Time comes, to shit or get off the pot. Fish or cut bait. Choose one or t'other.
You're probably wondering what I've been doing, why the radio silence on the blog, and so on. Well... it's the brief off-season, and I've been thinking.
As usual, I'm pretty damn tired of bein' Fast for a Fat Man. Last year around this time I was all geared up to make the leap. I was moving in the right direction on diet and training, keeping going over the winter. Then things happened. I blew my back out, landing on my ass for 2.5 months, went through some enormous medical worries... by the time I was riding again it was mid-March and I had nothin' left in the cupboard. The goals were reduced. Ride as much as possible, race a bit if my back could hold up... see what happens.
What happened was pretty alright. My back mostly healed up. It's going to need long term maintenance work, but it's better now than it was, functional. I raced a bit, getting some okay results in some shorter mountain bike races, nothing great, just modest, decent finishes. Cross went okay but the season kind of went to shit for some reason - probably came into it without enough focus, but too much intense riding under my belt. I had a two week period in Sep/Oct where I could barely turn the pedals. Got through it okay though, and I still have quite a bit left in the mental tank. I like where I went last year but it's not enough.
Once again, as last year at this time, I gotta get after it. How much?
Here's the goals.
Top goal is getting my fat ass slimmed down to about 230. That's 40-45 pounds south of here. That happens, and I will be crushing. That's also going to be the hardest goal to hit. Going to suck and please bear with me if my attitude is ass for the next couple months.
Second goal is to do 2 12 hour solos, and 4 MASS Series endurance races, and at least two 12 hour team races. I like the 4 hour races and you can't beat the way a 4 hour MTB ride, fast as you can go, boosts your fitness, skills, and most importantly mental acuity on the MTB.
Third goal is to earn me an upgrade to the Sport Class in MTB. Sure, I can be a mediocre Sport class back marker right now, but I'd like to score some decent results - top 10s - in some beginner class races so I feel like I've earned it.
Fourth goal is to start learning how to ride rocks for real up at Gambrill, catch some beginner rides up there and start working on the biggest hole in my MTB skills package. I can ride babyheads okay, but riding over the rocks big enough to ride over? I ain't there yet.
Final goal is to start rebuilding my general sports fitness. I've worked on atritting a lot of muscle mass accumulated over 20 years of rugby and the accompanying powerlifting. Well, it's atritted, and I'm fat. Mission accomplished! Not sure how I'm going to do this but some light dumbell work is the start, and maybe I go to kettlebells or P90x or something similar. The goal is wiry strong, not the Stoopid huge squat weights I was throwing or ridiculous dumbbell bench presses I used to do. This is going to come with 5x core strength workouts per week.
Diet starts now. Nothing fancy - low cal, focus on proteins and whole grains, and starving my miserable self.
As for Cross... I'm going to race cross. We'll see how it goes.
Enough of the bathos. You're here for the music, right?
First off, is the Hanukkah song for my friend Jason. I have a lot of Jewish friends, but Jason is one of the most Jewish friends I have, so he'll definitely appreciate this.
I can't figure out whether Adam Sandler is the funniest serious guy I've ever watched on screen, or the most serious funny guy. His movies are just excellent, and even at his most absurd you get a sense he's trying to make a point about something, and yeah, he does drama pretty well. He's in rare company there with folks like Steve Martin, George Carlin (RIP), and... well, there's nobody else.
Speaking of folks you can't get a handle on, the ever-changing studio cats of Gorillaz fit that category... such as it is.
Nice song, don't know what to make of it. Genre-bending, for sure. The Raconteurs on the other hand, fit within a very specific genre - Ridiculously Talented Detroit Garage Rock Revival. I salute their solution to the question, "What can we do with Jack White?"
Jack's wife knew what to do with him too. Briefly. And too briefly.
Johnny Cash was another one-off, for sure. He was best at singing about death, drunkeness, hatred and apocalyptic themes. Hard edged gospel. Not everybody's cup of tea, maybe not everybody gets what he's doing spiritually or musically, but if you get what he's saying, it moves you.
Speaking of one-offs, Cake certainly is one. And one of my favorite songs is their salute to eccentricity, Sheep Go to Heaven. You listen to this, you get the idea they prefer hanging out with the goats. I know I do. As Mark Twain said, "as for the climate, I prefer heaven; as for the company, I prefer hell."
"Take It All Away" is another favorite of mine by Cake. John McCrea writes brilliant lyrics, and in this song, he breaks up with his girlfriend, telling her to "take your economy car and your suitcase, take your psycho little dogs, and take it all away." The "economy car" and the "psycho little dogs" painted a word picture that made me guffaw the first time I heard it. I don't know the girl he's talking to, not literally anyhow, but holy shit, I know *exactly* who she is because I dated her and a bunch of my friends dated her and a couple dudes I know married her. *Brilliant* lyric.
Now this next one is a great song for bicyclists generally, and particularly for mountain bikers by Modest Mouse, Gravity Rides Everything. I think this was in "Riding Giants," but could be mistaken.
Maybe "This is the Sea" by The Waterboys is what I was thinking of.
That was definitely in the film. Speaking of Riding Giants, have you seen it? That clip was dubbed from Stacy Peralta's seminal surfing documentary. I can't say exactly why, but I find the film extremely compelling. There are a handful of films that I can flip onto with the remote, and if they are on, I simply can't walk away. The first time I saw Riding Giants, I was flipping around in the Hi Def movie channels. Holy cripes, is this film stunning in 1080p... You got any films you can't channel surf past?
Guess I ought to end with something upbeat. How 'bout "Peaches" by the Presidents of the United States? Yeah, that'll do.