Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Us in front of 1,000 feet of granite and waterfall greatness...
The UT gang- the Paasch's, Patrick's, and Jensen's...(I'm missing cuz I took the shot).
Who wouldn't dig the Quarry Trail?
Kelly laying out the crash pad for many sudden landings...
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Catching up. Been way to long. Lots of things have occurred. Some good, some bad. The bad seem to have affected my motivation with blogging. Luckily I’ve been hit with a few good moments in the last couple months when I’ve been temporarily able to see that there is more to a person’s life than trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ll have to give the short account of each, because the time period I’ve failed to record here can’t be described in full without needing a editor and publisher.
I mentioned a trip back west in last months entry. Alison and I spent a week in the Black Hills of SD in between my job at the shop and my current new job. I may not get to share pictures, because our hard drive crashed before I had a chance to back them up. (Another reason the blog’s been dry.) They may still be on the camera itself but it’s coming back from the shop as well because we broke it on the trip. Not a good month for our gadgets. I’m waiting for my cell phone to fritz out.
It was a wonderful, recharging trip back out West. Some may not consider the
Next adventure was this year’s edition of the Headwaters 100, which I missed last year on account of our first attempt and permanent western living. Park Rapids is a much different part of MN than the Twin Cities, and I can solidly say it is better for me. Slower, cleaner living. People seem way more at ease. Passing through the Northwoods fall colors for 109 miles on a trusted bicycle next to friends one doesn’t see enough is a great way to spend a Saturday.
Also of note in the Park is that the elk were rutting. It’s quite a thing to witness when two bulls within 200 feet of you decide to lock antlers over who gets to do the year’s honors. I’m glad Alison agreed to marry me without my having to ram my head into anybody.
Somehow I found my way back to
Last night I went “Into the Wild”, directed by Sean Penn. It’s the theatrical version of Jon Krakauer’s book about Chris McCandless. I blogged about the book a couple years ago, as it’s a favorite of mine, based on a true story of a young man that left a life of wealth for a series of outdoor experiences, ending up in Alaska. I recommend the book and the movie, even if you’re not a outdoor enthusiast. It’s interesting as a story on human nature too. You won’t experience the account without it getting your mind moving.
And to get closer to wrapping up, I went rock climbing in
I’ll try not to be such a stranger as I pass further into fleece and wool season. I’m hoping to find ways to enjoy the long Northern Winter that I know is probably close at hand.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
In other birthday news, I need to thank all of you that contributed to my gift, which is very much appreciated. Alison got several relatives together to pick up the tab of what I was missing to pro-form a new mountain bike from the shop after the sales of a couple of my older bikes (the 8000 and the fixie have moved on). So the result was a ’07 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp showing up mid last week, and I’ve already enjoyed a couple great rides on it. Thanks all!! I posted a picture of it for all to drool over. I also posted a picture of the above mentioned Toupe saddle. Enjoy, and thanks again!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I had two little chubby kids on BMX bike come into the shop tonight looking for inner tube valve caps. I showed them the usual “chromies” (stupid chromed skull, eight-balls, and other ridiculous shapes of caps that kids dig), but of course they did not have enough allowance money from the chores I’m sure they ignore. So, being a softy manager like I am, I dug around in the back and found some used plastic caps we had laying around and hooked them up for free. They left excited. Half and hour later they show up asking for another set. I realized my mistake in creating a new set of local mooches that will now bother me on a regular basis. I told them the freebies were a one time favor, and that they’d be charged for any more. My sales guy on staff tonight joked with them that he didn’t know why they were coming in to see us when there was a parking lot full of cars that had the same kind of valve caps. Kids of course do not recognize sarcasm, and my sales guy does not know how to relate to kids. Ten minutes later I spotted our chubby little friends taking the valve caps off my own pickup (today was one of the very few days I actually drove in to work, rather than ride a bike.) Not knowing that I watched their little heist, they marched in later to show me how smart they were- that they had come up with some caps on their own. I asked where, and they said they “found” them. So I asked if they had happened to “find” them on the pickup outside, and how the owner might feel about their “find”. They actually determined on their own that the truck must be mine and handed over the caps. I gave them a little lesson, and they appeared genuinely sorry. After they left, I went out to put the caps they gave me back on my pickup, only to discover that they gave me back the free plastic caps I had given them, as I had chrome caps originally on the truck. Little bastards…
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This past weekend, Alison and I took a very short trip through quite a few places. Adam and Jamie (my brother and his wife) drove from their home in
On another note, I was also able to hear Adam play his trombone again during this trip. My aunt Avis in
Thursday, July 05, 2007
In other news, I received the best tip I've ever gotten at a job yesterday. I sold a pair of Speedplay Zero Series pedals (friggin' sweet) to a local roadie, and he gave me his pair of Speedplay X Series pedals that he was upgrading from as a tip! Nice. I had to pick up a set of cleats for them, but thats a small price to pay for a $150 set of pedals. Not so bad. Al and I rode out in the Stillwater, MN area yesterday for the 4th, and they performs quite nicely. They're much freer than the Looks I've been riding in regards to the float, but that's the point (sorry to bore those non-cyclists reading). Anyhow, it was an impressive tip.
Alison and I are heading to ND for the weekend. Adam and Jamie are coming up from TX to visit home, so we decided to meet them there so everyone would be together for once. Doesn't happen much. We're pumped to see them, and Mullet too! We haven't seen our fat pet since we moved back from UT in January, and we miss him! Mullet, you better not die before we move to a place that allows pets again. I think he's got several years left if we control his fattening. The little guy's not fond of exercise. Anyhow, we'll be staying in Grand Forks tomorrow night (that will be weird), and continuing on Saturday morning for Minot, where I did my growing up. Well, part of my growing up. That seems to be a continuing project.
Well, I've got to rest up for another big shop day (today was 12 hours; more tomorrow). Don't waste the summer, get outside!
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
2007 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
”If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream.” -Edward Abbey
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
It took a 9 to 1 tensioning system to get the line tight enough considering it's length. The mess of carabiners, knots and cord that you see at the left of the line is the tensioning system to pull the mainline that is walked tight (although it is always somewhat slack compared to a tightrope, hence the name slackline.)
This picture sure shows a bit of my nature, the slackline itself is one venture, the touring bike another entirely, and the wood grip on the tensioning system is a bit of an old walking stick picked up while backpacking in the Northwoods. Many methods of outdoor escape.
Doing some household chores at camp: drying off some wet stinky tent after a night of rain...if I look leaner than normal, I am. I've lost 27 lbs since moving to MN in Jan. by way of cycling and stress. Time to start climbing again now that I've regained a better strength to weight ratio.
Ty doing some other camp chores: filtering our drinking water out of the Split Rock River. Yum. It tastes better than any city water I've come across. It's just water, and not full of chlorine. Yum.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Getting on is the hardest part...
Is your wife open to doing stupid things like balancing on an inch of nylon webbing with you? :)
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Lying around on beach (I was already fighting Montezuma's Revenge in this picture- I look much happier than I was.. :) )
The view from our hotel room balcony:
Logging some hammock time on Isla Muerta:
Alison eating (and discovering she dislikes) octopus at one of the fine restaurants on the resort:
After snorkeling, and swimming with the "Nemo fish", and coming close to being stung by a few small jellyfist (a few people in our group came back hurting)...
The next several pictures are from Chechen Itza, the ancient Mayan/Totec ruins about three hours inland from Cancun-
The planetarium/observatory (pretty wild that they had so much science back then)...
A face in a wall much like a totem pole...
Scattered ruins of decorated rock...
A ruin that I can't remember what it was but it's pretty big and sweet...
Part of the main temple. The Mayans were big on snakes and eagles. They represented how God rules the ground and the heavens...
If you look at the edge of the pyramid, the steps form diamonds that make up the scales of the snakes on the edge of the stairs, running down to their heads at the ground. Wild.
A couple of very white people in hot Mexican weather enjoying the main temple of Chechen Itza...
Ruins seen through the jungle (there are actually still several jaguars in the area, although people have done what they do with anything they don't understand and are afraid of with the rest of them and killed them off)...
Flying away from Mexico. It was 85 degrees in Cancun, and three and a half hours later it was 39 degrees in MPLS. I went road biking when we got home anyway. :)
Sunday, April 22, 2007
And as talk of the environment and creation does quite often, it got me searching through quotes of my favorite author, the late Edward Abbey, who is hailed as somewhat of an environmentalist, even though I don't know whether or not he would apply the term to himself. He was most assuredly floored by the power of nature, and dumbstruck at how complacent the Earth's inhabitants can become as to their own surroundings. This quote is simple but fitting for Earth Day, and worth tossing around in your head if you're the pondering type:
“The world is older and bigger than we are. This is a hard truth for some folks to swallow.”
Happy Earth Day. Don't forgot that our grandkids need to live here too.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
In other bike-type news, my touring bike has gained another splendid feature. This latest upgrade is a Brooks B-17 leather touring saddle, which is raved about in the long distance trekking circles as being the must have saddle for seeing the world on your loaded rig. So far I've only ridden new-school plastic saddles, so it will be interesting to log some miles on a classic unit such as this. There are many who swear by pure cow-butt saddles; we'll see if I join this eccentric group. It does require more care than most bicycle saddles, and there is a break in period as the leather wears and forms to an individual riders south end. It requires a special treatment of goop called "Proofide", which is several natural substances put together to essential oil the saddle without making it oily. Neat. I'll let you all know how it works out. I'm sure you're excited. :)
Pix from Sunday's ride:
Alison at the top of the climb up Palisade Head. It's not long like the climbs in UT, but it is fiercely steep...
Breaking for a Clif Bar and scenery soak on Palisade Head...
Overlooking the Beaver River along North Shore Scenic Highway 61...
Alison found a school bus she felt like picking up along the road...
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Friday, March 30, 2007
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
No. Huffy's (as well as Pacific's, Magna's Roadmasterss and vairous other WalMartish steeds) are not good bikes. I don't know how that idea ever entered America's head. They are sold in cheap department stores, are equipped with the lowest quality components on the market, have heavy, cheaply welded frames that bend/break easily, and when not absolutely babied constantly by someone who knows how to work on a bike, become down right dangerous to ride because of their low-quality standards. No, they are not good bikes. Don't get mad at me when I tell you how much it will cost just to make your slightly used Huffy safe to ride. Save up for a real machine.
-Phone calls from customers- I have no idea what it will cost you to fix the "thing" on your bike that doesn't work.
-Don't expect me to be able to send you home with a "standard bike tire", to fit your "standard bike".
Sorry, I know not everyone is a bike nut, but seriously....
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Road Bike: 81 miles
Touring Bike: 49 miles
Fixie: 30 miles
Mountain Bike: Fat Zero (I live in the Midwest again)
Total 2007: 160 miles
Overal Total: 6,680.6 miles (10,750 km in the rest of the cycling world!)
Weather's warming up, and the mileage ticker should too...
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Some non-sissy mounts that will take a beating...
Front rack rated to 70lbs, though I have no plans of burdening myself that much...
Rear rack rated to 80lbs, though once again, just a safeguard letting me know that my loads will not take out my mounting platform; I better not carry around 80lbs of crap to go camping...
Monday, March 12, 2007
But it will be sad to see all the snow go away with respect to snowshoeing. We had two blizzards since last time I blogged (MN is nutz) and Al and I only got out once in the powder to walk. Here's a couple shots:
I told Alison to pose like the silly REI catalog models, who always seem more concerned with lookin' good than actually doing anything outside. :)
In other news, I am the newest part time flight instructor at Twin Cities Flight Training at the Anoka County Airport here in MN. Doesn't mean much, I mainly took the job to have on my resume, because I don't really think they'll have much work for me anyhow. I haven't gotten much satisfaction from what I thought would be a relaxed fun job at the shop, and I'm pondering returning to the flying world already. Didn't take much time, but the job is definitely not what is was described as in my interview. Live and learn. I'm probably going to bite the bullet and apply at a regional airline to give that a shot. Life takes you for a lot of wild rides. So I've been studying the Airline Transport Pilot written exam guide quite a bit lately, and should be ready to apply for interviews soon. As always, we'll see what happens. But anyhow, I need to go to work, so I'm off....
Monday, February 26, 2007
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Hip and relaxed with beard and shades. Everyone knows I'm hip. Wait, I guess I already gave away that I'm a super white Scandinavian...
Mid shave, and descent into facial nastiness.
Further into shave and entry into full facial nastiness. Prime example of the dangers of underage mustache'ing: