productivity

Things that I achieved this weekend (in no particular order):

  • Found a new favorite IPA, imbibed same while swinging on my hammock at 16:00 on a Friday.
  • Ate venison burgers cooked on my grill
  • Napped
  • Finished The Chamber of Secrets
  • Took care of shit
  • Installed a new theme on the site (what do you guys think? let me know about any broken links, etc)
  • Discovered that it’s not a fluke, I really do like porters a lot.
  • Found a new favorite pizza delivery place
  • Chose a colour for my bedroom walls (Behr 790E-3: Porpoise), became distraught when I realized that the combination of my wine coloured sheets and yellowish incandescent lighting turns my beautiful bluish-grey into a distinct shade of lavender. Resolved to replace lightbulbs and/or maybe run crying to the Home Depot paint desk for suggestions.
  • Took Nerd2 on a bike ride to the dam and back. I might just have a riding partner for the summer which is promising. I think that a stretch goal of 1000 miles this summer may actually be achievable (only 992 miles left to go!).
  • Booked an appointment to get the first estimate for replacement windows tonight. I’m finally in a place where I feel financially comfortable investing a fair amount into the house, and I’m kind of excited at the prospect of having actual professionals come in and do work.
  • Filled a 42 gallon contractor cleanup bag with trash from my room.
  • Did I mention the naps?

Needless to say, it’s amazing what a few days of high 60’s and sunshine can do for a girl. I hope you all had excellent weekends as well!

Pretty Pictures

I signed up for a photography class at SW Mpls Community education last week, yesterday was the first class.

To be honest, on the drive down to the school last night, i had almost convinced myself that I was going to drop it — first of all, it is in that area of south minneapolis that I fear because it is Edina-Adjacent and a 30 minute drive away from my homestead in Blaine. Secondly, I have to drive through south minneapolis rush hour to get there on time. And last but not least, it conflicts with movie night, which means that I’ll have to either lean on my co-workers to see movies that start before 5pm all the time, or just plan to be 15-20 minutes late to class every other week.

By the end of the evening, I had convinced myself to stay with it. Our instructor, Leo is an adorably socially awkward Ukranian immigrant with a background in fine arts who used to do photography for the soviet army — imagine the stories he’s got from that! He seems to really know what he’s doing as well, and isn’t too shy about criticizing, which is what I need. Also, some of my best friends are in the class with me, so no matter what, I know it will be fun. Plus field trips! And homework that actually seems like it will be fun! There seems to be a slight disparity of skill levels right now (one of the students didn’t know what macro mode is), but I have a feeling that as long as we’re all patient, we’ll all learn a lot.
it's a vicious cycle

On another note, as part of prepping for the first class, I learned that you can send pictures from flickr directly to Target for 1 hour processing. I don’t think I need to go into how convienient this is as I am already a Target junkie. The photo quality is pretty good, but I wish that flickr’s applet for this would allow you to specify how you want the pictures cropped if they don’t already fall within the nice 4×6 boundaries.

Why is it that even when the days are longer, there never seem to be enough hours of daylight?

Yesterday ended up being a bit of a bust as far as fun goes, though I did get 7.4 miles ridden, and most of the seeds I was supposed to have planted done.  Every winter I forget how much I hate planting seeds.  Every spring, I remember. Every August I’m reminded of how it was worth it :)   Since I procrastinated (there’s that word again) about ordering fancy organic seeds from Seed of Change and Seed Savers, I was forced to plant a bunch of stuff that I purchased at Dege last year.  I planted 3 seeds per square, and I planted far more squares (72) than I’ll have room for plants, so I’m hoping that things will work out.  Those of you with greener thumbs than mine:  please send happy growing thoughts to the Brandywines – I really, really, wants me some Brandywines again this year.

I’ve decided that my city might be “cyclist-friendly” in terms of the fact that there are lots of trails tucked in the middle of the endless suburban subdivisions, but it really sucks when you actually want to ride somewhere useful…like SuperTarget.  The bike lanes just end and the traffic on both 109th and 65 is far too fast for me to feel safe riding (which is pretty funny, b/c I generally tend not to mind it when I’m one of those cars going 70 through an intersection).  At least La Boutique Tarjay has bike racks – I am honestly considering boycotting stores/malls that don’t have bike racks.

 

 

More training miscellany

The call of the grill + debauchery at SJ’s got in the way of any riding on Friday. School + lack of sleep + rain looks to be doing things in for today. The goal for tomorrow is to get in a 1 hr ride in the morning before going out for lunch.

In the meantime, the MS Bike Tour Training Manual has a lot of useful information, but I wanted to pull out the important bits as far as daily training is concerned. I think that some of the goals here might be a little unrealistic (2 hour ride on Wednesdays?), but it is something to try to plan my riding around:

  • Monday – A day of rest
  • Tuesday – 60-75 mins with brief sprints interspersed
  • Wednesday – 3rd longest ride of week, up to 2 hours at tour pace (I’m aiming for 13-15 MPH)
  • Thursday – 60-75 mins with brief sprints interspersed
  • Friday – 45 mins light spin or day off if needed
  • Saturday – longest ride – start at 2 hours, increase 15-20 mins per week
  • Sunday – 80% of Saturday’s distance.

That doesn’t seem so bad now does it?

Tomorrow – there will be a return to some actual Hedonism on this blog – expect posts on the ultimate marinade for grilled portobella mushrooms (hint: it’s not vegetarian), oreo truffles, and possibly even the fine art of the home pedicure.

-tph.

Well, I can manage 3% easily enough…

I got my bikeloputer working yesterday, thanks to ARS for pointing out that the sensor batteries on those babies don’t really last more than a season. Also, since I couldn’t find my manual for it (and I know I screwed up the calibration settings last year, I did some digging and found the following useful links:

  1. On Sheldon Brown’s page you will find lots of info for what values to use to calibrate various models (also, he’s got precise values for tire sizes that might not be in the manual).
  2. Though Sheldon didn’t have my bike computer, and the model I have was branded as a SuperGo C-9 Wireless, AND SuperGo seems to be no more, I did find out that what I have is really a db 4LW (pictured below), and the PDF manual for it is available here.

 

40_1661.jpg

 

After cutting myself open trying to use a Leatherman to do a butter knife’s job (don’t ask), I went on a short ride and discovered that my usual route when I want an “easy” ride is just about 5 miles, and it’s almost exactly 2 miles from my place to Little League Park.  These stats will come in extra handy when I start jogging (which will probably need to be on Sunday).

I’ve found a neat looking progress meter widget for worpress here. Now I just need to sketch out my training plan and I’ll be able to put a goal on total miles ridden before June 9th.

Current stats for now:

  • Weeks to MS150: 8
  • Ridden this season: 10 miles
  • Longest ride: 5 miles (3% of MS 150)

Over doing things

As can be seen from the ever growing list of events I have coming up this summer on the right, it looks like things are going to be busy.

Most of what I want to do will be good for me – walking, biking, camping.  However, when I found myself signing up for the Race for the Cure 5K Run on May 14th, I had to stop and catch my breath for a minute. A 5k? In 4 weeks? Isn’t this just setting myself up for failure?

I did still end up signing up for it – which means I’m gonna need to do some serious cross training this month between riding for the MS150, and jogging for the 5K. The increased cardiovascular endurance will be helpful for both sports – I’m just hoping that the muscle and balance development will cross over effectively as well. I’m going to need to speed up my search for a mileage counter for my sidebar…now I’ll get to have two of them ^_^

In other news – the linguine with chicken and pesto at Maggiano’s Little Italy is good, though it could have used a hint of spice – which may not be traditional for pesto, but still.  Anything lacking in the meal though was more than made up for by the company – which is true of all really enjoyable meals. I did pull my usually freezing up during conversation trick and let him do most of the talking – I really hope he doesn’t think I’m as boring as I must have seemed….sigh.

 

The first hammock day of the year

When I first moved into this house, one of my friends showed up unexpectedly with probably the best present I’ve ever gotten – a rope hammock swing.

It’s one of those things that I had always wanted, but probably never would have gotten around to buying for myself. I used it every chance I could that first summer, and when it got eaten by some deadbeat’s dog last year, I replaced the rope part with one from Golden Hammocks and I’ve been loving it since.

A hammock day is a day that is warm and sunny enough for me to spend long periods of time sitting/lying in the hammock, pondering, reading, listening to NPR, or doing something else generally unproductive. Today was sunny, 60F/15C, and not too windy – definitely hammock weather (well, it is if you’re wearing long pants and a sweater, and live in MN and are therefore desperate for any sign of summer).

My time in the hammock this afternoon unfortunately also made it clear to me for the first time this spring just how terrible my yard looks. The lawn is ok for the most part, but the areas that should be “gardens” are overgrown by weeds, inhabited by random dog kennels, or covered with miscellaneous construction materials. I also have egress window wells to buy and/or build and lots of other junk to get rid of.

What follows is a brief tour of pretty much everything that most of what pisses me off about my yard right now. Hopefully I can use this as a to-do list and slowly but surely work my way through projects – then in September I can have fun posting some satisfying before and afters…

(more…)