Vital Statistics

Bike odometer: 2557
Aches & pains: sore back and sciatic nerve
Current reading: My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs
Recent listening: Warren Zevon, The Beatles, Bright Eyes
Recent viewing: Iowa vs. Wisconsin, Wartburg vs. Coe, miles of Iowa corn & beans
Recent playing: Doodle Jump
Recently accomplished: Iowa trip planning, visited Sunleafs in Dubuque, met J. Kelly Poole in Cedar Falls, Wartburg Homecoming 2009
People I was lucky enough to see while in Iowa: Troy Munn, Mindy Eastmann, Kalen “Bubby” Eastmann, Taran Eastmann, Mark & Kathi Ring, Logan Ring, Kent Ring, Berdean Ring, Kathryn Warburton, Lorell & Myrtle Christensen, Michelle Cummings, Frank Fox, Jeff Mitchell, Annette Adams, Carl & Kristy Borchardt, Randy Maravetz, Jeff Fox, Art & Amy Sunleaf, Maja Sunleaf, “Belle” Sunleaf, Lizzie Sunleaf, Kelly Poole, Terry Letsche, Rob Marquardt, Caroline & Jim Druschke, Dave Marx, Lynn Olsen, Bob Dahlke, Terrell Hale, Al Vandenbergh, Tim Lieder, Jim & Sharon Parcel, Arnie and Louise Duryee, Sue Barnes, Judy Christensen
People I wanted to see but ran out of time: Mariah Mindy Ring, Oren P. Phipps
Imperative To Do: Return cans, put antenna in the attic, clean office, finish Best of 2008, rebates, replace rusted grill parts, clean roof

Road Trip 2010 revisited

Awhile back I wrote about a potential future road trip we might take in the summer of 2010. The intent was to visit family and see the sights along the way on a trip that encircled nearly all of the continental U.S. According to my calculations then, the trip would involve 16 days for just the driving, never mind time taken for family and recreation. Given the unlikelihood of having 4 weeks of vacation by next summer (I have about 2 days at this moment), here is a revised itinerary:

  1. Portland
  2. This 1326 mile length will take two days. Stopping point will likely be Salt Lake City.
  3. Colorado Springs (Tina’s dad, Leroy)
    378 miles/5.5 hours
  4. Albuquerque (Jan and Tom)
    1010 miles/14 hours
  5. Houston (home to Tina’s grandfather, TQ)
    354 miles/6 hours
  6. New Orleans (stopping in Baton Rouge to visit my nephew, Wally, for a few hours)
    546 miles/8 hours
  7. Jacksonville (stopping in Pensacola to visit cousin Beth)
    139 miles/2 hours
  8. Savannah (Mardy and Steve)
    765 miles/12 hours
  9. Cleveland (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
    344 miles/6 hours
  10. Chicago (various sights)
    377 miles/6.5 hours
  11. Riceville (stopping in Dubuque to visit my old friends, the Sunleafs
  12. This stretch of 1800 miles is a two or three day drive. Stopping points will be dynamic.
  13. Portland

That reduces the trip to 12 or 13 driving days. I would expect we would take extra days in Cleveland and Chicago and have all the equipment for your kids, although we could see the HOF in the morning and drive to Chicago in the evening. We’ll also need several days in Riceville for a probable family reunion.

The Day the Music Died

40 50 years ago today, Buddy Holly died in an airplane crash shortly after taking off from Mason City Airport following his last show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Holly’s final performance and death occurred in what would become my neighborhood 7 years later. As you can see below, I still have roots in the area. I’ve marked the spot of the crash as well as my hometown, my sister’s home and my brother’s home.

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Birthday pictures

I didn’t take many still pictures when I was in Iowa for my birthday with my Uncle Lorell because I was preoccupied with my new Flip Video camera. I did take a few though and have posted them in the Rynosoft Gallery for your viewing pleasure. In case you didn’t notice when they appeared this summer, there are also a bunch from our trip to Idaho to bike with the Scouts. Of course, there’s always three random pictures from the gallery on the right side of this blog.

I keep the ends out for the tie that binds

Life has been more hectic than usual so I’ve had little time for writing lately. Nevertheless, as I wait for the second Presidential debate to start, I’ll fill you in on a few things that have been going on in the Ring household.

Last week I returned from a short trip to Iowa where I celebrated my birthday with my Uncle Lorell. Lorell and I have the same birthday so we probably spent every one of my birthdays together until I was a teenager. This year we enjoyed cake with many of my cousins shortly after a Friday night of Wildcat football in Riceville, IA. At some point amidst the buzz all around us, I leaned over to him and said, “I didn’t get you a card.” He replied, “That’s OK, I didn’t get you one, either.” It was a perfect moment. By all accounts his chemo-therapy is going well and he hasn’t had a great deal of discomfort or sickness yet.

Just a few days after I got home, we held our 3rd Annual 40th Birthday Party. Lots of old and new friends attended and it was a rousing success. Unlike previous years, the weather kept us indoors and we weren’t able to have a fire on the deck. Still, we enjoyed the company and conversation. We’re grateful to have so many great friends.

Thomas has good news this week: he is getting A’s in all of his classes. He’s in 7th grade this year and we have been apprehensive about his academic performance after he had lots of trouble getting homework done last year. We realize that it’s just the beginning of the year, but this is a much better start than last year.

Vital Statistics

Relatives seen: 30 (approximate)
Weight lost (in pounds): 0
Aches & pains: sciatic
Current reading: My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk, Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy
Recent listening: “Grandma music”
Recent viewing: CBS Morning News, The Fugitive, Presidential debate
Recent playing: Chain Factor, Spaceward Ho!
Recently accomplished: Travel to Iowa, birthday celebrations with my birthday uncle, Spam Museum (outside only)
Imperative To Do: Return home, cancel gym membership, get rid of office junk, freecycle, activate new Tivo, oil change for van, clean garage, office organization, get rid of MacRenewal Macs

Peeping from behind every window pane

I find myself in Foster City once again at EFI headquarters. I’ve been moved to another team again so I’m here familiarizing myself with the tool set and meeting the other team members. I’ll be here until Friday night.

Working from home has been better than I expected. Even though I’ve been very busy, I get to choose the times when I work and the times that I don’t. That means when I feel like doing a couple of hours in the evening, it’s no big deal. Or if I have to run some errand in the afternoon. So far I feel like I’ve been pretty productive and my new office feels like a cockpit controlling my working world and it has to do with the decoration I put on it, including windows with motorized blinds so I can control it from everywhere I’m with my phone. I’m sure I’ll write more on this later. I bought Hunter Douglas honeycomb shades and saved a ton of money on my electric bill right away.

Continue reading “Peeping from behind every window pane”

Road trip 2010

Last week as I chatted with my newly discovered cousin, Beth, I pulled up Google Maps to get a better idea of where she is geographically. Specifically, I wondered how far she lived from my sister, Mardy. It didn’t take long before I realized that a killer road trip could be devised. My first pass at possible destinations yielded this list (see Glossary if you don’t know any of these names):

  1. Portland: Our home.
  2. San Francisco: Home to Uncle Ralph, Aunt Carol and cousins David and Danielle.
  3. Moreno Valley: Home to Maridee, Steve, Trisha and Michael.
  4. Phoenix: Home to Michelle, Ric, Xander and Wil.
  5. Albuquerque: Home to Jan and Tom.
  6. Austin: One of America’s music capitols. Need to find worthy venues to visit here.
  7. Houston: Home to TQ, Tina’s grandfather.
  8. New Orleans: Another of America’s music capitols. Will probably need a couple of days here. Any suggestions for family friendly spots?
  9. Pensacola: Home to Beth and her family.
  10. Jacksonville: Home to Mike, Micah and his family.
  11. Savannah: Home to Mardy, Steve, Barrett and Kendrick & his family. We should spend at least three days here.
  12. Charleston: My old stomping grounds and historic southern city.
  13. Washington, D.C.: Our nations capitol. We would want to spend more than one day here visiting monuments and historical curiosities.
  14. Philadelphia: A natural follow-up to a visit to D.C.
  15. New York: The boys have a long list of places they want to visit here so this might also take a few days.
  16. Cleveland: Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  17. Madison: My cousins Dee and Jon live near here.
  18. Riceville: My little hometown where my 25th class reunion will be held in 2010.
  19. Colorado Springs: Tina’s cousins, Natians and Kelly live nearby.
  20. Salt Lake City: Much maligned but beautiful city.
  21. Portland: Our home.

Continue reading “Road trip 2010”