What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A little wet...

Well, when it rains it pours. Literally, in AL it pours. None of the warning showers typical in CA. Nope, the sky opens up and buckets start raining down. I hadn't fully appreciated that little fact of life here until yesterdays Wednesday ride. Prior to that most of the rain I had seen here was from indoors.

So the ride started out as typical with a race pace run through the Family Bike Trail (picture the upper trails at Cowell, but buffed at 2x the speed). I snap my only picture of the day at O'Shaughnessy Pt (rock outcropping that overlooks the valley). I am a bit winded from the pace and we head on. Down Warpath and onto the Goat Trail (both appropriately named for their boulder placement).

Larger image of map

So trucking along down goat trail and I am hurting. I am still trying to figure out if I am just that out of shape or if the heat/humidity are that taxing on my body. I kind of feel about the same as riding at altitude. After about 30-45 minutes I feel pretty worked. After a couple of hours I am just dog tired. Right before we hit 3 benches junction it starts pouring. I am soaked by 3 benches and we, Randy and I, turn up towards the parking lot to get out of the rain. Straight up Sinks Trail. I think it is a tough climb when dry, but when wet it is just about impossible to climb. I hiked a bit and got back to the lot in time to see the last car pull out. I guess I just wasn't in a hurry. Apparently these Alabama folks don't like the rain much. I kind of viewed it as novelty and didn't rush my climb(I know, big surprise).

That concluded my ride. I headed for home. Lots of rain in the streets. Those big drainage culverts that seem overbuilt when empty are about half full with the downpour when I get home. This morning the seat in the truck was still a bit wet.

So thus far I have found out that people in Alabama don't seem to appreciate hot weather or getting soaked in the rain. Weird :-)

Monday, August 27, 2007

WTF, has it been a month already???

Strictly a rhetorical question there. Yes, it has been a busy month. Moving is not fun, but moving long distance is just above and beyond. There have been a number of items that have caught us off guard.

So here I sit 2300mi from Santa Cruz. Our apartment is like a town house and is about the same square footage as our house on Granite Creek. Construction is a bit cheap, but all appliances, cabinets, flooring, and counters are new. We have 2 patios and look out on a gassy knoll. I will have to put together a picture tour once all of the moving scrap and clutter is out of the way. It is nice. At $975 a month we can tolerate a bit of cheap construction.

We arrived in Huntsville just in time to enjoy a 2+ week long heat wave with temperatures above 100. Perfect weather for moving large furniture and boxes. I guess it has been good, because if that is as bad as it gets we can hang. Honestly the locals were complaining a lot more than we were, which was amusing.

Work is interesting. The pace is different from CA. I show up to work at 7am, I work the whole day with a couple of breaks mixed in, and at 3:30pm I am off. None of this 9-6 business. No meetings after about 2pm. It is pretty cool. Just show up and be efficient, then go home. So by the time you slackers in CA are finishing your lunch break I am heading for home. The main hurdle with respect to work has been re-learning to use Pro/E. This in itself would not be a major issue, but the parts I get to learn with are military and aerospace and they aren't big on flat surfaces. Here is an example of one of my first projects (a hydrafoil submarine component):

It has been fun but challenging learning all over how to define in the new CAD package. Really is time consuming since it is like learning a new language. I know how to say it in english, now how do I get it said in Pro/E.

Bike riding in Huntsville? What is that? No, there are actually some fun trails right outside of town. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to them from home or work. Trails are very similar to those in Henry Cowel. The differences are a lot more rocks, a lot less steady uphill/downhill definition, and a lot more riders on group rides.

The terrain is very challenging. Lots of sections that don't look all that hard, but are quite difficult to clean. I prefer to ride my 29er here as it really does maintain momentum better through the rocks and bumpy terrain. It is a bit abusive on the rump and 80mm of travel is not my favorite. The ventana is plush, but kills me on the short risers since it dumps speed and deflects pretty bad off the rocks while climbing. I guess the bottom line is that I need to pick up a 4" travel full suspension 29er to be fully satisfied. Now I will just need to convince Erin that it is a necessity. One more trail picture(can you find the trail?):

The new hauler...

We left the neon in CA, so another vehicle was necessary when we touched down here in AL. Not a 4wd, but it does have the trd trim package. Ivan Stewart edition is pretty sweat. It gets a chichi set of alloy wheels. Erin wouldn't cut me loose with too much money to play with, so this is the best I could do. Should get the job done hauling whatever we need to and also can double as a family vehicle since it is the 4dr access cab.

I am sure there is a lot more to tell, but I will follow up later. I will try to be more diligent in my updates now that things are settling down. I pray that all is well with everyone. If you want to get in touch me cell phone is still 831-345-3893 for now, or you can e-mail to dbrummett2@gmail.com