Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Salima Abdelaziz

Sorry I haven’t kept up with this.  It has now grown to mailing 3 different people about this money.  Someone asked if my stories are real – yes, just look in your junk-email folder and you’ll probably have your own email from Salima Abdelaziz. 

Here is the latest:

Dear Mrs Salima Abdesease,

I wrote to Mr Agricole this afternoon – I hope he can help.  Attached is another picture that I meant to send to you,  I hope it cheers you up and that you are feeling better.  Happy thoughts can cure cancer and help heal the dead you know. 

Warm tidings and tinsel,

Mike Reno

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Then she writes (reading it isn’t really necessary)…..

Dear Mr.Mike Reno,
I am so sorry to have troubled you with all this suffering, please accept my sincere apologies because this is all what I can do at this point of life. This is 5.48 morning time in Senegal and I am sorry for getting back to you late because I was taking my treatment, I was taking antibiotic intervenes injection. These injections subdue all my strength.
With earnest reference to the present situation on ground with respect to the letter you have received from the bank, I don't know who is Barr.Mariko Dan Nagashima hence I am not working on the bank but through what I have study through what you have stated, Barr.Mariko Dan Nagashima should be the bank lawyer in one of their Senegal branch bank.Barr.Mariko Dan Nagashima should be the person who may help you to fill the form as the bank have requested from you
Well to cut long issues short because I am having pains, the mail received from you today gave me joy but you still have little more to do because of the form or documents in question, I mean the once the bank is requesting you fill and present to them before the transaction will take place, has to come from the lawyer and he is the only person who will help you to complete the process. In that vein, you shall need the services of the lawyer. If you will need the lawyer to help you fill the form or to secure any documents as they have requested you,
I will request you talk to the bank lawyer with the given information given to you by the bank with regards to the filling the form and any other documents issue so that you can contact him and find out from him what need to be done and how you can  fill thev form or any other documents if at all there is any as my health are not giving any hope till date.
The document the lawyer needed to help you secure or fill should be state very clear by the bank to avoid mistake, hence I am very worried to finalise this transaction because we never can tell what tomorrow will be.
However, my late husband’s death certificate and the bank deposit agreement will soon send to you today or tomorrow  depend when I have some one to help me scan it since I cannot get up from my sick bed. Therefore be advice to contact the lawyer as they have requested you so that he will start the filling the form for you and other documents process without further delay.
If you don't have clear information of the lawyer you should better contact the bank again and request for the clear information of the lawyer so that he will start the process on your behalf without further delay.
May God bless you as I will be waiting patiently to hear from you again soonest
Have a blissful day!
Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz

THEN I WROTE THESE TO THE BANKS:

Dear Sir,

My name is Mike Reno.  I read your paperwork and read your email.  I am confused, like a cat. 

I will contact that Japanses man you mention below to get my friend Salima Abdelazit some help.  I do not have a plus sign on my phone, so I do not know how to call with those math symbols.

Thank you,

Mike Reno

 

Dear Mr Nagasaki, (his real name is Dan Nagashima)

I am trying to help some lady get some money transferred .  I am confused and dismembered.  Do you know about this business of dead people that we are speaking of?  May the spirit of Christmas be with you. 

Warmest Yuletide logs and merrimints,

Mike Reno

THEN I WROTE BACK TO SALIMA ABDELAZIZ:

Notes: the photo below was once posted on my facebook profile.  My friend anne went to high school with the guy who took this picture, which is real.  He and I are now facebook friends.  He is not so weird anymore.  True.

Dear Friend,

I wanted you to know that we won the Church Choir Sing-off last night!  The Baptists really brought their A-game but they dropped a few tenors from last season and we doubled up the ladies on the high end.  Blessed be the whopping those heathens got!  We really had a wonderful wrap up party afterwards at the Olive Garden.  Helen our choir director did over do it on the Blue Nun again and cut her lip wide open when she slipped on the stairs.  God hates drunks.

My heart is saddened as my sweet potato casserole (do you know of casserole) was not placed near the front of the pot-luck side dish line and I was left with more than I can hardly eat.   Are you in Africa for the holidays?  Do they even know it’s Christmas?  I bet sand is everywhere. 

I wrote to the mens you mention in your broken corresepondance below, so I hope that will help make this happen.  They continue to give me long phone numbers with math signs, so I am just using email.  Do you have any pictures of you?  I have attached a photo of myself for you. 

 

image

I like friends.

Holiday sauces and cheer,

Mike Reno.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz, I am Confused

Here is the next installment from my dear friend in Africa:

She writes:

Dear Mike Reno,
Thank you very much for your mail. I was very happy with the kind of love and concern shown towards me so far in regards to the issue of this transfer. May the Almighty God bless and protect you for me as I am going through these pains at this point and thank you too forv sending your picture to me.
At this point what you have to do is, you have to contact the bank on my behalf  as I was stated to you and request from the bank to give you detail procedure on what you have to do to get the funds release to you hence they in the better position to advice you better. Don’t forget to tell them you are my appointed next of kin so that the listen to you in time.
The long telephone number is what I receive from the bank as all telephone cannot be like your country own.
Have a blissful day!
Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz

So then I got an email from the bank, which I’ll post later but first I had to get back to Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz.  Some new things I’m trying with her are to misspell her name, add as many completely irrelevant comments as possible without throwing her off and trying to get some information about her country.

Dear Mrs Salami Abdesease,

Well, tickle me elmo, I heard from the bank but I am confused.  I cannot go to Africa as we have a church choir sing-off and pot luck in the next week – this is very stressful as I am what you might say ‘old’, this term is probably different where you are from.  They want me to find a Senegalese resident lawyer – but I do not know anyone in that place, so do you know how to find such a person?  I asked my neighbor but he wears a helmet and does not communicate clearly.  So I will fill out the form that I was sent by Amadu N.Sule who said to contact Barr.Mariko Dan Nagashima, he sounds like he is Japanese and I do not drive their cars, do you know this man?  I have a form from Mr Sulu asking my A/C number but we do not have AC in our home as it is generally cool, so I do not know what that means. 

I do not have a telex. 

I am excited to have your writing as well – pen pals are a lot of fun.  What do you like to do for fun?  Do you have television?  I love to visit the you tube channel on the internet – the dancing cats are my favorite.  I don’t like the flashing lights though.

I hope you feel better, attached is another photo that should cheer you up and provide you with improved health. 

comfort

God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food, Amen.

I will sent a letter now to the Japaneses man to help with the attorney.  Wish me good luck in the sing-off, it is Tuesday evening.  I do not know if you have Tuesday where you are from.  I am sure it is called something that I cannot say. 

Warm season tidings and Yule logs to you!

Mike Reno

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz

It is the time of year we thank scammers.  As many of you may remember and fondly recall, last year we met Dascha and then the lovely Anastasiya (who is way prettier!).

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So it has been a while since breaking up with these women aka scammers – but I have a new friend, Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz

She writes:

Hello dear friend Please i need your help, i am very sick

I'm glad to know you,but God knows you better and he knows why he has directed me to you, at this point in time so do not be afraid. I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart, I'm mrs Salima Abdelaziz am from Morocco I'm a woman of 46 years old.
I am contacting you from the hospital were am taking my treatment here in Dakar Senegal, I want to tell you this because i don’t have any other option than to tell you as i was touched to open up to you, I am married to late Mr Simo Abdelaziz who worked with Morocco embassy in Burkina Faso for nine years before he died in the year 2005.We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only five days.
Since his death I decided not to remarry, When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$6.7m(Six million Seven hundred thousand dollars)in a bank in united kingdom London presently this money is still in bank. He made this money available for exportation of Gold from Burkina Faso mining.
Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of seven months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my cancer sickness. Having known my condition I decided to hand you over this money to take care of the less-privileged people, you will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.
I want you to take 30 Percent of the total money for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to charity" people in the street and helping the orphanage. I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not good not even good at all because they are the one that responsible for the death of my late husband in other to have all my late husband properties and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by those that conspired for his death.
I grew up as an Orphan and i don't have anybody as my family member. Am doing this so that God will forgive my sins and accept my soul because this sickness has suffered me so much.
As soon as i receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank in united kingdom London and I will send authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of the money in the bank that is if you assure me that you will act accordingly as I have stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Mrs Salima Abdelaziz

So I wrote back…

Mrs Salima Abdelaziz,

This is a heartbreaking story – please let me know how I can help.  Do you know Oprah?  I believe she can perform miracles, like Beyonce but with more thoughtfulness. 

Regards,

Mike Reno

If you didn’t know, Mike Reno was the lead singer of the amazing band ‘Loverboy’. 

Then she writes:

Dear Mike,
Thank you for your mail. You should know that times are truly tough  for me here going by the pains I am going through but I believe in God for everything.  I am very happy you are very willing to take full responsibility of the funds.
However, what you have to do now is because my situation are not giving any hope till date, you have to contact the bank and find out from them what it will entail to get the funds out of the bank to your country.As you can see, I cannot do anything without you at this point. Please note you are going to take care of everything with regards to running the funds and the transfer process, because anything can and may happen to me now since the doctors have confirmed I will not be able to make it because of my illness.
The bank contact:
Bank name: Caisse International Credit Agricole  bank united kingdom
Contact person: Mr. Amdou .N . Sule
Accounts name:- Mr. Simo Abdelaziz
Next of kin:- Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz
A/c Number:- BLB745008901546/QB/91/A
Initial deposit:- $6.7 million dollars
Phone: Tel,+  0044-7031898737, FAX;0044-8447744713
Department email address:- agrioleagriole@24.com
You should mention my name and made them to understand you are my appointed next of kin they will spell out what need to be done to you tio have the funds transfer from their end to your position. I will be waiting patiently to hear from you soonest.
Have a blissful day!
Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz

So then I wrote:

Dear Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz,

Cheer up.  I have attached a picture I made to help with your spirits. 

merrycalvmas

In America we call this the Christmas Spirit and it makes all things good and with hope, 40% off.   Do you need my bank account information?  I could give you my numbers if that helps with the process although I’m not entirely sure of my capacities.  I should tell you once I was in a Turkish prison.  But I am happy now and in America.  We thank God for that plus some ruthless Spanish people.

Please advise as to what I need to do to help you.  I will email the address below for Mr Caisse Agricole in the United Kingdom.  I do not understand those long numbers below, we have much shorter phone numbers – can you provide a shorter one for me?  I cannot find the + on my telephone. 

We have the following:

ABC

DEF

GHI

JKL

MNO

PQR

STU

VXYZ

There are not any math signs as you note.  Have a blessed day Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz.

Regards,

Mike Reno

And then I wrote to the guy at the bank as per her request:

Hello Mr Agricole,

Mrs.Salima Abdelaziz said that I am to inform you to help with a banking transfer. I do not know what I have to do so please help me, I often need help with these matters. I believe everybody is working for the weekend, so advise if I can help with you quickly.

Warmest blessings and holiday cheer and tidings,

Mike Reno

And if you know anything about Loverboy, you’d know that Everybody is Working for the Weekend is pretty much the song that represented the 70’s for me, except I was like 6. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Experiment: Part 1

Some of you know but most probably don’t about my recent experiment using modern medicine to solve a truly American problem: fat, lazy and little self control. 

See, this is me recently in photo #1, this was me in photo #2

Aug2008 003christmas calves

A few weeks ago I went to my doctor as I realized that 2/3 of my Facebook status updates or tweets were about egg nog or bacon or both.  Last year I think I gained 15lbs from Sept to Dec – skiing 2 days a week doesn’t really do much and I didn’t train a lick.  I think I started the 2010 season over 200lbs and ended in the 170’s but in a whole month off or maybe 6 weeks – my love for egg nog, pumpkin spice lattes, and bacon combined with an appetite still believing that I’m swim/bike/run-ing 10-12 hrs a week, got me to 193lbs. 

I knew with Thanksgiving, Christmas and the nearly free-flowing egg nog that I’d be hard pressed to remain fit and handsome.  So I caved. 

My goals were the following:

  • get to the 170’s (ideally very low 170’s) – this should enable me with a healthy ‘platform’ to train with – less impact on my knees, feet, and hips should help reduce the chance for injury and help me recover faster and train with greater regularity

The Doc weighed me, ran some calcs and said he could help – technically I was on the high side of the BMI scale.  He tried all the normal routes like: put the fork down (Rhae likes to text that one to me regularly), eat less, eat better and grow up and get some self control.  I’m barely better than our dog when it comes to not eating everything in front of me – just barely, so I plead for more help.  I know a whole bunch of pro cyclists generally get busted for appetite suppressants – so that’s what I got.  Along with a foot-long list of blood tests to be run.

Phendimetrazine

He said I can’t really call it a training aid, but it sort of is. 

So basically it makes you feel sort of immune to hunger.  I generally eat when I physically feel my stomach flipping over from hunger – but don’t really ‘feel’ hungry.  Put a barrel of egg nog and Costco pallet of pumpkin pie in front of me and I won’t even notice.  It’s sort of nice. 

I can ride for 3 hrs on water and not be hungry – but not something I’d advise.  You sort of bonk the same but given the stimulant properties of the drug, you go faster, like a lot faster.  Because you don’t eat much – you’re also a super lightweight when it comes to wine or beer or another glass of wine. 

Side effects:

  • You are wired for the day at 5am to about 10pm, regardless of your day’s activities
  • You have to think about eating, particularly enough to fuel a workout
  • Sleeping isn’t so much fun.  I go to bed like a baby but wake up after about 4-5 hours and need a good 1.5 to 2 hrs to find another hour for sleep.  I might be getting 4-5 hours a night now.  Which isn’t good.
  • You don’t want to eat
  • If you do eat, you can’t eat much a) you don’t feel like it b) your stomach has shrunk a lot and you fill up on a half sandwich. 
  • You get cranky sometimes
  • You’re never tired even with very little sleep, never.
  • You lose weight but it messes up your hormones – thus the blood work
  • You can get sick more easily…

So here’s how it’s working:

Week 5 to 6 was Thanksgiving where I had a 1/2 cup of Cream of Wheat for breakfast and then a single plate of dinner – turkey, veggies and some stuffing – no heaps or piles.  A one story meal!

So weeks 1-4 I was ok but as the last bullet point above notes… you can get sick.  I did and had to take ~2 weeks off from riding and swimming (I’m not running until I’m a bit leaner to save my knees which have tendonosis that is being treated). 

The data bars from week 7 onwards (I’m doing a 12 week plan of this stuff) is just a projection based on past results – but likely a bit conservative since I didn’t train for 2 weeks.  I suspect I’ll come in around the low 170’s but lean mass around 157 and body fat around 11-12%. 

image

So the people who do know I’m doing this have mixed reactions.  Half say ‘I so need that’ and the other half (who seem to be mostly women) say I’m crazy.  I sort of expect this, women have sense (generally) and because of it insurance companies cut your car insurance by 50% when you get married.  They assume you’ve now got a passenger who you will listen to.  It sort of works. 

So that is part one. 

Thoughts:

  1. I need to eat a bit more to keep my immune system strong so I can supplement a lower intake with exercise.  More veggies! More lean protein!
  2. I need to take a break from the meds and get my sleep back – it slowly got worse each week but is nearly intolerable right now.  More sleep should help get my hormone levels back to normal.  Hopefully taking a day off every other day should still maintain the desired effect but not the side effects. 
  3. I’d recommend this to anyone who is struggling to nail down 15-30lbs, it’s hard.  It’s not fun to be cow-ish.  I tried moving to fewer carbs outside of training windows – replacing only what I burn.  But I didn’t stop eating the same volume when I took a break. 
  4. I need to learn how I feel when I’m hungry vs. bored or some other non-reason to eat.
  5. I know there are many other options (drugs) I could have tried, but have chosen to continue with what I started.  I also didn’t want to take sleeping pills on top of what I’m already taking – that seemed excessive.  Now you know I draw that line not at ridiculous but only at Beverly-Hills Housewife excessive. 

I’ll write up the rest when I’m all done with it. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Went to "reg-o" yesterday

I’m not even writing anymore, I’m just taking emails and posting them as my own content with a small disclaimer that Rhae Shaw wrote everything else below and she’s still in Australia and doing some ironman there this weekend I think. 

I went to "reg-o" yesterday  (ok so really... why isn't it called "reg-i"?  it seems most logical that it would be since everything else gets shortened with an "eeeee" to the end.  but everyone says reg-o... which makes zero sense to me and now i wonder how things get nicknamed and who is in charge).  Anyway - it was the most laid back registration of all time (classic Australian) and I didn't show my license or anything...  so you can picture me "dont you want to see my pro card?  Please?" 

The swag bag has the athlete number screened right on it -- so as i was walking around after everyone knew i was a pro (let the stare down begin) and i was bopping around on my sweet cruiser after i heard a lot of "do you know who she is?". Even though i am sure the answer was "no" in most cases, it still was pretty sweet.   

Here is the race bag and the gear:

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Those of you that have seen me do this will note how much sweeter this is than in north america:

1) the bags are mesh not plastic.  Nice!  They are screened with your number, (so pro) but not labelled (huh?) - so i am assuming they are clever and that blue means bike bag and red means run bag -- i will let you know if that turns out to be false and if i am too clever. 

2) the cap is silicon and screened with my number, no magic marker here!  So pro!

3) the bike frame number is a sticker designed to go around the seat post. 

4) you get a race belt

5) the timing chip is gigantic -- so i assume i can update facebook with it from the course. 

6) there are no special needs bags (you have to do it on race a.m.  i am still confused about this)

7) they dont put IM WA on everything so that you can reuse it.  i like that.

So Pro:

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So today i did media (no one really wanted to talk to me since i am not Australian), although it was pointed out that i was the highest place Kona finisher from the last 2 years in the race (thank god someone noticed) and that i might be the dark horse.  but that still wasnt enough to make up for the fact that i am not australian and dont understand cricket. 

I then sat in drug patrol, but wasnt called -- so no peeing in a cup for me. 

a few more details about the race:

the bike goes along the ocean where it has been super windy, and then into a forrest... which i wish was thicker, but its still pretty:

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the run goes on along streets, the beach and a bike path with the peppermint trees.  it is pretty:

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i am contemplating doing the race in this:

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Here is Luke being pro while we get coffee,  yes i spilled some of mine (not pro)

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i want to open a bike shop exactly like the fat duck.  like most shops in Australia it is a bike shop AND a cafe combined:

clip_image009

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ironman Western Australia and Rhae

I know this girl I ride with who is doing the race, her name is Rhae, she’s Canadian and has done a few Ironman races and by the amount of wood bowls from Kona, an array of towering glass trophies, Zipp wheels, and I think around 5 bikes in her living room alone, she’s fairly decent.  This will be her first Ironman as a pro.  Riding with her is more fun than a box of chocolates except when she goes hard.  I think she’s got the women’s amateur bike record at the Hawaii Ironman and probably a few other 70.3 races. 

I know the race is in Australia but even in Australia, Western Australia is even pretty far away.  She spent some time in Melbourne I think and has been sending me updates. 

Her training and racing is far from boring.  She might be the only person I know other than my 5 year old daughter who tells a 15 minute story laughing the entire time where you find out at the end you actually have no idea what happened.  I have a few voicemails after her races where it starts with ‘Oh my God' and then the laughing starts and between them I get a few verbs or nouns.  On one ride recently, a recap of a 120 mile ride she did in California took her over 30 minutes to tell.  It involved: ice cream sandwiches, wearing a Hello Kitty jumpsuit, firefighters, C02 cartridges, 2 flat tires, a truck, a farmer, a farmer’s wife and son, pie, some 14 hours to complete and a delivery of avocados.  Our rides typically aren’t as eventful but more often than not 2-3 hours on the bike are filled with near crashes due to laughing or her attempt to make me fall from my bike onto a dead squirrel, the singing of a Rick Astley song (though I think that was Phil Spencer who sang), how I should put the fork down as a simple way to drop a few pounds and the fate of little baby girls in China.  I think our last ride was 2.5 hours and she had run 2 hours before, rode and then had to run another half hour after.  

So here is a recent dispatch from her in Australia that I told her I would post here because I’m too busy to write.  Here are a few random photos she has sent so far, she’s pretty keen on the fact that they have food with the wrong names.  And candy.  I’m not posting the 32 pictures from the grocery store. 

IMG_1026 (2)IMG_1042IMG_1056photo (2)IMG_1045

From Rhae and her recap on 2 weeks down under:

i rode bikes with:

greg henderson (rides for team sky) - aka Hendy

luke bell (who i am staying with)

Koen de Kort (skil shimano) - aka koons -  who did ride the tour de france btw.

anyway my shouts of "what's with the pace" were less appreciated.  :)

they were riding easy.  i was riding all out.  ouchies

Today I was a part of a 20 min conversation yesterday that i didnt even understand.  i had no clue what we were talking about.  like not even a guess.

Just so that you know that i am keeping an open mind... Melbourne, isn't completely perfect.  After over a week, I have compiled a list of everything that sucks about australia:

1)  flies - there are a lot of them and they really like to eat canadians.

2)  peanut butter isn't popular - and what you find in stores, kinda tastes different.  Oh and they have never heard of almond butter

3) hook turns - when you are driving these are pretty much guaranteed to kill you.  i think that they were designed to freak out canadian triathletes.  When you are driving on the left, if you want to make a right hand turn you have to cross oncoming traffic.  Well in a hook turn you don't do that from the right most lane, you do it from the left most lane... so that you cross 2 directions of traffic.  WTF!

4) cricket - i am taking this off the list.  i went to a match and actually kind of get it now.  and really it is just a good reason to drink beer and eat fish and chips. 

5) They drink.  A LOT.   i mean a lot a lot.  and say things like "have one more, its the law" to sucker you in.... its crazy.  i think everyone is a boozer.  they have drive thru bottle shops (liquor stores) here - which just seems wrong.  Until you learn that when you are driving in a car here, everyone other than the driver can drink (ie. have open containers of booze)

6) you go to like 5 freaking places to get your groceries:

  1. market - staples like vegemite, biscuits (which means both cookies and crackers... so when offered you never know what you are really getting), lollies and weet-bix (which they do actually eat here)
  2. milk bar - duh for milk... "yes Rhae, you could get it at the market... but then what would you get when you go to the milk bar?"
  3. cake shop - bread and dessert (some people go to 2 separate places ... omg)
  4. greens grocery - for fruits and veggies (i was very confused by this for a while, since the accent makes it sound like "grains grocery"  so i really didn't get it for a while.... 
  5. butcher - where you get delicious lamb and i have yet to see chicken

(walking from shop to shop allows for you to bump into everyone you know and grab a middy (small glass of beer) on the street with them.  even grocery shopping is an excuse to drink here!  so they have some big grocery stores... but no one goes that often.  you cant drink that way.)

7) Nippers - this is the name of the junior swim squad.  All of the kids will not only out swim you ... they will do it on their second workout of the day... and while doing it they will be really cute with their accents and talking about their final exams.  I went to evening practice with them and after an hour and fifteen minutes my arms were going to fall off.  I was soooo happy were were done our 3500m and was very tired and ready to get out.  Turns out we weren't done!  That was a mini break -- and we did the whole main set AGAIN.  I nearly cried.  That was the first (and i guarantee you the last time!) i swim 6000m full out in a long course pool.  OMG.  the kids thought it was hilarious that i was dying like a dog. 

All of these things are made up for though by the fact that there is a HUGE lolly market in Melbourne where you can buy delicious gummy candy that just tastes better than what we have in north america... and addictive chocolates called clinkers and yummy bullets. all of which i dumped into a big bowl and had for breakfast this a.m.   is there any doubt as to why i am not sleeping? 

I have also learned that most bike shops here have a coffee shop in them, which is pretty fun.  but going for a 2 hour ride here takes 4 hours because of the coffee stops.   Coffee here is super strong, and has different names.  I get a Long Black (which is a shot with some (not much) water, which is the closest thing to our version of coffee....  A short white is like a cappuccino ... and then there is plain shot of espresso... and that is about it.   

Also - they say "passing" here when you overtake someone; not "on your left".  i mean right.... whatever.  So that has worked out better for me. 

Oh - and there are crazy little penguins here.  So don't be freaked out when you are laying by  the ocean and one comes and sits on your towel.  Turns out they are not shy at all... and will try to eat your toes.  Why do all animals here think i am tasty?  FYI dont ask what the little penguins are called.  they are just called "little penguins".... i guess they ran out of names.

Did i mention that Australia is pretty much the coolest place on earth????  

Monday, November 15, 2010

And A Post

I can’t write a post.  Shoot, I’m either working or training or doing something in between with the kids. I do have to write up a post on my new favorite training supplement:

phendimetrazine

And I’ve also decorated our house for Christmas, Thanksgiving is really just an intermission or Christmas Spirit in easy Z1.

Merry Calvmas.

merrycalvmas

Friday, October 22, 2010

Say It With Charts

That’s actually a title of a book I have.  It turned into a joke with other analysts (I do math you know and some thinking but mostly math for a job), which is nearly as nerdy as wearing a t-shirt with code on it.  The worst I got was using the random function in Excel to make this quote generator using a co-workers most over-used phrases, combined with a picture of him into a sort of fun little nerd-analyst funny joke thing.  So I’ll claim the work below as mine because it’s super clever but it honestly isn’t, but I still think it’s awesome. 

But first…

We got Sada dressed for her 2nd grade school pictures and she was wearing pink (which IS NOT her favorite color now) sweater and a white shirt.  She took one look at herself and yelled ‘I LOOK LIKE A BUTLER’.  And insisted on changing her clothes.  I don’t even know where to start with that one.  Yes, a butler.

I also went out to lunch and managed to dump an entire cup of coffee all over a fancy white linen table cloth which I covered up with lots of linen napkins as I ran out of the restaurant like it was T2.  Except faster and I had a hamburger in my stomach. 

So here.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chasing Baldwin

DSC01578So I’m sort of training or exercising – which I think I’ve said probably 92,931 times in this blog. I haven’t swam a meter nor run a foot though in about 6 weeks, I’m just riding my bike because that’s what I like the most.  Lately I’ve been riding with Rhae who finished 4th in Kona almost 2 weeks ago -  I think with the women’s AG bike course record beating plenty of fellas along the way. 

We did an easy 3.5 hours last Saturday without a lot of mess – a group ride usually means some sort of issue for someone, so I like to participate in a max of 2 people in my ‘group rides’. 

Longer rides with water and a handful of calories usually end in a bonk or at the very least some 12 year old girl giggling even when there are no 12 year old girls around.  This was no exception as I thought the dirt parking lot cut-through would be a nice little diversion from the paved bike path we were on.  This was true until the middle of the parking lot was more loamy than dirt and my bike sunk 4 inches into the ground as I came to a flying halt.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, I’m pretty prolific in making a complete boob out of myself to ensure a good time for all. 

It was about now when one of the ‘we’re-all wearing-the-same-bike-kit-and-that’s-about-as-good-as-we-are’ local teams came breezing by, passing Rhae as she’s just laughing and I’m now really stuck and the whole team gave me a look of disgust while my $600 carbon soled limited edition Italian cycling shoes are now submerged in the really deep and loamy dirt. 

The looks they gave were priceless, I could have only one-upped them by throwing on a yellow Teletubbie costume which I threaten to do because I do have one.  Except our new cat Steve-Prefontaine-Honey-Jake pooped on it in the back corner of my closet. 

So Rhae nearly crashed laughing for what seemed to be 3 miles and it’s all a great big joke.  Which is sort of funny.  Except I was the joke. 

THEN…

Sada and Piper found a makeup kit they got from someone who loves them and not me.  Piper is probably the least capable person in the world at applying makeup right now.  She had green, purple and blue eye shadow on her forehead, a good look if you’re a hooker with a heart of gold and a nasty little PCP habit but she’s 5 and not quite there yet.  She did get her lips nice and red or pink and sparkles on 90% of her face.  She then accented this look with a giant tan beach hat and an elegant cougar skin colored handbag.  And flip flops. 

She couldn’t open the purse so I had to help her.  This purse had 1) a bottle of Jhirmack hair spray 2) 2 tennis balls, 1 pink, 1 green 3) a 4x6” multicolored pad of paper 4) a spider ring (a ring with a spider on it) and 5) some ‘good job’ stickers. 

Now I’m sure this seems normal to you, especially in Seattle where the majority of women both married and single look, dress and accessorize in the exact same way (replace flip flops with Crocs). 

In the other hand she carries this paperback of James Baldwin’s The Evidence of Things Not SeenThere are no pictures in this, it’s just a paperback book.  As I watched some football, she sat in her engraved ‘Piper’ rocking chair, beach hat on, purse at her side, feet up on the edge of the couch and James Baldwin in her lap.  For like 20 mins.  Which for me is a long time, especially when there are no pictures and the world ‘bike’ isn’t on the cover. 

Because it was Saturday, we had to celebrate this by going out to dinner at a new bistro down the street. 

Saturdays are something to celebrate you know and not with just a pizookie

So we TRIED to wash Piper’s face but kid makeup requires gasoline or something along those lines to remove it.  So we went to dinner, me, Greta, Sada with a splash of eye shadow and Piper, dressed as a blind hooker – complete with purse and James Baldwin paperback.  Throughout dinner, she insisted on turning sideways, crossing her legs and reading her book.  I can’t really tell if she knows how to read or not.  She indicated that he looks like a funny man and it’s sort of true, the author’s photo on the back isn’t the best shot of him.  I’ll have to ask her what it’s about.  I can’t imagine she chose the book for it’s cover. 

So that’s it. 

Then I went to the pumpkin patch and NOT getting a wheelbarrow and carrying 2 pumpkins for 11 miles through the field was one of the dumber things I’ve done recently. 

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And yeah, this might be some of the best videos I’ve seen in a long time.  I don’t even know where to start….

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Fall Update

I feel like writing this blog is like a quarterly update now.  I’m sort of training but more busy than ever. 

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We got a new cat and found egg nog in the store.  This called for a family photo.  I tried to name the cat Steve Prefontaine, but it’s a girl so we named it Honey but then Greta mocked me for calling her Honey in the same way her aunt says ‘honey’ which I guess she doesn’t like so I named it Jake. 

We we to a resort called Suncadia for a wedding (which was awesome and fun).  They have a fun little aquatic center but the chlorine in the pool was so bad my eyes burned and I never even got into the water.  I just yelled at my girls from the side of the pool and wished I had worn my goggles or a chemical mask.

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See, wedding clothes.  Piper cared more about the 12 caramel apples on the table than anything else.

The Ironman.  It happened. 

Because we were at a wedding, I got to see PART of the Ironman online but then had to rely on text updates from Scott, Ian, Greg and Dr. Phil Spencer.  Last year I was in Canada where text messages are like $0.50 each, so I paid less attention to it.  This year I was as engaged in text updates as I could be – and somewhere between the toasts and Bride dancing with the Father of the Bride dance, Macca won (and BTW I was ONLY texting on MY time, not like doing it during the exchange of the vows).  And then I was getting pace updates on Rhae from Phil and then he admitted to buying those barefoot running things from Vibram.  We’re not speaking as a result.

I must have checked Rhae “I Will Orange Crush You” Shaw (4th), Marc “I like You” Malott (26th) and Meredith Kessler’s (26th) times 3,021 times each.  Eventually the tracking site will create something to allow you to track multiple folks at once. 

Because I had to do something to celebrate not being there and cheering for those people, I thought I could drink 140.6 beers (140.6 miles is the distance of an Ironman).  I considered this until I got to beer #2 at 6pm I think and realized I was going to miss the midnight cutoff, so I switched the rules to oz.  140.6 oz sounded doable over the course of a day, just under 12 beers.  Except I got side tracked with watching the whole wedding thing and fell behind around mile… 24.  It got messy as I surged and threw down the hammer around 10pm, knocking out 48 oz in an hour but the pacing messed me up and as I got into the energy lab portion of the effort, I knew I wouldn’t make it.  I DNF’d at 96oz, which for a light drinker hitting the Oktoberfest beer Spaten – a good effort.   Next year I’m switching to Bud Light. 

But now I’m fat and training again, eating as little as I can and bonking on my rides nearly all the time.  I’ll probably fix this since I nearly went blind yesterday I was so bonked which led me to almost hit a runner going around a blind-ish corner.  Rhae thought riding until I was blind was pretty tough except I did it in <40 miles.  Water is a poor source of nutrition I think.

I also had a black cat run out on front of me which left a sort of lump in my stomach as I waited for the bad luck.  The bad luck immediately followed the black cat in the form at a super-sized Marmaduke looking dog chasing the black cat followed by an even more super-sized owner of the dog chasing him.  This all happened as I was heading down a hill going about 30mph.  None were Chinese.

Then a Chinese lady pulled out in her Camry, oblivious to me missing her by a few feet.

And then my Power Tap died.  But I fixed it with new batteries in the hub.  I think it’s made in China.  The batteries are.

Then Greg got hit by a Chinese couple, oblivious to him as they pulled into a parking spot. 

And now I think it’s time to say that I don’t believe that the Chinese are the best drivers out there.  I’ll vote in the next election for the person who says they can fix that.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

39 Things

So I turned 39, which is old unless you’re 39 and you think it’s not so bad, because for crying out loud there are 40 year olds out there.  AND 40 IS OLD.  And so on. 

So now that I’m 39 but according to USAT, I’m really 40 and should really be able to take it to the 44 year olds in my new age group next year, except Ben told me racing your age group is lame and until I’m in my 50’s or older, I shouldn’t look at anything but overall. 

And if you haven’t left yet – I’m really now supposed to wow you with 39 years of wisdom – so I’m going to do that except I think I need to categorize this and probably do 39 triathlon related things and 39 other things, so first, I’m going to do the triathlon thing.  I can’t say I’ve done all these things, I just know them.  I know people who know them you know.

  1. consistency is key.  don’t swim 3x in a week and then 1x the following week, keep it the same unless your coach says to.  run a lot, ride a lot, swim a lot.  then again, anything you do for about 10,000 hours will make you awesome. except sleeping or watching tv.  I read a book about this. 
  2. get a coach.  keep the same coach for at least 2 years.  they save you from wasted workouts from making mistakes and they will save you from yourself.  you’ll feel more guilt than you usually do if you miss a workout. if you’re self coaching and not improving every few weeks, you’re probably not doing a great job.
  3. swim more and you’ll get better.  I hate swimming mostly but I did it more and it got better and I liked it more.  I even got faster going from 30th percentile to 75th in 2 years.  Not great but I didn’t do it consistently. I heard getting in a few weeks of 25,000 yards will change your swimming life forever helps.  I’ve never swam over 9k in a week. I’m just saying what I heard. 
  4. buy a power meter.  honestly. single best investment you’ll make.  Consider the cost over a few years otherwise, $1,000 is a lot.  $200 over 5 years is better, even better if you amortize it over each mile you ride. like $0.01 per mile if you slack and ride 2,000 miles a year.
  5. run in different shoes.  I run in at least 3 different kinds of shoes a week.  some are soft (shorter hard runs), some are more motion ‘controlly’ and the other pair are in between.  you force your feet to get stronger running in the lighter ones and you don’t beat your feed to much in the more cushiony shoes but you can run longer. even better, have a real running shop watch you run and tell you what you should be in.  99% of the time, it won’t ever be in a pair of Nikes. 
  6. practice your transitions.  think about them, plan for them, walk the transition area before a race, twice or more.  Not knowing where your bike is hiding after you get to t1 is for boobs.  don’t be a boob.  if you are challenged beyond help, use baby powder on the ground and make a big line where your bike rack is.  using a balloon is against the rules, plus it’s retarded.
  7. get fast before going far.  I don’t understand doing an ironman until you have done relatively well in a sprint or Olympic distance race.  finishing an ironman in 17 hours isn’t an accomplishment, it’s dumb.  try going sub 5 in a 70.3 race first.
  8. completing an ironman doesn’t mean you should get a tattoo.  winning one does. 
  9. get non triathletes into triathlon.  inspire 1 person a season to get into triathlon.  if they beat you on their first try, find yourself a new sport.
  10. do not ever touch other people’s stuff in transition.  in Seattle it seems to be ok to do.  they also rack their bikes all going the same way and then complain about there being no room. 
  11. 1 lb. of fat is 2 seconds per mile in lost running speed.  put down the potatoes and the pizza.
  12. You can buy used stuff from pros cheap.  Check their websites or ask them. 
  13. Buy stuff and make sure someone knows a pro influenced your decision.  It’s how they get paid and if they do a good job, make sure they get credit.  It’s a terrible profession to be in – so help them out however you can. 
  14. travel and race.  it’s hard and expensive but you get to race somewhere else that you might NEVER go (like New Orleans, Oceanside or Nova Scotia) and you’ll meet people who you may even like.  the fool at the airport in compression socks and shorts, don’t meet him, but say hi to the lady pulling a bike box across the terminal.  (Greg hates this one, if you are up for adventure, then go ahead, if you hate spending $2,000 in 3 days, paying $200 to ship your bike, and risking everything for a 5 hour race, then do it, otherwise, race a lot locally, you’ll find the same people at every race and they might even train with you.  It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know.  know more people.  through racing.
  15. you can dig deeper than you think.  you know how you can find the energy to sprint that final 100 yards at a race when people are cheering?  well, you could have run harder about 3 miles ago.  You’d be surprised at how much your brain keeps you from doing.
  16. it’s a race.  race it.  baseball is for people who walk.  even in transition.
  17. you need a bike, helmet, shoes, number and wetsuit to race.  I’ve seen an 11 time ironman winner carry just that into transition in a plastic bag for a half ironman.  I see Age Groupers bring coolers, backpacks and buckets to a sprint race. it’s a less than full day event, save the luggage for vacation.
  18. if you draft on the bike, you’re a bad person.  if you cheat and live with it, you should be beat. 
  19. train with people faster than you.  1) they’ll push you 2) you’ll learn you have more in you 3) you’ll see what it takes to get faster 4) you’ll learn how hard people work – especially professionals.  you’ll say ‘wow’.
  20. it’s just a sport.  it’s more important to teach your kids to swim or bike or run.  it’s more important to have that glass of wine with your wife/husband at dinner than to your ride in the morning to NOT have it.  in fact, have 2 glasses. you won’t drop 10 watts at threshold the next day.
  21. race bikes.  you learn that bike racers go REALLY fast and hard.  you’ll find you can race without a power meter or HRM or garmin thingy.  plus you might even gain some respect from roadies. 
  22. say thank you and cheer for people behind you.  If you have a bad race, cheer along the way.  if the race was well run, find the race director and tell them it rocked and thank you.  if it’s a really out of shape person who finishes like 2 hours after you did in a sprint, don’t cheer, they should have trained.  
  23. race with a friend, you’ll go faster.  rub it in their face.  if they beat you, make up an excuse.
  24. know the race course.  I’ve been misdirected before by a volunteer.  it takes 30 seconds to look at a map and remember key points.  getting off course isn’t an excuse for #23. 
  25. find out if the person you are sharing a room with is going to use the coffee maker for oatmeal.  make the coffee first.  in fast, I’d avoid sharing a room with Ben at all costs.
  26. if you want stuff cheap, join a team or club, they probably have deals with a shop to get you 15-20% off of stuff, pro deals on bikes and of course, fancy racing stuff to wear. 
  27. the more you race the easier it is.  if you toe the line 4 times a season (and they’re not ironman races) but train every week, you’re going way too easy on yourself.  race more.
  28. host a professional home stay if you live close to a race venue.  there’s a good chance you’ll make a new friend for life. 
  29. go watch races if you’re new, at worst, on tv. you’ll learn a lot.  like put your helmet on before getting your wetsuit completely off. 
  30. get really small race t-shirts and give them to kids, give your medals and trophies to them. 
  31. sponsorship is easy to get if you can show that you can sell products, if you win 32 races in a row but don’t ever talk to anyone after a race or write a blog, don’t expect much.  it’s work.  it’s probably a better deal for you to work and just buy the stuff from a local shop than it is to put tons of effort into getting a sponsor deal for 100 free gels.
  32. less is more. I once drank 2x20oz bottles of water before a sprint race.  it hurt.  you can always take in MORE food, but getting ride of too much food is really unpleasant.  you don’t need 2 bottles of water for a 13 mile bike.  you don’t need 3 gels on a 25 mile bike.  I don’t think there is ever an excuse to have a bento box.  unless you’re keep cassettes in it.
  33. listen to triathlon podcasts, simply stu and the competitor’s radio show are both awesome.  you learn a bunch and they’re generally very well done. 
  34. share a good tip with someone on race day or just help them out with something.  the girl who deflated her tires completely before pumping them up thought she had to do that in order to get a proper zero on her pump.  I told her ‘you really don’t have to do that’. though I avoid talking to the crazies who always seem to be near me.  I get their life story.  if they are riding a trek from the early 90’s and are wearing a cycling shirt that they plan on racing in – even under the wetsuit – there is a 93% chance they’re crazy.  do not engage.
  35. I don’t have a thought on those race photos.  I think giving a thumbs up or a big smile is on the retarded side.  I smile after when I find out they have sausage as post-race food.
  36. First Endurance Pre Race is awesome stuff.  But I think it’s like $50 a tub.  It lasts like 2 years.  Excedrin works pretty much the same and is $5 for a bottle.
  37. Buy the nice components for your bike.  Over 5 years you’ll use it a ton and you’ll forget that it was $500 more than the mid-range stuff.  It performs 3x better.
  38. don’t ever train in a tri-suit. ever/ don’t say ‘nice job’ to someone who is walking on race day.  it’s a terrible job.  they don’t want to be reminded that they messed up, got sick, didn’t train enough, are mentally weak or didn’t bring it.  you don’t say it to someone who did a bad job at work and blew it, so don’t make them feel worse.  be supportive of the first timers out there.  explain something they might not know to them, like the free post-race massage or that their helmet is on backwards. 
  39. don’t (please) ever train on your deep dish race wheels/aero helmet.  train in heavy duty stuff that makes that race day stuff seem amazing.  you look like a turd out there in your race gear while training.  no turds, we have enough fashion issues with compression socks. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Did Art

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)Between swimming right after the Senior Swim group and going to the symphony and turning 39, I pretty much call those folks 59 and a half ‘my people’. Now see… gave away the punch and story line – I went to the symphony. 

I’m not a stranger to the symphony but I don’t go as often as I should (once every decade) because the music IS good and it’s art which like anything else, is pretty hard when you’re at the top of the game. 

And yea, I did sit there going, these people are the easily the artistic equivalent of sub 2:30 marathoners.

So we went out for a quick dinner about 45 mins before the concert started, which was pretty impressive – showing up at a restaurant without reservations, getting a table and then saying ‘um, we need to be out of here in 40 mins’.  Even more impressive was that it worked and we didn’t looking like cartoons shoving food in our pie-holes and then running out the door.

I think the symphony is the last place in Seattle where people actually respect the work enough to look nice, it’s also the only place where if you’re under 60, you feel out of place.  But it wasn’t terrible and neither were our seats – it was just shocking to see no one wearing a Seattle Mariners hat, a Seahawks jersey and not a single pair of jeans. 

We went to see Yefim Bronfman Plays Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 which we didn’t actually see.  But we did see the first 3 pieces:

Joseph Schwantner: The Poet’s Hour…a soliloquy for violin and strings "reflections on Thoreau" {World Premiere}

Foote: Francesca da Rimini

Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90

With iPods and CDs’s and all of the ways we have to enjoy music, the symphony is pretty different.  The sound is amazing – even with all of the old people coughing at the quiet parts.  The hard part is knowing when it’s over or when it’s close to being over or where you are in the whole thing.  The first 2 pieces were good, not too long and because we had just sat down – the hard parts of our bottoms were not yet sound asleep.  The couple next to us in the box to the left were soundly slumbering by the time Brahms got his fair shake.  And that’s when we were sort of wanting to do some crunches or a short run.  Given the length, we could have done both.  The Brahms was good, but it was 4 parts and although I studied music I sort of got lost and just clapped when other people did and listened in between. 

G liked the big oboe.  And yea, it’s also called a bassoooon. 

Then the best part –the intermission in the founder’s room. 

So if you know someone or someone fancy knows you, you can get a pass to the founder’s room which has…. free nuts, dove chocolates and red/white wine!  The hard part was finding it – but not really.  We were told where it was but also alternatively, follow the old people walking really fast. 

They were spot on.  We saw walkers, canes, wheel chairs, rascal scooters and all sorts of hunchbacked ladies throwing down a solid 10 min mile pace to the free wine and nuts.  We got to the room and were shocked to see a room full of people talking to each other and not a single familiar glow of people on their phones or texting or checking the weather or logging into some site saying ‘I’m here being somewhat more important than 2,000 other people with my iPhone’.  I think it was the less than noble quality of the wine or the fact that it was 9pm but we were beat and made a halftime call to forfeit and head home.  Because it’s classical music and 2,003 people care about it, you can hear the concert live on the radio and that was when our call to go was just perfect. 

I think it’s best to probably compare Prokokfiev to Iron Maiden.  There is some good stuff and there is some other stuff that doesn’t work for everyone because there are a lot of notes and it’s loud and I’m pretty sure someone was angry and it’s a lot to absorb on a Thursday night after 9pm.  Plus, I’m not keen on communists.  Ever.

So there.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Are You Pro?

Phone 023

I stole this from Rhae Shaw who immediately calls, texts or emails when the ‘absoulte rediculous’ happens anywhere in her world.

Example (her words):

"Bike Lesson: Spilling Orange Crush (counts as a serving of fruit in my book!) all over yourself (PIGPEN!) and riding through a lemon grove is equivalent to poking a beehive repeatedly with a short stick while holding a bushel of geraniums. So unless you have a fully automatic EpiPen on hand, I STRONGLY recommend keeping your bike jersey zipped all the way up, regardless of how hot and dehydrated you are (too bad you missed your mouth with the pop you dumb tart).

Failure to do so will result in being repeatedly stung in the area with the highest concentration of sticky soda: your left boob. On the plus side, with zero money wasted on bogus lotions and without expensive surgery, you too can have a Pamela Anderson sized chest. But only on one side. And it will be really itchy. Hey no one said being well endowed was easy, just ask poor Pamela…"

Like Piper, when Rhae speaks she’s usually laughing, so I don’t often have any idea what she just said until I listen to a v-mail about 32 times or just ask her in email what she was talking about.  For instance I got a voice mail telling me about a bad day and I understood was literally the following:

  • It’s Rhae
  • Bad Day
  • Firetruck
  • Hello Kitty
  • Avocado
  • Hitchhiking

So with that, I pass along this video of the professional women racing that she sent, in email, which I understood. 

Now this is a women’s sport that I could watch.  Be sure to watch the whole thing. 

 

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Road

The following was blurted out the other day as we were getting out of the truck and Baby Viking (aka Piper who also likes to be called Kyley or Baby Viking) has no shoes on and she’s standing in the driveway.  Her sister who will respond to Christofferson or Sada said the driveway was too rough for her:

The road is not ouchy for me

- Piper

Now, if I can get inspiration from that – I can surely race a few more days this season.  But we’ll see.  Because for me sometimes the road is ouchy. 

She also said while playing with Sada ‘THIS ISN’T SPIT TOWN’, which means, you cannot get spit on me playing this game because somewhere along the line I made it ok to lick someone’s arm in order to get them off of your head, chest or back.  It works, try it.

I swam today and witnessed a crazy Chinese man doing some sort of dance in the shower – shaking his giblets and waving his arms in front of him like he was doing a jr varsity version of the macarena.  I wanted to tell him that if you jump on one leg and hold your head to the side the water comes out.  I told this to the kids and they didn’t believe me.  I also don’t think they could do it without laughing and falling over. 

Then I ran and let’s just say I’m not super fast.  Like today for instance, I was running easy and ran 7:45-8 min miles. 

Easy. 

Then I see these 2 brothers because they looked alike and were both on too-small a mtn bike and they had on retarded helmets and they were both riding slower than I was running ON A DEAD FLAT ROAD.  I passed them and am here to inform you that I have now seen the queen bee of all nerds.  These guys were both dying riding up a slight incline and I swear they were using hand signals in the middle of nowhere and then I saw them use a crosswalk and I just felt bad.  I’m sure they’ll both make excellent money some day, but really people – push your kids a little now and then because it just wasn’t pretty to see 2 humans, this fragile and so nerdy.  The road will be ouchy for them.

And that is that. 

And here is a notice my friend Matt saw.

paty moor

No chip, no scuse.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Very Bad Day

Today was the first day of school and for Piper – her first bus ride too!  It pretty much went downhill from basically, um… dawn.

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See, they’re happy – except it’s raining.  Bad.

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Here’s The G getting the kids on the bus, the wrong bus. Bad.

Note: they said the but will be there at 8:52am, but then also said, it could be 5 mins early.  Then this bus shows up at OUR STOP exactly 5 mins early.  So the girls get on and the G says ‘is this the bus to Lakeridge’ and the driver says ‘yes’.  But ‘yes’ means ‘no’ in this case.

So not knowing that yes means no, I raced ahead to their school because Sada didn’t know where her classroom was and I wanted to be sure Piper didn’t get lost – somehow I did it by myself as a kid but on this small island I’m pretty sure my kids won’t live without my leadership. 

So I watch ALL the kids come to school and soon, there are no busses and my kids aren’t there and school starts.  So I cried. 

But I really didn’t, but it makes for a better story.

So I’m crying and the Principal comes out and I tell him.  Long story short and this bus pulls up and in the front seat on a completely empty bus are my two kids! 

Awesome. 

Then I get them to their classes and go home.

Then they have to take a bus to their afterschool program at another elementary school down the street. 

They get on the right bus!

Sada and Piper sit together.  Awesome.

Sada gets off and tells her sister to get off.  Except Piper doesn’t.

The bus drives off.

With Piper on the bus by herself. 

So Sada panics.

And Piper rides this bus to the end of the route.  By herself.  And her sister is gone.

But they’re pretty good at tracking these things and the school calls the bus driver and Piper gets her second yellow-limousine ride by herself. 

And that was pretty much the worst day I think a pair of sisters could have.

I’ve had races almost this bad, but not really.  See, really nice tie-in to triathlon. 

Then I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks (good) but found out that the beer I opened last night was left all alone and I forgot to drink it (very very bad). 

So there.

PS and if that wasn’t sad enough, Sada says ‘I got off the bus and looked for Piper and I saw her on the bus driving away from me’.  (insert crying parent if you think that makes for a better story).

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lake Sammamish Triathlon and other stuff and poop

Aug2008 122On Sat I did the Lake Sammamish triathlon and of course the Seattle weather did not disappoint.  I think it was 56, keeping alive my string of all sub-60 degree races this year.  The water was actually a dozen degrees warmer! 

Because it was a race, I tried something new after last weekends heave-a-thon on the run, no food/gel and just a little water.  Instead I just used some Excedrin which was about 120-130 mg of caffeine or 2.5 cups worth. 

Once you take this, you have about 25 mins or so before it hits and then hold on.  Well, one of the police were not in the right place, so we had to wait a bit in the water for this and of course, the caffeine hits me BEFORE I start.  Which was awesome.

I started with my HR about 20 or 500 beats higher than normal and after about the first 150 yards, I swear I was being water-boarded.  Ever breath I took got water down my throat and I felt like I was going to drown, which usually won’t happen when you’re wearing a wetsuit – so I stopped, got the water out of my lungs and got back to it.  People have been jailed for a swim like that but I’m pretty sure my family has a lot of shame.

So I salvaged my entire race with yet another #1 T1 (I’m the only person who actually cares about this) which probably restores all of my family’s pride.  After all, getting out of a rubber pant-suit faster than anyone is a great skill to have. Practice with your own pants each night before bed if you struggle at races, just warn everyone why you’re racing around the house with jeans around your knees and swim cap/goggles on. 

So I got out on the bike and passed a dozen or more folks – getting sideways with some sand in one corner and then a bit caddywompus with my front tire slipping sideways (a truly exciting experience early in the morning).  It felt squishy, I rode – tried to see if it was going flat, it felt like it – so I pulled over, stopped and checked my tire.  Must have been the lightly moisturized roads and the 130psi tires I was rolling – but my wheels were way slickery.  I got going again – but had to re-pass a small battalion of guys who zipped by. 

side note: when the race is a sprint, you honestly don’t need 2 water bottles and a Bento Box of gels, really you don’t folks – but I saw a lot of this and someone had to say something.  actually, you don’t even need a gel or even water, you also don’t need a bucket and bag and a sherpa worth of stuff to complete the race. 

I only got passed by the guy who won the race, so I didn’t feel too terrible about it.  Top 10 bike, ok but not what I was doing last year – I went faster at Vineman 70.3 over 56 miles than I did over 14.  I rolled in with about 22.7mph avg.

Got back to T2, couldn’t feel my feet and struggled to get my shoe on.  I could have finished a small brunch in the time it took me to get out on the run – but as I noted above, it’s a sprint and a bunch wasn’t necessary. 

I got out with 3 guys about 100 yards ahead – local TV celebrity John Curley being one of them.  It turns out that we both sound like we are in labor when running – not sure who was louder but I think it was me because I throw in a lot of ‘heck-hems’ as my lungs try and exit my body with each breath. 

Then I got passed by fellow Microsoftie Pedro Ardila who was gone as quickly as he came up.  I only know ‘wet floor’ in Spanish, so I couldn’t say anything encouraging, so I just kept running in English and mostly because he was gone.  I didn’t throw up and I finished.  20th out of 550 and 2nd in my AG.  Both the drowning and stopping for the mythical flat tire cost me a good minute and a half, which in a sprint race is about 10 places. Running a sloth-like 7:06 pace wasn’t going to help either.  Yay bacon! 

After the race I got to chat with Pedro and blog reader and other fellow Microsoftie Amadeo Casas Cuadrado whose name alone makes me feel slower.  These guys finished 7th and 16th.  Nice job!  Piso Mojado (I know more French, I swear).  Sorry fellas. 

AND THEN YOU THINK IT’S OVER:

But it wasn’t because I raced home and then took the family to the Barnum and Bailey circus, which was pretty much awesome. 

  1. The pictures of elephants being beaten held by protesters shouting at people as we waited in line was a nice warm up for the kids. If you look on their site which provides a lot of info about their animal care, so I don’t know their particular purpose except to try and make me feel bad but then after I ate a dozen hot wings, I didn’t feel bad except there are like 6 chickens out there who will never fly.
  2. Circus clowns aren’t scary, even up close. I think it’s just local clowns who do birthday parties that make people sick.  The G hates clowns. 
  3. Seeing the circus in a really not-fit area like the Seattle-Everett region means the whole fat lady of the circus isn’t so interesting.  They sprinkle them around like confetti so you get a few in each row. 
  4. The bearded lady.  See #3, fewer of them in the crowd but enough of them made it less of a novelty. 
  5. There was a midget in the circus and it was weird.  He rode a motorcycle, but a little one.
  6. Most of the time I think I was waiting for someone to get really hurt or killed, it was non-stop entertainment and sequins (tri-suits need way more sequins, something I’ll consider for 2011).
  7. The kids didn’t move for 2 hours and they were exhausted. 
  8. It was probably the best value of entertainment there – $10 for kids and $20 for adults and we were in row 5.  The $9 drinks sort of over the top especially since they were not even cocktails.  But the Elephant cups were awesome.  Still a good deal. 
  9. The highlight, well sort of, was the elephant who pooped for about 30 seconds straight in front of us.  The girls thought it was awesome.
  10. The non-highlight was nana or someone’s nana who must have got up 392,291 times during the show and kept getting lost when she’d return – going down the wrong row until she noticed, then went back into the right row –making a solid 92 people get up and down each time.  At least we got some exercise in.

BUT EVEN MORE EXCITING:

Was the rest of the racing this weekend – I only wish having fast friends helped:

  • Ben: 1st San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
  • Courtenay: 6th San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
  • Kelly: 8th San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz
  • Erich: 1st AG, 15th OA San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz (age group nats in 26 days!)
  • Meredith: 1st Pro Ironman Canada! 

From Meredith: and by the way if you’re in San Francisco area: Tyler Stewart and Meredith are doing a 4 hour 47min indoor charity ride at Velo SF on Sept 11th.  Proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Fund and The David Finney Foundation for Parkinson's.

If you know anyone interested, let me know and they can ping me personally.  My main goal is to get about 40 people...20 in each studio.  Tyler and I will both be in a studio and will switch 1/2 way through.  It's going to be great!!!!!

http://www.breastcancerfund.org/events/find-an-event/it-takes-a-revolution.html

Rhae gets nothing for trying to do a half ironman on 200 calories.  Awesome but no.  Piper suggested she tried applesauce and orange chips (aka Doritos) when I asked her what Rhae should eat to go faster.