Thursday, September 27, 2007


I placed a stellar 19th out of 27 Cat 5 men. I'm a punk hillclimber. Dana was 4th of 7 women in Cat 4.

Like it matters.....

I'm a geek. I traded 7 players on my fantasy football roster this week.

Like it matters.....

Racquetball tonight against College Mike and Loud Mouth Mike. Bof of 'em (Hey Vito) are good. I've lost to bof, and beaten 'em bof too. Should be a good night on the courts.

Have you ever ground up pinon coffee beans straight from the Country of New Mexico (there's no way its a state - have ya been there before?). This sh*t is just fantastic. Smoky, full-flavored espresso at its finest. Hell, I'll even drive there to get more.

Coffee and Racquetball.....they matter

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Kid at School Part Two

1.) The cops have followed up about as well as FEMA with regards to our report. Whatever.
2.) We asked that the kid be allowed to stay in the same class - what he did was probably nothing more than mimicking something he saw on some sh*t TV program or movie.
3.) Counseling session for me and the Ex on Friday - to discuss this stuff and Squirty going back and forth between houses as seamlessly as possible.

Random Shallow Thoughts

1.) I have around 100 days until I'm due for a cherry-poppin' "backside" exam - yup, the first one. Since my Pops is going in for prostate surgery next month, I best get inspected.
2.) I'm still thinking about building up that carbon Specialized Epic frame. I'll have to donate plasma for the extra money to do it, but.....
3.) When I was unintentionally listening to Nelly Furtado last night, I reminisced about the show Star Search - and how great of a talent Alanis Morissette was when she was 16.
4.) Have you ever wanted to be a cop?
5.) I would love to hear why one would not vote for Hillary Clinton in 2008. If she gets her legitimate health care plan rolling - there's no stopping her.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Google Maps said that Safford, AZ was 308 miles from my door - equivalent to 5 hours and 8 minutes. We left Flagstaff on Saturday in a hurricane. Sheets of rain, hydroplaning, the whole 9 yards. I have to give a big thanks to Subaru for making a pretty solid car in the Forester. We had 4 people, 4 bikes, gear and it was a solid ride. Numerous construction issues brought us to the east side of Phoenix around 6:30pm and we were starving. We fleeced a gas station of napkins, and plasticware and made burritos in the parking lot as we had the ingredients in the parking lot. We had to send Dana in to heat them up, as Gary had already been kicked out of the store once for "you take too much napkin".

Back in the car, and into mining country - Mormon country - Crystal Methe country....Globe/Miami, and finally to Safford around 10:00pm....6 1/2 hours later. We crashed at a little Best Western, to the sweet feeling of stagnant, humid, warm air, and highway noise. Truckers seemed to be playing games as they came through to pick up their methe fixes - laying on their horns HARD all the way down the main drag. I slept for sh*t, and woke up at 5:15am to the sound of Gary's cell phone alarm. Usually I can't sleep before a big race, but believe me - the competition was above my league so I was not stressing about the ride.

We rolled over to the start/staging area in plenty of time, get the numbers, warm up on the rollers, over to the line - National anthem, and then this goofy prayer by the race organizer. There were 150+ racers that I would imagine represented a lot of religions and this guy was spouting off about thanking God and Jesus. Maybe I'm just growing tired of this stuff - but I couldn't wait to race and hear him ZIP his zealous piehole.

The organizer sounded the airhorn - and we were off. Let me tell ya a little bit about this field. It is LOADED with the top road climbers in the state. Who else would show up for a 5,600 foot climb over 20 miles? These people have powertaps, uber-expensive bikes, and a some pretty good fitness Well - I know of two people, me and Dana, who probably didn't train properly for this. I have been riding mountain bikes all summer, so I felt like I could at least compete. Dana rode MAYBE 2x a week for a month prior figuring it would be similar to Mount Lemmon in Tucson. The mood at the line was unlike any MTB race I've been at. Ego-centric, not friendly, and since it was a mass start - everyone was trying to figure out who they were competing against.

Ok, GO!

Instantly, D and I were in the back 3rd of the pack - where we belonged. I was doing the pacemaking for us as we agreed. The Goal was for me to work the pitches of 4% and less, and for her to pace us when it got steep. I had to fight to keep us at the front of the back 1/3, and I was contunially pushing 173 on the ol' heart rate monitor. That's a lof of effort for me, and I was convinced for the first 4 miles that my HR was off by 10 beats per minute. Yeah - was me burying myself to keep us in the race. I kept this up for 4 miles until we hit a 10% pitch.

I gunned it since I could see that it would end in 1/4 mile, and Dana followed. I hit 180 on the HR and had to slow down - but we dropped about 20 people there and never saw them again. We then set a pace that brought me back down a bit and hung on for the next 6 miles to the 1/2 way point. Psychologically I was breaking down, and then the sun broke through the clouds and it got for me at least. I fell about 50 yards behind D and sat there for 3 more miles until I recovered. I paced back up to her and we were at mile 13 - thinking in my head - 'how the f*ck am I gonna make it to mile 20 without slowing down significantly'. Just then, it was as if my body stabilized, and my HR dropped to a very comfortable 168. We rode at this pace for another 2 miles (mile 15) - and hit intense fog, and the top finishers were already riding DOWN. It didn't seem logical - we weren't going that slow. Turns out we see the race director at the next switchback and he screams: "Race ends in 1K! Too much fog and hail!" Well, D is gassed, and she doesn't have a kick. I have some extra, but we couldn't see a soul in front of us, or behind us so I didn't sprint for the line - instead, we upped the tempo a notch and rode across the line together in 1 hour, 51 minutes.

We grapped the gear we sent up with the support vehicle (leg warmers, winter riding jackets, full-fingered gloves, earbands) and took off for the bottom as the snow and hail was coming down. It was a long ride down on wet roads for 12 miles - as the storm had just followed us up the mountain.

At the awards ceremony in Methe-ville, USA - we realized just how average we were compared to the best climbers in the State. The winning Pro 1,2 men were coming in around 1 hour and 15 minutes. Two things were inspiring though:

1.) There were a lot of men riding with us that were in their 50's and even 60's. It's great to know that if I'm dedicated, I can ride well into my geriatric years. And ride well, too.
2.) D. She trained for sh*t, and kept pace with the women in her category - placing 4th and only 3 minutes out of first in the Women's Cat 4. The chick is a solid rider, and I couldn't have felt any better about riding with her the whole way (except for that 3 mile stretch where I was DYING and hanging on 50 yards back). If she trained for this thing, I would not have been riding with her as she would have put 5 minutes into me easily.

For the record, I finished 12th out of 15 Cat 5 men......and that is one reason I'm pumped for the Epic Rides Tour of the White Mountains in 2 weeks. It's on mountain bikes - 51 miles of singletrack, and I know I can hit the top 15 in the Mens division if I come to play. Long Live the Mountain Bike, and screw the skinny tires until maybe next spring.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A F*cked up Friday

1) One of Squirty's classmates has been kissing her, and GOT his hand in her pants during class - no kidding. Intervention on Monday with school counselors - questioning, the whole f*cking 9 yards. The kid is 6.....I can't punch him in the face, but I can punch his Dad.
2) Racing this weekend kinda seems irrelevant right now. Like I give a f*ck? But - life goes on, and nothing can happen between now and Monday. Gary recommended that I put a 27 tooth cog on the back. I've never ridden anything other than an 11-23 with a 39/53 up front. I'll try it tomorrow as a test since he described the climb as Looooong and steep.
3) I'm dyin' on the vine right now - just feeling flat, tired, and I'm about as exciting as watching the Twins play baseball at 15 games out of first with 10 to go. WHATEVER.
4) Racquetball was a success last night from a scoring perspective. I'm getting better and am dominating the league right now. It continues to be the best mental release and inside my head, I'm just screaming at the ball trying to crush it into the wall. I don't think I'm very fun to play, but I don't really give a sh*t. I want to win and leave a wake behind me of dejected players. F*ck em.

I'll snap out of it. Its just that you never know when you get to start eatin' shitburgers. I'm at the White Castle of shitburgers right now - just pumpin' down a dozen at a time.....sliders.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

How do you get one of those if you're 100% whitebread?

I'm feeling about as flat as can be right now. Maybe its because I'm supposed to be resting this week for the imminent max effort coming on Sunday morning. I have a hard time resting - I want to go play. I know its good for my legs, but I need to get some exercise in. Good thing its Thursday night - racquetball will help get me fired up again.

This has been one of those super-tiring weeks. Lyza had a bad night on Monday - up all night - worried about me going down to Tucson for work. Top that off with just regular day to day stress and you get two things:

1) I fell asleep driving yesterday - split second - but enough to make me pull over and sleep for 10 minutes.

2) I also fell asleep watching Lyza at her tennis lesson last night. She busted me on it too - I was out for maybe a minute and I wake up to her laughing down on the court.

Narcolepsy? Probably - I can fall asleep in 2.2 seconds when I'm whipped.

OK - r-ball tonight, an easy 20 mile road bike ride tomorrow morning, and the same thing on Saturday Am in preparation for the race. We have a 5 hour 1-way drive to Safford, AZ - so it'll be a long Sunday. Hey - its better than sittin' on my ass and watching the Vikings make a traveshamockery out of the NFL.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fish -

Is that you drivin' Mommy's car?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Time has a great....

article on the spouses of the major contenders for the 2008 election. If you're a John Edwards person, his wife is a smokin' gun for several reasons. She's whip-smart, she has stage IV breast cancer with a life expectancy of less than 5 years - making her in the opinion of most strategists - untouchable. How can you rip her? If you do - you are an ass, and she is confident and smart enough to get right in your face.

I guess the point is that these spouses are strong - including Mr. Clinton - possibly the "First Laddie" of the White House. To me, the Clinton's deserve their position as #1/#1 - the poll leaders in the Dem polls, and the overall poll leaders of all candidates.

Now if you're casting your vote for Prez based on the hottest spouse, then you have to lean towards John McCain - his wife Cindy McCain is it if you like the "cougar" look. She's blond, fit, rich, and smart. If you have jungle fever then ya best choose Obama's wife Michelle - although she might not be 'black enough', like Obama's critics say of him.

I don't even care who wins the Republican ticket, so we'll keep the discussion on this blog geared towards the interesting and talent-laden Dem side. Cindy's front runner anyway.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Girls

A good weekend, a great hike, just kickin' back in the late summer temps.

Funniest things I read tonight:
1.) The pathetic "questioning" by the House of Gen. Petreus. Talk about a guy being hung out to dry by Bush.
2.) The "feud" between Kanye West and 50 Cent.
3.) The Vikings offense
4.) The lyrics to Cheeseburger's song "Do You Remember" - check these guys out if you haven't yet. They'll wake your ass up if you're draggin it to the starting line.
5.) Vito's assessment of the Chicago Bears and how it relates to him banging a South American Chick. Vito is ALWAYS on hand with a good story.

Good Night Biyotches...
So much for the Vikings

It was a good weekend, with virtually no riding or anything going on other than working a bit on Saturday, and hanging out with the Family on Sunday. The Vikings do suck, and I don't even know why I give a sh*t about them anymore.

Work is hectic - people out on vaca, people out sick, and I have a big hill to climb this coming Saturday. I'll find time to ride tomorrow and Wednesday as a final tune up before climbing the monster. Here are the stats:

Mount Graham / Safford AZ
20 mile climb
Base elev: 3,500 feet
Top: 9,300 feet
Gradient: Average of around 6% or so

It'll be 80+ at the bottom, and around 65 at the top.

Nothing brutal, but definately a Category 1 Tour de France climb - minus the drugs. Does weed count? Just kidding, but it might take the edge off this week thinking about the race. Maybe I'll get some for 'medicinal' purposes.

OK - back to the sawmill.

Friday, September 14, 2007

It was a good night at the courts

Timid Tim has developed a little bit of a game, and wasn't so timid. But he went down like Lindsey Lohan on a traffic cop. Then I played Ken I have the look of a potential serial killer. You should see this guy's face - he could either smile and laugh, or look like he'll rape your wife, kill your kids, and keep your dog. I'm gonna keep my distance, and NEVER hit him with the ball. He has a good game, but not a lot of fitness, so he went down swingin'. Then it was on to Kaotic Kevin - which is really an acronym. He's calm, cool, and has a lot of control. We played twice, and I wasted him the first time, and we battled to 15-13 the last game - I got him at the wire. It was a great match - and I can't wait to play this guy again.

The Lowly Detroit Lions play the Vikes this weekend. Fish - if you're reading this, Adrian Peterson will WRECK your Lions this weekend. Vikes....goin 2-0 baby.

I'm ready for Friday evening. For the weekend ya know........


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sub 40

For the first time, I comfortably finished climbing Snowbowl road in under 40 minutes. 39:15 to be exact, with no one chasing me, and no one in front of me. 6.2 miles, 7,000 feet at the start line to 9,000 feet at the top. OK - so I'm pretty pumped about it, but then I remember the reality of my so called 'achievement'.

In last year's race to the top, the winner of the Pro,1,2 category demolished the climb in 26:34. He had enough time to take of the chamois, drink an Iced Tea, give an interview, kiss his wife and tell her about the climb, and load his bike to go home.......and then I would have crossed the line. Good thing I'm a Hotel Manager because I sure ain't gonna make a living climbing Snowbowl.

Enjoy your Thursday. Racquetball tonight against Fat F*ck Fred, and Tough Mike. At least I have one good match to look forward to.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The next 11 days

I'm not really nervous yet about the state championship hill climb because although I'm entered in the Cat 4 men, I'm not racing for me. C'mon - I wouldn't have a chance of placing in the top 10 of my category. I'm too slow which is caused by not riding my road bike as much as I could, and the fact that I'm 190+ pounds. The dudes who win this race are little dudes who climb like gondolas in Vail.

The goal is to get D on the podium of the Women's 4. We have been training, and we worked our tails off on a 50 mile loop last weekend featuring a 16 mile climb - not really high elevation though. I'm still recovering from that ride. My job next weekend is to hang on to D's wheel on the steeps - which is not easy for me, and then step up and provide a draft for her on the flatter sections. Hopefully, with a little luck, she will be on that podium.

Our canceled vacation has allowed the priviledge of working this week - that's just f'n great. It has also allowed me to only work 1/2 days so we have spent time looking at real estate for my Uncle to buy. I hope we can get him moved in to Flagstaff in the next 6 months. It would be great to have him around more. He's a twitchy SOB, but he's a blast to be around.

We may have an update tonight on a condo about 2 miles from my front door. If so - pictures will follow tomorrow.

Monday, September 10, 2007

HAVASUPAI?'s where I ended up on Sunday. In Hell. Yup, that's Phoenix, and we took my Dad back there to get him on a plane home. He wasn't feeling all that good, so we canceled the trip. Hey - curveballs come at ya all the time. It's how you make the adjustment.

Adjustments - oh yeah. We hit the Mandalay Tea Room for some tofu scramble plates and organic French Pressed Coffee. Then, off to Gameworks for 2 hours of airhockey and driving games. Good times.

So, we made the most of it. I did go to work today, but I cut out early since it was a vacation day. I got in 2.5 hours of climbing, and 45 minutes of descending on the mountain bike. It could not have been a better afternoon.

Friday, September 7, 2007

So I look at the racquetball leage schedule last night and.....

who do I draw? Chris G (a 20 year old college kid who is sponsored by Ektelon), and some dude who ripped both of his hammies about a month back...."some dude" ended up a no-show.

So Chris G plays a match before me against a stiff named Timid Tim. He's a nice guy, looks like Dave Stout, but at least Stout can hit a jumper from 20 with a hand in his face. Timid Tim lasted all of 15 minutes with Chris G. I was cold on the couch waiting to play Chris G - 2 minute warm-up, and we are off.

He waxes me 15-4 in the first game. I was cold, but not that cold. He just surprised me with his power, and it took me until the last 5 minutes of the game to catch on to his strategy. Next game - I pegged it early and took him 15-4. Primarily, I just took advantage of any marginal shot he made, and I got on a good roll. So we're standing by the drinking fountain, and I says to the guy I says "So this game is to 11, right?" He says "yeah..11". I say "Sh*t....I don't do well in short games as I have a hard time getting my engine running". It was a little mental warfare, but it worked. I turned on the gas early - got out to an 8-2 lead, and took him 11-5. We talked after, and I was thinking he had been playing since he was 16.....played a lot of tourneys, been sponsored for a few years etc etc etc. Nope. The f*cker picked up a racquet 9 months ago playing with his buddy on outdoor cement courts in Phoenix. Played in 3 tourneys this summer, and moved to Flagstaff in August. He got sponsored after his 3rd tourney which he won.

He was three, f*cking 3, when I graduated from college. I have been playing competitively for 21 years, and we are at about the same level. I wanted to pull a Tanya Harding on his left knee so I don't have to play him in the tournament in 5 weeks. The bright side, is that I can still play with these dudes. The dark side is I'm absolutely positively as good as I will get at this sport. Sure, I may pick up some new shots but the trade off is that I'm physically declining. I felt it getting out of bed this morning.

After one more match with Monster Mike - we split the match - I was ready for the garbage. Home, shower, bed.....done.

I'll be at Havasu Falls Sunday through Wednesday. Pics to follow and surely some good stories.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Everything you never wanted to know....

Happy Thursday............note that I didn't publish this on Hump Day.
Sports, Drugs & Morals?

Every cyclist I know is all up in arms over the fact that another NFL player was caught using HGH (That's Human Growth Hormone Mom), and he only got a 4-game suspension. Rodney Harrison is the guy, and he's a long-time veteran of the New England Patriots. The point is that if this had happened to a pro cyclist, it would have meant:
A) You get sacked (That's FIRED Mom)
B) Your income is gone
C) You get a 2-year ban

Seems like we have a little discrepancy when people say that Cycling is the 'dirtiest sport'. 'Roids and HGH are rampant if the NFL and have been for 20 years, don't let the number of positive tests fool you into thinking that there is little substance abuse in America's #1 game.

Here's the moral dilemma: Rodney Harrison is a highly respected player because he's been around a long time, he plays with reckless abandon, and he was probably trying to squeeze another year or two out of his body before he will inevatibly be replaced by a younger player. He knows his earning power is almost gone at the pro level, and he was willing to risk a 4-game suspension on drugs that would prolong his career. I can see both sides of this issue, but, cheating is cheating. I learned that from an Ex-wife who created a moral dilemma to justify her actions. I think, for Rodney, its about ego/pride and money. Rodney was just coming off a broken leg, he's in his late 30's and he just had to come back to prove to himself and everyone that he's still "THE MAN" and the fat payday helped justify the sacrifice he had to make.

Hey - it's the NFL where cartoon-like crashes are on ESPN within minutes of their occurence, where violence is praised, and where a sh*tload of money is bet every week. I don't think anything will change anytime soon.

Racquetball tonight, it's the first week of the fall league. We have 6 weeks of round robin play followed by the Tourney. I got my new racquet, and I am ready to play. 3 matches tonight followed by a sprint home to see the girls before bedtime. I'm ready for a stress reliever - work has been flat, revenues are stagnant, and we're all ready for a change in business levels.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Freaks & Geeks

The 11th Annual fantasy football draft was yesterday in scenic Lake Montezuma, AZ - at the local golf course. Some of the dudes in our league hit the sticks before the draft, and I have to say that it's probably one of the only golf courses in AZ where you see more mullets than polo-shirt wearin' cropped cut fat guys. I skipped the golf, as I usually do and rolled in for the draft at 1:30. It's always a good time - catching up with guys I only see once a year. This whole debacle started back in 1996 and I like it because its pretty much stayed the same since. We drink beer, talk smack, and overall, take it about as serious as we should. Meaning its fun to talk about on Sundays and every now and then we get into a good trashtalk session online about it.

I woke up this mornin' around 5:45 and was on the singlespeed by 6:05. Just so you know, the sun rises now about 6:10am. We really are losing light - and it was on the edge of cold - around 51 degrees. I climbed for 5 miles up Mount Elden's 2000' gain in my 32 x 18. Plenty of work for a Monday morning. Flip it - and down "endo trail" back home. No endo's today - thankfully.

Now - off to the pool with Squirty. September is here, and I can feel the days getting shorter and the temps falling. It'll be 68 for a high on Thursday with lows in the 40's. Damn.....summer went fast.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


So after dinner last night it was raining, but the dogs had not been out. D, Squirty and me hit the pavement for a long loop around the 'hood. About as 'hood' as it gets in Flagstaff is our quirky neighborhood of dumpy rentals, nice single family homes, condos, apartments with 90% of the population being white folk or Latinos. Not exactly a hood, but its our hood. So anyway, off we go, and about 1/4 of the way through, Lyza pulls the "I have to pee" card. We hit the woods, she takes care of business, and we're on our way. It has to be her favorite place to go to the bathroom. I think she'll be a good camper since I have yet to hear her say "ohhhh - gross, I want a toilet". So we amble on, and deep inside my lower abdomen grumbles - a lot. That transmits to my brain quickly....I'm 1/2 mile from home and if I don't find a bathroom ASAP its gonna be bad. I toss the dog leash to Lyza who stays with D - they are laughing as I take off down the road for home.

The problem is - that I can't run. I get hives on my legs if I have not been regularly running. It itches worse than you can imagine, and I have to stop and walk. So I'm racewalking the 1/2 mile home trying to tell the ol' sphincter that I'm not even close and to hold the dam - HOLD THE LINE BOYS - HOLD THE LINE!!! Says commander Shitski. Well the garage appears, I open it and sprint the final 50 feet to porcelain heaven. Let's just say it was as if I dumped a bucket of mopwater into the toilet. And then - it was over. WHEW. Cleaned the toilet, had a nice relaxing night after dropping 4 pounds of water weight, and slept like a baby.

I remember not making it once when I was in 4th grade. That has stuck with me as vividly as any of the other life changing events I have had in 39 years.

Have a nice weekend