Sunday, December 30, 2007

it's sooooo hard

to get us together and get a good pic. somehow, out of the 100's of photos taken at the christmas bash at grandma's, we got a good one.

you be smiling, too...

...if you knew that almost all of those presents were yours.
this is not normal. usually, his hat is straight.

atta boy...


i missed my opportunity to ride with my longtime friend brent hanlin on saturday. the soon-to-be THF/Ghisallo team rider was back in st. louis visiting relatives and stopped by the shop on friday. i wanted to get together with him and ride, but the morning was as stressful as they come. eli was out of control crabby. when he went down for a nap late in the afternoon, i took off on the road bike.

i headed over to marshall road to do some steady climbing. it's not much, but any climbing is better than none, especially when i've only got 2 hours. my climbs felt awesome. cadence is good, power was great, heart rate was right where it should be. six of those and it was back home. my legs were actually a bit sore this morning! trainer riding, however much you do, still doesn't prepare you for putting that torque into the pedals like real life hill climbing. so glad i got the chance.

the beautiful mrs k and i got out together today for a rare treat. she wasn't feeling well, but she's a trooper and we got in an hour and forty minutes. we rode down to jefferson barracks, around for 3 loops, and headed back towards home with a couple of loops around carrondolet park to top it off.

so i've been hovering around that 7-10 hours a week with my riding. it's incredibly hard to do with the lack of daylight and the crappy weather. the trainer is driving me nuts, which is driving me to ride when it's not comfortable outside. i remember the entire winter of 99-2000...i didn't ride outside ONE time from the cyclocross champs in november until froze toes in february. only trainer work. i was working on my house at the time, hanna was born in january, and it just worked out that way. miraculously, i got second at froze toes by a nose to none other than eric pirtle. funny, i haven't been able to repeat a good result at that race since then, no matter how much i ride outside.

we'll see. i'm feeling good things ahead.

Pantera du jour

i love the color on this '72. the wing predates the gigantic basket handles we see on some of todays import tuner cars by 25 years or so. i prefer the super clean look of a wingless car, but the Pantera can pull off some pretty wild stuff and get away with it.
the owner of this one steps away from the dual twin pipes and goes with a tidy dual setup just under the rear plates.

very nice front bumper. i much prefer the body colored, integrated bumper over the black tack-on look that some models have.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

fun with the box

time for a big boy bed

"i'm just full of surprises, aren't i?"
last night i was on the trainer while the beautiful mrs k took hanna with her to the grocery store. it was kind of late, around 10pm. she had put eli to bed, came down stairs, and told me she was going. i spun along to the tour 2002 tape and finished about 10:45pm.

i heard a bunch of racket upstairs when i turned off the tv and i was pretty irritated, full knowing that the dogs were getting into some mayhem. the upstairs tv was still on, and that irritated me because that meant hanna and mrs k left it on when they left.

i opened the basement door to the living room and saw eli watching shrek 3 on tv.

a moment passed, during which i tried to grasp hanna and mrs k being home already. suddenly, i realized that eli was there alone. which meant he had gotten out of his crib by himself. and opened his bedroom door by himself. and walked down stairs from his room. and settled himself down to watch some shrek.

he was quite happy to see me, which i understood. i asked him what he was doing out of bed and he said "choo choo!" and pointed to the tv. i put in a thomas the train dvd and i asked him if he had gotten out of bed by himself and he nodded his head decisively while keeping his eyes fixed on the screen. i then asked if he had gotten out of his crib and opened his door and walked down the stairs without mommy or daddy and he giggled a little and nodded again.

i sat him beside me on the couch while i was still sticky and wet from riding the trainer. he was happy as a clam, and i was about to cry. all i could think about was his horror when he couldn't find us. he can't open the door to the basement, although i'm guessing he tried a few times, which probably scared him even more.

when the beautiful mrs k got home, i thought she was going to have a heart attack.


i explained again to her, and she still was in shock. it's pretty easy to see that he could do it, but it just seemed so unlikely at the moment. he had never done it before, and never acted like he would even try.

but there he was. when mommy asked him what he had done, he pointed upstairs. so, we took him up and put him in the crib and he grinned and giggled and stuck his little leg over the railing and grabbed the other railing with his hand and started to FALL off onto the floor. yep. he can do it. i got him out of the crib and he was so proud of himself.

so proud, in fact, that he surprised mommy again after his nap today while she was painting.

time for a big boy bed, i guess.

power meter says i'm not out of shape

my once-a-week interval day is proving to be a good idea. last night, even though it was rather late, i posted an impressive set of numbers.

my 10 minute power was within a 12 watts of my best, and my 30 minute power was within 4 watts!

i keep thinking that if i was able to ride outside, i might really be getting somewhere. makes me look more forward to spring, if that were possible.

hanna hard at work

hanna has been staying with us since christmas day. i didn't want to leave her behind every day when we went to work, so we brought her with us today. here she is early in the day, straightening the sidi and shimano shoes. after this, she took some inventory for me.
as time dragged on, she got a little bored. she modeled some ghisallo wear for us, sorted clothes for the girls, and played with the camera.

part of playing with the camera means doing some self portraits. they turned out pretty good.

by the end of the day, she looked like i do sometimes. get me outta here!!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

the old rock house

cousin kyle was playing a couple sets at the old rock house just outside of soulard tonight. if you squint your eyes, you can see him and the vocalist in the background of this great photo. i'll let the characters narrate for you...uncle jim: who let that cockatoo in here??
max: dad! how did THESE photos end up on my new camera???
gus: why isn't anyone listening to me?
aunt jane: i just love other people's kids!
keith: no more for me, i'm trying to cut down. well, maybe a little more...
waitress: that's it, big guy, i'm cutting you off. looks like it's shirley temples for you.
guy in bottom right: man, is that burger still alive?
guy in bottom left (steve ewing): man, i sure with that kyle guy would play for my band!

cousin kyle was rocking the acoustic guitar AND the electric guitar with his cohort on vocals and keyboard. they were busting out the classic rock tunes. great venue for this type of thing.

dad, i know you're interested in the band and all, but you can see i only have ONE toy to play with here. see this plate? kiss it goodbye unless you can find me something constructive to do!

this photo looks like she has a glow stick. she was gettin' down to the cool guitar riffs and the crowd. she saw the next band setting up as we were leaving and really didn't want to miss it. she's bound to end up a club girl with an attitude like that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

yoda: a rich nation are we

first off, i didn't buy all this stuff. i always say one big present, a couple of smaller things to wrap up and call it a day. but, we have a big family that didn't listen very well when i said "light on the christmas gifts, give money to the kids 529's!"

second, if you internet stalkers think all of this stuff is just laying around my house for you to come steal it, don't now it's all trashed by eli oli, and our dalmatian would have you for a midnight snack anyway since santa ate his cookies and we haven't had dog food in the house for two days.

back to the matter at hand.

eli oli: train books, train stuff, train books, stuffed animals, clothes, jammies, more train stuff, lightning mcqueen stuff, webkins, train stuff again. no donations to his 529.

tyson: electric guitar, guitar stand, clothes, laptop computer (pre-owned), webkins, snow boots, keepsake ornaments, books, an amp to share with hanna, etc, etc, etc. no donation to his 529.

hanna: electric guitar, a wii, a microphone to sing along on the amp, a restrung older acoustic guitar, clothes, hanna montana jammies, keepsake ornaments, her room painted like neopolitan ice cream and bedding to match, new curtains, a webkins, etc, etc, etc. no donation to her 529.

the beautiful mrs k: a laptop, a timex, a george forman grill for chicken, one of those digital picture frame things, etc, etc, etc. she did not donate to the 529's, see my gifts for explanation.

me: first class tickets to arizona to ride with my friend schvonzie, clothes, underwear (not thong), shoes, a zipp gear bag, a mustang belt buckle (i may have to give that away to someone who actually HAS a mustang), a 36-pack of dr. pepper, and all of the mushy, gushy love and adoration of my sweet little family.

...and now I HAVE TO DONATE TO ALL THE 529'S!!!!

childish humor

i don't know why i find THIS incredibly funny. childish and irresponsible, but funny.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Pantera du jour

1974. enough said.

a night out

saturday night was a nice evening out with the beautiful mrs k.

first, we met with the rest of the ghisallo crew at the boss's house for our little christmas party. we hung out, had some laughs, ate some good grub from mrs miller's kitchen, and exchanged some gifts (i got another starbuck's card! add this one to the card i got from the kaiser, and i'm buzzing for 10 days straight!) and then headed out for the second leg, live music. sparky and little o went with us, but o is only 20 and got booted at the door. ah, the utes.

mrs k used to follow the urge when they were big in st. louis. she went to school with the tall guy who played the trombone. since the band split up, steve ewing, the lead singer, has struck out on his own. i reluctantly went to those thanksgiving night shows at mississippi nights back in the 90's to see the urge. i just don't like horns. at least not ska horns. but it was always a good time.

so, imagine my surprise saturday night. we went to Llewellyn's in webster to see steve ewing and his band, and WOW. take those horns away, and the hard edge comes in. even the old urge songs that i didn't like were killer without the horns. it was a rockin' show. deanna's cousin kyle is working a bit now with steve, and will end up playing guitar for the band in the coming year. so, i won't just have to go see the band because kyle is in the band...i can go because i actually like the music!

go see the steve ewing band if you get a chance. they are definitely worth the night out.

Friday, December 21, 2007

i'm batman

after another pre-christmas hectic day at work, i had to get some relief. i needed release!

it was 50+ degrees, after all. it may still be the same kill-me-now dreary weather we always have here in the winter, but dammit it's warm.

after the beautiful mrs k brought the boys out to the shop, necessitating a 'chase eli' session or three, a punctuation was put on the 'must ride' idea. i began to get that itchy feeling that i get when i know i'm going to have to do something extraordinary to ride the bike outside. like ride it at night.

i got home, soaked in sweat from the abysmal traffic, and headed to the bat cave to fetch my super suit. (in this case, shorts, lightweight tights, a light layer, and a wind jacket) i attached the bat lights to the bat mobile (red homegrown) and set out to save gotham city. or south city.

it felt great to be outside riding, the first time in 3 weeks. i pushed too hard, but i was perfectly ok with it. i used a route i commonly use at night, a combination of the river desperes path and some roads around wilmore park. i got a good 20 miles out of it. it's a cool feeling to ride your bike at feel like a super hero with an important mission while everyone around you is going about their mundane daily lives.

sometimes batman's gotta do what batman's gotta do.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

things you will see around my house every day

eli loves the bath. the plays in the tub like there is no tomorrow. he dives from the edges, floats on his back, pours water onto the floor(!), blows bubbles, sticks his head under the flowing water, whatever.
rosco and rocky stick together when it's cold. rocky's chin was resting on rosco's back but moved it just before i got the shot. never thought i'd see this happen.

i told you rosco is cold. lack of hair will do that to you. he had to get cut short because his long hair got matted up. a combination of my laziness (not brushing his enough) and his penchant for getting totally slopped up in the back yard did it.

he's also quite industrious. all the rugs being cleaned? he'll find a good place to sleep no matter what. the beautiful mrs k's bag is just the ticket.

just because i thought this angle was funny.

eli sleeps like this. on his chest, arms underneath him, knees tucked under, butt in the air. it's hilarious. and really cute.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pantera du jour

this '74 gts is pretty unique. there is only one like it that i could find on the web, and it's a '72 without the polish this one has. gorgeous work, i'd say.
i could probably do without the lettering down the sides, but it does say "i'm a 1974 bad ass italian muscle car" pretty well, i guess.

what a hot rear end....

and the finish work on the engine bay is glorious. the cleveland is smokin'. this thing has a price tag of about $58,000 right now, a bargain in terms of collectible sports cars.

must be the holidays

i guess i don't have to tell any of you that the days are hectic, hectic, hectic. traffic is crazy everywhere, there is snow on the ground, we were swamped at work today (geez, did everyone wake up today wanting a bike??) and there is a buzz in the air. must be the holidays.

i'm about to throw my trainer out the window. not because it isn't a good one. it's the best. but i'm already burnt out on it. and it's only december. i really wanted to get out on the bike today in the warmer weather, but there was no way i was skippin' out on work today. luckily, i've won some vhs tapes of past tours on ebay. it seems that it is pretty hard to find vhs tapes anywhere but there. no biggie. i got the 2000 tour for only $15, and the 2002 tour for $20. i can't find '99 anywhere yet, but hope to before i get bored of the others.

on a big plus, my pushups and pullups have been coming along really well. i do sets of 3 pushups, and my pr so far is 32-20-15. pullups are harder for a fat guy like me, so i do 2 sets, and the pr there is 13-7. i set both today. i usually try to do them after a trainer workout 4 times a week.

what are you getting for the holidays?

buy a ticket

buy a ticket for charity, win a NEW BIKE in the process. it's only $5, and you can do it over the phone.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

snow is for sledding...or something

as much as i hate snow, as much as i loathe snow, as much as snow makes me want to jump off a very tall bridge, the kids love snow.

hanna and tyson love the stuff. tyson couldn't even go to sleep last night because he was obsessing about going sledding on sunday. the first thing hanna said this morning was "there's a foot of snow outside! when are we going sledding??" and eli keeps going around saying "it no! it no!"

so i had no choice. i had to take them somewhere where they could sled. or slide down a hill on a round plastic thing, whatever you call that. the beautiful mrs k was going to stay home with crabby eli so i could take the kids over to st. francis park. there were 50-60 kids there with their parents. big kids, little kids, you name it. all sliding down the hills there. there were even some little jumps at the bottom that some industrious little people built so they could get some air. and some of them were getting air, although most were just using the hill as a crashing device.

hanna and tyson did plenty of crashing, hanna having the best off-the-jump crash. tyson crashed nearly every time, either by accident or by design. as i stood there freezing, i noticed how much fun these ice and mud encrusted utes were having. i don't get it. i get the rush of sliding down the hill, i don't get the fun in the cold thing. anyway, they were having a blast and were pretty worn out when i threw in the towel and told them it was time to leave. but not before i overheard some fat kid who was just dissed by his crew say "screw you guys, i'm going home!" one of us had been watching too much south park, i'm not sure which.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pantera du jour

most Pantera's that can be found on the web seem to be '71's. this black beauty is ultra-clean and has the same wide-wheeled stance found on most resto-mod Pantera's.

sibling advice

glad to see hanna is looking out for eli's best interest....

what to do on a snowy day

rosco was having no part of it. he just got his hairs cut last week and he's still cold and pissed.
eli, on the other hand, was determined to follow the big kids outside. hat? check! coat? check! gloves? check! spiderman snow boots? you got it!

hanna and tyson had already begun building the great wall of st. louis when eli found a shovel. i told him it was the wrong kind of shovel, but he's a persistent little guy.

unhappy and unsure as to why we would want to use this big, flat thing to play in the snow, he first balked at the idea. i demonstrated a little by scooping up copious amounts of snow and flinging it into the air. he laughed hysterically as the snow rained down on the kids. he was soon on board....

...and soon just plain bored. he tried a little snow shoveling and found that falling in it was much more fun. hanna chased him around as he slipped and slid and fell. a good time was had by all but me, who had to resume the real shoveling.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pantera Dujour

today's Pantera is a '71, a mixture of italian exotic and street rod. i still think it's tasteful. the rear wheels may be a little wide, but preferrable to the little skinny wheels and tires that came stock. it looks like they may have widened the stock campagnolo wheels. love the deep burgandy, and the body looks as straight as an arrow. vrrrrooom.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

one of those days

i started the day ok, maybe a little better than most. i'm not a morning person, so i'm grumpy and it can only improve from there.

and today i did improve. starbucks helped. but then it went downhill. things have just conspired to ruin any shred of sunlight that my little mind could see (because god knows there isn't any sunshine for my eyes to see). by the time of this writing, i'd say i felt better this morning when i woke up...except now i can type better. and that's no way i want to spend a day.

what can i say?



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

my little cuties

while at my sisters cabin, we tried and tried to get some good photos for a christmas card. this one turned out pretty well. but between eli's wiggling and tyson fidgeting, it was tough. and just when the boys would get their act together, hanna would blink just as the camera flashed. it was tough. eli looks like he's seen one of the buffalo's that hang out in the area.

a pretty good one here, too. eli is just about to ask me if that's a log or a giant squid in the river.

after all the difficult pictures with eli, the older kids settled down and we got this one in front of the tree. but, we couldn't use this one as our christmas card because photo shopping eli in would just be wrong.

of course eli is all smiles while daddy is holding him. he's on a huge daddy kick right now, spewing "daddy" hundreds of times a day. sometimes he sings "daddy, daddy, daaaaaaaaaadyyyyyyy" and other times he shouts it at the top of his lungs....."DAAAAAADY!!!" yes, it's cute. yes, it's extremely annoying. yes, i really like to hear it, still.

what's with the rain?

so i have a new mountain bike, along with my other cool bikes. but they get to stay in the basement because st.louis suddenly resembles seattle or london or some other rainy place.

if this is the effects of climate change, i don't want any part of it.

i guess it wouldn't be so bad if the sun shone a little between bouts of rain/ice/sleet/snow/fog. but not a chance. no respite for the weary. my seasonal depression deepens with every passing day. i'm starting to look west for some relief. my friend schvonzie has a ringside seat in arizona that my have my name on it in a couple of weeks. if i can make it that long.

i mean, yeah, i really do like watching tdf videos. but not THAT much. it was ok for a week. but there has to be a break here and there where i get to go outside and blow off some pent up energy. i'm about to go stir crazy. i'm sweating enough to rust titanium. maybe. nah.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

aya sofia and the belly dancers

deanna and i met 'the tina' and crew thursday night for a little adult dinner. they had already ordered food by the time i got there...nice selection, too. there was a little bit of everything there that i can't pronounce but really like. quite casual, i was able to sample all of it and come away full...and full of garlic. yum, yum.

there was a belly dancer there, too. she was scantily clad (what self respecting belly dancer would have on layers of clothes??) and told us how cold she was. after the tina gave her a few dollars, i gave my dollars to tina to shove into the dancers skivvies. i mean, it feels so stripperish to give a belly dancer dollars like that, you know? it makes me nervous. why don't they just have a pot on the floor, or pass around a hat? why do we have to touch someone we don't really know in such an intimate way, just so they can get paid?? it may have been better, too, had the beautiful mrs k not been there. pulling on some cute girls drawers and slipping in a george washington in front of your wife is....ahem....unnerving.

i survived and drove home happy.

talk about lazy sundays

sheesh. everybody had to get in on the lazy sunday, huh? hey, where did the monkey come from??

couldn't help myself

i spent a little time putting the el fuego together this morning. i've shifted gears a little, moving a little away from the exotic and back to more basic racing stuff. i get carried away sometimes, if you haven't noticed.
i love the black, silver, and red mix. it looks racy, and it's reasonably light, but i chose durability over exotic this time. i laced up a pair of spoked wheels this time, too, with rim-brake rims and disc hubs for versatility. the only bit of carbon on the ventana is a set of bontrager bars (the heavy ones) because i love the bend. the race face cranks are there because the homegrown has them. they are particularly narrow. of course, there is a kaiser-built sid to make the front end light and smooth.
there were two compelling reasons for the el fuego: durability and geometry. it's a shade over 5.5lbs for the frame, which is right there with most of the aluminum full suspension frames i have weighed, but legendary for it's durability and stiffness. and, over the last year or so, i have constantly gone back to the homegrown due to it's fit. it just seems right, whatever that is. the ventana is within a millimeter of every dimension vs. the homegrown. that will make riding them back to back, or months apart, a piece of cake.