And when I start erupting ain’t nobody gonna make me stop

I’m trying to get everybody a little love before the Ride next Sunday. I know there is going to be 8 days with no PBE coming up. Unless Title Slug comes in and gives you some love in my absence.

First up, THANK YOU! I made it. Not that there isn’t time to donate to my ride because there is, but I blew through the fundraising minimum yesterday. I knew I would. I had an amazing day a couple of weeks ago. We’d just ridden Morgan Territory Road over the weekend and I was sitting down with a client. I’d been sitting for a while and when I went to stand up my knees were very tight and I groaned. She commented on arthritis, which is one of the problems, but I said I’d ridden 91 miles on Saturday training for the AIDs ride and I was a little stiff from that. Her brother jumps up and says “I’ve ridden that three times!” and then proceeds to write me a big check as did his sister. Then he takes me out in the garage and pulls down a box full of memorabilia from his rides. He doesn’t look like a guy who would have done the AIDS ride three times, but that’s the beauty of this ride, it brings in all kinds. He did his first one on a mountain bike. All three bikes hang in the garage. It was kind of awesome. His daughter met him at the finish line in LA. There was something about that picture. Then I went to lunch with a friend who wrote me another check. I knew I only had $210 to go after that day. Yesterday the staff posted all of the checks and I was done. Thank you everyone!

Now, because everybody is happier when I’m raging, let’s rage.

I should just have a category “And God said “What the Hell Were You Thinking?”.” Except I don’t know where to put the quotation marks.

Fred Phelps and the Westboro Klown Klan will be at the front of that line. Right now it’s hard to say exactly what happened in Joplin during the President’s appearance at the memorial service but suffice it to say that Westboro’s website said there was going to be a protest and one guy showed up. One guy from Westboro. Three hundred bikers showed up and blocked off the memorial so the citizens of Joplin didn’t have to deal with the Klown Klan. Current rumor is that they were blocked in at a Flying J truck stop and never made it to the protest. I like how these bikers roll. I would like to be a fly on St. Peter’s wall when Freddie gets to the Pearly Gates. I just would.

Now I have to quote a guy. This guy was the President of the Board of Realtors. Or maybe he is, it’s not the Board I belong to, I belong to Bay East, but talking politics on Facebook is a no-no if you run a business. Thankfully, I have Pink Bunny Ears to blow off steam. Here’s the quote:

Californians think Texan George Bush is stupid. However, in the last decade, California lost 600,000 private sector jobs, according to US government statistics – the worst jobs performance record in the nation. Texas added 700,000 private sector jobs – the best jobs performance record in the US. What was California’s response in the Nov 2010 elections? Ignorance is made worse by lacking the humility to admit it.

Dear Ignorant One who will never get a vote from me,

George Bush hasn’t been the Governor of Texas since 2000.  He was only the Governor from 1994 to 2000.  That last year he was running for President.  Essentially he was Governor of Texas for about five years.  And that was eleven years ago.  Do I think George Bush is stupid?  Well, let’s see, this country was attacked on his watch in spite of a report that said “Osama determined to attack US” detailing exactly what OBL did.  Bush’s response to Rice “Well you covered your ass”.  Then he told us to go to Disneyland.  Then he tough talked like he was John Wayne or some shit with his “wanted dead or alive” bullshit and never did catch OBL.  Then Mr. You Did a Heckofajob there Brownie let New Orleans drown.  And then he presided over one of the worse economic collapses in the history of this country and did nothing.  I defy you to show me another single American who is responsible for more deaths than George Bush.  No one executed more prisoners and no one else started two wars without ever getting the guy they were …oh yeah we already went over that one.  St. Peter might bust a gusset laughing at Bush.  He’s not a good Christian and he wasn’t a good President.  Yeah, he’s stupid.  Don’t forget when he ran an oil company he couldn’t find oil in Texas.  Yeah, he’s stupid.  And we’re stupid for electing his dumb ass twice.  And if Texas is that damned great, move there.

Ah that feels better.  Naturally I think this guy is a total moron for putting that on his Facebook status.  That’s why you have websites that aren’t attached to your name.  Duh.

Count your blessings to find what you look for

It’s almost the end of May and somehow I made it.  I don’t really know how.  And I don’t really know what I did this month besides ride my bike.  I know there were three major events I had to deal with but I can only remember the Doberman Specialty in Vallejo.  How cute is Ike with the puppy?

We didn’t raise a ton of money but certainly enough to buy a couple of weeks worth of dog food for the rescue.

I would like to take a moment to complain about the weather.  Mt. Diablo ride -terrible gusts of wind ruin the descent keeping us to 17mph.  Morgan Territory -terrible gusts of wind keep our descent to 11mph.  Riders are blown off the road at that speed.  Pinehurst on Saturday -descent is ruined because it freaking rains!  Uh, it’s May 30th.  Enough!

I rescheduled my broker’s exam.  I just didn’t feel confident that I was going to pass it.  The jackhole DRE charged me $20 to reschedule the test online.  Really?  Like that cost you $20?  I’m really getting tired of getting it up the ass from the state.  Jerry can you hear me?  I know that’s not his fault, it’s the Governators fault.  Just imagine if this state knew about his little indescretion.  Granted we might have been stuck with Gray Davis, but then again we probably wouldn’t have mortgaged the state to the hilt either.  Just keeping it random real.

What I realized was my head wasn’t into “fee simple absolute” and “ad valorum taxes”.  And if Brown lives in his home and trades it to Smith in exchange for a home that Smith is renting out, can Brown defer the capital gain?  Helefino isn’t an answer.  I was thinking about not getting saddle sores and how long will it take to set up a tent if you haven’t done that ever, and getting the house clean and the right laundry done and how to pack a bag that only weights 40lbs.  We’re allowed 70lbs but I don’t want to haul 70lbs if I don’t have to.

I did set up my return trip.  I waited way too long to do it but it turned out for the better.  The best available hotel the Ride offered us was $99 per night, which is kind of a deal in LA.  For that I got the Westin LAX.  Then I started looking for a car company to rent a car to drive back in.  The best I could do for that was $200.  Add gas to that and I’m probably paying around $275-$300 to get home.  On a whim I looked at Southwest’s site and they had a 9am flight home for $79.  Book it Dano.  The Ride offers bike transport home for $85.  You just have to go to the Cow Palace to pick it up on Monday or Tuesday after the ride.  Done.  Now I did the whole thing for less than the car rental and I don’t have to drive 400 miles.  And I should have my happy ass planted on my own couch by noon on Sunday.    Winning.

Packing is the art form.  They suggest getting these 2.5 gallon ziploc bags from Target and breaking out everything by ride day if possible.  So that’s my plan.  I now have six bags (because on Day one I’ll be wearing that day’s gear) with the day marked on them.  I have been following the weather and I know the climbing, terrain and distance for each day.  I’ve packed Clif Shot Bloks, Sports Beans and Hammergels to coincide with what I should need on each day.  Day 3 is the hottest day of the ride and it features Quadbuster.  I don’t know exactly the route this time, but it looks like we’re going up the Pinnacles?  It’s not a terrible elevation change and I’ve heard it’s a little better than a mile long.  Here’s one of the old routes, they change it slightly every year.  Click that elevation button for some laughs.



While evil spirits haunt their sleep

As a child, my father used to tell us all these stories about his hometown and growing up.  There is a point where you think that every word your father utters is the absolute gospel.  And then there’s a point where you think he’s been just bullshitting you all along.  And then there’s a day where you realize that he was telling you the gospel truth the whole time.

He used to tell us this ghost story about a light up on the end of a road.  This light would appear at night and if you’d approach it, the light would disappear.  Supposedly there had been scientists out there and no one could explain the phenonomen.  I figured it was bullshit until one evening I’m flipping around on the television and there’s Robert Stack on Unsolved Mysteries talking about this light on this road in Joplin, MO.  They call it the “spook light“.

There’s another story that I didn’t hear for years.  Apparently my father had a job at the town stationary store.  He was supposed to go out and sell stationary to the towns people.  He was 16.  One day the local madame asked him for an appointment, she wanted to buy some stationary.  My dad went back to his boss and asked “What do I do?”  The reply “Sell the lady some stationary.”  So he did.  And the other ladies of the evening also bought stationary from my dad.  And then they’d call out to him on the street calling him Sweet Billy.

I’ve heard stories of Joplin Missouri as long as I can remember.  I’ve never made it down there.  Y’all know I want to get down there and help right now but I’m doing the AIDS ride in 11 days.  Eleven.  So I have to sit still and let other volunteers take care of this one.

My father’s one remaining sibling returned to Joplin many years ago.  She’s now 91 years old.  The Brother and I spent a goodly portion of Sunday night trying to figure out where the tornado went and if Aunt Rosa still had a home or not.  Or if we still had an Aunt Rosa.  I called the Fire Department and asked them to do a welfare check.  She’s 91 years old.  I didn’t feel bad about making that call.  If she were 36 I would have just waited to hear from her, but a frail old lady is a different story.  I called pretty early in the evening, a lot of news hadn’t trickled out yet.  The dispatcher was crying.  I didn’t take that as a good sign.  Later that evening we read that nearly 75% of the town was destroyed.

I got onto Twitter.  Facebook is facebook, but you have to invite people in.  Twitter is very dynamic in that anyone searching for a “key word” can see what you’ve said.  I asked Twitter if anyone in Joplin could go check on my elderly Aunt.  I got numerous responses and suggestions, but the best was from ABC News in New York.  The local anchor volunteered to call their affiliate and send someone over to her address to check on her.  That’s the good in people.  Now my Aunt is as right wing as they come and sending the media to her house might have been unforgivable, but the fact that a guy in New York took the time to write me and offer assistance, that’s what it’s really all about.

Monday morning my Aunt called, not really sure what the fuss was all about.  She pretty much missed the tornado.  She doesn’t have a television or a computer.  A neighbor took her out and drove her around so she could see the damage.  I think it’s bad enough that it isn’t registering in her mind.  At least on some level she understands how lucky she was.  And hopefully she’ll be nice to the fire boys when they finally get to that wel-check.

That’s great, it starts with an earthquake

Well, I’m still here.  Guess that rapture gig didn’t work out so good for Mr. Camping.  You gots a lot of splaining to do Lucy.  Let’s start with a few random Bible quotes.  Matthew 7:15. I don’t know what this New International Version is…let’s go with King James.

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Now a little twist to the New International Version:

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

It’s those damned evildoers again.  Hmmm.  Wonder why GWB got that shit? Checking in with 1 Thessalonians 5:2

1 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2 for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

Harold, let me help you out on this one.  It means when the Lord comes back, he’s not getting some poor shmuck to spend his $140,000 retirement to put up billboards for you.  There were an unbelievable 5500 billboards around the world proclaiming yesterday Judgment Day.  God doesn’t care about all your billboards along the I-80.  He does care about all of his creatures and killing them because you drank Harold’s Kool-Aid.  Bill, that’s a good way to get turned away, if you really read the good book and knew what it said.

Frankly the whole thing reminded me of Jonestown, home of the original Kool-Aid.  Jim Jones had the date wrong too and while his followers were true believers, when a charleton’s world come crashing down on them, deperate things happen.  Has anybody heard from Harold?  I mean the guy is 89 years old, that much stress and he might have met his maker last night at 6pm.  His own personal rapture.  The familyradio.com website has been crashed out for a couple of days.  Maybe that’s what he meant.  Lucky we have Cultwatch to help us out.  Here is their advice to Harold’s now left behind followers:

  1. Be prepared to accept that you are wrong. Many others have claimed to know the end of the world before now, and obviously they were wrong. They too misinterpreted Scripture, so if the rapture does not occur on the 21st of May 2011 then you will have joined their ranks. This will be a blow to your ego and some will find this failure very emotional. The best course of action is to prepare to be humble.
  2. Don’t let this failure destroy your faith. The Bible was not wrong, you just interpreted it incorrectly. Harold Camping and his complex string of assumptions and fact fiddling has failed you, God’s Word has not failed you.
  3. If you are not raptured on the 21st of May 2011, don’t panic. It is not because you are a bad Christian, it is because the date is wrong. You’ll find it hard to believe that something you held with such ardor and faith is erroneous, and so you will be prone to blame yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of self condemnation, read Romans 8:1. Remember also that it will be extremely obvious when Jesus Christ returns, like lightning across the whole sky, there is no chance that anybody will miss it, Luke 17:24.
  4. Before the 21st of May 2011 do not do any of these things: do not sell your house and give the money away, do not stop paying bills, do not say anything you will regret to friends and family, don’t quit your job, don’t leave your loved ones. Don’t do anything that will damage your life if the 21st of May 2011 proves not to be rapture day.
  5. Don’t harm yourself or others. Some people who were convinced the end was coming have committed suicide or even hurt or killed others. We at Cultwatch don’t believe any of Harold Camping’s followers would do this. But understand that this sort of thing has happened before, and so it is prudent to talk about this unlikely possibility. If you think you might react in this way to the failure of the 21st of May 2011 date, then you need to let people know now. Do not be alone on the 21st and 22nd of May 2011. If you think there is any risk of you harming yourself or others, then be bold enough to speak out now.

Yep.  Epic fail.

Well while the rapture was not occurring yesterday I was out turning a century on my trusted steed. I didn’t notice an earthquake or a lightening flash in the sky.

 


Yep. That’s 100. And then a little bit more. It was a pretty nice ride all and all. I had enough food with me and the SAG guys provided enough water. I had some problems with my feet and I’m going to reassess the settings on the new cleats to be sure they’re set properly on my shoes. My last set simply blew up. Apparently they’re only good for 5000 miles and I think mine did at least that. I’ve been riding on those for three years. They wouldn’t even go back together there were pieces missing.

One of the SAG guys gave me a banana and a ride leader gave me some cramping pills and my feet settled down to finish the ride. The lunch stop was the Jelly Belly Factory. Amazingly I’ve never been there. They were selling unbranded sports beans for 50 cents per bag. I think they helped the cramping in my feet too.

I keep my phone turned off when I’m riding because these smart phones will keep looking for towers while you’re riding. You can never look at a thing, never take a call and be out of power when you get back. I leave it off. Yesterday I fired it up to find I had an “urgent” message. When you have an 83yo mother, urgent messages send a shock through your heart when you see them. I frantically went through all the machinations that Verizon has you do to get your voice mail messages only to find out some bitch that speaks english with a mouth full of marbles was calling on one of my listings. Really? You ignorant slut. That house has been on the market for 280 days. There isn’t a goddamned thing urgent about that house, unless you thought yesterday was Judgment Day.

Yeah, that was a softball.

Welcome to my silly life

Hello Kittens!  Bonus drive by today.  It’s 16 days until the AIDS ride.  13 days until my broker’s exam and the day before I do a rescue presentation at the NorCal Doberman Pinscher Club’s Specialty in Vallejo.  The good news, I got a couple of buyers into their homes.  The bad news, I’ve barely cracked a book for the broker’s exam and that’s not going to bode well for me.  Somehow it looks like I’m going to get through this May after all.  God williing with my broker’s license.  But that’s the one that’s really worrying me.  Once I get through Saturday I’ll be banging the books until June 1.  Saturday is our last long ride before the AIDS ride and then it’s taper, which is good.  My body is exhausted.  I haven’t been on the sunny side of 4:30am for a month now.  I’m not sure why I’m up now.  I missed a workout yesterday just because.  No reason.  I just couldn’t.  So I didn’t.  I’m not missing cycling work outs.  I was out in the sideways rain on Tuesday.  Weightlifting I’ve given myself a break on.

Yesterday turned into an accidental day off.  I wasn’t completely off, but I sure as hell didn’t do much.  I had a closing and managed to get all of the disclosures to my transaction coordinator by about 5pm yesterday.  I went up to Mutt Lynch Winery, a great little family owned winery who does great things, Bubba got to go for that ride.  They donated a nice package for the silent auction at the show tomorrow, I went to pick it up.  Of the thousands all the wineries I asked, Mutt Lynch did not hesitate to step up and help Doberman Rescue.  They make some very nice juice, I’ve reviewed it here before.  Give them the nod, they’re the real deal.

I came back and wanted to work for the two hours before my haircut but Healdsburg is almost 2 hours each way.  I was beat and dozed off in my chair after lunch.  Except every time my phone got an email it said “Droid” and Ike lost his mind, which involved banging into my chair, trying to crawl under the chair and generally making himself über obnoxious.  Nap aborted I got Rita and headed for my haircut.  Rita was invited because the next stop was the vet.  The glop in her eyes had turned from the normal grey goop to wads of white and yellow ick.  Somehow they know when I get paid.  A c-note later she’s got antibiotics and her eyes are already clear this morning.

The final screw around of the day was some wine fueled jackassery.  About two weeks ago a friend of mine asked if I wanted to be involved in a Twitter Taste Live.  I said yes, but didn’t know if I’d be able to or not.  Little did I know this was a special invite and they SENT ME THE WINE!  UPS shows up on Monday with a bottle of Peter Lehmann Wines 2008 Barossa Shiraz.  I didn’t have to order it or pay for it.  So there’s your disclosure, somebody gave me this wine for free.  I don’t really know who.  That being said, I had to show up and drink it with them and tweet about it.  It always starts out serious with wine notes and then moves on to jackassery.  I will say this Shiraz was wild.  It’s a screw top, that’s ok.  Easier to close since I really don’t drink a whole bottle in a night.  Lots of chocolate on this one.  Others had chocolate in their house and they said it was very good with a 72% chocolate.  My original plan was to make a Farro risotto with asparagus and fava beans since my fava’s are ready to pick.  By 4pm when I still didn’t know where to find Farro, it had become apparent that the dish was to be saved for another day.  Sadly the pairing would have been amazing.  I still might try today to pick up some farro.  Back to the wine.  Tart plums on the front palate which became riper on the back palate.  Chocolate on the finish.  The winemaker, Ian Hongell participated from Australian and the whole thing was part of the thirstygirl project with Leslie Sbrocco.  You may have seen her on the Today show.  Or not. Anywho this Shiraz has a lot of high heat that calms with food.  It’s a lively wine with a lot going on in the glass.  Did I like this one?  You bet Shiraz!

Just have your party on TV

Let the jackassery begin!

First up, last week’s training ride.


Don’t forget to click the “view elevation” button for more entertainment. How much did this suck? Well, it shouldn’t have. I really enjoy Morgan Territory for some sick reason. Good climbing, but the descent is a big sloppy reward with a cherry on top. It’s smooth, scenic if you look up, well banked and a lot of fun. Unless the wind is gusting freaking 40mph and you have to grab the brakes all the way down. The second hard climb in as many weeks where the descent was ruined by wind. I would like to file a complaint. Yes I would. Yeah, there’s a Cat 5 hill in there. I’m getting so those are the only ones I notice. At one point the grade is 17%, according to my pals with altimeters. That’s wicked steep. The other annoying thing about this ride was that there was some sort of dedication for a park supervisor who had passed away a few years ago. They were shuttling people to the service or dedication or whatever the event was in big East Bay Park vans on this little one lane road we were trying to climb. I googled the guy, he was a friend to Mt. Diablo and deserved to be honored for sure. I could have done without the Ford Econolines on that little road. With the 17% grade. Just saying.

That being said, I’m about $260 bucks away from my goal. (I have some checks that I’ve sent in that don’t show up on the page.) How about just a little tiny bit more to kick this over the top. Like $10? Anyone got $10? Thanks!

And the AIDS ride is why PBE has been so sporadic as of late. Nine hours in the saddle on Saturday, another two on Sunday, two today and two on Thursday. There just isn’t enough hours in the day. I should be getting in the shower right now for a marketing meeting but I decided that I didn’t need to attend the meeting. I’ll go preview properties later on today. They’ll be open whether I go to the meeting or not. Because all of you gentle PBE readers deserve some jackassery this morning.

So on the subject of jackassery, I give you the Governator. At least he wasn’t sitting in Sacramento telling everyone else what to do while he was banging the maid a staffer. He’s always been good about staying out of personal liberties. Are you there? Boehner?

Speaking of lunkheads and looney tunes, you know I can’t leave this one alone. May 21st we will be heading out for the last training ride for the AIDS Lifecycle, it will be 100 miles. It seems to be fitting to me since May 21st is apparently Judgement Day. Who knew? Why Harold Camping did. Harold has clearly been sipping on the Jonestown Kool-Aid, which has brought him to believe that on Saturday there will be a horrific earthquake that will shake the whole earth and then comes the Rapture.

Fab Five Freddy and all. (Watch me resist temptation to run off on a tangent right here.) I wonder what old Harold is going to do on May 22 when he’s still there and so are all the idiots who gave him money to put up the billboards all over Oakland. And CNN and everything else. Harold is the founder of Family Radio, a Christian radio network. People listen to this idiot. It may be Harold’s personal Judgement Day, he’s 89 years old. At that age you pretty much have one foot on a banana peel anyway. Every where else when an old guy blathers on they call this dementia. Be the president of Family Radio and it’s an end times prediction. No disrespect to normal old people who wish somebody would get Truman out of the White House. This jackassery has spawned more jackassery. There are now Facebook Rapture After Parties and the latest Post Rapture Looting Party. OK I can’t resist, that Blondie video features cameos by Fab Five Freddy and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Which gets us back to my tangent.

I’ve been on a documentary kick. The latest have included Radiant Child and The Universe of Keith Haring. And a few others about street art jumping off of the buildings and into art galleries. They all knew each other back then, along with Deborah Harry and Madonna and Grace Jones, it must have been amazing to be in New York then. If you were one of the cool kids. The Keith Haring documentary talked about his involvement in ACT-UP. I always hated ACT-UP, I thought they were way too “in your face” and they made me uncomfortable. Well, the reality of the situation was that no real research was being funded, people were dying and our President hadn’t uttered the word “AIDS” in public. Radical action was needed. I wonder where we would be if Reagan had understood what AIDS was and what it meant to the world. Would it be a pandemic today? I kind of think they are going to ultimately find out that the virus has existed since the beginning of time and a combination of antibiotics and evolution mutated it to what it is today. Unless Saturday is Judgement Day in which case all bets are off. There’s my tin foil cap theory of the day. Anyway, if the world didn’t have a massive earthquake and shake our asses off it back then, I really doubt we’re doomed this Saturday. I’ll be at the after party.

Pace yourself for me

I know, I still suck.  It takes a lot of time to train for the AIDS ride.  Trust me on that.  I was in the saddle from 6:30am until 5pm on Saturday.  And I’d like to take a minute to bitch about that ride.


There’s a Cat 5 and a Cat 2 climb in there. The Cat 5 I didn’t even notice. I assume it’s the one on San Pablo Road before it turned into or maybe just after it turned into Carquinez Scenic Road. It wasn’t that bad. We road through Orinda, El Sobrante, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond, Crockett, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, Danville, Alamo, Lafayette and back to Orinda. We had several scheduled stops; a place called Flippy’s was the first stop, then Peet’s in the shopping center next to Heather Farms where everybody got lunch from Kinder’s, and finally the Lunardi’s in Danville, where everybody looked a lot like meat on a slab and then back to Orinda BART.

Mt Diablo has never been so unkind. The ascent always sucks, but the reward is the decent. I’ve learned that it takes a lot longer for a Clydesdale to get up a mountain so it’s important to be a skilled descender to make up for the plodding up a hill. I’ve also learned that some of the skill set used in performance driving, like staying on the gas and the brake going into a curve, pays off descending. I also went to a descending clinic so I know where the line is for me and am careful to not cross it.

I’ve never climbed Mt. Diablo going from North Gate to South Gate, I always go South Gate to North Gate. Climbing North Gate looked a lot differently going up than it does going down. I guess 4mph you see a lot more than you do at 40mph. I knew the South Gate side had few rises going down because going up there were few breaks. I was excited to leave the junction only to find out that the 20mph wind that we fought all the way up was gusting every different direction on the South side of the mountain and it was scary as hell. And I had to break and descend at around 17mph just to keep it safe. Crashing on Mt. Diablo can be very bad. Like dead bad. I’ve learned over the years to always be ready to meet your maker and don’t leave things unraveled, but I wasn’t ready for the meeting on Saturday. By the time we were at the bottom my hands were cramped from braking all the way down. But it was better than dying. On Saturday.

What amazes me is that the training program I’m doing requires you to get back out and do two hours the very next day after a ride like that. Yesterday, just like the previous three Sundays I got back out on my bike and did my two hours. Yesterday I thought about how labored my pedal stroke was and how tired I was and wondered what I could do in the next 28 days to get past that. I guess the answer is ride harder. 545 miles is a long freaking way and I’m starting to get a little scared. I also realized that I’m going to need a little equipment that I don’t own. Like a sleeping bag. And a pad of sorts. Hello Ebay.

I just finally read through the AIDS/Lifecycle website too. 28 days out and I’m just now figuring out what this all entails beyond putting my ass on a bike and riding to LA. Little things like getting home from LA. How much shit actually adds up to 70lbs, which is my allowable amount of gear. Do I really want to hump 70lbs of gear after riding 116 miles to my campsite? Why didn’t I make enough money this year so I could do the Princess version. While it’s not mentioned on the website, many riders don’t actually camp. They know all the hotels next to the campsites and stay there. I can’t afford to do that and I suspect I’m going to be pretty pissed at myself by Day 3. There are probably more than a few guys like Aaron. He is this ridiculously handsome man who has been doing the same team training rides as I have. He is probably in his 40’s. He looks Creole to me, really too handsome for words. And one of the nicest most supportive people I’ve met on this adventure and that’s saying alot because everybody is really nice and supportive. Oh yeah and a really good cyclist. His partner follows the ride with an RV. Not quite Princess but definitely building a better widget. He’s got some itty bitty solar panels so he can track his ride on his smartphone while he rides. Or at least that’s his current plan. Cool dude. I’ll be happy if I have clean underwear when I get into camp. And a sleeping pad. And my bag only weighs 35lbs. That would be cool.

My fundraising is getting close. I need another $935 and I’m done. The emails will be going out hopefully today. I really appreciate all of the support I’ve gotten from PBE readers, and the fact that you bear with me when I’ve been too busy and tired to write. If you can spare another $10 or $20 or if you’ve been meaning to donate and just haven’t had the time, how about now? Is now good?

Give me 40 acres and I’ll turn this rig around

Seems like it was a great week to be Obama.  First he hands Trump his lunch and then he brings Osama Bin Laden in on a slab.  And in the middle, he showed up in Alabama where the State got it’s ass kicked by tornados.  Heck of a job there Brownie wouldn’t have made it down there for another week.  He’s begining to sound like a Colt McCoy joke.  I wish I could remember one right now, but the essence is that Colt McCoy is super human.  One voice we didn’t hear yesterday, Mr. Wanted Dead or Alive useless cowboy.

I’m not too comfortable with the rejoicing over his death.  Rejoicing over anyone’s death makes me itch.  Not that I don’t think he deserves it.  If anyone deserved a cap in his ass it was that guy.  Live by the sword and all.  Or as they USMC says “It’s God’s job to forgive bin Laden, It’s our job to arrange the meeting.”  Funny and all, but if you read the Bible, it’s all of our jobs to forgive.  That’s what’s wrong with this country, we don’t know what it actually says but we’re spouting off about it all the time.  But rejoicing over someone’s death just seems immoral to me. I’m glad he went down on Obama’s watch and not GWB.  I don’t think I could have stomached his Snidely Whiplash guffaws over the death of another.  No matter how despicable the character, death is just one of those things that should be handled with reverence.  Any other response and we have to ask ourselves what kind of barbarians have we become.

The Special Forces handled his body in accordance with Muslim tradition and now the conspiracy theorists can strap on their tin foil caps and have at it.  Even with the DNA evidence there’s no way this one is going to go uncontested by the wing nuts.  Apparently he is unrecognizable because SF blew his head off.  Ergo Obama has announced this simply to boost his poll numbers.  Mark my words.

Anywho, the Mitt Romney reference at the correspondents dinner was not lost on me.  He did bring universal health care to Massachusetts.  As time passes, I’m certain that I am right, it will be apparent that he should have shoved it down the Republicans throats when he could.  Of course I’m not sure what they’re going to talk about now that he’s produced his birth certificate, killed Osama bin Laden and formed a commission the look into BP’s handling of the Gulf Oil spill.  Or does that commission fall under the category of big government and we should just let an oil company destroy our environment and poison the sea life and ultimately food chain in the gulf?  Are you starting to figure out what a mess this country is in because of oil?

This little chart is all over the internet.  This little chart by the American Petroleum Institute.  No bias there.

Gasoline-Tax-Map

It complete with captioning that poor long suffering Exxon, you know the same assholes that drove the Valdez into a reef and ruined the Alaskan environment for years and years, made only $.02 per gallon on gasoline.  Poor Exxon.  And the big bad Government made, well depending on what state you live in as much as $.66.1 per gallon by the trainwreck of a state I live in.   (NY and Hawaii are right behind us)  In 2009 Exxon received a $156 million rebate from the IRS and paid any federal taxes.  Nice work if you can get it.  All with $.02 per gallon, if you believe the American Petroleum Institute.  All these Right winged monkey assholes think it’s the government’s fault that gasoline is so expensive right now.  No.  Idiot.  It’s the commodities market.  The tax did not go up $.50 in the last two months.  Oh the commodities market?  Yeah, that’s in Chicago.  It’s not the same licensing as the stock market.  The stock market requires a Series 7 and a Series 66.  The commodities market is a Series 31.  And oh yeah, I was licensed to do that too.  What does this mean?  More Wall Street assholes are making money on the backs of average Americans and once again we’re too stupid to blame the right people.  Need some insight as to how these twits behave?  Go watch the Enron movie.  Same guys doing it to the American public in a different arena.