Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A nice December ride

On Saturday I headed out to Thousand Hills Lake for a nice mountain bike ride with my wife Eugena, our dog Kiowa, Jory, and Brian. We were riding the whole trail which is a point to point ride of about 13 miles. It was great weather, the trail was a little muddy which made it a bit slower rolling then usual. The temp was around the high 50s so it made for great weather. I am absolutely loving the Rig, which has been affectionately named "Vader" by a friend. I love the 29 inch wheels, and am falling for the single speed thing. I have been able to ride parts of the trail and clean moves that I couldn't do on my other mtn bike, and all in one gear. The big wheels get moving and just roll over everything.

About 2/3 out on the trail there is a campground that sits on top of a hill between 2 ravines. We stopped for a bite to eat and I noticed a nice band of bedrock on the other side of one ravine. I made the off hand comment to Brian (who used to race motocross and is currently riding the trail on a big 38 lb Vagrant free ride bike, pic here) that he should drop it. The drop was about 6-7 ft and the run out was steep and ended abruptly in a ravine filled with dead logs. Brian is a tough guy so he dropped it, and miracously came out relativly unscathed. He did crash though, and it was a magnificent spill, triple rag dog style.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Shout Out to Mothers

Hi Mom E. and Mom G.

Monday, December 04, 2006

snow ride

Look, the snow isn't all that bad in the midwest. Sure you can't walk out your door and go ski incredible powder on spectacular mountains like Utah. But you can still have a good time with great friends. Enjoy...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Turkey day riding and freezing rain

I guess it had to arrive eventually. The cold front that dumped a ton of snow on the rockies has hit Kirksville, but instead of nice pristine, clean, beautiful snow we get freezing rain. The temp when I left my house this night was around 4 deg F with the wind chill. Nice huh? At least Eugena, Kiowa and I had a nice warm vacation over the thanksgiving break. I had a week off of school as it was between quarters and instead of driving back to slc or cali for a dinner, we headed down to the Ozarks for a mountain biking trip. We decided to ride the Berryman trail in southeast Missouri. It was noted by Bicycling Magazine and called "the best singletrack East of the Rockies and West of the Appalachians." It defiantly lived up to it's reputation. It is a 24mile loop and a ton of fun. We ended up getting down there Thursday morning and went for a nice 7 mile ride on the Courtois section of The Ozark Trail. We were camping at the Berryman campground and had the whole campground to ourselves. Friday morning the weather was perfect, 65 deg, sunny and awesome, so we geared up to ride the 24 mile Berryman trail. We started at about 10:30 am and after 45 minutes ended up riding with a solo rider down from st. louis. At the 7 mile point Kiowa was starting to really drag so we decided that she wasn't going to make the whole 24 miles before dark. We planned a shortcut the would put us at about 16miles to get back to the campground. We ended up finishing around 3:30 pm or so (Kiowa has only one speed when she gets tired, and it isn't very fast). The trail lived up to all our expectations. It is great tight singletrack. You have to be on your guard constantly because of all the leaves that cover the ground. You can't really tell what is under the leaves. Parts of the trail are really fast and smooth and parts are loaded with rocks and roots. You just never know what you're getting. We both had some good spills but came out relatively unscathed. Eugena and I decided that we want to continue this proud tradition of heritage of being active (camping, biking, backpacking, etc) on Thanksgiving. What better way to celebrate gluttony then by not being gluttonous? We had a good time and very much enjoyed our Thanksgiving dinner of Salmon and vegetables tin foil dinners. They were excellent...

Find more pics of the trip and others here.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

the joys of fall

kiowa likes leaves... you can see the rest here

Monday, November 06, 2006

I retract what I said in the last post

So after Friday's mountain bike ride with eugena, cathy, kiowa, and halley (cathy's super fast greyhound) we found a little surprise on kiowa's underside right in the middle of a blood meal:

So now I am at a dilemma: Do I continue to ride in the woods (which is my seasonal exercise) or do I put it off until these little buggers finally die...
The weather is unseasonablly warm right now so maybe the ticks decided they'd make a comeback. I kind of wish it would get cold again so I wouldn't have to worry about this. As for now, Erlichiosis here we come....

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ahhhhh, at last no ticks...

So the first frost in Missouri is a big deal for me. This is because the first time the temp drops below freezing all the ticks, spiders and chiggers die. All summer I am hesitant to get out in the woods because of the obscene amounts of small bugs that crawl and embed themselves in you skin. I don't really enjoy the feeling of picking a small insect out of my skin in the midst of it's blood meal. Plus you add on the fact that I've just finished studying in school the MANY diseases that ticks carry (Rocky mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, Tularemia, Erlichiosis, Anaplasmosis, and Relapsing fever to name a few). Needless to say, I love it when we get the first frost, I finally get back out in the woods without hesitations and the post hike tick checks in the shower. A couple weeks ago (after the frost) I went mountain biking around Thousand Hills Lake. I have to admit I have been a complete idiot for neglecting this trail for a whole year. It is an excellent 13 miles of pure singletrack. I can't believe it took me this long to get out there. So now I have the mountain biking bug again. It comes at a good time because I need a break from the road bike before I start hitting the trainer next month. So, I've been out on the trail as much as I can in an effort to use this short window of time between the death of the bugs but before the trail gets too wet and muddy to ride. I have been riding the trail from my house which makes the ride around 25 miles round trip (the 13 miles around the lake is a point to point). I got excited again tonight when I found some maps to another conservation area south of town which looks like it houses around 20 miles of trail. Plus we bought Eugena a good mountain bike (2002 Gary Fisher Sugar 3+). She is excited to give mountain biking another shot after 3 or 4 tainted and injurious attempts with my father, my brothers and I (my dad picks hard trails for the family mtb trips). This is turning out to be a good way to keep my fitness up as I move into the winter training season. It's great to get out on the trail and not see a single person the whole 13 miles. It's a nice release from the stress of school. Something to look forward to, Thomas asked if I was interested in doing an on 8 hour adventure race Dec 2nd in Castlewood park outside of St. Louis. I though I might as well, stay posted....

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

waiting, patiently waiting

So a few days ago I challenged my little brother kellen (1/2 inch shorter) to a marathon dual. The thing is that eugie is running a marathon next april with a couple of our friends. They want me to run also, (I am not sure what the Moots thinks about all this blasphemy yet) so I need some good motivation. I decided that a good brotherly duel would do it (all in good spirits of course). So I challenged him. He posted the challenge on his blog and opened it up for discussion from his readers. He wasn't ready for what was to follow. He got a record number of comments, mostly from some arrogant jerk name "anonymous". So now he is waiting for Mr/Mrs. Anonymous to reveal his/her identity before he answers the challenge. I think you should visit his blog ( and encourage him to respond to the challenge regardless of who this sissy "anonymous" is. I need an answer so I can begin procrastinating training.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I don't know what I was thinking

So on Saturday a student organization here on campus called PSR (Physicians for Social Responsibility) put on a 5k run. For some reason I decided I was going to run. Maybe it was because I have a bunch of friends that organized the event, maybe it was because it was being held on the nature trail behind the school that I helped develop. For what ever reason I am still not sure if I enjoyed it. The run was about 2 miles on road/paved bike path and the rest on the trail. There were probably 40-50 people doing the 5k and the 1 mile walk. I guess I kind of just wanted to see how I would do. People keep telling me that I have the perfect build for a long distance runner, and while 5k certainly isn't considered long distance I thought I would give it a shot. When I told Eugena that I was running she first laughed then mocked....and that was probably logical response. I think this year I may have ran maybe 5 times, with the longest run being about a 7 miler. So I'm not a runner, big deal. It hasn't caught my attention yet. So to get to the point I ran the race and did the 5k in 20:45. So not too bad, I took 5th overall and 2nd in my age division. Now eugena is trying to convince me to train and run a marathon at the end of April 07 in Kentucky. We'll see, I'm still not conviced I like this, or I'm that good at it. Plus what would the Moots think if he/she (haven't decided yet on the gender) saw me running...

Friday, September 15, 2006

A word from the West



with a touch of

and you get one incredible ride...

Last Saturday my father "Captain", my elder brother Jansen, my younger and 1/2 inch shorter brother Kellen and a few other pirates rode LOTOJA ( LOTOJA is a road race that takes a bunch of money from 1,000 suckers and makes them sit on an uncomfortable saddle for 12 hours or 206 miles (which ever comes first) while they ride their bikes from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY. First and foremost I must say that we were by far the most stylish riders in the whole field. In fact the Salt Sea Pirates won the much coveted but poorly advertised "Style Beyond Measure" classification. We didn't only win, we crushed everyone else in this "race within the race". It was humiliating the way the other riders folded under our superior style (the way Lance's rivals had already given up winning the Tour 3 months before it started...), there was no competition. I mean look at us, matching 2006 Salt Sea Pirates kits (credit goes to Jansen for designing the sweetest looking kits in the lower 48), Matching Bell Sweep Helmets (by far the best and coolest helmet ever molded, and the icing on the cake...brand new matching Moots Compact bikes with full Dura Ace/FSA build and bling saddles (see photo above). We were oozing style ala Mario Cipollini.

We started off at 6:57AM and began our ride with a chilly but not freezing ride through the fog filled Logan valley. The first part of the ride was pretty uneventful except for a small crash in our 50 person peloton, no problems for us. After the first feed zone in Preston, ID we started the climbing (all in all about 6500 ft of climbing). The climbs were beautiful. We were riding at a pace that allowed me to soak in the absolute beauty of the mountains. We got over the first pass in good shape, and made our way into Montpelier for the 3rd feed zone. After refueling with the awesome support of my Mother (she did great all day getting us the stuff we needed to keep our legs moving fast) we started climbing again up and over Geneva Summit and then Salt River pass (the highest point at LOTOJA at 7,630 ft. I took the honors of KOM (King of the Mountain) amongst the Pirates after bridging up to Jansen and Bryan from a over a 1/4 mile deficit (It was sweet). Once we got up and over the passes it was pretty much smooth sailing. We had some great descents and hit the flats feeling great. Once we got to Alpine Junction we knew we were practically there, only 46miles to go...Luckily we had a sweet tailwind heading up Snake River Canyon. We hooked up with a good group of 15 or so and were just flying up the canyon, making great time. One of the coolest moments of the whole day came when we were riding with the group following the Snake River. We were riding at about 16-17 mph. I knew that the Salt Sea Pirates could be going faster than that, so we sent the team to the front of the group an upped the pace to 19-20. It brought a tear to my eye seeing 5 Salt Sea Pirates at the front of the group controlling the pace. Riding into Jackson was absolutely beautiful, the Tetons looked gorgeous. As we were approaching Jackson looked down at my bike computer which read 194 miles and realized that the race organizers have a nasty sense of humor. The race actually ends in Teton Village, which is about 10 miles north of Jackson. I guess LOTOTV just doesn't have the same ring to it. We crossed the finish line (if you don't believe me)
with 11hr38min of ride time and a total official time of 12hr30min (we stopped in the feed zones to refuel instead of grabbing the food and keeping going).

All in all we had a great time. The Salt Sea Pirates also sponsored a relay team the did great. Special props go out to Corey, Maggie, and Eugena for tearing it up on the relay team. In fact Eugena deserves special praises for her super human effort (no EPO or exogenous testosterone involved). Not only did she ride the relay legs with the most of the climbs (about 67 miles) but then she hopped on the back of Tony Sieverts tandem (his daughters who were alternating riding with him on the back were completely wasted by the 6th feed zone), and rode the last 46 miles into Jackson. We were with them when Eugena hopped on at feed zone 6 and didn't see them until the finish. Yeah, I know what you are thinking...Eugena is incredible.

When all is said and done I had a great time. Things were a little tense when we first started riding but once we got the jitters out everything was good. I felt great at the end of the race and still had gas in the tank. In fact Jansen and I sprinted it out at the end (I was boxed in by some guy who had no idea that two Pirates were sprinting for bragging rights). I am making an official decleration of intention right now: I intend to ride LOTOJA next year in a sub 10h30min time (including feeds). There now it is official. Sure I was in the saddle for 12 hours, sick of eating clif shot bloks (which are manna on the bike), numb for 24 hours and craving chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, but it was all worth it. The scenery, hanging out with my family, seeing my awesome wife tear it up, and being able to ride the Moots made it all worth it.

keep riding,
PS. I'll post pics from the ride once I get them on my computer.
Pics from other people:
and here
Brian, Jansen, and Captain
a good pirate shot
more pirates

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A new year, a new quarter, a new bike, and a new entry

So, it's been a while since I posted a entry on the blog. Likely I have lost the 2 readers that I did have so I assume I am starting fresh. So on Sunday I celebrated my 26th birthday. I must tell you that so far it has been everything that I had thought it would be.....yeah, nothing has changed. Which is a good thing because I have a pretty sweet life. My wonderful wife and I also celebrated our 4th year anniversary on the 17th. And to top an already wonderful day I also received the Moots that day. Yes UPS had the vision to delay the shipment so that it would arrive on my anniversary. I believe UPS must have been trying to sabotage my marriage as such a delivery on that day would test my ability to not ignore my wife and spend all my time with the new bike. Needless to say UPS did not prevail (side note: our UPS delivery guy deserves the title of "completely awesome" simply because he is the one who sold us our greatest investment ever: the set of 3 lockers...). On the topic of the Moots, I don't quite know how to explain the sweetness of the ride. It's like a highly purified drop of speed, finesse, and panache was engrained in every molecule of titanium in that frame. I keep telling everyone, "It rides like a dream..." Its smooth on the road, it climbs well, and it descends like a banshee, plus it is ozzing style. Since it's arrival on the 17th I have put a solid 430 miles on the Moots, and yes, it still rides like a dream. The Moots and I are preparing for a 206 mile race from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY with my Father (The Captain), Jansen, and Kellen. We will all be riding brand new Moots, and although we may not ride very quickly (especially the last 100 miles or so) we will be riding with massive amounts of style. You see, we will be utilizing a new technology called, "Style Propulsion System" (SPS), patents pending. I will definatly be writing another entry before and after the race.
Along with the new addition to the bike part of our family, I officially turned over the first year of medical school. As of last friday I became a 2nd year medical student. This is vaguely important because: 1) I now get to begin stressing out about the first step of boards (which I will take in may of june). 2) A new class of students arrived so it's slightly amusing and satisfying to see them stress about Anatomy, Histology, Biochemisty and all those other 1st year classes, while I sit back and stress about Pathology, Priciples of Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Pharmacology, Principles of Surgery, and all the 2nd year classes that really DO matter when it comes to the everyday practice of medicine. 3) I have demolished the all time record for debt, as my debt load double with another tuition payment for the year.

But when I look at all this, it really is nice because it means that I made it through the first year of med school and I am one year closer to being able to interact and treat patients, and help them on their way to health. This is assuming of course that I make it though all 206 miles of LOTOJA in one piece...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

A lot to say about an incredible experience

Hey, I must apologize for taking so long to get this entry done and taken care of. It's been almost a month since I got back from India. The trip was incredible. Not only did we get to see a beautiful country but I was able to be a part of a group that saw and helped amost 2200 patients. I began by spending almost 24 hours on the plane to get to New Dehli. Once there I was able to sleep for about 3 hours before meeting the rest of the team in the morning for a 12 hour bus ride to northern India. We began our "real" trip in a city of about 500,000 called Shimla. It's a beautiful city set up on the mountainside. We spend the night in Shimla and set out the next morning on another 10-12 hour drive to the first clinic site: Kafnu. We had 3 days of clinic planned there and during that we saw 800+ patients. The people there were kind and it was a pleasure to help them with their health problems. Pretty much everyone in the village and the surrounding villages came to be seen. After Kafnu we had a rest day in a small Himalayan not far from the Chinese (Tibetan) border. We were able to do some trekking into a small village called Chitkul that had a sweet touch of Tibetan Buddhism and Indian Hinduism. Our trip took us next into the Spiti valley. Up to this point in the trip we had been in lush green valleys and in the "foothills" of the Himalayas. Now we were entering the Spiti valley, arid and spectacular. We spent 2 very busy days in Nako, a small charming village at 12,000 ft. Nako was probably my favorite village during the whole trip. The people there were amazing. Secluded at this altitude and pretty much self-sustaining. As a thank you gesture the village head arranged for 8 of the villages to perform traditional dancing for us on our last night after dinner. Leaving Nako was hard, we worked extremely hard but the people there were so grateful for having us there to help them. It was interesting to see the features of the locals change as we entered the Spiti valley. In Kafnu and the Sutlej river valley the people looked "Indian" but in Spiti the people were very Tibetan looking. This region actually used to be part of the Tibetan kingdom before India took it over. We are almost lucky they did because in doing so it preserved a lot of the Tibetan culture and religion from the Chinese take over. Our next stop was a cool village called Tabo. Tabo's coolest feature was a Buddhist monestary that was build in 996 A.D. The complex consists of the monestary and 9 temples. They were beautiful and we were able to attend the daily prayer sessions that the monks did. Listening to them chant is one of the most relaxing things I have ever done. We had 2 days of clinic in Tabo and also visited an incredible monestary in Danhkar. We had 2 more clinic sites in some reallly cool villages. Besides being able to treat and see almost 2200 people in 9 days I was able to experience this incredible culture first hand. I gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of what Tibetan refugees have had to go through. It's utterly amazing how these people who are living at altitudes upwards of 14,000 ft live on a day to day basis. They are so strong, caring and honest. Being able to travel to the other side of the world I am grateful to the people that sponosored me financially to help me go on this trip. I am grateful for my always supporting wife who encouraged me to go on this trip. I am not sure if I can fully express how amazing this trip was. It imporved my skills as a student physician and planted a seed in me for future trips.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I need a nap....

Finally, it's over....for now. This morning I had my last final of what is considered my first year of medical school. Now we have about 2 months off from classes and tests. It's going to be nice not having to wake up at 5:00 AM and not having to stress about 2-3 tests/quizzes per week. Although these next couple months won't be full of a lot of down time. One week from today I will be leaving for India as part of the medical trip that I mentioned earlier this year. Now that I have some time to think about it I'm getting really excited. Next friday I leave Atlanta, GA to fly to Frankfurt, Germany then on to New Delhi, India. I get in at 12:30 AM in Delhi, then I have to meet the team at 5:00 AM to ride a bus to Shimla 10 hours north-east. From there we get in jeeps and drive up into the Himalayan range. Sounds pretty cool huh? I'll have a bunch of pics to post when I get back. So this week is all about spending time with eugena, riding my bike (hasn't been touched in 2 weeks) and getting ready for the trip. While I'm gone my lovely wife eugena is going to be having quite the adventure of her own doing a 10-12 day road bike bonanza in northern Cali and southern Oregon with her grandparents and mom as a full support crew. Yes, I am a little jealous... We both rendez--vous back in Utah for the MS 150 on June 24th. I fly in the night of the 23rd pretty much straight from India (where I definitely won't be riding my bike), then I need to ride 100 miles the next day. We'll see how that goes. At least my hematocrit will be pretty high. After that we get about 10 days to do nothing, but we'll probabaly end up in southern utah camping. I am amazed how much I miss the desert, I had it too good while we lived in utah. After that I need to get back to MO to report for my summer preceptorship. I will be spending 2 weeks in Lexington, MO with a family practice physician. It's kind of our first real clinical experience. It should be great.
This first year of school has been interesting. At times I have been completely miserable and not wanting to hear, read, listen, or think about anything that has to do with medicine. Other times I get so excited about being a physician that I get a bit giddy. All in all it's been difficult but rewarding. I still havn't figured out how on earth I am going to remember all this stuff one day when I will acutally have my own patients. All in it's own dues time I guess. As for now I need to figure out how to stop thinking about the 200+ bugs and their diseases I had to learn for my Medical Microbioloy final this morning. I will say one thing, after having learned about all 200 or so bugs and the diseases they cause, I have never been so cautious about what I put in my mouth and have never been so good about washing my hands... As for now I think I may have actually survived my first year of medical school. I think I deserve a nap...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

SSP squad preview for 2006 LOTOJA

So it's official, a squad of 4-5 Salt Sea Pirates ( will make a showing a the 2006 LOTOJA (it's a bike race from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY and so you don't have to look it up on google maps its 206 miles...). And to answer the imminent question, THE Sky Captain will be riding, so you can be waiting at the finish in Jackson to shower him with flowers and gifts. A small group of Salt Sea Pirates attempted to complete the whole LOTOJA in 2005 but were thwarted from riding the complete 206 miles by snow, hail, wind, rain and lack of any real style. Fresh off the 2006 MS 150 and with the Captain, Mr. Fabulous, K-dawg and yours truly on the line up this years edition of the LOTOJA classic should be one that will go down in the annals of Salt Sea Pirate history.

Yesterday I only got 10 miles in, and today and tomorrow are devoted to school so no ride! Saturday I am heading out with a fast surgical resident (fast on the bike, not with the knife...) to do an epic 50-60 miler (149-DO loop to K and back through Yarrow). It should be something to write about later. Stay tuned to see how I do on my first big ride of the season (I know, a little late but what can I do...).

Monday, May 01, 2006

UG the marathoner

Last Saturday (April 29th) my wife Eugena ran her very first marathon. The event she chose for her entrance into the world of long distance running was the Nashville Country Music Marathon. For a detailed and humorous explanation as to why this particular marathon check out her blog at She ran a great race. Her finishing time was 4:43:48, an excellent time for her first marathon. She didn't have any problems during the race and the weather was a great 70 degrees and overcast. She has been quite sore and stiff in these days following the race but for that amount of stress that your body goes through to run 26.2 miles a little post-exercise fatigue is to be expected. The picture is of us after the race standing on a bridge over the Cumberland River with downtown in the background. We had a great time, Eugena ran a great race and accomplished an incredible goal, I'm so proud of her.

Looking ahead 4.5 months to our next big challenge.....I signed up to ride the LOTOJA race on September 9th ( The race is a 206 mile bike race from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY. I'll be riding it with my father (the one, the only Sky Captain) and two of my brothers (Cletus and Ricky Bobby). I'm pretty stoked for the ride but extremely worried at the same time about fitting in the training miles between my spending time with my wife and dog, medical school, a 3-week international medical trip this summer, a 2-week preceptorship with a doc in Kansas City, and all the other little things that seem to get in the way. I'll try to keep you updated as I progress with the training. Today I fit in a quicky of 19 miles around the lake outside of town, not too bad for a short little ride.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

a good ole midwestern storm

As you may know already the midwest got some pretty bad weather this past weekend. Saturday was glorious at 73 degrees and sunny. I came to find out that this well deserved weather only made the storm making it's way across the rockies madder. Sunday was mostly normal except that the last 2 hours of church was cancelled so people could go home and prepare for any potential weather headed our way. Another reason they cancelled the last part of church was because our ward boundaries are quite large and some people travel quite a distance to get home. The Bishop didn't want these people having to travel in potentially bad weather.

There is a man in our ward who lives in Unionville which is about 45 miles northwest of Kirksville. He doesn't have a car so various members of the ward pitch in to pick him up and take him home from church. Sunday was my week to take Dave home but the weather was too sketchy to make the drive right after church. We went back to our house and waited for a few hours keeping an eye on the weather (via, a great resource). Some of the weather looked like it was passing so we decided to make a go for it. We had also read that it was going to get worse as the day progressed and we figured we would rather make this trip in full daylight. Driving there wasn't a problem but as we approached the town there was a rather scary looking cloud hovering overhead. As we pulled in it became very dark, I realised that we needed to drop Dave off and get out of there as soon as possible. We practically kicked him out the door and took off. As we pulled into the town square so we could get onto the road out of town our car was struck on the left by really heavy winds. The car was pelted with gravel and dirt. Eugena just told me to get out of there so I turned right and floored it. Right after we turned right the winds really picked up. In front of us we saw all pieces of buildings flying from roofs, lawn chairs flying in the air, a trampoline flying end over end through people's yards and debris was just falling from the sky. I hit the gas even harder and flew through a bunch of stop signs just wanted to get aways from these flying hazards. As we were driving our car was struck by a giant piece of styrofoam. I just head a thud, Eugena saw it and pieces of styrofoam in our door jam confirmed what it was (lucky for us, in retrospec it could have been something more dense!). Speeding east we got to a point where we needed to get back on the main road if we wanted to get out of town. We hung a quick left then a right to put us on the road out of there. Looking to our left on the main road we saw a huge tree that had fallen in the middle of the road that we had taken into town. We were lucky to have taken a side street.

After we got on the main road we sped ahead of the storm, got home safely and spent the rest of the night watching the weather and preparing for the worst. Kirksville historically has been between 2 fairly established tornado "alleys". This held true for this storm. Word is that over 80 tornadoes touched down in Missouri Sunday night and early Saturday morning. It was amazing to see the storm heading towards us on the radar and then kind of split and go around Kirksville. We did get our fair share of rain and wind though. There was some pretty serious damage done not too far from us: Baseball size hail in Macon-30 miles south, a couple tornadoes in Columbia-90 miles south, 4 tornado related deaths in Renick-65 miles south, and what we experienced in Unionville-45 miles northwest. Local papers are reporting that the storm that hit Unionville was in fact a tornado. It's pretty crazy to think we were there when it hit. We are extremely blessed to have been kept out of harms way, we still can't believe we were there during the tornado. Luckily there were no deaths and few injuries in Unionville due to the storm. You can check out the local news report about the Unionville storm at:

Friday, February 24, 2006

The past week has been a great day for the American cycling community. The 1st Tour of California began last sunday and has been a great race so far. The coolest part about the race (besides that American's are dominating the race despite a number of very good European professionals being present) is that stage 2 of the Tour went through San Jose. The stage started up in the north bay and wound it's way down the eastern foothills into San Jose. My inlaws live in San Jose and last summer, before coming to medical school, my wife and I spent a month with them hanging out in San Jose. We brought our bikes out with us (of course) and found some incredible roads out there. Our favorite ride was on a Calaveras road out to a small town called Sunol and back. We would finish the ride by riding down the steep and extremely fun descent of Sierra Rd. We did this ride a couple times a week while we were there. I was stoked back in the fall when I found out that stage 2 would in fact be riding on Calaveras and then UP Sierra rd. One day last summer I set out to ride up Sierra. It was an incredible and extremely painful experience. It's an amazing climb, steep andn killer. This stage was touted as being crucial in the overall of the Tour. Unfortunately my academic constraints kept me from flying out to Cali for the Tour, but luckily my wife went and had a great time. This pic is of the leaders after the shattered the peleton on the Sierra rd climb. You can see Tom Danielson of Discovery on the left, Levi Leipheimer of Gerolsteiner (then the leader of the Tour) in the middle and Floyd Landis of Phonak (the current leader as of today) on the right. All American, all kicking butt on this climb. It is incredible to be so close to world class cyclists during an event like this. If you ever get a chance to attend a professional bike race (try to make it a "Tour" they're the best to attend), DO IT! It will give you an appreciation, not only of the sport of cycling, but for the tremendous athleticism of the people. Plus it's like going to a traveling tailgate party. And if you are ever in the bay area and happen to have your bike you got to check out Calaveras and Sierra roads. If you want more info about the Tour of California check out their website at They have daily updates with pictures and even some video of the stages. Enjoy!

Friday, February 03, 2006

my head is going to explode...

I think that going to medical school is a lot like the "milk challenge". For those who don't know what the milk challenge is (this is what my friends used to do for fun when I was in high school) to drink a gallon of milk in one hour or less and keep it all down. 99% of the people can't do it, its just too much dairy and lactose for the body to deal with. Usually what happen is that the person throws up a couple times and then swears off any dairy product for the rest of their lives. It's a great American teenager pastime.

Medical school feels like I am doing the milk challenge every week. The only difference is that right after I hurl I pick up another gallon and go for it again. And the kicker is that I am paying a hefty sum do all this. It actually sounds like it’s just a cruel joke. We are expected to sit in lecture and soak up all this info, then go home and re-soak it again and retain it. Weekends don't come soon enough and by the time they do I feel like my brain is about to vomit out everything it has ingested. This is all part of the process and the experience but nonetheless I had absolutely no idea how I am going to remember all this someday. Actually forget remembering ALL of it, I have no idea how I am going to remember ANY of it. If I could retain 5% I'd be in good shape. My only hope is that later in my education the next time I hear something I learned during my first year it will stick more the second time, or the third time, and hopefully the fourth time. Repetition is usually a good thing. So if anyone knows a good way to remember all the organs, blood vessels, ligaments, bones, and nerves for the pelvis, let me know by Monday cause my brain is feeling a little nauseous.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Winter here in Kirksville came, then left, then recently came back with a vengance. A week ago we were enjoying temperatures close to 60 degrees and now it is as you can see in the picture, cold. This poor bike is one of our spare bikes that was given to us by a friend and gets to spend the winter outside due to a shortage of storage space. In spite of the cold, muggy, and miserable weather, things are still quite well. This week is crazy and it is only Monday. I have another big exam this week and a final for Immunology next monday. I spent way to much of my time studying this last weekend and that is not going to change anytime soon. I put a deposit down for the Himalayan trip so it looks like I will be heading to Northern India this summer for some medical humanitarian work. I'm pretty excited and in the process of trying to raise some funds to cover the expenses. Missouri winters are turning out to be colder than I expected.