Sunday, January 17, 2010


Well, I had a productive and fun day. First up was a drive down to Stoney Creek to meet up with Curt for some trail riding. We got there at 9am, hoping that it would still be cold enough to not worry about slushy or muddy trails since the temperatures have been above freezing for quite a few days in a row lately. It was around 29 or 30 degrees when we got started. Considering the cold spell we had a for a couple weeks it felt really comfortable out.

I was excited to hit the trails, first because I haven't spent much time on the trails in the past year. Secondly, Jackie got me some studded tires for winter riding last year and I've yet to really test them out. Last year I took them out on the back dirt roads a couple times and they felt great in the snowy icy conditions, but I never had a chance to ride them on the trails. I wasn't disappointed as they performed great, clawing through the snow and super stable on ice. There were sections where we were on solid ice and were still able to maintain traction, actually able to climb hills and ride off camber sections on ice. I still much prefer riding in warmer weather, but this does make me look forward to getting out in winter more.

When I left Stoney I called Jackie and mentioned to her that I had a project in mind for the afternoon. She was pretty surprised as she is always wanting to make changes to the house and I'm usually pretty happy with things the way they are. We've been discussing some changes for a while now and I decided to take advantage of a free afternoon. Our home had a half wall between part of the living room and kitchen, about six feet long. We thought it might be nice to remove that, which will allow some additional light up into the living room and make both rooms feel bigger. Jackie has also been wanting new flooring for a while now so we figured it would be better to get it out now.

So I got to work. First thing, disconnect the two electrical outlets on either side of the wall. Got zapped, realizing I turned off the wrong breaker, so I turned off the correct breaker and removed them. Then I removed all the moldings, taking care to not destroy them for later. After that was on to the fun part, breaking drywall and hammering out 2x4's. It all came out relatively easy and we're both really happy with the way it turned out. Both rooms seem so much more open now. The only problem, the cats are upset. They both really liked to sit up on top of the half wall.

Lots of work left though. Drywall repairs, painting, flooring, and I need to figure out what to do with the two electrical lines currently sticking out of the wall. But for now I'm going to relax on the couch and watch the rest of the Chargers/Jets game.
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow, I can't believe 2009 came and went as quickly as it did. It was a very good year in most respects, other than cycling and fitness in general. Let's start out with the good though. 2009 was a good year for me professionally as I received a great promotion at work. That did contribute to a much busier schedule with more time spent away from home. I went back and counted all my trips up from the past year and it worked out to be 45 nights away from home. Add to that a couple vacations with Jackie plus some weekend trips and I was away for around 65 nights last year. The travel can definitely take its toll, but I've really gotten used to it over the past years and whenever I think I have it rough I just think about my cousin Dave's travel schedule. I think he's spent 45 days away from home in a single month before:).

Another great thing that happened this year was our move at work to a new (to us) facility. The building we were in just wasn't the right place for us; poor layout, needed tons of work. After about 14 months of working through environmental issues we finally closed at the end of September. Our goal was to be in by the end of the year. This meant many nights and weekends spent at the new place helping out, then moving loads of stuff once it was time to move. It turned out great though as we began operating out of the new place this past Monday, the 28th. Our new place is really nice; with beautiful offices, a much better layout and plenty of room for expansion.

I've documented most of the fun stuff we've done this year on here, though I've been absent lately with any sort of updates. Since my last post we did have a great weekend up in Traverse City for the Iceman. As we've done the past three years, we rented a large vacation home so some people could stay with us and we hosted a large pasta dinner the night before the race for most of our team members and many other friends. That turned out great, as did the race day. This was the first time in three years I didn't race, but it was a lot of fun just being up there hanging out with everyone. There was a huge turnout this year, around 4500 racers so knowing the campground would be packed at the finish area we rented a campsite for the day of the race to set up our Ez-Up tents, do some grilling, make a campfire, etc. That worked out great as we had a big crowd of teammates and other friends hanging out all day.

The rest of November and December were basically consumed by work with some family activities thrown in there, including my sister-in-law Amy's graduation on December 18th. Congratulations Amy.

Now, getting back to my negatives for 2009, specifically my lack of riding and deteriorating fitness. That's my main goal going forward, to reverse that. We made a big step forward earlier in December. In place of buying each other Christmas gifts this year, Jackie and I bought an elliptical trainer and a spin bike as a gift to ourselves. We've turned our computer room into a mini gym with both of those in there, as well as my flat bench and Powerblocks. It really gives me a ton of opportunities to get some good workouts in. So far it seems to be working. Since we go everything on the 15th of December I've used it every day except for one. Now I just need to keep it up.

Looking into 2010, I think it's going to be a great year. You see all these articles and ads promoting New Year's resolutions, stating "New Year, New You". I read something the other day that said it better in my opinion, "New Year, Better You". That's what I'm going to focus on. I don't need a new me, I need to focus on the good parts and improve the parts of me that need it.

So Happy New Year. Hopefully yours was as fun as ours. We spent the evening with my family; had a great dinner courtesy of Amy and Sergio, had a blast playing the Wii Fit (even mom and dad gave it a shot, and toasted the New Year with a great bottle of champagne. Jackie took the picture above of the champagne. We bought that in Paris almost 2 1/2 years ago and were saving it for a special occasion. It was fun to open it up and share it with our family (other than Hayley, she got sparkling apple juice).

Here's to 2010 and a better me (and you).