Tuesday, March 24, 2009

C'mon Summertime!

I suffered a traumatic experience last week! My neighbor took his family on spring break vacation and asked me to feed his chickens. No sweat, I've done it on previous occasions. It seems the chicken population has grown since the last time I fed 'em.

On Tuesday, I leisurely walked across the street. Relaxed and enjoying the day, I fed the chickens. Then all of a sudden, a large rooster starts coming after me. WTF?! That son of a bitch attacked me! Clawed the hell out of my legs and pecked deep gouges with its beak. So I kicked the hell out of this thing to cease the attack! He came back at me 3 more times. Geez! I had no idea that I was going into battle when I went to feed 'em and that I would come back bleeding. I opened up the gouges and repeatedly poured rubbing alcohol into the wounds. I followed it up with plenty of neosporin. I really didn't want infections from this filthy bird. My legs oozed watery bloody stuff for the rest of the day. OF ALL the injuries I can sustain, it's a freaking rooster that takes me down??

The next day, I wore thick coveralls, leather gloves, and carried a broom handle. All went well, almost. As I'm walking away, I kept looking back. I was over 50 feet away and I turned around to see this guy hauling ass after me. This was after I fed the f**king INGRATE!! He caught a broom handle. He came back for more, 3 more times. I ended up breaking the broom handle on his ass! He HAD to be sore after the broom handle escapades.

After my neighbor returned home he said, "oh yeah, I forgot to tell you about the violent rooster, he's a real backstabber". No sh*t, you don't say! I'm gonna fire up the grill.

Because I've had a little Plantar Fasciitis deal, I decided to ride my bike, instead of run this past weekend. Other than Mountain Biking and Triathlons, I haven't ridden in any organized bike rides/races in probably 12 years. Once I caught the running bug, I wasn't interested. I decided to ride in the Tour de Houston. They offered distances of 20, 40, and 70 miles. I picked the 40 miler, that seemed perfect for having not been on the bike.

The cycling society is DIFFERENT than the running crowd! The athletes' physiques are surely different. There is a bunch of cycling etiquette, apparently. You only pass on the left, and must announce that you're passing on the left. One lady started bitching me out because I didn't announce it. Maybe if her slow ass was on the right side of the lane (where it belongs), there would be no problem. The second part of the "rule" is that if you're a slower rider, move to the right side of the lane! DUH! And there were 3 big crashes, where the crashed riders couldn't negotiate diagonal grooves in the pavement! Pay attention, y'all!

I WAS paying attention to the route signs, YET still ended up on the 70-mile course! I think the race organizers forgot to post ONE critical sign because I wasn't the only one wondering how we ended up on the 70 mile route. I din't want to ride 70 miles because I had lots of stuff to do on Sunday. So I broke off from the ride and "did my own thing" to get back to Downtown. I prolly ended up with 34-35 miles. A mountain bike would be much better suited for assaulting the urban terrain! Subsidence on the sidewalks in Houston? This was about 1 foot tall, the road bike had to go around it! Here:

On my interesting and now-solo journey to return to Downtown, I saw all sorts of cool stuff. I always envisioned "Reliant Stadium" being more impressive than what I saw:

Neat structure Downtown:

And finally, a DELICIOUS Rudy's breakfast taco with egg, cheese, brisket and salsa:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

OK, I'm back! Been away from the blog for a month...

Sheesh, I have no idea how a month has slipped by and I've not kept my loyal reader(s) abreast of all that happens around here!

Austin Half-Marathon:(Feb 15th)

I'm disappointed with the Austin Half-Marathon and likely won't return.

1) What's up with charging $97 for a half-marathon?
2) No race-day packet pickup and they wanted to charge me $7 to park the car to go inside the runner's expo to pick up my packet? You're trying to sell me a bunch of stuff at the expo and you want to charge me 7 bucks to park?? Austin, you're FULL OF YOURSELF! And your traffic sucks badly!
3) Inside the expo it took 45 minutes to pick up my packet, what's up with that?
4) They RAN OUT of tee shirts?! Ninety-seven dollars to run your crummy race and you ran out of shirts? This is 2nd grade math, y'all. Your event filled up well before race day. Each registration has a shirt size listed. Tabulate those numbers and you will know how many shirts to order. Geez.
5) The course bites. Not only is it hilly, NOT fast, but poorly laid out. Route the ENTIRE marathon runner flow through a single-lane alley after mile 3?

Before the race, Sonya, Evan, Dennis, & Rick:

I went into the race with Plantar Fasciitis (foot owwie), but still managed a 1:46 time:

HEB did a great job of providing all sortsa GREAT food after the event! HEB is king:

A cool chic who took our group picture, Bianca:

Evan, Chris, unknown, & Kristen:

Rick and Evan enjoying some delicious breakfast:

Park To Park 5 Mile Race, Houston Museum of Natural Science, & Mountain Biking (Feb 21st)

Great little race in downtown Houston! It runs from Discovery Green Park to Herman Park. I ran a decent 37:00 race.
Evan, June, Stephen:

Pam (ran an INCREDIBLE 33:55!), Stephen, Geri, & Evan:

AFTER the Park-To-Park race, I was riding my bike back to downtown to return to my car, when I rode right past the Museum of Natural Science. People who know me know how I'm totally drawn to neat mechanical stuff. Go inside, nah. But WAIT, I'm right here, right now! I locked my bike and went inside to check out all of the neat Energy Exhibit stuff:

AFTER the museum, I decided to go Mountain Biking in Memorial Park. The last few times I've gone, I always ask people "where is the technical stuff" (challenging terrain). This time, a guy told me where the REAL stuff is! It's called "The Triangle"...He told me to ride down the sidewalk to the Arboretum, then RIGHT THERE at the corner of the driveway, there's an almost-hidden trail that "drops in". He told me that as soon as I dropped in, I'd see a tunnel that goes under Memorial Drive. "The Triangle" is the area bordered by 610, I-10, and Memorial Drive. A little known secret! Shh! He wasn't lying:

The Triangle IS thoroughly technical! Be careful, it's ROWDY! The picture does NOT do the terrain justice. Here:

The Houstex Machine and Tool Show, GRB convention center (Feb 25th)

Those who know me know my absolute delight in all things mechanical, especially machine tools! My great friends over at CeeSan Machine and Fabrication not only invited me to ride along with them, they had an admission ticket for me and fed me plenty of cold beers during the show! I just LOVE my friends!
Evan, Curt, Festus:

I'm always so pleased to check out cool tooling:

Hanging out with Danny O from MLC Cad:

The Prickly Pear 10 Mile Trail Race, San Antonio (March 7th)

I had the pleasure of running in the Prickly Pear 10 mile race! Great event! Those who run might be aware of the "runners high" that you experience when the endorphins are flowing (or whatever it is that makes you feel so euphoric). Trail running amplifies the runners' high by about a factor of 10! Prolly because you're so very focused on ONLY the rugged, rocky trail right in front of you! Good stuff! Patti, Dennis, Sonya, & Evan:

I'm pleased with my 1:33!