Friday, December 29, 2006

V for Vendetta

Just watched it, I really liked it. Also saw Apacalypto with Pop and Nick. It was ok, 3.5 stars. Worth seeing on the bigscreen for some cool cinematography, but Mel Gibson seriously has a boner for gore. He can suck it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I don't care...

if it is a 'hipster beer' or 'weasel piss'. I like it, and I will continue to drink PBR as long as it is a decent tasting cheap beer.

Anyway, I'll post this while I'm still buzzing from three tall boys of this nectar of the proletariat. It is really good to be home in Maine. Sure I got into a little fight with my brother Eric yesterday, but that is par for the course. There will always be the territorial butting of the heads between us when we are in the house in which we grew up. I still love the mofo and miss him when we are 800 miles apart. And we are more alike and get along better now then we ever did in the old days. He is a good guy, a smart guy, a caring guy, and I am really glad he is my brother.

I just got back from the bar where I caught up with 2 people who were part of my formative years. Lyndsey, who has been my 'sister' in so many ways since we were 4; and Evan, probably my best friend through Jr. High and High School. I've known both for over 16 years. We caught up in the best ways - talked about our lives, our plans; talked shit about the people in our small town who haven't moved on, talked about politics, religion, all that BS. We don't all see eye to eye on all of these topics, but I love Evan and Lyndsey and their families as much as my own blood. There are few people I can go months without talking to, and still feel at home with when we meet up.

On top of that, I have had breakfast with dad, drinks with the Grandparents, going to see local semi-famous comedian Bob Marley with mom and Nick tomorrow. Yeah, he's the dumb cop from Boondock Saints.

Nick (younger brother) and I also went climbing this afternoon. It was awesome to hang out with him, just the two of us. It's scary how similar we are in a lot of ways, and amazing how different we are in others. He has a lot of good instinct on the climbing wall, and really could be a strong climber if he decided to pursue it. I hope he does. I love getting my ass kicked.

As for skiing, well that's out thanks to Global Warming... Going to have to look forward to westward trips in the spring for that.

Monday, December 25, 2006

one last thing...

i want to create. i want to own a design and mold it with my own hands from the ground up. i want to feel the metal splinters in my fingers and see the grease under my nails.

i miss this. creativity unnourished will wither and fade.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

yankee swap

This Yankee is heading back to the heart of the Union - New England. Maine to be more accurate. Westbrook to be precise. I can't wait to see my family and my brothers and some high school friends. Always good to nourish the roots.

Between growing up within a mile of this place and living in Dupont's hometown now, I'm tumor bound!

Hopefully I'll get in some skiing, though Sugarloaf is looking pretty spartan.

I can't wait to see my family and spend some quality time. But truth be told, I am looking forward to the new year. Always a chance to start fresh. Build upon the good things from the year past, and leave the less savory things in the past.

I'm looking forward to possibly getting a 29-er, looking forward to the DCCofD reunion at Chez Vettori, looking forward to improving the healthiness of my lifestyle after the hurt the holidays puts on one's body. I'm looking forward to getting more base mileage this year, after the difficulty of uprooting last year. I'm looking forward to night rides and cameraderie, and the thought that maybe I can hang with the Tuesday night Titans.

I'm looking forward to growing and improving the relationships with those around me, meeting new people, staying in touch with old friends. Looking forward to possible ski trips out west, the possibility of going to SSWC 2007 in Scotland. I want to train hard, eat better, get my ass kicked, race in the Killer Bs. I want my 24th birthday to mean as little to me as any other birthday because age means nothing. I want to plan my future and live in the moment. I want to learn from those smarter than I. I want to lead 5.10.

By the way, buy Belgian beer for those Yankee Swaps at work... You will be the most popular guy. I ended up with this shitty Hershey Kiss Fondue set:

and traded it to a girl who doesn't own a drill for this:

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My life be like...

Good times. Thursday we had another "team-building" event at work. For those who haven't figured this out yet, team-building at my company is synonymous with alcohol. This time, our tech team piled into our lab tech's RV, consumed alcohol, and drove 2.5 hours up to Pottsville PA to the Yuengling Factory. We got the private, after hours tour. It was pretty cool, but I was disappointed by two things:
  • Yuengling is made with corn as its primary malt!! CORN!! Like enough shit in the US isn't corn based.
  • Yuengling beers, even the porter, are all less than 4% ABV. Weak.
They did have a pretty bad-ass cave under the factory and we went out for Italian food afterwards. Better than half a day in the office I suppose.

Friday morning I got up super f'ing early to go to a Gore Bike Wear factory sale. I scored big:
  • 7 Gore-tex (Pac-lite and XCR) jackets (some of these were favors)
  • 2 Windstopper vests
  • 3 pairs bib shorts
  • 2 pairs Windstopper arm warmers
  • 2 pairs Windstopper leg warmers
  • 1 Gore-tex helmet cover
  • 1 pair Gore-tex winter bike gloves
  • 1 pair Gore-tex sock covers
  • 1 pair half-finger gloves.
Total cost: $270. That's like one Gore-tex jacket at normal cost!

Yesterday, went to see Rainer Maria after work. They were really pretty good, but they didn't mix up the set list too much - it was mostly a mellow show. The band that opened was really tight musically, but they sang like shit, and their lyrics were 6th grade teenage angst. For Christ's sake, the lead singer had a wedding ring but was singing about break ups.

I'm missing nationals right now, and the weather is making me regret that even more. I talked briefly with fatmarc, who said everyone is having fun and the mid-Atlantic is throwing down. Ryan Leech won his race. I miss cross already, but I did get in 50 miles on the road today, so here's to getting the base miles back.

much love.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cars R Coffins: Part II

I'm completely disgusted with some of the human beings with which I share this planet. I brought my car into Winner Newark on Sunday night to have it repaired from my recent fender bender. They said they'd have it done today (Wednesday). The list of repairs included the following:
  • replace bumper cover
  • replace grille
  • replace left headlight
  • realign headlight mounts (they were offset about a 1/4 of an inch).
$1400 estimate. Pretty simple.

I go today to pick up the car, and they hand me the paperwork. I know I have a $1000 deductable, so USAA (my insurer) should only be paying out $400. The paper work says I owe nothing and USAA is covering it all. This doesn't make sense so I speak up. Long story short, I do owe $1000, and I saved Winner Newark a bunch of paperwork having to track this down later. Honesty is always the best policy in my book, but as I'm paying, the cashier says: "I wouldn't have said anything!!" Yeah, real nice Winner Newark - you hire the real cream of the crop.

So anyway, I go out to the car to look it over after waiting 20 minutes for them to bring it around. Bumper, check. Grille, check. Headlight, check. Uh oh, what's this? No realignment. Now I would have passed this off as a mistake, but the estimator took pictures of this and put it on the estimate and work order. It's obvious that Winner Newark thought I wouldn't notice and tried to get away without doing the work. I feel slighted so I head back inside.

I explain to the manager, he says "Oh I don't know how we missed that." yeah right. Bull shit. Either way, he sets me up with a free rental for the rest of the day and says come back after work, the car will be ready. Cool, I think, they are going to make good on this.

I get back to Winner Newark after work and the car looks fine. So I head inside to turn in the keys to the rental. I get in my car and first thing I notice is the smell. It was like someone melted tuna using farts for fuel. Whatever, I think, probably just a sweaty mechanic driving it in and out of the garage. Next, I reach for my trusty iPod that I keep hidden neatly under my seat. It's my sole source of music and thus life in my car. No iPod. I think, maybe it just slid farther under the seat, no big deal.

I get home and search high and low, but all that remains of the iPod is the FM transmitter. Proof that the iPod was in the car - I didn't leave it inside at the computer or something. I call Ed, the manager at Winner Newark, and explain the situation. I'm 117 % sure it was stolen by one of his guys/girls. He says, "Let me talk to the tech in the morning." I just hang up. I will call back until it is replaced.

It sucks when your honesty and good faith and patience is rewarded with laziness, greed, theft, and complete lack of consideration for others. Winner Newark has lost almost all points with me, and I am going to call USAA tomorrow and tell them about this incident. My insurance company has done nothing but treat me well for 5 years (and take my money). They should not deal with low-lives who don't deliver on their commitments and steal from their customers.

Time to burn some anger on the trainer...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Back in the saddle...

Well after a week off the bike I did some riding this weekend. Saturday I ended up skipping the final cross practice of the season for fear of setting my cold back in motion. I spun for about an hour on the trainer and watched a fucked up French film called Fat Girl.

Today was incredible... the weather was unbelievable - sunny, 50 degrees - just about the best riding weather possible. I met up with fellow employees Timm, Dave, and JF at Middle Run at 10 am for a romp through Judge Morris, Middle Run, and White Clay. There were a lot of people out there today.

We started out screaming up through Middle Run to the Judge. Judge Morris just begs to be ridden hard and fast... the lines were so open because all the brush is dead for the winter, and the ground was more or less hard and fast all the way around. Long live the Judge. Back in Middle Run we lost Timm and Dave, but JF and I pressed on to do the White Clay loop.

At this point my legs are still feeling awesome. I have an hour's effort dialed into these limbs like no one's business from 3 months of 'cross. So we set into White Clay and I open up the throttle on the first longer climb. JF is keeping up, all is good. We come to the second climb, and JF starts to fade. I wait at the top and he needs a little breather. Turns out he hit the sauce pretty hard last night in Philly, and his body decided to punish him for his insolence. He pays back some of the oxygen debt and we are off again.

John (JF), left, in undated file photo.

We get to the top of the next longer climb, where it opens up into fields again, and JF is off the back. I wait at the top and he says "I think I'm gonna boot." Sure as shit, he bends over, drops the bike, and splatters some dry grass with a watery post-party shower. He takes a seat, turns to his right and lets another stream flow forward. He lays down at this point, semi-laughing, semi-wretching and turns to let one more river of vomit flow forth. Laughing, he says, "I'm such a tool..." I just congratulated him and said this was exactly why he should consider going to SSWC07 in Scotland in August. John, I'm proud of you buddy, way to pull through and suffer.

It felt so good to be on the singlespeed again, I just need to keep these longer rides going to get the base miles back up.

much much love.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cold and Climbing Prom

I've been fighting a cold all week. It started at the Reston race and has been getting better today. Hopefully I'll be able to ride this weekend. I want to mountain bike on Sunday when the hunters aren't all out killing things. I just don't want to resume riding too soon and end up getting sicker. Always a drag.

Meanwhile, cycling off-season means I can focus on climbing again!! Tuesday night the climbing contingency headed up to Go Vertical! in Philly as usual. After talking with employees Tim and Dan last week, I organized our 1st annual Climbing Prom. Yeah we all went in dress clothes and Tim and Dan wore their tuxedos. It was pretty pimp. A lot of people were annoyed, thinking they either missed the memo, or they missed the joke.

"Why are you guys dressed up?"
"Uhh, because it's Tuesday, of course."
*blank stare*

Sunday, December 03, 2006

'cross is boss.

Today's sub-par performance wraps up, for me, what has been an awesome introduction to a sport I now call home - cyclocross.

The DCCofD met up at the fatmarc/chunky monkey lair at 6 this morning in the frigid dark, and hit the road for Reston (strange planned community outside of DC) for the final race in the MAC series. After warming up, and feeling pretty good, and liking the course after three pre-ride laps I headed to the start line. After a botched start-gun thanks to official/race promoter confusion, the C men were off. I had an awesome start on the asphalt, false-flat uphill, working through about 8 guys in the first 1/2 mile into second wheel.

The first lap felt decent, until Donahue attacked. I followed the attack to keep 2nd wheel, and he proceeded to ride away from me as my legs started to feel like lead. From there on out, every move just seemed impossible to cover, and I started to go backwards. A couple botched remounts and one slide-out later, the race was over, and I was left feeling like an awesome season should not end like this. 10th place, beat by some guys that will push me down a few slots in the MAC overall.

As crappy as I felt riding today, I wouldn't trade it. It was great to be out there with the Coalition. It was great to see them race hard, race well, and finish their MAC season. Paul I. took the B Masters overall, Lisa "big deal" Vible took the 35+ Elite Women overall, Jessica S. took the B women overall. I hear Wes kept the Elite Men overall. And everyone else just raced so well today, all season - so good to see smiles and pain and love and suffering all at the same time.

So much thanks to everyone in the Coalition for the support, training, comeraderie, love, and introduction to the sport this season. I can't wait until next September...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Reston Up

Thanksgiving + work + Houston + early nightfall = 2 days of riding and 2 days of running in the last 2 weeks. I feel like a Christmas ham and there are still 4 weeks to the holiday. We shall see how this equation for pain and plumpness equates to Cyclocross performance. Last race of the season is tomorrow in Reston VA. This will put me at 10 races for the season - my goal going into it. I will miss the pain, but I can't wait to mountain bike on my new Michelin XCR A/Ts.

Meanwhile, here is my inspiration for tomorrow: