Monday, March 30, 2009

Good Day

Saturday was a good day. I had a great race at the AF Icebreaker. Afterwards I won an entry to the Utah Half during the raffle. Pat was admitted to med school at the U. Sushi with my brothers. A good day. It's getting me through the snow today.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Recently Aaron analogized his relationship with winter as a girl friend. For me, winter is more of an in-law. The kind that does nothing to veil their contempt for you. The kind that mocks all of the things you like. The kind that comes to stay with you for a while. Most of the time, the trips are scheduled, which makes it a little easier to deal with. That way, at least I know she's coming and about when she'll leave, though in Utah that can vary widely. When she does show up, we do our best to deal with each other - by staying away from each other. I stay primarily inside, spending a lot of time in the pool and on the trainer watching movies. And working. That way I pass the time while she does her thing. And when she leaves, I feel reborn. I love spring. These last three weeks have been great, with long rides full of soul cleansing sunshine. And then that bitch showed up unannounced and ruined everything. It took me two hours to get to work because of the iced up roads. And like real in-laws, I can't just throw her out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting Back to Zero

Ever since my first half-ironman race I've been on a steady decline. I hope that last year was the absolute bottom with absolutely dismal days at both the Vikingman and the Utah Half. While I was able to gut out IMZ, it got the better of me. I'm not about to go back to the Vikingman, but I'm heading back to Idaho in June - to Boise this time. Dan almost has me convinced to do the Utah Half again. And if I can get a slot for IMZ at either California or Boise, I'll be heading back to Tempe this fall again. I'm hoping things are better this year and that I can get at least closer to how things went for my first race.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Si Se Puede

I learned to speak Spanish on my mission to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I love languages - so I was excited about the possibility of learning in a native environment. I actually chose to study the language while I was there, going so far as to pick up middle-school level grammar books. I've never denied that I'm a nerd.
Anyway, it turns out spanish is a particularly useful language to know round these parts. There are plenty of latinos around to practice my spanish with. However, while living in Utah a lot of latinos have learned that switching to spanish doesn't necessarily allow you to talk about somebody without them understanding. There are just too many RM's who've learned spanish. I've learned that this isn't the case outside of Utah.
Several years ago I was in Oregon fishing for steelhead. When we showed up at the stream, we were the only ones there. After trying out a couple of areas, I settled on a particular spot based on how the water was flowing, etc. Minutes later, droves up people started showing up all at once. It felt like a quitting time scene you see in a movie where people come pouring out of a factory as a whistle blows. Except they were showing up at the river.
Anyway, it seems that I had stumbled on to the sweet spot as suddently I was at the front of a line of twenty people queued up nearly shoulder to shoulder and apparently casting at the same spot. Strange. Stranger still were the two standing right next to me.
"Fijate en el tipo este (Check out this guy)," the guy next to me said while looking right at me. I turned and looked at him in surprise. There was no way he just said that.
"Si, no tiene ni idea (Yeah, he's clueless)," his friend responded while joining his buddy in looking at me.
"Si le molestamos, tal vez el salga (if we bug him, maybe he'll leave," the first continued. Casting close, tangling me up, drifting their gear into me - these guys were on a mission to get me to leave. And they discussed it all very openly (in spanish) while looking me in the face the whole time. Finally, the first guy hooked up. As the fish flashed close, it was clear that it wasn't a trophy fish.
"Es chiquito (it's a little one)" the first guy said to his friend. I saw my chance. It was the beginning of the year and with Oregon fishermen limited to 20 salmonid total per year, it was a good assumption that he'd be letting it go.
I had already reeled in as soon as he'd hooked up (just good ettiquette). As he reeled the fish in, I pulled out my leatherman as quick as I could. "Queres que lo suelte (Do you want me to let him go)?" I asked.
"What," he stammered, his eyes bulging and mouth agape with confusion. The other guy couldn't even look at me. I repeated myself, using my thickest Porteno (Buenos Aires) accent. "No, he's little but he's nice. I'm going to keep it." He finished. The two gentlemen then quickly made their way the shore, bonked the fish, and left while it was still twitching.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bus Etiquette

I was listening to the radio as I drove to the bus stop the other day and the DJ's were yapping about how Fi'ty Cent's advice to Joaquin Phoenix was to rap about what he knows. Here's what I know, some thing has to be done about the etiquette of a group of commuter types. Unfortunately, experience has told me that the primary offenders in my group also work for the organizational arm of the dominant religion around here. At the beginning of every bus ride some Righteous Roger is sure to let every woman in the area go to the front of the line and board the bus first. He'll even box out and hold up the line if he thinks he sees a woman coming down the road who might want to board our bus. Seriously. Of course every other person behind him emphatically agrees with him- he speaks for everyone. Manners first, you know. I swear there must have been a memo about it. I don't know what's up with my TPS reports - I guess I didn't get the memo. And apparently the bit about 'ladies first' was all that was in the memo because that's where the manners on the bus end with this crowd. Loud yapping is a favorite. When I'm talking to someone in a public, crowded environment that is generally pretty quiet (like say, on a commuter bus in the morning), I try to actually look at the person I am talking with to be able to more accurately aim the spew that is coming from my cake hole their way. On one occasion, one of my least favorite riders (he looks like an Ernie, so that's what I'll call him) was talking to someone behind him and across the aisle while he tapped away on his laptop. Ernie likes the grenade approach to conversation to ensure full coverage of the area, raising his voice to one decibel short of shouting so that his friend could hear him. You'd think what he was saying was really important to use that technique. It wasn't - I can tell you for sure since I involuntarily heard the whole conversation. At the next stop that same day, a fellow who looked like a Stanley (a serious power-tool) boarded the bus. As the bus rolled on, he made his way to the seat in front of mine. The seats on the express buses recline, much like the seats on airplane. When I want to recline, I depress the lever and slowly recline it. Not this guy, he sat down, grabbed the release switch, and threw his entire weight backwards thus flinging aside anything in my lap that might have been in the way. I wanted to slap him upside the head. Maybe next time I will since manners are checked at the door when you board a commuter bus.