Sunday, January 18, 2015

As the sun slowly fades

Rock and I are staring out of the window, we are exhausted. 7+  miles a day of Rock hikes, a few hundred pushups and a few 3 mile runs. I really want to go out and enjoy the sunset but it's going to be more of a star gazing kind of night, we hope. If you don't find your failure points you won't know what you can really do.

Normally I run uphill for the first half of my runs, sort of a no brainer to me, but I feel it's a little like cheating. I don't usually let up on the pace in either direction, but for a change I ran downhill to start. It was a nice change, but there were some conversations with myself on the long lonely road. When you are exhausted and want to give up, you keep thinking about things that provide motivation (hey, are those zombies horses?).

The Amish thought I was crazy yesterday when I ran by in my little running shorts and tank top. Today ALL the Amish thought I was crazy as I ran by the house they were having Sunday service at (not sure what they call it, but I doubt it's called church for some reason).

We had Sunday brunch with the neighbors... I'm not sure when they are moving, but I'll be out of town for a bit and might not see them again. Rock wasn't impressed but he only howled a little bit. Good neighbors often make good company. Lori the dog, Rabies the cat (we thought the named fit).

Here is a picture that could have been identical over the weekend, on several different occasions.
Rock did enjoy getting on the snow and sniffing out rodents and digging for them. The wind wasn't so bad today, but the last 2 nights it's been howling hard enough to make me concerned about a tree coming down. 45 yesterday, 50 today and of course the fire is just about ready to be lit as the sun has now been swallowed by the mountain demons.

I have so much going through my brain right now that I'm going to curl up in front of the fire with Rock and read another zombie book. It won't provide insight into anything, it won't make me understand stupid people, it wont help me decide if I should buy another AR. It will kill some time before we go check out the stars... if I can manage it, I'm super beat up.

Tomorrow is another day and we will head home in the afternoon. I need to get some clothes packed and some work done.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shorts, skates and cycles of sun

I won't be the cause of jealousy and envy, so no picture of me in my running shorts.

As with the weather in most places, wait an hour or 12 and it will change. In Colorado the extremes are just.... extreme? Thursday I go for a run in 55 degree weather and sunshine, Friday I'm back in town and there is an inch or more of ice on everything. Saturday I'm at the cabin again and running in the sunshine. On and off sun and ice over a few days.

We've had cold weather and snow the last two days, today it's going to be in the 50's and continue on over the weekend.
I've always said that in Colorado you have all 4 seasons, you might just not enjoy whatever season decided to land on a particular day but overall it's very reasonable.

We were going to be in Cancun but at the last minute the travel agent was able to cancel the trip with a small penalty, to be rescheduled in a couple of months. Mother in Law probably will be departing in the next week, but as with all things, who really knows. I still took my vacation time, I have another 7 days to use in the next few weeks so I'm on  half days at work.

The table and bench we purchased for the cabin finally arrived. The order was placed in the middle of June.

We really like the look and weight, and think t hey fit in just fine. Once we get the front rooms tiled, it will be an even better match. The table itself weighs around 400 pounds if not more.

I managed to be in the gym for 4 days this week and am continuing to make progress on my strength and keeping my mouth closed. Last time I was really active in the gym I wasn't being careful about how much food I was eating and got burnt out on the lack of progress (in physique). Now I'm fairly careful about how much food I'm eating and what type of food it is. I'm still able to run well and lift well as I trim down so I think I've finally nailed it.

On Dec 26th I posted a picture of some 95 pound dumbbells. I prefer the dumbbell presses to the barbell, it keeps my shoulder from snapping angrily at feel better overall. The gym only has one dumbbell at 100 pounds so when the 95's got feeling easy I just stepped right up to the 105's

I think in another week or so I'll be using the 110's. Right now at the 105's I'm lifting over half my body weight in each hand.

Fun times in Colorado.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Every end has a new beginning

The end was cold.
Really cold. We jumped in the Jeep and headed to the cabin on Tuesday night, it was going to be the coldest night of the year and for some reason I was nervous about the heat settings at the cabin. The Jeep has a snow plow and the roads were snow pack and/or icy so it was a long, slow drive.

When it's -15 to -20 outside, and you are doing an average of 40 MPH. that's a negative 50 degrees on the vehicle. It wasn't a very warm drive, no matter the heat setting, but we had plenty of gear on and around to help. The cabin was fine, but I did turn up the heat a little and the driveway got plowed. It was a long cold drive back home.

New Years eve had me heading back to the cabin. I had a grand plan to hike about 15 miles on New Years day, but the 18 inches of fresh snow derailed those plans. I did get out and about several times, and spent some time reading and reflecting on the type of person I am, and where I/we are headed in 2015. New Years isn't about drinking, fireworks, balls dropping or other people. This is the day I lost my Father several years ago, this is a day for me to try and have some sort of epic adventure.


Hello 2015! The temperature was -15 but I got out for a few miles of hiking, I'm determined.

The beginning was cold and wet.

The snow started falling early on New Years day and of course in the country the plows don't run on a holiday. This storm and the end of the previous days storm left a bit of snow on the roads and plenty in the hills. It was very tempting to head up into the tree's but I need to get snowshoes.

Fresh snow, it was really coming down so I waited it out inside. A few hours later the sun started to break through and I shoveled. Then it was hiking time! I got hot and regretted wearing thermals, I probably should have worn shorts. I'm always running on the melty side of hot.

Here, I'm smiling... honest. It was about 3 degrees but with the sun I didn't even get chilled.

I read a book, watched a movie, watched Oregon spank Florida, ate a big salad and did 400 pushups. I figured since I couldn't get out for much cardio I would still get some sort of workout in. All the usual chores were done and then I went to bed for a 4AM wakeup drive to work. The joys of commuting on roads that weren't plowed.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hello coldness my old friend

I do love me some Simon and Garfunkel and I'm not even a hippie!

The wind picked up at the cabin on Saturday night and blew most of the snow away that was on the mountain tops. In the tree's, it just cleared the snow from the pines and even the rooftops a little. At one point we were outside and I was wearing cargo pants and a t-shirt and was fine. I saw the neighbors out for a hike and talked to them for a bit, they were dressed up like eskimo's and didn't leave the tree line.

We drove into town on Sunday morning after some cinnamon rolls were devoured. We have several different routes to choose from and fate had us take the first left. Two 20ish girls were in a little Suzuki car off the road in a ditch. They weren't hurt and the car was ok besides some barbed wire paint scars. I stayed with them while the Land Rover was retrieved and we winched them out and sent them on their way.

The girls were happy, hugs were given and received and they went up to the seminary to pray for us (everyone they knew was in church and it's not like there is much traffic... well there was the Amish lady on a horse). They also learned to drive really slow when making a sharp turn on iced up roads.

Windy, indeed. -20 or lower with the windchill.

 The wind did clear the road a lot, so even with the wind Rock and I had a good hike without his paws getting frozen. The cold wind doesn't bother him.

 I take photo's of my notes so I don't forget what I need to bring down on the next trip. I always forget to get the note.
 G-Code 3+2 with belt and molle attachments in Kryptek Highlander. I forgot I ordered this a few months ago but it showed up finally. I'll wear it around this weekend and see how it feels.

Heading to the cabin tonight, it's supposed to be -11 (before wind, if any) and I want to make sure the heat settings are up to the task. I'm going down tomorrow evening as well, for another long weekend. Rock and I will get lot's of books read and some good hiking done. It's New Years soon and it's a time of reflection for me.
The Christmas tree has to come down as well.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Postcard living

I shoveled 3 times, the plow is in town and is awaiting a new hydraulic line that is leaking. We can use it and refill the fluid, but it's expensive like that and shoveling is always a good workout!

Rock and I loaded up the wood rack on the deck, split some kindling and scraped some snow from the rocks on the walkway. Honestly Rock didn't do anything, lazy dog...

Headed into town on super slick roads since there wasn't any lemon juice in the cabin and I wanted some more tarps and plastic sheeting (never seem to have enough).

Here, enjoy the "postcards". I left my good camera inside, it was a good -15 out in the plains, you are stuck with iPhone photo's.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A white Christmas!

Technically in order to have a white Christmas I had to split the day and escape to the mountains. I spent the morning (yesterday) reloading magazines and getting our range box put back in order. I did stumble upon an ammo can of brand new P-Mags, we had forgotten to label the box and assumed it was empty for the last year. I decided to keep those in plastic as we have about 50 loaded up already.

We went to the in-laws for late lunch spaghetti, my taste buds have been off lately but everyone said it was good. I figure I fought off a cold over the last week and my taste hasn't returned just yet.

Rock and I loaded up and headed to the cabin. I did get my Christmas presents, so we will kill some time installing new furniture on the AR's. One will be in Multicam, the other in Kryptek Highlander.

"Santa" also got me an EOTech EXPS3-4, I guess I've been good! I also guess that it's time to get some better night vision.

Oh yes the storm! Good cardio with the shovel. Rock didn't stick around long, his paws get ice chinks forming on the pads so he is only out for a little while. I'm going out for a few miles, in a few minutes. Visibility is about 25 feet right now, these pictures are from earlier.

The storm could drop up to a foot of snow, it's already about 7 inches total here at the cabin. On the edge of the tree's there isn't much snow at all since it blows across the valley. It's about 8 degrees right now, before wind chill, hiking sounds like fun! I really enjoy the cardio from hiking with a pack, it's a different kind of workout that most people are used to.

I've made some good gains at the gym this month, I'm up to 95 pound dumbbell bench presses and am hopeful I'll be back to 105's in each hand by the end of January. A lot of what I do seems to be a caloric intake game, sometimes I have a lot of energy, sometimes I just go for repetition instead of heavier weights.

I hope everyone had a good Christmas and enjoyed whatever time they spent with family, friends or themselves.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Putting what we do into practice

Sure, some people have dreams of fighting Red Dawn style, others of rebuilding a community after a pandemic. I've always thought that looking at the big picture was great, but planning for what is the most likely is where we need to focus on.

With Mother in-law being sick and probably only going to be with us for a few more weeks at best, we are in our own little SHTF scenario, sort of.

I say that it's a 'sort of' shtf, since if we hadn't planned so well, it would be a disaster.

Let's say we were a typical American family (without kids). This would mean living paycheck to paycheck, no food or money put away for lean times. Suddenly your income is down 50% and you have to help take care of a sick parent. That, plus the added 'stress' of not having much time together as a family and having to eat out/to go food about 50% more often than before.

Sounds like a crap storm to me.

There are times when we talk about how this is all just silly, why bother, etc. but we keep on planning and trying to live a more prepared life. Our current situation reinforces how what we have been doing really does matter.

We cringe about what we would be going through if we were "normal" and are very thankful that we can simply do what needs to be done and not worry about a bill, mortgage or expense coming in.

Job loss, sick family member, medical emergency, auto repair bill, etc. Those might not be as "sexy" as ambushing some Red Army soldiers but they certainly are very realistic.

Cheese and crackers tomorrow night with most of the in-laws family. Spaghetti lunch for Christmas and then Rock and I are heading to the cabin for a few days. I hope everyone enjoys the Holiday and spends family time, alone time, dog time or whatever you like.