Monday, January 31, 2005

Guilty, Your Honor

There seems to be a groundswell of support taking shape by my Chicago family members about the behavior of a dog. Since my August visit to Chicago, my nephew Paul's dog Dakota has been a bad boy. He's chewing blinds and phone cords and other items. And now Uncle Ray is being blamed for the sudden change in demeanor.

Well, I guess it's time to come clean. On the morning of August 23, 2004 while my nephew Paul slept I took the dog for a walk. On the walk I hypnotized Dakota using only my Crown Royal key chain and a shoe lace. I believe I learned hypnosis in college from my psychology teacher. I'm pretty good at it. But the only beings I've ever been able to hypnotize are dogs. Dakota has been programmed to be a bad boy. Now that I've been exposed, I promise to re-hypnotize Dakota during my February trip to Chicago. No, I haven't been drinking today.

No biking scheduled for tonight. January will end with 311 miles having been ridden. Not bad considering we had that fairly cold period in the middle of the month. The folks at Chicago Bike Winter have a picture of me in the sticker gallery portion of their site. My first tattoo was of their 2004 logo. My ink shows up pretty well in the picture. It's a pretty horseshit picture of me though. What else is new?

Sunday, January 30, 2005

'Stache Bash '05

Rode last night with the Category 6 boys on their annual Mustache Ride. Met them at Freewheel at 7 and took a circuitous route to Elsies in Northeast Minneapolis. My award/door prize was a pink saddle cover. I'll ride proudly with that on the bike. Mrs. already has her eyes on it. Forget it baby. We'll get you a red one for your Surly. Elsie's was quite festive. Some of the riders sang karoake and were pretty good. I had a copious number of gin and tonics. We stopped at One on One for a quick beer stop on our way to Town Hall after Elsie's. Zito supplied the firecrackers and the PBR. Thanks Zito, I'll move you in to the will. The night ended at the Hexagon. By then I was torched. Tyler made sure I arrived home safely at about 1:30. God damn skippy!

Took the lovely Debra Bielski Wroblewski (try getting that on the back of a jersey) to breakfast at Louisiana Cafe in Saint Paul and then the ice carvings at Rice Park in downtown St Paul. Cocktails at the Champps on West 7th followed. Take your alcoholism like a man. Speaking of which, I'm thirsty. Let's move on to Hoolihan's.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Thank God It's Friday!

Potter Posse 1
Raymond 0
Yes, I have no willpower when it comes to certain things. The posse hypnotized me and I was forced to go to Backyard Grill for cocktails. Potter paid for most of my drinks. He thought I wasn't staying too long when he told the bartender my drinks were on him. Guess again. I did take mercy on him and left by 6 o'clock. Stopped at McDonald's liquor store on 34th Avenue on the way home. Debbie was happy to see me come home early.

Talked to Bolstad on the way home last night. I reminded him that we haven't seen each other for almost 2 years. Yes Debbie, it's been 2 years since the weekend from hell. Bolstad came to town for a wedding. He was hammered for 3 days. Mother still lived with us then. Drunk Bolstad and Mother, what a pair.

Since this post is mostly about drinking I can't help but mention the magazine Kleve ordered online yesterday. It's called Modern Drunkard. I thought I'd seen everything. He read about it in the News of the Weird column in the Star Tribune.

Can't wait for today to be over. It's the first Friday I've worked since December 17th. Those of you who work nights, weekends, or over 40 hours a week balance the universe for slackards like me. My nephew Paul is not amongst you. He's a man after my own heart.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Just Say No

Trying hard to avoid the peer pressure of the Thursday night Potter Posse. I'd like to watch CSI in a sober form. It also runs into some money. I always seem to buy a round for the group on my credit card. Who wants a White Russian? The full damage of Christmas revelry is in the neighborhood of $500. I could've bought the Rollo bike and still had money left over for other bike goodies.

I pumped up the tire on red Trek last night and took the short way to Freewheel. By the time I got there, the tire was almost flat. Josh put 2 new cyclocross tires on for me. These tire are pretty skinny with a knobby tread. He also worked on the drivetrain so I can shift gears again. New tires are cool. It's like getting a new bike. The bike handles and accelerates differently. I took the long way (8 mile trip) along the river on my way home. I wish I would've taken my good headlight with me. I didn't like being out in the dark with my cheapy Specialized handlebar mount light. It was cool anyway, with the new tires and gear-shifting drivetrain. There were only a couple of joggers out. They were in la la land.

Look forward to a better ride tonight. Yes, there's more to life than biking. Let's not forget dogs, booze and Yahtzee.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It's Only Flat On The Bottom

As I moved red Trek From the garage to the basement this morning I noticed a flat back tire. Don't remember running over anything/anyone that would cause a flat. It was so warm I was inspired to ride 28 miles. Average speed was 13.54 mph. Pretty pedestrian. Rode for a little over a mile with a young lady from Quality Bicycle Products. Her name is Maya (hope spelling is correct) and she has a 16 mile one-way commute to and from work. That's a pretty good ride. We split off at 53rd and Emerson. I continued on around Lake Harriet and Calhoun. The warm weather brought the runners out in force. A lot of them had dogs with them. Happy, wet dogs running everywhere. I hope I can get the back tire on red Trek to hold enough air to get to Freewheel tonight or at least to the 38th Street light rail station. Right now that bike is a 24 gear single-speed bike. I can already hear Megan from Freewheel about my lack of maintenance on that bike. She better be nice or there'll be no shopping trip for her.

Angie and her dog Amber (boxer) stopped in today. Amber sure loves her bread. We scanned her (Angie's, not Amber's) master's thesis in its bound form. It looks impressive and there's pictures! I told her I wanted to read it sometime and promised to keep it away from Snowy. Wow, can it already be a year ago that we took Angie out for drinks two days before her wedding. Were you really still hungover on your wedding day?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'm A Steamroller, Baby

Woke up at 3 am this morning and my thoughts went directly to the Surly Steamroller I want to have built up. Still not sure if I want it to be a fixed gear or single-speed bike. The whole fixed gear riding experience scares me a little. I admire the fixie people riding a bike that the back wheel locks up when you stop pedaling (peddling?) with no brakes (some have a front brake they use when they first start riding). It seems like riding in its most simple basic form. Better pay off the two new bikes Debbie and I bought first. It's fun to dream.

Would like to give blood tomorrow for the blood drive. But they have this rule about tattoos. You can't donate within a year of receiving a tattoo. My most recent one is from June 2004. And with more ink coming in March I'll be out of the blood donation loop for quite a while.

Can't wait to ride tonight. The temperature is in the 30's. That's almost balmy compared to the weather a couple of weeks ago. A ride through Richfield with a tour of Lake Harriet sounds like fun.

I made my flight reservations for my trip to Chicago this morning. Sleeping on a couch with 5 dogs, the Maxwell Street flea market, riding my brother's bike (it has every accessory bike shops sell on it) and my sister-in law Carol's homemade pizza (I hope). Life is good.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Paper Or Plastic?

Tonight is grocery shopping night. Debbie hates to take me with. I always make a scene in the cereal aisle. But if you want to make sure you're grocery whims are satisfied, you have to go with. Our grocery store has carry-out service. I usually give the kid 3 to 5 bucks. I don't think they get many tips. I wouldn't classify Minneapolis as the tipping capitol of the world. Debbie used to be a waitress (sorry about that soup in your lap, sir), so she's a pretty good tipper too. I learned about quality tipping from Larry.

We had equipment breakdowns on 2 of our 3 sidewalk rigs which has put us far behind. So, I'm getting a shitload of calls from some pretty pissed-off people. I try to comfort them and be understanding. Sometimes I ask them a question designed to take their mind off the problem at hand. Something about their sex life usually does the job. Just kidding!

Arrived a little late at Mother's last night. I confounded the problem by forgetting my cell phone at home. She sent out an All Points Bulletin trying to find me which included a call to my brother in Kansas City. He told her he hadn't seen me. She may be 81 years old but she was just about this nutty when she was in her 40's. Anyone who takes her own pot to the Chinese restaurant to hide the fact that she didn't cook is a little weird. And very ingenious. God bless you Mother. You lived to 81 and you're still a goofball. I may always be a goofball, but I'll never see 81.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Hi Kids, My Name Is Forester Ray

As part of the 2005 goals in my performance review I had the bright idea of taking over the presentations at grammar schools for tree stuff. I'm not sure why I haven't been doing it all along. It's no big deal. I have no problem speaking in public. And what's the big deal about talking to a group of 3rd graders? Bring enough shit to keep them interested and a picture of my dogs and I'll have them eating out of my hand. By the way, I got an Above Satisfactory on my review. I'm pretty sure I'm the only City employee who doesn't actually sit down with his boss for a talk. As he said, ' we don't need a heart-to-heart talk, do we'? My reply was, 'fuck no'.

A glorious winter day in Minneapolis inspired me to ride 21 miles. I saw some mountain bikers out for a ride. These are people who think they're bad asses in their spandex on a 20 degree morning after the trails have been plowed, but are nowhere to be found when it's 5 below or it's actually snowing. Today was the kind of day that reminds me why I ride in the winter.

I talked to a runner Friday who said he couldn't run in December because of a pulled muscle in his buttocks. He must of picked up something heavy (inside joke for Debbie).

Time to face the music and go see Mother. I have her new glasses that I picked up on Friday. It's OK. I've had several cocktails and a Asian buffet. I'M READY.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

A 4' 11" Shoveling Machine

Before I left last night I told Debbie to be careful not to have a heart attack when she shoveled our fresh 7" blanket of snow. A woman of her caliber was hard to find in the first place. As I said before girls, I'm not a chauvinist. I do the dishes twice a year. It's not that I wouldn't shovel when I get off work at noon or whenever. She just always seems to do it. My neighbor has every snow moving piece of equipment known to man. But the prick wouldn't take a pass down my sidewalk if his life depended on it. So, thanks for the shoveling baby. And the peeled hard-boiled eggs. I really don't give a shit if you don't like sports.

I really hope the nice young Mexican gentleman whose car I was about to ticket at 2 am doesn't have too bad of a hangover today. Hope you find the key to that piece of shit. Thanks for obediently going into the house when I said, ' it's two o'clock in the morning, time for bed'. A million stories from the ticket writing business and none of them are all that GD interesting. Right now, I'm here to answer the phone. I talk to people our snowplow drivers piss off.

I could use another 45 minutes of sleep and a donut the size of New Jersey. Three breakfast burritos from McDonalds, a piece of toast and a packet of instant oatmeal (I added water and heated it in the microwave if you were wondering) just aren't doing the job. I'd eaten all of the food Debbie gave me by 3:30 am.

There seems to be a Christmas tree in the back of Jutting's truck. We probably picked it up off the street after it was abandoned. I may burn it in the lot for entertainment later. Fire good.

I think it's time to quit this sleep-deprived post because I'm kind of just rambling. Maybe a 100th cup of coffee will help.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Nightlife...

The Nightlife, Ain't No Good Life, But It's My Life - B.B King

Seems like days ago that I walked Snowy this morning. Talked Debbie in to calling in sick last night. She kind of prompted me to talk her in to it. I'll always be able to convince her. It's that whole Ferris Buehler thing. Breakfast and cocktails at the Poodle Club were followed by an 18 mile bike ride in the snow. Stopped at Freewheel to change hat and gloves. Sam hauled the empty keg from Ben's party on his bike to return to Zipps. Had to pick mother's new glasses up at her clinic and stop for money, gas, booze and movies. We watched The Manchurian candidate and Anchorman tonight. Both were good.

A 45 minute nap tonight before I came to work is going to have to be good enough. It looks like about 6 or 8 inches of snow out there. I talked to Felix at 3:15 pm and he told me to be at work at 4 am. He called back at 5 pm and told me that Randy wants me here at midnight. So here I am, ready to write tickets for illegally parked cars. Public Works is about being out in the middle of the night. I'd rather be in bed right now.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A Tale Of Two Rides

I ride but am very uneasy. Cars come to close even though I have headlight that blinds you. Joggers don't have their head up and almost get run over. A foo foo dog chases me. My hands are cold to the point my fingertips are stinging. Should I have ridden the Giant (studded tires) because on red Trek I'm somewhat concerned with falling. Maybe I should've just stayed home tonight?

I stop at the community center at 50th and Minnehaha Parkway to change hats and have a drink of slushy Gatorade. As I'm leaving a young man (10 or 11) asks me if I'm cold. My reply is, 'a little'. Then he looks at me with this sly, bad boyish smile and says, 'you're cold until you put the gas pedal down'. I smile (bad boyish?) as I turn my headlight back on and leave. Following the young man's advice, I put the gas pedal down, gliding through the trail efficiently and without any fear of wiping out. Cars, joggers, dog walkers move out of my way. I am in complete control of my life, if only for a brief period. The tour of the neighborhood and the leftover Christmas lights is quite enjoyable.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

It's A Girl!!

An ultrasound has shown that Mrs. Elizabeth Maldonado Wroblewski is expecting a girl. I don't know the due date, but then again I'm a man and details of this sort of thing always escape me. Lizzie is my nephew Brian's wife, which makes her my niece. Pretty sharp, aren't I. A nice name for the baby came to me. How about Almundena Elizabeth Carol Maldonado Wroblewski?
Is that too long or not long enough? Hopefully everything is going well in Miss Lizzie's pregnancy. I'm sure my godchild Brian is taking good care of his pregnant wife. So if she needs such items as Krispy Kremes (I like Dunkin Donuts better myself), pickles, ice cream, motorcycle magazines or any other crap that pregnant women crave, Brian is more than happy to go get it. She can also always call her loving mother-in-law for guidance and understanding. I'll be in Chicago in a month so I'll report fully on this situation. They like when I visit because my sister-in-law makes her homemade pizza only when I come to town.

Looking at the radar in Jutting's office shows a pretty good band of snow coming this way. Oh goody! I planned on riding tonight anyway, but the snow just adds to the fun. Will report tomorrow about any jogger terrorizing, motorist cursing or anything else that's interesting.

Sounds like Insane Clown Posse is going out for Nick's birthday tomorrow night. I think they're going to Frenchman's. That place is bad ju-ju for me. I'll attempt a hit and run.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Next Item Up For Bidding Is...

Talked to the lovely Angie this morning. She's just completed her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. Forgive me if that's not exactly correct, Angie. She's trying to get that first big job. But for now, she's at home and bored. She was watching The Price Is Right when she called. I have a satellite dish with 150 channels and still can't find anything worthwhile on. I guess you'd have to be "easily amused/entertained" to watch much daytime tv. I'd rather clean the bathroom. Angie also reads my blog for entertainment. I'd rather vacuum. Don't worry about being mentioned in this thing Angie. You and Debbie are the only people who read this thing. And some woman named Carol Ann. Hi Carol Ann. can we go out some time?

Returning to work after 4 days off really blows. My mother tells me that a job is necessary for me to pay for my spending habits. So I come here as infrequently as I can for another winter of fun-filled paperwork. There will be loads of trees to check all summer. For now, it's paperwork.

No bike riding tonight. Debbie and are are going to have a nice dinner and then play Yahtzee. Boy do I love Yahtzee!!

Monday, January 17, 2005

Look Ma, No Brakes

Took Debbie to work this morning at 6:30. Since I wanted to get some carbs down me for my bike ride I headed over to Uptown Diner and ate about half of the Tex Mex. Michael was there for the first time in a couple of months. He sat down for a bit and we chatted about sports, gambling and his first house.

Went out about 10 am for a ride this morning. It was 6 below and I thought I had hit the clothes right. After only 3 miles and my right foot already cold I decided stay closer to the house. It seems like red Trek's brakes don't work too good below 10 degrees. It wasn't a factor this morning but I had to put my foot down Fred Flinstone style to avoid broadsiding a car on Saturday. I think I scared that woman in the SUV. The fixed gear people are used to riding with no brakes. Come to think of it, I don't stop for too much. Rode 11 miles and headed home when my foot was really cold and the end of one finger was stinging. For the second time in my winter bicycling career the layer closest to my chest had a layer of ice on it. That tends to be cold.

Was only issued one chore for the day. Pick up dog food and treats. This I can handle. Honey-do lists? THOSE POOR WHIPPED BASTARDS!

Plan on picking Mrs. up at work today. We can't have her waiting out in that cold for a bus.

Note to Cingular: I noticed the icon on my cell phone no longer says AT & T. It says Cingular and I get the same shitty reception in all the places I always got shitty reception when it said AT & T. Raising the bar my ass!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Vegas Baby, Vegas

When I can't stay out all night partying anymore, one of you needs to kill me. The party at Sam's was fun. Laura came back to life and sat in her sleeping bag and talked with Sam, Josh and I at about 5. She's so cute. You are too, Megan. Josh and I left at 7 and headed over to Currans on 42nd and Nicollet for breakfast. We needed breakfast and a shitload of coffee. I stopped at Baker's Wife to get Debbie her favorite pastry. I slept from 9:30 to 11. Who needs more sleep than that?

Picked Larry up at noon to take him to the charter terminal for yet another trip to Vegas. The highlight of this trip is a Tower of Power concert. He sure loves Vegas.

Off tomorrow for Martin Luther King Day. I need to go for a serious bike ride. I rode 10 miles on Saturday even though it was pretty GD cold. I hit the clothes just right so it was a really good time. Debbie wants me to find her some lights on E-bay for Valentine's Day. As Big Daddy once said, the girl loves her holidays.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Good Bye Ben

Met the Freewheel gang last night at Town Hall for a farewell party to Ben. Was good to see everybody from Freewheel in a drinking setting. Thanks Mike. I'll need your last name for the will. Was also good to see Derek, Patrick. Laura, Brett and Jill. Jill and Laura are the rare combination of beauty, intelligence and lovely personality. Patrick's girlfriend India (hope this is correct spelling) has the most beautiful black hair on the planet. Got home at 1:30 am and had a nightcap and peanuts with the dogs. Also rode 10 miles last night. Was never farther than 2 miles from the house. Sam rode home to Northeast Minneapolis after the festivities at Town Hall. In that cold with the studdeds, you're a man Sammy!

I took Ma to her eye doctor appointment this morning. She gets new glasses next week. Talking to a black guy in the waiting room reminded me about how special Ma is to me. I complain, but I love her more than words can express. I took her back to my house for soup and love from the dogs. She reminded me that I that when I was a baby I was never too far from my father's arms. He died when I was 8 years old. I wish I had gotten to know him.

After dropping off Mother I went on a little bike shop tour. I stopped at Flanders (they have a neat house dog), The Alt and the The Hub (West Bank) . I bought a cool skull cap at The Alt. There was a cool Crosscheck at the Hub. Too many bikes, too little money.

My blog has a link on Freewheel's web site. I am somebody! Tyler has a really neat introduction. Thanks man.

After pizza at Fat Lorenzo's I took Debbie to Southdale. She got some clothes on her own. I talked her in to shoes at Marshall Field's. Hell, I would've bought shoes for every woman in the shoe department. I bought her jewelry from Helzberg's and Penney's. Would've gotten all the jewelry at Penney's but didn't see Barbara on the the first walk-through at Penney's. She's a lovely lady and is extremely helpful in picking out jewelry for Debbie. She always makes me consider all the options. And she's Doug's mother so her procreation created a quality human being.

I plan on riding to Freewheel in the morning for coffee. I think it's Ben's last day there. There's a party at Sammy's tomorrow night. I'll bring the Jameson. Debbie, please drive me home.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

You're Not Riding Tonight, Are You?

Getting on the scale for the first time since late September has shown that 10 extra pounds have located me. This time period included a Wisconsin vacation and a very festive holiday season. I'm lucky I've ridden 1800 miles since October 1st. So I know where it came from. Eating at restaurants, drinking, and enough Christmas cookies to fill a dump truck will do that to you. Time to get back on the low carb diet. And time to ride. Ride it like the cops are chasing you.

Last night's 18 mile ride was fun because it was snowing lightly. Almost everybody who rides in the winter loves to ride while it's snowing. I was also inspired to ride fast after viewing a short video of some guy riding crazy in New York City. I amused a group of women runners when they heard me complement some woman's driving skills after she cut me off at a trail crossing. I think I said, 'nice f---ing driving'. I apologized to the ladies for my foul language which brought giggles from all four of them.

I am riding tonight. Hell, it's only -1. I'm going to resist stopping at Backyard Grill to meet the Potter posse.

Mother wants me to take her shopping after her doctor visit tomorrow. I sure hope she doesn't want to go to Wal Mart.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Tour de Richfield

Decided to ride to Richfield last night because I felt like some miles on the street. I wore my OSHA approved safety vest to give the motorists a highly reflective moving target. It was the first time I'd ridden since the Saturday Night Ride. My legs had a lot of life in them. A snow/sleet mixture started to fall 11 miles into my ride. It kind of felt like little needles as it hit my face. After riding around Richfield for a while I headed back home. Played in the neighborhood at the end of my ride to reach a total of 21 miles. Have ridden a little over 100 miles this year so far. Only 5900 to go. Debbie took a picture of me and the snow/slush covered bike in the garage. Red Trek is still out there melting down. It needs a wash. I plan on riding tonight. Not sure where but hope to get in 20 miles. The bottom of the thermometer is supposed to drop out tomorrow. Rides this weekend will more than likely be within a 2 mile radius of the house.

Friends and family are setting up blogs so they can comment on my posts. Hey guys, now take it one step further and start writing. It's a great outlet for your thoughts.

1 1/2 days of work left and then 4 days off. Too bad the high temperature those days is supposed to be below zero.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

My Dog Ate My Homework

Actually my dog chewed the corner off the prospectus of one of our mutual funds. We've had our Golden Retriever-Samoyed named Snow for almost 8 years now. She was an 11 month old holy terror when I asserted my manhood (easy girls I'm not a chauvinist, I do the dishes twice a year) and picked Snowy up at the humane society without the complete blessing of my wife. She was a wild child until she was almost 6. Her bad behavior has always been forgiven because of her good looks and loving nature. I don't think there's a more loving being on this earth.

My favorite Snowy bad girl and other stories:
1. Chewed the insoles of 10 pairs of my shoes within a week of her arrival at our home. My ski boots still feel kinda rough when I put them on.

2. Used to run circles around the living room and dining room because she was so wound up. Does this only once in a while now.

3. Knocked over Christmas tree while we were at work 4 or 5 years ago. Upon seeing the tree on its side my wife Debra was speechless.

4. Got too close to a bonfire and was on fire briefly. She was extinguished quickly with no injuries. This made her an immediate legend where I work.

5. Chewed the cover off some shitty "erotic" novel that belonged to Kris. That's the fate that book deserved.

6. Dug a box of Debbie's shoes out from under the bed and destroyed one shoe from 6 different pair. Debbie made me buy her 20 pairs of shoes as replacements. Somehow that math doesn't add up.

7. Broke her retractable leash when she bolted into the forest on a Wisconsin trip. She was after a chipmunk I think. The end of the leash snapped back and hit me in the eye scraping off a major portion of my cornea. At least that's what the eye doctor in Woodruff said.

I could probably come up with more. Yes, I need pictures of her on this damn thing. Her beauty is stunning. When I finally get the digital camera my blog will be loaded with pictures.

There's a dog who hasn't been born yet who's going to chew the legs off that $2800 dining room set. Poor Debbie got hooked up in this life with a bad boy and his dogs.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Moon Over Green Bay

Randy Moss found a way to make people forget that he walked to the locker room with 2 seconds left in the game last week. Now he'll get ripped by the press for the "mooning". I hear the Green Bay fans moon opposing team's busses as they leave the stadium after Packer victories. He's a great player who has a gift for also doing stupid shit. He'll never be the universally loved professional athlete that Barry Sanders, Michael Jordan or Jerry Rice were. Barry was truly a class act. Moss can't be a good boy. You're just going to have to look at his stats and expect occasional acts of childish behavior.

Slept like a baby last night. Three hours sleep after a night of biking and drinking will do that to you.

Our car finally gets fixed tonight. Yippie. I'm tired of squeaky brakes, no heat and having to open the driver's window to get out of the car. We also have a spare tire again. Con Man is taking it home to work on it. Snowy knows when I pull up in front of the house by the brake screech.

Hey Milwaukee girl. Did you write down the web address to my page. I hope I still have the ability to make you laugh occasionally.

Four days to Mother's eye doctor visit. Pray for me.

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Woke up this morning with Cipriano written on my left forearm. I used a Sharpie. Cip is Josh's roomate. I like him. He shared his brew and smokes. Got home from the Saturday Night Ride at 5 am. After a beer stop on the Cedar Lake Trail we met Gwen and Aaron at Mortimers on Lyndale and Franklin. After a couple of pitchers of beer we headed to Josh's apartment. Ben, Josh, Aaron, Gwen, Mark 1 and I hung out there until we ran out of beer and cigarettes. Ben crashed at Josh's apartment. I was sober enough to ride home . Barely.

When I got home I shared some peanuts and lunchmeat with the dogs. I love the dogs. And they're always up for a late night snack. I want to be an old lady's golden retreiver in my next life. I left a note for Debbie to wake me up at 9. We picked up Larry a little after 10 and stopped at Chammps for brunch. I don't think falling asleep will be a problem tonight.

Played hockey with Nikki and Kalie before I stopped to post this entry. There's two girls that will have to beat them off with a stick some day.

Time to go home and watch the end of the Vikings game. Randy Moss looks cool with the big afro.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A Big Bag Of Crap For Only $20

Debbie's favorite thrift stores in no particular order:

St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church thrift store in Eagle River, Wisconsin
My comment: Good bar right around the corner.

Unique Thrift Store in Northeast Minneapolis
Comment: Be careful or the Mexicans who run the place will break your arm straightening the rack.

Deja Vu and High Hat thrift stores in Geneva, Illinois
Comment: She went there last year during "Home Alone Week". Still sorry we didn't take the Bonneville out that night. Then the Explorer and finally the Probe.

The Fair Exchange in Woodruff, Wisconsin
Comment: Neat old gal runs the place. She always hugs me. Bar around the corner.

Minnehaha Academy Arena Sale in Minneapolis
Comment: Picture 1000 women behaving like jackals.

Dropped Debbie off at ARC thrift store and will pick her up in an hour. I'm sure she'll have a big bag of crap. After losing the weight I bought some shirts and pants from thrift stores. I quickly rebuilt my wardrobe at Kohls, Penneys and Marshall Fields. Do I love the Swiss Army clothes. Let me count the ways.

Rode 21 miles this morning with a stop at Freewheel. I'm going on the ride tonight but I'm not sure if Ben and Josh are really going. I hope so. Ben is moving to Seattle this month so the chances to hang out with him are dwindling. I rode red Trek this morning and got plenty of shit from the kids about my lack of bike maintenance. Ben told me to take it right to the dumpster. That bike is like an old friend. I was on that bike for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 thousand miles. I'll have that bike as long as I'm alive.

Time to go to Sam's Club for gas and Canadian Club.


Friday, January 07, 2005

... don't you know I'm loco.

1:00 pm

Listened to Insane In The Brain by Cypress Hill 5 times to get a song to ride by in my head. 16 uneventful miles. If I ride a 1000 miles this winter I think 100 of it will be down my alley. Saw Scanny towing a car at 50th and Bloomington when I was on my ride. He stopped by after he dropped the car off at a repair garage at 42nd and Bloomington. He picked up a nice metal sign he won on E-bay. It's a retro Camel cigarettes kind of thing. The dogs love him. He's a big rough tough kid but is very gentle with the dogs. Felix called to tell me my wheel and tire were in. I hit a concrete barrier and wrecked a wheel and tire last year. Yes, alcohol was involved. Scanny changed the tire in the rain while I sat in his truck getting my ass chewed out by Kris. Debbie finished the ass chewing when I got home. I had it coming. Please, Carol Ann, be nice. I kinda hope the kids at Freewheel go on the Saturday Night Ride. It's fun. Last time I went on the ride I got home at 5:30 am. Fell off my bike 3 times after Josh and I left Ben's house. I don't think the term drunk goes far enough. Going to see White Noise starring Michael Keaton today. Will pick Debbie up at hospital at 3:15. I think it's going to scare the shit out of me.

7:30 pm

Yes, the movie scared me. Will be home soon for a cocktail. Glad to see somebody besides my wife is reading these things.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

44 Dollars Well Spent

Sometimes you spend money and really feel like it was well spent. Sometimes, you don't. Money spent at a strip joint never seems like a good idea the morning after. Buying that round of drinks for 10 people is also in that realm. But, the $44 that was spent for our real Christmas tree was a steal. It's a huge tree that we got at the Minneapolis Farmer's Market. We have it out on the back screened porch. It has to be out there because of its size. It has 600 lights that only cost about 12 bucks at Menards. I have to get a digital camera and learn how to use it on my blog because a picture is worth a thousand words. The tree looks really nice when you see it when driving on 42nd Street. If there were no roof on the porch I bet it would look good from outer space. Last year's tree was up past my birthday on April 2nd. I'll like it even more after everbody else has taken theirs down. This year I want to tie it on my bike (late April) and start it on fire and drag it through the streets. Do you think the cops will mind? Geez, I hope not. Eleven months from now the 2005 version of the tree will be up. But don't miss the 2004 model. Don't worry, you still have 3 months to see it.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Summer Wind Came Blowing In...

The whole line from the Sinatra song is - the summer wind came blowing in from across the sea. The winter wind is a completely different animal. Last night's 17 mile ride included about 8 miles against a pretty strong headwind. The winter wind can be brutal. Riding into the teeth of it can be demoralizing. Summer bicycling is usually at 16-17 mph. Winter speeds are more along the lines of 10-12 mph. My winter bike is a green Giant mountain bike with full fenders, mud flaps (cow and zebra designs) and studded tires. It's harder to ride fast because the studded tires have a huge rolling resistance. Don't get me wrong I love those tires. They cut down on falling. Altogether now, FALLING BAAAD.

The joggers were out in full force last night on the River Parkway trail. Some of them are oblivious to their surroundings. They're probably not used to bikes being present in the winter. The joggers to their credit are a pretty die-hard group. They keep running after most cyclists have put their bikes away for the year. Most winter cyclist ride for transportation. I know a guy (Jeremy) who doesn't own a car and travels everywhere on his bike. I'd love to get rid of my car. My rides are for exercise and recreation.

Four days and no cigarettes. I can already tell the difference on the bike. No alcohol for 48 hours. I wanted a drink when I got home from my ride but fought off the cravings. The holiday season included quite a bit of drinking. I need to slow down. It can't be doing my health any good. The drinking also hinders my goal to lose another 30 pounds by the time the NCAA basketball tournament starts. Too many empty calories in the booze.

Will ride another 15-17 miles tonight after work depending on the wind and how warm I stay. Riding in the summer with shorts and sandals on seems like a long time ago now.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

They're Stealing My Shit

Mother, keep these things in mind:

They're not stealing your denture papers, silverware, exlax, address book or 30 year-old nightgown (it originally belonged to a waitress on the Titanic) at your assisted living building.

The weather at my house 4 miles away isn't all that different than yours.

You can also leave a message on my cell phone after the beep.

Your appointment for the eye doctor is on January 14th at 9 am.

If you keep saving cookies for me from your meals, I am going to be a big fatty again.

If you want, we can go out and get you a decent winter coat. You're not in Missouri anymore.

I love you baby. Never forget that.

Monday, January 03, 2005

My first blog


Wow! My very own web page. I guess it's not that big a deal. I'm going to try and keep the thoughts somewhat coherent. Suddenly I have been inspired to write stuff. I've written pages of thoughts over the New Year's weekend. I wrote some of it after drinking too much. My wife says that even though the handwriting is larger, the thoughts are quite interesting. The writing makes me put my thoughts on paper. The topics range from bicycling to my relationship with my mother. Mother doesn't have a computer so I don't have to worry about her reading them. I'm sure my blogs will cover everything. I bet there will be a lot about bicycling. Bicycling is my freedom. I rode 5268 miles last year and 14,193 miles the last 4 years. I ride for recreation. I drive a car to work and for errands. I hate driving. There's no joy in driving. It just sucks. If I live long enough I'll look forward to not having a car some day.


Who wants a dog? Not really. You can't have her. I have 2 dogs. A purebred Golden retriever named Maggie and a Golden retriever/Samoyed mix named Snow. Maggie is now 13 years old. Teenagers! Maggie has started the habit of barking at 4 am every morning. Actually, it's not so much of a bark as it is a higher pitched vocalisation that sounds like a wu. We even call her Wu quite a bit now. She wu wus for permission to get on the bed, when she wants to go outside (or come in) and various other reasons. It's kind of funny. Not on weekends when you want to sleep later. And the story is funny when you tell it to friends and co-workers. Hell, why wouldn't it be funny to them. They don't have a mostly deaf and blind, scrawny dog wu wuing at them at 4 o'clock in the morning.