29 September 2006


What's 4040? That the amount of miles my bicycle odometer currently shows after 16 months of ownership. I was just sort of wondering how far that really is, so I googlemapped from Louisville, Kentucky to Anchorage, Alaska. That route is actually less than 4040 miles, but close enough. I've impressed myself.

My cycling life goals are the coast to coast Southernly America trip, the Florida to Maine Atlantic Coast trip, to bicycle across Vermont with Jon (this might just be a half-days work if you've ever looked at Vermont), and of course to ride the Alpe D'Huez in France. I feel like they're all attainable, as long as I can get enough time off work.

In the meantime, I get my fix by reading about other folks' trips, like this one being made by a couple of fellas with Indiana connections.

Here's a bit I borrowed from the site that sums it up best, I think...
Thankfully, the attitude change worked. I've adopted some of Alex's zen-like acceptance of the situation, stopped questioning why, and learned to simply keep on riding. True, most of our day is spent grinding our way over roads that you wouldn't even think of trying to drive your car down, but every day has it's moments of brilliance: the warmth of the sun finally creeping over the opposing ridge and starting to thaw your tent in the morning, the sound of a hawk's wings slicing through the air only ten feet above your head, the view from atop a pass that while climbing you at times had to lean forward in your saddle to keep from tipping over backwards, a hot meal with real vegetables and meat in some otherwise unremarkable tent village in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes (when you're really lucky) a nice stretch of smooth road with the wind at your back.

That's what it's about. That's why I find myself out riding on days when I don't want to, when it's too cold and I've got snot running out of my nose, or my legs ache... because every time there's a moment, maybe just a minute, where everything clicks together and it's not at effort; it's just like breathing. I once explained to a friend in email that bicycling has become the closest thing to religion I've ever had; from the devotion to it even when maybe I'd rather be somewhere else, to the faith that my perseverance will pay off, to the moments of grace when everything comes together, to the overall sense of wellness it gives me, and the intense desire to spread the word.

It's kinda creepy, actually.

today's gift to you

this is the Ryan Adams website, featuring a Ryan Adams rap song which isn't worksafe. but it's great. so so great.

the collapsardinals

If you're following baseball at all, then you're probably aware the your St. Louis Cardinals are in the process of imploding. Radio talk show hosts and the national media are acting as though the apocolypse is happening, but I think most fans of the Cardinals saw this coming. Well, maybe not on this level, but the team has been so horrible this year that we never expected anything anyway, and a playoff berth was just going to mean a quick playoff exit.

So I think the general attitude of Cardinal fans is "so what".

You see, we expect great things from our Cardinals teams, and the playoff birth without a World Series isn't much to celebrate. And I think most people assume that the National League team is going to get slaughtered in the World Series anyway. So you take the expectation that they were either going to lose in the divisional series or the World Series, add that to the fact that those loses actually hurt a little bit more, factor in the fact that Cardinal fans are completely spoiled on winning, and the week-early exit isn't anything worth getting upset over.

In fact, I think it's worth celebrating, which is why I'm wearing a Cardinals cap with a crazy through-the-head arrow right now.

28 September 2006

it's thursday! let's all quit our jobs, strip naked, and make baked beans

I've not been riding enough this week, so you can watch as any and all semblance of initiative or ambition slowly drains out of my ass into the couch. I don't even remember what I watched. I did play a little Winning Eleven 9. I watched an episode of Deadwood. I went to Wal-Mart. I have become the typical southsider, I guess, minus the wife-beater, bad haircut, and penchant for Papa John's.

Yeah, I'm talking to you, Bayberry Village.

Here's what I'm gonna talk about: The kid on this McDonald's small sized drink cup. He's not wearing a shirt, because they've photoshopped out the shirt and replaced it with the words "I'm loving it" in 14 different languages. That's weird enough, but what's really odd is that it sort of makes him look like a kid in a gorilla costume, or a character from planet of the apes.

That was worth writing about.

The night-time temperature has been absolutely perfect for open-window ceiling fan sleeping. I wake up to a cold room, but without a runny nose. I am not sweaty or sticky or grimy. I feel like an Irish spring.

But I still don't want to get out of bed.

Interbike is going on now out in Vegas. It's the bicycle industry trade show where everyone reveals their new bikes for the year. I keep looking for pictures.

Yesterday evening Gina claimed that if I bought her a bike she would ride the RAIN ride (160 miles across the state) next year. I laughed. I think she's serious. John was there to witness her claim. This should be entertaining.

I keep misplacing things. Yesterday morning I went downstairs, put my cycling sunglasses in my helmet, put my other sunglasses in my bag, got in the car, put on my sunglasses, and drove to work. I got to work and put the sunglasses back in my bag.

When I went to get my sunglasses from my bag, they were nowhere to be found, but I did find my cycling sunglasses in the bag.

I don't know how that's possible. My regular sunglasses were in my helmet when I got home. The two sets of sunglasses are so entirely different that I have no idea how I could have worn the wrong pair to work.

I think it was a miracle.

I'm taking a whole week off to go to Tennessee/North Carolina/maybe Georgia/whatever. I'm just going to ramble. The best vacations are vacations where you're in another city and don't have a weekday job to report to. I think.

Mark and Jamie's wedding is this weekend. I'm wearing a pink jumpsuit and a headband that reads "COME ON RIDE THE TRAIN". It's a big headband.

I wouldn't blame you if you never read this again.

24 September 2006

fulham loses, rsl loses, i'm 180 lbs of granola and frites

everyone's a loser.

yesterday i took gina to look at bikes and some dude was checking out Serrotas as a first bike. I heard him say "maybe I don't need the best bike to start." I wonder if it was common sense or the $4000 price tag.

watched everton/newcastle today, good game.

and that's that. the ants are back in my kitchen, i'm going to go destroy them now. i don't like killing things, unless they're ants in my kitchen. fuckers.

22 September 2006


What's up with this stupid rain. Stupid rain, I'm gonna punch you in your stupid face. Stupid.

Anyone coming to Brugge tomorrow? Wait, don't answer that. Ok, answer that, but make it in the form of a question, such as "I am going to Brugge tomorrow because I love to watch Bobby Convey and Christiano Ronaldo has a fabulously sculpted uber-mullet*?"

I am asking all readers to respond to this post. That means you too, random reader from Europe.

* * * * *

*Nate and I once had a conversation about how adding the prefix "uber" to any word makes it better. For example: Uber-Cancer. Who wouldn't want Uber-cancer? Or abortion. "I not only had an abortion, I had an Uber-abortion!".


21 September 2006


I don't have much going on right now. I didn't ride the bike yesterday, I've felt horrible for a couple days. I blame Bicycling Magazine and my delusions of time trial racing. I'm looking into this, for next year. Look forward to endless entries about my 40k time.

I bought another Lance Armstrong book yesterday; he didn't write this one, and I think it's more about the bicycling than the cancer. I tried to pick up Sarah Katherine Lewis' Indecent (she's on my livejournal friends list), but although the local Borders said it had the book in stock, it was impossible to find on the shelf.

Is Amazon not working in Firefox for anyone else?

Tomorrow after work I'm planning to head out to the Major Taylor Velodrome for the 2006 NCCA Track Championship. It's free, as far as I know. Track racing is also something I've been looking into a bit, so I might as well go size up the competition. I look forward to winning the championship next year, in my freshman year of collegiate cycling. I'll be attending U-WISH.


Saturday I'll either be at the Velodrome again or at Brugge (third straight week... that's the closest I've ever been to being a regular anywhere) for Man U/Reading. That game is at noon on Fox Soccer Channel, which works out well since Fulham/Chelsea is on Sentanta at 9:45 am. Sentanta just added a second channel (Sentanta XTRA, DirecTV channel 670) so that they can carry even more Premiership games. My Tivo weeps. As does Gina.

Saturday evening at 8:30, Real Salt Lake's playoff hopes are on the like as they take on FC Dallas. After last week's Non-Televised, shorthanded, come from behind victory against Dallas (which was apparently RSL's BEST GAME EVER), it should be interesting to see how the teams play again this week. I don't get that bit of scheduling, but keep in mind this is a league that will have 13 teams next year, so perhaps they're scheduling geniuses.


I dunno. I dress well on occasion. Here's a tip: Black socks with sneakers. You'll look European. Everyone loves Europe.

AND LAST, AND LEAST, here's a Weird Al video. I'm not really a Weird Al fan, but this is pretty good stuff, I think.

18 September 2006


RSL came back to win 3-2 this weekend in a game that wasn't televised, even though I've got their tv package. Go figure. Although RSL was down a man and missing potential league mvp Jeff Cunningham, they still managed to come from behind to get the win and keep their playoff chances alive.

Steve seemed very happy in his email.

Fulham got the 0-0 tie on the road in their first London derby this year at Tottenham, Boa Morte broke his face. Add it to the list of oddball injuries. Carlos Bocanegra played midfield in the game due to injuries to other players; he did his usual muck-up job. I love you, Carlos.

Fulham is now desperate for the return of Simon Elliot, who came into the squad from Columbus Crew last season. Yes, it's that desperate. I'd make a comment on the play of the team so far this season, but I'll jinx it. This saturday's game at Chelsea is live on some channel.

As an added bonus, anyone who can decipher this wins a ride on my bike.

15 September 2006

call scooby doo

Today I'm doing a bit of reading about the Hornet Spook Light, a mysterious light or series of lights that appear on a backroad in rural Missouri. I've always been freaked out by anything unexplainable, but I'm also very skeptical of most phenomenon. What intrigues me about the Spook Light is that a lot of people have seen it, and the fact that it's close enough that I could go check it out myself. Not that I would, I'd just end up pissing myself.

While I'm on the subject of spooky, I'd like to briefly discuss the Travel Channel's Most Haunted series. I've only watched it once, because it was completely ridiculous. Perhaps my favorite part was when one of the hosts channeled a ghost in the house they were visiting. Not only did the host close his eyes and make a scary face, he spoke in a deep spooky and angry voice. That's highly entertaining stuff. But not entertaining enough to watch more than once. So maybe keep an eye out for that. Or don't, it's ridiculous.

* * * * *

Brugge tomorrow for me, anyone else attending? Aston Villa v Watford at noon... two teams I've never bothered to watch. Well, at least I can drink and eat frites.

14 September 2006

shake that laffy taffy

Here's one of those updates that aren't really necessary, but since I'm writing in a high pressure large audience setting, sometimes I'm forced to just throw something at the wall and see what flies south for the winter*.

This week has been all-around uneventful, so instead of a list of things I've been doing or I've found interesting, here's the opposite.

I haven't been riding a bike (well, once, but that was just to check out my new heart rate monitor - which is awesome).

I haven't learned any details of my free Vegas trip (and in the back of my head I fear that it was all a trick).

I haven't been watching what I eat (yesterday I ate a bunch of fried chicken, and some potato salad, and some corn, and some ice cream, and some cinammon pita chips, and I think you can see what happens when I start to eat bad. I go CRAZY.)

I haven't been nice to coworkers. Yesterday was a particularly stressful day in the office, primarily becase I'm an idiot that has no excel skills. As a result I sort of blew up on an unsuspecting coworker; not in a bad enough way to get me in trouble, but it wasn't my style. Today I will apologize.

And so... blah. I ordered Hell On Wheels from Amazon this week, and I'll watch it tonight. And that's about it. I'm not going to eat any more fried chicken, I promise.

This saturday I hope to head up to Brugge again to catch whoever's on, and maybe eat some of those fantastic frites (ok, fries), and drink some beer, and get fat and pick up hookers and stuff them in my trunk. You know, the usual. I don't have a trunk, actually, but I'm going to get one and fill it with hookers, and sell them on the streets of rural towns in Indiana, like Easy-E and his first album, in Compton.

I will now open up the floor for comments from my readers on the following subjects: Hookers, trunks, frites, bicycle documentaries, things I should have tattooed on my legs.

* * * * *

*For those who are confused, this comes from the Nate's dad school of analogy.

*Jimmy Bullard is out for the year, in case anyone's wondering.

11 September 2006

and all the wine..

While I'm a little upset over the lack of press coverage for the Admiral Spruance Regatta, I can only be happy with the results. After just two heat races, our team finished first, which means I'll be going to Vegas free of charge thanks to our sponsors; Citizens Gas, The Canal and White River State Park, Miller Light, Buggs Events, McFarling Foods, Intake, and 92.3 WTTS. I feel like a NASCAR driver.

It was hard work, but I can't exactly say that it felt like the prize fit the amount of work put in. I think I'm still a bit in shock over that fact that it was that easy. I don't mean that as a disrespect to other teams, it's just that it required no training; nothing like the months of work we put in for the Ride Across Indiana, and all we got for the ride was a t-shirt, a pewter keychain, and a time on a spreadsheet.

Surprisingly enough, I think the RAIN ride was more rewarding. But I'm not in Vegas yet.

This year is turning out so fantastic all around that I'm almost afraid to type that out. Gina warned me that if I didn't shut up about it then something bad was going to happen. But that's out of my control, and I do my best to not dwell on the negative these days. I feel like it's making a difference.

* * * * *

Oh crap I almost forgot...

RSL gets a tie against a DC United squad half stocked with reserves. I suppose a tie is better than a loss, and it was nice to come back and get the goal, but RSL is back in last, and 5 points out of a playoff spot. The worst part is that they're playing so much better now than they were when I saw them in Chicago, and the results still aren't what we want. 5 games left, we'll see how it goes.

FULHAM GETS A COME FROM BEHIND ROAD WIN ON A BOCANEGRA GOAL. WHAT? If you didn't know, Fulham won just one road game last year. Brian McAwesome also scored a very pretty off-angle goal and Newcastle can eat it. USA USA USA!*

Also Jimmy Bullard (my new guy) dislocated his knee in the most gruesome injury I've ever seen on television. Or maybe I just felt that way because he's playing for Fulham. Go figure, I just found it on YouTube (with the rest of the higlights, but it's the first thing shown). Look away...

* * * * *

Also also also..

Saturday Gina and I visited Brugge Brasserie (right? I can't pronounce that either, and the name reminds me of vikings in bras. Nice place though) and ate lunch, watched Man U/Tottenham (I'm reading about the Jewish history of Tottenham in How Soccer Explains the World, though it's entirely possible I haven't comprehended a bit of it... anyway, I don't know any Jewish people. Never have. I find that odd.), met Bobethy (I've never met anyone named Bobethy before either... is that a name, or like a blogger name? Perhaps we should have had this conversation. Nice guy, anyway)... and I'll be back again. Next week? Gotta see when Fulham's on first.

* * * * *

*This is the best soccer chant because everyone else thinks it's horrible, including me. Well it's not as good as CLAP-CLAP CLAP-CLAP-CLAP CLAP-CLAP CLAP-CLAP GEORGE BUSH! (used by US Fans at the World Cup this year), but close enough. The best chants are the ones that are the most offensive or generally annoying, I think.

We can have the soccer chant/song discussion now if anyone is interested. Any favorites?

Any favorite knee dislocation videos?

05 September 2006

Dear England

For Christsakes you won 5-0. We don't even have a coach and none of our players are good enough to play in your league. Well, very few of them, anyway. We'd be happy to naturalize Frank Lampard.

I shouldn't have written the words Salt Lake and Playoffs in the same sentence. Noted.

Another exciting weekend came and went. I made two recipes (well, not exactly, but close) from Indy Foodie on Labor Day, and then cleaned the kitchen. The grass remains uncut.

Sunday I bought a new kickball for LNOUJ 2006 or 2007, whenever that happens. It's a quality kickball that I'm saving as a surprise.

Saturday was a family reunion, a 30 mile (Trenton-New Baden-Germantown-Breese-Aviston-Outskirts O' Trenton) bike ride, a home tour (nice house, Mark), and a bit of drinking with the lads. Really sort of uneventful all around. I played kickball with some little kids and only made one cry. Not on purpose.

Oh boy.

This coming Sunday (also known as Grandparent's Day) I'll be participating in the Admiral Spruance Regatta, a canoe race in Indianapolis' very lovely downtown canal. I didn't front the money, work did. If my team was to win, we'd get tickets to Vegas. If we lose horribly (last place), we still get a free meal. Works for me. We haven't practiced, and I'm not even sure if we have the required equipment.

Anyway, someone across the hall is talking about Big Head Todd, and he just said "I swear this guy had the biggest head I've ever seen". And he works with me. And with that...