From the Top Of The Hill

My butt's planted back in Lincoln. The livin' is easy and friends are aplenty. Life is good.

Monday, October 31, 2005


So I'm sitting here at home alone, my roommates have left two huge, Huge, HUGE bowls of candy for me to distribute (and snack from). I've got my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers playing on Monday Night Football... I'm happy!

Now, I haven't had to deal with trick-or-treaters for a long time. I lived in apartments, which aren't big trick-or-treating grounds (although, as a kid, you'd think you'd be all over that--a new door every 30ft, up to 20 in one building? Score!) I've had some very cute little kids come to the door, and been told, "Thank you Senor." That's a first.

I've also noticed lots of older kids, I'd say peaking around 15 or 16. I think I might start enforcing a rule, if you're taller than me, you don't get any candy. And if you're not wearing a costume (all black clothes don't count) you don't get any candy.

Boo! Humbug!

Halloween Addendum

More trick-or-treaters. There's something odd about Halloween in California. Warm weather means skimpier costumes on the moms. Seriously, sexy French maids, naughty police women, harlots.

"Here's some candy for you little kids, and thank your mom for the eye-candy."

I don't get it. I'm not saying it's right. I'm just saying it's there.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Why am I always picked last for basketball?

Mark, Szabi, Scott and me in Malibu this last weekend. It was cloudy and foggy all weekend long, that was the least of our problems. Through all of our "catastrophes" we managed to have a pretty good time.

The first disaster to befall us, the transmission on the minivan Mark was driving decided to blow up near Ventura. We decided to have the vehicle towed to our campsite in Malibu and deal with the problem in the morning. Everybody couldn't fit in the tow-truck, so Szabi and I rode in the minivan while it was being towed. It looks like we had a pretty good time.

Lesson learned from this trip? Mobile phones don't like hot tubs. Yup, I pulled a CVO and jumped in with my phone in my pocket. Took me at least 20 minutes before I remembered it was in my pocket. This presented us with our second disaster: how to get a hold of Scott. He was flying in to LA Friday morning, renting a car and then calling us to get directions to our campground. He only had my phone number, and we only had his number on my phone. My very wet and non-functioning phone. Somehow through the use of a pre-paid cell phone, a pay phone, a calling card, a bunch of expensive credit card calls, RockD at Cycle Works, a secretary at an architecture firm and Scott's dad we were able to contact Scott and all was well. Oh yeah, the phone dried out two days later and miraculously started working again. Technology is amazing!

Grand Island in the hiz-ouse! I wasn't the only one representing Hall County at the Santa Monica peir. Anyone know whose car this is?

Sign seen at our campground. Apparently there's a bunch of dangerous garden hoses running loose. Or wild, vicious bull-whips? Maybe rabid extension cords?

The boys on our hillside campsite overlooking the ocean. Oh yeah, you may be wondering what else went wrong for us this weekend. Well, all I can tell you is I'll never view a donut box or houndstooth jacket the same way ever again.

Pretty picture time.

And another.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It never rains in Southern California?

Liars. It's been raining here. A bunch.

Good thing: The rain has put out all the fires.

Bad thing: Now all we have to worry about is mudslides.

And Californians prefer this to tornados?

I went for a hike this last weekend up a canyon. The road I was following was a bit tricky to navigate, especially for a guy who's recovering from a broken foot.

LA's subway system leaves a lot to be desired.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

As I was leaving the house today I encountered a very odd meteorlogical event. Water was falling from the sky in the form of tiny globules. These droplets were cool and felt quite refreshing. A nice change of pace from the only two forms of weather I've experienced here so far: hot and hotter.The rain didn't last long, but I was able to see a rainbow before it was over.

So I'm discovering strip malls aren't all that bad. In between the Subways, Cost Cutters, UPS Stores and Starbucks you sometimes find little gems. I'm still searching for a used book shop and an independent music store, but in the meantime I enjoy tasty Peruvian food at Rosarito Fresh, just down the road from where I live. I'm pretty sure I don't pronouncing their menu items correctly, the counter girl always giggles at me when I order.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Tonight Clarke and I had to drive to Ventura to a Trek store opening to see Bob Roll speak. Ok, we had to display all the new Manitou forks too, but seeing ol' Bobke was an enjoyable surprise. I learned some interesting things from Mr.Roll. He says "Tour DAY France" simply to piss off the French. And Lance is so angry about the whole positive test sample scandal that he MIGHT come back to win an eighth tour--simply to piss of the French. And lastly, I learned that Phil Liggett is drunkard and that Bob shaved his mutton-chops to appease the TV producers.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

All things Inter-Bike and Lost Wages, Nevada

Well, I survived.

I was kinda bummin' on the trip to Vegas and Interbike. I didn't mind having to work another event, but Vegas isn't exactly one of my favorite places. I've been there twice before, I've seen the sights, I've gambled, I've lost money, I've eaten buffets... really, what more is there?

Okay, there's the clubs, but they cost money and I really didn't want to spend that much money. Vegas still found a way to get it's grubby hands into my wallet. Here's a tip, if you're at an over-priced, sub-par Mexican resaraunt in Vegas that doesn't even have the decency to serve margaritas on the rocks, do not--I repeat DO NOT--get sour cream with your meal when they offer it to you. We ended up paying almost $4 for sour cream that was not marked as costing extra. And don't even get me started on the price of beer at this place. Thankfully the night was saved by buying $2 24oz. tall-boys from some liquor store on the strip, watching the weirdos on the strip and seeing how many stripper cards we could collect.

On Dirt Demo (or more accurately, In Dirt Demo as Clarke calls it) was hot and dusty. I'd like to give a big thank you to the Cove guys for providing us with visual entertainment at the demo. I can't say that I really saw anything super-cool. I think I've either been around bikes too long or the industry as a whole is reaching a plateau.

I only went to one day of the actual expo, got to wander around a bit. Pushed on some competitors forks, checked out some bling. Of interest, Paul had a crankset on display, White Industries has a double chainring crankset, that when combined with their double FW allows you to have two gears on a single-speed that doesn't change chain length.

Manitou had a snazzy new booth, designed and built in Lincoln. Yes, boring, flat Nebraska will one day be the center of the cycling universe.

My foot is feeling ok. It probably would be doing even better had I not walked the strip without my boot.

Oh yeah, I got out of Vegas without gambling a single cent. I think that means I WIN!!!!

With this many Nebraska guys in Vegas for Interbike, you know there's going to be trouble.

Surly has unicycles now. Presenting the Conundrum. Available in 24" and 26" wheel sizes with mounts for Magura hydro rim brakes. Fits up to a 3.7" tire. I will own one. And yes, I know I'm a big dork.

DeSalvo steel track bike. Weighs less than 13 lbs.