Monday, July 31, 2006

Home Depot revelation

While in Dallas for the IrongirlTexas I went to buy some supplies at the Home Depot in Irving. After getting what I needed for the race I noticed a row of small storage buildings, for sale and on sale. The one that caught my eye was on sale with a $300.00 discount, just the right size and the way it was built would keep out 80% of the West Texas dust. So, it was love at first sight and I was eager to make this purchase happen. The only problem I had was it was sitting in Irving and I needed it in Ransom Canyon, some 350 miles away, with no room to haul it. The next step is to go into the customer service desk and ask if I can buy it in Irving and pick it up in Lubbock(yes folks we even have indoor toilets in Lubbock in addition to Home Depot, Lowe's, and Starbucks). Sounds simple enough for me so I presented my plight to the customer service representative. Now is when the real story begins, first the lady behind the black scarf, with only eyes peeking through, and some kind of long dress on with the name of Masooma,stationed below her right shoulder(sounds better than above her right breast)started the search through her computer to find the storage building and determine if the Lubbock location would have one. Seems simple enough to me with this marvelous computer world running our lives why couldn't it find a simple part number and then communicate with the Lubbock store? But, Masooma ran into a hitch and had to call another employee to take care of it for her. Well, now Juan comes onto the scene and takes the part number and product description from her and hurries off to the back of the store to get the information. The next thing I know is Juan comes back with Adolph(still with somewhat of a German accent), and they both are both looking for my information. Then they all disappear to the back, wonder what really goes on it that back room? As I stood there very patiently waiting for my answer, I really wanted this buildiing or I would not have been as patient as I was, a guy with the name of Slim came up to me and ask if I was being helped. My reply was, yes I think so but I am not seeing any progress. He said well what are you looking for and maybe I can help. I explained the situation and said that the international Home Depot crew were looking throughout computer land for the answer to my questions. Slim, with a slight grin on his face when the computer was mentioned, then says(in an extreme East Texas accent)I think I can get an answer pretty fast." Of all things he suggested that we go and look at the building, hands on, and get the information we needed. What a novel idea, then I could be on my way. How simple can that be and that is actually what we did. Even though they did not have the exact building in Lubbock at least Slim and I had made a valient effort to consumate the sale. When I left the international search crew of Masooma, Juan and Adolph were still in the back room, searching I guess. Moral to the story, when in doubt look on the instruction sheet, the computer only knows what is fed into it. Sometimes I even let my computer know who is boss by just simply UNPLUGGING it, then it knows who is the real boss man!

Mike Greer

Sunday, July 30, 2006

USAT elections update, What are friends?, J D's, IrongirlTexas

My decision to run for the USAT National Board has been an interesting one and over the past few days has been both amusing and disgusting. It seems as though a certain so-called long term "friend" of mine has decided I am not fit to run for the board or serve on it, assuming I win. Of course his objections and reasons were not brought before me while I was acquiring my signatures for submission to USAT for placement on the ballot, nor did my "friend" discuss it with me, either in private or in public. His personal and public attacks on me the past few days have bothered me a lot and as my mother use to say, "He got my goat." While I really don't know what goats have to do with anything I do know that it has bothered me. And the real reason is simply because this person claims to be my "friend" and has taken from our friendship over the years, numbering at least 18, with very little in return. Actually he has dealt me more misery through our "friendship" that I can mention. If he contributed anything to our "friendship" it was usually so that he could gain from it. In other words if he were to write a book on narcissism I am sure it would be a best seller since he lives it, daily. So, you ask, if this is the case why have you put up with it for so long? My rationale for putting up with this nonsense and even defending this person when others have criticized him is that my definition of "friendship" is if you really feel there is a true friendship you stand behind that person, no matter what. Plus, I have always felt his heart was in the right place. But, over the past 2 years I am finding this is not the case. My feeling is if something is there that you don't like you approach that "friend," in private and clear the air on it. This person and I had such a conversation a little over 12 years ago when I was President of the USAT National Board. He had made some public, alleged slanderous(according to the other person) statements about this race director, in print, and had signed his official title of the SMW Regional Federation. I took him aside and told him to get this straightened out one way or the other. His reply was, "I can't believe you are talking to me this way, we are supposed to be friends." My reply was simple, "It is because we are friends I am talking to you this way and asking you to clear up this unfortunate thing that is giving the Regional Federation, and the sport a bad name." He later did what I ask and it was resolved. So, that is really all I am asking and no matter what it is not coming forth, so I can only assume that we are not true friends after all. After a few days of thinking about it and letting it "get my goat," I have resolved that I will do everything I can to win the election. I am convinced that this attack on me is simply because of the fear from my opponent that I will win and he has gathered up his ole cronies to make sure everything can be done to discredit me. So, I stand by my platform that I submitted to the nominating committee and I will work hard to receive enough votes to win by at least one, since that is all it takes.

Yesterday was a full day, first I started with a 30 mile bicycle ride, then I headed East on the "Hog" to a little town, population around 2500, off of the caprock and home of the infamous JD's Bar and Grill. This town is also the home of Jackson's famous beef jerky, Ole Trade Days, lots of cowboys and oil field workers. JD's is famous for their cold beer, "best hamburgers in town", and Thursday night 14 oz. rib eye steaks. I will confess I have experienced all of the above and it is great. Over the years this little watering hole has become popular among the locals, but also for the riders of iron horses and on any given day you will see a few parked in the lot while their owners are refreshing their selves. Since I was riding by myself I really did't know what to expect as to what the crowd would be like today at JD's. When I pulled up I noticed no iron horses, but a couple of pickups outside. When I entered I noticed there were two women at the bar and three men sitting at one of the tables. They didn't appear to be together and I didn't know any of them. So, I took a seat at the end of the bar and ordered my adult beverage(draft Coors light)and hamburger(cooked medium well, mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, no pickles). Due to the thickness of the hamburger meat it takes a good 20 minutes to cook it, so I ordered it immediately and figured my first cold beer would be gone before the burger was finished. I was right, so I had to order another one just to balance it out with the eating of the burger(does this make sense?). My plan was to just sit at the end of the bar, mind my own business and not engage in any kind of conversation. My reason for this is simple, this kind of conversation usually goes like this, "where are you from, what do you do, why don't you smile more, what kind of bike do you ride, etc., etc." So, as I was following my plan the inevitable happened, "the lady at the end of the bar asks me if I want to have sex with her, whoops!!! not really just kidding!!!(besides Marti may read this, but I doubt it), she really asks, "why don't you smile more?" The only other question or comment I hate more than that one is, "you look tired, are you tired?" In an effort to answer her I said, "I am just deep in thought and it never occurred to me to smile about it." After all I am thinking about a friend who has been dinging me for the past few days and he got my goat. So, now she is feeling sorry for me and wants to know the full story. I refuse to go into it and I divert the conversation to another topic, the ole where are you from, what do you do, etc. This always gathers attention and the original thoughts disappear. Then something always get to the ages of the people in the room. While the men were still doing their business at the table and really wanted no part of the conversation, I also noticed that the room had filled with smoke. After taking a population count I noticed that of the 7 people in the bar, including the bar maid, 6 were smoking(guess who wasn't?). While trying to eat my burger, drink my cold beer, and mind my own business I was having to answer the questions put before me. Yep, I am in the consulting business now after being in the manufacturing business, and now am running for the USAT National Board so I can be treated like crap and made fun of by my friends. Boy, was that an eye opener and did they wish they hadn't ask!! No, I don't live in Lubbock, I live in Ransom Canyon. The reply on that is always, "I know where that is, I have a friend who lives there(I hope they are better than my long time friend, I think to myself), and then the last line of questioning centers around age. When I reveal I am a ancient 67 years old and have a son 45, they nearly fall off of the stool. Gosh almighty I thought you were around 45 yourself. Then I have to guess their age, I peg one at 38(she was actually 45) and the other one at 40(she was actually 51). I have learned it is always better to go real low on the initial guess, then you a good to go for the rest of the conversation. So, we bonded on the age thing, agreed that raising kids can be a drag at times and they needed more discipline, etc. Now it was time to look at the bottom of my frosted Coors light mug and hit the road. I couldn't wait to climb on that "Hog" and hit the road. My enthusiasm for riding is best described, by me, in that riding a motorcycle is the closest thing to sex than anything I know. I had my first "Hog" when I was 12 and actually had sex the first time at that age, so I know what I am talking about here. Now to get back to the subject, I hit the road going West to Ransom Canyon and before I knew it my speedometer said 90 mph. Man did this feel good and rather than slow the "Hog" down I went on to 100 mph, then I got to thinking, this maybe a tad too fast and the speed limit is only 70. I think slowed to 80 and kept the pace. There were some cars on the road but no "Hogs." The ride back was great, so now I had to top it off with a movie, popcorn(no butter), and a small coke. My practice here is to go to the movie house and what ever movie comes on at the time I drive up(within 10 minutes of show time), that I haven't seen, will be my choice. This is a great rule, then you don't have to think. The only problem is you do see some bombs, but they also turn out good. My movie, "Miami Vice" was coming on @ 7:25 and it was 7:20 so I had it made. Fact is I had rather enter the movie at the time the credits for the movie I am going to see are finishing up. The problem is generally you can't find a good seat at that time. Today I hit it good, the credits were just coming on and there were some good seats. This practice is more challenging when Marti and I go, because then we need two seats instead of one, and have had to sit on the first two rows before. Miami Vice turned out to be a very good movie. Lots of violence, sex, great dance scenes, bad language but not as bad as I figure it would be, lots of action and the bad guys went down in the end. A well done movie, if you go in expecting some bad stuff since it was about drug dealers. Funny thing is as I hear about and read about this billion dollar drug problem in the United States I have come up with the perfect solution to the problem and guarantee it will eliminate all drug imports. If everyone who uses drugs would just quit the habit, there would be no need for drug imports.

The first annual IronGirlTexas was held last weekend in Irving(Las Colinas), Texas and this female only triathlon was a great success. The turn out was something over 560 ladies, with perfect weather and an excellent venue. We wish to thank Stacie Brode and her group of volunteers for making it happen and for all the hard work they did. We look forward to 2007 and are in the planning stages now for another big year. Thanks to all the athletes who supported the race, please come back next year and bring three friends.

Thanks to all my readers, for reading, and if you are an annual member of USAT residing in the SouthMidwest Region please vote for me,BUT, if you don't want to vote for me then just VOTE for the candidate of your choice! Also, forgot to mention, if you want to read the saga of how bad I am, in the eyes of my friend, go to Only believe half what you read and contact me direct at if you want the truth, i.e. t-triathlon, r-resourceful, u-unified, t-tenacity, h-honesty!! How good can it get??

Off to swim and ride the "Hog", probably catch another movie,


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Immigration up date, and National Age Group Championship

The immigration issue in Ransom Canyon is getting much better, I was reminded by one of those little honkers that the language is French Canadian, not Canadian French. Okay, picky, picky, I knew that anyway but was just testing them. They have stopped carrying the demand signs around on their beaks and seem to be making themselves at home quite well. There will be other issues to deal with in the future since we are having a water shortage and the question is where will they sit their butts when the water is too low. Another concern is Ransom does not have a school system so will they be accepted in the Slaton or Roosevelt school system. This has gotten much more involved than our little 1000 population community had expected, but we will deal with it.

The National Age Group Triathlon Championship was last weekend in Smithville, Missouri(close to Kansas City)at Smithville Lake. It was a tremendous success and all of the athletes were very happy with the venue and administration. Mark Livesay did a great job of directing this race and the staff from USA Triathlon was there in force helping him. As we all know it is difficult to have two cooks in the kitchen, which is what happens with the NAGC being owned by USA Triathlon. They get involved with the on site race director and sometimes the division lines are not well defined. From what I could gather these problems did not exist in large form and it is only human that there might be some disagreement when the heat gets turned up a little. But, it appeared that all of the pre-race planning and implementation was done very well and whatever problems came up prior to the race, were handled well.

Well it is official, "Kinky" Friedman is on the Texas Ballot running for Governor and he will be listed as "Kinky." His first name, the best I can determine is James, but he only goes by Kinky and in his books you will not find his given name. This determination of placing his name as Kinky on the ballot had to be granted by law, whoever that is in the state that does such things. The other candidate running against the incumbant Ralph Perry is "Grandma" Strayhorn, however, she must use her given name and can't use "Grandma," also determined by this same law guy(probably the Attorney General of Texas). When ask by President Bush what his platform is, Kinky answered: "My platform, Mr. President, is that I'm not a politician. My platform is that I'm not a bureaucrat. My platform is that I'm a writer of fiction who speaks the truth. My platform is to fight the wussification of this great state, to rise and shine and bring back the glory of Texas. My platform is, no hill to a climber. My platform is to remember they went out searching for Sam Houston to try to persuade him to be the governor--and he was the greatest governor this state has ever had--rumor has it that they found him drunk, sleeping under a bridge with the Indians." On second thought, maybe I don't really want a platform. They might try to put a trapdoor in it. Greerism--I love this state, but I am concerned as Kinky is about the "wussification" process that is going on and we must protect it by having elected officials like him. There is room for honesty and everyone elected does not have to be "slick." Texas trivia--The State Capital in Austin is the nation's largest statehouse, with a dome seven feet taller that that of the National Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Off to do a bike ride, and pack for Irongirl Texas, July 23rd, Irving, Texas(Las Colinas),


Saturday, July 01, 2006

17th annual now history

Now that the 17th annual Buffalo Springs 70.3 is history there is always a sigh of relief that it is come and gone, with record numbers, no serious accidents, and a happy community spirit; however, there is also a feeling of letdown since so many things go on in the last week. During that week the final details that cannot be done any other time are wrapped up and the athletes start coming to town for the event. The hotels start filling up, the expo is put together, the transition starts taking form, the athletes are out previewing the venue, and the excitement and positive energy that is generated from the sport of triathlon begins its' new life for another year. The good news is that 2006 was a truly banner year, while entertaining record entries in both the age group and pro fields Buffalo Springs 70.3 experienced great competition and record times from the athletes. Natascha Badmann came in nine days early to prepare for the race and it worked, she set a new women's record with a 4:22 finish and Luke Bell won the men's side with a record breaking 3:54. No athlete had ever broken four hours on this course, and we had two, with Simon Lessing finishing second with a 3:57. But I feel the real news is that there was such a great positive synergism of the event throughout the city, starting with the many volunteers and the everyday citizens of this area. Many athletes told us that the hospitality in the area is the best they have experienced in their triathlon travels, so that made us all feel real good. The event itself went off on time, despite some concern earlier about bad weather, and even that turned out to be one of most perfect weather days. Another first was the presence of Lubbock's newly elected Mayor. In the history of the event no Mayor had ever showed up at the race. Mayor David Miller took time from his Saturday afternoon to address the athletes at the pre-race meeting and thank them for being here. Since they had traveled from 41 states and 10 countries, it was great to have him here to welcome the visitors to our city. The race went off so well it almost makes it scary to think of 2007 and what we can do to make it better and improve on 2006. The 70.3 concept of qualifying for the World Championship in Clearwater, FL was really a big hit. It created new excitement for the sport and was met with great enthusiasm by the athletes. Even though the Kona slots are always the darlings of the event, with both the 70.3 and Kona slots it guarantees excitement and tremendous competition. Now, back to planning for 2007!! That never ends!!

Stay tuned for the next report on the immigration issue in Ransom Canyon. Now they are taking over the city library and demanding Canadian French books be stocked on the shelves. I noticed yesterday a new group of them feeding off of the boat dock area. They were eating so hard and intense they didn't even look up when I honked at them. Of course with their honkers, they just honked back while ignoring me to. What a bunch of rowdies!

For any of my faithful readers out there that happen to be triathletes and members of USA Triathlon, living in the SouthMidwest Region, please vote for ME!! I have been notified that my name will appear on the ballot for the upcoming elections for the National USA Triathlon Board elections. The last time I served on the board was 1993-4, serving as President of the Board in '94. With my additional experience since that time I feel I am more prepared to serve the members who elect me. My goal is to serve the sport of triathlon in an ethical manner and always using the Golden Rule as my guideline for service.

Off to the canyons for a training ride,