Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Joseph and I went out to the Muenster rally this past weekend. It's a metric century with some of the biggest hills in North Texas. One of the other riders described it as "Death by Rollers." Joseph and I chickened out and hit the 65k route, about 40 miles. We hit too many rest stops. Had to hit the 2nd one, I was running low on water, we had drank out of my 2nd on the way there. Had to hit the 3rd, I needed to take a "natural break." But the time we hit the 4th, Joseph had to go. ~1500+ riders, folks out on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere cheering you on, volunteers aplenty.
Then afterwards, we hit the Germanfest. Nice, great German food. Brats, sausage, beets, red cabbage, beans, potatoes done a half-dozen different ways, and kraut. One stand (from a local German restaurant) had an all-you-can-fit-on-your-plate meal priced the same as the others, but the potatoes looked really good. I had a ton of kraut on top of the potatoes, the green beans, the pinto beans. The juices dripped down over everything. Add a bit of horseradish and I was in heaven. OK, the angels were looking a bit heavy. I don't remember seeing so many chins on a cherub before. They had a "Beer Garden" open for the rally riders and the Fun Run participants. Basically, it's a nice field under some shade trees away from most all of the noise. They rope it off and throw out a bunch of hay bales for chairs. A perfect place to sit down and enjoy your food and beverage.
Rally riders get two beers at the Germanfest. After enjoying one with my meal, I wasn't feeling that the second would go down so well, so I started to think about who would enjoy my second beer ticket. Finally I remembered that a good friend of mine, Eric, a guy I was in a band with, lives in Muenster, and he would probably be at the Germanfest. Of course he was, and so a couple of text messages later, we were sitting down in the music tent watching his nephew play the accordion. Very German accordion at that. They were teenagers who put quite a bit of effort into it, very nice guys. The called themselves The Happy Wanderers, I think a reference to the Shmenge Brothers. When they started the Chicken Dance, folks were running, yes running out to dance on the floor. Senior citizens, kids, and all ages in between. Good times. Finally we made our way out, with three strudel in tow, of course. Mmmm... Cheese strudel. I'm bringing up an apple strudel to work tomorrow. Those things are awesome.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
OK, I have curly hair, long brown curly hair. Probably too much of it, but I didn't notice the humor of our Lord quite until we had Isabel, our fifth child. All the ones before her have straight hair. Straight blond hair. It didn't stand out until I saw her curls.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Not that he'll ever read this, but welcome Your Holiness. Please enjoy the hospitality that we offer. Take some time to re-tell us the story of Christ and how it applies to us today. Encourage us in our faith and remind of us of the Hope we have in Him, even in dark times. We appreciate your time and attention. We're thankful that you're here and we hope you enjoy a safe stay. Please forgive us if you find folks among us who are taking your visit as an opportunity to point the spotlight at themselves. Please forgive us if you find among us people who are rude. It's a big family here, and every family has their black sheep. I feel that your time may be limited here, in America, and as our Papa, but I hope that you make wonderful memories and leave a lasting impression.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Lots of fun this last weekend. Our cycling team, Team Bicycles Inc., had their annual race. It's to raise money for the team's expenses (mainly in the form of rider/racer support) and also to raise money for a fund to honor a former Jr. rider who passed away last September. So the Juniors were all racing and all the other club members were volunteering. I worked as an official both days.
We drove out to Lake Mineral Wells State Park on Friday night to camp out. OK, we took the back two seats out of the minivan and threw in an air mattress and some sleeping bags. No tents, so maybe it wasn't quite camping. When we got there, we discovered that our new air mattress only inflated with the help of an electrical outlet, AC. Not the DC cigarette lighter that we had on the minivan. So we ended up on a airless air mattress the first night. It was way cold. Low 30's by morning. We had to get up around 5 to get out to the race.
Saturday was a 24-mile loop out by Possum Kingdom Lake with big hills on mile 12 and 16. It was a really cold morning but a really nice day. Riding in the follow car is fun, you get to watch the race, to encourage the racers, to call them on fouls. We had plenty of volunteers and a good group of racers (a little over 300). In my son's race, Joseph held on up the last big hill and then took a breather. That's when the guy in front of him took off. He finished 4th out of seven starters, but he raced well and finished strong. Of course, five of those seven were TBi Jr's. One of them, Alex, had his rear derailleur buckle on him in the middle of the race. He ended up getting a ride back in. Fortunately we had a spare and his dad got them swapped out for the next day's race.
Sunday we got up earlier, we were going to have a short prayer service at 6 AM to remember Ivan. Joseph read some scripture (1 Cor 9:24-27, Heb 12:1-6 as I recall) and I prayed. I still miss Ivan. And I still feel guilty when I don't miss Ivan. That's grief for you, I guess. The only folks there were the guy who originally suggested having the service (the promoter of the race and the team president), myself, Joseph (who raced with Ivan), and someone else who was to lead us in singing. I there more for the fact that I'm the closest thing the group has to an minister, even though I will probably never be ordained.
Sunday's races were fun. The weather was beautiful, the course included a locally famous climb, the mile-long Cherry Pie Hill, and the racers were all in good form. Joseph ended up touching wheels with one of his teammates about 5-8 miles into the race. Usually that ends up with someone sliding out and nursing road rash for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, everyone stayed upright, but Joseph broke two spokes on his rear wheel.
The only wheel in the follow truck didn't match his, 10-speed vs. 9-speed. Bummer for him, his race was over. He was in good spirits when I saw him at the end. Like Saturday, his team finished 1-2-3, so he was pleased. Having his wheel busted was just one of those things. Memo to self: after you get Joseph's wheel fixed, get him a set of backup wheels, 9-speed.
A wonderful weekend. I'm glad it's over so I can get back to the office and rest!