Monday, March 27, 2006


Let's get dirty... and wet... and cold

Got through the week.. coming up on Friday it was going to be tough to tell the customer that I was going to be out of the office all week... "oh, you're on vaca? Sweet. I'll be in Mexico." Regardless, the work-week ends Friday at 5 (how about 4:30?).. let's go out. Oi, working out first, get that over with and then ruin the pain with Guinness at the bar.

Saturday. I really need to get outside and do something so all week I've been planning a long bike ride with trails included. They've been talking about snow but they're just kidding, right? No. 16 mile bike ride to the trail is cold, wet, snow in my face horrible. But that's what makes stories, right? And it'll be warmer in the trees. Thank god (or myself, I guess) that I brought my running gloves and an extra pair of socks. It was cold. Riding the trails, mud everywhere. Somehow, run into Porsche who is doing a hike through. She'll drive me home. Cool. Get to the parking lot... she doesn't have her bike rack on her car. She gets there.. put it in the car (Civic).. mmm sure. Thanks, Porsche, that bike-ride home would not have been fun but I'm sorry about the mud covered interior.

Sunday. Cruising around. Played some flag football for Jed's team. We had two girls that played for Detroit's team for the National Women's Football League and we still got smoked. The girls were good, the guys were not. I'll stick to soccer - which happens to start next week. And I have volleyball starting this Wednesday.

But I'll be in Mexico. I'll talk to everyone when I get back.

Sox start in a week. Where's Bronson? Not where he should be. I can't even imagine what the rotation will be. You better believe Beckett's at least 2 though. I want to see Wells in the 5 (actually I want to see Wake in the 5 because I'll be in Baltimore for game 5). It's going to be another one of those seasons. When are we going to win the division? Wily's on the juice (have you seen this guy? Just think about the guy from Major League), Youki's at 3, I can't name anyone else in the infield.. Where's the team? At least we'll have DO and Manny, the best batters in baseball, crushing the snot out of these things. Think about it. We have the two of them hitting over 40 home runs and over 130 RBIs. No one has done that since Ruth and Gehrig and these two have done it the past two years (the Yanks did it about 5 times). How does Manny hit 130 RBIs when DO hits 40 HRs in front of him? So he hit .280.. he's responsible for 130 runs.. suck it up. Management made a lot of bad calls this off-season but at least we still have these two. It's going to be tough to be rooting for a team that has a GM that thinks he's playing fantasy baseball (only the numbers matter, I swear) but it's the Sox, I don't have a choice. I have people ask me, "does your family like the Sox?" I think you're confused.. we're from New England, we're obligated. Go Sox.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


What day is it?

I know, I'm horrible at this. I probably lost all of my readers too. I'm trying though.

Let's see, what's been going on? Last weekend... Um, there was the Detroit St Patrick's Day parade, which was preceded by the St Patrick's Day 4 mile run. My first race of the year, did it last year by myself, this year we had about 6-8 people run. It was a good time, the weather was perfect, 65 and sunny, my time wasn't bad, just under 28 minutes but 2 mins slower than last year. About 15 other people showed up for the parade, which lasted 2 hours, I don't think I saw any of it though.

This past week was horrible, problems at work, we'll get through it, no sense in complaining.

Then came St Patrick's Day - definitely a fun day to go out but always trouble trying to get people into the same bar and in a seat because they're all so crowded. So, instead we decided to have our own little party at Besy's. Guinness, Bailey's, Jameson. A much better night, I think, than if we had gone out.

Today. Doug's coming into town for Hober's St Patrick's Day party and he's bringing his bike. We're going to head up to Stoney Creek to hit the trails. I'm dying here, I need some warm weather and go outside. I understand that it's March but it was warm all winter. Why couldn't it stay that way?

Wow, this post was poorly written but I'm tired today. I'll keep this updated and try to improve on my writing skills. Upcoming events: hopefully a good week of work, a bunch of running, nothing next weekend so far - hopefully something outside, and then from the 27th to the 31st I'll be in Mexico (Monclova) for work. Should be fun.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Kind of a sick transition

It's Sunday morning.. I've been up for a while.. cleaned my apt a bit (still have a ways to go).. it's kind of warm outside.. my bike is looking at me funny.. I think she wants to go outside and ride the trails.. kind of tempting but I know she needs to be cleaned and have some preseason maintenance done first. Like I said, it's warm.. going to be 42 today.. 50's next weekend.. I think that makes an official end to winter here.. I'm putting the board away today.. snowshoes too - they only got out once. Makes me remember what Angella said at Flumserburg in Switzerland as she and I went for one last run and everyone else hung out at the bar on the bottom, "This could be your last run of the season." I knew she was right, although, I didn't want her to be. So I made it count, hit some steep powder at pretty good speed, tried for some air when I could, and jumped into the trees for a little bit - everytime I stopped I was out of breath. It was a good run.

Now I have running season starting big. My first "race" (this one's for fun) is a week from today. Biking - like I said, the bike needs some work but maybe I can get out next weekend. I need to find some places for hiking this summer. I've always said that for hiking to mean anything, you need some elevation gain, which is tough in these parts - so I may make it more worthwhile by trying out some fastpacking (some day I'll appreciate hiking for what it is but I have too much energy right now). Adventure racing - may start playing around with that; at least start training and picking up some cool gear.

So, right now it's 34 degrees outside, I want to go out but it's still kind of cold, I will run but it won't be too much fun. This is the sick transition - this winter (in MI) was a bust, we haven't had snow stick since December, I need spring, need to get outside. I'm going to go hang out at Moosejaw and REI - maybe I won't be the only person there with the same problem...

Friday, March 03, 2006



See Angella's and Corrigan's blogs for more stories and pics:


Vacationing in the Alps

Here's my summary of my vacation a couple of weeks ago...
There were 6 of us Primary mission: snowboarding (or skiing if you swing that way)

Kevin "Donkey Beer Me" Corrigan – diamond skier, hiding out in Lichtenstein for a couple of years, he provided the place to crash

Bonnie "I’ll take my tea black, please" Alexander – flying out of The Hub, boarding for just a year but can smoke any other boarder in the Alps

Angella "Ein Gluehwein, Bitte" Clark– damn good skier (don’t listen to her), living in Switzerland but a Michigander all the same

Jeff "The Sausage King of The D" Hober – accomplished skier, drinks bier once in a while, and will eat anything that comes from an animal. He looks like he's from MI, doesn't he? But originally from Melrose.

Julie "The Yellow Blur" Hasler – ski racer, car racer, likes anything that goes fast – but has she seen Hober run? Currently calls MI home.

Keith "Radler" Lane – boarder, just give me some powder and I don’t care how steep it is and I’ll have fun too - Now serving time in MI.

Friday Feb 10, 2006
Worked, of course, almost a full day, my flight was at 5 out of Detroit – with an hour drive from the office, the need to be there a couple hours in advance and also grab food, I was gone by 2. It was an option to rent boards while we were there but I spent a good amount of money on a new board so I decided to lug the thing (including boots, helmet, clothes, etc) throughout the trip – a bit of a hassle but worth it. Of course, this caused a concern about overweight luggage – I had the board bag stuffed with stuff and a carry-on – but the lady at the counter wouldn’t let me put it on the scale; "over there" she said; "just leave it there" said the guy; am I actually going to see this thing in Venice? Do I have a choice? Whatever – security, flight, no sleeping of course, bad movies, bad food.

Still haven’t slept, a bit of a layover in Amsterdam, Venice. Sitting in the airport waiting for Bonnie, it seems like EVERY flight is delayed – except for hers, surprisingly, she was actually early. Next the waterbus to Venice, takes you all the way around the island to San Marco Square, you can see quite a bit of the city – yeah, I fell asleep on the boat. Next is Bon and I walking through Venice carrying our snowboards (got a few strange looks) without a map. Alright, one thing that we learned – DO NOT go to Venice without a map that has street names – the streets are crazy and there are a lot of deadends at canals and sometimes the ‘street’ that you want looks like a very narrow alley. Another thing that I learned about Venice – if you open the door to the bathroom and see 2 women standing there, you don’t necessarily have the wrong room. Finally, we find our hotel, check in, and then head out to check out the town. Did some walking around, got some dinner on the side of the Grand Canal, it was kind of cold but doable. Then it was time to go out – what type of bar do look for in one of the most popular cities in Italy? An Irish pub, of course, to drink some Guinness and watch some soccer (the Irish pub proved to be a common theme throughout the trip). After a couple of hours there, we were very tired, but that didn’t stop us from grabbing some of the best pizza ever on the way back to the hotel.

Need breakfast – water wouldn’t be bad either, maybe some coffee. Bakery. Restaurant. Something. Everything’s closed! Oi. Anyway, made our way to San Marco Square. I remember Michelle showing me some pictures of her in San Marco Square with a bunch of pigeons flying around but it took me a few minutes, a lot of pigeons, and a lot of people feeding the pigeons to realize that this is what she was talking about. So Bon bought some popcorn kernels for a euro and we were on our way. Bonnie has a problem with animals crawling around in her hair so we had some good pics. I played as well, throwing the kernels in the air to get the birds moving and ended up with a good pic of one bird on my head. Next was the ‘climb’ (or elevator ride) up the campanile where you can see the entire city. Very nice. While we were waiting for the elevator to go back down, one of the bells started swinging – it was only a couple of feet above our heads – we have video.
What next? I think we went to the train station to get our tickets to Austria. Then went back to San Angelo Sq for some coffee outside. Somehow we found a place for dinner – wasn’t that great but the wine was good. Lucky for us the hotel, which was rather small, let us keep our luggage there for the entire day – it getting close to 8pm so we had to grab our luggage, get on the waterbus through the Grand Canal, and get to the train station. But we’re a bit early, drinks? Sure. Had a couple of the biggest beers that we had while in Europe. Next the train – we were supposed to have a 2-person sleeper car but they don’t have those on this train so they gave us a 6-person but, luckily, no one else showed up. The last couple of days were long with little sleep and the train ride was only about 4.5 hours to Innsbruck, where we had to switch trains so sleep was necessary. I think I slept the entire time. Bonnie didn’t sleep at all – nightmares of your last time in Italy?

Me with a pigeon on my head in San Marco Sq

Bon with a parrot on her shoulder.. no, wait, that's a pigeon

Some little kids playing with the pigeons

Rolled into Innsbruck at 4:30am, 2 hour layover(?) for our next train – would it kill them to have a heated train station or a free bathroom? Finally, the bakery opens and Bonnie manages to piss off the lady behind the counter because of the language barrier. I give Bon a hard time about this but I don’t know what the hell that lady wanted to put in Bon’s tea either. 8am we arrive in Langen, Austria; everyone else shows up around 8:15, pretty good timing. Remember, drinking a bit the last couple of days and not sleeping much – now comes riding in the car through the mountains with Corrigan. Just focus on something stationary in front you.
We get to Lech – probably the best place of the week. Everyone’s ready to get on the lift – except for Lane and Bon, we need food, and coffee. Finally find a place, load up and head up the hill. The views were amazing, the snow was amazing, the sky was blue, the temps were warm – just so much fun. Oh yeah, bars and restaurants on top of the mountain. Do that for a couple of hours and then head across the street to some other mountains. I think this is also the day that we got to get on the T-bar. First time for a few of us and not easy on a snowboard. Another strange feature – getting onto the chairlift, instead of just hobbling up to the line they have a conveyor belt. Strange at first but you get used to it. End the day in Zurs, the next town over, drivers took the shuttle, picked us up, no problems.

Hober off trail

Hober doing the steep stuff

Hmm.. don't worry Hober, we won't tell anyone about that little spill

Ok.. we’re getting a little long winded here so let’s try to wrap this up. I understand that we still have quite a few days left but hey, it’s like this – we went boarding in another cool place, we drank some beer, got some food, etc. I’ll show some pics, it doesn’t matter where we went because it was all cool, get on with it.
Tuesday was Silvretta Nova in Austria – more great boarding.

Julie, Hober, and Angella - great view in the background, nice sky

Something different? No, just the mountain. This time it was St. Anton in Austria.

Snowing in the mountains

We did a lot of this - waiting in the train station

Yes, something different. We went to Switzerland to see some old military bunkers and such but they were closed. We did find an old, abandoned castle that was pretty cool. Then we went to see the castle in Vaduz, Lichtenstein – we couldn’t go in though because the prince still lives there. What else did we do? Not sure. We had fun though.
Switzerland again. But this time to do some boarding. Flumserberg. This place was cool and the first place that you could jump into the trees – a lot more space then you would see in the States though.
Then it was off to Zurich. After spending an hour or so looking for the hotel (think of driving around Boston looking for a hotel, just knowing that it’s sort of near the train station) we looked for some food. Got back to the hotel around midnight and Hober and Julie had an 8am flight – so, off to the airport they went, probably the best idea. Now there are four of us left, what to do? Go back to the bar of course. Until about 4am.

Switzerland again. But this time to do some boarding. Flumserberg. This place was cool and the first place that you could jump into the trees – a lot more space then you would see in the States though.
Then it was off to Zurich. After spending an hour or so looking for the hotel (think of driving around Boston looking for a hotel, just knowing that it’s sort of near the train station) we looked for some food. Got back to the hotel around midnight and Hober and Julie had an 8am flight – so, off to the airport they went, probably the best idea. Now there are four of us left, what to do? Go back to the bar of course. Until about 4am.

Angella decides to head back to St Gallen to get ready for her next week of classes, which leads me, KC, and Bon. Tour the city of course. Zurich is cool but it’s like walking around… well I can’t think of a good comparison. I can tell you that there’s a lot to do but not a lot to look at.. the buildings are old but aren’t spectacular. So, off to the bar we go.. until about 4am again. It may seem that we spent a lot of time in the bars – and we did – but it was all about spending time with our friends, this was not a resting vacation, we were on about 5 hours of sleep a night, physical activity all day, and then partying from there.

Just before going to bed at 4am I thought that I should set the alarm but then thought, "eh, I’ll wake up." Did I mention that I had to be up at 7am for my 10am flight? Regardless, I made my flight, got back to Detroit and here I am today.

Wrap up
Once again, a great vacation. Got some serious boarding in, saw some cool places, and got to practice some different languages (limited for sure but we tried). And if anyone wants to see more pics let me know. But this is how I’ve been spending a lot of my time, going to cool places, doing some cool things, and, seriously, if anyone wants to join just let me know. I put these offers up to everyone and I always seem to go on my own, which is fine, but come on, have some fun.

Auf Wiedersehen


Random Pictures

Lane ducking into the trees

From left: Julie, Corrigan, and Angella

Lane coming down a ravine

Lane on the mountain (I know, a lot of pictures of me.. but it is my blog)

Look, me again!

This is getting embarrassing - me in the trees

Hey, more people. From left: Hober, Julie, Angella, Corrigan, Lane, Bonnie. Ever done a shot with a pear in it? I can now answer with an affirmative

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?