Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Something awry with the weather

The weather is still weird.  Warm, sunny, no rain here, and no snow in the mountains, so no skiing.  Boo. Perhaps the most telling statistic is the record cycling month I've had, with 648 miles.  Chad's had comparably many; Nimue's put in 236.  In January. January, I say, not June.  Most peculiar.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Tree Carnage Again

The most difficult thing about pruning the bits of Allergenic Enemy Tree hanging over our fence from the neighbor's yard is knowing when to stop.  Really, all I set out to do was clear out one broken branch that was leaning on our phone line, but next thing I know, the sideyard is full of detritus, not just from that tree, but also from the next one over...

Touring Bike Action Magazine

Over the recent three-day weekend, we briefly bemoaned the lack of snow for skiing this year, and then looked on the bright side and took advantage of the abundant California sunshine to take a bike trip down to Monterey. There is some motivation to work on the family bike trip logistics this year in order to prepare for this summer's grand adventure to France.

The tandem comes apart for easy transport :) We knew this, but had never tried it before. This time, we loaded up the bikes, drove to Chad's friend's house over in Scotts Valley, and rode to Monterey from there, giving us about 50 miles of rolling riding. (Given that it is still early season for biking, I didn't want to ride the 90 miles and one giant hill from home.)

Always bring the tiger. My rule is "Only one stuffie." Nimue's rule is "We have to take Tige!"

While riding on the tandem with Nim, silly conversations ensue. This time, given that we were riding through quite a bit of agricultural land, Nimue started the ongoing discussion of how there is a vast conspiracy to cover up the fact that cows are really plants. You see, in Nimue's world, the cows grow in plant pods and hatch as itty-bitty cat-sized cows, which are then collected up by the farmers before anyone can see them and put into warehouses. When one wants a big cow, an itty-bitty cow is fed radioactive hay and it balloons in size overnight and can be let out in the field where it then proceeds to act like a mammal (even though it's not). Therefore, your hamburger for dinner is really a vegetable.

One can while away hours on topics like these....

We stayed at a motel across the street from the beach in Monterey so Day 2 could contain leisurely enjoyment of the coast, to give the small one (and us!) a break. We took a small morning to ride over to Pacific Grove to see the migrating Monarch butterflies, which was a good excuse to stretch out our legs. And there were a couple of trees infested with butterflies, which was sort of interesting, plus there was a good cafe for breakfast on the way over.

Lots of good playing for the sand monster at the beach. Though she looks cute, in this picture you see Godzilla, after she has rebuilt and destroyed Sand Tokyo for the umpteenth time.

While Nimue played at the surf's edge and spun herself silly, a cold front came in and the temperature dropped 15 degrees.

The sun, however, continued, so we had a chilly, but gorgeous ride back to the car the next day. There's a nice bike trail along the coast for much of the route, followed by a detour around Elkhorn Slough, a trip through the agricultural land looking for cow pods again, and the final climb up to the truck at the end of the day.

Chad took the voice recorder with us, and periodically interviewed Nimue for the fictitious "Touring Bike Action" magazine. A recurring theme in Nim's comments is hunger (kid must be fed copiously about every 10 miles). Here are her comments from the last bakery stop:

Nim played with Chad's friend's dog Mango while we got everything loaded back into the truck to head back to the land of homework once again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bootleg recordings

Catching up this morning -- here are the files from Nim's concerts last month. Long files for doting grandparents...

her singing group, in two parts (I didn't bother to record the intervening stuff that the older kids' groups did without her group.) The first file is long, so give it a moment to load.

Cherry Chase Beginning Band. I trimmed this after Nim plays a short duet with one of her friends at minute 5:48, as the whole thing ran about 45 minutes.