Friday, May 30, 2008

The Man let me out of work yesterday..... late – but there was enough time to squeeze in a short road ride. It was enough time and effort to clear my cabeza and then go enjoy a cheap Thai meal with D downtown.

So my first week of official carpooling has been a success. We reduced our weekly mileage by 120 miles, which translates to roughly 4.5 gallons of gas. That’s $18.54 in gas savings + the reduced carbon emission. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I guess I’ll keep doing it as often as possible.

I’m a selfish prick. I can’t believe how inconvenienced I felt on a couple of the mornings thinking “what if I want to leave early or later – what if my schedule changes?” Well the only way my schedule would really change is if somebody called me about going on a bike ride that started at 4:30pm. I’d want to be there. Who knows, I’ll probably get used to this sooner than later.

No racing for me this weekend, as there aren’t any going on. Good luck to Josh and Steve at 9-Mile forest in Wausau WI. That is by far one of my favorite Midwest racetracks to play on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Colonics are a popular cleansing mechanism in Sedona. There are mobile colonic trucks that just roll around town like port-a-john pumpers and come right to your door - do their thing - and roll on to the next house. Having not had a 5/8" tube (help me with another word for inserted as I need to get past the visual) _________ up my a**, and having no plans for it, I prefer to be cleansed on the trails.

The post work hookup this afternoon with speedy GP failed to launch - GP had a blown out sidewall and didn't want to deal with Stans'ing it up at 5pm. I managed to get in 2.5 hours of a religious-like singletrack awakening and rolled into the driveway as the sun hit the horizon. I get asked occasionally 'why only one gear?'. My usual answer is "I've seen Jesse LaLonde race and there is no disadvantage to pushing one big-ass gear - if you can do it" Since that answer means exactly sh*t to 99% of people I know, lemme' tell ya in language that my rich and famous friends can digest. All 2 of them.

You have 120K to spend on a car, and you are looking at a Porsche and a 'Vette. With the Porsche you get status, luxury, and performance. With the 'Vette you get performance, and 50K in change to go spend on something else. Both cars get you to California in under 5 hours if you don't get caught. Liberal freaks, left-wing terroristas and Eco-warrior concerns aside from this ridiculous quandry, which one you gonna hypothetically buy?

I guess I'm saying I'm opting to rock the singlespeed with a new Mavic 29'er rim/Chris King hub wheelset, and buy some new patio furniture with the change.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


$4.12 per gallon on the way home tonight. I carpooled with a coworker and we're carpooling tomorrow too. It's not going to drop back down again. As it probably should be. I'm now hiring hourly staff that are making around $9/hour and they are negotiating a fuel allowance at .505 cents per mile. I don't blame them - and I'll pay it - I need good people.

At our Cafe today I overheard some f*ckface say "I hope McCain gets elected so we can open up drilling in Alaska, and we can become reliant on our own oil". Like I said, this guy was a f*ckface. He's probably the same dipsh*t who thinks that because his Chevy says "Flexfuel" on the back of it he's doing us all a favor by having a vehicle capable of burning ethanol.

Ethanol, don't even get me started.

I raced on Saturday. I raced my teammate around an 18 mile singletrack maze and held him off for about a 15 second victory after around 2, it wasn't an official race with podium girls and prize money. It was just one of those 'looks' we gave each other and it was on. I raced myself on Monday, and pushed myself into a wall doing it. An hour and 40 minutes of self-inflicted pain that had me laid out on the floor at home with an empty mug of Espresso and crumbs leftover from six Newman Oreos, nearly asleep. I don't even remember eating dinner. Jesus, if I just had this kind of career motivation I'd be living some big existence somewhere with a drop top Benz, a really small barky dog, and three extra Sonicare Toothbrushes just because I can.

A big MTB effort tomorrow after work coming up with GP - a race I would always lose if we gave each other that 'look'. F*cking 27 year olds.....Ahh whatever, I'm faster now than when I was 27 it's just that I don't have GP's talent so I just have to eat that Jagged Little Pill, isn't that ironic - dontcha' think.

Bodhi tearin' it UP at Schultz Tank and look what's for sale on E-Bay soon......we had a good weekend once the snow melted.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

So after a rock-em, sock-em winter/spring riding season I am left with the following riding options this weekend:

1-Klein Q-Pro Carbon Team road bike

The Scalpel needs a new set of tires as there is a 1/4” x 1/4” hole in the rear one (new Schwalbe’s on the way – thank you Mr. Bartoszuk), and the Rig suddenly acquired a nearly taco-ed front wheel. Thanks to disc brakes, I was able to ride it home sans any significant brake rubbing. I planted that front hoop in a few washed out ditches yesterday, but I couldn’t tell you where it took the big hit. Maybe that means I’ll have to “invest" in a new wheelset. American Classic - Industry 9? Yummy.

So, Memorial Day Weekend….traditionally 75 degrees, sunny, and statistically the driest part of the year for Flagstaff. Not this weekend. Starting on Friday we’re expecting 2 days of rain and snow, and 12-18 inches of snow at the ski resort. Are you freakin’ kidding me?! High of 38 on Friday, and maybe 44 on Saturday. I couldn’t be happier about the fact that I chose not to vacation in Colorado this weekend as it won’t be much warmer there.

On another note, I met with my financial advisor yesterday. That’s absolutely tongue in cheek because I always find it comical when people say “Call my lawyer”, or “I’ll check with my accountant”. There’s this strange sense of ownership that some individuals enjoy proclaiming about their professional relationships. Anyway, back to “my financial advisor”. He’s a great guy who has helped me at least create some semblance of a retirement since my work offers exactly SQUAT. Bottom line here is that I’m on track with regards to saving for Lyza’s college, and I’m behind on my own retirement. I asked him if I only live to 70, will I be good. He says – well sure, but what if you live until you’re 105?

So with that being said, I’m shooting for a balls to the wall life experience where I use up my body and kick the bucket doing something I love before 70. If not, that college money I’m saving for Lyza better help her get really smart as she’ll need money to support me living in her guest room driving her to drink until I’m 105. When playing SORRY last night, I asked Lyza which one she’d prefer and she’s totally cool with me living with her until I’m 105. Being wise beyond her years, I know that’ll change, but too bad. We shook on it, so I slept well last night knowing that I have a solid retirement plan in place now.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I found my involved blowing off work this morning for a singlespeed shred around the base of Mt. Elden. Temps dropped back into the 50's, 2.5 hours - yeah, that feels better. Now, I have to head on in and make up the time. It couldn't have been more worth it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tonight is the first time I have noticed the crickets. It's been a while. It was a long winter, and this spring has been nothing short of ridiculously windy, and colder than usual. I've got a new mountain bike and my wife's last e-mail on my mind. There are quiet, but indicative noises coming from Lyza's room - she's drawing because she can't fall asleep. There was another Amy Winehouse song on the radio this afternoon, one that has stuck in my head - "Valerie". I shouldn't have posted that pic of her because it reminds me of being 15 when I couldn't look two directions and not see Billy Ocean at least once. William Ocean - the satin suit Caribbean King.

My college roommate T-Bone is getting married this weekend. I can't be there. I'm feelin' bad about that, but, something had to give. F*ck. I'll regret not being there.

What's my motivation this week? I'm not so sure right now.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ms. Winehouse - is this what talent, money, and fame get ya? Guess I'm content to stay mediocre, middle-class and unknown.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I gave it a go, and my legs have unsuccessfully responded. Calves are knotted, and that's not good when you're standing on your pedals for 3 hours. There will be no racing for me this weekend - just a lot of cheerleading and 12 ounce curls. Enjoy yer weekend whateva' you may be doin.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The State MTB Finals are in two days. Two weeks ago, I was feeling strong and ready to rip. Since then? A fantastic, no-regrets hike that has me still – 5 days later - walking down stairs like a duck. I’ve consumed more beers than miles ridden in the last 5 days due to a quick trip to Sin City. Finally, the only course worth riding is the Singlespeed/Expert 24 mile loop with a ton o’ technical stuff and lots o’ climbing. What I’m saying is my race will be a “day of” decision. If I can get these knots out of my calves then I’d have a fighting chance of finishing mid-pack in the Singlespeed division. Is that worth $50 when I can ride these trails for free any day of the week? I dunno. Maybe I’m more worried about humiliation from teammates and locals, which is stupid because everyone is supportive and we all have off days. The thing is, I have to ride my SS, as my geared bike needs new tires and I don’t have another $50 to blow on tires right now. The excuses are piling up aren’t they? I just want this bike racing to be fun, and it’s not feeling fun right now.

My Uncle just unceremoniously quit his job after 20+ years of service with the Fed Reserve Bank of Dallas. He’s going to live with us for 3 months and see if Flagstaff is for him. That takes some balls to make a life changing decision like that. Maybe I should grow a pair and race this weekend.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I’m Leaving Las Vegas……actually, I think I just left for the last time. I’ve had some great times, some good times, and never a bad time there. Over the course of what, probably 15 trips? – I’ve probably lost about as much as I have won playing $5 blackjack. The consummate ‘broke even’ Vegas consumer. The one that the Convention Visitor’s Bureau likes because ultimately I end up paying for room/meals/transportation in spite of breaking even on the tables and sports book. Nothin’ against Vegas, I think it’s just not that alluring blonde babe that it once was back when I was 21.

We had an epic hike in the Grand Canyon last Saturday. 8 hours, 6,000 feet of climbing and 6,000 feet of descending over 17 miles. The Colorado river is astounding, and I can understand why people become river runners and stay in that profession for many years. It was 65 degrees on the South Rim when we started, 95 degrees at the bottom, and 55 when we got back to the rim at 6pm. I was cooked, my calves still hurt and I walk stairs like a gimp. My buddy Ellsie did 42 miles over 17 hours – quite a feat even though his goal was 12 hours. We never hooked up because his group was late getting back to a checkpoint, 3 hours late. We passed one lady on our way down – she was heading up with a party of about 6. She had wrecked her knee to the point where she could hardly walk and she was a good 1.5 miles from the next safe zone. Then one dude was on the side of the trail with an IV under a portable sunshade with a Park Ranger monitoring his blood pressure. There’s signs everywhere saying “don’t go down and up in one day”. Uh huh.

Pics to follow tonight….

Friday, May 9, 2008

I f*ckin’ hate Walgreens because if I’m there I’m sick looking for cold medication, or picking up some shlocky holiday décor at the last minute for work. Throw in one of the most uniformly “I couldn’t care less” nationwide pool of employees who are surely making a hair over minimum wage, overcrowded aisles that have 165 f*ckin’ types of allergy medications, 234 types of aspirin and I get a god*amn headache when I’m already sick just lookin’ for what the hell I need. The pharmacists are overwhelmed with ‘scrip orders because a whole shi*load of Americans are constantly medicated and walking around the Pharmacy like f*cking Sleestacks from the Land of the Lost. F*ck that f*ckin’ place.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

This is probably the most powerful piece of writing I have laid my eyes on -


Go there and then say "I'm thankful for my crappy job, my OK body, and my great friends and family.....cause you will be thankful.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Last night was a struggle. I looked at my rollers, they looked at me, and we both said 'uh no'. Then, I vainly glanced at a picture of me taken at a mountain bike race last summer. It was snapped with about 400 yards to go in a 20 mile race. I had just moved into second place and the 3rd place guy was about 5 seconds behind me. If I wanted to get to that place again, my rollers and I had to work out a deal.

We did.

I went to and played the 70's blaxploitation flick Penitentiary. Hopped onto the rollers with my heart rate monitor, and spun for 20 minutes. I had no luck or motivation in getting my heart rate above 105. So, I went to switching off pedaling one leg at a time. That did it and got me to the hour mark. The movie? If you are able to see the intentional and unintentional comedy then it is pretty fun to watch. I lasted 1/2 way and figured I'd cue it up next time I'm on the rollers to watch the rest.

A good ol' buddy of mine,, often sent(ds) me obscure VHS tapes and cassettes as a joke. I attempted to reciprocate, but I could never match her .99 cent store titles like: Mel Gibson's Payback on VHS (en espanol with subtitles no less), a Richard Marx "live" cassette, and I'll never forget the copy of "Swayze Dancing" that she gave me in VHS format. I haven't watched the movies, but I did listen to the Richard Marx tape when I last had a tape deck in my car. That little dude definitely cashed in on his sweet Shorty-Longback mullet (business up front, party in the back). Thinking back to the 80’s, I think R. Marx started the acid washed jeans trend too.

See what happens when I train indoors? I can’t wait to get outside again.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Yeah, yeah, I know that it is cliché to rag on chain coffee houses. The smaller chains like Caribou in the Midwest (and especially the dedicated local shops like Flagstaff's Wicked AZ Coffee) do a lot of things right, and as a former co-worker, Michael Buffoonzo (name changed of course to protect those not knowing they were quoted) once said: “Like, how can you beat paying $4.00 for a perfect coffee at a drive thru on your way to work and there’s, like, nothing, like to clean up”. Mike was lighter in the loafers than Liberace, not that there's anything wrong with that. Mike went to Starbucks 5 days a week x $4.00 per coffee x 52 weeks….that doesn’t even include weekend trips for Macchiato’s and half-caf double decafs. So $1,040 in coffee drinks – sorta ironic that 1040 is the standard tax form, cause $1,040 is more along the lines of what I would expect to get BACK in April even though Bush has already spent my money on the war, but that’s another issue.

So his approval rating is now below 30%. How the f*ck did it take so long for the working class to figure out that he’s been screwing them for 6 straight years? Why is it that even up until maybe six months ago, my (insert stereotype) contractor/jeep driver friends and their families were still in bed with President assclown and his horrendous choices? Is it a lack of education? – I don’t think so as this is more about common sense. Is it an undying belief in “faith” – both in the spiritual sense and in our leaders? Maybe.

Seriously, as gas prices have risen, this segment of my friends have grown more disenchanted with Dubya. It’s as if they didn’t give a sh*t until it impacted their ability to haul a camper to a remote place in Colorado on the weekend. It’s as if they didn’t even realize they were being screwed until they had to sell their Quads to save the gas/insurance money to fuel their Silverado’s. Until it him ‘em in the wallet – it all didn’t mean much. Now they are lecturing me on the pitfalls of Bush’s administration. I love it.

I also love riding my singlespeed. We did some trail maintenance yesterday and that is some bluddy hard work. The State Finals course is 27 hard miles – that will likely take me 3 hours and 20-30 minutes on my SS. Lyza was out there with me cutting trail yesterday too, and we missed D, as she was in Phoenix. Now….back at the saw mill.

Happy Cinco de Drinko…..tip back a Tecate or two.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Waddn't no jailbreak yessaday from work - I put in a hard effort there, and got out just in time to quickly shed the monkey suit, and throw on the lycra by 4:30pm. The plan was a group ride with Flagstaff's finest showing off their early season climbing capabilities. Me and GP picked up Stay at Home Lucky F*cker CW - who incidently seems to have tooo much time to train with both of his kids in school - and we headed out towards the climb. Warmed the legs, but not too much because the wind was howling and a cold front from freakin' Canada was barreling down. 8 riders showed up and immediately we were off.

Stat line:
164 average heart rate
9.5mph average
2000 vert
989 calories burned
38.5 minutes

Not bad stats at all, in fact it was 15 seconds slower than my personal best - into a headwind as well......but, if it weren't for a Dad who is "living my dream to be a pro cyclist vicariously through my son"and of course his daddy's goal-driven 14 year old son bringing up the rear around 4 minutes behind me, and a strong, but suicidal single speed track bike rider pushing a cadence of around 30 on the steep slopes who, incidentally, I finally caught in the final stretch.....I would have been dead f*cking last.

Back down to town, and my body is shivering from the cold. It was to the point where I began chattering my front wheel at 25+ mph and I had to mentally tell myself to 'Harden the f*ck up'. Ahhhhh...there's my house! Park the bike, strip the clown costume, into the hot tub and 40 minutes later emerge warm, but starving and somewhat incoherent. Food dump into the gullet, a Tecate that buzzed my calorie deprived body and brain, and throw on the first 45 minutes of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Let me just say this: If I found a suitcase with 2mil I would - in no particular order:
-NOT, 12 hours later, go back to the place where I found the suitcase to give a dying drugrunner water.
-Not tell anyone....wife, kids, family, friends
-Remove the money from said suitcase IN CASE there were a tracking device. Then, hide the money for 2 years before I spent a dime.

F*ck I'm still cold from yesterday. I got a stable full of kids coming over tonight, so that ought to get my blood boiling again.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I overheard an announcement on my news source radio station, NPR, that they were doing a segment on Flagstaff at 6:00pm tonight. Cool, I thought. Or not.......actually. The title of the segment is Flagstaff: Poverty with a View.

It's true - there are definately three categories of residents. The have's (Doctors, Engineers, and University Professors), the Hanging in there's (Read: Me, other 'professionals' in just about every industry - mostly service and construction), and the have nots who are supporting these industries and/or collecting welfare. As long as land is in strong demand out west, as it probably will always be in my lifetime, prices will be absurd and most residents will be short timers, leaving room for new residents to give it a shot living here. I would estimate that only 25% of the current residents have actually lived here longer than 10 years. Everyone else just passes through for a few years - and then on to Dillon, CO - Bend, OR - Truckee, CA - etc etc.....It isn't any wonder really. Housing goes for $275 per square foot on average. If we had not arrived and bought before the last BOOM, we would have moved on like everyone else.

Me saving money here? No. Big 401K at my small resort? Not even a retirement plan. Cost of living is cheap? Hell no - 4 seasons of clothes are required. Schools are the best in the country? Hardly.

Now let me tell ya why we do live here. Views? Fantastic. Recreation? Endless. Cool temps year-round? Love it. AND......The State Mountain Bike Race Series concludes on 5/17. The starting line is 500 yards from my front door.....out the driveway, up a gravel trail into the woods and Gooooooooooooooooooo!