Wednesday, April 29, 2009

lazy crazy dogs

i don't think i ever fully realized how much rocky and rosco sleep during the day when we're gone. i mean, geez. i'd like to sleep a little.

really, rocky sleeps about 22 hours a day. he NEVER moves from the time the kids are off to school until deanna gets home at night. he barks 10-15 times a day at some passersby or just a noise, but quickly puts his schnoz back under a blanket or pillow or anything soft and goes back to sleep. for sure, he doesn't change positions at all for my entire work day. i move about the house, in and out, up and down stairs, in and out of rooms constantly, and many times i don't realize that i have passed over him. he is one lazy dude. but beware if anyone comes to the door. you'd think a different dog invaded the fat guys body. grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

rosco sleeps, yes, but he follows me around like my shadow. when i'm at the computer, i have a big towel balled up behind my chair and he sleeps (and snores) there. but he's awake, fast as lightning, if i go upstairs for any reason. he follows my every move. i go to the kitchen, he goes to the kitchen. i go outside, he waits by the door. he's my constant companion, and when i sit down anywhere, that's where he sleeps.

right now, i'm on deanna's computer and under the desk is an 80 pound dalmation balled up like a big white comforter, and right next to me on my own bed is rosco...snoring.

dogs sure are funny.

Monday, April 27, 2009

weekend photos

elijah: a brilliant photo of my shoes. pay no attention to what appears to be a frying pan in the left of the's actually that pesky lens cap.
tyson: i'm wondering what i should do with my life?

elijah: i'm wondering how i can smash more bugs with my shoes?

elijah: there HAS to be a train to ride somewhere around here.

i raced, too

photo courtesy of john musselman at

this boy's life

ladies and gentleman! here in grandma's planter, we are about to embark on an enormous excavation. we've got diggers, scoopers, bulldozers, cranes, and earthmovers all ready to clear the ground for the big, big skyscraper.

never mind that i will be completely inundated with dirt myself, that is not important. this digger is rocking the dirt and the others are right behind him. nothing can stand in the way of progress.

.....darla, if i close my eyes, i can still smell the diesel oil from the bulldozers....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the beautiful mrs k's tour of st. louis

deanna didn't get to race the delmarvelous criterium on saturday morning due to work obligations. but, after my crit, we loaded up and made the hike up to the north east and found a wonderful place for a time trial. never mind the wind, there was a great section of smooth pavement waiting for the riders.i caught her here on the line. she's pretty intense, huh? no aero whatsoever, save the stock bontrager carbon wheels. just no time for that stuff, ya know??
bam, she's off! she was pounding those pedals straight away. i was hoping she didn't get knocked over by the wind.

26:05 later, she came flying into the finish area. she was 6th in the 4's. i was pleased, and she had an average of 189 bpm on her heart rate monitor. i guess she gave it all she had, huh??

then she lined up this morning, at the crack of dawn, with the other girls for the carondolet circuit race. strong group of women.

it was a hard race. a great push up the climb to the finish every lap had her hurting. ultimately, she was on the rivet so she gave a great pull for her team mate who won the field sprint. i have a feeling if she rode more (her riding consists of doing races) she might be pretty good at this.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

tyson's party time birthday

determined never to have a dull birthday around here, we had tyson's 8th birthday at party time in affton. it's a pretty cool place with all kinds of activities to do. first was pizza and birthday cookie, and of course, presents.
afterward was a game of nerf war. whoa, guns and robbers has sure changed over the years. grandpa and i were talking about using our finger as guns. things have moved slightly forward since then, say, in the form of gatlin gun style nerf launchers. geez.

if you drop even one piece of that pizza, it's mine.

i don't see what the fuss is about. i have pizza, a cookie, a soda, and my thomas shirt. yep, it's all good.

Friday, April 24, 2009

i've known kurt fletcher for about 20 years. he's a fixture among st. louis cyclists and even more so among the couriers/bike messengers that roam out streets.

now kurt has launched his own cycling apparel and gear company called 708 Cycling. some of it is actually made right here in st. louis, and all of it is solid gear meant to last.

check it out, it's a chance to buy some great stuff locally for us st. louisans and a chance for people elsewhere to pick up thoughtfully designed stuff from a guy who's lived and made his living on a bike.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

off topic photo exhibit

"dang, she looks cute here"
monday was just too windy and the on and off rain had me in a tail spin. so i did just that...spun my tail on the trainer during my lunch break. i have to force myself to take time to do things like eat and ride these days. it's just too easy to keep working when there is so much to do.
"if a picture of me eating cake shows up on the blog, you're in trouble"
tuesday was a day of incredible intensity. packaging product, post office run with incredibly mean people in line, more packaging, driving to west county, more listing, bread company for a bagel (not intense), more packaging, suit up for crit, get blown over riding to crit, get blown over during crit, have fun at crit (certainly intense), ride home into wind, eat mcdonald's with kids, meet with mad professor about intense new ebay program (as intense as crit), get ice for cooler and milk to go in cooler since fridge is broken, fed dogs rice puffs cereal because dogfood was awol.............
"and a one, and a two, and a cha cha cha"
i thought today might have rivaled tuesday for intensity, but thankfully it did not. i had a nice lull this morning that let me take some solid quality photos for the 'bay and be the first guy in line at the post office. afterward it was some phone time with prospective customers and a nice coke from the cooler. i did manage to drink water today.
"i hope i don't always look this confused"
i rushed out to castlewood to ride my mountain bike because the weather was just too nice to miss out. i knew that i would only be able to ride for an hour, but i was down with that. it was a heavenly hour, as the weather and the trail were dynomite. i got stung by a bee on my fatty love handle. that was nice.
"if you rush around too much in your day, you might end up like this permanently"
i managed a lot of quality computer time after my ride and took the boys for pizza, since, you know, the fridge is broken. it's tough in this town to get people who deliver fridges, to, well, you know, DELIVER ONE. eli and i watched some thomas videos and he went to sleep pretty easily. now i'm procrastinating by writing this. i need to get my bee-stung love handled butt up to seben eleben to get ice for the cooler and another jug of milk. i'll be lucky if i don't come home with snacks.

Monday, April 20, 2009

bed bugs

i wanted to post more about hanna's play the other night, but since i was a buffoon and forgot my camera, i was at the mercy of others.

here are some of the cuties. it was so fun to watch them...they had on antenna's and little black noses and even some extra arms on their sides. in case you were wondering, hanna is all the way on the right. and, i'm pretty sure the date is off a bit, too.

hanna gave me her big plastic bow.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

weekend getaway

despite the weekend weather forecast, we loaded up the entire crew and headed to hermann missouri for some bike racing. initial plans called for the kids to do the kids races, but the scheduling had gone awry and they canceled those races. they didn't cancel the women's open race, though, and deanna had a good event. after her first warm up lap in the rain, she wasn't very optimistic but did another and decided that she had come this far and was racing. 6 grueling laps later, she was glad she did. way to go, honey!
tyson found another climbing tree and did some spectating from there.
while i was warming up for my race later in the afternoon, the family went on a wine tour. hanna was going on and on about grapes and wine and barrels and moldy cellars.
don't think we let the kids indulge in too much wine! here, flannery joins hanna and tyson for some great grape juice. fermentation not included. flannery is always so nice to hang with our rowdy kids. they really like her and hopefully haven't scared her away.
one can never tell what this one is drinking. he probably charmed the bar maid into pouring him some 100 year old scotch.
and that, folks, is the bitter end.

the grimace at hermann missouri

thanks to paul "pdaddy" from stlbiking for the great photos~!
since the beautiful mrs k did her crit at hermann in the rain and cold, it was not going to be politically correct for me to bag my race. the p/1/2 race was scheduled for dinner time, and by then it was warmer, not windy, and certainly not cold. i had to race.
i really wanted to race, but i had fear and loathing for the downhill on the backside of the course. it was VERY fast and the pavement was pockmarked to the extreme. i actually wanted to do the climb that was so feared, well, because i like to climb. well...i thought it did.
not that i'm ever in any danger of winning hard races like this, but this race was pretty much safe from any threat of me winning. safe from any threat of all. my legs were just flat. my first lap down the big descent was drama free, and i was quite happy to settle in the middle and go through the two 90 degree corners. but i took them slow...every lap. so, every lap, i would lose a little time and have to make it back up. unfortunately, a combination of low talent and slow cornering on the bottom of the course makes it very hard to make up time on the monster climb...remember, this was the climb that i wanted to do.
the first lap i was in the mix on the climb, but started to get gapped at the top. i struggled back and latched on to the riders at the bottom of the downhill: score! i defeated my fear of the descent.
my elation lasted exactly that long. again gappage occurred at the corners, and again i struggled back on the monster climb. which, by the way, i had grown to fear. it was HARD. in four laps, i was by myself. i was going to quit after the fifth one.
but i didn't quit. i kept going, like i was racing, for 7 or 8 more laps, i lost count. (16 total!!!) even though i was practically creating a double hernia every climb. i actually looked forward to the downhill every lap, too. i just couldn't quit as long as they weren't pulling riders.
i was going to quit after every lap. but, each time, at the base of the climb, hanna and tyson were screaming their little heads off. about a third of the way up, there was deanna and elijah and more of my friends, including brad and the allisons. about two thirds up, there were more on the right side of the course. and before i ever crested the top, there was the announcer, my old buddy aaro froese, telling me like it was. and there was another group at the top, too.
once i crested the top of that stupid climb, there was no way i was quitting. those people made it happen. it was incredible.
i was lapped twice by jenson. i was treated like a whack-a-mole game. but i had a great race.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

hermann is awesome!

before i download cool pictures and do a whole diatribe about the hermann race, i must stop to say a big thanks to the people that put on the race.

jeff and crew, thanks a ton! what an incredible town for bike racing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

mountain biking

even though i was swamped today with work, i made time to go mtn biking. i hooked up with the twister himself and the kaiser for some trail thrashing at castlewood. the trails were in great shape, despite the recent rain fall. castlewood is amazing in how it repels water. the sun made an appearance, too, warming the place to acceptable levels.

the kaiser has had some neck issues lately and threw in the towel early. i feel for the guy. it sounds a lot like my neck problem, and luckily i'm working through mine pretty well. twist and i continued and had a great ride. his trail skills have improved 100 times over that of just a few years ago.
because i haven't posted any photos lately, i found these great shots of highly talented mountain bikers to add to the enjoyment of this post.
did they work?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

bed bugs play

i went to watch hanna in a play tonight. it was called bed bugs and it was pretty funny. hanna was so cute as a bed bug, with antenae and extra arms and all. hopefully i'll have photos up tomorrow and you can see.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

have to weather the weather

it seems that we have taken a step back from the great spring weather we were having.

yesterday, i threw in the towel and spent some time on the trainer between the post office and listing items. it really wasn't so bad since i hadn't been on there in a while. i'm not saying i want to get on there more....

today, i just plain couldn't do it. i was half-heartedly planning on doing the crit tonight. but man, the temps were only in the 40's and it was dreary! how can i do that? well, i didn't. i met my man karl at carondolet (i drove there...) for a parts pick up and talked with him for a while. i said hey to jay and cory, told some stories and left.

i don't even feel bad about it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter weekend

it was a long and eventful easter weekend here at the kakouris household. it started early on saturday with an egg hunt at st. francis park. eli was happy as a clam to be knee deep in kids and eggs.
it was almost as if tyson and gus were running in a 50 yard dash race. i mean, what's in those little plastic eggs, anyway? a nickle's worth of m&m's?? well, whatever the monetary value, it didn't matter because it was all hands on deck to get those eggs!

eli paused in his busy morning schedule to sit on dad's lap. it was only 11am and i was bushed. this was the first of 4 egg hunts for the weekend.

the next easter egg hunt was at the gracious adrienne murphy's house. she collected family and neighbors for a record 200 eggs extravaganza. and there was more than chocolate in some of those eggs, let me tell you. we had a great time there and eli was in heaven playing with all of the older kids!

at church today there was, you guessed it, another easter egg hunt. by this time, eli thought it was....old hat.

eli looks sad that this one is over, or maybe he just gulped down a bad peep. tyson is doing his best to get over his wallace and grommit smile, but it shows through a little bit here. spot on, old boy.

eli always gets along with the easter bunny.

for the last of the weekends festivities, we joined the whole family past grey summit in the deep woods for the 4th easter egg hunt and dinner. this was one of the many amazing views from the property. that's the meramec river down there, with tyson and kevin hamming for our cameras.

there was a sand box in the back yard which was immediately taken over (under the immanent domain clause) for excavation. grandma thoughtfully brought along a battalion of machines to help eli with the dig. grandpa asked eli if he was digging for oil, and eli immediately said "no, i'm searching for treasure!"

i thought it might be funny to photograph eli chasing a rooster. it was all fun and good until the rooster turned around and flew towards eli's head. yep....there are certain things you only do once.

the beautiful mrs k took a spin on the gravel roads around the compound with the boys. it was a bit chilly and threatened rain, so they didn't stay out long. fetching, isn't she??

the boys gathered 'round the straw bear. from 50 feet, one might mistake this for a real bear.
so there you have it. lot's of egg hunts, lots of food, lots of candy, and a lot of running around. ah, easter sunday. and it was cold and dreary, just like easter sunday always ends up.

Friday, April 10, 2009

the post office

i have been spending an inordinate amount of time at the post office. every day packages have to be mailed, and the best way to do it is to drive 3/4 of a mile to the post office and mail them.

it's funny, but i like going in there when it's crowded. i don't like the wait, but i like the people watching part. you can tell that the customers don't want to be at the post office, and the employees really try hard to be nice. it's like an antagonistic relationship. it's a better relationship than at, say, the dmv, but you can tell there is tension.

the post office that i go to has some really nice people behind the counter. they really, really try hard. but i've watched some awful behavior by customers there. take the rotund surly guy yesterday. he was mad when he got there, and it looked like he wanted to argue with someone. his package was partially wrapped and after waiting a few minutes, he plopped it onto the kiosk in disgust. all eyes turned to him. then it was his turn. he got to the counter and plopped his package down again. he was complaining about something, and then, for some reason, he wanted to buy 142 stamps to mail it. if you coated the whole box with stamps, 142 wouldn't fit on it. he was even more disgusted when he realized that 142 stamps cost $60. but, he bought them and stormed out muttering. i wonder if he really put all those stamps on that little box?

the people at the post office know me by name now. they give me tips on how to ship more economically. they tell me about their day, their children, their wives/husbands. it's kind of nice. i look forward to going there. and i certainly have better insight into why the post office can be such a tough place to work.

crazy how a place you are conditioned to hate can be such a nice place to go.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

it's tough to hide somewhere

when your ears are always giving you away......

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

tuesday night crits

against my better judgement, i went to do the tuesday night criterium. (as i typed this, i typed wednesday, because that's when God intended them to be) i say against my better judgement because it was again cold, and of course it was windy.

from whence has this wind come? and when will it leave??

schvonzie emailed me about racing and then i had to commit or not, and i committed. he came by and we rode over there. i overdressed this time (really, every time i overdress) and i wasn't cold but i was unhappy with the wind.

upon arriving, it was looking like no one would come to race. it was like a ghost town. slowly but surely, though, lots showed up. and it was some pretty good racing. lots of attacks, even though they were shut down pretty quickly by the wind. finally, a couple guys got off and we never caught them.

wonder upon wonders, with only a few minutes to go, i found myself off the front of the group with some guys. i looked back and the pack was not interested, so we hit it. closing in on the finish line, my energy and talent ran out and i did not win the field sprint, so i ended the day 4th. which is, well, twenty places or so better than i have managed in a while.

and i wasn't cold. imagine that. schvonzie came back to the house and ate spaghetti with us and that's all i have to say about that.

the things kids say

just before i took this photo, eli turned to mommy and said:

"mom...i got my rock moves, and i don't need you."

how is that for gratitude??

Monday, April 06, 2009

whoa, now THAT'S a new one

i got the boys comforters out of the dryer this morning and just threw them on the livingroom chair to get them out of my way. when i came back through, rosco had ascended the pile and conquered it. rock on, rosco! long live the king of comfort! believe it or not, later in the day rocky dragged his 80 pound but up onto the same comforters...only it was a bit more awkward and certainly not as comfortable.

race at tilles

today was to be the beautiful mrs k's first criterium. tilles was a good choice because the turns are mild and the course is a great beginners course, and fast enough to be fun. here, i caught her in the gathering before the official line up. she was nervous, and so was i.
the line up. here, she's next to our good friend cristal. mrs kloha is also there, along with a ton of friends. bike racing in st. louis is a great social event on top of being a competitive one. the race was going great, with deanna, cristal, and stephanie fighting it out for a prime which cristal took literally by a nose. soon after, mrs k pulled a hamstring and had to drop out. she was not happy. that's what happens to us weekend warriors, i said. she'll be back, because she was so excited by the speed and tactics.

speaking of weekend warriors, here is a great shot that paul pate took and put up on his flicker site. (yes, i asked permission!) our race was full of out-of-towners looking for those early season races. the whole topeka crowd was there, along with tons of people from illinois. i didn't feel great, but it was hard NOT to go fast in this field. there were a couple of nasty crashes in an otherwise perfect race. the wind was a killer, AGAIN. wind, wind, go away....

the kids were there to watch us. tyson found a great climbing tree to play in.

hanna needed to get glasses this last week. they are so cute on her, she looks so studious! she was one of the loudest voices i could hear while i was racing.

deanna caught a couple of photos of hanna in the tree, too. she is such a doll.
all in all, it was a good day. it was supposed to rain, and it did a little in the morning, but the real stuff held off until evening. what a weekend.