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Well, this post is a little late but…

 another 2010 goal  (5000 puzzle pieces) was achieved!

I started the vintage puzzle but couldn’t finish it due to my allergies kicking up.  I’m allergic to some cats and apparently the previous owner of that puzzle had such a cat.

The final 1000 pieces were completed using a couple of $1,  500-piece puzzles from Dollar General.

For cheap (price) puzzles, the die cuts were clean and accurate.  The images were clear and easy to follow.  They were well worth $1.

The 2010 puzzle count ended up being 5,100 pieces, thanks to a cute 100-piece puzzle Lisa got me for Christmas.

The 2011 goal has been set at 6,000, and thanks to Mike and Peg’s Christmas gift, it can be started any day now…

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NOTE- this post was originally published on my other blog, EnjoyTimeOutdoors.com, on 14November2010.

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The third jigsaw puzzle for 2010 is complete! This brings the progress towards the 2010 goal to 3000 pieces.

2010 Puzzle 03

2010 Puzzle 03

This puzzle was started back in March and sat idle for most of the summer and early fall.

Thanks to Lisa’s continued efforts the puzzle slowly worked it’s way to completion. The final 100 pieces were finished today.

This was an inexpensive puzzle that had a consistent “two-out, two-in” pattern (click on photo for larger view). The lack of randomly shaped pieces made it very time consuming to assemble the ivy background areas.

To reach the 5000 piece goal by the end of the year I’ll need to complete roughly 44 pieces per day. Time to get busy on Puzzle 04, Caeco Puzzles’ Thomas Kinkade Nature’s Paradise Puzzle!

Puzzle4- Thomas Kinkade Nature's Paradise

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Thomas Kinkade- Nature's Paradise

Thomas Kinkade- Nature's Paradise

With Christmas and the new year quickly approaching we finally finished the fourth puzzle of 2010.

Though I’ll count this puzzle as 1000 of the 2010- 5000 piece goal, the completed puzzle consisted of only 999 pieces.  This was likely the result of kitty’s help.

The puzzle was Thomas Kinkade’s Nature’s Paradise.  A wonderful depiction of a rustic log cabin on a lake, with a backdrop of mountains and sunrise.   Another of Ceaco’s fine American made puzzles!

I’ve been very happy with Ceaco’s quality puzzles.  Their die cuts are very random and tight-fitting, unlike the inexpensive” kitty on pumpkin” puzzle that was 2010 Puzzle 03.

I’m only 1000 pieces and 12 days away from reaching my 2010 goal!  Puzzle 05 is a 500 piece “classic” puzzle I picked up a garage sale earlier this summer.  It looks like this puzzle is over 50-years old.  It is a great example of what looks to be a hand drawn die pattern.   I’m hoping to write the blog post about this puzzle REALLY soon!

Time to get busy!

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Last night when I was checking out some of my old posts I was surprised at what I found.  Advertising!  

There are Google AdSense ads on many of them.  These ads are not placed, nor endorsed, by me.

I realize that this is a small price to pay for the two years of free hosting here at WordPress.com, and I am grateful, but I feel it’s time to move on to my own hosted domain, EnjoyTimeOutdoors.com.

Effective immediately I will be shifting my primary blog posting to EnjoyTimeOutdoors.

Subscriptions to this site will not auto-transfer to EnjoyTimeOutdoors.com.   If you wish to continue getting updates (or join the ETO community), please subscribe here.

This site will remain (as a secondary blog).

Thank you.

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Return of the puzzle…

kitty puzzle

Kitty contemplates the next piece

With summer drifting into autumn the days are shorter, the nights cooler, and the pace of life seems a little more relaxed. This IS my favorite season!

After taking a break from puzzling for the summer, autumn reinvigorated my interest to complete the 5000 piece goal I set for this year.

Puzzle three, which was started in early March, sat idle while we went about our busy summer. It, like this blog, is idle no more!

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Just a quick post to announce that I’ve officially launched my new blog site http://enjoytimeoutdoors.com .  It is still in its infancy but will continue to expand in the very near future.

I will continue to post at both sites for the foreseeable future.

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I’m back to flats- after a failed clipless experiment.

First off, let me state- I’m no pro MTB rider, nor do I claim to be.  I’m a weekend trail rider who, up until the last few weeks, didn’t do much core/ interval or mountain bike skill training, other than occasional trail or road riding.

I always had a bad habit of tearing up my shins when my tennis shoes would slip off the stock pedals during intense trail riding.

Last summer some local trail riders  introduced to clipless pedals.  I thought this was going to be the perfect solution to my problem.  Not only would I be able to keep my feet on the pedals, I would get better power transfer into the pedal, etc.

After a visit to the local bike shop I was the happy owner of a pair of Crank Brothers Candy C pedals and Specialized clipless shoes. 

While the clipless pedals did keep my feet on the pedals, I did not like the restricted range of motion that was forced on my knees and the loss of natural instinct to step off the pedal without thinking.  I would have to force myself to remember to twist my foot or risk falling over with the bike attached (which happened more often than I would like to admit).

I can definitely see where the benefits of a clipless setup would be for roadies or more advanced trail riders, but for me, the risk of knee injury (or worse) just wasn’t worth the gain.

My solution was to switch to a pair of cleated BMX style pedals.  I ended up with a pair of StevenHamiltonPedal Animals.   These pedals provide a large non-slip area to keep a good grip when wet or muddy, plus a large pedal face to drive power. 

After a week of training/conditioning rides I really love the natural and comfortable feel under foot.

I can’t wait to get out on the trails and give these pedals a good test.

If you have any problems with slipoffs, or are just looking for more foot-on-pedal control, you might want to give a pair of BMX style flats a try.  Their cheaper than clipless, don’t require special shoes, and don’t require any training to use.

Note: I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in this post (or any other post, unless specifically stated, which as of yet, is none).  I am a cash paying consumer and do my own unbiased, independent research and spend my own hard-earned cash for stuff that interests me.

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