Friday, December 29, 2006

Visiting the Folks

The holidays for many people center around a visit with the folks. This year was different for me as it has been over 12 years since I visited Mom and Dad. My bro, Donald and I loaded up the car with a bucket, towels, garden shears and shovels for this year's visit to see dear Mom and Dad. At Rose Hill Cemetery in Whittier, CA, the grave stones needed some edging and the flower pots were buried under 4-5 inches of thick grass and soil, as it was nearly 2 years since Don's last visit.
Entering the cemetery there were flowers, trees, wreaths littering the landscape as we rolled over the hills of green lawn. I realized more than ever that these places of final resting are no doubt for the living. I thought about all the grieving souls of those with the pain of loss, then realized that EVERYONE experiences it sooner or later. It is a part of life. And as odd as this may sound...and as Don reminded me...I am so thankful we have death and dying. Without such a finality to our lives, we would take life for granted and piss away each day (as some still do).
Today was another reminder that I shall live with purpose and intention - every day. This was the final gift my parents left me more than 13 years ago. They were two of the most amazing people I have ever known. I gave them both a hug today. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Downey, CA


Yesterday was a trip down memory lane. I rode my bike from Long Beach, CA to Downey, CA (a 3.5 hour ride in total). Downey is where I spent 24 years of my life...and this was my first trip back in 15 years. I made a small mistake biking up the concrete river beds and ended up near Knott's Berry Farm (Buena Park) later having to bike through the ghettos of Norwalk (yikes) to get back to the San Gabriel River Channel.

These river beds are austere and a nascent, macabre indication of irreverent attitude toward mother earth as they finger from the hills throughout the LA basis. These concrete channels are great for Hollywood action flicks and are an efficient way for water to get back to the ocean given that the entire 400 square miles of Los Angeles is paved. Oh, they are also great for biking as it is nearly 100 miles of uninterrupted riding paths.

Exiting the surreal riverbed at Florence Avenue in Downey, I first cruised by my ol' buddy Vicki's house. Gosh I found it right away even through the school across the street had been sold off to a housing developer and there were McMansions all over the place. I was amazed at how much the place changed, yet stayed the same. Trees were taller, homes the same but different colors or additions made. I marveled most at how the water gathered in the gutters in the same locations I remembered, how the grass looked the same, how the pavement held the same grain and hues...and each of these elements unleashed crazy memories that likely would have remained lodged in my brain never reaching consciousness without this journey.

So Downey is a crazy town. It is home of the oldest original McDonald's (2nd one built after San Bernardino) and the first and original Taco Bell. Its rather shocking I will not step foot in any processed, mass marketed fast food joint with these deep roots is junk food. Downey is also home to the Blasters, Carpenters, Rockwell's Space Shuttle, Tinker Juarez (mountain bike 24 hour fame) and now a population that is largely 60% Hispanic. Wealthy Latinos moved into Downey during the late 80's and early 90's and the simple suburban lawns spotted with orange trees of my childhood have been transformed to expensive brickwork, moats, dolphin fountains...and the Christmas decorations are out of control. All of this visual exploration reinforces that change is a part of life...

Monday, December 25, 2006

An Old Movie

I can't believe I made it from SF to LA in 5.5 hours in my jammin' Audi A4. I love that little car...and wow can it fly. The Starbucks station on XM satelliate radio became my best friend during this part of my journey (as well as most of it). I put the dial to 75 and hummed along at an average speed of 85 miles an hour down I-5. I got into some interesting head (thinking) space pondering about all kinds of thoughts that have not spawned in quite some time. Its been 10 years since I'd been in Los Angeles, and although I had spent my entire childhood here….thoughts were racing through my head like one of those movies you’ve seen several times over, but haven’t actually watched in many years (yet deeper); for me that movie was Breakfast Club and I could quote many lines from it, especially when they were all stoned during detention (but I digress). Here are some things that were found floating in my gray matter:

a) The taste of Marie Callendars’ corn bread;
b) The hum of interstate 405;
c) The feel of the sun on your skin in December;
d) The view of the San Gabriel Mountains;
e) Personalized License Plates (just to extend one's image to the auto);
f) Friends who’s lives touched me, but we’ve lost touch.

San Francisco Musings and Coit Callings

Okay, it was there...staring at me, calling my name..."Lisa, Lisa...come climb me!" So I dragged my poor friend Melissa up this beastly little hill (site of the Prologue for last year's tour of California). Oh gosh...it was fun! Melissa will tell you different.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Road Trip

Yesterday I finally released myself from Seattle (it was holding onto me and not letting me go after such a long hiatus of being gone for 2.5 years). I departed my house with a loaded up car (bike included) and hit the road at 6pm. Getting into a groove driving south through Portland and onward, with San Francisco the destination for today...I landed in Medford, Oregon around 12:30am at some cheap hotel, one that just looked like some place I wouldn't contract a disease after 7 hours of slumber. Success.

Can I say I love XM radio? Its critical for people on long road trips (that and a great imagination). The other interesting thing I discovered is that those people on long stretches of road between major metropolitan destinations are geriatrics (in big boaty Buicks) and college students...all of which were passing me on the vast stretches of highway. I realize that these segments of the population have the time to engage in such a crazy adventure. I am also realizing that I'm loving the time...as you don't get much time by yourself to ponder the world around you. OH, and there is this entire other world called "rest area" culture...more on that later.

11.5 hours later and nearly 800 miles (whew I flew), I landed in San Francisco and could feel all the old energy of the city I had once habitated. Wow, its a cool town. I love the creative energy I feel here.


Hanging at my cool friend Mel and Mike's (mike is an avid reader of my blog - Hi Mike), we went to dinner on the east bay. It was fun, entertaining (mostly because we made it so) and we laughed all the way home.

Gosh....
Life is so good!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Manifesto

Have you created your manifesto? Webster says that manifesto is a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives or views of the issuer. I think my blog is fairly public so here goes a couple elements to my manifesto (none of which I profess to have originated, but that which resonate with me personally):

a) Do something every day that scares you;
b) Be the change I want to see in the world and others, everyday;
c) Only I have the power to destroy the day, and I choose not to;
d) Be curious, every moment of life;
e) Use it or lose it (including the smallest of muscles in your body);
f) Be present, Be inspiring, Bring lightness into the world;
g) God gave us the earth, I shall care for it like a precious child.

Monday, December 18, 2006

GOOD Ear and Brain Candy

Brain Candy:
On Love - Alain de Botton
eloquent book (re-read) on the oddities of love;

Excuse Me Your life is Waiting
brilliant book on law of attraction;

Spiritual Nutrition - Gabriel Cousins
fascinating book on connecting what we eat to our life center;

Ear Candy:
Sarah Harmer - absolute
Rogue Wave - california
Josh Ritter - animal years
Carbon Leaf - changeless
Black Lab - circus lights
Reindeer Section - you are my joy
Youth Group - forever young

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Personal Experiments

After diving into a raw food joint in Patagonia last fall...I've been fascinated with raw foods and much of the ingredients used. Why? Because I feel so damn good. But then I often think my feeling good has a lot to do with the fact I quit my job. My latest buzz?

Coconut Oil and various coconut fats (butter, meat, etc.). This is actually an amazing fat because although it has a high saturated content (reportedly bad, right?) it does not create the free radicals or oxidative stress in the body like all other saturated fats (which come from animal meats). In fact, it doesn't oxidize even when heated! Even olive oil oxidizes (you know that bottle that turns rancid) after just a few short months on the counter. So just as we try to focus our diets on lots of antioxidants, consuming an oxidative fat is like reversing all the good we do in eating antioxidant foods! Coconut oil, butter, meat is an amazing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lubricate for your joints, skin and hair.

Then I read this study about farmers that fed cattle coconut oil because it was cheap and they needed a way to fatten up the cows quickly. But wait...theses cows started exhibiting more energy and lost weight. The farmers quickly turned to canola and soy oils and the cows fattened up nicely. Hmmmmmm.

Well, my personal experiment had me switching most of my fat consumption to Coconut oil and away from Olive Oil without any other changes in my diet (and actually I have had less exercise with all the cold weather here in Seattle but tons of energy). This past week I got on the scale and I was down 7-8 lbs and 2% body fat from October. Needless to say my skin and hair feel amazing (so I'm told - ha, ha, ha), and I feel great. Maybe you should check it out too - more info here.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

God Love the French

A new study was released on reservatol, a phytonutrient found in red wine. This study was conducted by French researchers that found this phytonutrient playing a key role in increasing endurance in athletes, fighting obesity and prolonging life. Well, they did study mice in the research...and I'm advocating we all engage in the study on a personal level. French wines are great...and I'm especially fond of the Bourgogne flavors found in the terrior around Beaune. Cheers!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Breathe

I'm taking a breathing class here in Tucson, AZ. It was a good excuse to get to warmer weather and see some good friends. Some things I've learned this weekend...

1) Our mind likes to play in the past and the future (creating worry or regret). If we spend time in the present, we avoid our mind playing in these spaces and allow our TRUE self to be felt;

2) Breath is nothing but the present. We typically only use 30% of our capacity and it precludes precious oxygen from reaching critical areas of our bodies. Oxygen is also cleansing and curing and nurtures our immune system.

3) Breathing deeply, intensely and rhythmically forces us to be in the present moment. Its pretty cool....try it.

More later....

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sans Leg Warmers

A cyclist friend and I were debating at what temperature does one need to wear leg warmers. I said it needed to be in the 40's. He said it needed to be in the 60's. I'm happy to report that riding in the 60's with Sun is no problem for me (as I snicker post ride from warm and sunny Tucson today). What am I doing here? Getting sun! I'm also taking a breathing class. Apparently my doc seems to think I forgot how to do it. Let's see.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow Day

Today was an official snow day in Seattle (schools closed, government offices, heck even Microsoft closed its campus). I think when you work for yourself snow days have a different meaning...your wallet, your cost! So with MY snow day... I ice skated down my driveway, blew frost smoke rings, and blew my nose too many times to count. Ah yes...winter in Seattle. WAIT! 19 degrees F; that's not right...is it?

Stop the Shop

Christmas is pretty easy for me ever since I was 24. It was at that moment I released myself from all REQUIRED gift buying and only moved toward getting and making things for people I felt needed something or I truly wanted to give (rather than forced to give because some holiday says we should). It was pretty darn freeing once I moved to this new space - better yet, I LOVE the holidays. YOU can get there too. STEP 1: Tell all your friends and family that you will NOT be giving gifts this year as a way to avoid superficial consumerism. STEP 2: Advise people right and left that you are joining in the TRUE spirit of Christmas (buying lots of wine for group consumption is ok). STEP 3: if Steps 1-2 fail, you should shop locally and or sustainable. Some gift ideas for those that have unforgiving friends.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Goji Berry WARNING

I made myself the most lovely salad for lunch yesterday...after returning from a rugged bike ride. I'm now making a PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: WARNING...Goji Berries are dangerous. Those little buggers might be full of antioxidants...and you might think they are your typical soft cuddly little dried fruit from high atop the Himalayas...but heed warning...they BREAK TEETH! Now I've got to go to the dentist first thing Monday. Ugh!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanks!

There is a Chinese proverb that says:

"When eating bamboo shoots, remember the man (or woman) who planted them."

To me this is a profound concept for our grand ol' day of thanks...and it should be taken further. I'm finding a lot of benefit in mindful, or better yet, concsious eating. Mindful eating focuses on the messages our bodies give us about hunger and satiation. Conscious eating takes these objectives to another level and asks us to be more present during the process of nourishment. For example...when I fix my breakfast, before I consume it (which right now I'm really into sprouted quinoa, cinnamon, almonds, goji berries and almond milk - okay so I'm a little funky right now)...I think about the following:

Give thanks to the farmers who planted the food, think about the sun's energy used to grow the seeds, nuts, berries...think about the water that nourished it, think about the people in the Himalayas who picked my berries, the truckers that carried the goods in their rigs through sleepless nights...to the store clerk that allowed me to purchase it. I think about all that power, energy and people embodied in this little bowl of cereal...and I'm grateful! I eat a bite and feel that energy, that love, that gratitude.

Try it sometime. It makes your food taste so good...and you become energized and blessed by it. I'm not kidding!

Here is another quote of Gratitude...

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. --Melody Beattie

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sugar

Most of you know I'm a bit of a health geek. I'm often ask what sugar (or artificial substitute) I consume? Basic answer (as with anything we put in our precious bodies) Don't deviate from the natural state. My sweet of choice?

1. Agave syrup (slow processor in the body) as my liquid sugar when maple syrup is needed (and calories for a good long bike ride); NEXT
2. Stevia (natural leaf that fools our tongue) in tea, cooking, etc (when I don't need calories and there are other great nutritional elements to the food I'm eating). Newer versions have less after taste and I recommend Sweet Leaf Liquid with Vanilla Creme.

What about Splenda????
DUMP IT! Its a chemical! What? Yeah...that's right its actually a chlorine derivative. Chlorine? But wait, it's just sugar that has been modified. Modified? This is crazy speak! Can't you remember those summer days in the highly chlorinated pool that made your eyes burn? Well, drink it...its just water!?? So why does Splenda (or Sucralose) get to claim its just sugar when saccharin (pink packet) also started with sugar as did aspartame (blue packet).

Sucralose (Splenda) is a chlorocarbon (chlorine has been added to sugar molecule - therefore not its natural state). Chlorocarbons have long histories of causing organ, genetic, and reproductive damage. Sucralose use is linked to 40 percent shrinkage of the thymus: a gland that is the very foundation of our immune system. Sucralose causes swelling of the liver and kidneys, and CALCIFICATION of the kidney. So I tell you....DUMP IT!

Oddly, our nation is getting fatter since the widespread introduction of artificial sweeteners into the food supply. Why? Fact: When we eat something sweet, but do not take in any calories, our bodies crave more calories than if we ate real sugar. Thus with artificial sweeteners we run the rat race of unsatiated hunger. For many people, the more they eat of the artificial stuff, the more weight they gain, and the more they crave sweet foods. Further, these artificial sweetened foods are usually empty calories (no nutritional value - at bleached wheats and simple starches). Hunger continues and is never satiated because the body is not getting nutrients it needs.

FEED your body the good stuff and moderate what you eat!
Okay...I'm off my soap box now.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

My 3rd El Tour

Today I rode 109 miles on my bike at an average pace of 21 miles an hour. That's pretty amazing. Upon finishing...I felt the best I have in years. This is the 3rd year in a row and this year felt easier as I hammered at an average of 165 bpm heart rate for the last 50 miles. WOW. I realized that with lots of rest, no stress, we can stress our bodies longer (duh!). I vote for taking stress out of our lives as much as possible so we engage in fun stresses!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

El Tour de Taco

I set out at 10am to meet Guy at Ventana Resort (where he is staying). With a list of Tucson's finest tacos in my pocket...Guy was giddy about the mission...to sample Tucson's tacos and bike there doing it. The first venue was St. Mary's. We gave it a C. Then we went to the sacred shrine of tacos....Pico Di Gallo. We went no further. WOW! Hand made corn, your choice of pescado, barbacoa, carne asada, ceviche, yadda, yadda. We finished with some fine mexican fruit ice to sooth the habanero sauce. Oh...wait, we now need to bike back! 50 miles, three tacos, lots of water...and smiles on the faces.

Glowing Ball in the Sky

Seattle is breaking records this month for rain. A lot of the wet stuff has fallen from the sky, with ample clouds covering the heavens each day. Recently I heard the word "sun" and I had to look it up on wikipedia to remember what its all about. WELL, yesterday I saw it again...and rode my bike for 3 hours in unfettered sunshine, slight breeze out of the northwest and 80 degrees. Yes, I'm biking the next 5 days in Tucson, AZ. Its nice to visit the Sun. Funny, I've been here for a day...love the dryness...but know where I belong; land of trees, moisture, culture, oh...and rain!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dinner with Fish Mongers

My neighbor Bugs (as he is called) has been a fish monger at pikes place market for nearly 10 years (and the guy is under 30 years old) - here is is mug shot. He and his wife had me over for dinner last night with their friends who own and operate Frank's produce at Pikes Place market. It was cool....so needless to say we had quite a foodie experience. Wow! It was also fun to learn about market culture...and how people look out for each other and take care of the needs of all (including those in the community). Bugs and Alissa (his wife) just purchased matt's in the market (a very cool restaurant)...and its soon to be one of my local hangs. A hip evening of drinking Chateau Neuf de Pape (yum) mole drenched loin, arugula salad and wine soaked clams (from the market). Cheers!

Tie my hands behind my back...

I often think of myself as a pretty good cook. At least I know I like what I fix...and know when I've not "hit" it. Last year I met an artist that challenges her creativity by establishing rules about how she will paint her next canvas to challenge her skills. I decided to attempt a similar tactic.

So...I could only cook with items made from natural, organic non-animal sources. Okay...so making menus on vegan fare is no big deal, been there done that (although I'm really good with slabs of meat). So to up the anty, I decided that I would do only RAW foods, meaning I couldn't cook anything but could apply heat up to 150 degrees. Why is this important? Well, RAW foodies know that food carry natural enzymes that provide power and energy to our bodies. When we cook food (i.e. heat above 150 degrees - or 118 degrees extended) we destroy these properties and our bodies actually must do work to process it. So to make this challenge even greater I invited two people I've never dined with previously over with two other friends. Gosh. I was sweating bullets on this one. It was a success! Or at least I thought so! Here was the menu:

Openers:
Avocado Hummus and Jicama Sticks
Cracked Pepper and Dill Sunflower Aoli
Mejool Dates with Macadamia Nut "cheeze"

First Course:
Zucchini Lasagna with Pistachio Pesto

Second Course:
White corn portabello tamales with raw cacao mole

Dessert:
Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream w/Fresh figs and Coconut Chocolate

Correction

I love it that people close to the pulse and in the know "muddled muses." Therefore I must post a retraction/correction to the post about Dr. Carmona who became the new EVP at da Ranch in Tucson. And the letter to the editor was as follows: "FYI, Dr. Carmona does NOT drive a yellow Hummer -- he drives a 12-year-old BMW. One of his friends left a white Hummer for him to use several months ago when he first returned to Tucson and his car was in the shop, but mostly it sat in his driveway. He really is a great guy and brings a whopping load of common sense and true leadership to CR. Personally I think he walks on water."

Friday, November 10, 2006

Busy

Ok, Ok....
I'll write soon!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

TV for the Educated

Now...when I have more free time, I get to sleep 8-9 hours a night (wow is that a luxury), can clean my dishes as soon as I'm done with them (as opposed to piling them up for washing on Saturdays), do my laundry when its dirty, read that article in the WSJ when I'm interested (rather than putting it in the "to be read" pile), AND amazingly...I now have at least 1 hour a day I can actually watch Television. Its not something I will elect to make a discipline and I'm the type of person that so likes control...so commercials and slow paced local news (rather than surfing the internet) completely annoys me. SO...I'm an I-tunes junkie when it comes to my Videopod.

Just last week I read an article in the WSJ about the new TV show by Sorkin (West Wing fame) called Studio 60. The article basically said that such a brilliant show was popular with the educated crowd and not middle America. This concerned the network (toward possible cancel) because the educated audience really doesn't view commercials given their DVD-R/Tivo machines. This issue is quite parallel to the shows theme. I guess someone needs to pay for the nearly $3M per episode. Well...with my hour a day...I downloaded the Pilot and first show of this series. WOW, brilliant TV. This is the stuff for the progressive, educated folks (like me and the readers of my blog). Well, I've since downloaded the 5-6 episodes created as of date and plan to watch (and support) the show on its Monday nights at 10pm (at least once).

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Medical Secrets

Since leaving CR, I've continued to be deeply interested in the health and wellness arena (maybe more so). I believe that if we have a passion, its where we do our best work. Further...I spend endless hours reading about what makes us tick...that I'm deeply fascinated by what I can learn. Yesterday I spoke with an amazing woman who single handedly found her own cure for MS (saw a blue ribbon panel report to the governor on local access). I found her through a web search and a link to her drug company she created to offer the cure to others (because drug companies are only interested in making pills we need to take for life - no money in the one power pill that cures us). She is a registered nurse, entrepreneur and passionate person. She has uncovered other areas where the incentives in medical care screw us. She shared her stories and research...here are just twoexamples:

1. Epidural Use - these are highly profitable procedures for hospitals in childbirth (almost pressured to have them). What is known is that as these procedures have increased, so has childhood autism (hmmmm). Just think how many people you know who have kids suffering from this condition. Well after careful research, we know that a child's brain continues to develop the higher thinking (socialization) elements to its nervous system 7 days after birth (when we think all that is developed prior to birth). When a mother is administered an epidural, it releases a synthetic hormone that creates a chemical imbalance preventing this process from continuing. Its staggering and you can read it here. Talk to your soon to be mothers.

2. SIDS - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the highest in the US of all of the 13th industrialized nations. Why? Well...we know that SIDS can be prevented by a mother taking Magnesium such that her risks of her child having SIDS is reduced to .001%. Why do we not get enough magnesium? Well the natural blocker for magnesium is calcium (read more here). Our media and dairy industry tells us to drink our milk! Then we take calcium supplements on top of all of that drinking. Balance, Balance, Balance!

More tidbits later...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

LinkedIN

I just logged into a networking website called LinkedIN. Its an electronic professional network; amazing really. I have just 5 people that I'm currently "LinkedIN" on the FIRST degree (via invite). HOWEVER, when I search my network of 5 people and who they are linked into....WOW! My network included some people in industries that I've wanted to (or may want to) connect with in the future. Check it out here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Play Shed

Okay...remember when you had one of these little joints? Maybe it was fisher price? Maybe the neighbor kid had one? My sis and I had a custom house....with doors and windows. Some kids got those swanky victorian models, well ours was a white bungalow...not a cute one, but one you'd find in south central LA or watts (no silver spoon stuck in this kid's mouth). Well I think play sheds were really about getting the kids out of mom's hair. Sorta like a temporary sanity check for mom and Dad. Funny, 30 years later I'm building one for myself. Its my own sanity check of sorts. But its very, very cool and I've got so many plans for it right now. This includes, cycling/spin studio, bike storage, ski storage, ski waxing bench, ski hot box...and my latest thinking...a pilates studio with a high end reformer (to get those killer abs). I think I can make it all fit. Here is the latest shot of the progress of my play shed (just this weekend), which is being done with sustainable building materials and products. Cool.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday in Fall

Saturdays are wonderful. I'm shocked that they still feel like the day of rest for me despite not having any weekly work attachments. For some reason I thought each day would feel similar when I have no direct responsibilities to my week. I guess Saturdays feel wonderful because there is just a different energy to people and our lives are filled with interactions. I also think that the notion of a Sabbath, our day of rest, still penetrates our very core and soul.

My Sabbath started with a 3 hour ride in the fog to Woodinville, a charming, hilly area just north east of Lake Washington. I rushed home for my Pilates session (posture is so improving), then tootled to a fabulous winery out in Woodinville...only to join some amazing people for a 4 HOUR dinner experience at Elemental back in Seattle near Gasworks Park. Although the food was not immaculate in its presentation and complexity, the wine pairings and palate explosions from the combinations were nothing short of brilliant. This little venue (only 5 tables) provided for an evening of pure whimsy and joy with some amazing good friends that have quickly become my great friends. Gosh I love Saturdays.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Life is Wonderful

It takes a crane to build a crane
It takes two floors to make a story
It takes an egg to make a hen
It takes a hen to make an egg
There is no end to what I'm saying

It takes a thought to make a word
And it takes some words to make an action
And it takes some work to make it work
It takes some good to make it hurt
It takes some bad for satisfaction

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la

It takes a night to make it dawn
And it takes a day to make you yawn brother
And it takes some old to make you young
It takes some cold to know the sun
It takes the one to have the other

And it takes no time to fall in love
But it takes you years to know what love is
And it takes some fears to make you trust
It takes those tears to make it rust
It takes the dust to have it polished

Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la

It is so...

It takes some silence to make sound
And it takes a loss before you found it
And it takes a road to go nowhere
It takes a toll to make you care
It takes a hole to make a mountain

Ah la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life goes full circle
Ah la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la life is meaningful
Ah la la la la la life is wonderful
Ah la la la la la

It is so...wonderful...
It is so meaningful...

-lyrics by Jason Mraz (get this song is rocks!)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wednesday

Yesterday I plopped some cash down on some private Pilates sessions (5 to be exact), scored my Yoga Tree membership and I am now on a regular routine to get my breathing and body (head & heart) back together. Wow I feel great! I'm down to 141 lbs (my fighting weight) and I've been eating raw foods, which has caused my skin and appearance to just radiate (must be the freedom too). I'm now sleeping 8 to 9 hours a night. So healing... OOPS....gotta run to Pilates.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

British Invasion

Friday night was a evening of spontaneous fun. I met my buds at Black Bottle in downtown Seattle (cool little black turtleneck hang - a gastro tavern). Suddenly my friend Simone flies in with excitement about the eight (8) tixs she scored from her pal DJ on the mountain for the 22 year-old one man British invasion named Jamie Cullum. I don't know if you've heard this chap's music...better yet if you've seen in him concert...AMAZING. Probably the best concert I've seen in 10 years. This guy is an amazing performer...kinda like a Harry Connick Jr., mixed with some acid punk (leaping off the piano). The art production and video background was nothing short of brilliant. Well...down-load this guys music...his version of Radio Head's song "High & Dry" that broke out into a brazillian mambo...well, I'm a loss for words. Other great tunes..."London Skies", "All at Sea."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Research is Conclusive

Saw this and had to share it...
I think I saw this on Al Gore's movie about the planet. Kidding.

Unemployed?

Okay... I never thought unemployment could be so busy. Gosh...I had to wake up at 5am to drive my car to the Audi dealer, then bike to the post office, then home (aggressively), then get my house ready for the arrival of the moving truck. Unpacking was sparsely filled with meeting my Landscape Architect, my contractor (who is currently making a cool SOHO style loft in my backyard - pictures to follow), talk to my attorney, finish my LLC formation, bike back to get my car, eat then....whew! Today I'm headed out to Woodenville to bike about 60 miles with my teammates. Looks like it might just be a wet one!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Progress

So my contractor has been working, ever so slowly on my very trick bathroom and guest suite downstairs. Its nearly done...and will be fitted out tomorrow (notice my cool euro shower and rainhead - yes!). Today...they commenced the work on my master play shed outside (aka garage). Yes, this will house my bikes, fitness gear, skis, waxing bench, spin bikes, etc, etc (what every good pacific Northwesterner cherishes). Basically we are poping up a clear story with south facing light (three windows from restore at $50 bucks each). The picture below shows the first signs of something happening (framing for the clearstory)! Also, it was a gorgeous day here in Seattle at 60 degrees and sunny. A perfect fall day in every way.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Late October

Carefully
The leaves of autumn
Sprinkle down the tinny
Sounds of little dyings

And Skies sated of ruddy sunsets
of roseate dawns
Roil ceaselessly in cobweb grays
And turn to black
For comfort

Only lovers
See the fall
As a signal end to endings
A gruffish gesture alerting
Those who will not be alarmed
That we begin to stop

In order simply
To begin
Again.

- maya angelou -

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Craigin'

I was in major sell mode today. I took my digital camera around my house, taking pictures of all the things I've had hangin' around. After I completed this photo collection I craiglisted it. Wammo...within minutes people were calling, coming over, giving me cash and taking all the unused stuff (aka crap) away. Today I collected around $250. Wow, what a purge, plus cash (which is always good when you are unemployed). I then took $50 bucks of my new cash and purchased two tickets to Bodies the Exhibition (click here to see). I go on October 27th. You've got to check it out. If you are not doing anything on October 27th...come on out to Seattle and join me.

Bad Ass Trail

Devil's Gulch is the most tasty mountain bike trail you can find, ANYWHERE. Pure buff trail some challenging uphills and a whipy rollercoaster ride for nearly 4 hours! Bill and I headed out today at 8am for the eastside of the mountains (where it was Sunny and 70 degrees all day). The fall color was peaking and aspens were glowing. WOW. We bombed out about 15 miles and several thousand feet of gain. YES!!! I love biking the eastern side in the fall. We raced home and I had, yet ANOTHER birthday celebration at my dear friend Simone's house. Life is Good!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Bday

Today its my sister's birthday. She is kewl. She is also a twin. Wait, its my birthday too yeah!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Me Bitniss

Yellow Hummin

Okay...I found this hilarious little cartoon (click to see the humor)...and had to share it given it's what I think each time a see the infamous "assault vehicle" on our modest American streets - da Hummer.
A little tidbit: I just learned that Dr. Carmona (former S General of the US and now "big wig" and new LEADER at "the Ranch") drives a very LARGE Hummer (bright yellow mind you). I hope it was just a gift from the current administration...for his sake.

Sunny and 68

My first day at home in Seattle. Hmmmm. I ate dinner at Carmelita last night with two amazing friends; Carmelita is a cool, hip high-end veg joint on Phinney Ridge (yes just a 5 minute WALK from my house in Greenlake)...then we all walked to my house to share stories and laugh. At 9:30pm I walked to PCC (cooperative organic market) to get some groceries for my house. Wow, a store that is open until 10pm within walking distance with FRESH, organic foods. Yum. I woke this morning to the sun hitting my window and the Seattle traffic report on the radio. Got some green tea, geeked out on my computer then scootered (on my fine Aprilla Italian Scooter) to my dentist. It was pleasant (believe it or not). I came home and talked to my contractor who is finishing my cool bathroom (pictures to follow). I talked to the attorney for my new company formation. I scootered downtown to Etta's for a business lunch (where they have the BEST Salmon in the land - YES). I'm now home...taking pictures with Mac's Photo Booth, playing with them in Photoshop then posting them for all my friends to see the bliss in my face (and my cool shirt that reads - Breath!).
The past two years have been great...BUT, I learned we should never stray too far from where we want or NEED to be. For me...its time to be present with those I love...and live as I always intended; with love and gratitude...Oh, and JOY! Cheers!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

HOME!

I got up this morning in Tucson. Took a ride with Kris at 6am. Ate some food. Loaded my Audi on the transport vehicle at 8am. Headed to the airport at 10:30am for my noon flight with a ONE-WAY ticket to Seattle. Staring out the window of my seat in 10A, I gazed at the desert...the wispy clouds overhead, the amazing people that I continue to find...and the journey that lies ahead. Oddly, I knew exactly when the plane crossed the land border between Arizona and Utah (wow, its over....I thought). I knew exactly when the plane passed into Washington just above the grand Columbia River and Yakima (yes, I'm almost home...I gushed). There...just before we landed, in all her splendor...Mt. Rainier was beaming at me, welcoming me home. When I got off the plane, I thought to myself the following:

1. I can unpack my suitcase and put it away.
2. I don't need to live in airports and be nameless to so many;
3. I can get a regular schedule of yoga, cycling, companionship and life balance;
4. I can drink the wine that is sitting in my cellar (ok basement);
5. I need to sit still and enjoy the stillness;
6. I need to enjoy the moment and don't be busy (at least for a little);
7. Wait I'm crying in the damn SeaTac airport!

Now I get to crash in my wonderful bed! Goodnight.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

so long Tucson...

I'm sitting here in my nearly vacant house. I met the new home owners. I packed my bike stuff. Gave away the neednots to charity (and a few notneeds). I have spent the last few days saying so long to great friends; no amazing friends. Each conversation recapping the amazing aspects of our relationships (tears, joy, meals, adventures, laughter, etc).

It hurts. But I take great joy that space is being created for more profound relationships and growth. I took these pictures from my isight this evening...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Awakening

I'm in Patagonia right now. No, not Chile...but in Arizona, however, this place is just as magical. I'm at this awakening and rejuvenation resort that is absolutely amazing. It is about detoxing the mind, body and soul to recieve incredible nourishment (mostly spiritual). Our day begins with Yoga and I start with some green tea after going to the sprout hut to grind my shot of wheatgrass (its invigorating). Yoga is a positive flowing class to bring about prana (energy, spirit, etc). After yoga we walk up the hill to a raw foods cafe with the most amazing food you've every tasted and none of it was cooked. I had chocolate pudding (made with cacoa, avocados, carob and love), and the most amazing salad with cilantro cucumber dressing. Its all very cleasning. The day is filled with classes or individual time to meditate or journal (I've done both). Lunch is another amazing meal, followed by a nap. After dinner there is a sunset mediation and temple....where all spiritual afliations find a reason to feel their prana, qi, divine energy AND the holy spirit. Amazing. The walk through the labrynth was so profound that I cannot put it to words.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Birds

Friday I woke up (about 7am) to a bird rhythmically crashing into my window. Apparently the bird sees itself and continues to crash its head in fear that this intruder may go for its nest.

Its a metaphor; we are our own greatest enemy.

Tomorrow is my first day of gainful unemployment. This is really the first time in my life that I'm without a cord; floating, flying really. I'm free of chasing shadows or others who insist I do.

So...
I have 10 days left of Arizona.
This is what I plan...
bike most days.
hike other days.
climb Kitt Peak
hike Grand Canyon.
meditate
yoga
take care of me.

Wow, unemployment is good.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Better


This is my buddy Bill waiting out our only minutes of Rain while cycling the France. I realized that any day in France (wet or dry, rain or shine) exceeds any day at the office (or ranch). Cafe anyone?

I'm going to Heaven!

Its over.
Yes, today it ended.
Now I get to go to HEAVEN (aka Seattle)

Free, Free, Free.
LIFE IS GOOD!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Apologies

Gosh...the last 10 days have been crazy. I have not had a computer for those days because every electronic piece of equipment I travel with (and there are a lot of them) was stolen from my room in Miami Beach. I'm slowly getting myself back to the current times...just in time to leave for France. Also in the last 10 days I went from Tucson to Seattle, to Miami, to Vermont, to Lenox Massachusetts, to Hartford, CT...back to Tucson and now I will leave for Miami on Monday then land on French soil for 14 days of blissful riding in the Pyrenees AND the South of France. Please check out my TDF blog for the play by play that will start next week.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Mix

I'm back diggin' music. Here is my list of most played from my Ipod (in order of importance) If you haven't listened to any...please do, they are impactful lyrics as to where I am:

Camille - "Ta Douleur"
Skye - "What's Wrong with Me"
Carbon Leaf - "Changeless"
The Fray - "How To Save a Life"
Indigo Girls - "Closer to Fine"
James Blunt - "Wisemen"
Athlete - "Tourist"
Jackopierce - "Three of Us in a Boat"
KT Tunstall - "Suddenly I See"
Toby Lightman - "Leave It Inside"
Skye - "Love Show"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

State TTT Championships


Okay we had a great ride. It was a 40K race with a couple of gravel sections (300meters of it). I pulled really hard and probably spent 40% of the team time ON the front. I pushed the pace to an average of 24-26 mph for most of the time I was on the front. We flew. We passed three teams in front of us and knew we hit the podium. We missed being the State TTT Champions by about 1 minute, taking 2nd place. Our field was the biggest at 24 women...so we were pretty excited with the results!

Eighteen Inches

I arrived home (Seattle) yesterday. It was an odd journey given all the new and oddly applied rules in airtravel. I couldn't take tooth paste, but I could easy board with my deodorant, hard drive, computer, electric tooth brush with who knows what could have been packed inside. Oh...I also managed to make it through TSA with a knife attached to my wine opener (don't ask why I was carrying it...because I have no idea).

The most curious part of my travels was upon landing at SeaTac, I took the bus home. I often enjoy taking Metro (the bus) from the airport to my lovely home by the lake. The characters, sounds, smells are not always pleasant...but commonly provide humor and interest for the day and often the week that follows. So I play the scene:

A rather gregarious bus driver greets me as I board with my luggage; he is genuine in his wishes of good days for all those departing. I locate a seat just past those reserved for handicap (those that line the aisle) and sit a row back. A the very next stop a bulky black man with several non-descript tattoos in his 40's wearing a baseball cap places his bike on the front of the bus, boards the bus...greeting the driver like they were bruthers from the hood...then he sits in the first seat at the front of the bus facing the aisle. The conversation when something like this...

MAN: "brother, I tell ya...I've been traveling some distance...it must have been something near...gosh..10 miles."

DRIVER: "I hear ya. That will tire you out."

MAN: "oh yes, it works me."

DRIVER: "gives you a great heart."

MAN: "oh yeah...I've got a great heart man, it two ways brother, two ways."

DRIVER: "well its crazy out there. you've got to be careful. I'm a big bus and people think I can stop on a dime."

MAN: "I can stop on a dime."

DRIVER: "well statistics say that the more you ride..."

MAN: "don't you be spewing that nonsense. I'm not superstitious."

DRIVER: "I'm not superstitious either, but statistics say and chances are.."

MAN: "don't even say that! we create our own destiny bruther. There are only 18" from the head to the heart and once you think it here (pointing to his head) AND you make it happen here (pointing to his heart), its all YOU.

Its about this time...I realized these guys were speaking two different languages. One from his head, the other from his heart. I realized the INTENTION from where the MAN was speaking and it rocked my soul. I felt my eyes begin to water, my face lifted from the stress and tension. Just then, the man looked down the aisle and to the very seat I was sitting. His eyes reached into my soul...asking me IF I were living with INTENTION. He got up from his seat, having reached his destination and he said to me from the front of the bus..."you have the most beautiful eyes. take care sweetheart."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Red Powder?

More news is coming out of the Operacion Puerto affair, which seemingly has links to several different locations around the world. German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the Spanish Guardia Civil found fake EPO, originating from China, at Dr Eufemiano Fuentes Madrid laboratory, as well as anabolic products from a "secret laboratory". There are also reportedly small groups of "doping doctors" all over the globe with links to Dr Fuentes.

In their searches, the Guardia Civil found four envelopes containing a red powder, which is able to neutralise synthetic EPO so that it doesn't show up in urine tests. It's guessed that riders rub the powder on their hands and drop some of it in as they give a sample.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

RAMROD

Well, this was my 5th year doing RAMROD. Wow, what a ride; 150 miles and 10K feet of gain in just one day. It is probably the most magical ride I've done and will ever do (well we shall see what the Pyrenees has for me in September). I rode this ride with 5 other stellar people and it was a total blast. We had Shawn, Kurt, Kris, Me, Lisa and Kris. We held together, working as a team the entire 9.5 hours of the day. We all committed to doing the 415 mile Ride of the Rockies next year. Come join us!!!!

Meditation at Lagunitas

A discovered love letter...
------------------------
All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases

the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-

faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk

of that black birch is, by his presence,

some tragic falling off from a first world

of undivided light. Or the other notion that,

because there is in this world no one thing

to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,

a word is elegy to what it signifies.

We talked about it late last night and in the voice

of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone

almost querulous. After a while I understood that,

talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,

pine, hair, woman, you and I
. There was a woman

I made love to and I remembered how, holding

her small shoulders in my hand sometimes,

I felt a violent wonder at her presence

like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river

with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,

muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish

called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.

Longing, we say, because desire is full

of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.

But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,

the thing her father said that hurt her, what

she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous

as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.

Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,

saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

Robert Haas

--------------

wouldn't it be cool???

Monday, July 24, 2006

Landis the new Lance?

I can't believe the remarks I read from Lance on Landis' win. One thing for sure...Landis is no Lance; he has much more class than the ass from Tex-ass. I certainly don't hear Landis talking smack...except that he's going to go race a few crits (what is he nuts?). I often read the blog funny tan lines and I think the guy covers the topic pretty well. Read it here.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Weddings and Things

I watched my best friend suze get married this weekend. It was a perfect setting; Lopez Island in the San Juan (of Pacific Northwest), sunny and 72 degrees. My buddy Guy and I flew up in his little Cessna - landed on the remote island and walked to the church. Wow, it really sucks to be me! (grin)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ulrich's TDF Doping Plan

PER documents found in Operation Puerco...check this out!

For the first seven days of the Tour, Dr. Fuentes prepared him a series of hormones, insulin, cortisone, testosterone and blood transfusions, the newspaper alleged. It claimed that there was a "Roadbook" for the Tour 2005, which investigators link to Ullrich.

On the first day, according to the SZ, the hormone HZ was listed, the second day insulin I-3, the hormone TGN and cortisone, the third day TGN and PCH (a testosterone shot), on the fourth day HMG, a hormone mixture, a "rest day" on the fifth day, the sixth day insulin I-3, and on the last day, the re-infusion of his own blood, as well as insulin I-3 and vitamin E.

MIA to SEA

Just landed back in Seattle yesterday. Its time to ride in weather that is far more normal...
Actually, I'm climbing aboard my R3 sweet machine in just 10 minutes. See ya!

Monday, July 10, 2006

One word...Calzati

Thank goodness for Calzati, the young frenchman that stole stage 8 of the TDF yesterday...or Frenchmen around the country would be ending their life after the PK loss in world cup last night. GO FLOYD...or shall we say Praying Landis.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Go FRANCE!

Okay...with a name like Picard, what do you expect from me?.
We even have region name for our famous people (Picardy).Go Zizou!

Friday, July 07, 2006

One Dress

How cool is this...
A woman is making a statement against fashion and the foolish buying of trends. She is wearing the same brown dress for a year. I dig it! Check it out...as she attempts to make it work, and work, and work....
http://www.littlebrowndress.com/

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Me Rocket

Here is a picture of me in the TT (stage 2) of the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic. I was a rocket!!!!

Our TDF Jersey design...

My friend Guy is really baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahd. He asked that sheep/goats be part of this year's tour de france cycling trip. I decided to design an official jersey for the adventure. I think he is going to love it.

Pyrenees Sheep Co.

Catch us if Ewe Can!
Tour de France 2006

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Innocent?

The french say that sex is as much a part of politics as drugs are a part of cycling. Oddly in the post Lance era the biggest dopping scandal rocks the tour de france just 24 hours before its start.
Oscar Sevilla, Jan's teammate from T-mobile was found to be named in the Spanish blood doping investigation. He along with 158 other althetes from several sports were "black listed." Now many complain that if these riders (Jan, Basso, Mancebo, etc.) were only accusted not proven guilty. However, I think about the inverse....what if we let them continue to ride in the tour...then the focus would be on them and their performance. I think it would destroy the race more than not having them in it.
Jan did win the tour de swiss...he looks a little cocky here for his medical.


Ivan's a pretty handsome guy...but gosh those tan lines are a bit much. I do notice that these riders have no pecks. I kinda like them that way.

Here georgie is amuzed that his name wasn't on the list. Okay...kidding, but seriously, I think they are all doping...WADA just doesn't know what it is...yet.

Monday, June 19, 2006

its hot here!

Landed in Tucson today at 99 degrees at 10am. Yikes. But its a dry heat. I got home to my house (which hasn't seen me in over 3 weeks). There were a couple of friends waiting for me (two wolf spiders, some other BIG bug - not sure what it was) and a few growies in the fridge. I washed clothes, packed them again. I'll get on my bike at 4:45am - climb Lemmon, come home, head to airport and land in San Francisco by noon. Gosh...this can't be good for you.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

weekend with sissy

I love my sissy. We spent the weekend together. We watch "the office" episodes (4 to be exact). We drove all over town to get my new bike built. We ate at Whole Foods (surprise). We dined on Sushi. We cooked together. We laughed together. She's leaving for LA in a two more weeks after working up in Seattle for a couple of months. My sissy will be missed.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Taking a BIG Pull


Here is the shot that was on the race web page...I was taking a big pull for my team mate.
Cool, eh?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Pancakes Fuel All

This is Lawrence (he's working in my basement). He's the 77th street Homeless guy that is a gem. I feed him pancakes and he works on my house. He works HARD. Money burns a hole in his pocket...yet sees himself as the richest man in the world. Life is pretty simple for Lawrence. He wakes up. Walks the hood. Secures work for the day. We feed him (he loves pancakes and coffee). We pay him. He leaves. He spends every cent of it that night. He goes to bed. He does it all over again. Simple ain't it. Lawrence just celebrated year number 52 on earth. Amazing!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hold Your Line

This evening I was biking home from a quick little spin to Seward Park (basically 35 miles from my house). As I climbed up the modest grade from Lake Washington Blvd (a 400 meter climb at about 4-5%) - some yahoo yelled at me as I veered ever so slightly around a pot hole to "hold my line." Now if the guy hadn't been so stealth and announced that he was tracking my wheel...I wouldn't have been so perturbed. I turned around (incredulous) saying "hold my line????"..."maybe if you announced yourself I could have told you about the pot hole!" He then proceeded to grumble something under his breath at me. Then I said to him..."hold THIS line!" - I then shifted up, danced on my pedals...heard him huff and puff for about a couple of pedal strokes...and never saw him again. Well, a cranky cyclist beats a cranky driver ANY DAY!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mt Hood

This weekend was the Mt Hood Cycling Classic. I don't know if you've ever seen Mt Hood, but it is absolutely gorgeous...when you can see it sans clouds. I certainly didn't see it (much) this weekend, but had a blast at my 2nd ever stage race. I raced for my team and for more experience. It was the most rain I have ever seen. Certainly if I wasn’t racing I would have never mounted my saddle!

The first day was a big learning lesson. I didn’t know the course (except by reading the race bible) and I let myself pull my teammates a little too hard, too soon and too long…and did the second circuit solo (losing 16 minutes on the GC) on the 40 mile stage with 4,000 feet of climbing.

The second stage on day two was an 11 mile TT and it was a total blast. The only issue was that out of the gate my wheel slammed against my chain stay rendering my bike useless until...(I since learned my TT bike has limit screws to prevent this from happening when you slam down hard on your drive train), I was forced to dismount my bike 10 feet from the start ramp…open my wheel skewer, reset it – consuming 50 seconds before I could mount my bike and head off the road passing the woman who started behind me…THEN four other women in front of me! (think Lance passing Jan and Basso on his ride after being let out of the shoot on Alpe D'Huez)! YES! By the looks of it, I would have been around 16th in the TT. I felt great and I FLEW on my Rocket Cervelo P3!

Stage 3, with my team mate Lea close to the GC lead (actually in 2nd place and me sitting at around 30th)…I asked how she’d wanted me to work for her. She said blister the monster descent of sharp turns with wet roads because the other GC riders near her in time were afraid and would need to work hard to catch us (expending tons of energy). That is what I did. My mountain biking skills slammed the pack and I lead the break on the flats making all the others suffer – including myself (probably opening up a 20 second gap and attack by just my lines and modest pedaling). I had just enough energy left to finish the race (sacrificial lamb that I was) and make the 200 meters of 15% slope at the finish. WHEW!

It was fun except for the crazy rain on the two (2) road race days that took much out of me. It was a rush! Now back to work…AND I’m now headed to bed!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

im on the market

yes...
it is time. I am ready to engage in the relational marketplace.
I've been too busy, too into my self pursuits. I'm looking to expand myself...
funny, eh?

my sis is already on the prowel for me. She came home last night having introduced me to hurt cute chiropractor. Stay tunned.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

every cell...

I biked five hard days this past week. Each day I mounted my bike around 5am, headed out to Mount Lemmon and climbed an average of 3000 feet each day. Because my Topolino wheelset surprisingly broke a spoke...I put on the Zipp 404's and climbed like a mountain goat. I did some visulization techniques of harnessing the energy of each and every cell to power me up the climb. WOW, that did something amazing to me. I smashed my Mile Post 5 record by nearly a minute (even after 3 hard days in the saddle). Cool! Its amazing what our thoughts can do to our bodies (both constructive and destructive) and the power of personal meditation and prayer.

I close with a cool bumper sticker I observed today...


YOU can buy yours here!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cozumel

Just returned from three solid days of diving in Cozumel. Wow. There is something so healing about diving. You suddenly realize how 3/4 of the planet lives, how small you are, AND how the big things in your life...are really small and you can leave them at the bottom of the wall 100+ feet below. Wow I feel good.

Friday, May 12, 2006

cycling.tv

I admit it...
I'm adicted to cycling.tv. I am watching this year's most amazing race and probably the best Giro D'Italia ever. I love bike racing and the advancement of media web is awesome.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cycle France!

Yes...
I'm going cycling in France again this year. This year, my buddy Bill and I are creating a SAG trip for about 5-6 people. This trip is for 7 days and 6 nights through the Pyrenees and shall include the classic Cols of the Tour de France. You can see some we will do here. If you are interested in going...its an "at cost" trip, and it will likely cost you about $800 excluding airfare. Send me an email if you'd like to go. My last trip is chronicled under TDF blog.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

SVO

I'm so tired of feeding the massive oil companies that after record profits this year, seem to continue to complain on their hardships and lobby our government for more exploration. ENOUGH! It's a finite resource - like there are no more dinos to die and leave it! What don't we understand about renewable? Sure, I think ethanol is a great start...and it already scares the oil companies. BUT, I'm currently in the process of seeking to convert a regular diesel engine auto to an SVO vehicle (not biodeisel, because that is not enough). Not familiar with SVO? Well, its stands for Straight Vegetable Oil. The trick is in cold climates keeping the fat viscous (some go two tanks or a heating element). But basically you can pull your car up to any greasy spoon (Chinese buffets are the best because just like your own arteries, the saturated fat isn't good), ask to take their veggie oil (which they usually need to pay to have disposed) and you're off and running (about 50 cents a gallon if you needed to purchase). More on this later...

5 hours of Bliss

My buddy Kirk landed in Seattle yesterday. I was actually tracking the flight on Google earth. Upon arrival in Seattle we (including his brother and law) did a whippin' spin around Lake Washington, Mercer Island and a few other destinations...it was nearly 5 hours of Bliss! I love riding.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Idle is Ideal?

Life, as a contrast to inert matter, is usually regarded as essentially dynamic or busy, active. But maybe life is not different from inert matter. Perhaps life, just like inert matter, does the minimum - and we could gain a deeper understanding of life if we saw it NOT as trying to busy ourselves, but rather seeking to be idle (or not doing what we MUST). Perhaps human life, human society, technology, ethics, law, and religion have all arisen as an attempt to minimize effort (to do or sustain so we can have more Idle time - "free time"). If so, the imperative of all life, and of human life, would not be to 'Keep Busy' and 'Do Something', but rather to 'Keep Still' and 'Do Nothing'. This is the speculation of Idle Theory that fascinates me.


I've also come to understand that the faster we move about (with less idle time and more doing) the more "busy" fills our day and our perception of time (our lives) becomes incredibly short. Idle time is not sitting still, but rather time where we are doing what we WANT rather than what we MUST (or think we must) to survive.

I'm enjoying my Idle time.
A picture of me in my garden this morning...some Ideal idle time.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Survived!

For all of those who sent your prayers and are wondering...
I am well. Surgery TODAY was a snap, no complications and doc says wait at least 24 hours before I engage in my activity again. I'm not sure he knows MY level of activity. Oh, and no cameras permitted in the OR, believe me I tried.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

STAGE 3: Race to Tombstone


Tired legs, full heart...I set out today to finish this race (this third day of racing). The field entered the mule pass tunnel with a 6% grade for 1/2 mile just after neutral - and 10 of us dropped off the back (self included). The balance of the race there were five of us who worked together to stay about 1/4 mile behind the lead pack...working harder, longer than the leaders. Wow, I was wiped by the time we reached the base of the 3,000 foot climb with 8 miles to go to the finish at the top of Mule pass. It had warmed to 87 degrees, yet feeling warmer in full sun. I made it. This is the first time I've ever seen my name on the web site left for professional cycling results (cyclingnews.com). You can see the report here. So, for my first stage race ever AND having a horrible week, exhausted before getting on a bike for the prologue...I'm ecstatic! I look forward to a start of a great season!

Subscribe to Muses?

Hey....how cool is this?
You can now subscribe to my blog (see side bar) and get automatic updates when I make a new posting to my blog. No more wondering if I updated...you'll get it. Technology is pretty cool.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

STAGE 2: Warren TT

Can you say ROCKET. Wow, I felt like a rocket on my Cervelo P3 carbon. WOW! I was the third one out of the shoot (given my GC standing with all these pro riders) and I felt like Dave Z in the tour last year. This was an 8 mile TT with a horrid side wind...and although I don't have a full disc wheel for the back, I felt that wind try to break my rhythm. At the turn around I could see that I had gained time on the two ahead of me and I had put good space between those gals following the ROCKET. What fun!

I just took a shower and am going to mellow out the rest of the day (its now 5:35pm) and mentally prepare myself for the conclusion of the race tomorrow (65 mile road race with nasty climbing).

STAGE 1: Sulpher Springs Road Race

Today was the first stage of a four staged race in Bisbee over three days. I've posted my journal entry after today's stage.

WHOAH! Today was a complete rush of energy. WOW!

Waking at 5am (well I went to bed at 6pm) we started the neutral rollout at 7:30am. The race was 45 miles of pure anxiety, jet fuel and jockeying for position. Tmobile seemed to control the race as a breakaway pack took off about 10 miles into the race with a Tmobile rider. Most of the women weren't really key on working that hard this early in the race and with a Tmobile rider blocking the pace line we just peddled softly (being in front was especially hard with the head wind and no body was wanting to work...too much energy expended before that 7 mile climb back into Bisbee for the finish). I hung onto the Peleton and it accelerated, decelerated, accelerated...unnecessarily exhausting me (I'm a rookie so I've got to learn how to moderate myself - as I wanted to take off with the breakaway - but I don't have the leg yet this season to battle with pro riders).

Because this race has Cat 1-4 riders (including the national pros) I did a little web search on who were the top 4 riders from the Prologue. Mind you...one was a five (5) time national champion in women's road racing, another was 2nd in the WORLD in time trialing...yadda, yadda...get the picture. My goal today was to hang onto the Peleton (and these phenomenal women) at least through 30 miles and to the climb. AND I DID IT! It was so crazy, so hard, but I DID IT!!!! I fell off the pack just about 5 miles to go on the big climb into Bisbee as my legs couldn't answer another MASSIVE acceleration. HOWEVER, there were several, okay quite a few that had fallen off well before the feed zone (where my team car was no where to be found for my bottles, food, etc....so I just carried a little more weight on my bike - which could be why I fell off the pack on the climb).

Today was a great morning and such a victory for me at this juncture in my life. I feel really good, WOW! (can you tell I'm still under the influence of endorphines?).

Okay...I have the second stage today at 3pm. ItÂ’s a 8 mile time trial (me against the clock). This will largely be practice for me with my new bike...and I hope to move up a few places in the GC (that is the General Classification or my place overall for those of you loyal blog readers and unfamiliar with bike racing).

Oh...one other funny fact...which never happened to me before in a bike race, according to the race bible, the GC leader can call a potty break (neutral zone) in the race (men's races - the guys just wiz off their bikes). You should have seen this event...OMG!!! Imagine this...a wide open road (a few tumble weeds here an there) and about 15 women dropping their bikes, then their pants in front of GOD and everyone (no running behind a bush - none existed). At this exact moment an old couple had pulled aside the road (given our police pace car causes everyone to pull over). The old couple's mouths were wide open and their eyes bugged out. I think I looked the same in my own amazement. Funny what racing does to your common sense...when its all about winning. Come to think of it...I was carrying a few extra ounces of liguid in my bladder too given I didn't drop my pants.

Vuelta - Prologue

The Prologue. It was a 3 mile race...straight up hill (climbing 800 feet - 5% grade). I was the third to start in the gate (in downtown Bisbee). My heart rate shot up and broke the mercury as my excitement got the better of me. It hurt. I got passed by three other riders who started 30 seconds behind me. It hurt bad. I got track hack with my throat so dry from breathing so hard I could taste blood When it was all done. After it was all over in 17 minutes (best time was 12 minutes today)...I realized the women that passed me were all professional riders (like they have NO day job...riding a bike is it). Now I didn't feel so bad except for the pain of going 17 minutes at 175 heart rate (gotta get the body use to feeling lactic acid). Oh..and I wasn't last in the field.

I came back to my spacious room in Bisbee (around 5:30pm) at a sweet potato, egg, some other random items and went to bed at 6pm. Wow...I slept good.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lark we went there...

Yesterday I landed back in Seattle...took a bike ride, ate at whole foods, then had dinner with some stellar people (susan and her husband marco) at this restaurant Lark on capital hill - check it out here. I must say that susan and marco are amazing urbanists...raising two phenomenal kids in dowtown Seattle. Both are fullbright scholars and amazing people to share dinner. Marco told me of the unique differences between urban and suburban kids. Here is the story...
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Dominica (their daughter) who is 4 years old, was playing house with her cousin Beth (who lives in the burbs at the ripe ol age of 5). Beth insisted she be mommy. Dominica then said she will be mommy too. Beth said, there can't be two mommys! Dominica said...what are you talking about? You can have two mommys!
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Closer to Fine

I was flying from Seattle to New York city yesterday. With my IPOD's ear buds firmly plugged into my ears, full of emotion and cuddling into the edge of my seat...I pulled the shade and heard the words of Indigo Girls. Good lyrics indeed...and they pulled me up and brought me beyond the "being" of so much closer to (and really beyond) fine. The lyrics:

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I’m trying to tell you something about my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
And the best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It’s only life after all
Yeah

Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable
And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear
I wrap my fear around me like a blanket
I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it
I’m crawling on your shores

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountains
There’s more than one answer to these questions
Pointing me in a crooked line
And the less I seek my source for some definitive
(the less I seek my source)
The closer I am to fine
The closer I am to fine

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

TST or Hell?

I did this bike race on Saturday called TST. I guess I could also call it hell. After spending nearly 20 days in 80-90 degree weather (glorious) in Tucson, AZ...I was up in Seattle and thought I'd join my team mates for a race called Tahuya Seaback Tahuya (TST to some, hell to me that day).

Let me paint the picture...
Non stop POURING rain for 3 hours, 39 degree weather, bone chilling wind, frozen hands, shivering body, lost faculties, bailout after 30 miles, looking for the short ride home, ending on a logging road (think deliverance), lots of prayers, shivering, lost, 2.5 hours now in the rain, 7 miles on muddy logging road, no human in sight for 2 hours, lots of prayers...prayers ANSWERED!

Unbelievable! I decided to go for the Vuelta de Bisbee in two weeks. Can you way warm? What I can say is that I should be able to feel my hands, my wrists and my elbows enough to shift and brake on my bike.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Very Funny Guys!

Our marketing department had a little too much fun with the Miami Sales team image. You can see the original here.

Monday, April 03, 2006

New Sibling Arivee


My family has just grown (again) as this sweet little beauty has just been added to my dear, dear friends occupying space in my house..., thus awaiting its chance to fly, fly, fly away...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Lance vs. Lisa

I just completed my complete fitness lab analysis with one of our best physiologist at Canyon Ranch. There is this swanky cool, high-tech, European equipment I strap, bike and all the data is recorded wirelessless (post environment calibrations) for all my detailed data. Here is how I compare with Lance (keep in mind that women have a bit of deviation from men - say 20ml in just VO2 or oxygen consumption because we have less muscle).

VO2Max
Lance = 60 (off season), 85 (during tour de france)
Lisa = 45 (off season)
Average Female = 28

Resting HR
Lance = 34
Lisa = 43
Average = 60

Max HR
Lance = 210 (est)
Lisa = 199 (est)
Average Female (at my age) = 182

Lung Capacity (max)
Lance = 4.5 liters
Lisa = 3.0 liters
Average Female = 2.5 liters

I will be tested again just prior to my big race on June 1st to see how much mitochondria I have built during the base period and if I can improve my numbers.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rode HARD

This past week I took ONE marvelous day off. I biked with two team mates from Seattle (Kit and Deb). We biked hard. We rode hard. We peddaled hard. Get the picture? Starting in Green Valley, we biked up to Madera Canyon (3K feet climb) then out to Arivaca (total of 95 miles and 5K feet of climbing). We ate at Cafe Poca Cosa (YUM!) then I slept really good that night. Purrrrrrrrfect!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Travel next THREE weeks...

3/26 - Tucson to Miami
3/30 - Miami to Tucson
4/10 - Tuscon to San Diego
4/13 - San Diego to Seattle
4/18 - Seattle to New York
4/19 - New York to Miami
4/22 - Miami to Tucson

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sky Harbor


I'm sitting in Sky Harbor airport waiting for my plane from Phoenix to Tucson. It's a puddle jummper (you know those flight that have no middle part - just reaching 10K feet then starting your desent). Well, I found this picture of me with some new Gucci spectacles. I guess Miami Beach has had some affect.