Saturday, March 29, 2008

Routine disrupted

As a refresher, my normal Saturday routine

My Saturday morning routine:

1) Wake-up 1.5hrs prior to departure for bike ride
2) Make coffee
3) Eat breakfast (bagel or yogurt w/ flax & wheat germ)
4) Pack bike gear
5) Poop
6) Put on bike clothes
7) Finish coffee
8) Air in bike tires
9) Drive/ride to designated meeting area for ride

When this happens, I'm happy...here's how today went:

1) Woke up at 2:30 am
2) Made coffee
3) Ate a bagel
4) Strung lights on my bike and reflective material on backpack
5) Wished I could poop, but remembered it was only 3:00 am
6) Showered/Shaved
7) Pooped
8) 3rd world toilet clogged
9) Plunged
10) Got on bike, hoping i wouldn't die, since i was commuting during peak drunk driver hours
11) Got to Navy base for work
12) Realized I didn't have shit to do, 'cause the Navy guys want all the glory
13) Remembered why I don't like the Navy
14) Started searching for coffee, only to find some weak Folgers
15) Drank Folgers...have flashbacks of previous work with Navy and last time I drank Folgers
16) Remembered why I hated Navy
17) Got off shift at 10:00...after 6 hours of doing nothing
18) Biked up Aiea Hts twice, harrassed by punks on skateboard 4 times
19) Came home, ate, slept 3 hours
20) Spent remaining 9 hours wishing I slept longer
21) Blogged about what a shitty day I had, and depressed about the shitty week ahead
22) Dreading the 9:30 pm ride to work...and 12 hours of Navy life that follows...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Advances in Hotpocketry

Before I was married, I ate a lot of convenience food. I've been eating very well for the past 7 years, only eating frozen foodstuffs in a pinch....such as when I'm doing shiftwork. I was working with the Navy today, and was trying to hold off to the end of the day without eating...my only food options were crap, and I didn't think ahead to pack a lunch. Walked by the snackbar a few times, and only saw a few options...frozen PB&J, Jimmy Dean frozen breakfast sandwiches, and Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets. Every time I see a Hot Pocket, I'm immediately whisked back to my youth...these things, along with Taco Bell, got me through my teenage years. My only issue with Hot Pockets as a convenience food, is that they're really not all that convenient. The pocket wasn't really a pocket at all, it was a sleeve. This design flaw made eating the Hot Pocket tricky. You couldn't eat with your hands, as the molten sauces (known as 'the hot') would penetrate the pastry shell, leaking out the bottom of the sleeve, causing 3rd degree burns. Meanwhile, you're eating a frozen piece of brocolli, chickenstuff, or other parts of the hot that didn't ever thaw out. I always had to put my Hot Pocket on a plate, thus making it less convenient. It looks like the folks at Hot Pockets have solved this problem with their patented Qwik Crisp (patent #4775771, #4780587, #4948932).



The Qwik Crisp has a folding bottom piece that turns the sleeve into a pocket. As I ate my Hot Pocket, none of the hot dripped onto my hands. I also got an even cook on the first try...no cold spots. I can't say it was a tasty lunch, but it held me over a couple hours. Hopefully I'll remember to pack a lunch next time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Boston Rocks!



After several weeks of playing Rock Band, I've become a born-again Boston fan....I'm particularly fond of their hit 'Foreplay/Long Time'. There are very few songs that rock as hard as this one. In fact, I'm considering entering the US Air Guitar championships playing excerpts of the kickass solos. The song has entered heavy rotation on 2 of my iPods. Today I was riding by the Hickam golf course wearing the iPod. I was riding a nice tempo pace. Once this song came on, the only thing I could do was sit up and start wailing on the air guitar. It's irresistible...I'd say it's impossible to listen this song and not pick up the air guitar. That's one reason I don't wear an iPod when riding with a group...air guitaring in a paceline at 25mph isn't very safe.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Eat a Dick



No one ever accused English cuisine of being good. Sonya bought this for me...it sat around for a week or two before I tried it...couldn't get past the name. I finally tried it. Actually wasn't bad, except for the raisins.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I've become the douche that I despise



Five Apple products...here on my desk.

You can't get any whiter than that.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Egg Hunts...WWJD?


In general, parents suck. Took the boys to an Easter Egg hunt today. Jack got to compete in the 2-under division. The hunt was pretty crowded, lots of families there. When the whistle blew, it seemed like every kid had at least one parent assisting them with the hunt. I thought the hunt was for kids, so I let Jack go at it himself. Parents were boxing him out, hovering over areas of the field in the hopes that their kids would get a couple precious eggs. One parent even carried her 2 year old over to the coveted "golden egg", so that her child would win the special prize. Good stuff...this is why I dread the day I have to sign my boys up for non-competitive soccer or tee ball. The parents were into this way too much, and did all they could to ensure their kids had the most plastic eggs filled with cheap stale candy. Apparently the fact that not a single egg was hidden was still not easy enough for the kids. I thought I'd let Jack go at it himself. He'd have more fun, or so I thought. Instead he ended up without eggs. When it came time for the 3 year olds, Carter was scared by the loud cheers and bumbling around of parents. He came to me and asked to go home. Looks like they inherited my love for crowds. The good thing is that neither of them really seemed to care about the eggs.

video


The madness surrounding today's event got me to thinking...WWJD? When Jesus held egghunts for his disciples, did they get crazy about finding that golden egg? I bet at least one of them was annoyed about the craziness of being the one that gathered the most plastic eggs filled with cheap candy. I'm sure others got sick of Jesus' antics and wished he didn't hide the eggs. And if there wasn't enough Cadbury eggs to go around, would Jesus take one and multiply it for his disciples?

...why do we hide eggs on Easter?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Haleakala

Yesterday morning, flew to Maui to climb Haleakala. The climb is a 36 mile ride starting and sea level, ending at the summit of 10,000+ feet. We took the first flight to Kahului, quickly set up our bikes in the airport and hit the road by 0730.


The first 5 miles is a flat ride down to sea level at Paia town...that's where the real ride begins. After we turned out of town, the ascent began. The climb was fairly gentle for the first 14 miles...we only climbed about 4000', keeping the group together for the most part with a couple of breaks. After our 2nd break, I took off with the lead group. I hung for awhile, but realized that if I was going to get up the hill feeling strong, I had to ride my own pace. Trying to pace off another rider on a hill is difficult, as everyone climbs differently. My goal was to keep the heart rate in the 150bpm range up until 7000', before I started pushing harder. I knew the last mile of the climb was the steepest part, and I'd need to have something in reserve to push on to the top. So, at about the 4500' point, I sat up, had a drink of water and watched some of the faster guys pull away. Once they turned up the switchback, I set into my rhythm. The ride was beautiful...not a drop of rain on the way up. The roads were much nicer than Oahu...I didn't see one piece of Heineken glass...and the traffic was much lighter. I saw more bicycles than cars, since there are several tour groups that allow riders to cruise down from the top on the mountain. Here's a group of downhillers passing our lead group of riders....this is the moment where I had decided to back off the group.



Most of the ride up was uneventful. I felt strong and was able to keep the heart rate low most of the time...the weather was definitely cooler after hitting the 6000' mark. I got lucky, as our support van rolled by to pass me arm warmers and more gatorade. I made it to the ranger station at 7000' feeling very fresh. There I met the support van once again, and decided to eat some chips and cookies.



After the ranger station, the ride became increasingly more difficult. First, I pushed up the effort, and the altitude began to take its toll. I rode for the next 10 miles (or 3000' elevation gain) with a heart rate consistently in the 160-170bpm range. I was going through water, gatorade, gel packs and electrolyte tablets very quickly. I stopped the bike once to pick up a water bottle the support van set out for me....big mistake, as the altitude made me light headed. It seemed easier to pedal than to just sit....so I quickly got back to the ride. As I'd planned it, I had a lot left at the top. The last half mile was very steep and challenging, but felt very manageable. I rolled into the parking lot about 5hours after leaving the airport. I estimated about 4.5hrs of riding time...probably about 4hrs since leaving Paia.



Spent about 1.5hrs at the top waiting for everyone to finish...it was cold up there. Being the white man I am, I bundled up in all my performance outdoor apparel for the descent. Unfortunately, some clouds rolled in while we were sitting at the top. The descent was fine until we hit the 8000', then we rode through clouds for the next 4000'...or 15 miles. That sucked. I could barely see the rider in front of me, and the hairpin turns were very challenging with the we roads. Luckily it cleared up near the bottom and we were able to hit speeds up to 50mph for the last 3000' feet or so. We rolled into Kahului with about 80 miles under our belts....had a beer, italian dinner, then rolled up to Krispy Kreme for some donuts. That ride from Krispy Kreme to the airport seemed like the toughest mile of the day. Got to the airport and felt completely drained. It was a great day though...I hope to do this again next year.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I'm white

I went through the full list of Stuff White People Like in order to determine how white I really am. Included here are the things that fit me, and a few that definitely don't...left out the ones I'm kind of neutral on.

#88 Having Gay Friends—there are a few that I suspect…not that there’s anything wrong with that
#87 Outdoor Performance Clothes—never know when there will be a last minute kayak trip
#86 Shorts—wear them all the time
#84 T-Shirts—all I ever wear
#83 Bad Memories of High School—it really sucked
#82 Hating Corporations—especially Wal Mart
#80 The Idea of Soccer—good in theory, but a boring sport
#75 Threatening to Move to Canada—would’ve done it if Giuliani became President
#69 Mos Def
#67 Standing Still at Concerts--always
#63 Expensive Sandwiches—nothing tastier than a $10 sandwich
#62 Knowing What’s Best for Poor People—of course
#61 Bicycles—have 3 bikes
#60 Toyota Prius—had one since ’04
#53 Dogs—no…and I don’t like “dog people”
#48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops--yes
#47 Arts Degrees—nope…I’m a math guy
#46 The Sunday New York Times—if it wasn’t $5
#45 Asian Fusion Food—too many bad experiences with this in Korea
#44 Public Radio—good in DC, sucks in HI
#43 Plays—only the ones starring TP
#42 Sushi--yes
#40 Apple Products—iMac & 3 x iPods…going to buy a Macbook
#39 Netflix—cancelled my membership tonight
#38 Arrested Development—TV show or the sucky early 90s rap group?
#36 Breakfast Places--Yes
#35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report—Colbert sucks
#33 Marijuana—legalize it
#32 Vegan/Vegetarianism—cool theory, wouldn’t do it
#28 Not having a TV—my lifelong dream, instead I have a 37” HD LCD
#27 Marathons—2 of ‘em
#24 Wine—See beer posts that tell you how I feel about wine
#23 Microbreweries—See all the beer posts
#16 Gifted Children—My children were reading at 6 weeks old
#15 Yoga—see my post about Bikram…not a fan

#11 Asian Girls—Married one
#9 Making you feel bad about not going outside
#8 Barack Obama
#6 Organic Food—only from farmer’s markets
#5 Farmer’s Markets—Used to go all the time in VA
#3 Film Festivals--Yes
#2 Religions their parents don’t belong to—See early blog posts about Church of Cannabis and the Raelians…both have their merits
#1 Coffee—See early blog posts about Kona trip

Spelling

As a former competition level speller, there are few things I appreciate more than some good spelling. I dream of the day I walk into a room and get challenged to an impromptu bee. I'm pretty confident that I'll win most battles and would only be served only by one of the kids that went to the big leagues...I'm talking Scripps-level spellers.

Today I went to get my international drivers' license. The AAA forms required me to provide various pieces of information about my life, to include city and state of birth...which I abbreviated (KY). As the lady begins transcribing my form onto the official driver's license, I noticed that she paused when it came time to fill in the state. Next thing I know, she's searching through the road map stand until she finds the Kentucky/Tennessee map. She studies the cover of the map, then presses on with filling out the form. Considering she's a clerk in a travel agency, you'd think she'd written the word Kentucky before...I mean, someone from Hawaii has to visit Kentucky at some point. It wasn't the smoothest of moves...seemed pretty obvious to me. She probably had no idea she had a competitive speller standing in front of her. I guess I should've started freestyling...throw out a couple of words from the National Bee.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Routines

My Saturday morning routine:

1) Wake-up 1.5hrs prior to departure for bike ride
2) Make coffee
3) Eat breakfast (bagel or yogurt w/ flax & wheat germ)
4) Pack bike gear
5) Poop
6) Put on bike clothes
7) Finish coffee
8) Air in bike tires
9) Drive/ride to designated meeting area for ride

That's been my routine for the past 9 months...rarely have I done anything different. ...until today:


1) Overslept, waking up 45 minutes prior to departure...had to compress routine
2) Couldn't find a matching pair of socks
3) Put on bike clothes
4) Made coffee
5) Ate
6) Went to poop, but realized toilet was clogged
7) Went to get plunger which is stored outside behind a gate along with our a/c
8) Discovered the gate was rusted shut
9) Desire to poop became unbearable
10) Decided that I couldn't make it to Burger King for its bathroom, so I had to climb
11) Started climbing fence, realized that I could hurt myself
12) Internal debate on whether I'd poop my pants if I fell
13) Decided pooping pants was reasonable in the event of a fall
14) Safely made it over to retrieve plunger
15) Ran to bathroom, quickly plunged
16) Tossed plunger out the back door
17) Pooped
18) Finished Coffee
19) Rode

Friday, March 14, 2008

Candy

If I could get rid of one thing in this world, it would be candy. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the occasional piece of chocolate and won't walk by one of those cutesy M&M dispensers without grabbing a few...but, I could definitely live without it. My main reason for loathing candy is what it does to children. Here's an end of meltdown video...the end of an hour long candy-induced fit:



We didn't coach him to say this, but please remember this the next time you decide to waste $25 in postage by sending a giant box of candy across the pond. By the way, there's not a candy shortage on this island. Save yourself some money and save us the trouble. Please!

0 for 2


We're not a boating family.

Gave Carter several options on how to spend this morning...everything from boating to me ending my boycott of the water park. He chose a short 1 hour kayak trip at Hickam "Machine" Beach. I should've known why, since there are candy vending machines at Machine Beach. The trip was doomed from the start. He was more focused on getting candy rather than getting in the kayak. As I sit him in the kayak and begin to launch off on our slow ride in calm waters, he wanted to jump out and play in the sand with his candy. I did convince him to go on a short ride, but for most of the ride, I had to keep the boat facing the shore...after about 10 minutes of riding away from the beach he was done, so we headed back to play our standard game of dig a deep hole in the sand.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shitty Roads

FOX NEWS ALERT: Honolulu Roads Rated 2nd Worst in Nation

No shit. I'd like to expand that to say Oahu has the worst roads in the nation. I've gone through bike tires so fast here, it doesn't pay to buy good race quality tires. On a ride out the Waianae Coast, 3 pieces of glass embedded in my tires. Any ride on the North Shore requires you to be pretty nimble through the piles on Heineken glass. The locals take Heineken's local advertising campaign to heart...Keep Hawaii Green. I rarely ride through town due to all the potholes and crazy tourist drivers.

On the positive side, you can ride year round...but, it's on the same shitty roads.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Longshots




Tried 2 new offerings from Sam Adams--the Longshot collection of homebrew winners. This year, their 2 winners were a Grape Pale Ale and a Weizenbock. It's hard to believe that one of the best homebrews is a Pale Ale brewed with Grapes. Surely someone out there had a better recipe. The GPA wasn't as bad as I was expecting...could barely taste the grapes, and it was hoppy like any other Pale Ale.


Grape Pale Ale
Grade=B-
PQ=23

The Weizenbock has to be one of the worst Sam Adams beers I've ever tried. I suppose it's a cross between a Hefeweizen and a Double Bock...both are good beers, but there's no synergy when mixing the two. The beer smelled like a Hefeweizen, but was too sweet and thick.


Weizenbock
Grade=C
PQ=17

Over the past week I discovered my new favorite beer...Czechvar. In the Czech Republic it's known as Budvar. It's the original Budweiser, but due to copyright problems with Anheuser-Busch, it's known as Czechvar in the US. It's clearly an A+.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Hiking

Today we went to Koko Head.



Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sparks Energy Drink

I've been trying some F'd up drinks over the past couple weeks, everything from energy drinks to beer. It got me to thinking...what could be better than combining these two great drink forms? Like chocolate and peanut butter, these are two great tastes that should go great together. Thinking back to my drinking days, I would've loved to have an overly caffeinated alcoholic beverage...one that would allow me to get F'd up and still stay awake. So, looking through the F'd up beer section (this is the area where you can find 40s, Bud/Clamato mix, 22oz cans of Coors, etc.) of my local liquor store I noticed this gem--Sparks Original.




Sparks is brewed by the fine folks at Steel Brewing Company. These are the same folks that brought you Steel Reserve. Some have said that Steel Reserve may be high gravity, but it's inferior to St. Ides...yeah, we're talking real quality here. At 6% alcohol, it may not have the same punch as a 40 of Steel Reserve, but that's not the point...you've got Red Bull levels of energy ingredients here....enough to keep you going. If you need a bigger kick, the folks at Steel now have a 7% variety with Sparks Plus. I doubt I'll get around to trying the other Sparks variety...if I want to taste bad beer and need all the extra energy, I'll drink a 40 of OE and chase it with a Red Bull.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Around the Island

Today was the birthday of one of my bike riding friends. He solicited volunteers to take the day off and ride around the island with him to celebrate. Four of us took him up on the offer. Total ride distance was 116 miles. Was a great ride...took plenty of breaks, most were unintended as amongst the five of us, we had 4 flat tires and a broken chain. We also took a long coffee break and several water breaks. Aside from that, we averaged around 24mph on the road.

This was my 2nd trip around the island. Previously I rode clockwise as part of a race. This time we went counterclockwise...couldn't have asked for a better day with clear skies and the wind at our back the entire time.

Beats going to work!

View <br />Interactive Map on MapMyTri.com

Monday, March 3, 2008

Time Trialing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Yesterday was my first bike race of the year. Races in Hawaii start ridiculously early, so I got up at 4am to take proper measures to 'get down to race weight.' Showed up at the start area around 5:45 am to get a few minutes on the trainer before my 6:56 start. The race was a 12.4 mile time trial from Kailua up to the entrance of Hanauma Bay. Since I'm not the best time trialer in the world and I lack the fancy time trialing equipment, my expectations were low. To top it all off, the promoter allowed a professional triathlete to sandbag by racing as a Cat 4/5 (beginner level). When I showed up at the race, I noticed there were quite a few serious triathletes racing 4/5, so it was going to be more difficult than I thought. Anyhow, despite my lack of time trial specific training and equipment, I rode the race pretty well. Each rider started in 30 second intervals. When they called the guy in front of me to the line, he was a no show...this was pro-triathlete Tim Marr. I was glad to hear that he wasn't starting on time, since it was unfair he was racing 4/5 to begin with. I started off strong, probably too fast since the course ended with 2 significant climbs. I passed my 1 minute guy 4 miles into the race and was averaging about 25 mph up until the first climb...just before the hill, some tri-guy wearing a sperm-shaped helmet passed me. This pissed me off, so I decided to charge up the hill and build a gap...must've climbed it too hard, as I was spent at the top...had some time to recover on the downhill for the last climb. At the base of the hill, the dude passes me again, then another tri-guy passes me. I start to close the gap halfway up the hill, and make my charge at the 1 mile to go banner...at that point, I've given all I could and was lucky to hold the interval. Finished at 31:09...better than I expected with a 23.3 mph avg. This was good for 11th out of 30. Had I raced a little smarter, had some practice or rode a TT bike, I know I could've had a much better finish.

Yesterday was a great day...aside from an early morning bike race, neighbor Sally gave me a case of beer. Can't beat that.

Today, Sonya signed my brother and I up for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. We quickly realized we were out of our element during the warmups. The instructor was blasting Wu Tang Clan as we ran in circles. The running wasn't bad. Once the tumbling began, it all went downhill. Ryan called my attempt at a cartwheel a "retarded donkey kick". So, we immediately took off our gis and ran out of the building.