Sunday, September 27, 2015


I bet he tells everybody at church, too.

Idaho Panhandle National Forest Hiking

Kathy and I had a great time hiking in north Idaho over the weekend. On Saturday we hiked the Lakeshore Trail on the west side of Priest Lake. The terrain was easy and we got about 12 miles in. We spent the night in a cabin at Priest Lake State Park. We were pretty tired and hit the sack at 8:00 pm. Although we both woke up several times during the night, we crashed hard in the morning and got up at 7:30. I have no idea when the last time was that I spent 11-1/2 hours in bed.

Today we drove on some forest service roads on the east side of Priest Lake to hike towards Chimney Rock. The directions said the last .8 mile was steep and rough. They shouldn't sell it so short. It was effin rough with a capital effen "F". The steepness wasn't so bad. It was trying to get over all the berms. With a couple hundred yards to go we had to give up trying to get to the trailhead. I did a zillion point turn around and abandoned the Highlander on the widest part of the road.

 I'm the king of the world!

The views from up top were awesome. The hiking today was shorter than yesterday but the terrain was much more challenging. Kathy liked the view from the heights better than the walk in the woods. I concur.

And now back to the working world.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Running Naked Again

Back in May of 2013 I sprained my ankle something fierce. I couldn't run for four months. Since then my running has been hit and miss. I'd run three miles and my ankle would be sore for days. I couldn't run barefoot because my form was off so much I'd develop a blister on each foot within two miles. But I kept plugging away and now I'm making some meaningful gains. Last Friday I ran 3.5 miles barefoot and it went great. No pain. No blisters. My form was very good. Today I ran four miles and I'm happy to report the same results.

What a relief to be back again. Enjoy the foot photo. It'll be the only one I post unless something weird happens. (Yeah, I know, like running barefoot isn't weird enough already.)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

New Look

We had to replace a couple of the support posts on the porch. During the process I noticed how open the porch looked without the rails. So those are gone. Now the porch says, "Come on out here and sit."

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Unfairness Of It All

Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted to defund Planned Parenthood today. Here's her statement.

“The undercover videos featuring senior level officials admitting to unethical and potentially illegal procedures should be of great concern to everyone. Anyone watching these videos can surely say—the American people deserve answers. 

“What kind of country are we if we think the actions revealed in these videos are acceptable? We must work towards better protections for women, children, and families. In addition to the vital legislation passed today, we have three powerful committees investigating the abortion practices described. Our work is just beginning. 

“America is the place where everyone is empowered to achieve a better life. And that begins with safety and security for everyone. Of course, those who would commit violent acts against Planned Parenthood are also clearly in the wrong. 

“Women’s health care should be available from providers who do not practice these horrendous acts. No woman should have to choose between getting the care she needs and supporting an organization that harvests baby organs.”

First of all, the videos have been proven to have been selectively edited. So there's that. If I could record me and our congresswoman having a long conversation about abortion, I could use the same selective editing process to make it not only appear that she's all for abortion, but was talked out of aborting her first child by her husband. Now that would be a dastardly thing to do, wouldn't it? And she would be very upset at being portrayed so unfairly.

Kind of like Planned Parenthood is now.

What Cathy McMorris Rodgers characterizes as "unethical and potentially illegal" is legal under federal law. If it's potentially or truly illegal, where's the investigation and charges by the US Department of Justice? The investigations being conducted by "three powerful committees" do not include having representatives of Planned Parenthood testify and they're the ones our congresswoman say we needs answers from.

“Women’s health care should be available from providers who do not practice these horrendous acts."

So where is a woman to get an abortion if she needs one?

Here's the question I'd like to hear our congresswoman answer.

If abortion were to become illegal, what is the appropriate punishment for a criminal who solicits and receives an illegal abortion? The death penalty? Life in prison? Twenty-five years in prison? What is the price a criminal should pay for having an illegal abortion?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tis The Season

Cyclocross season is coming up and, as usual, I'm looking forward to racing. Yesterday I drove down to Moscow for a practice race at Sky Ranch. My two warm up laps were rough. I was doubting myself and my confidence waned as I struggled through the course. That changed once we lined up to race. There's something about going head to head with others that gives me a huge boost. I jumped out in front of as many as I could at the start so I'd be ahead of them when we hit the single track. That worked out really well for me. I reeled in a couple of other rides on the first lap and ended up behind a young lady. I'd catch her in the technical parts but she'd run away from me on the straightaways. I may have done better if I had more gears on my single speed.

But then it wouldn't be a single speed.

Anyway, I kept reeling her in and she kept running away. On laps 3 and 4 I focused on picking good lines, riding as smooth as possible, and relaxing. I was breathing hard but I felt good. Laps 5 and 6 went by so quickly. Again I'd catch up to that young lady and she'd pull away again. Near the end, her undoing was a dropped chain when she set her bike down to hard after the barriers. Bummer for her but that's part of the game. Right after passing her I realized we had closed in on a young man. He gunned it and tried to run away on the straightaway to the finish. I don't think I've ever spun my legs that fast before. I got right on his tail, darted around him about 100 feet from the line, and sped past him.

That felt good.

So here's what I'm looking forward to.

Inland Northwest Cyclocross Series Schedule

Wild West CX Series Schedule

And I hope to squeeze in a race or two on the west side of the state so I can race with my brother John.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Spokefest 2015

This was the eighth Spokefest and Kathy and I have done them all. Maybe at 25 years they'll do a t-shirt for the perennials. As usual, it was a well-run event and a very pleasant ride. Kathy and I chipped in at registration on Saturday. I noticed the numbers were down. There were a little over 1500 registered by Saturday afternoon, which is a shame. Between the price, the food stops, and the fun of seeing so many people on bikes, this event is a bargain.

Several of us sported bright socks for the ride but Bob outdid us all with his tux jersey. Kathy, Barb, Lucy, Bob and I did the 21-mile loop. (I was absent from the group a lot because I was taking photos of everyone.) With a couple miles to go Bob picked up a thorn in his front tire. Fortunately, the ladies all chipped in and he was ready to roll in 10 minutes or so. They were pretty funny.

 Kathy at registration.

 One with me taking the photo.

 One with me in the photo.

Bob has all the help he needs and then some.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lest We Forget

The waving flags
The threatening tones
Saying we will stand for this no more.

The rallying cry
That flames our passion
Sending our young to die in war.

The broken souls
The rows of tombs
Marking each mortal end.

The monuments
Showing we'll remember
Again. And again. And again.

A Letter From My "Friend"

I received an email with a survey from Cathy McMorris Rodgers. Regarding the Iran nuclear deal it turns out our congresswoman says President Obama cut out the Senate and that we need a better deal. Last of all she asked me to tell her what I thought of the deal.

So let's look at how our congresswoman and her fellow members of Congress got here today. Both houses of Congress overwhelmingly passed the Corker-Cardin bill, a.k.a. the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, (Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted yes) which the president signed into law, that required Congress to come up with a veto-proof majority in order to scuttle the agreement with Iran. So basically they tied their own hands. It wasn't easy, but they did it. Congress knew months ago that this was going to be an agreement and not a treaty and they passed the Cardin-Corker in an effort to have a stronger say in the agreement. Now Republicans, including our congresswoman, are falling all over themselves trying to come up with something as they realize they were outplayed, and mostly by themselves.
Proudly serving the nut jobs of Eastern Washington.

Now that the veto-proof majority is impossible Cathy McMorris Rodgers wants a do-over and says this should be a treaty even though she knew months ago it wouldn't be one.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Somebody Got The Boot

The parking meter had no time on it but I expect that's to be expected.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Good Deed For The Day

Riding home from work, I was passing by the Gonzaga campus when I saw a wallet lying in the street. I took it to a nearby C.O.P.S. shop but it was closed. Any other day there are three police cars parked outside it. So I rifled through the wallet to see who it belonged to. 
Inside were the owner's drivers license, social security card, and a number of important documents and cards. I learned he lived about a block away from my mom so I rode to his house. He wasn't home so I left my name and number. He called me later on in the evening and I delivered his wallet to him. He was very grateful and apologized for not being able to afford a reward. Not that I would accept one anyway.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I'm Gonna Die...Someday

While reading the Bangor Daily News I saw a headline about a calculator that will tell you how much longer you have to live--based on federal statistics. Well, what the heck. Might as well find out, right?

The initial estimate was not that great. Fortunately, I'm not Dick Cheney nor am I a fan of his One Percent Doctrine.

But farther down the article there was a more specific calculator that factored in how much you drive and exercise.

I always aim for being above average so look for me to be the centenarian at the home who places phone orders in to the marijuana store. "First floor. Third window from the north end, okay? What? Yeah, I know. Cash only. And hurry up. I got some ladies waiting."

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Walk In The Woods

Since Kathy can no longer run the long distances like she used to, thanks to arthritis in her knees, we've been doing more low impact stuff together. On Saturday we enjoyed a hike in the Deep Creek area at Riverside State Park.

Saved from the obligatory selfie by another hiker.

Hipster Slice Dude

Paul Turner has been doing a selfies with friends series on his blog and was kind enough to include me. I asked that we include our bicycles. As his readers know, he'd just been through a rather harrowing experience. He needed a little more time to recover before riding his bike to work. I'm happy to see he's back in the saddle. I gave him a Spokane bike cap and here he is modeling it with his best hipster pose. Paul is a good sport. And a good man.

River City Roots Festival

While visiting Steph in Missoula last weekend we caught part of the festival going on downtown. A group call The Whizpops was performing. They compose and play songs geared towards children, hence the little "groupies" up front. The Whizpops were fun and the kids were really enjoying them. The bored security guy was a hoot because he'd walk back and forth and tell the kids to get down off the barrier. As you can see, the crush up front was practically unmanageable.

 Hey, get down from there.

 Baby butt crack.

They make it sound so...sweet.

Sqeezed lemonade is the best.