Monday, October 24, 2011

Shake it Out

I know: I'm averaging about one 'blog update a month. I'm sure that both of you who read my 'blog are crushed. I'm sorry.

I certainly paid my dues over the past 5 years or so. It's about time for things to go my way for a while. I'm finally done training for work. The cut me loose and I've been working by myself for nearly a month now. The freedom to do what I want is nice, but it certainly helped having another opinion around when things got sticky. I'm muddling through. 

People always stop me and remark about what a great job I have. It's way better than sitting in a cubicle all day, but long hours sitting in a truck and dealing with the "bad" part of the population keep it from feeling like a permanent vacation. Nice views out my office window, though.

Now that I'm getting on my feet financially, Holly and I can afford to eat a little better. I splurged a while back and bought a cast-iron grill pan. It makes AWESOME steaks and heats up way faster than a grill does. It smokes up the house a good bit, but I'll take it in exchange for some par-boiled and grilled artichokes. They came out amazing.

It's getting on into Winter, which means bigger surf and big changes on the beach. That last storm that rolled through stripped a LOT of sand off the beach. That's a full-size truck and a 3' sand berm.

Every so often, I get to take part in some neat events that most people never get to see. The local marine wildlife rescue called asking if they could release a sea-lion on our beach. I was happy to help out.

Alas, the 4WD on their truck decided it was a good day to give up and they were soon stuck in the sand. Despite airing the tires WAY down and digging the truck out several times. the truck wan't going anywhere. I asked if they wanted me to call a tow-truck and they said they had called "Jeep Rescue". I sat in my truck watching the waves roll lazily in and expecting to hear the tell-tale sound of a diesel tow-truck. Imagine my surprise when I heard the distinctive rumble of a small-block V-8. I turned around in time to see this amazing vehicle making it's way down the ramp.

That's a 1977 Jeep Cherokee on 47" tires. They affectionately called it "Matilda".

I totally want one..

"Matilda" had wildlife rescue un-stuck in no time at all and I went back to making sure the beach was in the chill condition I left it in. I got a radio call about a "sick sea lion"on the beach a mere 1/4 mile from where they released one earlier in the day. Coincidence. No way. Same friggin' animal.

Pain in the A$$! I spent the next several hours shooing people away from it:

"No, you can't roll it back into the ocean."
"Yes, it's fine."

And so on...

For the record, they're like 300-lb dogs with a nasty disposition and a worse bite. Ask any real surfer or diver about sea lions if you don't believe me.

State Mountain Bike Championships were a few weeks ago. I had the day off and went down to cheer for some athletes and re-connect with some enduro-friends. Kerry had a solid race in Cat 2 after being on a boat for 9 months. His second ever race in Cat2 after "graduating" from Clydesdales (200lb+). A feat in and of itself; his weight loss over the past year inspires me. Awesome job!

Not to be outdone, John Dang stayed strong, despite the sweltering heat, and pulled down the win. I bet that State Champion Jersey is going to look great on him. I can only imagine how good it must feel pulling one on. Sweet!

Last week I celebrated my 36th birthday. Mom and Da originally wanted Holly and I to come over for dinner, but sprung an all-expense paid Disneyland trip on us instead. WIN. A fairly crowded day, but we hung in there and got to all the "good" rides. I love Haunted Mansion all dressed up as "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and Space Mountain never disappoints. The 3-D version of Star Tours made us both wanna hurl. It never did before, I think it has something to do with the 3-D glasses. Bummer.

 Last, but certainly not least, Holly bought me a stove-top espresso maker for my birthday. French Press coffee is rad, but it's too much liquid so early in the morning. I had a theory that the diuretic effect was from all the liquid and not the caffeine. For $25, it was worth the experiment. I was right! All the buzz without all the bathroom stops...and it makes amazing espresso. I called my sister to brag and it turns out both she and mom have had one for almost a year. Thanks for sharing! Sheesh!

Anyway. I'm easing back into training and working hard at figuring out how to fit training around a 4 x 10 hour shift work schedule. Tips are appreciated.

Thanks for reading; both of you!