Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quick Review - New Balance Minimus

I like to buy high quality, durable products so how something falls apart, or the so called failure mode is important.   

Most of my running shoes wear out from the bottom up.  The foam looses it's ability to cushion or the treads wear out.    Not this pair of New Balance Minimus trail running shoes. 

Mind you, I've gotten my money out of this running shoes so I'm not complaining.  I've run in tropical rain storms in Florida and taken them with me for a jaunt around Bermuda, too.  They've lasted two seasons with typically one run a week, mostly street but some trail runs.  That's not bad for a minimalist style shoe. 

The colors look pretty good with a pair of blue jeans, too. 

The only gripe: obscenely long laces.   Being a little thick,  it took three falls before I finally cut the laces and melted the ends with a lighter.   The last fall was on the wooden bridge into Eben G. Fine park.   My knees hit the planks with a loud WHUMP, alarming my running mates. 

As you can see from the pic above, the soles did suffer some wear and tear, but nothing unexpected.  I blame Crossfit for the torn circular pad though - something these trail running shoes were never meant to handle. 

For my next pair, I'm joining the Newton cult.   

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The News

I  Share Custody of a Golden Retriever
A few days ago, I ran into an old friend at the Mountain Sun.    We started talking about our holidays and she mentioned that she was surprised to receive two cards from "us."  

That's when it hit me.  

Although many already know, some friends are still finding out the old fashioned way - through the grapevine.   I suppose I thought it was a need to know kind of thing, not something to be announced publicly - but maybe times have changed.   

Well, here's the news:  Dallice and I got divorced in 2013.   

There's a lot I could say about getting divorced but the most important thing is that we're still friends.  Perhaps we'll be better friends in the future.   

I have deep love and compassion towards Dallice.  We were together for almost a decade and I'm proud of those years.   Most of them were very happy years.   I wish her well on her separate journey.  

Divorce wasn't a bitter experience but it wasn't easy either.  2013 was a tough year, the hardest I can remember.  I'm glad it's now behind me.  I also have a deep gratitude for my family and many friends who reached out and supported me during a difficult period of my life.    

It's now 2014.   I have a new place, a new business, and after an emotional roller coaster of year - I feel like I've got solid ground beneath my feet again. I suppose you could say, I have a new found sense of adventure. 

As for this blog, it's time to get the ball rolling again.    If you're looking for old posts, you should know that Dallice removed her photographs and writing.   While disappointing, I understand why she chose to do so.    I have no judgement about it, it was her decision. As for me, I have no interest in doing that.   Just like my old journals sitting in a closet, it's part of a history that I can't see erasing. 

As the British Government said back in '39,  keep calm and carry on. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Mt. Bierstadt - 14er #10

Today, I successfully hiked up Mt. Bierstadt.   This marks my 10th Colorado 14er (2nd 14er for this year).      Here's a quick trip report.

I had originally planned to arrive the night before, but client matters demanded my attention and I wasn't able to sneak away last night.    Luckily, Bierstadt is on the front range and so easy to access that it didn't even require an overnight stay.     

The route:
My actual tracks (click for a large version)
I took the Western Slopes route (standard).    My GPS said I covered 7.55 miles and ascended about 2,800 feet.  The official route description says the round trip should take seven miles.    I guess I don't walk a straight line.

In my former life, I'd be late leaving for work right around now.
I rolled out of Boulder at O'dark Thirty, made a quick pit stop at Starbucks, and arrived at the trail head just after 8am.    Not too shabby.  

The usual suspects bailed on me, so Mr. Spot was my hiking companion for the day.      

Only a half mile from the trail head to this lovely scene.    If you don't see the giant bull moose, click the picture above for a larger version.

   This is what the trail looks like as you're heading up the mountain.    Mt. Bierstadt is on the right.   Mt. Evans is on the left.

As you climb, low shrubs and heathers are the only ground cover.   You get great views when you start above the tree line (rare).    Pikas and Ptarmigans abound...

This is me at the summit, just past 11am.     There's nothing like kicking back and enjoying the view from a 14er.    A little haze in the air made me wonder if we were still getting smoke from fires in New Mexico and Arizona.

As it turned out, Mr. Spot wasn't my only companion.   There were plenty of other hikers enjoying Mt. Bierstadt on a Wednesday afternoon.     Don't these people have jobs?  

It feels great to kick off your boots at the summit, especially on a day like today.    No wind, warm sunshine, and perfect conditions.     p.s. Don't let the tape scare you.   It was entirely prophylactic.

Sign in at the top.        p.s. who names their kid "Palmer?"

This was my first trip out with trekking poles.  I picked up these carbon fiber babies at Costco a couple of weeks ago and they performed exceptionally well.   Look for the full review on Gear Thoughts, coming soon.

Parting shot from the ride home.   The road over Guanella pass was recently paved.    It's now smooth and twisty.  If you ignore the 20mph speed limit, it makes for good fun on a motorcycle.   Not so much with a 4Runner but still a spectacular view.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Everything Rises Must Converge

Everything Rises Must Converge is a conundrum.   Here you'll find a collection of well written stories, blooming with engaging dialog and colorful narratives.  History comes back to life in O'Connor tales and old prejudices are featured like myths of a long forgotten South.

Yet I hesitate to recommend this book - to anyone - for all of her stories end in dark, twisted tragedy. This work may have been the inspiration for the Tales from the Crypt.   Yes, it's that dark.

Happy endings are certainly not mandatory for a good story, but nine horrible endings in a row is a recipe for depression.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Road Trip to Santa Fe

Have I mentioned that I like to take motorcycle road trips?   Here's last weekend's jaunt to Santa Fe, NM.

Somewhere near Buena Vista
When traveling by motorcycle, it's usually best to go the longest, curviest way possible because it's not just about the destination.   Riding is also best enjoyed with buddies.    Cowboy and Greywolf joined me on this trip.

Of course, weather can be an issue - which is why I look like the stay-puft marshmallow man in this photo.  
Heated Jacket Liner
Layers are helpful, but the real secret to staying warm in cold weather is electric gear.   For this trip, I stopped being a cheap skate and bought a Tour Master Synergy Jacket Liner.    I was reluctant to buy a Tour Master product because the last item I bought fits like a 70's snowmobile suit, but the jacket liner worked great on this trip.

Ginormous Cinnamon Roll 
Road trips are all about eating food you shouldn't.

I picked up the mother of all cinnamon rolls at a roadside restaurant near Buena Vista.    Note to self:   When  patronizing roadside restaurants, observe the size of the proprietor before placing your order.

Stalker Van, Bonnie, Hayduke, Cowboy, and Greywolf
The motorcycle adventuring community is filled with people who will gladly open their homes. garages, and pantries to travelers on the road.

Invite a bunch of hooligans to a party and what do you get?   Shenanigans.

Some shenanigans are more entertaining than others. This is why I don't own a trials bike.

Welcome to New Mexico
I woke up next to this lovely spider, inside my friend Rick's house.    I think it's a Wolf Spider, but I'm not sure.

Not everything I ate on this trip was beef jerky and Cheetos.   We stopped for authentic Mexican at a roadside restaurant in Taos, NM.

Who wired this thing?
No motorcycle road trip on an old BMW is complete without roadside repairs.    My K75 held up pretty well but Cowboy's R1100RT (with 108K miles) had a brake light stuck on.    We eventually tracked it down to a stuck micro-switch on the front brake lever.

Aliens are a curious cultural mix to roadside art.

There and back again
The ride back from Santa Fe was fun, but a long one.    We left a little after 10am,  taking the high road to Taos.    A very entertaining road, slow but filled with tight twisties and historic towns.

Along the way, we hit some patches of slush and cold rain but it wasn't too bad.    After Taos, we kept going north but I split with my buddies at Ft. Garland (they continued on to Salida).    I took Rt. 160 over La Veta Pass and then hopped on I-25 to bomb it home.   Normally, this is a four hour ride but it took me almost six hours due to wintry, wet conditions for most of the trip.

Overall, it was an awesome long weekend away.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Gathering Place

Dallice and I just got back from a little adventure in Hawaii.    We had lots of beach time, of course, but we also surfed, snorkled, flew, rode, camped, and hiked our way around the island of Oahu.

Here's a little slideshow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Northeast Tour - 3rd Stop

After a tearful farewell to my sister and family, I hopped on I-95 and headed towards my brother's house.

Third Stop - New Haven, CT.
Riz and Tahera recently relocated to this New England city, a departure from their prior homes in the rust belt cities of Pittsburgh and Buffalo. Since I'd last seen them, they added a newborn to the family tree. I was pretty excited to see my nephews and especially to meet Azeem for the first time.

Arman (Manu) and Azeem (Zeemu), ready for a day out in New Haven.

Turns out that there's a roaming farmer's market in New Haven. A perfect spot to pick up a little cheese and other goodies.

My sister-in-law Tahera and nephew Azeem

Tahera and Arman, at a park overlooking the city.

A delectable afternoon at the beach. There's nothing like the smell of fresh ocean air.

Azeem violating city ordinances.

The look on Zeemu's face is priceless.

I loved seeing Riz enjoying being a parent and connecting with his children. It's a remarkable feeling because, with 5 years between us, I distinctly remember when my parents brought Riz home from the hospital. It really doesn't seem that long ago, and yet, here he with two children of his own.

... next stop, Nantucket.

Northeast Tour - 2nd Stop

I stayed at my parent's house for a week. It was a great time with friends and family. The car was also resurrected. I was just about ready to roll.

Unfortunately, we had a little issue with getting the MR2 registered. Seemed the title was missing. It would take at least a week for the DMV to issue a new one. Thankfully, my dad loaned me his car - an Infinity G35x. With 300+hp, all wheel drive, and an iPod interface... a nice upgrade from coach to first class.

Time to hit the road.

Leonia, NJ - 2nd Stop

My sister Sadaf and her family were making final preparations to relocate to Bermuda. It was a tough time for me to visit, but I was glad to see them before they left.

My nephews Jordan and Oscar

My brother-in-law Jeff and niece Samina

Jordan, showing us what he thinks of dinner, earning himself another trip to the naughty chair.

Mom and Mina

Grandma Helene and Jordan

Grandpa Michael

My sister Sadaf showing me what parenting is all about.

I spent two days with the Trimarchi's. From picking up the kids at school, to running Oscar to the vet, it was a whirlwind but it was worth it to see them. They're now off to new adventures in Bermuda and I'm waiting for a holiday invitation.

During my visit, I also had an evening with old friends in NYC. I saw Charley Cleaver, Uygar Dogan, and Pat and Marena McCarthy. Good times (but sadly, no pics).

.....Next stop, New Haven, CT.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Northeast Tour - 1st Stop

Every once in a while, I take a trip back east to visit friends and family. I make the time because life is short and these people are important to me. I'm fortunate, not only do I have good friends who invite me to visit, but I also have an understanding wife, great clients, and a healthy business.

First stop - Catlin, NY.

Visiting my parents was a trip down memory lane. I saw family (my parents, aunt, and uncle) and several old friends (Mark Cotton, Matt Oldfield, Brett Powell). I also resurrected my old MR2 from storage in my parents barn.

It was important to get this car running again, because I planned to drive it back to Colorado. It had been in storage for about a decade, last registered in 2001.

Here's a pic of the car in my parent's barn.

After extracting it from the barn with a little help from my dad and his John Deere, we pushed it into the garage. As it turned out, it needed less work than I expected. New plugs, coolant flush, oil change, and a fresh battery. Sadly, mice or chipmunks had taken to nesting in it, which meant lots of vacuuming and cleaning.

Here it is in the make-shift workshop (my parent's garage).

Here's the timing belt, exposed for a careful examination. The belt, by the way, looked great but I bought a spare, just in case.

Many thanks to my parents for storing this car for me and much appreciation to those who helped me get her running again.

I spent an afternoon visiting my old friend Mark Cotton. From his place in Corning, it's a short walk along the river to downtown.

Here's Mark:

Here's Corning:

Meanwhile, Brett was nice enough to invite me to view a few old cars at the Vintage Car weekend at Watkins Glen.

....Next Stop - Leonia, NJ