Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How to Speed up January


The island in black and white...amazing!
Hi all,
Well, we found a cure for the January Blahs, just ramp up the schedule so you don’t have one free second, and the month flies by! I know, it’s been over two weeks since my last blog, and a few of my viewers have mentioned the lack of writing and photography. That’s not to say I haven’t been taking pictures, and writing blog articles in my mind, but to make time to sit and ponder, edit photos, and get the writing done, well, now you see the problem.
It sure was bright! Exposure 1/2000th of a second!
So, here are a few pictures and updates. I have been lucky to make time for 60 miles on the ‘bent this month. On that positive note, I am already 60 miles ahead of last year! Of course, I have not really been tracking miles, as it’s the ride that’s more important! I know there will be more tracking as my training for summer increases, but for now, content to get a ride in when the weather and the clock permit.
My latest attempt at a vanishing point photo...
Photography; I have been enjoying exploring shooting black and white since the season has turned foggy and gray. Everyday I drive the Legacy Parkway; I have noticed a long line of high voltage power lines that stretch for miles. So, I made a point to throw the camera in the car and wait for the right fog conditions. Between the fog, and a little tweaking with Adobe Light Room, I think I made a nice piece of artwork.
The church construction project is going well, a bit behind schedule, but what do you expect with the team’s work schedule and the fact that we are dealing with a building that was built in WW II! Every time we peek behind a wall or investigate wiring, it’s an adventure!
Kathy and Anne's 5th graders...
One other adventure this week was hosting 38 5th graders to the house to enjoy the inauguration live on TV. Kathy’s school didn’t have streaming access, nor network TV in the classrooms, so we brought the classes here! The kids had a great time and managed to not spill nor knock anything over. They enjoyed the ceremony, and had a great outing.
Want some coats?
Also, you will notice a new tab in my list to the right: White House.gov. It’s the new upgraded site for the Obama government. Now, I rarely talk politics on this page, and I am not really going to start now. However, I am impressed with the level of access to media, and the transparency, which is a vast improvement to the site pre-January 20th.
One other new tab is for a cycling advocacy cartoon; Yehuda Moon and Kickstand Cycles. It’s a fun cartoon, and you can read all the archives so you can catch up on the story lines.
On that note, I am going to go try and spin before work. It’s 15 degrees, and icy!
Jim

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Winter Activities


Sunset at North Fork Park
Hi all,
Another busy week is in the books. Kathy and I, for two “empty nesters” sure don’t seem to spend a lot of time layin around doing nothing!
Someday, I'll learn what all the buttons do!
This last week was no different. Between work, Kathy’s teaching, and working on the tech. booth construction project at Aldersgate United Methodist, the week flew by!
On Wednesday afternoon, I did however make time to head to North Fork Park for a cross-country ski clinic. I hadn’t been to North Fork to ski in over ten years, and I was pleasantly surprised. The Ogden branch of the Utah Nordic Alliance has developed a core group of skiers, volunteers, and grooming equipment. Wherein the past, there was very little track being set, there is now 20 km of classic and skate track being set.
Looking east at North Fork...
Of course, this didn’t mean I skied any better! Actually, with temperatures hovering around 40, it was a very challenging day. The snow was soft, and I could feel the ski settle every time I transferred my weight. Our instructor, Abby Larson, a 2006 Olympian didn’t seem to have any problem! Having excellent technique sure helps!
Fun with black and white (Big Cottonwood Canyon)
With the mild weather, (morning temps around 30-32) I pondered riding the Redline down to the train and then to work. But with all the patchy ice in the bike lanes, I decided for the better part of valor to avoid skidding into a ditch.
Storm Mountain, (Big Cottonwood Canyon)
Today, the weather is dry and chilly, and the roads are dry. With luck, I’ll get out for a ride around lunchtime.
More news next week!
Jim

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A New Year's Grab Bag


The new year, like little boys, can sneak up on you!
Happy New Year to all my loyal readers. The last few weeks have flown by, and now the holidays are over, the visiting families have all returned to their own homes, and things are quiet once again. Don’t get me wrong, it was joyous having them all here, but now the world is back to normal, there is a list as long as my arm of things to do, pictures to edit, house fixit jobs, and just 108 days to go in my current career! So, in that line of thinking, here is a New Year’s Grab Bag of newsy items…
Icicles are fun!
Two posts ago; I posted a question as to the identification of a piece of fruit. No longer had I hit the “publish” button, than the phone rang. My daughter-in-law, Christina is the winner. Now, all of the answers were right, it is an Osage (or mock) orange! So, besides the fact that she was first, and that she is family, I have declared her the winner of the random box of peppermint bark. I will have another contest in weeks to come.
video
Snowing, looking out the front door...
It’s been snowing! I know that it’s a new flash to some of you, but hey, it’s news. We had a warm couple of days, then last night a front hit, and it was 15 degrees with a few inches of new snow this morning.

8 AM, today; 15 degrees...
Next up, I already have 22 miles on the Barcroft! It was windy and mild yesterday, so I snuck out for an hour and a half of riding and picture taking. Of course, to commemorate the first ride of the year, I got rained on, too! No flats this time, so all in all, a nice ride. I can never complain about getting real miles in January. Kathy gave me a gift of very warm base layers for cycling, and I intend to ride as much as time will allow, even in winter.
My first cycling picture of the year!
In Big Cottonwood Canyon...
Last week, I had the opportunity to take a lesson in cross-country skate skiing. I went with my sister Nancy to Solitude Nordic Center, and we had a fine time stumbling around on our own, and later we enjoyed a one-hour lesson from an instructor who actually competed in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Aram Hajiyan of Armenia had a great time with us, and was an immense help.
My sister, Nan, and her new friend, Aram...
Attached you will find a short video of yours truly attempting a nice V-1 type technique. Next up, Aram is going to teach me to climb!
video
This is "V-1" after 4 hours of skiing....
More news next week from the bike, err or the ski tracks!
Jim