Friday, April 25, 2008

Bike Rally Report: Cruising' de Hood 2008

Worst Bike Ride Ever!!!

I should have just stayed in bed. But no, I had to drive down to Granbury and ride my bikie.

It was clear from the beginning that today was going to be a bad day. Alex escaped from the backyard (one day I am going to fix that fucking fence) and did not return. So I had to head down to Granbury with her wandering around the hood.

When I got there I turned on my Garmin Edge 305 to start it's process of finding the GPS satellites, but it didn't turn on. I had it charging all night and sometimes it "overcharges" and won't come on. So, I'll be biking blind.

The morning was beautiful, with a little bit of wind. And I got the sense that Hood county may be as "red" a place politically as we can have. The rally did not start until there was 1) a prayer 2) the pledge and then 3) the anthem as sung by a barbershop quartet. This place is so "red" I anticipated that the Supreme Court would be called in to fix the outcome of the race. Thank you,
I'll be here all week. But seriously I need to cut back on my Keith Olberman consumption.

The ride was going well for about the first 10 miles. It was very hilly and we appeared to be going up hill and into the wind for much of the time. And then my second setback -- a flat.

So I cursed the Gods, changed out my back tube and got back to riding just in time to hit the first rest stop. I hadn't drunk much water yet, didn't need to (yeah, I know, don't wait until you're thirsty), so I just got a cookie and rode on. At got to the second rest stop, and they were out of water and so was I. I hung around a while waiting for water. But I gave up and just filled my bottles with some ice.

The ride turned onto a busy highway (US67 I think) and I stayed on the shoulder. Ahead of me was a gravel road intersection. I tried to avoid it, but cars were zooming by at 70MPH. I hit the gravel and several yards later my back tire was flat again.

I was out of tubes, but I had patches. I applied two patches and the fucker still wasn't fixed. I figured I was at about the 30-35 mile mark of the ride -- right about half way. This was confirmed when a gentleman on a motorcycle - who was working for the ride -- came by and asked if I needed help. I requested a tube and was told a rider with tubes was about a mile behind us and should be here shortly. We waited for 45 minutes and the motorcyclist finally went to see what had become of the other rider. He came back with a tube and said the guy had fallen off his bike and sprained his ankle.

I fixed my bike and resumed my ride.

Luckily the ride back was mostly downhill and with the wind. Although I was a bit tired, dehydrated and starting to cramp a little, I figured I could make it. Although I was the next to last rider.

If you don't believe it was hilly, check it out, Chalk Mountain. I hear there's great skiing here in the winter.

Although the chalet looks a bit abandoned.

So I'm starting to feel good about myself. Although I have no idea where I am or how far I have left, I think I can finish this 64 mile ride.

As I'm heading up one of the few hills I have to go up on my way back, my quads are starting to cramp on the downstrokes (BTW, that was the name of my grunge band in the mid 90s). I had not anticipated the heat (it was one of the hottest days we've had up to this point) or still being on the course this late in the day.

So I took it gently when a car with "ride officials" came along side of me to ask me how I was. I was startled (I was concentrating on keeping an even stroke just to get up the hill) and rode off the road. Jumping off my bike, my quads completely locked up. I spewed a torrent of "Fucks" and "Shits" which I felt bad about later what with the prayer at the begining of the ride and all.

So, at around the 50 mile mark, I gave up. I took the sag-wagon back to the start -- tired, dejected with a light patina of glistening salt.

I promised the driver of the sag wagon I would do better next year. And I will. I'll bring 2 tubes.

Many firsts on this ride.

  • First time I ever had a flat on a rally ride
  • First time I ever had 2 flats on a rally ride
  • First time I ever had to take the sag wagon

Next ride: North Texas Classic in Ft. Worth

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CD Review: Keep it Simple (Van Morrison)

I've review many things over the last 10 months (wow 10 months) -- DVDs, restaurants, bars, movies in theaters and online. But I have yet to review a CD. And I meant (and even thought I had) to review this a month ago when this album came out. So this may not be quite a relevant as it would have been back then.

Also, my taste in music tends to be very narrowly eclectic. If that even makes any sense. And even if it doesn't make any sense, I'm sticking with it because it sounds like something a blogger might say.

But life is busy these day. This work thing is for the birds. It's a good thing they pay me.

OK, on to the review.

So here goes.

The first CD review for The Summer of Steve.

Jesus Christ monkey balls, it's fucking Van Morrison. The album is great. Go buy it.


Thank you for your courage.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Thank Christ, Another Bank

I was a bit saddened the other day, while driving to Central Market to load up on overpriced produce, to see that The Fare hand been torn down. Renown for it's "ladies" with C-Section scars and at least one good tooth, The Fare was one of the first Breast Emporia I ever attended.

I was doubly saddened to learn today that yet another fucking bank is being build in its place. In a time when more and more people do their banking online or at ATMs, why the need for all these banks? At least three have been build in my neighborhood since I moved here.

Who the fuck still goes to banks????

Oh, and in other bulldozer news. Can we please stop crying about that ugly building torn down on Turtle Creek.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Eating Ft. Worth: Kincaid's

I don't usually review places that I've been to before, especially a place that I've been to dozens of times before. But I had heard something terrible about an icon of my youth and Ft. Worth landmark -- Kincaid's.

This blogger had recently made the pilgrimage to Kincaid's and found it average at best. So, I decided to swing by on my way back from my ride in Granbury and give it a try.

Now I should state, that while I have always liked Kincaid's, I've also always thought it was a bit overrated. But I still thought it was a very good burger, deserving of much accolades.

But not anymore.

The article was correct. The meat itself was bland. The bun, "fixins" and bacon that accompanied it were very good. Bit it was largely just pearls on a pig. And I had just had a burger from Snuffers just a few days before. So I had something to compare it to.

I guess instead of swinging by Kincaid's after my next FTW area ride, I'll go to Zeke's, or maybe Lucille's for some lobster bisque, or maybe Angelo's.

Dangit. I'll have to do two 64 mile laps.

My Bar Isn't That High, I Guess

Last Friday was one of the greatest days of my life. Certainly not better than this day, but still very good. You see, after months of promises, Dish Network finally delivered the goods and gave me and the rest of us like-minded nerds SciFi Channel and my precious Battlestar Galactica in HD.

On top of that glory, Channel 27 finally decided that they should be showing the Stars in HD. Alas Dish does not deliver 27 in HD. But I attached an antenna to my receiver and viola, I had 27 and The Stars in glorious HD.

Send Her a Bouquet of Chlamydia

Sorry for the late notice -- I only heard about this the other day -- but April is STD awareness month.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Public Service Message

This is a serious post.

Believe it, or not.

I hadn't gotten a bogus email from Paypal in quite a while. But I got one today. It looked suspicious so i forwarded it to And sure enough, I quickly received a message stating that it was a phishing email.

So, if you ever get a message from paypal that seems odd, send it to the above email address and they'll tell you if it's true.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Career Change

I got an email today telling me I would be and excellent candidate for a career as a real estate agent. I feel like they really know me and what I have to offer.

Dear Steven ,I was impressed by the business training and experience listed on your e-resume. You'd be an excellent candidate for a Real Estate Agent vacancy we're seeking to fill. I'd like to give you the opportunity to submit an application for the opening. Included is some basic information about it.

Well, I'm off to GlamorShots to get my hazy pictures made for my yard signs.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cylon Ballet

My Greatest Day Ever

No, not today. But it was 11 years ago this week that I had the greatest day of my life. For the second time that week I had a FAX (remember those?) read on The Hardline. Buoyed by this great accomplishment, I went on later that day to have 6 hand-blocks at Wednesday night pickup.

Why We Drink

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tour Dallas 2008

Waiting for the rally to start outside the AAC.

Finally starting. Someone forgot to set up the route. That's right, the city of Dallas fucked soemthing up.

White people quickly pedalling out of Oak Cliff.

Bridge where several people fell.

Because I don't take enough pictures of White Rock Lake.

Tour Dallas was my first bike rally of 2008. While the tour itself is only 30 miles, I rode to and from the start/finish line, thus adding 10 more miles for a total of 41 miles. Yeah me.

The day was damn near perfect with no wind and temperatures in the 60s and lower 70s.

It is my hope that I can do at least 2 of these a month.

Next Scheduled Rally : Crusin' De Hood -- Granbury, TX. Sign up and ride with me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Meet Queen Wally

Yes that's bacon. And her panties are made from duck confit.


Yeah, it was an April Fools joke. I'm not going anywhere any time soon. Everyone should know by now that I'm too big of a pussy to leave the safety of the cocoon that is Dallas.

Besides, I have Tour Dallas and a pub crawl to do Saturday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

And So It Ends...

There has been an interesting phenomenon about my life that I have been aware of for some time. I can't explain it, so I'll just describe it. I know that if I do X (not the drug) then Y (not the chromosome) will happen. For instance I knew that when I signed up for unemployment then it would be but a short time and I would finally stumble into a job. Sure enough, I singed up for unemployment, and a few weeks later I got the job at Beal Bank.

But sometimes I am surprised by this phenomenon. Although I figured once I finally got a job, I would start hearing about even more employment opportunities. I just didn't think I would hear from one that I had already given up on.

At then end of last year I had been contacted by RenTrack -- a video rental tracking company. Seeing the writing on the wall, they had begun to look at other areas of the entertainment industry on which they could sell their statistical know-how. As such they began looking for talented (or in my case - semi-talented) software engineers from around the country to help them develop this next generation of software.

They first emailed me some coding problems to solve. Apparently I did well and I quickly got a phone interview with an accompanying online programming problem. Unfortunately, I heard nothing from them after that. I figured I didn't pass muster. Sulking, I moved on.

Sulking? you ask. Yes. Because this was a tremendous opportunity. This was a company that proclaimed an appreciation of their talent and treated them accordingly. This was a company that was at the cutting edge of programming technology. A company still making buckets of money from the Blockbusters of the world and felt fine about spending on the future aka cool shit.

Oh, and the company is in Portland, OR.

And it is from this same Portland OR that I write this. Early last week, Rentrak re-engaged me. After a few emails and another phone/online interview I was flown up to Portland Sunday night. All day Monday I've been meeting, and being grilled by my potential fellow Rentrakers.

Well, not potential anymore. By the end of the day they did make me a very nice offer. Admittedly any offer to move to Portland would be a good one. But this was a really good one.

So, I sit here in my hotel room by the Portland airport --next door to where I stayed this past September -- writing my final entry in this blog. Sorry, but yes, final entry. I saw this blog as my chronicling of the transition of one part of my life to the next. Well, I've finally reached the next part.

I'll be up here looking for a place to live and make other arrangements. And then next week I'll be back in Dallas to quickly (hopefully) sell my house to a developer and move to the great Pacific Northwest.

With all my friends that have moved away, or are about to move away, this was not a hard decision. In fact it was very easy.

So, with that, gentle readers...

King Wally.....out.