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.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006


What a world, what a world. It was 100 degrees in the shade the day I posted that entry. It reminded me of one of my all-time favorite movies. The Wizard of Oz. When Dorothy dumped a bucket of water on The Wicked Witch of the West she cries out "I'm melting, I'm melting". Just as she disappears her last words are "what a world, what a world". I know, I'm a simpleton. Have I ever given any reason to think otherwise?

So, we made it home from our Jim Thorpe lounge safe and sound. I was so tired from relaxing the past two days that I needed to take it easy today and nap a little. Rough stuff.

Monday morning we finally did our touristly duty by visiting the Asa Packer Mansion. We’ve been meaning to do it the past couple times we’ve been up there but never made it. quite an impressive place. Asa Packer has an interesting story behind him and walking through this mansion was pretty friggin cool. The tour guide claimed the place is still 95% original. I won’t bore you with the details but it was eye-popping to see how awesome a millionaire’s (billionaire by today’s standards) mansion was back in the day. If you’re ever in the Jim Thorpe area do yourself a favor and check this place out.

Outside the Packer Mansion - Neat place

I did manage to hit the Lehigh Gorge rail trail yesterday for exactly 50 miles. I wish I had my powertap on my ‘cross bike to see what those numbers looked like. Dead flat for roughly 44 of those miles. Pushing ‘cross tires on a cinder trail is not as easy as you might think. Or was it the fact that I was riding alone for 2hrs 50mins? Nevertheless, it was a good ride. I did use my HRM, which told me I spent all of 2hrs 20mins at around 160bpm. That works.

It was a little toasty on that ride so when I got back I filled the whirlpool with cold water and jumped in with only minor shrinkage. That felt good. Then I moved to a hot shower to loosen up my stiff legs. You Williams Girls (you know who you are!) will be happy to know that I’ve altered my shower routine to now include below the knee soaping and cleansing. Although I still refuse to pay any attention to my feet. If I soap my entire self above the ankles while also shampooing my head, I contend that gallons of water per minute coming from the shower washing all those cleansing agents off of me by way of my toes is all the attention my feet need. It’s not like I have smelly cheesey feet. I challenge any of you to come up with a cleaner pair of feet. Note: I did NOT say prettier feet! Just cleaner. Am I wrong? America (ode to Bernie Mac), tell me I’m right here.

Is next week really the beginning of August???

Monday, July 24, 2006

Church bells

I’m relaxing at the Inn at Jim Thorpe right now. We got a pretty sweet room. Top floor. It dropped into the mid-50’s last night. Aaahhh, that felt nice.

I worked the MS 150 ride this weekend. I had the last rest-stop Saturday which drug on forever waiting for everyone to roll through. Sunday I had the first stop which required less time but more work. Lots of flats and gear adjustments. Sometimes it’s tricky to tell someone the reason their bike is not shifting is because it’s P.O.S.

I was home in time to catch the final stage of Le Tour. Waytogo Floyd. I have no stories of being passed in the woods back in the day by a wheelie-ing Floyd to tell. I really was never a big Floyd fan. Sorta ambivalent really. Until that mega-comeback last week. That was freakin’ macho. Legendary. How can you not root for that? Anyway, pretty cool. Erin’s dad now has a new hero.

After watching the tour finish we hit the open road for JT. Got here quickly and settled into lounge mode. Due to my work schedule I don’t need to be back to work until Thursday. Sweet. Looks like nice days for my lounge. This town is cool. Quaint. Touristy but I like it. The local church bells ring on the hour telling you what time it is. Reminds me of when I lived in East Berlin growing up. I would ride my BMX bike all over town during the summer but never knew what time it was until the church bells rang.

I brought my TCX so I could do a road ride and an extra set of wheels so I could then get on the rail trail for a bit of ‘cross type stuff. Sunday afternoon I got out for a road ride. I wanted to explore a little so I tooled around town and then headed toward the mountains. The town itself has some VERY steep little climbs all over. Not exactly short ones either. I mean not a tenth or two. Half milers straight up. Warmed me up good. Once I crossed the Lehigh River into the other part of town I new I had a more sustained climb. 3 miles of it. The first part of it was steep but in steps and also still in town so I didn’t pay attention so much but as I headed north out of town I realized how much elevation I had already gained. At that point I climbed through the woods on a nice paved road with a wide shoulder. It never got hard but I was in my 25 most of the time. I never imagined I would be climbing for 2 more miles. At the top it plateaud so I kept going for about 7-8 miles to the next town and then turned around. Just before I dropped back down the climb I saw a sign indicating a 2 mile descent at 6%. That put it into perspective. Halfway down I saw another sign indicating the first mile I climbed through town was 9%. It helped me in a small way gain an appreciation for the Tour climbs. Say for instance La Toussuire. 12 miles @ 6%. Or the Galibier. 26 miles @ 4.5%. Not particularly steep but I only went 2 miles @ 6%. Pretty nuts. I couldn’t imagine something like Joux-Plane 7.5 miles @ 8.7%! Ri-damn-diculous.

Today we had breakfast at a diner down the street. I had French toast and some scrambled eggs. Erin had a mega-omelet. Now we’re back in lounge mode. I’m going to throw on the ‘cross wheelset this afternoon and do the Lehigh Gorge rail trail. Out and back should be around 50 miles or so. Flat obviously but that’s good. No coasting. It’s like riding at the beach without the wind. Nowhere to coast. Tempo, tempo, tempo. Plus it’s scenic. I can work up an appetite for more grub and a nap. Maybe a lounge in our whirlpool tub.

Enjoy the day.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

What a world, what a world

10 bucks to the first person that correctly identifies the relevance of the title of this post.

A little warm today, eh? I digress. The Wifey and I cruised over to Casa Legend last night for some good grub and hung out a bit. We couldn’t come up with a movie to fall asleep watching so Mike threw in season 1 of The Land of the Lost. I haven’t seen nary a rerun anywhere in probably 20yrs of this quality Saturday morning TV program from back in the day. We watched the first 2 episodes. The first was how they met Cha-Ka. The second, and more highly anticipated, was the first appearance of the sinister and quite scary Sleestaks. Good entertainment. We went to Reeser’s for some soft serve ice cream and called it a night.

Today I met El Legend for a quick but hot-as-balls ride over to Cousin Calvin & Amy’s to meet our wives for a dip in their mega pool. That hit the spot. Thanks to them for having us. One month ‘til their Fest. Always fun.

Speaking of fests. Erin’s Uncle Jimmy took some pictures at our BBQ and sent them to us on a disc, which we received yesterday. Lots of good pics. Most of them funny. These are some of my favorites.

Your humble narrator workin my stainless steel Weber

Thotis, Seve, Oz, The Legend - badminton anyone?
Me pointing out The Wifey's beer belly, eerrrr.....Pregnant belly
I think I might be in a bit of trouble posting this one.....The Mrs Legend
Nicki, John, and Brother of John enjoy my hard efforts...The Mini-Patio

Enjoy the week. Stay cool.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


If I were to say to you, my loyal readers, I have absolutely nothing at all to say right now, would that mean that I just said something?

Instead I'll leave you with my favorite image from this past Sundays mega-couch/lounge. Priceless. Silly Frenchie. Or.............

My favorite image from the Drive-ins Saturday night. Enough.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


The Wifey and I hosted our 2nd Annual BBQ-Fest on Sunday. All went well. Thanks to all who attended. It seems like I never get to spend as much time with everyone while I’m too busy grilling up burgers, doggies, and hog-birds or just generally running around with zippy’s disease making sure everything is ok.

I did didley poo yesterday which is exactly how today is looking. I may get on Erin’s elliptical machine for an hour or so. I used it a week ago and sorta enjoyed it. I’d get on my bike but vicious rain is headed this way in short order. We did go out and get breakfast at
Eat & Puke. My favorite breakfast joint, Zach’s Country Kitchen in New Cumberland, was closed so E & P it was. I’m never disappointed with E & P but you just always think you can do better at a mom & pop place. I had a scrambled eggs and bacon with a waffle covered with an apple cinnamon slurry. I have the worlds most sweetest sweet tooth but your standard syrups are just way too much. Good stuff.

We watched Le Tour finish. I thought those final hills would shed the sprinters more but credit
Tornado Tom for getting over that last bump in the road and snagging yellow. Macho. An equally macho achievement was accomplished in the sports world today. Competitive eating is quality entertainment. 53.75!! Crazy.

We went to see
The DaVinci Code last night with The Mr & Mrs Legend. Good flick. It was tough to keep up with all that’s thrown at you but I was entertained and stimulated just the same. I find theology fascinating. Part history. Part……well….fiction, I guess. Erin read the book and was happy with the movie. The only drawback was getting to say "hello" and "goodbye" to The Legends and not much else. The Wifey and I wanted to grab a beer at Coakley's but I guess old people need more sleep or something like that.

Speaking of reading books. Why is it that since I’ve been married I no longer read books but just lie on my ass and watch TV? I do ride way more now also but I’ll be damned if I haven’t read 2 books in 3 years. Maybe I should sell the ‘Ol 55er. Maybe being married has nothing to do with it and that giant TV has everything to do with it. I wonder what Erin would say if I asked her? My zippy’s disease comment earlier in this post is a reference to one of my favorite books.
Road Fever. Cool book.

Thor hammering away right now. Late