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Building A Better Bumblebee

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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:59 pm

Interesting, Mark, as I always thought that the Pacific NW got an abundance of "water" whether it be rain or snow and that is why you could pretty much "share" with CA, but won't (lol).  I mean people were skiing on Mt. Hood last August when I ran down it.   We have plenty of water here and will not have a drought situation.  This is good and bad as I'm sure they would attest to in the NE.  Hope the snow melts by April.

My daughter reported 90+ inches in Boston, and she is only 59" tall.  Snow banks are quite high as you can imagine.  BU has their own snow melter which is one better than the actual city of Boston, and the T (train system) should be running by Monday at full capacity.  My parents have attested that they have never seen this much snow in their lifetime (and they are in their 80s).
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:14 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Interesting, Mark, as I always thought that the Pacific NW got an abundance of "water" whether it be rain or snow and that is why you could pretty much "share" with CA, but won't (lol).  I mean people were skiing on Mt. Hood last August when I ran down it.   We have plenty of water here and will not have a drought situation.  This is good and bad as I'm sure they would attest to in the NE.  Hope the snow melts by April.

My daughter reported 90+ inches in Boston, and she is only 59" tall.  Snow banks are quite high as you can imagine.  BU has their own snow melter which is one better than the actual city of Boston, and the T (train system) should be running by Monday at full capacity.  My parents have attested that they have never seen this much snow in their lifetime (and they are in their 80s).

Like the rest of the West (pretty much everything west of the 100th meridian), Oregon and Washington experience a regular summer dry season. That means all the rain we get is concentrated in about nine months out of the year. Things brown out more in California in the summer than they do up here, but it still browns out.

What you saw last summer was skiers on the Palmer Snowfield about 8,000 feet up the side of Mount Hood. It'll still be there this year, despite the low snowfall. But the bigger problem isn't the snow on top of the peaks: It's all the snow that usually accumulates at elevations of about 4,000 feet and up. That's the area that really matters, and it has very little snow. There are years where the mountain passes have snowpacks of 12+ feet. This year? Zilch.

Lower elevations on the west side got plenty of rain this year, so we should be fine. We get our water in Vancouver from deep wells, so a poor snowpack doesn't have a big impact. The folks in Portland get their water from runoff from Mount Hood, so it might be a different story for them. The bigger concern will be what the lack of snow will mean for fire danger in the Cascade Range this summer. It's going to be dryer, longer, since there's no slow melt-off of the snow.

So, if Boston can teleport its snow (91 inches?!? wow!) over to the mountains of the West, we'd appreciate it. Thanks! Sounds like a win-win. Get those MIT geniuses on it, pronto.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:54 pm

Hill Run: 60 minutes (4.15 miles)

Weather: Partly cloudy, mild. 50-54 degrees. Gear: Luna sandals, shorts, T, jacket for a mile or so, then stashed. Fluid: Water in handheld.

Decided it was time to test out the new lowered HR target AND the sandals on a hilly route. All my climbing lately has been on trails (and in trail shoes), so I'm still inexperienced in this footwear condition. And the whole heart rate thing, too.

It went well, though I will need more practice to figure out how to relax enough going downhill in sandals to see my HR go down, not up. It seems to help to consciously relax the muscles in my lower leg, and maybe do a very slight serpentine pattern going down.

Going up was easy in sandals, though walking was needed to keep the HR at least sort of close to my target. I tried seeing if I could find a granny gear that'd let me grind up the hill running at that low HR.. but when my pace fell to 25/mi, I figured walking would be more efficient. I switched, and sped up to an 18/mi pace in seconds! Amazing the difference.

Walked first and last 5 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 123

Now, exactly how many feet I climbed/descended on this run diverges wildly depending on which program I uploaded my Garmin into:

Garmin Training Center 663+/661-
RunningAHEAD 478.9+/478-
Strava 367+ (didn't measure down)
Garmin Connect 317+ (didn't measure down)

Sheesh! Which one to believe? Hm...
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:09 pm

Mark B wrote:
Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Interesting, Mark, as I always thought that the Pacific NW got an abundance of "water" whether it be rain or snow and that is why you could pretty much "share" with CA, but won't (lol).  I mean people were skiing on Mt. Hood last August when I ran down it.   We have plenty of water here and will not have a drought situation.  This is good and bad as I'm sure they would attest to in the NE.  Hope the snow melts by April.

My daughter reported 90+ inches in Boston, and she is only 59" tall.  Snow banks are quite high as you can imagine.  BU has their own snow melter which is one better than the actual city of Boston, and the T (train system) should be running by Monday at full capacity.  My parents have attested that they have never seen this much snow in their lifetime (and they are in their 80s).

Like the rest of the West (pretty much everything west of the 100th meridian), Oregon and Washington experience a regular summer dry season. That means all the rain we get is concentrated in about nine months out of the year. Things brown out more in California in the summer than they do up here, but it still browns out.

What you saw last summer was skiers on the Palmer Snowfield about 8,000 feet up the side of Mount Hood. It'll still be there this year, despite the low snowfall. But the bigger problem isn't the snow on top of the peaks: It's all the snow that usually accumulates at elevations of about 4,000 feet and up. That's the area that really matters, and it has very little snow. There are years where the mountain passes have snowpacks of 12+ feet. This year? Zilch.

Lower elevations on the west side got plenty of rain this year, so we should be fine. We get our water in Vancouver from deep wells, so a poor snowpack doesn't have a big impact. The folks in Portland get their water from runoff from Mount Hood, so it might be a different story for them. The bigger concern will be what the lack of snow will mean for fire danger in the Cascade Range this summer. It's going to be dryer, longer, since there's no slow melt-off of the snow.

So, if Boston can teleport its snow (91 inches?!? wow!) over to the mountains of the West, we'd appreciate it. Thanks! Sounds like a win-win. Get those MIT geniuses on it, pronto.
Interesting, an those geniuses as MIT are up to something.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2015/02/20/cool-ideas-snow-boston/
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:37 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:
Mark B wrote:
Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Interesting, Mark, as I always thought that the Pacific NW got an abundance of "water" whether it be rain or snow and that is why you could pretty much "share" with CA, but won't (lol).  I mean people were skiing on Mt. Hood last August when I ran down it.   We have plenty of water here and will not have a drought situation.  This is good and bad as I'm sure they would attest to in the NE.  Hope the snow melts by April.

My daughter reported 90+ inches in Boston, and she is only 59" tall.  Snow banks are quite high as you can imagine.  BU has their own snow melter which is one better than the actual city of Boston, and the T (train system) should be running by Monday at full capacity.  My parents have attested that they have never seen this much snow in their lifetime (and they are in their 80s).

Like the rest of the West (pretty much everything west of the 100th meridian), Oregon and Washington experience a regular summer dry season. That means all the rain we get is concentrated in about nine months out of the year. Things brown out more in California in the summer than they do up here, but it still browns out.

What you saw last summer was skiers on the Palmer Snowfield about 8,000 feet up the side of Mount Hood. It'll still be there this year, despite the low snowfall. But the bigger problem isn't the snow on top of the peaks: It's all the snow that usually accumulates at elevations of about 4,000 feet and up. That's the area that really matters, and it has very little snow. There are years where the mountain passes have snowpacks of 12+ feet. This year? Zilch.

Lower elevations on the west side got plenty of rain this year, so we should be fine. We get our water in Vancouver from deep wells, so a poor snowpack doesn't have a big impact. The folks in Portland get their water from runoff from Mount Hood, so it might be a different story for them. The bigger concern will be what the lack of snow will mean for fire danger in the Cascade Range this summer. It's going to be dryer, longer, since there's no slow melt-off of the snow.

So, if Boston can teleport its snow (91 inches?!? wow!) over to the mountains of the West, we'd appreciate it. Thanks! Sounds like a win-win. Get those MIT geniuses on it, pronto.
Interesting, an those geniuses as MIT are up to something.

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2015/02/20/cool-ideas-snow-boston/

Definitely liking the yeti. Smile
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:57 pm

Long Run: 10 miles

Weather: Clear, frosty for a while. 34° at start, dropping to 31° then bouncing up to 43° Gear: Luna sandals, tights, T, pullover, jacket, hat, gloves. Fuel: Cereal and coffee before. Carried nuun in handheld. May have nearly bonked.

Whew. That was one of the rougher runs I've had in a while. It started out pretty good, as my training partner and I took off in temperatures right about freezing under clear skies.



Got a great view of Mount Hood and the sunrise and got a bit chilled as the temperature fell before rebounding once the sun got higher in the sky. The tips of my toes were a bit uncomfortable, but not so much as to warrant socks.

But... at some point, the juice went out of my legs. It probably started as I was struggling to keep my HR on target (my friend kept wanting to go faster). They started feeling heavy and sluggish, and it got worse as we began our climb up out of the greenway. I kept going but didn't enjoy it.

I'm thinking it was a bonk, though it's possible my legs are reacting to that hilly run I did on Friday. My heels are still a little sore from that -- it's a challenge to land properly, avoiding a heel strike, when running downhill -- so maybe other parts of my body are still reacting. I'll refuel today and see how it goes. I'm still feeling fatigued, despite eating a breakfast and a half.

Walked first and last 5 minutes (also a bit during). Average HR for entire run: 127
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:46 pm

I grudgingly took a rest day today rather than get out on the trails, but at least I managed to make those trails outings more pleasant once I get there. I drove into Portland and picked up these babies, a pair of Altra Superior 2.0s..



They felt positively delicious on in the store, and the tread pattern is vastly improved from my last pair.



They have a 21 mm stack height, which is nice and low to the ground, a zero-drop from heel to toe to encourage better form, and they also come with a removable rock plate, which gives a firmer ride but keeps the sharper rocks from jabbing your feet. I did a test and stood one legged on a sharp-edged rock, and I could tell it distributed the pressure. I'll probably run with them in, but I'm going to probably experiment a bit and see what works best.

I really wanted to try them out, but I was still feeling run down. Discretion is the better part of valor, right?

I also discovered why one heel was still sore after my hill work: A callus on my heel had dried and cracked to the point of exposing fresh meat, so to speak. Oops. The calluses have been there for years; I should have gotten after them sooner. (Ironically, the part of the foot that really touches the ground while running barefoot is pretty  much callus-free. A little exfoliation by asphalt?) Anyway, I spent part of the morning dealing with that little problem, which should keep it from happening again.

Always something new to learn! (The hard way.)  Very Happy
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:33 pm

Walk: 2.3 miles

Weather: Springlike. 51 degrees and sunny.

Our spell of ridiculously nice weather is supposed to be wrapping up this week, so I made a point to get out for a walk at lunchtime. I wanted to see how my heel was going to hold up (a long-neglected callus developed a deep fissure a couple of days ago) and was hoping my pedicure efforts were doing the trick.

It was a great walk, with pleasantly cool temperatures, a light breeze and bright sun on the Columbia River. The most difficult part was heading back inside.

Earlier today, I also attempted to launch a new approach toward strength work: Doing a little less, more often. I've been limiting my strength work, but then really pushing them, which has been leaving me sore and hesitant to keep at it. Maybe I can sneak up on it more effectively. Smile
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Tue Feb 24, 2015 9:58 pm

Maybe even do them eccentrically to build the muscle for go (and not for show).

You could've trotted in the store with your new Altra's.  I wouldn't have chastised you for it.

So, how would a pedicure do for you and would you feel sorry for the person doing it?
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:29 pm

ounce wrote:Maybe even do them eccentrically to build the muscle for go (and not for show).

You could've trotted in the store with your new Altra's.  I wouldn't have chastised you for it.

So, how would a pedicure do for you and would you feel sorry for the person doing it?

Definitely make sure to control the eccentric contractions as I'm doing those heel lifts; the concept of show or go was laughable -- I had no real muscle strength in my gastroc for pretty much forever. I made my soleus and the peroneals do all the work. That sounds crazy, I'm sure, but with the way my foot was assembled/warped/whatever has led to some amazing compensation. That sort of compensation would be fine and benign, if I ever compensated to STRONG muscles instead of weaker ones...

Anyway, I did trot around the store in the Altras. They didn't mind. They felt yummy. Then I went home and put in the stone guard, and they felt less yummy... so I'll be trying them out on actual rocky trails both ways to see how they do. The last time I did the Beacon Rock race (the 25K), I was wearing Free 3.0s. Holy moly, was that a mistake at that point. But since I know the trails now, I'll be able to use it as a testing ground before the race. Really looking forward to that. Smile

I think a pedicure wouldn't do any more for me than what I'm doing myself. I developed heavy callus on my heels years ago (from shoes), and they've dried out a bit lately. I think my hilly road work probably stretched the callus enough to create a fissure, so getting that skin to be as supple as the rest of my foot sounds like a good idea. (And yes, I'd feel sorry for the person doing it.)
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Wed Feb 25, 2015 5:02 pm

No time/inclination to head out today (feeling a bit off lately), but I did manage to convince myself to keep up the strength work.

Did clamshells, side leg lifts, leg circles, 40 each on each leg; two-legged bridge, 40 reps; one-legged bridge, 12 reps each side; heel lifts, knee locked, 50 each side.

The one-legged bridges are new, and probably pretty comical to watch. Nothing like trying a new exercise to undermine any sense of strength and competence. Glad I had no witnesses. Even Fluff averted his eyes!

I detest these sort of tedious exercises, but I know they're helpful, so I'm hoping doing fewer of them more often will turn it into a habit. My current habit seems to be avoiding them. What a Face
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Thu Feb 26, 2015 7:12 pm

I saw a story about 2 llamas in Sun City, AZ getting loose, in fact, they were on the lam. Laughing   The video was funny.  And it got me to thinking that those two llamas up in your neck of the woods.  I think you should rename each llama to BarackO and MichelleO.

And YES, that's what thinking gets me...every time.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:19 pm

ounce wrote:I saw a story about 2 llamas in Sun City, AZ getting loose, in fact, they were on the lam. Laughing   The video was funny.  And it got me to thinking that those two llamas up in your neck of the woods.  I think you should rename each llama to BarackO and MichelleO.

And YES, that's what thinking gets me...every time.

Heh. Nice.

Very funny you mention llamas, because we just had a scanner call about an hour ago about two llamas that had gotten out of their pasture in a rural part of our county.

As you can imagine, their Internet blew up. The llamas were just minding their own business hanging out beside a road, but that could not stop BREAKING NEWS ALERTS from all the Portland TV stations.

Had some fun with it on my Twitter account. Smile


Last edited by Mark B on Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:06 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:12 pm

Llamas huh?? Watch it, they spit...
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:57 am

Nick Morris wrote:Llamas huh??  Watch it, they spit...

So I've heard. Though I think snot rockets from runners are more dangerous -- and likely. alien
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:26 pm

Aborted Run: 1 mile

Weather: Clear and frosty. 29 degrees. Gear: Sandals w/socks, tights, T, pullover, jacket, hat, gloves. Fuel: Coffee and granola bar before.

I've been battling something for the past week now, a vague sense of almost-illness that isn't considerate enough to just blow up and be done with it. I was thinking I was through it when I got up early this morning for a longer run, but I was shocked to see how elevated my heart rate was just before I went out the door.

How high? Well, I can usually get it down to the mid-50s, standing, before starting to run. Today, it was ~80.

Hoo boy, I thought. This doesn't bode well. I started anyway, but promised myself I'd pay close attention to my body. I didn't want to run myself into the ground and not be able to go try my new trail shoes out tomorrow.

As it happened, I didn't even make it a half mile out before making a U-turn and heading back home. My HR was unusually high during my warm-up walk, and it rose steadily to well above my target when I started running. I fiddled with the strap, checking to see if it was a bad connection spike. It wasn't. I tried slowing way down, and it stayed up. Crap.

Got back home, hopped back in bed. Now, I'm starting to get that not-quite-but-almost-sick feeling again. Wonder what the heck it is? It's quite odd. And it doesn't bode well for what I'd wanted to do tomorrow, either. No
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:13 pm

Probably a good choice to head back to bed today...hope you're feeling well enough to test out those new trail shoes tomorrow.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Mar 01, 2015 8:02 pm

Speaking of awkward/embarrassing balance issues with new exercises...  Discovered one-legged deadlifts this week.  I nearly tipped over during every set.  Oof.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:33 pm

nkrichards wrote:Probably a good choice to head back to bed today...hope you're feeling well enough to test out those new trail shoes tomorrow.

Well, it's tomorrow, and I'm not in the woods. I'm in the Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center getting an alternator replaced. Then a few chores need tending. Funny how things get in the way of our plans sometimes.

Maybe it's for the best. I felt rotten yesterday, though just good enough to be able to do a bunch of other stuff that needed doing. I had figured I'd still need to rest today. Now I won't have the time to succumb to temptation.

Mike MacLellan wrote:Speaking of awkward/embarrassing balance issues with new exercises...  Discovered one-legged deadlifts this week.  I nearly tipped over during every set.  Oof.

Thank goodness I'm not the only one!

---

Update: I'm starting to wonder if it's not a bug I've been battling, but allergies. Trees are starting to bloom all around here, and I think I have been sensitive to some varieties of tree pollen before. Definitely a possibility.

The pollen season is starting a month early for us, thanks to our ridiculously mild winter. So while those of you in the frozen Midwest and Northeast shiver away and keep checking for frostbite, take comfort in the fact that at least you don't have that problem yet.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  nkrichards on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:36 pm

I'm sure that both allergy season and fire season are going to be tough this year!

Take comfort in the fact that you have some nice days coming up according to the forecast so you have time to try out those new trail shoes...if the allergy/bug doesn't keep you inside.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:29 pm

nkrichards wrote:I'm sure that both allergy season and fire season are going to be tough this year!

Take comfort in the fact that you have some nice days coming up according to the forecast so you have time to try out those new trail shoes...if the allergy/bug doesn't keep you inside.

True, that, Nancy. I'm experimenting with a different antihistamine to see if it'll work better. If it keeps up, I'll try one of the new OTC corticosteroid nasal sprays. I used a prescription version years ago and wow, did it open things up... but it's not cheap, and I'd rather not use if I don't have to.

Poor Alec seems to have come down with a nasty cold/cough. He's been hacking, cranky and miserable, but not quite sick enough to stay home from school. Hope it passes soon.

I didn't get a chance to get out before work, but I'm hoping to take a walk at lunch. It's sunny and 52 right now, so I'd be crazy to not take advantage of it. (But I'm still wondering when they moved the California border/climate north... if we get their summer temps, our lack of a/c is going to be highly problematic.)
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Tim C on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:56 pm

Mark B wrote:
nkrichards wrote:I'm sure that both allergy season and fire season are going to be tough this year!

Take comfort in the fact that you have some nice days coming up according to the forecast so you have time to try out those new trail shoes...if the allergy/bug doesn't keep you inside.

True, that, Nancy. I'm experimenting with a different antihistamine to see if it'll work better. If it keeps up, I'll try one of the new OTC corticosteroid nasal sprays. I used a prescription version years ago and wow, did it open things up... but it's not cheap, and I'd rather not use if I don't have to.

Poor Alec seems to have come down with a nasty cold/cough. He's been hacking, cranky and miserable, but not quite sick enough to stay home from school. Hope it passes soon.

I didn't get a chance to get out before work, but I'm hoping to take a walk at lunch. It's sunny and 52 right now, so I'd be crazy to not take advantage of it. (But I'm still wondering when they moved the California border/climate north... if we get their summer temps, our lack of a/c is going to be highly problematic.)

Ha!. It was 42 when I went out this morning and I loved it. Wish I could run in temps like that more often. Supposed to be back around 80 this weekend...
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:50 pm

Tim C wrote:
Mark B wrote:
nkrichards wrote:I'm sure that both allergy season and fire season are going to be tough this year!

Take comfort in the fact that you have some nice days coming up according to the forecast so you have time to try out those new trail shoes...if the allergy/bug doesn't keep you inside.

True, that, Nancy. I'm experimenting with a different antihistamine to see if it'll work better. If it keeps up, I'll try one of the new OTC corticosteroid nasal sprays. I used a prescription version years ago and wow, did it open things up... but it's not cheap, and I'd rather not use if I don't have to.

Poor Alec seems to have come down with a nasty cold/cough. He's been hacking, cranky and miserable, but not quite sick enough to stay home from school. Hope it passes soon.

I didn't get a chance to get out before work, but I'm hoping to take a walk at lunch. It's sunny and 52 right now, so I'd be crazy to not take advantage of it. (But I'm still wondering when they moved the California border/climate north... if we get their summer temps, our lack of a/c is going to be highly problematic.)

Ha!.  It was 42 when I went out this morning and I loved it.  Wish I could run in temps like that more often.  Supposed to be back around 80 this weekend...

It's supposed to get into the mid-60s this weekend, which means I may have to actually start thinking about yard work. Maybe.
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  Mark B on Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:51 pm

Walk: 4 miles

Weather: Superb. Sunny, 52, a light cool breeze.

Our ridiculously springlike weather continues, so there was no way I wasn't going to go out for a walk today at lunch -- and there was no reason to not extend it as much as I could. I went all the way to the old Kaiser Shipyard on the Columbia River before turning around and heading back. I tried to keep the pace brisk, and I did the return route a bit faster than the outbound leg. I stated out with a light jacket but ended up in shirtsleeves. Not bad at all!
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Re: Building A Better Bumblebee

Post  ounce on Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:54 pm

I guess central air is not required up there?  I'm glad I grew up when central air was becoming the norm.  Couldn't imagine living through a Houston humid summer with a whole house fan.  But, I guess that's why everyone was outside and neighborly.

We got up to 79 today, Mark.  +10 over seasonal.  Thursday, the high will be 40 degrees colder.  As far as pollen, trees are sprouting everywhere and the pine tree pollen is cranking up.  Soon all cars will have that yellow hue to them. No
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