Saturday, January 28, 2006

Hurt City - Good Cycling Read

Just finished a book called "Hurt City" by Bob Voiland and it was an interesting read. It's kind of a long journal about a cyclist who has been to all 48 contiguous states on his bike, many by himself, and all leaving from his home in Colorado. It would be one thing to ride in all states, but having the self-imposed rule that you had to leave from your home is pretty cool actually. His wife would usually come and get him when he was done (what an awesome lady!). At any rate, if you are a cyclist, it's a good read and I suggest you grab it.

Another cool side note is that a friend from work loaned the book to me and it's a signed copy of the book to his Dad. Bob and his Dad knew each other when they were younger as they both grew up in Sioux City at that point. So, for people around here, it has a touch of local flair.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Walmart is Open

It finally happened....the evil empire has invaded Vermillion. As of 7:30 a.m. this morning, Vermillion now has a Walmart. Evil or not, I'll still buy some things there. Here's to hoping that they shape up, or are forced to shape up, the way they take care of their employees.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Half Marathon?

Did I absolutely LOSE MY MIND? A half marathon at age (to be) 39? Not that it's out of the ordinary to run a half or full (or further) at this age, it's just that I've been a cyclist for so long that I just don't run that far anymore. That, and the simple fact that my body quickly rebels since a car accident in '92 messed up my back bad. I have tried on a few occasions to get back into the running shape that led me to run two marathons back in 1990. Once I hit about the six mile mark, my back starts saying things that make me blush, and I didn't even know that my back could talk!

So, for the most part, my jogging has been easy jogs of 2-4.5 miles, and not very often at that. With my love of two wheels being so strong, running is just one of those things that I do on occasion to punish myself for not going harder on the bike. I have not run 6 miles in probably 10 years at least.

And now, for the rest of the story (my apologies to Paul Harvey). A couple of weeks ago, we received an email at work from our health benefits that stated that they would pay the entry fee to the Deadwood Marathon or 1/2 Marathon in June for all state employees provided we registered by Feb. 3rd. I started talking to some of the runners (and bikers) that we should do this. Okay, not just talking...talking smack! A guy who hasn't run over 6 miles in 10 years started picking on select individuals saying that I can not only do this, but beat them! Am I INSANE?

Well, some of them are now asking what the wager will be. Rut mouth, insert foot! As I have been trying to run 2-3 times a week, I have been struggling to push over 3.5 miles of continuous running. I know it's okay to walk some, but that is SO not me. I still want to be that competitive guy that I used to be (within reason). So, I will push on with the training in which I have described to Laura as my LAST serious effort to run longer distances again. I'm happy with my shorter runs, but want to give 6+ miles one more good go, especially now that Laura is getting to be such a good massage therapist!

Today was the final push. Cindy messaged me with the link to the registration pdf of the Deadwood 1/2 Marathon. I told her it was a very "subtle" hint. She said that is was no hint. I said, "It isn't"? She said "no". to take this. Without anymore being said, I printed off the registration, filled it out, and walked it down and handed it to Cindy who already had hers filled out. Joe was in the process of filling his out too. So now...IT'S ON! Me and my big mouth! I will never learn. I can always seem to motivate others to do these type of things, but often, like this particular experience, it is at MY expense as well.

Wish me luck, may the fun begin!

Skid Lid is ON!

Okay, so I'm a pretty serious cyclist...but I rarely wear my skid lid in town unless I'm riding with somebody. My friend Joe has been wearing his all the time and I recently talked to him about the fact that I should...that it's MUCH more likely to go down in town due to traffic than even in a paceline at 20 mph. Well, to improve my fatherly image and to make sure my brains remain INSIDE my skull if I find myself on the losing side of a dumped bicycle, I am happy to report that as of Monday that the helmet is firmly attached to my skull for ALL bicycle trips.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Ford Windstar "Pringle" Holder

Did you know that a Pringle can fits very well in the can holder on a Windstar? Neither did I! You can believe that I will be testing to see what other goodies might fit in this so called "pop can holder". Of course, it would help if I actually drove anywhere I suppose.....

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Dress for Your Dinner

As most of you know (that know me anyway) I help run the Daktronics video board for almost all USD Coyote sporting events. Today at the basketball game, my Mom came down and took Austin and Marissa along to the game. While they were playing during the game, they were asked to play the "Dress for Your Dinner" game at halftime, unbeknownst to me. The game consists of clothing worn by the basketball team, of course in their sizes, strewn throughout the court. First you have to put on the over sized shorts, then run a little, put on the jersey, run a little further, put on the shoes, run to the end of the court, pick up a basketball and go all the way to the other end and make a basket. Most kids grab the clothes and throw the clothes on in some fashion, but usually not correctly, but such was not the case with Austin and Marissa. They carefully put the shorts on, then the jersey, and then the shoes. Austin was considerably ahead by the time that Marissa got the shoes on and then she started to just head towards the other basket. Some kindly gentleman rolled the ball to her so she could catch up but by that time Austin had made his shot on the third or fourth attempt to do so. It was really cute to see them "compete" against each other and they both had a good time with it. Austin got a free Domino's pizza out of the deal and Marissa got $5 in Burger King Bucks so it was quite the coup for the Brady kids at the basketball game today. On a side note, USD beat UMD in both games!

New Bike Path Discussion

On Wednesday night we had a meeting/discussion about an extension to our existing bike path that would follow along the Vermillion River.  There was one homeowner who was there against it, but most of his objections were just his way of saying he didn’t want the path near/on his land more than legitimate complaints.  

The only reason I mention this meeting at all is the fact that I would like to take this opportunity to announce my plans to ride in the 2006 Tour de France.  The same gentleman who was complaining about the proposed bike path said “This is going to increase the bike traffic that already comes by my house at 30-40 miles per hour”.  For the record, I go by quite often, but my computer only shows 20-22 on a good day, obviously I need to get my computer checked as "THE EXPERT" has me clocked much faster!  If I had known, I could have been the one to stop Lance in his bid for seven straight.  Now we will never know...

On a much more plausible note, if I'm doing 30-40mph on that section of town, get to your basements quick because there is a tornado close behind!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Ahhhh...Fresh Air, Open Road!

There isn’t much sweeter than the first time you get the road bike out for the year.  Not to mention, how often do you get 60 degrees in January in South Dakota??  I was hoping to get at least one road bike ride in for the month and I have now accomplished that.  It was a quick hop over to Hwy 12 in Nebraska and back at a decent pace, probably better than expected as I was sore from jogging yesterday and the quads did bark back here and there.  All in all a good ride and the data is below.

Garmin 301  Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s)     1:12:42      3:18 pace
Distance (mi)              21.89  
Moving Speed (mph) 18.1 avg.   27.7 max.
Elevation Gain (ft)    +712 / -778
Avg. Heart Rate         148 bpm Zone 4.2
Temperature (°F)       60.8°F avg.      60.8°F high
Wind Speed ( mph)   W 12.1 avg.     W 12.7 max.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


2 ½ year old children are so full of amazement.  It is so much fun to see the world through their eyes.  Tonight Marissa had a program at the W.H. Over Museum where the PTA had sponsored a program for children entitled “I Wonder Why” and she had an entry into the contest.  She did a wonderful job with water colors on her project and got nice comments from the judges.  But without further ado, let’s get back to the child of amazement.

With all the people in the gallery, Carson was a little “crowded” and was constantly tugging Laura or I into the hallway.  Laura had to get to work, so that left me in charge of entertaining Carson while we waited for Austin and Marissa to finish up and be ready to go home.

We ended up in the main gallery of the Museum in the area with many animals.  Everywhere we turned Carson was amazed by the stuffed animals and was constantly screaming (not just saying) DADDY LOOK! (or Daddy Wook! if his binky was in).  I would look into his eyes and see the utter amazement at things that I have taken for granted for so long living in South Dakota and just life in general.  The big buffalo was definitely a hit and we had to walk all the way around it to the constant chorus of DADDY LOOK!  Then it was the bald eagle, the fox, the turtle, the coyote, the elephant bones…DADDY LOOK!!  DADDY LOOK!!  I wish I could tell you how many times I heard DADDY LOOK in the matter of ten minutes of time.

I could have been annoyed by the constant barrage of his amazement, but I chose to join his excitement and make his experience one that all of us talked about on the way home.  It is amazing watching them grow up, and although my ears will ring “DADDY LOOK!” all night long, the smile that it brings to my face is worth it.  Thank you Carson for such a wonderful memory.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Well Done Augie Doggie!

Although I help run the Daktronics Video Boards at sporting events at USD, and I enjoy a good game, the USD/SDSU rivalry was really the only “rivalry” USD has ever had.  Since SDSU went Division IAA, USD has basically been without a “real” rival in my opinion.  The Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper has seemingly “pushed” a rivalry between USD and Augustana College in efforts to make it into something that it just hasn’t been in recent years.  Let’s face it, we have dominated Augustana in recent years.

Well, now IT’S ON!  In what seems the best opportunity to turn this into a legitimate rivalry, Augie swept USD Men’s and Women’s Basketball in Sioux Falls last Saturday in an effort to make sports between our schools interesting once again.  

Probably most impressive to me are the pictures that follow.  When USD played SDSU, we would ALWAYS manage to get a dead Jackrabbit in and throw it onto the floor during the game (carrots always worked in a pinch too!).   I’d like to welcome the Augie Doggies into the fray of “dead animal tossing”.  Somehow, they did it…they ACTUALLY got a dead Coyote into the game Saturday and threw it on the floor.  My hat is off…well done Augie!  Word to the wise, USD’s fans are inevitably plotting their next step in this feud.  Be prepared!

an Augustana fan tossing a dead Coyote onto the court during the USD/Augie game Saturday Night Posted by Picasa

...and the poor sorry dude who had removal duty... Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 06, 2006

Betrothed at Birth

It’s been an ongoing joke since our son was born that he would someday marry Maria, our Goddaughter.  Austin and Maria, now 9 1/2 years old, are only 17 hours apart in birth and Austin’s Godparents are Maria’s Mom and Dad as well.  Got all that?  Good…

Austin and Maria are best of friends even though we live two hours away from her.  Do to family demands of more kids, we do not see them nearly as often as we like to.  They are some of our dearest friends and it is sad that it is so hard to find open time to get together, but most of that can be blamed by screwy work schedules.

Today I received an awesome light-up-your-day type email from Sina, Maria’s Mom.  It will speak for itself:

Maria had to write a tall tale in school and this is what she wrote (thought you'd find it funny)...

Austin Brady was the bravest man in the state of South Dakota. Everyone for miles around knew Austin Brady and loved to tell and retell of his amazing feats. Now one day Austin Brady went to visit Maria. Maria had been having big problems with her friends Darby and Maddy. Darby hated Maddy. Well since Darby hated Maddy they were always hurting each other.
Maria explained her problem. That was all it took. Right away, Austin called the Care Bears and they said a spell on them.
Maria's problem was solved, and the folks in South Dakota now had a new tale to tell about Austin Brady.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Real Daddy Daycare

I’m pretty sure that my wife and all those who do daycare and not lose their temper or their minds qualify for sainthood automatically.  Daycare kids become like family after awhile, and quite often when I come home, my youngest along with a daycare child will scream “Daddy!” when I come in the door from work.  It’s a wonderful feeling for the short time I get to spend with them.

Then it happened.  My wife’s Grandmother needed to have a cardiac catheterization done in Sioux Falls and she, quite understandably, wanted to be there for her Grandmother and her Mother.  I asked for the time off from work and was given the time off on short notice.  Let Daddy Daycare begin…bring it on!

Luckily most of the daycare kids were off for the holidays so it was just my youngest and one other 11 month old little boy.  Easiest day of my life, or so I thought.  It is simply amazing how packed your day can be with a 2 ½ year old and an 11 month old baby.  If one wasn’t grabbing my leg pulling himself up, the other was raiding the fridge for cheese.  While putting one down for a nap, the other one is doing something WAY to quietly to be good news.  I do have to admit that the day went REALLY fast and I survived quite nicely and even managed to fold a couple loads of laundry (with ‘little’ help of course).  Every one survived and Dad now has a new appreciation for his wife.

Now for the gloating portion of being Daddy Daycare.  I recently asked my wife if she thought my son was ready to be potty trained.  She said that he shows a little interest because one of the girls from daycare is potty trained, but that he never goes for her.  So, being the brave soul I am, I decided to give it a go.  I took off the morning diaper and told him that he could be “free” as long as he told me when he had to go.  Well, I was a little more nervous than that so I was asking him constantly if he had to go or not.  Most of the time he would say yes, but then go in and not do anything at all.  Then, it happened!  He sat on the potty, pushed hard, and out came a little trickle!  Dad gave him a “YEAH!” while clapping, to which he bared down and got a little more to come out.  Another “YEAH!” and clapping and now he was smiling from ear to ear.  So, the rest of the day was spent going in small little portions so he could get the “YEAH!” and the clapping, to which he usually joined in.

Okay, so I didn’t exactly “train” him, but I was pretty proud of my Daddy Daycare accomplishment.  Mom isn’t quite so impressed as now she spends most of her time going “YEAH!” and clapping while he tinkles a few drops in over and over and over.  My job here is done!