Saturday, March 12, 2005

can't stop, can't stop the beat... don't stop...

I don't know if the Junior Senor song referenced in the title will make the disc, it IS a contender. But digging through some music while getting ready for work yesterday I discovered the song that MUST be at the introduction of the Flabby Ironman's workout disc.

Track A1 Joe Loss Concertium - Music To Drive By... if only because it makes every bike ride a free floating ride down country roads. You can't be sad grinding out the miles to this song, it's nigh on impossible. But let's not stop there... it's good music to drive to yes, but it could be good music to shave to as well. There is a long list of lounge songs with the title "Music To (insert word here) By" and one of those might have sufficed as well, but this is the one I had in front of me. Let's google Joe and see what we can find out about him...


Real Name: Joshua Alexander Loss
Birth Date: June 22nd 1909
Birth Place: Bishopsgate, London

The long list and wide range of 45s presented on this page is testimony to the popularity and versatility of what was one of the UKs most important light orchestras. The Joe Loss Orchestra would turn anything that was a good tune into something in their own style. The music had no boundaries, it could be jazz, blues, light classic or rock and roll- if you could dance to it, then Joe's orchestra would play it.

Joe Loss was the youngest son of a Russian immigrant furniture maker. Despite the fact that his family weren't very musical, Joe learned to play the violin at the Hackney Academy of Music. Joe's skills with the instrument were good enough for him to win a scholarship and he went on to study at Trinity College of Music and the London School of Music. He developed a passion for dance music and while still in his teens he formed 'The Magnetic Dance Band'. Despite this, Joe's first professional engagements were at the local cinema where he would accompany the silent movies of the day.

Joe went on to play with various dance orchestras at that time, and by 1930 he had formed his first professional band- a seven piece that played at the Astoria Ballroom in London. This moved on after a short time to the Kit-Cat Club in Haymarket, and in 1933 its reputation had grown to the point where it was called upon to make its first radio broadcast. The band was extremely successful before the outbreak of war though its style was always 'straight' dance music and could not be classified properly as jazz. Joe managed to keep the band together despite the war and even played to the British Expeditionary Force in France during 1940.

The popularity of the Joe Loss orchestra withstood the rapid changes that took place after the war, and unashamedly pandered to the fashions of the time. As the dance halls gave way to television so did the band. By playing whatever was proving popular at the time the band never became anachronistic and outlasted all its rivals- playing up until the end of the 1980s.

Joe Loss died during 1990.

Track 3: Bambee - Do It Like You Do

A few years ago, I stumbled on a song called Amigo that was really catchy. I lost the CD I had the song on, but when Audio Galaxy was up and running, discovered a bunch of other songs by the artist I discovered was Bambee. One of those songs was this one. "Do It Like You Do" is a frequent program that bounces into my head... and it's a catchy song to boot.

here's what I discovered about Bambee...
Rumors say she was born in a cowshed on the Norwegian countryside. It is probably not true. Neither do we believe that she grew up in a handbag (though she is quite small), or spent her childhood on some tiny Pacific island. Desirée Sparre-Enger was born on planet pop. She discovered the wonderment of pop music at the age of two, and has kept the style and glamour of the pop-beat till today. All through her school years, Desirée frequently initiated pupils’ performances with herself in the leading parts. Her theatrical fantasies had no limits, but she never realized that plays like The Sound Of Music or Les Miserables perhaps demanded dramatic experience beyond the capacity of a pre-teen dreamer.

Desirée was working for the youth department in a national radio station when she first reached out for stardom. One day, a producer asked her if she wanted to sing the chorus for a song. She did, and after a lot of singing, “Candy Girl” became the result. She decided to release the song as a single and signed on to Scandinavian Records.
Now she needed a name. She got in touch with her good friend and singer, Shortcut, and they had a name brain-storming for Desirée. The first thing to strike his mind was Bambi. It made him think of Disney's famous deer animal character, because of her big, blue, innocent eyes. Des loved the idea of Bambi, but made a small change to Bambee, because of Disney's copyright laws.

It was a huge and daring step for Desirée to take the plunge as Bambee, but she hasn't regretted it since. She probably had to fight harder than anyone to enter the playlists; expecting special treatment or any other benefit from her position would overrate her power - and underestimate the integrity of the radio jockeys. Supported by public demand, she traveled to major cities, and performed in small clubs all over Norway and Scandinavia. She was a part of a cross-country festival tour, arranged by national media and broadcast live on TV. She also starred in the Radio 1 Big City event and was invited to host the prestigious Radio 1 Music Awards show.

The lack of limits has become one of Bambee's most powerful forces. She is confident in her career, proud of her appearance, and happy for the success she has achieved so far. Equally important is the touch of self-irony that allows Bambee to keep the artist in her, out of her private life. Sometimes it is necessary to separate the two, but a brief glance into her wardrobe (similar to the costume stock at any major theatre) makes you doubt her efforts to keep them apart. Either way, she is a creative and charming personality - neat, sweet and talented. She loves to play TV-games in her sparetime and she is very keen when she is playing. It happens to often that she plays till late night. Her favourite game is Resident Evil.

Bambee's music is pure and simple pop songs. Her first album release, On Ice, established her as a baby-voiced singer with the eyes of a fallow deer. The album went straight to the sales and airplay charts in Scandinavia, followed by impressive success in the Asian, Russia, the Middle East, and the South American markets. Some media representatives drew parallels to Aqua, who dominated the international charts at the time. The difference between the two singers is quite sensational; Bambee's voice is naturally baby-like - no studio tricks required!

Bambee released her second full-length album, Fairytales, in June of 2001. Included are the hit singles Seventeen, Cowgirl, and eleven more enjoyable and danceable tracks that make you feel good.

Track 4: Bikeride - Erik & Angie

At one point, Angela started to download every song she could that had her name in the title. Most of the songs she found were awful, but this one caught my eye, if only because the band was called Bikeride. This was on the original disc that I listened to on the way to Ironman Wisconsin. It ties in with Music to Drive By in a sense because it's what I imagine playing on the perfect "I don't have a care in the world" ride. The pedaling's a little easier when you've got a song that can put you into the zone... and staying in the zone is the key.

I've joked that long-distance cycling is a bit like zen meditation. To handle the long miles, you have to be able to go into a part of yourself that turns off the conscious. Let's face it, long miles are sometimes just plain boring, sometimes though, you can find a place in yourself that makes you a little less conscious of the miles. It's hard to describe, but when you get there, you stop focusing on the miles and just continue to grind. As soon as you look at the mileage again, you start to work out the miles and time in your head and you float out of it and those next few miles feel like the longest miles in the world.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Picture Share!

A Picture Share!

Because I haven't put any pictures of Angela up lately. We're having a late dinner at fazoli's

Hey Mr. DJ turn the music on...

Sorry I haven't posted in a couple of days, it's been a combination of not having anything to say and being busy/frustrated at work. I think I've found something to say over the next few days though, so let's begin...

before I was a tri-geek (and one wonders sometimes if I really am) or a movie-geek, I was a bike-geek and a music-geek. I've always been the square peg in the round hole. In high school, there were cliques that I was semi-friendly with, but none that I was a real part of. I remember that I use to walk around school with the headphones on so loud that I'd be able to drown out everything around me. It was a bit surreal to be able to float down the halls like some sort of scene from a movie... the music playing and no natural sound.

Music, I think, saved me from my high-school existence. It was getting into alternative Christian music (again, almost as a backlash to another clique that didn't accept me, the youth-group kids) that connected me with people on the usenet board... people that 10 years later I'm still connected to. I'm still pretty sure that they like music more than I do, but I still love it.

My musical tastes have always been a bit outside the mainstream. I love a good dance anthem, and I love rock. i've a pretty diverse listening habit. iTunes has been infinitely helpful in changing the way I listen to music. When I still lived with my parents, my office was in the basement and my bedroom upstairs. All of my CDs were in the bedroom, and inevitably I would end up with a huge pile of CDs sitting on my desk as my listening musings shifted throughout the day. I purchased a big harddrive (at the time) and began to fill up my 100GBs with my CD collection. Currently, my iTunes library is measured in days, around 44 to be closer to exact, and when I'm at home, iTunes inevitably gets started to play on random.

I mentioned above that I used to use music as a soundtrack in high school. It wasn't just walking the halls, I'd hear a song and all of a sudden story ideas would leap from my mind... or I'd self medicate my depression with songs from The Choir's Circle Slide or the Vigilante's of Love's Slow Dark Train. I still do that, sometimes hearing a song will trigger something in my head and I'll put it on infinite repeat so that I can channel that emotion as I write on the page. But I also use those songs like Superman used the crystals in the fortress of solitude. Each song is a memory, and a memory that can be applied to focus me on something.

This isn't an mp3 blog, but I'm going to start to post a couple songs each day that steer me in my training or remind me somehow of the Ironman. They're the songs that I use to center and focus myself. Songs will be up for a couple of days before coming down to make room for others.

There's a book I read a couple of years ago called the Psychology of Cycling. One of the things they talked about in that book was 'running programs'. You think of your body as just a part of the bike when you're riding and use your mind to adjust the program and get back into the flow. Breathing in and visualizing all of the lactate flowing out with that exhale. Running a song through your head that you know pushes you forward. Visualizing your legs as the pistons in an engine. Some of these songs have become programs of their own. When I need them, I boot them up in my brain.

When I race, or even just go for a road ride, you can't have headphones. You have to be aware of your surroundings and focused. Most of these songs have been listened to so many times that they're so much a part of me they can be recalled in a moments notice and play through my head... giving me a little charge up.

1. Dave Matthews Band - Where Are You Going?

I've never been a big fan of the Dave Matthews Band. There are songs that I like, and a lot of songs that I just can't stand, but this song stands alone. I first heard it on the video that they handed out to Ironman Wisconsin participants after the race. The song came on as they followed some of the late night finishers to the finish line. Shots of tired, mentally drained people going down hazy, cooling streets, going on because they're driven to go on, not because of any particular joy in doing so. I was there. I was that seemingly stranded individual, propelling myself because I had to, not necessarily because I wanted to, and when I saw a group of people walking with their heads hung low in the video and saw the next shot of people running into the finish chute with the requisite cheering, it stirred up all of my emotions. It still does.

I am no superman
I have no reasons for you
I am no hero; oh that’s for sure
But I do know one thing
Is where you are, is where I belong
I do know where you go is where I wannna be

I remember longing to see Angela while I was running those last few miles. I wasn't any superman, but I was a man determined to finish so that he could see the girl and the family that he loved. When I got into the chute, their was a flood of emotion, everything that I had pushed deep down because the finish line was seemingly so far away bursted up and there I was holding Angela, bawling my eyes out. I had finished. I had done something part of me had never thought was possible. I had pushed myself through one of the hardest races a human can do, and I'd survived... all 230lbs of me.

Everytime I hear this song, that's what wells up. It's a pretty potent thing.

1. Love Inc. - You're A Superstar

Sometimes even a straight kid like me needs a big gay dance anthem. You're a Superstar is that anthem. Need to lay a big fat punch in the face of Common Man Syndrome? A dose of this is usually the thing that will do it.

Reach for the sky, and hold your head up high, because tonight and every night you're a superstar!

Don't be afraid, look at all the friends you've made, like any other night, you've got your name in lights, you're a superstar

I'm not a big fan of hard techno, it doesn't do anything for me. But europop and anthems are the thing that get my cardiovascular tri-geek blood pumping.

Before I made it a triathlon song, it was an anti-depression song. It still works that way sometimes.

Anyway, there's track one and track two. Comment on what your own songs are if you'd like. Let's make this a little more interactive.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

one more thought before hitting the mattress...

if you feel inspired, post a comment... let me know that you're out there. My goal for this is to create a discussion. Right now the discussion is pretty one sided, which is alright... but it would be better if it weren't.

What do you want to see here? What DON'T you want to see? Is asking that question assuming that people actually care? I'm sure they do, but sometimes I wonder if I'm talking to myself.

The weekend

It was a good weekend for riding... for the most part.

Eric, the Refuse pastor at The Refuse (the church plant that Ang and I have been working on as part of Scum of the Earth in Denver) and his wife had people over to their house on Saturday night for a spaghetti dinner. I viewed it as an excuse to get a long ride in. So far this season I've been ramping up. two weeks ago I got in a 16 mile ride (up Gold Camp) climbed Gold Camp again last weekend for a 26 mile ride, rode down to church on Tuesday night (14 miles) and Saturday I rode 42.

The ride on Saturday started out well enough. I wasn't sure of the exact mileage because none of the web mapping sites I've found can trace a route that's not freeway and tell you the distance. But I had a general idea and figured if I ended up being late, I ended up being late.

My first mistake was taking the first slow climb out of the apartment complex we live in. You can take a frontage road/path up to Monument or you can take a road that goes in a big arc. I didn't realize how much extra mileage the arc added, but when I looked down at my odometer when I finally got to Hwy 105 and realized I'd already put in 10 miles, I was a little annoyed. Anyway, once you get to 105 you begin a steady climb from 6500 ft up to 7300 in Palmer Lake before getting onto a country road called Perry Park. Perry Park was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous, and for the most part it was flat to mostly downhill, but in parts the roadway was in such bad shape that I was continually watching for divots and wishing I had front suspension on my road bike. At one point, the vibration caused the pin in my right aerobar pad to vibrate out and fly off into space. I found the pin and the pad, but the spring that springloads the pad and pushes it back up and out of the way when you're not using it disappeared. This isn't the biggest issue in the world, but my pad proceeded to add another layer of noise to the vibration and is it danced around on my handlebar letting me know it's displeasure.

The problem with the ride began when I headed north enough to be parallel with Castle Rock. Pain, thy name is Wolfensberger. I knew on the map that I needed to take Wolfensberger Road for several miles into Castle Rock. What I did not know was that the first four miles of Wolfensberger are a climb out of a trough. I'm feeling better on the bike now that I've been back on it for a few weeks, but my lactate threshold is lower than I'd wish for it to be. I had inadvertently taken myself on a 'punish the fat man ride'. I struggled up the climb, but it wasn't anything to be proud of. When I reached the crest, I looked down upon Castle Rock and thought... phew, I'm almost done! If that could only have been the truth.

The truth was that I had only completed half of the remaining climbing. When I descended I descended back into a valley that was directly on the other side of the hills I climbed on Wolfensberger. There's a whole other section of hills on the East side of Castle Rock on the way to a little town called Franktown and what I didn't realize was how close to Franktown my friends EJ and Jen lived. EJ and Jen almost live in Franktown proper so I had another few miles of climbing. When I finally reached their house I changed and almost immediately sat down and realized my quads were burning.

Now, the thing to realize about this burning is that both times I climbed Gold Camp I didn't achieve this burning sensation. I was tired, but I hadn't fried my legs that much. This time I did... which must mean, I'm thinking, that the climbing was worse (or maybe just longer). In any case, I was glad I didn't have to bike home.

Today I was supposed to climb the incline but when I got home yesterday night, I called my friend Russell (who was supposed to BE on the ride to Castle Rock and let him know how completely wasted I was. I don't mind the idea of running the Incline, but when I do, I don't necessarily want to be with a bunch of skinny gazelle like runner types. I'd like to do it on my own. I'd also not like to go on a day where I don't exactly know where the park they meet in is and how early I need to leave to get there thus leaving WAY too early for a Sunday morning.

Instead, I went off and rode with the Colorado Springs Bike Club for the ride I was intending to go on in the first place.

I'm always amused by the Social Ride because of who shows up. There are always a few racer types, a few parents with kids in Burleys, and a couple senior citizens that make you want to aspire to still be riding at their age. But there are always a couple of oddballs and those are the ones that catch my eye and make me laugh.

Today was a lady I've seen before. I don't know how long she's been riding, but she's almost always riding a completely trashed mountain bike with a cigarette hanging from her mouth. Today was no exception. There she was with a rattle that she couldn't identify not realizing that the rear rack on her bike was only attached at one place so that every time she hit a bump there were those of us on the ride who were afraid it was going to smack into her spokes. Someone mentioned this to her and she remarked that it would be fine. At one point on the ride everything stopped because she had broken her chain. As they fixed her chain (she's not the mechanic type) she stood around chain smoking cigarettes. Cycling and Smoking are two things that I've never really seen go together. You need too much performance out of your lungs to be sucking up everything in a cigarette. But I've definitely not seen cycling and smoking together at the same time... at least with someone that's not out riding by themselves in order to get somewhere. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary with regards to it for this lady though. In watching her a little bit at the bar we went to after the ride, it didn't seem like she was all there, but that's not for me to judge. I just got a nervous laugh out of seeing someone riding down the street on a club ride taking a drag on a cig. There's a first time for everything I guess.

Anyway, off to bed.

Fat Triathletes Blog

Tri Geek Kahuna celebrated his 10000th hit this weekend. Someday, Confessions of a Flabby Ironman might hit 10000 hits (if I have anything to say about it), but it'll take much longer. Heck, this blog's been here since July of 2002 and we're at 360 or so hits. In any case, I clicked his Sitemeter just to see what a log with so many hits looked like and looked at his site referrals...

some of the search terms that led to Tri Geek Dreams...

lokelani mcmichael
jessi stensland
fat triathletes blog
sharon topless beach
nude beach photo's

I can understand all of the search terms save for one... fat triathletes blog. I'd like for fat triathletes blog to point here. After all, what is a flabby ironman but a fat triathlete? I mean, I just think that when someone searches for fat triathletes blog that they should find someone who fits the profile of being a fat triathlete I haven't seen photos of Kahuna outside of his winter parka like clothing he was wearing while running in ultra-frigid Alaska, but even in that one photo he looked like he ran something other than a fat triathletes blog . So, when someone searches... fat triathletes blog let them come here so that the flabby ironman can be seen as a fat triathletes blog . I mean, where else would want to go to read a fat triathletes blog .