Monday, December 8, 2008

Costa Rica

We just got back from a family vacation to Costa Rica. We had a great time hanging out with PoPa, MoMa, and Josh. Travelogue:

Day 1: We hopped on a flight from Denver to Houston, and then finally landed in San Jose. After a long day of travel we headed over to our hotel and crashed out.

Day 2: We got in our rental car and decided to check out Poas National Park, or more specifically the active volcano therein. Unfortunately, the weather (hucking down rain) and lack of time made us turn back at the entrance. The drive up gave us a taste of what traveling around Costa Rica would be like - bad roads, sketchy drivers, and pedestrians walking nonchelantly down the middle of the road. It's not suprising that Costa Rica has one of the highest vehicle accident rates in the world. Eventually we made it to down to our bungalow in Playa Hermosa and unpacked and settled in.

Day 3: Wanting to check out some local stuff, we drove around the countryside near Jaco. We stopped at a bridge overlooking the Tarcoles River to watch the crocodiles sunbathe. After that drove into the foothills to see a local fauna zoo. Xander wasn't to sure about the snakes and frogs, but everyone loved the monkeys.

Day 4: Josh, Rochelle and I decided to hike into Carara National Park for a few hours. It was really pouring but the jungle was thick with a dense canopy. There were some really cool plants and tress, but not many animals on display. We did a 10km loop, ate some lunch, and headed home pretty soaked.

Day 5: The whole group loaded up and drove south down to Quepos to check out Manuel Antonio National Park. None of had bothered to read up before we left, so of course when we arrived the park was closed - for cleaning. It was like that scene where the Griswalds get to WallyWorld and it was closed. Major bummer! Anyhow, it was a beautiful day so we hit la playa and had a great time. Xander had a great time playing in the surf with PoPa.

Day 6: The zip-lines were calling us (well Josh and I) so we dragged Rochelle up into the mountains to take a canopy tour. It was definately one of the trip's highlights. There were about 13 segments with one that was around 700 meters - all crazy fast and high. After Chelle stopped shaking she actually started to enjoy herself (somewhere around the fourth segment). =)

Day 7: It was back to Quepos to explore Manuel Antonio N.P and let me tell you, it did not dissapoint. We hiked in through the entrance and not a mile in we saw sloths and boas high up in the trees. We didn't stand a chance locating the animals in the dense foilage by ourselves so we poached tour groups. It was simple, if you saw a group of gringos looking up into the canopy with cameras in hand, there was a good chance you were going to see something cool. We spent a few more hours in the park walking around the trail systems that went from thick jungle to pristine beaches.

Day 8: Back to Quepos (yet again) for a catamaran tour. The boat took us around some smaller offshore islands. Eventually we stopped in a small bay to do some snorkeling. The water was your typical Pacific murky but we did spot a few colorful fish. The crew served us an awesome meal and we imbibed tasty rum drinks in the sun. Fun and relaxing indeed.

Day 9: We basically just chilled around the bungalow and played on the beaches. That evening we threw Xander a pre-birthday party. It was a nice way to end the trip.

Day 10: Packed everything up and drove back to San Jose on a different, but definately "entertaining" road. Eventually we got home and crashed hard after a long day of travel.

Gallery 1 - Gallery 2 - Gallery 3 - Gallery 4


Tarcoles River Crocs

Playa Quepos

B on a Zip Line

Monday, November 17, 2008

A visit from home

Grama & Poppa LaChance came out and stayed with us last week. It was great having them here and playing catch-up. Among the highlights of their trip was a visit to the Bass Pro Shops store in Denver. The store was h-u-g-e! Aquariums... check. Restuarant... check. Hundreds of thousands of square feet of hunting/camping/fishing stuff... check! Anyhow, Rochelle and I managed to escape without purchasing anything, but my parents on the other hand - let's just say I know what a few of you are getting for Christmas. ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Xander's first haircut

Xander's hair was getting shaggy, so we took him down to the local Lollilocks for a haircut. I was all about busting out the clippers but was summarily overruled by Rochelle. Fauxhawk beats the mohawk this time. ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hassel the Hoff

In conjunction with our Movie Studio release we'll also be offering David Hasselhoff as a playable (read: launchable) character! It really is kind of a first for our medium and it's pretty neat to hear all the excitement being generated by this announcement. People magazine has done an article about this as well.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

PAIN - Movie Studio

One of the great things about working on a PSN game is that we produce frequent DLC (download-able content). This also means a shorter development cycle - which is good for keeping customers interested in your product and keeping your work hours normal. Anyhow, with that said, below is what I worked on in the past few months. I think it will be out on November 18th... Happy Birthday Mom! =)

PAIN Movie Studio Trailer

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The angry moose at Long Lake

On Saturday we drove up into the Indian Peaks Wilderness to get in a fall day hike. The Aspen trees are now showing their varying autumn colors from bright yellow to deep orange. Rochelle was especially keen to check them out up close. We started at Brainard Lake and ascended via the trail to Long Lake. Xander was game and we made good time. Upon arrival, we pushed around the loop until we found a good access trail that led down to the water.

At the water we walked out onto a point and began scouting for a good fishing spot. After survyeing for a couple minutes Chelle informed me the trail died out and we'd have to back track. Not one for rewinding I decided to check it out myself... and that's when I noticed "it". I say "it" because I could not indentify what the mass of hair in the brush was. The animal's head and hind-quarters were obscured by thick foliage.

I reached for the camera in my backpack and just as I was pulling it out, the animal vanished into the brush. While I silently cursed the missed opportunity, the brush near us rustled and out came a moose... I kid you not (moose in Colorado?). He was young, probably a year or two old sporting a decent 3x4 rack and a mean disposition. He immediatley charged toward us on the shorline. Sadly I did not get this on video as I was too busy trying to get Chelle and Xander out of there! Anyhow, long story short, we vacated his space and watched from a distance. That's when we noticed his "big brother". Wow, this guy was a monster (glad he wasn't the one who bum-rushed us)! Fun times here in Colorado. =)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pikes Peak

After visiting GoG, we took the train up to the top of Pikes Peak. That's a pretty cool way to catch all the scenery!

God's Garden

Today we drove down to Colorado Springs for some sight-seeing. Our first stop was Garden of the Gods. The weather was really great (mid 80's) and the park contained some outstanding rock formations. A few pics from GoG:

Elitch Gardens

Rochelle's work gave her some tickets to Elitch Gardens, so on Friday we went downtown to check it out. Overcrowded... check. Busted rides... check. Seedy peeps... check. The best way to describe Elitch would be if Disneyland replaced all their rides with the ones you see at the state fair. Ghetto. Anyhow, all was not lost as we got Xander a turn on the carousel.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Downtown Aquarium

Yesterday we took Xander to the Downtown Aquarium in (you guessed it) downtown Denver. It had some pretty decent exhibits including the random Bengal Tiger. What? Ok. Anyhow, it was cool but the Newport Aquarium still takes it. Also nearby was the largest REI I have ever seen. Wow! It was so big that it had an indoor climbing wall. Of course we had to check it out. =)

Media from the trip...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Steamboat Springs Part II

After a long and eventful evening with Xander, we needed some R&R. So we went hiking - to Fish Creek Falls. After that, we took the gondola up to the top of Mt. Werner for brunch. The food was excellent and the views were sweet. =)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Steamboat Springs Part I

We decided to head up to Steamboat Springs for Rochelle's birthday. I wanted to tweak the route in to include Rocky Mountain National Park, and I'm so glad we did! The park was absolutely beautiful. We stopped many times along the way to get some small hikes in when Xander was feeling up to it. He did really well and we eventually made it to our hotel and chilled. Here's some pictures from the first part of the trip:

As we approached the continental divide we encountered a large herd of Rocky Mountain elk. With so many people pulled over to watch them, all we could manage was this drive-by (shaky cam) capture:

Friday, August 15, 2008

First rain

Today was the first day that it's rained since we moved here (thunderstorms don't count). It was actually down into the 60s, but it felt good. Rochelle finished her orientation and started her real job tonight at the hospital. Deb stayed with us for about 10 days, it was nice having her out here with us. When you coming back? ;) Not much else to report, here are a few videos mom took of Xander and his cousins Jacoby and Boaz.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ingrid & Xander

Last weekend Amber and Ingrid stayed with us while they where out here for a wedding. I took the opportunity to take a couple of playtime videos. Ingrid is a month younger, but she is definitely a lot more mobile. At the end of the second video, Xander takes a nasty header on the hardwood floor. Ouch! We may need to take up donations for a bigger rug!

Xander & Ingrid Pt. 1

Xander & Ingrid Pt. 2

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New baby pictures

By baby, I mean our new 2008.5 Audi A3 S-Line. We're loving how good of gas mileage this gets, not to mention how fun it is to drive.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mt. Evans

Today we bagged our first Colorado 14'er, the 14,240 ft. Mt Evans. Of course, by bagging I mean driving up the 14 mile road and then hiking the last 1/4 mile. =) It was pretty hazy so the views suffered a bit, but I got a chance to break-in the new HD Cam and hiking boots.

Mt. Evans - North Side

Mt. Evans - South Side

Rochelle & Xander

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Rochelle and Xander finally made it here!

To celebrate the occasion, I've uploaded new pictures to the photo gallery. Welcome home. =)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rocky mountain high

Last week I had the pleasure of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in an area called Wild Basin. I was accompanied by the Browns as we tackled the Bluebird Lake Trail (10-12 miles rt). The mountains here are so big and so beautiful. The scale and elevation here is not anything like what I've hiked in the Cascades. Just the approach trail I hiked on was higher than a lot of summits I've bagged in Oregon!

These pics are from a friend's camera (Chelle has all the gear with her at Bass Lake) so the pictures are ho-hum. Umm, hello! Take some pictures of the mountains! Anyhow, here's a few from the trip:

Ouzel Falls

Native Colorado Cutthroat Trout were everywhere!
(note to self, bring pole next time)

Candice laughed at this sign, while I reminisced. "Here kitty, kitty..."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Life-line(s) restored

Chelle and Xander came out and stayed with me for about a week. It was great to spend time with my family. Xander was pretty sick (cold + pinkeye) but the meds had him feeling pretty good by the time they left. Chelle is going to finish out her tour-of-duty at St. Chucks with a grueling six straight days marathon. After that, they will drive back here via the Reno - Bass Lake - Palm Springs - Tucson route. What, haven't heard of that?

You know how tv junkies can't live without the boob-tube, or how crackberry addicts would die without their phones? Yeah, I'm like that with my 'net connection. Face it, the internet has proliferated our lives. Need directions? Net. Looking for auto repair shops? Net. Keeping in touch with family and friends. Net. I have this interesting personality dichotomy; I want to live out in the remote mountains in my log home with a OC-192 connection. Someday.

While I may have the net now, we're still waiting for the movers to come. Latest estimate will have them here on Monday. I can't wait - besides having our stuff, I'm anxious to diminish the "cave effect" in our house (large, open rooms with vauled ceilings and hardward floors, not a strand of carpet to be found). Until then, I'll read some more. =)

The eclectic list of books I read during the "Great disconnect of 2008":

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I am currently sans Internet (and tv, and furniture, etc) at the new house so I'm writing this post from my work puter. Not much to report, I'm just holding down the fort until Rochelle and Xander get here on Saturday. I think I'll head over to B&N and grab some books for the downtime. =)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A low-key weekend

It was a pretty low-key weekend around here for me. On Saturday, I went down to a Littleton MINI dealership and test-drove a MINI Cooper Clubman S. Man, what a fun little car to drive! I had a blast rippin around the city, and all their hype is generally substantiated. I often wondered if I would fit into one, but there was a ton of room on the inside. I couldn't even slide the seat all the way back and still work the peddals. Lucky for Rochelle, a couple things prevented me from buying one right there on the spot: first, there's a 3 month wait list with a $1000 (non-refundable) deposit required (yes, they're that popular). Second, they we're going to really screw me on the trade in. I can't even write the value, it's that laughable. Anyhow, as my mom would say, I told them to "pack sand". =)

Today I was blessed to meet up with old friends Dave and Debbie Brown and attend their church's morning service. It was a great service and it really struck me how much I've missed good old Baptist preaching. There weren't 40 alter calls, so I think I can talk Rochelle into going back. ;) Afterwards, I hung out with the Browns for breakfast and a tour of their home. It amazes me how easy it is to get around this area. The roads, parkways, and interstates all seemed designed to get people from point a to b quickly with minimal traffic. I swear I went 20 miles to the other side of Denver in less time than it would take me to go from my old house to Redmond!

In other news, we found a house! I move-in (read: dwell in empty house with aero-bed till the movers show up) tomorrow, so we're pretty excited. It's a really sweet house and location. We are blessed to have recieved it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back to work

As the title says, I'm back to work. I took a designer position for the Boulder area studio Idol Minds. I can't say enough good things about the studio; the people here are talented, fun-loving, and refreshingly team oriented. Just the kind of creative combination needed to make a game like PAIN, which I will begin working on soon. Until then, I will be getting familiarized with their tools n' technology and taking cover from the occational outburst of incoming missles. =)

Thank you all for your support and prayers, we appreciate them greatly. Now all we have to do is find a house, and we'll be set. Well, sorta... I still need wifey and Xander to get out here! Much love to you all, miss you guys.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Well, I've finally made it to Boulder, but it wasn't easy. I originally planned to stop in Ogden, but was making such good time I decided to push on and make it to Rock Springs, WY. It's funny, but the only driving / car issues I've ever had have been in Wyoming. This, coincidently, is also one of the worst places in the entire U.S.A. to have issues (read: long deserted streches of interstate through lunar-like terrain).

Anyhow, about 10 miles from my destination, I see a piece of road debris get kicked up by the vehicle ahead. At first, I thought it was a piece of wood - until a second later when it smashed into my windshield with an emphatic "whack". Wrong, not wood rather a big piece of lug with attached nuts. It scared the crap out of me! Luckly, the Lord was watching out for me as I can't believe the windshield didn't cave in. Here's a pic of the carnage:

After my heart-rate returned to normal, I started limping in to Rock Springs. Literally, about a mile from the exit, I get pulled over by a sheriff. Appearing at my window he enquires if I know why he pulled me over. I gesture to the spidered windshield and take a guess. He replied "nope" without a hint of further inquirery. "I pulled you over because your tags are expired." Doh. I could rant about the DMV not sending me the paperwork, but I should have bothered checking it before I left (my license plate holder partially obscures the tags, so it's difficult to tell).

Anyhow, long story but I made it to Rock Springs in about 12hrs and 60 dollars poorer (citation). Big thanks to MoMa & PoPa for the hotel room, it was actually really nice. Cold Stone was located in the adjacent building, random placement but they got my $$$ too. Today I finished off the rest of the drive, which was around 5hrs into Boulder. Tomorrow, off to work... =)

Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

10 days on the John Day River

I just finished 10 days on the John Day River and man was it fun!

The first 6 days Rochelle, Xander, and I spent with our family doing day floats, camping, and hanging out in the very unpredictable weather. The river was pretty high, muddy, and fast, but we made the best of it and all had a good time. Here's Xander hanging out with his cousins:

For more pictures of the trip (including Cynthia catching a fish, and the Painted Hills), click here.

The last 4 days I spent with my buddies, who also do an annual float trip. The river started dropping and the weather improved. This definitely helped the fishing as you see below...

At the risk of drawing ire from those that fished with me this past week and a half, I won't post pictures of the other hogs I caught. Let's just say the numbers:

Fish 1 - 5.5 lbs.
Fish 2 - 6.5 lbs.
Fish 3 - 5.0 lbs.

It was a good week. =)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day and fishing

What's synanamous with Mother's Day? Fishing, of course! My parent's we're camping out at Prineville Reservoir so we drove out there for the day. They had just upgraded their trailer and wanted to do a test-run. We enjoyed spending the day out there and I caught Xander his first fish (a small-mouth bass). How do you fish with 5 month old? Simple, strap 'em on!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Defying winter

I just got back from a three day fishing / rafting trip down the John Day River. Our friend Michael joined me on the float. We were blessed with awesome weather and had the river all to ourselves the whole (50 miles) way. Here's a shot of Micheal enjoying the sunshine and scenery.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Warming up

With the weather getting all warm (mid 60s) and sunny, we decided to head outdoors for some hiking. Our good friends Aaron and Russ had given us an awesome REI pack for Xander's birth, so we headed out for a test-run at Smith Rock State Park. The pack's manual states the intended ages of 6 months - 2 years. However, Xander is not you average sized 4 month old (in retrospect, we should have asked for 9-12 month aged clothes at the baby shower).

Since he's proven trail worthy on previous expeditions and doesn't resemble a bobble-head, we geared up and hit the trail. We decided on the "loop" which follows around the Crooked River and summits at Monkey Face figuring the skree slope would be better tackled on an ascending, rather than descending approach. (note for future trips: trekking poles are a God-send when packing 30 lbs. of child with a center of balance slightly above your head.)

Anyhow, the hike was a success if measured by getting from point "a" to point "b" without injury or loss of life. Realistically, we probably pushed him a little bit. On the descent via Misery Ridge (aptly named of course) he had a melt-down of Chernobyl proportions. This could have been caused by the heat, hunger, or time spent battened down by REI's overzealous 7-point harness. Anyhow, he was over it. Once past the technical section, we got him out and Chelle carried him the rest of the way while I followed with the child carrier sans child. Nice.

Back at the car Chelle noticed some serious hickeys on her shoulder. Turns out, Xander was teething again. Poor guy just gnawed on mom's shoulder for comfort. Sadly, I don't have any photographic evidence to post. Well, what can you say... we're learning. :) Here's some pics from the trip:

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Really no excuses for the lack of umm... updating. Do trips to Boulder and Seattle count? I didn't think so. Anyhow, how about some random thoughts in bullet point format?

1. Still no news in the future employment category. Coincidently, I've been doing a lot of thinking/studying/praying lately about discerning God's will. Fascinating subject when you really think about it. There are a lot of different opinions out there. Here's one and another. The last one I read was interesting. Did you know that the word "discernment" is only found once in the bible?

"...this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ." Philippians 1:9-10

2. I won some NCAA tournament pool$.

3. Punxsutawney Phil was right this year, but I think he was a bit off on his time frame. Winter is still hitting us hard here with snow on the ground a few days ago and freezing temps. Forecast? More snow and cold.

4. Mom, we saw you on the news tonight. Dang, give us a heads up or something! Then when I was trying to find the video to link, I ran across this article where they interviewed Al J.

5. I updated the menu links over there --->

6. Xander keeps getting bigger every day. Seems like every time I pick him up he weighs more. Maybe I just need to visit the gym a little more often.

8. Opening day of fishing recently happened here. Unfortunately, nobody could fish because all of the lakes were frozen over.

9. May is coming, and you know what that means.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Madness

For a hoops junkie like me, the next three weeks are the best in sports (NCAA Tournament). For the first time ever, I will be able to see all of the first round games live. As a person who bleeds Duke blue but living in Oregon, I'll have two teams to root for. So what are my picks for these two teams?

Win vs Belmont (1st round)
Win vs West Virginia (2nd round)
Lose vs Xavier (3rd round)

Lose vs Mississippi State (1st round)

I'd love to see Maarty Leunen (senior F/C from Redmond High School, my alma mater) advance farther into the tourney, but I just don't see it happening. They have just been wildly inconsistent and one dimensional this year. You beat Kansas State but lose to Oakland, Nebraska, and Saint Mary's?

Speaking of Kansas State, I have to apologize to my brother Josh (USC grad school). I'm predicting them to upset USC! So sorry bro! =)


Rochelle took Xander swimming today at a local pool. While his breast-stroke still needs some work, he seemed to be a natural in the water. Here are a couple pics from the trip:

I've also uploaded some new photos to the image gallery.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Yesterday we dedicated Xander at our church Antioch. My parents also got to attend, so that was neat. Here's the prayer we read to him:

Xander, this is our prayer for you…
1 John, Chapter 5: 1-4
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
As your parents we pray that we will reflect Christ’s love. Even before you were born we have been praying for you. Our hope is for you to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Through God’s grace we aspire to teach you about the Lord we love and serve.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Well I'm finally over a nasty bout of flu/cold and on the last day (of 3) of sole parental responsibilities. Things have gone better than imagined! Yesterday I took Xander to the local annual Sportman's Show to check out all the latest n' greatest in hunting / fishing products. You have never seen so many people rocking Realtree™ camo in one place that are not actually hunting. I should have dressed up Xander for the occasion with this outfit:

Unfortunately, it was in the laundry so I settled with the smurf blue-camo fleece (which of course was a hit with all the ladies ). My parents and family friend Matt joined also joined us for a stroll through the show.

This morning we went to church and he slept through the entire morning service in nursery. For some reason I kept thinking the pager was going to go off but it didn't. Speaking of church, next weekend we will be dedicating him during a special children's dedication service. So if you're around and can make it, that'd be greeaaaaat. =)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


With less than a week until "Operation Lone Wolf" (re: wifey going back to work), I thought it'd be wise to do some updates while I still had the chance. =)

New additions to the extended family:

Ingrid Rose Van Bruggen
(Rochelle's brother and sister-in-law)
8.13 lbs, 21 inches
Born on 03.13.08

Jacoby Chavez
(Rochelle's cousin)
7.14 lbs, 20 3/4 inches
Born on 03.13.08

Also, with it being so warm (mid to upper 40s) and sunny this week, we decided to take advantage of the weather and do some classic skiing with Xander. This time we skied at one of our favorite local places called Virginia Meissner. Here's a few pictures of that adventure:

I've also uploaded some new pics of Xander (thank you for your many reminders). You can click here or use the link to the right to check them out.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Snow day II

A nasty winter storm continues to hit our area. Unfortunately, the plethora of snow is also being accompanied by strong winds. Anyone that knows Bachelor, knows that formula makes for a complete white-out. Long story short, I didn't make it up to the mountain today. Instead, I kept myself busy shoveling large quantities of snow (of which I'm getting quite adept at).

I also spent some quality time at Wal-Mart getting the oil changed on the family truckster (read: Nissan Pathfinder). Every visit to that store only increases my disdain for the franchise. Not only do I have to go there, I must also find something to occupy 40 minutes of time while the Pathfinder is being serviced. *sigh* Why can't REI or Best Buy add this basic auto service? Imagine the sales!

So anyways, after spending entirely to much time rummaging futilely through the 3 dollar DVD bargain bin , I head to the service area. Mistake number one happens here. After a quick peek through the service bay window, I inquire if the car is ready. The guy behind the counter asks for my name and searches through service log. "Hmm... nothing by that name in the system" he says. I'm quite exasperated and amazed by his short-term memory loss.

I point to the deserted service bays (from which the car was neatly drove into) and ruefully exhale. Right about the time I begin to ask him to check again, it dawns on me. The car is registered in their system under Rochelle's maiden name (another *sigh*, longer). After getting into the car and driving towards home, mistake number two happens. I hadn't bothered to check if the windshield wiper fluids had been filled. Have you ever heard of not getting your wiper fluids refilled after the 41 point inspection/check/service routine? Curse you Wal-Mart!

Here are some images (cell phone camera quality) from snow day part deux:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Home alone

Rochelle and Xander left yesterday to visit the grandparents in Tucson, AZ. I must say, I'm not used to how quiet it is in the house. Meanwhile, it continues to snow outside and a huge dump (15 inches) is predicted for tomorrow. Hopefully the wind will stay down so I can get some pow. =)