Archive for May, 2008

Drafts Revealed

I have eight posts that have been saved as drafts with half ideas written. Some of them have been sitting there for years. I’m sick of seeing them listed there, so I’m going to clean them all out in one post. Here they are in brief.

In January of 2007, we bought a new car, I planned, purchased supplies for and installed a dog kennel in our back yard (in MI obviously), we started getting heavily into wedding plans and I think I self diagnosed myself as bipolar or something. Also, Kuma was turning into a very good puller of me on a bike. This post was all over the place.

In March of 2007, I was inspired by a co-worker’s attempt at waking up at 5 AM (see here). I was proving to be fairly successful at getting up at 5 AM for a while. Some things that helped me were to disallow the snooze button entirely and to move the alarm into the bathroom. Also, preparing my clothes the night before helped me avoid that period of time where you figure out what to where which was also when I was dangerously tempted to just lie back down. I was fine as long as I was out of the bedroom area by the time my post-wake up adrenaline wore off.

In June of 2007, I decided that one of the best motivators to get me to work out was to limit my work out session to 30 minutes, regardless. So, I get in what I get in in 30 minutes instead. I’m boxed to a time limit instead of completing a certain set of exercises. That was liberating for me for some reason. I still do the time limit thing today.

In spring of 2007, I started counting the nutrition of EVERYTHING I ate. I counted calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber and sugar. It was tedious but very fun. I stopped around mid-summer because wedding planning was hectic. I haven’t started again, but I still adhere to 4-5 meals a day and sticking to roughly the correct proportions of carbs, protein and fat in each meal.

In June of 2007, I also decided that the best way to get anything done that you really wanted to get done was to do the first preparation steps for the task at the time you’re thinking about how important it is for you to get it done.

In January of 2008, with the housing crisis hitting full steam and many of the brokerage firms losing money, I questioned how someone could let a brokerage that is losing so much money convince them that they’ll do any better with that person’s money.

In January of 2008, I also encountered my third canceled flight IN A ROW. I’ve been luckier since.

There you have it.

Pike’s Peak Cog Railway

We decided to go up Pike’s Peak when my dad was in town. Me working in the railroad industry was immediately attracted to the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway. We made our reservations and heading down to Colorado Springs to ride the train up the mountain. During the drive down, we could see snow blowing off of the top of Pike’s Peak in the wind. It was very gusty. Unfortunately, this proved to be a problem for us.

The train couldn’t go all the way to the summit (14,110 ft). The winds when we got to about Windy Point (12,129 ft) were incredible. The windows on the train banged in their frames and the train rocked back and forth. Crazy. So it sucked that we couldn’t get out of the train and walk around at the top, but we could see this:

Cog trains are kind of neat. I won’t try to explain how they work; read here for details. I will say, though, that they can climb very steep grades, and the one we were on had front and back facing seats. We had back facing seats and had to fight gravity to not tumble face first into the people’s laps in front of us.

We made a stop on the way back down so we could walk around and use the “facilities” (a picnic table or two and a port-a-potty). I had a chance to take some obligatory pictures of the train and rail at that point.

More pictures are here.

State Pride

I would venture that people think there’s something unique about their state that may not really be that unique. “We have THE WORST or THE MOST AGGRESSIVE drivers here.” Or the one I want to talk about today: “Our weather is THE MOST unpredictable — it’s sunny in the morning and snowing at night!”

I lived in Michigan for 28.75 of my 29 years. I thought the weather in Michigan was very odd. People blamed it on being surrounded by lakes. It would be 30 degrees and 80 degrees in the same day with sun, clouds, rain and snow at almost the same time. I thought that was a claim to fame for Michigan. When I traveled, I would exclaim, “You don’t know anything! Michigan weather is craAaAAzy!!” But I’m not so sure anymore.

Colorado weather is as unpredictable as Michigan’s. I’ve experienced it go from mild and sunny to freezing and snowing in an hour. It’s windy and cold when you get home and then sunny and sweaty hot when you go back out a few minutes later with a jacket on. Wednesday it was 83 degrees. Wednesday night it got down to the 30s and snowed by morning. The high on Thursday was 43 degrees.

It’s just as crazy as Michigan. I can’t imagine Colorado and Michigan are unique. Are there just a few areas that have unpredictable weather? Or do all states claim they do and think it’s unique to them?

Update: The “Michigan Left”! There’s another thing that I’m sure doesn’t happen in just Michigan. It’s where you have to turn right and then U-turn to make a left turn.