Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Exhibit #2

Room #1

Room #2

Really, that's pretty good for room #1.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Are our kids even related?

No explanation needed...

Thursday, November 13, 2014


I went riding out at Shawnee Mission Park on Monday afternoon, trying to embrace some of the last vestiges of 60* + days.  Apparently laying off the bike for awhile isn't good for my riding skills.  Who knew!?!?

I was making my way around Red, which is rocky and mildly technical, like most of SMP, and crashed over-the-bars for some reason.  I think I was just tired.  No big deal, a little blood but pretty average for a good MTB ride.  I went a big further, and then crashed harder.  I didn't injure myself, but I managed to finish off my tired saddle that has slowly been dying for some time now.  End result:

Of course when I did that, I couldn't have been much further from the car, so I had to ride the rest of the way standing up.  That's tough, and even tougher when you not only use your saddle to sit, but to control the rear of your bike.  I stopped GPS recording my ride when that happened, but in hindsight I probably should have kept it going to see how far I rode on the way back.  Thankfully I found my way to the Mill Creek paved trail and was able to haul arse the rest of the way back, and got home just in time to get the kids from school.

I was sore for a few days after crashing and riding.  Getting old sucks, and is highly over-rated.

Friday, November 7, 2014


I'm working here!

I've had a plethora of miraculous blog ideas come through my head in the last month or so.  The issue is that I have this blog locked down so sometimes when I'm trying to authenticate to write down some content, I fade out and lose interest.  I guess that's ADHD.

I've watched some funny videos, and I'd share them, but I think what I think is funny and what my two readers think is funny are wildly different things.

I will say this, working for the Federal Gov't kind of limits what I can post about.  I'll say this quickly then:

Voter turnout generally sucked:

Re-election rates were astronomical (still pending final results), especially given what a low approval rating Congress has.  But that's nothing new:

Apparently I'm not the only one interested by this phenomenon.  Perhaps the riddle has been explained:


My theory rests firmly with "panem et circenses".

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I hate paying corporations

I begrudgingly signed up for Directv last September to watch KU basketball.  I seriously hate all forms of cable TV.

When I signed up, I had to sign a 24 month contract with a 12 month price guarantee.  That sounds completely stupid to me, and I called the sales rep on it.  He goes on to assure me as long as I pay my bills on time, I'll be able to take advantage of other offers once the 12 months is up.


13 months later, after my bill goes up by over $37 a month, I email support, and they offer me $10 off a month.

Thanks Marilou.  I bet you're a nice person, and that's why I didn't go off on you.  I hope you get a job someday where you're not working for some soul-sucking corporation.

Marilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Hi, my name is Marilou M. (ID 100709617). How are you today?CHRIS SMITH:okay, how are you?Marilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:I am glad to know that you're okay, Chris I am good, thank you. I got your concern and I'd be happy to help.CHRIS SMITH:It appears that $37/mo of promo credit has expiredMarilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Yes, I noticed that as well. I certainly understand that cost value is of great importance to our customers, Chris. I found that you have CHOICE package at $66.99 a month. Would you like to change your pacakge? We have other packages here that may suit your entertainment needs on a more affordable price.CHRIS SMITH:What would you recommend?Marilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Can you tell me what channels are important to you and to your family? I want to make sure that you will be able to watch your favorite programs even before we change your package.CHRIS SMITH:primarily espn.Marilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Thanks. Anything else that you enjoy watching?CHRIS SMITH:fox sports midwestMarilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Thanks for letting me know, Chris. Please give me a minute or two while I check on the best package for you. Would that be ok?CHRIS SMITH:sureMarilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Thanks. I'll be right back.Marilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Thank you for waiting, I appreciate your time. I see here that CHOICE is the best package for you so you'll be able to watch your sports channels. I am now checking on the offers available on the account. Please bear with me.CHRIS SMITH:okMarilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:Thanks for your patience. I was able to do an override here on my end that will enable me give you a $10 off for 1 year without changing the package! How does that sound to you?CHRIS SMITH:It sounds like I'm still paying $27 more a month.  I was told when I signed up that as long as I kept my account in good standing, that I should be able to maintain my rate once the 12 month promotional period expires.  I was told that after I expressed my concern about signing a 24 month contract with a 12 month rate guarantee.Marilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:I understand that the discount I have may not be sufficient to your needs. I apologize if I am only able to provide you what my restrictions allow. For your convenience, you may call us at 1-800-531-5000 anytime between 8:00 AM and 1:00 AM Eastern time to inquire on other offers available.CHRIS SMITH:that's not really convenient, as my time is worth something as well.Marilou M. (ID 100709617) DIRECTV:I definitely understand that time is valuable, Chris. I will be able to provide you with a $10 off but it seems that it's not what you are expecting so it's best to give us a call to make sure all our resources are checked regarding the offers available on your account.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


My riding has been getting a lot better, but still SO far off of where I'd like to be.  The idea of racing next year has some appeal to it, but I'm hesitant to commit at this point due to 1) all the potential conflicts in our already jam-packed calendars 2) I need to keep training this winter at least as much as I am now.  Excuse #1 is more of a frustration point.  I love the boys doing their sports and everything, but sometimes it makes it difficult to commit to any other type of weekend activity, at least consistently.

I'm trying to ride 3x a week for at least 50 miles.  That's baby stuff for a racer, but some weeks it's tough for me to fit that in.  I just need to be more creative with how I fit my workouts in.  Speaking of workouts, I really need to start hitting some weights and core training.  I remember when I used to race, and even now, the first thing that gets tired is my core.  I can feel the issue starting when more weight starts getting supported by my hands/arms/shoulders, then my shoulders get tense, then my lower back and hips start getting tired/locking up, then there's no power.  It should be easy enough to fix, or at least make better, given what poor shape those muscles are in that they should train up pretty quickly.  I think even if I stick to riding hard 3x a week, plus train up my core and supporting muscles, I'll be a better racer than ever before (that's not saying too much, but still).

I've been reading Shannon Sovndahl's book, Cycling Anatomy.  It's a good read, with enough detail to be educated without going too deep into the weeds.  There's some good exercises in there I hadn't seen before and am anxious to try.  First workout is tonight, so that's exciting.

That's it for now, more later.

Friday, September 5, 2014

My blogging skills lack severly

Life has given me so much to write about, but I'd rather be living and recovering than writing about it lately.  So that's that.

I started riding nearly semi-seriously again.  It feels good to be out, getting back in some sort of shape other than round.  Going from slow to fast-ish back to slow is tough.  There was a brief point where I was racer fast.  That's addictive.  You can go along so fast, wind roaring in your ear, you have a high pain tolerance and can jump and sprint and corner and do all those fun things.

Then you eat worse than you should, and you start looking at your bike like an ex-girlfriend.  You remember the good times, but somewhere along the way you went separate ways for one reason or another.  I broke up with the bike because I couldn't dedicate enough time (5-10 hours a week) to ride hard enough to have a level of success while racing.  There were other things I wanted to do, plus AB was starting to get into sports.  How anyone gets a 3+ hour ride in on the weekends is beyond me, at least with a family situation like mine.

Racing was my motivation.  It kept me riding hard, doing intervals, trying to be stronger race after race.  Beat someone who beat me before.  Keep dropping the lbs.  Push a little harder.  Finish a little higher.  Top half of the field.  Then top third.  Then top 10.    I never sniffed winning, and there's a lot of reasons for that.  But they were reasons I was ok with.  Some were me, some were the nature of the sport.  These aren't excuses, it's just the way it was.

So then I decided to start playing guitar, embracing the musical part of my brain.  It was pretty good back in the day (high school).  Good enough to get a scholarship.  But then I broke up with that girlfriend too.  Probably a time thing.  I probably didn't want to starve my whole life too.  Well, maybe that's severe, but there's a lot more starving musicians than psychologists or computer nerds.  On the other hand, there's a lot of freedom there that you don't have when your in a cube most of your waking hours.

Anyway, so I've been playing.  I've made some good advances, and starting to see the big picture.  Which is really like just pulling a giant textbook off the shelf and getting ready to dive in.  There's so much to learn, but that's the fun part.

This life is for conquering.  Being the best you can be at as much as you can.  That's probably why I hardly watch TV.  That's time you give away.  I had a random though today as I was driving in.  How much would an 80 year old billionaire give to have just one year in his 20's back?  Probably everything.  Yet a lot of us in our 20's aren't focused on living a full life.  Maybe because we're scrambling with work, kids, etc.  I'd love to be 20 again, and I'm only 37.  Youth is wasted on the young indeed.