Monday, December 18, 2006

Reach out and touch...

somebody's hand....make this world a better place.....if you can.

Yeah it's the holiday season. A time for people to reconnect. Tell those around you how much they matter to you. Spreading joy and good cheer. Blah blah blah. Is this really a special time of the year? I look around and see another season for the retailers to make some money and people to paying off happiness with expensive gifts. No to become religious on your ass but isn't there more to this time of year than gifts.

I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm more of a realist. I see what's in front of me. And quite frankly I don't like what I see sometimes. When I was growing up, I remember when gas stations, restaurants, convenience stores and just about every other place of business was closed the day of major holidays. Christmas.....closed. Thanksgiving......closed. Easter.......closed. I feel sad for people who work on holidays now. They should be with family and friends the entire day......not the period of time before or after work. I'm's bullshit.

Wow...did I just digress or what? Okay, back to making connections.

Must focus. Stay in the moment. Don't reveal yourself to the blog.

We are making contact here. During this joyous holiday season. Good tidings to one and all. Send the annual Christmas card, year end wrap up letter, and pictures of the kids.

What's wrong with contacting that one person you think about in the middle of August, beginning of June, end of February. Why must we wait until "special" occasions or seasons to reconnect. Just the simple act of reconnecting, or even connecting, should be special.

In our rush around lives we fly through the day and per chance you see an old friend from high school, co-worker from a previous job, neighbor. "Good talking to you. I'll give you a call sometime." Does sometime ever arrive? I know I'm guilty of it. In 2005 I saw many friends at my 20th high school reunion. 18 months later have I really kept in touch. No. Some e-mail here and there. A couple contributed to my fund raising for Ironman. Not much else.

(maybe I'm writing this not only to you.......but also to myself)

I know some people are better at maintaining contact than others. I'm not so good at it. Maybe it's a challenge I should pose to myself. What does it take to call someone. Even if it is to leave a message on an answering machine or on a voice mail. It may make a difference to the person at the other end.

How many times have you said to a friend, "If you need anything please let me know." It may be someone who has lost a family member. A neighbor with an ill child. A friend struggling through a tough time in their life. You want to help but don't want to appear intrusive. The other person doesn't want to impose. A stand still has developed that a simple phone call could resolve. Make that call to re-iterate the offer and be a support mechanism. Make the call and ask for help when feeling overwhelmed.

At this time of the year a little "touching" could be a good thing as people deal with the stress of life and the holidays. Be the person who "gives a call sometime".

I called my friend today. Who should I call tomorrow? Game is definitely On.

In case I don't post by the end of the week......enjoy your time with family and friends all through the holiday season however you manage to spend it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

There’s a mouse in the……

You are reading that correctly. My car has a mouse in it. How do I know? Evidence. First there was the chewed open package of Clif Blocks, CranRazz to be exact. Two holes the size of dimes and the corners of two blocks eaten. Next was the packet of hot chocolate with a small hole in it.

Then there is the ripped up napkin in the glove compartment and of course the tiny little mouse turds……ewww gross.

You see my vehicle sits outside because Aimee’s car gets the garage. And with all of the “stuff” (three bikes, Christmas storage boxes, two lawn mowers, two snowblowers, eight 5 gallon jugs of waters…..get the picture) being stored on the other half……..I get to park outside 365 days of the year.

So when the snow arrives and the little yard mice get cold, someone is bound to find the spacious HAMC (High Altitude Mouse Camp) in my car.

So yesterday there was a mouse all jacked up on runner’s crack (Clif Block) and hot chocolate running around in my car. I searched the places I could to try and find the little bugger. Not in the glove compartment. Not in the engine bay. Not under the seats. Hopefully not IN the seats. I left him some more food. I figured he would be hungry. Hungry enough to stick his scrawny little neck into a spring trap. Just a dab of peanut butter and SNAP……problem solved. He wouldn’t have to worry about the cold any more and I would have successfully evicted an unwelcome passenger in my car.

I placed the trap on the floor, passenger side. This morning I checked my trap and saw nothing. Let me repeat that, nothing. Oh the trap was still there. The trap was still set. However the bastard was talented enough to get all of the PB off the trap without setting it off. Who is this guy, Stuart Little?

I was going to use this to my advantage though. He must surely think, “Hey, I can get a free meal on this thing. No problem.” So I set the trap again. This time with a small amount of cheese jammed in there. He will have to work at it this time and SNAP, problem solved.

I left the trap in the car during the morning while I worked on a customers new computer system. I would check the trap when I went out during lunch. I was anxious to see if the trap was “occupied”. DAMN. The trap was still set and the cheese was untouched. I had to run out and refill the 5 gallon water jugs we use at home. The store where I fill them at is just down the street from my customer. The timing was perfect because we had just emptied the last of eight bottles.

At the store I started refilling the bottles and noticed that one bottle looked rather dirty on the bottom. I wasn’t sure if there was mud underneath the bottle from yesterdays trail run or what. I peered into the bottle and much to my surprise I found that little bastard mouse….dead. Somehow he had managed to get inside this huge bottle and found himself trapped…then died…..not before crapping all over the bottle……..little tiny mouse turds. I still don't get how he got in the bottle. The cap at left covers the large opening to the bottle. However, the little white cap in the middle was off, common occurance. But the hole is smaller than a dime. He might have caused himself some serious internal damage getting into the bottle.

No wonder the trap hadn’t been tripped again. He must have been thirsty from stealing the peanut butter and there was some extra water in the bottom of the bottle. These bottles were in the car overnight so he made his way in there during the 12 hours they were in the car.

I shared my story with the lady at the refilling station and she said they sanitize the bottles that are traded in. She said to leave the bottle, someone else would dispose of the mouse and I could refill a clean bottle instead. I was oh so happy to be rid of that mouse. I didn’t want to clean the bottle. But I do need to clean the rest of the car. Who knows where else he crapped.

So that is the story of my mouse in the car.

Game On…..except for mice.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Chicks and Trails

What an awesome weekend. The cold weather finally broke and that allowed for some great times outside. Saturday I got together with my good friend and SBR teammate Patrick. We met in the morning for some mountain biking at Findley SP. The temp was still 26 degrees F when we started but we donned our winter riding gear and set out on the 8 mile loop. The trail was frozen and very fun. The mud was solid which was good and bad. The surface was hard but the existing tire groves were tossing my front tire around. Made for some tough riding at times but it helps improve your bike handling skills.

After an hour we made it back to the parking lot and Pat had to head home for soccer games. I headed back out for another half hour on the inner trail loop. When I made it back to the car I had 12 miles on my tires. I changed into my new trail shoes and did a 2 mile run in 18 minutes. I hadn't done a brick in a long time and it felt good on the legs.

My total workout for the morning was 2:20. I hadn't exercised/trained for that long since.....since....actually I'm not sure when. It sure did feel good to be out there for a long time.

Aimee and I did some chores before we met a group of people from the Cleveland Tri Club to watch the Ironman Championships at a bar downtown. It was great to see some fellow triathletes including TriSaraTops and TriAl. Afterwards we went home for a quiet evening watching a movie.

For Sunday I had arranged for a trail run back out at Findley SP. TriSaraTops came over to our house and we drove together to the park. We met Coach Angela at the park. I was pumped to show these lovely ladies the trails I have been running and riding on. It was my pleasure to escort them through the woods, fields and hills. It was a nice easy run which took us an hour and 24 minutes. The company and scenery was the best. I had to take this picture of my "trail girls". From left to right, Angela, TriSaraTops and Aimee.

After we left the park we stopped at a place called Bread & Brew for some coffee and hot chocolate for the ride home. What a great morning. What a great way to start the day.

I'm looking forward to more runs and rides on trails.

Today......Game was definitely On.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Family and Friends Friday - Mr. VG

First off - Blogger Sucks Donkey Balls - take two for today's post.

I want to introduce you to a little friend who has been visiting me this week. Mr. VG has been at the house for maybe two weeks and he is starting to annoy me. I'm getting cranky. I'm tiring easily and I can't eat what I like. Mr. VG has been throwing a wrench into my training causing me to back off and not get in the quality or quantity I want during my base phase.

You see Mr. VG (Viral Gastroenteritis) is just plain annoying. Too much food or intensity during exercise and he passes everything right through. He's a cranky SOB as pictured here. I can't wait for him to finally leave so I can get back to feeling normal.
The Cleveland Tri Club is participating in the National Club Challenge and we are holding out own in the standings. I want to get some more mileage out there for our club.
So this weekend I have a brick on Saturday and a trail run with my local peeps, TriSaraTops included, on Sunday.
Here's to a better weekend, hoping to get some Game On.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Bike Porn (Time to Hit the Road)

A couple of years after getting our mountain bikes I started to become interested in road riding. I had borrowed an old bike from my friends Pat and Linda. I was enjoying riding fast on the road. Aimee was also thinking about a road bike. So we went to the LBS and started looking around. Aimee was looking at different entry level bikes with the help of a sales associate. The final bike pulled down turned out to be a Bianchi.

While waiting to get a bike down from the hooks I turned around and saw this.......GT ZR3000....on sale.

The bike I saw on the sales floor was beautiful, only too big for me. They had a smaller size for me, 54cm, at another store and would have it brought over for me. Aimee and I scheduled to come back and test ride the bikes we selected. We came back about a week later with our shoes and helmets for the test ride. I was sold immediately. Aimee liked her bike also. We went back to the LBS and bought both bikes. We went in the store to find a bike for Aimee and wound up getting one for each of us. I'm grateful Aimee was open minded enough to agree on the double purchase.
These bikes have served us well. We trained and rode our first half IMs on these bikes. I've done road races and tri's on my GT. I've upgraded the components on both bikes and the wheels on my bike were bought over the summer. I really enjoy riding my bike. During my IM training I would ride both my road and tri bike. It was a great way to change things up.
I know the cold weather for many of you has started, but get those road/tri bikes on the trainers/rollers and get some game on.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Too much information......

runnin' through my brain.
Too much information drivin' me insane.

Yep, my brain has been on overdrive due to work, family life and not much else. Training has been on the down low. Really not feeling it. Trying to get some thoughts together for some blogs. Been taking video for posting on YouTube and on this blog. Random thoughts floating all over the place.

Just making sure people know I'm here and am hoping to post some quality information for your reading, viewing, listening pleasure.

Props to Boulder for providing some on-line support when my Treo went haywire on me Saturday night. He sent me some links and offered some advice. Essentially calmed me down for the night since I needed someone to listen to me have a mini freak out. It may not have seemed like it but my Treo life flashed by my eyes as I thought of everything stored on my Treo.

Amazing how dependant we sometimes become upon technology to help regulate our lives. Even though I work with computers I sometimes think it's a bad thing. I'll rant about that some other time.

Game On.