Friday, November 27, 2009

Took a Ride

Thanksgiving is about family and being reflective. I got to take an old friend out for a ride this morning so it was both.

Carol and I are in Oklahoma at her sisters house for Thanksgiving. Our whole household is here, plus all of Carol's family. There will be plenty of food and my anti-football sister-in-law set up a TV for me in the garage. (It is where the beer is).

With the anticipation of over indulgence, I decided to go for a run this morning. My in laws pointed me to a park that has a mile and a quarter running trail.

I took Ol' Blue. My shade tree mechanic brother in laws brought her back to life. Apparently she needed a new slave cylinder, master cylinder, pressure plate and clutch. A good guess of about $2,500 if you took it to a shop.

It brought tears to my eyes as I started her up. It had been a while since I had driven a standard and I stalled her once. She forgave me. They cleaned over a 100,000 miles worth of boy scout mud, food, canyd  out her interior. She was as clean as the first time Carol let me drive her. The only thing that was missing was the "Simpson's" floor mats I had put in her.

It was a good run. I did three laps and smiled every time I passed Ol' Blue.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The final road trip to Lubbock was quite the success. The Red Raiders played their most complete game of the year. It was a sad time to say good-bye to the season ticket family around us. They all share the same passion for the Raiders with Carol and me. There is Ryan and DeJay who sit in front of us- Two good college buddies that at times remind me of Bergwood and Hamm; Heather and Dusty, with their twin boys who sit behind us. There is the group that drives up from Houston to my left and the crew that drives up from Kerrville. They will be missed until our next visit to the Jones

Friday, November 20, 2009

Last Football Roadtrip

Today is a day of conflicts. Little Troop 5 is heading out to its first Crosstimbers Camporee and I am not going with them. Instead I am headed to Lubbock, with Carol, Brett and Brittney for the OU/Tech game.

I have not missed a camporee since 1997. However the calendar changed midyear and its forced this conundrum on me. What has made it worse is that Fox Sports is televising the game at 11:30am. I was hoping for a night game, so I could take the troop out on Friday and then the game on Sunday.

I sure hope the Red Raiders show up and play.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Old man in the Peleton

One of the cool things of riding as long as I have is that I seemed to have earned elder status in the group. Cycling is definitely an Alpha male type of activity. The perception of how you rank in the local peloton is usually based solely on your cycling ability. This becomes real clear during weekday training rides as I watch the shaved leg racers drop me like a bad transmission.

However on weekend rides there is another hierarchy that can come into play. Apparently I have fallen into the elder role. I like to say it’s because I am a wise sage of the way of cycling, but it probably has to do with that I know the roads where we ride so well.

This past weekend I finally got in a long ride after getting the cast off my hand. It was the traditional Dalwothington Gardens to Venus route, with a stop at the shop to see if anyone else wanted to ride. Turns out last Saturday was the Fort Worth Bicycle Associations "Century of the Month" out of the Arlington shop. Since I am coming back from injury, I have not been paying attention to such things. Big Dave and I rolled up to the shop surprised at the at the attendance to the normal 8am ride. The FWBA ride was to start at 9am, so the normal 8am crew was not willing to wait. We announced we were headed out to Venus and a rather large group headed out. It was made up of a quite a few people that I do not normally ride with and the normal Saturday gang.

It was a fantastic paced ride. I ended up averaging 18 mph for the 66 mile ride.

Big Dave, Tom, Justin and I took turns at the front. Quite a few of the visitors were "sitting in", with a small number taking pulls. The group kept getting smaller, even as we turned back home with a tail wind. My lack of training and the distance caused me to fall off the back at about 50 miles. Big Dave and Justin realized this and eased off the back to ride with me. When Tom discovered we are all gone, he sat up and slowed the group down so we could get back on. Here is where I feel my wise advice is helpful. Justin suggested we pick up the pace to catch the group. I noted that if they are willing to sit up, we should just roll up to them instead of burning any more energy. We followed my advice.

We rejoined the group. I had abandoned any desire to pull at the front and was just going to sit in the rest of the way. When we hit a small roller, I was struggling to keep in contact. I felt a hand on my back push me back to the group. I turned to expect to see one of my cycling buddies, but found myself thanking one of the visitors. I concluded that he help me up the hill for one of two reasons, but probably a combination of both. Either a) he pushed me because it became clear the group would not drop me, because I am some kind of "elder" on the ride; or b) pushed me because he did not want to wait on me again. Regardless, the results are the same, I got to finish the ride with the lead group.

If I were a visitor, I wager I would have ridden home alone.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

TCU Game

My shirt situation helped the Horn Frogs, but failed the Raiders.

It was a magical night in Fort Worth last Saturday. You can see me on the second row of the upper deck on the 50. I am the one with the purple shirt and the black leather suspenders on.

Shout out to Dad for the picture!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Football Conflict

I know I am obsessive compulsive with my Red Raiders. The next few days are an interesting test to that compulsion.

Tomorrow I am going to the TCU game against Utah with Nat McQueen, a long time friend from Heidelberg American High School. Nat is a proud graduate of TCU and is flying in from Washington D.C. to go to what is possibly the biggest game in TCU history. I cannot give up the opportunity to see Nat and go watch the football game in Fort Worth.

The problem is of course, TCU kicks off at 6:30pm on Saturday and Tech kicks off at 7:00pm in Stillwater Oklahoma. Tech has a huge game against Oklahoma State on ABC. The winner of the Tech/OSU game has the inside track at the Cotton Bowl. I will have the DVR on overtime recording both games, but my blackberry will be following the Tech game at the TCU game.

I have a plan to address this conflict. I will be wearing a TCU T-shirt over my Texas Tech under armor shirt to insure that there are no karmatic issues relating to the Tech game. Also this will allow me to strip the TCU shirt off at the end of the game to finish watching the Tech/OSU game at a work buddies tailgate.

Too much thinking?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Being the son of a Colonel, with a brother soon to be Colonel in the Army, Veterans Day makes me quite contemplative. I understand we must be thankful and appreciative of the men and women in our services. My father did two tours in Vietnam. My brother has done a tour in Iraq, a tour in Korea, and was in the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. I have many friends and classmates from High School that followed their father’s footsteps into the service. Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I now send former scouts into harm’s way.

I always tell my scouts that if it was not for those in the service we would not have the freedom to camp or assemble. Scouting is the apidamy and the reflection of American Values that our current armed services protect and our veterens protected.

I remember growing up at Fort Benning and Fort Bragg hearing the sounds of practice rounds, helicopters, C-130s and jets in the background. Today when I take little Troop 5 camping, I mimic my old scoutmasters from those times at campouts when a fighter jet goes over head... "That's the sound of freedom boys!"

Lyle Lovett’s new single “Natural Forces” poses and interesting question in the middle of it that really made me stop and think.

Now as I sit here safe at home, with a cold Coors Light and the TV on. All the sacrifice and death and war, Lord I pray that I am worth fighting for... - Lyle Lovett
My new goal is not only to be appreciative of the men and women in uniform, thankful to the veterans, but make sure I continue to live my life as someone worth fighting for.

Because in the end, if we do not enjoy, appreciate, or exercise the freedom that so many fought or died to protect, they have done so in vain.

Let us all make sure that our Veterans know that we are worth fighting for.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

I had one of those weekends that really make me feel blessed. It was flat out beautiful in little DWG over the weekend.

It started out Saturday morning with Tamara dropping off Aedan for the day. I have yet to figure out the pattern on when we get to keep the Little Dude, but I enjoy every opportunity we get.

Tamara visits with us before she heads off to work. I play with Aedan for a while, then I head out for a bike ride. (Note that the “we” is really Carol who keeps Aedan) I got a nice 40 mile ride in and the rest of the day is spent playing with Aedan. We go shopping, go to lunch, got to a 5 year olds birthday party and finish the day with Aedan watching college football while he naps. After Tamara picks Aedan up, Carol and I wander down to Bobby Valentine’s for dinner. Not a bad day all.

Sunday morning is spent working in the yard with Carol. Carol really enjoys the yard looking nice; I enjoy helping her more than the work itself. After we bag a million leaves, I head out for another 40 mile bike ride, have dinner and watch the Cowboys beat the Eagles.

Not a bad weekend at all.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

101 First Post

Whoo hoo...

Am I really a blogger? I got past a 100.

My Election Clerk

I want to brag on Carol yet again. For the few years, Carol has spent Election Day, both national and local, working as an Election Clerk. The neat thing about Dalworthington Gardens is that the whole town is in one precinct. Carol spends a long hard day working and greeting every voter in Dalworthington Gardens. However, by the end of the day, she is caught up all that it is important to know in our little town. I run into people at work who inform me that they saw my wife today. I always note that I am the only voter that gets to kiss that particular clerk.

This past Tuesday, in addition to Texas Constitutional amendments, a school bond election there was a local election to legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages in DWG. In short, can someone open a liquor store. Carol and her fellow poll workers had a busy day. 30.74% of the registered voters in Dalworthington Gardens voted and of those 71.61% want a liquor store in their town (I was one of those). For those who really want to do the math, there are 1,786 registered voters in DWG. Only 6.92% of voters showed up county wide.

Regardless, Carol had a long day that started at 6 in the morning and ended at 8. I am real proud that she does this civic duty.