Rob's Blog Archive

August 4, 2013

Clear Sailing










Last Tuesday, I finally cleaned my bathtub.  Actually, that was the easy task.  The hard task was cleaning the guest room.  A friend was going to show up late Wednesday morning and these had to be presentable.  I’m sure they weren’t perfect, but I’m also sure they weren’t too bad.  In any case, with my guest room and bathtub finished, the long march that was my spring cleaning finally ended.  More to the point, after Sheryl left, I was looking at six clear weeks.

This summer has been particularly busy.  TKD Camp, then heading down to Denver for more Taekwon-Do, west to visit my mom in L.A., then Sheryl’s visit.  During that time, the longest period with no schedule variation was three weeks, and that was right after camp.  During those three weeks, life was much easier than the three right before camp, but I still had to close out everything.  Then came the two out of town trips and finally a guest at Silly Lake.  It’s done. 

Beyond being finished with all of these and my house being more or less clean---only my bedroom escaped---I’ve also improved my “infrastructure.”  I have a new laptop. Windows 8 notwithstanding, I’ve generally liked it.  For this, I set up WiFi for the first time.  The WiFi and new laptop let me eat my breakfasts and drink my morning cup of coffee at my kitchen table while checking out the online Wall Street Journal.  With my new mountain bike, my other big purchase, I’m going out on rides just short of every other day.  I’ve enjoyed bicycling since I was a kid, so I’m not at all surprised that riding the dirt roads behind my house has become a major part of my training regimen.  I’ve bought smaller items as well including a new set of rechargeable AA batteries, new mapping software, and even new underwear.  Life is good.

And so, cleaner house and new gear in hand, I move into the “dog days” of summer.  With nothing looming, I can really focus on all the things I have to do prior to my schedule really filling up with prep for skijoring the Iditarod trail.  Mostly, these are health and financial issues I want to settle.  I’ll start working on logistics, too, but health and money will come first.  With luck, everything will be finished or, at least, scheduled by September 3, the day after Labor Day.  That’s my planned first hook-up for the dogs.  Running the dogs that month will be time consuming, but not overwhelming.  I can generally do a pair of three mile runs, exercising everybody, in about two hours.  During those first few weeks I’m running my dogs, this only costs me a few hours a week. 

Life will begin becoming complicated when I leave again, mid-September, for another TKD event.  After that, training and other tasks will start piling up quickly.  I won’t be in a true death march until December, but I’ll be getting there. 

The one thing Sheryl didn’t get to see was my dogs run.  Sadly, the night she spent here was the one night in five that it didn’t cool enough to run dogs.  At a quarter till five in the morning, it was 56 F.  If my team had been in training, I probably would have run them, but I like having the first run of the year be a fun one, and 56 F was just too warm. 

Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” has summer as the brutal season.  56 F is too warm to run dogs, but the temperature is low enough for the house to cool off at night.  There are days when it gets hot here, but I don’t remember a night during which the heat kept me awake.  My summer dog days at Silly Lake are lazy rather than brutal. 

It’s the dog days during the fall that really become hard.  But until then, I’m on summer vacation.  I ride my bike and run.  The dogs lounge in the sun and play during yard time.  The house is presentable, at least from a guy’s perspective.  And the fabric in my underwear has no holes. 

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