Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Preparing your house for wildfire

As fire season screams upon us a month before normal I thought I would share as someone who has been on call for forest fires for nearly a decade how to help prepare your home in the event this may happen. It really takes prior planning and being proactive more than anything. I am assuming your home is already built so here are some things you can do.

1. Keep grass well trimmed and shrubbery away from home.
2. that means grass in your field as well which may be close to your home, fire lines cut are often 12' wide, you want to keep at least that much as a buffer zone.
3. Old outbuildings must go, modern homes are actually fairly fire resistant, but obviously only to a point,  as that old barn catches fire the heat and flames often blow on a house causing it to start fire.
4. No wood pile against your house.
5. If you are in an area where there is already a fire, get your things packed and be prepared to leave in a moments notice, make sure you have all your important papers and belongings, but in the end remember NOTHING is more important than your life and well being.
6. Do not try to be a hero, if a fire gets to close take the authorities advice and evacuate.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Epic Glory in my Mind

Monday morning Dave would call at about nine thirty to see if I was awake as he puts it.

Silly, I wake up normally by five and have already done the dishes, swept the floor, and rebuilt an engine by the time he even sniffs coffee.

"Where we going today?" he would ask

"Back side of Stucky sounds good, awesome ride and I haven't had a chance to downhill out on that end yet, looks like it would be a blast" Sipping my Coffee the mental Image of me absolutely stuffing him on the downhill would take over, knowing full well that a podium, champagne and hot trophy girls awaited.

"Isnt that private land?" he would ask in his usual less than confident voice in my Ideas

"yup but I think we have permission I will text and see"

After a couple of hasty texts to other Mtn biking friends it was determined that thru Association of the person who originally got permission, that the granted permission was all encompassing and we would be fine.

I would relay the information to Dave who I could hear doing his normal uncomfortable shuffle thru the Phone, and of course would belay his next excuse "So where are we going to park?"

This blew my mind, the absurdity of actually driving two miles ON ASPHALT to go riding was just beyond me "Dude, its all of two miles, before we hit the dirt"

That would seal the deal, off we would go and as it turns out it was exactly two miles to dirt, sometimes I am amazing like that.

Off we would go on the climb, the start of our uphill battle of just over three miles an hour was to begin.

The climb was nice although the air was not moving much and at about the halfway point we would stop and strap the helmets to our packs, we would also take this time to offer nutrients to the surrounding foliage via our Bladders.

We would then continue, with the speed of two turtles after a piece of lettuce we would jockey for position before the next nonofficial stop.

Near the top I would point to what I knew was a hike a bike hill "Go get em lets see what you got"

His eyes would widen a bit as he would ask "You guys made it up that?"

Now one of the most important things in life is to learn how to properly ask a question, yes we did make it up that, but no we did not peddle very far up it.

"Yup go for it"

Off Dave would go, eager to prove he still had enough energy to show me up.

He would not make it far at all, but as he dragged his bike to the side his foot would drag a clear line in the dirt.

"So I guess you dont think I can make it past you"

He was defiant as he leaned up on his bike "Nope"

I clipped in and headed forward, my short legs spinning as fast as they could, wind from my legs would part the grass on both sides of the trail, bending the stems mightily in my wake.

I would easily pass his mark, my legs spinning I doubled his distance up the hill and called it good.

I would lay down the bike and beat my chest like the superior being I truly was, for we all know, he who is king of the hill has bragging rights and should be fed free beer all night.

You might want to write that down its important stuff.

Deflated he would hunch his shoulders and look up the hill, not looking forward to the hike a bike he knew was coming, it was also at this point he realized I had led him on yet again and that there was no way in hell that hill could be peddled.

"Its ok, no point in going further" I would say to lift his spirits" the good downhill is the road we just came up, let us tear it up"

And down he would happily go, while I can climb the steep stuff better than him, he usually downhills faster than I, and he knew it, eager to redeem himself he would tear off before I even got clipped in.

But I was feeling it today, especially since Saturday I had cried like a school girl denied her Iphone on a climb because well It started to snow and my Tush got cold.

I took off, determined to catch and stuff him, the wind would tear at me and in my aging years all I could ask myself was why in the hell did i forget to put in ear plugs again damn it.

But I didnt, and more important matters were before me, corner after corner I would slowly gain on him, I would pick better lines and peddle where he coasted.

Finally my chance came, about a quarter of a mile from the bottom a sharp right hand corner was coming, I grabbed a fist full of rear brake so I could slide in under him and better position the bike, but it was mush and barely grabbed.

Now I was in the position of merely trying to save my ass from dropping off the other side, and I would shoot past him just missing his rear tire and hitting the corner wide.
I would manage to carry myself thru with my tires skidding along the 500 foot straight cliff drop (slight exaggeration on the cliff part) and I would still manage to press and pass him just before the bottom even with almost no back brake.

I stopped and looked around at the gate at the base, and to my surprise, there was no podium, and there were no Trophy girls, the only white bubbly I would drink would be my slightly foaming mineral water *sigh* only the ride home awaited.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Let us end the notion in western society of age

Every day I hear people go on about "well you are 40 now its down hill from here"
Now mind you I do seem to notice aches and pains a little more, but then again I have always punished myself physically so I think that has always been the case.
On the news we constantly hear about sports figures being washed up by the time they are thirty, oh they simply can no longer go on, they are used up garbage.
Yet for some reason we ignore people of ability at ages we now seem in our lazy western society as ages of impossiblity.
 The Media only breifly mentions the sports figures who competed well past their thirties, Randy Couture comes to mind as well as George Foreman regaining the heavyweight title at 42 and retiring at 48.

Jack Lalane Arguably set the standard, at 54 Jack Lalanne beat a 21 year old  Arnold Schwarzenegger badly in a informal body building competition.  for his seventieth birthday he towed 70 rowboats across the San Francisco bay, shackled.
Samurai warriors would consider retiring in their fifties. 
Recently in the Philippines a man in his sixties climbed a coconut tree to grab me a fresh coconut so that I may enjoy the milk from it.
Personally my family has stayed active into the elder years, My Grandpa Sundberg  worked on our small ranch until he was 80, riding horses, wrangling cattle, and fixing fence. Work that most young kids today would still find exhausting, granted he was slowing up, but he was still out there doing it.
My Grandpa on my Moms side played golf until he was 89, still being a pleasant figure to talk with being of sound mind, he only took a baby asprin a day as his only medication, believing no matter what you did, you simply had to stay active and everything in Moderation.
Recently My Cousin died in his mid eighties, he too had a small ranch and on his way out to butcher a beef he finally collapsed, his life still went strong, he himself still rode horses and sawed his own wood.
My great grandmother split wood until she was ninety for the wood stove in her home which btw she still used for cooking as well.
Myself at fourty I am now in the best cycling shape of my life, and only getting better, so I wonder, where does this notion come from that we are washed up in our thirties?
I think most of all society has changed so much people are not very active, that and they injest poison into their bodies at alarming rates.
Most people as I wrote in a earlier blog are horribly dehidrated which causes more body pains as well as increases the aging process. Ask yourself this, how long does a plant last on minimal water and care?
The poisons in our body make it hard for us to process and live normal, with lack of excersise you are not sweating out toxins and of course with not enough water those toxins are not being flushed in your body thus making you feel horrible as they are stored inside your body.
Diabetes used to be called the middle age disease as that is of course the time most people became susceptible to it, now every other person in America has it with children being quit literally plagued by it.
Record liver transplants are now happening for our children as well who are suffering from fatty liver disease caused from a high fat Diet. This is not surprising, every day I see children lined up outside the dairy queen near my house, nearly every kid walking down the street has a big gulp soft drink in their hand.
The really sad thing is most will go home to eat a meal out of a cardboard box filled full of preservatives.
When they ask for candy, give them fruits instead people, it is their future, as a parent it is your job to raise them and teach them to the best of your abilities. 
Come on people we can do better, our lives are not over in our thirites, we are not washed up useless machines as the media would have us believe. Get out and be active and treat food as a fuel for your body, you would not consider putting bad gas into your automobile, something that can be replaced, so why on earth are you ingesting it into your body?

Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shoutingHoly shit, what a ride!”

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Miracle water or just over priced salt water?

Drink this cocktail, it is the Miracle water that will help cure everything, it will reverse aging!
Ok so I have many friends buying into this new product and they all say the same thing "well if it helps" Yea well it probably will, but to understand why we have to look at the product itself.
First the Product is water with Sodium Chloride added to it, you know it as Table salt.
How is this beneficial to you? Simple, most people in America are terribly dehydrated,  so if this product makes you drink more water all is well. A little Salt added to your water (otherwise known as mineral water) helps you hydrate better.
Hydration is Important as water Lubricates your joints, if your joints are lubricated, the soreness will  leave. So Is Asea a Scam? Yes it is, yet another product praying on the ignorance of Americans little different than the snake oils which you all cringe at which were pushed forth in the 19th century.
It is honest though, all you have to do is look on the label to know what it is made from, and understand the rest is merely marketing.
It also makes no claim to have its supposed scientific testing verified by the FDA or a credible organization.
Would you buy Soda if it said "absolutely no health value whatsoever but it will rot your teeth and increase your odds of diabetes" Probably not, but with flashy imagery backed by celebrities you will.
Think with your mind, not with your heart, if you want to feel better, drink more water, if it does not taste good to you, then add some lemon to it or a tiny bit of salt.

Be careful people, if it sounds to good to be true, it almost always is.