Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Noise Polution

Anybody else think that new Nike/ACDC commercial is just about the coolest ad ever seen on the tele? It really does inspire me to at least entertain the thought of rolling outta bed at the crack-ass of dawn and go outside and just do it. I can visualize it. Nike hit a homerun with that one.

AI sucked tonight. The early weeks are great for watching all the clowns go down in flames but tonight even the tards weren’t that funny. A harbinger of things to come? I’m sure all of you, my loyal readers, were riveted to your chairs last night when the Flyers stormed back from two goals down to win one in OT against the NYR. Again, I ask you, how can you not find entertainment in that? Wait, don’t answer that. It was rhetorical.

Hebe dropped off some grub from Panera today. Good stuff. Thanks man.

W is speaking to the nation right now. Here’s another question for you. Whether you lean right as I do or left, does the mere sight or sound of a politician drive you up the wall. I’m not just talking about the prez. I mean all of ‘em. Republicans, Dems, they’re all a bunch of Aholes. Right or left, right or wrong, just a bunch of chumps. Here in PA the issue the past 6 months or so has been the pay raise the legislators gave themselves and the outrage that ensued. After the entire taxpaying public had a meltdown the payraise was revoked. In the coming months those who voted for it will meet their day of reckoning. Shit hit the fan and people are still pissed. A lot of state senators and representatives will be out of a cushy job.

Anyway, back to W. He’s quite a polarizing fella. As is the war. IMHO he can’t win. After 9/11 if he did little or nothing (ie Slick Willy lobbing a couple firecrackers at a garment factory after the USS Cole was attacked) who knows where we’d be in terms of our security here or abroad. Obviously we all know what the war has stirred up.

Enough of politics. I hate bringing it up and I apologize for it. Politics is one of those things that either pisses someone off or puts someone to sleep.

41 days for you. 42 days for me. Sonsabitches!

Monday, January 30, 2006


A pretty uneventful week. I haven’t had much to say about riding lately mainly because I haven’t ridden all that much. I think I’m going to try a different approach to riding this year. In years past I would ride from April thru September and call it a day after that. Pretty much a fair weather rider. I’d get fat in the winter and spend three months trying to drop back to a “summer” weight. Ultimately, I ended up a terminal fat-ass. The weight stopped coming off. My all-time fattest was 177lb. Once I got serious about getting fit and healthy I rode a lot more and ate much better and riding became much more of a daily routine. I did Hebe’s first CX race and got my ass handed to me in the C race. I didn’t like that feeling of getting womped, so again, riding took more of a priority. Now, at this point, I’ve stayed on my bike for two solid years. No time off. Straight through winter. Not that I was doing huge miles in the winter but every day off I was riding. So, here we are late January and I’ve taken it easy the past few weeks and feel really good about it. I’ve added a couple lbs but it honestly feels great to just chill for a little. A couple weekends ago Erin and I went over to Pinchot and hiked for 2hrs. I have continued to commute just about every day this year so far but that’s more a way of life as opposed to training. I’ve stayed active.

So how is my approach this year going to differ from years past? I made a deal with the devil, so to speak. In exchange for building 4 wheels for Coach Hebe he gives structure to my riding from Mid-March thru ‘cross. Essentially, I will be doing the same workouts as Mike just two months behind him. Basically what that means is this; I’m going to get my miles in, just not right now. I’ll probably end up riding approx the same total miles as last year but with structure the miles will have more purpose. Quality miles instead of JRA. I’m hoping the end result is more power and speed for ‘cross. Hopefully I can gain a couple more minutes during CX. If I could have done the three B races I did in ’05 two minutes faster I would have been at least top five to possibly battling for the lead. Easier said than done but if you break it down to 15-20 seconds per lap it doesn’t seem quite as outta reach. Stay tuned.

Tonight I will begin a countdown. A countdown to a day that’s been long overdue. I know there are some of you who are also on the edge of your seat waiting for this day. March 12th. Enough said. My anguish is this. VisitPA Ray and I are headed up to the Serotta compound in Saratoga Springs, NY to attend a three day bike fit seminar. March 9-13. The 9th and 13th are drive days. 5hr trip. No way around it. Even if we do the drive home on the 12th after the seminar ends we’d never make it back to the ‘Burg in time. My best case scenario is to catch the replay on Monday night, the 13th. I just have to rely on my wife and friends to not spoil anything before I can watch it. Funny thing about Erin is she claims the show is disgusting and horrible yet she will plant herself right next to me and doesn’t miss an episode. If I did my math correctly there are 42 days until you, my friends get to watch. 43 days until I do. Dammit!

Wow, it sure was nice today. Another day of sun means another day without that miserable white shit. GOODNIGHTNOW!

Monday, January 23, 2006

What color is your neck?

We’ve got digital cable here at the Kessel Ranch. Included in the package we have is about 9 different Cinemax channels. In the past two weeks I think I’ve watched bits and pieces of Sideways just about every other night and it gets better every time I see it. Some might think it’s slow and I wouldn’t disagree but it is interesting and pretty damn funny. Two thumbs way up.

So, last Wednesday I woke up and felt a little not-so-great-but-I’ll-go-to-work-anyway. I was out delivering all day and I progressively felt crappier. By the time I got home in the evening my head was boiling and I ached like a mf’er. Dunno what was going on but I managed to sleep ok and felt better Thursday. Weird stuff though. I was hating life Wed night. Glad it’s not the flu or something along those lines.

Now, just for The Mrs Legend, I must confess my attendance to my sisters bridal shower Saturday night. Believe me, it’s not something I was thrilled about but I feel like I do have a good excuse. First you have to know a little info about me and Mrs Kessel. She’s born and raised in Cape May, NJ. My sister and I were born and raised in Adams County, PA. Translation: My sister(Shannon) and I grew up in a major redneck area of Pennsyltucky. Erin grew up far from it. So when Erin was invited to attend Shannon’s bridal shower I felt a small responsibility to (A) get here there, as she had no idea where on earth she was going, and (B) shield her from as much redneckery as I could, as she knows none of Shannon’s friends. The end result was really no big deal. There were approx 20 cackling women in attendance but it was pretty tame. We had dinner and had some laughs and were home by 10pm. I know Shannon and some of her friends made a allnighter of it but we had enough. The wedding should be real interesting. I moved away from all that redneckidness 10yrs ago. I don’t want to portray myself as better than a redneck, only to say that I AM a redneck who wears a figurative scarf to cover it up. I’m sure it’ll be a riot.

Toys. The Wifey will tell you I have enough already. My thoughts are you can never have too many. My latest desire is Satellite Radio. Way back when I was a little punk I was always drawn to AM radio. I would go to bed every night with a radio in my bed and I’d try to tune in anything sports related and if I couldn’t find that I’d settle for anything that sounded interesting. Who else remembers when Dr Ruth was on radio? Believe me, when your 11yrs old Dr Ruth is VERY interesting. Point being, for over 20 years of my life I’ve enjoyed talk radio. Before I was married I would go to sleep and just leave the radio on all night. It may sound weird but it’s soothing to me to fall asleep to a couple clowns debate the latest sports news. After marriage falling asleep with the radio barking full blast has become a little more of a no-no. My sleep suffered. Using the “marriage is full of compromises” ploy didn’t work with The Wifey on that matter so my solution was, drumroll, earphones. Can you believe my wife makes me go to sleep every night with earphones in my head just so I can sleep well? At any rate, I’m diggin the variety I can get with XM and also the ability to listen at home or in car seems pretty cool. I haven’t picked it up yet. Within a month or so.

Speaking of my truck. I filled the tank this morning. I was trying to remember the last time before today. I knew it was a while. As I was sitting there waiting for the tank to fill I found the receipt from the last fill up. November 26th. 59 days ago. Beauty, eh?

Sunday, January 22, 2006


I have too much I want to write and no attention span right now to blog so pipe down and sit tight. Yes, I attended my sister’s bridal shower and it couldn’t have been more UNeventful. Just a lot of necks hangin’ out at the local watering hole. Now get back to grooming your feet and take a pill.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'll have the roast duck

I hate to sound like a broken record but, holy shit, I’ve done nothing but deliver fitness ever since the first of the year. I honestly thought it would have tailed off a bit by now but it seems like people are showing up by the bus load to buy this stuff. Especially ellipticals. Especially this elliptical. Also selling a bunch of this treadmill. Anyway, it’s a little exhausting heaving this crap up and down and all around homes all day but it is cool to be out of the shop hours at a time. Yesterday five pieces. Today 4 pieces. Tomorrow a trip to Ghettosburg followed by Hershey followed by a short trip to Mechanicsburg. All ellipticals. Should be fun. My day off Thursday looks like another great weather day. Lucky me. Still waiting for that snow Amy. Heh heh.

I purchased my first USCF license November of last year. Upon receiving it I noticed they are trying to classify ‘crossers similar to roadies. I think. My license has me a Category 4 which I believe may be the case with anyone buying their first license. I haven’t raced much but I have done some and with satisfying results so it was my wish to try and upgrade from a Cat 4 to at least a 3. My understanding is a 4 is a beginner and a 1 is a flat out rocket. On Nate’s recommendation I submitted a request to the USCF for an upgrade. Better to get it done now instead of waiting until the fall. I listed my results from the past two years and shot for a Cat 2 thinking it wouldn’t hurt to gun for it. What’s the worst that could happen? So, today I got my answer. I opened the email expecting an upgrade to a 3. Turns out they made me a 2. Awesome! I’m still not sure what that means in the grand scheme of things but I’d imagine what that means is I can race in any race I want with the only exception being a UCI Elite race. Which would never cross my mind. In the past cross races ran C(fast), B(faster), A(fastest) along with masters(35+) and women and juniors. I started in ’03 and’04 doing C races getting my feet wet. In ’05 I jumped up to the B’s and got my feet wetter. I had a couple great races. Now my fantastic coach has laid down the law for ’06. A full MAC sked. I can’t wait. What I’m curious about, if I may bore you just a little longer, is will ‘cross promoters continue to run races A-B-C or make things easier to figure out run 1-2/3-3/4 at UCI’s and 1/2-2/3-3/4 at non-UCI’s? Hmmm.

The Wifey is over at her friends house watching the new American Idol tonight. Her and Nicki work together and seem to have a grand ole time together. Next week I think we’re hosting the AI part. Joy. As long as it doesn’t interrupt anything involving a frozen pond and a rubber puck we should be ok.

Until we meet again.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sir, Is your head on fire?

Another amazing day today. 61 and blazin sun. More importantly, I was off. I had a few chores The Wifey asked me to do. As much as I wanted to leave the xmas lights up all year it probably was the right time to take ‘em down. So, after the chores were done it was time to get out for a little ride.

Unfortunately I just missed Hebe’s call to see if I was riding. Call my cell. I ALWAYS carry it with me on rides. You never know when a BB might fail 13 miles from home. Legendary. What a great ride today. I was dressed perfectly. There wasn’t much wind. Just a beautiful day. I even covered up my knees at the urging of Coach Hebe. I hated to do it but it’s for the best. I also stayed in my small ring the entire ride. It made a big difference. Funny how something like that, a no brainer really, makes such a difference. Dumb, to be honest. There is no reason at all to be in my 53 right now. I rode almost 2 ½ hrs and felt fresh enough to go another hour more if I weren’t so damn hungry. Learn. Remember.

I saw the funniest thing today while riding. I hit a road popular with the local bike club and wasn’t surprised to see a few other people riding also. I came up over a rise and noticed a rotund figure on a comfort mtn bike sittin WAY upright JRA. As I get closer, I notice what appeared to be a big puff of smoke coming from this fellas head. Weird? It’s too warm for me to see this guys breath. Is his head on fire? WTF? It all came into focus as I passed our subject. A thing of beauty. Old fat guy riding his comfort rig with a giant stogie hanging out of his mouth, Clint Eastwood style. A little wave and that was that, but man what a sight. Give him partial credit for getting his fat ass out to exercise.

I keep forgetting to mention that VisitPA Ray asked his girlfriend, Nancy, for her hand in marriage. He got a positive answer so look for a wedding down the road. Congrats on the news. Drop Ray a call or email and offer him all the advice we can. It’s our duty as men to look out for each other in times like this.

I finally linked up Josh’s blog which you’ll find on the right under The Original Jack Ass. He lives in NoCal but grew up right here in Dillsburg, PA. He started working at Holmes when he was 15. We made a man outta young Josh. Or corrupted him. Take your pick. Depends who you talk to, I guess. He ended up getting married to Beth, the chick he was dating while working at Holmes, so I suppose we didn’t mold him into too bad of a guy. Smart as a whip and the fascinating ability to make grown men act like an 8yr old. I never had so much fun. Anyway, check him out.

I also finally got around to linking up Ryan Leech, aka Dieter. I don’t know him very well but he is the fastest ‘crosser we have in the MAC and has a way with words I always find a good read.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Free Delivery

Things have finally settled down a little at Holmes. The fact that I didn’t work much over the holiday and we sold an ass load of fitness meant I was out delivering shit all last week and the first part of this week. Last week was nuts. I worked 30hrs last week but I’m sure I was on the road 26 of those hours delivering. Not that I was complaining much. Any time I can spend outside the shop makes for a less stressful day. And before I get made fun of for calling a bike shop stressful let me explain. This time of year we are nowhere near as busy as summer. Since The Boss Man refuses to spend any time away from the shop save for a few weeklong trips a year, it actually is hard work trying to find something to do. No cubicle to hide in. No office. Just pretend you’re busy when you’re not. That’s my stress. Now put my stress up against The Wifey’s(Distance Learning School Teacher) or Mrs Legend’s(PA Court System-what do you do again?) or The Legend’s(pimping drugs to doctor’s) or a Heart Surgeon or a Marine or a, well you get the idea. My stress is really nothing at all and I would never let you think it was anything more than a minor annoyance.

So, last Saturday my delivery travels took me on a 6hr trip through some of PA’s more beautiful countryside. From Harrisburg to State College to Bedford and back. It’s not often we deliver something that far away but it does happen on occasion. I haven’t been up to Happy Valley in 10yrs. As much as I rag on PSU I have to admit it is a pretty area of PA. Nice drive. Got minimally lost. No worries. From SC we went to Bedford via the Bud Schuster highway. Imagine the nicest highway you’ve ever seen with exactly two other vehicles on it. A mega road in the middle of nowhere paid for by YOUR tax dollars courtesy of one of the “porkiest” politicians ever. Anyway, it was a splendid drive down past Altoona into Bedford. I’ve never been out past Altoona so it was cool to see just how hilly and rolling the terrain is. I now have a better idea just how brutal the ‘Toona Stage Race must be.

Once we hit Bedford the trip sorta sucked. Who hasn’t been on the PA Turnpike a hundred times. Drag. Nevertheless, I managed to stay out of the shop until closing time. Sweet.

Knowing I just may jinx myself here but I ask you. Isn’t this just how winter should be? Who likes to shiver? We’re all grownups now. No more snow days. No more early dismissals. No more two-hour delays. Who really wants the hassle brought on by The White Shit From the Sky? I know eventually it will snow again but, man, enjoy this weather while it’s here. A gift.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I think I'm getting sick. My head is boiling. Damn. I took a couple aspirin. Feeling a little better. I thing some of the guys at work are getting over something. Hopefully nothing big. I can’t tell The Wifey or I’ll be overwhelmed with a cornucopia of motherly nursing. Not that it would be a bad thing but she doesn’t need to spend all night worried about it. She was in bed tonight by 7:41. I think getting back to work after a week and a half off is draining her.

I got out for 25 today. I was so unenthused until I actually got on my bike and got going. Then it was good. Nice day really. No sun but not bad. I kicked and squished the last bit of snow in my yard today. My property is now snow free. I hate that stuff. I see no forecast for any that white shit either. Rejoice.

I worked Tues and Wed this week and I was out delivering fitness (treadmills and ellipticals) all day both days. We’ve been selling a crazy amount of fitness in the past few weeks. We had a ridiculous year at Holmes. We sunk our major bike competitor last April which is when bikes really take off. We had a record year which was super cool. Busier than hell makes for a hectic day but when the end of the year bonus checks get handed out it makes it feel worth it. Now fitness is blowing up. Keeps us busy year round.

Flyers win. Seven seconds into OT. Gotta love that kind of finish. Speaking of finish. Why I hate Penn State. They barely beat a mediocre Florida State team in an absolutely awful display of how to lose a football game. The game was dreadful from a football standpoint. Were there any first downs in the third quarter? The game was pretty entertaining in OT mainly because neither wanted to win it. Anyway, all you hear on TV and radio is how PSU wins a classic game and what a fantastic night of football it was. I guess that’s what drives me nuts more than JoePa and the team are the knucklehead fans. I realize I live in PA and it’s exactly what the TV and radio dudes are meant to cover and not all PSU fans are dicknoses but it still is hard to digest at times. Last nights Texas v SoCal game was incredible. Either one of those teams would have mopped the floor with ’ol PSU.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

We made it through last nights festivities unscathed. The beer pong smack down never materialized. I was disappointed considering all the unsolicited taunting we were getting throughout the day. Apparently our gracious and wonderful(legendary even) hosts perceived us as a significant pong threat so they busted out some tard game I was less than committed to. We quickly moved to another game that we’ve played before. I forget the name but it was fun and always gets good laughs. The main strategy is the art of bullshittery. I’m not saying I’m a better bullshitter than anyone else but I have made it almost 35yrs doing something right.

Mr & Mrs Legend and the lovely Mrs K

I was happy to see Dick Clark back on the tube. A bit shaky, yes, but give him credit for not mailing it in and calling it a day. Another observation. At what point did Mariah Carey resume her career as a hippo?

Speaking of hippos. I love the Legendary Cat, Hobbes, as if he were my own. But it has been a running joke about his impressive roundness. So, with photographic evidence, you make the call. He is a cool little(?) fella.

Hobbesy, Closing in on a perfectly round ball of Cat

I went out for a ride yesterday after it rained for a bit. Just a short ride but something dawned on me that I haven’t thought of yet. I put more miles on my bikes this year than I put on my 4.0L V6 fire-breathing pick-up rig. Another first. I know to some this is no big deal but I’m in uncharted territory. I’m finding the more I ride the easier it gets to keep on riding. Right now it truly is part of my daily routine to be on a bike. And ask my lovely wife how grumpy I get when I go a day or two without a bike. So, of course, today I got out for another hour to kick off the year on the right note. I’m trying to remember but doesn’t it seem that January 1st is ALWAYS a nice day. I feel like I ride every NYD. Nice.

Pork sauerkraut taties peas. Courtesy of Erin’s parents. Yum. Fart. Courtesy of me. Yum. Now we sit in front of the ’ol 55’er watching the Skins and Eagles do battle in HD. Art.

One more day off tomorrow. And what a day it will be. College Foosball all day. Throw in a Flyers matinee at 1pm. There will most assuredly be a plethora of movies to watch. It will be a true manly man day of couch potatoness. Beauty, eh? Stop in and visit. 3023.2

"That wall looks tastey. Maybe i'll eat the wall"