Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas

Forget the lines to buy more junk that the media machine has convinced you that you need to have to feel fulfilled.  Forget the expectations of receiving "just what you wanted" from your family and friends and the emptiness left behind like to empty boxes on the day after Christmas.  Forget the stress of coming up with the ultimate gift for your significant other so that you prove your love.  Forget the modern world view of materialism.  Instead, appreciate those around you today.  Spend time with them today.  Worship God today.  Enjoy the amazing blessings we already have, today.  Then Christmas won't seem so stressful but a rather a day off work to get to those things with family that you may not be able to tomorrow.

Merry Christmas All.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Deer and tractor season

Ethan has become Grandpa Don's hunting buddy and why not, Don has food plots, game cameras, heated blinds, secure hunting, and tons of experience.  The only thing I can offer is the same thing I had growing up, a chance to freeze my toes off hoping that something would appear.  Ethan has set the bar pretty high for his first buck (he killed a doe last year) with this massive 9 point.  He was ecstatic and grandpa was pretty wound up about it too.

While thing #2 was out sitting in a heated blind waiting for the above mentioned buck, I was sliding backwards down my driveway once again.  My tractor season started early this year as I tried to get most of the snow off the 20% grade that begins my driveway.  I love living out in the sticks, having a log home up on a secluded hill, but I am enjoying the drive and driveway less every year.  Funny that our new pastor thinks we over-react to the amount of snow around here (he is from a flatter part of the country).  Of course, he also lives 200 feet from the Appalachian Highway.

Normally, I can't wait for that fresh snow so I can hit the back roads on knobby tires but this year, like the rest of the time, it just hasn't happened yet.  Oh well, sounds like trainer season is on the schedule now too.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Thankful Thanksgiving

Seems like all the sudden Thanksgiving was here and now gone.  Looking back, a lot happened, some good and some not so much.  In spite of the not so good, I am still grateful; grateful for my Savior; grateful for my wife and kids; grateful for my job; grateful for music; grateful for good friends and family.  I hope you can find the same gratitude this Thanksgiving season and continue it into the "I need more stuff" season of Christmas.

I have been slowly working on a basement renovation.  Finishing out some space to help organize the whole lot, give Shelly a woman cave, and (as the project expanded) separate the dirty basement from the clean basement.  I have enjoyed building again, though, a few minutes here and there makes it go slowly.

Drywall up in the woman cave.
Due to the government shutdown in October, we had some furlough days to take off (three consecutive Fridays).  Most of those I watched the sun rise and light the trees while drinking a coffee.  
Fall starting to swing.
Finished drywall and primer going on.
I could get used to having each Friday off of work!
I even spent one of those Friday mornings fixing the XL500S.  Repaired the throttle housing and replaced the fork seals.
Paint! Feels like a real room now.
Playing in the leaves at Grandma's and Grandpa's house.
Just a nice shot of the sky.
 November brings Veteran's day and a reminder of the work of so many men and women through the years as they have served this country.  It is also a sad anniversary of Eric's death.  I try to go for a run each year since Eric was a runner.  Having not run much since breaking my foot, I headed to the trails on wheels instead.
A view from Finger Rock.
Enjoying a Fluff Bakery cookie at Jackie O's Taproom.  We go there on Thursday nights when we can to get some Rickshaw Thai curry.  Brock doesn't mind going to the "barn restaurant" as he calls it.
A lot of my spare time is going into the basement.  We decided to use self adhesive vinyl  tile to help keep the cost down and speed up installation.  We used this floor in the laundry room a few years ago with very good success.  This time was different however.  The 18x18 tiles did not stick down.  After installing about 160 square foot of it, I had to tear it back up.  We tried heat, placed weights on it, additional contact adhesive, and still the tile edges would not stay down.  I am in the process now of ordering porcelain tile. 
Drywall and primer finished in the hallway.
Hallway painted and flooring going down.
New-old door in.  A friend gave me an old entry door.  I scrubbed it with some bleach to remove all the mold/mildew/dirt and loose pieces of paint that I suspect have lead in them and then coated it with a couple layers of polyurethane to trap the paint that is left.
Edges of the vinyl floor lifting up.
Brock making a snow angel.
Rolls rising bu the fire for Thanksgiving lunch.
My beautiful wife.
Our version of black Friday trampling.
I missed riding during the snow fall, but managed to get out after it started to thaw.
On a rare 65 degree day in December, after getting out for a quick 20 mile road ride, a good friend invited me to go skeet shooting.  We did three rounds and had a blast.
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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Birthday time

That's right.  It was my birthday.  It was of course intermixed with other responsibilities, my dad's birthday, some work at home, soccer games, etc.  As is life for us adults right?  I did however take a day off of work and managed two rides in two days plus spent some nice time with my wife whom it feels like I never get to see even though we live in the same house.

First icy windshield of the year.
I had planned a 50 mile rural road route.  But time didn't allow it.  I cut it short but still managed 30 miles of this.
And this.
All followed with one of my favorite meals.  Potatoes, peppers, onions, and sausage.
Went to Lake Hope on my day off and did another 20 miles of single speed riding.
Lunch at the Lake Hope Lodge with this lovely lady.
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Monday, October 14, 2013


Yes, I am one of those guys.  I love fall.  Though, I am not a fan of all the pumpkin spice flavored things, I do enjoy squash, the cool weather, outdoor fires, the changing colors, and rides down rural roads.  Only things I am not a fan of: yellow jackets and lady bugs.

Since the weekend trip to WVa, I discovered I developed a ganglion cyst on my left wrist, most likely due to the stress of riding a full rigid bike on the rock strewn trails of Davis.  Guess I need to take it easy on the MTB for a while and see how it goes.

Saturday was OU homecoming.  Sunpower tailgates and gets tickets, so we make a thing out of it.  This year Brock did pretty well.  We watched the parade, had some tailgate food and played at the tailgate park, then got through half time and the Marching 110 performance before we had to get him pointed towards home.

Sunday I had a chance to hit some of the rural roads on my d440.  I could ride these roads all day long.  Love this time of year!

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MTB Davis 2013

Made our now annual trip to WVa to mountain bike last weekend.  Great weather, gorgeous views of fall in the mountains, good company, great (though tough) trails.  And just to prove it could all be done, I rode it on my rigid steel single speed.  Here are a few of the photos from the trip, more at the link  below.  Only downer was Shelly wasn't able to come along.  Worth the drive and ready to go back.

Truck loaded and ready to roll!

No river front campsite this year.  Our favorite spot was squatted by a camper that has been there at least the last two months.

Hey look, some rocks.

Delicious hamburger dinner at the Tip Top in Thomas. 


Pano of CVI trails.

Ladies hammering the trails too.

More CVI land.

Moon Rocks!

Pano at the top of Moon Rocks.

The group minus the cameraman.

Hi Jamie.

Hi Ryan.

Hellbender's for lunch.

You can own this house lot overlooking the Canaan Valley wildlife refuge area.

Ski runs in the distance.

Relaxing in camp as the sun goes down.  Ryan and the gang put together a great dutch oven roast and veggie dinner cooked in the fire.

Cool mornings, the dogs didn't mind.

No river at camp, but we got rocks.

Fall in the mountains.

Rigid on Plantation trail.

Jamie with full suspension on Plantation trail.

Ryan got a flat on Sunday, the only mechanical of the weekend.

Pizza at Sirianni's in Davis.

Brock put the boats to use when I got home.

Ryan takes on moon rocks.

Jamie takes on moon rocks.