Friday, January 30, 2009
Bumperstickers of the week:
I'm a PBS mind in a Fox News World (of course...on a Prius)
Online degree worked for me (on a POS Ford truck)
I just saw that Coldplay's Viva La Vida made Rolling Stone's top 10 albums of the year list (#8 I believe). Rush Limbaugh and Coldplay on the radio all the time....And so it goes.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ohio family of 4 found dead
Blagojevich: How can you throw me out?
Brush with death helps couple get money-smart
'Perfect storm' led to current economic crisis
Fortune: Get your dream job
CNNMoney: Uncle Sam wants to sell you a car
Alaska volcano may erupt soon
Frozen body found in elevator shaft
Puppy abandoned in freezing cold
iReport.com: Ice causes car fire in Kentucky
Sepsis can strike, kill shockingly fast
KXAN: Road sign hacked to warn of zombies
Handcuffed crooks flee into pole
Time: Teleportation is real -- don't try it at home
Vegetable ad deemed too hot for TV
CNN Wire: 3 Iraqi election candidates slain
What the hell is a Sepsis anyway?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
So I needed to blow off some steam on Sunday, and a 50 mile road ride through the lava fields of Sunset Crater would surely do the trick. AA and myself started at the top of the loop ‘round 8:30am. 39 degrees and windy – not bad. We had a tailwind for most of the 3000 foot drop into high desert country north of Flagstaff…..oh, we definitely had a tailwind as our average speed for the first hour was 31mph. It was in the high 40’s at the bottom. Then – we turn South….hmmm a little headwind there, then we turn Southwest and head up the climb back to the car. Holy…. Freakin…. Headwind Batman. We realized we had to paceline or it would become a side by side deathmarch up the mountain. 2 minutes each, rotating so we could catch a breather by drafting behind each other – and recover at least a little. Time to harden the fuck up. With one push left to the summit at a little over eight thousand feet, I blew…I blew like a broken VW Bug engine. It took me about five minutes to recover and I finally caught AA on the downhill after the crest. We hightailed it across the flats until we hit a wall of wind dropping us from 13mph to 5mph in seconds and it was that kind of hell ride back to the car over the next five miles. Then AA blew a gasket and fell off the back with noodle legs. He found me huddled at the car on the leeward side waiting for the fucking keys. FREEZING. It was still a great ride – call it a character builder if you will.
Home, hot tub, chores, a fire in the wood stove, 24oz of Tecate, an hour in my “old man” chair, nice conversation with the D, a colossal bowl of granola….in bed at 9. It was a good weekend.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The reality is that I’m choosing to dwell on those “problems” above rather than think about the real stuff: cutbacks in the tourism industry – hitting me and my crew, and a bank account that seems to get closer and closer to the definition of living “paycheck to paycheck”. So, I’m going to capitalize on the one thing I have left besides a full pound of fresh coffee beans in my grinder – good credit. Refinancing soon could reap a 4.35% or 4.5% 30-year fixed interest rate if your credit score is 750+. Hopefully, Obama will throw me a solid and help bring those rates down a full percent or more from where I’m at now. A full % over 30 years is the difference between THIS, THIS, and THIS versus a handful of mortgage and nothing to show for it when you die at 62. Then again, I better die at 62 or I'll be outta cash.
I know, I’m a one-track-minded Bike Loving Tool, but as any Arizona Cardinals fan would say “He is who we thought he is!” – Tribute to Dennis Green.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
2.) You enjoy telling people your current ‘status’: “I’m walking hand in hand on a naked only beach with a chocolate covered midget named Louie and we’re eating strawberries and drinking champagne as the sun goes down”
3.) You love to get “friend requests” from random acts of societal dysfunction like the assclown that sat behind you in American Government in 8th grade?
You might have a Facebook account if:
-You don’t have any kids to raise*
-*notable exception – You’re a stay at home mom who needs a social network of other miserable stay at home moms
-you’re a Club owner who markets wisely on the cheap
-you’ve got more issues than an airport newsstand
Call me old, call me crazy, call me anti-social media networking non-Blackberry, non-I Phone having……whatever……but I missed the point of MySpace, and now I simply cannot get on this runaway train called Facebook. My great pal Sheck finally caved last week and said something to the tune of “Dude, I’ve had it…..I can no longer keep up with the demands of my own webpage, a Flickr account, a MySpace page, and a Facebook page”. “It’s taking 2 hours a day, and I’m DONE”. Consider another friend who lamented about “turning down a friend request from someone I barely know and feeling guilty about it”. Wow. We all have enough peer/societal pressures already – and ya think we need more from self-inflicted punishment websites like Facebook?
Are you with me? If you’re not…..and you still like your little Facebook account, then why don’t you sign up for this. You can dress your pets up, share pictures, tell others what your pets are doing right now, and maybe even pee on each others walls. Good times!
Monday, January 19, 2009
Then, I made a new spreadsheet that was realistic – cutting real-time fat from each department to ensure that we have only minimal staff on hand at any one time. Some people just get creamed, and others aren’t impacted as much. But you know who is impacted the most? Guests. Repeat, guests. Yeah – the people that have kept coming this winter, and allowing us to make our payroll and show a profit, in spite of their own personal downturn. We thrive on repeat clientele, and a 15% cut in payroll would jeopardize that service that our guests are used to. It would be a horrendous business decision to do ‘whatever it takes’ to improve today’s profit margin, because the long-term effects would be 20-fold.
So, I’m going to return a report that is a compromise of her wishes and ours. I may get the beatdown, but after last Saturday at the White Tanks – you could drive a truck over me and it would hurt less.
I’m glad that I woke up this morning and immediately sent in our back country permits for a Grand Canyon 4-day hike in May. Having that journey on the books will be a huge circled date to look forward to. Me, Dad, and Uncle Steve goin’hiking into the Wild! Well – sorta. It’s the first time for my Dad and we don’t want to get too crazy. There’ll be small, but established campsites, toilets, purified water, and well marked trails – all in the middle of nowhere. This sounds more accurate: Me, Dad, and Uncle Steve goin’ hiking in paradise, baby.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The course was 4 laps of a 6.2 mile loop. I had consulted with two teammates beforehand about which gear to run. I ended up choosing a 2:1 ratio 32x16 and that was an awful mistake. The false flat 2mile lead out didn't need such a tall gear, the climb in the middle was steep and technical so I had to hike-a-bike it, and the downhill back to the line was steep enough to spin out. In short - I should have run a 32x18 or 19. At the word "go" I found my place for the race....last. I managed to stave off the other classes of Singlespeeders, barely, to retain my so-called advanced category rating. I felt like a PGA player getting nearly knocked down to Q-School to re-qualify for tournaments. Humiliating? No, not that bad. Embarassing? No, at least I finished with a smile. Humbling? Damn straight it was.
I can't even tell you how badly I wanted to cut the course, or just quit after three laps. DNF - who cares I thought. The $30 race reimbursement by the team for finishing and 14 other teammates at the event who would know I DNF'd kept me going despite ham-fist cramps in my quadriceps that had me walking like a bow legged cowboy up the steep climbs on the last lap. I finished, felt sick for about a half hour, but recovered by just shoving food down my hatch and chasing it with water and electrolytes. The nausea left and I was fine going home. I haven't felt that bad after a race in years. The pain and sickness reminded me that I have to go through these early season race day disasters as part of early season training for the important events in May-August.
Results will be posted tomorrow. I'll get a few points towards the overall series, but the points don't mean much if I keep preparing like this. What I got was an understanding that I have to take my indoor trainer time more seriously if I don't want to be nearly puking in the parking lot on February 7th - round #2. Time to park the snowboard and get back on the bike.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
A: The Minnesota Vikings
The goddamn heat went out in my old fashioned car this week, and when you add that to the list of things that are no longer working, I swear, I'll be driving a frame and an engine soon with a nice stereo. So, now I'm looking at other options. If I had an ounce of impulse I would have driven straight to Phoenix yesterday after driving to work in 11 degree temps with a morgue-cold body, frozen hands, and running the A/C to stop the windows from fogging up, and traded the old fashioned car for a new all wheel drive Subaru WRX hatchback or a Mazdaspeed 3. Hey - if you're gonna go for power, go big. Good thing I'm a practical sack who can't pull the trigger....Probably saved myself $325/month. Which, turns out, was a great decision because we just signed a deal with THIS COMPANY who will provide full carbon frames or complete bikes at a price that I just can't resist. My car will be fiiiiinnne!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Storm into the New Year like my name is El Nino……January features a new hotel management software installation that invariably brings a bucket load of issues due to human error. Our “owner’s weekend” is on the 23rd and 24th – where I get to pontificate, insinuate, and proliferate Don King-style the plusses and minuses of a tumultuous year where everyone’s profits are……..surprise! down. I can’t wait for that speech. I’ll need a 3” thick layer of Right Guard so I don’t pit out my pretty-boy Banana Republic shirt, which by the way will be selected based on the need to impress and intimidate, with of course cool undertones to calm the group. So corporate, so staged, so….. I sure hope it goes well.
11 days until the mountain bike state series starts and I still haven’t ridden in over a month. You can always pick out the
I hate our state series because it’s geared towards desert dwellers. Of course when there are 3 million people in
I just booked a ski vacation for President’s Day Weekend in
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
The Vikes resemble a football sized Chimichanga in every way. Each season I order one up with colossal enthusiasm.........and while it tastes great at first, in the end it always leaves me with a feeling like I just swallowed a whole lotta crap. Then, my gut aches for a few hours afterwards. I know it’s not good for me, but I keep coming back every year for that Chimichanga with a six pack of Hope, delusions of Destiny, and a wheelbarrow full of Faith. What the…? Why the….do I do this!? The truth is, you might see Hope, Destiny and Faith at a St. Paul strip club, but you won’t see or feel them very often watching the Vikes play. You have a much better chance of meeting the triplets; Anguish, Angst, and Anger.
My good friend James Scott Kersten and I were discussing how we sometimes feel that as soon as we start watching the Vikes play, they fumble, throw an interception, get a stupid penalty, or miss a field goal. Then, instinctively, you have to walk away from the TV and maybe check back after 15 minutes to see if they turned things around. It really is better not to watch. My “colorful” (read: obnoxious and controlling) Mom then pointed out something to the tune of “You guys really think that their performance has anything to do with YOU?” “Like YOU guys make a difference?” “Get over yourselves.” Thanks Mom. You're right. I needed that slap on the head.
I can’t even explain my affinity for them other than tradition - I grew up watching and waiting for them to win a Super Bowl and I can't break this apparent life-long connection. I feel like a shameless, hopeless, pathetic, horror-enduring, misguided, “wait ‘till next season”, Cubs fan. OK, it isn’t THAT bad. Cubs fans.....I'm surprised they all didn't slit their wrists last October - then again, they are used to it.
Man, I hope the Vikes win on Sunday.