Friday, September 28, 2012

Well that was the biggest Sausage Fest I've ever been a part of

In the weeks after this cryptic, innuendo laced sign popped up in my neighborhood, they started to multiply in number, including a large one along the main drag featuring an anthropomorphic sausage that appeared to be dancing.  No additional information, just a larger sign claiming a Sausage Fest at a place presumably called Christ is King. We couldn't not go at that point, right?

The anthropomorphic dancing sausage greeted us at the gate.

Turns out it is a huge fundraiser for one of the local parochial schools (turns out Christ is King is the name of the school, not a local church). The website for the school claimed that over 30,000 people were expected to attend and that the money raised accounted for 10% of their yearly budget. Based on how many people were there, I would believe it.

Whoa! This is one crowded Sausage Fest.

It was totally worth the price of admission (free) and although we didn't hit up any of the carnival games, we did partake at the various food stands and went to the beer garden (complete with the sounds of the band 'Smooth as Jazz'. "We're not jazz, but we're smooth as.")  Because if anything says hot Friday night, it's the words 'drinking beer in an elementary school'.

That's a big wiener!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Coeur d'Alene or: Puppy's First Camping Trip

Getting the hell out of Dodge on weekends has almost become an imperative. On our way driving from Wisconsin to Washington we passed through Coeur d'Alene, a touristy town with replete with forest and a big lake. We headed up north to go camping on the outskirts of town, you know, experience the solitude of the forest and get away from it all.

Oh hai, interstate.

Well, we got the forest, but quiet was in short supply. The otherwise acceptable campground was situated about 100 m from the interstate. Still counts...

This was the first time we've tried to take Sammy camping. He loves hiking and generally running around outside like a crazed animal, but we weren't sure how he'd fare sleeping in a tent. The verdict is that he wasn't crazy about it...every time we'd roll over or move in any way he'd jump up and dart over to the door in the hopes that we were getting up to let him out. When either of us would leave the tent, he'd stick his head out the open zipper part of the door, plant his feet and refuse to move. Passive resistance, he was like a furry little Gandhi.

The trusty Forest Service dirt roads took us into some quiet areas.

Fancy terlet.

We hiked up to what was billed as a 'lookout' area.

Lookout...for someone shooting at you.

It may have been a lookout point a decade ago, but the treeline was way to high to actually see much of anything. The lookout building had since been used extensively for target practice. We had to find our own lookout points.

My spouse spied a store called CDA Yarn and Fiber downtown. He seemed to think that hadn't bought any yarn for too long and that I needed to get some. And really, who am I to argue?

Something called "Plymouth Earth Homestead". I'm a sucker for undyed yarns.

Malabrigo, pretty standard stuff.

We tried to get Sammy to go canoeing. He's done it before in Madison, figured it would be no big deal, right?


Mmm, yummy beef jerky if you come down here!

Big baby.

Hate you guys.

The second night, we were going for a nighttime walk through the campground, and spouse comes up to me and says, "Do you know what Joe Tiller looks like??" and I'm all, "Bitch, please, of course I know what Joe Tiller looks like." I suppose you might not, unless you are also a Purdue graduate (or just a fan)--JT was the football coach at Purdue while we were students there and was, how do you say, kind of a big deal.

"Go look in that RV and tell me that is not Joe Tiller." Come on, no way. So of course I had to creep up to the trailer and peer in. And the guy hanging out in the kitchen in what was presumably his jammies did indeed look like big Joe. But he's a generic walrus-esque looking older gentleman, so I really needed a better look, ala Hank in Breaking Bad. 

Hank suspects that this is the mobile meth lab RV...

Spoiler alert: it was an older couple in their undies playing cards.

OK, it didn't work out so well for Hank, so we refrained from excessive espionage, but a check of the license plates (Wyoming, where he retired) and a quick look at some articles on what he was up to these days (traveling across the west in an RV with his wife) confirms that we had a celebrity fellow camper. We made plans to don some Purdue sweatshirts the next day and stroll by while they were having breakfast.

And then it rained all next morning. They never came out of the camper! We were relegated to creepy stalkers. Maybe we'll run into him on our next camping trip.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Swim, bike, run, keel over

I must confess, I haven't been knitting at all. You might have noted that this happens to a certain extent every summer--it's hard to get motivated to make items designed to keep you warm and cuddly while it feels like your face is melting off. I think it might be worse this year though--I'm at a bit of a loss without my local yarn shop and I just haven't been feeling very inspired lately. I've been dwelling too much on what to do with my life to be very creative.

But that doesn't mean that I've been sitting around all summer. My spouse got a bee in his bonnet about doing triathlons. My first thought: I hate swimming. Second thought: I kind of hate running. We've done a handful of road races in the past, but I'm pretty out of shape on that front. I love cycling though! There exist such events that are exclusively cycling, but who wants to do that right (*cough* me *cough*)??

We have a little kidney shaped pool in our backyard. I started by swimming a few laps in there. It was as terrible as when I was in middle school and on the diving team. Occasionally they wouldn't have enough swimmers to fill all of the events to they'd stick the divers in the last slots--I vividly remember having to do the 100 freestyle at one point (I think that's what, 4 laps?) and after 2 I started to doggie paddle.

Fortunately (and sort of unfortunately, because they're really good) there's a very active triathlon club in the Tri-Cities. They host weekly group swims so we had opportunities to practice swimming in open water, specifically the mighty Columbia River. And it's a damn good thing we did because swimming in open water is TERRIFYING. The first time we went I refused to put my head in the entire time. I was last to come in by at least 10 minutes.

But we kept getting better. Our first race was a sprint tri (Power of Pasco). Here's our setup:

It's our 'transition area' where you go from swim to bike, then later bike to run. And sadly that's the only picture we have, because we had no spectators there for us *sad trombone sound*. I that I finished. I was so worried about the swim that I kind of forgot that I'm not very good at running and didn't focus on it very much. I've been having a lot of tummy cramps since we moved out here and I got a major one about a mile in. I may have walked a ways (shhh don't tell). Spouse did a good job though.

Next we tried an Olympic distance (Titanium Man). Again, I followed the advice of our friend that has done a couple of Iron Man races and attempted to 'crush the bike' since it's the only thing that I'm good at. And yet again I got off the bike and attempted to run with calves that might as well have been blocks of wood. It was like swinging concrete around in an attempt to move forward. All these people that I passed on the bike came lumbering back around me. It was 'Yep, saw you about 20 minutes ago...hey it's the chick in pink....REALLY, THE FAT OLD GUY??...come on, didn't I pass you a half hour ago?' What I'm saying is, I may have walked a ways. Spouse did a good job though. Now he's talking Iron Man....yeah, we'll see. I kind of like having a modicum of a life other than slowly killing myself.

I'm kind of digging the swimming now, though. And I've been trying to get back the knitting spirit. I bought the fall Vogue Knitting (the 'International Issue' ooooh) last time I was at the grocery store. However, I'm not really seeing anything that is tickling my knitting bone. I don't expect to want to make all of the patterns--I mean, I don't read Cosmo and expect to try all 101 Ways to Superfreak  (or do I?, I do not.) But, the only thing that really captured my interest was one of the article blurbs:

Did they seriously just make a pun based on a white supremacist group? I don't know if that's extremely inappropriate or hilarious (both?).

Friday, September 7, 2012

This is my neighborhood

Seen on my run yesterday:

Well, that what happens when you don't have any female apostles....