Friday, December 30, 2005

The New Look

As you may notice, their is something different about my blog. What could it be? How about a whole new look!

I gave my blog a make-over. I know it is not even 8 months old, but if you think in computer years, then I am probably right on time. The major addition to this new look is a third column on the left side. Right now, the content is the same as the old version minus the weather, but in due time I will fill this page with all kinds of rich and stimulating content. Or maybe it will be filled with a bunch of BS, but that is the way it goes here in the blogger world.

Let me know if their are any suggestions for my new look. Colors, fonts, spacing, content, etc.

The New Year

I am ready to go to NYC. However, I am stuck at work till I can sneak out early. I am hoping to catch an earlier bus, so that I can get to NYC before midnight. I am going to try to send a couple of Audio Blogs while I am on the rode this weekend. I am sure in the next 6-12 months that video blogs will be hitting the web. I just imagine blogs having a bunch of clips similar to what you see on reality shows. Like when two people are arguing and the TV goes to one of the people involved and they are giving their thoughts about what is going through there head at that moment and then the TV goes to the other person and gets their reaction as well. Those moments are the most fabricated part of reality TV. If you wanted the real answer, you would have to stop the people in the middle of the fight. This would then allow them to cool down and stop fighting. Therefore the producers of the show have to keep going back and splicing in what the reality show participants were thinking. This "thinking" is often made up to make the show more interesting. Reflections about an event, from a participant, are not much better.

I am already looking forward to my next vacation. I am going out to CO at the end of January. I recently purchased tickets to the Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) show. Those guys can blow your mind if you catch them on the right night.

Have you made your New Years Resolutions? Please feel free to share a few, by leaving a comment. Here are a few of mine...

1. Find a different job close to home
2. Stay fit
3. Continue to try new foods
4. Continue to cook regularly, rather than eating out or preparing microwave foods

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

File Sharing

I am pretty excited about the coming weekend. I will be partying with my best friends in NYC. We are going to see the Black Crowes with the 70 Volt Parade and North Mississippi Allstars opening for them at Madison Square Gardens. You can't go wrong there. I have never been to NYC on New Years and it seems that lots of other people have the same idea. I will have several friends from Wisconsin, CT, MA, MD, VA, Chicago, and probably some I left out all there. Hopefully I will see one or two of them over the weekend.

Have you ever wanted to send someone a big file or several big files. Maybe a bunch of music or videos. Now you can! Check out the Motivation software. This site will allow you to store your information in your email account and allow someone else to access that specific file or files that you want to share. It is pretty neat stuff. Their website did not explain it very well (nor did I), but if you use it, you will understand. The only drawback is that you need to have a POP3 account set up on your email. Google Mail and AOL are already set up like that. If you have MSN, Hotmail, or just use Outlook on your computer then you will have to do additional setup to be able to use the program. Or you could just email me and I will send you an invitation for Google Mail. In my opinion, it is far superior to any other internet based email. There is no comparison.

I have been editing some project proposals and other reports that my company is sending out. The man who gave me the tasks really is impressed by my work. My writing has come a long way to be able to critique others. I remember when English was one of my worst subjects. I couldn't spell or use grammar correctly, but now with years of practice and lots of revisions of almost every paper I have written over the last decade by Carol, I have finally learned a thing or two. Carol, thank you very much for this knowledge.

After editing these papers it is hard to believe that these people get any projects approved. I have read a few others that have already been approved and they are all littered with spelling and grammar mistakes. I guess you can ignore a few mistakes if the price is set correctly. However, that means you could be sacrificing quality to go with the lowest bidder. There seems to be a problem with that, but I can't quite explain it right now. Instead you can think about this. When you go shopping, do you always look for the cheapest price on any good? Do you ever buy something more expensive, because you perceive its quality to be of higher value than the lesser priced item, therefore, it is worth buying the more expensive option? Do you get your car fixed at the place where it is least expensive or where you know the job is done right? Now think how the government always goes towards the lowest bidder. Somewhere in there, they are getting bad service and poor quality. The lowest price doesn't always mean poor quality, but often it makes a difference.

Happy Fourth Day of Hanukah!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Audio Blog Has Arrived Here!

My First Audio Blog: this is an audio post - click to play

Now when I am on the road, too tired to type, or just want to supplement my writings, I can talk to you. My first attempt was short, but I am at work and didn't want anyone to hear me. I will try to post a couple while I am away this coming weekend. I foresee lots of clips including concerts, random thoughts, and perhaps the occasional drunken dialing.

Happy Hanukah



I went back to Memphis this past weekend to celebrate. My family was celebrating the 60th anniversary of my grandparents. That is a long time! I can't imagine being together with someone longer than the amount of time you have been single. I definitely have something to aspire too.

The pictuer of above is from this weekend. My cousin Emily and I were goofying off I after a game of checkers. The picture below is from this weekend as well.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Worktime Ramblings

I feel like the winter time blues is spreading around the this town or maybe just my company and home. There are several people walking around my office coughing and sneezing. Others are looking tired from all the stress of the holidays. One of my roommates went out of town last weekend to Florida and came back very sick. Even I have felt very unmotivated and lazy lately. I have only been working out about 3 days a week, which is about half of what I like to do. I attribute some of this to the short days. I walked out of my house just as the sun is coming over the horizon. I am at work before it finishes rising. Then I leave work after the sun has set. It seems unjust to me that we should all be deprived of the sun. Now I know why all the northerners look so pale...they are stuck inside, out of the sun. Just now...I got am email stating that another co-worker wasn't feeling well and that he was going to pop some pills and try to come in this afternoon. Most of these people have sick days, why aren't they using them? Is work that important that you would sacrifice your own health for it? Why bring whatever you have into the office?

I have a theory. People get sick around this time, not from the cold of winter. People get sick from the lack of sleep, the over eating, and stress created by the holidays. I am lucky. Hanukah is not a major holiday, therefore I don't feel the stress of it, like I would on Yom Kippur. I have never been a person who regularly over eats and I pay special attention during the holidays to avoid this. Finally, I will miss out on sleep, since I will be traveling and hanging with my family. However, since I am currently in great health and avoiding the other two pitfalls, I should be OK. Now you should ask yourself if you will be OK.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I am a Vegetarian

I bet that title makes you laugh and chuckle at the thought of me being a vegetarian. I am the one who wouldn't put a vegetable near his mouth until just a couple of years ago. However, this statement is not true. I am still eating meat in all its various forms. But I have a co-worker who thinks that I am a vegetarian. Every time he stops by when I am eating I happen not to have any meat on my plate. It was pretty funny when I first heard, but this past week or so might prove him "almost right". I have been in a crunch since obtaining my title and tags for the state of MD. I had already trimmed my spending, since I am not on salary until the end of next month. But I needed to trim some more after my dealing with the MD gov't. So, trimming my food budget was fairly easy. I now eat all kinds of things, including vegetables. I decided that I wouldn't buy any meat until I got my finances back in order. Therefore I have not had meat in a while, except for a burger that I ate this past weekend for dinner. I had no idea how easy the transition would be. I am beginning to think that I could continue this trend indefinitely. However, I really don't see that happening in the long run.

Work has been busy this week, which is a good thing. I like to have too much on my plate. This weekend I will be seeing my Uncle Stan for a few moments on Sat. and Sunday night, while he passes through town on business. The rest of the weekend will be productive. I have vowed to make head way on my applications. So it will be done!! Then on Sunday, I will be doing the usual at the soup kitchen and then I am planning on meeting up with some friends for lunch and pottery painting. I have you ever gone to a pottery store and painted your pieces? I haven't, but after this weekend I will have. The last time I played with pottery was 9th grade art class with Mr. Wilson. I loved that class. I made some great pieces of art work, using all kinds of different mediums. Most of it I still have tucked away somewhere and I know my parents have most of my pottery that I made.

I applied for a job this week. Hopefully I will hear something, even though it is the holidays. I turned down a job offer this week, since they were not going to pay much more than I am making now. It is sometimes odd to me that I have my resume out there and that random people are asking if I want to work for them. I have never done job hunting like this, but it is easier in some ways. On the other side, it is very impersonal and often hard to get in touch with a live voice.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Funny, Rockin, & Relaxing

Those words just about some up my weekend. Friday I went to the DC Improv. I liked the opening comic better than the headliner for the most part. The headliner did have a great twenty minutes of talking about cereals. I found this to be the best part of his act. He pointed out some great facts. Such as the trademarked phrase, "two scoops in every box", that is emblazened upon every Rasain Bran cereal box. He managed to pull out three or four different size boxes that all say "two scoops". I just realized that my telling of this joke will not be funny to anyone. The end.

On Saturday, Justin from CO came out to DC for work. He and a co-worker came out to the Rusted Root show at the 930 club. We met Sean and his crew before the show for a drink. The show rocked, we got some food afterwards, and we all went home. Sunday, I got up and made it to the soup kitchen. I am glad I did, since it was the least amount of volunteers that I had ever seen show up. This actually made it more fun, since we were all a little busier than normal. The rest of the day I spent cooking and reading, since my internet connection has been down since Thursday night. Hopefully I will come home today and it will be fixed.

The worst part of the weekend was when I was eating dinner on Saturday, I looked up at the TV and learned that Richard Pryor had died of a heart attack. While I am not suprised, since he used and abused his body throughout much of his life, it is still sad to lose a member of society that could make anyone laugh.

I read today that a study found out that women who had abortions were likely to have long term mental and emotional affects from the procedure. Perhaps they could expand on that a little and state, "any person who remembers a single, isolated event in their life, maybe mentally and/or emothionally affected from it." Isn't it silly not to think that everything that we remember for a long time affects us in some way? I remember playing t-ball when I was five. I am not sure how this affects me now, but it probably helped me become a good sportsman for years after I played. Now it just provides a good memory. I bet they spent years of time and lots of money figuring out something that almost anyone could have told them. But now it has been recorded in a scientific manner, so it must be true.

Peace Out!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Pearl Harbor Day

This past week I was fortunate enough to get to see the news happen, before it was reported on. This rarely ever happens to me and I consider myself fortunate that it doesn't happen often. I am not a person who likes to be in the middle of things. So, check out this article to see the full story.

My part in this...while coming home from my company's holiday party last Thursday, I was passed by a speeding car. I took no notice of this, except that they were really moving. I was going just over 70 mph and they flew by me. I would guess about 85-90 mph. Soon after that I was passed by two police cruisers going about as fast as the original car. They had their lights on and were not after me. Thank goodness. A few minutes later I was home and changing for a my date. I stepped out of my house 15 min. later and started walking towards the Metro station. I heard and saw a helicopter flying above me. It was dark, so I couldn't see what it looked like, but I have heard helicopters before when they are checking on the traffic in the morning commute. My thoughts were that there must have been an accident on the Beltway and I was really thankful that I got off at my exit before the traffic got backed up.

The next morning, I had to go to the DMV to get my plates. On the radio I heard about an incident in Woodside Park (this is the name of my neighborhood). After getting to work, I checked my neighborhood's Yahoo group and it confirmed what I thought. There was a police chase on the Beltway and they fled into the Woodside Park neighborhood after crashing their car. I thought it was cool that I got to see a high-speed chase, even if I didn't know it at the time. Isn't the big city wonderful!

Another story...I forgot to tell this one early. I was riding on the Metro with Sean last weekend. We were coming back from the Sarah Silverman movie. At one of the stops a guy and pretty girl got on the train. They were all dressed up for a formal outing. Sean asked me what was going on, since we had seen so many people dressed up around town. I said that school is almost out for the semester, but the couple on the train looked to be about my age. The next thing that happens was awesome and unbelievable! The girl took the guys head and shoved it into the wall of the train. The guy was stunned, but tried getting her hands off of him. She started pushing and punching him everywhere she could, while yelling at him. He got up and tried to get away. She screamed that he wasn't going anywhere. She jumped on his back and tried to pull him back, but he kept walking till he got to the end of the train car and was able to step off the train when the doors opened. She followed him and never stopped screaming. Needless to say, it was pretty hot to see this girl go off on this guy, but I refrained from telling her this. Partly out of the inconvenience of getting off the train and having to wait till the next one and the other part was fear. The doors to the train shut and we took off towards the next stop. This brought an end to our excitement for the evening.

I learned something that night. If I am really bored, then I can always go for a ride on the Metro and find a free show. Sean thought that was the craziest thing he had seen on the Metro since moving to DC several years ago. I agreed, but I have only been here three months. Can you believe that? I moved here three months ago as of tomorrow. Wow!!

Don't forget to thank the Japanese today and your fellow American veterans. If the Japanese had not bombed us at Pearl Harbor, WWII might have lasted even longer than it did. Which means that the Holocaust might have lasted even longer too. Thank you America! I sure do love living here. In some countries this blog would be considered illegal.

DC had its first snowfall this week! It was very cold, so I only made one snow ball which I splattered all over the garage door. It scared the cat enough to make him retreat into the house. The snow did not stick well to the streets. I had an easy commute the next day, since so many schools were closed. Everyone at work showed up late, so I had the place to myself for the first couple of hours.

One thing I am really surprised to learn is how quickly DC closes everything for the weather. I would expect that they would be equipped like Colorado. This appears not to be the case. The grocery stores are hit by consumers, like people do in the South. Consumers rush to buy all the necessities, thinking they might be snowed in for the next month. I have worked at a grocery store for a couple of years and saw this behavior repeatedly. For anyone who reads this, save yourself the trouble. Usually you won't need the stuff, since the weather man is often wrong. Additionally, everyone has already stocked up on everything. This means that if the worst happens, then all you have to do is make it to your neighbors house to get what you need.

Also, they use salt on the road. This is not very environmentally friendly, nor is it good for your car. There are slightly more expensive chemicals that are much more friendly to the environment that the gov't should be using. The savings by the consumers from less repairs to their cars and the cost of clean-up in the long run should more than off-set the cost of using these chemicals. The Potomac is one of the most polluted rivers in America. Nat'l Geographic just had a front cover story about it a few months ago. This is where everything eventually drains into in this region, therefore, the gov't has no business using salt on the road ways.

This weekend should be interesting. We are expecting another snow storm this Thursday evening. It should be substantial according to the weatherman. Which means, "we don't really know anything yet...ask us Friday morning." Hopefully schools will close again and the commute will be easy. It is supposed to snow all day Friday. I can't wait to wake-up Sat. morning and see everything white. If I get out early enough I will take some pictures of my neighborhood dressed with snow.

I am going to see Rusted Root on Saturday. I have a friend from CO, Justin, who will be in town for work, but is coming to see the show. Also I am going with Sean and Annie, who live in the DC area. It should be a great time. Friday night, there is a happy hour to attend, but I doubt that I will make it with if there is several inches of snow on the ground. Sunday, I hopefully will make it to the soup kitchen and then probably meet up with Justin again before he heads back to CO.

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Weekend

This past weekend was jam packed. After work on Friday I made my way to the Phil Lesh show in Fairfax, VA. Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes sat in with them for almost the entire show. It was a great show and ended before 11:30pm, which was great, since I was exhausted.

I slept till noon the next day. I couldn't believe it. But I needed it. I did a few household chores and cooked a nice meal, but that was about it. I started on some applications, but was easily and quickly drawn away by a phone call to go see a movie. Sarah Silverman's "Jesus is Magic" is hilarious. While the film has nothing to do with Jesus or Magic, I laughed really hard throughout the show. Silverman is a good looking Jewish woman who says a lot of vulgar, shocking things. Perhaps it is only shocking since it is coming from this nice looking woman. The majority of the film is her on stand-up, but they interlaced some songs and clips that really make it a movie rather than just a stand-up show on a big screen.

Sunday I woke up early and fresh. I did my morning routine and got out of the house early to go for a run. I felt good and ran four miles in under 35 minutes. I could have gone longer, but I needed to get cleaned up and out the door again. I went to the soup kitchen and helped out for a little bit. Afterwards, I went back home and got some lunch. Working around all that food always makes me hungry.

Last night I went rock climbing. It was indoors, but a lot of fun. I seem to forget that I really like to climb. My arms are aching today and it feels great. I took Lisa with me and she did great for her first climbing effort. We then had a quick dinner and parted ways, since I was about to fall asleep in mid-sentence. I got home and should have gone to bed, but I really wanted to see the DVD that was made about my summer bike trip. I just got it in the mail on Friday. I thought the movie was great. It brought up wonderful memories from this past summer. I wish I could do it again this coming summer.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Company Holiday Party


This is picture that I received today from a co-worker. This was from yesterdays holiday party at a nearby country club. In the picture from right to left is Rosa, Rhonda, myself, and some guy I haven't met yet.

I Have Regained Feeling in My Toes

I woke up this morning, knowing that I needed to head to the Maryland DMV. There I was going to finally finish the process of titling my car. I wanted to be there when they opened, so that I wouldn't miss very much work. I thought they opened at 8am, since that is what their website states. So, I got myself up and out the door a little later than planned, but I still had plenty of time. I stopped and filled up on gas. The sign said $2.18, but the pump said $2.21. I thought about walking in the store to make a fuss, but the other gas stations nearby were even more expensive and it was freezing outside.

I made it to the DMV with no traffic problems. I immediately got out of the car and walked up to the line that had started to form. I was about 5th in line and I came prepared. I buttoned up my jacket first. Then I reached in my backpack and put on my hat. I got my earphones and Ipod running with some Ben Folds Five, I put on my gloves, and got my Catherine Coulter book out, that I normally read when I am traveling on the metro trains. I was warm.

I checked the time and 8am had already come and passed. I looked around at all the freezing people I was standing with and they didn't look concerned. I then saw that the sign says they open at 8:30am. Another half hour of the cold. I was definitely doing better than most people. They were complaining, getting anxious, and starting to jump around.

The DMV was punctual. I ended up being third in line, for the "I am getting a new title" line. I was seen quickly, my papers checked over, given a number and told to go and wait till I was called. I was called within five minutes. The guy didn't say a word and just did his routine. After a couple of minutes he told me the price, ran my card, and handed me new plates. My car was now titled, licensed, and tagged in Maryland.

As I was driving to work I looked at my bill. I had to pay 5% tax on my cars value. I was surprised when I paid that the bill was so low. However, after seeing how little taxed I paid, I realized that they don't think my car is worth much. My '93 Accord with 259,041 miles on it, is only worth $760. At least my car knows it is invaluable to me, which at that moment I reminded it of this fact.

Now my toes have warmed up and stopped tingling. I learned this morning that my shoes don't have good insulation.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

World AIDS Day

Yesterday was an interesting day. I was feeling pretty bad about all the repairs that were needed to my car. However, I felt much better when I was out on date that night. This was our second date. It wasn't as good as the first, but far from bad. I will see her again this weekend.

However, when we left each others company, jumped in our cars, and departed ways. I was feeling wonderful, playing my music loudly, and dancing to it in my car. That did not last long. I was quickly pulled over by a fairly friendly member of the Montgomery County police. He was kind enough to tell me that my license plate tags were expired. Nooooo...Really?! After giving him my information, showing him my inspection that I was working on getting passed, and the bill I just got done paying, he went back to his car. I didn't even try to mention the fact that I spent a month trying to get my title from CO to me. That was a nightmare in itself. It took a while, so I figured he was writing me a ticket. I am used to this. I have had more than my fair share of tickets. However, luck was with me. All I got was a warning ticket. He did tell me that a ticket would have been $280 and that my car is considered unregistered, since I have lived in MD for more than 60 days. So I thanked him again and again.

So, I have no other way to get to work, except to drive. Therefore, I am now driving an unregistered vehicle in MD. Luckily this is only until tomorrow morning, when I can make it to the DMV. So, this morning I got up early and made it to the inspection place at 7:30am. The guy was fast and only charged me $25, not the $40 he stated me on Monday. This worked great. I was then able to make it to work on time, which prevents me from having to stay late to make the time up.

Thanks to my dad, I tend to read into events too much. The cop pulling me over...what does that mean? I can't figure it out. It definitely brought me back down to earth, but I didn't want to be there. I was feeling so good before he pulled up behind me. However, I did end up with a warning, which is a good thing. The girl I was with is as nice and good as they get, so I don't think it was a warning to stay away. Until I figure it out...I will have tags tomorrow, my car is driving like a dream, and I will be looking forward to lots more outings.

Tonight I have three happenings that all overlap. I am only doing one. It is either the Company Holiday Party or another date. The other event, a young professionals happy-hour, I have already called and canceled. This will be a first date, so I don't know if it will happen. I met this girl at the last concert I went to on Sunday. If that doesn't work out, then off to the company party. There is supposed to be good food and free drinks.

Have a good World AIDS Day!!
Support World AIDS Day

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Environment is a Good Thing

The busiest (26 hurricanes) and costliest (over $100 billion) Atlantic hurricane season on record finally ends today. The end to the season comes just as members of the Kyoto Protocol are discussing the next goals that need to be taken over the next decade and beyond. Hopefully the US will wise up and join. With the actions of every country being felt down-wind, it is very important that the world take action to curb/delay what is becoming the inevitable. The warming, the storms, the droughts, the rising of oceans, and so many other things are big indicators that the next century or two will not be as pleasant as the 20th century. It is too bad that our administration has forgot about the environment over the last several years. Hopefully the grassroots movements will change that as awareness is spread. This is something that can not be ignored forever. The cost is too high for even the US to afford in the long run.

In personal news...I have been trying to get my car licensed in MD. This is not an easy task. Monday I went for inspection. It cost $100 to fail the inspection. Once I finish the repairs, then it will only cost $40 to get it passed. So, I then found a reputable Honda shop and brought my car there today. I just got the call with costs and what would be needed to get my car repaired. When he called and was going over all the things that the inspector said I needed to fix, my head was swelling at the cost. The inspector told me that my car was doing great considering the 260K miles I have on it. The car repair man said that I got off easy on the inspection, since there are several other things he missed. Thank goodness! However, I am not feeling lucky. I am feeling ripped off by the MD gov't for requiring this. My co-workers think I am getting off lucky. They have heard much worse horror stories on the costs of getting your car inspected. At least I only have to do this once.

So, I need rear brakes, Tie-rod, alignment, headlamp cover for my headlight, new axel and CV boot, and wiper blades. The car guy is throwing in the wiper blades. How nice, oh boy! To bad I just bought new blades less than three months ago. This is costing me $1435. Aaarrrggghhh! (that is how the pirates say it)

Once my repairs are done today, then I will go to the DMV tomorrow. It will cost $128 for plates and tags. I also have to pay taxes on my car. This will be for whatever value the state of MD decides. Then I will pay between 3-5% of the value for taxes. But it doesn't stop there.

Within a couple of months, I will receive a notice that my car needs to go through emissions testing. I am not sure of the cost of this, but I am sure it is not free.

Ok. This sucks, but I can't get let it get me down. My spirits are running to high today. I have an amazing week ahead of me, starting tonight;-)

I have a concert Friday (Phil Lesh) and then one more a week later (Rusted Root). This will end my 2005 concert season. I don't have any more shows to go too since I have been running a tight budget with my current job. Therefore, I will have to wait till Feb. to become a permanent employee and that is when I will start getting paid a little better and can buy tickets again. Shouldn't everyone have these type of problems:) (Just to make sure you know, I was being sarcastic back there.)

There is some good news in the bill area. My landlord tried to scare me with the heating costs. However, there is relief there. The yard doesn't need to be mowed anymore. This cost helps offset the heating cost by over half!

Alright. I need to get back to this conference call that is running ALL day!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Some Weird Stuff Going On

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. I got to eat a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with some family and friends in VA. I then flew to AL to hang with some of my family for the rest of the weekend. Then to top it all off, I got to see Zilla perform on Sunday night. I had never seen them, but I had seen most of the band members at some point in time with other bands. The show was great, the crowd was amazing, and I was sorry to have to leave a little early, but the Monday work hour was fast approaching.

I was checking out some news today and there seemed to be a lot of odd things going on. I realize that there is always strange happenings, but Google News just happen to have a whole bunch of them on its page today.

First, the Supreme Court House is falling apart. In the article it states that a chunk of the building crashed down on the steps. One person noted that the chunk fell from the right side of the building. Coincidence? However, I didn't really think that this event was so abnormal. It is easy to comprehend how a building that is so old, may start to crumble every now and again.

The two articles that really made me laugh and have sad thoughts at the same time. The first one was one in which a girl died after kissing her boyfriend . The kiss of death was performed by an average Joe. His secret...eating peanuts before performing a routine kiss. The article does not state if the man will be criminally charged. Shouldn't one of them have known. Either he should know that she was allergic or she should know not to kiss him, if he had been eating peanuts. Maybe they just started dating and he didn't know about her allergy. Maybe she just showed up at his door and didn't realize that he was eating peanuts before she got there. No matter what, I am going to start asking my dates if they are allergic to nuts. This way I won't have to worry about them dropping dead after my I eat my pecan pie for desert.

On a good note, there are approximately 1.5 million Americans with a peanut allergy. This means that the chances are slim. Half of them are men, leaving 750K people as potential dates. I am sure that at least 75% of them are not in my age group. And for the remaining, they are not likely to all live in the DC area.

The last article that caught my eye, mentioned that needles are not long enough and that fat Americans will have to possibly start enduring longer needles. Actually the article said nothing about whether skinny people will have to get used to the longer needles. If the needles are standardized, then all Americans may have to endure the consequences of the obese.

This article is nuts! But you can't kiss it and make it go away, since it isn't allergic to nuts. Doctors/nurses now have to judge if a needle will be able to reach the butt muscle. Currently, most needles are 3cm long. That is over an inch! If you think about a finger prick and how small the needles is, then an inch is enormous. Luckily there is hope. I have a plan!

If you don't want the longer needles, then this is what you can do. Buy a whole bunch of regular sized needles, as they are sold now. They might even go on sale, once the new size comes out. Then, whenever you go to the doctor, bring your own. If a shot is needed, just hand them to the doctor/nurse and state that you would like them to use your needles. If they stare at you oddly, just smile. If they to talk to you about the dangers of drugs, calmly tell them that you read on this blog somewhere about bigger needles coming out. If that doesn't convince them...RUN!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

The holidays are here! Actually I tend to think that the holidays start with Rosh Hashana and never stop till after New Year's. Then you get a month or two off before Purim. They keep coming until Passover ends. Then you are pretty much free and clear of any major family holidays till Rosh Hashana rolls around again. Of course you still haveMother's Day, Father's Day, and July Fourth thrown in there. And don't forget all the birthdays, anniversary's, and other celebrations that occur through the year. So if you know enough people, then you never have to stop celebrating, except to occasionally sober up. Which is done so that people don't start calling you a drunk.

This Thanksgiving is going to be a great one. I am spending tomorrow with lots of family in VA. Friday, I will wake up early and fly to AL. There I will spend the weekend eating, chatting, relaxing, sleeping, seeing the new Harry Potter movie, and some other miscellaneous items. On Sunday I will head home to the DC area and ready myself for three weeks of staying in the same town, since my next trip won't be until the end of December.

My job is starting to pick up and I am enjoying more. I seem to know what I am doing more often; just don't ask me what I do. The application process has bee started, although it has been a slow start. I will have some of them done before the end of the year.

I checked out Umpheries McGhee last week at the 930 Club in DC. They put on a great show. I had not seen them in a couple of years and I thought they looked and sounded great. My next show is Sunday. I am going to see Zilla at the State Theater in VA. I have never seen them, but I have seen most of the band members. Zilla is an improvisational band comprised of some players from String Cheese Incident and a couple of other bands. I hear they are funky and can rock the house!

In other news...My co-worker lives next to some guy name Jeff, that was just convicted of manslaughter. I am sure it is on the net somewhere, but I don't think I want to know anymore. Jeff killed his wife's secret lover. Obviously she wasn't very good at keeping secrets. (bad joke) Jeff killed the man with a shot gun and later confessed to the murder. He has served a year already as the trial has been going on. He will serve a minimum of 18 more years. This allows him to be back out on the streets when he is in his 70's. My co-worker seems to think the guy is nice and friendly. He has been a good neighbor for as long as he can remember. Jeff helped build an addition on to his home. He has come over with his wife for dinners and other social gatherings.

What does all this mean? Not much, unless you are cheating with someone else's wife. If that is the case, watch out for a man with a shot gun pointed at you, who appears to be married to the person you are sleeping with.

That is all the wisdom I can dish out today. Until next time...eat lots of turkey.

Gobble, gobble!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Can You Tell A Difference? Traffic Woes...

When you steered your computer to my blog today, did you notice a difference when it loaded? Take a close look. Okay, okay, okay...if you don't see any differences, I will tell you.

I have been trying my hand at html. The big changes are in the sidebar. I added a link to my pictures on flicker.com. However, right now I only have three pictures there. I will be adding lots very soon, since I have been working on processing my pictures as well. Also, I added a weather box so that you always can tell what type of weather I am experiencing at the moment or if you start to wonder what the weather is at your place, you can find out. In addition, I added a section for the books I am reading at the moment. I added an email icon. I centered a few things, widened a few things, and basically tried to make the page look and feel better.

I am pretty new to the html world. Before now all I knew how to do was make text bold, create a link, and skip to the next line. Now I am learning fast and hope to keep changing this page till I can take my skills to Bill Gates and say, "Ha, look at that." To which his reply will probably be, "Who are you? Guards!"

Anyway, I have begun the process to apply for grad school. This feels like a daunting task. But attending school without applying and getting accepted first, will not help me get a degree. The online part is fairly easy. The essays are the next easiest. Going to the effort to obtain and send out all of the letters of recommendations, transcripts, resumes, and other junk is the hardest part. However, as a constant, daily reminder that this is all easier than working is my commute to and from my job. Let me ask you this...

Why does everybody like to go to work at the same time everyday? Is it because you like to hang out with all the other people inching along as they go to work? Do you look forward to the, "oh, we are moving...oh, we are stopped" every five seconds. Maybe the motion of the stop and go is somehow relaxing and soothes you on your way to and from work. I find it remarkable that people do this everyday for years and most travel farther and for longer period of times than I do. Not only do people do this in the morning, but just when you think that they must have had enough, everyone decides to return home at the same time too. Once again they inch along with all their commuting buddies, pretending that they don't know each, even though they see each other all the time. In fact, maybe that is the answer! Next time I find myself creeping along the street, I will try to make conversation with my commuting buddies. This will not only occupy my time, but will allow me to meet my fellow DCers. If I have people to chat with the time will go by quicker and I will feel involved in their lives, and then I will start to look forward to meeting up with my commuting buddies, so that I can find out the details of their day and how Frankie Jr. is getting over his cold (This sentence ran on just like my commute). The most I can hope for is that I don't make them mad and that they speak english. I will let you know how it goes.

In other news...NY was great. I saw Galactic on Saturday night. They played the best show I have ever seen them play. From song 1 to the end of the second set was just pumping. I should not have stayed for the encore, since it appeared that the band finally was winding down and losing their energy. Also, I got to see Joseph, one of the crazy people I biked with this summer. I met him in Brooklyn, we had breakfast for lunch, and walked through Prospect Park for a while.

It appears that there will be no more traveling till the end of next month. However, if I get a warm weekend, I am going to try to head out to the nearby mountains for a hike and some camping.

Come and look back soon for some new pics!

Friday, November 11, 2005

New York...Here I Come

After work today I will be heading to NYC for the weekend. Saturday, my friend Rachel will be showing off her artwork in NY. I added a link to her website on the right side of the page. Then that night I am going to see Galactic with Seth. I have not seen this band for a couple of years, so I am excited to catch them again. Finally on Sunday, I will be meeting up with Joseph for lunch and a quick tour of Brooklyn. It should be a great visit. Plans are already in the works to spend New Years in NYC. I think the Black Crowes are playing Madison Square Gardens that weekend.

This past week has been very busy. I helped make Thanksgiving baskets last night for the needy. It was more a social thing, but the little bit of work we did and the money that was raised should help a lot of people. On Wednesday I checked out a new venue, Rams Head Live. I saw Gavin Rossdale's (former lead singer of Bush) new band, Institute. They were great! hardly anyone was there, so I got great pics and even a little bit of Gavin's sweat from his hair as he shook his head during a few tunes. He performed Everything Zin and Machine Head from the classic Sixteen Stone album (I used to be a HUGE Bush fan).

Monday and Tuesday were filled with family. I haven't been to this big of a family dinner in at least two years. I had my Aunt and Uncle from Mobile visiting with their daughters and one of their grandchildren. Then my cousins from VA were all in attendance. I had never met the two younger boys. Jacob's son is very outgoing and is working on his basketball skills. Leslie's son, Michael, was exhausted from spending the entire day driving down from VT. However, he was a trooper and made it through a wonderful meal and several pictures. After six years in CO without family, it is wonderful to be suddenly surrounded.

Some More Happenings

Last weekend I checked out Soulive at the 930 Club. I met up with Gary and had a few drinks and headed into the show. It was a Saturday, so I knew the show would run late. However, the band did not take the stage until 11:30 pm and at one o'clock the first set was not even finished. I had to leave shortly there after, since my dancing was slowing and my bed was calling. I guess I should have taken a nap after my bike ride that morning.

I also got to catch the new Zorro movie. I am a big fan of the masked crusader. His newest film was filled with Hollywood action and cheesy lines. I loved it! At the end, as he is riding off into the sunset and the film freezes on the frame of him with Tornado; it is exactly how the original Zorro starring Tyron Powers ends. I just hope that it is not Zorro's last ride as the title suggests.

On Sunday, I woke up in time to get a quick run in, shower, and make it down to the soup kitchen in DC. I have been trying to volunteer here regulary. It is fun and I have been meeting some cool people.

That is most of what I have been up to lately. If you notice, I have made a few changes on the blog. I am trying to add some content to it. If suggestions or if you want me to add a link to your website, let me know.

Thursday, November 03, 2005


The Funkasaurus's were awesome. We kicked some butt in a few games and had a great time. Thanks for having me on your team for the weekend.

I got to see Maeve! My wonderful biking Queen. I even got to eat some cheese curds. Her sister, Kathleen, is amazingly hospitable. However, our visit was short lived since I had a tournament to attend.

Our frisbee field had a wonderful backdrop.

Roman getting serious on the field. he just about grabbed the frisbee right out of the guy's hand.

Roman in a Maeve's costume. Maeve definitely looked better in it. But give me a few drinks and.......

Betty Boop was really friendly.

Here is the "One Night Stand" with his game face on!

Here is the Winona, WI gang from 5th Street that I stayed with on Halloween.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Another Wonderful Halloween Weekend Has Passed

Happy Halloween!

This past weekend felt like one big day. After a full day of working at my current temp position, I headed out to the airport. My plane was a little late, but nothing to be upset about. I arrived to the baggage claim area with Roman waiting at the carrousels for me. I met his ultimate frisbee teammate, Alex.

We headed towards the rental car counter. We got a red sedan and hit the road. I had looked up the location of Winona, MN that morning and realized that I would be passing through Madison, WI. So I arranged to meet up with one of my friends from this past summer's bike trip. It worked out great!

The car pulled into the driveway around 1 am. Inside we were greeted with tea and snacks. maeve had even picked up cheese curds! I had been talking up cheese curds in the car and how over the summer I had some of the greatest curds and ice cream in Wisconsin. After we talked and ate for a couple of hours, we hit the sack. Less than four hours later, I woke up and realized we had slept through three alarm clocks. We were going to be late.

Up we got and I cooked a little breakfast before we got back to cruising down the highway. The drive between Madison and Winona was gorgeous. The fall colors were awesome and brilliant on the rolling hills. It often looked like a bunch of sno cones stacked closely together. By eleven we were in Winona.

We continued on to the ultimate frisbee fields, to take part in the 11th Annual HalloWinona Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. When we found our team, they were just finishing up there first game, which they won. I was introduced and the next game started. All the teams were in costume. This was a spectacle to see, however, I had a hard time learning who was on my team and who was just another angel, vampire, witch, or 80's prom queen gone bad.

After our second win, we had lunch and prepared for the next couple of games. We did not win these next two games, but we got some great bruises, twists, scrapes, and lots of dancing in. With our spirits and energy low, we went to eat some pasta and start getting ready for the towns big Halloween bash. Someone on the team went to school in Winona and hooked us up with lodging. So I got a great shower, some food, and met several of the locals...Betty Boop, Googs, 80's mom, Frog, and some others without any particular name.

The town of Winona is not big, so this was the only party. The town has a shuttle bus that runs a loop to all the hotels and several other stops. It picks you up and drops you off at the party. This was very convenient. The party had a local band that was playing great covers and a few originals. Everyone was in costume! About 500 people filled the bars floor, balcony, and deck. There was free beer to all. The party ended around 2 am, with lots of tired looking faces. Instead of waiting on the bus, we got a cab and mad it back to our house in no time.

After staying up a till light was coming through the windows and not getting much sleep again, I woke up to the thoughts of playing more frisbee. However, my body was in pain. I was so sore from all the running, sliding, and falling from the day before, plus I was a little hung over. So, with a little slowness I was ready and back on the field. We won our first and lost our second, which brought our record to 3-3. After sharing our thoughts on the weekend, we said our goobyes and were back on the road. I stopped by Maeve's and dropped off the sleeping bag we had borrowed. She was going off to work and we were running short on time, so we only stayed a few minutes. Next time I see Maeve will be at least two years from now, after she gets back from helping the Peace Corp in Thailand.

I arrived at the airport, returned the car, made it to my gate and fell asleep. I woke up as the last few people were boarding the plane. Luckily it was not full and I was able to find a aisle seat. After putting my bag under my seat I was asleep again. When the plane hit the ground in Baltimore, I woke up and proceeded to get to my car. I drove home and passed out again.

Now I am at work, wondering if I could do my Yoga class tonight in costume.

Friday, October 28, 2005

It Is Halloween Time!!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I already carved a pumpkin a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, they don't last that long. So, instead of putting it on top of my set of lincoln logs and trying to save it for next year (remember that one mom), I threw it out with intentions to carve another one. However, I don't have my carving tools...they are at a friends house. This works, since I will be in Chicago this weekend. I should clarify this. I have spent the last two Halloweens in Chicago. My friends there have made it always a wonderful experience. So, in trying to keep with tradition, I will venture there again. However, as soon as I arrive, I am being taken out of the city and into Minnesota. Winona, MN to be exact. Why has nobody ever heard of this place? Because it is in MN and it is really small. But they have an annual ultimate frisbee competition/Halloween party. MY friend Roman and I will be playing frisbee, while consuming beer and wearing our costumes. I am sure this will once again be a Halloween never to forget. Yes, I will take pictures.

I am dressing up as a "one night stand" this year. I made it the other day and it looked great. I use past tense, since I then had to tear it down, fold it, fold it again, andthen smash my foot on it to get it to fit into my suitcase. I have requested lots of duct tape, staples and scissors, so that the costume can be restored upon my arrival.

This past week has been eventful. I have been interviewing, submitting resumes, and hounding business to hire me. I will probably get this job at Aspen Systems that I applied for, but not sure how I will like it. Everything here is very corporate. Which only means that everyone dresses up, works in cubicles, and generally has an air of "Office Space" flowing through it. I have seen that movie a lot of times. I wrote a paper on it in college. But I have never experienced it to the degree that I find in DC. There is one place in particular that I temped at and really enjoyed myself. It is at TV One. They are an African American cable channel. I did some marketing work on a PowerPoint for them. It looked pretty good, but they should have asked me to do the whole thing. Anyway, they have an Operations position open and they encouraged me to apply. The marketing guy talked to the operations guy and things were set in motion, but they are not on my time-table. Hopefully I will be interviewing next week.

Other than that. Things are cooling off and the trees are turning. The colors are awesome. Fall our in CO, just can't compete with the forest in the east. This past weekend I got so relaxed on my cousins boat. I slept well, ate well, and got lots of peaceful time to myself. I didn't really want to leave, but I didn't want to miss the concert either. The show was good, the last of their tour. I think they were ready for it to be over with. There was no talk of sadness about going home and leaving the raod for a while. I don't blame them, it is hard traveling for months at a time and always sleeping and being somewhere new.

Friday I met up with the Pattersons for dinner. Ellen is a great cook! I had two big plate fulls of everything...roast, potatos, carrots, salad, green beans, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I thought after biking, that I would be done talking about food, but I still love it just as much, even if I can't eat as much.

The last couple of days I was temping for the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS). They are a non-profit. The temp that was working there got hurt (off the job) and missed a couple of days. They were very pleased with my work and didn't really want me to leave, so I said hire me. It didn't work. Now I am at Eagle Design and Management, Inc. They are a gov't contractor for all sorts of things, but I have no idea what those things are. There website is to vague for me to figure it out. Maybe by the end of today or Monday I will figure it out.

I like getting to work in all these differnt places and environments. It is giving a good perspective...mainly of what I don't want. Which is good to know. I am also meeting people and making contacts. Some of them have given me good leads about other jobs and companies.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Ups and Downs

I have to play catch up once again. The holidays went by with some fun. I had a great time at breakfast. My friend Daniel's girlfriend hosted it. I made kugel for the first time. It was a hit!

My first job is over. Last friday was my last day. It felt really good knowing that I did not have to return on Monday. This week I did a temp job for a couple of days and I have an interview this afternoon. Wish me luck!

I have continued to bike and run. No matter what is going on with jobs and dating, getting outside and hitting the pavement always makes me feel better.

This weekend should be great. I am heading to my cousin's boat tonight. I will hang out there till Saturday night. It should be raining most of the weekend, so sailing is out. Saturday night I am going to see Yonder Mountain String Band. They are from Colorado and have a bluegrass/rock sound. The energy at there shows is awesome. Then after a long night of dancing, I will get up early on Sunday to do a 7-8 mile hike up to Old Rag. If the weather permits, I should see all the fall colors as we climb to over 3,000 ft. That height is pretty tall out here...they even call it a mountain:)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Happy New Year!

Tonight starts the Jewish New Year, called Rosh Hashana. This is a great holiday, because you get to eat sweet foods and take a day off of work. Some people might argue that they rather be working than in a synagouge, but I am not one of those people. I enjoy services and everything that goes with it.

This past Saturday I ran for the first time in months. From the way I feel, I think that I should have shortened my run a bit. Yesterday I went biking with a group from the local bike shop. They are incredible. We were going 25-30 mph non-stop. After running and drinking too much the day before, I could not keep up. So much for my easy 50 miler. Instead I ended up with 35 miles underneath me and called it a morning.

That afternoon I volunteered at a local soup kitchen. It was a lot of fun. Afterwards a friend and I had lunch and washed cars. He couldn't believe how much I ate. I told him that this summer, I would have eaten twice that much and been hungry again an hour later.

Last night I learned how to carve pumpkins...professionally. I have carved a few triangles and jagged teeth before, but nothing like this. My friend and I carved Willie E. Coyote and Nemo (from Finding Nemo the movie). They look great. I will put up a picture before Halloween.

I wish everyone a wonderful, sweet and happy new year.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Did you miss me?

So I have neglected my blog since I arrived in Seattle on that glorious day in July. However, I have had good reason too. I have been traveling ever since then, until just two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, I found myself in D.C. Well, actually Virgina, because I was staying with some family until I found my own place in Maryland. So, now I am working at a financial company, doing work that has nothing to do about my wonderful business degree that I got, except that it is a business that I am working for.

The house I am living in is wonderful. I have just about collected all the furniture, clothes, and other items that are required when you move to a new place with only a car load of stuff. I am located about five minutes to downtown Silver Spring, if you walk there. It has lots of shops, resturaunts, and a great independent theater. It is also right by the Metro Station. I have been taking the bus everday to and from work, which is much cheaper and less of a hassle than driving.

This past weekend I attended my first anti-war protest in D.C. I went to see Thievery Corporation. They are a band I first heard in Colorado, but I found out they are originally from Washington, D.C. An old friend from Memphis and his girlfriend came with me. We all enjoyed the show and afterwards we had a beer, while we caught up on things.

Check back often, I will be updating more frequently now that I am settled.

Friday, July 29, 2005

We Have Found The Coast!

We are in Mukilteo, WA! We can see the water. It is very exciting. We will ride to the end tomorrow morning.

I will write a final post about this trip in a few days. Also, I will be continue to post to this address occasionally. Don't forget...send in your donations. Click on the donate link to the right to find out how.

In addition, feel free to email me with any questions or requests for pictures at ddreyfus402@gmail.com

Thanks so much for reading. I have enjoyed sharing our trip with all of you.

- David

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Cake...Anyone?

Last night we were treated to 45 pounds of lasagna, fruits, salads,
potatoes, and a table filled with 8 different types of cakes. It was
amazing to look at it all. There was red velvet, cinammon swirl, XXX
chocalate chip, milk chocolate, lemon, butter pecan, strawberry, and
one other that I can't remember. Oh yea...there were also two plates
full of carrot and raisan cup cakes. However, about 45 minutes after
saying grace, there was not much left to look at. I might have eaten
more at this meal, than any other on the whole trip. And that is
saying a lot. I was hurting for at least an hour, while my body tried
to deal with the three plates of food, one cup cake, and four slices
of cake.

This morning we were greeted with a carnival. In fact, the carnival
is not over with! Several of the guys have planned games, prizes, and
a raffle for us. It was to take breaks and play the games. I have 18
points right now. I made the first ringer today on the bike tire
toss. You have to throw the tire over a road marker. Then there was
"Coke or Pepsi" Challenge. I lost in this one. Then we had to take
shots of gatorade through the luge. Have you seen the ice luges they
use in bars? They usually send shots of liquor down them. Well, in
our version. we poured gatorade through a pool spaghetti flotation
device (I am not sure what it is called, but it has a whole through
the center). It was pretty funny watching us on the side of the road.

Next stop, was the "Dunk the Drunk". Here we had Colin with a water
cooler. If you hit the sign with the ball. Colin would dunk his head
in the cooler. It was hot today, so he was only mad when you missed.
Then, we had David B. on the "3 Card Monty". All you had to do was
follow the queen of hearts. However, David made this difficult by
hiding them in his hands and shuffling, rather than just keep them on
the card board box. Chad and I guessed right all three times and won a
moon pie (thanks dad and Carol) and a candy necklace. We all are
waiting for the raffle this evening.

Today's ride was long, even with our fun breaks. We climbed this
morning for the first 20ish miles. Then down to lunch at mile 45 was
great. This is when we played the games. After lunch the wind
starting blowing till I got done. It was grueling. I had almost
forgot, since we had been in the mountains so long, that the wind can
blow very hard. At lunch, David S. and Steve S. where talking about
how they wanted some flats and were tired of climbing. I always
disagree, since I like the mountains. Well, they got their flats.
Maybe they had forgotten about the wind that comes with the flats as
well.

Tomorrow we climb our fourth pass in four days. Wednesday we will
climb our last pass, which will make five for five. I hope you
enjoyed the pictures. I am sending this post by email, so the format
may be off, but I had to try it sometime.

Monday, July 25, 2005

New Pictures...and I Need Help

I have posted lots of new pictures. They are from Montana. They include camping, two build days, and more. Please enjoy!

I need help! I still have several hundred dollars to raise to reach my fundraising goal. If you have already given, please feel free to give again. If you are one of the many parents reading reading my blog and have enjoyed it, please donate in my name. If you haven't donated yet, please don't hesitate any longer.

You may send your donations two ways:

By check, please send to:

Habitat Bicycle Challenge
37 Union Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Make payable to Habitat Bicycle Challenge. Also, please write my name (David Dreyfus) in the memo/for area of the check (that way I will recieve credit for your donation).

By credit card:

Go to http://www.yale.edu/habitat/donation/donate.html. Click on the credit card icon. It is done through Paypal (which is very safe) and no account is necessary. You will be prompted to include my name (David Dreyfus) at the very end of the transaction.

Thank you so much for your support. We will be in Seattle before you know it!

This is Earthquake Lake. In 1959 there was an earthquake that created a landslide. It damed up the river and killed dozens. This was taken from the ranger station. On the left side of the lake you can see some of the dead trees that poke out of the water all over the lake.

After arriving in Ennis, MT. It got hot. Several of us went to the river to cool off. It was fast and shallow, but very cool.

This is an antelope I saw as I was riding up a hill. He posed for the picture.

Here are a couple of the families and many of us in front of a home. There were five being built in Butte. They all are scheduled to be done on July 30th. We had a wonderful time working on the houses. Our legs thanked us for the break.

This is David B. taking a break from the heat. Building houses is exhausting.

Here are Steve, David S., and Chad (from right to left) working on the siding.

Here is Chad cutting some of the siding he was putting on the home.

One of our campsites in Montana. I believe it was the night before we rode to Missoula. We enjoyed the backdrop.

One of the reasons I love this trip...I get up early enough to see the sunrise and then I go to bed after the sunsets. This was by our campsite...just amazing. I never get tired of them.

We stopped at Colin's uncle's house. We sailed, swam, slept, relaxed, and ate a lot. It was wonderful, so we decided not to leave and have the van bring us to the church that night. As luck would have it, there was a winery about 100 yards from the house. We checked out several of the wines. (from right to left...me, Colin, Danny, Katie, Diana, and Steve in red)

This is our campsite in Missoula. It was behind the YMCA. Don't ask why we could not stay inside. It wasn't our fault!

We worked on this site on the very first day that it opened. We thought that was a great way to kick start the project.

Here is the crew I was working with. We got to move rocks!

Here are Tori (right) and Summer (left) using power tools. Watch out!

Here is Ericka masterfully using the saw to cut some lumber. Erin is being a good manager, by supervising her work.

East Washington Has Mountains!

I always thought that east Washington was flat. However I was wrong...very wrong! I guess the flat desert is in southern Washington. Today I climbed over Sherman's Pass. It was 4500 ft. of climbing. At the top I found some climbers. They were from Boulder! I got to do a climb. After completing the climb, Kelly ( one of the people from boulder) tried it. She made it half way, but the rocks were loose and kept coming off the mountain. At one point several big rocks fell from the top and that ended the climb. It wasn't worth the risk. I am glad those rocks stayed put while I was climbing. Either way, it was a blast to get the oppotunity to climb.

A couple of days ago, we went to Marshall Lake in Newport, WA. We got to take out motor boats to a rope swing. This was the biggest and best rope swing I had ever seen. They had three different levels. We all stuck to the first level. This swing would swing you way out over the water and you would drop at least 15-20 into the water. The hardest part was just swimming back, since you went so far out over the lake. The second time I hit the water sideways and was red for several minutes. Some locals came over and attempted the third step. Crazy!!! These guys flew so far out over the water and must have dropped over 30 feet into the water. After the sun went behind the mountains we went back to our campsite. It was Akshay the Leader's birthday, so we celebrated with more food. Awesome! Then it was off to play capture the flag with all the kids from the park. I took the easy job of protecting the flag. I stood around intimidating the little kids, so they couldn't get the flag, while drinking a beer. I call that multi-tasking!

Yesterday I rode to Colville, WA. It was about 85 miles. I got in early, since I took a short-cut. I got to help set out all the tables and chairs for dinner. Also, I got to place all the fruits and cookies onto trays. That was the best part. They had so many different kinds of cookies! I ate one of each, along with several pieces of all the fruits. Then I took a nap as I waited for the others. Dinner was a barbecue, which we all enjoyed. I had salad, four different kinds of past salad, three cheese burgers, one hotdog, five more cookies, one brownie, ans several more pieces of fruit. Aaaaahhhhhh...how I love biking!

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Art Walk 2005 in Sandpoint, ID

I am in still in Idaho. We have to bike about 30-40 miles today, but we wanted to chill in Sandpoint a little longer. It is a beautiful town with a huge lake, beach, and mountains surrounding it. There appears to be lots of growth happening here. The atmosphere is very much like Boulder, CO. This morning I walked to lake and then sat in a diner to eat my second breakfast.

Last night started the annual Art Walk in town. It is when all the local artists display their work in galleries, shops, cafes, and just about everywhere they can. It is one big party the town puts on. Each place has wine, beer, horderves, and lots of art. It is really cool! I met some fun people as we traveled in and out of each shop. It ends at 8:30 and we were right by a theater. Since the movie had already started we were able to walk right into the theater. We sat down and watched the last hour of a documentary titled "Red Hot Ballroom". It is about 4th and 5th graders in NYC that take ballroom dancing as part of their curriculum and compete against each other. It was cute and funny.

Afterwards we walked out and ran into some the people we met earlier. They were going swimming in the lake and so we followed them. By the time we reached the lake, there were about 10 of us. We jumped in by the minature statue of liberty. It felt refreshing and cool. Then it was onto the swings to dry off. Soon after we all split apart, I met up with David Brummert from my trip. He is not old enough for the bars, so I told him to come walk down to the lake. We found some kids playing basketball. They asked us if we were ready to play. We took them on HBC style. They got worried when we started to catch-up and then pull ahead in points. They finally beat us after going back and forth for half an hour on who was in the lead. They couldn't believe that we did so well. Neither could we! It was a wonderful evening that had to come to an end, because my legs were going to fall off.

Friday, July 22, 2005

One More State to Go!

Today I have come to Sandpoint, ID. I took an alternate route from the group and covered 99 miles today (the group covered 85, but it was a busier road). It was very scenic and virtually not a car in sight for over 50 miles of the day. Tomorrow I will be in the state of Washington. We have eight days of biking! That is it! About 600 miles or so till the finish. We are all getting excited.

Thank you all for the mail! I will be eating healthy for a week with all the moon pies, skittles, brownies, cookies, and other wonderful foods that were sent to me and others.

The rest of the group encountered a killer today. He was backpacking on the side of the road. No one knew it till lunch, but the police were searching for him. After lunch, several of the riders saw him in hand-cuffs on the side of the road. Crazy! One rider remarked that he said "hello" as he rode by. Then remarked, "He seemed like a nice guy." So, don't pick up hitch hikers near the border is the leasson that we learned today.

The library is closing, so I must go. Adios.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Last day in Montana

Tomorrow morning we will ride the last 30 miles to the border of Idaho. I have really enjoyed Montana. Todays ride was easy despite the hills, occasional head wind, and the awful Montana drivers. Several people rode in the van to lunch after they were freaked out by how close the cars and trucks were riding by them. I am usually comfortable with such things, but I even felt uncomfortable a few times. For me it was the logging trucks...they don't like bikers. Even with a wide open left lane, they frequently came with a foot or two of us. After the first 30 miles, we had a nice shoulder to ride on for the remainder of the day (60 more miles).

Now I am in Libby, MT. I came straight to the library, so I have no idea what the conditions will be like tonight. I know we are camping again. Tomorrow is our last mail drop, so we will eat well for one last week as we finish this trip. Thank you family and friends!

The librarians here are not very friendly. One lady upstairs grabbed the mouse of the computer out of my hand to tell me that I could not use the computers upstairs for internet access (there were two people in the library besides me and no one was using the card catalog and there were two computers for the card catalog). So, I came downstairs and sat down on the floor against a wall to wait for a computer. There are only three. I was then told by the lady downstairs that there are seats in another section of the room. I asked if she would like me to move to that area. She said, "Well this is a library." So I got up and moved. I have not experienced this in any other library in the country. I guess there are no kids in this library for a reason.

Last night we had vegetable stew for dinner, which was great. We then watched "Hammer and Cycle". It is a documentary about our trip made along the southern 2003 route. I have watched it a few times, but this was the first time since actually being on the trip. I decided that the movie was not the best indicator of our trip. It seemed as though the people never had fun and that there was always problems going on. I guess this tactic was used to create drama. However, my trip is not like the video. I think most people on this trip would agree.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Our Last Day Off

Today is our last day off. How did we spend it? Working on a Habitat house! It was the first day that anyone has worked on the house. There was absolutely nothing there. I worked with a few people to move dirt and rocks. Our task was to formed ramps for all the trucks to go over the curbs and sidewalks. This required lots and lots of wheelbarrel loads. All of our arms were very tired from the shoveling. Other people put doors on the sheds, that would house tools and supplies. People made saw horses, put up the Habitat sign in the front, and many other jobs where taking place that I couldn't tell what was going on. I met one of the future owners, Niki, but she was not working with us today. The house will be completed before the end of November.

Yesterday we rode from Polson to Colin's uncle's house (about 25 miles). It sits on a lake in Dayton, MT. It was awesome. We went out on the water in a blow up row boat, an inner tube, and a sail boat. We spent all morning, afternoon, and evening eating, drinking, and playing in the water. We barbecued hamburgers, chicken, and vegetables for our meals. They were wonderful. At some point, I think we all forgot we were on a bike trip. I was sure that we flown to the area and were on vacation for a week.

Some people completed the ride to Kalispell, but many of us stuck around. I napped, helped make dinner, and watched Happy Gilmore ( I know I haven't seen this movie more than 200 times). At some point several of us walked over to the local winery for a tasting. I got a quick tour of the winery from the owner, but was only allowed to take a picture with the barrels. I am not sure why, I couldn't tell if I was looking at any secrets.

Around 10 pm, we piled into the van and went to the church for the night. It felt great to sleep in till 7:30 am. I think we all needed the sleep. Now we have lots of biking and 3 nights of camping left in our journey across the US. We are all looking forward to the end, but would like to hold off reality for a while longer.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Montana is Gorgeous!

I am in Polson, MT. Yesterday we rode to Missoula. I started very early, compared to the rest of the group, so that I could beat the wind, that was sure to pick up. After arriving, my buddy for the day and I picked up breakfast at the Uptown Cafe. It was great! We rode around town and I decided that is my favorite Montana town.

After setting up camp behind the YMCA, a few of us went to town to hitch a ride to the river. We were planning on tubing down the river for a few hours. After we rented our tubes, the owner offered us a ride. We waited a while for him to get off work. In that time we picked up a local who was walking by, named Wes. he goes to the university in town. On the way to the river the owner stopped at the liquor store, because he said we couldn't float down the river without beer. Who could argue with that? When we got to the water, several people were putting their tubes in as well. We had so much fun floating down the river. We spun, bobbed in the rapids, and saw a bald eagle with chicks in a nest. After we had floated for a while, my tube popped on a rock. I was standing in the water waving at my friends. All I could hear was their laugh. Luckily some people in a canoe were floating by at the same time. They picked me up after they stopped laughing. When trying to get into their canoe I tipped it over. Oops! Now I was rowing down the river. They carried me to the drop off point. While walking back to the store to get our bikes, we ended up selling our remaining tubes to some people in a car. It seems that the whole town was sold out of tubes. This helped offset the cost of paying for my tube. What luck.

Today we were told that Hwy 93 in Montana is one of the worst roads in the US. How could a road in Montana be the worst? No one lives here! So the alternate route was planned and we were told that their could be dirt roads. I decided to go against the grain. So John M. and I went on Hwy 93. It was ok. It did have some traffic, but their were nice shoulders. After we reached SR 200, we decided to try to meet up with the group for lunch. A lady had told us that the construction was getting to get bad. So, we went down the road to the next turn and saw no chalking. We decided that the group was behind us, in front of us, or on a different road. We had lunch at a the entrance to the Buffalo National Park. We saw no Bison, but it was pretty. You can see the ripples on the side of the mountains from where the old ocean used to be. Pretty cool. After lunch we found a house with a lady who offered us cokes. Yea! We were given new directions and followed them. It worked beautifully and 93 isn't so bad. I am being kicked off the computer. Gotta go...

Continuation...

The build day in Butte was great. I learned how to lay laminate flooring and I helped put on some metal corners on the drywall. We did a great job and finished more than I thought we would have. There were 5 houses being built and all will be finished in less than two weeks. This is the biggest job that Habitat has performed in Butte.

Butte seems like it was a great town at one time, but now it is a little run down. It has lots of bars and a really nice library. On our night off I was sleeping and missed the van to go to the bar. I went out on my own and found a bar called Mr. Ed's. I spent the night talking to some locals and played a few games of pool. Everyone there thought I was crazy for biking across the US. The car salesman tried to convince me that I would get there faster if I bought one of his cars. I just told him that the cost of maintenance was much lower with a bicycle.

Now that I have talked to others, who tried to follow the directions, their day was shorter in miles, but longer in hours and grief. They had to shuttle the bikes across dirt roads. This resulted in missed lunches, broken bikes (from all the bouncing around in the trailer on the dirt road), and a long time waiting. There were only two others that hitch-hiked to town, which made their day very short in miles. I am unsure why they took so long to get here though. People have not been the happiest as they are arriving. Today must have been frustrating. We started at 7 am and it is now five and only about half the group has arrived. That makes for a very long day. We will sleep well tonight!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thanks, venting, and more...

I just lost my huge posting. I will do my best to recreate most of it, but I am running our of time.

Thanks to all who are reading my blog. HBC recieved some complaints when my link was put on their website. It seems that some people don't like to look at my but. I think it is cute. I have had it all my life. If you don't like, I am sorry. Please don't scroll that far down again. But do you really have to make phone calls. Does it really offend you that much? It is my but, not yours. Please feel free to enlighten me as to why you are offended. My email is ddreyfus402@gmail.com. Thanks for letting me vent.

Now on to the good stuff...

We are Butte, MT today and tomorrow. We have a build day tomorrow. It should be great! Todays ride was beautiful. I saw an antelope, big mountains, green "blue" grass (there is a company that grows a lot of sod out here), and big skies. Montana is the undiscovered beauty of America. I can't get enough of the scenery.

I got in today and went to find food. I rode upon the Great Harvest Bread Company. I had a pastrami with swiss on spinach-feta bread. It was great! Then it was off to the library to write this post.

Most everyone is ready for two nights in a row with a roof over our head. We are having dinner at 5:30 and then the rest of the evening is wide open.

To back track a little. The best part of the Parks that we visited was on the way to the Tetons. We had lunch on a lake near the continental divide. While I was sitting on a rock at the edge of the lake a bald eagle came flying in over the lake. It perched itself on a branch in one of the trees. It sat for a few minutes then swooped down and dipped its claws in the water and flew back up into another tree. It repeated this behavior two more times. It was awesome to see a bald eagle fishing. It was huge. Steve S. reminded us that they can lift up to 30 lbs., which means that it could run off with a whole box of our food. Luckily we didn't find out if this was true.

Thanks for all the mail! The food and letters are great! We all send our love!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

New Pictures

I am in Ennis, Montana at a library and was able to get some pictures up for everyone. These are from Fourth of July to current. They are mostly in order, but a few got out of order. Please enjoy.

Today we had an awesome tailwind and flew through our 70 miles. After eating a wonderful breakfast at a cafe, (since we beat the van we had no lunch) several of us found a way into the river running through town. We waded in and dunked ourselves. The temperature got to over 100 degrees today. I can't believe Montana gets this hot! Now I am off to dinner. I have lots of good pics and stories from the Tetons and Yellowstone, but they will have to come at another time.

Odios.

I found this under an overpass, while walking around Gillette. I thought it was pretty neat.

Here are, from left, Katie, Tori, MOF, and Diana lighting sparklers on the fourth. I was playing with my shutter speed, so this picture and the next few may look funny, but it was on purpose.

The is Steve. Was he going for "S" for Steve or for the Zorro symbol...only he and I know the truth.

Here are a few people shooting roman candles over the city.

This is from fourth of July in Gillette, WY. We this is just a bunch of the people watching the fireworks. Thanks to Katie's parents and brother who provided us with sparklers, black cats, and so many other toys for the evening. We had so much fun that night!

On this day we climbed to our highest peak. We also gained the most elevation in one single day. We climbed from Buffalo, WY at 4700 ft. to Powder River Pass at 9700 ft. It was awesome to see everyone finish. We celebrated with a 20 something mile down hill through Ten Sleep Canyon. The canyon was amazing, not only because we were going downhill. It had walls and cliffs of red rock and a winding road that followed the Wind River. This all led us into the town of Ten Sleep, which has about 300 residents.

This is one of the many views that we have seen in WY. I think this is the road that led us into Wind River Canyon.

Here is Maeve and I in Thermopolis. It is home to the largest Hot Mineral Springs in the World They are free too! Something to do with the agreement between the US and the Native Americans, when the land was signed over. Anyhow, I glad it was, because I felt so good getting out. Unfortunately the day was long and I had 55 miles to go and my legs were butter. Somehow I made it...as we always do.

Here is the entrance to Yellowstone. It is Chad and I in the picture.

This is at Artist Point in Yellowstone. The canyon was formed in only 100,000 years, because of glaciers breaking off. It is extremely beautiful there. We saw moose and buffalo on the way to the falls as well.

This is one of the many geysers I saw erupt in Yellowstone, including Old Faithful. Everywhere I went I felt like these geysers were going off.

Here is Maeve and I by Morning Glory. It is a spectacular, colorful pool of hot water. The boardwalk that we are on was made out of plastic. The boardwalk saved over four million bottles of detergent from going into landfills. I thought it was cool.

Here is an elk that we saw in Yellowstone. It got up and stretched for us. Yellowstone was amazing!

Here are the Grand Tetons from a distance. We were headed into Yellowstone and had to stop for the view. This is, from left, Chad, Steve, and David.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It Has Been A While

Sorry for the lapse in writings, but I have been out of touch with the modern world. We have been going through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park in WY. They have been absolutely amazing! We have camped, ate, hiked, biked, walked, and some have crawled through beauty that I have never seen before. We have seen geysers, buffalos, elk, moose, coyote, deer, water falls, thick trees, burnt trees, purple lupine flowers (I know what it is because I saw it on a postcard), and so many other things.

I am now in West Yellewstone, Montanta. I am using someones computer to write this, so I will update again when I can find a computer to use for a while. Only 18 days and 1200ish miles left! Wow...it has flown by.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Powder River Pass is No Joke!

Today we rode over Powder River Pass and into the big town of Ten Sleep, population 302. We gained over 5,000 ft. in elevation. It was 35 miles uphill. Needless to say, it was slow going. I reached the top after 3hrs. and 15min. Most people made it in under 4hrs. It was definitely our hardest climbing day to date. After lunch and a couple of bottles of champagne, we rode down the other side. The other side consisted of over 20 miles of downhill. Wow! We cruised past gorgeous scenery in the Ten Sleep Canyon. There were huge cliffs, a river flowing strongly for this time of year (usually the rivers are drying up by now, but it has been a wet spring), and an amazing lake near the Big Horn Ski Resort.

Upon arriving into Ten Sleep, I put my bike away and headed towards an ice cream shop. I got home made Maple Nut ice cream in a waffle cone. It was delicious!

Yesterday we rode into Buffalo, WY. The town sits right by the Big Horn Mountains. It reminded me a lot of Boulder. I highly recommend this place and Hwy 16 running west towards Ten Sleep as a place to visit. I am on the laundry crew at the moment, so I helped wash and dry eight loads of laundry. Thank goodness we didn't have to fold them all. We also had a man, named Darrell, join us at lunch to ride into town. He is about 60 and just moved to Buffalo about 3 years ago, when he retired. He gave us awesome maps of our climb today. Then, this morning we had a man that runs a photography business on Main Street, named Bill, join us for our climb to the top of the pass. He was a great rider, but was unable to celebrate with us at the top, since he had to get to work. Tomorrow we have a 115 mile day. Wish us luck!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Red Neck Games On the Fourth

I have posted several new pictures. They chronicle our Fourth of July afternoon in Gillespie, WY. I was on the radio. I got to announce a Lynard Skynard tune. All those times that I yelled "Play Some Skynard" at different concerts finally came true on the radio. Please read the HBC Blog to see what else happened at the Red Neck Games. It is sure to bring a smile to your face. Click on the link to the right or follow this link http://hbc-north.blogspot.com/.

This morning we went to a coffee shop and saw a parade. Then it was off to the Games. Tonight we will have a pasta feast and then see some fireworks. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

We made it to Mt. Rushmore. It was a 20 mile climb to the top. Unfortunately there was not a 20 mile downhill waiting for us. We stirred up quite a comotion with all of our gear and jerseys. People thought we were crazy and awesome at the same time.

This clown could make a doggie balloon faster than I have ever seen.

The rock throw at the Strong Man Competition got everyone warmed up.

At the Strong Man Competition, a contender flips the tire to the finish line. We all wondered if we could flip it even once.

A cute kid showing her pride for America at the Red Neck Games. I think she will be ready for mud volleyball real soon.

Team HBC pumps itself up with a pose. How could any team have a chance against this force?