Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday's dinner

I made a delectable meal for us from my new cookbook - thanks to Cait & Kenny for the gift! Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry. Yum!


Meg is awesome - she sent me a growing lobster!!!

About a week ago, I was cycling northeast along the coast of Maine with Jason & Sydney. We stopped at a pottery shop near Winter Harbor to take a break. We walked inside to see what was going on, and had also asked if we could fill our water bottles. A woman by the name of Meg was working - we chatted with her for a while about cycling, traveling, and pottery.

After we left, Jason proposed inviting Meg to dinner - she was the second person our age that we had seen in rural Maine. The 18 - 35 year old contingent doesn't exist; we only found blue hair or peckerwoods. Sensing that she may want to hang out with peers, Sydney went inside to invite Meg to dinner. She accepted, so we met up with her for pizza (and later) for beers.

Meg: Thank you!! If & when you're in Milwaukee, you need to stop by for an FNP!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer Thunderstorms

I was out at brunch at Comet Cafe on Sunday. After eating, Ray showed me a gigantic blog of green & red on the weather radar. I jumped on my motorcycle and sped home. When I checked the radar when I arrived, I had made it home just in time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Carbon administration

I submitted a question to the White House weeks ago - I wanted to know how to go about getting a special visa to spread goodwill in Cuba. I have good & bad news - I heard back from President Obama, but I don't think that he read my question...

"Dear Friend:

Thank you for writing to me. I appreciate hearing
from you and value your input.

Each day, I am moved by the messages I have
received from people across the country. Far too many
Americans are struggling--falling behind on mortgage
payments, coping with illness, or losing a job without
warning. My Administration is working to address the
serious challenges our Nation faces. I am committed to
taking immediate steps that generate job creation and
economic recovery, and I am determined to make
investments that lay a new foundation for real and lasting

To build this new foundation, we need health care
reform--this year--that reduces costs, protects health
care choices, and assures quality, affordable care for all
Americans. I encourage you to visit to learn more about my
commitment to enacting comprehensive health care reform
in 2009.

I am also dedicated to building a clean energy
economy that creates millions of jobs, helps us achieve
energy independence, and reduces pollution as we tackle
the effects of global warming. Please visit to read about the more than $60 billion
in clean energy investments my Administration has made to
jump-start our economy and build the jobs of tomorrow.

To prepare our children to thrive in the global
economy, we must guarantee every child a complete and
competitive education. For information about my
education reform agenda, please join me online at:

At the same time, we have an obligation to rein in
our budget deficit by cutting wasteful spending and
ineffective programs. We can do all this, and change the
way business is done in Washington, by building the most
open, transparent, and accountable government in our

While we repair our communities, we must also
recognize the important contributions of our service men
and women in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other nations. Our
military and their families have borne an enormous burden
for their fellow citizens, serving with honor and succeeding
beyond any expectation. For those who have been injured
or lost their lives in pursuit of our freedom, we owe them
our undying gratitude. I am committed to assisting our
servicemembers, veterans, and their families and honoring
our debts to them.

The only way to solve the problems of our time is to
involve all Americans in shaping the policies that affect our
lives. I hope you continue to explore, which is regularly updated and
more interactive than ever before.

Thank you again for writing.

Barack Obama

To be a part of our agenda for change, join us at"

Monday, July 27, 2009


In preparation for this weekend's MS150 bike ride, I've decided to employ a few strategies:
  1. Don't exercise - I need to conserve my calories
  2. Eat as many carbohydrates as possible. Avoid most of the fruits and vegetables that I normally consume.
  3. Eat as much fat as possible. I will be unable to consume 4000+ calories each day. My body will be looking for energy (and rather than consume muscle tissue); I'm hoping to build up some fat deposits.
My first step in fulfilling this plan involves 1- 2 cups of Kopp's custard each evening.

Pledge me!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bigger than oil

Micheal Buckley

I'm starting to see more articles on the water rights that go along with land ownership. Supposedly water will be the next big resource that we figure out is in short supply. I've heard and/or read articles on the following topics over the past 6 months:

Pulling water out of the Great Lakes for in other regions (can't find the article)
Purchases of millions of hectares of land in Africa; for both agriculture & the water supply (Economist)
UW-Milwaukee has launched a new department focused on fresh water sciences at the Great Lakes Water Institute

A gentleman by the name of Michael Buckley created some simple banners that put things in context.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Birthday cake

I spent my birthday at my family's place in rural Wisconsin. Having fun requires a bit more imagination...

Friday, July 03, 2009


Most people would say that mainstream hip hop glamorizes over-consumption, violence, and oppression. It's refreshing to see artists countering that trend, and I find it encouraging that this is becoming more mainstream.

Lupe is dropping a a new album soon - here's a great clip that summarizes Lupe's mission and highlights what has been missing from this sub-culture.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Read it and weep!

My chances for bowel cancer may be the same as yours, but you have a higher probability of getting stomach cancer!

Thursday, June 04, 2009


I usually don't like the jargon of the US government during the Bush era, but I am thankful for our freedom. The Chinese haven't been so fortunate, even to this day. The New York Times put together a great audio slide show on the Tiananmen protests.

Monday, June 01, 2009

An open administration?

I have been talking to Jason & Syd about a cycling holiday this year. We started with some ideas...Maine, Guatemala, Greenland and eventually Cuba popped into my brain. I have sent an email to the White House, inquiring about the possibility of obtaining a visa to visit Cuba. I'm waiting patiently to see if I hear back!


In the spirit of opening relations with Cuba, I would like to blog while cycling across the country. The goals of my proposal are to educate American blog readers about Cuban life and show Cuba that Americans are interested in its culture and people.

The impediment to my trip is our travel ban on Cuba. How do I request a special visa to visit the country for a few weeks?

Thanks for your time.

Jeremy Irwin

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A memorial weekend

Jason, Syd, Pete, and I had our 2nd annual Popple cabin excursion on May 23. The cabin is on the Popple River in northern Wisconsin. The cabin is a rustic one bedroom, no bath, no electricity type of place. It's a perfect escape from our world of mobile phones & computers. As much as I enjoy the conveniences that all of us take for granted, my soul sometimes requires something a bit more natural.

The majority of US citizens have inherent ideas of the elements that make a home. These same elements exist in other homes all over the world, but the context is different. It's interesting to see the context change between Milwaukee & northern Wisconsin, while some parts do not change at all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Breakfast for dinner

As a child, my mom always let my brother & me have breakfast for dinner once per week. We thought it was the coolest thing ever, since breakfast usually consisted of sweet foods. It was also a benefit for my mom, because she didn't have to put much energy (into making dinner) after working all day.

Wednesday night's dinner party was centered around banana macadamia nut pancakes with orange butter. Delectable!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Reviewer Extraordinaire

I've decided it's time for a bit of new music...I was checking out Common's new album when I noticed that one person had rated the album to be 1/5 stars:

I was considering this reviewer to be a complete ignoramus, but then I read his profile:

If there is ever an Amazon-reviewer of the century, this dude(tte) gets my vote.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Treasure along my cycling route

I was out for a bike ride and cycled past a cache of burger king crowns along the side of the road. I came back later in my car to take a few photos. The owner of the property drives his truck across the grass and stops at my side.

He asks "what's going on?"

"I'm taking photos."

"How did these get here?"

"No clue - maybe they blew off of a truck?"


Without saying another word, he drove back to his house.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The more things change, the more they stay the same

The Burmese junta has created more accusations to keep Aung San Suu Kyi detained. The original stipulations of her house arrest (which were fabricated to keep her from gaining power) expire this May.

This is a great example of the lack of UN willingness to correct the situation. Meanwhile the people of Myanmar will suffer while the junta continues to make money from its dealings with China.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Upper Iowa River

I left home around 12:30 to meet up with Pete, Ashley, and Tony. We were headed for a weekend kayaking trip to the northeast corner of Iowa. While driving, everyone must have been getting anxious. We agreed to throw out my 36 mile itinerary in favor of a 53 mile trip. Thanks to my handy Upper Iowa River guidebook, we weren't guessing how long it would take us each day.

When we dropped into the river on Friday night around 8:30p, it was raining. We donned our rain jackets, headlamps, and began to paddle. Less than two miles down river, there is a set of rapids that take several quick turns around rocks & a fallen tree. I was out front, got swept into the current backwards, and just managed to paddle away from the fallen tree. Ashley wasn't so lucky. She was swept into the tree, and her kayak became wedged against the tree (unable to move because of the current). I hear her yell 'help!' - her kayak was beginning to fill up with water. Tony & I beached our kayaks and helped Ashley dump the water out of her kayak and retrieve her tent that was floating down the river.

The plan was to paddle 11 miles the first night. We finished that goal, but we were miserable by 11:30pm when we arrived at the camping spot. We quickly setup our tents in the rain, crawled inside, and slept like the dead. I didn't take any photos on Friday night, I was too cold, wet, and tired to care...

I'm happy to report that the remainder of the weekend was great. The weather was a bit cold, but we found a giant patch of sand for Saturday night's camp.

In addition to paddling the 53 miles, we had the chance to see a bunch of eagles. I wasn't keeping track, but I'd wager that we say 10 - 15 bald eagles and 15 - 20 golden eagles.

Monday, May 04, 2009


After 5 seasons, it was time to get some new tires. I avoided rain like a plague last fall - I didn't have enough tread to effectively divert the water on the road.

Along with new tires, I also have a new battery. Corey called on Saturday morning inquiring about an early afternoon ride. After a trip to Lowes for a battery charger & the local motorcycle store for a new battery, I was on the road by 4pm. Let's hope I can keep the bike upright this year - I have a scar on my ankle to remind me to slow down.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Just like the ol' days

Cait took me to see The Killers on Thursday night, after her friend decided she wasn't going to make it. Being at the show reminded me of 12 years ago - Cait & live music. The only difference was my dad wasn't along since we can drive now. Now that I look back on it, my dad has always had a quiet place in my life, but he's been supportive whenever I've asked for help. I didn't mean for this to become sentimental...thanks Pop.

Note: no need to get the 'VIP' tickets for the Eagle's Ballroom - the view from the floor was much better than the overcrowded balcony.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Computer says NO

On Saturday, I came across a wicked funny British skit on the current state of customer service. These people nailed the interpretation - people are no longer will to think. The computer has becoming the omniscient oracle.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cold feet

After going through the winter and needing to wear sunscreen on Kilimanjaro, Mammoth Mtn, and Copper Mtn, I somehow forgot to shield my feet from the intense sun rays of our Wisconsin spring. I can vouch for my Chaco sandals having 100% UV protection on the straps...

Lil Buddy thought my feet deserved a photograph.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The hippie, tree-hugger in me is proud to be a Patagonia customer...

What's Done in Our Name

'Thank you' doesn't pay for the water bill, but it does express my appreciation for being awesome. Thanks Dan & Mel for the Union House's best dessert...Death by Chocolate. And a wink & nod to Cait for delivering the package of goodness to my front door.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Although Ryan couldn't make it, Kenny was able to join us for our weekly dinner party. Cait hosted & brought a strong menu of salad, penne with tomato/basil/hazelnut pesto, and gelato. Kenny broke out the secret stash of barley wine to wash down the gelato.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I've been thinking a lot about simplification of my life lately. I don't remember where i was surfing tonight, but the writing was aligned with how I'm feeling lately. The article basically said 'Don't put your energy into the things you own or want, divert your energy into the people & activities you love'. I couldn't agree more - I need to put my second car up for sale this weekend!

Monday, April 13, 2009

I spent the weekend at Arapahoe Basin & Copper Mountain with Erich, Heather, and Ed. We had some fresh pow on Sunday, which made for a blissful end to the season. While running through the trees, we found a nature-made rainbow rail...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

My oldest friends, Cait & Ryan, stopped by for our (somewhat) regular monday night dinner party. The menu included sun-dried tomato, basil, feta frittata; sauteed aspargus; and banana bread.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cradle of life

It's only taken me 3 months to get my photos together from my Kilimanjaro hike and safari.

Not enough to snowboard & enough to impair travel - welcome to spring.


I was doing a bit of spring cleaning yesterday and found some clothes & records that took me back to my angstful years. I still listen to the records once in a while - thanks to Dan's turntable donation when I was 14.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Leaders of a peace conference, hosted in South Africa, seem to have forgotten the whole apartheid thing...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My The North Face Met5 jacket broke again - the heated torso panels no longer worked when the batteries were fully charged. I sent the jacket back to TNF in January for warranty repair. They are no longer manufacturing the Met5 jacket - maybe the technology was too bleeding edge...

Anyways, I just received a gift card for the full price of the jacket thanks to TNF's lifetime warranty!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Burning hair

Note to self: do not put your head into a 900F annealing oven without a hat to cover your vertically-inclined hair...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Before I head back to Reno, we went for a little hike this morning. Most of the areas above 9000ft have a 10 - 15ft base.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today was amazing - the sun was out, the wind was breezy, and the snow was soft. The steeps were in great condition - no moguls or ice!

My uncle Tom & my dad

Me trying to keep my eyes open in the sun & wind.
This was a great end to the week. Unfortunately I'm leaving the 12,000ft mountain & returning to the 700 vertical foot hills of Wisconsin.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The best part of yesterday - the hill was steep and had a couple feet of pow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I stopped by Hot Shop Glass today to pickup a couple of pieces that I made last Tuesday. I was stoked with the results; the green bowl turned out great. When I get the pieces too large, it's difficult to control the molten glass.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

64 inches of snow in the last 3 days...I can't wait to get to Mammoth.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I headed out to Tyrol Basin yesterday with James, Mark, Gabe, and Brad. Amazingly, they actually had decent snow after all of last week's rain. Here's a How To guide of what not to do:
Step 1: Jump onto the rail.

Step 2: Don't fall

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Another reason why Americans do not need to leave the comforts of home for strange, foreign lands: San Diego Zoo offers a safari-like experience. You'll see some of the same animals, but I doubt you'll hear Swahili, eat indigenous African food, or experience the severe poverty. I consider these cultural items to be as important as the wildlife, but maybe I'm in the minority...

On the bright side, a trip to Cali will be significantly less than Africa.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

After a 10 month hiatus, I returned to the studio on Tuesday. Nothing has changed since I've been gone, except for my skills. Liz helped me to save two pieces from turning into ruined bowls.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cold play


On Saturday I went out to Lapham Peak for a bit of cross-country skiing. The last time I xc skied was more than 10 years ago, but I picked up the rhythm after a couple of miles. Wheel & Sprocket has a shack by the trails where we rented skis for $20. It felt great to get outside & actually enjoy the cold tundra.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I learned today that my mixer was one of my parents' wedding gifts. 32 years later my parents are divorced, but the mixer still mixes!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

After a bit of post-holiday lounging, I've posted a few pics from Tanzania.
From Milwaukee to Phoenix

I rode 1759.2 miles in 2008; almost the distance from Milwaukee to Phoenix. The odometer still has the miles from 2007 (1730mi).