Archive for Christmas

Christmas in Lights

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2012 by brianestover

My neighborhood goes a little nuts during the holidays, in both a good and bad way. It’s good because every single night during the holiday season there is a party going on in my neighborhood. I walk the dog at night and it’s an endless supply of free beer on our 1.6 or 2 mile loops. You can’t beat that. It’s also awesome because everything is lit up and no cars! We don’t allow cars in the neighborhood unless you live here except for a couple of drive through nights. I’m not kidding, every entrance in or out is manned by police and has barricades across it. It’s like we live in a compound, a good compound, happy, full of holiday cheer compound not a Waco like compound. We charge people a can good to get in the neighborhood. We raise several tons of food for the Community Food bank to help feed those less fortunate. You like karaoke? We have it. Live music? That also. Community theater? That as well. Bright lights? Big cities? Gingerbread houses? Check, check and check.

Did you know the first Community Food Bank in the world was started in Phoenix AZ? Neither did I until I volunteered at that food bank a few months ago.

One of the drawbacks of being in our neighborhood during the holiday season is running around your house naked forgetting the blinds are open and 1000+ people are walking through the neighborhood each night. Of course you typically only do that once per season until you realize that at any given moment there are 5-250 strangers standing in front of your house staring at your lights and taking pictures. Nothing like adding the full Monty to your holiday display. On the two nights they allow cars, my cul de sac becomes a traffic jam. I try to put a good movie on for them to watch as they sit parked in front of my house for 10-15 minutes at a time. Next year Episode 6 of Star Wars, mark your calendars. It took me 12 minutes to drive the quarter mile up my street to my house. I might be able to still run 2 miles in that time if I had to. But fortunately we have police at every entrance. I just have to run there if someone is chasing me.

One of 5 cranes that set up the hood

One of 5 cranes that set up the hood

The weekend before everything kicks off we have cranes running around stringing lights on every tree that can support lights. When I say we, I mean my neighbors not me just so there isn’t any confusion. Some people take this way too seriously in my neighborhood. Not to mention two or three cherry pickers and more ladders then Home Depot stocks at any one time. You actually have to reserve one of these cranes, well in advance, if you need it to string lights in your trees. Demand is that high.

What does all this madness look like? Out of the 125 or so houses in my neighborhood only about 10 don’t have some display set up. The displays run from needing their own coal fired power plant to keep them on to somewhat more environmentally friendly. Here is a small sampling of what it looks like at night. If you go into space I’ve heard rumors that Nasa can pick out my neighborhood. We even spread cheer to astronauts.

I should star planning the Star Wars/Grinch theme’d display now to get a jump on next holiday season.












Merry Christmas

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , on December 24, 2010 by brianestover

While much of the world is a sleep eagerly awaiting Christmas morning, or sitting down to Christmas Eve dinner, we have already started Christmas Day celebrations. Merry Christmas everyone.

While most of the house was asleep, I snuck out and took a walk down to the beach. Below are some photos from the beach.

Looking North

Across the Cove

Looking across the Cove

Then it was time to open gifts under the bookcase. Hey what can you do when you’re house sitting and there is no tree? But the kids still had a blast.

Presents under the Bookcase?

Then it was time to eat breakfast and walk the dog. I’ve really enjoyed walking the dog, even though he isn’t the best behaved dog I’ve ever walked. It’s been a long time since I’ve dog walked on a daily basis.

Merry Christmas all.

My Christmas Gift to Triathletes

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by brianestover

This Christmas I really struggled what to give to the triathlon world. I can’t give away my good looks, charming personality or laid back demeanor. I’m not able to give my superior driving skills away to others. I give out enough training advice that anymore would actually cause a black hole in the coaching world (which may not be a bad thing necessarily). What to give? What a head scratcher this has turned out to be. But slowly, very slowly I realized what the triathlon world needs, really needs. If only I could take the credit for coming up with this idea. But it’s the thousands of triathletes out there though that inspired this gift. Throngs of triathletes, trying to look cool but failing miserably. Trying to be stylish and at best coming up as a fashion disaster. In particular, two chance sightings of triathletes inspired this. How did I know they were triathletes? How could they not be?

I give to you triathletes around the world a sense of fashion. Not the color coordinated, designer fashion that makes one runway model eligible. Not the let’s match my arm warmers to my leg warmers to my seat color to my wheel logos to my shoes to my jersey and shorts fashion (btw – all the matching – Super Gay). Instead of looking like you got your fashion sense from Garanimals, read on before you go out the door for your next workout.

I’ll give you two of the many inspirational examples I’ve seen.

The first is triathlete out running dude. And yes I realize that when you visit Tucson it may be much warmer then where you came from. It’s not an excuse to violate common fashion sense. I’m running along the Rillito River path. I see what is clearly a triathlete heading toward me. How did I know you ask? It’s simple. A visor (and there is nothing wrong with a visor btw), sunglasses, sleeveless shirt and arm warmers. Yes, he was wearing a sleeveless shirt and arm warmers. It wasn’t even 40F yet. Please whatever you do, for your own sake and the sake of normal triathletes everywhere. DO NOT run in arm warmers and a sleeveless jersey. WTF are you thinking? Seriously? What inspires someone to think its cold out so I’ll run in a shirt with no arms then put something on over my arms. Arm warmers? Really?

Just stop and think before you leave the house. Is it cold? If so, do I need gloves? Do I need a long sleeve or short sleeve shirt. If you put on a tank top and arm warmers you need the long sleeve shirt. Turn around, head back inside, and take off the arm warmers and the sleeveless shirt. Reach into the drawer and grab the long sleeve. It’s that simple. Trust me.

Next scenario. Sleeveless cycling jerseys and tri shorts. Save them for spring and summer, at least the sleeveless jersey, see the next section for the tri shorts. Just because your wife got you a sleeveless jersey and matching tri shorts, doesn’t mean you need to go ride in them in December. Look honey, I loooove my matching kit so much I’m going to ride in it first thing tomorrow! It was under 60F when you were riding. Did you even step outside before you left the house to see if maybe you needed a bit more on? Did you think to turn around after 10 min and grab another layer? No, I guess you didn’t, did you? At first, as I rode up to you on the climb I couldn’t tell if your arms were sunburned or if they were pink from you being that cold. Judging from how goose pimpled your flesh was, I’ll go with option B. Did you see all the other cyclists out on McCains Loop today? Did you even glance at them (and I know you did). What did you see? Lots of shoe covers, arm warmers, leg warmers, gloves and vests. Why do you think that was? Because it was fucking cold that’s why. A little common sense would have saved you a lot of misery. I know why you were riding back and forth on the backside of the loop. You were trying to figure out how you could get back to town without going down a 2-4 mile descent. Whoops, poor planning there eh?

Finally, do not ride in tri shorts, the only exception being if you are actually in a race. They suck for riding. There is a reason no pro cyclist rides in tri shorts, ever, unless they are in a triathlon, and even then it’s 50/50. You want numb balls? Do you like a chafed vaginal area? You want your ass to be sore so when you sit down tomorrow you are reminded of every bump you rode over today? Look, invest in a couple of good pair of cycling shorts. Trust me, this is not the place to pinch pennies.

So my gift to you is a bit of fashion sensibility. Invest in some arm and leg warmers, a vest, booties and gloves for riding. Buy yourself a few long sleeve shirts for running. Don’t go out of your way to match your kit. The first jersey you grab coupled with some black shorts is fine. Finally think about the temperature and conditions outside, then dress accordingly.