The View From Here

musings by John The Irishman

Archive for the ‘Gears’ Category

Just A Little Update

with 4 comments

Tons going on here at 1470. It’s been a rollercoaster ride this Summer (beginning in May & still going) – here’s the latest :

GrammaPalooza 2007 – huge success, roasted my first hog (something you don’t see everyday in the city), 60+ at our modest bungalow with the postage stamp size yard.  Family in from FLA, MD, GA (you know who you are !) and OH.  First time this many of Slim’s fam have been together since the mid-80’s…

Work Situation – finally looks like they have found a replacement for me (they should make someone an offer this week).  I start training with my new bossman late this week or next.  He goes on a month-long vacation during September so we need to get a lot done in a short period of time since I’m his fill in, AND we’re in the midst of a huge expansion project.  BTW – ever since they made me this offer to stay my work attitude has done a complete 180 – obviously for the better !  Lisa likes her new job down the street as well…

Sprituality – been very introspective lately – OK, a bit more than normal.  There is a whole bunch going on in this crazy world and I’m just trying to hold my ground.  I’ve been bothered (as is the norm) by a lot of the senseless crimes, natural disasters, man’s inhumanity to man and the Godlessness that I observe in the headlines, and also in my personal observations as I journey through life.  I’m still trying to find how I fit in, and what my role is.  It’s a journey that has taken me from my Catholic upbringing to Non-Denominational Protestantism to where I am now – just praying, reading, contemplating and philosophizing.  I have been this way since I was a very young child regardless of what “label” you put on it – I’ve pretty much always been like this even before I “understood” God and faith .  Just remember – it’s where you’re at not where you’ve been…

Biking & Fitness – Not mountain or road biking as much as I’d like (who does ?), but with most of the Summer activities behind us that should change.  I also put up an 80-pound “heavy bag” to mix my workouts up between  the trainer (basically a stationary bike), my free-weights and the “home gym” machine.  Not trying to build much, just trying to stay toned – I AM 43 after all…

Kitchen & Food – Lately been seeing what I can do with inexpensive cuts of meat (Chuck steak, Pork “Western-Style” Ribs, et al) and trust me – if you know what you’re doing you can do a lot with a little.  Trying to do more with Rice, veggies and “peasant” foods also.  Rice is a staple for 1/3 of the world’s population – good enough for me – 2 billion+ can’t be wrong !  Also, 1/5 of the world gets by on less than a $1.00 a day – now there’s a challenge.  Crops aren’t what I thought they’d be (need some Miracle-Gro(tm)), but I’m working on it.  If only the squirrels & chipmunks would leave us alone !  It seems every time a tomato ripens enough to eat I find them half-eaten (but I DID land a couple 18-inch zuccini the other day…) !  Now, if only I can keep the dogs away from the cukes and squash…

NCAA College Football 2007 – Can’t wait !  The Tank is up and running (nice job guys) and The Irish aren’t in the Top 25 – no pressure, just play football.  And as we ALL know : it’s not football, it’s NOTRE DAME football !!!  Goooooooo IRISH !!!  See ya soon, and my best to you and your’s…


Written by johntheirishman

Tuesday, 7 August, 2007 @ 19:51 at 19:51

Gone Bikin’

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Well, it finally kicked in.  For some, Summer means Softball, Volleyball, Any-ball.  For me, it means biking !  To some degree I cycle year-round, but for obvious reasons I’m more prolific now that the “better weather” has arrived.  I play Basketball and used to engage in other sports, but free-time is tight – somehow biking always wins out.  Not only is it an excellent, non-impact (usually) activity, it also forces you to focus and clears your head. 

I have a Raleigh M30 for the trails and a GT Vantara for the road.  I usually hit the Rocky River Reservation, which is part of the CLE Metroparks and has an excellent network or trails – a lot of which are usually blocked with logs and debris – very challenging.  There are also creek beds, large rocks, drop-offs and hills – anything you need to really challenge you and give you a good workout.  I also do some “technical work” on the car-sized boulders at Edgewater Park on Loch Eire.  It’s mostly low-speed balance work, but I’ve really never seen anyone else do it – that should probably tell me something !

I also love urban biking in Downtown CLE – in fact, I’m going today !  DT is large enough and has enough going on that you don’t get bored, yet small enough that you can see & do what you want in just a few hours of riding.  It’s remarkably challenging in it’s own right as there are taxis, buses, peds, curbs, stairs, wheelchair ramps, construction sites and other architectural and infrastructure “obstacles” including Security Guards and CLE’s finest that try to enforce ordinances. Whitey always be oppressin’ me !

When I trail or urban ride on the M30 it’s normally 15 to 20 miles worth, but usually very punishing.  I average around 30 miles on the GT, which is a Hybrid I converted to a road bike with the help of those fine folks at Century Cycles.  The road rides are a lot less gruelling than the trail rides, but I do ride both bikes DT depending on the type of ride I crave.  Sometimes I need to tear up the trails or the concrete jungle, other times I’m just cruising the Loch Eire shore on a gorgeous Summer day, seeing how the “old money” lives and watching people enjoy our resources.  Whatever I end up doing, now you “know how I roll”…

Written by johntheirishman

Friday, 13 July, 2007 @ 7:21 at 7:21

Posted in CLE, Gears