Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Last week Tuesday, my good friend Scott and I had arranged to meet and review our goals for 2012.  It's a practice we do each year and we do it to keep ourselves honest and, frankly, if you tell someone what you intend to do, there's a higher likelihood you'll actually do it.  It's a good and effective practice.

I came with my list of goals and was prepared to start, when Scott told me that his friend Drew would be joining us for dinner.  I didn't expect what he said next.  He said, "When Drew arrives, don't say 'Hey, how's it going because he's likely to tell you.'"  We talked about it further and I said I would come up with another greeting.

Drew arrived and I greeted him with, "Hey, I'm glad to see you."

Beer arrived.  We talked about cycling and how riding up Mt. Diablo just kicks our overweight butts.  We talked about MMA bouts and how they are kind of homo-erotic.  We talked about work.  Everything was pretty casual.

Then Drew talked about watching a TV show with his 21 year old son and how his son hits his self-medication button and will sometimes just blank out during the show and come back to consciousness a while later.  You know, the self medication button that gives you a dose of morphine to ease the pain.  As he talked, I could see his eyes get wet.  You know, guys don't want to cry in front of other guys and certainly not in front of women waitresses.  Nonetheless, I could see the emotion in his eyes.

He talked about how his son is home now and how they had to post the DNR on the front door.  He talked about the mundane things you do when your going through life - paying bills for his son, making deposits in his bank accounts and wondering if this was really going to be necessary.  As terrible as it is, he knew his son was going to die from a blood cancer.

All I could say to him was, "I'm sorry, I can't even imagine what you're going through."

I couldn't imagine.  But also, I couldn't stop thinking about him.  I couldn't stop thinking about my own kids.  I couldn't stop thinking about every parent I know.  I couldn't stop thinking about those who are close to me.  My heart goes out to him.  He and his wife have to watch their son, who should be having the time of his life, slip into that long night.  I can't imagine.  But I know, I could feel his emotion.

I hope you all realize the simple facts - we're just lucky.

I still think a lot about Drew and his son.  I think about all the stories and friends who've suffered.   I know that someday, we'll beat these diseases.

It's my goal.

You can help. Please.  Simply go to my fundraising page and make a donation to help

The Offer Still Stands
Make a donation of at least $50 and you will get a special item of apparel at Pork-a-Palooza III.  That's right, donors will get special treatment.  Hell, getting invited to Pork-a-Palooza is special treatment.   Mark your calendars, June 24th.  (I realize that I said the 28th in the last email.  The 24th is the Sunday after Father's Day)

Please make donation if you can http://pages.teamintraining.org/sf/solvang12/sasche

Follow my blog at http://notabouttheback.blogspot.com/

Be lucky

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Bad Day to be a Pig

Happy New Year Everyone!

By everyone, I mean all you friends and acquaintances that are receiving this blog posting.  So let's get right to it, my holidays were, like pretty much everyone's, pleasant but over too soon.  I got many warm wishes and generous gifts.  I want to highlight one gift in particular.

My dear friend Lori gave me a rather unique and unexpected gift.  She enrolled me in the Bacon of the Month Club!  Once a month for the next three months I will receive 1 pound of the world's best bacon.  The first pound arrived a couple days ago and I must say, if you're a vegetarian - this might just get you to switch.  Man oh man, is it tasty.

But why am I talking about bacon when what this blog is really about is bike riding and fundraising to fight blood cancers.  Okay, I'm getting to that.  The bacon, like most good bacons, got me to thinking.  In my last message about a month ago, I mentioned that we would do something special around Pork-a-Palooza for people who donated to support my fundraising efforts.  It was kind of vague, and frankly, not my best prose.

So let's reset.

I am fundraising again to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma - two diseases that have killed people that I cared about.  The bottom line is, these diseases are horrible and they won't go away without research.  I do not want to see anyone else I love have to fight these diseases.  I am riding my bike for Team in Training in the miserable cold of winter to raise awareness and  I raise money.  If you want to support me, then go to this link 

As always, I like to put a little extra incentive into the fundraising.  So here it is.  I'm combining a cause I care about with an event that is actually quite fun.  For the past two years, The Lad and I have hosted the gastronomic extravaganza known as Pork-a-Palooza.  The first year, we made a modest effort and about 20 people joined us.  The second year we kicked it up a notch and we had about 40 guests and smoked about 40 pounds of meat.  This year, it's katie-bar-the-door.  By that I mean, we're pulling out the stops and kicking out the jambs.  This promises to be the best Pork-a-Palooza ever - and frankly, it will be a bad day to be a pig.  We are finding new recipes for smoked meat delight that will raise the bar for Pork-a-Palooza to stratospheric levels.  "But what does this have to do with fundraising?", you ask.

Well I'll tell you; for every donation over $50, you will get a custom Pork-a-Palooza article of clothing.   Something you can wear, obviously.  These items will only be provided to donors that give over $50.  In addition, and this should go without saying, you will receive your awards at Pork-a-Palooza.  Well that's a pretty good deal.  And to remind you, Pork-a-Palooza is scheduled for June 28th.  That's a Sunday afternoon, so any of my bike riding friends that say "I have a big ride" - you should plan to ride on Saturday.

But here's the catch.  There's always a catch.  To qualify for the Pork-a-Palooza apparel, you have to make your donation by February 14th.  Why February 14th?  Because what better gift of love can you give on Valentine's day than the gift of life by supporting the fight against Leukemia and Lymphoma. (pretty good, eh?)

Join me in the fight against blood cancers.  It's a New Year and it's time to renew the fight and maybe this will be the year of the breakthrough.

Thank you.  Stay tuned for more updates, but remember please if you want to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, please donate here.

And if you want to follow my adventures, then check out my blog - here.