Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Is it just me, or do most people try to increase the 'epicness' of all outdoor activities? As an example, I was talking to a small group of friends recently that don't ride bikes often (some at all). We agreed that we should all do a ride together. Then someone says lets do a century (100 miles) or says let's climb the Crest (5500 feet of climbing in 13 miles). Um, those rides are really hard! How about let's ride to an ice cream shop? Then we can think about doing something more challenging.

Certainly, we've done our share of pushing ourselves to the limit with some long, hard bike rides and some long hikes. But how's this for epic? Ride with 4 friends to a softball game,

then ride to a restaurant for dinner, and then watch a movie in 3D. A brief review: Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D was a good time. As buddy Luke says, Brendan Fraser is the new king of the B movies. And guess what? It was dark after the movie, and it rained just as we got to the restaurant. No problem, we have fenders and just turned on our lights for the ride home. Our de-epicification: let's do normal fun stuff but without a car!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bandelier day trip

This week the Polkadot family invited me to go along with them to Bandelier, an old stomping ground of mine. I always love exploring the cliff dwellings with people who haven't seen them yet.
A couple of things I've learned visiting Bandelier:
1. These settlements were built by the ancient Pueblo Peoples. Their descendants still live in pueblos around New Mexico. They prefer that we don't call their ancestors "Anasazi," since Anasazi is a Navajo word meaning "ancient enemies."
2. The buildings and access trails at Bandelier were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. One of the requirements for joining the Bandelier work team was that the applicant posses at least three natural teeth.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


On July 8th we celebrated our 8th anniversary. We like being married to each other.

In the tradition shared by all cultures for all kinds of festivals, we celebrated with food. I took a picnic lunch to Chad: kimbap, strawberries, blueberry scones with lemon cream and iced tropical green tea. Kimbap is a pretty and tasty Korean picnic food. It's usually made with kim -- dried seaweed -- and looks like this:
I didn't have any kim on hand, but in Korea once I'd eaten kimbap wrapped with a really thin egg omelet, so I thought I'd try that. The rice is pre-soaked and cooked with extra water for super-stickyness, then flavored with a little honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds. I put carrots, celery and ham on the inside. I meant to make a dipping sauce of soy sauce, sesame oil, a little red wine vinegar and crushed red pepper -- but I forgot as I was hurrying to load the picnic on my bike.

For dinner we walked to a nearby uppity bar and grill, where we sat on the patio and ate things like grilled peach and arugula salad with bleu cheese and red pepper croutons, spinach and hazelnut cannelloni, and salmon served on a cedar plank. Chad wanted to ask if they'd box up the plank for him.
A delicious day.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

a fountain of fun

Notable local news events. Neighborhood family of 4 decides to not use gasoline on July 4: they all ride bikes to the church pool party. Area man keeps me updated about how often he rides his bike to work. Local family considers selling one of their two cars since husband/dad will ride his bike to work daily.

I like to think that we played at least a small part in the above events, and maybe even a few more. Before gas became expensive people used to ask us if we rode everywhere to save money. Certainly I especially am a bit of a cheapskate, but we rode because we like to ride. My hope is that many other people find that riding a bike or walking on regular outings -- to work, church, grocery store, Pop-pop's water ice, etc. can be fun. And perhaps that driving to the gym to work out would seem silly.

Our somewhat rainy seaon has begun. So far, this is the most water we've seen in our local arroyo that is usually seco.