Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"I've got a bike. You can ride it if you like. It's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good." -Syd

So we have been doing a lot of biking this summer. We have tried to have only two car days during the week: Wednesday and Sunday. We end up doing quite a lot of biking. The boys have had swim lessons Monday through Thursday for the past three weeks as well as baseball Tuesday and Thursdays. I have made two grocery store trips. (I use the kids trailer, the one they ride in, two carry the groceries.) Last week, we rode to the cemetery and had a picnic, which was about 14 miles round trip. The next two days we put about the same mileage on our bikes with equivalent trips. Believe it or not, we feel a lot better! Tasha and I usually talk a lot during our trips and Grand Forks is such a beautiful town to ride your bike through, generally. Lately, we have been talking about taking some long distance trips maybe next summer. I teach in a school out of town but worked out a bike route using Bike Route Toaster. It ended up being about 14 miles so I am going to try to commute out to school maybe. Last night I went for a bike ride that was 14 miles and it took me 40 minutes. It usually take me twenty to drive out there. Should be interesting. Here are our bikes:
This is Tasha's bike. It is a Trek 850. I put the fenders and the bike rack on this summer. Also, she got a new pair of water bottle cages. It is a sweet bike. I love the old mountain bike frames. They are excellent for a road bike conversion which is what I have done with mine below.

This is my bike. It is a Specialized Rockhopper. It is very special to me, no pun intended. My sister bought this bike back in '94 or '95, I bet. It looked just like Tasha's bike. It had the mountain bike tires and the straight handlebars. She sold it to my big brother and he used it for awhile. Then he sold it back to her. Then I came along and bought it from her. Or else she gave it to me, I can't remember. I rode it around for awhile as a mountain bike. I even took a short sixty mile day trip on it with the original seat and tires and handlebars. I hurt afterwards but it was enjoyable. I then put road tires on it and also put on the drop bars with the brakes and bar end shifters. I also put on the bike rack and the new fenders this summer. This morning, I got a computer for it in the mail which I got for about twenty bucks on Amazon. The only thing else I need to do to this bike is to add a Brooks saddle and get a shorter stem to bring the handle bars in an inch or two. But I love this bike. I have had this bike completely apart at times. It runs so smooth and doesn't even make a sound except for the rubber on the road. This excerpt sounds like it was written by a sixth grader. Do you want to know why? There are a ba-jillion simple sentences written and hardly any compound or complex or compound complex sentences. It sounds funny, huh.

Here are a few videos. One of them I went to quite the risk of capturing. I meant to get more of the bike trailer and more of Tasha. Unfortunately, I ended up getting mostly my head. Sorry.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sunken Treasure

This summer the boys have joined a swimming program at UND. This program is amazing. Every year UND wins the National Championship in swimming and you can tell. All of the athletes work with the kids and they are really good. Here are the boys in the water.

This is Ned with his cute goggles.

This is Ned jumping off the partition! He is famous for his "Kamakazi Jumps".

Wesley just coming out of the water after a "bob."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tennessee, Tennessee, There Ain't No Place I'd Rather Be: Part 2

We left off in Nashville. On our way out of Nashville down to Manchester, we ran in to this guy! His name was drew. He was in the middle of the road on the Natchez Trace Parkway. We turned around and moved him to safety. For doing him such a favor, he was a little camera shy.

Finally, we made it to Bonarroo. Let's just say it isn't what we expected. We were a little disappointed and embarrased and shocked at what we found. But it was a character builder for us. And there were some highlights of course. Despite the rowdy, rowdy crowd, we got to see our first Phish show together. We weren't all that surprised to find that they are just as fun to listen to together alone driving down the Natchez Trace Parkway with our bellies full of southern biscuits and fried ocra and saving turtles from oncoming traffic. In fact, in a lot of ways, in every way, it is funner. That's right. Funner. As in more fun. I play for keeps. Here is a picture of us with Phish. That is Mike Gordon in the background.

This is Tasha with the Butterfinger man. This man turned into half a butterfinger after falling asleep eating butterfingers next to radioactive sludge.

This is Tasha and I. Just enjoying each other's company. And realizing how bad we hate other company.
This is me helping with the drum that we built. It was a pretty fun little project and it actually sounds pretty good. It's got a nice little ding to it.

This is a short video of how dirty Bonaroo was. It was gross. Again, it wasn't what we expected and it definately wasn't what it claims to be online. They are not a green festival and it isn't against the rules to do drugs. There are even cops in the park watching people do drugs. At one point I went up to a couple of cops on horses and asked if they would come with us because we saw five different campsites with people plastered from doing drugs for three days straight. Guess what they said? They told me that it was legal for them to do drugs on private property! I was flabbergasted. I said right to the cop, "there is no way that is true and you know it. Never in the history of this country has legislation been passed that makes it legal to do narcotics on private property." Then he said, "Okay, okay. We're not the guys you need to talk to, though. You need to go talk to the people in charge of Bonaroo." It was ridiculous. I have never got the run-around from a cop like that in my life. Signs of the times.

Next stop: Graceland!

This is me and the man. He was the King. A few other shots of us at Graceland. We tried to call my Aunt Maureen but I couldn't get an answer. Too bad. Graceland is amazing. He was an amazing man. We stood at his grave site and I must be honest, it got a little emotional. Regardless, we sang "Since my baby left, I found a new place to dwell." We sang it quiet though.

This is our 80's video that we shot just as we were coming in to Grand Forks at about 12:00 at night. We were fried. Which is why this song seemed so emotional for us at the time. It was a touching, touching moment.

Tennessee, Tennessee, There Ain't No Place I'd Rather Be: Part 1

But not really. We both love it very much at home, too and were very excited to return after we had been gone three oI want to start off our summer events by documenting our trip to Tennessee. Tasha and I went for a delayed honeymoon and it proved to be very memorable. First stop: Green Bay Wisconson.

We actually weren't planning on stopping at Lambeau field but it was amazing! I am not a HUGE Packers fan but this is an amazing stop for anyone that enjoys football. FULL of history and everyone was incredibly nice. They were DIE HARD Packer fans, obviously. But a middle aged woman who checked out some stuff we bought couldn't quit telling us the most obscure Packer facts. It was funny. I mean hilarious. It was jilarious. That's a spanish "j". Pronounced with an "h" sound.

Next stop: Chicago!
We had one errand here: to by yierba for Te're're which is loose leaf tea we drink that I picked up on my mission. Delicious and nutritious. We had to wait for the guy to get to his store but he was very nice. And justamente right next door was an Indian Restaurant. It was so yummy. We got some type of spicy lamb and oh my gosh, so good.

I call this shot "inner-city oxymoron." The front says "Clothes & Shoes." I hope there is enough in this picture for it to be ironic without understanding what the front says. Hopefully it is effective.

Here are a few more interesting shots. The first one doesn't really reflect my political opinions, I just think it is interesting.
Next stop, Memphis! Memphis was a beautiful city. It didn't seem too big, either. The first thing we saw as we pulled off the interstate was the Tennessee Titans stadium. It was amazing. This is where we stayed just before Bonaroo. So it was our last taste of civilization before we had to rough it for a week or so. Our highlight of Memphis was eating at the famous Loveless Cafe,
home of Carol Fay Ellison's famous biscuits. We even got our picture taken with her! Look!All those pictures you see are of famous people and not so famous people. They cover practically the whole entrance which is pretty large. She was taking names for the waiting list (the waiting list is usually over an hour but we only had to wait for 15 minutes) and I recognized her from stuff Tasha was looking up on the internet. So I asked her if she'd hang up my picture if I gave it to her. She raised her eyebrows and cocked her head and said, "Why? What you done?" And I said, "I teach middle school in North Dakota," and she said, "Uh, uh. I don't think so," and we all laughed.

Here is another picture of us full of love at Loveless Cafe.

To Be Continued. . . . . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Pooh Surprise

Thursday, December 18, 2008