Friday, July 29, 2011

Yea Ha.........Friday..............

It's Friday, It's Friday.................I am glad it's Friday!!!! I am always glad when Friday gets here. Another week gone and only 1 more week till vacation. Yep a week layed up in the condo at North Myrtle Beach, the kids are excited and so is the wife. Summer seems to fly by, it seems like we just got through with school and now we are like a month away from school starting again.

Anyhow Karen is going to see here friend in Virginia tonight and the kids and I are going camping. Cody's beach trip is on hold till Sunday before they leave so now he is going with us tonight. We are going back to Uhwarrie to ride in the am. Last night I went to Lowe's to get some firewood and I saw this old Volkswagen Beetle in the parking lot. Check out the pictures.

You see the late sixties side window air condition unit! That's pretty neat, I have seen these but never on a car. My first job was at Don's Auto Parts, a salvage yard. I learned a lot working there and that is where I had the chance to see one. Although the one I had seen was smashed and going in the dumpster.

Next we have Karen and the pet turkey, the kid named him Stanley he will sit and perch on your hand as long as you let him. At least now, when he gets a little bigger that will be over. He is gonna get about 20 pounds. See the red under his chin, that is his gobbler growing in. He trys to gobble now with no luck..see ya Monday..............

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mid-Week Ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday I had to pick-up mom from the airport, she made it home safely. Late but safely, her flight was about 30 minutes late. If you haven't been to the Charlotte airport lately it is a zoo! I don't know if it is to small or what but that place is crowded. It seems like they need about twice as much parking. I sat in the the cell phone lot till she called and then went up to get her. If I had wanted to park and go in to meet her I would have had to park in a long term lot and rode the bus up to get her. That seems pretty stupid! They had a guy there at the short term lot blocking the entrance, people were pretty upset about that.

So anyhow I had a ride planned with Kelly, needless to say it didn't workout! So I ended up riding by myself. Sometimes that's a good thing, I had a great lap and good time. It just happened to be one of those nights. I was flying up the hills and rolling the flats, in the end I ended up with one of my best times for the year, 52 min flat, I haven't had a ride like that in awhile...

I had my camera with me and never even got it out. Sometimes you just get in the groove and it's time to ride. Tonight I am going to ride the road bike and get ready for tomorrow night. Chase and I are going to Uhwarrie and camping out for the night. Karen is gone and Cody is going to the beach. Gonna be a Chase and dad weekend......

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Don't have a lot to talk about today, went home and mowed the yard yesterday that was about it. I don't like to mow and I know you don't care about me mowing so lets keep moving. Tonight I am going riding. So as I was wondering what to write about today I went through my pictures. I had saved these at one point in time or another and decided to use them today.

First one, what a bumper sticker. I had never seen a sticker like this and it made me laugh. Came from one of the blogs I was reading. He found this in a small town in Louisiana, they seem to have a big problem with meth down that way. It says kids who hunt and fish don't wheel and deal.

Next we have a public bathroom in a European country. You think that would work here in the states? I don't we are to paranoid to use something with no more privacy than this.

Of course I never get to far from the bikes! How about a 10,000 dollar carbon tandem. Ever wonder how many they sell a year? Can't be that many, how many tandems you see!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weekend Rides...............

As I said yesterday we did a little riding over the weekend, in the heat and yea it was hot! Saturday I went out and rode, yes I waited till 1pm to go. Yes I know that is the hottest time of the day, but what the hell that was the time I had available. I think it was like 99 degrees when I hit the road.

I went to Rock Rest school and parked, from there I went south to Pageland SC and back for a total distance of 42 miles. I enjoyed the ride and even went the hard way. When I say the hard way I am referring to "the hill". If you come into Pageland from they west side of town you have to climb one huge hill. You get to go down one long fast hill when you cross the state line and go across a valley for about 1 mile then you go up! Up and up. From there I cross town to my favorite little store and then head back north. As you can see from the picture you get a good view of the valley before you drop of the hill. I can get up to 40mph by the time I get to the bottom without even pedaling.

SC state line before drop

just in front of sign before drop
From the store I head north as I said and work my way back to the truck. This time I came up hwy 207 with the intentions of working my way back northeast to the truck. So I am pedaling along and I see this nice new road all paved and looking good, I turn right thinking what the hell it has to take me somewhere. It did, 1 mile later at the bottom of the hill it ended!! Dead End....So I turn around and climb right back up to the road and keep heading north to the next road. No, I had no ideal where it was going either but I took it.

new road to nowhere
Anyway I made it back to the truck and home to the couch. Sunday the kid and I went out for a short ride and had a good conversation. Cody had to come home early, he has poison oak and it was rubbing his shoe. Combined with sweat it wasn't feeling to good. Then it was pool time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday and I am Back................

OK, Friday I was off, I didn't feel good and took a day off. I had a mild case of food poison, but by Saturday I was all well and back in action. If you are unaware the Tour De France finished up yesterday (Sunday) and I watched every stage every night. One of these days I am going to be in Europe when they are having the race. I love looking at how beautiful the country of France is. They don't tear down anything over there. I watched for 3 full weeks and they went thru 100's of towns and not once did I see a Wal-Mart. If we didn't have Wal-Mart where would all of the American people shop. They sure wouldn't know how to find a store if it didn't take up 4-football fields and have a huge sign up on the highway.

Anyway, as I said the Tour wrapped up and I was kinda surprised at the outcome, I would have bet a 100 bucks Andy Schleck was going to win but he didn't he came in 2nd with his brother Frank 3rd. I haven't kept up with Cadel Evans enough to have thought he was going to win, even though he has finished like 2nd and 3rd the last few years. Alberto Contrador didn't do squat and I am glad. I didn't want him to win.

Cadel Evans

l to r Frank Alberto and Cadel

climbing the alps

Schleck brothers
Do you realize that only 3 people who are not European have won the Tour, including Cadel he is from Australia. Then we have Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong from the states. The Tour is 98 years old and every winner has been from Europe except those three. Fascinating (if you like bike racing)...

Another thing , if you notice Cadel rides for the BMC racing team from the USA. That's right he is on an American team! We came we saw we kicked ass......

Yes me and the boy did some riding over the weekend and I will get to that tomorrow..............

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Bird..................

Mom is now on that big jet liner in the sky! Picked her up at 6am and dropped her off at the airport. She is headed up to Philadelphia to see my brother and his family. He has 2 little girls and I have the 2 boys, every once and awhile she needs some little girl time. My brothers wife is picking her up at the airport and she will have the girls there to meet her. I drove the large pick-up instead of the little blue truck, I didn't want to make mom cram in the little truck with the luggage and all. It makes her feel better if the luggage is in the front and not in the back off the truck.

I forgot my picture taking devise, also known as a camera or I would have taken a few shots. I didn't get to go this time but I will go next time. I enjoy going up there, it is a whole different world from what my family is used too. We tend to be a lot more relaxed and slow paced here. They are on the go all the time.

My brother drives to the train station to park and then he rides the train into the city for 45min everyday. He does get off the train right under his building which just happens to be the tallest building in the city. That's right we Markland's are moving on up.................................

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Yep, already Wednesday and I am looking for Friday. I am trying to get the kids to commit to a camping trip over in Uhwarrie to look for Bigfoot. They get a kick out of that, Chase wants to go so it looks like he and I are going. Cody hasn't made his mind up yet. I want to go after work Friday and spend the night then ride Saturday am. We are staying around here this weekend I thought we had a criterium in Winston-Salem but I was wrong, it is next weekend.

Checkout the picture below, this is Chase and his new road bike! He likes it and has been riding it since we got it together. I am going to get him out on the road this weekend for a 20 mile ride. I hope he likes it so I have a new riding partner. Cody is doing all his riding in the am so I end up riding by myself in the evening.

Next we have a shot of Cody using his 15 year old brain. He had a 2x4 and an old skateboard and this is what he ended up with. His own version of a long board. If you notice it ain't straight but at least he tried. He really just needed something to kill time and had an old skateboard laying around. It will end up in the trash in just a few days!

So after the skate board fail he moved on to his bmx bike and played on it for awhile. He can do some pretty good tricks on it! That entertained him for the rest of the evening. Oh, I went on a 20 mile ride also. That is the wrap on the evening at the house..................

Monday, July 18, 2011

Snakes and Gas..........

Ok, this is a continuation on my post earlier. First we can cover the gas. Why is it cheaper in the mountains than in Charlotte? I even took a picture of the sign just to prove it!

Next we have my wife and her new pet yard snake. I wanted to name him blacky but Cody thought that wasn't very original. So I decided to call him whitey! Get it he's black so I call him whitey. I thought that was kinda funny.

He lives in this little clump of trees at the corner of our yard. Yep we see him coming and going across the yard, he heads down to the woods hunting and then he goes back up to the trees. No I won't kill him, black snakes kill rats and poisonous snakes. With all the woods we have around our house he gets a free pass to stay as long as he wants.................. 

Camping And Race over..................

Yep, camp trip and race are over again and it's Monday. If you don't realize yet I hate Monday, it means I have 5 more days to set here and act like I care about building materials. I really do like my job but I really don't like to work. Anyhow we had a good time and Cody got in another race.

Chase and I went riding Saturday afternoon and Cody stayed at the camp site and pedaled on the trainer, he didn't want to wear himself out for the race on Sunday. Chase and I had a good time, he does really well for a kid his age (11). We followed the tail up the mountain and came back down the fire road. Usually we go the other direction and come down the trails. To my surprise it takes a long time to come back down the fire road. Longer than I thought it would!

Chase had a hair cut the other night, check it out! He has attitude!!!! You have too, if you are going to wear your hair like this. He likes it and it is summertime, we will have it cut by the time school starts I promise you that!

Here are a couple of shots from the race. This is the start and the first lap, I took about a hundred shots but you don't want to see all of them and I don't want to upload them all.

I have to put this one picture on here, this young kid raced in the same race as Cody cat-5 and finished in the pack. Chase saw this and now he wants to race road bikes!!!! He looks funny riding behind the adults, but by god he can keep up!!!!!! Chase is excited and that makes me happy!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gettin Ready..And Friday

Yep getting ready again! Time to travel, we are going back up to Pisgah Saturday am and riding the mountains again. Then Sunday Cody is going to race a criterium in downtown Asheville. Should be fun, might be hot, or all of the above! That will be my bet, it is the mountains so it should cool off enough we will be able to sleep without any problems. Open all the windows and let the breeze blow! That's my plan, as far as a back up plan, well let's hope plan a works out.

The 2011
French Broad Cycling Classic

Cody seems to be all pumped up about racing his road bike now and that makes me happy. When my boys are happy I am happy. Although Chase is a little unhappy right now, somebody hacked his x-box account and it will be locked up for a few days. I sat on the phone for a little over an hour last night with x-box support trying to figure this out. We have to let them figure out what happened before they can turn it back on. He can play games but can't go live right now. If you are eleven that seems like the end of the world,
he will make it though. He might even find something else to do, like ride a bike or play outside.

Last night I rode the mountain bike at a local trail, it was hot! Real hot! Right now we are under heat advisory warnings. The Charlotte area is up around 97-98 right now and they say it feels like 110 or better guess what it does feel like that. I was sweating like a water faucet.

Fast forward, I started writing this post 2 days ago and got busy, now it's Friday and I am catching up. Since then the heat wave relented and I went riding 2 more times. Wednesday it was still hot and I got in another hot ride at Sherman. Last night (Thursday) I went to Beatty Park and it felt great Glen Alex and Gary all came and we had a good group ride. Beatty has a lot of foot traffic and it was packed last night. I had one lady start yelling at me for going to fast, kinda caught me off guard? She acted like she wasn't going to move out of the trail and then when I slid to a stop she jumps out of the way! It just happened to be one of the fastest sections of trail, so then she starts lecturing me and gets mad when I look at her like she is crazy! I could have been a real smart ass but I wasn't I just left her standing there talking to herself! That seemed to make her even mad er!!!!!!!!!!

Monday I will have new pictures from the mountains and the race stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


When you live in the country you come across stuff like this sometimes. Self-serv produce stand, pretty neat ain't it. They have scales and all, right there for you to use. I stop here about every other day.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monday....After Race Weekend................

That's right we spent the day in Lexington NC for a crit race. Cody raced 1 of these last year in the juniors class and didn't do to great but he had fun. This year he decided he wanted to start racing these instead of mountain bikes, so we got him the new bike and Saturday was the start.

Lexington NC is the self proclaimed bar-be-que capital of NC. They have these little pig statues all over downtown, some painted all kinds of colors and some in front of restaurants, they write the specials of the day on them, or welcome cyclist. The bar-be-que smelled really good too, and no we didn't try any.

Now for the race, Cody and Austin raced the cat4/5 class, they had 74 people in it. It was the biggest class of the day! I told Cody to line up towards the outside and hang on! He did really great to, he ended up 48th! Which is not to shabby considering it was his first race of that size, he is 15 and most of the guys in his race are at least in there late 20's early 30's. I was proud for sure.

As you can see it was a big field, they where strung out quit a bit behind the pace car. I think we are going to try to go to Asheville this weekend for another race. We can stay at the campground for 20 dollars and he will race early Sunday am so it might work. At least I am hoping it will.

Of course we have a shot of the results.     

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Decline...Change...Any difference......

Growing up I spent a lot of time in Kansas, so at an early age I got to see first hand how small towns where slowly dying. Call it the Wal-Mart effect or what ever but people tend to grow up and think they have to head out into the world as soon as they get out of school. It's kinda sad because little do you know when you are of high school age it doesn't get much better than small town life.

One of my dreams is to live in Ashland KS at some point before I die. That is where my parents grew up and went to high school. It is also the town where I spent my childhood every summer. I ran every square inch of town, my grandma would have my bike ready every year when I got there. I was always there when the county fair was going on also. The fair grounds where across the street from my grandma's house.  By now you are probably wondering where I am going with this.

Since we have gotten the camper we have been going a lot this year. I have seen a lot of places that I used to see when I was trucking. A lot of them that used to be open and now they are closed, it just kinda makes me sad to see a building that used to be so full of energy and life slowly declining!

Recently 2 places that I used to frequent quite a bit have closed up shop. The one below was on one of my routes when I ride my bike down in SC, now I have to re plan my route because there is not another store in that area. I have been stopping in this little western wear convenience store for several years. Now it is gone, and I liked that store.
this is the SC state line

Next we have a feed mill out in Seven Springs NC that I used to haul to. In it's hay day it only had 5 employees! Now it's gone! What happened to the people that worked there? Why did it close, I wonder what went wrong. Oh well at least I had the privilege of getting to know the place while it was still full of energy! Lakeside Mills was the name on the right side of the building it used to have a water wheel that was still in use up until hurricane Hugo in the late 80's. It was going to be to expensive to fix so they changed it over to electric. It has a big lake behind it, I scouted the whole place at one time or another.

Next time you are on your way somewhere notice all the little places that are closed and just imagine what it was like when they were still open. I promise it will make the drive go by faster..............

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday Again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I need a 3 day weekend every weekend! Why we Americans think we should work our selves from sun up to sun down is just beyond me. I even work with a guy who thinks he is impressing you when he tells you "he never uses all of his vacation days". I look at him like he's an idiot!

So as I have said, it is Wednesday. I had a great weekend, we had family over all day Sunday and Saturday was spent getting ready and riding. I went Saturday am for a nice slow ride and enjoyed taking my time around the loop. Came home and did the weed eating while Karen cleaned the deck area around the pool.

The highlight of the day was taking Chase to SC for the fireworks. Here in NC the state government seems to think we can't handle fireworks. Thank goodness we live so close to SC, an hour drive and we had the good stuff! Bottle rockets mortars and firecrackers! Saturday alone we went thru 5000 firecrackers! The kid had a blast! Because he had fun I had fun.....

I wish I could tell ya our fireworks show was as sophisticated as this picture but it wasn't. Doing our show, we light and run one at a time. I like having all ten of my fingers and I plan on keeping them! Chase seems to agree. Cody went to the lake with Austin and they did fireworks up there. We missed him but it was kinda fun to spend the time with Chase. I have good kids and enjoy my time with both of them.

Monday my AC decided it was tired from all the work on Sunday and knocked off. So we spent the day in the pool for relief. My AC guy came by yesterday and got me going again, that made it nice to come home from work!

So to wrap this up, last night I met Kelly and Brian over at Sherman Branch mountain bike park and suffered for an hour solid. I am not sure if it was the long weekend or the heat but that was a hard lap. Nobody even mentioned riding a second lap when we came out of the woods.........

Friday, July 1, 2011

I Shouldn't Be Here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's right, I should be on the Ferry heading across the Core Sound for the South Core banks! But no I am here at work, typing on my computer about a trip I am NOT taking. I guess that's just the way it is this time.

i should be here sleeping

I should have been on this boat

I should have been looking at this dock at 7am this morning
Karen couldn't get off today so we would have to leave today instead of last night. That would mean we would only be out there for 2 nights instead of 3. If I am going to drive for 6 hours to get there I want to stay at least 3 nights. It's a long drive but well worth it. Oh well until next time, which I think will be Labor Day. I will just have to wait. Patiently , but not by choice.

Cody mowed!!!!!!!!!
Ok on to something else, I know the photo of my yard after it has been mowed my not make much sense. But there is a story behind it. That is a picture of my yard cut by my oldest Cody! The first time that has ever happened. He mowed everything but the driveway last night! I was way happy about that.

Here is a shot of our turkeys now. Cody traded 3 chickens for 2 more turkeys. I like the turkeys better than the chickens they seem to be a little smarter!!!! Not much, just a little!!!