Thursday, January 31, 2008


Damn brah – in the last week, its been 3 hours of road riding on wet and snowy roads + 4 ½ hours on the rollers. 7 ½ hours of ride time isn’t gonna get me on any podiums soon, but I probably will not explode or implode for that matter in Tucson. If it weren’t for Old Pueblo, I’d be boarding almost exclusively – and probably working more too.

I have a buddy who has a Super Bowl ticket. Bought it for $700. Won’t sell it for $4K to a broker. He wants to see the Patriots go 19-0. I politely informed him that he could sell the ticket, buy a HUGE ass HD TV, pay for the signal for a year, have enough left over for a colossal kegger with his moocher friends (me included), and celebrate the 19-0 season in the comfort of his home with a great view of the game. Doesn’t matter – he’s going. If it were me and I had been smart enough to invest in two tickets to this game, I’d buy a new Bianchi, book a trip to Italy, drink a ton of Moretti and Peroni in between rides, rent a Lamborghini for a day, and eat until my guts exploded – all thanks to the two tickets to the Super Bowl. For what it’s worth, I hope the Giants win by a point with their backup quarterback since the thought of another Manning winning a Super Bowl makes me want to hurl…..see why I don’t bet on games?!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Losing my faith in all of this…..

Unless the Senate defeats the Dubya-inspired Economic Stimulus Plan, I’m afraid no one will. It’s a shame that none, NONE of the major Presidential candidates has the balls (or the rack) to stand up against this initiative.

Yes, I could use the money. I have a wife and a daughter in school right now, and we’re super tight on money. Obviously, I’m not alone in being on a short leash with $$. However, it is fiscally irresponsible to dive into more debt in an effort to stimulate the economy with cash payouts. Many people in this country gambled and lost trying to gain free money – and we are all paying for it. The last thing we need are the Fed’s using bailout tactics. If you gambled, and lost your home because you were under qualified in the first place or you grossly overbought with a speculative eye, then go rent. It’s not ultimately the lender’s fault, it’s your fault for not understanding the terms of your loan.

Sure, half of the businesses in America tease consumers with no payments/no interest, graduated payments ect – and there is some fault there. It’s too bad that this segment of financing has become dominant – and it’s a result of Americans wanting bigger, better, more, right now. The American sense of entitlement is powerful.

Mr. Prez - if you’re gonna do this, try food stamps. I could use $600 in food stamps to redeem at my local store. That would be a month and a half of “free” food which would trickle down to a lot of different businesses and employees who need their jobs. Since this isn’t gonna happen, I’ll save my cash payout in protest – and make a deposit in my already weak savings account.

Again, what I’m really disappointed in is the lack of character that the candidates are showing. What they are showing is that it’s an election year, and they are all truly slaves to the political process. I don’t know why I expected any more of them in the first place.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One more courtesy of Ellsie:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A good old fashioned self-inflicted ass whoppin...

44 miles on the road bike, 45 degrees, one mile of riding on snow/cinder covered roads. One somewhat trashed bike, two semi-trashed legs, and a couple of imminent saddle sores just for good measure. It was a glorious day yesterday, and probably the warmest day we have had in a month. Today? - the weather man says we should expect one to two feet of snow through Monday. Guess it's back to the rollers and the videos, and the snowboard.

My new favorite bumper sticker:
He's Barack enough for me!

Congrats Obama on a nice win in SC. Nothing like stomping Edwards in his home state.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Some quality T-shirts....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Old Pueblo Dreams -

warm days
frigid nights
great burritos
drinkable coffee
no sleep,
some sleep,
but not the right kind of sleep
adrenaline rush at 7am - sunrise
adrenaline crash at 3am - woken up in my tent "you have 30 minutes until you're up"
1300 people, I'm just another number
unless I ride in assless chaps, Aviators, and no shirt
Good times
This is, perhaps, the finest summary of exactly why you should consider voting for Johnny Maverick......

Anytime you can force 100% assclowns like Tom DeLay and Russ Limbaugh to vomit, you have a strong candidate. An excerpt from TIME mag this week:

Conservative élites are the ones most likely to break out into hives at the mention of McCain's name. Former Republican House majority leader Tom DeLay has declared that he would not vote for McCain in the general election, even if Hillary Clinton were the Democratic nominee. Railing against McCain and Huckabee, both of whom he views as anathema to conservatives, talk-radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh recently warned his 13.5 million listeners, "If either of these two guys gets the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party." A few days later, Limbaugh was so outraged by the possibility that Republicans might support McCain that he bellowed, "If you Republicans don't mind McCain's positions, then what is it about Hillary's positions you dislike? They're the same!"
The truth is that McCain and Clinton remain far apart on the political spectrum. But it is also true that conservatives have a lengthy bill of complaint against McCain. In the past decade he has joined with Democrats on a series of crusades in Congress — with Russ Feingold on campaign-finance reform and Ted Kennedy on immigration reform — that a majority of Republicans have opposed. He voted against President Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and '03, each time citing the need for fiscal restraint. And during his 2000 campaign, he labeled Pat Robertson and the Rev. Jerry Falwell "agents of intolerance."

Florida will be a huge Primary - plus we can finally put Rudy Giuliani to rest after he finishes a distant 4th.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

55 more minutes on the rollers last night....

had me feeling pretty good except for my nearly numb scrotum. The one bad thing about rollers is you can't get off your seat, and pedal standing up - or else you'll rocket off the front and into your TV or wall or whatever is in front of you. So after nearly 60 minutes sitting down, the ol' scrote starts to become uncomfortably numb. I guess I could get one of those huge-ass gel padding seats, but that would probably throw off my bike fit and cause some knee or back problem. 55 minutes is plenty, and THIS place opens soon - so it'll be nice to attend some spin classes that are motivating. Yeah, I know - the graphics make it look like it'll be some Oxygen/Oprah Winfrey studio, but the people running the place are serious jocks so I hope to get something out of it.

Starting Friday, I'll be able to get in 5 consecutive rides (road and MTB) in an effort to bulk up for the battle known as the Ol' Pueblo. I'll be working 3-11 every night next week so I can ride in the mornings before work. Get out the lobster gloves, the Gore legwarmers, and the neoprene thermo jacket. Yeah - it ain't Wisconsin weather, but anything below 45 degrees is cold to me.

My old boss, Jaymes Humel - the hard driving sales guy at Mold In Graphics would be proud of Lyza. She blew her Girl Scout cookie sales quota out of the water in one day. I brought her to Junipine and sorta' force fed the staff to buy cookies. There's nothing worse than your boss bringing his kid into work and saying, without really saying, "buy some cookies from my kid or I'll remember it come compensation review time". I limit myself to doing this only once a year since I hate being put in that position myself. But everyone loves GS cookies anyway so at the end of the day, no harm - no foul. Needless to say we sold 45 boxes at work, and sold the rest after school to our neighbors. I haven't even shaken down Ellsie yet, but now that he knows we're targeting him, he may suddly not be home for the next two weeks.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nice speedo

Monday, January 21, 2008

We stepped off the plane in Flagstaff....

and it was 35 degrees. That was 50 degrees warmer than Minneapolis on Sunday morning where the temp was a brutally cold -15. Honestly, I forgot that REAL winter means that your car struggles to turn over, your nose hairs stick to the frozen membranes in your nose, and when someone in your family suggests an after dinner walk - you all move to the family room and play cards or sip an after dinner drink. I said to my Dad something to the tune of "Man, you gotta be tough to live here considering it can be 105, or -35 over the course of a year". He quickly replied "not tough, just stupid". He's still bitter about ovarian cancer taking out his wife, so chalk that reply up to 50% anger, and 50% truth.

Michigan is actually losing population, and it ain't about the cold - it's about an economy that is pretty depressed. I really enjoyed living there in the early to mid 1990's, but when you look at places like Saginaw, Flint, and Jackson it makes you realize how tough it is to live there. Mitt Romney took a harder than expected win there over Johnny Maverick primarily because he's a very successful businessman who preached a dedication to turning around the auto industry. He didn't mention squat about how he would do that, and I sure hope his vision isn't predicated on gas/oil machines.

So the democratic primary is on Feb 5th in AZ, as it is for most states. As a registered dem, I'm still on the fence about HILBAMA. John Edwards is done in my book, and I find myself caught in a position of pulling for the dem candidate that matches up the worst against McCain. I personally think that if McCain gets the GOP nod, even if it is solely due to his hot wife who by the way is the daughter of Hensley Distributors - the state Anheuser Busch rep - then there is no question in my mind that he wins the election in the fall. Call me crazy, but I think that the key to the election is not which minority dem candidate wins the primary....nope - it's who wins the Republican primary because if it's anyone other than McCain the dems will win. You know what? I'm cool with that. Cheap Thrill Hill, Obama, or McCain would all put a smile on my face.

And speaking of feelin' good - I managed to survive 55 minutes on the rollers today as I watched a rerun of the 2003 Tour, the one where Lance almost loses to Jan Ullrich. This isn't the one that convinced me that Lance doped like everyone else - that was in 2004 when he chased down Filippi Simeoni with an axe murderer stare on his face....those two had some bad blood (sorry about that) over doping scandals. Anyway, it felt good to move my legs again. Our Old Pueblo team consists of:

Jeff - hasn't ridden since 'Nam because he blew up his hotel staff and is working all the shifts hours - 0 Good thing Jeff doesn't know he's doing the run for the Le Mans start or he might be panicking right now.
Eck - bad back, but is on the hours - a few
Me - no motivation, working 55+ hours the next couple of weeks, and would rather be hours - not much, but don't call it a comeback when I tear it up next week - 'cause I was never down
Josh - Just married in Jamaica, and now invested in some $6,000,000 crash course training system. training hours - top secret

I'll be ready, and I bet everyone else will make it there in good shape too - it's just a tough road this time o' year.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Steve Czaban (channel 142 on your XM dial from 6am-9am Eastern)....does a great bit once in a while called "I'm so done with....". Well here's my offering:

I'm so done with the newest entry into the cliche hall of fame: "At the end of the day". For example:

Random Jock: "At the end of the day, we just has to goes out there an win"
Random CEO: "_(fill in company name here)________'s success is dictated by numbers. At the end of the day, if we sold our quotas then we will be a success"
Any politician: "It's about caucusing for me - and I ask each and every one of you to caucus for me, and at the end of the day we'll see who wins, and with your support it will be us together......
Joe Blow: "Yeah, I f*cked up and lost my job, my Camaro was re-po'ed even though it's an '84, but I was able to get re-hired after they found out it was Bubba who shut off the fryer. At the end of the day, It's all good (double heinous cliche there), now let's put on some Kid Rock and get high.

Jesus H Christ I think I heard it at least 20 times yesterday, even some dillweed at the airport on his stupid bluetooth was spewing it - while talking about how he brought his A-Game to a sales meeting. That had me snickering, especially since he was about 15 years my junior.

I first heard the cliche when it wasn't a cliche. Jaymes Humel was my boss here.
This guy was a classic, hard driving sales guy. Stood 6', drank Rogaine and Espresso from 5am - 10am easy, with a 'heater' in the afternoon just to stay awake. The f*cker commuted from Anthem to Clarkdale, AZ in a lowered, that's right, a lowered white Miata with custom rims and ultra low profile tires. He unfolded his body from that car, grabbed his TUMI briefcase, and strutted into the office with more confidence than George Bush at a Republican fundraiser. Gold chains, marginal hairline, small gut, but you could tell he was THE SHIT from his little hometown outside of Cleveland. I can't even imagine how much he was dying to return for his high school reunion - he was that confident. Jim could sell a bible to a Buddhist, or a vibrator to Mother Teresa. We sat down on my first day to talk, and I was brimming with confidence about selling these polyolefin-compatible graphics, and how excited I was to be working a straight 9-5 job. He says to me, he says "Chris, I'm gonna cut to the bottom line here 'cause I don't waste words on staff. You get on that phone, and sell these graphics because nobody else has what we have - period. Most people will tell you to f*ck off, but you'll make a few sales too. At the end of the day, it's about your successes, and the failures - f*ck em. Who cares.

Back then, it wasn't cliche - it was a way to truly measure my success. Now? Well now, Lord willing, I'll just give 110% and take it one day at a time. At the end of the day I hope to have won your vote, and life is what it is, but I hope to at least get my piece of the pie.
Hours on the bike the last 14 days - squat
Hours spent working out in some capacity - maybe 3?
weight gained in 14 days - could be 2-3 pounds
Sweet - looks like I'm on a great training plan for a 24 hour team bike race in less than 30 days.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm dreaming of this, this, and I was dreaming of this......but I didn't get in. I was pretty psyched about the possibility of getting into the SSWC, but I'm sure my lack of 'palmares' contributed to the fact that I didn't make the cut. The first two events/places are slated for February visits. We have a sausage fest of guys going to Utah for 4 days of boarding, skiing, beer, gas, trash-talk and not a whole lotta sleep. Then Old Pueblo which will prove to be merely a way to train for the spring/summer events. I haven't ridden a bike in 2 weeks, and I need to get through this stretch of commitments before that starts again.

In between errands for Pops today, I got in 1/2 hour of skating at the rink, and then I popped over and rented Kill Bill Vol. 1. Yes - I know, I'm only what...5 or 6 years behind the release date? It was worth it. Uma Thurman is smokin', Tarantino wrote a great script, and it's definately worth the $2.00 rental. You don't have to look too hard for the dark humour either - it comes at you like splattered blood, and there's plenty of that.

Tomorrow, family starts arriving for the weekend memorial. Thankfully so, because I'm ready for a reprieve. If you offered me a Vicodin with a beer chaser, I'd take it right now....turn on a movie I've seen before, and just feel the calm come over my body. I remember getting a 'scrip for Percocet and one for Hydrocodone when I had surgery, and I'd love to revisit that lucid feeling right now. However, I have neither in front of me. But I do have a pint of Haagen Dazs. That's going down right now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My skates, my lovely hockey skates, check 'em out!

You know you love Fergie....(sorry Mom, you won't know what the f*ck that meant).

Let me tell ya, if I didn't have them with me I'd be going nuts right now. Two one half hour sessions of gassers has left me gassed. I didn't think I could sweat when it's 3 degrees out, but I'll be damned if I didn't nearly puke last night after 30 minutes of windsprints. O'ccourse, skating 20 minutes after a huge dinner probably contributed to that nauseated feeling. Feeling Minnesota?

Pops is in Defcon 3 mode, and there's not a safety pressure valve. He could blow at any minute trying to organize details, and I'm standing aside and just offering help when he needs it. It's pretty easy for me to be a little bit critical from the sideline, especially when he's been terse, short, and the lack of balance in his life right now is taking its toll on him physically. However, I don't know what I would do if one of my girls died. With that being said, I'm doing my best to not overreact to his harsh edge, and I'M THE ONE BLOWING OFF STEAM - via ice skating on the local rinks.

The rest of the familiy arrives on Thursday and Friday, and that will be a welcome relief. We should have most of the major details wrapped up today (catering, service, family dinner arrangements, and airport pickups). I think I'll rent some pathetic plot action movie tonight and just get lost in it after one more session on the rink.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Leinie's, windchill, and bland food

F'n A. Back in Minneosta for sure when you add these elements into the already strangely but not so strange culture here. It's not that its any different from visiting any other place - we all have our oddities. But I'll be damned over the following:

1.) Minnesota has tough Mom's. Wanna know why? I drove up to an outdoor rink to do some skating. The place is packed with a birthday party. Are the kids and the parents in the warming house? Heck no, they are outside in 9 degree weather having a barbecue on the grill while the kids are sledding and skating.

2.) Caribou Coffee..almost like a little step sister of Starbucks. I think they have a nice corner on the market and Starbucks is not nearly as dominant here. PLUS - you can order small, medium and large drinks instead of the stupid Tall, Grande, Venti.

3.) The political slant is definately left - and I like that. However, nobody seems to like the cheap shots that the candidates throw around like syringes in a football locker room. Whoever wins Minnnesota's caucuses will likely be the blandest, milquetoast candidates out there. It's ironic too since the state took a flyer on Jesse Ventura a few years back when the 'old guard' fat white guys got stale. It's almost as if there is rebellion and angst in the residents, but only if you tick them off.

Spent the day running errands for Pops, and now he's trusting me to cook dinner. Seitan/Broccoli/Potato stir fry with a salad. Look out for a potentially sour stomach in about an hour. That's why I bought the 3.99 6'er of Leinenkugel's original - that'll kill any stomach virus.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Welcome back to Minnesota

I'm home for a week to help out with any remaining details of my Step Mom's memorial service, and to be of support to my Dad. Tough times fo' sho. I just finished a weekend of Owner Meetings at work, which translated to a lot of stress and I'm glad they are done.

The mood here is purposeful, somewhat somber, but not bad at all. My Dad is hell-bent on delivering a great service for Penny's friends and family. The house looks great, and I applaud my Dad for stepping up HUGE. I think it's the first time I can remember him being a take-charge guy, as in clearly delivering to me/family what he wants to happen. I'm impressed, and happy for him.

I brought my hockey skates since I won't be riding a stationary trainer in a Goddamn gym for exercise. There's 10,000 lakes to choose from, so I'm pumped to hit the rinks and lakes for some exercise. Although, Friday's high will be 2.

Quick hits:
D is now enrolled in a Scottsdale AZ massage school. It's complicated.
John McCain is still rollin, rollin, rollin. LOVE IT.
I'm am so far behind on technology it's pathetic. I can't even discuss HD tv in public or I'll be ridiculed. Whatever...


Thursday, January 10, 2008


Don't tell me you don't remember these babes.....if you don't well you're missing out on some lyrics that could really steer your life, into a gutter. In sifting through some old CD's I have, I came across some good stuff to share:

Kip Winger told us 'She's only 17, but she's old enough for me'. Kip was about 34 when he waxed those words of wisdom. I believe that his 1988 lyrics led to the No Child Left Behind program, but I can't be sure about that.

Cinderella said "You don't know what ya got, till it's gone". No shit? I didn't figure that out until I was 7 and I lost my Evil Kneivel over a cliff into some river outside of Stillwater, MN.

Slaughter mumbled "Up all night, sleep all day" Having worked in hospitality, that is an ode to Night Auditors who are grouchy, pale, crusty, and generally enjoy gay porn. Hey - whatever you're into, right?

Warrant cried "Where the down boys go, I wanna go where the down boys go" Well if Janie Lane is a 'down boy' then I'm headed the other f*ckin' direction. Have you seen that human train wreck these days? Holy crap, he's even played in Flagstaff, and you don't play in Flagstaff unless you are bluegrass, or desperate for a gig - and Warrant isn't strumming strings and singin' about prison breaks.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

My hat goes off to the Independent voters in New Hamp because they have once again given Johnny Maverick a lifeline and a pulpit to preach from. As a registered Democrat, I get a lot of flack for supporting this guy. I mean hell, if we sat down to lunch, we'd see eye to eye on very few issues.

The reason(s) I'm all for Johnny Maverick are summed up in one word. Compromise. Yes, he and I see the immigration the same, but, in no way do we view the war with the same perspective. BUT, I believe his stance on the war could work even if it's not my preferred path. Privatized Social Security, the No Child Left Behind Act, and what the heck to do about Socialized (I know that word scares some of you) Healthcare? Me and Johnny Mav. would have opposing views on a lot of these issues.

Compromise means change, and this is the guy we need. He's Republican enough to bring the fat white guy vote, he finds all of the Independent voters with ease, and enough Dems will hop on board once Hilbama hit the wall in the real election.

Finally, how do you not go with the guy with the hottest wife?

I wish Johnny Maverick success, and although I'm not going to bet my house on it, I think he has a puncher's chance if he can keep the 'MO going down south.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Having been at work a lot over the holidays, I have taken every opportunity to get on the trails in between work and sleep. So far this week - 4 1/2 hours of riding. Today - I'm off to Phoenix for a company party, and on the way I'll be stopping for a little 3 hour mountain bike adventure at South Mountain Park. As much as I despise Phoenix, this park has it all. Steep drops, smooth granite, rocky and painful descents and climbs and above all - it'll be 72 this afternoon. Wrap it up with a big seafood dinner and call it a day.

HA HA! The Iowa Caucuses are today. It's amazing to me that this event has so much to do with an election that is 11 months away. I heard this morning that one candidate alone has paid for as many as 8000 television ads in Iowa. What the hell? Couldn't we use that money to, say, pay down the debt that our pathetic leaders have run up over the past seven years? My boy McCain will probably come in a distant 3rd or 4th place behind God-fearing candidates Romney and Huckabee.

D enrolled at NAMTI (Northern Arizona Massage Therapy Institute). She starts a 6 month program next week - graduating in June. Does this mean I'll get the spouse hookup with regards to massages? Heck no - I bet she'll be too tired to work out my kinks after 8 hours of class M-Th. BUT, I'm pretty excited for her and for us. It'll give her a new career path and a great opportunity to continue making a living in our little mountian town.

Snow tonight through Sunday means skinning up Snowbowl at sunrise. It should be a great weekend.