Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ironman '08: Cold, Crack, & S'mores

The good thing about the MN Ironman ride today is that it was dry. Unlike two years ago when we did the ride in 38 degrees and pouring rain. But, like Neil said, we made a commintment. That commitment that Neil pointed out to us and hammered us with gave the Amigos a popular phrase, repeated whenever inclement weather affected our cycling escapades: "Fucking Neil."

As I said, today was dry. But, it was freaking cold; 27 degrees when we started. The first 10 miles were brutally cold on our hands and feet, maybe not as cold if you were riding with a -35 degree windchill, like our friend Bill did this winter (not once, but twice). His riding in such cold weather gave us another phrase: "Stupid Fuck." Bill was not with us today, as he had to be in church for the first time in years. Anywho, we finally got our fingers and toes warm. The sun came out, but it never got really warm. After the ride was completed, and yes, we did do the entire 100 miles, the temp had risen to 37 degrees. I'll have you know, this is below Fair Weather Kenny's standard for temperature. As Jorge wrote to me a while back, "It was colder then a penguin butt!

Riding with me today was Eric, Tom, Bob, and Joe. Joe completed his first century today, congratulations!

Eric smiling before we started. His smile didn't last long.

Man, what a view. Nothing like a cold plumber's ass too look at while riding.

We stopped in Lonsdale at the 65 mile mark. (I've got your Lonsdale right here!) That's a pretty patient pooch to ride in the back of a milk crate.

We got a very nice surprise from Matt. He is on his way back from China, and he called us while he was on layover in San Francisco.

Maple Grove Cycles had a fire pit with s'mores! The fire was very welcome as it helped fight off the chill. Pictured, standing is Bob and Eric. I'm sitting down next to Joe.

It was the usual century, sore shoulders, sore ass, sore knees, and cramping.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Madonna. On Saturday, when the weather was absolutely terrible, with snow, rain, cold, and howling winds; she competed and finished 3rd in a road race. You're a star, Madonna!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sometimes you pedal, sometimes...

Sunday was a great day for a ride! We rode some of the old familiar roads for the first time of the season. Out to Albertville and Otsego. Bill, Bob, Eric and myself. Unfortunatley, the work on 144 is not finished. Of course, you can't turn around and ride the route from whence we came. So, we threw the bikes over our shoulders and trudged through! We finished up riding through the park and ran into Dave Hoglund. We were on track to do 50 miles, Dave said he had done the Sunday morning Stone Arch ride, and was riding just to put in 100. Kinda took the wind out of our sails!
PS-I haven't used the word "whence" in a sentence before, pretty cool, huh?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Danny Federici

As you may have guessed by now, I'm a pretty big fan of Bruce Springsteen's music. I'm also a big fan of his band. They are incredible musicians. As much as I love hearing guitars being played with great vigor, it's the keyboards that stand out to me in songs. Both of the E Street Band's keyboard players, Roy Bittan and Danny Federici are outstanding. I'm saddened to have read today that Danny passed away yesterday from the effects of melanoma. He is pictured above, center, playing the accordian. Roy bittan is on the right and Bruce on the left. He didn't play at the St. Paul show we saw. Bruce mentioned him and said he was recovering and hoped he would join them in the near future. Four days later, in Indianapolis, he did. I just assumed he was on the road to recovery. There is a short video of the performance on the Springsteen website. I couldn't get the video link itself dial in. Rest in peace, Danny.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It was 25 years ago today...

April 9th, 1983, Two Harbors, MN. We were just a couple of kids, 27 & 25. We owned a bakery in a town on the shores of Lake Superior. Dreams of success in life, family and love. I was the baker, she was the cake decorator.

We had actually been together for over 5 years already. The above photo was taken in Northern California, near Garberville, in 1979. We ran a little bakery there in a general store.

From one of our "gumbo parties."

Anguilla, the Pumphouse 2005.

Same island, same bar, different year.
Sandy Ground, Anguilla, 2008. What can I say? Diane is my best friend, my favorite person to go to a restaurant with, my favorite person to sit at a bar with, and my favorite person to hug!

Not all of our dreams have been met, but as John Lennon said: "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

Our love is still strong. Now, if I could only get her to ride a bike just a little bit more often.........

Besides each other, what we both value so much is our friends. We love you all, we take joy in seeing you each and every time. We don't have children, but we love seeing yours and hearing how they are doing as they grow. Some of you have been with us from the beginning, others we've met along the way. Thanks to you all for being a part of our life!

All of our love, Kenny and Diane 4/8/2007

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Boss

When you see someone as great as Springsteen in concert, it stays with you for days and even weeks. I've found myself digging out old cds and listening to them again and again. He is truly an artist for our generation. This is a video clip from the concert I attended in St. Paul, he's performing "Darkness on the Edge of Town."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008