Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kid Wash

I saw something pretty cool on the web last week: a kid wash. You might ask yourself what that is. Well, here it is:

I found the instructions to build it here. It didn't look very hard to make, so I decided to do it. I went over to Lowes and bought all of the parts and put it together. It took me about an hour, which included another trip to Lowes to make a minor modification. It's just some PVC pipe put together with some misters attached to it.

It turned out really cool, and the kids loved it. It's actually quite nice because the kids can run through and have lots of fun, and even if you don't want to get really wet, you can run through it, and because it's a mist, it doesn't get you that wet.

The modification that I made was at the base of the Kid Wash. The instructions say to use a normal T piece to attach it to the base. However, I decided to use a threaded T to attach the top part to the two "feet" so that I could remove them for easier storage. I am very glad I did, because it detaches and becomes very compact.

Even Nathan liked it as you can see in this video:

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We thought it was so nice that we decided to put some misters around our deck in the backyard. So yesterday, I went and bought some 1/2" black poly tubing and put it up. I don't have any pictures, but it works very nicely and adds a nice touch to the backyard. Now we just need to have someone over to help enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Treeing a bear

While we were up at the cabin last week, one morning some guys came to the door and asked if they could go up above the cabin because their hunting dogs had treed a bear. After we consented, they asked if we wanted to come with them to see it. I shot off the couch (Stacey was talking to them at the door), and ran upstairs to get dressed.

When we got up there (it was about 200 yards up the hill above the cabin), the bear was just laying down in the tree, not too concerned about the dogs or humans. It was a female weighing about 150 lbs. There were 12 dogs at the base of the tree just barking and going crazy. It was so cool to see. Here are a few pictures of the bear and dogs.

It really wasn't scary at all being that close to the bear, though it wouldn't be the same if there weren't 12 dogs right around me barking and really to pounce the bear.

Right now, they can't hunt bears, it's not bear hunting season yet. They just tree the bear to train the dogs. The hunters said that sometimes a bear can run for over 30 miles before it finally climbs a tree, so their dogs have to be in excellent shape to be able to run for a very long distance through the woods. They release the dogs in the morning and let the pack go and find a bear. Then they pull the dogs off and the bear runs away.

I was thinking that we would have to be 50+ feet away before the bear would come out of the tree, but we were only 10-15 feet away from it when the bear starting climbing (very quickly, I might add) out of the tree. Because I wasn't prepared, I was only able to capture this short video of it.

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We told the hunters that if they treed another bear nearby to let us know because there were more people coming up later in the week. Well, Saturday morning, they knocked on the door again and told us they had another bear. This one was a male, a little bit larger, and seemed far more aggressive than the first one. Here are some pictures of this one.

While I was taking pictures, the batteries on my camera died, so I saved whatever battery juice I had left for the bear coming down the tree (I was going to be ready this time). However, I only got 3 seconds of it before my camera died again.

Here's a decent video of the bear up in the tree:

And here's the 3-second clip of it starting to come down the tree:

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This bear was quite upset that he was up in the tree. A few times, I walked closer to the tree to get a better shot. Every time I did, the bear stood up, looked right at me, and kind of arched his back. It was quite unnerving, so I slowly walked away from the tree.

It was quite an experience to see the wild bears so closely, I just hope I never see one without a pack of hunting dogs by my side.

You can see all of the pictures from our cabin trip here.

Cabin Trip

We just returned a few days ago from our annual trip to the cabin.

We sure do have lots of fun up there with Stacey's family. Here are some pictures of a few of the activities that we do up there. The kids love to hang out with their cousins.

Aaron's favorite is riding the ATVs.

There are two tire swings that keep the kids busy.

And what would Aaron do if he couldn't hit things with sticks?

We took a day trip to Flaming Gorge, which the kids loved.

Kaylee really liked being primped by cousins and friends.

Stacey does a fabulous job of taking crafts for the kids to make and enjoy.

The women do each others hair. Stacey didn't last too long in this style before she had to take it out - it was hurting her head.

Aunt Sandi brought up a pinata full of candy. The kids scored big time on that one.

The kids also love night time stories from Grandpa.

And everyone loved holding Nathan, and Nathan loved all the attention.

One of the most exciting events happened not one, but two mornings. Up there, it is now bear treeing season, and we were able to go with the hunters up to a treed bear. I got plenty of pictures, but I'll make another blog entry with the details of that.

I have more pictures of the vacation at the cabin here. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Awesome Swim!

Today after work, I went swimming. I decided that I was going to swim as long as I could up to a maximum of 1000 meters (which is how long the leg in the triathlon will be). Anyway, I started off and was feeling very good, so I just kept going. I ended up doing the full 1000 meters without even stopping. I looked at the clock and it was 22:15. That is much faster than what I would have expected. I was very happy that I was able to do the full 1000 without stopping to rest. Very nice workout. After I finished the 1000 meters, I did a couple sprints (more like kind-of fast swims for me), then finished my workout.

I also ordered a new triathlon bike last night. I didn't think I was going to be able to afford one until next year, but after a huge project at work, I got about 30+ hours of overtime. So I was able to get one earlier than I planned. Anyway, I got a Motobecane 2008 Nemesis. This bike has a no-name frame, but the reviews of it were very positive. The components on it, however, are very good quality, so I think it will serve my needs just fine. I am very excited to get it and start training on it. I have greatly improved my speed since I got clipless pedals and biking shoes, and had my bike tuned up and the wheels trued. However, I can't seem to feel like the bike is holding me back. We'll see how it goes with it. By the way, the guy that tuned my bike did an excellent job and only charged me $25! That is an awesome price. Here's his website if anyone needs great bicycle work done and a very good price.