Wednesday, May 31, 2006

wait a sec...

....what do you mean we have to move?

oh i love this bike

after a fitfull night of sleep, and an early wake-up call by king elijah (and his explosive poop), i made my way out to chubb again. for whatever reason, i've got a chubb itch to scratch.

today i did a couple loops of the flintquarry/tyson side, counterclockwise. it was a blast to do this section with the rush. i'm having so much fun right now! i definately have the man/machine syncronization thing going.

(did you know that the decals on this bike glow in the dark?? it's true.)

Monday, May 29, 2006

memorial day

my dad was a navy man during world war II. he worked on a ship, of course. his job was radio man. nothing glamorous like a gunner, i suppose. but the navy needed radio men, too.

he never liked to tell stories about the war. as kids, my brother and i were always so hungry to hear about real live bullets and guns and war planes and stuff, but he very rarely indulged us with any of that stuff. actually, he very rarely indulged us with speaking, at all. he was a quiet guy, until he got angry, and even then it was short and to the point.

on one occasion, he did tell us a story. apparently, the seas were really heavy one day, and the giant waves would take the ships in his convoy up and down, out of sight. one of the war ships in the convoy, the one closest to his, would go in and out of his view with each monster wave. at last, when his ship was low and the war ship was high, he and his crew members saw that the side of the ship had been completely removed. the big, floating city had been hit by a torpedo and had been blown nearly completely apart.

that story didn't scare me when i was young. i thought that it would've been a better story had my dad actually been IN the ship that was hit. and, he told the story with no real emotion, with very little discription, as was his way. he didn't sound scared, why would it scare me?

it scares me a lot more now, thinking about it with a more mature mind. the idea of his countrymen, the poor souls on the other ship, who weren't going to make it. the idea that it could've just as easily been his own ship.

there are a lot of military grave yards out there. in each and every one of them are people who experienced the same things my dad did, and worse. a lot of those people never told a lot of other scary stories, either. stories most of us really didn't want to hear anyway, but should have.

chubb trail and natural selection

"there are no stupid questions, just stupid people" garrison, shown here with mr. hat.

ah, the chubb trail. so familiar, yet still so fun. the trail continually evolves and changes, so even if you know the basic route like the back of your hand, the surface is always a surpise.

i was finally able to get the brakes bled properly on the rush, making it trailworthy. what a fun bike. actually, it is the most fun mountain bike i have ever had. if it were a pound and a half lighter, it would be the best one, too. i'm working on that.

so i loaded up the rush and set out to ride chubb this morning. the trail was superbe, no mud whatsoever and a grippy surface. i was sweating like a fat man in a sauna, though. good lawd it was humid.

as i approached the rock garden along the meramec, i was presented with a sight that i have never before witnessed. sort of like a woman in a wheelchair driving the wrong way in freeway rush hour traffic, but worse. there was a couple, a man and a woman, on department store mountain bikes, no helmets, struggling along the rocks, with child carriers on the backs of the bikes, WITH CHILDREN IN THEM. yes, you know the kind. the old kind. the child carriers that sit on the back of the bike, like top-heavy little racks, holding the child high above the ground so that, when the parent crashes, the child crashes harder. the kids did have helmets on, which didn't seem to matter much to one, which was screaming bloody murder as dad pounded over the rocks and her head bashed back and forth with each hit.

these people were not experienced mountain bikers. they didn't have good bikes. and they were on one of the more technical parts of one of the most technical trails we have in our area. i guess, whatever your beliefs are, that most would agree that natural selection is alive and well, and will dictate whether or not kids like these will reach adulthood. it's sad that the kids themselves will not be making the decision.

on a brighter note, besides feeling like poop, i had a lot of fun riding. i stopped at the west tyson side on two occasions to rinse off at the pump, which helped with the heat. more hikers than bikers today, for sure, but i did run into cw as i was exiting. he was just getting started.

tropical turquoise

this is not a picture of the '65 mustang i owned. all my pics are printed, no digital. but, it is the same oddball color. tropical turquoise. it was a rare, 1965-only color. i'm pretty sure i know why it was rare....

the car was a bit unique for a number of reasons. first, the color. second, it was a 289 4bbl v-8. third, it was a manual 4-speed. fourth, it had white vinyl interior. none of these things alone made it rare, but the combination of all four did. i bought it in the spring of 1987 for $2400. the body was exceptional and it ran well. the interior was perfect.

i wasn't as mechanically confident as i am now, so when i got it home i was disappointed. once the car warmed up, there was tons of axle hop. (i now know that the crappy air-shocks that were on the car to make it ride level instead of low-rider-ass-down position were mostly to blame) it overheated a couple of times in heavy traffic. and, it fell on it's face at high rpm's. today, i would be positively giddy at the prospect of tearing into something so simple as a '65 mustang. even then i remember looking under the hood and marveling at how little there was. the engines in my modern mustangs seem like rocket science in comparison.

the "classic" cars that i have owned:

1965 mustang coupe
1966 mustang coupe (6cyl 3spd, very cool dark blue. slow.)
1968 torino (302 v8, swapped in a 351)

the beautiful mrs. and i would love to have a classic car of some kind to drive around with the kids on sunny days. right now, we don't have the time to waste in the garage with a project car, so it will have to wait a few years. i'm not sure it will be a mustang, though. for the most part, they aren't that satisfying to drive in the early models, at least. and she frowns on the 71-73's that i like. we both like some of the pontiacs and buicks, and even some cheby's. but, that would mean removing myself from the comfort zone of ford. there are thunderbirds and fairlanes, as well as '60's ltd's that we like, too, so i may be able to avoid gm for our classic car fix.

the only real requirement is that it be a good looking car with a v8.

dreamin', that's all.

this thing is soooo cool

bronco concept. i really hope they make this thing and ford doesn't dumb it down. really makes you forget all about o.j., doesn't it?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

me and my dog

look, i caught a ferocious, man-eating beast!

camera shy

are you going to take my picture?
listen, i just woke up. take that thing outta here. seriously, i'm not kidding! i haven't had my morning formula and my hair is all over my head. and quit using that flash!!

Friday, May 26, 2006

busy weekend

i heard something funny on a sitcom this week. something about being cuter than a duck with a hat on. i really cracked up. it just struck a chord with me. when looking for a really funny image of a duck with a hat on, i came up with this one. not as funny as i thought.

we're going to have guests from out of town this weekend. my sister and her husband are going to stay with us. i told them they could use elijah's bedroom, but under no circumstances are they to sleep in his crib. out of the question.

hanna has been staying with us this week. three kids in the house is sort of like a herd of elephants chasing their tails. hanna changes clothes every hour or so. then she changes back. laundry is a dirty, dirty word here in our household. when someone mentions laundry, i feel like curly and the words 'niagra falls'....slowly i turned, step by step, inch by inch...

the rush is 90% finished. i have to hook a longer brakeline up for the rear brake and i'm set. woo hoo, that thing is going to be fun!

elijah has decided that crying is much more important than anything else. so he does it all the time. i wonder when it is a person finally decides that crying, although quite fun, isn't as fun as doing something else, say, eating, sleeping, laughing, playing, etc? i for one, would like this to be learned quite quickly. perhaps today. tomorrow would be good, too.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

hard race at matson

i knew matson was going to be a hard mtn bike race, but daaaaaaaaaaaaaammmn. it was tough. my lungs are still burning from that crazy gravel road leadout. i thought i was going to slow to a complete stop before the top. plochmeister pretty much waved bye-bye at the base, and i thought i was clear once we hit the asphalt road at the top, but not really. i did hit the single track in 2nd, though.

i fought off the charge of whacko's behind me while i was hacking up peices of lung and other vital organ tissue. the first half-lap at matson is down-ish hill, so of course i wasn't going to get too far away. but what goes down has to go up, right? once the course turned upward, in it's grueling, twisting, unrelenting way, i went clear of the pack. i fought pretty hard, but plochmeister still put 5 minutes into my aging, wrinkling, coughing body. i ended up 1:30 ahead of second and third. i even enjoyed the course by the end, and being 1/2 lighter by the end from ejecting flegm is an added bonus, i guess.

kaiser looked good as he came by at the finish. he was the only ultra geezer out there today, as the rest have either catted down to sport or just stopped showing up. maybe the all-ages expert field is not such a good idea, eh??

Saturday, May 20, 2006

poor clyde frog

before rosco got to him, clyde frog was a happy, healthy stuffed animal, and pretty much minded his own business.
afterward, not so much.

just a couple pictures of chubby

Thursday, May 18, 2006

a little stroll around matson hill

i first rode matson hill back in 2001, i think. i didn't like it very much. pretty choppy and just not very rewarding. i rode it again in 2002, maybe a couple of times, and came away with the same feeling. yuck.

the kaiser and i met up out at matson today. i would've never gone, except we're supposed to have a race their saturday. we parked at the parking lot on the katy trail, and we were of course the only people there. i've never seen another soul out at matson, which never shocked me because, well, it sucked.

kaiser and i pedaled slowly up the gravel road toward the trail head. he had never been there, so i was sort of giving him the scoop about the course as the road steepened into an impossibly steep wall, then leveled out.

"this'll be a great warmup, eh?" i asked. he agreed, and we both bitched and moaned a little about this gravel road being the lead-out train for the actual race on saturday, too. ug. then, a short jaunt on a perfectly paved road, and we reached the trail head.

we zipped around the trail at a leasurely pace, and i was really amazed at the difference. it was no longer choppy. it had the same g-outs and creak beds to jam through, but somehow it was much nicer than i remember. i also like the clockwise direction that we did, which is the direction the race is supposed to go, too. we finished our first lap, and it only took 20 minutes or so. i was up for another lap, but kaiser sat it out. he was still a little pekid from last weekends 28 mile romp around castlewood.

i went faster this time, and finished up in about 17 minutes, still not taxing myself. it's looking like a race loop will be 15 minutes or so. did i mention that i was having fun? i was. i'm glad i revisited matson. i don't think it's a good race course (too narrow, no spectator area, too short) but it's a fun place to ride.

kaiser and i coasted down the big hill to our cars. it's much more fun going down than it was going up.

here she is

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

kinder grad

i loaded up the family last night to drive down to hanna's town. we were excited to watch our little girl graduate from kindergarten. it was awesome to see all the little people in their hats with tassles and all. they did a cute little program with lots of songs and different costumes. hanna's letter was "L" which stood for liberty, so she had on a crown and gown and held a torch like lady liberty. i was so proud. i took lots of pictures but have not downloaded them yet.

we didn't "graduate" from kindergarten when i was little. i also know that i couldn't read and write nearly as well as hanna can at that age. i guess kids are smarter now (at least smarter than me!).

Sunday, May 14, 2006

what excuse when there is no excuse?

i wish i had a way to make an excuse for my performance at the state championships yesterday. my tire pressure was wrong (thanks foo!). my energy drink was spiked. my shorts were too tight. i'm a pisces and the race was definately not fortold in the stars....

it doesn't work for me. i hate excuses. any excuse i come up with is, well, just an excuse. i'm better than what my results show. at least i believe that i am. i have been working harder this year than in recent years to get fit, and my races so far this year have shown that i'm on the right track. even my road season has been looking pretty bright.

i don't downhill as well as i used to. too scared, too many trips to the emergency room, too many people depending on me. i have a lot of responsibilities, i eat like crap, the baby keeps me up at night, i have mom's estate to worry about, i have lots of pressure to keep my household going.

so what? i know my limitations, i'm faced with them every day. and, knowing those limitations, i still went into saturday's race believing i was better than i actually am. i know the lay of the land, i know the battlefield, i know the history, i know the score. i still was prepared to be better.

bad day? no. i didn't feel like i was going slow. course not to my liking? everybody had the same course. did i have fun? yeah, i guess i did. if i did that race in a vacuum, without regard to my placing, i would have to say it was a good race. only when i look at the results do i scratch my head and wonder what the hell i am doing in 9th place.

if i hated excuses before saturday, i hate them more now. i don't want a do-over. i want more. i want to go forward and improve upon my weaknesses and shore up my strengths....because anything worth doing is worth doing to my own expectations, however misguided they may be.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

i'm a month old

would you believe that i'm a month old? i can hardly believe it myself.

i went to the doctors yesterday and i weighed in at a scale-busting 11 pounds. that's 4 pounds more than when i was born. yeesh, i better lay off the snacks!

i could use a healthier lifestyle. i mean, all i really do these days is eat, sleep, and keep diaper companies in business. and i don't sleep at night when most people are sleeping. i like sleeping during the day. it's so much nicer 'cause it's so bright outside and the light sorta hurts my eyes. so, i just sleep while the sun is out, and i keep mom and dad company at night. dad gets really crabby about 2 or 3 o'clock. i can't tell time, but i know when it's 2:30 'cause dad says "jeez, kid, it's 2:30 in the morning!!!" sometimes it's 2, though. or 3.

i've been spending a lot of time at grandma's while mom and dad are at work. she's always happy to see me and i'm starting to hear about being spoiled already, but i don't know what that is. it's usually more fun at grandma's 'cause there are always lots of kids there, but i'm always happy to hear mom's voice when she comes to pick me up.

i'm looking forward to my second month already!

up to something

doesn't she look like she's up to something in this photo? you'd never know that she actually had a princess dress on and was carrying around a majic wand.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

a glimpse of normality

the beautiful mrs. and i stole an opportunity to ride our bikes again saturday. in grandma's capable hands, the fiesty elijah would be out of our hair, er, i mean, well taken care of for a while. we rode down to the start of grants trail and took it the entire length. at grant's farm, we got back on the road and headed home. the hills were a little tough on the way to the trail, but everything else was gravy. we had a great time, just like last summer when we seemed to have lots of opportunities to ride together. after the ride (and showers!) we jammed over to pueblo salis for guacamole and enchalladas. mmmm. a day to remember all the fun things we like to do.

psst. hey buddy...wanna buy a house?

yahoo! it's ready to go! i'm quite proud of the results. (but i will be glad to see it go.)

a dogs life

after chewing and pulverizing my clide frog, i like to lay back and relax. not just any spot will do. nope. i have to find JUST the right spot and JUST the right position. ahhhh, that's it. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, May 05, 2006

wet dirt is mud

this may or may not be a depiction of someone's bike after the thursday night mtb races....

i skipped the tuesday night worlds this week to do the thursday night mtb races. i only have so much time, and with the house sale coming to fruition this weekend, my time was even more limited.

before heading off to the races, though, i joined the wife for her maiden voyage of 2006. she hasn't ridden a bike in about 6 months, being pregnant and all. we just headed down to the river deperes trail and back, about 30 minutes or so. it was nice to ride with my partner again. she is a solid rider and has no real trouble with traffic or road conditions. she's not a complainer and only gets disappointed in her own performance, which makes her a quick study. we plan to do another longer ride on saturday if conditions are good (weather, baby care).

there was a fair crowd at the races again, despite the mud. yes, rain plus dirt equals mud. i hadn't even thought about it. yes, it did rain a couple of days already this week. yes, it wasn't too warm and sunny, so as to dry any of the mud out. still, i hadn't even thought about it being really, really muddy. and I HATE MUD.

again, plochmaster flash showed us the fast way around. actually, it's sort of like he isn't in the race, as he disappears straight away and leaves us to race for second. and there was a pretty good race for second, by the way. bobby underpants, myself, young grant, and jammaster drj bob were fighting it out. i slipped and slided my way to a cool second. an hour race just isn't long enough around here to spread out the current crop of guys. it seems like a real 2 hours is what is needed.

here's hoping for a dry state championships on the 13th!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

oh what a beautiful day!

and i missed it.

tuesday was a wonderful weather day, but i wasn't able to enjoy it. first off, there was work. gotta eat, so i gotta work. my desk is next to the back door, and i have to take trash out, right?? i took a LOT of trash out yesterday.

normally i would be off to the tuesday night worlds after work, but circumstance said that wouldn't happen. i raced twice this last weekend, i want to do the thursday night mountain bike race, and i'm so close to having mom's house on the market that i cannot waste any more time.

the past few visits have confirmed my closet career as a plumber. the upstairs toilet had a crack in the bowl, and it rocked on the floor. since we removed the toilet from the basement bathroom, i had a suitable replacement. upon removal, i realized why the toilet was unstable...the last plumber took some shortcuts. the top of the flange that the bowl sat on had broken off, and the plumber just screwed it into the floor. he was nice enough to include lots of wax so no leaks occured, of course. i used my meager knowledge and got the job done, including mixing concrete to level the floor for the bowl. that baby is stable and flushes like a toilet on a tidy bowl commerical!

i've learned a lot of new things since i've started working on mom's house...i've installed electrical outlets, light fixtures, and ceiling fans. i've used plaster and spackle and how to sand each to a smooth finish. i've sanded and planed doors. i've capped and sweated pipes. installed sinks and vanities. installed toilets. installed porch rails. used concrete, and of course, paint.

if the plumbing work continues, i may have to purchase lower pants, though.