Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the night before Christmas

Grandma and Grandpa have two Great Danes. They call them Samson and Delilah. Seems like that oughta' mean something.
Seeing as my aunt and uncle named them, perhaps it does.

//
It's a white Christmas for Illinois. Brr.
\\
All the radio stations sound the same right now.
Christmas tunes are Christmas tunes. And by tomorrow night, they'll be gone.
///

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own - Snow Patrol

Saturday, December 22, 2007

YAH HOOOO!


Wow! I'm like so chipper right now. I'm about to freak myself out.

Don't know why. Maybe its the fact that I've been spending more time in the Bible, or the brother that took time out of his day yesterday to help me sort some of life problems out. Or maybe it's the weather. The last two days have been insanely nice. Or perhaps it was the 7 am mountain bike ride with the shop guys. That was pretty incredible. Fun. Awesome. Beautiful. Endorphin-inducing. I had a perma-grin the whole time. Had to floss to get the mud out.

Or maybe it's all the time spent with friends. Gotta' love Christmas-time for that. Or perhaps it's the upcoming road trip to Illinois.

Or it could simply be that I got a paycheck yesterday. Paychecks always make me happy.

I'm a lucky guy. Life's good.
["\/"]
An older customer was buying a present for his wife. We got talking on how they met. Freshman year of high school. She was a year older. They dated all through high school, married at 18 and stayed together for the following 47 years. They have three kids.

"I always told my kids to stay away from salesman and PK's," he said. "All my kids went to business school; my oldest son married a pastor's daughter, my daughter married a pastor's son, and my youngest daughter married a salesman."

Both the son and the son-in-law salesman are now pastors. Too cool.
/;/;/;/
Time to finish my Christmas shopping. Toodles.
:::::::::::::

I prefer a good poem. But this is whats in my mind:
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

the good times

Man, it's been good having Buc around the shop. Totally dig the beard, man.

The dear little song "Christmas Shoes" was playing on the radio. Buc's like, "why didn't the store owner just give the kid the shoes?"

whoa. hang on. I've been getting all sappy over this song for years. Now you're saying I oughta' be mad at the store owner? C'mon, man!

"I mean, he didn't even give the little guy a discount. Scrooge or something."

I can no longer feel sappy about the song. Agh! The crimes of greedy entrepreneurs!!! Down with the shoe guy! Off with his head!!!
,,,
Have I mentioned Kay and the girls are vacationing in Florida? Hopefully the shop will still be standing at their return.
//
Thursday, the Schweitzer Methodist Church donated 115 bicycles to kids of the Boys and Girls Club. So I left work a little early, grabbed the shop vehicle and some tools and headed over there. Tim and Greg also showed up to lend a hand.
It was so cool watching these kids working with strangers to build these bikes. Some of them have a pretty hard go. The organizer, Tim, was telling me about a little kindergarten-aged girl who gets picked up from Missouri Hotel every morning at 6:30 (Heck, most mornings I'm not even awake before 7.), and then dropped off at 9pm. That's her life. She's raised by volunteers.

Does anybody hear her?
><><>|<>|
Great party at Naterz tonight. Pity it snowed. Ah well, we shall use that as an excuse to party again. Reparty, anybody?
----
I love living in a corner apartment on the fourth floor. Downside is the radiator heat has lost some of its radianceness by the time it gets up here. And, well, a corner apartment does catch a lot of wind.
But the views are awesome....
+++++
Cory has just informed me he's figured out how to download stuff from Limewire without getting caught. He lost me somewhere around the required bandwidth splitter...
/\/\/\
Ooh, new believers gettin' baptized,
Momma's hands raised up high,
Havin' a Hallelujah good time
A smile on everybody's face.

That's what I love about Sunday:
Cat-napping on the porch swing;
You curled up next to me,
The smell of jasmine wakes us up.
Take a walk down a back road,
Tackle box and a cane pole;
Carve our names in that white oak,
An' steal a kiss as the sun fades,
That's what I love about Sunday,
-Craig Morgan

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And Life stops. But the Music Doesn't.

Brother Ron was sporting glasses at church tonight. Either its a new development or I'm slow at noticing things. Either way, they are quite classy and he's already using them to add some flair to his preaching. A little more gray hair and he's gonna' look so distinguished.

Of course Josh is moving out, so that may slow down the rate of graying.


///
Co-worker Josh has decided to ride the unicycle.
Why? Who knows. Maybe it's his mid-life crisis . Maybe he just feels the need to break an appendage. Maybe he thinks it will help sales.
video

Really, who cares? Just enjoy the really fuzzy video clip. And weep. There's no way your job is this much fun.
(May require Quicktime)

,,
I slept in yesterday until 11. Got up and wasted some time. And ran some laundry. Then wasted more time. And ran some errands. Then - yeah - wasted more time. And studied. Then proceeded to watch some TV. But the house suddenly lost all of its power. Bummer. So I called the landlord who turned the power back on so I could waste more time.

And then I went to bed at 9. Really, I am a reproach to young adulthood.

||
I'm confused. Sunday afternoon I was sitting here listening to the TV in the other room talk about these shootings in CO. And how the gunman was on the loose. Last night Larry King was interviewing the church security guard that shot and killed the shooter as he was attacking.

But I thought on Sunday after the shooting he was still at large. Maybe he's like a zombie or something.

My prayers to the families. I suggest we stock a couple shotguns at church.

}}

They said boy you just follow your heart.
But my heart just led me into my chest.
They said follow your nose,
But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head.
And they said boy you just follow your dreams,
But my dreams were only misty notions.
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He's the one I have chosen.
And I will follow Him! -- Rich Mullins


{{

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Snapshot

I just wanna know who would name a band Sixx:AM. I mean, there is a band named 4 A.M., a song called 2 AM by Anna Nalick, and one called 8 AM by Summer Obsession.
Musicians must have a habit of staying up all night.
Maybe I should learn to play something.
//
I was downtown the other night. (I'm actually down there a lot these days. There's this cool little place called mudhouse that is just perfect for studying at.) And I noticed they got the Christmas tree up on the square. I thought last year's display was pitiful. This year it is utterly depressing. It looks more like a big bush. So I guess you could say we put up our Christmas bush. It's kinda' leaning to one side with the lights dropped down it. My little brother decorates better than this. I mean, honestly? This bush thing is sacrilege. I weep for Christmas.

Here's a box of tissues:

,,
Last January we had this wicked ice storm. (Completely heathen-- we even sent missionaries.)

Bro and I spent the day out at the Burks where a bunch of us boys started on this completely geeky board game consisting of a board, plastic pieces, closed door discussions (diplomacy), and overall intergalactic take over. (And lots of caramel popcorn, if I remember right, thanks to the Burks women.)

Unfortunately the real world ran out of power and shut down the galactic empires. I guess this is why the amish never strive for world domination.
I got a call from Daniel the other night who was reconvening the council this weekend. So we all piled onto the the church and, after my late arrival and the consumption of large amounts of Cheezies began our manly domination of the universe.

I'm pleased to say that after 9 hours of playing I finally I tied with Josh for second. Daniel took the win with Bro. Ron finishing third. Still don't know how those kids got their dad to stay up so late.

]]
In other news. I'm actually doing some studying. Maybe I'll graduate one of these days. Christmas season is rocking at the bike shop. If you need a bike come see us. If you're just wanting free stuff or somebody to solve your life's problems, forget it. I can suggest a nice bike, a Bible and some quiet trails for sorting your own life out.

Co-worker Josh hung some mistletoe above the shop door. Yeah, awkward.

Good thing it's fake.
///
When you walk away
I count the steps that you take
Do you see how much I need you right now? -Avril

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rollin on

When a long time elapses between posts I have to fight this urge to state the obvious: "It's been a long time since I have posted on here." Like everybody can't figure it out by themselves. There's this plethora of dates and timestamps and stuff.

I went for a ride today (sat.) with one of the new juniors on the OCC cycling team. He sent me an email last night stating that he'd
"gotten alot faster than when I saw you on the ms150 so i'll be able to keep up with you now."

I guess the crosswind finally took it out of me 'cause a couple of miles from home I blew up like the little steam engine that couldn't. I hate it when I do that. The world turns psychedelic colors, there's this tunnel vision thing going on, and I get this disgusting taste in my mouth that makes me wanna' puke every time I sip water.

Ah well. Hopefully it was a boost to his confidence....

*Shout-out to Richard Huddleston who was headed back to Lebanon as we were getting back. Rumor has it we're both doing Froze Toes...
.....

Well, a new year is upon us. I've fallen way short of my goals for this year. But I'm a much better man for trying. I recognize specific areas of weaknesses that have held me back. Destructive habits and thought patterns that hinder my progress (and my communication with God). And, more importantly it's not all about what your do, but who you are.

And that my family and friends are the dearest things I'll ever have.

...
I was a little late for work the other day... I had to sit in the car and enjoy this song. Excuse it's length.

I had big plans for our future
Said I'd give you the whole world somehow
I tried making good on that promise
Thought I'd be so much further by now
Never could build you a castle
Even though your the queen of my heart
But I've had the best of intentions from the start

Now some people think I'm a loser
'Cause I seldom get things right
But you make me feel like a winner
When you wrap me in your arms so tight
Please tell me you will remember No matter how much I do wrong
That I had the best of intentions all along

Ch.
I gave you a ring
And I promised you things
I always thought we'd do
But my best-laid plans
Slipped right through my hands
To show my love for you
And if you could read my heart
The you'd know without exception
It was all with the best of intentions

So here I am asking forgiveness
And praying that you'll understand
Don't think I take you for grantd
Girl, I know just how lucky I am
Though you deserve much better
You won;t find devotion more true
'Cause I've had the best of intentions
Girl I've had the best of intentions
Yes, I've had the best of intentions loving you.
-Travis Tritt, Best of Intentions

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Apartment Live

For the past two hours there has been no peace from upstairs. First it was a quite murmur of pots and pans clinking. The noises increased with more footsteps and water running and the oven door being opened and shut. An hour later a strange smell occurred followed several moments later by the fire alarm. The alarm quieted but the footsteps were moving more quickly now; pots and pans were banging, a tub of ice fell across the floor and an occasional expletive drifted through the window.

Then all fell quiet.

I just saw her walking by on the sidewalk carrying a bent little silver pie pan covered with crinkled aluminum foil.

And everyone wonders why I stick with Ramen noodles.
..
We went out with mom to lunch today. As much as I like Acambero's that's probably the worst service we've ever gotten. I didn't get a single refill. Ah well, hanging with mom and Cory was worth it.

Bro and I then went and played tennis. He won. Twice. Finished up with an Italian soda at mudhouse.
..
A cat just ran past the window followed by a little boy in a red shirt.
"Come here! I want to save you! I want to keep you safe!"
I'm not sure if the kitty wanted to be saved, but a little while later the boy came past, grinning like a Norman Rockwell portrait, arms wrapped around the kitty's tummy.
Guess the kitty got saved.
.
Gotta' get back to studying.

What was I thinking? - Dierks Bentley
/-/

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Roadtrip

I was starting to think I was gonna' die. I was riding a $6k competition mountain bike down the side of this mountain in WI, and every corner held something new. Roots, rocks, trees, abandoned snow machines; you name it. Earlier, at the top of the mountain I had stopped to catch my breath and chat with the paramedic who was lounging on his 4-wheeler.
ME: *Wheez* some hill! I think I'm going soft.
MEDIC: Well, I think It's the highest point around. It's all downhill from here, buddy.
ME: So, you here to keep us from killing ourselves?
MEDIC: Naw, I'm just the guy that makes sure we get the body out before the varmits chew on it.

I hit a root and did a nice controlled endo. aggg. Thankfully the bike didn't get a scratch. I rode out of the woods and bombed it down the ski course back to the Giant tent. Fun. I like speed. The lady in charge at the tent asked me if I wanted to take another bike out. Goofy grin. "Sure."

A few minutes later I was headed back up the mountain side. This time on a $3k all-mountain bike. Heavier, but a lot more suspension. I took a steeper course up the mountain. Everytime I pushed the pedal the front wheel would lift off. Pretty soon I was laying on the handlebars trying to force the bike up the hill. Talk about a workout. I got to the top and dove past the paramedic -- back into the woods. This time was a lot more fun. With the added suspension I was able to trust the bike a lot more and pretty soon I was curving out some pretty sweet single-track. Yeah. That was fun.

So for a business trip it was a lot of fun. The Giant Maestro Suspension system was pretty rocking. And, while I don't think I'd make a very good mountain bike racer, a day of riding the mountain was fun.
..
Got to see the grandparents. It's tough watching them get older and knowing that we may not have many years left... They were really wishing they could see the other grandkids. With both of their sons getting divorced they've not been able to see any grandkids for awhile. I think they feel time is running out.
..
Madison WI is probably the most rocking town I've ever been in. Even better than Denver. 40,000 college students, 14 bike shops, and an incredible downtown. Bookstores, coffeeshops, art galleries, museums. It was incredible. College kids were studying everywhere you looked and bikes nearly rivaled the cars. Really, really cool.

Oh, and get ready. I heard about 4 bums on the street corner discussing where they were going to go for the winter. The local Victory Mission had better get ready.

..
We went to church with the Grandparents. Pastor Jeremy at First Assembly has been doing this study on the heroes of the faith. (Heb 11) Good stuff.

Downside was, he spent the entire time doubting the Bible. He started off for the first five minutes on how it's not some fictitional story. No problem there, but then he starts trying to prove the Bible using theologian's hypotheses. And there were a bunch of hypotheses. But he couldn't say definitively which ones were right because he'd have to use the Bible to define that.

But apparently we needed to prove the Bible to do that. Quite circular. Quite painful.

Other than that, it was a great sermon. Noah believed when nobody else did. He persevered for 100 years while everybody ridiculed. I honestly know very few people today close enough to God to hear His word and persevere on that level.

What a challenge.
++

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Walking out of Walmart I saw a car parked in the Pharmacy spot. It was 11 pm. The pharmacy was closed.
Does that then make that spot available for any customer's use, or does it just make it painfully obvious that said customer is illegally parked?

..
It's been a good week. Big news? The road rash is pretty much healed. Sweet. And we boys got a new apartment. It's the top floor of the Ambassador where we used to live. Has a little more space and a whole lot more character than our current pad. Hopefully the crime rate hasn't gone up too much from when we lived there last. So we should be moving in the end of this month. Maybe that'll give us a little reprieve from random stuff like drano bombs.

..
I'm totally digging my friends. In the past two weeks I've gotten to see more old friends and make more new ones than in the past 6 months. Too cool. All the late night 'partying' isn't helping the workout routine any, but then I guess I can work on my 6-pack when I'm 40 and all my friends are busy doing things like paying off mortgages. I'm kinda' dreading the start of the race season. I enjoy the cycling but I get homesick easily. Good thing it's still several months away.

..
Congrats to Josh, Nate and Daniel for their 5k times. Daniel especially. That kid more than proved himself in his first race and I think with a little bit of sweat we'll see him become quite the athlete.


Ash, good to see you in the land of the rednecks, if ever so briefly.

...
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:16

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

knee knolls

About three months ago I thought I'd train for a marathon. I ended up injuring my knee in the first week. (typical me. Either all-out or couch potato.) I gave up running for several months to let it heal while I focused on my cycling. In the last few weeks, though, I've tried to pick up running again. And each time after less than a mile it flairs up with sharp pain. I suppose in the next year or two I'll need to have it 'scoped.... it's probably left over from that childhood injury where I tripped running in the dark. ( I was 13. Scared of the dark but had some chores to do. I hurried through them and ran to the house. Tripped on some chicken wire in the process, and, other than the ensuing very brief flying career, effectively ended any notions of being a world-class adventure athlete. I'm still trying to figure out why I was scared of the dark at 13...)

So I won't be competing at any running events this fall. I know several people have been training for them and I think that is totally cool. So I will still be there. And if somebody is wanting to walk-run an event I may pin a number on and join you.

So come on out this weekend to Ridge Runner sports and do a 5k.
...
Found a R. Mullins song I hadn't heard before:
And the dark comes through these windows on the wind
Makes those votives glow more brilliantly
Well, if passion can lead to prayer
Maybe prayer can give us faith
And if faith is all we've got
Then maybe faith is all we need

And may the angel of His presence keep your heart
And when your prayers give flight to your dreams
May the only scars you see on their wings

Be the wounds of love - Rich Mullins, Wounds of Love
.

Road Rash

I thought I'd stop by one of those blood pressure cuffs they have at Dillons. My arm actually screamed. It really was embarrassing, standing there in the pharmacy with a screaming arm...

..
I went down to AR this weekend to race in their state championship. Nice way to wrap up the season.

Early on in the race I won a cash prime. Feeling pretty good about myself, in the last laps I tried getting around a rider who looked a little unsteady and get to the front. We touched handlebars as I passed. A little verbal war ensued as he cursed me and I told him to 'hold his line'. Apparently that was too much for him. I realized too late that he was sprinting after me and felt this incredible shove as he passed. It's one of those moments you pray you can keep it upright, but know you aren't going to.


Thankfully the bike absorbed most of the fall with only some cosmetic damage. I got pretty chewed up on my left side... but then I also got the attention of all the pretty nurses. Pros and cons I suppose.

...
I rode in the race on day 2 just to regain my confidence. Went out off the front early just to see what was in the legs. Not enough, as usual, but I felt a lot better. Ended up finishing 11th.

Let the winter training begin.
..
I've got some imperfections
But how can you collect them all and throw them in my face?

I hope you're not intending
To be so condescending
It's as much as I can take
And you're so independent
You just refuse to bend, so I keep bending till I break

But you always find a way to keep me right here waiting
You always find the words to say to keep me right here waiting
And if you chose to walk away I’d still be right here waiting
Searching for the things to say to keep you right here waiting -- Staind

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Batta-boom

Josh, Kay and I are going to Vegas today for Interbike. Sweet. Airplanes. Cool bikes. A break from the norm for 48 hours.
I didn't think I was inordinately excited.
It's 2 am and I'm still awake.

Nope, I'm not excited at all.... I just can't sleep.

....
There was a loud 'boom' around 9 tonight.

It seemed to come from somewhere in the parking lot. 'Twas a big boom. Somewhere between the noise of ten car doors slamming at once and that of a 12 gauge shotgun.

So I wandered outside where about 15 other neighbors were wandering. Believe that, huh? We actually got off our couches and away from our simulated computer- and Tv- based lives to talk to one another.

Turns out someone had thrown some sort of homemade 'bomb' at an apartment window across the complex. Best we can tell it was constructed from a Gatorade bottle, aluminum foil, and some sort of cleaner. Unfortunately the occupant of the apartment was at work. How boring.

Who knows. Maybe somebody was just pulling a prank. Or maybe it was malicious. Either way it made a totally killer bang.

I think Tim and I are gonna' have to concoct some Drano bombs now.
..
Time, it's changing me
It's hard to see who I am
Touched, I'm touched by many things
So many things
I don't understand

But seasons pass and I discover
Above all this there's Another
Helping me to hold on to what
is timeless

So the autumn can color me gold
And the winter can dress me
in snow
But it's You I see,
the timeless part of me- Selah

Friday, September 21, 2007

zz.

Our futon is so cool. It looks cool. Plus, when you're done sitting on it you can fold it out and sleep on it.

But who really wants to sleep where everyone else's bums have sat?
...
Sleeping has begun to cause me great grief. Several months ago I went through a period where I couldn't sleep. Now I have to fight to get up after 10 hours of sleep. Yawn. Quite annoying.

I went running tonight. Killed the right knee. I stopped as soon as I noticed it was giving me pain. arrg. It's still complaining some. I don't know what I'll do if I can't run. Bike, I guess. It's just never as refreshing as a good run.
..
One more week of craziness and the bike season starts to wind down.
I'm kinda' looking forward to it. I'd like some longer rides.
..
Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
- green day

Monday, September 17, 2007

Earthy


Years ago, when we we're traveling through Tennesee, Dad introduced us to this weed called Kudzu. I think it was imported here during the prohibition to curb alcoholism. Or maybe erosion. Can't remember which.

All I know is that it can cover fences, cars and houses at an outstanding rate. (I hear if you want to make it grow faster, you put it under a concrete block and fertilize it with motor oil. this stuff is insane.) I went into Akin's health food store to get some vitamins and they had little caplets of it for sale. Donno' what it's suppose to do. But they were selling it.

And it gets worse. I saw two patches of it in the Sarcoxie area this weekend. At that rate all of the 417- area code, and part of 573- should be covered by next June. I think it's time somebody imported a bunch of alcoholic goats.
...
The MS weekend was long, and painful. Back to back centuries hurt.
My bike looked and sounded absolutely horrendous after all the miles and rain. So I pulled it all apart tonight and gave it a good going over. All I have to do is get the chain back on.
.
I hate the last couple hours of a century. It's not that my body is worn out... I'm pretty much worn out at the 60 mile mark. But in that last stretch my mind starts to go. And suddenly I'm facing all of my 'demons' and life frustrations. So I'm there trying to push my body on and pray through my life at the same time. It's really unique actually. Painful. But unique. I love this sport.
...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Yeah!



Check this. Stage 2, Springfield Finish. My coworker Josh is the dude in the black shirt in the last few seconds at the end. We were pretty pumped.

...
MS 150 starts tomorrow. It'll a be a busy day. Willard to Joplin. These peeps are crazy. They'll do great.

I have some parties to hit on Saturday, but I'm hoping to overnight in Joplin with them and ride back. Should be a blast. I hear there are some hills. Sweet.
...
It was playing on the radio tonight. Totally.

...stand in the rain
Stand your ground
Stand up when it's all crashing down
You won't drown
And one day what's lost can be found
You stand in the rain. - - Superchick

Live it out loud for Christ!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Street racin'

Man. Life is too short. In another 40 years I'll be brushing my dentures. Scary.

....
The Tour of Missouri leaves Lebanon tomorrow around ten and heads up towards Columbia. Tonight the Lebanonites were having a little pre-party, so we took the truck and trailer up to join them.

It was pretty sweet. They set up a street sprint with a radar gun and all the little kiddos would race down the street one at a time trying to coax everything they could out of their training wheels. I get a kick out of how competitive they can be.

Later they had a longer street sprint for the older guys. I've never felt that I am a great sprinter and tonight proved it. In three tries I never made it over 30 mph. I guess I'll have to work on that.

I ended up tying for 2nd with some dude on a fixie. I know, I tied with a single-speed bike. Is that wrong or what? I'm so gonna' start working on my sprints.

The cool thing was they were handing out cash prizes. My fixie partner and I were suppose to split it, but he insisted I take the larger portion. Felt bad about that. After all... he was at the disadvantage. Nice guy.

So I'm a little richer. And we got to promote the shop. Way Cool.

Next year we'll have to have armadillo races.
..
I can feel you all around me
Thickening the air I'm breathing
Holding on to what I'm feeling
Savoring this heart that's healing
I'm alive, I'm alive. - Flyleaf

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Running. Armydillos.

So in yesterday's Tour of MO a couple of riders hit an armadillo. I dunno, but I found that funny. I mean, you're cooking along, and suddenly there's an armadillo. Whaddya' gonna' do? Not like the little bugger's gonna scurry for it's life. And screaming at it prolly wouldn't help. Guess you could try to bunny-hop it. If squirrels are nature's speed-bumps, than armadillos must be the ultimate stop-all.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Dan Schmatz of St. Louis. I was so looking forward to seeing him in todays stage.

...
Speaking of which, watching the pro tour was so awesome. I feel like I have finally had a taste of the TdF. And by taste I mean a very measley tip-of-the-tounge hint. Like the way mom would let us 'taste' her coffee as kids. But it was incredible to be standing a few feet from riders like Contador and Hincapie. And then meeting Brad Huff was pretty sweet. A lot of the riders around here know him pretty good, but for me, there's still some awe. And I'm a fan.

I took some pics with Cory's camera, so when he's done listening to his emo music I'll get them downloaded.
....
I'm dying for a good run. Maybe a bunch of us should plan on doing a run together. Last year we did an event out in rogersville the first weekend in October. (Josh? hard to believe you we're still single back then.) This year that event won't happen until Oct 20th, but there is a 5k at Ridge Runner Sports we could do. It'd be fairly flat. What more could you ask for?

Plus, you should get done in plenty of time for Springfield's Walk-For-Life.

If some of you have been thinking of doing a 5k, it'd be a great way to start. Hey you could even power-walk it. Or walk/run it. Sure, you might not have time for the full "20-weeks to your first 5k" program. But four weeks should be more than enough for most of you. Remember you can WALK it. you'll finish in about 50 minutes. And I'd be sure to save you a bagel.

And then, if you enjoy that enough we can always follow it up the next weekend at the Sunshine Run. (And the weekend after that everybody hard-core can dust off their bikes and toe the line with me at the Wildcat Duathlon. Let's set some PR's!)
...
All right. Done with my shameless plugs.

Once earthly joy I craved,
Sought peace and rest;
Now thee alone I seek
Give what is best;
This all my prayer shall be:
More love, O Christ to Thee,
More love to Thee,
More love to Thee! -- E. Prentiss

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Don't tell me...

I oughta' post more regularly instead of saving it up for painfully long posts that even I rarely bother to read...
....
This is the big week at the bike shop. All year we've been helping customers switch from couch potato to century rider. It is so cool to help these people out in the final week before the MS. For some it will be the first time, and they're quite scared. Other's are doing it again, just to enjoy the camaraderie and prove -- to none but themselves -- that they haven't lost it.

In some ways that's the essence of humanity. Striving for something. The apostle Paul knew that. He was all about running. Pressing for the mark. That kind of thing. Not just pressing for anything, but that high calling. Yeah, centuries rule. Just think what Heaven is in comparison.
...
Flies wash they're eyeballs with their hands. Sweet. Humans can't do that. They have too many gross habits like picking their noses and shaking each other's hands. 'nough said.
...
The tour of Missouri is in Springfield tomorrow. I'm planning on digging out my little World Championship cap, my fixie, and my VIP pass (thanks, Kay... and Felt), and Partying for an hour. Woo Hoo! Been dreaming of going to a pro-tour race since I was 16. Too cool.

And everybody's invited. So pack up the kids and hit the JVIP area between 2 and 4 (riders arrive here between 3 and 4) I'm guessing we may not see another pro-tour in MO for awhile. Besides, after 10 years, it's the Discovery boys last race. Bring a tissue. Might as well enjoy history while it happens.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Race lessons

As I was packing at the hotel, I picked up my Bible and it flipped open to Psalms.124: "If it had not been the Lord..." Right then I remembered that barrier coming up towards me. "If it had not been..." Not to mention the fact that we had an entirely safe trip; the car held up; the bodies and minds stayed refreshed. Truly, I'm blessed. ..

In Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy -- at least in the movie version -- it is recommended to always carry a towel with oneself; or to at least always know where that towel is.

I have found that extremely true in racing. For instance; I hate driving in my chamois, so I wait to change into my racing clothes until I get there. I simply tie the towel around my waist and I can change anywhere. Of course toweling-off after a race rules, too.

This week I upgraded from a towel to a pillow and a blanket. The blanket offers more coverage, plus you can lay it down anywhere -- like on the parking lot in the shade between two cars -- and nap comfortably for several hours. Talk about race recovery.
..

Jason actually has the words to "hey there delilah" memorized. Kid needs a guitar.
..

Yesterday's race was a lot of fun. I felt really strong. I was in the front making breaks. Winning primes. I was the man.
When we rounded the corner at the bottom of the last climb I was in second position. Some dude clipped a pedal and I heard the bike scrape along the ground behind me. The whole peleton freaked out and hit their brakes like a bunch of lemmings after a trip to the tree of knowledge. This was it. Me and the race leader. He accelerated. My legs? The same legs that had been 'controlling' the race? Yeah, they wilted like butter on hot pancakes. I fought with everything I had and finished 11th. From 2nd to 11th. In 50 seconds.

It's the hardest lesson to learn. Racing isn't about getting attention, or hearing your name. It's about the finish line. I don't care how many laps you lead. Yeah, it sucks to sits in the back of a bunch of squirrley cat 5 riders. But sometimes that's what it takes to have the strength for the finish. That little yellow stripe across the road. That's what matters.


So I decided I would sit in today. At the start it wouldn't have mattered. Even after a long warmup I didn't have the strength to chase a sea turtle, had it chosen to break-away. But midway through the race they finally came around.
It was a beautiful course: A beautiful sweeping downhill stretch to the finish, and a nice hill on the backside, with a bottle-neck corner leading into it. In warmup, I was placing bets with myself how many riders were going to eat it there. I smelled burnt rubber more than once during the race from all the cyclists freaking out on their brakes. Yeah, I didn't like it much. At one point I was coming into the corner on the outside next to the metal barricades. Some racers decided to move up a few places on my inside and forced me over to the barriers. I looked up and saw the metal foot right in front of me.
A lot of praying. A lot of screaming 'Stopping!'. And a lot of crazy bike skills. Somebody clipped my rear wheel, but we kept it upright.
So we raced on. Several breaks kept forming, so at one point I went for a mid-race prime, hoping to segue that into a break. I didn't win the prime-- it was neck and neck but I wanted to save that final kick for the race finish -- but we did get a little gap. Unfortunately nobody in the gap felt strong enough to hold it so -- in spite of my screaming (Pull! c'mon, work it! Pull off! let's go!)-- we dropped back. Good call. Little energy wasted.
Coming into the final lap the winner went right to the front and pulled all the way up the hill. I figured he would blow up. Just kept chugging. We rounded the corner and he was gone. I was blocked in, until everybody started sprinting, but got out just in time to fight for it. Ah, it was so painful. I kept grabbing gears.. It hurt so bad but I knew it would be over ten seconds.. so I grabbed a few more gears and stood on the pedals.
I doubt there's been any happier 3rd place finisher.
.
.
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, now may Israel say;
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us:
Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us:
Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul:
Then the proud waters had gone over our soul.
Blessed be the LORD, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth.
Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
Psalms 124

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Gateway Cup

First off, I want to thank all of my friends for their support as I tinker with racing. I've dreamed of this for so long, it totally rules to be chilling here tonight... in a totally rad hotel just few blocks from the university loop where the race concludes tomorrow. So far I haven't done anything outstanding, but I have had a lot of lessons in two days. Let's see tomorrow how well they've been learned.

I have won two primes, though: 2 t-shirts, a backpack and a pair of socks. Plus the pride of beating guys out at the line. Xqii.
..

After hearing about my 11th place finish, my dad sent text message:
Hang in there. Maybe one of the ten will get kicked out 4 drugs.

Real funny, dad.
...

Cory and I wandered around St.Louis today. The tours of the Arch were completely booked out, but we still got to get close to it. It's grand. Not beautiful. Grand.
Then we wandered around downtown some and settled for supper at Hardees.
I gotta' say I like St. Louis better than Chicago. It still has the big-town busyness, but not the dirtiness. Or snobbiness.
...

If I weep, let it be as a man; longing for his home - Rich Mullins

Monday, August 20, 2007

Big Yellow Taxi

I came home from work to find Cory bouncing his pen in front of his computer screen because it looked cool.
...

I tried to ride in the rain today. Fell down and got an awesome little bit of rash on the right hip. I was in my new Sunshine shorts too. What a pity.

....
Wandered around the MSU campus a bit. I do miss that place a little. Maybe after I graduate I shall go back and work on a computer science degree Just take one course a semester, and when I'm forty I'll have some totally rockin' degree. Of course that'll be about the time computers get outdated.

...
The Triathlon on Saturday was a real bear. I knew I couldn't swim -- I just hadn' realized how badly I couldn't swim. Honestly. I jumped in the pool, kicked off the wall and then just glided underwater for an eternity thinking "what do I do next? what do I do next?" About that time I ran out of air and proceeded to freak out. Completely killed any ideas of a nice, slow controlled freestyle swim. Ended up dogpaddling the whole stinkin' thing.
After the second lap I crawled on the edge of the pool and just panted in terror. The race director came up and patted me on the back. totally pitiful. After the third lap I was perched on the edge again watching the last swimmer leave the pool. I sighed and told the life guard to hang on, it may be awhile before I got out. ah, it was shameful. Took a whole 18 minutes to swim that thing.
I'm soo going to learn how to swim.

The rest of the course wasn't bad... just painful. The thing I both love and hate about triathlons is that from the time you get out of the pool to the time you quit, you never quit panting. So for an hour my heart was at redline. Which totally rules, and totally blows. Nate and I spent a good portion of Saturday and Sunday sleeping. Recovery, they call it.
Yeah, I'll do another one sometime. But road racing remains my favorite.
[Stats: 63rd out of 221. 6th in 20-24 males. 1:21:15.8]
...

Been dying to ride my fixie. So I took it downtown tonight. Saw a Jim Farasy at Patton Alley and said hey, and then stopped by mudhouse and harassed some random customers and one of the SBS's owners. Good stuff. Even got some studying in and a long ride home. (I took a detour by August's house to say yo)

...
Get tomorrow off. I'm really thinking of a century ride. We'll see. there are brief moments where I wish I could just have a day to have fun and not worry about bikes or training on bikes or helping customers ride their bikes. But then I realize how truly lucky I am.

I have to worry about bikes. awwww. life is so tuff.
...
I Cor 13
Been pondering God's love. You know, the first love. The romantic jealous love of our Lover. And then I'm comparing it to the bitter self-centered love we show to our brother's and sister's in Christ. And how petty we are. And so we pick at them... and we're down on ourselves... and all the while Christ is just longing to call us away to spend time with Him. I dunno. Some of these thought's aren't fully formed. I think Christ is trying to root something out of my life and I'm not entirely sure what it is yet.
....
Had someone give me the 'career speech'. (As follows: google 'top-paying jobs'. find one you can put up with. do it.) Blah, bleck. Yeah, I may not make as much money doing something I enjoy; but I'd take my fixie and a one-bedroom apartment with a bunch of hapiness over the corporate world's bloated bellies, fake suits, midlife crisis and bored wives. I have too much stuff as it is.

Ahem. I supose one of these days a bunch of kids with poopy diapers will crash my little dream-chasing bachelor's paradise. but until then. I'll keep riding the fixie.
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They paved paradise And put up a parking lot. With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot.

took all the trees; Put 'em in a tree museum. And they charged the people A dollar and a half just to see 'em.

Hey farmer, farmer -- Put away that DDT now. Give me spots on my apples, But leave me the birds and the bees, Please!

last nightI heard the screen door slam And a big yellow taxi Took my girl away.

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot

They paved paradise , and put up a parking lot
-Big Yellow Taxi. Joni Mitchell

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dwayne da' bathtub, I'm Dwowning.

I love technology. My MSN messenger goes off alerting me to a new email from a colleague. My phone beeps a second later with the same message. It's all too cool. Yeah, I'm too dependent on my stuff. But at least it's cool stuff.
....

Several months ago I signed up for this Tiger Triathlon. It seemed innocous at the time. A great reason to get into shape. But right now it looms so boringingly. -- a horrible way to torture myself.
The cool thing about bike races is you get to save a little energy. I can tuck in behind somebody when I get tired and recover before I go again. Yeah, usually after a race I have to sit down for a half-hour and recover. But after these individual events I have to go all-out the whole time. A fond, as the French would say. And I usually spend the rest of the day curled up in the fetal position. Ack.

Maybe I'm just ticked because I don't know how to swim.
....

I love it when random scriptures jump out at a fella'. Like tonight.

I'm the kind of person that wants to give my opinion. I wanna' tell all my brother's and sister's in Christ where they're wrong. Set you guys straight. Keep you close to the Father.
But tonight this really stod out:

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us...If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death... (I John 5:14,16)

There's a lot of trivial mistakes we make. little failures. bad habits. But it's not my job to call you on them. It's my job to take you to the Father and let Him grow you the way you grow best.

And too often I forget that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Yes! Now Blogger let's you type in Hindi!
No idea what I'm gonna' do with this feature. Now, if it could write in dog, or woman, I'd be impressed. As it is, I shall satify myself with being pointlessly amazed.

येस! नोव ब्लॉगर लेट'एस यू टाईप इन हिंदी!