Monday, April 28, 2014

A Pre-Trip Q&A with Alex and Sarah

My, oh my, Alex and I will be starting our trip one week from today. Excitement abounds!

In the meanwhile, my dear readers, perhaps you will enjoy a little pre-trip Q&A with the riders of Team Sierra-Cascades.

What bike will you be riding?
Alex: My new Surly Disc Trucker.
Sarah: My beloved Surly Long Haul Trucker. She's one helluva great bike -- love her like crazy.

Does your bike have a name? If so, what is it?
Alex: The bike does not have a name at this time. I am a believer in letting the bikes name themselves. I expect that at some point the name will reveal itself.
Sarah: Why surely. It's Shirley the Surly.

Alex's bike and Shirley, on our overnight test ride to Scenic Beach.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Meet Alex

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a riding partner for the Sierra-Cascades route. Signore e signori, meet Alex!

My blog readers who have been following along since the genesis of my blog may recall that Alex is not a new character in my life. Refer to the Stomping On My Old Grounds post to get the low-down on Alex. Make sure you read the entire post, because Alex is mentioned numerous times.

The main update in Alex's life since the aforementioned post is that Alex is no longer working. He left his job at the end of last year. Like me, he's also doing the semi-retirement thing. His transition to awesomeness enables Alex the flexibility to join along on a two-month bike trip.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Countdown to the Sierra-Cascades

Only ten more days until this summer's adventures begin! Yippie ki yay!

The first adventure is a two-month trip along the Sierra-Cascade bicycle route. The route parallels the famed Pacific Crest Trail, runs through both the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, and stretches 2300+ miles from border-to-border.

The Sierra-Cascades route.

Some of the highlights along the route include visits to Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Yosemite National Parks, Lake Tahoe, and Crater Lake.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Didja Know About General Delivery?

Suppose you would like to mail something to someone, but that someone either is on-the-move or doesn't have a permanent address. No worries!

<Enter the postal service, wearing a superhero cape.>

USPS to the rescue!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ten Years Ago

April 19, 2004.

This date is engraved in the timeline of my life.

Ten years ago, I sat in a courtroom. My husband sat next to me. We sat for hours. I remember continually shifting our bodies in an effort to remain comfortable in the hard, wooden benches. I remember my husband putting his arm around me, resting his elbow on the top of the bench. And I remember exchanging glances with my husband as couple-after-couple presented their cases before the judge. The couples argued whether he would get the Porsche and the Lexus and she would get the vacation home.

Friday, April 18, 2014

My New Drawing Book

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the first drawing in my new drawing book…

A Tibetan woman holds the Dali Lama.

As a youngster, I considered myself to be fairly equal-brained. I was decent at both analytical (left-brain) and creative (right-brain) tasks. But then as I progressed through the education system, my right brain became quickly overshadowed by my left brain.

Over the years, my work life relied heavily upon logic, analytics, and objectivity. My creative-side experienced severe neglect. I can't begin to count the number of times when I had a dreadful feeling that my right brain was suffocating.

I occasionally resorted to music to keep my right brain alive -- hence my learning to play the cello and guitar a few years back. But never in my adult life did I consider drawing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Claiming Your Unclaimed Property

When I was a kid, I'd pick up the stray pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters on the sidewalk. Others overlooked these coins, considering them to be petty. But to me, they were worth something. I'd put them in my pocket and say "Every little bit helps! Now I'm 5¢ closer to retirement."

I'm still picking up these coins, and I'm still acknowledging that they are helping to inch me closer to retirement. Nowadays, I chuckle as I ponder how fortunate I am to have started my retirement in my mid-30s.

Admittedly, scanning the sidewalk for dropped coins isn't going to get me too far. On the other hand, scanning the Departments of Revenue websites to see if I have any unclaimed property may get me a bit farther.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Valuation of Intangibles

I recently sold my house.

This place ain't mine no more.

I bought this place a little over six years ago. I lived in it for 1½ years, and then I rented it to amazing tenants for the next 4½ years.

The house sold quickly, thanks to my awesome realtors, Sarah and Jamie Reece. As Shakespeare would say, Sarah and Jamie made the process as smooth as monumental alabaster.

    February 25: Tenants move out
    March 5: List on market
    March 10: Accept offer
    March 28: Close