Thursday, June 29, 2006

26:09

competitive bike this time.

26:09

nuff said.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

big race day

sunday wasn't just race day for dad, it was race day for tyson and his cousin, gus. they were in the 4-5 year old class. there were a lot of those little people, and lots of proud dads and mom's holding their back wheels. even my friend ethan had his two little boys out there.

before the race, tyson actually asked me what his strategy was. shocked, i said, "go straight and pedal as fast as you can!" he did, and he got fifth. not bad for just learning how to ride without training wheels! cousin gus got 6th, just a few breaths behind.

there should be more kids races at the bigger local events. this race and the hill shows that there is definate interest.

Cousin Gus


"i'm really lucky. i live right next to a graveyard so it will be easy when i die. i just have to walk across my backyard and right into the graveyard!"

Monday, June 26, 2006

full days

monday is always a full day for my little family.

today started off early. i had to take the chitlins over to grandma's first thing, as today was tyson's first day of bible camp. hanna was going to attend too, but she was on vacation with her mom at the ocean. she told me tonight that there are tons of dolphins where they are staying near gulf shores. pretty darn cool.

after dropping elijah and tyson off, it was off to work for me. actually, it was off to an early meeting with the top brass at the shark. we have started a tradition of monday morning meetings to cope with the fast-rising tide of biz. things are just snow balling and a lot of us are a bit overwhelmed. sometimes i can't keep up, and that's scary because i really think i know what i'm doing. i know i have a lot of guys depending on me, just like i depend on them, so i feel so bad when i let them down. i make mistakes, like everyone, but i'm usually the one that gets the most upset about my mistakes. anyway, the meeting lasted until opening, so it was right to work to try to beat the ups man. it's always a race...i try to get my biggest order done online before i have the right the c.o.d. checks. he always wins.

the beautiful misses called me at lunch. she has been working out over lunchtime because we never seem to have the time otherwise. that takes dedication. i have never been one to do that...i hate having to rush, and i love to eat.

after work, it was straight to the stairs. i have begun to run stairs again, trying to build a bit of non-cycling muscle. i also intend to do some lifting. cycling is just so narrowly focused that i feel the need to branch out a little.

then to t-ball practice. i get to watch and hold the baby while the beautiful mrs. coaches. is that backward? not at all. she's better than i am, and she handles kids MUCH better...does that surprise anyone???

back at home, the mrs. went for a run, and pooper fell asleep on my shoulder while i channel surfed, all 6 of them (the dial-up of tv entertainment, rabbit ears). as i write this, deanna is trying to put the pooper to sleep. if she does, then her and i will be able to spend a little alone time together.

did i mention i am writing this on a laptop? my 3 year old dell computer has just fallen apart. in the last 6 months, the power source has failed, both disc drives have failed, the sound card has failed, and i'm getting random error messages. ug.

here's to a slower, more peaceful tuesday!

(thanks to the asian sensation for keeping track of my goods while i raced yesterday! and everyone congratulate him, he was extremely happy to have finished his race yesterday, too!)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

proof that i was there


(photos courtesy of john m., stlbiking.com)
the webster critirium was today. besides the crappy road surface which claimed many, many wheels, tires, tubes and skin, the layout was fine. it was fast from the get-go, and there were 60 or so guys there to keep things interesting. one guy made things interesting in the first lap. as we clicked into our pedals at "go", this ghisallo rider showed a few of us that he was the man...to avoid. by the time we reached the backside of the course (still on lap one, only about 60 seconds later) he swerved in front of me, scattered a few riders, and i bashed into his back with my right sti shifter. which caused several riders to bash into me. i stayed completely upright, but the guys that hit me hit the pavement. bummer.

"people on ludes should not ride"....jeff spicolli.

i finished with the main bunch, and felt pretty good doing it. i just kept it out of redline territory. not gonna win any races that way, though.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

my little rodeo queen

oxygen, stat!


i got up the nerve to do the tuesday night crit, even though i was pretty peeved from the tuesday before. i guess since it was so hot, i couldn't bring myself to go for a ride, but a race is a good reason to sweat for a while.

given that i haven't solved my air problem, or lack thereof, i played it conservative for the first few laps. after that, i went after some pretty promising breaks. one of the breaks i was in was powerful, with some really good riders in it. we got caught because noone cared, i guess. then i got in another one. and another one. i felt like a cheerleader..."go! we got a gap! go!" i probably sounded like a cat 5 in his first race.

i was still gasping for air 90% of the time...i'm just learning how to use as little energy as possible. it's no way to race well, but i want to be out there anyway.

in the end, a break got off WITHOUT ME, so i was resigned to coming in with the pack. oh, well. maybe when i get a lung transplant, i will once again be a factor. until then, i'll just follow the race around sounding like a trauma patient on oxygen.

Monday, June 19, 2006

my weekend, in a few paragraphs

no, i didn't get a tie for father's day. i got a new watch. i have needed a new watch since i got the last one, really. i scratched the face the first day of ownership (3 years ago), so i was never fully able to read the time at a glance. bummer. but, that's all over now. the beautiful mrs. k and the grommets got a watch for me, and i'm happy about it.

saturday morn, the mrs. and i took an opportunity to ride our bikes. we were 2/3's kidless, so all we had to do was unload the pooper on someone for a couple of hours and we got in a good 20 miles. i directed the ride towards some good hills this time, and she did great.

once we scooped up the pooper, we got cleaned up and went to Sunset Ford to check out a new convertible. yes, yes, i know. i just got rid of a convertible in december...but i want another one. the new mustang convertibles sure are solid...not like the jiggly ride of the SN-95's. what do you expect from a 25 year old platform, eh? but, in the end, i just don't know if i like the new one enough to pay REAL money for one. 20+ grand is a lot of money. and, i like to work on cars, so i don't think getting a new, expensive car and tearing into it is an incredibly good idea. we'll see.

aunt ne-ne was kind enough to offer her babysitting services to us saturday night so we could see an adult movie. no, not THAT kind of adult movie. i mean a movie without animated characters or a G rating. we saw "the break up" with vince vaughn and jennifer anniston. it was a riot, but the ending sorta sucked. ah, to be kid-free for a few hours on a weekend.....

i was SUPPOSED to hook up with the kaiser and do the PAMBA mountain bike race in peoria illinois. great course, lots of fun. but, after discussing it, we decided that the rain was going to get us. last year, we piled into kaiser's mini-van and made the 3 hour journey only to find out that they had cancelled. huge bummer~~ so, instead, i got on the mountain bike and rode over to tillis park on hamton. years and years ago (16, to be exact) i used to do this really hard, fast workout there. there is a walking path that goes around the park that takes about 2:45 to get around. there's a hill on one side, flat and lots of turns on the other. anyway, i used to do 10 laps and time myself. the best time i every wrote down in my 20 years of training journals was 26:47. that was on a rigid mtn. bike with semi-knobby tires, when i was 23 years old. i was anxious to see if i could replicate that. but, i wanted to do it with my current bike, a full-susupension mountian bike, at 39 years old. it was hard. i was gasping pretty hard sometimes, still not having solved my sudden asthma problem. i managed to post a 27:40. i was extremely disappointed at first, but when i thought about it, i only broke 27 minutes one time, and this course is all concrete, so the fs bike was not my friend. a little more research showed that 27:30 to 28:00 was much more common.

so, i may have had ONE day 16 years ago that was better than my effort sunday, but for the most part, i'm still right on par.

...i'm going to beat that time, though. trust me.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

still angry---

--rudy was sleeping in the closet on some blankets hours later...

scrubba dub dub

rudy was so upset about getting a bath, he scurried away to pout in the baby's stroller.
rosco, however, was unfazed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

well, well, well....

i walked into the livingroom the other night and caught pooper watching CSI Miami on tv! i've told him time and time again about that show being much too violent for his age. i guess the wife and i are going to have to learn how to program the "v-chip".

wow, he sure is chubby.

two hot rides


anyone that reads this little page of mine knows that i am a ford man to the core. i always have been. but, i am not immune to hot cars, no matter what the make.

i have been finding myself drifting farther and farther away from anything exotic. sure, i read about ferrari's and lambo's and whatnot to keep up on the technology, but i'm much more interested these days in cars i could actually buy, actually own. somehow, knowing that the gallardo will do 12's in the 1/4 mile really doesn't do much for my everyday life, you know?

i have been a fan of the new gm roadsters since they were concept cars a few years ago. based on the "kappa" production platform, the sky and the solstice are obviously cousins, but they have such a different presence in person.

driving home from my 9'wood (9 climb hill repeat workout at castlewood), i saw a solstice driving up the road on 141. breaking laws and probably pissing off some drivers, i made my up to the pontiac to get a good look. it is very hard to actually catch one in action these days...they are too new and in short supply. the car is so much more dramatic in person; a rare instance of a car looking twice as good in person as it does in photos. the fenders bulge like a c3 corvette, without the narrow waste or pointy extremeties. that's what it reminds me of, a 3/4 scale c6 corvette. i love them both, and if i had to go pick out one today, i'm not sure if i would pick one over the other.

of course, the running gear for current kappa cars is modest: a 170hp ecotech is the motivation, with a 250hp supercharged version coming soon.

now, if i could just find a way to put a baby seat in one of these things.....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

countdown

ten. nine. eight. seven. six. five. four. three. two. one.

St. Gabriel carnival


not so much full of creepy carnies as full of kids with painted hair.

Friday, June 09, 2006

can i just breathe, please?


i've been operating my own personal pharmacy here in our home. after tuesday nights breathless fiasco at the world's, i knew i had to come up with something.

so, i called my alergist/asthma doctor and told him i'm not getting better. i had seen him about a month ago, and he prescribed advair on top of my normal inhaler that i use before exercise. things seemed to have gotten worse since then, and tuesday night i was in such distress. i couldn't breathe, and i kept working hard, it got harder to breathe, so i worked harder...until i was just seeing stars. needless to say, this couldn't go on.

the doc prescribed prednizone (sp?), an oral steroid that's pretty strong. apparently, it takes away the pesky inflamation that the advair and the rescue inhaler can't....pardon the pun, but i'm not holding my breath! if i'm not appreciably better by monday, i'm seeking another specialist. there are certainly elite level athletes that have worse asthma than i have that are, well, elite athletes!!

the fun wagon


i told you i would post up pics of my friend todd's next car, the fun wagon. i don't think that was it's real name, though we called it that. it was a 1977 ford pinto "sport" wagon. it had cool stripes on it (that today would be called completely, utterly, hopelessly gay, go figure) and little portholes in the back of the wagon part and neat rally wheels.

it was a pinto, which was partly based on the mustang II of the time. it came with the same cologne-built 2.8 v6, so it could get out of it's own way. we thought it was, ahem, "fast", but that was another time so we can be excused for that silly talk. it had a floor-shift automatic and in typical todd fashion, a killer stereo. i didn't know a whit about stereo's then, and still don't, but it sounded great when cranking out sammy hagar or the soundtrack from fasttimes, or the odd joan jett or billy squire song. alice cooper was never my favorite, but todd loved that dude and there was always some alice cooper available upon request.

the fun wagon drove us to the ends of the earth, and got pretty good gas milage, unlike the big 351 in the torino. we worried much less about gas and a lot more about where to go or hang out. and, of course, you could see us a mile away, given that the fun wagon was, well, unique.

i'm not sure i could recall the interior of many of the cars i have owned. there are certain aspects of them, yes. but i could pick out the interior and dash of the fun wagon like i sat in it yesterday. certain cars just do that for you. i can even remember how it sounded when it started up and when todd "got on it!" i also remember it always had the bad ring and pinion whine that so many fords of the time were noted for. funny that i would remember that, being 20+ years ago.

it's no surprise that america has a love affair with cars. they really just "fit" in with time periods in are lives and are synonymous with them. when i think of my late teen years, i think of the fun wagon.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

aren't i cute?

pooper


he's just so cute and chubby. and now he's ensconced in velvet!

a non-relaxing relaxing weekend

the idea behind going to the lakehouse this past weekend was based on two ideas: to get a away for a relaxing weekend and to do one of my favorite mountain bike races, the oz epic.

first off, driving with a baby in the car is not stress free. elijah doesn't sleep for long periods of time yet, and he awoke several times to let the world know that his lungs do, in fact, work very very well. it was noted. once we arrived at the lakehouse, he reminded us why we have given him the loving nickname of "pooper". it's cute, really, but the ensuing carnage was a reason to start a load of laundry straight away upon arriving.

i got in a good warm-up ride on the two lane roads around the lake, not seeing a single car until i got to the main road. i decided against riding to the race course, which is only 4 miles from the house, and instead just did a few loops and called it a day. when i got back, deanna got on her bike and took a ride in while i fed pooper. we ate at an italian place on the stip on hwy 54, saddened to see our favorite mexican food place had closed. pooper made me carry him around the place for a while so mom could finish eating. did someone say something about relaxing??

on the way back to the house, we noticed a small sign on the side of the road...."oz epic relocated"....what the hell is wrong with this picture?? a quick call to the number listed on the sign revealed that the course had indeed been moved from my favorite course to a brand new, never raced trail 20 miles out of town. so much for the stress-free close proximity of the oz course.

the course turned out to be a very easy, fresh cut single track type. of course, it was more of a place to ride than race, with NO spectator area, NO parking area, and many sections of the course that doubled back on itself. great. add that to the 3 OTHER EXPERTS that showed up, and i was not happy. and, 10 minutes into the race, i was even NOT HAPPIER when i flatted out. i already had a gap, too. i could've chewed broken glass. again, not relaxing.

pooper slept the whole way home though, and so did tyson, really, except the last bit, so that could be discribed as relaxing.

word to the wise...be aware of a non-relaxing weekend in relaxing weekend clothing!

Friday, June 02, 2006

todd's car

my friend todd had a 1976 ford gran torino elite. this brochure is from '75, but you get the picture, i think.

todd's was quite a bit cooler. his was a two door, with cool little windows in the c-pillar and sporty wheels. of course, it had the 351 v-8. it was no starsky's car, but it got us around in pure style and we always had great tunes. todd always had the latest and greatest stereo system in the torino.

that car got us everywhere...races, the mall, races...everywhere! it was tough, too. he munched the bumper one time, and his dad just told him to back it into a pole to straighten it out. it worked, and you could hardly tell the difference!

eventually, the old torino had to be retired. we didn't worry too much, though. because the replacement was even more "fun". when i find a suitable photo, i'll post up the car and our experiences.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

cars i have owned, part 2


this is a picture of a 1977 ford granada. it is an accurate representation of my own granada, only prettier.

a month after i had graduated high school, mom and dad finally came through with some help to get a car for me. i was spending what little money i had traveling to bmx races. dad no longer traveled with me, as his health was really declining, so i was left to beg, borrow, and hitchike to races in new york and florida and michigan. so, it made sense that i have a car so i could get there on my own.

june, 1985. dad had talked to a woman he knew at the grocery store and she said she had a car for sale. 1500 smackers for an 8 year old car with 35,000 miles on it. didn't sound bad, i thought. and, it was a ford with a v8, bonus!

ah, not so fast. when we pulled up to check it out, i was put off a bit by it's color, a brutal baby blue with a dark blue vinyl roof. baby blue. well, i could handle it. upon closer inspection, i saw some of the trademarks that would cause it to take on the nickname, SPOT. you see, every time SPOT would get a nik or scratch in the paint, the old lady would take a can of genuine Ford touch up paint, in a spray can, and blast away. the touch up paint didn't match, and she didn't wipe the giant runs off as they made their way down the body.

on a brighter note, the interior was cherry, in that old-blue-slippery-vinyl kind of way.

the test drive revealed that precious pinging that 70's Fords were notorious for. "That's just the belts knocking!' the old lady's decrepit husband barked. fine. we'll take it.

the 302 was anemic, sucked as much oil as it did gas, but it could wail on the tires when necessary. and it was OFTEN necessary. i drove SPOT like i stole her. and, it never did get us to any out of town races....it drank too much gas and nobody wanted to share a ride and the gas costs.

in the end, i learned how to change oil, plugs, brakes, bushings and taillight bulbs while i owned ol' SPOT. i sold her for $300 3 years later after the transmission had gone waaaay south and the spark knock had put a hole in piston number 4. not a bad investment, any way you look at it.