Thursday, March 31, 2016

2016/03/31 - 1st Quarter Cycling Stats, Happy Birthday Trixie!

My 1st quarter cycling results are in!

My goal for 2016 is 4,000 miles. So far, thanks to this year's good weather, I'm a little bit ahead of schedule.
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Happy Birthday Trixie! Exactly 2 years ago Trixie was born. Ironically she was born on my last day of work. She is truly my retirement dog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016/03/29 - The Big Loop, Mountain Lion, Farmer's Daughter

I finally figured out how to connect the Ralston Creek Trail with the Clear Creek trail to make a big loop. 



It turned out to be 31 miles (50 kilometers) with only 900 feet of elevation gain.

As you can see, I did miss my right-turn and continued east on the Clear Creek trail for a while before realizing something was wrong! So the official loop is probably more like 30 miles.

I was actually happy to turn back west, as I was getting into some pretty questionable neighborhoods, with homeless awaking from nights in the tunnels and graffiti abounding.

It reminded me of when I was a boy riding my 3-speed to the other side of the Belt Parkway, exploring the "colored" neighborhoods in NYC. I would eventually get chased back to my side, which always added to the adventure.

I would really like to explore further east on the Clear Creek Trail sometime. It looks like the bike path goes on forever, but I don't know how safe it would be to go alone. 

I'll see if Mike wants to go with me.
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We saw this on the way up North Table Mountain on Sunday.

I suspected it was done by coyotes, but my friend Jeff just sent me this 9News link about mountain lion activity on North Table Mountain.
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"She was only a farmer's daughter, but all the horse manure."

- Fred Hoffmeyer (get it?)

Later,
Steve

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016

2016/03/27 - Fastest Electrician, Going Wild, Go Bernie!

"Do you know who was the fasted electrician in the West?' - Wired Earp

- Fred Hoffmeyer
(By the way... after each of these silly made-up jokes he would ask "Get it?")
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I've been going absolutely wild working on moving my blography to www.hoffmeyer.com. I'm currently working on the photography section. 

Please visit and click on any of the Long's Peak images to see the where I'm headed with this. 

It's been a lot of fun scouring through my images, but I'm nowhere near finished. I just hope I can keep up my enthusiasm long enough to get through over 27,000 images.

It's also a trip down memory lane for me, for behind each image was a outing.

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In case you haven't already heard, Bernie Sanders swept  yesterday's caucuses, romping Hillary Clinton in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Go Bernie!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

2016/03/25 - A Sick Man, New Banner

"My doctor told me that I was a sick man. I told him I wanted a second opinion. He said "OK... You're ugly!" 

- Rodney Dangerfield
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You may have noticed that I changed the blog banner. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

2016/03/24 - Deep Snow

I spent most of yesterday shoveling snow. The forecast called for 4 inches, but by the end of the day, we had a total of 16. 

My snowblower was useless with this deep heavy snow.

This year in Colorado, March came in like a lamb, but is going out like a lion.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016/03/22 - Boy Scout Initiation, Painting the Cafeteria, Still Alive

It was the summer of my eleventh year. I was on an overnight camping trip with the Boy Scouts at Camp Pouch in Staten Island, NYC.

I sat with my legs crossed inside a small pup tent with five other little boys awaiting the commencement of our Boy Scouts initiation. The Boy Scouts didn’t officially sanction initiations, but they were a sacred tradition in our troop.

I had heard all the stories of past initiations and suspected they were mostly exaggerated, but they still scared the crap out of me. And now my day had come. 

While we waited for what felt like was going to be our execution, the “big guys” were in the Scout Master’s tent planning the deed. The Scout Master was definitely in on it, and gave his approval, but in retrospect I think he was there mainly to temper the overzealous teenagers, aka the “big guys”.

After what seemed like hours, one of the big guys ordered us out of the tent and sat us down on the ground. After delivering a stupid speech, meant to sound somewhat official, he asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to go first. Hoping not to lose the opportunity, I raised my hand as quickly as I could, only to find that mine was the only hand raised high.

With that, he and another big guy led me off into the woods with their arms around my shoulders.

It’s hard to explain, but while I was scared shitless on the one hand, on the other I was thrilled to be hanging with the big guys, even if it meant getting beat up.

After a while they grabbed my head forcing me to look down, and as we passed by a small stone cabin, the rest of the big guys jumped off the roof, knocked me down, tied my hands and feet, gagged and blindfolded me.

They then proceeded to carry me into the camp’s community latrine.

“So you want to be a Boy Scout?” one of them asked. Before I could mumble “Yes” through my handkerchief gag, he said “If you want to be a Boy Scout, you have to eat shit!” At this point I started screaming “No!”, but to no avail.

I was blindfolded and couldn’t see what they were going to make me eat, and the foul smell of the communal outhouse was enough to disguise anything. So what turned out to be a mixture of white bread and water, molded to the shape and consistency of a large turd, was very convincing.

As a finale, one of the guys said “OK Let’s piss on him”, at which time they opened their zippers for the sound effect, meanwhile dribbling water from their canteens all over my head.

Then they untied my hands and left me to undo my feet and blindfold. After examining what I was spitting out, I realized it was only bread and a big smile came to my face. It was over!

One-by-one the others boys came back to camp after their initiation. Joyfully we shared our glory, while listening to the screams from the boys still getting their turn.

I realize times have changed, and in today’s world the boy’s parents would claim they were permanently damaged, the boys would be treated with PTSD drugs, and the Scout Master would probably be sent to prison for hazing young boys.

But I don’t remember anyone ever getting hurt, during or afterwards, and what was a half hour of hell turned into one of the most memorial days of my early life.

I made it! More than ever I was proud to be a Boy Scout.


And I had a story to tell for the rest of my life!
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I volunteered to help paint a mural in the Fairmont Elementary School cafeteria today. 

I didn't recognize the woman painting next to me. We introduced ourselves and it turned out to be Heloisa's teacher!
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"None of the people I knew before 911 know that I'm still alive." This was a secret that someone shared anonomously on the Internet. Think about that.

Later,
Steve

Monday, March 21, 2016

2016/03/21 - Loew's Theater, Wanderlust, I'm Moving

When my grandparents took my parents to movies in the late 1930's, movie theaters were like palaces. Their local theatre, the Loew’s Valencia, had seating for 3,554 people in orchestra and balcony levels. The ceiling was a huge painting of a nighttime sky. Movie-goers would look up from the film and see a clear starry night overhead.

In those days you saw a double feature (that's 2 movies!), the latest government newsreels (remember there was no TV) and a few cartoons.

There was only one choice at the theater and the shows changed every week.

It could be a date-night or a family night out. After supper, people got dressed up and spent the whole night out. Movies were affordable, popcorn and candy were cheap, and in summertime there was air-conditioning. 

My grandmother said sometimes she would go the movies just to escape the NYC summer heat.
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I often wonder if people who love to travel are happy with their daily home lives. It's like they always want to be somewhere else.

I'm the opposite of someone who like to travel, (whatever that is) except for someplace that I can reach with my car and sleep outdoors.

Seriously... When I wake up in a hotel room, or someone else's home at 4:00 AM, I'm bored to death. I want to be home with my toys. I want my coffee machine, my pets, my computer, my bikes, my Netflix. I want to make noise. I don't want to be waiting endless hours for normal people to wake up.

But put me in a tent in the mountains, and I'm very happy to be away from home.
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BTW... I've been working a little each day on moving this blogaphy to www.hoffmeyer.com. I started with my color photos, and plan to add new ones each day until I run out. I have well over 30,000 images to go through, so it my take a while. Please stay tuned.

The reason I'm moving is because I'm not convinced that blogger will be around for too much longer, and I intend to keep this on the Internet for as long as possible.


And I've started to realize that unless I start organizing all my stuff (pictures, stories, trip reports, and stats) into some place that is accessible, that they will be lost forever.  I'd like to think that someday my stepdaughter might take an interest in cycling, mountaineering, photography, or 14ers, and might find my history in these areas interesting.

Later,
Steve

2016/03/20 - The Revenant, Popcorn, Spotlight

I went to see The Revenant today with Ze. I’m not sure what I was expecting, as the name didn't give much away to me. I did know there was a crazy bear attack scene, that Leonardo was in it, and it won some academy awards.

I found it a little hard to tell who were the good guys and bad guys, and who were the good Indians and bad Indians, but otherwise the survival and revenge plot was easy to follow, but not exactly believable.

While watching the movie, I couldn’t help but think that only a couple of hundred years ago, this is what men were like in the wild west, and for a lot of us today, these are our ancestors.
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It’s been a long while since I’ve purchased popcorn at a theater and was shocked by the price. It cost us $29.50 for 2 medium popcorns and 2 medium Cokes. That's just not right.
…..

I also rented Spotlight for $4.99 at iTunes last week, and watched it on my smart TV. After hearing an excellent podcast review of the movie, I was really looking forward to seeing it, but was hugely disappointed.

While I thought that the story was good and an important story to tell, I didn't get much more from the movie version, than I did the podcast review.

But mostly I found it very hard to watch Mark Ruffalo, and I actually had to take a long break before finishing it. There were so many scenes where his twitching and overacting were actually starting to annoy me.

Funny thing was, I want on to Google afterwards to see if other people were having this sickening reaction to Mark Ruffalo, only to find that he won an academy award for the part. Go figure. 

The moral of this post is that you should never take movie advice from me.

Later,
Steve

Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016/03/19 - Saturday morning ride with Fat Bike Mike


It had snowed about 8-10 inches yesterday, and another couple of inches overnight. The temperature at the start was 27 degrees.

These conditions were perfect today for riding our fat bikes on snow over dirt.

Unfortunately we didn't realize this until after we did a complete loop around the reservior bike path, where the fresh snow had covered some slick icy spots underneeth.

But once we got on the crusty snow covered dirt, we were in fat bike heaven.


At one point during the ride we considered ditching our bikes to ride these two beautiful horses. :-)






Later,
Steve

Thursday, March 17, 2016

2016/03/17 - Catastrophic Death

How would you like a job that required over 10 years of training and every time you preformed your job you risked a 1 in 35 chance of catastrophic death? Be an astronaut!

Monday, March 14, 2016

2016/03/14 - Shamrock Marathon, Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb

Exactly 35 years ago today, my good friend George and I ran the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA.
This was my second of five marathons, and proved to be my fastest time: 3:32:41.

In retrospect, this was the height of my 13 years of running races. I never again trained as hard as I did for this marathon and my next three finish times showed it.

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I just signed up for the Pikes Peak Cycling Hill Climb Gran Fondo. The ride to the top is 12.42 miles with 4,725 ft elevation gain. Now all members of the Badass Redneck Cycle Club (Mike & myself) are registered. Let the training begin!



Sunday, March 13, 2016

2013/03/13 - Tools & Tubes, Cycling Bio, Autoblography

After yesterday's riding blunders I decided that in lieu of moving tools & tubes from one bike to another every time I switch bikes, to have a separate repair kit on each of my three bikes.  Hopefully this will reduce the human error.

I think the cost of the multiple tools & tubes outweighs the inconvenience of getting stuck without proper repair tools.
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I spent a little time  yesterday and today working on a "Cycling Bio", which can be accessed from the little orange links in the menu bar above. I'm not finished yet, but want to publish what I have written so far.
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I found out that what I'm doing here is known as an Autoblography. that's catchy aye?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

2013/03/12 - The Bas Ass Rednecks ride again!

Today’s ride didn’t go as planned, in fact it was a total cluster.

Mike and I started out from Altona this morning at 6:15 AM on our road bikes, with the intention of riding to Ward. Herein lies our first mistake. Little did we know that there was road construction ahead, leaving a dirt and gravel surface.  And when we reached the start of it, we had no idea how long it would last.

It seemed endless and at times a little dangerous with our super thin road bike wheels but finally, after 4 miles we were back on pavement!

I’ll blame the fact that we were concentrating on avoiding stones on the road surface for our next dumb mistake. We started approaching a town that was too close to be Ward, only to realize that we missed the turn and wound up in Jamestown.

Mike and I are the only two members of the Bad Ass Rednecks Cycle Club, and whenever either one of us does something stupid, the other says “You are endangering the whole team!” I led us up the wrong path, so it was definitely my fault, and thus I was endangering the whole team. Yes it's a very childish joke.

But I wasn’t finished yet!

We got to the center of Jamestown just in time to see the local diner worker step outside to take a quick toke. I said hi, he asked if I needed a hit, I said I was OK.

Realizing our dumb mistake we decided to make the best of it and continue on the paved road till it turned to dirt.

After 4 more absolutely grueling miles we reached the top. The incline reminded us a lot of SuperFlag in Boulder.

We took a short break and started down, but after only a mile, my rear tire had a blowout. This was my first blowout going fast and I was surprised that I was able to safely slow down to a stop. In fact it was only the hissing noise that alerted me to the issue.

So here we are, two guys, one flat tire and between the two of us we don’t have the tools to repair it. Mike was going light today so he had absolutely nothing, I had a spare tube and a makeshift tool to remove the tire, but no way to fill the tire with air. 

Now this is not the first time we've gotten stymied by flats without tools, in fact it's only the latest of many times, but Mike was indeed happy that this time it was my flat and that we are getting close to being “even”.

With clips on the bottom of my road bike shoes, I walked my bike down to Jamestown while Mike rode down to the car and drove back to get me.


The silver lining is... After getting home and checking the stats, I realized that although the trip to Ward would have been 3.5 miles more, the overall steepness of our route was greater! The Bad Ass Rednecks ride again!

Later,
Steve

Friday, March 11, 2016

2016/03/11 - Life After Death, Insignificance, A Fine Line, Life After Blogger?, Mistress Advice

I’m not going to pretend to know what happens to us after death, but I really hope we get to keep watching. I’ve got a lot of time invested in this show.
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The older I get, the more I realize how insignificant I am in this universe. When I was a child, I was the center of the universe, but once I realized I was not, my dome of significance began to slowly shrink, until one day I realized that few people outside family really care what’s happening in the life of Steve.

This is why I prefer blogging to posting on Facebook. On Facebook I feel like I’m pushing Steve in your face until you can’t stand me anymore, whereas here you can visit and take as much Steve as you like, whenever you like.
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There’s a fine line between sharing and bragging, one that I fear I step over too often.
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I’m starting to rethink posting my photography on Blogger. God forbid Blogger goes away, I would lose my photography display, similar to what happened to all my trip reports when that asshole Hoffmeyer shut 14erWorld down.
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I heard about this letter in a podcast and was so happy to find it. It's a letter from Benjamin Franklin to a young man advising that, if he must choose a woman as a mistress, he should prefer old women to young women. Extremely good advice: http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bdorsey1/41docs/51-fra.html 

Later,
Steve

Thursday, March 10, 2016

2016/03/10 - Eugenics, Government for Sale

I was listening to a podcast on the science of Eugenics during my bike ride yesterday, compelling me to do some Wikipedia research.

According to Wikipedia: “Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices that aims at improving the genetic quality of the human population.”

I was surprised to learn that the eugenics movement well established in the United States before it spread to Nazi Germany.

In fact, Harry Hamilton Laughlin of Iowa was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Heidelberg in 1936 for his work behalf of the “science of racial cleansing”, and The Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs, including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.
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Is our government for sale? Do you think that money influences elections? Fact: Nine out of ten elected US congressmen and senators spent more money on their campaigns than their competitors.

And did you know that non-profit political organizations do not have to disclose the source of anonymous donations, and up to 49% of the donation can go directly to a specific campaign?


This is not limited to either Democratic or Republican political parties. It is a bi-partisan issue. We are all getting screwed!

Later,
Steve