Honey

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

I eat a fair amount of honey.  I always have.  I think I “got into” honey back when I was a teenager and a vegetarian.  Back then, my brother and I went through a ton of honey. That and molasses.  We used to make whole wheat pancakes nearly everyday and cover them with molasses.  I don’t eat much molasses anymore.

I think that honey is good for you.  I’m not sure why I think that.  I really haven’t read anything about how honey is an antioxidant or anything.  I just feel better when I eat honey.

Kris and I once bought a 5 gallon tin of honey from our friend, Mike Hudson’s uncle.  I’m not sure how many pounds of honey that is, but it was super heavy.  I’m guessing it weighed somewhere around 50-60 pounds.  It took us a while to get through that in.  It crystallized and we had to reheat it over and over again to get it out.  It probably lasted about a year, which is sort of unbelievable considering how much honey we ate.  If my weight guess is close, that is nearly a pound a week.  It doesn’t seem like that much, but taking into account that is every week or the year, it was a lot.

I am kind of a honey snob.  All honey tastes a little different.  I’m not a snob enough to know what flowers the bees use to make the honey taste better.  I just like to try a ton of local honey, then when I find it, I try to stick with it.  It is funny how the better honey always costs the most.

I would like to have my own bees and make my own honey.  My friend Jeff Unruh, from Topeka ,has some bees and sometimes gives me some for Christmas.  It is so good.  A friend sent me an email and told me that each bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.  Man, it takes a lot of bees to make a pound of honey.

Anyway, I’ve been eating lots of honey recently.  I put it on just about everything.   I think that anything that doesn’t spoil on its own has to have some special properties.  I hope so because I eat a ton of it.

This is my favorite honey right now. You can order it online. It is a little pricey.

This is my favorite honey right now. You can order it online. It is a little pricey.

I pulled out this that had been kicking around the house forever. We got it in Europe. It is a little messy, but sort of fun to use.

I pulled out this that had been kicking around the house forever. We got it in Europe. It is a little messy, but sort of fun to use.

Tucker is acting all good, trying to entice me into taking him somewhere.

Tucker is acting all good, trying to entice me into taking him somewhere.

 

 

 

10000 Miles for the Season

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

Yesterday I passed 10000 miles for the season.  Think it was riding with Tucker after the ride.  (Those Tucker miles are going to add up.  He’s up to around 4 miles a day now.  I didn’t want to run him too much when he was still growing, but now I’m upping his mileage some.)

I was surprised when I clicked on Strava and saw that it was 10K.  I thought I’d be about a thousand miles short of that.  I really haven’t been riding all that much.  I was sick some, then went out to Colorado and pretty much exclusively rode my MTB, which the hours are good, but the mileage is short.

My daily average is just under 42 miles a day and average speed is 17.6.  That is pretty good, once again, considering how much I’ve been riding MTB.  Plus the speed is slow because I’m lacking a bunch of race miles.

I can’t say all those miles have done much for my racing form, not that I know what that is.  I really would like to do a MTB and see how that goes.  But I’m going to drive to St. Louis on Friday and race 4 NCC criteriums at the Gateway Cup.  Talk about jumping into something I’m not prepared for.  But hopefully, I’ll be sort of prepared for it, after the fact, on Tuesday.  Cycling is great that it works that way.

I have done a lot of the miles alone this year.  I used to hate riding alone and now I do it regularly.  I still would rather go out with a group of friends, or a group of soon-to-be friends, than ride solo, but riding alone works for me now.

It gives me time to think.  I’d think I would be Albert Einstein or something after all that time for thinking?  I’m not.  But it does help me organize my thoughts.  I have to say, as I age, I like looking around at the same stuff, just appreciating it more.  The other night, I opened up the window when I got up to pee and listened to the night sounds for 5 minutes or so.  They seemed so foreign, yet so familiar.  The clouds and storms have been so great this year, that riding around here is like a moving picture lots of the time.

We had a ride scheduled at noon, but got a text from some guys in Lawrence that are riding this way, so we moved it up to 11.  I’m trying to do at least one longer ride a week on my MTB, to get used to it before Chequamegon.  It is weird, but you do pedal just a tad different on a MTB than you do on a road or cross bike.  I find myself pulling up on the backstroke just a little bit more.

Okay, I have to mess with my bike a little before the ride.  Plus, Tucker needs to go romp in the park for a while, or he goes stir crazy.  Have a nice Sunday.

Catherine, Eric and Bill's team won the Downtown Adventure Race yesterday morning.   Bill carried a Garmin with him and I heard it was over 5 miles of running.  They are going to be sore, either today or tomorrow.

Catherine, Eric and Bill’s team won the Downtown Adventure Race yesterday morning. Bill carried a Garmin with him and I heard it was over 5 miles of running. They are going to be sore, either today or tomorrow.

Our roads suck in Kansas.  They are falling apart.  This is the shoulder of a State Highway between Lawrence and Topeka.  I wonder what the highway workers are thinking?

Our roads suck in Kansas. They are falling apart. This is the shoulder of a State Highway between Lawrence and Topeka. I wonder what the highway workers are thinking?

The mushroom from yesterday opened up.

The mushroom from yesterday opened up.

Tucker's tongue is pretty long when he is really hot.

Tucker’s tongue is pretty long when he is really hot.

 

 

 

 

 

Prize Money Sucks in Cycling

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .
Share

This has always been the case.  But it has gotten worse and worse through the years I’ve been racing.  If prize money was even going to just keep up with inflation, then most pros racing domestically would be making an okay living just off prize money.  That isn’t close to the case.

I was reminded of this again, because I just saw the prize list of US Open in tennis.  The winner gets 3.5 million, which seems reasonable, I guess.  But if you just get into the tournament, loss in the first round, which means you finish tied for 128th, you’d get $43,300.  That is a lot more money that nearly every domestic professional cyclist makes total for a year of racing.

I’m not sure why professional cycling in doldrums.   It always has been a blue collar sport, but this is ridiculous.  I don’t think there is a race in the US where a rider can win what you can get for last place for one tennis tournament.

I think it might be because the promoters used to look out for the well-being of the riders.  I don’t think that is the case much anymore.  Bike racers and the promoters used to have a symbiotic relationship going.    I think the money is harder to come by to put on a race, so the prize lists are what suffers first.  Whatever the reason, no one, minus maybe Daniel Holloway, could pay for a season of racing from their winnings.

I’m heading to downtown Topeka to watch Bill and Catherine do an Urban Adventure Race. They are both going to be crippled after.  We’re supposed to go on a long-ish road ride at 1pm. I doubt they will participate, even though yesterday they were all gung ho.

Prize money for the women's US Open.

Prize money for the women’s US Open.

I saw this mushroom in the park yesterday.  It popped up over night I think.  I is very beautiful.

I saw this mushroom in the park yesterday. It popped up overnight I think. I is very beautiful.

I got Tucker pet insurance.  He's gonna need it if he keeps sleeping with his neck in these strange positions.

I got Tucker pet insurance. He’s gonna need it if he keeps sleeping with his neck in these strange positions.

 

The Zen of Mowing

This entry was posted in Just Life on by .
Share

It has been raining a ton the last couple years during the summer in Kansas.  That isn’t usual. Normally, the grass goes dormant for a month or so, thus it turns brown-ish, then starts greening back up in September or so.  That is unless you run automatic sprinklers, even when it is raining, all summer and your yard stays perty green.

This year is another big rain year.  So, the grass has been growing throughout the summer. Hardly anyone in my neighborhood mows their own grass.  One guy from North Topeka has a corner on that market.  He is in the neighborhood from 8 am to sunset everyday, including holidays.  He is a little automated, like he uses self-propelled Honda push mowers, but he isn’t riding around on a zero turn radius riding mower.

I’ve been mowing lawns since I was small.  I probably started mowing when I was around 7 or so.  This was mainly mowing our yard.  As I got older, I used to mow a lot of the neighbors yards.  I used to walk down to the gas station, which was 2 blocks away and buy 2 gallons of gas in the morning, then start out mowing.  I think the most yards I mowed was around 10.  I could do them all in one day if I was quick.   But, the problem was, everyone didn’t always want their yards mowed on the same day, the day that was convenient for me.

When I’m gone, my brother mows.  He does it on Sunday’s I think.  But now since he is hurt, he isn’t going to be mowing for a while.  I don’t like mowing as much as I used to.  Mainly because of the dust and it seems like I am more allergic to the dry grass than I used to be when I was younger.

That being said, I still like mowing.  I just don’t love it.  There is a certain satisfaction mowing. You can watch as your work is progressing.   It is sort of like shovelling snow or roof.  You can actively see how much you’ve completed and how much you have left to do.

I used to mow artistically.  I’d try to mow and make the yard look like a golf course.  I’d mow diagonal in one direction and then the opposite.  I don’t do that so much nowadays.  That is mainly because most of the places I mow the grass is so pitiful that it doesn’t look that great.

But after you start mowing, you can get into nearly a zen-like state.  After I start, it is like a craving, it is hard to stop.  It is sort of like cycling, my mind wanders as I go through the motions.

I really should get a good mower.  All the mowers we’ve had recently have been junky, garbage picked mowers.  There is a certain advantage of a junky mower.  Mainly,  they are light, so it doesn’t take much to load them into the van over and over again.  But, they are underpowered and generally shitty. The mower I’m using now is a brand new mower my brother got from Walmar,t I think.  It had been used once and was broken.  He paid $30 for it.  It took him about 4 minutes to fix it.  From my experience with mowers, a Honda mower is impossible to beat.

Anyway, I think more people should mow their own yards.  I think it connects you to your property and exposes you to the neighborhood.  When no one is doing any yard work anymore, it is really hard knowing where anyone lives.   Garage door openers are the #1 reason that neighbors are strangers.  #2 is not doing yard work.

Anyway, I have a bunch of mowing to do, but it is going to rain most of the day.  I think I’m going to head out and start.  There is way less dust when it is a tad wet.  Too wet is a disaster, but just a little wet is good. I hope today doesn’t turn out to be a mowing bust.

Hope this stays North as predicted.

Hope this stays North as predicted.

Rain gauge from last night.

Rain gauge from last night.

Tucker likes to go just about anywhere the van goes.

Tucker likes to go just about anywhere the van goes.

 

 

How Screwed Up is our Medical Profession?

This entry was posted in Important Society Issues on by .
Share

I ran into a friend, Garth Prosser, in Breckenridge a couple weeks ago and he told me that last year he was diagnosed with Colon cancer.   I was surprised.  I remembered seeing him at the Berryman Epic last fall, but didn’t hear anything about him racing on chemo.

Anyway, after talking with him for a bit, he got me thinking and I decided that I need to get a colonoscopy.  It is way easier thinking you need one than actually getting one as it turns out.

I got on the computer and looked up all the places that do one in Topeka.  I am pretty sure my insurance isn’t going to pay for it, so I was shopping around.  The problem is that you can’t really shop around because no one really knows exactly how much it costs.  The Internet says that a cheap price in Kansas is around $500, good price $750 and expensive $1300.  I don’t know where they came up with those numbers, but the best/lowest price I could find after being on the phone for 3 hours was around $2000.  And I’m not sure that is a hard number really.

My best source of information was the billing company for a local hospital.  I told the women my situation and she seemed interested.  She told me it would be between $1200-$1600 for the surgery center, then the same about for the doctor.  But she said if I was self pay that they would reduce that amount by $600 each.  So that took the total procedure down to between $1200 and $2000.   Quite a spread there.

Then, at the end of the conversation, she told me she forgot the anesthetist charge, which would be another $600.   She said her computer didn’t show a self pay charge, so I should just wait 3 or 4 months after I receive the bill, then call them and they would come up with a reduction.  Wow.

I can’t think of another segment of our society that can’t quote you a price on something as important as this.  It is so convoluted and confusing that even reasonable thinking people can’t understand it.

I was reading that under the affordable health care act (Obamacare), that this might be covered. So I called my health insurance agent and asked her if she might know.  I’ve had the same health insurance for nearly 25 years.  Trudi and I are the only health policies the agent does still. She told me it is so screwed up and takes so much time, it isn’t worth it to her.

So she called my insurance company and talked to them.  After an hour, she called me back and said they couldn’t say if it would be covered and they needed some time to figure it out.  That each state has its own rules and they would get back to her shortly.  That was two days ago.

So I am still at square one.  I want to get this done, but don’t want to just spin a roulette wheel for the final cost.  I’m gonna get back at it today and see if I have some better luck.  Our medical system is so jacked up that I’m nearly embarrassed to be participating.  But, what choices do we have?

colonoscopy-1

Tucker wants me to take him out for run I think.

Tucker wants me to take him out for run I think.

Gwen Jorgensen / NYC Marathan – No Rest for Her

This entry was posted in Fun Stuff on by .
Share

I was out riding trails yesterday evening and got a call from Pat Lemieux, a good friend, and Gwen Jorgensen’s husband. Since she won a gold medal in Rio last Saturday,  I assumed they would be back here in the US right about now.  I was hoping he was going to say that they were done for the year and that he was going to do Chequamegon again next month.

Instead he said that Gwen was running the New York City marathon, November 6th.  Between that time they are going down to Florida for a training camp before the ITU WTS finals in Mexico and also doing another triathlon in the Bahamas.  Pretty jam-packed scheduled for a triathlete.

I think she has ran one marathon before, but I’m not sure about that.  Nothing like this though. I assume she’s do fine.  I have no idea whether she will be competitive.  She can run a low 32 minute 10000 meters, so she is fast enough, for sure.  But putting over 4 of those together back to back is a different deal.  But I applaud venturing out.

Why not do some bucket list stuff when you have the form to do it?  She eventually might turn exclusively to running, so it is a good idea seeing if that is a realistic possibility.

She definitely has a runner's body.

She definitely has a runner’s body.

I wouldn't bet against Tucker in a one-on-one competition, though.

I wouldn’t bet against Tucker in a one-on-one competition, though.