• Category Archives day by day
  • This is the category closest to just being a plain diary. Places I go, things I do, people I see, what’s happening in my life.

  • Painter, Washer

    Anne rented out (almost) the entire first floor of her office building to an architectural firm. They will be moving in on the first, so we’ve been in overdrive, downsizing her office and moving it upstairs, then cleaning out and painting all the downstairs rooms. We were at it for the better part of last week, and we have this week to finish — it’ll come down to the wire but I think we’ll make it.

    Meantime, tomorrow we get our new washing machine. The old one died just before Christmas, and we’ve been waiting “for things to settle down” after the holidays, before shopping for a new one. Well, things never did settle down, so I did a bunch of online research, and then went to Sears on Saturday, to buy one in person.

    Life goes on…

  • Therefore Let It Be Resolved

    Well, the holidays are over, presents unwrapped, toasts drunk and the house guests have all gone home, now it’s time to assess the past year and plan for the coming one…

    I have only one resolution for 2017: I will ride my bike a lot more than I did last year. I mean, last year was kind of pathetic, even after accounting for my July mishap.

    monthly exercise column chart for 2016
    Here we see the ugly truth.

    I have to say though, that this is mileage, and miles don’t tell the whole story: my best and most enjoyable rides (other than June’s long Jim Thorpe solo ride) were those camping trips in Jim Thorpe and Bald Eagle, and the big Fall group MTB rides — and on those rides I mostly held my own, I was nowhere near as out of shape as I feared. (I won’t show it here, but I just looked it up, and my saddle time last year was almost double my 2015 and 2014 times. For what it’s worth…)

    Anyway, my resolution is to ride more.

    These aren’t resolutions, but here are some other things I want to be a part of my life in 2017:

    • Get a better grip on my finances
    • Pick up the cello again
    • Learn a few computer-assisted design things (mapping, 3D CAD, the web)
    • And finally, I want to find a niche in the gig economy, something to bring in some pin money

    I’m already on my way for all but the last, but for that one I’m still not sure what I might want to do or how to make it happen.

  • Chill

    I busted out the “to-do list” thing again, mainly just writing my lists into a text file and checking off the items as I go. That gets me through the more energetic part of the day — one morning I cleaned the bathroom and the brewing equipment, another day I did the bills and similar, and today I did a bit of overdue yardwork before lunch — leaving me a more guilt-free evening for computer play. (We’ve been running and lifting when we get up, so that’s already covered.)

    Anyway, today’s chore was yardwork: there were a bunch of wildflowers — weeds, really — in the front yard that needed to be cut down. I went out to deal with them, and it was freezing out. Two minutes into the job and it’s blowing a hard bitter bluster, and another five minutes brought snow, which started as flurries but soon looked like a real snowstorm coming down, or rather sideways, in all that wind. Cutting the wildflowers was barely a half-hour’s work, and I much prefer cooler weather for outdoor work, but this was brutal, and as soon as I was done the snow stopped.

    The rest of the day was spent indoors, guilt-free.


  • Life Goes On…

    Just checking in. I’ve been a bit depressed about the election, and haven’t had much to say — I haven’t done much since then either, so there isn’t much to say — but but it’s time to start putting things back to normal in my life, our lives, so here goes…

    Thanksgiving was awesome, if a bit overwhelming. Thursday was a bit quiet, just a small meal with Anne and me, and Ben who was up from Philly for the week (though we did stop at John & Donna’s place for a late dessert), because Friday was our day to get together with Anne’s family, at her mom’s place in Jim Thorpe.  Us, and  Ben, and all five of Anne’s siblings and their spouses, plus a good chunk of the grandchildren (Ben’s generation) and their spouses, and even a bunch of great-grandchildren running about. We ate, hung out and BS’ed, watched said kids run about… Fun, but a very tiring day.

    We brewed on Saturday, making an oatmeal stout with the help of Peter C, another one of the “Quaker kids” who grew up with Emmi and Ben, who’d brewed before but only with malt extracts, and wanted to see how it was done using grain. (A Cornell grad and budding farmer, Peter’s unconventional but very sharp, and surprisingly pleasant to be around — but then he did let me mansplain the brewing process.) We also tapped our rye IPA that we’d made a few weeks before (verdict: delicious), and Anne also did some baking, something that had become pretty much a constant the entire past week, what with Ben home, and Thanksgiving treats to make, and us all being homebodies while the beer brewed… I had no complaints!

    Bicycling: Not much going on there, but I did ride Sals with Doug on Sunday. Not much to say except that the both of us were pretty well matched in terms of being out of shape, and we did a few of the less used trails — we visited the old YCC pavilion, which had burned down years ago, but apparently had been rebuilt long enough ago to have sustained damage from a falling tree — and spent a lot of time catching up.

    So that was last weekend. Other recent events included a recent trip to Bonn Place, seeing that movie Moonlight at SteelStacks, helping Josh B bottle about 42 cases of beer at Two Rivers last Tuesday, and seeing our friends Ed and Ann last night. We may stop in at Two Rivers tonight, since it’s Bacon Night — I have only a vague notion what that might mean — and some of the home-brew crowd might be there. Life goes on.


  • A Check-In

    Nothing much to say really, just hanging out. It’s been unseasonably warm lately, but today has been cold, rainy and windy, a blustery October day. Ben just left a little while ago after a visit (and a multi-day ride up the D&L to White Haven — maybe more on that, plus photos, in another post), and we’re getting ready for John and Donna’s housewarming party tonight. Jazz on the radio, candles lit in the living room, a very hyggeligt (pronounced “hoogley,” meaning “cozy”) afternoon, as the Danes might say…

  • Sixteen Years A Turner Man

    Posted on by Don

    Here’s something that I did today: I bought a new mountain bike! (And despite the similarity in titles, I did not get rid of the Turner like I did the Outback.)

    What I got was a Santa Cruz 5010, though I’m not sure of the exact price point and I don’t recognize the components well enough to evaluate them — 11×1 gearing, adjustable seatpost, the Turner was the pride of the new millennium when it came out, but I feel now like I just traded in a stagecoach for a starship.

    Anne and I had gone over to Saucon Valley Bikes for other business, and I thought I would just look at a bike or two, since I was sort of in the market… We got there and there was Renee, who when I last saw her got on my case about getting a new bike. She and Anne both got on me because I obviously was in love with this bike, and we even did a quick singletrack ride from the shop. I came back and said “I’ll take it!” A few things needed to happen but I came back and took possession a few hours later. Tomorrow is the inaugural ride, at Sals, and I’ll make my decision on which bike to ride for the Wilderness 101.

  • Eighteen Years An Outback Man

    Posted on by Don

    Just thought I’d check in with a Subaru update: the engine is shot, there’s nothing short of a new engine that can fix it and a new engine is not worth doing, so I’m scrapping the car. The towing company will actually donate it to a local (Saranac Lake) fire company, and I get a tax write-off — I just have to wait for my new, duplicate title to come from Harrisburg since I lost the original, probably years ago.

    Anne and I were talking about cutting back to having only one car between us, so for now we will not be replacing the Outback, though our original plan was to get rid of her aging Mazda and keep the Outback, so our situation is a bit fluid, and we may end up getting a replacement for the Mazda in the foreseeable, though probably not the immediate, future.

    The question then becomes: what kind of new car? I have had an Outback for about 18 years at this point; the first one lasted 10 years and almost 200,000 miles, while the second did eight years and only 170,000 miles. I suppose I’d consider another Subaru if we could find a used one for a decent price — it still is pretty much the only game in town if you want a 4-wheel-drive station wagon — but the problems I had with the second one were depressingly familiar, almost at the exact same mileage as the first, and though I know every old car will have problems — and I have trouble imagining myself in something that isn’t a 4WD station wagon — I think I’m a little tired of Subaru right now. I guess we have to do a bit of research.

  • Vacation End… Or Is It?

    Posted on by Don

    Today was the last day of our Adirondacks vacation with Anne’s family; we got up early this morning, cleaned the cabin, said our goodbyes and took off in the rain, the only rainy day of the trip. We (Anne and I) got as far as Ray Brook NY, midway between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid — in other words, we’d just barely started our homeward journey — when the car made a “clunk” sound and died. I had just enough presence of mind, and momentum, to pull into a parking space on the side of the road, in what turned out to be the local Post Office.

    Long story short: my timing belt snapped, and there was no oil in the car. I have no idea which came first but both are bad, like possibly “car needs a new engine, which really means I need a new car” bad. We’ll find out Monday, when we also are going to rent a car in Plattsburgh, so we’re here in Saranac Lake until then.

  • Just Checking In

    Posted on by Don
    lake and trees
    Looking out over the lake from the porch.

    Fourth of July, third day of vacation, a bit of a mellow day after yesterday’s hike. Anne and I got up early and went kayaking with Lorraine, Laura and Marie, and we might do a short walk on our dirt road soon, but we just finished lunch and the ladies are carding and spinning wool, and I’m just sitting here watching the lake and trying not to nap…