Winners Announced, I Inflict Pain on the Core Team, and One Last Plea for Votes

02.2.2009 | 12:24 am

One of the unexpected pleasures of running Team Fatty is that I get to write “Congratulations” letters from time to time. They really are fun to write, too. Or, more specifically, it’s fun to think carefully about the language of the email so it doesn’t wind up in the Junk folder. It’s fun to be able to write an email that is pure good news.

And it’s fun to think about that email sitting in someone’s inbox, waiting to turn someone’s normal day into an outrageously good day.

I got to write two of those email messages today.

The Signed, Framed Lance Armstrong Poster Winner: Jacqueline, California

Jackie’s actually new to this blog; she came over after The Pioneer Woman linked over with a story and recipe about Susan and my Grandma’s Cheez Eggs last week.

Being a very cool person, Jackie made a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation. And within ten minutes of my having sent her a “congrats” email, she replied with:

I don’t ride but my husband does and he is currently deployed in Iraq. I thought it would be so awesome if I either won the bike or the poster for him.

I was chatting with him online and was telling him bye when I got an email alert and saw the subject “You get the Lance Armstrong Poster.” I told him to hold on as I went to read your email and went back to tell him the great news. He was so excited and stated he was jumping out of his seat.

Again, big congrats to Jackie and her husband — and a giant thanks to Hootie over at Trek for giving up this awesome prize.

The Gary Fisher Superfly Singlespeed Winner: Daniel, New Jerseydaniel.jpg

Here’s how excited I was about giving away this bike: I couldn’t sleep last night. The idea of giving away a bike exactly like the one I want for myself is pretty compelling.

And a lot of you must have thought this bike is pretty compelling, too. Team Fatty has now raised more than $106,000, $46,000 of which was raised during this raffle.

That is a lot of money.

Now, I know that nobody really thought they had a great chance of winning — you all donated because it’s the right thing to do. The prize is just a cool reason to get off the fence and maybe say to yourself, “Well, what if?”

And after all, someone has to win, right?

And in this case, that someone is Daniel of New Jersey. Here’s what Daniel had to say about himself and winning:

I am a 37 year old energy efficiency consultant who fell in mountain biking in college in central PA, moved to NYC after graduation, and transitioned to a road bike (which I also love) out of necessity. I married my college sweetheart 12 years ago, we are blessed with an almost-three year old daughter, and we are expecting the birth of our son any day now. We moved to NJ 18 months ago and I am so very excited to explore the local trails with this new bike!

I’d say Daniel’s timing is just about right — about the time the Spring riding season begins, the newborn should be sleeping just enough that it won’t be completely impossible to get out on a ride.

And a huge thanks goes to Gary Fisher Bicycles for putting up the frameset, to Brand Manger Travis Ott for making it happen, and to SLC Bikes for committing to supply the components. In these scarce times, companies and people that still step up and join in like this are to be admired even more than usual.

I Would Be an Awesome Rock Star As Long As Everyone in the Audience Heard the Inside of My Head

Last weekend, Susan and I had the Core Team + spouses over for dinner and an evening of Rock Band. I made chili — one of the four main dishes I feel I can make pretty darned well (Brats, Burgers, and Quiche are the others).

It was a splendid evening, and only later would I experience pains of regret for giving myself over so completely to the game. I’m afraid that when I take the mike I belt out the songs pretty loud. And while I sound just right in my own head, the way my guests tend to look for the nearest exit when I sing might indicate some disparity between the sound in my head and the sound in the room.

Still, I maintain: you can’t play Rock Band halfway.

I did redeem myself, however, when I brought out a fun little game called “Lightning Reaction Extreme.” The idea of the game is simple. All four players take a metallic grip with a button in one hand and then watch a light that blinks red. When the light turns green, press the button.

The last person to press the button (or the first person to jump the gun) gets a painful electric shock.

Or — as we played it — the three slowest players get shocked. Only the fastest gets away unscathed.

Can you see who’s not getting shocked in this photo?


Yes, that’s Kenny, Rick Sunderlage (not his real name), and Dug, all discovering their reaction time is slower than mine. I did not get shocked even once, on any turn. Susan is looking on, in pride.

I should point out, however, that when I play this game with my 15-year-old, I lose every single time. I have never won. Even once. Ever.

Sometimes I suspect that teenage boys have faster reflexes than their middle-aged fathers.

OK, This Is The Last Time I Ask (This Year). I Promise.

Today’s the last day for voting for the Bloggies. I am not exactly sure why it matters to me that I win, but it does. So, please, go vote for me in the Sports category, vote for my sister Jodi (Pistols and Popcorn) in the Best-Kept-Secret category, and vote for Pioneer Woman in pretty much all the other categories. OK?

And next year, we go after “Best Food Blog” with a vengeance.


  1. Comment by Jenni | 02.2.2009 | 5:14 am

    I hereby challenge you to a game of Whack a Mole.

  2. Comment by mikeonhisbike | 02.2.2009 | 6:53 am

    There’s a new idea. Inflicting shock treatment on your buddies under the disguise of a game. Impressive.


  3. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 02.2.2009 | 6:59 am

    Congrats to the winners. Except the winner of the zap-your-friends-game.

    Elden, you’re a computer programmer, right?

    And you’re beating your friends at an electronic game where they haven’t had the same opportunities as you to tamper with the inner workings, right?

    Your conscience is clear, right?

  4. Comment by Big Boned | 02.2.2009 | 8:04 am

    As I read about the reaction game, I had this sneaky suspicion that at some point you would reveal that it was your game and you had rigged it so that it was IMPOSSIBLE for Dug, Rick (NHRN), or Kenny to win. You never did.
    When do you ‘fess up to that – or were you classically trained as a ninja?
    Just curious…
    Big Boned

  5. Comment by Big Boned | 02.2.2009 | 8:06 am

    Hmmmm…Seems I should read the comments before posting my own. It also seems that Big Mike and I have the same sneaky suspicion…

  6. Comment by Rick S. | 02.2.2009 | 8:51 am

    Playing guitar as you sang Tom Sawyer was a lot of pressure. And Susan?….Black Sabbath? I would have never guessed it.

    My heart rate still hasn’t come down from that shock game. The anticipation was brutal.

  7. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.2.2009 | 8:52 am

    Sometimes I suspect that teenage boys have faster reflexes than their middle-aged fathers.

    you serious? Try taking of the reading glasses and keeping up with ‘em!

  8. Comment by Marla | 02.2.2009 | 9:01 am

    I cast my vote this morning! Good luck:)

  9. Comment by Kathleen | 02.2.2009 | 9:07 am

    Great to see such happy winners of the raffle! Warms my heart. I love Susan’s ear to ear grin too…sounds like the perfect evening.

  10. Comment by Hilslug | 02.2.2009 | 9:38 am

    Lightning Reaction Extreme might be a good training tool for Knowledge Bowl where reflexes (in addition to knowledge) are important. But something like that may be a felony when used on elementary school aged kids…

  11. Comment by SYJ | 02.2.2009 | 9:40 am

    So was the pain from Rock Star, or from the electrocution game?

  12. Comment by Woody | 02.2.2009 | 10:04 am

    No, you are correct. You cannot play Rock Band halfway!

  13. Comment by KanyonKris | 02.2.2009 | 10:35 am

    Congrats to the prize winners!

    Very cool how much money has been raised so far.

    Did you play on high or low shock? I played that game a few years ago at a family Christmas get-together. It was the hit of the evening. I won once, got zapped several times. The high shock level is quite a jolt. I don’t play against teenagers because I would win and I don’t want to damage their fragile self-esteem at this age.

  14. Comment by dug | 02.2.2009 | 10:59 am

    we played that game every way possible, and i didn’t play one time where i didn’t get shocked.

    i feel a lot like the kid in ghostbusters, where bill murray is torturing him with the shocks to make time with the hot coed.

    “the effect? i’ll tell you what the effect is–it’s PISSING ME OFF! you can KEEP your five bucks!”

  15. Comment by Bitter (formerly known as Lissee) | 02.2.2009 | 12:23 pm

    List of 4?…. Brats, Burgers, Quiche, and Chili?

    Me thinks that you forgot that you know how to make killer mashed potatoes and also that fabulous pudding that you cook down for about 4 quadzillion hours. ….

    BTW, Congrats to the raffle winners!

  16. Comment by Michael in TN | 02.2.2009 | 12:28 pm

    I love that Lightning Reaction game! I picked one up a couple years ago and it is a ton of fun. Especially when you try to fake other players into pressing their buttons too early thereby shocking themselves.
    Also, quiche on your list of 4? Really?

  17. Comment by Charisa | 02.2.2009 | 2:08 pm

    Shocking game – wow, shocking! :) And sooo sooo cool that the lady whose husband is in Iraq got the poster for him.

  18. Comment by ricky | 02.2.2009 | 2:41 pm

    congrats to the winners.

    fun evening, elden. i was totally humiliated by my inability to play the rock band drums and was shocked twice: once by the electrocution game and once by kim. i’m still wiggling from the shocks.

    experiencing susan perform back sabbath’s paranoid was the highlight of the evening. good times.

  19. Comment by Lucky Cyclist | 02.2.2009 | 6:16 pm

    Real men don’t make quiche.

  20. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.3.2009 | 5:38 am

    Try putting the reading glasses ON the teenagers!

  21. Comment by Susie | 02.3.2009 | 10:03 am

    Ah, this is just too funny, and I love the smile on Susan’s face! Yay!


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