Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend of goodness

This weekend has been a quality weekend. On Friday, I officially started my on-the-bike training for this season. I did a 2 hour ride, which isn't too long, but at this time of year, is quite brutal. I haven't ridden that long for a few months and to make it harder, the temperatures were in the single digits and there was snow on the ground. Half way through the ride, I was already really tired and by the time I finished, I was so tired that I just laid down on the floor. But, it reminded me how much I enjoy biking and how much I love the endorphin high I get from it. This is what I looked like after the ride.

Then, on Saturday, I went down to Saint Olaf and did a Lord of the Rings marathon with Cia. Yes, we watched all three of them. We wanted to watch extended edition of all three, but Cia was missing the 2nd disc from Return of the King, so we had to watch the regular edition for the last half of Return of the King. It was epic. It took all day. We had to take food breaks, although for dinner we ate pizza while we continued to watch.

Then, on Sunday, I decided to visit some friends in dinky town, because it had been far to long since I had seen them. It turned out that there was a sledding expedition planned, to which I was very amenable, because I love playing, and playing in the snow is one of the best. Immediatly upon arrival at the park, a woodchip pile was discovered and climbed.

Then, of course, there was some sledding. May I introduce you to Flaming Death, which is being ridden by Nicole.

We ended up wandering around the park (I think it was a golf course) for a long time before we finally found the big hill.

And of course, it is always fun to put too many people on one sled.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fun facts for the day

This morning was an even colder walk than yesterday. Fun facts about dressing for the cold:

I wear ~14 pounds of clothing. I was at the gym yesterday and weighed myself with just a towel and while fully dressed for the outdoors.

I wear ~$500 worth of clothing. I worked it out while sitting at the bus stop this morning. Most of that cost came from the boots (insulated hiking boots), the lobster gloves (which actually did quite well in -24 degree temps today), the biking tights (windproof, waterproof, uber warm long underwear), and the 2 jackets.

If I pull my hat low enough and my face mask high enough, it makes my vision slit small enough that my breath keeps moving warm air through the entire opening, which keeps my eyelashes from frosting up and freezing my eyes shut. It also means that I have essentially no skin exposure, because there is always warm air moving through the opening for my eyes.

When it get's this cold, snow does not stick to my boots. It is quite convenient because my office floor stays dry.

I have worn my face mask enough this winter that it is starting to smell like decomposing food and stinky breath when I wear it. It is not very bad yet, but I should probably wash it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Adventures in Commuting

Listen to this song while reading this post. I will explain it later. (You can watch the video too, if you want, but the song is the important part.)

It was -21 degrees with a -40 degree windchill for my commute this morning. It was epic. I wore 2 skin tight baselayers, a t-shirt, a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, a fleece, a softshell jacket, biking tights, long underwear, jeans, wool socks, insulated hiking boots, a balaclava, a hat, and lobster gloves. I was actually decently warm, although it was a little hard to move with that many layers on. My hands, however, were a little cold, so now we know the limit of lobster gloves.

Between my facemask being pulled up high and my hat pulled low, my vision was reduced to a horizontal slit. It was actually rather surreal. There where crystals of ice floating in the air that sparkled in the sun. Also, as the sun was coming up, there was almost a rainbow type thing that formed on the horizon to either side of the sun, probably due to the ice crystals. As I was walking my vision started to blur as ice crystals formed in my eyelashes and on my hat and facemask. To really top it off, I was listening to Andy Hunter during the walk (the exact song that you are listening to right now if you followed my instructions). I wish I could have gotten a picture, but I didn't have my camera with me, and even if I did, there was no way I was going to take my gloves off.

On the bus, I had a rather silly adventure. Somehow I ended up making eye contact with a lady across the aisle (which is weird in and of itself because nobody makes eye contact on the bus.) Being a rather nice person, I smiled at her. Then I realized that I still had my facemask on, so she couldn't see me smile and probably thought I was just some creeper that was staring at her. Whoops!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Camp Reunion

Over the weekend, I went to the camp staff reunion at Sugar Creek. It was a wonderful time and made me realize just how much I like the people that I met at camp and how much I miss them. Take for example, Mandy, it is impossible to not be happy around her...

It has been quite rare in the last few months that I have been able to just goof around and play. At St. Olaf, there were people that still liked to play, but it seems like nobody does now that I'm in grad school. Or else I just haven't found the people that like to play. As such, I had to get my fill of playing over the weekend.

This is the new dining hall that is being build at camp. We definitely explored it.

While in the new dinning hall, some people thought it would be a good idea to lick the wall (because there was ice on the wall).

Tim, Patrick, and I hiked up to Jesus Point after exploring the dining hall. While up on Jesus Point, we decided to take a picture in the "Pilgrims Pee Pose". This refers to the manner in which 3rd grade boys (the pilgrims age group) go about peeing outdoors.

We also decided to do a "tackling Patrick off of Jesus Point" picture.

Yay for friends!