The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Canine Games

I finally figured out something today when letting Ezri outside after getting home... Sometimes, when she goes out, she'll let off one bark toward the neighbor's yard. Just the one, then she's off to do... what dogs normally do in the back yard,... and then back inside.

The odd thing is, after she's back in, I'll often hear other dogs barking a bit. What's up with that?

I finally figured it out... It's the canine version of Marco Polo!

Ezri goes out... Bark! ("MARCO!")

Short bit later, another dog... Bark! ("POLO!")

At last, the truth is revealed. Or at least imagined. :-D

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

It's hard to go backwards...

Anybody who's done any sort of regular excercise already knows this... why they didn't warn me is another question...

I hadn't been on my bike for 4 or 5 weeks... Family camp, the Shack, and the whole waiting-for-the-trike-to-get-here-so-we-can-ride-together debacle gave me plenty of reasons not to get out and ride...

But I had no idea how much it would cost me when I started riding again. Like worse than going back to nothing. Not fun at all.

Like I said, lots of you already knew this. I wish I had. :-)

And, adding to the problem, it was a no-bike-from-Saturday-to-Tuesday kind of weekend. So, hopefully I'll get a ride in tonight, and start up that very steep climb once again. Back toward when doing 7 or 8 miles in a day was feeling pretty good.

On a happy note, tho... Had my physical last week, and talked about riding with Dr. Jill. She said that while riding isn't the greatest for my knees, the recumbent helps a lot, and she doesn't want to limit my exercise, so I'm riding with her blessings! :-)

To the park. Tonight. Even if it's late. And tomorrow morning. :-)

I don't wanna have to get started all over again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Then and now

A couple of pics from our trips to The Shack - one in February, and one in August. You see if you can figure out which is which. Needless to say, it's an amazing place any time of year!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

All quiet on the Blog front

Seems like everyone whose blog I read regularly hasn't had much to say lately... including mine. :-)

So, what's the deal with the trike?... Well, not good. The trike is of lesser quality than I was expecting.

And, the steering is weird... instead of the handlebars pivoting left to right (like bike handlebars, but under the seat), they move front to back. Now, think about that. You can't hold on to the bars for balance, because if you pull back, you'll do such a hard right turn that you'll kill yourself. And, if you push forward, you'll launch a Louie that'll have you suckin' sod in one hot second.

Now, I could almost handle the steering if the seat gave the kind of support that a recumbent requires. (for details, check some of my other posts where I yaddle on and on about the virtues of the recumbent bike...) But, they sent... (wait for it... wait for it...)

A PLASTIC BOAT SEAT. Yes... a boat seat. All the support of a featherbed. Well, we tried to make the best of it - we got a better boat seat. And, I now know why you never put a boat seat on a recumbent bike - it simply doesn't give the support necessary to pedal the bike. So, I've got a steering system that I can't hang on to for support, in front of a seat that has no support. Not a great way to start on the mighty trike...

But, I plodded on, trying to make it work. Took it to our church's parking lot - confined space, lots of room to try and see if I can get used to the beast. Made a little progress, but it's still weird with the push/pull steering. But, just when I was getting used to it...

THE STEERING ARM BROKE OFF. After 20 minutes, it broke...

I'm not a happy camper at this point. And, since it is a custom bike, they don't do refunds.

Wrapping this vent-fest up, big thanks and a shout out to Ryan "Ironbutt" E., who used his considerable welding (and stomping-on-the-wheel-to-straighten-it) skills to get the beast back on the road... pavement... driveway. Brought it up to C.U. today and tried it again... The seat still rots, the steering is still weird, but at least the welds held!!! WooHoo! Go Ironbutt!!! :-D

(Apologies to those who might be offended by the term Ironbutt. But it's his title. Really. He's got a certificate and everything. Just ask him...)

The folks who made the trike (who shall remain nameless - even to the point of removing their name decals from the bike itself) are, to be fair, trying to help. They are sending a better seat, with a better bracket to hold it on. So, we'll get some help there.

And, we are contemplating ways to change the steering. The simplest would be to switch from underseat to above seat steering - just put on a handlebar and stem. The cooler way would be to figure out how to change the underseat steering to pivot instead of fore and aft. Don't know which way it'll go. And, we need to change the front wheel (which Ryan thinks is off a kiddie bike). And, the shifters are total garbage - they'll have to change as well.

Are we discouraged? At first. But, we figure if we keep the total spent below $3300, we're still good. (that's what we would have spent on the next trike up the price scale that would work for me) So, the saga continues...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A wonderful time was had by all...

Well, we're done with the away from home thing for a while, and the dogs are happy about that! (thanks Hannah for taking such good care of The Girls whilst we were away!)

Had an amazing time at The Shack of just relaxing and being together. In the aftermath of the Datatel conversion at Cornerstone, Vicki and I had been in survival mode - just do what's necessary to get through another day, and move along. We had lost a bit of what it means to live together, when so much of our attention was focused elsewhere. So, in retrospect, these two times away were really important. Family Camp helped us learn how to relax once again - just to take time. Our time away this weekend helped us learn to be together once again - to turn our focus back to each other.

As for my trike, well, that's a longer and nastier story. Maybe later this week... Don't want to blow all that relaxation the first day back. :-)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

It was Twenty (three) Years Ago Today...

23 years ago, on August 7th, this lovely lady met me at the front of the church, looking like the most beautiful bride in the world.

And, 23 years later, she still is.

Happy anniversary, Sue - I love you. :-)

So, we're off to one of our favorite places on earth for a little "us time." See y'all Wednesday afternoon. :-)

Friday, August 05, 2005


Quick trike update... Yes, it's here in Grand Rapids. No, it's not assembled yet. Yes, it was damaged in shipment, and Yes, the bike shop is having a ridiculous time trying to assemble it. No, they didn't ship assembly instructions with it, and Yes that was pretty boneheaded of them to send the bike without assembly instructions. No, I haven't heard back from them when I wrote to ask for some instructions or at least something to help the guys at Freewheeler put the thing together. Yes, I am a touch frustrated about the whole thing, but Yes I realize that this sort of thing happens when you buy things and have them shipped. No, I'm not discouraged, but Yes I'm a little impatient. And, Yes, if I could have found another trike locally that would accomodate me, I would have rather bought local. But No, the only one I know of is a Greenspeed, which is around $4000. So, we wait... Patiently... :-)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Is vacation worth it?

Sometimes, I do wonder if all the preparation before a vacation, and the usual poopy that tends to happen after a vacation outweigh the benefit of taking time off...

Don't get me wrong - camp was amazing. I realized it was a good thing when I got all the way to Wednesday or so before even having work come to mind. Hours of sitting in the shade reading, swimming, relaxing - it does allow the ol' brainpan some needed downtime. We liked it so much that we've already paid our deposit for next year.

BUT, the return to the real world is usually (although not always) accompianied by at least one or two *challenging* situations, not to mention the pile of stuff that waited until one gets back. Such was the case in my little world. So, now I'm slogging through doo-doo, while still trying to figure out what planet I'm on. Does this immediately cancel out any restful benefit that came from time away?

So, is it worth it to take time off?

Um... YES. :-D It was a great week of relaxing with friends, a time of re-connecting with my beloved, and a time to get away and listen for God's voice. Not to mention making it through a couple of 600+ page books in the course of a week. :-) Nice...

Now, back to the aforementioned poopy and doo-doo. Time to grab the shovel and dive in...