Friday, April 22, 2016

Itch has the Itch

Itch stopped by the beach today took a picture and measured 47.3 water temperature.

Kahuna also took a reading last week with his "toe meter" which he claims reliably measured "mid-fifties at least".  Sure, and I've seen pink flamingos wading at Klode beach.

Can't blame either of them for being a bit a bit anxious though. It's been a long winter and playing human ping-pong in the pool is getting old.  Oh, the tyranny of the cursed black line!  The frustration of fighting for lanes with side stroking little old ladies in flower swim caps!  The corrosive effects of chlorine on the lungs and mind!

Oh, for the freedom and challenge of big open water!  The spray, the waves, the clear cool refreshing lake, the camaraderie of the Kru!  The Killepitsch!  It won't be long, but the wait is killing me.

Other signs of summer:  The Estabrook Biergarten is opening tomorrow (Sat Apr 23rd) and will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reinheitsgebot, the German beer purity law that defines beer as  containing only four ingredients; water, hops, barley malt, and yeast.  More importantly Showgirl will be celebrating her 50th birthday (again!).  I would not be surprised to see her wearing her dirndl, as people wearing German attire get free beer, half priced beer for everyone else.

But that's only the beginning of the fun.  Next weekend (Thu Apr 28th - Sun May 1st) is Maifest at the Biergarten: .  Stop by and purchase your 100th anniversary of Estabrook Park mug.  (Shameless plug for Friends of Estabrook, of which I am a member, we get at least $5 for every mug sold).

Oh, yes I almost forgot.  On Friday June 10th at 9AM we will be filmed for "Around the Corner with John McGivern".  They are doing an episode on Whitefish Bay and somehow North Shore Nancy arranged for us to be included.

And one more thing.  June 11th is the Shorewood Men's Club Barbecue at Atwater Beach.  Kahuna and I will be selling tickets, and if conditions are right we'll do an Atwater Shipwreck Swim that morning.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Big Shoulders Registration Opens Tomorrow, Tuesday March 1st

Last year it filled in five days, and this year is expected to fill even quicker.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fun With Charts and Graphs

So it's mid-December and winter hasn't arrived yet.  No snow to ski on, and too warm to swim.  So what am I doing?  Wasting way too much time wading through the cesspool known as the web.  But today I spotted a treasure floating amongst all the sewage.  Check this out this analysis of Lake Michigan water temperatures:

Here are some observations:
- Even though the lake temps are well above average now, they were well below average in early 2015.  If you recall the lake nearly froze over last winter.  So the lake temps started off cool in spring and stayed that way all the way through the swim season (mid-May through Sept).  This matches my impression of 2015 as a below average swim season (temperature-wise anyway).

- If you look at the two really great swim seasons, 2012 and 2010, the opposite occurred.  The water started the year warmer than average and stayed warmer than average all through the swim season.  I recall 2012 in particular as the year when we had three solid months of water temps in the high 60's and low 70's.

- So if this pattern holds (i.e. if the water stays much warmer than average this winter), the 2016 swim season might be very good or even great.  But of course at this point I have to curb my enthusiasm.  So many of my predictions about Lake Michigan have dashed on the rock piles of hard cold reality.  But it's something to dream about during the dark days of December.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

In Between

Tragically the Lake Michigan swim season is over, and my swimming has been tyrannized by walls, black lines, and chlorine.  For me, this is the "in between" season, the time between Lake swimming and cross country skiing.  If you, like me are looking for fun things to fill the gap, Kahuna has suggested a worthy activity in a comment on the last blog posting.  I reprint it here:

If anyone out there is reading the blog this time of year (even the buoy has gone into hibernation), note that the Bike Fed's Santa Cycle Rampage is set for Sat. December 5th. Eastsiders tend to start at Cafe Hollander on Downer at 9:00 a.m. God willing, Sheboygan Santa will be there, with his magic sausage, along with his coffee can collecting for World Bicycle Relief (see their latest video at this address: Bring your check or cash if you are interesting in helping. Last year we raised over $400 for WBR (because Sram doubles donations, that's enough for 8 sturdy bikes). Note too, to celebrate Shorewood advancing to the Silver Level of the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Community rankings, my group (Greater Shroewood Bikers) is holding a Shorewood Community Cycling Celebration, at the Rampage After Party, 4-6 pm, Sat. Dec. 5th, at Three Lions Pub. Hope to see some of you there.

If the weather is anywhere near reasonable I will do the rampage this year.  (Anyone know a good place to get a Santa suit?).

Kahuna, congratulations and thanks for your efforts on behalf of Greater Shorewood Bikers.

Friday, October 30, 2015

2nd Chance for Loss of Innocence (WARNING: unauthorized blog post)

Next Swim:  Saturday Oct 31st, NOON.  Sunday TBD.

Last Swims:
Sun Oct 25th 1PM
La, la, la insert last-swim-details here.  Or not.

The buoy says water temps are above 50.  Let's not miss another chance to have a last swim, and another chance to do more shots of.... whatever random thing people bring, and most especially, another chance to rip off the Patriarch's clothes.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

End of the Season and the End of My Innocence

Next Swim:  ?? 2016 ??

Last Swims:
Sun Oct 25th 1PM
Water Temp: 47
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Good
Crew: Showgirl, Panini, Whatzzisname?, Itch, Diablo, Gumdrop, with me, Capt'n, Crash, and Scarface cheering from shore
Wetsuit/Skin: 3/3
Pitsch: 10

Sat Oct 24th 1PM
Water Temp: 55
Waves: Gentle Rollers
Water Clarity: Murky
Crew: Capt'n, Diablo, Mr. Anonymous, Itch, Showgirl, Crash, Patriarch
Wetsuit/Skin: 4/2
Pitsch: 7

Despite some bold Killepitsch-inspired talk about continuing to swim, I think realistically we've reached the end of the season.  Good thing, too, as the ladies, have lost all self control.  After practically forcing me to drink shots, Showgirl ripped off my shirt and Panini groped me all over with  her cold wet hands, while Crash and Scarface stood by and laughed.  Ladies, show us and yourselves some respect!  We're more than just handsome hunky studly sex toy playthings!  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekend Swim Plans

Next Swims: Friday Oct 23rd 5:30PM
Sat & Sun Oct 24th and 25th 1:00PM

Last Swim: Thu Oct 22nd
Water temp: 58
Waves: 1 foot rollers
Water Clarity: Excellent
Crew: Itch, Diablo, Panini
Wetsuit/Skin: 1/2