Balderramas in California 2024: Day 1 – Beach Day

The girls and I visited California this week to soak in some sun, Disney magic, and family fun. This is the second time the girls and I have been to California, taking roughly the same trip seven years ago, back when Clara was 4, and Mariana was 18 months. Now that they can make memories, we set out to revisit these places and create some new ones.

We woke up at 3 a.m. on Monday, boarded an airport shuttle, and flew out of DIA at 6:45 a.m. The prices on early-morning flights always seem great until the morning you have to wake up and get to the airport. However, our excitement was a good substitute for our fatigue, and the girls were in good spirits.

We landed at LAX, piled into the rental car, and drove to San Clemente. Over twenty years ago, my good friend Pegge showed me this beautiful pier with this excellent Fisherman’s restaurant with an adjoining bar serving fantastic seafood. I’ve shown it to my friends, sister, and brother-in-law, and I showed it to my kids during our 2017 trip.

We are an amazing lunch of fisherman’s chowder, steamed mussels, calamari, oysters on the half shell, and sourdough bread. I love that the girls are so willing to try new things.

After our filling lunch, we walked up and down the pier, then spent the early afternoon playing in the ocean.

We left San Clemente and stopped at Trader Joe’s to get our breakfast and lunch foods, then rolled into Anaheim, checked into our hotel, returned the rental car, and laid low for the night. The silver lining of being beyond tired from the early morning was that it made an early bedtime easy. We set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. and were out before 8:30 p.m., ready to tackle Disneyland in the morning.

Extra pictures from our day are below:

Photographing FoCoMX 2024

Photographing FoCoMX 2024

Last month, I brought my new Sony A7iv to FoCoMX, the best music festival in Fort Collins. It had been a while since I could photograph bands, and I looked forward to photographing some of my favorite bands.

Common for Colorado, the springtime weather was unpredictable, and Mother Nature brought cold, rain, and snow for the festival. Outdoor performers had to endure the cold, wind, and elements, while the indoor venues all had long lines due to spectators fleeing the weather. When I shot FoCoMX in 2019, it was relatively easy to pop in and out of venues to snap pictures. The long lines and big crowds made it much more difficult this time, and I only managed to capture 6 bands across the two days. Despite all of those challenges, I am happy with the outcome.

Alexa Wildish at Magic Rat

I ventured into the Magic Rat to snap a few pictures of Alexa Wildish. As much as I loved the lighting and stage, the crowded room made it hard to get close enough to take pictures, so I quickly ejected. I look forward to catching her another time.

The 14ers at Equinox Outdoor Patio

The weather cleared enough for me to join friends at the Equinox Outdoor Patio to see The 14ers. I wanted to snap some pictures of their drummer, Clark. The band was playing in a garage, which made for interesting lighting for everyone in the back.

The Waido Experience at Salt Road Brewing

In addition to seeing The Waido Experience, I also got to scout Salt Road Brewing, where my band, Heart Medicine, played the next day. The large garage door cast a large back-fill light against the performers. While not ideal, especially from my angle, I still managed to get some fun shots.

T-Mule vs Nic Clark at Wolverine Publik Farm

T-Mule vs. Nic Clark is one of the few bands I shot back in 2023. They’re a great group of guys; catching their shows is always fun.

Venture Still at Illegal Pete’s

Whether on the patio or in the upstairs bar, I always wish Illegal Pete’s featured more live music. Venture Still rocked that indoor stage while rain fell a few feet away.

Wrenn & Ian with Libelula

These amazing musicians braved the cold to play an outdoor set on the Old Town Stage. Wrenn Van has talent well beyond her years!

This weekend reminded me just how much I love photographing bands and has reinforced my goal to get out and get more musician pictures. If you’d like me to shoot your set, please reach out!

Dark Money in the Windsor Mayoral Election

Note: This post originally appeared on NextDoor

Look, I get it – we’re all tired of posts about the Windsor Mayor Election, but rather than persuade you to vote for one candidate over another, I am posting on Election Day to raise some concerning information about Dark Money that infested our local elections.

“‘Dark money’ refers to spending meant to influence political outcomes where the source of the money is not disclosed.” – OpenSecrets (more at )

After examining all of the Financial Disclosures at and charting them based on expenditures, over 1 in every 4 dollars spent in this election has been by a Nonprofit Corporation called “Advancing Northern Colorado.” Based out of Loveland, they do not disclose their donors and do not have to abide by the contribution limits imposed on the candidate committees. As you can see, this has opened a pipeline of funding into our elections that cannot be traced. In this case, all the money was spent supporting one candidate.

Expenditures by Advancing Northern Colorado include $2734 for text messaging campaigns, while an additional $4500 for “Hallett for Mayor Creative Development” and “Ad Placement.”

I have raised earnest questions regarding these expenditures at and appreciate the candidate’s response. I invite you to review the post and comment threads and consider them.

My intention is not to promote or embarrass any candidate but to raise awareness of how these financial practices impact our elections. I believe strongly in election integrity, and while I cherish freedom of speech, I also believe strongly in financial disclosure so we can understand how messaging is funded. As a community, we need to have some very serious discussions about Dark Money and its place in our local political discourse.

My Broncos Ticket Dilemma

An open letter to my Broncos-loving family and friends:

I need to level with you and vent about what is more definitely a first-world problem, but it’s a problem nonetheless.

Mile High Stadium

With last year’s football season in the rearview mirror, my focus is shifting to renewing the Broncos tickets for the next season. Once again, the invoice has caused sticker shock, as the Broncos have raised ticket prices by a double-digit percentage, and at this point, I’m at a loss as to what I should do.

In the spirit of transparency, I will be upfront about the ticket costs. Below is a breakdown of the costs since we moved down to Section 131 (but I should note that we were paying the same costs the prior year when we were in Section 234):

YearFace Value*Total Season Invoice CostAdjusted Sale Price**Y/Y % IncreaseSince 2021 % Increase

* Years ago, the Broncos introduced dynamic pricing to mask the full-price costs they charged for preseason tickets. Now, they arbitrarily set ticket prices depending on the opponent and whether the game is in prime time. However, I’ve always maintained the same formula of dividing the invoice price by 4 (the number of seats) and 10 (the total number of games).
** My adjusted sales price has always been setting the preseason games by half, then spreading the other half between the other 8-9 games. Next year, the Broncos have 2 preseason games and 8 regular season games. The 2025 adjusted price would be $160 if the prices stay the same. I have never made a profit on any of my tickets, and in fact, I end up eating some or all costs on the preseason tickets. =

In reviewing this chart, the dilemma becomes evident: Are you willing to pay $169/ticket to sit in Sec 131 in 2024? What was once an easy answer has given me significant pause, as the Broncos are now eight years from their last winning season and set to rebuild in 2024. As much as I’m grappling with absorbing the price increase, I don’t think it’s fair to my family and friends that I assume you can do the same.

As I’ve been pondering this dilemma, I see 4 options:

  1. Maintain the same formula. Last year, tickets for 2 were $288; this year, they would now be $338. If you want to buy all 4, the price is now $676.
  2. Revert to Face-Value, variable pricing. When the schedule is released and the tickets are “printed” over the summer, prices will be assigned to the games for the year. Prime Time (if we get them) and “marquee games” (e.g. The Chiefs) will likely be more, preseason would still be 1/2 price, and the lowest you’d see a game would be $151.
  3. Pursue shifting up a section further away from the field. Ticket costs would likely decrease, but there’s no guarantee we’d get aisle seats or a section similar to 234. If you haven’t experienced those seats, the energy is very different and exciting.
  4. Do not renew the season tickets. This is an option I want to avoid, but I need to have it on the table.

Update 3/11, 5pm:

Hey, thank you for taking the time to give me feedback! I appreciate it and have taken your words to heart! I hope I’m not giving off the impression that I want to cancel my season tickets. In the spirit of due diligence, it’s on the table, but it’s really my last resort. I’m blessed enough to afford the tickets, and while the girls have reached an age where they’re enjoying the games, they only want to go to a couple each season. That leaves me hoping that other friends and family would also like to attend these games, and I want to see whether the prices are too steep for my fellow Broncos Country.

Please keep your feedback coming, and if you’d like to be on my family & friends email list for tickets, send me a DM. I’ll send out the first email towards the end of June.

Now that I’ve laid out my thoughts, I’d love to hear yours. Over the years, I’ve had these seats, you have reliably purchased tickets, and we have enjoyed many games together. I don’t take that for granted, which is why I’m anxious to hear what you think. Please feel free to comment below or email me at jeromey [at]

In orange and blue,