2010: Go Fly a Kite

Sun Jan 2, 2011 10:07:55 am by Dustin
Filed under Fun, General, Health, Household, a little about life

2010 was not my favorite ever. I said 2009 was ‘meh’. 2010 was just not always fun. I will spare you the detail, but there were some fun parts too: being in two weddings for instance.

I thought I would assess how I did on my goals from last year and see where life is going.

  • Gain 23 pounds – Well I actually lost three pounds, but gaining the weight was not really my goal. I seriously feel I eat better and exercise regularly now. I have been eating out less and choosing what I actually eat much better. I still bike commute (even in the cold December rain), take longer rides on weekends, and started lifting weights. Progress.
  • Net Worth – I tried to increase my net worth by 126% or something like that. It was a weird number because it actually represented a major milestone. Six months ago, I said this was going to be a challenge to actually meet. Well, some serious cost cutting and readjustments made it possible to get to 147%. I hit my goal in late October. I will call this a win.
  • Do Not Buy a House – A win.

I guess I will call the year the goals basically achieved. That is enough looking back. Let us see where we are going. I think I will go into more detail than I have in the past too.

  • Health
    • Run – After ten years of not running, I want to start again. This is actually a big deal since my running career in high school ended so poorly. I love running, but it has taken me this long to get over it. I do not have a plan for tacking this goal yet, but it will happen.
    • Gain 15 Pounds – Yes, much different than last year’s 23 pounds. The thought here is still eat better and exercise but I would like to take that to the next level to place something tangible behind the exercise part. Like running the ‘how’ will be determined over the next couple days. Mostly it will come down to running, biking, lifting weights, and eating better.
  • Household
    • Buy a Car – This has been my desire for a couple years now. I think in June I will be ready to pull that trigger. On a plus side, I will probably get a bigger car to help haul peoples and gear to the various activities I want to do.
    • Buy a Home? – Yep still in the air. Last year, I wanted to wait to save for a down payment and get those prices down. I have been doing some casual research over the last couple months. There are a lot of options out there in the area I am looking. In the event I do not get a home, I will probably migrate the down payment into paying down student loans. Time will tell here.
  • Activities
    • Climb Two Mountains – I am thinking Mt. St. Helens and South Sister. Both of these are basically day hikes to the summit. Good starter mountains.
    • Go XC Skiing – Never been. Sounds fun. I actually have a trip planned for a couple weeks. Checking off should come soon.
    • Build a Snow Cave – Alright, I plan to sleep in it too. I need some warmer clothes.
    • Race a Half Marathon – I have always wanted to run a marathon but am not in shape to do it. For this year, I plan to exercise enough that I could run a half marathon (13.1 miles). This will be my longest race ever, and for all those who know how I run, I will not be running just to finish.
    • Ride a Century – That means ride my bike 100 miles in a day. The most I have ever done was about 60. This does not need to be one of those organized 100 mile tours, but just a couple of peoples going on a really long ride.
    • Summer Backpacking – My snow cave adventure in a couple weeks will first real backpacking (and snowshoeing). I would like to do a longer (in distance and overnights) this summer.

I kept a couple things off the list (work, financial, etc) as this is not my official list, but it should keep me busy. Maybe if you are lucky, I will actually take the time to post updates throughout the year. Anybody want to join on any of the adventures?

Vancouver, You Have Been A Living Hell To Me

Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:04:50 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Fun, General, Household, a little about life

In October 2006, I moved to this country’s mediocre city of Vancouver, WA. To this day, I still tell people when asked how I like it – “It is a nice place to sleep”. Until this last October, I had a great 1.5 mile commute to work, so living there made some sense. I never really liked it though.

This past weekend, that all changed. I am now (half) living in Portland again. Thus far, it rocks. My commute this morning as a three mile bike ride down hill into the city. Not a bad way to start summer.

My goal for the weekend was to move my day-to-day things, making sure I could begin living at the new place by the end of the weekend. Strong friends were busy this weekend, so, at times, that seemed like a challenge. After seven car loads and no truck, we got it. I am now living at the new place minus my bed, couch, dining table, and desk.

Planning a move around a holiday is less than ideal. Tomorrow I leave for Wisconsin.

One Hundred Five Days

Sun Jun 6, 2010 7:30:48 pm by Dustin
Filed under Fun, General, Health, Household, a little about life

The experiment is over. When I started biking to work, I actually stopped driving. Today marks the 105th day. Zero car for more than three months. Not to work, play, or even groceries. Impressive – maybe; ridiculous – definitely.

Now I have mooched off a couple people from time-to-time to avoid riding home at 4:00 a.m. or the monsoon that was May in PDX. I, like most people, am far from perfect.

The car took a couple cranks today, but mostly had no issues starting. For a 14 years old, this car is lasting quite nicely. GM might take note of how it used to make cars.

How did I celebrate my re-entry into the car world? Apartment hunting, purchasing bike parts (ironical), sitting in traffic (woohoo), and grocery shopping. (For all those would be no-car-peoples out there, grocery shopping is a pain without a car.)

No, I am not going to now stop biking. I will be riding to work tomorrow – rain or shine. Pattern continues. I will probably only drive to errands.

I actually have not felt this great, physically, in years. About seven years. Exercise rocks. With exercise comes, eating to keep up. For those of you who thought I ate a ton before, now I eat double that, making grocery shopping even that much harder.

Hopefully, I will be moving to PDX at the end of this month.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:33:14 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Fun, General, Health, Household, a little about life

There are a few events in life which stop you in your tracks. Literally. The Packers winning the Super Duper Bowl. Hearing one of your best friends is no longer around. Your big sissy calling saying she is engaged.

I had just a moment a couple weeks back. This time a song caused it. When it came on my Pandora station, I literally stopped working and could not focus again for about a half hour. Since this day, I have had the song on repeat.

The song: Where have I been all my Life from George Strait.

You can listen below:

God bless.

John Ross Building Tour

Sun Apr 4, 2010 11:28:53 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Finance, Fun, General, Household, a little about life

Yesterday, Jason and I traveled over to the John Ross building for an information session about its upcoming auction. For all of you who are wondering, wow, this is a nice building.

Going into the day, I was still leaning toward actually attending the auction. Yes, yes, I know I said I would not buy a house this year. Looking at the possible purchase prices of some of these units, I was curious enough to get more information.

The building was open to the public, so we went through about a dozen units. I found two units I was really, really, really interested in 1618 and 2018. Both are the same floor plan – one bed, bath, and study – facing Southwest.

I spoke with two realtors while traversing the building. One basically told me I would be an idiot to not – at my age – buy one of the units. The other thought anybody who bought was an idiot since purchase prices were expected to be 60% of the minimum auction price. This person also told me unit 1218 – same floor plan as I liked – was a short sale she was trying to sell. The most recent offer on that until was $215k, putting it at ~40% increase.

Those purchase prices plus huge taxes and larger HOA convinced me to not buy – again. Although it is a lovely place in an area of town that is most likely going to boom, I still should not buy.