Thursday, April 19, 2018

A quote or two

"It's easy to suck. It's not sucking that's hard." -- She.

To suck is the natural state of everything. It is unnatural to be naturally talented.

I just read this book that was possibly the most boringest book ever. It was a book about the importance of a good data management strategy in today's world. It's called something like "data management is important in today's world"

It might not actually be the most boringest book in the world. I'll never know because no way I'm getting  through it. It is roughly 600 pages long. I have to read about 30 pages of it. I have gotten through 15. Pure torture. Here's an example of the type of writing it is.  Not a quote from the book, but the same style. Unfortunately, like when SNL mocks Trump, I won't do justice to the actual horror:

It is very important for companies to understand how important a good data management strategy is and how important it is for companies to understand this. When we say it's important, we mean that without a good data management strategy, many companies in many ways will suffer from not maximizing the management of their data. You know. because of their lack of a good data management strategy ...

Oh excuse me - that's the phone. Hang on ...

Hello. Yeah - Oh hi, guys from that terrible book I'm reading. What's up? No - I was just making a joke. I wasn't serious. But anyway, I already have a job.  Thanks for the offer.

Ok, sorry. Where was I?

It's easy to suck. What sucks most about this book is that it uses a whole lot of words to say very little.  I kind of get it. When we were in school, we had to write essays. We had to write a certain number of words or pages.  We filled in. That's how most of us write.

But real writers? Man. When I am reading something from a real writer and I get to one of those pithy sentences. There's nothing better. Christopher Moore is one of my favorites.  I started reading his new book "Noir" a couple of days ago.

I'm not sure, but I'm thinking he's decided to start each chapter with a wonderful short, hilarious sentence.

The book is set in post WWII San Francisco.  The end of the Prologue (just before chapter one - it's like the plaza level of the book) goes like this:

Yeah, a dame, that's how it all starts ...

So that's cool. The language of the prologue gets the reader into the right narrative voice (whatever the hell that means).

It really wasn't the whole first sentence either. But anyway, it goes like this:

She had the kind of legs that kept her butt from resting on her shoes.

For me it was the first 6 words. Completely cliche. I knew the next part was going to be something about how ridiculously long her legs were. I was wrong. So good.


Ok, chapter 2, sentence one. Again 1947 San Francisco:

The fog lay spread across the city like a drowned whore - damp, cold, smelling of salt and diesel - a sea-sodden streetwalker who'd just bonked a tugboat ...

and just as a bonus, I'll go into the second sentence:

"Fog's a little slutty tonight," said the cabbie, leaning against his hack at the curb outside Sal's.

You know what? What am I doing? I'm going to go read my book now. You should too.

"Noir" - Christopher Moore.

You're welcome.


P.S. - There was something bugging me about this post after I finished it. I was terribly worried that my reader(s) might think I was stretching the truth about how much I like Christopher Moore's writing.  If only there was a way to prove I'm not just some fair weather so-and-so. That's when I got up and turned to my bookshelf. I don't have much of a Christopher Moore collection. I've given away almost all of the books I've read.  Except for two of them.  Other than these 2 books, I don't have any that are "signed by the author".

So there. I win.

Although. Now that I take a close look at that signature ... I might actually be a Channing Tatum fan.  Rawr! I can't really tell.

Yeah. Channing Tatum. That there's a writer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

How to tell if your data was shared by Facebook, A step by step guide.

1) Do you have a Facebook account?

2) Was your data shared? (answer is the same for both questions).

You're welcome.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Based on a true hallucination (A Western)

A few days ago, I was sitting here at the computer, looking at how awesome my workout was.  My workout was a bike ride. I usually like to stare at the numbers for a while and decide how it seems to be going. I like to find some way to look at the workout that makes me feel like I don't totally suck. Usually, it doesn't work, so I have to just plan to work out better next time.

As I was staring at the charts and things, I started to doze off a little. I snapped back to consciousness to catch my head and was able to recall the words that had been going on as I had begun to drift off.

The words were  "Shadow didn't like being followed by the rider man and told all of his disciples it was good."

This means nothing to me. I was not able to make any sense of it. But that's what the narrator said, so it must be important. I'm thinking that since this comes from some jumbled up thoughts in my falling asleep brain, that if I make up a story where this sentence makes sense, it will be exactly the same as if I had not woken to catch my head.

So here's the story that attempts to put that sentence in context and ends up being exactly what I was going to dream ...

But first, I should note that I have not given this any thought yet. I haven't worked out the story.

When I first wrote down the words "Shadow didn't like being followed by the rider man and told all of his disciples it was good," I figured that if I stared at it a while, the meaning or reason would become clear.

No. I have no idea where to begin with this.

I suppose I could just really cop out like this:

"Wakey wakey, Chad,"

"Hey. Ouch! Cut it out Rider."

Rider was tapping Chad "Shadow" in the ribs with the end of his 6-shooter.

"How'd you get here anyway?" Shadow asked, "I thought I lost you back at the junction. You know, I don't like it when you follow me.  That's what I told the disciples."

"Whose disciples? Mine or yours?" Rider asked.

"How the hell should I know?" countered Shadow.

"Hey you want to go get some ice cream or something?" Rider pleaded.

"And how!" exclaimed Shadow.

"Mount up boys! We're headed to 31 flavors!"

"Yee-Haw!" screamed the disciples, throwing their dusty hats in the air.

Shadow had Butter Brickle and The Rider Man got "Rocky Road," mostly so he could say, "You know Shadow, Ice cream is a lot like life."

Rolling his eyes and with a heavy sigh, because he'd heard it a dozen times before, Shadow said with as little interest as he could muster, "Why's that Rider?"

"It don't matter how rocky your road is, as long as somebody's there to butter your brickle."

At that, they both looked at each other and wept uncontrollably.

The End.






Friday, March 30, 2018

Tragic 2. Or Save me a cup 3.

This is the third part.
The first part is here.
The second part is here.

So first there were 2 different stories.  One thing about working far away from where you live is that you have a ton of time to think.  Your mind wanders.  Then when you get to work and your job sucks and people are annoying, there's plenty to write about.

One day on my way to work, I imagined a guy kind of like the slingblade guy. He was kind of brain damaged or something. He called "ketchup" "ketchemup sauce."  This word "ketchemup" came to me as I was driving to work and noticed all the pickup trucks in the parking lot of Builder's Supply near 72nd and Q.

I remembered that when I was a kid, some people used to call pickup trucks "pick-em-up trucks." I wondered if anybody still ever said pick-em-up truck. Then I wondered what other words could be enhanced in the same way as pickup.

Ketchup was the obvious choice to me.   So I envisioned the sort of person who might use the word "Ketchemup." He was kind of like Carl (or is it Karl) from Slingblade.  I started writing a little story about him. It is below.

Around the same time, I wrote a story about a woman who always leaves hot coffee sitting on the counter at work.  That story was so poorly written that I could not post it, but posted the "precis" called "Tragic" recently. But Cube, what the hell is "precis?" How the hell should I know?  The word spilled out of my head just now, but I think it's right. Look it up. I don't know.

Anyway - At one point, I realized that the man that Mary (Dawn below) was waiting for was Phil.  Yeah - Phil was the guy working his way to the diner.  I lied about Jerome.  I was trying to be funny.  Surprise!

Mary's story was called "Save me a Cup" and Phil's story was called "Ketchemup Sauce"

Here is what I wrote about Phil when I wasn't writing about Mary before I knew it was two sides to the same story. Thankfully, this writing is nowhere near as terrible as Mary's story so I can just post it "as is".

~~

Philip did not know how many days and nights he had been walking along the highway.  He did not know which direction he was going.  He was just walking.  His work boots and coveralls were coated in the white dust from the crushed gravel of the road.

Philip was lost in a confused array of memories. There was Dawn.  Always Dawn.  Philip's one true love.  She had promised to wait for him. He remembered that.  He didn't remember why she had to. Where did he go? Where did Dawn go?  What Happened?

He didn't even know her face.  Just her name and her hair.  Her big brown hair.

In Philip's dreams, Dawn always came to him wearing her golden gown.  He tried every night to get a glimpse of her face.  He knew if he could remember her face, he'd remember everything.  Who he was.  Where he came from.

But her face was always obscured by her big brown hair.  Hair the color of coffee.

How long had he been walking, he wondered.  Days?  Weeks?  Years?  Months? Philip was confused.  He needed to sit a while and rest.  He curled up on the gravelly shoulder of the highway and slept.  Just inches from the myriad 18 wheelers that would pass by every few minutes.

With the sleep came the dreams of Dawn.  Gold and lace.  Coffee colored hair.  But her face. Her back was to him and he reached for her. Philip felt the warmth of her shoulder as he pulled her to face him.  She turned and he saw her bright red lips. This was a first.  The farthest he'd ever gotten in the dream.  He glanced up to look into her eyes, but then her mouth opened wide enough to cover her whole face as she screamed at him "Haaaawwwwnk!"

Philip awoke confused to see a semi swerving back to it's lane. Philip was partially resting on the highway.  "That was close," he thought, referring to almost seeing Dawn's face.

Philip looked down the road he'd come from to see the rising sun.  "So I'm heading west.  Hmm."

A couple of hours later, Philip was seated in a diner at the side of the road.

Fill up.

What?

Fill up. My cup.  reaching into his coveralls, Phil wanted his cup filled.

I'm sorry mister, I can't just ...

Sam was a little annoyed by this smelly vagrant trying to get free coffee from him.  Not that he was heartless or anything. It's just he could barely keep his little diner going. If word got around that he was giving out free coffee to hobos, he'd be done.

But there was something about this particular smelly vagrant.  Sam knew the story too well. Everybody in town knew Dawn's sad tale. How her fiance had been killed overseas.  The body was never found. That was the tragedy. Dawn would never have closure. Sam had listened time and time again to Dawn. He felt sorry that she'd never give up.

Now Sam was looking at a man with a dirty old cup.

When Phil went off to war, Dawn had given him a cup from the diner. She told him he had earned free coffee for life.  She told him to protect the cup with his life or the deal was off. They all laughed about it at the time.

Whenever she told that story, Dawn always smiled as tears ran down her face.

Phil had tried to get free coffee from roadside diners for months.  He'd always present his own cup.  Free refills, he'd say. For life.

It never worked.

Sam excused himself from Phil and went over to the phone.  As he picked up the receiver, Phil got scared.  He jumped to his feet and shuffled toward the door.

"You there.  Hang on!" called Sam.

Phil didn't slow down.  He'd had the police warn him enough.  He'd been beaten more times than he could count.

"Sit down son.  I'll get you your cup.  But let me wash it off first."

Phil considered this.  What's one more beating against the promise of some nice hot coffee?  He stood at the door for a few seconds then turned back to the counter.

"I'd like a burger too.  With plenty of Ketchemup sauce, please."

Sam didn't believe this drifter had the money for a burger, but if Phil was who Sam thought he was, he wouldn't need it.

Sam took the cup from Phil and washed it off. The turned it over to see the scrawled message on the bottom. No question. This was the cup.

Sam tossed a patty on the grill and picked up the phone.

~~

Dawn could not catch a break. She worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.  Even then, she could barely make ends meet. She could definitely use the cash.

So when she saw that Sam was calling, she almost picked it up.

But no.  She could not work today.

Today was the anniversary she never had. The war saw to that.

This was the only sacred day of the year for Dawn.

Sam could find somebody else to sling hash today.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tragic

Maybe not.  I Put "Tragic" as the title of this post because I just got done reading some notes I wrote a long time ago about a story I want to tell. It outlines a woman whose life is defined by great and constant sorrow.  Everything goes wrong for her.  It's real sad. Sniff.  Now since I can't write, I know this story will never be written properly.  So I might as well just tell the story here.

When I wrote this thing originally, I was trying to "write".  When I look at it now, I cringe.  The words I was using don't sound like me at all. Well, they do, but they sound way more douchy than normal.  "Douchy" is a french word, meaning "Showery". Say that reminds me, maybe the French don't shower that much because the word for it is "douche."

"Alors Michel, you showered again, non?"

"Oui."

"Douche!"

Yeah that's probably the problem.

Anyway - the story and my "douchy" talk. I'm just going to go back and read the thing (even though it's kind of painful) and jot down some of the more cringeworthy phrases here.  The thing is, yeah, a lot of the crap I write is crap. But it's worse when I'm trying to be all "authory." Way worse.
Ok here goes. I'll be right back ...

... the soft blonde hair of her young daughter as her mother's countenance turns obsidian and ...

What the fuck?  The thing is - this crap is in the middle of a sentence that is darkly humorous (to me. at least).  Countenance? Obsidian?  Jesus!

Also - I think I should take out the word "soft" or "blonde".  Maybe:

... her daughter's downy hair as her mother's FACE DARKENS and ...

Yeah - much better - except - downy?  Dude! Chill.

Next up:

... she could never be serious about a boy with so little ambition ...

Yeah I don't know why, but I don't like the word "boy" here. It just seems like somebody else talking.

But again, I think I can fix this sentence. How about:

... she was a real bitch ... 

Ok, I'm kidding. I don't know how to fix it.  The point is, it's just horrible, but it was kind of fun to write because this poor gal (somebody else's word) can't catch a break.

So here's the story (or some of it) without trying to "write".  It's just too hard to not suck.

There's a girl about 10 years old. Her name is Mary.  She lives in a small town near a highway. Her mother waits tables at the diner along the highway. They are poor.  Mary's father left before Mary was born.

Mary is determined to have a better life. She dreams of making her own way to success. She saw how her mother's life was ruined by putting hope in a man. A man Mary's mother never stopped believing in. That one day he'd return. She was a little goofy.  (Just between you and me - because there's no way Mary or her mother will ever find this out, but Mary's father loved Mary's mother more than anything. He had completely changed since meeting her. He had just bought a ring and was daydreaming his way back to propose when his car went over a cliff into the ocean and he was never ever seen again by anybody. But don't tell anybody I told you. It will spoil the surprise).

So Mary is a bit of a daydreamer herself. She has a secret place she goes to be alone. One day there's a boy there. Phil. After some lame, predictable banter, they become lifelong friends. Phil loves her from the beginning. But Mary will not let some guy ruin her plans. She won't allow herself to fall.

Until they're about 17 years old. She gets pregnant. Quits school (abandons scholarships).  Gets a job at the diner. Phil gets drafted. Killed (MIA, actually). She miscarries a daughter. Her mother dies of cancer. And it's all really really sad. Seriously.

One thing she does every night for 20 years. When she closes the diner, she sets a cup of steaming hot coffee on the counter, locks up, and walks home. Alone.

She does this because when Phil was leaving for the war, she asked when he'd return. He said he'd be back before his coffee got cold. A lie Mary has lived with for thousands of nights.

~~

Somewhere on a highway, a homeless man has been traveling toward the diner. He's been at it for longer than he can remember.  Years maybe. He doesn't know. His memory is not too good.  He doesn't know who he is or where he came from.  He was severely injured in the war. All he remembers is a name and a cup of coffee.  He will eventually find his way to the diner.  Instinct draws him.

Even though he doesn't know it, his name is ... Jerome.  Yeah, it's totally not Phil.  Too bad, too.  Man that'd be awesome. But even though he's technically MIA, Phil did die in the war  (Don't tell anybody - that'd spoil the surprise).

One last thing. For some reason I could never figure out, Jerome calls Ketchup "Ketch-em-up Sauce"

It's not really important, but that's where this story started from. That and a lady at the last place I worked named "Mary" who left a steaming hot cup of coffee unattended in the break room every morning.  I blogged about it before. Hang on - I'll see if I can find it ...

Ok here it is:  Mystery Solved

Oops. I just realized. That makes this blog entry part 2 of that one.  Ha - It was that long ago I wrote this. Well, this is unprecedented. I continued a "to be continued."

And you thought I'd never do it.

To be continued ...

Friday, March 23, 2018

Inky

Just in case I don't get to talk to my dad for some reason, I figure it makes sense to completely fabricate the story of Inky Henderson. I realize that I could completely fabricate it with exactly what actually happened because my subconscious could give me hints.  Anyway, let's give it a go.

I'm going to go off of this. I'm including the first line from before even though I'm not sure it belongs. So recapping (there's that word again - for me - not you. I talked about it in a post already written but to be published at a later date), this story is derived from this drunken note:


fred didnt believe me wed have never gone back but fred thought I was lying.  car stuck

inky henderson.  started going under.  everybdy standed there looking.

house fire the next night.

This will be told in "dad story speak." I know it well.

So we was all out at Two Rivers. We was drinking some beers. There was about 8 of us there. There was this gal. Cute little thing. Inky Henderson. I don't even know what her real name was.  We called her Inky because she had dark hair and dark dark eyes. Inky was drunk.

Inky was Teeny's girl. Teeny's one true love.  Not that Teeny was a monk. He liked to fool around with other gals. Hell, we all did.

But Inky was terrible [sic] jealous of Teeny.
 
Teeny figured what Inky didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Unless it was how to swim.  That there, son. That's foreshadowing.  See we was all at Two Rivers. Water. Get it?

Anyway, there's this other gal. Her name was Marla, but we called her Georgia. She used to go out with Teeny before Inky.  Georgia and Teeny still fucked around occasionally. Georgia wasn't much to look at, but man alive! was she stacked.

Georgia's dad was a fire chief or something. Big mother fucker. Mean. Most of the guys were scared of him. He used to threaten us. If we touched his daughter and all that. He didn't scare me. I told him "I ain't touchin' your daughter, but only because she's so homely, not because I'm scared of your fat ass."

No shit. That's what I said to him. Ask your mother.  Anyway - he just laughed it off because even though I was just a kid, I had a reputation for being one tough son of a gun. He had nothing to gain either way.

But Georgia. She'd suck anybody off for a buck. Oh yeah. I just remembered. That's why we called her Georgia. For George Warshington. His face is on the dollar bill. Get it?

So we's all out at Two Rivers and Georgia and Teeny start flirting with each other. Remember. Inky's drunk.

Teeny - his real name was Tony. But we always called him Teeny cause that sonofabitch had the biggest dick you ever saw. We always said it was a good thing Georgia had such a big mouth.

Georgia would be going on about some shit and we'd say "It's a good thing you got such a big mouth Georgia, 'cause I heard Teeny's got a dollar."

"Ha, Ha. Very funny guys. Where is he?" Georgia was cool. We all knew she was a slut. But we didn't care. Au Contraire! That's French, son. It means, "Not even close." My uncle Jimmy. He learned all this french when he was over there in the war. He's a one taught me.

So anyway - we're all sitting around drinking some beers and it starts to rain a little bit.  It was a hot night, so the rain felt good.

Georgia was just wearing a white tank top so when it started raining, Teeny says, "So are you cold Georgia?" checking out her hi-beams.

Woah, you should have seen Inky.  She jumps up and starts yelling. "Give me your goddam keys you bastard!"

Inky was so small and so drunk that Teeny just about fell over laughing, "C'mon Ink, I'm just foolin ..."

"Keys Teeny! Now!"  She's staggering over to Teeny, her hands, tiny little balls of rage.

"Alright Alright," Teeny relented (By the way - I've kind of slipped out of dad speak here and there. Oh well), "Just don't hit me!"

That did it. Everybody lost it on that one.  So we're all cracking up and Inky starts slapping at Teeny. It looked kind of like ... well have you ever seen that King Kong movie when he's on top of the Empire State Building?"  Inky was like the planes pestering him.

So Inky gets the keys and stomps/trips over to Teeny's car.

We kept on having a good time and forgot about Inky until a few minutes later when we hear Teeny's old car starting up.  Now it was backed up to the water because they had the trunk open earlier when they were all swimming over there. There were a few things Inky was not good at. Driving and swimming were 2 of them.

You can see where this is going.

So Inky puts the car in gear and stomps on the gas to peel out. Now I don't know if it was because she was a shit driver or because she was so drunk, but she had the car in reverse.

She peels out alright. Right down the bank and into the river.  We all just sat there stunned. We couldn't believe what we was seeing. So then Teeny. He looks at me like he's all worried and stuff.  He says, "Oh shit Freddy. Now how am I gonna get home?"

We're laughing because we're all pretty stupid, when we hear Inky screaming.  Turns out she can't swim and she's stuck in that car. It's sinking fast. 

Nobody knows what to do, so I just start running over there to where the car is now completely under water.  I jump in and I can't see shit.  Then I feel bubbles coming up and so I swim down and feel around.  I feel the car and Inky has the window part way open. I can't get her through so I kick at the driver's window and nothing happens.  I just push off the window when I try to kick it. I'm in water, so I can't get anything behind my kick.  Now I'm feeling like I am going to have to go up for air, but I know that if I need it, Inky needs it more, so I grab the window and start pulling on it. There's metal around the glass, so that's what saved my hands when the window finally came free. I pulled Inky out and got her up on the shore.

Everybody was pretty happy Inky was still alive, because most of us wasn't supposed to be out at the Two Rivers.

So that's how I saved Inky Henderson from drowning.

Now son, I have a question for you. Would you rather drown or get burned alive? Before you answer, what if you got to live one more day experiencing the peace and joy that comes with being saved from drowning.

I don't know either.
 
True story.

Follow up:

Ok - I talked to my dad.  The main difference between fact (this) and fiction (above) is that they were at the Platte river. There was a spot they used to go to where the water was real deep. You can mostly wade across the Platte except in a few areas. Inky's nickname. I guessed it was because she had dark features, but when I asked dad why she was called Inky, he said (like it should be obvious) "Because she was so small. Just an Inky little thing."

Inky didn't know the water got deep there and she was walking around and fell into the hole.  She couldn't swim and just started screaming for help. Dad said everybody was just standing around not doing anything. He wasn't there to swim that day so he was wearing his jeans and shirt and everything. But he jumped in and pulled her out of the water.

Then Georgia sucked him off.  Just kidding. I made Georgia up.

Two days later Inky's whole family (except a brother, who was out) died in a house fire. Which sucks.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Squirrely Harvest Incompetent Move (Update)

That's what it was. There are people who would say that if you crash, it's your own fault. Of course, this is a hard pill to swallow because there is some truth to it. But let's not forget that there is luck at play as well. There are times when you crash, there is little you could have done to avoid it.

The moment I knew I was going to crash, I didn't see what caused it. I saw the bike and rider 2 places in front of me go down hard. Immediately after that was the guy right in front of me. Then me.

I found out later the first to go down was Sam Fritz. Next was Jordan Miller (I think).  These were arguably 2 of the strongest guys in the field.  They were both in the mix for the win at the end of the race (I hear).

The thing that confused me about the crash was the fact that it happened at all. We were going uphill.  What the fuck?  How does a bicyclist just fall over going up a hill?

I found out later that the rider didn't just fall over. He got knocked over as the result of a Squirrely Harvest Incompetent Move.  You know what? I'm not going to keep typing that out. I'll have to try and think up a clever abbreviation for it.

So 6 miles and 20 minutes into a 60 mile road race, my first cat 1/2/3 race. I'm standing beside my bike in great pain. I may have a cracked rib. I have a huge nasty swollen left hip.  I hit my shoulder hard enough that I thought I might have broken something there. But after a moment, I realized that the pain in my hip and back was way worse.  Bad enough that as the others got up and rode away - I could only stand there, groaning.  I was bent over my bike, watching the race ride away from me.

I knew it was already too late to get back to those guys.  I stood there helpless as the dropped riders now started going by me.

Wait a minute. Dropped riders? Oh yeah.  Unlike most of the road races I've done, this one started full out from the very beginning. Attack after attack. It was horrible.

If you're old enough to remember matchbooks, maybe you've played with them before.  There was always this fun thing to do with a book of matches. You'd take out a match and with your finger, press the head against the flint and swipe it toward your friend, sending a tiny flaming missile their way. Sometimes the match would ignite and stick to your finger.  That was usually the end of the game. Sometimes, you'd pull all the matches out first and line them up, so you could go into rapid fire mode.

That's what the first 20 minutes of this race was like. So I was hanging on but we still had 54 miles to go. People had been dropped and I had crashed. I honestly don't know how much longer I could have hung on anyway.

 After about 1 minute and 45 seconds, I climbed on and started gingerly pedaling, not sure if I'd continue.  I got into my own rhythm and went by a dropped rider after a few minutes. I could see the other 2 who had crashed way up the road. I saw them going by another dropped rider way up the road from me. I made that rider my carrot. I didn't know who it was. Yet.

It took me a little bit more than a full lap, but I eventually caught on to Rich Anderson's wheel.  He was going fast enough that I knew I wouldn't drop him, so I suggested we each do one minute pulls.  Which we did for about a lap.

At one point, we turned east with a tail-cross wind and I saw there was another rider up ahead. I was pulling, but motivated to catch that rider, so I got aero and pulled hard. By the time I caught the rider, I had dropped Rich.

So I went into TT mode. Again.  When I looked back again, Rich was not in sight, but I could see that the Cat 4 race was catching me.  With just under 2 laps to go, they caught me. I let them go by as I believed I was supposed to.  And guess who was with them?

Rich Anderson.

So we were reunited.  I didn't think that you were supposed to be able to get a lift from another group, but others seem to think that's ok. I don't know. Sounds like cheating to me.

If I had known that was legal, I would have just jumped in with them rather than letting them go by and slogging it out alone.

Update: I was told after the race that it was ok to draft with a group from another race as long as you don't "work together".  This was not correct information. I consulted the rulebook this morning:

3B5. Taking pace or assistance from any outside means is
forbidden, including holding on to a motor vehicle or taking
pace from riders in a different race that is concurrently on
the same course.

Good old rulebook.



I asked Rich if he drafted off the Cat 4 group and he said "No, I was just riding behind them."

I'm not sure what was confusing about my question.  (Just kidding Rich - it's cool. Not Really).

Anyway - I was starting to get worn out and thought I'd better let Rich pull almost 100% of the way after that. He was clearly fresher at that point than I was.  So I was sitting behind him wondering if I'd be able to stay with him if/when he kicked it in at the end.  I was kind of disgusted because I had chased him down once and dropped him again. Then he was able to get back to me. Jerk! (Just kidding - not really).

But he paid his dues at the end.

So I was sitting on his wheel with about 5 miles to go when I noticed that my front tire was going flat.

Just fucking fabulous.  "See you later, Rich," I said, "I've got a flat."

So now I had no choice but to ride on a flat tire.

Oh wait, I had a couple of choices.

1) Get off the bike and wait for a sweeper to rescue me. And get a big old DNF after all the bullshit of the day.

2) Continue to be a man for another 15-20 minutes or so and finish this goddamn thing.

I went with option 2.

No matter what though, I didn't want the tire to come off (clinchers) or to damage my wheel. So if the tire had come off or I wasn't able to keep my weight way back, I'd have to quit.

So for the last 5 miles, I had to take the downhills slow. The turning was almost at a standstill. The climbing was ok, but every crack in the road, I had to lift the front wheel off the ground to avoid hard impact.

I finished and hopped off my bike immediately. That's also when I realized how much pain I was in. I just about fell over from the stabbing pain in my back.

The first guy that hit the road (Sam) in my crash came up to me and explained what happened.

He said, "One of the Harvest guys was riding real squirrely and he kind of veered into me and took me out."

I wanted to know which one, but Sam wasn't tattling on anybody.

So I hobbled over to the car and grabbed my stuff to change.  On my way, Shim called over to me, "Did you hear what happened?"

He told me that somebody next to him moved toward him and he had to move over and when he did his wheel went into a crack and it made his back wheel swerve around or something and that's what took out Sam.

Oh - I just figured maybe Shim thought he saw a soda can and tried to tail whip it out of everybody's way.  You either know Shim or you have no idea how funny that last thing I said is.

Anyway - I consider Shim to be the cause of the wreck.  I'm sure he disagrees and that's Ok. I'm told there's two schools of thought on the subject.  I'm not mad.  Shit happens.

I've told a few people before and it's true. I consider all of those Harvest/Trek guys to be kind of like family. Like if somebody who's not a harvest/trek person starts talking shit about one of them, I get a little defensive.

So yeah - fuck that guy. (Just kidding, Shim - not really).

In Shim's defense, he did offer me some Advil. He didn't have any - but it was nice of him to offer.