Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hard Work - April 20

Well I was getting a little discouraged with the job hunting so I decided to browse Craigslist for some temporary work. I found one posting wanting help moving a dishwasher, another for a SCUBA technician to remove weeds from Lake Minnetonka, and a third for buck brush removal. A phone call later I was signed up to remove the noxious invasive tree. After seeing the space where he wanted it torn out from, I thought alright a few hours right? Three hours and one broken shovel later I'd barely gotten through a third of it. I realized it was going to take longer than I thought and with the sun setting I called it a day. Next morning I started bright and early at sunrise but six hours later I was bushed and now only half way through (I hadn't figured on the time to cut and bundle it all). So I've realized that manual work is hard and the pay isn't so good (at least for this job anyway). On the bright side, this has turned into a really good motivator for job hunting! -J

Red Bull Flugtag!

Back in May I found out that the Red Bull Flugtag event is coming to the Twin Cities on July 24, 2010. Shortly afterward, a good friend of mine asked if I was interested since he was putting together a team so I jumped at the chance. What is Red Bull Flugtag you ask? Basically it is an event where teams of up to 5 people propel a human powered craft from a platform 30 feet above the river in an effort to a) go for the furthest distance or b) plummet spectacularly earthward. We're not sure which we'll end up doing but it ought to be fun!

If you want to get a better idea of what Flugtag is all about, just do a YouTube search. Here's one example: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeIjasoOiBY&feature=related

Well actually we haven't been accepted yet. There is an application process where you submit your idea for the craft, an outline of a brief skit, and any other information you think might impress the judges. We submitted three concepts with the hope that at least one will be selected. We'd been keeping our ideas under wraps but now that the application deadline is passed I thought it would be safe to share them. In case any of you are on the judging panel, you'll know which ones to vote for. I think we find out in May whether or not we made the cut. If we did, I'll let you know so you can come watch the spectacle. -J

Broomball and Couches in Iowa - April 16-18

Last weekend we took a road trip to Des Moines, Iowa for a broomball tournament. The team was a combination of people with a good majority made up of Barons (Jason's men's team). Megan played with us too even though it was a men's division. We won our two pool play games and the semi final game on Saturday. The final on Sunday was a rematch against the Whiskey Sticks, a team from Rochester put together by another Baron. It turned out to be a fast paced, high scoring thriller that ended 5-4. We had successfully defended our title from last year.

The other highlight from the weekend was our foray into CouchSurfing. Basically it is an online community that connects you with people who are willing to let you crash on their couch. We met Nathan and Erica who hosted us for three days. On Friday, we took a canoe down the North River which turned into a grand adventure! Plenty of wildlife including eagles, owls, floating muskrats, geese, ducks, deer, and a mink. But the memories mostly came from dumped canoes. The first was a failed attempt to sneak under a log. Luckily the water was only waist deep so it was easy to empty the canoe afterward. The second was due to an overzealous landing which resulted in a thorough drenching of another paddler. Besides the paddle, we also enjoyed chatting and a potluck with other couch surfers. It was a great first experience with Couch Surfing. -J

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spring Paddling - March/April

When I'm not looking for a job I've been trying to get out paddling as much as I can. Here are a few videos of places I've been this spring. Most of them have suitable background music so be sure to turn your volume down or mute it if you're at the library! If you're not, crank it up.

This first one is of the Vermillion River in Hastings, MN. It is a 1/2 mile run that you can do the shuttle by foot. It has a few drops, holes, waves and is generally considered a "play" run. Brian Z shot this video on one of the early runs in the season.

Here is a video Nora shot of Donut, one of the spots to play on the Vermillion River. Other boaters are Paul and myself.

The other exciting event this spring has been my first decent of the lower St. Louis River. Here are two videos with different perspectives (helmet cam by Brian Z vs. stationary camera by Dan F). Don't bother watching for me but they give you an idea of the river. Swinging Bridge Falls is really cool because the second drop puts you in a "room" with waterfalls on three sides.