Saturday, December 31, 2005

Saturday the 31st....

Baby Jake growing antennae....

Best facial hair on a cyclist.......
Party time.... Baby Jake leading the Brothers of Jackal in some silliness...

Gopher Jake!

A little New Years Eve silliness at the house. Judy and Nikki had to run up to the pharmacy so the boys had some fun while they were gone.

Jackal's wife and brother both had birthdays within the last few days. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOO! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIC!

Kerkove and Jackal voted Blue Colnago "best facial hair on a cyclist" for 2005 on their blogs. Way to pimp the old guy! :) Ah well, I guess a little notoriety can't hurt. Thanks guys.

2005 will be over in about an hour and 2006 will be here to take it's place. Wow! Where did it go? We'll have to think about that one and perhaps talk about it a bit later.

I hope all of you have a safe and happy new year. '05 was fun!

Peace out, yo!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Wednesday the 28th....

Kilroy was here....

Brother of Jackal....

The Crew.....

Hmmmmm..... (Brother of Jackal's "art")

Did Jackal ever tell you that he was in the Talented and Gifted Program when he was a pup? Yup! It's true. He played football in Junior High and then hockey in High School. He also played hockey for several years on an adult travel team. Did pretty good! Betcha didn't know that....

We had most of the family together for a GREAT Chrismas then for a little "casual" drinking at Toad's later on Christmas night. Jackal and Moo stayed straight so that they could drive anyone home who needed a ride... I think that they only had one taker. It was fun for me to be with the family in such a relaxed atmosphere. It was good!

I'm working in Waterloo this week and will spend my "last" week in The Great White North next week. Kinda sad about that. I will assume my new responsibilities at the Iowa Plant the following week. That'll be good!

Peace out, yo!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Well, it's Christmas morning....

Judy and I went shopping yesterday afternoon and it was good! The mall in Cedar Falls was nearly empty and we had a couple hours of stress free shopping. She dropped me off in front of Hobby Lobby where I met Jackal for some more shopping at Crossroads mall and surrounding stores. That also was good and stress free. No crowds, no lines. My faith is renewed! I have always been a Christmas Eve shopper but after the last two seasons was ready to give it up. Crowds of not so friendly shoppers, stress, unfun!

Judy is wrapping presents and I need to do the same. Jackal and Moo and the Brothers of Jackal, along with their families, should be here soon. I'll get the camera out and be my normal sweet, lovable, and innocent self.

I hope that each of you is having a very happy Christmas. God bless.

Peace out, yo!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Friday the 23rd....

HO HO HO!!! It looks like Santa has already come to town!

I had to have the rental back to the airport by noon. Everyone I know was working today so I decided to ride The Yellow Bike back home. Bad rental! Bad! Don't try to eat The Yellow Bike!!!

It was a balmy 39 degrees in Cedar Falls...

Nice lid, Dude!!

The Yellow Bike pimpin'.....

The new studs work great! Neat sound on Pavement too! GRRRRRrrrrrRRRRRrrrrr.... When you smooth the spin they say grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........

So, there I was.... Just riding along.... (both (in)famous comments in one caption. Pretty good, eh?)

My girl Gigglebutt just returned from 3 months working in Germany and brought this gift back for me. A flippy bottle to boot! Brings back some memories of "long ago and far away....." Thank you, Jenny! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! Prosit!

The drive back from the Great White North last night was uneventful. Spent an hour in The Cities going the last 6 miles on the 494 to where it connects with 35w going south. It gave me the opportunity to "people watch" while sitting there in traffic. Everyone has a cell phone growing out of their ear while driving up there!. I guess it's the same here. : ( Oh well..... I listened to Melissa Etheridge on the CD player and just watched... It's all good!

I stopped by the plant last night when I got back into town and dropped a few things off and checked my email. It was a nice surprise to find a bottle of German beer from Gigglebutt on my desk. She's one of my employees who has just spent the last 3 months working in Germany. She spent a couple of months in Korea earlier working as a "Camp Adventure" director for the children of military men and women overseas. Thanks for the beer and welcome back!

I had to drop off 18 cartons of Jr. Hawks Hockey programs at Northland Oil this morning before getting gas in the rental and taking it back to the airport. Everyone was working today so I didn't have a ride back from the airport but it was wayyyyyyy nice outside so I decided to take The Yellow Bike along and ride it home. Glad I did! It was the first time that I've had a chance to ride it since putting the studs on. Pretty cool! I know now why G.T. likes them so much!

I headed south down Airport Blvd. then west on Airline until I got to Aikey's corner. Headed north there and rode around the loop and back into town on Main then up Bluff and along Waterloo Road to Grand and then back home. It was a nice ride. It's been at least 3 weeks since I've been on the bike and it felt pretty good!

That's it for now. I hope everyone has a great Christmas! I need to get out and do my shopping, not much time left.

Peace out, yo!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tuesday the 20th....

Two of my Minnesota co-workers. Hey! I work hard up here in the Great White North....

Have any of you ever noticed that Kerkove is always smiling? Every picture, whether he's looking at the camera or not, he's smiling. What's up with that? What's your secret, Jeff?

Jesse the Baby Klansman was something of a bully in the apartment complex that we lived in the second time I was stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army. Must've been early '79. He picked on all the kids when they went outside to the playground and was a general social malcontent. One of those menial minded mental midgets incapable of original or complex thought.

We had a pretty good view of the playground from our 3rd floor balcony so it was no big deal to let Jackal go outside to play. He was just a young pup but he was pretty responsible even at that age and the apartment complex was 9 stories high and full of G.I.s. What could happen? There were 3 apartments per floor and most everyone looked out for each other. Soldiers are funny that way, ya know.... Anyway, one of our neighbors was from North Carolina and prided himself on being a Klansman. A real head case! The entire family would sometimes wear their robes around the complex just to see what they could stir up. Dad, mom, Jesse, and his sister, whose name I can't recall. Doesn't matter. Cute family! Colorful!

One day the kids were playing in the sandbox minding their own business and Jesse was lurking around the building, watching them. I don't know what all transpired that day or what caused Jackal to "take care of business" with young Jesse but words were spoken and the next thing ya know Jackal is walking toward a big oak tree that stood on the corner of the playground with Jesse right behind him. (Jesse was a year older than Jackal, and a little bigger...) The two of them disappeared behind that tree for a few minutes and then Jackal emerged with Jesse following him. Funny thing was that Jackal had a smile on his face and Jesse had a bloody nose. Jackal went back to the sandbox to play with the other kids as though nothing had happened and Jesse came into the building crying. A few minutes later there was a knock at our door and Judy was there to answer it. Surprise! It was Jesse's dad asking Judy where Jackal was at and "what the hell is he doing beating up on Jesse"? Those of you who know Judy can probably guess what happened next.... She lit that guy up! Talked about how it was never a concern when Jesse picked on the other kids but seemed like the world must be ending when someone finally took care of business. Poor Jesse. He was speechless. You know that no woman ever talked to a klansman like that. Where he comes from "women know their place" and no one whups the son of a klansman. Uh huh. Welcome to the real world.

Anyway, Jackal was duly spoken to about the incident and turned out to be something of a hero to the other kids in the complex.... I'm not aware that he ever had any more problems with Jesse the Klansman after that day. Don't think the other kids did either. That's Jackal for ya.

That's all for now. As soon as Jackal gives permission, his mom will scan the famous (infamous?) "lederhosen" picture and I'll post it here.

Peace out, yo!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday the 19th...

Snow everywhere! Even in the trees...

Snow volleyball is a winter sport up here in the Great White North. It's popularity ranks right up there with hockey and ice fishing. This is one of many public courts. Just waiting for the players to arrive..... Hmmmmm....... Perhaps in May? June?

Careful with that drill...... not too deep!

Kerkove installing my new bindings. He's multi-talented and very focused! No screws through the bottom! (Monkeytron was in the corner supervising...) Is that, umm, junkfood on Kerkove's workbench?

The new skis...... Super!

The Craft cap.... Beau Coup warm!

I see that it's -11F there this morning! Brrrr.......... It's only -8F up here in the Great White North! A heatwave!!!

I had a visitor at my place this weekend.... My brother Michael, whom I hadn't seen since June of '04. It was a good visit.

Jackal called me while I was in the shower Saturday morning and told me that my new skis were in! Woohoo! 2 weeks before I expected them! I went up to the shop and watched Kerkove mount the bindings, talked to Jackal and The Boss, then went and tried them out! Love 'em! They track better and feel better on the feet than any of the skis I'd used in the past. Salomon Elite 6. I'd definitely recommend them to anyone who is thinking about xc skiing.

Michael showed up shortly after I returned home from skiing. He is an owner-operator who drives for Joyce Van Lines..... He was coming from Connecticut on his way to the Twin Cities. From there he's off to Spokane, Washington. His home is in Indianapolis, whenever he gets there. I think that I'd like to be a truck driver for about a month. After that I think I'd go crazy from never being home. He's been on the road for 2 months without a break. No thanks! My middle son Eric drives, as does Judy's brother. Not my cup of green tea.

Ok, that's enough for now. Thanks to the crew at Europa for the skis and the Craft skull cap. Wow! That cap is awesome under my fleece stocking cap. Perfect for xc skiing. It was 6F when I went out on Saturday and 4F when I got back home. My head was perfectly warm and my hands were good in the Salsa 3 fingered gloves.

Peace out, yo!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wednesday the 7th...

Wendy from Bagley.....

Wendy works at the Fairfield Inn in St. Cloud, which is my home away from home when I'm up here in The Great White North. She's like the Boss of this place and runs a tight ship to make sure that the guests don't get too rowdy and out of control. (she used to play hockey and I've been told that she throws a pretty mean check) I just found out tonight that she's also a Bona Fide rock star!!!! The truth guys, I swear. She sings in a group called The Bad Animals (a HEART tribute band) and actually had Led Zep open for them a few weeks back. Check them out on the web at I got her autograph and a permanent (read: lifetime) backstage pass at any of their shows! A rock star and a super nice lady besides! If you ever get the chance to go see them play, do it!

It wasn't as cold up here today as it was there in Iowa but was still plenty chilly. I actually had to wear a jacket to work this morning! Coming home tomorrow with a truck and a printing press. I haven't driven anything bigger than a pickup truck since i got out of the Army back in '79. Well, maybe twice, but it was still awhile back. Wish all the other drivers out there luck tomorrow!

I hope there's still some snow left there this weekend so I can do a little more skiing. Still waiting on the new skis but hey, the old ones will still work! I'm sure they'll be in any day now. It keeps me awake at night thinking about it.

Kerkove's idea of riding in shorts this weekend and getting some sun sounds like a good idea. High 30's sounds pretty good. Funny how that works, huh?

The next installment of Jackal as a Pup should be published this weekend. I think I'll talk about him and "Jesse the Baby Klansman" this time. Poor Jesse. I also think I have Judy softened up to the point that she'll scan the "lederhosen" picture for me so I can post it here in the near future. Looking forward to that.

That's enough for now.

Peace out, yo!

Oh yeah! I almost forgot. It's official.... Effective January 1st, 2006, Yours Truly has been promoted to General Manager of Production in the Iowa POS facility. That was a secret but it's not anymore..... Do you think having responsibility for about 120 employees will change my hair color?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Saturday the 3rd of December...

Jackal thinking......... "and visions of Cannondale flashed through my head"

Don't eat yellow snow!

Yup, a fridge on the Cedar by the Hackett Road boat ramp....

Bicycling today? Nope, perhaps tomorrow...

Skiing in Hartman North today...

The new poles. Wish I had my new skis.... " Soon", says the Boss... The Salsa gloves are warm!

The old skis.... They still work...

Brother of Jackal says " I moved back here from Arizona for this?"

Yeah, It's snow in the first week of December....

The drive back from The Great White North was uneventful last night. I passed a plow on 218 up by Waverly that had a Deputy following it. They were doing about 40 mph and I was doing closer to 70. He didn't come after me.... "Too fast for conditions". Oh well. Passed a lot of cars last night. I didn't run into any snow until I was up by Northwood, Iowa. Then it became the "normal winter driving conditions" that we all love so much here in Iowa.

Went up to the shop today and talked to Jackal and Jeff and picked up my new ski poles then ordered a set of studded snow tires for the yellow bike. Jackal tells me that Ron is checking into studs too. Kerkove rides in winter without them..... He's younger and will heal faster than me. Simple as that. The Boss tells me that my new skis should be in "any day". I'm looking forward to that! He showed me his shaft drive "restoration project". Pretty cool! Something older than I am!

I went skiing in Hartman North this afternoon for about 3 hours. There were no ski tracks when I got there so I broke a couple of miles of trail. It was good snow for it today and I pretty much followed the bike trails in the woods. I met a young couple coming into the woods as I was coming out. They looked like they were pretty new to it but seemed to be having fun. It'll make you sweat, baby! Woohoo! I'll probably go out there for awhile in the morning then perhaps the Greenbelt on the north side of Ridgeway for awhile. Hope someone's been out there and broke trail! I'll drive back to St. Cloud in the afternoon for 4 more days of adventure in the wilderness. I'm going to rent a truck up there and come back Thursday with a printing press that we're installing in Waterloo. It's all good.

That's all for now. Have a great weekend and be safe if you have to go out in the snow. Don't eat the yellow stuff!

Peace out, yo!