Taz spinning outa control

Friday, January 04, 2008

View from the cockpit

Well, I have been threatening to post some pictures from my rowing single on Lake Geneva and here they are. I have been rowing the last few days and it is quite mesmerizing with the Alps lingering all around the lake.

We'll start with my new friend called "Nimbus".

Picture looking back at the rowing club after just leaving the dock.

This next is as I am rowing away from the boathouse looking back on the Swiss Alps.

Here is a look to my left at the city of Lausanne. If the sky was a bit clearer you would see the Swiss Alps in the background.

Beautiful view of the merging of the Swiss and French Alps.

The heart of the French Alps looking across the lake. I get a little vertigo if I stare too long.

The weight room at the rowing club with you know who grinding away on the trainer.

My room of pain where I am trying to get back some rowing form just for fun.

They have lots of pictures of the Canadian team to show good technique. Many of my lightweight friends from home, but sadly none of me or Betina. I'll have to sneak one in there before I leave. ;)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Already! Wow

Happy New Year to everyone. Yah, even that kid that used to kick my ass at lunch time just for fun. I met him later in life and I'd love to say he didn't look so bad anymore, but he actually looked worse. Just one tough guy.

Some more of my European knowledge nuggets.

- No matter how hard you try to avoid hitting people in the malls you fail. Even picking a corner tucked far away from everyone still got me bumped a few times. Oh, there are no seats in the malls, hence trying to rest while standing. It seems like people navigate by bumping...

- Here in Switzerland lights go red, then yellow, then green. I have no license for that stuff??

- Also, about the lights, your light is strategically planted before the entrance to the intersection only. This means if you nudge too far forward you pass you light, and have no idea when you can go. Also, makes trying to predict the light switching extremely hard on a cyclist. I've had to learn a whole new basket of tricks.

- If you want to feel like 5' 10" is a giant then travel to Spain. The majority of the men are short and mostly look like either boxers or wrestlers. Maybe it was our hunt for cheap accommodations that created this view.

- They have multi-level grocery stores! I got about half-way through the groceries and couldn't find the nuts, cereal, milk, etc. I saw the escalator but immediately thought it was up to the rest of the mall. When I scoured the store again for the missing items with no luck I took a closer look and realized people were going up there with the shopping carts. I thought the carts were being held level by the owners but when I got there I realized there was a separate escalators for the carts. You and your balanced cart travel side-by-side up or down the escalators. I'll try to get a picture next time. Words can't describe how cool this looks.

- Rooms with a kitchenette in Spain seemed to always have a few handy things in the fridge. A bottle of wine, an energy drink, and a Beer! The first time I thought it was left behind by the privious renter, so immediately drank the Beer in fear they might return to collect. Then when we got our 2nd room we had the same. Opps... Just in case we were following an absent-minded renter, I again quickly drank the beer. ;)

- They have a "Cheers" bar in Spain?? A perfect model with the Indian, and a porcelain Norm with a beer in hand and all.

- Europeans love small dogs more than Americans

- Going into underground parking with anything bigger than a Geo Metro will cost you a lot of time shifting through your gears trying to stop from scrapping up your car.

All for now. Lets all make 2008 one to remember and cherish forever!

Friday, December 21, 2007

cheapest Schokolade!

I found it. 43 cents/100g! That is also 43 cents in francs. It is more like 38cents US/100g. Alright, I can afford to live over here now. ;)

I'll continue my search, but I think the bar is pretty high now and it will take a miracle to clear.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The European Life

Well it has been almost 3 weeks now and I have some opinions forming that I need to express.

- the cheese really smells bad over here, but tastes great

- chocolate is the food of choice because it is by far the best price per calorie.

100g chocolate = 55 cents
100g beef = $4.50
100g potato chips = $5
100g of veggies = don't ask. Only the middle/upper class can be vegans

- the biking is fantastic! Even when the roads are supper narrow the cars only pass when they can give you at least 5 feet clearance. It seems like most of the roads are just large bike paths anyway. ;)

- the people are either super friendly or super snooty. Yesterday we had to visit three restaurants before we found one that would let us put our bikes in front of the store. The sad part was two of the rejects were in the designated Olympic Park area. So much for sport friendly...

- The Eurorail is awesome, always on time, super fast, super clean, but... They fail miserably in my books. Some of the train cars have places to put your bike, but to my surprise, in my first ride, I was fined because I didn't buy a extra 1/2 price ticket for my bike. In the kiosk there was a picture of a man and dog for the 1 1/2 ticket and a man for the 1. I guess my bike is a dog. That was the last time I plan on traveling by train if I can avoid it. I have been biking the 1+ hr to work instead to save the 11+5.50 per trip cost. I can make the commute on just about 100g of chocolate, so it is a real saver. ;)

- People here are absolutely fanatical about turning stuff off. Not just hitting the power button, I mean turning down the volume on a stereo, turning the power off, and unplugging it. Hell if they could dismantle it and store it in baggies I bet they would. I say it like I dislike, but part of me thinks it is very considerate and environmentally friendly. It speaks of hypocrisy though, because the extra time it took them to leave a room, they make up for on the local streets driving like maniacs. You never cross a street unless you can see a good 100m in both directions. Yikes

- We should take a good lesson from European parking. They pack the cars so tight together I have no idea how they are going to get out. While I was sitting in a coffee shop I witnessed how it happens. It took one driver about 5 minutes of edging back n forth, before he was safely squeezed between two other cars. He came in, ordered a coffee (took about 2 minutes) and then took another 5 minutes to get the car out. Amazing stuff...

Well enough of my rants. I'll wait until I have some interesting photos to post for my next scribblings.

Au revoir

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Evian - more than just bottled water

Your friendly neighborhood blog failure here. I've been fighting the injustices of the world and got distracted from my blogging obligations. So much so, that my cartoon partner in life is now more connected than I. You read that correct! The roadrunner (aka BamBam) is blogging. To check her out go to


We got a new camera and she has control so lookout.

For those that don't know, we are now in Lausanne Switzerland. I know, life is tough. Today we biked half-way around Lake Geneva into Evian, France for some Crepes and Beer/wine. Betina couldn't resist and had to order a bottle of Evian water. It wasn't until she ordered it that I realize the significance. Slow mind, but fast legs. ;)

We then waddled ourselves down to the Ferry and took a cozy seat on the Ferry back to Lausanne. It dropped us off within 200 ft of our apartment. Awesome Day!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gunite old dirt Backyard, Hello drink floats!

Today they are blowing in the Gunite (i.e. cement). So far so good, and things are still on track to have it completed for the wedding visitors.

Yesterday was Nevada City, and that race never ceases to be a blast. Last year was a big confidence builder for me, and this year was just over the top. The team road out of their skins and we got both myself and the blogGod himself off solo! Who'd a thunk...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

BamBam breakout!

I knew it was coming, just not sure when.

Today BamBam lived up to her name. Working for her teammates at TriPeaks she covered attack after attack during the final road race. Getting 5th in the time trial the day before she was starting to gain confidence in her abilities after coming off a cold just before Gila. After lots of efforts a group finally got the better of the chasing field. It had a Curi (Webcor), Cromwell(Colivitas), Gilmore, Spors(Arizona U), Ziergler(Velo-Bella) and BamBam. They got to the base of the final climb with a small gap on the field and then Curi and BamBam went to work dropping the others. My girl jumped for the win with 800-900m remaining and got her first NRC win of her career! Yippeee. She moved up to 2nd overall in GC (cycling news got it wrong) even though her own team set tempo going into the climb to keep the break from going too far up the road. Doh! Hopefully, they will have more faith next time.

Cycling News Report

I got one happy girl on her way back across the country tonight. I've been feeling slightly guilty lately because of my recent success in the P/1/2, knowing just how much she has put into training this year. I have no problem blowing off workouts when life just gets too much to bare. She is more focused than me, though, and does a much better job keeping cycling on the top priority list.

Nice to see the dedication turning into real results. Being fit and motivated enough to take advantage of an opportunity is the key. Patience will always reap rewards.

This just in: The whales in Sacramento are finally turning around and heading back out to sea. Talk about taking a wrong turn.