Friday, April 30, 2010

Tomorrow I'm fishing for something with more teeth than a trout. This steel leader should do the trick. I also got a new knife today. A fillet knife.
Stick a fork in this tire.

Fan vs. Wild

Today I submitted my resume into the Fan vs. Wild casting call. 4 people will be selected to film an episode with Bear Grylls this June. 500 characters is not a lot of room to write about yourself. It's like...4 sentences. Hope it's good enough. The only other show that I've been this hooked on was Fear Factor. They came to St. Louis in about 2002 and had a casting call that I went to. I brought a pigs uterus with me to that (I boiled it). I ate it on stage and got in for an immediate interview with a producer. They gave each of us 30 seconds to tell them about us. They didn't like what I had to say. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


With the playoffs really heating up (all but the Colorado series that is) I'm beginning to question my manhood more than I normally would. I was unable to find any pictures of the evidence but you can Google it. First up is ex-Avalanche superstar Ian Laperrier. Even though he's now with the Flyers he's still one of the greats. He blocks Paul Martins slapshot the other night in the first period and ends up taking it just above the right eye. Heads back to the locker room for surgery and is back for the third period. What a stud. Next up (and perhaps the most difficult for me) is Jaromir Jagr. This guy takes a high stick to the mouth. I'm pretty sure he lost a few teeth but he definitely had to head back to the locker room and have a root canal done. He wanted to return to the game but the staff told him no. I'm guessing he did NOT get the gas. Last up is Eric Belanger. This guy takes a nasty high stick and loses some teeth. The ice workers found several during intermission. Belanger pulls one of them out on his own when he makes it to the bench. Then they send him back to the locker room for about 70 stitches to the gums and lips. In all I think he lost 8 teeth. Good stuff this year.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Game 6

I got my lucky jersey on. I got some new shoes. I got a nice beer. I feel like I've done my part now I just need the Av's to do the rest. Let's go boys!!

I almost forgot

So last week I started having a tooth ache. It started out slowly but then got to the point where my jaw hurt, my neck was sore and I had constant headaches. Dentists are not my favorite. If you can recall, the last time I was at the dentist I almost lost my tongue in an "oops...I slipped" accident. So I finally get to the point where I gotta go in to have it looked at. This is the same tooth that was getting worked on during the tongue incident by the way. I find a new dentist in town to go to and make it in for an xray and the nice lady points out all the infection that is going on down in the root of that tooth. I need a root canal but she doesn't do them and so I'll have to go to an oral surgeon down the mountain.

So we head down to Dr. Ishley's office. I'm a nervous wreck when we walk in but we are greeted by the nicest people working the front desk. 10 minutes later I'm in the chair and wringing my hands. They do some tests to make sure of what's going on and take some more xrays and the fine doctor comes in to see me and explain the procedure. He can tell I'm nervous so he asks if I would like to have some gas. Now...normally I'd say no because I get enough gas as it is but then it dawns on me that he's not talking about that kind of gas. He's extremely professional and I'm impressed and decide I'd be a fool to not get the gas.

The assistant hooks things up and I start breathing in through my nose. Did I mention that I'm listening to Pink Floyd's Pulse Live show? She tells me to treat it like I'm water skiing and give her a thumbs up or down to adjust the gas level and I find myself giving her the thumbs up quite a bit. 15 minutes later she comes in to check on me and I'm feeling GREAT. Did I also mention that I'm watching a home makeover show on a tv that's in the ceiling? Now...this makes no sense but I think that combined with the fact that all the blood has rushed to my head it's actually enhancing my gas experience. She asks how I'm doing and I'm pretty sure I said, "Ohhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhhhh." I think then I gave her a double thumbs up and asked if she could come back after Dark Side of the Moon. A few minutes later the doctor comes in to get things started and he asks how I'm doing and I spring to attention. For some reason I think I panicked that I was gonna get in trouble for being under the influence. It was the exact feeling you get rushing through your body when you've had 1 beer and get pulled over. I thought I was busted. I remember saying, "Oh.....I'm totally fine." Then I remember saying to myself, "You freaked out and he know's it."

He was a professional though and didn't laugh at me. Then they gotta give me the shots. Now I can see him working in the reflection of the tv and I can feel the shots but I really don't give a shit at this point. If I focus on the reflection of him working I panic but if I watch the guy making a headboard out of an old ass door and breathe through my nose I could care less what the doctor does to me. Literally. I count 5 shots and I notice that he's giving these shots like he's at a bar playing darts. Just lobbin' them in. He knows what he's doing and I trust the guy but I'm sure he does this all day long. At one point I worry that he's thinking (or even saying outloud and I just can't comprehend it) "This guy's F*%@$d up and his tongue is all up in my way." Meanwhile I'm going back and forth between lampshades and eyeballin' him like I'm falling in love. The shots are done and they're gonna give me 10 minutes or so to trip out.

They come back and do some tests to make sure things are numb and I honestly felt the tooth right away. So....more darts and then another 10 minutes later and he goes to work. He stops and asks if I can feel anything and I tell him I can't even feel my ankles. My right ear is numb on the inside and that's really enhancing the gas because now my hearing's going in and out. I have no idea how long he worked on the tooth but it was a while.

They finished up and took me off the gas and told me that they were able to get all the infection out but that I have to come back to finish up the procedure. I ask if I can have more gas when I come back. YES!!!!! I'm already starting to put together a playlist for that visit and I'm open to suggestions. The tooth has been very sore for a few days now but the Vicodin is helping in that area.
Woke up to a phone call Friday morning that said we were gonna have a late start. Shortly after that school was called off entirely. It's still snowing now and I'm sure we've gotten 14-16" already. This is the heaviest snow I think I've ever had to shovel. Normal men would be in traction by now.

Dharma was pretty happy to finally find a spot to poop.

Some would even call this a moist snow.

I was actually planning on doing some fishing for something a little different today or tomorrow but that may not happen now.

I need it to get warm so I can get this thing fixed and sold.

This thing can clear a room in a hurry.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bikes are kinda neat

It could easily be the Vicodin talking but lately, I've been looking at some different bikes. It's no secret that I'm very eager to get the CTR finished so that I can try some other things. Specifically, I would like to write my formal letter of intent to line up in Banff next year for the start of the Tour Divide. While this race isn't necessarily a once in a lifetime thing (Matt Lee has now completed it 7 times), it is one of those rides that I think I'd want to do on something special. Every one knows I spend hours in the confines of the garage using Pledge to gradually wear through the clear coat on the Orbea. It's a bike that is quite capable of making the trip. However...I think it would be really nostalgic to do it on something a bit more retro in design but still with the modern day componentry that will make life easier. I've been looking at titanium lately but I'm not sure I want that and I don't know that I could even afford it. Perhaps a steel frame? Most know that I am incredibly picky and fairly quick to notice small things on cars, bikes, and shoes that can quickly make things into a deal breaker. I don't even know if I could afford a steel frame really but I'd sure like to have something special for the event.

Retrotec and Inglis make some really nice looking stuff. The lines are nice without being too overly artsy fartsy. This is kind of what I'm thinking of but not a single speed and not rigid. These are also fairly up there in price.

Some of the residents of Salida are a bit odd (mainly the Kansas transplants). They seem to like their bikes in this variety so I've been focusing a lot of my research in that region. salida is where you can find the cult like following of the McClung. Super sexy fillet brazed/artisitcally lugged frames that are mostly very retro. Guys like Jay Shelman like to ride these rigid with the old style fork, platform pedals, minimal gear, Open Pro rims and cantilever brakes (I recently saw one guy running older Campagnolo ones). I would love to have a McClung but they're more than some of the ti frames I've looked at.

Victoria Cycles is run by a guy named Dave Hill who also resides in Salida but I don't think he's got roots or kin in Topeka (not that there's anything wrong with that). This is also steel and he likes to use a good deal of lugs in his designs but also throws in some fillet brazing as well. I really like the lines on this frame. I'm not a fan of curved bars but that's personal taste.

This is (or at least used to be) owned by Dave Zabriskie. I think this would be a really nice bike for Tour Divide but, in my mind, it's just not real classy but I've always like it. I'm sure it was a pain in the ass to build with the Dura Ace triple and bottom bracket spacing issues but that's where I'm impressed and it gets the attention from that it loses with the off the shelf frame.

This is another frame from Victoria Cycles and I really like the lines of this. I am not a fan of the huge frame bags that take up the entire front triangle area but the separater tube on this frame creates a great space for a custom bag to fit into. It could be functional and still show off the beauty of the craftsmanship. The curved top tube is just enough art for me and I like the straight stays. This frame also uses a more traditional bridge on the seat stays instead of an unattractive monostay. I even like the baby blue. It reminds me of a time period when TK and I were getting more colorful with paint choices. Ironically...many of those frames were of the GT Psyclone fillet brazed type and there was colors ranging from peppermint green (Tim's) to a really gorgeous pearl white (that I think belonged to Dan) and mine was bubble gum pink. I loved that bike and shold have never sold it.

Not sure what to do. I hate (and always have) getting geeked out in lycra (which I hear the kids refer to as "kits" now....hate that term for some reason). don't know if I'm turning retro grouch but I'm actually wanting to get back to my roots I guess. I find myself looking more and more at particular frames/designs and a lot of Brooks saddles too. Maybe it's a mid-life crisis of sorts. could just be the Vicodin.

Yesterday and today appear to be two of the days for this year (out of the 30 or so) in which we will NOT be seeing any sunshine.


1. If there was something about me I could change it used to always be my hair situation. Long flowing, golden locks would be kinda sweet. However...I'm over the hair thing now and I think I'd like to trade in my teeth. I brush and floss after every meal. I carry floss in both vehicles, my fishing backpack and it's in my desk drawer at work. Yet I still have teeth that rot away right before my very eyes after drinking bottled water. About a year ago I went to my dentist to have him grind out the majority of a tooth that had literally been crumbling to bits and then put a crown on. In the process he almost cut my tongue off when he "slipped" with the grinder tool. It appears that the rest of the tooth is dying off now as I'm in pain. Obviously, I can't go back to him so now I'm trying to figure out what the hell to do. In the meantime, I'll just deal with the headache and neck pain that seems to be radiating from that one tooth until it gets bad enough where I'm forced to go in for a procedure.

2. Several months ago, we had the fish hook incident where I was being charged 500 clams because an out of network doctor worked on me at an in network health care provider. I thought I was in the clear with that one but this week I got a letter from a collections agency that wants the loot. I wonder how many people out there simply give up on fights like this and write a check instead of sticking to their guns?

3. I fired up Ron Burgundy the other day because I felt like driving him to run some errands. When I went back out I was greeted, once again, by the distinct and pungent smell of gasoline. Immediately I ran back to the motor and popped the boot so I could see where I'd be working on later. I was greeted with a gasoline fountain of sorts. Multiple leaks all spraying with gusto. It was like I was in front of the Bellagio in Vegas. The fact that I don't have a pot to piss in makes it even more similar. I haven't looked at it since.

4. The Avalanche lost game 2 last night but it was one of the most spectacular games I've seen in a long time. They're back in Denver for game 3 on Sunday. Playoff hockey is the best and that series is now tied at 1 a piece.

Good karma has got to be just around the corner. I don't like to talk about a deal before it's done but I think I may have found a way to gain access to some private still water that holds some of the biggest fish that I think I'll ever have the opportunity to sight cast to. That's all I'm saying for now but I want you to think about trophy quality fish and I'm not kidding. If this deal comes of you readers is gonna be very happy. I've seen pictures of the fish pulled from this area and I often lie awake at night giddy and planning on how to make this come to fruition. I'm almost there.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I love teaching and working with young adults but man....sometimes I really wish I had gone down a career path that would allow me to spend more time with wildlife. This doe comes to the door 3-4 times each week in the evenings and gets an apple.


Woke up to see this in the morning. Pretty sweet. I said to myself..."Self...this has gotta be a sign of a good day." Unfortunately I was very wrong.

The elk don't get down into town that much anymore but apparently 20 years ago this field was quite the transition spot for them before the urban sprawl. I haven't seen a herd this big in a loooooong time. Beautiful to see for sure.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ups and downs

I took off after work on Friday to do a little overnighter with Marshal. The plan was to head north of Monument so we headed down 24 and hooked up with the Santa Fe Trail. The trail's nice but it's not singletrack. Once we entered the gate to the Air Force Academy we managed to hook up with some really nice singletrack and got about 5 miles in on that. I was grinning ear to ear during those miles. Back on the bike path, Monument wasn't too much further and we cruised into town and decided to sit down and have good Mexican grub. After dinner we kept pushing and finally made it to our camp spot next to a tombstone.

I gotta say...I'm not really motivated to be riding right now. Not sure what's going on. I think a lot about those last two attempts at the CTR. It would definitely be easier to walk away than to have another DNF.

At 3 a.m. (I think) I woke up soaking wet with temps in the low 30's. My clothes were wet, my bag, and my bivy felt like someone had dumped a bucket of water in it. The next several hours were miserable but not life threatening. The majority of bivy sacks do not breathe well. I don't think a different bivy is really the answer here but finding a better way to sleep (position) will be the key. This new bivy is 6 ounces so I really don't wanna give up on it. I'm a stomach sleeper and I tend to pull the bag and bivy over my head like blankets and then all that breathing creates condensation. I may experiment a bit with a simple tarp shelter and see if that's better b/c even when I can fall asleep on my back, I end up waking up in the fetal position and completely buried in my bag/bivy.

We made our way back towards Monument and the plan was to go over Mt. Herman and then see how we felt after that. I really like the climb up Herman. It's not too bad and I spun up it very comfortably (considering my lack of base miles) in the middle ring and top cog. At the top things got really sloppy and I hate riding in slush and mud so my mood took a turn for the worst. At a fork in the road, I ended up heading towards home while Marshal wanted to squeeze in some more miles as his Tour Divide start is quickly approaching. I'm so glad that CTR is a month and a half later. I don't wanna ride right now but...I really don't have to either.

When I rounded the corner and turned onto our street, Heather's Jeep was gone. Of course I had no key and no phone. I did, however, have a bitchin van. So...I slept in the van from 1 until 5 when she got back home. Maybe I'll just keep it in the driveway for times like this?

I've got A LOT of gear testing to do and even more head games to troubleshoot. Before these last 2 CTR attempts I could count the number of DNF's on one hand in over ten year's of mountain bike racing. I can remember one race in Kansas where the skies opened up as soon as TK and I got out of the car and they didn't let up until we crossed back into Missouri. TK ended up calling it quits during that race and hours later (after many walked miles and time spent clearing mud from the drivetrain and tires) I made it to the car. I'm pretty sure his words were, "I don't know how you keep going". I think about that a lot.

This is my normal clean bike Friday.

This is a section of the singletrack at the Air Force Academy.

This is what the climb looked like up Mt. Herman.

This is what I looked like climbing up Mt. Herman.

This is a very happy me after some of the singletrack on the academy.

Last night I was having a lot of trouble seeing out of my left eye. I finally went upstairs and dug a small pebble (Rice Krispy sized) out from it. I picked that up right after leaving our camping spot but was too cold to stop and deal with it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Although I love the Alma I have been thinking about ti lately. I really would like to have an Independent Ti Deluxe but I think I'm in the wrong line of work. Lynskey is another frame builder that has some good experience building frames around the Lefty fork that I also am considering on my next bike. Not sure how I feel about Lynskey's whole "Helix" concept though.

Does this:

Look like this?:

I should add that I loves me some pretzels.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Gear stuff

I was just playing in the garage and going through stuff. I'm planning on bringing the same clothing items (maybe not the EXACT same cuz the old stuff was burned) but the "kit" (hate that term) consists of the same stuff with the exception of ditching the long sleeve jersey this year in favor of something else that's significantly lighter, more compressible and not even in the same warmth universe. I already said that the sleeping system is stupidly modified from last year. I'm 3 pounds even with bag, bivy, pad, compression sack, and Carousel seat bag. Clothing, compression sacks, and Carousel front roll bag come in at 3.4 pounds. My bike's still 24.5 but should drop a pound with the new goods. and gear on the bike is gonna be 30.9 pounds (as of now). I'll still have the same water treatment system (not having Giardia is a great thing). I'm looking to go sans stove this year. So...there shouldn't be much on my back. Right now without my food and water I'm 17.1 pounds lighter than I was last year. For me personally, I'm gonna try and go into this year's race with about 5 more pounds of girth (so far I'm on track in that area thanks to generous beer consumption which, oddly enough appears to have piled on in my ass region in addition to a few pounds in the breadbox). I know this because I can't comfortably wear several pairs of pants that I was wearing last year. It's not like I've got 2 hams back there and it's far from a ba dunka dunk but I think it's more plump right now.

In my head I have a bit of a different strategy for this year that I think is gonna work out better for me overall (can't hurt from the seat of the pants strategy I've run with for the last 2 years). I'm not getting into what that's gonna look like but I'm excited about it and does involve gross quantities of ice cream stops.

Anyways....I love crunching numbers and I'm getting super pumped to do some longer rides to prepare better this year. Good things will happen this year.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I fixed it REAL GOOD!!

I don't know if it was something I did or the fact that I disturbed a burial ground or if it's simply had enough but tonight the dryer was very close to going up in flames. It was on for about 10 minutes and then I could smell the smoke. When I went down there it was so hot I couldn't even touch the top of the dryer. I think some of the clothes melted. looks like we'll be getting a new dryer soon. It's either that or I'm gonna be hanging my unmentionables out to dry and that seems borderline inappropriate to do in a town where students could easily walk by the house.

In keeping with the fire theme...Bodhi's ass appears to be on fire tonight as well. I honestly thought there was a pile somewhere on the table while we were eating dinner.

Other than that...we're battening down the hatches up here. The wind is blowing Captain Crazy today. It's so bad that, as I sit here, I can barely see the mountain out the window from all the snow/dirt/debris that's being kicked up. Pretty wild stuff.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Breathing room

At 6:28 p.m. my final thesis was sent to my professor and my academic advisor. I'm so glad that thing is done. I think I shall now partake in a beer.

In other news I also have managed to get some riding in and am finally starting to get excited. Gonna go relax and watch The Outlaw Josey Wales now.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Old dryer...round 2

Heather wanted to take the van down to Colorado Springs and buy a new dryer today but I am not quite ready to admit defeat just yet. After taking the dryer apart further than I did the last time, I noticed a small area where the drum rubs on the front panel. A few blows with a rather large hammer and we have more clearance Clarence. While I had it all pulled apart this time I decided to reconnect the wires and override the door switch so I could watch it run and see the internals. As soon as I started it up, this little guy got spit out of the internal tube and onto the floor. He wasn't in the flexible tube that exits the house but the solid one inside the dryer that connects to the motor. The dogs loved it. He must be a chiRpmunk. Looks like he's been there for a long time. Not sure how he got himself in there. The cover on the outside of the house is all in tact but he probably got in when it wasn't. Poor bastard's been getting cooked all these years. I also found out that one of the heating elements was broken so I repaired that and now we're operating at full heat capacity. We'll probably get a few more months out of it now.