Monday, February 25, 2008

Cows and other amusements

We picked a great location to live in Corvallis, we are at the edge of town and can easily get to some great bike rides, it's about 2 miles to the country roads. I get a bit loopy after riding for a while and find strange things to be amused by... like cows! I love seeing this field of cows when we ride so Saturday we took a pit stop and appreciated the cows. After standing there a while, several cows came over and looked at us so it got quite stupid, we were staring at the cows and the cows were staring at us. Brilliant! I was amused.

I managed to avoid overdoing it this weekend, we spent some time with friends so that stopped me from getting too much exercise. I've said it before and I'll say it again: damn friends! Just kidding! Sunday my friend brought her 7 week old baby over for a visit, Bill ended up watching the baby for an hour (she was sleeping) while we went for a walk. It was quite brave of him to volunteer to watch a newborn considering he doesn't have the right equipment for a little baby. I remember watching a friend's baby a few years ago and she kept trying to pull my shirt up. Poor kid!

People watching cows who are watching people

Bad news for me: I have to move headquarters into the garage since Bill is making his office in our home office. I was pissed about it on Saturday when we started working on it, I realized he never let me have that room in the first place, his stuff was always strewn everywhere and I always had to ask him to move his crap so I could sew, and now, I've lost my lease and I'm banned to the garage with the lawn mower. Not cool dude. So the lawn mower is out of there and it's going to cost Bill some francs to get me a space I can live with. Making me angry is not the frugal thing to do dude. I'm thinking: new area rug, lamps, a heater, music, storage, and just getting his sporting goods out of my sight. He is offering me part of the office upstairs too, I think I'll go spread my stuff all over his office and see if it makes him angry like it did to me. That would be totally mature and thoughtful of me.

Here, I need to get in a better mood, here's some video of Cassie and Marshall brawling on Sunday:


And more video, I don't know, maybe we're bad parents...


Friday, February 22, 2008

Celebrate good times!

Bill took me out on the town Wednesday might and we got to see the inside of some of the new restaurants in town. Actually, both restaurants aren't new, but they moved into larger locations and are very sheik and fabulous. Bill kept saying, "Let's go to that "Va-la place" and I'm like what?! He said, "You know that Italian restaurant that moved into the new building downtown." I said, "You mean Iovinos?" and he says, "Yeah, that's it!" I don't know where he comes up with this stuff but as long as I get to eat in a nice restaurant!

We were out celebrating Bill's job offer from a company that is doing exactly what he has dreamed of doing: reducing and reusing waste by major corps. Yes, he is into waste. I'll write more about it later as he finds out more about the job but in addition to the great news about gainful employment (thank goodness) they offered to let him telecommute from our home in Corvallis so he will be working out of our home office. We don't have to move! Hopefully it will work out well, otherwise we will be moving to southern CA which sounds great for weather but we would be dirt poor and I'm kind of over that phase of life.

We're having a party for Bill next weekend, he has been tricking friends into thinking we are moving with the job offer. I told him not to but he didn't listen to me! I am planning a speech for the party and can't wait to "roast" Bill. I'll post the speech here later, it will tell you at a lot about us and the challenges we've faced. It hasn't been easy to support him through two master's degree and multiple Ironmans. Can I breath now? I think I'll make some strawberry daiquiris tomorrow and keep on celebrating.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Who did this to me?

Marshall dog doesn't have a puppy face anymore!

I am in pain today. It all started back on Wednesday, I planned to swim with Bill at noon but I was in a meeting until 12:40 so we started late and I had very little to eat all day. The goal was to work on fly, we're swimming 200 fly, 200 back, 200 breast, and 200 free in our end of the term swim meet coming up in March. Presently, I can just get through a 50 fly so I have quite a way to go. I managed to swim up to 75 fly but I have a lot of work ahead of me in these next few weeks if I'm going to compete. I have done a 200 fly once before but I was in decent shape then. Not so much now. By the end of the workout my arms felt like lead and I was starving. So the deficit has was started.

On Thursday, I wanted to get out in the sunshine and go for a trail run so I used some comp time and took a long lunch so we could get out in the mid-day sun. We ran up Bald Hill, back down and then out and up another nearby trail (unsure of name) for a total of about 1 hour of running. Not a big deal except this is HILLY running and I am totally out of shape.

Bill took flat Colin for a bike ride. Friday I'm late for swim class (another long meeting) but I manage to get in some more fly and we did 12x100 (pick your stroke) on 1:45, easy enough but I'm out of shape and in a deficit (getting deeper) so it hurts enough for me to feel it.

Saturday we woke up to more sunshine so we planned a bike ride but first we had to get some pruning in since every plant in the back yard is dead and overgrown. After an hour of holding up large pruners my upper body was feeling a bit sore but a bike ride doesn't take arms so out the door we go. Bill suggested a flat route but I decide I want to head for the hills, I haven't been bike riding since I don't know when and rather than build up slowly, I just want to get straight to the pain. We ride out Bellfountain road to Finley Wildlife Refuge, the ride is about 25 miles which is no big deal for a person who rides bikes but for me, it hurt. I couldn't get my heart rate over 145 which is totally pathetic. I used to run for 2 hours at 145 and considered that moderate. I am so out of shape it's disgraceful!

On our bike ride we saw horses, llamas, sheep, and cows all laying in the sun. Sunshine in Feb in Oregon makes everyone want to sunbathe. On to Sunday, it's still nice weather so we load up the Jeep with cross country skis and head for Ray Benson Snow Park. For the price of gas and a $6 snow park permit we ski for 2+ hours with the dog. Excellent! The parking lot was jammed and the trail was a bit of a mess from too many users but the top coat on the snow was ice so we were skiing fast. We were trying to find a warming hut that has eluded us the past two years, this time we overshot it significantly and ended up way the heck out there which is no big deal except the icy snow does not make for soft landings and I had fallen about 6-8 times and was exhausted. I had a talk with myself at the warming hut: I'm scared of falling anymore, I'm tired, there are dangerous tree wells, uneven hard packed snow, and some hills on the way back. Walking will take twice as long so what do you want to do? Put your skis back on and harden up sister.

Shiny snow means a fast ride. The snow was so high that small trees were mostly submerged and an occasional tree top poked it's way up to trip me up. Not Bill though, just me. Bill let me lead the way back which is excellent, I think half of the time I fall because I'm going too fast trying to keep up with him. I did fall a few more times but had a few nice descents and made it back in one piece, exhausted and bruised. Marshall dog had a blast, he knows skis mean snow and snow means romping so he was thrilled to be loaded up in the Jeep with skis.

I have been banned from exercise today by my husband so I think I'll do a recovery swim (1000 yards) and get ready to run again tomorrow. Eventually I'll find some fitness again, if only just for a short time, to remember what it feels like to be me again. Right now I feel like a tired, old, sore, and out of shape version of myself and that doesn't feel so great. Looking forward to runner's highs, rhythm in the pool, and to climbing hills in something other than the granny gear on my bike again.
A view to appreciate

Marshall enjoying the warming hut

Black Butte which will sound familiar if you
a fan of Deschutes Brewery's Black Butte Porter

The moon and long shadows mean it's time to head home.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Yeah for my sister!

I heard from my mom that my sister won an award for top stylist at her salon's annual awards and was also awarded most professional stylist. I am so proud of her, what a great accomplishment. There were 15 salons in her region so it's quite an honor for her to get the highest award and she's only been at it a few years. Yeah for my sister! She's had a hard road, she was diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes at age 12, and had a much different childhood than I did. My parents watched her like a hawk and she had a lot less freedom as a teenager. It looks like she is going to surpass me in professional achievement, I am very VERY proud of her.

We had a great weekend here in Oregon, the weather was warm and sunny and Bill and I were outdoors all weekend riding bikes and skiing. I'll load some photos and write about it tomorrow, I need to go to bed now and try to recover.

And to follow up on Valentine's day, Bill threatened to go get a cheese pizza and put corn dogs on it but actually came through and made a pork tenderloin dish that had ginger and apple in it. Now that I know what he's capable of, I think I'll be requesting more elaborate meals in the future. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Day Before Valentine's Day

Wife: Honey, can you please make a special dinner for me for Valentine's day? (Spelling it out so there's no disappointment)

Husband: Yes. Of course I can do that.

Wife: Something special, like out of a cookbook.

Husband: absolutely.

Wife: Thank you! What should we have for dinner tonight?

Husband: How about corn dogs and salad? I have to cook dinner tomorrow.

Wife: um no. I think we can come up with something better than corn dogs.

Later that evening...

Wife: do you want to go for a trail run before Valentine's dinner?

Husband: not unless you want pizza for dinner, I have to look up a recipe in the cookbook. Do you want pizza? Just kidding (sideways glance).

Wife: no, I don't want pizza. (Spelling it out so there's no disappointment).

What are the odds I'll have corn dogs or pizza for dinner tonight? Just kidding.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More Cassie videos

Bill said we need more Cassie videos so don't blame me, blame him! Here's the long for video


After the game...


Sporty Cassie

Our cat is quite sporty, and obsessive, so she fits in with us even though she is a cat. For several months now she has stolen plastic bobbins from my sewing room and taken them to the entry way for a round of hockey. She will play for hours, to the point that Bill as to take her pucks away so we can sleep at night. She likes to put the pucks in nearby shoes, I guess it's to score a goal. Who knows why cats do the things they do. I found a puck in my running shoes last week when I took them out of my bag at the gym. She also likes to put the pucks in hiding places and loudly meow until we find them.

Here's a short video from round 2 of play this evening.


Monday, February 11, 2008

How many PhDs does it take?

We finally have enough daylight and the weather is warm enough for me to bike commute to work again. That's 40 more minutes of exercise for me each day and a better way to start out my day. I won't ride in the dark in the winter unless I'm with Bill, it's too dangerous in the rain and dark with cars commuting during Corvallis rush hour but a lot of people around here do it anyway and seem to live through it.

On the topic of Corvallis, I heard on the radio that Forbes magazine rated it the 5th smartest city in America. So that's what is wrong with this place. Actually, it is quite a problem since my husband is trying to find a job here and the two master's degrees he has doesn't quite make him competitive enough for these jobs. I'm not kidding. It's nothing at all to have a PhD here and make no money. Apparently we love it for the lifestyle and people aren't leaving. I can tell you this much, I will not be quitting my job anytime soon. I got this job just before Sept 11, 2001. The tech sector in the NW hasn't recovered since the dot com bust and unless your willing to work tech support or luck into a position that exactly matches your skill set, it's tough to get a job around here. So I will stay where I'm at for now.

Luckily we're seeing temps in the 50s and even 60s today after a really crappy winter so it's like a heat wave in Oregon. Thank goodness, I was kind of in a bad mood recently if you haven't noticed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What the heck!?!

So I was out of the office most of the week at a training session, get back to work and you know what hits the fan so I work Saturday and Sunday and FINALLY get home Sunday night around 6:30 and I really need to unwind so I take a bath and sit down to watch the Grammy awards. I am not up on modern music so I figure at least I can see what's popular right now in music. Instead there is a parade of old artists, Prince, Cindy Lauper, Tina Turner, Cher... WHAT THE HECK! Is it 1982 or what!?! Finally I get pissed off and turn off the TV and as I'm walking upstairs to bed I realize that the parade of oldies is probably for the 50 year anniversary of the Grammy's. They should have had the Stones sing I can't get no satisfaction since that what that entire show will be about.

Yes I am in a good mood this evening. I can't believe I have to go to work tomorrow in the morning.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Capital

I'm taking a project management course from the State so I can get certified in project management and I get to drive up to Salem most of this week for training. I had fun walking around old downtown yesterday at lunch, we don't have more than one road in our downtown here in Corvallis so I actually do get entertained just walking around a small city. There were immigration rights protesters outside of the capital building at noon, it looked like a large group of Mexican people protesting a new ID system. More excitement! I don't know if I can handle it. I'm having a good time in the course, I was lucky to sit in the right place and found a good group for teamwork.

We had a blast watching the Giants win on Sunday! It's 6 am so I don't have anything witty to say. I'll write more later when I'm awake.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Saw this on the web today, and I couldn't even make this up... a kitty cat that likes to surf! Domingo Pianezzi of Lima, Peru takes this kitty to catch waves. I think it's pretty amazing. I hope she's a good swimmer.

Click here and here for a whole sequence of amazing photos. While I was searching for more photos I came across this blog about cats and music:

Time wasted but I'm entertained!