Saturday, December 27, 2008

Watching people sing is painfull

Nobody came to my door this year caroling, come to think of it nobody came last year either. Has this tradition jumped the shark or just in my neighborhood? I have to admit I am kind of glad, think back to the last time carolers came to your door. You were enjoying a quiet evening at home with your family when this shows up at your door.




So to be nice you stand there letting all the cold air in watching people try to revive a tired tradition from the days before we had radio, CD's or Ipod's. I have to admit I have always felt uncomfortable watching people sing up close like that. Especially when they don't sing well but I am pretty sure you could put me in a room with Pavarotti and I would feel the same way.

So I googled caroling and apparently it is still a viable Christmas tradition in many parts of the world. In fact I found a website that teaches you how to put on your own Caroling Party.

Here are the high points;

Invite friends who really enjoy singing ' on key, that is. Members of a church choir or other singing group would be perfect.
Step2
Invite other friends who can't hold a tune. Tell them they can help decorate your tree, so they won't feel they have to sing. Chances are they'll join in the caroling anyway.
Step3
Ask guests to bring their favorite scarves, hats and mittens to get the right look.
Step4
Buy books of Christmas carols for your guests. Make sure everyone will have a copy since many people do not know every verse to every carol.
Step5
Make candle holders by poking holes into paper plates if you plan to carol outside. Slide the candles through the paper plate. These candles will provide light so people can read the lyrics.

I would like to add my own step 6; Be sure to make eye contact with the people to whom you are singing to ensuring true and total discomfort.

The very mediocre band Blink 182 came out with a Christmas song a few years ago that has been a staple in our house since I found it. If you are already offended by this post and believe that caroling is fun and enjoyed by all, feel free to navigate away from this page and go no further.
04 BLINK 182 - I Won't be Home for Christmas


04 BLINK 182 - I Won't be Home for Christmas from http://menotyou.vox.com/


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas with or without the carolers.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Memory Lane

I was thinking this week about a trip that I took to Moab back in 96' with Johnson and Dustin. Dust had his Landcruiser and Johnson was driving his Toyota truck that was loaded with who knows what until the springs where resting on the stops. He had his bike on top of the load and as we headed up Mapleton Canyon his bike fell of and proceeded to bounce down the hiway. Lucky for him the only casualty was his seat. The rest of the bike came out relatively unscathed, a minor miracle.

Here is Johnson with his new seat right at the top of the single track on Porcupine Rim.



It was early spring and still a little cold. We finished Porcupine rim and realized that he had forgot the keys to his Land Cruiser back at the trail head in Johnson's truck. We proceeded to break into and hot wire the vehicle with a Topeak Alien Multitool. We were congratulating ourselves on our cunning until we ran out of gas three miles down the road and had to hitch a ride back to town.



You can tell it was the mid 90's because of the facial hair and the retro green gloves and fork. That was the Sean Palmer specail edition Manitou, oh how I lusted after that fork.





This is the Alien tool we used for our breaking and entering. Dusty and I are both Eagle Scouts which I am sure helped us in our McGyverness. Which is probably the only thing I ever got out of being a scout. Which brings up a point completely off subject, why did all the scout leaders tell us that we could put it on a resume and get a job? I am glad that I don't have a son because I would never have to lie to him to get him to go to scouts.

Back to the story; we drove around the rest of the trip having to start the vehicle with the screwdriver option.
This is the kind of stuff that happens more often than you think, you can't get those experiences on a golf course.

The problem with a tool that can do everything is that is does nothing really well but it's easy to carry and when your in a bind you take what you can get.

I have a million Moab stories, maybe next time I will tell you how we got stuck. Destroyed a truck, a washing machine, a car wash and bailed on a tow truck service call that saved us $300, all in the space of about 5 hrs.

Good times in Moab..........good times.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Recent goings on

A week or so ago Mike Curiak was back in town and we got together out at Gooseberry.

This is myself and if memory serves a guy named Fred who resides in Moab. You meet all kinds of characters through cycling. Mike is also a great photog and caught us with the peaks of Zion in the background.


This is a video shot by Curiak that I ripped from his blog. He has a helmet camera that really gives some good perspective of what it's like to ride. I defy you to watch this and tell me that it doesn't look like fun.

Untitled from lacemine29 on Vimeo.

Friday, November 28, 2008

School uniforms

A friend of mine from High school found a couple of pictures that I thought you all might want to see. I don't remember having school uniforms but here is the proof in black and white.

White T shirt? Check. Timberlands? Check. Acid washed jeans? Check. Mullets? Check.
Top row; Brent Allsop, Todd Passey, Dustin Warr.
Bottom row; Mike Bearnson, Matt Izatt and Yours Truly.
That was from our senior year seated on the "senior bench in the lobby at THE Bountiful High.


Graduation trip to Lake Powell. If memory serves this was taken in the parking lot at Stromboli's Pizza in Page Arizona. Let's play where's Marco. The first to locate me correctly wins a prize.


There is a lot of neon colors in that picture and some really short shorts. I remember being pretty cool but I had no idea I was that cool.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kayenta Love Shack

Here are some pictures of a recently completed project in Kayenta. Absolutely wonderful homeowners with a terrific plan. Probably my favorite house that I have built in Kayenta, there are a lot of little extras that can't be shown with pictures but these are the highlights. Pay particular attention to the views that you can see out the windows.

This is where I started.






And this is where we finished.





Yep, that's a fountain.




The smaller rectangle by the posts is a fire pit.



Anybody like travertine tile?







This is the library. Love it.




A couple of shots of the kitchen.





Start to finish 7 months build time. 3700 square feet with a basement, casita and pool.

Tours given by appointment only.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Broken Mesa

A Tuesday afternoon with not much going on so I headed to the Broken Mesa trail. There was a fire there about a year ago and I haven't been up since then. The trail is much easier as a shuttle but I didn't have anybody to go with me so I rode up the dirt road and made it into a loop. Total mileage 16+. It started sprinkling at about mile 3 and didn't let up until I was nearly done.
This ride links to the Ice House trail that I will get to a little later.



At the trail head I could see that no one had been on this trail in some time. It was overgrown and with the fire killing off most of the grass and trees the water runoff had really done some damage. Lots of loose rock.
At the top of the switchback climb they have built up a dirt ramp to take you over the water pipes headed back to town. You can see the concrete pipe on the left and the newer steel pipe that took it's place.





Looking west at Red Mountain. Scroll back two posts ago to get the ride report on that trail.



I took a little video for you, the views on this ride are absolutely spectacular. None of the photos or this video do it justice. You can hear the wind blowing pretty hard and sorry for the quality I am using the camera that my wife deemed unsuitable for her use.


video


OK, to get off Broken Mesa you have to descend the Ice House trail. It derives it's name from the road that the pioneers made up the side of the hill. In the fall they would drive empty, specially sealed wagons up the mountain to Pine Valley, fill them with water and leave them until they froze solid. They would then bring the wagons back down the hill and put them in a special barn or "ice house," cover them with hay and would have ice for most of the summer. This next picture shows the trail cut into the side of the hill. This sucker is steep and nasty, I can't imagine who thought this would be a good idea. To ride this down you better bring your "A" game and have your stuff wired pretty tight.




To sum it up, the trail conditions were deplorable and the weather was wet, windy and cold and as I said before the scenery is really good so I had a great time.
What is it about adversity that makes men feel like they are doing something worth doing?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Things I miss

There are a few things that I have been reminiscing about that made me who I am today. I remember that we only had cartoons on Saturday morning so my sisters and I would get up early to get a jump start with these guys. They really jumped the shark once the Wonder Twins showed up with their stupid monkey Gleek.




As I got a little older I used to love Thundarr the Barbarian in his post apocalyptic world. Joined by his companions, the wookie looking Ookla the Mok and the Original Princess Ariel. He even had a Sun Sword that was so much like a light saber even I at 10 years old could see they ripped it right from Star Wars.



The classic Schwinn Scrambler with fiberglass mags. I wanted one of these so bad but I probably couldn't afford one today.




Who could forget Bill?



Another thing I used to love was O'Grady's potato chips. They were so good I would save up all my paper route money, have my mom take me to the store to get a bag. Then I would hide it in my room so that I would not have to share with any of my siblings. Sorry sucka's





The Land of the Lost was another big favorite. I watched on episode on youtube the other day and the acting was absolutely horrible but in the 70's we didn't know any better or Burt Reynolds and Charleton Heston would never of had a job.

One show that I watched with my older siblings was Logan's Run. I remember being scared to death watching that show. I was and still am in love with the female co-star Heather Menzies, she was great.



There are probably lots of other things that I have forgotten but these all made a lasting impression on my memory. Feel free to add your own.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Red Mountain

About twice a year I get myself psyched enough to ride the Red Mountain Trail. I never go with anyone else because I don't want to hear them complain like little girls the whole time. The trail is kinda rough, check out this first pic.

It's like riding up a flight of stairs with loose bowling balls on it. The bad part lasts for about 2 miles and it will put the hurt on you in a hurry. As soon as you are thru the worst of the climbs you get to the sand. David Hasselhoff and the Baywatch girls thinks that the sand up there is deep.

After the suffering has subsided you end up looking into Snow Canyon. The canyon literally starts at your feet and opens up in front of you.

The way that the white stone fades into the red sandstone is absolutely beautiful, I took this next picture to try and show the size of the thorn that I had to pull out of my rear tire . What you can see better is the interesting way the red sandstone left stripes on the white stone as it erodes away.

That thorn was a monster. You can see that I had to get out the pliers to pull it out. Thank goodness for tubeless tires and Stans miracle formula.

This shot is looking back towards Pine Valley Mountain from the other side of Snow Canyon.


Did I tell you that this trail is rough?



Up on top is a huge area with exposed capstone around the outside edge and a sandpit in the center. This is what the top of the Red Mountain looks like. On the left hand side of the picture, if you look really close, you can see the Black ridge and Bluff street right below.
Due to time constraints I did not have enough time to ride out to the lookout over Ivins/Tuacahn. Maybe next year. On my way back it actually started to snow, it didn't last and I made pretty good time. By the time I was done my hands and shoulders start to ache from all the maneuvering that is demanded by the terrain.

All in all it's a great ride........ don't ever ask me to take you.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Court and Cake

I had to attend traffic court today. I gently rolled thru a stop sign in Ivins about 3 weeks ago and was apprehended by Johnny Law. Ivins does not provide their own court system for traffic citations so I had to head over to the Washington County Courthouse to take care of the odious business.
The ticket reads that I must appear later than five days but no later than 14 days from the offense. I forgot all about it until today. As one who does not spend a lot of time around the Utah Justice system I always find it interesting what kind of degenerates you find there. There is the drug guy, the DUI guy, the Bail bondsman, the small claims court group, the kid who has his Mom with him, the lawyers and other human debris.
Most of the people are completely confused as to what they should be doing and where they need to go. I was in that category, Washington County residents should know that the government is not wasting any money on proper signage at the courthouse.
I thought to myself, "who knows the most about this process and can tell me what to do?" The answer.....26 year old drug guy. He has been there at least a half dozen times and knows all the ins and outs. He told me just where to go to handle things quickly. It turns out that unless you want to dispute your ticket you can just go strait to the cashier and pay up. In case you are wondering what a stop sign infraction with late fees will run you in the thriving metropolis of Ivins, $132.
My good deed for the day, showed an old man how to turn off his cell phone before going into the courtroom.

Next topic, my wife broke her pattern today and made Texas Sheet Cake. She did this because she is totally awesome and loves her man. She does not particularly enjoy cake the way I do so this was all for me. We called the Jackman's next door to ask if they would like to help us devour the delectable confection only to find out that Anne had made Picnic cake from my mom's recipe. Could I be so lucky, two cakes on one day. My karma circle must be very small, I help out Old Man Cellphone and two cakes show up. I wonder what I would get if I did something that actually took some effort.
Both cakes were completely delightful and right now at 8:51pm I am feeling a little queasy . I'm going to have to ride 50 miles tomorrow to pay for overindulging.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Moab revisited

Last week was the annual Moab Century ride. This time I brought a few friends with me, here are Sally, Kelly and Douglas suiting up before we take off.


We drove part of the course the night before so that Kelly and Sally would know what they were in for, I don't think it helped. Kelly said that she did not sleep well at all thinking about the "Big Nasty" climb. That's actually what they call the hill, take a look at this alluring piece of propaganda.



You are reading it correctly if it says " 3000 vertical feet in 7 miles."

In between the really steep parts I was able to grab this video without falling of my bike.



video


How did you like my heavy breathing? I will tell you now that it is over it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be but in the middle of that climb it was less than pleasant. It took almost 2.5 hours to go 27 miles.
The rest of the ride was an absolute joy. We saw where the forest fire was. We rode along the Colorado River corridor out past the Dewey Bridge before turning around and heading back to town. Total ride time for me was 6hrs 9 min. I will be looking for a sub 6 hrs next year.

I was struggling with my camera the entire day so most of my pictures did not work out but here are a few that did.

Rain coming in over Fisher Mesa.



The rest stop at the summit, looking into Castle Valley.



The cut in the side of the mountain is the Big Nasty winding it's way up the hill.



This ride is the most scenic ride ever. It even beats riding in Zion National Park. I would really like to find a shack in Castle Valley that is falling apart, buy it on the cheap and spend a few years fixing it up so that I can have a house there. There really is no place like Moab.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oatmeal Cake

Many of you may not know that I love to frequent gas stations for lunch. I do work in the construction industry so I guess I fit the stereotype. I of course have my favorite stores that serve the perfect blend of diet Pepsi or cheese filled corn dogs and Little Nemo Cakes. I have even got Sarah to eat a Bahama Mama hot dog at Maverick, that was a big step for her.
So when I came across this little jem I had to buy it. Sorry about the photo quality I took it with my phone.


Grandma Bonnie's Oatmeal cake. G'ma Bonnie must make this stuff at her house and wrap each piece by hand. She even leaves the cakes in a little basket at the counter for that special homemade presentation.
My Mom used to make Oatmeal cake all the time when we were kids. She would take it to any outdoor function that we attended so we called it picnic cake. She had this cool old school metal pan with a sliding metal lid to keep it safe during transport. Mom's cake is better than Grandma Bonnie's and I wish I had some right now so Mom, when you read this please send recipe asap. Feel free to leave it in your comment so that all the faithful readers can partake of the oatmeal goodness.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

What the.........

As the days grow shorter it is darker and darker in the mornings. Last week as I left at 5:15 to ride the infamous Utah Hill - it was very dark. I have a flashing red light on the back so no one hits me but no light on front. Ivins City and Kayenta have city ordinances against streetlights except on main roads in order to maintain the night sky so as I turned onto 400 west and headed north I might as well have been riding with my eyes closed. I was navigating by the stars and maybe should have slowed down a little because at 13.6 mph I hit this.





Someone had strategically left a large pile of gravel in the roadway. You can still see where my tire made contact.
I was flipped straight over, broke the fall with my face and ended up on my back completely confused.

I pulled myself together and figured out what I had hit, cleaned myself off and started riding again.
As I started to sweat I realized by the burning on the left side of my face that I may have left some of my dermis back at the gravel pile. It felt like I had been hit in the face with a burning track shoe.

I finished my ride and went to buy a light.




Stupid construction people.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Two'fer

If you think this looks like an ordinary bike log you would be wrong.


This time I have two guest stars for your enjoyment. The first is the famous Anthony Vance. He and Lynette stopped by on their way home from Texas by way of Las Vegas. No they are not geographically challenged or lost, they had the time and the means to visit the people most important to them....................the Bruderer's.
Anthony and I took a quick ride tuesday morning on the Barrel Roll trail. Here is Anthony at the top of the first climb s t r u g g l i n g not to lose the enchiladas from the night before.



I know that he will be happy to see that picture. :) Your my boy blue!


He got himself right and made the rest of the trail look easy. Here he is about to clean the nasty part of the trail.



The second guest star is the smooth and svelte Douglas Shaw. He and I rode the Ulcer 111 again this year. Maybe some of you will be able to see that I ripped this picture from the web.



Douglas is the guy with the blue helmet. I'm not sure who the other good lookin' guy is but he looks like he was doing all the work.

I finished with a 5 hour and 12 minute saddle time. I had big plans for this year but I was 17 minutes slower than last year, I am going to blame it on lack of sleep and bathroom privacy.
I did see the best and biggest crash ever! So no matter how bad I felt I know that I was doing better than the 20 or so dudes who piled it up at 28mph in downtown Provo. Oh the humanity.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wishing on a star

I wish I had my own bathroom.

Hugh Hefner thinks I share a bathroom with too many girls.

The entire house hold uses our bathroom as the go to place for teeth brushing, hair coming and various other beauty regimen to which I remain ignorant to. There are 3 other full baths at their disposal but they choose to walk in on me when I am less than fully clothed.
Without fail every time I step into the shower at least 2 people stop by to find something or do their hair or in Janie's case just stop in to say "hey." Luckily for me I had a builder that built a shower in such a way that when you are au natural you can not be seen by others in the room.

In this home I have been able to separate my garage and my office very well. The only junk in my garage is my junk and the only way to get into my garage is thru the office. Ingenious if I do say so myself.
My next house is going to have a boys only locker room so that I won't have to clean toothpaste out of my sink before I shave. I won't have to move hair product and other goo gaws off of my side of the counter. Nobody will steal my towel. My shower drain won't clog up with long hair. There will only be 1 shampoo in the shower, no conditioner. I will still have a loofah but it won't be pink, nobody is saying that a man can't ex foliate. I will add a stackable washer and dryer for convenience and maybe a hidden door to the office or garage, the other man spaces.

The problem is that by the time I am ready for another house nearly all these problems will be gone. Until then I will just keep wishing and keep my towel tightly wrapped.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Little Creek

The first day I ever rode a mountain bike was the same day Princess Di cashed it in. August 31, 1997. I was with the two guys who got me into the sport, Dusty and Chris. We were in Durango CO with our wives visiting Mesa Verde and camping out. We rode a 30+ mile trail in named the La Hermosa trail. I completely destroyed the piece of junk bike that I had bought, cramped up so bad that I still have bad dreams about it and had a great time.
We met our wives at Pizza Hut for the apre ride meal where they told us about the unfortunate passing of Lady Di. We still talk about that day every year when the news starts to remember the anniversary of her death but we remember it for a different reason.
The three of us are rarely able to get together to ride, neither one of them has kept up with the sport the way that I have but with some not so gentle coaxing from me we made it happen last week at Little Creek Mesa.
None of my pictures turned out very well, what I really need is for Racy Straw to just follow me around and document the minutia of my life. Every thing looks better thru her lens.


Dustin hiding in the shade.



Looking north towards Little Creek Mesa and Virgin



I wanted to get a shot of the huge area of slick rock, this doesn't do it justice and you have to look really close to see Johnson bringing up the rear. In his defense, he forgot his shoes and rode the whole day in running shoes on clipless pedals....ridiculously hard.


Another shot of Dusty, this time on his bike.


Probably not this year due to the sudden increase in my families proportions but next year I am going to plan a trip with these yahoos back toDurango at the end of August. I hope no one dies.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lost and found

Last week I was just getting back to the pavement after a mt. ride when I was stopped by a Santa Clara police officer. He told me that another officer in the dept. had lost the a fully loaded clip to his gun somewhere in the area and was hoping maybe I had found it. My first thought was, "sure it was another officer." I didn't find it but I'm sure some socially unconscious, juvinile delinquent probably did. They seem to only hire the best and brightest to be Santa Clara's finest.

That got me thinking about all the stuff I have found on the trail or street while riding. Here is a list of some funny things I can remember and where it was;

Cell phone by the Santa Clara Cemetery.
A huge ring for Top of the Mountains Bowl. Which is apparently a junior college thing. Snow College won it that year and I found it on the side of the hiway by Quail Creek reservoir.
Water bottles (3) La Hermosa trail in Durango CO. Bearclaw Poppy trail St George and Porcupine Rim trail in Moab.
$5 Ivins city cemetery
Small silver Mag-light, Ivins city by the firehouse.
A pair of Addidas running shoes, just my size. The hiway in Moab as you cross the Colorado River.
Sun glasses, gas station junk brand. Veyo Utah
An insulated camo vest. Anasazi trail STG

It's a veritable garage sale out there so keep your eyes open.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gone baby gone

Yeeehaaa! The big house I had for sale in The Cliffs is gone baby gone. We closed on the 19th of June.

Now my kids will have a Christmas.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

1x9 chain love

It's official, I have removed the front derailler from my bike making it a 1x9 speed scooter. In layman's terms, I no longer have the option of shifting between the 3 chainrings up front. I removed the biggest ring about 4 years ago and have been hanging on to the "granny gear" for reasons that I can't explain. I never really used it so I removed it.


Secondly the devil has again used the internet for his own evil purposes. May I present chainlove.com. One killer bike deal available at a time until it is gone. If I had any money I would have spent thousands since they opened the site on last Monday. I must check the site about 30 times a day, I would hate to miss a single item.
So if you are looking for a good gift for yours truelly you can find everything I want at one place and it's cheap too.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Exploration

For the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about how to connect two known points in the wilderness with a bike trail of epic proportions. Saturday at 6am I started out to make my dream a reality. This photo is at what I expected to be the trail head, there was a fire up there last year which makes trail building much easier, no sagebrush to fight.


The first couple of miles where perfect, great views with long sweeping downhill sections, just what I was hoping for. Then the good times came to an abrupt halt as I ran into some very soft dirt and very steep ravines, one after another. At one point I actually blew my front tire right off the rim and had to put in a tube.
After 4-5 miles of bushwhacking across the desert I made it to a drainage system that I was familiar with and was able to use the dry washes to pick up the pace. I eventually made my way to the Santa Clara river and crossed over into the River Reserve area that I was looking for.

There are many petroglyphs in the area that you can hike/bike to. I took this picture sitting on my bike.


This next photo is a little grainy as I had to zoom in as far as I could. You can make out some large petroglyphs and 3 pioneer names. A.P. Hardy 1859, S.G. Hardy 1880 and some guy named Tom. Funny how their graffiti is really cool today.





I made it home after 3 1/2 hours and 15+ miles. To bad that my trail dreams were dashed but there is a lot more desert out there looking to be tamed.