Monday, January 31, 2011

why people move to CA

Saturday was probably the nicest day of the new year (Sunday almost qualified, but the 2 hours of sunlight gave way to more clouds and gloom), so I put on my new winter tights and hopped on the trusty blue bike. Rather than riding in the morning with the club, I waited until Clara's afternoon nap when the temp reached around 33 degrees.

After heading southish and eastish for a few miles, I was inspired to head for the trees and streams in the farmland. The first stream crossing looked like this.
Not far downstream, I crossed again and found it frozen over. Even though I fancy myself as an environmental scientist guy, I can't explain why/where it froze downstream. I will say that the stream froze because it's cold.
After the corn and soy is hauled away and a few snowstorms have hit, the fields tend to look like this. That and the gray sky tend to dampen the old spirits some.
Shortly after I took this picture (just NW of Sidney, not the Aussie town), a guy who had just passed me in his car pulled over and took my photo. As I caught up to him, he said 'I took a picture of you.'

Finally, I'm happy to report that our blog title is/will be again more applicable to our current situation. Details forthcoming given that we survive the next 2 days of sleet/snow/freezing rain (weathermen are predicting 12" of sleet/snow accum).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

death of a rim

After riding bikes for over a decade, I have finally worn out a rim. I bought this Mavic MA3 rim in 2002 to build my first wheelset: a Surly fixed gear hubs and dt spokes. That's right, I was near the front of the big fixed gear wave. And this stuff was purchased from Harris Cyclery. I was rad.

When we moved to NM, I found the fixed gear less fun, so I took the rim and spokes and laced them to a dynohub.

Before I chopped the rim with a hacksaw, it was much harder to know how much material remained. The sidewalls were quite concave. Bruce the cantankerous shop owner thought I could get several hundred more miles out of them. Since we haven't seen an above freezing temp all month, I feared an explosion on my way to work. The extra sidewall material of a new rim (Sun CR18) is good for my peace of mind. Same dynohub and spokes.

Janny's coming soon. Here's Jill's belly supporting both girls at week 34 (I think?).
Clara fell at the playground and chipped a couple teeth, but I have been unable to photo the damage. This is a good thing: 1. they are hard to see and 2. damage is not bad. She doesn't complain when eating or drinking.
My favorite Claraism right now: she points then moves her hand to her ear and says 'hi' when she wants to play with the phone. I love to watch her dance also.
Fun facts: she still has 6 teeth (mostly), wears size 3 diapers, takes two 1 hour naps and sleeps from about 9p to 7:30a. She ate 2 hot dogs (only 1/3 of a bun) for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLK weekend

A sure sign that a long weekend is going badly is when 'I'd rather be at work' comes to mind. I thought this multiple times on Monday when Clara was screaming at me.

Clara picked up a cold (maybe her second ever, easily the worst. She had a runny nose and a cough). Instead of enjoying play time by herself, she had to be held every waking minute. No problem, except that I'm not allowed to sit while holding her. There was much yelling.

I felt mediocre to lousy all weekend. I didn't have Clara's symptoms. Mostly I felt tired and lethargic (a 3 day weekend without any fun bike rides).

Jill had the worst of everything. She had Clara's cold. She vomited thoughout Sunday night and Monday morning. She's ~ 33 weeks pregnant. On Sat she felt bad. Sunday she felt terrible. Monday she didn't eat anything and barely moved. Except she did have to move on Mon because the insulation guys called at 8:00 wanting to come at 9:30. The access to the crawl space is in our closet. Occasionally I checked to make sure she was still breathing.

I hoped to go to work today (Tues) to take a break from the madness. Jill couldn't do anything again. So I got a 4 day weekend. Mercifully, Clara started to feel better this evening.

Enough of the lowlights. Clara has found a new way to eat bananas. We're so proud!
The previous owners of this house left us a pile of wood that I gave to my co-worker and this fine wagon. We dusted it off and tried it out this weekend. Clara enjoyed!
The insulation guys finished the house today. We now have 9" more insulation in the attic, and our previously vented crawl space is now sealed and insulated. If I had a larger fortune, I would replace the windows, but for now I'm quite happy.

And Lord willing, I will be going to work tomorrow. Huzzah!

Monday, January 10, 2011

like old times

A big draw for moving back to Urbana was that we already knew some people from our grad student days. This week, we managed to get 3 of those families (now with kids!) to our house for fun times.
Leyla was first up, though without half of the family. Clara does her best to make her welcome.
Did you know that Maria stayed with us the first time she visited Urbana to have a date or few with Andy? Perhaps we positively influenced them?
Finally, Matt and Jaime and the kids came over tonight for some mac and cheese and merriment.
Watching Clara actually play with other kids is so fun.
Clara needs to be part of the action when I am doing dishes, so into the carrier she went. She needs to scrub a little harder and cover the entire surface, but she's doing well considering her small hands. She'll be so happy when she gets to wash them all by herself.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy holidays

The house is too quiet right now as Clara is sleeping and the rest of the crew has gone home. Our huge pile of snow melted, and I'm back to work. Go new year!
We visited one of the few (3?) hills in town for some wild sledding. We skipped the run with the jump in the middle because the hard packed snow was fast enough for our gang.
I took Clara on a couple runs with me. She neither loved nor hated it. I take that as a good sign.
The Martinez crew got Clara a super fun bath toy. It's a pump and faucet combo with fun buckets. Soon she'll be ready to do my reverse osmosis experiments while I sip pina coladas by the pool.
Family portrait with our brand new fake tree and home made star (thanks Grandpa and Grandma!).
Couch shot of the cousins. Unsurprisingly, getting all 3 to look at the camera and smile was too difficult for us.
In biking news, I rode with the Wild Card gang on both New Year's eve and the day itself. Both days were windy, and the second day was terribly cold as well. Nice photo evidence as usual is on Paul's blog. I'm pleased with my condition though I'm quite impressed at how strong the strong guys are already.

Of course, the upcoming baby will very likely chop my riding time. We visited the doctor today and Janny and Jill are doing great. She (Janny) weighs approx 3 3/4 lbs.