Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunday, March 30

I got the single speed out today
3 hours of non-stop play
Dry volcanic soil
Wet stream crossings
A little of that
Snowbanks still linger

Few tracks in the dirt
Not a soul in sight
For a Sunday – this is livin’ right

A lazy afternoon with D
A few errands but
Mostly takin’ it easy


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

One of the main pluses of having a butch lesbian for a neighbor is the fact that she loves sports. Nancy (name not witheld since she probably won't find this unless I put the proper keywords that she might search for) graduated from the University of Tennessee, and played women's hoops on the varsity team. Looking at her now, you'd never know it, as she is a relatively broken down 50 year old lezbo who spent a lot of time leading Grand Canyon rafting tours in the 80's.

Back to my point....since she loves sports, lives alone, and doesn't work a ton, she decided to invest in what has become for me - the 8th wonder of the world. It's a wall-mounted plasma TV that is big enough for me to name the two teams who are playing any sport.....from my freakin' kitchen which is at least 20 yards from her TV. Let's just say I have been taking extra time to handwash my dishes so I can catch this HiDef masterpiece right in front of my eyes. Holy crap, I would totally buy one of these sets for my house if I didn't have every dollar I make earmarked for vacations, race entry fees, clothes for Lyza, and tuition for D's massage school.

Two doors down from Nancy is an NAU professor who has the only non-secured wi-fi router in the 'hood. I cancelled my internet service and I'm now squatting off of him. I'm diggin' this neighborhood, but it makes me wonder what they are scamming off of me. Has my firewood supply been dropping more than usual? Has my hot tub has been dirtier than normal when I go to re balance the chemicals? I don't even want to think about that.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I have to believe that being a elementary education teacher or a stay at home parent with triplets would have to be two of the toughest jobs out there. The only reason I even say that is because managing kids is like managing 60 year old, set in their ways, grumpy-ass, old men.

On Easter Sunday I attempted to leave work at 2:30pm after 8 hours in the office. Normally, it would be nothing to leave a little early on Easter Sunday. 10 minutes down the road, I'm jammin to some good tunes, sunroof back, 65 degrees as I begin to pull into an Uptown Sedona lot. 29'er in the back seat, cycling gear ready to rip, and I am.........f*cked. The cellie rings and two of my most tenured employees are about to duke it out - at the front desk. Back in the car and back to work.

A meticulously planned 2.5 hour singletrack shredfest was aborted. I diffused the situation, and raced back to Sedona - all for the last 1:15 minutes of daylight. A disc brake mechanical sliced more time off the ride. BUT - I had a brief 20 minutes of bliss where the tires were glued to the trail, and I hit that euphoric zone. It was just enough to get rid of the angst and bitterness from a shitty day gone down down down hill from there.

I know, I know....there are worse things to complain about, and I realize the residents in Somalia are struggling, blah blah, blah blah. In this case I refuse to use downward socialization to tell myself "all you missed is a ride, little Jimmy's Dad in south Jersey lost his job because he came to work drunk and now Timmy...Jimmy, whatever - is hungry. Fu*k you Jimmy, you missed a hapy meal and a plastic Hamburgler Doll, but I MISSED A RIDE. I missed a primo chance to ride, I was feeling strong, and the trails were near perfect velcro.

Today sucked ass too. Sh&tty meeting (why the hell am I covering up expletives, it's not like a 4th grader is doing a report on blogs and he's reading this piece of shit)....crappy afternoon, the brakes on my car are for shit, and my cell phone is dead and I left the goddamn charger cord in Tucson and the damn Fed Ex dude didn't show up with it today.

So let's recap:
Worked the holiday weekend and had two employees go postal
I missed a bike ride
Shitty meeting today
Dead cell phone
I don't feel like riding rollers tonight
And my damn college basketball bracket has me in Dead F'n Last - and I'll stay there unless Tennessee wins 4 more games

I completely suck - Little Timmy/Jimmy is hungry and I'm worried about this petty stuff? I think I need a beer(s).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

What the?

So the fam and I (Lyza and D), head over to a bustling new phenomenon in south Scottsdale, AZ for dinner. A restaurant called "Green". I absolutely, positively had a vision of a trendy, indoor-outdoor restaurant that offered vegetarian and vegan food to a cross cultural smattering of customers a la the Mandalay Tea Room in Old Town Scottsdale - one of my favorite, yet overpriced restaurants in the state.


"Green" was engulfed with 20-something whitebread college kids who were lined up like people trying to get into a bathroom at an Ohio State football game. "Green" offered 20 different samplings or so of fake meat dishes. Po' boy "steak" sandwiches, "chicken" wings, "pepperoni" pizzas - you name the fake meat, and it was clear and present on the menu. For a moment I thought, "hey - this is pretty cool that all these kids are trying to eat healthy", but then my 50 IQ lurched forth the realization that it's pretty trendy to not only ingest this stuff, but to also talk about it - and tell people how healthy you eat. "Green" has it dialed in because they have a low rent location, low overhead with vegan barfood items, no liquor liability, and they crank out the food quickly - at a cheap price. Call me crazy, but the best vegetarian/vegan food I have had involves - DING! - vegetables!

Remember a couple years back when you'd be getting gas at some random place, and a carload of wanna-be hippie kids would roll into the gas station.....dreadlocks, dirty, asking for change - yet - whipping out a debit card to fill up the Saab 9-3 that they were driving? "Green" had that same kind of poser atmosphere. I used to love telling those pseudo-hippies to "get a job" - and then I would get a lecture about how corporate America is ruining this nation and that they were trying to start a counterculture movement. Good luck with that.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I just took a call from a guest who inquired about the fireplace in his house:
Guest: "Is the wood free"
Me: "Yes - help yourself"
Guest: "What do I do to get this thing going?"
Me: "Light the firestarter block below the grate and the kindling will catch fire - then add logs as you please"
Guest: "That's it?"
Me: "That's it"
Guest: "When you're done, how do you turn it off - where's the switch?"

He was seriously bummed that he couldn't turn the fire OFF - like a gas fireplace. I checked his car, and he drives a Mercedes 600SL - the V-12 engine with all that and a bag of chips. He must be used to controlling things.

Add this to the current Hall of Fame questions like:
Guest on Mackinac Island: "So, when does the bridge swing over to the island?"
Guest at Enchantment: "What color do the red rocks become in the winter?"

Monday, March 17, 2008

the warm spell of weather evaporated this past weekend, and although things are looking good again soon, all I could think about was going back to Hawaii.

heavy sulfur smell, territorial locals, stink eye from the punks at the public beaches, ridiculously expensive everything except for local fruits and veggies.....yeah, I miss that.

I'm of to Tucson for 2 days this week as I have to work Easter Weekend. That'll mean some good time with the South Side family, 80 degree days, and a climb up Mount Lemmon simply because it's one of the better climbs in the state. Mt. Graham is still the penultimate uphill slog in the state, but Lemmon is right up there in the top 3 or 4. The goal will be to climb it in around 2 hours. I just got my Singlespeed Rig back from the shop....wheels true, fork rebuilt, new drivetrain, washed and ready to rip all for the beautiful price of Cost + 10%. Thank you Red Rock Racing and Cosmic Cycles for the love.

Here is the newest San Francisco Giants fan - strictly because of the super cool logo, at least for now. She went to a Spring Training game in Scottsdale and was more about the hot dogs, and snacks but she had a good time.
Any day in the saddle is better than being at work, and that is true about 99% of the time. Last Thursday...not so much. I was heading down a steep slickrock/rocky section in Sedona, and caught my front tire in a crevasse - throwing me over the bars and into the rocks. Adrenaline put me back on the bike in about 10 seconds, and off down the trail. Once that adrenaline wore off, I found a finger that was missing about six layers of skin at the tip, and a shin that had about a 6" by 6" strawberry scuff. I went back and rode the drop again just to be sure that it wasn't me aging, and I made it the second time around. I love mountian biking - you get your ass handed to you just enough to keep yourself honest and realistic about your ability and your potential.

Well it's tournament time - Last year I correctly picked Florida to win it all, but I got second in a pool because of some first round speculative picks that went bad. First place won $400, second place won $50. Bummer. I haven't seen one game all season except for a live performance by the Golden Gophers and the Hoosiers in Minnesota last winter. I'll have to throw my bracket against a wall and see what sticks again this year. It'll be pure luck if I do well.

No riding today- - just work. Livin' the American Dream, right?

Friday, March 14, 2008

If I could be so eloquent with my words, well, I'd be Glenn Beck. Check this column out.....brilliant, bloddy brilliant:

What do these stories all have in common?

A woman who says she lost more $1 million gambling in Atlantic City sues some casinos for $20 million, claiming they should've stopped her compulsive gambling.

People who bought houses they couldn't afford with loans they didn't understand want their lenders to change the terms.

Congress authorizes a war and then tries everything it can think of to get out of it.

Our country gets addicted to oil and then blames OPEC when it doesn't like the price.

These stories prove how personal responsibility has all but vanished in America, and our government is leading the way.

Remember the kid from that interminable 1980s commercial whose father caught him using drugs? The father incredulously asked, "Who taught you how to do this stuff?" and the kid responded, "You, alright? I learned it by watching you." Well, we are that kid and our government is that drug-using father who doesn't think that anyone notices his bad habits.
Our government is leading us by example, and I don't mean that in a good way. For years, it has spent us into oblivion, mortgaging our future for programs we can't afford, and Americans have happily followed suit, running up credit card bills and home equity loans for things they never should've bought. Unfortunately, we're also learning something else from our government: how to avoid taking responsibility for our actions. From Eliot Spitzer's alleged hooker craze to the revelation that Arnold Schwarzenegger commutes to work in a large private jet even as he preaches the dangers of carbon dioxide emissions, there's never been a shortage of "do what I say, not what I do" hypocrites in politics.

But that same attitude has seemingly spread from individual politicians to an entire party.
Democrats aren't happy that delegates from Florida and Michigan won't be seated at the national convention because those states broke clear party rules. Well you know what? Too bad. We don't say that enough anymore. Too bad. You agreed to the rules; you broke them. Now you've got to deal with the consequences.

"But Glenn. ... Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will have enough delegates to win the nomination. We don't want this to be decided in some backroom by superdelegates."Too bad.

"But Glenn. ... You don't understand. If we don't seat delegates from those states now, then we might lose their votes in the general election." Too bad.

"But Glenn. .... The voters in these states are going to be disenfranchised if we don't let their voices be heard." Too bad.

If you want to talk about disenfranchised voters, then let's talk about why just 17 percent of Americans have a positive view of Congress. Let's talk about why we still have wide open borders despite most Americans wanting them sealed. Let's talk about why we keep selling out our sovereignty and our security by borrowing billions of dollars from-less-than friendly countries, such as China. Americans aren't disenfranchised because our leaders won't count votes in a couple of states. They're disenfranchised because our leaders aren't doing their jobs. They're disenfranchised because after working hard to support their families and to raise kids who understand the difference between right and wrong, their leaders do exactly the opposite.
In the cases of Florida and Michigan, I've patiently listened to all the moving arguments about why there should be a "do-over," but quite honestly, they're not arguments at all. They're excuses. If this race wasn't so close, or if these states offered a combined 36 delegates instead of 366, do you really think anyone would care? Of course not.

But no matter what you think should happen, you have to admit that Clinton's idea that we should simply count her "wins" in Florida and Michigan is completely ridiculous. In fact, if you played a rimshot and a laugh track behind her every time she recited that line, people might actually agree to a two-drink minimum to see her speak. How could you possibly count the results from an election when your main opponent wasn't even on the ballot (at least in Michigan)? You can't -- unless you think the rules are simply there for your own amusement.
Last year, when the punishment against Florida was first approved, Donna Brazile, a member of the Democratic National Committee rules panel, said she hoped that the harsh consequences would "send a message to everybody in Florida that we are going to follow the rules." And Brazile knows a little something about that ... she ran Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign in 2000. Voters in Florida and Michigan should ask themselves one important question before they blindly follow their party: Why did no one seem to care about "alienating" them last year when the rules were intentionally broken? It's only now, when their vote really matters, that everyone is suddenly so concerned about "enfranchising" them. Florida and Michigan have a golden opportunity to stand up and say enough is enough, to send a message that it's time to not only take responsibility for their actions but for those of our leaders as well.
After all, what would it say about personal responsibility in this country if we allow the two states that broke all the rules to end up having the biggest say of all?

f*ck yeah - well said. Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spring Break

is upon us here at work. The families are starting to roll in, and the hijinks on the canyon road to our resort are just beginning. Tanned collegians hanging out of Jeeps - one with a sign that said "Will work for drinks". Original.

My spring breaks at NAU were pretty tame because I always had a girlfriend, and I never had any money. Except for one year. Me and T-Bone took off for Tijuana in my oh so, well not really at all sweet Mazda 626. Drivin' across the desert at night, listenin' to Bobby Brown, Book of Love, Tone Loc, yeah....good stuff. We arrived in San Diego early the next morning, and we went to grab a cheap room since we were pretty tired from the drive. TOTAL no-tel Motel in town - so far from Mission Beach that the only chicks we were hanging with were homeless or toothless or both. Up early the next day and down to TJ. I remember crossing the border with $40 in my wallet which I was told would go a looong way. We parked at the border and took a cab into town.

The stench, the decrepit buildings behind the facades, the offers to 'meet pretty ladies', and the countless dudes who were trying to get us to go down into basements for a little 'action'. I ended up getting fleeced for an "eelskin" wallet - it was really rare according to Jorge. $12. SOLD. We were so scared to eat the food so we went to a Denny's and acually ordered hamburgers - you know that meat was fresh off the pavement in the form of a dog about an hour before we ate it. The bill was $19. I spent the rest on Tecate and forgot we needed a ride back to the border. We scraped together $4 or so and I arrived back in the states with a stomach ache, a buzz, and a sweet new wallet.

1 day later we were at Mission Beach, where we should have been instead of Tijuana. I don't remember scoring with any Cali beauties, but I do remember body surfing in some 4' surf that was a blast. Even back then I was more into the adrenaline stuff more than the chix.

10 days later, the Eel was wearing off the wallet and I was left with vinyl. I kept it out of spite and stubborness for 9 months. Spring Break 1987 - Woo Hoo Party!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Well for the first time in a year I have decided to get back into strengthening exercises. Not at the gym mind you - if I had to go there I wouldn't go. My garage is the best spot for this. I have nothing to say other than after 2 workouts, I'm sore - and it'll get worse tomorrow. Navy Seals say "pain is weakness leaving the body". I've accepted that mantra, drunk the Kool-Aid....whatever you want to call it. I can ride a bike pretty fast, but don't ask me to move your apartment because I'm WEAK!

Lyza's last B-ball game is tomorrow. I'm kind of bummed as she has really taken to the sport. Soccer starts in 3 weeks and her coach is typing this post. It's a good time, and its a lot of fun to see the kids - even the rotten little sh*ts - get better. I've decided that it was a good thing I had a kid, because I can't stand everyone else's kids....well, I take that back, there are a few that I like - but I could have easily been that surly, jerk-off neighbor who keeps the neighborhood kids football when it goes into my yard. Now - I'm pretty much immune to the crazy stuff kids do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Waived Off and a sad Conspiracy Theory....

So I'm at one of the 5,000 humongous grocery stores in Phoenix last Saturday night picking up the cherry for my Saturday night sundae. That would be a 24oz can of MGD to go with a football size veggie burrito and the movie Michel Clayton from good ol' Blockbuster. So I walk up to one of those self-pay stations, and it immediately says "SHOW ID TO CASHIER" after I scan that fine can of brew. I bust out the wallet, head towards the dude who is barely 21 himself and I get all of 20 feet from him and he waives me off and says "you're cool - I know you're of age". I look at Dana - she shrugs her shoulders and says "it's the gray hair on the side of your head". F*ck....I got waived off from 20 feet away. What - now do I go get a Volvo with a custom plate that says 'SETTLED'?

The movie was great, the burrito was good, and the beer did its job.

So last week I hear that Patrick Swayze has pancreatic cancer. It's probably the most aggressive form of cancer on the planet - or at least it has the potential to be. THEN, I learn that Jeff Healy died of cancer last week. Both of these guys were in one of my favorite movies, Road House. I'm tellin' you right now, if Swayze dies from this, I'll have a short vigil. Who was a bigger icon that Swayze in the late 80's and early 90's? Dirty Dancing, Ghost, Point Break - HUGE grossing films, and one huge movie star. My pal Sheck and I have been threatening for years to print T-shirts that say: Crazy for Swayze I think it may be time to do this. Getting back to the conspiracy theory - everyone that died in the movie Road House is alive today. Everyone that lived in the movie is dead except for Swayze. OK - so that might be a generalization, but it seems that way. Ben Gazzara, alive and well.....the dude who had his heart ripped out, probably selling TCBY yogurt in a strip mall in Troy, MI. I hope Swayze survives this cancer. Afterall, I named our dog after his character in Point Break - Bodhi.

4.5 hours of riding Friday -Sunday. I broke out the singlespeed for the first time since November, and by Sunday I was feeling strong and used to it again - but tired. Riding the desert courses in Phoenix makes me feel like superman because the low elevation is a huge advantage. There's something therapeutic about that singlespeed bike. No excuses, no free lunch, and you better just think like a caveman and pedal hard when the trail goes up, and rest up a bit when the trail goes down, and stay on the gas on the flats otherwise some guy on gears will catch you.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's been 2 1/2 weeks since Old Pueblo, and I just packed Josh's bike up tonight. I still have a tent to clean, and some cookware to soak in 200 degree water for a month before I attempt to scrub it. I don't watch TV, I have a small house to keep up, and a job that usually requires 40 hours a week and I can't seem to find time to get this stuff done. I'm lucky to get 7 hours of sleep a night - so where does all the time go?

For one, I lose 1:15 minutes commuting every day. I would love to find a job in town, get rid of one car, and commute on THIS.

I'm committed to my current gig through 2010, but I'm keeping my eyes open in the meantime. Oh look, another 11 minutes writing in this blog - that's where all the time goes.
With a streak of several consecutive predictions,

I’m beginning to think I should be placing bets on primaries/caucuses instead of football. Hillary stepped up and kicked Obama to the curb in Ohio, and she will surely carry that mo’ into Pennsylvania which is basically Ohio with hills – a blue collar state that will care a lot about her pitch regarding economic relief.

Then, what we’ll have is a virtually tied delegate count going into the Dem convention meaning these two heated rivals will be kicking the crap out of each other for four more months while McCain sits back and uses their insults against each other to his advantage. How did this happen? I thought for sure we would have a Democratic Party nominee in the White House come late January 2009. It happened because we have two fiercely competitive and strategic campaigns going head to head with no real shortage of campaign finances. No one is backing down, and neither of these two wants to be Vice President. Governor Bill Richardson – a former candidate – stressed the importance of these two candidates working something out, and not taking this contest all the way to the Dem convention. He is absolutely right about that, even if he’s shamelessly aiming for a VP nod from either candidate.

So here sits McCain with a clinched nomination, and four months to prepare his campaign for the stretch run. How can he lose, especially now that he will have full support from the most evil Republican strategists/marketers out there (minus that fat f*ck Rush Limbaugh – that’s one thing I LOVE about McCain is that the far right fat bastards despise him). I still believe McCain is the only candidate from either party that will make progress on major political issues like Iraq and securing the border, but it still makes me hurl to think of actually voting for a Republican in a general election. I guess I have some soul searching to do, as I agree with McCain on three major issues, and I disagree with him on almost everything else. In the meantime, sit back and watch the Democratic Party eat itself alive with this heated contest. This is truly a great time to be a political activist/observer.

On a more fun note, my entry forms are in for THIS and THIS . I’m counting on a strong month of training in March so I can get revenge particularly at the Whiskey 50 race in Prescott. last year, I bonked with 15 miles to go causing a mental and physical breakdown that I had never experienced before. Harsh hamstring cramps, losing 35 places in a matter of 45 minutes up a 10% dirt grade, and not even being able to ride back to where we were staying after the race - a simple 2 mile ride on pavement. In short – total exhaustion after 5.25 hours and 50 miles. I'm comin' back for more abuse this time, and I hope to finish in a sub 5 hour time.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Kenny’s birthday party was nothing short of a You Tube video waiting to explode across the internet, combined with a Jill Scott song about a family reunion. That family is tight, and you have to be impressed with the support they give each other. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Buckland inner circle, that’s about as close as you get to mafia in this state. Then you factor in the 10+ cops that were there. They all had an uptight feel to them, as their boss – the guy turning 40 that is, Kenny, couldn’t party too hard with them around. I got the feeling that if everyone had been a little looser, like if this had been a 4th of July party or something then all the cops would have let their flat tops down and started playing drinking games and tazering each other.

½ way through, Kenny’s little brother Brent and a friend started wrestling on the lawn. Brent is a black belt in Judo, and although he’s pretty beat up and broken down now from construction – he put this dude into an arm bar and got the tap out. Nothing like a little backyard wrestling at a birthday party for a 40-year old. I stayed the hell away, as Kenny, Brent, and Kenny’s sister Dawn are all blackbelts – I’ve been judo thrown before and I ain’t goin’ there again.

As we sat by the fire and BS’d for a while about this and that, I realized that this night wasn’t gonna’ end early. I started pacing myself with the beer around 10:00pm, and after I realized I was drinking keg Budweiser, I REALLY started pacing myself as I finally knew why the beer tasted funny. Kenny was drinking 19oz glasses of wine like they were Kool-Aid, and then he decided to pop some Cialis as kind of a joke. He’d received some sample packets as gag-gifts from his sister. Well no joke, within ½ hour he was racing upstairs to find his wife and since that stuff is good for 36 hours…….

I woke up to the sound of Kenny puking in his bathroom. Kenny’s a power puker too – he screams when he hurls. Good God….nothing like spending time with family. It was great seeing Mark/Carrie, A-man and Meador.

OUT of there on Sunday morning to spend the day with Dana. My allergies flared up and it was pretty much miserable – even though the sun was out and it was 75+. I did manage to ride for a couple of hours this weekend. Up at 4:45am and back to work by 8:00am this morning in Sedona. I'm a corporate whore.