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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Yoshimi and the man from across the pond

Last weekend was pretty fun.....really fun. Friday and Saturday were spent at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival and Sunday was spent riding with a visitor from Brighton, England who was just starting his 2-week MTB adventure across the southwest. For starters, the music festival was lots of fun....two stand outs and one disappointment to talk about.

The first stand out band was Indigenous. If you have not heard these guys live....make it a point to go see them...they will blow your mind with their sheer talent. I often find my self saying things like, "I wish I were around when Jimi Hendrix was alive", or "folks just don't make good music like they used to". This band makes me glad I'm here right now.

Mato Nanji

John Fairchild

Aaron Wright, Jeremiah Weir and Kris Lager

The second notable was, The Flaming Lips. Regardless of what you think of their music (which I feel is effing brilliant), the visual show is amazing. The last time I saw them was DEC 1994 at the Sooner Theater in Norman, OK with my brother and a friend, Chris....I think at the time, there were only 200 folks there....I actually found some footage from that show, albeit; crappy footage with crappy sound.

Needless to say, there were more than 200 folks at this show this time around...but their stagecraft, while much more expensive and grandiose this time around, has always been an amalgamation of Dr. Seuss meets Brian Wilson. They also covered, "Borderline" by Madonna and did a heavy tease of "Purple Rain" by Prince...how cool is that! Here is a video I shot of their intro in which Wayne puts himself into a giant Hamster Ball and rolls out onto the crowd.

And here are some better stills:

Bubble Boy

I see rainbows

Cool visuals

Teletubby Parade

Touchdown Teletubby

Blowing Taps

Playing the horn with my head

Cool Smoke

Dr. Seuss and his smoke megaphone

Dr. Seuss and his loud megaphone

The disappointment of the weekend was Matisyahu. What can I say....the music off the album is cool, but I've always thought his band sucks. Well....I've seen em live, and they don't get better from the studio to a live stage. Compounding this disappointment, he only played for an hour....I guess all the better...that just means I got 2 hours of Railroad Earth who kicked ass. Typical PHX people were also a bummer...most of the folks showed up, not for the festivals many talented acts leading up to the final billing...but to hear Matisyahu....I think there were more folks present for Matisyah than for the Lips! Like I said...typical PHX. They probably all left after the Matisyahu performance to go wait in line for a table at The Olive Garden.

As for the riding part, a gent from Brighton, England posted up a month or two ago on the MTBR forum about taking a 2 week MTB vacation in the Southwest and was wanting to find some folks to ride with for his first day out at Hawes. Since I live 6/10 a mile from Hawes, I was game to show him around. Joining us were liteandfast and NMPhi767. We rolled 25 miles on the day with 3625 ft in elevation gained. Afterwords, we rode to Joe's for some Arrogant Bastard and some pub grub.

Me on the rock switchback

Bearing Down


Cool shot, but you're too tall

Big Rock

Mine switchback exit

Iron Cross Blister Beetle (Tegrodera aloga)

Mine Runout

Tree switchback

Arrogant Bastard - The beer, not the bloke

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Liquid Dog Poo

Mrs. Maad and I just recently had our anniversary....the 4th to be precise. Following last years lead, we headed up to Sedona for some bike fun and some food fun. For starters, we decided on spending a little less this year than last....so instead of going here once, we went here a lot! I'm not bagging on a good bottle of wine....the Sea Smoke Southing Pinot Noir we had last year changed our lives....but so did the Munich Märzen seasonal brew we latched onto for our long weekend in Sedona this year. But as every good tale is told....you gotta go through some shit just to get to the happy ending.

Backing up, I had made reservations at a "pet friendly" motel over the internet. Upon checking in, I noticed the desk lady to be overly pushy...in a slightly annoying fashion. Maybe it was the way she insisted on taking forever while finding the map of the motel complex, all to show me my room location after I insisted I could find room 132 by myself. I mean....who get's lost in the parking lot of a budget motel? The fact that I wanted to get checked in, take care of the dogs, unload the car and ride my bike to the brewery ASAP did not help....this lady was in my way. However, I pushed the irritation back into my skull and faked a smile while this irritating lady found the "map" of the complex and wasted my time.

Upon reaching the room, we unloaded the entire car first...leaving the dogs and their crates for last. After shuffling the dogs into the room and leaving them with Mrs. Maad, I returned to the car to grab the crates. Upon my return to the room, I found my wife frantically trying to get Stella Blue (my 86lb German Shepherd Dog) into the bathroom and onto the safety of the tile. But it was too late.....Stella had shot liquid dog poo in several spots on the carpeting (she gets anxious sometimes in the car). Just as this lovely moment was unfolding....a knock on the door came.

Shuffling the dogs into their crates against a cacophony of barks and the stench of liquid dog poo, I opened the door to find the annoying lady from the front desk. She was mad....Absolutely No Pets Allowed. Stepping outside and closing the door behind me, I told her that when I made the reservations, I specifically stated this was to be a pet room and that all (motel chain withheld) locations are supposed to allow pets. She stated that this is dependent on the owner of the franchise and that I signed something yellow which meant I agreed to no pets.

I stated up front that I had not signed anything yellow...she insisted I signed something. I insisted back that I signed no such thing. In her rudeness....I wanted to belt her...not slap...belt her. But being a civilized person and not currently under sharia law....I told her we would pack up and leave. Returning to the shit-hole....Mrs. maad and I went into overdrive. Paper towels were engaged, baby wipes were deployed and perfume was expelled. Surprisingly...all of the poo came up, the baby wipes worked their magic....but the perfume made the room smell like.....well....a pile of dog poo with perfume on it.

We packed up all of our things back into the car and I turned on the bathroom fan....planning for the inevitable conversation when they would want to inspect the room. I had planned on telling them I took a huge dump, but was nice enough to leave the fan on for them.

Returning to the front office, I turned on the schmooze factor. Apologizing for the inconvenience, I asked for my refund.....some shuffling and some muttering came from this piece of work behind the desk. I distinctly heard her mention, "hrmmm....I can't believe I did not have you....Mr. maadjurguer....here is your refund". Walking away...quickly....I realized that I WAS right.....I never signed for the room because she had forgotten to make me sign the "yellow piece of paper which clearly states no pets allowed".

Quickening my stride....I mouthed to Mrs. maad....lets get the hell outa here! Making our escape....we both laughed as I showed her my receipt which showed a credit to my card. Now, I feel bad about the poo....I'm not inhuman. But we cleaned it up...and a few open windows and a bit of time will clear the rest up. However...given the lady and her rudeness, both before she "had a problem" with us and after when insisting that I had signed something when I had clearly not signed something....I think she got what was coming to her. The rest of the story is anti-climatic....we found a lovely place which was happy to take pets...was nicer...and even had complimentary dog bones at the front desk. Best Western....west Sedona....all the way!

I mentioned that you often have to wade through poo before getting to the good stuff....so as you have wadded through this pile of written poo as we waded through real poo in Sedona....I give you the good stuff.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mack Brown rewrites history....again

All I've been posting lately are bike or ski related posts.....but nearly at the same time, two different people who know me brought something to my attention which drew me out of the powder-lust and bike riding fantasy world I've been living in since the end of college football 08'.

Some of you who were following the blog last year may remember a tongue in cheek article I posted which was written at Mack Brown's expense regarding his revisionist history. Now....I'll be the first to admit it was a farce....lest you really believe that Hitler invaded France simply for style points....but I digress.

However....this time....it's for real! Mack Brown and the university of texas whorns are rewriting history because they can't stomach the fact that they didn't win the Big-12 trophy this year........The University of Oklahoma won that distinguished trophy. Granted...it was through the BCS formulation....but can anyone(aghem....Mack) actually claim to be the real winner in a game such as chess, even though they lose, simply because "the rules suck"? Of course not.

If any of you would like to see how this sleaze bag is rewriting history....it involves the "removal" of an asterisk and a Bevo size pile of hubris. Oh yeah....the president of that stockyard of a school down in Austin is also spending school money to "award" the coaches for winning the Big-12. Shocked that even the administration would get involved? Don't forget; over-sized egos combined with delusions of grandeur have been a UT hallmark since the Alamo. I guess even the president of UT was not immune to the sultry advances of ole Mack which have been perfected in numerous illegal recruiting trips and smarmy tactics aimed at wooing impressionable youths. Sounds to me like these guys think they're the Ewing boys off of the TV show, Dallas. It's as if they'd rather spend money better spent elevating the academics of that penis colony (err....penal colony) they call a university on more plasma screens for Mack Brown's house.....think I'm making that up too.....well after you watch the video above....read this. By the way.....is it too soon to put my "Countdown to OU-texas" up on the blog???

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Coming to Grips

This is a story about fun, and pain. First the fun (photo taken by TheBarqsMan)

A number of us had recently read a post on MTBR regarding the San Tan's. Previously thought to be flat, sandy (as in wash sand) and full of horse poo and rude horse people who think they own the trail and that there is nothing wrong with the trail being 10 feet wide....that's why it's been overlooked......that is, until we all saw this(click on the video below to play).

First of all....props to ruppguts for composing such a beautiful video that deviates from the plethora of helmet cam gnar videos....this one actually makes me want to ride just to ride. Something I do anyways....but always find a way to mess it up by setting "goals". More on that "goals" part in a bit. Anyways.....riding just to ride is as simplistic as it is peaceful, beautiful, transcendental, and rejuvenating. This video captures it all from the music....and how about that scenery and the sunset! To this point....we had to try it. I'll state up front...it is sandy...but not all course grained....mostly finer grained sand which when wet will allow bikes to rail the corners. We went on a weeknight....and there were no horses. HUMINT tells us that if you want to enjoy the bike...don't go on the weekend unless you enjoy swimming with the flies swarming the freshly deposited horse shite and rude looks from horse people. Lastly...it's a great place to do some high speed runs in the middle and large chain ring....lets face it....most of us only use that large chain ring when we're descending the chute of rocky death just to avoid chain-slap. This time...I actually used it to pedal...and not on the road!

Now....for the pain part

I chose to do a Quadruple Bypass. For those not familiar with the Quad...it is simple. The McDowell Mountains located between North Scottsdale and Fountain Hills have a couple of major passes which are traversed by trails. The Quad is....you guessed it....a ride that passes over 4 of those passes. Windgate, Bell and Sunrise...and then back to Windgate. The overall mileage is not bad at all...only 33 miles....something I do regularly. However.....the elevation gained is a little more interesting. At 6,900ft gained on the day....over Hike-A-Bike conditions and some rough terrain.....you'd better be packing a lunch (3 cold tacos from Del Taco). As you can see from my GPS track overlaid on Google Imagery above (follow my path by starting on the left and travel to the right).....I did not complete the loop. I did 3 out of 4 passes....and then a few miles onwards to the 4th pass....my IT band started stabbing me with those tiny ice picks of pain. It was at this point I had one last bail option before committing myself to the last 11 or so miles. The pain was such that it was increasing fast...but I knew that I could make it despite the pain...however this would cost me in lost time on the bike in the coming weeks due to a tougher and slower recovery. The "Pain dilemma" I've faced myself with dozens of times before was here again. This time, I came to grips with my body and did the right thing....I regretfully informed the group that I would bail and find alternative transportation back to my car (my neighbor Steve....Thank You!). I essentially rolled downhill into a random subdivision....found an address and started dialing.....I am such a weenie.

I am pissed at my knees for forcing this indignity upon myself...but I also know that the alternative would have left me proud tonight drinking Arrogant Bastard...but dealing with a crappy knee for the next 3 weeks. Furthermore....I would have been very grumpy the next 3 weeks because I would have to scale back my riding....this makes me very grumpy...I throw fits like a child kind of grumpy. In the end....I was able to roll 23 miles with 5,199 ft of vertical gained. I would have been happier with 33 miles and 6,900ft....but my decision has...hopefully...enabled me to have a shorter and easier recovery and get back on the bike again soonest. Unfortunately....it means I did not reach my goal. Like Yoda, I'm a goal oriented person...."Try not.....do....or do not....there is no try". Today, I came to grips with not doing this......

......but looking forward to recovery rides in the San Tans and elsewhere......enjoying the ride with the goal of.....enjoying the ride.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Things seen and poorly explained

I had a great easy ride on Sunday, listening to some head music by Coyote Oldman....rolling through the colors of the desert, stopping to investigate anything that caught my fancy.

I heard...not saw....a swarm of killer bees somewhere off in the canyon....the sound was amazing...like a low, reverberating C note. It's sound was focused off of the canyon walls and channeled down towards me on the trail....I moved on.

Hummingbirds were everywhere....stopping to investigate the red on my SRAM cassette as it lay propped against a saguaro...what a disappointment that must have been to taste what looked like a spiky white flower with red innards...only to come away with the metal/grease taste of a well maintained drive train.....I moved on.

Lizards were out sunning themselves on rocks, looking like yogi's in upward dog poses...leaping off boulders upon my approach and sprinting down the singletrack ahead of me....beating me in the process before veering off the track under some brittlebrush.....I moved on.

Snakes were everywhere also, giving my heart a stop as I bunny-hoped over some of them. Some of them, seen to late, were run over...only to continue on after flattening their bodies beneath my knobbies. Luckily, none of them were rattlers.....I moved on.

Fuzzy giants

Fallen Giant...note the impaled bee...SOL

Gold in the hills

What a saguaro sees when trying to look at its feet

Every Rose has it's thorn...or two.


Hedgehog flower

The one I had to bunny hop