Showing posts from December, 2011

From My Notes...

I'm sitting here, New Year's Eve, relaxing by the crackling fireplace with a glass of wine ('s empty...brb) and my laptop. I don't know that life gets any more relaxing. Tammy has been in the office all afternoon and evening taking calls from people in search of medical assistance, sussing out their needs and coordinating any required help. Our most mild and brown winter is going to have a new look when we wake up in the morning as snow is falling heavily. I'm ok with that. I've got a new snowblower that is itching to show me what it can do as well as my Mukluk. They both thrive on snow. I'm becoming more accepting of it. It's been a full week for us. Aren't they all? I'll typically make notes on my Bionic throughout the week of things I'd like to touch on in my blog and this week there's a long list. I won't get to them all. I've become more aware in recent years that less is more. It'll be difficult to hold true t

Christmas, 2011 and the Call of a Mukluk

Quite a contrast between last year and this year... I love a brown Christmas—well, maybe an inch of snow would be acceptable but no more! Oh, wait a minute...I have a snow-bike now. Strike that! I had some use-or-lose vacation time to burn through before the end of the year so I took Wednesday off and spent it getting familiar with my Mukluk on the trails along the Minnesota River bottom. I actually had a difficult time falling asleep on Tuesday night in anticipation of my ride. I was excited to get out there and that excitement was for a good reason. It was one of the more fun rides I've had in a very long time. I've never experienced anything like that on a bike. More about this later. Christmas, 2011 is nearly gone as I sit down to add to my blog. I can't think of another year where I felt so detached from the celebration. I'm not sure why. I just never got caught up in much of the hype this year aside from putting up outdoor lights. I'm actuall

Bring it On!

We've been experiencing some unusually nice weather here in the Midwest! I believe they're talking 40s for Sunday. I love it! It appears we're in for our first brown Christmas since 2006 and I for one am very happy about that. Or am I? Hmm—I'm actually somewhat conflicted now because I have an altogether new reason for wanting snow. No, it's not because of my new snowblower and no, I didn't buy a snowmobile. I suppose the photo to the left is a bit of a giveaway. I bought myself a new toy: a Salsa Mukluk! I'm joining the ranks of the fat-bikes! ...or however you say that. My original intent was to purchase a Pugsley Surly  (something I've had my eye on for a little more than a year) but after comparing the two over at Freewheel Bike in Minneapolis, I opted for the Mukluk with its aluminum frame, slightly larger size, and better components and wheels. Thanks to Steve at Freewheel for his guidance in helping me sort through the options. The fat tir

Celebrating a Birthday and I'm Easy to Please

It's been a busy week and weekend. Normally I'd say that it's nice to come to work to relax but I'm just not feeling it lately. I'm grateful for my job but this strong urge I have to be retired often nudges out those more rational feelings about staying around a few more years to better secure our financial future. It's a good problem to have and I get that. Tammy and I both took off work last Monday to spend time together celebrating her birthday. We got an early morning start with breakfast at Perkins followed by a 9:00 slot time at Foci. I had a good day there and left feeling satisfied with my progress. That good feeling would vanish come Friday. More about that later. We left Foci and headed home to clean up before venturing 50 minutes north to Stillwater for the afternoon. It had been a couple years since we'd visited the picturesque city on the St Croix river and we were both looking forward to going back. I'd forgotten how busy with traffic

A Practice Retirement Day

Toby is becoming finicky about his drinking water needs. I've noticed for a while that he appears to appreciate freshly drawn tap water over a half bowl of stale water left over from the previous day while neither Allie nor Charlie couldn't care less. I came into the laundry room where their water bowl is kept and he was standing in front of it looking at me then back at the bowl. The other night during our small-group meeting for our church I could hear his distinct bark coming from the laundry room. I went to check on him and he was standing in front of his nearly full bowl of water. Apparently, it wasn't fresh enough. I refilled it and he proceeded to drink to his heart's content. We were back in the studio on Friday for a few hours in the morning. We found Steve back in the cold shop working on some pieces. It was good to see him again as an illness has had him sidelined for a few weeks. He came out later and sat at our bench to chat, observe and give us some poin