Monday, April 30, 2007


One thing that Mark and I talk about is living near Mom & Dad. Mark always expresses the gratitude to Lavinia and me for being nearby. Tonight was on such example. Mom & Dad had their floors done downstairs. This weekend I helped Dad & Mom move all the stuff out of the way (washer, dryer, shelves, sink, etc) and tonight I helped put it all back together. Now I won't let Mark forget that we did all this in time for his visit. Something tells me the first pint of Alaska Amber is on him. Dad and I will be collecting.

Spring Classics All Wrapped Up

Well Race Fans it was a very fun and interesting time during for the Spring Classics in Europe this year. Already the 2007 Bike Race season is done with its first quarter if you will. The early season classic rides are usually marked by bad weather and chaos, this year it was marked by high temperatures and very fast speeds. I've enjoyed watching the races on VS. this season. Gives me something to do while I iron a week's worth of shirts and pants. Hanging out with Paul, Phil and Bob is a good way to spend a weekend afternoon.

Quick Recap:
Spring Classic Winners:
Milan-San Remo (March 24): Oscar Freire (Sp) Rabobank
Tour of Flandres (April 8): Alessandro Ballan (I), Lampre
Ghent-Wevelgem (April 11): Marcus Burghardt (G), T-Mobile
Paris-Roubaix (April 15): Stuart O'Grady (Aus), CSC
Amstel Gold Race (April 22): Stefan Schumacher (G) Gerolsteiner
Fleche Wallonne (April 25): Davide Rebellin (I) Gerolsteiner
Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 29): Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas

ProTour Leaders:
1. Davide Rebellin (I), Gerlosteiner, 157 pts
2. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne, 107
3. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas, 100
4. Oscar Freire (Sp), Rabobank, 82
5. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), CSC, 79

During this time the Discovery Channel team tore up some of the other early season stage races. They put Levi on top in the Tour of California, Jani Brajkovic on top in the Tour of Georgia, which saw Levi win the time trial and the monster hill stage to Brasstown, and Alberto Contador had early season wins in Paris Nice and a Castilla y Leon. Yaroslav Popovych was aggressive in many races, winning a stage in Paris Nice and was aggressive in the ultra tough Milan San Remo race.

Of all the races my favorite win was Stuart O'Grady. I love to see athletes emotional at the finish line. It's a true sign of the passion for the sport and how inside out ohysically and emotionally racing wil do to you. Most of the time you can see they barely have enough strength to sit up and do a victory salute. After crossing the finish line they just collapse. For me it is inspiring to see individuals achieve goals like this. It reminds me that nothing worth achieving is every easy. Another rider that just continue to impress me are Paolo Bettini. If I had one wish for someone to ride like...

The Milan San Remo race was just intense. The longest ride of the classics and the speeds were just insane. I was so impressed by Popo flying off the front and giving it a dig. Truly amazing.

The downer news of the season was more news around doping in cycling. Jan Ullrich's DNA tests were tied to the Operation Puerto case in Spain that caused so many cyclists to be held out of last year's Tour. Ivan Basso was recalled to Italy to testify and his DNA will be tested. He was suspended as was protocol and now how volunteeringly requested to be released. I think this is a gentleman move, and I hope he is innocent. On Flyod Landis' case his trial/hearing starts May 14th and I'm still as confused as ever. I believe in Flyod but at this point I have a negative feeling about him getting a fair shake.

An upside of doping is that Tyler Hamilton is back in Europe racing after a 2 year ban. He's been linked to Puerto as well, but just knowing that is he is competing is refreshing. I wish him luck.

The Tour de Romandie is this week and it's a tune-up for the 3 week Giro d' Italia. I wish we could watch coverage each day, but VS will only do weekend recaps I fear. With Tivos and other DVRs you think they would take a chance and broadcast it. Oh well. I'll try to do another recap after the Giro. By then we may know more about Puerto and what climbing champion wins it all in Italy. Easy predictions are hard for me as I'm not sure who will be there. I'm hopeful to see Tyler ride well. My money would have been on Basso but he won't be there it appears. Di Luca looks good and Simoni seems to channel the energy of the early Roman gods during this race. Rebellin is on form but I'm not sure he'll be there. I hope to see my favorite sprinter Robbie McEwen tear it up in the sprints. More predictions after Romandie.

On your left,

Read more about the races here:
Milan-San Remo (March 24): Oscar Freire (Sp) Rabobank
Tour of Flandres (April 8): Alessandro Ballan (I), Lampre
Ghent-Wevelgem (April 11): Marcus Burghardt (G), T-Mobile
Paris-Roubaix (April 15): Stuart O'Grady (Aus), CSC
Amstel Gold Race (April 22): Stefan Schumacher (G) Gerolsteiner
Fleche Wallonne (April 25): Davide Rebellin (I) Gerolsteiner
Liege-Bastogne-Liege (April 29): Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas

Paris Nice

Excited as a Gooey Duck

Yes, the bold, triumphant return of The Marken is nigh (is wrong to refer to yourself in the third person and with old english terms? I hope not)

I'm wicked excited for the trip home. Not only am I getting a little bit burnt out lately and jsut desperately need a vacation, but I need, I mean medically need, an Alaskan Amber too. Plus if I don't visit with some regularity the family will track me down and visit me. So to avoid that I come home as often as I can. I miss Seattle the way I imagine MC Hammer misses his money, can't believe I left it, think about it daily with longing and can't wait for the brief times I get to be there.

I am very excited to show off my girlfriend and show Seattle off to her. This will be her first visit to the Best Coast. She's been brushing up her Scrabble skills off so she's ready to rumble too

Only 4 more days. Woohoo!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Back in the NW - The Marken Returns

Mark will be headed home soon and the family is quite excited to see him. We are lucky that he travels home often. His buddy is getting married (Jeremy I think) the first weekend he's in town. Mom, of course, is a flutter of worry and eager anticipation that you usually only seen in grade school boys waiting to get a new video game system.

I would be remiss in my big brother duties if I failed to say that I am very happy that he is visiting. I miss my brother a lot and wish he lived in Seattle still. But like most of the family we are just as proud that he has found a profession he loves so much. He's making a difference in the world (even without his graduate degree) and that makes up for the missed time.

I'm sure Mark's visit will be a mix of Pike Place Market, BBQs with family, reading my comic books (don't judge us), a visit to Sonic Boom Records, and generaly goofing off. Yet, there will be one thing different as Mark is traveling with his girlfriend. I'm sure he's pretty excited to show off the area to her. The family is looking forward to meeting her. I've advised a 25 point test that includes an oral essay to see if she is truly worthy of my brother. The first question is basically "please tell us how you can stand him, the rest of us are still trying to find a way" (joke of course, we know how we can stand).

A joking aside, can't wait to see my brother. It's still a few weeks out, but soon Mark will be Seattle-side.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Pacchoville, one last time

This past weekend I was at a party with many of my close friends from High School. The gang was gathered at Tim's house for one last party. Tim's widow Rachelle has moved out and before she starts renting the place she wanted the gang to have one last chance to gather at the house.

The history of Pacchoville is actually kind of fun. Tim purchased the house in 1992 at age 19. I was happy to be his first roommate (and rent contributor). The house was only 2 bedroom when we first started, but Tim built a room downstairs and then remodeled the garage into a room. The first summer we had some less than helpful roommates, but managed to get through the summer. It seemed like every night Rod, Jason and others were joining us in the backyard for volleyball and beers. That summer, after being up all night delivering 275 papers, Tim and I in a sleep deprived comma decided that the house needed a dog. 30 minutes later Alex came home and proceeded to be the house's longest occupant for 14 years.

Everyone has a memory of Pacchoville. It was the place we gathered. It was the place we partied. It was the place you called to find out if something was going, giving Tim and me the role of coordinator way to often. It was the place that many of us, even those that never paid rent, called home.

I still remember the days that Don, Jason and Rod moved in. Living with Sarah for the year in 93. Learning that my best friends and I still had a lot of growing up to do before any of us would be called stellar roommates. Now there were times that just sucked, like too many dishes in the sink, pissing each other off over something petty, Alex's ability to bark forever, some individuals thinking this was their house even though they never paid rent. But it all seemed to work out. The spirit of the house simply seemed to keep us together and safe.

As I drove home last night I realized it could be the last time I am in the house. But I know I'll keep the memories of it being my home. I know I'll take that spirit of home forward with me, just like I take Tim's memory of friendship forward with me.

Thanks Rachelle (and Rod) for helping me have one last good time at the house.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Marken Speaks

Wow. You know this thing says that there are two of us on this thing, but who could tell? Yes, as per usual Jeff is doing most of the talking. My apologizes for being absent. Work has been a bear lately and "if I don't do my job people WILL die!" Sorry, just channelling my inner Jack Bauer there. Although if I mess up on the hydrogen schedule it could be true, hmmmmmmmm....

So, what do I want to blog about.... maybe... nah that would bring in the FCC... how about... no that would provoke the Christian Right....oh, would bring in the Christian Left and they're even worse...maybe I could do an illustrated guide of something... no.. no...hmmm, for that one I would need a chicken and a quart of kerosene.. wow this is hard. I guess I could always talk about the overuse of ....

Okay, I know! We'll do nicknames. Now as the subject line indicates, one of my many, many nicknames is The Marken (originating from Clash of the Titans and a story too stupid to explain). Other nicknames include, in no particular order:

Sleepy Mark
The Streak
Eme Eme (M.M. in Spanish)
El Dulce
Groundhog Day
Under Sleep 2, Mark Territory (as in Under Siege 2, Dark Territory)
Moran Kombat
The Sigher

Plus others I just can't remember. When your name is a popular action verb, you love to sleep and you're just pastey overall there's no limit to what you will be called. Now I will answer to any and all of these, but some have been out of commision for quite a while.

Okay, must get back to work, for the sake of national security ... wait, inner Jack Bauer moment again, sorry.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Do you Twitter is one of several new social networking sites. Not being a teenager I had to read about it in Business Week which just goes to show how far behind the times I am already. I'll make a great Dad, "dad you are so old!" is what I'll hear as my kid telepathically orders books from in the year 2030, but I digress.

Twitter is site that allows you to have user account for free and you can post via the web, IM or mobile text messaging updates. The idea is for small updates, but you could publish more I suspect. Like and other social networking sites you can invite friends, be discoverable by others in the network.

The good uses could be having a friends network so you could locate each other. Think of it as easily broadcasting to your friends when you are at Bumbershoot (music festival) "meet me by the Pearl Jam main stage in 10 minutes." I'm sure the youngsters have plenty of other uses.

The bad uses are that it could be downright silly. "Hi I'm changing my socks now", "Hi I just left the house." "I'm at the car", you get the idea. Do I really need to know that Jason is getting out of the shower (as if I don't already). I mean bully for him for feeling he can share that with me, but it is borderlines silly.

But again, I'm not the target audience at age 35. I wonder though how Twitter will adapt when the older kids, the ones who right now are about 4 years behind their teenage kids in creating myspace sites and acting like they are 19. It's only a matter of time before they realize their kids are no longer on myspace and youtubing (did I just make a verb there) and are now simply twittering. The ones that notice will be the cheap parents who have not hooked up unlimited texting on the kids cell phone. That will be the first clue.

So all that said, I have an account. I'm trying to stay informed on Web 2.0 happenings. I don't exepect to be bleeding edge or anything, but this site was kind of cool.

Below is a Flash Badge that should update with my posting to my twitter account. I'm trying to get it working in the side bar to the left as well, but so far it's hit and miss. Not being a code dude I'm not sure what it may be. My experience with their site is that it is slow. The Flash badge is Adobe technology so of course I think it's cool.


p.s. my twitter account is jemoran if you want to invite me.
p.p.s. Joey & Erin if you have texting from your various mobile phones it might be a good way to send broadcast messages out. Not sure the texting cost for you though.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Hell of the North

Australian Stuart O’Grady won Paris-Roubiax, otherwise know as the Hell of the North bike race. This grueling 257km race has over 30 cobblestone sections to race on, each averaging about 1.5km in length, some over 3km. It’s a truly epic race that inspires me to get off the my butt and to go ride  my bike .

Jack Bauer

So have you ever over dosed on too much of something? Well yesterday I did just that. No, not an OD like that. I spent about 6 hours traveling yesterday. I went to the airport with Lavinia who left at 9:30am and my plane to Cali left at 12:30. I spent most of the day watching my video iPod which the entire season to date of 24. I ended up watching about 9 hours of it yesterday. I prefer to watch this show in big bursts because the cliff hangers just do me in if I watch every week. So starting with Season 3, and my Tivo, I started watching it in 6-10 hour chunks over a few days. So I was looking forward to the new season and some time to just relax and catch up with my favorite government agent, Jack Bauer

Aside from the extreme overdose that it was to watch 9 hours in a row, I've come to one conclusion...
Jack Bauer is the baddest mo fo in the entertainment universe.

This is a character that has literally had the crap kicked out of him and yet he still manages to shake off the sleepy without caffine (although there was that herion thing in season 3) and just keeps kicking butt.

Top 10 Things Jack Bauer doesn't have time for

10. this blog
9. this discussion
8. this idea that you need sleep
7. this debate
6. this excuse, just give him what he wants now
5. this evasive tactic
4. this refusal to tell him the truth.
3. this idea that you will escape him
2. this top 10 list

1. this right now!

I'm pretty sure that the following things are true about Jack Bauer.
  • If Jack Bauer wanted to sleep he'd be on a sitcom.
  • If your a terrorist in the US it is not IF Jack Bauer will catch you, but WHEN and how bad he'll beat you up doing it.
  • if your last name is Palmer then you can command him to do anything.
  • when Jack Bauer interrogates you it is possible to remember the correct answers to questions you got wrong on your SATs.
  • If it ever appears that Jack Bauer breaks down it's only because he can barely contain the power of Kick Butt within himself.
I only hope the rest of the season goes as well as the begining.


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Going Back To Cali

So this week I'll be working out of the San Jose office from Monday - Thursday. Lavinia will be a trade show in Vegas. I figured there was no reason to hang out at home. Rather travel down to SJ and see the majority of my direct reports and my manager. It will be a hectic week as we try to hit a milestone at work. Still should be productive.

Here's a pic of the Adobe Towers. If you see the walkway between the West (left side) and East towers you can pick out where I''ll be. The top walkway is floor 15 and I'll be on West 15 all week (tip your waitress folsk).
Hanging out in San Jose is always fun for a bit, but it makes me miss home. I've been asked often if I would move and the answer was always a shrug of the shoulders. I debated it for a long time because my career opportunities would be easier down there. My entire Business Unit is based there and some times managers just can't conceive of a direct report in Seattle. I owe my boss a big thank you for not only taking the chance but showing that it can be done.

Now that Jeffrita or Shepito is on the way we are staying in Seattle. Family is here, we're firmly rooted here and frankly it's cheaper than SJ to raise a kid. So if you ask me that question today the answer is a firm No.

Being a No though means travel to HQ every month. It's not too bad. I try to go for 2 days at a time so it doesn't interrupt time in Seattle. But I want to spend as much with my reports as I can because they deserve that from a manager. I hope I'm doing them right. I'm lucky that they are productive group and a senior group. That makes it easier for sure.

So I'm off to Cali. Hope you all have a good week.




Friday, April 13, 2007


Enjoy this little strip from Jim Gaffigan.

Check my new shades

You've just got to check out my cycling shades that I got for riding. My co-workers husband reps for Axley and I got a pair for my birthday (along with some extra lenses and a kicking cool new hat). I've been out with them on a few times now and I'm very happy with them. They are light weight and keep the wind completely out of my eyes which is totally huge for when you are screaming along.

Of course they look hella sexy too. Check'em out at



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Reconnecting is nice

Yesterday I had the opportunity to reconnect with two very special people. The first was Coach Craig Undem from Cycle U here in Seattle and the other was my cousin Katie Moran who lives in Kansas City.

Coach Craig was here at Adobe, at my invitation, to do some Bicycle Fits for a few of my fellow co-workers. I've know Craig since racing Cyclocross in 2001. Craig is a great motivator, a very well knowledged coach and probably one of my top 3 favorite people in the NW Cycling Community. I was thinking about it yesterday; he's one of those guys that just is so encouraging that he makes you want to do better. Just being around him makes me want to run out and start racing again. Anyway, it was great to reconnect with him yesterday. His business is doing really well.

Katie is one my youngest cousins from my Dad's side. The family of course needs no introduction this this little lady. After seeing my posts the other day she pinged me on Instant Messenger and we had a good time catching up. She gave me the low down skinny on Brian and Chris. We also debated who worries more my dad or her dad, or if her mom outshines them both. My money is on my dad, he's a silent worrier, very ninja like in his ways.

It was super to reconnect with both of them and it was the highlight of my day for sure. Here's hoping you all find time to reconnect with individuals that make your life better.


Cycle U -

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Top 10 - Things Uncle Mark will say concerning Jeffrita

Mark is right about all the possibilities this little Sheppard-Moran cocktail could mix up. Will the kid be a salt lover like Mom? Will Dad get a child with a strength of a Sprinter, the body of a Climber and the mental power of a 3 week stage racer? Will Jeff's broken Spanish be worse the than the kid? Will Lavi now have the power to gang up on Jeff once and for all thus throwing off the balance of the Greenwood universe? Will the kid sit up one day and just yell out "Go Big Red!" during bowl season for no reason? Will the kid not trust other youth dressed in slacks and ties with backpacks going door-to-door and understand why? Will Uncle Jason provide a cycling buddy for Jeffrita or not? Many questions to answer.

Tio Mark has only really hit the tip of the iceberg about the questions that he'll ask (see his comments to the post "Jeffrita or Shepito? Baby Sheppard-Moran on the way!". The following phrases are sure to be baby booked gems

Top Ten things Mark will say concerning Jeffrita:
10. Seriously kid, when no one is looking hang from the door jams it's your only chance to be tall in this family"
9. What is Spanish for "Big Freak Uncle? I think the kid is calling me names"
8. Really, it's suppose to be green?
7. Sorry everyone, that one was me.
6. When you grow up I'll show you how to convince your parents that you are a collector of toys, not just a consumer.
5. If Dad comes at you with a tricycle just run. It will make your life easier.
4. Too bad your Dad wore down mom there Peter Parker Moran.
3. The best way to make G'ma and G'pa worry is to,....
2. No, I can't explain the Spider-man clone series to you, I just want to forget that time.
1. Dude, with the material in this diaper I could have fueled a space station to Pluto, not just Mars.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Jeffrita or Shepito? Baby Sheppard-Moran on the way!

Lavinia and I have good news that we can finally make public, we are expecting! Our due date is not until October 9th, so we are still early, but we’ve received enough positive news that we are comfortable letting everyone know. So now you know (and as you remember from earlier posts, “Knowing is half the battle”).

We don’t know the sex of the baby yet, but we’ll find out soon. Right we are calling it Jeffrita and Shepito. I guess that is what you get when you cross an Irish dude with a Hispanic lady. The Jeffrita name comes from Lavinia’s mom. The first xmas season Lavinia and I were married we asked her what she wanted for xmas. She said she wanted a Jeffrita. The name has stuck since then. Poor kid. I’m going to mess him/her up enough without the extra help of ridiculous nickname.

Any way, Lavinia and I are very excited, as is Uncle Mark (aka Uncle Um-Pik). We just wanted to share the news!



Welcome Family

Mark and I sent out an invite to the family to start reading the updates here. Here’s how it went down, Brothers Moran Style.

From: Jeff Moran

Hey Family


Mark and I have started a blog. It’s nothing overly dramatic or really even really worth reading, but we thought we’d throw it out for everyone to check out. We wanted a way for the family to keep up with us and all the zany things that we do. True to form there are a lot of posts from me and a lot of smart alec comments from Mark, we never disappoint.


Mark and I, along with our Seattle based fan club that consists of Mom & Dad and Lavinia, hope everyone is well. Please feel free to share with others not on the email list (Brian, Chris & Katie I don’t have email addresses for).





From: Moran, Mark




Indeed be sure to check out the blog spot.  There to entertain, inform and possibly change you.  It'll make you laugh, cry (when you see how much Jeff talks about himself) and maybe, just maybe, think a little bit more about your world. 


Will it bring warring nations to peace?   No. 


Will it inspire a Soundgarden reunion tour?     Possibly. 


Has it been proven to cause cancer in laboratory mice?    Inconclusive. 


Will it leave you feeling warm and fuzzy?   Depends on what you drank before reading.


This is an outreach to our all fans world wide (remember, The Moran Brothers are huge in Belgium and some of the more remote villages in Tunisia (where I am worshiped as Um-pik, the three ear ringed god of the harvest)) 


We sure hope that you stop by and check out all that we have to offer.  Remember that as your shaking your head in dismay that you are either related, or choosing to be with someone who is related, to us.  :)


-Mark "aka Um-Pik" Moran


Thursday, April 5, 2007

What am I on?

I’ve got a day off tomorrow and I plan to take advantage of a rare Spring day in Seattle with temperatures set to hit 70 degrees. I’m off for a bike ride. I’ve got some modest training goals this year.


This Nike Ad from I think 2001 is one of my favorite motivation pieces. Check it out. When Lance rides in to his house in the pouring rain you just get a sense of what it takes to go the extra mile.


On your left,


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

April 5th, let's remember it

On April 5th I’m always a little sad. It’s not because 3 days prior I got a year older. It’s not because I don’t like the Spring season in Seattle (because I do). No, April 5th is the day that two Seattle based lead singers died. First was Kurt Cobain in 1994 and in 2002 Layne Stanley followed Kurt, Andrew Wood and Stefanie Sargent to the big gig in the sky.


Both Kurt and Layne abused drugs. Drugs led to their deaths and I can’t say I ever support the use of drugs at all. I feel I have to say this before I say how much I admired these two artists. I don’t want the wrong impression to be given here. I miss their art a lot. Nirvana and Alice In Chains were two bands that I loved. I’m sad that I never saw Nirvana live, but I did see Alice In Chains no less than 3 times all in the 1992-1993 time period. Layne Stanley’s body was found on 4/19/2002, but the autopsy shows that he passed on April 5th. Which was always just a little eerie to me.


Both artists were troubled and it fueled their work. I can only imagine the demons that haunted them and how they coped. You always hope that your admired artist can rise above it. But if you listened to their music, Layne’s especially, you probably never really believed they would. I take away from their music that we will all encounter pain and that we will deal with it in different ways. As much as I admired them I know I’ll chose a different path.


Many of night at Tim’s house we would listen to their albums and just hang out. I still shuffle their work each week. In fact, you will find Alice In Chain’s “Stay Away” in my top 25 played list from now until I pass I’m sure.


I just hope that before they passed that they had a moment of recognition of how much their hard work and music meant to a lot of people. If they had that moment I know they at least had a moment of joy in a troubled life.


So take the day of April 5th to shuffle some of their best.


Rest In Peace Kurt & Layne



Kurt Cobain – Nirvana

  • Favorite Album – “Nevermind” – Hard to beat this one. If you really want a good look at them their first album “Bleach” is much more raw. Their “With the Lights Out” 3 disc set is a very good compliation.
  • Favorite Song – “Polly” from the Incesticide Album.
  • Best memory – Tim & Rod “moshing” at Hope Lodge with Nirvana playing. I have a picture of it that is almost as funny as the memory.


Layne Stanley – Alice In Chains

  • Favorite Album – Have to say “Dirt” although “Jar of Flies” and “Facelift” are such close seconds they practically stand on the podium.
  • Favority Song – “Stay Away” from the Jar of Flies Album
  • Best Memory – Summer 1992 road trip with Jason, Rod and Tim to Yakima for the weekend to see them play. It was at the Yakima Convention Center and held only about 200 people. The stage was about 2 inches tall. It was very small venue as they tuned up for the Dirt tour. The whole weekend was amazing.