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

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who wants to come out this way for a ride?

For my Birthday this year Erin collaborated with some family and stockpiled some cash to be able to send me on one of the Western Spirit guided bike tours. Click here for Locations and Details.

All in all it sounds like a good gig. Basically you show up with your bike, gear, and a camera. Let them take care of the rest. I am thinking Pisgah or Tsali later in the summer. If you are into a tour, but set on another location (Utah or Colorado) let me know. Pisgah and Tsali are cool because they are within driving distance for me. Of course anyone from the West would need to consider flights in order to get out this way. If you are set on another location let me see if I could work out something on my side.

Okay, what else is up? Not much. Work, eat, play on computer, play with kids, sleep, and try to find time to clean up kid schrapnel in the down time. That's about it. I am feeling better. I don't know that I would say 100%, but not bad. I actually managed a jog and short session at the gym yesterday. I am a bit sore today, but none the worse for the wear. I am going to have to do that stuff a bit more if I want to continue to lose weight.

I am sitting just under 225lb now, so that is going well. From my peak at just under 240lb it feels pretty good. I stalled out for a couple of weeks at 230-228lb, but with the addition of riding and some supplemental exercise I am again progressing. Hopefully by next month I can get down below 220lb and just work on keeping there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ewww, the crud

Well, got a good dose of the crud this week. Not sure what it is. Basically some strain of influenza that is going around. Not a dehabillitating case, but darn annoying. Came on the day before my birthday and is still hanging around some. Basically a fever, body/head aches, and now a non-productive cough. Oh, and a runny nose the whole time. Can't a guy get a break around here? Hopefully I am on the upside of this and will be better by the weekend. I have had to take a few days off work.

What really sucks is that if I take one more day off it will be my longest vacation time since August. Man I hate blowing time off for illness.

So what's new??

I am middle aged or something. Just turned 30 on Monday. Oh, Happy Birthday Kevin (also a Feb 18th guy). Nothing too exciting there. Obviously with the flu there wasn't too much of a celebration. A chocolate cream pie and a pizza just had to do. Thanks to those who called to give me their best wishes. Sorry I am just now getting back to normalcy to be on the phone again.

...and yes that is pizza on my cheek

I got back out to Wade Mountain for a ride. Hunting season is over, so Steve and I were able to stretch out and explore some new terrain for me. There was a bit of mud in places, but overall good riding conditions. I will have to investigate a bit more out there as time permits. The overgrown poison oak and weeds have all died back for the winter, so the place is actually quite pleasant to ride right now other than a bit of mud.

The weather looks like it is heading back to the warmer side. We may have a few more iced over mornings yet to come, but for the most part we have survived our first winter here in Alabama. When it is cold here it feels really cold. That extra 10* cooler didn't look like much on paper, but in real life and with wind chill it definitely required an investment in some warmer clothes.

Today is Austin's 6th Birthday. Expect to see some pictures pop up in the next day or two. Time flies. I can't hardly believe that 6 years has passed. He is turning into a cool little kid. We will be partying down at some indoor jumping house. Lots of inflatable slides and things to climb, jump, and bounce on.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Week in review

Well, kind of scrambled around this week. Spent the last 2 days stuffed into an auditorium attending a class/lecture on the rocket and management structure out in our organization of NASA. Some interesting points, but overall a couple of long and boring days.

I managed to get a ride in on Tuesday afternoon. Glad I did. I bailed out of work around 3:30pm and geared up in shorts/long sleeve jersey. It was a nice day. Probably about 60 degrees and the trails were relatively dry. I did some more scouting of the trails out on the Arsenal. Fun trails. I found better ones than I rode the last time. I also discovered a good loop. Short climbs that are spread out through the loop and a fairly good downhill run to close it out.

My Stan's Flow rim on the back worked well. When I converted it to tubeless it sealed with a floor pump and required no fuss at all. Color me surprised. I was expecting a silicon sealant mess all over the place and to have to pull out the soapy water to seat the tire. Nope, one advantage of converting tubed tires is that they don't have that pesky ust lip to get stuck on install. So even doing the tire dry it seated and sealed immediately at under 40psi.
More info on the rim

Of course I did manage to pinch flat my front tire on the aforementioned downhill section. So apparently my string of flats is still not quite done running it's course. I would like to get another Flow rim for the front, but gotta see how the rear one holds up before I put any more faith in them.

So there it is a ride.

Still tinkering with the computer. A new heat sink and a different case have dropped my operating temps by about 10*C. So my cpu is much happier. Maybe I can get a bit more speed out of my cpu as well. I have been running it at 3.0GHz (not bad considering it is a 1.8GHz chip).

Only problem with multiple computers is the same problem as multiple bikes. There isn't always enough time in the day to keep up with the maintenance. I can get away with neglecting a bike or two. However Erin isn't too happy when I have the computer torn down or if she can't use it while I am testing on it. Sucks having an active audience to your tinkering.

No pictures this time around. I will try and get out for something scenic this weekend.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What, still not riding

Nope, not riding. It has been either fricken cold out or stormy if it is warmer. Just have not been motivated to get out and spin the pedals.

The office is a mess as always. Computers and parts are everywhere.

Austin now has a dedicated P4 rig. In a pinch it works when both Erin and I want to veg out on the net at the same time. Austin picked out the case himself. In true Austin form it arrived and he wanted to know where the red one was.

The LED's are a bit bright, but it does look cool. Since you can see the guts I did take some time and tuck away the extra cables. Austin is digging it and has a few games loaded up.

We had a full scale tornado warning this morning at around 3am. Erin and I were awakened by the warning sirens (picture the bomb warnings from WW II movies). Of course that brought us out of our slumber pretty f'in quick. Off to the computer to see what the heck was going on and what we needed to do. Fortunately the storm passed to the North of us. Did quite a bit of damage as it did put a whole lot of twisters on the ground. I think damage is up for investigation as to whether to call it a disaster or not. Body count was over 50 last I heard. It was really a freaky thing to have to sit through. The weathermen were excited to have the news, but have to play it down since people's lives are at stake. The real time weather reporting was fantastic and really made us feel fortunate to have such technology to see just what is going on. We couldn't even imagine hearing those sirens go off and not being able to know if you needed to hide in a bath tub. Must have been an even scarier thing 10-20 years ago when the alarms went off.

So obviously we are fine and life will go on. Hope all is well with all of you...