Flippin’ the Bird

31 03 2009

Went birding today. Let me begin by stating that I am not a birder. I don’t know shit about birds. I know mammals, particularly ungulates, and I know habitat systems. Minus birds. But alas, two of my former colleagues from the Phoenix Zoo called me and wanted me to go out of town with them to look at some birds. I said “what the hell?”

A little riparian zone in the desert.

A little riparian zone in the desert.

They were listening for something...

They were listening for something...

I'm checking our altitude. Among other things.

I'm checking our altitude. Among other things.

I don't recall what these are.

I don't recall what these are.

Don't touch this.

Don't touch this.

Don't eat this.

Don't eat this.

Birders in action.

Birders in action.

So I actually had a great time. We spotted a couple of red hawks, a black hawk, some cardinals, a couple of different warbler species, and some monster ravens. Anytime I get out to see wildlife I’m happy. It’s what I wish I could do everyday. It’s what I used to do everyday. Now I make pizzas. Life is funny. Or something like that.

After our little trip we swung back into civilization for a couple of beers and saw a movie…The Watchmen. It was three hours of blue zebra schlong and graphic violence. I’m not saying I hated the movie…but I don’t recommend it. That is, unless CGI blue glowing penis is your thing.

Tomorrow the work week begins. Hell yes.

Going yard.

Going yard.





Tuesday.

24 03 2009

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for. – Oscar Wilde

The past couple of days have been better in terms of what I’ve accomplished. Last week was a bit lazy for me…which is fine. I’ve gone out for two runs and a monster ride between yesterady and today which has my legs feeling “it.”

Parked after eating up some hills.

Parked after eating up some hills.

Refueling for the remainder of the ride home.

Refueling for the remainder of the ride home.

Heidi is LOVING her bike. And I’m loving that she’s loving her bike. It’s working out well for me as she wants to ride almost every day but the only rig I currently have that is road worthy is the fixie, and if this continues I should have some rock solid pumpers by the time I get the Fetish finished up. Can we say Coeur d’Alene?

(by the way, I just ordered a rear der for the Fetish. shhh!)

While Heidi swam I went out and did a run this morning. I decided for the helluvit to hop the scale and low and behold, I’m below 180!

My fighting weight.

My fighting weight.

I can’t remember the last time I was in the 170’s. Probably 2003 but hell, who knows. Now I’m not trying to lose any weight, it’s just happening. I’m still eating and drinking like I normally do but I think that my base training has got the old furnace stoked up.  And because of that I just had to head over to my favorite vegan cafe and get myself a “cheesy” chipotle burger and a psoynami. Oh my god. Heaven.

Should I be offended?

Should I be offended?

After that giant meal, we came home and took a nap. Heidi took off to work her serving job and I took off to fill up the tanks and watch a little NIT.

Rollin.

Rollin.

Keeping her steady.

Keeping her steady.

It's all fun, man!

It's all fun, man!

Fuck that Gatorade shit.

Fuck that Gatorade shit.

Precious cargo.

Precious cargo.

Whomever designed that should be fired.

Whomever designed that should be fired.

I’m now home alone with the dogs. Got to do some work on the resume’, further research on my struggle between the iPhone and Blackberry, and maybe later I’ll find a good documentary on Netflix to watch.

It’s been a solid weekend. Let’s hope these vibes spill over into the work week.





Lay-Z-Boy Docking Station

22 03 2009

I’ve been using it a lot lately, as though it seems. That gnarly cut on my finger has curbed any mountain biking or swimming I could have been doing this past week. The finger is looking really good which releives me, since I didn’t go to the dr (prob should have).

Fucking deep.

Fucking deep.

It may not look like much but believe me when I tell you that it was a solid slice. Almost took off a measureable amount of flesh.

Anyhow. I did my taxes the other night and discovered that I owe this great nation of ours about $750. That SUCKS. Granted, I must have been out of my gourd when I filled out my W-4 for work at Whole Foods which, at the time, was just my part-time job. Boy howdy do I regret that oversight and you can bet your sweet ass that the problem has since been fixed.

It sucks being damn near 30 and dirt poor. I spent my 4 (ahem, 5 1/2) years in college and got my paperwork. Now, I make pizzas at Whole Foods and earned the least amount of money in 2008 since my college days several years ago. Ain’t life grand?

coping mechanism.

coping mechanism.

It’s all good. It’s all a part of the experience, right? Without this path I “chose” I wouldn’t have met the great girl I’m with now. I wouldn’t be looking forward to moving to Washington state to go back to school. I wouldn’t have the rip-roaring pedantic sense of sarcastic humor that has fermented within me over these past few years of gratification-dejection-gratifcation-dejection cycling.

In the most difficult times, often all we have is our sense of humor. And cheap booze.

At work today the store was having a used book sale with proceeds benefitting the Whole Planet Foundation. I perused the selection and got myself a few interesting reads along with a couple of interesting anarchist/conspirist-type documentary dvds. Fifteen bucks will get you five books, three videos, and a soydog. Deal. Done.

Entertainment for the next month.

Entertainment for the next month.

This upcoming week is getting a boost. Beginning with a long uphill road ride tomorrow after work. More running and road riding will ensue until this finger gets to a more resiliant point of recovery and I can risk taking a spill on the trail.

That’s it. It’s about midnight on a Saturday evening and I’m listening to Wu-Tang with dogs snoring and planes flying overhead in the background. I’m calling it.





Pedalphiles

8 03 2009

The past couple of afternoons were spent with T.B.A.G. as we had setup a free bicycle valet service for those attending the Arizona Beer Festival. We had a great time and provided an awesome service for folks who commuted to the party.

TBAG 2Seater

TBAG 2Seater

Ride-N-Park

Ride-N-Park

We made some great connections with people, provided a sweet (and free) service, promoted bicycle commuting, and made a little cash for the non-profit through donations. Not to mention we got to laugh at some seriously drunk people leaving the festival.  A good man who goes by the name Scrottie brought us vols some delicious peach cobbler and chocolate-zucchini bread. Which is a good example to follow: if you don’t want to volunteer, bring delicious goodies for volunteers.

My friend just got back from hiking the Grand Canyon which is a little crazy this time of year because…well…it’s full of snow. Well not “full” of snow, but that would be pretty cool, now wouldn’t it? Anyways, good on her for doing something amazing with her days off. Wish I could scratch off tasks like that a little more regularly.

trail snacks.

trail snacks.

Tonight I’m feeling a little weak in the stomach for some reason. Buddies want to me to meet them at the bar…I probably will only because I haven’t seen them in a long time. My weekend has officially begun. Let’s see what I can do with it.

Update: My pillow beat out the bar stool 10:1





Nothing To See Here

6 03 2009

Word of the week: humdrum.

That pretty much sums up this past week. No trips. No races. No crashes. Working, running, mountain biking, playing with the dogs, and the occasional beer. I suppose that if my week can be summed up by those five descriptors I’m in pretty damn good shape as a human being. Particularly in this day of job-loss, depression, and recession.

Flying solo this Friday.

Flying solo this Friday.

Right now I’m listening to a little Martin Sexton and reflecting on life. Trying to make the most out of every day is very easy and nice to say. But if you’re true to yourself, it’s a very difficult statement to fulfill. I guess it’s something to strive for: outperforming our previous day’s accomplishments. I say just get out there and enjoy yourself. Don’t be lazy, have fun but not at the expense of others, and be midnful of nature.

Better check on the potatoes, I think they’re boiling over. Enjoy your weekend.

One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am-a reluctant enthusiast… a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards. — Ed Abbey





Getting Old, I See

2 03 2009

I went OTB on Thurday. It is Monday morning and I still feel like I had my ass kicked by rocks just yesterday. The dogs have enjoyed all the time I’ve been spending around the house. Actually they still just sleep but I’ll wake them up and feed them snacks just for something to do. Been working a little bit on the bike, tweaking the blog (like the new theme?), and putting together a semi-thoughtout training plan for next month’s race.

Sanding rotors in my spare time.

Sanding rotors in my spare time.

Yes that’s a big boy Red Stripe holding my place in Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance. I am by no means a bike mechanic. Hell, I don’t even have a bike stand (which I’m currently in the market for). But one thing I hate more than cheese is paying someone else to fix my shit. So I’ve been taking this opportunity to learn a little more about how my bike works. I’ve also been attending a weekly bike maintenance class at our local co-op…very fun. Anyways, looks like I could use some new brake pads and should probably bleed the brake fluid one of these days. Who knows when that was last done.

Been communicating with my man Rhino about the upcomming race and doing some training rides. He did it last year, 50 miles on a rigid single speed. That requires balls the size of small dogs.

From: Rhino

I don’t mean to sound like Joe Douchebaggery Pro MTBer, but fuck Papago. Fuck those 3-4 hour rides.  You need to be climbing hard steep sustanined shit.  The Whiskey is like 15 miles up hill and 15 miles back down.  The climbing is sustained and never gives up. If you are not ready for some serious climbing you won’t be happy.

I love that guy. I don’t understand why anyone would pay for a coach when bros like this are available for free advice. Guess I should go find some hills to ride up.

This weekend was the Strong Beer Festival in neighboring Mesa, AZ. I didn’t go. I don’t have disposable cash at the moment and if I want a strong beer, I just hit up Papago Brewery and they’ll fill my growler with whatever >8% swill I see fit. Maybe I’m becoming antisocial. Maybe I’m getting old. Probably both.

Cut from the same cloth.

Cut from the same cloth.

That’s my real bro at the beer fest. The unconsenting female he’s grappled, I have no idea. In a way I miss those days of pulling a hundo out of the ATM, getting all sweaty and sunburnt while chugging booze out of a plastic cup, and waking up the next morning with no idea how you got home, how much you spent, or where your cell phone is. I’m not saying that’s what happened to my man over the weekend…but I’d put money down that the story is similar.

Next weekend is some other beer festival that’s much closer to where I live here in Tempe. I’m going to this one but as a volunteer for TBAG. I’ll be valet parking bikes in a secure area for all you who’d rather take your chances cruising home drunk cyclist style rather than drunk motorist style. Good call, y’all.





V-Day

14 02 2009
Don't fight it.

Don't fight it.

We both left work early. Raced home, slipped into our running shorts, hopped on the bikes and made our way to Tempe Town Shit-Hole Lake for the Skirtchaser 5k. Basically the girls take off and then three minutes later the guys start and have to catch-up or “chase” them. It’s cute. It’s fun. It’s completely over-done…but it was enjoyable and we enjoyed ourselves. That’s what matters most.

Zee start. And  zee finish.

Zee start. And zee finish.

Transportation.

Transportation.

The race itself was…well, let’s just say there was much more effort put into the form rather than the functionality of the actual run. Lots of bottle necks. The timing system was odd. Whatever. It was all good. I’m just glad I wasn’t a guy competing for the $500 first place booty. It would’ve been impossible to pass the herd of slow women clogging up the pathways. …and I don’t mean that the women collectively were slow, but there were indeed some cattle mooing out there that had no idea what it means to stay to the right.

At the finish you get four tickets: two for beer, two for wine. Because we know a couple people who work for Red Rocks we snagged extra tickets of the beer flavor. And I wore socks from the brewery providing the swill, which earned us some free SPECIAL beers (read: hidden in some cooler in the back). This ended up ending our day.

Pounding pale ale.

Pounding pale ale.

Awww!!!

Awww!!!

Dancing cougars.

Dancing cougars.

A look at the horde.

A look at the horde.

That shit is strONG.

That shit is strONG. And GooOOoD.

Representin' the OB

Representin' the OC

I'll take a 'em to go, thanks!

I'll take 'em to go, thanks!

The man with the plan.

The man with the plan.

All in all it was a GREAT time. In hindsight, I wish we hadn’t quite drank so much. It’s 11:40pm, I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast at 5:30am, am fighting off a bit of a hangover, and all my planning for dinner has been for naught. Fuck it. I’m secretly glad that’s what our V-Day was. A day where we spent some quality time laughing, biking, drinking, running, and alcohol-induced sleeping (literally, sleeping) together.

I hope yours, whatever you decided to do, was enjoyable as well.