Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Derby Prep

I have never lived in Kentucky, I don't own a horse, I have never raced horses, but still I go through the effort to celebrate the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. The Derby makes for a good excuse to latch onto some traditions and party like it's 1947 (year selected at random). The mint julep is one of those storied traditions. The drink and its octane level were expertly described by Walker Percy (another NC notable) in the chapter titled "Bourbon" in Signposts in a Strange Land:

. . . mint juleps, famed Southern Bourbon drink, though in the Deep South not really drunk much. In fact, they are drunk so seldom that when, say, on Derby Day somebody gives a julep party, people drink them like cocktails, forgetting that a good julep holds at least five ounces of Bourbon. Men fall face-down unconscious, women wander in the woods disconsolate and amnesiac, full of thoughts of Kahil Gibran and the limberlost.

I don't know anything about the works of Kahil Gibran, nor do I know what limberlost really means, but the innocent, proper looking drink above will knock you down, confusing you on the way to the floor with a haze of sugary sweetness.

I know there are horses involved with this event, but I usually focus on the food and drink. For those of you keeping score, here's the list of Derby Contenders. It has lots of funny names and pretty colors which will be useful tools for placing bets come Derby day.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


There was mention a little while back about replacing some fence that had fallen down. Said fence was pictured in its gravity crippled state and the new fence was shown while in progress. Well here it is:

This is a big improvement over A) fencing running horizontally, keeping the ground from levitating and B) the old, gnarled pickets of the previous fence, most of which didn't have enough material for the nails to hold onto.

You can see the big chunks of concrete from previous fence posts that came out of the ground. Given the location it is safe to assume that there actually were multiple fences along the property line. The kick test suggests that some date back to the original fence built in 1909.

In business news . . . what would you do if you were the head of a "global powerhouse" in the candy industry? My guess is if you and your friends have enough clout to put together a $23 billion buyout of another company, you do just about whatever you want. My only hope is that this deal will result in a Willy Wonka-esque world, but since that brand is owned by Nestle, I'll have to wait for them to create their own super power by buying both Hershey Co. and Cadbury Schweppes PLC.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Nothing like having numerous people call you from the race site, before you have left your house, telling you not to bother because large objects are blowing across the highway and it is snowing sideways. I had to draw inspiration from the immortal David Farragut ("Damn the torpedoes, full blah, blah, blah, etcetera, etcetera . . .) to get out the door and headed east. It was a lovely day.

Deer Trail was about as expected and so was the race. With the majority of the race being either into the wind or with the wind at our backs, it pretty much stayed together. Krughoff and Gragus were in the minority, showing the necessary gumption to maintain a gap in the first part of the race. They were however reeled in on the last section heading into the wind. Amazingly enough the winning move slipped away in the downhill, tailwind section before we hit the crosswinds where the remainder of the race blew apart, pun fully intended. I got to the front of what was remaining of the group just before the left hand turn into the final section and ended up in the first of the chasing echelons. We dumped a few people at the last turnaround, thanks in part to my heinous turn, and rode it on in. I ended up 12th, could have been better, could have been far worse.

Post race we hung out, waiting for results in the arena/barn/night club/tornado shelter/other uses not listed-type building in "town". I think Derek's face says it all.

Post race festivities were much more exciting. I packed up the supplies and headed up to Walker's house for his semi-annual get together. The evening started out fairly standardly until trouble came driving up the road. What do a P.O.S. $1000 pickup truck and a $128,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbo have in common?

If you drive them into a creek/bog, they get stuck. Nothing you can't fix with a $35 tow strap and a $4500 Nissan Pathfinder. Add a $14 car wash and despite all blog evidence, nobody ever has to know it really happened. Hats off to Clay and his pulling stuff out of the mud abilities.

I spend Saturday night at Casa Brenner, in their newly furnished guest suite. I have to say it was quite lovely and I had one of the best nights of sleep in a while thanks to the cool, clean mountain air. Before making me slave away setting some tiles in the master bathroom, we brunched on some delicious banana, nut pancakes and drank a multitude of espresso drinks.

The problem we set out to solve was exaggerated below for blogging purposes.

In all reality, there wasn't that much damage to the drywall on the window sill in the master bathroom, but moisture does condensate on the window and accumulate on the sill below. We cut away the offending drywall and paused for some espresso.

We then set a piece of WonderBoard, canted properly so water would not accumulate on the sill in the future, yet not so severely that plants could not have a home sitting in the window. After another shot of espresso, we got to tiling.

Fine work was done by all. Joey will be on his own for grouting and caulking, but he'll do just fine. The new tile sill should last for years to come and should be a bit more resistant to moisture than textured drywall.

After a couple more shots of espresso (there was a theme to the morning) we got out for a ride. I hate you Joey Brenner.

We didn't ride for all that long and there wasn't that much climbing, but it was enough to hurt each other, especially with the wind. That was my weekend . . .

Friday, April 25, 2008

Looking Forward to Deer Turd

Looking for change and excitement? Head to Deer Trail, CO, it is ripe with history, mystery, adventure, and fun . . . or something like that. I haven't spent much time in town per se, but I have passed through a couple times. Read the town's history, it is interesting to know that a cemetery was platted at the same time as the town.

Despite the Deer Trail race being "pre-reg" only, the promoter has decided to open the afternoon groups for race day registration as well with a small fee for this convenience. When I show up tomorrow and the wind is blowing at hurricane force, adding to the cold and possible rain from the forecast, you can be sure I will be cursing the promoter for duping us with the pre-reg only ruse. While I suspect there was no dishonesty intended, money is a powerful motivator.

Predicted race conditions are actually pretty typical for Deer Trail. I remember one year hearing the tornado siren going off at the start line while we were getting our instructions from the race official. We got sleeted on for a little bit, followed by some rain, and then it cleared up. I guess the wind is good for something. The race is usually won and lost in the crosswind sections since the headwind and tailwind bits tend to stay together. It is when you really have to fight for a draft, in the gutter, that the field starts coming apart.

Pinkerton and I got some practice in the wind yesterday, he on the TT bike, me on the road bike. The plan was to head out to Lookout, blast up it, and head home before it got dark. The wind had other plans for us. We fought our way out west, started up the extra credit loop in the neighborhood at the base of Lookout, decided 30 mile an hour wind combined with slow speeds of climbing wouldn't be all that entertaining so we put up the spinnaker and coasted home at a good clip.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cherry Creek Finally

For the first time this year, it wasn't snowing and/or raining and freezing cold for the Wednesday evening Cherry Creek Time Trial. I drove out knowing that I would actually be racing (punctuated by the fact that I picked up the standard three shots of espresso to be consumed 40 minutes prior to my start time) instead of looking at the thermometer, turning around and going home!

Mike has been doing a good job with the coaching and what not as of late and I didn't have the same "off" sensations I had last year at the start of the series. Last year, I felt like I was struggling to get on top of the gears and was nowhere near as fast as prior years. Last night, I felt fast from the start and pushing the 55x11 was no problem. I got stuck behind three cars after the first few bends in the road and actually had to sit up and brake because they were hugging the shoulder so tightly. Approaching the one roller on the course, I tried to back off a hair, attack the "climb", and get back into the big gear as quickly as possible. I could have gone much, much faster on the turn around, I think I heard Dennis laughing when he passed me on that part. There might have been a slight headwind for the final section, but I just tried to keep my rhythm and plow through to the finish.

According to the course is approximately 10.65 miles. I beat my best time by seven seconds, turning a 21:46.31 according to the results, which would be an average speed of 29.35 MPH . . . I'll take it. The goal now is to get below 21:30.
Back at the ranch, the fence project started yesterday. According to Todd from No Hassle Fence, there were 2-3 fences built in the past, resulting in multiple chunks of concrete that had to be removed prior to setting the new posts. I'm glad I decided to pay somebody to do this project. I should have a completed fence by the weekend.

It might be time to have another fire themed party in the back yard . . . speaking of parties, Gwyn (of JD and Gwyn) and I (Deb is in the mix too) have decided to host a party for Kentucky Derby 134 on May 3. Get out your drinking hat and your Mint Julep cup!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


No, seriously . . . if you look in the front corner of the house on the left hand side of the picture, you can see a guy working. I think you can even see the blur of a hammer.

It will be interesting to see what this duplex shapes up to be, but it doesn't look like the usual monsterous blob. In fact, it looks rather small compared to the other projects in the neighborhood. It is missing the usual, random step-ins and bump-outs in the side elevations that are de rigueur for new duplexes in old neighborhoods.

On a side note, Dempsey has a lumpy head, I think he is part T-Rex which would explain his mood swings, but he sure is cute.

If you look closely in the background, you can see the second net on the courts is down. Dempsey tried to jump the net to fetch the tennis ball, missed, and took the whole thing down with him.

Pajama Baking Company now has signs. There are piles of boxes inside, some display cases set up, and some shelving with a pretty minimal stock right now. I can't wait for this place to open, they need to get a move on! Especially in light of this article . . .

This block of Old South Pearl Street is just about all storefront, garage door opening-ed out. Between PBC and The Crushery which seems to have customers on occasion (after my first experience there I have been hesitant to make use of the free sandwich coupon I have . . . uhhhhh), somebody is bound to make a mistake and try to drive through.

If the part about Dempsey taking down the net were true, it would be really funny.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Only in Boulder

Well not really just in crazy, wacky Boulder, CO anymore . . . I came across this one in the WSJ this morning. Now mind you when I read this article without the added video below, I pictured Mr. Nash as more of a wizened, elderly school bus driver, rather than Otto Mann from the Simpsons.

Given that it is Boulder, I should have known better.

Every town has its share of odd ducks, but college towns seem to carry more than their fair share. Even Chapel Hill has always been somewhat of an exception to the North Carolina cultural rules.

It has been a while since I have given a progress update for the job across the street from me. It is going slowly still since they have the smallest framing crew in the history of time. There are two guys with a saw and a nail gun plugging away, building walls at their own pace. As of yesterday afternoon they had the first floor exterior walls standing, ready for the top plate and maybe the start of a second floor.

I will have my own little construction project getting started the last half of this week in the backyard. The fence between me and my neighbor's yard (the last segment in the backyard to be replaced) has failed the test of time. Part of it fell down a week or so ago due to rotten posts. The remainder is questionable at best so I decided to bring somebody in to get the old fence out and a new one in. Usually I'd just do it myself, but I don't feel like getting the material to my house nor do I feel like setting 5-7 fence posts.

And now for the weather . . . for once, the forecast is dry for a Wednesday afternoon/evening. I think I might make it out to Cherry Creek to race tomorrow!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Weekend at Home

. . . the other home, the one in NC I mean. Deb and I headed back home to celebrate the start of Passover with most of the family. We also took a moment to wish the mother a happy, belated birthday and take her out for a lovely dinner at Piedmont. I was impressed with the progress in downtown Durham, NC around the "new" ballpark. It seems like it has taken forever for revitalization to get going despite the money being pumped that direction. Back in the day, there was very little reason to head that direction, now it looks much more inviting.

We also made the requisite pilgramage to Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. I did some research for when it comes time to open the Denver branch of SBK. Pricing and menu have changed a little bit and they took out the old school wooden sign on the side of the building and replaced it with a printed menu, tacked up to a cork board on the other side of the building.

From what I hear, the ownership has changed a couple times since I was last home and the biscuits aren't as good as they once were, but the building is still the same. I'm not sure how they even fit all four employees in the shack at once and I can't even imagine how hot it gets in there with the oven at 425 degrees.

This trip marked the end of an era, one that started back when I was four years old, maybe even younger. I give you exhibit A, the suitcase:

I decided to finally retire it and leave it where it came from, the upstairs closet in my childhood home. I give you exhibit b, its replacement:

Just as goofy in size and scale, but a little better in its construction. I don't need wheels on my suitcase, just something that is the right size for a two to four day trip, that can be thrown in the overhead storage on any normal airplane. Deb threatened to buy a Dora the Explorer suitcase for me, fortunately I found something passable that should get me through the next 28 years.

Despite it being the world's fastest trip back east, I was able to see a bunch of people I had not seen in forever. Next time I am staying longer than a day and random fractions of the two days surrounding it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

NC Inspired

Thanks to Bil for the inspiration this morning. It might have been the simple mention of a location in North Carolina or the fact that I am going home for the weekend, but I decided to make a mixtape of artists hailing from North Cackalacky. It is by no means exhaustive, if you take a look at the list of music folk originally from the state, you'll be amazed. Thanks to Les for filling in some gaps on the current NC music scene.

Last night was another Cherry Creek Time Trial that I did not take part in. As I watched the thermometer in the car drop to 36 degrees on the way home from work I decided a trainer ride would be a much better idea than subjection myself to such conditions. There's always next Wednesday, or the next four after it if the weather pattern keeps it up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

KHMTT (CCTT) Attempt #2

Regardless of the weather this afternoon (unless of course they cancel the event) I'll be racing. I took one for the team yesterday under the assumption that the harder I rode last night, the less likely it would be to snow today. We'll see how that goes.

Pinkerton and I fought the wind all the way down to Meridian last night instead of braving the 46 MPH gusts out west. It was one of those nights where it felt like the wind was coming from all directions. We got down there in time to see the group passing by on what turned out to be lap 2, so we spun around easily and joined in at the top of the hill.

I had planned on sitting in for a little bit and then putting in a couple of efforts but watching the squirrels at Meridian was a lot more fear inspiring than watching people bumping in the P/1/2 race on Sunday. I not saying that peop . . . wait, yes I'll say it. A good number of people out there don't know how to handle their bikes as demonstrated by the dude we watched go from upright and pedaling to lying in the grass in 2.2 seconds. Fortunately he was alone, going uphill which makes him stacking it up even more incredible, but kept it safe for all of those who were nowhere near him. So as soon as the first duo got a respectable gap I decided to join them with Brian Krombein in tow. We rode straight through and kept motoring until a group with Pinkerton had separated themselves from the chaff. I sat at the back until the small group made the bridge and then we started motoring again. All in all it was better riding around as a group of six, to be whittled down as the laps went by.

In real cycling news:

Professional cycling fans will get their wish after all: Rock Racing will be a part of the 2008 Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T after reaching a settlement with race organiser, Medalist Sports, LLC.

First off, how much money changed hands between Rock, Saunier Duval-Scott, and Medalist? Secondly, does Michael Ball know he's an ass-basket, what "professional cycling fan" really wanted to see Rocks Racing in Georgia. I think he and his publicity team confused that desire with cycling fans wanting to see credibility reestablished in the sport after years of repeated doping scandal. So if we fans send another flood of emails, calls, etc. demanding the return of Cipo to the team will Mr. Ball eat crow to please the professional cycling fans?

Back to more important things . . . crap, crap, crappity crap, crap!

The cardboard box may have been the item of highest value in the deal.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Not Even Funny

Riiiiiiiiiight . . . I've left that one as a dynamic link so it shows the current forecast. I can only hope that it gets better as Wednesday approaches. This is just dumb, it was supposed to be warm and nice for Cherry Creek this week, just the other day they were talking in the 70s.

At the end of last week my Bag o' Crap showed up and boy was it crappy. So crappy I haven't even bothered to take pictures. I brought it to work with the though of showing it to everybody who was interested and then throwing it in the dumpster. It included the following:

- 1 Medical Play Set (full of plastic choking hazards, even said so on the package)
- 5 canvas wine totes (these might be sort of useful
- 2 electronic sudoku games (my parents might like one)
- 1 mp3 player/radio pillow, yeah . . .

Pictures to follow I guess. The pistachios showed up yesterday and they are mighty good. I can't recommend Fiddyment Farm Pistachios enthusiastically enough. They are far more fresh than anything you get at the store. The only thing I couldn't figure out was their pricing. How is it that you can get 5 x 5 lbs prepackaged for less than 25 lbs bulk?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Racing Report - 4/12 & 4/13

Somebody mentioned on Friday that a bunch of the Boulder based pros were using this weekend's events as a tune up for Tour of Georgia. That always makes for an amusing weekend of racing and amusing it was.

Saturday was the Haystack Mountain Time Trial, no real mountain involved, just some rolling roads and a good dose of wind. I stuck with my usual routine of warming up at home on the trainer and rolling out to the race venue with enough time to sign in and put in a few quick efforts to get to where I need to be just prior to the start. I'm still perfecting the timing on it all, but seems to be working decently so far.

There was a cross/headwind for the start of the race with a couple slight inclines to get over before turning east and cruising downhill, with a tailwind. Nothing like being completely spun out in the 55-11 (read: big gear) of course realizing that the last part of the course which is a false flat anyways was going to be into the wind took all of the joy out of that. I tried to stay on top of the biggest gear possible for the last section and pretty much blew up coming into the line which is as good a place as any. I guess this was the first official ride on the new time trial bike with disc and all. The tires didn't fall off and the bike felt fast I guess. Good enough for 10th place. Glancing at the top 10 . . .

There are three of us who aren't getting paid by somebody pro cyclists (or junior world champions) in that list. My goal was to make the top 10, done and done.

Sunday was another exercise in silly racing for me. I spent too much time too far forward in the group. There were several failed bridge attempts made by myself after the break was established and then a completely punted opportunity at the end of the race to get in front of the field sprint in the last lap. I finished with all of my skin, but not too much else worth mentioning. Kudos to Scott for doing the double yesterday and racing both 35+ and P/1/2. Hopefully we'll have more opportunities to race together throughout the season.

Having skipped Cherry Creek Time Trials last week due to weather, I am hoping to get out there this week, but the forecast isn't cooperating as well as I'd like. I can only hope that it changes multiple times between now and then to something more favorable.

Friday, April 11, 2008

In the Mix

I decided to give the KitchenAid its first test run last night with a batch of Oatmeal Craisin White Chocolate Chip cookies. I think the dough could have used a little more flour, the first batch was a little bit loose, but tasty nonetheless. I baked seven cookies and have the rest of the dough chilling in the fridge to be baked on an "as needed basis" in the toaster oven.

Even better, I didn't realize at the time of purchase last week, but there is a rebate for a free ice cream maker attachment, bonanza! Cycling will soon be forgotten and all of my time will be spent cooking and eating.

I came across this gem in the WSJ this morning and nearly choked on my coffee while reading, drinking and laughing all at the same time. I have heard tales of MC Hammer's generosity towards his 200+ member "team" . . . wow, people are dumb.

Prep for weekend racing continues as the week comes to a close. It looks like wind is in the forecast for tomorrow's time trial which should work out well for maximizing suffering. I have only ridden one time trial previously with a disc so I should get some good practice over the course of the season as I get ready for Worlds in August.

Music for a Friday, take your pick . . .

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What the Duck?

Sometimes you start down the path of "plan A" and have to go to "plan B" because of circumstance. I got home from work yesterday afternoon, took Dempsey out to play, and noticed that the rain coming down was quite cold. I got on the trainer anyways and started my usual warm up routine for any sort of time trial effort. Somewhere mid warm up, I noticed it was sleeting outside. The rain let up a little bit as I packed the bike into the car, but resumed on the drive out to Cherry Creek. It stopped raining when I got out to Cherry Creek, long enough for me to help Bret Hunter pin numbers on his kids (go visit Bret at Sports Optical and find out the latest). Walking over to pick up my number it started raining again.

Kudos to those who raced yesterday afternoon, I did not. I hopped into Joe Brenner's car which was close to registration and warm. I rolled down the window a crack when I saw Alex and Duane roll past to find out how it was, it sounded cold.

By far the best story I have heard came from Shawnee Brenner who said she almost hit a duck out on course to which her response was, "what the duck?" The encounter was described as two innocent ducks out on a date, looking for spring time love, when all of a sudden . . . no lives or feathers were lost in this story. I'll head back out next week, hopefully with better weather.

As predicted by the UPS tracking system, my mixer was sitting on the porch for me yesterday afternoon. It hasn't come out of the box yet, but it should look exactly like this:

Time to get baking, favorite recipes gladly accepted.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Speak of the Devil

There have been a few instances of happenstance as of late, the kind that make you scratch your head and say, "Huh . . ." Just a couple weeks ago Deb was talking about going to the mountaineering museum in Golden and this morning there was an article in the WSJ about it. I think I'll wait for others to visit the museum first and report back.

Due to the relative economic doom and gloom highlighted daily in the paper, I usually flip to the Personal Journal section first for my morning read and then fill in the reality gaps after. There was another article this morning that caught my eye about the rising value of old tractors. The "artist" son of the crazy landlady I had in Germany bought an old Porsche tractor at an auction one day and left it in the driveway thereafter.

It is impossible to tell from Google's satellite images if the tractor is there or not, but it would be under the red tree. If you scroll around a bit you can see what a great location I had. Our 3rd floor balcony had a great view of the sunsets behind the Vosges Mountains across the border in France.

In other exciting news, I should have all sorts of packages waiting for me at home today. Based on the tracking information, the Bag o' Crap has hit town as have my other gifts to myself. Nothing like buying stuff for yourself so you have packages waiting for you on the front porch!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Must be Time for Cherry Creek

A quick glance at the weather, perfectly nice every day except Wednesday . . . not so much this week, but you get the idea. Search back to this time last year and I'm sure you'll find the same post somewhere within the first few weeks of the time trial series.

Tires are glues, bike is adjusted for the most part. I still need to cut the bars a little bit but I'll wait until I figure out where my hand fall when I'm riding. I have to switch out the brake pads, but other than that, I'm ready to go. Now to find that time trial helmet before tomorrow . . .

Monday, April 7, 2008

Inauspicious Beginnings

It turns out I did manage to pre-register for Koppenberg which means I owe the postal service $.02 for still delivering the envelope. I planned on racing anyways since it was the first BAR/BAT race of the season and it seemed like a decent thing to do despite all dread prior.

I knew what to expect from having ridden the course a couple weeks back. The bit of moisture we had between the first attempt at holding the race and yesterday did little to the road except make it slightly more choppy in places. The upper section after the climb was still really loose and gravelly, of course towards the gutter, the only place you could get a decent draft off of anybody in front of you.

The start was mellower than I remember it being as a cat 3 and I managed not only to get into my pedals, but also avoided those who almost crashed in the process. I was sitting reasonably well mid pack when we hit the dirt, but wanted to move up before the hill for fear of having to run it if anybody came to a standstill. As the pack slowed prior to the hill, I managed to make it pretty much to the front, giving me the ability to pick a decent line and make it up the hill with minimal effort. At the top I tried to catch onto a wheel as quickly as possible and get a decent draft across the top, the first mistake of many.

I followed wheels on the back side of the course and found myself a few meters off the front with Phil Zajicek, but nothing doing. As we hit the dirt for the second lap I was looking to drift back a bit and get out of the wind when Ivan Stevic rolled away from everybody. Of the many courses of action possible at that point, I picked the worst, the one that involved me thinking to myself, "Hmmm, there goes the race."

From that point forward I didn't do a very good job of following wheels that should have been followed. I picked some bad lines going up the hill, wasted efforts trying to ride in the gutter as opposed to just taking a decent line at the top in the wind, and then worst of all, just gave up. I let a gap open up, in whatever group I was in at that point, at the top of the hill on lap 5, chased for a lap and a half before calling it quits as I turned into the wind on the dirt going into lap 7.

I could have had a better effort for the first race of the season, but plenty more racing to be come.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Usually people accuse Dick Vitale of being biased towards Duke, but at least he calls a halfway decent game while being as annoying as he is. I have never heard a commentating crew show more favoritism towards one team than Billy Packer and Jim Nantz did towards Kansas in Saturday's game. Mr. Packer and Mr. Nantz went to an interesting extreme given their geographic backgrounds (check out their bios linked above). Kansas took it to Carolina early and hard, they deserve credit for playing a great game despite almost blowing it. Oh well, there's always next year as long as the entire team doesn't enter the NBA draft.

Today marked the beginning of the racing season for me with the Lookout Mountain Hill Climb (click the link to see the map and elevation gain). I haven't seen the results yet but since it was an individual time trial, the race against the clock, I'm going to say I beat the clock, it quit before I did.

My rough guess on my time is approximately 19:17 which is somewhere around my personal best, bettering my time of 19:28 from last year's mass start event, which I also treated somewhat like a time trial, drilling it on the early part and then letting Kevin do his thing. Speaking of, Kevin showed good form today, posting a 17:20 or so. I think I want to "retire" too!

Koppenberg is on the slate for tomorrow unless it randomly starts raining in which case I will go back to Golden and race the circuit race around the School of Mimes campus.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Quittin' Time

It was quitting time a while back, mentally at least. Here's something for the weekend:


Over the last couple of week, I could have sworn that I heard the distinctive sound of a rooster somewhere on the 1600 south block of Pearl Street. The little red rooster was not too lazy to crow the day, contrary to the old blues song covered by the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, Eric Clapton, and many others. Who has a rooster in the middle of a neighborhood? The video below probably more accurately reflects the sentiment of the neighbors when it comes to their unwanted, natural alarm clock.

I had the pleasure of doing my monthly fitness test down at the Echelon Sports Performance labs yesterday afternoon. My power output at threshold is now at a level where I have decided to stop racing. Instead of registering and getting out there, I am going to calculate my "results" based on topography, environmental conditions, and my test numbers. I should be able to let you know how my season "went" by the end of the day.

Tomorrow is the first race day of the rest of my life. I am registered for the Lookout Mountain Hillclimb, the individual time trial edition. I get to race against the clock and then compare results with some guys who go really fast uphill. The glue job on the light wheels is curing and should be ready for the test spin this afternoon.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

If You Say So

I want to take my hat off to the promoter of the Koppenberg race for putting in efforts required to get his race rescheduled. Then I want beat him about the head and face with said hat for putting in the effort knowing full well that the forecast for the second half of this week called for rain and/or snow. The race was postponed originally because of wet roads turning to impassable muck (see the 3/30/08 post) created by a light dusting of snow, not a full day of precipitation.

I will have to do some day of race decision making (it would help if I knew if my pre-registration made it in) on Sunday. Sloppenberg or School of Mimes? What I was really hoping for was that Koppenberg would be rescheduled for 4/20 when I will be out of town anyways. Having a valid excuse not to do the race would be ideal!

There was more action this morning across the street, but I didn't get pictures for fear of freaking out the excavator prepping to dig for the water service lateral, most likely without a street closure permit. Many contractors will simply put the signs out there without paying the city closure fees. Given that the city inspectors are so busy all over town, I can't say I blame them for trying to save a few bucks here or there.

Nice day we're having here . . . I wonder what Dempsey is doing.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fools

What a bust yesterday was. There weren't any really good gags going on out there. Google's "Custom Time" was so dumb, I clicked the link, registered that it was a "gag" and "meant to be funny" but lost interest after about the second line of text.

Probably the best one was what Woot with the fake woot-off where each new item was the same Black and Decker Battery Backup with different pictures and different descriptions. Scroll through the Woot Blog and check it out, good work on their part.

Even better is the fact that they had Bags of Crap interspersed and I was lucky enough to get my hands on some. I can't wait to see what kind of crap I get. Random Bags of Crap you say? Yes and usually in some sort of bag, picture as soon as the crap shows up.

Somebody hurry! Add some excitement to my life, please!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I got the gluing operation fired up again last night to get a start on the remaining wheels just lying around. The living room has resumed its bike shop status with multiple bikes and wheels providing the dust bunnies and Dempsey hair drifts with safe harbor and shelter from the vacuum cleaner.

This gluing session went much more quickly than the last as I decided to just don the rubber gloves and use a purple, nitrile coated index finger to spread the glue along the tires and rims.

In other news, the duplex across the street from me is progressing slowly. I think by the time they finish construction the housing market slump will be over. They rolled out the floor and should be dropping some stairs into the basement. By my schedule they are weeks behind now! I'd provide some pictures, but all there is to see right now are some sheets of plywood on top of floor joists.

I continue to ponder and explore my next building project, a garage at the back alley so I will no longer have to subject my car the the whims of drivers on the street. The front runner for design these days is something like this:

Of course at my house, you'd never have such a vantage point and the tree is more like a utility pole in the alley. I'd also go to one 16' garage door to keep costs down. Anybody want to finance this project?