Friday, January 29, 2010

Two posts on Friday

It wouldn't surprise me to see a third post at that.  Oh the shenanigans!

Please check out this link and consider signing the petition...

I think we need to get rid of career politicians more than ever.  The us vs. them is getting worse than ever, and I think it's time to flush the toilet.  Please consider voting out long-time recumbents as well.  In the voting booth is the only time the common man gets his voice heard by our "representatives".

I just want to get this out there real quick

The "Octagon of Doom" is by far, the dumbest thing that the Thundercats could have named their gym.  Why didn't they just call it the "Trapezoid of Terror"?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

FNG = suck, and the big annoucement.

I started a new job this week, and I'd forgotten how much I hate being the new guy.  On one hand, it's not much fun going to a job where you know next to nothing, but on the other hand, it's great seeing the opportunity I have before me to learn so much.  It wouldn't be much fun walking on to a job and knowing 80% of what's going on already.  I think I'd be bored in a few weeks in that type of scenario.

I haven't been riding/weight training as much as I would have liked to the last few weeks.  I'm not sure where the motivation has been, but it hasn't been on the trainer.  Maybe the stress of switching jobs has just got me a little worn out.  It's tough to keep perspective/focus when so much change is in the air.  At least everything else is stable in my life.

So on February 8th I begin my new training plan.  It's a 16 week plan for my first...triathlon!  I'll be racing in the Kansas City Triathlon on May 23rd, and the Shawnee Mission Park Triathlon on July 11th.  At both races I'll be doing to the Sprint Triathlons, which are roughly 500-yard swim, a 9-mile bike, and a 2.4-mile run.  Those distances don't seem that crazy on paper, but we'll see how tough they are back-to-back-to-back.  I'm looking forward to the challenge, and for something to provide some direction during my "off-season" for cyclocross.  Most CX racers will race road (or road is their primary discipline with CX their off-season), but I don't have a true road bike nor due I feel compelled to try road racing at this stage.  I'd much rather race mountain bikes, but don't have one of those either at this point.  We'll see.  I know how keen my wife is for me to fill the garage up with bikes, although I know there is nothing I would like better.  At least my affliction is a healthy one, right?

So that's all I have for now.  K-man has been teething like crazy and is in his fourth month of a constant cold, so that's pretty much the standard of living with him.  AB is turning into quite a good little man, and has a pre-kindergarten meeting coming up soon.  He's growing up way too fast, but his ever-changing personality is a wonder to behold.  I'm really enjoying the ride...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The post we've all been waiting for.

At least I assume you've been waiting for this post. Maybe you haven't been. Maybe you're just content with the pics of lycra-clad warriors and snowing alpine vistas. But nevertheless, I feel as though I owe my readers a written account of things that have happened in the last few weeks, starting with our trip to the land of Canadia, America's Hat.

If someone were to say, "Chris, you have to move out of Kansas City right now. You have a choice of any city in North America, but it will be your home for the rest of your life." I'd think about warm locales momentarily (endless cycling and golf) but in the end, I'd pick Vancouver hands-down. That is the most gorgeous city I've ever seen. It's roughly the same size of Kansas City, but surrounded by water and beautiful mountains and gorgeous Pacific Northwest old growth rain forests. Driving through the city I thought the population was 8 million, because of all the elegant high-rise glass lofts that incorporate a vast majority of buildings downtown, and the fact that people are every where. You'd think they were hosting the Olympics or something. It's very multi-cultural in BC, with lots and lots of Aussies and Asians. And everyone seems very happy. I would be too, since it was roughly 50 degrees there and KC was a balmy negative 10. There are tons of bike trails and ped-friendly paths, beautiful parks, and tons of options for transportation. I do hate that KC is SO car dependent. Add that with all the good eating and it's no wonder I've been carrying around so much of a gut.

Anyway, I digress (as usual). Whistler-Blackcomb mountains are about 2 hours north of Vancouver. The base at Whistler is only about 2200', so there is no altitude acclimation, which is a bonus for flatlanders like us. Penny and I had a terrific time skiing/snowboarding, and had a great vow renewal in front of the Inukchuk statue (in the pics below) so we should be set for another 5 years. Despite the frigid mid-mountain temps, I didn't drop our rings in the snow, and the ceremony was lots of fun and memorable, especially with the unbelievable view.

Tuesday night we went to the Village and ate at Araxis, at my sister's and mother's behooval, and it was really quite good.  The creme brulee wasn't as good as it is as Bristol, but everything else was great.  I don't know about $18.50 for an organic salad, though.  That's what you get for ordering a pre-dinner salad without asking how much it is.  Oh well, fool me once I suppose.

On Wednesday, we took the day off and hung out at Starbucks reading magazines and books until late morning (which was terrific minus the crappy Charbucks coffee), and then went over to Whistler Village and did some shopping and just had a nice lazy day.

Thursday we got back after it, and Penny was having fun doing some jumps and I even hit a few jumps too.  At the end of the day, we were sad to put an end on the trip, but ready to bring the Chaos known as "The Boys" back into our lives.  Friday we traveled for about 12 1/2 hours before we finally had our heads hit the pillows on our own bed.  That's a long time to travel, and I'm all for shorter trips next time.  We talked about taking AB next year, and maybe doing a family trip with some of our friends to somewhere in Colorado.  That would be quite a change of pace, but I think it'd be a lot of fun too.  Certainly very different than what we're used to!

In true swiii style, I have to incorporate a gripe in this post.  I just want to say UNITED AIRLINES SUCKS.

You're telling me that I have to pay $140 to take my bags on top of the $1000 I've already paid you for our seats.  You guys can seriously suck it.  That's complete bullshit charging for bags and I hope that your company dies a miserable, bankrupt death and consumers stop paying for your half-assed attempts at customer service.  The cost of air line transportation is ridiculous, with 3 hour security clearances, fees for snacks on a 3 hour flight, fees for blankets, fees for pillows, fees for headphones, and this just in, fees for you paying your fees at the airport instead of pre-paying them.  I'd like to take this opportunity to take the $140, change it into nickels, and ram it up your corporate ass.

I feel marginally better.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Visitor stats

How ironical it is that when I post material, my visitor hit count goes up. I guess that most of my visitors are followers, therefore when I post something new, my site jumps up to the top of their list. I figured that most people would just check the site every now and then. Interesting, especially for a psych geek like me.

On another tech note, I bought a new computer last night to replace my 5-year-old Gateway that gave up the ghost, and somehow, I'm not amazed at the speed of it. 8 gigs of DDR3 ram, quad core Phenom II processor, and a shiny black case and I'm not in awe. What I have been astonished by is the amount of bloatware that HP decided to load. I seriously though that when I booted up, that I had a HP built OS, not Windows 7. That's going to take some massaging to get rid of all that junk. Good golly.

That's all for now.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pics from Whistler (finally)

This should make Penny a little more are the pics from our Whistler trip. I cannot tell you how beautiful and enormous the mountains were. I really think you could ski there two weeks and not hit the same trail twice. And when you got to the peaks, it was nothing but beautiful snow-capped, cloud-wrapped peaks everywhere you looked. Phenomenal.

The second pic in is at the end of one of the Olympic downhill runs. Construction crews were still working fervently on completing all the accommodations for the 2010 should be very cool. I also want to say that I really wished I had my nice Nikon D80 up there. I think before we're going again I'm going to get a bombproof backpack and take some sweet shots. That POS Sony we have just doesn't cut it, as you can tell from the pics. It wouldn't stay on 80% of the time any way so we couldn't even take all the shots we wanted too. I should have just pulled the mem card and heaved that junker off of a 6600' peak.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Race pics from yesterday!

There are a lot of pics, but some of them came out pretty cool.  Shooting races is a lot of fun, so when I eventually get tired of "show up and throw up", I'll have a back up hobby.  I ended up taking my first top 10, placing 7th out of 22 riders.  That seems kind of surreal and doesn't make sense to me, but I do have a habit of losing all concept of space and time when I'm racing.  I guess if the judges think I came in 7th, that's good enough for me.  This season, to me, wasn't about finishing, it was about learning as much as I can so when next CX season roles around, and I have a good amount of base fitness to augment my experience, then I can throw down and see where the dice fall.  Hup hup!

The race itself was fairly cold, but I dressed to impress and stayed pretty warm.  I wouldn't have minded a wind vest at times because once you were heading toward the finish line you were coming straight into a chilly wind that penetrated whatever layers you had on.  Everyone crashed while racing.  The course had primarily two lines left by the snow blower, and a rutted, icy median.  It was really hard holding your line on top of that, and you really had to engage your entire body to hold the bike straight.  Surprisingly, either my tire choice was excellent or I'm just super awesome (haha) but I didn't have any traction problems.  I went down probably 5 times though, due to me coming off the line and hitting the eight inches of snow and either laying the bike down, rolling in the snow, going over-the-bars, or a combination of all three.

I had a great/fun sprint finish as I was coming around the last bend and was keenly aware of someone on my tail.  I didn't care how fast the rider was nor who he was, I wasn't going to get passed at the line.  I held the rider off at the line, so that was very cool.  Nothing like a nice ending to the last race of the year!

Dan Oldehoeft (on my team) had an absolutely amazing race.  He was fighting saddle issues from the get go, and assisted a fallen rider who had knocked himself out, and still placed in the top 3.  Kudos to him for being a terrific racer and a terrific human for helping out on a "man down" situation.

It was terrific fun for me to hang out with Nathan, Aubree, Adam, Britton, Joe, and Dan at the race, and even though something flew up my nose and totally trashed my sinuses, I had a great time.  I'm glad I joined Team Colavita/Parisi Coffee, and look forward to a great 2010 campaign.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh yes I am

Yes, I am still racing tomorrow!  I hope to see a few friendly faces out there too!  My race starts at 12:15 and should be done either at 12:45ish or once the paramedics haul me away...

And I have a more substantial post coming later this weekend/Monday.