Friday, April 29, 2011

On the Verge of a Good Weekend

Last Saturday was beautiful. Tomorrow promises to be good, with sunny weather in the high 50's forecast. I plan to take as much advantage of the weather as I can, and get out and enjoy it. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Best Day of 2011

70 degrees! OMG! What a wonderful day!

Today was the Des Official BEST day of 2011. Warm. Sunny. Warm. And Sunny. We attended the Easter Parade in downtown Snohomish from 11-12:30, then I did a bicycle ride with daughter Shannon for 24 miles on the Centennial Trail. I was able to mix in a bit of yard work with the striing trimmer, and after the yard mowing of yesterday, the front looks fabulous. Now I am going to cook steaks on the grill for dinner, and then a movie with the girls. What could be better?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pagosa Springs, and Chipping Ponderosa Pines

Actually, I left for Colorado on Monday and returned on Wednesday. I spent the day on Tuesday in the woods of southern CO, in the Ponderosa Pine woods, and it was very lovely. I took a ton of pictures, but they are now on my Dell computer and not on the iPad, so I don't have them to put on the Blog. Sorry. Imagine pictures of trees bing chipped up in a big blue chipper thing, running around the woods on the back of a big red wagon. That is what I was watching in the Ponderosa woods.

I want to make a comment about Pagosa Springs. I had no previous contact with this place, and didn't know what to expect. Pagosa Springs is built around a spring. Who knew? The spring is a hot water spring that comes up alongside a river, the San Juan River, and has been built into a sort of vacation destination resort area. There is one main Spa Resort, and several smaller resorts built along the river's edge. Pools have been built that have spring water flowing through them at different temperatures, and people sit in the pools and "take the cure". I stayed at a hotel far from the springs, but the hotel offered a pass for $18 that allowed you to spend the day immersed in the healing waters. I didn't have the time, but it did sound inviting.

Today in Snohomish has been a day of mixed weather. Hail this morning. Sun in the afternoon. I have been on my computer all day, sending emails and and staying inside. Tomorrow is an official day off, so if the weather is good I'd love to go golfing. Hopefully this is what will happen. Golfing, biking, or some such. Not working.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Colorado Bound

Every flight seems to be the same in important ways. Crowded. Hot. Interesting smells. That sense of anxiousness that comes from the mild competition for space. And for time. Managing to get through TSA security intact. Finding the gate and waiting to board. Checking emails. Making calls. Pushing though the process and getting it done.

Today I am off to Denver first. On the ground for just over an hour and then off to Durango. That is a name people know, but not many have ever visited. The reason is that it is not on the way to anywhere. You have to go to Durango intentionally, unless you have taken the scenic route from east to west, and did't understand what the notation on the map meant labeled "pass". Pass means high places. Cold places even in the summer. Snowy places at any time of the year. Scary places for people not accustomed to the heights and exposure of open road driving. Above treeline and open spaces with vista views. High Country.

I don't think my travel takes me over any passes on this trip. I jump over them in a plane, which takes the fun out of some of it, I admit. Once I get on the ground I drive an hour in a mostly lateral way to Pagosa Springs, a small farming community on the edge of the forest. My customer on this trip is called Pagosa Cattle Company, and they may be a bit more diverse than just cattle to want to get into the power business. They are harvesting dead pine trees, chipping them with a BRUKS chipper and making electrical power with the chips. They have one chipper now, and they are planning to add several more before too long. At least one can hope.

I will post a picture or two of the area. It has been years since I have been in this area - like 25 years or more. Too long. With the Cascades of Washington in may backyard, the allure of the Colorado Rockies is far less intense. Let the easterners yearn for the first big mountains they come to as they head west and leave our greener Cascades for us.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Finally a Sunny Day!

Has it really been 10 days since the last post? Where has the time gone?

I spent the last week in Atlanta. The weather was in the mid-70's and sunny. I took my short and walking shoes, and was able to get in a walk along the Big Creek walking path. It is a very popular place for evening walkers. And joggers, and bicyclists. Recent flooding has left portions of the path with some sand and grit, but this has been cleared away for the most part. Anyway, it was good to get out and do something in the evening. I only had one night, Wednesday, that I was able to make it happen, but i cherished it.

Today it cleared up about 11:00 and the rest of the day has been sunny. The high temp will probably be about 50 so it was definitely not warm, but he sun was most welcome. I did a ride to Everett and back on my LeMond bike this afternoon and it was good to get out on the road again. I am totally out of shape for this, however, and I need to take every opportunity to ride and get back into shape. I am signed up fo NO rides this year, so far. I need to fix that, too. Many of my favorite rides are in conflict with known travels, so at least I have some excuse. Still, no STP, no Apple Century, and they have cancelled Hot August Days and the Dam to Dam. I'll have to make up my own rides on the Dry Side and be self-supporting. I've done that before. It works out fine. Wanna go with me?

I'm cooking dinner right now, so I have to go and check the kabobs.

Tomorrow I'm off to southern Colorado. I go from Seattle to Denver, and then to Durango. There I rent a car and drive to Pagosa Springs. Look it up on a map. It is about a 75 minute drive. I should arrive at Pagosa Springs about 6:30 local time, just in time for dinner. I'm meeting a guy from Sweden who has come over to do some work on a mobile shipper there. It seems to heat up too much at elevations above 7,000 feet. Hmmmmm..... I wonder if the altitude has anything to do with this? Sweden as a country is entirely at seal level. We are putting on a bigger radiator and upgrading the pumping system. Sounds logical. I hope it works.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April Doldrums

Sun! I saw the sun today. It was playing hide and seek with big fluffy clouds, but late in the day it was definitely out. Wonder of Wonders.

I was more productve today, probably because I'm feeling the heat of a deadline. Slogging away at a large project can go on indefinitely, with me trying to make the final product look good, then better, and so forth. It is a recursive and asymptotic impossibility to make the thing actully great, and I don't honestly have the interest in trying anyway, so having a deadline makes it possible to cut off the work and just live with what you get done. Providing it is perceived by others to be superior work, my own criticism may not be all that important.

Next week I will be in Atlanta again, and the folks there are mostly going to be gone. I am trying to set up a visit to a mill in western Alabama, what should be a 5-6 hour drive from Atlanta. The road time will do me good, and I need to remember to bring one of my lecture series with me, as I will be making this trip solo.

Speaking of new CD's, I have acquired a 2 CD set of Ecstatic Chanting music, also called Kirtan, from Jon Witte. This stuff is pretty neat, and although I don't count myself in the ranks of the Truly Washed, I do rather enjoy some of the chanting songs. As a way to get into a meditative mind set, this seems to work.

The girls and I had dinner tonight at the Cathouse Pizza. This was not too bad, actually. We shared the signature pie with a beer (Mac and Jack for me), and chatted with the waitress who we all agreed looked like Sandra Bullock. The Master's was on several HD screens in the background, and I don't think I've watched so much golf at one time in years (and that is couting the times I have actually played golf myself!). We had a good experience, and I'm sure we will be back there again. Next time we try Fred's pizza.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Weather and Context

Today has been a day of extreme weather. We have had sleet, rain, snow, hail, and sun, each in its turn. It waa sleeting as I sat in the hot tub this morning at 6:00. It transitioned to snow by 8:00. It was sunny at noon, and the hail started pounding down at 3:00, accumulating more than a trace before it stopped. The temperature was in the low 40's, so it wasn't going to stick around, but seeing the variety was interesting. We even had thunder in the later afternoon, along with thunder clouds. It is like we are living in the midwest, and not the northwest.

I've been lacking a certain motivation lately. project work is routine, although very detailed. I've been slogging through that for the past week or so. No particular visits are needed. I will be in Atlanta next week, but most of the folks I usually visit will be out of town for the week. so, I will be on my own to finish off th proposals, phone my contacts and stay in touch, and try and keeo things moving along. Not anything too fancy or difficult.

Write to me. I'll need the stimulation.