Saturday, October 31, 2009

Vaginas Are Gross. Thanks, Lysol!

The Oregonian sent me to this post on Oddee today. Thanks, Oregonian! I learned that if I don't look lovely in the morning, my husband will find another honey by the end of his work day, and that I better, by Odin's hammer, bring home the right coffee, and if I like a man's slacks, he has a license to kill me, and, well, men are better than women.

Thanks, Mad Men!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over

No, we're still bogged down in Iraq. And Afghanistan. And forty-seven million Americans still are hanging on without health insurance. And unemployment is still hovering around 10%. And the Kardashians are still allowed on television.

But Dean and Jenny are moving back to Portland!

They are going to hang on in Colorado past some of the drearier months ahead, wait out their lease until February-March, but here is something for us all to look forward to.

There is little left to keep them in Colorado Springs. The US Olympic Committee has long since pulled all its funding from the track cycling program (thanks, USOC!), and there is actually less racing action in Colorado Springs, even with a much superior outdoor track, than there is here on the moist, mossy track at Alpenrose Dairy. So he's moving back here where his team is. Jenny is doing well at her job, but there is only so far you can take your career while working at a small (tiny) business. She is ready to fly from that nest.

So get ready, Portland fan base, fam base, and friend base. Dean and Jenny are coming back.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Killer Mom

Do NOT look at this photo if you don't want to smile.

Warned you. From the ever-deadly Zooborns.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different

Monty Python geezers on Jimmy Fallon. Good choice of hosts. Fallon is really good here. Doesn't get in the way, and even gets in a few good gags himself. (Hmmm...that's three "good"s in three sentences. Not championship writing.)

There's more somewhere at or here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Avast, Ye Scurvy HTMLs!

I think I pirated these photos, but I can't read Dutch, so I think that covers me, legally. I had to convert them several times by methods that I don't really understand to get them to save as jpegs, but once I did, they were MINE.

There's Dean accepting flowers and smooches alongside the Thighs of Pain that belong to Gregory Bauge, the world sprinting champion. This is for their 2-man team sprint on Monday night.

Lining up for the Keirin on Day 2. If Bauge's are Thighs of Pain, then these are at least Thighs of Discomfort.

Aaand, they're off. Dean ended up third on this day, which is damn respectable with this group.

More to come, I'm guessing. There are four more days of racing to go.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Continental Sucks, but Dean Survives

When it's 12:30 am here, it's 9:30 am in Amsterdam, so I have been leaving my iPhone on the bedside table for late-night texting breaks when Dean finds, each day, that Continental still has no clue where his clothes and bike are.

Here is our conversation from last night (includes surprise ending):

12:34 a.m.:

Dean: Still no bag. Tracking number shows it as "missing."


Dean: Yeah. Beyond frustrated. Racing starts tomorrow. Only one more flight coming from Houston tomorrow morning. Hopefully it's on that flight.

Dean: On the bright side, Amsterdam is the greatest city on the planet. I want to move here.

Me: Glad there's a bright side - besides Scooby Doo (Dean earlier tweeted that Scooby Doo is better in Dutch.)

Dean: Yeah. Couldn't pick a better place to be stranded, really. Plenty to do/see.

Me: Are you in touch with race promoters?

Dean: Yeah. They are great. Yelling at the airline people in Dutch for me. Looking into options for borrowing equipment, and trying to get airlines to give me money.

Me: Awesome.

2:53 am:

Dean: Last bag arrived out of the blue. Rejoice! Clean clothes! Bike parts!

Me: Yay! This trip is going to make such a great story and you haven't even started to race.

Question: If the only flight that they thought might have the bag wasn't due until the next day, where did they find the bag? Neglected in a corner somewhere? Were they sitting on it on their lunch breaks? I call major incompetence. Off with their heads!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Continental Airlines will Steal Your Luggage and Ruin Your Career

More on this as the story unfolds. I was kind of hoping this saga would be over by now, but no. This is Day 3 of Dean stuck in Amsterdam with no luggage, no bike (for which he paid a surprise $150 fee when bikes are supposed to ship free on international flights unless they don't like the way you look), and no way to compete in the 6-day racing event in which he was contracted to appear.

Continental doesn't even know where his luggage is. "Luggage" meaning a custom-built track bike, uniforms, bike shoes, and peripherals valued at - I don't know - lots.

I've never wished for a large blog audience, until now, when I want to shame Continental into getting off their collective asses and fulfilling their obligations.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nothing Much

I just want to go watch TV and decompress after a dense couple of days drafting documents. Over the past week, as I was busy living or just breathing, I had multiple cases of "I should write about that" followed by the inevitable slate-wiping effect of age and input overload. So I'm trying the old "just start writing" technique. Nothing yet.

We went to see Doug Benson and Graham "Palm Strike" Elwood at the Mission Theater in Portland last Friday. I enjoy the comedy. Drew, um, thinks its okay. I don't understand why there is always a heckler. Although at this particular show it seemed to be a happy, drunky, horny girl heckler, with only lust in her heart for Benson. Hello, who gets a girl hard-on for Doug Benson? No offense, but he's a teddy bear of a fellow. Oh. Never mind. I understand teddy bears are "a thing." I prefer dangerous, growly bears with long sharp talons. Yes, eagle talons. On a bear.

We painted the shed all last weekend. "After" pictures to follow shortly. If it's not too awfully wet, we will clean out the garage this weekend, and fill that baby up. Drew will have such an awesome Guy Garage.

The rest of the week, the two of us have been battling some sort of fatigue thing that just plastered me to the couch on Wednesday, but has slowly been wearing off since.

Okay, this has been going downhill ever since the eagle talons bit. I'm going to go watch the Daily Show from last night. Enjoy not having to read any further.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Another Summer-End Flurry of Activity Chez Tracy

The great question...which I have not been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?' - Sigmund Freud
After some quality horn-locking and soul searching this summer, Drew took a long look at this question and answered, "a shed."

Actually, this is not a bad answer. I believe a garage is for garden tools, garden implements, and yard waste containers. Drew believes it is for road bikes, mountain bikes, cross bikes, dirt bikes, motorcycles, and tools to keep said two-wheeled vehicles in tip-top shape. Garden stuff just creates clutter, which he cannot abide.

In the heat of this friction, the "shed" answer doesn't look so crazy.

So, during his late September-early October vacation block, which he had originally planned to use for some (more) dirt bike riding, he and his friends, who swore that, with their help, we could have a better shed, built in a day, from scratch, for less money than it took to buy a ready-made or kit-made shed, fell upon the side yard with lumber, saws, earth-moving equipment, muscle, and some (some) brains.

When the day was over, we had a ten-by-twelve dance floor. Guess it takes longer than a day after all.

Day Two: walls!

Yes, it rained. Almost every day.

When the week was over, we had most of a shed, but much less money in the bank than we would have if we would have gone with the ready-made job. However, these are fire fighters, and they know what it takes to build something sturdy. We could use this baby as a storm shelter. Make that a fallout shelter. This thing has more studs than the house does.

...and a couple studs on top.

No, it's not quite done yet. It needs a coat of paint and a door latch. But it's a shed that wasn't there a week ago. So it's beautiful.

Test Your Awareness: Do The Test

This is worth sharing. Dean says Do The Test.

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Post As Exciting As Watching Plants Grow

So we had these bushes bordering the back yard. When we had the fence installed in the fall of 2005, we were able to clip them back from the property line almost to the foot required by the fence installers. That was the last time anybody (other than the odd squirrel or bunny) was able to get between the bushes and the fence.

The bushes came out of this winter looking like a bunch of dead sticks, as appealing as poisoned blackberry brambles along the highway. We had seen them weather several winters without any discernible loss of leaf, so we started thinking about how to replace them. Then they rallied in time to push out a record-breaking growth spurt, taking over not only our yard, but sticking through the fence and ten feet into the sky, so annoying that our shy, also-quite-pigletty neighbor started asking about our plans for them.

I had to hunt for pictures with the bushes in them, because we keep forgetting that before-and-after shots require you to remember to take before shots. This is what the bushes looked like last year.

First we tried cutting them back. We hired this done, thankfully, because it took the gardeners a full day to cut them back to fence height, and to try to cut them off the fence. It turned out that they had grown so close to the fence that it was impossible to make them look neat. And the things vined up from the ground, making them look like four-foot-tall weeds.

So we made the decision: Off with their heads. And bodies. And roots. The gardener cut them out and the stump grinder came at 8:00 on a Saturday morning (sorry neighbors) and obliterated the last traces of them. What was left was bare and ugly.

As regular readers know, Scotty enjoys helping me take photos. Here he is directing the shot of the newly bare fence.

Now comes the do-over. After some garden shopping and web surfing, we chose Euonymus (the short ones) and Arborvitae (the ones that look like Arborvitae), both which grow up, but not so much out. The corner is reserved for a pine tree. We're thinking white pine.

Directly across from our neighbors (we live on the corner of a cul-de-sac, making our back yard their side yard), we opted for some more fluffy flora - pampas grass and a nice Colorado Spruce. Here's Drew, trying to turn the best side towards the house. I'll have you know I dug about half of the holes for these plants, including this one (Drew was too busy building me a shed - more on that later).

There's more re-landscaping to do: planting the corner pine tree, making the pilgrimage out to the wilds of Hillsboro to buy clumping bamboo to replace the wisteria-destroyed fence in front of the master bath, and then doing something about ground cover to keep from cleaning muddy paws all winter.

Sounds like award-winning blogging to me.