Friday, May 30, 2008

A Hot Tamale at Chili's Today

I have been helping my friend, Anna, trace back some of her family in the Moselle region of France. Based upon some info she found, I discovered some names and dates that made us think we could add a few generations to her tree. Unfortunately, while verifying the information we found some new data that may make the hours of work we already did worthless. But, in the long run accuracy is paramount and verification of sources and data extremely important. That is the joy and aggravation in genealogical research. Sometimes you make a breakthrough and sometimes you waste your time. But, it is still an incredibly enjoyable and satisfying pastime. I don't have any problem admitting I was wro..wroooon....wr..wrr..wrrong. Okay, okay, I'm frustrated. I admit it. Not because of the wasted work but because I thought I was so smart. What a boob.......

Speaking of boobs, embarrassing moment of the week was spilling half of a mug of ice cold water on my shirt and lap at lunch while witnessing a young lady sitting across from me accidently reveal a bosom to her friend. This is at Chili’s…lunch hour…crowded restaurant. I was shocked (shocked I tell you) and appalled. I had to keep checking to make sure she didn’t do it again. Fortunately for her modesty, my “oops” action drew the attention of adjoining tables away from her social faux pas and torwards myself. I am such a gentleman (and a pitiful boob). Anybody who knows me is probably not surprised.

In sad news, the illustrious Harvey Korman passed away. What a class act and comedian he was. He is best known as playing the incomparable villain, Hedley Lamarr in Blazing Saddles.

I drink to you, Harvey, wherever you are
You were a favorite, a genius, a comedic star
You’ve passed from our midst
You’ll be sorely missed
No one else could be Hedy (it’s Hedley) Lamarr

Since it is the weekend, the big question is do I ride the Soulcraft or do I blow the dust off the S-Works Epic and do a multispeed ride? Decisions, decisions.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, Bikes, and Brats

I have to admit that on this weekend I have been a bit selfish. I have treated myself to a real weekend off from the travails of my existance. In simpler words, I have done absolutely nothing (even though I am starting to pre-plan my work week, argh). But, I do feel a bit guilty in admiting that I have not given much thought to the meaning of today's holiday. So here is a tip of my beer bottle (and hat) to my Grandfather, who spent four years in German POW camp; my uncle Bob, who served in Vietnam; all my friends who have worn the uniform and to all those who have served. I thank thee.

I took the Soulcraft down to Tucson and spent some time riding the 50 Year trail and Fantasy Island. First time on Fantasy in about 3-1/2 years but I remembered it all. It is made for a single speed and dehydrated as I was, I ripped it pretty well. And, since Keir was feeling a bit under the weather, he didn't push me for once (it must have been fatigue caused by crushing me in ping pong the night before).

I fell off the vegetarian wagon again, but I have an excuse. Memorial Day weekend is made for brats and I tried eating a vegan version of said culinary delight. Now I know exactly how horse dung tastes. So, I ate a real brat. A succulent, juicy, grilled brat. Cooked as if from a German beer hall. *sigh* Indeed, Manna from heaven it was. The stomach cramps and headache afterwards were well worth it. I have been told, though, that bratwurst does not count as real meat, especially when accompanied by the proper beverage. I will rationalize it anyway I can.

Is it so wrong to eat a juicy brat?
Should I feel guilty or a bit distraught?
I knew I was done
seeing it in its bun
yes, in its succulent goodness I was caught

I tried eating the vegetarian version
believing it to be a culinary excursion
it tasted like dung
to my sensitive tongue
it was more of a culinary perversion

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who Is Palicio D. Northrup?

Just checking emails before heading to Tucson and the 50 Year Trail. I'm taking the singlespeed and am totally stoked. Tomorrow will be Fantasy Island. It's been two years since I've ridden there and am hopping around like a two year old needing to pee in excitement. anyway, I don't know why iTunes bothers to send receipts. I can always tell when I purchase music from them by the sudden increase in spam.

Why do I get emails from Palicio D. Northrup?
Stating he can turn me into a hound from a pup
If I want the power of Niagra
Just purchase his Viagra
I just wish he wouldn’t ask me, “What’s up?”

Then there are the messages from Shanghai Alice
Who enquires to the strength of my phallus
And if I so desire
to fan women’s fire
she is happy to sell me boxes of Cialis

How to pay for these miracles is the question
I’ve sent away all the money in my possession
It has all gone to Nigeria
Based solely on the criteria
Of a general’s wife and her total discretion

Oh well, it is nice to know that these total strangers have such concern for my financial and sexual well being. I will sleep better tonight for the knowledge that such Good Samaritans still exist. But, if anyone out there happens to speak with her, can you ask the general's wife where my money is? It's been six weeks....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Can I Have a Snow Day?

I’m still stuck in Flagstaff but there are worse places to be. On Tuesday I was in 108 degree weather in Chandler and this morning in Flag I walk out of the motel room and it is 31 degrees and snowing. And, where is my jacket? It’s at home, of course, where it is desperately needed. Oh well, at least the Pegoretti is enjoying the scenery, though from the car. Why? Because I left the arm and leg warmers next to the jacket. I do not mind riding in the cold, but I do draw the line at 48 degrees in bare legs and arms. I am not that tough. Well, hopefully the riding in Tucson this upcoming weekend will make up for it.

I was speaking with the waitress at Little Thai Kitchen last night while waiting for my take-out. We hadn’t seen each other in about six months and since we were the only two people in the place we drank hot tea and shot the breeze. After about five minutes we stopped because we remembered we had the same conversation last time we had chatted. Neither of us wanted to discuss how to save the world so we hung out in a slightly uncomfortable silence. She was bored and I hate any aural void that is not being filled by the golden tones of my voice. With nothing else to say she played with her pen and I drew circles in the condensation left by the tea cup on the table. We perked up, though, and started talking about how amazing it is that we could have the same conversation twice in six months. I was enthralled by her insight and she loved the golden tones (a cross between Barry White and Roger Rabbit) I guess small talk ain’t small when you can repeat it ½ of a year later. Either that or, to paraphrase Santayana, those who can't remember their past conversations are doomed to repeat them.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Why Do Donuts Have Holes In Them?

So, there I was today waiting for my lunch in a small Flagstaff deli when the proprietor hacked a furball into her hand. She then grabbed a donut, put it in a bag, handed to me with a sweet smile and said, "Here, have a free donut for desert." Since I just got over a bad cold which kept me on the couch all weekend moaning, I was a bit loathe to partake of the aforementioned freebie. and it was quietly deposited in the closest trash receptacle. I related this story to Amy, over a Beaver Street Brewery pretzel, and she commented that she was not surprised since most people are oblivious to their actions. "Why, most people don't wash their hands after going to the bathroom," she added. True, I thought. Sometimes I have even fallen prey to this sordid act. Though I rationalize it by telling myself that I know where my privates have been. And where they have been is much cleaner than the contents of a stranger's lungs. Of course, I can picture myself working in a deli and telling a customer, "You get a free donut with your lunch. Oh! My hands are dirty. But, don't worry, it's not a problem....."

It's been hell hot in Chandler the past couple of days so I brought the bike up to Flag with me so I could take a nice after-work ride. Unfortunately, the mild temperatures have plummeted, the wind is blowing, and there are rumors of snow for tomorrow. None of which would normally bother me except I left all the cold weather gear down South. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

My friend, Anna (Value Meals on the Volga) has discovered that within her German from Russia ancestry there is a French conection. As a certified French snob, I always knew that she carried the "snoot" gene in her blood. So we have done a little research and have discovered a few new names and generations for her family tree. One of the things I love about genalogy is how it satisfying it is when pieces come together from seemingly disparate bits of information. The Internet has made searching for information, and confirming the validity of data, so much easier.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A New Way to Injure One's Self

Just when I thought I couldn't sink any lower. Just when I thought I was escaping the cesspool of self pity, I found a way to sink deeper into the mire. I have already reported that I fell off the vegetarian wagon and, gasp, ate flesh. But, not just any flesh. No, liverwurst, braunschweiger, a paté of such exquisite stinkiness and taste that it defies description (beyond the superlatives already stated). I have not admited it yet, but in the delerium caused by eating said food stuff, I injured myself. How embarassing, especially when the truth came out to our Safety Manager at work. I was leaving the *ahem* facilities and opened the door to depart. I caught my profile in the sink mirror and noticed how the mirror enhanced the middle portion of my torso. I stopped in facinated horror (like a witness to a particulary gruesome accident) and stared at the protruding stomach area pushing the belt line slightly down. Of course, the Jimmy Buffet parrot shirt did not help the effect. As I stared the self closing door slammed against the middle finger of my already small hand. Oh, the humanity!!!! What makes it worse is that each time I inspect the injury, I give myself the finger. Salt upon the proverbial wound. Fortunately , the Stone Brewery bottle of Old Guardian does help soothe the pain. Barely....... I just wish I could come up with a better story.

In other news, after Keir kicked my butt on the bicycle from here to, on Sunday (it had to be the liverwurst or the planets were aligned in such a way...) Afterwards, he bought himself Rockband for his upcoming Tuesday b-day. I discovered a few things from said purchase. My son, Frank Jr. (a true rock god) is a Guitar Hero marvel, Keir has not lost his drumming chops, Micah is a musician in making, and daughter Jess can still belt it out. What did they find out 'bout me? Whether on bass, guitar, or *gasp* drums, I can turn any song into a polka. Gimme Shelter by the Stones?...polka. Paranoid by Black Sabbath?....polka. Beastie Boys? Polka city, baby!!!! (BTW, I cannot turn any song by Pat Benetar into polka. I'd rather slam my head in a bathroom door. ) Liverwurst and Lederhosen. What more does one need? Besides the sense to move one's hand from a closing door? Come to think of it, my cry of pain sounded just like a yodel.

Pass the Tofu, please. Back to normal dietary practice, to kicking Keir's ass in cycling, and figuring out how to polkarize Incubus.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Football Again

Today was the first Saturday in quite a while when I did not get to see my granson, Micah, play flag football. The season ended last week with a victory for his team, The Colts. His dad, and my best riding partner, Keir, was the coach. They ended the season with a victory and I believe the highlight was actually a loss in the penultimate weekend. The Colts came within 1 minute of beating the only undefeated team in the league. What a game. Great game Coach K!!!!! Here's Micah taking the ball under center.

The Platypus Genome Project and French Fries

For years the platypus had biologists perplexed
Its genetic weirdness had them vexed
Having cracked its genome
They can now go home
To seek relief from their Platypus complex

Actually the only question I have regarding the Platypus is to ask whether the plural is "Platypi", "Platypuses", or "Platypodes?"

In other news, Austria and Switzerland are sharing this year's Eurocup football tourney (Allez Les Bleus, Allez France!!!!!) The big scandal is there may not be enough potatoes in Helvetia to feed football fans starving for their pommes frites. I know it's bad enough when the beer runs out, but no french fries? Heaven forbid. They may actually lift importation restrictions on potatoes.

Took the Soulcraft single speed out to the competion track at McDowell today for a nice long ride. I absolutely love this bike. The S-Works is gathering dust and gives me a plaintive look each time I walk by it. No, I don't feel guilty....much. Did a couple of laps of the sport/tech loop to warm-up. Hoped to see Timo and crew show but ended up riding solo. Finished with another sport/tech loop then long loop before heading back to the hacienda for a Negre Modelo in an effort to carbo load. Truth be told, I still feel a little under the weather but any ride is better than sitting at home moaning. I do have to confess, that I fell off the vegetarian wagon yesterday and wolfed down a couple liverwurst sandwiches which did my head and energy no good. Looking forward to meeting Keir tomorrow and riding up South Mountain on the road bikes. He has a beautiful Indy Fab Crown Jewel which I always drool over.

Went to the writer's group tonight and it was one of the most productive meetings we have had. Probably because I had nothing to share except the existance of this blog. I fear for my compatriots' sanity if they happen to wander here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

No "Yay" for PTO Day

Yesterday’s trip to Flag must have been extra tiring or maybe it was going for the #4 spicy with the curry but I only got a couple of hours sleep. So after going into the office for 30 minutes, I took a PTO day to try and sleep. I hate wasting a PTO day just on being fragged, but I just couldn't concentrate on anything. What a weenie. Oh well, it's May and my first sick day of the year.

It’s weird the thoughts one has while laying on a couch in a semi-awake state. I think everyone has experienced this. There is a comforting silence broken only by the ticking of the clock and the rhythmic sound of the ceiling fan wobbling. My mind wandered about and I started thinking about a news article from a couple of weeks ago stating that scientists had modeled a Neanderthal larynx and were trying to decide what he/she may have sounded like, which prompted this ditty:

The scientific world is all a-buzzin'
about the vocal abilities of our ancient cousin
Just when one thought one had heard it all
one can now listen to a Neanderthal
How does he sound, this ancient man?
Like Laurence Olivier, or Charlie Chan?
It really is quite an amazing stunt
to give any accent to a snort or a grunt
If he were here right now, I know what he'd cite
"Who got cut from American Idol last night?"

The next day, our world beloved commander-in-chief was in Paris at a world summit on global warming. His comments prompted the German representative to call his plan, “Neanderthal.” Coincidence? I then was forced to compose another little bit of prose:

Yesterday we heard that scientists found
how a Neanderthal's speech really does sound
They could have more wisely spent their grants
by traveling to beautiful Paris, France
They'd find their answer without much trouble, too
They'd only have to listen to our George W.
Then discuss if global warming is caused by the libido
Followed by watching semi-nude girls dancing at the Lido

Back to my original train of thought (my sleep deprived mind is wandering), whilst dosing and pondering upon this important news, I had the epiphany that Neanderthal man probably would have appreciated a little global warming during the Ice Age. At least he wouldn’t have then been forced to tell every woman, "It’s shrinkage!!!!"

And now for the obligatory blog rant. This is a message for the young “garcon” at Zinc Bistro. If you are going to be snooty and dashing at the same time, learn to pour the Duvel properly. I can forgive not having the proper glass and substituting a large snifter as replacement, but for Pete’s sake, angle the glass while pouring!!! Even the label shows how to do it. If you are going to be a proper French garcon, walk the snoot, be the snoot. Annoy the patrons by having your nose in the air, not by being ignorant. Also, you do not want to make customers feel special by having an "off-hour" menu. You want them to feel small and foolish. “Our regular menu is wide and varied but is reserved for those who know the proper time to eat. For the unwashed masses who are too stupid to know better, we have the Off-Hour menu featuring Pates a Gratin or, *sniff*, Mac and Cheese as you silly Americans say. Because you are ignorance personified, you must pay $12.95 for the privilege of stating that it is the best you have ever eaten.” Learn that attitude and I guarantee you will be serving officials of the Global Warming Summit on the Champs Elysée soon.

Now that I have unburdened my soul, I can finally snooze in blissful peace.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The New Blog Smell

My first entry. It still has that wonderful new-blog smell. I am sure if I stick with this, in a few months it will have the perfume of a ’56 Buick that has been sitting behind a gas station in Gila Bend for the past 30 years. It is an odor that is a combination of rotting upholstering, rusted metal, body odor, and animal droppings. In actuality, it will smell like most of my writing. The first question I asked myself in partaking of this journey is why? Only a couple of close friends and maybe some family will ever wander here. And, only as a pity visit to build up my ego. However, I will shamelessly place links to some of my friends’ blogs or websites. These are sites that have interesting things to say and just mentioning them will add value to my spot.

I will also brazenly pander to (visit Value Meals on the Volga) some of my favorite things… bicycles, books, beer, music, genealogy, etc ….

I had to travel to Flagstaff for work today and brought the Pegoretti Duende up for a nice “after work” ride along Lake Mary road.
Even with the wind, it was just great to be out riding in the high country. And, unlike the majority of “racer types” down in Chandler/Tempe/Phoenix area, riders up here actually wave when they ride by in the other direction. Unfortunately, coming down the bumpy road from the NOPI observatory is not the time or place to realize my headset was slightly loose. A quick fix, though, and all was right with the world, especially since the day ended with a quick trip to Little Thai Kitchen with Amy for the #15 before the long drive down the hill to the valley.