Friday, September 25, 2015

Here be Trolls


Hello all,

I have written about “energy vampires” in some earlier posts a more insidious version of these creatures live on the internet and go by the common name of Trolls, because Fuck Face has been over used.

I tend to post things on social network that are inspirational or funny, a grand day arrives when I can find an quote that does both. I have been dealing with a few trolls of late and its funny because I put them down to being misinformed or just having bad taste because I was too naive to think someone could gain pleasure by poking at someone in a cowardly fashion from the comfort of their mothers basement.

A simple example on the ever crowed Facebook someone says name your favorite book, film or song. You write down your favs and a troll would then say “ I tried to read that book but I started to vomit or that film put me to sleep and I demanded my money back. Trolls don’t actually do a lot of reading so that is normally a dead give away. You also will not find trolls watching films with sub-titles (again reading) and most of their taste in music requires a marching tempo not unlike Europe in the 1930’s.

I have been told the best way to handle these Gollum like types is to just ignore them, which might do in some cases. I prefer to lift the rock they hide under and shine the light of facts upon them and watch them scatter back into ignorance and hateful depths from which they dwell.

A particular funny side note, these trolls tend to look the same, crazed eyes with an expression that shouts “ I never meant anything by that , I was just joking” A troll would not recognize a joke if it went to their door and went Knock Knock..(that was joke just now in case any trolls or having this read to them).

Trolls count victories in odd ways compared to lets say people. A troll victory can anywhere from being blocked or removed from Face Book, to stealing a parking space that someone else was waiting for.

Nothing is off limits for a troll except for you proving them wrong and like a bug they go away for awhile but like said insect they scurry back and once again make your skin crawl.

Trolls believe in a world that never really was they refer to as “the good old days”.  In this world it was OK to look down on people and treat them with disgust because of anything that did not fit into the narrow mind that guides the troll.

As a child I dealt with bullies and then I thought well they  will grow out of it sooner or later. I did not at the age of seven have the foresight to see that would not be the case. Trolls. bullies or fuck faces if your prefer will not be going away anytime soon. So you can choose your form of pesticide and good luck in dealing with them.

Trolls here’s a list of things I personally believe in and hold in high regard, feel free to jab away, I have a life to enjoy.

Family, Friends, Dogs, The films of Wes Anderson, the Music of Django Reinhardt,The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, People of all races just want respect, Love does not care about sexuality , Truth over authority , hard work, laughing at yourself, being kind, firm handshakes and welcome hugs, the writing of John Irving, Bike riding, hiking, playing guitar, cooking, crying when I say goodbye to someone I love, being alone in the woods, standing in a crowded bar with friends,binge watching Netflix with my wife,educating myself to lift my self higher,and shortbread cookies!


Is there more to life than this? sure there is, go out and enjoy it and when the trolls stick their pointy heads out of a hole, give em a smack it will not stop them, but Its something fun you can add to my list.

Peace and love

Thursday, September 17, 2015

My first Century ride


Hello all,

I love the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, its perhaps visual the most beautiful film I have ever seen,but what has stayed with me since I first saw the film was this odd character of T. E. Lawrence who seemed to have something inside of himself that those around him did not possess.

[Lawrence has just extinguished a match between his thumb and forefinger. William Potter surreptitiously attempts the same]

William Potter: Ooh! It damn well 'urts!

T.E. Lawrence: Certainly it hurts.

Officer: What's the trick then?

T.E. Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.

So a few hours before sunrise on 9/12/15 my wife drove me to Alton Ill to meet up with my fellow riders on what was to be my adventure.

BikeMS 2015

My co –worker Jeff had been bike riding with his friends and was really getting into it, he convinced me to sign up for the Bike MS 150 to help raise funds to fight MS. I asked my boss Mike to join and Jeff brought 3 of his pals Lamar, Terrell and Gerald. We even had a well seasoned rider Peter from our Denver branch fly out with his bike to join our team. I had roughly two months to train on my new Trek hybrid bike and I was invited to ride with Jeff’s pals on a 52 mile ride the week prior which was a great lesson in riding with a group.

A century in the bicycling world is a 100 mile ride in one day, I could not help think of Lawrence again as he was told he was being sent to the desert.

Mr. Dryden: Lawrence, only two kinds of creature get fun in the desert: Bedouins and gods, and you're neither. Take it from me, for ordinary men, it's a burning, fiery furnace.

T.E. Lawrence: No, Dryden, it's going to be fun.

Mr. Dryden: It is recognized that you have a funny sense of fun.


To me this was going to be fun!

BikeMS 2015

It was a cool morning and we all shared a pancake and sausage breakfast together , I kissed my wife goodbye and rode up to the starting line where the sound system was blasting out Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love..a very good sign.

BikeMS 2015-26

At 7:30 we took off and I was riding side by side with Mike and we were all smiles,people were cheering us and I was reminded of the people we were riding for  . BikeMS 2015

I had been training by riding a lot of hills which I thought might help keep me up with the pace of all these road bikes around me, and I just about blew it on the very first hill I was caught not paying attention and a lady stopped in front of me and I was forced to get off my bike and walk up a hill. Wow I was embarrassed and pissed off at once, but I climbed back on and raced to catch up with my team. We saw a rider by the side of the road and found out he had been hit by a car, a brutal reminder that this was no place for headphones and we would to stay focused.

Every 10 miles or so we would break to drink and eat and take selfies..BikeMS 2015

10, 20,30 the miles flew by and sometimes I would ride in a group or just Jeff and I passing through little towns, corn fields or open highway roads that never seemed to end. Somewhere around the 35 mile mark I started to feel severe cramps in my calf muscles. This was a very scary point for me, I stood up in my pedals and coasted as riders passed by me. The pain drifted off a bit so I continued on.

BikeMS 2015-30

The stops were welcomed and it was great to see so many cool bikes and we would talk about gear and chat with the different riders, I did not meet one soul that day that was not having the time of their life. All good people.

BikeMS 2015-28

We had passed the 50 mile mark and one stop was loaded with homemade cookies and fresh fruit, just amazing.

BikeMS 2015

Somewhere close to the 60 mile mark the wind started to kick up, and that was brutal. Then a hill and more wind and a long bit of highway where I found myself riding alone for what seemed like an hour. I spent some time riding behind Terrell and Lamar and was able to drift for a bit while they lead through that fucking wind, and no sign of a stop. The selfies ended and we pedaled through until long last we broke for lunch.

I developed a brand new pain that day  my Achilles tendon in both legs were on fire. After I ate my lunch I took a few pain pills and was told we would in order to get our 100 miles in repeat the last loop we just finished! Now I’m far to poor a writer to explain how upsetting this was too me. Go back to that fucking wind and those two hills seemed beyond cruel,but that’s just what we did.

I felt broken, I started to miss my wife who was at this point sitting in the parking lot waiting for me. I felt so alone it was really strange, I reached deep and thought of every give em hell speech I could muster. I spoke to my Dad who I lost when I was 17 and just really needed this to be over. The wind was winning and I had enough. Terrell told not to think any more about the pain but the fact we only have 19 miles left, I laughed and said I find it rather difficult at this moment to think of anything else but the pain. It helped and we rode on.

On the last leg we had eight miles to go and we could see the Clark bridge in Alton. That last eight miles was nothing but hills and wind and more wind.

I followed Lamar and Terrell into Alton and Gerald rode with Jeff. We made a right turn on to State street and I looked up at this hill that belonged in San Francisco . I groaned and started climbing for about half a block and had to once again get off my bike and start walking up this dreadful hill. There were vans waiting for riders who needed a ride back, people were sitting down and I just had to get over this fucking hill so I could finish this thing. Long last I was back on my bike and riding through the back streets of old Alton, I saw on my bike as I passed the 100 mile mark and I pumped my fist in the air.

I had no idea where the rest of the guys were I thought they might have found another route , but I saw the arrows painted on the road and stayed on the path.

My heart sunk again when I passed a sign saying keep going only 3 more miles!!! 3 more miles and damn if they were filled with hills!

Well long last I was on the last road and I cruised in with hands over my head under the finish line. I got off my bike and a crowd was cheering and I headed over to the beer stand where I drank the best Bud Light in the history of AB. I called my wife and told her I will be there in a minute.

BikeMS 2015


The rest of the guys had waited at the bottom of that hill in Alton and rode in right behind me and that was when all the smiles returned.

BikeMS 2015BikeMS 2015BikeMS 2015



My fellow riders:

Mike   BikeMS 2015   Peter BikeMS 2015  

Jeff   BikeMS 2015   Gerald BikeMS 2015




Lamar BikeMS 2015 Terrell BikeMS 2015


Peter would return the next day and ride another 100, Mike who had less than a month to train rode 50 both days, just amazing grit.

I will never forget this day and I want to thank my pal Jeff for convincing me to take part in this. BikeMS 2015

To go back once more to T.E. Lawrence when he was told by so many people that the task he had at hand could not be done for it was written! His reply after proving them wrong “Nothing is written until I write it!”

Peace and Love All

Sunday, August 16, 2015

50 mile bike ride! and what I learned


Hello All,

Happy Sunday morning, yesterday I decided to ride 50 miles on my bike as soon as the sun came up. In less than 29 days I will be joining some co-workers and hundreds of others on my first 100  mile (Century) bike ride so I needed to do some prep work.

I have been riding on average about 15 miles a day after work and maybe 20 miles on weekends. I have been reading a lot and watching youtube videos just to gather as much info as I can.

Talk around my office from guys who have done the Century to those of us that are novices started to have my head spinning with all the things that could go wrong. I needed some first hand experience so I chose to get up Saturday morning early and take off when the sun came up.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and a bowl of Markie porridge (see earlier post for recipe) and two cups of coffee.

I knew right away that I did not prepare anything to take with me outside of water but I gambled my big breakfast would get me through. ( I know, I know)

I took off and it was cool and dark with mist floating off the grass on my much beloved Grant’s trail (see post I wrote about this wonderful trail).

A few words about my choice of bike: I ride a Trek 7.0 fitness hybrid which is somewhere between the toughness of a mountain bike and the speed of a road bike. This bike is on the low end price wise of Trek bikes but is well made and fits my budget. You can easily spend a small fortune on your ride and to me your the biggest factor on how well your ride will go.

So back to the actual ride, my bike computer flashes my speed, miles and average speed as well as top speed. This becomes your constant companion  and keeps you honest.

I brought along an MP3 player and decided to turn it on after the 25 mile mark to see if it made a difference.

The trail I ride is 8 miles long and I know every bit of it very well, heading in one direction is a slow climb (nearest my home) and the return trip starts off with a very happy down hill run.

The trail was all but empty with the exception of a few serious runners and hardcore road bike riders who would dart pass me like I was standing still. The miles start to click pass and I worked out little mental plans such as at the 5 mile mark I was now only on a 45 mile ride, now only 33 miles etc..The trail soon started to come to life with folks walking dogs, power walkers, tons of runners and fellow bike riders. People of every age where out there and lots of head nods and smiles from people along the way.

I reached the 25 mile mark and turned on my tunes, the next 10 miles flew by without much notice as I enjoyed my music (and I was on the return trip heading downhill) as I was heading back and the slow climb returned I found my first problem. My legs started to cramp and I knew I was sweating out my electrolytes and had nothing other than water to replace them. I managed to keep my pace over 13 mph but I was pumping my legs on just muscle memory.

On the start of the return trip I would stop for a bathroom break or to stretch my legs and dump water over my head. The temperature along with the Sun were also starting to add to my problems.

So now I only have about 15 miles to go and I have to go up hill and then return and at this point I would beg for a banana or an energy bar. I screwed up and my body was letting me know in a very big way.

The worst section of the hill reminded me of the desert scene in Lawrence of Arabia, and I really wanted to just quit. I was pissed off at myself for knowing better and not doing the basic right thing. I passed a man who was walking his dog and like a good dog owner he was holding a plastic bag with proof that he cleaned up after his pet. The site of it suddenly turned my stomach and I could not shake the image.

I looked at my pace and I riding 15 mph hour but I thought I was standing still, this blew me away I was riding on cruise control . I took the last of my water and took a gulp and then poured the rest over myself and headed home. I new I was in trouble so I rode past my exit just long enough so I would hit the 50 mile mark and turn around .

I got home snapped a picture of my bike computer and posted it to FaceBook, grabbed a quick shower and a smoothie with blueberries and then my bed to stretch out! 11755516_10204564387372238_2258904454620782465_n

So now its Sunday morning and what did I learn?

Pack for your ride: tools, spare tube.

Bring some type of fuel for your energy

The best thing was in spite of my poor decision to not take some fuel with me, I really had a great time, my body this morning feels amazing. I have the joy of accomplishment  along with the knowledge of what I will do with the Century ride coming up in a few weeks.

Peace and Love

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Doing Solitary -taking a swim in lake me

Hello All,

When I first chose to become healthy I was so overwhelmed by information I decided to start with going for a walk, so I grabbed my mp3 player and took off. I'm very happy to say within days of my little walks the first smart thing I did was to leave the tunes at home.

I soon discovered my mind was filled with all the conversations and bits of news of the day, a real cluster fuck of information pounding away at my mind. A funny thing happened though as I continued my walks, I found the sounds of nature to be very calming, and for the first time in a long time I started to hear my own TV pundits telling me what to think.

This was all very new to me and I was approaching the early stages of meditation and was aware it was having a very profound effect on me.

My early walks were very structured, I would walk out 20 minutes from my door and turn around there by getting in 30 minutes of walking plus ten minutes of fat burning. I was and continue to be a guinea pig trying new experiments every month. My walks now have no agenda other than quiet time to ponder and be as far away as I can from my desk at work.

I have also become a big fan of bike riding, I try and get in at least 10 miles a day and much more on the weekends. Bike riding has opened many doors to my peace of mind. My body is being pushed and my spirit as well. Each hill I climb is a question of do I have what it takes to make it and when I do succeed it carries me on to the next challenge.

A good example of this for me as I was riding an overcame some bastard hill and I was sucking air but still feeling proud of my achievement , I thought how close I was to giving up and yet dug deep and made it through. So I soon started to apply this thinking to every difficult problem.

All you really need is a quiet spot to sit,I prefer to be on the move but whatever works for you. The main thing is to unplug from all the bombardment of information and give your self time to think and reflect. We live in a world of 24 hour news and every jackass feels the desire to spin every story to aid their cause or destroy anothers.

These results I cherish came about by finding some time to be alone with my thoughts. Its a wonderful feeling to not give a damn about what other people think of you, or what people would say if you were to try this project or that idea.

Be true to yourself, take a step away from work,family,friends and listen to your own beliefs and act on them.

I feel like a better man to my family and friends as well as my work because I have found doing a little solitary can be fine company.

Peace and Love

Sunday, July 12, 2015

breakfast-Markie Porridge

Hello All

Breakfast, whole lot of talk about this topic from most important meal of the day to I will throw up if I eat anything before noon.

My thoughts are I'm a busy guy and I need fuel in the morning and I might not have time to eat again until I get home. I think of my body like a car and I'm prepping for a long drive so I better have gas in the tank before I hit the road.

So here is my morning routine:

My alarm goes off at five and I find I am normally awake before it goes off so I tend to get up with little effort(I try maintain the same hours on weekends as well makes life easier)  I put on a pot of coffee and drink at least two tall glasses of water. I get myself ready for work and than I make what I like to call Markie Porridge:

I toss in about a half cup of instant oatmeal and water and heat  it up in the microwave for a minute, while its still hot I add a little maple syrup,cinnamon and a drop of almond butter and mix it up.

I make it a thick paste and it fills me up along with a cup of black coffee and I have a lot of energy to take on my morning.

This is very easy,fast   tastes great.

Simple enough routine I quickly fell into to start my day off right.

Peace and love