Posts made in August, 2013

Fantasy Football 2013

Posted on Aug 30, 2013 in General | 0 comments

It is upon us. On Monday night, the guys got together and did our draft. Unlike previous years, we actually got the ball rolling on rule changes early this year so a few actually passed. Most notable is the drop to a single keeper next year. Lame, but oh well. My keeper stuff got a little screwed up as I thought keepers were increased 2 rounds over their spot last year, but it’s actually 1. Having known that, I’d have Aaron Rodgers instead of Russell Wilson due to the way the draft order played out. Regardless, Yahoo currently thinks I have the strongest team with a projection of 10-3 on the season.

Here’s the team:

I received a draft grade of a B, but that was a bit erroneous because I didn’t draft a kicker. It really didn’t seem to like that.

I’m pretty happy with how it went. I’ll likely drop Dwyer and Little with the quickness, and I think Ivory may be in for a big year. My only concern is the tight end position, but I feel confident in my choice to not keep Gronk.

Over the offseason, I also put together a spreadsheet to tally up standings over the years. Interestingly, the only folks who are consistently placed are those in the last couple of spots and those in the first couple. The middle eight people tend to jump all over the place, and the one who autodrafts and does the least during the season is actually ranked higher than most of them. I’m consistently at the top enough to be 2nd overall by a nice margin.

We’re Moving

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 in General | 10 comments

Most everyone knows it (some of her work doesn’t… if you’re from there, SHHHH!), but this is the official announcement. We’ve been sitting on it because we had a bit of a snafu with our landlady that’s nearly worked out at this point.

Everyone asks the same questions so hopefully I’ll be able to answer all of yours with the following:

Where are you going? Portland, Oregon.
When are you going? Our lease ends September 30th. We have nine days to make the 2800-mile trek from that date.
Why move? We’ve both been here since childhood and couldn’t phone it in without seeing something else. Also, we’re over what this area has become (the general demeanor of the people) and housing costs are unrealistic unless we move somewhere we don’t want to live.
Why Portland? I made a pretty amazing spreadsheet with metrics that are available for most cities and we individually scored them based on our preferences. Portland was the leader by a large margin.
What other cities did you consider? The Denver area (mainly Boulder) and Austin were the only other strong contenders.
Why didn’t you choose them? Portland blew them away metric-wise so we visited it first, fell in love, and were able to save ourselves a couple grand by not visiting them. Now we can treat those spots as vacations. In addition, Boulder isn’t particularly cheap, and Austin is HOT.
What’s so great about the place? The people are nice, the weather is preferred, the geography is amazing, housing costs that are about 60% of what they are here, bike-friendly, great wine, accessibility to the ocean or the ski resort that is open the more days per year than any other in the US (both about a hour away).
I heard it’s always raining there. No, it’s not. They do get more cloudy days per year than here (220 v. 165), but their rainfall totals are actually less due to the rain shadow effect. It does rain a fair bit in the winter, but those are days I’d have been spending inside due to frigid temps here anyway. I’m not yet sure, but I might prefer mid-50s and drizzle over the 20s. I might not, but mid-70s the rest of the year will make up for it. I’m a huge fan of having our windows open all summer rather than shelling out $150/mo in air conditioning.
Have you seen Portlandia? Yes.
How are you moving? Another spreadsheet decided that one. This is not yet finalized, but it looks like we’re going to rent a truck from Budget and drive ourselves. We’ll then ship both cars on an open trailer. There’s a possibility that we’ll trailer one of the cars on the moving truck, but it’s a comfort decision for us that we’ve not yet made.
What does that cost? Our total move including movers, gas, lodging, vehicle transport, and storage on the other end is looking like it’ll be about $8k.
Do you have a house? No. We have been watching the market very closely for months, but found it too hard to shop seriously from across the country. The cost to fly out just to check something out was too great and/or we are too poor 😉
So what are you going to do? You may have keyed in on the word “storage” above. All of our things will go straight into storage and we’ll move into a furnished month-to-month or even weekly or daily apartment until we find a home to purchase.
Do you have jobs lined up? I am fortunate enough to be able to take my job and work remotely. Without that, we likely wouldn’t be moving. Heather will work on finding something. We’re hoping her LEED certification makes her pretty marketable out there.
What if you lose your job? I’ve been there six years now and feel pretty secure. Regardless, we did factor in the possibility and Portland ought to give me plenty of options with Intel just over the hill, Nike nearby, and lots of tech firms flocking to find the next best area, which Portland is 😛
What about your business? It must go. I’ve given my clients an option to continue using me remotely, but it involves them purchasing LogMeIn for all their machines so that may not happen. It was a good run, I learned a lot, but my heart is no longer really into it so I’m happy either way.
Do you have any friends out that way? We do have a few friends in town, some friends made via our plane ride to visit, a couple up in Seattle (3hrs), one down in Bend (3hrs), and family and friends in San Fran (10 beautiful hours of driving, which we will be doing hopefully far too often).  I’m also already in touch with cyclists and runners 🙂
Aren’t your families here? Mine moved away a few years ago and are six hours by car. They’ll now be eight hours by plane. Heather’s crew is all still here, but for how long? Her parents are definitely retiring and getting out soon.
Will you be back to visit? Work will likely fly me back every few months. Heather will hopefully be able to join me now and then.
Can we visit? Yes, please do. We’ll have a room waiting for you and an itinerary that’ll hit all of the awesome. Budget a week to really do Oregon right. If you only want to hit Portland, a long weekend should suffice.
When is the party? Not sure. We’ll have to do something. Taking over a bar or beer garden sounds like a splendid idea.
Will you miss me? Yes.

Any other burning questions?

Three Seconds

Posted on Aug 10, 2013 in Cycling | 3 comments

That was the difference between life and death today.

Had the Starbucks cashier not fumbled replacing the paper on the receipt machine, had the lady in front of me not wanted to combine a handful of gift cards onto one, had I shoaled the group of casual riders at the 123 light, had I not slowed to take in the family of deer… I’d have been crushed by a minivan blowing the light at Gallows Road. It had been red for them for a good 20 seconds and there is a pretty wide open view of said light as they approached it. They were going 40-50 miles per hour. I’d have been a hood ornament, they’d be in jail, and a handful of lives would have been messed up.

Wake up, people. Others matter, and it’s your life too.

With that, I think my road racing season is over

Posted on Aug 1, 2013 in Cycling | 2 comments

I just received a note from the organizer of this weekend’s race, the Page Valley Road Race, that they have a heck of a wait-list and are offering refunds for cancellations. Combine the facts that I feel like I was hit by a bus from Tuesday’s crash, and that my confidence in riding at speed with groups is shaken a bit, I accepted the offer, thus eliminating what was to be my final road race of the season.  I was likely going to do some crits and maybe look for the odd race that wasn’t already on my calendar, but this gives me a nice ending point.

I’m still not sold on the road racing thing¹, but I’ll have to give it another shot next year to make a final decision. My tenth place finish in my first race had me fairly excited about it, a back of the pack² finish in the second race due to a tactical error showed me that I had much to learn, and then another tactical error in the third race put me in a bad position, which caused me to do something stupid/break my wrist and finish by running across the line for another back of the pack finish.

Stinks to leave the season on a downward trend and to have accomplished so little after those countless hours spent in the basement all winter and crushing it outside in the spring, but it is what it is.

I’ll now be able to focus on my training again (still not back to where I was pre-break), have fun, ride with friends or solo on epic long/mountain/fun rides, start packing (that announcement coming soon), and look forward to cross season in another place (again… wait for it).

¹ Road racing is a team sport. In Cat. 5, unless you’re on the team that showed en masse, it becomes a solo endeavor. A solo endeavor in which you must more or less position yourself in a way that tricks others to work for you as if they’re on your team. Too much tactical BS without the fun of working with friends. I can see how the upper echelons of cycling can be a blast because you do have that team component, but these fakey Cat. 5 and many Cat. 4 races? Eh.

² Back of the pack does not mean last place. Far from it. It just means you were with the winners for all but the last couple hundred meters of the race. That is unless there was a breakaway that succeeded, which rarely seems to happen in amateur road racing. You can be in the front of the pack and not on the podium, which means you were the 1st real loser of the final sprint or you can recognize you’re not going to win and back off at the final sprint/be middle or back of the pack. Back of the pack is typically for those who do too much work too early or crash out of the sprint, but still cross the line. Behind “the pack” are all the folks who got dropped by the group over the course of the race. That’s usually half the field in the races I’ve been a part of. Finishing with the pack is generally considered a satisfactory day. The pack is often known as the peloton.