Thursday, June 20, 2013

Happy 50th!

I'm totally getting out of my life's events chronological order here, but I wanted to share these photos while it was still anniversary month for my awesome set of in-laws. 

Drew's parents stopped in for a brief visit after vacationing on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate 50 years of marriage. 

Drew, being the thoughtful son he is, saw to it that they were honored with toilet paper and cheap champagne.

The crew on the Southwest flight they were on did the special decorations and presented them with this gift and an P.A. announcement upon landing in SLC.  Now you don't get that kind of service on Delta.

Although they were only visiting for one night on their way back home, we made it special with grilled steaks and a decorated cake. 

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. J!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dining room paint. Ahhhhh.

One sizable house project I wanted to get done while Drew was away racing the Transylvania Epic was painting the dining room.

Here are some before pictures of the dining room.   
November 2005, shortly after I moved into Drew's house. Holy hell! Look at that hideous wallpaper border, the bachelor bike storage, grandma loveseat, ridiculous glass dining room table, and the blow up monkey for heaven's sake!! (I loved that monkey, though, and the dining room table was mine, so I have to take responsibility for that.) Wow.

The only cool thing about the before pictures is the nice bikes. And the fact that this no longer exists.
Drew did the hard work of peeling the wallpaper border off in March 2007. Seriously ugly border.

So from 2007 to 2010, we had semi-gloss cool white walls and glossy white ceiling with a band around the top where the paint was less faded because of the border.  There was no lack of holes and scuffs from an estimated 20 years of living since the last paint job.

During the summer of 2010 while the nightmare of our home addition was being constructed, we ran off to Europe (for a bike race, what else?) and meanwhile, the general contractor taped plastic to the ceiling, walls, and floor between the old kitchen and dining room. Drew changed it to a contractor-grade barrier when we returned...

Looking toward what would be the new kitchen in July 2010. Dining room bay windows on the right. And yes, that is a microwave on the right.
...but not before sticky duct tape residue adhered itself to the ceiling and walls and took off the finish on the floor. That left us with a gray sticky line and really banged up walls. I had not been in a hurry to paint because we intend to strip the white paint off the woodwork, which would be better to do before painting, but my psychological well being was suffering every time I looking into the dining room.  It was time for paint.  A few months ago we had a dry wall guy patch the worst of the holes left from moving lighting fixtures.  There were a few more holes to patch and I had to do something about the thick duct tape residue.
The line of grayish yellow duct tape residue runs on the ceiling from the doorway to the upper right corner of this photo. Lovely. I had already tried sandpaper, mineral spirits, rubbing alcohol, nail polish remover, Goo Gone, and mayonnaise(!) to remove the residue.  I finally just scraped off as much residue as I could with a razor blade.  

Getting ready to paint. Old shiny white on old shiny white.  Max is prepared to help.

Max decided painting was too hard and instead discovered a cave underneath the plastic covering the couch.

Some progress.  Here the creamy butter color is cut in and the flat dover white is done on the ceiling. The butter color is in this photo is the best respresentation of how the final color actually looks.

I gave up three gorgeous May afternoons and a couple of social engagements to do it, but now it is done, calming, and beautiful.

The duct tape residue line is only visible to Drew and me because its location is burned into our retinas.  If you know where to feel for it, the ceiling has a bit more texture along that line too.

The dining room will stay this way until we attempt to strip the woodwork.  That might be a while.

One more time now. Before:

 And after:

After is better!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Camping is China Camp in a Van

That last score of posts on that one little big race were a slight diversion from our California vacation series. Now back to it.

The last vacation post was my account of motoring down the Pacific Coast Highway, camping, beautiful coastal views and all that.  I pick up where I left off.

After motoring for the better part of two days down Hwy 1 on the California coast, we were completely out of CNG and had been running on regular gas for a day or so.  We headed to the nearest CNG fueling station, knowing it was a PG&E station for which we had no account. 
Drew, bring the likable guy he is, schmoozed an employee to let us fill up, for free!  It pays to talk mountain biking and camping with men of the same persuasion.
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We hit Mike’s Bike Shop in San Rafael (super nice shop) to find a new saddle for Drew and get some intell on the area. The ride at our planned campsite turned out to be highly recommended, so we headed that away and hit the Bay View and Oak Ridge trails for some fine views of San Pablo Bay, which is connected to the San Francisco Bay.
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Wild turkeys are abundant.
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See, they’re everywhere!
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Nice trail – kinda reminded me of Mid Mountain in PC.
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Here is view of the meadow and San Pablo Bay as the sun was setting. 
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China Camp State Park is so named for the Chinese that made their homes and livelihood here in the 1850s. Small deer now live here.
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It was a nice ride and felt good to spin things our after two days of driving.
Back to camp where we were parked in the “enroute camping” parking lot. Choice camping we are finding in this leg of our trip, eh?
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The real nice spots were walk-in only, so we settled for our quiet spot near the dumpsters and set up camp.
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I wanted to to show a few pictures of the inside of the van.
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The bed platform sits over the very large CNG tank and slides out to make more storage for Action Packers or bags.
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The bed has nice pads for sleeping on and the cockpit is equipped with a Kenwood stereo into which we plugged our iPods. There are only seats for two up front but it is surprisingly comfortable.  It takes some getting used to backing up with just mirrors, but it drives smoothly. The other van rented by has solar panels on top, so you can be totally off the grid and mix margaritas! The couple that is is super cool and easy to work with too.  They use Relay Rides for the rental fee collection and insurance.  Relay Rides is this cool website on which normal people around town rent out their vehicles by the hour or day.  It would be a great option for someone looking to make a little money off his or her car or pickup truck while it is not in use.
But back to our adventure.  We mixed up some dinner and turned in for our last night of camping in the van.  In the morning, we were joined by a mama turkey and baby chicks!  The chicks were so small they were covered by the grass in this picture, but I caught a glimpse of them following behind.
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Time to say goodbye to camping and hello to wedding meatballs.  We pointed the van south to San Jose.
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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Remote Race Report: Transylvania Epic COMPLETE!

Stage 6 yesterday:
There was no post yesterday because Drew didn't send me any pictures and we barely talked on the phone at all.  Apparently the queen stage was rocky and technical and difficult, but not all together unmanagable.

Final stage today:
 Tonight, Drew sent me some pics from today - the last day of the race.

5 minutes until the start.  Drwe and Jim are Matchy and Matchy.

This is Tussy Ridge. There was "no breeze.... Hot.... Very technical."

This is Jim crossing the finish line.

Sue Hayward and Amanda Carey getting ready to host the after party.  Two beverages of choice here.

There was a beer relay this afternoon after the race.  Teams had to ride around a pond.  The first heat was not difficult enough so they put in an obstacle.

 That made it harder!

Congratulations to Drew and Jim for completing this difficult 7-day stage race!!!!!