The Christmas Zoo

Every year, some neighbors of ours decorate their yard with the Christmas menagerie. In this amazing collection, they display some traditional and some not-so-traditional animals, all decorated with accompanying Santa hats. We love going up there every year (some of us many times a season) to see what new and unusual Christmas animals appear.

This year, they had a:
Christmas Sheep
Christmas sheep…

Christmas Zebra
Christmas zebra…

Christmas Hippo
Christmas hippo…

Christmas Fox
Christmas fox…

Christmas Llama
Christmas llama… Continue Reading >>

Merry Christmas Scenes

I don’t want to give the false impression that everything is 100% rosy and cheerful around here all the time, but Christmas Day and Christmas Eve have had some pretty great moments interspersed between the incredibly overwrought shrieking and imperious demanding most frequently propagated by our offspring.

Boy did Benji get a lot of books for Christmas. In fact, he really only got one toy, the Lego set we gave him. He also got a new backpack and lunch box, which is nice, but not exactly fun to play with.
Books for Christmas Continue Reading >>

Dumb Trainer, Smart User

Today it was 25° in the morning, sunny and clear. Dad had posted this lovely route, and I initially planned on joining him. The ride started at 11:00 am, late enough to let things warm up, if they were going to. Before then, Benji and I went to the hardware store and bought more chemical toe warmers, an essential component for making these cold-weather rides tolerable, and it brought home to me how downright freezing it was outside. Literally.

When it came right down to it, I thought about my week — four days of wet or subfreezing commuting — and I just couldn’t do another day, even a dry and generally lovely one. It was the thought of putting on all those clothes again; coughing from the remains of my cold objecting to the freezing air; fingers and toes slowly or quickly freezing; –after some agonizing, I opted to ride my trainer. Plus, it gave me time to spend with Benji and my mom, which I don’t get to do as much these days. Continue Reading >>

Bike Commute Route Comparison: North End, I-90, and 520

Yesterday, a wonderful thing happened; I’d almost call it a Christmas miracle. The long-awaited, oft-delayed multi-use path across 520 finally opened all the way, connecting the Eastside with Seattle for bikes and pedestrians. Naturally, I immediately seized the opportunity and rode across it the first available opportunity… and the second available opportunity, too. Now I’ve ridden it twice, and I’ve got to say, it’s lovely.

The path itself is wide, smooth (except for a few unavoidable metal plates, a feature of pretty much every bridge I’ve ever ridden over), and well lit. I imagine that in daylight you’d get a lovely view. There’s also a user-counter on the Seattle end of the bridge that informed me that yesterday I was user number 1,965 and today I was user 858, which I think is pretty nifty (if it works; TBD). Continue Reading >>

Bike Commuting Thoughts

Trust in Good from the bottom of you heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Proverbs 3:5

I’m trying to figure out my biking situation still. I’m torn between training hard to get faster and commuting–which, I’ve found, isn’t conducive to getting faster, no matter how good my intentions.

When I started at Tamarac last January, I laid out a training plan for myself that included interval sets doable on the trail and some days with added hills. I was keenly aware that plain old commuting has, in the past, worn me down without any fitness gains. I wanted to avoid that. Continue Reading >>

Wisdom and Silliness

Tune your ears to a world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding.

Prov. 2:1-ish

I wonder where levity and silliness fit in to the world of wisdom? This is a non-hypothetical question because today at work we have a white elephant gift exchange.

I’m bringing a plush rainbow unicorn and a bag of unicorn farts. I’m excited about this gift because someone may like it…but probably whoever gets it will have a good eye-roll. I’m interested to see how it goes.

People are still talking about last year’s best/worst gift: an unopened Costco-sized jar of mayonnaise, just ready to expire. I am pretty excited to see what comes out this year. Continue Reading >>