Sunday, June 29, 2014

Day 178, Race Day

I could have done better.

I made some errors. Mistakes I have made in the past and thought them behind me.

It isn't that I was unprepared, I just got rushed a little and squeezed some.

Sasha's beautiful BMW GS 850 was new, shiny, gleaming and quiet. But I was cramped a little trying to steady the Fig-Rig and its cargo, a pair of Canons (photo above). They were heavy and almost immediately I knew we were in for a long day. 112 miles worth, probably close to 5 hours.

Something had to give as I couldn't manage all four devices (two cams and two Garmin 305s) and stay steady and safe. So I tucked one Garmin in my front pocket and snapped the other to the rig where I could at least monitor one.

By mile 60 I was in agony. Back stretched, arms afire and focus fading fast.

Hold on cowboy.

By mile 80 I was toast. But I was not going to quit. Hang in there Bubba we're right around the corner, in another hour you can stand and stretch, but for right now, you need to bring your endurance game and stay present. We practice this a lot. Now is the time to put it into effect. Press the button.

By 100 I was edgy, losing patience with the way Sasha was pacing. He was asking for direction and I couldn't bridge the communication gap. He needed direction and I had nothing constructive to offer. I was tired, suffering and I needed him to get us back, not fast, but strong. I tried to yell this into the headwind but failed, twice. Finally, with a pat on his right shoulder, I managed a weak, "Doing fine, roll her in steady." And that was that.

We needed a solid finish up the ramp and into T2. A dramatic end will always lesson some of the anguish of the middle.

4:40:04 and we were back parked by the BIKE IN banner. Great job Sasha!

I have suggested it before and I will echo once again, SHOOTING an Ironman can be just as hard as DOING one.

At least I don't have to swim.

Still, I could have done better.

I will. Next time.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 177

The night before an Ironman is a tough sleep.

The lists get revisited a million times.

Do I have everything?

Is my game plan solid? Nutrition nailed?

Is there anything more I can do make sure my goals are met?

Racing, directing, volunteering, filming; It is all the same.

You have a job to do. A demanding job. A demanding job that may take 16 straight hours of focused work to accomplish.

Not everything will go according to plan. At one point or another (usually in  the worse possible place) chaos will force all semblance of reality to spin uncontrollably to a painful halt. There might be blood. Children will cry and women will avert their eyes. The dogs have already gone home.

Yet these are the chances we take. This is our proving ground. The experienced among us know this and calm themselves to a zen-like state of hyper awareness and focused relaxation.

Most just close their eyes and panic, maybe say a quick prayer.

The best advice I could ever loan a newbie triathlete one day prior to their inaugural 140.6 is this:

Get some rest.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 176

In 1978 I was working heavy construction on the Chief Joseph Dam in Bridgeport, Washington. Creating cheap power and irrigation for thousands. Maybe millions.

We had a rustic and heavenly 15 acres on the Methow River. It was a magical period of time.

With the exception that I was a jerk of a husband.

Long story shortened to fit this space, we sold the ranch and moved back to my wife's hometown. Which just happened to be about two miles from MY hometown.

I got to play drums in my brothers Country Rock outfit and play some softball with my college buddies, but other than that I was miserable.

So caught a one-way from LA back to Seattle on the day that Mt. St. Helens erupted, which pretty much mirrored the state of my emotions after the final separation. The marriage erupted with as much magma and ash fallout as the volcano.

But '78 was a good year.

Also the year that the inaugural Ironman was held in Hawaii. Gordon Haller won it. I would have won it with my PR had I been racing IMs instead of building dams at the time.

Ran into Fran Day and Ton Knoll today at the Challenge AC expo. These two DID the first IM. Frank is the inventor of Powercranks and Tom has written a book on that big first time event.

The photo above is the trophy from that 140.6 mile trailblaze. There are 11 in existence.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 175

The case for authenticity sought validation today.

There was weirdness. There was challenge. There was dirt under fingernails and a chance at redemption.

I saw hopelessness and despair. I witnessed excess and ego. The two don't like each other much, and when they meet in the banal reality of life, interesting sparks fly.

Like, I'll buy the entertainment but you have to pay me to watch.

Like, we don't want fireworks, we want jobs.

Like, OK I'll give you a job, but not a living wage.

Like, fuck you.

You can be authentic or you can be a fraud.

Doesn't really matter.

We'll get by. You just make it harder.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 174, Do AC

Every town has an attitude. We know about New York, LA, SF, NOLA and Cleveland. Seattle only has one when one of our teams wins big. Until the Super Bowl of 2015, we have a HUGE attitude. Heck, even Eugene has one.

I found out today what type of 'tude Atlantic City claims.


Rude, but not unexpectedly so.

Not better or worse, just different.

We'll know more tomorrow.

I will try to do a day in AC with an empty cup.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 173

The Out 'n Back, what a concept! Leaving the security and familiarity of our homes to intrepidly venture into the unknown, and triumphantly return.

Let the adventures begin!

"There and Back", remember was the subtitle to Mr Tolkien's epic fantasy.

There should be a chase scene or two. Massive, non-stop conflict, impossible challenge, despair and a dramatic moment of two when the hero emerges to save the day. Helps to have queen in there as well, this to balance the emotions, fore as we know all blood and guts makes Johnny (or Frodo) a dull boy (or Hobbit).

Perhaps without recognition, we do this every day. Consider the morning ritual, the commute, the long days at the office or job site, and finally the retun to the castle for rest, recovery and distraction. A roaring fire under a beast turning on a spit as our queen and prodigy offer loving gratitude and support for another day fending barbarians from the gates.

Or the sporting equivalent, the race. Start, go, hit the turnaround and haul ass back.

What a terrific metaphor.

Lessons on parade.

Out & Back.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 172

You can't out-train a bad diet. Not even in spin class (photo of Pedal Hard in Austin, TX).


You have a metabolism like a hummingbird.

Let's take a quick look at our readership demographics as provided by our talented and hardworking marketing department, shall we?

Percentage of total readership:

Adolescents (16-20): 0%
Hummingbirds: 0%

It is instantly apparent that the demographic we are most concerned with (care most about and speak of often), is closer to this:

40-50 with slowing metabolism and desperately trying to find the balance that was once taken for granted.

You know what I am saying.

The example I used this morning, the one about my college diet of bean burritos and beer, was OK (barely) when I was 19. If I tried it today, I would quickly be the Sumo in the saddle.

It is semantics to a degree, cliched and trite. But true.

You cannot out-train a bad diet. Further, we:

Fuel vice diet, train vice exercise and employ the singular most important element of success with this dynamic combination:

We make it a healthy lifestyle choice. We do it often.

We show up.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day 171

Tried to get it done early. Promised to be a nice summer morning and I wanted to get in an LSD run, or my sober equivalent thereof.

Not to be. Just wasn't gonna happen. Early anyway.

Too any details in preparation for the upcoming weekend.

At nine I was already four hours into the effort and decided I needed a break.

Laced 'em up and took off.

Not too bad on an all new exploratory course, thru the woods and along the beach, then a long slug-fest back.

Just under an hour.

The first 45 were OK and then last quarter hurt a little. Same old spot. Where is my foam roller?

Went back to work and just now wrapping up. The new stand-up desk has its limitations.

I guess 15 hours on Sunday is the new normal.

Could be worse. It could be without pay. Or I could be a logger in the 50' riddin 50 miles to work one-way on a fixie.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 170

Several new developments are finally about to debut. This, after months, and in a few cases, years, of work. The business world calls this R&D. I call it trail and error.

The only difference is in the budget that sustains the research. When your budget is less than your FTP, you have to search for alternatives. You have to get creative, You have to see value in things that were designed and produced for other uses.

A PVC pipe becomes a mono-pod. A 1/4 x 20 threaded rod the vital connector between ball and socket. A Hollywood codec the only one that renders final product to appear as if shot there.

And, most importantly, an attitude that leaps the chasm from failure to success. This, I have found, to be the attitude of perseverance.

You simply must stay with it.


It is the same principal we use to qualify for Boston, finish an Ironman, or complete a project. In each there will come a time when you will be tested. Your commitment, your ability to keep a focus, your skill to improvise.


It doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be.

And from there, we have a prayer. We can add the polishing touches, test some more and maybe, one sweet day….

…witness the result we have waited for, worked towards and held in our hearts and souls as something of value.

Such a sweet day.

(Or is it just the first day of Summer?)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Day 169, Wow.

I thought about calling for the SAG many times in the last three miles.

Something happened around mile 15 and my heart, lungs, head and fuel system reacted in a less than perfect (less than normal) fashion.

But we were so close.

I have done this ride many times.

This was by far the most demanding.

You tell me why.


I analyzed the big picture and set to keeping it steady. It wasn't a race, merely a ride with friends. I was leading the way on their virgin trek up the legendary hill. It was cold. We never got rained on, but the wind occasionally blew chills inside our layers. I needed to keep focus and spin it up. After all I was the guide.

But there was something going on. My heart was doing stand-up comedy as the audience sat and painfully indulged. My line was blurred and jagged, breathing erratic and power just above serviceable. I was starting to fade. And fast.

We rounded the final corner and saw the clearing that was cut by sunrays through the low hanging cloud cover.

And I knew we were done.

At the top.

I dismounted and stood by my bike and took a deep alpine breath, looked at the Cascades with plenty of snow still perfect and packed, and whispered to no one but myself:


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 168, The Fun Begins

Q: Are you an athlete?

A: If you are reading this I will assume that there is a body attached to the eyes and brain you are using right now to read and comprehend this.

So yes, if you have a body, you are an athlete. You may not be competing at the professional level, or compete at all, but you have the classification of athlete if you own the package we call The Motor.

The Motor moves us. With grace or without. With speed or like a snail. With power or not. With endurance or short term. Makes little difference, you got it.

Q: What do I do with it?

A: Use it.

Get out and do. Walk to the store. Swim at the local pond or pool. Ride your long neglected bike. Dance. Attend a yoga, tai chi, zumba, spin class. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED by those who have simply been doing it longer than you. They (most of them) will applaud your courageous decision to start and support you along your quest to continue.

That is what we do. It is our version of giving back. We got your back.

You don't have to be fast. You don't need to be ripped. It isn't a prerequisite to have some silly metric attached to your name like numerical alphabet soup.

You simply have to show up. Start.

Q: And then what?

A: Keep going.

Until the glorious day when you get the cosmic neurological message that suggests this: You are an athlete.

Q: What happens then?

A: The fun begins.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 167, Return of the Slug

Back off some. Relax.

There is more than one way to achieve the objective and just because you have an opinion on one way doesn't mean that those offering others are wrong.

They are simply different.

Can you win the debate without insulting others?

Can you afford to go full-on independent and absorb the total cost of the project?

Is this worth fighting for?

Is it all ego?

Back off some and relax.

Be objective and be a professional.

Nobody cares how you feel, they want results.

Don't be a slug.

Play nice and make some cookies.

Then go out and kick ass.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 166

At what point does opinion intersect with fact? How does ego and bias affect the truth? Are perceptions reality? Additionally, how does one differentiate between the two? What tools are available to assist and improve?

Does this interest you as much as it does me?

Today (Day 166 of our bobble-headed noble experiment) we begin a new multi-part series on this fascinating subject. Let's get out of the gate.

How we get our data.

It is relentless and everywhere. On some days the sound of a fluttering maple leaf on its way to decomposition has ten times the subliminal sensory value as hearing the lies associated with the price of corn. That is for starters. The list is truly endless and points us to the conclusion that….

We must be vigilant in what we absorb as truth, and this starts with who we get the data from.

I will guarantee that even the smartest TV talking head has an agenda as imposed by the conglomerate ownership of the station. It is neither fair nor balanced. By its very nature it can't be. They want your attention to manufacture consent and then they want your loyalty to whatever brand happens to be paying for it that day.

The maple leaf asks nothing. Nor the mountain.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 165

Dunno, maybe this is weird, or maybe just coincidence. I am reading two books at once, and they couldn't be more opposite. Try these out for size:

Elmore Leonard's Tishomingo Blues against Patrick O'Brian's Post Captain.

Its like Chili Palmer meets Captain Jack Aubrey in Biloxi on Fat Tuesday.

Somebody is goin' down.

Maybe because there ain't room enough in this one-horse brain for the two of 'em (us).

Here is my take: The seedier the characters (Leonard wins hands down) the easier the read. The more character the protagonists bring to the story the more detail we get (O'Brian is master & commander here).

I remain torn between the two worlds.

I like down & dirty. I also like the microscopic inspection of motivation and movement. What makes them tick?

Or is it all about the story?


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Day 164

At left is the latest element of the the latest campaign. These info cards will be handed out along with product samples at many of the events I will be filming this summer. They also announce the promotion by calling attention to the specials, the grand prize and the vehicle which will be my 'rolling logo' wherever I travel.

First stop is Atlantic City in two weeks.

Feel free to visit the site: for more info.

I have been using the product for about three months now and like it a lot. Even the chocolate.

Of course I am ineligible (as is my family) to win the grand prize. but that won't stop me from having a ton of training, racing and recovery fun.

Nor should it stop you.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day 163, DYB

Coined a new one today. Another acronym (sorry).

But I think it helps. I know it helps me.


Do Your Best.

Often and always.

Whatever it is, swimming, spinning, sprinting, sleeping.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 162, Dawgs

8.30 VS Hawaii   TBD
9.6   VS Eastern    Madison, WI
9.13 VS Illinois    TBD
9.20 VS Georgia St    Tahoe
9,27 VS Stanford    Augusta, GA
10.11 VS Cal     Kona
10.18 VS Oregon    TBD
10.25 VS ASU    TBD
11.1 VS Colorado    Florida
11.15 VS Arizona    Arizona
11.22 VS OSU    TBD
11.29 VS WSU    TBD

Analysis: I am on the road filming for six games.
TBD for six others.
My way too early prediction: 10-2!!!! 
I am in Arizona for the Arizona game on Nov. 15.


Go Dawgs.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 161

Today was a recovery run. I remain stiff from Sunday's race, even though we have done several sessions since. I have lingering soreness on my left side, most likely further irritation and inflammation from my old piriformis issue. As I was running it out, a thought popped up between footstrikes like a tom-tom fill. Yes I was running to the beat of my own drummer again.

Went something like this:

What am I an expert at?

Swimming? HA.
Biking? I know a little but I am no expert.
Running? Well, I am doing it right now, so what defines expertise more than actually performing the act in the hope of improvement? (splash cymbal)
Training? Hummm, maybe. If my theories are correct the most important components are consistency, dedication and discipline. I score very high on those.
Nutrition? It is an on-going experiment.
Hydration? See above. (roto toms)

I decided to skip the areas not related to training and testing to spare myself unnecessary flagellation.

So what then? Is there something in which I have attained expert status?


I am an expert at happiness. I know what it is, I know what it takes, I know what it isn't and I know where it is found.

I will settle for being a Jack of all Trades on all of the above to be a Master of Happiness.

The timpani roll sounds like thunder.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 160

A long hard day. I like 'em that way. There was effort and there was attitude. If I can keep this up for just a little while longer I think we might turn the corner.

I have no idea of what awaits around that corner.

But I am anxious to find out.

I was told this morning after our monster morning spin set that I should take a dose of my own medicine and get some healthy rest and recover some.

So I got in a 45 minute power nap and joined the boys in the PB for an evening 2x20 set which felt really good. I mean REALLY good.

Now it is time for the real sleep deal.

I am satisfied and content.

I will dream of more hard days and longer tests of stamina.

The corner awaits.

I think there is something waiting there for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 159

There are three things I must get done today.

Just three.

So I plan my workouts and commitments around them.

It is critical that I schedule the time, the resources and the focus to accomplish the objective.

Distractions are removed.

Coffee is made.

Breaths are taken deep, relaxation initiated.

The creative power of the cosmos is invited to partake.

I have the stress of a deadline and the fear of failure.

These motivate me further.

I want this to be good.

But it will never be anything unless I begin. Just like finishing an Ironman.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 158, four alarms

My left side is on fire. Piriformis behind, hip flexor up front. Yesterday it was OK, even after the race and subsequent four hour drive home. It is unequally the drive, sitting prone after a hard three-hour event that causes the stiffness, soreness and inflammation.

Our 0530 spin class probably didn't help the recovery process much.

At noon it was hot.
Three was red hot.
Five was scorching.

I opted out of our evening 2x20 set and now face the hope that a decent nights rest will satisfy a return to balance.

I would gulp some ibu but the docs have indicated that it interferes with the warfarin blood thinner, so I will try my best to find the horizontal sweet spot and dream sweet dreams of my next gal friend being a masseuse.

Or saloon owner. Or fire fighter.

Cause we got four alarms tonight.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day 157, A Silver at Blue Lake

Got to race today. First time in almost two years. I was a bit apprehensive. 'Take it Easy' was on heavy rotation upstairs, blaring a country-rock warning.

While the first nine waves starting their day I finally came up with the game plan.

Swim with great emphasis on feel. You will not win it, nor do you need to, in the water. A more factual 'no duh', possibly has never been uttered.

Bike. Do your thing. BUT…

Run. Save a little. You haven't run a 10K since last October, and that hurt a lot.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly. DO NOT:

Get pissed because you get passed by those of your peers that are older, heavier, or of the opposite sex.

You are not here to prove anything to anybody today, other than to yourself that you can still do this, and that you receive great joy from the doing.

So please Superman, check your cape at the gate. (And should that 88 year old fat lady sing to you as she smokes you on the run - DO NOT RETALIATE!)

And so it unfolded. I had my usual horrible swim, but made it through ironically in about the same time that I normally do, despite the fact that I haven't swam since my last race, August of 2012.

My ride was OK, I passed a lot of people with minimal effort, I was riding my road bike. My left piriformis hurt but it was manageable. Lower back stiff, but nothing serious.

The run start was dicey. Took me a mile to get loose. But then I checked into cruise mode and before I knew it I was battling a 29 year old down the home-stretch on the final approach. Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.

It was just as much fun as I remembered from the last time I raced here eleven years ago.

I took a fourth that day and was in ten times better shape.

I took a second today.

Guess I shoudda gone harder. I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 156, Dupe of the Year!

How many levels of WRONG can you find in this disgusting (but brilliant) video shill from the billionaires at Coke who have duped us into believing that sugar and water is a magical elixir?

As a videographer, a pitch-man, a cyclist, a health conscious-freedom-loving-vegetarian with an deep appreciation for the art of influence, I find it an outrageous oxymoron of our modern society; Able to disgust with delight.

As a consumer (not of Coke) I have but a single question:


If there is a God, please allow the backlash to begin, with biblical proportion. And then some.

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day 155

Those of you that live where the sun shines most of the time have no idea.

In the Pacific Northwest we see the world through gray tinted glasses. It is cloudy the same number of days that Vegas boasts of sunshine.

It is moist often. This maintains a verdant glow of green to rival Ireland. We wear fleece, drink coffee and steadfastly go about our business regardless. We have been called the Switzerland of the US. I think it is more like Scotland, where gumption abounds. There is a hardiness that calms.

Over the past thirty years I have grown accustomed to the myriad forms of rain, sleet, snow, drizzle, hail and relentless days of diffused light and partly cloudy weeks. Sometimes months.

Usually about April we start to mention it among ourselves. Wet whippers among the inner sanctum. The better off head to Maui or Tempe for a couple of weeks. Everyone else finishers the book, makes another round of cheer breathing deep into the memory of summers past.

They will be here again and we will all get some long needed vitamin D any day now. Well.

Today was the day.


Don't tell anyone from California. There would be ten bazillion people here if every day was like today. Don't say anything on FaceBook. Do not tweet about it. If you are going to blog please PLEASE have a readership less than mine (difficult, but not impossible).

God it was a beautiful day.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Day 154, Fuck yes!

These thoughts come and go. I let them. I try to hold on and ponder their depths, but they quickly dart from consciousness like a hummingbird from a sugar-loaded feeder. Here…gone. What was that?

It was a hummingbird. It was a rose. It was a memory. It was a smell.

I remember when the memories weren't so dynamic. It was just last week.

Now they have been gone for years.

And I miss the moment of doing. And I want it back.

I want roses in December.

I want the hummingbirds to move in.

I want the feeling of tension in my gut as the race is about to start. I want the endorphin flow of passion and love.


Not the memory of the way it once was. I want it new, exciting and fresh. I want the giddiness and the goofiness, the giggles and grins.

I am tired of the solemnity of dealing with my irregular heart rate, the fact that I could stroke out at any moment. That this day of this year could very well end up being the last four digits on my to-from years. I have been hanging around for more than six decades now. That is a lot of time.

Have I used it well? Am I satisfied? Have I prepared well for retirement?


I have squandered it away like Monopoly money.

Have I had fun?


Am I happy?

Yes again.

Was the immediate gratification worth the disaster I am about to face, being broke into the 'golden years'?

Know what? We'll see.

I kinda like the challenge.

That was the thought that blew past as I sat on the beach at sunset and finished a terrific novel of love, life and lies.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 153

My back hurts. It has been a long day. The early morning 0530 Super Eights kicked my ass. Had to visit the hospital for pre-anestesia  screening and anti-coagulation session, a two hour each way commute. Walked the dog twice. Did a 3x brick consisting of a 5 mile CompuTrainer ride, a one mile super hilly run repeated three times.

Sampled one of our home-made IPAs on the ride home.

Now I need some sleep.

Is that too much to ask?

I promise I will author something of literary value tomorrow.

Or die trying.

I was asked during the screening about my exercise. I looked deep into the RN's eyes and asked, 'have you ever gone as hard as you could at ANYTHING for 30 seconds?'. She thought for a moment before answering, 'no'.

We did eight times this morning and I am racing tonight.

DO YOU GET IT? Does that answer your question?

This is what I do. Please help me.

Or get the fuck out of the way.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 152

The debate rages onward.

I made the casual remark last night in the PB suggesting that the 30% of our population overweight would find the going easier if they all had a goal.

Like a race.

A BIG RED CIRCLE on the calendar.

Because we work backwards from there to ensure our race day preparedness.

I believe this to be crucial in the obtainment of goals, race times, PRs or simply staying motivated, fit and engaged. If there is something of value that I desire, I will do whatever necessary to put myself in the best possible position to succeed. Further, if it is a race goal, that means the backup starts now and includes every day.

Ditch the cheeseburgers and potato chips. Lose the Oreos and popcorn. Donuts and chocolate eclairs? See ya.

Sleep is better, nutrition is cleaner and stress managed more efficiently with a clear, precise goal constantly dangling off your visor.

So where is the debate?

In the concept that spontaneity and living for the moment trump any long range goal. That freedom contains a component of ad-lib and creation. That our mantra of living in the present moment excludes worrying about the future.

All good. BUT…..

Having a wholesome and challenging long term goal provides stability and hope. It forces you into an examination of your every move. It illustrates the value of the routine. I am here to suggest that much like the yin and the yang, one cannot have one without the other.

One's dedication to the goal, to the process, to the path of continual improvement, keeps us on the road to BOTH immediate gratification in the form of a relaxed focus in the present moment AND keeps an eye on the future goal that we are working to obtain.

Sure makes it easier for me to visualize myself on race day a mile from the finish line and feeling good, as today I slug out a particularly gnarly set of hill repeats.

The road is the goal. Indeed. Same way that the goal is the road.

Have one. And light out to achieve it.

One step at a time.

No debate.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day 151

The only way you get to quit is to ring the bell.

The bell lets everybody know you quit.

They know your choice. Because it affects them also.

Ring that bell and you may leave.

And you may never return.

The choice is totally yours.

Of course you may be successful at other endeavors.

But not this one.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day 150, Cheers!

Holy Macaroni. It is June 1. Worse (glass half empty) it is 2014.

I woke up this morning with a few not-so-gentle reminders that the above metrics officially label me 'old'. As in able to collect some Social Security, get breakfast discounts at Denny's (nothing more than a reduction in portion) and a small price reduction on ferry fares. Where I have been rehearsing my pitiful announcement to the gate attendant with a concise, 'One senior to Bainbridge please'.

Gas is back to $4/gal. America is numb. Fifty bucks to fill the tank? For freedom? The price we pay to get to and from the job? To take the kids to the beach on Saturday, and to lacrosse practice after school?

Or because we have grown accustomed to the convenience?

Or because we have are conditioned?

Because it is just too easy to hop in the Toyota (nice try UAW to get us to buy American crap) and speed to the Safeway for more Diet Pepsi?

The hypocrisy of this I have not lost in the jungle of my psyche. I know i should ride my bike more. I drove 100 miles yesterday to ride up a hill, have my picture snapped by two Japanese tourists wearing UConn t-shirts, and free-fall back down. I get 20 per, so that joyous jaunt cost me sixteen ducks. Not to mention the food and the frothy reward. An expensive way to have some good, clean fun. Don't make me compare, please. And since I am rambling FU Steve Balmer and Doug Baldwin.

But I am old and now taking Warfarin, so I probably should be heeding the advice of Ryan in the Anticoagulation unit, who told me Friday to be sure to wear my helmet when I ride so I won't bleed to death should I crash. I actually thought about that as I hit 40mph.

I suppose I should be happy that today is June1. We are heading out for another ride in 90 minutes. There is a little cloud cover today, but no rain, so far.

The plan is to jam as much fun into the reaming time as possible. To raise the water line above half-full.

To the rim. Cheers!