Tuesday, May 25, 2010

didja miss me?

Yes, it's been a long while since I've written. No no no no, stop sniffling now. It's not you, it's me. I stopped writing to everyone, not just you.

I sincerely apologize to those of you who live for my once-weekly updates. I laugh at you a little bit, too, bc I really don't feel as if my writing is anything special. It's actually not much more than a translation of some of the incessant chatter bouncing between the insides of my skull.

Where have I been these past few weeks? Nunya. Nunya Bidniss.

Seriously, lemme do a quick recap to get you all up to speed.

FOUR Fridays ago, we bounced up to Ohio for a family wedding. My cuz Dana got hitched. It was a beautiful ceremony (with all the required Catholic aerobics) and a great party afterwards. It also just happened to be Ohio Bike Week. :) Pics here.

THREE Fridays ago, Samantha graduated high school. I'm not sure why, but the school decided to do the ceremony in the football stadium, instead of at the Patriot Center. Mother Nature decided to make it about 140 degrees and 140% humidity that afternoon. Once the sun went down, it turned out to be a really nice event. Sam's on her way to Radford in the fall, and totally stoked about it. She's already got her roommate (another girl from her HS) and I've already sent money.

I'm really proud of my baby girl.

TWO Fridays ago, I hit the road with a couple friends from my office. We bike together during the week, and have done a few triathlons together. This time we were on the way to a much much MUCH bigger race: The Gran Fondo Fab Fifty. We camped Friday night near Deep Creek, before hitting the race Saturday morning. My pics here.

The Fondo is a road-bike race, starting at the top of Wisp Ski Resort, and running up down and around all the mountains at Deep Creek. It is by far the most challenging ride I've ever done. Taller, steeper, farther, and faster than ever before. I had to resist making SteveAustin sound effects. The killer? The last two miles of the course are spent riding back to the top of Wisp Mountain.

Fondo Stats
  • Linear distance: 50.76 miles
  • Total climb: 5,800'
  • Elapsed time: 4:01:23
  • Best part: INSANE TOP SPEEDS!!!!

After the race completed Saturday, me & the guys high-tailed it back to NoVA to celebrate Seth & Susan's wedding. It was a blast - hanging out with old friends and meeting a lot of new ones. Of course, smashing the glass and dancing the Hora were included. Tony spotted the chairs on the dance floor first, but we may have tied in the sprint to grab a leg. I guarantee that if the chandelier was a tiny bit lower, we would have had an incident.

ONE Friday ago was the holiday weekend, which also coincided with Samantha's 18th birthday. I left work early, and left all of you in the lurch. Sorry again. I didn't want to distract anyone, and extend your workday any longer than it needed to be.

Anyway, thru the weekend we spent a lot of time with fam & friends & neighbors. Multiple BBQs, multiple fireworks displays, and way too much food. Sam wanted to get some top-shelf steaks to celebrate her birthday dinner. Ray's the Steaks in Arlington was perfect. I'd been to Ray's HellBurger before, and the Steaks had an equally impressive reputation, and they didn't disappoint. Capital Grille quality at Outback prices, and zero pretentiousness. Do it.

Sam made her own birthday cake:

This weekend is looking to be another good celebration of summertime. One housewarming, one (dual) birthday party, and a BBQ with some old friends. Screw Michelob. Weekends were made for grillin'!

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Finally. A TRUE time waster! This one is so easy, but so addictive at the same time. Two button controls: left arrow, right arrow. Rotate.

Six Degrees of Black Sabbath. Pick two musicians, and see how they're connected. Just like the Kevin Bacon game, without the Bacon.

TheSmokingGun has a contest, built from the game Clue: identify which criminal used which weapon when they were arrested for assault. Hurry, though, the contest ends at 6pm EDT!

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Boston's Barstool Sports has the best salute to the 4th of July and the good ol' US of A. I wish I could come up with stuff like this.

My kind of party.

Not-so-much my kind of Capt. America burrito party.

I kissed a lot of girls these past couple weeks. Or imagined so, at least.

Child stars and how they've (not?) changed.

Lots of reasons for non-soccer fans to watch the World Cup (for real).

One more reason to cheer for soccer:

I'll fess to it though, here's the real reason why I've been watching the World Cup.

Cool optical illusion in real-life:

Now I understand!

Final thought ... your weekend may start when this cycle completes...

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

bike season! wabbit season!

It's full-on bike season now. I have the W&OD trail to myself most days thru the winter, but once the warm weather comes around I have to learn to share again.

Sharing the trail isn't all bad. Things are more interesting with more activity around. Dog walkers, joggers, stroller moms. I enjoy seeing chubbies out there, who have been hibernating on the sofa thru the cold months, and are trying to get things turned around. And I looooooove ponytail season!

Of course, there's a whole collection of idiots out there, too. Here's how to NOT piss me off:

On the trail and on the streets...
  • Don't stop in the middle of the trail.
  • Pushing a stroller does not excuse you from common sense.
  • If it's dark, carry a friggin' light. Your momma lied; you're not that bright.
  • And your little dog needs a light, too.
  • Clean up after that mongrel.
  • A 30' leash is invisible to everyone who's not holding it.
  • Matching bike jerseys with your friends looks dumb.
  • Empty gelpacks go back in your pocket.
  • Riding on the sidewalk is dangerous and illegal.
  • Your head may be hard, but it's not harder than asphalt. Wear a brain bucket.
  • Pull the pretty little white cords out of your ears. Zone out somewhere that you don't share.
  • Keep right except to pass, and don't crowd the centerline, either. Your 15mph plus my 35mph generates a closing speed of 50mph. Think about it for a sec. Zippy reaction time, and that sht would hurt.
  • Road signs are for everyone (including you).
  • Cars are bigger than you.
  • Cars are bigger than me, too. I don't want to be on the streets with drivers that you've pissed off.
  • Do not not NOT thank that friendly soccermom in the grey minivan when she waves you across the road in conflict with the road signs. The 'nice' drivers need to be trained to be 'safe' drivers instead. (see below)

Now for the drivers in the 4-wheeled road cages...
  • PAY ATTENTION, DAMMIT! (funny how that rule keeps coming back)
  • PAY ATTENTION, DAMMIT! (oh, did I say that twice?) When my strobe lights, day-glo colors, reflective material, and hand signals aren't enough, I think maybe you're not doing your part.
  • Relax. There is plenty of room for a bike and your car in that lane.
  • Don't crowd the shoulder.
  • Don't go 8' into the other lane to avoid a bicycle. *Crestview Rd, 2009. AssClown in a Miata switches to the left lane to pass a 17" wide bike. Oncoming Z3 switches to his left lane to avoid the Miadiot, each passing the other on the wrong side of the road. I had to wash my shorts after that one.
  • Your car has turn signals for a reason.
  • Pedestrians & bicyclists in a crosswalk have the right-away. Pedestrians and bicyclists not in the crosswalk yet, do not have the right-away.
  • It's a moving violation, and points on my driver's license if I'm older than 16 and riding on the sidewalk. Quit asking.
  • Don't be nice. Instead, be smart and safe. Smart and safe are wayyyyy more important that being nice. Don't effing wave me across Whiele Ave like you have any control over the drivers in the other 5 lanes. I appreciate the offer, but until your telekinetic skills improve, a 16.67% chance of survival is not a gamble I'm taking.

Other than the assclowns, summertime bike season is going great. A couple of us took a 1/2 day vacation this week to go out for a big ride. Drove out to BFE, to the base of Mt. Weather, then did the ride up & over the top of Blueridge Mountain Rd. Uphill sucks; downhill = 45mph and big stupid grins! Check out the ride details here: Garmin link.

I've got a bigger mountain ride in the works. June 26 (relax, I'll be back in time for the wedding that night) there's a 50mile road race out at Deep Creek Lake, that courses down, around, and back up Wisp Mountain. The race is longer and higher than any I've done before, so it's a little intimidating, but I'm feeling ready for it.

I've got two triathlons scheduled for September, the Reston Tri and the Taylor Love sprint. I'm still looking for another one to do over the summer, but a lot of our time is already scheduled w/ famstuff.

Speaking of famstuff, Samantha is only an RCH away from being done with high school. As a senior with excellent grades, she gets to bail on the last week or so of classes, and all final exams. She's only got like 8 days of class remaining, then she's done done done. She's got a summer job already lined up to fill the time before she goes away to Radford.

Megan's done with middle school this year, too. Next year, everyone is in high school or college. It's a lot easier to deal w/ HS teachers; they just seem to have a different attitude toward the job and the students. Almost like they're there to get the job done and not do so much babysitting. The kids need to step things up and take care of their own business.

I just registered for my second-to-last semester at Strayer. Summer school has the same awful feeling now that it did when we were in high school. The possibility of summer school was the worst possible thought as the rest of the class was getting excited over playing kickball all day and flashlight tag all night. So even though taking class all summer brings me closer to the end, I'd really rather sit on the back deck, sipping a beer in the sunshine.

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I'm calling this a game. Figure it out.

A week of celebration! Bill found the 30th anniversary update of Missle Command!

Google posted their coolest doodle ever. It celebrated the 30th anniversary of Japanese Pac-Man, and was playable right from the home page. Find backup copies of the game here or here.

Celebrating Dom's dumbest submission EVER. TimeSnail.

But he also sent Celebrity Kung-Fu, which makes up for it a bit.

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Big big BIG love to Joe for finding the exact pic I was looking for, the pic of the RatPack sharing a bottle of Jack. It's available framed from SignedRock.com. No price listed...and I haven't had the nads to call and ask yet.

The Rat Pack's 10 rules of style. Jack Daniels, always Jack Daniels.

Facebook has been screwing up all over the place recently. FB apps have access to all your data; click here to learn how to clean up that mess. Then click here to scan your current privacy settings, and lock 'em down. Even has an option to lock things down automatically.

Seth sent yet another reason to be happy about not smoking any more. This stuff is harsh.

Josh has great gift ideas, just in time for Father's Day! (btw, that sh!t is real.)

Yash is rockin' out, Rube Goldberg style:

The Playmate of the Year gets a free car each year. Here's the full collection, from 1964 right up to 2010.

I didn't get it, until Amanda splained it to me...

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