Friday, September 17, 2010


So it is almost the weekend, thank god. It has been a long really crappy week. I am ready for some R&R. Hmmm do people even still say that? Anyway, this should be a good weekend, besides a Cultural Anthropology exam that I have to take tonight, the rest of the weekend should be pretty low key. Melissa and I are hitting the Twins game Saturday and then running a few errands in preparation for my Notre Dame football watching party I am hosting, Melissa is the only person I invited but it should be a fun party. I am going to have lots of snacks and beverages. Go Irish! Then I plan on doing absolutely nothing on Sunday. Awesome!

The week has been busy, work is crazy. I am doing a huge server upgrade and it has just been a ton of work, luckily there have been very few problems, so that is good. But the stress level is high and Eric is crabby. So I will be glad to be done with work at 4pm today.

The weather has really turned, man it is chilly outside. Typical Minnesota went from hot too cold without much warning. But the good thing is, snow is right around the corner. I am looking forward to skiing this year. It always makes me happy. Bring on the powder.

My classes are going well, they are busy. Lots of reading, lots of reading! Luckily I have no papers to write this semester so over all it should be a good semester. I am taking 3 on-line classes which I think I have mentioned 5 or six times. (sorry) It is the most on-line classes I have taken at once. I love online classes a lot; they keep my organizational skills keen. I have a lot of planning and calendaring to do daily so it keeps me on my toes. The cool thing about all of this is I am starting to see the goal ahead of me. At least I think I do, I am 80% sure I know what I am going to do with all of this, but it is the 20% uncertainty that keeps throwing me off.

The really exciting news is the fall session of Mini-Medical School is 3 weeks away!!! Sweet! I am so excited. I can’t wait for it to start up for this session. I love Mini-Med School and can’t wait to get back at it. I signed up right away after getting my registration information and then count down began.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I wonder if anyone exactly reads my blog…

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have a feeling this is going to be a busy week. Things at work are really picking up. I am doing a lot of cool stuff and the days are going really fast which is nice. The past weekend was good, mostly a quiet weekend, but nice none the less. Saturday Melissa had to work so I stayed home and relaxed, did some homework, took an exam and watched a little college football. So overall it was a nice relaxing day. Sunday I got up and did a few things around the house, and then it was off to the Wayzata Yacht Club for a little sailing action out on Lake Minnetonka. It was a perfect day, nice and windy. I got to the dock just a bit after noon and helped Steve set up the boat. After the whole crew was there we set off and headed for the race area. The race went pretty good, we had a few problems but it was a fun day out on the lake. Sailing season is nearing the end, and even though it will be nice to take a break, I know that I will miss it once it is gone.

I have become a bit of a voracious reader in the past few years; I have been reading a lot of stuff. Novels, magazines and blogs. I have discovered a couple of great blogs that I read fairly religiously, some are just for fun others pertain to my job. Currently I am reading a book called Med School Confidential ( It is a great read so far and I am really enjoying it. It is meant as a guide to walk you through the process of preparing, applying and what to except during your time in Medical School. I am a little more than half way through it and I am finding it very interesting. It is fun for me to wonder if I really could have done it. The information that I am reading make me wonder if I would have been smart enough to even attempt Medical School. Wow, what a process. If you have any interest in such things I highly recommend this book. I bought the digital version for my Barnes and Noble Nook book reader so I can’t loan it out but for $13 at Amazon it is an interesting read. I love my Nook by the way. It is a little different to get use to but once you do it is a great device.

It is amazing how fast time is going, September is basically half over and I noticed yesterday there is a little fall chill in the air. It is getting close to that time when I start to dream of snow and also start to think about planning our winter ski trip. I think we are planning on taking one, we are just not sure to where. Right now the leader of the pack is Utah. So we would have a week skiing, Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird. I have been reading early weather predictions and it is look favorable for big snows in the west. I know some areas have already gotten snow this year. Jackson Hole, Whistler and even some spots in Utah. I think I am mostly ready for snow. Summer was good, but the weather wasn’t the best so, it went fast and I just don’t feel like I did much. Any thoughts on where we should go?

Self Pity

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

-D. H. Lawrence

Friday, September 10, 2010

Another Week

Another week has pasted. Things are good; I have had time to reflect on the Dakota 50. While I made it only 22 miles and had to quit the race, I am proud of myself for trying. While I was out there busting my ass other people were at home sitting on a couch watching TV. So from that stand point I am happy that I at least gave it a try. Still a little disappointed with myself for not training better and finishing but live and learn I guess. Next time maybe.

You how they say that things in your life happen for a reason? I am wondering how that could possibly be true. I have been reflecting a lot on my past lately and wondering why certain things happened. Like why did both my parents die? What possible good came of that? Nothing… Why did I go away once instead of going back to what I knew was the right choice? I wonder what good came of that decision. Life sure is funny.

Some memories that I have seem so vivid. But yet some seem like they never truly happened and the ones that I want to remember and hold on to seem to be slipping away. I am in a strange funk right now. Things are really good with me, but things keep popping up that are reminding me of other times, other happiness and sadness. I am confused. I will always try to remember.

My classes are going great, I really like my medical terminology class and my cultural anthropology class is really interesting so far so that is good. I am ordering my lab pack for my human anatomy and physiology class either today or tomorrow so I can get that here. My A&P class starts in 2 weeks so I will be at 3 classes. The most I have taking at one time. I am doing everything online so it is really interesting. I really have to keep up with stuff and make sure that I am managing my time well. So far so good. That will get easier as the fall moves on and it starts to get colder and darker outside. I am already starting to think about classes for spring. Right now I am planning on a math class and possibly a history class of some kind to wipe that requirement out. There is a history of the Vietnam war that I really want to take and sometimes it is not offered in the spring, so I am hoping to get lucky and it will be. Otherwise I have a few backup ideas.

It should be a quiet weekend; at least I hope it will be. I know Saturday Melissa has to work, so I am going to do school stuff for a good portion of the day. Then Sunday I think I am sailing. I guess the weather is supposed to be really nice on Sunday so it will be a nice day out on the lake. Sailing has been a blast this year, but it will be nice to take a break from it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I do not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Those are the letters that no person in a “race” or time event of any kind wants to see after their name. DNF – Did Not Finish… I was humbled in South Dakota this weekend. I went in there thinking that this ride was going to be tough but that I would be able to finish. I knew I wouldn’t be able to compete, but I really wanted to finish the ride. The Dakota 50 is in its 10th year of existence and is a very popular ride in the western Black Hills, in the Spearfish area. Melissa and I signed up to give it a try after we talked to a few friends of ours that do it and said that it was just a great event, tough but great. We went into the event feeling great. I normally get really nervous before events and that is why I do not do them anymore, my stupid nervous stomach makes them no fun for me. But this event was different I had a great night sleep, I got up Sunday morning at about 5:20AM, got my things ready to go and got to the event site, excited, feeling great and ready to ride. Melissa was the same, she was ready to go. She doesn’t have the same nervous issues I do so that stuff is easier for her. Anyway the race/ride started at 730am and Melissa and I started in back because our plan was just to ride the event and not race, therefore we didn’t want to be in anyone’s way, we headed out of town and made our way through the streets of Spearfish to the first climb which was a dirt road leading up to the start of the single track trail that we would be on for the next 45 miles or so. UGH, first climb to the single track was a bear and I started to question my abilities. And the sad thing was, we were only about 2 miles in. Holy Crap, 48 miles left. Was it going to be like this the whole time was it going to get any easier? I knew that we made the wrong decision to ride our single speeds for the ride instantly and should have brought our full suspension bikes, the outcome may not have been different but it might have been a bit easier. We made it into the single track and it was a tough, lots of sand and loose rock. I was a little ahead of Melissa and slowed down every once and a while to wait for her. We finally met up at mile 6, when I heard, “Crap, my pedal fell off!” I went over and looked at her bike and it wasn’t just her pedal, but she broke her non-drive side crank arm off. What now?!?! I looked at her and could tell she was bummed. This was a show stopper and something I could not fix on the trail. I brought some tools and things, but never thought in a million years I would have to fix a crank arm. We talked for a few minutes and she told me to keep going and to finish. I felt really guilty because I didn’t want to leave her alone and I had no idea how long it was going to take me to finish. But after a little back and forth I pressed on. The next 4 miles were tough for me, I felt bad about her day ending so quickly and that we weren’t going to be able to do this together.

I made it to the first rest stop at 10 miles and refilled my water and Gatorade drink, had a little rest and pressed on. The next stop was 12 miles away. The first 2 miles after the 10 mile stop gave me a little more energy, a little better trail to ride on and a little more downhill to rest my legs. I made good time for the next 2 miles. I got to mile 13 and the climbing started again. My legs were already shot. I kept thinking, why am I trying this on my single speed for the first time. Why didn’t I bring my Yeti and ride my good bike. This is a bear. I am not cut out for this kind of climbing; I am not a real biker. Thoughts like that kept going through my head over and over. My legs were cramping up at about mile 16 and I knew I was doomed. There was no way I was going to make it the whole way. I was starting to have to walk up almost all of the hills and was riding all of the flat portions and downhills, which were few and far between. I thought to myself, make it to rest stop #2 and call it a day. Go back and spend the rest of the day with your beautiful wife and enjoy that beautiful country out there. At mile 21.75 I called it a race for me and headed back. I was picked up by another rider and his support person that gave up at the same point. I was so disappointed, so bummed and so humbled. I have no ego about things like this but it sucks when you realize you can’t do something that you really want to do. I just wasn’t in good enough shape and have never ridden those kinds of climbs, they were very brutal… Now the thought about next year goes into my brain… Should I try again next year? Should I figure out a way to train for this ride and give it a go? I think Melissa is out no matter what, but would I like to give it a try again, or am I just not cut out to ride that kind of ride? I did make it 21.75 miles of the hardest terrain that I have ever ridden and I did it on a fully rigid single speed 29’er, so looking back I am pretty happy with that. Well sort of. *sigh*

Besides the race our trip was amazing. We had so much fun out there. I love the Black Hills area of SD. And I think Melissa loves it as well, I spent a lot of time out there as a kid and I have tried to show Melissa everything that I love about the hills in the two times we have been out there. This time we did a few other things that we hadn’t done the first time, the highlights were Devils Tower and Bear Butte. I have this life list of things I dream of doing before I die, some are silly things and some are cool things, well at least to me they are. I was able to cross 2 more things off my list on this little trip of ours. 1 was doing a watercolor of Devils Tower while at Devils Tower, I did that, I screwed it up but I did it none the less. I give it another try from the photos I took of the tower soon. The other thing was summiting Bear Butte. Melissa and I did that on Friday, it was amazing. Bear Butte is a “mountain” right outside of Sturgis that is considered a holy area to the Native American’s. It is big hill that rises 1,434’ above the prairie floor and is out in the middle of nowhere so it just looks cool when you drive up to it. There is a great and very challenging hike to the summit. It is short 3.5 miles round trip, but it travels up some steep and narrow slopes, across huge fields of scree and up some very sketchy terrain. The hike was amazing; there are Indian prayer bundles and prayer flags hanging everywhere, they were just beautiful and so cool to see, it is what I picture the Buddhist prayer flags looking like in the Himalayas. We made it to the top and really enjoyed the views. I was so happy to share my hike with Melissa and be able to say that I did another thing on my life list with her. Other than that it was a beautiful long week in the Black Hills the weather was perfect. We were able to enjoy our time together out there, reflect on our year, make a few plans for upcoming adventures and think about life in a quiet beautiful place…