Friday, January 22, 2016

What did I do?

The giant pile of brown stuff is the stuffing from TWO brand new doggie-beds that Sophie (aka: the MONSTER Kracken) destroyed the other day. Totally emptied the bed-shells of their innards. This stuff was spread out ALL OVER the house and took us a while to gather it all up. So here she sits in solitary confinement, with all the debris piled up by her cell (so she can think about what she did).

She IS thinking about that, don't you think? Just look at her. I'm quite sure she's sitting in there thinking "Boy, that was a really bad thing I did today....and I PROMISE I'll never do that again! I'm SO very sorry mom and dad!"

OK...I have to admit that it's FAR more likely that she's sitting there thinking "Gee...they sure are moody today. But when I get out of here, I'm going to JUMP in that AWESOME pile of stuff, and then spread it out all over the house! THAT will be SO MUCH FUN!"

Been a long time since we had to deal with puppy stuff. They sure have a lot of energy!

And finally, what about this crazy weather? I FINALLY have my new mountain bike, and this stupid (though MUCH NEEDED) Godzilla El Nino just keeps rollling storms thru with just enough rain to keep everything goopy. I'm doing some small rides in sandy areas that handle the water well...but I'm really jonsing to get out there and start doing my big weekend rides. Don't see that happening anytime soon...not with our current weather pattern.

And HEY HEY HEY! How about the storm spanking the north-east right now! Looks like a DOOZIE! My bro-in-law sent pics from his farm (north-west of Richmond VA) and it's snowing pretty good already. The news says the DC area is supposed to get something like THIRTY INCHES of snow tonight!!! Anderson Cooper just said it COULD be the biggest storm ON RECORD! Won't that be something! Susie, whenever you finally make it back to work, please update us on your super-storm! What kind of power outages did you have? How much snow did you ACTUALLY GET? Were you prepared with food/flashlights/etc? How cold was it? bad  did you get it? I heard from my stepmother that Cleveland got a BUNCH of snow (her son lives there)...not sure how far Columbus is from there...but I'd think you got something. DO TELL pretty-please! Please feel free to chip in and tell your story in the comments...I'm fascinated by winter...really I am! I can read about it all winter long! (GRIN!)

And so...stay warm everybody....or warm and DRY if you're on the West coast. Looks like further north of us is / was getting hammered by more rain today...we were supposed to get it but so far not-a. But the forecast still calls for rain tomorrow too...if not I'm going for a RIDE! If so, I'm NOT going for a ride! Have a great weekend! Should be 2 good football games....woo-hoo! Get those hot-wings and beer ready!


Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015 by the numbers

First thing: it's raining (again), so I sit inside on a Sunday with nothing else to do but dig thru my data.

And so. This is my annual 'numbers' post, where I dissect my past year in any way that I can by the numbers that I keep. I guess I'm pretty anal (or just crazy) cuz I have all this information to start with, and I'm never quite sure what to do with most of it...but I still keep the numbers just the same. Most are completely meaningless, but some (my cycling numbers) actually mean something to me, and I always hope I can do better the 'next' year. And my Fundraising numbers actually mean something to others.

For example, some of my meaningless numbers:

Halloween trick or treaters: (before I shut off the lights due to running out of candy): 160 (the most yet)

Christmas Cards sent: 80

Christmas cards received: 29 (every year I say the same thing: NEXT YEAR I'm going to cut down on the
                                        number of cards I send....and every year I don't).

Total number of lights I put up for Christmas: It's actually a bit embarrassing, just assume it's a LOT.

Total number of space stations in awe of the Christmas Light output from Santa Maria CA: 1

Stats on my VW Jetta TDI: used 228.24 gallons diesel that cost $729, covering 11,582 miles for a
                                   total diesel fuel cost per mile of .06 cents, with an overall mileage of 50.7mpg

And now for some stats that AREN'T meaningless.

Fundraising for WBR: total money raised: $739.47, buying FIVE bikes outright for needy families
                                  in Zambia and Kenya (and using strategic timing on buying the bikes, each was
                                  bought during a timeframe when each $ donated was matched dollar for dollar,
                                  so I actually bought TEN bikes!)

                                  note: 2015 ended my SEVENTH full year of fundraising, all started by Fatty back in
                                  2009 when he started "Team Fatty" and we were with LIVESTRONG.
                                  I switched to World Bicycle Relief a little over 2 years ago. There really hasn't been a
                                  Team Fatty for several years now, but I just kept up selling my muffins, fruit and
                                  bagels at work. I go in 45 minutes early EVERY DAY to stock my goodies at two
                                  buildings. It's just a part of my day now and it helps people I don't even know.
                                  That's actually pretty cool.

Total 'official' number of volunteer hours (that I spent on my fundraising): 131
(the actual number is higher than that when I add in all the trips I make to the grocery store/Costco for my goodies).

That number is what I turned in to Lockheed Martin so they can use it as company propaganda and such, as LIVESTRONG and WBR are both listed as 701c charity organizations.

TOTAL money raised for LIVESTRONG and World Bicycle Relief in those 7 years: $10,000 (WOW!)

And finally, my 2015 cycling stats.

Miles ridden on my Ritchey road bike:          357, total climbing   23,866 feet, total # of rides 12.
Miles ridden on my Cannondale road bike: 1041, total climbing   78,816 feet, total # of rides 18.

Miles ridden on my Blur mountain bike:      1522, total climbing 169,292 feet, total # of rides 71.
Miles ridden on my new Cannondale Scalpel: 42, total climbing      6008 feet, total # of rides   2.

Total mileage:  2962
Total climbing: 277,982 feet
Total number of rides: 103
Total times I was almost killed on my road bike: 3 (causing me to mostly shift my riding to dirt)
Total number of times hit by a bull: 1
Total number of wheels destroyed by bull: 2
Total number of bikes damaged by bulls and needing replacement: 1
Total number of times bull-damaged bike-frame welded (putting off replacement while I saved $): 2
Total number of bikes bought: 1

And yes, I totally see the irony of drastically curtailing my road bike mileage due to the VERY SCARY motor-vehicle-danger, and then getting hit by a bull while out on a solo MTB ride back in March. I can only assume the bull was NOT using his cell-phone at the time, and that kind of thing will always be a fluke. On the other hand, the death by motor-vehicle thing just seems to be getting worse. For the forseeable future, most of my road-riding will remain out on Vandenberg Air Force Base (where I work). The roads on base are completely NOT scary.

And now, just to add insult to injury for 2016, we've been in a drought for a NUMBER of years now (and as a mountain-biker, I LOVE the drought). Since I bought my NEW mountain bike the day after Christmas, we've been in the GODZILLA El-Nino (meaning rain) nearly every day this year. And btw, I'm not making up the "Godzilla" part...that's actually what they're calling it.

It just shows that the world is truly against me. A bull nearly destroys my old bike and by a miracle I'm not even hurt. But it's damaged. I replaced my wheels, and eventually get it welded TWICE. On the day I'm slated to pick up my new bike there's a stupid forest fire blocking the 101 freeway just north of Ventura, so I drive WAY AROUND the fire to get to Thousand Oaks (including over a mountain with ice/snow on the road).

And now that I FINALLY HAVE said new bike (that I saved TWO YEARS for), it's freaking raining nearly every single day. The trails and dirt roads are pure goop, and I'm just not taking it out in that. SOMEDAY this much needed El Nino will end and we will get back to our normal rains (wasn't it Glen Campbell who sang "It never rains in southern California"?) Forget the water-table, reservoir depletion, crops and animals stricken by no water and overall financial hit to the entire's ALL about ME! I want to ride my new bike! So far, my total number of rides in 2016 (as of Jan 10th) is TWO. Those were back on the 1st and 3rd. Nothing but rain since then.

That all said, I hope you're off to a fantastic start to this new year, and the bulls are leaving you alone.