Off topic: Brewmaster Fail


My passions include bikes, cars, motorcycles and drinking beer, but let me make it clear that I never ride or drive while having had a few beers, that is what Uber is for.


Since RL’s Xmas budget is not big enough for bikes, cars or motorcycles, he decided to give me the next best thing: A Mr. Beer Kit. Yup, I can make my own beer! After checking a few videos online and having read the instructions, it would take roughly a month to make my own beer. Screw that, I opted to go to the market and bought some that were already made.


Time went by and the kit sat in a little corner of my dining room, always reminding me of RL’s kindness and that it was time to go back to the market and get some more beer. So one day my wife caught me looking at the kit and finally put her foot down and told me that it was time for me to make the beer or store the kit downstairs in the little dungeon where my Christmas decorations wait an entire year to get used again. Fine I said, so I grabbed the kit, read the instructions and headed to the market to buy the most necessary ingredient: Water.


So I went thru the steps: Clean the barrel, heat the Hopped Malt Extract, add water to the barrel, add the Extract and then add the yeast. Easy enough, now I had to store the barrel away from light for about two weeks so the fermentation can take place.


Once the fermentation was completed, it was time to bottle the “beer”. This process took longer than what I was expected, I had to sanitize all the bottles, dry them and finally fill them. Once the bottles were filled, it was time to add some sugar to the beer so it can carbonate. Now it was time for the beer to seat another couple of weeks for additional fermentation and carbonation.


I was really confident at this point, I did everything by the book so I was rather excited to taste the final product. I placed a couple of bottles in the fridge and once the cooled, I took them to RLs to try out.


Interestingly enough, RL liked the beer, although I thought he was way too kind. I’m no beer connoisseur but I know when a beer tastes like crap; and mine did. It was flat, sugary and had a funny taste. I’m not sure where I went wrong, but I think it was somewhere at the end… my beer had no fizzle so the carbonation step was a total failure.

The nice thing about this kit is that it is re-usable, all I need to do is buy another can of the Malt extract refill and I should be ready to go. Come to think of it, screw this, I’m gonna go to the market and get some beer….

Sh!t Happens

As I prepare to mow the lawn I’m left thinking how my adulthood revolves around poo. There was the diaper phase for a few years. Thankfully the two money-stealing-time-wasters have learned to poo in a civilized manner. By civilized I mean on the toilet while perusing their favorite magazines. The phase of infinite fecaldom I am in now is of the canine variety. Growing up with my mom’s yapping pekingese all I wanted was a real dog. I said when I grow up I’m getting a big dog that can run and fetch and swim and guard and of course — poo, big. My 2 dogs have depleted the ozone, made the groundwater toxic, and have employed me fulltime in their waste removal. Be careful what you want to do when you grow up.

If only my dogs were this smart.

The Moe’s Inspiratonal reflections

Now that The Moe has all this time on his hands because he does not have to train to race, he has found his new calling:

Inspirational Mountain Biker

It all came to me after last week’s ride. One of our riding buddies stated that he wouldn’t have ridden if it wasn’t because The Moe was there. At the same time, another buddy of ours confessed that he convinced his wife to ride with us because The Moe was going to ride.

“Where is that darn shuttle????”

What caused all of these riders to be inspired to ride with The Moe? It is all because of his trademarked pace: SlowMoetion. They knew that they didn’t have to worry about blasting down a hill yelling “Rider Up” “Rider Up” while going the opposite direction. They knew that the pace will not cause them to vomit or get cramps. They knew that they will not run out of water because they wouldn’t break a sweat. They also knew that there was a high possibility that The Moe would take a shortcut so he could go eat before the restaurant closed.

“mmm, I’m glad that The Moe took that shorcut!”

Yes folks, that IS inspiration. Think about it.. what are your chances of being a bad ass rider like Tinker Juarez? or Steve Peat? or Sabrina Joyner? However, being like The Moe is easy… grab your bike, hop on and ride and if your buddies give you crap for waiting for you at the top of the hill, just tell them “I was a DH racer at one point, I shuttled”

Disabled Diaries

It could always be worse. Every time you’re injured, broken, bruised, scarred; you have to remind yourself that things could be worse. Injuries are an inherent risk of any action sport and you have to understand and accept these risks before partaking. When (if) you do go down and you are laid up for months on end then you will obviously be thinking “What if?” There’s no shame in that, we learn from our mistakes so we don’t make them again. It’s when we think “If I could go back,” that we start wasting our time. Obviously there’s not a time machine waiting for you next to your hospital bed. It’s time to move forward.

People aren’t invincible but it does take a lot to keep one off a bike for more than a few months. Broken limbs happen often and heal quick. Someone with ligament damage can pay the bills for any physical therapist for months or years, but still, that person can get back on a bike within months. Neck protectors, helmets and back armor are so advanced these days that paralyzing injuries are hard to come by. Team racer, Wes Castro came back from one of the toughest injuries (a broken hip) within one race season. The point here is that if you are determined, get to physical therapy and get back in shape. Hair of the dog that bit you usually is the best remedy for me.

Form and function built into one
Sure, not being able to ride puts a damper on things but there are always hidden benefits to being injured. I broke my foot in a couple places while dirtbiking in Utah a few weeks ago and solving life’s little nuances has actually been pretty fun. Crutches are solid source of entertainment and innovation themselves. Being injured has given me a lot more time to focus on school, video editing, and a plethora of other things that have been backing up. Every time i get injured I learn a lot about myself in term of how fragile (or durable) I am and in terms of pain tolerances. Transportation has been an interesting challenge because my truck is a manual, but my girlfriend has not only been a great chauffeur but she lent me her scooter to get around on.
The looks I get are priceless

This whole experience hasn’t hindered me one bit. I have since forgiven my dirtbike and am ready to focus on getting back in shape to finish out this race season and get started on the next one. Anyone out there who is discouraged just needs to look ahead. Make good on what you have right now and look at how you can improve yourself in the future. If your injury was an eye opener and you feel that these kinds of sports are no longer for you then there is no shame in that. If you want to continue, then accept the risks and don’t regret the consequences.

Desktop Backgrounds

Priscilla and I were chatting with each other while we were at work and she told me that she used a recent picture I uploaded onto my Facebook account as her desktop background. She sends me a screen shot…

There’s a story behind all this…but if you’re friends with me on FB, you would have understood.

Anyhow, Priscilla then asks me whats on my desktop…I show her this screen shot.


Vigilante Justice, Anyone?

not that I am promoting this or anything like it…

A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face felony charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardize his job, prosecutors said Thursday.

Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, faces two misdemeanor traffic charges stemming from a July 3 incident when he allegedly hit bicyclist Dr. Steven Milo from behind then sped away, according to court documents.

A must read article from the Vail Daily in Vail, Colorado.

Its not even a question of if Erzinger hit Milo. Erzinger is “willing to take responsibility and pay restitution“. The issue at hand is that District Attorney Hurlbert is dropping the felony charge and instead, Erzinger will face two misdemeanor traffic charges.

“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said. “When you’re talking about restitution, you don’t want to take away his ability to pay.”

WHAT!?!?! Felony convictions will have serious implications for ANY job.

EDIT: Some closure to this:

Mark Hulbert explains the Plea Deal:
Over the weekend, I have received over 1,000 e-mails from all over the country regarding the Erzinger case. Because of that I feel the need to explain why I am offering the plea bargain proposed in the Erzinger case. Either through the bent of the Vail Daily article or my own inartful comments, I feel that the reason for the plea bargain was not properly conveyed.

First, let me say that from the start I feel for Dr. Milo and sincerely hope that he has a complete and speedy recovery from his injuries. So, why did I offer two misdemeanors on such a serious case?

Despite what is implied in the Vail Daily, Dr. Milo never asked me to plead Mr. Erzinger to a felony. Dr. Milo asked that I plead Mr. Erzinger to a felony deferred judgment and sentence. What this means is that Mr. Erzinger would plead to a felony leaving the scene of an accident and the judgment would be set aside. In either two or four years, as long as Mr. Erzinger met certain conditions, the case would drop off his record and he would be allowed to seal this case. Since there was no alcohol or drugs involved, the only conditions I could legally ask for were that he pay restitution and stay out of trouble. Given that he had a clean history, Mr. Erzinger would essentially have been able to write a check and the case would then be dismissed. On top of that, while Dr. Milo was still probably recovering from his injuries, Mr. Erzinger would be able to say that he had no criminal history and even deny that anything had happened. That is not something I could stomach.

I therefore offered Mr. Erzinger plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and careless driving causing serious bodily injury. This means that for the rest of his life, Mr. Erzinger will have on his record that he carelessly drove, caused another human being serious bodily injury and left the scene. He will lose his driver’s license, face potential jail time as determined by the judge and still have to pay restitution, which as I said in the Vail Daily is important to us, but not an overriding objective in the plea.. Obviously there is a benefit to Mr. Erzinger on taking the misdemeanors — he keeps his job. If he were to plea to the deferred he may or may not lose his job, but either way, as mentioned above, in a couple of years he would be able to tell any prospective employer that he had no criminal history.

There has been much made about Mr. Erzinger’s wealth. That is of no concern to me other than as it pertains to restitution to Dr. Milo. I have not asked Mr. Erzinger for any money either to myself or to the district attorney’s office and he has not offered. Both of us understand that would be highly illegal.

Finally, I appreciate the constructive comments I have received. And even if I have not responded, I have read every single one of them. If after reading this, you still feel that I am wrong for the plea bargain, I take full responsibility and welcome any constructive comments. But be forewarned, that there is not much I can change at this point. I made the plea offer months ago and the defense has accepted. This means that even if I wanted to change the plea offer, I could not. The only person that can reject it at this point is the judge. Again, I welcome any constructive comments in this case.

Mark Hurlbert, District Attorney

Fifth Judicial District

Oh my, what big grips you have…

As a bike fanatic, I’ve always wanted to make a custom TP holder for one of my bathrooms. I’ve seen similar set-ups at a couple of my local bike shops’ bathrooms and I’ve always wanted to copy it. With old parts laying around I decided to make one.

The main part for my bike art is a 2001 Marzocchi Z1 MCR topped with an Easton carbon Monkeylite handlebar. The bar ends were pretty chewed up where I wouldn’t be able to use them again. These two were held together by an old 25.4 stem. What kept the unit upright was an old Yakima fork-mount holder. I had this secured to a ¼ “ piece of plywood.

Finally, I needed stops so the toilet paper won’t slide down to the middle of the bar. I used two old ODI lock-on clamps and glued cogs onto them. Evenly placed, I secured the ODI clamps and left the ends open to replace with new TP as needed. Pretty cool for making use of old parts.


War Wounds

Road rash? Bruises? Scrapes? If you mountain bike then you probably have a few good crash stories yourself. I’ve probably got more crash stories than the average lady out there. Some may say that perhaps I should work on my technical skills, but I’d like to think I just ride pretty dang hard and fast out there! 😉

Injuries comes with the territory. I would consider mountain biking to be a pretty extreme sport. Cliffs, rocks, sharp branches..even an occasional mountain lion. Someone is bound to get hurt out on the trails! It’s part of the excitement though! Even all the accidents we avoid – each time we nearly miss an OTB or feel our back tire wiping out on us, our hearts pound, and our blood rushes. We give thanks and can’t wait to tell our buddy about the disaster we just avoided. It’s just part of the fun.

Then there’s those times we just can’t do anything to avoid our mishaps. Sometimes we don’t have time to think anything other than “Oh, this is not going to be good, oh SHHhhhhh” – Shoot. I was going to say shoot!
🙂 If you’re lucky you were able to bail on the bike and tuck and roll. Some of us aren’t so lucky though. I had a nasty spill at the Super D race myself this past weekend. I really don’t remember how it happened. Bike hit didn’t roll over rock. Bike bounces off rock and then I was like a dead fish on the ground. This would be the latest in a long list of war wounds. What can I say, I like to document my body with all of my accomplishments. HA! Maybe I should just get a tattoo! ;D

I have to say I find boo boos and crashes quite entertaining. They are like car wrecks. I can’t help but want to look, and I think there’s something to be said about banging up your body like that and living to tell about it. You know you like to see the bruises and scrapes! When you’re buddy tells you about their injury, the first thing you say is “I wanna see!”

An oldie but goodie! Racing in Bonelli. March 2008

Now I don’t mean to take injuries lightly. I know there are some that are much worse than others. But if you’ve had a boo boo from a bad fall- and you took pics, then I’d like to see em!