Thursday, December 20, 2007

And the radioman says that women were a curse.

I'm back to not trusting my intuition. I wanted to jump in head first with this girl, but I know what a good relationship and a bad relationship should feel like. Something was not right, and I ignored it.

It turns out that one of my oldest friends helped make those cookies & Banana bread. Because he's been dating KM too.

In fact, unbeknownst to me, I'd been helping KM cheat on him since November 1. I don't see B very often, and no way was I going to bring her up with him, since they were close friends, and to my understanding, attempted to be more than that for a short time.

When she was off drinking with her volleyball buddies, she was with B. Or me. Depending on who she was telling it to. When I showed up to one of her volleyball games, the jig was up when I ran into D and started talking. He knew something I didn't know. 10 minutes after I left, I got a breakup text from KM. She still wanted to meet in person...this is where I got the treats.

Given our history, I wanted to take things very smoothly with this girl. I didn't press any issue, and take things delicately.

What really irks me is that I was dating several girls before she decided to cheat on B. I gave up potential relationships with at least 3 women. Before you make conclusions, I was not dating any of these girls seriously, but had the option to, and as casual as things were, I felt pretty rotten dating them because they were all really nice girls. But Yes. I gave up endless opportunity for what my emotions, probably driven by hormones, were telling me.

On hormones: I've been reading Sperm Wars, which is about evolutionary biology as it relates to human sexuality. Baker states that from the primal mind's perspective, it is best if a male can reproduce and trick another man into raising his offspring, so he can proliferate his genetic information as much as possible. The women's side of this is even more riveting . This is the impetus behind Sperm Wars, but I'll let you read it yourself. It's pretty wild stuff.

On Infidelity: Incidentally, there's tons of talk about infidelity in Sperm Wars, and how it is way more prolific that you might think it is, and why. I discussed this with KM all the time and KM seemed to eat this up. She even told me that she wanted to borrow my copy. You'd think that she might be torn up with guilt.

Monday, December 17, 2007

All contestants will recieve these lovely parting gifts.

At least she broke it to me while giving me cookies & banana bread she baked for me.

So yet another relationship down the hole. Funny how they always start with "you're an awesome guy, but...."

That actually means "I'm trying to keep you from making a big stink about this, and that might happen if I tell you flat out I don't think we're compatible."

I've always been a person to forgive and give people a second chance. Maybe that's a weakness to some, but it will be a strength when the times comes, and someone will appreciate that in me.
I'm really bothered by how history seems to repeat itself and I end up dating women twice. Before, that was a sign that I wasn't ready to commit, and a girl gave me a second chance. Now, it's me being the forgiver. I'm wondering if one of these days the third time will be a charm. Or perhaps....the first time?

In the mean time, I'm going to go out and kick some ass on the ski slopes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

First weekly Tri club run.

Gear West Tri club started it's first weekly run today. After a intoxicating night out at King & I Thai and the Local, I made it to the Lake Harriet Bandshell at 8am this morning. I was only planning on running a loop at Harriet, but it sounded like everyone was going to do 6 miles, so I caved into peer pressure and did a loop at Calhoun too. I was chitt chatting with one of the Karens while we held a 9 minute/mile pace around Harriet, and then I grabbed some sports drink because I was stupid enough to go running without water in my water bottle.

After stopping to fill, I ran over to Calhoun, now by myself, and picked a direction to run. I was pretty sure everyone was going clockwise, so that's what I did. I ran into the fast runners going the opposite direction around the far side of Calhoun, and they told me that they were going backwards to pick up the last people & run back with them. I passed everyone behind them, also going the opposite direction.

Anyways, running alone made it difficult to hold a 9 minute pace, and I was continually speeding up. I spent most of Calhoun at an 8:30 pace, and ended up finishing around 8:10.

My goal is averaging under 7:00 minutes/mile in a 10K by this summer.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Today it took me 21 minutes to get home from work. It typically takes me 40+ minutes to get home, but they just opened the new 312 highway in the southwest, and my commute has decreased by a 20 minutes or more now, and about 1 mile. I'm also up to about 90% highway miles, so I should be increasing in economy too.

Not quite sure what it will be like in the morning, since I do have less traffic to deal with typically, but I'm pretty excited overall.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I'm sore

So I've been XC skiing 3 times in the last 4 days. This is the first time since last winter--probably in the late February timeframe.

XC skiing is unlike any other sport. It requires tons of coordination, balance, and the same time as being as cardiovascularly demanding as trail running.

Right now, I'm trying to retrain all those little balance muscles that I haven't been using all summer, as well as other muscles that just don't get as much use. I did start dryland in early November, but it hasn't done much for me.

I've been trying to get 1 hour workouts in right now, but it's sooo difficult. Your muscles just get so sore. I have been resorting to poling in the Classic track when my legs are sore, and free-skating sans poles when my arms are spent.

Anyways, I'll probably be spending 5-6 nights/week at skiing at Clifton French Park in Plymouth until the Birkie. French has some decent trails for hillwork, and the Birkie, which I haven't completed, is 52km of hilly pain.

See you there?

Test Post

So I'm sick of myspace, but want to keep my blog. This is where it's going.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Edina digs out.

This morning I look out my window to see my entire neighborhood shovelling their driveways, and clearing their sidewalks. Many of these people have probably lost equity in the housing slump.

I went out for pancakes.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Everything is just about right

I went running this morning
the snow is flying outside
I'm wearing a sweater, sitting on my couch, drinking coffee & baileys.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Great Read

I bought "I hope they serve beer in Hell" by Tucker Max when I was at SeaTac a few weeks ago when I realized I left my book club book at home.

From the Back Cover:

My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole.

I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead.

But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way. I share my adventures with the world.

This book is reprehensible, mysogynistic, sordid, and...scatalogical from time to time.

And it is fucking funny. He even tells stories that are very embarassing to him, if you're wondering if it is just a big ego trip.

I highly recommend. I'm going to read it again.

Sidebar: If I ever have a daughter, I will make her read this as a warning.

A couple Weekends ago....

I had a really good time.

I decided that I needed time away, so I decided to spend some time alone. I picked up a last minute flight out to Seattle, Erik picked me up, and the next morning, he dropped me off in the Cascades about 45 minutes east of Seattle. I'd picked out a hiking trail from a guide book late the night before.

It was a 1 mile hike to the trail junction and other 3 mile trail to the top of the mountain. In the 3 mile hike, I climbed 4000 feet, reaching an altitude of 5630 feet. This took about 4 hours including lots of time for photos.

I passed a hiker and his friendly dog heading down. He smiled and told me that I'd have the peak to myself. I saw no one else for the remainder of the evening.

As I crossed the treeline into the alpine, I was greeted by flaming red flora and interspersed pines. I'd brought along Mason Jennings & Jolie Holland lyrics to sing to myself, but I only had 2 random lines stuck in my head from "Stairway to Heaven." I hadn't listened to this song for months.

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.

I now knew why monks build monasteries on the tops of mountains, "and it made me wonder" if Robert Plant was doing the same thing I was when he put pen to paper.

Irony how the thin air was deep breaths for the soul.

As I reached the peak, clouds were streaking across the sky at high speed...visibility was low, but I was able to make out some alpine lakes in the backcountry. I could see down, but no longer across the canyon.

It was getting dark, and I setup camp at 5300 feet. Campfires were not allowed at that altitude, but it didn't matter, because everything was wet anyways. I was making dinner over my stove, when I heard a noise behind me. I spun around to see a mule deer not 20 paces away, walking around like nothing was going on. It didn't seem very impressed or scared by me. This made my wonder what business he had up here, and perhaps a bear would too.

At about 8pm, it was getting dark, and I called it a night. I woke up in the middle of the night, and I felt something cold & wet on my face. It was ice. I reached out of my sleeping bag to discover that my breathe was condensing on the outside of my sleeping bag and freezing . Wow. It was cold, but I was comfortable in my bag.

In the morning, I woke up, thinking that I need to pull down camp and get going, but it was beautiful out.

The morning of Saturday the 13th, I climbed the 300 feet back to the peak and saw an awesome sight. Beyond ridge after smoky ridge was Mount Rainier......reaching from the horizon for the heavens. Even Mt St. Helens was visible (from Oregon) The sky was crystal clear, and clouds were blanketing the valley thousands of feet below. I was sharing this view with no one else. I sat in awe on the frosty rocks until most of my extremities were numb from the cold, and headed back to camp.

This Place Is All Mine

I tore it down, and back down I went.

I'm coming down the mountain, and this whole. darn. valley's. mine.


Exhibit A:

Ironman rookie Chrissie Wellington, riding her Cervélo P2C to an Ironman World Championship victory in Kona, Hawaii.

Exhibit B:
My Balcony


It fits me like a tailored, carbon fiber glove, it's light as hell, and it feels like I don't even have to pedal to go fast. And I got a pretty good deal on it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Red Bull

Red Bull is probably the best thing to happen to partiers.

I started partying at about 7pm on Friday, and was drunk straight through til about 3am Sunday morning.

Somehow, I woke up wide-eyed, clear minded, and sans hangover at 7am on Sunday.

Needless to say, this weekend was, as Barney from "How I met your mother" would put it-- LEGENDARY.

Thanks Red Bull!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My company makes about $180,000,000 per year.

The greatest profit margins come from wires that are used for cleaning out coronary arteries.

Someone want to explain why the majority of the employees at my company, many of them highly competant at their job, allow their bodies to become shaped like the mushroom monsters from Super Mario Brothers?

It just seems to me like they might have some real world perspective that might give them incentive to avoid that kind of thing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm short

For my family, anyways....
JulieWedding 011
Dad, Tim, me, Bruce

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I've been going up and down for weeks now. Athough today wasn't great, here's what I wrote to myself on Tuesday.

"Today I feel very strong, and very in control. My mood is sad, but confident in my ability . I'm on the verge of tears, but I feel like I can go through my feelings, yet simultaneously use my inner strength to be at peace. I'm not quite sure if these tears are from sadness, or joy, or faith. Maybe both.

I feel although times are more difficult than ever, I can focus on my being, measure my problems, solve them, improve, and become a better person. I'm very confident in my inner strength.

During times like these, I often find solace and strength in doing new things and improving myself. Take yourself to your point of failure, and recover stronger. Challenging your limits always makes your world bigger.

I think I've found the bottom! And now that I've stopped falling, I can see that I'm still alive, and I can see the way out!"

I hope to have more days like this.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

it’s 9:30am, and I’m still drunk.

Mixing alcohol and emotion is, and always will be, a bad idea.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Well, I feel a little better.

A good bike ride can burn frustration pretty quickly.

A good place to start, I suppose.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I feel like chewing broken glass.

Time for me to start taking my own advice.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fear & Peace

I sit in one of the most screwed up relationship situations I've ever gotten into. This all started in a very innocent way, but I now stand to possibly lose the woman of my dreams to one of my best friends.

I'm going to go to bed after I'm done posting this and taken a shower(because I just went mountain biking & I'm filthy), but tonight I will sleep soundly.


Because I've learned some very important things about life and about relationships in the last year, and I simply know that everything will work out for the best.

I am not afraid, and therefore I am at peace.

It's strange how long one spends dealing with the great complexities of things. But once you find the answer and you look back, you realize that it's all extremely simple.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


So I decided to do a Time Trial with the Ride & Glide team this evening. It was a trail benefit for ski trails, and I wanted a fitness check for the Half this weekend.

The 13.4 mile course was out in Withrow, MN,(NE of White Bear Lake) a place I've never been to, but it seemed like it wouldn't be that difficult to get there from work (in Chaska) by 5:30pm. I had my bike along, and I would just shoot up 494/694. I wasn't changed into my Gear West kit, I had no sports drink, and I'd been drinking water all day, so I figured I'd stop off at a gas station and take care of all 3 once I got off the highway.

This never happened, because apparently, nobody needs Gatorade, gas, or a public restroom ANYWHERE north of White Bear Lake. After driving for 1.25 hours, passing the race site, I drove for about 20 effin' minutes back toward civilization before finding a gas station. I swore a whole lot.

I finally checked in late, and was in the company of some of the fastest cyclists of the evening.

I took off FAST. I was averaging 28+mph in the first couple miles. This didn't last. I ended up getting past by a couple (really fast) guys, the pain set in, the lungs started burning, and I got into a pace. The course wasn't challenging, but any rise had me really pushing hard to hold pace--my goal was to go above 23mph. I haven't seen my time yet, but I'm confident I achieved that.

Highlight: I did pass one guy on the course, and this made me very happy, because he was on a $6000 titanium Litespeed bike.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

internet stalkers

So J-Mo just celebrated her 9000th profile view. Can you say stalkers?

But then I just remembered, my Flickr account is registering in at ~8340 views, and I'm now recalling that an acquaintence of mine actually knew a female Flickr "admirer" of mine who was inquiring about my status. (at the time time I was taken) I pih-shawed all of this, but I have to admit --I was secretly thinking about a slender & lithe half naked woman serving at my beck & call.

But then I met (a different) one of my stalkers recently, and it was Über-weird.

Here's an exerpt from an email I got the other day from "married-mother-of-three":

It was so awesome visiting with you. I told you I was going
to email you. You were so nice to visit with and I mean it, your
photography is amazing. I came home and looked at it again. It is beyond
breath taking. Words don't even describe it. How did you figure out that
you were so good at that? You look great too. It's too bad you don't live
around here.....I would love to keep in touch with you. Maybe when we come down to the cities sometime, we can get together.
Keep in touch, okay,"


Although she was in pretty good shape, I was totally turned off by this.

My Myspace profile: ~3800 views. And it's been a private account for nearly a year.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

My Plant committed Suicide

My aloe plant killed itself in the last few days. I discovered it today on the balcony, uprooted.

You see, it always seems like the damn thing would never just grow straight up. It always liked to grow sideways. Even when I'd turn it away from the sun, hoping it would reach towards the fiery ball, and thus center it's course upward, it would not comply. It finally just started growning down over the pot onto the floor.

Maybe it didn't like being cut all the time to soothe my sunburn or something, bnd in the last couple days, it had enough weight to leverage its own roots out of the soil. It was mostly krinkly brown....we'll see if any of my effors to re-root some small offshoots works.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

10 years

I was at my 10 year reunion last night, and I had a very positive experience. Everyone was very sociable, and lots of people came up and talked to me who probably wouldn't have done the same so long ago.

I also got tons of compliment on my photography. I left a link to my photo site on our page @, almost as a joke, but it turns out lots of people are looking at it and appreciating it. I had at least 15 people (mostly women) approach me and their first words were to compliment my photography.

Good to know someone is appreciating my wasted time. One girl wants me to photograph her family, and another wanted me to photograph her future wedding. Not something I could do, I don't think.

I did see one girl that I totally thought was the cat's meow in high school and was hoping to see. Today has her own physical therapy business in OR. No kids, not married, does bike racing & triathlons, super fit, still gorgeous. But *like* 10 years ago, she has a boyfriend. Go figure.

Monday, June 25, 2007


So I've been feeding my mountain biking habit quite a bit this summer, and have been riding Theo Wirth quite a bit lately--mostly due to the fact that it's really close.

Theo is a tight windy course through trees--great for learning to handle a mtb bike. Since I've gotten back from scandinavia, the trees have grown out, hiding the trees a bit, and last week I smacked my left shoulder into a tree going at a moderate pace. This ripped the top layer of skin off even though it was underneath my shirt.

Yesterday I foolishly left my SPF "Vampire"-rated sunblock at home and got caught outside after the tri showing too much skin an sunburnt both shoulders, effectively sunburning the scabbed up wound.


Today I went mountainbiking at Wirth again, and did the same thing on the right shoulder. This hurt pretty bad, since I tore off sunburnt skin. Since I was wearing a white shirt, it stained through my shirt.

Anyone wanna see pictures of the gore?

Sunday, June 24, 2007


This Wilco song struck me hard when I first heard it, and I knew it was beautiful and would be close to me, but now I understand it.

"Either Way"__________________________________________________
Maybe you still love me
Maybe you don't
Either you will or you won't
Maybe you just need some time alone
I will try to understand
Everything has its plan
Either way
I'm gonna stay
Right for you

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will roll away
Maybe I won't be so afraid
I will understand everything has its plan
Either way_____________________________________________________

After some talking this weekend, I told K that although I've gone through difficult times, I've always emerged a better person because of them. He told me that people usually let their regrets eat them alive or learn from them, and that I've already made a track record of learning from them.

I think these past few days have been watershed moments in my life--maybe even moreso than my trip experiences.

I might still be learning, but I'll be ok. Either way.

Waconia Tri


Despite a big lack of training due to my vacation, and a gastrocnemius cramp that had been lingering since a hard workout on Wednesday, staying out late the night before drinking beers at Brian's house, and a case of insomnia this past week, I had a pretty decent race.

Ok, I haven't been swimming that much, and I've only been open water swimming once this summer, so I did have some diffuculty sighting and swimming in a straight line. I finished the purported 1/2 mile in 16:00, faster than most in my age group, however it was definately longer than 1/2 mile.

I felt FAST. I was passing everyone! But I was in the last wave, and that's probably why. I did get passed by a couple in my age group, but I rode my race.
Average speed over ~20 miles: 21.7mph. This was a rolling course with a couple big hills. I'm not disappointed with my bike leg.

The 4 mile run was PAINFUL. About 1/4 mile from transition, we had to run up a huge hill. And really, there was very little flat on the run course altogether.

My personal record for running pace was done last year. It was a 3.1 mile (5km) course, and I ran 7:39min/mile. Here's what the elevation profile looked like:
(flat as hell, in other words)

My pace today was 7:42min/mile on this course.
This is Good!

I'm quite happy with my results given that I've ranked this a "C" race, so I should be in line to do well in the races I want to crush later this year. I've got 3 weeks of hard training to before the Heart of the Lakes, and I'm looking forward to mashing out some tough miles.

I placed 9/28 in my age group, and 60/296 men.

Funny Note: I was jousting with another guy in my age group in the last 200 meters. I thought I had him, but he closed a 10 meter gap at the last second and beat my by half a stride. We both finished in a total time of 1:45:02.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Clawing Myself Apart

I have come to the realization that I'm am OZ's Cowardly Lion.

I have the strength to do anything I want, but I've been too scared to take a risk.

I don't know who said it, but there lies a great deal of truth in this quote: "Falling in love is not for cowards."

As a child, I never understood that the articles that the Wizard gave the Lion, the Woodsman and the Scarecrow were only placebos. He tricked them into having faith in themselves.

I'm sick of being a coward. I'm ready to use my claws. I'm ready to take what I want. I'm ready to stop clawing myself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 9th, 2007

The ninth of June, 2007, was probably one of the best days in my life.

The day before, I'd met a few people on a guided tour, and we all decided to rent a car for the next day and see the country. We decided to drive along the ring road along the south coast of Iceland. I watched this video the night before.

The next day, the four of us, Me, Alban, a guy from Paris, Pearl, a girl from Taipei, and Jamie, a girl from Maryland, (all about the same age) packed into a manual transmission Volkswagon Polo

I hopped into the driver's seat of our car at 8am, the odometer at 26km--this car had been used less than my bike just this afternoon. We left Reykjavik and found the ring road.

As we left for the country, I thought myself......"This is fucking, fucking, fucking crazy. I don't know these people at all. Iceland is sparsely inhabitied outside it's capital, and I've got a few granola bars and a raincoat in my daypack. This is a recipe for disaster."

My fears became overwhelming jubilance as the scenery started to unfold. This country is magical, you can feel it in the air and it's more than visually apparent, and I was racing into it full speed ahead.

This was one of the best feelings I've ever had in my life.

The feeling was mutual with my friends. Alban couldn't stop saying "this is just crazy" I think he meant amazing, or breathtaking, or unbelieveable...but it was crazy too.

We passed through a few small towns here & there, stopping at Vik for some snacks & water, and at another town called Kirkjubæjarklaustur for gas & food. I had to turn around since I passed the town--hey it was small--and nearly ran the car off the road(kindofa long story) and nearly gave Alban a heart attack. The gas station had a little restaurant within it, and it had plenty of rural folk socializing--not far off from what you'd see in rural North Dakota, really. I had a piece of blueberry & something??berry pie. It was some of the best pie I've ever had.

Aside from those stops, we really didn't stop at all on our way towards our two goals: Jökulsárlón and Skaftafell National Park. We knew that it would still be light out past 11pm, so we intended on making wayside sightseeing stops on the way back

We passed Skaftafell and made it to Jökulsárlón around 3pm. Here we are:

I don't think I need to describe how satisfied I was with our trip to this point. It was very bright despite being overcast. I went back into the car and got my sunglasses right after that. We took a tour of this glacial lagoon in a little boat, and left for Skaftafell.

Skaftafell is known for it's great hiking trails and it's multitude of waterfalls. We hiked to an altitude about 600 feet to find Svartifoss, one of Icelands most well known waterfalls.

Here I am enjoying the scenery(photo: Pearl)

Here we are leaving Skaftafell with the view I was enjoying above(photo: Pearl)

We stopped at many waysides along the way, and although the scenery was the same on the way back, it didn't matter a whole lot. It was still overpowering.

We stopped in Vik again to get some food, although I don't think I had anything.

As we neared Reykjavik, we were getting tired after a long day. It was 11:30pm--and we cranked up the Icelandic radiostation, which had mostly talk on earlier in the day. They were now playing a mixture of icelandic & international music.

As midnight struck, they played Pearl Jam's cover of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away."

When we rolled into the parking lot of the hostel, there was just over 800km on the odometer.

I learned that day about the payoff of calculated risks, and I slept with great contentment.

Damn Fool

Bush on Stem cells:
" I have made my position very clear on that issue. I believe that the use of federal monies that end up destroying life is not -- is not positive, is not good."

Yeah? Then why have you thrown half a trillion dollars (that's $500,000,000,000) into a war?

You, sir, are an idiot.

You should've studied while you were in school, George.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares

This was taken at Munkholmen, a small island in the middle of Trondheimfjord with over 1000 years of history. Nowadays, it's a great place to picnic and get a panoramic view of the city & mountains.

During my time in Norway, I spent plenty of time sightseeing and touring museums and the like, and the Nazi takeover & occupation during WWII was brought up many times.

Several times, I found myself becoming nauseous and filled with rage to see the lingering effects of fascism--particularly during the 3 hours I spent at the Norges Hjemmefront Museum (Norwegian Resistance Museum) in Olso. Trondheim was lucky--many small towns such as Kristiansund were levelled in attempt to kill the Norwegian royalty, and the survivors spent a winter in caves.

I was fortunate to see these kids playing on this Nazi gun early on the trip; it really comforted me to remember seeing this and become reminded that in today's world, this device designed to end human life has now become a harmless child's toy.

This is the kind of world I want.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I was just at the grocery store, and the cashier asked me a question.

+And I automatically said "excuse me". In Norwegian.


He replied in English.


This place is unbelieveable. Yesterday was probably the best full day of my trip.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I just got here this afternoon. The views are spectacular.

Tomorrow I´m going on an 8 hour tour into the countryside.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Send me to Hell!!

If heaven is nothing like Norway in the summer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A new Obsession

Sunday was my first real Mountain Bike race, Erik's Spring Cup.

The race was to be 2 laps at Harmon Park in Inver Grove Heights. I signed up for "Citizen" which is basically the beginner class. (below Sport, Comp, and Expert) I did have the option for racing Citizen Clydesdale *for which, at 210lbs, I still meet weight requirements* :(, but I figured there'd only be one or two really heavy guys, and I wouldn't have any incentive to race hard. (To my surprise, the C-dale competition was fairly stiff)

There was a "prologue" which was basically a lap around the grassy open park area to spread everyone out before they dump you into the singletrack.

I was the second guy into the singletrack. I knew that I had to get up front early in order to compete in the front pack, and I was sucking wheel of the guy in first place. For most of the time, I was thinking, "I could pass this guy, but maybe I should sit back and see what happens," but this guy had some pretty poor cornering skills. I had 2 other guys right on my tail, and about halfway through the first lap, the lead guy bumped into a tree going into a wooded area after a short descent---I had my chance to pass him, but hesitated, and he got up & going. I'll chalk the fact that I didn't win the class to this rookie blunder.

I kept on his tail and decided to take my next chance to get around him. We wrapped through some more winding uphill/downhill, and started heading toward the last leg within the first lap. I knew there was a big rock up head of us on the trail, and I wasn't comfortable hitting it, and the lead guy went around it too. The 3rd & 4th place guys took it, and got around us. I was now in 4th, and they were pushing hard to get away from us. Now I really needed to get around this guy.

We wrapped around the last leg of the singletrack, and I lost hold of the new leaders, and the guy in front of me. I came through the lap gate, not paying much attention to anything but riding fast and catching up. I got back into the singletrack and after a couple well-executed tight turns, I was back in the mix. When things opened up, they were able to pull away from me, but when the track tightened up, I was there to reap their fear, riding up onto their tails. Finally we entered our last leg of the second lap, and I was right behind the 3rd place guy. There was a hairpin turn that transitions you to the last leg, and his bike flew out from under him. I hit the brakes, almost ran over him, dismounted and ran around him. I hopped on and was now pushing really hard to catch the leaders and distance myself from the guy behind me. A few more hairpin turns and some fast flowing singletrack with the adrenaline pumping, I did bump into a tree with a handlebar which caused me to put my feet down, but I kept going, and cranked up the last hill. I came out of the singletrack and put the hammer down for the last few tenths of a mile, the last turn was a tight sweep along a chainlink fence. I finished in 47:16, (a short race by my measure)11 seconds behind the wave winner.

There was a second wave with older people, women, c-dales, and singlespeeders a few minutes behind us. The fastest citizen time came from this wave; a guy from the 50+ age group....less than 1 minute ahead of me.

The Results
4th of 60+ citizen male riders
3rd in the 19-29 age group.

I got a medal for the 3rd place finish, but I was pretty pissed to see kids and the women on the podium getting free stuff (water bottles, cycling socks, jerseys, bike tools, etc) when I didn't get shit on the podium. I'd happily trade the bronze medal I got for some cassette & crank servicing tools.

I plan on doing at least 2 more MTB races this summer along with the 3 triathlons I'm signed up for.

Sidestory--I had my bike ready for the race in the nick of time--earlier in the week, I nearly destroyed it. On a practice run, I got an innocent stick jammed in my rear derailleur, yanking it off the frame and trashing the chain & some spokes in the process. Penn Cycle really did a good job getting my bike ready on time.

Success & Reward

I leave in less than 24 hours for Norway. I tingle inside each time I think about the trip.

If I haven't sent this to anyone, I've been developing a medical device for over 3 years. It just got FDA approval a few weeks ago. Here's a few places posting the press release.

..> ..>

View your release posted on:

111,000 Visitors/day

53,000 Visitors/day

53,000 Visitors/day

111,000 Visitors/day

53,000 Visitors/day

111,000 Visitors/day

53,000 Visitors/day

111,000 Visitors/day

53,000 Visitors/day

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I SO cannot decide

The pool for Democratic presidential nominees is a treasure trove, it's like trying to decide between the 86 yummy flavors at Cold Stone.

Here are my top picks:

Barack. A former contitutional law professor, this guy will protect & restore the constitution. Oh yeah, and he's probably the most charismatic of the bunch--that means he can leverage friendship from just about anyone. A good leader with accountability is what America wants right now. He's got that magic gaze that Bill Clinton had.....maybe he could just talk Osama into cleaning toilets after closing time at Hooters.

Dennis Kucinich: His top issues are probably most congruent with my beliefs. He's ran for prez before, but he also hasn't spent nearly as much time in the spotlight as the others. I also believe he can negotiate just about anything with anyone.......apparently nobody has seen the woman he was able to convince to marry him.

Holy Crap. It takes way more than a huge bank account to date that far outside your galaxy.

Anyways, he wants to repeal the Patriot act, create a balance between workers and corporations, provide universal healthcare to Americans, keep the air & water clean, integrate clean power into the grid, restore rural communities and family farms........therefore, Dennis is AWESOME.

Bill Richardson: CHECK THIS SHIT OUT.This guy, if anything, is overqualified to be the most powerful man on the planet. He's had a very successful governership in New Mexico(nominated into his 2nd term with 69% of the vote), was a congressman for 14 years, served as Clinton's secretary of Energy and an ambassador to the UN, and he's been *yawn & stretch* nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize four times.... once for negotiating the realease of hostages from Saddaam Hussien. Plain and simple, this guy is a political juggernaut. One thing his "issues" page includes is a subheading of Partisonship, which turns me off. I want the neocons to run from the US and never return. They can go fight to make Jesusland in the middle east or something.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Both of my Children are in the emergency room

Tonight, for the first time in about 3 years, I'll be sleeping alone in my apartment.

I took my road bike in on Saturday morning to have it looked at. The bottom bracket was shot, 2000 miles on a $42 part, so I'm not furious. They needed a couple days to order parts and replace it, so I figured I'd ride my mountain bike and run instead. I'm picking it up tomorrow.

This afternoon, I took my mountain bike over to Harmon to pre-ride the course for Sunday's race, since I've never rode there before. I was about 50 meters into the singletrack when I saw I guy coming up from behind me and I moved over a bit to allow him to pass. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I'm pretty sure the cause was a stick getting caught in my chain right in front of the rear derailler.

The rear derailler jammed, and was completely torn off my the frame, and flew around, lodging in between the frame and the rear tire, twisting the chain and severing a few spokes on the rear wheel.

I walked my bike back in disbelief, the rear wheel completely seized. I think I yelled "Fuck" more times in the car ride home than I have in the last three years.

I dropped it off at Penn Cycle this evening to have it fixed. They say they'll have it ready in time for me to re-pre-ride the course and race.

I think the fact that I mentioned that I'll be racing this weekend bumped me up in priority for fix-it's at the shop, but they were really helpful, and if guys do a good job, I'm thinking a small gift would be in line. Anyone know what might be a good way for a demanding customer to show their appreciation in a totally non-homoerotic way? A tip? Can you tip a bike mechanic?

Anyways, my apartment is very lonely right now.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Let Me Clear the Fog

I've had ENOUGH of this ridiculous "if we don't fight 'em there, we'll have to fight 'em here" logic.

This so called conventional wisdom flies in the face of common sense, so let me straighten it out. ESPECIALLY for all the "straight-shooters" out there.

In "The Fog of War", Robert McNamara, the longest standing Secretary of Defense in the history of the US, outlines the eleven lessons of his life. (He was a war strategist whiz-kid during WWII, the secretary of defense during the cuban missle crisis, and was SoD during administrations of both political parties)

His #1 lesson is: Empathize with your enemy.

We know at least a few things about our the terrorists we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

1. They will attack civilians if they can.
2. They may be murderers, but they aren't stupid.

I have one question for all you who are so concerned that if the war ends in Iraq, we'll have to dodge bullets at the grocery store.
Why would an terrorist in Iraq fight an armed American trooper when he could with much less risk to his own life, fly/boat to mexico, and waltz(or Mariachi with an Elephant) across our swiss cheese southern border, and attack American citizens?

The idea that they will follow the Marines BACK to the US is wildly absurd. Why would they buy their plane tickets when our occupation ends? Wouldn't the easiest target be American civilians within our borders while 200,000+ soldiers are overseas?

If it WAS happening today, we'd definately hear Bush 43 talk about it in the same breaths as he does with his alleged foiled terrorist plots. But, border security has been pretty low on the Bush administration & Homeland Security's to-do list. (in fact, I'd like to see Homeland Security's to-do list. I bet all line items are "waste money on ridiculous shit.")

But this is not happening now, and it won't happen later. Insurgents in Iraq want control of their country. They are not interested in killing American civilians in America, because if they were they'd already be doing it. The war in Iraq will NOT be fought on US soil ever.

Unfortunately, McNamara's #2 lesson is that "Rationality will not save us." He'll be right unless you learn to think for yourselves.

EarlG @ put it really well this morning.

"Essentially [this] rationale is that our troops are nothing more than human sacrifices on the altar of global terrorism. If we pull out of Iraq, the evil monsters will come to America and kill us all! Much better to feed them a steady diet of young American men and women in a faraway country that we don't really have to think about, right?"

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Training Tips

A friend is getting into running/cycling/etc. and asked me for some pointers on training & nutrition. Here's what I wrote. *I added a little in after thoughts since.

As far as running:

#1 Listen closely to your body. Know the difference between good pain & bad pain.
If you are running for distance, you should increase your mileage incrementally.
Figure out your lactate threshold--that can help you fit your training to your goals. (There's easy & sophisticated methods)
A heart rate monitor is mandatory equipment, but you don't need to buy anything fancy. $90 should get you what you need. It will help you gage your workout intensity, and establish your limits.
Make sure that you are running with proper form. The expert say to either a)run as if you're falling forward, or b) run as if you'll being pulled by a string that's attached to your belly button. This will help you strike with a flat foot, knee slightly bent.
Run alot in terms of frequency. The more you run, the better you will become, and your body will become acclimated to running--it is tough on joints.
If you're sore from running, cycling is a great cross training substitute.

If you don't already have one, go to a reputable shop, and buy a bike that fits you, not the one with "curb appeal". Don't be afraid to spend your money--I feel like I could've bought a better bike.

A sore butt is usually a product of poor cycling shorts--not your bike seat. The saddles with the slots in them are often marketing gimmicks--every rider in the Tour de France wears cycling bibs, but you'll be hard pressed to find one that uses a "slotted saddle."

Don't just push down on the pedals. Your power stroke should encompass as much of the revolution as possible. Some people liken it to scraping mud off the bottom of your shoe--but remember to pull up too. Cycling shoes and clip-in pedals are like a dream come true when you first try them--not 100% mandatory, but they really add efficiency to your pedaling, and are just very very very very nice to have.

When riding, focus on your pedal cadence. 90rpm will give you higher efficiency and better power transfer. Many cycling computers have this option, but you can always count them off over a given time.

Side notes:
a)PLEASE WEAR A HELMET! Head injuries often have life long side effects. Ask my sister if you're not convinced.
b)MOTORISTS DON'T PAY ATTENTION TO CYCLISTS! BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. Remember on your driving test, where they ask you about how far away you should follow busses? how about where they ask you how much you can legally drink? or where they ask you where to put infant seats?......How about when they ask you how to pass a cyclist???????? They don't. Drivers aren't given instructions on what to do. There are 2 types of cyclists: those that have crashed, and those that will.

As far as food:
I guess it's obvious that you should eat "good food." Just about anything at restaurants these days has large proportions of junk calories, and the portions are astronomical!

My staples are (in no particular order) yogurt, salmon, almonds, arugula, couscous, strawberries, raspberries, apples, lentils, hummus, black beans, olive oil, and clif bars.

Drink lots of water. That recommended 8 glasses a day will suit normal bodily functions. You will need more when you add the exercize. An important side note is to recognise the difference between hunger and thirst--try drinking a few glasses of water every time you think you're hungry--you might be surprised.

It's important to have some carbohydrates about a half hour before you train(I like yogurt), and immediately afterwards. There are special sports drinks that cater to "recovery" such as Endurox R4, but chocolate milk is a close (and waaaay cheaper)equivalent.

Protein is an overrated nutrient, and it's pretty easy to get what you need if you're not a vegan. Protein supplements are a waste of money in most cases.

You will also need a meal within 2 hours of a training session. Don't skip eating, even if you're training for weight loss. If you don't fuel your body, you won't have energy for your next session--it might even be damn difficult to even get out the door.

Avoid alcohol--it's loaded with empty calories, and more importantly, avoid alcohol within a few hours of a training session. It will dehydrate when you need hydration.

Learn about serving sizes. It's difficult to gage how much you're actually eating, and how much you need. is free and can help you figure out exactly how much you're eating.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wild Realization & Infinite Optimism

The other day I got a portfolio from my boss's office. I have to select from a bunch of different gifts/trinkets for recognition of my 5th year of service at my company.

"Holy Crap!", exclaimed the disillusioned late-twentysomething.

I was in college for 5 years. On June 4th, I'll have spent more time at this job than I did in college. NOW THAT IS HEAVY SHIT.

I can say, however, that the last 5 years have been decisively better than the 5 before that. I'm wholeheartedly looking forward to life's treasures in the next 5 trips around the sun, and hopefully, the next 70 after that. and I hope I can share it with you all.
I'll be getting the binoculars with the company's emblem mounted onto them in gold.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Dal Makhani from Byerly's
Per Serving:

190 Calories
10g Fat (10%)
5g Sat. Fat (25%)
0 Cholesterol
700mg Sodium (29%) ----(to replace all that I lost in my first Mt. Bike race this morning)
19g Carbohydrate (6%)
2g Dietary Fiber (8%)
7g Protein

On top of:

Organic Inca Red Quinoa from Byerlys
Per Serving:

163 Calories
3g Fat (4%)
0g Sat Fat
0 Cholesterol
5mg Sodium
29g Carbohydrate(10%)
4g Dietary Fiber (15%)
6g Protein

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Would you believe it?

Would you believe it if I told you that my heart rate monitor and one of my kitchen table chairs broke this week?

I'm really hoping the squeak on my road bike is nothing.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A survey worth a blog entry

The Minnesota survey! Made for Minnesotans by Minnesotans!
Please answer all questions honestly so dem neighbors of yers can git to know ya betterrrrr dontcha know?

1. First of all, where in Minnesota do(did) you live?
SLP (which is [jewish]Ghetto Code for Saint Louis Park)

2. What's your favorite lake in MN?
Alfred's Pond

It's my equivalent to Walden Pond. Someday, I'm going to spend a few days there. Just me sharing the chairs with the hippy-dippy-friendly dragonflies.

3. Have you ever been ice fishing?
No. I get my fish from the freezer section. My time out in the cold is only enjoyed if there are ski's on my feet.

5. Do you go four-wheeling?
When I go home, I always get the ATV out. I used to love that thing when I was in highschool. I was reckless enough to learn how to drive it on 2 wheels Dukes of Hazzard style.

6. Do you go snowmobiling?
The last time I went snowmobiling was a near death experience. I was hopping snowdrifts along a snowfence, and gunned it to jump the next. The snowmo's skis dug into the drift instead of plowing over it, and I went through the windshield, flipping onto my back. The snowmo stopped as it tapped my helmet. Had it gone 3 more feet, it would have pinned me down under a 500 pound machine.

When I got back on, I discovered that when I flew off, my leg *by chance* hit the kill switch.

7. Did you go trick-or-treating in that snow storm of 1991?
I was in North Dakota. And I was probably not trick or treating at that time.

8. Do you go camping?
When I can. I love the SHT and the BWCAW

9. Do you ever use the word "spendy"?
Yeah, actually. Is that minnesotan?

10. Does your vehicle have rust on it or salt damage?
No. The body where rust might show up is mostly plastic though.

11. Have your locks ever frozen shut?
Negatory. The windows freeze shut from time to time, and I can't spit out the window then.

12. Have you ever built a snow fort taller than you?
I used to roll massive snow boulders that were way taller than me. I would start with a snowball, and roll it in the snow, picking up more and more. I stopped and started a new one when I couldn't push it any farther.

13. Where did you go sledding as a child?
There was only one place for me to go, as flat as it was around the farm. My grandparents were starting to build a root cellar, and abandoned the idea after digging a big hole in the ground. The dirt was placed into a large pile next to it. So my cousins and I climbed to the top of the hill and sledded into the hole. It was AWESOME.

14. Have you ever ice skated outdoors?
Yes, but not since last winter. I played one game of hockey with Thoele, a guy and his kid, and a few random dudes.

15. Did you ever get your tongue stuck to something outside in the winter?
Yes. But I was fucking stupid.

16. Did you ever pour water over something on purpose in the winter to make it slippery?
No. But I wish I was smart enough to have done something so clever.

17. Did you ever have snow slushies?
Yep. The snow around the farm was pristine.

18. Have you ever accidentally gone to school on a day where school was cancelled due to weather?
I don't remember. I do remember going to school one day when it was -70F (with windchill)

19. Did you ever throw a snowball in someone's face?
I'm pretty sure Tim took one or two in the face.

20. Do you prefer St. Cloud area or Twin Cities area?
Twin Cities

21. Do you like city or country?
Both. Depends. I like living in the city, and leaving it for the country.

22. Have you ever had more than one tick on you at a time?
More than one? I used to always run around in the woods. I probably supported colonies of ticks when i was a kid.

23. Have you ever burned garbage in a bon fire?
No, but I was at a redneck party (somehow) in Ramsey a few weeks ago where the hosts were throwing old chairs and couches into the bonfire. They would see how long they could sit in them before it got to hot. This was like watching a trainwreck, to me.

24. Have you ever gone to a Twins game?
Yes. Ho. Fucking. Hum.

25. Have you ever gone to a Vikings game?
When I was like 6 years old. Haven't been to one since. Don't really care to go either.

26. Have you ever gone to a Wild game?
Negatory. Maybe one of these days I'll go see the Lacrosse team.

27. Did you ever forget to wear pants under your snow pants?
I have been photographed in knee deep snow wearing only my dad's cowboy boots and tighty-whiteys.

28. Do you eat icicles?
No. I usually pull them down and throw them at something that it will stick into, or shatter upon.

30. Do you own a dog that has gotten sprayed by a skunk?
Sam and Wendy both got nailed by skunks.

31. Do you drink Boone's Farm?
I have, but I don't.

32. Do you drink beer?
When it's free. or in my fridge.

33. Do you have at least one friend who has a beard?
I sorta get along with a republican guy at work who does.

34. Do you say "so" before you start a sentence most the time?
Again, is this really that minnesotan?

35. Do you carry an ice scraper in your car all year?
Yes, except in the summer, I call it a "Hummvee paintjob fucker upper."

36. Do you have to add sand bags to the bed of your truck?
I don't have a truck, but if I did, I wouldn't need to, because it would be a 4 wheel drive. What kind of morons buy 2 wheel drive trucks? Oh, yeah. The redneck variety of morons.

37. Have you ever gotten a leech stuck to you?
only the human female variety.

38. Have you ever caught a snapper?
I've done lots of things to snappers, but I don't think I've ever caught one.

39. Do you own your own fishing pole?
Never have.

40. What's your favorite restraunt?
Birchwood cafe or French Meadow. Or Herkimer. or Marla's Kitchen....all depending on my mood.

41. What's your favorite club?
A baseball bat with a huge nail pounded into it, which is used to savagely pummel people with spinner rims on cadillacs.

42. What's your favorite park?
Theo Wirth.

43. Which place in Minnesota has the best scenery/view?

The Pro & Elite Women's waves at the Lifetime Triathlon.


a couple high ridges at George Crosby Manitou Park, the top of Lutsen.
Even Calhoun at dusk ain't too bad.

44. Where's your favorite place to cruise?
I like to go running past all those motorcycle fags who cruise calhoun oggling all the women.

You= pudgy guy showing off his motorcycle's big engine.
Me= the engine that the women are paying attention to.

45. Which grocery store do you shop at?
Byerlys--Roma Tomatoes, Apples, tonic water, texas champagne, those yummy Terra chips, bulk lentils, superspicy hummus, oysters, .
Trader Joe's--everything else

46. Have you ever partied in a barn?
If by "partied," you mean "Sneezed"; Yes.

47. Do you like keg beer?
I like FREE beer.

48. Have you ever gone hunting?
Plenty of times. And's pretty boring. Maybe that's what Dick Cheney was thinking when he shot that guy in the face. He might've also been thinking that 8 Pabst's per person in the hunting party wasn't enough for the day.

49. Do you have a tattoo of a butterfly?
No. But, I got a tattoo/scar on my ankle from my big chainring the other day.

50. Do you smoke cigarettes?
I did for a while. And then I stopped.

51. Does your heritage include Polish, German, or Scandinavian?
Norwegian. and I think there's some Russian German in there too.

52. Are you catholic?
No. Abstinence is the leading cause of immaculate conceptions, as far as I'm concerned, Ms. Mary.

53. Have you ever been swimming in a river in Minnesota?
No. Rivers are great places to drown.

54. What's your favorite thing about Minnesota?
The fact that most of it's still pretty clean and sparsely populated. (Irony that I choose to live in the city)

55. Whats one thing you don't like about Minnesota?
Michelle Bachman. That crazy bitch pisses me off.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

This is Unpossible

I'm a little proud of myself.

Today I rode 100 miles on my bike in the Minnesota Ironman Bike ride, and I didn't get a sunburn. I even got a little suntan. This is unpossible. My skin, for my entire recollection, is one of three colors, ghastly, red, or peeling.

This is like divine intervention. It's April, and my skin hasn't seen the sun since September. I spent nearly 7 hours in 80 degrees sun with very little cloud coverage.

I did, however, shellack all exposed skin with SPF 50 at 7:30am, but I didn't expect it to last.

Anyways, I hope to keep this up and not get burnt this summer. I've done it way too many times.

Long detail on the ride below........

As far as the ride goes, I spent the first 30 or so miles riding with Clif and Jesse, who are both in phenomenal shape, as they've been training for Ironman Zurich. After a while, I just couldn't hold at their pace.

So I rode alone, and as I was passing through the tiny town of Montgomery, I was passed by a large group of riders (who came up on my left). There was a right turn that the front riders didn't see, and one came across the entire group and caught another cyclist. The unlucky guy he ran into was directly in front of me, and cartwheeled over his handlebars, helmet smacking the pavement. I was able to get out of the way, but missed the rest stop. 20 miles down the road I was out of fluids, with another 15 to the next town.

That hurt.

I stopped and chugged gatorade, water, and had some nutrigrain bars. I took a salty nutroll with me. That salted nutroll provided some great energy when I was on the road. I'm going to use them in future long rides.

Nutrition on long endurance events is something I'm still honing. My sweat composition, as I've discovered, is very salt dense. I eventually got behind on my electrolyte intake, got some leg cramps, and bonked. I ran into Jesse and Clif at the last rest stop, and Jesse gave me a salt pill, which probably helped me for about 5 miles. The last 15 miles had a heavy headwind, which was exacerbated by a slow leak in my back tire. I stopped to pump it up a couple times, but it ended up flatting with about 3 miles to go.

The last hill back to Lakeville High parking lot was some of the slowest cycling I've done. Ever.

Lessons Learned:
+I sweat alot, and have a high need to replace electrolytes.
+Get ahead on hydration and calorie intake
+Don't ride with a leaking tire.
-Dont buy Specialized tubes. They suck

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I'm fucking going

I am fucking ecstatic.

I just went on not one, but 2 bike rides this afternoon.

then I ate bruschetta.

then I spent 85,750 Icelandic Kronor.

That's right. I just purchased plane tickets to Norway. And Iceland.

I've been waiting to do this for a very long time. I leave a month from today.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Usually, when a psychopath shoots down a bunch of people, the gun control people go nuts.

I agree and disagree with them.

Exhibit A: The second amendment in full text(as you never, ever, ever ,ever see it)

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Funny you never hear the whole thing in it's entirety, isn't it? I bet if you did, people might come to the conclusion that the people who wrote it were talking about keeping a well regulated military.

I'll digress for a second to say that I believe that you should have guns if you want them, but I'm talking strictly about hunting rifles. You all know I grew up on a farm, and I used to shoot all kinds of guns. What you probably don't know is that I grew pretty bored of them. That's another story.


I do not believe handguns or assault rifles should be allowed to be owned by just anyone. Handguns and assault rifles have ONE SINGULAR PURPOSE! THAT IS TO KILL PEOPLE! KILLING PEOPLE IS AGAINST THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES AND YOUR GOD. Humans who have reasons or duties to kill other humans should be allowed to have them. Some of these people are also allowed to own/use flame throwers, land mines, bazookas, intercontinental ballistic missiles, F-14's Tomcats, and nuclear weapons.

Your arguements:
"We need to have guns that can compete with military so we can fight the government if it becomes a police state" Shut the fuck up. Rambo was a movie. You and your one M-16 and Glock won't stand 10 minutes against a police sniper, a tank, or a mortar shell. Step into the real world for a second, and use your vote to make sure the government doesn't end up that way.

"I need to protect my house" Really? 9 times out of 10, this comes from a suburbanite who lives nowhere near crime. But, I'll bet you have a job, and you're away from home 8 hours+ a day. Any criminal that wants to stay out of jail OR WHO KNOWS YOU HAVE A GUN, but still wants your shit will rob your house when you are away. News Flash: Confrontation is not something any burglar wants. Get an alarm, you nitwit.(or stay at home 24 hours with your trusty sidearm)

"Statistically, having a pool in your backyard is more dangerous than having a gun" Yes. You are right. But you're forgetting that most firearm crimes are committed with stolen guns. The guns YOU bought to protect your house, ironically. And another thing.....I hear about accidental shootings all the time. I NEVER hear about accidental stabbings. If you're so scared, get a knife.

Back to the beginning: The solution to the problem of psychopaths with guns:


Get real help to people who are mentally ill before something bad happens.

Good news, Bad News

Completely unrelated, but I figured they could both go here anyways.

Good news:
I've payed off more than 80% of my trip to Canada AND the work to my car without touching savings. I'm going to try making the trip to Norway--my work has approved 2.5 weeks of vacation time!

Bad news.
Kurt Vonnegut is dead, and Fox News slimed him. Throw down some lightning from the heavens on Bill O'Reilly, will you Kurt?

RIP Ollie

Current mood: nothin's gonna breaka my stride

My Olympus c-765 ultrazoom, Ollie, is dead.

He took a last gasp downloading photos to my computer before he died. His lens was permanently extended and wouldn't retract, respond to any buttons, or power off.

I took him in to the camera doctors at National Camera Exchange, who told me it would cost a minimum of $180, and 8 weeks turnaround from the factory. I purchased Ollie for about $230.

I took him home and did emergency screwdriver surgery. "Shit, I'm a mechanical engineer, and this appears to be a mechanical malfunction." Surgery did not have a postive outcome.

Ollie lived well. He took about 3500 photos, travelled to Michigan's UP, North Dakota's Badlands, the Boundary waters, the tops of mountains in Utah, Colorado, and British Colombia, Whidbey Island in Puget sound, the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Miami, and the desert of Arizona. He might've even taken naked pictures of girls...

No way I'm going without a camera. I was thinking about buyin a nice canon 20D, but I can't afford it with that Norway trip coming up, so minutes ago I bought Ollie's successor, SP-510 at About the same price with more features. is also one of the highest rated online electronic stores according to consumer reports. Free Shipping!

Seriously. This year is getting expensive.....

Sunday, March 4, 2007


The Twin Cities gets 20" of fresh snow, and what am I doing?

No, not skiing, because my car is broken down and I've been stranded at home since friday. I'll be lucky if I can get it to the shop tomorrow.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


So a few weeks ago, I fixed my car to the tune of $2400. I drove my car to Iowa at 55mph to have the lowest bidder replace my transmission.

Well, there's been some new vibrations emanating from my car, which turn out to be a bad axle. The other one isn't far behind. The wobbly axle created damage on another component, so I'm looking at another $800 to keep driving my car.

Including the diagnostic fees, after this week, I'll have spend nearly $4000 within the scope of less than 2 months on my car.

Fuck. Say Goodbye to that trip to Norway.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

You Just can't win

In October, I paid the last payment on my car. I made 52 monthly payments, 8 months ahead of the loan. I was very happy to have finished paying it off and be able to know that the entire car was owned by me-- not by the bank, and that I could really start saving money.

Earlier this week, I was driving around and found that my car wouldn't shift into the highway gear. Today, I found out that I need a new transmission. I was quoted $3,750.00 to replace it. The trade-in value on my car is ~$3600.00. It's worth about $5000 to a private buyer.

I do have some time to decide what to do-- I can actually still drive my car around, it just takes higer engine speeds on the highway--I'm burning gas about twice as fast as I usually do.

Interesting to note that I recently had the transmission serviced. I was pressured by the dealer to have my transmission flushed, since it was at it's recommended mileage. I had it done mid-way through January, just before my trip to Michigan. Today I was shocked to read this about transmission flushes. Turns out, this probably caused the transmission to fail. My car has 115000 miles on it.

I feel like I want to puke.

I called my dad back home. He talked to the dealership who I bought the car from, and they quoted $2600 for the replacement. Turns out the (rebuilt) transmission costs them about $1900.

Hmmmm. I don't need to pay someone $1000 to fuck me in the ass. I'm pretty sure I could find someone to do if for free on Craigslist. The crooks at Village Chevrolet in Wayzata will never get my business again.

I've mulled selling it and buying another *much more reasonably priced* car, but I think I'm going to fix it. Except I'm going to make the rats fight for their fucking cheese. I'm going to fax a "request for quote" to just about every shop in town, and see who wants to compete for my business.

Anyways, this all totally shoots a hole in the trip to Norway that I was planning for June. I was budgeting $3500 for that trip.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


If I hadn't told you, I competed in the Noquemanon last weekend. I drove up to Houghton, MI and stayed with my uncle Bruce before driving to Marquette, MI for the race. I stayed another night with Bruce on the way back.

I was pretty excited for the Noquemanon, and this year's 45km course was to be my first race of any distance since taking up XC skiing last November.

I started in the last wave of the skate group-the last group on the course. I started towards the back of the pack, figuring I could avoid any early battles in the front of the pack. The Noquemanon is known for it's amount of downhill, (over 3000 feet of descent) and there was a pileup of about 5 skiiers on the first downhill. Seeing a crash became fairly common occurrence on downhills for the remainder of the race.

We crossed a frozen over lake, and encountered our first big hill. There was a line to start the climb, so I took a water break while waiting. I was a bit surprised to see single-poling so early in the race, but it was pretty steep. You can't train for hills like these in Minnesota. The longest climb ended up being around a 400' gain in elevation--I think that qualifies as a small mountain.

The climbs continued, and I was able to pass a fair amount of people at the pace I had selected. The first half of the race contained many challenging climbs--especially those that get steeper everytime you look up.

I was very surprised at how technical the descents became. Lots of people were falling, and I managed to get caught in a rut and fall on a long one myself. As it turns out, Jen was right behind me, and when she flew past me at high speed, she hit one of my poles, cleaving it in half. I had a very difficult time on the next climb, as single poling was the only option given the traffic. Fortunately, the next 6 kilometers to the next rest stop didn't include any steep climbs, and I quickly learned to V1 and Open field skate with one short pole, and did plenty of no-pole skating. I was quite surprised that I was still outpacing most despite my new handicap, and I figured that although most people were better skiiers than I am, I was more fit. This thought was encouraging. I got a new pole at the next aid station, and although it had a crappy wriststrap it did the job much better than half a pole.

Let me stop to say that the snow to this point on the flats & climbs was fantastic. We were at about 10F, and I was gliding along very well. As I approched the higher altitude midpoint, the snow began to fall. It became difficult to see well with my sunglasses fogging.

I felt quite satisfied with the pace I'd held as I passed the starting gate of the half marathon distance skiiers, and was quite pleased with my race to that point. I felt well prepared for the heralded "mostly downhill" second half.

The second half of the race had much more incline than I was led to believe. I learned that although the couse had been shortened, there were many new hills added in the reroute to the new finish line. I'm curious how much elevation had been added to the normal 2200' of climbing on the standard 51k. (for comparison, the IDS center downtown is just under 800' tall) The course was getting much busier with the fresh half-distance racers, and the downhills were snowplowed down to the underlying ice and becoming treacherous. Many marathoners were falling down on the technical descents, and I spotted several racers taking off their skis and walking down.

A few long climbs into the second half, I was beginning to feel the cumulative effect of the race. At all the aid stations, I'd been taking down reasonable amounts of HEED, but in all the excitement I hadn't stop to eat any of my gels or energy bars that I'd brought along. I took down some water, but after one more hill, I was completely bonked. I took down a gel, but it was too late. A hard lesson learned.

I had about 12K left, and my glycogen levels were flatlined as I passed yet another "Caution: Big Hill Ahead" sign. I started to get passed by familiar racers from my wave, and was again reminded that I'd not been fueling myself properly. A long false flat had me decomposed down to a weary V1. I don't remember much after that until I saw the 2km mark, and heard noise. I began to feel adrenaline slowly course into my body, and my pace on a long slow incline began to crescendo. My speed built as I saw the finish line, and I finished the race in sprint V2 fashion.

I finished in 3 hours, 49 minutes; placing me 14 of 16 in my age group.

I'm doing the 58km Vasaloppet next weekend.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Energy Bar Heaven

So I discovered Lärabars the other day. Of course, they are next to the CLIF bars, which are always $0.99 at Trader Joes.

But tonight, after a 1.5 hour ski in preparation for Saturday's race, I made another new discovery. CLIF must've heard my prayers, because they have just released a new flavor, Blueberry Crisp. It's days like these that I start to believe in the possibility of a higher power.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Echoes of Youth

Holy Crap. I just found this.

Anyone remember Bob Ross?

You should. He was the guy that came on when Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and 3-2-1 Contact were over on PBS.

I was really pissy a few days ago until I discovered this. I was driving home anticipating some good food, when the powersteering goes out on my car. Then some guy won't let me merge onto I-394, who I ended up making mad too, after I totally flipped him off. (It was kindof satisfying to see him flail his arms in disbelief, now that I think about it.)

This guy is like the human equivalent of a few bong hits. You watch him, and in less than two minutes, you can feel mellowness throughout your entire body. You smile at his effortless happy little trees, and the clouds who live.....wherever you want them to.....maybe. And you know you're about to peak when he decides to "get a little crazy."

I think everyone should have at least one weekly dose of "the joy of painting." Although--if the republicans found out about it, they'd probably make it illegal.