Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm sorry but our crew is short and we can't get there today

I'm sorry but our crew is short and we can't get there today... Mr Cobb?
We can't get there today.
Yeah, I heard you. Are you going to be here tomorrow?
Yes sir. They will be there by 8:30. Maybe even 8.
Ok fine... if they are not here and working tomorrow I will unleash my 2 girls on you and they are hot and tired and getting a but cranky. Do you understand.
More than you realize!
Again, I do apologize for the inconvenience.

Guess what... my backyard neighbor is having the same thing done but by a different company.

It has been a fun day off though! Lots of stuff got done outside! My list is so long!

Ok, CI Moment... on advantage of having no air is hat the windows are open and the birds having been singing all day. What a great sound! My side yard neighbor has little water fountains and about 20 bird feeders. Always birds!

Life is good...even in the heat...well sort of.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

And even more trouble

I kid you not!!! What I thought was some melted ice in the ice chest leaking out really was a hot water heater leak! Thank goodness it was out in the garage! Turns out it was the little faucet gizmo and just needed to be tightened up more. Who tightened it in the first place??

I told a coworker, "You better put me on your prayer list because I'm going down the money pit really fast these days!" OK, now you are not going to believe what happens....
1) The air was only $7,419 rather than the 10-12K horror stories folks have been telling me!
2) I fixed the hot water heater myself being the techno genius I am!
3) We caved and got a hotel room for Saturday night.... I got the cheapest in North Little Rock I got find. It turns out to be a beautiful suite that was very comfortable and quite and the free breakfast included fresh waffles made there! I didn't eat one since I'm trying to lose weight but by did that surprise! Waffles at a free hotel breakfast?!
4) The weather has been cooler than normal! Tonight it's supposed to be 65 degrees and right now I'm in the den with the windows open and the fans going and it's just 80. Not much humidity at all so it's really nice.
The things a prayer can fix!!!

I started a new home project today and it's limbing up my trees. I'm actually going to cut a couple down that have just gotten too big and sort of leans toward the house. When we moved in back in 1988 these were little trees.

Hey the TOUR DE FRANCE starts on July 5th! Oh yeah baby! The tour! There is a lot of tv spots about a "new page", "A new tour". I'm looking forward to Stage 17... the big mountain! Huez! Who's gonna wear the yellow? Oh man, I don't know this year.

Last Friday night I toyed with the idea of getting up Saturday morning and driving over to Tour De Oink. It's abut 45 minutes or so up the road and a fun ride but as I got up I looked at the radar and there was big rain moving into that area. I stayed parked on the sofa and watched my niece Shannon on the morning show talking about water safety. She always does a great job on TV.

Life is good... since a friend prayed and got me out of financial meltdown!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday morning quick hits

Weekend is fast approaching... get up and dance! Go ahead... get up right now and dance!
If you don't send an email to 12 friends in the next five minutes telling them to get up and dance ... HA! I know this works because my cousins uncle's best friends 6th grade teachers son's girlfriend received 500 dollars.... HA!!!

Here's everything since last post...
I did train in the hood Tuesday and oh man was it hot! When I got to the house I crashed on the front porch looking out over the neighborhood for a few and tried to cool down. Finally went in the house to shower and saw my face in the mirror and WHOA! Between the beach tan and the redness of being so hot after training I looked like I could have played a part of the Indians on Dances with Wolves! Or one of the outback guys who live in the dessert.

Oh speaking of outback. Here's a GREAT link!
It's a radio station in Perth, Australia. In the US listen to it at night... it's morning there and you'll hear a guy named Rodney Olsen. He is really good. Sometimes he has the best guest on his show. Ok, I know... how do I know about this guy? He rides a bike of course! Trust me, click the link and listen to the station sometime. Yes, they all have the accent we Americans love to listen to. By the way, going to Perth is on my list of things to do.

Oh speaking of things to do... I think I'm going to be broke awhile...
You ready for this???
3 weeks ago: car repair $900.

2 weeks ago the fridge went out -- another huge chunk of change

Vacation last week

The garage door went out just as we were getting ready to leave for vacation: $297 to replace

The air conditioner went out Tuesday night -- last year it went out and they said I might get another year out of it... guess what... it's been a year! I'm hearing horror stories about friends having to replace theirs and it's between $7,500 and $10,000.

Then this morning... I thought it was a melted bag of ice in the ice chest in the garage but I think I may have a small leak in the hot water heater.

Well at least the weather was really nice this morning and I was able to cool the house down with fans. See life's not all bad!

Life is good... even when I'm beyond broke!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The famous tat

Here's the tat photo... Yes, it's an A with a razorback... it was just a temp. Go ahead an call me a wuss but look close at that photo kids because this is one tough cookie! Buh ha ha ha!!!

A real tat... are you kidding me?????

The photo that's the meaning of life as I know it

Most photos of myself I really hate. But every now and then one comes along that I like. This is one of those. It symbolizes a lot of things in my life right now.

Thanks to my niece Melissa for shooting this photo.
Look over to the right and click on "Melissa" that is under the Blogs I read.
She is an awesome photographer and does some really creative shots!
Also, I just had my 6 month CI check up. All systems go! This was the first time I had gone into one of our clinics since having the CI. The clinic was packed to the gills and while I was in the exam room waiting for Dr. D. I could hear kids screaming. Maybe being hard of hearing had it's benefits there. It broke my heart to hear those kids crying.
I need to give a shout out to one of our little friends who got her 2nd CI activated today! That is awesome! Note to her mom... if you spot me in the waiting room or around the hospital, please by all means throw something at me and get my attention. I love meeting all our CI club members and their families!
On a funny note... I had a tad of ear drainage so Dr. D cleaned it out and put that purple antibiotic dye in my ear. Oh man, I will have a purple hearing aid ear mold again. I always think folks can see it (but they can't) and I feel like I'm the president of the Barney fan club! HA!
I have a training ride set for after work... oh joy... it's 94 degrees! A friend said it was as hot as fish fry oil...
Life is good... even with a purple hearing aid mold! HA!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vacation... the video... what I longed for!

Enjoy the sound! I certainly did!

I heard it I heard it I heard it! Since we first started talking about this family trip I longed to hear the ocean in stereo. I wanted to hear the s-s-s-s-s as the waves came to shore. I could hear the big crashing ones last year but it has been a long time since I heard the part where the waves sizzle and go back out to sea. So many times on this trip I sat with a silly grin on my face because I could hear. I could hear the wave, the seagulls the splashes on the fish feeding frenzy. I could hear people talking and boy did I eaves drop! I could hear other people talking on their balconies. There were several times that family would yell at from their balconies and I wouldn't respond but it was due to not realizing someone was hollering down at me. They were remarks that would embarrass anyway. HA!

I got to hear the sweet little voices of my favorite great nieces and nephews. Elliott has such a sweet way she says George. I would get tickled when the kids would say, "That? That?" They wanted to know about "That". I loved how Liam would babble about everything. He was so funny! He would talk and talk. The guy was using a blower and it was a long way off and Liam was dancing to it. What a zest for life! Dancing to a leaf blower!

I got to hear the screams too but some of them were so funny that I would laugh! One time my niece Melissa was sitting in a beach chair and had some snack food and the twins (Keaton and Elliott) were climbing up to get in her lap to munch. Keaton is the climber so he got there first and Elliott was hot on his heels. She wanted up a little higher so she needed something to pull herself up. Keaton's blond hair seemed to be just the thing so she grabbed a handful and pulled herself right on up. Keaton let out a scream and then that was it. Both were up there and happy. Keaton sort of had the , "Yeah, she does that all the time" air about him.

The vacation write up

Ok, fair warning... this post may be like a bad Uncle Jonathan's slide show for the 70's. Did y'all ever have to sit through one of those? My uncle Bud went to the Holy Lands and one time we had to sit through a 3 hour slide show when we went to his house.

Ok, so last Friday we dropped the pup off at the kennel and headed to Benton to pick up my parents. Then back to Little Rock to pick up Tyler then to Terri's office to pick her up. The drive to Hattiesburg was fun and we were all excited. Got there and checked in and then find out the rooms are on the second floor and there is no elevator. I was warned that Dad would not be able to walk much at all. We take the wheelchair when we have to walk much to transport him around. I decided to take a chance because it was that or smoking rooms. No thanks.

We got to the steps and up he went! He did a great job. 14 steps up and that's a marathon for him. We crashed in the room and there was an Outback just across the parking lot so Terri and the kids and mom walked over there and ate but they also made an order to go and Tyler brought it back over to the room before they got to sit down at the restaurant. Dad crashed sound to sleep after that. It was sort of a sense of peace that the tables were turned. By that I mean I, the son, was watching my Dad sleep and staying to be sure he was comfortable and safe. I couldn't help but wonder how many times he watched me as I slept when I was a kid. It was one of those "life is good" moments.

The next morning we had the hotel free breakfast and heading out around 9:30. Once again, everyone laughing, talking and all excited. We knew we would be on the beach that afternoon!

Around 1 we stopped by Terri's folks in Navarre and took a break and called the condo to see if it was ready. When it's just with the kids we can go on over and hit the beach until the condo is ready but with senior parents you have to be flexible. We drove on over and the condo was still a few minutes away from complete so we drove around looking at the beach homes and then they called and said it's ready!

Oh the fun of unloading a van of stuff! The parking lot looked like a summer camp. Everyone was unloading and all of us dad's were cracking up about how much stuff our families bring but the dad's can fit a week's worth in a gym bag! Ok, I did have a t-a-d more... a bike and riding gear. Em, being the teen daughter she is, had a suitcase the size of a third world country and it was full! I knew it would be even worse going home because she was going to hit the shops.

First morning sunrise

Once we got unloaded we sat out on the balcony a moment and then that was enough of that stuff! Time to head the water! We headed down to the waterline and what was the first thing we saw? Yep, a shark! Swimming along like he owned the place! That was the one and only time I saw one or heard about one all week.My mom holding her sunglasses and having her coffee while watching the sunrise.

The water was almost swimming pool clear all week! Also no rain all week! Yes, that does make it a close to perfect beach vacation.

Sunday: Played on the beach, back and forth to the condo, Crab Trap for Fathers Day, then watching a sunset.

Monday: TATTOO day! I got a "A" with a razorback. I know... photos... I don't have one on my camera but Em might with hers and my niece Melissa took a really funny one. I'll post it, I promise! AND... it's on my manly upper arm so you don't have to worry about what the photo will be of! HA!

Tuesday: Beach - eat - beach - sunset - fireworks - sleep. Yes, fireworks! Every night at 10 there was a family in the building who shot off nice fireworks! It was like the end of the day at Disney!

Wednesday: Beach - Em took me shopping for cool looking Dad clothes. By the way... Sancony running shoes are only 15 dollars at the Silver Sands outlet mall! Terri got some. I hit up Polo, Banana Republic, Nike, and Bass!

Thursday: Beach, family shrimp cook off and back to the beach.

Friday: Let's just say...**repeat**

Now all the other vacation stuff:
There was Tri going on Monday morning! Everyone got excited because we could see a group of folks swimming down the shore line. I thought of all my friends who have gone from cycling to the "dark side". One guy was really smoking the swim! There are some old poles in from of our condo from a pier back before the major hurricanes so it was a perfect turning point. Out of the water and running down the beach they go! I really wanted to go down and cheer them on.

Several mornings I got up and rode my bike along the beach. Sunday morning I was the only road bike and I was bummed. As the week wore on there were more and more. Favorite morning was when I was riding along and Team Jeep came riding up behind me and invited me to jump on. Ok, this was like riding with Fast Girls Slow Guys on Red Bull. OMG!!! These guys were riding along and talking and I'm sucking air so hard the crabs are flying off the beach and straight to me! I had that yummy copper taste in my mouth of lungs begging for mercy. I stayed with them until they stopped to chart their route. Ok, this is all flat land in Destin and I looked down after I bidding farewell and my top speed was 27 mph! I guess I was in the vacuum and just not worrying about the speed because I would have blown had I known that. And I have to admit... there was some nice tail wind.

I also visited Robin (a guy and the owner) and Amy and Lance at Robin's Bike and Fitness. It's on 98 by the Melting Pot restaurant. They are the FL dealer for Obrea so they got all excited when I told them about the place in NLR that houses them. Robin rides and Orca and Amy has a Dive. One of the other locals who happened to be in the shop also has an Orca. They bragged and bragged about the awesomeness of the bike. Oh and Lance... he is the big Boxer. He had a Livestrong dog collar on. Robin's office had all the paper numbers you put on your jersey for event rides. They were the wallpaper border. There were also George Bush with one of the Robin's/Destin jerseys and Bart Starr had been in and bought a bike. Super nice folks so if you are in Destin, look them up! They didn't have a Destin jersey in my size... bummer!

Gotta stop for now but will write more later!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Loving this vacation stuff!

This is my little friend who helped me greet the day.
I'm loving this vacation stuff!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


24 years ago today we were blessed with a screaming baby boy. Life has been funny ever since! we love you Tyler and thanks for a fun 24 years! You've made us proud!

Thumbs up for Dry & Store

I am really sold on Dry & Store now! It's really humid here in Destin plus I'm riding hard in the mornings which means a lot of sweat. I can drop the aid and CI in the Dry & Store and in no time the things are dry and smelling fresh.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Training 06.15.08

Oh yeah, it was nice training this morning. Riding along the beautiful beach homes of Destin! Yep, I'm training in Florida. (Note to Wes: Hey man, I thought I you while I was going 10mph through the Mobile tunnel on the way here). We got checked in Saturday afternoon and crashed out and just enjoyed the beach. But this morning I woke with a passion to go ride hard. I headed out about 7 and rode along the beach. It was very quite car wise but man, I've never seen so many folks out running. It was a massive amount. I rode down Old 98 until I got to Silver Sands outlat mall and there is a group ride that was to start at 7:30 and they announced that they would be riding 98 for 30 miles. I never saw them but as I was about to ride a bit along 98 I noticed glass everywhere. No thanks! I'm not a flat fixer sort of guy. I'm always amazed at the rate of speed some folks can change a flat. Anyway, I crossed over 98 and cruised the Silver Sands outlets checking out places I wouldn't mind hitting this week. Then I had had enough tinkering around and started heading back. I told myself I needed to really punch the number and ride hard on the way back. It was looking good then I saw the dreaded water sprinklers soaking the road. Ugh! Slowed down and didn't bust my butt. It sort of got me out of the groove for a moment there. Once back in tune I opened it up. It was so fun blowing down the road. Sweat was pouring, legs moving.... life in sync!

Did I say there were a lot of runners here? Well there are a lot of runners here!

I made it back to the condo and was really happy to see a good average speed. It really was a good ride and I plan to get out and repeat tomorrow!

The rest of the day was spent in a beach chair entertaining my great niece and nephew! These little kids are a hoot!

We took my Dad to Crab Trap for Fathers day. He had a good day.

Oh by the way... I got a tattoo! It's an "A" with a Razorback. Of course when I'm 80 it will look like a camel probably! HA! Yes, I'll post a photo before long. I almost got Sponge Bob but Emmy screamed OH MY GOD DAD NO!!!!

I spotted a new jersey tonight. After we finished eating Terri, Em and I went looking for Robin's Cycle and Fitness. I knew it was close but kept missing it. We spotted it this evening and it is one very nice bike shop! When I looked through the window what did I see? A Destin bike jersey! They carry Cannondale and a lot of Orbea's. This is the group who ride every morning at 7:30 (except for Monday's).

Hey you Kansas 1/2 Ironman folks... hope you did great!

Well, life is good... on the bike... on the beach!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Home based training

I have always thought it was sort of funny to drive some place to ride my bike. If you've been a reader then you know my hood is nothing but hills. Well duh, isn't that what I need to be training on to become stronger? So last evening I did a loop that I rode before. I actually looped it 4 times. The first was the hardest because there is no flat riding before you go up or down. The 3rd time was the easiest because I was in the groove.

Sooo I think with the gas prices I'll train in the hood and only ride the river on the weekends... but then I'll have to ride to the river to ride the river. Ya know?

I had a bet with some friends that Emily would hit the new Wal-Mart Supercenter which opened this morning by noon and sure enough she texted me a few moments ago and was there.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

North Little Rock River Trail

This video is through the eyes of a masked crusader with no super powers.

I didn't realize the camera shutter didn't open all the way. But it sort of looks like what a masked villain would be seeing.

I headed out for my training ride this evening around 6:30 and I was surprised to see as many riders and runners as I didn't. Usually on Sunday evening you have the place to yourself. Also with the sun beginning to cast long shadows the snakes were on the move too.

Enjoy the video. It's another long one so it will take a moment to load.

Chenal 9 is awesome!

We caught the 4:20 showing of Indiana Jones at the new Chenal 9 Imax. Although Indy wasn't the Imax movie it was still an awesome theater. I had pre-ordered tickets last Thursday and I dropped the girls off and parked the car. There was supposed to be a self service booth but I guess they didn't have it ready yet. Anyway I gave Terri the debut card because you have to use the same card you order your tickets with. I walked up and tried to find the booth thinking Terri and Em would be there but they were in line at the window. Of course they couldn't find the tickets in the system at the window but they thought and it was on the print out sheet. Guess it was just new business tweaking that needed to be done. We walked in 20 minutes before showtime and the only seats left were the front two rolls. I thought, oh crud! But I LOVED it up there! It was so loud! There was one explosion that really shook the seats.

I enjoyed the movie. Has all the usual Indy stuff.

Well, I think lunch has digested so out to ride!

Life is good... even with explosions and snakes in a dark theater!!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday 06.07.08

Woke to an overcast morning but hey, it's a Saturday to no complaints here!

Drove over to work the registration table at the bike races. By the way it cost a little over 500 dollars to drive over to Little Rock today. These gas guys, I swear.... uh, never mind...
Like I was saying ... the races. I pulled in at 7:30 and there was already a crowd. thinking to myself, "Gee, they've got the race fever today!" Come to find out they were about to shoot a Chainwheel Bike Shop TV spot. I bet it will run on VS during the Tour de France next month. Carve/Chainwheel always has some nice spots.

So we watched them shooting the spot and started getting the racers signed up. Not many Cat 5's today but a mass of folks for the 2nd race( Cat 4/5) and the 3rd race was packed!! Those are the big dogs who are either up and coming, which is really what the 4/5's are, or they have been racing for years. There are guys that I just watch and shake my head in amazement.

One of my favorites this season has been Robert Mooney. Good all around guy and a real kick-your-butt rider. Ok we had head wind on the homestretch and it was a little snot head too. Every time I looked up there seemed to be Robert on the front pulling. Again and again and again. The Cat 1,2,3 racers were even talking about him. Last sprint to the finish and he is in the middle of the pack... those guys let him do ALL the work then ran for the gold. We all know who really won that race! After the race I spoke to Robert for a moment and he was talking about how when they came around that last corner it was like hitting a wall when you turned into the wind. Gee, from watching him, you would have never known.

Another fav is my pal, Yale. I like to watch him because he is real catty (in a good way). He watches the peleton and works it. Stalking. HA! Always comes out in the numbers. His wife Sherry and everyone's favorite super kid, Braxton, was out there cheering him on.

We had our women out there ripping up the course today as well. Sarah held her own in the first race and Rhonda and Kimberly chased each other in the second.

After I finished up and the final race was going and my partner in crime Ron had registration area broke down and put up I left and stopped on my way home and rode my training ride for the day on the river trail. Oh that wind... geesh! HA! As I looped and started heading back to the car I spotted Charlie. Charlie is one of those heart of gold guys and his wife is the same. Super nice folks! We rode together back to Burns Park and talking the whole way. I love this CI!!! I would have never been able to do this last year! Anyway, I was telling Charlie about my next big ride and he was all over it. Looks like the City of North Little Rock may jump on board as a sponsor!

Serious folks, my mind is blown with the love and support so many of you have for these crazy rides and mostly for the hospital. It just warms my heart! I know I know... that's cheesey...but true!

Got to see most of my family last night at Liam's 1st birthday party. Everyone is non-stop talk about our family vacation! Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!

I'm outta here! Heading over to catch the Indiana Jones movie and the new theater that just opened yesterday.

Life is good...even with the headwind!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Training ride 06 05 08

Wooo weee that was some wind. Got over to the starting point and taped the CI to my head with that invisible wig tape. That puppy stayed put tonight! HA! I used the CI as my hearing instrument and the hearing aid as my tunes. Since I was training solo I really enjoy having a soundtrack to ride to.

The route was almost the same as Monday night. Bike Rental shop to Burns Park. Loop the back road then over to the Big Bridge then all the way back into the headwind. I was loving the ride on the way out because it was 24mph easy with that tail wind. On the way back I spotted myself at 14mph a couple of times. Each time I pushed myself back to 16. Train Geo Train! Focus!

My legs are really feeling better and stronger each ride. I so glad to be back out there.

Ok you folks help me out here. I need to start coming up with a name for my next ride. It's 24 hours on the river and the money goes to Audiology for kids hearing aids or whatever the gurus need. I want to have the river trail but I want to play off of sound. I keep thinking Roar on the River. I don't know... y'all help me out here. Either leave a comment our send me an email to

Weekend is coming up and what I thought would be a laid back as far as scheduling is concerned is booked now. Races on Saturday morning, get a ride in right after, run home and clean up, head over to a new theatre to see Indiana Jones with Terri and Em. Go upstairs and drag down the luggage carrier and be sure it works on the van. Then Sunday will be church, then a training ride, then small group. Hope that I can knock out a Monday and Tuesday training ride then Wednesday the races move to evenings so I'll be working out there. Thursday is pack and pack the car night. Friday is hit the road jack!!! Saturday is sand in my swim trunks and loving it! Destin! I'm so stinkin' excited.

Want to see some AWESOME photos? look over to the right at Blogs I read and go down to "Melissa". She is my niece and is going to take our family photo while we are there! I'm beyond psyched!

Life is sooooo good these days! Oh yeah!

Monday, June 02, 2008

06 02 08 Training ride

Got to the sub right about 5 and had everything ready to go. Not 200 yards into the ride my CI goes out. I really just thought it was the battery because it usually goes out around 5pm. I had taped on the magnet so I knew the thing was secure. Then I heard something fall to the pavement (sound through my hearing aid). It was the CI battery. Oh crud! I looped back and rode along where I thought I heard it fall but it must have hit the pavement and flipped over into the tall grass. I looked and looked but no luck and it's just not wise to walk through tall grass beside a river bank. Things in the grass goes s-s-s-s-s.

I took the CI off and put in in my pocket and down at the bottom to keep it secure and continued on with the ride. As I started riding again I got really angry that I've had two rides now with CI issues. It's a learning experience I know but boy it's annoying. I decided to take the anger and channel it into the legs... it worked. I took the trail for a good while passing folks and keeping it at 21-22mph. Sweat was coming on!

The plan was to take it to the Big Bridge but at the last moment I opted out for the hills. We have a nice road that is quite on the back side of the park and you can get some nice hill work in. I spotted to guys ahead and told myself I would keep them in my sight. They were riding a good speed up the hill and I forced myself to suck it up and go. I did keep them in my sight and just as I was getting close they topped the hill and let it rip. As I topped the hill I spotted them and gave it what I had. There is a nice decline so I was able to get so speed then it's incline all the way to the main road. But something was different today. The incline wasn't anything. I was feeling good. I passed the tennis courts where there were lessons going on and then the baseball field where the kids who play in high school leagues keep it going through the summer. I believe it might be American Legion but not sure.

I loop the park and head back down the long hill I just climbed. I drop into the soccer area and I spot the 2 guys again. I'm not sure who the 2 were but they keep a nice pace going and I needed an object to chase. It makes for a good workout.

When I finished up I sat on the back of the SUV and enjoyed a moment. Water bottle in hand and sweat like the river.... it just doesn't get better!

Life is good... on the bike sweating like a pig!

Weekend summary

Here's the weekend wrap up...
Hard to believe she has graduated and then would you believe she started college TODAY?! Yep, knocking out 6 hours this summer. We're proud of you Emmy!