Saturday, January 26, 2008

Free Beer!

Got all excited today to see Arrogant Bastard in a sixer. Oaked means better, right? Apparently not to my taste buds. Michele didn't like the A.B. in the first place and mom finds it to be too ale like for a dark and to dark for an ale.

So, if your in Seattle, of age, and think you might like it, there's five and three quarter bottles left for the taking. Of course, I could just send it back down to Portland with mom. Pat'll drink it, he'll drink anything!

Friday, January 25, 2008

STS: My Mother the Fooder

In honor of my mother's impending visit I thought I'd go ahead and share a story about her. First a little back story, my mom is a fooder. A fooder is a person who recalls significant life events not by what took place but rather by what was consumed. A fooder will hit twelve different grocery stores shopping for the best deals but has no qualms about dropping ten bucks on a quarter pound of the "right" cheese.

So about seven years ago or so my parents were in a similar situation to the one they're in now. Dad was living in a crappy apartment in Eatonville, WA working at a new job and mom had stayed behind in Missouri to sell the house. Michele and I drove over from Spokane to visit and mom and sister were flying in for the weekend. On the drive down to Eatonville from the airport the conversation centered around the usual topic, food.

At some point I brought up one of my favorite meals from my childhood, Egyptian lamb croquettes. I hadn't had them in I'm guessing, 7 or 8 years. Mom used to make them occasionally as we were growing up and I had fond memories of them. They don't take much to make but a little foresight is necessary to gather up the required spices and the ground lamb. I should mention that the ground lamb is not an off the shelf item, mom would have top make a special trip to the butcher to get the right cut and have it ground, so you can imagine the reaction in the car at what mom said next.

"Oh, I've got some ground lamb in my carry on, we can have croquettes for dinner tonight."

Mom just sat there shocked and confused as the rest of the car exploded in laughter. If I remember correctly, I almost drove off the road I was laughing so hard. To this day she still doesn't get the joke.

Here's mom now, adjusting her glasses in my general direction.

Who knows what kind of hijinks will ensue this weekend.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Back in the Saddle

It's been a full four weeks since I've last been on a bike. Even though I only rode a couple of miles just to grab a paper it still hurt a little. Since it's been so long I was also able to make a couple of interesting observations about the El M. It's got a little more wheel flop than I had previously noticed. It's not extremely pronounced like it was on Michele's bike at 130mm but you can start to feel a little pull at around ten degrees or so. That may very well be a big part of the good handling on tight trail. I was running off-road pressure for my little pavement ride and I am still amazed by how much is soaked up by the big wheels and fatty tires. The joints in the road nearly disappeared, but on the other hand I could definitely feel the resistance on the road thanks to those tires.

On a slightly different note, I think I might need to make some small cockpit changes, both in adjustment and gear. On the gear end it's nothing unexpected, it's really time for me to get the saddle my ass seems to enjoy most and I've got a set of Ourys sitting on the workbench just itching to go on. Mom and grandma are in town next weekend, so it's pretty unlikely I'm going to ride again until the following weekend. I'm going to have to start ramping shit back up again soon if I intend to follow through on some of my big summertime plans.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I went and checked out the Steilacoom Tribal Center today with Paul and Sean. I had agreed some time ago to have a look see and give my honest assessment of where they need to direct their limited renovation funds.

The building is an old church built around the turn of the century. It was a home for an unknown period of time up until the late eighties when the tribe took possession and it became their museum.

Water intrusion.

Porch roof falling away.

A good number of other problems accompanied by very uninteresting photos. Anyway, I think this building could easily eat up a half a million, but the tribe doesn't have that so I'll be working up a list of priorities for them to consider. It's a bit of a drive to get to Steilacoom from Seattle so I don't know how involved I'll be in the actual work, but I'll post updates as they occur.

An interesting side note, the house that Tim and Lucy want me to build in the summer of 2010 is located just a short ferry ride away from the tribal center. Maybe I'll be more help to the tribe if that project comes to fruition.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Why I should have ridden my bike this weekend...

... and what I did instead.

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Seattle, the sun was out and the temps were in the low 50s. I really should have gotten out, but what I was doing instead was installing sound deadening materials in the Element, all weekend. I've had two main complaints about the E since I got it. One is the lousy cupholder placement for the front seats and the other is the amount of road noise. The cupholders I can't do anything about but I thought I might have a shot dealing with the noise. So armed with 120 sf of sound deadening material and a few hand tools I spent ~12 hours tearing apart the inside of my car. The end result is a significantly quieter ride where the freeway is fairly smooth but where it's bad, the noise is still as well. Although not my intended purpose, the stereo now sounds amazing, even after I forgot to plug the subwoofer back in.

Anyway, the real point of this post is to point out the fact that the blog has changed. If you weren't here in the beginning, this was supposed to be about weight loss and ride reports. Now it's more about the general comings and going in the life of Sean. There will still be ride reports and the name won't change(I still kind of like it), but there will be more than just bikes.

On that note, I've finalized my plans for joining Star for her wintertime extravaganza at Red Mountain. I'll be picking up Crazy Joe in Spokane and heading up there the weekend after the NAHBS. February should be fun. Also, Mom and Grandma will be here for a visit in a couple of weeks, Mom's the ultimate fooder and I'm looking forward to taking her to some good eats.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dream Job

This job would kick some serious ass, at least that's what I want to believe. Too bad I'm completely unqualified.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

STS: The Emergency Traction Kit

This is the first(and maybe the last) of the Sean Tells Stories series. Enjoy(or don't, what the fuck do I care).

During my high school years I did my fair share of stupid shit. This is one of those times.

It was wintertime during my senior year in high school and I was returning home from my job at the video store in the very early AM. I turned off the highway into my neighborhood to find glare ice everywhere, as in a perfectly smooth, mirror like surface. So there I was, my house 50 yards to my right and ahead of me, 1/4 mile of deserted, super wide, kick ass ice. I figured what could it hurt to make one quick pass? There I went power sliding the '84 Vanagon like a mad man, a couple perfect cookies at the end of the block, one more time and I was ready to go home. On the return trip I lost it, the van was oriented a perfect 90 degrees to the direction of travel moving at 20 miles per hour. Turned into the skid, nothing. Out of the skid, nothing. After a hundred yards or so I finally stopped and let the van roll forward into the curb. I took a second to realize nothing had happened and I was completely in the clear.

Now it was surely time to go home. I put the van in reverse, let out the clutch, and went nowhere. The slight camber in the road was enough to overcome the studded snow tires and wouldn't let me get anywhere. I even let the clutch out without gas and could walk around the van while it spun it's tires at idle. I started to consider my options: I could walk home, wake up dad, and get some help(oh, hell no). I could walk home, go into the garage, get the chains, and risk waking my dad(worse than waking him intentionally). The last option and the only viable one as far as I was concerned was to stay at the van and figure it out.

So there I am, standing at the back of the van, staring at the rear tires(and my feet) when I had an idea. I was wearing sandals and some very nice thick green socks. So I stripped off my socks and stuffed them behind the tires hoping to buy some traction. When I tried to move I watched socks go flying off in front of the still stuck van, no such luck. Not ready to give up I started looking around for what else I had that might help me out when I saw my bottle of Gatorade on the floorboard. I collected my socks and put them back in position and soaked them in the drink. After a couple of minutes they were nice and frozen and just enough to get me rolling. I got back a couple feet, rolled forward bounced off the curb and made it all the way to the middle of the street. I jumped out, peeled up my socks, and drove home. Once there I disposed of my socks properly(or so I thought) and went to bed.

I moved to Denver the following August and sometime before coming back to Spokane for Christmas I recounted the story to my mother on the condition that my father never find out. Of course she remembered the incident from the vantage point of finding my damaged socks in the recycle bin the next day and interrogating me about it. I don't recall that part of it but I was reported to be less than forthcoming with any sort of explanation.

This is what was what was waiting for me under the Christmas tree that year from my dear old dad.

And that's when I learned never to trust my mother.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Christmas Card

This is a word for word excerpt from a Christmas card we recently received from an old boss of mine(and a good friend). I think it's well worth putting up here, even if for no other reason than to let my mother read it.
The Ol' Pegmeister's(the dog) put on a few pounds for the holidays, grubbing on stuff like date balls and green bean casserole! Oh - and a bag of pot.

Long story short...(oh, God, I sound like Sean's old boss) We noticed that Peg was unusually lethargic recently, barely moving from her throne, a heap of dirty laundry. Never one to pass on a tasty tidbit of deer leg, Peg would awaken briefly, only to sniff the good grub before her, uninterested. Chasing Roxy(the other dog) was out as well. No more taunting crazy-ass coyotes from the deck either. Squatting to pee was about the only exercise the Ol' Peg Legger agreed to, so I made an appointment with the vet. Was it worms? Exhaustion from a marathon possum hunt? Nope. It turns out she was stoned. About the time Peg had slipped into a stupor, a bag of weed had also disappeared. Actually, the plastic baggy had been oddly left behind. Intact except for a small puncture in the bottom corner, (a perfect imprint of the Peg's slender snout) the quart size bag was empty.

We confronted one young gentleman whose name will go unmentioned. Of course, it was a mystery! Not only did the pots disappearance surprise him__he'd never realized it had been confiscated! For months everyone but dad had been a potential suspect. Hidden behind a bookcase, the bad-ass bud had been removed from the bag: Had mom and dad hit the pipe? Was it the little Filipino dude/adopted son who sneaked into the library? Or, a more likely scenario__this ass kickin' shit had simply been Raptured! Ascended to the heavens. A sacrifice to the cannabis gods.

And so... it is what it is. A passive aggressive little family drama, played out to its tragic end. Boy smokes dope. Parents know boy smokes pot. Dad finds pot and frets in silence. Mom gets drunk and prays that son won't be a pothead. Dad hides pot. Another day in paradise, though, with a third eye always wide open... and you know the rest of the story.
The "Sean Tells Stories" series will start soon with much fanfare and hit the back burner faster than the latest American Pie movie.

Monday, January 7, 2008

All Funked Up

I don't know what the hell is going on but I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I don't think I've ever experienced the S.A.D. or even if that's what going on. Anyway, as long as I'm not on my bike and at home in front of the computer I'm going to try and do some half-assed storytelling in the next few days. Kick off planned for later tonight.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Passion at seventy five percent!

That's pretty good since I was around fifteen or so yesterday. I blame the good company and the great snow.

Star rocking, as always. She's a better boarder than I am and likely always will be. I don't have a problem with that.

Any time the shitty goggles don't fog up is a good day by my standards.

Lara and Shannon in the parking lot. They're friends of Star's and loads of fun. I'd certainly ride with them again.

More words possible in the near future, but don't hold your breath.