Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winter Cross

So... since this blog is mostly for family... and I keep attempting to explain what this "cyclocross" business is to family... I figured I should do a post to help make some sense of it.

Typically, you have a tight winding course 1-2 miles long and it is ridden for 45ish minuets. It is set up on grass (or maybe sand or mud or...whatever) with at least a few hills and a few barriers. Part of a course might look something like this.

And they put barriers at the dumbest (most challenging?) places, like here:
The perspective makes it hard to tell, but that is a ~20" barrier on a slippery, steep little climb.

This however is normal fall cyclocross.............
we all know... that it is now mid-December and the rain/mud has turned to SNOW!!

So the course this past weekend looked a bit more like this:
I'm in the red. You can see in the background a rider dropping down the slope, about to enter a winding part of the course. Then over a ..."natural" barrier.
^ not me.

The snow makes it a whole new ball game. There was a section where we rode up and down a sort of ditch line.

It was...slippery to say the least.

Going down looked something like this:

or this:
^not me

What those pictures don't show is what the riders are riding down INTO. Each time riding down the off-camber ditchline, one is riding right into this concrete barrier and/or the river.



Before this particular race, we were told to bring 50 pennies. ....At the start they announced that at some point during the race we had to exit the course and run to the top of the Mullets deck

where some delightful ladies were asking Trivial Pursuit questions!! If you missed the question, you had to pay in pennies to get a second question. If you answered correctly, you could go race!

It was brilliant.

What's almost as exciting? The free beerverages, giveaways and socializing at the end!!!
Ben guards the beer and melts hearts :

And that is how/why we still ride bikes in winter in Iowa. Can you possibly imagine a better way to spend a Saturday? Also... this is 2/2 Mullet win... if we see a 3/3... a Mullet might be in the works for Someone.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Tree

We put our Christmas tree up over Thanksgiving break:

I almost put my back out as I grabbed it from Ben's room (no, that is a lie...) where it had been up all year! We are not too into the holiday decorating. I suppose it isn't that we don't Want to... we mostly just do not make the time - we spend it on baking edible Christmas things which makes Much more sense to me.

You may recall last years Mario-Log:

but we get by in Jared and Kim fashion. Presents look like this when Jared gets put in charge:
Those aren't diapers in there...Cris will be SO confused! ...What a cute little nephew!

Ben will be confused too i'm sure.... I can't imagine why though, everything in his life makes perfect sense...

(...leave it to Jared...)

Also... it supposedly "blizzard"ed here last night. Unfortunately it was not a Dairy Queen blizzard....mmmm strawberry cheeeeesecaaaake........ instead it was a few inches of crap and wind. I suppose I should be greatful that it swirled around us so we did not get as much as many but... if it is going to "blizzard" ...BLIZZARD then!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wake up alarm

This morning, as the sun was barely awake and the house had just a hint of light coming in. Jared shakes me a bit to wake me up.

I grunt "what"

Soon I hear the /swish/swish/swish/swish/ sound of Benjamin's pants and glance over Jared to spy the little mop head of hair roaming around our room.

Jared is trying to hold in his laughter and I join him in this endeavor.

It becomes increasingly difficult as the /swish/swish/swish/er leaves and comes back with his monster truck in tow. He even pushes the buttons to make it growl and shake or ....whatever it does.

We grin and at that moment I think we're both wishing we knew what the hell went on in our child's head.

The /swish/swish/swish/er leaves and comes back. Kicks Luda out of Luda's bed and from the sounds we can only guess he takes over the bed.

But only for a moment as he of course has to go get his cup.

Upon his return, Jared cannot handle the hiding too much more. Reaches his hand slowly out over the bed and as ben walks by..... GRRRRRRR!!!!

Spooks ben with excitement.


For now...this is a far better way to wake up than someone screaming or yelling at you from another room.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I type this as I lay awake in bed, waiting for the benadryl to kick in. My phone alarm went off to inform me that I need to dose up again. The only thing that gets me through my days anymore is tylenol. My throat is sore, my body aches, my intestines don't function properly, my eyes are watery, and my nose is full of some kind of strange mucus that, no matter how much I blow, seems to be caught in some strange, unreachable cranny in one of my sinuses. I can sometimes clear it out by snorting through my nose, but then I have to swallow, which, I tell you, I might as well be swallowing knives. Well, I'm sure that didn't disgust you. In any case, the point I'm trying to make is that drugs are good.


For me, it all started Friday evening, judging testing, where I had conjunctivitis - highly unpleasant (at least that has mostly cleared up). I was fine on Saturday and most of Sunday, but Sunday night, I felt a little bit tired - more tired than usual, aaaaaand then this crap happened. I turned into a walking nightmare, shortly followed by Kim's transformation. And that's the worst part. Kim is normally the most positive, chipper, happideedoo person, and now she's also turned into the same kind of tired, sore, infected, mucosal ass factory that I have. Well...maybe it's not that bad.

Well...where was I....kind of lost my train of thought here. Oh yeah! I guess the whole point I'm trying to make is, I HATE GERMS!!!!!! That's all I'm really trying to say. And if you happen to find yourself in the same kind of ill loathing, feverish, sack of nasty that we have, just remember, there's always a little drug called acetaminophen. I'm going to sleep.

They're trying to kill me! It kind of upsets me.

Goodnight. I hope all the germs in our bodies suffer horrible, gruesome deaths at the hands of our immune systems.

Okay Ben, You win!

Well recently I've been giving Ben a rough time about being fussy.
LITTLE DID WE KNOW what the poor guy was going through. Now it is our turn to have this awful sickness, whatever it is, and wish for nothing more than to lay on the couch. Gross!

So now, as we kick and scream about putting jackets on and refuse all foods except chocolate of course... Benjamin runs around us going "swish swish swish" trying to get us to sing "Wheels on the Bus" for the bagillionth time.

Safe to say, we're thrilled that Ben has returned as our happy little man... weighing himself to see how many more cookies he can beg for...

And since that silly video never loaded from the post about switching ben's crib over:

You better believe this is him trying to "jump" on the bed. Ha.

It is good to report that he has yet to fall out.... in fact now in the evenings we ask him if he is ready for bed. If he isn't, he says "no" and if he is he walks right into his room and waits for us to come tuck him in.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Can someone please tell me why every duck item is bright yellow?
Other than a few baby ducks....I can't say I've hardly EVER seen bright yellow ducks in my life... :/ weird.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter is upon us

Well the big burley beast know as COLD is shaking a fist in our faces. What a jerk. I'm .32% convinced that it is part of the reason Benjamin is hating life these days. Well maybe he isn't hating it, but he sure as hell is fussy. He is stuck in this spiral of crap he doesn't want to do in order to do the crap he wants to do *I know that feeling ben, I do* So he wants to go outside, but it is cold out. So to go, he would have to put a coat on. So he cries if he goes outside and it is cold (and his fingers turn purple...) and he is miserable if he has to put his winter coat on. This is a tough predicament for the little man as he LOOOOOVES playing outside.

We have only twice attempted to explain the benefit of wearing gloves to keep hands warm. TRUST US CHILD, THEY WILL NOT MAKE YOUR HANDS DISINTEGRATE!! He swears up and down that they will... I wonder who told him that? Uncle Bruce!??!??

Maybe we should coat them in peanut butter to keep them warm... send him outside immediately after breakfast.... Yes yes... I like where this is headed..........