Wednesday, December 31, 2008

powertap sl and rol race sl

back in september i sold my powertap wheelset. it was a rol race sl setup with a wireless powertap. i sold it because i thought i was going to go for the new crop of ant+ compatible powertap...the one you can use with a garmin.

practicality got the best of me and i just built up a new wheelset, exactly the same as the one i sold. i know, pretty much a dufus move on my part, but i had a good thing and i wanted it again.

first time on it tonight and i did another power test to see how badly i would get pummeled in the HTFU power challenge in 10 days. turns out, i improved my 2.02 to 2.12. never mind that the first number was on a computrainer and this was on the powertap. we all know that it's silly to compare unit to unit, but i'm grasping at straws here.

good workout with an old friend.

funny photo

a funny photo i found on autoblog. it's a dig on china's massive period of recalls. yikes.

1300 posts

whether it's a good thing or bad thing is up to you, but this is the 1300th post. and it's another photo of rosco sleeping on my pillow.


Monday, December 29, 2008

rambling about riding

on friday i took advantage of the warm and ultra humid air to ride the road bike. i didn't have long, but i put in a solid, hard 30 miles with some good hills. ah, the outdoors!

saturday was back on the trainer with tour de france 2004. the new dvd player is spectacular. i spent an hour and a half on it and it wasn't so bad. i had forgotten cancellara was in his first tour that year at 23 and he took the opening prologue. exciting stuff.

sunday, the beautiful mrs k and i did a nice hilly ride into south county. we did robyn, weber hill, rott, etc. it was a lot of fun. she's climbing much better and i put the screws to her. she thanked me later...

tonight, the relatively warm weather had me out on the homegrown with the lights on. i put in about 20 miles around south city and i'm a better man for it.

i don't ever get to ride very long, so i'm thankful that i've been able to ride often.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

rosco vs the possum

that's fine. you can sit there and pout all you want. you deserve what you got.

one of the gates to my backyard doesn't shut fully. and it has a small gap under it as well. usually i check it after a storm to see if it has blown open, but i didn't today. after letting rosco out before dinner, i wish i had checked it.

a few minutes later i walked past the back door and realized i'd better call him in. sometimes he gets into trouble back there, like digging muddy holes or chasing rabbits and getting stuck between the fences. i called and called. no rosco. crap. i bet the gate blew open, i thought.

i suited up and went out the front, because he usually makes a bee line to the neighbors festering wildlife preserve they call a yard. i called and called, then heard barking in the back. had he gone back to our back door? i walked between the houses and caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye lunging at something. sure enough, it was the possum that we had seen scaling the fence in the back yard the day before.

rosco had the slow, lumbering beast cornered and i knew that was trouble. the eerie hissing noise the goofy possum makes pales in comparison to their bright white choppers. i reached for rosco but thought better of it...putting your hands between two animals, however small, with mouths gaping is never a good idea. they engaged again and i panicked. i swung around looking for something like a stick, and grabbed a head sized rock. i threw it right between the little monsters, which startled them enough to cause a gap between them and i grabbed rosco and ran.

keep in mind that while all this was going on, the ground was saturated with water, and i was standing in a couple inches of mud between my house and the wild life preserve. rosco was covered in mud. i tossed him into our yard and went into my front door. the beautiful mrs k was already checking the little cage fighter for bite marks when i walked into the kitchen. she really didn't want to touch him because he stunk so bad. i promptly took him to the bathroom and bathed him. he hates baths, and i hate giving them to him.

but, he asked for it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

what christmas can do to a kid

waaaaaay to much of this....
can lead to a lot of this!

what's a girl to do?

hanna has different interests than the boys. music, clothes, accessories, computer stuff...just a different creature altogether. it's a refreshing thing, and everyone loves sissy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

christmas day 2008

hey mom, aren't we sweet? we're very sure we deserve all of those cool presents down there under the tree. VERY SURE!!
rubik's cube. santa did not bring tyson's new hair style, that was free courtesy of his pillow.

you see, eli? even elmo has figured out this potty thing. what do you say we give it a go? (rosco believes that 'mater makes a great sleeping companion.)

whoa, dad! mom got tired of watching those tired old tour de france vhs tapes, too! she brought you right into the 21st century!

dad, from my vantage point that 8" screw should go in on the handlebar, but hey, don't listen to me, i'm only supervising. hey, how much wattage do you think this baby will handle??

wait, dad, i'm going to need a little serotta fit school action on this. my saddle height is way off. where are my speedplay's?

this program is hella cool, mom and dad! check out the curves and the scenery. this thing is going to help me get into the HTFU power challenge in 2015, for sure!!

silly boy stuff. nothing says christmas like a real live karaoke machine!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

fluffy little critter

how am i supposed to get any work done on xmas eve with this on my keyboard? LBOH (little ball of hate) brought HOLLY by to visit. holly appears to be an 8 week old westie. whatever she is, she is cute.

more dog news...hanna got a dog for christmas, too. no photos yet, but the word on the streets is that he looks like our dear rudy. i'll let you know.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

orbea onix

after the beautiful cross bike left (a moment of silence.....), i was in need of a road bike. i've always admired the orbea onix for it's low price and nice content, so i bought one. it's the cheapest road bike i have bought in 15 years, i think. it's only seen the trainer up until yesterday. i put in about 30 miles before my toes froze, but it was a nice change from all the off roading and trainer miles.
because it was so cheap, and i made such a good decision, i decided to botch it all up and put money into it. it now sports ultegra sl and the most beautiful cranks, the dura ace 7410's. i looked on ebay for a month to find some 175's in good condition. no luck. then i chanced upon a pair in the decatur craig's list for $50. they appear to have hardly any miles. pay no attention to my rusty 8mm bolt! i've always admired these cranks and the fact that they still shift so good even with 10-speed stuff is a plus. next stop, new powertap.

boy scouts

tyson got an award tonight at a boy scouts banquet. it was a pretty sparse turn out, but that's understandable with the weather. we got a nice catered meal and cheered for tyson. doesn't he look a lot older in his uniform??

miracle grow

it takes a week for me to experiment with new sideburn lengths and styles. don't like it? shave it off and come back in a week for an all-new iteration. one thing that has been a growing concern is the amount of grey hair cropping up. i mean, DAMN, i'm getting grey!

POLL: grey hair makes author look:

a) distinguished, because older men's looks improve with age
b) unkempt, nothing says "well groomed" like Just For Men
c) old

this poll is unscientific and may or may not ever have results posted...or discussed.


cute green eyed girl

mommy and eli

cute brown eyed people

hanna whacko kid sequence

if you take these photos in sequence, hanna resembles some kind of whacked out feline coming toward the camera man (in this case tyson). it's always a treat to pick up the camera after it's been unsupervised for a period of time around these sawed off pranksters.

screw you guys, i'm sleeping in a basket

on friday night, eli was terrorizing the house at bedtime. he was so completely recalcitrant that rosco finally had to seek shelter. i saw him hop up into this basket of clean bed coverings and go to town smoothing out a new spot. no matter how many times i've watched him do it, it still amazes me. he'll paw at the covers for 5 minutes straight to get the feel he wants. when he plops down, though, it's lights out.

julia childs has nothing on saturday night cookies

tune into cable tv and you're likely to find stuff like julia childs and this fish. tune into our house, on the other hand....
and you're likely to get in on some christmas cookies to die for.

Friday, December 19, 2008


this is what goes on in my house when i leave the kids to their own devices for a few minutes.

tim judge

my friend todd sent this photo to me, and it sent me down memory lane.

the great timmy judge was originally from florida. not only was he an accomplished bmx racer in the early days (late 70's, early 80's), but he was quite prolific. he was a complete motor mouth in a good way, and his jumping antics were legendary. he did a lot of photo shoots not only for his sponsors, but for magazines as well.

for some reason, in 1983 or so, tim lived in st. louis. i think his girlfriend lived here for a while. anyway, todd and i, as well as the great mark hildebrand, had the pleasure of riding with tim a few times and it was comical. a rock in the road was reason for a tabletop bunnyhop. any item with an altitude of 2mm or higher could be used to launch this guy into orbit. surely, higher things, like sloped curbs or real dirt jumps, were awesome.

after those days, i think mr. judge to into jet ski racing. naturally.

EDIT: here is his water sports business website- da judge

thanks todd!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

niner jet 9

the jet is in it's final configuration. i swapped some important stuff out to get it to where i want it. i put on some x lite wheels, xxx lite bars, x lite stem, a thomson post, and an slr saddle. there's a bottle cage on there, but it's tough to even get a small bottle in and out. i'm going to have to learn to use a hydration pack, for sure. there are mounts on the underside of the downtube, but i don't relish the taste of farm animal dung.
i put on my trusty race face turbine cranks. i'm very weird about my chainring choices, so i dug deep and found that ta specialties makes a 29t middle and a 40t big ring for the 94mm bolt circle. i left the little chainring spot open. if i can't climb it using a 29x34, i'll walk.

i swapped on my juicy ultimates. the red touches are a nice match. i've been a fan of twist shifters for a while, but i don't like the size of the XO stuff. the X-7 shifters are the same diameter as the grip, which i prefer.
so there it is. i might refine it as i go along, but it's hard to imagine big changes. i don't think i have immediately fallen in love with a bike like i have this one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

plus, it's a peanut free zone

i can see the board better with another set of eyes.

and this goes

here, and this goes here, and this choo choo goes here....right rosco?

be like chopper

and HTFU

i can't take any credit for this, but i am the first guy signed up. you can come take my money. in fact, you should.

Monday, December 15, 2008

last chance off roading

after the i-64 tt, the sky was still dark, but dry. that meant there was still a chance for me to hit the trails before it opened up and dampened the trails for the remainder of 2008.

i dropped the family off at home and grabbed the orbea. freshly converted to a geared/front suspension bike, i was eager to try the lanza out. there were a few riders out at the 'wood when i got there, obviously taking advantage of a crazy windy but warm afternoon.

none of the muddy spots were muddy, like they were on saturday. just sweet, tacky trail. i went crazy, and hit just about every trail in the park. the lanza is a bit quicker to accelerate than the jet, but it ain't no magic carpet ride! boy, can it carve a corner, though!

i ran into eric s and thrasher doing some sort of personal epic ride. i also saw todd h as i left, he being a fellow lanza rider (his looks better). exhausted and satisfied, there were rain drops on my windshield as i left the park.

mission accomplished.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I-64 Grand Opening Time Trial

actually, it's only the first half to be Grand Opened. the second half is the city half, from hanley road east to kingshighway.

anyway, today was the day for runners and walkers and bikers to have their way with the new stretch of road. deanna and i, like many st. louisans, have fought with the closure of the main artery for 12 months and it's about time that it's done. so it was nice to go see the festivities unfold.

tons of cyclists were there for the fun ride, but it looked like even more hard core cyclists were there for the 8 mile time trial. i think it officially said 9 miles, but after many cyclists checked their garmins and computers, 8 miles sounds more accurate. there were a lot of ghisallo team people there, which was nice to see.

it was windy. really windy. that made it feel cold, which it really wasn't. it was close to 50 degrees.

saturday is not a day of rest

mountain biking was the name of the game saturday morning. not that i was surprised, but it was a bit soft in places, particularly the roller coaster. avoiding that, the trail was pretty nice. justin's, love, grotpeter climb, you name it.

i rode upon some team seagal guys as well as some iccc riders. man, i can't wait to ride with people more! it's so much more fun. it was short lived, as everyone had some place to go.

there was much action in the chop shop (my basement work shop), swapping parts and pieces between bikes and putting the last touches on the orbea. i'd say that took a couple of hours, about the time it took eli to take a nap.

after that we all went out to noodles. mmmm, noodles.

after that we trekked over to a get together with some friends. once over, they loaded us up with the left overs. i guess that's what happens when you're the last to leave. there is a message there.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

MRI~~ouch ouch~~more MRI

had a couple mri's done this morning. the first was the run of the mill "lay down in this tube and listen to all the electromagnetic machinations going on around you". that was followed by a series of injections in my shoulder to inject dye. those hurt. they were using this moving xray movie machine that they used to watch the needles as they went in to insure it was going where it was supposed to go. glad i couldn't see that. after that, it was mri time again, this time with a bad pair of headphones to listen to music instead of the mri noise maker.
let's hope that the mri's reveal a tiny village of gnomes living in my shoulder that are causing all of the havoc. i will then evict the gnomes with malice.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


i'm cold! can we just skip the part where we have to wear coats and gloves and move directly into sleeveless shirts and shorts again???

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

homegrown gets some mileage

the old girl is still a useful machine. some slicks and a rigid fork make it a great commuter.

monday night when the beautiful mrs k and i got home, it was still in the high 40's even though it was completely dark. so i slapped on the nite rider and headed out. i did my usual loops around south city and made a good 20 miles out of it. the wind was atrocious. great in one direction, wicked in the other. great ride.

this morning, i totally expected to ride on the trainer. the forecast was calling for rain and whatnot, but it was only mildly damp and still around 50 degrees. i busted out the homegrown again and battled the crazy wind for another 20 miles. a little splatter? sure, the old girl can take it.

now, the wait begins for some dry earth. i feel a mountain bike ride coming on....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

weekend photos

tyson's school holiday program was friday night. here he is with his girlfriends. we made those stars in our dining room last week. when our home is bulldozed under in 2088 to make way for some futuristic shopping mall, that glitter will still be everywhere.
eli is a big micky mouse funhouse fan. i can't give you a reason why he has those micky ears in this photo...maybe the woman in the gown in the background can shed some light on it.

everyone knows the moon is made of cheese....

dance like no one is watching...except dad, with camera in hand.

"this button here is to start it, and this one here deploys the jaws of life in the event that two male occupants over 300lbs each get"

save the circus jokes, we've probably said them already.

despite shrunken shoulder, mountain biking continues

hey, i may not be able to do much, and i may not be able to do anything without pain, but i can still ride the mountain bike.

i braved the 21 degree morning and rode the jet for about 75 minutes at castlewood. of course, i chose castlewood because i knew the conditions would be good. however, after coming to the realization that it was REALLY FREAKING COLD, no trail would've had much mud. the ground at the 'wood was as hard as concrete. hence, there was great riding to be had.

i rode the fun stuff, and threw in a cardiac climb and three lone wolf climbs. the latter was to pump blood into my rapidly frosting finger and toe tips.

while i'm riding, i don't feel much pain in my back, shoulder, or neck. that's good. the bad news is that i will feel all of that a LOT more later today.

sounds like a fair trade off to me.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

kids travel in groups

first, it was popcorn in front of the tv. they look so sweet here, don't they?
then, it was story time. eli was giving the big kids his version of the dragon story i usually tell him. he got some key elements of the story correct, which is a plus, but sort of edited the rest for time purposes.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

that old accident just keeps on keeping on

this, ladies and gentlemen, is what a normal shoulder looks like.

mine doesn't look like that. in fact, health professionals call it "very interesting". no one should ever hope to be "very interesting" in the eyes of doctors who have seen everything.

my shoulder droops and pulls on my neck muscles and gives me a helluva back ache. my shoulder droops because it healed really "interestingly". my collar bone sticks up above my shoulder and looks funny. there is some nerve damage, too, which has allowed my once he-man deltoid to resemble that of a 9 year old. and it hurts. a lot.

i hurt. i'm crooked. i look funny. i can't sleep on my side. i'm agry about it.

i want to ride my mountain bike.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

i'm addicted again

long ago, i was addicted to mtn biking. when i first started, i would go every single chance i got. out to the old weldon spring hiking trail when it was legal, chubb trail, and greensfelder. sometimes 4 days a week. i didn't own a road bike, and never intended to.

things change. a desire to become more fit and to be able to compete with road racers who would leave me gasping for air on the easier courses drove me to road bikes. and road riding has a way of drawing you in: it's just waiting for you right outside your front door. not so with mtn biking. loading up the car and the inevitable clean up take time out of your riding. and it becomes near impossible to take that time as life closes in.

well, some how, i've gotten into a routine of riding a few times a week. never very long, mind you. it's quite a dream to be able to do an off road ride like mitch the masher and company. but, even a short ride is enough to invigorate the mtn bike soul. and, i'm having so much fun on my new bike that i'm reminded of how it was in the old days.

i'm keeping a close eye on the weather to plot out my next outing. the bike is also quite ready to go...i wouldn't want to miss a ride opportunity.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

christmas tree construction

today was the day. mrs k takes the christmas tree construction very seriously. she spent half the day cleaning in preparation. here, the boys begin putting on the ornaments. note eli's grateful dead t-shirt.
before the tree was decorated, the boys made a thomas track around the base, sort of like their favorite video.
the boys fought over who got to put up which ornament. yeesh, you'd think they were battling over a million bucks or something. hanna's ornaments will have to wait until she's here to put them up.
tyson doesn't look pleased about eli's ornament placement. eli, naturally, doesn't care.

sometimes during the fiasco, you could see the look of sheer horror on mrs k's face. she just couldn't believe that two boys could be so much trouble. neither can i.

ooooh, that's a cool one.

hey mom, how come we can't put up those little glass ornaments??

hey mom, move your foot, i think i see another spiderman ornament!

good thing the fake tree has strong limbs. they were getting loaded down with all sorts of stuff that probably shouldn't hang on trees.

santa's going to love this!!!

check this thing out!

eli had to document the train derailment before the authorities arrived.