go to bars to drink and socialize.  That makes alcohol THE most abused drug in America due to the self-medicating use to cure social anxiety.

Damn, I digressed again...

When I blacked out, I was extremely lucky as I had some good friends who knew how to take care of people who misjudge the power of the sun and lake.  The sun is no joke here!  We're a mile high!  So, also the air is much thinner so the radiation is much more intense.  We get brighter and way more sun than people in Florida. So, I was mildly buzzed while being completely aware of my surroundings, feeling amazing, and rocking on the boat watching the MTV Jersey Shores lake party scene unfold - and, I was thoroughly amused with my people watching.  I had also been lending a hand to females as they hopped from boat to boat.

Suddenly I heard an intense thud which then ricocheted or bounced and until there was a noticeable  splash.  At first I thought a cooler had fallen over.  The music was so loud, I don't think anyone heard the noise.  Suddenly, I did a quick head count and realized we were short one boat bitch.  I stood up to see it was a girl who had misjudged the landing and bounced her head and body hitting between boats before submerging down into the lake.  I had seen her swimming earlier, completely intoxicated with no life jacket.  And, that's so dangerous!  Because on the lake anything can happen in the matter of seconds and you're drowned.  Did you know you can drown on a thimble full of water.  Everyone assumes you have to be completely submerged in water to drown, and ya don't.  Same with free climbing and a sudden wind gust and gravity moving at 9.8 meters per second.  Mother Nature can be cruel sometimes when you're just trying to have fun ! 

Anyways, I looked down and saw her sinking and a moment of panic sunk in (excuse the pun) as I contemplated whether I would dive in after her.  I have an irrational fear of getting stuck under an object and suffocating.  I looked to see those big bumper balls between the boats which prevented them from rocking together.  Without bumpers you should never dive in between boats, because the wake of a passing boat or the wind can cause the boats to crush someone.  And then suddenly she emerged gasping for air!  I reached down to grab her hand and she was freaking out and you could tell in her eyes she hit her head pretty hard - the hit knocked the sense out of her to where if she had seen a cop she could have said, "What seems to be the officer, problem?" She kept going, "Immokayimmokkayimmokay!"  On a side note, do you know why dead people float?  People that can't swim will end up swimming when they're dead.  Why?  Because your lungs are your natural buoyance flotation device, kinda a built in "swimmie."  Also, as with every emergency, if you stay calm and relaxed, you actually have better chances of survival.  They teach this crap in SCUBA.

I wasn't strong enough to pull her out of the water.  Meanwhile she kept kicking and swimming into the ropes where we had tied off our bitching paddle boards, making it even more difficult to get her out.  I was yelling for the guys to help me pull her back up.  When we finally got her out of the lake, she was bleeding out of her bikini, and when she pulled down her bottoms she had two huge open gashes on her hip.  They were gaping open, and she was slurring her speech and trying to tell us that she used to be a paramedic and could stich herself up later.  However, I knew she was going to pass out in the very near future from intoxication and the volume of blood lost.  So, I asked the boat captain, "Hey skip, where yer first aid kit at?"  And, we proceeded to clean her wounds, placed butterfly bandages on her gashed wounds, and then gauzed and taped her.  I'm not sure what ever happened to her.  The party sorta ended after that.  Kinda a buzz kill...however, they said "nothing good after 4 p.m. happens on the lake."

Oh, except for this one random guy on the neighboring boat, after we had completed first aid, yelled out to her: "Hey, the important thing is, are you still gonna be able to get wet for your boyfriend tonight?"  This is probably THE most douche comment that could ever be made at that moment in time.  Obviously, I didn't find it funny and called him down.  At which point he informed me: "You should feel lucky I have patience with you."  The last person who spoke to me like that is in the cemetery, and I don't mean from old age.  But, seriously, why did he have to be so "stern?"  Okay, KNOT funny.  He probably graduated last in class but NAUT least.  He was not FERRY impressive.  I told that BUOY to kiss my MASS.  This guy probably sends a lot of unsolicited DECK pics.

Okay, I'm all punned out.

So, the afternoon ended as we hopped on the paddle board and paddled back to the boat.  The drunk injured girl took off on the boat with the guys.  I can only hope she didn't have a concussion and she's okay.  

I wanna leave y'all with one last boating tip.  I knew a girl once who was out boating and fell off the back of the boat and her her hair got wrapped up in the propeller and it scalped her and killed her.  Boats are powerful machines.  So, when people are playing off the back, have the key completely out of the ignition so nobody even has the chance to bump into it and accidentally start the boat.  Also, some boats will allow you lift the engine out of the water when you're anchoring for added safety.

While we're talking about maritime subjects, what's the cheapest boat to buy?  Leave your answer in the comments below and winner will receive a huge congratulations for reading this far.

Enjoy some pictures from my Summer trips to the lake.  I took some of these right before SHIP hit the fan this past weekend...

I try not to have my phone out much at the lake since I carry zero insurance on an iPhone.  But this was the beginnings of the party as the boats were just tying off…
The views here are so “Lord of the Rings”…

Vodka lemonades, my aperitif of choice… 


Sudden summer lightning storm…but, I like z’rain…
















Pumping up z’board…




Love is a SHORE thang, (click me for eyes that could steal a sailor from the sea)

Kimmie

Friday, July 22, 2022

Fraud Alerts…

 Hello!

Today is your lucky day with some free advice from Colorado Kimmie!  

Super Kimmie to the rescue!!

Do you get a handful of credit card offers in the mail ALL the time!?!

  If you wanna eliminate those annoying credit card mailers that offer you the moon to get you to go in debt with them and you’re sick of shredding them or worried they get mailed to the wrong address (at which point someone could potentially sign up for a card in your name - if he/she has savvy Google search skills or if you have a public profile that has your birthday, etc), seriously stop what you’re doing right now and go here:


Or 

Or



 The awesome things is no matter which one you choose, they will communicate to the other two credit monitors on your behalf. 

So, you’ll want to find “temporary fraud alert” on their web page, and enter your information.  BOOM you’ll stop getting 5-6 credit card solicitations in your mailbox per week.  

Also, set a reminder today in your phone to renew annually, because a temporary fraud alert with one of these companies is only good for 365 days.  

1/15 are victims of identity theft.  
So it’s a great defense too- especially, if you don’t have a locked mailbox. Or, if you’re like me and just moved to a new town and keep getting your neighbor’s mail and packages.  

Identity theft is a class 4 felony. 

This one’s on the house for being a valued reader…
You’re welcome!
CK

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

My Name is Blue Sky, and I'm Bluer Than all of You...

 Hey guys!

Reporting in that I completed my THIRD 14’er (this is a hike over 14,000 feet - that’s 2.7 miles above the ocean) the weekend before last (and since moving to Colorado in 2020).  I'm averaging one 14er per year!  Although I'm hoping to tackle another one before the summer is over (the weather starts getting inclement into the Fall and it could be icy and you could die), and because there's no physical fitness "high" quite like it.  This, hands down, was my favorite 14'er and I'm super excited to share my pictures!  

So, I decided for my 3rd 14'er to tackle Mt. Evans, since Mt. Evans basically dominates the city of Denver's skyline (which is already a mile high), the prominence being over 9,000 feet.  It's hard to believe this 14'er is only 35 miles west of Denver "as the crow flies."  Mt. Evans can be seen from as far as Castle Rock and Fort Collins (over 100 miles away)!  Also, my first 14’er was Mt. Bierstadt (which means “beer city” in German) which connects over to Mt. Evans on a ridge line.  So, I've been itching to go back and get to the top of this bad boy.

Every single shot had the sun creeping in (which is known as a  lens flare or scattered flare in photo shhhcience)...it was glorious to be that close to the sun!

First, it's classified as a Class 2 which simply means it's progressively harder than, say a Class 1 14'er.  A Class 1 has a walking path all the way to the top.  Whereas, a Class 2 has A LOT of scrambling, climbing/where you have to use your hands quite often (which is why I don't hike these with poles - they just get in my way).

So, Mt. Evans was originally known as Mount Rosa (named after a gorgeous mountain range in Switzerland, translates to “red mountain,” and also Albert Bierstadt allegedly named it after the wife of Fitz Hugh Ludlow).  However, the mountain was renamed to Mount Evans, after a very territorial governor, John Evans (he apparently decided to borrow this land from the “Indians” - a term Columbus coined this term because he initially thought he was in India - for few centuries).  Additionally, Evans was connected to the Sand Creek Massacre where several indigenous peoples were victim (and we’ll never really know the real number because how to reconstruct something that wasn’t popular to write about then, because people thought so little of the natives to our country).  

So, on March 2022, Clear Creek County approved a proposal to rename the mountain to Mount Blue Sky due to the negative history.  The new name was gifted by the modern Cheyenne and Arapahoe nations.  This erasure of history is controversial, and while I can see both sides of the story here, I just caution totally erasing every shameful or bad part of history.  It's there to learn from - even if you don’t like, ESPECIALLY if you don’t like it.  The best example is a bad example.  You’re more likely to pay attention to these dark moments in history.  We should never forget these stories were part of our history as a Nation.  My $0.02, take it or leave it.  How will people judge us 50 years from now when we cannot even determine what a woman is!?!

We started our trek at the trailhead at 5 a.m (also known as the butt crack of dawn)., so naturally we were able to catch some gorgeous sunrise shots on Mt. Evans.  Also, here is some theme music from Widespread Panic called "The Waker" which is where I got the title to this blog:




Below the treeline




This one is going in a frame on my wall...this was the lower tundra below the treeline.  There are so many cool wildflowers!  You'll see sunflowers and Rocky Mountain Columbine (which is our state flower) and these guys, dwarf willows.



Thinking this is a framer too!



This will probably be wall art...it's meeeee.  Weeeeeee.  This was zoomed in a bit. 

There's a little puddle hopping at one point.  I'm assuming from snowmelt...

These little guys were growing all over the upper tundra above the treeline.  The vegetation becomes SPARSE!  So, you'll see these compact little "green cusions" of joy which love to grow out of the cracks of rocks.  These are called Alpine Forget-me-nots.  


Snow!


This guy is Sawtooth...a topographic landmark you’ll see in the panoramic views to the top. 




So, the climate can be extreme.  The mean annual temperature on the summit (which I'm about half way there in this pic) is 18 degrees Fahrenheit.  So, again, there are only a few months out of the year to do 14’ers unless you’re either really good or have a death wish and want to come up second best to Mother Nature’s unadulterated fury where they find you nine months later frozen with your cardboard sign and empty oxygen bottle wearing boots that were obviously last year’s model (a little passe tongue in cheek jab at Colorado tourists).  And, temperatures often fall below zero...like, alot.  Brrrrr.  Occassionally temps will even fall to negative forty (-40) degrees.  Yes, folks negative forty.  The highest ever temp recorded on the summit was a balmy 65 degrees.  Additionally, below freezing temps can occur on just about any day of the year.  So you have to dress accordingly, and the technique is to layer your clothing so you can adjust on the fly.  On one 14’er you could experience all 4 seasons.  I had hail and snow blow in on me while climbing Bierstadt, like bee stings would be another analogy.  And, it feels like little pellets of hell hitting your face.  Also helicopter rescue is treacherous because air is so thin.  Helicopters work by pounding air to get lift.  Which means it can’t lift the air craft and crew faithfully and operate safely.   

So, above the treeline like in this picture, the landscape is mostly "alpine tundra."

I'm starting to feel winded here and my heart is beating much faster to compensate for the low oxygen levels.  I’m entering anaerobic state.  When your muscles operate they need oxygen and expel co2.  So my heart was overcompensating for thin air.  

This is the daunting view pretty much for the majority of the upper tundra.

Lots of scrambling and bouldering...


MONEY SHOTS!!!





Matt, who led our hike, awarded me with this coin for my attitude and endurance.  I started my menses at 2 a.m. that morning.  Hahah!  Yup great timing, no?


Christine feeling the win!

The Department of the Interior is responsible for these  US geographical survey markers.  


Matt raising awareness on the peak.  22 veterans take their lives per day in the U.S.!







A cuddly marmot peek-a-boo'ing.  Their official name is "Yellow bellied marmots" and they are so common to see on your way up above the tree line.  Marmot is also a French brand of hiking gear.  


Check out the rocks!  “sometimes I guess there just aren’t enough rocks.”  What movie?  Leave it in the comments. 

Mountain goats frolicking!

Mom and baby goat...they blend SO well!


The top predators below the tree lines on Evans are mountain lions and black bears.  They prey on these Big Horn Sheep and Mountain Goats.  Bahhhhh.

This is one of my prouder snaps and may end up on my wall...sheep booty...Ewwwwwe, speaking of, what do sheep wear to the beach?   A bahhhhkini.  And I’m the marching band they play the tubahhhhh.  

For those who know me, I have like super skinny fingers and would have made a great dentist.  This is called "sausage fingers" which is a common side effect of high altitudes.  Things expand at high altitudes.  So, don't wear any rings or tight bracelets or watches.  Your wrists will also swell.

We also saw a bald eagle.  However, it's common to see brown-capped rosy finches and rock wrens.  However, I was unable to get my phone out in time for bird shots.  So here are some pastoral views instead.  


Bahhhhhhhh!


We are so close to the CAR!  I'm pretty fatigued in this photo.  My legs are about to give out and at this point I want a cold shower and a longggg nap and maybe a gigantic juicy burger.





Here's something really cool and unique about Mt. Evans.  Like Pike's Peak you can drive to the top!  So, if you're pregnant or in a cast from a broken bone or just not up for the challenge, you can still drive to the summit and nobody will take your man card!  And only you will feel like shit internally.  And while my muscles ached for days, only your ego will need recovery.  This is a 5.2 mile in and out and takes anywhere from 4 hours to even longer.  

By the way, permits for parking sell out quickly so don’t wait too late!!!

 And, there's some really cool stuff up there besides a super short switchback trail to the peak of Mt. Blue Skies, there’s also what looks like remnants of an ancient city or ruins.  And, there's a ...

(drumroll please)

HUGE ASS DOME!

This dome-like object is kinda a big deal.  This is the Denver University Observatory (Denver University is a private exclusive, expensive, prestigious, select private school that nobody knows about because they don’t have a football team).  Yes, it's hard to believe Mount Evans is less than an HOUR from Denver, right?  So, this guy is the WORLD'S HIGHEST observatory at 14,260 feet above sea level!!  Bucket list, check!  Have you ever wondered why most observatories are located atop mountain tops?  I thought it's to avoid light pollution; however, here are a few facts about this super high star gazing dome (source: "Science at the Summit" signage at Mt. Evans' summit area):

1)  Telescopes at high elevation look through less haze in the atmosphere than those at sea level, providing a clearer view of the "cosmic wilderness."

2)  Astronomers from Denver University use the telescope within this observatory to study the life cycle of stars, from their birth in cold interstellar clouds to their fiery death as a supernova.  When you’re looking into the cosmos you’re looking light from wayyyy off, so we are looking back in time!

3) Cosmic ray research has been conducted at Mount Evans since the 1930s.  Cosmic rays are charged particles that are constantly raining down on Earth at nearly the speed of light with a tremendous amount of energy.  The rays can shatter atoms in the upper atmosphere.  The by-products of these collisions reach the earth resulting in charged air or biological mutations!  So, dense atmosphere at sea level protect against cosmic rays.  Whereas elevations like Mt. Evans offer little to  no protections.

Here's a shot of my footnotes...

The Mount Evans visitor center - which got a wee bit charred in a wild fire (it looks like ancient ruins to me).  Not sure the story, but honestly just trying to get this blog finally posted (so if you're mildly curious - Google it.)





Thanks for stopping by!  And, definitely add a Colorado 14’er to your fitness goals!  It's a great sense of accomplishment!  And I’m dedicating this blog to my cousin recovering from a knee replacement surgery.  She's recovering so well!  Also, I’m dedicating this post to this fine, physically fit group of human beings (picture below) - The 22 Peakers!  Find Matt and his lovely wife Christine on IG - "The 22 Peak Project"...they raise awareness for Veteran Suicide in our country.  It is estimated 22 veterans take their lives in America PER DAY!  Matt will gladly share his story about how physical fitness and 14’ers have transformed his life for the better and improved his mental health.  He is off opiates, antidepressants and quit drinking!  Also, their attitude and energy is straight contagious.  I recommend doing a 14’er with them any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  Matt will definitely give you some great pointers for training and how to better your techniques.  He and his wife are pros!

Closing'r out with a tune from one of the best bands of all time and dedicating to everyone in this pic who made this 14’er so very memorable and fun, Blue Sky by The Allman Brothers Band...




Dueces, CK




Abraham Shakespeare

Annnnd the winning numbers arrrrre… The Mega Millions lotto went down a few weekends ago, and I was eating guacamole and fajitas with friend...