Monday, December 22, 2008

Why I Never Get Anything Done!


Look! an HPV!
Well, it has been a wonderful vacation week so far. Kathy and I are enjoying all the family being here, and the daily snowfall has even been enjoyable, too.
Enclosed are a few short videos and photographs of the fun and games here at the house.
video
Early Presents...

Brian, hanging out at the counter...
video
Sledding! A quick 25 seconds...
Also, we were blessed to receive as a gift, the largest poinsettia plant in the entire world. To help you get a grasp on the immensity of the plant, I have used a normal box of Cheerios (seen below) as a point of reference.

And now, the plant and the box of Cheerios...

See what I mean?
video
And, of course, there's a little time for riding, too!
Enjoy.
Jim

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Solstice Weekend...


The view from Legacy and 500 South....
Hi All,
Happy winter solstice to everyone. Well, ever since I mentioned the lack of winter around here, the snow has been coming and coming, and coming! Right now, at 7:30 AM on Saturday, it is 17 degrees, and snowing lightly.
video
No riding today!
There’s around 8-10 inches in the front yard, so a white Christmas is a lock! Of course, there will be no bike riding for a few weeks, but hey, there’s always the gym and the spin trainer.
The Christmas tree casts light everywhere...
Of course, I won’t have any time to ride anyway. Paul, Christina, and Brian, along with Amy and Jon all arrive tomorrow, so it will be a great time for family, and I will put everything else aside. Who wants to ride a bike when I can play chess with Paul, talk cameras with Jon, shop with Amy, hug Christina, laugh with Kathy and play with Brian!
Ok, folks...What is it? (About the size of a really big grapefruit)
Next up, a contest for all of my dear readers from all around the world. Kathy brought an item home from school that although looks like a fifth grader’s brain, is actually a piece of fruit. So, I will mail one of these interesting items along with some random Christmas candy to the first correct guess. Look at the photo above; what is it? Remember the first correct answer here in the comment box is the winner.
The end of the road...
And lastly, I stopped by Kathy’s school last week and noticed something in the hallway. Ten or twelve old CRT computer monitors; headed for the junkyard. If you’re not sure times have changed, look around and search for CRT computer monitors or televisions. You can’t buy em, and don’t use em anymore. They just suddenly disappeared, like the rotary phone, the Edsel, flight progress strips, and the Republican Party.
Hope all of your holiday travel is safe…
Jim

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter is Here, Christmas is Closer!


Snow means water!
Hi all,
Well, if I had known that commenting here about the lack of snow would have triggered a change in climate, I would’ve commented about it sooner! As I write this, there is a lovely 3-4 inches of fresh snow here in Layton, and I am sure that the ski resort operators are dancing in the streets. For me, it means that Christmas and the arrival of family is just a tad closer, and that a white Christmas is possible.
video
Snowfall starting in the front yard.... (just for Amy)
In other news, the arrival of winter means the end of train/bike commuting. With the price of gas around $1.40 and still dropping, it makes no sense to me to ride my bike on black ice in the dark at 5 AM. Now, I know all about my car’s carbon footprint, but I would really rather get to work in one piece, thank you very much. Now, if there’s a dry spell and it’s not horribly cold, I’ll jump on the Little Deuce Coupe down to the train and resume the bike/train/bike commute.
My work at 6 AM, I love black and white...
You may notice that amidst the dreary gray and white of winter that the colors of Christmas are becoming more in focus. Kathy has trimmed the whole house, and things are looking quite festive. There are Christmas lights all over the city, and some of the parks have huge displays.

At work, you can tell it’s Christmas, when the Christmas lights reflect off the radar displays! Most of the areas decorate in some way or another, as folks try to make being at work on the holiday a little more palatable.
Safety was never compromised! It's a spare radar position!
Not much cycling news, here. I will start spinning on my trainer in the garage, and also think about waxing my cross-country skis. With all of this snow, Mill Creek canyon should be lovely!
More news, mid week.
Jim

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Riding towards Christmas


Sunset from Fernwood Park...
Hi all,
Happy December to one and all. Of course it doesn’t look like December around here. The Christmas decorations are all up, and the outdoor nativity scene is gracing the front yard, and the lights are up the tower. But, some thing is missing. Snow! That’s right, snow. Today I rode 23 miles on my Barcroft Virgnia GT, and it was just chilly enough for light gloves and a thin wooly under my helmet. I even rode past two golf courses that were open for business. It was about 45 degrees; a far cry from the 26 degrees when I rode the Redline to work on Friday morning! For your enjoyment, I have uploaded a gripping 43 seconds of video from the driver’s seat of today’s ride.
video
Enjoy the view I see while riding recumbent. You may (really, you should) turn the audio off while playing the video. At 18 mph the microphone makes the wind sound like the camera is outside a 737!

I wonder when we'll get it? (Jan. 08)
Where is the snow? I think its northwest of Chicago at Paul’s house this week. After all, I did see lovely snow video on Paul’s’ Blog this past week. But, soon the snow will be here. At least I hope it will. We need the water, and my skis need something to ski on!

The Christmas season is still out of focus...
But, back to Christmas. Yes, it is the Christmas season. It’s the season of Advent; not the season of Advertisement. And sometimes amidst all the happy shopping and planning, I find myself looking for Christmas. Usually, it arrives at the most unexpected time. It comes in the form of a hug from a visiting family member, an unexpected gift, or just some peace and understanding that despite what the newsies tell us, the world is not going completely to heck in a hand basket.

Getting closer to focused...
For now, I am very much looking forward to the whole family being here for Christmas. I have the whole week off, and am looking forward to really enjoying every moment I can get with family.
Oh, and one last thing. Take a look at a new listing in my tabs to the right. I found this blog while perusing the Lazy Randonneur. Meet Russ Roca; cyclist, professional photographer, and car free in LA. He does beautiful work, and his cyclist photos of just regular folks are amazing.
More news and pictures next week.
Jim