Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hannah's Birthday Trip

For Hannah’s birthday I offered to take her to Maui. I thought it would be win/win because she would get a Hawaiian vacation and I would get to see the Xterra World Championships which just happen to be at the same time. To my surprise she wanted to go camping in Moab with her folks – I love this girl.

We left Denver Thursday morning and drove the 300 miles to Moab in about 5 hours. The drive was great. We snacked on red vines, cookies, talked, listened to Dickens’s “Great Expectations.”

Stoney and Melanie arrived in Moab before us, and found a great camping spot next to the Colorado River. That night we ate bratwursts and steamed vegetables and played games in the camper.

Friday morning was spent playing around by the river and lounging in the sun. In the afternoon we road Slick Rock and went out to eat that night. Saturday we did a short hike through “Wall Street” in Arches National Park and then drove home.

The trip was really fun, but WAY to short.










Yard Redesign Project

I’ve been heads down trying to bust out my last few classes (only 3 months to go!!), so I haven’t had much time to BLOG, but I thought I post a few before and after pictures of our landscaping project. Hannah did a great job. I’ll post some more pictures in the spring when things have started to grown in. Not only does the yard look 10 times better, but we have twice as much usable space and 1/3 the lawn to water.


Before















After









Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Miscellanies Debris

With the last three posts, I felt like I was kind of on a roll. I had taken a break from school, and we had some fun things to talk about. August 1st came and I started school, Hannah started a new job, and my job became really busy. The last thing I wanted to do was come home, get on the computer and BLOG…..but I want to keep in the habit, so I’m going to post some random items – hence the BLOG title.

Food

One of the things that Hannah and I decided we could do to improve our fitness level is to eat better. We eat alright, but we could do a lot better. We decided that we would plan out our meals and only buy food items related to those meals. We’re still not perfect, but we’ve gotten a lot better. I found a couple of food BLOGS that are pretty good and have been getting some ideas from them - like grilling vegetables. One of my favorite dinners is fish tacos with mango salsa. I took a picture of it, but it’s difficult to make food look good in a digital format so I decided to skip it. Here is the recipe:

Fajita size tortillas (we use the whole wheat kind)

White fish (halibut is best, but tilapia is much much cheaper and still tastes ok)

Mango salsa:

- 1 Mango cubed

- 1 Avocado cubed

- Juice from 1 lime

- ¼ c finely chopped cilantro

- Salt to taste

It’s best if the salsa sits for at least an hour, but it’s good any time.

Training

As I look back on last years training schedule, I learned a few things. First I think trained a bit too much – rather I trained in the wrong way. The over all volume was good, but I would stack difficult workouts back to back and sometimes three and four in a row. My body never had adequate time to recover. Next year I will plan things out better. I’m think of joining a virtual training site that will out line the types of workouts I do and when.

Second, I need to do more brick workouts. A brick is doing two specialties back to back. For example: bike / run, swim / bike, lift / run. Stacking workouts really helps to train you for the fatigue of a race. Hannah and I did one on last Saturday. We swam and then biked home from the pool. We took it easy, but it was really fun.

Memories

I like to listen to music when I work out, and don’t want to listen to the albums time after time, so I’ve been listening to some mixes. My friend Jon is a huge music buff and has made me two fantastic mixes, and I recently made one I’m enjoying. I like it because each song invokes some sort of memory. Some of the memories are very specific and others are references to a block time in my life. Below I’ll list the songs and the associated memories. *Note – it is somewhat embarrassing for me to admit that I like a few of these songs….but I do…..there I said it, I’m out of the closet. **Note – keep in mind that these are song that I run to, and I need to run to up beat music.


1. 99 Luftballons (Nena) - This was the fist music video I ever saw and Tim showed it to me.

2. Come on Feel the Noise (Quiet Riot) – Playing video games at Bullwinkle’s pizza

3. Rock you like a Hurricane (Scorpions) – watching John Unzicker and Cory McPherson play guitar with their way cool mullets

4. Round and Round (Ratt) – Dustin Jacobson turned me on to this song after his trip to Seattle

5. Owner of a Lonely Hart (Yes) – going over to the Eakins house. Mark played this song for me on his brother Bob’s record player

6. A New Level (Pantera) – coming down from snowboarding in Derrick Jensen’s van with this album blasting the entire way. We waited 15 minutes to make a left across traffic, and everyone was getting really upset because some of us had to work that night. We finally had an opening, and Derrick popped the clutch and stalled the car. He was so mad he let out a string of profanities and punched the windshield…it shattered….Derrick was REALLY upset then. Brad leaned over to me and whispered “whoah, Derrick is pissed……but that was SO funny.”

7. Hunting Humans (Misfits) – no specific memory to this one, but anyone that can sing those lyrics in the voice of a crooner gets extra points in my book.

8. Mannequin (Firehose….not FireHOUSE) – Brad Hartman…..how does he find these cool bands? Brad was always ahead of the curve on that kind of stuff.

9. State of Love and Trust (Pearl Jam) – again no specific memories, just a time period in my life.

10. London Dungeon (Misfits) – This is one of my top 3 favorite snowboarding albums. I never get tired of it. I probably listened to it every time I went to Brighton in 93.

11. C’mon C’mon (The Von Bondies) – This is a recent memory. Jon told me about these guys, and I remember being surprised at how much I liked them.

12. Corduroy (Pearl Jam) – Hanging out with John Unzicker in the middle of winter at his and Noah’s cabin in Juneau.

There are more songs on the mix, but I’m usually done running at 12.

Here is a random photo of our trip to the dinosaur exhibit at the natural history museum.


And now your moment of ZEN….

Since I was waxing nostalgic I decided to post my favorite Alaska Airlines commercial.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Xterra Indian Peaks

I didn’t do a race report for Xterra Buffalo Creek (too much was going on and I bombed anyway), so I’m going to do one for Xterra Indian Peaks.

For those that don’t know, during the swim at Xterra Buffalo Creek I was kicked in the head, and didn’t end up finishing. I probably could have, but I got in the race marshal’s boat to recover and that’s a disqualifying move - c'est la vie.

Indian peaks’ lake is pretty small, so it’s a staggered swim. Ranked on anticipated finish times, racers go into the water every 5 or 6 seconds. The result is a nice even group of swimmers rather than one big frothing mass.

Despite the staggered start, there is a tendency to clump up. I swam with the same group of about 8 or 9 swimmers most of time and only had one incident. Towards the end of the swim, I put on a small burst of speed and caught the person in front of me. My head was about even with his waist, and I was right next to him (he was on my right). During the freestyle stroke your arm makes an arch in the air, enters the water in front of your head and shoots forward. Because of my position relative to the guy in front of me, my arm made the wide arch and speared the guy right in the neither region between his legs. I breathe on my right side, so I saw it as it was happening, but due to momentum I was powerless to stop. All I could do was go push forward and get lost in the crowd. Luckily with wet suits, swim caps, and goggles, it’s hard to tell who’s who. For some reason, after that happened, the song “strangers in the night” kept running through my head.

After the swim, we had to run 600m to the transition area. It was all up hill, and seemed much farther. I slipped out of my wet suit and donned my bike gear. As I started the bike, I realized that I forgot my sunglasses….to late now. The course is on the nordic ski trails of Eldora ski area. The trails are short, so the course zig zaggs up one trail, down the other, back up the first, down another, across one, back across another, and so on. It was well marked, but hard to tell how far you’ve gone.

The course is shorter than Buffalo Creek, so I was expecting it to be easier….it wasn’t. The course was steep and very technical. I was burned out by the end.

Not only was the bike course harder, the run was much harder as well. There isn’t a flat bit of ground on the thing. About 100 yards out of transition the trail goes up for awhile. At the top of the hill my quads were starting to cramp, so I pulled my foot up behind me to my butt to stretch them out….my hamstring cramped up so bad I didn’t think I could straighten them out again. The rest of the run was a blur.

Despite the fact that I really underestimated the course, I had a great time. There were lots of pro’s there, the weather was great, the trails were really fun, and I finished. My friend Jason did really well (he was with Hannah at the end of the run as I was coming in. He yelled, “dude, I’ve already eaten my lunch…hurry up!).

I don’t have anymore races scheduled for this year, and that feels pretty good. I’m going to concentrate on work, school, and exercising for fun!

P.S. Regarding the pictures - there all of me…sorry. Hannah had the camera. Also, I’m probably going to jail or at least going to get fined for using some of the race photos with out buying them. I would have bought them but they don’t offer a digital format. They only offered large print for $40.00, and there is no way that’s going to happen.

And now your moment of ZEN…..this is my favorite Easter cartoon. I was cleaning up my picture folder, and didn’t want to wait a year before posting it.


While I’m at it, I also found this old Monty cartoon that I always laugh at (you'll have to click on it to read it).




Friday, August 01, 2008

J town and the Wedding of Brad

This seems to always happen to me. I start out hot and heavy on the BLOG. Then I miss a week but I want to write about it, so I postpone (or procrastinate) writing anything until I write about the week I missed…..next thing I know It’s weeks or months since I’ve written anything.

Here’s what I missed: A Petersen family reunion in Juneau, and the wedding of Brad and Christy. Way to much happened, so I’m not even going to try to write about it. I am going to post some pictures and briefly explain them. The only bummer about that is I didn’t do a very good job of taking pictures, so I didn’t get everything I wanted to. Oh well, here goes:

Hannah and I on the boat – Photo by Ray

Hannah and Jake – my dream come true (this is a labradoodle puppy that Hannah and I brought up to AK for Nicole). He lived in our garage for a few days and bonded with Hannah.

The Kids…..that’s right “kids.” Hannah wants to move to AK because Sherry and Karen have such great skin from living with 300 days a year of overcast sky’s….not a wrinkle on either one of them.

Nicole - casting some kind of spell? I don't know what she's doing, but I like the picture – Photo by Kara

Sea lions – Photo by Kara. Hannah really liked this on because the big one on the right reminded her of our cat Pete. Pete is of course black, but when he lay’s he looks just like a sea lion or a sausage.

Don on the boat

At $7.00 per pound for halibut in Denver you’re looking at about $600 - $700 worth of fish…the things you take for granted in AK.

Me and my Dad

Eric, Kara, and Kyle

This is a video of Hannah catching her HUGE chicken halibut. We ate it when we got back to Denver, and dreamed of lazy days on the boat of AK. - video by Ray


video

Eric and Brad - some of the greatest adventures of my life were with this guy. Road trips, camping, hiking, and snowboarding….Life was sweet. Brad’s catch phrase was “I just want to go dooo something.”

Hannah and Matt – As you can tell by the fine craftsmanship, this is not the fist piñata Matt has made, but here’s the thing….if you had a party, Matt would be the bouncer. If someone is acting up, Matt would escort them to the door and in no uncertain terms let them know they needed to leave…and they WOULD leave. He’s tough, he’s loud, and yet….he enjoys the gentle art of making piñatas for children….the dichotomy is staggering. He’s complex. He’s also a one of the best friends a guy could have.


Eric and Andy – What can you say about a guy that everyone likes. He introduced me to skateboarding. I hadn’t seen him for years, and it was like no time had passed.


And now for your moment of ZEN……

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Think I'm Loosing My Mind


I’ve done some bone head things in my day, but lately I’ve reached a whole new level. Work is going great, but I’m forgetting things…..important things. I’ve been really lucky in that I have a ton of deals in the pipe and I should do about 250% of my fist half number. It’s the best I’ve ever done. The problem is that I forget when deals book. Last week I forgot to reflect in my forecast that I closed 50k the week before. I forget to follow up on 20k deals…If I didn’t write everything down, I wouldn’t get anything done. I would just stare at the computer wondering what I was supposed to be doing.

The forgetfulness isn’t just at work either. Last week I road my bike down to the lake for a swim and realized that I forgot my goggles. If you have ever tried to swim with out goggles it isn’t fun. The wind was blowing and there was about a foot of chop on the water. Every time I would lift my head to look were I was going I would get an eye full of spray or a wave right in the face. I started to swim for 2-3 minutes at a time without opening my eyes. The strategy poses two problems, the first is that it’s really, really, really boring. Swimming isn’t the most entertaining sport, but when you can’t see, it’s especially bad. I was trying to do multiplication problems in my head to kill time….it didn’t work. The second problem is that I couldn’t tell were I was going. One time I looked up and found that I had been swimming at a 90 degree angle from the point I was aiming for…..at least I was making good time.

While the above mentioned incidences are more annoyances than real problems, I pulled a real beaute last Tuesday. I drove under an over hang and forgot I had my bike on top of the car. My hart sank as I heard the sound of my car rack being ripped off my car. I wasn’t going fast but the damage was severe. My car rack was broken, my bike rack was bent, and my bike forks were snapped in half.

This couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I have the Xterra Buffalo Creek coming up next Saturday, which means that I can’t spend a lot of time looking for deals. Also, just two days before, I was telling Hannah that I wanted to upgrade my forks, but couldn’t justify spending the money. When I called her up and told her what happened she said
“did you do that on purpose?” I told her that are easer ways to get new forks.

Well my work quarter is wrapping up at the end of June, as of today I’m done with school until mid July, and in a few days the Xterra will be done….hopefully I’ll start sorting things out better.

Speaking of Xterra, last Saturday Hannah and I were going to go pre-ride the bike course, but that couldn’t happen so we went up and ran the trail portion. I also swam in the lake for a bit. The water was cool and the air was warm. It was a beautiful day. I’ve also been doing a fair amount of road biking during my lunch breaks. The IBM campus is just outside of Boulder and there are mile and miles of farm land to ride through. I’m really luck to live in such a wonderful place and have a flexible job. Our quality of life is great.

And now you moment of ZEN……sometimes when I’m out and about I see things that I know would make Hannah happy, and knowing that they would make Hannah happy, they make me happy. This picture is of some fury cows. I don’t know what kind they are but I know Hannah would get a kick out of them. I pass them on my lunch rides, and smile every time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Boulder Boulder and a Fist Full of Quarters


I love summer…..I mean I REALLY love summer, and the older I get the more I love it. Summer means longer days, warm weather, and various Saturday activities with Hannah. Summer also means that I can go running or biking on my way to and from work.

For those of you that don’t know I have an hour and 15 minute commute to and from work. In the winter, the drive starts to grate on me, but in summer I actually love it. The drive is up and down the “Front Range” with hundreds of great trails for mountain biking or trail running. Lately my schedule has been:

Monday – Run in the morning and Bike during lunch
Tuesday – Swim in the morning and stretch during lunch
Wednesday - Run in the morning and Bike during lunch
Thursday - Swim in the morning and stretch during lunch
Friday – Long trail run in the morning
Saturday – Long bike ride

It sounds like a lot and two years a go I would have thought the same thing, but now I wish I had more time to exercise. It’s satisfying and mentally relaxing……anyway.

On Memorial Day Hannah and I ran the Boulder Boulder with some friends of ours. The race is 10k (6.3 miles) and goes through the city of Boulder. The neat thing about the race is that it’s the 2nd largest foot race in America and the 4th largest in the world. This year over 50 thousand people participated. There are bands on every corner, people dressed up in gorilla suits, and general craziness. The ending is in the Colorado University stadium, with thousands of people watching so you feel like your in the Olympics. It’s great.

I ran a 9 minute miles, which for a runner is poor. I wanted to do an 8:30 mile but I’m happy with it. Actually the last three miles were 8:30, but the fist three were slow. I’ve been doing speed work all month, so hopefully I can do 8:00 minute miles for Xterra Buffalo Creek.

Last Saturday was pretty fun. I wanted to get up at 6:30 and do my home work (I hate school) but I slept through my alarm and woke up at 7:30. I had just enough time eat, wash my face, get dressed, and head out the door for our ward service project which is cleaning up a mile section of road buy our house. We’ve done the “adopt a road” thing, so we do a clean up once a quarter. I usually do the same section and it’s funny because on one particular corner I always find tons of banana peels. I can just picture some guy eating his morning banana and chucking the peel out in the same place every morning.

That afternoon Hannah and I went on our favorite bike ride, but the highlight of the day was watching the much anticipated movie “The King of Kong – A Fist Full of Quarters” (You have to check out the link). I wanted to see it at the theater, but it never came to Denver, and was thrilled to find it on TV. The movie is a documentary about the raining Donkey Kong video game champ, and his arch nemesis who is trying to beat his 20 year high score record. I give it two thumbs up, five stars, and a big heck yeah. I can’t even begin to describe it, but I’ll give you two of my favorite quotes:

1. The contender is driving from Seattle WA to Tampa FL for a Donkey Kong shoot out with the current champ. The winner of the contest will be in Guinness book of world records. The contender’s 5 year old daughter asks her father why he cares so much about getting in the book, he gives an answer, and she says, “yeah, I’ll bet a lot of people ruin their lives trying to get in that book.” ……out of the mouth of babes…the moment was priceless.

2. This quote was said by a person who holds the current world record for playing “centipede”….with his feet. “Well, you don’t see a lot of DDG’s in here (speaking of the arcade)….DDG stands for drop dead gorgeous if you didn’t know.” I think that pretty much sums it up.

Well that’s all I’ve got.

And now your moment of ZEN……we love cows.

This thing weighted over 2k pounds....