Monday, April 20, 2009

Back from the Great Circle Trip

Kathy knows what kind of flower this is, I forgot!
Hi all,
We are back from our great circle trip; SLC/PHX/TUS/PHX/ORD/SLC. For you non-ATC types, that’s Salt Lake City,Phoenix, Tucson, Phoenix, Chicago, and Salt Lake City. We had a grand time seeing our kids and grandchildren. (See Amy’s blog for more news).
The next Geithner, perhaps?
All is well. We only had rain on the last day in Barrington, and that was just for the trip to the airport. We had a great time with our grandson, Brian; playing at the Chicago Botanical Gardens, and then at the Zoo. He sure loves to run and play! I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase, Go! Go! Grandma! Let’s Go!
Commuters are everywhere...
Also, at the Zoo, I was walking around the Llama enclosure, and I noticed the front wheel of a ten-speed bike behind the barn. More than likely, someone’s commuter, hiding in the back. So, as the rest of the weekend continued, I noticed commuter bikes parked in all sorts of odd places; behind convenience stores, fast food joints, behind Llama stalls at the zoo, at the mall, all sorts of places.

The Botannical gardens provided a great place for Brian to run and get his wiggles out. There wasn’t much in bloom, as the spring flowers don’t really get going until mid-May. Just watch the ivy in the outfield at “The Friendly Confines” (Wrigley Field for you foreigners). But, what was in bloom was just stunning. Tulips, poppies, magnolias, and other small plants were doing their best to give some color. But, no matter, it was a gorgeous day, and the sun was out, and a lovely day to scamper all over the place.
How I relax!
I’ll have more news as the week progresses. There’s lots of work to do here at the house, and I retire from 33 years of ATC on Thursday. I get cake!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Open Mondays from 4-7

Spring in the Desert is amazing!

Hi All,

I am writing you from Tucson, AZ, as Kathy and I are visiting our daughter, Amy and her husband, Jon. This is part 1 of a two step trip; the second half is flying to Chicago to visit Paul, Christina, and our grandson, Brian in Barrington. Then, next Sunday, a flight home; and from there only 3 workdays to go before retirement! (Well, retirement from this career!)

Yesterday, Kathy and Amy and I enjoyed a lovely afternoon walk to the local farmer’s market. Usually, on Mondays, Jon and Amy ride their bikes over to the market, buying some nice fresh things for dinner, and getting a few miles in on their bikes. But since Amy is 17 weeks along, and her doctor would prefer she not ride her bike, we got to enjoy a nice walk instead.

Marana is bike-friendly!

As is my custom, I always take my camera on jaunts like this. One never knows what will appear! This walk was no different, and I was treated to several opportunities to snap some pictures. We were able to score some lovely red potatoes, an onion, and wonderfully fresh lemons at 10 cents each.

On the return walk, Amy spotted a large hawk across the street perched on a wall. Well, not wanting to miss it, I strolled across the street to get a closer look. As I was framing up the shot, the bird started to get antsy and I got the impression he was about to fly off. So, as the bird turned I pushed the button. The shutter fired, the mirror came up and when it came back down the bird was gone! When I got back home I was excited to see what kind of picture I had gotten of the bird. Imagine my luck when I saw what dumb luck had netted.

Just goes to show you: just push the button!

More news later this week.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Hanging Around...

A photo contest entry of mine from last summer...
Hi All,
Where does time go? I have asked that question here on this blog many times. Especially, it seems, after a long absence from writing. I feel like a columnist who has been scribbling little notes for weeks, and stuffing them in his pockets. I end up with so many little articles in my mind; it’s hard to make one article out of the mishmash. So for now, let’s clear a few things up. Yes, I am still here; Yes, I am going to commit to write more often; Yes, I am going to post some interesting photographs.
Suffice to say we (Kathy and I) have had a busy month. Our lives are in complete flux as we contemplate the reality of relocating (a nice word for the adventure of moving!). Buying a new house, finding new roads to ride, ending one career, and starting another, learning about a new city, meeting new people, it is an endless list. As I wrote to a friend last week: “Other than that, just a typical quiet year for us.” There will be more detail about our move, and other salient details as the plan evolves.
Pastor Dave and I, hanging around; installing video cable at Aldersgate...
The Aldersgate Church audio/visual project is finally about done. Yesterday, I spent several hours 20 feet up a ladder hanging the new projector in the sanctuary. It’s a far more enjoyable place to work than the 5 hours I spent last Saturday in the crawl space under the church relocating the wiring and lighting controls!

You would never guess Pastor Dave is a techie...
Yes, I am still riding, too. This last week, I attempted to unscrew the cleats of my SPD pedals in order to replace them with Speedplay Frogs. You may recall that I won the Speedplays in a raffle from the Recumbent Blog last year.
Old, Old shoes...
'Nuff Said...
Ever try to unscrew cleats that have been in use for 8,000 miles? It’s pretty humorous. After my first try, I am seriously considering some new shoes!
Nice new cleats!
As retirement from air traffic control approaches, I am working on a few goals in the narrow window before career #2 starts. The Salt Lake City Century is May 16th, and I hope to be reasonably ready to attack the 6-hour mark. My last century ride was a DNF at 83 miles due to weather, mechanical issues, and well, just some darn ugly hills at the end of the ride. I would very much like to erase that memory, and have a successful ride. The Tour de Cure in June will have to wait for another time as with moving and working on the house I will not have the time ride after May.
And nice new pedals!
That’s the update for now. I promise, there WILL be a new post within 7 days. For now, stay in touch, ride lots of miles, enjoy the other blogs to the right in the tab list, and most importantly, have a joyous and happy Easter.