Thursday, July 31, 2008

modern photography

it's always a crap shoot when i pick up the digital camera. it's a favorite target of the little general. usually, there are 10 or 20 photos on it, most of them completely random visions. every now and then, though, he comes up with some really good ones. like this one of his big toe. now this one is a keeper. he's the next ansel e adams, i'm telling you.

what a life

hanna is enjoying a nice vacation before starting school soon. consequently, i haven't talked to her in a few days. that always makes me crabby.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

following neumann

come to find out, my tour addiction didn't hurt as bad as i thought, because i have been redirected toward following chris in the Colorado Trail Race. he has sent me a couple of spot links which help me follow, but the official spot links have been down and i can't see him in relation to the other riders.

so far, i'm very happy he's still alive and well. it's a long, long race and it's much more of a race against nature than the other guys, at least as far as i'm concerned. chris would probably tell you different, though. he actually suggested that i do it next year...silly boy.

that would require sleeping outside.

anyway, there are several ways to check progress, but i'm hoping the official spot tracking comes back online soon. you can check here:

gas prices change things

save gas, ride a bike! (and it doesn't hurt if it's a good looking one, either!)

although today gas is down to a measly 3.68 a gallon (!), it has caused the beautiful mrs k and i to make some changes in our behavior. not that we are unique, i think everyone has probably thought twice about driving more than they have to.

we share the ride into work quite a bit. three or four days a week, we use one car, then on the weekend we almost never drive the fusion. this saves us quite a bit of gas. and lately, i've been quite impressed by the family truckster getting 23mpg. it doesn't hurt that i have lightened up a LOT on the gas pedal. you would be amazed at how much gas you can save.

really, why throw your money away on gas if you don't have to? i realize that there are plenty of people out there that scoff at the notion of saving or conserving ANYTHING. i don't understand that behavior. i grew up at a time when we had stickers pasted over light switches telling us to turn lights off, and i remember the 55mph speed limit being imposed, and the first wave of alternative energy being put into use. it doesn't bother me to NOT waste. my family can use the money, why would i want to give it to quick trip, or laclede gas, or ameren ue?

anyway, gas prices have made quite an impact on my thinking, and i'm thinking i'd rather have the money than give it to the energy producers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

weekend recap

saturday the beautiful mrs k kicked eli and i out of the house so she could clean. i took the little terror to monkey joes to let him get worn out. i got worn out chasing him around the place, and he never even took a nap.

i had a great ride, doing some good hill work even in the stifling heat and humidity. afterward, deanna and i went out to eat. we went to momo's in u city, but we weren't thrilled with the food. a trip to cyrano's in webster fixed any dessert issues we had. mmmm, chocolate raspberry.

today was the first ride deanna and i have been on together in a long while. she had already done the 8 mile run with cristal this morning, so i was quite surprised by her willingness to go. it was even hotter today than yesterday, too. once home, i loaded up the newly finished single speed and headed out to the 'wood. i took it easy mostly and just had fun, realizing why suspension is good thing and no suspension is not a good thing. my hands could barely grip the bars the whole time, partially due to the pounding, but mostly due to the rivers of sweat pouring down my arms and onto my grips.

is it sunday night already??

tour de france withdrawals

here we are, and the 2008 tour has ended. and, like past years, i'm going to start to go in to withdrawals by monday evening. but now, i think my whole family will, too. it has engulfed them just like it has overtaken me. it's like a soap opera that goes on for 3 weeks with a cliff hanger ending, only there isn't any kissing and yucky stuff.

i wanted cadel to win, if only because he was a star world cup mountain biker in his past life. i don't mind that sastre won, however. he's a fine rider on a team that knows no equal. VDV gave me reasons to get off the couch and shout at the tv, as did his teammate danny pate. what a great team garmin turned out to be. i'm very glad oscar won the green jersey, but something in me really wanted zabel to win just one more time. he's not quite as old as me, but close, yet he can still turn in some killer performances.

i'm not yet revved up for the tour of missouri just yet. deanna reminded me how cool it's going to be, with some of the worlds best team showing up, so i guess i could start getting excited soon. last year, i was glued to the race coverage until dan got hurt, then lost interest. maybe i'll actually enjoy it this time.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

do me a favor

before you lay your head down to sleep tonight, say a little something for my brother from another mother, chris. he's starting the 500+ mile off road race monday morning, and i know it's going to be a tough one. and you can watch him on his site, denver to durango.


go chris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

be safe, buddy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

wednesday bike ride

the weather has thrown off my riding schedule again this week, so wednesday had to be a big day for me. i was going to ride off into the sunset after work and eventually find my way home, but mcD and jumbo were planning a babler assault so i decided to join.

for those of you who don't know, jumbo is the newest member of ghisallo's workforce. he's an intimidating mountain of a man (what, did you think jumbo meant that he was small?), standing 6 foot 6 or so, 300+ lbs. and he loves bikes. in fact, he bought a new madone and he punishes it with his earth crushing mass nearly every day.

anyway, jumbo and i set off up wildhorse and into the secret back entrance into babler. i was feeling fine, so i bid the massive one goodbye and pedaled off into the park for some good, solid climbing. i found mcD there and we hit the hills together and looped around and back a few times. we ran across jumbo climbing the steepest of the climbs. it was a sight to behold, sort of like a caricature sketch: jumbo and bike, sampson and goliath, the earth and the moon, shark and pilot fish, tom and get the picture. i joked that all of wildwood probably experienced a brown-out when jumbo stood to mash up the final meters of the steep climb. after that sight, mcD and i hit the loop one more time and i headed off toward home.

52 miles and 2350k's later, i reached home. it was the first time that i would download powertap data in a month, given that the computer has been down. after waiting 15 minutes to make it happen, it was pleasing to see that i had been posting good numbers and feeling pretty good while doing it.

if the mtn bike race at rockbridge is a go this weekend, i should have a fair run of it.

new trek and cannondale bikes

it's coming upon that time of year when bike companies introduce new models. it's getting earlier and earlier every year, so much so that model years are almost meaningless. nevertheless, there is always some excitement for the bike geeks around this time.

mcD just got his new trek project one madone. now i have to admit to not being a slave to the madone over the years. i was one of the first riders in the country to have an oclv mountain bike in the early 90's because the rep was my friend, but after that my enthusiasm waned. good bikes, no lust for me. i've been feeling the tug for the new ones that came out last year, but after seeing mcD's super hot custom 6.5 or 6.9 or whatever it is, i'm sold. his is a 2009, so it has a few tweaks that are really cool and it's ghisallo black and yellow, with white thrown in. i took some photos of it and posted them on the ghisallo blog for your pleasure. egad, i'm a trek man! am i a bike geek, or what? and, word on the streets says there will be a new top fuel utilizing the suspension ideas from the EX series that has been so successful over this last year.

then, our man luke has been sneaking around the store with the 2009 cannondale stuff, and it's good. so good, in fact, that i ordered my cross bike just from a catalog photo. foolish? yes! will i again get waxed by the slowest cross riders in the A races? certainly! but will i LOOK GOOD doing it? absolutely! anyway, i need a way to keep my off-season from being 6 months long. racing cross a few weekends into november and perhaps beyond will keep that period down to less than 4 months.

i'm thinking about posting a catalog of the 13 bikes that are in my household, just so the madness can be view and documented. somehow, i worry about that sort of post being an invitation to every bike thief in the lou to come and get 'em. i don't know. i think rocky the dalmatian could probably scare them off by biting off a buttock or two, though.

we'll see.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


if you're like me, the walls in your room when you were a kid were covered with two of bmx racing and, as you got older, cars. of course, a kid in the 80's would have porsche turbo's, lamborghini countach's, detomasso pantera's, and this car, the bmw m1.

well, not this one exactly. this is a modern concept of the 70's m1, which was a collaboration between bmw and lamborghini. it's positively gorgeous. what's it got? how fast will it go? i don't know. i'm just a sucker for a hot bod.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

computers suck!

the amazingly bad geek squad couldn't save a darned thing from my old hard drive. not that i expected them to. it seemed as though they probably could not have freed themselves from the best buy employee bathroom without outside intervention. but, i am skirting the point: computers suck. they are finicky, unreliable, cantankerous, evil, slow, expensive, marginally useful, and we almost can't do without them.
i haven't had a hard drive last more than two years. my first computer, a gateway desktop, shot craps in about two weeks. after a three week wait, it was returned to me with a new hard drive that failed after two years. the next was a dell. it shot craps after a year, replaced under warranty, and lasted another two years on the nose. this latest one, an hp, lasted one day shy of a year and i lost lots of info when it went. i know, i know, i know. my fault for not backing up, blah, freaking blah. funny, as soon as i plugged this bad boy in i started getting error messages right away. i took it back to the dorks at best buy and so far, no more error messages.
that's ok. i still have 1 year, 11 months, and 28 days of use..

single speed shenanigans

i'll be the first to say riding with only one gear is pretty dumb. i mean, why struggle in one gear when you can have 20, 27, 30 or more gears??

after much thinking (which can be quite dangerous in here) and much questioning, i have come to think that it's not such a bad training. matt keevan really got the ball rolling for me. then, dan gives me the song and dance regarding his new trek 96'er and how great it is and how strong he's been feeling after riding it. ok, ok, i get it, i get it. pushing one gear can be hard on the quads, but hard on the quads can make one stronger. duh. even a dopey guy like me can understand that.

so, after letting a beat up 2001 homegrown fester in my basement for 6 months, i finally scrounged together the parts to assemble it as a single speed. it's been re-FURBY-ished, so to speak, given that i practically stole this old thing from the king Furby himself and gave it a new life as the bottom of my bike totem pole. i'm going to start using it sparingly when i have the time and more as the winter approaches. if it goes well, i'll consider a more permanent training tool, maybe one with those dreaded big wheels, as my single speed. if i do, there is going to be a fire sale of epic proportions around here, bike-wise.

so many bikes, so little time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

new camaro

the new camaro was officially unveiled today, and i really like it. i know the name evokes mullets and good old boys, but this one is a looker, and quite sophisticated. even the base level V6 is a modern dohc with direct injection and nearly 300 horses. underneath, it's a shrunken pontiac G8, with a killer suspension and rigid chassis.

does the world need the mustang, the new camaro, and the brand new challenger? probably not. but not everyone can live with hybrids and minivans, and variety is the spice of life.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

bike riding and such

saturday morning i had planned to mtn biking and it rained. i shouldn't be surprised, it always rains when i plan on going off road. but, it was a short shower so i headed off to chubb anyway. when i rolled through the west tyson parking lot, there were some puddles and a nice sheen on the ground. nuts. so i shuffled off to buffalo (the old standby, the 'wood) instead.

although it had also showered a little there, good ol' castlewood was nearly dry as a bone. funny, there were a couple of holes in the trail filled with water from rain but the rest of the ground was dusty.

my plan was to do a moderate pace but ride for more than a couple of hours. i had the scalpel dialed in and was having quite the good time. after a few laps of the various trails, i ran into fellow ghisallo rider sam yount and dragged him around for another lap. i saw another ghisallo rider, john p, who was unfortunate enough to get muddy at the other end of the park. it seems that stuff over there is not as water resistant as the classic 'wood trails. i rode more and called it a day.

a big mistake was forgetting gloves. it was super humid and my hands dripped with sweat, causing me to have to grip the bars with a death grip. my hands are sore today. rookie mistake: check. when i got home, the beautiful mrs k and i took the kids to the pool. i dislike water as much as i dislike mud, but i suck it up so the kids can have fun. they are water babies and love the stuff. then, i mowed the lawn. hey, it's the weekend...i have to get things done, you know, make hay while the sun shines, baby!

today, i had to work so i rode out to the shop. the headwind was allied with the hot, humid weather to make my ride not so enjoyable. that, and my hands were sore. and...well, you know the drill. sleep is a hot commodity around my home, and it's been quite hard to come by.

now, time to start all over again monday. all work and more work make jack a busy guy.

AMAZING Tour de France stage!

check out our man Danny Pate!!! check out our man VDV! 6 riders within 60 seconds of yellow! gosh, i just love the tour....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

i can't make this stuff up

holy crazy hair batman!

i kid you not, this is the way hanna's hair looked when she woke up this morning. i asked her if she slept well and she said very well, thank you. i believe it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

bmx, revisited

i thought i would entertain you with this old photo while i took you down memory lane.

over the last week or so, a fine gentleman that used to be a competitor of mine in bmx racing named mark lopez, has informed me about a dvd that he has been putting together. it seems that his family has a lot of film footage from national races during my hayday of bmx, 1980 to 1985 or so. it seemed like a good idea to put it together and offer it to some of the people who'd like to relive some fond memories. no, his family didn't film me on purpose, but mark and i were in a LOT of the same races over the years, so consequently i'm in there. there is a lot of other stuff in there too, so i'm psyched to buy a couple of them, specifically the 1981 NBL Grand National race, held right here in st. louis. i'll skip the dvd with the '82 grands in pittsburgh because i was watching it from the bleachers. he also has the '83 grands from nashville, and that one is worth having.

and, continuing my cruise down memory lane, my old friend travis paid me a visit today at the store. travis and i met in 1982, i think, at the bmx races. eventually, we both ended up on the same factory race team and traveled quite a bit together. over the years, we have loosely kept in touch, and he even made it to my 40th birthday party. it's always fun to laugh and joke with trav about the old days, and even the new days, as we seem to have some of the exact same experiences. he bought a new pair of wheels for his mountain bike, and he's going to dig out some of his old bmx stuff to sell on ebay after i told him how crazy some of the folks are for the good old days.

it would be nice to find out what a lot of the old guys from the 80's are doing with their lives now. from time to time, i check out and and read up a bit. it's always such a mind blowing experience. to think we were all just kids back then, it's just crazy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

learning is fun

i figure i can learn a lot from other people. like plenty of young, spirited people, i used to believe that i knew it all and pretty much nobody could give me any advice. that changed as i got older and realized i didn't really know that much. and the older i get, the more i know that i don't know anything. i guess the way out of any problem is to admit you have a problem, eh? and, i think along with the realization that i'm brainless i have learned that an ego is a terrible thing to hold on to. it's probably harder to let go of an ego than it is to learn that you're dumb.

getting to my point, over the last 10 years or so i have learned to listen to other people. i didn't say that i always followed what they said to do, but i do listen. i like to listen to other people and hear what they do and how they do it. and, unless you're dumb (see above), listening to others experiences can give you a wealth of information.

sunday at the ghisallo picnic, i ran into davey b and matt keeven. these guys have been doing a spectacular job with their training and racing over the last couple of seasons, and have been become quite respected in the midwest and probably beyond. i've really been curious about some stuff that they do, and how they do it, so i just came right out and asked a bunch of really dumb questions. they probably thought they had run into brick wall of my questions, but i figured that they are nice guys and they wouldn't mind. (my friend marty knows how dangerous i can be when i get on a roll with questions) i asked about 29'er stuff (mitch the masher probably gets tired of my questions, too), single speed stuff, and specific training questions about each, too. i think i could have continued on asking, but i guess i have enough to digest already.

learning is fun, and i figure i have another 40 years of it to go.

yep, they sure are

so, if anyone is wondering whether or not they should be entrusting their computers and laptops and other digital devices to the folks from best buys "geek squad", look no further. i will give you a heads up...
i don't know if they are any good or not. i don't have my computer back yet. and the three times i have had contact with them to enquire about it, i can tell you that they didn't seem to have a great grasp of what was going on.
so i cannot speak about the quality of their work, because i haven't seen it. i can, however, tell you that you will have ample time to get other things done while you're waiting for them to finally return your device. spend too much time reading blogs? geek squad is the cure. the soap opera of everyone else's daily lives will have long passed you by. shopping online got your credit card smoking? geek squad is the cure. by the time you're able to log back on to amazon or ebay, they may have gone out of business and we'll all be back to bartering with shiny stones and salt. addicted to live tour coverage on cyclingnews? geek squad is the cure. dogfish will have won the tour with johnny's grandson as director by the time your trusty pc is back on your laptop.
yeah, so i'm not funny today. just kinda bitter.

Monday, July 14, 2008

killer tour stage today!

ah, the mountains! what a killer stage today! the battle on the final climb was amazing.

i'm such a sucker for the tour.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

fast and foolish

while i was out on my hilly road ride today, i witnessed a little fast and foolish automotive buffoonery.

now, don't get me wrong, i believe that there is nothing quite like driving a killer car on a twisty back road. but public roads have become so crowded, no matter how remote they may be, it's just not a good idea. particularly from the viewpoint of a cyclist.

the first encounter was with a honda s2000. i was just starting up allenton, just past the employee entrance to six flags, when i heard the beehive noise in the distance. as i pushed up the climb, it became louder and louder, and BBBBBBBBBBBBBBZZZZZZZZ, this s2000 comes into view halfway through the corner, ripping. he had to have been going 80. whoa, it was startling to see and hear a car on that narrow road bomb past like that. i'm glad i wasn't with a group of riders.

the next encounter was with a lotus elise. i guess it wasn't so foolish, maybe it was. as i climbed the last section of woods, just as it got twisty and steep, a yellow elise blazed through the corners, completely smooth, completely faster than i could've thought possible. good thing i was in my lane, i thought.

i don't know if i should pass judgement or not. maybe they both had it under control. maybe the drivers of both were young knuckleheads like i used to be and could have careened off the road at any second. once they both passed, i thought about how fun it probably was to drive such cool cars on such cool roads. it just didn't seem safe.

ah, what do i know? i drive a station wagon.

woulda know

i would have gone to the smithville mtb race north of kc this weekend if it hadn't rained so much there. i still could have done it, i suppose, but that would have meant getting up at the crack of dawn, driving 4 hours, spending $100 in gas, RACING, getting muddy, and driving home. hmmm. the only good thing about that last sentence was the RACING part, so it just didn't add up. there are just too many things to do at home in those 12 or so hours i would have been away, anyway.

saturday was a particularly taxing day with the little one. i think he may have generated his own version of amphetamines, because he was wired like a motor. when the beautiful mrs k and i took the boys out to dinner, it was a nightmare. we had to take him outside twice during the meal to try and get him to behave. he, of course, took that behavior on the road and continued on until about midnight. i used the awake time to watch casino royale, the newest james bond movie. wow, it's probably the first bond movie i have ever truly liked. he's a mean guy, sort of, and much more human. it doesn't hurt that he drives an aston martin, though. i think i'd look forward to another with this guy playing the part.

sunday came too soon, and we saddled up to go out to the 'wood for the ghisallo cycling club's picnic. it was supposed to be an off-road thing, people bringing their food, kids, and mountain bikes. since it has been raining so much, we didn't expect much other that kids and food. but, we brought some cannondale demo bikes anyway, and others brought their bikes, too. most everyone had a bit of fun on the mtb's, pretty much staying away from the bad sections. mostly it was a chance to get together. i brought my road bike, and when everything was unloaded and set up, i took off. i did a nice hilly ride out to six flags and back to the park. 32 miles total, and i felt darn good about it. i got back and the kids were having races in the field. i ate a burger off the grill and some watermelon. eli took his first real pedal strokes on his bike, too, riding around the pavilion and running into stuff. pedaling, good, handling, not so much.

just like dad.

my old friend brett nejmanowski cruised through the park while we were there on his cool carbon bike. seems he's trying to get himself back into the mix. that's one talented boy, it would be great to see him reach his potential. we talked a bit and laughed about the same old people we talked and laughed about years ago, so all must be right in the world.

for some reason i have two days off the the bike on the ol' training plan. ok, fine. that just means i'll do more housework instead of ride. what kind of trade off is that????

Friday, July 11, 2008

different sleeping techniques

this is the "i'll just lay down for a minute and get my jammies on later"'s never successful.
this approach is called the "i could'a had a v8" or "get that camera out of my face i haven't had my coffee" or "woe is me, my milk is gone."

technique? what technique? what's static cling? and who were the flock of seagulls??

Thursday, July 10, 2008

and 4 years later

it's been 4 years since my disastrous crash at a castlewood short track race in 2004. it was a stupid wreck, just cruising along behind another rider, getting ready to attack again. i was in the best shape in years, and the short tracks were going very well. they tend to be a strength of mine, and i guess i quit paying attention. deanna, whom i had just started dating, was watching so i was going to try and make the race a runaway win. biff, i hit a root while my hands were only loosely on the grips. i flew superman style into a small tree and it hit me between my neck and shoulder. i was carted out of there on a stretcher. deanna followed me to the hospital and we found out i had a punctured lung, 8 broken ribs in my back, a broken scapula, a 2nd degree shoulder separation at the ac joint, and a broken acromian. and, only 5 weeks sleeping upright in a chair brought me back to not quite as good as new...
so, even though my racing, nor my life, has ever been the same, i still love the short track. tonight was no fairy tale story of my comeback win or anything like that, but it was a great race for me now and a great event altogether. tons of people come out to these things because they are fun, short, fun, there is food, and it's fun. chris ploch did what he does best and smashed us pretty early, but me and my long time racing compatriot john matthews had a battle royale for 2nd and 3rd. we went back and forth, matching each others accelerations and moves. it was just like old times, and even though we're both older, it was no less fun. i finally got the better of him in the last half of the last lap. wow, it was killer. to top it all off, tyson and hanna came out with me to cheer me on. they had signs and shouted at me every lap. they shouted at brian every lap, too, who came out, road shoes and all, to bust a move. he did pretty well, finishing 7th or 8th.

kudos to the gents who put this thing on, and to ralph and crew for the chicken sandwiches, fruit and chips and of course the drinks. and thanks very much to ryan h for more great photos, at least they're great for me. they actually make me look like i'm not hurting, which is quite a feat because a short track is always about mashing the whole time and never looking back.
4 years later. it's time to put that old stuff to bed.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

the ooze from beyond

oh, i made a big mistake a couple of weeks ago. i had to put my grass clippings in one of the trashcans because i neglected to get yard waste bags. that would have been fine, but i just left it there. and it was wet.

last night, the time had come to shovel it into a yard waste bag for the trash pickup today. when i opened the can, it stunk. but i could do it. i started grabbing clumps of it with my yard gloves, then i got to the wet stuff.

mother of god.

the stench that came forth from the can only be described as death. rotting, stinking, decaying death. i ditched the gloves and got a small shovel. it got wetter and the stench grew stronger. deanna evacuated the kids from the area as death filled the air around us. i wretched. the nasty grass kept coming. being wet when i filled the can, it eventually compressed into a highly dense mass of ooze from beyond. black, thick, grassy ooze.

as i got closer to the end, i realized that i would probably smell like death, too. my clothes, spattered with little droplets of the ooze from beyond, would have to be burned. no, washed and then burned. and buried. i spooned the rest of the ooze from beyond into the bags.

i fought my compulsion to vomit and drug the bags out to the curb. the stench still followed me. i grabbed the can and took it to the side of the house and poured several ounces of dawn dishwashing liquid into the can as i sprayed water into it. the ooze from beyond and the stench both welled up with the massive bubbles. when the can was full, i stood, stinky, sweaty, and wet now that it was raining. i took the can out into the street where the sewer drain resides and poured what was left of the ooze/soap/water slurry into it.

i took a shower and i thought i got rid of the stench. i washed my hands numerous times and they still hinted of the ooze from beyond.

never, ever leave wet grass in a trashcan.

Monday, July 07, 2008

an alfa a day keeps the doctor away

there isn't a bad angle for this car. from this angle, i see a lot of the old ferrari dino in the roofline.

chris is getting closer

my friend CHRIS has been riding the wheels off of his bike getting ready for his big event, denver to durango. it's a completely self-supported race that encompasses more than 500 miles. here are a few of the stunning photos he's taken along the way during his training miles.

he's got some great information on his blog about packing, eating, and training for the event. he's very meticulous about his preparation, and i'm sure he can be a wealth of information for anyone considering a similar event. chris has tapped into a lot of different resources for information, gear, and support. some of them are:

ghisallo sports, carousel design works, dan schmatz, jay petervery, jeff kerkove, stefan griebel, and the big one, the lance armstrong foundation, livestrong.

you can read a lot more about him HERE.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

house work, check

after a big weekend, sunday held nothing for us but work. actually, it started off in sort of a fun way. thf was invited to have a rider in the gateway cup poster that gets distributed around our area for the labor day weekend races. that rider was me. it was a cool experience, one headed up by front man tim ranek. a hand full of cool riders was there, a few of st. louis' best women racers included. hopefully, they won't edit me out, but truthfully it would be a fine poster without me.

after the photo shoot, it was on to new brakes on the car. jeepers, batman, it hurts to crawl around and turn wrenches on a car. anyway, an hour and a half on the first side and 35 minutes on the second side. typical for my learning curve. now, no grinding brakes, seeing that the old pads were down to metal.

next up for me, the lawn. confounded lawn. water...grass grows...must cut...water...grass's a vicious cycle, don't you know??? while i was doing the fun manly things, mrs k and the kids were picking up sticks in the yard, doing laundry, washing the car, you name it. it was quite a team effort around here.

now, look at the time. weekend is over, it's late, and there you have it.

scenes from the 4th of july, 2008

we have ended the 4th of july fireworks festivities for the last few years at webster groves. it's quite a show and doesn't yet have any of the hassles that have plagued the downtown show for years. don't let this little photo fool's a MAJOR display, one that you can sit a mere 75 yards away from. talk about boom...
but the big day kicked off with a parade. the kids are always up for a parade. here, hanna and tyson show that american pride and spirit. and a love for candy, as that's what gets thrown out at these parades.

did you see that guy cut me off??? why i oughtta....!

uh, lady, i don't want to point out the obvious, but aren't you a bit big for this ride?

all the girls and one boy. we invited along a group of friends and had a great time with all the extra young'uns around. here they are gearing up for the display. eli kept saying,"boom! shoot it! shoot it!"

a good photo of tyson and my smokin' hunk of woman.

it has come to be a tradition at fireworks displays that someone hold there hands over eli's ears. i guess he caught on pretty quick, because as soon as he knows they are coming, he starts to yell, "hold ears! hold ears!" he was so wired from the awesome show that he couldn't get to sleep until the wee hours of the night.

mmmm, sleep is good

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

beaten by the weather, again

i had to bag the beatdown tonight because no one has been showing up. i can blame my own inconsistent production of the ride, i guess. not many people are going to commit their wednesday evening for a ride that only happens when a guy fits it into his training schedule.

so i thought i would be slick tonight by having both bikes ready to go, mtn and road, just in case. of course, as 5 o'clock rolled around the weather was looking as sketchy as schvonzie on a creek crossing with road shoes. rain was in the air. nuts. i knew i wasn't going on a long road ride, so i jammed over to the 'wood to get in some climbing. i thought the rain would hold off long enough for a quick, intense session.

and it held off. for 45 minutes. i got out of my car, rolled out for a too-short warm up, passed marty on the trail, and busted out a lap of lone wolf, field, cardiac, rollercoaster, and grotpeter...and it started raining while i was jammin' down the downhill. sigh. i thought i might crank up lone wolf a few times for more climbing, since it's all rock i didn't think i'd get any mud on me, but i just packed up and called it a day. no sense in forcing a workout that wasn't going well anyway.

i wish i had kept count of how many times my rides have been ruined do to rain this year. no, maybe i don't want to know. it would probably depress me even more.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

alfa 8c

not one to fawn over expensive, exotic hardware, i cannot help but to be floored by this alfa romeo. the 8c competizione, it's called. good lord, it's beautiful. it doesn't matter what's under the hood (i'm sure it's a LOT), it doesn't matter what it costs (ditto), it doesn't matter where it's made (well, duh)' got to be one of the finest shapes ever to spout four wheels.