Sunday, November 26, 2006


Our own self image is a funny thing. If you were to meet me, you'd think I'm a somewhat happy fun loving person. A bit zany, too. Which is correct. However, we all have expectations. Some from other people, many we put upon ourselves. I know in high school all my teachers and relatives expected great things from me. In a conventional sense, I let them down. I didn't graduate college, find a cure, or make a huge difference in the world. I look at 16 years ago and how open the world seemed to me. Now it's a little less open, but more accessible. Figure that one out.

Looking at my life in an unconventional sense, I'd say I exceeded even the wildest expectations. I've had a life that could fill a book, and most people don't believe all the stuff I've done until they talk to my parents or see the pictures. It's kind of funny, I exceeded my own expectations when I raced this season, but fell short a year ago. I didn't win anything this year, but I was a force to be dealt with in many races, and after two more races this weekend, I'm free until January.

Another expectation is with my blog. I rarely get comments, and don't really expect to, but a few of you guys comment on a somewhat regular basis, and I'm always pleasantly surprised by it. I may even go and actually link to to those few faithful readers as a thank you. Don't expect it too soon, though, lol!!!

When I was a squad leader in the army I routinely felt I failed to live up to my expectations. Every time someone in my unit was wounded or killed, I felt like a failure. After years of reflection, I see I didn't fail myself or my squad, as I did my best and most of us beat the odds while we served together.

So what does this have to do with anything? Not much, just think back on your lives and really take an unbiased look. I know now I really didn't fail anyone but myself a few times, but that's ok. Usually I had way too high expectations to begin with.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

158 and climbing

So this is post 158. Pretty cool. Especially since I was on a great pace until two weeks ago. Then we moved, my parents came for the better part of a week, and well, posting and email take a big back seat.

The holiday was great, I really enjoyed having my parents around. Plus our new apartment is coming along well. It feels like a home since we have a few extra rooms. It'll take a bit, but soon we'll be unpacked and settled.

What is going on? Not much. I work, I'm gaining weight, and I have a new project to tend to. My cyclocross bike needs to be reassembled, and the TX state championships are next week here in Austin at Zilker park. If you're nearby, and have some time to kill, swing by. I'm also racing Sunday at Moya park. How will I do? Ok, probably, but these two races are my cross season this year.

Ok, time to sift through my email. Then time to sift through boxes. Till then...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Fun and games

Been working and riding, nothing new there. Last night I did an informal race between our store in central Austin and the one up north where I work. It was cool, I bought some lights for my bike and a group of us rode down to the start. Then at about 845 we started the race. You could pick your own route, and I ended up with two guys from a competing shop. Actually, they got a gap on me through an intersection with traffic, but I chased them down.

A few miles from the end I just didn't quite have it, and I ended up fourth, as the guy who won took another route. Much faster, much more dangerous. But, I had a good time, then we had a party at our north store and I went home. I really enjoyed the night ride. It brought back memories of my 26 mile commute through most of Indianapolis when I lived there. There's something neat about riding in the night. Too bad I really don't know of anywhere to ride here at night safely by myself. I always enjoyed riding along Route 28A along the Ashokan reservoir back in NY during the summer when I couldn't sleep. Of course, I had an awesome set of lights for that, and I gave them away a few years ago.

We move shortly, and we have a new couch coming for it. I'm more relaxed than Lost, but I understand her anxiety. We'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Quiet, Too Quiet, and Politicians Who Should Be

So I must say thanks to all who commented on my last post. Very interesting I thought. Now I have a few snippets of thought and observations.

First, it's funny how tastes change. I used to get all excited looking at sports cars and racing, as far back as I could remember. So much so that I actually raced cars and rebuilt them, too. I'm really glad I did it, but I specialized in vintage racing, so even with all the safety equipment installed, it wasn't that safe.

Well, tonight I was with Lost at the bookstore, and saw an issue of Octane Magazine from England. It had my all time favorite race car, a Ferrari 250 GTO on the cover. I got all the usual sensations: shortness of breath, tingling hands, and even could almost smell and hear the one I raced several times. I couldn't wait to leaf through the issue and devour all there was.

I leafed through, but about halfway I read a column I always enjoy, and it made me think. The short version is Niki Lauda had a huge almost fatal accident 30 years ago at Nurburgring Germany. He almost burned to death, and fortunately another two drivers stopped and one actually risked his life and got Niki out. He was quoted as saying he would have gotten Niki out or died trying, and his hands were so burned he basically ended his career.

It was at that moment I realized I have no passion to own or drive a vintage car again. It was risky, and I had a few accidents, but always went home with only bruises. Yes, it was fun driving multimillion dollar cars that weren't mine, and I had many great times. But I just have no desire to be involved anymore. Or even follow it. Funny how that works sometimes.

On to less thoughtful topics. I'm back on my bike again so I can lose the weight I've been slowly gaining. So keep it tuned here. Believe it or not, I'm about 175-180 lbs at 5'11". I should be about 169. At least I have all winter to work on eating better and staying fit.

Last Tuesday I rode 50 miles with my riding buddy from work, and she was thrilled because she had never ridden more than 50 miles before. Tomorrow we're going to fredericksburg to ride in the hills. Truth be told, I was hurting for a few days afterwards. Almost felt like my quads were bruised. How quickly we fall.

Today I rode the same route but it was much windier, and about 5 miles from the end I bonked. Big time. I just tried to keep an even pace and finally got to my car. On the way home I was enjoying the election signs all over. And here we go into the next topic I aim the crosshairs at.

First, some humor. A local sign says to elect some guy named Fleece. Think about it. Fleece. Like I'll have any confidence in him. Then I was looking at my hometown paper online. Not so long ago my father was one of the 9 city council members called Aldermen. He ran twice before being elected the third time. (It's a two year term.) When he went for reelection, a big mouthed moron beat him. People told my dad they didn't see his name in the paper enough, so he must not have been doing anything.

If they said he never helped them, he asked if they called him. No. Wrote a letter? No. Email? Uhh, no. Stopped him in the street? Nope. You get the idea. My father kept a log of every issue brought to his attention. In two years he had over 600 issues come up. As he said, each issue was at least a phone call to the proper department and then a return call to the constituent. I used to love how people would kind of slump down when they heard that.

Once the people of the neighborhood got fed up with the idiot who replaced my father, they asked me if he was going to run again. I told him his quote. "Screw them, they don't want me, I don't want this damn city." With that he and my mom sold the house and moved to Hilton Head, SC. And they're much happier.

The idiot is still in office, as no one ran against him the last two times. Two days ago his wife and him were front page news as she was arrested for threatening another woman who supposedly is having an affair with the idiot. Great choice the citizens of Kingston, NY made there.

I guess I get upset because I saw how much work my dad put into a part time elected position and the fact he actually wanted to make the city a better place. It just goes to show how if you do a good job in politics it gets you out of office, if you just get all kinds of press, no matter what kind, you're good to go. It's a sad state of affars this country is in when that's the case. Jayne Mansfield used to say "There's no such thing as bad publicity", and I think she'd be surprised just how true her quote is outside of showbiz 50 years later.