Thursday, February 28, 2008

Back to life

Back to reality!
I'm 100% truthful that after I got off the plane last night I realised the heat wasn't working and then smelt gas in the spare rooms. So at 2 am this morning ( lucky for me it was 8pm Aus body time) I called Atmos and had them over to check it out.

SO the gas is turned off untill at least tomorrow which means no heat or hot water.

and I'm feeling really good about life back stateside.

I have this tendancy when things are overwhelming to want to do it all, right now. and thats what I've been grappling w/ today. Staying on task and doing just one thing at a time.

The bath can wait to be cleaned... not like we are going to use it w/out water.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

33 hours later

is all it takes to get from Stratfrod, VIC, via Melbourne, Sydney, LAX , DIA to home sweet home.
LAX by the way can be the utter pits. 2 1/2 hours to clear United Customs.... with only 2 flights in at the time..... 30 mins in the domestic security line, boarded the plane to spend an hour on the tarmac (as the engine wasn't working and needed the starter motor replaced) followed by another 1 hour 30 at the gate - while it was fixed and a reboard... lordy ..... I detest LAX.
Its good for? going with the flow and relaxing in adversity. Practise makes perfect.

Its so good to see Brian and Maxwell dog.

I really enjoyed Aussie. My sister ( from Kalgoorlie..... Rachael) is the best. What a cool chick.

The riding was very appropriate to where I'm at in my preparation, the swimming was good and running is a bit on the back burner for me as I've had an aggravated Achilles tendon. ick. I've been limping along.... but its healing.

Last weekend, I raced the Otway Oddessy... I have only the best things to say about the course, organisation, race.
I won which was nice and importantly reminded myself what marathon racing is about. For a race report and photos

Meanwhile: Brian raced in Germany at the Winter Triathlon World Championships.

He was 22nd in the champs ( after being 7th off the stage 2 bike.... he cramped in the ski so was a little dissapointed) the terrain - lack of snow, subsequent intensity and pounding on pavement where an issue.

On day two however. In the relay he fared much better leading out the US men to come off the ski/bike and run in 2nd. Felt so much better and opened up. They finished 6th. Nice.



Tuesday, February 19, 2008

All roads lead to Dargo.

The network of country roads around Stratford, Vic seem to have one thing in common, at one point of another they all lead to Dargo. I've found at least 6 different ways to go in that direction. Its a bit far for an out and back ride to Dargo and wanting to know what the scoop was Rachael drove up there last weekend so I could ride and check it out.
Now thats sisterly love for you. Driving 96km on a mountain road to a town of 86 then hanging out with the locals at the one pub soaking pineapple juice for a few hours while I got my heart rate up. Apparently the people at the pub thought I had rocks in my head.
So do most of the farmers I've met being carted by Rachael to the farm she's visiting while I unload my bike and ride as she soils tests, farm plans or such.
You wouldn't believe how many job offers I have had. I could have Brian and I out here in a flash set up in a Cottage somewhere on a farm here in Gippsland. Sounds Idillic eh. Rachael fast as a wink tells the farmer... oh no she doesn't like to work hard. I've stopped being offended and consider it sisterly affection ( hmmm...).
Rachael is an agronomist and honestly her job is fascinating, she basically works with the farmers to set the best climate w/ their land and the current conditions/products available to grow crops to feed the plants/ animals to get the best productivity for the farm.
Its fascinating.
Interesting tidbits for the day.
There is a huge grain shortage, for a number of reasons one being - China factories are in slow mo to reduce pollution for this years Olympics. (hmmm).
Bread in Aussie is about $5 a loaf.

If you are going to consume anything organic the most important products are grains, wheat/oats/barley and such. In conventional farming they are sprayed at least 4 times, the land is prepared/ a herbacide and insectacide while growing, a growth regulator to make the grain uniform, and a pesticide to keep the grain from rotting post harvesting. (hmmm).

Rachael is a strong advocate of GMO products. She believes modified plants...can mean resistance to drought/disease and better health of the plant ... and mean less spraying/fertiliser which means healthier crops and healthier land/runoff/water. Good food for thought eh?

Congrats to Sue and Sunny in the 24 hours of Pueblo. Good luck to Brian in the winter Tri worlds champs in Germany this Saturday. I am busy getting excited/nervous for a 60 mile race in the Ottway Forrest this weekend
Heaps of competition, fun riding it looks like. Hope I get my singletrack skills back in a hurry.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Squashed Wombats and Chopped Kangaroos

The road kill is rather interesting around here, I wish I could say I'd seen live ones, but so far the closest I have been to a kangaroo is next to the poor things remains and tail exposed on the shoulder of the road.

I have however seen some Koalas (Rachael and I) went to Raymond Island yesterday afternoon for a walk to see the bears. So cute and sleepy.

I've also seen plenty of Birds. They like Birds in Aussie, in fact have a whole culture . Getting off the plane I ran into a picture and description of a Budgie Smuggler - if you have to ask, do your research before thinking about wearing on on the podium. Then one of my first rides I met a car - Canary yellow 70's escort bumping along the dirt road, as I re- caught it and rode by, the driver leans out the window and tells me "we're bird watching (beard weeatching)"... pretty funny, of course they where, what else, miles from anywhere. Then on the radio I hear the announcer say we went to the Bird Sanctuary over the weekend ( house of girls). Too funny.

I'm loving how politically incorrect and out there advertising and such is in Aus, its awesome.

My sister is a blast, and staying with her is great. she is the most amazing cook you can imagine ... more on that later... Ive been doing alot of R/R (riding and riding) a spot of shopping (we went into Melbourne on Saturday to Victoria markets... Shopping with Rachael is fun, and as Brian wasn't there to tell me off I bought a couple of great tops and a dress).

I did just talk to Brian and he was 2nd at the US winter triathlon champs ( good one) so he's off to Germany in 2 weeks for the World Champs. Yeah!