Monday, May 25, 2015

6 hours of sunshine!

It's been an unusually rainy spring, only a few days without rain in the last 30+ days. This past week was no different and we are hoping the garden seeds will survive. Cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, tomatoes, bush beans, lettuce, onions, asparagus...

Here is some food from my last trip

Similar for sure! I actually rarely eat breakfast but when I'm on a trip somewhere I make it a habit so I have the energy levels for the whole day.

Work is still kicking me in the ass. I'm in the process of hiring an assistant but until then it's overload and non-stop action. This coming weekend I'm heading to the cabin to do a few projects and get it ready for the summer. Once the 20th of June rolls around my workload levels out so we will be enjoying a lot of cabin and ATV time.

The gym has been kind to me and the running is actually improving again. It's honestly miserable and painful but I'm just pushing through it. Once I start riding my bike my ankles and hips should get a little more flexible. Sometimes age and abuse catches up with me faster than I would prefer.

It's memorial day and I'm going to get an ice cream bar.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Airport downtime update

I decided not to look and see how long it's been since I updated the blog.... it might be depressing. I've had the best of intentions on getting a post done, but either haven't had the time, energy or both.

Life is treating us well and keeping us busy. This morning I'm in Indiana waiting to get on a plane to head back home for a few days. I always get to the airport hours ahead of time, an old habit of being on the no fly list. The extra time let's me catch up on things that are actually important, like this blog and reading what's going on in with the blogs I follow.

The garden is planted finally, it seemed like the rain and snow wouldn't let up but I took a risk and got everything planted lest weekend. Since then it's been raining a lot but the snow and frost line hasn't made it too far down the mountains. So far it's been a wet year, but there hasn't been flooding. The water in the city neighborhood was very high, just a few inches form cresting the banks. I checked on my friends house and family while he was away and besides the kids being stuck inside everything was great. Since they took care of our house in the flooding 2 years ago, I always look for chances to help out.

The cabin is great, when we get the chance to head down. My new duties at work have grown (as expected) and I'm looking to hire an administrative assistant really soon. I discussed it yesterday and while part of me feels bad for asking for help, letting something important slip through the cracks isn't acceptable.

At the cabin we planted 18 apple tree's and 12 pounds of clover. The spring was damned up and just needs some finishing rock work to make it look great. The spot we chose for the damn might have had 100 gallons of held water, now it's closer to 500 if not more. Luckily we have the ATV's and a trailer so we can haul rocks wherever we need.
The ATV's are now legal to drive on the county roads, making it so much easier to access the 100 mile rainbow trail system. There are sections that take 2 hours, due to being so damn rough and bumpy, that we can now bypass quickly. It might actually bring more tourism to the area, for us it's just a real convenience.
Apple tree's

The spring damns mid design

The yard is nice and green, the clover is filling in fast

This weekend is work, next weekend is cabin time.

We will then be in the West Indies for 8 days for a much needed scuba diving trip. We started making plans to visit Seattle friends and attend a conference, that might have just gotten scrubbed by an unexpected work meeting landing right in the middle of the expected time away.
Rome has been booked and paid up for August, 10 days for our 20th anniversary. We decided to pay the extra for business class so we can lay flat and sleep on the way over, preventing jet lag and wasting a day.

Working out is still going great. Running, weights, cross fit, boxing, etc. The balance I've achieved with all of that, and my eating, has been working for months and I'm really enjoying it. Can't wait to hike the 14ers at the cabin and see how much of an improvement over last summer I have made.

In closing, enjoy Rock!

Friday, April 24, 2015

or how I didn't go to Florida

Unfortunately a new hire at work had to be placed on leave and I decided to stay in town to make sure there weren't any issues. The boss is busy taking care of his mother, who isn't doing very well at all so a lot of new responsibilities have fallen onto me.
The more I learn, the more valuable I am (here and if we ever have to relocate).

I was looking forward to sleep, swimming in the Gulf, laying on the beach, visiting old friends and working out with one of my favorite youtube personalities. All plans only last until initial contact... something like that.
That's the second trip I had planned this year that ended up going nowhere. More to come I'm sure.

I had some antonovka rootstock arrive for the cabin, hoping to get that planted next weekend. The in-law side of the family are heading out of town this weekend and I need to stay and get some things done. We are looking forward to planting both gardens, the apple trees and making sure everything is ready for summer. Planting is a few more weeks away but everything is graphed and plotted out. It won't ever look nice and neat like this picture, but we get a lot of food.

I suppose everything is just normal. Work, working out, running, etc. Added some boxing and kickboxing into my routine. I'm trying to become more agile and less of a meathead but I don't want to lose strength and/or power. It's physically taxing and mentally demanding but I enjoy being all in, all the time.

Still prepping; physically, mentally and with things... Having a good stockpile means we don't alway shave to buy things unless it's to replace what we used. We aren't using much since we have gone to relatively low carb eating. Costco will get a visit soon, the canned roast beef is really good, packed with protein and very low sodium (for canned meat that's amazing).

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tax week!

The last week was very productive at the homesteads, projects galore and accomplishments noted.

Some friends were in town so we went to the cabin and dropped 20 pounds of clover seed around the property. I'm sure half of it blew away but I'm hoping it's going to look beautiful with the white, red and crimson clover. 
It's almost time to rake the pinecones up, damn things will roll an ankle fast. One of our big focus items this spring is getting the spring and creek beds cleaned up. We want to damn them up to create more waterfalls and a larger area for Rock to splash around in. I'm hoping to get some of that done this weekend but there might be a couple feet of snow on Thursday.

Heading out to Tampa on Sunday for work. I have a lot of friends in Florida, mostly in the Tampa area, it will be fun to visit. Usually I'm in Orlando and stay at a friends house (he does have a pool) but things got moved around. I found a beach side hotel to lounge at while I'm not at seminars and such. I always include leisure time.

Work around the city house was done, we are 90% complete with spring readiness and can't wait to get the plants into the garden. Rock is enjoying the war weather, it's great for chasing squirrels and barking at neighbors.

I've always been a fan of a flat tax. If we have to pay taxes (threat of violence, point of a gun), it should actually be fair. Not the fair tax but a simple X percent by everyone, no change for income levels. Call me selfish but I work for my money, not for anyone else's money and I shouldn't have my money going to childcare credits, people getting three times back the amount they paid in, etc. I'm not even against welfare but the current system is broken beyond repair... so I suppose I'm against it.

I managed to eek out a meager $45 balance due for taxes, but that's on top of the over $55,000 they took over the course of last year. I think we will end up paying right at $100k total for the both of us. I always have to tell myself that we make a great living and if we didn't make it, they wouldn't take so much. It doesn't make it sting less.

West Indies, Settle, Tampa, Vegas, Indianapolis and Rome are on the traveling agenda this year. Lot's of in state trips for work, my summer is jammed with things that I need to do for work. I just want to go climb mountains, plant things and build things.

The life.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The end is near! (of the weekend)

April is probably just a taste of what the year has in store for us. Setting records in all departments at work so we are both crazy busy. We are staying on course, and did make it to the cabin this weekend again. There were no plans, nothing that was to be done, we just wanted a weekend of whatever we felt like.

The plan of no plan worked very well (we even got things done!). We drove up the mountain to have dinner at a restaurant we had talked about bringing mother in-law to. Father in-law was with us again and we had a good dinner. They always have the same menu but I prefer that, no surprises and I always know what I want.
The drive back was beautiful, as it always seems to be. I can't think of a bad scenic shot from the cabin area. The above photo was looking east, the below photo looking west.

None of us stayed up much after dark, doe clouds rolled in and ruined what was apparently a beautiful night sky. I needed sleep, so no complaints.

We did a lot of hiking and running, the off road trails are half open and fun to run with the mud, snow and rock. I prefer the trails, someone else doesn't so I was a a sag wagon on Saturday afternoon.
6+ miles from the cabin awaiting a sweaty wind blown runner
The hay makes great bedding!
We grilled up pork chops with applesauce and had a salad. I decided to make some cookies, an old amish recipe our neighbor gave me, that I tweaked some. They were voted best cookies ever.

I'm currently making more, there was 1 cookie left for my after run snack today.

1 C. Butter, 1 C. Veg Oil, 1 C. Sugar, 1 tsp. soda, 1 tsp. cream of tartar, 1 tsp. salt, 1tbs. vanilla, 2 eggs, 4 C. flour, 1.5 C. chocolate chips. Roll into balls, roll in powdered sugar, back @ 350 until the bottom edges start to brown. Here at high altitude it was around 18 minutes (my cookies were big too, no time for baby cookies).

I have all of the seed ordered for the garden at both homes, and I ordered about 12 pounds of clover seed (various colors) so we can get the cabin greener. The water is flowing in all of the creeks again so next weekend we will seed the property. We are going to bring a set of waders down so we can build some dams in the creek and spring. The rushing and splashing water can be heard from inside the cabin but we want it louder for those windy nights.

It was windy for most of the weekend. Running made us deaf on one side from the rushing wind but we stuck with it. I'm in a leaning out phase right now, 4+ gym sessions per week of 90+ minutes plus a MMA training workout:
1000 Meter Row
1 Mile treadmill run
45 minutes of heavy weight training
30 minutes cross-fit type workouts focusing on core and agility

Broke some new records on weights in the last 2 weeks:
Calf raises 285
Seated shoulder press 245
Seated rows 285
Incline Hammer Strength 340
Bench Press 285 (no spots)
Dumbbell presses 115 each hand (no spots)

Honestly it's a really hard balance to lean out, get stronger and add cardio. I'm exhausted all the time and 8pm usually has me in bed. I'm training with a real UFC fighter so we do things with tires because they are unwieldy and cause your balance to improve.

Time for some bbq pork chops, broccoli, cauliflower and 1 cookie. Rationing crap....  I hope everyone had a great last few weeks, and a good Easter.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Bits of conversation

Fun times on social media with people!

Besides, it's FUN FRIDAY!

Me: So the lies are okay, as long as they are in favor of what you think matters? I'm trying to understand the thinking, I'm not trying to change what you believe. I keep finding people who think the lies are fine as long as it supports whatever they think/feel/believe is right. But they are still lies. Lesser of two evils is still evil.

Not Me: I don't believe lies are okay. Our political parties in the US are far less then perfect and I am sure that there are lies on both sides. I firmly believe that there are far fewer with the Democrats. I also believe that the Democratic party has far more interest in the well being of the lower to middle class citizens of the country than does the Republican party whose main focus seems to be on lining their coffers more lavishly. Obama's accomplishments for the good of the whole stand on their own merit and don't need me to defend them.

Me: I'm just not willing to accept the lies and deceit from any side, group or party. That's the simple of it, and if just one more person decides not to accept the lesser of two evils, the little lies, or the less lies... well that's great, perhaps they can convince one more person too.

Not me: Well, if you plan on waiting until either side is perfect, you'll be waiting quite some time.

Beautiful spring weather is here, even some random snow! City house needs some projects done this weekend and we have to visit Costco. Hopefully they have strawberries so we can make jam. Work is just about overwhelming with my new promotion but I'm keeping my head above water and making progress on a lot of projects and issues.

I'll try to visit everyone when I can.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunburn in March.

I would have to look back to figure out my last blog post, probably 2 weeks ago.

Life is keeping us busy and the snow is finally receding so we can start getting projects lined up at the cabin. It was in the 60's this weekend and last, perfect weather for running and hiking and doing chores. Unfortunately nothing much could be done outside as there was several feet of snow (and plenty of mud) everywhere but the road.

Father in-law drove with me to the cabin. I'm very attentive when he is around, he doesn't understand that it's ok to take your time when doing tasks. Simple tasks like getting out of a chair isn't easy for him, but once he stands up he just starts to move before he has his balance. I'm worried he is going to trip over something and get really hurt or worse. His dog loves to be in the kitchen, and doesn't like me shooing her out... I just see that as a disaster happening, especially considering he cooks food for her. It's just whatever meat happens to be in the fridge so we are going to try her on canned dog food so he doesn't need to worry about cooking just for the dog.

I love dogs, but unless it's necessary, we aren't cooking for Rock. I made sure Father in-law ate good, he doesn't eat much anymore. I kept trying to make him drink water but he just won't do it. Coffee, root beer, orange juice... I think his oxygen levels would improve if his blood wasn't moving like sludge. But what do I know, he's in the mid 80's and there is only so much he wants to be asked/told.

I received a promotion at work and while it didn't come with more money, it comes with about 40% more stuff to do. The more I can learn and do, the better off we will be in the future if a job change happens. The owner wants to sell in about 8 years and whomever buys the business won't keep management, even if we do a great job, they always want to start fresh and do it their way. Who cares if the way it's being done currently has us ranked #1 in the world and growing 18-25% per year.

With that promotion, we were invited to the Garth Brooks and I reluctantly accepted. It was political, and I hate politics. We went and actually had a blast, but I was very reserved in my conversation. I don't like to give out 'secrets' and everyone wants to know how/why/what. We just had a good time instead. More politics to come but I'll play the game to help secure the future. It shouldn't be that way, but I have to be smart about it. The concert was great, our seats were box seats with food. Not bad.

I was having a discussion with my Brothers Daughter on Facebook about vaccinations. After a few small conversations she basically said it should be illegal not to vaccinate children. I reminded her that any law always has the threat of violence, at the point of a gun behind the law. Anytime you want a law passed you have to realize what you are actually asking to be done to those who don't conform and break the law. Speeding tickets can lead to warrants that lead to LEO knocking on your door and if you don't comply you will be forced at gunpoint to comply. Critical thinking, do your own research and don't just do what the doctor says or what everyone else does. Then you can make an informed decision.
She said that only happens if you are a nut job waiving your gun around. Fear mongering is what she called it, created by bored housewives and Republicans.

That was the end of that conversation, by my choosing, and I'll never see anything she says or posts again. Easy enough. When critical thinking abandons someone so fast, to the point they think something is caused by X political party, there is no reasoning.

I would rather go hike or run, and that's what we did, 17 miles this weekend.