Monday, November 28, 2005

Quarry Park in St. Cloud.....

Oh Yeah! Artistic talent.....

The Yellow Bike, resting on a pile of granite.....

Granite to ride on.... Ya don't wanna fall down go boom....
Pretty in September....



Jackal has finalized his ride for next year!!!!!

Watch his Blog tomorrow and you may see some subtle hints as to what it is......

Pretty cool, eh? Thought I was gonna let it out of the bag? Nahhhhh. That's all up to The Jackal.

It's back up to The Great White North in the morning. Wheels in the wells at 0700..... The forecast for St. Cloud is 6 - 10" of the white stuff! Goddddd..... You gotta love that! I'll drive back here on Friday then head back up there on Sunday evening for 4 more days of fun in the, um, well, Great White North. Flying up in the morning so that's a bonus. Love that company jet! 1 hour flying beats the hell out of 5 hours driving!

If I see any weiner dogs I'll say hi.... Jackal and Jeff should appreciate that, eh!

Ok, that's all for now.

Peace out, yo!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Sunday the 27th....

Big Woods Lake in the rain....

Kerkove "Hangin' Loose" at the shop.... (acting "normal", according to an anonymous co-worker)

Jackal and Brother of Jackal at the shop....

Wet and cold....

Nice day today! Walked 5 miles this morning while Kerkove and Jackal were out getting chased by weiner dogs. I swear that one of those dogs looks like a miniature doberman! Went to lunch at Toad's with Eric and Nikki and the boys. All good. I went to the shop after lunch and bought a pair of "gators" foot warmers and then went for a ride in the drizzle to try them out. Toastie! Recommended by Jeff and Jackal.... They work pretty well.

Working in Waterloo tomorrow then back to the Great White North on Tuesday. I'll fly up on "P.O.S. ONE" this week and then drive back on Friday. Should be done up there by the end of the year. I've really come to like St. Cloud in the 5 or 6 months that I've been working up there and I like the people that I've been working with. I'll miss it. Oh well, sometimes you just have to move on. I've had a lot of fun up there and met a lot of new people, discovered Quarry Park for mountain biking, the county roads that have 5' shoulders for bicycles, and the Lake Woebegone Trail. It's all good.

It's getting late and Jackal and Moo just left so I'll sign off now and take care of a couple of small things then get to bed.

Peace out, yo!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Saturday the 26th...

Thanksgiving was spent at our house this year with Jackal and Moo (A.K.A. The Cheese Queen) and young Mr. Adam. The food was good, the company was great, and I didn't grossly overeat. What more could you ask for? I think it was the first time Adam had eaten in about a month. Spent much of the afternoon and evening watching the Bond Marathon on the tube and discussing next season with Jackal. (What bike will he ride? Well..... I'm certain he'll be making an announcement soon.) It's all good!

I received a phone call yesterday morning asking if I'd look after Jacob and Kyle for a few hours... I'm sooooooo brave! I said "sure, why not?" Fortunately, Jackal arrived shortly after the phone call and stuck with me to the end! Those two boys have seemingly boundless energy and very, very selective hearing. Jackal did seem to have the ability to get their attention whenever he needed to though. After each of them had 2 pop-tarts and a Rice Krispy Treat they behaved fairly well. Kyle was shooting a dart from a "crossbow" at the television and the glass in the entertainment center until Jackal put an end to it.... Then Jacob started.

All of this reminded me of a time when Jackal was just a pup and we were living in Durlangen, Germany. He had one of those little dart pistols and went around shooting it at every smooth surface in our apartment, sticking those little darts to everything. I had what I considered at the time to be a brilliant idea..... If I could get Jackal to stand still I could stick those little darts to his forehead..... I asked him to stand by the picture window in the living room and let me shoot the darts at him like the guy on TV did with the throwing knives and the pretty girl..... Well, that pup had icewater in his veins even then. He stood really still and grinned at me while I shot him in the head with a dart gun. Didn't even flinch when those darts stuck to his forehead! I just said "oops, I missed" and "let me try again". He was one bad little dude!
**tears in my eyes just thinking about it**

Went riding The Yellow Bike this morning. It was pretty cold when I left at 11 but warm by the time I got back at 2. I saw a few people out on the paved trails but not a soul on the dirt. It's all good! Ron and the Missus were heading out for a ride as I was coming by their place on my way back home. Hope they had fun! It was a great day for it.

That's all for now. Oh! G.T..... Apparently Jackal has some sort of deal with his mother regarding the lederhosen picture.... She won't dig it out and scan it for me and I have no idea where it is. It'll be my next mission! Find the pic!

Perhaps I'll start doing regular installments of "Jackal as a pup".

Peace out, yo!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Frozen water.....

The Microwave at Big Woods Lake.....

The Yellow Bike hiding...

It was a little chilly at 9 this morning when I took off for a "short ride" and just as cold at noon when I got back! Jackal had just dropped off a crock pot to keep dinner warm and Judy was in the kitchen fixing the turkey when I left. When I got back Judy was still in the kitchen dealng with the turkey and the fixin's that went with it so I took a hot shower to bring my body core temp back into a more normal range. Jackal and Moo showed up with more food at 12:30 and we sat down to dinner at 1 o'clock sharp! It was all most excellent!

I think it was 16 degrees F when I left this morning with about a 20 mph sustained wind out of the west northwest. Windchills must have been around zero. Brisk! I saw a few people out running in GW and met a gentleman walking his daughter's dog (which he has inherited) out by Alice Wyth Lake. We talked for awhile and discovered that we know some of the same people and that we may have raced dirt bikes against each other back in the day. Funny how those things happen.

I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving today and that each and every one was able to realize how good we really have things.

Peace out, yo!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jackal having a bite to eat at the Amvets in Cedar Falls.

I guess I'm seeing double..... As if one wasn't enough!

Peace out, yo!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tuesday the 22nd

It's all good and the universe is in sync....

Just got back from riding the yellow bike. That was good! Started out going east on Rainbow then down to the gravel through Hartman North, up to Pfeifer and across Krieg's then over to Gateway and on through the trail out to Lone Tree Road. Went through GW on the return trip then back to Lookout Park Hill and home on Grand then down the hill in front of Jackal's house to pick up Rainbow for the last little stretch. Only 17 1/3 miles but it was dark when I left and a little chilly, though not too bad. The Cateye helmet light is pretty cool! Bright little sucker and complements the handlebar mounted Cateye quite well. Jackal was right.... the bar mounted light has a rather unique pattern to it. Those Japanese always come up with something mystifying! The foot toasters worked good. I still may give the duct tape and aluminum foil trick a try just for shits and giggles....

Nearly got creamed by a mini-van near Ron's house. Must not have seen me with the two headlights, the flashing red light, and the reflector strips. I need to smarten up when cars pull in front of me.... It's my nature to not slow down, then get as close as I can to the vehicle without actually hitting it and give the driver the "international sign of goodwill". I know, I know..... Gotta watch out for yourself. Inattentive drivers certainly won't.

Judy has gone up to Hy Vee for some groceries and bottled water. I asked her to bring me a chocolate bar... Adam is sitting in the living room watchng bike night on Speed. Haven't seen him in two days! I think he may have actually applied for a job today. Unique concept!

Time to veg.....

Peace out, yo!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Tried putting my old school SIDI booties over my modern Pearl Izumi mountainbike shoes..... Doesn't seem to want to work. Apparently the manufacturer didn't have much foesight "back in the day" and didn't plan to put them over anything larger than an old school Diadora goatskin racing shoe. I need something to keep my toes and ankles toasty so I 'spose I'll have to pop for a new pair. Modern shoe covers.... What a concept!

The yellow bike is whispering in my ear... "take me out for a ride", but my brain is telling me that I'm committed to dinner with my father in law and and the Fingeroos' along with my wife's siblings. It'll all work out, it'll all work out..... Take a deep breath and keep smiling.

Peace out, yo!
Monday the 21st

I'd forgotten what it was like working in Waterloo rather than up in The Great White North! It means getting up at 5a.m. to get ready! Killer! Oh well.... gotta put bread on the table.

Dinner at Lone Star with my father in law and the Fingeroos' tonight at 6:00. Hopefully I can get away from work early enough to ride the yellow bike for awhile. Have a great day!

Peace out, yo!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Sunday the 20th

Thanks to Kerkove for covering for Jackal on Saturday so that he could attend his grandfather's 80th b-day party at the Amvets in CF. I think that everyone had a good time and no one got into the normal family arguments. Woohoo! Adam did have a bit of a headache today but he'll survive, I'm sure.

Went for a walk on the dirt trails in Hartman this morning... They are still in great shape. I rode them yesterday and met a deer hunter sitting up in his stand. He looked at me on the yellow bike and something seemed to click in his brain! "Is that what these trails are used for?" he said to me. I just replied "sometimes". I said that I think the deer use them too.... Saw him and another guy this morning and talked to them for awhile. Apparently they were told that there were "tons" of deer out there! After they left to go back to their truck I headed into the woods and immediately saw 3 does and a buck not 50 meters from their stands. Go figure!

Rode the yellow bike tonight from 6:30 till 8 down Grand then on the paved trails through GW and back up the Hartman side to Pfeiffer and back home on Grand. The Cateye headlight worked great and the cap and gloves kept me toasty! I followed Kerkove's advice and dressed appropriately and took it easy. (I have a bit of congestion and my voice is gone. Some would say that that's a good thing)

Thanks to Jackal for the five fingered Salsa gloves that didn't fit him anymore. They worked great.

Well, Judy keeps IM'ing me so I better go see what she wants.

I'm going to scan a picture of a young lad in lederhosen..... I'll post it later so you can see if you can figure out who it is.

I think I'll re-heat last night's pizza from Z's.... Judy and I went out for pizza with Jackal and Moo last night.... Good stuff!

Peace out, yo!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Good morning everyone! Happy Saturday! I was driving home from St. Cloud yesterday afternoon and had made it as far as Clear Lake, Mn. when my cell started ringing. Adam calling from the airport in The Cities. Lori and Pun were there to pick him up and drive him to Iowa but they had to recover his luggage first. Told him I was an hour from The Cities and would see him at home. Anyway, the trip down 94 and then the 494 was relatively quick, for a Friday afternoon, and uneventful. Bumber to bumper traffic at 55 to 85 mph on the 494 with a cement retaining wall in the middle...... It varies from minute to minute so you'd better not be napping! Got into Bloomington and gave him a call to see if he had received his luggage and hit the road. Hmmmmm..... Told me that he had turned north coming out of the airport and that he was heading to "Canada". I asked if he meant "Little Canada", which is a northern 'burb up by Columbia Heights. He said "no, Canada the country". Duh!!! They got turned around and headed back south and were actually by "the big Target store near 35" as I was talking to him. I guessed Lakeville/Farmington and by golly, I was right. Figured I'd be 30 minutes going the last mile on the 494 to get to 35W southbound and another 30 minutes behind them so I told him once again that I'd see him at home. That last mile on the 494 went as quickly as could be and I was on 35W south in no time. The traffic there was moving at a fairly smooth 75 mph and I had a thought that I might actually catch up to them before getting to Iowa. I'm driving through Albert Lea and hour and a half later when the cell rings again with Adam asking me where I'm at. They had stopped for gas and food at the TA in Albert Lea and I'd passed them. Told him to meet me at the rest area at Northwood, Iowa in a few minutes. I'd been there about 10 minutes when they pulled into the rest area. Adam in shorts, Lori in jeans and a sweatshirt, and Pun in his Tee shirt. Don't these people realize that it's cold outside? This ain't Arizona, baby! We talked for a few minutes then I went to BK and they took off south. It was good!

Ran into Jackal as he was out wandering aimlessly about the darkened streets when we were on our way to Hy Vee to get milk. He stopped at the house shortly after we got back and we talked for awhile. Ren and Heather showed up.... Heather has a new ring on her left ring finger! Woohoo!!! He finally proposed to her! Moo came a little bit later, then Adam and Lori showed up. It was a good night!

I'm either going out to ride the yellow bike this morning or going for a walk. I need to stick my head out the back door to decide. More later.

Peace out, yo!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Ok..... Gotta get ready for work now. I just got back from my morning walk and feel pretty good! It isn't near as cold outside this morning. Spring just around the corner? I think NOT!!! I was planning to ride the yellow bike tomorrow morning in Iowa but the forecast doesn't look so good. Secret birthday party at noon.... We'll see.

Peace out, yo!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The new "New Jetta"

"Here fishy, fishy, fishy"

I was trout fishing below Table Rock Dam in Missouri last week. It was 82 degrees! I woke up in Minnesota this morning and it was 6 degrees. Gotta love it! Judy and I drove down on Saturday in the new "New Jetta" for a little down time. Spent most of the day on the road driving but did visit Cabela's in KC for a pair of gloves and a pair of wader liners. Those things are the best!

Sunday found us down at the water for awhile so that I could try to do a little fishing while Jude read one of her many books. Didn't catch any trout but still enjoyed the day. We ended up at Sadie's in Branson for Dinner. Gotta love that buffet! All you can eat ribs..... Yummmmmm.

On Monday morning I went for a ride on the yellow bike. It was cold outside (38F) but the ride was great since I had dressed appropriately for the occasion. I came back after an hour and a half in the "Ozark Mountain Woods" and found that I had ridden a whopping 7.5 miles. Seemed like 75. Oh well..... After I showered I cooked bacon and eggs for breakfast then we took off for Pea Ridge, Arkansas to visit the Pea Ridge Civil War Battlefield and National Monument. The trip over was awesome and the battlefield was an excellent choice for our day trip. The roads in northwest Arkansas are amazing and have to be driven to be believed. The Rockies got nothin' on the Ozarks, Baby! Judy was trying to take pictures from the car with one hand and hold on to the "Oh Shit" bar with the other. She kept mentioning the "drop off" on her side of the car and pointing out the little yellow signs with the suggested speed on them! I asked if she could get a picture of the speedometer and the little yellow sign at the same time. LOL. No way! Perhaps we'll attempt it again someday. We saw some truly beautiful scenery and had a great time.

Tuesday was spent shopping in Branson and then trout fishing in the evening. When the horn at the dam went off shortly after dark Judy mentioned that I may want to move in closer to the shore. The knee deep water became crotch deep water in about 3 minutes. Since it was pitch black outside, I waited for what I felt was an appropriate amount of time and moved back toward shore and knee deep water. It only took a few minutes for that to become crotch deep again so I moved toward Judy once again. Funny how I didn't seem to be getting much closer to shore! Anyway, over a span of about 15 minutes, the level of Lake Taneycomo rose about 2 1/2 feet and took about 60 feet of shoreline. It takes a lot of water to turn those generators! After catching one nice fish I packed it up and called it a night. Supper at Steak & Shake with strawberry shortcake for dessert and then back to the cabin.

Wednesday was spent travelling back to Waterloo. We decided not to take the interstate home and left Branson on US 65 to Springfield and finally ended up on US63 north to Iowa. We stopped and visited friends Joseph and Rita Orr in Osage Beach. They were happy to see us and we had a nice visit before heading out. Judy was back at work on Thursday and I was recovering from the vacation to Missouri.