Wednesday, April 30, 2008

i am geting a road bike. i told myself last summer/fall that i would treat myself to one once i made it through my second wisconsin winter. and now the weather has warmed (some, it snowed HUGE flakes yesterday and is very chilly) and i'm ready to ride. itching to ride. plus i need to be able to keep up with paul and my lovely hybrid is just not cutting it.

the only problem is finding a bike. coming from portland i never gave much though to buying a bike. they're everywhere. lots of bike shops, garage sales, pawn shops, craigslist, etc. but here in madison, even though it was just ranked way high up on the list of bikable cities with a gold star rating by the league of american bicyclists (although portland got top honors), there aren't too many options. this is a small town (though many ppl from wisconsin would not agree).

since i am a shortie it has been hard to find a small road bike. 48cm or 50cm frame, with a max 76cm standover height (i figured this all out yesterday). i could buy one on clearance at rei, but i would prefer to buy a used bike. especially because buying one new would take at least three weeks to reach me.

Friday, April 25, 2008

fun with weather

as if our 100+ record breaking snowfall for this winter isn't enough there's more potentially coming this weekend. and right now i see yellow and red on the radar with five (!) noaa national weather service statements:

flood watch: heavy rains & flooding, vigorous cold front coming, thunderstorms
special weather statement: large hail to 2 inches in diameter, damaging winds to 70mph
hazardous weather outlook: more of the same, flooding, rain, thunderstorms, etc.
& our favorite,
tornado watch: tornado watch is in effect until 8pm

good thing we had a tornado drill at work yesterday ;0) and now i know to take shelter in the middle of the building (at our house i suppose the basement is our best bet). no tornado sirens have gone off yet, so i'm staying in our bedroom resting with a tummyache.

lots of lightening and thunder over the past 24 hours. most people (including myself) couldn't sleep last night with all the racket going on. and today when i checked for eggs i found the coop filled with lots of feathers everywhere. not sure what happened?....maybe the chickens were so scared they lost some feathers? or pulled them out?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Whew! There's been a lot happening in the past month. Until I get my butt in gear and start blogging again regularly, here are the highlights:

1.) I went to a great local Wisconsin fish-fry. It was at the North Bristol Gun Club. It was a smelt fry, which I'd never experienced before. The smelt was caught in Lake Michigan and gutted on Thursday and then prepared and eaten on Saturday so it was local and fresh. Smelt, potato pancakes, cole slaw, applesauce and Leine's beer....a great meal.

2.) Unique Wisconsin experience #2 was curling at the Madison Curling Club Thursday evening. I had never curled before, so it was a very new thing for me. I spent the first 30 minutes falling down and bruising my knees as I practiced launching the stones. Eventually once we started our game I got the hang of it a little was really fun. We ended up hanging out until 1:30am, and on a work night too. Photos soon.

3.) Wednesday night was the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah concert. It was excellent, although a little different vibe because it was a tiny crowd. The University decided to throw a concert for everyone who registered and volunteered at least 10 hours of their time at a local charity. Great intentions, a great reward, but I don't think it was publicized so much. There were 35 of us on the guest list, around 15 staff in blue tshirts, and other than that probably only a dozen or two short, the smallest crowd CYHSY has played for in probably years. And in a large auditorium.

4.) Friday night was the Vampire Weekend show at the High Noon Saloon here in Madison. Yacht was the opening act, and he was super high energy. His powerpoint presentation was entertaining, and it was neat to see clips from Portland (made me miss home!). VW was also good.

5.) The snow is *almost* gone. Only a couple more days of 60 degree weather and I suspect it will be gone until next fall. yes.

6.) The chickens are using their outside run again now that the ice has disappeared, and haven't been attacked by the neighbor's dogs. Today I tilled the soil a bit and the chickens had a blast digging and eating all the bugs. And they've been laying 3 eggs a day pretty consistently. I think they're gonna love the spring and summer.

7.) My bike came out of the basement yesterday and I went on my first ride. It was excellent, and no hats, gloves or outer layers needed, even at midnight. I'm hoping to ride almost everywhere until next autumn!

8.) The Wisconsin Film Fest was this weekend and Paul & I were able to see two films. To The Limit, a very excellent German film about the Huber brother's speed rock climbing, focusing on the Nose at Yosemite...I highly recommend it! And then this evening we saw a film called Chop Shop, which was great.

9.) Duck Soup Cinema was last night at the Overture Center. We went for drinks at Fresco above the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, then went into the marvelous newly restored Overture Center theater, to watch the silent film "Kiki", with live organ music. I'd never seen a silent film before so it was another new experience for me. The accompanying music was really a treat and I was surprised at how slightly risque the 20's black and white movie was. Afterwords we went to the Tornado room for more drinks and friend cheese curds (my favorite Wisconsin appetizer).

10.) Paul & I went on a big weeklong trip. First two days in Connecticut with Paul's parents and then 6 days in NYC. It was excellent for me, and I think Paul enjoyed it, although he was a little more stressed because he had school-stuff to do most of the week. We ended up getting City Passes, which entitled us to tickets to: MoMA, the Met, the Cloisters, the Empire State Building, the Guggenheim, the Natural History Museum, and Circle Line Cruise. I ended up doing all of them, and Paul joined me on everything except the cruise. Plus I was in the Letterman audience one evening, and we also visited the Museum of the American Indian, Wall Street, Central Park, 5th Avenue, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Staten Island ferry, Chinatown, Little Italy, Times Square, Bryant Park, Greenwich Village and other great locals. Our hotel, The Hudson, was pretty hip (so hip in fact that it doesn't even have a sign out in front of it, you're just supposed to "know" that it's there), and although the room was tiny, I thought it was an excellent place to stay. I loved how walkable Manhattan was, I must have walked at least 4 miles each day, and next time we come back I'm excited to explore the other buroughs. One of the neatest things was meeting up with college friends who I haven't seen in years. :o) I look forward to the next time I can visit new york.