Saturday, December 31, 2005

As the sun sets on 2005

The sun is slowly going down and the shadows are getting longer. How do you say goodby to a good year? I guess by saying hello to a better one!

Here's a recap of 2005:
Tyler graduated.
We got a puppy.
I rode around the state of Arkansas on a bicycle.
I rode over 5,300 miles this year.
I lost weight (but gained some back when daylight savings time changed)
I rode in Austin, Tx with Lance Armstrong (well, he was there.)
I moved into a new office.
We got a new fence for the backyard.
We went to Denver.
Terri lost weight.
The Bears won the 5a State championship in Baseball.
I quit me second job on the weekends last April. I miss the money.
Terri and I celebrated our 24th anniversary.
Barbrie and Tim moved in with Mom and Dad to take care of them.
Britney is going to have a baby.
Lindsey and Joe got married.
Jim moved to Austin, Texas (Marbel Falls)
Melissa raised more money than anyone else for the hospital during my bike ride.

I'm sure there are a million other things I can't think of off the top of my head.
Some things I'd like to do in 2006:
I used to make a list of 100-and-whatever the year was list of things to do. Some very simple and some required courage or whatever. I think I'd like to do a list for '06. There will be 106 things on the list. Man, where do I start? Oh, it will probably start with "Brush your teeth." I'm a list maker anyway and one thing I know for sure is that if you have a couple of simple things on your list at least you can mark them off quick and feel you accomplished something.

If you are reading this, I wish you and your friends and family a banner new year.
Love, laugh and live!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Now this is a winter!

I think we have hit warm weather records for the past couple of days. It's been really nice outside. Yesterday it was 78 in south Ark! I was really hoping to get a night ride in tonight but opted to take a nother couple days to be sure this cold is gone. Still fighting the sinus part of it. There are so many folks I know that are sick with colds right now. Terri doesn't seem to have it as bad but I can tell it's worn her out from working with it today.

Tyler worked on his demo DVD today and got a little skateboarding in. He was doing a double kick flip or something like that and broke the tail off the board.

Emmy and Sean are out running around.

Not really much going on today. Just your basic Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I think everyone is still on vacation this week. I've only had a few calls and have pretty much gotten caught up with my work. I'm hoping that the rest of the week will be like this and I can get a lot of stuff done that I've put off.

We are having a very warm day. I would love to be outside riding but the cold is still messing with me a little. Terri seems to be getting it. I hope not! Several folks have told me about weither themselves or someone in their family that has a cold and all use the term 2-3 weeks. I've been off my bike since Mid-December. I can't stay off much longer.

Speaking of bike. I got my Carve membership and uniform today at lunch! I'm excited! I was asked if I was going to race. I laid low and said no just so I can work behind the scenes getting ready. I am going to try to raod race this season. No crits! Just not ready for those!

Well, back to work

Monday, December 26, 2005

Back on!

YES!!! We are back on line! I'll be updating regularly again thanks to the new HP Pavilion we got for Christmas! Actually I bought the family a Christmas gift because none of us could live without a home computer much longer.

Well here's what has happened since Denver... Tyler did graduate and he and Shalyn rode back to Arkansas with us. We dropped the girls off at the airport and then picked Tyler and Shalyn up and headed towards home. The snow was very light but as the sun went down and I couldn't see out across the plains I had no idea what was out there. At one point just before we got to Limon, CO an area with strong wind we crossed. It wasn't snowing but it was heavy blowing snow. I was worried but lucky for us it didn't last long. The rest of the trip to Salina, KS was boring. So boring that I caught myself trying to fall asleep. I finally pulled off and traded with Terri and she drove the last 50 miles to Salina.

The next morning we get going and the strangest thing happened. I was feeling fine then I had to cough. When I did, it felt as though I was trying to cough with barbed wire in my throat. It hurt like a big dog. Sad to say, it was down hill from there. We arrived back in Sherwood at about 4pm on Monday and I felt bad. Went on to work and it just kept getting worse. Terri and I met Gary and Lisa at Trans Sirberian concert and it took everything for me to make it through. It was a great show but I felt like crap!

Finally, Thursday afternoon came and it was time to go home for the long weekend. I felt like I could barely crawl to the car. I figured if I went home and got some rest then Friday morning I could run out and so my Chirstmas shopping. That didn't happen. Finally on Saturday morning I got out and knocked it out as fast as I could and then we had Chistmas Eve brunch at Gene and Betty's and I was feeling rough by then. I kept thinking, how am I going to be come dinner time when all of Terri's family is at our house? I slept all afternoon and into the evening. It hurt really bad just to try and talk so I sat there and smiled. Probably looked pretty funny.

Christmas morning was rough and I didn't even go to my family's Christmas. I slept most of the day. I've never missed a Christmas! And man, I hope I don't ever miss another!

I woke this morning feeling better and as the day wore on I began to realize it might be over. There were dizzy spells at times but those had gone away now.

Being sick sort of blew the whole holiday but there will be others. When I was feeling bad and was home alone it did give me a lot of time to think. I have decided not to pursue the fundraiser ride for the hospital this summer. I thought long and hard and it took so much time and personal money to train and then complete the ride. This summer my family is going to Destin for a week around the 4th of July and I'd like to got do that since I missed so much family functions of the past year. This is not to say that I won't be riding my bike. Trust me, as the holiday's conclude next week, it will be time to get serious again.

One of the things I did for Christmas was ask that any gifts be giftcards from Chainwheel bike shop. I can cash them in for my Carve membership. I have wanted to be a part of their club for sometime now and have been invitied to do so but there is still a membership fee. I'm hoping to go over there tomorrow and get the paperwork completed.

This blog is sort of "me" tonight and I'll write better tomorrow as in not so much about me. Sort comes off looking selfish!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Still snowing in Denver

Copied from News9 Denver website:

DENVER - It will be a weekend filled with frigid temperatures and snowy weather for much of Colorado.
9News Meteorologist Marty Coniglio says a surge of cold air has moved into Colorado from the north, and with it comes some snow.
Highs along the Front Range will barely reach 20 degrees Saturday, and lows will be in the single digits. About an inch of snow will accumulate during the day, with an additional inch or two falling overnight.
The northern mountains are likely to get anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of fine powder. The snow will accumulate over a 24-hour period, so no Winter Weather Advisories are expected.
Sunday will see much of the same weather, with more light snow and continued bitter cold.
Temperatures finally move above freezing Monday, and even warmer weather moves in by midweek.

It's still snowing in Denver but this town doesn't slow down! We went out to a huge mall (Colorado Mills) and there is every store you can think of in there. And if it's not in the mall it's in on of the stores surrounding it. It was crowded but we lucked out and got a spot close to the door within minutes of pulling in the parking lot. Now that was luck! Tyler and I broke off from the girls and wet to a place called Julllians which is a game and food hangout. It's like Morgan's in the Destin Mall.

Terri and I spent the morning in Barnes and Noble next door reading and flipping through magazines. I forget how much I enjoy going to bookstores.

We got off to a late start since the girls and Tyler had not had much sleep due to test and stuff. We let them all sleep in. After we shopped we all went to Tyler's and made chili and hung out. Tyler has always had trouble with mice since he lives over the top of a garage and lo and behold one decided to run across the floor and over Melissa's (Emily's friend) foot! It was funny. I met Tyler's friend Jay who lives in the 3rd floor of the main house and talked to Tristian for a little bit out in the driveway. They seem to be good guys.

We got back to the hotel about 7 and it seemed like it was a lot later. Tyler and the girls went down the road to Target and I walked across the street to a sports store that just happened to close at 7?! So there was a Wild Oats right next to it and I walked through there looking at all the organic foods. Those places are always so neat to go in but so pricey. The squash looked out of this world at 2.29 a pound. I would pay that for some of Terri's great fried squash.

I woke up at 4:30 and with the snow on the ground it looked as if it were morning so I got up. I stroked out when I realized I was up that early so I went back to bed and woke up again a little after six. Went ahead and got up since I knew I could go downstairs and eat breakfast and let the others sleep.

OK, I just went to News9 website and what do we have out here as a story? "Little Rock man steals flowers from gravesites" For crying out loud?!

We've changed our plans a little and will leave Denver after we drop the girls off at the airport about4. We plan to drive until about 11 or so and stay at Hampton Inn in Salina and then just have a 8 hour drive home tomorrow. We should be home by the time Emmy gets out of school. I just checked the road conditions for Kansas and it looks ok for driving. Will be slower than the 80 miles per hour we drove out here in, that's for sure!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


I looked and hadn't realized that I've not made a single entry into the blog in 15 days! I've been that busy at work and without a computer at home I just don't have the time to write. I'm sitting here in the Hampton Inn in Denver the day after Tyler's graduation. HE MADE IT!!! I'm really proud of him and his senior exhibit was great and shows a lot of creativity.

Terri and I drove for 14 straight hours with very little stopping to get from our house to Tyler's. We had good weather for driving, a bit windy, but pretty. At one time I was going down the interstate and the cars in our little herd kept getting faster and faster until I looked down and we were traveling at 90 mph! I pulled out and said so long. It was crazy.

One of the coolest things (cool because it was short and sweet) was as we were driving into Salina there was a cloud and it was a version of a mini downpour but it was snow. For about 2 minutes it was snowing and you could see it going across the field. I've heard the freak snowstorms come out of no where and leave folks stranded all the time. I just hope that doesn't happen on the way home.

We ate at Hard Rock cafe yesterday between the senior show and graduation. It was a neat place. Over priced but fun to see. A glass of coke got knocked over on the table then at dinner the waitress at Chili's broke a glass sending my drink all over my lap. 2 meals, 2 drinks, 2 spills.

Not sure of the plans for today but I hope it's something fun. We talked about going to the mountains but it's snowing pretty good right now. They are saying 1-2 inches so not sure if we are going up there or not.

Sean is staying at our house with Sadie. Sounds like she is doing fine. She grew legs and it's funny to remember what she looked like as a 6 week old pup verses a 12 week old pup. We are having a new fence put in so she can go out and play without one of us standing out there worried that she'll run around to the front. She's already ran away from Terri and out to the street. We just have to stay between her and the front yard.

I've been torn between riding a big tour again this summer or going to Destin with my side of the family. I really like the idea of another tour and if I do then it's 200 miles more than last year and will start at the Canadian border and end in Little Rock. I can stay on Highway 71 all the way to Fort Smith! One road almost the whole way? But then I'm beginning to have second thoughts. I really missed a lot last year training day in and day out for the ride. I've not spent much time with my side of the family in a while and that might be something I need to do. Am I trying to talk myself out of the tour? Maybe.....

Monday, November 28, 2005

Little dog and life

Sadie under the Christmas tree
It's Monday and I'm finishing up lunch and wanted to get another photo of Sadie out there for you. The pup has certainly come to life! Today was the first day that we have had to leave her alone for more than a couple of hours. She is actually alone for 4 hours this afternoon. She was supposed to be in her crate until she gets completely housebroken but the child gate was up and she was in the kitchen and had an accident. Ugh! I suspect that Emily just couldn't put her in the crate but when I before coming back from lunch I sat it in front of the TV and turned on Animal Planet.
Storm came through Arkansas last night and several tornados came through. It was wicked.
Well, it's back to work...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Crazy Friday

It's early morning the Friday after Thanksgiving and the house is quite. Terri has slipped out to join the frenzy of shopping. The big thing that my family talked about yesterday at my parents house was some 4 dollar food chopper. Ok we'll get one and it will be in the attic by Easter. HA! This shopping day seems a lot like Race for the Cure with teeth.

We took Sadie to my folks house so she could meet the family. I don't think she ever got to walk. My mom cuddled her like a grandchild and of course Sadie fell fast asleep. She was a live wire all the way home! One of the funny things she seems to have discovered is her tail. Around and around she goes. Bless her heart I don't think she has understood yet that it's attached to her.

Our house was a revolving door of high school and college kids last night. It's fun to have so many kids hanging out at our house and feeling comfortable enough to not care if Terri and I are in the room. They all treat Terri like a mom. It's fun to watch the giants come through the door and cut up.

We played a board game at my parents yesterday called Loaded Questions. It's a blast! We had two teams (Emily, Shannon, Barbie and Cathy) vs. (Terri, myself, Lindsey and Joe). You have the cards that are color coded and ask the other theams these really wild sometimes very truthful questions and the other team tries to pick who gave what answer. One of the questions was , "If you were a westler, what would your stage name be?" Barbie got so tickled that she had taken a drink and then started laughing and water came out her nose. Other questions were things like lifelong dream, favorite body part, most expensive thing your ever stolen, how many contries you've traveled.... great game! We'll go buy one.

Well, I need to make some coffee and make my list of things to do today and one will be ride my bike even though it's only ggoing to get to 52 degrees this afternoon. I know LSU plays the Hogs but I already know the outcome (I hope I'm wrong) but I have too much to do to spend it on the sofa.

By the way, next year Terri and I are hoping to spend our 25th anniversary at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I can't believe that Sunday is our 24th anniversary. How time flies when you're having fun!

9:25pm update ---
It's been a fun day and the tree is up but not decorated. I've got to find the light that's loose on one of the strands. And I didn't have the right stapes in the staple gun for part of the outside so everything is sort of half done.

I did manage to even get in a fifty miler this afternoon. Felt great to be out in the cool air and enjoying the beauty if a late fall day. There were several guys and girls out. I saw several families out too but something tells me they didn't ride to long due to the temperature and the wind coming off the water. I was really hoping to hit the 6,000 mile mark for the year but it's looking a little slim. I'll get close though!

Sadie had her first accident in the house today but I caught her just as she started so not much damage. We are supposed to go to Petsmart tomorrow at 4 to learn about potty training. The dog doesn't get to go.

Once again we have a house full of kids and tonight it's loud!!!! So I guess you can figure out why I'm back in the bedroom writing on my blog?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Hey Y'all! Meet Sadie!!!!

Sadie in the front yard! One happy camper!

What a fun day it's been! For starters I wore blue jeans to the office which I've not done since last year's snow storm. Since I was just there until 11 this morning and most folks were gone I figured who would care.

I stopped by and picked up Emily at the house and we went to Bryant to get the puppy I had seen and talked to the lady about. We got there and the pups were great looking yellow labs. Beautiful pups but nor what we were looking for. We also saw a chocolate lab that was a about 4 months old but looked as though it was mixed with something else.

So we go to the animal services in Little Rock and we walked in and the first pen had the perfect little pup that looked like the photo's of the dog we really went to get. What are the chances? The pup had already been sterilized so she was ready to go. Emily's eyes lit up and she had this huge smile and then gave me the nod. We took Sadie outside and the pup came to life. Sadie and Em bonded in record time. It was great to watch. After a year of asking, Em finally got her puppy. She passed on the real registered Golden Retreivers and saved one from the pound instead. This pup is actually part chow so it will have an even fuller coat.

Next stop was Petsmart for food, dog wash, toys, a leash, a collar, a friendly store clerk that told me everything there is to know about classes there. Everyone in the store looked our way and smiled. They all wanted to know her name but we hadn't figured it out at that point.

We got home and got the little girl washed up and as we were drying her she fell asleep. Big day for the little pup. She slept in Em's lap for a while then woke ready to play. We took her outside and she whizzed and you would have thought she had performed a miracle! Em and I cheered and clapped. HA! I hope my neighbors were watching so they could have a good laugh!

The rest of the evening has been fun playing with her and laughing. She basically looks like the lint you clean out of the dryer trap with legs and a face.

I put more photos out there tomorrow.

We spoke to Tyler tonight. He's doing great, tired from work and school but great. Said someone ordered 60 pot pies from his store (Boston Market). He will be having dinner with the Minton's tomorrow. I'm ready to see the kiddo!

(Tyler, if you're reading this, how was the burrito? HA!)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A dog????

Might have one of these little pups this afternoon!!!

How can one work when there's a possiblity of going to get a puppy today? It's been a while since we've had one but when we went to Lee and Connie's house Sunday night and saw Max, their Golden Retreiver, then I knew it was time to get serious. Of course Em has been wanting one for a year now. So we're going to look around today.

I'll update tonight....

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Scenes from an afternoon ride

First off, Tyler is graduating! He's just been super busy finishing up everything and working. It didn't help that he got his phone turned off but everything is fine.

Ok, scenes from an afternoon ride:
No where else in Arkansas can you find a more diverse grouping than that of the river path on a Sunday afternoon. The are all sorts of walkers. There a runners. There are roller bladers. There are skateboard folks hanging at the skatepark. There is a midevil battal being played out in a field. There are family bike groups, mountain bike groups and road bike groups. There is a couple of awesome trick bike guys in a parking lot doing tricks on BMX style bikes that is worthy of a magazine spread. Yep, they are that good! There was a rugby game in full swing as well as soccer. It was one of the best afternoons out of the path I've had in a long time!

Phil spoke of changes in the church this morning. I'll make this short but I'm ready for a change. I'm hoping we will start looking at other churches just to see how we feel. I want to visit First Assembly and Fellowship North. Just thinking out loud...

The Thanksgiving holiday is coming fast! This is just a 3 day workweek ahead and I'm thrilled! I saw the list of employees out this week and it's a mile long! Maybe it will be quite for a few days and I can get a lot done.

We are looking for a dog (again). We just got back from Lee and Connies and they have a 9 month old golden retrever and Max is the sweetest dog I been around in a long time.

Tomorrow is Terri's birthday. It'll be fun!

Friday, November 18, 2005

The list just keeps getting longer

Ya ever had one of those upcoming weekends where your do list just keeps getting longer and longer? Mine is now about an arm length long and there's NO bike time listed. Now how crappy is that?

This is what I call "attic weekend". The summer stuff goes up and the winter stuff comes down and there's the beg and plead of Terri and Emily to bring down the Christmas stuff but leave it in the garage until next weekend. Y'all, guess who has to park their car out on the driveway during the holidays? Yup, you bet cha! I do! But the fun part is that on really cold morning you can scrape messages one your back window. Of course it melts within minutes when I punch the rear window defroster button.

Terri was at a board meeting yesterday so Emily and I went to a new restaurant called Firefall Grill. It's really good! It's one of those wood smoked food joints. It was so much food I couldn't even eat all of mine. Then we went over to Pier One for a dad/daughter shopping trip. We always cut up and laugh when we get out. And we didn't even buy anything.

We haven't heard from Tyler this week and it has us on nerves. He's phone we turned off (typical college kid stuff...). We'll probably talk to him this weekend. He was having some concerns about graduating and his classes so now you know why we are stressed. He was sick at the first of this quarter and missed some internship days so he needs to make them up. Got to have 90 hours done by 12/17.

Big weekend for high school football. Benton will play Springdale tonight. Springdale destroys everything in site so maybe Benton came stop this train!

Emily and I watched Christmas with the Kranks last night. There was a part missing on the dvd version of the movie. It wasn't a big part but a funny one where they are calling friends and trying to get them to come to the party and everyone's saying no. If you haven't read John Grisham's Skipping Christmas then get it and start reading it on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. That's when the book starts. It's a really funny book!

Well back to work then home for the weekend! The Attic weekend! HA!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mid week madness

Remeber yesterday I was talking about Joe Kurmaskie? Here's a copied photo from the Men's Journal website. It's a great article!

Sooo cold! That's all I can say! There is a ride tonight but I'm completely wimping out of this one. Once I used to the cold then I'll get out there but this first blast is wicked! I think a fire in the fireplace is on for tonight.

I do plan to return to some sort of fitness center schdeule this afternoon after work. Got to do that core training that I was good at then quite during the late summer. My fitness and bike riding attitude has seem to be on a low right now. I think I need to plan some insane rides for next year and committ to them so I'll have to train. I think it's all a mental game with me.

And my eating habits... oh man, now that just ain't right! There's a lot going on that has me stressed and I asked Terri to pick up a pack of cream horns last night when she went to the store and I downed 2 of them plus chips!! I'm going to explode if I don't stop eating like I'm riding 40 miles a day still.

I'm ready for the weekend. Oh by the way, my nephew Jim is coming in from Texas with his family for the Thanksgiving holiday. They will all be heading to Rogers where my neice lives for the holiday. It's funny he hasn't said much about Arkansas in a while (he bleeds orange now ya know!) but this weekend is high school show down and he is blogging "Arkansas" stuff. There will be state troopers at the state line wearing hog hats and awaiting his arrival no doubt! HA!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The cold front arrived at 1:48 pm

I know it's a strange name for my blog today but at 1:47 I think it was 70 and at 1:48 the cold front hit and the temp dropped a mile a minute! At 2pm it was chilly outside. The storm clouds have left and the temps are cool and the wind is ROARING!

I had lunch with other healthcare recruiters and it was great to bounce ideas and listen to what they have going on. No, we didn't swap trade secrets but was able to talk about stuff recruiters have to put up with. Networking is always good!

I found out that Jim Brickman was coming to Robinson Center the Sunday after Thanksgiving so hoping to see that Christmas show! My buddy Gary my have some tickets.

Not much going on today.

Monday, November 14, 2005

He rode across the country with his boys!

Joe Kurmaskie is by far my favorite author. He's not a big famous John Grisham sort of writer but if I put Grisham against Kurmaskie, then Kurmaskie is the winner here. I found a book called Riding Outside the Lines. Joe wrote it and it's a journal of his bicycle adventures. Joe and his writings are the real reason behind why I took the bicycle tour this summer. After reading his adventures I wanted to do the same. So while I was starting my ride around the state, Joe started a much larger adventure. He was starting in OR with his 2 youngs sons and was going trans America! The bike with his son's hook on bike and the bob trail for his youngest son reached 14 feet long and the total weight was a whooping 250 lbs!!! Across the country! Now that is cool! Joe had sent me an email and told me to watch the December issue of Men's Journal. Saturday I picked up a copy in Books-a-Million and there he was with the boys! Joe, if you're reading this, man, you're my hero! I can't wait to read the new book!

Another story in the magazine was about retracing the Lewis and Clark trail. The whole issue was stories that came from a poll of readers. The theme is "What do Men Want?" Joe's adventure was what 33% of it's readers wanted to do as an adventure. The Lewis and Clark story was about these 2 buddy's that fly in, get a brand new GMC 4x4 and drive the trial. Fun story to read. Makes me want to do it! Maybe on a mountian bike!

Saturday I cleaned the yard and as it always does, the wind and the rain come as I finish. Can't tell I did a thing out there! Guess I'll have to do it again this Saturday.

I had only one person show up for the Saturday ride. It was still a good ride but I can't say I wasn't a little disappointed. The ride was only 26 miles and most folks wanted a longer ride on Saturday. So I've led a ride now and done my thing with that. I'll be happy to help out but not lead/set-up the event.

Terri is back home from visiting her folks in FL over the pasted few days. Had a good time.

Hard to beleive that next week is Thanksgiving! Before you know it I will be talking about that I can't believe next week will be Christmas!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Fast and quick

Ok, it's 4:30 on Friday afternoon and I haven't posted all week. Sorry friends and family. Life is good. Terri is visiting her family on the beach. Tyler is wrapping up his senior year. Emily is drama queening about something. Several mailboxes including ours were hit with pumpkins last night. The whole thing was ruined! What moron's! So I've got to go to Lowe's and buy another.
Everyone is riding tomorrow. I'm leading my first ride! Books-a-million to the river and back. Going is all downhill and coming back is all up hill. Have a great weekend! Maybe we'll get a new computer at home someday and I will return to writing at home.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Roll through 5,000 miles

"What are you going to do as you roll over your 5,000 mile mark?" Mike asked.
"Ummm, I guess keep riding" I laughed.
And I did. I can tell you right where I hit my 5,000 mile mark on the bike. It wasn't exactly on a beautiful street with the colorful fall leaves but it was in a good place. I was in the neighborhood where my wife lived for a while when she was growing up. Rose City. Sort of cool name for a place to hit a goal uh? When you perform well or win a race they give you roses and I got a whole city of roses! Can't beat that friends! I started the ride this morning with 3 good buds. John Van Pay (JVP), Mike Mitchell and Paul Britt. I rode with these guys when they did the cross state fund raiser. It was great to see the guys again. I made sure I pulled the group as much as possible today and we had our sure of wind. I still have a bad "thing" about not pulling all that much when they did the cross state. It's not something I think they even remember but it was a weak riding moment for me. Anyway, great friends and another goal reached. I'm pushing it now for 6,000. That means about 100 miles a week. That equals a couple of 15's on the river after work (yup, with lights and dodging deer), a 40 or so on Saturday mornings and a 30 on Sunday. That's doable as long as the weather doesn't rain me out then it will be spin classes.

I do have to say that I certainly didn't reach this goal on my own. I have an incredible support system. I have a wife, son and daughter that encourage me. I have a zanny family that support me and cheer me on. I have my circle of friends, actually several circles. I have a trainer that tries to kill me in spin classes. I have cyber buds at And it took everyone to get me to my goal. So if you're reading this, serious, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You!

I might have a part time job working a few hours a week at our hospital fitness center. Not sure yet though. There was a glitch in the process so we'll have to wait and see next week. I would just be working the front welcome desk but I would be there to stay in shape throughout the winter months and Terri and Emily can come over since they are members already. Family workouts. Sounds cool!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mid week madness...

This will be fast. I had a meeting all morning and I'm taking Emily to the dentist and I'm hoping to get a bite to eat.

Yesterday's job fair put us in front of over 4,000 people. It was a good crowd too. They dressed up and most were serious about employment rather than just taking the stuff we give away. My voice was ruff as we finished. Several from LA and MS but not as many as I expected and the ones I spoke with are hoping to go home within the next 6 months. Makes it hard to hire them when they say that due to getting someone really trained then they leave.

One of the department's in the hospital is already decorating for Christmas. Serious! It's an out of the public eye department but still.

I've not been on the bike since Sunday and I'm eating like I'm still riding everyday. This is going to get really bad if I don't cut back. Will is putting together a ride for Saturday morning that will start and end at a coffee shop. FOOD! I will lead my first group ride next Saturday and it will also start at a coffee shop... FOOD! I'm going to Ft Smith next Monday and they have a Panera Bread! MAJOR FOOD! (Those would know me are laughing right now! I love Panera!). Thanksgiving is coming up and I'm not a big turkey fan but there will be lots of desert food!! The new Southern Living came and Terri is talking new recipes... FOOD!!! So there you have it! I'm gonna explode by spring! Now where is that website where I sign up for that tv show called the Biggest Loser? That's a great show to sit on the sofa and eat chips and brownies while watching! HA!

Well, got to run ... Mandy if you are reading this, I hope you get well soon! I know Texans say they bleed orange, so do they barf orange too?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hot Springs, now that's a good climb

Saturday started like no Saturday I've had in a looooong time! I got up and had coffee and slowly eased into the morning. No bike ride or training to do! What a weird feeling. Sort of like skipping work or something.

Terri and I went down to Hot Springs and stopped to visit my folks in Benton on the way. They were telling us about that my sister Donna and her husband had taken them down to Hot Springs the day before and had gone to a WWII airplane exhibit and was interviewed by the newspaper. We picked up a paper in Hot Springs and low and behold there is my Dad and several WWII airplanes on the front cover of the paper!

We returned from Hot Springs a little while ago. Get quick trip over and she visited with the hotel staff regarding booking a convention and she did the spa thing. We had a nice dinner at Brick House. Terri's steak was great and my prime rib was the pits! Plus a guy was walking through the place at dinner time with a ladder and turned and hit me in the back of the head. I couldn't help but laugh.

After dinner we went up to the top of West Mountain and caught the very end of the sunset. What a beautiful way to end daylight savings. HA!

I got up early this morning and showered and got ready to ride before Terri got up but realized I didn't have anything to eat. I snuck out into the room and got a cookie that was part of the welcome basket and made coffee in the little coffee pot in the bathroom and sat on the side of the tub in my cycling gear eating cookies and drinking coffee. Hey, ya gotta do with what you have. Right?!

I slipped out of the room around 7 and headed to West Mountian. Beautiful morning with a hint of fall all around. The hickory trees are turning yellow and the dogwoods deep red. White tail deer gazed along the side of the road keeping their kids close by. It was a great couple of climbs.

Then got on Central Ave and turned by the Arlington Hotel and up to East Mountain. I like it better because the road is one way. No that there were hardly any cars anyway. Passed a couple of runners challenging the mountain as well. Got up to the lookout tower and then down and back up again then when around the north loop.

Got back to the hotel and Terri was up and getting ready. I showered and got into weekend clothes and we headed over to Perkins restaurant to eat. Great breakfast!

Terri said that Emily had talked to Tyler earlier and sounds like he is staying in Denver after graduation. She said she still expects him home for Christmas every year still. I do too!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Happy 50th birthday Wayne!

The Fast Girls and Slow Guys had it's last after work Tuesday/Thursday ride yesterday. It was actually sort of sad that the summer is coming to an end. But as predicted we went out in a blaze of glory!

We tinkered around till almost six rather than starting at 5:45. Rolled out and right off the bat there was hammering going on. No warming up tonight. Stayed at around 20 through the woods and slowed for a moment to cross the short wood bridge then up again. Wayne, the birthday boy, pulled. Yale attacked. Chris then pulled and got us going around a steady 22mph. I took the pull next and took us on down to the river park and then do as I always do and that's pull over to the left and watch as they try and kill each other in a sprint to the bridge. Lord help any walkers that see this train coming!

We stopped for just a few and began the 7.5 mile ride back. Everyone was talking and having a good time while rolling along about 21mph. Open to the open road and Chris cuts loose and takes us to 24. I really need a drink due to dry throat. Chris pulls off and his wife Jennifer (very strong rider) takes us on and bam... Mark attacks. Bro, we are already at 24!!!! The breakaway group slows on up the road as we catch them. Once again we are all bunched up. No real order, just good time. We get just below the cliffs and I pull us around, down and across the long wooden bridge to Burns Park golf course. That's it, need a minute to recover. We all group together and fly down to the river and across by the soccer fields, the hay field and then the small wooden bridge. It's dark now and even darker as we gear up to hammer the last of the path to our cars. "Deer ahead!" the shouts come. The herd run over across without bothering us and the break away group start to crank it up. Mark... Bill... Chr---- DEEEEEEEERRRR!!!!! AHHH!!!! The deer fly out to the right of Chris and he barely dodges. Oh crap another runs between Chris and I. I lock it up and lean to try and slide off the path and feel a slight shift of my back tire. It felt as if the deer rubbed the back tire or maybe I hit a crack in the road or a stick. Then the laughter started. Chris and I laughed so hard and so loud mainly because of our good fortune that we were still on our bikes rather than bloodied on the path. What a rush!

We all got back to Cook's Landing where our cars were parked still laughing and cutting up. Bikes get loaded and we all head over to get pizza, chips & salsa and drinks in Maumelle. Jennifer had gotten the table all set up for Wayne's 50th and made him wear a pink boa, Mardi Gras beads and a funky hat that's a big birthday cake. What a hoot! We give him cards, goodies and a gift certificate from Chainwheel.

We talk about what we'll do now. Winter's coming and we want to continue the fun and friendship we've built throughout the summer so we're going to try and spin in the fitness center on Tuesday/Thursday nights. There's never anyone there after 6:30 so it shouldn't be a problem. This way come the return of daylight savings in 2006, we'll still be is pretty good shape.

All in all it's been an incredible summer of riding! At the moment I'm 117.63 miles away form knocking off 5,000 miles for 2005 and I still have 2 months left! Never in a million years would I have thought I'd do something like this. It's the first sport that I have ever really had a compassion for and excelled in.

I'm not patting myself on the back, just stating a fact about myself and sports. Ask me about who is the current quarterback for Seahawks? I don't have a clue. How many points did Kobe shoot in the last game? How should I know? But ask me about bike racing and, yep, I can tell you about Basso, Levi, Ullrich, Mayo and Lance. I can tell you that Hunter and Donnie are the strongest Carve riders locally. I can tell you that Brice Jones lives in the heights and rides for Jelly Belly. I can tell you that Healthnet ruled the bike race world in the US. I can tell you that Colorado has the best collegiate cycling team.

I think I like this sport because it gives you freedom. Pick a road and go ride. Go explore. See the sights, feel the air, smell the smells of autumn. You can go in a group and laugh and cut up or get serious and work on skills. You can go solo and think about life, set goals or just unwind. You can ride on flatland or you can challenge a mountain.

Yes, it's been a wonder cycling year ... so far!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

It's the same as jackhammering your head

Friends, about once a year I get a migrane. Yesterday my lotto number was drawn. About lunch time I started getting tunnel vision then about 3 the monster unleashed the fury! At 4:15 I left the office and drove home with both hands on the wheel and white knuckles. At 4:45 I walked in, kissed my wife and crashed on the bed...still with suit jacket and wingtips on! I'm so glad I only have these train wrecks about once a year and I really feel for those that get them often.

Tonight will be the last "Fast Girls and Slow Guys" club ride at least after work version. With daylight savings about to hit the after work rides will be very limited. This is sad because our little club has had a blast this summer. I've learned a lot about group riding and being an inch off someone's back tire without killing us all. But the last ride will be one of the best no doubt. Wayne is 50 today and we'll go out in style... mad man hammerfest to the finish! But we've all opted to let Old Wayne finish first, even though it's against the hammerheads code of unethics! HA! And I have a new back tire so I'm sure that will make me go faster!

Oh yeah, we are really having fall now! It got cold the past few nights. Terri will push me to build a fire in the fireplace very soon and is already after me to buy wood. I have to admit, I love the fireplace too!

Also Terri go the kitchen table refinished and it looks brand new. It's been nice to eat at the table again. I'll go though the "No, we're not eating in the den in front of the TV" withdrawal now.

Terri and I are going to Hot Springs Saturday afternoon and I hit my buddy Gary up for best places to eat. He's from there and still keeps a place down there but also bought a place in LR when the gas went through the roof.

I finished reading a book called A Walk through the Woods by Bill Bryson. It's a hoot! It's a journal of a guy that hikes the Applilation (sp?) Trail from Georgia to Maine. A friend of his goes with him named Katz and what a pro-hiker he is ... not! It's also one of my neice Shannon's favorite books. I see why!

I received word that our ACH jersey order is heading our way! There were a lot of folks that wanted to get ACH cycling gear so we got all sorts of stuff! I'll be able to have the whole ACH kit as it's known (Uniform). Socks, gloves, long sleeve jersey, shorts! All custom for us! I can't wait for Bike to Work next May... we'll look snappy if I say so myself!

Well y'all go have a good day and don't forget to laugh at yourself because we're all laughing at you! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Planning for the big graduation in Denver

The clock is ticking and Tyler will be graduating in just a few weeks but right now he is in a heavy load! He has classes, plus a job, plus an internship, plus the decision of staying in Denver or returning to Little Rock. What a load on a young man. We'll know in a few weeks if he will be staying. Either way, he'll move out of the apartment he's in.

I've recooped from the Austin ride so I'm good to go but got an earthquake of a headache today so I'm heading to the house instead. I must ride tomorrow, I must ride tomorrow, I must ride tomorrow!!!

I finished my annual hospital physical a little while ago and was ticked that I weigh in at 172! I've been at or below 168 for a while now. With winter coming and less rides I'm going to really have to watch it. If I keep eating like I am now, I'll be whale biker.

Now what's up with those Astro's? Come on guys!

Terri and I are going to Hot Springs Saturday night. We're going to stop by my folks house in Benton and visit a little before going on down. If Terri sleeps in Sunday morning then I'm going to take my bike out and go ride up by the Arlington to the lookout tower. Heard it was a good climb. I need it!

In general, life is good...

Monday, October 24, 2005

I want to be a TEXAN!

Austin, Texas! What a town! I would move there in a heartbeat if the weather was like it was this past weekend. My nephew Jim lives just outside of there and I’ve heard him talking about the heat but still what a town! Everyone was very friendly and laid back.

We got to Austin about 6 and got checked in to the Embassy Suites and it was a really nice hotel! Super staff! After unloading we got directions to the Oasis restaurant. Now that’s a cool place if there was one. There are 40 decks and it’s where Austin goes to watch the sunset and now I know why! What a view! I had fish taco’s that were the best! I ordered mind without peppers and Rance didn’t. He also didn’t have any liquid in front of him except a rum and diet coke so he had to suffer until the waiter returned. It was worth it! The boy was sweating! We got back to the hotel and Rance has what’s called Papaw syndrome. He goes to bed very early. 9 o’clock on Friday night in Austin Texas and he’s ready for bed. It gets worse too! Saturday night he was in bed by 8:30 and Sunday night by 7:30. I kid you not. I played nice and watched TV and read a book.

Saturday morning we watched some of the crit races going on downtown and in the shade with the wind blowing through the buildings it was a little nippy but I love the races! We then went over to Livestrong village and picked up our packets and wandered through the expo. Lots of cool stuff.

Saturday evening was carb up at Macroni Grill. I had some chicken and portabello dish that was great!

Sunday was up early and out to the ride. Austin is at the late end of central time zone so it wasn’t sunrise till 7:30. It was really cool because when we were going out there you could see the event way off from the interstate. I told Rance it reminded me of Field of Dreams when they finally see the lights of the baseball field. What made it funnier was after we turned off the interstate it was a hill and a single file line of car lights. They built it and we came!

So Lance Armstrong spoke for a minute and then the ride started. My group didn’t get released for almost 30 minutes after the start. It takes a while to get 7,000 bikes out on the road safely. The first 20 miles was just a trail to see if you hit anyone. I was never really by myself until about 75 miles into the ride. Even then I could always see people.

I had a couple of flats. The first one at about 60 miles and the second around 82. I was working on the second when the support assistance crew came by. They were everywhere and always ready to help if you needed them. I really bummed out mentally on the second one because I was working toward a time to finish and I was going to go way over. And all the people I worked so hard to pass were all passing me while I changed the tube.

I made it to the almost to the end and then we had to turn and go up a hill into the area where the finish line was and as I turned a gust of wind, which I heard was 30 miles per hour, was hitting me directly head on! A hill and the wind!

But after the flats and the brutal wind there was a welcome that I’ll never forget! As I turned the final turn I heard a lot of folks cheering and I thought to myself that there must be a cancer survivor coming through but when I looked around, I was the only one there! All these folks were cheering for ME!!! They were holding their hands out for high hands, ringing cow bells and really making it a memory ending!

… and for that I say, THANK YOU AUSTIN!

Monday, October 17, 2005

And it's a good day to ride!

Ok, I admit, I stayed off the bike yesterday. Y'all know I've done that a day here and there. It was Dad's birthday so I spent the day with him. Ride before church? Yea, I could have but didn't. Ride after Dad's birthday party? Yea, could have but I didn't. Serious, I woke up feeling really good after the Ride for a Better Life ride on Saturday. That was one of those rides I really enjoyed.

I did mean to mention the "hill" on the ride. It was funny! We started going up a hill and there was writing on the road that just said "Hill" and a smiling face. My first thought was there must be a long hill or something you couldn't see coming up. I watched the guys in front and noticed they really weren't holding back to much to have done this hill before or no one was local. The next thing I know there's a note on the road "You made it". I snickered as well as the others as we all saw it. The folks that put on the event had a sense of humor and that always helps!

Also, I heard this morning that a rider had gone down along the way and was airlifted. He had broken ribs and liver laceration as well as collapsed lung but reports were that he was stable now. This must have happened after I left the ride. I hope he continues to recover.

I'm starting to get excited about Austin, TX!! Everyone has told me about all the cool stuff to see and do. They've told me about a pancake place to go to, about the bats, about how everything is orange, about 6th street, about some world grocery store where you can sample all this weird stuff, and about that I was going to have a blast! Rance and I are leaving about 9 Friday morning to drive down and should arrive in Austin about 6. Saturday is packet pick up day and there is a great crit race through downtown and rumors of some pros racing! Sunday morning is the ride.

I will be riding in celebration for a friend from church named Kathy. She's a real sweetheart and has beat cancer! Yep, she went through the whole deal and she won! She will be here in LR on Saturday walking in the Komen Race for the Cure with the other about 40,000 ladies walking. It's a cool thing to just go and cheer on the gals! We have a deal where the guys line up and it's called "Three Miles of Men". As the week progresses everything in downtown LR turns pink! It's really a cool way to honor, celebrate and remember those who fight cancer.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

For a better life

I came across a flyer for a ride in Jonesboro some time ago for the counseling center there that's part of the Southwest Church of Christ so I thought it would be fun to go back to Jonesboro and ride some of the area I'd ridden before. This was the year's best ride goody bag! We got gym bags (rather than the usual plastic bags) with a t-shirt, bandana, first aid kit, a book, pens, electrolytes replacement packets, cups, CD holder, and another bag filled with all sorts of stuff I haven't opened yet.

I got to the church about 8:20 after leaving my house a little after 6 a.m. The sunrise out on the fields was a beautiful way to greet the day ahead. Lots of riders there. The unusual part was how many Specialized brand bikes were there. There was even a Specialized tent! I rode around the parking lot a few times to loosen up and a few other guys came out and joined me. 9 o'clock came and they got us all together and made announcements and the "road is not closed for the ride so be careful" speech.

We take off and straight out of the gate I see we have some strong riders. We go through the downtown area and there are these brick pavers about every half block. They were rough but I didn't see anyone fall. There were people on the sidewalks cheering us one as we rode through. That was cool! We then head out through the subs and to the country.

We were challenged with wind and train tracks! Every since my wreck, I hate train tracks. I still pull out of a paceline when we come to the tracks. We have a small break away group of about 20 guys and going along at a nice 21-23 mph pace. I will tell you that these guys were competing for spots. There were times when I really thought I would have to pay someone to get back into the line.
So anyway, we are moving along and I realize the group is getting smaller and smaller. We are dropping guys like flies. What's up with this I wonder?!

I pass a rest stop and then take a curve and then I was solo except for the few folks about 50 yards ahead of me. They just hit the field crossing and the wind is popping us hard cross ways. I feel my bike leaning into the wind. That's always a strange feeling. Another guy comes along and we ride together for a talking as we start to gain a little on the 2 guys up ahead. We finally catch up and make a group of 4. There is a guy that was wearing a red jersey and this man could pull like Rob Carr does. The guys just seems to push the wind out of the way and rides right through. At one time when I was behind him I noticed he was starting to have salt lines across the top of his shorts. Pulling like that would do it.

So we are moving along good and we catch up with a couple other men. Ok, I have to tell you about these next two guys. When the ride first started there was this older guy on a Rock Hopper mountain bike. Had the VW/Rock Shox jersey and all. I thought ok, he'll drop before long on that fat tire bike. But here's the deal. No one would pass him at the start. He was someone special because I could tell easily from the way the local riders were treating him. So here we are about 50 miles into the ride and the guy had gotten way ahead. He was somebody alright! I hope I'm like him when I'm his age! We all took turns pulling and stayed together and took it on home. Even though it was not a competition we were the first back and I was number 6 in! Not bad!

I blew every rest stop today since I had my own food in my jersey and a water and Gatoraid Endurance in the bottles.

I said my goodbyes and thanked the volunteers and called Terri to let her know I was safe and on my way home.

Got to the house, showered and had a bite to eat. Asleep on the sofa for about an hour and when I got up my leg said "cramp baby!!" Ouch ouch ouch... I can hear it now..."Geo, if you would have stopped at a rest stop.."

I watched some of the TX vs. CO game. TX whipped the Buff's. I really like CO for there cycling team. There have been some star riders come out of that school. What's going to be fun is to read Jim's blog about them going to the TX game. I hope Trae got to go and cheer.

Friday, October 14, 2005

You did what??!!!

I had a "meeting" this morning. Man, it was a great "meeting" too! I was so stuffed with "knowledge" by the time we left Ozark Smokehouse... uh, I meant our "meeting". Actually I met with a recruiter from another firm and we ate and talked business. Ok the honest truth was that Rance, Kim and I met and had breakfast.

I rode with the guys last night and Mark was riding strong to have had surgery 3 weeks ago. I really wanted to work hard for the team so I pulled for long stretches at 21-23 mph. My new cleats work really well. When we were coming back Mark and I broke away from the group and cut loose! When we got back to the parking lot and didn't even see the crew coming up the road yet, we gave each other the smashing fist high five! Mark is a great guy that goes to Fellowship and rides for Carve too (I think). I hope I can keep my level up to continue to ride at his pace.

Tonight is Sylvan Hills homecoming. I hope the guys pull a win tonight. they need one! One of Emily's bud's was at the house last night . Boles is a terrific baseball player and an all around good guy. He came by to show us his senior photos and they are great. Anyway, he was going on about how the football team gets this that and homecoming, etc. I looked at him in the eye and said but Boles, you guys got a 5A state title and that's worth at lot more than homecoming. He agreed. Maybe this year we can find some stuff to help them like some sort of event like homecoming. Try outs are 1st week of Jan and games start in Late Feb. Ahhh yes, those baseball games where you freeze to death. I'm proud of our Bear Baseball!

I'll probably miss tonight's ballgame due to Terri working a booth selling these really cool bear blankets and Emily will be down in the student crowd. I've got to be really to ride in Jonesboro.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

October baseball

All I can say is ASTROS!!!! I always pull for the underdog and I've got a really bad feeling that I'm about to be tossed from my family. The Card's are an Arkansas team. Well we used to be part of their "farm" but we belong to the Angels now.

One of my favorite childhood memories is getting to go to an Astros game in Houston. Astros vs LA Dodgers. I was 11 and it was a part of a trip to Astroworld in Houston. Sometimes parents have no idea that some small is a huge memory.

My son Tyler told me once that he loved it when we went to Disney one spring break because we all acted different and had a blast. Actually it was when we were all going through a hard time and Tyler asked me why I didn't act like I did when we were at Disney... "we were friends that day." That statement broke my heart but like I said, we were doing hardtime. I try to make better memories for my kids now.

I got replacement cleats for my bike shoes and Bruce (owner of the Chainwheel bike shop) said I had worn those cleats completely down. It took me an hour to change them out due to the wear was all the way to the screws. Now they are probably so tight that I'll be locked in and fall when I stop.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Therapy: Laughing with friends

It's officially over the hump for the week! Yep, It's one-o-three so that means it's time to start getting ready for the weekend...ain't I right?! It's funny how certain things in the middle of the week make you get a little bit more happier that it's inching closer to Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. (My favorite part of the weekend!). For example, on Wednesday morning I have to get the trash to the curb for pick up. That means it's getting close to the weekend! When they have triple meat pizza in the cafe, that means it's closer to the weekend! If I sat and thought about this somemore I could probably find a few more!

I got to ride yesterday afternoon with the team. We rode strong and kept a good 21 mph pace. Just a fun workout. We only have a couple more weeks and the daylight savings will change. I'm hoping to get permission to use the spin bikes on Tues/Thurs so we can keep up the level we are at now. Mark went back out for a few more miles after we finished and almost hit an armadillo on his way back in. When the sunsets there are all sorts of critters that come out and walk along the bike path. I've had to slow for deer more than I could count.

They (Team Yale) are going to be a part of the Mud Race in a couple of weeks but I'll be out of town. The team name is "Dirty Dad's and Wild Wives!". I really wish I could be there to see this! I might just have to get the t-shirt anyway! Now that would turn some head's in the fitness center huh?!

I have the whole side of the building to myself today since the others are at ASU. I didn't have anything from them that I needed to recruit for so I'm catching the calls for the others. I've gotten a ton of work done! Very quite over here.

Hey yesterday I was helping load the car for their recruiting trip and one of the handles on the suit cases broke and as I pitched it into the back the metal caught my finger and gave me a cut. No biggie I just squeezed my finger then went on with what I was doing. Lo and behold I look down and there is blood dripping off my hand. I put my other hand under it and walk across the parking lot to employee health. I now have a puddle of blood in my hand. Got it cleaned off and it looks like a long paper cut but man did that thing bleed. They put a butterfly on it and give me a LOT of grief but all in good humor. Those guys (Jason, Juanita, Becky, Linda, Barbara, Mary) are all bud's of mine anyway. They are all as different as night and day but it's a good mix.

Sunday I will be out at the 4H Center to celebrate my Dad's 81st birthday! He and Mom are doing good and plugging right along. I think fall is their favorite time of the year because they know that the holidays are coming and family traffic will pick up around their house soon. They live for family.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Beautiful weather and snowstorms

I heard that Denver was going to get snow and it looks like they did! Terri talked to Tyler and he was in his "the weather changes by the hour and I've got a cold" mode. He gets one every year at this time due to the drastic weather changes out there. 85 one day and snow the next.

I picked up the bike lights at JVP's church yesterday. What a huge crowd! I was hoping to run into to him but I was actually on the other side of the building in the office area. We got out before they did.

I took the bike out and rode a little at the end of the day Saturday and it was a nice ride but as I was leaving the house it became overcast which dropped the temperature. I had on a short sleeved jersey and shorts and it was cold! Just down the river and back. When I got home Terri had made chicken tortellinni soup! My favorite! Saturday night was low key.

Sunday: Went to church then later Terri and Emily went to pick up stuff for Sylvan Hills Homecoming week. I was planning to go riding and Connie Ross called and asked if I could help them with their bikes and tires. Her and Lee (her husband) got new Cannondales just before Labor Day and they needed to get the tires aired good. So they stopped by and we actually ended up changing one of Connie's tubes. No biggie. They were going down to the river and asked if I'd like to join them. I met them down there and rode a nice ride. Tons of folks out enjoying the fall weather. We saw a little boy ride right in front of a car coming into the park. Man, it was so close. The little guy was the son of a ACH employee. She was running to him and I'm sure cried a little. Yep, it was really THAT close.

When we finished riding, Connie said Kyle was just around the bend at the other end of the parking area. They left and I rode over and we rode the river (me riding it again). We stopped and watch Arron Childress soccer game for a few minutes. The Childress's are really good folks! They're one of those families that will do anything for anybody to help them. Kyle and I talked about church and rode back.

It was a good ride and the weather was the best. This coming weekend takes me to Jonesboro for the Ride for a Better Life. A fundraiser for the Southwest Church of Christ counseling center. And then next weekend (10/23) is Austin for the Ride for the Roses with Lance Armstrong! I'm excited about that!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Thanks for the ride guys!

What a day it was! An early 5 a.m. wake up call came and the race was on. Up, shower, shave, down stairs to meet the rest of the guys. Coffee and a biscuit and sausage. Good to go. Nervous energy! Outside is dark, cloudy and windy. We load the van and head over the bridge to Oklahoma. This time I went over the bridge on purpose! We unload, air up tires and put on warm riding gear and have a prayer. It was a very moving heartfelt prayer by John (JVP). Amen and over he bridge we go into Arkansas on our bikes.

We ride through downtown Ft Smith and head toward Van Buren. The wind is blowing and but the daylight is appearing over the hill. I think it'll be a good day for riding. As we go over the river into Van Buren there are these releif girders on the bridge that you have to ride over. I've always been spooked by them a little and that one was open more than any I've gone over before. Rob was leading the line, I'm second with JVP and Paul behind me. Rob bunny hops the girder, no problem. I hop and back tire hits and tube pops. Man, I was bummed. This is way to early in a ride with a new group to have something like this happen. So I look down and sure enough, flat. I tell the guys to go on over and I'll walk the bike (otherwise the rim and tire will ruin) to the other side. That was one long bridge to walk a bike over. Paul stayed back and we got the tube changed and off we go again.

We meet up with Rob and JVP and get going again. Through a beautiful part of Van Buren downtown. Then on out to Alma. We actually stopped at the same light Vince and I stopped at before we turned to head up into the moutains back in the summer. I sat there at the light looking towards the mountains and saying yet another prayer of thanks for that ride in July.

We head on down the road a ways and the rain is light and seems to be off and on. Next stop is Goose Creek at a little mom and pop grocery store. What a great little place! The lady running the store was very friendly and the produce section was really nice for a little store. I say this because the restroom waiting line was close to it. They even had carmel apples as well as apples grown in the area. There was a retired couple that came in and bought some apples and then the lady running the store and the couple went out to a tent on the corner of the lot and came out with 2 watermelons! The tent was the local produce section and those were the last two watermelons of the season. If I'm ever in that area again I'll stop there. Just a warm friendly place on a cool wet autum morning.

We load up on gels, fig newtons and water out at the van in the parking lot and get going again. Psssssss, Paul's turn with a flat. We make a quick change of tubes on the side of the road and off we go. We look to be feeling warmed up and ready for milage.

We get out into the quiteness of the country and get to draft behind the van for a little bit! What a vacation! I could feel the warmth of the van and the draft was the best. We make sure JVP is drafting. Got to take care of the leader man. I could see the five of us working together as a team. I could sense the desire to help make this first leg of the trip as painless as possible for JVP. We all wanted him to get to the other river! Here's what I observed: Rob and Paul were the main pullers. Yes, I did pull but Rob and Paul seriously went the extra mile when it came to pulls (being on the front of the line and cutting through the wind). We kept JVP in the middle as much as we could. The guy rides so incredibly strong at times he would pull us to get the speed back up. I sat on the back end with my screaming lime green wind shirt with a neon orange and yellow safety vest over it. Between that and blinky lights, I was a little hard to miss. Although I was the slowest of the group and the oldest, I felt good being in the back and feeling the job of protector. It was really setting up like a team dynamics of a pro team. Sure, we were far from it, at least I was, but it was looking very organized.

We started climbing a few long hills and I go into my "zone out, don't look up at the top of the hill, just pedal" mode. One thing I learned this summer was that I can ride hills just fine as long as I just watch the road directly in front of me and pedal. Steady good climbs. Not the fastest but conservative climbing. I noticed too a few times that I had to remind myself that our goal was to get JVP to his destination. We weren't touring as in sight seeing. Yes, this was basically a race against time. I wanted to ask him to slow down and notice what is around you. Look out over the valley, notice the birds, just enjoy the ride but it's not really my place so I tell myself to ride as a race not as a tour. And so I do. I did however mention to Rob that I was worried a little about JVP and the speeds we were going. What I wasn't expecting was that he was going to be able to hold level all the way to Cook's Landing. And he does!

Next stop is Altus for a quick lunch of sandwiches. Of course they were the best I'd ever eaten and served by Mike on a platter (ok, maybe it was a top of a cooler but the Food Network would have been proud of the presentation! HA!). Still raining but we are doing good.

As we get close to Clarksville there has been a wreck. A log truck has lost his load on a tilted curve. The truck cab was still upright but the trailer had gone over. My first thought was maybe those flat tires we had had been a blessing of protection? What if we had been on schedule. Where would we had been when the logs came crashing down across the lane we would have been in? Sometimes I really wonder about how events fall in place.

We arrive in Knoxville (Yes, Arkansas not TN) and the air seemed so cold when we stopped. I walked into the c-store and it was warm! Now I usually don't talk about the men's room but this was really nice! It was the work of a local artist that must have sent a couple of days in there. Serious, it was really pretty. The walls had that scrubbed looking faux look or whatever they call it and there were some of the words to the national anthem painted on the walls as well as an American flag. It got my vote for best cared for public men's restroom. HA! There was a guy at the store that was walking to DC with an armed forces agenda. I think he was a vet that had something to say about the war so he was making his point by walking to DC. The others changed clothes and it crossed my mind but my shoes were wet and dry socks would have gotten wet but I was so cold. Onward we go. Feeling good to move again and the rain has stopped! Wind still blowing cross but it's livable.

Next stopp is Russellville. We stop at a Burger King for a moment and then got moving again. I wanted some fries really bad but I knew better! We're riding good once we warm up and continue on to ...

Morrilton. As we were riding along I keep thinking I had been here before and then I saw three green arrows painted on the road. I had been here on my bike before just a month or so ago! It was part of the route for Tour de Oink as part of the Great Arkansas Pig Out Festival. A fun ride. Seeing that gave me comfort.

As we get going our next stop will be Conway. As we are riding along I begin to feel a little tired but that was to be expected. The bad part was that I would ride good then slow down. Catch up and then slow down. I didn't fall back enough to be considered dropped but back enough to make myself start having the mental games happen. I finally heard someone say the word "bonk" and then I knew. As much as I told myself no, I knew I was about to go down. Bonk is what happens when you run out of fuel. It's only happened to me one other time in my riding and it's now happening at the worst possible time. Paul rode up beside the van and called him over. I loaded, feeling completed defeated and we continued. Mike made me feel good about myself and the Pepsi and Snicker Marathon bar restored my energy stores. I was just down from the turn off to Conway.

We stopped in Conway for Rob's wife to pick him up since he had a final exam. He would go to Jacksonville, take his test and return to the ride on the other side of Little Rock. We loaded his bike into the van and go out to find JVP and Paul.

We stopped in Mayflower at the Sonic for a few moments. I played the role of team support this stop refilling Paul's bottles and checking on him. He was sitting on the parking lot with his shoe off. I got out of my comfort zone and asked him if he wanted me to rub the stiffness out of his foot for a moment. There comes a time when you have to do stuff like that for the team. It's just part of it. Paul's toes would not bend at all. I knew he must have been hurting. We fianlly got them moving again and he felt better. Onward...

Funny story: Just before getting to Maumelle there is a line of cars behind us and this car comes on around and honking. I told Mike that the driver better not yell the the riders. He laughed and said, "That was my wife." It was a funny moment!

Mike and I went on up the road a bit and I got out and starting riding with them again. We go through Maumelle and as we got to the road to Cook's Landing I moved out of the pulling position to give it to John to allow him to take the leadership entrance since it was his ride and his church would be waiting. They were happy to see him!

We moved things around and took a few photos and then my Thursday night buds (Yale, Chris, Wayne come riding up finishing their ride. We talk for a few and then we head to Gator's were Terri is waiting to pick me up.

The ride is done for my part. As Mike, JVP and Parick head out into the night to ride across the fields toward Memphis, I say a silent prayer for their safety and well being.

I got home, showered and had Backyard Burger that Terri had picked up for me. Still thinking and praying for the guys. Wondering if Rob had met back up with them.

Later, as I'm laying in bed I'm still in prayer. Please get them there. Zzzzzzz......

3:25 a.m. wide awake and wishing I knew what was going on out there. Wishing I could load up and go help take them to the end. Wishing I had never stopped and came home. Praying for them. Why is there something that seems out of balance? I worry too much!

4:50 a.m.: They are due to finish at 5. JVP is a driven man. Praying he is where he wants to be.

6:35 a.m.: Wake up on the sofa and get up for the day. Still praying and wondering. I realize I don't have anyone's cell phone numbers...

I realize JVP should be at the river.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

In less than 24 hours

In less than 24 hours I will be in the middle of riding at least 150 miles. Ft Smith to Cook's Landing in North Little Rock. We start at 6:30 a.m. and should be at Cook's about 5 p.m. I hope that I feel great and want to continue to ride on to Memphis under the cover of the night.

John Van Pay is the leader of this group and an outstanding rider. He is the Student Minister at the North Little Rock Assembly of God church. Yep, the big glass one over by McCain Mall. Emily loves to go over there on Wednesday night to a program called Reality. There are tons of teens that go over there and they are from a lot of different schools so it's a great expereince for her. Anyway, here's our schedule.
3 pm – Addison and JVP load vehicles
5 pm - Rob Carr, Paul Britt, George Cobb take the white van to the Hampton Inn, Fort Smith
9 pm – Brian Lee, JVP, and one more volunteer driver will leave the church to the Hampton Inn, Fort Smith

5:30 am – wake up/breakfast
6:15 am – leave the hotel to the Oklahoma/Arkansas border
- temp will be in low 60’s with a 30% chance of rain; it clears up by 9 a.m. to be in the upper 60’s and sunny.
6:30 am – start the ultimate ride, Brian Lee will be driving the support van
5:00 pm – meet up with the rest of the team of riders at Cook’s Landing on the river trail
-Take 430 south from highway 40 and take the Maumelle exit, go back over the freeway. Go through the red light and take your first right on road. It may be called North Shoreline road. Take another immediate right going down hill and it will take you to the Cook’s Landing parking lot. This is on the river trail by the IH 430 dam. The easiest way to get there by car is to take the Maumelle Highway (100) across Highway 430
-Brian Lee brings the white van back to the church
5:30 pm – meet up with Michael Winslow and Mike Mitchell at the Gator’s parking lot on the river trail.
6:00 pm – Steph picks up the white van up at the church and follows the group
-temp drops to upper 40’s so dress warm and bring all lights you have access to
9:30 pm – Shelby takes over for Steph and she drives his vehicle back to the church
5:00 am – Ultimate ride is finished.

Phil and Shelby, Patrick will email you your mileage after the offering on Wednesday
John Knott (George Cobb will also be riding for your class so you only have to ride 6 miles)

Keep reading for tales of the ultimate ride...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

I rode with the big dogs when I should've stayed on the porch!

I had to work at a job fair this morning over at the hospital so I missed getting to ride the Tour de Cure for Diabetes. I thought about it off and on and the weather was outstanding for a morning century! Guess I'll try again next year. I missed the MS 150, the Arky (due to hurricane Rita), Tour de Cure (due to job fair).

I did ride with Van Pay and friends (the Big Dogs) yesterday. Get this, the email he sent said something like it would be a non-agressive tapering off ride. It wasn't! These Carve guys just flat out smoke the bike tires on every ride. Van Pay is a very strong rider and will be doing the River to River ride on thursday. Myself and 3 others are riding along. 300 miles in one day. Across the state of Arkansas. From Oklahoma (Arkansas River in Ft Smith) to the Mississippi River in Memphis! I'm going along for support and to tell them to slow down and not attack hills. I'll be a long adventurous day! The ride is a fund raiser for the First Assembly of God in North Little Rock. They are raising money for a missionary in China to buy him a van.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday ramblings and weekend thoughts

Beautiful! I mean really beautiful! I love for these type fall days! The temp is in the low 70's, nice breeze and low humidity!

I ran into one of the VPs that run marathons and she was telling me how hard it was for her to come back to the office after lunch. I couldn't agree more! For anyone in sports and fitness, this is the weekend to get out!

Will I'm thinking about a mid week adventure next week. A friend, John Van Pay is a Student Minister for the First Assembly of God in NLR. It's a huge church. He is a great cyclist and has been working on a fund raisier. They are funding a ministry in China for a new van. The price tag is 31 thousand and they are getting there! How awesome is that? Anyway, John and a crew will start in Fort Smith on Thursday morning at 6 a.m. and ride across the state to Memphis! Cool huh? Insane huh? Just like Geo huh?!!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fayetteville, I still love you!

Fayetteville, I still love you! I was lucky enough to get to travel to Fayetteville this week for a recruiting event. Man, I love that town! Tuesday night I got to stay at Ryan and Melissa (my neice) house. We had the best steak I have ever eaten! Mister B's in Rogers. Cost a lot but it was sin!

The Career Fair was good and the kids dressed up and asked a lot of questions. I was glad we were there.

I was supposed to ride with Vicne and some other Faytetteville folks but a huge storm came that afternoon. TV reported spare change size hail and up to 70 mph gusty wind. So we went to Cafe New Orleans and had killer cajun food. Service was slow but the food made up for it.

Back in the office and swamped...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

No ridin' this ride

Got up at 5:30 and looked out on the deck...rain. Then I turned on the tv with no sound and watched the weather and the rain looks to be pulling off. Maybe we get to ride after all. 7AM, I'm in the car heading to the ride and it's pouring. Common sense kicks in and I turn off the road and go to my office and wait a little longer. 2 hours later, still in my office, rain is still coming down. I head to the house. Bummer. Now I've got to find something to keep me busy. I think Terri felt a little bad for me so she made breakfast. It was worth being home for. Still dark and light rain at 11:30 a.m. Maybe it will clear off a little this afternoon and I can get a short ride in.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The wind was pushing and I was pulling

Meant Rance at the river at 7:30 this morning and rode and easy 45 miles. We keep the speed down since I might be riding the Joe Weber 100 tomorrow morning. But right now there are 4 counties under tornado warnings as the tropical storm Rita moves through the state. The wind has been going all day and the rain started about 3:00 this afternoon. Saying very heavy rain and strong winds tomorrow. Hope not!

I have overloaded on my carbs for this ride. Now I've got to burn them off. I might head to the fitness center tomorrow and throw on some headphones and ride a spin bike and burn some of this back off. Weather after this leaves is going to be awesome! Low 70's for highs and low 60's for lows!

Sylvan Hills lost again last night in West Memphis but not to bad. The hogs lost to Alabama this afternoon. Oh well.....

Friday, September 23, 2005

The weekend (and Hurricane Rita) is upon us

The weekend post here is supposed to be light hearted and fun but I feel for the folks in Texas and now I just got a CNN breaking news release and seems the levee in New Orleans is busting again. My inlaws said the waves were 12 feet at Destin yesterday and close to 20 in the Mobile, AL area. I'm just glad we moved back to Little Rock off the coast, even as beautiful as it is there.

I get to go on a recruiting trip next week to Fayetteville! I'm excited! I plan to stay with Ryan and Melissa one night and in a hotel the other due to the other recruiters coming up. Should be a lot of fun. Yep, the bike is going with me!

Rance and I are heading out for a short 36 miler tomorrow. Just an easy ride since I'll be riding the Arky 100 on Sunday...rain or shine.

Emily got to get checked out of school early today to get to go over to the high school football game in West Memphis. Cristy and her husband are shuttling a group of kids over and they are going to visit Memphis before the game in West Memphis. Yep, Boles and Melissa are going too. Big fun! Terri and I are missing this game and it almost feels wrong.

Tyler made it through another quarter and he will start his LAST quarter in a week! After that he will be finished with college!! He had a great quarter and we are very proud of him.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

They say we're gonna ride

Sunday is the Joe Weber Arky 100 and they say we ride come a Katrina or a Rita. I'm set to knock out the 100 mile course and since I was on tour and rode in Hurricane Dennis back in July, I figured, hey, I 've got experience on my resume already for those rides. Not they riding in the rain is a lot of fun to me. I have to take my hearing aid out and stash it in a baggie other wise I'd fry my ear (ok, maybe not...).

Just curious what gas prices are going to do this week?

We broke a heat record. 102 yesterday and planning to do it again today. They say next week we will see temps in the 80's during the day and 50's at night! Yipeee! Finally a fall-ish sort of forcast.

Arkansas is getting the evacuees from Houston due to another hurricane coming. It's a sad time for the south.

Monday, September 19, 2005

There's God in them clouds!

I rode my bike to work this morning in the dark. I have lights on the front, flashing red lights on the back and wear light clothes with a reflective safety vest. Not exactly the road bike rider attire but it works and keeps me safe! The mornings are having a later sunrise so this morning it was start sort of dark at 6:30 then I just happened to tuen and look at the clouds and wham!!!! The clouds exlpoded in oranges. light blues and pinks and had sun streaks shining through! Good morning God! Thanks for the reminder!

I got the honor of leading our small group last night and it was fun. When everyone got there that asked who was supposed to lead since Lee was out. I said not me and everyone was looking at each other then Susan started laughing and pointed at me. Was a great way to get started. Donnie, Susan's husband had said something about me preaching. One thing you will find is that I don't like to just talk to a crowd. It's got to be a whole group thing. We had a good lesson and laughed a lot! We did talk about why we don't talk about hell much and that was interesting to hear the different views.

Tyler is in the middle of finals this week. Sounds like he's in great shape for them and it's very hard to believe that he will be graduating college in 3 months!

Ok, the Hogs lost really really bad but we love 'em anyway. There ours, we're stuck with 'em. We'll just have to make it work.

I get to head to Fayetteville next week for a recruiting trip! I'm going up a day early to set up and will be there 2 nights. One night I'll be at Melissa and Ryan's in Bentonville and the other in Fayetteville. I emailed Vince and hope we get to ride a little. I'm taking my bike!! Wo-Hoo!!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Bears and Bikes

What a great day! Got up and heading over to Cook's Landing to ride at 7 with some friends and made some new ones. We got in 80 miles in close to 4 hours. Not a bad ride at all. I took my turns at the front pulling the club and we hit some headwind in the process. I tried to stay sitting straight up to block it and give the guys a break and keeping it at 20-21mph but the wind was kicking my tail. I had to drop down on the bars but I still pulled.

One of the guys riding was very knowledgable about cotton and I really learned a lot! I didn't know they sprayed the cotton to de-folage it. The fields are FULL of beautiful plump cotton ready for the picker to come.

The hogs game is on the tube tonight at 9. Yes I know USC is picked for over 31 points but hey our very own Sylvan Hills Bears were supposed to get kicked to kingdom come last night but they held their own until the last 6 minutes of the game. It was a great game! Exciting! One of those "gee, my throat sure is sore" after the game sort of games!

Oh yeah, when we were heading out this morning on our ride a half dozen folks coming from the other direction yelled to me and I yelled back! what a greqat feeling to know so many folks out on a Saturday morning taking time to training and take care of themselves!

Friday, September 16, 2005

We love our Hogs!

Ok, they (Arkansas Razorbacks) lost last week. Give 'em a minute and we see 'em light the fire. Season is young still! Lost in the final minutes...ouch, those hurt!

Ok, they (Sylvan Hills Bears) lost last week. Give 'em a minute and we see 'em light the fire. Season is young still! Lost before the second half. This Friday night it's the big rival against NLR. Put us on your prayer list!

Terri and I are heading to the game for our Friday night date. With today's temps getting to only 83 then tonight might actually have a football feel to it! Since we are driving, I told Emily we could take 2 people. I make them all buckle up! Otherwise there would be a 1/2 dozen kids piled in. Last Friday night we had kids over at the house until 1:30am. It's because Cody, a guy that graduated last year, got a tatoo on his shoulder of the Superman logo. He had to wait 3 hours to remove the bandage. So the kids wanted to see it. I told Em that our house closes at midnight on Friday nights.

I'll be heading out tomorrow for an 84 mile bike ride to get ready for the Joe Weber Arky 100 next Sunday! Will be riding with good friends so it'll be a blast.

I'm going to be selling tickets for the next time my nephew's Jim and Ryan come together in the same room. It will be the event of the year! Jim, as you know, has moved to TX and is acting all big dog and "just stating facts" on his blog about our beloved Hogs. Well, Ryan lives smack in the middle of Hog country in northwest Arkansas where the university is.

Speaking of "smack". My pal Kevin lead the closing prayer at church last Sunday and asked the Lord to give us a "spiritual smack" when we needed it. I almost busted out laughing during the prayer! Kevin is one of the funniest folks you'd ever meet! We were talking after church and he said no one talks like some of the folks that get up there (Oh thee and thou...) so he just said the prayer like he would normally talk since God's used to that when he says his daily prayers!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Blind Elvis the Barber, 500 miles and other ramblings

Sorry friends but I took a break from the computer over the weekend so just now up dating.

My mom and sister had surgery and both are doing fine.

Funny stories from being around my family yesterday. I think the drugs had worn off but after you read this, I'm not really sure!

Sherry was telling me about my brother in law has been using the same barber for years. I remembered the barber shop in a guys house from when I was a kid but didn't realize he was still cutting hair. Sherry said he was blind!!!! A blind barber?!!! And he wears his hair dyed jet black and cut like Elvis!! The she told us that he massaged my brother in laws shoulders. I laughed and told he it might look that way but he was probably trying to find the start of the hair line! The it got wilder because I starting thinking about this.... Maybe he was really cutting one of those Elvis lightening bolts with the TLC on my brother in laws back hair! We all laughed so hard there were tears!

Then my dad was asking me if I ever knew he was the 4th grade spelling champion. I didn't know that!!! He was telling me that it was boys vs. girls and the girl had to spell "foot" and she did. Then it was dad's turn and he was supposed to spell "put" but he got messed up and put the "P" in the word "foot" so he spelled "Put" like "Poot"!!!!!! Once again the laughter train got going!!

Then he told me about a lady that was going to commit suicide and she was told if she stuck the gun to her breast and pulled the trigger it would kill her but she was an older lady and she ended up shooting her foot!! (saggy boob).

The whole day was like that plus throw in the fact the me and dad both are hard of hearing so I would think he said one thing and he said something different. Like asking me if I had a what did you ask me? It would have made a good TV show!

I rode to work this morning! It was dark so I had to use lights for the first time since spring. It was a great ride and I walked in to the Fitness Center and Rance started laughing. Caught him off guard!

I've got so many 100 mile rides between now and November 1st. Oh man!
Sept 25 - Joe Weber Arky 100
Oct 1 - Tour de Cure
Oct 8 - Ride the Ridge (Jonesboro)
Oct 15 - Ride for a Better Life Center fundraiser (Jonesboro)
Oct 23 - Ride for the Roses (Lance Armstrong, Austin Texas)

Ok, let's talk about my nephew Jim... Sherry's son as well as the son of the brother in law that gets his hair cut by blind Elvis... Ok, so Jim moves to Tx and starts this Longhorn mess! Now starts "mentioning facts" about Houston Nutt and pressure. Keep it up Jim ... just keep it up. I told him to be careful they next time he gets to the Arkansas border. This is really all in good fun, unless you ask Ryan and Melissa(his sister who lives in NW Arkansas -- Hawg Country!)

Sylvan Hills football... oh man, they got whipped so bad last Friday night. Not like the Bears we know and love. Come on Bears, let's roll!!!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Oh deer!

Last night was one of those great rides! I met a couple of guys at Cook's Landing and we rode to the LR side and back. I had parked at the submarine and had 7.5 miles under my belt when I met up with them then we rode 20 miles then I rode back to the sub where my car the dark. I sang all the way to spook any deer that might have been standing in the path. No deer but then I got through the forrest and out to the fields and there were tons of deer all sitting and watching the river and me. I slowed way down in case they got the urge to run. It was like something from a movie. A pasture of deer and all is peaceful.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The hardest interview

We began to interview folks for job here at the hospital. First interview of the morning was a lady from New Orleans that had lost everything. She was a professional down there and now is bascially on square one again. She cried several times during the interview and it broke my heart. She was lucky enough to have an aunt drive down and pick them up after the storm.
This is going to take a long long time.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Got to love those short weeks!

I'm finished up working for the week and taking Friday and Tuesday off so I have a 5 day weekend. How cool is that? Planning to get a little riding in, clean the garage and all sorts of around the house stuff.

We have our Bike Advocacy meeting in a little bit and I have to present the bike tour I had. I even did a powerpoint slide show. It will go fast. Tried to make it comical. No one wants to watch a slide show of someones vacation.

I've not watched the news except for this morning a bit and it was too depressing. It will conintue for a long time. I continue to pray for them.

I just got back from the bank and all the cars at a hotel I passed have LA license plates.

I had my physical this morning. Resting heart rate close to Lance Armstrong's. Now that made my day! Me and my doctor, who's a marathon runner, had a good laugh this morning. He had to do the middle aged guy physical. I told him I wanted a smoke after he was finished. HA! As embarassing as it was, I got the clean bill of health.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Some will say I'm wrong for that thought

Looting stuff they don't need? Animals.

Looting for food to take care of their families when help is no where near? Basic human survival instinct and I'd do it for Terri and the kids too.

But I can't understand taking TV's and shirts from the Gap. And buddy don't think that the owners of those stores haven't seen the video and know you faces.
I know, I know, that's not politically correct thinking.

I had to stop watching the news stories. I did this during 9/11 too. It was just too much and we need to be strong and normal as the pilgrams/refugees/evavcuatees begin to arrive. Our choppers have been making trips down to take supplies and returning with kids. I'm so proud of our Transport Team. Very proud to be their recruiter.

I invited a serviceman stationed at Camp Robinson to come along and bike with the club last night. Oh man, he was a pro! Derek can smoke everyone! Nice guy, loves to ride. The club wanted to know who invited him. I laughed! I won't be able to ride with the club Thursday since it's the monthly BACA meeting and I am presenting my state border tour.

I'm taking a couple of extra days off for the Labor Day holiday so I can work around the house and get some good riding in.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

And all hell breaks loose and breaks our hearts

There are times in my life when I just sit and wonder "why?". I'm having one of those moments today. Oh our weather is great today! I've got a job, house, food, water, lights, blah blah blah and yet I wonder why? I wonder almost in tears why the hurricane had to happen. Why did the wind and the waters come? Why so many deaths with so many more to come? Questions I will never understand...

This morning we had our regular Tursday morning staff meeting and before we started we had a moment of silence. Ok, we had a prayer. We've never done this before among our politically correct team. And how sad it is that it takes a Katrina or a 9-11 or a war to make it happen.

Everyone's lives are affected by this storm and it's ruthless slam. Everyone knows someone who lives in LA or MS. I mean afterall, they are our neighboring states. Andree', my VP has family in NO and other parts of LA and MS. Jason, my buddy in Employee Health, has a sister in LA, my inlaws preacher is from NO and has lots of family there...

Our transport team is making flights to LA to bring kids here to the hospital. They will be a long way from home and their families will be frightened just as much.

I could write more but today I think it's best to just end it here and ask God to have mercy.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Doin' tha frydee dance!

Oh yes! The end of the week is upon us!

I'm heading out of town after work to ride the Jonesboro section of the ride again as well as some of Crowley's Ridge. Rance and I are camping out at some girl's house that has gone to Texas to ride in the massive (10K plus riders) "Hotter than Hell 100" bicycle ride.

Seems a lot of folks for AR head over to TX to ride. I logged into the Wichita Falls TX paper and there are a couple of articles about it. One is that several hotels have changed since last year. In fact, sounds like one changed a couple of weeks ago and they are expecting mass confusion with the hotels. All I can say to them is don't tick off an Arkie after they've driven hours and hours to ride a bike. I hope the AR crew all have a great time and have a easy check in.

I read on my nephew's blog that the new town (Marble Falls, TX) that they moved to has the football opener tonight. Jim is a huge high school football fan and all the towns he's lived in the football teams have made it to the playoffs. Well, the Marble Falls Mustangs will go this year .. even though they have only won one game in 3 years. Jim went to CAC and they were the Mustangs. Maybe this is a sign.

Oh and get this ... he bet the teens at the church he preaches for that if they got to 100 teens for some function they are having they he'll shave his head! Now this is gonna be fun!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm not your dinner!

I started off have "senior" moments before I ever got on my bike after work. I forget this and that, had to find my keys, unlock the car, get that, blah blah blah ... finally out of the ride with Rance (my trainer). He was dragging his tail. If I got in front he'd fall way back. If I got behind him he would speed up. Amazing that this is the guy that can teach a spin class that can make you think you are raining from sweating so much. I tried to get him to dance on the pedals in a halfway point sprint. Nah, wouldn't do it.

So the sun is setting and a beautiful pink and light blue sunset. Postcard worthy! We are coming to the ball fields and Rance has and flat...then I have a flat within seconds of his. We pull over to fix right quick and everything goes out the window! Problems getting my wheel off. I missed up the valve stem so I couldn't fill the tube all the way up and then I get fixed up and back on the bike...what is happening to me???? My hands start to sting like nothing I've ever felt before. This feels like that pink installation itch but a hundred times worse! Getting more painful by the second. Now my ankles. Whatever is happening is hurting bad. It becomes so bad that I hold my hand up to my mouth and literally rip my riding glove off my hand. I tore the thing off. I look down and I'm riding 4 mph. I see Rance off and on. Then he says something about ants. Oh man, fire ants! Lucky for me the sprinklers were going at Alltel Corportate Park so I stopped and held my arms in the sprinklers. I slowly rode back to Rance's and got in the car and home. You know when you are sick and you drive and it seems like time goes into slo-mo? That was the drive home last night. Today I feel drained and there are spots that itch and are swollen. I know I'm not supposed to hate but I HATE fire ants.

Poor Tyler, out in Denver and they have the big weather flip flop change and he gets a bad cold everytime.

Emily is doing well in school. She has all A's right now ... of course she hasn't had any test yet. HA! She is taking a different approach this year. I think we'll see some great grades.

I can't believe how her and Tyler have grown up. Just weird seeing photo's of them as little kids. Someday maybe we'll be blessed with grandkids and I can spoil them.

My friends in Employee Health came off a 3 day diet so I've been good this week not to eat out but I knew they would be today so I went to pay respects to the ATM machine and ate out today! Everyone is talking about getting a block of seats for the Rolling Stones concert at Alltel. They are pricey but the show would be a lot of fun.