Who the Hell is maadjurguer?

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I like to ski, mountain bike, drink beer, cook and listen to any jam band I can get my hands on; all while making a complete ass of myself. Hopefully this catharsis is as interesting to others as it is to me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

09 A4 Avant vs. 08 A4 Avant

The maadjurguer has finally arrived from Ingolstadt. The 09 is the one without the bike rack and the stickers still on it….this is the maadjurguer mobile. The 08’ which is next to it is the dealers. The same rack and tint job will be applied to the 09 and I take delivery on Friday.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Busy weekend

It’s shaping up to be a fun, jam packed weekend….so, in other words; normal. For starters, my computer has been buggy lately; sending me in a panic, forcing me to consider upgrading my new video card. After spending a few hours during the middle of the night troubleshooting, I’ve been able to isolate the problem to one of my video cards which is causing some rendering problems. It never ceases to get me drooling when considering the advances in technology in just 2 years time. I can basically buy a single video card right now which will equal or exceed the performance of my dual-video card set up which was top-o-the-line 2 years ago. I probably paid 700 bucks for my two 7800GT’s back then….I can now get a single 8800GT for $159 and it will pretty much give me the same performance as my dual-card set-up…..disgusting when I consider getting two of the 8800’s running in SLI. Ahh….priorities!

Secondly, I need to go buy an iPod for the anticipated delivery of the new maadjurguer mobile. I’m perhaps one of the last folks in the industrial world under the age of 35 who has yet to purchase a .mp3 player. Until solid-state HD’s come down in price, I’m forced to use the next best thing for compact car audio storage…hence the iPod. I’ll probably pick up the biggest one they make since I intend on packing it with as many moe. and Widespread Panic shows as possible. The iPod Classic 120GB should do nicely until I can get that 500GB solid-state HD installed in the glove box.

On the food front, I’ll be cooking up some good grub this Saturday night based upon one of my favorite chefs travels to the Yucatan, Rick Bayless. I'll be cooking up some Ha Si Kil Pak con tortilla de maize, Queso Rellano con Picadillo Estilo Yucateco y Pierna de Cordero. Translation: an Aztec recipe for mole made with pumpkin seed and Habanero, a round of Mexican cheese stuffed with a Yucatecan pork stuffing and a Oaxacan style pit cooked leg of lamb which is marinated in adobo and cooked in banana leaf. I’ve done the lamb in this style many times…but have been holding off on the Ha Si Kil Pak and the Queso Rellano.

Lastly, I’ll be kicking things off on Friday by an early morning round of golf with Dr. Sooner, happy hour with our favorite Iowans and catching STS9 later that night in Tempe. I don’t think I need to mention two obvious items which I’ll be partaking of this weekend, but will highlight them nonetheless. Sooner Football with beer and riding my bike. That always comes first….at least, until ski season. Good thing college football season winds down just as the snow begins to fly, otherwise I don't know what I'd do with myself.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sh!t goes wrong Sunday

Today I had one of those rides where your flow keeps getting broken up by sh!t that just happens. For starters, I wanted to take a longer ride today; so my goal was to do at least 30 miles of singletrack from my front door, which leaves me just a few options: Hawes to Usery and back. Of course, I could pedal circles at Hawes, but that would get me a lot of vertical; not necessarily a lot of miles unless my knee suddenly decided that the IT band thing is no longer an issue.....fat chance. The weather was a bit warm, 95 degrees; but since equipping my kit with some soliditos I've been able to ward of cramping. I was ready.

The first bit of sh!t that befell me was a stranded roadie when I was taking the bit of pavement on my trek between Hawes and Usery. From the looks of it, he did not have a pump, a flat kit....or anything else a responsible cyclist should have. So I stopped and helped him out. Turns out, this was his first ride on his new shiny road bike. He asked me if I'd ever fixed a flat before....I tried not to laugh. He had his tire completely off the rim and was attempting to put the new tube onto the rim....with the air valve retaining screw...on the inside of the rim....with the tire laying on the side of the road. Again....I tried not to laugh. I just grabbed his sh!t and started fixing the flat, explaining what I was doing and why I was doing it. In a few minutes, he was all patched up and ready to go.

Having fixed sh!t problem #1, I rolled right into sh!t problem #2. I guess that during sh!t problem #1 when my camelback had been on the ground, the owner of sh!t problem #1 had accidentally stepped on my camelback while maneuvering around me trying to see what I was doing to his sh!t. He must have stepped just right on the valve portion of my drink tube with his look cleats, because now my water was leaking out of my camelback at a steady pace. At first I tried blowing air back into the tube to prevent the water from leaking out, but the gash in the tube was large enough to release the air pressure in the system and it went back to leaking....on a 95 degree day, 15 miles from where I started. So I stopped again after a mile and pulled out my leatherman, cut the bad section of tubing out, reapplied the bite valve and I was peddling my way out of sh!t problem #2.....right into sh!t problem #3....I was now low on water, only half way to my goal mileage for the day. I figured that I could detour on the way back...ride some hardball, swing by the house for some liquids and get back on the trail.

However as soon as I had mentally rectified sh!t problem #3...which would begin to be a recurring theme much like the threat of airborne herpes....I was confronted with sh!t problem #4.....my own flat. I've been running the same slime tubes all summer...but I guess the one up front finally gave up after being pin-cushioned for over 800 miles of cholla infested singletrack. It only took me a few moments to change out the tube with a new one...but these little interruptions were starting to wear on my nerves. I started playing mental games with myself as I was peddling away from sh!t problem #4...asking myself what else could go wrong. I guess I could take a bad fall or get bit by a rattler....that would top off the afternoon. Talk about a sh!t scenario compounded by the previous sh!t situations. Alone, in the desert, low on water, out of spare tubes, rattlesnake bite, 15 miles from home. Perfect.

Naturally, by letting this mental sh!t into my brain I became extra cautious and rolled my way back. I made it all the way home with no more sh!t situations to speak of. I refilled on water and rolled out the door to complete my goal of 30 miles of singletrack. Then I got the call ringing from by camelback....the call came from sh!t situation #5. Now....I'm not calling my wife a sh!t situation....I'm calling what she is driving a sh!t situation. When my wife calls with that voice....the panicky voice...I know I gotta drop what I'm doing and fix the sh!t problem otherwise I'm gonna be in....well, you get it.

Turns out, her car alarm would not stop and it had locked her out of disabling it in the parking lot at Safeway. Her sh!t situation #1, my sh!t situation #5. I told her I would be there in a jiffy....I think she expected me to roll up in my car and be there in a few minutes. 15 minutes later, I wheeled up....finding her easily in the parking lot as she was the only one with horn blaring, lights flashing. After pulling a few fuses, I was able to get the thing to shut up. From what I can tell, there was a short somewhere between the radio and the anti-theft device...so by pulling the radio fuse....problem fixed. Good thing we're getting rid of sh!t situation #5 in the next few weeks.

That's a lot of sh!t situations for one ride....the wife was perturbed by her sh!t situation #1....I wasn't feeling any sympathy because it was my sh!t situation #5. The way I see it, no one got hurt, everyone made it home to their TV dinners. Which brings to mind a great saying oft quoted by folks in the mountains having an epic: You don't have to be having fun.....to have fun. This was an easy day, not even coming close to anything resembling an epic...and as long as I never expected it to be perfect by setting that sh!t bar real low, I was going to come out ahead. I never got my 30 miles of singletrack...coming in somewhere at 23 miles singletrack, 7 miles hardball.

32 miles with 1871 ft vertical gained

Friday, October 17, 2008


Desert Classic round trip: 17.6miles with 2264ft of climbing

My lungs are still on fire, so I decided to take it easy with respect to long, continuous climbs. Instead, I decided to check out Desert Classic....which strangely, I have never done. I have to say; cutting my teeth on Hawes for the 1st 6 months of mountain biking has paid off. For being a completely new trail for me, I opened it up like I've never done on a new trail before. Granted, it's a cross-country trail with nothing close to techincal, but there are a few rock gardens which will wake your ass up if you're not paying attention. All in all, I really liked it despite the lack of any tech challenge. Carrying mega-speed via my large chainring through the nicely bermed corners was sweet and will bring me back when I'm in the need. I did start to cramp at the end since it was 95 out today and I'm out of my electrolyte drink; so I did what any illegal alien/undocumented worker would do after a day working in the sun....I bought a 24oz Tecate and a pack of saliditos. After ingesting 500% of my daily allowance of sodium via 3 saliditos (yes...only 3) and that nice icy Tecate, I was right as rain.

On another note: The ski movie stoke is in overdrive right now, so for your enjoyment; here are two links to movies which are capturing my imagination right now.

The 1st DVD is called "The Pact" by Powder Whore Productions.....a ski friend from up north turned me on to this. It's a tele ski movie....but that just makes the face-shots look more impressive. Even if you don't carve, the photography will take your breath away on this. Link is attached here. I could have used the youtube imbed video function on this video, but the youtube version was a crappy resolution. The link I provided takes you directly to Powder Whore's website which will give you a nice widescreen, high-rez version of the trailer.

The 2nd one is called "Hand Cut" by Sweetgrass productions. I've watched this several times....and I have the drool stains on my carpet to prove it. In a world of ski-porn going bigger and bigger, It's nice to see an independent film produced with more natural shots, folks earning their turns as opposed to flying off in a helo, photography reminiscent of an Ansel Adams photo spread...well, you get the point. If you feel like watching this one...come on over and bring me some beer.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Damn the golf courses

I've been battling general allergies these past two weeks since the golf courses in the valley have collectively scalped their greens and are now overseeding. Of course, this means a perpetual brown cloud of particulate matter sloshing around in the "Valley of the Sun", lapping up against the mountains like dirty bathwater on the rim of a bathtub. I happen to live and sleep on the rim of that bathtub with my riding primarily occurring on and around the rim of that bathtub...the eastern rim of the bathtub if you want to get particular about bathtubs. I'm not sure what kind of bathtub it is; porcelain, plastic or copper....I digress.

The point is that my lungs are on fire every time I have a heavy climbing ride. My breathing sounds like someone is taking hit after hit off of a bong, somewhere in my chest. Only the hit's are the invisible particles of grass, pollen, coccidioidomycosis, and good ole' fashioned dirt. Let's not forget the ever present ozone and smog too....but that's the least of my worries right now.

Don't get me wrong....I love to drink beer and head out with the buds on one of pa-honix's many 3rd tier golf courses and knock a few balls around, but the overseeding process is killing my lung capacity these days. Hell, just the other day, Dr. Sooner, his friend and I got paired up with an old lady....we'll call her Grandma. Grandma kicked our ass out there on the course....and she was trash talking us left and right. That's right....calling our drives "dainty" and our inability to make putts evidence enough of our hearing problems. Classic!

Granted, I just posted up about how I feel "ONE" with my bike....and this still remains the same. I just don't feel "ONE" with my lungs right now. Yesterday on the ride, I was hacking up a mucus pod from deep out of my alveoli and tried to spit it out after a climb up mudflaps. It formed this yellow, semi-transparent streamer coming out of my mouth, dangling between my legs yet still attached to the inside of my parched mouth. I tried ejecting it, but it actually was viscous enough to dangle over my right leg, wrap around my crank and flip up on my rear shock. This is some tough mucus. I actually had to stop, saw my front teeth back and forth to sever the "connection" between this lung butter and then scrape it off my quad and my rear shock. It was as if I had been slimed by some extoplasm from Ghostbusters.

This Friday will be another no-work Friday....which means long ride day. I hope this crap blows out of my lungs and the bathtub by Friday morning so I can enjoy my ride sans lung butter. Perhaps I should go ride Sedona on Friday....it's not like they have golf courses there......

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I don't know what it is...but I like it

I'm not sure why I feel this way because there are too many variables; but my skills riding in the last week just took an up-tick. Perhaps I was stuck on a plateau for a long time. Perhaps the summer heat which just abated in the last 10 days was holding back my strength and thus robbing me of any additional coordination and balance. Or perhaps it was because I decided to start riding all my favorite trails in reverse.

After a few days off the saddle for a nostalgic return to my youthful indiscretions, I hopped back on right after taking Marble to the airport. I could not help but think how sad it was for him to be sitting in a can while I was out enjoying 72 degree weather, full sun and some singletrack all to my self. Something came over me....I went left, instead of right at the first intersection. Before I knew it, I was flowing along a piece of trail I've done hundreds of times; only in the opposite direction. It wasn't completely familiar like driving over the same ole', same ole'; but there was enough difference for me to find a new appreciation in what I knew to be coming. Only this time, I found some new problems which I had previously sailed over heading the other way, not giving a second thought to them after the ump-teenth time riding them.

One of the rock gardens which I normally sail over going downhill became a very tricky puzzle heading up; challenging me to ratchet my crank in just the right spots to avoid hitting ground. I just love those kinds of finesse problems...challenging me to clean it. I usually give a problem like this a few tries and move on if I don't make it the first time; assuring myself that it will leave me something to work on next time.

The flowwy sections were interesting too....railing along bermed turns in the opposite direction made me feel more confident in my tracking skills. This to me is so counter-intuitive, it begs examination. You would think that the same bermed turn I've done a hundred times in one direction would see me riding the optimum path, full of confidence. However the 1st time out on one set of linked berms in the opposite direction left me feeling like I was one with my bike....hardly something I would expect from something new and slightly unknown.

The effect has been astounding. My confidence level has soared, I feel much improved from just one week ago and now the same trails taken in the direction I normally link them into, feel much more....linked. Whether I use the same direction or reverse it; for 3 days now I've gone out and tried different combination's and I get the same feeling. I feel like I've finally hit the sweet-spot between me and my bike. Pumping the rises and dips intuitively, using the momentum-flop of the front wheel to my advantage during a stalling switchback turn...it's all good these days.

This has left me with an increased desire, trouble sleeping and a giddiness for tomorrows ride which I have not had in a long time. I'm not sure how I'll feel tomorrow during my next ride, but I'm sure I'll like it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It has begun

0530 AZ time.....woke without the alarm, everyone is sleeping off the night before....I'm amped.....fire is started, oatmeal is eaten......it's game time......................it's now 1810 AZ time......all I can say is don't talk to me for a week.

Alright...now that I've had some time to sulk, here are some pics of how we rolled, before, during and waaaaaay after. This is what happens when you fill a bull shaped pinata with mini-bottles of booze.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A little corn syrup is the least of your worries

Cooked last night. When I asked my wife if using Dark Karo Corn Syrup for the glue for the letters was too much, her reply came quick and scalpel like: "Dude...we just cooked a whole pecan pie, a little corn syrup is the least of your worries." Easily the quote of the day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Meat woes

I'm actually losing sleep over the BBQ logistics.....vacillating over cooking day of the game, or a pre-cook the day before. Both have their merits, but both have their downsides as well. Generally low and slow the day of is the old school method...but the times vary wildly as to how long a piece of meat will take. It can take anywhere from 1hr/lb to 2hr/lb depending on the quality of the cut. That's a lot of variability when you're trying to target a serving time. In addition, the low and slow methods offer a few temperature plateau's which make things interesting....the meat will actually stop raising its internal temp given a constant 220 degree environment and in some cases, will fall in internal temp; only to rebound, climb and stall once more. It's enough to make your hairfall out. The upside is that this is the method which produces the tenderest piece of brisket possible with that smoke ring of mesquite-ey goodness that everyone likes to see and the dark bark found on the outside with the carmalized sugars from the dry rub. So....If I go this route, it's either gamble on a 1.5 hrs/lb average time and wake up at 0400 to start the process for a 1200 serving time....or cook the day prior and just let the chips fall where they may with the reheat the day of the game. I've heard that the reheat does not translate into much lost in the way of flavor and texture...still, the style points here irk me. If it's not ready at 1200....it's going to be tough.....the one piece of meat that the longer you cook it....the more tender it gets...as long as you keep it between 220 and 250 dome temp.

Compounding this, I'm also simultaneously planning to cook the ribs low and slow utilizing the 3-2-1 technique. This is the easy part since ribs are not as nearly as fickle as the brisket. So...my tentative itinerary is as follows:

Friday Morning:
-Coat ribs and brisket in Tuck Fexas rub. Then coat brisket in yellow mustard and apply more Tuck Fexas rub. Saran wrap each and fridge.

Saturday Morning:
-0400 - Put brisket on rack on grill, fat side down with drip pan below filled with a beer for the BBQ gods. Keep active smoke going on Bevo with a temp range of 220-250. Drink a beer.
-0600 - Put Ribs on rack over second drip pan filled with more beer for the BBQ gods. Drink more beer and wake the Sooner masses with an extremely loud Pride of Oklahoma version of Boomer Sooner.
-0700 - Gameday in Dallas begins...men drink their Arrogant Bastard, ladies drink their Bloody Mack "Mary" Browns.
-0855 - Curse Scooter for picking Texas to win the game...then cheer because when Scooter picks Texas, OU usually wins.
-0859 - Foil ribs with some mop sauce thrown in, put back on the grill
-0900 - Watch the game, trying not to spill beer on freshly cleaned carpets....why did I clean the carpet BEFORE the game....guess I'm a dumbass.
-1000 - Hope to the BBQ gods that OU is kicking ass and the brisket is close to an internal temp of 160. If so....put the briske in an extra duty foil wrap, stuff in a preheated igloo cooler with blankets to take up air volume and let it coast to an internal temp of 190 via our old pal Nicolas Leonard Sadi Carnot.
-1100 - Make my way to the grill while diligently trying not to fall into the pool on the way....un-foil the ribs and put back on the grill for the last hour. Watch as Auston English and DeMarcus Granger snap Colt "Oppie" McCoy in half....literally snap him in half. Half of the stadium in Dallas is vomiting and crying, the other half cheering and throwing empty wild turkey ass pocket flasks at bevo.
-1200 - Unwrap all the meat while celebrating total dominance over texas and chow down on some bevo....Soy Bevo for the holdout vegan in the audience.

Ohh yeah....I rode today before work:

9.4 miles, 1103ft elevation gained

Friday, October 3, 2008

Look where you want to go, not where you don't

I had to ride a long one today (Hawes-Saddle-Twisted-Wild to NRA and back to twisted-Mine-Ridge-Saguaro-Wash-Saguaro-Hawes-Home) because the weather is so nice....relatively speaking. It's still over 90...but half of the ride was in the high 80's....so you gotta be stoked about that. After a summer of 110 degree rides...spending time in the saddle in anything less than 95 degrees just give you stamina you forgot you had. I took some pics along the way that interested me.

I did however, meet up with my nemesis....the one I wrote my first blog entry about. I managed to hit it again descending the same sandy track, and the same thing happened...the thorns went into my right hand, I slid out, my Mule rolled over on top of me as I slid to a stop; but not before whacking me firmly on my helmet with it's top tube....Kids, always wear your helmet. It still amazes me how the bike can wind up ON TOP of me as I'm sliding. Guess I'll take a skinned knee over a broken derailleur hanger any day. I actually started laughing at myself before I hit the ground and when I had finally stopped, I yelled out to no one, "God-dammit you've done it again, dumb-ass!" Here's a pic of the guilty and a close up of the arm that tends to reach out and touch me. This time, I took a piece of it with me...had to pull it out of my finger with my teeth because it was stuck in there pretty good as my fingers could not get a grip.

The crime scene

Now I'd never think of thinning this out just to give me an easier ride...but if I keep hitting this damn thing every time I ride out Wild Horse....well, my body will be the one doing the thinning...not a machete.

Tiny pricklies of pain

Lastly, I finally grew the chicken McNuggets to roll the one switchback on Mine trail that I've been avoiding. The one with the actual mine shaft on the outside of the off-camber turn. I guess I got fed up doing the sissy walk and started brain-washing myself well before I came to the turn by telling myself that I've done far worse switchbacks before with no problem...never mind the mine shaft waiting to gulp you up should you fail. I mean...they filled it in, so the drop's not as bad as you think....right?, right! I just focused on looking where I wanted to go rather than looking where I didn't want to go...and Jenna rolled through like she was on rails. Gotta love progress. Now if only I could focus on not looking at the evil Cholla.

21.5 miles with 3035ft elevation gained

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Phish is Back!

It was just announced today on their website that they will be opening up the reunion with a 3-night run at the Hampton in March of 09'. I've already reserved the maximum of two tickets for each of the three nights to include a hotel reservation in Yorktown. The AP was reporting that hotels were selling out starting at 3am this morning based on the rumors alone. I can confirm that the hotels I found were booked solid....good thing I've been to a few shows in the area and all of the out of towners are sure to book on the other side of the river....crazy traffic through those tunnels. Staying in Yorktown will allow us to stay on terra firma and avoid I-64 completely.

I have to say that when I first saw the story, I thought it might be a scam as I was typing in my credit card...but then decided that I was willing to risk losing the money over a scam rather than potentially losing out on reserving tix's. Just thinking about this makes me want to "Split Open and Melt".