Saturday, April 29, 2006
2400 U.S. soldiers have now given their life to rid Iraq of WMDs. Or to rid Iraq of an "evil tyrant (woohoo 4th ID!)." Or to bring democracy to Iraq. Or to deny a safe haven to terrorists. Or whatever the hell we're over there for nowadays. Luckily, outside of a few hard-to-answer questions from the press, the civilian leadership of this country won't have their lives affected by the mess they've caused. Go ahead and take another hard earned vacation, GW.
Friday, April 28, 2006
One of the questions at the interview was, "Sometimes the therapy involves outdoor activities such as mountain biking in Moab or climbing some of Colorado's fourteeners. Would you be able to tag along on these outings?"
My response: "You mean you'll pay me to mountain bike and climb 14ers!?!"
Other than the outdoors stuff the jobs seem quite similar.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Anyways, today I was talking to two of my fellow rookies, one of whom was humongously obese (i.e, could lose 200 pounds and still be way overweight) and the other was a bit lighter, but still at least 50 pounds on the wrong side of healthy.
Anyways, the huge one says to me, "I see you drink a lot of coffee." I replied, "Yeah, at least two pots a day, but more if I don't have to pay for it."
I was stunned as to what happened next, as both heavyweights started telling me about how too much coffee affects insulin levels and causes one to gain weight. I was so taken aback by the comments I wasn't even sure what to say, so I politely excused myself from the conversation, using, of course, the excuse that I had to go get more coffee.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
1. Go write 6 weird facts/things/etc. about yourself on your blog, then tag six more people!
2. Then leave a comment that says 'You are tagged' in their comments telling them to read your blog.
1. I spent a year in podiatry school.
2. In 1989 I finished dead last in the District 4 cross-country meet; returned in 1992 to finish first and lead the Shikellamy Braves to the championship (which kicked off a 13+ year dynasty, FYI).
3. On a drunken night in downtown Philly I pissed on the Madden-cruiser.
4. Wearing only a pair of Saucony Jazz and waving a Terrible Towel, I was chased through South Oakland for a quarter mile by a PGH cop.
5. I played the drums for three years in middle school band.
6. I was, and am, ridiculoulsly opposed to the event (Iraq war) that gave me my life's greatest honor (Combat Infantryman Badge).
Tag, you're it: TAF, Centipede, Firetunnel, Chlamydia, MeatGazer, and Sammy the Weiner Dog!
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
This job, if nothing else, will be entertaining. Lotsa crazies here. Mostly adolescent males, many of whom are here because it's part of their probation, and if they screw up it's back to jail for them. It's also a TRICARE facility, so they've been getting a lot of the Iraq vets who lost it during their tour. But Fort Carson isn't a big combat arms post (yet - much of the 4th ID is moving up there from Fort Hood once they return from Iraq next year), so I'm looking forward to hearing all the war stories from the cooks and clerks and (I really can't wait to hear these!) the Air Force folks.
Hey, instead of talking about running at Walnut Creek some hashers actually went out and did just that this weekend! Lovebite shoulda saved some of his energy though, Emily ended up beating him! Congrats to all those AH3ers who went out and supported local trail running!
Congrats also to the hashers who had the only acceptable excuse for bailing on the rogue race, those who did the MS150: Padre, Ballsac, Squeeky Cheeks, Just Nicole, Tarantula Fucker, and Dirty Sanchez (who, along with JohnBoy, did the entire thing in one day).
And even though I couldn't be in Austin to win the 30K, I'm still keepin' busy up here. Check out the stud on page 9 (the Volunteer Corner) of the latest Pikes Peak Road Runner newsletter!
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Anyone ever use this? Is it worth twelve bucks a month? What kind of receiver should I get?
Friday, April 21, 2006
|A Bit Of Both|
You are 40% Calvin and 60% Hobbes
|Calvin & Hobbes, like a scruffy yin and yang, are in perfect balance within you. Like Calvin, you're weird, a bit insecure, and can be a trouble-maker. But like Hobbes, you're down to earth and sensitive. It's a risk to say it here, after just a ten question test, but I'll bet you're smarter than most. Both Calvin and Hobbes are crafty, clever characters, and any one made from equal parts of each is a force to be reckoned with.|
Thursday, April 20, 2006
...to all the Barfly Racing Team members doing something this weekend. I know the TIT girls and their mascot Troy are in the MS150. Lovebite is doing the Rogue Maze. Hopefully we'll have a lot more representation at the Maze, in case anyone has forgotten that was a blast last year! And remember, someone else has to bring beer, I won't be there.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Summitted Mt. Manitou in 69 minutes. Made the round trip in just over two hours. Great workout. Checked the summit log, nobody had signed in since my last visit a week ago. Think the incline/Manitou summit is gonna be my regular Tuesday workout from now on.
Not that I felt bad. I've always hated church, stemming from the days when my parents used to force me to go twice a year (we were a C&E family). Even back in my kiddo days I had a distaste for religion. Like Gov. Jesse Ventura said, "Religion is a crutch for the weak, for those who need strength in numbers."
Anyways...the workout was up to Barr Camp and back, but I had notions of going higher, perhaps even to the summit of Pikes. Made great time and was feeling awesome well past Barr Camp, up to Bottomless Pitt, and I thought I just might make it.
Shortly after the Pitt, though, trail started to turn ugly. Still a lot of snow and ice up around 11,000 feet. As I approached treeline I was having trouble staying on the trail and started slipping all over the place. I decided to call it a day and turn around.
Glad I did too. Stopped by the Barr Camp on the way down to talk to fellow ultrarunners Teresa and Neil (who have the best job in the world as caretakers of the Barr Camp). They said that above treeline the trail gets really nasty, with some places having waist deep snow.
Even after spending 20 minutes at Barr Camp shooting the shit, I made treeline and back in just over five hours. Not too shabby.
As a reward to myself for the effort, I enjoyed a great Easter feast at Purple Castle!
Despite not getting to bed until 4:30AM on Saturday, I soon awoke to take off to Copper Mountain for a FREE Rusted Root show!
Love this band, even more so because they were cutting their teeth back on the Pittsburgh local music scene while I was at Pitt. Never forget the time I saw Dave Matthews Band open up for Root at the AJ Palumbo Center for $10.
Anyways, it was a great show. The crowd was kinda lame, mostly because it was 90% skiiers and snowboarders. I'm not swayed by all the Mountain Dew commercials, and the crowd certainly did nothing to change my opinion that downhill skiiers and snowboarders are posers. And the weather wasn't cooperating, it was friggin' cold out. And all I had on was a long sleeve t-shirt with my Clemente jersey. But I'm not a wus ass, I ignored the misery of the weather for the entire concert.
Root was awesome! Played mostly stuff from their first two albums. The highlight of the show was when Root started playing "Back to the Earth" and everybody started throwing snowballs. Good times!
Sure nice to see a ton of Pittsburghers in the crowd, too. Lots of Steeler clothing, even a big sign that said, "How Yunz Guys Doin'!" Was waiting for someone to bust out the Iron City and pierogies!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Monday, April 17, 2006
1) My beloved Pirates moved up THREE spots in this week's cnn/si power poll. The Nationals, Marlins, and Royals are now ranked below us. This is probably the best ball we've played in the last decade.
2) Due to a big sale at REI my yearly dividend was able to get me a brand-spankin' new pair of Vasque Velocity, the greatest trail running/hashing shoe ever, without me having to hand over any cash.
3) Thanks to that extra cash, I was able to pick up a 30 pack of PBR on the way home. It's currently down to 27 cans.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Why did runner leave white stuff?
I'm hoping some readers might be able to clarify or explain what I just witnessed.
My home backs up to the wetlands in south Boulder. My back yard is essentially a field of cattails, grasses, willows, shrubs and a lake. There are geese, ducks, coyotes, raccoons, skunks and birds that live here, and this is their home.
Today I saw a man running along the trail that winds through the open space property behind my house. He was holding a plastic bag filled with something white. Every 20 feet or so he would dip into the bag and deposit a pile of whatever this white powdery substance is onto the trail. He didn't break stride; he just dropped this stuff as he was running.
My neighbors and I are protective of the wildlife that live next to us, as often there are kids etc. who throw things at the waterfowl or harass them in some way. Others let their dogs off the leash to run amok among the grasses, oblivious that geese are nesting there. Seeing a man drop piles of white powder throughout the wetlands trail raised concern. Obviously it couldn't be something that toxic as he was handling it himself; however, I am concerned that the ducks and geese might eat it, whatever it is, and get sick.
Does anyone have any idea why a runner would be depositing piles of white powder all along a trail? I'm not a runner, so I don't know if this is some kind of game of follow the leader, or if he wasn't a runner at all and had other motives.
I appreciate anyone who can explain!
Friday, April 14, 2006
Went down to the Pikes Peak Center for the Nickel Creek show last night. Fantastic concert! Extremely talented musicians, definitely catch these guys when they come to town. They play Austin quite a bit, in fact the first time I ever saw 'em was in Waterloo Records.
Except for talking about the "Clog Railway" the show was awesome. Played all their radio hits and had tons of long solos. Also jammed to Cripple Creek (less than an hour away from the Springs, FYI) and covered "Short People" by Randy Newman. BATT and I have a new short person dance to go along with our condiment dance now.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
"The guy is such a fucking arrogant asshole," said recently separated E-5 Jon Teisher. "Him and his boss W too. It's gotten so bad that not even Troy sticks up for those clowns anymore."
Teisher joins a growing crowd of ex-military personnel criticizing the current administration. But his criticism doesn't stop at the top.
"Seriously, all these retired high ranking folks are dickheads too. Where was all your bitching while you were in uniform?" Teisher said. "You might have been able to change something back then. Well over 2200 mostly low ranking military kids dead, but at least you're drawing higher retirement pay you pussies."
In the White House briefing Thursday, spokesman Scott McClellan said Rumsfeld has the full support of the president. "Seriously, the press only reports the bad stuff. Iraq is a much better place now than three years ago. All is good."
But on one hash the trail ended at Roll Me Over's house, near the Barfly. I had done trail, but had planned on bailing early to watch the Steelers/Brown's game. It was the first game between the two teams since Cleveland had lost their team to Baltimore, so I couldn't miss it. Turns out this chick named Twin Peaks lived right around the corner, and she gave me the keys to her house so I could go watch it (I think I still have those keys!). I watched the game, and it was great, and the Steelers beat the shit out of the browns. So I went back over to the hash to celebrate some more.
Circle was over by the time I arrived, but immediately as I got there everyone jumped back into a semi-circle. Turns out they had named me while I was away. Just to piss me off, they named me after Cleveland. Slumbag, at that time an Austin harriette, had done her best to get me the moniker "Dog Pound," but with all the hash hippies at that time I guess brownie won out.
Sometime around this period, I found out there was a Killeen hash. Known at the time as the Heart of Texas H3, they had trail every other Saturday at 10AM. At the time there were some great hounds here. Caveman, Ranger Smurf, Sizzler, Pap Smear, a few others. Not a big kennel, but it was a lot of fun.
Anyways, for a while I refused to answer to the name brownie, since it had to do with Cleveland. And I never told the HOTH3 I had got a name in Austin, I was still going by Just JT up in Killeen. So on my 5th run, when it was time to name me, the only thing they could come up with was Jizm Taster. Caveman still calls me that name when we see each other. Ranger does too, until I remind him that the HOTH3 named him Barely Touches Bottom.
Chlamydia actually tells the Sprinkles story somewhat correctly. It was at the used-to-be-annual Kurt Cobain hash, live hared by myself and Will Work For Pants. And there really is a harriette in Arkansas named Sprinkles (or is it Sparkles?), and I pissed her off at the San Antonio TXIH when I was too fast for her to catch (I was FRB on the ballbuster, she finished right behind me).
Lots of scorned harriettes have other names for me too, but that's for another blog.
Being that I started running and drinking about the same time, age 13, I had always wanted to hash. I knew Pittsburgh and Philly had great kennels, but I never had any transportation while I was there, so I was unable to join them.
Finally, after enlisting in the Army, someone was dumb enough to loan me the money for a vehicle. And of course my first trip was to Austin to hash!
The Sunday hash I went to was way out of town, at a joint called Laga Vista. Remember meeting GloWorm, Cherry Popper, IDJM, and a few others. Two other hashers would be heavily involved in the Austin hash scene for the next few years also had their virgin hash that day, Grabber and PP Longstocking. Chuckles was the hare, probably the first out of the closet gay guy I ever met.
But it was a great trail, and I was already hooked on hashing. Heard there was gonna be a full moon hash during the week, and I decided to make the drive down from Killeen.
Hash started at a bar called Oil Can Harry's. Time was 7PM or so, and I figured I'd head down early to enjoy a few beers and hang out with the hash before the start of trail. So I got there around 6PM. Of course, it was the boxer shorts hash, and I was all decked out.
So I'm sitting in the bar, the only guy there wearing boxers, and did notice that everyone in the place was being very friendly. On my second beer a light went off in my head, and I figured out what the deal was. I finished my beer and went outside to wait for some female hashers to show up, and that's how I originally met Swallowmander (who was still Just Bonnie at the time).
So yeah, my first two trips to Austin gave me more exposure to homos than the first 25 years of my life had.
Ended up being a great trail though. Smeg hared. Met Hot Wheeles for the first time. Downtown trail, which was all new to me at the time. Even hashed by the state building, never thought I'd end up working there one day.
"Little Niall was born at 2:04am this morning via c-section. He is 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 22 inches. Ann and Niall are doing great but tired (Matt is good too). Niall is about the cutest thing I have ever seen!"
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Easy climb, but the peak of Mt. Manitou is a pretty cool place. Lots of rocks to sit on, lots of trees for shade. And it's far enough out of the way that you don't get the massive amounts of people on the Barr trail. I can't wait to do this hike again, maybe bring a few beers with me to go with my cigar.
Total time was 2:50. A good chunk of that was spent chilling on the peak, as well as shooting the shit with folks along the incline. Think I'll add this to my usual Tuesday workout, I'll be able to do the whole thing under two hours eventually.
Took a few pics, you can see 'em here.
top of incline: 4:36PM
summit: 5:15PM (9,429 feet)
distance: approx 6 miles
Thanks to the internet, I had a decent idea of where to go, and more importantly, where not to go. The hike went very well. Had some troubles right off the bat after crossing the cog railway. Couldn't find the path and I ended up doing some serious bushwacking. But I kept at it, and slowly made my way up the mountain.
The bushwacking took forever, but eventually I found myself on Magog Ridge and I was able to pick up the pace a bit. Beautiful rock formations, and incredible views of Pikes from the ridge. Continued up the ridge, then circled around to the southeast face as to avoid the more serious climbs. Eventually I decided to attack and before I knew it I was at the peak.
Figured going down would be fast and easy, but I actually got into a little trouble. Ended up going too far east before descending, and I got stuck in a deep ravine. I crawled over and around a bunch of house sized boulders, and knew that there was no way I could retreat if I had to. Not the kind of position I wanted to get myself into on my first real peak attempt, but oh well.
Ended up pushing ahead and eventually ended up at the Cog Railway, where my jeep was parked. Though it took me a lot longer than I thought it would, and physically I was wiped out by the time it was all finished, overall it was a successful outing.
10,000 feet: 2:20PM
peak: 2:45PM (10,707 feet)
total distance: approx 8 miles
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Off for an attempt at Cameron's Cone today. Shouldn't be too difficult, but if my loyal readers check back tomorrow morning and nothing else has been posted, I'm either lost, got struck by lightening, or got eaten by a mountain lion. Probably lost.
FYI, the red rock formation in this pic is the Kissing Camels from Garden of the Gods park.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
I've kept in touch with quite a few of the Chattahoochee Valley hashers I met while I was at airborne school a while back. Pierce It, the guy in the black shirt, is currently in Afghanistan (yes, that is EOD holding the cannon wheel). His address is below if anyone wants to drop him a post card. I realize none of yunz know him, and realize most (not all - and thanks to those of you who do) of you don't even bother to write to the hashers overseas that you actually do know. But it really lifts the spirits of those guys to get a card from a fellow hasher. So for once, do something above and beyond talk or a stupid yellow magnet and drop these guys a line!
SFC Patrick Birman
APO AE 09355
Since most of my loyal readers were barely hashing back then, my airborne pics are here. I call them airborne pics, but they're actually pics of my time with the CVH3 and Auburn H3, with a few from the Austin hash upon my return.
For actual Army pics, click here.
Tuesday morning I was at the Garden of the Gods at 6AM for a training run with the Pikes Peak Road Runners. Never found the parking lot they were at, but I got in a great run nonetheless. I was lost for about 45 minutes, but there's probably no better place to be lost than GOTG. Very beautiful, getting to watch the sunrise over all those rocks. Got a good hour run in before heading home.
Tuesday evening a CRUD buddy and I did our weekly incline workout. Did the "long" version, which adds about 90 seconds from my usual route, and still broke 33 minutes. One of my best times. At the top of the incline Paul suggested taking a longer way down, and we ended up exploring Rocky Mountain for about 70 minutes. Great workout.
Tonight was the happy hour run at Colorado Running Company. I always go to this saying I'm gonna take it easy, but I never do. Hard for 30 minutes out, turn around and race back to the beer.
Tomorrow morning it's an early lap around Memorial Park (about an hour). Later that evening is the weekly CRUD hill climb, up Barr Trail to No Name Creek.
Good luck to all the Austinites who begin training for the Pikes Ascent/Marathon this week. I have a newfound respect for flatlanders who attempt this race. All this crazy mountain training I'm doing, that race is still gonna hand me my ass.
Gonna try to get in a few minor climbs soon, since the weather below 10,000 feet has been fantastic lately. Cameron's Cone (10,707 ft), Rocky Mountain (9,250 ft), and Mount Manitou (9,429 ft) are all hikable right now. Should give me a good workout and let me brush up on my map skills, which I haven't used since my infantry days.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Finish Line Lounge
Irish House IV
Knob Hill Lounge
Old Mill Tavern
Old School Tavern
Phantom Canyon Brewery
Red Rock Lounge
Sam's - The World's Smallest Bar
Thunder & Buttons
28 bars. I moved to Colorado 72 days ago. Pretty good stats alone, but in reality most of the bars on the list I've been to several times. And the great thing about Colorado Springs is that I've not even made a tiny dent in visiting all the dive bars the city has to offer. Hell, there are still at least ten that I know of within two miles of my house. Viva la drunkardness!
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Can someone help me get the music back? Is it possible the tunes are somewhere else on my computer? Some hidden Apple backup space?
Very sad day for me, I'll miss all that great music. Donations, in the form of CDs, can be sent to:
623 Alexander Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
Becky "Yamaho" Lecompte
7181 crestway drive
San Antonio, Tejas
Saturday, April 01, 2006
2.5 hour hike, about 7 miles. Some awesome views of a snow covered Pikes Peak.
Pics are here.