Thursday, July 31, 2008

If you need me, I will be here.

lake pleasant
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

for a few dollars more (haiku)

passive defiance
inaudible daring words
domestic cowards

Friday, July 25, 2008

a brief moment of silence (eight words)

if i
knew what
i wanted,
i'd ask.

visitor (haiku)

i dont belong here
i am wasting all our time
pretending to care

just ask my wife (eight words)

the design
of my ass


Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Still havent gotten my bike fixed since I broke down a week ago. Plans for biking every day in July are way killed, but I hope to get the necessary supplies this weekend and ride all next week. The weather is beautiful today and I'm jealously eyeing the bike messengers that wizz by.....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

nunc pro tunc (eight words)

shove those
license plates
somewhere you
will enjoy

Monday, July 21, 2008

bad day (eight words)

throat tight
head hurts
shoulders slumped
ass kicked

PENNDOT (eight words)

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
They want more
than money.


Tim Janus (eight words)

if i
cant beat
you, my
sons will

Thursday, July 17, 2008

fortune cookie (eight words)

you're going
to wish
you lived
in Pittsburgh.

cant even think of a title (eight words)

just another
man from
no where.

doing nothing.

we're fucked (eight words)

the canaries
are dead.

they say
keep digging.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Day 9 Asshole on Wheels

I'm a complete Asshole and having a really bad day.

I got a flat on the way in just as I was about to enter West Philly. I have Kevlar Belted Tires, so honestly I was very surprised, but I guess so was the Captain of the Titanic.

My backup plan calls for me to remove the Wheel, remove the tube, find the hole/object, patch the hole, install the tube, install the tire, inflate the tire. 20 minutes.

BUT believe it or not I havent been carrying any replacement tubes, patch kits or even a frame pump. yeah, I'm pretty dum.

My 2nd backup plan is to hobble over (I'm in bike shoes) to the nearest El train station (bikes are allowed) and take that to safety.

BUT the El is shutdown this week for improvements. duh.

My 3rd backup plan is to call my wife to come rescue me. By miricle, she's actually off today and was able to come pick me up and drop my sorry ass off at work. I dont think I'm going to bike again until I can be properly prepared.

Other people are having tougher days however. My good friend Lump-Lump's Mom passed away and the viewing is tonight. My own Mom is a proud and private person so I dont discuss her issues here, but prayers are appropriate for what she's going through today.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 8

Back on the bike.

SEPTA has shut down the El Train for a week of track upgrades and has replaced the service with HUNDREDS of buses.

The bus and the bike are natural enemies in the wild much like the Cobra and the Wombat or George Bush and the Polar Caps. Having so many buses trying to kill my bike makes the ride somewhat more technical. Seriously, whats the fucking deal with you bus drivers? Stop racing to the stop lights to cut me off on the right, once I'm past you, I'll be gone and you'll never catch up, so just let me pass you!!!

However, the added bus traffic have lowered the overall speed of the traffic which is fine with me.

I'm going to try running at lunch today. Nothing like upping the ante.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Year Three

Another Fourth of July and another year watching the Nathans Hot Dog Eating Finals from the couch. It's a habit that I have been trying to break, but another one has gone by with me staring at ESPN.

The fight between Kobayashi and Joey Chestnut was stunning. The rivalry between them should pay off hugely for them personally in the coming years. They have already been hired to face off against each other in Singapore in a few weeks. Thats exciting!

I had some generous offers from friends to attend the Coney Island event and after-parties, but I had to decline them. Mostly I just think it would be too painful to be there and not be participating. I'd be too jealous and moody, even around these sweet people. My feeling is that it's only for Champions to enjoy, and if I was a Champion I'd have a trophy on my mantel. I dont.

I figure if I'm going to blow a whole weekend it has to be really worth-while to miss all that time with my wife and kids. It wouldnt have been worth it because I'd just be jealous. I made the right choice and had a restful few days with my family.

It's easy to say 'next year' for making it to Coney but honestly thats pretty far away and I can only count on the Competition to get more difficult. In fact the new Rankings are likely to come out in the next few weeks and despite my slow and steady improvement year after year, so many new stomachs have blasted onto the scene it will be hard for me to maintain my ranking of 18. I'll keep trying, and can only hope to outlast them burning out.

The next big contest for me is probably the Krystal Burger Championship. It's the most wonderfully run contest and my favorite. I've eaten 31 Krystal Burgers in 8 minutes and this year I'm going to try to eat 40. All of the Qualifiers are held down South, so hopefully I'll be able to get enough money and time to attend one, once they are announced. I'd really like to attend the Atlanta one so I have a chance to meet up with my old friend, DW.

The last time he saw me I wasnt a Competitve Eater, so this must be kinda weird for him. I know it's been weird for me.

Using My Powers for Good

and it felt great!

Day 7

Day 7 was actually Friday. It went well.

I didnt ride today because I wimped out when I saw it was raining. Probably a good idea considering that I was pretty hung over as well.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

How Bad Do You Want It?

Originally uploaded by steakbellie.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Day 6

The last 3 miles of my ride home yesterday were in the most intense downpour. I couldnt see more than a few feet and it was the kind of rain that cause rivers to flow on the streets. If I had come accross a pool I could have jumped in and dried off. There was really nothing I could do but laugh out loud at my situation.

so I did.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Choose the Middle One, Mom (eight words)

nothing so hard
as to pick
your poison

Day 5

As of right now I am 50 miles into my commute this week. A long 50 mile would be awesome, but these have been interval sprints and climbs. Stopping. Starting. Crushing the pedals for a momentary gap between vehicles. Pretty much an awesome work-out.

I'm not particularly sore in any muscles but my energy system is still inefficient and I havent been able to recover 100% between rides. I noticed this morning that I had to use my bottom gears on hills I flew over just 2 days ago. I'm also sweating alot on the ride in, where it was easier before.

By Friday I should be a beautiful hot mess. Still, this is by far the best part of my day....bus exhaust and all.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

thanks god (eight words)

not crazy like you
just crazy like me

Long Road to Home (Bucket List)

I've tried to write this article 4 times, and cant seem to put it together. I'm going to try to just stick to the facts.

To Go to the Nathans Finals (4th of July in Coney Island on ESPN) you must WIN a Qualifier.

An Eater may sign up for up to 3 Qualifiers.

I have been trying to Qualify for three years.

I have also been trying to Eat 20 Hot Dogs and buns for 3 years.

I did not Qualify or eat 20 in the first 2 Qualifiers this year. I was getting desperate and decided that I had put too much pressure on myself.

So the night before my final chance, I allowed myself to eat dinner and drink a shitfull of beer. I didnt do any of the little tricks I've developed before and during a contest. I just lived my life and showed up on time.

Hungover, on a series of tables setup on the back of a flatbed truck, I competed in over 100 degree heat (at least on the back of the truck it was).

Rich Shea
Originally uploaded by steakbellie.
Richard Shea was the Announcer for the contest. He's pretty much awesome. He honored me with some Social Distortion to my entrance. At the Pittsburgh Qualifier he played 'The Mountain Song' from Jane's Addiction. (What he couldnt know is that I sang that song outloud in TERROR while making a decent of the Rocky Mountains in Jackson Hole Wyoming on a bicycle. I was going 47.5 MPH and scared shitless. I always smile now when I hear it)

Camden was recently awarded the title of most dangerous city in the United States.

I did not qualify for the finals but I ate 20.75 Hotdogs and buns in 10 minutes and came in 3rd. At the end of the contest when everyone else was leaning over in discomfort, I was the only person with my hands in the air. I felt great. I felt like I won. I still feel like I won. Maybe I did Win????

This took a long freaking time and alot of writing and alot of beating myself up and I'm proud my family and freinds were there to see it. I look forward to NOT having to eat 50 Hotdogs a week. Believe me.

Day 4

Things went well this morning. My wife surprised me with a new pair of cycling shorts and gel gloves. I broke 30 Mph on the single long stretch without lights.

Somewhere halfway through my mind stops talking and I am just peddaling and reacting....that silence is such a goddamned relief....

Monday, July 07, 2008

Day 3

Rode in again this morning, in a light rain. Whenever I see obstacles that would keep me from riding like rain or lack of properly padded bike short, I echo 'no matter what' in my head and proceed with a sigh. There was no coffee this morning either. 'no matter what'

Having 4 days off of work made this ride easy. I played in the sun with my kids and had a refreshing break. I ran a few times. I ate and drank alot.

I also had a chance to get my bike fixed. There were some issues with the bearings in the cranks as they have worn out from time and mileage. The mechanic marvelled at my chain and said he hadnt seen one so worn.

New Bearings, New Chain, New Cassette (my 3rd?), New Spedometer (havent riden with one for a few years) and the bike feels wonderful. No more noise front the bottom bracket and it feels far more stiff on the climbs.

This week with be the test of my motor however. 5 days of commuting by bike equal 100 Miles. If I dont find my shorts soon my ass is gonna hurt quite abit.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Warrior None (haiku)

clutching these beer cans
addicted to my bullshit
barking at the moon

I ordered flowers so that Jesse Helms transition to Hell wouldn't be so horrific. See, I'm not a bad guy.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Day 2

Made it in again on a somewhat peacefull ride this morning. I'm off til Monday so will spend that time trying to find my biking shorts (with the necesssary padding!) and my biking gloves (hands will be getting calloused). I can see where this will be tough to do a full week, but it may be the only way to get control of my body again. Nice to be eating like a human again. Lots of Vegetables, no Nitrates!!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Day 1

I'm pledging to ride my bike to work every day for the month of July. I almost bagged it this morning on the very first day when I couldnt find my bike shorts. My own fault for not getting my shit together last night. I'm not going to buy a Train ticket this month, so I dont have alot of choice if it's raining or hot.

It's about 10 miles each way, and there's a shower in the gym in my building.

Get on the bike and ride, fatso.