Monday, April 30, 2007

Unity '08


Unity08 is a group of citizens deeply concerned that the wheels have come off our political system, that the American Dream is slipping away, and that time is short to get things back on track.

I love it.


Unity08 believes that neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people. Both are unduly influenced by single-issue groups. Both are excessively dominated by money.

For most of the 20th Century, the contest for the U.S. presidency was waged over those “in the middle.” Recent Presidential elections, however, have not been focused on the middle but on the turnout of each party’s special interest groups — with each party’s “base” representing barely ten percent of the American people.

We believe that, while the leaders of both major parties are well intentioned people, they are trapped in a flawed system — and that the two major parties are today simply neither relevant to the issues and challenges of the 21st Century nor effective in addressing them.

As a result, most Americans have not been enthusiastic about the choices for President in recent elections, the key issues they ran on, or the manner in which the campaigns were conducted.

Therefore Unity08 will act to assure that an alternative ticket is presented to the American voters in 2008.


We have set three specific goals, and are exploring how best to achieve them.

1.                     Goal One is the election of a Unity Ticket for President and Vice-President of the United States in 2008 — headed by a woman and/or man from each major party or by an independent who presents a Unity Team from both parties.

2.                     Goal Two is for the people themselves to pick that Unity Ticket in the first half of 2008 — via a virtual and secure online convention in which all American voters will be qualified to vote.

3.                     Goal Three is for the delegates to that convention to select the issues which are crucial to America’s future and the questions on those crucial issues which the candidates should address fully and candidly.

The new ground broken in meeting our goals will include new choices for voters, new opportunities for candidates, and new uses of modern technology as well. In pursuing our goals, we will both follow the law in every instance and seek the opinion of the Federal Elections Commission to interpret the law where we are breaking new ground.

We are not looking to build a new and permanent party. That might happen, but our objective is to fix the old parties. A Unity Ticket in office for one term or even taking part in just one election can bring new ideas, new integrity and new leaders to the fore.

We will not waste time assessing blame. Both parties and all of us who have been active in them share responsibility for the current political morass. We hope instead to return the focus of our politics and policy to the common good — those ideas and traditions which unite and empower us as individuals and as a people.


Your country needs you.  Are you ready to answer the call?


Tell ‘em I sent you.





Friday, April 27, 2007

So, I didn't exactly make it to the gym

Going to the gym AFTER the baby goes to bed is a bad plan.

I opted to lift some weights at home instead.


Saturday will definitely be a run day.  I may run tonight.




Unlikely… but maybe.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Da Gym

Weight room is open until 9:30 today.  I’ll run home, grab dinner, put the monkey to bed, then head out for an hour’s workout.




Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Yesterday's workout

Ok, so I skipped the gym.

I had to go grab our camera and it was too late to hit the gym.  Seriously.

But I did stretch at the house.  On Saturday we worked in the yard and my legs have been so tight that it’s actually making my back hurt.  So, yesterday and the day before I’ve done some stretching and it’s paid off today.  Tomorrow I’ll very likely hit the gym.




While I was picking up the camera my dad again told me it was a bad idea to run the marathon.  Said to be careful because when I get older I may not be able to move and be all achey all the time.


If I sit my ass on the couch today I may not be alive when I’m older.  I’m not going to trade in an active life for a sedentary life with the hopes that all the incumbent problems of sedentary lifestyle won’t lead to a full system collapse in 20 years.  I’d rather be active and healthy now with the hopes and anticipation of extending the “sweet spot” of youthful health as long as I can.  If that means I feel old when I’m 60 or 70, then I’ll feel old when I’m 70.  I’d rather feel old then than now, anyway.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Let the scheduling commence

I’m going to be going to the gym tonight…  probably.

Tomorrow I’m taking off.

Thursday I’m going to the gym… probably.

Friday I’m going to have a short run in the ‘hood after work… probably.

Saturday I’m going to go for a 5k-type run… probably.


That’s 4 probablies and 1 definitely.

I’ll “probably” have 5 miles under my belt at the end of the week.

I’m equally likely to have none.


We shall see.




Monday, April 23, 2007

Stupid news readers

Just another example of how ignant the mouth breathers are on the news:


1 week after one of the most horrific shooting sprees in the history of our country, and fresh off of a week of talking about guns, safety, gun control, and a violent society we have a story about a former Miss America brandishing a gun at a couple of intruders.  She pulled her truck behind the thieves’ truck and wouldn’t let them leave.  Then, while balancing herself on her walker, she puts 2 bullets into their tire informing them that they won’t be leaving before the cops show.  Rather than reporting the story as responsible use of a firearm to disable the getaway of criminals who will be brought to justice by proper law enforcement authorities, they report it as a light hearted “grandma with a gun” story suggesting that brandishing a firearm should be part of future Miss America competitions. 


Fucking retards.


Very consistent message.


Gun bad, except when gramma has gun then gun funny.  Yes, gun funny…  except when scary bad man has gun, then gun bad.  Bad man always scary.  Bad man never youthful student.  Bad man never delirious naked woman next to husband.  Kill woman.  Kill husband.  Gun bad.  Good people dead because gun bad.  Gun make people bad.  Kill man.  Kill woman.  Not good.  Because had bad gun.  Bad guy always big, scary man with beard and dark hat—or a minority, can’t forget minority.  Minority with gun bad.  Kill minority.  Gun bad.  Make minority bad.  Make minority dead.  Scary.  Bad guy always in dark.  With gun.  Never in day.  Except when bad guy in day.  Gun with bad guy bad.  Good guy with gun good, except when gun make good guy bad.  Then good guy bad guy and gun bad.  Bad gun.  Gun with gramma good and funny.  Except when gramma delirious.  Then gun bad, gramma good.  Bad gun bad make good funny gramma bad.  Bad gramma.  Ban gramma.  Give gramma gun.  Ban gun.  Gun bad.  Good bad.  Bad gun gramma good ban gun.  Gun bad.  Except when funny.  Then gun good. 

Because we be so smapid.


Rinse, repeat.  Move on with your empty vacuous lives until the societal sickness touches you directly.



Big CONGRATS to all you MS150 people who rode to Austin and made me jealous over the weekend.

Beautiful weather to do it in, beautiful country to do it through.

I’ll be there next year, health permitting.


But this means I get to start training for the marathon!!!


Or, more accurately, I get to start putting off training for the marathon.  Right about this time of year I lay out a plan that I should follow to get me in marathon shape by the end of the year.  And shortly thereafter I begin with updates that look a lot like this:

I was supposed to run 6 miles today, but I didn’t.  No fancy excuses, I just didn’t feel like running.


Or updates like this one:

Excuse number 105.


Or this one:

Lets see, it was too early/late/hot/cold/windy/dry/wet and I was too tired/excited/full/hungry/thirsty/waterlogged.


Or this one:

I heard there might be werewolves out in the park.  I know werewolves are make-believe, but it’s better not to risk it.


Yea, the season of excuses is upon us.


In other news I got a new pair of shoes and it feels like I’m walking on fluffy little kittens.  How heavenly.




Friday, April 20, 2007

Another wondering question...

Would this have happened in Korea?


And by “this”, I mean a tragedy on the scope and scale as it happened in Virginia.


I don’t doubt that this fellow’s own internal short circuit, combined with our own cultural short circuit, combined with the basic structuring of our society, all came together to form a “perfect storm” of sorts that ended with 33 tragically broken families and that at some point down the line this fellow’s own short circuit would have done him in one way or another.


But I wonder what that downfall would have looked like in Korea.  Would he have been afforded the opportunity to go to college?  Would his own personal short circuit have run afoul of society so much so that he felt like a total outcast?  Had he felt like a total outcast, how would his violent rage have manifested itself?  Would he have gotten involved in organized crime, or systematically kicked puppies on his way home from work?  Or would he have managed to get ahold of a weapon and liquidated his office, even there?


There’s no genuinely honest way to answer these questions, I suppose.  And pondering them doesn’t relieve the grief I feel on behalf of these families.


But I am getting tired of the constant drip-drip of psychotic and violent behaviors our society tends to produce so very well.  I have a child I’m trying to raise in this sick, perverted culture.


A couple of observations

First off, those who would limit the right of law abiding citizens to bear arms, or use a tragedy such as the one just experienced to stump for such an idiotic idea raises the notion of suspicious moral intent.  The notion to “strike while the iron is hot” opens you up to the accusation that you actually support tragic events so that you can further your own specific agenda.  As just a single example, who DIDN’T hear the story in history classes about the sinking of the Maine and the suspicion that a certain newspaper publisher was involved?


That said, I think it is genuinely well past time for a dialogue on a national level about the culture of society.  Guns did not create the tragedy in Virginia.  A sick culture created the monster that perpetrated the tragedy.  Guns merely gave him a tool to foist that tragedy on all the rest of us when the alternative may have simply been an angry 30-something guy going apeshit with a baseball bat on some other guy.  The point is that this guy was going to do what he did—that is, lash out and be destructive to himself and others.  But what happened didn’t have to involve 32 other people.  I’m not sure I can say that we can fix society to the point where there aren’t cretins, sickos, and abominable monsters roaming the streets with us, but we can work to limit their ability to project their sickness at others.

Am I saying take guns off the street?  Certainly not.  Absolutely not.  Cold dead fingers and all that.


But there is a broader concept to consider.


How is one man with a pistol, or 2, or a closet or trunk full of them, reasonably considered a “well regulated militia”?  The police surround my house, I have a gun and yell out the front door “I’m not coming out.  I’ve gots my family and I gots my guns and I ain’t comin’ out!  You pigs just gonna have to go or kill us all!”  How is that a well regulated militia?  It’s not.  It’s one nutter with a gun.  It’s one nutter with a gun legally, at that.


Well regulated militias keep us safer.  They’re called police, citizen’s patrols, and civil defense divisions.  Lone nutters with guns make us less safe.  Well regulated militias answer to authorities and chains of command.  Well regulated militias function based on specific rules of engagement.  Well regulated militias are trained. 


Lone nutters answer to no one, function on no rules of engagement, and are sporadically trained if at all. 


Lone nutters do not make us safe.  Me, on my own, with a gun in the house for any purpose other than russlin’ up some grub, does NOT make my family safer.  I’m not going to be protecting the family from an intruder with a gun if I have it properly locked away with a safety lock.  Intruders don’t wait for you to go to your gun safe, unlock the door, and remove the safety lock from the trigger of your gun after they break into your home.  They kick in the door and, if you’re home, put a gun in your face (if they have one) and start dictating the way things are going to be.  And if they don’t have one, you can damn sure bet they’ll get yours.  I have a better chance at protecting my family by throwing one of my cats at an intruder and going for a baseball bat.


So, since the solution is not more guns—guns for everyone, here’s your social security card and your pistol.  And the solution is not NO guns—cold dead fingers and all that.  Maybe the solution is simply a “well regulated militia” as it says in the Constitution’s second amendment.  It could be as simple as that.  When you buy a gun you must declare which militia you’re a member of.  These militias are registered with the states—NOT THE FEDS.  There would be criteria and compliance rules for each militia that involve training, maintaining member data bases, etcetera.  Just like with any other non-governmental organization, if your militia has a problem with compliance they can lose their license to operate.  If a member lets his training certification lapse he loses the right to identify with the militia and to perform his militia duties—just like when a doctor or lawyer lets his certification lapse or loses his license for one reason or another.  The militia would be obligated to report the individual, just like the AMA or Bar reports doctors and lawyers who are non-compliant.  Or the police with rogue officers.  Failure to do so might mean a de-listing of the militia.


That just makes good sense.


A well regulated militia can keep us safer.  A well regulated militia does NOT infringe our rights to bear arms, but rather insures that right and helps insure public safety.  2 roaming gunmen will not keep a neighborhood safe from gangs.  A well trained citizen patrol of 5 or 10 very well might keep gangs out of town completely.


Thursday, April 19, 2007




Yea, it’s a riddle.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Stupid strays

Ok, so there’s a bunch of stupid stray cats roaming around my neighborhood.  Maybe they’re owned by someone, maybe not.  I don’t care.  When they’re laying in the middle of the street, eating birds outside my window, jumping at my cats in the window, making my dog bark at insane hours of the night, and generally being a nuisance they’re not pets, they’re pests.


So I call animal control and they say they don’t pick up stray cats unless they’re caged—and then they won’t give your cage back to you.  Thing is, if they’re caged they’re not a problem.

Hm…  what if it’s a stray dog that looks like a cat?  Will they come then?

“Is this dog that looks like a cat really a cat?”

“Well, yes.”

“Then no, we won’t come pick them up.”


Alright… animal control won’t come pick up nuisance cats.

Think… think… think…


“What if they’re dead?  Will someone come and pick up a dead stray cat?”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, I don’t have a cage, but I do have a car.  What if it’s a catcake on the road, will they come then?  Or if I get a really big dog?”

“You know this is being recorded?”

“I don’t care if it’s being recorded.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my pets—both cats and dogs.  But I take care of my pets, I don’t just let them roam around and be a nuisance.  If animal control won’t come take care of these pests I will.”

“Tell you what, figure out who’s feeding them and we’ll fine the owner of the house for not keeping their cats leashed.”

“You want them to leash their cats?  You sure you don’t want me to just hit them with my car?  Or buy a really big dog?”


Stupid animal control.  More than willing to come snatch a family dog that happened to get out of the backyard, but when people just leave their damn cats around the neighborhood to be nuisances that’s your problem.


Maybe if I started offering bounties for stray cat pelts… hm.  Or if I bought an alligator—with a leash.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

damnit Damnit DAMNIT!!!

Enough already!!!

What the hell effect would it have had if the VATech administration would have sent out 5,000,000,000 e-mails to everyone and their cousin?  An e-mail sent is NOT notification.  It would NOT have reached any of these students in class.  Cell phones are (should be) turned off in class.  A phone call placed is NOT notification.  An e-mail RECEIVED or a phone call RECEIVED is notification.  The fact that people think the administration could have sent out anything that would have allowed the campus to suddenly become safe from a lone, prowling gunman is just…  RETARDED!!!!!


Goddam these people are stupid as shit!


Where do they get off thinking that the administration or police bear some responsibility in not preventing the .0001% anomaly from occurring?  This gunman was fundamentally flawed.  If this wasn’t going to happen with a gun it was possibly going to happen with something else—though likely not on the same scale.  Do they really think you can just flip a switch and go from public campus that is operating normally to military lockdown that makes everyone vanish into protected bunkers and hundreds of police suddenly appearing from behind shrubbery?  Are they fucking cracked in their brain?


If you have several thousand people in various states of occupation in a location that is virtually a city within a city there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY you can cover every square inch on a moment’s notice to look for someone that you have no way of identifying.  All they could have possibly known is that there was an incident in the dormitory, so get units to the dorm.  In 15 minutes they were there.  But if the guy isn’t there then you’re done.  What next?  You get to looking for the guy.  As far as anyone knew it was all over.  Until 2 and a half hours later when the real nastiness began.  What the hell were they supposed to do, anticipate a massacre anytime there is a shooting where the shooter just vanishes?  That, too, is just retarded.  Should they have just shut the school until they found the guy?  Just walk around and post signs on doors saying “Sorry, we’re closed because there’s someone dangerous somewhere in the city”?  I’m thinking that’s not ever, ever going to happen.


And enough with the suggestions that arming the students and professors would have made a damn bit of difference.  First off, the right to carry does not equate to carrying, nor does it equate to the ability to use.  Enough with the stupidity.  These are college students.  They’re eating top ramen every night, not going to the shooting range and spending their extra cash on guns and ammo.  Extra cash is (usually) spent on booze and bitches with at least one notable exception.  If arming everyone makes places safer, why don’t they hand out guns at airports and sporting events rather than taking them away?  A bunch of gun toting English majors (or even English professors) would not have prevented this atrocity.


How can these people be so blind.  There are scores of people mourning and grieving and all they can think of is “the administration should have protected them”, not “how sick is our society that it can produce this kind of monster”, or “see, cultural basis for ideological ranting” rather than “how can we help these people who are hurting beyond telling the ‘I told you so’?”


Every tear I cry, You hold in Your hand.

Though my heart is torn, I will praise You in the storm.

God I hope these families find some peace.


A well regulated militia

I’m not entirely sure how this guy in Virginia fits into anything that can be considered a “well regulated militia”.

Beyond that I’m just going to let my heart break for everyone touched by that tragedy.  Horrid only begins to describe it.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Circling the drain...

I’m feeling pretty awful.  That combined with domestic items that require attention may mean that I may not be making the ride after all.




That would be a bad thing.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Not so well

I’m not feeling so well…  not sure how this ride is going to go.



We need to get one thing straight

For future reference, you do not “play Legos”.  You play WITH Legos, and more specifically, you build stuff with Legos.

Legos are a specific thing that exist on their own.  They are not a game that comes into existence when you do it, like hide and seek.  You play hide and seek, you play with Legos.

That just irritates me to no end.


And yes, I can’t wait until my kid is big enough to let him play with my Legos.


Next order of business:  paging Josh Carter in Louisiana.  Josh Carter, please proceed to the nearest white courtesy phone and contact the operator.  That’s Josh Carter, paging Josh Carter.


Finally, I didn’t ride over the weekend.  Yes, I feel very bad about it.

But now I’m over it.  I’ll try an get 20 in tonight before coming home.  Tomorrow the munchkin has a doctor’s appointment and Wednesday night is the first night of a 3 month recruiting prog…  er, bible study.  That leaves Thursday and Friday, then the weekend and maybe 2 days next week to really get my ride on.  There’s an outside chance that I’ll be able to get my ride on tomorrow, but I’m not going to count on it.  There is a lot to do in preparation for the revo…  um, bible study.


Finally II:  I may have convinced someone to run the marathon.  Possibly 2 someones.  What the hell is wrong with me?


Friday, April 06, 2007


Ok, so here's how it worked.
I coast down to the bottom of the garage, then drop down a couple of gears and crank it HARD up to the top.  (At the bottom you basically start from a dead stop, so it's not like REAL hills where you can coast up part of the next incline.)
12 laps for about an hour's work yeilded me about 12 miles.  6 up.  6 down.
It didn't feel all that bad, but then again it's not exactly a severe incline.  It's just a lot of an incline.  One mile from base to top.  Plus with all the turns you don't really get a chance to build up speed, so you're working the whole way.  I think it was a good workout.  We'll know more tomorrow.



Yup, I woke up this morning with serious pain.

And not the good kind.  This was in my side (but don’t tell my wife).

It felt like I had put an air mattress down on top of a tree root, but then the air mattress had deflated a little during the night, then the root started digging into my side while I was sleeping causing an awful ache the next morning.  If you’ve been camping you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I also had cramping and soreness in my left calf this morning.  The same calf was cramping Wednesday during the ride, but it went away after some stretching and massaging.

Then about 30 minutes later it was all better.  I’m going to go riding tonight because, after all, what do doctors know with all their fancy degrees and letters and white coats.  Do they really think they’re smarter than me?  Stupid egg heads.


There is a very good chance that today’s ride will be the garage.  I’ve been itching to get into those inclines for a few weeks now and what with it being Good Friday and all the garage is pretty empty.  I’m going to love it!!!  There are few things more exciting than passing someone on an uphill like they’re standing still.  I figure 10 or 15 laps up the inclines (it’s a 6 story garage, 7 if you count the roof) should be a very good workout.



Thursday, April 05, 2007


Bom diga dom da bom bom a boogie.

Drop wit da woogie and ziggy wiggy doogie…

--dork version of Kid Rock.


I’m finding my self getting somewhat pumped about tomorrow afternoon and Saturday.

I so love being back in the saddle.  It may be just the push I need to knock down that 4 hour marathon.


Coffe poachers

Are you a coffee poacher?

You know what I’m talking about, the guy who snags the first cup of coffee out of a fresh brewed pot—the best cup of coffee—that he didn’t brew.  The guy that snags someone else’s first cup of coffee?  Is that you?  I hate that guy…  except when it’s me.


So, I just got the first fresh cup of coffee out of a pot I didn’t brew.  Yum.


For as much disdain as I have for coffee poachers (which really isn’t that much), I hate the guy who leaves coffee scraps even more.  You know, the thin layer of coffee at the bottom of the pot that only barely tastes like anything…  the coffee scraps…  that someone invariably believes will somehow, miraculously, feed an entire cup?  Yea, unless Jesus is pouring the coffee you should seriously have made a fresh pot, you stink face.


Anyway, yesterday’s ride was good.  Not great, but good.  I decided to take it easy and “only” go 17 miles at just under 17 mph.  I missed the mark by 7 stinking seconds.  I was pushing so hard at the end to get it all wrapped up in under an hour that I actually got cramps in my arms.  MY ARMS!!!  That’s what happens when you’re leveraging your whole body into something…  that’s intensity, baby.

Total mileage since the ribs have sealed up is 62.  I’m going to add maybe 20 tomorrow, time permitting, and then another 50 on Saturday.  By the end of the day tomorrow, time permitting, I will have already gone as many miles as I went in all of my training last year and I should easily double or possibly triple that mileage.  I feel very, very good about this year’s ride.

All the same, I promised the lovely and fetching Mrs. I Hate Running that if I feel the least bit unwell in La Grange that I’ll pull out.  I’m not a professional rider, I get no money for finishing, and I have to make it to work Monday (and take care of Mrs. I Hate Running and I Hate Running, Jr.).


I won’t be pulling out, though.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One thing I forgot

I mentioned the thrill and exhilaration and fear and euphoria of being right on that knife’s edge of control as you’re zipping down the shoulder of a road at 40mph on a bicycle, cars flying past on the left (in reverse), with only a small patch of rubber and thin layer of Lycra between you and a short stay in a hospital’s emergency room.  I also mentioned that the only sport I had ever felt that mix of thrill and exhilaration other than cycling was baseball (oddly enough).  And I’ve bungee jumped, though that does come close.  There just didn’t seem to be any real risk with bungee jumping, what with the big harness and air mattress and safety precautions.

Finishing the marathon was a different mix of euphoria.  There was pride and accomplishment and relief and all the other adrenaline/endorphin related emotions that flood over you as you travel through the steel and glass valleys of Downtown Houston, but there was no thrill/exhilaration/fear/euphoria mix like Smithville.  There were no points on the marathon where I was going fast enough to feel like I was anywhere near out of control.  It was always a measured, persistent attack and I expect the next one will be, as well.

I was reminded that there was another moment that the mix of thrill and exhilaration and fear and euphoria.  “Honey, my water broke”.  Yup.  Flying down a hill at 40 miles per hour is a lot like finding out you’re about to be a daddy.  Sorry, girls, I can’t relate it to the other side of that coin since I’ve never been a woman about to give birth and my lovely wife has never piloted a bicycle beyond 10mph.

It looks like the weather is going to hold for me to get my ride in tonight. 

Odds are pretty good that I’ll be able to get a ride in Friday if I get out of the office early.  We’ll have to see.


Ride tonight

Tonight I ride.  I’m going to shoot for 20 miles at the park this time.

I haven’t decided whether or not to ride tomorrow night.  There’s church stuff to be done, but there’s church stuff to be done Friday, too.  I think I’d rather do the church stuff Friday rather than the church stuff Thursday, but I haven’t made that decision yet.

17 days and counting.

4 weekend ride days remain.  13 possible weekday rides, but only 8 really good weekdays available.  I’m getting a bit essited.



Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I had a dream...

Last night I dreamed of the hill outside of Smithville.

Most people have a different name for this hill, but most everyone who’s ever ridden an MS150 knows what hill it is.

St. Joseph’s Hill (I think there’s a St. Joseph’s church nearby).

St. John’s Hill (ditto).

The Oh Shit Hill.

The Amen Hill.

The 40mph hill (it’s not unusual or unlikely to hit 40 mph going down the hill on your bike.  It’s scary as hell, hence the name “Oh Shit Hill”, and a relief when you survive it, hence the name “Amen Hill”, but it’s fun as all get out).

Old 40 (see above).

Or simply, Smithville Hill.


It’s a long, slow, steady climb on highway 153 right before Bastrop State Park—which is also chock full of hills—and when you get to the top there’s a left turn and then it’s almost like falling off a cliff.  You just put your head down, crank the gears a couple of times, and then let it roll!  You always keep your hands on the brakes just in case the guy in front of you doesn’t have the nerve to keep rolling, but you never EVER slam on those brakes lest you go flipping and sliding for a mile or so.

It eventually flattens out after what seems like forever (though never long enough) and you take the right turn into the park, or go straight and bypass the tough stuff.  The wind gushing past your face as you’re flying down the hill and the sheer terror mixed with exhilaration is intoxicating and, quite honestly, I have yet to find a similar feeling in any other sport with the exception of certain situations in baseball (2 outs, bottom of the last inning, winning run in scoring position…  here’s the pitch.  Yes, it’s happened.  Yes, it’s about as terrifying and exhilarating as flying down a hill at 40mph with nothing between you and the pavement except 3 square inches of rubber and a miniscule layer of Lycra).

Word is a kid took a tumble on Smithville Hill last year and split his helmet clean in 2.  Yea, terrifying is a good word for it.

So, I dreamed about flying down that hill last night.  I didn’t participate in day 2 of last year’s MS150, and day 2 is where Smithville Hill resides.  I miss that.  I miss that a lot.

If you check out googlemaps and find Bastrop State Park, go to the easternmost part of the park where CR1 connects to 153.  The junction is just north of Highway 71.

Follow 153 all the way back to where it turns toward the south from the east.  That loooooong stretch is the downhill side of the Smithville Hill. 

There be where glory lay.  There be where men stand up and boys lay down.

But to be completely honest, the real proving ground lies past that right turn on CR1 through the park. 

There be where mere mortals lay broken and the immortal rise supreme!


God I can’t wait to get back out there.


Monday, April 02, 2007

I'm soooo back, baby!

18 miles at 17.8mph.
But that's not the full story.
Top speed was 25.5mph.  That's a sprint top speed.  On a flat.  No real wind assistance.
I feel better than I have in a loooong time.
I hit the picnic loop and latch on to a HUGE pace line.  I'm kind of riding behind it just a ways letting them pace me because I don't know these people and pacers you don't know can be a dangerous bunch.  So I ride a few loops with these guys and then attack and take 2 laps on my own ahead of the group.  After the 2 laps I drop back and let the group catch me and ride a few more laps with them.  At around the 7 mile mark I attack again and pass them and ride another loop on my own then peel off at around 9 miles to take the road around the jogging loop.
I take the loop and get back to the picnic loop just in time to...  yup, catch the pacers again.  I latch on to their tails and ride a couple of laps with them from about mile 13 to mile 15.  Somewhere around mile 15 I attack again and take off.  Here's where I think I recorded my top speed because I dropped to the little gear in back and the big one up front, got on my aero bars, and just pounded it for nearly a full lap.  I put some distance between me and the group on that lap, but I also gassed myself pretty bad.  I took it easy for almost half a lap after that waiting for the group to catch me, then I had trouble hanging with them--partly because they pushed the pace at that point and partly because I was gassed.  They started dropping riders about then, too.  Their group of almost 2 dozen riders had dwindled 2 groups of 3 or 4, several soloists off the back, and a main group of maybe 8 or 12 who were out of my reach.  I passed most of the soloists in the last 1/4 lap and one of the lagging groups and then called it a night to come home and be with my baby and my baby mama.
Damn, but I feel GOOD!!!
No pain in the ribs.  No real fatigue.  I'll know better after this weekend's long ride, but at this rate I feel like a good pace of 12 to 15 mph for the MS150 is not out of the question.  12mph on day 1 is something like 8 hours in the saddle, which is something like a 10 hour day, which puts me in LaGrange somewhere near 4pm, which isn't bad.  Not bad at all.
I've got 3 weeks, 2 long weekend rides, and maybe 10 or 12 weekday rides left.  If I can drop 5 or 10 lbs and keep pounding the pavement, I should do just fine.


Weather and sick babies

It’s amazing how quickly priorities change.  I didn’t ride Friday because the baby was sick and I really, really didn’t want to become dead at the hands of my lovely wife.

Then it rained.

Then there were domestic responsibilities.

Then it was suddenly Sunday night.


So, I’m going to do my level best to get in 20 miles tonight, but there’s weather out there.  So, we’ll just have to see how things shake out.



Goooooo ASTROS!!!


(And Ohio)