DD has a birthday tomorrow! Poor guy, he hates his birthday. In 2008 he's actually going to change his birthday and celebrate on June 9th. Get it? 6-9. He was born in 1969 so his birthday will now be 6-9-69

It's kind of silly to be obsessed with a number, isn't it? Well, not really. DD is in a band called drunkdude69. On his website, there is a page devoted to "69 of the Week". Anytime one sees "69" on a package or price tag or restaurant bill it is a sign that the Rock Gods are pleased and want everyone to be happy. It happens all the time if you've trained yourself to watch for it.

Even more apropos, DD69 will soon be releasing their first album in a few short weeks. Really, they mean it this time. They are done and ready to send to press. No shit, dude, they are. More details on this as things unfold.

Above is a receipt from Guitar Center. The Drummer in DD69 purchased some gear. Look at the total....
It's a sign, I'm telling you, it's a sign.


December, part Deux

In my last post, I had mentioned that everthing was a bit "delayed" this Christmas Season. Here's why. Normally in December, my priority is all things Christmas.

This year it's different and lots of fun. In the first week of December, DD and I decided to tear up our old, crappy, stained, impossible to clean carpet. Luckily, the carpet was only in the living room. We moved the books shelves (4) and all of the books into the dining room.

We wanted to get rid of the carpet and we were curious as to what was under the carpet. We have hardwood floors in the rest of the house...and we just wanted to see.

Holy finished oak, Batman! We have luscious hardwood under the carpet. I had always feared that the wood under the carpet was horribly flawed. So in my mind, the cheap, impossible to clean carpet was a cover up for something even more ugly. (this is a theme that has run through our home since I first lived here in 1999)

So, as soon as we realized we were "good to go" DD hauled off and ordered a ginormous area rug for the room. We had stalked this rug since September. I picked it out. DD approved. It's big.

9' 9" x 12' 9"

Why would this take so long and delay normal Christmas decorating, gift buying and cookie baking? Because we sorted all of our books. Yikes.

So after sorting, discarding and sifting, it finally arrived. We rolled it out, placed furniture on it and took a couple of deep breaths. It's beautiful. It's lush. It's the perfect scale, color and pattern. Oh, and It really ties the room together.


I promised Uncle Crappy I'd have a slow work month so I'd be able to post and "catch up"

I probably should have posted all month in November. Work was slow and I had the time to post. Or at least it seems like I did! This month has been busy work-wise. Busy enough that when work is "done" I vegetate on the couch while watching HGTV. That has been my favorite Guilty Pleasure of late.

So, here's to vegetating, reading about 10 books and watching hours on end of Iron Chef and house "fixer-up" shows and not doing anything much for Christmas.

Here's what I've done over the past 24 hours:

  • Bought Christmas Tree

  • Cleaned garage (DD did this, not me)

  • Extricated 15 boxes of Chrismas Decorations from garage attic. Brought them in the house.

  • Installed lights and decorations on the front porch. Everyone on our block thinks we've converted to Jehovah's Witnesses. I did this during the teeth of the Blizzard yesterday for added style points.

  • Put up tree, installed lights and ornaments

  • Listened to Nat King Cole and Wynton Marsalis Christmas music (prerequisite for trimming the tree)

  • Purchased food gift baskets for my boss and co-workers in our Arizona office (late? maybe a bit)

Today the goal is to clean the dining room and decorate in there. I'm usually Johnny on the Spot at Christmas but everything is a bit delayed this year. Well, it will get done. It always does!!



So, we went on vacation to the Outer Banks in August.

We took two days to drive there so we could take a small side trip to Monticello in Charlottesville. I've wanted to see the home TJ designed. You know, see his digs. We did.

It's a show stopper. The entire estate, from the siting, to the gardens, to the plan, to the home is stunning. He is a mastermind. Maybe even a freak.

Then we buckled down and drove the rest of the way. We figured it'd be about 4 hours.

It ended up being 8 hours. It was an odyssey of 97 degree weather, no air conditioning and stifling traffic. Note to self: Get there next year on Friday nite instead of Saturday. That equals one extra day at the beach!

The beach vacation is a long family tradition. Requirements are: big beach house very close to the beach, a house-ful of friends and/or family, swimming and walking during the day, cocktail hour and dinner at home every night. The only decisions to make are:
  • To swim in the ocean or to swim in the pool
  • What to have for cocktails
  • Which book to read next
  • What color souvenir tshirt to buy

Everything else pretty much motors along by itself. Each family in the group cooks a meal for one night. The party planners pick the cocktail to go with the dinner.

Easy-Peasey-Pekingese- ee.

I'm sure it sounds boring. Let me assure you, I am in my bliss at the beach. I love the water. I love walking on the beach. I absolutely love the joy of "being" while I'm at the beach. It doesn't really matter what I'm doing, as long as I'm there.

See ya'll on the beach next year!


See the comments on my previous post for a note from U. Crappy. Maybe if I were really nice, he'd keep posting on my blog for me.

So, officially, I'm off the map. Incommunicado. At least for now.

Mid October I actually considered signing up for NaBloPoMo as Fussy.org. I've even written some posts on actual paper. (shudder) Well, they're solid outlines. Now it's the 8th, I never signed up, nor did I start blogging.

I think my mind is churning so fast that I can't sit down for more than a minute to concentrate, write and then post. Notice the word "churning". My mind is not actually working, just churning. I think they have drugs for this!


It's all kind of blur...

Wow! I can't believe what I've done in the past two weeks.

  • stripped wallpaper in the kitchen and prepped walls for paint

  • picked out a paint color, finally

  • painted kitchen a sagey green

  • oiled the kitchen cabinets, instead of replacing the beasts

  • cleaned the house. I mean, really cleaned it

Then we had a party! Nothing like having 15 people over to inspire a few projects and a thorough cleaning.

We worked our "regular" jobs all day then came home and worked on the kitchen until at least 10. We did that little routine for about 5 or 6 days in a row. That's the way to get shit done, just do it.

Then, the wine party. It was really pretty cool. It sounds kind of snobby and top-drawer, but it ended up being a lot of fun. It seemed a lot less snobby, at least, after I got a few small glasses of wine under my belt.

Now, this week it will be a little crazy too. I had a big presentation this morning, along with the requisite lack of sleep. And I leave at zero am on Thursday to work an apt. assoc. trade show in Nashville. I'm pretty excited about that!

Then back to Cleveland late nite Friday. Whirlwind 3 weeks, huh?


Tucson Rocks

Check out the bit of film about my favorite desert cycling town. Snagged this little gem from my favorite cycling blog www.drunkcyclist.com

DD and I vowed to crush El Tour de Tucson in the next year or so. Yes, we will give it the crushing midwestern style, drinking a six pack while tooling down the last 10 miles on Silverbell.

oaaahhhhhhh yeahhhhhhhhh


I might actually fucking log in

I just finished reading one of my fave blogs: www.arcticglass.blogspot.com

I love reading her blog, am usually inspired to write and then I relax, take a few deep breaths.
And then I don't write.

So today, I will write. At least a little.

My favorite ride so far this year was sometime in early June. It had rained, it was still fairly cloudy and massive thunderheads were threatening to the south. Not heeding any sane advice our coaches had givenin the past, we decided to head out.

The ground was nice and soggy, the trail was still pretty wet. There were tons of puddles on the bike trail and in the road. There were tons of blossoms, seed pods and general treee-type detritous in the path. We were riding our mountain bikes (set up specifically to nearly mimic road bikes, but anyway...)

The park was deserted, no doubt because of the threat of rain and possibly thunder and lightning. No one on foot, no die-hard long distance runners, no recreational bikers with the "baby carriers" attached. Not much of anything or anyone. It was bliss.

We went a few hundred yards and it started to rain. Just a nice, soft, friendly rain. No thunder. No lightning. The mean black clouds also started to roll away....to be replaced by happy, grey rain clouds. You know the kind of rain that rains all day and soaks your yard and vegetable garden with rainy goodness? Yep, it was that kind of rain.

We were like little kids playing in puddles. We were pretty much soaked in about 15 minutes. Within 5 minutes we were covered with mud, road muck and tons of "tree stuff" Our bikes were coated too. No one was around, so were rarely even changed cadence and rarely had to use our brakes. When we did actually brake, we gave good thought to it because most of our braking involved slowly pushing the brake levers so as to "scrub" water from our rims so we could force a stop.

We were out about an hour, I have no idea how many miles we went. We were soaked. We were filthy. We were elated. The point on a day like that seems more about the experience, the fun, the dirt, the water than any average speed record or interval training. It's more like that for me anyway...the Zen of biking, not the quantity.


Hi my name is HP and I am a consumer

I'm probably not that much different from ya'll. I login, check my email, surf some blogs, catch up on some celebrity gossip, check some more blogs. Then I check my email again, just to be sure I don't miss anything. You know, like a really good email from Orbitz or something.

If it's the weekend, I go on a walk or a bike ride. Most likely I collapse in a heap on the sofa and graze some catalogues, leaf through some magazines. Maybe read a chapter or two from a novel. Then if I'm really bored, I'll turn on the tube and graze through the fantastic five: TLC, Discovery, HGTV, FoodTV and E! If I get hooked on I Love the 90's or 80's or a fantasy fest of the Girls Next Door, forget about it. My day is done. I am glued until I fall asleep or have a snack and then fall asleep.

So, in reality, I can create. But mostly I consume. Yep, I am a consumer. No fantastic artwork, no magazine article, no outstanding first novel. I guess it's not that big a deal. Most people are 100 percent consumers. It ticks through my brain occasionally....most likely because I used to create. It was my job, I got paid to do it. But I did things, there is a record of things I did. There are even a few "monuments" to my creation.

Isn't it funny how things cycle through your brain? Maybe it's because Thursday is a "blue moon" or maybe because it's the beginning of Summer. Who knows? What do you think??


mountain bikes are cool too!

3 weeks ago DD and I go on a quick bike ride. It was clear and windless. It's probably a bit cold too, I actually wear pants over my cycling shorts. We need to be outside on a bike so badly that we go despite the cold. My knee has been "acting up" so I take it pretty easy. Everything is good until the way back. We hit just the tiniest bit of a slope, a bit of a head wind and I drop way back. I actually beg DD to let me draft for the rest of the ride.

No stamina or endurance. My knee feels strangely weak and a little bit wobbly. When I stand up to pedal I feel SHARP pain. Not a good combination on my 2007 Inaugural Outdoor Bike Ride.

(Insert Wayne's World "funny, way back, remember when sound...dodooloodo....dodooloodooo...here)

Cut back to May last year. My knee was sore, swollen and would not bend past 90 degrees. Stairs were a bitch. Sleeping on my back or stomach was uncomfortable.....you get the idea, it's not a pretty.

I marched off to my orthopaedic "surgeon". We Xrayed, we MRI'd. Diagnosis was that I had arthritis under my patella and that was the cause of the pain and swelling. The course of action was to rest, let pain be my guide and all it would all eventually "go away".

I rest. I baby it. I ice it. Then I train during late summer and fall. DD and I complete El Tour de Tucson. Then we get the real training bug and start intervals with the evil Coach Troy in January. Somewhere in Jan or Feb, I do something to my knee. It swells up like some horrible alien sucking the life from what was formerly my knee. I stop training.

Time for a 2 nd Opinion. Lets just start by saying that Dr. Wayne is the bomb. I have a diagnosis I trust. I am getting physical therapy. My knee seems to be improving a tiny bit every day. What's really up with my knee? When I bend it, my patella ends up on the Outside the joint. So in other words, my knee cap is not "tracking" right.

I need something easy to do, something pain free. But I crave the sweat and endorphins of a tough work out. I remember my sweet, beat up but friendly mountain bike. We go for the same ride that was unsuccessful 3 weeks ago and it is a huge success. 10 miles today! The only pain is that of unused muscles in my legs and a few twinges on my "sit bones".


Sometimes a little change of scenery, a change of equipment, and some targeted therapy is all that you need to get rollin' again.


secret getaway #369

Yay, I love surprises! DD took me for a little getaway weekend to Mercer County, PA. OK, I probably would not have gone had I known it was in Mercer....but it really was marvelous.

We had planned to go visit Mom of DD and Howdy and hang out for some family time. The night before, I was planning on crashing early in my own bed. Then up early and drive to Piksburke.
That's not exactly what happened.

On Friday, we went to Sharon, PA and checked into a fabulous B & B. It is a huge stone mansion right on the main drag. DD had reserved the Tropical Nights room. It was a lovely room with a huge hot tub in the room, a luxurious bath and fantastic view of the gardens and conservatory.

While enjoying our champagne reception, the host, Amy was kind enough to call and order our dinner. Two antipasta salads and pepperoni pizza from Aldo's, which we ate in our room with glasses of red wine. Very romantic. Very relaxing.

Wonderful night's sleep in a huge four poster bed with one thousand pillows....a huge breakfast of steak and eggs, omelettes and fresh fruit all topped off by a huge pot of coffee. I spent about an hour in the spa steaming and sauna-ing and then having an invigorating "monsoon" shower. Why it is always so pleasant and easy to get cleaned up in a spa? Probably because you don't have to take any "get ready" items of your own. Also because there is no possible way I can be distracted by needing to scrub the tub, throw in another load of laundry or clean the cat box while I perform my ablutions. I love having no distractions!

Now, if the mansion B & B, the pizza dinner and fabulous spa are not enough, just wait for the this.

Sharon is home to Duffin's Chocolate AND the World's Largest Shoe Store. As a matter of fact, the B & B is situated in between these two fabulous attractions. Heaven, absolute Heaven! DD and I practiced some retail therapy. We bought about 3 pounds of assorted hand made chocolate and a pound or two of "penny candy". Then we were off to Reyer's from some much anticipated shoe shopping. Somehow we got away with only buying 3 pairs of shoes....one pair for me and two for DD.

In a nutshell, I find Mercer County surprising exciting, scenic with some serious doses of history and antiques. If Sharon was without the shoe store and chocolate shop, I'd probably still go back. With them, additional visits are ensured!!

Maybe even the occasional sales trip to Sharon is warranted. It is in my sales territory!!


Spring might have sprung!

Sorry I haven't posted in what seems like years. I almost forgot how to login!

Really busy running around, selling things, trying to do laundry, cook dinner and work out. It all seems to get 90 percent done....then sometimes I just crash and nap for two or three days.

I'll start from last weekend and work back.

I went to Columbus this weekend for some much needed and anticipated family time. Then, as a bonus, got to have some pretty hard core Ground Hog Time.

I stayed with Grandma of HellPellet on Friday nite. I took she and her boyfriend to dinner at Golden Corral. First thing, I would normally never go to Golden Corral. Second thing, my Grandma has a boyfriend. The two go freakishly hand in hand. Grandma's boyfriend is very particular about what he eats. He says he likes to go to buffets so if he is not satisfied with his food, he can go back and get a 2nd, 3rd or 10th plate of something else. So, Golden Corral it is.

My Grandmother is going to be 90 years old this fall. Yep, 90!! She has a boyfriend. Scary. She hangs out with someone who is not my Grandfather. Grandpa, who incidentally hung the moon, passed about 7 years ago. I still really miss him and I really can't see her with anyone else.

So, the combo Boyfriend-Golden-Corral-Outing was pretty much a success. Bob liked his food, Grandma had a good time, liked her food. My food: no comment. I bet the breakfast buffet might be a better bet next time.

On to visit Juan, Wilfredo and Mary May.....
we had planned to go see Lucinda Williams on Saturday nite. Juan had experienced trouble getting tickets for the show from the TicketBastard phone lines, so we trotted down to the venue to plunk down our cash for tickeys. The ticket windows weren't open. I slowly read the sign that said the windows "are open at noon on the day of a show" Something was wrong, but I couldn't figure it out.

I slowly back away from the window with a quizzed look on my face. I stare at the Marquee...
It says....

April 20 Lucinda Williams
April 21 Upper Arlington High School Prom

Juan swoops by in the Lexus, I jump in. I grab my phone and check the date. It says April 21, 2007. We missed the concert by a day. It's a crazy world we live in when I don't know the date, Juan can't get thru on the Ticket Line, and the original planner, Tam, doesn't know the date either. Shit. We were all looking forward to it, too.

We should have just gone ahead and crashed the UAHS prom, don't you think?


Hello Coach Troy!!

After multiple weeks of inactivity, it's time to get back on the bike. Yep. I mean it this time!

DD and I went to the Cuyahoga Valley Loop yesterday morning to run SAG for the TNT Lake Tahoe team. We finally reached the Valley after a slick, snow covered 45 minute car trip. Our coach was sitting in his warm car wearing jeans and work boots. No ride for the team, no ride for the coach, no SAG for the boopies.

Our partner in TNT crime, Mercedes, was also there, geared up in her running stuff. Who wants to run when it's 22 degrees, windy and snowing sideways? Apparently she did. Lucky for her, we talked her out of it. We greeted several other team members who were crazy enough to show up for the ride...and sent them all home. "Go train inside. Or go take a nap.... " we said.

OK, if it wasn't obvious before, I'll admit, I am no Jill Homer. See her blog. She is a crazy cyclist who loves to ride in horrific conditions. I was pretty sure that DD and I would be training outside this winter but then we foiund the luxury and warmth of doing interval training inside! Yep, climate controlled, no precipitation, no side winds blowing us off the trail.

Don't get me wrong, I am jones-ing to be outside riding. But I am really longing to be outside at a temperature somewhere above freezing. Just call me a candy-ass, because I am.


holy hawaii Batman!

Sales contests are cool. Actually, they're only cool if you win them.

Yep, I am one of the winners of President's Circle 2006. No, I did not have to make it thru 2006 Circles of Hell. No, I didn't have to "do" the President. I just had to sell a lot and at the same time, not lose a lot.

So, what does President's Club entail? 5 days and nites in sunny, beautiful Kauai. No shit, Kauai.
Just one of my top 5 favorite places in the world. So, needless to say, I am pretty wound up about it. We are actually going to stay an extra 2 days... so we can have some fun by ourselves.

Here's the scoop....
When: March 22 thru 29
Where: Princeville Resort, Kauai, Hawaii
Who: Only the cool people
Why: Because I treaded lightly thru at least 5 or 6 Circles of Sales Hell and somehow kept my base of business together

I'll keep you posted on the plans and how it all goes...


One moment please while we process your request

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. Here's what I have been doing....
just have not been really motivated to write.

1. Celebrated Ground Hog's Day with another rousing weekend house party. This time the party was held at Juan and Wilfredo's pad.

2. Participated in a week long send off of one of our close friends. He is moving to N. California to live with his girlfriend.

3. Got a horrendous cold that lasted two weeks.

4. Put a temporary hold on indoor interval training. The cold coupled with a sore, swollen knee has put the kibosh on training for a while.

5. Read 10 or so books, 800 magazines and watched 45 movies.

6. Enjoyed a Friday nite party with Skinny Moo at the fabled Greenville Inn.


Blue Monday

According to Dr Cliff Arnall, today is the most depressing day of the year. Dr. Arnall is a psychologist and former tutor at Cardiff University. Being the little smarty pants that he is, he has used mathematical equations to reach his verdict.

There are many reasons it's supposed to be so blue. First things first, our holiday spending (or credit carding) has probably caught up with us. We still continue to go to work when it's dark and then drive home when it's dark. We've also broken most if not all of our New Year's resolutions. You know what? I don't need no stinkin' mathematical equations to tell me I should be blue today. The reasons above are enough.

But wait, I'm not really blue today. I have a little case of "Damn, it's Monday. I'm having a hard time getting going". But it's certainly not a case of the "knock down-haul me off to bed now" blues.

So, check in with me folks...how is your Blue Monday? Blue? Deep Marine Blue? I can't get out of bed, Midnight Blue?

In the meantime, here's some internet fun to possibly cheer you....


Did we really??

OK, another post about bikes. Gets kind of monotonous, huh? Probably almost as "one tracked" as Uncle Crappy with all his Buckeye Goodness.

Anyway, did DrunkDude and I really ride 109 miles in the desert about a month ago? Are you sure? I'm pretty sure too.

Well, we're spinning inside now. We got workout DVD's for Christmas. The photo above is our "coach", Troy. He is absolutely crushing us. We are doing 45 minute sets of intervals every day and are both crippled. As in, "Sweetie, can you give me a hand? I can't freakin' walk!"

I have to lower myself down the stairs at our house. One. Step. At. A. Time. After sitting for a while I have to hoist myself up with my arms and abdominal muscles. That's because my legs give out on me about halfway thru.

All this training goodness is in response to our problems and ridiculous slowness in the hills of Tucson. Really, I'm pretty embarassed by my performance on the ride. Yeah, I know. I know. We rode freakin' 109 miles, in the desert, in the blazing sun, while it was 90 degrees. Still, I pretty much sucked much of that day.

Just can't wait for tomorrow's training tape. It's called Mental Toughness. Yikes. I'll let you know how that goes. That is if my quads don't explode!