by Paul Bardis

A goner

A friend just sent me some photos from back in 1999. It brought back some memories. Some memories that I can jot down and release myself from my self imposed pressure to put out a blog post every morning.

If I can recall correctly, I probably can’t, it was a weekend that my friend and I planned. Let me clarify that indeed I can not remember so I will go off of what information I received in the email and make stuff up.

It was the best of times and the worst. I learning new technologies and in school and my friend Paul hooked to a beeper. If it went off he had to go. We brought Marcy and that kind of meant we had to do dog friendly stuff. What better to start the adventure off with a kayak near a place called Floodwood Pond.

We proceeded to paddle around the lakes with Marcy at the helm. That is until we got close enough to shore that she decided to jump for it. Problem was there was no footing like she had thought. She panicked and from that moment on would never be pressured to go near water again. She probably thought she was a goner.

Then on day 2 we hiked to a waterfall called Mossy Cascade. It was beautiful and so green. We were messing around trying to get a closer look at it when Marcy bolted up the rocky ledge. She loved to climb things and probably thought we were headed up the cliff.

When I saw her bolt I knew it was a mistake but surprisingly she almost made it. That is until she fell backwards tumbling down to the creek below. I knew instantly she was a goner.

Paul was probably wishing his beeper would go off. It must of been hard to be around when a friend losses his faithful companion. But Marcy did not die. She made it through. She was a little banged up and had a cut lip. But she did make it through.

Later on at camp I sat in my new hammock and played on my laptop. Not that I was doing anything productive by today’s standards. I had no email and probably did not know what a that even was. Blogging, forget it … I didn’t even know what “online” meant. I didn’t even have or believe in taking photos. No I was probably working on a 3d program I used to like called Bryce.

Nowadays Marcy is not around any more so I guess in a way she is a goner. And I don’t fancy being on my computer without a internet connection. But I still have my friend which plans a adventure with me every so often. And look at all the cool stuff we can do on the internet.

Finding snow by Mo Mislivets

Doing shit

I am thankful that I have a flexible job to allow me to et my work day hours. I have been going into work at 7 lately for the specific reason to get out early.  The theory goes that I would have more time to play after work. So that is what I have been doing.  And I have pulled off the getting to work early part. But have failed at the play part. I know … insane.

I have been going home with the complete understanding that once there I would launch into a feirce core workout. And then the next day amybe get out on the bike for some burst training. And the next day maybe run a mountain.  But when I get there I am greeted with Mr. couch. and Mrs. dinner. And Dr. relaxation.

The best part of life is that you can change things and that is the part I am most grateful. So today I plan to get out on the bike and even do some core when I get home. Today’s carrot project is the continuing effort to find gravel.

The bitch is that life must end and it is up to us to do shit before it does. So I need to plan to do stuff. I have to do stuff. I must do stuff.

The setting

Chocolate shootout

Hmmm … what to do on a sleepy Tuesday afternoon. I know. Lets go down to World market and buy all the brands that have 80% or better cacao content. Then eat it all. A dark chocolate shootout.

Lindt

Chocolate, cocoa butter, cocoa powder processed with alkali, sugar, and bourbon vanilla beans
Chocolate, cocoa butter, cocoa powder processed with alkali, sugar, and bourbon vanilla beans

Mo – second favorite bar of the race and tastes like “sticky vanilla”. The texture a 2.5 out of 5.

Bill – favorite bar of the shootout and is bitter in a “good way”.  This bar has a porter like taste that is buttery and silky. “What I want a dark bar to taste like”. The texture a 4.5 out of 5.

Score (out of 5):
Texture – 3.5
Taste – 4.5
Ingredients – (almost healthy) One of the only to NOT contain soy lecithin it IS processed with alkali. Bummer because it would of been the healthiest of the contest.

World Market

Chocolate liquor and sugar
Chocolate liquor and sugar

Mo - Least favorite bar of the shootout and tastes like “weird bitter” and “rotten vegetables or broccoli”. The texture a 2.5 out of 5.

Bill - Least favorite bar of the shootout and is bitter in a “good coco but flavorless” and “like chocolate powder”.  The texture a 2.5 out of 5.

Score (out of 5):
Texture – 2.5
Taste - 1
Ingredients – (healthy) The healthiest of the bunch.

Ghirardelli

Unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, sugar, milk fat, soy lecithin, vanilla, and natural flavor (bad)
Unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, sugar, milk fat, soy lecithin, vanilla, and natural flavor (bad)

Mo - Tastes “lemony” and “bitter citrus”. The texture a 4 out of 5.

Bill - Third favorite bar of the shootout.  Taste is “a flavorful fruity sweet” and “has a familiar berry like fruity taste”.  The texture a 4.5 out of 5.

Score (out of 5):
Texture - 4.25
Taste - 2.5
Ingredients - (unhealthy) The unhealthiest of the bunch.  Contains dairy, soy lecithin, and a mysterious “natural flavor” which should be a real big flag.

Divine

Cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, and vanilla
Cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, and vanilla

Mo - The favorite bar of the contest. Tastes “hint of raspberry” and “fruity”. The texture a 4 out of 5.

Bill - Second favorite bar of the shootout.  Taste is “a balanced chocolate” and “has a fudge like quality that holds up to the bite” and “dense good structure while being very smooth”.  The texture a 4 out of 5.

Score (out of 5):
Texture - 4
Taste - 4.5
Ingredients - (almost healthy) Lots of chocolate in this bar with the only caveat soy lecithin.

Godiva

Unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, and soy lecithin
Unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, and soy lecithin

Mo - Third favorite bar of the contest. Tastes “coffee bitter cacao”. The texture a 3.5 out of 5.

Bill - Not favorite bar of the contest, but not the worse. Tastes “sour sharp”. The texture a 2 out of 5.

Score (out of 5):
Texture - 2.75
Taste - 2.5
Ingredients - (almost healthy) Lots of chocolate in this bar with the only caveats are more sugar and soy lecithin.

Conclusion

The winner of the bunch has to go to Divine because it had the highest texture score and tied for best flavor. It was also Mo’s favorite bar. But it’s easy to win when you have the highest sugar content … right?

The runner up and my favorite bar of the bunch goes to Lindt just barely edged out by Divine. And if you look at it from the fact that it is 90% you have to say that this bar is pretty amazing.

The healthiest bar is the World Market bar. And that is because it was the darkest at 99%. This is it’s downfall as well because it was the yuckiest one in the race.

Special mention goes out to Godiva for being an OK bar. It is kind of healthy but has no stand out qualities. Just another good dark chocolate bar.

Ghirardelli was a big disappointment because it’s brand name is synonymous with quality. Also it is way to hard to spell and is the unhealthiest bar of the night.

Mo @ Pipestone

Rainy mix

The forecast called for a rainy mix. Kind of miserable for riding the cross bike and way to mucky for the fat bike. The trails around these parts are no where near open yet for mountain biking. I hit the zoom link on the weather site and zoomed out. Ah ha!

Pipestone was sunny and 60. Perfect. So we loaded up the bikes and headed out. Within 30 minutes we were parked and I was charging up trail 9.

Soon my partner charged by me beating me to the top. She on her really light mountain bike and I on my “fatty”. Still though I almost caught her. After taking in the view we rode to the Ringing Rocks and off the other side of the ridge. I took the lead and showed off some of Pipestone’s gems and then stopped at a old cabin to enjoy some sunshine. Near the end of the ride I gave a pretty bad school on broken chain repair but all attendees got the gist.

So after a such a great time what would any great ride planner try to squeeze in? A soak in some natural hot springs, of course. After some long dirt road adventures we found a secluded spot along the Jefferson River. And then caught the sunset before returning back home.

A LOT better then “rainy mix”.

Card from the "kids"

Birthday Party

I was sick on my birthday so the entire event was rescheduled. And since I was sick I did not get the email about when it was rescheduled to. Then one day I got ambushed by the entire clan. I knew something was up when an art project irrupted in the spare bedroom in which I was banned from.

Mr Bear presented me with a round gift which was wrapped in a custom gift wrap. My total haul was a sweet Kali bike helmet and a very cool custom picture frame with all our memories in it. Very sweet of all our gang to put all this effort into a day in which I turn 48 … or is it 49. I cant remember.

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 1.24.29 PM

Gallatin Gravel

I found a Gravel Roads Needing Pavement document online and it sparked my fancy. Now I cant stop thinking about “gravel projects“. My goal is to put together gravel loops here at home for this time of year, spring. Or at the very least a quick reference for after work as I put together that night’s “long way home”.  Which, if I may add, is my favorite thing to do.  What better way to de-stress from work then to go on a adventure … right?

Urban Legend

Evaluation

It’s Friday and still have not read my performance evaluation that I received a week ago. Last week I was “bitching” about my job  so we are all up to date with my situation. This part of work life seems like fat biking in deep snow after a blizzard. The terrain is undulating and sweeps from crusty hard snow banks to knee deep powder. All pushing a heavy bike.

So why am I bitching about fat biking? I do it all the time. To clairify I am not griping, at least I don’t think I am. Even though it is tough it is also enduring in a moderately extreme environment. It’s pretty tough at times. But in the end you make it to the destination. Along the way you learn, adapt, and grow. Otherwise you wouldn’t of made it to the end. You are forced to hit the obstacles head on and push through.

My performance review said “Meets Standards”. Hard to believe even after working in the extreme. Like being hired for one thing and then told to do something totally uncomfortable and new. I must of adapted. Or I have learned “the system”? I don’t know. Just trying to spin it positive. Problem is that I don’t feel I meet standards. I feel like a total failure. Others have adapted and now are productive. I still just sit there and say, “Duh???”.

So where does this leave me? It is like I set out in a blizzard anticipating a fun and challenging time. Then the sun comes out and I end up doing a road ride or something easy. I a TOTALLY uncomfortable with it being to easy.

boneshakerbike for short …o/o

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 463 other followers