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Friday, August 29, 2008

Treadmill Day 60-66

No running whatsoever. I did sweep my garage, however, and set up a nice bookshelf thing next to my treadmill to set my water bottle, remote, and cell phone on so they don't bounce up and down when I run.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A gross story

When we were in Wyoming we went to the Cowboy Bar in Meeteetse, WY. The bar was very interesting, with an original brandname bar that had been purchased at a World's Fair. I don't remember the details, but the story was interesting. (Isn't his blog informative?!)

We talked to the local historian/bar owner/book author for quite a bit about the history of the area. We were planning on climbing Francs Peak, named for historic local land owner Otto Franc. He moved out west because he had consumption; his brothers and he and moved to NYC from some place where he was a duke in order to import bananas.

Note: Francs Peak does not have an apostrophe, although one would argue it should. It does not.

Also Note: I'm not going to do too much fact checking on this blog, because I don't have the time. I have a really good memory for some things (dates, b-days, phone numbers, events I was part of, and the general outlines of stories) but not so good of a memory for details surrounding some outlines. Don't quote me directly on a college thesis, because some of what I might say could be not quite right. For example, I'm almost positive Otto Franc and his older brothers moved to the US to import bananas, but maybe it was something else.)

Also Note: I like hyperlinks, because I then don't have to go into detail myself, but I feel like I have some semblance of an argument should someone accuse me of being less than thorough.

Anyways, we ended up eating at the Cowboy bar twice; the food was decent, the company at the bar was interesting, and frankly there weren't very many options for dinner. After we ate the first night, V and I went back to the bar later to try to by some firewood and I chatted for quite a bit on the front deck with the Fat man, and the young couple who were living on the Antler Ranch in town. While we were talking some drunk guy came out and started arguing with the fat man about why they couldn't arm wrestle in the bar, yet the fat man could shoot off cannons. (For fear of the tables breaking is why, if you are curious). There was no real explanation as to why a cannon was shot off in the bar earlier that afternoon, but the fat man held firm to the "No Arm Wrestling" rule.

The next night we at there again. Randy and I each had a very good open faced chili hamburger (see, I told you I had a good memory). As we were all paying at the bar on the way out, we noticed that there were all sorts of bottle caps nailed to the ceiling, yet a space where two were missing. "What happened to those two?" I asked, curiously.

THE GROSS STORY: The day before, a couple hours before we ate at the bar/restaurant, someone brought in the ashes of some dead person who's final request was to be blasted from a cannon in the Cowboy bar. This seemed like such a good idea, that some other random bar patron decided that he two had some dead person ashes that should also be blasted. So yes, the fat man did allow the ashes of two dead people be blasted from a cannon across the bar. He told us, laughing, about how the explosion was much larger and louder than anyone would have expected, knocking two bottle caps off the ceiling and how ashes were DRIFTING AND FLOATING ACROSS THE BAR, LANDING ON THE TABLES AND IN PEOPLE'S DRINKS!! And yes, this was just hours before we ate there. There is no way we would have eaten there had we known about the dead-people-ashes!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Busy weekend

On Saturday we checked out the Elk River Country Club where I had another stellar game of golf (9 holes anyways). I scored a 57 which for me is very good. I've somehow really improved my game this year without trying.

We also did some night time mountain biking at the Blast in Elk River. They've added a lot of new obstacles on the course that I haven't seen as this was my first visit this year. I was a little concerned that I was doing the course in the dark wearing a headlamp and passing signs that said "DANGER, NEW OBSTACLE" and "EASIER, GO LEFT". (I went left... I could see that going right went straight down a hill littered with rocks). I wish I could have taken a picture of the sign saying "ADVANCED ONLY, 'THE BALL BUSTER'" illuminated by my headlamp as I zoomed by. I'll have to check it out in the day time too.

Sunday was the State Fair. I went on the 2Extreme ride which was darn fun, and also Techno Power.

I'm pissed off at the fair for their upgrade, however, to the Magnum P.I. ride. I LOVE the Magnum ride, less for the ride itself than for the fact that there was a very large replication of Tom Selleck's big old forehead gracing the backdrop of the ride. It was so lame and corny that it was cool. I get there this year and the ride is still there, but they've changed the name to "Magnum" and have repainted the backdrop as some stupid beach scene. No real Magnum. I refused to ride.

Instead of Magnum I spent my midway tickets at the freak show where I saw Zimora the Gorilla girl, Voltara the electric girl, a man with gross fat rolls who laid down shirtless on a bed of nails, a woman with hairy armpits who was "beheaded", and the two head Egyptian princess. Very, very lame. But the lamest of all (making it the best of all) was the snake girl who had the head of a girl but the body of a snake. I'm telling you that this was very OBVIOUSLY fake (yes, even in comparison to the other "freaks"). A kindergartener could have done better. The display case had a stuffed snake body (the quality of really cheap fair game stuffed animal) wrapped around a "tree limb" with a hole where some girl stuck her head into the box.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Treadmill Day 53-59

My goal this week is to continue to try to get back into the habit of running near daily. It's tough because I'm still so busy and don't know what to train for so have little motiviation.

Saturday, Aug. 16: Nope. Left last night for the cabin. Did a bunch of hiking and biking. Also swam across the lake (about 2/3rds of a mile). Also used a hatchet on a log in the middle of the path and got a nice arm workout in--I don't do any weight training lately so any time I move my upper body a bit I consider it a good workout.

Sunday, Aug. 17: Nope. More hiking and biking and biking, though.

Monday, Aug. 18: Nope. Cleaned the camper after work. Too tired.

Tuesday, Aug. 19: Nope. Did 9 holes of golf in the afternoon, so at least I was a complete lazy daisy.

Wednesday, Aug. 20: Nope. While picking up the camper tire at Party Central, my car died and I ended up biking to Big Beef's auto shop (a buddy). He came, he looked, it restarted, but the car completely went out later that night leaving me to have RR tow me back to the shop.

Thursday, Aug. 21: Nope. I'm sitting here thinking I COULD go do 5 miles as it's not even 8pm, but MAN, I'm tired. I just want to relax and watch t.v.

Friday, Aug. 22: Nope. Finally got my car back (Beef got it done super fast for me and I appreciate it). Got the camper tire. Get home, and my toilet won't flush. Does it ever end?!?

Recap: Total of 68.25 treadmill miles. 0 for the week.

I need a more concrete plan. I think I'm going to do Whistlestop Marathon in October (the morning before the Wild's Home Opener). I have heard nothing but good things about it. My goal is to break 4 hours which I think I can do, although my training has been near-nothing through this summer. And I'll have 7 weeks total to train.

Darn car...

So, on Wednesday night my car died.

I went over to Party Central to pick up the destroyed camper tire and wheel to take to Mobil. When I got back in the car it wouldn't start. It was about 6pm, and I had left my house at 5:30am and really just wanted to go home and take a nap.

Instead I went into the garage and jumped on E's bike and road 1/2 mile to Big Beef's auto shop. Big Beef is a friend, his name is not really "BB", and yes, he is a rather large guy. He came out to the house and of course the car started right up. His theory was the heat/humidity was just causing it to act up and that I should leave the hood up and wait about a half hour before leaving to give it some time to cool off. I agreed with that assessment, as it had been driving fine earlier.

In the meantime I had talked to RR who had come over to make sure I'd be able to get home. He's been on vehicle repair duty for the last couple of days between the camper tire disintegrating on Sunday, spare tire replacment as well as floor repair on the camper (due to the foremetioned tire) on Monday, V's Chevy pick-up having a flat on Tuesday (necessitating him driving out to help her), and then my car stuff on Wednesday. In addition he was supposed to be at home helping V re-stow her spare that night.

About 8pm we leave to go and the car starts up just fine. As soon as I step on the gas, however, I can tell something isn't right because the car is very unresponsive and sluggish. But within 5 seconds or so it's fine, so I think I might be okay. I get all the way to the stoplight at 169 where I am going to turn left. The light turns green, I step on the gas, and nothing. Or at least very little. I can't even quite make it through the intersection. I turn off the car, restart it, and drive half a block. At this point I pull over to try calling Randy. He appears, I all Beef who advises trying to add a little gas. Before I can figure out which gas station I should attempt to get to, the car dies and will not restart.

RR tows me to Beef's shop. Blah. The Enforcer is tangently involved as well, most notably because we tell him to go to the Auto Zone by Walgreens 1/2 mile from his house. For some reason he drives 5 miles away to a completely different Walgreens (that has no Auto Zone). Frustration abounds.

$60 cab fare to work Thursday morning. I get a ride home. I had a ride lined up for this morning, but the person didn't show. Grrrrr... The weird thing is that I emailed her (co-worker) assuming that we missed each other? I had been in and out of my front bedroom watching for her and MAYBE she had pulled up and tried ringing my doorbell that doesn't work. She never responded, so I think she just didn't come (forgot?) . Whatever. People make mistakes, but pretty immature to not admit to it. I took another $60 cab ride.

I'm getting a ride to Blaine Target tonight where RR will pick me up in exchange for a Mountain Dew Amp. Big Beef is delivering my car to my house tonight with a brand new fuel pump.

All this with money I don't have. Blah.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Habit forming pitfalls

Okay, last week was not a stellar training week and I did not do very well in re-instilling the training habit.

This past weekend we were up at the cabin, where we mountain biked, swam, and enjoyed the up north. We tried very hard (too hard, probably) to rent a boat (ski boat OR a canoe), but it never worked out. The neighbor offered us the use of his ski boat, so we went so far as to buy a bunch of gas and fill up the tank before we realized that the radio had been left on and the battery was dead. Bummer.

Vanessa and I went to Valleyfair last Wednesday. Our favorite ride is the Extreme Swing. It looks like it is pretty ho-hum, but it is awesome! We also have to give big props to the new rollercoaster, the Renegade. Very fun ride.

I watered my strawberries tonight in an attempt to get them to produce some fruit. I may have to expand my garden for next year.

My renter, "The Big One", is moving out at the end of September, so I'll have to find someone new to live with me. RR's previous renter last winter was a very petite little woman whom we called "The Little One." My renter, who is not petite, became called "The Big One."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Treadmill Day 46-52

My goal this week is to continue running near daily to really try to build the habit back up. Even though I did some late night runs last week (considering I'm up at 5:30a for work) I only missed two days.

Saturday, Aug. 9: 6mi (10min/mi) while watching an episode of "Flip This House" and an episode of "Curb...". I enjoy the fact that even the people on "Flip..." run into problems and headaches. Nice to know it's not just me.

Sunday, Aug. 10: Did 18 holes of golf. No running.
Monday, Aug. 11: My b-day. No running.
Tuesday, Aug. 12: No excuse, just no running.
Wednesday, Aug. 13: Went to Valleyfair and ate too much at TGIF's. No running.
Thursday, Aug. 14: Umm... no running.
Friday, Aug. 15: Left for the cabin after work.

Recap: Total of 74.25 treadmill miles (6 for the week).

Thanks, Londell, for pointing out that not only was I too lazy/busy to run, but I was not even able to update the post that automatically popped up Friday night to keep me accountable.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Love Learning

In my 9th and 10th grade English classes my teacher Mr. Holm used to give out little stickers that said "I love Learning" to the highest scoring papers in class. One of the toughest writing assignments was our papers on "The Old Man and the Sea" (and I still like to argue with people the possibility that Hemingway was simply writing a story about a guy and a fish with no deeper meaning). A perfect score was 75/75, so he started at the top asking, "Anyone get a 75?" Nope, no one had. "A 74?" Nope. "73?" 1 person, maybe. He kept working his way down the line, giving stickers to the few people who had those scores. Finally he gets to "67?" I hesitate, then raise my hand saying, "I got 67%" The class cracked up, as did Mr. Holm, and I did get my sticker.

I'm not completely shallow (as the 67% might suggest). I wrote my senior paper in college on the topic of death and dying in two Russian short stories (Tolstoy). My Russian advisor Prof. Jahn was very knowledgeable, and I loved the couple Russian literature courses I took with him.

Taking all that info in stride, however, my blog book reviews will probably always remain short and to the point.

The first weekend of August I started reading "Touching the Void". This was a very fast, easy, interesting read. I actually bought the book and movie for my dad several years ago, so I was familiar with the story. I admit to skimming some sections at the end when the guy had almost saved himself because I knew how the story ended and time is precious.

Right now I'm reading "No Shortcuts to the Top". This is VERY good, and has again been a very fast, addicting read. All these mountain climbing books have been very gripping.

Valleyfair; and a question

Vanessa took the day off of work and she and I are going to Valleyfair to celebrate my b-day today. It looks like the start of another nice day.

I have a Noodles gift card that I used almost completely up last night. The card has a credit of $0.19 and weighs approximately 4 grams. Is it worth it to continue to carry in my purse? For how long (taking the weight and value into consideration)? Could this be a trick math question for a high schooler... If a gift card weighing 4 g holds a value of 19 cents, how much did the card weigh at its initial $10 value? (answer, if this weren't a trick question, would be 210.53 g)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My best game of golf

Today I had my best game of golf ever.

Yesterday we went to Greenhaven (in Anoka) and golfed the front 9 holes. I scored a 62 which is above average for me. RR gives me a hard time for all the lucky shots I get: the ball goes right between two trees (with an inch to spare on each side), lucky bounces in just the right direction, etc.

Back to Greenhaven today. I scored a 57 on the back 9! That's by far the best I've golfed there; usually I'm in the mid to high-60's. It was still a nice night after we finished 9 so we decided to do the front 9 again. This time I scored 65, which was much more average for me.

Beautiful day to be outside.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Treadmill Day 39-45

My goal this week is to get back into the habit of running near daily, even if I can only do short runs. I've been so busy with house buying, house repair, camper buying, etc. that I have not had a regular running routine since December/January.

Saturday, Aug. 2: Got in a quick 5mi (10min/mi) before leaving for the cabin. This length run fits 2 episodes of "Curb..." very well.

Sunday, Aug. 3: Squeezed in a quick 5mi (10min/mi) after getting back from the cabin. (I'm counting the run as Sunday's run, even though it began after midnight).

Monday, Aug. 4: Was on the phone until midnight. Foolishly thought about running, but dozed off before I got there.

Tuesday, Aug. 5: Did 5mi (10min/mi). Finished the first season of "Curb..." and moved on to Season 2. It's definitely growing on me.

Wednesday, Aug. 6: The first time this week I started a run before 11pm. Did 5mi (10min/mi) and will probably be in bed before 10:30pm.

Thursday, Aug. 7: Nope, no run. Cleaned house over at Party Central and bought paint with a special Home Depot Coupon for the future exterior painting project. Was just TOO tired.

Friday, Aug. 8: 5mi (10min/mi). Ate too much b-day cake at work today and a full stomach made this not the most comfortable run of all time.

Recap: Total of 68.25 treadmill miles (25 for the week). I did successfully meet my week's goal of getting some consistent running in. Although I did short runs that weren't really fast, I wasn't the most comfortable, and I am not sure why.

(Actually, now that I think about it, I really haven't done much actual running either of the last two summers. I think it's the heat that makes me not want to run. Last year I did a lot of walking at an incline training for Wyoming. The year before I did some running, but my treadmill at that time was in my air conditioned townhouse.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Congrats to my mom

Everyone congratulate my mom, who told me she just got through her first month after quitting smoking. Congrats!