Sunday, July 27, 2008

Quick update that I'm slow

So Saturday I did my first bike race of the year. It was the State Time Trial Championship race, which was 25 miles individually as fast as you can do it. Needless to say I didn't have high hopes since I have been riding about 2 months, while everyone else has been racing all season. It was basically for me to test myself and see how I did. My goal was to average 20 mph and I did 20.8 mph on the rolling hills (1:13:10). I was exhausted at the end, but that is a time trial. In my category I was dead last, but not just last but last by 4.5 min! Only 20 people raced and they all brought their A game and destroyed me. I don't care about my place since they all had fancy bikes, aero this and that, and had engines to back it up and I'd been riding for 2 months! It was fun and a good practice for me.

Bob and Susan arrived Saturday night on their way through AL (meeting for Bob in Birmingham) and then back to Mississippi. We were like a rest stop where they slept, ate, and did not much else. I now know what it is like to have a college kid come home and bring 46 bags of laundry. I charged $2.25 per load and $2 per dryer:) At least Bob has clean skivies for his meeting.

No picts this week, but maybe a video in the future since I just got a sweet camcorder for recording that woodpecker!

Have a good'n now ya hear.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nick and the cherry tree

So recently the cherry tree in our yard has decided to produce fruit. It isn't just producing some fruit. It is producing enough to feed Ethiopia for a year. It didn't fruit last year (due to drought??).

Nick evidently loves the fruits because he rolls in it daily. The first time I saw him with cherry stains, I thought he'd killed something and rolled in it. He stinks even worse than usual now!!

Note purple stains all over him.

Not much else happening on the home front recently. I've been catching banding mourning doves that go into my dove trap. I do manage to catch a load of grackles (AKA dinosaur birds). I banded 2 doves, 1 cardinal, and 22 grackles today.

Doing some travelling this week after over a month off! Only going to Knoxville for what will certainly be another boring 2 day meeting. At least there is a hospitality room with cases of beer for consumption!!

Monday, July 14, 2008


So we finally got a nice vacation. We went to the lake house for a full 9 days, plus 2 travel days. We got only 3 days by ourselves, but we had nice visits with family ranging from my parents to Bob and Susan, to Judy, Bob, and Jane, and Susan's Welsh relatives Gwenda and Brian (who were an absolute delite, and hilarious!). We also had a blast with Sarah from Maine, who we thank for a couple bottles of vino, too!!

Bec and I did a lot of nothing for several days, incl reading at least 8 books betwen us (yes I read 3+ books), I rode 170+ miles over the mountains and set a personal land speed record of 55.2mph on my bike (topping my 54.9 mph I set in Huntsville a couple years ago while scared to death because the bike was shaking, it didn't shake this time), we paddled the lake, put in the ladder (after buying bolts), floated on the lake a lot, and looked at all the other people's babies (some 9 were born since last year, and no I didn't drink the water cause there's something in it). Kevin and Kenzies 9 mo old looks like he's 2 yrs old! He's huge, but he had the most wonderful blue eyes.

Bec and I did some hiking at Ricketts Glen State Park (which is way hilly). Otherwise we didn't go anywhere except shopping in Tannersville on a rainy day where we spent an hour in J Crew while Bec talked to David about what color he had everything in. There is a Merrill store there so I got a sweet pair of tennis shoes and a warm up jacket for running. We did visit the Burberry store where we saw a scarf for $279. Yes, that is right. I laughed, made fun of horribly rich people that spend their money unnecessarily, and said lets get out of this rip off. It was ridiculous.

In the end, we were on track for a quick 12.5 hr drive home, but a truck wrecked Sat afternoon shutting down the interstate through Monday, hence we took a 90 min detour on backroads through eastern TN (which has some really nice places I'd consider living). In the end, the trip took 14.5 hrs and we got home at 9pm. That stunk.

here's a bunch of picts from the trip:

Ricketts Glen SP. I left the shutter open (on the camera) for a while so the water isn't static, but rather blurred. Really cool.

Another from the park.

One more from the park.

Sarah visiting with us.

Song Sparrow at the bog. Tough lighting, but I got super close.

The lake from the bog.

Another shot of the lake from the dock. Perfectly calm water. Gorgeous.

Water lilly thingee.

My parents during their visit.

Bec wanting to puke on the way up the steep climbs at Ricketts Glen.

Picts are posted to look for the Nuangola folder, of course. Other cool and new pictures are found starting here: (click "next" in top right for more)

and here: (click next again)