January 29, 2008


I woke up a few times last night thinking there was a new train track outside my window! The wind was terrible last night and has continued today with a wonderful 30 below windchill!..UGH..vacation can't come soon enough. It will be about a 70 degree swing from what the temps are now compared to Florida...I can handle that!

My boss keeps asking me what I am most looking forward to on my trip. I finally told him just time to recharge, get recentered and of course the Tour of the Bahamas..Oh ya and driving the boat! I have told my friends that is what I want to do. Not sure this will happen...but we will see. Anyway I am so looking forward to just hanging out and seeing the blue water of the Bahamas. Little nervous about being on the boat and out in the ocean but I am sure I will be fine as long as we do not watch Titanic on the flight down to Florida. I might have to sleep with inflatable life ring! I am sure I will be fine as my Godmother gave me great advice last night..."Don't fall off the boat!" Seems pretty logical!

Tonight is CERT (community emergency response team) meeting with first responder training also. Should be a short meeting and training because of the weather per our organizer...we will see.

Have a few more things to get done before we head out on vacation but it is getting right down there. I think I have my underwear, socks and swimsuit pack so what more do I need?....Well, ok, I will pack clothes also. I have to iron a few shirts them pack them up and should be ready to go.

Work of course has been WILD so have to get a few more things done before I am officially on VACATION....but it will happen soon.

Will give a FULL report when we get back!....heading into the warm sun of Florida / Bahamas will be great!

January 25, 2008

It's DONE!

We finished inventory at a record pace today..YEAH!...I am exhausted and dirty. Our hardware room does not stay all the clean with the grinders in the back flinging metal dust all over the place. I have a couple more projects to work hard on this weekend so I feel better when I am gone. Yes, I am the type that does her work before she goes on vacation which I am glad I have a job that I can do that.

Hitting the tanning bed tomorrow and Harlan's Bike and Tours one day sale plus running some errands as to last minute things we need for the cruise yet.

I looked at the entry list for the Tour of the Bahamas bike race and there are now 60 pro riders cat 1 and cat 2. This is going to be fun to watch. The course is a 7 mile loop they will ride 6 times I think. I also noticed that the Bahamas beer company Kalik is not so far from the start finish line of the race....hmmm....are you thinking what I am thinking?....It would be fun to see if they have tours or a tasting room there....we will see.

January 24, 2008

Thursday Blitz

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9........UGH! We are doing inventory today and tomorrow here at work. I HATE IT! I am so swamped with work. I have five projects bidding in two days..yes during inventory! Oh well. It is late Thursday night as I am sending out quotes on a nice sized project. I guess that is why I make the BIG BUCKS...hahaha...NOT! Oh, well by tomorrow it will be over but I have more projects bidding in the next few weeks that are good sized also....more comp time?...YES!

My sister had surgery at Mayo today. She had a leaking brain....haha.....no, she had a hole in her sinus that was leaking spinal fluid out her nose. Not a good deal since this will be the second repair. The first one was done in Des Moines but 2 years after her patching (they patched it with a chunk of fat and glue..I asked if there is a high demand for this as I would gladly be a donor!) it failed and so she decided to go to Minnie-sota don't ya know then there. Anyway, the surgery was to be 1.5 hours and ended up lasting 3 hours. It now has 3 layers of patches and a chunk of bone taken from behind her ear plugging it. She was very drugged when I talked with her late this afternoon. They said that maybe if things go ok that she will be out of the hospital tomorrow some time...AMAZING. I hope it works this time!

This weekend we will be getting things in line for the cruise..Oh ya plus more work for me! I hope after all this working the boat has enough booze on it to get me centered again! I might just have to have a drink with one of those frilly umbrellas in it....kongaloosch!

Tez weight loss tally 12.4 pounds! (since summer)
Kris's weight loss tally 17 pounds! (since November) YOU GO GIRL!..PROUD OF YOU!
Abe's (dog) weight loss....gain.....unknown...lardy furry pants!
Wrig's (bird) weight loss....gain....maintain!

January 21, 2008

Weekend Re-cap

Hit Bridge City (Yankton) this past weekend and had a great time. Stopped in at Charlie's on Friday night for great pizza and beer. Came back to the Clubhouse to fine someone parked in our driveway as a surprise! That was pretty cool. Dawn made the trip down to Yankton Friday night instead of Saturday so that was cool. Saturday we went shopping and of course there were all sorts of strange things that found their way into Gilly's cart for the up coming cruise. Pretty funny! I still think the purse and high heeled snow boots would look nice on you! Saturday night it was off to Rose's for a great Italian feast, wine and cream puffs for desert that my Godmother made. It was all very fun. After supper we sat around and tried to solve the worlds problems and tell stories. I had to tell a good one on me. I was in the OLD Scheels store (maybe this is why they moved...) Anyway we were looking at stuff and all of a sudden I felt my GUTS PERCOLATING! I had some serious things going on in intestinalville. All I could think of was to find a place were no one was at and expel my air so I turned to Kris and said..."Don't follow me!" all she heard was, "follow me!" As I walked to an area where no customers were around I let out my rumbling air........little did I know was the Kris was right behind me and all of a sudden I heard "OH MY GOD!" As I turned around Kris was standing in a GIANT green cloud of very nasty stench. I then told her she was not suppose to follow me and of course she in turn told me what she had heard.....OH MY...I think that is why the sweat pants in that area were on sale that following week......MY OH MY it was a very nasty stench. Anyway all of us got a good laugh out of that one. There were many other stories and memories that were shared. I could not help but think mom was there laughing along with us! I so do value these times together.

Sunday we got packed up and Kris and I headed out to the lake. We had not driven out there in a long time. This time of year there are bald eagles that nest along the open water in Yankton and it is always so very cool to see them. We spotted five this trip. We have seen as much as 11 a couple years ago. It was so cold out I am sure some were hunkered down someplace warmer.

Got back to Sioux Falls before the snow started and watched football....pretty exciting!

January 18, 2008

This weeks cycling news....

I kind of got a bit carried away with the up coming vacation that I have not blogged about any new cycling news lately. I am sure some of you are VERY ok with that and others are biting their nails wondering if anything is happening in the world of cycling...hahaha.
Here is the latest scoop of news:

First off some sad news. The Scottish time trial champion was killed while on a training ride. Jason MacIntyre, 34, was struck by a transit van while out on a training ride January 15 and passed away later in the hospital. He won the Road Time Trial Council national 25 mile championship in 2006, 2007, the British time trial championship in 2006 and was ahead of David Millar during the 2007 British time trial championship until he had a flat. He was being considered for the British Olympic squad in Beijing. He leaves behind twin eight year old daughters. One daughter has had some very serious health issues and MacIntyre had been her full time caregiver. There has been a fund set up in his name to help fund a caregiver for his daughter for the next two years.

New blood bank scandal...here we go again...seems a blood bank in Vienna, Austria is the latest source in a blood doping scandal. They are saying that two thirds of the bank's 30 customers come from Germany and include cross-country skiers and biathletes along with some cyclist. Some of the bank customers are said to be George Totsching, Dennis Menchov, Michael Boogerd and Michael Rasmussen. Of course most everyone is saying they do not know anything about it or they have never been there. What will shake out this mess? This all came from a German TV station but then they later retracted their charges.....GO FIGURE.

The Tour of California host city for stage 5, Solvang, is trying to raise some money to defray tour cost for being a host city. They are touting 20 qualified amateur cyclist to ride the "Race of Truth". They will be able to ride stage 5 of the individual time trial one hour prior to the pros riding it on February 22. The riders will get 45 minutes to ride the 15 mile course. The entry fee is $1000 or $1500 depending on options taken. Pocket change for an amateur cyclist, don't you think?

Some of the cycling teams are being VERY SMART with all the blood scandals out there. The big cycling teams, CSC, Astana, Slipstream and Team Highroad will have independent testing done as well as being 100% fully integrated with the UCI's biological passports. It cost the teams a lot of money to do their own blood testing but it is just another check in the system to make sure their riders are clean. Kudos to those teams monitoring their own riders!

Lance Armstrong will run the Boston marathon April 21. He qualified for the event by finishing the New York marathon under the qualifying time of 3:15 (he ran it in 2:46 min) for his age (35-39 years old) category. He will race to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

January 17, 2008

This weekend

It is suppose to be very cold this weekend with lows in the 10 below zero area Friday and Saturday night! That is FREEZE YOUR BUTT off weather!
(the caption got blurry so here is what the couple across the street are saying..
"And I thought that was a figure of speech!")


Ok, so if you read this blog you know we are going on a cruise. I tell you I am in a panic! It is the fear of the unknown I guess. I am worried about having all the right paperwork along, the right clothes, not getting ripped off by the locals, wearing the right clothes to functions, you know the little things. Then there are the hidden charges for, gratuity, beverages, towel service or whatever!....UGH! The one thing I know is that I have packed all my socks already and so when I am sporting my bikini on the cruise ship or the lovely white sand beaches of the Bahamas I will be able to have my scar covered (see lobster goddess posting)....and if you believe I will be sporting a bikini on this trip then I have some ocean front property to sell you in South Dakota!

To top it off I am getting slammed at work and we have inventory next week (Thursday and Friday) when I have five jobs bidding in two days! (I am an estimator in the construction industry) I usually like to go out in the hardware room to clean things up a bit and organize before we do inventory. This makes it so much easier but I am pretty sure that is not going to happen this year. The fun never ends! Seems like I take two or three steps forward and then four back...just can't get ahead. Looks like some overtime is coming!

On a good note. I have lost 11.4 pounds since I purchased my new scale this past summer. It is one of those digital scales that has hydration and fat percentage....we will not talk about the fat percent. It does a lot of things. You have to enter in you height, age, and goal if you have one then it keeps track of it all. I am just so glad it is not a talking scale as I am sure I would be hearing "TILT, TILT" or "GET OFF ME LARDY PANTS!" It is kind of fun and I find it very humorous to weigh myself and then go and take care of some bodily functions and then weigh myself again....pretty amazing how much we can store up or hoard (sometimes) in our bodies! Kris the roomy has lost over 13 pounds and is doing great. We have not been exercising only backing away from the table or splitting a meal if we go out to eat. One of our favs is at Granite City. Smoked turkey Reuben and the Asian chicken salad. We split both entries. THEY ARE GREAT! We have also cut back ......at times......the beverage consumption which leads us back to the upcoming cruise. The goal is to NOT GAIN on this vacation but MAINTAIN!...we will see...I plan to hit the sushi trolley on our ship for some meals and snacks....YUM!

I am sure we will be walking around enough that it will not make a difference what we eat or drink. I know on our Disney trips we have a big breakfast and maybe an afternoon snack and a nice sit down supper complete with wine and desert and manage to never gain weight when we are there....I am hoping this will be the case!

Things will all come together at some point...maybe when I board the plane?...or the ship?......

January 11, 2008

Lobster Goddess

Ok, so I decided to do a little tanning before our trip to the Bahamas. Yes, I know (Joan) it is not the best thing to do because of the risk. Anyway I went for my first tanning which I got a little red and then went for another and I really got nothing so we decided to up the minutes that I was in the coffin. This time I got really RED! I am telling you that if we left that day all the lobsters would be following me around thinking I am their GODDESS......."She is our savior and Goddess, we must follow her and sacrifice ourselves for her!".....well, since then it has tamed down..thank GOD and I skipped a few days before I went back. Hit the place last night and got a little on my back side but nothing bad.
There is another funny thing that has happened also. I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago before they did this as a scope type surgery so I have this 10 inch diagonal scar that goes from just under my rib cage and angles to my side to about 2 inches lower than my belly button. Anyway the first time I went I had not thought about it the scar and of course it got pink. I decided that maybe it needed to be covered so I do not have any skin break down issues on it. So the next time in I was going to place a towel over it. I got in the room and got undress and FORGOT THE TOWEL! All I could think of without getting completely dressed and going out to get a towel was maybe I should use my ankle high sock. Then reality hit me as to what that would look like.....and the "punny" things I could come up with like..."looks like someone socked you in the stomach!" I decided it was best to go without so as you read earlier not much happened anyway so it was ok. The next time out I remembered the towel which is more like a big wash cloth and placed it over my scar area and of course now I have a square white area on my stomach. It looks VERY FUNNY but the scar is safe. It really looks like some sort of stage for the fat belly follies to preform on and framed by red curtains. I will let you know when the first performance is!.................

January 10, 2008

Lots to learn!

Man, there is a lot to learn about this cruise stuff. What time to dine, Any shore excursions or what to do at each port, What you can take on the ship and what you can't, going to formal dining night or not, What time can we embark and so on.....We have lots to learn in a short period of time.

We have decided on a shore excursion. We are going to do a guided jeep excursion at Freeport. This is a tour that allows us to drive a jeep (seats 4 people). Sounds like you basically follow the leader (guide) and they take you to areas in a forest, blue hole for swimming and back to the beach for a picnic. Should be fun. It will be for 5 1/2 hours! We thought this was the best way to see a lot of the island in a short period of time. We will make it back to the boat by 5:30 and we leave at 7:00pm so that is good timing I think.

We are not going to do any pay excursion at this point on Naussa because we do have a lot longer time there to meander 8:00am-10:00pm. I am and maybe others are going to go to the bike race for a bit to check that out to see if I can spot the pros which will be very cool. I guess it is a 16 mile taxi ride from our dock to start / finish line of the race. We also want to see the Straw Market and try out the local food so we will do that I am sure through out the day / evening.

We get back to port on a Monday morning and have a few days to kill until we head back. We had looked at so many options out there but came up with nothing really that ALL of us would enjoy so we decided.....WHAT THE HELL!....LET'S GO TO DISNEY! I know this is so very hard for some of you to believe! hahaha....so we are going to stay at a value resort instead of the moderate resort were usually stay at. The value resort was such a better value for staying two days plus it goes along with the theme for doing something different. We have our supper reservations at California Grill (top of the Contemporary Resort) and we have it so our supper will be after Wishes (fireworks at Magic Kingdom). We will have to go up early and sit in the lounge and have sushi and or cocktails before the fireworks. They pipe in the music from the fireworks to the California Grill for us to enjoy also. The next day we will be heading to EPCOT. We thought about doing the Segway tour but decided since I am still having a bit of an ankle issue yet and Dawn is have major foot issues that this could wait until next time. So we will make our way around the World Showcase before heading to Fulton's Crab House in Downtown Disney for supper. Then back to EPCOT for Illuminations. It will be a packed day but fun.

Getting a bit excited. Some of our plans have come together but still a lot to learn and figure out yet. We shopped a bit last night for toiletry items and dug out some of the other things like binocs, cameras, backpack, fanny pack and family radios. We decided to take them along since we will have our cell phones turned off while on the boat. We have shorts pulled out of storage and so it is a matter of trying them on and seeing what we what to take along. We haven't gone through the shirts yet but that is the BIG PLANS for the weekend to get it all done so we can enjoy the Clubhouse next weekend and then the following weekend the roomie works so it would be best to have it all done this weekend!

I do promise a full report when we get back and maybe even some pics!

January 8, 2008

Recent bike TDF news

Seems that Thor Hushovd is going to concentrate on the Tour De France this year. He won the green jersey (sprinters jersey) in 2005. He also wants to win some stages. Currently Hushovd has been first in five stages. Since the Credit Agricole rider will be training for the TDF he has decided not to race in the Giro d'Italia this year. GO THOR maybe have some lutefisk and lefsa to fuel that big engine for the TDF!

Good Ol'Micheal Boogerd "the Boogie Man" or Mr Teeth will remain associated with the Robobank team. Robobank will have him doing promotions for the bank and at some capacity with the race team. They have not decided what that will be yet as it is still being determined. Sounds like he will go through some training and they will see where he fits in with the teams needs. In other Robobank news it seems that Denny Menchov will be the go to guy. He is setting his sights on the TDF. The Russian seems to be always up there trying to battle a stage win but the Micheal Rassmuson era changed that for Mr Menchov. Now it is time for us to see what Menchov can do.

Monk's...be there!

the_kernel wants to get everyone that is an area cyclist / blogger and ones that only comment on blogs to maybe meet at Monk's House of Ale Repute this Wednesday (1-9-08) night for some socializing. I would say as far as time maybe 5:30-ish. The earlier the better so that maybe Biking Brady can also join the group if he is going to be in town on Wednesday. Why does it feel like I am doing the_kernels dirty work?.......

January 7, 2008


We hit Monk's Friday night after supper at Sanaa's. First off supper was good but I think I would rather eat Indian food as I like the spice blend better but I was the only one out of our group that went for round two of the Turkish coffee! It has cardamon in it and it really has a different flavor but I liked it. I think the issue with some of the friends was the sludge in the bottom of the thimble size cup. I just swirled it around and downed it!....Then it was on to Monk's which is just across the street. We found a place by the cozy fireplace and pulled up the leather chairs closer to the couch so we could talk and then took a load off. Very cool place. If you are going there to drink Miller Lite, Budlite you will have issues. I think the only generic type beer they had was Coors and PBR both in bottle form. We ventured into BEER territory trying different beers (which we love doing) in fact one I tried I had seen at Hy-Vee and almost purchased. It was ok. For the life of me I can not remember the name of if but I know it was a Brune Ale. Newcastle is still better. Then I tried the Nostradamus. It has I think port wine in it. It was good when it was a little on the cool side but then it had a different taste to it when it warmed up which was NOT long sitting by the fireplace (note to self - it gets warm over there!). I think the others tried St Bernard's, Monk's Holy Grail, Newcastle and of course my roomie had to have a glass of wine...but it was a very nice glass of Chalone Pinot Noir. All in all it was a good time and we will be back to experiment more with the beers also if the women's bathroom is not being used you have to check out the toilet and the faucet! It was a first time for me to use square toilet!..very retro!

January 4, 2008

New CPU on the market

I need one of these at work!
(Look close it is a CPU for a computer!)

Going on a CRUISE BABY!

We found out we are going on a CRUISE! Me, my roomie and a couple friends (Dawn and Christi) are going. We are virgins on the ship cruising thing so this will be interesting. Our ports will be Freeport and Nassau. It is just a four night 5 day thing so not so long if we don't like it.

Here is the REAL cool thing. I remembered there is a BIKE RACE in Nassau called Tour of the Bahamas which will be running when we are there. David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde will be riding for team Slipstream in the race! What a chance to see someone in person that has worn the yellow jersey in the TDF (Tour de France for all you non tour following people). I am jazzed about this and realize a person could just ride in RAGBRAI (again for all you non-bikers this stands for the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) and see Lance which would be cool also but to see the boys race would be VERY COOL!

Here is the kicker....we are such planners when it comes to vacations. We usually know where we are going what day and where we are having supper at that night so this has not given us much time to plan not to mention enough time for me to get information together for my famous laminated travel information sheets! Not that we plan every second of the day but we like to have it planned so we know what we are doing at least. I guess this all started with playing softball and taking care of some of the team hotel and supper reservations and also with our trips to Disney! Now if we do not have a plan we feel lost....UGH!.STRESS!

We have LOTS OF PLANNING to do before any decisions are made as to what we are doing for sure! I "conch" do it....little island humor there....YES, we can do this!...Never say "Conch"!

Dog update

I have had a lot of people ask about the dog that was hit by the car last week. I had not seen the neighbors outside to ask them how it was doing but over my VERY late lunch today I got the update. They ended up putting it down. I guess the hip area was messed up along with broken ribs and other injuries guessing internal organ issues. It is a sad thing. The owner said when they went in to have the dog put to sleep you could see the red area across its ribs where there car ran over him. The dog was 8 year old white poodle. The other dog that was running with the dog that was hit has been really confused and scared to go outside. I am sure it was traumatic for it also. The good news is the white poodle is now well and not in pain......the other good news is the owners chin is healing and she didn't need stitches.

New pub in town!

There is a new libations station in town called Monk's House of Ale Repute. The place opened in December in downtown (420 E. 8th Street) Sioux Falls. I have not been there yet but might have to make a stop SOOOOON! They claim to have 70 types of bottled beer, 12 beers on tap and 24 types of wine for the wine-os (yes, you know who you are!). They are specializing in imports with a few micro-brews tossed in. I hear they have a fireplace for those cold South Dakota nights and to give it that special ambiance. They also sport art on the walls and tables. The owner is an artist that had an artisan business (Craftsman Creek) in the same building before turning it into a pub. They are going to open the kitchen to serve food the end of this month. Not sure if it will be the standard bar fare or not but I can't wait to try it out...OH YES, the best part is that it is a SMOKE FREE PUB and that ROCKS and plus you just have to LOVE THE NAME!

January 2, 2008

Movies, Food, Beer and Cycling

It was a MOVIE fest this past holiday! We watched Ghost Rider (I liked it), The Kingdom (good but very intense), The Prestige (good but creepy), Madagascar (ok-not even close to good Pixar movie), Harry Potter - Order of the Phoenix (ok but I still like the first one better), Ratatouille (had seen it in the theater but still amazing that it is all CG!).

Not much else new. We were at the clubhouse in Yankton part of the weekend and got some of the Christmas decorations taken down. Hit Charlies for pizza Friday night and Murdo's (Nebraska side of the big MO) for walleye for supper Saturday night.

I did have something interesting at Murdo's. It was a 16 oz can of Budlight that had clamato juice in it all prepackaged. Clamato is clam juice and tomato juice. It was not bad but tasted more like V8 with Budlight. I was surprised that it had a little spice to it. We have looked for it here in Sioux Falls but it must be a Nebraska thing. If you are looking for it I think they called it Chelada not to be confused with a Machelada that the Mexican places serve. This past weekend I also tried a Norwegian Brown Ale "O". It was good. Make sure you do not drink it when it is to cold. I found that it was better a little warmer. It has a lot more coffee flavor to it then Newcastle which is my favorite and my base as to how all other beers are compared.

Not much news on the cycling front. I see that David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Valde are scheduled to race in the Tour of the Bahama's the end of this month in Nassau. Jan Ullrich might be stripped of his gold (road race) and silver (time trial) medal from the 2000 Olympic games. The statue of limitations has not run out yet so the IOC is looking at Ullrich for possible doping during that time period.