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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

San Andreas earthquake movie

Yes, it's hollywood. Yes, it's whatever.

Sometimes I enjoy a movie for being a movie. A disaster movie = even better.

San Adreas Movie

The trailer was OK, hopefully the movie is better once you get rid of the cheese.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

on fitting in

I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about fitting in, aka. the normal, the cool.

Growing up I wanted nothing more than to fit in, be like everyone else, be one of the cool kids. I wasn't aware of the word bully until several years ago as we called it being picked on. I wanted nothing more than to not be picked on. I wanted popular clothes, I wanted my pants not to come from a teacher who felt bad for me, I wanted to get a haircut more than once every few months.

I would have a birthday party when I was young and a few kids would come over and leave shortly after, nobody wanted to stay the night in a house that didn't have indoor plumbing. As I got older, nobody wanted to even come over for cake, it wasn't a store-bought cake.

I wanted to be popular, to have a lot of friends who hung around me all the time, I wanted to be the person in the middle of a group. I spent many hours wishing things were different, wishing we had money, wishing I wouldn't get punched at school each day. Nobody wanted to be the kid who had to bring in 5 gallon buckets of water after school each day, haul in firewood, cook meals for the family, feed the chickens and collect the eggs, watch public TV or nothing, use a galvanized water trough in order to take a bath, etc.
It wasn't a horrible childhood, it was just horrible being on outcast.

I'm 42, and I'm still in the same situation.

The subject really hit me hard this weekend as I had to visit town a few times and each time I heard, "aren't you cold?". If I was cold I wouldn't be wearing shorts and a tank top. How cold could I    possibly get from the car to the grocery store?
I would just tell whomever asked, that I've been cold before and will be cold again. As someone who tries to be prepared, I had a bag of clothes in the car, I'm pretty sure nobody else did.

Did I pass anyone on the road when I was running or hiking? Nope, everyone was indoors on two beautiful days. The only people I saw were in vehicles, once again I just wasn't helping being the cool kid. I dropped over 14 miles of hiking and running, did some workouts with a kettle bell, did pushups, etc.
The road was muddy in spots, 8 inches of snow in spots and some dry sections. It was brutal. If you've never run on soft sand, it drains your energy and saps your will to move forward (especially uphill).

Avalanche danger was high this weekend, we survived. I think I got some sunburn, but that's what I get for being unpopular and running... in short tracks shorts and a tank top.

I can imagine most people are watching something on TV right now. What does the unpopular kid do? I'm listening to an old friend on talk radio, out of South Carolina, talking about nationalism, rugged individualism, etc. Maybe I'll learn something, maybe not.

When the show is over I'll read a book with our Valentines bear, too many dead flowers around so I got this big boy to cheer us up. I have some laundry to hand up too, the washer just stopped.
Blueberry pancakes rocked (the usual), we got a new light fixture installed in our bedroom, hung up some artwork in the guest bedroom. It wasn't an overly productive weekend, besides the workouts, but it was a perfect weekend for us to be alone. and uncool.