11 Nov 2006
Nice rides this weekend. Yesterday for Veteran's day at Dana Peak Park
and today at BLORA.
Let me say BLORA has gone to pot. Trails have branches hanging into
riders' eyes and all the signage gone. The way this place has fallen in
the last 5 years is amazing. I know who was steward out there; it was
someone who no way had the time to put in the place. Nor did the two
stewards before him. In fact the place has been in near constant decline
since Joey Roper left the sport to take up disc golf.
Ft Hood--the great place--with a very large surrounding populace cannot seem
to bring the riders together to gel a club and have a nice venue in which to
ride. It's a damn shame.
I could probably close the place with a letter or two to the Directorate of
Community Activities and the garrison commander's office.
But likely I will let it go--I am sure eventually BLORA ADMIN will realize it is
time for the Trailblazers to die. And that will be a sad day--but maybe
better than going out there every so often and remembering the glory days; how
Maybe tomorrow afternoon after checking some things at work I'll make it down
to Austin and ride on the green belt some.
Oh, I had an altercation with horses on trailblazer land today; they do not
belong. And then a not so nice threaded forum exchange about the whole
deal with local bike shops not doing much else for riders but selling bikes and
the whole Trailblazer fiasco. Makes me irate to say the least.
4 Nov 2006
So I have my good computer back; in fact, all my stuff is out of long-term
storage from when I retired from the Army. The house is built and I mainly
have my stuff put away and am getting settled in. The 30th was my first
night here in the new abode at Price at Young, south-side, Killeen, Texas.
The job has its ups and downs. The pay is good but I am working my tail
off--not hard labor mind you, but brain and management intensive---easily 55
hour weeks, out of town seminars, and at least some time on weekends
required. Well that's life as The manager of a large contract with 220+
employees that is expected to bring 300-500K revenue "sales" every 15
days. 75% of my labor pool is disabled in some way and that in itself
presents even extra obstacles to overcome. So what has that been doing for
my cycling-?--I've been on the bike 4 times in recent memory (ugh-like in the
last 2 months!)--once for the hotter than hell 100 in Wichita Falls, Texas, and
once each at BLORA, Lake George Town and Dana Peak for mountain
Now that I am out of the depressing 2 bedroomer I'll be more motivated.
I have my fluid ops trainer now too. I've actually felt asthmatic since my
return from Hawaii. It was really bad in Feb/Mar, then I caught a
break--but with the advent of cooler weather, now I seem to be wheezing a lot
and have burning sensations in my throat. I even had a bad case of poison
oak and cat scratch rash shortly after HH100 which I just recently got over.
So I'm a mess. The trips to Baltimore, Nashville and DC have
contributed to over eating. Last I labored my fat arse to the scales it
read 215. Need to be below 185 to feel good. I have pain under my
last right side rib too like something's moving around all torn or pulled--not
constant but still there. In Tysons Corner for my JWOD U seminar, I had for
cuisine, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, and Vietnamise. Now I'm back
to the land of boring chain restaurants--maybe I'll dine in more often.
Someone has made voyage to Doha, Qatar. There is a Ramada there-brand
new, with 3 restaurants and a coffee shop. The work must be hard and
I imagine the pay and conditions for OFWs barely tolerable. Prayers and
many good thoughts for and toward this person. It causes anxious times not
knowing what's happening.
Do I like the house? yes--it is 2300 sq ft. My bike room is small
compared to what I had in Hawaii, but most everything else is bigger--home
office, living room, master bed and bath especially. And I have a
garage--and best of all--it's mine--well the mortgage company really I
guess. All I know is soon I'm going to dig out a favorite DVD and crank
the home theater. The grass still looks pretty much crap tho--I hope it comes
Finally I have HD on my HDTV. I watched the Arkansas Razorbacks hang on
and beat South Carolina tonight. And congrats to my favorite team--the St
Louis Cardinals!! Oh, my home theater (well really the living room--I
wished I did have a 4 to 5000 sq ft home) is the proud new owner of a D-Link
media player. All those albums I've been downloading for just a few bucks
from allofmp3.com I can now stream to my main system.
Ok enough yabberty jabber I suppose. Maybe I can post more often and
have shorter more meaningful posts. And an occasional picture. And gasp
maybe even a story about getting out on a bike.
Dang; it's been a long time. I write this on a
laptop from a small2 bedroom apt I have rented in Temple, TX. Everything
is in long-term storage in California; taking advantage of the year's free
storage from the government until I am sure my new job is secure and thus look
for a house.
So I work as a contractor on Fort Hood; we do dining
facility cleaning services--and soon, food prep and management in some of them.
Challenging and I surmise it will keep me busy. I started 8 May after a 2
month job search. I also was selected for a prestigious MBA fellows job
with the Department of Labor in Washington DC, but for a variety of reasons
turned it down. I was turned down by HEB a regional super grocer---I did
really well during the interview---but I've been able to determine that in these
times, for some unknown to me reason, interviewers do not like prospects that
are sure of themselves.
I have not biked all that much. Off the plane from
Hawaii in Mid February I participated in a MTB marathon race in the Big Bend
desert area in Terlingua, TX. The plane had already made me sick--and it
was cold. I finished but really scared myself. I short gasped air
and had a rapid heartbeat all nite and still felt ill days later. Just a
week ago maybe I quit wheezing. Docs on Fort Hood told me likely the plane
was a trigger for me to develop exercise induced asthma. I have also done a
bunch of road riding, mountain biked my home trails a handful of times, and met
Dan--my biking bud from Hawaii--in Houston and we rode 2 famous Texas MTB
ranches back to back.
This labor day weekend I have been pretty lazy. I
skipped the tour de temple rode ride yesterday and was disappointed when nobody
showed for the weekly Sunday road ride today. Friday after a short work
day, I did go see X-Men and enjoyed it better than the 1st two in the series.
So one more day in the holiday--I think I will salvage it by going to Austin and
riding Walnut creek, go to REI and see if I can get a bed rack for the company
provided Colorado, maybe go to the LBS, and maybe to eat at Taco Cabana.
Someone emailed me a wonderful new picture the other day.
This Sunbeam was a highlight (THE highlight) of my last months in Kirkuk and I
Enough for now. This Memorial Day let's just
remember all the good times/people and look forward to good times to come.
7 February 2006
It's with sadness I write this. See on the 13th when I leave here it will be
just shy of a year when I made my last major move--the move back from Iraq to
Hawaii. That move was sad too as I left many friends behind, some and one
in particular-very special. And so it goes with this move--no, no one in
the same sense of loss as when I left my OFW friend in Iraq, but still
there are 3 families I'll sorely miss--they just don't seem to make friends like
this in the mainland. So..
I have to bid adieu to my best biking and all around pal-Dan, and his wife
Carol and Doggie, Pudge.
And I must say so long to the next door town home neighbors--the Kims.
Dr Jonathon and his wife Annie and their kids Nathan and Noah always had their
home open to us. Jon hosted some great block parties and both he and Annie
were great cooks.
Cecily and her hubby and kids, CJ and Ryan were awesome too. CJ was my
boy Michael's best friend and lived here when he wasn't made to be
And then there is Katie and her parents. Katie is 8 and loved to come
visit Sally almost everyday.
So the Army gig is up. 20 years. I had my final out today and all
is left before flying is the transition center. The packers come tomorrow
and the next day. Everything is ready 4 them. All that is left is to
tear down this computer which I'll do in a minute. The road bike is
already at Ft Hood waiting. There is no job yet but some good prospective ones
In 9 days I'll be riding my Stumpjumper mountain bike in Big Bend in the
desert. In two weeks I'll be in the Killeen/Ft Hood area to fine tune my
So this will be my last post for a while..
..I'm really gunna miss my friends.
21 December 2005
Well a long time it has been since I last updated.
The visit with Mom is going "OK"; I think everyone's going to be a
I have a job prospect at Ft Sill doing what I'm doing now but as a
civilian--the posting just closed. I really am praying I get
selected. Five years enlisted I was at Sill and enjoyed nearly all of
it. The cost of living and in particular the price of homes is very nice.
My final day in uniform is 10 February and I fly out of here Monday the
13th. I will be driving from L.A. to the Central Texas area. Over
Presidents' Day weekend I will likely stop in the Big Bend area and participate
in Texas Mountain Biking Racing Association's Mas O Menos Mt Bike Marathon
race. I was thinking about the 24 Hrs of Old Pueblo in Tucson, but the
logistics and iffy ness of it and the fact that solo spots are essentially
booked already as directed me to choose the Texas event.
Someone went to Singapore for a job and it didn't work out and returned home
almost immediately (I don't think an official gov't recognized OFW agency was
used) . I just now heard she is home safe. I feel bad for..
but happy to know...someday maybe.....
I just am so happy to have as a friend and is my very special friend even though
outside of prayers and verbal support I cant help now...
Tomorrow I am going to the Polynesian Cultural Center with Sally, Michael,
his friend CJ, and my Mom. It's an all afternoon, evening event and should
be well worth the 63 bucks military discounted admission per person.
Essentially I have quit working. Oh I go in and show my face. But
really I am starting my final appointments etc now and soon after the holidays
it will be time to ship the car and start packing up. It's hard to believe
my time in Hawaii---and in the Army--is up.
My road bike survived a crash a few days ago. An inadvertent run in
with the car garage because we were all busy yakking instead of thinking.
Luckily it had a carbon fiber seat post--so that snapped and likely saved the
frame from damage.
Christmas is upon us. I did not do as much shopping as usual. I
just wanna go on a ride or two and leave here and get re-situated somewhere.
Peace all and happy holidays and a very good new year.
18 November 2005
I can't stand it when I hit the control key coz everything gets
Anyway Mom is here to visit--til after New Years; I fervently pray we can
keep nice that long-ha ha.
I was off work this week but work 3 days next week--I ought to find out
if I leave here in mid February like I want, or they could make me stick
around and "sell leave" and not retire til the end of April.
The 25th ID goes back to Iraq later this year and i dont wanna get caught up
in that--last time was ok coz of certain reasons...
..speaking of which.. God will answer our prayers in His time and way.
Patience and prayers always for GA.
I have been helmet cam/DV taping my mountain and road bike rides lately.
And editing w/ Pinnacle Studio 9+; the file size is way to big to place on
the Internet so I render to video TS and output to DVD to give to my best
riding pals--it's fun and neat.
We took Mom and the neighbor boys to Dole Plantation today. Then
met the boys' Dad, Dr Kim, in Kapolei to eat Chinese dinner at a place he
heard about from 1 of his patients. Ho Ho are some such name tucked into the
shopping center w/ the old Jurrisons and Shaka Bikes. OMG--I have not
been fond of Chinese food here on the Island but this was
awesome--everything was spiced up and very tasty, plus the waiter used
to be the area manager for the Filipino Golden Coin restaurant chain here on
Oahu--so there was Filipino pork roast on the buffet too--simply geat!!
So I hope I remembered everything I had posted the 1st time. Time
to go get some sleep--leave at 730 AM for the Saturday road ride.
I finally ate at Auntie Pastos today. It was
pretty good; you'll have to check my restaurant
page to learn more.
The ride was very fast yesterday. We had a bunch
of youngsters join us; they all sported brand new Felts and had the legs of
youngsters. I hit 30 on the flats several times. Despite a busted
spoke my average speed was the best yet for an HBL club ride. The Bikeshop
fixed the spoke today, no problemo and gratis.
My mind is set I think. It's no big mystery 3d
BDE and Division HQ (for whom I work) will be back in Iraq July/August.
Rather than sell my vacation time, I think I'll just split early so I don't get
caught in the stop move/loss that will be sure to come. I think I can be
outta here mid February. Likely go to TX and conduct job search from there
if I don't already have one lined up. Of course plenty of mountain biking
is going to occur too; I can hardly wait. I'm mailing off an app to San
Antonio based HEB tomorrow for their grocery store leader development
program. Most of my qualifications, experience and training lie in
hospitality/food service; learning a different line of the food business would
be exciting/challenging and acceptable.
I need to break out the miniDV cam and get some more
footage. My friend in PH is hankering for a homemade DVD...
Rented a locker--$4 a month at the army base gym.
Going to incorporate some treadmill work and spinning alongside my trainer and
biking regimen. Now maybe if I can slow down on calorie consumption I can
get back down to 175/80--will be hard--ha ha. Food too good. I'm a
master of the yoyo diet.
Til next time..behave.
30 October 2005
Well it's time to go back to work tomorrow. I am sitting here typing
away listening to Alice Cooper's latest release which is really quite good.
So over my week off from work I only managed 1 road ride, 1 mountain ride,
and several times on the trainer. But I did watch all the world series
games, made a DVD about the 24 hour race, added a webpage
to this site for the same race, and even updated my home
theater website--the 1st I've done that in years. I also watched
Batman Forever and generally just took it easy. Started that Cussler novel,
too--even that series is wearing thin; authors need to reinvigorate themselves
every so often--right now I think perhaps Follet is the best at doing
that--always some fresh story from him, although I am anxiously awaiting the
sequel to Pillars of the Earth.
I'm already looking forward to mid-November when I'll take another week.
25 October 2005
Rainy days here on Oahu. I did not ride Saturday--perhaps tomorrow I
should ride somewhere--either on post or I've been wanting to take the Stumpy up
to Timberlake Camp trails.
I've just been enjoying the week off futzing around the computer and watching
the world series. The White Sox went up 3 games to none on the Astros
today after a 14 inning semi-marathon.
So I finished the DVD of the 24 Hr MTB race and I'll likely give the disc to
my teammates. Nothing fancy, not even a menu. Just 23 minutes of
trail set to music with some pix at the end and a very few transition effects.
Music features an eclectic array indeed however--Gold Frapp ( a Belgium pop
outfit), the Sex Machineguns (a Japanese metal outfit), Molly Hatchett, Wings,
and Blink 152.
I updated my restaurant review page
today, something I seem to be forever behind on.
I've been checking out some mt bike blogs--there's some entertaining reading
Speaking of which--maybe I'll go start reading Cussler's Polar Shift now
which I've been meaning to get to. Yeah a nice hot soak and a read might
be in order.
24 October 2005
The 24 Hour mountain bike race has been over for almost two weeks. I
have not made a special page but might sometime soon. What I have
accomplished is to edit down 1 hr and 3 min of video to 20 or so min--still too
long for the "net", but add a few pics, some transitions, titles, and
songs and it might make a good DVD to give to my teammates, Dan and Carol.
Slow work in progress too.
I'm just taking things at a slow leisurely pace lately. Soon I will
leave the Army and Hawaii and thus a lot of change and hectic times--so slow and
lazy is the word now. I am off next week though--so possibly I will do
I have decided to quit any Star Wars books written with a time setting later
than the New Jedi Order series. The newest series sucks ballz---more alien
species and ho hum blah blah more of the same ole--the new story arcs are tired
and worn out.
Honolulu is sucking too. MTB scene is still terrible as far as much
organized participation. The Rock People Race at Kualoa next weekend has
been cancelled because according to the sponsor since being announced two months
ago only a few entries had been received. As far as road biking--bad news
in the offing there too. Mayor Muffi Hanneman can't stand the heat.
The poor rich multi millionaire residents of Hawaii Kai, poor souls that they
are, are inconvenienced by the tri events because they have trouble navigating
their Escapades and Mercedes and whatnots around the inconsiderate bikers and
runners on the occasional early weekend morning...Mr Mayor is talking of canceling
the 2 tri events...
...time to move. I really wanna get back to Texas, but Colorado I
guess would be ok too.
I have applied for a GS9/11 passport specialist job--I meet all the
qualifications and think I should excel at most of the knowledge, skills and
abilities mentioned as well. I hope I get some good news in Dec/Jan
On the other front I allude to every so often--no change there.
26 September 2005
Short update. The Hono Century yesterday was very successful, yet
brutal--and oh yeah-fun. You'll have to select the link
to read about it.
I have the helmet cam; can't wait to try it out--less than 2 weeks until the
24 hour mountain bike race. Yahoo!
Working in the Operations Center on Schofield is all right. The hours
really vary because all of us are retiring or getting out between now and Spring
so we are always covering for each other. But it's not too hard to be away
providing no flights are coming in or anything serious coming down. Friday
morning we got a WARNO to send a lot of the Division ISO Katrina recovery
ops. Thankfully by afternoon, the Army had given forces command the task.
Everything else is OK--u all know me by now-- I always think things should be
better--in many cases they could.
Let's leave with that mystery...shall we...
20 August 2005
So I am in a pretty good mood today. I got to talk to somebody the
other day that I haven't heard from (by voice anyway) in 6 months
:-) Thank you, God. For all our blessings.
Need a helmet cam to document some of my trail rides better--also another
night lighting system before October since it looks like I might be doing this
years 24 hour mountain bike event as a solo effort. Ah-but
money--especially when the money is managed by "wifey". I hate
to ask--I already get lots of stuff.
Yesterday I managed 3 laps and a half on my Kole-Kole pass loop on
post. I felt really good and I averaged almost 17MPH on this hilly
route. Today, on the HBL club ride, we put in our usual 30 miler, but
again I felt like blazing-and averaged well over 17---while not my race pace by
any means, these are rather quick times for solo efforts and club rides. I
have not suffered leg cramps since I have started taking a daily potassium
supplement; I think I'll head to the health food store and get some of the
locally made product, Lava Salts, before the late summer/early fall endurance
and racing season starts. I think I'll go back out tomorrow for a 50 miler
another group is doing--leaving Waipahu and going to Yokahama Bay and
back. Maybe I'll recover Monday as I'm off that one last day before...
...before I report to my new Army Company, Headquarters, 25th Infantry.
Since I submitted retirement and refused several more years with my current unit
(the new Stryker unit), this is how I am treated. Well hopefully I will
retire on/about 1 May as planned. I just hate to think I might have a weird
work schedule now because the duty is in the Emergency Operations Center--no
telling what they have in mind for me to do. Oh, well.
In the meantime everyone wish me a happy job hunt. I finished the Army
Career Alumni Workshop and am starting to send out "feelers"---I
really want to get one of the leadership development rotation programs that a
lot of companies are hiring new college grads for. My MBA will still be
pretty current when I get out of the Army--so hopefully. I'm thinking BAE
Systems, Border Group (could be perfect--I like books), or even Wal-Mart.
I have added five more places to my Hawaii restaurant reviews page.
This at the suggestion of MTBR member -Chip, who was checking my page and noted
I hadn't mentioned the best burger place on the Island.
I'm sure there are tons of stuff I'd like to talk about , but that would bore
you my dear readers so 4 now..
31 July 2005
is the link to the short track MTB cross country race I participated in today
here on Oahu. Many pictures and write-up; check it out. The race was
loads of fun and immensely enjoying.
I submitted my "retire from the Army" paperwork!!! The
Colonel has signed off on it as well as the CW4 up in Alexandria. Now
several CW5s and the one star in charge of Human Resources Command has to say
ok. Keeping my fingers crossed--and starting to look for a job in
Texas. I will be available in May, 2006.
Have been working on an Oahu restaurant review page to add as a link to this
web. Maybe I'll post it up with the next update.
Hi G.A. in PH if you ever get to check this page--thx for keeping in
touch. Hope you and your family are well.
Well that's about it--I'm fat, lazy--yet busy--and behind on stuff. I
need to put it in high gear--I have 3 novels awaiting a read--and want to finish
some free online courses in lean manufacturing, sigma six, and the supply chain
before I depart the service of uncle Sam.
"Out" for a few.
16 July 2005
Well it's been a while since I've updated; lot's happening.
First off a friend of mine has left Iraq to return home and seek work
elsewhere. Very many prayers for this person.
Also good luck to Devin Oishi, a good friend that cycles with me, who has
left to spend at least a year in Colorado to take some graduate courses.
Lynyrd Skynyrd really rocked Bayfest on the 4th. It's been aeons since
I've even been to a concert, let alone one packed with people like
On the 2d I played host to an out of town mountain biker from Sacramento; zon
who posts on mountainbikereview.com
I took him on a 3 trail epic and we made an entire day of it. Zon posted
the story and pics on MTBR; I'll leave you to do the search. I lost my cool
planetbike protoge 9.0 bike computer; must have slid from it's bracket whilst
navigating under one of the many felled trees on the Maunawili. A new one
is on order--Performancebike---"ground ups" shipping to HI like takes
forever. Hopefully it will arrive well before the mountain bike shorttrack
cross country race on the 31st.
Our Brigade moved back to the location we were in before Iraq. The
building was remodeled while we were away. I have a huge air conditioned
office. Not sure how long though. I did not elect to "stay
Stryker" so a new person is here and I will be "excess".
I might find myself with orders to the mainland before too many months are
up. I am going to submit my retirement paperwork within a week or
two. But if I get orders likely I will have to serve a year in the
mainland---hopefully I will get lucky and not be with a unit going to Iraq or
So tough times ahead---but life is grand and sure fun filled and exciting.
I missed two weekends on the road bike. I caught some discomfort down
there--heat rash or fungus--yuck--anyway it is about healed up. I did get
in a fast paced 30 mile ride today with the "Heavy Breathers" with
pasta at our favorite Italiano place after. Tomorrow I might do a ride
that leaves Waipahu at 0730 and goes up to post and beyond before returning.
So I saw the new Batman and it was awesome. Also picked up Million
Dollar Baby on DVD but haven't watched yet. It po's me I read a movie
review on an entirely different movie, and the damn reviewer let out the fact
that the female boxer in MDBaby dies. Major spoiler---and bummer.
Now I'm not in a hurry to watch it.
What else? Probably a lot but I'm tired and morning will come quickly
if I wanna ride again.
Oh--way to go Lance. 14 stages of the TDF done and Lance well on his
way to win yet again!
Someone called me skinny in one of my biking pics. LOL. I
wished. I've yoyo'd back up to 200 pounds I'll bet.
The new hershey chocolate bars--the limited edition ones--are no help at all.
10 June 2005
So the road race, my first attempt at such an endeavor, was today
down at sunny Barber's Point Air Station. You can read about it by
selecting the link.
My legs are burnt toast now. But I'm ready to ride again just
maybe not in a public race that contains a bunch of teams that likely belonged
in the US Cycling Federation categorized race.
Things in Iraq I still keep up with--It seems like a pretty
dicey time started shortly after I left and it has only since improved just a
little. The military and the KBR contractors make nice money over
there. KBR managers between 80 and 140 thou depending on position.
Military--well I was right at 96 clear for the year. What tees me off is
the fine folks that KBR's subcontractors hire but then pay them squat.
We're talking maybe 800 a month for Indian cooks and 650 a month for the
Filipina servers and even less for the dining room attendants. What's
worse, the Indian guys--some of them--don't treat the ladies with the respect
and freedom they should have. I hear via email and let's just say it
incenses me. I pray when certain contracts are up everyone makes it on to
their next adventure in life, an adventure that is freely chosen whatever it
turns out to be.
5 June 2005
What did I think of Sith? Well, I liked it better than
Phantom menace or AOTC, however there were scenes from Phantom (such as the Pod
Race) that I thought were way more exciting than anything in Sith. A solid
3 star movie and a good way to close out the Star Wars epic.
I watched the Star Wars bonus music from the movies DVD with
Michael today while Sally was gone to the commisary. A good review of the
highlights from the movies. Well done. Worth a buy.
So I signed up for a free MSN spaces web blog site. I do
not think I'll use it. I like this method just as well as something
Biking is going fine. The roadie was in the shop for
some minor adjustments last week. I will have to take it back
tomorrow. Broken spoke today on the rear wheel; the mechanic must not have
paid attention to tension last week when he trued it.
There is a race next Sunday at flat Barber's Point on the old
Naval Air Station. I was pre-riding the course today when the spoke
snapped. Tough headwind out there. 3.8 mile laps--8 of them for the
race. I didn't quite avg 20 MPH after 2 loops today before the spoke gave
out. 20 MPH on the racing teams will get nearly a dead last placing.
I will be going off after the racer boys--maybe 19 or 20 won't be last!
We have a new Brigade Commander. He is coming from a
Ranger Regiment I think. Anyway I can tell he's going to want the world--1
more reason to hurry up and get retirement paperwork ready I suppose.
I am pretty much in a funky blah mood lately. I have not
heard from Sunbeam since the 1st week in May; I do not know why--if I said
something that got misunderstood--or if there is some trouble being given by
coworkers in Kirkuk. But I have nobody to blame but me--I have to
live with decisions I made, no matter what fate brings--I'll pray for the best
always though and try and make contact.
Had one of those Saturdays when I just didn't wanna face
anything; just stay in bed. I blew off the road ride and did just
that. Usually when I do that I hate myself the rest of the weekend--but
bah--today it just doesn't bother me--I guess I needed a break from everything.
I did get out for lunch at the Phuket Thai and had some wonderful lemongrass
soup and shrimp fried rice. And some Baskin Robbins afterwards for desert.
I am going through one of those periods of time where I haven't had any
messages for a while and that always makes me anxious. But as someone said
it is because of me it is this way----and right now I'll take it this way than
not at all.
Picked up a DV Elura camcorder the other day and popped in some more memory
and a firewire card into the computer. I took some footage at the DFAC
during soul food meal prep the other day but haven't got up the motivation to
try and capture and edit yet. I need to make a DVD soon.
Michael has a few new buddies over for the night. Tomorrow we go to the
Hickam O club for Mothers' Day brunch. I sent off an email wish for Moms'
Day to GA in Kirkuk--hope she and everyone is OK over there.
The cat had her surgery yesterday and is fine. Sally had her preop appt
to repair a tear in her shoulder too. That procedure is Monday and
followup appointment down in Honolulu on Tuesday.
I am glad to see a lot of the critics like the new Star Wars movie. I
will probably not catch it the very first week. It will probably be
depressing to me. I am a sucker that way and will hate to see Padme lost.
Need to get in gear. I feel I am starting to yoyo for real to more
weight---again. I promised myself that wouldn't happen---I have to get
disciplined ASAP again.
This is going to be a trying year or two. I am about to pull the trigger
and go ahead next month I think and submit retirement paperwork, I hope I
find a decent job in the mainland if I do get out around June 2006. My
dream would be a government GS 9-12 job in Texas or a job that pays 50K or above
in TX or Arizona with weekends off. I have more dreams which will remain
secret to this web journal....
Til next time....do whatever makes you happy---and if you're not happy, start
taking baby steps to change your scenario,
25 Apr 2005
This year's metric century road ride here on the north
shore of Oahu is complete. Yesterday's ride was a short 60ish miler
that left a beach park in Haliewa traveling into a headwind to Swanzee
beach park and returning to the Haliewa Market Place. I rode
strongly leaving at 0730 and by 0735 latching on to the main peloton
. These racer types were maintaining a pace ranging from 21 to 27
MPH in the head wind. I let them "break away" at mile 10. At
the half way point I had maintained 19.2 MPH.
After a 10 minute stop to gobble a few bananas and swallow
a few quick cups of diluted Gatorade, it was back in the saddle.
Several miles into the return I moved into a moderately moving pace line
averaging 23 to 24 MPH. I returned to the end point around 10:30
with a rolling tire time of 2 hrs 50 min and a final average speed of 20.6
All the old content on this journal I have moved onto a
page at the link near the top of the page.
Well this will be short; I'm at work here on Schofield and
am tired. It has been a very good past week or so. I've heard
from my friend in Iraq, I've been on 4 bike rides to include two mountain
bike ventures, and have kicked butt on an Army PT test.
So out for a while.
Wow, another 3 weeks gone by. My MSG and I and our
cooks re-opened the dining facility on Schofield Barracks this past
week. It is hard to believe we've been back from Iraq for 2
months. This may sound strange but I really miss it. And
someone. I read a post on a biking forum earlier today that stated
if you meet someone and it is really good you'll remember it forever if
it's only 15 minutes or a lengthy amount of time. That's how I feel about
someone I met----I'll hope to meet again for the rest of my days--and
maybe God will bless us someday and we really will be in each other's
So the new stump jumper hit the dirt the last two
days. The ride report is at: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=95474,
always I enjoy posting on mountainbike review.com.
Really I know these posts have been short, but all I can
think about is biking, work, my family, my Iraq friend--not all in that
order necessarily. I have taught myself how to use Pinnacle Studio
9--a video editing software package. I already can do neat slide
shows with accompanying music on DVD. Maybe eventually I'll get a DV
camcorder and a lipstick helmet cam and make a biking vid. No hurry
though. I'm just taking life mellow one day at a time. The
next year or two is going to be very interesting career wise--I can hardly
wait to see how it turns out--will I stay in the Army, retire, move back
to the mainland and where etc etc etc--going to be trying for a while when
it all comes down fast and furious---may as well goof off, and enjoy
things now while I can.
Ride hard. Bye for another undefined length of God's
The trip to the big island was pretty nice; I have posted
a report over on the mountain bike review site: go here:
just the short version---the XC riding on the big Island is much
We got back Sunday around noon. My step dad passed
away after a lengthy illness Saturday afternoon. We are not making
the trip to MO for the service. Mom will come here instead in a
month or so and stay awhile. He was such a great guy to everyone and
will be missed immensely.
I watched Star Wars: Clone Wars Volume 1
on DVD with Michael yesterday. Twas fairly good. Can hardly
wait until the end of May until the big movie comes out.
Well I'll close early. Not feeling too forth going
with the verbiage right now. Enjoying the block leave that Uncle Sam gave
but I think it's time to get back in a routine.
G.A. : Here's some reds and yellows and blues.
Sally had her MRI. It showed a small tear in her
shoulder. She has opted for continued cortisone shots 2 to 3X a year
for now rather than have surgery. We had lunch between the
appointments at the two separate medical centers. The Golden Coin is
a Filipino chain restaurant that I'd been wanting to try --oh just
because--One might guess why. Let's just leave it at I got to taste Indian
and Iraqi cooked food while I was away but did not sample any Filipino
food. It was tasty. I would have a hard time describing
what everything was but it was all satisfying.
Two Saturday's ago the road ride was rained out, but this past
Saturday us "heavy breathers" got to ride. Afterwards the food at
Brew Moon in the Ward Center was pretty good. I had the spinach
salad, stir fry vegies and an order of rice. Still there are too
many occasions happening that makes one eat more...
For example my neighbor Annie and Jonathan, an MD and a pharmacist,
that lives next door had a big cookout and Easter egg hunt for their 3
year old son's birthday party yesterday. Groan. I am afraid to
get on the scales. Last time I did I was 2 pounds heavier than when
I left Iraq and I'm just afraid I am going to be even another 2 pounds
Well I have a plan. Right after the big island trip I will go
back to just covering the plate and no bad deserts or snacks---even if it
means I have to throw away some food!! I want to get back to that 175
again and stay there!!
The bike shop in Aeia called saying the Stumpjumper was in. I
just got back from picking it up. The hardtail is packed for the
trip. The new bike will have to wait for dirt til a lit later
on! It seems like the king cobra tray for the Yakima roof rack is
going to hold the bike nicely.
The career manager emailed back. I do not think he knows what is
up here in Hawaii. I will probably find out whether I'm staying here
or going back to the mainland soon enough. I just hope to stay out
of Iraq. I don't see me lucky enough getting a unit that would go
back to Kirkuk and even if that did happen by some miracle I doubt if my
friend would still be there by then.
Thanks G.A. for emailing when you can and remembering always those
special times. Hello to all my other friends at the Kirkuk
More after my return. Less than two weeks and I'll be back to
Well it seems like a lot has been happening; am managing to stay busy
here on block leave. The 4th of April will be my return to work full
The camera was ready today. I will be very careful how the card
is inserted after that big repair bill. We checked out Keo's Thai in
Waikiki; it was expensive and alright tasting-but nothing extraordinary!
Sally got looked at by an orthopedic surgeon; she is scheduled for an MRI
a week from Wednesday to see if she needs surgery or if it's just bad
bursitis to live with.
The Big Island trip is booked for 22 through 27 March.
late afternoon I will be leaving for St. Louis and come back on
Friday. My half sister who was a Sister died this morning of kidney
and liver failure; she had been in poor health the last few years.
Burial and services are at the convent in O'Fallon, MO. While there I will
visit Mom and my step dad who is in terribly failing health. And I
will check in on my pal Matthew and his wife Diane and their children,
Kyle and Briana. I so do not look forward to old age.
I am updating my Army records and emailed the top Army Food Advisor as
well as the Quartermaster Warrant Officer Career Manager to see what my
options are since I am nearing 19 years of service but the unit I am in is
transitioning to a Stryker BDE and wants people who will be with them
through 2008. I have a feeling my Hawaii tour might be cut short and
I will be returning to the mainland; we shall see.
Yesterday I ordered the bike--a full suspension 2005 Specialized Expert
100 Disc. Likely 2 or 3 weeks until arrival. In the afternoon
I managed to ride 25 miles on post incorporating the Kole-Kole mountain
pass twice. On this hilly ride I averaged 17.2 MPH my best yet for
that route. I have been over 19 on fairly flatland. I hit the
trainer hard in Iraq so I will be curious to see what I can really do on
some easy terrain on the road machine. Tomorrow morning is the
weekly Heavy Breathers Ride from Waikiki and up some of the eastern
Shore. I will join in before heading to the airport.
Early this week Dan and Devin and I finally got together for a mountain
bike ride. We did the ditch trail. It was some awesome
fun. Dan and his wife Carol had just returned from a huge cycle trip
in Tasmania, Australia. I should see both of them on tomorrow's road
Well this has turned out to be a lengthy update; there will likely not
be another until I get back from Missouri.
Ride on. G.A.--email me when you can. And remember always.
23 Feb 2005
The camera is in Canon USA of Honolulu---the damages will
be 190$ US--egad!!--bent pins is why the rebel will not recognize the CF
card. I won't get the cam back for about 2 weeks.
I have been
posting on MTBR a lot; now it is time to catch up and post to bikemojo
My first biking was on the Trek7000 today attached to the fluid+
trainer. I enjoyed an intense 1 hour workout. Speaking of
exercise, Sally and Devin and his acquaintance and their son Sean and a
several of Devin's college buddies and I all got together and hiked to
Manana Falls, a picturesque spot buried deep within a mountain
range. My boy Michael stayed at home. The last 3/4 mile was hiking
at its best. The reward was wonderful scenery, good friends and
beneficial exercise. We treated ourselves to Chili's in Mililani
upon the finish.
So I am maintaining weight at 175, down from over 200 and as much as
187 still at New Years. I am proud I figured out my key to weight
loss and I am going to do my darndest to keep it working. Went to
the new super Wal-Mart and got a couple sized 32 waist shorts yesterday;
haven't been in a 32 in years. More like 34 and 36. Oh--my key
is to only cover the plate, eat nothing bad for dessert--only fruits---if
still really hungry maybe a power harvest bar between meals--and exercise
in moderation rather than 2 or more hours each day.
The only other thing I have been up to is organizing files on the
computer and making everything just like I like.
It's to Schofield tomorrow through Saturday for half days to re-in
process after the deployment. Sunday is an off day and Monday and
Tuesday ought to be light. Then it's 30 days of leave. I think
I'll stop by MWR tomorrow and book a trip to the big Island for toward the
end of March; Sally wants to see the volcano. I do believe the lava
Hello G.A. if you are reading this! Stay positive. :-)
The arrival back home yesterday was very nice. The 26 hour trip
was long but uneventful.
Today I got up around 0530 since I've been used to arising early in
Kirkuk to get to the DFAC anyway. After a small but nicely prepared
homemade breakfast we went to Circuit City, a camera shop and the bike
shop. At the bike shop I got tubes for both road and mountain bikes--and a
new floor pump. I inquired about the 05 Stumpie expert disc; they do
not expect to take delivery until March/April--I will hold out. The rebel
needs to go in to see why I cannot format the compact flash. It will
have to be Tuesday to the Canon repair center on Ward Ave. I picked
up the latest Cussler and Follet hardbacks and two latest Starwars
hardbacks and a slew of cycling rags and a DVD etc mag at Borders of
For lunch we ate at the Japanese place in Pearl City where the prior
road bike was destroyed earlier while I was on r and r. I got the
same yakitori combo. Delicious.
Did I mention the last 45 days in Iraq I was able to drop about 10
pounds? I am now down to 175 and nothing fits! Awesome!
So I haven't made my mind up when my first biking excursion will
be--but I am getting ready! I have emailed my 2 best pals to let
them know I'm back and I have left some posts on MTBR. I am taking
it easy for a while But look out.
Oh a big plug for the Big Kahuna--KPOI 105.9 FM--Honolulu's only
classic rock--every song I've heard on the air since my return has been a
Pete (but u all new dat!!)
click for bigger sized pic. Valentine's Day in the DFACin
Kirkuk. I leave here in two days; I will miss this place very
much. Mustaffa and Naser and me and Girly.
So the elections are tomorrow; it has been relatively quiet here in
Kirkuk, although there have been some explosions downtown and a hit on
base a few days ago while I was in the DFAC for dinner.
How can I put this? I feel---ooohh there's a mortar attack
now---no sirens yet--it's 834 PM--if the siren doesnt sound, it was off
Anyway I feel sad and glad all wrapped into one about leaving
here and there's reasons for these feelings for both staying and
T---Damn another rocket--------anyway I've grown to enjoy the
company of some of the contract and subcontract folks from the DFAC and
--there's the 3d mortar; they must be shooting from the train station just
the other side of the wall not very far from here at all!
And I'll miss the talk and friendship. I experienced my first
taste of local food the other night at the DFAC after dinner closed.
Some of the Indian gentlemen put it together just for a few of them and
KBR management and me as the Contracting Officer's Rep. We had a
meal of lamb, carp, salad, and rice with almonds, raisins and
noodles. Very delicious and a better understanding of the
culture. It was their celebration of -I think the holiday is
called-- the 2d Stoning of the Devil. We learned the differences
between Christianity and Islam. The differences are not vast.
I wished the world's people were more tolerant of each other's ways.
There are very good people in all demographics.
I've made very good friends and have shared nice talk with Bosco
Ishwarin, H. John Barretto, and Girly Abejero. I apologize for
misspelling any names. I only regret I did not meet these great
folks earlier. In one instance much earlier. Bosco and
John-thanks for the favors and kindness. Bosco, I really enjoyed
hearing your appreciation for American movies and of your telling the
story of your youth and two girlfriends, one of which became your wife
years later. Sunbeam!, keep shining bright and smiling---and
I will pray the future always is kind to
you and you experience joy much, much more than sadness. I hope you
get to travel to many wonderous places, places that are full of yellows
and reds and blues. I will be in touch with all of you via email on
occasion so please, please let me know if email addresses become different
than what I know them to be now.
A fond farewell to the KBR DFAC management guys and gals also.
Dave and Li, both Mikes and Bridget and Naomi and Tracy and Jose--and
before them--another Mike, Bill, Emily and Gary.
I will leave I assume before mid-month. I will be glad to be home
to my family and out of this dangerous place; I am just sorry my friends
still have to be here. A few short months ago I would have said
there was nothing at all to miss about being in Iraq. I surely can't
say the same now.
Out for now. Pete.
Christmas in Iraq. Actually it was not that bad. The DFAC
people, Daud and Partners, did a terrific job decorating, cooking and
serving. The blast at the Mosul facility has everyone on edge.
Maybe I'll be out of here in 6 or 7 weeks.
The tent I moved into only has 4 people in it so it is very
liveable. I have a 100 ft powercord stretched from the powerstrip at
the other end of the tent to the laptop.
Our logistical shop had a gift exchange on XMAS eve. Sally and
Michael were at Dan and Carol's on Oahu. Everyone had a nice
time. We had a C17 full of eqipment leave. Also we had a
soldier go down to Kuwait for washrack detail so the end I pray is
Still hoping for a Transfer of Authority date of 13 Feb and home
I seem to be on my 2d "cold" of the season but mot nearly as bad as the
Since i didn't have to have a local go downtown to buy an extension
cord for me, I visited the PX instead. Chicago double CD of their
greatest hits, a CD/DVD of the Goo Goo Dolls and some vamp
movie--vanHylder or something like that. Surprisingly I did not have
any Chicago in my music library.
Speaking of which, even be4 I left, the media was huge and outgrowing
its racks. When I return I need to search for some of the 4 sided
swivel racks that hold like 600 DVDs at a time or over 850 CDs. I'll
need 1 ea for CDs and movies.
Well I've picked out 3 places i wanna eat. Tikis Bar and Grill,
3600 on the Rise, and John Dominis.
Out for now. Pete.
So we are extended here. To help assure the election goes well I
suppose. And to help the 116th from Idaho get acquainted for a
How long? The new date of turning things over to the 116th is
supposedly 20 Feb 2005. So an additional 50 or so days from what was
expected. I just hope the elections happen and things don't go too
bad so the date sticks.
Am I disappointed? Of course. When we first got here rumors
abounded. They had us leaving anywhere from Nov 04 to Apr 05.
Then we got what we thought was the permanent date of 30 Dec. As
they say, "oh well".
The part everyone is griping about most is having to move out of our
mostly one person to a container quarters to 20 man tents on 10 Dec until
duration. Want the 116th super comfortable of course.
Don't really have any further comments I can share; I had a huge
"political" rant developed --but that would just be inviting trouble from
snoops. It's sorta a no no for military types to get too politically
It'll all be good. When we get home anyhoo.
*************BIKE CONTENT****************---I really am not convinced I
need or want disc brakes. The maintenance issues alone just seem a
headache to happen. Plus I am looking to go cheaper as there's other
items I wanna pursue when I do get back. Therefore the plain model
full suspension stumpjumper is looking ok. I can also upgrade stuff
like the seatpost and wheels later if i really get inclined. And by going
non-disc I can pretty much forget about having to get a different
rail/mount for the yakima. **END BIKE****
Well it was an early morning; we got rid of our excess baggage which we
needed to do to make room for moving into tents anyway.
So it's off
to the bed I go. Next update will probably contain rantings and
ravings on life on an airbase that just ballooned 60%.
21 November 2004
Well we are scheduled to be outta here and into
Kuwait during the last week in December. But CNN carried a story yesterday
they are looking for another Brigade to stay longer; I pray it isn’t
us. I am sick of the boredom
and of the danger.
The AF opened their new gym recently. It has real spinning
machines. I am enjoying it
but find it way harder to do more than an hour or so on the spinner when I
was doing 2 or 3 on the other stationarys.
I jumped on MTBR and changed up my avatar this
morning. Check it out—user
name is ArmySlowRdr.
Have you seen the rain? Well we certainly have;
the rainy season in Iraq has commenced. I have also scoped on the reigns
and trances. I’ll tellya the
Giant Trance 1 is a SWEET XC bike but fully built at 3K plus I doubt if
I’ll be adding it to my stable.
The Trance 2 weighs in at 2K and thus competes with the stumpie
elite disc and the fuel ex.
Prob whichever bike I run accrossed that fits and feels good
1st when I get back to Oahu is the bike that’ll be
I see there is a marathon mtb race in Big Bend this
winter. Gawd, visiting the
MOJO site always makes me miss Texas hugely. Someday I wanna make it back. Im still young at 42---lets see
approx 44 at retirement—2 years maybe in VA—that’s 46---yup lotsa good
youthful riding left 4 Texas.
That’s all 4 now.
Transfer of Authority
is supposed to take place in 4 months; we may be actually home around
Christmas, but I think all of us are afraid to be too excited yet given
the tendencies of our military leadership to overreact with increased
troop strength when things go awry----and the upcoming Iraqi elections
could definitely be one of those “things” that need increased “oversight”
by Uncle Sam..
R and R was very
nice. Laying in my sweet
Sally’s arms was the best. Oh
how I love and miss my family.
But then shopping and eating and biking were the other events that
shaped my short, wonderful time back on Oahu. Visiting and being with my son
Michael was awesome too.
5,000 dollars plus. I
upgraded the tower to a loaded emachine. Six or seven hundred bucks buys a
lot of computer these days.
Also the digital rebel is a nice cam but I won’t be posting pics
until after my return. The
100 dollars off coupon from AAFES made that purchase even sweeter. We bought a couple of oil
paintings from Devin, one of my cycling friends; he teaches art to school
aged children. Finally the
OCR1 road bike is no more; the Specialized Allez Elite has replaced the
Hawaii Pearl. The Allez has
yet to be named as I only have a short ten-mile neighborhood ride on
it. The OCR1 met its fate
after its 40th ride and 900th mile. After 4 years of owning a Yakima
roof rack we were tired one evening after a ride, and before dinner
proceeded to drive into a parking garage with bike atop—ouch!
I did 3 group
rides. The first was a road
ride to where the highway ends on the way to Kaena Point. We then swung on over to shaved
ice at Masumatos and then back down to Mililani for a post ride bbq
(thanks sweetie) and watched pictures of six (or the final time trial
where Lance sewed it all up).
The 2d ride was a loop with Devin around Tantalus. I got a great rainbow pic atop
Tantalus pre-ride that I’ll have to post later. The last group ride met at Lagoon
Drive tennis courts; we rode over to Hickam and did more or less
sprints. Well at least the
faster few. I only got one
mountain bike ride in—and that was my Pupukea Loop. My loop consists of fire road and
pavement; oh how I miss Texas single track.
Speaking of mountain
biking: I still want to get a
full suspension rig upon my return.
It will likely be a 2005 Stumpjumper Elite disc or 2005 Kona King
Kikapu depending on which strikes me the best upon release of the
pics/specs. Bike Shop Hawaii
(which I am beginning to believe is MY LBS on Oahu) will get the sale;
they only stock the Specialized but is a Kona dealer and can take delivery
of and service my Kikapu if that’s the route I take.
Well to mention the eats I had. Kaina Ana Burgers, Hawaii Joes,
Verbanos, Noodle House, Harpos Grill (is that right-can’t remember), the
seafood place by Circuit City, the Japanese place in Pearl City, Don Hos,
the cultural cruise buffet, the Magic of Polynesia dinner, Old Spaghetti
Factory, A&W, Dixie Grill, and many, many more.
Yes, it’s kinda a
bummer to be back to Kirkuk.
New boss wants to teach us lethal martial arts’ LINE training like
the Marines get. I could care
less. I’d rather love, not
brawl and grapple. But one
has to be here to get back so here I am. 63% done with mission, hopefully 4
months and counting down. Well more than 50%
hopefully and less than 6 months anyhoo.
Later guys and
Well I write this on 10 May 04 but not sure when I will be able to
upload or even if I will be successful. There are extreme bandwidth
issues here on Kirkuk Airbase. They finally have our mwr comps where we
can get sites such as MTBR--it's a fix although they got it where most of
the multi pic posts don't load--bummer.
So the degree is complete. MBA. Graduation Sunday the 16th--guess
Uncle Sam's got me missing the event on the beautiful lawn at the Newport
setting. Oh well---I missed the Connelly Awards Ceremony and
Food Service Executives' Conference in Denver also.
As predicted before I arrived here Iraq is a mess and seems to be
worse---well at least our position. Probably wont even get r and r--at
least there's a slight chance our tour may be slightly less than a
So my wonderful wife Sally sends me tons of mountain biking and road
cycling mags. Excellento. I spin on the cycle machine at the
gym and hour or two at a time twice a week. And I go visit remote
basecamps about once a week though I really don't wanna.
The mags make
me dream of places like Cali and CostaRica and the Old Pueblo. I
cannot wait to get back to Honolulu and blow an obscene amount on biking
stuff. I'm dreaming of a Kona King Kikapu, 959 pedals and a dirtrag
chaistay guard, panaracer cinder tires, a mount for my geko gps, a kestral
weather fob, a cateye cordless heartrate/cyclometer, pc99 chain, and new
bar tape and a going over for the giant ocr.
Beware the Sasser. Rather than have it fixed, I think we will get
a cheap emachine which will be better than the old Compaq anyway.
Hey, try JBZ chocolate candies. Jelly Bean slays MandMs in a huge
So Kerry is an outdoorsy type nut--cycling, and wind kiting and
snowboarding and stuff----spoiled rich kid. I hope he's not a
Well I'll come back later and start ramblin' on some more....
formerly FtHoodMtBkr and treknchief
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