Saturday, December 30, 2006


One thing can be said for Texas Tech football. They're never really out of a game. This year, my beloved Red Raiders had scored 24 times on scoring drives less no longer than two minutes. And, their opponent in the Insight Bowl, the Golden Gophers of Minnesota (contain your laughter), have the 113rd ranked passing defense in the nation--out of 119 teams. Coincidently, Graham Harrell, Texas Tech's quarterback, is the second leading passer in the nation in just his sophomore year. So when we're down 38-7 to Minnesota with 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the translation reads: We got 'em right where we want 'em.

Especially true when Coach Mike Leach is always too dumb to know he's out of contention. He could be down by 50 points with a quarter of football left and he's thinking, "Oh yeah, this game's ours." He's also brilliant enough to orchestrate this sort of comeback. In a way, he's like that kid in grade school who was like cool repellent, but he could flip a Rubik's cube like Bill Gates.

This is the look of a genius.
What Leach accomplished in the Insight Bowl was nothing short of astounding. He lead his team back from 31 points down with only 22 minutes of football remaining to win, 44-41. And, in case you were wondering, that 31-point comeback is the largest comeback for a victory in the history of all bowl games.
Tech wins. Minnesota gets a lesson in real football and I dance around the living room for about an hour afterwards.
Maybe next year we'll get televised on something other than the NFL Network.
Gotta bowl of sauerkraut and a cold beer and about three days of work to do on my year-end list in about 30 hours. Ugh. What did I get myself into?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


There'll never be another one like him. Dude rocked it so hard, he stripped paint off walls three states away. His funk, his groove was so deep he impregnated ladies on the other side of the globe without ever meeting 'em. His band, the dude's band, was unquestionably the tightest, the freakiest, the funkiest, the baddest, the hardcorest band on the planet--hands down.

The passing of James Brown is less the passing of a mere musician. It's the passing of an icon, a legend, a hero, an ambassador...the Godfather. To me, it marks the end of a career that is only eclipsed by, perhaps, only Beethoven and Lennon in terms of the impact his life made on music--popular or otherwise.

The man basically birthed hip hop and the resulting 25+ years of popular music. Without question, he's unmatched as the most commonly sampled artist in the history of the game and no one will ever touch him. In fact, they're still counting. It's funny, I was reading a retrospective put up by MSN outlining his most important records and what I found were two incredible omissions. I mean, you can't have a James Brown list without "Funky Drummer" and "Funky President." If there was a sample that was the absolute spine from bottom to top of the hip hop generation, it was the break from "Funky Drummer." And "Funky President," while not as popular in the sampled realm, still has hundreds of hip hop records crediting it. MSN's list sucks.

I'm sitting here listening to Brown's In a Jungle Groove over a tall cup of coffee watching Fox News talk about, not his music, but his widow who is locked out of the estate because Brown's lawyer insisted it be locked. Dude, who cares?

Meanwhile, In a Jungle Groove is a phenomenal record and should be in enjoyed in any format.

I know it's a fitting tribute, but far short of what needs to be said of James Brown. I'd rather just include a link to his show-stopping performance of "Popcorn." Watch this and just try to tell me he wasn't the best. Also, notable performance by Maceo Parker. Just watch the damn clip. It's only four minutes long. Dude gave you 50 years, you can give him four minutes.

Go buy armfuls of James Brown records and have a great week. The list is coming.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Yeah, that's right, we got snow in the Yellow. Unfortunately, we got more ice than snow. It was enough to down powerlines, trees and traffic lines, but not enough to get out us out of a few hours of a work. Saw my neighbor col' bust it on the sidewalk. She hit that sidewalk in just short of a jog. Not sure what she was thinking. Either way, she bounced up in just under three seconds which was quite remarkable to witness. Below you'll notice an entire tree that toppled into the street.
Now, you can't see it, but under that tree hides a Saturn SUV (Saturn makes an SUV?).

This is how you know you're gonna have a totally suck day--when you wake up to find your ride under a 30-feet tree. I would've just gone back inside, crawled back into bed and slept for another three days.

Finally chopped off my nasty beard. Thing was starting to capture small birds in flight and, not only that, the grey hairs brought on incredible sadness that made it difficult to look in the mirror. Here's me staring in the mirror and the resulting depression. Yes, I stand in front of the mirror shirtless. It's a morning custom. Yeah, I know I'm a sex machine with my hairy shoulders. I ain't got nothing to hide. I got the fur of Robin Williams.

And now, the sportier, leaner and lighter j3. The fight of a pitbull, the speed of a gazelle. This is the face of a man you don't wanna play with.

Merry Christmas from the folk at The Root Down. In eight days, I'll reveal the Top 20 Hip Hop Albums of 2006. Man, I betta get to writing it. Speaking of snow, I heard the new Jeezy record this morning while cleaning the kitchen (man, that's some serious thuggery right there) and it's straight. B'lee dat.

Monday, December 18, 2006



December 14th, 5:05pm Central

Just finished up work for the week. Ah, the weekend begins early. With Tim in tow, we head over to my house to await the arrival of our last travelmate. His name is Seth, Rory's cousin-in-law. Apparently, he was attempting to leave H-Town at about 8 this morning. However, due to fog, he was unable. He's set to arrive at 6 or so which puts our departure back a little later than we would want. It's alright. Gotta pack the cooler anyway and Angry Tim's hungry for grub before we leave.

December 14th, 6:15pm

Still waiting on a word from Rory or Cody. Angry Tim got his burger, however, it came with thousand island dressing. Not the guy to do that to. I got half the burger--the contaminated half--and it was good. Angry Tim really needs to let me feed him for a week.

December 14th, 6:31pm

Apparently, Mayhem's at his house waiting for Rory to pick him up with Seth and then we'll meet at Cody's house. I'm trying to think of more inefficient ways to leave town. Perhaps, I'll ask to stop by the hospital and ask to have reconstructive surgery on my spine.

December 14th, 6:35pm

Just logging the boredom of waiting to leave. We're en route to Mayhem's to just wait there and shoot it for a few minutes. These guys better get their asses into gear once we hit the road or we're gonna be in for a long, grueling trip.

December 14th, 6:50pm

Met Seth. Seems pretty cool. Looks really tired. I'm thinking he could've driven to the Yellow faster from Houston. Nonetheless, he's here and has his snowboard. He asked if everyone was boarding and I said I was skiing. Immediately felt like an outsider. Not much knew there. We'll see how hard the boys try and push me into snowboarding this year. Last year, they put the pressure on pretty good. Mainly by ridicule. It's alright. I don't mind being the square on skis. However, I think my pair is a little short this year. They look like beginners' skis. Oh well, they'll execute better on the mountain.

December 14th, 7:03pm

Goodness gracious, Cody must be banking. Just checked out the hall bathroom. I think they need more guests at this house because I think I just became the first person to pee in that toilet. Really nice place. He's living like Scarface. All he's got in this world are his balls and his word. B'lee dat.

December 14th, 7:12pm

On the road. Just waiting for some other hitch, but seems to be rather uneventful. Nearing the edge of town. About time to sign out for a while.

December 14th, 7:43pm Mountain

Just crossed over into New Mexico. Let Angry Tim take over the iPod duties. He's taking me back with a little Dead Kennedys and Fugazi. We discussed the Wilhelm Scream and traded a few childhood stories. The boys behind us are complaining about my speed and saying I keep speeding up and slowing down. I've been looking at the needle on 79 mph for the last 45 minutes, at least. It's called "cruise control" fellas. It regulates your speed.

December 14th, 9:14pm

Mayhem swore we passed our exit. We did not. Yeah, still got it. I know this route like I paved the muddah. Heading north to Las Vegas...New Mexico, that is.

December 14th, 9:59pm

Looks like the gas station we stopped in here outside Las Vegas was ready to shut down. They turned off the lights on us as we were talking in the parking lots. Jerks. Had a Red Bull. Yep, still nasty. Need coffee. Will seek out the trusty McDonald's in Vegas.

December 14th, 10:22pm

Okay. Just about got my ass kicked on account of the boys. I decide to go in to order and prepare my coffee while Cody "Cheeseburger" and Mayhem make way through the drivethru. They start yelling at me from the window while three huge dudes were standing right next to me. They start mumbling obscenities back at Mayhem and look at me because they know I'm with them. I mind my own business and just head back out to the car. Hot coffee. North to Taos. Here's where the roads begin to curve and climb a bit more often. Lucky me.

December 14th, 11:53pm

Landing in Taos. A little disoriented. Got more coffee. Must stay alert for the upcoming haul. It'll most definitely be the most torturous. It'll include a trip across the Rio Grande Gorge at night. Kinda frightening to think of the drop below you as you cross that bridge. It's pitch black below you as you creep about 650 feet above the river below.

December 15th 12:35am

Saw our first elk. They're gigantic. They're just hanging out on the side of the road as we cautiously pass on by. Kinda creepy. We're seeing them around every corner. There's nothing out here but a Honda, a Chevy truck, a trillion elk and a curvy road. Angry Tim managed to get a shot of this elusive animal. It's a pretty good picture.

December 15th, 1:35am

No sight of civilization yet, but we did get to see some great action of an elk slipping on some ice and doing a faceplant. Dude deserved it. I mean, really, it's about time we got some entertainment. Angry Tim is having no problem staying entertained playing "Spot the Wildlife" through a foggy windshield at a careful 40mph. Travel is slow at this point and just plain difficult. Wyricks, however, are born with two genes. One is the stubborn gene which compels us to sometimes insane adventures and the second is the travel gene which allows us to drive tirelessly from one point to another. Tonight, I'm flexing a combination of both. My wife must be worried at home. She should be. This ain't easy. Getting tired. Very tired.

December 15th, 3:17am

We arrived in Pagosa Springs at our beautiful accomodations. I decide to bust out the flask of whiskey for a swig to bring me down to a slower speed. Not sure how we made it here. I had a dream while driving that two elks caused me to swerve off the road and wrap my Honda around a tree. Three more elks pulled me from the wreckage, tossed me into a ditch and then pushed my car off a cliff.

December 15th, 4:35am

Still up. My celebratory drink has spread like a wildfire to all present except for the smarter Angry Tim. Everyone's having a beer and carrying on about the trip. Seth looks like he's dead, but still manages to push out a chuckle here or there. My belly's starting to cramp from the coffee, sunflower seeds and whiskey. Ouch. About to turn in. We got an early rise and a big day of skiing, er, snowboarding ahead of us.

December 15th, 6:02am

Oops. Forgot to take into account the time change when setting my cell phone alarm. I'm an hour early. My body is sore as hell. I feel like I was beat up by the cast of Clockwork Orange. I'll lay down for a few more minutes.

December 15th, 7:06am
Okay, time to really get up now. Gotta get a shower in and something in my belly before I hit the mountain. I feel like I gotta crap a sunflower seed the size of a football. My bowels are already taking a beating and I haven't even had Cavillos mexican buffet yet. Rory's pretty quiet this morning. Either he's all business or too tired to talk. I asked him to pose for a picture and he gave me the following pose. I'm not sure if this is his tough look or his fatigued look.

Cody, never short of a good laugh, was straight thuggin in his patterned boarding jacket. Yeah, Pagosa Spring thug-thuggin--the best rap hands in the game.

December 15th, 8:10am

On our way to the mountain. Got my iPod loaded and ready to go. This'll be my first ski outing plugged in. I brought along a mix of Black Moon, Ice Cube, Muse, Metallica, Beatnuts, Cypress Hill, The Sword, Death From Above 1979 and Geto Boys. Should make for an interesting listen.

December 15th, 9:12am

On our first run of the day. Pretty rusty, but the blood's flowing pretty well. The boarders spent a long time sitting this morning. Probably still waking up. Looking forward to some good runs with these guys. All of them are pretty good boarders although Rory remains quite modest of his skills. Angry Tim's an old vet--kinda like myself. Not much to my style anymore. Lots of long traversing. Some speed, but not alot of air. We do it for the love. Haha, whatever.

I say, "Those who can, do. Those who can't, take the pictures." I guess that'd be me.

Angry Tim, Rory and Mayhem wondering why I'm so dope.

December 15th, 11:43pm

Time to break for lunch. Dying to eat something. We make our way to the cars for sandwiches and hydration. Popular sandwich seems to be peanut butter and jelly. Rory busted his tail boarding down the cars when he slipped off the wall of snow outlining the lot and landed ass first on the parking lot. Looked painful, but dude bounced up like it was nothing. I would've been down for at least 20 minutes holding my tail end. He plays soccer. That's the only way I can explain it.

The superhot lime Cheetos are freaking horrible. Only Mayhem could muscle such a disasterous combination of tastes. It truly is the nastiest thing I've ever had. They'd be better used as brushes for removing graffiti off of walls. That being said, imagine what they do to your stomach.

December 15th, 12:12pm

Starting to warm up. My legs are feeling fantastic, but my boots are aching a little bit. That's to be expected. They're like medieval torture devices. I've known this to be true since a little lad. Seth's a helluva boarder. The iPods that all but two of us are wearing are making it quite difficult on communication. Talking and listening are replaced with hand motions and blank stares. Thankfully, Angry Tim and Cheeseburger are not wired so they can make sense of things. I just follow everything by loudly proclaiming, "I'll just follow," assuming that's pretty easy to understand and, furthermore, quite agreeable. I'm just along for the ride. Below, Mayhem illustrates the expression that replies, "I can't hear you because my headphones are too loud. Just shut up and board."

December 15th, 2:01pm

I'm giving up for the day. Starting to whine like a little baby. With there being no crowds at all today, we got in a full day with two hours to spare. Nice how that works out. All but Rory and Seth make way to the car to rest ourselves. My calves are on fire. My back feels like forty children with baseball bats took turns beating me like a pinata. Will need a nap before I do anything. Running on about two hours of horrible sleep--not ideal for a great day at the mountain. Despite that, it was good enough to prompt me putting on Cheeseburger's retarded helmet and posing like Captain Morgan.

December 15th, 3:50pm

Sleep. Beautiful sleep. Will wake up for dinner, but nothing else.

December 15th, 7:03pm

Trying to get on the road for dinner. The truck keeps stalling and circling the parking lot. I'm short on patience and long on hunger. Angry Tim and I are gonna crack heads if we don't get something in our bellies quick. I yell out something that probably shouldn't be repeated into the night sky and it echoes off the mountain walls. I'm sure I just made some family's night with my language.

December 15th, 7:12pm

Dinner. We head into town looking for a place called Bear Creek. We drive from one side of town to another and then back again. We keep crossing a spot that smells like absolute fart. Angry Tim keeps blaming me. I keep accepting blame, but it occurs to Angry Tim it's in the very same place everytime. Near the bridge just off of the main drag. I'm still thinking it's a lingering fart. Angry Tim concludes a rather obvious observation--the hot springs. Duh, Pagosa Springs. Yeah, I would suppose that'd make some sense. Sulfur, kids.

December 15th, 7:37pm

We're at Bear Creek. Place wants $1.00 for a game of Galaga. Whatta rip off. I decide to step outside and make some phone calls to my lovely wife and to a man named Jeffrey who has keys to our Saturday night accomodations. I ordered a pound of burger meat to eat. It comes with a bun, but I'm really just interested in seeing if I can toss back a full pound of meat.

December 15th, 8:32pm

That was a huge burger. Much more than I should've eaten. I'll be designated driver at this point simply because to drink on top of such a mound of food would be lethal. Can't wait until my body starts breaking this thing down. Oh the gas will be abound!

December 15th, 8:45pm

Why are there so many pitchers of beer on the table?

December 15th, 9:03pm

Rory and Seth are seeking out a hotspot in Pagosa Springs. I don't think it exists. The waitress doesn't seem to think so either. She recommends a place called Buffalo Inn on the edge of town. We make our way out from the Bear to the Buffalo.

December 15th, 9:25pm

This place makes the Regal Beagle look like Paradise Island. Come and knock on our door! We probably won't be staying long although there's a band setting up and they have a beautiful Hammond B3. Wouldn't mind hearing them fire up that thing. The crowd's getting on my nerves. It looks like the crowd got much older and much bluer around the collar. I think that waitress was playing a mean joke on us.

December 15th, 9:40pm

Gas is getting painful already. We're heading out thankfully. Better to just call it a night. Maybe we can watch the Catfights DVD I found up at work for entertainment.

December 15th, 10:19pm

We arrive at the hotel and, in crippling pain, I grab the portable DVD player and Catfights and head into the bathroom. Never used a portable DVD player for the purpose of entertainment while on the stool, but, eh, when in Rome.

December 15th, 10:45pm

A new man! Seriously, I feel about ten pounds lighter and five years younger. I open up the door to a room of empty faces--some of them nearing sleep. Looks like it might be an early evening. It needs to be an early evening. My body is completely worn and I'll need a rejuvenating sleep. Angry Tim and I are sharing a bed again tonight. He's very respectful of the heterohalf rule. I always fear I'm gonna be the guy who, in a state of deep sleep, grab the guy next to me and pull him into a full-on spoon position and have to wake up to the uncomfortable questioning of the travelmates. I'll sleep so hard tonight though, I'd be surprised if I move a toe.

December 15th, 11:49pm

Sleeping. Morning is gonna be all business.

December 16th, 7:04am

Feeling like a million bucks this morning. And looking like it too, if I may say so myself. Everyone's looking sharp this morning. A little slower getting out of the gates but we're fully rested and after a some waffles down in the lobby, we'll pack up the vehicles for our climb to the Creek.

December 16th, 9:16am

Today's gonna be Picture Day. I gotta make sure I take lots of photos for The Root Down. People don't like to read, they like pictures. I must provide for them.

December 16th, 10:40am

Discovered a few jumps. I skied down below them to catch our boarders in action. Even took the jump for myself. I like skiing with these guys. They make me feel young again. My legs feel strong and properly conditioned from all the endless walking I've been doing. First we had Mayhem who pulls out some of the prettiest jumps of the morning--one of which is logged in the following photo.

Seth follows with a masterful jump of his own. Dude puts it down, let me tell ya.

Even our boy Cheeseburger puts together a nice lift of his own. The photo seems to have captured the glory of his feat and not the horror of his landing.

December 16th, 11:22am

It seems I've been separated from the group. Thinking about going up and doing this nasty looking face that's all moguls. Let's see if my legs still got it.

December 16th, 11:38am

Still got it.

December 16th, 11:54am

Catch up with the crew at the vehicles for lunch. The bread has become frozen in the cooler and not all too enjoyable to eat. Will make great scraps for the savage birds that circle us. Feeling ready to go all afternoon.

December 16th, 1:23pm

Jump #2. Comparitively a much gnarlier jump than the first. Seth takes to it first and puts together this insanely nice photo.

Not to be outdone, Mayhem follows with this gem.

Cheeseburger never made it. My photo of Cheeseburger looks to be nothing but a nice shot of nearby tree trunks. He'll redeem himself later, I'm sure.

December 16th, 1:43pm

Angry Tim appears to be very angry. I'm not sure why. He did injure himself earlier in the day when he heard a "pop" when his knees flew up and hit his chest. Hoping that's not a broken rib.

December 16th, 2:21pm

Logging the following photo of the boys at the summit.

Cheeseburger, Mayhem, Rory, Angry Tim and Seth.

December 16th, 3:11pm

Heading to a jump that everyone's had their eye on for the last few runs to get a few last action photos of the boys. Mayhem is first with one of the best photos of the trip with a nice tailgrab.

Cheeseburger would follow with, again, a sweet jump with a not so happy ending, but the readers won't need to know about that.

December 16th, 3:32pm

Back at the vehicles and calling it a day. Wow, whatta day it was. Shins are killing me, but the rest of my body feels splendid. It's been years since I've said that. Going with these dudes keeps me young. No falls, no spills, no injuries. Good to go. Heading into Alamosa for some mexican food. Angry Tim has a Quizno's nearby so he doesn't have to muscle down his arch enemy--the onion.

December 16th, 5:02pm

Arrive at Alamosa. Cavillos is hopping. Our waiter is about the most charming dude you could ever find. He keeps saying, "Take your time, eat all that you want." That's all he has to say. Not much conversation from the group. Cheeseburger's getting quiet. He opted for Quizno's with Angry Tim. Can't say it's highly unlike him, but seemed a little strange.

December 16th, 5:45pm

Killed that buffet. Angry Tim and Cheeseburger return from across the street. Cheeseburger looks like he ate something a little foul. About to pay out and split.

December 16th, 6:01pm

Cheeseburger mentioned he wanted to run back over to Quizno's to use their facilities. It's not like Cavillos doesn't have a squatter, but whatever.

December 16th, 6:05pm

Cheeseburger runs back over to us waiting for him in the cars. Guess he was unsuccessful. Poor guy.

December 16th, 7:45pm

We arrive at the San Luis quarters. After approaching the house with nothing but a flashlight, I'm bumrushed by a dog out of the darkness. Appears to be a wolf, but is not. Scared the living crap out of me though. I call him "Flaco." The key is in the outhouse which oddly has a Texas Tech toilet seat in it. No running water unfortunately for us, but we can make due.

December 16th, 7:54pm

A visibly distressed Cheeseburger paces around the cabin for a while and then grabs a roll of toilet paper and makes way for the outhouse.

December 16th, 8:03pm

No luck again for Cheeseburger. Man, this kid is really picky about where he does his business. We tell him just to go outside the cabin, just somewhere where we won't step in it. That doesn't seem to be koshier for Cheeseburger. I head inside with Flaco following closely behind. Mayhem is attempting to start a fire. I think I just found something that I can beat Mayhem in.

December 16th, 8:17pm

Cheeseburger's truck is gone. Apparently being out in the middle of nowhere is still not far enough from civilization to do what he's going to do. I'm wondering what emotional scarring has led to this sort of behavior. I hope he can find his way back. It's all a maze of dirt roads out there with very little landmarks in the Colorado twilight.

December 16th, 8:42pm

The fire is blazing. My name has officially been changed to Fidel because of my facial hair configuration. I've heard worse. And Flaco's name is now "Wolfy." Still no word from Cheeseburger. Not worrying yet.

December 16th, 8:43pm

There's Cheeseburger. He arrives in his thermal underwear bottoms and socks. He's telling us he just found a dirt road to crap on. We laugh hysterically.

December 16th, 9:27pm

The marathon game of dominos is about to commence. We'll rotate the lowest score after 200 out and bring the next player in. It's really the easiest way with six guys. We start with Rory, Seth, Mayhem and myself.

December 16th, 10:45pm

Angry Tim joins in. He quickly accuses me of making up rules to games and claims my lovely wife and I cheated at a game of ten penny. Not sure of which incident he's referring to specifically, but I assure him I'm not afraid to lose and don't make up rules to favor my winning. It's Rory and Mayhem he has to worry about.

December 16th, 10:58pm

Rory is now "Roy," because I just like the sound of it.

December 16th, 11:12pm

After a quick exit, Angry Tim retreats angrily upstairs for some shuteye. I guess Cheeseburger also disappeared upstairs. We're down to four and there's alot of beer between us. Mayhem's got gas out of both ends.

Roy shows his disgust.

December 17th, 12:02am

With really no radio reception at all, we search around Cheeseburger's vehicle for some CDs to play on the available radio here at the house. It's here we make a startling, horrifying discovery. Now, I'm no Godsmack fan, but even with that being said, the horror of finding a Godsmack CD and opening it to find Rascal Flatts' Me and My Gang on a burn CD is just straight offensive. Technical partyfoul on Cheeseburger.

December 17th, 12:23am

Wolfy begins to get really friendly with all of us. I welcome him to the table and he jumps up in my face. I like this dog. Thinking of taking him with me.

We even offered him a little whiskey to keep him warm. He was interested, but politely declined. Not without a sniff though.

December 17th, 12:52am

Cheeseburger emerges from the upstairs. He looks completely revitalized which is good to see. He walks up and puts down a beer. Looks ready for some dominos.

I assign Wolfy to Cheeseburger's team, but it doesn't appear that even the expertise of Wolfy can help his game any.
December 17th, 1:50am

After a brief break, we reassemble. I'm armed with two drums. One for me and one for Cheeseburger. Where there's two drums, there's a drum circle. The big one played best. Yes, please notice the beer pyramid we're working on. I think the structure's faulty because the Coors Light cans are simply too tall and are having to be crushed to match the size of every other can.

December 17th, 3:20am

Roy calls for some shakeface. Of course, I'm happy to oblige. In fact, I'll do not once, not twice, but three times to get the party rolling.
Cheeseburger follows with this freaking awesome attempt. It's the first thing he's landed all day.

Then, Mayhem, in a shakeface that easily whoops his attempt from last year.

Roy, as well, looks to be doing some practice because his, too, is a drastic improvement on the shakeface from our last adventure.

December 17th, 4:15am

Body's wearing down from a long day and what is about to be one of the greatest comebacks in the history of dominos. I was down by about 180 points to Roy at the 500-point mark, but in what can only be described as a comeback of Wyrickian proportions, I'll soon end Roy's run once and for all.

December 17th, 4:37am

Final score is j3 with 1040 and Roy coming in second with 955 points. Incredible. Must sleep. Once again, I'm getting no sleep at all before a big day. It's a travel day that'll take us back to the Yellow.

December 17th, 7:30am

Wake up to a alert Angry Tim standing waiting for the bodies to move. I'm up.

December 17th, 7:43am

Wolfy is waiting outside for us and watches us pack. He's nipping at my feet playfully, but he's clamping down. I hope he doesn't have rabies. He hasn't broken skin, but I don't want to take my chances. Maybe I should've thought about that before bringing him in with all of us last night.

December 17th, 8:01am

Angry Tim and I demand that Cheeseburger show us the scene of the crime last night. Cheeseburger laughs and agrees to take us there.

December 17th, 8:09am

We arrive at the infamous dirt road. What I see can only be described by saying as funny as it was disgusting. I coat it with dirt like a powdered donut as I peel out on the road. Yellow, here we come.

December 17th, 11:22am

On the worst road in New Mexico between Springer and Clayton, we are met with a highway patrol checkpoint. I present an expired insurance card then, with the help of Angry Tim, the updated one. Angry Tim has white powder all over him from a donut he had earlier. He inspects my windshield to see my inspection is past due which was only called to my attention by Roy the night earlier. How did I miss that? Either way, we were luckily let go.

December 17th, 12:01pm

Subway in Clayton is the Promise Land at this point. I'm so hungry. We'll scarf, chat briefly then mount up and take off.

December 17th, 12:34pm

A man just cornered me in the parking lot asking for directions to Texas. I just point down the road to Dalhart. He says he's trying to find his way to Houston. Clearly this man has no earthly idea how big the state of Texas is. I recommend a map. He says he already has one. I ask if he's even looked at it. When he enters the state of Texas, he could not be further from Houston and still be in the state of Texas.

December 17th, 3:38pm

Dropped off my equipment and just arrived home to my lovely wife and a beagle who sniffed me from head to toe. It was Wolfy he smelled. He cornered me on the chair and started probing me with questions.

After telling him about how I befriended Wolfy, he gave me a tongue-lashing like I've never received. I probably deserved it. Welcome home.
***the ceremonial beard-shaving will take place on Wednesday...Fidel no more.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


December 31st.

Just wanted to let you know. I'm simply too busy at this point for normal updates. I'll be working feverishly on the year-end hip hop list. I promise it'll be worth the wait. I just didn't want to go on hiatus without letting you know. I got work that's killing me softly until about 6:30 everynight. Open house/Christmas party this weekend. Next weekend, I'll be tearing down the faces of about three different peaks in the Rockies. And every spare moment in between, I'll be tracking bowl games, shopping for Christmas gifts and working on updates for your favorite nowhere to go, The Root Down.

Until then, be good, enjoy the season, slow down and smile and, most importantly, be safe.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Dude, Fat Laces doing it big this last Sunday with a whole hour dedicated to Public Enemy. I'm sorry, I don't trust anyone who ain't feelin Public Enemy (to quote the great Jack White). Really, I listen to that show and it is mindless, lawless insanity to think someone can't appreciate that. Great stuff. Shouts to Rodney and the whole Superstar DJ crew. Putting it down hard.

I'm jamming De La right now as I upload a slew of good ish before I go out on our December 15th skiing expedition to the Wolf. De La is a pre-req before any road trip. To think I left for Wolfmother without, at least, an hour on the j3 Juggernaut (the 30 gig, yeah baby). I'm lucky worse stuff didn't happen on that trip. Rodney, it might be time for an hour shot of De La.

Congrats to my brother for being a proud owner of a new copy of Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet. You will enjoy it immensly. Anyone else ready to take the dive, get in touch with me. I got you.

I'm just saying "whaddup, how's it going" and nothing much more. Just wanted to give uber-props to for putting it down, giving a nicely-placed shoutout and playing "Lyrics of Fury" which brings a smile to face with the words, "I'm rated 'R', this is a warning." Beautiful.

JD Drew is reportedly signing to the Sox for $70 million over 5 seasons. I'm still trying to figure out how many Twinkies that'll buy. Sox are spending some bucks. Hope it doesn't effect their ticket prices. More on that later.

Will be working on the Top Hip Hop Albums of the Year here pretty soon for December 31st release. Been a pretty hard year. Not feeling alot of records this year. This is the type of year that makes me wanna listen to Van Halen's 1984 and pretend that hip hop never happened. Yeah, that bad. But there was some meritable stuff that came out--no thanks to the labels who sat on every decent hip hop record that should've released this year.

Yuk, whatever. Go buy some Public Enemy and thank me with a Twinkie.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Firstly, I watched Al Gore's An Unconvenient Truth. I figured being that this dude has dedicated more than half his life to the gathering and presenting of the information in this film, it was worth a viewing. After viewing it, I'm convinced our world is in trouble. It really hit me. I like to consider myself someone who has enough defenses and wit to not be so damn impressionable, but in 96 minutes, I was changed. And I was changed in a positive way. I know it sounds cheesy. It sounds real cheesy to me because I watch movies, but rarely do I feel so compelled. No, it doesn't mean I'm necessarily voting Democratic in 2008. It doesn't mean I'm jumping off the deep end, climbing a tree armed with a sniper rifle and becoming one of those militant enviromentalists. I just think it's time for a change. I'm not saying it's more important than ending this horrible war we're in. I'm not saying it's more important than the thousands of diseases and catastrophes that are blasting out massive chunks of the world's population in swoops. But I am saying that people need to wake up.

I've been known to go off in rants about big, Earth-crushing, ego-feeding, gas-guzzling, single-occupant sports utility vehicles and how completely unnecessary they are. Much to my lovely wife's dismay, I'll never stop these rants until everyone in America drives a vehicle that gets at least 30 miles to the gallon both in city and on highway. If that means that I'll never stop complaining, then I'll never stop complaining. I understand school buses, large eighteen-wheelers and, even ambulances, probably don't get 30, but I'll make the exception because buses qualify as mass transit and they're necessary to keeping the number of vehicles on the road down, transport trucks are essential to this economy's supply chain (although their driving sucks) and ambulances don't really need justification. Until American automakers can make a reliable, affordable and fuel-efficient vehicle that can compete with the Honda Civic, I'm a Honda man. Let's say, just hypothetically really, that this war we're in is not all about terroristic threats or terror attacks, it's not about Bin Laden (again, just hypothetically for a moment), it's not about religion, it's not about Saddam. Let's say it's not even about politics! Let's just throw out the crazy notion that this way is about (hang with me, here) resources. Let's say it's about oil. Maybe it's not all about oil, but let's say oil or natural resources contributes to a mere 10-15% of the reasons, initiatives that are contributing to this long-winded and cost war (or "occupancy" as I'm beginning to call it). Would that small contribution to our conflict be enough to get Americans to maybe find more efficient means of transport? Let's, again, say that 50% of of the oil that Americans are reliant on everytime they fill up their g'zillion gallon tanks comes from outside the US (which, by the way, is true).

Anyone remember gas prices going off the charts topping out at levels that have never been seen after September 11th. Has anyone noticed that they have continued to escalate after our increased appearance in the Middle East. Certainly, ol' Katrina didn't help, but those oil refineries have certainly recovered by now. Katrina, moreso, served as an excuse for oil companies to ring more cash out of Americans each time they filled up. Coincidently, prices began to slide back to non-ludicrous heights around the mid-term elections.

There are economic, environmental and political reasons to drive more efficient vehicles. If you're driving one of these gigantasauruses, you better have a butt in every seat. If the scientists are correct in their predictions of the global landscape at our current rate of consumption, my kids may never get an opportunity to ski because the Rockies won't get but a foot of snow each winter to ski on.

Even in the last 15-20 years, I've noticed a drastic drop in the amount of snow that New Mexico receives. I wasn't for sure if it was warming reasons, just chance, gulf streams had redirected, but when I was a kid, Angel Fire, NM could easily accumulate a 100-inch base. Sometimes they'd creep up around 120 inches. I haven't seen then much higher than 45-50 inches in the last decade, for sure. Maybe further back than that. It was not abnormal for Taos, NM to creep up around a 120-inch base as well with a stated annual snowfall of 312 inches. Below is their snowfall totals by season beginning from when I graduated from high school. Not for any reason, except that's as far back as I can find online.

1995-1996: 195 inches
1996-1997: 371 inches
1997-1998: 311 inches
1998-1999: 215 inches
1999-2000: 153 inches
2000-2001: 312 inches
2001-2002: 147 inches
2002-2003: 255 inches
2003-2004: 249 inches
2004-2005: 295 inches
2005-2006: 152 inches (warmest year in America's history)

If you're doing the math at home, Taos' 11-year average is actually 241 inches and not 312 inches. Still pretty decent, but only 77% of what they post as their average. I'd rather they lower ticket prices than inflate their snow totals. And, that 152 inches from last year, 85 inches (55%) of it came in March which is a little too late.

Look, I'll just put it to rest. I'm not an expert and maybe Al Gore isn't either, but I'd rather err on the side of overly cautious than apathetic. I don't mind being the only cat at the ski resort in a Honda Civic.

Speaking of, we're continuing to monitor the progress at Wolf Creek ("The Best Snow in Colorado"). Currently, they're at a base of 48-50 inches. Not spectacular, but better than anywhere else within a car ride from the Yellow.

Mayhem and I got in an argument about "year to date" totals and I consulted the expertise of a man named Mike Doyle who is a member of the Eastern Ski Writers Association. I had argued that the "year to date" total includes January through May snow that had completely melted off during the summer months; meaning a resort could say in November they've received 140" of snow but there's only 12" on the mountain. As Mike explains, "Most records record YTD snowfall as that snow fallen since the resort last operated. For example, one resort has 19" YTD but you can't find a fresh flake anywhere. However, 1, 2, or 3 in squalls, since the resort ended 2005-2006 operations, all add up and that is what they record."

Mayhem, you would be right. I apologize trying to argue this silly point. I'm posting this as part of our agreement that I would throw up the results of my findings here at The Root Down.

Now that we got that outta the way, we're hosting a Christmas-Open House-Skier/Snowboarder Send-Off Party next weekend. Aside from Thanksgiving, it'll be our first big event in the new place. Should be a good time. And yes, folks, I inventory my CDs so don't get caught sneaking.