28 apr 09 time for change

Maybe it's just the energy and hope that comes with spring ... but it feels like things are changing. This morning I told Paul my (new) theory that we should introduce change to our lives periodically to keep ourselves mentally flexible. That way when life throws you something you can't control, you've got some experience, some reference, for making the necessary alterations.

Our life is pretty comfortable these days. We've been considering making a change that would shake up our routine a little. So maybe my theory is just an attempt to convince Paul to make this voluntary change. But I do believe that we can't become too stuck in our ways or we will stop growing. The phrase about the old dog ... I don't want to be old ... I want to be able to learn new things and be open to the positive and negative changes that will come.

That's why I love living in a place with extreme seasons. There's always a change a'coming. Welcome back to Alaska, Spring.

The photo is Paul on a raft trip in western Colorado in 1995. My wonderful in-laws gave me a scanner when I was in Colorado and I'm pulling out my black-and-white negatives.

21 apr 09 bicycle commuter

the commuter bike, in front of the snow berm at the end of the driveway;
the ash line is still below the surface

I didn't really make any resolutions this year, but one of my hopes is to commute via bike more. To kick that off, I pedaled to my favorite bike shop this past Friday and bought fenders for my touring bike and a new sonorous bell for the bike paths. The fenders are to eliminate the need for rain pants whenever it's the least wet, especially if I'm wearing street clothes while riding. The bell was because the spring on my old bell was loose and I felt like the ice cream truck all the way to the shop. I'll ride my mountain bike sometimes, especially when I've got the option for a long ride home through the park, but my 1991 Miyata 600 GT will be the main commuter.

Spending money often motivates me because I hate to waste money. Thus the fender purchase. Another thing that can motivate me is keeping records and seeing what I've accomplished. So I zeroed out my bike computer and put in a new battery to make sure it would get through another year. The odometer read 962.8, but I'm not sure when I last replaced the battery. I bought this computer almost exactly 3 years ago when I lost the back off the old one the evening before the Gold Nugget triathlon (I just pedaled hard and hoped I was hitting my pace.)

I have two vague goals : "bike commute more" and "get in shape." Paul and I usually drive to work together because our offices are within a mile of each other. Paul doesn't like to bike to work (messes up his hair and he gets sweaty). So if I ride in alone, it doesn't reduce our carbon footprint but it could reduce my waistline. I'll only reduce our fossil fuel dependence if he isn't going to work one day or if I can convince him to bike in with me. During the summer and fall we usually bike home at least one evening a week and get creative about retrieving the extra vehicles downtown (movies at the museum on Sunday evenings, Saturday market).

This Sunday Paul pedaled to Quaker Meeting with me in the afternoon. The creek paths are still slushy so we toured the neighborhoods east of Lake Otis as much as possible to get down to Tudor. On Monday morning I rode to work. Assuming Chester Creek is not very rideable yet on my touring bike, I took the opportunity to tour Fairview to make my way downtown. Paul served as sag wagon and carted my clothes, food for the week, and homework to my office.

This evening Paul and I rode home together. My odometer already reads 48 miles after just 5 days. It's a beginning to what I hope will be many happy hours commuting to work, Friends, and errands.

17 apr 09 recent past

I've been wondering, "do I exist if I don't Facebook?" Seems like I'm quickly becoming the minority among my peer group by not setting up a Facebook page. A few of us are still clinging to old communications media, like blogs, emails, and the phone. Do we need to set up a club or a support group?

A friend left a phone message yesterday, wondering if we still exist because he hadn't heard from us in a while and my blog hasn't been updated in over a month. My excuse -- a 12 day trip to the Lower 48, returning to too much work, last minute taxes, and a possibly broken septic system.

Paul didn't go to Colorado because a Redoubt eruption caused a cancellation of his flight. This was during the period when over 250 flights had been canceled, and Alaska couldn't put him on another flight for over 4 days. He opted to stay home and fit intake pipes with panty hose and sweep ash from the deck.

While he monitored the Anchorage scene, I skied with my dad and brother in Utah and visited our families and a few friends in Colorado. Here are a few of my favorite photos of my favorite people in Colorado:
Nell makes a beautiful cherry pie.

Dylan is too fast to capture.

I met baby Sam for the first time.

Ryan can be quite the charmer.

Oh, for a city full of bike paths. Dad and I toured 18 miles along creeks and through neighborhood greenbelts. The Diamondback Wildwoods (top photo) is a good town cruiser.

Brother Ron on the Solitude slopes. I followed him almost everywhere, as long as there wasn't a sign cautioning "Danger Cliff Area."

Click here for more photos of the family