2023 June Checkup


First up for the month was my niece Rachel’s wedding! It was held at the Perry Community Center, a very cool place. The wedding was great, from the ceremony and violinist to the reception and DJ. And by DJ, that was me and I turned that mother out.

I presented at the CREATE conference on the 8th at Maumee High School. It was great catching up with people that I haven’t had a chance to talk to in real life for over 3 years.

My BIL Craig was in town on the tenth, and we took him out to 101 Smokehouse. Three days later was Tara’s and my 25th Anniversary dinner with Tara at Ralphies. I know, such a romantic spot.

This summer I decided to dye my hair purple. Why? It’s all about no regrets. I don’t want to be bald in my 80s thinking, “I should have dyed my hair in my 50s”.

If I had know the Barbie movie was going to be so popular I would have gone with pink, but there’s always next summer.

Mom had a check up at The James. Everything is looking good, and we got Culver’s!

In sad news, Jeff Rickenbacher passed away. I have such great memories of 4-H club meetings at his house, along with our many video game sessions throughout HS. He was able to do one last trip with the family.

4-H Chicago Trip

I am very thankful I was asked to help chaperone the 4-H trip to Chicago. It was a fantastic trip. The bus drive seemed to fly by, and we started our outings in Chicago with some Chicago deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria. The next day was a trip to 360 Chicago and some spectacular views of the city. There was also The Tilt, a “ride” which tilts you over the side of a skyscraper. It didn’t agree with some people, but I thought it needed to tilt out farther!

Afterwards we all went to Ed Debevic’s. The name sounded familiar, and then I remembered I ate their when I came to Chicago from college for a Music Conference.

Our waiter was not impressed

That afternoon we had a fantastic tour of Chinatown, taking the train down and getting a walking tour. We painted kites and ate authentic Chinese food.

In the evening was our river cruise around Chicago. The cruise was very cool, although the fireworks were a little underwhelming.

The next day was a trip to The Bean. I’ve seen it a couple of times, so it’s lost a little of it’s luster to me, but the kids really liked it. After the bean was a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley field! Although they lost against the Orioles, 6-3, the first hit of the game was a home run by the Cubs! We had awesome patio seats with free food. My only negative for the day was troubleshooting some network issues back home, but luckily Kolt was available to run up to the high school and get everything working.

That evening was the “walking ghost tour” of Chicago, which I wasn’t too psyched about, but once we got there it was amazing.

Our guide, Baylor, was amazing. What I learned was that a lot of people died in rather senseless ways, usually in a fire. I also learned that Al Capone did more by the end of his thirties then I have done now!

Out last day was some shopping, a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo, and then off to the Chicago School of Shoemaking. I made an awesome leather belt!

Colorado Trip

We flew out to Colorado to see Delaney and one of the productions she worked on at the opera house in Central City. Unfortunately, we got going a day late do to a ton of travel delays. Our flight was supposed to leave from Columbus and return to Columbus, but due to the issues we switched to flying out of Cleveland. This was going to be a pain except we’re grateful that Joel offered to drive us to Cleveland. This meant that we could take the Pilot down to Rochelle’s before we left, and when we returned she could pick us up at the airport and we could drive home from her place. Anything to save on parking!

Our hotel was in Georgetown, a really cool town a little over 30 minutes west of Denver. However, the airport is on the extreme east side of Denver, so we had over an hour drive to get there. Picking up the rental car from Thrifty was an experience. Basically, they just point you to a car and register you on the way out. The funny thing was this huge barricade that comes up out of the ground to stop you from just driving away with a car. I don’t know if people steal from rental places a lot, but they act like it does.

The rental car was a Kia Forte, which was a pretty nice car. It had lane assist, which was cool. I assumed it also had adaptive cruise, but I couldn’t figure it out and I was too lazy to look it up.

On the way to Georgetown we stopped at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. Tara and I had been there before, but Grace hadn’t. After a brief rain, we were all set to go look but unfortunately there was a concert that night and so we weren’t allowed in.

Our first stop at Georgetown was the Georgetown Visitor Center. Your typical visitor center. After that we checked in and headed over to Cabin Creek Brewing for supper.

By this time I was starting to feel lightheaded. Denver is around 5,000 feet and Georgetown is even higher at 8,500. I figured I wouldn’t have an issue with all my running, but I was wrong. The first morning I went out for a run, and the first mile felt… Wrong? Different? I toughed it out, but I didn’t break any speed records. It didn’t really get any easier either.

Next up was a visit to Garden of the Gods and the Visitor Center. We do not have geological formations like this in Ohio. It felt like it could be a planet on Star Trek, I was ready for a Gorn to pop out.

After the Garden of the Gods we bought a timed pass to climb Pike’s Peak. We had some time to kill before we could go, so we stopped at the North Pole, Home of Santa’s Workshop which is on the way up Pikes Peak. If you are under the age of 7 that place is great. It was free admission that day so we walked around. The magic show was way better than you would think. Also, the map hadn’t been updated. It showed an arcade, but the building now looks like it is used for storage. There seemed to be some games inside, but nothing we could play.

Finally, it was time to climb Pikes Peak, and oh boy, what a drive it is. There are no guardrails as you are driving up, and if you went off the road, it was a mile or two straight down. On the way up we saw our first marmoset crossing the road. The temperature on the way up dropped 40 degrees, getting down to the 30s at the top. It was snowing a little bit! The oxygen level at the top is 50% of what it is at sea level, so I was not doing well. We did hear the best conversation though, a man was on the phone and he told the caller “just here watching a marmoset lick a rock”. It looked like someone had spilled a drink, so the marmoset was cleaning it up.

While we were up there the rangers came in to the center alarmed, telling us that if we drove up that we needed to leave NOW! The weather had totally changed since we got there, with the clouds rolling in and visibility dropping down to 20-30 feet. We started our descent, using the GPS and the lights on the car in front of us to help. They warned us not to ride the brakes, but as we were going down I started to smell them. About four miles down is a stop and the rangers check the temperatures of the brakes. The smell was coming from the car in front of us, their brakes were over 400 degrees! That car had to stop and wait, while our brakes were at a cool 160 and we were allowed to proceed.

We stayed out there into July, so you’re going to want to read the July checkup to see how the rest of the trip went!


  • Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse: Visually amazing, story is amazing, being part one of two was a bummer.
  • The Little Mermaid: Pretty good, I like how they tried to make Ariel more a part of her story. But, having her sing “Part of That World” instead of “Part of your World” because she hadn’t met Eric yet didn’t really work for me.
  • Moonfall: I expected this to be more fun and outrageous. It was just ok.
  • Date Night: Tina Fey and Steve Carrell, of course it’s good.
  • Adventures in Babysitting: Rewatching a classic.
  • The A-Team: Better than I remembered.
  • The Flash: It was ok. I liked how they just decided to burn down the whole DC movie universe since it’s going to be redone by James Gunn.
  • The 40 Year Old Virgin: Another Stever Carrell classic, and it’s pretty good.
  • Happy Gilmore: Adam Sandler movies are like comfort food, when you can’t think of something to watch, put one on and veg out for 2 hours.


TV I watched (number of episodes in parenthesis):

  • Cheers (11)
  • Everybody Loves Raymond (2)
  • Family Ties (5)
  • The King of Queens (1)
  • Wings (2)


  • Average Steps/day: 16,705
  • Most steps in a day: 28,640
  • Min steps in a day: 12,049
  • Resting Heart Rate: 58
  • Average Time Asleep: 7h 3m
  • Miles walked: 171.2
  • Miles ran: 31.8


I don’t think I’ve ever traveled more miles in a month then I did in June. There were 2,133 miles driven (which includes the bus ride to Chicago) and 1,199 miles flying, for a total of 3,332 miles traveled.