Monday, December 26, 2011

Tank one hundred and eighty-six

Total miles: 63718. Trip miles: 332.8. Gallons: 7.091. Price per gallon: $3.199.

Screen mileage: 52.2 mpg. Tank mileage: 46.9 mpg.

More crappy mileage. Temps were in the thirties but even so!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tank one hundred and eighty-five

Total miles: 63385. Trip miles: 187.2. Gallons: 4.165. Price per gallon: $3.279.

Screen mileage: 50.2 mpg. Tank mileage: 44.9 mpg.

Terrible mileage, yeesh. Only change I can think of is the cold weather.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tank one hundred and eighty-four

Total miles: 63198. Trip miles: 387.0. Gallons: 6.944. Price per gallon: $3.239.

Screen mileage: 56.3 mpg. Tank mileage: 55.7 mpg.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tank one hundred and eighty-three

Total miles: 62811. Trip miles: 341.0. Gallons: 6.122. Price per gallon: $3.339.

Screen mileage: 50.1 mpg. Tank mileage: 55.7 mpg.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tank one hundred and eighty-two

Total miles: 62470. Trip miles: 386.2. Gallons: 9.235. Price per gallon: $3.419.

Screen mileage: 53.0 mpg. Tank mileage: 41.8 mpg.

Clearly the previous tank wasn't full, leading to poor tank mileage this time, and outlandishly good mileage last time. Averaging between the two trips, I get 55.3 tank mileage.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tank one hundred and eighty-one

Total miles: 62084. Trip miles: 217.9. Gallons: 3.169. Price per gallon: $3.329.

Screen mileage: 53.5 mpg. Tank mileage: 68.8 mpg.

Looks like the tank didn't fill up.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Tank one hundred and eighty

Total miles: 61866. Trip miles: 297.8. Gallons: 6.171. Price per gallon: $3.379.

Screen mileage: 55.3 mpg. Tank mileage: 48.3 mpg.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-nine

Total miles: 61568. Trip miles: 224.4. Gallons: 4.604. Price per gallon: $3.399.

Screen mileage: Unknown. Tank mileage: 48.7 mpg.

Colder weather, worse mileage. Maybe the tires were lower than normal, too.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-eight

Total miles: 61344. Trip miles: 113.9. Gallons: 2.658. Price per gallon: $3.559.

Screen mileage: 44.3 mpg. Tank mileage: 42.9 mpg.

Some of the worst mileage ever, over a short distance. It snowed!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Went to the MFA today. This is "Fruit Displayed on a Stand", by Gustave Caillebotte. Never heard of the guy, but I love this painting! Always something new to find at this fine museum.

In case you are wondering, it really is okay to take photos of the exhibits at the MFA. You just can't use your flash.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-seven

Total miles: 61230. Trip miles: 127.4. Gallons: 2.521. Price per gallon: $3.359.

Screen mileage: 46.1 mpg. Tank mileage: 50.5 mpg.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-six

Total miles: 61102. Trip miles: 426.4. Gallons: 8.485. Price per gallon: $3.579.

Screen mileage: 53.3 mpg. Tank mileage: 50.2 mpg.

Mix of short and medium drives.

Friday, October 07, 2011

the hut

At the summit of Lafayette, I was feeling almost exhausted. The wind was blasting so strongly that I couldn't keep the camera still to take photographs. This is one of my last photos, of a shelter at the summit, before the camera battery died.

Along the ridge trail, you can see Greenleaf hut in the distance. I kept looking at it. I had brought a sandwich with me, but I knew there was food at the hut, and it looked more and more tempting the more tired I got.

Finally, after descending from Lafayette, the wind began to taper off again. I stopped at a viewpoint to grab my sandwich... only to find it wasn't there! (I never did find it. It's kind of a mystery at this point.) I snacked on a chocolate bar, which was all I had left, and thought some more about visiting the hut.

As I approached the hut, I began hearing a strange sound. It sounded a lot like the smoke monster from Lost. Once I reached the hut, I could see it was coming from a strange weather vane contraption on the top of the hut. I still have no idea what it was for.

On a whim I decided to go inside. It was 3 pm, getting late. There were a couple of bored looking employees, and a couple of small groups of people at the tables. The food was not so appealing. They had some kind of instant coffee packages ($1), hot water, lemonade ($1), a couple of cakes (looked like crumb cake and pumpkin cake, $2 each) and - hm, free pancakes left over from breakfast! I meandered off to look around. The place is pretty posh, and seems relatively new. The rooms all seem to be the same, with two bunk beds. A bit too chummy if you ask me, although nice and clean. There are two rest rooms, with composting toilets (kind of stinky, I would not want to be bunking next to them). I meandered on back, grabbed a pancake, and left.

As I went off into the woods, it occurred to me that it was pretty stupid that I didn't grab several pancakes. This is what fatigue does to you.

I scarfed down the pancake (they are the better part of valor!) and booked it down the mountainside. I passed several groups of people, some of whom I'd seen at the hut. As usual I experienced left knee pain, but I went pretty fast despite that. It's supposed to take 2 h 40 min to get from the hut to the parking lot, and I made it in just under 2 hours, which was quite a surprise.

I should have used sunscreen, since I'm sunburned today. Despite that, and the crazy wind, this was one of my top hikes in the Whites. I hope I will do it again some day, without all the wind.

geodetic survey lafayette

As I struggled through the blasts of wind to the summit of Lafayette, I looked down at my feet and discovered this geodetic survey marker. I just got lucky finding this one, since I didn't intend to spend a lot of time scouring the area for markers in these high winds.


heading to lafayette

This is a view of Mt Lafayette from the summit of Mt Lincoln, standing next to a cairn.

After leaving Mt Lincoln, the winds got worse. I was practically blown off my feet at some points. This meant I had to slow down considerably, and I frequently had to hold onto my hat for fear it would fly away. It was not a ton of fun. The views continued to be spectacular, but I felt hurried to get past the wind, so I didn't stop to look around much.

approach to lincoln

Here I'm on my way to Mt Lincoln. Wow, this has got to be one of the best hikes in the Whites (as was asserted by Mr Friendly CT Hiker). Just amazing views.

There are a couple of people on the trail ahead of me in this photo. I was surprised at the number of people I met along this trail on a Thursday in October - perhaps 20 in total.

At this point I was enjoying myself quite a lot. However, I had decided to eat my lunch on the descent from Mt Lafayette, and it was now past noon. I was beginning to feel fatigued, although I never got hungry (my appetite vanishes when hiking). As a group of young hikers approached to pass me, I found a break from the wind and stepped off the trail to rest and eat some potato chips. Not sure if it helped.

view on the way to lincoln

This is one of many fantastic views that I got on my way from Little Haystack to Mt Lincoln. This view is of Cannon Mountain, to the west.

It was pretty windy getting to Little Haystack, keeping up a pretty steady blast. But it didn't feel too cold, so I decided to keep going. Once I passed Little Haystack, the wind became somewhat warmer, and there were frequent breaks where I could walk comfortably without worrying about my hat flying away.

little haystack

The climb from Shining Rock to Little Haystack was pretty short (0.4 miles) and not too difficult. This photo was shot after I had broken out above treeline. I began to feel weirdly elated and breathless at this point, which I can't explain. Strange stuff happens in the mountains.

As I approached the summit, I was met by the friendly CT hiker that I'd chatted with at Cloudland Falls. To my surprise, he was turning around. He said the winds were fierce and he was afraid he'd get frostbitten - he didn't have anything to cover his face.

Well, I find it hard to turn back from a 4000 footer, once I'm that close. I was mainly concerned about the "knife-edged" ridge (as described in the Guide p 168) between Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette. I asked Mr Friendly CT Hiker if there was any danger of getting blown off the mountain. He said no, so I decided to carry on. He then volunteered to give me a spare hat that he was carrying with him, and I hesitated but then said OK. He dug around in his pack, and finally produced it, a nice looking watch cap colored a burnished orange. But then he confessed that this was his favorite hat. So I took the cap he was wearing, which was military issue; he said he had plenty of spare caps of this type because he has friends in the military.

I bid Mr Friendly CT Hiker a fond adieu, and thus equipped, I headed off onto the windy ridge.

shining rock

This is Shining Rock, a giant granite slab, about 2.8 miles up the trail. It's 200 ft tall and 800 ft long. The Guide advises that you shouldn't attempt to climb it without rock climbing equipment. I was not tempted, since large parts of its surface were coated with ice, some of it with water running underneath it.

Around this area, the trail was filled with boulders, and I had to clamber in places, but there was nothing too difficult.

Shortly after passing Shining Rock, the trail began to get very icy. Lots of boulders were nearly covered in a thick glaze of ice. Fortunately, I was able to navigate around the glazed patches. However, that experience does make me wonder if this is my last big hike of the year.

cloudland falls

This is Cloudland Falls, which is found at about 1.3 miles into the trail. The photo doesn't do it justice. It is 80 feet from top to bottom.

As I stood at the foot of the falls, a fellow hiker, from CT, came along and chatted with me. He had hiked this area before, and said that you hardly ever find much water coming down these falls at this time of the year. So we were lucky. Although, all the rain has knocked down a lot of fall foliage.

The climb from the parking lot to Cloudland Falls was fairly easy, despite the fact that I haven't done any substantial hiking since June.

In fact, overall, this loop is probably one of the easier hikes I've done in the White Mountains.

stairs falls

This is a view of Stairs Falls, about 0.7 miles in. I've seen photos of this where the water is falling down all the stairs instead of just to one side.

Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette

Yesterday I did a loop hike over Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette, my 17th and 18th 4000-footers. The weather was great! But it was pretty windy. That wasn't noticeable in the woods, but on the exposed ridge between Little Haystack Mountain (south of Mt Lincoln) and Mt Lafayette, it was a real problem.

The whole loop was 8.5 miles. I hiked it in about 6 h 20 min, for a pace of about 1.3 mph. It seems slow, but that's just about book time. The wind at the top slowed me down some.

I started at the Lafayette Place parking lot. The Bridle Path Trail and Falling Waters Trail converge here. I took Falling Waters Trail up, since the AMC White Mountain Guide says it's supposed to be difficult on descent.

Falling Waters Trail takes you past several waterfalls. All of them were very active and beautiful; it's been a rainy fall.

The picture here is actually not a waterfall, but one of the first brooks that you cross along Falling Waters.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-five

Total miles: 60676. Trip miles: 386.8. Gallons: 7.627. Price per gallon: $3.379.

Screen mileage: 50.7 mpg. Tank mileage: 50.9 mpg.

Mostly long trips.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-four

Total miles: 60289. Trip miles: 361.6. Gallons: 6.631. Price per gallon: $3.499.

Screen mileage: 54.3 mpg. Tank mileage: 54.5 mpg.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-three

Total miles: 59927. Trip miles: 373.8. Gallons: 7.428. Price per gallon: $3.699.

Screen mileage: 53.0 mpg. Tank mileage: 50.3 mpg.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


This is Boardwalk (5.5) on Practice Face of Crow Hill.

All the routes on Practice Face are reasonable (in the sense that I could do them without much difficulty), except for Ladybug, which is rated a 5.8 in Boston Rocks. I couldn't complete Ladybug despite trying several times. So. Have to get back there sooner or later and figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-two

Total miles: 59553. Trip miles: 397.9. Gallons: 7.991. Price per gallon: $3.639.

Screen mileage: 52.5 mpg. Tank mileage: 49.8 mpg.

Long trip.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy-one

Total miles: 59155. Trip miles: 184.2. Gallons: 4.113. Price per gallon: $3.739.

Screen mileage: 52.1 mpg. Tank mileage: 44.8 mpg.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tank one hundred and seventy

Total miles: 58971. Trip miles: 414.6. Gallons: 6.807. Price per gallon: $3.599.

Screen mileage: 52.7 mpg. Tank mileage: 60.9 mpg.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-nine

Total miles: 58557. Trip miles: 395.2. Gallons: 7.430. Price per gallon: $3.779.

Screen mileage: 55.2 mpg. Tank mileage: 53.2 mpg.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-eight

Total miles: 58161. Trip miles: 362.2. Gallons: 7.755. Price per gallon: $3.569.

Screen mileage: 53.7 mpg. Tank mileage: 46.7 mpg.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-seven

Total miles: 57799. Trip miles: 381.8. Gallons: 7.782. Price per gallon: $3.879.

Screen mileage: 53.6 mpg. Tank mileage: 49.1 mpg.

Long drive.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-six

Total miles: 57417. Trip miles: 219.6. Gallons: 3.643. Price per gallon: $3.739.

Screen mileage: 52.8 mpg. Tank mileage: 60.3 mpg.

Several longer drives, about 40 minutes each.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-five

Total miles: 57198. Trip miles: 293.7. Gallons: 5.696. Price per gallon: $3.799.

Screen mileage: 55.1 mpg. Tank mileage: 51.6 mpg.

Some longer drives.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-four

Total miles: 56904. Trip miles: 482.5. Gallons: 9.920. Price per gallon: $3.859.

Screen mileage: 52.2 mpg. Tank mileage: 52.0 mpg.

Some longer drives to go climbing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-three

Total miles: 56421. Trip miles: 313.5. Gallons: 5.326. Price per gallon: $3.799.

Screen mileage: 52.4 mpg. Tank mileage: 58.9 mpg.

Some longer trips.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-two

Total miles: 56108. Trip miles: 407.4. Gallons: 8.650. Price per gallon: $3.799.

Screen mileage: 51.6 mpg. Tank mileage: 47.1 mpg.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Posted by Picasa
I tried out my new crashpad at the Alcove today. It's a Metolius Boss Hogg. So far so good.

The first route I tried was OJ. It's the crack running straight up from the mat in the photo (at least I think that's OJ). It's a 5.5, but it took me several tries to get to the top. I felt a lot more hesitant without being tied in to a belayer, even though this route is not very difficult, and the mat was underneath me.

It was my first time bouldering at Hammond, and it's a lot of fun there.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

q wall

q wall by wereldmuis
q wall, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

It's another rainy weekend. No climbing for you!

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty-one

Total miles: 55700. Trip miles: 461.6. Gallons: 8.710. Price per gallon: $3.899.

Screen mileage: 54.0 mpg. Tank mileage: 53.0 mpg.

Short commutes and some longer drives too.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

gray jay

gray jay by wereldmuis
gray jay, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

When I stopped to finish my Clif bar at the Mt Willey cairn, I was accosted by a pair of gray jays.

I encouraged them by giving them a few crumbs of my bar. There are probably reasons you shouldn't do this, but I find gray jays very hard to resist.

At this point I felt pretty optimistic. I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of re-crossing Mt Field to get back to Crawford Depot, but my only other option was to travel south another 2.7 miles to Rt 302 via the Kedron Flume Trail, and then hike back north on the highway. This seemed unappealing, so I retraced my tracks to the Avalon Trail.

Things got dicey at the Avalon Trail. This trail is very typical for the Whites. It drops away beneath you unrelentingly for over a mile, and there are frequent encounters with steep rocky slides covered in running water that are difficult to navigate.

I'd been feeling fine up until this descent, which gave me quite a beating. By the time I got back to the car I was exhausted!

Despite that, this experience makes me think my training hikes don't have a huge benefit.

In all, this turned out to be a great start to the hiking season! The weather couldn't have been better, the bugs stayed away, and I hiked three of the 4000-footers in one day!

spectacular mt willey view

spectacular mt willey view by wereldmuis
spectacular mt willey view, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

Once you reach Mt Willey, you are rewarded with a spectacular view to the east.

Unfortunately this spot was afflicted pretty badly with swarms of black flies. They didn't seem to be in feeding mode, but I kept the risk low and didn't linger here for very long.

mt willey cairn

mt willey cairn by wereldmuis
mt willey cairn, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

The trail from Mt Field to Mt Willey is more typical of approaches to the 4000-footers. As you leave Mt Field, you're faced with some steep, rocky bits, where you have to clamber down.

view from mt field

view from mt field by wereldmuis
view from mt field, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

There's a beautiful view from Mt Field to the east. That's Rt 302 down there.

mt field cairn

mt field cairn by wereldmuis
mt field cairn, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

The trip from Mt Tom to Mt Field had no significant obstacles. It took me an hour.

heading to mt field

heading to mt field by wereldmuis
heading to mt field, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

Since I still felt great at Mt Tom, I decided to attempt Mt Field and Mt Willey. It made sense to get them all done, given the length of the drive.

mt tom cairn

mt tom cairn by wereldmuis
mt tom cairn, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

It took me 2 hours to get to the peak of Mt Tom. At this point, I was still feeling great! I had felt some hot spots developing on my heels, and stopped to slap on some blister treatment.

mt tom view

mt tom view by wereldmuis
mt tom view, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.

The hike to Mt Tom is relatively easy. Follow Avalon to the A-Z Trail, and then take the Mt Tom spur.

The views here are not great, but you can get a glimpse of some peaks in the distance.

crawford depot

crawford depot by wereldmuis
crawford depot, a photo by wereldmuis on Flickr.
Yesterday, I continued my quest to hike all the NH 4000-footers. I went over Mt Tom (4051 ft), Mt Field (4340 ft), and Mt Willey (4285 ft). The total distance was 9.9 miles, done in 6 h 40 min (book time), for a pace of 1.5 mph.

I started from Crawford Depot. Here we have a view of the Depot from across the railroad tracks. It's not clear where the trail starts. If you park at the Depot, cross the tracks, and follow an unmarked trail, in just a minute you will come to a very clear sign indicating the start of the Avalon Trail.

I had decided on Mt Tom because I hadn't done any training hikes, and it looked like it could be one of the easier 4000-footers to get to: 2.8 miles to the top, about 2400 ft of elevation change. I had also noted that Mt Field and Mt Willey were in the neighborhood, so I could attempt those if I were feeling strong.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Tank one hundred and sixty

Total miles: 55239. Trip miles: 467.5. Gallons: 8.995. Price per gallon: $3.879.

Screen mileage: 55.0 mpg. Tank mileage: 52.0 mpg.

Mostly long drives.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

outside corner j wall

outside corner j wall
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

Today I went back to Quincy Quarries. I went up Balance again (J wall). I think I'm doing the route right, but there's always some fuzziness.

Then I attempted Layback, but failed again. Disappointing! I finally tried Outer Corner without much hope. I didn't make much progress there, at all.

Still, it was a great day to be out climbing! Next time I hope I'll get to stay longer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-nine

Total miles: 54771. Trip miles: 377.3. Gallons: 6.472. Price per gallon: $3.779.

Screen mileage: 55.2 mpg. Tank mileage: 58.3 mpg.

Short commutes, and longer drives.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

J wall - Balance

J wall - balance
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

I finally broke in my new rope at Quincy Quarries!

I successfully completed Balance (5.4), and made respectable attempts of Layback (5.6) and Lurch (5.7). To put things in perspective, I can climb a 5.6 in the gym almost like climbing a ladder. These routes are way tougher than their ratings. It would help to get in more experience climbing outdoors, too.

Friday, May 13, 2011

climbing rope

EMS is having a (up-to) 30% sale this weekend, and I'm leaning towards buying a climbing rope. I wasn't going to get one so soon, but I don't think I'll find this kind of discount for months to come, so I should probably just do it now and catch a bargain.

I'm thinking of getting the 10.1 mm x 60 m Petzl Xion for $160, down from $200. The middle is marked, which is handy. The thickness seems about right since I assume I'll be doing a lot of top-roping to start. They say it's fine for trad climbing also. The last consideration is length. I'm sure it's plenty long for any climbing I'll be doing for quite some time.

Every time I see a rocky cliff, I start thinking about climbing it. I'm totally hooked.

Monday, May 09, 2011

tubular webbing

Today, I went out and bought some rock climbing gear that can be used to build an anchor: a few carabiners and some tubular webbing. I don't yet have a rope, so I don't know if these things will be very useful. But meantime I can use them to practice building anchors at home.

I also bought a copy of Boston Rocks a couple of other climbing books. Probably it's overkill, but I'm feeling very enthusiastic at the moment!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-eight

Total miles: 54394. Trip miles: 470.5. Gallons: 8.926. Price per gallon: $3.999.

Screen mileage: 54.8 mpg. Tank mileage: 52.7 mpg.

Long drive.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Monday, May 02, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-seven

Total miles: 53923. Trip miles: 432.4. Gallons: 9.392. Price per gallon: $3.979.

Screen mileage: 51.4 mpg. Tank mileage: 46.0 mpg.

Moderate drives, short commutes.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

knight's wall

I finished my rock climbing course this weekend. I got to take a stab at Knight's Wall for the second time. I finished Black Knight, although it kind of felt like a cheat because I think I was leaning on the rope at times. I attacked Double Retable but wasn't able to get very far.

The trick will be finding people to climb with, now that the course is done.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This evening I went to the gym for some climbing. I started easy enough, with 5.5, went to 5.6, and then did several 5.7’s. I even did a 5.7+. One 5.7 that I completed had a slight overhang. This was the first time I’ve ever completed an overhang climb!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-six

Total miles: 53491. Trip miles: 371.7. Gallons: 8.089. Price per gallon: $3.699.

Screen mileage: 49.1 mpg. Tank mileage: 46.0 mpg.

Mix of longer drives and short commutes. Starting to warm up.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


I took my first lesson in outdoor rock climbing this weekend. There was a ton of information to absorb! But I’m on my way.

rattlesnake rocks the overlook

rattlesnake rocks the overlook
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

Went climbing at Rattlesnake Rocks in Blue Hills Reservation today. Climbed The Overlook a couple of times. You can see the ropes going up, near the bottom of the photo. It's a 5.3. I made it harder by going up to the left the first time, instead of the right which has a nice big crack to stand on.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

joined the gym

Today I went climbing indoors for 1.5 hours, a mix of bouldering and regular climbing.

I got a gym membership for 3 months. It probably won’t be worth it to keep the membership long-term, but there was a deal going so I took advantage of it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-five

Total miles: 53119. Trip miles: 273.8. Gallons: 5.833. Price per gallon: $3.559.

Screen mileage: 46.1 mpg. Tank mileage: 46.9 mpg.

Mostly short commutes.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-four

Total miles: 52845. Trip miles: 264.8. Gallons: 5.979. Price per gallon: $3.459.

Screen mileage: 50.3 mpg. Tank mileage: 44.3 mpg.

Long drive in rain.

Tank one hundred and fifty-three

Total miles: 52580. Trip miles: 245.5. Gallons: 4.687. Price per gallon: $3.759.

Screen mileage: 56.4 mpg. Tank mileage: 52.4 mpg.

Long drive.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-two

Total miles: 52335. Trip miles: 363.1. Gallons: 7.444. Price per gallon: $3.799.

Screen mileage: 47.9 mpg. Tank mileage: 48.8 mpg.

Mixed: shorter commutes and a long drive.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

two pots

two pots
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

Chinese ceramics in the Asian Wing, second floor of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, today.

compassion bodhisattva

compassion bodhisattva
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

Compassion bodhisattva (guanyin), about A.D. 580, in the 2nd floor Asian Wing at Museum of Fine Arts, today. Nice!

Calder courtyard

Calder courtyard
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

View of the Calder Courtyard at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this morning. After a night of snow.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

no more lessons!

Oh no, it turns out the rink is closing for the season next week. That means my last lesson of the season was today. I'm totally bummed.

My instructor encouraged me to try some crossovers, and I pulled off a few very awkward ones. She also got me to do a move which turned out to be easier than it looks, I think it's called a 3 turn on two feet. You start with a forward swizzle, and then twist around while moving into a backward swizzle. Whew! Exciting! I wish I had more time to practice.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

been a while

I've been learning to ice skate since November, so rock climbing has taken a back seat. I've only been rock climbing about 4 times over the past 4 months.

Today I got started again. It was a bad day to go. For some reason (is it spring break already?) the place was crowded, even though it was the middle of the day. So I left in under an hour.

I climbed a 5.4, 5.5, and a vertical that was labeled 5.10 (I think it must be mislabeled). Also, I got 3/4 of the way up the overhang, which is better than I've done before. That's a surprising improvement. It may have helped that I've begun using a chin up bar at home during my weight workouts.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty-one

Total miles: 51972. Trip miles: 346.8. Gallons: 7.465. Price per gallon: $3.119.

Screen mileage: 51.5 mpg. Tank mileage: 46.5 mpg.

Long trip.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tank one hundred and fifty

Total miles: 51625. Trip miles: 226.0. Gallons: 4.707. Price per gallon: $3.139.

Screen mileage: 47.0 mpg. Tank mileage: 48.0 mpg.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

3 hours of skiing

I went skiing for 3 hours at Wachusett today. I didn’t stay longer because I wasn’t well rested, and started to feel tired by noon. Probably would have been better not to go ice skating the day before.

I started around 9 am with Ralph’s Run, a blue trail. At first everything went perfectly! I was carving some beautiful turns and the trail felt great. Then I noticed it began to get a little bit icy. Not solid ice, but there were sections where the powder was wearing thin.

So I went over to the green trails, Indian Summer and Sundowner (my photo was taken at the top of Sundowner). Sundowner has hills which make it a little tough to practice turns, so I mostly went down Indian Summer. The only problem with this area is that the lift is slow. It’s a nice ride though, and gives you time to rest. The snow conditions were better here, but the trail is pretty short, unfortunately.

I also took a few trips down Conifer, another blue trail. This has some sections which are slightly steeper than Ralph’s Run, and in addition it had more scrape-y icy spots. I wound up on my butt more than once!

For my last run I went down Challenger, and somehow managed to invade a “NASTAR” training race. Oops! I wasn’t the only one who was confused, so I didn’t feel too bad. This area was getting icy too so I decided enough was enough, and turned in early.

Nice thing about Wachusett, if you leave before 12:30 you are refunded $10. It seemed wise to leave and get the discount, since my form was getting progressively worse as I got more tired and the conditions were clearly not getting any better.

I think my skiing technique has continued to improve. Lito Tejada-Flores' video is a really big help, especially if I watch it the night before a ski trip. Also, it feels like my ice skating work has helped my skiing technique – the pumping motion is similar, and my balance is better.

I need more practice. I also think I need to get more specific advice about how to deal with icy conditions, since I encounter them too often.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I want to ski the black diamonds

I’ve been skiing for about 20 years, but just a few times a year, and not every year.

I’m still not very comfortable on skis. I can ski down blue and green slopes but the reds and blacks are pretty much off limits. (Of course it’s all relative; I have skied down some black slopes on very small mountains.)

Tomorrow I’m doing a little skiing. So tonight I’m pulling out Lito Tejada-Flores' video “Breakthrough on Skis”. Watching this helped me improve in the past. Hopefully it will be help tomorrow.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

amazing roast chicken

amazing roast chicken
Originally uploaded by wereldmuis.

I decided to roast a chicken this weekend.

This chicken was about 4.5 lbs. It was tough deciding to get a whole chicken. That's a lot of meat. I will freeze a lot of it.

Since I don't know how to roast a chicken, and my recipe books were somewhat lacking, I searched online and found this Whole Foods recipe. I completely modified it since I didn't have rosemary, lemon, or wine at hand. I didn't add the chicken broth until after 30 minutes, when it seemed clear it would be needed (I was afraid it would be soggy).

The hardest part was deciding when it was done, since I don't have an oven thermometer. I don't like dry chicken, but was afraid to undercook it. Total time in the oven was about 2.5 hours, at which point I cut open a leg to see if it was still bloody. It seemed to have cooked through, so I turned off the oven then.

Now I'm just waiting for it to cool down enough to try it. It looks really really good.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tank one hundred and forty-nine

Total miles: 51399. Trip miles: 119.4. Gallons: 3.733. Price per gallon: $3.159.

Screen mileage: 39.9 mpg. Tank mileage: 32.0 mpg.

More snow. Terrible mileage!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

January 2011 - Pattern Recognition

I found it kind of hard to get into William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. Page after initial page is spent discussing branding and marketing (in the personal context of the lead character), topics that don’t grab my interest, except in a dry theoretical kind of way.

Despite that, at some point I got drawn into the more enjoyable, central mystery. It’s not a life altering book, but interesting enough to make me want to go back and re-read some of Gibson’s earlier stuff, which I found less accessible at the time.

Friday, January 28, 2011

progress ice skating

I’ve been taking lessons once a week, almost every week, since November.

There’s definitely a big improvement. But I need more time practicing. I’ve managed to get to the rink only a couple of extra times during the week for practice, so far.

I tried another practice session this evening. I do believe that Friday is the worst possible day to go. There were about 3 adults on the ice, and 50 kids. The kids were even more hyper and erratic than usual, flying around as if propelled by the paddles in a pinball machine, and I nearly got tipped over twice. I am never skating on Friday night again!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tank one hundred and forty-eight

Total miles: 51279. Trip miles: 241. Gallons: 6.083. Price per gallon: $3.159.

Screen mileage: 39.8 mpg. Tank mileage: 39.7 mpg.

Lots of driving in the snow kills your mileage.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I went snowboarding for the first time last weekend. It was great! The snow conditions were just about perfect. I'll definitely be trying this again.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tank one hundred and forty-seven

Total miles: 51038. Trip miles: 273.6. Gallons: 5.732. Price per gallon: $3.129.

Screen mileage: 47.0 mpg. Tank mileage: 47.7 mpg.

Long drive in the cold, plus some short trips.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Tank one hundred and forty-six

Total miles: 50764. Trip miles: 397.3. Gallons: 8.830. Price per gallon: $3.059.

Screen mileage: 49.1 mpg. Tank mileage: 45.0 mpg.

Long drive in the cold, plus some short trips.