Category Archives: Just Life

Heading back South

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We are sort of packed up and are heading back south to Kansas today.  I didn’t realize I had a doctor’s appointment, plus a super good friend’s mom died and she and her family are flying in tonight.  So it is time to go.

It’s not all bad.  The weather up here in Cable is too warm.  So warm that the skiing sucks.  Like your skis stop when you hit a sunny patch of the Birkie trail.  That probably doesn’t bother guys that can ski really good, but that isn’t me and I don’t like it at all.   And it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow and Saturday. That isn’t so good for the snow.

Plus it is pretty warm in Kansas now.  At least for January.  Looks like the highs are gonna be in the upper 50’s through the weekend.  That is pretty good bikin’ weather.

Okay, Tucker needs to do his last lap in the woods.  He loves it up here.  He’s already been out romping for an hour this morning, but is always up for more.  Then 10 + hours of driving.  It is a tad too long to be comfortable.  I would like it way better if it was closer to 7.  But that ain’t so.

I’m looking forward to riding some.  I haven’t been feeling all that great the last few days and seem to feel better when I get on a riding routine.

Tucker resting up before the romp.

And doing some yoga stretching before the fun today.

And after, he usually ends up on the couch with Hawkeye and Dennis.

Bald Eagles

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When I was skiing yesterday,  I saw a bald eagle flying over me.  That struck me as weird because I thought eagles migrated with birds or whatever their food supply is.  It is obviously winter, and winter in Northern Wisconsin is really winter.

So I came back and looked up the migration patterns of bald eagles and it showed this area and it said that eagle can be here year round.  Just like in Kansas.  That is nice to know.

I love watching eagles fly.  They are very majestic.  I went to YouTube to see if there is a video of eagles flying and I found the video below.

I have no desire to be a fisherman, but I would like to experience this a few times.  I’m not big on eagles acting like seagulls, but they are scavengers and need to get food somewhere, so I forgive them for acting “out of character”, at least according to what I think they should act like.

The World is Changing

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The last 100 years or so have been pretty impressive if you’re a human.  So much has changed.  The whole world is mobile now as long as you have the money to pay for it.  And many, many more people  have the money now.

I saw this article about how researchers have come up with a way to help your teeth repair themselves. They put a small amount of Alzheimer’s drug, Tideglusib,, on a special biodegradable sponge and within six weeks your tooth has fixed the cavity.  So, in theory, pretty soon, no one will have cavities.  That would make a huge difference in less fortunate countries.  Even here in the US.

On the drive up here I was listening to Fresh Air on the way up to Cable and the show was on Crispr,  a gene editing mechanism.  The technique permits scientists to quickly and precisely alter, delete and rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism. I’d read a bunch about it and know it is going to be revolutionary in many regards.  But I started thinking about it and realize that so many of the “problems” that humanity has currently are going to disappear because of this.  Many illnesses, diseases and problems that we have no ability to fix are going to be gone within the next decade I’d guess.  Man, this is a big step.

I also read about revolutionary battery improvement the guys at MIT came up with. They have a solid type battery that can be recharged forever.  Much stabler and safer, plus it never wears out  It is a lithium-oxygen battery with has a ton of advantage over a lithium-ion battery.   Lots of advantages.  They are going to have this technology on the market within the next year or so. Pretty big advancement in battery technology.

So, lots of our health problems are being addressed quickly.  And some of the energy problems that maybe not us, but really the rest of the world has.  Our lives are going to change dramatically the next decade from these technologies.

Pretty exciting stuff.  Great for the humans on the planet.  That is if we don’t screw it up and do something stupid to cause the world to implode.  Seems like some of the stuff going on recently is putting us on that path.  Hopefully we don’t let that happen.

 

We’re not doing such a good job in this respect. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t like it if someone was bombing us.

Dennis’ “Compound”

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Since someone posed a question yesterday about water at the Simple Living Lodge up here in Cable, I thought I should post some pictures once again.   Here are just a few I just took this morning.  It started as a one room, three season cabin with a loft to sleep.   Now it is three separate building with lots of places to sleep.

Dennis’ house.

From another angle.

Kitchen and stairs up to his bedroom, etc.

Living room.

Bike and ski room.

Simple Living Lodge. Garage on the bottom, two finsished bedrooms upstairs. No bathroom.

From another angle.

The Kansas Garage. Named after the guys that built it I guess.  Same deal, garage downstairs, plus sauna, then open floor plan upstairs.  Two bedrooms, plus kitchen and bath.

Upstairs.

Beth and Mick at the River’s Eatery last night. It was good catching up some.

Tucker running back to check up on me on the walk this morning.

 

Thinking about Skiing

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All my friends were up in Cable skiing between Christmas and New Years.  I’ve done that for a really long time.  I’ve only missed it a few times when I was hurt or because I felt I needed to train more for cyclocross Nationals in January.

I think cross country skiing is good for balancing a cyclist out.  We use the same muscles in such repetitions, that we get out of whack.  Skiing fixes that somewhat.  I’ve had some of my best early seasons after spending a few weeks skiing.

When I ski, I normally tend to ski a bunch.  Normally 2-3 hours at a time.  Cycling allows that.  Of course, the first few times I’m pretty wobbly after doing it.

I was thinking about this when I was riding yesterday.  It was kind of cold out and I felt like just tooling around.  I just rode over to Red Rocks again and looked at the city.  I started thinking about when I first learned to ski.

It was back in the early 90’s when I was first tried to skate ski.  I had traditional diagonal skis back when I was young.  Anyway, skate skiing was becoming the norm and all my friends up in Iowa were doing it.  Michael Fatka was selling skis at his shop and they were skiing a bunch.

I went up to Ames and started skiing with Michael and the other guys I rode with.  We were just skiing at a barely groomed park.  It was normally, Michael, Harold and me.  I wrote a post about Harold.  

Anyway, we started driving up to Minneapolis and Wisconsin to ski on “real” ski trails.  It was a super cold winter and it was nearly always below 0 temperatures.  I never used any wax other than Start green then.

We finally decided to go to a race.  It was a marathon race up in Superior.  It was super cold, as usual.  We drove up there and waxed our skis the night before.  Start green.

The next morning, I think the race was supposed to start around nine in the morning.  But it was -10 or something.  We called the number on the entry and they said the race was postponed until noon.   Then they would decide if it was going to happen.

We called back at 11:30 and they said the race was happening at noon.  We jumped in my Isuzu and drove there.  We were barely dressed and it was still -5.  Right we we got out of the car and had our boots on, they blew off the gun.  We didn’t have our skis on and weren’t even at the course really.

So we ran over there, put our skis on and got going.  I passed a ton of guys early and when I got into the woods, I needed to look down to make sure I didn’t step on anyone’s skis or poles.  Even my own. But by doing that, my glasses crystallized up so I couldn’t see anything.  So I took my glasses off.

That was a mistake.  When I got towards the end of the first lap, out of three 15km laps, it got back into the open.  It was windy and cold.  My eyes started freezing together.  It was bad.  I had to look down again to stop my eyelids sticking together.

I skied by the parking lot and looked over to my car.  It had exhaust coming out of it, so it was running.  I thought, screw this, I’m not skiing 30 more kilometers with my eyelids frozen together.  So I skied over to the car and Michael was sitting there with the heater going.

I was pretty frozen.  I got into the car and gave Michael shit for not even starting.  After a couple more minutes, I was watching and Harold skied by.  Harold was a farmer and had frozen his face a few times.  Enough, that whenever his skin got cold, his face looked like he had extreme frostbite.

I sat in the car talking to Michael, feeling guilty I had stopped.  I sat there for another hour, thinking I should get out and ski the last lap with Harold.  So I got dressed and got waited for Harold to ski by.  I got out of the car, put on my skis and got going.

It took me a little while to catch Harold.  He skied pretty good.  He was surprised to hear my voice when I skied up behind him.  I just skied behind him, talking.

Harold kind of started bonking with about 1/2 a lap to go.  He was skiing slower and slower and told me he needed something to eat.  I told him I had a Powerbar in my jersey pocket.  He just stopped.

I took off my pole to reach into my pocket to get the Powerbar.  Then I attempted to unwrap it. He told me to just give it to him and that I should just keep skiing.  I said that would open it.  He went on to say that he was worried that I wasn’t going to become a good skier when I just skied with him when he was blown.

I was amazed, and still am, that was his concern.  He was more worried about my advancement in the sport of skiing than himself needing some assistance.   I finally opened the Powerbar and it was frozen like a rock.  I was still well below zero.

Harold’s hands were pretty done and he couldn’t really break a piece off, so I used my teeth to break up the Powerbar and give it to Harold to eat.  He ate most of it and then we skied to the finish together.

Harold was a genuine guy.  A farmer.  He died.  If you click on the link above, I wrote a little about it.  I miss the guy and think about him every time I ski up in Cable.

The gang on New Year’s Eve out in the forest.

And at the River’s Eatery for pizza.

January 1st

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Today is the start of a new year.  Funny how us humans think that is important.  At least some of us humans.  There are for sure places in the world where today is just another day.  People trying to subsist.

Not us Americans.  We celebrate the start of a new year like it is going to reset all our problems, at least give us a chance to address them better.  I wonder why that is?

Anyway, today is a good day really.   I’ve just been doggin’.  Walking Nic and Jack is always fun. More for them than me.  Even though for me it is pretty enjoyable.  It is nearly impossible to match a dog’s exuberance when they think they are going out to romp.

I have some toilet repair to do still, so the day isn’t a complete write off.  It is going to be in the 40’s today, so I’m going to go for a ride too.  I’m kind of setting around a 2 hour limit to rides now.  I doubt that I’ll adhere to that if I was somewhere warmer.  Actually, I have no intention to do that.

It is the start of a new year, which is something.  Sort of special.  For the dogs, it is just another day.  The dogs are just doing their normal dog thing, much like the humans in less fortunate countries.   If one thing, we should all understand how lucky we are.  I am.

Nic at sunset.

The local dog park.

It has pretty cool gate latches.

Nic found a friend to play with this morning.

Nic is exhausted now.

So is Jack.

And Tucker has taken over Dennis’ chair up in Cable. He is so happy in the snow.

Last Day of a Rough Year

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I’m not sure the title of this post is accurate.  It has definitely been a strange year, especially the last couple months, but nothing that is really that far out of sync with what I’ve done my whole life.  I am pretty surprised to still even be alive.  I don’t mean from fracturing my skull, but just from the way I live.  If you would have asked me 20 years ago if I was going to live another 20 years, I would have said probably not.

I’d say the same thing now.  I hope I am wrong, like I was 20 years ago, but in worldly terms, it doesn’t really matter.

Not much good, at least so far, has come from whacking my head a couple months ago.  One thing is I know how many true friends I have.   That isn’t even counting the people I don’t know, but would like to.   I know a bunch of people that really care for me, which is super important.  I think I might have missed this without the injury. I know it now and appreciate it more.

A couple years ago I wrote a list of New Year’s resolutions.  I guess it is just of list of things that I thought I should do to be more like who I’d like to be.  The things on the list still need attention. At least from me.  So I guess I’ll just repost it and hope that this next year I’ll be more mindful and attentive to accomplishing them. Here it is –

 

I’m not much into making resolutions. I try to live life without resolutions and try to solve issues and make decisions on a daily basis, thus no need for making promises to myself on the first day of the year. But, I’m going to try to come up with a list of things anyway, not necessarily promises, but things I’d like to address or do this year that I think will make my life more significant and happy.

1) Try not to be shallow or have preconceived notions about others.

2) Spend less time on a computer or looking at any screen for that matter.

3) Practice mindfulness: state of active, open attention on the present. I think this applies to above.

4) Race new races and travel to new places to race my bike, even though my results will suffer because of it.

5) Try to read more, books, not online.

6) Make a bucket list. (I doubt I’ll do this one, since I like I said above, I live my life in such a way that I cross things off the “imaginary” bucket list before I know I want to put them there.)

7) Ride my bike or walk more to do errands.

8) Address health issues even if it “interferes” with bike racing.

9) Listen to more live music.

10) Sleep more.

Have a safe New Year’s Eve and a Happy New Year!

Brian and I rode to Red Rocks yesterday.

I’m not in very good shape yet. It was pretty windy coming back and I was beat.

Trudi and Parker skiing up in Cable.

Tucker and Hawkeye excited about walking in the woods.

Dennis on his new fatbike.