Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And Then We Were on The Dave Murray Downhill…..


In the photo above, there is a Sada but it’s really small and pink somewhere down the slope….



So we started skiing today after it dumped yesterday and last night.  I think there were a half dozen inches or more of fluffy snow.  It was perfect, except it was still snowing and there wasn’t a Starbucks at every trail junction. 

So as a warm up we just went on some easy runs and it was really snowy and I couldn’t see but neither could Sada and then I said go right because the big sign said to if we wanted the easy way down except it didn’t tell us to swiftly turn again and we didn’t.

And then we didn’t find $20 or anything that good, except about 10” of powder and a really steep hill for someone who is not even 50lbs.  And then I figured out we were on the Dave Murrary Olympic downhill course – which would have been fun if Sada was Lindsey Vonn or they had flattened the snow out like they did for Lindsey Vonn but they didn’t.  So Sada, on her first run of the day skied a black diamond and didn’t fall and she was awesome but I did have to promise to buy her a stuffed animal. 

She also told me I was going to be a grandpa soon. 

Like when she was 20 or so she was going to have a baby.  So this is why I will not ask questions that go beyond ‘how was your day’.  So there.  I guess if we lived closer to bluegrass country I would be disappointed that she was putting things off so long.

And all the Canadians here seem to have Australian accents and I think most of the UK is actually here.

At lunch Sada was cooked but after hearing that there was ice cream half way down one of the runs she wanted to go again.  There were only pastries.  Don’t believe anything Jenn with the broken wrist at the Longhorn Saloon says. There is no ice cream. 

She also decided that she HAD TO PEE immediately, so we pulled over trail-side and she had her pink ski pants all set to go and then this snowboarder comes flying out of the woods in the middle of nowhere and that scared the pee back in for another 30 minutes. 

So now we’re done for the day and eating pizza in our room, drinking chocolate milk from martini glasses and watching the original Planet of the Apes. 



She’s smiling because she thinks there is ice cream down there!


Soooo tired and it’s only lunch.


It’s super artistic when it’s in black and white


See.  Dad and Sada boots.  Cute.


Beer is better at 11am.  Apple juice is cool too.


Sada on her first gondola ride!



Monday, March 29, 2010

It Looks Like America

IMG_2609 (2) Those were Sada’s words as we exited the hotel here in Whistler, BC. 

It could have been the 3 BMW X5s sitting out front but she said it was the weather – cold and rainy, but actually it was snowing.  As I write this, she’s dancing around in the room in a pair of underpants adorned with some Disney princess and watching some dance show on tv. 

We are here for a few days but decided not to ski today because it’s dumping snow and we can’t really see across the street.  So we’re buying Olympic stuff for 50% and eating and jumping on the bed in the hotel room.  Her head just about popped off when I said ‘you want to jump on the beds?’  She jumped like and insane person, but that could have been the 3 peanut butter cups she ate.  She said she was going to save one of them for her sister but then grew concerned the last one wouldn’t be fresh (her words) enough so she ate it.  I wonder why she hat the energy to chase me down the road. 

So after walking around looking for 50% off signs, we went into the hotel hot tub. 

She has a cast on, so we’re in the hot tub, it’s dumping snow and she’s got her cast in a shower cap sticking out of the water. 

If you don’t have a thick skin, don’t go in a hot tub with kids – here’s what I got in 20 mins:

We’re like 2 poops floating in a big toilet.  You’re the big one.

Wow, you’re hairy dad, I don’t think you should be hairy. 

Your pits are really hairy – I like that. 

Why is your belly so big?

She pretty much was more excited to go in the hot tub than anything else.  Like ski. 

Kids under 7 ski for free here btw.  You need a 2nd mortgage if you’re over 7. 

There are about 3,022,098 gift shops here and some genetic component from my mom got into Sada and she’s physically compelled to go into each an every shop and touch everything and ask if we can buy something in all of them. 

We went to the ATM to get $40 which buys an ice cream cone or a water at the movies, no wait, that was FOUR DOLLARS!  Anyhooooo…..

We got $40 and she said over lunch, you know that machine where you got money, just go back there and get some. 

On our way here this morning she told me Michigan was next to Canada and that we could probably drive there or take a boat.  I sadly told her that there is never a reason to go to Michigan.  Really. 

I made her watch the Guns of Navarone on tv. 

Then we went to the Spaghetti Factory for dinner which is probably the cheapest meal here and then she asked the waitress to wrap it up and she whispered to me that we can ''just order room service to bring us forks’ so we can have it for breakfast.  It’s like travelling with her mom except she gets ready faster, I’m allowed to pick her clothes, and she doesn’t care if her underpants are on backwards. 

And I did ride 2x this weekend, about 3.5 hours total, 223 watts on ride 1, and 232 on ride 2.  I also ran.  And it felt good. I even skipped the ice cream that was included with dinner and went for a walk.

And saw these ancient skis.  You’d think that at a resort that is one of the top ski destinations in the world and that half of the UK and Australia are here this week that you’d not be skiing on boards about 20 years old.  But someone was. 

And also the street we’re on after dinner.  I still haven’t seen the mountain that is 30 seconds from our door.  Because of the snow. 

I also finished ‘Lance’ by John Wilcockson which was a good book.  I think I have about as many books about Lance as Whistler has gift shops. 

IMG_2619 (2) IMG_2621

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I’m a Liar and a Triathlete and Awesome

IMG_2374So I got feedback that my stuff about the family is more interesting than my charts and talking about Z3.  Well, here’s a little something for everyone.

The kids, mostly Piper, love dinosaurs.  Santa brought a pile of plastic ones this past Christmas and they’re everywhere.  Piper takes a nap with an orange T-rex and there are at least 4 in the tub/shower just in case you need them.   The girls fight over them, making more noise than most dinosaurs probably ever made.  Sada told me that they all died because of the bad air from the volcanoes and I think I believe her – after all, she’s 6.  Regardless of the medium – dollhouse, marble track, blocks, pillows… the dinosaurs are pretty much good to use anywhere. 

So yesterday they’re all lined up in pairs ready for battle on the floor – rocks are behind them and plastic Jurassic-era plants are around them.  It looked very official and even had a handful of Barbies present to watch the ensuing festival of blood on the living room floor.  A few hours later no battle lines appeared to have been crossed except that Jack took a proper poo right in front of the dino-soldiers on the front line.  Score: Jack 1: Dinosaurs 0. 

And I said I wasn’t going to race but then I’ve got this amazing support for 2010 from Under Armour and Nutrition 53 and I’ve got about $15,000 in bike stuff and a supportive family who gives me a few hours a week to train and of course, a pair of beautiful calves that simply need just a little sunshine to be awesome.  So here are a few races that I’ll probably look at and see what I can do.  I’ll do what I can get away with and assume I’ll bring some magic to some of them. 

After all, I’ve done 15 mins of core this week and I made soup and listened to a podcast with Lieto and even talked to Ben and had lunch with Courtenay.   

2010 Tentative Schedule

Sunday, April 25, 2010 Mt Rainier Duathlons 2010 

Monday, May 31, 2010 Spring Festival Triathlon and Duathlon 

Saturday, June 12, 2010 Moses Lake Family Triathlon

Saturday, June 19, 2010 Cascades Edge Triathlon and Duathlon*

Saturday, June 26, 2010 Lake Padden Triathlon

Sunday, July 18, 2010 ChelanMan Multisport Weekend Day #2 or Seafair (I think it’s this weekend)

Saturday, July 24, 2010 Padden Duathlon*

Saturday, July 31, 2010 Ellensburg Sprint Triathlon

Saturday, August 07, 2010 Whidbey Island Triathlon!

Sunday, August 15, 2010 Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens*

Saturday, August 28, 2010 Lake Sammamish Triathlon

Saturday, September 11, 2010 Cottage Lake Tri and Tri Again Triathlon #2 OR

Saturday, September 18, 2010 Kirkland's Triathlon at Carillon Point

UPDATE:  See – Piper has Dinosaurs in her pocket.  Who doesn’t ride with 2-3 dinosaurs these days?



Sunday, March 21, 2010


So Kelly thinks she can out do my bad news, getting all litigious and getting sued to make her bad patch worse than mine and then Greta’s Grandma died Saturday morning while I was out riding, so there.  I think Greta actually wins the bad news, but her mom is actually in the running since she also broke her nose and arm and had like 33 stitches and it was her mom who died – but even still, it could be worse.

Then I rode 3x 4x this week!  But I think it was only a few hours, instead of 10-12 which I used to do – but since I’m just barely able to breathe, I’ll take it.  Here’s today’s workout – I’m sort of missing about 30% or more of my lung capacity which I didn’t really find out until I went for a run on Friday and saw my HR hit 190 just going up a hill that shouldn’t have got me over 165. 

Here’s a short warm up, 1 legged @120-125 watts, then a few Z2 efforts, then I got hot and had to turn on the fan (see the drop) and then the kids kept coming into the garage asking ‘when can we go see the runners’ (there was half marathon going by our house as I was doing this) – so I got distracted and then gave up because they were standing in the garage looking at me.  A pretty easy workout but my HR hit 160 at one point.  Eeek.









Then yesterday I rode an easy loop and suffered.  Like I had balloons in my lungs and that I had smoked for the past 15 years, menthol and probably unfiltered, maybe secretly some Virginia Slims.  Because that would be my name if I was a pimp. 

So see, I DO live on an island.  I might even get to swim in the water near our house this summer as we’ve got an enclosed beach just down the street!

But more importantly from the image below is that you can see my HR WELL over 150 (normally my avg would be in the low 140’s for a 220-240w ride, but instead it was 160 and I saw 180+ a lot, on every hill and anytime I went over 22mph.  Sad.  But I guess we start somewhere – I’m just starting my workouts from about week 4 in the season, pretending I had some base or something that represented my legs going around and me going somewhere. 
















And even though I said I wasn’t going to race I probably will because I simply have to. 

Because that’s what I do. 

Because I just think of the past few weeks as a bad patch and if you stick with it, the bad patch always goes away and then there’s free food and water after the finish line and you get a medal for finishing and sometimes the t-shirt is good.  So I’m holding out for life’s good t-shirt and free food.  Actually, tomorrow my group at work is going out to lunch but I have to get Sada to an appt so she can get her x-rays for her broken wrist to see if its 2 more weeks with a cast or 4.  So there was my free food.

But let’s talk about my awesome and most favorite products for a moment:

IMG_0542I do have to give props to my gloves that I got, about 1/2 the price of anything you’d find at a cycling shop and probably twice as nice.  I got these Under Armour cold weather gloves – I’ve worn them down to about 40 degrees and as warm as 65, but was fine either way – I’ve even skied in these recently! 

BTW – if you want to check out compression socks, check out the ones from Under Armour, they’re again about 50% less than what you’ll find in the cycling shops and I think they’re $20.  They’re a bit less compression than my 2XU but those were $60 and I honestly can’t wear them for too long – except on longer runs and for maybe 2 hours. 

I’m not lying. 


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So I Do Have Something Nice to Say

IMG_2473I’ve been writing a bunch about all of the rotten stuff and between myself and Pro triathlete Kelly Dunleavy – not sure who is winning the battle,  but I’m thinking the magical ‘$31,000 we found you owe us’ from the IRS tops her this week. 

So here’s some good news. 

We have a BMW X5. When we got it in Oregon while out shopping for windshield wiper blades (yes, I really went to the dealer looking for wiper blades and came home with a different car), they saw where we lived in Marin and told us that the BMW dealer there is the worst they’ve ever heard of – Sonnen BMW.  They weren’t wrong.  They actually and possibly under-exaggerated. 

I went in one day with a leaking washer fluid problem.  They said for about $400 they can fix it and it’s just a new washer pump.  Awesome. So I had them fix it.  Then I got home and all the washer fluid I just paid for (for BMW’s it’s special and is like $12 but it smells really good and super clean) was gone. So I looked at the new thing they installed and noted the little rubber hose that gets the fluid from the reservoir was dripping.  So I went to the hardware store in Tiburon and for $2.37 I got some silicone adhesive that I glued and sealed the little hose with and now 2 years later, it still works.  THEN the truck was leaking. 

BTW – if there’s a 6 cylinder version of a vehicle or an 8, get the 6.  All our BMW V-8s have been pains, while the 6’s have been dreamy. 

So, I brought it in.  They said they figured it out but needed to pull the motor and that was at LEAST $2,500 or about $4,000 when they were done.  So no, I can put water in the car when it needed it and would live with a few drips of water.  And yeah, they fixed a wheel bearing for me for $900.

Then we moved to Seattle and went to the dealer here for an oil change or something like that.  I mentioned the leak to them and they said well, it’s only really the water pump and they could do that for $1,200.  Awesome.  Then I call an independent BMW service place, Strictly BMW where I know some of our former BMW service advisors and mechanics have gone to when they quit working at the dealership.  They took the car and said, it’s just fine and the thing isn’t leaking at all.  Anywhere.  But whomever fixed the wheel bearing did a terrible job and the thing that covers it fell off and they have to fix that for like $500.

So that’s the good news.  Instead of spending $1,200 it was only $750 and because of that good news, I figured hey, let’s be crazy and replace the windshield wipers because you use them here and they were sort of icky.  I should ask next time what those cost because they were around $130. 

Yes, windshield wipers for $130 USD.  I only wish car insurance worked like medical insurance, well, maybe I don’t because those windshield wipers would have probably been $32,000 and another $390 just because I walked into the shop.

I also rode 2 days this week, which I think I noted before and I ran 22 minutes which seemed like an hour and I looked down at my watch only 3 minutes in and then again at 11 mins and thought I had run into a time warp. 

Greta also gets her MRI tonight.  

At the top is a super cute picture of Piper who just so happens to be enjoying a nice cup of sour cream halfway through her ski day. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Really Want To Say Something Nice

I do, I’m trying but I must have done something to someone who controls where luck falls and where is doesn’t.  Like for instance when Greta fell during our first ski date in like 13 years halfway down the first run of the night and never got back up.  Here she is sitting in the Ski Patrol lodge waiting to get released only so she can go to the hospital and find out she needs an MRI which will then tell her what is wrong and then I’m guessing surgery.  I’m also guessing we’ll have another ski date in Feb of 2023.  I figured I’d also include Sada with her broken arm while we were at the doctor just because I’m sensitive.  I promise I’ll write something better and funnier and will use the term ‘Tennessee Chrome’. 

I did however ride my bike 2 days in a row after battling my colds/flu/death rattle for 2 months.  I rode entirely in Z3 and above.  I figured that was the best way to get faster. 

2031 2019

And here’s an addendum to this post, some good news from the IRS.  Hey only another $31,000 from a year ago. 


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Here’s a Little Ditty that Goes Like This

Insert sound of car crash or some similar bad sound. 

I haven’t written in a while because I’m sort of waiting for the bad stuff to stop.  I mean the debacle that was the Men’s Figure Skating (turns out you can be the men’s Olympic champ without the quad) or that Ice Dancing despite it’s defenders is somehow a sport or that ANY SPORT with judges who are necessary for style points can exist as an Olympic sport… sorry where was I, I got worked up.  Oh yeah..the bad stuff.

Here’s a summary of the past few weeks:

  • Greta’s aunt died, there’s some technicality of a divorce needed here to qualify her as an active aunt, but nonetheless, family member died. 
  • She goes to the funeral, slips wearing high heels (my plug for the Under Armour Spectre as an amazingly stable shoe with traction even in the mud) and smashes her face REALLY badly.  So badly that just today, like 3-4 weeks later, we find a piece of rock or glass still in her face! 
  • Her Grandma is hospitalized – she’s not well, we’re sort of at the ‘last call’ stage but who knows, she’s a tough lady who gets spunky and could probably take on a few more years should she want to.  Based on the advertising, the new show ‘The Marriage Ref’ alone should cure anyone’s curiosity. 
  • Our cat dies,  I thought she was sleeping a lot.  Turns out, she wasn’t tired, just dying.  Bad pet owner – probably.  I’m glad the kids can talk.  Otherwise I might not know what to do next with them.
  • Piper gets sick with 2 ear infections, goes on I think 2 kinds of antibiotics (these things mess with your stomach… this matters in a few more bullet points)
  • Greta gets hives.  I call her Sleesetack skin lady.  See Land of the Lost for reference.  See ‘sleeping on the couch’ or ‘doghouse’ for where I am.
  • I’m sick and have been on 2 kinds of antibiotics and steroids for 3 weeks – still sick and no better.  Bronchitis and sinusitis and sort of pneumonia.  No, let’s add 3 doctor visits and I’ve been coughing so much my ribs are apparently swollen and I’m mostly exhausted from coughing.  Sometimes I can’t see well at the end of the day, my eyes hurt from being coughed out.  I’m now on 5 different medicines right now.  You know they’re strong when even the pharmacist says ‘wow, these are strong’ and then looks at me as if he’d expect someone significantly larger. 

A slightly bigger story outside of the bullet points – the part I call, ‘How Sada Broke Her Wrist’

IMG_2520Last week was Greta’s birthday, we had the cake lit with 24 flaming candles, ready to roll it out when Sada is spotted shaking while holding onto the oven handle and refrigerator – her little hands are clenched around each handle, her eyes were big and she is sort of saying ‘help I can’t let go’.  I sort of figured out that she’s being electrocuted (which I believe technically can only happen when you end up dead but you get the point).  All the while her mom is watching this happen on her birthday.  I grabbed her off of the appliances and she’s clearly been shocked like hell.  She’s got a slight burn on one hand and her wrist is REALLY sore on the other one.  Yea, her wrist is now broken.  Landlords panic (they’re in China where they live) and only after I spend a day at home dealing with an electrician decide to buy a new one for the house.  The electrician also go to enjoy the same level of shock Sada got – he was my size and his eyes were a bit more ‘surprised’ looking.  She’s been to the doctor twice now, I spent the AM with her today getting x-rays and a cast on and now have to actually GET the new ovens and have them installed… thoughts there anyone?

I should note that a piece of the roof fell on my face when I went outside.  it hurt. 

and oh yeah, yesterday Greta’s mom falls off a table/chair while at school, breaks her nose and arm.

So that is that.  But wait there’s more….

Because Piper was on antibiotics it sort of messed her stomach up and she decided there was no longer a need to poop.  For like 5 days.  From the photo above, she’s not a light eater – this is her ski brunch alone at 11am – you just can’t see the hamburger behind the chip bag.  So she refuses. To poop.  Which you can do I guess if you’re 4.  And she cries and as the police would say ‘if you’re not coming out, we’re coming in’.  And that ‘baby bottle’ I got her at the grocery store, really was an enema kit.  And that bottom medicine I said was going on your bottom, well let’s take that a step further.  She figured out what was going to happen at about T-1 into the countdown.  Now she’s better but I’ve terrorized my kid who doesn’t believe in harmless baby bottles, bottom medicine or that I’m ever going to speak the truth again.  I only remotely now worry about a knock on the door from the police who have been notified by her school that her daddy hurt her bottom with a baby bottle.  Great. 

So as I’m doing all of this with Piper (I didn’t really describe well the screams and tears I’m getting as the ‘solution’ works it’s magic and despite all the force in the world she can not longer hold back a week of output).  Jack, the super amazing dog with no purpose decided to have a blow out of chocolate dog pudding (poop) all over the stone flooring that can only be cleaned up with a mop and 321 buckets of cleaning solution and water. 

For once over the past 2 months I’m glad I cannot smell.  The good news is that I’m supposed to be feeling better in less than a week.  The bad news is that the antibiotic shot the doctor gave me today that would ‘probably hurt for a while’ is the understatement of the month.