Sunday, June 4, 2017

it goes in spurts

seems i do this in spurts - when i have time.  so the past month of may have been pretty busy.  what's happened so far?

hmmmm - golf started back up - trying to get out once a week at least either via league or with the neighbor. not doing too bad - keeping in the low 50s / upper 40s

cycling - yep lots more - have been slow in even posting there but have tried to average 50 60 a week - rain the first part of the month kept that down but getting warmer and dryer - making that happen

running - every thursday and saturday when i can - again - trying to get 10 miles a week in either running / stairs combined

scouts - grey wolf kicking up - venture camping at stearns this past month - just a one nighter due to weather but had good time

camper is coming along - looking forward to get getting it and getting away.

work - doing well - keeping busy but trying to step back more - am heading to vegas next week for hpe discover conference.

that's all today.

later folks - leave a comment if you do read these!


Monday, May 1, 2017

hello may - winter?`

so it snowed again today - didn't stick but it snowed - again - on may 1st. it snowed on my birthday - 26, 27 and 30th.  geez glad when summer shows up

anyway - what i've been up to.

completed the falls duathlon !

I finished 5th in my age group out of 6. Under 2 hours total time (1:59:00). Had my best 2 mile time in 20:30. Passed 5 and was passed by 5. On the bike, was basically uphill into the wind gong out and downhill with the wind coming back. Passed 50 folks and didn't have anyone pass me. Moving into the 3 mile run was hard to start out, but once i got going did ok. Considering i had just finished riding, I'll take the 38:45 time for the 3 mile run (passed 5 and passed by 25). I pushed when i could but the transition from bike to run is tougher than I thought it would be. I rode hard as the average on the return leg was just over 25. Overall, had a good day - I had fun, was smiling (I think) and enjoyed myself. Thanks Shelly Ferguson Leciejewski for finding the run for me. I'll probably do it agin next year. Thanks to my wife Deborah McQueen Coder for supporting and encouraging me. This was a whole lot better than what Ironman will be tomorrow (rain/snow/wind).

i was happy with something that i had never tried before.

next on the list - get ready for RAW - ride across wisconsin

scouting wise, deb and dennis were both honored with vigil honors.  i have to say i planned it out pretty good.

crew was to go out zip lining sunday the 30th - but weather kept that from happening - snow - rain - wind.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Even the ruskies lost interest!

i like to look at the stats from the blog - just interested to see if there have been any views or comments.  so far, nary a comment - which is fine.  but seeing where the views do come from is always interesting to me. growing up i used to listen to shortwave radio - and would send a postcard to the different radio station i would hear and then they in return, would send a QSL card back. had a big collection of them. even had radio Havana sending me things up till i was sr. in high school.

anyway, heres the latest stats from viewers like you! as you can see from this, my viewership  is down in the mother land.  must not be too interesting to them or maybe i don't translate well!


Friday, April 7, 2017

if i don't answer, leave a message! geez!

oh yea - i love it when people call and do not leave a message.  that's just rude. sorry, but if you expect me to answer a number that i do not know, then leave a message, tell me who you are and leave a message - even if it's local.  I get enough cold calls and spam calls due to my work.  I'll call you back - but if you don't leave me a message - don't expect a call back if you don't.  that just common sense, but then some people just are not born with it.

ride, run, run 7 of 30 so far.

so this week started erik's Wednesday night rides.  i applied to be an ambassador (ken asked if i would) but wasn't selected.  however supposed to be getting some nice swag for applying. looking forward to that!

anyway, jorge was  there Wednesday. we did my four church ride and showed him why i call it that - just a 20 mile ride but enough to loosen up the legs.  jorge hung behind me for most of the ride (wind was from the north).  good first ride.

Thursday did 4.8 miles with dawn patrol. did a small hill circuit. ran a bit with cindi as she was feeling a little off due to cold. never fun to run by yourself in the mornings.  and usually have someone that drops back and runs with me so paying it back.

so far - 7 for 7 in getting on the bike and riding this month.  tomorrow will get some yard work done - least get the hole measured so to order some dirt.

thats all so far this week.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

who is reading this any way?

so i looked at the stats today - who is reading / looking at my much ado about nothing blog.  russia is leading the way with the US and then UK/Netherlands and Nepal?

it must be good reading in the cold depths of Siberia!


Really - have i run that much this year?

so the board at lifetime posted the number for janurary and febraruy.  have racked up over 90 miles so far and that did not include march.  holy fright. who would have thought i could run that far in three months time.  not stopping but just surprised myself with these numbers.  start cycling tomorrow night with the erik's group. not sure who, if anyone reads the blog, but you are welcome to join the ride - or come run with us on thursdays (dawn patrol at lft) or saturday mornings run club.  enjoy!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

benign biopsy and thoughts

so Tuesday had my prostrate biopsy.  was more sore from the needle poke on the left hand than the actual procedure.  anyway - good news was it came back benign.  whew!

so didn't do Thursday morning class, took it easy also Friday.  did run on Saturday - got in 8.5 miles - but only ran about 6.5 of that.  had not run in a good week or so.

someone asked me why are you running?  simple - cause i can. Tuesday was the third biopsy i have had.  each one comes back benign thankfully but each time am told - you have pre-cancerous cells there.  so back in six months for PSA check again.  but - i run because of that - because i can.

weather permitting i'll start back to leading Erik's rides on Wednesday this week (April 5th).  will be short one - first of the year always is and bit chilly.  not sure how many will be there but i plan to.

next week - temps should start to climb and hope to ride to work on Mondays and Fridays. - tuesday and Thursday gym days, Wednesday Erik's and Saturday / Sunday are run or bike days. i am trying to make 30 days of April - even if around the block - just down the drive way.

thats all for now folks .


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A year ago - and still think of it.

a year ago, it was monday - not tuesday.  i went to maple grove for some reason rather than st. paul.  i got in early - about 620.  our cubes were up on the third floor and remember passing a colleague in on the steps and at the landing who was having trouble breathing. i asked him if he was ok.  he said he just needed to catch his breath.  i went on to my cube and and as i rounded the corner, i heard him drop and someone shout call 911.  i did and then went around the corner and found him on the floor. i rolled him over.  i checked for a pulse and nothing.  i then told the lady with him to watch for the medics as i started cpr.  i did cpr for over 2 - 3 minutes until the medics arrived.  after that i let them take over. i did what i know i had to do. it kept him going until he was transported to the hospital.  four days later he passed.  i did my best that's all i could do. i only hope that should you come upon the situation, you know what to do. if not, get trained. its not hard.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Groupon tours and other things

some folks have inquired how we have been able to travel to ireland and scotland like we have. it's because of using groupon.

i know the first time i tried this, i was little skeptical - fly to ireland, have a rental car for 6 days and stay in really nice hotels - what the catch?   all for $799 / person from chicago!  really?  Our challenge was to get to chicago ohare.  i'm not cheap but at the same time, i hate to pay baggage fees. we typically fly southwest into midway, take the EL (city train) for $6.00 to Ohare. Again, you have to plan this out as it takes about 75 minutes to get from one airport to the other. - same coming back.  it's not rocket science, but does take some planning on our part.  so far, we have not had any problems.  i guess we could fly into ohare but at extra $100.00 for bags (2 x 25 each way) i'll take the EL and enjoy the sights of chicago.

we also travel in the off season - feb/mar/april or late fall - oct/nov - granted some things are closed but you get better deals and a lot of the places you can walk around the grounds for free as they are closed.

so took a chance and it was great. groupon works with great value vacations.  from what i can see, this is a good pairing. don't think you can get a better deal direct with them.

Our second trip to ireland was hotel based and all the hotels were already picked - number of nights and location - we just had to be there to check in and check out. we didn't worry about breakfast at the hotels, having lived in germany for 10 years, we were used to going out and getting breakfast at the local bakery / fruit stands. much cheaper.  we would also pick up some lunch meat or already made sandwiches for lunch.  dinner we usually went looking for a small restaurant that looked busy.

Our third trip was using B & Bs. This one we had to plan out a litle bit. where did we want to stay. i will say that traveling in off season can limit you on your choice of B&Bs.  But you also typically are the only ones there.

This last trip to scotland, we had to pick our B&Bs and then have the tourist group make our reservation for us. little different, but again, just some planning on our part.  you do have the option of "upgrading" your room but can't imagine why - you need a bed, a toilet and shower - you are not living there - just a place for the night. everyone that we have stayed at - both in scotland and ireland - the standard fare rooms have been excellent.  can't imagine what an upgrade would get us.

finally did i like scotland or ireland better? - ireland is more green year round. it's not as rugged as scotland. scotland had some pretty tall mountains - by their standards  - and were snow capped in march. in fact we drove in snow most of our last two days across the mountain passes. each has their differences and to be honest would go back to either.   what helps in both countries is we have friends there - irealnd is where boston (former guidant) is located in galway, clonmel and cork. i know folks at all the plants.  we also have friends with the scouts there.  In scotland, we have friends there as well from scouting days - they brought a group of venture scouts over and some stayed at our house.

we enjoyed both - and there is still so much to seee in both.  we have been to ireland 4 times and scotland once.  the irish are and continue to be the frinedlist people i have met with scottish folks a close 2nd.


Scotland Day 5

Scotland day 5 -

It's our last full day in Scotland. We said good by to Skye and start working westward. Not more than five miles out from the B&B, we stopped to view Eilean Donan Castle. Since it's the off season, the castle proper was closed but the ground were open. Took some time to walk around and take some pictures.

After getting back in the car, we start heading west towards Ft Williams. I didn't take too many pictures today as I focused on the driving across the mountains of the Highlands. That didn't mean Deb did not take some while in the car. or when when stopped.

We stopped to check on directions in the city of Doune - yep same town that housed the movie Outlander and Monty Python Holy Grail!. Inquired about how many cows (stuffed) have been tossed over the the top. Was also the home Mary Queen of Scots.

The biggest surprise for Deborah McQueen Coder was when I told her I found the McQueen Gin Distillery.along the route. This is where Deb met Dale McQueen. Dale is a mechanical engineer who had been making his own gin for a few years. He told us he and his wife had a conversation about him wanting to follow his dream - and today they own McQueen Distillery. It should be noted that we will bring some of his product back, including his choclate orage gin. yum!

Had dinner at FITS (From Italy to Scotland) tonight. Made our night when we found out we were the first Americans she had met.

Tried posting pictures here but the wireless is spotty here at the B&B. I will post some pictures tomorrow.

Tomorrow it's off to Edinburgh, turn in the car, flight to Dublin, then to Chicago. Catch the EL to Midway and then flight to Minneapolis. Will be busy one for sure!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Scotland day 4

Busy day to say the least!

started off with a early breakfast at 8:00 AM.  figured with us wanting to hit as much as we had planned, with a full scottish breakfast - sausage, bacon, egg, beans, mushrooms.  Deb opted for the the continental.

We hit the road right around 8:30 or so.  the first sight we saw was the Skye bridge.  it used to be a toll but was later purchased and made free. the winds were fierce to start with. guessing we had gusts up in excess of 45mph.

the roads here - especially on skye - have a lot of single lane roads - going from two lane, to 1 1/2 lane to single to one that is just enough room for the four tires.

first stop was talisker. being the third distillery, we were more interested in how it's dried and the tastes from that. talisker is a bit smokey for me - deb liked it. it's much like dalwhinny as it's owned by the same group. they do not fill any casks there - rather they ship the liquid off and then at another site and do the bottling off site as well.  I still think tomatin has been the best so far.  picked up a three pack, a bottle for deb as she liked it (and it's from skye) and a jersey for me. only place we have see them.

next we headed off to the skye weavers.  again, the roads kept getting smaller until we arrived down their drive - the sign on the gate said "CLOSED". Deb said "oh no, they may not be here" - i called bullshit and said we are going down the trail, and to the house to see if anyone was there. not going to drive all that way for a closed sign.

Yep - Roger was there and Deb got the tour she wanted. she got to "drive" the weaving machine.  Roger gave her some scraps from the shop. she picked up a couple big balls of scraps and nice scarf.

from there we headed to Ballmacqueen. our trail took us over between the hills - again via some of the narrowest roads i've been on. but we got to the A885.  along the way we saw some great waterfalls, rainbows and scenery in general. i'll try to post here.  we stopped along the way to see the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock.

We didn't stop at James MacQueen Construction but we did have to pull off  to the side of the road to allow one of his trucks come by.

Made it up to Ballmacqueen and drove down the road to the ocean front.  during the day, deb was a bit choked up at times. - thinking that she could actually come to the place that part of her family actually came from.  pretty cool.. the bigger question is now why did they leave the area?  Was it because of the calling for better opportunity ? were they forced?  that will be something she can research.

after tromping around the beach, we headed back. stopping at portree, deb wanted to see if she could find a knitter that has aberdeen sheep - they are the black sheep.  stopping at the tourist information office, they gave her a call and got directions. We hit the road and again and found the place.  Deb got to meet the sheep, the owners (whose house had burned down 3 years ago and now rebuilding) and purchase some yarn.

On the road again, we head back to kyle.  wanting to stop at hector's dinner but were closed. so we hit the hector's to go and brought back to the room. got back right about 7 and at dinner (fish and chips).
Showered and then relaxing bit.  tomorrow we are off to our last b&b down by edinburgh.  about 4 - 5 hours away. hope to get in, get some dinner with clem and diana.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Scotland day 3

Up and out by 8:30 today. breakfast was more full european compared to hot Scottish or Irish.  Makes sense since the owners of the artist cottage are from the netherlands.  We took off and headed to inverness to pick up the camera from the resturant.  Stopped and got gas at tesco. much like a walmart.  gas and camera in hand we headed back to tesco to do a little shopping.

picked up some chocolate, fruit, chocolate and fruit.  we then headed downtown inverness.  found a park house and went a walking. stopped at the church of Scotland and chatted with some folks there.  the Church was unique in that the pews were curved and not done at right angles.  that had to cost a pretty penny to make. also they kept up technology as they big screen tvs on the walls for all the folks to see the sermon being read. we didn't stay for any services but the folks really friendly.

walked around to the train station - have soft spot for those as being the son of a railroader.  always enjoy the trains.  Ben gets his love of trains honestly.

Next we headed out culloden battlefield.  this is where the scots and brits fought - brits defeated the scots there. the walking path was  miles around the loop. weather was iffy and we were wanting to hit tomatin distillery when they opened at noon. had some coffee and tea, visited the gift shop and went about our way.

next stop we head up A9 to tomatin. we did the tour with a very knowledgeable tour guide - nicole.  there were only three of us on the tour - deb, me and fellow from California.  little longer and more detailed than the tour from dulwinny yesterday. they had casks there that were dated from 1967 that they plan to sell off - it would bring between 5000 - 10000 pounds for a 70 ml bottle.  we found a 1990 and 1976 casks sitting there in there.

after this we took to the road and headed to Kyle of Lochaish - to our b&b.  drive was an A road but there were times when it dropped down to single lane with passing pull-offs.  winds, rain and blinding sun were all part of the drive.  stopped a couple times to take some pictures but no sights as such.  the snow on the mountains was pretty cool to see. we didn't really want to drive the loch ness route as i it was mostly single lane and being sunday, figured it would be busy.  and have seen enough of nessie growing up to know what nessie is / isn't.

got into b&b around 5:00 or so.  coming into kyle, i initially too the wrong road (was the first road i found on the left come from kyle) but was really the third.   turned around and then took the second road - lucky me - came in the back way!  carolyn, the owner, said i was quite smart in figuring out the way here.  i did follow the directions on the voucher and had a pretty good idea of where to go.  unloaded the bags and headed into town for dinner.  did get to meet the dogs (4 pecks and 1 lab).

stopped at hectors bothy but the sit down was closed - only the to-go was opened. went up the road to the kyle hotel bar and had some dinner there. deb had mac / cheese with chips and i had haddock and chips (fish and chips).  sat around with the locals watching the liverpool and manchester city soccer match (tied 1:1).

back to the room

weather tomorrow is windy and some rain. - colder too.  we are off to the isle of skye tomorrow - deb sent email to the weavers and told them we should be there around 1 pm or so.