Monday, September 24, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Longest Sunday Ever

I don't really know why today was the longest Sunday ever. It just was. I think it's because I did so much stuff in one day! I'll focus on the highlights.

Pretty much, the big highlight of the day was mountain biking. Oh, and playing Halo with Josh.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to go riding today. Well, I know I did but I hadn't totally convinced myself to get up and do it. I think I just really wanted to ride with someone. I made a few calls but no luck. No big deal, I didn't really want to ride anyway. But then I did!

That's not confusing..

So I hopped up, got dressed and put the bike on the van and took off. Just as I clipped in at Turkey Mountain and was just pedaling around the parking lot, I saw Tanner. He went to ORU and did the Womble a bunch of times in the mountain bike class. We talked for a minute and then we ended up riding together.

He is a really good rider and he races quite a bit, so I didn't want to slow him down or make myself look slow, but I rode with him anyway. If he didn't mind me tagging along, then great! So it's not anything utterly amazing but it was just a lot of fun trying to keep up with him even when I was really tired! I need some really good riders to ride with so I'm pushed really far. They will make me get faster and get in the racing mindset.

So after a quick 8 mile ride, about 55 minutes later... I was worn out! Ughhh... Not tired though, jut physically wore out. But Josh came over and we had some Mountain Dew and Halo. Man I love Halo! Halo 3 comes out on Tuesday, so get ready!

Halo makes me feel as if I'm back in college. I would love to go back to college! But here's why: I know have a real job with real money which means I have a 32 inch (dont laugh, it's big enough!) HDTV, a really nice cross country race bike, new furniture... and a million other things! But that's the only reason I want to go back to school, I want to have the awesome dorm room!

Cassidy and I had the best dorm room ever, even Josh and I had a decent setup. I'll have to dig up some pictures... Actually, they are probably on my Flickr page...

We'll I'm going to get going, maybe Josh and I will play some more Halo. Jenni is watching the girls so I'm free for just a little while longer... Hah!

Oh, and I can't find my little SD card adapter to upload pictures from my camera... so I've just been taking less!

Halo 3

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Memories (1)

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
Let's take a moment of reflection for Nicholas.

Memories (2)

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
Don't worry Nick, I'll bust you out soon... just have to tie the chain around the hitch and we'll pull those bars off... Ride free!

Memories (3)

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
In memory of Nick's time in the slammer....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bike To Work Day!

Two things.

Today is Bike To Work Day in Tulsa.
That means free coffee and toad in a holes at DoubleShot.

Also, this is my 500th post. Sorry its not utterly amazing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Coffee Thoughts

I'm reading a book right now. Yup, a real book. Not a magazine but a real book.

It's called “Coffee - A Dark History” by Antony Wild.
I got it on Amazon dirt cheap, used. But it looks as if it's new.

Anyway, there is a paragraph that I really enjoyed, I'll just type it here.

“ Coffee had become universally consume in the nations of Europe and in the USA, much of it in coffee houses that became meeting places for men of commerce, politics, and culture. The effect of caffeine itself insured that there were always likely to be lively, well-informed debates and intense, original exchanges, in contrast to the only other public meeting places of the time, the tavern or church. The coffee house played a pivotal role in the creation of many of the financial institutions that in turn supported the expansionist trading empires that had led to the growth of coffee consumption in the first place.”

That paragraph made me think of what people believe coffee houses are these days.

Before I dove into this whole new world of coffee, this is what I thought of coffee houses. I thought they all were more or less like Starbucks. Whatever that means. I thought that coffee houses were places for college students to come and do homework or study. I thought coffee houses were supposed to have outlets all near the tables/chairs so people could bring their laptops and surf the net.

What are coffee houses to you?

I find it a good place for conversation. Great for talking about serious issues even though you may not usually talk about such things. But it's certainly a place to socialize. It's quiet like a library but not stuffy. It's interesting because people don't go to “donut shops” or “soda shops” to talk about things like they do at coffee shops.

I don't drink coffee but I see it as mostly a social place. It used to be a date place for me and it was a major student hangout. But I don't like the pressure to buy something. I'm either forced to buy iced tea or chai. I think they should have more non coffee drinks.

They are for lonely people who just want to read their US Weekly magazine,

I think of it as a place for people to hang out and talk.

Ok, so it looks as if coffee houses are certainly a place to hangout. I can say that with my short time at a real coffee house (I don't think Starbucks counts and I'll tell you why in a minute) that coffee houses to me are a place for two or more people who are totally different in age and social status can share a beverage and just talk. I've talked to more people at DoubleShot than I have at any other coffee shop.

Ok, why I don't think Starbucks is a real coffee house. First let me say that I am not a part of the “I Hate Starbucks” movement. I have friends that hate Starbucks and I have friends that love Starbucks. I'm fairly indifferent but mostly because I haven't done my homework yet to have a truly valid opinion.

A reason I don't like Starbucks is that they won't acknowledge that they are fast food. They are nothing more than the McDonalds of the coffee world.

A reason I like Starbucks is that if you are somewhere totally unfamiliar then you can always count on Starbucks being the same, because they are on every corner. But that's also why I don't like Starbucks...

I also think that the local coffee shop is like your local bike shop. I think you should support both. But only if you like their products and services obviously. Gosh, I'm certainly not the kind of person who goes to the local farmers market and only buys locally grown produce but I really enjoy my bike shop, T-Town Bicycles and I want to keep them in business. They have been good to me, they always give me a discount, and I trust them working on my bike.

Same thing with the coffee shop. Brian and Isaiah at DoubleShot have taught me a lot about coffee and I appreciate their time and the pride they put in their work. So naturally I would rather buy and support what they do.

Starbucks employee vs. Real Barista

I see the Starbucks employee as someone who just knows how to pull some levers and squirt the right amount of syrup. But I want someone who knows about coffee and who pulls real shots of espresso. The other day, I was just watching Isaiah. He poured some espresso grounds, which was ground seconds before, into the portafilter and started to tamp it. Is that the correct term? I know it's called a tamper... Anyway, while he was “tamping” it, he noticed it was uneven. Instead of just pulling a shot like that, he duped the grounds out and tried again. I love that!

Ok, that's enough coffee thoughts for now. Peace out!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Awesome weekend! Hopefully this next one will be equally aweseome!

Jenni and I had a really great weekend this past weekend! We biked at Osage Hills State Park with the COTM MTB crew. That was on Saturday, also on Saturday was Josh's birthday so a bunch of went out to eat then we went to a movie. We went to Abuelos and they have really good fajitas!

Let's see...

Sunday was a day of sleeping in and getting things done. We had to do a lot of stuff like gas up the cars... oh, and that made the credit card company call me because they thought someone stole my credit card! There was just a ton of cleaning to do, food shopping, napping... that sort of thing.

I can't believe it's practically Wednesday! See, Tuesday, when work ends, is technically Wednesday.

Upcoming Events!

Ok, here are some things that are up on my calendar right now...

Friday is Bike To Work Day in Tulsa. So, if you live in Tulsa, I encourage you to bike to work. I need to get my Hardrock SS (single speed) tweaked for Friday...

It was getting cooler, but the temps are going back up so I'm not starting a full blown bike commute just yet. Yes, I'm that wimpy.

Saturday is Turkey Mountain Trail Maintenance with the ORU kids. I think that Jenks H.S. comes out too...
So, if you are in Tulsa (yet again) come out for trail maintenance. We would love to have another hand to help cleanup the trail.

On the topic of trail maintenance, I think some people have different ideas as to what that means. Some people think that trail maintenance means removing all rocks, smoothing over roots and making the trail easy hardpack. I don't believe that at all. I do believe in fixing trail. Perhaps water keeps eroding a section, come up with a way to create a gutter with rocks. We actually did that a year or two ago and it worked pretty well.

Well, I'm going to get going now, so I'll talk to you later! Have a great early Wednesday!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Re: Real Coffee

An excerpt from an email from my mom:

"re your coffee musings, don't worry, no one really cares if you are a purist or not, life's too short to not drink coffee with sugar and cream.... nothing like caffe con leche in spain.. or cappuchino in rome... or espresso in isreal.. . its all good. so drink up whatever you like, and don't forget you have many years to evolve your preferences...

personally, i can't get into flavors added, but years ago, i liked them... still want the sweetner and cream... i don't see why suffer without the extras, myself.

but standing behind the teenieboppers at starbucks who order a triple vente doubleshot mocha-caramel frappachuno with double whipped cream and jimmies.... i just wanna say, just buy a snickers bar, will ya! they are so not coffee drinkers, and they're gonna be 300 pounds by the time they graduate..."

So that's where I get it from...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Help Find Steve Fossett!

If you were good at "Where's Waldo" then you're gonna love this! If you haven't heard of Steve Fossett, then Google him. Here's the scoop... rich guy with a pilots license. Yup. We can't find him. So Amazon and Google have teamed up to have you and I look for him.

You can use either Google Earth or Amazon will give you 300 ft by 300 ft pictures and ask you if you see anything that looks like anything. You need an Amazon account if you don't have one though.

Good luck!

Hint: It looks like this...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

"Real" Coffee

The one thing I really really hate are posers. This is pretty much anyone who is not true to what they say or do. Some examples...
- “Outdoorsey” people who buy all the North Face gear, Nalgene bottles, and titanium cookware, but never go 1 mile into the woods.
- Coffee connoisseurs who just buy mochas and frappuccinos (Ok, I like mochas, but I'm trying to expand my palate, is that spelled right?) and hang out at the coffee shops with their Mac computers.
- I know there's another example, I just can't remember it.

I bring this up to say that I don't want to be a poser. I know that I'm not, but the thing I'm afraid of is being perceived as a poser. But, at the same time, I really don't care what people think about me, especially if I know they are wrong. Ok. well maybe a little.
Here are some examples of reasons I may feel like a poser...
- I bought a really nice cross country race mountain bike and I wear spandex (most of the time) and I haven't raced yet. In my own defense, I do plan on racing. I mean, I don't think I'll make podium but I just want to try it and have fun. I used to run cross country in high school and I really enjoy that feeling of racing even though I was always nervous!
- I love Nalgene bottles, fork/knife/spoon combos, and Suunto watches, but I don't go hiking or camping every weekend. I wish I did, but I don't really have the time.
- I have a Timbuk2 messenger bag, but I don't act like I'm a bike messenger. Although that seems like fun, I just don't think I could do it.
- I really enjoy coffee (although some would say that mochas aren't coffee) but I don't know the difference between an Ethiopian _______ and a Costa Rican _______.

What I think the difference is, is that I know that I'm not “posing” but I just enjoy these things, and I do use them as much as possible.

Ok, I had to give all that background info and examples to go to my real topic. “Real” coffee.

If you read some of my most recent posts, then you'll know that I found this coffee shop that is just awesome! Something has inspired me to take my knowledge of coffee to a new level. But see, I don't want to pose, so I'm not trying to say I can taste all he notes or tell what day the bean was roasted or whatever. I just want to appreciate coffee for what it is.

So, with a background of drinking mochas, my taste buds are a little tainted to say the least. I went to DoubleShot and explained my dilemma.
Isaiah, the barista at DoubleShot, understood what I was saying and hooked me up with some beans from Costa Rica, Monte Crisol I believe. I also bought a french press and a hand grinder. Basically, this is something I can take camping, or make my own coffee anywhere there is hot water.

I had two cups last night and I don't recommend doing that late in the evening unless you wanted to stay up till 3. Then I made some in the morning and had another two cups. I think one thing I really enjoy, is the process of making the coffee. I put the beans in the grinder, cranked that thing till they were all ground up, then put them in the french press. I added the water, waited 4 minutes, then pressed down slowly pushing the grounds to the bottom. Ok, if that sound like manual labor to you, then this isn't for you at all. But if you love the feeling of doing something yourself and doing things with your hands, then you would totally get a kick out of this! It's so much fun that if you want a cup of coffee, come on over and I'll make you a cup!

Alright, I'm new to this coffee thing and to really appreciate coffee, I have found that you shouldn't “tarnish” the drink with milk or sugar. Brian, owner and barista of DoubleShot believes that adding anything is a way of covering up bad coffee. He roasts all of his own stuff and I think that it really tastes great!

What scared me when starting this new adventure was that all the memories I have of drinking coffee plain, I was about 10 years old and it probably Folgers or something. I remember it sort of because when my Dad was in Ecuador or Nicaragua my Mom told me I was the man of the house. What does the man of the house do? He drink coffee, like Daddy does. Wow, I hated it! So I never tried it again. That's probably the first and last memory I have of drinking straight coffee.

But the coffee I had last night, didn't make me cringe or make a funny face. I enjoyed it. Now, I won't deny that I did want it a little sweeter but that's just because I wasn't used to it.

Jenni is gone for the day, taking her teaching exams so I have to find a way to occupy myself. I decided to go to DoubleShot, just to hang out. Well, I got thirsty so I asked for a mocha. They didn't give it to me. They wouldn't let me take it. They used some jedi mind trick to make me think I wanted a latte. No, just kidding, it's not like that. I guess Isaiah and Brian are my coffee “accountability partners!” Anyway, the latte was good, actually really good!

I don't know if you know what Tulsa weather is doing, but it's raining right now. Perfect for slowing down, relaxing, enjoying some coffee. Man I love making my own coffee! I was planning on going mountain biking today, but it's raining. I just really want to get back on the bike.

I'm starting to rethink the DoubleShot Duathlon. I just don't know if it's the best thing for me for a first race. I don't really have a problem coming in last, but it's no fun when you do! I was talking to Brian today and he said I could shoot some video if I didn't race in it. I don't know... should I do it? Should I wait? All I care about is completing it. To refresh you, its running, biking, and running. Also, they say that it's no easy thing to do. Not that that scares me, but I just want to be prepared.

So, I'm trying to kill time before Jenni comes home. She's in like a 12 hour test, ok not that long, but it's all day! Templeton is acting really funny. When there is just one of here, he is all sweet, but when the other one comes home, he gets super hyper and really excited to see us. Right now he's just lying there half asleep and half watching to make sure he doesn't miss anything fun.

Well, I'm going to get going. Let me know if you think I should do the DoubleShot Duathlon as my first race and if you have any coffee stories or special creations you wish to share, leave a comment.

Thanks for reading! This blog post was brought to you by DoubleShot Coffee; increasing your jitteriness to blog for hours!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Most Recent Womble Trip

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
This is the most recent Womble pic. I can't wait to get some more pictures next month!

Womble Scar

Womble (49)
Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
First time at the Womble, and I get this! Oh well! I still went 3 more times!

Womble with the Buick

Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
The Buick... Now I have a van, it carries way more stuff!

Hardrock at the Womble

Hardrock at the Womble
Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
My first Womble ever! My old bike...

The Womble is coming! The Womble is coming!

What is a Womble? I don't know. I also don't really care, as long as I get to ride it! Every semester, the ORU Mountain Biking class heads off to Mt. Ida, Arkansas to ride the Womble trail. We split it up over 3 days. We leave campus at 11 am Friday and return Sunday evening.

- Leave 11am
- Set up camp around 2 or 3
- Bike 9 miles

- Bike 19 miles

- Pack up, drive to trailhead
- Bike 8 miles
- Get home by 4, 5, 6 depending on riders.

It's the highlight of my year! I have gone four times. Those times were as a student, now, this next time will be as an alumni.
This year will also be special because it will be Jenni's first time going! She is going to have a blast! She's a little discouraged though, because I talk about the distance. But all she knows is Turkey Mountain (rocky, technical...). The Womble is just gorgeous single track with just a good amount of technical stuff. It's mostly just long.

Anyway, I'm starting to ride with the ORU kids. The instructor, a friend of mine, Tony Domeck, asked me to lead one of the groups on the Saturday rides. It's not the biggest deal, but it made my day! I remember when I was in college... 3 months ago!

Anyway, enjoy some of these pics from my past Wombles...

DoubleShot Coffee

DoubleShot Coffee
Originally uploaded by scrappapervlog
Mocha. Probably be best I've ever had.

Labor Day BBQ Highlights Reel

Rainy Tulsa

I love Tulsa when it rains! I don't know why. It's probably just because it is usually hot but the rain knocks the heat down... but it does add humidity... Oh well.

I was planning on mountain biking today. It just felt so good when I was riding the other day. When the weather is nice, it makes mountain biking so much better! Although, I really enjoy mountain biking whenever (except in mud).

This lunch break was spent at DoubleShot coffee. I really love this place! It has a great environment and excellent coffee. I also decided I'm going to do the DoubleShot Duathlon. Remember? The run 3, bike 8, run 3? Yeah, it's a lot, but I can do it. My goal is to just complete it. What I really want to do is to do a test one. Just to see what my time is and see what its like.

Although I think the MTB route goes “up” lipbuster. Hmmm... I've never gone that way before. I need to really start getting these legs in working order...

Nick has always been good at the climbs. Thats what I really need to work on. Usually, the big stuff get to me, or if I make it up and over, I still get hung up while trying to keep the pace.

Bob (mountain bike Bob from church...) has been helping me prepare myself both physically and mentally for racing. He has raced for years and just recently retired from it (but still rides like a demon!). He really knows his stuff! The only thing is that our schedules have conflicted with each other and I haven't ridden with him for a while. He is planning a trip to Osage State Park, that should be a lot of fun.

I'm still amazed at how much Jenni loves to mountain bike. I think she is too! She just has a blast when we're out there! And she's really good! I think that her skills on a dirt bike transferred pretty easily over into mountain biking. So, if you dirt bike, mountain biking should be easy! You just have to work up your legs a little.

That's about it for now, I better get going! Take care!

Labor Day BBQ

Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day Post

Labor Day! What does that mean? If you don't know, you should look it up so you don't look like an idiot!

Jenni and I had a great weekend. It was pretty unusual too. We were going to go to this coffee shop downtown, DoubleShot. I just heard of it. I wonder how long they have been here... Anyway, it's really cool. Great atmosphere, awesome coffee, and just neat stuff. Nick, I wish you could be here.

The owner and operator, Brian, seems like a nice guy too. They have a website and blog and while I was searching around on both I saw that he's into mountain biking. That's cool! He has a Trek Top Fuel and he also just did the Leadville 100 (100 mile running race)! When I talked to him he handed me a flyer of their 2nd annual DoubleShot Duathlon.

I don't know if you know what a Duathlon is, and it's commonly confused with a Biathlon... I've always remembered what a Biathlon is because its the one where they cross country ski and shoot rifles. Yep, that something most people to everyday!

A Duathlon though is a an event where you run, bike, run. In this case, trail run 3 miles, mountain bike 8, and trail run 3. That's nothing to scoff at! It sounds like a ton of fun because they have a lot of free stuff and mountain biking is just fun in general but its kind of a big thing. I talked to the guy that helped put it on last year and told him, well, I'm kinda nervous. He said that they have everyone from pro level racers to people that just learned to bike.

I think I'm going to have to sign up! It's on a Saturday. October 6th or 7th, whichever of those is a Saturday. I'll be sure to have Jenni take some pictures and video.

Anyway, about yesterday. You've probably seen the video of our trip. We went to the coffee shop but they closed early so I just started driving. I didn't care where we went, we were just exploring. Every turn we took we weren't sure where it lead and that was fine. It was fun!

It was like a road trip, but we didn't really go that far. We drove about 115 miles to end up somewhere only 60 miles from Tulsa!

That's about it I guess. Oh, what are we doing today though!

Today we plan on having a picnic and little get together. We were going to have it on Riverside, but we thought it would be kind of packed so we moved it to our apartment. Not just in the apartment but on one of the grills in the grass side or Josh's grill. This way we can have a place to use the bathroom in privacy, there air conditioning if we need it (although it's been absolutely gorgeous out! And we can play Halo when it gets dark! Booya! I wonder if I should set up the other TV for Halo... Maybe I will....

I had to work just an hour today. We have a live show everyday. It's usually 12:00 - 1, but today it was just 9-10. I'm really confused as to what time it is now!

Jenni is out right now looking for rocking chairs and new pillows for our couches. Or is it “couchi...”

Templeton is behaving, sort of. He gets so excited about everything! Jenni and I gave him a bath yesterday, so he smells like vanilla! It was fun washing him because it made me feel like my Dad! My Dad is the one who washes Snickers and Templeton looks a lot like Snickers. It's also pretty cool having a dog because he listens to me. Example: Jenni will yell at T (Templeton) if he is doing something bad, but he doesn't always “listen.” Then I'll yell at T and he knows he better “listen.” (Dogs have very selective hearing!) It's cool because Snickers won't really listen to anyone but if Dad says something in his “Dad” voice, he'll do what he says! Now I have that control! Sweet!

Well, I have to clean the house, so I'll try and update later although there will be a partay!

So what is everyone else up to?

Sunday, September 02, 2007