Sunday, July 31, 2011

Eric's first TacoRide

Yes, I stole his virginity and he liked it. There was alcohol involved, it was dark out, and we were going fast. Before he knew it, we were done and heading home. I dropped him off at his house, we said our goodbyes, and we were unsure of when we would see each other again.

Sounds like a trashy novel! Well that's pretty much how last week's Tacoride went. There were probably half the usual patrons at Mineola. We think the rain from earlier in the day kept most away, if not the RAGBRAI that was also going on during the week.

She obviously hasn't learned the Aaron way of crushing cans  

Eric had his wife's bike which hadn't been ridden in years. Two flat tires, no big deal. We'll pump it up at the high school. Funny how those premonitions get to you because when I first picked him up, I was thinking to myself that we should pump them up JUST IN CASE.  Once there, we pumped it up. POP! It seemed odd that the rear tire was at a much higher pressure than the front, even though they squeezed about the same. But I didn't think much about it. He hopped on and it sounded like firecracker/gunshot. Everyone in the parking lot looked. After borrowing some wrenches (no quick release), we finally got the tire off and there was complete blowout of the side of the tube. Pretty sure it was caught between the side of the rim and tire. Eric wrenched, I inserted the new tube, and Jena pumped. Teamwork!

There was a gorgeous sunset behind us as we arrived into Mineola

We got down to Mineola (after our usual pitstop at Margaritaville) without a single raindrop. As Eric recited some weather knowledge from our weather friends, we had experienced a squall not even five minutes onto the trail. The menacing looking clouds were on both sides of the trail, but they seemed to pass right around us!
There might not be a pot of gold at Mineola, but they do have tacos, beer, and fried cheese balls!

Once at Mineola, we quickly got our order of tacos, beer, and margaritas. Fried cheese curds too! Delicious! Up roll Paul, Jodi, and Jim. Jodi and Paul made the trip from Mineola to Silver City and back, while Jim rode solo out to Silver City. Think he's enjoying his new bike. Jodi and Jena went inside and checked out crazy umbrella-on-his-head boy and his little thong that he was proudly showing off. Yeah, quite a sight when you see someone roll past you and their shorts are purposely pulled halfway down, exposing one buttock and a black thong. Quite a sight that I'll hopefully never see again. Good times and good friends! Till next Taco Thursday!
Umbrella thong boy and his S.O.

As you can tell by her face, I was caught taking a picture of her. "Girls on film..."

Last week's MNR

I missed riding with the group, but had just as entertaining of a time riding with Jena and her coworker Chris. It was Chris' first time riding trails and man is he a trooper! It was harder than he thought it would be, but he continued on. The hill looked taller than he thought, but he got to the top. The open flesh wound was wide open, but he continued on back to the car!
MNR group riding back to Fort Street 

"The meat is on the pedal." Chris' saying pretty much grossed me out. Let me set the scene. We had just made it back to the top of the south hill at Tranquility from the ice rink. I told Chris and Jena to go ahead and take the cutoff instead of the Ridgeline. Chris said that he wanted to go where I was going. The thought actually crossed my mind to take the easy way out because I didn't want him to get hurt. Thought it might be beyond his ability. But he bravely insisted. He got over the first hump right before the cutoff, said it wasn't too bad. Then he continued on. Well he went over the side of his bike, fell to the ground, and the metal teeth of his pedal dug into his leg. It was bleeding, but I didn't see how bad the cut was. He wanted to finish the trail. So he wrapped his shirt around the wound and we got back to the dirt road. Chris was telling the Devo kids about his fall, they said that's nice as we pedaled off. That's nice? What kind of compliment was that? But we just all laughed.

Once we got back to the car, he took off the makeshift bandage, aka ruined shirt. There was a huge piece of skin missing, and another just flapping on his leg. Blech! He went to the doctor's that night where they cleaned the wound. He was sent back in the next morning and he got 10 stitches. Jena said he was limping at work, but he couldn't wait to get back on the bike. Trooper! Thanks Chris for going and hope you had fun. Speedy recovery and we'll see you on the trail soon!
 Burnt portapotty and bike frame. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

You gotta work to play!

8 am rolled around on this Saturday morning. Was I really waking up at 7am to go do trailwork? Seriously, I woke up at 8:30am for work yesterday, why am I up so early??? But as we all know, the trail doesn't take care of itself. Paul was able to throw together a mini impromptu trailday and we got alot accomplished. Greg was mowing just north of Fort Street, Brian was cutting trees and branches since he wasn't racing today due to an injury, Paul was mowing on the NW section where Tigger couldn't get to, and I had the weed wacker going also in the same area.

We each put in about 1.5 hrs each and Paul had about an extra hour of mowing before I got there at 8am. So about 7-8 hrs put in this morning before it started to get hot. Paul, Brian, and I then squeezed in a ride before heading to Loose Moose to fill our stomachs. Brian, I'm jealous of the Karate Monkey on it's inaugural trail ride.

Tranquility is looking great, so get out there and ride it! A few others are planning to do some trailwork tomorrow, so get a hold of THOR if you want to help.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pretty Proud...

I'm pretty proud of myself tonight. Friday night, no partying but instead I hit the gym and then I bought a new pair of jeans for $3.63 after tax. Yeah you read that right! I might just wear them to weed wack Tranquility tomorrow and call it good. One beer would cost more than that. Score!

311 and Sublime with Rome

Woohoo! I got tickets to see 311 and Sublime with Rome! Those were my first words to Jeremy when I bought my presale tickets. Okay, enough with complaining about the entire Red Sky Music Festival as a whole (see my last entry). The festival still brought in two great bands that I otherwise wouldn't have seen this year. 311 on their unity tour and Sublime with Rome. Crazy thing is that 311 had a cd release party the night before at Homer's downtown. Gotta love that the 311 boys still pay homage to their hometown. And Sublime, remember those guys? I don't practice Santeria. Yes, they're back! This time they have a new lead singer with them and he goes by the name of Rome Ramirez. How does he sound? Like he was part of the original band! No, you can never replace Bradley Nowell, but soundwise, you can come pretty darn close! Being one of my favorite bands of all time, it was a bonus to see them play before 311. How can you beat that?

Made my way to the concert at TD Ameritrade Park with Jena, Eric, and Cody on Tuesday, July 19th. How hot was it outside? Very! Head index of over 100 that day. Met up with Jeremy and Shelby who got there shortly before we did. The difference being that we stayed up by the concessions until Sublime with Rome was ready to play. Jeremy and Shelby stayed down in the sun with the crowds. Turns out they stayed for a few songs and ended up having to leave because they were getting too hot. As in heat exhaustion and seeing stars and stuff. Yeah, time to vamoose and cool down somewhere. That sucks, because Jeremy and I were the first two to say we're going.

Subime with Rome played all of their popular tunes, including their newer one, Panic. Good times! I would gladly pay to see those guys again. Their sound is classic and can't be beat. The Dirty Heads come close, so close in fact that Rome played on a song or two of theirs. Basically another rock/reggae SoCal music group. Check them out if you've never heard of them. Badfish, Santeria, Wrong Way, the list went on and on!

Cracker Jacks baby!!! 

As for 311, another great show as always. This was now my 3rd time seeing them. They don't need the fancy stage visuals, smoke, fire, etc. Their music is enough to keep the show going. Now I know that not everyone likes 311. Many people say that their songs all sound the same. This might be somewhat true, but they do have two singers. They have the harder rock songs and a few slower jams too. Like them or hate them. But in my opinion, saying that you don't like 311 is like saying you hate Omaha. I'm just joking on that one folks! 311 rocked the stage. They ended the show with Omaha Stylee. What an intense way to get the crowd going and leave them happy! Thanks again 311 for another great show!
Nick Hexum on the lead vocals 

As for my pictures and video? This was my first time using my new Canon Elph HS300. Yes it has optical zoom while shooting in hi def 1080p video. I was playing with that quite a bit while filming. And the result? My battery died towards the end of the concert. About 3 hrs in. So I switched to my EVO 3D to film and take pictures. So here I am with my new phone in hand filming Omaha Stylee. Chad the drummer throws his drumsticks up in the air. I had no clue what was going on. Except that I was on my feet one second, and down on the ground the next. I somehow managed to hold onto my new phone. At the same time, I totally missed the drumsticks that were within arms reach of my head. Whoops!
SA Martinez helping with the vocals 

As for the crappy sound from my camera? Turns out that the microphone is right where I would normally place my index finger on any other given camera. What this produced was a muffled sound that switches between stereo and mono. Kind of annoying, sorry about that. And I need to get more use out of the camera to fully figure it out. My bad.

P Nut on the bass guitar 

311 closed out the show with Omaha Stylee 

Highlights of the concert? Eric and the box of Cracker Jacks. Disgusting guy in the green vinyl like outfit. Man, you need to do some situps and workout before you put one of those on. At least the guy at least year's RiverRiot in the blue suit was fit. Not fat and disgusting like you were with you junk hanging out of the green suit. Blech! Another great highlight was the girl behind us during 311. She was up on some guy's shoulders flashing the band. Yes, directly behind Eric and I. Awesome! Mosh pit was great and Eric actually has me on video jumping around in there. My neck was sore for a few days afterwards. If you look on the video, I'm the shortest person in there. But I can still hang with the big boys. There is a reason why I work out. I'm obviously not built like a linebacker, but I can hang when need be!

Okay the videos! It's taken me all week to upload these bad boys. The sound is jacked up because of the microphone position on my new camera and my finger being there naturally. But you get the picture!

311 on the drums at Red Sky Music Festival from Misterlime on Vimeo.

311 closing the show with Omaha Stylee from Misterlime on Vimeo.

Backwoods Sale

Backwoods is having their summer sale that begins today. If you need that camping, hiking, or running gear, be sure to check them out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red Sky Music Festival

The Red Sky Music Festival in Omaha, NE. My take on what could have been a much better week of music. Now don't get me wrong, I had a very fun time at 311 and Sublime with Rome. No doubt about it. And I would have loved to have seen Kid Rock the next night. But see, that was exactly the problem.

I can party like a rockstar, ask anybody who has gone out with me. So getting my butt to work the next day and still being functional is no problem. Yes it was 110 degree heat index after work. Yes I drank. Yes I was in the middle of the mosh pit. And finally yes I could do the exact same the next night if needed. The problem with the whole music series was that they charged and charged for all of the main acts. Of course concerts demand and bring in big time money to the producers, vendors, and  artists themselves. I understand that. It costs money to book the bands, book the venue, set everything up, etc. But for the concert goer, this can get pricey! Red Sky Music Festival was setup so that during the day, they had bands playing on their two smaller stages outside of TD Ameritrade Park. Grounds passes were $15 per day, a three day pass was $30, and a six day pass was $60. Now these are just grounds passes, which would get you in during the day to see acts such as Sister Hazel, Better Than Ezra, George Clinton, Tonic, Soul Asylum, The Charlie Daniels Band, 10000 Maniacs, Bruce Hornsby, and Hookshot amongst dozens of others. There was also a battle of the local bands. All great bands! But, these grounds passes didn't get you into the mainstage area at TD Ameritrade.
Did the high temps and ticket prices keep fans away? Think they said that about 7k made it to the 311 and Sublime with Rome concert. About double that for Kid Rock

At the mainstage at TD Ameritrade Park, you had Journey with Nightranger, 311 and Sublime with Rome, Kid Rock, Zac Brown Band, and Jason Aldean. Yes there was a different headliner each night, except for the very last night. And I'll get back to that in a second. So IF you miraculously had the entire week off and were the biggest music fan ever, you could possibly buy a ticket to each and every show. How much would it cost you? $208 at the least. Those are the cheapest tickets available. Even though it says includes service fees on their website, it doesn't. My $35 tickets to the show I went to, ended up costing me $47.80. Hilarious that they would put "includes facility fees", but they don't mention the $12 worth of service fees that Ticketmaster rapes you with. So add an extra $60 to that 208 and you get roughly $268 to see everyone. And those are the absolute cheapest seats, which for 311 and Sublime, I guess it didn't matter. Also back to this later. This isn't Bonaroo, it isn't Lollapalooza. This is Omaha's first attempt at a week long concert going experience. Oh yeah, did I mention that beer was $7.00 a plastic cup?

So the very last night, there was a headliner band missing. Rumor is that the band backed out and Red Sky couldn't get someone to fill in. Wow, you missed out on a Saturday night headliner? Shame on you! Probably could have been one of your biggest nights there and you failed to produce a band. As for the tickets. There were different ticket levels. I prefer to be on the grounds, aka general admission so that I can work my way to the front rows. These were actually the more expensive tickets. Yet when we got to TD Ameritrade, I saw that they were letting everyone and anyone onto the main grounds. Yes, even the tix that were $10 cheaper. And even the 89.7 River listeners who took advantage of the $10 sale tickets got to the same place that I got to with my $47.80 ticket. As you can see, I'm bitter about that. On to the concert. Maybe I'll start a new blog entry so that readers who stumble upon this won't be discouraged from reading my 311 and Sublime with Rome experience.

Ways to improve this week long music extravaganza? Stretch the concert out to eight days so that it covers both weekends and doesn't start on a Monday.   After the first day of the Red Sky Festival, The Omaha World Herald had a story and showed ONE person sitting in a chair listening to a band play. And picture said something to the degree that he was the only one there that opening morning of the festival. Another suggestion? Maybe for the people that have tickets to the main stage acts, allow them to get into the other grounds concerts during the day for a reduced fee. Or after 5pm, let them onto the grounds for no charge. Come on Red Sky, you'll make your money back with two cups of beer. Also, I know it is meant to be a summer concert series type of deal. But seriously, everybody knows that the high heat index killed your ticket sales. So next time do it in April, May or June. Not July or August.

Now I'm not all Debbie Downer over here. The festival did have it's box of positives. There was enough musical variety to fulfill everyone's tastes. They did offer you a plastic cup to allow you to get water. Yes, for free. At the 311 concert, they had a water hose going and spraying into the air to cool you down if you wish. And TD Ameritrade ballpark for concerts is awesome! Now we have both an indoor and an outdoor venue to bring in the major acts. Nice! There was paid parking galore, so carpooling saved a ton. And the sound was decent at the ballpark. So what did other people think of the whole experience? Feel free to comment. To tell you the truth. Only one other coworker at my company went to one of the concerts. Nobody else did. What does that tell you? Okay...onto the concert!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Quick Saturday ride

Made it out to Tranquility for a quick lap today. Got it done by noon. Two things that surprised me. The cloud cover really cooled down my ride! Yes, it's hot when you stop moving. But when you have those wheels tearing through that singletrack, it isn't too bad! The other thing I noticed? How much I appreciate the time and effort of the hard worker who did some mowing out at Tranquility! Because wow, it makes a huge difference! No bugs jumping on you. No tall wildgrass scraping your arms and legs. Thank you!
Thank you to the person(s) who mowed much of Tranquility. It is nice! 

I'm glad that I had my old camera with me today (and yes, there was a memory card in it this time). Caught this really cool picture of a butterfly. I almost passed it. I stopped about 3 feet away from it on the trail and it almost flew away. So I backed up and got my camera out. Slowly crept up and zoomed in. Took two shots and it proceeded to fly off. Enjoy the scenery and the ride out there!

Last week's MNR

Sorry this is so late...It was a hot one! Biking, good eats, cool treats. What more can you want out of a Monday Night Ride when the heat index is over 100 degrees? Jena made it out for her very first MNR and we met up at Paul's afterwards for some post ride discussion, hot doggies, and beers. Good times as always! It's one of those little things that helps make the end of the weekend A.O.K!