It’s not shocking that we here at PNW like to ride bikes, in particular mountain bikes. But, with many trailheads closed and taking risks pushing our limits questionable ethically, we have decided to embrace some of our other activities and hobbies. We are calling this PNW and The Quarantine and we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite isolation activities through this three-part series.
Part 2: Nerding Out
Let's Get Literary:
You’ve been on Instagram and know that for the first time in a while reading is trending... Maybe it's not as popular as baking Sourdough, but it’s definitely one way people are spending their time in isolation. We are no exception.
Emily has some literary suggestions that you’ll definitely want to check out: “I’ve always been a bookworm, so while this isn’t abnormal for me, I have noticed an uptick in how many books I’m going through. I just finished great novels by Meg Wolitzer (The Interestings) and Jenny Offill (Weather). If Non-Fiction is more your game, I highly recommend Game of Birds and Wolves by Simon Parkin - it covers the strategy used by both the British Royal Navy and the German U Boat captains in the crucial Battle of the Atlantic during WWII.
However, the most enjoyable material by far has been diving back into Saga. If you have any inclination towards comics/graphic novels and haven’t heard of Saga, you're missing out. It’s MAGICAL, and it is absolutely full of weird shit. It’s a space opera with pretty spot on explorations of a lot of trends in our society today.”
Another literary lover in the group, Hilary, has also been diving into her library with a bit more gusto than usual.
“I have gone back to my old way of reading different genres of books all at the same time. To wind down after a day of media overload and pandemic craze I’ve been delving into a good old classic Victorian Novel, Daniel Deronda (definitely some problematic themes, but overall a soothing domestic novel). I’ve also been digging into Disappearing Earth, a mystery by Julia Phillips based in the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. I’m only about a quarter of the way through, but it’s interesting so far and is a different way of approaching a mystery, which I like. I’m also reading a bit of non-fiction and poetry when I have the chance. Overall, it’s been a great opportunity to really get back into the literary world in a way I have not had the chance to in years.”
All Those Hobbies:
Okay, hobbies, that catchall for the weird and wonderful things our team is doing. Adam, our Product Development Director, is the hobby master and says, “while working from home is nothing new for me, I’ve used some extra time to get my radio controlled hangar up and running for 2020. The local flying club is closed until outside gatherings are allowed, so I’m concentrating on the maintenance and fine setup work that will make a big difference later on. I like my flying lawnmowers to operate with precision!”
TJ, our Sales Manager, and his dog Lillie have embraced their green thumb during this time:
“I tried getting back into trail running, but that ended in foot injuries for both my dog and I (see Lillie’s foot), so instead we’ve been trying to do a little gardening. This way if we go totally stir crazy, at least we’ll have some greens to munch on!”
Reilly has turned to organizing and the world of video games in these trying times and says, “spending more time at home means I’ve been able to dig through most of my possessions and set aside the things that I don’t need so I can sell/donate them at a later date. It's done wonders for making my small apartment feel more like a home and has been a great coping mechanism for dealing with random bouts of anxiety.
In the video game department, I’ve been playing a lot of Call of Duty because the new Modern Warfare plays just like the games I spent a ton of time on during high school. It’s been a great way to stay connected with the friends I can’t see while killing a lot of time and improving my hand-eye coordination (lol). And people think video games are a waste of time…”
When the local pump track got too busy Lindsay turned to what we are going to call a new hobby... climbing.
“I took up bouldering at the local abandoned wall. Turns out, I’m not very good, but this foray into new realms of athleticism was short-lived anyway, as the park soon closed. *ego saved*”
Get in the Kitchen (Yes we are this trendy)
Artisanal bread... it’s the coolest thing since, well, sliced bread and PNW has a master in their midsts. Aaron, PNW’s CEO, has some important info for all of you who are novice bakers looking to perfect that crusty goodness.
“Being on lockdown has eliminated my standard 2-3 trips per month and allowed me to jump back into projects at home, such as perfecting my sourdough game. Sourdough bread is a fickle beast that is all based around having an active starter (yeast) that you have to feed every 2-3 days and is affected by humidity, temperature, and age of the flour you’re feeding it.
There is then a ton of technique around getting the dough properly prepped which takes 16-24 hours in total. It’s a huge pain in the ass and really sucks when a loaf comes out of the oven looking like a flat disk, but for some reason, I keep coming back for more. If you’re also a glutton for punishment and want to try crafting sourdough, here’s the best starter recipe that the folks at Tartine developed."
What are All of You Up To?
Like we mentioned in the first part of this series, staying active has been key to staying sane during this pandemic. We are learning that mental activity through hobbies, reading, baking, etc. are just as important as physical activity. We’d love to hear what you all are up to during this time. What books are you reading? What hobbies have you picked up again? How’s your sourdough crust looking? Stay tuned for the third and final part of our PNW and The Quarantine Series.
Missed out on the first part of this series? Click here to get caught up on PNW and The Quarantine Part 1.