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Started: 2007-09-27 21:31:30

Submitted: 2007-09-27 22:14:42

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On Saturday, 8 September, the day after my twenty-seventh birthday, I divided my time between playing Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and preparing for my birthday-inspired gathering that night. (This involved cleaning the floors, which hadn't been vacuumed or mopped since I went to Australia, doing dishes, and otherwise restoring order to a chaotic house.) At 1900, my former coworker Brian, his girlfriend, and Zan Lynx showed up. We snacked and sat down to play Settlers of Catan, starting with a briefing on exactly how to play the game. Brian's girlfriend ended up winning and seemed taken by the game. Kiesa went to bed (as it was getting late and she worked on Sunday) and I brought out Star Munchkin, which proved amusing, although we didn't quite manage to play to completion before the gathering broke up around 2300.

On Sunday, I didn't do much at all; I played Metroid and finally managed to drag myself out of the house late in the afternoon to walk around the neighborhood and find two geocaches within a few kilometers of my house. The day was overcast, with a high cloud cover and no rain.

Thursday, 13 September was BLUG, which was informative as usual. Before making it to the meeting, I left work a bit early and headed to the library for some personal e-mail, which proved not to be the quick response I hoped for. That ate up the time I planned for hiking; I ended up eating at Tokyo Joe's in Boulder and reading Recursion, which I picked up on the new science fiction rack in the library.

On Saturday, 15 September, Kiesa encouraged me to arrange some sort of hike and volunteered to take care of food. I carted my vast array of guidebooks down to the dining room, spread out several layers of maps, and finally decided upon a brilliant destination: Woodland Lake and Skyscraper Reservoir in Indian Peaks Wilderness, accessible from Hessie, sitting one valley north of King Lake and one valley south of Devil's Thumb; two weeks prior, I looped around the valley in my epic fifteen-mile expedition. This trek was a stately ten miles, round trip, with not more than two thousand vertical feet gained. Being the middle of September, fall had come to the high alpine valley; the vegetation was dry and brown, and the wind was cold enough to make me glad I brought my long-sleeved shirt. I got the opportunity to use the shiny new polarization filter for my camera, which let me photograph Woodland Lake and Skyscraper Reservoir with and without the sky reflecting off the surface of the water.

On the way down, we looped to the north to take the Devil's Thumb Bypass trail, filling in the hundred meters of trail connecting the Woodland Lake trail to the bypass trail, fulfilling another part of my vast scheme for world domination through mapping local hiking trails.

On Sunday, 16 September, I played more Metroid (as I had been doing every night for the past week) and went shopping for frames for the photos I printed the previous week. (My employer is holding another photo contest, for which I had been collecting a backlog of photos ever since the last one. This encouraged me to print my photos and post some of them on my walls.) Kiesa took me to Ross, conveniently located in the shopping center that sprang up on Ken Pratt Boulevard east of Main Street since moving to Longmont. I found a reasonable selection of appropriately-sized frames at reasonable prices but couldn't shake the feeling that I was shopping a few notches below my tax bracket.

Willy and his roommate Shane showed up right on schedule at 2000, en route to Walla Walla from Oklahoma (and, in Shane's case, Texas). I showed off my copies of The Onion (America's finest news source) and Shane found The Simpsons: Hit And Run, which (as advertised) played just fine in my Wii, once I dug around for the GameCube controller and memory card. While setting up sleeping arrangements for my guests, I confirmed that our air mattresses have feline-related punctures. My attempt to patch the twin mattress failed, leaving me to deploy my sleeping bag as a backup plan.

On Monday, Willy and Shane toured Boulder and managed to drop by my office for an uninspired tour in the middle of the afternoon. I showed off exciting sights such as the second-floor galley kitchen, the bizarre holes vertically connecting the first and second floors, my cubicle, and the fact that the truss south of the main beam is deeper than the truss on the north side of the main beam.