31 July 2007

A hot and busy July

July proved to be a firecracker this year and I was outside on each scorching day and I was also sick for a third of the month. Therefore blogging diminished a lot. Here's a list of things I had hoped to blog about but alas did not:
  • Saluting the weatherman. Former FOX News weatherman and associate bid farewell to the Go early in July. I drank with him and others and even baked him a cake. Surprisingly he moved to the Grove.
  • The Festive Fourth. After a night of mayhem I decided to stick in town for the holiday before doing a bike adventure. I was surprised nobody wanted to celebrate with me. My roommate was content with painting somebody else's walls.
  • Pain. A niggling upper leg injury has left me partially lame. I have not been able to do much running but by some grace I am able to play soccer once a week.
  • More holiday. I made a yearly appearance at Breezy Point again and did some of the things I enjoy doing- watching cable and biking. I got to see some great programs on Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. I especially enjoyed The Deadliest Catch, a reality show that follows the lives of crews of Alaskan crab fishing boat. I caught the last episode of season 2 and the 1st 2 episodes of season 3. So far 3 men have died. I also enjoyed MythBusters and American Chopper. I biked the Paul Bunyan trail to Brainerd and back.
  • At the source. Bookended on that holiday is time camping at Lake Itasca State Park. Unfortunately I did not see the source this time but I did swim in the lake and hike roughly 7 miles.

Well, I hope there is more to write about in August.

23 July 2007

Biking the Sheyenne Valley


This year's solo bike adventure took my from my front door to the Sheyenne River Valley. Not wanting to spend much on gas money I loaded my bike and trekked southward from the Go on country roads. Some would say this was a physically challenging endeavor. Few of my peers have biked more than 20 miles at 1 time. This whole trip may have been near 200 miles. I didn't keep accurate data but I knew I was making over 40 miles a day.
The challenging part of this trip was mental. The boring terrain of a large portion of the places I biked wore me out. In order to stay somewhat sane I stopped at country cemeteries and the read the stones.
However, the Sheyenne River Valley is magically unlike any parts of Eastern North Dakota. I followed the scenic route from the Little Yellowstone Park to Lisbon and was impressed with all but the last 5 miles.
Some frustrations of this trip also included a poorly vented bivy tent. This tent was like sleeping in a coffin. I'm glad I had a mini fan. Bugs also were a problem. They would not be repelled by any bug dope I used. Fortunately I did not have to fight these insects in the day.
Although it may sound I was miserable, I was not. I enjoy being in the saddle and in particular I like touring. Someday I'd like to a real long distance trip.
What did I learn from this trip? North Dakota is fairly bike able but I would do this route when the humidity and heat are not as high. I need a better bivy tent or I need to modify it. I don't necessarily need a camp stove. I should not have to wear a backpack, it made things even hottier.

Sick and tired

At the end of last week I think I picked up the flu. Tonight after playing a strenuous soccer match in blazing heat, I feel a bit better. I must also add a few people prayed for me, too. So I won't credit soccer with healing me.
At first I thought I had eaten a bad tomato. I made the mistake of putting an old tomato slice on a sandwich. It tasted funny. Hours later I felt the first signs of sickness- soreness in the back of the throat. My attempts to combat it failed and by Saturday I was really bad. I had aches and total congestion. And all this while it was something really hot outdoors. I began to hear that others I knew had experienced something similar in the past 2 days. A summer flu bug? That's bizarre.

19 July 2007

On the Road to Glory: Thug Love?

Owen gets his own one shot feature in "Thug Love"

Although not as complex as the Ledge, Owen is shown living a life of suburban elitist thuggery at its best. As the team's Thug, Owen certainly throws around his brawn. He, however, has not featured much in the soap opera portions. I think mostly because Ledge has been running the show. This could change I believe. I can only imagine Owen stating emphatically- "The Ledge has reached his pinnacle, its time to fall." He would say all this while brandishing a chain saw.

My one question, however, how much love is there for Owen? We see the same thugish moment again in this special as has been seen thrice before: Owen goes ballistic on some cowardly opponent. 3 years in the pen and that is all he can do? Or is Owen's thuggery not often caught on camera? What redeems this Thug in my mind are his adulatory comments from the Ace Schonrock special concerning how to block a shot. He kind of seems like a friendly thug as long as you do what he wants.

The best moment of this video is the vignette I call "The List." The subtle dictation of a list of items Owen provides us with the characterization we've been missing. "Chicken Sandwich, hold the bread," Owen growls to the willing Ross. An aluminum bat, duct tape, shower curtain? Is Owen scheming an evil plan. Perhaps he has a wood chipper that doesn't chip wood. Hide your daughters!

Overall this video is short and sweet but lacks the kind of pro wrestling violence that a thug like Owen should churn out on a regular basis. Wouldn't he get a little more tough with Ross concerning the lack of attention he paid last time? I guess you could just consider Owen a benevolent thug. Thugs have feelings you know.


13 July 2007

Across the bridge


I've been on hiatus the past few weeks during the holiday and a major work meeting. So hopefully in the next few days I'll have some new content. Now, be content with some of my photographic essays.