Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Everything turns somehow. Even stationary objects move a little. Which explains how I somehow get things done. I did race again Sunday at Pace Bend Park on Lake Travis. I did much better, except about 2 miles from the line (if that) my legs phoned it in. so again I finished 58th. How's that for consistency?

I am still very tired from the weekend, but tomorrow I'll ride for a bit and get some errands done. Funny, but all this stuff I need to do really isn't important in the big picture. Even my cycling isn't a huge deal. To me it is, but that's about it. And that's my point.

What is important? Really? It's all about the circles around us, and how much different things overlap in them. Bottom line, take away cycling and the world won't stop. But my world would. So I immerse myself in my world. I taped every minute of the Tour of California, and got my motivation back. I read with disbelief the transcript of Jan Ullrich's retirement press conference. I feel George Hincapie's pain from his broken wrist, and how that little fall a few days ago may cost him his spring campaign. A campaign that may have included his first major spring classics (certain races are classics due to difficulty, length, and how long the races have been around) win.

So here I sit, tired, a little saddened by events in my world, but happy to be in it. See you on the road.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's a long post, but the most important part is at the end

Ok, so I raced today, or at least showed up. With the wind, my lack of fitness (but I have lost 8 pounds) and having crashed yesterday, I didn't do too badly. Not sure how badly it was, but at least I finished when many quit. Now I just need to get out and ride myslef into shape, but another race looms tomorrow. I hope to do better.

On the way to and from Walburg, I used the new toll road to get to I35 from Mopac. Growing up in the northeast, land of tolls, I feel 75 cents each way for a more direct and less congested route was a steal. If you live in TX, use these roads. It's so much easier.

Now, here's something that strikes my heart. It's an article about a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam who finally is to get the Congressional Medal of Honor for a battle he was part of in 1965. Without him and his company, the 1st Cavalry's 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment would have been wiped off the earth. It's the battle the book We Were Soldiers Once...and Young and subsequent movie were based on.

All chopper pilots are heroes in the Army. As opposed to the guys on the ground, the pilots are going through a maelstrom of fire repeatedly, instead of just once. Plus, a chopper is a prime target. I owe my life to the pilots we had assigned to us, as they landed where they shouldn't or couldn't to get us out of trouble. Once, a pilot told me after we got back that his bird was"just a huge tree trimmer" when he saw me staring at leaves and branches hanging off it.

Never once did they refuse to come in, even when we told them the landing zone was too hot. Several times they even did low passes to draw fire so we could move to a safer position. I'm not sure if they were fearless or insane, as there's a fine line there, but they used to look at us SF guys and say we were crazy, and the feeling was mutual.

I've recounted a few experiences here of mine, but I'd not be able to do it without our pilots. I know that not everyone agrees with the wars right now, and I don't need to know your feelings. I just hope we drop our opinions and think of these brave guys. They deserve a lot more credit than they get. So to Major Bruce Crandall, I'm so happy you are finally recognized. Without men like you, many more of us wouldn't be here to congratulate you, and you have most hearfelt thanks.

Read the item here:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070224/ap_on_re_us/vietnam_valor

Friday, February 23, 2007

New, new all so new!

Well, it's a new season, I have a new team kit (uniform to the rest of the world), and new hope that I won't be able to be called Tubbo much longer. That being said, I still have about 19lbs to go. So with all this newness, what is it exactly?

I've finally found my motivation, I'm beginning to get some overdue projects done on my bikes, and I'm now an uncle for the 4th time. So, since my new nephew is in New England, I'm hoping to get up and see him and my other relatives sometime in the not too distant future.

As for my racing, this weekend I have 2 more races, so we'll see how that goes. I did have the pleasure of riding out in Bastrop State Park again this past Tuesday. Perfect day at the perfect place to ride. No one to bother you, pretty as can be.

Other than that, I have no thoughts, other than I hope the Police are going to play somewhere nearby on tour.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Grammys and other white fluff

So we watched the Grammys while eating dinner (our 7 month anniversary) and though entertaining, that was it at best. The program seemed really disjointed, presenters seemed unprepared, jokes were not funny, and the set was pretty lackluster. That being said, a few performances were decent, but I'm glad I didn't waste time or money to attend if I had the option.

Add to this some of the nominees were weak, or in one case, the I said "That's it? That's who they nominated?" when I could have named several more diverse and deserving artists. As well as the categories not really matching up to the nominess (anyone remember Jethro Tull winning Best Heavy Metal Album when Metallica was one of the other nominees? I mean, Tull is a flute playing trout farmer in Scotland!!! Dude can rock, as I saw him in concert that year, but...) in some instances. Lastly, it seems a new category pops up every year. Almost like an "Everyone gets a ribbon for participating" mentality. Yargh!!

On to the other big news to me. Anyone paying attention to the Lake Effect snow in upstate NY? Pretty cool, in a way. It's also neat to see places on the news that I used to frequent, like the bakery in Oswego, etc. That being said, shoot me if I ever mention I want to move into the Lake Effect area of NY. Where I'm from has gotten about an inch all year. Not over 10 feet in a week. Amazing how the weather can be so different a mere 4 hour drive apart. Kind of like TX.

With that crazy transition, I'm going to be racing all over TX this year. I'm most excited about a stage race in FT Davis, as it's at almost a mile high to start, and we're going to climb to the highest point in TX on the second stage, some 9780 ft high observatory. I think it's called MT Locke. I'll have to check. And with that, I need to check out of here and get on my bike in the dampness.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Another diatribe

Anna Nicole is dead. It's a shame when anyone dies, even if it's someone we love to hate. What kills me is the comparisons to Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. There are none, other than looks. Marilyn might have been messed up, but she was at least talented. Watch Bus Stop.

Jayne was super smart (163 IQ) played violin and piano well enough to have made a living doing it, spoke 6 languages, and could act. Her comedic talents were really good, and in her more obscure drama parts (I say obscure becuase she was seriously acting in them, not oozing sex) like The Wayward Bus, she was excellent.

Anna Nicole didn't have any talent, except for self publicity, one she did share with Jayne Mansfield. So, let her rest in peace, hope her child has a life without insane influence, and stop the comparisons. All three need a break.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Well, things are picking up already. Where to start? Well, the Colts finally won a Superbowl, so I'm very happy. I like Peyton Manning and the Colts for various reasons. One, I lived in Indy for 6 years, and was there for Peyton's rookie season and I think a few more. I'm not that much a football fan for specifics. Two, the Colts play football and that's it. It's a rare day wgen you hear about a Colt getting in trouble or calling attention to himself off the field. They show up, they play, you don't hear about them until the following week. True professionals.

Rumor has it it's cold in my homeland of NY. However, being it's late in the season, it won't last too long. February is always one of the coldest months where I'm from. I'm glad I moved to TX.

I did my first race of the season this past weekend. Well, I was there. With totally inadequate preparation I was dropped from the road race Saturday, so I got something like 67th out of 85. Sunday there was a 3.2 mile time trial, which is where we go 1 at a time every 30 seconds to see who can cover the course the fastest. Usually it's my speciality. OF course, usually I have more miles in my legs, and I don't get a flat 7 minutes before my start time. Luckily the guy parked next to me had a spare tube (I forgot to bring some) so I was able to compete. I got 46th. Respectable.

Lastly I had to go to a park at Canyon Lake where we had another race on a 2.1 mile circuit. 40 minutes to suffer. Oddly enough, I felt the best of the weekend there. I stayed in the lead group for the whole race, and on the last lap, knowing I had no sprint (another speciality of mine) I backed off a slight bit to stay out of trouble. Good thing, too, as about 9 guys tangled right after the last corner. I finished 30th out of about 75 starters. Over 30 quit the race it was so fast.

So now I'm trying to get myself in some shape for my next race in a few weeks. Plus work on my tan (which never faded from last yeartoo much) with all it's funky lines. Yesterday I rode to San Marcos from south Austin, today I'm hoping to go to Bastrop state forest once my laundry is done.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


We've all had it. That empty feeling, even at times when we should feel fulfilled. Like experiencing an anticlimax. Case in point: the vintage car racing team I was on was better in the points each year in the championship. When we won it, we kind of looked at each other like"umm, well, now what?".

For the first time in quite some time, I'm not feeling empty. At all. It's been an adjustment. My job is good, I like everyone I work with, being married is everything it's supposed to be, and it feels like you've accomplished something. My racing is about to start, so Tubbo here is definitely on a quest to return to form.

But I was watching the History channel (like usual) and got that empty feeling again. It stems from my army days, and I understand it. In some ways I miss it, in other ways I'm glad it's over, and there are times when I wish it never happened at all so it won't torment me.

I won't bore or torture you with details, and I'm not sure my post is all that cohesive today. I guess I'm hoping none of you ever has to feel that emptiness. I'll just tell you that I have many friends whom I'll never see again and that I miss them terribly. If you have people who are close to you, let them know it, for the emptiness I feel is from not telling them, and I'll never have the oppurtunity to.

A good buddy of mine was shot while we were running across a village square to get a better defensive position. I dove down to grab him and try to give some first aid. While others of my squad did the best they could to protect us, I realized there was nothing I could do. He looked at me and said "it's ok, it's ok, I know you tried".

He was so at peace, but it doesn't fill the hole left.