Monday, August 31, 2009

The Big Move - Day 1

The first part of the big move to Cincinnati went well! The day started at 6 am with a run to the store to get more boxes. We quickly finished packing the kitchen and disassembling furniture.

We picked up the truck at 9 and were back home at 9:30. James, Chelsea, and Tobin were waiting for us at the house. Immediately James started packing boxes into the truck. A few people from Elder's Quorum and my dad showed up starting just before 10 (huge thanks to them). Everybody rocked it out! We stopped when the truck was 98% full and looked at the time. The Timex said "10:51". The truck was fully loaded in just over an hour!

Of course the last minute/small things took forever to take care of, as they always do. Jessi did an ah-maze-ing job with all the packing and cleaning. She had help with girls from mi mum (thanks mom).

I had a few errands to run (and rerun since the lock I bought for the moving truck door didn't fit). I got out of the house at 3:20. Five hours later I arrived in Rawlins. Made pretty good time says I. I had 5 stops to check the straps on the car trailer and one stop for gas and dinner. In the car I could have done it in four hours.

I took some good pics of the truck and some fun stuff I did while driving to occupy my time. Buuuuuuuuuut, I left the camera in the truck and I'm not going out to get it right now. Pics to come tomorrow or later.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thanks Deer Valley

Today I spent an afternoon off riding downhill at Deer Valley with my co-worker and friend Craig. Tim hooked us up with a couple of free passes (thanks Tim!) so we took the afternoon off (you can do that when it's your second to last day at work) to go ride.

I didn't want to rent or borrow a DH bike so I decided to ride my cross-country hardtail.

It was all well and good but then at the end of the second run this happened:

and this:

and this:

that one again (that's not a muffin top, that's swelling):

and the ribs (hard to see, but there are some bruises and I think I bruised or cracked some ribs because they hurt):

and the shoulder:

It hurts a lot. Riding was super fun. Unfortunately I bent my handlebar, but that isn't anything a little barter of some old ski bindings for a handlebar won't fix.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Garden Update

So far I have failed to provide a garden update. Now that we are leaving in a week I thought it time to do so since we'll be leaving almost all of it behind. What started out as this now looks like this:

The tomato plants have done extremely well. We've probably had two dozen cherry tomatoes. The Purple Russian has given us 6-7 tomatoes already with more on the way. They haven't been purple but they have been delicious. The Amish Paste has given 2 tomatoes so far, but there are many big green ones just turning right now.

The red bell pepper plant has been interesting. The plant itself didn't get very big. It gave one small red pepper early on. It sprouted four peppers all at once recently but three have been lost to rot.

The jalapeno plant was slow to start. The three weeks of rain early in the summer delayed it. Once this got hot it start growing. Right now there are probably 20-25 jalapenos growing. They aren't very big, maybe one to two inches long. I don't think they are going to get any longer as some are already starting to turn red. I plan to make jalapeno jelly with them in the next couple of days.

The radishes have come and gone. We got a few good bulbs, but they mostly just sent down an long root and then flowered. The green onions were delicious but are now gone. We went through two zucchini starts that both died before I randomly saw a seed sitting on top of the dirt. I planted it and hoped. Nothing happened for weeks. Then a little sprout came up. We went on vacation for a week and came back to this:

So far we've had eight huge zucchinis off it. There are two more currently growing on it. It's amazing that something that large came from a seed the size of a dime.

The Swiss Chard has grown fantastically. Too bad it's not one of our favorites, but it's been fun to share. We wait until the leaves get nice and big then pick them back until there are only two little leaves remaining in the middle. We've done that four times now and they keep growing back.

The green beans and pickling cucumber plants have done surprisingly well. Especially considering we planted them in a spot where nothing else would grow. The bean plants have gotten tall, but no green beans.

The pickling cucumbers have taken a while to get going and are just now fruiting. Just a tad too late for us to take advantage before we move.

The strawberry plants gave us maybe five tiny, delicious strawberries. Next year they will do better for someone else. They are sending off many shoots to propagate for next year.

The cherry tree in the yard doesn't give very good cherries. We picked them anyway and made some cherry jelly. It's surprisingly delicious!

We just picked a bunch of pears off the pear tree (once again not very good product, but we are hoping it turns out as good as the cherry jelly).

Things I have learned this year:

  • Self-watering containers are amazing

  • Tomato cages don't work too well in self-watering containers (at least not how I put them in)

  • Ski poles make excellent posts for running plants...just make sure you don't have to unwind the plants because you need the poles because you are moving

  • Don't put fertilizer that should be concentrated directly on the plants, undiluted - I made two of our indoor plants limp and destroyed the red pepper plant with it...oops

  • Only ever plant one zucchini plant

  • Take all the free fruit you can get and make jam, jelly, sauce, or rollups with it

  • Don't miss harvest dates - we missed apricot picking season and now won't have homemade jam for the next year

  • Berry plants typically produce on wood that is at least one year old

I am bummed to be leaving everything behind, but at least it'll be in good hands.

I am already looking forward to next year and already have some plans in the works.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The New Commuter Bike

With the move to Cincinnati, a longer commute, and wetter weather I thought it prudent to get a new bike for commuting. The cyclocross bike is awesome, but I want to keep it nice. The daily commute, wet weather, and especially winter are hard on bikes and I want to keep my investment running top notch.

Enter the new commuter bike:

Isn't it sexy (yes it is). This thing is a machine! Old steel frame (no idea who made it, all markings were gone). I stripped it down to be a single-speed but left the rear derailleur on to act as a chain-tensioner. Removed the drop bars for a flat bar and regular brake levers. Still rocking 27" wheels. Added the fenders and rear rack.

Best part is I paid $40 for the bike and have put another $35 in parts into it (grips, cables, tubes, bar). It's ready to roll. I have two weeks on it already and it is awesome. All I need is cross tires for the winter commute.

My favorite part is the headbadge. The original one is missing so I made my own:

Yup, that's a spoon. I made it out of a soda can using a razor knife. Pretty sweet in my opinion!

I am super excited to be commuting on a single-speed again.

Friday, August 07, 2009

The Cincinnati

So it's pretty much common knowledge that we are moving to Cincinnati. I got into a nine month master's of marketing program at the University of Cincinnati. We're leaving on 8/31. Woo! It took a little longer than we had planned, but it's nice to finally be moving on to the next life goal.

We haven't ever been to Cincinnati so we're excited to get there and see what it's like. From people we know here's what we've been told:

  • Cincinnati is a hole

  • Cincinnati isn't that bad

  • Cincinnati is nice

  • All of Ohio is a hole

  • UC is a good school

  • It's the spaghetti capitol of the US

  • It has the best gelato outside of Italy

  • The southern woods of OH have great mountain biking

  • The cyclocross scene is pretty rad (too bad I won't really be able to participate in it this year

So that being said we're taking all of it with a massive grain of salt. If Cincinnati sucks, oh well, it's only nine months! You can expect plenty of updates on the move and what life is like there for us.