Saturday, December 30, 2006

That's my girl

What a joy. After one whole day with the entire family at home I’m just overwhelmed with happiness. So far sleeping is at a premium for Erin and I, but at this point I don’t even care. Talk to me in a week, maybe I’ll have a different story.

Today we had a couple visits but it was just another day to get our feet under us and get to know our daughter a little more. She’s a cutie. One more sign she’s a Kessel thru and thru; she likes to fart. I hope when she’s older she doesn’t mind me saying that. Sorry Haley.

I have to thank everyone again for the gifts and cards and well wishes. Thank you.

30 minutes old Haley says hello to Dad

Friday, December 29, 2006

Welcome Home

Haley checkin' out her new digs

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Drum roll please


Haley Catherine Kessel - 45 minutes old and wondering what the hell just happened

Haley was born at 4:18AM on December 27th. Everyone is recovering from a long night and doing great. More later. Thanks to all the well wishers.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Hope everyone had a great Christmas. Nothing yet. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Just a little while longer....

Nothing yet but contraction type things are happening, just very far apart. Maybe this weekend? The probability of a Xmas baby is looking very strong. I've caught a few episodes of this show on MTV called Rob & Big. I don't normally watch MTV but I certainly do channel surf a great deal. So a couple days ago I was flipping channels and I don't know why I stopped but I did and low and behold, Rob & Big. I won't bore you with details. It's pretty funny. Not in a Jackass kinda way but in a you-couldn't-find-two-more-unlikely-friends kinda way. Worth it. Elf tonight. Yes.
All I have to do is wait

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Still Waiting

The Wifey had a doctor’s appointment Monday and things are still looking very good. The right things are starting to happen which gives us the impression that it could be any day now. The due date is officially one week from today.

While I’m off work and waiting for big things to happen I pretty much don’t have much else to do but wait. So I’ve been putting in some good miles on the fixie. Since last Friday I’ve pedaled just about 115 miles. Today I got out with Hebe for 90 minutes of fun. We pedaled out to Carlisle to drop something off at Really Fast Young Dude’s house and then back into Camp Hill. Good ride. We had a nice tailwind coming back in which isn’t necessarily a great thing if you only have one gear and it ain’t the right one. But it wasn’t too bad really. I enjoyed it.

Puerto Nuevo looking south towards Ensenada

I was digging through my desk Monday trying to clean out some clutter. I was looking for a picture of a sunset I took a few years ago in Mexico. I didn’t find the picture I was looking for but I did find another that I’ve always loved. It’s from the same town in Mex but on a different trip. Puerto Nuevo, think about the best lobster you’ve ever eaten and I guarantee you the lobster here is better. Plus all the fresh tortillas, rice and refried beans you can shove. Hard to beat it. Anyway, why it’s relevant is because I just read that everyone’s favorite real estate developer, The Donald, has decided to build a mega-plex just a few miles north of where this pic was taken. I only hope that the quaintness of this cool little fishing village isn’t lost by the oncoming development.

How many days until Charm City CX?

Friday, December 15, 2006

CX Nationals

Sometimes words just can't describe how happy I am. I just got off the phone with The Legend directly from Providence, RI. His race was today and he pulled off a 10th place in the 40-44 age group. He's stoked. I'm super happy for him. In an age group that no doubt has former national champions among the 150+ racers in the field, 10th freakin place!! Legendary! Nice job Mike.

Sounds like the rest of the MAC is doing quite well today. Leech won his age group. SSWes was 11th in the same race. That's got to be the hardest age group and Flyin Ryan takes it in a sprint. Sweet.

I wish I was there. But, more important things need to be looked after here.

Not Yet

My favorite tree ornament

Monday, December 11, 2006

Xmas with The Griswolds

Saturday after work Erin’s parents came over to watch my favorite xmas movie. In my opinion xmas doesn’t officially kick off until this movie is viewed. Somehow, last year I was left out of the Christmas Vacation festivities. I wasn’t happy about it. I wasn’t going to miss it again. Good times. Another modern favorite is Elf. Maybe we’ll watch that one this coming weekend.

Sunday we met my sister and little nephew, DJ, for some breakfast at The Crapper Barrel. I typically hate this place. I have always found that you either have to eat something before you get there or you’ll leave hungry OR you have to spend twice as much to buy two entrees to ensure you leave satisfied. At any rate, yesterday it seemed like the menu had changed because I had no problems finding adequate foodage. Pancakes with apple slurry piled on top with scrambled eggs and a couple turkey sausages. Not bad.

I got out for a tad over an hour in the afternoon on my new fixie sled. It was a good ride. Awesome weather! I’ll take this for the next 3 months. The fixie is hard in spots and maybe a bit easy in spots. I may tinker with the gearing a bit to see if that changes anything.

Sunday evening was the first of two Williams xmas gatherings at Erin’s parents house. Yesterday was her mom’s side of the family. Friday will be her dad’s side. We just saw most of these folks at Erin’s grandparents house at Thanksgiving. The grub was fantastic. It’s always great to go out for a ride then immediately have a spread of food to wolf down.

I have one week of work left until I’m done for the year. Erin is 17 days from the big due-date. Almost there.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Check this out

Inside joke. This was dinner tonight. BBQ Chicken pizza pizza pie. Throw in some portabellas and some red bell peppers and there you have it. Yummm.

My Fixie

All I needed to make the new commuter sled complete was a healthy dose of the orangest bar tape I could find. Viola! It lacks the menace of black but oozes flair that says F-you anyway. I still have a cold. I'm getting grumpier everyday I can't shake it. Plus the weather forecast has the word snow in it. Which, by nature, pisses me off. Enjoy the day.

Fun bike!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Summers Eve

I’m not sure how far I’ll make it into this post. I've got that "not-so-fresh feeling". Saturday afternoon at work I started to get that slight little sore throat thing that usually is a harbinger of bad shit on the way. Sure enough, I slept like crap Saturday night and felt crappier when I woke up Sunday morning. I spent the entire day laying on the couch feeling miserable. I never set foot into the great outdoors even though it was a nice day. Sucked.

Sunday night I took some super knock-out drugs. I didn’t care what drugs I took, all I wanted was to sleep. That plan went so-so. Actually I did sleep well, I just still felt like crap when I woke up again. I hate calling in sick or taking time off work. It doesn’t really make me feel better lying around the house all day. So I went to work with a throbbing congested head. I hung in until around 3:30pm when I just needed to close my eyes and get off my feet. Something not real plausibly done at the bike shop. I had enough. I came home and took a nap. I think I’m beginning to feel better. I just took more knock-out drugs so that I might be able to sleep well again. Hopefully tomorrow morning it’ll all be a thing of the past.

Sunday was the final CX race of the season not called Nationals. I’ve heard so many good things about Reston. The further I get from the last race I did the more bummed I get about my season. How I wanted to do this, that, and the other thing and instead I got that, this , and something entirely different. I remember after Charm City how I was disappointed with a 20th place. Turns out that was a hell of a result against a pretty stacked field. Instead of building on that result I became slothful. It all snowballed from there and that was that. I haven’t raced since LA and is it fair to say I’m counting the days until next season? I know there’s quite a few of them but I think I can learn something from the crap I doled out this season.

Anyone notice The Legend is on fire? He’s been racing up front the past couple races and best of all he’s got a front row start spot at Natz in the 40-44 age group. Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of the weather he saw in last years race. Good luck man. Good luck to all my CX friends racing up in RI. I hope the MAC represents well.

Speaking of friends. VisitPA Ray is linked up and on board. Check out his blog. Once the MTB season kicks off I’m sure you’ll get a good perspective from the off-road scene. Plus if something funny happens at Holmes and I fail to mention it I’m sure he will.

I made the 5500 a fixed single speeder and rode it into work Saturday. I almost killed myself only once. I think it’ll work just fine. It’s actually a pretty sweet bike considering most of the parts I used to throw it together, including the frame & fork, were an afterthought. Ray is working on one as well.

In my foggy-headed haze today I smashed the hell out of my thumb. Dumbass.

I think I need a beer. I think this is what I’ll get myself. Mmmmmm, beer.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


In keeping with tradition, the first Sunday after Thanksgiving is our day to snag ourselves a xmas tree. Mission accomplished. We went to a tree farm a half a mile away and sawed a nice 6 footer down. It looks real nice. The Wifey does a great job of making it look sweet. I have zero decorative skill so I pretty much stay away for that bit.

We had two turkey feasts. Erin’s grandparents on Thanksgiving and we made our own bird on Sunday. It was our free turkey from Weis for spending all our money there. I always use the Alton Brown method of cooking. If you’re a fan of the Food Network then you have to be a fan of Good Eats. I love that show. Anyway, our turkey was perfectly juicy. Very yummy.

I’m still having a tough time believing it’s actually a week beyond thanksgiving already when I feel like it still should be a week or so until Halloween. Crazy how fast time is rolling by. Little Jr’s due-date is just 4 weeks away now. I think the panic of not being ready for a child will soon grip me.

In the past two days I have delivered a home gym to Williamsport and Mifflinburg. In the parlance of The Kenny, “That works”. Nothing beats getting to leave the shop for most of the day. Tuesday I was on my own and Wednesday I was assisted by KHam. Kyle is having girl issues. Not like I’m the Love Dr or anything. Somewhere, somehow, Fred is channeling his superpowers from the great unknown on the female subject……maybe I can offer young Hammaker some advice.

I haven’t spoke of any hockey lately. Maybe because I’m still disgusted by how the Flyers have started the season. They’ve played better of late so it’s not unthinkable to see them make the playoffs but, really, what would another first round thumping prove? Get rid of the slow blue-liners (Hebe. What’s a blue-liner?) and let these young guys gel a little more and I think they’ll be just fine.

The Phillies missed out on a couple big bats but I think they need to worry about pitching more-so than anything else. They scored an assload of runs last year but also gave up an assload. One good starter and some better set-up relievers in the bully should do the trick.

I keep forgetting to mention how cool it was to see the younger Hebe completing his first ‘cross race. Way-to-go Eric! Should we look forward to trading paint in the B’s next year?

My plan for winter commuting was centered around a bike that I found out is not available until mid-January. It’s a single speed ‘cross bike. I want to try this fixed gear thing just to see what the buzz is all about. Well, being that I can’t get one for a while, I went to Plan B. Working in a bike shop for such a long time has it’s plus side when it comes to junk in the garage. Last year a customer came in with a Trek 5500 that he crashed. He blew out the fork and had just a smidge of underside headtube damage. I ordered him a crash replacement frame & fork and sent him on his way. Upon futher inspection the headtube damage isn’t really all that severe considering the sturdy alloy cups placed inside. So I kept the frame and hung it in the garage. Until now. I bought a matching Trek fork on ebay and dusted off the rest of the parts I needed to throw together a nice little single speeder. I ordered a fixed cog which should arrive today.

So far I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s definitely harder than a geared bike and I haven’t even made it fixed yet. Should be fun.

Pictures @ 11. L8

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Karl Hungus

I had a good weekend. From what I gather from the MAC CX races this weekend were a tad on the muddy side. I can’t say that I’m disappointed that I didn’t race.

Instead I spent some productive time shopping on Saturday and then some productive time in the garage Sunday.

The Wifey and I started Saturday off with a visit to Cornerstone. I rode for a little over an hour then met her there. After coffee/tea we went over to Colonial Park for a little shopping. My shopping list for this xmas is a new digital camera and a new digital camcorder. We don’t want to miss anything once Little Jr arrives. So, I went to Circuit City and had a sales lackey run down the plusses and minuses. Now I know exactly what I want, I just need to wait until the sales start rolling fast and furious to get some good deals.

After shopping we went home and watched a good football game. Ohio State v Michigan was every bit as good as advertised. Although I disagree with a rematch unless SoCal or Florida takes a shit in the next couple weeks.

Sunday would be my day to get out and ride but I’ll be damned if I just didn’t feel like it. So I didn’t and felt good about it. I was in the garage figuring out some bike things. I need to move some product. At one point yesterday I had three bare frames hanging from hooks. I think I have it figured out now but I’m still not 100% sure. I want to get a new bike, heavily modified of course, for the purpose of commuting so it’s a matter of deciding what goes and how it goes; complete or frame & fork?

Short work week. I get a four day weekend coming up. If I do anything for PA States on Saturday it will be in a spectator capacity. Probably not even that. Sorry Zach.

Most likely I will spend Saturday whipping up one of our two free turkeys for a triptophan-fest Saturday eve. Aaahhh yes, that’s what I’m talking about.

I was laughing my ass off at all the Lebowski references in the MAC email list over the weekend. I wonder how many people have no idea WTF was being referenced? It seemed like more than a couple. Best movie ever.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ouch! Again

Thanks to Gina Harshman for capturing these fantastic photos of me busting out my latest Break dancing maneuvers mid -race.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Frenchy Fuqua

I’ve waited to tell my Lower Allen story mainly to let my disappointment subside. I wanted to do well, just like any and every week, but, considering this is my hometown race held just 2.5 miles from my front door, this one was a bitter pill to swallow.

No points = no call-up. No worries. Only 50(??!!) B’s showed up so starting up front would have helped but not near as much as an 80 or 90 field like we saw at Charm and Granogue. Last year I started at least 50 deep and just picked dudes off all race long to finish 14th. Not a bad plan to stick with this year. I had a good start. I tucked in and followed The Really Fast Young Dude’s wheel for the first lap. Not a bad place to be. There wasn’t a ton of separation after one lap.

Lap two after the barriers on the way over to the pits two dudes in front of me were side-by-side and both bobbled and slowed opening a gap between the two. I darted through them, aggressively but certainly not in a dirty fashion. One of the riders thought I wronged him in some way and sprinted to catch me and proceeded to tell me, in these exact words; “I will beat the F-ing shit out of you if you ever touch me again! I don’t care if we’re racing or not!” OK. Keep in mind we’re in the second lap battling for 25th spot in a weekend B cyclocross race. He rode for Wissahickon. I don’t know for certain who it was but I know it wasn’t Chris, Adam, or Eric. Whatever. It was pretty much the most ignorant thing I’ve ever had spoken to me. I wanted to confront the dude after the race but with that kind of anger you never know what sort of shiv he could have wielded at me. Whatever.

Anyway, half a lap later in one of the zig-zaggy off-camber turns a different dude crashed immediately in front of me. I was setting up to pass him so I was probably closer to him than I should have been. He lost his edge and I went down and ran over him and then his bike which separated me from my bike in a flying sort of fashion only to land chest first on his now vertical facing front wheel. It knocked the air right out of me. You couldn’t have placed that wheel in a more perfect spot to do exactly what it did. I could only lay there and try to collect myself. I could barely move. I heard some grumpy racers trying get through yelling about blocking the way but I was pretty dazed. It seemed like minutes but I got up and checked myself and then my bike and got going again and realized that I could still catch some people but after a lap of riding around I was just totally out of it.

This is the first time I dropped out of a race. Made especially hard by the fact that this was the first race my Mom and little nephew DJ have attended and the countless other family and friends showing up to cheer. I was pretty bummed. All I have to show for it is a bruise on my chest about a foot long in the perfect shape of a CX tire. I guess we all have days like this, I just wish mine could have been somewhere else.

The Elite race was as good as I thought. I caught up with Matt beforehand to chit chat. I met him up at Serotta back in March. He mentioned that he’s selling his bike shop to concentrate fully on racing. Interesting to hear a 23 year old say he’s selling his business to race bikes full time. I hope he does well. He had decent results on the road this season and is certainly doing well this fall. 3rd place at LA and another win at HP following his win last weekend up in New England.

Leech had a nice race. Nate was pretty happy. Horner is funny to watch. Totally cruising and then gets to the barriers and looks like a mediocre ballerina doing little hops across the dance floor. It was cool to see him race. KHam badly sprained his ankle warming up and had to DNS. Sissy. VisitPaRay was good again in the B’s.

Mike felt pretty good about Saturday’s event. I haven’t heard anything but praise. Every year he seems to improve upon an already fantastic event. Nice job. Legendary.

I did abso-freakin-lutely NOTHING Sunday. Erin’s parents came over for some Football and dinner. The Steelers v Saints game was pretty damn entertaining. The Steelers running back, Willie Parker, nearly broke the team record for yards in a game held by? Our man, Frenchy. What a great name. I then grilled some turkey burgers w/ mushrooms, bacon, and swiss. A side of sweet potatoes and some baked beans. That was it. Day over.

I had another phenomenal massage this morning. I had to point out the two giant bruises on my right thigh to Deb so she could be a little cautious. Man, they hurt.

Chris mentioned that he’s seen a picture(s) of my crash. If I can find it I will certainly post it here as I’m sure it’s pretty amusing.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Lower Allen CX. I worked a short day today with the idea of going over to the park and helping Mike tape the course. As planned I got there a little after 3pm and low and behold everything was done. Seems as though The Legend and The Really Fast Young Dude had spent all morning/afternoon knocking it out. Zach took a “sick day” from school to help out. Good kid. I like Zach. He’s very charismatic about bikes.

So, the only thing I really had to do was get in a few laps of the course to get a head-start on tomorrow. First of all, as noted in an earlier post at this very site, a couple subtle little changes have turned this course into a speedway. One area in particular is waaay faster now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still plenty hard, but VERY fast and super flowing. I think anyone who doesn’t like this race tomorrow is nuts. The only thing it really lacks is any kind of run-up/running section, which is fine by me. The sandpit is firm right now but I guess after a couple races it’ll get churned up some. Maybe a run/ride decision later by the B’s and Masters.

Unfortunately, on one of my recon laps I cut a fast corner a little too hot and took a serious digger in some greasy stuff. I must have slid and tumbled for 15 feet. All along my bike was under me and then on me and then under me again. It knocked the wind outta me and gave me a huge bruise on my right thigh. I felt like a turd head. I just cut the corner too sharp and lost my front wheel. I know now how to take it tomorrow but my right leg is getting tighter by the minute. Knucklehead.

I hope everyone has a great time tomorrow. Mike, once again, has poured a lot of time and effort into this day. Thanks man.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Lower Allen CX is just a couple days away. The B’s pre-reg is getting there but certainly nowhere near last years 76. Where did all those dudes go? I’m way more interested in the Elite field. No Trebon, Wicks, or Wells would at first thought give you the impression of a sub-par race. Not so fast my friends. I think Saturdays Elite race has the potential to be a MAJOR throwdown. Hebe told me that this weekends MAC UCI’s are the only UCI’s in the country. The big boys want to stay home and rest before another Left Coast GP Double next weekend. All the others are looking for those precious UCI points. It should be a phenomenal race. I really want to see this bad-ass mullet Driscoll is wearing.

Don’t overlook the CX debut of BBP, or otherwise known as The Brother Legend. Look for Eric in the C race. Go get ‘em Thotis.

I had a song in my head all day. It wasn’t one of those annoying songs. Well, it was, but not for the obvious reason. What TV program did I watch short little 5 minute skits of Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings? It was a show within a show. So, what was the main show? Driving me nuts.

Where’s Kenny?

Big big taste, part 2

I complained to the makers of Honeycomb about the change they made. I merely wanted to voice my disapointment in the taste change. Maybe if enough people bitch about it we can get our old Honeycomb back. These are the small battles I wage. Round one? Push. No mention was made in their reply about an avalanche of negative feedback but I did get my $3 back.

Hi Don,

Thank you for visiting

The formulation of POST, HONEYCOMB, Crunchy Sweetened Corn and Oat Cereal has indeed changed and I'm sorry you were disappointed with your most recent purchase.

Your experience is important to us. I'm sending you reimbursement to replace this product, via first class mail, which you should receive within 7-10 business days.

Our staff works very hard to provide the best tasting and satisfying products to the preferences of most consumers. Your opinion about the product is important to us as well and I will share your comments with our product development staff.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts.

Kim McMiller Associate Director, Consumer Relations

I'm coordinating my next efforts as we speak.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pig stomach?

Saturday was the first time I worked in what seemed like a month. It was pretty low key. Just three of us and frankly that’s all that was needed. I sold another treadmill. So far this season my success rate selling fitness equipment has been pretty high. I still need to brush up on the new lines we’re carrying. It got so easy the past few years having the same products available. Now I actually have to do a little homework to get the details ironed out on this new stuff.

Saturday night we had dinner at Erin’s parents. Good. We got home and landed on the couch for a good lounge.

Sunday I woke up feeling like I didn’t really want to ride even though the forecast was for a nice day. I stewed over it for a little while then decided to roll out my MTB. Yep, first time this year. In fact it has been almost exactly one year since I rode it last with The Legend over at Pinchot. I’m all for commemorating occasions such as riding my mtb so I headed over to Pinchot again. There are some decent trails there. Nothing in the way of climbing. Mostly rollers and flat stuff, but it’s still a good time. I saw a few hunters out scouting their turf. I saw a couple other mountain bicyclers tooling around as I did a big lap around the lake. All in all it was a fun time. My technical skill was lacking in spots but not as bad as I was expecting. A 29’r would be phenomenal over there. On my drive over I was tempted to stop at The Silver Lake to join all the other rednecks for a Hog Maw breakfast. Uuch! The sign out front said Hog Maw and the place was packed. I’ll pass.

Hebe-cross is this coming Saturday. I was over at LA last Thursday getting in some laps with a few efforts when Mike showed up in full Lilly work attire to show me the changes he’s planning for the race. It’s cool how just a few subtle little differences to the course can change the complexion quite a bit in certain areas. One section in particular will get A LOT faster. Should be fun.

Erin has been getting more and more comments about her belly size. Little Jr is starting to really claw and punch and kick to get out. The other night we were situated on the couch together where my leg was against her belly. I got poked hard enough that I thought Erin was trying to get my attention. It was actually Little Jr trying to get my attention. I can’t imagine having something like that going on inside all day for months.

Enjoy the week.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Medium Hot

Phew, I’m beat. Today was the first time in a month that I had a morning off from work. Granted, even on an early day I’m at work at 10am. Most people have a half days work in by then. I got out for a nice long road ride. 45 miles worth. Awesome day for it. I headed over and climbed Whiskey Springs Rd. I didn’t realize until I was almost over the top that I had a soft rear tire. That made me feel better about climbing like crap. It was certainly beautiful being out in the woods, sorta. The foliage is a bit past peak but still quite scenic. And that autumnal scent in the air is pure therapy.

Once I made it to work I saw some good news arrived via the UPS-tard. I’ve been hassling all of our bike sales reps to send us some branded goodies to use for the Lower Allen Hebe-cross. Evan from Trek kicked in a couple weeks ago. I think he might show up with the Trek tent, which would be real cool. Today Giant and Bianchi stuff showed up. Indoor trainers from Giant and bottles, t-shirts, and caps from Bianchi. The Giant trainer is pretty sweet. I use one. Not often but when I actually trick myself into riding indoors I’m glad I have a nice trainer. All we’re waiting on now is a goodie box from QBP which should arrive any day. They always send cool stuff. It’s real cool to have good people representing the lines we carry. Much appreciated.

I think I’ve eaten about 12lbs of Halloween chocolate since Sunday. I love that stuff. Chocolate is good for you, right?

I have tomorrow off. I can’t wait to wake up and have very little to do. No pressure to get anything done other than put another quality ride in and clean little Elwood’s shitbox. He needs to learn how to do that himself. Lazy ass.

A jar of magnificent salsa straight from BTI, a supplier of ours from New Mexico. Yum!

That Big Big Taste

I was EXTREMELY disappointed to open a fresh new box of Honeycomb yesterday to find the clowns who make it have changed the formula slightly. I very much love Honeycombs. It is one of the few "tastey" cereals that doesn't use hydrogenated oils. That shit'll kill ya, man. So I rip open a box and start powering down by the shovel full only to notice the taste ain't quite the same. I guess thy've tried to make it even healthier by using whole grains. I applaud their efforts for going healthier but damn it, not at the expense of that Big Big Taste. Oh well, there's always Honeynut Cheerios. Mmmmm.

It's November freaking 1st already! My how the time flies. No racing last weekend so I'll leave you with a couple pics from Wissy a couple Sundays ago.

mid-race - doing well - feeling good

and then this happened - a group of 5 just became a group of 4

I pirated these pictures from Andrew Albright, I think. If so, thanks. If not, sorry. Happy Dia de los Muertos tomorrow.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Change in plans

No racing this weekend. I pre-reged for Beacon and I was very much looking forward to making it down. Staying home is just a better plan.

On Wednesday of this week I sold over $5000 worth of fitness. Friday I had to deliver it all. Separate deliveries but that didn’t make it any easier. Treadmills and elipticals, some weighing in over 200lbs, going up steps and down steps. It seems like it’s never easy and getting heavier all the time. I’m getting too old for this shit. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad to be old enough to say “I’m getting too old for this shit”.

At any rate, by the time Friday 5pm rolled around and Erin and I were ready to hit the road for Cape May for the weekend, I was feeling like crap and the rain had moved in. With Erin in the condition she’s in and me significantly weary the idea of spending the following 3+ hrs in a car fighting traffic and crap weather didn’t seem all too appealing. Given the forecast for a total crap day at the shore for Saturday and high winds for Sunday I’m not so sure the entire effort would have been worth it for a 45 minute race. Not like I’m in a points battle or anything.

So, we stayed home. Friday after I got home I was asleep on the couch by 6pm for a good 2hr nap. Then I went to bed at 11pm and slept solidly until 8:30am. That’s an unprecedented 9.5 straight hours of sleep for me. For the few people who know me well enough, they know I can’t stand sleeping. What a waste of time. The paradox of it all is I have no qualms spending an afternoon watching football on the tele. Go figure.

With all that sleep I felt like a new man this morning. Maybe The Mrs Legend really is on to something with those 12hr bouts of sleeping she’s oh so fond of.

The chance to actually get some stuff done today was very welcomed. Erin and I cruised down to Wallyworld this afternoon with my mom. Picked up a few things we need for Little Jr. We had Mex for lunch. Stopped at my sis’s on the way home to say hello to that gang. Shannon put some color in my hair, or more accurately removed the gray. She told me that industry “hair people” officially refer to my natural hair color as “mousy”. As in, the color of a mouse. Good to know.

We got home around 5pm so I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the garage cleaned up and semi-organized. I assembled Little Jr’s new stroller. I can’t wait. Then I took a quick shower and hit the couch for the Flyers game. I gave up on those jerk-offs when the score went 6-1. Might I add, while I have a difficult time rooting for Sid The Kid, the Pens have a ridiculous amount of young talented hockey players. The future looks bright in the Steel City. BTW, did anyone notice there is a Kessel in the pro hockey ranks? Nice.

Good luck to all my ‘crosser friends down at Beacon.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My Favorite Pagan Holiday

Today is an anniversary of sorts for me and The Wifey. Six years ago on this night I met The Future Mrs Kessel. I lived in town New Cumberland, which has one of the more fantastic Halloween Parades in the area. The parade route went right by my apartment so I made a ritual of dragging my dusty old couch out onto the sidewalk, with Legendary help, and had a party. Costumes were not mandatory but strongly encouraged. If only I could find some of those pics.

So, back to six years ago. I begged The Mrs Legend to bring her hot cousin (that’s all I knew about Erin at the time) to my party. Somehow, Amy knowing what sort of trouble she might be exposing her cousin to, showed up with Erin in tow. I was sporting my Gladiator costume that night. I’d like to think it was my witty charm and stunningly handsome good looks but I think what really drove Erin nuts was the costume.

At any rate, as they say, the rest is history.

Monday, October 23, 2006

For Whom the Bell Tolls

MAC double. Granogue followed by Wissy. I was really hoping to get at least one single series point out of the weekend. Saturday had the bigger field with 90. This was my first visit to this course. I’ve heard good things. My first warm-up lap was all I needed to realize this would be the hardest course I’d have raced on in my short little time racing CX. I started in the third row thanks to my series points from last year. I had no real plan other than to try to find a solid group and roll with it.

The gun goes off and we start. Mad dash. Some dude from behind comes by me on the right then cuts left so I grabbed his wheel and blew up the left side. Before I knew it we were at the front. And I mean THE FRONT. Once I realized where I was I started to geek out a bit and got off the gas. I knew that’s not where I should be. I want to be fast but I know I’m not front-of-the-race-fast. Of course I paid very quickly for the early pace and couldn’t hold anyone’s wheel to save my life. I just rode around until I got myself together. By that time it was too late to think about points. Ended up 31st. I must give credit to KHam for executing two flawless bike hand-offs in the pit for me. My XO-2 got glopped up good halfway through so I jumped to the TCX for a lap. Thanks to Kyle for cleaning my bike and helping me out.

I watched the start of Mike’s race and then I wanted nothing more than to be home. I hit the road and found Metalica quite soothing to the soul. I love that shit.

Sunday was Wissy. Erin came with me so there was no Lars & the boys for that trip. I made her listen to The Clash instead. I felt much better the entire race but I knew I was real close to missing out on points. We came through the barriers/run-up with one to go and I had Nystrom, Morgan, Brill, etc on my ass when I dumped my chain in a serious rookie maneuver. Just like that I go from second wheel in the group to chasing all lap to tag back on. I just didn’t have enough left to put up a sprint and I had that shitty feeling that it cost me. Points go 25 deep. You can guess where I ended up.

I did have a nice little conversation with Chris N while we were freezing our asses off waiting for the start. He’s got a cool blog with lots of ‘cross and a cute little dude named Thor. So we talked pregnancy/Dad stuff for a few minutes. Good guy.

So, no MAC points. Beacon this weekend. I did this race a couple years ago as a C. Loved it. I’m looking forward to it. With no points I’ll have to scrum for a start spot. Maybe that'll be better anyway. It might benefit my psyche to start in the back and pass some people instead of getting passed. We’re going down to Cape May Friday night to stay in Uncle Willie’s condo for the weekend. We’ll stop in Bridgeton for the race on the way home. I like it down there when it’s less crowded. Should be nice.

I had another massage this morning. Body Logic Therapy. I don’t have much experience with massage therapy but in the past two weeks I've had two terrific massages from Deb at BLT. Pretty amazing to go in feeling like crap and an hour later feel like a new person. If anyone within the sound of this blog has it in their means to fetch out supreme massage therapy I strongly recommend you track down Deb & Lisa at BLT.

I swapped commiserating emails with Nate today about the weekends races. My exact words. “I sucked. Plain & simple. I had fun though.” Somehow turning myself inside out racing ‘cross is pure misery for 45 minutes but pure ecstasy at the same time.

I had fun though.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Wifey

Go Phillies!
I rarely speak of how fantastic my wonderful wife, Erin, is. I'd be sunk without her. I must be the luckiest clown around to have such a great wifey. Tonight she went shopping for Little Jr and found a Phillies outfit. Nevermind that Little Jr very well could be a girl. I'm sure she'll root for the Phils also. We're approx 7 months into this pregnancy journey and I must say it's been a real experience. Watching Erin go through the different phases of symptoms and physical changes. She's been pretty good with everything so far. I guess the real work is just beginning. 9 weeks to go plus or minus.
Baby Shower a couple weeks ago
My wonderful wife also puts up with the fact that its damn near impossible for me to take a serious picture. Even when I actually clean myself up and put nice clothes on I still deny her a quality photo. I suppose when Little Jr is born I'll have to start taking some nice family pictures. This weekends racing should be fun. When I said earlier that it would be fun racing for a single MAC series point (25th place) I wasn't joking. 83 pre-reged. Charm City had 88 total B's and I yanked a 20th outta my arse. Looking at the stacked field for Granogue on Saturday and I'd say if I landed 25th I'd be ecstatic. I can't figure out why Sunday's Wissy race has such a smaller pre-reged field. These races are only 45 minutes apart from each other. Either way, as with Charm, I'm anxious but eager at the same time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Oh Yes

Like my new lamp?

Sunday, October 15, 2006


What an awesome fall day. I could get used to this. Might have hit 60. Got outta bed early. That always sets the tone. Had a good breakfast. A little internetting. Got my do-list crossed off. By the time 11:30am rolled around I was pushing off for a ride.

Two hours of good road riding on a day like today is pure therapy. Started off just a tad chilly but once I got going it was a perfect temp. I put a few hard efforts in. A couple shortish tempo efforts. All in all a pretty good ride.

I mowed the lawn for what will hopefully be the last time today. Looks good. After that The Wifey had me hang a shelf in Little Jrs. room. And just like that I was free to lounge the rest of the afternoon. I took full advantage and wore a good ass groove into the sofa. Beauty, eh?

The final pregnancy class is tomorrow night. Although I can say that I did pick up a few useful things the past 5 weeks I will certainly be quite happy to get my Monday evenings back. Last night Little Jr. was doing some serious working out in Erin’s belly. There was all kinds of poking and prodding plainly visible. It was really cool to watch but Erin was a bit uncomfortable since she was getting kicked in the ribs left and right. I think we have about 8 or 9 weeks to go. Can’t get here quick enough. Am I having a son or a daughter?

Happy Valley ain’t so happy today. Which makes me incredibly happy. I love it when they lose.

My ‘cross bike weighs 16.8lbs which means absolutely didley-poo when I can’t go fast on it. The winner of IC Lite was 2:30 minutes ahead of me yesterday. In retrospect that’s not terrible although I feel like I should be more up front than I was. In comparison, at Lower Allen last year I finished 14th and 4 minutes back. But 2:30 behind 4th. There were a lot of good ‘crossers behind me at that race which are now in front of me so far this year. I did have some home course advantage going for me but I still feel like I have some good rides in me in the upcoming MAC season.

Why does it take so long for race results to be posted? I have nothing to base my gripe on other than impatience. I know race promoters have a ton of work to do. Speaking of which, did I mention I liked the slight changes made at IC Lite yesterday. Slight enough that I think I almost enjoyed it. High-speed double barriers always help.

The Raiders suck.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

IC Lite

I should have stayed home. 17th. Probably 40 or so starters. Whatever. I felt waaay better than Charm but the results sure don’t bear that out. Although 14th was actually behind me coming up the climb on the last lap. Fouche attacked and two others went with him and I had no response. So the number 17 probably looks worse than it was. It was another Brewer/Hesel sprint for the win. Hesel took it. The Really Fast Young Dude finished 4th. Nice ride Zach.

I stayed for the Elite race. Good show. Only 12 or 13 lined up and 7 of them rode wheel to wheel for approx 2 laps. Nate, Sean G, KHam, to name a few. SSWes had a really bad start and was hanging off the back of that group for several laps. Once he tagged on the group split into four and four. Sean G is a feakin beast. KHam made the front group. SSWes in group two with Nate. Somewhere in the middle Sean G opened up a good gap but dropped his chain in the sandpit. KHam and two others blew by but he calmly fixed his sled and bridged back up within a minute and kept on going. Straight through and off the front. Kyle started to fade with about 3 to go and looked to be out of it just about the time SSWes started make a strong move forward. Sean G wasn’t going to be caught but KHam put in a couple HUGE efforts to go from 5th to riding SSWes’s wheel fighting for 2nd. Last lap Kyle made another big-time pull up the climb just before the finish to gap Wes for 2nd place by about 5 seconds. Nate finished well in 6th.

Those last few efforts Kyle put in were pretty impressive considering he’d been racing for 50 minutes at that point. He definitely earned 2nd place. SSWes looked like death warmed over for the first 20 minutes. Helluva ride to make it back to 3rd. Nate looked super strong in the first 30 minutes. Once he lost the front it was tough for him to get back. Good ride. Probably shut it down a little towards the end to save some for IC on Sunday. Pretty entertaining race.

I got a call from The Legend out in The Nati. Leech was 5th, Hebe 10th, and Steevo 12th. Sounds like they were pretty happy with things out there. The big race is Sunday for those guys. UCI type big race. Let’s all Jedi-mind-trick The Legend into some UCI points tomorrow.

I’m now tired and ready for some couch time. Looking ahead I see a CX double next weekend. Given my current state of ambivalence towards ‘cross maybe I’ll actually enjoy fighting for 25th place. Stay tuned.

Friday, October 13, 2006


IC Lite. 95-5. I guess if the sky isn’t falling tomorrow when I wake up I’ll drive to PGF and race. I wasn’t particular thrilled with the design of last years course. Obviously the promoters have a slight issue with actual real estate to work with and perhaps they make the best of what’s given to them but I can still bitch about it, can’t I?

No Legend/Hammaker/Nate showdown like we at Holmes so richly desired. There has been smack dished out all summer long about whom would “gutter” whom and what not and so forth. A MABRA race would be the best place to bear witness to such a throwdown but The Legend has hit the road for the Nati with Leech and Steevo. I hope they do well out yonder.

Erin is waking up early Saturday to travel down to the Apple Harvest Fest with my sister. That’s one of those things I was drug kicking & screaming to as a kid that I’d actually consider visiting again as a grown-up. The sights, sounds, and most of all the smell of the Fest is apparently something I haven’t forgotten. I remember it all.

Now that the pain of being a Phillies fan is fading for another long winter the not so subtle ache of being a Flyers fan is punching me in the gut. It’s a long season, right?

Mow the lawn one more time this year? Let’s hope so. GOODNIGHTNOW!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Perfect Storm

The phrase perfect storm refers to the simultaneous occurrence of events which, taken individually, would be far less powerful than the result of their chance combination. Such occurrences are rare by their very nature, so that even a slight change in any one event contributing to the perfect storm would lessen its overall impact. So, there it is. Copy and pasted straight off wikipedia. Very well defined. Now, allow me to explain.

Erin and I were down in Cape May this past weekend for her friend Jen’s wedding. Cool wedding. At a hotel smack in between Stone Harbor and Avalon. The ceremony was on the beach. Reception was in a very elegant banquet room. Real nice. Problem was this, the wedding was Sunday 3:30pm. Not Saturday. Both Erin and I had to work today. So, before we even arrive at this wedding we already have an idea that we’d like to be home by 9-ish. 3hr drive means we need to hit the road by 6pm. Easy ‘nuf.

Immediately we run into trouble. For what ever reason the ceremony doesn’t get rolling until 4. Quick ceremony and I’m feeling good about things again. Cocktail hour. Open bar. Yes. The Wifey is unable to booze so I take advantage and order up a Shiraz. The unfortunate side effect of cocktail hour is, well, it’s an hour. 5:30. People start to saunter into the banquet room. Intro’s, first dances, speeches, first course (Potato soup, my fave!), salad, and finally main course. We inhaled a very tastey meal and said our good-byes. Fire up the Volvo. Time? 7:07. Add 3. Something about best laid plans…..

Phase two of the storm. In case you live under a rock you probably know the Eagles played the Cowboys Sunday afternoon in Philthy. Since I’m continually disappointed by terrestrial radio’s music options I put on the football game. It was pretty entertaining to listen to it. I had no feelings one way or another about who won. As we’re blasting up 55 and the game was ending the thought occurred to me that my route home could get slightly cluttered by 70,000 drunken Eagle fans. Little did I know……

Phase three. We breeze across the Delaware and hit 95 North for a mile or two and then exit onto 476. It’s Sunday night. Why, How could there be any traffic issues? Did I mention 70,000 drunken Eagle fans? As soon as we hit the Blue Route, normally a fast stretch of highway that should take 20 minutes to hit the SureKill, blamo! A sea of brake lights greet me. I just about had a meltdown. Time? 8:30. Gas. Brake. Measured in inches. Slow. And I mean slooooow. At one point I did the math. Somewhere years ago I read that a reasonably fit person could walk at a 2.5-3mph pace. I could have dropped that person off and thirty minutes later that person would have still been walking ahead of us. Those thoughts didn’t take the sting out of the fact that I wanted to be in my bed but instead I was in traffic hell in Philthy-f-ing-delphia and there was no end in sight.

Finally we come to realize that the highway braintrust decided to close two of the three lanes of 476 for road work Sunday night around 8pm. Yep, 8pm. One solitary single friggin lane of traffic. Once we made it through the road work it was as it should have been, clear and free sailing. We spent a very efficient 62 minutes tarveling the 80 miles of PA turnpike. Home at 11:30pm. I guess I wasn’t too disappointed at 11:30 since I was convinced that I would still be on 476 for Monday morning rush hour.

There you have it. Any one of those three would have been easily overcome by itself. Not Sunday.

Tonight we had our tour of the birthing facilities at Harrisburg Hospital. I enjoyed it. By far the most useful info I’ve gotten out of the classes we’ve been taking. Last one is next Monday. My sister is going to join us in the delivery room for the entire labor/delivery of Little Jr so she also came up tonight with Greg and DJ to take the tour with us. I’m super happy she’s going to help us. She’s been thru it and will be invaluable for Erin and me during the whole process.

60-40 IC Lite. I did a couple good rides down in CM this weekend. Motivation has been hard lately. A major part of me just wants to fast forward to Xmas so I can start this “I’m a Father” thing. It doesn’t make going out and doing intervals any easier with that in mind. We’ll see how it goes.

Speaking of perfect. The Raiders perfect season is intact. 0-4. Is it too late to jump on da Bears bandwagon? Or am I a poser at this point?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jersey bound

The Wifey and I are headed to Cape May this weekend for a wedding. I always look forward to quick little weekend trips down there. Anything more than 3 days would drive me up the wall. Nice place to visit but there just isn’t enough to keep me occupied. I’ll take with me my ‘crosser with road wheels to get in one if not two good long solid rides. One thing I do love about CM is the abundance of good food. I’ll need to ride a lot to earn my grub.

I think doing IC Lite is looking better than 50/50 right now. I didn’t really care for last years race but Granogue is only two weeks away and there is probably no better training than racing.

Big weekend up north in New England. Gloucester double. KHam is racin’ with any and every big hitter you can think of. I hope he does well. The rest of the locals should do well. The Really Fast Young Dude should be in the mix. Dieter. I’m also eager to see how the MABRA “A” race shakes out. I will expect a call from The Legend after that one.

Flyers made their season debut tonight. Or rather they showed up in Pittsburgh to allow the Pens to spank them without putting up any resistance. Embarrassing. I hate to say it but I don’t have a good feeling about the Flyers this season. Like losing in the first round last season gave me a good feeling.

Enough already.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Today was Erin’s baby shower. Or as she likes to point out, it was our baby shower. There must have been at least 15 of our friends and family attending. I was watching football with Erin’s dad and uncle downstairs but from what I could hear it sounded as though everyone had a good time. I’ve always been very uncomfortable in gift-giving/receiving situations such as today. I guess it’s something people have always done. Baby Showers. Bridal Showers. Weddings. Birthdays. Who am I to buck centuries of tradition? At any rate, Erin and I are extremely grateful for everyone’s generosity. Thanks to our friends and family Little Junior is well stocked and just about fully supplied for his first days, months, and years. Thank you everyone.

I got out for another good hard ride today. My new AC PowerTap has been schizting out the past few rides. It makes it a little difficult to do a specific training ride when everything is power/wattage based. I still managed to get some good stuff done.

KHam did his first ‘cross race of the season today. He flatted on the first lap and fought back to finish 9th. We’ll have to work on that back-up stuff this week. Kyle also told me Nate finished a close 2nd today. Nice work.

Erin’s little sis, Emily, is leaving for Hawaii next weekend. She’ll be gone for a couple months. Sounds like a fun. She’ll be back just in time to become Aunt Emily.

If anyone cares, the Flyers new season starts Thursday. I’m ready. The Sillies, once again, broke my heart. It would be so much easier if they would either suck really bad, giving me no false hope, or dominate. I won’t hold my breathe on that dominate idea. Speaking of suck, when is appropriate to give up on a team you’ve stuck with for 20+ years but has stunk out loud for the past 3+? Raiders. They may not win a game this year. In fact, I hope they don’t. There is no distinction in having a 3-13 record. However, going O’fer 16 would create an unprecedented level of infamy that I think I could root for.

Salt and Malt Vinegar Potato Chips are grrrrr-eat!

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's the Big One... You hear that Elizabeth... I'm comin'

As I was riding home from work tonight the coolest looking fox jumped right out in front of me and across the road. You rarely see foxes especially up close like that. Neat looking animals.

The Holmes Cycling/BodyLogicTherapy team unis arrived today. A few days late for the first race of the season but there is no one to blame but me for that. They look good. I might have to wear mine long sleeve skinsuit to bed. I would no doubt fall asleep faster.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Back in Black

I'm not usually a sucker for TV ads but I'm pretty sure I'm going to run out this weekend and buy some Skinny Black Pants from The Gap. For The Wifey, of course.


I forgot to mention in my last post the fantastic race at Charm The Legend pulled off. 10th place. Helluva ride.

Last nights ‘cross practice was cool. We had approx 10-12 again. I warmed up well then did some good intervals with Zach. We’d go hard 20 seconds before the barriers and attack for 10 seconds after then ride briskly for roughly 3 minutes before doing it over. 30 minutes of that and I was spent. I did a couple more laps of on/off intensity to wrap up a productive evening. Zach’s a good kid. Plus he’s faster than me so doing workouts with him makes good sense.

Today I got out for a nice road ride. 2 hours of going hard over climbs/rollers. I got wet about 5 miles from home. The sky was dark and I heard a good bit of thunder but fortunately I rode into the aftermath of a storm so I only got wet from the road spray. Fun ride though. I felt great during the entire ride however my legs are now very well worked over.

The Wifey’s baby shower is Sunday. It should be a good time. Not sure who is showing up yet. My other friend Zach and his wonderful wife Angela stopped by the park last night after we were done. They had little Jocelyn with them. She’s growing really fast. I think she’ll be two in a week or so already. I can’t wait to be a parent. Anyway, Erin put Angela in charge of properly entertaining everyone on Sunday.

I wait 10 months so that I can enjoy 2 months of this awesome fall weather. Man this is how it should be all the time.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Going to want to"

I won’t bore anyone with the details. Charm City ‘Cross was a disappointment from a results standpoint. An absolute blast as far as the course is concerned. I can’t explain why I felt the way I did but I feel like I should have been closer to the front of the race. All things being equal, 20th in a 80-90ish race ain’t shabby for my first competitive effort since Thanksgiving last year.

My intention was to gather valuable info from the PowerTap I used at the race. All it told me was my heart rate was ridiculously high and I wasn’t putting out anywhere near the power I was during practice/training efforts. Whatever.

It was a pleasure to see all the friends and faces from ‘cross. FortJames had some pretty cool news. Nice job man. Said hello to Nystrom briefly warming up. Nice job man. Zach had a great race. Even though I told him he wasn’t allowed to pass me in our race, well, he did anyway. 10th place. Nice job man. John Brewer won the B’s. I did Iron Cross Lite last year which may have been one of his first ‘cross races. John and I were back and forth all race long. He was sooo strong on open straights but less so in technical stuff. I would pass him in the tech stuff and he would blow me away on the long open stuff. I remember telling a few people if that dude could get some technical skill he would be an unstoppable force. Well, he did. Nice job man.

I wanted to stay to watch the rest of the afternoon races but truth-be-told, it was Sunday, and there was football to be watched. The couch reigns supreme on Sunday afternoons. Me and my wonderfully supportive and quite pregnant Wifey stopped in Hunt Valley on the way home to fuel up on some quality fast food. Wendy’s. First time this year I’ve had fast food of any sort other than a couple bean burritos from Taco Hell.

It’s official. KHam narrowly edged out VisitPA Ray for the season long MASS series title. No doubt, the two best Mtb’ers in the Mid-Atlantic finished 1st and 2nd. Waytogo guys.

The Wifey and I completed week three of six tonight of our Pregnancy classes at Harrisburg Hospital. Ho-hum. I guess I’ve picked up a few things but honestly I think breezing thru a book or two would suffice. Week 5 will be cool because we’re going to tour the actual hospital facilities.

The woman teaching the course kept saying “gonna wanna” all night. I’m sure I do it too but she must have said it a dozen times. Because I was so bored I tried to keep count of how many times to make the night go faster but then I got distracted by the Jolly Rancher Fruit Chews I was eating. Sometimes I forget that Erin reads this. Ummm……yeah, I was paying attention.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Monkey Bubble

Dubya Tee Eff?

Woke up. Fell outta bed. Dragged a comb across my head.

Got some good things done today. Things that needed to get done.

Short little EZ ride on the road sled. Fine tuning the fitness or as Chris Horner loves to say “I was finding my form today”. He loves that word. Read it in VeloNews or Every other word is “form”. Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy. I hope he races lots of ‘cross this fall and does well.

Speaking of. Charm on Sunday. I’m excited and nervous. Nervous and excited. First race. Don’t know what to expect. Did I do enough? Not enough? Too much? Hopefully just right.

Fall has arrived a few days early. Awesome sleeping weather. I always get a kick out of that one too. Sleeping weather. What does that mean? And why is 50 degrees sleeping weather? I’m not sure but it seems to work.

Little Junior is approx 3 months away. We came up with our boy and girl names. Anyone who can guess the initials gets a bagel w/ cream cheese. My treat. And no, Josh, before you say F.U.K. better think again. I got shot down by The Wifey on that one. There will be no Fogarty Ulysses Kessel. Maybe the next one. Marriage is all about compromises, right?

A woman came into the bike shop a couple days ago with a rear wheel in her hand. The tire’s sidewall was badly deteriorated in one spot although the innertube was not exposed just yet. It protruded some but not terribly. Anyway, she claimed her tire had a MONKEY BUBBLE and wanted me to fix it. Sure. Why not?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Hillbilly Horseshoes

Crummy day to be off. Although I did everything I would have had it been sunny. I made a quick trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a few goodies. In the process I’m sure I single handedly put one or two mom & pop stores out of business by not shopping from them and also with my $24 purchase most likely paid the daily wage of two or three “undocumented” Wal-Mart janitorial staff. How do I sleep at night?

Next, a trip to Lowe’s to procure the goods needed to assemble Ladder Ball as a gift for my Brother-in-law’s 40th B-day. The Legend introduced us to this remarkably addictive lawn game. I think you could probably call it about 30 different things but whatever you call it, it’s a freakin blast to play.

Finally a stop to the local grocer to purchase the frozen fish sticks my wonderful wifey so desperately desired for dinner. Damn if those things aren’t really tasty! Not the healthiest by any stretch but yummy. The more grease the better the taste I guess.

After all that I was hoping the drizzle would have subsided. No luck. I got out for a ride anyway. I got drenched when the drizzle turned to an outright downpour for about 5 minutes but it still ended up being an excellent training ride. You always know when a particular workout you’re doing is going to be good when your 10 minutes into the meat of it and you’re dreading the rest of it. Ouch! Oooof!

Last nights ‘cross workout was somewhat mixed. There was a good turnout. 10 people, give or take. I warmed up fine but I found it hard to do what I was meant to do with others riding in proximity. It was meant to be a difficult workout to begin with but I was too often tempted to latch on to Nate’s workout with Hebe and Scott in tow. In the end I didn’t ride as hard as I needed to but still managed to get some good hard efforts in and quite a few laps of the Lower Allen CX course under my belt. To finish the night I did a couple practice starts with Zach Adams and his group. Like I said, not a bad night, but not as hard as I should have made it.

Now, I lay here, feeling a bit whipped. When is my easy week Coach?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fantasy Day

Today was a good day. I like my Sunday’s to unfold just like today did. I stumbled outta bed at 7:30. Did some quick internetting. Sat down with Erin for some breakfast. Waffle with granola mango and banana. Opened up the garage and got my road sled cleaned up for a ride. Hebe rode over at 10am and we set out for a quality ride. I got 2:20 in. Good steady wattage ride. Great pace. Good conversation. Home by 12:30pm. I had my do-list already knocked out so I had the rest of the day to do a mega-lounge. NFL opened up this afternoon. Which means fantasy football has kicked in. Nice. Had dinner tonight at Erin’s parents. Good, as usual. Pork chops taste good. Now, I lounge again, watching the Manning’s do battle. Doesn’t get much better.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

We Are.............

No doubt the local fishwrap will make this blowout seem more like an edge-of-your-seat nailbiter in Sunday's edition. Touchdown Jesus has answered the prayers of all Anti-Penn Staters worldwide. Halelujah. And also with you. Amen.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


So, for those who haven’t heard yet, The Wifey and I have a decision to make in the next few months. What on earth do we name our child?

We started off making separate lists and combining them. Then tossing the ones we didn’t like. We were left with some cool names but truth be told nothing has absolutely jumped off the page yet. There are a couple names I really like but Erin doesn’t and some she loves and I don’t. What to do? After all, it’s not the name we will be called the rest of our lives.

Any thoughts?

‘Cross training has been going well. Crap weather aside, that is. Rain last Saturday and Tuesday morning kept me indoors. I loath exercising indoors. Today I flogged myself pretty good. I do need to remind myself that, although I’d like to do well at Charm City, the real racin’ doesn’t start for 6 ½ weeks in Delaware. Build + rest + build = fast. Sounds easy enough.

I made a HUGE pot of chili tonight. One less jalapeno this time. Last time was just a tad too hot. Good stuff. Four beans. Black, pinto, kidney, and northern. Red and green peppers, a Serrano, and two jalapenos. 1lb of ultra lean ground beef and 1lb of very thinly sliced steak. Throw in a pot for an hour and viola. Yum. We have enough to feed us for at least a week. It always gets tastier after a couple days.

I shaved all the hair off my head today. Purely for the comfort. There are times when I like having hair. There are times when I don’t. Yesterday I woke up thinking I didn’t want it anymore. I have a rule when I get this feeling. It’s sorta like the waiting period when purchasing a gun to prevent some crazy sucker from getting pissed and offing a bunch of people before he’s had a chance to cool down. Whenever I feel like losing the hair I wait a day just to make sure it’s what I want to do. I know it grows back but it takes a while. Anyway, it’s gone and I feel happy that it is.

I think I’ll sleep better with no hair as well. Less hair to get in the way of my dome and my cushy pillow. Yes.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

It’s such a nice day outside. I think I’ll bust out the hammock and lounge a little. In honor of Labor Day I think I’ll compile a list of my Top Ten Places/Things I’d Like to Visit/Do if I didn’t have to ever consider the word Labor. In no particular order:

  • Visit San Francisco Bay area preferably during the first week in December so I could do this ‘cross race. Looks like a blast and I always wanted to visit SF and hang out with Josh & Beth.
  • Go HERE for a few weeks. Afterall, it takes a day to get there and a day and a half to get back. Might as well stay a while, right? Why go here? Give me one good reason why not.
  • Travel to Alaska. Not sure what I'd do once I was there but holy shit does it ever look beautiful with the mountains and wilderness and lack of people.
  • Europe. I'm not sure to count this as One or Six. Germany. Italy. Spain. Portugal. Belgium. Holland. Forget France. No interest in the U.K. Just these six for starters.
  • I want to see a couple hockey games in Canada. Montreal v Toronto or Ottawa. Calgary v Edmonton. Good rivalry games.
  • Road trip inspired by Road Fever. Southern tip of South America to the most northern tip of North America. I mentioned this book before as being among my favorite. Maybe do this trip a slightly more leisurely pace. And maybe hit some of the more interesting points along the way. Patagonia. Santiago. Atacama Desert. La Paz. Lima. Somehow skip Columbia. Panama Canal. Chill in Costa Rica for a bit. Slight detour to Belize before rolling up the west coast of Mex. Oaxaca. Acapulco. Zihuatenejo. Mananillo. Vallarta. You get the picture. This might take some time to complete.
  • Baseball game at The Friendly Confines. Among other thing I'd like to do in The Windy City. After which I'd make a quick trip to the land of the Cheeseheads and take in Madison and a tour of the Trek factory.
  • St. Augustine. The Wifey has been there. She says it's great. I beleive her. Sign me up. The rest of Florida I could take it or leave it. I never got too excited about it. Maybe I'd feel different if I visited. Doubt it.
  • See a College football game in Tuscaloosa, Ann Arbor, South Bend, and Columbus. Bama is obvious, the rest, just because.
  • San Diego. Because it never gets old.

Thanks to everyone who attended the very hastily organized grill-fest last night. Happy Birthday to The Wifey who will turn 28 tomorrow. And lest we not forget The Legend who turned UCI 40 today. Enjoy the day off.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Three S's

I think I could get used to going to work at 1PM. I mean if I can’t work from 8-4 like the rest of you stiffs then why not go in at 1PM. Although, on orders from Coach Hebe, I’ve been told to rest the next three days otherwise I’d be out there hammering away for 2-3hrs today.

I managed to talk The Legend into “allowing” me to ride yesterday under his supervision. Good ride. A little over 2hrs. Fast cadence but just a nice easy ride. A couple times Mike had to tell me to ease off. I make it sound like I’m down on The Legend for telling me to shut it down for a few days but, alas, there is a method to his madness. Serious bicycle training starts Monday and it would suit me well to be as fresh as possible. Makes sense. PowerTap combined with CyclingPeaks combined with excellent guidance from Hebe should turn me into a crank bending powerhouse. Or so the theory goes.

This morning I climbed the big-ass tree in our back yard to trim some branches. I forgot how much fun it is to climb a tree. Mission accomplished. I also dug up the mulch around the perimeter of the garage and spread some diatomaceous earth to hinder the little critters trying to eat the walls.

Now, it’s time to shit, shave, and shower then go take a nap at work.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mt. Kessel

There was a near eruption of Mount Kessel this afternoon. Thursday I went to the local grocery store and purchased all the fixins to whip up some guacamole. Main ingredient….avocado. All I could find in the entire produce section of this place was these silly “low-calorie” avocados. So I bought two. I get home, cut ‘em open and sure enough…..pure shit inside. Mount Kessel starts to rumble slightly. Things like this really piss me off.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. The Wifey makes another trip to same grocery joint to pick some things up. Three more avocados this time. Same “low-cal” fruit but much firmer. Same freakin result. They smell funky. They’re brownish inside. Pure shit. This is when Mount Kessel begins to really boil. 5 avocados in three days at a cost of approx $1.70 a piece. Now, mind you, I’m not looking to buy these stupid “low-cal” avocados. What I want is a real Haas avocado. None of this chemically altered bullshit. This time I took all three of todays fruits and bagged them and will be returning them tomorrow.

Unfortunately this didn’t solve my urge for guacamole. I had to drive in to the other local grocery store, which manages to piss me off far more often than not. Alas, they actually had the real deal. On sale too. Disaster narrowly averted. Mount Kessel has simmered down to safe levels once again.

On another note, I just watched El Tigre blow away another field of hacks. It reminded me of how much I love my athletes to be dominant. And I mean abso-freakin-lutly DOMINANT. I gave up golfing a couple years ago. Riding is more fun and less aggravating. But I still enjoy watching this dude crush people on the golf course. When he is on, no one can compete. In fact he is so good at his craft that he most often has his competition beaten before it even starts. The others are playing for second place. They are mentally beaten.

Which is why I was/am a Lance fan. Clean or not, I still loved the beat downs he administered for 7 years. Personally, I enjoyed watching USPS/Disco ride tempo at the front all day long, keep a couple climbers in reserve to blow off any pretenders, and then watch Lance pop Jan/Ivan/Tyler/Iban/Joseba/Andreas/Levi/whoever off his wheel. That never got old for me. It was fun to watch.

My love for dominance doesn’t really translate to team sports. Anyone who reads this knows it’s quite the opposite. I root for perpetual losers. The Phillies haven’t won dick since 1980. Raiders? 1984. Flyers? I was barely even able to read let alone be a fan of hockey. 1975. ‘Bama? That’s been my most recent taste of glory. 1993. But this doesn’t mean I want to see dominant teams fail. For example; college football. Teams like Notre Dame, Nebraska, Miami, Florida State, or Oklahoma should never suck. This rule does NOT apply to Penn State, who as far as I’m concerned should always suck. Baseball; I don’t like the Yankees but the reason people hate them so much is because they win. It wouldn’t be any fun to see a team like that suck. Maybe one year but not over a long period. Detroit Red Wings. Colorado Avalanche. New York Rangers. They should never suck. You get the picture.

Party at Holmes Cyclery this week. The Boss has gone sailing on the Chesapeake for a week. I need to find a nice comfortable spot in the basement to take a nap. Just kiddin’. We actually work twice as hard when Allen’s gone so that he might leave more often. At any rate, leave me alone this week. I need to catch up my zzzzz’s.


Another good week of riding. One more week of JRA and then the real fun begins. Coach Hebe takes over the week after. 4 weeks to Charm. Then four more to Granogue. Holy crap, that puts us nearly through October. Time flies when, well, I guess I’m having fun.

Speaking of parties. Last night was the Calvin & Amy fest. Calvin is The Wifey’s cousin. Anyway, imagine 200 people congregated on one 4-acre property, of which approx 10 I know, eating drinking dancing swimming smoking talking yelling screaming drinking and did I mention eating? I’m never disappointed in the food. I was especially pleased to see pork bbq and sloppy joe’s. I had one of each along with a several pasta/potato salad concoctions and a bevy of cookies and brownies. My favorite cookies were the HOMEMADE choco-chips. Yum!

A few months ago Erin bought a real nice used bedroom/crib set-up for little junior. I attempted to assembled the crib today and lost patience real quick. It’s great furniture but unfortunately zero directions were included. After 20 minutes of rising temper I gave up only to hear Erin say she forgot about the other parts hidden in the closet. Nice. I wasn’t about to resume at that point but lucky for me Erin’s dad came over for an unrelated reason. Somehow he got roped into putting the thing together. I heard him barking pretty good for an hour or so. I certainly would have been happy to try it again later but he managed to get it together. That works. Speaking of pregnant. 4 months to go. I also heard news that friends of ours are expecting, again. Congrats!

I’ve been working with Champ-Sys on getting some cycling clothing made for the coming ‘cross season. I sent them a bunch of logos and colors and yesterday I received some artwork to get an idea of what things will look like. Now I just need to get an order together. Nate, Kenny, KHam, Hebe. Anyone else?

I’m sleepy. Time for a nap.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


I got in another great ride today. This weather is magnificent. 57 miles in 3hrs. I didn’t want to stop but I was getting pretty hungry. I’m still not sure what or why I’ve felt so good riding this week. I started using a supplement (legal) last Saturday and felt a positive effect. Of course you’re never sure of the source of these good sensations. Is it the pill or mental? At any rate, due to my great rides I feel it’s my duty to tell absolutely no one what exactly it is I’m taking (legal).

Today I ran out of samples of said supplement but felt the best I’ve been all week. I did pump my Vittoria Diamante Pro tires up to approx 135 psi after running them at 120 psi all season long. These tires are rated to max at 145 psi but I’ve felt no need to pump them that high. Although I am black from the waist down I would certainly not consider myself a big person. 120 psi has done me just fine so far. It just seemed today for 3hrs it was practically effortless. Not much wind. Dry. Sunny. Not a cloud in the sky. I don’t think you could order a more perfect day if it were possible. As much of a whiner as I am about weather I don’t think anyone could complain today.

Nascar was actually a joy to watch today considering it was a road race up in Watkins Glen. I need to make it up there again. it's not that long of a drive to see a good event.

As much as I’d love to sit here and peck away so more on the keyboard I believe I here the hammock crying out my name. L8

Friday, August 11, 2006

Blowin in the Wind

Well, not really. The past few days I just can’t get the wind figured out. Despite what Mr Weather-loser might forecast, it seems like no matter what direction I ride I’m getting headwind. No big deal. Just one of those minor annoyances of being a bicycler. Plus it reminded me of some good Bob Dylan songs to sing along in my head while I ride.

I’ve been feeling good on my rides this week. Hopefully good things to come this fall. I signed up for Charm City about 7 weeks early to ensure me a good starting spot. I’m going to use that race as a “training race” so to speak. It’s a full 4 weeks before the MAC season starts. I’m going to race Charm with my PowerTap set up on my ‘crosser. As if training for ‘cross is some mystical creature where only using my PowerTap will unlock the secret to being fast. It will, I’m sure, provide a nice set of numbers to base further training off of. I look forward to it.

Yesterday The Wifey and I both had the day off so after I rode in the morning we cruised over to BassPro with Erin’s parents to use up my Xmas gift card. I hate shopping but I managed to spend a little time and pick out a nice shirt and shorts to match. Outside of being a bicycler I really can’t call myself much of an outdoorsman but that place is pretty friggin cool. I guess I’m more of a Circuit City/Best Buy indoorsman but BassPro is fun.

We then went over to City Island and played a round of mini golf. Erin led halfway but completely unraveled after I deftly knocked in a hole-in-one on the 11th. Game over. After that we stopped at a Chinese buffet and gorged ourselves. Erin ate about 7lbs of king crab legs. I took a little of just about everything offered which made for a Bluto-ish type dinner plate x 2. Yum. I typically don’t care for Chinese food. Maybe once a year I’ll get a hankerin for it.

Weather looks nice for the weekend. Maybe a trip to Haars for a good double feature?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Further Adventures of KHam the Kitchen Cleaner

What does winning 4 consecutive MASS races get you at Holmes Cyclery? More respect and admiration than ever before. Way to go young Kyle!

KHam showing off his kitchen cleaning skills

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hey Brutha

I’m whupped. A rare Saturday off, and a beautiful day at that. Erin had another teacher type thing today that sent her to Allentown for the day so I was on my own. I got out of bed at 6:45am to send her off then took another 45 minute nap. I then proceeded to make a mega waffle/granola/mango/banana/kiwi breakfast. That damn near sent me to another nap but I fought through it.

Around 11am I headed out for a long easy ride. Just what the doctor ordered. Awesome weather. 3hrs. 50+ miles. I was getting a little cramped towards the end. Afterall, it was almost 90 by the time I finished. I was famished. Before I chowed down I did a little weigh-in. 140.0lbs. Obviously I didn’t eat diddly-poo during the ride and the cramping is an obvious sign of not enough water. BUT, holy shit! I’m sure I haven’t weighed this little since I was a porn-stache growing 10th grader.

So, I had the remnants of the sushi Coach Hebe bribed me with in exchange for building a couple wheels for him. Good stuff. Thanks brutha. Of topic a bit. Speaking of “brutha”. I was riding in to work a few weeks ago and was stopped at the 17th street bridge in Camp Hill. As I’m waiting for the light to change I hear this loud-ass rumbling of a motorcycle rolling up in the lane to the right of me to make a right turn. The unmistakable driver crawls by me and waves a peace sign and says “hey brutha”. Just for good measure, as if I didn’t know who it was, he turns around after he’s well beyond me and says “ it’s me, Turk”. Priceless.

Back to my day. After sushi, a trip to the couch. I watch the Sillies blow a sure win against the Mets. Dumbasses. It was enough to get me off the couch and mow the lawn. It was on my do-list so I had to do it eventually anyway. Now I’m looking to hit the couch again. I think when The Wifey gets home tonight we’re going to head up to the Lions Club in Marysville (Home of Kuhn ‘Cross) to take in the town carnival. I’ve had a hankerin for funnel cake for a while now and I’m sure I’ll find some there. All this hinges on how my wonderful pregnant wife is feeling after her long day. We’ll see.

I feel I have to pimp my XM radio some more. I’ve been listening a lot lately to channel 150 which is one of the comedy channels. Basically they play 5 minute clips of stand-up comedy routines from pretty much any funny person who ever told a joke. This goes right along with my long-standing need to have someone on my radio talk to me. Whether it be talk radio, sports, or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, 80’s new wave is still great but I’m having a ball listening to this stuff.

I also found a channel that plays nothing but that death metal shit where the lead singer sings in that low guttural voice while the band kachunka-chunkas away. Right now there is some band playing a song called 'Pool of Stool' (read these lyrics! a freakin riot). That, my friends, is not something you'll find on just any radio. Love it. I’m pretty sure Erin hates it. How do they make their voices do that? I want to learn.

Good day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Further Adventures of KHam the Broom Handler

So, what does winning three consecutive MASS races, including winning the third on a borrowed single speed, get you at Holmes’ Cyclery. Well, much admiration and respect, of course.

KHam - Sweeping the sidewalk out front - Temp in shade-136 degrees

All due respect, young Kyle has a nice streak going although we’re not going to just roll over and take it easy on him. That wouldn’t do him or us any good, now would it?

Monday, July 31, 2006


Today I got out for a pretty hot and nasty ride before I made my way over to meet Erin at her office. We then walked down to the Harrisburg Hospital for the last scheduled sonogram for little junior*. This was my first experience for such a thing as I was unable to attend the first one months ago. What an amazing experience. It’s one thing to be told in a waking fog by my wonderful wife as she waves a pregnancy test pee stick in my face that I’m going to be a father. It’s another thing to watch my wonderful wife grow a big beer belly over the past few months. BUT, when the sonogram tech put those images on the screen where you can see a living little person jumping and kicking and carrying on it really gets to be quite a pretty awesome deal. Can you tell I’m grinning just by reading this?

We made it known ahead of time we did NOT want to know the gender of little junior* and our wishes were granted. You can see an astonishing amount of things. You can see a beating heart clear as day. Little junior’s* heart rate was 150bpm at the time, which we were told was very normal and healthy. Funny how most fat-asses would be bent over in agony at that heart rate. Anyway, you could also see the spinal cord and feet and arms and legs. All sorts of measurements were taken and by those numbers we were told little junior* weighs approx 9 ounces right now. Half a pound! Although it’s too early to tell if junior* is going to be a left-handed pitching phenom for your Fightin’ Phillies 20 years from now or the next great big wave surfer, it’s still a joy to experience this process. Talk to me in a year when I’m getting zero sleep every night. We’ll see.

*Purely speculation on my part. While I'll be ecstatic either way, if you asked me what I'm hoping for, I guess it's pretty obvious.


No end in sight to the mungy weather. Kinda sucks. I’ve actually started to turn the corner a bit, mentally that is, on getting out on some road rides. I’ve been such a piece of crap ever since the start of June. Funny thing is I’m still ahead of last years miles by a healthy margin. Motivation to ride in the heat has been my downfall.

I dream in my sleep about walking outside and taking a deep breathe and feeling that fresh crisp chilly air fill my lungs. Nothing like it. 2 months. Mid-September to mid-November. More if were lucky. Isn’t it ironic that everything I find myself getting fired up about happens in the Fall. ‘Cross. Football. Hockey. Playoff Baseball. Turkey (the best holiday!).

Instead I will attempt to ride today in an already miserable temp of 91 just before noon. Tomorrow? Forget it. 102 is forecasted. Wednesday? 100. I’m not too disappointed that I’ll be working 4 straight 10hr days the rest of the week. By the time I have off Saturday it looks like it might be pretty decent.

I’m disappointed in all the bloggers who, after regaling us with countless “I remember when Floyd……..” stories, have not blessed us with needle sharing stories or blood swapping stories from back in the day. As I said in an earlier post, they’re ALL doing it. Only the ones who get caught are guilty. As great of a story as Floyd is/was, c’mon, are you really surprised? You’re more naive than I thought. I do wish Schmeg would shut his cake hole. The media always seeks out the biggest whiny cry-baby cycling has ever seen for a quick quote or three. I think we can all agree on this, we’re not interested.

5 weeks to go until we close Holmes’ at 7pm. Nice. I guess that also means its time for me to start thinking about a b-day gift for The Wifey. How will I outdo myself this time? And will there be another crab feast at Casa Hebe to co-celebrate? What is it this year Mike? 39??!!! You can’t possibly convince me that it was already a year ago Seve lifted his skirt and showed off his girlie-parts while playing Croquet. Sissy. I’m bitter and broken. Is there any honor in knowing I played like a man. I played to win, not to lose.