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April 16, 1999
a year ago

Ft. Lupton and Snow

Inadvertantly ate breakfast in Fort Lupton this morning. It was good, but not to die for and not nearly as amazing as at Dot's, though given that it was impromptu, it seemed appropriate.

We were out there to get our vehicles registered with Colorado. After getting the VIN's okayed by the Erie police for $5 and no hassel, we brought the paperwork into Ft. Lupton, which is the next biggest city in Weld county to our place. They had a Department of Motor Vehicles, they were so big. So we went there to get things registered. John was told that they opened at 8 a.m.; but when we reached the office, it turned out that the real time they opened was 8:30, so we went wandering about the town of Ft. Lupton, looking for breakfast.

The Wagonwheel was crowded, when we drove by, so we rolled in there, and found a drive-through parking spot. We've been looking for more and more of those as we go, as the Range Rover still can't back up. The lot was crowded as was the restaurant and the service was quick and simple, as was the food. Though the bacon was absolutely exceptional, thick, crisp around the edges, sweet and smoky. It was wonderful. My biscuit and gravy were good, but uninspired, as were John's eggs and hash. We both enjoyed the bacon a lot, though. Meat candy.

The waitress, it turned out was from the Pacific Northwest herself, and she said that she's going to move back someday, she misses the rain and the trees. That was interesting.

By the time we got out, the registration place was open, and we went in blithly and stood there for the next forty minutes as they ran around trying to find blue book values on the Stoat and the Range Rover; both of which are kinda hard. The Stoat was easier as it existed when Land Rovers were still being imported into the U.S., so when she found a 1967 blue book, she was able to find it in there. The Rangie was a bit harder, as it's a '79 and they never really imported Range Rovers until sometime in '87. So they did a best guestimate and then asked us to write a check for about $30. Yow. Talk about a difference. We're so used to Seattle's insane vehicle registration fees that are often in the multiples of hundreds.

We were even able to get 'collector's plates' for the Stoat as it's more than 25 years old, so we can get five years worth of registration done at a time, and it doesn't have to do anything about emissions. A double bonus. It's really funny seeing the absolutely gorgeous vintage car on the plate right on the ugly, military utility of the Stoat. And the five years' worth of registrations were about a hundred bucks all together, which means it was only twenty some dollars a year. That was remarkable.

It was a good thing, all in all. It looks like we're going to be able to do the same kind of deal for the Green Monster.

Going into Boulder, clouds were all bunched up in the sky right next to the mountains. It's supposed to snow again this afternoon; but it's just flurries and unpredictable accumilations. A bit more precip. I guess I really did bring it with me.

Work is minorly frustrating as I have most of my data on ZIP disks and I don't have a ZIP drive on my machine. I really like the capacity of those things. BIT has a ZIP drive, but it couldn't read the disk. I had to go to the marketing department to get it read and so I just loaded the work docs that were on it and got those onto my machine. I might be able to log onto that machine some late evening or early morning and get all the other stuff over as well. I did, however, get what I needed to do the next phase of my work stuff. I also installed the MKS toolset and have, of all things, a Windows version of vi. Now *that* is funny.

Lunch was a little burrito place near work and a visit to an appliance store to see the Asko dishwashers as we really want to replace the noisy monster in the kitchen with something quieter and less energy hoggish.

This afternoon there was a sudden filling of the sky with snowflakes. Everywhere the air turned white, and it was cold enough that one could see it almost instantly stick to the grass, the cars, the sidewalks slowly turning white. It's really falling again.

By the time we left work the air was filled with flakes and there were very few people out on the roads. We had two things we had to do before going home, and they were to visit some kind of hardware store and also get to a grocery store to get some milk. The hardware store took a while to find because John remembered seeing it in some mall or another and wasn't quite sure where, but we found it by driving through enough places that were familiar and probably on the way to something that he'd been before.

Along that snowy wandering we drove by a Good Times burger stand that, from the neon, the two lanes for drive-thru with one passanger pickup lane, and the speed by which folks went through, looked a lot like one of the California In and Out burgers. It looked like they were doing good business and were locally run, so a likely place for great burger. I had, however, plans for dinner.

The McGuckins Hardware was a true treasure, when we finally found it in the back of this fancy, neon mall type area. It was completely filled with Stuff of all kinds. Every hardware need you might have and then some, including cookware, bath goodies, a few packages of gormet foods, and all the art supplies I've always wondered about but could never find. They even had the cool watercolors that I like to use on *sale*. They had every hardware bit one could think of, too, putting Eagle to shame simply by crowding it all in. Entire corridors of wire, pipes, light fixtures, and electrical wiring things. It was really cool because I lost John fairly quickly and then I had the excuse of 'I'm looking for my husband' everytime someone asked me if they could help me. That got a few laughs.

We then stopped by the Whole Foods on the way out of town and I got distracted by all the cool possibilities. In many ways, they're an in between, between Larry's super-polished image and Trader Joe's cheap prices and excellent selection of truly excellent Stuff. The produce here in Colorado is much more varied, plentiful, ripe, and marvelous. I found snow peas in the produce section, as well as those lovely, pale, tender Chinese eggplant that I got a few days back. The meat section also has a huge variety of cuts of beef as well as pork, and they had about a dozen speciality sausages that they make just in the store. We bought some of the breakfast sausage for tomorrow morning.

They also had a little bakery, called the Daily Bread, and one loaf that was called the Daily Bread loaf. It's big, chewey, rustic, with a thick, crunchy crust and chewy, marvelous interior that is half whole wheat and half white with excellent texture and bite as well as a nutty taste. We had it for dinner along with stir-fried eggplant with pork and hoisin sauce and the stir-fried snow peas with some of the sweet Chinese sausage from the Denver adventure. The snow peas turned out crisp, sweet, and crunchy, picking up just a bit of the flavor from the sausage.

We didn't eat until about 10:30, getting home took a little time.

Fezzik wasn't in the yard when we got home. He didn't come charging over to the gate when I opened it and he didn't greet John when he got out of the car. Greatly worried, I called for him. Then John went into the house and found Fezzik in the house. It turned out that the back patio door hadn't been quite closed enough, so he'd just pushed his way into the house. So he was dry, warm, and cheerful when we showed up. Not that he isn't always happy to see us

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