Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great Things

Most of life is not lived on the extremes of emotion -- neither happiness nor sadness. Most of the time things cruise along and bob slightly into good or bad sides of an emotional bell curve. Occasionally they hover at the extremes, though usually for reasons relating to human relationships (ie. births, deaths, marriages). They key is that physical objects just don't have the strength to push us into the heights. At least they ought not.

Without violating that hypothesis, I came pretty close in the past few weeks to allowing objects to send me spinning to the far right of the bell curve.

Picturing Hemingway's Michigan just feels like a perfect book written just for me. It captures a plethora of photographs and anecdotes relating to Hemingway's time in the north woods. Having visited his Horton Bay stomping grounds last year, the images and smells of that place are fresh in my mind and also send me dove tailing into memories of the north woods I have known. It's a strong piece of Hemingway scholarship without a doubt, but more importantly it captures the mood of a very important time in a great writer's life.

I bought an aluminum and carbon Orbea in 2005 and due to bad luck on my part it had to have been warrantied on 2 occasions. Though I purchased an Orbea due to the brand's lifetime warranty, I did not relish the need to have it shipped and repaired at the US offices (Arkansas). After a creak developed this June I knew the doom that lay ahead -- weeks of no road bike while the Alaskan summer sprinted toward fall. I made a strong request to have a replacement frame sent as I no longer trusted the current one. As a side note, Orbea is a good brand and I seem to have simply drawn a lemon. They complied and some 2 weeks ago I became the owner of a brand new '09 full carbon Opal frame. This is a huge (FREE) upgrade and feels like I am now pedaling on a cloud. All hail Orbea!

I won this past 10 days without a doubt. Now to ride as much as possible past these changing leaves.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I plead guilty to slacking off here, though I have been extremely busy. We went to Wyoming for a week in July, my folks came up a few days later for a week long visit, and now we have another set of visitors for a week. It's good to be busy. Add in some fishing trips here and there and July just rapidly fades away.

The weather has been less than stellar, though I've steamed ahead in defiance with whatever activity I had planned. If I want to go for a jog through the bog behind our house, I go even though I'll come back soaked. The pouring rain didn't keep us from fishing Bird Creek for 3 hours. You just have to ignore the elements and squeeze in all the summer activities you can.

I'm slowly uploading pictures to flickr from the last few months. I wish I could find a suitable tool to mass shrink the jpegs from 1.5 MB down to 500k. I tend to do it manually.

I created a list throughout the winter of summer activity goals and I have been able to cross off at least half of them, which is not too shabby. I always reach for the moon when it comes to summer plans. Considering vacations, obligations, and visitors this summer, I have found a way to get out and fish, camp, and canoe fairly often. Of course the ubiquitous cycling is in play as well. Summer is not over yet, but it appears I've used my time wisely.

I'm getting to be such a grown up and am getting excited about the silliest things. Case in point: we're refinancing the house thanks to the rock bottom rates. It's a wise decision but not one that should be too exciting. But it is, because I that is how my brain works.