Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Small Town D-Bag

If you're not playing fantasy football, then you're either not a pro football fan or you're not a gambler. If you're still not playing and you ARE both of the above - then you're missing out on a good ol' time. Don't give me the "I don't have time". For fuck's sake, it takes about 15 minutes a week and I guaran-ass-tee that you'll spend more time than that because its fun! Fun I say, fun!

I got into a yahoo.com league this year with some friends, and some people from across the country that I don't know. After toying with my team name, I settled on Small Town D-Bag....paying homage to what has become a team name for several 24-hour cycling teams I've headed up. I found a picture online that suits my team name, and started typing trash-talk messages to the other teams in a redneck dialect that obviously took way too much time to craft - a dead giveaway that I'm really not a redneck, tatted-up, white trash punk. D-bag? yes I am...I'll give you that.

Anyway...phrases like: "I monna kick yer ass, n'after a victry party Ill giv the old lady a thro, n'after o'ccourse she brings me a cold one". See - way too crafted of a sentance to even be legit. The cool thing is that I totally got under one guy's skin and he kept calling me pathetic, pathetic, pathetic until he finally said "stop bothering me". See, I had rallied six other league players by telling them how to get under this guy's skin and he was tired of being bombarded by what now became the D-bag army. Ohhhh yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. Messin with this guy to the point where my ficticious D-bag character was on his mind in his dreams gives me great pleasure. He was even calling the league commissioner to whine about "why did you get this guy in the league".

"At the end of the day", Fantasy football is all about money and all that other stuff I mentioned is just the fun part of playing. I'm in contention for a $450 prize if I continue to do well. After a 1-3 start, I'm now 8-4 thanks to a couple of trades that worked out in my favor. My right hand girl at work is smack dab in the middle of the pack - playoff bound though - so we have some trash talking coming up if we meet in the playoffs.

Fantasy football - don't miss it next year.
I'm not a "quote" guy - unless they are really freakin' funny. But this one speaks volumes about the current state of our economy.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” -Thomas Edison

Monday, November 24, 2008

There’s a nasty little three letter word that just caught me on Saturday as I was coming around a switchback high in the Flag peaks. FCK? SHT? Nope…….AGE caught me and “done kicked the shi* outta me”. I have never been one of “those guys”. You know, the dude that sits on the ground after a race and contorts himself in sweaty lyrca all the while you’re trying to enjoy a cold one….or the dude who uses a tree as leverage to pretzel himself while he talks about his race. Stretching. What a waste of time, right?

I was stoved up, and the thought of riding again on Sunday was not even an option.

The remedy was a 1.25 hour session on Dana’s massage table Sunday evening. I legitimately cried, screamed, laughed, pounded the table, and begged her to count her sequences out loud so I knew how long her elbows and forearms would be crushing my legs. Once I went through the painful interrogation of my IT band and hamstrings, I thought calves would be easy. Easy? Holy crap was I wrong. Prisoners should be interrogated this way because I was unquestionably questioning why in the hell her clients would pay for this.

Alarm at 4:45 this morning – I get up and feel…..good. Really good. Fortunately the memory is still as fresh as a bottle of Bud Light, and I am 1000% committed to spending 15 minutes after each ride – stretching – and being “one of those guys”. I promise I’ll change out of the spanducci’s first though.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

7 lines about 15 hours

Blew off work today.
Rode the SS for 2.5 hours in the ridiculously quiet woods.
Spent some good time with D.
Spent some good time with Lyz.
Said goodnight.
Now I'm listening to Weezer and heading to the garage to punch my hanging meat.
Josh said that first.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I moved to Flagstaff to have weather. Changes in weather. Rain. Snow. Wind. All that and a bag o' chips. Well 78 out of the last 81 days have had no measurable precipitation and all we've had is wind - big wind - during a normally calm fall season. The forecast calls for 10 more days in the 50's and 60's with nothing but sun. The trails are dry, and the riding is good - but my snowboard is tuned with nothing to do.

Time for a change since the days are all too short right now meaning riding time has been squeezed into a small timeframe. So I've re-entered the world of strength training. Not at the gym - hell no - I can't succumb to the pressure of lifting weights alongside buffed out 20-year olds with sticks for legs, trophy wives with racks of Gibraltar who catch a peek of themselves in the meathead mirrors any chance they get, and everybody - I mean everybody - has headphones on. Crazy anti-social...........but the real reason I'm skipping the gym is that I like my little home setup.

For me it means a chin up bar in the garage, and an old piece of outdoor carpeting on the cement floor for pushups and crunches. Bodyweight exercises, something I've been doing intensely on and also intensely off for about 10 years. Rocky-style, man. Maybe I'll lift some logs in the snow and throw them off a cliff and scream in Russian, or run 15 miles in a blizzard with no shirt with songs from SURVIVOR on my headphones. OK -scrap that. The truth is I have a space heater in my garage and my bike on a stand so I can do repairs in between sets. It's pretty comfortable. Call it the man-cave, call it a poor man's gym. The goal is to stay dedicated to this for three months and emerge a little bit stronger for the 2009 race season. Eye of the Tiger baby.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lyza has discovered that auto racing on an X-box is a whole hella lotta fun. Her learning curve was about 3x shorter than mine, and it has now become a smash-up derby as we beat the tar outta each other. Wait, an hour went by playing video racing?? OUTSIDE! So outside we go to play ‘500’ with her buddy Nate Dog. You know – toss a nerf about 50 yards in the air – call out a number (say 200!) and whoever catches the nerf gets 200 points. OK – enough of that, back in for some more auto racing. And so it goes….mix in some fine espresso, good food, and a couple of Tecate’s for me and it’s a weekend full o’ fun.

I managed to get out on a great SS ride Saturday…into hellacious winds that were probably from the same front that hit California and wiped out 700+ homes. Of course – the downhill ride home was so fast, and so fun that it made the singletrack climb into the headwind well worth it. Sunday’s ride – short and weak. I sucked – just plumb tired I think. My legs feel like fallen timber. Me and CDub are doing a dawn til dusk duo on 12/5 in good ol’ Phoenix on a wicked fast desert track. What’s my motivation? That’s my motivation right now.

D may have snagged a few more clients for her bustling massage business by simply running in the woods on Sunday morning and hitting a pasta party at the kitchen store on Sunday night. I’m still amazed regarding how effective word-of-mouth is in a small town. All of those marketing classes I’ve attended would reap a whole lotta’ cost and not a lotta’ results in Flag-town. Good for her, it’s growing like she hoped.

I’m one employee down going through the rest of 2008 and into 2009 – and we won’t replace him. My accountant/controller is gone which means we’re “absorbing” the position….read more hours for me and my right hand girl Rose D. Oh well, at least I have a job. I’m gratefruit grateful for that!

Friday, November 14, 2008

It was heartbreaking, but I decided to not get my new root beer single speed smoothie due to a combination of no money and technical specifications (the new 51mm offset forks are cool but limiting). So as a therapeutic measure I scraped up a couple hundie and pro-dealed a new chrome accented Rudy Project helmet and new RP shades. This new helmet has three chrome finish points – so I’ll look faster when I lumber by in the middle of the pack – maybe some punk will think I’m lapping the field, and you can be sure I’ll embellish my effort to make it look like that is the case.

Why didn’t I save the two hundie for retirement? - my financial planning father would ask. Oh, Dad, that’s because in two months I’ve lost 1/3 of the value of my IRA that I have been putting money into for 19 goddamned years. I’ve got a word for retirement and it’s spelled F-U-C-K-E-D. No, I’m not pulling what’s left out of the mutual funds, because I’ve spent a lifetime playing blackjack the same way….Here’s my strategy: stay at the same freakin’ table when you go on a losing streak, out of spite, thinking you can win it back, when in fact I’m bleeding cash with horse blinders on because I keep saying ‘one more hand’. Great strategy huh?

It worked once in 1998, and as I did a death spiral down to my last $10 at Circus Circus in Vegas – I fought back to being up over $500 in about 10 minutes. For some reason, I always remember that a lot more than the 234 other times where my last $10 evaporated into the dealer’s bank and I just walked back up the room and slept it off.

What to do?

If my savings goes down another third, I’m seriously considering taking the remainder and putting it on black. Always bet on Black.

This afternoon I’m going to take my old frame, and my old fork, and my old brakes, and my old wheels and snazz ‘em up with my new helmet and shades on the Flagstaff singletrack. Knowing I made just one smart financial decision by not buying a new bike makes that chrome sparkle….even though I know that shimmer will fade. For now, today, at 4:00pm sharp, I get to go ride in the woods – life is good.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thumped by Thumper

At 6:15am, me and the boyz - C-dub, Sully, and JT - roll on down to infamous “Rottonwood”, AZ where there are more McCain/Palin stickers, assault rifles, and methe labs per capita than any other city in our glorious state. A scant 48 miles, and a 3,700 foot elevation drop from my front door, Cottonwood is the very last place you would ever consider wearing a lycra cycling costume, so we wisely chose to host this little event at a patrolled state park on choice singletrack – because people on Rottonwood don’t frequent trails you can’t use a Quad on. I’ve been cursed, and nearly flattened on my road bike down there and I’m not goin’ down that road again, so to speak.

Race rules: 6 hours. 7 mile loop. 8am start. 10 dudes. Whoever does the most laps…wins. 50 degrees at the start, 75 at the finish.

The Thumper loop is 2.5 miles up an old jeep road called Raptor with about 500 feet of climbing and plenty of ‘steps’ so you can haul ass in between pitches – if you got anything left. Then 2.5 miles down and across a fun as shit singletrack section called Thumper, and on down another 2 miles on the Lime Kiln trail that’s again, fun as shit.

7 laps won it. I finished five laps and was one lap from max….as in I could have done six, but, five other dudes had quit when I came around after five laps and had what looked like an ice cold 300 gallon cooler full of assorted cheap Mexican malt beverages. How do you keep riding when you know you’re going to finish 4th on the day regardless – and that cooler was fo’ reals! The sad part is that I was spent and could only put down one 99 cent can of Modelo. Next time, I’m not trying so hard. Five seven mile laps doesn’t seem like a lot, but Thumper is mean….steep, rocky, sandy, with loads of two and three foot drops which were doable on laps 1-4, but I started getting sloppy and weak on lap five and it was time to quit before I got a ticket to the Cottonwood ER which is short for a Veterinary Clinic.

My pal Sheck came by for a surprise visit from over the hill in Clarkdale. She rolls up in her air cooled (you always have to mention that to a VW junkie) Karmann Ghia that’s like 35 years old…..canary yellow. Sweet. All the guys were like – WHO DAT?! That’s my pal motherf*ckers, and she’ll kick yo’ ass.

24 hours later I wake up to 2” of snow in my back yard. And, I gotta go to work at the crack o’ smack. Weekends go entirely too fast.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recently, D decided to clean out her closet and I'm thinkin' - "hey - sell this stuff on E-Bay...you can make some pretty good $$ for the name brand stuff".

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

I've sold 50+ items on E-Bay including bikes, clothes, and electronics along with a few household items and have received probably 15 questions total for those items. D has received no less than 15 e-mails for ONE FREAKIN' LISTING regarding measurements of sleeves, hemlines etc. Then there was this memorable nugget:

D sells a tank top for something like $3 plus $5 shipping. The actual cost to ship the tank was around $2, but you figure $1 for the envelope, and a couple bucks to get it to the post office....the chick who bought it gets all snarky and sends an e-mail that says 'you better check your shipping prices'. I take the liberty of responding and this bitch fires back again - she has to be one of those "get the last word in" types - her husband must be insane or she's really hot and he's putting up with it for the short term. Anyway, D deleted her response as I was ready to lay down a profanity-laced tirade......over a $3 tank top. Wow - blood pressure medication please because I'm about to blow.

This E-Bay thing for chicks is a complete catastrophe. Dudes can buy from each other because a large shirt is, guess what....wait for it....LARGE. A used stereo component is, wait for it again, USED!

F*ck - I need a bike ride. I got one yesterday...three hours worth including busting some snow crust up around 9,500 feet. Then I went to look at the new root beer rig I have been coveting. Everything is legit except for the stem/bar. I can switch that out in a snap.

Oh and Josh, I'm not even thinking about giving you D's E-Bay links for fear of one of your rideandsmilz questions!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The first thing I checked this morning was the early exit interviews out of New Hamp.....ok, I'm lying. I checked to make sure I kicked the crap out of my friend in fantasy football and YES - I kicked his ass to the curb.

Barack the Vote...