Monday, July 30, 2007

My Vacation in Pictures

Since no one wants to read what I have to say anyway.

That's a lot of grills

Fish On!

Our fishing guide's elbow is nasty

My first salmon

This actually turned into a goose attack

Cascade River hiking

More Cascase River

Swimmin' Hole

That's it! Yes! BE the manatee!

Babies love beer. (No, it wasn't open)

Full moon on lake superior

My fam-damily

Babies love rocks

Best threat ever

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Signing Off

I'm leaving tonight for a 5-day vacation, so I shall leave you with my thoughts on current events.

  • Tour De France: This is awesome! I haven't had this much fun watching the tour EVER! We've got a pretend bike race going on AND we've got real live celebrity drama! Not only do we have changes in the GC due to riders having an off day, we're having full teams completely withdrawing from the race!

    Those of you who are pissed off about all the doping...tell me WHY! Did you actually think these guys were clean? Come on...this is the WWE of Europe. These dudes are riding up the face of a fucking mountain faster than I can ride down ain't all genetics.

    I have now declared myself the victor of the TdF. By the time they're done weeding out all the dopers, we're gonna be left with a bunch of guys like me. Honestly, does anyone really want to sit down in from of the TV with a bag of pork rinds to watch guys like me race around a foreign country? No. Just let these guys be ENTERTAINERS, cuz that's all they are to me.

    The REAL cyclists are the guys with jobs and families who still manage to make it out and test themselves in races, even if they get DFL. These are the types of riders that I want to be associated with.

  • Michael Vick: Yes, he is a piece of shit and most likely some sort of sociopath, but get real, folks. There are much bigger issues going on in the world today. Think of how much good could be done with the type of public outcry that this dog-fighting has brought on? What if all the people who are enraged over this turned their energies toward ending domestic violence? Seems to me the lives of a few animals are trivial compared to the millions of battered women in this country. Let's get our fucking priorities straight.

  • Lindsey Lohan: If you see her, give her a hug from me. It must be very hard to be very rich and very stupid.

  • Britney Spears: See above.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Got Schooled

I went up to the track last night to do my sprint workout. I hit a new PR for max speed, by my 200 time didn't show it. I rode a shitty line and ended up with an 11.75. For those of you who aren't familiar with riding the track, you have to go further if you don't hold your line. My ride was the equivalent of being able to sing REALLY loudly, but being completely tone-deaf. Speed without style.

The Taint was there and we convinced him to do some match sprints with us. Miraculously, I was able to beat him on the first one because I took off really early. The next time, in a 3-up with me and Ted, The National Champion took us to school. He kept the pace high and was swerving all over the damn track so we couldn't come around. In the final sprint, I just didn't quite have enough left. I'm glad I got the chance to ride against him, though. I learned a lot.

He mentioned that maybe next year he would go back to sprinting full-time instead of doing that pursuit shit. That would rock.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Perfect Morning

Damn, I should take today off and hang at the lake.

Damn Kids

I found them this way at Target.

I Break Shit

It's just what I do.

Ted is constantly lecturing me about how I need to be more gentle with things, but it just never seems to work for me.

  • Just last night, I broke a Nalgene bottle. Aren't those things supposed to be indestructible?
  • I'm on my 3rd Bottom Bracket of the year on my track bike
  • I recently had to replace all my chainring bolts because I stripped them out
  • I went through 3 seatpost clamps on my road bike last year
  • The bike shop manager actually said to me, "Congratulations. I've never seen anyone do this to a headset before. You really fucked this thing up."
  • I nearly broke the latch on Ted's new sliding door, but he stopped me at the last second

I've been breaking shit all my life, so this is just a small and recent sampling of my exploits.

My new goal is to stop breaking my toys and aim for something more constructive, like track records.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Better Than Upgrade Points

We had a rather small turn-out today for the Match Sprints, but it was still a blast. Plus, I won a burrito. And chips with guacamole. Great success!

I had the fastest qualifying time with an 11.64, and only lost one race on the was a 3-up race, and I didn't know how to manage two other riders. Now I do.

Overall, I learned quite a bit and I'll hopefully be ready for the State Championships in less than 2 weeks.

Friday, July 20, 2007

And your state keirin champ is....not me.

I'll start at the beginning, but this night was all about the keirin for me. It was the State Championship, a national qualifier, and my first chance to test myself against the Cat 1/2's.

First up was a 15-lap scratch race. My plan was to just sit in and use it as a warm-up, but with 3 to go the pace was still slow enough that I knew I'd have a chance to sprint. Coming into the last lap, I was way the hell at the back and came around like 8 people for the win. That's always fun!

I'd been fretting all day about the keirin. What gear to ride, what tactics to use. Ugh. I drove myself crazy. I ended up in the first heat with Skibby, Tainter, and Hanna. Shit. Skibby drew the first spot, and I drew #2. He kept the pace high enough that no one went early. Perfect lead-out. I jumped with just over 1 lap to go and won!

Coming into the finals, I had two conflicting thoughts going through my head. Firstly, I was intimidated as hell. Tainter, Ferris, Currel, Dubay, Hagerty, and little ol' me. Secondly, I was feeling confident after winning my heat, and decided not to move up a gear. Bad call. I drew the 6th spot, and we all lined up. I had a good start, and was coming down into 3rd wheel, and I just got nudged out of my spot. It's my own damn fault for not riding aggressively enough. Anyway, I ended up at the back of the pack. Ferris was leading out, and he sat up as soon as the motor pulled off. From there is was kind of a cluster-fuck, with Tainter taking over the lead and everyone scrambling for position. Again, I didn't ride aggressively enough and had nowhere to go. I ended up getting 5th. I know I had the speed to do better, but alas, I am a mental midget.

It's too bad that my first keirin ever had to be an important one. It was hella fun, but I'm a bit disappointed in my results. Overall, I still got 5th in the state. Not bad for a Cat 3. I just gotta keep telling myself that I learned a lot from this race. It will motivate me to get even faster.

Last race: 50-lap points race. Dropped out after 5 laps.

Other Happenings:

  • Little D brought some beer for Ted, who didn't show up because he was protesting the fact that there were no sprint races for the 3's. It was sure nice of him to bring that 7-pack of Blue Moon. (He claims it was a 12-pack, but that's not how I remember it).
  • LSC's Largest Cyclist (Would he be LSCsLC?) Mark Carey is coming into good form. He was present at the front of all the race and even got 2nd in the 4/5 State Championship scratch race. Nice job! Plus, he gave me a hell of a good push at the start of the keirin.
  • Donimator continued his reign of terror when Fred Stevens collided with his back wheel. Don, stop picking on everyone.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Truth in Advertising

How fucking stupid do advertisers think we are? Look at this package of eggs. "Vegetarian Fed Hens". As opposed to the hens that are out having steak every night? Have you ever seen a hen eat anything but a vegetable-based diet?

There's a Chipotle commercial that exclaims that they use "chickens raised by farmers, not corporations". Does anyone actually buy into this shit? Like the chicken we get elsewhere is being raised in a downtown skyscraper? They're ALL raised by farmers, asshat!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I got wood comin' outta my...oh, nevermind


Check out this dude.

He's on a paved trail that is less than 3 miles long. Wearing hiking boots. And a backpack.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Lessons In Nature

This is what my kids got to see today at the Como Zoo. Look closer. Closer. That's right, the giraffe has a boner.

Proportionately, not very impressive.

He later mounted up on his friend, but I didn't want to intrude by taking pictures.

Pity the Runners

I occurred to me today that no one ever appears to be enjoying themselves when they are running. Every single runner I've ever seen looks completely miserable. Why would anyone do something that makes them so unhappy?

Friday, July 13, 2007

All The Jobs I've Lost

I've had a lot of jobs in my 26 years, and I've also been fired several times. Here they are, in chronological order:

  • McDonald's: I was a manager-in-training when they busted me for stealing apple pies. Fired.
  • Hardee's: They scheduled me to work on 4th of July, but I wanted to blow shit up and get drunk with my friends. They did not appreciate the fact that I did now show up for work. Fired.
  • Town House Restaurant: I wanted a week off of work so I told them I had infectious mono. Unfortunately, I went to school with the owner's daughter, who told her that I was not sick. Fired.
  • Pleasantview Nursing Home: I was the activities coordinator in the afternoons after school. Part of my job was doing activities with the Alzheimer's unit. I had a headache, and they were watching Lawrence Welk videos, and I fell asleep. That is frowned upon, so they "let me go". Fired.
  • Swift Eckrich: I was a meat packer. Literally. I was also one of two white people who worked there. 70-hour workweeks at minimum wage. Quit to move to college.
  • Dad's Home Improvement: Half-assed company that we had to sue to get our last paychecks. Piece of shit owner still hasn't paid. Quit due to nonpayment. What a cocksucker.
  • Northern Systems: Telemarketing. Ack. We tricked people into having our pressure sales staff come to their house. Led to a chain of acquaintences which led to me meeting my wife, so not all bad. Quit because telemarketing is stoopid.
  • PetCo: Sweet job, but didn't pay shit. Quit to try to afford my high-rollin' lifestyle.
  • Fingerhut: Customer service rep. Sucked ass. Quit.
  • JM Oil Company: Drove a tankwagon delivering oil and fuel. Crap work, but good people. Paid my way through my first year of college. Quit to find out if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
  • G&K Services: I loaded rugs onto trucks. Quit after two weeks because the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.
  • JM Oil Company (again): Went back to the job I liked. Paid my way through my second year of college. Quit to do my internship.
  • Emerald Data Processing Services: Half-assed company with a crazy owner. Bad internship. Did not learn anything. Got laid off due to lack of available work. How the hell do you lay off someone you're not even paying?
  • SCTC: Worked on a data warehousing project for the summer. Temp job which also filled my internship requirement.
  • Spanier Bus Service: Sweet gig driving school bus. Junior high kids are asshats. Hours were perfect for finishing college. Quit when I needed a real job.
  • New Vision Digital: Thought I should my own web design/hosting company. Turns out I shouldn't. Still do hosting, but only on the side.
  • Pearl Limousine Service: Owned by Spanier. Just some extra cash on the side. Quit due to lack of extra time.
  • New Flyer: Built metro busses. Boo. Promoted to Production Data Technician. Still Boo. Shitty management, shitty job. Quit.
  • Merrill: My first real job after college. Great place to work when I started, but then they decided to go public and had a major reorganization, which pissed everone off and caused a mass exodus. Quit.
  • Current Job: Can't tell ya where it is cuz you assholes will tell my boss how many jobs I've been fired from and they won't love me anymore. Sweet gig, though.

Race Recap

Here we go again. Last night was fun. I was pumped to ride my first keirin, but unfortunately Bob's moped was busted up.

The first race was a 12-lap tempo, with the top two places on each lap taking 2 and 1 points, respectively. Ted and I went hard from the gun and took the first 3 laps before we got swallowed up by the group (Ted subsequently got spit out the back, lapped, and lost all his points). I tagged on to the back of the pack for a few more laps, then started to lose some ground. I had to sprint for the line with 1 lap to go in order to avoid getting lapped. My 5 points got me 4th place.

Next up was 3-lap sprint heats. This was the replacement for the keirin. It was basically a 4-up match sprint. Olephant (sp?) led us out for the first two laps in a slow, swervy, tactical manner. I jumped heading into the last lap and won handily.

Fast-forward 45 minutes.

Sprint finals. This heat was 6-up, which kind of nullifies any match sprint tactics. Timmer told me he was going to lead it out. Sweet! He was in position 1 and I was in 2, so I had no trouble getting on his wheel from the gun. I sat in relatively comfortably for the first lap-and-a-half, and then I started to feel other riders swarming around, so I jumped hard and never looked back. I ended up winning by around 15 meters. Ted got 3rd behind Lionel Space, who it turns out is a big stud with an awesome name.

The last race of the night was a 50-lap scratch race. In typical Tenacious T fashion, I put in too big of an effort on the front trying to catch a break and blew up. I got shelled out the back and dropped out after about 15 laps.

I grabbed a Blue Moon and sat in a comfy chair to watch the rest of the race. The race played out exactly as I knew it would, with Timmer executing his top-secret scratch race tactics to perfection for the win. I refuse to divulge this secret, because one day I may be around at the end of a long race and use it to win. Oh, who am I kidding?

I ended up 2nd in the omnium and lost my amateur status by winning $30 for taking 1st in the 3-lap Sprint race. Great Success.

We stuck around to watch the 1/2's do an 80(!) lap points race. Ben Dubie showed some heroics by rebounding from a crash in the Miss & Out to hang with Big Pro Bergman for almost the entire race. Impressive. Bergman lapped the field 4 times, and Dubie 3. Where are Crosby and Winger when you need 'em?

Ferris crashed in the Miss & Out, too. He was wicked pissed about it.

Also, I'm taking suggestions as to whether my race reports are too short, too long, or just right. What say you?

New Site Features

The following items have been added to my site, based on requests from last night:

  • Link to everyone's favorite track whip. Sorry dude, thought it was already there.
  • Contact info. Now you can e-mail me at TenaciousTBlog (at) gmail (dot) com. Cuz I is important.
  • Also, apologies to those who requested a picture of my balls. That will not be added to the site at this time.

Elena Showed Me Her Cookies


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wanna Be Like Ray

I spent the majority of last night helping my father-in-law chop up some massive trees that the power company cut down.

This is the end result:

Showdown delayed due to....Soccer?

I just learned that the track will be closed form July 13th - 23rd for the USA Cup Soccer Tournament.

This means my showdown with the Phoenix will be delayed for a week.

Does this mean I will be spending the next week spinning around in baby gears? It most certainly does not. It means I will be spending the next week trying to refine my look to more closely resemble this real-life Gladiator:

Which reminds me, I always wondered why none of the American Gladiators seemed to be from America.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hey Everyone, Come Look at my Wood!

Found in Code

I had to go make a change to a legacy VB6 app today, and found this in the code:


OK then.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A Stink in the Pack

During our Thursday night track racing, I noticed that we have a stinker in the Cat 3's. This individual has such horrible B.O. that I could not draft off of him, and at one point gave up my position near the front in order to get more bodies between me and the stink.

Is there a polite way to tell him, "Dude, you stink"?

Switched at Birth

I knew this dude looked familiar.

Is Mark Cavendish really Josh Hartnett? You be the judge.

Ima Pokeyfucker

The other day, I had nowhere important to be, so I decided to drive the speed limit, which I rarely do.

Damn, does that suck! I don't know how people do it. I was getting passed by semi's, old people, ugly people, everyone! People were glaring at me like I was getting in their way. It was enfuriating. After about 3 minutes of this I went back to my normal driving speed, which is generally "as traffic dictates". Life is much better.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Tenths Just Keep Coming...

This is what an 11.7 looks like:

Thanks again to The DGC for the video.

Damn it was hot as shit yesterday. The DGC and I were doing match sprints and I thought I was on fire. There wasn't even any reprieve in the shade.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Professional wrestlers use steriods!

Knock me over with a feather.


My nephew Roman shot his first carp bowfishing in the Mississippi River. 10 lbs.

I missed about 10 of them.

Post-Race Wierdness

Ted and I always stop at Dairy Queen after Thursday night racing. Tonight, we saw this guy:

That's right, some guy is in DQ wearing pajama pants and no shirt at 10 pm. How fucking ghetto is that?

No shirt, no shoes, no service...and no muscle. Put your shirt on dude.

Race Report with Video

Tonight couldn't have gone better for me...kinda. I won the first two races but got 2nd in the omnium. I guess it coulda been worse...I could've had to ride the entire 50-lap points race!

Noticeably missing from the field was Timmer. Apparently he has a life outside of cycling. Who knew?

First up was an Unknown Distance Race. I hate this race because, well, I don't know the distance. The mistake I've made in the past was that I took a chance on guessing when the gun was going to go. Not this time. I stayed in 3rd-4th wheel until the gun. Currell (who will be known as "The DGC" from now on because I like the sound of it) jumped right away and I got on his wheel. We immediately pulled a good gap on the rest of the field, and I was able to come around on the home stretch to take the win by less than a wheel. That was a tough race.

I've said this before, but I love the Chariot race. My first heat was a complete cluster-fuck. I didn't have any other sprinters in my qualifying heat, so I was feeling pretty confident. My plan was to sit in on the first lap and sprint the second, trying not to use up too much energy before the finals. I don't know what the hell I did, but I ended up getting boxed in up at the rail and I had to work my ass off (coming from waaaayyyyy back) just to take 3rd.

The Chariot finals went much better, as evidenced in this video:

Thanks to The DGC for the video.

That's me winning. The video kind of speaks for itself. The DGC went hard from the gun, and I came around on the last lap. That's Ted in 3rd, making his triumphant return to the track after last week's crash.

We also have a video of the Chariot start where Ted's wheel slipped in the dropouts, but that's not nearly as exciting as seeing me win.

The last race of the night was a 50-lap points race. The schedule got switched up so this race was about 2 minutes after the Chariot finals. I cramped up after 6 laps and had to pull out. The DGC ended up winning, which gave him the omnium win. Consistency pays off! Lionel Space was winning for most of the race, but then, as if he didn't even care about my omnium victory, he ended up in 2nd.

There was some bad news...Ferris went down in the Madison. He seemed to be alright and was in decent spirits when I left, but it's never fun to see anyone crash. Especially a guy as nice as Chris. Hopefully he's back next week. After dominating the 1/2 races, he's gotta be feeling good about his performance.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Stoopid Criminals

I love St. Cloud.

Full Story.

Some half-wit stole 9 factory stereos from cars. Factory stereos! They've gotta be worth, what, a buck?

Source Control

This one's for my geeks out there.

What the hell is wrong with Source Control these days? It used to be that you just used Visual Source Safe, and you were fine. It's straight-forward, easy to use, and only occasionally corrupts your files.

If you want something really robust (or you're not using MS products for development) use IBM Rational Clearcase. Nearly impossible to teach someone to use, but it works like a dream.

There is absolutely no excuse for the use of horse-shit apps like StarTeam (don't even get me started on the Web Edition), Perforce, or whatever-the-hell-else the anti-conformist Dev Leads decide we should use.

I've spent 3 days this week fighting with StarTeam, so needless to say I'm a tad pissed off.

Triathlon Tales

A few of us got to talking about tri's last week at the track, so I thought I would relay my own story of misadventures in triathlon. I'd like to start out by saying that triathlons, like everything else I'm not good at, are stupid.

I was suffering a serious cycling burnout but wanted to remain active. I've never been fast at running anything more than 400 meters, but I figured "what the hell". I spent all winter running outside and swimming at the gym. When I first started swimming, I could barely make it the length of the pool. Simply put, I'm a sinker. I bought the book "Total Immersion" and worked diligently on my swim technique, which quickly improved. The sprint tri I had signed up for included an 800 meter swim, which I could easily accomplish in the pool. I was running ~6:30 miles, which for me was stellar. I felt that I was ready.

When race day finally came, I started to second-guess myself. 400 racers hitting the water in 3 waves. I thought to myself, "Why the hell are these hosers wearing wetsuits in the middle of summer?" Uh Oh, they know something I don't know. Also, wearing a life jacket is against the rules (I asked). They should hand out a warning with your race packet: "People will swim over you, not around you". Freaked the shit out of me. I ended up doing the elementary backstroke and sidestroke for almost the entire swim, all while hyperventilating. At one point, I tried to hang onto a bouy, but the kayak guy told me I couldn't. I told him he was responsible if I drowned, so he paddled next to me for the entirety of the race. At one point, I switched to the breast stroke and he said, "Great job, you're really moving with that one." I told him to shut the fuck up and stop patronizing me.

I think there were about 6 people who got out of the water after me, so the transition area was essentially empty when I got to my bike. I threw on my race belt and ran my bike out to the road. I knew this would be the area I excelled at, but I had no idea how many people I would pass. Lots. I had the 11th fastest bike time of the day, and by far the fastest in my age group.

Feeling like a huge stud after passing numerous overweight women and old men, I got back to the transition area and promptly fell on my face when I tried to start running. Shit. It took over a mile to get my rhythm, and all the while people were passing me, and I swear they were laughing at me. I couldn't get my heart rate up, and just went into survival mode.

I had one of the slower run times on the day, but ended up in 83rd place overall and 4th in my age group.

This was my wake-up call that I should just focus on biking, because I pretty much suck at everything else.

Never again.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ironic Tattoos

The other night I was at a bar with Bodacious P. We were sitting by the juke box, and suddenly he started laughing. I turned to look and there was a "big" girl (this is me being nice here) with her back to us...and she had these teeny-tiny little wings tattooed on her back. They looked so incredibly out of place I just had to laugh.

What was her thought process when she got them? "OK, imagine the size of wings it would take for me to actually make them 1/64 of that size."

I was going to ask, but didn't think she'd see the irony.


There's been a lot of banter in blog-land regarding the track upgrade policy. Here's my take:

For those who think the upgrade policy should be more stringent...have you tried to get upgraded lately? I had omnium results of 2nd, 3rd, 1st, and 2nd before I was allowed to upgrade. After my 3rd race, other racers were constantly asking me when I was going to upgrade.

Compare that to racing on the road...I was able to obtain my upgrade simply because I finished 6th in one road race, along with a handful of mid-pack finishes. I know several roadies who've gotten their Cat 3 (or even Cat 2) upgrades with fewer races and worse results than I had. The track enforces the upgrade policy almost to a "T".

There are also some who think that simply being an experienced rider should warrant an upgrade. I got news for ya: if you're getting shelled in the 4's, you'll get shelled in the 3's. Having experienced riders in these lower Cats makes their races safer and helps lessen the learning curve for newbies. That being said, there are a few who are consistently 4th-5th place. While I think that they probably deserve to be upgraded, I don't know how to go about blurring the lines in some cases but not others.

I definitely think the absolute beginners need to utilize the development program, and should not be racing with the 4's. Race night should be Cats 1-4, with the 5's fighting it out on the Wednesday development nights. Maybe they could wear full-body armour.

Other than that, it seems to me that the current upgrade policy is working. Everyone knows EXACTLY what needs to be done to move up. There's no guessing games.

OK, moving on...

The reason I chose to start the 1/2 points race immediately following the Cat 3 race is because I was encouraged by Bob to do so. I need to be a Cat 2 in order to compete at nationals (after I win the state match sprints). There's no way in hell I'd be driving all the way down to Blaine when there's a 90% chance of rain, just on the off-chance that we'll be able to race, if I didn't need upgrade points. I'm going to try to get points anywhere I can. For those that think that was a bad move, think about it. I've ridden my bike enough that I know how to hold my line, and I know how to get the hell out of the way if I'm impeding other riders. How many times do you see riders at crits finish their race and immediate line up for the next race? I wasn't even the 1st rider off the back! If we're going to make a big deal about Cat 3's riding with the 1/2's, we should also think about downgrades for those in the 1/2's who are getting dropped before the tired 3's.

I didn't hear anyone complaining when another Cat 3 lined up with the 1/2's a few weeks ago and lapped the field.

Monday, July 02, 2007

I Love Weddings

Meet my Harley-ridin', Elvis-impersonatin', pig-farmin' Uncle Bill. He got married on Saturday.

There is nowhere in this world where you can see as much random shit as a wedding reception. They had the party outdoors at a Harley bar...and inexplicably hired a polka band to play. This, however, did not stop my panty-less cousin from flashing everyone her cooter on the dance floor. Twice.

Drunk Uncle Ron, who just loves to pick people up (literally lift them up off the ground) was in rare form. He picked me up no less than than 5 times, and also shoved a half-eaten pork sandwich into my mouth.

Uncle John gave me a delicious cigar, which was promptly stolen by a Mexican. No joke.

My cousin Emma must have been tired of watching her own baby, because she tried to send him home early with my deaf Grandpa who has absolutely no capabilities to care for a child.

My cousin Josh is a huge pimp. He had like four girls around him at all times...and there were even a couple he wasn't related to...high five!