Thursday, October 29, 2009


Well, well, well. It's seems my long time enemy has risen once again to try and defeat me. I tell you, the very sight of snow sends off signals in my brain screaming, 'HIBERNATE!' 16 inches will be enough to send me snoozing into the spring.

Recently, I was in a class called YouTube Ready Videos. In the class, I created a music video to my newest song, 'Call of Ravenclaw' based of the Harry Potter series. Due to technical difficulties (throws nasty glare at camera) I have been struggling to finish it. But I still wanted to get my song out there for all my fellow Ravenclaws to hear. So I made a less elaborate video of zooming in lyrics and a glamorous self taken picture from 5 years ago. Lol. I've only gotten 8 views so far. If you'd like to take a peek, be my guest:

I'd also like to mention I'm going on a very cold (and short) Investigation of a house reported to have strange activity around it. There is a rumor that it use to be an old goat farm, but it was disproven in an article in the Lost Fort Collins blog. But the reports intrest me. There have been strange sounds reported coming from the house and stables. There are also reports of shadows, the one in particular I'm interested in is the little one that people see. I'm going to take some toys to see it I can intise it. With it being so close to Halloween, the veil between the spirit world and the physical realm are at their thinnest. This is a great time to get some stuff possibly recorded and documented. I will be going tommorow. Wish me luck. :D

Squirrels love pumpkins

Oh, the squirrels. They raid our compost and our garden for goodies, destroy my sunflowers, and even try to get into the chicken coop to get chicken feed. They've also been eating our squash right off the vine. Now, they're hitting the pumpkins.

We noticed for the last week that the pumpkins we put out on our front step have had a few nibbles out of them. A couple of days ago we found that the squirrels had completely eaten their way into one and were busy hollowing it out. I'm sure it was delicious. The silly squirrels were hardly even afraid of us when we opened the door.

On another note... I realize we have been utterly lax about keeping this blog up to date. Sorry about that. The season just got so darn busy! When I was at home I wanted to be outside, not inside on the computer (which is what I do all day for a living). I'm sure this winter will be different.

Coming up... new compost bins, cold frame, and biking to work in the snow!

Sleigh bells? No, bike bells!

Yesterday we had our first snowstorm of the season, and it was a doozy! I don't know what the official report for Fort Collins was, but this morning we took a measurement in our backyard and came up with 16 inches. School for the kiddos was cancelled and my workplace closed mid afternoon. Today, the kiddos' schools were still closed but work was open for me. Darn! I could have used a snow day at home. (Although it would have been tempting to start on my NaNoWriMo project, which I can't do for another few days.)

So this morning I had a few options to get to work. I could dig my car out and drive, then park four blocks away and walk in. Or I could walk to the bus stop three blocks away, try to figure out the bus schedule, hope it's running today, and use the extremely convoluted and inefficient route home at the end of the day. I could walk; it's just under 3 miles to work. Or I could bike.

I chose to bike. My wife called me hardcore. I called it the most efficient way while using the least amount of effort. (Is that laziness?) I figured I could always walk the bike if things go too rough, or even find a bus to hoist it onto.

I should mention that our street never gets plowed and cars routinely get stuck when it snows. The snowfall yesterday was very light and fluffy and since the ground was still pretty warm, the bottom layer was all slush. It didn't freeze overnight, so there
was very little ice, which is a good thing. I should also mention that although I've been biking to work for over a year, I haven't biked in a fresh snowfall before. Last year, during the few snow days we had, I wimped out and drove instead.

I made it to work but it was slow going. I fully expected to go down a couple of times but that didn't happen, even though there were close calls. I saw one other hardcore bike commuter today, and a bike track in the snow proved that there was at least one other one. The bike racks were quite eerily empty at the university, though.

Lessons learned from my bike ride to work today:
  • I really should get snow tires for my bike. The slush was especially challenging to pedal through, and a couple times I had to walk the bike through heavy slush, because I just couldn't get traction.
  • Brake early and often. Just like in the rain, the snow makes the tires & brakes wet, which reduces the brakes' effectiveness. Oh, and don't brake too fast.
  • Downhill slopes are not my friends. See braking, above.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. (Even though it's not a race... you get the idea.) I normally cruise down Mountain Avenue at a rather brisk pace, thanks to the straightaway and beautifully wide bike lanes, but not today. The bike lanes weren't plowed, though the street was.
  • I'm surprisingly well equipped for winter bike commuting. I shouldn't be surprised, since I did this last year, but the snow throws an added wrinkle onto it. But I was plenty warm thanks to my under-helmet lining, gloves, heavy coat and boots. The fenders helped a ton, too. Now for those snow tires...
Hopefully getting home will not be as challenging, and there won't be ice.