This is one of the coolest music videos I have seen in a while

My trip to Denver

One of the downsides to being an entrepreneur is that frequently you have drop everything you are doing to get work done or for your venture to survive. Back in April, I made the decision to leave Boston and relocate my company, LAFORGE Optical, to the west coast. I ended up leaving a very content life there to start anew in Los Angeles. I love Boston and have missed my friends from Krash, my GF Jennifer, and a core of solid friends who have supported me (namely Fusa).

Since then I have done an ‘ok’ job of staying in touch with my friends, but I have made sure to call my Jennifer everyday. Some people have said “you don’t know how much you miss someone until you leave them”, but what about those of us who know that you are going to miss them before you leave?

Anyway, it had been 4 months and a couple of days since I had last seen my significant other in person. When I landed in Denver, after a rather bumpy flight, I found Jennifer waiting for me. We promptly rented a car and set off. When we arrived at our accommodations for a week, I was surprised how quickly her and I fell into our old normal.

Each day during the week, we would each work during the day, go out to eat, watch some netflix, and fall asleep in one another’s loving embrace. The week was quite intense for both of us as Jennifer was working with a new client and I was review financial analyses and legal docs for an upcoming investor meeting. So I was glad, when Jennifer suggested we go to Red Rocks on the morning before our flight.

The ride there was only 30 minutes and the scenery was beautiful. Seeing all of these tall erode red sandstone formations reminded me of when I cross through Utah and Arizona during my cross-country trip to LA several months prior. 

This place also has a venue called the Red Rock Amphitheatre. We had apparently just missed Dave Chappelle on Sunday (the day when we both arrived). I had already seen Dave Chappelle earlier this year at the Oddball Comedy Festival when it came to the ”greater Boston area”, so it wasn’t as upsetting to me as was to my gf (but it would have been great to see him again).

After we went for a 20 minute hike. We returned to the car drove around the park. We were looking of a place to do some recreational activities but we settled for a nice chat at nearby stream. The location was pretty serene, it was just off the road but was hidden as the stream about a dozen feet lower than the road. There we looked chatted for a bit and was soon joined by a stranger named Kale. He was a cool guy. About an hour later Jennifer and I went to the airport and parted ways. I went to LA, she returned to Boston.

fastcompany:

Capturing The Defining Images Of Hip Hop History
He caught NWA, Tupac, and Biggie—as well as a young Outkast and Cee-Lo—but his favorite rappers to photograph were Kriss Kross.
See More>
fastcompany:

Capturing The Defining Images Of Hip Hop History
He caught NWA, Tupac, and Biggie—as well as a young Outkast and Cee-Lo—but his favorite rappers to photograph were Kriss Kross.
See More>
fastcompany:

Capturing The Defining Images Of Hip Hop History
He caught NWA, Tupac, and Biggie—as well as a young Outkast and Cee-Lo—but his favorite rappers to photograph were Kriss Kross.
See More>
fastcompany:

Capturing The Defining Images Of Hip Hop History
He caught NWA, Tupac, and Biggie—as well as a young Outkast and Cee-Lo—but his favorite rappers to photograph were Kriss Kross.
See More>

fastcompany:

Capturing The Defining Images Of Hip Hop History

He caught NWA, Tupac, and Biggie—as well as a young Outkast and Cee-Lo—but his favorite rappers to photograph were Kriss Kross.

See More>

That time I ended up at the observatory…

From time to time my friends and family ask me “so what is your typical day like in a start-up?”. Usually my reply is one of these three: “I was on the phone all day”, “I was designing parts”, or “I have been writing”. Sprinkle in a few “this guy was an idiot”, “I was stuck in traffic”, or a selection of expletive filled tirades and you’ve got me down pat most days.

But I’m not talking about one of those in this post. I’m going to speak on those days where nothing gets done, when you’re tired of looking at Netflix, and there are no more new episodes of “The Colbert Report” to catch up on. These are doldrums, they happen every now and then. You could have reached a major milestone, temporarily run out of money and ideas, or in my case, waiting for strategic investor’s board to meet so you can get finish what you’ve started.

A couple days ago, after going for my usual afternoon walk with Evan, I did not want to follow it up with a nap. So I decided to go for a joy ride and do some thinking. I’m a bit of car guy, so being behind the wheel is a bit of an escape (ask any other car guy if you don’t believe me). I decided to tackle the one of the mountains in the San Gabriel valley, which are a constant backdrop here in Pasadena. 

So I went to google and found out that California Highway 2 basically runs the length of this mountain chain. I also found a road that would take me from the summit right back down to pasadena and thus I would have nice round trip and probably kill an hour or so.

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Though I expected a lot of switchbacks and a lot of green trees I was surprised to find not much of either on my ascent. Instead, I found a lot of winding roads, bushes, rocks, and tons of trees that had been burned out a few years ago. This was actually my first time seeing trees affected by a forest fire. It was both intriguing and scary knowing that 8 miles away from where I’ve settled there was a major forest fire not that long ago.

Anyway, about 30 minutes into my climb I realized something was wrong, in that I started descending the mountain and had not reached the winding road that was supposed to round out my trip, so I stopped and consulted my phone. There I found out that google maps listed a road that turned into a trail, so I had to make other plans. But then something else caught my eye. It was a large white dome on the top of a mountain across from me that is hidden from the LA side of the mountains. 

I set a course for it and found it was only 2.5 miles away. The last mile consisted of one of the scariest roads I have ever been on in my life. Tons of twists and turns, rocks jutting out so far into the road that you had to get on the wrong side of the road clear them, and tons of blind curves. I never made it above 20 mph. I later found out that I was at an elevation of 5700 feet (Pasadena is only about a 30 minute drive away and is nearly 4800 lower than this)

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So I discovered that I was on Mt. Wilson, and was greeted by a ton of tv and radio antennae. If you ever want the LA gossip to stop, coming up here and cutting the power would be a good start.

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The road ended and I parked. The first thing I noticed was that no one was here (I mean no one: no cars, no joggers, no trash, no music), but the place was open: it was very eery. In the distance I caught two things that looked like water towers but were actually solar towers, used to look at the sun. 

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I headed to those first and after a quarter mile walk found that there was a museum next to them. I took a few photos. Again this museum was wide open, no one was in it.

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It’s 150 feet to the top of that tower.

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Then I discovered that were about 6 other observatories up there. The smallest one as big as a one car garage and the largest one had to be about 6 or 7 stories tall. So naturally, I went to that one. Again, it was wide open, no one was there, and I walked up a couple stories to a visitors area where I saw a telescope will a 100-inch mirror. For those of you bad at math that’s a mirror over 8 feet tall.

I took pictures and video, but my phone managed to not saved them or I accidentally erased them in pocket. Either way, it was engineer’s or scientist’s wet dream. So many structural elements, sensors, and buttons.

Strangely enough, I felt uncomfortable. It was like I was in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone had died (but me) and stumbled onto this sprawling research facility. After inviting myself into several other buildings and reading a bit I found out that this place was jointly run by UCLA, USC, Berkeley, and Georgia Tech (or was it GSU?).

I had run out of water, which meant that it was time for me to head back to my car for the ride down. On the long walk back to the car I got a little lost. But I did notice that the squirrels up there seemed not to be that familiar with humans. I would attempt to walk by one of them and they would just stare at me. As I walked, they would timidly come closer, but when they came too close I became nervous and would stop walking. When I stopped walking and stared at them, they would stare at me, then scamper away, scamper back, scamper away, and stare at me some more. It was awkward. 

I found another one eating a nut on the side of the road and I noticed he was going to let me walk right by him while eating. So I figured I would record him with my phone. Sensing I was killing his vibe, the squirrel ran up a tree before I could press record. I guess he thought I was paparazzi…typical LA.

The trip down was tedious and uneventful, other than the three cars behind me that were essentially pushing me down the mountain.