Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Some political thoughts.

1) John Edwards is my #1 candidate. That guy has the best demeanor of all Democratic candidates. That guy wakes up in the morning, and thinks about changing the world while he's putting his socks on. If you think he's a pussy, you should look at his professional record as an attorney. He's reduced teams of corporate attorneys who outmatched his salary manyfold into schoolgirls.

2) I'm very concerned about conglomeration of corporate America--especially the media, and John is the only frontrunner who will actually enforce monopoly laws in this country. Hillary and Barack have way too many ties to the big business monopolies that Edwards will actually be working to crack.

3) The only thing that republicans have on John Edwards is his $400 haircut. This, incidentally, pays for a one week supply of Mitt Romney's head grease.

4) That being said, I will fully support whichever Democrat is nominated.

5) Anyone who thinks Barack is unelectable should read about his success among whites in South Carolina. Keep in mind that there were more primary votes for Barack alone than McCain AND Huckabee, the top 2 Republican finishers. It's looking like SC will go democratic in November even if Barack is the dem nominee, a huge slap in the face to KKK/Larry the cable guy america.

6) The Republicans know that Barack is the strongest overall Democratic challenger, and this explains all the smear emails going around about him being a muslim. THIS IS PRECISELY WHY BARACK SHOULD BE YOUR FIRST OR SECOND DEMOCRATIC CHOICE.

7) Rudy is toast -- he's out of money and we haven't even come across a state where he's finished better than forth. I'd like to see him hold on. He's probably taking votes from McCain, and empty suit Romney & nutjob Huckabee will be easier fodder for the Barack machine to crush.

8) John McCain appears to have aged a decade in the last year. He's gone bad faster than arugula in my fridge. If you think that he won't last 2 terms, you're wrong. THAT'S BECAUSE HE'S ACTUALLY A ZOMBIE.

9) If a Republican is elected, take your ridiculous economic stimulus checks and turn them into Gold or Euros. The dollar will continue to plunge. Romney, McCain, and Huckabee have all pledged to stay in Iraq--we've been borrowing $275,000,000/day for that war, and don't forget that they will keep cutting taxes. US Dollars will have no international value in their hands.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

You can't tell who's swimming naked until the tide goes out.

I live in a very picturesque neighborhood. It's has a very wholesome quality -- all the homes are modest sized, and the lawns are flawlessly maintained--although most of them have snowmen on them now. This is an archetypal American neighborhood, but since it's in Edina, the cheapest houses are like $500, 000. Since I rent, I'm walking the same sidewalks for a fraction of the price.

When driving home to my apartment, I usually duck into these back streets to avoid traffic. There's been a couple homes for sale on these two blocks for the last 5 months; some say "PRICE REDUCED!"

Today I drove past 3 more new homes for sale on those same two blocks.

Today's lesson: Just because somebody has lots of nice things doesn't mean that they actually have black numbers in the bank. In fact, that is becoming the exception to the rule-- particularly in our generation. Most of us are up to our eyeballs in debt.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


So there was this manager at my company who suspiciously disappeared about 2 years ago.

He was a total prick, completely condescending to me, and his work seemed like something that could be product of a sixth grader with a bad attitude. He was middle aged, seemed "very tidy," very opinionated about quality, always wore sweaters & wire rimmed glasses, etc.... He belittled me one time, in a meeting in front of other people, for having a Viagra pen. (I thought it was cool, OK?) "How embarrassing" he said. "The fucking nerve you have! I could kick your ass into next Tuesday," I thought.

Fortunately, I didn't have to work with him directly, and rarely had to deal with his nincompoopery.

I'd learned officially that he'd be "gone indefinitely" because he ended up missing a few days of work. I learned through the grapevine that he was in jail for beating his wife. Something I kinda expected from such a douche.

Today, I learned from a new counterpart of mine--a former inferior of his--that our director actually had her "gathering information on him." One thing she said in particular was that he would call her & another female co-worker of hers(both early 20-somethings), into his office "just to chat," and that despite their *completely honest* protests of being overworked & busy, he would just want to listen to music with them in his office.

"just listen to 2 more songs, and I'll let you get back to work." She told me that a few days later, he actually showed up to work with cuts all over his hands. I bet the bastard was cheating on his wife, and beat the crap out of her when she found out about it.

What a creep. I hope that I never have to deal with a person like that again. And if I do, I'll have the opportunity to coincidentally meet them in a dark alley.

From now on, I dub all creepy douches to be: "Ross"

spread the word.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It's sunny out, but I'm not skiing today

When it's this cold, the snow feels like you're skiing on styrofoam(I was out last year when it was this cold) I also probably couldn't handle staying out too long because my camelbak would freeze so quickly.

I would consider going this afternoon when it warms up a bit, but the parents are in town, so that's out of the question.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

2008 Triathlon goals

2007 USAT National Agegroup rankings

men 25-29

Thork 99X/3552 Score 75.xxx

I was contemplating my goals for my 2008 triathlon season the other day, and have established 2 motives.

1) Midwest Multisports "Most Improved Athlete"

2)I thought perhaps a 1st place in the 25-29 agegroup of the Midwest Multisport series would a good goal, since I placed 13th after racing in only 3 races of 5 that can be scored. This will be my last year in this agegroup before moving on to the ultracompetitive 30-34 group. But then I realized: numero uno was Curt Wood, who ranked 7th overall in the same national agegroup of 3552.

So I'm goin' for Top 3.

To do this, I will need to accomplish several things:

1)Get control of my weight. I'm hovering in the 210 area, and I need to target 190. I'm going to have to make every calorie count.
2)Get control of my asthma. That means taking that damn advair twice a day.
3)Crafting a training plan and STICKING TO IT. I've got the backbone laid already through June, and am working the details out to be in shape for my best half Ironman on June 17. One week later will be the Waconia Triathlon, my 2008 debut in the series.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A thought.

If you're going to wander, make sure you get lost for a while. That's the whole point.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's coming together on the Skis

I'm finally getting the hang of this Cross Country skiing. And I'm having a really great time.

On Tuesday night, I went to Ride & Glide, hesitantly, because we had a thaw and a chill and it was extremely icy. And hell to ski on. But Coach Kurt had us practice V2ing uphill. Apparently "because it was fast snow."

V2 is the most challenging ski stroke, and is used consistently only by the hotshots--and few of them will go up a hill doing that. It requires fantastic balance, and is less efficient *but faster* than the V2 alternate/open field skate; most people's normal flat terrain "dance." The ice was hell on the balance, but I was surprise how quickly my body adjusted, and I was able to ski up the hill! WTF?

Thursday night, I escaped out to Elm Creek and put in a few laps. The northern lights trail was vacant, and I enjoyed the cool air and the hills. The snow was softer/closer to normal (and forgiving), and all of a sudden, I felt very comfortable taking a few stokes of V2. So I began to skip open field skate altogether. Some deer crossed the trail on my last loop, completely unconcerned with my prescence.

Friday night, I put in 45 minutes at French park, and had a fantastic time. The snow was falling, leaving cool halos around all the lights. The snow in the air made the sky light enough that I could ski on the unlit trails--a fantastic feeling. The new snow was slow on the wax I have on my skis, but I didn't care. What a great feeling.

Today, I went back to Elm Creek-it was saturated with high school teams, but I ran into Coach Hank, who told me the long outer trail was open, so I took his advice. It was vacant. I took 3 laps. I was intending on a lower intensity endurance ski, but I couldn't help myself on the hills. The V2 felt great on the flats.

I decided to see how fast I could head up one of the hills. All of a sudden, my V1 transformed into a Jump V1 (see the pass), something I've been told about, but never observed. It felt fast. Coming back down hills, I could suddenly hold the inside track on tight turns at the bottoms of a few of them--using something between a marathon skate corner/jump.

I was out for 1:48:49, averaged 9.2 mph, 16.66 miles, and burnt just shy of 2600 calories.

I can't wait to go ski again tomorrow morning. I have downhill league in the evening.

I'm gonna kick ass at the Birkie.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I'm not really a Hillary fan--I'm pretty much hoping for some combination of an Obama/Edwards ticket, but I had an interesting 3:30am, red bull & vodka infused conversation with a guy at a party the other day. It did stay friendly, but it was definitely dynamic.

I've heard this before on the internets, but I've never met a real live person who believed this. He told me "that the only reason Hillary didn't divorce Bill is for her future (presidential) political ambitions. "

So lemme get this straight.....

The expectation of a Christian conservative would be for a faltering marriage to immediately dissolve? That seems wildly counterintuitive. I thought the foundation of Christianity was built on forgiveness, and that the "for better & for worse" part of the vows meant something.

I also seem to remember that Bill (Clinton) went to church frequently, AND in one instance I remember, he was videotaped on the front steps of his church while being jeered by some (conservative, I assume) holier than thou. Apparently "forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" is not part of the lords prayer where he comes from.

And what is even more profound is the bile at which they spew this nonsense.

a)It sounds like to me that they are miffed that they can't monopolize fidelity & morals. The very idea that a liberal could hold a marriage together is horrifying to a conservative, a pure case of cognitive dissonance, so they make up ulterior motives for such "Strange" behavior. Stange behavior indeed, because this cheating & divorce happens to liberals. Conservatives NEVER get divorced, NEVER cheat on their spouses with hookers, and NEVER try to have sex with teenage boys.

I know that infidelity is prolific in the human condition. I can accept why it happens. I can't accept it to happen to me. Why "the sanctity of marriage is even something worth talking is about is only because conservatives keep blabbering about it. Real special those conservatives. So novel that they wouldn't want to be cheated on and lose their spouses.

b)It also sounds to me like a deep loathing for your(political) enemies, which is not what Christ tells us to do. He tells us to love our enemies, correct? So shouldn't good Christians be happy that Bill & Hillary saved their marriage? No. They were hoping that they would crash & burn in similar fashion to my secret desires for Britney. Except mine came true.

I tell you what conservatives. Do me a favor. If you REALLY want to protect marriage, put forth a bill in congress to make divorce in 99.99% of all cases illegal, with mandatory prison sentences. Have Mike Huckabee run on it. I'll sign it--just to see what ensues. Is it that a ridiculous idea? You shouldn't think so--God ordained, approved, and perhaps planned your marriage on your wedding day in his church. Why should it be legal to undo God's works? To interrupt his plan? How do you know the point of your life is not God's way to show other people not to rush into marriage? Show me how committed you are to him.

And the next part: How exactly does divorcing Bill destroy her ability to run for president? HMMMM?

If she divorced him, she could take all his money (which I'm sure you'd just loooove) and be labeled an even BIGGER ballbuster than the conservatives give her credit for. But she's not a ballbuster. She's a loving wife with a family,(and a spine) and conservatives can't attack a loving wife. So they brand her as a ballbusting dominatrix. That way, she's much easier to attack. Ironically, they're trying to make her into a liberal version of Ann Coulter, every republican man's daily infidelity against his wife.

In the end,
a) it's all sour grapes that you didn't get your way, and have an easier method to attack her.
b) you know that given the same situation, YOU wouldn't have a big enough heart to forgive your spouse. You'd divorce them. Hey--I might too. But there's no chance that you'll give her credit.

As Stephen Colbert put it......"the truth has a liberal bias."

Later on, I added fuel to the fire by having the guy read Luke 17:20-21.

God repayed me by making me puke my guts out about an hour later.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Top 8 reasons Why I don't plan on doing an Ironman anytime soon.

When meeting new people, I am almost always popped the question: "So have you done an Ironman?" I have not, I don't plan to, and here's why.

This will probably not be a popular opinion.

1. “Mate, you should get the families on board when you are doing athlete planning. I have seen far too many relationships screwed up by this sport.” -- Greg Bennett, World Champion Triathlete/Husband. I lose enough time from my friends & family while training the way it is. I don't plan on alienating myself, or neglecting family & friends more. I feel like I've already made this mistake already, and I will not do it again. One day, I'm going to meet the right girl, and my relationship with her will become a focal point of my life. Over everything else. I know that I need to stay fit to be a well balanced person, and I will continue to do that, but racing will be second priority, bar none. In my understanding, Ironman requires top priority.

2. “If I don’t race for the rest of my life then I might be able to repair the damage that I did to myself”-- Mark Allen, 6-time Ironman World Champion. That's right. Does nobody realize that running a marathon after a 6 hour bike ride might be bad for your joints? I'm into triathlon to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and knee replacements are not healthy-or cheap. I do plan on riding my bike until I die, and destroying my cartilidge and ligaments is not how to do that.

3. Ironman sells out in just about every location in North America and Europe, and all of them are inherently mass start. That means there are ~2500 people in the water simultaneously, and although that doesn't mean too much to me as a strong swimmer, the amount of people on bikes directly thereafter does. People draft in Ironman, and they do alot of it. They do it in the road racing too, but not on Time Trial bikes(except under specific circumstances with highly trained elites--and it's dangerous enough that they've stopped doing it in the Tour de France). Drafting while in aerobars is a recipe for serious crashes--they happen every year on the Gear West ride. Should I pick an iron distance, it will be Lanzarote or (the non IM-sanctioned) Norseman. They're both hilly like IM Wisconsin, and although the climates are forbidding, unlike Wisconsin, they are at least predictable. I can guarantee you that those races aren't cheaterfests.

4. Ironman is rife with people who are not triathletes. There's increasing percentages of Ironman newcomers out there to prove something to themselves or to other people. It is because of these people that there is a 17 hour time limit, as opposed to a 13 hour or 12 hour time limit. Many of these imposters also seem to think that they become members of some type of physically elite club. Bullshit. Unless you're a 78 year old ex-nun, call me back when you break 11 hours. Instead, you are part of a group that had enough money to buy a bike, a wetsuit, probably race wheels, and running shoes while taking 6 months of your life and investing it into one race. To be honest, I'm fine with the fact that these people are proliferating the sport, and spending money on my dear local bike shops.

5. It's way too expensive, and you pretty much need to make it into a vacation. a) $450+ entry fee + hotel room + airfare + airline fee for shipping your precious bike + meals away from home. That's an entire season of "short course" racing for me. b) Spending half of a vacation with butterflies in my stomach, and the other half unable to walk up stairs is not necessarily my idea of excitement. I'll be skiing, climbing, or riding my bike in the mountains. Perhaps I'm living in a luxurious dreamworld, since I can race within an hour of the Twin Cities every weekend all summer.

6. "Ironman is about training volume, digestion and pacing. People don't like to hear this message because most of us can't handle the necessary volume in our schedules, or our constitutions."-Gordo Byrn, World class pro & Triathlon coach. Ironman generally requires about 25 weeks of training. The training required, most non-triathletes may be surprised to know, is not necessarily intense. Ironman training, by in large, involves high amounts of training volume at low intensities -- i.e. heart rates in zone 1 & 2 for all but elite amateurs & the pros. Sorry, but I like to ride, run, and swim FAST. If I don't feel nuked after a critical training session, I feel like I wasted my time. Don't get me wrong--the half iron that I completed was far from easy. In fact, it was the 2nd most difficult race I completed. (the first being the Noquemanon.)

7. Ironman isn't even the most extreme anymore. Off the top of my head, I give you:
Ultraman: Day 1: Swim 6.2 miles & bike 90. Day 2: Bike 171.4 Day 3: Run 52.4
RAAM: Race your bike from the Pacific to the Atlantic. My friend Rachel holds a record for this, by the way.
Newton/Suzuki 24 hour tri: Short course triathlon course. Rinse & repeat for 24 hours non-stop.
Badwater: Run 135 miles across Death Valley. Oh yeah.... And you ascend only 13,000' of elevation.
Furnace Creek 508: Ride your bike 508 miles through Death Valley. In less than 48 hours. And you have to climb 35000' elevation.
Antarctica Marathon: 26.2 while being chased by Polar Bears.

8. I know that the top of the mountain rarely holds as much reward as the climb there. I'm in this all for the lifestyle, not the finish photos. After all these people have "done it to do it," they'll wander aimlessly for the next thing. I know what I want. And I'll probably pick up their barely used bike on Craigslist for super cheap.
sidenote: chances are you'll have your finish photo ruined by some yahoo in front of you running down the chute with his wife, his 6 kids, their dog, the next door neighbor's kids, and their great aunt Thelma.

If you've read this far, your question to me is: "So you've never done an ironman, and you dare knock it?" My answer: Hey. I really like triathlon. I watch & pay attention to Ironman athletes-they have incredible motivation & genes. (Peter Reid is a personal hero) Ironman racing on TV is responsible for many people trying out local races. But I think Ironman is inherently poisoned, and I'll stay a spectator for now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 starts off with a blast......

......from my gut, into a toilet. Glad I've got that out of the way.

On a much better note, I had good friend next to me coaching me along. And that friend had me at her party. Where I got to have free booze. and tasty homemade potstickers. Really, really good friends are hard to come by, and I've got some great ones.

To summarize 2007, (the nth consecutive )best year of my life...

Foreign countries visited: 3
US states visited: 8
Triathlons raced: 3
Mountain bike races: 3
XC ski marathons completed: 2
Mountains climbed: 4
New bikes: one
Miles Biked: about 3000
Miles Ran: 150.3 (below par for me, actually)
Days downhill skiing: 12
Days XC skiing: at least 28
Concerts: 4
$ spent fixing my car: $4765.11 (excluding oil changes)
Photos taken: 3288
Prints sold: 1
Medical Devices to market: 2 (about damn time for one of them)
Hearts Broken: 3 (I'm so sorry.)