Showing posts from 2005

Christmas 2005

I always enjoy this time of year when I’m able to get out on my bike and cheat winter a couple hours at a time. I was able to do that Thursday and I was hoping too again today but with snow lightly falling, it doesn’t look likely. Rachel and Katrina (from across the street) were out snow sculpting on Friday. I can’t remember the name they gave her but she’s very well made…right down to her chocolate chip smile. The three of us exchanged gifts Friday night as Rachel’s dad was picking her up Christmas Eve day. So Rachel’s dream of having her own cellphone has finally come true. I’m sure it won’t be long before her little fingers are flying across the number pad as she text messages her friends. Tammy got me a very nice chair for our den. It has several levers for adjusting it all sorts of ways. I also got some DVDs…Supertramp, Zoolander and Third Day, Live in Concert. Toby and Allie weren’t left out. They got a few stuffed animals and Toby was sure to let Allie know that they we

March of the Penguins

I watched March of the Penguins today. Wow! That's probably one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen. Rent this DVD if you haven't already seen it and you will think the same as I. Also, on the DVD there's an hour long documentary about the men who spent a year living among the penguins while they filmed them. That too is very interesting. While I was watching the movie I was struck by how the entire life of the Emperor Penguin was devoted to seeing that their species survived. Before watching the movie I suppose I assumed that these were your typical penguins which clowned around and took turns jumping off icy shores into the ocean. The hardships endured by both the male and female were enormous. The penguins walk (march) 60 to 70 miles to a specific place in Antarctica to pair up and mate. After laying the egg, the female carefully transfers the egg to the male who will balance the egg on top of his feet while keeping it warm next to his body for the next

Our Road Trip to Babbitt and Adding Another Phone to Our Plan

My Christmas shopping is nearly done as are some gifts we’ve been putting together for family and friends. It’s been somewhat of a low-key holiday season for us to this point with not much break in our routine with the exception of a quick trip to see Tammy's folks this past weekend...more on that later. We helped host a neighborhood house-hop, or what some would refer to as a progressive dinner, a couple Saturdays ago. There were twelve couples involved visiting four homes. The first three of four homes on the list served different main course dishes along with various appetizers and side dishes. The last home (ours) was the desert house. Thankfully we had the help of the other two couples in our group to help host. Tammy made a chocolate fondue with all sorts of different fruits and stuff to smother in chocolate…I think marshmallows were my favorite. Tammy had to work during the day so I was in charge of getting the house looking nice and making sure there would be enough alcoh

The Pickle Ornament and Toby is a Hound Dog

Rachel and I took off for a couple hours Friday afternoon to do some shopping for a birthday gift for Mom/Tammy. We walked around the Burnsville mall and tried to picture Tammy in different clothing items but then we opted for something safe—pajamas. I'm not sure it was something 'safe' though. We couldn't find what we were looking for as most of the pajamas were either too thin or too heavy...not much in between. Rachel suggested we check out Victoria's Secret. "You're not serious are you?" I said. "Sure, we can just act like we're walking by and not really go in but if we see something we like we can go in and check it out." I can't believe that girl sometimes. So that's what we did. We casually walked by the store and I made eye contact with the woman in front. She seemed very approachable (that's her job, I know) and I explained that we were looking for something not at all skimpy but just a regular pair of pajamas for 

Confirmation class and Bush bashing among other things

You've heard the analogy of the frog in a boiling pot of water? I think that's where Christians are in our society today except that the temperature is getting to the point where we're beginning to notice and speak out. I understand that the government can't endorse a religion but in a lot of the cases where Christmas symbology is being squashed, government endorsement of Christianity isn't happening. From the removal of the Ten Commandments in courtrooms to the current court case trying to have the words 'In God We Trust' removed from our currency, the Judeo-Christian principles our country was founded on are under attack. I tend to agree that the workplace is probably not the place for overt religious expression but I worry that we'll someday become a society which has pushed God so far off into a corner that He may one day treat us in kind. I think we've been so blessed in our country and I don't think it's because of dumb luck on our pa


I wasn't ready for college when I graduated high school in 1975. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. High school felt safe and I knew what was (or wasn't) expected of me but I was glad that it was over because I was getting nothing out of it. Thomas Jefferson HS was a lab experiment of sorts and we students were the lab rats. Modular scheduling was the latest improvement and for students who loved to screw off, this new structure, or lack of it was our friend. Modular scheduling divided the school day into 24 'mods' of 20 minutes each. You would schedule your classes and where you didn't have classes you would have free mods to do with what you wanted. I remember on Wednesdays and Fridays having a class for the first 3 mods of each day and no classes the rest of the day. I learned early on that in a family of 6 siblings all I really needed to do was to maintain good enough grades to keep the folks from having to get involved. There was very little incentive to do

50+ Degrees, Trail of Terror and Christmas

Just when I think I've seen the last of the 50 degree days for the year, or even 40 degree days, another one happens. I got up yesterday thinking that maybe it was time to set up my indoor trainer for my bike but I didn't want to. I never before disliked the thought of riding in the basement on my trainer but this year I do. If there is any chance that I can ride outside that's where I'll be. I figure I'm okay to about 10 above zero for an hour anyway before my toes go completely numb. I was out for a couple hours Thanksgiving day in 18-degree weather with winds gusting close to 30 mph. Yesterday it was rain which had me sidelined but only until about 10:00 am. There was a break in the rain and I got in a quick ride before I had to go to work. Turning off Jalisco on to 170th st I noticed the car in front of me slowing. He'd slowed to watch a beautiful majestic buck standing beside the road. At first glance, I thought it wasn't real. I quickly pulled over a

The Powers of 10 and God of Wonders

I was in a discussion this past week talking about infinity and the universe. I mentioned how as a kid I used to try and grasp the idea of infinity and I'd feel like my brain was going to throw a circuit breaker as I couldn't get my mind around it. In church today our pastor talked about this very thing and made reference to a website called The Powers of 10. The website not only reaches out into space by a power of 10 but it also goes inward by the same multiple until you're looking at the trails of Quarks. Here's another site I found...begin at this page and travel outward from there. Read the instructions and explanation provided. This whole thing is a bit intimidating. To imagine that our sun and solar system are just a speck among other similar specs making up larger clouds of combined galaxies appearing again as specks from points more distant. Pretty amazing stuff to ponder for sure. God of Wonders by Third Day.

Thanksgiving 2005

Did Friday seem like a Saturday to you? It did to me. Rachel and I went out and shoveled a few inches of snow off the driveway this morning then proceeded to see who could slide the furthest after a running start. She won. It's all in the shoes I think. My truck never left...oops...I was about to say that my truck never left the garage today but that would be wrong. I did make a very early morning trip to Circuit City with Tammy before retreating to the safety of our home empty-handed. Internet shopping is still the way to go if you know what you need; heck, even if you don't know what you need. What could be better than having a delivery guy bring your item directly to your front door for a nominal fee? One problem with that though—we were trying to get on Circuit City's website tonight and it was overloaded to the point where they weren't accepting any online orders at the time. So much for the dismal news about the economy. I spent some time down in the shop work

Great Show!

We saw the David Crowder Band along with The Robbie Seay Band and Shane and Shane last night at Maranatha Hall at Northwestern University. Great show! For anybody who is into rock, they're missing so much great music if they haven't heard Christian rock—it's really that good. It was an ugly weather day here with snow in the forecast and winds gusting to 40mph. We left early so we were sure to get there in time as we had to go through Minneapolis during rush hour and we had all of 40 miles to travel. Surprisingly the traffic wasn't a problem at all and we got there with plenty of time to spare. We checked out the T-shirts and other stuff being sold then took our seats. The Robbie Seay Band took the stage first and did about a 30-minute set. They didn't get the applause I'd like to have seen them get. We thought they were very good and only disappointed that they didn't play longer. Shane and Shane took the stage next and got quite a loud and warm welcom

7000 miles and the David Crowder Band

I went over 7000 miles on my bike this morning before work. I've slacked off some in the last couple months but I had a good week this past week. It was a beautiful day for riding. Most people might call it cool at 45 degrees when I left home but if you've got the proper clothing it's not bad. Anyway, I managed 51 miles this morning to get me to the 7000-mile mark before the month was over and that was my goal. Tammy, Rachel and I are getting psyched to see the David Crowder Band in a few weeks in St. Paul. They came out with a cd last year titled, Illuminate , which was excellent and just a few weeks ago they released another called, A Collision . There's so much good music on it but my favorite song is Do Not Move . It's got a bit of a techno feel to begin which I like but then it really rocks. They're playing with the Robbie Seay band and they too have got a very good cd they're touring with. It should be a lot of fun. Tammy and I are hoping to take

Please Wake Me

I got up early this morning and headed straight for the shower. As I stood there with the water falling over me my mind suddenly turned to New Orleans and for a moment I thought I must've been recalling a bad dream I'd just had. Those thoughts quickly passed and I could feel this pang develop in the pit of my stomach, once again. I don't think any of us who aren't directly involved with the nightmare which is New Orleans can begin to understand what they're living and dying through. I know I can't. The stories are so heartbreaking. I was watching Oprah yesterday and they showed a 25-year-old man hugging his 14-year-old dog and nuzzling its face. He would soon have to board a bus for some faraway place and leave his beloved companion, aged and scared to fend for itself and to say goodbye forever. I had tears in my eyes watching this as other dogs ran in and out of camera view having already been left to themselves. Finally, the producer of the segment interrupt


What a desperate situation Katrina has created. I'm sure there are some good people who are reaching deep to help their fellow man but the stories which are having the biggest impact on me are the ones of looting and kicking your fellow man when he's down. I'm not referring to the people scrambling to try and feed their families. I'm thinking of people returning to homes to find them not only left in a shambles by Katrina but also picked over by looters. I can't say that this is any sort of low for humanity because it's not. I just need to see some stories which assure me that there is more good than bad occurring there amongst those who remained. Having said all that, the looting is such a minor occurrence in the scope of what the area has to contend with. It's no doubt a sickening response to a tragedy. The larger concerns are how do you reintegrate one million people who until the storm were contributing members of society and are now for the most part

It's a God Thing

I was to do a 200-mile ride with Silver Cyclists on Saturday but it didn't happen. I left home in the dark at 5:30am to make it to some guys home by 6. I found the neighborhood but couldn't find the house. They were leaving at 6 sharp so I decided to soft-pedal it south on Cedar ave and figured they'd eventually catch me. I got to Northfield 25 miles later and hung around at one of the main intersection expecting to see the group. Jeff Thompson showed up 5 minutes after I got there and we headed to the coffee shop expecting them to show up there any minute. 15 minutes later we figured they must've rolled through town and skipped the java knowing that they weren't going to get 200 miles in by sitting in a coffee shop. We headed out with hopes of catching them along the way. An hour later we were in Kenyon where we spoke with a couple other cyclists and they said they saw our group 30 minutes earlier about where I'd expect them to have been. They were probably les

Lotsa Riding

I've had 3 of the last 5 weeks off from work. It's been nice to be away. Tammy and Rachel were at the Sonshine Music Festival in Willmar, Mn for 3 days last week. I stayed home with the pups and spent some extra time on my bike. I managed to put in over 500 miles last week. I'm on track for 6000 miles by my birthday in late August—that's sort of been my goal—same as last year. I found a wallet on my ride yesterday. I was flying along country rd 46 at about 33 mph when I saw it laying on the shoulder. As I drove by it I could see a driver's license. I put the brakes on and circled back for it and put it in my jersey pocket to check it out when I got home. I had no idea what it contained other than the driver's license. It was loaded with cash—$286 worth as well as a credit card and some other IDs. I'm surprised nobody else had stopped to pick it up as the area was very busy with traffic. It had been run over several times. Tammy gave the owner a call and d

I'm Part of a System I Am

US intelligence under Clinton was drastically cut. If the intelligence Bush used was bad you can look to Clinton to own a good deal of the blame for that. His administration was more concerned with prosecuting Bill Gates than they were the threats which really mattered to our country. It was also the Clinton administration which made regime change in Iraq a goal. Bush followed through and made that happen and he did it with the best intelligence information he had to work with. If you disagree with our invasion (I prefer to call it liberation) of Iraq for the purposes of regime change, is it also wrong that we had sanctions against Iraq? The sanctions only hurt the little people. Was it wrong for us to put any restrictions on Saddam at all? Did you ever believe there were WMD in Iraq and that more were being assembled? What happened to them? Everyone who was anyone in Washington was saying that Saddam had them and they needed to be taken out of his hands. Would it have been smarter f

Happy Birthday America!

Happy birthday America! I'm back to work after being having a couple weeks off. I love my job and most everything about it but I really needed to spend some time away. We didn't plan any extravagant out of town trips this summer as we indulged ourselves a bit more than we planned on our basement project On my first day off we went to Valley Fair and had a blast. There were very few people there and most rides had little to no waiting. Power Tower here we come! I can't get enough of that ride. Tammy and Rachel love it too so that makes it triple the fun. Rachel brought her friend, Katrina along. Another ride we like a lot is Steel Venum..." steel venom is launching in 3...2...1... Scream!!! " Rachel and I posed for our annual caricature drawings . I think this is the 3rd year we've done this. We all thought hers was the best...very cute. While we were there I had a guy come up to me and ask me if my name was Kevin. I knew right away who it was: Frank Cob

What's New?

It's good to feel the sun on me when I'm out on the road...the heat helps too. It's been cloudy, rainy and cool almost all of the month of May. The sun and heat are exactly what I need to help lift my spirits. Coming off the prednisone took a solid month and I think I'm totally back to normal as of a few days ago. Rachel had a violin recital a couple weeks ago. It was the first time she played with an orchestra. The piece wasn't very difficult according to her and she really enjoyed the experience. She was sitting next to the first violinist who is also the most senior member of the Dakota Valley Symphony. She had some nice compliments for Rachel. I asked if she gave her any pointers but she didn't. Rachel was hoping she might. Tammy and I were so proud of her. The weekend before last was Rachel's dance recital weekend. She did four performances over three days. She's so poised up there. I asked her how she feels being on stage and she said she'


Mat Kearney, Tomorrow I hear a voice crying out from the bellies of their mammas Hold on for today don't worry about tomorrow Though the rains of today seem to fall with sorrow Let me be and we'll see this life for tomorrow I hear a cry going out in the middle of the night Under the scatter of the stars from a voice cracked with fright And as the tears stripe cheeks from pain running south The taste of salt hits the corner of her mouth Resting on tied tongues with no breath left to speak Sick of throwing up with no bread left to eat Tired and confused from disillusionment Sunny days turn to grey and away he went Ripping the hooks out your heart from the promises at dark The words found their mark as the sheets came apart Every spoken word broken As he flipped you a token Kiss on the cheek as his feet found the open door What's in store for you he didn't question Shook his burden to the floor to leave you guessing About the future and what it will unfold But your still

A Lousy Week

I'm glad this week is over. The weather was cold, windy and rainy which didn't do much for my depression as I try and come off the Prednisone which took me through my headache cycle. Every day was an effort to do anything other than just sit on my butt. It made it easy for me to make excuses for being lazy but I'd rather have the normal me back. There isn't much information online about prednisone withdrawal but they do mention dizziness, tiredness, and irritability and I've definitely experienced those. I was hoping to find something which would tell me how long I can expect to feel this way before I'm back to normal. It really depends on how long a person has been on the drug and at what doses. My adrenal gland which produces steroids for my body shut down as the drug did its job. Now that the drug is no longer there the adrenal gland needs to wake up and begin production. It's different for everybody. I was hoping that exercise would cause it to kick into

No Hurries and Kevin Barbour

I was hoping that when I came into work today I'd have my medical back but that's not the case. Actually, I'm expecting a call at any minute telling me I'm good to work traffic again. I can always hope. I met with my doctor last Wednesday and he gave me the green light to get my medical back as it appears my cluster headache cycle is over. I'm waiting on the regional flight surgeon from the faa to act on it and get back to me. In the meantime, they've got me doing some menial stuff in the control room which I don't need a medical for and which needs to be done anyway. It's not all that bad but I'm anxious to work traffic again as this is the longest I've ever been away from the boards. Coming off the Prednisone hasn't been fun. The injuries I received in my crash 10 days ago hurt more now than they did then. I'm not sure if that's because the Prednisone was helping to reduce the swelling and overall pain. Anyway, last Friday I decid


I crashed my bike today in the rain on our group ride. I have an idea what happened but I can't be sure. There were about 15 of us die-hard types in a steady rain. I was talking with Rob next to me as we rode side by side (much the same as this photo from last week's ride) in a paceline with plenty of room between riders. I saw up the road that a couple guys had broken off the front and were maybe 20 seconds ahead of the main group. The next thing I noticed was that one of them was turning back in the direction of the group and at the same time I could see that the riders in front were beginning to slow. Out of nowhere, I began to go down. It all happened so quickly but in very slow motion. From what I can tell, the rider behind me was a bit too close and was unable to slow in time to avoid me. I talked with Rob later and he said that Leonard made contact with me from behind. He said it looked like I was going to be able to keep from crashing but with the wet roads and all I w

Cycling, Prednisone and Cluster Headaches

Where does the time go? It's not like I haven't been at my computer...too much so lately. I'm redoing our website so it renders itself in browsers other than IE. I've got it all done now except for the family photo pages and I hope to have those done over the next couple weeks. I rode with Silver Cyclists again today and had a good ride with them. We had 30 of us at the start and finished with half that. The winds were southeast at 20 gusting to 30 so there were many people who were blown off the back in the early miles. We attempted to wait for them a few times but we finally realized there was no way to keep a group like that together. Too much variation in abilities to expect that to happen. It was tough to keep a paceline with the quartering crosswind and at times we simply had to form mini echelons and find cover from the wind where we could. Sometimes though with more of a direct headwind, we were able to form a nice pace-line and work together. The final 25 mi