Dave's Daily Dump

Daily ramblings and interesting things I find.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Highlights

I usually don't write about an entire year like this, but 2012 turned out to be such an unusual year. So many things happened that spanned the entire spectrum, from incredible, exciting adventures, to really scary and life threatening events. So with that, here are my 2012 highlights, fun stuff first:

10th Anniversary in Belize
The year started off with a bang when my wife and I took off for a 10 day Ultimate Kayaking Adventure in Belize for our 10 year anniversary. It was an extremely adventurous trip for my wife… swimming through an ancient Mayan cave, kayaking for miles around remote islands, dropping in on 15 foot waterfalls in a raft, and sitting in the front seat of an airplane… but for me, my highlights were catching a bat with a butterfly net, back-flipping off of 15 foot waterfalls, opening a coconut with a machete, and spearing a lion fish! Basically, stuff you don’t get to do while working behind a desk every day.

Downhill Mountain Bike Racing
I’ve been riding mountain bikes for many years now, but I made my first attempt at downhill racing by entering the Fontana race series in the beginner class and did surprisingly well! I ended up taking 1st place at the Fontana City Nationals. Cool, huh?

Paddle Boarding in Mammoth
Besides getting our camper out of storage only to find it full of black widow spiders, we had our usual fun in Mammoth this year! Our local friends let us borrow their paddle board over at June Lake, our favorite spot. Not a huge deal, but it was our first time paddle boarding.

Wake Boarding in Havasu
Another first for me was wake boarding. The first day I had the hardest time standing up. So that night I hunkered down, did some research and found some good tips on YouTube. The next day was a success! I’d really like to try this again, but would need a good solid weekend to master it. I have no photos, but you're not missing anything... it wasn't very impressive. The rest of the weekend was filled with tubing and jet skiing.

Bagging Mt. Whitney
I’ve wanted to do this for many years, and the opportunity came up when some guys from church organized it. I signed up right away, of course, and opted for the two day version, only because I didn’t know how my body would react above 14,000 feet. In the months preceding, I also did some killer training hikes like Santiago Peak (5,689'), Bonanza Peak in Nevada (10,397'), San Gorgonio (11,501'), and finally the highest summit of the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney (14,505').

Spinning on my Head… Again!
So, the best opening line to this story is that I was flown into Cleveland to breakdance at the House of Blues. And it’s true! The Progressive Arts Alliance put together a show to honor my old break dancing crew, Project 5 with Grandmaster Flash as the headliner. They also put together an amazing documentary about us, and I just found out it was accepted to show in the Cleveland International Film Festival which will take place in April 2013. So I practiced for a couple months, re-learning the headspin because that was my specialty back when I was 13. I took Tricia with me and showed her the old stomping grounds, and she got to witness me break dancing on stage in front of hundreds of people at the House of Blues. Even the mayor of Cleveland declared August 11, 2012 "Project 5 Day!" Out of all of things I did this year, this was probably the best experience, mainly because it was a once in a lifetime type of event. It was especially great seeing and reuniting with my bros who I haven’t seen in almost 30 years. I just can’t get over the fact that I’m 42 and still able to spin on my head! How crazy is that?

9th Annual Tour de Corona
Every year I host a big mountain bike ride here in Corona and this year, for some reason, was the best one yet. We had a great turnout, a really fun ride, some good UFC fights and decent game of Texas Hold’em, which is also new for me this year. I can’t wait to see what next year brings, because no matter how challenging I make the ride, my crazy friends still show up every year!

Skin Cancer
That’s right, I had a little scare in the beginning of the year with some basal cell carcinoma in my right ear. I’ve always been pretty good about putting sun block on my ears, but never thought about putting it on the inner portions. That’s where it got me, on the inner-upper part, that is in fact in direct line of sight for the sun. So, they scooped it out and graphed me with some synthetic cow skin, and now I’m known as Mr. Sunblock!

Toni’s Survival
Even scarier, my sister Toni has been battling cancer that is much more severe, Ewings Sarcoma. On one of her last chemotherapy treatments, a nurse made a mistake and connected the wrong bag to her port. Toni actually went into cardiac arrest for about 5 minutes before they brought her back to life (CPR saves lives!) She’s still slowly recuperating from that and by God’s grace getting stronger every day. She is my true inspiration.

This year has been pretty exciting at work too. For the last 2 1/2 years, I've been working on a huge website redesign project and this year some of it started to roll out. You can see some of the new pages, including the home page, at Chase.com.

Here's to another adventurous year!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Tour de Corona 2012 (aka The Adventure Ride)

Wow, I predicted an adventure, and boy did we get one. What an awesome day... probably the best Tour de Corona of all.

For the 9th annual Tour, we rode from my house, took Temescal Canyon all the way to the trailhead of Indian Truck Trail (ITT). Up ITT to the Main Divide, and took a right. Most of the group continued up ITT, but a few of us hiked up Upper Holy Jim. We headed down Coldwater, then double backed on Temescal Canyon back home for a BBQ, some tasty beverages, the UFC fights, and a quick round of Texas Holdem. I've now managed to cram my favorite things all into one day!

We started with 15...

Dave (Me)
Kevin B
Big Ethan

...and finished with 10. To be fair, Kevin did 95% of it and Rich did about 85%, but both had to bail due to time constraints. And Big Ethan rode about the same amount of miles because he kept riding ahead, then coming back to check on everyone, then eventually went back with his parents.

For a large group of 15, we managed to stay pretty close together. Rich was pushing ahead due to his time constraint, but overall, the pace was pretty casual. I managed to be in the very back during the climbs, but in the very front on the descends, which is par for the course.

Considering the amount of riders, mechanicals and crashes were minimal unlike in 2004 when we had a flat-fest while riding ITT to Santiago Peak.

14 riders, including myself, had a 10am start time at my house, but didn't hit the road until 10:30, which is pretty normal. The plan was to pick up Rich, who parked near the ITT trailhead. Riding along the road is always interesting, especially when you're on a mountain bike, and especially with a large group. People in cars gave us the right away and even let up blow through stop signs while they waited.

Near Dos Lagos, we saw Kevin's wife and kids driving in their minivan. Kevin was stoked because his son thought it was a race, and of course, Kevin was in front! He scored some big Daddy points with that, and we agreed to go along with it if ever asked.

Continuing on Temescal Canyon Road, we pass a couple bars (tempting!) and Tom's Farm. We make our way over to the new neighborhood at the bottom of ITT, and Rich meets up with us there. The road portion was 9.1 miles.

Heading up ITT was pretty uneventful. We spreaded out a little as we made our way up this pretty easy climb. It was a little warm in some exposed areas, then a little cool in the foresty parts. Overall, it was perfect, early December riding weather; around 70 degrees and clear skies.

We take a break about 2 miles short of the Main Divide. We knew this because Rich and Big Ethan road up together, and Big Ethan road back down to tell us. He managed to do this several times, acting as our communication link between the front and back of the pack because we didn't have much for cell service. Just before this point, John's tire was attacked by a goathead and he had a little trouble finding someone with a 29" tube. He and some other 29er riders had 26" spares for some strange reason.

We lost Dara, Derik and Big Ethan due to time contraints, then continued up the Main Divide. We split off where Adrian, Kevin and I decided to hike up Upper Holy Jim, while the other 9 continued riding up the fire road. we regrouped at the top of Coldwater, and that's where the fun began!

Coldwater started off fast and flowy along the side of the mountain, then tucked into some forest tunnels. I wanted to stop and take pictures, but I was having way too much fun. I seriously couldn't stop. This has to be THE best single track around Corona, and it surprises me why it's not so popular... until you get to the steep stuff. This part explains it all. The end is super steep, loose in some sections, and drops you off in a barbed wired open-pit quary.

At this point we were starting to get concerned about daylight. Rich was ahead of us and totally thought we were trapped in, but after we regrouped we found a gate and pryed our way out.

We continued through the neighborhood and back down Temescal Canyon Road. Rich went back to his truck parked at Vons, and Kevin had his wife pick him up at Tom's Farm. By the time the rest of us got back to my house the sun was totally down.

A few others joined us for the BBQ and UFC fights, and a small group stuck around for a quick Texas Holdem Tournament.

What a great day... I really don't know how I'm going to top this one. But I'll think of something. Afterall, next year will be the 10th anniversary, so it HAS to be awesome! Until then...

Here are the Stats...
Distance: 33-35 miles (shorter for the Upper Holy Jim hikers)
Lowest Point: 889' (my house)
Highest Point: 4643' (top of Coldwater trail)
Total Elevation Gain: 4581'
Ride Time: 5 hours, 25 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours, 42 minutes
Flat Tires: 1 via goathead (John)
Crashes: 3, 4 if you count Skippy's fall while hiking up hill! (plus a few slide outs)
Mechanicals: Broken front derailleur cable (Kevin)

View more photos here.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Responsive Design for DavidGuido.com

I redesigned my site a few years ago with strict web standards, so turning it into a responsive design fully optimized for mobile and tablet devices was a quick weekend project. What it means, in the simplest of terms, is that the site will now automatically resize to fit all computer, mobile and tablet screens (no more pinching and zooming) with specific navigation for the smaller screens.

So go ahead, visit davidguido.com on your device of choice, and let me know what you think.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mt. Whitney... Bagged!!!

Ten of us make a two-day trek up Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contigious United States. The elevation is shifting, but it was recorded at 14,505 feet a few days prior to our climb. Relentlessly, all ten of us summited! What an incredible and very difficult accomplishment. Thanks to all the guys for an awesome trip!

More photos

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 Year Anniversary in Belize

Celebrating our 10th anniversary, we took a trip to Belize to experience the Ultimate Adventure: 10 days of kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking through ancient Mayan caves and white water rafting through the jungle... And that was only half of the adventure!

Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tour de Corona 2011

For the 8th annual Tour de Corona, we started at my house, rode up Bedford, across the Main Divide, and down Skyline. We started with 7 and ended with 3. The weather was perfect, right around 80 degrees, while the East Coast was hit with a record storm that took power away from millions. There were a couple crashes with a little skin left on the trail, otherwise a great, long ride and a fantastic party with friends, tacos and fights. More photos

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Whistler 2011

Dave, Bob, Steve and Craig's trip to Whistler, British Columbia in Canada, September 16 - 23, 2011. More photos

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bombing Down Skyline

This morning I did some shuttle runs up and down Skyline Trail here in Corona, Ca with Patrick and Nick. After the big rain we had last week the trails were pretty rutted, but nice and sticky. I had a great day. I only got three runs in, but they were a blast. I finally cleared that big jump...

This was captured with my camera phone... Man, I need a better video camera for this stuff!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Band of Skulls

Tricia and I went to see the Band of Skulls today at the 98.7 studio with about 25 other people. I won this from collecting points on their website, and bidding on this prize. My sister Cathi got me into this, and so far it's been fun. Here's a picture of me with the band.
The show was great. They were interviewed by the local DJ and played 4 songs, including their hit I Know What I Am, along with their upcoming hit Friends from the New Moon soundtrack.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tour de Corona 2009 (aka The John Hudspeth Redemption Ride)

For this year's Tour de Corona, I decided to repeat the ride from 2007, mainly so that my buddy John can redeem himself. He broke his leg on this ride two years ago and never felt the glory of finishing like the rest of us.

The proposed ride was up Bedford (everyone's favorite climb), across the Main Divide, down the Silverado Motorway, back up Maple Springs, down the Main Divide and back down Bedford.

We started with 12 riders:

Dave (me)
John H (the man of the hour)
John A
Chris (a friend of John H)

And 11 of us completed the entire thing.

A couple of really cool and memorable things happened on this ride. One was that my buddy Dom flew all the way down from Seattle to spend the weekend with me and my Southern California friends. I've been inviting him for years and he finally took me up on the offer. Jeff, who usually rides the Tour and is about the same height as Dom, let us borrow his bike, which was very cool.

Dom is a strong road rider who does about 5-6 centuries per year and this was to be his first mountain biking adventure off road. That made me a little nervous because this is a pretty difficult route that we had planned. I knew he'd do well, and at worst he'd have to simply turn around and wait for us at the house. But my main concern was that this ride would turn him off to mountain biking completely.

We woke up early and drove up Bedford in my wife's Highlander to drop off a big Arrowhead bottle full of water. I did this last time and it was a big relief for everyone. Plus, I thought it was a good idea to give Dom a hint of what's to come. Turns out it wasn't what he expected... at all!

The starting time was 10:00, but as usual, everyone took their time getting ready. Plus, we wanted to wait for Steve who was coming from his kid's soccer game. We shoved off right at 10:30.

The pace started off very casual, which was good. Climbing up Bedford is no picnic, and most everyone knew that. But, just like every year, Patrick takes off like a bullet. I was expecting John to follow him, but John waited in the back with his buddy Chris, who "hasn't done this kind of ride in years." Dom was in the back as well, getting used to the bike and trying to find his pace. We continued up to around 2,000 feet and couldn't see Dom and Chris on the trail, so I called Dom. They were by the main gate and Dom was ready to throw in the towel and head back to the house by himself. I was sort of relieved because I didn't want him to have a miserable time. I called Tricia and told her to expect Dom in a little while.

Joe and John at the top of Bedford John A, Bob and I headed up together, and John H waited for Chris. Everyone else was way ahead at this point.

We got to the Main Divide and Patrick has been waiting for about an hour. I can tell he was on a mission... but the rest of us were just looking for a casual ride. We filled up with water, had a snack, and when everyone gathered I get a call from Tricia saying that Dom never made it home. "Oh shit," I thought... "what if something happened?" I quickly call Dom and he picks up panting. Turns out he decided to ride up by himself after all. I didn't like it one bit, but he was determined to at least make it to the Main Divide. The only thing I can do was to call him often, so I did.

Steve changing a flat in record time! The rest of us took off across the Main Divide, then down The Silverado Motorway. It was a little loose, but man, I love that trail! Steve got the first flat somewhere in the middle.

At the bottom of Silverado, we all congratulated John for making it past "the point". Skippy was awesome enough to stash more water for us at the bottom, and man, we needed it. It was a pretty warm day so far.

The ride up Maple Springs was nice and cool though, but holy crap was it hard! My knees were starting to hurt pretty bad, so I just wanted to take my time. Pretty much everyone was in front, but I think Steve was behind Skippy for most of the climb... I'm not sure. I rode a good portion with John A so I was asking tons of questions about his Ironman races. He claims any of us can do it with the proper training, but I don't know. It was inspiring nonetheless.

Darrell and his sombrero The Tour de Corona Hydration Station John and I pull up to Four Corners and see someone with a sombrero in the distance... "What the F?" We get closer and see that our friend Darrell drove up in his car with his two dogs and kindly set up a Tour de Corona Hydration Station. "Want a beer?" he said. "Oh, hell yeah!" That was the coolest thing I'd ever seen!

I get a text from Dom saying that Patrick was already back to the top of Bedford, so they road down together. I texted back "Having a beer at 4 corners!" I learned later that Patrick saw the message and told Dom that I was just messing with him. Too bad Patrick blew through Four Corners and didn't wait for us.

We waited quite a while for Chris and started to get a little worried. John H and Joe headed back down Maple Springs to see what was going on. A little while later they come back up, and Chris was hurting pretty bad. He didn't crash or anything, he just got his ass handed to him on this part of the climb.

When Chris arrived, he enjoyed the last beer that we saved for him. If he didn't take it, it would've been a bloody fight over who got it.

We all shove off together, but immediately, Bob gets a flat and Brian busted a spoke. There were a few more small climbs, and my knees were done! This was the first time I've felt this sort of joint pain. I know, I know... I'm turning 40 next year so I have to expect this kind of crap... whatever!

Brian and the bottle We get to the top of Bedford and had some guy in a truck take my empty Arrowhead water bottle down to the gate. I really didn't want to drive back up to get it. From the gate, Brian grabbed it and strapped it to his back the rest of the way down.

At home, Dom and Patrick were already cleaned up. Patrick was pissed when he found out I was telling the truth about the beers at Four Corners. That was pretty funny.

More friends and their significant others starting showing up, Patrick took over on the grill, and everyone else helped with the prep work while I fixed the TV. We enjoyed some well deserved beers, carne asada and chicken tacos and the UFC fight on pay-per-view.

Enjoying a frosty beverage at Four Corners... a dream come true! The highlights were, of course, John redeeming himself, Domenick actually flying down from Seattle for the ride, and Darrell's awesomely cool hydration station at four corners. Besides Shogun loosing the main event in the fight, it turned out to be the best Tour de Corona so far. This will be a hard one to top. Can't wait until next year!

Here are the stats:
Distance: 31.24 miles
Total climb: ~6,200 feet
Total time: ~7 hours
Patrick's record ride time: 3:52:59 (wow!)
Flats: 2
Busted Spokes: 1
Crashes: none!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Zion & Gooseberry, Utah Trip 2009

I couldn't swing going to Moab with the gang like last year, but I did manage to tag along for a long weekend on the Gooseberry Mesa for mountain biking and in the Zion National Forest for an awesome hike to the "Subway". Here's a picture taken with my cell phone.

Day 1 & 2 Gooseberry
The first two days were filled with some epic mountain bike riding on the Gooseberry Mesa. This is now my favorite place to ride. It was my third time there, so I'm getting really used to the trails.

I blew my back out earlier in the week, so I wasn't able to ride, at all, the entire week. It was still a little stiff on this ride, so I took it easy in the beginning. Before you know it, my back was feeling great and I was shredding like nobody's business. I cleared a couple of very difficult climbs I've never cleared before and found a really cool 6 foot drop that Bob and I rolled.

At night, the wind picked up and was blowing our tents all over the place, and blowing our chairs into the fire. The highlight of the night was when the guys found a huge stump to burn. Everyone pretty much just backed up, stomping on the embers burning everything.

The wind continued through the second day, but that didn't stop us. We powered through an awesome sandy breakfast and headed out. We just didn't get as close to the 1,000 foot cliffs like we usually do. Strangely enough, the wind stopped as soon as we got to "The Point", where it's usually very windy.

Day 3 Zion
We were supposed to hike down from the top, repelling down water falls into pools of water. But with the continued wind and the drastic drop in temperature, we decided to hike from the bottom and stay mostly dry.

The hike was a strenuous 3 miles each way. The entire 3 miles was incredibly beautiful, especially when we got to the Subway. Seriously... words can't even describe it. You HAVE to go check it out your self. But for now, here are a few more pictures.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gray's Peak - Bagged!

My buddy Patrick and I bagged Gray's Peak today on our mountain bikes. Here's a picture of me at the peak with Big Bear Lake behind me. It was about 3.5 miles one way, all single track, kinda up and down (but mostly up, of course), and not too difficult of a climb. The downhill part, oh man, that was fun!

The downhill from Gray's Peak was like a roller coaster... very fast and smooth. We road down about 2 miles, then shot over to the Hanna Flat campground, which was basically more epic single track. The campground itself was really nice... reminded me of Mammoth... I'd like to take the family there before it gets too cold. Here's an interesting picture of one of the bathrooms. Which door would you choose?

We doubled back and ended up with about 14 miles and very sore legs... only because it was my first big ride in almost 3 months. Overall it was a great ride, about 25 degrees cooler than at home, and only about an hour away. I don't know why I don't go up there more often.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Just like riding off a curb!

Mountain biking in Mammoth was epic this year, mainly because my buddies Patrick, Nick and Craig joined me for two full days of downhill action. The highlight for me was landing the Flow Drop, which Craig referred to as "just like riding off a curb." Yeah, right! Here's a low quality video of me doing it...

I first saw this drop a year ago...
but I was by myself and I didn't want to risk it. So I've basically been thinking about it all year long.

The Drop is part of the Flow Trail in the Mammoth Mountain Bike Park. It's a 6 foot wooden platform, followed by a 5-6 foot vertical drop, followed by a 25-30 foot slanted wooden landing. Here's a higher quality version of someone else doing it to get a better idea of how cool it is.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

San Bernardino Peak - Bagged!

Every year, the guys from the church do a series of hikes, mostly for the purpose of training for a larger hike. This year, there are no large hikes planned, but they started off with a doozy... to the peak of San Bernardino Peak.

The hike was about 16 miles round trip and about 4700 feet of elevation gain. It was a little challenging, especially since there were some large spots of snow towards the top. But that just made it more fun! It took us about 10 hours to complete.

The trail was amazingly maintained. A nice even ascend, very clean and wide. Towards the top there was some minor overgrowth, but no big deal. And the views... oh man, the views were incredible. From the top, you can see Big Bear Lake, San Gorgonio Peak, Santiago Peak and the entire IE. I took some pictures with my camera phone, but they're not as clear.

Five of us started, but only Kevin and I made it. There were some flared up injuries and time constraints that kept the others from bagging the peak.

It was a great day with great views and great company.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Tricia's Kindle2 arrived today! So of course, I had to check out what davidguido.com looked like on it. Not to shabby, huh?

Her family and I pitched in to buy it for her birthday. I bought it a month in advance, and of course, it was back-ordered. So for her birthday, I found a picture of a Kindle, wrote a message on it in Photoshop, printed it out, and pasted it to a piece of card-board. It took her about 5 minutes to figure out what it was. But once she realized, oh man, was she excited. You see, this is the first gift she's received in a long time that was entirely for her; not for the family, not for her-and-the-kids...just for her! So she was extremely excited about it.

She wanted it about a year ago when it first came out, but I talked her out of it based on the poor reviews of other reading devices that I've heard. When I started researching it, turns out things like eye-strain, poor battery life and clunky UIs have all been fixed on the Kindle. So I got together with her family and bought it.

After her birthday, and after she told everyone that she's getting it, Amazon announced that the Kindle2 is out. I immediately thought we were getting old technology, so I was kinda pissed. I check my email and Amazon writes that we're getting upgraded automatically for the same price...now that's pretty cool.

We were supposed to get it on March 3rd with free shipping, so Tricia kept asking me to track the package. It ended up coming way early (today, 2/27). Tricia screamed at the post man with excitement when she saw the Amazon logo.

Needless to say, she's stoked...and I'm golden for at least another year!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Skyline Jumps

At the bottom of the Troy Lee trails at Skyline (SoCal), there are a series of three nice jumps that are well maintained. They are much easier to hit on a downhill or freeride bike, but here's a pretty good photo of me hitting the second one with my cross-country bike. There's about a 4-5' gap that's not in the picture. Photo credit goes to my man, Steve F.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Shepard Fairey - Obama Poster

One of the most fascinating parts of the historic inauguration this week is watching the events unfold over Shepard Fairey's Obama poster.

The "Hope" poster got Fairey's foot in the door, then it somehow landed in the friggen' Smithsonian! You just have to see these photos of the guys at the Smithsonian hanging it up with white gloves. There's also the "Progress" poster that's very similar, then he was able to create the official inauguration poster.

Keep in mind that this is a graffiti artist we're talking about. I mean, he's been arrested many times for hanging posters and vandalism. He was even arrested for hanging the "Hope" poster. The fact that he's gained this much notoriety just cracks me up. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for the guy. It's just kind of ironic.

Fairey's portrait of the Obama became one of the most common images of the campaign and landed him the title of "Icon Maker" of the year by Time magazine.

They even came up with an easy way to create your own poster, so I made one of our dog, Cooper.

I've been a fan of Fairey's for a long time and went to see him talk in 2005 at OCMA. One thing stuck in my head from his presentation. He said something like "People always complain that I sold out. I didn't sell out... I bought in!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

New Street Art

I love to follow new types of street art and graffiti. Here are a couple of interesting ones...

Check out Aakash Nihalani or watch a cool video of FatBlodded Following Aakash Nihalani.

Also check out INVADER - Binary Code Street Art.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tour de Corona 2008

For the first time in the Tour de Corona's 6 year history, all of the riders completed the whole ride. Way to go!

We had a great ride this year. Nothing too strenuous, no serious injuries like last year, and no death march like the year before.

This year we started off at my house, as usual, took a 6 mile road ride to Skyline, stopping at Steve's house on the way. We went up Skyline, traversed the Main Divide, and descended Eagle Road. Here is the ride profile on Geoladders.

The ride stared (and ended) with 11 of us:
Dave (me)
John (quickly recovering from breaking his leg on last year's tour)

People started showing up at about 11:30am with the goal of taking off around noon. We didn't get out until about 12:20, which was a good hint at the leisurely pace that was in front of us.

I started out by giving everyone an option on the road portion... a quick, steep climb or a long, easy climb. Everyone voted for "quick and steep" to get it over with, accept for Joe. Sorry Joe... and up we went.

We get to Steve's house and he's lounging in the garage, shoes off, working on his laptop. So we cracked open a few of his beers while he finished up.

Going up Skyline and the Main Divide was very uneventful, except for the heat, which was in the upper 80's until we reached the Main Divide. It seriously felt like it was July. John, Brian and Adrian were always in the front, I was a usually a couple minutes behind by myself, and everyone else was scattered behind me. After a while, Brian and I noticed that John would effortlessly suck you into his conversation, and before you know it your lungs are on fire. Luckily, I noticed it pretty early and dropped back.

We thought for sure that Dalton wasn't going to make it because he kept walking his bike. With his full-faced helmet and skater shoes, he definitely didn't know what to expect on this ride. But, he held his own and finished with only a few problems.

Going down Eagle was a blast. Eagle is a closed fire road, so it's somewhat over grown with a single track blazing down it. You get up to some pretty high speeds (I clocked 28mph at one point), with little jumps mixed in, and a pretty sketchy cliff on one side. It was a lot of fun to say the least.

Dalton crashed twice on Eagle. Once just flipping into the brush, another bending his big chain ring on a boulder. Steve and Adrian helped him remove the chain ring so that he could at least get home.

Then we took the road back to my house. And that's it! Like I said, pretty uneventful... but I have to say that I had a blast and can't wait to do it again.

The party back at my house was great as well. A bunch of other riders and neighbors showed up for the burgers, dogs, beer and UFC 90. It was great to hang out and catch up with everyone. Other than the disappointing Silva vs Cote fight (Cote blew out his knee in the 3rd), this turned out to be the best Tour de Corona so far. It's going to be tough to beat this one.

Distance: 24.12 miles
Lowest Point: 889' (my house)
Highest Point: 3804'
Total Elevation Gain: 6155'
Ride Time: 3 hours, 22 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Flat Tires: 0!
Crashes: 2 (by the same person)
Mechanicals: Bent chain ring

Can't wait to do it next year! Here are some Google Earth photos of the ride...

Overview of the ride.

Overview of the ride, facing South-West.

Overview of the ride, facing South-East.

Overview of the ride, facing West.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


My brother-in-law invited me to this "new sport", explaining it something like "arm wrestling, with their hands strapped together and their belts hooked to the arm wrestling table, but they get to punch and kick each other!" So of course, I'm like, "I'm in!"

Here are a few photos... photo 1, photo 2, photo 3

We show up to the American Sports University in San Bernardino and take a seat in this small, closed off area of the gym. There's an arm wrestling table up on stage with a big "X ARM" logo behind it. Camera crews from RipeTV.com were setting up, so expect the whole thing to be on their website, and possibly TV, anytime soon.

The first fight consisted of Ivan Gatoloai giving Rick Cheek a hammer fist to the top of his head, cutting it open, knocking him out, and leaving him dangling from the table. My jaw dropped.

James Cordney (Gladiator Challenge champion for 205 class) gave everyone a great show the day before by kicking his opponent in the head 3 times to knock him out. Today he broke his hand on Andy Flennay's face, to knock him out in 4 seconds with 9 punches, claiming the "fasted knockout in X ARM's history".

Luckily, I caught it all on my cell phone...

[Video temporarily removed until it airs on TV]

Even though the sport is literally 2 days old, it was put together very well and was definitely fun to watch. But watching Cheek dangling from the table hook gave me a creepy feeling. I think some kind of quick-release would help. And oh yeah... Ring card girls... they definitely need ring card girls!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Moab & Gooseberry, Utah Trip 2008

Big "thanks" to Steve, Brian and Bob for a great week of hard mountain bike riding. Special thanks to Jesse for showing us the local spots.

Day 1 Gooseberry
7.93 miles, 1h 59m
Bumps and bruises - I bumped my left shoulder on a tree pretty hard, which left a scratch. I also caught my right knee on a sharp twig, so it was bleeding a little.
The ride was fun, of course, but I was so friggen full from a huge lunch and dinner that the whole ride was completely uncomfortable.

Day 2 Gooseberry
14.1 miles, 4h 41m
Bumps and bruises - banged my inner right ankle on my pedal, left a scratch. My palms are starting to form calluses.
We woke up super early, before the sun was up. Over a 6 hour period, I got about 2 hours of sleep. I ate a light breakfast so I wasn't as full as yesterday... And I felt great, felt strong and had an incredible ride. By around the 4th hour, it was getting hot, we were starting to get sloppy and it got a little dangerous, so we called it a day. When we did this ride last year, I had a slight cold and it was still my favorite ride of the year. So today's ride has to be considered my favorite ride of all time... let's see how it goes in Moab.

Day 3 Slick Rock
9.9 miles, 3h 27m
Bumps and bruises - none, but extremely sore legs from very steep climbs.
We did the loop the "hard" way, thinking it would be more technical (i.e. fun), but it was _really_ hard, especially the climbs. So much so that it sucked all the fun out. We might try it again the "easy" way later in the week. I can't leave Moab with sour taste in my mouth about Slick Rock.
After dinner, we drove out to see "the arches" in Arches National Park. The sun was just setting, so we didn't get to see everything. But it was still cool.

Day 4 The Electric Toilet Ride (UPS & MPS)
7 miles, 1h 30m
Bumps and bruises - ran into a tree that took a gouge out of my helmet and right middle knuckle.
We met up with a friend of a friend, Jesse, the owner/operator of Coyote Shuttle, just to say "hi" and ask about some trails. We wanted to ride Amasa Back, but Jesse offered to take us up to his cabin and ride a secret loop instead AND ride Amasa Back with us on Thursday. So we said "what the heck." His cabin was amazing... the first thing anyone would notice is the 13 ft wide windmill, whistling in the 40 mph wind. Turns out he made it out of mostly recycled parts (this is his 9th prototype in about 10 months). The rear triangle used to be a Yield sign and the front dome was his dog's bowl. That, along with a set of solar panels, gives him way more than enough energy to run the house. Very impressive, indeed, but the most impressive thing was the electric toilet! Yes, electric... no water. You basically put a large coffee filter in the bowl and it incinerates your stuff. We hung out at the cabin for about an hour while a storm blew over. Oh yeah, the ride... We quickly climbed what seemed to be a few hundred feet, met up with a couple who were about to be "nighted", and rode down UPS and MPS, which were really fun along the rim with a 3000 foot drop.

Day 5 The Whole Enchilada (Burro Pass -> Hazzard -> Kokopelli's -> UPS -> MPS -> LPS -> Porcupine Rim)
29.9 miles, 6h 45m
Bumps and bruises - none
Only two steep climbs (at high elevation) and the rest very technical downhill. We were dropped off at 10,600 feet and climbed to 11,400 feet. We started our descend basically through a forest of Aspen trees and crossing the creek 4-5 times. At the top of Hazzard, we took a curvaceous single track through a bunch of cows while hitting a few of the jumps that were set up. Hazzard felt like a roller coaster video game. Kokopelli's was mainly a jeep trail which went through the remains of a forest fire that occurred the week before. UPS (Upper Porcupine Singletrack) through LPS (Lower...) was my absolute favorite. Over boulders, through trees, with small patches of sand. Porculpine rim was harsh. We were already tired but faced with a series of 3-5 foot dropoffs and sharp rocks to maneuver through. Good times.
The only mechanical was Steve's pinch flat. Bob had a minor fall towards the end. Other than that, it was definitely my favorite ride of all time.

Day 6 Amasa Back
12.5 miles, 4h 50m
Bumps and bruises - none
What a great ride, not because of the incredible terrain, or beautiful scenery... it was because Jesse took us to a few secret spots that aren't on the typical trail maps. Plus, each section had it's own name, such as the Bowling Alley, the Mccoy, the REAL Mccoy, The Moon, and The Fat Lady (which kicked all of our asses and left Jesse with a goose egg on his ankle). Getting to the PotHole was cool because of a totally off-camber slope. I'm talking around 45 degrees, but with slick rock under your tires, it really wasn't that hard. Then, the Top of the World was truly amazing. I'd hate to say it, but this was definitely my favorite ride of the week, hands down.

Day 7 Thunder Mountain
14.8 miles, 2h 59m
Bumps and bruises - bumped left thigh during a tight switchback.
We parked at the Visitor's Center and started verrrry sloooowly up the bike path. After the dirt road and the beginning of the single track, I was wondering why everyone said it was such a great trail. We were tired from the previous six days of riding and we weren't really expecting all of this climbing. Then... oh man... we ended up smack dab in the middle of Red Canyon. Just absolutely amazing scenery AND a really fun downhill roller coaster ride. Mental note: do this ride _first_ next time!
After the ride, we scooted over the Bryce Canyon National Park, then drove through Zion National Park. Truly amazing stuff to see at both parks.

Totals (for me): 97 miles, 26 hours, over 15000 calories.
Bike parts (for all): 4 flats, 1 wheel, and a set of rear derailleur cogs.

My photos at Flickr | Brian's photos at Flickr

Video (high bandwidth required)...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mammoth / Yosemite Trip 2008

This was my first two-week vacation ever, and it turned out to be the best vacation ever. The only downside was the heat in Yosemite, otherwise we had a great time and will probably do something similar next year. Here's how it went...

Day 1 - Traveled from Home to Mammoth, CA - Set up campsite, hung out with family.

Day 2 - Mammoth - Full day of downhill mountain biking at Mammoth Mountain ski resort. Had a blast on my new DH bike. Swam with the kids at the condo pool.

Day 3 - Mammoth - Kayaked Twin Lakes, turned out to be too windy.

Day 4 - Mammoth - Kayaked Twin Lakes again. It was perfect today! Paddled out to the waterfalls.

Day 5 - Mammoth - Another full day of DH riding at Mammoth Mountain. Rode some closed trails that were supposed to open this weekend. Annual fish fry at night.

Day 6 - Mammoth - Kayak'd Twin Lakes with Mitchell's family... too windy.

Day 7 - Mammoth to Lee Vining (Mono Lake) - Hung out at campsite, played games with the kids.

Day 8 - Lee Vining - Found out that Mono Lake was too salty and full of flies, so we visited the Bodie ghost town and drove to June Lake to kayak.

Day 9 - Lee Vining to Yosemite - Drove the Tioga Pass, while stopping at Tenaya Lake to kayak, and many other places to appreciate the scenery. It was about 110 degrees at our campsite in Midpines, so we swam at the pool and decided for the rest of the week to only be there at night when it was cool.

Day 10 - Yosemite - Found Briceburg point, a very cool spot on the Merced River with an 8-foot and 14-foot bolder jump. You have to drive over a suspension bridge to get there, which was pretty sketchy in my truck. Jumping off the rocks with Ryann was a blast.

Day 11 - Yosemite - Drove into the valley, walked up to the bottom of Bridelvail and Lower Yosemite Falls (climbed the rocks with Ryann and Ethan). Checked out some camp sites for next year and swam in the Merced River at a local spot.

Day 12 - Yosemite - Today we did the parental thing and dragged the kids along to the typical tourist hot spots, including Tuolumne Grove (with the giant Sequoia trees) and Glacier Point.

Day 13 - Yosemite - Spent the day at Briceburg again and had an absolute blast! Ethan jumped off the 8-foot rock twice. We also saw two snakes and a duck running on top of the water very quickly up stream.

Day 14 - Yosemite to Home - Drove home, up and down many steep hills, later to find out that my lovely wife didn't properly flush the toilet before we dumped, so we lugged about 100 pounds of our sewage back home with us. Fun stuff.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Quote of the Day...

"You mean, you can't rewind the radio? Well, that's dumb!"
-- Ethan, age 5 (clearly of the TiVo generation)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Muddy Buddy 2007

This year's Muddy Buddy race was a lot of fun, as usual. Unfortunately, Tricia was in Connecticut so she couldn't make it. Her sister Gina helped take care of the kids though.

Jordan and I had pretty low expectations going in; not really prepared at all, and ended up doing better than we did last year! The results show us coming in 11th place at 47:30, but we have a very clear photo of us coming in at 46:45. But oh well, it's always a lot of fun. One of these years we'll actually train for it and take the podium.

Can't wait till next year... Here are the photos.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tour de Corona 2007

The attendance at this year's tour was much slimmer than last year's. Partly because I gave less than two weeks notice, but also because nobody likes to climb Bedford Road.

The proposal was to start at my house, climb Bedford to Main Divide, take a right and go down Silverado Motorway. From there we climb back up Maple Springs to Four Corners, back down Main Divide and back down Bedford.

And that's exactly what we did, with a nice long break at the bottom of the Motorway. John twisted out of his pedals wrong and ended up on the ground with his left foot pointing behind him!

The ride stared with 10 of us:
Dave (me)

...and ended with 9 of us back at my house.

We headed out about 9:30 am, for a nice, easy stroll up Bedford Road. Uh, yeah. The good thing was that nobody was racing this time, which took a little bit of the edge off. During the climb, we had the typical group splits, with Patrick and John in the front, followed by a strong Steve and Jeff, and me way in the back.

I planted 10 gallons of water at the top of Bedford so that we didn't have to lug full Camelbaks and bottles up that dreadful climb. I realized that it was a great decision when I saw everyone refilling and thanking me at the same time.

Going north on the Main Divide was pretty uneventful, except when Jeff slid out while trying to avoid going over the cliff on a sharp left turn at top speed. He ended up with a bloody elbow and knee, and a piece of his inner-tube coming out of his rear tire. So the engineers congregated and devised a plan to place many Gu packets on the inner wall of his tire... Chocolate was the flavor of choice today. Jeff filled his tire up to about 30 pounds and off we were.

Going down Silverado Motorway was a blast. This was my first time, so I was loving it. Miles and miles of single-track... that's what I'm talking about. Bob and I were the first ones down, followed by Steve with some bad news... "John broke his leg about a half-mile up." Oh crap, what do we do... we're almost in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no cell phone reception.

Steve and I proceeded to the nearest house and ask if we can use their phone to call 911. The woman literally rolled her eyes, sighed, and said "just don't give out our address or phone number". Apparently, this has happened once or twice before.

So I call, and we return to the base of the trail to see Jeff. He said the whole group only had 400mg of Ibuprofen, so I rushed up the hill to give him 600 more. Poor John was in some serious pain, but handling it like a true fighter. Three other guys were standing above him to provide shade, and we basically just had to wait.

Eventually we saw a Sheriff's helicopter hovering over us, then a Fire helicopter, then 2 paramedics hiking up the hill with full yellow fire-fighting suits on, then 2 more with a gurney, then 3 more, then 4 more... Of course it was the older guys in the back, huffing and puffing... but they made it. Eventually we had 11 or 12 firefighters up there on this little narrow trail, right on top of a huge washed out section just waiting to suck someone in.

They went to work, took John away in a helicopter, and Jeff caught the whole friggen thing on video. (.ASF 138 MB)

After it was all said and done, John ended up with a broken tibia and a cracked fibula. Because he got to the hospital fast enough (helo-ride) the doctor could reset/realign his tibia before his muscles contracted causing further damage. John said that re-setting his leg was very painful. After the realignment, the 2nd set of xrays looked good. He ended up with Intrameduallary (IM) Rodding and will need about 6 months to recover. Hang in there John!

Brian met us in the canyon, but was too sick to ride. He resupplied us with water and snacks, then he was kind enough to take Jeff's bike back to my house (Jeff rode John's bike because it was more reliable) and join us for the bar-b-que.

The climb up Maple Springs was looooong and tough. Of course, I ended up in the back again with only Patrick and Nick behind me. Eventually, I see a Jeep drive past me with Nick in the back smiling back at me. That little bastard! So I plug along, Patrick catches up and we continue up together to regroup at Four Corners.

Now the fun begins with the rest being pretty much all down hill. We basically blazed down the Main Divide and Bedford, hitting some of the final single tracks towards the end.

Amazingly enough, there were no flat tires this time, although Patrick ended up with a slow leak towards the bottom.

We returned around 5:30 PM. We scarfed down some well-deserved burgers, dogs and beer, and watched the UFC on my back patio with a nice warm fire pit on the side.

Can't wait to do it next year! Here are some Google Earth photos of the ride...

Overview of the ride from my street, facing south-west.

Overview of the ride facing north-west.

Overview of the ride facing north.

Overview of the ride facing east.

Overview of the ride facing south.

Overview of Silverado Motorway, where John broke his leg, facing north-west.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Tour de Corona 2006

This year we started at 9:00, went up Bedford, up Main Divide all the way to Santiago Peak, back down the same route, hitting the single tracks, back to my house to enjoy some tasty beverages, grilled meat and UFC 65.

Here's a cool map of the planned route...

The ride started with 16 of us:
Dave (me)
Jeff Jr.

... and ended with 8 at the top. Here is my attempt at showing the losses suffered by the Tour de Corona 2006. The thick yellow band represents the size of the group at each position...

Inspired by "probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn" by Charles Joseph Minard, here is Napoleon's March.

Can't wait 'till next year!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

May I see your ID?

Everyone that knows my wife, knows how young she looks. I mean, she gets carded about 98% of the time. Sometimes it's flattering to her, but most of the time she's insulted. I really don't understand why she gets insulted because she goes through every last measure to maintain her young appearance... She takes extremely good care of her skin, she eats good, exercises, dresses young, dyes her hair... the whole nine.

So, today was the kicker. She was at Michael's buying some crafts and stuff... she's goes to check out, and you wouldn't believe what she gets carded for... That's right... SPRAY PAINT!! She actually got carded because she was buying spray paint! How funny is that? What would've happened if she didn't have her ID on her? Come on how... she's frikken' 31!... She has a decent size rock on her finger.. she has 3 frikken' KIDS for crying out loud!

I'm tempted to go back without her ID and record it with a hidden camera.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Muddy Buddy 2006

This year's Muddy Buddy race was the best so far. The kids were way more into it and our team did pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. After last year's race, Jordan and I both said we'd shoot for top 10. Out of 62 teams in our division this year, we ended up at a respectable 14th place. Not too shabby. But besides all that, we had an absolute blast.

Ethan did great this year by just getting dirty. Last year, I had to carry him through the mud pit, but this year he was a trooper. About half-way through the pit, I let go of his hand for a second to lift up the rope. At that very second, he slipped, catching himself with his hands and splashing his face with a good dose of muddy water. I knew right there that he would either get really freaked out, or totally get into it. Fortunately it was the later; he thought it was great. So he scurried across the finish line with a stern look of dedication and grabbed his medal.

Ryann was simply awesome. Last year, she basically tip-toed through the pit like a little girl, but this year she literally dove right in. For some reason, she figured that the fastest way through the flagged ropes would be to duck her head deep into the muddy water. Quite the contrast from last year!

Next year, Tricia is talking about doing the race as well. She'll at least have to go through the pit with Ava.

Good times... can't wait 'till next year!

Here are the photos

Monday, May 15, 2006

Question of the Day...

"Hey Aunt Gina, wanna come into the bathroom with me and smell something stinky?"
-- Ethan, age 3

Monday, November 28, 2005

Snip Snip! Gone!

I just had a vasectomy and boy I feel great! Yeah, right. Here's how it went.

I started off my uncomfortable day scratching my balls. They itched like crazy because I had to shave them last night. The only good thing about that was that I looked like a porn star afterwards. Nevermind, there's nothing really good about shaving your balls because sharp blades just don't belong down there. Plus, I didn't really look porn star at all.

While walking through the parking lot of the hospital, we saw Santa Clause driving a broken down blue Pontiac. We later saw him in the urology department and I said, "Look Ethan, Santa's getting a vasectomy just like daddy!" He got really excited.

So the next part of my uncomfortable day was walking into this ice cold bathroom/changing room. It must've been 50 degrees in there. Then after walking into the operating room with my ass hanging out of the gown, this really hot nurse walks in to prep me. I'm like, "Heh... hi! Sure is cold in here, isn't it?" I felt like an idiot.

She started off sticking a big grounding patch to my back, which was also ice cold. Then had me lay back and lift up my gown. Talk about uncomfortable! I was basically flashing a hot chick in a freezing cold room. Can you say "Shrinkage?" How embarrassing! I thought that this would be really good fantasy material or something... Wrong!

To top it all off, she had to spread that orange shit all over the area, and guess what... It was also ICE COLD! She used some kind of sponge and did it like 4 or 5 times. Up, down, all around... It was a very humbling experience.

The doctor came in and talking to him was the only comforting factor in the whole procedure. He's done this somewhere between 500 to 1000 times. So that was good but that didn't last very long.

He started off by squeezing my sack and giving me a numbing shot, explaining that I'd feel a 'sharp prick'. Uh, I felt it! Then I'd feel a 'burning sensation'... didn't feel that. Then I'd feel 'some pressure'. Heh, bullshit. It felt like I got hit in the balls by a little league baseball champ swinging a bat at a pinata! Man, that hurt like crazy! I naturally want to curl up or bend over, but I just had to lay there flat on my back.

Then I noticed that I could see an obscured reflection of what he was doing in the overhanging light. I saw scissors and needles and that just made it worse. Just like sharp razor blades, scissors and needles don't belong any where near the junk. The visuals just made it even more uncomfortable.

So after he found "the Vas," cut and cauterized it, he had to do the same thing to the other side. I don't know what I was thinking, but I initially thought that it was a one-time thing. Nope... Why do it once when you can have twice the fun!

After it was all said and done, they gave me a scrotum support and some Codeine and sent me home. I'm now laying here with an icepack on my nuts, getting ready to watch a movie. Overall, it wasn't really too bad. Just taking one for the team, you know? (but I'm glad I'll never have to do it again!)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ready to go...

My balls are shaved... ready for my vasectomy tomorrow.

Man, talk about a reality check!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Muddy Buddy 2005

Today I did the Muddy Buddy Race for the second year in a row. The Muddy Buddy is a running and mountain biking race you do with a partner. I was supposed to do it with my neighbor Eric again, but he was cool enough to let me race with with my 14-year old nephew, Jordan. Thanks Eric! Yes, you're supposed to be 16 to race, but hey, what's wrong with a little heated competition from a young whipper-snapper.

I came into the race on the verge of a cold, plus I threw my back out the week prior playing Ultimate, so I had no training time whatsoever. Jordan's been kicking ass on his cross country team (they just won league championship), but he's never ridden a mountain bike before. So I had to basically show him how to switch gears in front of the house, on flat ground, which is not realistic at all. I also showed him how to change a flat, just in case. So basically, we had low expectations going into this and simply wanted to have fun. Our team name was Pythagorean's Serum.

Turns out, we actually did pretty well. We placed 25th in our division of 62 teams, and beat all of my riding buddies. So I had to rub it in a little.

I created this logo as a friendly reminder of how they got smoked and told them I'm going to make them t-shirts for Christmas. Then they all complained about how I basically "cheated" by using a minor and they joked about turning me into the Muddy Buddy authorities. So, I updated the logo to make them feel better about the situation. No more responses after that... I call that the virtual smack down.

There was also a kids race, which was a blast. The kids had to go through a small obstacle course then through the mud pit. I took Ethan through the course, but right when he got to the pit, he didn't want to go in. So I picked him up and started to walk through the mud, thinking that he might see it as fun. Instead, he started crying. So I'm stuck carrying him through the mud, trying not to laugh. My friends are on the sideline yelling "Throw him in! Throw him in!" I just couldn't. I saw those tears and with my luck it would've damaged him somehow and he would spend the rest of his life freaking out at the sight of dirt or something.

Ryann did the race with no problem. She tackled the obstacle course and basically tip-toed through the mud like a little girl. Totally appropriate.

Here are photos of the event. Can't wait for next year!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bill Pay

I'm on my way to Seattle for a usability test on the new Bill Pay prototype I've been working on. I'm writing this only because this is the most exciting project that I've worked on since I've worked for Washington Mutual in the past 3 years. I've worked on some of their bigger projects in the past, most recently was the WaMu Direct online application (to compete with ING.) But this one... this one is huge, at least to me. To think that I'm working on something that will effect millions of people, sometimes on a daily basis, just blows me away. I haven't been this excited since we started theSupplyChain.com 6 years ago.

The prototype simply kicks ass. It's going to take about a year and a half to implement all the features that I put in. But once they are, it'll be so killer that even I would switch over... and that's saying a lot because I've been a BofA customer for 15 years and an avid online bill payer since it started about 9 years ago. BofA's Bill Pay system is the best that I've seen and has inspired me through this whole process. But once our system is complete, that is, when it's similar to my prototype, it will blow BofA out of the water.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Welcome to the world, Ava!

Ava was born last night and she's doing great! So is Tricia, which is surprising considering the stats...

Weight - 9lb 3oz (Keep in mind that Tricia is normally 105 pounds soaking wet)
Length - 19.5 inches
Time - 9:50pm
Date - June 27, 2005
Hospital - Kaiser
Full Name - Ava Michelle Guido

We induced at 10:00 am and the contractions built up slowly throughout the day. It was finally Go Time at 9:40 pm. Tricia gave 5 hard cycles of pushes and 10 minutes later, Ava was born.

We had a bit of a scare because she was completely purple and didn't breath for a little over a minute (which seemed like about 5 minutes to me.) It was so quiet, you could literally hear a pin drop. Then she started crying and everyone gave a huge sigh of relief.

The next morning Tricia was up walking around by herself and we were out of there by 4:00 pm. She's a trooper that Tricia!

The baby is absolutely beautiful. See for yourself...

Ava's First Two Days

Monday, May 23, 2005

Mountain Biking Incident

This past Sunday, I was riding with 3 other guys up the Indian Truck Trail. One guy, named Dan Frei, in his mid-50's, suffered a massive heart attack and died right there on the trail.

We started at 6:00am to beat the heat. On the way up, we took a lot of breaks, drank a lot of water, and snacked. There were the usual complaints from all of us about being out of shape and a little about the heat, but nothing whatsoever about anything related to this.

Dan fell behind us like he usually does. Sometimes one of us road with him and other times he was alone. At this particular break, about 4 miles up the trail, the three of us waited a good 10 minutes before Eric headed back down to see what was up. Another 10 minutes went by before Rudy and I headed down.

After a half dozen turns I see Eric on the phone, and Dan just lying there on his back. I knew it wasn't good. I get closer and Eric says he's not breathing and doesn't have a pulse... and my stomach drops. He asks "Do you know CPR?" and my stomach drops further.

Surprisingly, neither one of us knew CPR. The person on the phone, who was from the Riverside Fire Dept, said not to move him since he might have broken his neck. And they couldn't instruct us over the phone how to perform CPR.

Eric was instructed to ride down to meet the fire department and Rudy and I were there... with Dan... lifeless... for what seemed like forever, but turned out to be a good 45 minutes before a helicopter arrived and landed near by.

About a half-hour into it, we got ahold of Eric who was driving up with the firemen, and they were able to instruct Rudy, over the phone, on how to give CPR. Rudy went at it like a champ for about 15 minutes, but it was really hopeless. The guys from the Mercy Hospital helicopter took over, pumped him full of adrenaline and other drugs for another 15 minutes, but to no avail.

They said is was most likely a heart attack, and the coroner, after hearing our descriptions, said it was a massive heart attack (or Sudden Cardiac Arest) and in these conditions, CPR was totally useless. Even if he had a massive heart attack in an Emergency Room, chances of him making it were very slim.

At the time we didn't know it was a heart attack. In fact, we had no idea what had happened. But sitting there with him for 45 minutes, being ABSOLUTELY HELPLESS, was the WORST feeling I've ever had in my entire life. It was the longest 45 minutes I've ever had to experience and I never, ever want to feel that again... I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone at anytime.

So, I set up an adult CPR and First Aid class for us with the American Red Cross at my house on Saturday, June 18. EVERYONE MUST ATTEND!

The only excuse that's acceptable is that you are already certified AND up to date. Nothing else.

If you can't afford the 50 bucks, let me know and I'll gladly pay for you.

My House

Saturday, June 18th, 9:00am - 4:00pm (one-hour lunch break, lunch provided)

I was thinking we could do a little up and back on the Bedford Motorway, and hopefully NOT use what we've learned that day. Then back to my place for a Bar-B-Que (bring some meat to throw on the grill).

Let me know by June 3rd so I can get an accurate head count. All are welcome.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Shepard Fairey at OCMA

Today Victor and I went to see Shepard Fairey talk about his work at the Beautiful Losers exhibition at OCMA. I've been somewhat of a fan of his for a long time now, but never took the time to learn the background of his Obey Giant campaign. I've heard stories about how it got started and what it actually means, but just as he explained in his talk, they were all wrong. It was interesting, and funny, to learn about how it started by accident and pretty much as a practical joke, but turned into a real statement about marketing and consumption.

I was surprised to learn that he's the same age as me, 35, and that for being a "street artist" he was actually a pretty decent presenter. His social commentary, along with bits of humor, made the hour fly by way too quickly.

We were already going on a two-hour lunch, so we had to zip through the rest of the exhibition. I was pleasantly surprised to see a little Haring and Crumb on the walls. Everything else, from the graffiti to the photography, was just really damned cool. I wish I had more time to absorb it all.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Question of the Day...

"Are blended bullfrogs good for you?"
--Ryann, age 8 (while watching Fear Factor)

Monday, January 17, 2005

She's Anatomically Correct

I'm in Seattle this whole frikken week for a usability study. So I thought I'd take advantage of the long holiday weekend and drag Tricia along with me.

Despite the ice-rain we had a great time. We actualy didn't do much, but it was the first time in at least two years that we had the chance to "get away". We dumped, I mean, dropped off the kids at Grandma and Grampa's in Vegas and took off from there.

We took that Underground Tour that I've been hearing about and it was really cool. We actually got to go and see a REAL movie in a REAL theatre. Wow, was that weird. We saw Ocean's 12.

The funniest part about the weekend was Saturday night we were strolling down 1st street and this homeless man stumbles towards us. He stops and slurs to me, "Hey, where ja git her? She's anno-tomic-ly correct!"

I lost it! That had to have been the most flattering comment I've ever heard. Only in Seattle!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ethan at Two Years Old

That last post just made me think of some other things that impress me about Ethan. He turns two next month.

  • He says (and signs) "Please" and "Thank You" for just about everything.

  • He already knows his first movie quote: "What's up dog?" from School of Rock. It comes out more like "up gog?", but it's cute nonetheless. (He definitely has some Keene blood in him.)

  • He has total coordination when jumping on the trampoline and gets almost a foot of air. (That's Guido blood.)

  • He throws a perfect spiral with the mini-football, if he gets the grip right.

Nanny 911

We've been watching this new show, Nanny 911, and we're just amazed at how out-of-control these kids and parents are. I'm still new at this whole parenting thing, so watching this show is a great example of what not to do. But more importantly, it shows me how great of a parent Tricia really is, especially when it comes to discipline. Our kids test me a little with this, but they never, ever let their mom get to the count of 3.

One comment that stood out above the rest was when the nanny was telling the mom to discipline her kid. She says something like, "He's only 2 and a half, he doesn't know what that means!" Tricia and I just looked at each other with our mouths open.

Ethan's not even two and he friggen knows.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Tour De Corona 2004

This year's tour was a great ride overall, even with all the flat tires and crashes. I estimated a 30 mile-ride... I was a little off. The path was right on, but I messed up on the calculations somehow. Here's what we road:

Started at my house
Temescal Canyon road ride to Indian Truck Trail
Up Indian Truck Trail to Main Divide
Up Main Divide to Santiago Peak
Down Main Divide to Bedford Road
Down Bedford, through the orange groves back to my house.

Everyone met at my house around 7:00 am, including a couple of new faces. Jeff, who I only rode with once before, invited a couple of friends to come along. Which was totally cool because this past week a bunch of people backed out for one reason or another and I thought for sure that nobody was going to show.

John and Mike pulled up shortly after Jay and introduced themselves. Totally cool guys. Jeff warned me that John was a hard-core rider and rides like 5 times a week. So John starts talking about doing this ride in the middle chain ring, and I'm thinking - Okay he's definitely with the wrong crowd, but oh well, let's see how it goes.

Everyone else shows up one-by-one, eating their Jack in the Box breakfast and getting ready for the big ride. Bob finally shows up and we shove off around 7:45.

All together it was:
Jeff Jr.

The road ride on Temescal Canyon was a subtle incline, but we went way too fast. This was supposed to be a mellow warmup, but I had to stay in front of the pack to direct everyone. Everyone else kept passing me, so the whole group just went too fast. At this point, Jay already blew his load.

Climbing up Indian Truck Trail was nice and steady. It was interesting to see all the ancient Indian furniture on the side of the road. I'm sure that La-Z-Boy was comfortable in a tee pee at some point.

As we started the climb, Mike asks "So how far are we going?"

"All the way to the peak!" Apparently he got the email, but failed to read it. Details.

Jay started to fall back, so Steve and I waited up for him and harassed him into keep climbing. "Come on Jay, it just around that corner." Hee heee... works every time. Just before Holy Jim Trail, he threw in the towel and turned around. He probably could've went down Holy Jim to get to his house, but his truck was still at my house.

At this point, everyone was way ahead except for me, Steve and Jeff (Jeff probably had 50 extra pounds of equipment on him, including a GPS device, a walkie talkie, an MP3 player, a Hamm Radio and enough water for both him and his son). I pulled ahead slightly, and was so tired I could've sworn I saw the Indian Truck pass me by with a real life Indian smoking a pipe in the drivers seat. I looked at him, he looked at me and said "how". I blinked, shook my head and he was gone. Dehydration perhaps? They say nobody ever saw the Indian Truck and lived to tell about it, so I started to worry a little and considered it a true hallucination.

By the time I reached the top everyone was cursing at me and giving me high-fives at the same time. It was a little awkward to say the least. But I, along with everyone else, felt a great sense of accomplishment to bag the peak. I don't know what it is that keeps us coming back to these torturous rides because during the ride we think "what the fuck are we doing?" then once we reach the top we're like "hey, can't wait to do it again!". It's a very strange, unexplainable phenomenon and it happens e v e r y - s i n g l e - t i m e.

I've been up to Santiago Peak once before, but from the Orange County side. This was the first time from my house, which I've been wanting to do every since I moved to Corona two years ago.

Now comes the fun part... the downhill ride. Mike and I pulled up front for most the ride, until I got a flat. From that point on, it was flat after flat after flat. I got two, but changing my second one resulted in another because of a bad stem, so I used 3 tubes total. Similar thing happened to Joe with 3 tubes, but he had some kind of mysterious hole in one of his and Brian was determined to find it come hell or high water. He blew it up to the size of a truck tire but to no avail. He was getting so pissed.

The wierdest flat was Jeff Jr's. As we were waiting for Joe and Brian, Jeff Jr was just standing there... let me repeat... just STANDING there with his bike for a good 20 minutes. Then he said, "Do you guys here that?" We didn't hear anything. Then all of a sudden... 'psssssssssss s s s s' His tire flattens right in front of us. Very strange... Did this have anything to do with the Indian Truck I saw? Hmmm...

Steve started the crash sessions with a flying-leap-over-the-handle-bars-into-the-rocks-with-a-flat-tire-to-boot-trick. Very impressive. Mike crashed and racked up his knee to get the "Most Bloodiest Crash" award... until I crashed. I felt a little bad because there wasn't enough action going on for this ride so I saved my crash right until the very end. I crashed pretty good and ended up with blood dripping down my leg to take over the award.

We then returned to my house for some well-deserved burgers and dogs and very tasty beverages.

Everyone's computer said something different, but Jeff's GPS device seemed to be the most reliable. Here are his stats and images (Thanks a bunch Jeff):

Distance: 33.76 miles
Lowest Point: 889'
Highest Point: 5622'
Total Elevation Gain: 6138'
Ride Time: 4.5 hours average
Total Time: 8.5 hours
Flat Tires: 9
Crashes: 3