Sunday, January 30, 2011


Click to enlarge.
Alison actually found this. Makes me think of our team goal setting sessions.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So given the 7 inches of Powpow that we got on Saturday night, I decided that we should bust out the snowshoes and do some trespassing. Even Ali was game, being 39 weeks pregnant. Going was slow, but we got out to see the sights.

Its a pretty well known fact that when my dog, Brutus, talks, he does so in a gruff, gravelly voice and generally talks like a longshoreman. Here was the dialogue that transpired after our traipsing on Sunday:

Brutus: Hey, Stupid, get over here and document my sick frostbeard.

Me: Uh, Brut you don't really have a beard. Its more like whiskers......or curb feelers.

Brutus: Shut up college boy! I gotta start working on my street cred.

Me: Ok, whatever.


Brutus: Look at that! I could be in a beer commercial. (Dramatic gravelly voice) The Most Interesting Dog in the World!

Me: Yeah, well your mystique would evaporate the first time they saw you lick your butt.

Brutus: Don't judge me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

cleaning out the cupboard

So given the relatively small moving container that I ordered, her Al-ness and I decided that we were going to cull off a bunch of the stuff that we do not want or really use so we do not have to move it to MN. I hate junk and clutter (don't mistake that statement to think that I am a neat and tidy person), and if there is something (non-sport or gun related) that is not getting used it gets good willed or trashed after a year of non use. I tend to really use things until they fall apart, so its usually the latter.
That being said, I have been facing the dilemma of having to try to eat our way through all the weird food products that tend to accumulate in the freezer door and and the bottom shelf of the pantry.
Which presents me with another problem of trying to make a palatable meal, instead of "whatchagot stew"

Oh no! As someone who holds cured meats in high regard I find products like this offensive to my senses, olfactory or otherwise. However, Al was raised on Spam and eggs (insert TN joke), so I sliced it thin and tried to crisp it up. Meh, I would not walk a mile for it, but whatever.

I decided to hedge my bets on the spam and eggs and go to a old southern stand-by for breakfast suppers. Shrimp and grits. Steam (don't boil!) shrimp with water and vinegar after you sprinkle on some Old Bay. Once they are cooked, peel and set aside. dice up 2-3 ounces of gruyere cheese. Make Grits. Then when the grits are done, reduce heat to low, throw in 1-2 tblsp of butter, add the gruyere, and shrimp. stir until cheese is melted, and if it starts to get too thick add a little milk or cream (thats right MOD, I said CREAM! Don't bring that weak half n' half stuff around here) to thin it out. Then serve (and prepare to have women throw themselves at you).

Found some sausage, freezer burned yard-bird, and okra in the freezer, so I whipped up a roux, steamed rice and made some gumbo.

Then I asked myself, "Self, what would Justin Wilson do if he lived in NE, and made gumbo in the winter?"

We squirrel hunted back home when I was a kid. I can remember when dad would take me. Watching that made me remember hunting for ginseng when I was in KY, poaching rabbits, shooting groundhogs, and fishing with concussive devices. I ate a lot of ill gotten vermin growing up. Fond memories.

Gonna take Brut-nasty snowshoeing this morning, then I have to replace shocks and brakes on the back half of the recreational turd colored vehicle.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Piss, I haven't done anything for two weeks. Right after New years I developed some low back pain, and then really irritated it earlier this week shoveling snow. 14 days of no exercise other than walking the dingo to the park (read: I stand there chewing on Tylenol #3 and advil while my dog craps in someones yard).
Thats the longest activity free period I have had since running the Christmas Tree lots back in the old country. I went to the Chiropractor last Friday but that has not seemed to help. Today I have had a lot less pain, but definitely feel very stiff.

This free time has allowed me to start preparing for a lot of changes that are fixing to happen........Beside the arrival of the little monster I have accepted a position with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Minnesota has taken a very proactive stance on reducing the effects agriculture has on its water. They are now making fertilizer BMP's (best management practices) mandatory. My job will be to help implement and validate these BMPs to reduce the concentration of nitrate in tile drainage lines, and evaluate TMDLs (total max daily loads) of phosphorus. I am pretty stoked to have the opportunity to get back into a career that involves soil fertility, and has a direct impact on producers and the conservation of our resources.
In a lot of ways I am really excited to make the move to St. Paul, but its gonna be challenging to have a newborn, move everything, live in temp housing, start a new job, and close on a house all in one month. Its always a adventure.

I was stoked to see that one of my favorite books of all time is going to be made into a movie. The Long Walk, by Slawomir Rawicz is hands down one of the finest stories of adventure ever written. You must read this book! I first read it 6 years ago and I still reread it once a year. A Polish officer escapes from Siberian gulag and walks to India.

Yeah, Ali just walked in and declared that, "we are going to go walk around Scheels and then eat really spicy thai food". So I will leave you with that for the moment.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The last 10 days.....

So her Al-ness and I have been trolling across the midwest for Christmas holidaze. We first met the inlaws in southern Indiana, specifically French Lick. As creepy as that name is, the town and the surrounding Hoosier forest is a pretty sweet place to ramble around for a week. BeeRad Reed and I got in some good gravel miles on the snow pack, and we managed to get in a few runs.

Me and Sara Reed loafing at the indoor water park.

Trouncing my little niece, Ansley

Then we headed west to St Louis to see where all the magic happens. The Anheiser-Busch tour is probably one of the best FREE breaks you can take when you are driving across I-70. Even a teetotaler would dig it. We then proceeded to BoCo, MO to visit Larry, Dana and, the newest Simonson, Liam. Larry works for PedNet and runs several different mobility programs including the countries largest walking school bus program. Larry also was the first person to introduce me to the joys of gravel roads in KS.

That being said, he also took me on a 40 mile tour of dirt roads in Boone County, MO since we had temps in the 60's. Things were a little muddy though.
Then we headed to KC to witness the union of Josh and Jaime in (un)holy matrimony.........and race a little cross, Mark Thomas style .
All pictures below are courtesy of the Lantern Rouge

The hill of truth. Steeper and longer than Mt. Krumpet.

I raced SS since that was the only bike I had with me on the trip, and since KC usually has pretty deep SS fields it always makes for a good time. Britton K was gonna be the man to beat, as he jumped out early on, but I was able to bridge up and take a two lap pull on the front.

It was pretty much just Britton and I for most of the race. Then with 2 to go, Britton came around, turned the screws, and established a 7 second gap that I just was not able to close, especially with a lot of lapped traffic on course.

Super fun race with a ton people cheering despite the cold weather and blustery wind. The course was really spread out since Stump Park is a huge venue, and this made for some really fast racing that favored power riding.
Moar! tomorrow.