theZeph

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Archive for the ‘good ideas’ Category

100 miles of nowhere

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Some ideas are better than others.

Elden put out a call for entries to his 2nd Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere bike race.   The name comes from last year’s inaugural “race” in Elden’s basement where he was the only entrant and rode the entire 100 miles on his stationary rollers.  That’s right…he rode his rollers for 100 miles straight.  Without moving ANYWHERE.  I think this idea fits nicely in the “others” category.

This year Elden mixed it up a bit to help raise funds for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the fight against cancer.  He opened up entry to basically the world and he also gave us all a little latitude to boot.  As long as the ride was a short circuit he would count it.  And the best part?  Each of us wins our own race…because theoretically we wouldn’t be racing against anyone else.  That’s a good idea.

Some of Elden’s readers had some pretty unique ideas:

  • One guy programmed his computerized trainer to ride downhill for the entire 100 miles.  This idea goes in the “better” category.
  • One group was able to score time on a local velodrome.  Kind of like Nascar on bikes.
  • A group in London rode 160 laps around the Inner Circle of Regents Park
  • One guy rode the ENTIRE 100 miles looping his cul-de-sac (another idea that belongs in the “others” category).

So I decided to try a route that would not only be interesting, but would also be great training for Leadville.  I opted to circle Suncrest and the Point of the Mountain 5 times.  With Suncrest perched at 6200 feet I was in for a pretty nasty day of climbing.

Race Preparation

For a one man race of this magnitude I had to take my preparation seriously.  First item on the agenda…shave the legs (to milk the aerodynamic advantage of course).

And because I dig the silky smoothness.

In lieu of shaving, this year I decided to go chemical.  A friend has been bugging me to try a fancy cream called Magic Smooth for over a year now.  theWife suggested I use her bottle of Nair before I mix it up with the big boys and Magic Smooth.

Following the instructions I “smoothed on thickly and did not rub in”.  Wait 4 minutes.  Wipe off.

Are you kidding me!  It was THAT simple?

Question for the ladies:  why would any of you EVER shave again?  Nair is a MIRACLE.

I was so effusive in my new found love of Nair that theWife said with apprehension:  “I am going to come home to a totally hairless you, aren’t I?”

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Jerry “did something stupid” and then couldn’t stop?

I couldn’t stop either.

Nair is just SO addicting.

As a consequence I think I am sleeping on the couch for a few weeks.  At least until I no longer resemble a Canadian Hairless cat.

Race Day

So it rained pretty much the entire day and night before the race.  I feared I would be relegated to the drudgery that is riding 100 miles on the trainer in the basement.  Oh, the horror.

Instead, this is what I woke up to Monday morning:

IMG_1911

Dry roads and the sun rising.

Lap One – What an Amazing Day for a Ride

Erik R escorted me around the first lap.  Set a new PR on the downhill…60.1 MPH.  I was so shocked by the speed, I almost catastrophed into the guard rail doing the double take to recheck the speed.  That was exciting.

The conversation with Erik made the first lap pass quickly.  Thanks Erik.

Here is a shot of Erik heading down the north side of Suncrest:

IMG_1912

Check out the clouds.  Living at Suncrest is pretty much okay.

Lap 2 – Feeling Pretty Spry

After climbing south Suncrest and parting ways with Erik I turned around and headed back down the south side to make the loop around the Point for the first ascent up the dreaded north side of Suncrest.  Things were going so well I decided to take a self portrait.  Here I am rolling down the Highland Highway:

Self Portrait

 

Does that picture make my butt look big?

Lap 3 – North Suncrest Sucks…But I’m Already 40 Miles In

Really, it does suck.

Riding up an 11% grade for a prolonged amount of time has a tendency to cause great pain and deep reflection.  Now things were starting to get interesting.  The descent off the north side was great, but I started thinking I still had to climb the north and south sides of Suncrest THREE MORE TIMES.  I started to move my route into the “others” category of ideas.

At least the day was still amazing.  Here’s the view as I approached the second ascent up south Suncrest:

IMG_1915

Lap 4 – Lyrical Clarity

So something interesting happened on Lap 4.  At about mile 70 I started noticing on the iPod that some lyrics were decidedly more distinct than others:

  • “Your engine’s dead, there’s something wrong”
  • “Twice as ha-ard, as it was the first time”
  • “Nothing is real but pain now”
  • “Under pressure”
  • “Had a bad day again”
  • “Your beast of burden, my back is broad, but it’s a hurtin”
  • “House of pain”

You seeing a pattern here?   I was turning into a mental midget (or a mental little person).

[Challenge: I have a packet of cola flavored Shot Bloks for the first person to name the song and band for all the lyrics above.  Banks you are not eligible.]

As I was saying…yeah though I ride through the valley of death.

As I rounded the corner for the next climb up north Suncrest I ran into this:

Suffering

Uh huh.  I was going straight.

Lap 5 – Just…Go…On…Without…Me

The second climb up north Suncrest was quite possibly the single most painful 30 minutes of my life.  Even the descent couldn’t pump life back into my limp noodle legs.

Until I saw this on my last run across the frontage road:

Glen Beck

It was like a light at the end of the tunnel. A beacon in the storm.

No matter how terrible I was feeling at mile 90, it could be SO much worse.  For instance, I could be going to see Glenn Beck at the state capitol on May 30th.

Suddenly I felt MUCH better.

Finish

The last climb up south Suncrest was sloooooooooowww.  Pedaling squares as they say.

I finished.

Here is the evidence…proudly wearing the spoils (based on the drawing my left leg must have carried the burden of most of the climbing):

Dead Body

Recap

100 Miles

8500 Feet of Climbing

Max Speed = 60.1 MPH (descending north Suncrest)

Min Speed = 4.9 MPH (ascending north Suncrest)

Elapsed Time = 6 hours 54 minutes

Most importantly Fatty and everyone who rode their own version of 100 Miles of Nowhere raised over $20,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

That definitely does not suck.

See you next year.

P.S.  Here’s the route:

Route

 

 

 

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Written by eber

May 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm

funny how fings change

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Ahh…Sunday, blessed Sunday.

Sure the whole day-of-rest thing is great and all, but for theWife and I Sundays used to be all about the  Starland Vocal Band.  Okay not really the band, but the song.  Okay not really the song, but the lyrics.  Okay not really the lyrics, but the putting of the lyrics into practice.  That’s right…Afternoon Delight.

So theWife and I had a pretty sweet thing going.  Every Sunday.  Like clockwork.  Skyrockets in flight.

Then it all happened so quickly.  Check that…IT didn’t happen so quickly, but “it” happened so quickly.

You know, “it” being the moment we heard “the Noise”.  At the MOST inopportune time theWife says “did you hear THAT?”

In fact, I DID hear “that”.  Suddenly our  expressions and…[ahem] postures were much different than they were just moments before.

Looking around…we saw nothing.  Maybe just the house creaking.  Right, that’s what it was…shifting foundation.

“Wait…did you leave the door open?”

“Nope.”

“If not you, then WHO?”

Turns out…it wasn’t the house settling.

Do you remember the Independent George episode on Seinfeld?  You getting my drift?  WORLD’S COLLIDING!

Our Afternoon Delight world had collided with No More Napping world.

So I walk into theFirst Born’s bedroom, where he is sitting on his bed.  His face white as a sheet.  Unable to look me in the eyes.

“Hey buddy! Whatcha doin?”

“Nuffin.”

“How was your nap?”

“I saw you and mommy doin funny fings.”

[chirp, chirp]

I had no words.

What do you SAY?  What could you POSSIBLY say?  He was THREE YEARS OLD.

Well, needless to say we have had to find other reasons to like Sunday afternoons.

Chutes & Ladders anyone?

Written by eber

April 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

have you ever had that dream?

with 8 comments

Some dreams are more enduring than others.  Both physically and emotionally. 

My friend Sam had a dream recently that one of us isn’t going to fare very well at Leadville in August – he isn’t telling us who the victim is, which has made his dream fairly enduring for the rest of us.  

I often dream of unfinished projects at work or at home which causes me to grind the living bejeebers out of my teeth.  I wake up in the morning with lock jaw after having ground another millimeter off my teeth. 

Some people dream about showing up to the office in only their underwear.  Yikes.  I have never had this dream, but suspect the feeling is kind of like showing up to work on St. Paddy’s day not wearing any green. 

Like I did…today.

Truth be told, theWife gave me fair warning this morning, but I was late as it was and didn’t have time to change. 

At the office, someone suggested I paint my finger nail green. 

Really? 

How many people do you know that conveniently have green finger nail polish at the office?  Didn’t think so.

Hey, my backpack…it’s green. 

I have been wearing it all day. 

I feel like I have my pants on again.

green-backpack1

Written by eber

March 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Posted in good ideas

Tagged with , ,

deFURred

with 5 comments

Each year I take a grooming vacation.

That isn’t to say I head off to some man spa to get my hair done. No, what I mean is I take a vacation from grooming…no haircuts, no shaving. This year was an unusually long vacation (4 months).

At the end of each hair vacation comes a day of joy and sadness. Joy on theWife’s part because she gets to see the more kempt side of me again. Sadness on my part because I will be dedicating more time each week to grooming.

When people debate the evolution of man, I need only look inward at my own grooming sadness for proof that I have indeed evolved from a chimpanzee (theWife would argue I have yet to complete the process).

Some years The Day has less sadness than others. For instance, one year I was on a road trip with friends when The Day arrived. After shaving my fantastically long goatee I was inspired by Calvin (the cartoon character, not the theologian) to deposit the trimmings neatly in the shorts pocket of one of my traveling companions.

I did, however, overlook one detail. He didn’t WEAR the shorts that day. Instead he packed them up and took them home, where his WIFE did the laundry…

Needless to say she was inconsolable. And although my friend was with me the entire day before the trim and the entire day AFTER the trim – he is certain I had groomed my “nether regions” and deposited those trimmings in his pocket. (Skiddy – again I assure you it was my goatee and I plead for forgiveness).

So I woke up early THIS morning to prepare for the 2009 version of The Day. This year, thanks to you, I had some help determining the shave du’jour. While there were some intriguing suggestions, in the end it was an easy decision (theWife was right…I did indeed bite).

While Melissa’s submission was great and reminded me of William Peterson as Pat Garrett in Young Guns II, I quickly realized that I didn’t have enough moustache volume to pull it off.

[cue lightbulb over head and dinging bell sound]

I’ve got it…REPURPOSE the trimmings. GENIUS!

Admittedly my repurposing of the trimmings got a little out of hand.

And so without further ado, I present the Pat Garrett/Frida “do”:

garrett-frida

theWife’s reaction:

[full body shudder] “ugh…THAT won’t fly. I am SO glad you are going away this weekend.”

theFirst Born’s reaction:

“umm…dad, why does your face look like a different man’s face?”

Needless to say the shelf life for this “do” will likely be short.

Written by eber

March 6, 2009 at 9:13 am

i elect to deFUR

with 21 comments

I don’t think it’s a great secret that I really like football; but there’s one thing that just drives me nutso. If you win the coin toss…why on the great green earth do you defer? Lamest idea in the history of sports.

Scratch that. Curling is the lamest idea in the history of sports.

For me, changing looks has kinda become a sport in and of itself. Those of you who know me have also known the many phases of me. For those of you who aren’t as familiar, you can get a flavor here:

hair1

I have a tendency to switch things up a bit. Keep it interesting, if you will.

Sometimes good and sometimes…not so much.

So in the past two days, no fewer than 12 friends and colleagues have given me and my current “do” an unusual amount of grief. Not sure why, really. I mean I haven’t shaved much since October and the hair is looking a bit…Chris McCandless.

Have a look:

bad-hair

So after suffering through almost a week of people calling me Squatch (among other unmentionables), I have won the proverbial coin toss.

And I elect to deFUR.

This is where you come in.

The hair is off limits – I’ll let Jessi the Barber decide what to do there.

But the beard…that’s a whole nother story.

Give me your best ideas and I will shave accordingly (I draw the line at the Hitler stache, but the Ron Jeremy stache is negotiable).

Written by eber

March 2, 2009 at 12:00 am

he likes the bad guys

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A blessed occurrence happened this past November.

theFirst Born and I had one of those cherished bonding moments that will be forever etched in memory (or on the blog).   Over one glorious weekend I introduced him to The Trilogy.  It goes without saying he has been forever changed.  For a week after being exposed he walked around breathing heavily and talking through clenched teeth (this must be a 4-year old’s interpretation of Darth Vader: “I can hear him talking and breathing but his mouth isn’t moving”).

Funny thing though…he NEVER pretends to be Luke or Han Solo (my personal favorite). He always wants to be Darth Vader and he only ever uses the RED lightsaber.

“Dad, your lightsaber is green.  MINE IS RED…he he he.”

Thankfully he has yet to mime the dreaded Vader Choke. That will likely come when he is 16…can’t wait for that.

Side note: what father wouldn’t feel a sense of attachment when his son says: “Dad…Princess Leia is BEAUTIFUL.”  I remember thinking the same thing…WHEN I WAS TWELVE.  To his credit he also tells his Mom the same almost daily and thankfully he still hasn’t figured out the difference between Leia in a white robe and Leia in the Jabba bikini. At least some youthful innocence is intact.

Anyhoo, as I was saying…bad guys.

Another of his favorites is Hopper from A Bug’s Life.  As you watch the first ten seconds of the video below picture my 4 year old son with his arms folded behind his back, high stepping around the house; facial expression fixed in permanent grimace.

Admittedly, it is very entertaining.

Up until last week I thought his deference to villainous characters was a passing fancy.  Then theWife took him on his first trip to the library where after looking through the comprehensive children’s offering, he chose THIS of all titles:

villains1

Disney Villains: The Essential Guide.

I think I have created a monster.

Did I mention he is only FOUR YEARS OLD?

In hindsight, that fateful weekend in November may be identified as:

a)  the turning point, after I’ve been ambushed Menendez style

or

b)  the impetus of a life in Hollywood landing roles a la Willem Dafoe, Kevin Spacey, or  Alec Baldwin

On second thought maybe me going out in a fury of Menendez violence is better than theFirst Born turning out like Alec Baldwin.

I’m in trouble…aren’t I?

Written by eber

February 25, 2009 at 10:18 pm

i had a pretty good idea

with 16 comments

When I was younger one of my very most favorite movies was Point Break…really, it was.   Consequently, I thought it would be neato to some day name my first son after Patrick Swayze’s character in the movie – Bodhi Zepha (I altered the spelling so I could call him The Zeph).  Nevermind that Buddhism and Steely Dan already had the idea for quite some time. 

Anyhoo, fast forward some years to the arrival of The First Born…little Bodhi Zepha.  The Wife?  Not on board. 

Tried again two years later with The Second Son.  Didn’t work out. 

The Wife said “when we get a dog you can name him The Zeph.” 

12 years later…no dog. 

Switch a letter, add a letter. Next best thing? 

Name the blog theZeph. GENIUS.

The Wife?

She’s on board.

Written by eber

January 24, 2009 at 10:54 pm