Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jake's 2010 Year in Review Post!!!

In what has become a tradition of mine, I sit at the computer and type out a review of my past year. I'm gonna take the easy way out this year and share some of my favorite entry's from this blog I wrote over the past year. They're ranked in no particular order. Click the italicised titles to visit the actual post.

1) Welcome to Hell--I've done the HHH the past 4 years, and every year people ask me "what's it like?" This post was a way of answering that question, although you can't know what it truly is like unless you are there pedaling over that scalding tarmac.

2) The Great Taylor Family Excursion to WI Dells!!! --We decided we needed to take a trip as a family, just the 3 of us. Between Elli and I we threw up 4 times and I hurt my back. Dav didn't seem to notice.

3) Just be the better person--Age old debate between cyclists and motorists. I was pleased with the response from people saying that they would take my advice on this one. That's all I wanted from this post.

4) Bragging Rights--Easily one of my favorite stories to tell, and arguably one of Elli's biggest accomplishments.

5) The 5 stages of pancake eating (according to Daven) --Daven has lots of funny mannerisms. He doesn't get as worked up over pancakes these days, but when he did it was a sight to behold.

6) Snap, Crackle, Pop! --This year I made my highly anticipated return to deer hunting. And like most of my hunting excursions, I returned empty handed. But I think I managed to make the situation funny.

7) The Doctor will not be seeing you today--Although I wish it all turned out a different way, this to me is my best writing to date. This experience helped put what I had into focus, and also close friends shared kind words that otherwise I may not have ever gotten to hear. I sometimes find myself rereading this post and thinking of those words, and rather than getting all upset over it I'm smiling instead.

2010 was a eventful year. And it was a good year. It's nice to be able to constantly say that "this year was a good year." I've gotten to say that about the past handful of them. We watched Daven turn from a toddler into little boy (although if you call him such, he will profoundly exclaim that he isn't a little boy, he's "Daven!"), we learned that Elli was pregnant again, some friends got married, some others had kids, both Elli and my Mom celebrated academic achievements, I became an Uncle for the first time, and finally, after 3 failures, accomplished my goal of finishing the HHH bike ride. Not too shabby of a year indeed.

From my family to yours, Happy New Year! I hope you can look back with good vibes from the last year, and I look forward to seeing what 2011 has in stock for me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

What do you think Reindeer tastes like?

Currently Dav's favorite bed time read:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"

-Clement Moore

Christmas activities are off and running for us over here. I can't believe we are already at this point! Anyhow, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas!! If you are out and about, drive carefully.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shoveling blows...

The following are actual ideas I have had to clear my driveway other than using the shovel. This is what Elli has to deal with on a daily basis.

1) Pouring gasoline all over the snowpack and setting the snow ablaze--Illegal, and was also pointed out to me that it would probably not do anything other than melting the top layer and then allowing the layer underneath to freeze solid do to the water produced.

2) Laying out tarps, and then hauling the snow to the side of the driveway and dumping it-- This idea was just idiotic, but that's how much I hate shoveling. I'll try anything to get out of it.

3) Use the 4 wheel drive in the truck and pack the snow down--Good idea at first, but what happens after we exceed two feet of snow. Plus I drive a Ford, it would be embarassing to get stuck in your own driveway.

4) Commandeer a fire hose from Maplewood Fire Station and blast the snow away-- Again, highly illegal and also would cause a skating rink like surface on the drive as well as the road in front of our house. Many lawsuits would ensue.

5) Buy industrial strength ice eater in industrial size portions and melt snow away-- Too expensive, and would probably result in longer time spend outside than just shoveling.

6) Use the hose and spray the snow with water. Once frozen, break up and throw large chunks of ice away to the side-- Really?

I hate shoveling. And by actually writing out this list (which again I emphasize is not made up, I've really thought about doing this stuff) it would appear I need counseling.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Seriously?!! How the F%ck are these two getting away with this?!!!!

I'm used to the world being unfair. We all should be. I'm also used to hearing stories in the news that really urk me. Most of the time I let them pass rather quickly and then don't give them a second thought. Because they don't affect me, because when it boils right down to it I don't care, whatever the reason I let it go.

And then I was introduced to Mark Hurlbert. And have since labeled him the biggest douchebag I have ever heard of. And I've met some awful people in my lifetime.

For those who do not know, this Hurlbert jerkoff is the DA out in the Eagle County Colorado area. He has a reputation of being crooked, yet somehow keeps his job. You'll see why I now hate this guy with a passion in a minute.

Back in July, a mercedes driven by Marty Erzinger struck a cyclist by the name of Dr. Stephen Milo. While the impact didn't kill him, it left him with serious injuries, ones that affect him to this day yet and will for possibly years to come. That would be a bad enough story as it is. However, rather than stopping, Erzinger continues driving off, claiming he didn't realize he hit anyone because he was suffering from some bogus medical condition (which has all been proven BS but again doesn't seem to matter). He drives 3 miles, and then calls a road side assistance service to see about getting his car towed because of the front end damage and he is concerned about driving it further. Eventually the story of how that damage occured comes out, and Erzinger is arrested.

And then this DA asshole shows his true colors. The following is a direct quote from dickless wonder when asked to explain why he wasn't charging Erzinger with felonies:

"Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession"

Are you serious? This guy almost kills a person because he's a moron, but no felony charge. How is this possible? Furthermore, how does a court agree and move on with misdemeanor charges? This guy almost killed someone.

Still not convinced this Hurlbert is not slime? Consider this: Back in August after the Leadville Mountain bike race a story came out about how one of the female bikers said they were someone else (a friend of hers) so that she could get admission to the race when the actual person was unable to participate. The fake one ends up winning. Is this bad? Yes, but in the long run simply stripping them of the title and awarding to the 2nd place person would've been a justified punishment. Even a ban of some sort I could see. But Hurlbert think differently. He won't charge Erzinger with a felony for damn near killing someone, however he went after both of these ladies and got felony convictions against both of them. One was a teacher who lost her job because of the felony record she now has.

Both of these stories can easily be found online. Google "Leadville Mountain Bike felony convictions" and/or "Marty Erzinger hits cyclist".

I just don't understand how this can be acceptable, or this DA is still around. I guess the law doesn't protect us cyclist and really does favor the rich.

We are truly on our own out there, which is completely unfair.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

And now, your moment of zen...

A few quotes that Dav has said this past year:

"Go pick some food!"--He very sternly said this to Elli (while pointing towards the garden) when he wanted her to move so he could sit on the couch.

"I really like garbage trucks. Garbage trucks drink garbage cans."--I think he said this when we saw a garbage truck while out driving on the highway.

"I love buses, I love garbage trucks, I love tractors." To which I asked, "Well do you love Mommy and Daddy?" His response? "No."

"Garbage truck goes in the god-damn truck."--I was getting frusturated with him while trying to load up the truck to take him somewhere. He insisted on bringing one too many of his trucks and finally I got so frusturated I said the above. He then repeated it when we were leaving. I wasn't all that upset after that.

"We bought Daddy a bike watch."--I came home from work a few weeks ago and saw Erik's bike shop stickers on Dav's shirt. I pointed them out to Elli who had forgotten to take them off. I then jokingly asked him what he and Mama got me for Xmas. When he replied, both Elli and I were speechless. Elli didn't talk to him about the gift and he only briefly saw it in the store. Goes to show you they know more about what's going on around them then they let on.

"Hey Elli Johnson!! Hey Jacob Taylor!!" He yells this frequently now-a-days.
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