Monday, July 30, 2012

Anniversay in July

Shelly has always wanted to go sailing.  Kind of tough in S.E. Ohio.  Our wedding anniversary is actually in February and this year I promised her a sailing trip in a more appropriate time of the year than February.  Last week happened to just work out.  My mom wanted to have the boys (all of them) over night.  So, I made some last minute arrangements and we were set to sail from Lakeside Marblehead, Oh on Lake Erie Friday morning.  Drove up Thursday night after stopping for dinner in Columbus (Barley's Smokehouse of course).  We decided to tent camp at East Harbor State Park.  Pulled into our camp site around 10:30pm to be welcomed by at least three skunks!  We had already set the back seats down in the Equinox and had a futon mattress, so we climbed in the back and tried to sleep there.  It was warm, around 78 with a dew point in the 70's.  Opening the sunroof only let the mosquitoes in.  Having enough, I manged to set up the tent at 11:30 (thanks to our camping neighbors who lent the light as our lights were on the counter at home).  Up at 6am Friday for showers, packing up, and off to breakfast at Avery's Cafe.

Headed over to the lighthouse after breakfast to watch the sun dance off the lake.
And off to the marina for a 3 hour sail with Captain Jim Wagnitz (Erie Spirit Sailing Adventures -, highly recommended).  We sailed under wind power on the 33 foot boat for a couple hours before loosing the wind and coming back to the marina under prop power.

All in, it was a quick trip up and back, but a great time away with my lovely wife.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Garmin 310XT

I have mentioned in past postings of issues I have had with my Garmin Forerunner 305 (GPS firmware reporting version 0.00). Multiple power cycles each time I would use it would typically correct the problem, but it was a pain. I got an email from Competitive Cyclist that they had 20% off apparel and accessories during the Tour. They have the Garmin Forerunner 310XT, with the premium HR strap for $249 (minus another 20%). On top of that, Garmin is offering a $50 rebate for trading in an old Foreunner. Not bad, $150 for the 310XT.

Of course, not that I am using much these days.  Brock has hit the full-tilt twos.  He is very active and fears nothing.  He is either having a blast or in meltdown!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Act of God

Last Friday we were completely caught off guard as a Derecho pummeled us (and about 5 millions others) with 80-85 mph winds knocking out power in the middle of a heat wave.  When the storm hit, I was unloading my bike from the roof of Shelly's car.  Suddenly, I thought God himself would walk up my driveway as I watched my trees bow to the ground.  I have never experienced anything like it, and it was quite honestly a bit frightening.  Several trees down and power out, but no injuries or real damage.

I was also shocked at the level of apparent panic.  The few gas stations with power had lines (and fights) over 1/2 mile long on Saturday.  No ice to be found either.  I unloaded our freezer and we hate everything I could cook on the grill.  I even cooked a pizza with tomatoes, avocados, peppers, and fresh mozzarella Saturday evening.  Thankfully, we also have plenty of fresh eggs with the hens laying 4 eggs a day (on average).  Boiled water on the grill burner and made fresh, French press coffee.  Laying in bed at night with the windows open all that could be heard were generators running from the neighbors houses.  My generator broke a couple years ago after a very long life.  Never replaced it either.  So now I am backup options.  Solar sounds appealing, though expensive and does not work at night.  Small portable generators are nice, but require attending to, gasoline (panic lines at the gas station), and are noisy.  Really leaning toward a propane set.

I did come into the office on Sunday to catch the UEFA Euro '12 finals on ESPN3.  Our power was back on Monday night.  Big thanks to the hard working power crews.  Still no phone though.

In a way, it was nice.  I missed having a shower (it may have been 90+ outside, but 50 degree water is downright cold to shower in).  Losing our fridge was a pain.  But, it was fun sitting on the porch in the evening with Shelly while Brock played.  After the power came on, I listened to the oldest boy complain about how it isn't cool enough quick enough.  Shelly sat and played Words on her Kindle.  I sat outside, by myself, and watched some deer in the yard.

Watched the fireworks in the Sunpower parking lot on the 3rd.  Went for a 30 mile ride on the 4th (even in the morning, it felt really hot).  Ran into a crew working on the power that were from Florida.  Still folks without power though, including my in-laws.

Hang in there.