Tuesday, July 12, 2016
We have had some pretty great times on the lake this year. I'm so thankful to get the kid on and in the water more often this summer. Learning how to swim and be comfortable around water is such an important life skill. It has been so hot lately that the kid is loving it too.
Posted by Stephen at 7:43 AM
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Neither of us have ever purchased from a dealership and after hearing the horror stories of old, I was a bit nervous. After researching and deciding on a Dodge Grand Caravan, we did some "window shopping" at some local dealerships before finally driving one. We were pretty sure that this would be the type of van for us, until that test drive. Then I wasn't so sure.
I called our mechanic and chatted, got some recommendations. Frankly, I was tired of the search and research and we had enough saved for a large down payment. (My goal was to pay the full amount, but it didn't look like that was feasible). We have never had car payments either, new territory.
I started looking at Toyota Siennas. Mike and a bunch of other friends have them and they are still rolling with over 200K miles. I found one online Friday night at Jim Barkley Toyota in Asheville, ( highly recommend them). I sent an e-mail reserving it for a test drive and drove it at 9am on Saturday. 2 miles into the drive, I called the wife. "We don't want a Dodge Caravan, we want this Toyota Sienna". So many packages and options, this van had what we needed and wanted. Rear folding seats, rear AC/Heat control, and middle row roll down windows. And it is the sport model so it looks really cool. I like that.
We sat down to make a deal and it was going so smoothly, and I was so ready to be done that I failed at negotiating. But considering the price had recently been dropped, and I felt like it was a fair deal, I rolled with it and drove it home on Monday.
Adventure van is ready to adventure!
So hot, but so nice.
Posted by Stephen at 8:10 AM
Monday, June 13, 2016
Things like scrubbing the hull of the sailboat..... and going windsurfing.
Fast forward 19 yrs later, and I'm once again riding the wind.
That first day back on the water early this fall was simply amazing. It was like reuniting with a child hood friend. A friend who had taken me under her wind and guided me those day, had helped me escape the life that had been chosen for me. The friend who helped me see that I could be good at something, helped me see outside of the boundaries that had been laid around me.
As exhilarating as that first day back on the water was though, the experience woke up a lot of sleeping emotions that I had no clue were still there. Once again, my old friend was helping me work through life!
The wind is a quite different up here in the mountains than the trade winds in the Caribbean, lots of gust and swirls, but, I'm thankful that I can get back out on the water.
I'm not that great at fishin', but maybe the kid has hope!
Posted by Stephen at 7:25 AM
Monday, June 06, 2016
|Selfie at 60mph is difficult|
Winter rolled around and we monitored the kid's weight. He is growing and active but had not gotten much over 70. I bought 2 more tickets on with a groupon type deal. We weighed the kid at the dentist, at home and at school. His weight was just under 75, subtracting 4 lbs according to the Navitat scales, he should just make it.
We decided not to push the reservation back but go for it. We arrived again, checked in, got weighed.... he was right at 70lb. Good to go.
The experience for me was.... meh. The wife and kid had a blast. I was having a little bit of stomach gurgling, and had to constantly focus on relaxing so it didn't turn into an emergency "run" in the woods. Might have been more fun if I didn't have to deal with that. I don't do well in situations where I am not "free to move around". I would recommend it though, I just don't plan on paying the money to do it again. But, the family wants to....
Sunday, the Fletcher Flyer loomed. It was 2 weeks since P111K, and I had ridden my bike 2 times since. What was I thinking? I dusted off the single speed and got out to Oskar Blues for the start. There was a good chance of rain and thunderstorms so that was exciting.
They started the ride a little early and the leaders rolled by as I was getting ready. I saddled up and almost caught the lead group before settling into a good cadence.
I was geared at 46x16, a pretty spinny gear, but one that I could manage. This was the first time I had tried this gearing, last year's 46x17 was not quite enough. I found that I was rolling on average around 20-22mph. If I kept that average, I would wind up close to 5 hrs for the century. I have never broken the 6 hr mark, and 6:10 was my fastest time a couple of years ago. I held a steady pace, riding with several different groups and enjoying the scenery.
The last 15-20 miles was the most difficult. It was warm, around 80 and probably about 90% humidity. My body just wasn't cooling off. I force myself to keep drinking and ate another gel.
Posted by Stephen at 6:41 AM
Friday, June 03, 2016
Next on the list.... mini van.
Posted by Stephen at 6:29 AM
Thursday, May 26, 2016
This has been one of the best May that I have had in a while. I backed off of two commitments that I have had in previous years, opening up some free time (that I promptly filled with bike rides and family time!). I feel so much more rested and energetic than in years past. May is no longer my month of mayhem. Relief. I guess I'm learning my limits and working on my quality of life!
I actually felt good on the bike up until I started getting too hungry, around mile 45. That's when I started going into deficit, and making that up is possible but difficult. Gotta be preemptive with the food!
Posted by Stephen at 6:58 AM
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
I have been fortunate enough that I have never had an automobile loan. The van was a gift from Rhonda's grandmother, who was losing her eyesight, and the truck that I currently drive was a good deal from a family member.
Before that, the most I had ever paid for a vehicle was $1200 for a VW Vanagon. (kicking myself for selling it, they are going for $5000 and up these days). My first car was a Buick Century mid sized station wagon, I paid something like $600 for it.
It seems that the right type of vehicle always comes into my life at the right time, with the right price tag. We are patiently waiting and praying to see what the next step will be this time around.
I'm also getting details on an auto loan. A good mini van, with low miles and in great condition is gonna cost us some change. We have been saving, but its gonna be a while. Maybe we'll drive the Deathstar until it implodes. That will give us more time to save and look around for that right deal.
Posted by Stephen at 6:28 AM