Thursday, December 31, 2009

Oh goodness...

You know it's bad when your road bike is dirtier than your mountain bike. I have been riding outside a fair bit still but today I'm on the dreaded trainer. It's in the low 20's but the bigger issue is that Bodhi decided to eat one of my Pearl Izumi Lobster gloves the other day and I've been without booties since they disintegrated during one of the Leadville winter races last year. I can't complain much though. I think I've had both the gloves and booties since I used to work at TC. That was probably sometime in the mid to late 90's?? I usually have to make my stuff last as long as humanly possible.

New Year's Eve

I haven't been able to stay up until midnight on this night in forever. Forever ever. I don't go out on New Year's eve. Up here I guess we could walk to the bar but we loves us to stay home and watch either trash tv or movies. Tonight is the night though. We are ringing in the new year over here at 514. Every year there is a group of mountaineers that climb to the top of Pikes Peak and shoot off fireworks. I don't think we've seen the show in the 6 years we've been here. But that all ends tonight. We're gonna see the fireworks in all their glory. I will put on coffee just for insurance purposes. I'll try and get some pics but that's not gonna work out so much.

Hope everyone has an enjoyable and safe night. Let's not be stupid out there ok?

In other news...I recently had a student tell me that I remind him of the African American guy in all the Jackie Chan movies. Chris Tucker???????? Seriously. Don't get me wrong...he's a good looking dude and funny as hell but I'm not seeing the resemblence.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Sometimes I think I should have chosen a different career path. After several years working in residential I became fascinated with gangs and gang lifestyle and I still am. I applied to the academy in St. Louis and was about to go through the rigorous interview process when I just didn't think I could afford to not have a check coming in while I was in training for about 3 months. After that I looked into going to the border patrol but there was an extensive training for that at either Langley or Quantico. Sometimes I talk about a career change when we go back but I think I'm too old for that and Heather would probably leave me and I couldn't blame her.

Yesterday Spike was showing back to back episodes of DEA all day!!! I was in heaven. Most of those guys/gals have put in long careers with Border Patrol, local police departments, US Marshal's, or Highway Patrol but I think it would be an awesome job. I'm hoping this isn't the beginnings of a mid-life crisis. I can't afford a Corvette. I don't even really like Corvettes. I do think the satin Corvette jackets are pretty sweet though.

I know....I know

For Christmas, Heather and I decided we wanted a spiral ham. We couldn't find one smaller than 10 lbs though. So we got it and, needless to say, we had quite a bit left over. We put quite a bit of it in freezer bags and saved it but I bet there was still a good 3 lbs of it left over. The next morning when we went to do the clean up, we realized that we had left that portion of it out all night. I was going to deliver it to the homeless people since it would have been easy to keep cool outside but they have enough problems, I'm sure they don't want to be sick from bad ham.

We talked about giving it to the critters but I told Heather I didn't like that idea. We have enough large predators roaming around the house (I'm sure) and don't need to send that message. I also recall when we had a neighbor that would throw all leftover food in his front lawn so that he could watch as the bears devoured it during the summer nights. However, last night I went to let Bodhi out and there was a fox sitting in the front yard. He walked right over when I called him. He wouldn't get closer than 20 feet but he sat right down. I figured I'd give him some ham. So I went in and grabbed what was left and tossed it over to him. He ate a bit of it and then grabbed the entire thing and trotted off.

I know this is frowned upon and I'm sorry. In my eyes it was a little different since it was just one fox there and I knew he was getting it instead of just putting it out there and having a lion find it and then be more likely to enter that area again. Still I know it was wrong.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Heather and I went down to catch a movie tonight and then grabbed a bite to eat. We saw Precious and I highly recommend it. Anyway...we came home and found this mess on the couch. This was in our Christmas tree when we left. It was a cardinal that sat in a nest. This was actually my Mother in-laws when she was a little girl. Kind of a bummer but, for once, Bodhi is innocent. He was on lockdown in the guest bedroom and Dharma was the only one to blame. No matter how many times we told Heather's mom what the dog's name was, she always called her Norma. Pretty funny really. She used to always say, "I've never heard anyone name a dog Norma before I met Chris."

Monday, December 28, 2009

field trip

Today I cruised up to Denver to help a buddy of mine out so that he could help me out. Troy is a police officer and does a lot of stuff with Cherokee's on the side. He finds them and buys them up and flips them or he just salvages what's left of good ones and then scraps them. He had this early 90's specimen living on his trailer and needed to pull a few things off it. So we yanked the radiator, power mirrors, hatch struts and the steering column out of it and then took it to the scrapper as the rest of it was pretty played. I had not been to a scrapper before and it was pretty cool.

This guy had a front loader on it and he swapped out for the forks in seconds and then cruised over after we had unstrapped the Jeep.

Then he picked it up and carried it off to have the catalytic converter cut off, the battery removed, and all the fluids drained before heading to the big "chipper". The Jeep was smashed flat and then placed on a conveyor belt of sorts before being chewed up by these 2 massive gears. They grind the whole car down to nothing and then, somehow, what's created is sorted. Fabric stuff goes down one chute, copper into another, aluminum down another, steel in another, and so on. Pretty incredible how things go in their appropriate places. Not sure how they do it.

This was a pile of debris. There were washers and dryers, refrigerators, you name it. They had the cranes that have a claw attached to them and they come down and grab hold of whatever is too big for the front loaders to push around and stack them on top of each other. This pile was probably 2 stories and the guy said they can stack the stuff over twice that high. There were entire cars in that pile. While we were waiting a semi pulled up with a trailer that was getting scrapped. The driver unhooked and left it there. It was picked up by the claw and dropped near the big pile. Then another machine that was basically a massive hydraulic lobster claw came over and started wrecking it. The claw grabbed the axles (after they had been smashed from the trailer frame) right in the middle and snapped them like toothpicks. Pretty impressive. Troy said that sometimes when the place is slow the workers operating the claw will grab a car by the front end and flip it over so it's upside down and then drop the claw on the underside of the motor and rip the entire motor out. I was impressed and wanted to yell out, "Do it again!!!!"

After we got that taken care of we went back over to Littleton to where my van has been on strike. We loaded it up onto the flatbed. We joked about going back to the scrapper but then decided to take it to Commerce City so that my buddy Rick could check it out. It wouldn't turn over so we winched it up onto the trailer backwards. Once we got to the shop, Rick and Troy pushed and I let it run off the ramps and then steered it hard right just as it hit the ground so we didn't have to push it through snow.
Sorry for the terrible cell phone pictures.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Today I was going to go down and do the incline but then I realized that my spikes (kinda like Yak Trax but with screws) are in the van. So I decided to do a trail that I actually hike with my bike a lot in the summer. This trail had no sun on it and I got cold so I decided to find a trail that was facing west.A few minutes later and I started hiking up. I eventually popped out on this little ridge. The singletrack is nice but it's rough in the summer.

Pikes Peak looked like it was still getting some snow up on top.

Anyone know what this thing is? It's on the top of a smaller mountain. There's a little door on top of that cement slab.

This is the trail as it climbs up to the ridge. Once up there, the trail goes to the left and right.

This is what I'm frying up tomorrow morning to put in my eggs. Then I'll be driving up to DEnver AGAIN to see if my van is still there.

Friday, December 25, 2009


I just wanted to wish everyone that stops by from time to time a happy holiday. Hope the season was good to you all and your families. Be safe and thanks for checking in.
Santa managed to find his way to 514 and delivered the goods. Some of the things that we both got were clothes, smell good stuff, and a new camera to replace the one that I dropped into the river. My lovely wife got me a new down jacket that is super light and stuffs down to nothing.

Can you tell how excited Bodhi was about his presents?

Dharma's Mickey toy lasted all of 17 minutes. That was money well spent.

This was the best I could do.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Well thanks to Richard over at OE Veedub for getting me a warranty starter from California in less than 24 hours. I picked it up early this afternoon and headed up to Denver to install it. It went in just fine and after I got the intake all booted back up I hopped in and.............nothing. The battery was pretty worked over so I had to do some pushing to get the Van resituated in the garage so that I could jump it off the Jeep. It DID NOT want to start. It was as if it was in a DEEP coma. I finally was able to get it started and thought I was home free died. Not only did it die but it did so with all the grace and devotion that it had before I swapped the distributor and Halls sensor. I started it a dozen more times and each time it croaked after a bit. Frustrated and cold in the 14 degree temperature, I decided to give up. I hate admitting defeat. Maybe it would be different if it was in my garage but....maybe not. Now I've gotta figure out a way to transport it over to the other side of Denver so that Rick can take over and do his thing.

While I was in the shower, Heather said that Santa had stopped by. Great I said. Did he leave me a car that stays running for longer than 60 seconds? Sadly, he did not. In other news...I noticed that Santa's hadnwriting looks darn close to my wifes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What now??

Well I went back up to Denver bright and early this morning to try and get my Van started. After a quick detour over to JDM Imports over in Commerce City, Rick hooked me up with a known good distributor and Halls sensor that he had laying around. Then I cruised back over to Littleton and started with the install. I remembered that the previous owner mentioned that the motor had overheated in Oregon once and this resulted in a rebuild. I decided to cut into the harness that contains the wiring for the Halls sensor and check it out. I found 3 breaks in the insulation for the ground wire and in one of the breaks there were several strands of wire broken. A trip back over to Commerce City and my new best friend (Rick) re-wired the harness for me while he took a break from doing a slave cylinder on one Westy and a head gasket on another. Then it was back to Littleton to finish things up. I got it all back together and went to start it. No start. No crank at all.

Grrrrrrrrrr. The battery was a bit low at 11.8 volts but I had tried to start that motor quite a bit on Saturday night. I tried jumping it off another vehicle and still no crank. I crawled under and checked the starter and it had 8.9 volts. A little low I thought but my manual wants a minimum of 8. I removed the starter and reinstalled it and no change. Then I unbolted it from the bellhousing and left it wired and used a jumper cable to ground it to the block. No crank still. Then I decided to jump the terminals on the starter with a hunk of coat hanger. No start still. I'm none too happy. I just bought this starter about a month ago. So I pulled it off and apologized to my wife again (she'd been patiently waiting all day for my dumb ass to get things done). I guess I'll be taking it back tomorrow and have them order another. Then we'll head back to Denver and do it all over again.

I'm a bit disgruntled with the Van right now. We'll see where this leads. I did some thinking the last few days.........................

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009


Today was our last day of school before the holiday break. Things have been stressful and I'm definitely ready for some time off from the job and time on the water. I deal with some challenging students but I really do like working with them. They stunned me today when I came in to my room well into first period and they had a gift for me. I've gotten plenty of gifts from students before but I wasn't expecting this. The card said, "Thanks for putting up with our shit". They gave me a new coffee maker since mine broke a few weeks ago. They also made sure that I got my special acid free coffee (I get horrible stomach pains when I drink most any other kind of coffee). It was the perfect gift as I can't make it through a day AND keep my composure while dealing with all of their issues without a lot of coffee. I suspect that my assistant Evelyn paid for everything as I know my students don't have any money and would feel terrible if they spent any that they did have. Evelyn said they all talked about what to get me when I was out sick on Monday and quickly decided on the coffee maker. I almost got choked up. Most of my students don't have a ton at home and many of them get really cranky when they know they're going to be away from a big piece of structure in their life. I was really impressed.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh my......

I'm not sure I'm going to keep the Vanagon when we move back so I've been looking into some of the Eurovan's for kicks. I didn't used to like these as much. The motor is up front and they didn't seem to be as cool as my van but I've been seeing some really unique ones lately.

This is a North American model that's got a bit of suspension work, some big wheels, and a nice body kit. I suspect it also has a turbo to help out the 174 horse VR6 motor too.

Today I found tihs on a German site. There wasn't much info on it but it looks to be the company's take on the earlier Tristar from my van's generation. I did crunch some numbers and this hotness would set me back $245,000. It has a ramp that comes out of the back of the bed to help load your jet ski or whatever.

This EV has a 996 motor in it and was clocked at 194.2mph.

This is the motor from the black one. It's another 996.

I've spent most of the night on youtube looking at what those crazy German's are doing with the EV's and Porsche motors that are pushing 600hp while testing at Hockenheim.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm home sick again today. My buddy Scott is looking for a road bike so I'm doing some looking for him. This is an exemplary model of how a bike should fit. The stem is reminiscent of something that I remember being installed on a yellow Scott back at the OG 6606 store. I can't remember the owner of the bikes name but I wanna say it was Christopher. TK would know. He always remembers the minor details that truly bring retro stories to life. I do know that this individual was rather creative in the kitchen and fancied Cornish game hens. This gentle giant also had freakishly large legs.

The water bottle holder all but guarantees you wont go thirsty. The suspension seat post allows all day comfort and those taut cables should keep you going straight.

Oh....the memories. Maybe it's the remnants of last nights Tylenol PM. My viewers and I are waiting on the edge of our beanbag's Tim.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Runny nozes are so dumb

For the last 2 days my left nostril has been running like a faucet and it tingles like just before you wanna sneeze. My eyes have been watering but I just can't sneeze. What kinda joke is it when your nose does this? Sometimes the clogging of the nose will decide to randomly switch from one nostril to the other at the drop of a hat and that's even more of an oddity but, luckily, I haven't dealth with that madness. It's a strange little organ for sure.
Got a call last night about a WRX that was for sale and it would be the perfect car to swap things over to the van. Some kid in STL rolled it and then bought it back from the insurance company. Everything is good but the roof and all pillars are caved in. It would probably make a cool convertible but someone like me could also pull the motor and harness out and throw them into the van. I'm sure I could part it out and make up the 2 grand price that he wants for the whole thing. If I was in STL I'd probably think pretty hard about it but I don't think I could get a conversion done before we move back and Heather would probably skip the divorce and go straight to murder if we had to trailer a hacked up Subie in addition to dealing with 2 other vehicles as well. I don't even think I could get away with it if I put a really big bow on it and called it a X-Mas gift.

Down but not out

All of my germ infested students finally got the best of me late on Thursday afternoon. Despite my routine disinfecting of desks, door handles, keyboards and mice they had me up against the ropes and were pummeling me with body shots. I thought I had a meeting with a potential new student on Friday so I went in to work. The meeting was actually on this Tuesday but I decided to tough it out. By lunch time the germs had given me a cut over the left eye. Like a soldier, I managed to go all five rounds and made it until 3.

Once home, I concocted a magical elixir that included one part night time Thera Flu and two parts Lager. I slept well most of the day Saturday and was actually able to stay up last night to see all 5 rounds (well most of the 5th as that's when it was called due to the 3 inch cut that opened up on his forehead) of the BJ Penn/Diego Sanchez lightweight title fight. While I really do think Baby J is the best pound for pound MMA fighter right now, I never miss watching Diego fight. One of my favorites even though he took a beating last night and was clearly out matched by BJ.

Last night at about 3 the cold turned into that thing where you feel like you're gonna constantly sneeze and the eyes do nothing but water. Good times for sure. On tap for today I have one final reflective paper to write for this class and then I'm done for this semester.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Atta boy

The lows at night have been anywhere from like -15 to -bajillion degrees. In an effort to stay warm I was looking through fishing highlights from the past. Here's Scott puttin' the smack down on a big Snake River Cutt up at the ranch.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Heather and I have been talking about where we want to live when we move back to St. Louis. We both want a nice house but I really wanna be near water and at least SOME fishing. It's gonna be sad for me to be away from the beautiful rivers of the west. We've talked about and have actually looked at some houses with pools. I think I may have found a compromise. There's gotta be some secluded cove-like areas on the Mississippi or the Missouri. Hell...I'd even settle on the Meramec. I'm not sure how I'd feel about a lake or pond. I kinda have a thing for moving water.

Now this is nice with the wood shingle siding and the deck and who could overlook ample trash containers. French doors are always a bonus to let that morning air/sun in. It's got centrally mounted air.

In all seriousness...I actually would live on this. I think it would be really sweet in some place like Seattle or maybe Oregon. For years now we've talked about getting a group of people and their kids together and renting a big houseboat somewhere and hanging out for a week. If I owned one it'd be like one big party all the time. I see hardly any flaws in this plan.

Maybe if this doesn't work out we'll still be able to look at speed boats. I just think it's a waste of time to look at any of them that don't have a V8.


A Federal Judge in St. Louis just sentenced the four men involved in the dog fighting ring. Based on federal guidelines, attorney's for the men were expecting anywhere from just probation to 6 months of jail time. The Judge, however, thought differently. She gave 2 of the men one year and a day and the other 2 got 18 months. I believe all will be in a federal prison. Although it wont bring back the dogs that the men killed or that the Humane society had to euthanize, it's a start. Hopefully they'll get some more consequences on the inside.

This is a test.

Just trying something new over here.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®
How bout these chowderheads in rural Missouri that just got busted for a huge dog fighting ring? This annoys me to no end. 180 dogs euthanized because of their wounds and/or malnourished state? Sentencing is today and they face up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000? Not nearly enough in my opinion.

When I worked in residential facilities, I always noticed that there was usually one type of student that presented more of a challenge for staff than others. For some staff it was working with sexual perpetrators, or students that did intriguing things with their bodies or feces. I always had to be aware and check my emotions at the door when dealing with my students that tortured animals.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow and COLD!!!!

It's so cold it should be illegal. For the last few days it's been arctic up here. Now...I likes me some cold weather but this is downright uncomfortable. Last night I sat on the hearth of the fireplace. My wife needed to be at work early this morning so I decided I'd treat myself to a bit of Ron Burgundy. I went out to wake him up and he was on strike. I ended up hoofing it to work in negative digit temps. Good news is there was no shortage of snotsicles. My ass cheeks were frozen until about 0830. I'm not too fat in the ass and today, I was definitely wishing for some junk in the trunk. I tried to start him up when I got home tonight so I could pull him in the garage and I finally was able to persuade him but then I got out and noticed gas underneath it. I quickly got him into the bay and then found a loose fuel hoser at one of the injectors. I don't even wanna know what the insurance company would offer to give up if he went down in flames.
We're currently under a blizzard warning until sometime tomorrow. That means we'll probably get anywhere from 2 to 27" of snow. I personally think it's too darn cold to snow but we'll see. In the meantime Heather and I are going to play rock, paper, scissors to see who's taking the dogs out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

This picture was taken right by the intersection of 24 and I25. There is a creek called Fountain Creek that runs along 24 as you come down the mountain towards Colorado Springs. Monument Creek runs along the I25 corridor. The 2 meet right at this intersection. Over the last year the area along this creek has become heavily populated by homeless people. Most are probably drug addicts and alcoholics but there are some folks down there that have lost their jobs and homes in this terrible economy. It's developing into an interesting situation for sure. The city has been talking about issuing a "no camping" policy where this would be illegal. While I do think it's an eyesore these people just don't have anywhere to go (literally). Recent estimates have the number of campers to easily be in the hundreds along this creek alone. There's no way the police could arrest that many people and even if they would, many of them would be glad to go to a place where they could get a warm bed and 3 squares. The other talk has been about creating a fenced in camp with porta showers and toilets for them to use.