Wednesday, December 31, 2008

39 cent gas

Local grocery store chain has this buy $50 in stuff, get 10 cents off gas at the Uppys gas chain. Cool. I eat off the salad bar there, and at $5.99 a lb, you can rack up the dough pretty quick. Yesterday, I pulled into a gas station almost on fumes, and got my 20 gallons (yeah, I had a 5 gallon gas can to make sure of it)for 39 cents a gallon.

How cool is that.

Being the cheapo that I am I usually get my munchies at Costco and Wallyworld, but that mid-day away from the office break is worth it to me, even if lettuce is more expensive than steak. (well probably, not that I get to eat steak unless someone else is paying for it...)

I've been the lucky recipient of all the Spin Mafia emails... where they are riding, when, how fast, meet up points, and other chatter. Guys, get a job. The rest of us schmucks have to WORK. Crap, I just sit at my desk as the messages pop up on one of my TWO computers, and I've just about ground my teeth down to nothingness. And just as I get a day off, the weather is going to change, the temps are gonna drop and the wind will be howling. I'm so jealous that its just sick.

So they'll be out there riding, I'll be the only one in the world working, and will have to run at night in the dark. The way I figure it, you all owe me. Just cuz...

Have a great New Year and watch out for the drunkin' slobs...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Merry Christmas Dog Drop

Julie laughingly says that there is this underground network where one dog tells another dog, "hey man, you get dumped... go to this Karen Lady's house. She'll feed ya. Just look at her with melting eyes and she's a goner..."

So Friday, my guys are barking like crazy and I hear nails on the front porch and find 3 very smelly hunting beagles. You know, melty brown eyes, sweet kisses, and unbearable stench. I was done for. A little kibble here, some water there, and I caught one and set off to find their homes. (Yes, I fully know the impossibility of that, but its a FELONY to take someone's dog. Even when they are on your property.)

So, I amble across the road and promptly find out that its not the 3 of them that were on my porch. No, its 8 of them. Being pack dogs I was swarmed, kneed, and thrown to the chip seal road on one knee. Ouch! Bigger ouch to the little tacker that I happened to squash- who proceeded to scream like I was ripping her toe nails out- which brought out the neighbors to see the mass murder in progress.

From here it gets a bit surreal... Play Twilight Zone music now. I'm in the road, squashed beagle howling in outrage, pack of beagles trying to lick my face, knee throbbing, and cars zipping by...

Neighbor tells me that the dogs were dumped (duh) as they had no collars.

Then a bunch of hunters stop and talk to the neighbor (because of course I'm female and therefore insignificant) and one says that he'll take the dogs. He opens up the back of his truck and buckets of blood pour out. Yes, he was deer hunting. And all thats left of said deer is a head (conveniently cut off by the chainsaw in the truck bed,) the deer heart, and liver and blood. Lots of blood.

The dogs are in heaven now and abandon me to the spoils in the truck. Said hunter starts shoving dogs in a tiny crate, and when they couldnt fit in one more, put the rest in the truck bed to the ecstacy of licking the entrails.


And off they went.

And now I'm wondering if I did a bad thing. Will they be ok? Are they happy and warm? Did they get fed this morning?

Yep, I'm a schmuck. If you come to my house, I'll feed you. Just do me a favor, don't knock me flat in the meantime...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ridin' on Christmas

After last nights run, which was about 60 degrees and way too hot for a long sleeve shirt, you would have thought that I would have known better than to bundle up... Yeah, you'd be wrong. At 5 miles I had to stop and take my light windbreaker off and shove it in my back pocket. A few miles later I was wishing that I hadn't worn my heavy gloves. At least I hadn't put on my booties and skull cap. I think I would have died with them on.

But what's to complain about. A close to 60 degree day on Christmas. The sky was blue, wind wasn't too bad and the cars were driving like they had good will towards men.

Long about 20 miles I kept hearing this noise, like a dog tag on a dog thats about to chomp on you. I'd look back quick... no dogs. Ride a little further, hear it again. No dogs. This went on for about a half hour until I finally realized that I was hearing the zipper on my windbreaker.

I hope that all of you were very good this year and that Santa brought you all kinds of cool new gear. I've been cooking beef hearts for the dogs, the ultimate yummy gift to my best buds. Now we go for a hike in the woods before sitting down to supper. And nope, I'm not sharing in the beef hearts, somethings are just too wonderful for the guys to share.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Slip Sliding Away

Thursday nights are computrainer nights. Oh lucky me, to get on a trainer next to my buddy, Toxic Rainforest Bill. J and Bill won the tandem championships at our race one year, and people kept commenting that they couldnt see her she was ducked down so low... you would have been too, if Bill was in the front of the bike spewing sweat like a geiser gone bad.

So I'm stuck next to Bill. And the sweat is flowing. And flowing, and building to a toxic level so bad that Hazmat was on stand by. Just as the going was getting really tough, my trainer tried to make a run for it.

Ever been on a trainer that tries to exit stage left? Its a very disconcerting feeling, let me tell you.

Last week, Sharon tries to wipe me out, and this week Bill tries to sweat me out.

You guys are just going to have to do better. You might corrode me out, but I'm not scared of your slime. (ok, I am scared, but I've had my shots. So I'm probably ok.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Funniest Forum Thread Ever;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread

Ok, so we all know that cyclists are a sick bunch of people... Now the tri-folks show their true colors. I was laughing so hard that I was crying.

The next time I hear someone talk about vegemite (what the heck is that stuff anyway?) I wont be thinking about food.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tacky Light Tour

Well I took Georgie down to the Beach for the last dog shows of the season. We stunk on Saturday, but had the Beach bennie of 1. getting to run on the Boardwalk, and 2. getting to run on the Boardwalk under all the Christmas lights. The roar of the ocean, seagulls to peak Georgie's interest and lights for me. Whats not to like?

Well the Christmas parties at the hotel for one thing. Drunks are only fun if you are one of them. Trust me on this...

So Georgie and I went out real late and walked on the bike path as all the cars came down the Boardwalk. We only got yelled at one time, and did pretty much the whole thing again. $10 per car is dirt cheap, but waiting on Atlantic Ave to que up was a bit more than I wanted (we're talking hours.) Plus, the walk did us both good.

If you aren't a beach bunny, like me, the winter time is the best time to go. For the most part crowds are down, the hotels are cheap, and dogs are welcomed. Georgie loves stretching out on a king size bed, and from looking at the rest of the guests, I can assure you that he was much better behaved than they were.

Sunday George took a Group 3 in the Sporting Group which should solidly put him in the top 10 Brittanys in the country. Too cool. Now if I can just work on that we bit of photography flash phobia that he has developed. You can just never tell with dogs, but he hates photographers. Big and bold about everything else, but point a camera at him and he wants to exit stage left.

It looks like this is going to be another running week. Darn rain. Why cant it fall in the summertime when we really need it? Thats ok, running with George is a guaranteed way to run really fast.

George gives a nudge to remember the little guys at Christmas. His fav charity?, but your local shelter could probably use some love too. How about donating a bag of dog food or two and getting some good doggie kharma!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The fun of home amputation

I'm usually pretty good with knife skills. It's one of those things you have to practice, and I cut up stuff often. I also believe in having good equipment, and keeping it nice and sharp. No dull knives for me.

Good thing. Cause when you slip a little, you want that knife to make a nice, clean cut. Clean cuts heal much faster than those nasty, gagged sawing things. Unfortunately, really sharp knives tend to also cut deeper.

So Wednesday night, trying to cut up a piece of Summer Sausage... and zip, a slip of the knife and all I could see was bone. Yuck. Other nice thing about clean cuts... it takes awhile for them to hurt.

So I grabbed a clean towel, and applied pressure and proceed to pace the floor. (Somehow pacing makes everything better.) The dogs lined up to stare at this strange behavior and you could just read what was going on in thier minds..."Poor Karen, she used to be all right, but lately, she's just gotten weird."

After awhile I got the bleeding to mostly stop and was able to survey the damage. Yep, cut deep, but not thru the bone. The thought of spending the night in the ER was out, so I patched it up, and tried to go to bed.

Yesterday I got my tetnus shot and the lecture for not going to the ER as after 7 hours they cant stitch things up. Thats ok, I heal fast. And stitches itch. Bad.

So last night I got to get babied at the computrainer races. Had to get my bike put on and taken off for me. No mercy while on the trainer though... Col. Sweatsalot had a trainer slip and tried to take me out. All the while Ms J was whopping up on everyone. You'd have thought that they would have let me have a sympathy win since I had to have a shot, too. But NOOOOO. No gifts.

So this Christmas, keep your knives sharp, and your eyes on the prize. A near amputation is bad enough. A real one whould have put the damper on the savings account.

And to all my buds at Cyclocross Nat's... I'm praying for rain for you...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

GamJams Reviews: Trainers and Rollers

Lets face it, I really don't want to be spending a lot of time on my trainer if there is any chance that I can get out on the road, and well, ride on the road. Winter time is trainer time, and unless I really want to be riding narrow, country roads in the freezing cold and dark, I am facing a lot of time on the trainer.

My trainer of choice, the Cycleops Fluid 2 trainer. I just scored a new one on ebay for $200 w/free shipping. Good thing, my old one is well used, and starting to show the lack of love.

What do I like about it? It's easy. Of all the trainers, this one requires the least amount of fiddling with to work well. Set it, and forget it. (unless you use it for multiple bikes, in which case you have to tweak it for each bike.) Usually I just put a shoe or a phone book under the front wheel and I'm off to suffer land.

Mine has traveled all over the country, been dropped, thrown into the truck and still performs admirably, even if the wear and tear is showing. It's quiet, solid, and the only trainer crashes I've had have clearly been my fault.

Which trainers don't I like... the Kinetic Pro and that wacko Kinetic Rock and Roller model. Those little locking rings can be a twitchy thing and I trashed a nice wheel as I went toppling over. They also require a level of exactness that I just don't have the patience for when I'm in a hurry.

Cycleops Fluid 2. They're a good thing, and there are great deals on them on ebay. Do something for the economy, go buy one or two!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Col. Whinesalot

We planned on getting a gang together to ride from Dorey Park on Sunday. Sunday was predicted to be 40 degrees for a high with 20-30 mph winds with higher gusts. Prediction didn't change... it was the same way all week.

So, Sunday at 10 am, Col. Sharon calls. "Uh, RABA just cancelled the ride. What do we do?"

So I told her that I really didn't care what RABA did, we were riding...

"But its really cold and windy and we're going to die and you know how my feet turn to ice!" (Add a couple hundred more little whinisms here...)

So I told her to call J, and if she could convince J that it was too cold, that we'd alter the plans. Hah on that. J told her about all the rides that we've done in the snow. (which of course nixed any whining that I could do...)

And who was up front pulling and charging the whole way? Col Whiner. See She cant whine at work. When you are leading troups you have to be totally convinced all the time. So we are her little escape, she can whine away with us. What are team mates for!

And while I still owe Mike a winter tire review, I can give two thumbs up reviews... Being the cheapo that I am, I bought a new skull cap from Dicks during their 50% off all things Reebok last week. My head, and therefore my body, was toasty warm. And it even has a ponytail slit! At $20 bucks, it was too much money, but at $10 it was wonderful. (Ever notice that magical $10 price point?) The other got to have was my new Craft winter booties... Toastie toes. Happiness is toastie toes. Now if Santa would only bring me a nice new warm pair of Craft winter gloves!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's the little things that make you happy

Yep, I'll say it again. It's the little things. Its not a new car, or rings or crap like that. Sometimes, its something small.

Yesterday I was having a craptastic kind of day, and then... Patricia from Chipotle called. Yep, Chipotle, who sponsors a certain bike racing team, so I try to eat there a couple times a month without getting a burrito the size of my head... (by the way, per Bicycling... the steak soft tacos- if you dont get sour cream and guac are 650 calories). Anyway, Patricia called to tell me that I WON lunch for 10-14 of my friends (read 14 in Karenspeak) Yeah, baby! The whole kit and kaboodle- a meal, chips, salsa, guac and a drink. No, she didn't say if that included beer...

Geez, I started doing the Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Joy dance. Then I got to start inviting friends to lunch... Now thats where the real happy, happy-joy came in. Times are tight, I really couldn't afford to take 13 of my buds out to lunch right now.

But now I can. Thanks Chipotle. What a Christmas present!

And then afterwork, empowered by the thought of free steak tacos and a drink (no chips for my fat ass)I went and just killed my run. 5.5 miles, and I powered up the hills, and was picking it up at the end. I swear I could have run forever.

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Joy.

Behold the power of free food!