sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I road my bike to work today for the first time this year.  I don't know what the temperature was at the time (except that I got too hot in my down jacket and neoprene mask), but it's like 35 degrees now, and supposed to get up to 41 later today.  Highs in the 40s tomorrow too.  We could go camping!  Except that we have plans for tomorrow night. 

Last Monday was Groundhogs Day/Candlemas/Imbolc.  It seemed like everyone was talking about it.  Probably many of them were talking about it since it was discussed on The Writers' Almanac.  I gave the radio a rasberry when they announced that it was sunny and therefore we'd have another 6 weeks of Winter.  Then I thought better of it and decided that only another 6 weeks of Winter sounded like fantastic news.  Later, my mom forwarded an email to me from my aunt in which she talked about their beautiful sunny Groundhogs Day in Bandon OR and how it felt like it was getting to be Spring, but it's actually just the cross quarter.  She observed that if the Groundhog see his shadow on February 2nd, then there will indeed be another 6 weeks of Winter, but this doesn't really have anything to do with the weather... there will be 6 more weeks of Winter because Winter is only half over and it will be another 6 weeks to the Spring Equinox.  She speculates that perhaps this is meant to keep us from getting our hopes up on beautiful sunny Winter's day.  Fair enough.  Though I'd put it this way: there are only 6 more weeks of Winter ahead.  I think I need to get my hopes up.  How else is one supposed to make it through the Winter? 
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I'm thinking I could really go for a pair of cross country skis right now. I'm thinking that might be the more intelegent way to get to/from work tomorrow (as opposed to a vehicle with wheels). Of course, I don't know how much work skiing 2 miles to work might be, but I'm guessing it would be less work than walking 2 miles to work, which I think will be the other option tomorrow. Even with our street plowed, I couldn't make it up the hill without 2 people pushing me... and there's more hill just like it to get to work.

Now to see if anyone is delivering pizza today...

Hahaha... though if no one is, there's a take a bake place only about 1/2 mile away.

Edit: Nope, not even the take and bake place is open.
sillygoosegirl: (Other - Bicycle)
No falling back for me this year. My schedule is dictated by the sun. In order to get out of here while it is still light to bike to the train station, I had to get up and catch a train earlier than I ever take.

Priceless

Sep. 25th, 2007 11:30 am
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
Eleven months ago we purchased a fancy bike for Josh and I posted This Entry.

Since then he has lost like 15-20 lbs (140 lbs down from 155-160). I think he may actually be in better shape now than when I met him... mmm... smokin'! (Not that he wasn't a total hottie this time last year too.)

What a great investment! I can't believe I argued against him buying it in the first place! I am such a lucky girl... :-)

Wiped out

Apr. 5th, 2007 09:23 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I wiped out in the parking lot at work today. Haven't done that in a LONG LONG time. Fortunately I was wearing lots of clothes including leather gloves (it was like 37 degrees out), and I wasn't going very fast... and I was in the parking lot not on a busy street. I had just popped off the curb when I lost control and went down. I don't know what happened, it just all went so fast and I wasn't able to throw my foot out to catch myself, and instead landed on my arm. It hurt, but inspecting my windbreaker afterward, it looks like I came within about a cetemeter of landing with my funny bone on a piece of hardware... and that REALLY would have hurt. I don't know what caused the accident, but I did find a rip in my shoelace which suggests that perhaps it got caught in the bike gears. Also, the chain was derailed. I considered going straight back inside and calling Josh to come get me, but decided that if I did that, I'd probably just end up to scared to ever get on a bike again. So I tucked in my pant legs and my shoe laces, "re-railed" the chain, and biked home. I was also afraid at first that my windbreaker might have been ruined where I landed on it, but it seems fine.

So now my wrist is a little sore and my hip is seriously bruised... nothing I can see (yet), but it hurts a little all the time and is very sensative to pressure. Lovely. Fortunately it is well below where my backpack belt will ride. Otherwise I would probably have to bail on the backpacking trip I've been organizing. Also, as I said above, I feel extremely fortunate that this happened in the parking lot. In the future, I will keep my shoe laces tucked in. And I will make sure I am 100% in control of the bike BEFORE popping off the curb.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I'm having serious trouble staying hydrated with the biking thing. I've been trying, but having difficulty. Last night, I was up much of the night feeling nauseous. I'm pretty sure I was feeling nauseous from dehydration. Yet I felt like if I forced myself to drink anything particularly fast, I might make myself throw up... which would obviously be a big set back in the hydration department. And waiting a few minutes between swallows didn't work too good either... I'd fall asleep in between, and then wake up feeling parched and other wise awful, then have to figure out what was going on, and repeat the whole thing. It made for rather a dreadful night. Additionally, over the weekend, I seem to have been suffering from a simultaneous urinary track infection (dehydration), and a yeast infection (damp underwear), but fortunately both of those have cleared up at this point (either that or it was something else with the symptoms of both). I drove to work today because I think I need to give myself the opportunity to get properly rehydrated before attempting to bike again. Particularly since the last thing I want to do is start off a backpacking trip dehydrated... I have enough trouble with that issue as it is.

I don't think any of this is anything I can't handle... it's just clearly going to take a little more time and effort than I had anticipated. Certainly changing my underwear when I get to work is easy enough. And drinking lots of fluids shouldn't be too hard, it mainly is just going to require forming new habits... and maybe bribing myself with powdered drink mixes the way I do while hiking.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I planted my zucchini and cucumber today. I decided to start them inside because they said things like "late spring" and "May" on them. But I don't want to run into the situation I had last year where I had hardly started getting produce from them when we started getting winter frosts.

Then I checked the weather. We're supposed to have another freeze this week. It's supposed to snow on Wednesday. And here I am planning to ride my bike to work, rain or shine, sleet or snow... I thought I was going to have a few months to get used to biking before I had to deal with the latter! It's almost Easter for crying out loud! Then I checked my journal entries about my garden last year (I should use the tags feature more, it's nice for stuff like that), and you know what? I didn't plant my garden until late April last year! And as I recall, I planted it right before the last frost too. Sigh. At least my peas, parsley, and green onions should be okay... they all say to sow seeds directly outdoors as soon as the soil is workable. As for the basil, oregano, and dill we planted last night, I guess maybe I should start more inside in case they don't make it, as I do have more seeds in all the envelopes.

All this time I'd been thinking I was getting off to a really late start with all this gardening stuff. I've been talking to my mother and sister about it a little, and I think they have their gardens planted already. I keep forgetting how much later spring comes in Chicago than it does in the Pacific Northwest. The daffodils are only starting to bloom... that means I should remember that outside it is still only late February, even though it's April inside on my computer.

I've also been reading up on indoor and patio composting. I would really like to be able to compost, for so many reasons (well, mainly spiritual/environmental and plant-food reasons), but I need to figure out how to do it without putting myself at risk of getting evicted or divorced. That probably means figuring out a way to do it without making a mess or a nasty smell (and the lady down stairs thought she didn't like it when water dripped off my plants). And apparently that is quite possible... from what I'm reading, it seems that with the right mix of ingredients, smell shouldn't actually be a big problem.

Also, I've been reading a bit more on container gardening too. Not surprisingly, a lot of information about indoor/patio composting has links to info on container gardening. And I'm realizing how stupid I was for starting my indoor plans in some of our pasta bowls. Sure, I can do without our pasta bowls for a couple months and wash them when I'm done with them... but they provide no drainage, and obviously I'm not about to drill holes in the bottoms of them. Why on Earth did I choose pasta bowls when I have a box overflowing with plastic and metal containers waiting to go to the recycling center? I think I am out of touch. It's been too long since I've lived with my mother... I've gotten so out of the habit of re-using things for other purposes. Sure, it's been fun to be my own master and just buy a "whatever" that was designed to do the task at hand... and sometimes it's still the best option (I think I will look for a small composter that is on a stand for turning to keep it easily oxygenated), but lots of times there's stuff on hand that I can make work just as well in a pinch... and all I would need to do would be to stop and think.

I need to remember to look at the half-full part of the glass, and that we need to build the republic of heaven where we are. It's useful. And now to go make some draining containers and plant some basil, dill, and oregano.

Oh, yeah, but first, one of the cooler things I found: Grow a pillar of vegetables -- 12 square feet of growing area on only 1.2 sq ft of ground. (Not that I'm going to attempt this one... at least not this year!)
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
The one part of me that actually is pretty sore from biking is my butt... it feels bruised. The seat on Josh's bike is really hard. I don't know how he can stand it and why he hasn't replaced it. I figured a man would be more sensative down there where the bike seat goes than a woman. My best guess, at this point, is that Josh's balls are made out of rubber. However, this thought does become quite amusing when put in the context of Tigger's song from Winnie the Pooh... and that almost makes up for the bruises.
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I've made a commitment to bike to work this spring and summer. Effective next Monday, my payroll deductions which allow me to take the shuttle to/from the Metra will be stopped. I know, you guys are probably getting sick of hearing about it, but this feels like a really big deal to me. And to think, biking to work yesterday was pretty much a spir of the moment idea brought on by missing the train and the lovely weather. I mean, I've been thinking about it, wanting to save money and all (oh boy $70/month), but I wasn't real serious about it. Maybe that's because if I thought it through, I'd be too chicken to actually try it.

Also, I investigated the women's shower over in the 500 building. I don't think showering after I get in will be optional once it gets hot and humid out... and it's probably a good idea before then too. It looks nice enough, and there are a bunch of lockers. Unfortunately, while many of them do not have locks on them (It's clearly a BYOLock locker room), all of them have people's stuff in them. Maybe if I leave a note, I can get someone to share with me.

I am so excited about this!

Work to Eat. Eat to Live. Live to Bike. Bike to Work.
sillygoosegirl: (Other - Bicycle)
I feel amazingly not sore after all my biking yesterday... I was really expecting to be sore. And amazingly well rested even after the noise trouble last night. Aside from waking up extremely hungry and thirsty, I feel amazingly good this morning. However, I did manage to leave for work today with out my badge or a jacket... which may be a little unfortunate if we get the expected thunderstorms this evening.
sillygoosegirl: (Other - Bicycle)
My bike ride home from work was much nicer. I took a little time before leaving to look closely at some google satellite images and maps... particularly looking for useful connections between little bits of non-busy diagonal roads. You see, the route to work is along Northwest Highway, which is a big (4 lane) road where the cars go fast. It takes me from within 2 blocks of our apartment to within 5 blocks of work in 8.7 miles. As far as I've ever been able to tell before, biking to work along a decent route would mean going at least an extra factor of the square root of 2, what with the Manhattan metric and all, plus an extra mile or so to avoid the really nasty road right around our apartment (only the big streets go through because we are hemmed in by 3 rail roads, and a river).

So anyhow, what I ended up finding were little trails providing great connections between three of the four frontage roads that run along Northwest Highway on the south side of the Union Pacific Rail Road line (the one on which my Metra runs). This means, I was essentially able to ride right along Northwest Highway on little streets and connector trails for over half of the distance! Additionally, I discovered from the satellite maps that I can leave work by sneaking through a row of trees on the far side of the parking lot, into another company's parking lot and gain access to some useful little roads that cut down significantly on my mileage overall, plus keep me completely off the big roads that one otherwise must use to get to where I work!

So the whole ride was quite pleasant, except for the last mile where I was along Rand road to get over the rail road tracks and past the industrial dead zone that is just north of us. It took me an hour and a half, but that was with lots of time spent considering my map and the street signs, and some time spent looking for short cuts that didn't actually exist (fences don't show up too good on google satellite maps). The total distance on my (well, Josh's) odometer when I got home was 11.1 miles... so quite a bit less than the 13-15 I was expecting. And again, there's a little extra distance there because of the exploring. If I didn't mention it before, the door to desk time for taking the Metra to work is around 45 minutes to an hour... 10 minutes to the train station, 5 minutes waiting for the train, 15 minutes on the train, 5-15 minutes waiting on the shuttle (depending on what route I'm there for), and then 5-10 minutes driving to work. Plus there's the dead time at work when I've put in my 8 hours already, but there's no shuttle/train.

I don't plan to bike to work again until Thursday, as that is supposed to be the only other sunny day this week and I want to work myself up to the whole biking to work as a regular thing thing. However, I am really pumped about the idea of biking to work most of the spring and summer. Mmm... saving money, getting in better shape, setting my own schedule, and eating whatever I want! I'd like to add "helping the environment" to that list too... but somehow I don't think biking is actually any better for the environment than taking the Metra... mainly just better for me, my health, my schedule, and my pocketbook. And I suppose Josh would add something about getting a sexier wife.
sillygoosegirl: (Other - Bicycle)
I biked in today. I think it's like 9 miles along Northwest Highway, which is the route I took... a little terrifying, especially at the beginning, as I was on Josh's bike and just getting used to it. It took me about 70 minutes, and that includes about 10-15 minutes that I stopped right before Mount Prospect to wait for my heart rate to get back down to pounding really damn fast. After that, I got over my fright and realized that if I kept trying to go so fast so I'd get to work and off the road faster, I was likely to just make myself pass out... and that hardly seemed like a good idea. I'm guessing I could do the ride in 45 minutes, which is a bit faster than I do on the Metra (when you count walking and waiting time) if I got myself into shape, and was riding a bike as spiffy as Josh's. As it was today though, I could hardly walk down the stairs by the time I got to work... should have taken the elevator.

Bike

Jan. 25th, 2007 07:00 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
So way back in December, we were going to give Josh's old bike (i.e. the bike that was Rachel's before, and mine before that) to Mandy. I was anxious to get it out of the laundry room. So I got it down stairs one Saturday before we were going to see her. Well, Josh started wondering if he really wanted to give it away, and we were in a hurry to leave, so we just left it their in the garage. Being the lazy people we were, and that I mostly just wanted it out of the way, it sat there for almost a month. Then it disappeared. We felt bad. Though part of me kind of thought it was Josh's just desserts for being greedy. That was about 3 weeks ago. Wanna guess what I found sitting in our parking space in the garage when I got home from the dentist today? That's right, the bike! I still don't know if Josh actually wants to part with it or not, but it's nice that it got returned.

Still, I'm a bit disturbed that someone (one of our neighbors??) would have "borrowed" the bike for 3 weeks and not do so much as leave a note. I mean, if it had been gone a day, I would have been like, "I'm glad our neighbors had a bike to borrow when they needed it." But 3 weeks? Not without asking permission, or at least leaving a note!

Yay bikes!

Jan. 28th, 2006 10:10 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Default)
I found this website interesting. This page in particular is what I first found because I was curious about the costs of car ownership (really haven't been a car owner all that long), but the whole site is pretty cool.

http://www.bikesatwork.com/carfree/cost-of-car-ownership.html

Heat wave

Jan. 11th, 2006 09:18 pm
sillygoosegirl: (Other - Bicycle)
So I've been meaning to post about this heat wave we've been having in Chicago. It's unreal. Last weekend, we went to the park and played tennis... yes, outdoors (the tennis part was a little unreal too, especially the part where we hit the ball like 4 times in a row).

Tomorrow, I'm thinking of bicycling to work. It's supposed to hit a high around 50.

No kidding.

In Chicago.

In January.

With a battle axe! (Well, actually with a bicycle and a tennis racket, but you get the idea.)

Is this global warming, or is this just freaking awesome without any cataclysmic environmental side effects?

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