Thursday, February 28, 2008

finally getting to it

It struck me how this blog was supposed to be about cycling, yet to this point there has been absolutely _NO_ monologue about cycling.

Today, I will change that.

I recently came back from a week long trip to the mountains of north georgia, ostensibly a winter training camp. Seven men drove in a 25' motor home for 15 hours to a luxury cabin in the appalachian mountains, stayed for the week, then did the return trip.

We had:

A notorious and successful cat 3 (almost cat 2) who is possibly my regions best and most prolific race promoter.

Four master/3s of various abilities

A cat 1 and former member of the Junior National Team, albeit non-active for the past few years.


Here's how the days of riding broke down:

Day Total Time Distance Avg. speed Elevation gain

1 2:16 35.69 15.7 4307

2 5:28 79.91 14.6 7560

3 4:20 66.13 15.2 7520

4 6:00 76.01 12.7 10998

5 3:33 54.75 15.4 5624

6 2:31 35.44 14 4422

Total 24:08:00 347.93 40431

Yup, that's right, 40 thousand feet of climbing in 6 days, almost 11000 of it in one 76 mile day.

To be fair, I didn't ride the last day, so I _only_ got 36,000 feet in.


I ended up straining my achilles' tendon on day 5. I certainly wasn't just that one day that did it, as I could feel it after the 11000 foot day. But it was enough to hobble me off the bike. It's been a week, and after resting and icing the ankle, I no longer have any pain for the first time. I'm going to try the stationary trainer tonight and see if it holds up.

Over the past 20 years, I experienced several recurring maladies which have conspired to keep me off the bike for a time that were _not_ results of crashes. Neck, shoulder, elbows, hands, back, knees, toes, quadriceps, even penile numbness, have all occurred more than once. Never have I had my achilles tendon flair up. And on this trip, I had slight cramping of the quads, but none of the other afore-mentioned pains, except for the achilles' tendon, which has never happened before.

These are two pictures of the driveway:

Come to find out it's about a 43 % pitch, No, that's not a typo, it's a 4, followed by a 3, the percent. Imagine riding 'home' to that after a 76 mile ride and 11000 feet of climbing.

Day two was the worst. Cold and rainy. I've never shivered that much on the bike. The only saving grace that day was being able to climb, since that warmed us up.

Here is the profile of the monster day (day 4):

Stats: 6:00 hours actual riding time
76.01 miles
10998 feet of climbing.

There was only one day where the temperature was appreciably above 50. That was day one and it was fucking beautiful, ~70, high thin clouds, no wind. The best we were able to muster after that was cloudy and in the 40's.

It was overall a good time and we had fun. There was only one minor incident of people nerves flaring which was quickly resolved with apologies. And then there was the 'Boiled Egg Incident'.

One of the guys has a penchant for hard boiled eggs after a long ride. Whatever.

So on day 5 he puts a pot on the stove in the morning with 1/2 a dozen eggs in it.

Then we leave.

For over 4 hours.

We come back to a house filled with smoke, and exploded eggs _everywhere_. Some of the hard boiled bits landed a good 20 feet from the stove.

Of course, the guy whose name the house was in went ballistic. The rest of us pretty much waited outside until the yelling stopped. We were all laughing about it a few hours later.

I was clearly the least fit of the group. There was only one guy I was able to consistently beat to the tops of the climbs, and even then he stayed with the leaders a few times and beat me to the top. He weighs 215, I weigh 140. I suck.

Well, The better weather is approaching, and I'll be able to start riding to work in the next couple of weeks. That's the best training of all for me.

More on riding in the coming weeks!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Stick With Chocolate.

Stick With Chocolate

So yesterday was valentines day. Being the dutiful father and husband, I picked up cards and gifts for my wife and daughter.

Wife - A card from the 'love' section rather than the cheesy classless plethora of unimaginative, pink, sappy (or otherwise low-brow humor) valentine card section, and a small bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream.

Daughter - The card hunt was much more difficult, but I found a 'friendship' card that didn't sound like it came from one of her 12-year-old friends. Then, a small book called 'dadisms - what he says versus what he means'. A tongue-in-cheek review of quips and euphemisms that dads say to their kids. I though it was cute.

She didn't. While not totally dismissive, I got a quizzical sideways glance, an arrested smile, and an 'ooooooookaaaaaaayy'.

The wife was more appreciative. I'm not sure where I got the idea she liked an occasional Bailey's on the rocks. I'm sure I've seen her with a small snifter or old-fashioned glass on a chilly night.

But then again, maybe not.

She thanked me, followed with "I don't get it".


I expressed minor frustration, and relayed our daughters reaction.

"Well, what did you expect" she quipped. "it wasn't chocolate"

It wasn't. Indeed.

I should have known better. Earlier in the week I came home from work and found the two of them snacking on one of those legal-enveloped sized bars of Lindt (with hazelnuts) and watching American Idol.

They were giddy.

Note to self: Stick With Chocolate.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Previous Life

This will be one in a series of random recollections of things I thought I would capture here for posterity:

Circa 1992 - My career as a field service engineer for a medical electronics company.

I was visiting Boston City Hospital to install an audiometric diagnostic system. Since there was alot of equipment to be moved, I went to unload the minivan at the loading dock. I was going to try and be courteous, by unloading the equipment, then moving the van to the parking garage right away. I was advised against this by the receiving clerk. He said I should move the equipment to where it was going right away. He didn't mind that I left it there, just the he said he didn't want to hear about it if I came back and things were missing.

Ok, up to the audiology department then. When I got there, I informed the department manager that I was there and asked if it was OK that I leave the equipment in the hall outside the exam room.

She was a professional black woman, obviously well educated, but also obviously a product of the local community.

"Leave it if you want, but I'm just tellin' ya, you all need to watch yo' goods. Here's the key, put it all in the room."

The van was left in the dock for over a 1/2 hour. No one seemed to mind that,not even the drivers waiting to get in.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I should blog, or not.
I should get back to work, or not.
I should give a fuck, or not.
I should care, or at least pretend to care, or not.
I should........., or...not.

I should do alot of things. But I don't. Lately it's for no other reason than I just don't fucking care. The apathy is so intense, it fails to even approach the illusion attempting to put any thought into it whatsoever. A significant factor is the oppressive level of futility. When you truly believe there is nothing you can do about it, you cease to fucking care. That's where I am now.

So where do I go from here? How do I give myself that kick start to get my act together? To give the illusion to my co workers and family that I _am_ acting in the best interest of those involved? As if I really cared?

I know it's the right thing to do....Caring. I know that if my apathy becomes palpable enough, there will be repercussions. Long term implications of what a certain 12-year-old girl who (I think) looks up to me will take from ' when daddy stopped caring'.

Like it or not, I have a legacy
I'm responsible for,
and unless I want to end up responsible
for a trainwreck like this:

I'd better stop acting like this:

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Fuck Post


Fuckity fucking fuckers fucked fuckistic fucks.

Fuckisis? Fuckly!

Fucker fucking fuckful fucked fuckisms fucker fuckness. Fuckers fucking fuckment fuckology fuckification fuckerator fucks fuckism. Fucking fucky fuckist fuckable fuckastic fuck fuckient fuckly.

Fuck fuckers fucking fucked fucks.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I sometimes get confused. 'Why is [this thing] happening to me?'
As I've gotten older, I've really tried to be a better person. Yet, it seems every time I do what I think is the right thing, some aspect of it, generally speaking out of my control, comes back and firmly takes a solid bite out of my ass.

I see this more and more in the actions of my only child. I offer to help with something, and get snapped at for it. I state the the computer must be turned off because it's bed time, and it's as if I'm asking for the bathroom to be cleaned.

Today, since it was raining like hell outside. I offer to be school transportation, in order to alleviate the need to stand outside in the rain waiting for the bus.

"drop me off at the end of the parking lot"
"it's raining out, I offered to take you to school so you didn't have to stand out in the rain"
"I don't care, just don't take me all the way to the curb, leave me at the end of the lot"
"you're so embarrassed by me that you can't even be seen in the car with me?"
"Thank you. I don't have enough other things in my life right now, I need you to be ashamed of me."
"you're welcome" (door slams).

I have a three family rental property (I don't want it, I never wanted it, but now I'm stuck with it. I have to get over it). Because I have vivid memories of making ends meet in my youth, I have allowed the tenants to pay me late, and in some cases just let it go short. With one tenant this became an issue of not paying at all, then when pressed they called the city for building code violations. (I was cleared, the tenant was ordered to pay, but instead they skipped out).
So what did I do to them? Was I so evil to ask for back rent? No, A sucker is more like it. For that fact, What did I do to deserve getting left with the building to begin with? I cosigned a loan for a relative in need, and he decided about 18 months in that it wasn't working out, so he left. Now it's mine.

I've taken to analyze this on a macro level.
I didn't do anything to my child that warrants shame.
I didn't screw my tenant before they decided to stop paying.
I left the rental property completely to my relative, never once getting involved in any aspect of managing or maintaining the property.

Maybe there was some greater event in my past that I'm paying for now.

Looking back, what did I do?
.........oh.......yeah.........that would do it.

Sing a Joyful Noise

If you use Windows Instant Messenger, do this:

In the Options tab under 'Personal', Click the 'show song information.....' box

If you use Windows Media Player, click options>plug-ins, highlight 'background' and click the 'display song in messenger' box.

Now, everyone who has you in their contact list will be shown what you are listening to.

For those of you that don't know, I have almost 30Gb of music on a portable hard drive (I have over 800 CDs)
We use WinIM at work in lieu of phones or e-mail.

So now, everyone at work got to see when I was listening to "Too Drunk To Fuck" by the Dead Kennedys.

Too funny.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Kind of an incredibly trite title, doncha think? Over-used, worn-out, downright banal. Well, That's all I got for ya. After this weekends vast range of stress and entertainment, The banality of my life is really all I have to go on right now.

Apt -
The good - I managed to get in and rip out the water damaged plaster and replace it with dry wall.
The bad - 2nd floor tenants still have crap in the apartment. Fortunately they are sleeping in their new place, so I can get in and work at night, but happy happy, joy joy, I get to go to my full time job, then go work on the apt after work. Third floor tenants only gave me 1/2 the rent.
The Ugly - My handiwork, It's a good thing the building inspector isn't' interested in aesthetics.

Sunday I was having none of it. I had planned to run the Frigid Fiver in Newburyport, and desperately need the stress relief. I decided to make it a really workout, so I rode my bike 15 miles from my house, via the rollercoaster road of rte 113.
The good - I set a PR for a five mile race, in february no less, of 32:36. Good for 14th out of 150. This is a full 30 sec faster than my previous PR which I set in early October seven years ago at the Bobby Bell Road Race when I was very fit from racing (bikes) all summer. I felt good on the ride home, but the last hill to my house let me know - yes, it's february. Still, 30 miles on the bike and a PR five mile run. I'm satisfied
The Bad - I really thought I would run well under 32, and was shooting for 31:45. I assumed at the slowest I would do a sec/mile off my slowest assumed pace. Shit.
The ugly - getting passed by five guys on the last climb, at the 4 mile mark. DAMMIT! I weigh 140, there's no excuse for getting passed by 5 guys going uphill, all of whom had a good 25 pounds on me.

Superbowl -
The Good.......I got nothin'. Unless you want to count the company. Good friends.
The Bad......losing after going undefeated for the whole season.
The Ugly...Where do I begin? No answer for the pass rush, three missed interceptions, At least two very very bad calls by the officials, most noteworthy: Smith pushing Samuel away for a 45 yard gain, right in front of the official; Thomas landing on a fumble, laying on it when the play was blown dead, having a giant player wrestle it away after the whistle, and the refs give to them. Granted, that's not why the pats lost. They lost because they played without heart. They didn't want it bad enough.
The ugliest - Belichick leaving the field with 1 second on the clock. Game over? sure. But you just don't do that. Even Moss stayed on the field.

Worse yet, now us patriots fans are going to have to listen to every belicheat/cheatriots naysayer anti-bandwagon fan for as long as belichick is associated with the team. Present and future blogs and editorials will be rife with "The Patriots have proven they cannot win without cheating, their past superbowl victories are tarnished". You know that's what we're going to hear, no matter how well they do in the future, and that sucks. The patriots will be remembered as the worst 18-1 team in NFL history. Quite possibly the biggest choke of all time.

But, that's in the past. Ancient history. It's time to move on. I had no vested interest in their win, just the emotional boost of seeing a perfect season from my favorite team in my lifetime.

So, move on, I will.