Come ride with me

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not giving up on heroes

I was on a century ride yesterday and I overhead a few of my bike club teammates remark about how they no longer were 'investing' in heroes (related to Lance Armstrong and all the rest....). I wrote recently about how I'm feeling more cynical, more reluctant to be a 'fan' than ever before...but I'm not ready to give up having heroes.
But I think my appreciation of heroes and heroic actions is different now--if not better. It's more personal--vs. media-generated. Many of my heroes are actually people you've never heard of. For example:
My mother and father are long gone, but I continue to be inspired by their courage/work ethic.
My father was an illegal alien from Germany who boarded the Queen Elizabeth secretly and hid in cargo when it crossed from England to New York, after WWII. My mother was a green-card immigrant from England who came to California after the war to 'start a new life'. I'll tell you about how they met in another post--it didn't go so well at first.
Sometimes I have anxiety to travel by myself...what my mother and father did, in leaving their birth homes with practically nothing, is incredible. And my father didn't speak very much english either.
My wife, Karen, is a hero: heading off to teach a 5th grade class every day. Today the argument is that our teachers are failing our children....more like parents are failing their responsibilities.
My best friend, Irv, reinvented himself over 20 years ago, giving up a lucrative career as an executive in the food business to be a track coach, at considerably less money...but coaching was his passion, and he had the guts to follow his heart.
My former work colleague, Bonnie, lost her teenage daughter in a car accident...but instead of pulling in/giving up, she reinvented herself and went back to school and became a surgical tech. Bonnie is a hero.
So are the Marines in Afganistan and
U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmers...
I'm not giving up on heroes.
Come ride with me.

Not celebrating or crying...

First, I'm not saying that Lance, Arnold or even Oscar are/or were my 'heroes' but at different times each inspired me to do things I may not have done--ethical stuff of course. With the impending fall of each of them I for one am not celebrating or crying--I think I'm just sorry for myself that I may becoming more cynical instead of inspired.
So, I can't help but wonder: who's next? I'm hoping I won't have to read some scandal involving Carl Edwards (NASCAR driver) or Gene Hackman or Denzel Washington. And if Penelope Cruz is really a terrorist and Willie Mays used steroids, please don't tell me...especially if you come ride with me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What I wouldn't give

A long ride on my bike in the sun, along a river and I start dreaming....

así, esto es para mi Querida:

"Everyone sees the long day through
Now what would I do without the nights and the phone
And the chance just to talk to you
Oh, what would I do now
Hey, just to talk to you, a thousand miles away, hey hey
What I wouldn't give for only one night, a little relief in sight....
When the sun sinks low all around
That's when I know I, I need you now
Yes you're what I miss, every little kiss..."

Come ride with me.

(and thanks Bruce Hornsby for "Every Little Kiss")

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I must be a Mayan

I've been feeling sorry for myself--sorry that winter has lasted into April here in Seattle...but more sure than ever that when I'm in the sun, my world changes for the better...

Two weeks ago I 'took myself' to Talladega to see a NASCAR race (no, Mrs. Schmidt doesn't do NASCAR), and I had a blast...Sweet Home Alabama....and 75 degrees/blue skies! And if you were wondering if NASCAR fans (those in the South) are a bunch of redneck hillbilly drunks, forget it: I was there--never saw a fracas, mostly met southern hospitality---NASCAR fans are far more civilized than soccer, hockey, college football fans; well, that's my experience. Go Carl Edwards! And now a week or so later, that area where the race was was hit by horrible tornadoes: I am blessed to have enjoyed the best of the south and to have avoided the worst of nature....

Last week I planned to go to San Diego to bodyboard (some folks refer to it as boogie boarding, but I prefer the more 'authentic' description) but foggy mornings and cold water led me to change my mind: so I went to Palm Springs and the Ace Hotel. And if you've never been to one of the Ace's properties, go!.. they have properties in Portland, Seattle, NYC and Palm Springs. They are a true reinvention of the hospitality industry, and are the brainchild of Alex Calderwood, a guy who started barber shops in Seattle, called Rudy's (no relation). The Ace in Palm Springs attracts 'Hollywood types'--code for creative people/fun people. I met an assistant director and a couple of costume buyers from Vancouver, Canada, and it's only coincidental that they were all very attractive and bright ladies. Each seemed to exude a 'work hard and play hard' attitude with real integrity that was so refreshing. And did I mention the sun: 85 degrees and blue skies, and misters! Love those misters. Freaky looking pool attendants who brought drinks efficiently, and who looked like they were members of Pearl Jam.
This past weekend in Seattle was mostly sun on Saturday and all sun on Sunday...and I did over 100 miles of cycling--Saturday with my club, Eastgate, and then on Sunday with my buddy, Chris, who is training for a big ride next weekend in California.

I must be a Mayan; I love the sun, it changes me--it makes me feel optimistic, energized...and if reinvention is my goal, it's going to have some kind of sunshine as part of it....

And now that the sun is out, come ride with me!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ed Ames - My Cup Runneth Over

Happy Valentines Day

To all the women I have loved...especially to the ones I love now, my Karen and my daughter, Kate--"my cup runneth over with love".
Ed Ames, who used to play an Indian on TV, to Fess Parker's Daniel Boone, sings this song wonderfully, eternally....and I'm a sucker for it; whenever I hear it, I feel blessed to have loved, to emotion that has probably caused more wars, created more music and heartache than any other emotion. It has tested my soul...but if I was left with only one feeling in my life, it would be love. So, to the ones I've loved (and many of you didn't love me back, that's OK) and to the ones I love now, Happy Valentines Day! I love you.

Just own the night...

Maybe no better place to see reinvention taking place than at the Grammy Awards. I'm not a big awards show fan--everyone says that, but we watch, right?!--but the Grammys are cool, keen, groovy and many times have you seen the 'new' Madonna?...
"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind, wanting to start again, you know that there's still a chance for you, because there's a spark in you, you just gotta' ignite the light, and let it shine, just own the night...."
These young, new kids are terrific...weird yes!...and as much as I think "I could do that", no, I wouldn't; they are indeed special, talented: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga...
I can't wait to see them reinvent because they will. Reinventing takes talent. And these kids can teach us.
"....come on let your colors burst....come on show us what you're worth... make them go AH--AH--AH, as you shoot across the sky, sky,'re gonna' leave them going AH-AH-AH".
Katy: you did.
so, own the night....and then come ride with me.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Friday Night Lights Forever....

Texas Forever

If you are a DirecTV subscriber, and you have been watching "Friday Night Lights", the last episode was tonite. If not, you will see the last series on NBC in a few weeks. I don't want to give anything away to those who didn't see tonite's episode--but I would encourage you to see it!
I watched it tonite, like I do every Wednesday night.
Tonite I cried...and I smelled the wet grass I used to play on on Friday nights when I played high school football 30 years ago. I was pretty good, good enough to make honorable mention in my league when I played on the offensive line at La Habra High school in La Habra, California. We didn't have a Coach Taylor but we had some guys who actually played D1 football, and we played aginst some future major league players like Gary Carter (New York Mets catcher) and Steve DeBerg (Kansas City Chiefs QB). I actually played against Steven Seagal of Buena Park High School, but he didn't know any kung fu then...
It's funny what you remember...and now when I have time and resources available to travel and climb mountains all over the world, I find it odd that I appreciate home, my kids, my local life more--maybe it's only me...but I think that is 'my' truth of Friday Night Lights: that finding meaning is not far away if you appreciate what you have, and who you played with/or lived the tough times with. I've heard it said, "wherever you go, there you are." Or, you carry what's inside you everwhere.
That doesn't preclude reinventing, it's just being what you would have been...
Yes, "Texas forever".
Come ride with me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Holster your IPhone!

In the old West, when a disturbance broke out in the saloon, the town marshall would come in and say "Holster your guns!" Well, that's what I saw on TV and in the movie "Silverado", so I guess it's true....
Fast forward to the beach on Waikiki where I am this week proving to myself that the sun still exists...why is it that there are an amazing amount of people here who seem to be constantly checking their IPhones or Blackberrys?...this makes no sense to me, everyone else wants to be where you are! And what are you going to tell them, "Hi, I'm on the beach on Waikiki and the weather is perfect and I really miss you and wish I was back in Indiana or at the office."
So, whether you are reinventing or reenginneering or rebooting--pick one--I say start with appreciating where you are, or get yourself where you want to be...and to my fellow beachmates (is that a word?) on Waikiki, "Holster your IPhones."
Maybe not this week, but come ride with me...and AlooooHA!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guilt is good--and now go rule the world

"Welcome to your life
There's no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you...."
You can interpret this classic song, "Everybody wants to rule the world" any way you want.
I'm not sure I know what the writers had it mind, but I know what it means to me....and if not the favorite song of my life, one of the them....
Today I discovered that guilt is good: it keeps you honest, gives you feedback. I have an aging dog, Ally, a Shetland, who can't hear--but has learned to sign. No, not the signs used by deaf people: dog signs, ones she understands. Ally is alone, spends most of the day outside inside our fence but is able to watch people--and dogs--go by our house. She barks at certain people and dogs and not others, not sure if barking is "hello" or "I don't like you, keep going!" But Ally seems to like, most of all, to go on walks...and today I didn't take her...and at around 5PM (the sun goes down here at about 4:30!!!), she was following me around the house watching whether I put on certain clothes, might be getting ready to take her on a walk...we never went, I was too busy being obsessive about something else...and I felt guilty, not guilty enough to take her, but guilty enough to post this, admit I let her down...let me down.
Guilt is good. It reminds us of our responsibilities, and our commitments...and how important we can be to others, even animals. It tells us we matter. I suppose there is stupid guilt, that's related to obligations we make up--or are related to fairy tales. I'm not talking about that.
You and I know the difference. And if each of us honored our commitments--well, then that's how we can rule the world.
"I can't stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world

All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever last forever
Everybody wants to rule the world"

Come ride with me...

and enjoy the Tears for Fears video that follows.

Tears for Fears - Everybody Wants to Rule the World (live)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What makes me happy

This question, this blog, this adventure I'm on are all a work-in-progress. I want to spend a few posts/weeks/maybe months exploring the happiness question through the blog and then maybe the answers will lead me to great adventures to enrich my life, and vicariously yours.
So, what makes me happy?
--planning stuff I'm going to do...No.
--talking about stuff I want to do...No.
--talking about stuff I've already done...No.
--watching others do stuff I wish I could do...Maybe a little.
but I know I'm happiest when I'm doing...doing.
And although talking about stuff I've done doesn't necessarily make me happy, I understand it's my blogger responsibility to report back.
But doing is when I'm happy.
So, come ride with me.

Work out!

I am a huge fan of Tim Ferriss, the man, and his books: The Four Hour Work Week and his latest publication, The Four Hour Body. If you just read the titles you'll think you know what Tim is saying, and you'll be wrong. Tim is not about shortcuts for shortcuts sake--he's about doing the right things without wasting time--productivity with integrity. I think that Tim still works hard--and seems to be having a wonderful time. Not a bad place to be....
In his recent book, he talks about a concept that I run across often, bears serious consideration, and for me, genuine adoption: if you want to improve your inner game, improve your outer game...or as Richard Branson once said, "'How do you become more productive?--work out.'" Because I'm not currently 'career committed' (I'm unemployed), I think it was my son who told me, "Dad, every day for you should be a bootcamp--work out!"
Again from Tim, "Controlling your body puts you in life's driver's seat."
From me, becoming a hero to yourself can be as simple as hiking a big hill, losing 20 unnecessary pounds or going to a great gym 4X a week.
And the final word from Tim: "Take the next step: uncap a pen and take an inventory of all the things in the physical realm that you've resigned yourself to being poor at. Now ask: if I couldn't fail, what would I want to be exceptional at? Circle those alternate realities. The list circles back at you and gives you a blueprint for not just a new body, but an entirely new life.
It's never too late to reinvent yourself." (

Come ride with me.

Monday, January 10, 2011

So a man walks into a bar...

I'm back at bartending school this morning retaking portions of the class and practicing for the exam in two weeks.
It's certainly coincidental that tonite Oregon and their no huddle/speed offense will play for the BCS National Championship--because the type of bartending I'm learning is all no huddle: 100+ recipies by memory--GO! This took me completely by surprise when I first started school back in September, and I've had to resort to all kinds of trickery to memorize Rusty Nails, Cosmos and Lynchburg Lemonades...and a lot of practice making drinks over and over.
"But I don't want to make drinks fast, I want to make them well," I told my instructor.
"Here you learn how to make drinks quickly and by memory because that's what people expect--and when we certify you, that's what your employer knows you can do."
When I pass my exam--and there's no limit to how many times I can take it--I will be 'licensed' by the State of Washington (this is required) and 'certified' by the Seattle Bartending College (
One day I want to create my own signature drink--either a coffee or mojito type of drink, but not until I can tell the difference between a Rob Roy and a Manhattan, between dry, dirty and perfect

...and he says to the bartender, come ride with me.

Dire Straits: So far away

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So Far Away

with thanks to the genius of one of the greatest rock bands of all-time, Dire Straits

"I'm tired of being in love and being all alone when you're so far away from me...
I'm tired of making out to the telephone...
you're so far away from me, so far I just can't see..."

So, as I return to the blog, to share my experiences...
let's start here:
whatever your journey, don't waste time, don't hold back...
tell that waitress you don't know that you think she is beautiful...or that guy you met at a meeting that he's what you love, go where you've always wanted to go, cut your hair or grow it long--the way you always wanted--learn to play the guitar, dance the salsa, make a mojito....don't be so far away from what you love...

"I get so tired when I have to explain that you are so far away from've been in the sun and I've been in the rain, and you're so far away from far away from me that I just can't see..."

I am starting to see. Starting to understand this reinvention stuff.

so, enjoy Dire Straits

and then come ride with me.