Thursday, March 31, 2011

This week's funny

Stop the presses at Runner's World and notify the keeper of world records, IAAF. According to my Garmin Forerunner 305, I am awesome!

Running History by Day
March 31
Total Calories 1174
Distance 13.05 miles
Total Time 1:38.12
Average Speed 7:32 minutes/mile
Average Heart Rate 150 bpm
Max Speed 3:13 minutes/mile

Take that Hicham El Guerrouj!

Not only did I set a personal best for a half marathon, but I smashed the world record for a mile.

Oops, the watch should have been set to Biking not Running. My bad.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cold Warming Perfection

The Perfect Martini

Supplies:

Shaker
Ice
Gin of choice (I prefer Bombay Sapphire; New Amsterdam is also very tasty.  Quality is essential.)
Vermouth (Martini & Rossi Extra Dry)
Green Olives stuffed with garlic (pimento olives will suffice in a martini emergency situation)
Toothpick
Martini glass

Process:

1)    Chill the martini glass either in the freezer or by filling with ice.  A cold beverage is essential.
2)    Skewer two olives and place in glass after it has chilled (empty ice out of glass if necessary).
3)    Mostly fill shaker with ice
4)    Pour a small amount of Vermouth over the ice in the shaker
5)    Shake the Vermouth and ice to coat
6)    Pour off extra Vermouth (YES, dump it out. All the Vermouth that is needed is on the ice.)
7)    Pour in appropriate amount of Gin into the shaker
8)    Shake until the shaker is very cold in your hand
9)    Pour mixture over the olives in the glass
10)  Enjoy with friends!

Notes:

The Perfect Martini is not about exact measurements but the process.  Follow the process and tweak the ingredients to meet your tastes.  Most of all relish the process of concocting your perfect mixture.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reading List

When people find out about our adventure, many are very curious what we do with our time. Since the primary focus of this trip is to climb and bike, most of our time is consumed with recreating. However, there are always rainy days (gasp!), rest days and evenings. Reading has become once again, a favorite pass time for me.

While in Rifle, I utilized the Garfield County Library system to provide me with some excellent reading. This fall my sister loaned me a couple books (plus many back issues of Smithsonian and Runner's World) and now I use the RV park book exchanges. The book exchange is simple, bring a book and take a book. Below is a partial list of the books that I have read so far. There has been a nice mix of frivolous and serious.

Gypsy Boy - Mikey Walsh
Mrs. Pollifax on Safari - Dorothy Gilman
Tears of the Giraffe - Alexander McCall Smith
In Defense of Food: an eaters manifesto - Michael Pollan
Palestine, Peace not Apartheid - Jimmy Carter
I Know why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
Infidel - Ayann Hirsi Ali
Murder at the Opera - Margaret Truman

Another book is waiting...

Monday, March 7, 2011

RV Park Dog Park


It would seem that most RVers have a small dog for a traveling companion. On occasion one will appear with a mixed breed or Lab or other larger dog. The small dogs have the advantage of not occupying much space in the confines of the RV. Plus, the small size ensures that the owner can stay in parks that restrict dogs to be less than 20 pounds or even 10 pounds.

Given that dogs are such popular companions, many parks provide dog walk areas for Fluffy and Fido to pee and poo. In our travels the dog walk has varied from being a grassy area to fenced off-leash ares to vacant land neighboring the park. One park in Florida even provided dog-pot stations in the park. These little outposts had a bag dispenser and small trash receptacle.

Now, take this RV park. The dogs are not allowed to pee anywhere in the park except one of the two designated dog areas. While this seems outrageous, it does keep dogs from making unwanted visits into other sites. One area is not fenced while the other is fenced allowing users to take their dog off-leash. Because the dogs can only pee in these certain areas, owners display interesting behavior. Now, we asked to as close as possible which put us directly across from the fenced area. Others will carry said small dog to the dog area. But, most popular is to drive the dog to the pee pen! At first I assumed that driving the dog to the pee pen was out of sheer laziness, but now I understand it is to ensure Fluffy doesn't go in an unapproved spot.

There is an unwritten code to using the off-leash areas.

1. Let Fluffy off leash to do her business.
2. Close the gate behind you
3. Use the provided poop scoop to clean up after Fluff.
4. If both pens are occupied when you arrive, wait until one of the parties has finished.
5. If a party arrives to use the pen and Fluffy is finished, pack it up
6. Be respectful of the other dogs and their owners. If Fido is flustered, keep Fluffy under control.

The pee pens are cleaned daily and sprayed with some sort of odor neutralizer to keep the smell down. They are covered with what appears to be coarse cat litter, but probably is quarry findings. Shade is provided for both dog and human. Each pen has a water spout and dish for the dogs to use. The humans are provided a bench and pot for cigarette butts.

My strategy is to watch the pens for an opening and then dart across and let the boys do their thing. Then we embark on our walk zig-zagging through the park with strategic passes by each dog area. By the time we return to the trailer, they own the approved fences, trees, rocks and posts. At least until maintenance comes by and sprays the odor neutralizer.