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.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cinnamon bread




1/4 c butter
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 c buttermilk (we use powdered so reconstitute as needed

1 tsp baking powder
2 c flour

Mix the above.

I mix 1/2 c sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon (saigon is my favorite type) in a small bowl.

In a greased bread pan I use 1/3 batter then top it with 1/3 of the cinnamon/sugar mix. repeat 3 times.

I end up with leftover sugar/cinnamon mix so I need to probably use 1/4 cup sugar for that mix.



350 degrees, 40+ minutes


Enjoy (I hope)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

CrossFit mountain style!

I always see people in the gym doing CrossFit, it doesn't seem exciting to me. I know it's big business now, but I'm a little old school. I prefer to pick up heavy things and set them back down. Repeat. I know I can stay strong, keep my cardio and endurance levels high, without having to change anything.
I know CrossFit works great for many people, especially the group atmosphere of peer pressure and challenge. Always do whats best for you, even if it's not cool, that's better than doing nothing. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time... that's how I tell people to start working out, walking, running, hiking, climbing, etc. Just start, worry about everything else later. No paralysis by analysis, ie. no armchair prepping.

On the way to the cabin we saw this massive elk herd, and figured there wasn't going to be much snow ahead. Right past this herd (assuming it's called a herd anyhow) was a group of about 40 deer, then 30+ antelope.


The closer we got the more snow we ran into, as expected, dashing our hopes.

Almost done doing our crossfit for the day. Our new Jeep is awesome, it broke up the snow plow bank at the driveways end just fine.
There was 3 feet of snow in some spots, and the bottom foot was a little crusty. When I left last Sunday, there was a fresh 6 inches on the ground, even though I had just finished shoveling. When you get to the end of the driveway and turn around to another shoveling session sometimes it's best to just stop.

The shoveling was hard, but we get a low center of gravity so we are using our legs instead of backs. My shoulder didn't appreciate it towards the end, but we wanted to get it done before dark, I had spaghetti to make after all. 10 shovels and 10 second rest, similar to steep hiking (10 steps, 10 second rest). Eventually it was done.
Saturday morning hike. I always try to get some hiking in before breakfast, when at the cabin. In town it's just not the same but I'll soon be able to get that done as spring arrives. Here are some more shots from Saturday:



Sunday is the same, the sun is winning the battle against the low hanging clouds. Forecast is for 1-2 feet of snow by tomorrow night but it appears it's all staying really high up in the hills.

I woke up to check out the sunrise and get some cinnamon bread started.

Once that was going I headed out for a pre breakfast hike with Rock

You can see the clouds lingering, Rock is staring at the sun chastising it for hiding behind some clouds. Since the roads aren't all cleared of snow we didn't get as many miles as a normal weekend, but it's different when you have to slog through 2 feet of heavy stuff. We saw what I think was a coyote down the road, but it could have been a mountain lion. The tracks were more dog like and not very big so I'll say coyote. The big cats around here have paw prints that will make you swear.

Apparently Father in-law likes cinnamon bread and it was nice to be left a little.... It was really good and with a cook time of 40 minutes (10 minute prep or less) it's perfect for a 2 mile hike.

They are packing up to head back, I'll drive in tomorrow morning like usual. This gives me a chance to clean everything and do laundry while nobody is in the way. If it snows I'll shovel, and it's threatening right now. This coming weekend looks to be nice and warm (40's) so I'm hoping to get some running in. If it's not in the 40's, the wind chill is pretty brutal in my little running shorts and tank top.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Coyote choir

Made it to the cabin a few times this week and basically arrived and went to bed. The need to clear my head has been overwhelming the last few months so I finally decided to just curl up under the covers and sleep. I think I managed almost 10 hours last night and that's probably a record for the last few months. If I try to nap at home, Rock has other ideas.

Before I crawled into oblivion last night I did take a hike up the road. This is what it looked like as I drove into the area:
I know many people across the country are getting hammered with snow and cold weather and they are predicting 2 feet of snow for us over the next two days. I don't care either way, the mountains are getting plenty and when it's like this in the morning, how can I believe the weather reports:
oh... back to my hike.
The coyotes were howling, singing the song of whatever they sing. The stars were starting to peek through the sky and the moon was a sliver of white. I still talk to our old dog Luke, via. the stars that look like the white spot he had on his chest. We talked (we being I looked up and chatted away) for a bit about how I miss him and how I'm glad he is watching over us and how he would have probably hated getting used to a new house while being blind. I talked about all the issues I am dealing with at work but that we finally hired a replacement for a manager we let go last month.
Luke, of course, had nothing to say.

Here is a pic I snapped right before it got really dark.
I'll be getting back to my primary job in the next week and I'm really glad. I learned a lot and experience is always valuable but I am falling behind on what I need to get done.

This morning I had some toast (homemade bread) with strawberry jam (home canned of course). I also had 3 glasses next to my plate; peppermint tea, almond milk and cherry juice. I ate and watched the clouds roll in while the fireplace cracked and popped. It's calm outside right now but I doubt that will last. Time to stoke the fire, workout a little and go for another hike.

No grass grows under these feet.