Saturday, May 12, 2007

7 Things

Thanks to Jordan for the tag. This "7 things" is all the rave in the poker blogging community. I'm pretty sure I'm the last in a long line to get tagged, but I made it! Seven things most people don't know about me:

1) My first real kiss wasn't until Sophomore year at the University of Puget Sound. The kiss took place on the upper bunk of a bunk-bed, with the deaf school president on the lower bunk while we were all watching a movie. Dirty! I know plenty of people probably had their first kiss older than 19, but I was a pretty big dork growing up. I enjoyed sports, and miraculously a few girls had crushes on me (which I didn't find out until later), but I was too busy chasing after my own crush to realize!

2) I was on a junior's national championship ultimate frisbee team my senior year of high school. We all flew out to Philadelphia for the 3rd annual junior's tournament, one of two teams from west of the Mississippi River, and took down the entire tourney! The year before we had an amazing team, and finished 2nd. The championship run we had a worse team, but had an amazing draw, and didn't have to play many tough opponents. The year before was probably just as special (if not more), because we beat the undefeated powerhouse from the last few years, Amherst, in the semi-finals. An upset that nobody saw coming, and we had nearly every single person at the fields cheering for us. Lots of my teammates still play frisbee at the highest level--half of them play on Sockeye, a Seattle club team that won national's in 2004 or 2005, I think.

3) You wouldn't know by looking at me, but I'm pretty decent at nearly every sport out there. The only sport my dad played was running marathons, which he didn't start until his 50's. Thanks for the sports skills, mom! I'm 6'1", 150lbs dripping wet, I wear glasses and look like a cross between Mike Dunleavy and a monkey--but I've got mad skills with a ball or a racquet, and I've got the will of the warrior. Unlike Lela, who's got the will of a house wife! ah hah! hah!

4) I love Futurama (if you were confused by the last line of #3...). My favorite show is the Simpsons, followed closely by Futurama and Family Guy. People who don't understand the comedy in an animated series frighten me.

5) I've had three amazingly close friends since elementary school. Which has actually put a damper on my friend-making since then, because I know I can always count on Tyler, Marc and Andrew. I don't know of anyone else who still has three close friends that they made before 2nd grade. We're going on our 3rd annual Coast Trip this summer, and hopefully we'll all be back in Seattle within the next few years and get a city-league basketball team going and be part of each other's lives for a long time to come.

6) I've never smoked. Cigarettes, pot--you name it, I haven't smoked it. And don't plan on ever smoking. My sister started smoking just to spite my mother when she was 15 or 16, I thought that was a stupid reason, so I choose not to smoke because of her! I've always been athletic, and was never really cool--so I didn't feel like smoking would help out my athleticism, and I never had any pressure to smoke. I continue to think smoking cigarettes is both gross and pointless, and I hate the smell. Easily the worst part about live poker for me. That said, I've had pot-brownies and chocolate truffle shrooms--both which I enjoyed!

7) Unless you are Cody, Andrew or Dirk, you don't know this. I purchased a new toy this afternoon:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

First NEW vehicle I've ever purchased, and I have a blog-worthy story to go along with lucky #7. I woke up this morning to find my glasses smashed in my laptop. Apparently last night after taking off my glasses and setting them on my open laptop, I fell asleep listening to iTunes music on my headphones because of the blaring party music going on in the house. I must have woken up later, taken off my headphones and slammed the laptop shut... onto my glasses. In the morning, one of the lenses had popped out, and the frame was completely wrecked.

I was able to pop the lens back in and form the frame into a semblance of its old self. I drove to Reno to find the closest Lenscrafters, who supposedly repair glasses for free. It was an interesting drive, with one lens touching my eyelashes, and the other about two inches away from my face. I made it, and the kind folks at Lenscrafters were able to fix them for free. I was amazed, and like Lenscrafters now!

On the way back from Reno, I decided to just swing by the Kawasaki dealership in Carson City and see what the chances of purchasing a motorcycle with no motorcycle license, and never having operated a motorcycle in my life were. Well, when you're paying cash (or check), the chances are pretty darn good! The Al-Ighty Ollar wins again! I'd done enough research online to find the bike I wanted, so I walked up to a guy and said, "I want that one."

Matt never had an easier sale in his life, and jumped at the opportunity for an easy commission. I went and picked out a helmet and bike gloves at a discount for buying the bike. The show bike was Red, and I wanted black or silver--luckily enough for me they had a silver in a box in the back, which would only take 45mins to put together. After waiting for an hour, they rolled the brand-new bike out front, and Matt gave me the once-over.

The once-over didn't involve how to start the bike, how to change gears, or how to stop the bike--things I had no clue how to do. We shook hands, then I made an excuse to run to my car real quick (so I wouldn't have an audience). I hopped in the car and burned through the instruction manual. I was under the impression that the handle-bars worked like bicycle handle-bars. Right level was the back-brake, left bar was the front brake.

WRONG! I'm glad I read the manual first, because they definitely would have asked for my license watching me try to pedal the foot-pegs to start the damn thing. On motorcycles, it turns out that the right handle is the front brake, and the left handle is the clutch. Luckily I have already mastered driving a stick-shift, or I would have been SOL.

I went through the manual a second time, then decided if I wanted to get back to Tahoe by sun-down, I'd have to get riding. I walked back to the bike and started wheeling it away from the front of the dealership to get some much needed privacy.

Then, disaster struck.

The pavement I was rolling the bike down wasn't as level as I thought. The bike started to tilt away from me, and I was stupid enough to be rolling the bike from the kick-stand side. There was literally nothing I could do to stop the bike from crashing onto its side. Ouuuuch. The depreciation began cycling through my head like dollar-bill signs in Daffy Duck's eyeballs. I felt worse than seeing your Plinko ball fall into the zero slot.

One of the shop guys was helping another customer with their new 4-wheeler, and came rushing over to help me stand up the bike. He was on the side of the fall, and before I could see the damage, he said, "Oh, that's not good."

Shit! Shit! Shit! I came around to his side, and besides the pool of oil leaking out of the bottom of the bike, it looked fine to me. The pool of oil leaking wasn't a good thing though. The Ninja design is pretty sweet, the only scratches on the bike are on the tip-end of the right handle-bar and the foot-peg, but the right foot-peg brake (rear-brake) slammed into the plastic oil-level window (which tells how much oil is in the bike). It shattered the window, and hence the oil slick. If Andrew had engineered the bike, that wouldn't have happened.

Since I hadn't even moved the bike 10 feet, they took it back into the shop to see if they could find the part and replace it. Although my ego might beg to differ, I was extremely lucky to have the accident on their turf, because they took the same part off of the red show bike, and I had my nearly good-as-new bike within 30 minutes. All the guys poked fun at me, but they also told me their stories of letting their bikes fall to the ground. One guy said, "There are two types of riders: those that drop their bikes, and liers!"

I felt like a complete idiot, but this time I straddled the bike as I took it around the corner to test-drive.

I had no clue what I was doing.

It felt like riding a bicycle for the first time. The first time I rode a bicycle, I'm pretty sure I wound up in bushes. I REALLY didn't want that to happen on my pretty little silver sport bike. I found a parking lot next door to the dealership and circled around the lot a few times. I was comfortable in 1st gear, and was surprised at how nice the bike rode. I thought all the little cracks and bumps would be a much bigger annoyance, but I could hardly feel them.

The next step was shifting gears. According to the manual, there was a shifter near the left foot peg (Here is where I thanked my two months of playing a drum set in middle school!). I found the shifter, but it didn't want to be pushed down. I let go of the clutch, which promptly killed the motor. Damnit!

I started the bike again, with the clutch pulled in, but didn't know how to put the bike in neutral, so I shut it off, then lifted the seat up and looked in the driver's manual again. Oh. The shifter lifts up! It also shifts down, but 1st gear is the bottom gear, so it didn't go any further down.

Gripe number one about the motorcycle is that there is no way of telling what gear you are in, unless you are in 1st (and the shifter won't push down any more), or you are in 6th (and it won't pull up further). Gripe Two is that there is no gas gage, so I'm going to have to use the trip meter and hope it gets 70mph, like advertised.

I get up to 2nd gear in the parking lot, and decide it is time to hit the back roads. I pull up to the stop sign and barely stop in time, as a car goes whizzing by in front of me. Brakes... right... got it!

"I'm so screwed," I think to myself.

I gun it, and make it across the 35mph road to a nice and easy 15mph one. The next 30minutes or so are spent familiarizing myself with the bike. I realize at about minute 15 that I hadn't adjusted the mirrors, when I hear a honk behind be and nearly jump off the bike. I pulled over and let the sneaky car by, then adjusted my mirrors.

The thing I was having the most problem with was DOING what I was meaning to do. I know I'm supposed to slow to a stop at a stop sign, but trying to remember to down-shift, lightly apply the front brake with my right hand, then apply the rear brake with my right foot was difficult at the start. Every limb is doing something at once--much like drumming.

I was feeling good until I saw a police car driving down the street towards me. No license, remember? Crappity Crap Crap! I tried to maintain a nice 30mph speed on the 35mph road, and of course must have looked ridiculous driving under the speed limit on a sport bike, wearing only a t-shirt, athletic shorts, sneakers, gloves and a helmet. Most people wear jeans and a jacket while riding. The cop passed me by, and I decided I was ready to get the hell home.

The road from Carson City to Tahoe takes you up and over a mountain pass at 50mph. The sun had began setting, so the entire drive was done in the shade, at about 55 degrees and 50mph. In... shorts and a t-shirt. Not smart, Chris, not smart! If I had to choose between riding a bike in those conditions, or hopping in Lake Tahoe when it couldn't be more than 45 degrees, I'd choose hopping in the lake (see Thursday's post!) My teeth were chattering, and my skin had about three layers of goose-bumps, but I was putting along. The wind had also began picking up, which wasn't much fun, but was actually easier to handle than I expected. Since the ride was much smoother than anticipated, it was easy to just lean a little bit into the wind and move back to the middle of my lane.

The rough part about the drive home was that I was told not to have the bike constantly above 7k rpm for its first 500 miles. Apparently bikes fresh out of the shop need to adapt to the oil, and get the oil lubed throughout all of the engine, which takes some time. Going up a mountain pass at 50mph forced me to have the bike at 7-8k rpm. I slowed down a few times to give the bike a breather, but I was hoping the 7k was more of a guideline than a limit. The bike made it, but hopefully I won't have to make that trip again within 500 miles.

I was an icicle when I made it home, but I was also ecstatic about the bike purchase, so I didn't mind. Cody was nice enough to drive me back down to Carson to pick up the Exploder. I covered his gas money, and was extremely happy that he volunteered to help me grab my car. I offered him a test-run of the bike :)

I've still got to get insurance on it, get a license, and eventually register it (by June 11th)--but I don't plan on riding it (much) until I get a permit (hopefully Tuesday). My summer just got a whole lot better :) I apologize in advance to my future self if I just screwed you out of five months of food--you should have gotten up earlier in the morning and stopped me! Hah!

Oh, and almost forgot--time to tag a few folks for "7 Things", dare I try to involve non-poker bloggers? mmm? I think I'll just tag the last five people to post on my blog who haven't already done this, suckers!

Anonymous (whoever you are, you must either post on your blog and let me know who you are, or just reply to this anonymously and post your 7)
Ginny (thanks for the comment, mom--now reveal the dirt! About you. Not me.)
Waking Jonas
Rich aka Pushmonkey

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Blogger Stacey said...

sorry..i couldn't remember my password last time. we'll see if i have it this time. i am the anonymous.

it's too early (for me) to get into 7 things people don't know, particularly you, but i wanted to say congrats on the bike!!! it looks awesome. i'm so freaking happy for you. i expect a ride when you pass through.

11:58 AM  
Blogger meanhappyguy said...

Rides will be plentiful when I head up to Seattle. I should have known the anonymous online ninja was you, you got the sneaks like squeaks!

And it is just seven things most people don't know--I'm pretty sure you knew 4 or 5 of mine?

1:46 PM  

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