Scenes from Colorado

I finally broke down and bought Lightroom 3. It’s awesome and definitely worth getting (even if you have LR2). Anyway, I was in Colorado this last weekend for my college roommates wedding. It was pretty epic. I got to see some great friends from my College Days™ — many of whom I haven’t seen in years1 — and meet some new people as well.

I think my favorite part was when Ben was reciting his vows to Kim, he did them in French. This was awesome because Kim was a French/Technical Writing major and Ben does not speak any French at all. I wasn’t part of the wedding party, but I was asked to take video of the event. So of course I brought my camera along too2:

50.0 mm || 1/1250 || f/2.5 || ISO320 || NIKON D70
Ken Caryl, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/2.5 || ISO320 || NIKON D70
Ken Caryl, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.2 || ISO320 || NIKON D70
Ken Caryl, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/100 || f/2.2 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/100 || f/2.2 || ISO640 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/80 || f/2.2 || ISO640 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/160 || f/2.2 || ISO640 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/80 || f/2.2 || ISO640 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/250 || f/2.2 || ISO640 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/100 || f/1.8 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/1000 || f/2.2 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Littleton, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/80 || f/2.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Ken Caryl, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/125 || f/2.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/50 || f/2.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/40 || f/2.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/60 || f/2.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/100 || f/2.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/2000 || f/2.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Boulder, Colorado, United States

50.0 mm || 1/5000 || f/2.8 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Broomfield, Colorado, United States

Update: Added a photo I forgot to upload. Also, per usual, you can see the rest of the wedding-related photos on Flickr: Sikora Wedding Awesome.

  1. Okay, maybe 15 months 

  2. with only my 50mm lens as an experiment in creative composition 

What Is Really, Truly Good

Jesse sent me this video and I just got a chance to look at it. It’s such a great message:

Note: you may need to click through if you can’t see the video above.

The video was created by Jonathan Collins, the same creative genius behind the Advent Conspiracy video I love so much1.

I love little reminders, like this video, because I’ll never grow old of needing to be reminded “how God calls people into his Church, how God transforms people in His Church, and how He asks them to respond;” and that pesky little “selfish belief that life is about us.”2

Sometimes I just need a smack in face, other times a simple creative reminder works just as well.

  1. which, incidentally, Jesse also pointed me to 

  2. Hint: it’s not 

That One Time I Did a Sprint Triathlon

I completed my first sprint triathlon yesterday in 1:48:09 (that would be one hour, 48 minutes). I felt pretty good about that time, and it was nice a split between my target (<2:00) and my reach (1:30). Overall, I think the swim part was the easiest, probably because I was the most worried about it and put the most effort into getting ready for it. Swimming is also the first part of the triathlon, so I was still fresh and feeling energized. I felt really good on the transition to the bike, but had some issues with actual ride itself. I didn't have an outright mechanical failure, but after the race I noticed that my back tire was skewed relative to the frame. This caused the tire to rub up against the frame and no doubt cost me some time. I taped a Clif Shot Bloks to my bike, which was a good idea; I didn’t not have water, which was a bad idea.

The transition from bike to run was pretty easy. All I had to do was dump my bike and helmet and off I went. The first part of the run was Suuuuucky, with a capital “S”. My legs didn’t take the transition to well. I walked for a bit so I could reorganize my thoughts and energy then started running again, pacing behind another runner and just focusing on forward progress. The last 2K were much better than the previous three and I felt pretty strong for those.

I finished 931st overall (out of 1104) and 29th (out of 31) for my division (males 20-24)

My swim time was 16:36 (1:53/100 yards, placed 19/31)
My bike time was 55:42 (12.93 MPH, placed 31/31)
My run time was 31:22 (10:06/mile, placed 28/31)

My swim to bike transition time was 3:21 (placed 21/31)
My bike to run transition time was 1:08 (placed 4/31)

If you look at those numbers and do some extrapolating, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to shave 10 to 15 minutes off my time for just biking with a properly aligned wheel (I was passed by practically everyone). I also need to work more on my running after biking transition (not the actual in-the-pit transition, but running after biking 12 miles).

Pictures will come soon (mom still has them on the camera).

See also: Raw Race Results

For the week of 2010-07-18 in Tweets

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Once upon a time….

Once upon a time….
…. in a land far away….
…. there lived a boy….
…. who was waiting.

He loved his family, he loved his friends, and more than anything, he loved God.

Now, this prince had within his heart a desire — a desire that one day, another would come who would glorify the Lord with him and walk this path of life.

So, he waited1 in the arms of his Father, knowing that all He does is perfect.

Then one day….
…. his Father said….
…. “it is time.”2

I would like you to know that I have a girlfriend. Her name is Carly and she’s awesome. We’ve been good friends for several months now (we also went to Haiti together) and after lots of back and forth-ing, some might even say arguing, I asked her out two weeks ago and then we decided to start dating.

To say it’s been a long road to this point would be an understatement. However, we both agree that the adventure is just beginning. Unfortunately, Le GF is going on a road trip tomorrow, followed by me taking a trip to Colorado, so I won’t see her for a week-and-a-half.

  1. though impatient at times 

  2. NB: This is based on something my cousin, Katie, originally wrote. I’m repurposing it because I honestly don’t have a better way to express my thoughts. 

What Are You Going To Do?

On Monday, I found out that I guy I worked with1 who retired earlier this year was diagnosed with kidney cancer a week ago or so. By time the doctors found it, it had already metastasized to the rest his body and doctors were giving him three weeks to live (without treatment) or up to three months with chemo.

Just this morning I found out that he had passed away.


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Death is a bitch, cancer even more so.

My heart is heavy this morning and my prayers are with his family.

I think this also points out an important aspect of life that we sometimes like to overlook: tomorrow could be your last day. We are pretty fragile beings, all things considered.

I once read a report detailing how placing the human head at the top of the body was the worst design flaw ever2 because of how much it exposes a supremely vital organ to all sorts of dangers (falling, impalement, low-hanging ceilings, etc).

I’m not saying that tomorrow is going to be your last day, so don’t act like it is. Just recognize that it could be.

Do I really want to spend all my time working so I can retire and really start living? Shouldn’t I really start living right now, if I’m not already?

Carpe diem; ad proximum convivium.

  1. I knew him by name, but I didn’t work with him on a regular basis 

  2. well, maybe not ever 

You Need a Commitment Strategy Not an Exit Strategy

I’m reading Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson of 37signals. It’s very much a book about business, management, and entrepreneurship. But I came across this section and couldn’t help but see how it was applicable to my life in dating:

Would you go into a relationship planning the breakup? Would you write the prenup on a first date? Would you meet with a divorce lawyer the morning of your wedding? That would be ridiculous, right?

You need a commitment strategy, not an exit strategy. You should be thinking about how to make your project grow and succeed, not how you’re going to jump ship. If your whole strategy is based on leaving, chances are you won’t get far in the first place.

Don’t be that guy. If you do manage to get a good thing going, keep it going. Good things don’t come around that often. Don’t let your business be the one that got away.

I also love the illustrations!

For the week of 2010-07-11 in Tweets

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Georgetown Steam Plant Photo Stroll

Waaay back in the beginning of May, I went on a photo stroll with the Seattle Flickrites:


This is a GREAT chance to get a look at a piece of Seattle history.

Besides the usual attractions, May 8 is the day of the annual steam engine display and barbecue picnic:

The picnic is free and open to the public. Being a potluck, a suggested donation of $2 a person is requested if patrons do not bring a dish. The museum supplies coffee, organic hamburgers and hot dogs, and veggie burgers. In addition to a duplicate of the steam meets, the front yard is filled with operating steam, air, and hot gas engines.

From the Web site above:
The Georgetown Steam Plant, a surprisingly complete and operable steam power plant after a career of nearly seventy-five years, was built in the early 1900s when Seattle’s inexpensive hydroelectric power attracted manufacturers.

Much of the power produced at this plant operated the streetcars. It marks the beginning of the end of the reciprocating steam engine’s domination in the growing field of electrical energy generation for lighting and power.

I finally got around to editing the photos just about a week ago. Here are some of my favorites:

48.0 mm || 1/80 || f/4.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

50.0 mm || 1/80 || f/3.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

18.0 mm || 1/80 || f/3.5 || ISO800 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

0.0 mm || 1/80 || f/0.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

0.0 mm || 1/80 || f/0.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

50.0 mm || 1/500 || f/8.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Seattle, Washington, United States

Per usual, see the rest at: Georgetown Steam Plant

You can also see everyone else’s photos from this photo stroll at: Seattle Flickrites May 2010 Photo Stroll