Sunday, April 20, 2014

Car Watching - 1966 Ford Mustang

When someone thinks "classic Mustang", this is almost surely the car they conjure in their mind.  This one is a 1966 Ford Mustang.  It has the 289 V8 (I would love to see the VIN number, but my guess it's a C-code), styled steel wheels, a Rally Pack on the dash, but no dual exhausts or trumpets.  It was very well done.  I love the red on red, and the convertible boot is red as well.

And it was parked right in front of Grandma and Grandpa's house, just waiting for me to photograph it.  Right-click the photo, it's huge and it's got really nice detail.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rex - The Dog who Stole Easter

Remember in "A Christmas Story" when the dogs busted into the house near the end of the movie and ate the Christmas ham? (Or was it turkey?)  That's sort of what Rex did today.  He wasn't...ahem...secured in his crate when we were all gone this afternoon.  And there happened to be a nice bag full of Easter candy on the dining room table.  He didn't eat the Skittles. 

Good thing Grandma will have lots of M&M's for me on Sunday.....

Great Mountain Bike Riding at Greensfelder!

Yes, it's a selfie.  But my bike is in the background, so that's good, right?

Fantastic weather today for a mountain bike ride.  I chose Greensfelder because it's the hardest trail around.  I did two loops of the long trail (Dogwood, Greenrock, Race Loop), one in each direction.  Very satisfying and quite a lot of fun.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Food as Decoration That Tastes Good

I hate rice.  Mostly, I hate wild rice, with brown rice a close second.  White rice is neither here nor there.  The beautiful Mrs K knows that I hate rice, so she usually makes an effort to church it up so I won't feel so affronted.  This time, she did a job that a chef would be proud of.

There is the rice.  On top of that, there is garlic humus.  And yes, yes, yes.  Sitting atop that lovely combination is bacon.  Bacon!  And there's bacon on the asparagus, too!  Oh yeah, there is meat there as well, which was also good.

Let this sink in:  Humus.  Bacon.  Humus and bacon hiding the rice.

There is good in the world, and it starts with humus and bacon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Foundry Broadaxe - An Awesome Riding Experience

When last we spoke about the Broadaxe, it was but a twinkle in the garage.  Since then, I've ridden it at Greensfelder and Cliff Cave. 

At Greensfelder, the light weight was such a welcome trait.  Climbing is great.  Acceleration is great.  And even going downhill on rocky ledges is a blast. On the bumpy, horribly pockmarked dirt sections that horses have torn to shreds; not a treat.  It's a hard tail, Martha.  A hard tail.  It's not a rough hard tail, though.  On the contrary, it's pretty smooth riding FOR A HARD TAIL.  So I found the limitations, but it isn't anything I didn't know.

Today I zoomed around the twisty turns and switchbacks at Cliff Cave.  The greatest trait of this bike is not it's climbing, nor it's acceleration.  Nope.  It's the turning.  I was compelled to put my weight over the front wheel and dig that front wheel in on every tight corner and each time I was taken back to my 26" days.  Love the turning!

I noticed that I had the spacers under the stem at Greensfelder, giving it sort of a high-up feel.  I had previously been using an 80mm fork, so in building up this bike I didn't take into account that this was a 100mm.  Swapped the spacers and the front end was right at home. 

As I sit here writing this, I hope I don't talk myself into changing something.  I never seem to leave well enough alone, and this bike is well enough.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Rolf the Great Dane - The biggest Dog I have Ever Seen

Meet Rolf.  He is a very big Great Dane.  I had the pleasure of meeting him last night as his owners strolled by the store last night.  He is five years old and full of energy.  It was hard to catch a good photo of him because he was pretty nervous about being in the store.  I wish I could have gotten a good shot of his face.

His back is just about the same height as my belt.  His head came up to my chest when he stood at full attention.  He is without a doubt the largest dog I have ever seen in person.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Foundry Broadaxe - The finished product

I present to you:  The finished Foundry Broadaxe.  Twenty Two pounds of carbon delight.

Normally, I'm not a the one telling everyone how great carbon is.  Being broke nearly all the time, I usually try to find something to love in aluminum.  There are aluminum bikes littering my garage and basement.  However, thanks to the good folks at Foundry and Big Shark, I'm going to be as modern as flying jet packs and hoover cars.  Bedding in the brakes on the hill in front of my house, I was again reminded how flimsy a light alloy frame is compared to something like this.  I can only assume when I hit the trails tomorrow that I will see the true measure of 21st century mountain bike technology.

It's a very up to date frame, with a press fit bottom bracket, tapered head tube, short chainstays (even for a 29er), through-axles, etc, etc.  I put it together with an improvised 1x10 Shimano XT kit (34t Wolf Tooth chainring/11-36t XT Cassette). The wheels are Stan's Crest, tires are Maxxis EXO and Continental Protections...only burly tires can survive our sharp rock trails.  And the best part:  it fits just like POS Blue.

I'll write up a synopsis for anyone that cares tomorrow or Friday.  I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Happy Birthday, Elijah Oliver

Eight years old today!  Happy birthday, Eli!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Old Records

 Rooting around for things to use for Eli's birthday party, I came across a pile of old 45 rpm records in Grandma and Grandpa's basement.  It was a treasure trove.
 The Osmonds.  Wish I would have looked for the copyright date.
 Cher.  What more can you say?
 "I'm Rick James......!!"
The crown jewel.  Oh, Mickey you're so fine.

Rapid Fire Photo Bombing

I love Max and Hanna.  I really do.  They are such crazy teenagers.  And I have 17 more photos, almost all exactly like this one, to prove that you don't leave your phone unattended for even a moment.  The first photo I really like.....
....but because I like to show them MY sense of humor, I'll post one of the less flattering bombs.

Car Watching - Tesla

My favorite view of the Tesla is the rear.  But here I took the only view I could get on short notice.  The Tesla is an ordinary car at a glance, but look closer and you'll see curves and lines that really show it's beauty.  Next one I see, I'll take rear end shots.

Car Watching - 1972 Dodge Challenger

 Although I didn't take these photos, a coworker did and sent them to me today from our parking lot.  For my money, it's a 1972 Dodge Challenger.  It could be a 73, so correct me if I'm wrong.
 It's looking good, except for the "take it to the drag-strip" wheels.
And it appears to have the goods under the hood, too.  The 440.  Thanks, Jeff!

Friday, April 04, 2014

George Kakouris - 23 years

Every couple of years on this blog I point out the anniversary of my dad's passing.  I'm always reminded by it because Eli's birthday is in a few days, making the first part of April more memorable.   I actually remember this date much easier than I remember his birthday.

Even though he has already been gone for 23 years, I am still not at the age that my father was when I was born.  He was FORTY NINE when I was born.  If Deanna and I had a child right now, I would have a heart attack.

Funny how time flies, though.  It doesn't seem that long ago.  Maybe because I keep him alive with jokes and stories with my kids and others.  I usually start off BMX stories with "back in the old days when my dad drove me to races....", etc.  Still sort of a heart break that my kids never knew him.  Even Hanna, my oldest, missed him by almost 10 years.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Career Day - Kids grow up so fast these days!

I never remember having anything that resembled a "career day" when I was 8. To be honest, I don't think I even heard the term until I was in college.

And that may be why our children will be better than us.  Our kids have career days.  And they dress snappy when they have to.  Take our young man here, Eli Kakouris.  He was more than happy to break out the coat and tie.

So...what's it gonna be?  Electrical engineer?  Physicist? Bicycle store manager?  Er...scratch that last one.  That's why we have career days, son.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lost Valley Mountain Bike Race - Great Weather Shocker!

You have to start somewhere.  No matter what you do, you have to have a starting point and move forward.

I admit to being very reluctant to race this year.  For a variety of reasons:  We're having financial hardships, can't afford to get hurt again, much turmoil at home, and plain old fear of getting hurt again.  But I knew that I had to start racing sometime, and the weather was just too good to turn down the opportunity to get started off-road.

Huge crowd today.  More than 200 people showed, which is some kind of local record for this decade.  I had a great start, and hung in 4th place until the last couple of miles when I just didn't have the gas to hold off another rider.  So 5th place it was.  30+ miles and 2+ hours.  Wasn't really prepared for that, but it was vindication for suffering a long, cold winter with a broken leg.

That 5th place envelope did not come from training and good fitness.  It came from 35 years of riding and racing bikes.  I will have to get some sort of regular training going (or at least regular riding!) or I will find out pretty quickly that residual fitness and muscle memory can only take a guy so far.

Onward and upward.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Hanna and the Cupcakes

This was just a short while before Hanna and Flannery began the cupcake-a-thon.  They were good.  Well, I think they were.  They smelled good.  I didn't get one.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Break means Unpaid Labor

Eli, flashing us the horns.

Spring Break week for the kids.  That means a lot of idle time.  Eli, however, has been pestering me to allow him to come to work with me at the store.  I gave in and brought him along today.

Our first order of business was sweeping and cleaning.  We swept the rugs and the floors, we wiped counters, took out trash...that was all before opening at 10am.  After that, he test rode select models of bikes to ensure their solid build qualities.  Then he supervised the guys in the service department (while sweeping there, too) and cleaned up after Chris Ploch's messes.  Add in a bit of playing with the dogs (and a little computer time) and we called it a day.

He only has 8 more years before I can pay him.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chubb Trail: West Tyson and Flint Quarry on a Cold Day

 It came to me as I was complaining about it being so cold:  I could go ride my mountain bike!  It's dry!  So, I did.  I went to the West Tyson side of the Chubb trail because ain't nobody got time for the flat section along the river.  I was in need of some rocks, and there are no rocks like Chubb rocks.
 The trails were a delight today.  Not one speck of mud, nor a speck of soft dirt.  In fact, there was a hint of dust in the air.  Dust and Stan's sealant, as I sliced a crappy OEM tire on P.O.S. Blue.  Flat fixed, I enjoyed the rocks.  I did some exploring, too, as there are a couple of off-shoots of trail that I wanted to check out.  They became too rugged to ride and became mostly hike-a-bikes so I turned back to the main trail.
There is something special about mountain biking when the trees are still bare.  The sight lines are so good, and views from the ridge tops are spectacular.  All in all, a great day at Chubb Trail.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Car Watching: Lamborghini Murcielago

 While I was in the rest room today around dinner time, I received a text message from the Angry Asian about a Lamborghini in the parking lot.  I had to hurry out to see what the fuss was about.  There, parked across two parking spaces, was a Murcielago.
 These cars are very rare, as only 4099 of them were made in nearly a ten year production run.  In typical Lamborghini fashion, the size and scope of the Murcielago can only be appreciated in person.  In this photo, Chris Ploch's car is parked behind it for reference.  It's a Dodge Caliber, which the Angry Asian likened to a booger.  The Caliber is more than a foot taller than the Murcielago.
The rear view is perhaps the most striking.  The clear slats show the engine underneath, a V12 of between 570 and 670 horsepower.  If you right click the photos, the last one is enormous and shows a lot of detail.