Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Every now and then...

Every now and then, things go smoothly for a change. You show up at the ticket counter to find no line whatsoever. Not only that, the ticketing agent, a short, plump, platinum blond named Abby, is in a good mood: she jokes, she smiles, and she doesn’t charge you for your suspiciously bike shaped “display case”. Since you were anticipating a much longer wait, you arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. “There’s an earlier flight out to San Francisco with extra room, would you like to take that instead?” Abby asks. An earlier flight? “Yes, thank you!” you chirp.

You arrive at security to find that, despite the addition of another completely unnecessary security measure (not just computers, but all larger electronics must be removed from your bag and x-rayed separately) the line at security is mercifully short. You breath a sigh of relief, as your regular-sized toothpaste and regular sized deodorant remain undetected, and unconfiscated. You arrive at your exit-row, window seat, just as the passenger in the center decides that he is not able or willing to assist in the event of an emergency, and is reseated, leaving the seat next to you empty.

The take-off is smooth, and you fall asleep within moments, waking only briefly as the drinks are served. The stewardess, a tall, attractive Asian woman named Gloria is in a good mood: she jokes, she smiles, she gives you the whole can of the drink you ordered. She gives you two snacks instead of one. You doze again. When you wake, the plane is landing in calm weather, with great visibility. The wheels make contact with the ground with the tenderness of a doe nuzzling her fawn. Your bags are the first ones down the baggage chute. Your “display case” is in good shape; there is not a single bicycle part protruding from the exterior, no evidence of being dropped or crushed.

You collect your belongings and shuttle it all to the curb. You flick open your cell phone, but before you can dial, you see that familiar Jeep Cherokee pulling up to the sidewalk right in front of you. You load your baggage, and since you took an earlier flight, there is no traffic on the freeway. You arrive with enough daylight left to go fishing. You don’t catch and fish, but you don’t mind.

Every now and then, things go smoothly for a change. And I like it when they do.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What's with these chefs...

So after watching an afternoon of the Food Network, I've concluded that this channel is a sexist institution. Well, that might be a stretch, but at the very least our sexist culture is clearly exemplified by the Food Channel's choices for the hosts of its shows. After nearly eight straight hours of food channel viewing (YES I'M PATHETIC), I didn't notice a single unattractive female host: Rachel Ray is really hot, and she loves to cook chocolate sauce in her bra. Naughty Rachel, naughty! Ingrid Hoffman is a total goddess with great cleavage, and when she's cooking she tends to stare into the camera with a piercing and lusty gaze. I have no idea what she cooked, or how she cooked it, but I think she's totally into me. See for yourself.

The male hosts of the Food Network aren't nearly as hot. I mean, they're not repulsive; sure Emeril is a little overweight, but he's still got all his hair, and he's charming in the Elvis-in-his-later-years kind of way.
Wolfgang Puck is a fairly attractive man for his age, but he was born in the 40's for crying out loud! Judging by my unofficial research conducted on google images, the demand for pictures of these guys in their underwear isn't nearly as high as it is for their female counterparts. And that's just wrong America, just plain wrong. Until I can just as easily find pictures of Iron Chef's Rokusaburo Michiba wearing a speedo, I'm pissed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


According to Wikipedia "The K├╝bler-Ross model describes, in five discrete stages, the process by which people deal with grief and tragedy." However, watching this giraffe actually experience the five stages of death is even better. This leads me to believe that wikipedia should start hiring a giraffe to do educational videos about all its articles, because learning from a giraffe has been "clinically proven to improve the retention of important information by over 36%". I am not making this up. Neither is wikipedia.

Oh, and no giraffes were injured in the posting of this blog entry.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tell me....

Question: Why, from an evolutionary perspective, do our buttholes come equipped with little sensors that tell us when we've eaten spicy food?

Sub question: Can the age-old New Mexican adage "good chile burns twice" apply to a horribly botched attempt at the Master Cleanse?

Thirty-six hours of consuming nothing more than lemon juice, grade-B maple syrup, and what can only be described as a "heroic dose" of cayenne pepper, was enough to convince me that more of my blog readers should have chimed in with comments to my previous post on the matter. Where was the love? Where was the goddam intervention? People, from now on, friends don't let friends do the Master Cleanse, m'kay?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A tale of two taillights.

Now I know I've blogged about my truck before, but I'm going to do it some more. Hey - it's an awesome truck, and deserves this kind of attention. When I first purchased this beauty, on that fateful day in July of 2006, Andy Fisher, the previous owner was trying to convince me to buy. We took it for a test drive, and Andy listed some of this truck's many many featured. "The windows go both up and down," he said, as we chattered down his washboard driveway, "and even though the display on the radio is broken, the speakers can still make sound - just press 'seek' until you find a station you like. It's got keyless entry --" "Really? I didn't know they put that feature in cars this old," I said, interrupting Andy's sales pitch.
"Yeah - it's got keyless ignition too. You don't need a key at all; you can start it up with just about any skinny metal object. Actually, it doesn't have to be metal I guess....I started it with my thumbnail once."
I took a sharp left turn at the bottom of the Fisher's driveway, and the keys, as though they were trying to prove Andy's point, flew right out of the ignition onto the floor.
"As I was sayin', it's got a nice topper on there, and that does lock," Andy continued, "oh, and I just had the taillights replaced too. Brand new taillights. Did I mention the widows can go both up and down?" New taillights huh? I was sold.

Fast forward one year.

I was staying with Heidi and Rutger, a wonderful Dutch couple who live in Hood River, Oregon. I was there for the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic stage race. Heidi and Rutger are charming, friendly, and borderline hyperactive. The entire time I was at their house they wore exercise clothing, and between the two of them, they worked out at least 5 times per day. Rutger is a model maker for a living. His job was to "transfer the napkin drawing someone hands [him], and turn it into a three-dimensional object". Before that he carved surfboards for windsurfers. Rutger drove an awesome old camper van -- like a VW Westfalia on steroids -- with room for eight passengers, a full kitchen, and an overhead storage compartment for surfboards and sails. It was a huge van, it had a bad turning radius, and the visibility was awful when backing up (thanks to the floral curtains in the windows). The first morning I was there, Rutger, being the high strung guy that he is, packed two Senseo coffee pods in his strange Dutch coffee maker, made himself a latte, hopped in his massive orange camper-van, and backed straight into my truck. Naturally, the monstrosity of a bumper on the back of Rutger's van was undamaged. Naturally, my taillight was completely shattered.

Fast forward three months.

Shit. I was running late. I had to drive from Boise to Sun Valley, a three hour trip, and it was already eight o'clock. I'd packed my bag, but still had to disassemble my bike so it could fit on the plane. "Screw it," I thought, and just tossed my bike in the back of my truck, "I need to get there". I, being the high strung guy that I am, sucked down the last sip of my silty cup of french press coffee, threw my massive bike bag in the back of the car such that the rear window was completely obscured, hopped in the cockpit of my fine automobile, and backed straight in to the shiny Ford F-350 parked in the alley. To complement the crunching sound of breaking plastic, I shouted "FUCK!" as loud as I could. Luckily for me, the owner of said shiny Ford F-350 (a clean-cut, muscular, Boise State fan) was within earshot, and arrived on the scene within moments. He wore a concerned yet menacing expression. Fearing for both my life and my insurance rate, I got out of the car and braced for the news. To our utter disbelief, and to my life-saving, pulse-calming, faith-restoring relief, the shiny F-350 was completely unscathed. Somehow my taillight, and only my taillight hit the plastic guard on the outside of the chrome bumper. There were a few, almost unnoticeable scratches in the plastic guard, and that was the extent of the damage to the shiny Ford. I never could have imagined feeling so lucky to have just smashed my taillight.

Fast forward three hours.

The massive fires that burned much of the forest outside Sun Valley were almost out. Nevertheless, there were still nearly two thousand firefighters in the valley mopping up the remaining spot fires. As the nation's top priority fire for over a week, the Castle Rock complex fire was spared no expense, including dozens of helicopters, hundreds of fire-engines, and (here's the kicker) lots of additional law enforcement to maintain order while the firefighters did their jobs. Now picture me in my rust colored, $900, two-door pickup truck with smashed taillights, driving through one of the wealthiest resort towns in America, past numerous bored policemen. I was more conspicuous than a republican senator at a boyscout jamboree. I got pulled over no less than three times (and tailed by a fourth cop for several blocks), in about ten miles. Each time, I offered up my shards of smashed taillight that were still on the floor of my car as evidence that this accident had just occurred, and each time, I was let off after some stern words and some very pointed questions ("where are you headed?", "you don't live here, do you?", and my favorite "are you lost?"). I guess I won't be driving around at night for a while....'cus getting new taillights might cost me more than my car is worth.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Cycling weenies!

Well, it looks like I’ve gone ahead and done it, confirmed what many of us have suspected for a long time: bicycle racers are total weenies! We're just a bunch of no-body-fat, no-upper-body-strength, no-hand-eye-coordination, weaklings. Sure, I can compete in week-long stage races, through heat and humidity, covering hundreds of miles, and climbing tens of thousands of vertical feet. But if spend one afternoon walking around a city, or taking a small hike, I’m so sore the next day, I practically need a wheelchair. I’m not talking about a strenuous effort here….I’m referring to an average day of tourism – something my grandmother could easily handle with no repercussions at all. I mean, it’s cool to be able to crank out enough watts on the bike to power a 60 inch plasma screen, but if playing basketball for a half-hour nearly gives me a hernia, I begin to wonder if all this specialization is worth it.

Early in the season, I was in the best all-round shape of my life. Between the strength conditioning in the weight room, the stretching and the yoga, the cross training on the ergometer or the elliptical trainer, the laps in the pool – I was an all-round athlete. Slowly, as the racing picked up, and the season wore on, I shed those cross-disciplinary activities like the pedals of a rose. By now, I’m frighteningly specialized: a one trick pony, a cycling weenie.

Thank goodness the season is over, so I can correct this trend. Excuse me, while I go fly my power kite on the beach. Let's hope I don't pull a muscle.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

should I do the master cleanse????

should I do the master cleanse? All in favor say aye!