To tandem or not to tandem? That is the question.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

So I have convinced Eric that biking around the monuments in Washington DC makes more sense than riding the silly trolley again or walking again. Now don’t get me wrong, the trolley is great if you need the misinformed history lesson by tour guides who try (and fail miserably) to be funny.  And yes it is great for those who are immobile, like say after knee surgery.  But we’ve done the trolley (and also a private tour through the Department of Interior thanks to Callista Gingrich).  And walking the monuments is just a daunting task.  Trust me, we have walked the monuments.  Actually we did 5 monuments (Washington, Lincoln, WWII, Vietnam War and Korean War) by forced march in one hour…in 100 degree heat and 100% humidity.  That was courtesy of Hiram. So we have done it both of those ways, but we haven’t biked to them.  Doesn’t that sound pleasant? Let’s go for a little bike ride, stop to see the monument, go for another little bike ride, stop to see the monument, repeat. So that’s the plan, we are going to bike around the city.  I’m so excited.  And it isn’t really that expensive.  We can rent a bike for $35 all day.  That is a little cheaper than the trolley and less taxing on the feet than walking. 

Here is where the title comes in; do rent a tandem bike or not?  A tandem bike is only $60 for the day so we would be saving $10.  And how romantic does that sounds? “Eric and I rode our tandem bike down the National Mall.”  But alas, it probably won’t happen.  Firstly, we would have to agree on a cadence. Eric already complains when we are riding separate bikes that I never stop pedaling.  He always says “don’t you every rest”…um, no because once I get this big ass going, it is harder to stop and start than it is to keep going. So that is something we would have to work out. Secondly, there is the whole turning thing, not as easy when two are riding. And who would be captain controlling the turning??  And finally, there is only one gear.  I love switching gear often. Eric seems to get annoyed that I switch gears all the time. So we would have to cooperate with each other and to be honest, I see this turning ugly. Our nice vacation ends in divorce because of a tandem bike.  However, I just had a brilliant idea.  We get the tandem bike, Eric can do all the pedaling and I can take all the pictures while we are riding.  Hum, maybe that isn’t a bad idea after all.  

Has anybody ever rode a tandem and can offer some advice? Only 7 more days until DC. 

The 5am Wake Up Call

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ok, Swirl, I get it. The birds are making noise outside so you think it is time we wake up. BUT it is 5am. I still have another hour of sleep so STOP MEOWING!  And it wasn’t the ordinary meowing, it was that LOUD, deep, whiny meow with his friendly bee in his mouth so it sounds really gargled.  It almost sounds like a crying baby.

Swirl has a habit of doing this in the evening.  He constantly meows as he brings his bee upstairs.  He doesn’t stop meowing until he comes into our bedroom and we say “Good job Swirl.” Then he spits out the bee on the floor (directly in footpath to the bathroom so I get to step on it in the middle of the night). If we don’t say “good job Swirl,” he continues to meow. It doesn’t matter where in the house the bee is at the time he starts this process.  If it is already in our bedroom, he will come get it, go downstairs and start the long, loud trek up the steps to the bedroom.

Swirl really loves his bee. It has been all over the house. On the bed, in the bathroom, on the steps, in the living room, on his recliner.  And it is always moving around the house, but we never see him move it. It is really weird.  The bee could be on the floor in the living room when we go for our evening walk and by the time we come home 30 minutes later it will be in some other completely different place.  He doesn’t like to move it when we are around…except for 10pm at night.  And when I hear him coming up the steps and peak outside to see him, he spits it out turns his head around and acts like nothing just happened.  “Nothing to see here.” We aren’t really sure if he always meows like this when he is moving it around when we aren’t home. Or if that meowing is just for our “benefit.”   

I’m hoping this morning was just a one off and he won’t be doing it again, but if this becomes a habit, I might have to take the bee away at night. 

What a goofy cat!  Nonetheless, he is our Swirl.

Memorial Day Weekend

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I love long weekends, but coming back to work is tough. I don’t want to get out of bed, I want to sleep some more.  Why do they have to go by so fast?  ARGH!

This weekend was busy.  Saturday I went to the local Laundromat to wash my oversized comforters. Interesting experience…interesting clientele…but I won’t go into that.  I also donated a bunch of stuff to Goodwill. I had a clean out.  After that we went out to lunch with Greg and Celeste and did some shopping. I got a nice frame for my new painting for $10 at Michael’s. It was in a bin outside, originally priced at $60.  So I got a good deal! The afternoon we spent shopping for things for the house and of course a visit to Kohl’s. I’m addicted to that store. But I got $20 in Kohl’s cash that I need to use soon! We finished the night with a walk.

Sunday was Eric’s running test for soccer in Eden Prairie. He passed! It was a very windy, cold morning which is typical for his test. Every year it is cold, windy.  This year it didn’t snow so that is good. I few years ago it was snowing. After his test we hurried down Hwy. 35 in Wisconsin to Arcadia for the Broiler-Dairy Days Parade.  It was cold and wet.  It rained for most of the parade. Mike was in the parade pulling some of the mini tractors that were pulling in the evening.  I was disappointed there were only 3 bands.  The Arcadia HS, Arcadia MS and the Winona HS.  The middle school band looked better and sounded better then the high school band.  Very sad!

Mike in the parade
After the parade we headed up to the Pavilion for some charcoal chicken.  Yum!  Since Mike was the organizer of the tractor pull we got a front seat spot in the car. It was so nice to be able to sit in the car where it was warm and a sound buffer for the really loud tractors.  It was a good afternoon.  After the tractor pull was done we stopped for a pizza and went to Mom’s place. The day of being outside really made us tired, we went to bed before 10pm!

Yesterday we went to Red Lobster for lunch and then over to Grace’s house. It was her 80th birthday.  We stayed for a while. I was able to beat the level she was stuck on in Candy Crush.  Actually I did so well she was number one of all her friends.  Eric had to share it and put, “I’m better than Kim.” Nice!  The drive home was very chaotic. There was a lot of traffic and it rained most of the way and people were driving stupid.  I was so glad to finally get home.  It was good weekend.  Now I have the week ahead to look forward to.  And only 3 days of work. :)

Painting Class II

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My volleyball friends and I did another painting class. It was so much fun!  Now I have convinced Eric to do one with me. :)

Graduation Trifecta

Monday, May 20, 2013

We had the trifecta this year.  One high school graduation (Adam), one undergrad graduation (Danielle) and this past weekend we went to our graduate graduation (Byron).  So we have seen all three in a matter of 8 days.  Byron’s was by far the shortest at just over an hour.  There were only 100 graduates so that helps.  After the graduation Paula had a party at the house. It was nice to see Paula’s family again. There was a good Williams crew. Chris came up for the day. Terry and Judy were there as was DJ and the kids, well two of the kids.  It was a good day.

The Williams Gang
Last week was a very nice week. Tuesday was blazing hot. We got up to 100 degrees on the car ride home. We didn’t really do much after work because it was so stinking hot.  At 9:30 we went for a short walk but it was still 85 degrees out. 

Wednesday we went for a swim. It felt good to get in the water again.  We did 750 meters so it was a good work out. After that I went for 7.5 mile bike ride. It was a slow ride, at least in the beginning. Once I got to the highest point on the ride at 3 miles in, I coasted the rest of the way.  My goal is 15 mph. My average speed was 11.6 mph.  Once I got over the hill I never really went slower than 14. I think I need a different route because the way I usually go is uphill for 3 miles. Starting out going uphill on legs not warmed up is probably not the best idea. 

Thursday was band day so I didn’t get a work out in, but playing my instrument is workout right? LOL! I think I’m going to do the musical this year. Every year the band plays in the pit orchestra for the city outdoor musical. I’ve never done it before because I’m usually busy in June. This year not so much so I thought I’d do it. I’m not really happy in the choice of musical this year, Carnival!, I’d rather it was something I knew.  The world famous song from the musical, Love Makes the World Go Round, I’ve never heard before. It is sad when you have never heard the “famous” song from the musical. But alas, I’ll basically be living in Eden Prairie in June as there are rehearsals every day for one week and then there are 7 performances over two weekends.

Eric had class on Friday so I went swimming without him.  I did 3/4 of a mile. Again I felt great.  I thought about going for a run afterwards but decided I’d better wash, dry and fold clothes. We had mounds again from the weekend before. My battle with the clothes is never won.  I cleaned out my closet, getting rid of a big garbage bag of clothes. I put away the sweaters (fingers crossed we are finally done with winter) and brought out the summer clothes.  It was a busy evening.

Eric had class Saturday too.  I cleaned the house and went for a 3 mile run/walk.  My legs were tired. I ran most of the first 2 miles but walked the majority of the last one. It was windy! After Eric got done with class we headed to DJ’s house in Mankato and then on to Sioux Falls for Byron’s graduation.  

On our way home yesterday, we stopped at Falls park to check out the waterfalls. It is a nice park but it was raining so it wasn't so pleasant.  

We made it back home last night around 9:30pm.  We hit a pheasant along the way. Or should I say the dumb bird flew into us. Hitting a stupid bird at 65 mph is not a cool thing.  Eric and I both put our hands up because we though he was going to come through the windshield.  Thankfully he hit the top our windshield and hood. No dent and the crack that I thought I saw ended up being a feather or something, I don’t know but there were pheasant guts all over…sadly I don’t think he survived. 

It was another fun filed week.  I wonder what this week will bring. 

Hanging Over the Edge

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Swirl put his head up for the picture but he had his head down staring at the floor...probably thinking whoa is me!

2 Graduations, 2 Graduation Parties, 1 Birthday Party and 800 miles

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The one thing I can say after this weekend is this: I'm sick of driving, I'm sick of food, and I'm sick of boring graduation speeches.  This weekend was really a whirl wind.  We got to see a lot of family.

Friday night we went to Bradley’s parents’ house for Danielle’s graduation party. It was really a nice time. The family is really nice and the food was delicious. I brought Monster Cookies in MSU colors. I’m so smart.  (I saved the left over M&Ms for Viking Monster cookies in September.) We were there for over 4 hours and, as Eric pointed out, we didn’t play cards…SAY WHAT?  Saturday morning we gathered at MSU campus for Danielle’s graduation.  Bradley has the “in” so he got us down to the first floor of the bleachers, right where Danielle walked in and out. Awesome! The ceremony was 2 hours long. Eric, Bradley and I entertained ourselves by making fun of the thesis titles.  Like the one about the Sexual Satisfaction after a Bone Marrow Transplant. Really?  You actually wrote a thesis about this?  Another one was something about the strong Mothers in Modern Family and Parenthood.  Again…you watched TV for your thesis.  Great.  I’m not sure why but there were 3 speeches at Danielle’s graduation.  The first guy was Nepal and according to a good source cheated on his Math tests. Hum…The second girl was Hmong and the third was from South Africa…apparently no American’s were good enough.  Oh Well.  After the ceremony we went to Olive Garden for lunch and then we were on our way to Nebraska.  That 5 hour drive after eating a big meal was brutal.

Once we got to Nebraska we headed over the Chris and Leilani’s house for Morgan’s Birthday Party.  The whole Nebraska crowd was there and Eric’s parents. We had Lasagna and garlic bread. Yum! Leilani also made a watermelon cake. It was frosted like a watermelon and tasted like a watermelon. I had a bite of Eric’s…that was enough for me. I guess I don’t like watermelon flavoring either.

Sunday morning we went to church, and then our traditional run to Starbucks with Juliette.  After that we ran around Papillion and eventually made it to the graduation with 15 minutes to spare. The family was split into two groups.  There were not enough seats so I sat at the top of the arena. I took a picture of the two groups.  In one, Eric’s dad was sleeping and Chris was playing on his phone. The other picture I took was Eric doing homework and Juliette playing on our iPad.  They were really paying attention. LOL!  I can’t say much I was playing on my phone too. A couple things about this ceremony: they only had one speaker…thank God! And the 1st annual Teacher of the Year award went to…the Head Principal…HuH?  Can we say rigged? 

After the ceremony we took some pictures in the parking lot and then headed over the house for some pizza and veggies with the whole family.  It was a good day.

Yesterday was another day of driving.  We took Juliette to Starbucks, dropped her off at school and went on our way home. It was a good weekend. Here are a few pictures from the weekend.

More pictures can be found here:

40th Anniversary Concert

Busy! Busy!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Oh what a busy weekend lies ahead. It really all started last night with the making of monster cookies in MSU colors (ironically also Viking colors, hehehe).  I seemed to have put them away before they were completely cooled so some of them are a bit schmushed. Oops! But they taste damn good!

Tonight is the 40th Anniversary Concert for Eden Prairie Community Band.  It is amazing that in 40 years we have only had 3 directors and all 3 are directing songs tonight. Cool!

Tomorrow is a half day at work and then we are traveling down to Mankato area for Danielle’s graduation party. (Woot Woot, Party!)  That is why I made the monster cookies. Bradley’s parents are hosting the party and Danielle said we would bring desserts because the Bisek family likes dessert. (So true!)

Saturday is Danielle’s actual graduation (at 9am, really?). After that we are driving down to Papillion, NE.

Sunday is Adam’s graduation from high school. (Yay Adam!)   I’m sure we are having a little party afterwards.

So as you can tell we are going to be quite busy this weekend. But I’m so excited!

I really was published

Friday, May 3, 2013

So back in April 2011 I posted that I was going to be published.  You can read the post here: I'm gonna be published.

Well it is true.  I was cleaning my desk at work yesterday and found the release form I signed back in April 2011 so I decided to check out the book to see if it was actually used.  Well looky here, its my picture on the cover of the book.  My picture is in the circle.  Since it is a textbook, it costs over $75 so I'm not going to buy it to see my name. But at least I can see it on the web. Doesn't this book sound like an exciting read?

Welcome to January...I mean May

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What the heck kind of forecast is this?  After 5 days of 70s and sun, it was a rude awakening this morning and this is what we have to look forward to for the next 5+ days.  We are suppose to get about 4"-8" of snow...REALLY?  The only person that is happy about this is Danielle because she wants a white birthday (May 2). Well Danielle it looks like you will get your wish!   This rain/snow crap is ruining my training for the triathlon.  I got a 8 mile bike ride on Monday and a run/walk yesterday but the next couples are going to be tough. Damn you weather!