Sunday, December 26, 2010

Chestnuts Roasting, X-Mas Posting

Hey!! Merry Friggin' Day after Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Vacation!

Clark: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.

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Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.

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[Todd and Margo Chester, the Griswold's yuppie neighbors, appear]
Todd: Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark: Bend over and I'll show you.
Todd: You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.
Clark: I wasn't talking to you.

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Clark: Burn some dust here. Eat my rubber.
Rusty Griswold: Dad, I think you mean burn rubber and eat my dust.
Clark: Whatever, Russ. Whatever.

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Clark: Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?

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Clark: Well I'm gonna park the cars and get check the luggage, and well, I'll be outside for the season.

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Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Eddie: Naw, I'm doing just fine, Clark.

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Clark: 'Tis the season to be merry.
Mary: That's my name.
Clark: No shit.

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Uncle Lewis: Hey Grizz, Bethany and I figured out the perfect gift for you.
Clark: Aw, you didn't have to get me anything.
Uncle Lewis: Dammit, Bethany, he guessed it.

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[as an entourage of suits - lead by Clark's boss - passes by single file]
Clark: Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.

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Ellen: What are you looking at?
Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn... the clean, cool chill of the holiday air... an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer...
[Eddie, in the driveway, is draining the RV's toilet]
Eddie: Shitter was full.
Clark: Ah, yeah. You checked our shitters, honey?
Ellen: Clark, please. He doesn't know any better.
Clark: He oughta know it's illegal. That's a storm sewer. If it fills with gas, I pity the person who lights a match within ten yards of it.

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Bethany: Don't throw me down, Clark.
Clark: I'll try not to, Aunt Bethany...

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Ruby Sue: Rocky bit my thumb. Him's nervous.
Clark: Nervous or excited?
Ruby Sue: Shittin' bricks.
Clark: You shouldn't use that word.
Ruby Sue: Sorry. Shittin' rocks

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Ellen: Clark, Audrey's frozen from the waist down.
Clark: That's all part of the experience, honey.

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Eddie: I don't know if I oughta go sailin' down no hill with nothin' between the ground and my brains but a piece of government plastic.
Clark: Do you really think it matters, Eddie?

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Clark: We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.
Audrey: We're not coming all the way out here just to get one of those stupid ties with Santa Clauses on it are we?
Clark: No, I have one of those at home.

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Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?
Clark: Oh, Eddie... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

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[talking about Snot, Eddie's dog]
Eddie: If you scratch his belly, Clark, he will love you till the day you die.
Clark: I really shouldn't, Eddie. My hands are all chapped.

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Eddie: If that cat had nine lives it sure used 'em all.

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Ellen: I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.

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Todd: Well, something had to come through the window! Something had to break the stereo!
Margo: And why is the carpet all wet, *Todd*?
Todd: I don't *know*, Margo!

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Eddie: Every time Catherine revved up the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour or so.

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Audrey: Do you sleep with your brother? Do you know how sick and twisted that is?
Ellen: Well, I'm sleeping with your father. Don't be so dramatic.

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Audrey: I hope nobody I know drives by and sees me standing in the yard staring at the house in my pajamas.
Art: If they know your dad, they won't think anything of it.

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Ellen: Oh Aunt Bethany, you shouldn't have done that.
Aunt Bethany: Oh dear, did I break wind?
Uncle Lewis: Jesus, did the room clear out, Bethany? Hell no, she means presents. You shouldn't have brought presents.

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Art: You want to hurry this up, Clark? I'm freezing my baguettes off.

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Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: [turns to Lewis] What, dear?
Nora Griswold: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? She passed away thirty years ago.
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say Grace.
[Bethany shakes her head in confusion]
Uncle Lewis: The BLESSING!
Aunt Bethany: [they all pose for prayer] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands/ One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Clark: Amen.

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Ellen: Welcome to our home - what's left of it.

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[after reaching the Griswolds' house]
Aunt Bethany: Is this the airport, Clark?

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Aunt Bethany: Is Rusty still in the navy?

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Aunt Bethany: What's that sound? You hear it? It's a funny squeaky sound.
Uncle Lewis: You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.

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[after Clark fails at lighting all the exterior Christmas lights at the "lighting ceremony" in front of the entire family]
Frances: Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.
Audrey: He worked really hard, Grandma.
Art: So do washing machines.

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Clark: [a squirrel is loose in the house] Where is Eddie? He usually eats these goddam things.
Cousin Catherine Johnson: Not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

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Margo: You just march over there and slug that creep in the face.
Todd: I can't just attack someone.
Margo: Alright then, if you're not man enough to put an end to this shit, then I am.

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Uncle Lewis: Hey Gris, if you're not doing anything constructive, run into the living room and get my stogey.
Clark: Is there anything else I can do for you, Uncle Lewis?
Ellen: He's an old man. This may be his last Christmas.
Clark: If he keeps it up, it WILL be his last Christmas.

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Clark: Hey, Kids, I heard on the news that an airline pilot spotted Santa's sleigh on its way in from New York City.
Eddie: [after a pause] You serious, Clark?

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Clark: I simply solved the problem. We needed a coffin... Er, a tree. There are no lots open on Christmas Eve. Lewis burned down my tree so I replaced it as best I could. Voilà.
Ellen: Are you okay?

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Clark: [the newel post is wobbly so Clark cuts it off with a chain saw] Fixed the newel post.

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Clark: Russ, go get the hammer.
Ellen: Clark, what do you need a hammer for?
Clark: I'm gonna catch it in the coat... And smack it with the hammer.

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Clark: Russ, we checked every bulb, didn't we?
Rusty Griswold: Sure, Dad.
Clark: Hmm... Maybe we ought to just go up there and check...
Rusty Griswold: Oh, woo. Look at the time. I gotta get to bed. I still gotta brush my teeth, feed the hog, still got some homework to do, still got those bills to pay, wash the car...

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Mr. Frank Shirley: [picks up the phone receiver] Get me somebody. Anybody. And get me somebody while I'm waiting.

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Clark: Oh, I was just smelling - smiling. I was just blouse - browsing. I, uh, heh heh. Well, I guess it just wouldn't... Oh hee hee, it wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn't it?
Mary: You have your coat on.
Clark: Yes, oh do I? Yeah, it is a bit nipply out. I mean nippy. What am I saying, nipple?

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Clark: Our holidays were always such a mess.
Clark Sr.: Oh, yeah.
Clark: How'd you get through it?
Clark Sr.: I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.

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Ruby Sue: Uncle Clark, are you sure you ain't Santa Claus?
Clark: I'm sure... I can't even afford to be an elf.

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Ellen: Clark, I think it'd be best if everyone went home... before things get worse.
Clark: WORSE? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We're at the threshold of hell.

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Clark: The most enjoying traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thpirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath.

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Ellen: You set standards that no family activity can live up to.
Clark: When have I ever done that?
Ellen: Parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays, vacations, graduations...

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Clark: I dedicate this house to the Griswold Family Christmas.

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Audrey: Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel?

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[Todd Chester stares in horror at Eddie draining the RV toilet]
Eddie: Merry Christmas. Shitter was full.

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Eddie: [walks in with a bound and gagged Mr. Shirley tied with a big red ribbon] Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas, Clark.
[to Mr. Shirley]
Eddie: You about ready to do some kissing?

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Clark: My cousin in-law, whose heart is bigger than his brain...
Eddie: I appreciate that, Clark.
Clark: ...Is innocent.

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Mr. Frank Shirley: Remember how I was toying with the idea of suspending the Christmas bonuses?
Mrs. Helen Shirley: You *didn't*! Well, of all the cheap lousy ways to save a buck!
SWAT Commander: That's pretty low, mister! If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you into a...
Mr. Frank Shirley: I changed my mind. I'm reinstating all the bonuses.

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Clark: I think you've made a terrible mistake.
SWAT Commander: I told you to freeze, mister.
Clark: May we blink?

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Margo: I hope he falls and breaks his neck.
Todd: Oh, I'm sure he'll fall. But I don't think we're lucky enough for him to break his neck.

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Clark: Aunt Bethany, does your cat eat jello?

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Audrey: [Commenting on sleeping with her brother] I have nightmares about what he does when I'm NOT lying next to him.

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Clark: Later dudes! Let 'er rip, hang ten!

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Art: It was an ugly tree anyway.

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Rusty Griswold: Dad, this tree won't fit in our back yard.
Clark: It's not going in the yard, Russ. It's going in the living room.

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Clark: So, when did you get the tenament on wheels?
Eddie: Oh, that uh, that there's an RV. Yeah, yeah, I borrowed it off a buddy of mine. He took my house, I took the RV. It's a good looking vehicle, ain't it?
Clark: Yeah, it looks so nice parked in the driveway.
[Raises class to his mouth]
Eddie: Yeah, it sure does. But, don't you go falling in love with it now, because, we're taking it with us when we leave here next month.
[Clark nearly chokes on his drink]

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Art: The little lights... they aren't twinkling.
Clark: I know, Art. Thanks for noticing.

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Ellen: Clark! I don't want to spend the Holidays dead!

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Clark: Whew, it's warm in here.
Mary: Well you have your coat on.
Clark: Ah yes I do, why is that?
Mary: Because it's cold out.
Clark: Yes it is, it's a bit nipply out. I mean nippy out, what did I say, nipple? Huh, there is a nip in the air.

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Art: [a messenger delivers Clark's envelope with his "bonus", the family looks questioningly] What is it? A letter confirming your reservation at the nuthouse?

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Clark: [realizes his bonus is a jelly-club membership] If this isn't the biggest bag-over-the-head, punch-in-the-face I ever got, GOD DAMN IT!
[kicks widly at the presents under the tree]

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Clark: [Clark is about to cut the rope holding the branches of his huge Christmas tree] I give you the Griswold family Christmas tree.
[He cuts the rope, and the branches fly out, breaking windows and surrounding Clark]
Clark: Lotta sap in here! Mmmm... Looks great! Little full, lotta sap.

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Eddie: Don't forget the rubber sheets and gerbils.

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Eddie: [holding Aunt Bethany's present] This one here, is leaking.
[Ellend sticks her finger in it seeing that it's Jello, while Eddie licks it off her finger]
Eddie: It's lime.

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Clark: I can't believe you're standing here in my living room, Eddie. Never thought the day would come.
Eddie: Yeah I'm excited about it too.

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Art: [to Rocky] You got a kiss for me?
Eddie: Better take a rain check on that, Art - he's got a lip fungus they ain't identified yet!

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Todd: [trying to fix a busted stereo] Obviously something had to break the window, something had to break the stereo.
Margo: And why is the carpet all wet Todd?
Todd: I don't know Margo!

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Margo: [a knock on the door] Go away Todd.
[another knock]
Margo: If you want to come in you'll have to break down the goddamn door!
[Several SWAT officers bust down the door]

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Eddie: She falls down a well, her eyes go cross. She gets kicked by a mule. They go back. I don't know.

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Ellen: Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. And forgive my husband. He knows not what he does.

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Clark: [Finally revealing his Christmas Bonus] It's a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club.
Eddie: [Overwhelmed, almost choking on his eggnog] Clark, that's the gift that keeps on giving throughout the entire year.

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Mrs. Helen Shirley: Yes officer, it seems my husband's been abducted. The man was, was wearing a blue leisure suit. Plates were from Kansas. He was a huge, beastly, bulging man.

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Eddie: If only I had that money Catherine and I gave to that TV preacher who was screwin' that hockey player.
Clark: What about the kids?
Eddie: His kids can fend for themselves.

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Eddie: Your company kill all them people in India not too long ago?
Clark: No, we missed out on that one.

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Clark: We're gonna have the hap hap happiest christmas since Bing Crosby tapdanced with Danny fucking Kaye.

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Mr. Frank Shirley: I have never been treated like this in my life.
Ellen: I'm sorry. This is our family's first kidnapping.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


First Jive Dude: Shiiiiit, maaaaan. That honky muf' be messin' mah old lady... got to be runnin' cold upside down his head, you know?
Second Jive Dude: Hey home', I can dig it. Know ain't gonna lay no mo' big rap up on you, man!
First Jive Dude: I say hey, sky... subba say I wan' see...
Second Jive Dude: Uh-huh.
First Jive Dude: ...pray to J I did the same ol' same ol'!
Second Jive Dude: Hey... knock a self a pro, Slick! That gray matter backlot perform us DOWN, I take TCB-in', man!
First Jive Dude: Hey, you know what they say: see a broad to get dat booty yak 'em...
First Jive Dude, Second Jive Dude: ...leg 'er down a smack 'em yak 'em!
First Jive Dude: COL' got to be! Y'know? Shiiiiit.

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Ted Striker: My orders came through. My squadron ships out tomorrow. We're bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri at 1800 hours. We're coming in from the north, below their radar.
Elaine Dickinson: When will you be back?
Ted Striker: I can't tell you that. It's classified.

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Striped controller: Bad news. The fog's getting thicker.
Johnny: [jumps to an overweight controller] And Leon is getting laaaaarrrrrger.

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Rumack: You'd better tell the Captain we've got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.
Elaine Dickinson: A hospital? What is it?
Rumack: It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.

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Captain Oveur: Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

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Ted Striker: Because of my mistake, six men didn't return from that raid.
Elaine Dickinson: Seven. Lieutenant Zip died this morning.

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Ted Striker: It's Lieutenant Hurwitz. Severe shell-shock. Thinks he's Ethel Merman.
Lieutenant Hurwitz: [singing] You'll be swell, you'll be great. Gonna have the whole world on a plate. Startin' here, startin' now. Honey, everything's comin' up roses...
Ted Striker: War is hell.

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Rumack: Elaine, you're a member of this crew. Can you face some unpleasant facts?
Elaine Dickinson: No.

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[Thinking to himself]
Ted Striker: I've got to concentrate...
[his thoughts echo]
Ted Striker: concentrate... concentrate... I've got to concentrate... concentrate... concentrate... Hello?... hello... hello... Echo... echo... echo... Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon... Manny Mota... Mota... Mota...

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Reporter: What kind of plane is it?
Johnny: Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.

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Rex Kramer: Striker, listen, and you listen close: flying a plane is no different than riding a bicycle, just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

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Steve McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking.

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Steve McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.

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Steve McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

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Steve McCroskey: Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines

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[as the plane prepares to take off]
Hanging Lady: Nervous?
Ted Striker: Yes.
Hanging Lady: First time?
Ted Striker: No, I've been nervous lots of times.

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Roger Murdock: Flight 2-0-9'er, you are cleared for take-off.
Captain Oveur: Roger!
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Tower voice: L.A. departure frequency, 123 point 9'er.
Captain Oveur: Roger!
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Victor Basta: Request vector, over.
Captain Oveur: What?
Tower voice: Flight 2-0-9'er cleared for vector 324.
Roger Murdock: We have clearance, Clarence.
Captain Oveur: Roger, Roger. What's our vector, Victor?
Tower voice: Tower's radio clearance, over!
Captain Oveur: That's Clarence Oveur. Over.
Tower voice: Over.
Captain Oveur: Roger.
Roger Murdock: Huh?
Tower voice: Roger, over!
Roger Murdock: What?
Captain Oveur: Huh?
Victor Basta: Who?

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Elaine Dickinson: There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your flight. By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

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Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious.
Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lazy, but I got a 'NEW' RIDE

I should post something!

Jeez, I haven't October posted AT ALL! I attribute this to malaise, sluggishness, and just general all-around sloth and laziness. I have stuff to write about, just don't wanna. Hey, it's MY blog. And since I only have two readers (one being myself), guess it just don't matter much neither.

I bought a new ride. Whilst I was in Parkville, MO a couple of months ago, I ran across a very nice '70s vintage Schwinn Collegiate, 5 speed stem mounted shifter...a swift and speedy fella. Included was a nice bottle generator, chrome headlight and taillight. And they all work quite nicely, at least as well as one would hope a nearly 40 year old bottle generator, headlight and taillight would work.

It's brown, not too exciting for color. My first real bike, 70's Schwinn (surprise) was Campus Green, and had a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed. This one was close enough to my size to be rideable, at least casually. So I got it home, tweaked on it a bit and took it out for a spin of course. And proceeded to break the handlebar stem in half! Lucky for me at the time I was going uphill, moving very slowly. I pushed the bike home.

Did you know it's a bit difficult to find a vintage Schwinn stem replacement? I wanted to use a Nitto stem, standard diameter 22.2 mm. Unbeknownst to me, Vintage Schwinns used a 21.1 mm diameter stem. Since it was either go used, NOS, or find someone who manufactured a modern replacement...I went with modern replacement. Harris Cyclery to the rescue!

I've puttered around on it a few times since the repair. Just like I remember. -D

P.S. Pics will be posted. When I feel like it.
P.S.S. Daaaammnn...almost forgot. Here's a link for RAGBRAI 2010 Pics! So some pics will be posted after all!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Travelin' Man (and Wife)

We are off again! First Vegas, now Washington D.C.

Since we both had a few days of vacation to burn, we decided to visit our nations' capital. Is that the correct use of the apostrophe? Although the wife has been there, I've never been. We are staying close to the capitol as possible (without breaking the bank), basically just a hop, skip, and jump away from the White House.

Pretty excited about seeing all the major monuments, and I'm definitely planning on visiting the Smithsonian Air & Space museum. Lodging and flights have already been arranged, and Jenny and I are definitely looking forward to the trip.

Cycling update: this Labor Day weekend I did a half-century on Saturday. Again, I ran into the Panama Young Mothers ride from Neola to Panama. I was amazed by the number of people participating, and it was nice to see some other riders on one of my regular routes...usually I don't see another soul on a bike. One issue, something that bothered me and hopefully folks will be more careful in the future. Besides seeing riders without helmets, I also saw support vehicles driving alongside riders. This could be disastrous in several ways...a rider could lose control and easily go underneath a moving support vehicle. Also, the support vehicle is driving on the wrong side of the road. There wasn't a great deal of traffic but what happens when you are meeting a support vehicle in your lane? The support vehicle can't move into the opposite lane, there are cyclists there. The only option is the shoulder. I should know, I was riding in the opposite lane towards one of these support vehicles on the way home. Who moves? Either the support vehicle takes the shoulder or I do. And what happens if we both move at the same time?

I was headed towards a white pickup, and held my position because I had the right-of-way (I was going the right direction in the proper lane), and the truck eventually took the shoulder. As we passed, I heard a shouted "Look out for cars!" I shrugged and continued on my way.

Amazingly, I soon met a larger school bus/van heading in the same direction, in the wrong lane, heading for me. I was weary of playing chicken with 4 ton vehicles, so I took the shoulder and as we passed was unceremoniously honked at. I wasn't sure if that was a friendly thanks for yielding honk, or a 'get the hell out of the way' honk. In any case, I was still in the proper lane.

Next Labor Day weekend, I'll ride on Sunday :>) -D

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Headed to Vegas Friday morning! Occasion? Daughter's wedding!

Her future father-in-law is a minister working in Las Vegas. How convenient is that? Bonus, Las Vegas bling and fun! We were married there in 1994 and we haven't been back since...I'm certain things have changed a little :>)

We aren't much for gambling. Might drop a coin or two in the slots but that's about it. The kids are getting married at the Stratosphere, on the balcony, about 100 stories up. I'm okay with heights, as long as I don't have to look over the edge. And I'm not doing the bungee jump!

Formal dress. Pants are required, and I may have to wear one of my Hawaiian shirts. I think I have a nice pair of flip-flops somewhere, that aren't cracked, torn, sandy, mud-caked, or paint spattered.

Bike riding update...not much lately. Short story long, I had a great time on RAGBRAI! Slept in a tent for 6 nights, then I went to sleep in my own bed. Woke up the next morning, my hand an fingers were numb. I figured I slept on it funny and this would go away. Much to my chagrin, it stuck around. I consulted my sister the nurse, who thought it was probably a pinched nerve (and I was hoping it was NOT carpal tunnel!). Eschewing 'conventional Western' medicine (MD's, surgery, pill pushing and such), I went to a licensed massage therapist for a therapeutic massage hoping it would loosen things up a bit. As she was working on me, she mentioned the fact that out of all the massage clients she'd seen that day, I was the one who most needed a chiropractic adjustment. Of course, she made a recommendation and I figured why not? I'll try it, if it doesn't work no harm, no foul, make a doctor's appointment.

As of this posting, I've probably had about a half-dozen chiropractic 'adjustments'. I can say the first time he adjusted I had this great sense of relief and relaxation throughout my entire body. And, the numbness has subsided greatly to the point of feeling almost normal (no numb feeling in my left hand or arm) this morning. Although I'm not really sure whether this is actually due to the adjustments or staying off the bike awhile...I've ridden only once or twice since RAGBRAI. I'm going to take it easy for the next week or so and then back on the bike commuting. By that time, the hot summer afternoons should be subsiding and I'll be riding in nice crisp fall weather!


P.S. However, our Corporate Cup run is coming up in late September, so I have started running. Hopefully, the running exercise makes up for the temporary bicycle hiatus. See ya later!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We tried!

I just saw a comment on my earlier 'Vote 4 Go Kup' post. Seems Gravelo added a tagline to his 'Go Kup' idea and got hosed out of the prize money. I agree with Casey's!

What about the 3 or 4 others that entered the 'Go Kup' idea? How does Kum and Go decide who gets the cash?

Here's my thought...the Kum and Go corporation declares the contest 'null and void', keeps the cash and uses the slogan anyway. Pretty shrewd, but extremely unfair. Maybe I'm wrong, they might throw the names in a hat and do a drawing. However, that shouldn't disqualify someone just because they put a tagline on their idea. Give a guy a break, fer chrissake!

I've been pretty lazy regarding my blog lately. Lots of stuff going on right now and my blog isn't the highest priority. Since I was sitting here watching Star Wars Return of the Jedi on Spike TV (probably the hundredth time I've seen it) , I figured this would be a great time for a post.

Still don't have RAGBRAI pics downloaded to Flickr. We will get to this eventually, though. -D

Friday, August 6, 2010

Long Time No Blog

Got back from RAGBRAI last Saturday, rode the entire 7 days!

It was quite an adventure, we tented...the wife did the entire 7 with me driving our sag wagon! What a woman she is! I do have pictures, which I'll eventually post along with more verbiage.

I haven't been on the bike since then, but plan on riding the Bleriot tomorrow morning, during the cool of the day. Looks like it's going to heat up next week.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

VOTE 4 GRAVELO! Visit your local Kum and Go

I just found out my blogging buddy Gravelo might have an opportunity to win $10,000!

The details are on his blog post:

Basically, if you have a Kum and Go in your town go buy something, grab a receipt, then go to Enter your receipt code and vote for "Go Kup".

I'll be looking forward to the big payoff, along with my cut :>))


Friday, June 25, 2010

Keepin' it fresh, unintentionally OR My Adventure!

We've had quite a bit of rain lately.

So much so, the Missouri river has been pushing outside its banks, especially on the Iowa side. Needless to say, this had an effect on my regular, tried, and true commuting route.

It was a beautiful day yesterday, one of the first nice days after a string of thunderstorms and rain. Low wind, blue skies, sun shining. The bike glided almost effortlessly along the trail. There were a few puddles and some standing water, but nothing the super Soma Double Cross couldn't handle. My go to commuter, takes punishing miles and comes back for more. I made the loop around Lake Manawa, no sweat.

When I reached Riverfront Park, it was a different story. As I descended down into the park, I rounded the first curve...and slammed on the brakes. The trail disappeared into a great swamp, definitely not some little puddle or simple standing water. No way would I be able to splash through this mess!

What to do? Here I was, only 3 miles or so from work and I was stopped cold. The first thing crossing my mind was riding all the way back to my truck, load it up and drive into work. Crap. My next thought considered any possible alternate route. Of course I had no contingency, no alternate routes mapped out or any other kind of alternate plan in mind. Jeez.

So, I did the only thing that made sense at the least to me. First, I accepted the fact that I was probably going to be late to work. Now, it was time for an adventure! The only route that I could think of to get me across the river would the South Omaha Bridge road. I turned around hoping a route would magically materialize.

I backtracked to South Omaha Bridge road and started heading west. There is a trail adjacent to the road so I didn't have to ride in traffic. I was wondering what would happen when I arrived at the bridge. I knew they were renovating, so I was hoping there would be a way to cross without having to ride in rush hour.

I shouldn't have worried. The recently and very nicely renovated bridge (I stopped and took pictures btw, subject of a later post) had an excellent pedestrian path. Made it across, no problems.

Next issue...where do I go from here? I was on 13th street in Omaha, south of the Zoo and Rosenblatt stadium. 13th Street was not an option, too much high speed traffic and the College World Series was in town. The bike path terminated once I hit the street. But, I noticed a path on the river levee below the bridge. Now I had to figure how to get under the bridge and onto the levee path, running North towards my intended destination. I found a cross street (and pedestrian path!) running down under the bridge to river level. Great! I was able to find the entrance to the river levee path. I hit the path and started cranking, making great progress...until...

The levee path abruptly ended after about 2 miles. I ran into a gate across the path, and the path behind the gate was no longer paved. This was a dead end. Fortunately if there's a will, there's a way. At the gated point, another path lead down hill to the Burlington Northern railway, which runs parallel to the levee. I could only think "This is where they hide the bodies." but I soldiered on :>)

There was a gravelled right-of-way along the tracks, the only way to go, so I took it. After a couple of hundred yards there was a railroad crossing that led to a gravel 'street'. 3rd and Hickory. A light at the end of the tunnel! There was no place to go but up, and the street numbers were increasing.

I knew where I was, and once I got to 10th street it was North to Dodge and west to 16th and work. I rode through 'Little Italy' on the way, a nice diversion. Past the Durham museum and into downtown, lickety split. Without the backtracking, it's only two miles more than my regular route! -D

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Keepin' it fresh

Google blogger has come out with a new template feature so I decided to try it. How does it look?

It's good to change things up to keep things fresh. I haven't tried all the new templates but the bookshelf background caught my eye.

I've added a new link to my blog list...John Gough's spoke calculator. I've used this application to build wheels, and I can say it hasn't yet miscalculated a spoke length. Thinking about building a new rear wheel for the Double Cross, so I put this here just to make it convenient for me. It might prove to be convenient for someone else should they decide to build their own wheels.

I'm pushing hard to get in 4 days of commuting this week to get the miles up. Need to get the miles in for RAGBRAI. The MS15o Omaha to Lincoln (and back) ride is also coming up mid-July, and is a good yardstick for determining RAGBRAI fitness. Other things I need to do: buy the wife a new sleeping bag and camping bag, get the truck serviced, pull out the RAGBRAI camping list, etc, etc. It'll be here before you know it! -D

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wear and tear

It's been rainy. I rode one commuting ride last week, and my little tater has been here to visit for our family reunion this weekend. Not much bike riding occurring, which I hope to remedy next week.

RAGBRAI is fast approaching, and I need to think about preparing. Besides getting some cycling miles in, the camping equipment needs to be checked and we need to buy my wife a sleeping bag and a camping pad. She is driving our truck, and we are going to rent a U-Haul trailer to haul gear for the remainder of our group.

The Double Cross has been doing a great job on commuting duty. I didn't realize exactly how many miles I've been putting on this bike until I noticed I just wasn't getting the rear wheel braking power I used to. I pulled the rear wheel off and removed the rear brake pads...they were worn down to nearly nothing. The wheel rims also have a wear indicator stamping on the braking surface, and that's now rear wheel history as well. I also noticed the rear wheel is getting a bit out of true as well, and I'm not surprised given the amount of weight and wear put on the rear end of my bike. Of course, my rear tire is nearly shot as well!

The wheels and drivetrain came off my old Giant road sport bike. That bike had at least 4000 miles on it before I made the swap, so all those parts might now have over 10,000 miles on them. The big chain ring is shark-toothing and the cassette is getting worn down as well. This makes me think it's time for a new wheel build, cassette and chain and chain ring swap out.

I like bike projects! -D

Friday, June 4, 2010

WHAT THE F...?!?!? or get out of the freaking tornado doofus!

I hate it when that happens.

I was in the middle of my great story when I accidentally and completely deleted my post. Dammit.

So I'll start over again. My wife says it will even be better this time...but it's still a pain in the ass. My 'new' post starts now.

I wasn't really surprised, but I should have known better. Gravelo was smart enough to call his wife to come and pick him up.

I'm a doofus cycling dog. Let me explain. Most dogs will chase anything right? When another cyclist passes me, I instinctively speed up and try to stay on his wheel. Even if it's an ultra-light crabon roadie racer wearing a jersey proclaiming "Ultra Marathon, Triathlon and Cycling Racing Training Inc." or "53 x 11 or Bust", I'll try to chase it. Definitely if it's a recumbent rider. When I'm in the lead, if a cyclist tries to close the gap behind me, yeah, I'll crank harder. If his goal is to catch and pass me, then he'll have to work a bit harder at it.

So when I see storm clouds over my shoulder coming up fast what do you think I'll do? Will I stop and seek shelter? Ask for a ride? Call the wife to come and pick me up? Of course not! I CAN BEAT THIS.

I commuted to work Tuesday. According to the weather reports, it was going to be a rainy day. However, it was a beautiful morning and when I got to the parking garage there were at least four other bikes in the rack. As the day progressed, I was fairly busy and although I tried to keep an eye on the weather work drama kept me occupied and I stayed longer than I would have liked.

I should have clued in when got to the bike racks and all the bikes were gone. The afternoon was bit gray but as I moved Southeast the sky was clear. I looked over my shoulder I saw some very dark clouds moving in from the Northwest. They looked a long way off and I knew I could make it back to the trail head and my truck before they rolled in.

As I moved past Metro Crossing and rode through the adjacent trailer park, I saw a large group of people standing near the entrances to their newly constructed storm shelter. The dim bulb began to light and maybe I should stop and take shelter here. But noooo....I CAN BEAT THIS.

I turned South on the Lake Manawa bridge and headed toward the levee bridge. The wind direction changed 180 degrees from South to North, and at that point I knew I was screwed. I took advantage of the tailwind and pushed my bike past 20 mph. The low-hanging black and green ominous clouds encircled me like a pair of arms. Then all hell broke loose. I began screaming out loud "I'M NOT GOING TO MAKE IT!!"

With the wind on full boil and huge raindrops pelting me, I managed to make it across the bridge without blowing away. I threw the bike down the slope and dived under the bridge, cowering as the horizontal rain hammered me, stinging my skin. The bridge shook as the wind gusted, and I was wondering if the bridge would disappear or simply just collapse on top of me. Adding injury to insult some hail fell. Great. At least the bridge was overhead (for the time being), keeping the worst of it off me. After about 15 minutes of this mayhem and soaked to the bone, the wind subsided enough so I could get back on my bike and get on my way. Mind you, it was still pouring and gusting a fair amount.

There is a railroad spur that runs east-west toward the end of my commute. The trail runs underneath the track at one point, encircled with a stout concrete tunnel. I managed to make it there choking on the gallons of rain I swallowed, and tried to call my wife. I felt like a drowned rat. Of course, I was in a tunnel, so cell phone reception was almost zero. I found a spot near the end of the tunnel out of the rain where I could get enough signal to make a call. The wife was understandably concerned, but I let her know I was alive and would be continuing on once the weather subsided a bit more. I noticed I had multiple weather alerts !!! on my smart phone.

I got home and got the requisite concern, scorn, then ridicule from my wife. I don't blame her. We watched the weather alerts on TV, hail, high winds (over 70 m.p.h) and tornado warnings.

Lesson: You can't beat Mother Nature. And don't be a dumb ass on your bike. -D

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bike Omaha Commuter Challenge

This week, the Bike Omaha Commuter Challenge begins. The goal is to ride as many commuter miles as possible between May 14 and Aug 20. No cheating!

A fitting week to start, since the weather will be great this week. I commuted today, and the ride home was great...virtually no wind, low 70's. Haven't yet seen weather this nice for the year.

Last year, I racked up around 800 miles.. enough for second place in our company. However, our total company miles fell way short, and I believe we were ranked toward the bottom in our division. Jeez, I can't do it ALL myself :>)

Heck, it's all just numbers anyway. I think I'm just going to log miles and enjoy riding!

P.S. Get out there!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Crud is craptastic!

What is this stuff?

I was feeling pretty draggy and congested a couple of weeks ago, so I went to the doctor. Doctor 1 says, "You have an infection" and prescribed antibiotics. After a weeks worth of antibiotic treatment, I felt marginally better. So I figured this stuff had run it's course.

Thursday night, after my commute ride home I decided to do the infamous Taco Ride. Wife is out of town, why not. Plus, I hadn't been on the Wabash all year. Bought my season pass and hit the trail on my good ol' trusty Quickie Blue Fixie.

I bombed it, man. No one would pass me. I hammered all the way, chugged a smoothie drink, and hammered back. Felt pretty good.

Friday morning. I get up hacking and coughing...what the hell? So I call the doctor's office and get a 9 a.m. appointment. Doctor #2 says "Allergies, go take some Claritin". OK then. I stop by the Walgreens, pick up the Claritin and go to work. We had a team outing that day so we went to an afternoon ball game at Rosenblatt Stadium. Had a couple of beers, enjoyed the Creighton - Wichita State game (Creighton got blasted 8 - 0).

Saturday morning: the MS Spring Ride. Started from Iowa Western CC, through Underwood, Minden, Bentley, back to Underwood and IWCC. Yeah, I did the half-century. The idea though, I was going to get up early, ride to the event, then ride back home to Minden. Done by noon.

However, I got up at 6:30 a.m. and no it was thirty freaking five degrees out. Almost the middle of May and we're wearing winter gear? Nope, I decided I'd drive there later and went back to sleep.

Got up about 8:30 and dragged my ass out of bed...just didn't feel all that motivated and a little run down. I figured it was just a bit of weekend pokiness and willed myself into my bike clothes, loaded up the Bleriot, and made it to the 10 a.m. start with no time to spare.

The bike felt like it weighed like a ton...well, it does weigh a ton. I added a kick stand and taillight Friday night. Okay, I'll make it to Minden, rest a bit, change bikes and finish the ride. Which I did, courtesy of my Rambouillet (pretty cool to be able to change mid-ride). But man, I was having a hard time pulling the hills outside of Minden and headed towards Bentley. I felt spent but hammered away anyway and managed to make the finish line. Felt like the hardest half-century I'd ever done.

That night, my eyes were burning and I felt a bit flushed. Took my temperature...101.6 :>( Damn, no wonder I was pooped. So I've spent the remainder of my weekend recovering, hoping I can get rid of this crud soon. The wife has banned me from the bike for the duration until I get back up to speed, hopefully soon -D

Sunday, May 2, 2010

MB Time!

Got back from a trip to KC today, saw my little tater.

After my lawn mowing chore, there was still plenty of light mid 60's and beautiful outside. Of course, being late afternoon it was a bit late for an epic road bike adventure.

Time to get the mountain bikes out!

It's been a long time since I bombed the backyard with the mountain bikes. It just kind of hit me. I parked the lawn mower and happened to glance at my old Diamondback. It looked pretty forlorn and neglected sitting leaning against the garage wall, so I grabbed the tire pump and gave the tires a quick inflate. I thought maybe I'd just run up and down the street once or twice. I bombed the backyard a few times, then I headed back and grabbed my 29'er. I buzzed the town awhile, hit a few back alleys, the ball field, the community hall parking lot, the park, the basketball court, my niece's steep driveway (left a long black skidmark on the way out...gotta love those disc brakes), jumped a few curbs, hit the town triangle (Minden isn't big enough for a square), zipped down the big town hill, basically just pedaled my ass off.

Felt good :>) -D

Saturday, April 24, 2010

She's so heavy

I like ordering bike parts!

I picked up a few more parts for the Bleriot. I wasn't quite finished yet.

I'm still leaving the bars bare...I like the 'clean', polished look. However, I did pick up a few pieces from VO. I really didn't want to keep leaning the bike against something when I parked so I picked up a Pletscher double-legged stand. I'm also adding a Spanninga fender tail light and picked up a new headlight bracket. This bike's plenty porky, and I keep adding stuff to it. Still a small percentage of total weight when including the fat-assed rider :>)

Yeah, I need to ride more. I'm still getting over this crud I picked up last week and haven't done any riding this week...well, except for a quick trip to the barber shop here in town. The barber was closed, but I did get to run the QBF for a bit. Pulled the Nokians off (about time!) and put the Pasela Tour Guards back on. I went about eight blocks and when I got back I was sweating my butt off. I think it's a combo of the crud, winter chub, and lack of muscle tone which makes me more determined to get on the bike and ride until my legs fall off. Rode the MNUB last weekend (Minden, Neola, Underwood, Bentley) on the QB, the 9 hills between Bentley and Minden on a fixie definitely give you a good workout. I'd like to be doing that one at least twice a week, or a half-century in its place.

Ride plans: Maybe get the heck outta Dodge. I'd like to get back on the Wabash trail and head all the way down to Coin and back. I've signed up for the Omaha MS ride, and RAGBRAI is in 91 days. Go Go Go!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sickness sucks

Man, I hate spring colds.

I caught a whopper this weekend. I did manage to get my Sunday Quickbeam ride in, and it was a very nice day. But that night, I noticed I had a sore throat. Little did I know, it was just the beginning.

Woke up Monday morning with my sinuses stuffed to the rafters, barely able to breathe. I decided it was just a spring cold and I'd shake it off quickly. So I stayed home from work and rested, expecting to be ready to go the next day. Tuesday rolled around and I felt even worse, fever, coughing, vile excretions, the whole bit. I was absolutely certain I'd feel better after a good nights sleep, and be ready for work today.

No dice. This time, I called the doctor and got an appointment. Several hours and two prescriptions later, I seem to be feeling a bit better. Maybe I'll make it into work tomorrow...not that I'm that excited about getting back to work but I still have to support my bicycling and eating habit :>) -D

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A few pics and getting into hot water, thankfully!

Told ya I'd finally get around to it. Not much cycling here, but we did enjoy ourselves in Key West. Check 'em out...

Key West Pics

Had to work today (Saturday). Not all day, but I did take the Double Cross to work. It was cold this morning! I thought I wouldn't need winter gear, but I ended up in full dress this morning (36 degrees!). The afternoon was in the mid sixties and it was a real nice ride home.

We finally got the water heater fixed today so there is hot water in the Dau household! I thought I had it fixed Wednesday because the pilot lit, but the wife worked from home Thursday and said she still had no hot water. I replaced the thermocouple AGAIN, which proceeded to not work at all. Crrrrap, time to call in the experts. So I called the plumber, who suggested I call the manufacturer since the water heater was still under warranty. The manufacturer ended up sending us a new gas control valve FedEx next day air, which arrived today. And yes, this was definitely job for the experts. Our plumber even interrupted a job he was working on today so he could install same day. Sure is nice to take hot showers again :>)

Tomorrow looks like another great cycling day. Think I'll take the Quickbeam out for a spin.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Catching up...

Just got back Saturday from a week in Key West, and we had a great time! Pics will eventually be posted on Flickr, just haven't gotten to it yet. I did get out for a half-century on Sunday, and planning to do a commute run tomorrow, if I can get my gear together. I was reminded earlier this week RAGBRAI is 102 days away, so get those miles in.

Getting back into the swing of work, slowly. Had to replace a thermocouple gone bad in the water heater so no hot water this morning. Along with other honeydew chores, not much time to post.

I'm ready to get back on the bike, and the weekend sounds good for some long rides. Must burn off winter fatness :>) -D

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Little Peanut

The kids were up from KC for Easter, and of course I got to see my grandson!

He's my little peanut, and I love him! I'm starting to realize that grandkids are fun! Check out some pics:

Ayden Scott McDowell

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spotted! Broken Crabon in the Wild!

Since the weather has made a turn for the better, I've managed to start a semi-regular bike commuting schedule. Two days this week!

As I was pedaling home today, I notice a lime-green clad rider ahead walking his bike. Initially, I thought maybe he had a flat. No problem...I carry patches and a mini pump, along with CO2 cartridges if necessary. If the tube was fixable, we could have him up and running no problem.

However, as I drew closer I saw something else was amiss. The seat was bent over backwards at a weird angle. That's not expensive-looking carbon road bike with the seat flopped over like that. As I pulled beside him, I soon saw why. The seat post was neatly snapped off between the seat mount and the tube, the seat twisting in the wind. I looked over at the poor guy and about the only thing I could say was "Ouch!". He looked totally dejected, walking with head down and didn't acknowledge my presence. Physically, he looked fine. After several seconds of silence, I pressed on. I would have tried to help him somehow but it seemed he didn't want any assistance. Unfortunately, I usually don't carry spare seat posts. :>)

After seeing gobs of busted seat posts, handlebars, etc., on Busted (and an example at Acme Cycle in KC), I actually saw one on the road. Remember, kids...steel is real and crabon is crap! - D

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Finally, the first commute of this year!

Not much riding this weekend...we took a little trip to KC to see Ayden!

I did finally get one day of commuting in last week, on Tuesday. I believe it's the first day of commuting this year!

Yeah, it was cold in the morning. I really expected snow on the trail, but it was nearly all melted and no ice, either. It was windy, but that's no surprise this time of year. I geared up and layered up, 'cause that ol' wind just cuts right through you if you aren't prepared.

Of course, the Double Cross got the nod for the trip. Same setup, full fenders, Tubus rear rack with Carradice Nelson Longflap. I strap my my lunch bag on the back with a bungee cord, attach my reflecto-triangle, turn on my tailight and hit the road. It was pretty dark, so I was happy to have my Nite Flux headlight as well. This bike just racks up the miles, when I have the opportunity. And it seems like it's been forever since I've rolled into work geared up from biking.

Checked the weather and it seems like we'll be in the lower 50's for the rest of the week. I anticipate two or three days of commutes this week! Gotta get that mileage up in preparation for an entire week of RAGBRAI - D

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Getting my ass out there

It's been a gray, windy few days. The wife has gone to the South by Southwest film festival in Austin and to visit her friend Penny, so I've been left to fend for myself. I stayed up late, poking at the Bleriot. I trued and tuned up the front wheel, and replaced a tire. I think the original was defective, I could never seem to get it to mount properly. The new tire seems rounder, and less lumpy.

So I slept in this morning. There was an Ice Road Truckers marathon on the History channel. I catnapped on the couch. I drank a beer. I pondered riding, but every time I looked out the window I saw a gray windy day. The couch called to me. "Sit on your ass", it beckoned.

Man, I sure did want to sit on my ass. I stuck my head outside and gauged the weather. Cold and windy. I wanted another beer, but I drank the last one. I was getting tired of watching Ice Road Truckers.

So I started to gear up. Slowly and deliberately. I still wasn't sure I wanted to go outside. Eventually, I was all ready to go, finally about 2:30. That would limit me to a shorter ride, probably the 'shed and back' 20 mile run. I dragged my lazy ass and the Bleriot outside, heading south, 20 mph wind at my back.

I zipped along, retuned and retired front wheel running smoothly. I was in top gear running the flats, spinning away. No computer on this bike, but I imagined I was running in the mid 20's since I didn't feel any wind. I knew I was going to pay on the return trip, and I did. Head down, cold wind in my face, crawling up hills. I didn't care. My ass was out there :>)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ayden!

It is with great joy I announce the birth of Ayden Scott McDowell. He was born yesterday at 1:42 p.m., 7 lbs 3 oz, 20 inches in length.

Did I mention he is my grandson? Grandchild #1 and he is beautiful.

Jenny and I hopped in the car after work yesterday and drove to KC to visit.

I'm the one with the goofy grin on my face

Snoozing. Grandpa doesn't mind :>)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

RAGBRAI overnight towns

I thought I might be able to sneak in a ride today. But with below freezing temps, coupled with 15+ mph winds, I decided it would be better to hang out at home with my lovely wife...watching murder mystery shows. Ack! Oh well, she works hard and she deserves it.

Rather than lament my non-riding status, I thought I'd take a look at the RAGBRAI overnight towns and speculate on the route. The information at this point:

Day 1: Sioux City to Storm Lake. Distance: 68.5 miles. Climb: 3,689 feet.
Day 2: Storm Lake to Algona. Distance: 79.0 miles. Climb: 1,145 feet.
Day 3: Algona to Clear Lake. Distance: 51.3 miles. Climb: 1,036 feet.
Day 4: Clear Lake to Charles City. Distance: 51.7 miles. Climb: 1,066 feet.
Day 5: Charles City to Waterloo. Distance: 82.7 miles. Climb: 2,712 feet.
Day 6: Waterloo to Manchester. Distance: 62.0 miles. Climb: 2,313 feet.
Day 7: Manchester to Dubuque. Distance: 46.9 miles. Climb: 2,566 feet.

The first day will the the big climbing day. Next three days will be easy spins (depending on hangover severity) :>), then a bit more climbing for the final three days. I'm not sure where the century loop will end up...possibly Day 2 or Day 5?

I played around with Google Maps and tried to figure out the route for the first day. Every route I tried ended up being longer than 68.5 miles...which seems to be most direct route to Storm Lake. However, the most direct route takes you down Hwy 20 and Hwy 31...state highways and unlikely RAGBRAI routes. Most likely, RAGBRAI planners will take us down county roads passing through a few towns along the way. Kingsley, Pierson, Washta, Moville, Correctionville, Quimby, Hanover, Alta...any of these towns could be on the route.

Regardless, it will be a great ride this year! The final route, and our first team meeting, should be announced soon. I'm hoping to get out on the road soon so I can get started on getting some serious miles in. -D

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sneaking them in

Damn, it's still snowing.

Damn, I still want to ride. So I rode. I've been able to sneak in a couple of weekend rides. I managed a 25 miler two weekends ago, and a 2o miler last weekend. I got snowed on last weekend, but I didn't care. I geared up, bit the icy bullet, and got out there. The roads I've ridden have been relatively clear, so I didn't take the QBF with the snow tires. I hit the road with the old reliable Double Cross, a fine all-weather machine.

By the way, the RAGBRAI route was announced a couple of weeks ago. It'll be a northern route, one of the shortest and flattest ever. Yes, I'm doing the entire week this year, and it'll be awesome.

Waiting for my grandson to come visit - D

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Video Torture

Due to the impending arrival of my grandson Ayden, the wife and I decided to buy a video camera.

Of course, I had to test it. Not only that, but I had to attempt putting the horrendous results of my test on YouTube. Eek. After at least a dozen failed attempts, I finally figured out how to get my video in the right format and actually have YouTube accept it...the original video was 17 minutes. Much to my chagrin, YouTube "Regular" only accepts 10 minute videos, so my 3 1/2 hour download was rejected. This edited version (courtesy of iMovie) is much shorter. Thankfully.

So here it is, a tour of my combination bike shop and laundry room, and a tour of the 'bike basement'. Enjoy, or run away screaming.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ice, Ice Baby

Adding insult to injury, an ice storm hit here last night. Didn't we have enough precipitation?

Anyways, no driving to work today. Ironically, they had zero ice in Omaha last night, but once the storm passed over the river it froze like crazy. Must be all that husker hot air :>) Some places east of here got over an inch of ice accumulation.

I did not ride a bike today. The wife and I hunkered down here in the Dau compound, warm and toasty. Maybe I'll try tomorrow.

Several years ago, I purchased an Adidas cold weather cycling outfit, jacket and bibs. One of the best gear purchases I've made, and I wear the heck out of it during fall and winter. It still looks pretty decent, though the jacket is starting to show signs of wear. Works great, though. I bought the jacket a bit oversized so I can layer underneath. Usually, this consists of a base layer of a technical, long-sleeve mock tee neck then an Ibex wool top over that. It breathes, yet is plenty warm enough for most freezing and above cycling excursions. On my head, a Rivendell wool cap and wool balaclava. The pants have enough room to accomodate a base layer as well. Smartwool hunting socks and winter cycling shoes finish my winter gear-up.

Since this is the only set of winter cycling gear I have, I decided to supplement. I wandered into our local Trek store and discovered some nice Bontrager brand winter cycling bibs on deep discount. I tried on size L, a bit tight. The store owner explained most cycling clothing lines are designed for 'skinny Euro types', of which I am definitely not :>) It always seems that a good rule of thumb for cycling clothes is go up at least one size from what you would normally wear unless you want them to be form fitting. I also ordered a new jacket online...a Gore Tool. Since I couldn't try before buying, I had the wife measure me and it seems that the go up one size rule applies there as well. I liked the Gore Tool because it has a zip open underarm vent similar to my Adidas, a feature that has proved to be very handy. It was discounted as well, another great feature!

Looking forward to trying out the new gear, not looking forward to any more snow or ice!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

A foghorn would have made it perfect

After many weeks of non-biking, the drought has been broken.

Since the mercury climbed above freezing, and the QBF with Nokians was just itching to be ridden, I donned the gear and headed out into the fog. Pretty darn thick, too.

I lit up the QBF and attempted to make myself as visible as possible. I layered up and hit the road! How did they fare? Positives: they stick like glue in hard snowpack and even on ice. I rode around town up and down a few snowpacked streets and had no problems maintaining control. I even forced a couple of skid stops (at slow speed, of course) on some ice and even though the wheel skidded it was quite controllable. Very happy with winter performance.
Negatives? Well, I decided to ride out to my folks, about 10 miles. The county road out to their house is paved until the last mile or so, and was completely clear. Riding studded Nokians on pavement is like, well, riding in snow. The studs seem to stick to the pavement as well as snow and ice, to the detriment of rolling resistance. Riding up paved hills with fixed gear and heavy studded tires? Let's just say 20 miles today felt like a half-century in good weather.

I was sure happy to have them once I hit the gravel, though. The roads out in the country aren't well plowed, so I rode intermittently through snowpack, ice, gravel, and mud. The Nokians were in their element there. Turning into and riding up my folks snowpacked driveway should have been drama filled and nerve racking...instead it was no sweat at all.

My overall impression? Excellent winter tires...they weren't inexpensive but definitely worth not falling on my arse in the snow. I sure don't want to ride them any long distance on pavement, though...what a workout! Maybe I just need to get into better shape. The humming noise as I rode reminded me of driving with studded snow tires, for those of you who remember studded auto tires (they're illegal in Iowa).

The fog...the fog was giving me fits. I decided to wear my glasses today, a mistake. They immediately fogged up and stayed fogged during the entire ride, totally covered with moisture. I ended up riding with them on my nose, looking over the tops. Yes, that gray blur in front of me must have been the road :>) Just keep it between the ditches. Every time I heard a car behind me, I pulled off the road and waited for it to pass. Most cars on that road were driving without lights on and I didn't want to risk getting rear ended. I did have my reflective vest on and a taillight. Unfortunately, the battery in my taillight was draining and it was getting pretty dim, so I was afraid vehicles would have a hard time seeing it especially in the fog. I should have taken my Planet Bike strobe taillight with me..that thing is impossibly bright for a battery powered light and I'm sure it would have been visible.

With all that, I still made it home in one piece which made it a GREAT ride anyway. Nothing more invigorating than a nice, chilly winter ride!