Friday, November 26, 2010

I feel like I have paid my dues in this particular area of the ART OF LIVING!!!

After doing battle twice now on the main line and surviving to live another day, gives a guy a new lease on life; greens are greener; the air is sweeter; the beer is beerier...Such is the current state of my life...But the fact is that I'd like be done with that part of my life now...

To be more specific—
On Sunday last, mid-morning, I noticed a faint albeit ominous sewer odor emanating from a very large sump pit that lies within the cement flooring of my tuck-under garage (the house is nearly 100 years old). As I levered off the large manhole cover, I was ambushed by a foulness that was shocking to behold. The whole pit was full to the brim of backed up sewage. Noting that the sewage was above the pipe that sends excess drainage into yet another smaller sump pit, I then pulled off that manhole cover as well to find it full of toilet water as well. It looked as if I was literally minutes away from having the foulness gathering enough force to break its septic confines and breech the walls and gain a foothold into my garage. Had I not been tipped off by the odor, my garage would have been flooded with human waste and the like. With grim determination, I began to bail the chunky sewage into two large ten gallon buckets, and when filled, I would run the buckets down the hill and dump into a ravine that culminates in a small drainage stream. Over and over I repeated this grim task...Finally I began to negotiate a stalemate and thus buy enough time until the Roto Rooter guy showed up with his mechanical snake (and credit card acceptance machine). Suffice to say that the emergency was over. Yet a lesson was learned, but I am not sure who learned it or what it was?...Such is the curse of growing older. Note: This is the second time in my adult life that I have been forced to do this kind of thing, so I feel like I should NOT have to do this kind of thing ever again!
Happy Thank-giving everyone!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

An Open Letter to Rookie T.I. Racers: A call for reason...

Dearest Youthful, Naive Ones:
I fear that your participation in the upcoming Trans-Iowa will for you mean the loss of the simple purity and innocence that is so apparent in those who ride bicycles. Essentially, the T.I. changes a cyclist. Post T.I. wheelmen are bitter broken people, cyclists devoid of emotion, apathetic & indifferent racers. Cyclists who drink to forget, not for sustenance. Such wheelmen leave Iowa zombie-like, cold and unfeeling, for they have wagered with the Devil and lost. These are cyclists that forsake their families and friends, wheelmen who die penniless and alone in their wretchedness! May Providence have mercy on your souls, but I fear that you, if you insist on going to Iowa (like the rest of us), are doomed to a life of forlorn resentment filled with pessimism and regret...Please rethink this endeavor, reflect on what you have, count your blessings, take stock, and seek fulfillment at home with those who love and support you. Too many have been broken; enough damage has been done...Ask yourselves—Do I want to be like him? That twitchy aged one that is alone over there in the corner silently weeping the hopeless tears of a cyclist forever damned, forever haunted by a night ride across the barrens of Iowa. A night in which he was visited upon by the depraved demons of the nether-world and thus ultimately succumbed to their unholy covenant, namely a T.I. finish for his eternal soul!

With bitterness and grave misgivings about your collective decision to do this thing. Note that you have been warned,

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Burden of leadership...

The burden of leadership does have its rewards, on occasion.

DBD Outing report: Saturday, November 13th, a wintery mix with a compliment of strong winds. In perfect weather, the mission was to complete seven to eight hours of gravel/off-road riding on the Pugsleys (or the like) in preparation for Tuscobia and the Arrowhead 135. My two charges arrived on time @ the secret DBD rendezvous point at the standard DBD departure time (5:15 a.m.). Note: One was indeed late by a few minutes (which is unacceptable and thus a punishable offense), but was able to convince the author that the tardy resulted from a seemingly inexplicable crossing of the ways without visible recognition. Against my better judgement, I let the matter die upon reminding the offender that if it happens again, I'll have him shackled and introduced to my leather lash! The men, not unlike impetuous sled dogs, uncomplicated and singular in their intellect and approach, were nervous and anxious for the austere movement that is characteristic of propelling a bicycle forward. Yet, loyal to their leader, as I gave the signal to commence "onward boyz!", these men-of-action unflinchingly responded in earnest. Note: I would be negligent in my reporting to not convey a faint sense of pride or a vague feeling of "job-well-done" as I led them out of the city of old Duluth and into the hinterlands-- for undeniably REAL progress, over the last couple years, with these common-folk, has been noteworthy. Keenly aware of their propensity to go too hard at the start of these endeavors and thus expending vital energy resources that would be needed later on, I reined them in to a more moderate pace. All went well with nary a complaint or falter from my obedient subjects. On only one occasion did I have to threaten one with a beating, upon which he quickly backed down and fell into order. In summary: Mission complete. Preparation for success @ Tuscubia and Arrowhead continues unabated as these simple, yet brave men respond well to solid leadership and definitive parameters. Note: Though nipple-shrouds are now banned for use on DBD excursions, I did not take the time to check my charges.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Call to Arms...Quit talking the talk and start walking the!

The good news is that so far even with over two months to go before the classic Arrowhead 135; over ninety racers have thrown their hats in the ring. Itz a great race, one event that should not be missed by any true endurance athlete!!! Kudos to Bar-Mitts, which is the newest sponsor to support this amazing challenge. Note: Look forward to a product review on Bar Mitts in the near future. Suffice to say at this point that itz a top-notch product!

The bad news is that just a hand full have signed up for Tuscobia which commences in just one month from now! What are people thinking? The Tuscobia 150 or 75 is the perfect warm-race for preparing for the Big Arrowhead Dance in early February.
Here is a short ditty to inspire people to sign up for the Tuscobia: ( )

Tuscobia Tuscobia-
a race devoid of any one with a phobia.
Itz long and dark and trying to ones soul, but…
One never has to deal with claustrophobia, homophobia, or even xenophobia.

Sign up for Tusobia, I say Tuscobia!
Or you're a big wimpoebia!

And should move to...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

To be young again...if only in my mind...

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and filled him with a terrible resolve.”
Isoroku Yamamoto

I rode with the exuberant Buffington last night and his strength continues to impress. As he left me repeatedly on the hills of old Duluth, I wept silently, stoically, the forlorn tears of a desperate man, well past his prime, with a future involving a walker, man-diapers, and dentures…Oh the grand zealotry of youth and the suddenness of physical decline!!! I look in the mirror and see an old man playing cards at a nondescript table with a bitter cranky Pramann in a sunset assisted living residence near a tranquil pond...But alas only the good die young!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'll miss the informative political ads!

Itz a source of great comfort to me to now know that people who truly love Sarah Palin, the Flag, and this great country are back in charge in the House and that those that clearly wanted to destroy all the great things about this free-market democracy are being thrown out. The Republicans will now get us back to where we should be; Insurance executives deciding Doctors’ salaries and citizens’ premiums, unfettered drilling for oil off-shore and in Alaska, death penalties, self-policing of big finance, death to the few remaining unions, death to cap & trade & all things with a hint of ecological conservationism, and removal of the word “Global warming” from the national dialogue via all mainstream media outlets. Don’t get me wrong; as there is room for agreement. For example both groups (GOP and Dems) can certainly get together and find common ground such as agreeing to not discuss, review, or move on the patriotic wars that we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, vastly increasing military sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Pakistan, and to get General Petraeus his fifth star.
On a related note….the weather up here has been great…A little warm and unseasonable, but only fools think that we have any impact on the climate!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Politics...The Art of Power Acquisition, Holding Power, and Deception

New goal: Write up a little five minute commentary every day and publish based on what I happen to be thinking about at the time…

Modern national politics (even maybe state politics) seems like a covert insiders game played by preppy rich guyz that all went to the same prep-schools, the same fancy-pants colleges “out east,” the same Ivy League Law Schools, all play golf together, and all belong to the same country clubs. They are really pretty good about sharing the wealth and influence as long as it stays within the family. The Democrats get to have the presidency for probably six more years (then it will be the GOPs turn again), but itz now their turn to give up some congressional seats to the Republicans. But no worries as the ousted Democrats don’t have to leave Washington DC and their lavish lives of power and luxury, instead they simply go and work for the plethora of Left-leaning think tanks and lobbies for the next two or four or six years. Whilst the GOPs get to leave the Right-leaning think tanks and lobbies and head back to the Congress. To keep the peasants happy they are smart enough to let a few new guyz in every so often, but nothing that would upset the ebb and flow of the power elite. Notice how nobody talks “term-limits?” On a happier note…I got the Pugs built up and ready to go!!!