Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I'm Baaaaack!

Yep that's right I'm back living and working in the DC area. If you remember we left here 2 years ago thinking we would never back but guess what? Things change and never say never.

We settled on the Rockville Maryland area to live. We live in what they call a 'planned community.' I'm not sure what that means but I think it means some thought was put into the layout of the neighborhoods. We have most conveniences we need within 2 blocks of our home. Lots of restaurants, grocery store, banks, and even an ice cream shop. I haven't checked out the ice cream shop yet but I will shortly.

As far as shopping goes around here what do you want? Whole Foods? How about 2 within 5 miles. Trader Joes? How about 3 miles away. Costco? Target? Kohls? Barnes and Noble? Dicks? Too many to count. Do you like malls? Indoor? Outdoor? Take your pick still too many to count. How about a REI store big sis? Yep got one. In fact from what I can see there is a least one of everything on the main drag called Rockville Pike.

How about restaurants? I like eating at all the different restaurants and I will be years if not decades eating my way through all the different restaurants. The only kind of restaurant there isn't an over abundance of is barbecue types, although I went to a Good Times Restaurant the other night and they had pretty good ribs.

As far as what we live in it is called a condo. Why I don't know because it could be considered an apartment or even a small townhouse. We have a kitchen, living room, family room (not sure which is which, what one is the TV in?) two bedrooms and 2-1/2 baths. Seems out of whack to have more bathrooms than bedrooms but that is the way it is done around here. It's a quiet community even quieter than the apartment I was living in in Wisconsin.

In our family room (?) we have for furniture 1 TV and two chairs, lawn chairs, to sit in. Our living room consist of a dining room table and 4 chairs and our living room (?) has our computer set up on a cardboard box and cooler. HGTV would love our decorating ideas. In our bedroom we have a dresser and queen size bed. The queen size bed is a air mattress but you can't tell when you look at it. It sits about 2 feet off the floor and is very comfortable I actually sleep better on that than the bed I had in Wisconsin.

For the kitchen I have almost all my day to day cooking utensils and I hope to get back to updating Jock's Good Grub blog soon now that I have someone to cook for again. The grilling blogs will be in short supply for the next year or so since we can't grill here but you can look for other methods to try and get that same grilled flavor. I got some ideas.

If anyone wants to come visit I have 1 spare bedroom just bring a sleeping bag. We are located one short bus ride from the metro that will take you anywhere in the DC area. If anyone is interested in the middle of October they close some of the streets of DC and let the bikers use them. I don't have all the particulars yet but I am thinking about riding in it. I believe it is 100 miles long but like I said I need to get more information.

Next time I plan on having pictures to show so you can see out decorating ideas at work. I think you will be impressed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What's the Hidden Message?

I came home a couple of days ago and look what I found laying by my door.


Hm, what could it be? Do you think it is something I need? I don't know but let's open it and find out.


Well I'll be socks. How do you like that? Funny I didn't think I needed any socks yet, all my white socks are still in pretty good shape. They don't have any holes in them and still look pretty new. I do see a problem with these socks however, they are missing the top half. Where is the top half of the sock? You know the part that keeps the lower half of my calf from getting sunburn. If I switch socks now I will end up with unsightly tan lines and I'm not sure any of us can live with that.

Let's see who they are from.


Hm, I wonder is she trying to send me a message?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Arlington - The Rap Verison

Here is a rap video about the area in Arlington we use to live in. This rap song is very accurate too.

And yes there really is that many Starbucks in Arlington.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Are You Ready for a Century?

We talked about it, we laughed about it, we all said we could do it and now it is time to put up or shut up. What am I talking about? How about the century bike ride. I'm in how about everyone else?

If we are going to do this we need to decide when and where. I really liked Sarah's suggestion about riding through the apple orchards of southwestern Michigan. Now imagine my surprise when I did a search the other day for century bike rides and up pops the Apple Cider Century. This bike ride is located in southwestern Michigan just a few miles from where she lives. I tagged it as a favorite for my facebook account and she noticed it and tagged it too. We sent a couple of notes back and forth and I think along with Sarah this will be a good century to ride in. I told lil' sis about it tonight and she likes the idea too.

If you want to check out the ride for yourself here is the link for their website.

It takes place on September 27th which means trees will be starting to change colors and the weather should be a little cooler.

I like the idea of an organized ride because they will have drinks and food available along the route. That will the much less we will have to carry with us making it much easier to go 100 miles. Plus there will be emergency vehicles available in case we need one.

Let me know what everyone thinks and if we are going to do this we need to get our forms filled out and entered because they only take the first 5000 riders and it does fill up.

I did this by blog because I don't have everyones email address besides it is only family that reads this anyway. By the way anyone who wants to do this is invited if you are foolish enough.

Are you ready for a century?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Trying to Ride 100 Miles Without Killing Yourself

I thought everyone might be interested in this article I found on Sports Medicine. It is called Training for a Bicycling 'Century.' Even though it doesn't say it in this article I did read you can expect to be able to ride 3 times farther than your normal riding distance for one day. If you can ride 33 miles comfortably you should be able to ride 100 miles. It didn't say how sore you will be the next day but it did say it is possible without to much training.

Hills are another good training exercise with bikes which I have plenty to choose from here in Wisconsin. I try to ride the bike trail here where I live at least once a week at a faster pace than I normally ride. I have noticed my average speed has already increased 2 mph. The nights I do this I only ride 15 miles or so just like last night.

Hopefully this is good information for everyone as we get ready to attempt our century ride.

Here is the link to the article and other useful information.

A milestone in the life of a cyclist is riding the "century;" 100 miles in a day. It is a right of passage that many cyclists long to attain. While riding 100 miles in a day may sound extreme to a non-cyclist, it is not unthinkable. Almost any casual cyclist can complete a century if they follow a comprehensive training routine.

There are several things to consider in order to have a trouble-free century. They include:

* The right equipment
* The right training
* The right food
* The right attitude

The right equipment means comfort. Your bike should fit you well and should be familiar. If you aren’t sure, have your local bike professional provide a fit-assessment. Don’t plan to ride a new or a borrowed bike on your first century. Consider having a tune-up before the ride, and carry a spare tire and patch kit, tools, a pump and knowledge of how to use them. Other essential equipment includes:

* A properly fit helmet
* Water bottles and cages
* Cycling clothing, including shoes, shorts, gloves and rain gear
* Sunglasses

The core of your training should be endurance training. If you start your training at least 12 weeks before the ride, you will have ample time to prepare for the century. If you already ride more than 7 hours a week, you will need far less time to prepare. While most of your rides will be at about 65% of your maximum heart rate (MHR), add two days of interval training, where you push hard for several minutes - up to 85% MHR. Hills are a great way to add interval training to your ride. And don’t forget to allow one day per week for recovery. A sample training schedule may look like this:

* Saturday: 1-2 hour ride with 30 minutes of hard effort
* Sunday: 1-2 hour ride at steady pace (65% MHR)
* Monday: Rest
* Tuesday: 1-1.5 hour ride with hills
* Wednesday: Rest or 1-hour easy recovery ride
* Thursday: 1-1.5 hours with interval training
* Friday: Rest or 30-minute easy recovery ride

More Training Tips

* Maintain a cadence of 70 to 90 revolutions per minute
* Gradually increase your milage as you get closer to the century, increasing no more than 10% at a time.
* Plan a 50- or 60-mile ride at least two weeks before the century
* Taper your mileage a week before the century. During that week you may even reduce your riding to one or two days of an easy five to ten-mile spin. Also, try to get plenty of sleep.

As the ride day approaches, food becomes the critical component for a successful century. A few days prior to the ride you should start hydrating. Drink water frequently, cut back or eliminate caffeine and alcohol, and add carbohydrates to your diet.

On ride day, eat a light breakfast of high-carbohydrate foods and drink lots of water. On the ride drink before you're thirsty. Water or a sports drink should be your first choice. Eat easily digestible, carbohydrate rich-food such as energy bars, bagels, fruit or granola. Don’t try something new on the ride. You should eat things you know agree with you.

Ease into the ride pace. This isn’t a race, and if it’s your first century, the goal is to finish comfortably. Here are some more tips for an enjoyable ride:

* Change your position often. Mover you hand position, get up off the saddle, stretch your arms, shoulders and neck, arch your back and stretch out. Avoid staying in one position too long.
* Take short rest breaks off the bike. An organized century ride will offer regular water and food stops. Take advantage of this time to get off the bike and refill your water bottles, stretch, and use the restroom. Keep these stops to 10 minutes or less or you may risk getting stiff.
* Find a companion or two. The ride will go faster and feel easier with a friend or two. Also, skilled riders can take advantage of drafting and save some energy in the wind.

Attitude is everything. If you have prepared yourself well, there isn’t much more to be done on ride day than sit back and enjoy the scenery (and maybe plan your next century).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Update May 11, 2009

It has been a couple of weeks since I have been here so I thought I should update everyone as to what I have been up to.

First of all let's go back a couple of weeks ago when I went to Arlington, VA again. On this trip everything went smoothly and I arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule. Saturday was pretty uneventful since it rained almost all day and Sunday was pretty much the same.

On Monday since my appointment got canceled we decided to go to the American History Museum at the Smithsonian. Back when I lived there a couple of years ago this museum was closed for renovations I always wanted to visit it because I thought it might be the best of all the Smithosians. Well I was right it was every bit as good as the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. There was plenty of old junk in there from Dorothy's ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Jerry Seinfeld's puffy shirt for the Puffy Shirt episode of Seinfeld, and the most intriguing of all items (so I thought) Abe Lincoln's top hat from when he was President.

There was an old house that had been reassembled that was originally built in the late 1700's. Lots of other displays from engines, Presidential wing, First Lady's wing, Jazz, and my favorite wing the General Motors Transportation Wing. The transportation wing was the history of transportation in the U.S. Everything from old trains, street cars, motorcycles, and of course the automobile.

We ate lunch in the Smithsonian cafeteria which features food from all over the United States. It has pizza, hotdogs, hamburgers, and my favorite barbecue. For a cafeteria the food wasn't too bad.

After lunch we took a simulator ride into the Bermuda Triangle. It was pretty cool from the moment they drop you off from the side of the boat, yes you do hit the water pretty hard, to the time you pop back out of the water and the ride is over. Once we dove down into the water we ran into a turtle on our way down to the ocean floor. A funny thing happened once we got down there we got sucked into a water swirl, now I know how it feels to get flushed down a toilet, and we ended up down in the Bermuda Triangle (funny since that is the name of the ride). Here we saw all the planes and boats that have been reported lost over the last few decades.

After the Smithsonian it was time to fly back home and once again there were no problems. In fact I landed in Milwaukee 30 minutes early so I knew Sarah was no where near the Milwaukee airport.

The last couple of weeks have been filled with a lot of rain so the bike riding has really slowed down. I am hoping this week will be filled with sunshine so I can get some miles in. So far today it is looking real good.

On the cooking front not much has been happening either. I am still looking for the winning recipe for the vegetarian throwdown. Everything I have tried so far just doesn't cut it. I've got a couple of more ideas but I need to get busy and try them.

The one thing I did accomplish this weekend is I did manage to can some barbecue sauce. I think it is real good on chicken but I am not so thrilled with it on ribs. I have a couple of more ideas to try on ribs and hopefully by the end of summer I will have a good bbq sauce for ribs too. Whoever wants to try the bbq sauce let me know and I will bring enough home for you to try.

As you can see really not much happening right now and hopefully that will change here within the next month or so.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Still Rolling Along

Even though I haven't posted any bike riding adventures I am still riding every week. I am trying to ride as many nights as possible but sometimes the weather gets in the way. I lost a little time last weekend too because I took a side trip to Washington D.C. but that's a story for another day.

When I got home from work on Friday afternoon I decided to take a ride because the temperature was 70 degrees and bright sunny skies. There was a wind out of the west so I decided to head that direction first that way I would have the wind at my back for the ride home. I rode on the Old Plank Trail here next to the apartment. The Old Plank Trail stretches from Sheboygan to Greenbush and is 17 miles of rolling hills. The surface is asphalt but for an asphalt surface it isn't all that great. I decided to ride out at least to the spot I stopped at once before I thought that would be a good warmup for my ride on Saturday.

The spot I stopped at before is on top of a short but steep hill on the trail located just west of Plymouth. The hill is a good workout just before turning around. The last time I got to the top of the hill I stopped and sat down on a bench to rest, looked to the west and I could see about two miles across a valley. The trail goes down into the valley and then climbs back up out of the valley on the other side. That day I could hear it calling my name begging me to climb up out of the valley. Since the days were shorter 3 weeks ago I didn't want to run out of daylight before I got home but I knew I would be back.

Friday night I was back and after a brief rest and refreshing drink of water at the top of the small steep hill I headed for the valley and yes it was calling my name again. Down I went to the bottom for about a mile then I started up the other side. Up, up, up, climb, climb, climb, I wasn't sure I was ever going to get to the top but I did after another mile. Finally there I was on the other side about 2 miles from the end of the trail and another smaller valley to cross to get there. I decided to turn around here because I didn't want to be too sore for tomorrows ride. It was an easy ride going back all I had to do was point myself downhill and coast. For the next mile I hardly peddled at all in fact I was on the brakes so I didn't build up too much speed and go off one of the sharp curves on the trail.

Saturday was to be another beautiful Wisconsin day, 70 degrees and sunny. My plan for today? Find Lake Michigan by bike trail. You see the Old Plank Trail ends about the city limits of Sheboygan and then you have to pick up the city trail that consist of city streets, bike paths and sidewalks. The city trail is marked fairly good with a couple of areas leaving you to guess what way to go. The Old Plank Trail ends just on the other side of this tunnel.


This tunnel takes you under the xway that travels between Milwaukee and Green Bay. This tunnel is not as impressive as some that go through mountains but for now it's all I got. If you look real close to the lower right you will see snow and ice. Yes we still have a little snow hanging around refusing to go away.


Once I was on the other side I picked up the bike trail signs that would lead me to my destination..........


.....Lake Michigan.

I love the shores of the Great Lakes an I can spend the day there (I have the sunburn to prove it too.) It's 8-1/2 miles from my apartment to this point.


Once down by the lake there is another bike/walking path that follows the shore for 2 miles.


It was such a nice day even the birds were enjoying themselves.


And you know summer is coming when you see the geese flying north.


I followed the bike path as far is it went then I rode on the back streets of Sheboygan along Lake Michigan for a couple of more miles before I decided to turn around.

I decided to ride along the boardwalk of the Sheboygan River before I picked up the bike path back towards home. If you don't remember the boardwalk here is a picture from last summer.


And if you are curious what I am rolling on these days I took this picture to show you.


Yep that's how I roll.

Monday, April 6, 2009


It's that time of year again when the grass is starting to turn green, birds are heading north for the summer and the sound of "PLAY BALL" can be heard all around the country. Today is the first day of major league baseball when everyone still has hopes for their favorite team to make it all the way to the world series with one exception if you are a Pittsburgh Pirate fan.

My favorite team, the Detroit Tigers, were a big disappointment last year after many picked them to make it to the world series. I am hoping this year is different with the revamped bullpen and better defense. Gone are Gary 'what can I bitch about today' Sheffield, Todd 'roller coaster' Jones and Edgar 'I can't hit my way out of a paper bag' Renteria. In their place will be Marcus 'all or nothing' Thames, Fernando 'which way is home plate' Rodney and Adam 'can I stay healthy all year' Everett.

The central division is wide open this year and I have seen predictions for 4 out of the 5 teams to win it with the only one not picked being the Royals. With that being said it is time for me to make some foolish predictions for this year.

American League Central
Cleavland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox

The Tigers defense from a year ago is greatly improved with the acquisition of Adam Everett, Inge going back to third and Carlos Guillen in left field. If will also help that Granderson is with the team at the beginning of the year. I'm not too worried about the offense either with Ordonez, Guillen and Cabrera anchoring the middle of the lineup. The area I am worried about is the pitching, both starting and relief. The starters are anchored with Verlander, who I expect to bounce back this year and have a big year, followed by last years pleasant surprise Galarraga. After that it's anybodies guess but I have high hopes for Rick Porcella the 20 year old with a rocket for an arm. He has a good possibility of being the rookie of the year and don't be surprise if Verlander is a candidate for the Cy Young award at the end of the year with new pitching coach Rick Knapp at his side.

My other predictions are:
A.L. East - New York Yankees
A.L. West - California Angles
N.L. East - New York Mets
N.L. Central - Chicago Cubs
N.L. West - Los Anegeles Dodgers

In the world series will be New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs with the winner being after 101 years The Chicago Cubs, you see there is still hope for the Detroit Lions.

I just saw on ESPN that Rick Sutcliff picked the KC Royals to win the AL Central. That makes all teams picked to finish in first in the AL Central.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

More Biking and My Goals

Getting pretty boring around here, nothing really going on so let's talk about my weekend biking, again.

If you remember last week was my first time out and I made the foolish mistake of climbing a couple of hills with my new bike. I didn't make that mistake this weekend because I stuck mainly to the bike path that runs by the apartment. The bike path I am talking about is also called The Old Plank Trail. It is 17 miles long, starts in Sheboygan and finishes in Greenbush. Most of the trails I have found in Wisconsin are rated as easy, this trail is rated as intermediate. I am assuming the intermediate rating comes from the fact either you are peddling up hill or downhill the entire length of the trail. This trail isn't built on an old railroad bed like so many others this trail actually follows Highway 23 between the two above mentioned towns.

The surface to the west of where I get on the trail is older pavement and is rough in some areas. The surface to the east was recently repaved and is nice and smooth and I think a little wider than the trail to the west. There are a couple of areas where you need to slow down or it hurts when you hit the bumps. If I were to compare this trail with the rail-trail between Midland and Clare I would pick the Midland-Clare Trail just because the surface is so much better. The one thing I do like with the Old Plank Trail is when you approach a road to cross the trail actually bends away from the road intersection. This make the crossing much safer than the trail being right at the intersection.

I was hoping to ride the trail this weekend to Plymouth and back but when I woke up Saturday morning we had snow covering the ground. I wasn't to worried about the fresh snow because I knew Saturday was suppose to be a nice sunny day with temperatures hitting 50 degrees. I was more worried about the left over snow on the trail from this past winter. Yes we still have snow here in Wisconsin and wherever the trail passes on the north side of a woods the snow has yet to melt. Saturday was such a nice day that when I came up to a snow covered portion of the trail I pushed the bike past it and continued on. I finally got all the way to WI-57, which is on the extreme east end of Plymouth before I got to a patch of snow I didn't feel like pushing through so I turned around.

One of my goals for this trail is to try and average 12 MPH along the trail. I am hoping by later this summer I can get up to 13 and maybe even 14 MPH average. I was averaging 11.8 MPH even after stopping to push my way through the snow covered areas so I think 12 MPH is easily within my grasp. I finally had a chance to get the average up to 12 MPH because I was about to decent a nice long hill. I was hitting 17 to 18 MPH and even got over 20 MPH once. I had the average up to 11.9, ready to break 12 MPH when I looked up and what did I see? A bald eagle soaring overhead, the hell with the 12 MPH average, I hit the brakes and stopped so I could watch the eagle instead. I mean how many chances do you get to watch an eagle glide through the air? I think this eagle was looking for its next meal because he was circling overhead gradually moving towards the east and then the south.

I took off again and eventually made it back to my point of entry to the trail and decided to see how far east I could go on the trail. I made it about 2 miles before I hit more snow than I really wanted to push the bike through so I turned around and headed home.

I ended up riding 21 miles on Saturday and felt pretty good afterward except for my butt. I think I can handle the long rides other than my butt gets pretty sore. When I jumped back on the bike on Sunday everything felt fine except for my butt again. I am hooping with more riding it gets broke in too. Speaking about Sunday because it was cold and windy I only rode for 7 miles. It was just too miserable to go any farther. It is suppose to stay cold and rainy all week but at least it will finally melt the snow.

Since little sis told us all about her goals for the upcoming summer I thought I might share mine with everyone. The one thing about telling people your goals I think you are more apt to accomplish them because it adds a little pressure. Unlike little sis there will be no races for me.

1. I want to be able to average 12 MPH on the Old Plank Trail by this summer.
2. My goal is to ride 1000 miles this summer.
3. I want to ride 51 miles in one day by my 51st birthday in June.
4. I want to ride the Ozaukee-Interbaun Trail here in Wisconsin from one end to the other and back by the end of the summer over one weekend. I am not sure but I think it is about 60 miles one way.
5. Before biking season is done and if I am still here in Wisconsin I want to ride to the Mississippi River. This is about 112 miles one way and you start in central Wisconsin and end at the Mississippi River. You travel over a boat load of bridges and travel through several tunnels cut through hills. My plan is to ride it to the Mississippi and back over a 4 day period. This isn't something I can do alone so if anyone is interested let me know because I am willing.
6. I have an attainable goal to loose 20 pounds this summer and if at all possible I would like to loose 25 pounds. I am well on my way as I have already lost 10 pounds, the easy 10, so all I have to do is loose the other 10-15 pounds. This may not seem like much but these are the hard 10 pounds with the last 5 pounds almost impossible, at least for me.

There you have it my goals for this summer, not as ambitious as little sis but they should get me back in shape.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Biking Part 1

I'm not so sure about all this biking anymore. I started off wanting to ride a bike to get in better shape and maybe extend my life by a couple of more minutes but I think the bike might kill me before I get in shape.

Let's roll back to this last Sunday when the weather finally cooperated and the temperature got up to a balmy 50 degrees. We still had plenty of snow blocking the bike paths so I decided to go for a spin on some side streets between Sheboygan Falls and Kohler. It all started off nice and pleasant, I was hitting cruising speeds of 14-15 MPH on nice flat streets. I rolled through an industrial complex peppered with small business (the most noteworthy one was Jiffy, the makers of ice augers for ice fishing) and then I rolled through some residential neighborhoods. It is hard to tell when you actually enter into the village of Kohler because where Falls stops Kohler starts.

Both are nice little towns and both appear to be great places to raise a family. A lot of the houses I cruised by were brick built from 1600 to 2000 square feet in size and well kept. It was hard to tell if the lawns and landscaping are neatly taken care of because snow still covered most of the yards.

I wasn't sure how far I was going to ride on Sunday but I had a goal of 10 miles. One mile rolled by quickly and I was feeling pretty good. After the second mile I was starting to think "Okay this isn't to bad today maybe I will shoot for 15 to 20 miles." The third mile went by and by the fourth mile I found myself parked out in front of the Kohler plant. If you are not familiar with Kohler they make toilets, sinks, generators and small engines. I was still feeling pretty good so I thought I would take a ride down a dead end road that eventually leads to one of the Kohler family's golf courses, they have several and not all in this country. It was a nice ride down a hill and alongside the golf course until you end up at a gate and driveway leading back to a private club. The problem with nice rides down a hill is eventually you have to come back up a hill. This wasn't a real bad hill as hills go but none the less it made me work. Once back on top of the hill I was a little more tired but still ready to ride my 15 miles or so.

At this time I was 6 miles into my ride and like I said still feeling pretty good. I decided to make a left turn and roll on past the Kohler's homes and horse stables. This was my first tactical mistake. I knew from driving in a car there was a hill on this road but in a car it never seemed that big. I took off down the road and once again started down a long hill where I never had to peddle and I could hit speeds up to 24 MPH. I did use my brakes because if I didn't I'm not sure how fast I would have gone. But like I mentioned before if you go down a hill somewhere you got to go back up.

As I was approaching the hill I was thinking this can't be to bad I got 27 gears to choose from and one of them should get me up this hill. I hit the hill doing about 15 MPH as the hill gently starts its assent up. After I get about a 1/4 of the way up I was down to 9 MPH and several gears, my legs are starting to ache, and my lungs were gasping for air, oh the hill is getting steeper too. Up the hill I continue down to 6 MPH and a few more gears. I'm not sure how many more gears I can go down but I hope there are a few left. The burn, the burn in the legs, I can't believe they call this exercise and it is suppose to be good for you. I'm 3/4 of the way up and suddenly the hill turns straight up (at least it seemed like it) I'm huffing and puffing, the legs feel like they fell off 50 yards back but I'm not quitting now, dammit I am going to make it without stopping. Those last 50 yards of that hill were torturous, 4 MPH, down to my lowest gear for hill climbing, legs gone, shot, turned to jello, I'm not sure there is enough oxygen in the world to fill my lungs but I am almost there and I won't quit. Finally I clear the mountain summit, paramedics to the left of me just waiting for me to fall over. But not today boys I came, I saw and I conquered, go find someone else and save their life today.

I can't tell you the relief I felt as I cleared the top of the hill and started coasting towards Sheboygan Falls downtown area picking up speed the entire distance. Picking up speed? But I'm not even peddling, that means......I must be going down another hill! Sh!t. At least it is a long gently hill and I can coast for about 1/2 mile or so. Once I reach the bottom there is a park off to the right where I can stop and catch a breather or two and let my legs catch up to me.

I wondered over to the falls area of the river and watched hundreds or thousands of gallons water go over the falls. Water falls always amaze me, the sound, the sight of rainbows, and the power they generate. I don't know what it is about water falls but I can watch water flow over them for hours.

By this time I am about 10 miles into my ride, tired and ready to go home, the hell with 15-20 miles. I knew I had one more hill to conquer and it is a long hill but I knew it wouldn't be near as steep as the last one I just went up. None the less I wasn't looking forward to it but what choice did I have?

It wasn't long and I started up the hill. I took my time not because I wanted too but because the hill made me. My legs were still aching from the last hill climb but once again I was not stopping until I was in front of my garage or I fell off my bike. I finally made it over the top of that hill, barely moving, but still it qualifies because I never stopped. From here it is about a one mile ride to home so I took my time for the rest of the ride.

Once I arrived back at home I put the bike in the garage and started the long, long walk to my apartment. My legs were tired and I wasn't sure I would make it. Once inside I poured myself a cold glass of water and immediately got on Craigslist and put my bike up for sale. Just kidding.

Well there you have it my first time out on my new bike, 11.8 miles, 9.8 MPH average, 2 long hills with one being very steep, and two very tired legs. From what I understand biking 4 miles is equivalent to running 1 mile so that means I ran the equivalent of 3 miles, not to bad for an old man.

Monday I rode another 6 miles and my legs still were pretty tired so I skipped Tuesday night. I rode last night just over 11 miles with a couple of hills thrown in there and my legs felt a lot better, I think I might be making progress.

That's how I'm rolling this spring and I will be sure to keep everybody up to date as the year goes on.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dinner or Disaster?

Dinner or disaster? What a great idea and I have been waiting for a couple of weeks to do my first one. Why was I waiting? I was waiting for peej to come over spring break so he could either enjoy it with me or watch me throw it into the trash. What will it be? Let's find out.

This months recipe was Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage-Tomato Sauce, Arugula and Parmesan. And just in case you forgot the ingredients they are as follows:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pounds fresh hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
8 ounces rigatoni
2 cups (packed) fresh arugula, stemmed
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

I won't go into all the details of the hows and whys but if you want them you can hop on over to either Dirt Road Girl or Don't Blink blog read all about the recipe there.

We, I am talking about myself and peej, followed the recipe pretty much as is except we used Rotoni pasta (because I already had it)and we added 2 tablespoons of butter in the end to cut the acidity from the tomatoes. Unlike big sis I was able to fine fresh arugula, thank you Whole Foods.


I also used hot italian sausage and I even found a dry red wine to use again thank you Whole Foods.

It sure did smell good while it was cooking but will it taste as good as it smells? It certainly was a colorful recipe.


Big sis didn't give this a very good rating but I got to tell you I gave is a 4 out of 5 forks. Peej is giving it a 3.75 forks out of 5 after the initial cooking and a 4 out of 5 as leftovers. I think the difference was in the arugula, it definitely gave it a different flavor.


Overall I have to call it a dinner and yes I would make it again. I think I might change a couple of things with it but overall I was pleased.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Time to Get Back At It

It's about time I get back at this posting stuff again. I'm not sure what I have been doing for the last month but I have been busy. It seems by the time I get done with whatever I am doing for the night it is 9:00 to 9:30PM and by that time I really don't feel like posting.

I have a few post I need to catch up on like one about stem cells. I have been doing a lot of research regarding stem cells and I will post my thoughts and what I have learned in the near future, besides I promised little sis I would do so. I have another post about caring for cast iron pans I want to do. I even have the pictures taken already, all I need to do is write the damn thing. If you follow my simple directions for caring for cast iron you will never go back to anything remotely resembling teflon. The other upside is you will never have to buy another set of cookware ever again and neither will your children or grandchildren.

I also have several meals to post for my Jocks Good Grub blog. Even though I haven't been posting I haven't stopped cooking.

But what have I been up to? Well as most of you know the wife recently moved back to Virgina and I have been looking in that area for a new job or possibly go back to the old job I had there a year ago. The only problem is the economy isn't cooperating right now so things are a little slow. For now I will be staying in Wisconsin until something opens up. My guess it will be anywhere from 6 months to a year before I will move back to Arlington but with the stock market going downhill by the day I might take a bit longer.

With the wife out of my hair, opps I mean gone, I am living in the big farm house all by myself now so I decided to do a Shae and move to a new 2 bedroom apartment. For the last 2 weeks I have been busy driving around, calling and looking at apartments. Peej doesn't know it yet but "we" are moving next week while he is here. The new apartment is located in Sheboygan Falls and about a 10 mile drive to work. The reason I picked this apartment is easy drive to work (all x-way), located on the first floor so I can grill out on the lawn, garage, washer and dryer, and the heat is included in the rent. Its got one of those new fancy names, Parc Falls, the apartment manager seems pretty nice, and it's an end apartment closest to the woods. The last reason I picked it was it is located about a 1/4 of a mile from the local bike trail. This bike trail is paved, rated as moderate (because it is fairly hilly from beginning to end) and runs for 21 miles. I think it starts at Lake Michigan (I will find out for sure in a couple of weeks when the snow is gone) and ends in Glennbulah which is west of Plymouth 5 miles or so.

The astute observer might be thinking right now "If he lives 1/4 mile from a bike trail and talking about a bike trail he must of broke down and bought a bike." Well if that is what you are thinking, and even if you're not, that is exactly what I did. I have been researching bikes and looking at bikes since last year. This winter I finally decided it was time and I was going to buy a bike and get back into shape. While you can get into shape by walking I prefer the bike because you can go so much further and see so much more. I bought a Trek Hybrid after much research and bike reviews. I looked at some others like a Felt bike and Specialize bikes. I read a lot of good things about the Felt bikes but there aren't near as many dealerships as Trek bikes. I would have really like to buy the Specialize bike but I could not find many reviews on their bikes and the ones I did find only gave mixed reviews. I was surprised to find just about as many dealerships for Specialize bikes as Trek but in the end the Trek bike won out.

Most of you are probably familiar with hybrid style of bikes but if you're not just think of a road bike and a mountain bike cross. The frame and gearing is more like a road bike while the handle bars are more like a mountain bike. The tires while fatter than a road bike still have tread like a road bike. They are built to roll down the road with less effort than a mountain bike but still are able to go off road as long as the surface is somewhat hard pack. They are not built for soft dirt or sand but let's not forget I am 50 years old and I have no use for that kind of riding anyway.

My goal for now is to ride the trail by my new apartment from beginning to end and back, a total of 42 miles, by the end of May. I realize for some of you this might not seem much but for me sitting around here all winter doing just about nothing I have to start small. Once I conquer that there are several bike trails located throughout Wisconsin I want to give a try. One trail runs from Green Bay to Wausau, about 60 miles one way, and I want to conquer it this summer. There is another one that starts in Fond Du Lac and runs about 25 to 30 miles mainly through a swamp. And the last one I want to ride starts in western Wisconsin and finishes up on the Mississippi River.

It's also time to "FIRE UP THE GRILL!!!!" Yes I have been grilling, I got tired of waiting for warm weather so I said the heck with it and started grilling. I have already burned through more than 30 pounds of charcoal this year. Grilled bbq chicken, ribs, and steaks have all been on the menu so far. I think I finally figured out my bbq sauce and all the credit goes to my 3rd grade teacher. I have tried and tried to make an apple flavored bbq sauce for the last couple of years with little or no success. Last fall when ma and her friend, who just happens to be my third grade teacher, visited for some strange reason I was talking to her about making bbq sauce. I told her I read somewhere if you use apple butter to make the sauce it will come out much better than trying apple juice or cider. Well believe it or not she just happens to make apple butter every year so guess what I got around Christmas time? Yep, apple butter, homemade apple butter and believe me it makes great bbq sauce. Once I learn how to can I am going to make a large batch and then I can share it with everyone else.

Well there you have it, it might not seem like much but it has kept me busy for the last month or so.

If anyone thinks they might want to visit Wisconsin this summer bring your bike and bring an appetite. I'll guarantee you will get your exercise and you will leave with your bellies full.

And I will try to keep this up to date a little more in the future.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Don't Trust a Damn One of You...

I am sure everyone has their favorite news personalties in the news business and it is no exception with me. It's no secret I am a fan of Bill O'Reilly I think he is one the the few news people that won't let the people he interviews "spin" the topic for their own political agenda. I don't always agree with O'Reilly but he is fairest of all news interviewers.

This weekend I had the opportunity to watch Glenn Beck interview Rod Blagojevich twice. Only recently have I got to watch Glenn Beck because he used to be on the Clinton News Network (CNN)which I don't watch. Glenn Beck has a new show on Fox News that airs everyday at 5:00pm. I don't get to see that particular show but on the weekends they do rerun it at different times.

I thought this was such a great interview I wanted to share it with anyone who cares to watch it. Beck holds nothing back with Blago and I have to give credit to Blago for having the guts to come on Beck's show and answer the questions. If you watch the interview I'm not sure Blago ever actually answered any of Glenn's questions but it sure was entertaining.

I still think Blago is guilty as hell and I think he is lying out his ass during this interview. Beck hits the nail on the head when he tells Blago he is one of the most arrogant people he as ever met.

Enjoy the interview and let me know what you think.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Finally the Christmas Pics

Yeah I know I have been a little lax lately on my posting. I'll try not to let it happen again but there are times it gets to be a drag. Sometimes when I get home from work the last thing I feel like doing is getting back on the computer. That's what I have felt like for the last two weeks. Plus I was getting tired of fixing pictures and needed a break. The post should start flowing a little more freely now.

This will the the last of the Christmas pics because I don't have anymore anyway. I took some of these photos and some unknown photographer took the others.

Last year a new Christmas tradition was started at little sis's house. Not only was Christmas moved to her house but she even did away with the annual Christmas turkey and made prime rib. Since I wasn't there last year I was a little upset to say the least. I have been wanting to cook a prime rib for awhile now but with only me and the wife here in Wisconsin I just isn't feasible. So imagine my delight when I would be there this year and yes there would be prime rib again. Now imagine my delight this year when not only were we going to have prime rib this year but I could also cook it on the grill. This was like the best Christmas gift for me because if you know me you know I love to cook on the grill.


Look at the smoke rolling out of that grill, ooooh it smelled so good. It was just me and the brother-in-law out on the deck grilling that 17 pound piece of meat in the 20 degree weather soaking up the sun and taking in the smells.


After a couple of hours we lifted the cover off the grill to check the slab of meat and look what we found.


Mmmm doesn't that look good.

Meanwhile back inside games were being played by the kids. First was the newer version of Twister.


While the rest of use were having fun watching Katie beat herself in a game of Twister the two behind her were busy in their own little world looking at photos the old fashion way, in a photo album.

After the new Twister it was time for the "grown up" kids (and I use grown up loosly here) to play the old fashion Twister.



Now can anybody see what is wrong with this picture? Besides the hole in the bottom of his pants.


That's right! His foot isn't on any color. How did he get away with that? I think his aunt has taught him how to cheat.


I'm not sure about this picture, what do you suppose the artist is trying to say?

Let's get back to the prime rib, it's time to cut it up.



And now the table scape.


Hmm, something wrong with that picture and when I figure it out I will let you know what it is.

Well that's it, Christmas 2008, hopefully all of us will get to do this again next year. Who really needs Christmas gifts when you have good food and family around to celebrate it with.

Yippe Kay Yay.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Eve

I meant to do this post yesterday but someone forgot to remind me it was our anniversary yesterday. Luckily I did get reminded yesterday afternoon so last night was spent eating pizza and drinking beer. Pizza and beer, how much better can an anniversary get?

Here is how I roll every Christmas Eve with the in laws (or as a friend of mine likes to say the outlaws). It works out pretty darn good this way because I never have to worry about who we are spending Christmas Eve with or who we are spending Christmas day with. When we lived in Michigan everyone would always come over to our house but since we left the wifes sister gets the dubious task of hosting everyone on Christmas Eve.

When I walked into Kelli's house this year with my camera in hand I immediately gave the camera to Amy and said "Here take some pictures tonight."

Her response was "Why do you want me to take the pictures?"

I told her "Because you aren't afraid to get in peoples faces and take them and besides I take terrible family pictures."

So all pictures tonight are courtesy of Amy except the one she is in and I don't know who took that one. Let me introduce you to some of the outlaws. Not everyone is in here because a)she didn't take a picture of them or b)she took a picture of them and it was so bad there was no fixing it so if somebody is missing blame Amy.


These are our two nieces Alanna and Arianna. Most of you might remember Alanna as Amy's maid of honor for Amy's wedding. Such a sad day - opps did I just say that out loud?


Once again Alanna (Is she a camara hog?) and Amy. And like I said earlier I have no idea who took this picture.


This is the wifes brothers family, well everybody except Ross. This could have been a great picture if Ross would have been in it. Just in case you're not sure her brother is the one sitting down on the right.


This is a picture of our niece Jillian with her son Drew and next......

Photobucket a picture of Jillian's husband Larry with their other son Parker.


As everyone is aware and just in case you're not this is the wife's sister Kelli. She is the host of this shindig and she rules the roost.


Kelli's husband Rusty (as everyone calls him). If you meet him when he is at work it probably means you did something wrong since he transports prisoners for the state prison system. He is a Michigan State fan but I try not hold that against him.


And of course Rusty's mother, everybody calls her Grandma Janet. We get to see her every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.



Here is Alanna with her boyfriend Nick, charming pair eh?


We don't really care who these two are.




And last but not least the wife's mother. She is the life of the party, what a hoot.

Well that's how I roll on Christmas Eve with the other side of the family.

Stayed tuned because Christmas is coming real soon and we have pictures of big slabs of meat, blurry pictures, and twister.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A New Family Blog is Started

Ok so I have been a little delinquent on my post in the last week. To tell the truth I have been a little tired since I got home from Christmas break. Before Christmas I was working on a presentation to Briggs and Stratton morning, noon, night and also weekends. After that a week of traveling and after I was home for a couple of days my ambition level went to zero. But have no fear I did up some pics tonight of the other family and tomorrow I should have them on a new post.

The big announcement tonight is we have a new family member with her own blog. Amy will be chronicling the life of a pregnant expectant mother and hopefully after the baby is born she will continue for all to see growing pictures of her baby.

Here is her link:

Check it out if you dare.