Dec 26, 2010

Claire goes to Big Bear

Claire headed to Big Bear for the Lundring Christmas Reunion from Dec 26-29. There was lots of snow and she almost got snowed in! The drive down the hill is one Claire will never forget!

Nov 7, 2010

Tommy's new House

Tommy has become quite the member of our family, and even though we have no idea why, WE LOVE HIM!

A few weeks ago I found a great deal on a HUGE dog house! It's so big I had to rent a u-haul trailer to get it home, and round up 4 buddies to carry it into the back yard. Just this week, I got the shingles all done, added the plexi glass window, door flaps, and built a small framed in area to protect the heater from Tommy (and Tommy from the heater). Tonight will be his first night in his fancy huge new house! Hopefully he will adjust to calling it home. Here are a few photos.

Oct 12, 2010

My baby sister....get's married!

Claire and I flew out to Cinncinati this week to participate in my baby sister's wedding. We had a great time, at a beautiful wedding! We also both want to welcome Michael Dooley to the family...unless he keeps beating me at disc golf!

Oct 6, 2010


It may not happen often, but Arizona does get it's fair share of extreme weather. This week has taken that to a new level. Yesterday around 3pm, the Phoenix Valley was bombarded with a furious wind and hail storm. Our house sustained over $10,000 in hail and water damage.

Claire came home from work on Tuesday, and from the door to the garage could clearly see that the dogs had made a COMPLETE mess of the house, there was stuff everywhere. Turns out...that was just were Claire's mind took her on an inital visual survey. Upon further inspection...and the feeling of water hitting her on the head (IN THE DINING ROOM!) she looked up to find that we no longer had sky lights. The hail blasted out all 5 of the skylights in our house, and then let a 30 minute down pour come on in. Our roof was heavily damaged, the AC unit sustained damage, our kitchen table and chairs have water damage and the outside of the house has chipped paint on the west and south walls.

Allstate insurance has deemed this a catastrophe, so we will be compensated for all damages...but what a hassel! And of course...this stuff always happens when Tyler is out of town!

Sep 30, 2010

New beginnings

Tyler has accepted a position with GlobalMedia Group in Scottsdale, AZ as "Manager of Training". This position was offered to Tyler several months ago, before the layoff with P1, at the time it was not the correct descion. Funny how things work out! Tyler called back after the layoff, and they had not found someone to fill the position and were eager to get back into negotiation talks with Tyler.

The offer was finalized today, and Tyler will begin the day after tomorrow (they were obviously excited to have him get started!).

GlobalMedia Group is a Telemedical company that manufactures telemedical solutions. Tyler's position will be to expand their training department both inhouse (new hires, and continued training of existing staff), as well as end-user training (nurses, and doctors) on how to use the high tech equipment.

For more info, check out

Sep 29, 2010

Every good thing must come to an end. Last night we traded our beloved little MINI Cooper in for a brand new 2010 Mazda CX-7.

So long MINI...Hello Mazda!

Every good thing must come to an end. We traded in our MINI Cooper last night for a 2010 Mazda CX-7. The decision was based mostly on the fact that the MINI needed a host of basic maintance done, and the current new car interest rates are phenomenal right now! So, we have a brand new car, lower payments, far more comfortable for daily commuting, in need of nothing but "breaking in the engine", and when the time for a baby seat (WHEN THE TIME COMES!).

Aug 20, 2010

Protection One Downsized

For the past several months there has been rumors about the new investment firm that recently bought Protection One. The rumors came true today, and Tyler's 4 years with Protection One Security have ended. The layoff was wide spread and despite the heart brake, Tyler was pleased with the severance package and the nice talk he had with his boss before departing for the last time.

This is the first time in our lives that either of us have had to deal with a lay off, either us or our parents. It's been scary, it's been stressful, but it's also been educational, and we can finally stop worrying.

Tyler has already began the process of seeking out a new job, and has several strong possibilites so hopefully the down time won't be to long term.

Aug 4, 2010

D-Backs Game

Thanks LifeLock for these great tickets! We had great company with Jenn and Justin. To bad the D-Backs lost. I am beginning to think I am bad luck when I actually go to the games as we always seem to lose.

Aug 3, 2010

Meed, Month 1

Tyler just started my first batch of Mead (honey wine). Now we just have to sit back and wait....18 months. I can pop a top in 9 monhts, but from what I am readying 18 months makes it best! I will start another batch as soon as I rack mine from the ferm. bucket into a charboy. I want to try some flavored stuff (vanilla, orange, maybe an apple...) we will see.

Jul 30, 2010

Lyons Creek Trail

Tyler and I also headed to Lyons Creek for a day hike. It was great for the dogs as it was an easy trail straight to the creek. Tinker got to swim a ton up stream and Topo got to test out more water. It was a nice day in the mountains!
The trail head is on the Wright’s Lake Road. You go towards Tahoe about 8 miles from the cabin and then there is a little left turn lane. Hang a left and then climb the steep mountain. Once the road levels out it is on the right.

Jul 29, 2010

Dad is Free at last!

From Mom and Dad: So in a nutshell the chief of neurosurgery at Mayo says "Do nothing". The neurologist ordered a new CT which shows a small improvement and I have a normal Neurology exam so why do surgery? So we are off to Mt Rushmore on Monday. Free at last, free at last, Lord Almighty, free at last.

The hospitality in Rochester has been so exceptional, we're almost sad to leave. Almost.

Charter Fishin on Lake Tahoe

We decided to embrace our stay at Lake Tahoe since it turned out to be just Tyler and Claire at the cabin. We rented a charter fishing boat! We met the boat at 6:30AM and headed out on the beautiful Lake Tahoe. There was 6 of us on the boat plus the captain and a helper. We had 10 poles in the water and it so so exciting when one got a bite. Overall Tyler caught 3 and Claire caught one. We took Claires to a local pub and they cooked it up for her real nice. The poor fish was a fresh water Salmon and boy was it good :)

Jul 21, 2010

Plan B finalized TRT

Welcome back! Plan B is ready to be put into motion. I will be rejoining the TRT at the Kingsbury North Trail Head (at the parking lot of Heavenly Ski Resort). I will be doing a HUGE one day solo trip to the Big Meadow Trail Head (22 miles) where I will camp for one night. The next morning, Saturday, I will hike the 20 miles around the southern section of the TRT to meet up with Zach, Ann, Dan and Topo at Echo Lakes. This will be stuffing 3 days of hiking into 2...but I'm game! It will also limit my solo nights on the trail to just one night...since some people are worried. I won't say names MOM! My SPOT WILL be working properly, I just wasn't holding the stupid button long enough to activate tracking mode. I will have that ironed out, and I will be knocking out MAJOR back to back day hikes to get caught up.

Tomorrow will be more relaxing at the cabin trying to get ready to do 42 miles in 2 days.

Starting watching that SPOT link early on Friday morning as I will be moving fast.

Until then...

Jul 20, 2010

Update on the Tahoe Rim ... area. TRT

As you are probably wondering how, I am updating the blog...from the comfort of my families cabin 45 minutes south of Lake Tahoe. Here is how we ended up here...and here is what is coming up next!

Day 1, we started strong, 12.5 miles with lots of elevation as we worked our way towards Watson Lake. Zach starting getting "hot spots" (the beginnings of blisters) less than 6 miles in. We made it safely to camp though, and had a sleepless night because a group of high school kids was throwing a HUGE party on the same lake as we planning our peaceful evening.

Day 2, we started thanks to the lack of sleep. We had a VERY big day ahead of us. 17.5 miles, with the last 11 being a constant climb. We literally climbed NONSTOP! We finally arrived at Gray Lake late in the afternoon and found a very peaceful camping spot! Through out the day Zach was showing signs of major foot fatigue, erratic gate, awkward foot placement, and changing socks mid-day....these are not good signs at this point in a 168 mile hike, but we soldiered on. Topo was also starting to struggle. The temps were in the mid 80's all day and well into the evening. Water was non-existent on the trail and Topo developed a bit of a limp early in the day (could be from his solo whitewater river trip when he jumped in the creek at the cabin...another story altogether).

That brings us to Day BIG CLIMB right out of the gate. We lost the trail from Gray Lake back to the TRT, and ended up climbing one mile straight up a boulder field...tough on the legs and feet! Zach's feet were already killing him. We pushed on though, and summited the high point of the TRT on Relay Peak and were high in spirits! Topo was still a wreck, but a good nights sleep and an Ibuprofen seemed to help him out. Once we summited Relay, we knew it was 4 miles down a road to Tahoe Meadows, then another 13 miles to the next camp (and only water source in the area) which made Day 3 a 21 mile day. 2 miles below Relay we came to a trail crossing. We thought the TRT went down the road, but on inspecting the map it actually shot off another direction, which added 3 miles to the 4 mile road and a lot of climbing. We finally popped out on the Mt. Rose highway completely out of water and running nearly 3 hours behind schedule. Zach was in worse shape than ever before. I followed him for the roughly 1 mile from Mt. Rose trail head to the Tahoe Meadows trail head where we were to start the last 13 miles of the day. When we stopped at Tahoe Meadows, I knew we were in trouble. Zach was down to roughly 1 mph, limping, no appetite and shaking uncontrollably. Which brings us to Plan B....which we invented on the taxi ride back to the car from Tahoe Meadows.

Plan B - I would have liked to have left Zach and Topo at Tahoe Meadows to fend for themselves, but it was just to late in the day to make it on my own to the next camp, and damn it...we started this as a team! So Plan B has been hatched.

Topo and Zach are going to lay low at the cabin for the rest of the week. I am going to get back on the trail the day after tomorrow (the only reasonable spot I can pick up the schedule) and solo my way to Echo Summit. At this point Zach and Topo along with Zach's wife Anne, and my buddy Dan are going to join in the fun and we will all hike together through Desolation Wilderness.

So the bad news is that nobody in our group is going to thru-hike the Tahoe Rim Trail this trip. The good news is, we are all ok, Zach's feet will heal...I think. And Topo still loves me...I think.

I have been told the GPS updates weren't coming. MY BAD! I thought I knew how to work that thing, I will get that ironed out and fired up for my solo 2 days on the trail and for the rest of the hike. Thanks for sticking around! Check back in a couple days and I will be back on the trail!

Jul 18, 2010

Bye Bye Sun

What type of people steal a decorative metal sun off of someone elses house at 5:30 on a Sunday morning? I was so out of it I thought someone was taking out the trash thinking it was Monday morning ... I will miss that Sun and filling kinda violated. All i wanted was to sleep in, thanks thieves for making me feel uncomfortable in my own home...
We recieved the sun from Cate and Wayne when we moved into our home almost 5 years ago. It has been in the same spot since we put it up.

Its time, TRT

It's Sunday morning. Yikes.

We have had a productive weekend! The drive from Phoenix went well, I picked up Zach right on time as planned and we made it safely to the small town of Kyburz, CA. Claire's family has an awesome cabin on the creek in Kyburz, and Zach, Topo and I held up there for one night.

On Friday we got up early and left the cabin to get our first look at Lake Tahoe. WOW...IT'S HUGE! We stopped in at the Echo Lake Store to try and leave a food cache with them, they informed us that the only food caches allowed in their storage room had to be mailed there (they are catering to the Pacific Crest Trail thru hikers). While we were there we met a PCT hiker. A 17 year old guy who had been on the trail for 1,100 miles and 4 months. He was taking the year between high school and college to hike the trail. Super nice guy, I hooked him up with some Power Bars, which he was excited about.

Our first food cache was placed in the woods near the Echo Summit store. From there, we headed for the East side of the lake to meet the owner of the dog boarding facility where Topo will go if he can't complete the hike. Then we moved north to place our next food cache at Spooner Summit.

After Spooner Summit we stopped in to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association office, met the ladies that had helped us with our planning and then opted to use one of the TRT Associations free bear canister for our hike.

From there, I made a quick phone to a lady that I had met only be phone as I planned the hike. She section hiked the TRT with her dog last year and lives only a few minutes from where the trail crosses the Mt. Rose Hwy. So Kathy and her 3 dogs met us up at Big Meadows and we took all the dogs for a short walk and went over the map with Kathy getting advice on different sections. THANKS KATHY! It was great to meet you!

After that we headed into Truckee to relax and have a cold one at the Brewery. I ended up boarding Topo at a dog kennel here in Truckee...sneaking him into the Hampton wasn't going to work (stinkin' surveillance cameras!).

Sunday was pretty uneventful. We got our last food cache placed at Barker Pass, got my fishing license and then took a nap in the hotel room while Zach went and laid pool side.

That brings us to today. We are having breakfast here at the Hampton, then we need to go bust Topo out of the clink and make one stop in to a sporting goods store (I broke the bite valve on my camelback packing it last night). We are thinking about grabbing a Subway sandwich for the trail and are planning on hitting the trail around 10 am.

A year of planning, stressing, replanning, spending, replanning and stressing some more is over.
It's time.

Jul 13, 2010

Map of TRT

Hello again. I am packing up tonight, and I hit the road for Tahoe tomorrow! I was just scanning over the Google Earth map I have created. I have added over 100 points to Google Earth, everything from our camping spots to creeks, and scenic view points. I cleaned it up to only show the camping spots and were our food caches will be located and thought I would post it here on the blog. The start and finish spots are the same spot, and we are hiking the trail clockwise. So you can get a very broad view of what we have in store.

Jul 11, 2010

Come with us Virtually! TRT

Thanks for checking back in our blog. Lucky for you, you can take a peak where we are from the comfort of your desk chair!

This is how this works....

I will have with us a SPOT GPS device. This small orange GPS unit simply transmitts our exact location every 10 minutes and posts it on my personal SPOT page. I will have the SPOT in transmit mode while we are hiking, everyday. There are a couple catches though, it only holds 7 days of memory...which on a normal hike would easily show everything while we are on the trail...but this is not a normal hike! So on the 8th day it will start loosing our first days transmissions. The other noteable thing about SPOT is that it doesn't always successfully send tracking messages...trees, mountains, cloud cover or just interference can mess with the signal so you might see some gaps in the messages.

So with all that being said, here is the link! Just click on the link anytime starting next Sunday the 18th and enjoy checking out our location! Save the page to your internet favorites and check in often!

Jul 10, 2010

V-Strom Adventures

So far today has been a GREAT day! Woke up early, took the motorcycle out with Claire to get breakfast at the end of a curving mountain road, then I watched World Cup, then I took a nap and now Tyler is sitting around in my boxers and watchin TV. C'est magnifique

Jul 8, 2010

Dad Updates

From Mom and Dad: So the latest on Wayne’s holey head is that there is no change. We saw the surgeon today after another CT scan and he saw virtually no change from 3 weeks ago. So the leak has stopped for the moment. He assumes that there is some sort of membrane still there from the hematoma keeping the brain from retaking the space it should. Normally the brain reoccupies the space in the course of 3 months. But my brain did not get the memo so it is still squished about 1 inch down on one side by an unwelcome fluid. However I continue to have no symptoms & am feeling fine.

He gave us 3 options:

* Do nothing and image again in a month.
* Do a similar surgery again to evacuate the hematoma using two of the existing holes plus a 3rd new one (i.e. - try again with more of the same)
* Do a craniotomy: which means removing a piece of the skull to get better access and snip away the hematoma membrane that is on top of the brain. The skull piece is then reattached with titanium bolts.

So there is bad news and good news: The bad news is that it is not better and the good news is that it gives us time to complete our Mayo Clinic visit on July 29th before doing another surgery.

We also have another MRI scan Friday, with and without contrast, to rule out any type of lesion that might be causing the hematoma.

Jun 15, 2010

Another update on Dad

From Mom and Dad: So I had a CT yesterday and saw the surgeon and hematologist. The bad news is that the hematoma is “mildly increased with 8 mm of left-to-right midline shift, increased from 5 mm.” The good news is that I am feeling fine. The surgeon is surprised but suggests we wait to see what happens in 3 weeks when we see him again. Then we can drain it again with a syringe or let it go. Or get a second opinion.
I had an episode Saturday night where I had trouble expressing myself for a few minutes. He gave me a prescription of Kepra to prevent seizures. I guess the brain does not like foreign matter like blood irritating the brain.
The hematologist is running about 6 tests but expects nothing unusual to show up. And I see a neurologist on July 13th.
Isn’t this fun? That’s it for now

1 Month and Counting till TRT!

Today is June 15th, 2010. I (Tyler) will be departing for Tahoe on Wen. July 14th with a one night layover in L.A. and then picking Zach up on Thur. July 15th and heading up to our family cabin in the Tahoe area.

We are 1 month away from heading for Tahoe. We have both been training when we can, hiking, hitting the gym, running....I don't think either of are over confident that it's helping to much :)

We have been ironing out the last of the logistics. Our food is sitting in boxes ready to go, one bear box is complete with two more to go, Topo's food is on it's way to Phoenix from Tail Waggers in Colorado.

Tyler has been in contact with a few people in the Tahoe area. One local lady who has hiked the entire trail has been able to offer advice about water and food caches. She has also offered us a dry guest room if the weather turns on us. Topo has a contingency plan as well via a local bording clinic in South Lake Tahoe. They have offered to pick Topo up at a trail head and board him for a few nights if he needs a break.

I will update again as we get closer and start getting gear assembled and boxes up for the trip.

....stay tuned.

Jun 6, 2010

Our first Vlog - Lower Wolf Creek Campground

With Claire's new position at Lifelock, we are getting used to taking full advantage of our weekends off. This weekend we loaded up the Coleman for the first time in almost a year, and headed north to beat the foretasted 112 degree weather in Phoenix. We left on Friday around dinner time, with a destination of Lynx Lake Recreation Area near Prescott, unfortunately we weren't the only one's with this plan, and arrived to a full camp ground. A quick inspection of the Atlas and we found a couple campgrounds less than 30 minutes away and headed for them. We found a nice camping spot late on Friday night at Lower Wolf Creek CG. Throughout the weekend we took some short video clips and put them together for your enjoyment. We will try to do more with the video was kind of an experiment this weekend. We hope you enjoy!

Jun 2, 2010

5 years of Marriage

Although the title to this blog is still "The New Matneys", we aren't so "new" anymore. Claire and I have hit a milestone in our marriage, 5 years. It was a bit of an unconventional anniversary, but an anniversary nonetheless.

This 5 years of marriage, also marked 10 years in our relationship. I don't want to get all sappy, and start bragging about how great we are together....but I can't help myself :) We are an incredibly fortunate couple, with a relationship that is easy to maintain, and a love that continues to grow.

So raise your glass (or your mouse, that will work) to many more years of bliss. Cheers!

Jun 1, 2010

Claire goes to San Fran

Claire was able to get away for a weekend to go to San Fran. I stayed at D&J's and my Mom also came down. We also spent a day wine tasting in Wine country. I found out I like a soft old vine cabernet wine. Everyone told me I have an expensive taste!
It was a great weekend walking all over San Fran and seeing all the sites! It was great to be with family and go to Katie and Jasons wedding.

May 19, 2010

Dad update...

From Mom and Dad: So the staples came our this morning with special pliers - but not more than a pin prick feeling as each one came out. So "off the top of my head" (pun intended) I think this adventure is over as I can drive now and even have a beer once in a while. My brother-in-law was hoping that with the pressure off my brain I would switch from being a flaming liberal to a sane conservative - but no such luck. I am feeling and thinking pretty much the same as I did before this all started. Now I just have to wait 4 - 6 weeks to get back to physical work and exercise. And then there are the 3 CT scans planned over the next 3 months to check to see if any reoccurance of the hematoma is happening.

May 15, 2010

Update from Dad

From Mom and Dad: Still recovering at home but I'm up and around and feeling pretty good. Washed my hair Thursday and stopped the percocet pain medication Thursday night - just taking Tylenol now. Nausea is gone too. The summer-like weather has enabled short walks around the neighborhood, but it still seems pretty weird to tell neighbors I had brain surgery on Tuesday. Hair is growing back in already and the staples come out on Wednesday. Biggest problem is the itchy scalp - which is pretty minor - and I don't really mind. I am blessed to have family and friends who care and angels looking after me.

LifeLock May event

After 3 short weeks of Claire working at LifeLock, we were invited to their May event. Once a year in May, LifeLock puts up the entire company in a local hotel for the weekend. We had a formal dinner on Sat night after spending a day in the Sun at the water park. Tyler golfed Sunday morning for free as well! It was a great way to get to know other co-workers and definately felt welcome as a new employee!

May 12, 2010

Another good Update on Dad

From Mom and Dad: Going home today! Wayne's CAT scan this morning looks great. He gets to rest a lot the next month and do very little exercise. The turban bandage is off and now we see about 32 staples which will come out next week. Come on over with your pliers if you want to help.

Thank you everyone for your caring thoughts and prayers. He is on the road to recovery already.

May 11, 2010

More Updates on Dad

The surgeon came by for a check up and said everything looks great. He said that Wayne can start to slowly increase the incline on the bed, then work on standing up and moving around a little. There will be a CAT scan in the morning to confirm things look good, then he will be released once the doctor gives the all clear on the scans.

Recovery is coming along well, with a little Tylenol, Percoset and morphine to help ease the pain.

Quote from Wayne: "This is not what I expected, going into a physical complaining of naps and headaches!"

Quote from Wayne (to neurosurgeon): "I came into the hospital feeling fine, and you made my head hurt!"

Dad Update

From Mom and Dad: Just had a quick 5 minutes debrief with the doctor, and the news is good.

Here is the quick run-down of what we heard and learned...

* The surgery went great
* Three holes: 1 right side, 2 left side
* He has staples over the incisions, and his head is wrapped
* There was no source of bleeding discovered (this was expected given the old blood), and there was no additional bleeding.
* The fluid that drained looked like motor oil — dark, old blood that the body could not/did not absorb. “Old bad blood”
* Rinsed the fluid out until clear, and now those spaces are filled with air.
* The aspirin that he was on should stop, to help increase clotting
* Wayne is currently in recovery, and he will be for about an hour. He is talking and able to move both sets of limbs. After the recovery (which is better than the possible ICU!), we will be buzzed and can go see him.
* He will have scans tomorrow, in one month, two months, and three months. It will take about three months for his brain to fill back in and back to normal... Again, more will be known later today and tomorrow.
* Related to “normal” -- the doc equated what he did and what Wayne experienced this morning as going through a windshield — lots of action on the brain. So, what I got from that is that the healing is (obviously) for the incision points, but also for the brain itself.

More later, once we can see Wayne!

What a strange, strange 24 hours...

(FWIW: the surgery started at 908 and ended at 947 — 39 minutes...)

May 10, 2010

Dads Cranial Surgery

Dear family and friends of Wayne:

Many of you may already know this by now, but Wayne is having cranial surgery tomorrow a.m. He has been experiencing headaches for about a month after a short bout with the flu. Also, his personality and behavior seemed to alter. He became weak and unable to exercise as usual, slept a lot (naps during the day, unusual for him), generally grumpy and much more quiet and almost disconnected/disinterested from life. Some friends thought he was depressed.

During an annual physical this morning which Cate went along to with him, the Dr. ordered an MRI which showed he has a sub-dural hematoma. There are significant pools of blood sitting between his brain and his skull (that’s the good news---not IN the brain, but BETWEEN the brain and the skull). The more disconcerting news is that the origin, usually head trauma, is unknown in his case. After MRI, cat scans, chest x-rays, blood tests, they decided to operate. Looking at the cat scans with the neurosurgeon and hearing how he will go about his work was reassuring. Tomorrow the neurosurgeon will bore 3 – 4 thumbnail size holes into the sides of his skull to drain the blood out. The holes should heal quickly with slight indentations that won’t show under Wayne’s nice head of hair. Or maybe the head will be shaved. We’ll see how funny he looks with big empty patches.

The surgery is at 8:20 and should last about 40 minutes. We will know more info in late morning and will send out another email tomorrow night. After looking at the cat scans and doing the neurological exams, the doctor was very impressed with how healthy Wayne seemed to be. They can tell the blood has been increasing in size for probably at least a month.

The risks are the usual ones for surgery – infection, bleeding, stroke, clots, spinal fluid leak. But we have good faith in the surgeon’s experience and that the angels looking after him the past month will continue to do so. He has been doing fine today, seemed almost better than the past month, and describes the experience best as being surreal.

Prayers are welcome!


Apr 29, 2010

2005 Suzuki V-Strom DL650

Tyler is at it again...

On Monday Tyler signed paperwork on a (new to us) 2005 Suzuki V-Strom. Tyler has been talking about buying a motorcycle for years, and has almost pulled the trigger a few times. When the local dealership took in this bike on trade he couldnt' resist any longer.

So people have expressed concern over how safe riding a motorcycle is. Of course, there is a concern, there is reason to have one. People are injured and even killed on motorcycles all the time. However, people also ride for their entire lives and never have an accident...these people are well educated and safe riders. This is the route Tyler is going to pursue!

Tyler is enrolling in a motorcycle safety course where he will learn critical decision making skills, bike control, and evasive maneuvering. Most people don't know that Tyler has actually spent a lot of time riding motorcycles both on road and off. Not to mention his many years at the handle bars of a mountain bike.

So please don't worry, safety is #1, and the proper riding gear was purchased when the bike was, included a new helmet, riding jacket and proper foot wear.

So, enjoy the pictures...and next time you're in town...I'll take you for a ride on the back of it!

The Ride Now power sports delivery truck!

My new baby, sitting pretty on the trailer!

Claire seeing how the back seat feels. As soon as I am ready, we will be taking this thing all over the state of Arizona!

Getting ready for my first time around the block!

See! Look how cautious I am pulling out of the driveway! SAFETY FIRST!

Feb 21, 2010

Charity Dog Walk in Tempe

Today, Tyler and I (plus Tinker, Topo & Bentley) participated in the 2nd Annual Petsmart Charities PetWalk. This event helps fund the many PetSmart Charities programs focused on saving the lives of homeless pets.

Why Did We Walk??
Homeless pets desperately need our help! In Arizona, an estimated 120,000 companion animals enter shelters every year; despite the best efforts of shelter staff, only about half of those pets find homes. In Maricopa County alone, more than 98,000 dogs and cats entered shelters and more than 53,000 had to be put down last year.

The 2nd Annual PetSmart Charities® PetWalk brings people and pets together for a great cause: raising money to help homeless pets. It's a fun-filled way to spend the day with family and friends (two-legged AND four-legged). Best of all, it will help Arizona pets find the lifelong, loving homes they deserve!

Feb 15, 2010

The Plan for Tahoe Rim Trail Hike

Commitments made, vacations requested, next of kin notified...time to get down to logistics!

A few problems that are very apparent for Zach and I are; we don't live near each other, and neither of us live near Tahoe. Solution: books, maps, phone calls, internet, and Google Earth!

The main source of knowledge about the finer points of the TRT have been provided by a wonderful author named Tim Hauserman via his book "The Tahoe Rim Trail: A Complete Guide for Hikers, Mountain Bikers, and Equestrians". His book provides detailed trial notes, water locations, forks in the trail, and even the names of prominent peaks that can been seen in the distance.

Zach and I each purchased a copy of Tim's book and we approached the schedules on our own, to see if we came up with anything different. Thankfully we were both on the same page. We agreed our starting point would be Tahoe City, and we would hike in a clockwise direction.

Here are the plans as they stand now.

Wednesday July 14, 2010 - Tyler and Topo drive from Phoenix to Sierra Madres (near LA)
Thursday July 15 - Tyler and Topo drive from Sierra Madre to Sacramento and pick up Zach. Then head to the cabin in Tahoe (Hillard Haven)
Friday July 16 - Start food caches, visit TRT Asso., visit dog boarder and then check into Hampton Inn
Saturday July 17 - Complete food caches, drink one last beer and lay in bed awake all night...

Section 1 - Tahoe City to Spooner Summit 46.5 miles
July 18 - Night one @ Watson Lake - 13 miles
July 19 - Night two @ Gray Lake - 16.5 miles
July 20 - Night three @ Marlette Peak - 17 miles

Food Cache at Spooner Summit

Section 2 - Spooner Summit to Echo Summit 52.4 miles
July 21 - Night four @ South Camp Peak - 19.2 miles
July 22 - Night five @ Star Lake - 15.8 miles
July 23 - Night six @ Round Lake - 17 miles

Food Cache at Echo Summit

Section 3 - Echo Summit to Barker Meadows - 40 miles
July 24 - Night seven @ Lake Aloha - 20 miles
July 25 - Night eight @ Lake Aloha - OFF DAY - 0 miles
July 26 - Night nine @ Middle Velma Lake - 11.5 miles
July 27 - Night ten @ Richardon Lake - 8.5 miles

Food Cache at Barker Meadows

Section 4 - Barker Meadows to Tahoe City - 23.2 miles
July 28 - Night eleven @ Barker Meadows - 6.5 miles
July 29 - Night twelve @ Ward Creek - 11.5 miles
July 30 - Complete hike to Tahoe City - 5.2 miles and drive to Hillard Haven (cabin)

July 31 - Drink beer and relax at the cabin...soak feet in hot water.
August 1 - Zach flies home, Tyler, Claire and Topo drive back to Phoenix.

Feb 8, 2010

Hillards were in town!

Cate and Wayne made it out here for a long weekend as well! We had 3 days between parents being in town but it was fun!
Friday we took Cate and Wayne into downtown Phoenix on the new light rail. Our destination was The Phoenix Art Museum which had an Ansel Adams exhibit. While on the light rail we noticed a street fair going on so we jumped off the at the next stop and browsed the street fair for a little while. After the Art Museum we went to the Old Spaghetti for an early birthday dinner for Claire.

Saturday the 4 of us made the 1.5 hour drive down to Tucson to visit the Biosphere. The Biosphere was simply amazing! We had a terrific tour guide and if you are ever in the area, make the trip to see this marvel!

When Cate and Wayne flew into Phoenix, they brought Ruby Joy down to visit some other family. On Sunday Ruby Joy came to our house to see the animals and then headed off the mall to see more animals! We also went out to the local R/C flying field to watch the maiden flight of Tyler's new R/C plane (it survived the first flight).

Monday, Tyler had to leave early for a business trip so Cate, Wayne and Claire spent the day doing some small projects around the house and relaxing.

Feb 3, 2010

OH Matney's in Town

Greg and Jan came out to visit in conjunction with Greg's business trip. They weren't able to stay long, but it was terrific to have them over! Friday Jan and Claire went to see puppies at Claire's store and we all went out to dinner. Saturday we took a little backcountry Arizona road trip up scenic Highway 88 to Tortilla Flats for lunch. We stopped into the Ghost Town tourist attraction out that way and wandered around.

Sunday Greg had to fly back to Ohio, and Jan stuck around for an extra night relaxing. Tyler even managed to score some new clothes of dear ol' Mom. :)

Feb 1, 2010

Claire gets a promotion!

Claire is now the manager at Animal Kingdom! She is very exciting to start this new challenging career! First day as manager is 2/1~ Wish her a good first month!

Jan 23, 2010

Garage Extreme Makeover!

Tyler has been working had organizing the garage! As part of my Christmas gift he promied me I would be able to park my Mini Cooper in the garage and have it organized before Valentines Day! It looks amazing! Thanks Steve for garage envy and finally motivating us to get organized! Before picture on bottom and after picture on top.

Jan 22, 2010

Tinker gets fixed!

We took Tinker to the Vet this morning to get fixed! We found out when we picked her up that she had an infection in her uterus and lets just say we are lucky we found it when we did. They vet gave us another 2 weeks before we had her in the ER trying to figure out what was wrong. So my point of this post is get your dog fixed! The only reason she got this infection is because we let her have to many heat cycles. She just turned 3 so in my eyes we were VERY lucky. The infection was a very serious problem but it was solved by getting her spayed. So please, get your pets spayed or neutered!

Jan 8, 2010

Tyler gets his Wisdom teeth out!

Tyler is now 29 yrs old and finally getting his wisdom teeth out! They have been getting worse and worse every year and he finally agreed to getting them out.

Jan 6, 2010


For Christmas we got a couple bird feeders and man are we popular! We are enjoying watching the birds right outside our door so we recently adding 2 more bird feeders across the yard! Each bird feeder has a different type of seed making our yard very interesting and diverse. My parents always had bird feeders which I loved to watch and now we have our own! Picture to come later!

Jan 1, 2010

Whose coming with me (Tyler)!

I have been thinking about hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail since I first heard of it, in mid 2008. The toughest part about attempting somthing like this is finding someone to join you. After posting on the local hiking club forum, reaching out to some friends and family I didn't have much more than a "well....let me see if I can get the time off work" from anyone. Then a phone call to Zach brought my dream to fruition in December 2009.

This was an excerpt from my posting on looking for someone to join me...

I would encourage any interested party to ask themselves a couple questions:
1. Can I hike 10-15 miles a day for 12-13 consecutive days?
2. (most important) Can I vanish from the state of Arizona for over 2 weeks without losing my job/wife/girlfriend etc...?
3. How will I feel down the road if I miss out on an amazing opportunity like this?!?!?!

Now, if you answered the questions favorably, start doing some homework and keep asking yourself the above questions. I can't do it alone.

The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 165 (give or take a couple miles depending on your source) loop that circumnavigates Lake Tahoe. The trail is fairly new in the realm of larger thru hiking trails. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association was established in 1981 to plan, construct and maintain the Tahoe Rim Trail, a 24-inch wide, 165 mile single track trail open to hiking, equestrians and mountian biking (in most areas). The trail encompasses the ridge tops of the Lake Tahoe Basin, crossing six counties, and two states. Another huge draw to me, and a major factor in choosing this hike, is that for approximately 50 miles it shares the same piece of dirt as the Pacific Crest Trail.