The flower pictured here is a Plumeria ‘red’ from the island of Oahu. Beautiful? Smells even better than it looks. Wow. Capture and bottle that smell and you’ve got a winner throughout the year. I actually bought some Plumeria oil on Kauai some years ago. And occasionally I put some on my watch to remind me of what I love about the Plumeria – its wonderful fragrance.
Is that a ‘micro’ sized version of “nesia?” Think not. It’s a real place that’s some 3,800 west of Hawai’i. Some travel. With jet travel by Continental Airlines (only), Micronesia is 4 or 5 hours from Hawai’i. Umm, so that’s a real haul from little ‘ol Tennessee. Attached is a photo that I uncovered from my searches of – specifically – the Marshall Islands. WOW. Can you soak that up or what. Robert Louis Stevenson called it the “Pearl of the Pacific.” More wow. I’ve thought about this photo most of the day (during free thinking moments), and there were so few that I’m now thinking about it again and WOW. I’m going there. Period.
I learned about Micronesia from a flight instructor I met while on the island of Oahu. His wife, from Micronesia, was lovely and they were a neat couple. They spoke so lovingly of Micronesia that – it was better than any brochure or website. It was – WOW. So – if and when the work-gods allow me to take a break, I’m haulin my happy ass to … Micronesia. I may stay there for a year or two or forever. Yeah.
Iokwe – translation – Welcome.
Somebody is watching you.
If you are part of a blended family (and many of us are in that situation) – please link over and read this article. Carefully selected and discerningly read, the article clears up the multitude of issues which result from relational “triangulation” — and it also offers clarity regarding the impact of triangulation within family units. Please know one thing, the article will help only those who can read and look within themselves to be honest about blended family situations.
REMINDER: Should you have issues with my blog, I suggest you take your happy ass over to my Rules section.
Happy Friday …
NOTE: There are LOTS of photos in my bank of images from the weekend. I was able to capture mostly Elite Men and Pro Women along with Men 1-2. There are 1600 images total. The Men 1-2 CRIT photos will be posted later today. If you see an image – use it and use my name to recognize its use. Other than that – mine are FREE. If you want a particular image (larger file), just email me: email@example.com – I’ll do my best to find it.
This past Sunday I traveled to the Foothills Parkway and enjoyed the mountain air, the scenic views and some climbing. Getting there was a challenge due to the line of cars backed up from the “open house” on the north side of the Foothills Parkway. I’m not certain what was served at the open house, but I suspect it was either money or alcohol (due to the number of cars – ha). The attached photo is just a Pentax snapshot of spring – springing in Great Smoky Mountains. I enjoyed it – a lot.
With a four-day work-week behind me, I made time to consider the great state of Aloha. Ergo, I’ve developed my Top 10 reasons to visit the great state of Aloha … aka, Hawaii.
The Top 10
10. It’s Hawaii, do I REALLY need to enumerate the reasons? It’s far enough away that you feel far enough away.
9. Sun. Plenty of it and no industry to pollute the air.
8. No snakes.
7. You can enjoy a sunrise and sunset on the same day without flying.
6. The temperature is highly stable. Average high temperature in Hawaii in August: 88. Average low temperature in Hawaii in January: 75.
5. Great fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, sailing and boating opportunities all around.
4. Beautiful wahines in tiny bikinis. NOTE: a wahine is a woman and when you pronounce it, it rhymes with bikini. Yes, now you get it.
3. Some of the world’s best beaches and scenic mountains are within sight of one another.
2. Almost no mosquitoes or flies. Well, there are mosquitoes, but few.
1. Laid-back lifestyle. The laid-back lifestyle and attitude makes Southern “front porch sittin’” seem stressful and hurried by comparison.
The time trial, for Masters men, started early. Burr is what I added to “Pain Mountain.” It was 46 degrees when we started (my start time was 8:10), a little wet (just rained prior to the start) and misty.
Lots of guys were on road bikes and that made me wonder, “what the hell am I doing with my TT bike?” It didn’t matter at that point because I left my road bike at the hotel! I strolled over to a guy who was preparing some wheels for a team and asked him to help me with my rear disc wheel. In getting it pumped up I asked if lots of guys were on TT bikes. His comment: “The first 5 or 6 miles are the race and a TT bike will give you an advantage.” With the tire and the insights I started to warm up.
Naturally I like to push my luck in getting to the starting line on time. I rolled to the start area with ONE minute to spare. Literally. I pulled off my rain jacket and clipped in my pedals.
Somewhere at mile 4-ish, I passed my thirty-second man, then my one-minute man, then my minute-and-a-half man … but that was mid-way up Pain Mountain. Ha.
Pain Mountain is an 18%-20% grade in the steepest section. Clearly I had the wrong gears … as I almost ground to a halt. At 1Km I clicked over to 23 minutes … and it took me another three and a half minutes to climb 1Km. WTF! Let me tell you – I can climb but not on a TT bike, with the wrong gears, slipping tire, stabbing pain, etc. etc. A little easier gear (I had an 11-23 on the rear) would have helped. I finished at 26:29 (8 miles total).
Later in the day I learned that I was 10th overall – with just 19 seconds separating the guys in 5th through 10th position. I kept imaging a different gear selection and what I “could have done.” Ok – next year. I was happy to pull a 10th place finish.
I left the area and drove back to Lancaster. I ate a Mickey D’s Egg McMuffin and then I stopped at Sheetz and got a breakfast burrito to go. I drank more coffee … I went in and packed … I showered (again) … I readied my road bike. I left.
CRIT Time. First, I dislike crit racing. I’ve had two lovely wrecks in crits and both ended in concussions. My policy is to start at the back and work my way up. Crazy policy but at least I have the opportunity to either be dropped or move up.
The short version: I moved up to 20th place in the crit and never worked that hard. We averaged 25.8 for 22 laps. Pretty fast considering that we slowed up with 7 lead changes.
SUMMARY: 17th in RR, 10th in TT and 20th in Crit; 16th overall and I was happy to walk away from the weekend with some lessons to help me in the future. One thing I learned – in a Masters field full of CAT1/2’s you can bank on it being fast, intense and competitive. I believe the Tour de Ephrata is on my list of repeats for 2009.
What a day. I’m thankful I left on Thursday – whew. I drove about 7 hours today and that’s too damn much. The drive was comfortable but the extra hours (several extra hours) dedicated to finding a hotel, the road race location, the time trail course and then the hotel itself … were exhaustive. When I FINALLY made it to the hotel (after driving around downtown Lancaster, PA for an hour looking for a place to get some take out) – guess what?
It was prom night. Without these photos no one would believe me. It was a mad house. Too much perfume, too much “Axe,” and too much bling, too much cleavage, and way too many guys in sneakers rather than formal shoes. Proof.
I arrived at the hotel (and couldn’t pull up to the door), I walked a “fur” piece with three bags and such. I entered the lobby after passing six stretch limos, three stretch Hummer limos and a Firetruck. There were at least three hundred people with all the parents and brothers/sisters and such. The bellboy had to make a path for me so I could dodge dresses, tuxes, and lots of kids having a good time. Waiting in line I lifted my Canon 400d and snapped a bunch of photos. Ha.
I’ll get there.
Dinner was good but it was VERY late too. I finally sacked out at 10:30 I realized I had over-done it not just for the day but for the week. I believe my workout on Wednesday (three hours in the AM – not even 12 hours from the race-like effort Tuesday evening) – was killa. I needed to go easy. I hit it again hard on Thursday AM – and knew I hadn’t recovered.
So …. all the driving and hotel shiznet did me in for the day.
When I was ready for bed I had a couple of other issues: 1) the music from “the prom” was jamming and 2) Jojo was using my Mac-cam to catch up with a friend in South Africa. I finally pulled the plug and said – “lights out!”
More from the races tomorrow. No bedbugs here. Cya.
Ok then. I left on time and had an open road with lots of po-po in the way. No less than 6 before I left town. My happy ass is en route to Ephrata, Pennsylvania — near Lancaster, PA. My pal Jojo and I stopped along the way to pick up some of his friends.
(L to R: Sneaky, Red, CrossEye, Slim, and Popeye)
The attached photo depicts the mod-squad – some real punks if you ask me. Thank goodness they sat in the trunk and were a bunch of funky monkies. Then, when we got to the hotel room — Mr. Bigshot — Jojo — was the first one to call for a beer! Showing off. (He puked about 2AM!).
Alright. The road is calling and I’ve got a buck-twenty-five in the morning. I’ll catch up on the photos and travel talk later. Best get the mod-squad up and fed. peace.
Please link over to the site for the Cherohala Skyway. You’ll notice ICE & SNOW in the header photograph. Snow – ice – as recent as last week. BURRR. Warm is coming when? The Cherohala Challenge is coming soon to 400 pair of legs just hankering to hurt. The attached photo is a reminder of what’s coming. Distance junkies are readying their bikes, bodies and water bottles. I’m doing my part to suffer now – so I can suffer later. 9%- yes, that’s close enough to 10.
Plumeria is a small genus of 7-8 species native to tropical and subtropical Americas. The genus consists of mainly deciduous shrubs and trees. P. rubra (Common Frangipani, Red Frangipani), native to Mexico, Central America, and Venezuela, produces flowers ranging from yellow to pink depending on form or cultivar. From Mexico and Central America, Plumeria has spread to all tropical areas of the world, especially Hawaii, where it grows so abundantly that many people think that it is indigenous there.
A beach is a geological landform along the shoreline of a body of water. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, or cobble. The particles of which the beach is composed can sometimes instead have biological origins, such as shell fragments or coralline algae fragments.
The State of Hawaii (pronounced /həwaiiː/ or /hawaɪiiː/; Hawaiian: Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi) is one of the United States, located on an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. The state was admitted to the Union on August 21, 1959, making it the 50th state. Its capital is located in its major city, Honolulu on the island of Oahu. The most recent census puts the state’s population at 1,211,537.
And a dozen other things that are mentionable but unmentionable. This photo is terrific. On oh so many fronts. I love the fact that life has its ups, downs and tallness to get us into noticing what’s around us. I notice so many things because of my career, my second career at UTK and because of the way I view the world – through a camera.
This coming weekend is a spring-fling of photos and we’ll find out what Mother Nature offered up this year by way of flowers, spring bugs and buds on trees. Later.
The last of the group presentations focused on “voting.” A burr under my saddle because I’ve got major issues with voting in general. Hanging chads, sneaky candidates, prostitute rings, mismanaging money, taking SUPER-long breaks from sessions, greasing PAC leaders’ vacation plans, etc. etc.
Putting those biased thoughts aside, I opened up to the idea of voting – again. Sorta like the second strike by MLB (I gave up on them and haven’t gone back to watching). Ok-Ok.
Much like the prior three groups – this was an excellent presentation. It was informational, newsy, and persuasive. I felt as if the team of students really dug in and worked hard to convince all of us (i.e., me) to vote. The call to action was a voter registration card! Go figure.
My vote will be cast — in the next presidential election. No worries. And to COM240 – great work!
It rained here most of the day – blah! It was raining when we woke, raining before we rode. The rain passed while we were out, but once we landed back home the pelting of droplets kept coming. And it rained for the rest of the afternoon – and it’s still raining. The forecasters missed the boat, the PFD and the they must have issues reading the radar screen.
On the Big Island it was snowy. Ergo the photo. Lots of it – with a clear view and calm winds. I would have traded the snow for rain today – especially if it were on the Big Island. The ocean, just miles away, makes the snowball toss even more fun. More about that later. Aloha.