Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Post: Burning, Bikes, and Beer

Lately this place has been Burner grand central, and I've stayed pretty EVE-centric in general over the past few months (other than a rant or two about airline travel...).

Today is Friday, and I'm debating on whether to fire up the EVE client at all.  The weather is outstanding, and it's one of those rare spring days we get around here where it's low-wind, sunny, without bugs, pollen, or other nasties.

Burning:  The RL kind.  I was off work today, and spent the morning on the phone trying to line up a contractor to tackle a new pole barn.  We own 10 acres, and the main project for this year is to expand the outbuildings by one.  The spot we intend to put the barn is presently in the center of a many-acre woods, and that means clearing trees and brush and thorny things so that the contractor can get his equipment in and out and put up the barn.  I could pay him to do it, but I enjoy this kind of work, and it's far cheaper to do it myself.

A few weeks back I cut down 8-10 mediums sized Ash, chunked it into fireplace sized logs, and left the tops where they lay.  Today was a perfect day for burning -- so after I had a PBJ sandwich, I went out and built a monster bonfire.

People talk about bonfires with a party atmosphere.  To me, they're a helluva lot of work.  I spent the early afternoon dragging, hauling, cussing, and tossing branches.  I lit off the fire and prayed it would stay lit (I avoid using nasty accelerants like oil; whatever doesn't burn goes straight in my well water).  Once the fire caught, I spent the next several hours feeding it.  Feed the fire fast enough that it stays going strong but not so fast that it flares up and gets away from me.

Finally, I sat in a lawn chair and watched the fire burn down to nothing so that I could safely douse it and come inside.  But I was pooped, tired, exhausted.

I'd have had a much easier day if I'd gone to work, but getting the brush cleared is satisfying.

Bikes:  I haven't posted much about triathlons or biking.  I am signed up for one race this season in early June.  Last season I suffered a lower back injury and thought maybe I'd never ride again.  I got back on the bike by Fall but was nowhere near where I wanted to be in terms of stamina or speed.  I stumbled through the rest of the season and then took many weeks off this winter.

After the first of the year, I started back on the spin bike at the gym.  I downloaded several workout videos to my phone and did interval sprints and hill climbs.  I don't have many real-road miles thanks to the weather, but have been on the bike at the gym 2x per week for the past 4 months (unless I was traveling) and I feel stronger in the bike seat now than I have in a long long time.  I'm really interested to see what I can do on the open road, and have high hopes to knock off some bucket-list achievements this season.

Swimming, likewise, has come along.  We swim 1x per week and I've basically been doing the same interval workout for the past 4ish years.  When I started the workout I could barely finish, but over the past year I peaked and started coasting.  It took me awhile to realize it, and about 6 weeks ago I changed up my routine.  The difference is dramatic - I feel stronger during my weekly sessions than I ever have and have increased the distance another 20% for each session (now swim 2000 yards per session).

Beer:  I don't drink much alcohol these days.  Partially because of my diet and trying to keep weight off, and partially because it just generally disagrees with me.  But I do like dark, creamy beers (Guinness, when I can find it), and from time to time I miss having one.  It's Friday and I worked my butt off today.  So I'm opening a bottle of St. Peter's Cream Stout, which I picked up last weekend and have never tried before.

It has a cool bottle, and the St. Peter's stuff I've tried has been good.

<Pause for Effect> The taste is good, but would be better if I had a large steak in front of me.

Anyway, I'm going to stop typing and finish my beer.  And after that, I may take a nap.



  1. Kilkenny is a fine drop if you can get a hold of it. Though it does have a tendency to sneak up and whack you in the back of the head if you have a little too much of it...

    1. My current favorite is Sun King's Wee Mac. Can't get it everywhere due to distribution issues. When I can find it, I covet it and keep it in a little shrine in the fridge.


Alpha State

"Everything that has a beginning has an end."  That's one of my favorite quotes from the Matrix 2.  It has to do with the ...