Thursday, January 29, 2009

last college game in the Spectrum

It's almost movie material, as the little school from Main Line Philly played the last college game in the venerable Spectrum last night, beating the number 3 team in the country. It's getting torn down this summer, supposedly, but last night it saw its last college basketball game, and the home team won in an upset.

I doubt I'll remember this after this season, although it'll probably be a trivia question some day. Those kids that played in the game though...the ones from Philly, who grew up with the Spectrum...for them, it'll be one of the things they remember the rest of their lives.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

skin cancer update

The results are in, more or less.

The dermatologist at the clinic named after a condiment and I have been playing phone tag. He calls between patients every couple of days when I'm in meetings, and I call back several times a day while he's with patients.

After a few days of this pattern, I decided a new course of action is necessary. I keep talking to the same person, so finally I said, "He wants to talk to me about scheduling something to take care of this spot on my ear. Whatever it is he wants to do, we're doing, because I don't want it to turn into something serious and maybe die. Since we know that, I don't have to talk to him. Can we just schedule whatever it is he wants to do?"

Well, it took a few more back and forth calls to find out what it is he wants to do. I still don't know what that is, but I found out enough to know it doesn't involve surgery, and can be done in an office visit. Good enough for me. So, next Tuesday, we're doing that thing, whatever it might be, at 4:00 in the afternoon, which will take care of the whole threat. Problem solved.....or at least, it will be soon.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the Super Bowl cometh

I really don't have a dog in the hunt for this year's Super Bowl. I'll watch and it should be a pretty good game, but the outcome doesn't matter all that much to me. That said, I think this scenario, in about 10 years, would be pretty funny...

I'll take sports for 1000 Alex

The only team in NFL history to lose a Super bowl to the Arizona Cardinals

Who are the Pittsburgh Steelers?


Monday, January 26, 2009

bike magazines

The first time I came home from the grocery store with a bike magazine, the wife chuckled, and rightly so. I'd bought my new bike a few months earlier and was getting into it, and she pulled the magazine out of a grocery bag and said laughing..."Oh no, he actually bought a bike magazine. It's official. He's a bike person."

And she was right in a few ways. I saw the magazine and saw a few articles on the cover I thought might actually educate me in my new interest, so I bought it, and read them, and found a few helpful tidbits. Still, I read some other articles and I have no idea what they're talking about. I'm not quite fanatical about it to get it all. Since then though, I bought the magazine a few more times, to the point where I looked at the little subscription card. A year for $11. Well, shit. If I buy it off the rack four times in a year, I've already spent that much, so I decided...even if I don't read every one of them, $11 for the year is a better deal, so I went for it.

So now I'm like...two months into this subscription thing, and I'm noticing something. Yes, I know...two months...I'm lightning quick.

I'm noticing articles about how you can get a really good deal on a bike but not break the bank, and I go to the article and it talks about....great bikes for under $3000. Now, maybe I'm not the target audience. Maybe these people are independently wealthy. Their banks must have a higher breaking threshold than mine. I look at the bikes in the article and...none are under $2000. They're all between $2500 and $3000, but....excuse me...we're not breaking the bank?

My bike wasn't cheap, by any means, but when I read these articles, I see stuff like....most $2000 entry level carbon bikes are cookie cutter frames with no feel they're looking down their collective noses at a bicycle that costs two grand! Hello bike snobbery. I mean, when people ask me about getting into this stuff, and ask me what my bike cost, they're shocked. I'm a little embarrassed that I spent that much on a bicycle, yet by the bike magazine standards, I'm bargain basement.

Then I saw this article about how to beat the wind, and since I deal with wind a lot, I thought, maybe this will be worth something. The three big tips were...

1) Wear bike clothes because they fit tight and are more wind resistant
2) Get low on your bike, so you're more aerodynamic
3) Ride in groups, so you can ride behind people most of the time and only the front guy gets most of the wind, and rotate the front guy often so nobody hits all the wind for too long.

So, your target audience is people who ride bikes that cost over two thousand dollars, and this is the advice you have for them to cheat the wind? Don't you think they already have that part down? If you're going to do an article on this subject, don't you have to come with a little more than that? It's not that the information isn't relevant. It's that, if you're going to write an article on the subject, I assume you have something worth writing about...something newsworthy, some new revelation, maybe. No, not so much.

I don't know. For eleven dollars, I think it's still a pretty good deal, but hey....I read this stuff and sometimes I just gotta shake my head.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fantasy sports

I'm not a huge fantasy sports guy. I know people who are. They really get into it, especially in football and baseball. They draft their teams and each week they put guys in, take guys out, keep up with everyone's stats and scour their own little fantasy waiver wire for something they perceive as better than what they already have.

Some would tell them to get a life, but I would remind people who say that, that fantasy sports players have a life. It's just radically different from mine and they enjoy different things, and that's a good thing. If we all loved chocolate covered doughnuts with red and white sprinkles, imagine how difficult it'd be to get what you love.

So, many years ago I started playing fantasy golf. It wasn't nearly as invasive as the other sports. You just had to pick 8 guys each week who were playing, and of the 8, make 4 active. If all your guys made the cut, you really didn't have to change anything but you could make moves between your 8 guys, because some may be playing better than others and only your 4 active players got you points, and points, of course, are everything. After a few years though, my interest (and time to deal with it all) waned. I'd forget to pick my guys, or one of my guys would withdraw and I wouldn't notice, or God forbid, on a Friday night, I'd have something else on my mind besides checking who made the cut, to see if my active guys were even playing the weekend. So, my performance and interest in fantasy golf kinda died.

This year, however, it's been renewed a little. I'm still probably going to forget about it here and there, but there's a private league at work...with prizes. To be honest, I don't even know what the prizes are, but when there's free stuff, I'm at least all about trying. Granted, I'm a casual golf spectator, but there are people far more into watching golf than I am, and they will notice tendencies, make far more informed decisions on who to pick each week, and probably kick my ass, but hey...I'll at least give it a shot.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

baby it's cold outside

OK, I realize I'm talking to people who deal with this sort of thing (or worse) on a regular basis in the winter, but daymn, who cranked the A/C?

I walked the dog this morning before the sun came up and felt the pain of real cold and wind (it was somewhere around 27°F/-2°C), . I was thinking...I remember this. This is daytime in Pennsylvania this time of year. This is one of the reasons I don't live there. The bad news is it's supposed to be even colder tonight. The good news is it'll kill a lot of the mosquitoes waiting to hatch in the swamps, and it'll be back to 70° by the weekend. It does get cold here, but it doesn't last all that long.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

the new regime

It's kinda scary, actually. I listened to some of Obama's speech at the swearing in. I couldn't catch it all - I mean, I am at work and all that. The scary thing is, he's sounding a lot like me. There's a personal responsibility theme running through everything that, to my ears, sounds amazingly Republican. Maybe I'm just not hearing it right. I'm not sure. I, by no means, am suggesting that he's stealing ideas from the Lumberyard (although it wouldn't surprise me to find he's an avid reader who comes here to stimulate his own thought process), but it does make his theme far more inclusive when I find myself nodding in agreement.

What I'm hearing is, we can't be expecting other people to do things for us. The government isn't going to bail you out of squat. It's incumbent on all of us to step up to the plate and do our part to get us out of the mess we're in. That's a far cry from what I'm used to hearing which goes more like, "You are incapable of doing everything life throws at you on your own. You need the government to help you get through life (or said another way, "It takes a village"). From what I see, his is pretty much the same message we had from the last administration. It just comes in a prettier wrapper. It's not coming in the smug tone that Dubya oozed that made you want to smack him. It comes in more of a rallying cry that makes you want to be part of it. Maybe that, in itself, really is part of the answer.

I really do hope so.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Marty's Birthday

On this iteration of Martin Luther King’s birthday, I actually find myself filled with hope. I do hope that we’re finally becoming a country, if not a world, where the content of your character matters and the color of your skin does not. Some would say the events coming in the next day or so confirm that. I disagree, but I do hope to be proven wrong.

I don’t think the changing of the guard proves that skin color doesn’t matter. I do think it proves that anyone can do anything if they work hard enough at it and the right circumstances unfold. That doesn’t mean all of us get what we want with enough hard work. It means you can get yourself in a place where you do everything you can and, if opportunity and work collide, you win. If they don’t, you don’t. The only worse thing than doing all the work and not seeing your dream come to life is seeing the opportunity come, and being in no position to take advantage of it. Now, don’t ask me how I got off on this tangent, because it wasn’t where I planned to be.

I hope people see, in Obama’s election, that you can grow up to be anything in this country, and skin color doesn’t have to stop you. I hope that excuse goes away. I hope Obama’s able to do many of the things he wants to do. I hope the end result looks a lot like the vision. I don’t expect that will happen. I’m ready for history to repeat itself and don’t expect all that much from the coming, or any, administration. Again, I honestly hope to be proven wrong.


Friday, January 16, 2009

the Obama swearing in ceremony

I watched some of the news this morning, and a big story seems to be the Obama "swearing in" ceremony and the shortage of tickets, and the people who have them feeling like they won the lottery (some of whom actually did to get their ticket). Part of the story was about people selling tickets, in one venue or another, to the highest bidder.

It got me thinking. If I had a ticket, as most of you can imagine, I'd be selling that thing, pronto. That's not the question though. I started thinking...if I had a ticket to the ceremony for any president...even that I voted for...would I go or would I sell it? I came to the conclusion that I would be in no hurry to go to any of them, regardless of party or any other circumstance. I mean, if I could go back indefinitely in time and go to one, I'm sure I'd like to go to...say...Abraham Lincoln's ceremony, but that'd just be to actually see Lincoln. It wouldn't be because it was that particular ceremony. Maybe it's my disdain for politicians and government in general, but if there was even a $10 profit to be made in the deal, I'd be selling that ticket. Any living president...I wouldn't waste a day off to go to downtown J'ville to see, even if I was guaranteed a seat in the third row.

So this morning I asked the liberal over the cubicle wall....if he had a ticket to the Obama show, would he go or would he sell it. He said he'd go in a heartbeat. Therein lies the huge philosophical difference, in my opinion. He still believes in government as a driving force to cure problems. I look at recent history (and by that I mean starting in the early 60s - my blame knows no party) and its abysmal track record, and I see no raging success story to back that belief. My expectations are far lower than his.


the all Pennsylvania SuperBowl?

If the playoffs finish as expected this weekend, that's what we'll have, and I suppose it could happen. I won't be shocked if it does, but then again, I won't be shocked if it doesn't. I guess that's what parity brings in the NFL.

Watching both games last weekend, I was impressed with all of the winners, and even though the Steelers and Eagles are favored, I can easily see the Ravens and/or the Cardinals taking either of their respective games. I expect the Eagles to beat the Cardinals, but I saw the Cardinals beat Carolina, and they have play makers that can turn a game around. The Ravens...everyone says a rookie quarterback can't make it to the Super Bowl, but I watched Joe Flacco play and I gotta ask, why not? That team can and might beat Pittsburgh. It'll be an interesting pair of games to watch.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

so the waiting begins

I went to the dermatologist yesterday morning.

He told me to put on a "gown". This "gown" ties behind the neck and has shoulders fitted in it, but no arms, and no back. I can think of many people, all of them female, that this "gown" would flatter. I, however, am not female. Nor was I particularly flattered. I dealt with it though. The doctor put a sheet on a couch where I could sit and wait, which I did, reading a book I brought along to pass the time.

When he got back, I was expecting to tell him about this spot on my ear. He'd look and make a very intelligent "Ahhhh yes." comment, or something similar, tell me what it is, give me prescription for some creme or whatever and send me on my merry way. I'd use the creme, or do whatever he told me to do, and it'd all be done. That's kind of how I remember going through this a few years ago with a spot on my nose. I went in and saw the same skin doc I saw yesterday. He scraped some skin and went away. He came back and told me it was a pre-cancerous something-or-other and wrote a prescription. I was gone in an hour. I used the creme on the spot for a month, and everything was taken care of. Now, I just make sure I use sunscreen.

It was with that expectation that I walked into the same doctor's world yesterday. It started the same way (although he insisted on checking out my entire body for anything else as well, which was probably not a bad idea). He scraped the thing. But then, he had his assistant put a bandage on it and told me they'd get back to me with the results. He told me to get dressed and sent me on my merry way empty handed.

I was hoping for a one stop shop kind-of fix. I'm still expecting the same result. I'll probably end up with that same creme stuff. I'll use it for a month and all will once again be right with the world. The thing is, now I just have to wait, and I'll have to go back. In the end, I guess it's inconvenient, but it's better than I'll just hang with it.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

my public service announcement for the month

Call it skin cancer awareness day.

I need to pay more attention to my skin, and keep reminding myself to use sunblock. I mean, I do live in Florida, and it's pretty damn sunny here most of the year. They don't call it the Sunshine State for nuthin'. Therefore, with tons of sunshine comes lots of vitamin D, and skin cancer.

A few years ago, I had this spot on my nose that would get rough when I spent lots of time in the sun. Occasionally it'd form a scab, so finally, I took myself to the dermatologist. He told me it wasn't cancerous, yet. If I left it untreated it could get that way, so he prescribed a creme that I put on the spot for a month. It got all nasty looking, but once the month was over...all good again. haven't had a problem with it since.

Now, I have the same deal going with a spot on my ear. Even when I remember to use sunblock, when it's sunny out and I go bike riding, that spot gets rough. It has, on occasion, formed a scab. I had a dermatologist at the health fair last fall look at it, and got the same story I got with my nose. It's not a cancer issue yet, but it could be if I ignore it. That guy was at the health fair, but he's not covered by my insurance. We get our health care through the wife's job instead of mine, so it's a different set of doctors. I needed to get an appointment with someone my insurance would pay for. Tomorrow morning, that happens.

If you have one of those spots that you wonder about...get it looked at. In situations like this, it's so preventable, skin cancer would be a really stupid way to die.


Monday, January 12, 2009

the weekend in sports

What a weekend for NFL teams with bird mascots in the playoffs. The Ravens upset the Titans. The Cardinals upset the Panthers. The Eagles upset the Giants. The Steelers are lucky there's no San Diego bird, but then again, that Steeler crowd would probably be flipping it off.

Those were some of the more surprising games I've seen in quite some time. I had to feel for Jake Delhomme a bit. It was the poor guy's birthday and he threw 5 interceptions and fumbled once to make life incredibly easy for the Cardinals, ending the Panthers' playoff hopes. What a present to give yourself.

I, of course, have little rooting interest, since the Jaguars are very far removed from the playoff process this year. I have a bit of hometown hope for the Eagles, but beyond that, there's not much emotion for me in this year's playoff race. Still, it's fun to watch, and extremely unpredictable.


Friday, January 09, 2009

Congratulations Gator Nation

Timmy Tebow led your boys to a National Championship. I may not be one of you, but I'm happy for ya. Yes, I'm wearing the gaudy tie...again.

I got my wish as well. It was a close, entertaining game, at least through the third quarter. Defenses came up big so there wasn't a lot of scoring, but I was OK with that. After three quarters though, I packed it in and went to bed. I wanted to stay and watch the end, but it would have made today hell, and I have a busy day in front of me.

Have a great weekend everybody.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

it's game day

The day most of the population of Florida and Oklahoma have been waiting for has arrived. This evening, universities from those states will compete for the national title in football.

I will mark the occasion by...going to the gym. Oh, I'll watch the game. There are TVs in the gym. I just haven't spent much time there and I really ought to. I did a fair amount of pike riding over the holidays, a meeting with a pickup truck notwithstanding, but no real gym time. I hit it Tuesday night for the first time in several weeks and really need to keep that routine moving forward, especially since I've come to the conclusion that...I really like to eat.

I love food.

My New Years resolution is to eat less of it. I won't enjoy it any less, mind you, but I need to do some portion control. I've been biking my ass off and yet, when I look, it's still there, and it's not getting any smaller. I made some progress the first year I started this whole exercise routing, but for the last year I've pretty much just held my ground. Since there's a lot more physical activity and no more weight loss, the obvious wrench in the monkey is food, and the volume thereof.

So I will watch the game tonight, and enjoy it if it's close and entertaining, no matter the outcome. I won't be on the couch with chips and beer, though. I'll do it sweating , just as much as those guys on the field. I just won't get banged around while I sweat...or at least I hope not.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

yet another great college football coaching move in the making

So after Auburn showed the country exactly what not to do with a guy who is arguably one of the best coaches in college football, Boston College is struggling to follow in their footsteps.

Jeff Jagodzinski, coach of the Boston College Eagles is apparently pretty good at his job. He's led the Eagles to their conference championship game the last two years, and garnered enough attention to be asked to interview for an NFL job with the New York Jets. He's a long shot for the job and probably won't get it, but he was asked to interview nonetheless.

The Athletic Director at Boston College gave him an ultimatum. If you go and interview, you'll be fired. Now, why paint youself in that corner? If the guy intrviews, you haven't left yourself an out.

He did go and interview, and it appears he will be fired.

Now, if you're Boston College, aren't you trying hard to put yourself in the same "stupid move" category once populated by only one school from Alabama? Jagodzinski, for his own experience and future, ought to go and interview. He ought to go on as many interviews as possible. It's good experience. He's probably not going to get this job, but he might get one (assuming he stays successful at B.C.) next year, or the year after. In the meantime, you get a very successful coach. If and when the day comes that he does leave for an NFL job, the guy you replace him with is smart enough to see that you support your coaches and like to see them succeed, to the point where they may go to the next level. Now, you're firing him. You have to replace him just like you would have if he interviewed and actually got the job. You've gained nothing. In fact, you've lost, because any potential coach sees you as a stifling institution that would like nothing more than to hold them back. Good luck finding an aggressive, motivated, success driven guy with that philosophy.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

and it starts all over again

It seems like I just finished one of these. On a self promotional note, if you click on the rookie rider guide, it's vintage Lumberyard. I wrote it after doing my first ride and learning some of the lessons by asking, and others the hard way. They did some hefty editing, but underneath it all, it's still mine.



We live about a two to two and a half hour (depending on traffic) drive from the Disney mecca in Orlando. For many people around us, that's a wonderful thing. The Disney fiends love the fact that they can buy an annual pass, and cruise down there anytime the urge hits. I know lots of them. I'm not knocking them. They love that place and that's great...for them. It's never really been that much of a big deal for us. Oh, I like to go. I enjoy the Disney parks, as well as Universal. I like roller coasters, so any place that has a few of those is OK with me. It's not something we do a lot of though.

My sister, on the other a fanatic. She and her family love all things Disney. They have a time share place down there (very nice) and make the pilgrimage from suburban Philadelphia at least once a year, usually right after Christmas and through New Year's Day. Then they go at least one more time during the year. They're Disney experts. They plan out the whole week, making lunch reservations on arrival in each park for the day(s) they plan to be there. They have the whole fast pass thing (where you wait in shorter lines) down to a many they can get, when they can get them, all that.

We...just aren't all that. We've been there a few times, always the Magic Kingdom or Epcot. We hadn't been there in a few years 4 or 5. So this year I traded e-mails with my sister before Christmas on an unrelated matter, and she said, "We'll be in Orlando from the 27th until the 2nd. Love to see you if you can make it." I thought, why not?

We had a few other things to do over the holidays, but I thought, we could take a day and road trip down. I looked at the calendar and thought...Tuesday. I talked to the wife, and she informed me she had to work Tuesday, but she's not a "ride" person anyway. The youngster and I should go. So I called my sister on Saturday. They were getting ready to eat dinner in Epcot. They had Animal Kingdom on their schedule for Tuesday (lunch reservations already made). Perfect. We've never been.

So the youngster and I set out Tuesday morning around 7:15. We were in the park by 9:30, meeting my sister at the entrance.

Now, I should stop and say, the youngster isn't a "ride" person either. He's especially not a roller coaster "ride" person. When we do go to amusement parks, I usually have to do roller coasters solo. Maybe that's one reason we don't go a lot. The youngster also knows the people we are going to see are huge "ride" people. He really wants to see his cousins, but he is more than a little anxious about what rides may be in store. I looked online the night before, and assured him, it looked like there was one roller coaster. It's not anything extreme though. It looks a bit like Thunder Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, but it has a part where it goes backwards. No time spent upside down in loops or rolls. That was some comfort, but not a whole lot. I told him I didn't expect him to ride it, and I'd stay with him while the others did. That wasn't much comfort either. He knew he'd feel pressured to ride it.

It's with that frame of reference we go back to the entrance, meeting my sister, who informs us her husband and kids are already waiting in line for Expedition Everest (aka. the roller coaster) and we are supposed to join them there. The youngster is in apprehension overload.

We make it through the line and we sit near the back of the train which is the ride. We strap in and start with a few little twists and turns before climbing up the big hill. It's then he turns to me and says, "I don't know about this." I grabbed his hand and said it'll be OK.

Long story a little shorter, he loved it. Spending the rest of the day with my sister and her fast pass efficiency was great. We rode that coaster several more times, as well as just about everything else in the park, and got to see two elephants humping on the safari ride...oh joy. Some guy in the back of our car was cheering them on. In the youngster's mind, that was one of the highlights of the trip, right up there with the roller coaster. We spent the morning in the park, ate lunch, rode the big water ride (and were soaked, but it was 70-something degrees on December 30th, and we weren't the least bit cold and dried off in about an hour). and went back to their time share place, played some miniature golf, and went back to the park in the evening, which worked out well. Animal Kingdom can pretty much be seen in less than a day, especially if you roll with the experts. We had our fill, spent some family time, and were home by 10:30.


Monday, January 05, 2009

the concept of Christmas presents

Once again, I've been proven to be wrong. It's not a big deal. It happens on occasion. This one, though, hit me in the "long standing belief" part of my brain, so it was a little shocking.

For the longest time, I thought the concept of Christmas presents was to go out and find something you believe the person you are getting a gift for would actually like. The amount of time and effort you put into such a search might be proportional to how much you give a shit, or you may know in an instant what the person would want. The end result though, was giving them something you believe they would enjoy on some level. Even a gag gift is supposed to produce a chuckle.

So it was with some consternation that I unwrapped one of my presents...a tie. I'm used to getting at least one tie for Christmas/birthdays. It wasn't the tie that made me wonder. It was the color/theme. It's a gaudy tie dyed blue and orange, with black Florida Gator logos all over it.

As I have mentioned before, the youngster is a large Florida Gator fan. not. It's not that I dislike them. Come this Thursday night, I'll actually root for them when they play Oklahoma for the national championship. Should they lose, however, I won't lose any sleep that night. Likewise, if they win, I won't be jumping up and down in some celebratory fashion. More than anything, I'm just hoping for a good game.

So, the youngster got me this flamboyant Gator tie, and he's all happy about it....happier than I'll ever be. I am wearing it today though, and he's even happier about that. Call it my gift to him.

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Friday, January 02, 2009

It's being some interesting time off for the holidays

This ought to be worth a few days in the blogosphere, but I'll start with the most personally scary. Let me start by saying I'm OK. All the limbs and body parts are still in their rightful place and functioning as they have before, if not always the way they're supposed to.

I've been doing a lot of bike riding since Christmas every day, until this past Monday. Then we road tripped to Georgia to see some of the wife's family, and Tuesday, the youngster and I road tripped to Orlando to visit with my sister and her family who were spending a few days in Mouseland. Wednesday (New Year's Eve) though, I was feeling guilty and went out for what was supposed to be about 30 miles of pedaling, but it got stopped short about 5 miles in, when I got hit by a pick up truck. I was in the bike lane on a main road and he approached at an intersection from the right. It was a construction vehicle from one of the developments being built in a sparsely inhabited area (which is why I like biking there...less traffic). He had a stop sign, and slowed down..almost to a stop....almost. I thought he was stopping, but that never happened. I was crossing right in front of him and he never stopped. He clipped my back tire as I turned away from him and tried to speed up when I realized he really wasn't going to stop. I went out into the road, front wheel turned in the direction I was skidding and back wheel just kind of skipping across the pavement, and somehow, I stayed upright. When I finally came to a stop, I was still upright, but my back wheel wouldn't move.

I looked back, and the truck was on the side of the road. Well, I thought, at least he didn't run. A Mexican guy, probably mid-thirties, came running from the truck, and tried to ask if I was OK, but he couldn't speak a lick of English. He got his point across though, and said a friend would be around soon who could speak English. A few minutes later a guy who happened to be going the other way, came back to see if I was OK as well. he said, "I saw the whole thing. Great save man! I don't know how you stayed on that bike." Frankly, neither do I. It happened pretty fast. I was still shaking though.

Finally the interpreter showed up and, while his English wasn't great, it got the job done. I explained that the wheel was shot. I didn't think there was any frame damage. The paint wasn't even scratched. He explained that his buddy was very sorry. He didn't see me because he was on the phone. Somewhere in here, in hindsight, I should have been very pissed off, especially since driving while talking on the phone is one of my pet peeves. I wasn't though. I think I was just happy to be standing there in one piece. The shaking hadn't stopped. They offered to take me to the bike shop, so I took them up on that.

About two minutes later, me and my bike are in the back of a panel truck with two Mexicans who are doing a lot of talking, none of it in English. They stop and talk to another guy, again not in English, and about then I'm thinking...dude, what did you get yourself into? You're in a truck with no windows, and these guys are speaking a language you don't understand, and now there's three of them and one of you. Fortunately, that was all that was...a little more of a scare in my head. They, in reality, were trying to gather some money. Finally they guy said he had $200. If I wanted to take that, he'd give me his personal information if it was more.

We went to the bike shop, but it was closed for New Years Eve. They took me home and left me with the $200. The bike shop was closed yesterday as well, but I finally got it there today. The prognosis, the back wheel is shot. They're checking the frame. Total cost, a bit more than $200, but I'm not even going to call the guy. I'll just eat it and keep on truckin. I'd be surprised if that was any less than a day's pay (or two) for him, and even though I'm the victim in all this, I'm also grateful to be in one call it my offering to the karma gods.

Happy New Year y'all!