Sunday, April 30, 2006
We went dirt-trackin Friday night. Never a dull moment at the dirt track. To keep a long story short I have two words for you: minivan racing. Yep, among the sprint cars and late models and street stocks they had a 10 lap minivan race. Let me tell you it was f-ing funny/bad-ass wrapped into one. The track had to put a man made chicane on the front stretch just so these minivans wouldn’t carry too much speed into the turns and most certainly roll as a result. It didn't stop one dude from flipping his Caravan about 6-8 times...........on the front stretch.........while leading. Pretty fun stuff. Oh yeah, on Thursday nights they race school buses at Susqy. And I’m not talking about the short buses most of you took to school. I’m talking full length non-‘tard buses. That must be quite a sight.
I got out for 2.5hrs of cycling bliss both days this weekend. Awesome weather for a little saddle time. I finished up April with more YTD miles to this point than any time in my cycling days. And that’s taking into account the 6 weeks or so I was off my roadie from late Jan to Mid March.
The Wifey made some good grub this morning. Baked French toast. I’m sure there was at least a stick of butter in it but damn was it good. Saturday we grilled some pork tenderloins with some homemade mashed potatoes and sauerkraut on the side. Friday we went to KClingers before the races. I’m never disappointed with the food at that place nor the service or beverage selection but it seems like we never go there. It’s gotta be no more than 5 miles from our place. I need to get there more often. Great place to visit if you’re a beer drinker.
I put together the hammock on Saturday and got some quality lounging in both days. Erin fell asleep in it this afternoon. I wish I had my digital camera handy to snap a pic or two of her snoring away working up a good nap drool. It's not hard to get sleepy real fast on that thing. Next I have to work on getting the badmitton court up and rolling. I think we're going throw another BBQ here at the Casa de Kessel in July. Invitations are forthcoming.
Friday, April 28, 2006
Kenny's Report. A fresh persective. Check it out. dk
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
People have dreams. Various dreams. Some big. Some small. Some in the middle. Lately the idea has popped into my head that I need to travel the country and experience the sights and sounds of hockey in every city with an NHL team. Maybe have some dumb corporate sponsor pay for my trip as I document my experiences on this silly little blog. Something as simple as the horn teams use after a goal is scored. Who’s is the best. Some are single blasts of an air horn. Some, two or three blasts. Some are high pitched and some are real low. My preference is to hear a low pitched horn either one long blast or three shorter ones. If my memory serves correct I think St Louis has one of the better ones. Colorado has a good three blast horn. The Flyers changed theirs mid-season this year. I’m not a fan. It’s not quite low enough and nowhere near long enough. I think there needs to be an expert or consultant to the teams of Hockey who can tailor the home team horn to best suit the wishes of the fans. I think I can be that person. I will retire my post as a Bike Shop Tool and become a Hockey Horn Consultant. I think I’ll run this by The Wifey in the morning.
Friday night we’re going to Susqy Speedway for some serious red-neck fun. It ain’t racin’ ‘nless there’s dirt in yer beer. Speaking of sights and sounds at a sporting event. There’s plenty for your senses at the dirt track. There’s nothing quite like the smell of exhausted race fuel. Pretty addictive stuff. My friend Zach is a race car driver. He’s got a set of stones, let me tell you. I think it takes a special character to set foot on that kind of race track. Should be fun.
This gas situation is really interesting. People are getting pretty hyper about $3 a gallon. They are pissed that oil companies are hitting record profits. Last time I checked, one gallon of milk is roughly the same price as one gallon of gas. Milk. From the cow just down the street. Why aren’t people bitching about the high cost of milk? And speaking of companies making a profit. Since when was making a profit a crime? I don’t know too many businesses that aren’t looking to make a little money. You’re not around very long if you don’t. I think I’ll go to the grocery store tomorrow and explain that I’m having a tough time making ends meet this week so the price they’re charging for mangos is a little steep. Bananas too. Can you sell them to me at a lower price? I’d like to buy a few steaks as well. But I think you’re charging too much. Can you lower the price some? Hey man, I’m hungry. How dare you make money when I’m hungry. I dunno. If you think it’s too much to spend for gas use less of it. Figure something else out. Of course it’s easy for me to say. I rarely drive.
I do drink plenty of cow juice though. Yum.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
It sure turned into a nice day after the rain stopped this morning. I usually like to get a ride started before noon but the weather pushed that back to 1:00. It was still wet when I got under way and I only carried one large bottle of water thinking I’d only do an hour to an hour and a half. Twenty minutes in I could see breaks in the clouds and a ray of sunshine here and there so I decided not to cut it short and go longer. I cruised out to the fabled Col du Whiskey Springs, where I knew I could fill my bottle at the spring, and then back home. I’m glad I added the extra hour because it turned out to be my best ride of the year so far. I felt great. The weather was great. Perfect temp for a ride if you ask me. 65.
Today marks another milestone in my plight against petroleum. I have now reached a full three months since I last filled my truck. I figure I have about 75-80 miles of gas left in the tank so I should easily make it to 100 days. I think my previous record was around 60 days but we had such a pleasant (read: NO SNOW!) spring I was able to commute a lot. In fact, I’m way ahead of last years commuting miles and I should hit 1000 road bike miles a full two weeks ahead of last year. Another week should get me there.
I’ve already found playoff hockey nirvana. First two nights and I watched three overtime games. That doesn’t suck. What does suck is last nights OT game was a Flyers loss. They looked good though. I think they’ll be ok. Just another fan of a Philly sports team. I know, I’m a sucker for the Phillies and Flyers. Year after year another broken hearted sucker.
Yesterday was the first MASS mtb race. I imagine the conditions were pretty much crap. Some guys love crap. Some guys excel in crap. It’s an advantage if you can show up when it’s 45 degrees and pouring rain and you’re happy about it. Mental. I always enjoy reading FatMarc's blog and he had an interesting story from yesterdays race. Man, that sucks. Anyway, looks like VisitPA Ray had an ok race. He finished 5th but had brake issues that forced him to run descents. Might have had a better placing otherwise. Our boy KHam was 10th or 11th and also had tech issues. Can’t wait to here the smack tomorrow at Holmes. The rest of the VisitPA boys had a good day. That’s a strong team they have. Not sure if anyone did Michaux today. Two straight wet muddy days in the woods is tough. No thanks, I’ll stick with my ’crosser.
Aaahhh summer is just around the corner. Hammock time. Warm up your phone Mrs Legend.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Yesterday he came in to purchase a new tri bike. A Trek this time. I took charge of sizing him and getting him fit to his new rig. The whole process takes roughly an hour, give or take. Cleat position, seat height, seat fore and aft, stem rise and length. A breeze. We chit chatted about riding and what he was planning to do this summer. A few competitions, a few charity rides and then seemingly out of nowhere, bang! Frank tells me his wife passed away a few weeks ago. Shit. Leukemia. I remembered hearing she was sick but I honestly don’t recall it being serious. I felt crushed. As bad as I felt, I know isn’t even close to how he feels right now. Frank’s resolve now is to raise awareness and funds in an effort to fight the disease that took his wife. Makes sense.
So, Frank and I shifted gears because I know I didn’t want to dwell on it and I’m sure he didn’t either. We wrapped it up talking about how exciting this year Tour should be. Who will win. Podium. American hopefuls. Frank paid for his new bike and went home. He’ll pick his new bike up today. And I just can’t possibly imagine what my life would be like without the most fantastic wifey of ‘em all, Erin. Hug your loved one. Do it for Frank. Do it for me. Do it for yourself.
On to sunnier topics. The hockey regular season wrapped up last night. We hockey fans, all six of us, patiently and loyally watch from October to April just to get to this point. Playoff Hockey. Man are there ever some great first round match-ups. Unfortunately, the Flyers have a tough opponent and as much as I hate to say it look poised for an early exit. Buffalo has played them hard all year. Out West, Detroit looks like the cream of the crop although have seriously shit the bed in the playoffs the past few years. Dallas is also good. The hottest team has been San Jose and would be a good sleeper pick. Playoff Hockey is all about goaltending. Lots of teams have untested goalies. Therefore, Ottawa won’t do shit without The Dominator. Rookie goaltender. Carolina was good all year but…..untested netminder. By far the hottest team in the East has been the NJ Devils. They have maybe the best goalie ever, Martin Brodeur. Hard not to pick them. Whatever the case, it all starts Friday night. Predictions? Not really a stretch, Red Wings over the Devils in 6. Watch it you hosers.
House is the best show on TV not named CSI. Actually, I think I look forward to House moreso than CSI anymore. It’s a good serious medical show with a fare amount of one-liners to keep it amusing at the same time. Last night was no exception. I was giggling about the “six-foot hose up your ass” comment for at least 10 minutes. Hebe and I have talked at the water cooler about what shows get away with when it comes to those quick witty little one-liners. How much of that stuff slips through the cracks. The double-entendre. Priceless.
High-ho, high-ho, off to work I go. Payday. Sweet. Late.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
A few observations on my ride today. I wonder how many people that fought for a parking spot today at their respective church compounds are visiting for the first time since xmas? Judging by all the dicknoses double-parked on the streets, I’d have to say a bunch.
Roadies, in general, never wave hello when passing by. In contrast, if you ever come across a mtb’r in the woods it’s party time bro. Dude, bust out the hippie lettuce! Why are roadies such douchebags? I’m not saying all of ‘em but, yes, a good majority of ‘em. I wave to everyone. I don’t care. I’m happy when I’m on my road sled. Spread the joy I say. Even the assclown on his $300 Diamond Back rig he bought at Dick’s refuses to acknowledge anyone. Is it elite-ism? WTF? I do see a World Cup dude with very good posture(straight back) who always waves. He’s probably happy when he rides too. I’m not going to make it my life’s work to get all roadies to start waving hello. Just a curiosity.
I finally did a workout today to figure out some power numbers at which training will be based. I was unsure of what to expect out of this workout but I wasn’t expecting to be as whipped as I was afterward. A 45min warm-up then 1min full gas 10min rest 5min full gas 10min rest 1min full gas 5min rest 1min full gas 2min rest 15sec full gas 2min rest 15sec full gas cool down. Spanked me good. The last couple efforts had me cross-eyed a bit. Ended up with around 45 miles or so. Good ride in general. I certainly don’t miss doing interval type workouts like I do before ’cross season but all in the name of being faster, right?
Off to Erin’s rents for some dinner. Steak, I think. No ham here.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
I left work and went straight to Coakley’s to bend the ‘ol elbow for a couple before the gang showed up. Kenny joined me shortly thereafter. Once Emily showed up we started feeding her as much adult beverage as the stinkin waitress hag would allow. Nothing nasty. A good steady mix of shots, beer, mixed drinks. But that freaking waitress hag just wasn’t with the program. I honestly don’t know if the wait staff is told to not overly intoxicate any bar patrons or what but more than a couple times I had to go hunt down this chick to get us more booze. We stayed until midnight but because the waitress was a ‘tard I don’t think anyone was hammered except for John. It’s funny to watch what happens to some people when they get a little tipsy. John, at that point when the achohol see-saw drops the other direction, loves to F-bomb in the loudest Williams voice he can muster. Funny. So we left at high midnight. Emily and her friend Danielle cruised over to Gullifty’s for more fun but I had to get The Wifey home so she could ready herself for a 6AM alarm clock. I think everyone had fun. I hope Em did at least.
Today I got started on my ride a little earlier than usual for my day off. Don’t know why. Whatever the case, once I got going I couldn’t have been more uninspired, unenthused, or unmotivated. It took me 60 minutes to feel any sort of spark. Not that I felt tired. Just didn’t have any get-up-and-go. If you saw the picture of my road sled from a couple posts ago you might have noticed a rather weary looking Flite saddle. Sucker is 10yrs old. Love the little bastard. But I think wore out about 3yrs ago and it’s taken me this long to replace it. Any decent cyclist will tell you finding the right seat is not easy. I put a WTB on my sled Tuesday and got two good rides in before today. Felt good. Not spectacular but it felt keepable. Today, a whole nuther story. From about mile 3 on that seat was killing my grundle. Abusive. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t get going. All I know is that saddle is not going to do the trick. Which sucks because now I have to try something else. The great unknown.
If I get a ride in tomorrow before work and Saturday before work I’ll be real close to a 200 mile week. Never did that before. Funny thing is today once I finally did get moving I didn’t want to stop but The Grundle was protesting quite a bit.
I wanted to bust out the hammock today because it is abso-freakin-lutely beautiful outside. However, the radar shows some storms on the way and tomorrow looks wet so I guess I’ll wait. Also looks like I’m mowing the grass Sunday. Aaaah, the joys of spring.
We had the annual employee reviews yesterday. Pretty much involves a little pow-wow in the back office with El Jefe. A little back and forth dialog on improving this, that, and the other thing. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Yes, yes, yes. Here’s your raise. Thanks. Hand-shake. Meetings over. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I’d get paid what I do to toil at something I love, the bicycle. Are you kidding me? now don’t assume it’s all fun and games at Holmes Cyclery. Work does get done. I usually am pretty wiped out at the end of the day. But, yep, there is plenty fun and games too. I would not hesitate to say I’m pretty lucky.
Jane’s Addiction – Trip Away. Fred. Nice.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
I put in my first 50 miler today. I wanted to do a few sprints/intervals to give me some more data to base my training/fitness on but I just never warmed up or felt comfortable to really open it up today. At 11am when I started my ride it was only 42 outside. I don’t think it ever got above 50 until I was nearly done. So, rather than my planned workout, I settled into a nice endurance paced ride and just kept on going. Fuel? I mixed three ounces of Clif Shot with three ounces of agua into a little plastic flask and downed that midway. Worked pretty well. I definitely didn’t run out of gas. My legs started to protest a bit towards the end but not too bad.
Wow, did the Disco boys ever have a rollercoaster kind of day! With less than 50k’s to go they had three in a 12(+-) man break. Big George snapped a steerer tube(rest assured, Trek is shitting their pants over this) his day is done. That's not something you'd hope for. He no doubt would have been podium before that bit of misfortune. Leif and Vlad get Dq’d after finishing 2nd and 4th for failing to stop at a railroad crossing(????). Nutty stuff.
VisitPARay is out at Sea Otter this weekend. Looks like he nailed a 4th in the Semi-pro Short track. Dude is freakin fast. KHam dropped out of some dog race in NJ. I wonder how the smack will go when Ray and Kyle work together again? Only just the beginning of what should be wonderfully competitive banter between these two. The Legend adds fuel to the fire as much as possible. Fun.
Emily turns 21 Wednesday. Stay tuned for details on where the celebration goes down.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
The old rig is new again
Good ride today. 40 miles. Decent weather. Coulda been just a bit warmer but all-in-all a nice day. I cruised out towards Boiling Springs and back.
The Sillies have already managed to piss me off and we’re only three games into the season. Freakin’ a-holes.
Ditto Flyers. Dumbasses.
Years ago, back when I was a Deadhead, I gave away my Essential Clash CD. I had no interest. Is it too late to ask for it back? Yo, Kami? Since I’ve been listening to Fred on XM I’ve heard a bunch of Clash songs. Some familiar, some not. ALL of them are good. None of them suck. Now I think I need to purchase myself Essential Clash all over again. Good stuff.
Should I stay….
Or should I go now?
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Monday, April 03, 2006
As I flip through the channels one last time before I trudge of to bed what do I find? One of my most favorite movies of all time and I'm pretty sure the only musical I have room for in my small little mind. The King and I. Damn, I love this movie. I wish it weren't almost midnight. If anyone is in the gift buying mood this would be one to consider. Hint, Wifey.
Yul Brynner is funny as hell in this movie. He was a busy dude the year this movie was made. 1956. He also was Rameses in The Ten Commandments. A classic. And also he did Anastasia. Not the friggin cartoon. I know there are only so many combinations a man can come up with when it comes to what color your tux/shirt/vest/tie will be on the big wedding day. I saw Anastasia before I got married and saw YB wearing a black tux with a white shirt, white vest, and a white bow tie. Dude looked sharp. That's how I did it. Certainly nowhere near as well. Good movies. All of 'em. While you're at it don't forget to watch The Magnificent Seven one more time. Of the Seven, only two are still alive. One you may have never heard of - Robert Vaughn. The other you may not recognize by his name - Eli Wallach, but rather by the name of one of his most famous movie characters - Tuco (he was The Ugly in The Good, The Bad, The Ugly).
John Wayne. Steve McQueen. Yul Brynner. What is their common bond? You can rattle off a ridiculous number of phenomenal movies these dudes put out. All three died of lung cancer. Knuckleheads. I guess when these dudes were prominent the information available to us now about how lethal smoking is just wasn't there. It befuddles me that anyone at all would smoke these days but who knows, maybe in a couple more years the gov'ment will save us from ourselves and ban smoking. Period. Short rant. I totally disagree with smoking. Don't get it. I hate going to smokey bars/restaraunts. However, I also feel that personal responsibility trumps big gov'ment coming to the rescue. If you want to smoke, smoke. I won't join you. But plenty of people will. If you own a bar/restaraunt and want to allow smoking, do it. I won't spend my time there. But plenty of people will. Only the tip of the iceberg on personal responsibility.
More good news. I lamented weeks ago about the demise of playoff hockey as we once knew it. Sudden death overtime. Play goes on until someone scores. Could be two minutes, could be two hours. Serious edge of your seat stuff. Turns out I may have had bad info on the topic. I'm still trying to find the facts but I heard over the weekend in the middle of the night while an earphone was jammed in my ear a hockey guy say sudden death overtime is still the way it will go. Rejoice. I know you will.
Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!
Sunday, April 02, 2006
As for the present. I got some more good miles in this weekend. I tried to ride north before work yesterday to try and meet KHam on his way in but couldn't find him. I ended up not knowing how long it would take me to get from where I was to the shop so I had to TT for about 25 minutes until I felt safe. Pretty good ride.
Today, another 40miler. Ho-hum. I did hit a new wattage high today. 1102. At mile 37. Just a short little pitch that I normally muscle over anyway but I thought I'd give it a go. Yo, Hebe? Think we can work on training to put out 1100watts for 45 minutes? Didn't think so. All in good fun.
My prediction for the future is tied to the fact that I'm sending my LeMond Tete back to have it refinished, no charge. The finish on Trek/LeMond/Fisher/Klein bikes is warranteed for one year. My sled is almost exactly that old so I just made it. I sweat like a weirdo. And even though I do my best to clean up my frame after particularly sweaty rides the carbon around the brake cable stops is corroding pretty bad. I'll send it back, get it refinished, and then sell it when I get it back. I'll ride my old MJ until June 1st at which time I will order a new rig. I LOVE my Tete but the Nove should ride pretty close to the same. Why June 1st? EP changes from 15% to 25% on that day. That works.
Enough about bikes. Yesterday Erin and Emily rearranged our living room. Looks good. Before, I thought we needed something else in there but now it looks great. Maybe something to hang on the wall but nothing major. Now we can line up plant life along the big front windows. Cool. I rewarded their efforts by grilling some turkey burgers with some bellas and bacon and swiss. Yum.
The Sopranos was much better tonight. I wasn't so impressed with the first few weeks. I waited 2yrs for this???? Tonight, however, some real meaty story lines are kicking in.
Erin made a real tastey dinner tonight. Chicken breast chopped up in a salad with fries thrown in. Fantastic. Couldn't have done it better myself. The beauty of riding my ass off again is the amount of food I get/need to eat. As the title of my last entry states: I heart food.