Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018/01/01 - Happy New Year



2017/12/31 - My 2017 Cycling Stats


My 2017 cycling stats are in!

For the second year in a row, I completed my cycling goal of averaging 100 miles/week. The following stats are screen shots, taken straight from my Strava profile:





Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017/12/31 - Crazy Love

Diane was a young 24, and I was 32. My life at this period in 1982 was a complete train wreck. Amidst mounting financial problems, my wife moved back home to her parents to go to law school, leaving me with all the bills that we couldn’t afford to pay with both our salaries. 

I was drinking too much, smoking too much, and I was spiraling downhill.

And then Diane burst into my life (see previous post). 

But she was even more messed up than I was! Only a few months before we met she was rescued from a car wreck by jaws-of-life and had facial reconstruction. It happened on the way home from a drunk night at the local Texaco bar. 

Needless to say we were perfect for each other, although we never actually were boyfriend and girlfriend. After that first crazy night, she just moved in, and stayed at my house for a couple of months. But she left after our first argument, and took all the stuff that she bought for the house while she was “playing house”. 

That pissed me off royally, and while it was so sweet for her to upgrade my shower curtain, stove top burners, window curtains, towels, bed sheets, etc, it drove me fucking insane when she took them away when she left. And then she demanded I return the radial arm saw which her dad so generally gave me. 

But the icing on the cake was the slap in my face in front of all the neighbors when I returned the saw. 

Little did she know, that slap sealed the fate of any future for us. There was no going back after that. 

I never had, what we had, again. It was crazy love. Maybe the best kind. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

20012/12/30 - Diane

My carpool dropped me off at my van, which was parked at the Katona exit off of 685. The locks on the doors of my piece-of-shit van were broken, so anybody could have gotten in. When I entered, I saw the note.

It read “Steve, you may not remember me, but I was one of the secretaries who worked in your department. I’m on a leave of absence break. If you want to get together, here’s my number... , Diane”.

I held on to the note for a few days, but eventually I couldn’t resist the temptation. When I called her, she said “Okay, I’ve already made the first move, so why don’t I just come over your house.

I said okay.

I peaked through the shutters of my kitchen windows as her car approached my house, thinking that I made a huge mistake. 

But No... As I watched her leave her blue Honda walking towards my back door, I saw a beautiful young slender woman with blond hair. Oh my god, this was just too good to be true!

She was carrying a six-pack of beer, a pint of peppermint snaps, some grass, and a little hash. Her plan was to seduce me, and I was ready and able to comply. 

She kind of moved in with me, in the sense the she didn’t leave, but I didn’t mind. I was having the greatest sex of my life. 

I’ve always wished we could have gotten it together otherwise. 

2017/12/29 - I have two dogs now

“I have two dogs now, twice a many as last year”. 

This is something I’ve been repeating, almost like a zombee. Two months ago on my birthday, I asked for a puppy. This alone should qualify me for an intervention, for anybody who knows how insane my life has become since rescuing my dementia mom from her abusive asshole husband, getting a puppy is crossing the line. 

I forgot how crazy life becomes with a puppy. I know a human baby is much times worse (cause you can’t just put them in a cage), but a dog is a good second. There’s the barking, the chewing, the diarrhea, the whining, the wake-ups in the middle of the night, the smell of dog shit, the cleaning of poop on the shag rug, the biting with the razor sharp teeth, the neighbor’s complaints, and the scratching with razor sharp claws. 

If you are following me, please know that I’m on the brink of insanity.

But then, each morning, when I let the the little monkey out of her kennel, and she jumps on my bed and madly licks my face, it become all worth while. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017/12/28 - Zeh and I are Gay?

I am laughing out loud right now.

My best friend Zeh (who coincidentally is my step-daugther’s father (figure it out)), is having a visit from his older brother Pedro and his nephew Gabriel.

I walked into the room full of Portuguese words and laughter, and the old man of the house asked “What’s going on?” My beautiful wife answered “Pedro thinks that Zeh and you are gay.”

Later on this evening’ after they left, I asked Val “Why did Pedro say that?” she replied Pedro said “Zeh talks about Steve like he’s in love with him”.

I had to laugh. It’s so nice to have a good male friend, who’s nearby and available, at this stage of my life. I feel like we are the same age (he probably doesn’t), but he is 23 years younger than me, young enough to be my son. 

There’s no way that I ever think of Zeh as a son (actually that would cross the line in my mind as being too weird, let’s face it, our relationship is already weird enough), but if he was, he would be a fun son. 

And hearing Pedro’s reply, just strengthens our bond. 

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017/12/27 - Hands in the Cookie Jar

There were two times in my life that I can clearly recall  getting my “hand caught in the cookie jar.”

The first was way back in 1982 when I found myself “single” again, after my first wife left me. My new girlfriend Melinda and I started dating after meeting at a TAC party (see a previous post titled  “Melinda”).

Melinda an I both worked in this huge Texaco headquarters 4-story complex in White Plains NY. And as young lovers might often do, we planned to “accidenty” meet somewhere in the building.

On this day we coordinated meeting in the elevator, and once alone, we started kissing madly. And when the elevator started to slow down, it was our signal to separate and pretend we don’t even know each other.

Unfortunately fate presented a different plan.

You see, I was a professional NewYorker, wearing a 3-piece suit with jacket open and a dozen buttons streaming down my vest. She had about the same number of gold chains dangling from her neck.

Needless to say, the chains and the buttons got all tangled up, and as the elevator door opened to a group of familiar co-workers, we were frantically trying to get untangled.

Amidst laughing, someone in the croud said “Someone’s got there hands caught in the cookie jar!”

....

The next time was with Deb. Ironically she was the first woman that I dated after my my next marriage breakup. My ex and I had filed for an uncontested divorce and were in the middle of a 90-day “cool off” period required by Boulder county. Needless to say, Deb and I were trying to keep our new relationship secret so as not to look like I was cheating, or that she was breaking up a marriage.

We planned to meet in this small restaurant, in this little mountain town, in the middle of nowhere.

Now Deb and I were both very prominent and popular mountaineering instructors in the Colorado Mountain Club. Everybody in the “hard core” group knew of us.

There we were, waiting for our food in this secluded restaurant in Wonderviev Colorado, holding all four of our hands across the table, lovers in love.

Meanwhile a party of 6 was being seated in the big empty table next to ours. Unbelievable it was a  CMC group, going for food after an outing. And seated right next to Deb was Ginger, another prominent member of the club, who smiled and announced “Someone’s got there hand caught in the cookie jar!”

I’m always surprised at how stupid I can be. For some reason I thought that my friend Ginger (who I had actually dated twice, 15 years earlier, when she was a hot 49-year old rock-jock, and I was between my first and second marriage) would keep our secret, a secret.



My next girlfriend was also in the club. Not wanting to gossip, I purposely never mentioned my last girlfriend (Deb) to her. In my stupidity, I was totally surprised  when she told me that she knew I went out with Deb. I remember telling her “I didn’t think anyone knew”, to which she replied “Steve, EVERYBODY knew!”

Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017/12/21 - Tommy Red

The year was 1964. Tommy was my best friend. I was downstairs in his basement. He was in “prison”, a term he jokingly called the punishments that were dealt out by his cruel insane father.

I was allowed to visit him, which I thought strange, since I was always the one he got in trouble with. Maybe they thought I could “reach” him, unfortunately they were mistaken, and he took his life 5 years later at 19.

Some people just don’t mix without trouble. We were simple volatile. High fives, and laughing our asses off were the standard. There were so many times that Tommy and I got into trouble (including police) that I can’t honestly remember which one was the exact “crime” he was in “prison” for, in his basement that night when we were 14.

But I do remember him turning me on to this new British band, the “Rolling Stones”, and he played their new album for me.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over losing Tommy. And I don’t mean losing him when he committed suicide. I lost him a few years before when he got hooked on heroin. 

I lost him when he started hanging with the hep croud at Winters ice cream parlor, and was just too cool for me. 

I’ve always hoped that there is an afterlife. If there is, I know Tommy will be waiting for me on the other side, along with Julius, and my Dad. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

2017/12/20 - learning Guitair

Throw my ticket out the window.
  Throw my suitcase out there too.
Throw my troubles out the door,
   I don’t need them anymore 
Cause tonight I’ll be staying here with you. 

That’s my latest  Bob Dylan guitar song. After a couple of glasses of wine, I start sounding good, at least to myself.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017/12/18 - If I got rich, I’d be just like him?

Today I heard the most convincing argument as to why poor people like Trump. He said “Trump talks just like me. He’s the rich person I would be, if I got rich.”

BTW... I’m listening to a new book, written and narrated by Katy Tur titled “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History”. I highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017/12/13 - Life’s user guide

I wish life came with an up-to-date user manual, not the 2,000 year-old one that we are still using. 

Come on God... Please update your user guide. I know you are busy, with all that other stuff in the universe, but things are getting a little crazy down here.  

I’ve always been torn on how to live my life. Should I have the most fun I can possibly have, or should I strive to be the best person I can possibly be?

That’s a lie. I’ve never been torn on this issue, I’ve always chosen the former, but with a side of the latter. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017/12/12 - You never know what will give you your break

The year was 1981 and I was working at Texaco headquarters in White Plains, NY. Texaco was one of IBM’s best customers, and as a result we had all the latest IBM hardware and software. One new software that IBM introduced was a user reporting language called ADRS2.

Texaco also had its own IT department, with strict procedures and ADRS2 became a nightmare for the IT professionals. Now users with little or no coding experience could produce databases and computer reports for their department. Now departments had their own programmers, and no longer had to deal with the IT department and its endless analysis meetings and timely procedures.

I was one of the users developing applications in ADRS2 for my department. I taught myseft the basics of ADRS2 over a weekend, and the next Monday morning I was showing my first "Hello World” program in ADRS2 to my boss. It was simply a progtam the spelled out “Hello World” on the B&W computer monitor’s screen. At the time, it was like a miracle, and my boss was very impressed that I picked up this new language so quick.

But I was limited with the functions that ADRS2 provided, so I learned the language that ADRS2 was written in (APL), and now it seemed like I could do anything. And the APL code within the ADRS2 functions was open, so you could make a copy, tweak it, and save the modified function under a different name.

APL was a very weird sientific language that used all the Greek symbols as primitive functions. For example, the Greek symbol Iota “i’ creates a vector of integers from 1 to R. So if R = 6, then iR = (1 2 3 4 5 6).

The problem with APL was that once you “got it” nobody else could easily read your code, because there were so many ways to do the same thing, and users created their own unique functions by combining elements of the primitive functions. So reading someone else’s code was difficult and maintenance was nearly impossible. Programmers would rather rewrite a function, than try and modify another programmer’s code.

About this time IBM introduced the color monitor. This was cutting edge and my department ordered two off them, one for me, and the other for Michael Scaff. Now Michael had is ALL over me. He was a better programmer and he knew the business. All I had going was ambition and creativity.

Also about this time, one of my coworkers got promoted to another department and I inherited one of her responsibilities, managing the department’s hardware. She had done a very poor job of this and was extremely happy to relieve herself of this responsibility. With a smile on her face, she plopped a 2-foot mess of papers and files on my credenza, and said “Good luck”.

So there I was with a new IBM color monitor, APL/ADRS2 skills, and a new responsibility. A perfect storm for the creative mind.

I proceeded to create a relational database with tables for all the different types of equipment, each table storing all the elements of information relevant to the type of equipment.

Then I made a screen representing the floor plan of the department, showing each office with icons representing the different equipment in each office.

A mouse click on any icon pulled up a screen with all the relevant information about the office and equipment.

I created a GUI interface that knocked the socks off my boss. He was blown away. He was most impressed the I had no direction on this project and it was totally self-motivated.

A few months later my new girlfriend broke up with me and I asked for a transfer to Texaco’s Denver office. The Denver office called my boss, before flying me out to Denver for an interview. My boss sent them a copy of my hardware application, saying “I didn’t even know he was working on this! He’s a self-starter!”.

That was enough to get me the job interview in Texaco's Denver office.

The rest is history.

Monday, December 11, 2017

2017/12/08 - Replacing a bicycle casette

I bought my latest mountain bike about this time last year for 6K after Boulder tax, pedals, and a new helmet.

The bad thing about buying an expensive bike is that the maintenance is expensive, especially if you insist on replacing components with the original ones. As a result, I’ve gone through many years of $400 plus expenses on my Stumperjumper FRS Expert 29er. 

So last year when I bought my new Stumperjumper FRS Expert Carbon 29er, I promised myself that I would learn to do all the maintenance myself.

So far after 5,000 miles so good, but I’ve only had to replace tires, tubes, pedals, disk brake pads, and a chain. 

Today I tried to replace a casette. For those of you who may not know what a cassette is, it’s the group of gears on the back wheel of your bike. 

I watched multiple YouTube videos showing how to replace my type of casette, and in each one, it looked so easy!

So I bought the casette for $110, and the tools for $40, thinking that I was saving a fortune over the shop repair price. But when I tried to turn the casette tool, it wouldn’t budge. And I tried, and tried, and tried. 

And now my shoulder screams if I hold my arm up above my head. 

It really sucks being 67. Twenty years ago I could tumble down a snow slope laughingstock the way, today I can’t play pickleball without tearing a bicep, or working on my bike without hurting myself. 

Wa wa wa...

Sunday, December 10, 2017

2017/12/07 - Melinda

It was 1982, before the dawn of the DUI in Weschester County, New York. In those days everyone drove a little drunk sometimes, at least I thought so. But then all of a sudden the police started cracking down on drunk driving. 

The way I saw it, the goverment found a way of making a fortune out of American’s loving of alcohol. The DUI was a fortune maker for lawyers, courts, and prisons, but a real downer for civilian fun. 

The Texaco Athletic Club (TAC) party was a huge event in 1982. Hundreds of Texaco employees attended. I remember my friend John Swolphs coming into my office and jokingly asking if I was entering the “speed drinking” or the “marathon drinking” competition for tonight. I told him to enter me in both events. I was 32. 

The TAC parties had become a huge event. The Monday mornings at the coffee machine after a TAC party were filled with wild story’s of crashed cars, hookups, and fights. 

This night was no different. This was my first TAC party an I was newly “single” after my first wife left me. I was also the driver of a van full of party animals for the party that night. 

Now in those days I was a dancer and lucky for me it was the only way I could pick up chicks, because I was pretty shy otherwise. Melinda was a dancer too and she was the most beautiful woman at the dance, but with a bad reputation. I remember Ellen Koslowski saying “She must be up to the H’s now” when she found out we were dating. But that night we danced until we were sweating and needed to get outside to cool off. And that’s when I suggested going into my van. 

Nothing really happened that night between me and Melinda in the van, except a whole lot of kissing, but at the end of the dance when my idiot friends started banging on the side and back doors, they laughed and teased us. Melinda exited the van totally embarrassed, but I kissed her good night with a little smile on my face. 

The following Monday morning when my carpool van arrived, I was totally embarrassed when all my friends started clapping their hands as I entered. I guess my debut to the TAC party was a success. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

2017/12/06 - Goals

It was only about three years ago that I was proudly telling my friend Carol that I did my first 100 mile week in a long while. I was proud and I thought that it was a big deal, but later as I got into cycling, I realized how easy that was if you have the time.

And once it got easy, I made a goal for 2016 of riding 5,200 miles, for an average of 100 miles/week. 

At this point, I must point out the distinct difference between a goal of 100 miles/week, and a goal of 5,200 miles/year, because it is a world of difference. 

A 100 mile/week goal means riding 100 miles/week in winter, which for me is outside my comfort zone, whereas 5,200 miles/year allows me to build up a excess of miles in summer to use in winter months. 

As December rolled around in 2016, I paniced! I had a few dozen miles “in the bank”, but not enough to keep me from going out on days that were no longer fun. I managed to finish the year with 5,261 miles, meeting my goal, but promising not to let this happen next year. 

Here I am now at the end of 2017 with 25 days and 180 miles left to finish my goal. It might sound easy, but once again I’m panicking!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

2017/12/02 - Tommy

I was in college. That in itself was a miracle because I was the worst student on the planet. I spent all of my pre-college life trying to get out of school. But that’s another story.
So I’m studying for exams and the door bell rings and it’s my friend Tommy. Tommy used to be my closest friend, but I lost him to heroin. Now he hung out with the cool crowd, and he was too cool for me. 
Tommy and his friend Scotty ask me if they can use my parent’s oven to dry a pound of pot.
Now this is way out of my league at the time and I don’t even understand what or why the need to do this. But as a stupid teenager, I don’t want to look uncool, so I say sure...
While the marijuana is heating in my parents oven, Tommy an Scotty, one at a time, need to use my bathroom. Now noone needs to take 15 minutes in the bathroom, unless they are sick, or getting off on heroin. Both of them took much longer, and when I started to smell smoke, I realized the pot was on fire in my parent’s oven! And when I opened the oven door, a huge billow of pot smoke filled my parent’s apartment. 
This is the kind of crazy shit that happens when your stupid friends do drugs.
I kicked them out of my house and opened all the windows hoping that the smell would be gone before my parent’s got home. 
Now this is the wierdest turn of events... About 30 minutes after my fine friends left, the doorbell rang. It was my family priest! Could this day get worse? Of all times for him to drop by. 
I’m sure he smelled the pot, and I’m sure he knew I was stoned, but he never acknowledged it.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

3017/11/27 - Jealousy

As I mentioned in a previous post, my wife Val’s ex has become one of my best friends. And the fact that Zeh and I can be friends without any jealousy has worked out well over the 6 years that I’ve known Val. 

Even early in the relationship I remember overhearing Heloisa at age six telling her friends at school “I have two daddys!’ That melted my heart. 

Anyway I’ve always seen Zeh as Heloisa’s father, rather than Val’s ex-husband, and he has proven to be an excellent dad, and does his share of parenting. It’s really nice to have the help and we have become one happy family. 

I often think that if my father wasn’t such a jealous man, he would have been proud of me. 

I remember after returning from a successful climb of Denali, we showed my parents a slide show. As they were leaving my house, my dad leaned into my ear, and instead of giving congratulations, he said “l owe you for this. Next time you come over our house, I’m going to make you sit through two hours of golf slides.”

Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017/11/26 - Team Chess

This might seem a little strange, but my wife Valeria’s ex-husband Zeh has become a best friend of mine. He’s here at the house at least four times a week, helping Heloisa with her homework, having dinners with us, cycling with me, and best of all, playing what we call “Team Chess”.

We play together against a random player on Chess.com under the handle “TeamHeisenberg”.

When we started earlier this year in March, Zeh was very much a beginner chess player, barely knowing how the pieces move. But he saw me playing all the time and expressed a desire to learn. 

The problem with teaching someone chess is that it’s no fun if the student never wins, and it’s no challenge or fun for the instructor to just let them win. So I came up with the idea of us playing together as a team. We could discuss our moves and strategies. In the beginning it was just me explaining my plan, but soon Zeh was suggesting alternatives and catching my blunders. 

This worked out great because we either both lost or both won the games, but never against each other. In fact in the ten months and 91 games we have played, we have yet to play against each other. 

And we have found that together we play better than either of us alone. In other words, both of us also have separate accounts on Chess.com, but neither of us have a rating as high as TeamHeisenberg does. In fact TeamHeisenberg’s is 200 points higher! 

And in eight short months Zeh has been playing, he has reached the 62.7 percentile among the millions of serious players on Chess.com. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

2017/11/25 - Just a tip

Here’s a tip. If you really want to here my “crazy” shit, follow this blog between the hours of 11 PM and 6 AM. That’s because the following morning, I usually wake up and delete whatever I wrote the night before. 

I’ve actually been writing a lot every night, but the next morning I wind up deleting it all. And I keep wondering why I’m even doing this. 

Thought for tonight... I’ve been switching from seat-to-seat all my life on the Titanic. Maybe I should just go to the bar room. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017/11/10 - Dear Louie CK

Dear Louie,
You were once my favorite comedian. I loved your jokes. I memorized some and repeated them. I recommended you to my friends and family, including my pre-teen step-daughter.
Then you did the the “Horace and Pete” series. The cast was great, but the story was one one of the most depressing that I’ve ever watched, and you played the leading dark cheerless role. 
The thing is, you were so fucking good at it, so convincing, that I couldn’t believe that isn’t the real you. My opinion of you changed forever and I could no longer see you as being a funny guy. I had the same reaction to comedians Jerry Louis after seeing him drunk on the tellethons, and Michael Richards after hearing him spew racial hate. 
And now this... How can I get this disgusting image of you out of my head? How can I look at you without seeing you jerking off in front of unwilling women. 
You’re a pig Louie. 

Goodby,
Steve

Monday, October 30, 2017

2017/10/30 - Talking to an asshole

So I’m lying here in bed with my new puppy in the dark, watching Standups on Netflix. 
This is so special. I’m holding her close, and wispering that you and I will be friends for life, at least for my life. I’m telling her that you’re the smartest dog on the whole block, and this is just the beginning of a wonderful life for you! You are just starting life, and you so fucking lucky to have me as your daddy! You could be the luckiest dog in the whole wide world!
But as I’m fondeling her in the dark, I realize she was facing the other way!
I was talking into her asshole! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

2017/10/13 - Fall Foliage


The crazy house. So benign from the outside, who could possibly imagine what goes on inside?

Friday, October 6, 2017

2017/10/07 - Audible.com

I spend about 12 hours per week cycling and I like to listen while I ride. 

Even though I have well over a thousand songs on my iPhone, eventually they get repetitious.

So a couple of years ago I started listening to podcasts. I started with WTF and Stuff You Should Know, and then got into political podcasts like The Daily, Up First, Weekly Roundup, Seth Meyers, and Bill Maher.

But to my chagrin, podcasts started to get just like AM radio, with annoying commercials. At first it seems nice that the podcaster actually reads the commercial script, but since there are only a handful of advertisers that sponsor podcasts, the commercials get extremely repetitious, and the sincerity of the delivery starts to sound more and more like bullshit.

So 10 weeks ago I signed up at Audible.com, and now I can listen to media commercial free. I’m lovin the new option while riding. 

I highly recommend this Google application and I’ve already ordered and listened to all or part of 16 books. For what it’s worth here’s my recommendations:

The Home Front - Narated by Martin Sheen. Excellent account of life in America at home, while the men (and women) were overseas fighting. It was a lot different than any wartime we've seen in America since then. 

The Butterfly effect - Very interesting theory about how the slightest thing could have a huge effect. 

Life - by Keith Richards. Perhaps my favorite so far. Two of the chapters were narrated by Keith. I was so inspired, I actually went out and bought a guitar! He aptly points out that there’s a little Keith Richard in all of us. While waiting for my front teeth, I told my buddy Zeh "This is bringing out the Keith Richards in me".

Mr Mercedes - by Steven King. Great thriller. It inspired me to order anorher Steven King novel. Unfortunately I ordered the unabridged version of The Stand. I soon realized why they cut all those pages out. 

Al Franklin, Giant of the Senate. I love the man. A story about his life so far. He’s both brilliant and funny. He narrates the entire book. I just loved his quote "When most people think of a cruise that is full of shit, they think of Carnival. We in the Senate think of Ted.”

Five Presidents - by Clint Hill. He tells his story about serving as a secret service agent for 5 consecutive US presidents. He was the guy who jumped into the automobile during the JFK assignation. Great insites to the different presidential styles. 

Total Recall: My Unbelievable Life - by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Truly one of the most successful men alive. Mister Universe, The Terminator, and Governor of California all by one poor ambitious Austrian immigrant. The American Dream come true.
   

2017/10/06 - My friend from NYC: Frank

When I was just a wee lad in my 20’s, I had good friend Frank who came over my apartment every Wednesday night to play chess. I was the first in my crowd to leave the roost and get my own apartment. As you might imagine it was a popular hang out.
Frank would show up every Wednesday night around 7:00 PM with a half gallon of Almedin Mountain Rhine wine, and we would play chess until the wine was gone. Then we would go out bar hopping.
Between the hangovers and the memories of the close calls and crazy shit we did the night before, Thursday mornings at work were almost unbearable. We’d both swear, “Never again!”, but the commitment would only last until the next Wednesday night.
One Wednesday night we wound up on Rikers Island, a state prison, with guards yeilding machine guns surrounding Frank’s car. They thought we were convicts trying to escape, when actually we were just two intoxicated idiots lost while looking for Coney Island! 
Frank and I have kept our friendship alive for the past 50 years, and he’s coming out to visit me in Colorado again next Tuesday. We are not the party animals we were when we were in our twenties, but we still play chess!
During his visit last Fall, we invented “Team Chess” (a topic for a future post), and since then Zeh has joined our team, “Team Heisenberg”.
I’m as excited as a kid, and looking forward to a week of mountain biking, good laughs, and of course, chess!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

2017/10/03 - An Eight Turtle Day

Sunday during my birthday bike ride with Zeh, we spotted eight large (10 to 12 inch) painted turtles, sunning themselves on the trunk of a tree that had fallen into the still water alongside Clear Creek.
Typically I see only one or two of these turtles here on a sunny day, but one time I saw three and got so excited! So you can imagine how thrilled I got when I saw eight! 
This once-in-a-lifetime turtle sighting can only be explained as Mother Nature giving Steve a birthday gift.

2017/10/02- Treadmill Chess

Another one of my chess inventions is "Treadmill Chess". This idea came from a need to exercize in winter while I was working full-time dawn-to-dusk in downtown Denver. 
Normally I dispise machine exercize, but when I thought of playing an online chess game (against a real person) where each player gets 30 minutes, all the while walking/jogging on the treadmill, that sounded interesting!
And normally I don't have the patience for that long of a game, my "need for speed', typically finds me playing speed-chess, where each player gets 10 minutes. 
As it turned out, the marriage of chess with exercize worked out extremely well for me. The extra time helped my game, and I found it very invigorating to have a release for the stress associated with chess. This probably sounds crazy, but my heartrate is tipically higher playing chess, than when I'm cycling. 


2017/10/01 - Happy Birthday to Me

OMG 67, thought by now I'd be in heaven!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

2017/09/30 - Contact Chess

Many many moons ago, omg too many too remember, my college girlfiend asked me to teach her how to play chess.
She wasn't technically my "girlfriend" yet, but I was working on that. And believe it or not, I was actually dumb enough too think that she really wanted to learn how to play chess.
So I was using this request as my chance to "make my move", and suggested we take the first lesson someplace quiet and secluded, so as not to be distracted. We chose an oak tree in the middle of a grassy field on campus.
To make a long story short, within a few minutes into the lesson, I stole a kiss and then we spent the next 20 minutes or so "making out", which meant kissing in those days.
When it was time to go to our next class, we packed up the chess pieces and Mary-Lynne said "I think I'm going to like chess!" 
I replied "Me too, and I think we just invented "Contact Chess".
A few years later we got married.

Later,
Steve

PS: Thanks again for the birthday wishes MLH!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

2017/09/28 - My 125

My 125


This is my prize tank. It's 125 gallons. I love that I can keep two schools of tiny fish alongside much larger schools. This is because the larger fish are vegetarian!
I have: 
4 very large clown loaches
12 very large silver dollars
2 Huge Pacus
25 tiny Cardinals
20 tiny Remmy noses 
2 HUGE places
2 small catfish

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017/09/26 - Just another day in my life

Today was actually a fairly good day.
I started out the morning at the periodontist hearing that "Everything looks great", but when I asked  "When exactly will I get my 3 front teeth back" (the result of a recent cycling incident), he replied "about 4 months". Wow... I think to myself "This will be an exercise in humility, maybe I should move to Ward Colorado, where half the population is missing at least one front tooth."
So when I get home to my heatless house (my furnace broke down on Sunday) my mom starts bugging me, asking when the repair guy is coming, did you give him any money, if I think it's a scam, how much will it cost, etc, etc. She's like the walking dead, sidling up behind me every hour or so, and startling me. I can't help but get fucking aggravated. I need to put a bell on her.
I tell her there's more important things to worry about, but her only concern is that the temperature has dropped below 73 degrees, and she's cold.  I tell too put a sweater on. She asks for me to stop yelling at her. I reply, "I'll stop yelling, if you stop worrying about the little shit, we've got more important things to worry about".
Then Val calls later and says "Heloisa got in trouble at school"
And I think to myself before I close my eyes to sleep tonight,  "This is what happens when you let the days go by".

Monday, September 25, 2017

2017/09/25 - Nobody

Lately I've been realizing that I'm no longer somebody. I used to be somebody, but nowadays I've become nobody.
Seriously... Years ago I was somebody. Newspaper reporters actually interviewed me! I was the "14er guy", one of a select few who had made over 400 Colorado 14er ascents. I was a professional outdoor photographer. I taught mountaineering and led dozens of trips each year for the Colorado Mountain Club. 
In those days I was somebody that a lot of people knew. I was popular in certain communities. Now I'm just an old guy with an invisible past.
Even at my job at Texaco, I was once somebody. For years I had been the project leader for ESP (the Estimated Sales and Purchases computer system), and had a pretty good reputation as a hotshot application developer. 
Later I created and managed 14erWorld, a popular mountaineering website with thousands of members over nearly 10 years online. 
But nowadays I've become Norman Bates taking care of my elderly mother, while managing the Hoffmeyer House. I've become a prisoner in my house. I've become a nobody. I'm just that old guy across the street that rides his bike a lot. 
I guess when you get older you start to look at yourself in a different way. 
I ride my bike for sanity and little things like having a glass of wine or two after dinner with Val have become great pleasures to look forward to. 
I'm not complaining, nor looking for pity. I love my life and for the most part I've "got it made". I have my health, I'm comfortably retired, I'm able to play chess, take naps, play with my many pets, and cycle every day. 
Maybe I just miss the spotlight. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017/07/19 - When Ambition Turns to Greed

I've always admired Arnold Schwarzenegger. In my mind he represents the American Dream, attaining huge successes in bodybuilding, acting, real estate, and politics. And don't forget that he married into the Kennedy family! Not bad for a child born to poverty in occupied Austria after World War II.

I'm reading his new autobiography "Total Recall" now and I'm blown away by his confidence, ambition, and-self discipline.

But there's one incident in the book that I can't let go of. Arnold had reached the top of his career in bodybuilding. He won all the major titles many times more than any previous bodybuilder and retired the undisputed greatest-ever bodybuilder.

Then in the middle of his movie career, while preparing for one of the Conan movies, against the advice of his wife, he decided to enter the Mr Olympus competition at the very last minute, surprising all the other contestants. He won, but it was the only time it wasn't by a unanimous decision.

Upon reading this, I felt as if his ambition had turned to greed, a selfish act good for Arnold but bad for the sport.

Why couldn't he step aside and let the next young buck get a turn at the crown? I read later that one of the other contestants smashed his award in the parking lot, and another gave up bodybuilding. Arnold admits he made enemies that took years to repair.

But then I wondered, would I feel the same about a boxer, cyclist, or tennis player?

What do you think?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017/07/16 - Lucy

Three of my NYC friends and I were looking for a place to go camping during our Easter vacation (aka Spring break) of 1966. I was fifteen. My uncle Willy knew a guy with 2,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania, most of which was primitive woods.

With all our camping gear and food packed in the belly of a Greyhound buss, off we set for a week's vacation in sunny PA.

After meeting Mr and Mrs Hull, the owners of the property, we set out hiking to find the perfect camping spot, far enough away from houses so we had our privacy, but close enough to water.

As we were setting up camp in a perfect spot near the edge of a cliff for vantage, two beautiful fifteen year old twin girls with long blond hair down to their waists approached our tents on horseback. It was almost like a dream.

Lucy and Margaret were the twin daughters of the Hulls. Never dismounting from their horses, they introduced themselves and we exchanged nervous conversation. After all, we were just young boys, and they were goddesses.

After a while, Lucy asked if we wanted to go horseback riding by moonlight. I quickly accepted, but the other guys shyly declined. Later that night she came back to pick me up.

The Troggs had just released their hit song "Wild Thing". To this day, every time I hear that song I remember kissing Lucy while lying on the thick sheepskin rugs on the cement floor of the "Pot Room" in the basement of her Pennsylvania farm house. The song came on the AM radio and she said "You're MY wild thing". 

Earlier that day, during a tour of the house, one of the boys had asked Mr Hull why he called it the Pot Room? He replied "That's where the kids smoke their pot!", as if it was a stupid question. 

What were the odds of a NYC boy falling in love with a Pennsylvania farm girl? We spent the rest of that school year writing silly love letters and planning a two week vacation in the upcoming summer. 

For some reason Lucy's love letters became less frequent the closer we got to the summer trip, but when the same four "NYC Boys" (as we became known to the Hulls and their neighbors) returned, the reason became crystal clear.

Margaret, Lucy's twin sister came alone to greet us, and sometime during the conversation pointed out Todd, Lucy's new boyfriend who was working in the field trimming trees. My world stopped as I looked at this big tall blond farmboy, with his shirt off and his sweaty muscles glowing in the sun. I was too macho to cry then, but my eyes swell now as I recall the heartbreak a fifteen year old boy suffered that day. 

While unpacking his pack, my tentmate Tony (aka Jaggerdog) presented a fifth of whiskey that he snuck out of his house. That night I got shitfaced drunk and had my first blackout, the next morning not being able to recall any of the drama I caused the night before. But that's another story.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2017/07/11 - WHO died?

I just finished reading a Denver Post story of a 71 year old cyclist who died in an accident, getting hit by a car in Loveland. It had great detail, except of course for the most important detail, the person's name.

And this pisses me off to no end. It's like someone calling me up and saying "One of our friends just died". How they died, where they died, or when they died are are not as important as WHO died!

And to be perfectly honest, I'd rather not be teased with the other details, until you can tell me who it is. I don't want to be left wondering who I know that's 71 and rides in Loveland. 

I just wrote an email to the Denver Post reporter. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

2017/07/06 - Mom Before and After

Here's what she looked like when I rescued her:


























And here's what she looks like now (one year and 25 pounds later):


Saturday, July 1, 2017

2017/07/02 - Safety Nets

Years ago, whenever I went hiking solo, I would always pick a route that I knew would have lots of other people on it. I guess you could say that I was selfishly using strangers as a safety net, in case I got into trouble. You would be correct.

I heard a funny comparison today while listening to podcasts during my daily ride.

With the practice of lacing heroin with drugs like Fentanyl (up to 50 times stronger than heroin) and Carfentanil (10,000 times stronger than heroin), opioid addicts in highly addicted communities are preferring to overdose outdoors with the hope that someone can quickly administer Narcan.

2017/07/01 - Mid-Year Results


Friday, June 30, 2017

2017/06/30 - Bunkers

I just listened to a podcast review of the new book: "Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself - While the Rest of Us Die", and found it very interesting to learn about huge bunkers deep in the mountains in the US, the size of small cities, fully functional with 3 story buildings and a capacity for over 5,000 people.

It's comforting to know that the government will survive a nuclear war, comforting for them that is.

What I found humorous is that the 5,000 "chosen" are not allowed to bring their wives and family. That will be fun to watch. Picture a helicopter landing in a soccer field, picking up a cabinet member while he waves goodbye to his wife and children forever. 

What's even more humorous is that they are allowed to bring their secretaries! Humm... Betcha the wives aren't going to like that rule!