30 June 2006

Weekend Rant

The Commercial Insurance gig isn't my cup of tea. I'm just not that stoked about the hunter/gatherer thing and I'm not driven by money... I just want to find a job that isn't going to give me stress, set me up to fail or make me feel like I'm beating my head on the wall.

I have an interview next week with a major corporation, but they're on the verge of bankruptcy. We'll see how that goes...

We're racing the YXR at Oak Hill tomorrow, should be pretty interesting. I'm guessing that we'll be racing in a fairly large grid complete with everything from NSR50s to RS80s and a 230 stuffed into a GP chassis.

I love the track, even if it is the last place I took a massive shunt. Grippy, fast, bumpy, deceptive... Oak Hill pretty much offers it all. To me it felt like a brief lap of the Isle of Man or another open road circuit because the track is just sort of out there in the grass and trees.

I have a set of SuperPro's on the way now. I'm not really sure when all this stuff will arrive but with any luck it will be sooner than later. I'd like to start installing some things in the back end and have less to do with the front when we put in the coilovers, but we'll see how all the timing plays out.

I'm bored.

29 June 2006

Giving it up?

I just walked out of the breakroom and a rather disturbing discussion. Three guys were discussing about how, when they got married, they had to give up all their toys and possessions because their wife doesn't approve of what they have/do/enjoy. I piped up, of course, that its stupid to think that someone would have to stop doing something they enjoy simply because of their wife.

I made that point that Rock Gal has more goodies than me and she thinks everything I am involved with is pretty cool. Hell, she encourages me to get back into racing, spend time cycling and do all the crazy man-type shit I enjoy doing. Of course, they all jumped in with "Oh, just you wait!" and "you'll see how it is someday..."

I'm not thinking about getting married any time soon, but this kind of conversation always bothers me. Honestly, if the person you are with is bent on changing you, or isn't happy with you doing something that makes you happy... what's the point in marrying them? Its not my fault they married the wrong women.

Unfortunately, I've seen this kind of thing far too many times in the past. I always used to think it was more of a joke than anything else, but I've come to realize it is much more of a reality.

As far as I'm concerned the only reason a person would be this way is because he or she has low self-esteem or no self-confidence. If a person feels like they are competing against your hobbies, they are obviously needing to do some maturing before they should be in a relationship. This was the case with Ferrett Girl but I didn't put enough thought into it at the time.

28 June 2006


Monday morning I dropped the Sentra off with Bankston Nissan so they could fix the dented bodywork sustained way back in January in the parking lot incident. As a result, I am now driving a Neon. Again. This time it is white and features little more than a radio and A/C as well as a massive amount of body roll and seats that want to spit you right off the side every time I go into a mild corner.

Bankston told me they'd have the car done in seven (7) to nine (9) business days but I'm hoping it all gets handled a bit sooner. I'm not too crazy about being away from it to begin with, but the good news is that more changes are in the pipeline.

Major Mods
I ordered a whole plethora of parts from Major Mods, a company in California that I found through a group buy on the B15 Forum. The group buy was for a nice suspension goodie that I've been contemplating for quite some time...

Coil Overs
These beautiful bits are KSport coilovers. They replace the existing McPherson strut set-up and vastly out perform it by means of accurate valving, stiffer spring rates and fully adjustable bound, rebound and ride height. The company actually builds these to order so I won't have them for another three to four weeks.

Anti-roll bars
There are a number of companies producing anti-roll bars for the Sentra but few are thick enough to really make much of a difference in handling. Progress makes a 19mm rear, Eibach has the same as well as a front (sold as a package) at 25mm... Stillen has some pretty thick bars, but they're also known for crappy customer service. So instead of all that, I went with the Nismo parts. Nismo produces a 23mm front bar, 25mm rear bar and an additional 25mm lower tie bar that will further increase chassis stiffness and allow the suspension to work properly.

I am also trying to get my hands on a set of SuperPro suspension bushings if I can get the site to work properly. I found these through the B15 Forum as well but the guy hasn't posted in awhile. I sent him an email yesterday but so far have not heard anything back. Hopefully this will work out as well, but I certainly have some time to get it worked out. The best thing about these is that they really help tighten up the handling and take all the slop out of the suspendy bits.

Dressed Up
I'm also looking to make a new grill for the car because I hate the big plastic thing that is on there now. I'd like to find a tighter weeve piece of expanded aluminum that I can paint black, but I'm thinking about something else, too. I was thinking about painting a red section onto the aluminum and applying a Nismo decal before I spray it black. Remove the lettering and I'll have the Nismo logo (complete with Red "o" right there on the grill. In my head it looks really cool.

I'm still trying to decide if I'll be putting decals on the car for the parts I'm installing. Part of me really wants to, part of me doesn't. I just have this thing about being all Fast and the Furious about it and atleast having a few things on there in a creative manner. The idea I had was to lay the vinyl lettering so that it starts on the hood at about a 45 degree angle and wraps onto the left front fender. They won't be huge, believe me, and I'd do them in either white or ice blue. I've seen the color on a black BMW racing in the WTCC but can't find a picture now to prove it.

22 June 2006


Might have a set of these in my near future. Combined with a set of Eibach anti-sway bars the SE-R would be on rails. Well, assuming I put decent tires on it as well.

The bits pictured are KSport coilovers and include a pillow-ball front mount with adjustable camber, which is essential on this car as it sits stock with positive camber in the front... That means the top of the tire points out from the car and you drive on the outside edge, which is completely opposite what should be happening. Fools.

I found a guy selling new sets for $750. Compared to going with Koni Yellows and Tanabe springs the cost is nearly identical, only $100.00 more for these and you don't have the hassel of cutting, grinding and draining the original pieces.

21 June 2006


I had a reply from Monster today. Insurance. No thank you.

Also had a voicemail from a recruiter that I need to call back.

I plan on leading some routes tonight and continuing to build my mental and physical inventory of muscle memory, accuity and focus. Over the last couple of weeks I have found that, more often than not, I am capable of climbing 5.9s without any trouble. I tend to get a little hung up when leading enters the picture, but I think it is more of a mental block than any lack of skill or strength.

If I try to many things in an attempt to make the move flow more easily I end up pumping out, which only makes it harder. I have also found that when I approach the route too seriously I end up over-thinking the moves, overlooking obvious holds and getting arm pumped in odd sitautions. However, when I devote myself to a challenging route I am able to tackle it and achieve things that are quite fun. Even over-hangy spots that require a bit more technique have not been too bad unless I allow myself to pause for a moment too long to consider how I am moving.

It is hokie, but it actually comes back to a single word. A single word that a shoe company uses as part of their advertising: Believe. I'm sure it sounds a bit silly, but if I simply believe that I can make a move, I -more often than not- am able to stick the deadpoint or needless heel hook. And, it is great fun.

Climbing at Canyons in Frisco did me a lot of good. As Rock Gal pointed out to me, the routes required more thought and technique than the routes we are accustomed to at Summit. While some of the routes did go from jug to crimper and back again a bit too regularly, others were smooth ascents that forced you to consider your hand position and next three moves enable to correctly attack.

One route, a 5.9+, was a particular bear for me. It started out on an arete and crossed to the right where a deadpoint was needed. The long move started off balance and out/up into a two finger, side-pull pocket. It took some mustering but I made the move and stuck it on my first try. Three or four moves later it was necessary to make a similar move around the same arete. The hold in question was much larger but the reach was a little further out. Again, I made the move without any real drama, and it tought me to trust myself on the harder stuff.

5.9 sit start
This route incorporated a very fun, sit-start overhang. My hands started on the left side of a sharp arete but my only footing was on around the corner, a bit far away and higher than my butt. I really needed to think about how to sit into the move and then slide across to the next two holds, both of with were small undercling type side pulls used to stand into a long throw to another side pull. From there it moved across a hook, then into another side pull and a gnurled sloper. The rest of the moves were not desperate, but they certainly were not simply. The route did require some thought and a few stretches, but I was pleased to cruise up without a take.

I'm anxious to see how this plays into my climbing and if I will be able to overcome previous impressions of certain climbs.

FIFA World Cup

Up until now I had not said anything about the world's most important sporting event of 2006. It was not out of a lack of intrest or intent on my part, simply ignorance. Don't get me wrong, I have been anticipating the WC for the last couple of months and listen to recap coverage every night on XM148 (and got on the air Monday night) but I really don't know that much about the teams that are competing.

There are all the old staples like Brazil, England and Germany... upstarts like Ecuador, Trinidad-Tobago and the Ukraine... and juggernauts like Argentina, Spain and The Netherlands... and all of this I've learned from XM148.

"Are you a lawyer?"
"Uhm, no. Do you need to sue someone?"
"Well, after tonight's broadcast you never really know."

The guys on XM148, examining the FIFA World Cup exclusively with 24/7 coverage, have a great rapport with each other and their callers, as I found out Monday night. While I must admit that I am a little tired of hearing about how Team USA can improve in X, Y or Z fashion and how we sucked in game one and did well in game 2 aside from the shitty ref-ing (was actually all good calls, I & XM thought) the coverage has been quite good. They answer every caller and address their points positively. Most of the people calling in have had great things to point out and certainly know more about the game, the other teams and the history of the cup than I ever will. So, I refrain from talking about the WC to avoid sounding stupid.

20 June 2006


I just put my resume on Monster. I'm ready to leave my current boring waste of time and find something that will pay the bills and keep my interest. Monster looks promising but its still full of shit jobs that are either Work From Home or telemarketing intensive and characterized by bold type, lots of exclamation points!!!!!! and promises of demented salary expectations in the six digitsss,sss.00.

There's a fair amount of industrial related stuff on there, which is more along the lines of what I'm seeking. I'm not sure what I'll really be able to get into as a sales person that doesn't involve 1) not working at all or 2) acting like an idiot.

I wonder if I should be concerned about my current employer somehow finding my resume online?

Cafe Brazil
The middle-aged lonely wives club just left Cafe Brazil.

Next Step
I need to go home and sleep.

I wrote to Cool Guy on XMLM last week to tell him he was an annoying fucktard. He wrote back. He said it was supposed to be annoying and weird, but not boring. Because he replied to my email I decided to listen again tonight while I fucked around on Monster. He's actually pretty funny.

Cool Guy is all tongue in cheek. He's supposed to be a jerk, an ass and the whole name/concept/idea makes fun of itself and all other DJs.

Now I'm a devoted listener. So I shot him an email and told him so, then requested a song from Opeth. Two minutes laster I had a reply and an Opeth song (a nice long one) on XMLM.

Yeah, Cool Guy is actually pretty cool. Thanks for being a cool motherfucker, Cool Guy.


Since I'm always on the lookout for a fun new activity... I am back to thinking about racing at the Superdrome in Frisco. I am also back to thinking about doing some suspension mods on the Sentra, and then Autocrossing it on occassion.

Plan A
The Superdrome has appeal because it is cycling related, requires physical prowess, seems like torture, moves fast, is crazy to watch and -quite simply- its fucking awesome to ride a bicycle on 44 degree banking. The downside is that I would be required to build another bike that can only be used at a Velodrome because it is built with so much purpose in mind.

No brakes, direct drive, tubular tires, carbon wheels, super-stiff frames... all the ingredients needed for a purpose built track bike.

The big downside to this is that I would have to drive to Frisco to use it, and the novelty of being on the high bank might wear off after a little while.

Plan B
Modify the Sentra. I've always thought it would be fun to throw some Koni struts, stiffer springs, anti-roll bars and such on the SE-R and take it to AutoX or simply have a more fun means of squealing tires on the way around town. Hell, I put 24,000 miles on the SE-R in the first year I've owned it so why not spend a little money on it to make it super fun and cool?

Sargeant D has also been an influence in this since he purchased the new Mustang GT. Who knows if he'll go through and mod the car -he never did touch the RX-8- but he put the idea back in my head the other night.

The downside to AutoX is that for the money you really don't get much, if any, track time in the car. A few laps here and there totalling 3 minutes in the car... all for a $20 entry fee and drive to either Bedford or Mineral Wells unless you're lucky enough to do an event at the TMS road course... something that occurs only once or twice a year.

Another option exists for track events with the car at TWS, MSR, MSR Houston, etc but then you are into the expense of making the car even more track ready... which isn't cheap either. But it would be fun.

Plan C
Do nothing new. Concentrate on climbing, cycling weeknights and swimming. Pay bills. That, my friends, just seems boring.

Pros & Cons
There are obvious pros and cons to any of the plans. From fuel costs to actual use and the perverbial fun factor. How enjoyable will X, Y or Z really be for any length of time? What do I really, truly enjoy doing? I don't know, to be quite honest.

Gigapxl Project

This is the Gigapixel project. Read about it by clicking on the title, or click below for my favorite sample of their work.

Half Dome

Kids are Stupid(er)

I really cannot believe that this shit gets this kind of press. Two mislead teens seperated by an ocean, the common sense of one of their families and US Customs officers.

19 June 2006

Gigapxl Project

This is pretty awesome. They've built a camera that takes digital images containing a gig of pixels. That, as I understand, is a whole hell of a lot. Because of this whole hell of a lot of pixels they can zoom in on stuff in the photo for further investigation.

Many of the photos are just way, super-cool and deserve a look. Click an image and then scroll down the page to see the zooms and explanations of the images.

Here's one of my favorites, a shot of Half Dome in Yosemite, complete with two climbers! Just as the caption states, the original photo was taken from 2.5 miles away, final zoom is .01% of the original size.

13 June 2006

TT Tournament Round 3

We just finished round three of the Tourist Trophy video game tournament and my result this time was a bit better than I anticipated. We were competing for best single, flying lap at a track called Deep Forest. We're also limited to race modified bikes, with a displacement limitation of 636cc's.

Testing Begins
After my initial laps on the track, a twisting affair reminiscent of an Irish Open Roads event, I felt that running a Supersport bike was going to be a bit overkill. The track is bumpy, full of odd dips and throws in a fair amount of cresting apexes, diving braking zones and off-camber corners. The result is a hairy ride on a 600+cc bike and it can be very difficult to get power on the ground as the back end slides and bounces over some of the harsher dips.

Where there is Smoke
There is a crest at the end of the front straight that leads into a steep negative grade, which also doubles as a hard braking zone for turn one. The 600cc race bikes, regardless of make or suspension settings, launch over the crest and remain well out of control just long enough to high side and send the bike off into the barriers. The situation repeats itself at the exit of turn one as you crest the hill and smoke billows as the tire spins up and you fight for traction. Much of the rest of the lap is punctuated by such events, and it leads to desperately slow lap times.

Solution: Two-stroke
Given the problems at hand I decided to compete in the event with a 250cc two-stroke GP bike. The only one available in the game is Yamaha's 2003 TZ250, and it is probably the most difficult bike in the game to earn. After spending the better part of an evening fighting for a victory and the ability to add the bike to my garage, things worked out and I began tuning the 92 HP bike for Deep Forest.

Compared to the 130+ HP 600's I would be racing against, the 250 seems like a poor choice. However, at only 102 Kg the bike has a similar power-to-weight ratio and certainly a much better ability to put power on the ground. I could stay in the throttle all the way down the hill (into turn one) and I never had issues with violent high sides on bumpy twists later in the lap.

While I was hoping that I would be the only person to use the 250, I knew someone else would clue in to the GP machine. Even more unfortunate, they were faster.
My placing in the final results is still very strong with a step on the podium, and it vaults me into 3rd place overall going into round four.

Testing: Round Four
Now we're racing at Special Stage: Route 5, a street course with one long straight and a healthy dose of more downhill, off-camber braking zones. In this round competitors are limited to 1000cc street bikes on a track that probably cannot be run on any -or many- of the liter sized superbikes. Unfortunately, the street only designation eliminates my 250cc plastic missile option, so I'm looking at running smaller displacement street bikes like the Kawasaki 636 and Gixxer 750.

In initial testing, riding the liter bikes around Route 5 has proven difficult because, even with gearing changes, the bikes are only able to use first, second and sometimes third gear! Route 5 is just too tight for the big bikes, and this is why I'm seeking to compete on something smaller. Another great option is one of the two twins, Ducati or Aprilia, as the added torque and wider usable powerband make the bikes more compliant on the tighter, slower corner exits.

To put things in perspective, my fastest lap so far is once again on the 250cc GP bike!

09 June 2006

Popular Media

Suicide Kitty made an interesting point this morning, something I really had not considered until he brought it to my attention:

When Janet Jackson's nipple made it onto National Television for the briefest of moments conservative America went into an uproar. All the news channels showed slow-motion instant replays of the event and made a much bigger deal out of it than would ever be necessary.

Violence, however, is voraciously consumed by Americans as a means of justifying the war and confirming some sense of power over a collection of third world countries. That, I must say, is rather sick to think about. The fact that violence is considered more acceptable viewing than a breast is confusing.

Parade of the Dead
When an American soldier is killed and the people of the country parade the body through town as a symbol of their victory we call them barbarians and shun their activities as disgusting and inhumane.

When American troops killed al-Zarqawi in Iraq the American military and media was quite quick to parade the body around in news print, television and on the internet like some kind of flag. His death symbolized some great achievement and they put it all over popular media as quickly as possible. They brag about the death, show video of the attack and video of his body.

Are we any different from the barbarians in other countries?

07 June 2006

Park Brawl

In a stunning showcase of adapt gymnastics and martial artistry, two squirrels faced off in Biltmore Park Tuesday afternoon. Fireballs, ice rockets, other-worldly spirits and a multi-dimensional phase-shifting elementals were employed while the two battled for territory.

"There isn't room in this park for the two of us", chattered Do Ming Xi on a website hosted from his dark and seedy tree knot within an ancient Walnut on the Western rim, "He shall fall and I shall reign supreme over the creatures of Biltmore. I will be a God to them!"

"Biltmore should be a happy home for all, not ruled over by a tyrant who wishes to oppress its population. This is not a place for a warlord, it is a place of peace", quothe Sparky, a feisty squirrel from Biltmore's newly renovated East section, and Do Ming Xi's opponent. The comments were made prior to the fight on an open forum for the inhabitants of Biltmore Park.

Biltmore, a sprawling 632-acre park, is currently home to not only both squirrels, but also an estimated 42,000 other rodents including squirrels, possums, raccoons, mice and rats. Many birds, snakes and salamanders also inhabit the park, but they are by and large unconcerned with the current mammal plight taking place.

The fight itself drew thousands of animals from around the park, and those who could not make it were treated to arial video and commentary provided by a squadron of Blue Jays.

"We shall crush them", screamed Bongo a possum from the seedy, lower West side of the Biltmore Park, "we will eat their corpses and drink their blood!"

"Only the righteous and true of heart can prevail", urged a teary eyed Ms. Wiggles as she watched the fight from the crwoded branch of a nearby Oak tree, "Sparky has to win, he just has to... he is a true champion of all animals of the park!"

Her words were quickly muffled by the cheers of the animals as Sparky delivered a ferocious, clawed round house to Do Ming Xi's chest. The blow was quickly followed by an amazing ball of ice meant to distract Do Ming Xi as well.

"My goal is not to kill him", Sparky was heard panting as he retreated, "Nothing can be solved through death. We just want peace and happiness."

Moments later Do Ming was on the offensive and had Sparky pinned to the ground, preparing for his final death blow. (pictured)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Without warning however, a bicyclist came down the path and was headed in the genral direction for the pair. Embroiled in battle and oblivious to the cyclist, both squirrels continued to fight and seemingly ignored the biker.

"We heard the clicking but thought it was something Sparky had cooked up, some secret weapon he had against the forces of ultimate evil. Unfortunately, it was a bicycle...", stated Mr. Ricky Raccoon from the base of the third grandstand some 10 minutes after the fight had ended.

As the bicycle approached both combatants continued to fight until the last moment when they seemed to sense impending disaster and broke apart. Perhaps it was the surprise of the cyclist or the interruption of the fight, but no matter the reason... both Sparky and Do Ming Xi were left with a rather copious amount of indecision as the bike closed quickly on their position.

An unnamed hedgehog pointed out that, "they didn't even have to stop fighting, the bike was no less than 10 feet from their position. They guy had even changed course to avoid them. I guess he thought they were playing or fighting over some nuts."

Regardless of the circumstances Sparky managed to use the situation as a distraction and break free from Do Ming Xi's self-proclaimed Death Attack of Doom, dart across the sidewalk and change direction as many as four times in an attempt to evade any magical spells being cast at him from behind. Unfortunately, his path ultimately lead him directly into the cyclist. Sparky's body was quickly whisked into the spokes, carried to the top of the tire and violently jammed through a very small gap in the fork. The result of which broke his neck, crushed his vertebrea and caused him to vomit his spleen, left lung and both kidneys. It also killed him instantly.

Upon witnessing this most voilent of deaths Do Ming turned and raised his tail to twitter in celebration, not noticing that he had turned back into the path of the bicycle. Tail snagged in the chain, his body was carried directly into the rear cogs of the speeding cycle and sliced to pieces by the hard pedaling cyclist. With blood dripping from both ends of the bicycle the cyclist could be heard laughing for several minutes.

With the rest of the park animals staring, some going into shock, it was clear that no winner had been established. Just then Mrs. McMurtry, a widow from the glitzy Park Heights neighborhood, arrove with a bag of fresh Walnuts. Within seconds much of the squirrel population was gathering for handouts.

06 June 2006

State of Life Address

I really don't have anything to talk about but I'm bored and figured this might be a good way to waste a little time.

A better way to earn a living?
I need to look for a new job. I know I said this last year and I started to think about it when I broke my leg. Actually, that happened the year before, too. Hmm. But seriously, I need to get my resume on Monster, think of some good companies I could sell for and get things rolling. I don't want a shitty job, either. No recruitment, no pilfering sales, no small potato shit where I'm selling small ticket items and making a billion phone calls a day.

Products or Services?
What do I want to sell? I have no clue. I want a position in which I can build relationships with my clients. I want to work with fewer clients, but more closely with those clients. I might have a range of products, selling them more products from that range over time, and building something worth talking about instead of going from customer to customer every 10 minutes.

Large ticket items, slower sales processes and products/services that are available from only a smaller range of suppliers. I don't want to be fighting for my life everytime I go on a sales call, that sucks. Stress at work is stupid. Seriously, stressful jobs ruin the rest of your life and I already know that it would be a stupid mistake to chase money, or the impression of money.

Business to Business might be better for me as well but I'm not certain. Mostly it all just depends on the product and the market. One option I've considered is Commercial Real Estate, and I need to get in to chat with one of Katherine's brokers if I'm going to learn more about it.

Hobbies & Health
I've finally managed to drop my 24Hour Fitness membership. I hadn't been there in about three months and really didn't enjoy going anymore. The only thing I was getting out of it was the ab workout, which I do miss, but getting it worked into my climbing and cycling schedule was proving pretty difficult. That and I really just started to loathe going to the gym because it was inside, anti-social and exceedingly boring compared to everything else. I'm also cheap.

So far so good on the bicycle, though making steps forward in terms of strength and endurance has been quite slow to progress. I'm getting better but I want to be back where I was last year. I hate sitting in with the old guys all damn evening (or day) and not being able to get up front and pull the line. The Big Dogs are all up off the front, well away from my own plodding pace. I'm not super slow, but I am around 4 mph off the pace and my endurance is shot to shit. I end up drafting off of a couple of great guys every week but I want to be sure I'm progressing. Rewarding yet frustrating, is my current theme.

I just started swimming again yesterday afternoon. I had gotten in the pool at 24H Fitness but had not been doing it regularly and, of course, had not been there in many weeks. So now I'm back in open water at Lake Grapevine and I must say, it is much different from last year. Swimming 3 kilometers a week last year had me in very nice shape and certainly helped my cycling, and just like cycling I am back to ground zero in the water. I got about halfway to where I wanted to be yesterday and decided that I'd better build up slowly. I could have gone the full distance but didn't want to be completely winded and risk trouble. I don't think I would have drowned, but why take the chance? I'll build the ditance slowly and it should help my cycling quite a bit as well.

Climbing is going very well and I'm making progress for sure. The lead certification is very cool and has given me a real bump in confidence on the wall. I'm still only tackling 5.8s on lead but will try some 5.9s on Wednesday and hopefully again this weekend. I'm going to avoid being on top rope unless I'm on the crack or having a lead belay isn't an option. I need the practice with clipping and muscle memory is going to be critical as I get on climbs that are not familiar. Rather than thinking too much about clipping and struggling or panicing about hanging on, I need to be concentrated on resting, clipping and climbing with technique. It will take some time but I am confident I can do it.

I also need to be sure that I take my time with climbing and don't get a big head thinking I can do things that are well over my head or simply stupid to try. I don't want this to be motorcycle racing. I thought I was good, up to speed and ready to race... but I can see now that I just didn't have the skills needed to push as hard as I was and get out of the trouble that arises from the faster lap times I was turning. For track days I was fine. For racing, for being several seconds quicker a lap, my demon was the extreme lack of experience and perhaps a tendency to get a little too deep in the corners. Tunnel vision? I don't know.

Essentially, I just want to keep climbing safe, smart and responsible. I want to travel this year (in the fall?) for a sport climbing trip because I think it would be a lot of fun. I just need to keep it all in perspective and be sure that I don't try to do something I'm really not prepared to do. Play smart.

I've been half-assedly racing the mini with Broom, which I feel a little bad about. He takes it seriously and wants to do well, but I'm not taking it nearly as seriously and sometimes prefer to climb or go other places. I enjoy the endurance racing side of it but have little interest in sprints and mostly just enjoy getting on the bike for a few hours (collectively) and dragging knee. I also owe him some money for the 4-cycle motor swap thing, and need to get that to him because I know it really put him out some cash. I'm sure I'll race with him again next year, and am struggling with the idea of going back to a big bike or simply realizing that there are other things in life that I enjoy besides racing. Rather than pump money into racing agina, maybe I'll just concentrate on climbing, cycling and such? Dragging knee is, of course, still a tremendous amount of fun... but there is so much else to do in see and I don't want to risk missing it because I'm pouring money into a race bike, car or kart.

Things with Rock Gal are going very well. We had a little moment over Memorial Weekend that was good for us and helped keep everything out in the open. Its nothing even worth writing about and didn't result in an argument, just an epiphany and a little peek into her psyche.

We have our moments when we get frustrated but we're also both mature enough not to take it out on each other and are both pretty quick to apologize and keep things straight. We're smart enough to know the frustration is directed at the rock, and so far things have been as easy and straight-forward as the day we met.

She also has a new job, which is great for her emotionally. I think she was a bit beaten down at Whole Earth and it was really starting to weigh on her that she was not in her industry, doing something she really enjoyed. Now that she's back in plastics and manufacturing I think she'll change a bit, but I'm not sure how.

I think she'll be working more and I'm almost certain we'll see less of each other, but I'm not too worried about it. We might have been a little to zealous at first, spending a little too much time together (hence my lack of gym activity) but she's smart and knows that we both need space and our own time. Her position will also give us the chance to make more weekend trips out of town, probably once a month, to climb at Reimer's or Pace Bend or Enchanted Rock. The heat won't be fun but we'll give it a shot, I'm sure. Climbing is too much fun not to sweat a little.

Not really sure what to say here, but it seemed like they should be included. Life takes us all in different directions and I tend to spend my time doing what I enjoy, so I also tend to not spend as much time with friends as I could or should. Honestly though, it does bother me sometimes and I need to do more to take the time to get on the phone with them or grab a beer together.

Not sure what to say here either. We're on opposite sides of the country. I love them but I'm also perfectly fine with the distance. Things have been better, things have been worse... I guess I'm just content and not concerned with it.

Seems fine, just more of the same. Trying to save, trying to stop myself from that consistent urge to spend it. So many things I enjoy, want, think I want or simply need... too easy to spend though I've been pretty good recently. We eat out a lot, that gets pricey, but otherwise I make money to spend it anyway. Future? What? I have savings and its getting to be more, I just need to be sure and get the old racing debts handled and gone sooner than later. I'm making great progress, just need to stick to it and -most of all- sell that damn SV.