Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yeah! BLOGS, BLOGS, and more BLOGS!!!

So by now it must feel like you missed a week of blogging by these Browns but really it was 24 hours - and at least 3 blogs?!?!?!

In the past 24 hours we have replaced some plumbing pieces for the sprinkler system, a back-pressure valve, etc, etc, etc (and by WE, I mean TUCKER)... we have gotten a 'new to us' fridge becuase the old one was leaking water onto (and ruining) the wood floors. Plus, we were ready for a newer, bigger fridge. This is when having a pickup truck is KEY! We just drove down to the used appliance store and loaded it up and drove it home... no waiting, scheduling for a 5 hour window, extra delivery fee, etc. etc, etc......

here ya go!

Switching door direction was key though....

The garden has started

Potted Garden this year!

A Short visit with Sperry

Laura and Cambria

What happened here?

Like Father like Son. Sperry and Aegean

Come on Sperry, mount that thing!

The 405 to the 101.

I started my journey in Orange County south of John Wayne. Getting on the highway was relatively easy, just at the point the 5 departs from the 405. The directions on mobile google maps suggested using the 5 to go to the 101. I chose the 405. My phone is great! Mobile google maps can map directions from you current location or to your current location. You don’t even have to know where you are to start…

The 5 takes a route through downtown, and I’m starting at 3:55pm. I think I’ll take the 405, hopefully I’ll miss the major traffic leaving downtown. The route is 98 miles vs 93. I suppose I added a few instead of removing a few…

As I headed up the 405 departing from the 5, traffic was flowing along, 60-75 mph, thick, but I knew this wasn’t the worst of it. I reviewed an e-mail from Sperry suggesting there was no good way to get to his place from where I was, but he though the 405 to the 101 might be the best. Reviewing this message I revisit the comment “the 405 and the 101, that is the busiest intersection in the country.” Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea…

4:15pm I’m cruising along up the 405, checking out the signs. Its overcast, looking darker to the north. By the time I hit long beach, things are pretty darn slow, rolling in the 40s. A sign points out 30 minutes to LAX, 60 minutes to 10. Back to the map… where the heck is the 10? I hope that’s past Thousand Oakes!

Bad news the 10 is about 10 miles south of the 101. Maybe Sperry’s estimate of 3 hours driving was accurate. I hope not…

4:30 pm Just about the time I hit the 710, things got worse. Speeds were down to the teens with the occasional 25mph section.

Have you ever listed to the traffic report in a foreign city? “There is an accident on the just south of the , normal slowing on the ”. Normal? What the heck is NORAML? STOPPED? First of all I don’t have any idea where “blah blah” is, and I haven’t the foggiest where “blah blah blah” is! Back to the map. Now did she say 105, the 210, or the 605? Well doesn’t matter, I’m nowhere near those anyway…

4:40 pm Traffic is dragging along. Speeds now decreasing below teens on occasion… This reminds me of a conversation I had the evening before with an Orange County resident. “The cause for all these cars out here is thanks to GM and the other car makers purchasing a bunch of land out here and shutting down the trains” Well that happened quite a while ago, and the city has taken great care to beef up the interstates… Let me tell you 6 lanes each way on the 405? That’s two city blocks wide! And in 1 mile? That’s got to be approximately 3168 cars… stopped... And you know this is LA, so 1 person per car, the same number of people wondering “How could there be this much traffic?”

4:50 pm I’m still on the San Diego Freeway, headed up past LAX. If you’re not aware, in California, it’s legal to “Split Lanes” if you ride a motorcycle. This is something I’ve always said is stupid. People are just asking to die doing that. By this point I have been passed by custom low riders, Sport bikes, Harleys, and even dual sports. I’m about an hour into this drive, and I’m thinking… I should have brought my bike, I’d be passing all this traffic!!!

5:00pm Somewhere along this stretch I pass the Pavilion at the Hughes Center. There are a lot of Hughes things around this place, I took a couple day cruise one time out of the building where the Spruce Goose spent its life.

5:10 pm Soon after I come across another sign. 25 minutes to the 10, 60 to the 101… Almost there! Only 60 minutes to go!!! I’m only in this for an hour 10 so far!

5:35 pm As I approach the 10, I’m thinking, once I get past this highway things will loosen up, this traffic has to be caused by a bunch of people switching lanes and merging. Adding a bunch of cars from another highway never helps keep things moving. I hit the 1 mile to exit 10, I counted the time it took to travel that mile.

5:45 pm 10 MINUTES!?!?! At this rate I’ll still be on the road tomorrow!!!

5:48pm About this time I get a ring from Sperry. He reiterates the information of this being the busiest highway intersection in the country. He asks how the driving is, I responded with… “I’m not driving! I’m parking!” He responds with “Don’t just focus on you hitting the brake, hitting the gas, hitting the brake, take a look around, enjoy the nice cars, the nice view.”

Well I had just passed between some buildings and had a glimpse of downtown, it was so hazy I could only make out a couple buildings. And of course at this point it started to rain…

Sperry also reminded me of the handset law in the state of CA. That sounds like a great plan, but 80% of the people on their cell phones “Including me” were still using the hand to hold the phone… We cut the conversation short, he was going to figure out what we would do for dinner…

5:50 pm Time is passing pretty slowly, I realize my ankle is getting a bit soar from this gas – brake – gas – brake…

5:53 pm Just as I approach the hills North of the UCLA campus, the rain stops. The traffic picks up. (Don’t get too excited, I’m talking about 20 mph.) A few more miles, and the sun peaks out, things are really looking up!

5:59 pm I look down at the speedometer, and I see 60 mph! Hurray! Hurray! I could handle 80, but 60 is good for this traffic.

6:01 pm I pull off the exit to the 101, I’m back in it. Stop – go – stop – go. Back to the map. It’s another 35 miles!!! Turns out traffic only sticks near the ramp.

6:04 pm Things lighten up again, and so I’m running 80mph.

I’ll end the story here. After all this was titled the 405 to the 101, not the 101… 2 hours 10 minutes and 70 miles to get to the 101. I could never live in LA…

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What was I thinking?!?!?!?!

So, I bought this road bicycle last fall.....

and fell in LOVE! I *might* love it more than skiing... shhhhh, don't tell Tucker! I had knee surgery 4 weeks ago... did I mention that I'm a type 1 diabetic and have been since my FIFTEENTH BIRTHDAY!!!!!?!??!?! That makes just over 19 years of shots, insulin, glucose tests, A1C tests, doctor's visits, etc. Those of you that know me well know that I normally don't make a big deal of it but it is right now - and it has something to do with BICYCLING!!!!

In August this year I plan on riding the Tour de Cure - I plan on raising over $1000 for the American Diabetes Association. Oh! Did I mention that they hold the BBB Seal Holder. What this means to you is if you donate to me!!!! - the ADA will use your donations responsibly....
**less than 5% of the budget went towards administrative expenses last year!** YEAH!

I have never participated in this type of event before... well, there was one motorcycle ride? I will donate the first $200 (did i just say that?) and the rest is up to you guys! Keep in mind than an insulin pump costs more than $5000 (my insurance has a $1k limit annually on DME (durable medical equipment), thank you Tucker insurance)! There is a woman at my work whose pump is out of warranty and when it fails - so does she, so to speak. The ADA may or may not be able to help her out - and we have GREAT insurance!

My website can be found at

Please donate!!!! My training started this week and I'm sorta looking forward to riding more than 60 miles with others in red jerseys (I'm on team Red Riders - we ALL have diabetes!). I'll post a picture on ride day which isn't until Aug. 22. My personal goal is $1000 right now (hoping to increase that based on participation!) and my team is looking to raise $750,000!!!!!! *please remember that your gifts are tax deductible and I can provide a receipt if required!*

I am SO excited to be riding after the last month of no, no, no, and no from the docs and physical therapists!

Donate soon (and often!) Make my $200 MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE!!!!


oh! and the deck... still no stairs but an updated pic!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The pond is open!!!

A few weeks back, at the closing of Vail, I had a bunch of friends signed up for the pond skim... If you recall the weather came in that day, and the skim was postponed... I ended up taking one of the spots for someone who couldn't participate...

Well I have some links up on youtube. Take a moment to visit...
The skimming

The aftermath

But the story didn't start there... Every spring under the Lenaway lift, a pond opens. Today the pond was open...

Here you can see someone skimming on camera!!! I've skied days at Arapahoe Basin in the spring with Harry (who visited the ER after the Vail event) skimming every run... That's where you learn skim.

There was a fair bit of carnage today. One fella skied down fast and just before entering jumped to switch. He only made it about 3 feet into the water before the cartwheel... A few others face planted, tipped over and just plain sank... It was all in good fun...

David, ski season isn't over... Let's head up and get a few skims in before the end of the season!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Home improvement

Well I can't edit the post Karyn put up with the pictures, but I suppose I can add comments to it. ;)

The Deck really feels like a deck now. It's great to just walk out the back door on to the deck with a handful of grilling food, stable as can be. Avoiding the walk down the rickety wobbly stairs that used to head down to the rock below with two hands full of items just begging to fall to the ground...

But... It's still a project unfinished. We have yet to build stairs... The deck is on the East end of the house, and the first set of stairs will exit East of the deck. 11 feet wide in fact, and eventually drop you on a rock patio of some kind which will lead you to the garage. The second set of stairs will exit South in the nook next to the house, again to some sort of landscaping not yet decided.

We will eventually put deck boards around the exterior of the deck for a pretty finish!

The tile shows some hard work (Mostly on Karyn's account) finishing the transition from the old wood floor in the living room to the new wood floor in the Kitchen. We will eventually re-do the entire house in wood flooring, but for the time being we have this little transition point. Obviously you can see the walls still have some finishing to be done.

Next weekend? Memorial day? I think I'll be working on the stairs for the Deck. Karyn and I already have 4 hours into cutting the stringers which you can see in the pile.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

More Home improvement

Again, not many words, just pictures....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The deck takes shape

No descriptions for this one.. just pictures. You'll get the idea. This was yesterday and we've been inside tiling today thanks to some crappy weather but will get those pics up soon as well.... here's yesterday!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Summer is here!

It is absolutely beautiful outside right now! The sun is up at 6am when I get up and up when we get home around 6pm! What a change - and a refreshing one at that. I, Karyn, am getting anxious to see the doctor on Monday to see what she says about me commuting to work via bicycle and train once again. I can't wait! Also, I've been reading and a possible closing day ski run might happen as well - with her approval, of course!

A friend of mine and I decided to support each other and lose some weight! I always gain 15 pounds with knee surgery so the idea is NOT to do that this time and maybe lose some at the same time. I was shocked when I weighed in to find out that I was already 10 over my norm, 1 week after surgery. so, less calories... more exercise is difficult to do right now but Tucker has joined in to support me - I'm sure he'll end up more fit than I will!

This weekend may be the building of the deck weekend - finally! The lumber was delivered on October 1st and has been sitting in the backyard waiting to be used for 7 LONG months! I will post pics of the deck when it is built but for now... a pile of lumber... it will get better, I promise!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mono

Skiing was great over the weekend. It was pretty warm, but we still managed to get sunshine, rain and snow!

I'm not sure how Karyn survived, she managed to sleep most of both days, and all night on every night. We bought a new tent to put up on the beach, it was only used by Karyn for a couple hour nap.

2" fresh Saturday, warmed up in the afternoon. About 3-4" Sunday. we were about 8 skiers each day.

Nobody took pictures, I got a small amount of video, but nothing to post yet...