Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The White Rim

I just got back from my spring break trip, this year I rode the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park. Here is a link to pictures, I'm too lazy to link to all of them.


This road is a 100 mile ride along the aptly named White Rim, here is some info:

Park Service Info For The White Rim

It was an amazing ride. Pete, my officemate and I decided to do this ride self supported, Pete using his touring bike with panniers while I used the Surly with my BOB trailer attached. Things didn't start out that well, I had a problem with my skewer that is needed to connect the trailer and when I climbed into my new sleeping bag for the first time, I found that it had a large hole in it! Luckily, I bought it at REI and I'm sure I can get a new one without any hassle.

Anyways, we started Monday morning and managed to put about 50 miles down the first day. We both agreed that the ride would go faster with a mountain bike, simply because you could fly over the little bumps. The shaking gets to you after a while when you have no suspension. It was definitely doable though, and I think it was good practice for later this summer.

After a nice desert night, we finished the second 50 miles. This portion was significantly easier than the previous day, we had the wind at our backs but mainly the road was smoother and our skills much improved on the dirt allowing us to double our average speed from the previous day.

I really recommend this ride to anyone, its really beautiful and challenging! In a few days Pete and I will throw together a full travelogue with pictures, but I'm too lazy now to do it and he has more pictures.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Round Two of Betting

As I explained in a previous post, Adam and I have a bet on who will have the most teams, the Big 10 or Pac 10, in the NCAA tournament. Last night, the Sweet 16 began. UCLA took care of Pittsburgh pretty handily and since there is only one Big 10 team left, Ohio State, I was feeling pretty good.

Unfortunately, Tennessee pulled one of the biggest choke jobs in NCAA history by blowing a 17 point half time lead and eventually losing the game. The most amazing part was that the entire lead was gone in the first 10 minutes of the second half! It wasn't even that Ohio State played that phenomenal, Tennessee just stopped scoring. It was possibly the most infuriating thing I have ever seen.

Today's games include USC playing North Carolina. I have a feeling they might not win that one, but USC looked really good in their last game so there is hope remaining. Oregon plays UNLV, who is surprisingly good. I'm going to need T. Porter and Aaron Brooks to pour on the threes, otherwise I think we're in trouble.

Now I cannot lose this round of betting, but my odds for the Final 4, which happens to be the largest part of the bet, would be greatly increased with two Ws tonight. Adam's pain is my gain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Domestic Dispute

Its 1:30 AM and I'm listening to my neighbors upstairs yell at each other, its fairly entertaining. There have been many f-bombs dropped so far.

Keep in mind that these people are possibly the dumbest human beings on the planet. As far as Adam and I can tell, Rich's daily tasks include sitting on his couch watching the cable they steal from us, and occasionally smoking out of a huge bong. Mindy works all day and is always friendly, but some of the stupidest conversations I have ever experienced have been with her.

I can't be sure, but apparently Rich, the guy from Brooklyn who informed me when we first moved in that he's "old school" has gotten in trouble for either playing online poker or going to some sort of online chat room, either way, Mindy is jealous. Rich feels like he was justified to do whatever he was doing because he was "loving and loving and loving" Mindy all night. This apparently came to an end when he started using the computer, which he was doing because he was "lonely".

It all just ended with Rich storming out and informing Mindy that he is sleeping on the couch, he just wanted her "to hear it from his mouth." Somehow this all involves dropping things on the floor on the hardwood floor directly above my bedroom. Now there is music playing and I'm envisioning Rich crying himself to sleep on the sofa while he listens to "Lonely Teardrops" by Jackie Wilson.

I hope to one day have a relationship this strong.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back Off Before I Rock You Harder Than Wolfmother

For those of you who are unaware, "the true rebirth of the power trio is upon us." This is a quote I picked up off the band website for Wolfmother, a rock band from Australia.

Wolfmother is awesomely bad, they sound sort of like Black Sabbath. I found out that they are coming to Denver April 18th to Melt the metro areas faces off, and I'm seriously considering going. Anyone interested, let me know, I think it would be pretty entertaining.

Strangely enough, Wolfmother and a few other hard rock bands were featured on NPR the other day. Apparently there is a resurgence in rock music going on nowadays. I guess when you spend all your time in a windowless office or on a bicycle, you don't hear about new trends in music.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Wisconsin and Purdue helped me out this morning and I've won the Sweet 16, if USC wins today I'm looking good for the rest of the tournament.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Yesterday was a stressful day for me. Not only did I have to study for a midterm on Monday, but more importantly the NCAA tournament was on all day. CBS figured out a way to let you watch it online, so while doing some math I'd watch the game at the same time.

The reason it was such a stressful day is that my roommate and I have a wager on who will have the most teams in the Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final 4, between the Pac-10 and Big-10. I won't fill you in on the details, but the games that were on yesterday were all close and packed full of potential upsets, and it drove me crazy. If you were in the Math building yesterday, all of the screaming was from me.

Right now, there is 1 Big-10 and 1 Pac-10 team in the Sweet Sixteen, and both conferences have two teams playing today. Wisconsin is playing UNLV, so I don't think I'm going to win that one. Purdue is playing Florida, so that should work out well for me. On the Pac-10 side, we have Oregon playing Winthrop, which should be a win, and USC against Texas. This is probably the most interesting game, hopefully Kevin Durant got the flu last night and won't be playing. Cheer for the Pac-10!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday Bike Ride

After the epic bike rides of this weekend and the 70+ degree weather in Boulder this week, I decided to go on a bike ride this morning on the Surly. The route is here, I went counterclockwise:

This was around a 40 mile loop, and I've always wanted to give it a shot. The Surly is my enabler.

I met my buddy Ben from the Computer Science department at 8 AM at the corner of Broadway and Baseline. We then rode on up Flagstaff summit. The insane steepness towards the top was definitely difficult, I had forgotten how steep it is. Plus the Surly doesn't have as wide a range of gearing as the Bianchi, so I really had to grind away. Ben is a serious biker, it was nice to ride with someone who can really fly up the hills. Here is the view this morning of the Front Range near the summit of Flagstaff:

After reaching the summit, the road descends into a valley and you ride through rolling hills for a bit. Eventually, I got the dirt road where I needed to turn, and said goodbye to Ben as his road bike can't handle the dirt. To my surprise, there is a big reservoir back here with an impressive dam:

I rode on this dirt while for quite sometime, not a single car came by although there were some houses scattered about. All of a sudden, I popped out on Highway 72, my ticket back to Boulder. There was also a liquor store with a sweet wooden bear out front at this intersection, but I missed him in the photo:

I took this road back into Boulder, its maybe another 20 miles but pretty much all down hill so it went quickly. Here is a photo of Denver after popping out of the canyon:

Here is the canyon I popped out of:

A photo of the Flatirons on my way back into town:

This is pretty much the ideal Tuesday morning, I recommend you try it! I also found this sweet feature of Google's that allows you to store photos on the web and its syncs with iPhoto and its free! Go to

Monday, March 12, 2007


Yesterday was a day of mixed results. The innertube waterpolo team lost in the semis for the second season in a row, it was a real heartbreaker. However, I went on a bike ride and felt really fast. I think this was mostly because everyone on the road that I saw was much older than me and as a result, slow. I don't know how many people I passed, but it was a ton and I never got caught by anyone.

Most importantly, in Madden world the 49ers won the NFC West after trouncing the Browns (Adam's team, hilarious) and the Ravens. I play the Seahawks in the second round, and I'm expecting big things. I finished 11-5, a pretty good improvement on last years 7-9 and if I pick up enough cash flow, I'll be signing some big names in the off season.

I've ordered my garden seeds to plant next week. I've got spinach, carrots, green beans, and onions on the way right now. In May, I'll pick up some transplants to finish the garden off.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Riding To Gold Hill

I took the Surly out for its first voyage, a trip up to Gold Hill. Gold Hill is a old mining town up in the hills, I have only been there on my old mountain bike because its only accessible by dirt road. However, the Surly is not constrained to the pavement, so I decided to see if I could get there.

I had heard that the road to Gold Hill (up Four Mile Canyon) was the steepest county road in the lower 48 states, but having ridden it, I would disagree. It is definitely steep, I was in my lowest gear working hard for some of the climb, but I've got a compact double 34x50, which is not particularly low gearing, and I was fine. It was a great ride, I only saw a handful of cars the entire time. It was a pretty exciting ride up though, mainly because it started snowing a little bit!

My primary motivation for going to Gold Hill was to visit the general store there, as it has the most delicious pie I had ever had! Unfortunately, when I got there they only had pecan pie, so I had a cheese and pesto croissant and a cup of coffee, both were delicious. I also met two mountain bikers at the general store, probably a few years older than me, who were semi-pros. I got some good tips on places to ride and I'm excited to try a few new routes.

I really like the Surly, it climbs amazingly well. I'm not fully comfortable going really fast on decents on a dirt road, but that will hopefully come with some more practice. My advice to all of you is get a cross bike! It feels great on the road and performs well in the dirt.

Here are some glamor shots of the ride:

This is the route, I went clockwise:

This is looking back down Four Mile Canyon, the hill you see in the background is where Boulder Canyon Road is:

Where Four Mile Canyon turns to dirt:

An old truck in Gold Hill:

Just outside Gold Hill looking at the Front Range. To the far right is Left Hand Canyon going up to Ward:

Coming down Sunshine Canyon. You can barely see Boulder in the distance:

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Castor Beans Are Not For Decoration

Last night, I attended a mandatory garden plot meeting. It was pretty useless, other than I got a bunch of flyers on when to plant stuff. There was this old codger at the meeting who informed the entire room not to plant castor beans for decoration of your garden, because terrorists can use them to make ricin and poison the children. Although I wish he described this to the entire crowd, ricin is poisonous because it causes diarrhea so bad that you die from massive fluid and electrolyte loss! I'm pretty sure I'm going to grow some and test it out on Adam (my roommate and arch-nemisis), as it is an excellent laxative in small doses (thanks wikipedia).

I also discovered yesterday that Smart Ground soy taco meat, tastes exactly like real meat, at least in burrito form.

More disturbing than that, it looks exactly like real meat. I suggest you all try it, it is delicious.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Future Garden

I got confirmation from Growing Gardens of Boulder that I officially have a garden plot for this year, #15 in the Centennial Gardens. This is going to be awesome, I am growing to grow crazy delicious food with my amiga Katie Nance. Here is what it looks like now:

I will keep this updated with my progress, I'm sure you can't wait!

I also bought a digital camera today as I have no camera whatsoever and I want to document things like my garden and bike adventures. Man, I am getting old. I did find a brilliant find at REI, a Bento Box:

This thing is going to be great for carrying food on my longer rides instead of stuffed in my jersey or for holding my new camera. Plus it was cheap!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Anne Coulter Is Insane

I was reading CNN the other day and they had an article about Anne Coulter referring to John Edwards as a faggot. This is really no surprise to anyone who knows who Anne Coulter is (a female Rush Limba who can get away with more because she hasn't been found taking prescription pain killers, yet). I guess sponsors starting pulling their adds from her website. I then had the brilliant idea of visiting her website to see what kind of things she posts. Here is a sample:

"Even right-wingers who know that "global warming" is a crock do not seem to grasp what the tree-huggers are demanding. Liberals want mass starvation and human devastation."

An interesting point of view... if you are mentally retarded. There is a guy I do research, a devote mormon and strict conservative, who doesn't "believe" in global warming. When I heard this, I just stared in awe at his incredible will power, convincing oneself of such things is no easy task. I am also under the assumption that he is on some sort of welfare, as he has several children and a wife who I think stays at home at least part of the time. I have never understood how conservatism and social welfare can coexist, yet somehow they do, but this is a topic for a different day.

Anyone who believes the earth isn't warming is a complete moron, look at the mountains! I few summers ago, I backpacked around the Three Sisters in the Oregon Cascades. As you go around North Sister, you pass a viewpoint for the glacier that exists on the north side of the mountain. The strange thing is, you can't see the glacier, its melted around a bend. There is a picture of it taken in the 1920s, where it was about 100 feet from this viewpoint. That's a serious amount of warming! Giant ice shelves thousands of years old are falling into the sea and melting, we can see it happening with satellites. We can measure the retreat of glaciers in the arctic regions, its fast and accelerating. Do people seriously believe this is made up? That this is some sort of bamboozling by the liberal left to get you to buy solar panels and hybrid cars?

What effect will global warming have? No one really knows, but I think the general consensus is if everything that is currently frozen melts, it will be a real bummer for some people, like the entire east coast of the United States. This could not be all bad, as it might get rid of the MTV muscle heads I despise, but it could move them closer to me which would be a disaster. I think this is more likely to be taken care of by a scenario as seen in the american classic, "Deep Impact", but Bruce Willis is still alive, so my guess is he can take care of any interstellar impact problems.

Now what actions to take to correct a warming earth is a hard question, my guess will be people will do nothing until its too late and something devastating occurs. I think Americans as a whole are too greedy to give up anything of consequence, like sparingly using cars (get a bike fat-asses). Good thing I live at 5400 ft, where rising oceans are of no consequence to me. I do enjoy warm weather, this could increase my outdoor cycling season!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Call It What You Will

I do not like to lose. This is something that has always been true of me, it probably is a result of playing insanely intense cribbage and other games with my father and grandmother, both of whom usually beat me (especially my dad), while growing up.

Another trait of mine that I am well aware of is a lack of fear of telling people my honest opinion, without much regard to their feelings, and this is usually stated bluntly. I probably developed this during my time at Linfield, thanks Nick Dills and Mike Jenson.

I think these traits can be both good and bad, and there probably isn't too much I can do about them, they help define who I am.

Tonight, I happened to be in a position where my opinion mattered and what I said was pretty much what was going to happen. This involved a situation of winning or losing, and I took decisive action to ensure the victory. This may have come at the cost of some hurt feelings, probably not the kind of thing you'd go home and cry about, but something that could make make the person who my decision effected hold it against me for all time. For this I am sorry, but I'd probably make the same choice again.

On one hand, I like that I can be assertive. Alternatively, I do not enjoy making people feel bad. I can't decide what path I should take in general. Perhaps the future will provide me with more insight.

First Long Ride of the Year

It finally got nice out again, in the 50s today so I wailed on the pavement for a while. I went counterclockwise on the loop below:

It was about a 50 mile ride, with nothing but sunshine the entire time. I met an old dude on the road while I was headed to Longmont, its nice meeting people on the bike. They always give you good ride suggestions. He told me about this road up Rabbit Mountain, a hill near Lyons so I hope to try that out Tuesday morning.

Going through Longmont pretty much sucks, I don't really recommend it, but all the other roads I was on were great.

Towards the end of the loop, I headed up over Old Stage, it was nice to get into the mountains a little bit and have a decent decent. On the way back home, I passed this super hot chick on a bike, who I immediately liked because I saw her run a light when there were no cars coming, but she was too slow and I didn't get to chit chat. Lame.

Innertube waterpolo playoffs in one hour!

Friday, March 2, 2007

PBR Enhances Pool Playing

Last night, after a hard day at school, I decided to head to The Sundown Saloon in Pearl ST for a few refreshments of the PBR variety. The Sundowner is a pretty great bar, especially now that they cleared out the back section from being smoking only so there is way more seating.

Anyways, perhaps I am the only one that has experienced the pool playing enhancement that occurs when drinking, but I was in the zone for several hours. Mary was in the zone for about 15 minutes, but proceeded to booze her way out of the zone, although still had flashes of brilliance throughout the night. When all was said and done, team Mary and Pat were undefeated in something like 6 games of pool, it was quite ridiculous.

Starting Sunday, the weather is looking amazing, I am excited to get a ton of biking in.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Morning Has Broken

Its roughly 7:30 AM today and I'm sitting in my office waiting for my advisor to send me a research proposal so I can proofread it. The only reason I woke up today is because I found this amazing new tool for my MacBook:

Alarm Clock

This thing is amazing, it wakes my computer from sleep, then slowly increases the volume on my computer to wake me up to whatever song I want. It also works with my Apple Remote, so I can put it on snooze from my bed without touching the computer. Amazing!

Does it seem like the weather this winter has been garbage everywhere? It snowed a ton yesterday here and this morning it was cold and windy. For the morons out there who believe global warming is a myth (i.e. republicans), I think they should take this as a sign. That and the fact that ice shelves are breaking off in the poles and the mountains of empirical data showing the rise in temperatures.