Still Here...

Hi there.   It's been a while since I've checked in.  I'm still around, still enjoying the bike when I can, still the same guy. 

I'm gathering up some creative energy.  Regrouping, rethinking.  I'll be back soon.

Be Like Hans

DSCN0230It's never too late to learn something from your dad.  As I grew up, I learned some very important lessons from watching my father. 

My dad would help out just about anyone with zero hesitation.  Stranger on the side of the road with a flat tire?  No problem.  In a bind and need some help with the kids?  Of course, bring them over.  No schedule checking or getting back to you.  You name it, he would do it, no big whoop.

He would just give or help whenever someone needed it.  And the kicker is he would never expect anything in return.  No matter what, you never "owed him one" in his book.  And that, my friends, is amazing.  The number one thing we could all learn from and try to emulate. 

Want to make the world a better place?  Be more like Hans.

Happy Fathers Day.  Now go tell your pop you love him.

Mentos Fun

We did a little experiment today.

Plop seven mentos into two liters of soda, and you get a fizzy little geyser of fun.  Ah, but which fountain would spout higher between Sprite, Coke and Diet Coke?  Let's find out:

spriteWeb

 

 

 

cokeWeb

 

dietCokeWeb

To measure the geyser height, we used good ol' math.  The white board behind the bottle has two blue lines on it.  The distance between said two lines is 50cm.  So we took the photos, counted vertical pixel span between the blue lines, and used that number to translate the geyser height in pixels to centimeters.  I could have used feet and inches, but F that.  Metric people.  Metric!

Anyway, after all the pixel counting was over, Diet Coke is the champion!

 DSC_0103

The left over amounts are not quite accurate, as the kids drank some when I wasn't looking.

We were going to go to the store to get more soda for experimentation, but then someone ran over our test rig.  Oh well.

Half or Triple Plus One

Collatz ConjectureStart with any number.

If it's even, divide by 2.

If it's odd, multiple by 3 and add 1.

1n 1937, Collatz proposed you ALWAYS end at 1, but nobody can prove or disprove it. 

Update as winter dwindles down

Winter is almost over.  Flowers are starting to bloom, leaves starting to grow, and the weather is getting hella nice out there.  We're not out of the woods yet, but soon it will be Spring.  Sweet, sweet spring.

Here's an update on a few things:

Bike Stuff:
Cyclocross was fun, and I want to do much better in 2010.  I am training.  I now know what LT is.  And SST.  And zones.  I think it will help.

I have little motivation to do any spring races.  A big pile-up in what would have been my race at the Banana Belt has done nothing but confirm that.  There's plenty of time to race.  For now I just want to ride, get my work stuff organized, and hang out with the family.  Not super exciting, I know, but I'll post some more interesting bike stuff soon.

 

House:
backYardHole We have been planning a smallish two story addition for a long time now.  There'll be one bedroom upstairs, two downstairs (for the girls).  Our living room will be expanded so there is more space to play and hang out.  Should be really nice.

Work has just started on this project.  The first step is to dig out some dirt and put in a retaining wall/foundation.  It's going to take a lot of concrete, but it will be very robust.

More news and photos will follow soon, but for now, all I have to show is dirt.  Lots and lots of dirt.

 

Olympics:
Did you watch the Olympics?  We watched some of it.

Best event: short track skating

Worst event: ice dancing

What were your choices?

 

Kids:
The girls are awesome and doing well.  We have three now, as we took in a foster child just before Christmas. 

Mette just turned 8 and had a fun ice-skating birthday party at Lloyd Center.  She's had really rotten luck for her birthdays in the past.  I think twice she had to have surgery or was recovering from surgery.  Another time, we moved to our current house and had a ton of work to do.  This year, she celebrated three times, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  She's getting pony lessons for her gift, so that should start Monday.

Annelis is going to be playing spring soccer.  I'll be coaching her team...well, helping coach.  We're pulling in as many resources as possible.  Should be fun. 

 

Dogs:
We're watching my mom's dogs for the week while she is on vacation.  These animals are horribly dangerous, as you can see here:

just3dogs

This Too Shall Pass

This song makes me happy:

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.


Thanks to Swifty McSnarkypants for the link.

Ante Up

ROUSs

Rodents of unusual size? 

I don't think they exist.

http://scienceblogs.com/retrospectacle/rous.bmp

Save Helvetia

barn Do you ride out in the Helvetia area?  Buy produce?  Get your Christmas tree or Halloween pumpkins?

The Helvetia area is a real treasure for me.  I even have friends who got engaged on a ride out there.  I ride there all the time.

I buy my produce from a CSA here, and I get milk from a dairy just past West Union elementary school.  I've purchased wine from a small vineyard in the area.  I get my Christmas trees there, too. 

One thing I learned from my CSA (farm) about growing crops is it's hard! It took them years of spreading compost and TLC to get a field fertile enough to grow anything. Fertile land is precious, and once it's bulldozed, smoothed out and houses are built on it, you can't just change your mind and grow crops there later.

If you care about preserving the Helvetia area, check out saveHelvetia.org.  Send a petition and make sure your voice is heard.

Detroit Lake 2009, Barftastic!

In what I hope to be a regular annual event, we returned to Detroit Lake for a big group camping trip.  Up to a dozen families come and have a relaxing time.  It's a lot of fun.

We also did this last year, and it was great.  The kids played, caught bugs, rode inner-tubes towed by ski boats.  The adults got their share of fun, too.

This year was a little different.  We arrived to cloudy skies and set up camp.  We awoke to raindrops hitting the tent.  Rain is okay, but there was more.

Sickness.  There seemed to be a 24 hour flu going around.  Some people were deathly ill just before vacation, while others contracted the bug on the trip.  I believe I was the first lucky soul to violently toss cookies over night.  After a full day out of commission, I was back to normal.  Donna and friend Julie also were hit with it.  And for those who didn't…I bet they're throwing up right now ;)

I had hoped to ride my bike every day I was there.  But the sickness, rain and cold weather threw me for a loop.  I did get one ride in on Saturday in the forest roads around the lake.  I was hoping to find the correct route I was looking for last year, but ended up missing the same turn.  It was a lovely ride, however.

The sun came out for our last two days, and we enjoyed ourselves.  The damp weather kind of slowed the adults down, but we still had fun.  The kids didn't even notice the rain, and played as hard as they always do.

Looking forward to returning in 2010.  Hopefully a more sunny, less barftastic time.

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