Category Archives: the SLC

not in this century…

Ok, so it wasn’t actually a Century this year. Our weekend up north to ride in the annual Bike MS charity ride for the Utah/Idaho chapter of the MS Society turned into a bit more pre-partying than expected, and it definitely had an impact on my ride.

We normally don’t participate in the ride every year. I prefer to ride every-other year so that I’m not harassing my friends, family and colleagues every year for donations. Since I earned a spot in the 150 Club last year, I decided we’d do the ride this year and planned on just self-donating the minimum so that I didn’t have to bug anyone. I ended up sending a single fundraising email to my network and pulling in nearly $1000 in a couple days, so thank you thank you thank you to all my generous friends for the support.

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Col and I talked Lisa and Jer into doing the ride this year by convincing them the 45 mile leg would be a piece of cake. Col set out intending to do the 75 mile leg, and I decided to just play it by ear. In a flashback to my first year of the ride, I ended up with a bad dental problem in the days before the event, so I needed to see how it would play out once I was on the bike.

We loaded up the Jeep with our gear and bikes on Friday and headed up to Salt Lake City. Hotels in Logan were sold out, so we planned to stay in SLC and just drive up early for the ride on Saturday morning and then spend the night back in SLC again for some post-ride partying. The plan for Friday night was a low key dinner and an early bedtime since we had to be up at 4AM to head up to Logan. Yeah…right.

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Lisa and Jer had never been to Lucky 13, so we took Trax down to the stadium and set out to enjoy some amazing burgers and “just one” beer. Lisa had been on a fast of sorts for the previous month, so she was enjoying her first beer in nearly 30 days. Well, as usual with the Good Times Gang, one led to four, and we left Lucky 13 not for the hotel, but for a bar. We ended up at The Beerhive until about midnight, which meant Trax wasn’t running (seriously, SLC get a clue!). We decided to get a jump on our bike ride and rented Green Bikes to get back to the hotel. Probably not the brightest idea, but it sure was hysterical.

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With only 3 hours of sleep, we made the trek up to Logan, arriving a little late due to my incorrect start time and a little detour I accidentally took us on.  We set out to do the 45 mile ride, but when we got to the turnaround it was still pretty early and we all felt good, so Lisa, Jer and I decided to join Col on the 75 mile ride. It was nice enough, but my mouth was really hurting which made for slow going, and I was holding the rest of the group back. Lisa had a run in with a dog (an actual run in), which was a pretty funny war story. We made the lunch stop a nice long break and eventually got back into the fair grounds around 4PM.

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Cheryl and Jeanne flew up on Saturday to have a fun SLC night with us. We made it back to the hotel dirty, tired and sunburned, but they had cold beer waiting for us. We cleaned up and then went to dinner at another of my favorites, Rusted Sun Pizzeria. From there we tried out Ty Burrell’s new Beer Bar downtown. It is a really cool concept, but was so loud it made any conversation nearly impossible. We enjoyed a couple of the beer choices, then headed back to the hotel to relax.

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Sunday morning we met Col’s parents and Amanda for brunch at Squatters, and then headed out. It was a liver busting weekend for sure, but it was fun to do the ride again. It’s an amazingly well supported event, and accounts for nearly all the funding the chapter receives for the year. Our little group raised nearly $2k among us, so we felt pretty good about our contribution. Thanks again to everyone who donated, and if anyone else is still inclined, my fundraising page is open until 31 July!

klassy in the ess ell see

Overheard today at Smith’s:

“Excuse me, can I use my food stamp card to buy sushi?”

made for a different time

Tonight Col told me he doesn’t know how I am going to survive in this age of technology. I suppose I could have taken that as another wise crack about my age, but this time I knew that wasn’t what he meant. Two things happened tonight that prompted that comment.

First, we went to Cafe Rio after running some errands and before packing to leave for NYC tomorrow. It was more crowded than it’s been in a long time, and that just compounds one characteristic of the place that drives me up a fucking wall. For those not familiar, the concept is you make and tailor your order as you move down the line in front of the food prep area behind big glass sneeze guards. Think of a Mexican food Subway setup and you’ll have the basic idea. Well, the little Cafe Rio workers are so eager, they start asking you questions long before the line has moved up enough for you to have reached their station. So, you end up yelling over the heads of the people in front of you, and you’re unable to see what’s going on with your food. It royally pisses me off. I mean, the whole concept it to move along the little assembly line with your food. If the mean bitches running the registers can’t keep the line moving at the same pace as the food prep, maybe they need to get faster mean bitches. Or more of them. Either way, I don’t care.

So, tonight, they were moving us along pretty quickly, but I noticed that one of the guys seemed confused as he was prepping food. I was trying to keep my eye on my order, but the wench at the next station kept yelling and asking me what I had ordered, so I had to turn away to respond. When I turned back, I was pretty sure he had swapped mine and Col’s dishes. This is a problem. Col likes their pork. I hate it. I love their pico. Col hates it. Col likes their beans. I hate them. You get the idea. I kept trying to ask them to check the orders and switch them back before they loaded up all those items that neither of us like of the other’s, but they were all moving too fast. So, $20 later, we sat down at the table to confirm that the orders were wrong. To say I was pissed is an understatement. Anyone who knows me knows that you better watch out when my blood sugar drops. I needed food STAT, but what was in front of me was crap.

First, I tried to take it back to have them fix it. I stood there with the tray of food trying to get someone to help me to no avail. They were all ignoring me. Assholes. I went back to the table resigned to eat around the parts I couldn’t stomach, but Col wanted to try to get it fixed. His patience paid off and someone finally helped him, although they were extremely rude about correcting their error. The mean bitch slammed the tray down with the newly done order and Col returned to the table. Two bites into mine and I was done. They had just remade me another pork enchilada. So, basically they fucked up my order twice. I ate some rice and then gave up. I was so hungry and so pissed, I decided to be a completely disgusting pig and drive through McDonald’s on the way home for a nasty cheeseburger and some fries. This brings us to the second reason Col made his comment.

The McDonald’s here has a Drive Thru that splits into two lanes where they simultaneously take two cars’ orders, staggering them by about 15 seconds to keep the orders in line with the cars. When you first pull up, a recorded voice welcomes you to McDonald’s and suggests you try some daily special (tonight was oatmeal…no thanks) and then says, “Go ahead and order when you’re ready.” Now, usually you can rattle off your order and then some totally different voice gives you a total and tells you to drive forward. Tonight, after I listed my order the totally different voice said, “May I take your order?” It seems the automated system got a little ahead of the human element. And, I about lost my shit. I know…it’s just a freaking McDonald’s order. But, to me it was just the icing on the cake of fucktastic evening where nobody seemed to be able to do anything correctly. Am I being nit-picky? Absolutely. Normally, I’m pretty go with the flow. But, a long week, low blood sugar and knowing I still had to pack and clean up some things to leave at 330AM tomorrow just pushed me to the brink.

The fact is, I just can’t see the value in automation for automation’s sake. Does it really speed up the process that the order taker gets fed the order instead of asking for it? What if they’ve stepped away from the screen? What if someone is asking them a question while my order is coming in? They’ll just have to ask for it again, and sooner or later people are going to get sick of repeating themselves. This isn’t even a matter of people being incompetent; it’s a matter of someone deciding they needed to sell some automation where it really isn’t needed.

So yes, Col, I was born too late. I need to be the age I am now, but 20 or so years ago. And, I guess the bigger lesson learned in all this…I got what I deserved for trying to eat crap.

pie-neer day!

Yay, it’s a holiday weekend in Utah! Time to celebrate and show our preesh-eee-ay-shun for the illegal immigration of the early Mormons into Mexico and their illegal settling of Mexican land. Also, we want to recognize their patriotism since they were flipping the bird to the good ol’ US of A in doing so.

hunnerwoof and crew are fleeing SLC for the warmer climes of Lake Powell for the next week. I hope everyone enjoys all the p’rades. I think the big one is on Mondee. I’ll look forward to reading all the stories of the idiots maimed by fireworks over the weekend upon my return.

zombie invasion

Walking home from the store today I noticed a lot of people out. It’s only about six blocks, but I passed a lot of people coming and going along the way. I was about two blocks from home and coming up on a woman going the same direction as I, but walking much slower. And weaving. I began to suspect she was drunk when she would stop every few feet and pick something up off the ground, look at it then throw it off to the side.

She was wearing a wide brimmed, floppy sun hat and what looked like some sort of nun’s habit from behind. I shuffled my feet a little as I got closer, thinking she would hear me and maybe move off to the side. Or, at least stop where she was so I could walk around her. No luck.

So, I did what any normal and civilized urban dweller would do in this situation. I walked onto the grass next to her to pass. As I did, I heard a very familiar voice say, “Why…Hunner!”

I turned, a little in shock, to stand face to face with Sally, wearing a nun’s habit, floppy hat and large crucifix around her neck. She’s baaaaaaccckkk. And, she’s living just two blocks down the street. I got away as quickly as I could, but not before she invited me to a housewarming.

I think I’ll be out of town. Whenever it is.

dirt in the skirt

It’s been a hectic few weeks around here, and I’m woefully behind on posting anything. I’m also behind on my flickr “obligations.” All I can say is it’s a good thing I’ve given up on facebook or else I’d really be in the hole.

I’ve been traveling a lot for work, including an eight day stint in Sucktown, USA (Cleveland, OH to most). I was able to get home for a weekend, which included running the second SLC Dirty Dash at Soldier Hollow. Last year we ran the 10K DD as prisoners. This year we ran the 5K as hula dancers. The 5K was a much better experience since the obstacles were condensed into the shorter course…it just made it more fun all around. Once again, we got very muddy and had a blast doing it.

My only complaint with the Dirty Dash continues to be the race support. It’s $45 to run a 5K, which is pretty steep. There were two water stations over the course (an improvement over the two stations for the entire 10K), but the second station was completely abandoned with no cups and no water. I realize we were in the last wave of the day, but we paid the same $45 the earlier participants paid, and it seems to me the organizers should plan accordingly. Definitely a fail on this one.

After the weekend I was back in Sucktown for a couple days, then home for one night before leaving early in the morning to drive with a friend to Ann Arbor, MI. Monica is starting her residency there, and I agreed to drive out with her. We covered more than 1600 miles in two days, and I learned the following:

  1. Nebraska is flat
  2. Iowa is flat
  3. Illinois is flat
  4. Indiana is flat AND full of Jesus freaks
  5. Michigan is the mecca of strip clubs and porn shops

Monica was safely deposited at her new home in Ann Arbor, and I flew home Saturday afternoon. I hardly recognize it here since I’ve been gone so much. And, the dogs are probably wondering, “Who the hell is this guy?”

where the streets have no name

Jesus may have disappointed last Saturday, but Bono showed up in SLC last night, albeit two years late due to his back surgery. I’m not sure, but even in Utah I think Bono’s arrival caused more fervor than Jesus’ would have. The concert was sold out and ticket prices were ridiculous through the secondary channels, so I was not one of the saved at Rice Eccles Stadium last night at the U.

But, who needs to shell out for expensive tickets when you live within sight of the stadium? We opened the living room windows and listened to U2 entertain the thousands braving the cold. The highlight of my night was listening to “Sunday Bloody Sunday” as I walked the dogs before bed. While I never actually put it on there, I can now cross “Pick up Sydney’s Poop While Bono Serenades Me” off my list.