Decision 2008: Suck or Blow, You Make the Call!

Has anyone seen my wife?

Seriously. If you have, let her know I hope she's doing well.

Kristin and I have been ships passing in the night for the better part of the past three weeks now. I've been swamped with work, designing my training plan for this year, and trying to do more of the daily chores around the house to make things easier for Kristin. She, on the other hand, is really starting to feel the pain of working full-time while taking 20 credits in business school. She came home from class yesterday -- one class that met for 8 hours straight -- and informed me that she has 6 papers and a presentation to complete before class meets again the first week of February. Not to mention several hundred pages worth of reading.

And, of course, our initial reaction to this was wondering if we had to cancel the Super Bowl Party this year.

But the class and the papers aren't even the half of it. She has an ongoing community service project going on as part of the executive leadership program she's in that has her and 3 other people setting up a mentoring program at a Seattle woman's shelter. They had to go there as a group for a couple hours on Monday afternoon to meet and iron out the final details. Then, on Tuesday, she had to meet with her "Executive Coach" for 90 minutes after work for her monthly "couch session". Wednesday was school all day and a group meeting afterwards for two hours; yesterday consisted of class all day and a meeting with a different group in preparation for an interview with Senator Maria Cantwell; and today she's back in school all day but, fortunately, without any post-class meetings.

Oh, and speaking of Senator Cantwell, I tried to convince Kristin to tell the Senator how much we need her to help maintain mountain bike access on the trails at Mount St. Helens should it become a National Park. Unfortunately, Kristin deftly turned my request away on account of the meeting being about her leadership style and not about policy.

My response to this? "Who cares, tell her anyway!"

I finished my first guidebook of 2008 late Tuesday night (actually 4am on Wednesday) and as a reward for my hard work, my body takes on a sinus infection and sore throat. So much for getting some mid-day rides this week, I'm too sick to go and play in the rain. I used my available free time yesterday to pen the "biker input" on behalf of the BBTC for the Olallie Mountain Bike Project and that got me pretty excited about the prospects of getting more involved with the advocacy side of things. I haven't mentioned it yet, but I have been asked to "take the reigns" and be the point-person representing BBTC for this project and I'm quite excited about it. Myself and the former executive director of BBTC, Justin Vander Pol, will be meeting with the Director of Washington State Parks next month to disuss funding and the State Parks portion of the project. It will be my first trip to Olympia other than to stop off for coffee on my way to Portland.

Additionally, my "Endurance Training Series" is a big hit with BBTC members so far. I'm leading a series of rides each weekend that will get progressively longer and more challenging as the year goes on. Despite near-freezing temperatures and the threat of freezing rain and snow, 11 other riders joined me last Sunday for the initial ride and it looks like I'll have another dozen come out this Sunday. It's nice seeing so many people care about improving their fitness and riding longer and faster. Especially in January when the weather is, shall we say, miserable?

And now it's time for another non-sequitor.

I started playing Thrillville: Off the Rails last night in hopes that it would be a 3D Roller Coaster Tycoon. It's not. For my New Jersey readers, Thrillville: Off the Rails is to the Roller Coaster Tycoon franchise what Bowcraft is to Great Adventure. To be fair, I haven't really played it that much just yet, but it seems way, way too Fisher-Price-y for my liking. I hope i'm wrong, but so far the game seems to be aimed at a much, much lower age group.

Also, I started work on my second guidebook for 2008 last night. I can't say what it is, but I will say that I've seen the Japanese version of the strategy book I'll be writing (co-writing, as a matter of fact) and it's 600 pages long and has over 300 maps. I'm both excited by the challenge and scared out of my mind at the same time. Writers, start your engines!

But aside from the challenge of penning a veritable phone-book in the next month, I can at least look forward to the best weekend in the NFL season. Which will hopefully kick off tomorrow afternoon with a Seahawks victory over the Packers. And culminate with a Giants win over the Cowboys so I can once again attend the NFC Championship next weekend. Probably not too likely, but man that would be great.

Have a good weekend.

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