Thursday, April 28, 2011

Once you post your resume on Monster or CareerBuilder it is on there forever. Head hunters must either download all resumes for safe keeping or scour the cached archives. I have not had an active resume on either place for quite a while, but I am now receiving calls for opportunities, this time in Madison. If that means that folks out there are hiring, then good for everyone. You'd think the Alaska phone number would tip them off though.

Monday, April 25, 2011

It appears that Halloween has come late for me. I've been burrowing into Bradbury tales at lunchtime, chipping away at the 900 page collection of short stories (I'm well into the second half). At home I've dug into some Poe stories I've needed to reread as well as started a fresh look into Lovecraft.

I have always enjoyed Lovecraft, though at times in my life I just wasn't in the mood to dig deeply into the mythos and plow into his often dense prose. (Oddly, I have never minded the denseness of Poe's sentences). The Rats in the Walls is just as great as ever and my Lovecraft interest is at a high these days. And I have started reading a few pages of The Colour Out of Space each night to Baby Turek. How that bodes for him, I have no clue.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I always attempt to enter the spring cycling season as strongly as possible, usually with mixed results. As much as I had more access to winter cycling in Madison due to their plowing of bike trails and ubiquitous salt usage (up here they only groom for skiing and rarely use salt anywhere), I often had to ramp up early in the season to break in my legs and lungs for longer rides. I believe the opportunity for intermittent winter cycling (I have never owned a snow bike) was just enough to keep me off the treadmill. Why run a 5k a few times a week if you'll be able to get on your bike a time or two?

When I moved up here I realized how much more difficult winter cycling is if you don't commit to a snow bike, so I quickly found myself jumping on the treadmill here and there during the winter. I decided to give a spring triathlon a try, which means swimming laps soon followed. As much as running and swimming definitely generates fitness, it doesn't necessarily feed into strong miles on a bike. The cardio strength is there, but the precise cycling muscles need to be rustled from the their slumber.

This winter I xc skied about 6 times per week (8-9 hours total) in hopes of staying in shape and embracing the winter, both of which happily worked. I had also read that the muscles involved were nearly identical to those used in cycling. Holy cow is that true. I've only been back on my bike for a week but I am amazed at how in cycling shape I am. It's a wonderful surprise. There is a very steep climb nearby (Stuckagain Heights), that I often use as a barometer of my strength on the bike. When will I be able to make it to the top without standing during the grinding climb? It usually takes a month or so, but this year it happened on day one (and I turned around and climbed it again immediately after the first attempt). I am very pleased and really looking forward to the triathlon in 7 weeks. The next challenge will be climbing Hiland Road in Eagle River. That is earmarked for this weekend, assuming the road is ice free.

It's also very exciting to come back from my ride at dusk and notice that the clock is just turning 10pm.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Aside from seeing more and more bikes cruising around town, I noticed a steel Colnago passing along one of the back roads near my place. I really enjoy that my dream bike is rolling around my immediate neighborhood somewhere. It just proves that in a small way the model is getting closer and closer to being in my home. That day will come.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's still winter at higher elevations, but the snow is melting and the road is acceptable for road tires. Spring is coming.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Saturday and Sunday were the final, joyous XC Skiing outings. I hit Russian Jack on Saturday and the trails were mushy and ungroomed, but I completed my usual loop. Even though it was in the high 30's the hard packed trail has a long time to melt.

Sunday I opted for a drive out to Chugiak. Their trails are groomed more often than most and the hills are pretty fast, yet safe. It's a great blend. On Sunday the freeze/thaw cycle had generated a trail of crusted ice -- extremely fast and fairly unsafe. We still skied an hour as planned, but took the turns and twists with way more caution than we had the previous week.

By the time I returned to town on Sunday it was 40+ degrees with a clear, sunny sky overhead. I tore open the storage locker in the garage, filed away the skis, pulled the fishing gear to the fore, tuned up the bikes, swept out the garage, and then washed and cleaned both vehicles for the first time in months.

Which means that today's ongoing dump of snow is my fault.