Thursday, December 31, 2009


It's 10 years late, but any chance to post a Prince video, works for me.

Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Next Before Last

Sometimes, people give me shit for being such a total cynic, and expecting only the absolute worst from people. Well, let me tell you a little story;

Once a week at least I process a bunch of purchases that have been made using state funds under highly structured state guidelines for purchasing. And without exception, every week, I have to process questionable charges. Really unbelievable shit sometimes. And it was bad enough before, but with all the state cutbacks, and shrinking budgets, shortfalls, and being paid for a position that is THREE levels below the work that I'm doing, it just seems more and more outrageous. Usually I just bitch quietly to my close friends, but fuck it...

On the eve of a second furlough that thousands of state employees are forced to take, I am sitting here procesing a charge for DVDs. Now first, a little background; last month I spoke up when someone bought a BluRay to test new BluRay players they were installing. Apparently, you can never be sure a new BluRay player would work, so you better have a Special Anniversary Edition of the Matrix to properly check brand new equipment. This month, I thought maybe things were getting better... charges came through that the same group bought "used" DVDs at least, so that the technicians could have a DVD in their tool kit so they could test machines, out in the field. Okay... sure... However the next charge was for DVD RENTALS... again, to test a specific, new, high-tech conference room located in this groups offices. A look a bit closer however, shows that they rented two Christmas movies, the week before the holiday. Apparently we needed to make sure the DVD player in that room would be able to playback both BluRays AND standard DVDs. You can never be too safe. Now... I would have thought that the DVDs previously purchased by the same individuals would have been good enough for testing, but perhaps there is some techie complication with actually being able to play holiday movies so suspciously right before the holidays?

Yeah... fucked up, right? Not even. Because after picking up some movie rentals, then "we" went across the street to buy some plates, knives, cups, and napkins "for team meetings". Oh yeah, and it didn't make it into the email, but they also, oddly enough, bought a big ass jug of Kool-Aid. I'm guessing that was for testing the reliability of the cups that they bought for team meetings. I mean, you don't want to wait until you're in the middle of an important meeting, to find out that the cups you bought, do not support the type of Kool-aid drink you bought! The horror!

I really try to not post work-related bullshit on my blog, because, who knows who will bitch or complain or read your post and try to nail you to the wall for it. But you know what!? Go fuck yourself! Try me... I'm sitting here with a whistle and a long ass list of "questionable" purchases and activities. I document EVERYTHING. You never know when you might need to blackmail someone, and too often you come up against someone with more "power" than you, so it's good to have back up. I want Governer Ritter to read this, and then ask me to his office to discuss a budget review - I know the perfect cups to bring if he's serving Kool-Aid.

This is but a small example of the bullshit that goes on in this incestious state system. Anyone want to talk about the economics and morality of using state funds to buy $200 8GB iPod touches to use as a "storage device", rather than a $20 8GB flash drive?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Festivus 2009

It's complete bullshit that I have to work on Festivus. I suppose it's my own fault though, it is snowing, and I totally could have pulled the work-from-home card today. I actually have no idea why I didn't... oh well, I did need to come down to civilization in order to get some espresso bean for the long weekend!

Last weekend it warmed up enough for some outside riding. Just barely though... it was around 40 degrees on Saturday when I met up with Craig for a ride in Golden. Always hard to motivate this early in the off-season, for an outdoor ride, in pretty cold conditions. But still, it was really nice to be outside riding. Even better when the recovery meal was some cheesesteaks at South Philly Cheesesteaks. Not the best cheesesteaks, but even better, I had some Tasty Kakes and they even sell Amoroso's rolls for home consumption.

So after I was tired from riding, and way too fat from eating more than I had burned off on my ride, I had a new toy to build up! I've been itching forever (since before we actually had a local velodrome) to build up a track bike. And now with the promise of doing some more riding at the track this off-season, I had a reason to build one up. I had most of the parts, and picked up a Motobecane for a song.

It came out pretty sexy and I can't wait to test it out. Unfortunately with snow and ice making up the roads at my house, it wasn't really even possible to take a tiny spin.

Sunday Seth had a small test-opening of Rise and Shine Biscuit Kitchen, that we got up early and went down for. It was great to finally see the shop, and to get to test out some menu options. Bonnie says that even Canadians like biscuits;

A test-run, hot and fresh out of the oven;

Looking like an opening day of January 1st... so go get a biscuit to cure that New Year's hangover!

And as an added treat this week... after years of searching, I came across the brake I've been searching for, and managed to snag it at a "reasonable" price. So very awesome, the infamous MRC McMahon delta brake.

I knew I should have bought that pair the shop had back in 1996, but I just didn't quite need the pair back then... just a front one. Well, now I'm back to the same, needing a front one, and there it is. I should be 2 full seconds faster in a 40k TT now, or if Zipp would have made it, it would likely be worth 2 minutes in the same race.

...I wonder if that brake will save anytime on my trainer rides. That's the only riding that's going to happen the next several days, and I'd love to get off the trainer sooner, if it's possible for the brake to save me some time.

A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

Happy Festivus to each and every one!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Corpse of a Tree

The dark clouds dropping lower and lower can only mean cold weather and snow are on the way. The only thing to do in such a situation is to open up my bottle of Weissenohe Monks Fest and sit around the baby-Jeebus tree, waiting for his birthday celebrations to begin!

...The Weissenohe was "okay". Nothing spectacular. Great color and head, but a mediocre nose, and not nearly enough spice for a beer of this type. Very drinkable though!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Baby Jeebus Carols

You have to love sitting back, and singing some lovely Baby Jeebus carols to get into the beautiful spirit of the season...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Week

It's Baby Jeebus' Birthday week, so hopefully you got your letters in to the "big guy".

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's that time of year again, so last Friday Jessica and I invited Alex over to set up the baby-jeebus tree, drink spiked cider, and of course, watch Elf.

The tree came out great;

And I even had enough time to fabricate a menorah for Alex;

Yes... that actually is my bloody machete from Halloween as the base, but it was the first thing I came across, that was flat, and appropriately shaped.

Saturday we snuck out of the house for some dinner and then to see "A Tuna Christmas" at the Denver Victorian. And then Sunday morning I took off for a hike with D-Rock and Randy. We did some fast paced Boulder front range hiking around Bear Peak. The weather was pretty nice most of the day, except of course for the highest 30 minutes of the hike - we had perfect timing.

It was a solid, hard workout, especially for the first hike of the year.

Only in Boulder though, would you see a no trespassing sign that includes warnings not just against hiking, but specifically jogging as well!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's a Wrap... or a Pierogi...

The weekend before I wrapped up the racing for the season. As it often is, it gave mixed emotions as part of me was very well done with mustering the motivation for forcing the body to go race-pace, while at the same time, I know it will only take a couple weeks before I'm going crazy because there aren't any races to soothe that competitive spirit. This new course, that we raced a few weeks before (with some changes to keep things fresh this time), was pretty cool, pretty flowy and definitely hard, without a lot of room to rest.

The race was pretty competitive for a single speed race, after 3 laps, there was still 6 of us riding away as a group. As usual, I had a monster of a time motivating myself to ride fast in the cold conditions, but kept on, knowing the season was almost done. I let someone pass, at what turned out to be horrible timing, as he leap-frogged me, as the dude we were passing "stopped" and blocked up the flow of traffic. Then while trying to chase back, I pushed a bit too hard in one corner that was getting faster and faster, and I went down. At least it was on grass, and made for one of those cool, mostly painless, high-speed slides. But lost more time there, and finished up in 3rd. Not horrible, all things considered, and like I said, time to relax.

State Champs were this past weekend, but the weather was looking miserable, and the conditions were going to be far from good for me... and the same goes for my own condition. Sounds like the course and conditions were far from ideal for a state champ race. Of course, I totally believe you race what the course conditions give on any given day, but also think that any possible conditions should go into the consideration of course and course design, particularly for States. But whatever, I wasn't there, so I'm just babbling.

Besides, I had more important things to do... like trying my hand (finally) at making homemade pierogis for German-Night!

If I may say so myself, they were fucking delicious. It was a group affair, as I did a good bit of the prep ahead of time, but then enlisted help in the actual assembly, so that I could also cook them, while they were being made. And it wasn't just my pierogis, everything made for the night was freakin' delicious!

I was more than stuffed after dinner, and with temps near zero, the only thing to do was to work off some food playing Rock Band. Next time I'll have to bring along my own guitar, so we can have the full band playing!

As for now... 5 days of constant 10 degrees or colder has completely cracked me. This morning, with 70mph wind gusts and 1 degree temps, while forcing the car through snow drifts to get to work in the dark, totally did me in. I'm done. Can't handle it anymore. There might still be time to get to Hawaii and check out the current 30+ foot waves at the North Shore!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mmmmm... Biscuits....

Seth... a much braver man than most, is striking out on his own, and following his dream to open his own biscuit shop.


Located at 330 Holly Street, Denver CO 80220

Stay tuned for updates at Rise and Shine Denver

Follow the progress on Twitter;

On Facebook

Or on MySpace

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winter Doldrums

Holy shit... he's alive...

Time for the down and dirty update, chock full o' pictures (though lacking detail). First a couple funnies; Last weekend Jessica and I simply drove through the "Whole Paycheck" parking lot, we did not go into the store or stop there, we were on our way out of another store. Of course Whole Paycheck is one of THE places to see and be seen in Boulder, and we (again, simply driving by) we saw FOUR completely unrelated chicks, all dressed in the EXACT same uniform. Keeping in mind is was 28 degrees out, all four had Ugg boots, capri-length grey yoga-stretchy-pants-shorts, and black puffy jackets. I can only imagine that if we were to actually go INTO the store, it would look like that scene in iRobot when Will Smith goes into the one room with all the robots lined up... minus the black dude of course;

Probably a day after that, I spotted a sweet custom exhaust on a mid-90's Volvo 740. Dude had taken a random exhaust and wired it up to the frame, pointing straight out the side by the passenger door. At least he took the time to paint it black, and make it a bit more subtle, rather than chroming it and adding one of those coffee-can-sized exhaust pipes. This, of course, is on a car owned by a dude that works at one of the neighborhood auto-parts stores; I'd hate to see what he would do without his shop discount!

On the other end of the "subtle-spectrum" was this dude Jesse and I passed the other night. Sorry for the horrible picture, but I had to at least get something. What you can (kind of) see in the picture below, is an Eclipse, so often a car that has been converted into a prop for Need for Speed, which has not just a stock spoiler on it. But ALSO an aftermarket, totally unmatched giant second spoiler bolted ONTO the original stock spoiler. As hysterical as it was to see, all I really wanted to do was follow the dude to his next destination, so I could get out and see what I'm sure was an awesome mounting job. My bet was that he used drywall screws to mount it, since that's what dad had lying around in the garage, and they sure looked pointy and strong.

It's been so long since an update, that I haven't posted Halloween photos. On Halloween we went out with some friends... that's about it. It was a good time, and everyone had great costumes. There was Craig and Bonnie;

Drew and Mimmie... I mean Jesse and Brittainy;

Me and Jessica;

Jeff and Jill... and Dangle's package;

Jesse found out that it's not easy being a beautiful woman in these superficial times, when there is a huge amount of pressure to look perfect, at all times;

Sometime after Halloween, a bunch of us went to a hockey game to watch the Avalanche play horribly, and loose to Bonnie's Edmonton team;

I did some bike racing in Brighton;

The squirrel outside my window entertained me with acrobatics as he ate some kind of berry thingies on the tree;

There were some wintery looking mornings;

I did some more bike racing. That whole deal has been going "okay". I've been very mediocre at best, but I guess that's to be expected considering I really have been floating along all week working more on my first-person shooter skills on PS3, WAY more than I've been riding my bike. So what do you expect when you sit around all week and then show up at the bike races to go for it? Oh well, it's good to have a fresh mind as well...

And now we're caught up and just a couple days away from celebrating the white-man's slaughter of Native Americans and their culture. Woo-hoo... lucky us. Jake in the meantime says "Fuck Turkey-day, they don't make fun doggie costumes for Turkey-day so I'm jumping straight into baby Jeebus' birthday celebrations!"

Unless of course someone leaves the turkey unattended, at which point I have no doubt he will eat the entire thing, and then require a vet visit... because that's the way Jake rolls.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Not a Little Bit of Snow

As expected, it started dumping on Tuesday night. Quite a bit actually, as I had feared, after seeing the clouds as the sun came up Saturday morning. Luckily, I snuck out at lunch time, with some others for a Tuesday-before-the-blizzard-comes-cyclocross-ride. Pretty sweet, high 50's and close to two hours of riding and hopping the barriers.

The snow was bad enough, but I nearly snapped, when just a few hours into the storm, our power went out. Just before bed time. Ugh... that meant "camping" out in the family room, and keeping the fire going all night. Luckily the power came back on around 5am. That was way more surprising than waking up to see CU hadn't closed for the day. As usual for them, it was looking like a day of making everyone risk their life to drive in, just so they could send them home early. Forget that noise, I had work with me, and was all set to work from home. Especially once Tayler checked the pretty well blocked road;

Jessica thought about getting out, but she didn't make it either;

A bit after lunchtime and we were sitting at a solid 28 inches, with the snow still coming down as hard as ever.

Staying home is fairly hard - there's not a freaking thing on television during the day. Even more painful, is the unstoppable urge to watch the news to see what is happening down below - and hoping to see the right name in the Closures List. Which... is just frightening, because then you see groundbreaking news stories like warning college students that by playing beer pong, they are going to die from Swine flu. Or the story by the local weather chick, reminding watchers, that it's important in snowy weather, to remember to clean your windshield wipers off, BEFORE leaving. Television... OFF!

At least we could still (sorta) see where the driveway started;

And thanks to a roaring fire, the house was warm;

And Neo was having a blast, but I think he needs a snorkel!

I'm hoping the shoveling tired me out enough, that I'll be able to sleep enough tonight, and then wake up to see how the snow looks in the morning.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Burn Baby, Burn!

Regardless of what cyclists like to think, they are viewed by most people, even in cycling-friendly cities like Boulder, as borderline-freaks at best. Which is why things like this weekends "Ride Against Coal" really kind of irk me.

I'm all for being nice enough to the environment and all that jazz, even though no one was ever kind enough to worry about how the environment would be for my life... So you know, go protest, whatever. But if you're riding down two of the primary roads in Boulder, blocking traffic, do you really think that makes other people stuck in the traffic behind you really think, "Hmmm... I should get out and ride my bike"? No, it makes me embarassed to be a cyclist as it is. Even better when you think about the fact that here are 200 protesters, blocking traffic in an effort to reduce coal consumption, yet while they are blocking traffic, there are 100+ cars sitting in the street idling, burning fossil fuels and creating even more waste than if they were free to move along to their destination.

I won't even bitch about the number of traffic laws that the same protesters were breaking in an effort to make cycling look like a viable transportation option.

As a protest to people that don't make sense in the way they protest agains global warming which may or may not be primarily driven by mankind depending on who funded the given study, I fully intend to be one of the first to bid on my dirty fuel-burning lawn-mower powered Lazy-Boy Recliner.

Doesn't much matter either way, since the Mayan calender has already warned that we're all going to die from this shitty movie anyway.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Satan's Birthday

Sweet... almost time for Satan's Birthday again, so Jessica and I hit the pumpkin patch last weekend, laughed at the Boulder parents, and picked out some big ass pumpkins which we then pulled the gooey brains out of, and carved.


Scared you, didn't I?

I always like a bit of a laugh with my horror stories... a bit ago, I was in a local "bike shop" pretending to browse around the mechanics area, while I was enjoying the conversation involved with the owner of a mountain bike wheel with a flat tire, and TWO different shop employees; all three of them trying to determine whether or not the wheel/tire combo was currently set up as tubeless. Something new caught my eye though, so I went to check it out.

What's this? Oh yes, the newest chain lube from Finish Line. And if you are absolutely convinced that your ceramic bearings have changed the way you ride your bike, and since switching, you've won several races purely because of all those saved watts... well then, there's no way you can live without this lube!

I mean, it's "Ceramically Reinforced". Wow... the marketing in the cycling world is so far beyond laughable...seriously, it reminds me of commercials for diet pills on television. I have no idea how I've ridden all these years without ceramic chain lube. Especially when I read on the Finish Line website how it works;
"Ceramic WET ensures maximum drivetrain efficiency. This performance level often provides a physiological (reserved energy) and psychological (confidence) advantage for cyclists during climbs and sprints."

Yep, that's right, this chainlube even improves your confidence because you know that you have the power of ceramics on your side... and your opponents are stuck with old-fashioned dinosaur juice based chain lubs.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Balloon Fiesta

Last year Jessica and I hopped into the car to head down to Albuquerque, NM for our friend Stephanie's wedding. So this year we decided to hop into the car and drive down for a visit since she and her little family live down there now. Plus we had the added benefit of spending some time at the Albuquerue Balloon Fiesta. We were down on the same weekend last year, but Stefanie's wedding and some bad weather really thwarted any chances of seeing the balloons; this year the forecast looked much better!

Stephanie's dad pilots the Remax ballon, so we had some special access on the field, and even better, when one of the planned passengers bailed on Friday morning, a spot opened up and Stephanie offered up the seat to me. Kakow! I was pretty psyched, and started focusing on keeping my fear of heights in check. Jessica became part of our chase-crew in the van, and I was off...

It didn't take too long for me to adjust to the heights, and the way the basket moves around a bit. For some reason, flying is always way better than hanging on a rock face, or looking over the edge of a railing, when it comes to my acrophobia. And good thing, since there was plenty to look at. We were trying to get to the field, so we could throw a beanbag at the targets. The shear number of balloons in such a small space was amazing!

When it was time for a landing, we ended up coming down, outside of the United States of America... on Indian lands. I wish I would have taken notice of who's land it was... they had one hell of a casino just over the hill. No, really. Flying was fun, but it was also cool because we got to help inflate and then recover, deflate and pack up the balloon afterwards. Always cool to see how things work, and not something you get to do when you're just a typical passenger.

The Balloon-World is pretty fun; get up while it's dark, go fly, land, and regroup back at the field for some partying and celebrating another safe flight. By the time you've flown, had some food and drink, and are ready for a nap, it's only about 11.30. We relaxed during the day, and were back at the field that evening for the "Glow" where all the balloons inflate on the field, and then light up their burners at once, making all the balloons glow in the darkness. It was crazy, once again, how many people and balloons were there!

I really like the Space Shuttle balloon, even though this was the closest it came to flying that weekend.

And each night wrapped up with fireworks - we've gotten to see lots this year after missing most of the shows last year!

The next morning we were up early again, and it was back to the field for the Mass Ascension. ALL the balloons were on the field and taking off in waves. You could walk around and see balloons packed side by side, and be right there while they took off. It was like an hour of hundreds of balloons over-head all at once.

You've gotta love the Darth Vader Balloon - they even had their crew dressed in full Stormtrooper outfits.

Though I was mostly obsessed with the Creamland Dairy Cow Balloon. I'm not even a "boob-man", but those udders were huge...

I'm just glad it didn't leave any like-sized cow-patties;

I mostly can't believe that it didn't take out tons of people when it finally lifted off;

That thing was really, really huge!

That night we were back for more glowing, and more fireworks. The morning glow-flights were a sight to see as well; (I stole this photo from the site, since I didn't capture any good ones)

And our last night there, we went for the glow, but the wind picked up so the balloons had serious issues staying inflated and standing up. So what do you do in that case? Well, everyone still just uses the burners all at once, just without the balloons. And really, who doesn't love crazy-big flames!?

Jessica and I were a bit sick that weekend, and we were running all about with the balloons, but spent all that time also hanging with Stephanie, Craig, Addie and Lil' John. So a good visit all around and we made it back home safe without too much hassle, and of course with a stop in Colorado Springs at Dunkin' Donuts.