Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It Never Gets Old

I still enjoy my morning walks to campus.  Over 1 mile to the office and the same distance back to my car.

The walk usually doesn't take me long in time, but I can't help but stop to admire my surroundings and take photos.

The view outside my window greets me in the mornings.  It doesn't get old.  My co-worker said it's my first winter and "just you wait". ;-)  He has a point.  This winter has been very mild and had mercy on us since it's our first winter season in Reno.

Look at the mountain...covered in snow and low clouds.

It feels like Christmas again. :)  Hopefully the snow sticks around so we can go snow shoeing and Nordic skiing.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Reno Snow Showers Bring May Flowers

We woke up to another winter wonderland. I think the snow fall is the heaviest yet this year.

John drove me to work which gave me the opportunity to look around in awe and take photos.

Snow makes me feel like a little kid...I don't know why.

But it's all work and no play for me today.  John had all the fun shoveling snow off our driveway and sidewalk (he really did enjoy it, lol.)

Sometimes the snow causes school delays but not this morning. The kids were all taking advantage of the fresh powder while waiting for the bus.

Maybe I'll get to walk part of the way home before John picks me up.  I'd really like to see the campus in a blanket of snow.  It is still sprinkling down as I write this.  Perhaps we'll get several feet!

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Who's Really the Smart Cat?

Havi, our calico cat is really smart.  She figured out this Go Cat Go Play-N-Treat toy.  Although it is challenging, she's diligent about playing with her new toy because it rewards her by dispensing treats that I've placed inside.  Now, instead of being handed treats after meowing and begging me in the kitchen she plays and works for her reward.

Our other cat, Elgy, who is sitting motionless in the background of the video could not care less about playing for treats (so I secretly hand her snacks on the side without Havi seeing).  Otherwise Elgy would never get to a share of the goodies.

Wait a minute.  Who is really the smart cat here?

At the end of the video, it looks like Elgy gave Havi a dirty look? Blinking and then looking away like she's too smart too fall for the toy?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week in Review

During the week, I jog during lunch. Trying to build my speed and endurance to hopefully compete in a series of duathlons. The first one is in June. On weekdays I usually run on the treadmill but on Friday, I ran through a nearby park instead. It's amazing how much time flies and miles go by when you're distracted by the outdoors!

At least someone enjoyed the snow and built a snowman...and his pet. A groundhog?? Behind the sculptures is the parking garage where I use to park.

John got a new time trail bike. It will be put to good use in several weeks.

Elgy is done with her medications and no longer has bladder issues...but she's been vomiting the past couple of days, several times per episode. When she's not sleeping, like she is here on my lap, she dry heaves after all the food is gone from her stomach. John and I get up several times in the middle of the night and early mornings to clean up after her. We're thinking she either has a hairball or the wet food we started giving her didn't agree with her stomach. So we're stopping the wet food and she's on hairball remedy. If she doesn't improve by Monday, we'll have to take her back to the vet.
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Walking In A Winter Wonderland

When we came back from John's race in Folsom, CA, the sky was clear, sunny, and blue the next day.

We took advantage of the gorgeous day and rode our bikes together making a loop around Damonte Ranch.  It's a newer and popular neighborhood in Reno with plenty of walking and bike paths. The area is on the opposite side of the foothills in south Reno and terrain is rather flat with beautiful meadows and sometimes you can spot wild horses!  John would like to live there but I prefer the older neighborhoods and greener foothills where we live.

After our ride we grabbed lunch at The Rubicon Deli near downtown Reno.  I had a cup of homemade barley and mushroom soup and half a pastrami sandwich.  John ordered the Rubicon Special; it was large enough to feed two people!  We recommend this place -- they're sandwiches (and soup) was awesome and breads are made on location.

Then mid-week, we woke up to a white blanket of SNOW!!  It made for a very nice walk through campus to the office.  Without the proper shoes and to avoid being late to work, I had to resist from running around in the fresh powder!  It was bad enough that I kept stopping along the way to take photos, LOL.

The snow didn't stick around long however. By the afternoon, the roads were clear and since that day, there has been no more snowfall. Most of it has melted off and we are back to clear, sunny days again.  It was fun while it lasted.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Season Kickoff with the 2012 Folsom Criterium

Saturday was the kickoff for John's road bike racing season with a strong start at the Folsom Criterium. Since the race venue was just two hours away, we drove down early Saturday morning to Folsom, CA.

I think he felt pretty good that day because he was off the front a few times.
Then it was a sprint to the finish and John came in second in the Men's Cat 4 right after his teammate, Mike, who took first place in that race in a field of almost 70 riders.

After that there was one more race in the Men's Cat 3/4 and Masters 35+, this time with several more of his teammates.  It was a fast loop, equally exciting to watch as it would be to compete.  When it was all said and done, John finished 4th place after slowing down to avoid a crash between to other riders. Not bad considering there were 85 riders competing for the podium. John always says the best part about racing is when it's over. That's when the stress is gone and you realize how much fun it was.

Afterwards we went to eat at a place called Dos Coyotes which is in a little shopping mall right next to the race location.

There are more photos of the 2012 Folsom Criterium Bike Race on my Picasa Web Album. I have videos of the finish I hope to upload soon.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Lucky Day

When was a little girl I use to sit in a field of grass near our house picking through the cluster of clovers in hopes of spotting a lucky four leaf clover. Today must be my day.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Latest Grub

Since changing our diet to plant-based foods, we seldom have the chance to eat out (I call our meals "the five Ss" but I'll have to share the details in another post). Once in a while it is nice to give the kitchen a break so we have ventured into a few more new-to-us places.
One morning John and I stopped at My Favorite Muffin and Bagel CafĂ© near downtown Reno for a cup of coffee and, of course, we tried a couple of their muffins. I had not known the restaurant was a franchise but there are locations in several states, three of them in Reno/Sparks. The muffins come in 20 varieties in jumbo and mini-sizes and are made with egg whites and soybean oil but yet still cake-like, moist, and soOOoo good!! I ate the banana, walnut, semi-sweet chocolate muffin before I could take a photo, LOL.  They also have bagels (made from scratch), all sorts of sandwiches, signature salads, and smoothies (check out their menu:

my seafood soup
Photo source: Miguel's

We also went to a Mexican restaurant on Virginia Street named Miguel's. The restaurant looks small from the outside but there are plenty of seats inside (but they filled up quickly after we sat down). Our seats were right by the middle window with a perfect view of the bar, the rest of the restaurant, and out onto the street (you really should visit their website for photos of the interior: For dinner, I had the Siete Mares (clear broth seafood soup with shrimp, bay octopus, crab, clams, scallop, fish, and fresh squash and carrots). Yum-yum!!

Then we went to Eclipse Pizza Co. (another very cute place) for pizza.  Check out the photos on their site: and definitely the menu.  As stated on the website's homepage, the 'restaurant epitomizes their passion for rigorous activities rewarded with a good pizza, fresh salad, and cold beer served in a casual and friendly setting.' The intimate setting, casual atmosphere, and uber-friendly staff definitely made us feel comfortable and right at home! I'm sure all of the locals know about this place and I need not say more.

Random photo of the sky from the UNR campus
Finally one of the coffee shops John and I stopped at during one of our bike rides was The Hub Coffee Co ( on 32 Cheney St. off of Virginia. Really cute coffee shop but super tiny (there's outside seating which was where we sat because inside, I think the max capacity might have been...8...maybe 10, and the shop was full.) One walls of the shop is a see-through garage door which I assume opens up during the summer so I thought that was neat).

[Beginning of my tangent...] I wish I had taken photos to share but I must admit, I felt awkward when we walked in.  And maybe that was because everyone seemed to stare at us...because we were in cycling "spandex", meaning the jersey (the shirt) and shorts.  I think it's necessary to wear fitted clothing when cycling, not only for a) comfort but many reasons including b) aerodynamics (besides, how annoying would it be if your clothing were to flap around while riding like a flag in a hurricane?) and c) safety (so your clothing doesn't get caught on the handlebars or seat when you get on and off the bike--which could cause you to crash on the pavement, perhaps in front of the path of a moving truck or SUV). That reminds me...don't football players also wear "spandex" and a jersey (not to mention in other sports like baseball and wrestling)? Imagine that!  Manly professional football players wearing tight-ass spandex, LOL!! But no one finds that funny. [Ending of my tangent.]

The barista (who may have been the owner) was very nice though.  John enjoyed this cappuccino after a ride with his friend and he turned the coffee art into his own.  What do you see?

There are a lot of cute coffee shops in Reno and they're all unique (I think) in their own way.  Our favorite is still Swill Coffee and Wine.

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Feline Dysuria

I took Elgy to the vet this morning. She was having trouble urinating and when she did, it was only a few drops. She doesn't cry or appear to strain when she's using the litter box. John and I noticed her squatting on dirty laundry and at the bottom step of their kitty jungle (I suppose that's how she tells us something is wrong is to show us in plain sight).

She'll be at the vet for most of today until her bladder is full enough to get a sample. It could be an infection, it could be crystals or a stone blocking the least I hope it's nothing major.
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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Hello, Endurance - Are You There?

Last year I rode 520 miles on my bike in the month of January alone. I didn't realize how many miles that was until I looked at the 74 miles I logged this January. If it weren't for the group ride with the Procrastinating Pedalers on New Year's Day and Saturday rides with my husband, it would have looked like I hung up my bike for good.

It's true I haven't gone cycling that much...and even when I do, it's a struggle to cover as many miles as I use to be able to. This past Saturday I started my ride with John before we parted ways so he could start his training set. Then I would head towards home, knowing I could make it only 15 miles or so. Wherever my endurance went, I don't know. Could riding at a higher elevation me that much (we were at about 2,200 feet of elevation in Vegas but are at about 4,500 feet here)?

If I'm going to break my cycling mileage record for last year, I have a lot of catching up to do! On the bright side, the year is still young so I'm not writing myself off just yet.

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Friday, February 03, 2012

By the Campfire

Come closer...and let me tell you a scary little ghost story.
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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Morning Walk

I traded in my $400 annual parking pass to garage my car a little further off campus and either walk or ride a shuttle to the grounds. Or when the weather warms up, I would also have the option to ride my bicycle from home.
I've paid more for parking in the past so the cost wasn't my primary motivation for giving up the privilege of parking on campus. It's just that I drive to work and leave my car parked in the garage all day until it's time to go home. The convenience of having a vehicle close by doesn't really matter to me so why not park a little further away and take a 10-minute stress free stroll during my morning commute?

If I don't feel like walking or the weather is not ideal for walking, I can always catch the free shuttle that loops around campus through downtown Reno at every 10 - 15 minute interval. Still I get dropped off or picked up right next to the parking structure or the office building where I work.

I figured that each round trip walk is about 1.5 miles so I could cover 32.625 miles in a month or almost 395 miles per year just by walking that little bit to and from the office!

Of course, I have a great bag to carry all of the items I need for the day--my lunch, my laptop, notebook, papers, and clothing for the gym.

So I have all I need with me and I get to enjoy the fresh air and morning sunshine while walking to campus...and the afternoon leisurely walk at the end of the day to look forward to. I think this is going to work out just great!
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