31 August, 2008

Laborious Day Weekend

my work space: didja like the way i fabricated my chainsawing "y"s?i rented one day's worth of a hydraulic log-splitter again. after we piled on 4 toyota tacoma's bed-worth of wood to our house and two bed's worth to grandpa's our tee pee source woodpile still looked pretty good. so, after yesterday's splitting we got the tee pee woodpile back to it's original height. i do believe we are ready for a record breaking winter and back-to-back days of firing up the stove if need be. also why we need butt-load of wood are on the early winter days when it's cold as all hell, or the malingering spring months, with little snow on the ground and we need to fire up the stove to get the cold edge off. we, grandpa and i, got up early and started splitting by 9am and stopped by 3pm. our first, major, uncut log pile from the previous owners, is pretty much gone. there are two more major uncut piles left. after that, i don't know what we'll do. guess we'll have to buy our firewood; but that's a long way away kids. monday we'll again distribute the firewood booty accordingly-aaahhhhrrrrrrr!
the girls are gone this weekend for a girl's only retreat-that leaves the menfolk remaining. they're getting back tomorrow. it was nice for them to quasi-skedaddle (in the most chill terms) for a while. we're pretty much homebodies (the menfolk that is). it's good that i get the alone time with mason because he fights for attention when his sister's are around and every now and again maura really likes to dig in him. ahhh, sibling rivalry...
the weather here's just slightly starting to change. the morning's are getting chillier. i actually have to put on a shirt nowadays when i let my doggies do their bodily excretions in our yard. where we live you can't see our neighbors. our neighbor who shares the common dirt driveway off the main street's in a little geographical depression below us-so we don't see them. hence i can get away with, early in the morning, standing around in just my boxers. truly there's nobody around at six or so in the morning 'cept me and my doggies.
sunday, after fixing waffles for the menfolk, i went for a ride out at pine valley ranch park.
it's a pretty cool place to mountain bike and it's pretty close to my house. it's been a hot summer up there and the gneiss, crushed rock makes it super loose and exceptionally sandy. at the beginning the north fork of the south platte river parallels the trail.there was a major fire in this area back in 1996 and the flora's kinda making a rebound. at the beginning there's a long-ish climb-buck gulch trail-and i snap a picture of this funky lookin' tree on the way up.i think it's a male tree. there's nobody else out there and i go so late it's always threatening rain. at the skipper trail it descends and here, you get to see another angle of the fire damage back in the day.at the junction of buffalo creek camp ground or back to homestead via miller's gulch, i snap away at the high point and at the rock formations at this particularly wide open area.
this is towards buffalo creekthis is where i came fromit's purty out here ain't it? as i'm snapping away another cyclist goes by me and after i put on my gear and several minutes pass i try to catch him (it must be that dreaded testosterone dealio). when i catch him (what seems like several miles later), i ask if i can pass and he lets me. i let 'er rip on the downhill but slow down or stop completely if the trail's skinny when i see hikers. he catches up to me. it's back to the car and my obvious lack of fitness is appalling. oh well. at least it was a glorious day. monday, i'ma clean the house so the rest of my family'll come home to something resembling order-or at least hair-free. the reason why i'm so snap happy is because i just purchased the nikon coolpix Ll8 because after 4 years of faithful service, my sony cybershot with 3.2 megapixels stepped towards the white light. i'm sure the d.a.t. tapedeck and the auto-reverse walkman'll be there to greet it...

23 August, 2008

Wayne's World (w/ addendum)

today was a good day. the only thing that wasn't good was our two dog's fighting. we are currently experiencing a changing of the guard here. ruby the up-and-coming self-perceived, alpha is challenging the old guard-adela. the most vicious fights are between females and their last three i thought we were going to have to bury one. it usually ends up with ruby pinning addie to the ground with both their jaws locked onto each other's faces. not a pretty sight and it gets my adrenalin off the charts. it just sets everything into a foul vacuum. ah!
okay...count to ten...phew! ite den. let's begin...
met my teammate and homeboy kenny; and kev from homey trinity fame at white ranch today at 7am.
irene and kev's sweet cj
check out irene's motor (that's kev's hand)
kenny fabricated the aluminum duct work. check out the sweet garrett turbo! we all realized-all too soon-how far out of shape we were as compared to mid-season. all the technical stuff we usually ride we walked today; but since it was just us three we didn't take any breaks. kevin was climbing stronger than what i usually remember; my butt was climbing slower than i particularly remember...after kenny went boom-boom he pumped up his tires for one of the gnarly descents.it was a particularly beautiful day up here at white ranch. i snapped some of our surroundings when kenny was pumping up his tires. (addendum) kenny and i were explaining to kevin after a difficult ride, that today was way too much work for us. usually, when we road ride, if there's an incline we just pedal harder and tap out a rhythm that matches our heart rate and cadence. we forgot how difficult it is to mountain bike: having to unweight, slide towards a center of gravity, body english the singletrack, synchronizing the pedals at the 12 o'clock so as not to bottom out your pedal stroke on an obstacle-things like that that completely differentiates mountain riding from road.
today is also the day my hahn af base brother wayne was in town from south carolina. the last time we were together was back in 1986 when we were stationed in the rheinland-pfalz stadt auf deutschland! it was by far the most memorable travel experience i've ever had. i was 18, single, living in germany near the benelux region of europe. i met wayne et al. in the hahn ab ski club. every weekend we'd go to some place exotic to ski (i.e. france: chamonix-mt brevent, aiguille du midi, les houches, les grand montets; austria: st. johann, st. veit, sölden-glacier skiing on the 4th of july; die schweiss: davos; undt deutschland: garmisch to name drop some heavy hitters), enjoy life, and to get hammered and converse with like-minded europeans. when we weren't skiing, wayne and i pushed each other on the road riding scene. again just traveling down to the mosel river from our base and riding to wherever we wanted to and to get back by sundown on most occasions (after getting rained on in the german spring and early summers). it was such a carefree, hedonistic lifestyle. we were just hoping our president wouldn't interrupt our fun with a war or something. the cool thing about living as guests in a different country was they'd play germany's national anthem before ours to end the conventional duty day. i always thought the german national anthem was a pretty rockin' tune. i digress. anyhoo wayne was in town and i took my eldest and youngest child out to estes park to catch up on old times. it was great. wayne's still wayne, except more mature and more focused. he's on a weight loss plan and we intend to tear some shizzle up like we used to skiing and cycling in the very near future. i can't wait! it was truly exquisite to see him and for him to see my young 'uns. i had a pretty silly smile on my face for our 2 hour ride home. i'm glad i went out to see him.

15 August, 2008

Back At Work Kids

i miss you lake tahoe!
well. all good things come to an end. no more summer days (daze?) running around with my oh so awesome children anymore. my butt's back at work! yup. survived my first, full week back at the high school. this year my assignments are ace! i'm teamed up with my 9-year co-teacher associate linda and i finally got honors biology. it's not that i'd ever complain but i've been taking it for the team for the past three years running. taking the harder than usual assignments. not because they're academically challenging per se (they are!) but because it's out of my comfort zone. okay. i guess that's why i also volunteered for them because complacency's 'bout a beeyatch! anyhoo after taking it for the team they gave me my dream schedule.
so here's my breakdown. on certain days-i'll call 'em red days-i'm teamed up with my homegirl and colleague, linda; on other days-i'll call 'em black days-i have my honors classes. i love my kids and i love this schedule. i'm still working my ass off though! especially at home just to keep from drowning from the grading and the logistical setup of everyday's class.
i think y'all would be surprised of what types of technologies are in today's classroom. gone are the days of the overhead projector and the water-based vis-à-vis markers for the sole purpose of writing on overheads. also gone are chalk. remember chalk? it's the accumulation of dead, waterborne protists and their shells composed of calcite and limestone. we have these lovely inventions called visualizers where it's an almost real time, colored (red, blue, green but that's the deal with our ocular nerves with those three it gives us the impression that we have a full spectrum palette) display of whatever hard copy texts, sheets, hell anything three dimensional really that can be manipulated digitally. we also have clicker technology. it's essentially a powerpoint presentation of testable materials where the students answer with a remote control. it gives me-the teacher-instantaneous feedback on who answered the questions correctly or incorrectly, assign a grade and generates a report of most statistically significant landmarks. it's awesome. i don't go home with the trademark tattooing of the stereotypical teacher.
didn't have much of a competitive campaign this year. am i disappointed? not really. i spent some pretty meaningful time with my kids and my family before the cataclysm called work started. damn. this work shtuff really eats into my: sleep, recreational, alone, book-reading, cycling, and family time. i'm with the french and their nationally mandated 35-hour work week. hhhrrmph.
i'm even wearing ties and stuff and non-pleated dockers. i'm still kinda stunned and it's still a hard pill to swallow this work thing. i'm getting paid pretty nicely (i think), and i'm no stranger to hard work (although i try to avoid it). my work ethic isn't incredible and i'll be the first to call in sick when my children are. i still believe teaching's my best gig ever. don't really see what i'd want to do other than this, yet.
well. there's always cyclocross. my license's still good until the 31st of december-my geburtstag!. most 'cross events still accept mountain bikes. so, i can salvage something competitive and then there's always moab in october...
a cold front's settled in currently. it's 38°F outside, 62° inside. i've started a fire kids. i'm watching the olympics while fiddlin' on the laptop. the american olympian kid taylor phinney's from around my parts. we actually raced in the same pack. he won a boat load of races even whooping up on us senior three men! good for him, he has truly a pedigree from cycling.

03 August, 2008

"Paul Bunyon Ain't Got Shizzle On Me...!"

here's my new best friend, the woodsplitter
my apologies to the most excellent movie training day; but that's how i felt-after the day was done-when my father in-law and i split and quartered wood all day yesterday and again today to get ready for a record-breaking winter (just in case!).
we were armed with a hydraulic wood splitter, an axe, and a splitting maul. he hydraulically split, while i axed and mauled to quarter. when my in-laws arrived we got right back at it. here it is (and yes, we have a headless dog!), the teepee woodpile.it's always a good feeling seeing the fruits of your labor-in this case: my father and brother in-laws, and me.