Showing posts from January, 2009

Finally -- a Design and Randomness in 25 Parts

Tammy and I just finished watching the movie, Fireproof . I probably shouldn't mention that it's a movie based on Christian principles because that may turn some people off but in the interest of disclosure I'll put that out there front and center. It's a film about a couple's crumbling marriage and the process of trying to save it. It doesn't matter how secure you are in your marriage; this film will have meaning for you. The last time I looked at the outside temperature today it was 42 degrees. I was glad to finally be able to spend an hour out in the driveway removing the layer of ice that fell in the form of rain some four weeks ago before a hard freeze set in. I'm back to a fully exposed driveway and I'm glad. A north facing concrete driveway requires a bit of work in the Midwest when it comes to the slippery stuff. I woke up this morning to no back pain whatsoever for the first time in over two weeks. I have a new appreciation for a healthy bac

Rides and Reminiscing

Somebody on the Serotta forum posted about their 'favorite San Diego rides'. That's a thread for me. San Diego is where I fell in love with cycling more than thirty years ago. I remember when I was maybe five or six years old and my parents bought my older brother Bryan a new bike. They got it while he was away at camp and before we left to pick him up, they set it up inside the garage with the door closed. When we got home we pulled into the driveway and my dad had Bryan get out and open the garage door; this was before the days of garage door openers. Bryan opened the door and there stood his new bike on its kickstand. A very cool way to surprise him I remember thinking. Like any kid, I had a fascination for two-wheeled things early on. I always had a bike growing up. I never wanted for much in the way of a bicycle until I saw Miles Harvey's Orange Krate . It didn't get any better than that and I would love to have had one but I knew that wasn't happeni

My Aching Back, Watermarks and the Pups

I knew this would happen. When I bought a rower for our home a couple weeks ago one of my main concerns was to avoid injuring myself by going at it too hard before my body had a chance to adapt to the new demands I was placing on it; my knees and back in particular. I had a couple of very good workouts early on which left me pumped for more. I came home from work a couple Tuesdays ago and jumped on it for a quick 10,000 meters. I remember thinking during the workout that I really should back off and maybe do just half the distance. My body was tired and I was trying to finish the distance faster than any of my earlier efforts. And I did; I shaved a full minute off my previous best. A few hours later though I was beginning to feel some twinges in my lower back which had me wondering if I'd made a mistake. I had my answer the next day. Yes, I'd injured my lower back and I'd have to wait for it to heal before I could do any more rowing. I'm still waiting. I hope to be ba

Inauguration Day

I worked an afternoon shift yesterday which was unusual for me on a Tuesday as I usually have a day shift but the change worked out well. I was up by 7:00 and on my rollers an hour later watching news coverage of the inauguration. It didn't take long for me to become bored with it so I muted the sound on the TV and fired up my mp3 player strapped to my arm. It came alive to the sound of Third Day's, Tunnel . I twisted the original intent of the song for my own purposes as we're coming out of the shadow of the Bush administration. The light at the end of the tunnel worked for me and the song would remain in my head all day. I dismounted long enough to share a link to the song with my Facebook 'friends' then climbed back on to finish my workout. I knocked out 30 miles and then hurried to get into the shower. I needed to make a quick trip to Burnsville Center before work to stop at Macy's and buy a tie. Anything already hanging on my tie rack is outdated and

Lotsa Thoughts on a Friday Night

I like to give my co-worker Tim a hard time for his blog posts about the weather but today I find myself making a passing mention of what we've been dealing with in our corner of the Midwest. Temps of -35f last night in Lakeville. This is way beyond getting old. It's not enough that we've had such frigid temps but there's also a layer of snow and ice on the side roads which is making driving somewhat treacherous and bicycling nearly impossible. Rachel has been thrown into the deep end insofar as winter driving is concerned with the road conditions she's had to negotiate. We say a lot of prayers for her. My truck hasn't been out of 4-wheel drive in the last month. There is some relief on the way though with temps forecast to be in the lower 30's in a few days. It's gonna feel like short-sleeve weather. It appears that Charlie is no longer on probation and has earned his place in our home. Hurray for Charlie! I never had any doubts he'd make the cu

Row Row Row and Surprise Surprise

Our Concept 2 rowing machine arrived Thursday afternoon just as I was trying to catch a quick nap on the couch to begin my weekend. I didn't mind the interruption as I was psyched to get it set up and give it a try. Tammy was surprised at how big it was but fortunately, we've got an ideal spot for it. It also folds upright should we need the space. It's a heck of a workout. I did a couple of 2000 meter efforts on T hursday at a moderate pace to see what sort of pain I could expect. I pushed it on Friday with a more strenuous and continuous 10,000 meters. I finished in just under 48 minutes thinking that I did really well. I uploaded the workout to my online logbook and found that the average for my age group for that distance is a little over 42 minutes. Wow, I wasn't even close. How depressing is that? I have to remind myself that I'm new to this and my muscles are nowhere near conditioned for what I'm asking them to do. I didn't row yesterday but opted

Rowing Into the New Year

It's been more than three weeks since I've been able to get out and ride. One snowstorm after another has left little room for a bike to safely navigate any of the highway shoulders nearby. We'll get a bit of melting during the day but very cold temps at night leave behind glare ice which keeps me confined to my basement and my rollers. I'm just grateful to do any sort of riding. I'm a pretty one-dimensional person these days when it comes to working out. I ride. I owned a Soloflex for years and for several winters in the mid-'90s I'd attempt to get into a routine with it but those plans always fizzled after a couple months each time I'd try. Mike Corte from work finally took the Soloflex off my hands 6-7 years ago for what I felt was a good deal for both of us. I know that Tammy was glad to see space freed up in our den. I was a runner for most of the '80s and into the '90s and I loved it; it's still my favorite activity to do if only

No Soup for You and Taking the Lead

It's that time of year at work where awards are given out to the most deserving of my fellow air traffic controllers. Not really. What I just said sounds good but in reality, the awards program is only designed to drive wedges between the workforce. I seriously doubt it will still be in place this time next year after an Obama administration has had a chance to give it more than two minutes of consideration. Yesterday afternoon one of my friends at work was taken aside an hour before his shift ended and his weekend would begin, say nothing of it being New Year's Eve, and told that he'd be receiving no bonus money. His efforts weren't good enough. No soup for you. He'd finished in the money the previous year and gave the same effort this past year but it wasn't enough. This blog entry belongs in the context of having just finished the Crew Resource Management class and my encounter with my Area Manager (AM) the next morning. I began working on this post back