Saturday, October 31, 2009

There's always a sale on "Stupid"

And today, i was 'BUYING', Big Time.

As many of you know, i'm here in Las Vegas for the next 10 days for the PBR World Finals. It's a crazy schedule, but one that is very rewarding, not to mention fun to be a part of. This morning, however, i felt i could steal some time for myself, and head off to the "Red Rock" area for a fast-paced bike ride. I have spent the past couple of weeks planning for this ride- i drove out here specifically to bring my Specialized; i consulted friends for the most challenging and scenic routes; i packed a myriad of clothing selections to make sure i was 'covered' no matter what the weather conditions, well, you get the picture.

AM comes knockin' on the window, and i'm ready. I've laid everything out- water bottles, gels, arm warmers, vest, wind jacket, Powertap, Oakley's...i'm good to go.

I drive to the 'put in' point my buddy had suggested- about a 20-25 minute drive off the Strip, or more specifically, my LUXURIOUS Embassy Suites 'suite'. I no sooner have stopped the car when i realize, 'oh $%#@, i forgot SOCKS!'. Seriously. Of all the freakin' things, come on!

Are you kidding me?? Man, i am not the sharpest tool in the shed. At least not today.

There was no going back, there was definitely no way i was giving up, but it was 49 degrees out, and i wasn't about to sacrifice my toes in the name of 'cycling adventure', no matter how good i thought the route would be.

I thought of riding with my arm warmers wrapped around my feet- a modern-day version of Greco-Roman sandals, or like the soldiers you read of in the World Wars that wrapped their feet before hiking through snow. OK, i know, a tad dramatic. It wasn't life or death, but it was a fish-or-cut-bait moment. And then, off to the left, it was the "A" that caught my eye.

An "Albertson's"...seemed like a long shot, but i had nothing to lose.

I perused the aisles for a good 5 minutes, finally succumbing to the dreaded 'male phobia' of asking for help, and i was immediately instructed to find Aisle 5, and to keep my fingers crossed (as i was told that they stocked WOMEN's socks, but not MEN's).

A veritable cornucopia of lady's leggings and foot coverings greeted my frenetic mind, but alas, nothing of the men's variety. So, faced with the tough decision of REALLY not wearing any socks, or making 'due', i stared at my last resort...

white and pink SLIPPER SOCKS. Seriously.

I pulled the trigger, albeit reluctantly, on the purchase, and dang-nabbit, if they didn't turn out to be the most comfortable freakin' things i've ever worn inside my cycling shoes!! i'm going to start a new trend...i may even do an infomercial! BAM!

"Super Secret Cycling Socks to the Stars"...brought to you by Craig Hummer, by ACCIDENT!

All's well that ends well, as they say. I had a fantastic 2hr, 40 mile ride. My feet were warm enough, and besides the frustration, pain, and anguish PRE-PURCHASE, i only ended up spending 3 bucks on these babies! Bargain to BOOT! YES!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I spent my childhood surrounded by Buckeyes. Literally. We had a Buckeye tree in the backyard of our house, we made 'Buckeye' candies at Christmas (peanut butter 'balls' with chocolate covering), i was sworn in to 'Buckeye Nation' earlier than i can remember, and of course, more often than not, i was subjected to Buckeye Humiliation at the hands of...(fill in the blank with your favorite NON-BIG TEN team)...most Januarys come the Rose Bowl, or less-prestigious post-season game.

All in all, it was a great childhood. I can remember Woody Hayes walking the sidelines. I can remember my parents (yes, BOTH of them) screaming at the TV on countless Saturdays as the leaves fell from the trees outside, and our spirits sank as well if the Bucks lost. That was what i figured 'normal' was. And that's what 'normal' still is here in the Heartland.

In no small way, my love of sports was born on those days- or at least my connection to what makes sports great. I loved watching everyone around me BE excited. FEEL the emotion. EXPRESS their passion. I used to dream of catching TD passes and celebrating in 'The Shoe', and every time i got to sit in the stands, even though that dream faded a bit with the progressing reality of passing youth, it was no less fun to DREAM.

It's probably been 30 years since i watched a game inside The Ohio State University's famous stadium, but every time i travel back here to Columbus, i'm transported back to those days, and those aspirations. Anything was possible, all you had to do was imagine it.

Here's the fun part. That glorious mindset was born here in Ohio, but i've carried it with me into adulthood. And as a parent, if i'm worth anything at all, i will teach my children to dream bigger than i ever would or could.

Go Bucks.