Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Harvest Time

We have spent all summer working and cultivating our garden to be able to grow crops of our own because the taste is so superior to those purchased at the grocery store.

And by "working all summer" i really mean, planting too late and then ignoring for the rest of the summer.

It is true, we did have good luck with zucchini and it looks like we will get some pumpkins this year as well, but i think it is almost impossible not to get those 2 crops to grow. The deer ate our 14 tomato plants. We have some melons or squash or something that we are not even sure what they are, and then we have our plants that are putting out some really nice crops...
...if you are a little personToo much water?
Not enough water?
Not enough sun?
Too much sun?
Too many loud noises?
Not enough singing?

The girls like eating the carrots because it makes them feel like they are giants.
Maybe next year, we will try a vineyard and make our own wine.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Painting the Treehouse

As I run out of daylight to do all of the things i want to do, i need to hurry and get the treehouse finished.
#1 and #2 helped me paint it on Saturday while #3 ate apples they picked from a tree in our backyard and watched on.I don't know what she is doing here but it is not painting or eating apples.
#4 napped inside and did not help paint at all.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Office is back

Me and Steve at last years christmas party

There are not a whole lot of shows that i try and regularly watch. The Office is as regular as i can get catching about every other episode. I have the first few seasons on DVD, including season 1 of the original British version, but it is very hard to go back and watch them again knowing you were so uncomfortable the first time. Knowing that, yes Michael is going to kiss Oscar.
With kids and family and work and life, i really need to get one of those DVR things. I guess it is good that NBC is back on iTunes so i can download the episodes and watch them on my schedule.

I wonder if Jim will pop the question?

I wonder if Andy really loves Angela?

I wonder if the new HR lady will be Michael's friend?

So many unanswered questions.

Monday, September 22, 2008


With the surgery on Friday, i wasn't sure if i was going to race on saturday.
We gave #3 some pain meds at around 10:00 before she went to sleep and we were expecting to give her more every 4 hours as it wore off.
She slept through the night and woke up ready for action the next morning.
I packed up a couple bikes and headed for the Park City with the family.
The doctor (not my brother DR. storyteller, but the REAL M.D. kind of doctor) told us that she could do whatever she felt like doing except jumping on the tramp. When we got to Park City, she did just about everything but jump on a tramp. Little kids bounce back fast an she doesn't remember a whole lot so i guess that is good.

For those of you unfimiliar with cyclocross, it is a mix between road biking, mountain biking, cross country running and a mud fight. Megan prefers these races to all of the others i do because they are much more entertaining.
Our season runs from September through December.

The races are on a course that have paved sections, dirt roads, single track, jeep roads, grass, water, hills, logs, and then they throw some barriers you have to get off your bike and jump over just to make it more challenging. It is a closed course that you ride around several times and whoever rides around the most times, the fastest wins.

If Saturdays race was any indicator of how my season is going to go this year, i am in trouble. I always take 2 bikes to a cx race because these races are notoriously hard on equipment. About 4 laps into the race, i went around a corner and blew a tire and was thrown to the ground. I ran over and switched bikes. About a half a lap later, my rear derailleur and chain broke.
I realized that the front tire on that bike was still good so i ran back over and switched front wheels and rode the rest of the race. After the mechanicals i was going slower and figured it was because i had given up on pushing it too hard since breaking down twice. I realized about half way through the race that my 2 different front rims are different widths and my front brakes were going to be rubbing the rest of the race...a lot.
Megan really, really liked the acid washed jeans lycra this guy was sporting.

Friday, September 19, 2008

#3's surgery

Before she went in to the hospital she was very happy...and angry...and sad.
After she got there, she got much more nervous. We tried to prep her on what was going to happen and how she would just go to the doctor and then go to sleep.
it reminded me a lot of this video.

She did wonderfully during her surgery.
Afterwards, she was a bit groggy, but the surgery went as well as they could have hoped and now we just need to go back in 4-6 weeks and have an ultrasound done to make sure it all worked out.Snuggling with #4 after they gave her a cocktail that made her drowsyAfter surgery before waking upAfter she woke up she got to ride in a wheelchair down to the car with her new sippy cup full of apple juice and her new tub (in case she threw up all of her apple juice in the car on the way home)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Brother Luke and his Daughter

The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lake Tahoe with the Family

Had a great time and sat on the beach most of the time.
The weather was perfect. The trip was too short, the drive was too long.
It is amazing how long kids can stay entertained digging in the sand.

John E. Rubb got us some sweet accommodations and his wife hates his shirt. She did make us some wonderful Cinnamon syrup to eat all of our extra bread sunday morning when we made it into french toastOn the drive back home, we stopped by a home that is now a monument called Thunder Mountain.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bike Commuting

After reading the article below, i had to evaluate things a little. The bike trainer i ride at home during the winter plugs into the wall and draws electricity. The TV I watch, or the music i listen to while riding my iondoor bike trainer both draw electricity. I spend many hours a week riding my bike for fitness and then get into my car and drive to and from work.I recently bought a trailer to hook on the back of a bike and have been riding to and from work a few days a week. If i could just figure out how to hook up a generator to my trainer at home, i could save the power i generate during the winter months riding indoors and use the electricity to run the oven so my wife could bake me some cookies.

Oh yea, and it has been a couple weeks since i put gas in my car. I have been debating the cost of gas, which is around $4 a gallon to the cost of Gatorade, which is about the same price per gallon. Environmentally, i think the gatorade is a better choice but i don't know if i am saving money.

It is a little harder for Megan to get the kids around and do the grocery shopping on a bike, but i am thinking of a set-up like this.

Circles: Wasting energy in an energy challenged world
By Rick Crawford
Posted Jun. 27, 2008
First the disclaimer: this is not a typical training article. This is more of a rant that I have been dying to get out there in the public domain. It does involve training, but it’s more of a statement, so please bear with me.

With gas prices so high, I’m looking at the bike quite differently these days. For 32 years now, I have viewed the bike as my sporting medium; my racing tool and speed fix. Rarely have I viewed it as the extremely viable form of transportation that it really is. Now that regular unleaded is more than four bucks a gallon, I don’t take the car for granted. From sheer necessity, the bike has become my primary form of transportation.

This situation has made me wax philosophic on the incredible amount of time I have spent on my bike going nowhere, just riding in big circles. Thousands of times, I have put the bike on the roof-rack, driven to town, done a loop or two with my buddies, and driven home. There were certainly dividends in the form of fitness, recreation, and good times with friends, which is significant. But now I think of the amount of calories vaporizing into nothingness that I myself have been responsible for, it’s mind-boggling. Multiply that by millions of cyclists every day and think of the heat entering the atmosphere, the CO2 we’re expiring, and the sheer amount of energy going nowhere. Yikes.

That line of thinking takes me to another scenario that upon pondering seems somewhat comical. I used to watch Herbie, my dear late pet hamster, run for hours and hours on his treadmill in his little cage. It was entertaining to watch him. My science fair project when I was in seventh grade was to make a tiny little generator out of Herbie's treadmill. It took him a few days, but he eventually stored enough energy to power up a battery and light up a flashlight. Herbie was oblivious. He was going to run no matter what. Think about that. If you put a rodent in a cage, they will run on the treadmill; it’s what they do. The world could be rodent powered!

The funny thing is that people do the same thing. Go to the health club and check out the people on the treadmills, the spin bikes, the elliptical trainers, pumping iron, aerobics classes, lap swimming, and so on. Many of the workout machines are actually plugged in! So there’s the runner (hamster) on the treadmill, sweating profusely, with the machine using even more energy than the runner is producing, air conditioning a-blazin’ to counter all the body heat … all that energy so someone can get a workout. I’m laughing at it now, but I’ve been the proverbial hamster myself so many times.

The health club of the future is going to be a power plant! We don’t need no stinking oil! There are just a few obstacles in the way of this brave new world. Infrastructure is the big one, high energy prices will drive that forward. We need to get rid of business suits, and make sure every facility has showers so that people doing big business feel clean and comfy after they commute to work on their bikes. It should be cool to do big business in casual clothes that can be stuffed into a backpack. And put a laundry room in the office too.

Mindsets need to change. It will be a great day when the guy in the suit looks like a doofus because all the cool, fit, successful people are in their casual clothing after a brisk commute. It takes a lot of energy to iron a shirt you know!

No using elevators either. In this new world, you take the stairs up (storing lots of kinetic energy) and take the elevator down which will capture the kinetic energy to help light up the building. The company provides deodorant and sweat towels. It should be cool to sweat. Imagine how healthy the workforce would be. The healthcare crisis would be addressed along with the energy crisis!

Maybe I’ll start my own utility company. There are a lot of BTUs and watts to be harvested from all those cyclists doing indoor mileage on their trainers. Like Herbie, they are going to get their exercise regardless; they might as well be throwing their energy into the grid. If all the cyclists in the world decided to stop going in circles and were plugged into the grid, it would light up a lot of small villages in third world countries that don’t have electricity. That’s a neat concept.

Transporting myself with the bike has been an amazing experience. I guess I like sticking it to the man. I’m not pumping emissions into the atmosphere, other than the occasional fart now and then. I’m not feeding the demand frenzy for gasoline, and the politics that go with it. I even get the bonus of knowing that I don’t have to pay over four bucks for gas. And of course there are the fitness dividends. I’m going to invest in a trailer for the bike soon so I can haul groceries, which will be no small feat since my rural home is 22 miles from Durango. I would have never thought that I’d be one of those guys, but here I am, and I’m loving it.

It’s okay that I’m not going in circles with my buddies so much anymore. I feel all warm and fuzzy about this quest. I’m really enjoying and I feel like I’m doing the right thing. I do plan on going to Tuesday Worlds every now and then and gauging myself just for grins and the social aspect. In fact, I think once I start pulling this trailer home full of groceries twice per week, I may just get strong as an ox. Watch out Ned Overend; Crawford might come out of retirement!

Monday, September 8, 2008


When you are checking in to a room for the night, this is never a good sign.I guess the good news is that when you get to bed late and wake up before 5 AM, you don't get much sleep anyway, so it doesn't matter that you feel like you are sleeping in an ashtray. We booked the room before we even knew if we were going to get in this year with the new registration rules, and this was still the best we could get.
The Doctor, the Rookie, the Robot, Me and Cousin Kevin get ready to ride over to the start line and get going.

My goal this year was a sub 10-hour finish, which was a lofty goal considering how things had gone the last 2 years. To get a good time, all of your stars have to align perfectly. Weather, health, nutrition, support, mechanical and even the people around you all can play a huge role in how this whole thing plays out. I got really lucky this year.
This year we all broke up more than years past and made it even more difficult for our support crew to make sure they got food and drinks to all the different riders coming in at different times along the way. We had great help and not only do they take on the stress of making sure we stay fed along the route, they also put up with the thousands of miles and hundreds of hours of riding we put in all year to get ready for an event like this. As we were driving from the finish line to our hotel we stayed at in Jackson Hole, we picked up a hitch-hiker riding his bike back into town. He had come up to jackson the night before and left his car, then hitched a ride down to Logan to do the race. He had all of his food in neutral support and no one there for him. Apparently he is not as smooth as the Doctor and could not lie, i mean convince some nice young ladies that it would be fun to spend 10 hours in a car or standing along side the road getting yelled at by rude cyclists.I am extremely lucky to have a wife that pretends to understand my obsessions and even pretends like she has a good time doing this for me, all the while having a baby strapped to her chest the whole day. I love Megan way more than i love any of my bikes, but if you see any sized 54 bikes listed on ebay or KSL classifieds being sold by "The Bake-a-holic" please let me know.After the last 2 years of the Doctor and Cousin Kevin waiting for me and helping me through my tough rides, i up and left them both this year. I have no excuse for this. As i lay in my ashtray the night before the race thinking of all of the ways that the race would play out, it did not go like any of the scenarios i had imagined. All 5 of us this year rode in with sub 10 hour finishes. The only mechanical issue we had were Cousin Kevin blowing out a tire, and the Doctors Prostate. There is nothing like seeing your beautiful wife standing at the finish line of a 200 mile race with a giant bottle of ice cold chocolate milk.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Ship Has Finally Come In!

I received this e.mail yesterday, so of course i immediately sent Mr. Philip Okiro my bank info.

Dear Friend, With due respect to you and With much sincerity of purpose I make this contact with you as I believe that you can be of great assistance to me,but first let me introduce myself. I am Mr.PHILP OKIRO The Branch Manager of Bank Of Africa(BOA) Ouagadougou Burkina Faso i decided to contact you over this transaction worth the sum of FOUR MILLION,THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS ($4,300,000.00).This is an abandoned fund that belongs to the one of our bank foreign customers who diedalong with his completely family on 25th oct,2003 in a plane crash disaster. You can view this site to know more. http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/africa/07/20/kenya.crash/index.html. I was very fortune to came acroos the deceased file when i was arranging the old and abandoned customers files of 2003-2004 in other to submit to the bank managements accordingly for documentation purposes.It is clearly stated in our BANKING FOREIGN POLICY and signed lawfully that if such fund remains unclaimed by the NEXT OF KIN till the period of SIX(6) years starting from the date when the beneficiary died, the money will be transferred into the BANK TREASURY as an unclaimed fund.Besides,it is not authorized by the law guiding our bank for a citizen of BURKINA FASO to make the claim of the fund. So the request of you as a foreigner is necessary to apply for the claim and transfer of the fund smoothly into your reliable bank account as the NEXT OF KIN to the deceased.When the fund is transferred into your account,FOURTY PERCENT(40%) will be foryou in an assistance and in provision of the bank account,while SIXTY PERCENT (60%) will be for me. If you are really sure of your integerity, trustworthy and confidentiality,reply with your contact necessary for the transfer and call me as you so that i will let you know the steps to follow in order to finalize this transaction immediately. I will be waiting for your urgent reply through my private E-mail (philp_okiro00@hotmail.com) My regards to you and your family, MR. PHILP OKIRO
From what i can tell, my 40% cut from this is $1.7 million.
I can finally pay off the high interest credit cards i racked up while starting my Hummel Collection.
Above is a picture of the favorite piece in my collection called "TRAILBLAZER". It reminds me of my carefree days of hiking around the mountains above my house in my lederhosen. Back when i had rosey cheeks, cankles and nary a care in the world.
I have repeatedly asked the M.I. Hummel company to make a bicycle figurine, but they have started sending my letters back to me unopened.
The closest i could get for my collection was a precious moments figurine called "Growing in Grace"I am sure you can agree with me that this is a very precious moment indeed. It is precious until her momentum gets the best of her and she realizes that the bike wheels are not actually attached to the frame. As near as i can tell, the fenders on this bike are resting on the wheels. if she stops too fast, it could spell trouble for her and her turtle friend. Besides, who lets their kid ride a bike without a helmet anymore, especially on a make shift bike like that?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The best things about Daughters

At what point do you KNOW that one of your kids are "SPECIAL"?
Yes, those are Latex gloves she found somewhere so she could deliver the baby doll.

Top 10 best things about having only Daughters

1. No fathers and sons outings.
2. No maturation talks for me. It will be Megan's resposiblity since i don't know about girl's plumbing.
3.We will spend less time in the Emergency Room
4.When my daughters get old enough, i can trade them for cows, just like in Johnny Lingo
5.No Pinewood derby cars.
6.They can give me tips on how to get a smoother shave on my legs.
7.No one will ever say "Like father, Like son"
8. It will give me a chance to keep the shotgun that Megan gave me very clean, since i will be cleaning it every time they go on a date.
9.I will have 4 options for who will take care of me when i get old and start wearing diapers again.
10.Daughters never, ever fight and are always obedient.