Friday, August 29, 2008

Johnny Maverick did not survive a 'Nam prison camp without battling back from being down and out. He also cameback to get the GOP nod after being trounced by Bush a few years back. He beat cancer too. So 12 hours after a killer DEM convention where you could not possibly say you weren't inspired by Barack/Biden and Billy Clinton - Johnny Mac announces his Veep. Wow. A 44 year old attractive fireball who preaches fiscal responsibility, strong family values, and a lifetime NRA member who would shoot you for food if she were hungry. She's sure to level the playing field much more so than any other candidate.

If I were an NFL Owner, I would want a QB with Johnny Mac's character. You'd be losing every game going into the 4th quarter, and then suddenly the game gets interesting. You'd pull a few miracles out a la John Elway/Brett Favre, and lose a few heartbreakers.

I'll be damned if the next 60 days won't be a blast if you like to follow politics. This is WAY better than the Olympics beacuse this stuff matters. Phelps who?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Had the good ol’ annual checkup today. Not that one – I still have not been violated in that sense. It was a financial checkup from a NY Life agent, and once again I get to hear that we’re not well diversified, we need to save more, and the latest and greatest products for me are long-term liability insurance and more variable life insurance. I call these financial guys “Masters of the Obvious”. No sh*t I haven’t covered all of the “what if’s”. Thanks for the checkup, I’ll see you again next year. Having a father who is a financial planner, I did pick up some $$ and sense lessons from him – along with bad humor. However, I ultimately don’t really give a crap about having excess money because I have learned that there’s a price to pay for most six fig salaries. That statement is purely a way to justify the fact that since my job doesn’t pay six fig’s, I have no idea what it would be like to make that kind of $$.

What a bunch of rambling rubbish that paragraph was. I think I need a night ride tonight to reset. 9pm departure scheduled. Nite Rider charged so I can ride until Midnight, tires at 24psi to compensate for what are sure to be multiple steering errors, and –gasp!- gears. Yup – gears. The new/used candy apple Fisher Paragon is a blast to ride but I have to relearn shifting. Should be fun unless I run across and over any vagrant campers like I used to in Sedona back in the day. That was a lose/lose situation for me and said vagrant scumbag, 24 year old, drivin’ Daddy’s Saab drifter who was “roughing” it out of the back of a nice car with a debit card when needed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Good time on the bike…

Not having port-a-potties at a bike race is something I have not experienced before. 250+ racers all looking around at each other – and the woods – thinking “where can I go”? Not to mention the pre-race jitters usually brew up the ole’ Mississippi Mud which require more than a ‘drip dry’ when squatting in the brush. Let’s just say there were a lot of bitter, anxious, and uncomfortable faces at the starting line.

The call up for the Men’s Expert/Pro/Singlespeed came and off we went to the line. Being on the 1-gear machine, I took my proper place at the back of the first wave. Three other teammates were racing the single gear so I was looking at my competition, joking with my competition, while secretly wanting to cut their Achilles tendons with my multi-tool so I didn’t have to worry about them after the gun. Gooooooooo!

My brain actually worked this time and said to me:
Easy does it there son, this is 30 miles with a lot of rough singletrack, a warm day, and there’s no prize for the worst ‘bonk’ of the day.

I put it in chill mode and rode the first 5 miles smooth and steady, then ramped up the effort when the trail went up and rough. I found myself getting squirrly, riding too hard and making mistakes in the rocks. One boneheaded move left me on the ground in a pile of dirt, losing 15 seconds of time I had put into a guy I had just passed about 2 minutes back. The f*ckface made a funny comment “is this where you keep your water stash” – but I found it about as funny as Barack’s selection for VP and I didn’t laugh too hard, or at all really. I floored it to the 3.5 mile downhill back to the line and never saw that clown again.

The second lap was an exercise in patience. I was hot, and waiting to feel good, but I never quite did until I got passed by a teammate. He motivated me – and pulled me faster up the climb chasing him until we caught and passed another teammate who had shot off like a rabbit at the gun. BONK – he was toasted and bailed out of the race early. Just before the downhill I cramped pushing the 32x18 gear on a steep section, and had to work the cramp out for a minute or two – damn, I was drinking plenty and eating Endurolytes like they were skittles and still feeling slightly crampy and chilled on an 80 degree day. Yikes.

We got to the 3.5 mile downhill a second time, and I passed my last teammate. He’s sketchy on the loose stuff and I put one minute into him on the drop down. One lap to go. Out of fear of being caught again, I just put the pedal down until I started to fade physically. There was nobody near me, and I just passed the occasional beginner and Trailside Clyde all the way to the line. 2 hours, 51 minutes – good enough for 7th place in a field of 18. I was cooked, but not too dehydrated or barfing. One teammate was five minutes back, another 20 minutes back, and two were DNF’s. No trophy today, but bragging rights amongst teammates last a loooong time.

Fantasy football draft tonight. I’m a fantasy football geek. I know it and I’m OK with that.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Remember the band Extreme? If you don’t then you probably have good taste in music. Since I don’t have good taste in music, their song “Stop the World” keeps popping up in my head. Stop the world, I want to get off. Damn these days are going fast. I’m just L-I-V-I-N the American dream of having a mortgage, a yard to work on, a job, a wife and a kid with a couple of dogs, and I wake up and the week is f*cking done. Here I am 40 years into this life and the next 40 are gonna be SNAP – done.

Lyza’s second grade teacher put the hammer down on her and the rest of her classmates. Two book reports a week, and about 1 hour of homework a night. Some parents at the orientation were nodding their heads in approval, and others looked like they just saw a deer in their headlights. All I know is that I’m happy about the difficulty of work expected from her teacher, but I’m gonna have to buckle down to help Lyza handle the volume. Here we go – real world expectations creeping in. Enjoy your young kids even if you have to beat them from time to time because they act like little sh*ts. It’s all playtime until 2nd grade.

My homeboy Ellsie is competing in the Ultra tough Trans-Rockies race starting on Monday. 6 days. 20 miles of running a day. A ridiculous amount of elevation gain each day as well. He’s ready to roll though, and I have to give him a LOT of credit for balancing training with Honey Do’s, and spending time with his kids. The only thing I question is when he says he gets psyched up for a run by listening to Coldplay. WTF? How about Led Zep? Maybe the Pixies or the Clash? Even Beck can get me going a lot faster than listening to Gwenyth Paltrow’s husband croon and wail. Ellsie – good luck and don’t “DFELLS”.

This weekend will bring on a MTB race for me, painting in our 2nd bathroom, and some down time.

Extreme also sang “There’s a hole in my heart that can only be filled by you”. Barf.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sunday morning, I was reading several articles by journalists that were either way too caught up in the “Phelpsian” success, or they are on his payroll. Titles like “best achievement ever!”. “Best athlete of all time”! Ok, hold on here. Swimming is no doubt one of the more demanding sports out there. However, every meet and practice takes place in a controlled environment. In short, you don’t deal with weather. I can think of several athletic feats that are astonishing; like the first ascent of Mt. Everest in the 1950’s, Eddy Merckx’ entire cycling career, and Jesse Owens kicking the crap out of Hiter’s Olympics – That’s pressure + athleticism = greatness. My point is that while Phelps is awesome, dominant, and humble - you can’t call him “the greatest”. I still reserve that title for Muhammad Ali.

Sunday afternoon brought on one of those “almost perfect” rides that I usually roll into every couple of years or so. I left the house just as the sky opened up pitchers of water. The storm moved slowly, and I managed to ride out of the rain within a few minutes. Over the river and through the woods I rode in light rain, heavy thunder, and occasional lightning. After climbing to the middle of Rocky Ridge trail, I stopped for a second as about 2 miles and 500 feet below to my left was the blackest cloud of nastiness I have seen in a while covering Flagstaff. Onward, and soon the trail turned muddy – but not “f*ck your bike up” muddy. Over to Schultz Creek, out to the Girlfriend Trails (so named because they are moody (up and down), and then looped back the same way home. Trail? Velcro. Temps? 60 degrees + or -. Anyone out riding? Hell no. Bike? Singlespeed rockin’ at warp speed. It was bliss out there.

I’m closing in on two hours, and I hit the most hellacious mud – Satan’s mud – at Buffalo Park which is about ½ mile from my front door. I thought it had not been raining much there, much to my surprise. This is the kind of black, heinous, sticky beyond belief mud that cakes up on your tires and frame….then you reach a gravel road and all that muck picks up 1,000,000 rocks that trash everything you ever owned. Chain, brakes, brake pads, BB, shoes, kit, you name it – and you’ll be pulling your bike into a goddamn carwash just to get the psi required to get this sh*t off your frame.

Like I said, almost perfect. It gave me a reason to wash the Rig, besides the comment that JB made a couple of weeks back “wash your bike”.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Last Days of Summer

Me and Lyza (that grammar was exclusively for you PBK), took the final two days of her summer break and went camping, swimming in Oak Creek, and then spent what was left of the days getting ready for the 8:00am bus pick up at the corner of Juniper and Turquoise streets. Why work when you can chill with your family? Bodhi went with us on his maiden camping trip and he morphed into this incredibly obedient camp dog who just hung out, swam when necessary, and slept in the tent when we did.

I think I have a bike race in 8 days, and in preparation, I’ve taken the last six days off to ensure that I get plenty of rest before race day. Sounds like a great training plan – and while I’m at it, I’ve been eating everything I see and drinking the occasional Hispanic brewed beverage of choice. Let me know if you want a copy of my training book titled “Slacker Training – One man’s guide to training to just finish”. I’ve actually been training vicariously through the table tennis players, the rowers, the archery dudes, and the little Chinese female weightlifters. I sit at my computer watching the live action online with no commentary until midnight feeling the stress of competing in these sports that get no respect from the mainstream media…’s really quite a rush watching Judo. Check out the tab to the left of sports and click where it says ‘live’. Michael Who? Phelps? Sorry, I’ve been watching badminton for three days.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Mid-August means: 10 ft. tall sunflowers in the yard, my political activist daughter, and D&Bodhi...two peas in a pod.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

F*ck...I spend 32 hours in Satan's Lair - aka Phoenix - and I'm wasted and not in a Dazed and Confused way. That city absolutely sucks, and it sucks the life out of this northern boy. Then I roll into Sedona today and set up for a job fair.....we're looking for housekeepers. Sedona: Great place to visit, not a bad place to live, but home of the 57 year old retiree with no motivation to work hard anymore. OR, you get the slacker with a colossal sense of entitlement who is just "looking for the right vibe", and will job hop from month to month. "at the end of the day" only two people wanted to clean rooms. Of course, since about 100 people walked through the door, our 2% conversion ratio feels solid. 100 people over six hours, and about 30 stopped by to chat. I was so bored I was texting like a teenage tramp, just to see how fast I could knock out a 4 word message without a QWERTY. So sorry if you got a random text that said something like:

Wna fk aftr skl?
Cfe t r me?

Like I said, it was a long 6 hours sitting in an Elks Lodge with shitty climate control. I think my brain overheated.

I raced home after making the proverbial stop at work to "check messages". Is that not the dumbest thing to do EVER? All of a sudden you are knee deep in sh*t that you would have never known about and you could have just dealt with the next day. I put out a few fires, and drove home without remembering much of the drive - scary because its 35 minutes long. On the bike and into the woods for 1.5 hours. My buddy Ellsie, who loves to quote Coldplay, Fergie, and Myley Cyrus, said: "Clarity brings serenity". Whatever, I just know that my reset button has been pushed and, well, I'm back.

Monday, August 4, 2008

1.) Why is everything "amazing"? What's next, noun status for this word? The "Teen Choice" awards were on tonight, don't ask why I watched them for 20 minutes, and like, every, like word that was like, used to describe an entertainer was, like, "amazing". "Absolutely" is running a close second.
2.) Brett Favre should be a Viking - just for the opener on 9/4, then Green Bay can have Drama Boy back.
3.) D and I rode up Snowbowl this morning, and the chick threw it down and almost punked me at the line! She's amazing.