Thursday, May 31, 2007

I have a stomach ache

ok.....DEEP BREATH....

I'm going to try to re-tell this story here, but its not going to be easy because I'd rather not re-live the experience. But I...the story must be told.

I am the proud owner of a 2006 Subaru Forester. His name is Drake. I love that car. It's a lot like me, small, spry, yet tough. My car speaks to me. No seriously. One day I had gotten off of work and as I approached him, I swear I could here him say "dude, where ya been? Lets go for a ride!"

Anyways, Drake is currently in surgery. He has the equivavelt of what happened to my face in college when I got plastered by the softball. Unfortunately his face might need a little more work to fix.

So yesterday I was at the U-Haul store because I was looking into putting a tow hitch on it. I thought I could find it cheaper, so I left to shop around. I have to turn left onto a 4-lane highway, and I saw a large truck with what looked like a large trailer coming down the road. He started slowing down, then came to a stop, obviously wanting to turn where I was. And he was letting me out. So I start pulling out into the highway, and unfortunately I could see NOTHING of what was in the other lane behind the truck, and as I pulled out out of nowhere came this white subaru outback. I slammed on my brakes, he slammed on his brakes, then swerved left to avoid me. For a second I thought he had missed me, but then I heard the gut-wrenching crunch.

My first thought is "ok, I'm ok, this doesn't look too bad..." But then it hit me.." THIS IS MY NEW CAR!! NOOOOOOOOO!"

We pull over to the lot across the street, which was a transmission shop, and made sure we were both ok, (we were) and called the cops. In the meantime, I had fluids leaking from under my bumper. The Transmission shop guy told me that if its coolant, I can't drive it because it will burn the engine up. But upon closer inspection it was merely my washer fluid. YOU CAN HAVE THE WASHER FLUID.

The other guy was really nice considering the fact I had just pulled out in front of him. He was on his way to pick up his father at the airport. As he put it: "man, I ALMOST missed you."

Anyways, the damage appeared to be mostly asthetic. I popped the hood, engine looked unharmed, and it was running fine. But my bumper was about to fall off and the grill was sitting in the middle of the street.

So the cops arrived, and we went through the motions of an accident. I ended up getting a ticket for failing to yield, but the Sherriff only did it because he had too. He completely understood what had happened and that there was no way I could see in that other lane. But it was still my fault. I should have let that big STUPID truck turn before me.

So now I was determined to take care of this myself. No calling people for help, and especially no calling mom and dad. this was my problem.

I called the insurance, and they got the ball rolling. Funny exchage of the day.

"State farm insurance this is margo."

"hi margo, this is jeremy jackson, how are you today?"

"good! how are you?"

"oh, i'm doing good, I just got in an accident."

"well...THAT isn't good!!!"

The Transmission shop told me there was a body shop next door and they could take a look at the damage for me. I went straight there, and the guy, who was a gentlemanly family man, took a look. He assessed everything and pointed out how a lot of the supports had been knocked crooked. I asked a lot of questions, then had him duck tape my bumper so it wouldn't fall off on the way home. then took my $4,700 estimate and left.

1 block down the street, there was a subaru dealership. So naturally I pulled in and asked if they recommended any body shops. So he called the guy they use, and he met me there within 20 minutes. As we spoke, I got my head on straight that maybe I should let my insurance send somone out to look at it first. But as it happened, the guys that were with me now had a state farm qualified guy at their shop. So i called the insurance and got the ok to go to that shop.

On the way there, I passed the accident site, and saw my grill still on the street. If it weren't a dumb thing to stop in the middle of the road just to get hit again, I would have picked it up.

But as it were, I took it to the shop, where the folks there really took care of me. Since I'm going on vacation, I dont' need a car, just a way to get home. So they gave me a ride 25 minutes down the road.

Within 3 hours of the accident, my car was already being taken care of at the shop. Not too bad.

So really, all things considered, its not so bad. I just have to pay my deductable (after seeing a 4700 dollar bill, I'll gladly pay my deductable) And by the time I get back from vacation, Drake should be out of surgery and back to normal.

I'm going on vacation

-JJ

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I just bought new bicycle pedals. And they will be the death of me.

You see, they are clip-in pedals. They horrify you at first, because you become attached to the bike...and it attached to you. The only way to get out is to do a nifty little sideways swing of your foot. Unfortunately this takes some getting used to.

The last two times I've been out mountain biking, I've fallen over on my bike probably 12 times. I'm trying to climb up a hill, when I stall, and as my bike comes to a standstill, I dump over because I'm not able to get out of my pedals.

Two of these times were slightly embarrassing. I can handle falling over when I'm by myself...but..once I was coming down the mountain when I pulled over to allow another biker the right of way coming up. As I pulled over, I yelled out "go ahead!!" and immediately.. I crash onto the ground, feet still in the pedals. I'm sure the other guy was thinking, "who is this joker?"

And 2 days ago I had just crossed a street, and I downshifted as I began to climb a hill. Unfortunately my chain popped off, my bike goes nowhere, except falling over, with me still in my pedals. And to make matters worse, There was a line of cars that had seen me.

I actually had a perfect imprint of my gear on my arm, formed by the grease. It was a perfect representation of my crashing ways. Unfortunately when I took the picture I was unaware of the fact that my card was not in the camera..so that picture was lost.

Which leads me into another story. I call this a photographers nightmare.

we were landing in chicago, and a storm had just blown through. so i'm sitting in my fav seat (row 17, FO side, window) which is just behind the wing. below the tip of the wing i notice a small portion of a rainbow. pretty cool, nothing to get super excited about. and anyways i had put my camera in the overhead.

so about a minute later, the rainbow seems to explode. it was amazing. i felt like if my window were open i could reach out and grab it. it stretched to the top all the way to the bottom of my field of vision. and it was following us. so i literally climbed OVER the guy next to me, stood ON THE SEAT, and retreived my camera from the overhead. in a hurry, i whipped it out and started firing away. the rainbow seemed to cut right through the wing.

so as i'm taking pictures, i started looking down at the lcd screen. i checked it once...twice...then i finally noticed the words that were popping up on the screen:

"NO CF CARD."

I almost yelled out an obscenity. my cf card was in my cardreader in my backpack, from when i had transferred previous photos to my laptop. my backpack was laying at my feet. so as quickly as i could I snatched it up and stuck it back in the camera. by that time the rainbow had diminished significantly. still cool, but yeah..NOT as cool as it could have been.

and sucks i'm trying to win a photo contest at work. I think that may have done it.

-JJ

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Miracle of Flight

Most of the time when I'm working, I'm completely unaware of what is going on. Completely. I know how many people we have onboard, I know who is acting suspicous, I know who has the funniest hairdo of the day, who is cross-dressing (if I happen to be on a flight from burbank to vegas on a friday night, you always have cross dressers), and which parents have absolutely no control over their child.

But then you stop, and take a second, and peer out of one of the porthole windows, down into the 40,000 foot abyss, and you really get a reality check of what truly is going on.

I'm sure we all mumble it under our breathes every now and then. "I'm in a hundred thousand pound...wait..who KNOWS how freaking heavy we are, floating upon air 40,000 feet above the earth...what am I DOING???"

Just the other day I said this to myself. I felt like a prop on one of those ANCIENT tv shows where everything is strung up by a wire. "We're just sitting here...floating..."

The Miracle of flight is just that...a MIRACLE. Goodness knows what was going through the minds of the Wright Brothers as they barrelled down a grassy runway in a rudamentary structure they had just built in the garage...hoping that SOMEHOW they could get it into the air. "BUT HOW DO WE GET DOWN??" wonder if that ever crossed their mind.

As a typical 737 takes off it can weight a staggering 150,000 pounds. (hey guys, lets fly this OBESE TANK! YEAH!)

Occassionally, upon taking off, you can hear the joints and hinges of the plane creaking and groaning. You can see passengers, eyes wide and wandering around the feusalage, worried about a complete aircraft dismemberment. I've heard it so much, I just smile. "Shes got some arthritis."

I've never been on a jumbo 777 or any other massive international beast. I've fairly sure the awe of that thing taking off is just..well...nerve racking. ;)

Anyways, I had one of these moments the other day, and I felt like I would share. Thanks!

Maybe sometime in the future: "Miracle of a 25 minute turn."

Friday, May 18, 2007

I still got it!


A few days ago, we flew the entire Florida Gator track team back to florida. Now for those of your who are not aware, I used to run track in high school, and my parents ALMOST made me do it in college. And I was halfway decent at it, so it holds a special place in my heart, and I like to talk times and splits with current and former track athletes...just to let them know that I could smoke them anyday. (As opposed to baseball, as when I recently ran into my old baseball coach, I asked, "why did you always choose me for all stars? I was terrible." His response: "You were fast.")

anyways, in the middle of our service, one of the "lady gators" came out of the lav, looked at me, and said "you used to run, didn't you."


The rest of the story is completely not important, and we didn't exchange times (just events), because you can't compare guys and girls times. Anyways, I was just happy to know that at the old age of 26, I still got it.

And now, for the main "event."




Create Your Own PaloozaHead - Visit Lollapalooza.com

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Surprise!

First of all, I'd like to point out that I've set up a PhotoBlog. It's exclusively for my photos. I'm gonna do my best to do just one a day for more attention to detail but every day, so be sure to check back often. If anyone would like to use a picture (I have them all watermarked) just let me know! Also, I HIGHLY encourage constructive criticism. If you hate it, say so. It's entitled:

Juice's Foto Foray

http://jeremiahlee.aminus3.com/

I'm starting out with some of my favorites.


anyways,

I went for a bike ride today to enjoy the sunshine and to just get some thinking done.

Shortly after, I returned to the house, and noticed one of the inside doors, the one between the kitchen and the short stairway leading outside, closed shut, which isn't usual. I couldn't think of anyone who might have come by since Jessy doesn't come home until later (granted, I don't know her schedule THAT well).

Dumbfounded, I opened the door to find THIS staring at me.








-JJ

Monday, May 14, 2007

5 Boro Pics!

Hey guys, check these out.

http://www.brightroom.com/view_user_event.asp?EVENTID=18035&BIB=30302&S=230&PWD=


So heres my fav story of the day. Guy and his wife in front row on the way to birmingham, say they are neighbors with nick saban. I'm using ficticious names here since i dont' know what their names were.

Martha: "Yeah, just the other day while Jim was backing out of the driveway the other day, he almost ran over him!"

Jim: "yeah, the little guy wouldn't get out of the way!"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Officially Re-located

I'm finally moved in. An edge of my mattress is now in tatters since I had to do it all by myself, but other than that it was pretty uneventful.

There was a slight awkward moment when my new roommate, Jesse, walked in, because what do you say? ..."hi..new roommate." But we're both very happy and talkative people so that lasted all of 3 seconds.

Apparently I misunderstood her when she told me what she did. Shes not a ballet teacher, shes a belly dance teacher. Now THAT i found amusing. Its not her actual job, she works at a non-profit mental health facility as a psychologist by day.

Anyways, I'm REALLY excited about my new place. I've taken a bike ride the past two days around town, and its phenomenal. EVERYONE spends the day riding around. And they are ACTUAL bikers, with 2,500 dollar bikes, jerseys, and everything. It's like the entire tour-de-france lives here. With a population of around 18,000, golden supports 3 local bike shops.

yesterday I met deanna at the park down the road (we both walked there in less than 5 minutes) and had a little game of catch, and watched people leaping off of lookout mountain and para-gliding.

Here are some pictures of the new place:

My pretty...uneventful room

Living Room

Ok check this out. Heres the outide of the house...


And there is Coors Brewing corporate headquarters.


Yesterday I decided to ride my bike on the trail that winds down along the river and around town. It runs right next to the house.

This park is literally steps away from my back door, with the trail that winds around town and along the river.

The river that runs through town that everyone kayaks down.


Drake parked behind the house

Needless to say, I am way excited to be able to live here. Everything just screams "don't drive your car!" As I rode along the river, there were local high school truants jumping off the rocks into the river, with kayaks rolling along nearby. Theres even a kayak course in the river. But everyone is just so outdoorsy. Everyone is out walking their dogs and tugging their kids along behind their bikes. I saw a guy today with a kayak AND a bike mounted on top of his car.

I think I wanna go home.

Monday, May 07, 2007

42 miles of sheer pleasure...and some pain

After a short 4 hr night, I arose yesterday morning to compete in New York's 42 mile traffic-free 5 Boro Bike Tour. The morning was chilly..check that...freezing, as I weerily rode the empty trains from Brooklyn into lower manhattan to meet my pal Joe Hays and his brother in law Ryan.

All 32,000 riders congragated in the vicinity of the starting line (next to ground zero) and waited...and waited..in the cold shadows of the high rises. I stood on the concrete barrier to look ahead and behind me, only to see a sea of bikers, none of whom were moving.

Starting time, 8am, comes and goes, as does 8:30. Around 8:50 things start moving, but at a snails pace. At this rate we wouldn't reach the Staten Island finish line until dark or tomorrow, much less getting to church in time for Joe to deliver his sermon at 3.

At last things get moving, as we bob and weave through slower riders. A competitve fire started running through me, and all I wanted to do was thread the needle through competing riders..and their families.

We reached columbus circle at the southern corner of Central park and hit a bottleneck. We didn't know why things were stopped, and we still don't. We hit the sidewalks and ended up bypassing approximately 10,000 riders.

Finally we squeezed through and it was off to the races. I was feeling great, and I feel in love with the zip of my bike as I passed a horde of racers through central park. Occassionally either Joe, Ryan or I would yell out a little yelp, which would be echoed by the rest of us to ensure that we didn't get seperated.

We reached the Bronx, then immediately left. Apparently the survival rate of this ride was at a high priority.

We cruised down the eastern end of manhattan, where we were temporarily seperated. Thanks to cell phones, we quickly found each other and continued the climb up over the queensboro bridge into queens. The winds up top whipped us around pretty good. At times my bike (excuse me, jason's bike) would wobble, but I held on tight and headed down.

Into queens, we ran into a head wind and my legs adamently let me know that it was time to stop. My thighs were burning with every turn of the pedal. I blame all this on the lack of scenery in Queens.

We arrived at astoria park and made a pit stop for a bathroom break and bananas , oranges, and a surprisingly tastey carrot cake clif bar. This would be our first..and ONLY..stop of the day.

Re-energized, the road then led us down the western edge of queens, through neighborhoods with lots of turns. I felt like I was in the tour de france. I only slowed down enough on turns to not plow into the far side building. Then came a sign : "Mile 20." Yikes, long way to go.

On bridge number 4, a little unknown one that spans a small canal, I was visibly tired. Mr speed demon that was so prevalant at the beginning bid his goodbyes, and left me in the lowest gear with aching thighs. Joe's conditioning was obviously superior to mine (he attributes this to 2 years of spin classes) as he and Ryan pulled ahead of me.

Onto the BQE (brooklyn-queens expressway) we ran into a series of hills and valleys. As I churned up the hill I spoke to the hill, telling it that there was no way I was allowing it to beat me. All around me people were walking their bikes up, but I refused. Twice Joe and Ryan had to wait for me, but hill after hill I never dismounted.

The final climb, the verazanno bridge into Staten Island, came into view. Joe had called and we planned to all meet at the base of the bridge so we could finish it out together. I was in a zone. I wasn't going super fast, but it was steady. Turn after turn of the pedal was consistent. My body had become numb to all pain. I finally met Joe, and we waiting for a short time for Ryan who had stopped to refill his water.

On the final climb, I gave everything I had. it's a long, slow climb, and I put everything I had left into it. We summited, then left a fire trail all the way down.

I could see the festival on my right. We had done it. I took my hands off the handle bars, and raised my arms in victory.

We unfortunately didn't have time to enjoy the celebration because Joe had to preach. (Or should I say fortunately, because Joe is a fantastic preacher at a fantastic church!, and Apparently those spin classes really do work), so we grabbed a hot dog and headed towards Joe's car, which was parked at the staten island ferry. We turned onto the street, where we passed a sign that read "Ferry, 3 miles."

It was the cruelest of all jokes. I had spent all my energy getting up that last bridge, and here I had 3 more miles to go. I was out of gatorade, out of energy.

I LABORED those last 3 miles. We climb a small hill where a man had decided this was a great place to preach about hell and damnation. Everyone was muttering under their breath, "you're right, this is HELL."

IT was all worth it. I had a blast riding the streets of the city. We had completed 42 miles in 4 hours (10 mph!) My entire body felt like Jell-o, but I'd do it again tomorrow if I could.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Back In focus

I just spoke to my father who said "jeremy, your blogs are getting short these days." i know. It's because i'm getting lazy. And he mentioned some RANDOM guy who has been checking this thing every day to see if I'm going to post something on Virginia Tech. Not really my realm, so I'm not going to.

But, cliche excuse, i've been busy. I moved to Golden, CO, in with a girl..YES GIRL...that i just met on craigslist..YES, CRAIGSLIST...well..ok move is too strong of a word, my stuff is now sitting in her garage... but its awesome, situated 2 blocks from downtown and 1 block from a park. But i also had MONO..MONO!!! again (103 degree fever) so was out of commission for a while, i actually called in sick for the second time in 2 1/2 years. but it was good timing because it gave me time to move. I've developed a new love interest (a girl, not another outdoor sport) , and now i'm preparing to ride in the 42 mile "5 Boro Bike Ride" with my pal Joe Hays in New York City. Its my first real..LONG..bike ride. I've become entrenched in this sport. I even just bought toe clips for my mountain bike. awesome. I just hope I can get out of them. (Jason I promise I'll be SUPER...DUPER careful with your bike)

Right now I'm in Boise, Id where i just bought this 2.50 t-shirt that says "boise idaho east all stars" from the local thrift store because i left home without realizing I only have 1 shirt. so now I have 2. And I'm working with a spectacular crew. Just to sum it up, I made a bet with Howard that if the lakers won tonight, I'd have to do 20 pushups in the middle of the aisle during a flight tomorrow. If they lose, he has to do them. I just hope I can do that many.

I just wish when I logged into blogger it said "Zach has visited today" or "Jonathan has visited today." gives me more motivation. I've considered taking a hiatus, but i'm afraid people won't come back. So I'm not. Plus a hiatus from what? telling people about fun trips and exciting adventures? I honestly enjoy it.

And I love this blabbing on and rambling. Kind of entertaining. I'm thinking that the title of this post was all wrong, because this thing has not a lick of focus.

-JJ