8/13/14

Driving, pedaling, socializing, and moving through August...

August is here and moving right along to close out our vacation months.

Speaking of moving, last week we took Alexa and all of her STUFF in a 14' truck to Iowa City for apartment move in day with her roomates.  Last year she was mortified that I rented a 5'8' U-Haul trailer to pull behind the Element with her stuff.  This year, thanks to having purchased a used sectional couch that is HUGE, she suggested we upgrade to a truck...

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We got back from that and I was scheduled to spend two evenings in what the Iowa Department of Transportation calls a Driver Improvement Program.  I did.  And I completed the program.  Now I have to be without a moving violation for 1 year.  The 3 violations that got me into the program to begin with were turning right on a red where it was not allowed up in the Twin Cities; 35 in a 30 in Indianola; and 64 in a 60 on the way to Des Moines from Indianola.  The class was actually rather interesting using an approach of behavioral psychology.  Time will tell if I am able to reign in my temperament - or understand it enough - to alter my behavior of those massive speeds I was clocked at going when I got the tickets.  I found myself jealous of others that were in my class with such offenses as drag racing; going 95 mph in a 55 mph zone; drunk driving; etc... .  At least they had some FUN with their infractions compared to my rather mundane violations.  Oh well.  Now I've got to pay attention behind the wheel to avoid getting another ticket - or my license may be suspended.

The weekend came and on Saturday we packed our bags to head down to St. Joseph, Missouri for the Keedy family reunion.  I am adopted, so this side of the family is from my biological mother's side.   The gathering was also to honor one of my uncles, Kurt Keedy, who passed away earlier this year due to complications from Alzheimer's.  Here we are at dinner with my birth mother Nedra (Keedy) and sister Darcy...

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Visiting at dinner on Saturday night, I got some clearer focus and information on the Keedy background.  Pictures were passed around, and it was fun to learn more about the family as we sat with Treva and Balbir (who live in Wichita) and Pat and her husband who lives in Rockford, Illinois.  They had some good memories and information on my great grandfather and mother.  My great grandfather was the minister at the Iowa River Church of the Brethren in Marshalltown, Iowa.  Believe it or not, several of the relatives from this side of my family share the last name of Brown!!!!  Of course, it's not hard to find a Smith, a Brown, or a Jones in the USA.  But we all got a big kick out of that.

Sunday morning we attended a brunch at the Wyeth-Tootle mansion to honor Kurt Keedy.  St. Joseph is an old river town, port to the west town with some beautiful mansions and buildings.  Here's where we had our brunch...

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Everyone shared their fond memories of Kurt, and since I had only met him on one occasion in the summer of 2000 in Breckenridge, CO - I offered some impromptu verses from the hymn How Great Thou Art when Balbir and Sarah (Kurt's daughter) asked me.  We all said our good-byes as some had to get on the road to return home.  We really enjoyed meeting members from the extended family that we had not met before, as well as reconnecting with some we haven't seen since the summer of 2000.

On the way home, hunger struck after the brunch buffet had worn off.  We stopped at Lamoni where I devoured a loose-meat sandwich from Maid-Rite and we goofed around on the outdoor furniture...

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Zack drove us home from Lamoni in the rain.  We got home in time for Alexa to finish packing all of her small items (clothing, electronics, and whatever we had not hauled to Iowa City earlier in the week) so she would be ready to head out Monday morning with me to get all settled in her new apartment.

I drove with Alexa to Iowa City on Monday for the final move-in.  Yes, I managed to drive the speed limit the entire time!  We rented an annual parking spot for her car near her apartment, I hung things on the walls, fixed a couple of broken things in the apartment, got the television hooked up to Mediacom, went grocery shopping, bought her school books, and we ended the day having a nice sushi meal while discussing the news of Robin Williams' passing.  Alexa remained in Iowa City, and I headed home on my own.  It was so nice having her home for the summer vacation from school.  I do miss her already...

Tara and I enjoyed a bike ride and caught a beautiful view of one of the pits at Summeset State Park where the water was very calm in the evening...

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Tuesday had me hit up a group mountain bike ride at Summerset that Jason Dal had organized on Facebook.  It was to begin at 5:30 and when I pulled in the parking lot at 5:25 and saw all of the cars - it was odd that everyone had already headed out except for Jason who was getting his bike ready.  A few more showed up and we headed out for some delicious singletrack.  I ended up doing a pair of hot laps with Jason.  I have to credit Jason for pushing me to ride it at race speed at times as my heart rate jacked up to 179 on a few of the climbs as we traded turns who was leading and only let up to visit a bit on the pavement connector sections.

I had already ridden a lap at Lake Ahquabi in the morning to check the status of the trails, so after 2 laps my legs were telling me enough was enough and any more would just tear me down.  So I hit up the usual apr├ęs ride party in the parking lot while Jason headed out with Ron Cooney, Kevin Betters, and a few others for a 3rd lap.  Checking the profile from my workout, I hit all the numbers and durations I wanted to do for a day that my structured training called for some taper reps in Zone 3 and Zone 5.  I got quite a bit more than was called for, but I will recover for Sunday's race.  It was a fun group gathering which, weather permitting, we really need to do more of here in Central Iowa.  Everyone enjoyed socializing, and the only reason I left when I did was that I had promised to meet Zack for dinner while Tara was enjoying a girl's night out up in Des Moines.

I have a rather long to do list that I need to dive into today, tomorrow, and Friday with regard to work, things at home, the October race, and some IMBCS business for the remaining races this year at George Wyth, Sugarbottom, Summerset, and Lake Ahquabi.  I also need to dive into creating a new syllabus, attend the Iowa State Fair, and paint two more rooms.  Then again, today's weather forecast - according to KCCI - is for a nearly perfect day.

That could mean some golf...

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