She will be sorely missed. She was the best dog I have ever had the privilege owning. She was a great companion and the best pheasant dog I have ever seen. She hunted tirelessly and when I guided hunts people would argue over who got to hunt with Splash. She always knew where the birds were. She was special. She was one of a kind.
I do not know who wrote this but my Dad framed it for me a few years ago. It explains why I will always have a dog. A Blackdog.
Are You This Good? If you can start the day without caffeine, If you can get going without pep pills, If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time, If you can forgive a friend's lack of consideration, If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when, through no fault of your own, something goes wrong, If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him, If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend, If you can face the world without lies and deceit, If you can conquer tension without medical help, If you can relax without liquor, If you can sleep without the aid of drugs, If you can honestly say that deep in your heart you have no prejudice against creed or color, religion or politics, THEN, my friend, you're almost as good as your dog!
My field trial dog is not doing very well. She is 13 years old which is very old for a field trial dog. She is the best dog I have ever owned and I have had quite a few. She has 2 shoe boxes full of ribbons that she won over the years. She won a couple of trials which for an amateur like me is a very big deal. Over the years she ran miles and miles chasing birds and competing in trials. The running took it's toll. Most people have no idea what a trial is so the video below shows a blind retrieve. Basically a bird is placed at a very long distance and there are obstacles between the dog and the bird. The dog does not know where the bird is and does not get to see where the bird is placed. The idea is to line your dog up and get your dog to run a straight line to the bird. If the dog goes off line right or left you stop the dog with a whistle and then cast the dog with your arms to get the dog back on line. Both dogs in this video are in the hall of fame. The first dog is from the same kennel as Splash.
It will not be long now. I am trying to prepare the kids. My daughter is having a very difficult time with the reality that Splash will not be with us much longer. It is going to kill me and be very difficult on Susan. We have spent so many hours with her. I know the humane decision needs to be made I am just having a hard time making that decision. The cold weather wreaks havoc on her joints and she only moves out of her bed to eat and go outside. Going outside only lasts for a minute then she is back in bed. I do not think she has been out of her bed for more than 15 minutes during any day in the past month. The drugs are just not getting it done.
Sunday I took a little ride on Jamie's Mistress. She is a bit rough and getting a bit of a face lift. At the top of Clark's they have put in a rock garden. Which is a cool feature. I think it will keep people riding horses from venturing down the trail. The actual rock garden is probably 8 to 10 feet long and easily rideable today.A little lower I ran into the Sweco. The thing is much bigger than I had expected. Joe was working on one of the switch backs and has added a bunch of jumps and bumps on the side of the trail. The upper section of phase 1 is not exactly rideable right now but with a little work it will be shortly. I had not ridden the trail in 3 weeks and it is in much better condition now than the last time I ventured my way down.
Everything below about the top third of phase 1 is rideable and I did two laps just to get a feel for the trail. I rode down and they had started cutting in phase 3 so I took a little hike a bike and followed the trail as far as it is cut. It is going to be cool. I had no idea that we could have a trail this long in Corner Canyon. Eventually I linked in to Ghost Falls and went home. I spent over 2 hours spinning out the tailgate party. Good time even if I about lost it on the Marbles.
Football season kills me. I have issues, some repressed and some very out in the open. I love this time of year. The tradition, the pageantry, the cool weather, the time spent with friends. Not to mention the food. Glorious food. Ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, chili, bratwurst, burgers 7 layer dip, cheese, crackers, pretzels and beer. Well all that great food has come back and bit me on my ever changing ass. I lost 22 lbs in about 30 days. I nearly lost my mind and then I went to Vegas and the eating started. Competitive eating. Not just I over indulging a little we are talking Fat Bastard chewing on a turkey leg in bed eating. I have gained back 20 lbs in under a month. This has to be a record. My name should be on a plack. Anyhow I know any chances of dieting are shot until the Monday after the byu Utah game. There are 4 games left. Two home games with tailgate parties and two parities where we will watch the game. Then there is Thanksgiving. And at Thanksgiving we have pie. Pumpkin pie and banana creme pie.
So here is the deal. I need something grand, something huge to stay motivated, to keep me on track and more than anything to keep me on the bike. So here goes. I am going to try to get into Leadville next year. If Leadville falls through then I will go and do the Butte 100. I will also probably try to do the PC Point 2 point. So I am sure someone just spit coffee all over the computer. How the hell is this fat bastard going to drag his sorry ass 100 miles on a mtn bike? Good question. As I see it I need to lose 60 or more lbs between now and August. I am not exactly sure how the hell I am going to do this but you can bet I will spend some time with a dietitian and this time one that understands riding a bike while dieting. I will also probably find a cycling coach. Again one that has worked with fat mo fo's and can keep me from burning out.
So that is the plan. By the way if you think I have issues check out this dude. I think he drank the whole thing. Whatever that was. Kids let this be a lesson. Mullets and alcohol do not mix.
If you get to Vegas you need to go to the Hash House A GO GO. The place is incredible. The food was very good and huge. And in that order. As you can see from this photo Susan is not quite sure what to do with the Pork Tender Loin Benedict. Susan took one look at my Corned beef hash and asked to trade. I barely finished half of the Benedict.
Aah the Corned Beef Hash. It was a thing of beauty. Susan did not even come close to putting a dent in this delight. Oh and of course a bloody. Lets just say that someone needed a little pick me up after a late night of people watching on the strip. It was so good we went back Sunday morning and had round two. I nearly finished the Sausage Hash.
Ever feel like you are looking at this scale in the morning? ME too. I had a couple of days where i did not lose any weight. Given that I am still eating about 500 calories a day I could not believe that I was not losing any weight. Luckily this morning when I got up I had dropped 1.5 lbs. I am sure my metabolism has shut down at this point but I am still hoping to get down below 240 by next Friday morning. Then I will blow it all to hell with my trip to Vegas. It will be good to be off the diet. I am losing my sanity because I have not been on the bike since September 11th. To say I am Jonesing for a ride would be an understatement.
Jamie Erich and I did a bit of trail work on Saturday. I think we have created a new sport. Trail surfing. The new trail is still fairly rough so we took a 100 + pound sewer grate and attached it to the 4 wheeler. We connected a rope to the back end and Erich and Jamie took turns surfing the grate while I drove down the trail. It seems to do a nice job of smoothing out things.
The trail is still a bit rough but it seems to do a good job. We just need everyone to ride the trail and it should be in very good shape by spring. So if you get a chance go climb Clark's and then just before you go into the parking area turn almost 180 degrees left and go down the trail. I guarantee you will enjoy the trail even if it is a bit rough right now. To get back out just ride the old pipeline trail back up and then take the Brock's point connector over to Ghost falls and let er rip.
Have fun and let me know if you want to go surfing.
We are headed to Vegas to see Utah play UNLV on the 17th. A short two weeks away. Somehow I need to get down to 240 by then because the diet is shot and killed starting on the 17th. I need to lose a pound a day to get there. I think I can still do it. I have not been as good about dieting this time as I should. See my last post if you have questions. However I still think I can get down to 240. The 4 weeks starting on the 17th will be rough. Travel to Vegas and then having 3 home games complete with tailgate parties will make things interesting. Sundays are going to have to be Century rides if I am going to keep the weight down. Well maybe not but long rides for sure.
We are going to stay at the Tropicana. Susan really just wants some time by the pool and with our recently cold weather she is excited.
I on the other hand am looking forward to some of the food that Adam takes on in Man vs. Food.
The diet took a major hit last week. Thursday and Friday were all day conferences with breakfast, lunch and dinner. I held out until lunch and then I could not take it anymore. The weekend was a big tailgate party that started early Saturday morning. Food, food, beer and food. Not exactly diet food either. We made spicy sausage sandwiches. They are one of the best things in this world. Colosimo's spicy sausages cooked in marinara sauce all day placed on a hard roll with provolone cheese and then covered in sauce. Man those things are good. Like scary good. There is something about the sausages cooked all day in the sauce that makes them even better. They are incredibly tender and the spicy flavor with the cheese. Well lets just say they are awesome. Anyhow I gained about 7 lbs in 3 days. I am back down to 257 and there are no tailgate parties until Vegas. Luckily that is not for 3 weeks. I should feel weak for breaking the diet but somehow it was worth it.
Putting the basement back together I found a photo from my days at the U of Arizona. That was one sweet bike. A Faggin. I kid you not that was the name of the frame maker. It was the sweetest steel frame ever. In those days Italian frames were the Sh*t. They were the best riding frames . The frames built here at home rode harsh. Aluminum was just starting to come into play and it was either really harsh or just dangerous. Lots of broken aluminum frames. The bike was all Campy Record with wheels I built for the bike. It had tubular tires and sweet fade bar tape. I sold the bike to a buddy of mine 13 years ago. When I sold the bike the wheels had a bit of a wobble and it did not shift very well. But I still miss the bike. It is the one bike I wish I had kept. I put a ton of miles on that frame. Thousands of miles. The year I spent at the U of A I probably put 4 or 5 thousand miles on that frame. Sadly is gone. He sold it. I wish I had known. I would have bought it back in a second.
Yesterday I spent several hours working on Jamie's new trail. Have I have mentioned before that it is cool? Well it is. The trail will be a lot of fun. A down hill XC trail. Down hill may be a bit misleading. The trail does drop significantly but it moves up and down and across Corner Canyon. Think of a trail like Johns in Park City but without all the annoying roots. That is the idea of the trail.
So yesterday Erich and I showed up and put in 4 hours working on the trail. The machine had been through and carved out path and we were filling in holes, digging out roots, putting in drains and raking out the trail. About 3 hours in I bonked. I know my diet is ridiculous and the minimal amount of calories (600) is probably just stupid but I did not expect to bonk. At about 11:00 I grabbed an apple out of my camel back and tried stop the bonk but it did not work. I walked off and found Erich and told him we had to go. I was in a world of hurt. Thought I was going to puke and was suffering as bad or worse than any bonk I have had on the bike. I hate that feeling you get just before you puke and I had it walking back up the 1.5 miles of trail to the top of Clark's.
Luckily I did not embarrass myself by tossing my cookies all over the new trail. I will save that for next year when it is finished. Erich an I headed home and I went to bed. I had Susan make me a bottle of Carbo Rocket. Which I was barely able to drink. This stuff has to be the easiest thing on your stomach that you can drink and I was having trouble. About an hour or so later I was good to go. Then I watched the Utah game and I wanted to puke all over again.
I am down a bunch of weight in less than a week. I think all the cycling I have done has boosted my metabolism. The diet will fix that. The last time I did this I lost 20 or so lbs. The first time I lost 35. There was some gain back in there but to date I am down more than 50lbs from my high. I need to find a photo of me from my days at the U of Arizona. I think I have a picture of me finishing the Tour De Tucson in about 1987 where I weigh all of about 160lbs. That is still the guy I see in my head. My goal is to get down to 200 lbs by about the end of February. This may be too optimistic. I want to ride in March and dieting and riding do not go together very well.
We are getting closer to finishing the basement. We bought a new couch, pool table and TV. I really like movies and I am going to finish this out as a home theater. We need to buy some window coverings and some sound equipment for the TV but otherwise it is just touch up work and it is done. I plan on putting in a bar with a sink and fridge as well but funds are running a bit low so for now we will have to walk up stairs to get drinks and snacks. With a little luck this should keep the kids at our house. I just like the idea of knowing what is going on and having them here makes Susan and I feel better.
Diet is going well I have not broken down and eaten anything that does not fit in the narrow parameters. Last night was tough though. Kids were eating ice cream. That stuff is like Kryptonite. I really dig the stuff. Especially Costco vanilla with ginger snaps under and crushed over the top. Man that is good. It is like heaven in a bowl.
So what is the over and under on my first break down?
Poor Mookie. He had a gnarly growth on his ear and had to have it removed. He is very unhappy wearing the Cone. The growth was big and the Vet does not know what it was. They wanted to send it off to the lab and have it tested but I declined. I know it could be cancer or something but if it is I am not willing to do chemo on a dog. The results are ugly and the survival rate is horrible. Hopefully it was just one of those growths that dogs sometimes get as they age. Mookie goes back to the Vet today and we will see if she takes the Cone off. Mook's has tried everything he can think of to remove it himself . He has rubbed it on the fence, the house, the inside of his kennel and my favorite the railing on the deck. The Cone is smashed but it is holding up.
So I have been slowly gaining weight. My lack of chamois time has been catching up with me. Since the end of the Solitude series I have gained 7 lbs. I have decided to go back on my suffer fest known as the mother of all diet's. About 600 calories per day. Today's lunch will include 1/2 of a chicken breast an orange, and some steamed broccoli. The first couple of days usually make me a bit nutz. If you see me eating be sure to keep your distance I may get emotional.
So BYU is 1-0 on the season and already I have to suffer through the discussions of a National championship run. Can you say delusional? Some days I hate my office. Unbelievable. The arrogance is incredible. It is almost as if the Y's fans believe that teams will just roll over. "Ooh we are playing BYU we should just give them the ball and walk off the field". I predict you will see this "Quest for Perfection" spiral down the toilet much like last season. I would really like to see Tulane beat them but that is unlikely. Florida State, TCU and Utah will be tough games even if they are played in Provo(gawd I already know too much about their season). I predict that BYU loses 2 or even 3 of these games. Hopefully Florida State will take care of business and the arrogant horde will crawl back into their holes.
The NC talk would not be so bad if I were not completely out numbered. It is about 10 to 1 and feels like about 100 to 1.
Here is a hint. Maybe win a few more games.. Like maybe 10 before you start talking National Championship. Then you will not seem like you have been sniffing glue?
While I am at it I predict Utah finishes the season 9 and 3 and wins their bowl game.
Saturday morning we went and did a bit of work on Jamie's new trail. The trail is cut in from the top of Clark's down to the old Corner Canyon road. Total it is probably about three quarters of a mile. I rode it last night and it is going to be fun. Right now it is loose and bumpy but a bit more riding and maybe a bit of rain and it is going to be very fun. The trail winds around almost like a bmx track. Lots of berms and rollers and switch backs. This thing is going to be cool.
Last night I ran out of daylight and had to use the head lamp to get down. I had a good time and rode the new connector trail from Clark's to Brock's point and then down Ghost Falls and home. The ride took longer than I had planned but I was really in no hurry.
I have not spent much time on the bike in the past couple of weeks. I have been in a funk that I just could not seem to shake. I think my Corner Canyon rut has been killing me. Too many days of one hour straight up and 20 minutes down to the house. My leg has been bothering me and I just decided to take a break. I am sure the sore knee and hip have nothing to do with my ability to do the Truffle Shuffle. Cross season is almost upon us and while you will probably never see me line up I am sure I will be there to cheer/haze the riders as they pass. I found this video from DFL (something I am very familiar with). Cross dressing Cross racers. These dudes are sick puppies which is probably why I wish I could race cross. My leg would never handle slipping in the muck and I cannot run so no Cross for me. Check out the video. It looks like fun as long as you keep your distance from a couple of these dudes.
Susan and I went for a night ride yesterday. I had forgotten how fun it is to go out at night and ride the trails. The perspective is totally different. I also had forgotten about all the deer running around Draper. I almost ran right into one while I was riding the trail to the Rodeo grounds. I am not sure how I would have explained that one. Bonneville shoreline trail headed toward Corner Canyon Road
Bridge connecting lower Corner Canyon to Bonneville Shoreline trail.
Upper Corner Canyon Road.
Susan had a bit of a mishap and had a slow speed over the bars incident. She is a bit sore and has a bruise on her elbow and hip. This time she has no idea how she crashed. I am not sure either. The place she crashed is fairly flat and had very few rocks. I hope I can talk her into riding at night again. Because this was fun. At least fun for me.
Sort of. I was the only person entered in the 40 to 49 beginner class. I actually did fairly well though. There were 10 people entered in the beginner class from ages 10 to mid 50's. I finished in third place in the group. I was happy with that and I beat someone who works with my wife. It was nice actually having a couple of people to race with. At most of the races I have done this year I am out there by myself because I cannot keep up with anyone. The course suited me fairly well. The course was fairly short up hill climbs then down hill. Just enough time to recover before the next climb. The Solitude course helped me in this race. The Galena Grinder was steep then technical on the down hill side. There were several log piles you had to ride over and a lot of sketchy loose trail. Had it not been for the down hill side of the course I would have finished a couple of more places back. There was one person who would pass me every time the course went up hill then I would pass him back shortly after it would head back down hill. Thankfully the end of the race had about a mile of mostly down hill with a couple of short up hill climbs and I put a minutes or so gap on him.
Erich had a more rough ride. He had to move up to the 15 to 18 sport class. They rode 18 miles and he broke a pedal half way through. I looked at the pedal and the spring broke so I hope I can get a new set of egg beaters on warranty. Erich was doing fairly well until the pedal broke and one of the kids who placed said he passed him when he was walking up a hill.
Shannon and Jen showed up for the race. Shannon finished second in the pro marathon class and was top 5 overall. There were some amazingly fast experts who did the marathon course. 45 miles and about 3000 feet of elevation change per lap. Major props to those guys. That course was tough and I think I probably could do one lap but no way I could have done 2 laps. They were flying at just over 2 hours per lap.
So my day was not going well and I was in a shitty mood. I am surprised no one told me that I was a jerk. I know if I had opened my mouth one more time it was probably going to happen. How did I fix my crappy mood? I went to the Wednesday Solitude race. I was still in a crappy mood when I got there. I tried my best to hide it but I was doing a pretty poor job. Once the race started the bad mood was gone. I entered the pain cave, which by the way has teeth, and did not crawl out for 75 minutes. They changed the course and had us go up the paved road and then ride the course backwards. The climb hurt the flats hurt and the down hill hurt. At one point I started hearing things. I kept hearing phantom racers who were not there coming up on me fast. At one point I thought I saw a racer in the shadows about to pass me. I managed to finish but the last mile was fairly sketchy. I went off the trail twice and nearly crashed about a hundred times. On my second lap while going up the paved road someone asked me why we do this. I told him I must hate myself. The race hurt but at least I am not grumpy anymore. Tired and beat yes. Grumpy no.
Tomorrow Erich and I are off to do the Galena Grinder. It is the memorial race for my friend's son. It will be good to see Mark and Gail. I am sure the race will be interesting. From what I know it is very similar to Solitude. High altitude, rocky and rooted. Still it should be fun. I will take a few photos. I just hope the pain cave does not bite my butt too hard.
So my weight has been floating between 260 and 272 in the last week. I am not sure what is going on. I have been trying not to eat out so much which I think is helping plus I had been riding quite a bit as well. The problem was last week on Friday going up Corner canyon I had nothing. I could not get my HR above 140 and was in major misery. Granted at 6 am I have never felt good going up Corner Canyon. For some reason this keeps happening. About every two weeks I seem to go through this thing where I have to back it off and take 2 days off the bike. I am not riding all that much compared to most of the guys on the team but I seem to flirt with some form of burnout regularly. So far this year I have about 900 miles and about 90 something hours on the bike. By Bob standards this is nothing and I think he hit these numbers in February. For me it is quite a bit given that I have less than 10 road rides this year. I know I am getting faster, even though I am slow overall. It is just weird. I feel OK and kind of crummy all at the same time.
Sunday we pre rode Solitude. The course is fun. I had never ridden the upper loop. The loose double track should be interesting. I think I scared a few hikers. One nearly to death once I started going down hill. Again moving fairly slow but I think the sight of 260 something lbs of cyclist coming around a corner kind of freaks people out.
Not sure what to do about the weight. I have held it in this range since April. It has to go down. I thought the weight was on the way down Sunday when I stepped on the scale and saw 260. Then on Tuesday morning it was 267. Today 264. I put in a hard effort on Sunday and I wonder if my body just swells up after big efforts? I have no idea. I took off Monday. Yesterday I was going to ride at 6am but Erich did not want to go and that was enough of an excuse for me. Tonight I will race the Solitude Mid Week and will not DNF even if I have to drag the bike for 2 laps.
This should get interesting. Bobby Fresh made me do it.
I like this idea, plus I like free stuff. Here’s how it works. The first five people to leave a comment on this post will get something handmade from me. But in return, you have to make this same offer on your blog and make something for five other people.If you want to play, copy the text below onto your blog and leave me a post:
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get. 2. What I create will be just for you, with love. 3. It’ll be done this year (2009). 4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. Heck, I might bake something for you and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure! 5. I reserve the right to do something strange. 6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.7. Send your mailing address - after I contact you. I reserve the right to make you whatever I want. It will not be virtual, it will be an actual object.
...with proposal and wedding ring. That's right! Act now on this one-time offer. All you have to do is date and marry me and you can be the proud owner of a 1992 Jeep Wrangler (along with a 1970 woman). Jeep has a lift, safari top for the summer/hard top for the winter, rear locker, 33" tires and (new this year) an 8000 lb winch. Not only do you get the Jeep, but you get me. And boys, I don't come stock. I am FULLY LOADED! My add-ons include: a great sense of humor, an affection for "garage nights" (that means working on stuff in the garage), an amazing work ethic, temple-worthiness, an appreciation for sports, the ability to live well within my means, logical reasoning skills, a "work hard so you can play hard" mentality, and I'm great with kids, too!Terms and Conditions:1. Marriage must last a minimum of 5 years. 2. Jeep cannot feel neglected - trips to Moab required - but it's a package deal. You take the Jeep, you take me!3. Honda 400EX included in lifetime package.4. Honeymoon required.
3 pictures of the Jeep. Only one photo of some one's future Wife. Act quickly you single guys. There is a set of 33" wheels and an 8000lb winch on the line.
Last night we all went for a ride. Erich and I went up Bonneville to Corner Canyon Road then down Ghost Falls and up Clark's then down the new trail. I think it is called Canyon View or Brock's point. Anyhow Susan thought we were nuts because it was so hot. She rode up Clark's and down Ghost Falls. At the end of Ghost falls on the main road just before the single track a dragon fly flew into her face/helmet, she lost concentration and went down. This is the worst of it but she also has some abrasions on her hip and her elbow. Can you say Ouch?
It is classic road rash. Nasty burn. Not much bleeding but it is oozing and is just a painful mess. I feel bad for her. Last night she did not get much sleep.
I am always amazed by how big of a mess road rash makes. Susan wore Capri's to work today and the ooze soaked through the knee of the pants.
After seeing this I am going to go hairless. Yes I am going to shave the tree trunks. The only good thing about Susan's abrasion was that she did not have to clean hair out of the road rash. I have seen hairy guys go down on the road and seen the infections and the pain that comes with having your skin peeled off. So next time you see me it will be sans hair. Even if I am not the hairiest dog in the pack. I do not want to deal with the hair when I eventually go down
That or I am just looking for an excuse to shave my legs again.