Sunday, May 31, 2009

camp mo-val

you guys back already??
upon arriving at camp mo-val, we were treated to the new dee-lux accommodations. it seems that in the past, the living quarters were rather stark. we found them to be very comfortable indeed, as tyson does his best urkel imitation.
at night, there were always plenty of things to do. hanna and tyson make use of the huge fireside room floor with the dominos.
it's quite surprising to me that hanna enjoys the outdoors as much as she does. from hanna montana to grizzly adams just like that!
kevin was m.c. of the event, so he gave the kids first class tickets to the outdoors.
eli took this.
on a hike through the creek, literally, hanna found a new friend.
eli enjoyed the creek hike, too. he looks like a homeless child. somebody get that kid a shirt, willya?
tyson's clothes and shoes were in a perpetual state of yuck.
we built rockets out of 2 liter soda bottles. we put on a nose cone and fins. hanna added some flair. i sat amongst them looking intense.
kevin had this contraption that launched the bottles. we filled the bottles with water, and the tube was pressurized with a schwinn pump. pow! the bottles flew and water went everywhere. ours was pretty cool, but didn't go the farthest or the highest. curse that rocket science degree, anyway....
the paddle boat adventure started out as a three hour tour.
pool time meant that i was able to lay down in the shade and i actually nodded off to sleep. tim don't swin.
on the hay wagon, we sat on hay. there was a sister camp ground just down the road and we rode the hay wagon over for some evening festivities.
a long make-shift slip and slide (with baby shampoo as the slippery medium) was the highlight of the trip. hanna splashes down.
tyson and gus were determined to go the farthest on the slide. neither did, as a couple of the adults slid clear off the end and into the mud.
mrs k's first attempts were short......
...then she figured out how to make it to the mud. glad i got this photo.
eli has been wrestling with a cold, and he's been going non-stop. he gave up during the slip and slide fiasco, but....
...awakened long enough to beg for a nutty bar, then fell asleep with it in his hand.
hanna is actually awake here, but we caught her at the right moment. well, she might not think it's the right moment.
eli sums up the way we felt when leaving camp mo-val.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

squeaked in more mtn biking

i didn't think the weather would hold out, but sunday i was able to shoot out to castlewood for another off road ride. that brings my weeks total to THREE! yahoo!

i woke up quite slowly, kids were still out in the country with kevin and katie. somehow, i came to my senses and realized that a mtn bike ride might just happen if i get out of bed and beat the rain. so i grabbed my stuff and phoned schvonzie on the way. i got in a warmup lap before he arrived and ran into none other than joe hill. he was still sporting the gold series homegrown limited like a fresh set of gold toofuses.

we bid goodbye to joe and had a nice mtn bike ride. it was nice because it was mellow. schvonzie hasn't been off-road much...i think the last time was when we road with pat collier in tuscon...february 2008. so that meant a 70% pace which was just what i needed. i have to say, i haven't had more fun on my mtn bike in quite a while. we committed to doing it again, although todays rain on top of rain makes that quite unlikely this week.

three times off road this week. what's the world coming to?

Monday, May 25, 2009

memorial day

it's memorial day again and we were given a brief couple hours of sunlight during the rainy day to visit dad. and even though i rode my bike through jefferson barracks cemetery several times this year and had no trouble finding my dad's grave site, i can never find it in the car. eventually, mrs k stopped at a "you are here" sign in the labyrinthine maze and got us straightened out.
eli has been sick and crabby, but he was determined. he managed only a meek smile and tyson always has the sun in his eyes, but they posed nicely. i wish hanna was here with us, maybe she and i will come down on wednesday.
eli had a great idea of bringing his bubble grass mower to mow the grass around grandpa george's site. it's funny how he thought this might be important. even without eli's help, i'm very grateful that the va keeps jb in such great shape.
he was having a great time. whereas some might find this a bit sacrilegious, i thought it was his little way of managing something he couldn't understand. at one point he seemed to grasp that i had a daddy at one time, too. we let him run around until he was really tired.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

super troopers

i have to see this movie again soon.

a boy and his dog

after fighting the inevitable all night, eli finally crashed on the couch. then friends joined him.
he's got his famous cough again, and it's very worrisome to us. we've had a couple of trips to the emergency room over the last 3 years for his breathing and every time he starts coughing and wheezing, we get scared. rocky is doing a fine job guarding the little guy for now.

bummin' with dad

with the beautiful mrs k working saturday morning, i dragged the kids around a bit. we hit the post office (they got suckers, of course), target, and the gas station. i remember doing these things with my dad when i was little, and i liked going everywhere.

my dad called it bummin'. he'd say, "wanna go bummin' with me?" i always jumped at the chance.

i was a holy terror just like my kids are. i wanted to play with everything. i wanted to ask the teller all kinds of questions at the bank. i wanted to pull on the stamp machine handles at the post office. i wanted to hide merchandise on the shelves at the store (a side note for long time st. louisans: remember ONTARIO? it was just across the city line on manchester, just east of hampton.) and see if they were still there on our next visit. i hid under the display racks of clothes until dad got pissed. i drove the grocery carts like they were race cars, pushing them as fast as i could and jumping on, careening down the aisles and terrorizing innocent patrons. if there were buttons to push, i pushed them twice.

if i was good (and even if i wasn't good, and i wasn't ever good when we went bummin') i got a soda, or 'sodie' as my dad called it. we always seemed to make it to the garden shop on hampton and fyler. i usually ripped up some poor plant there, and dumped dirt out, and stepped on some flowers for good measure. and my dad was always keen on picking up some bricks. there was always some building being torn down, and in those days they were brick. so, we'd pull up the car, he'd open the trunk and we'd grab some bricks. he always said that if a cop stopped and asked us what we were doing just to say we didn't know it was illegal. of course i was on the lookout for cops the whole time. and i always ate as many grapes as i could at big bend mart when we went food shopping.

so why am i surprised when i have to spend the whole time disciplining the boys? because i NEVER acted like THAT.....

Friday, May 22, 2009

off roading

some how i managed to get to the trails twice this week. now, don't get too excited. it was only castlewood on monday and chubb yesterday.

but chubb is quite challenging at least. that place always amazes me, not to mention keeps me on my toes. i was pleased with the things i was able to clear (most everything, while rough, was ridable), and shocked by the things that caught me off guard. i had a good time doing an odd loop. i started at the west tyson shelter, climbed up over the top, down to the railroad tracks, back up to the picnic table and down flint quarry, taking the connector back up to west tyson. i did it three times and my forearms called it a day. really, my whole body called it quits. it was hot, i haven't really been off roading in a while, and i had work to do at home.

i'm committed to riding more off road. we'll see what sort of water that commitment holds.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

my hanna

cutie pie. she was at the zoo yesterday.

here's a question

clicky:

at what point, BEFORE you reach a 45 degree angle, do you feel that you will just fall over?

i confine myself to say, oh, 10 degrees or so. unless ryan hermsmeyer is beside me.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Porsche Sport Drive at Gateway

this is the only photographic evidence that i was there....

my friend greg invited me to gateway international raceway today for a fun day of driving cars that i can never afford. who was i to complain??

i haven't been to gateway in a LOOOONNNG time. we used to go every tuesday night for the tuesday night worlds. yes, dear friends, our beloved weekly training race was temporarily relocated to illinois. i think it was there for 3 or 4 years, up until 2002 i believe.

there were people from all over, probably 30-40 of us. matt, a top dog at plaza motor company, was our host and he made sure that greg, dave, and i had a great time. it wasn't a hard task. there were cayennes, caymans, boxters, and of course, the venerable 911. and we got to drive 'em all.

yep. no fees. no long, drawn out driving school (even though we probably desperately needed it!) just a little introduction and into the cars we went.

first the cayenne. an suv about the size of a jeep grand cherokee with 400+ horsepower and brake rotors the size of trash can lids. we inspected them before we got in and noticed big chunks of rubber flaked off. that's a sure sign of the fun we were gonna have! at full throttle, these things sounded like a mustang v8 with long tube headers and open pipes....almost. a little more mellow, perhaps. so we were able to do our own turns at the wheel and jam around the infield course a couple of times. that's one nice suv. then, the professional drivers that were among us took us out on a HOT LAP. when i say hot lap, i mean hot. it was a brutal experience. he took this 4500 pound beast and flung it around that course at speeds and lean angles that had us crying like babies. wanna know why race car drivers get paid so much? take a ride with one, partner. it was an experience that i will never forget.

next up were boxters and caymans. the cayman is a little small for my taste but very agile and quite fast. 320 hp will turn you on, for sure. i was surprised when i drove the boxster. it was an S model, and it was actually much more buttoned down than the cayman. it was like a go cart and it stuck like glue. the 911 carrera s is another world altogether. roomy, quiet, and with 385 horses, blistering fast. wow. but our drive was nothing compared to the pro's doing it for us. greg and i both mentioned that we were a bit concerned (scared) about going around the course in the 911's, seeing how scary it was in the suv. but, it had to be done. i climbed aboard and the driver demonstrated the launch control. launch control is simple: push button. put foot on brake. put other foot on accelerator and put it to the floor. engine climbs to 6000rpm. let go of brake. there is a shudder and then a violent bash in the back that nearly made me vomit. the acceleration was nauseating. and the driver attacked the track like pat collier on crack. again, it was an incredible experience that i suggest you try if you get a chance. to watch the guy work the controls so smoothly while the car bellows down the straights and eats the corners is unreal. other than the rocket ship acceleration phase of the drive, the rest of the hot lap was much more enjoyable in the 911 than in the cayenne. something about an suv at speed just isn't right.

lastly, we did some autocrossing. they had a nice little course set up so we could drive both the boxster s and the cayman s. i was first and it was FUN! the new pdk(?) 7 speed automated manual transmission thinks waaay faster than i could and was ALWAYS in the right gear. (i think back to the '80's when i did some autocrossing with my nissan 200sx and somehow it just doesn't measure up.) for some reason, during the autocross, the cayman was much better for me and i had two really fun laps in it, and the boxster was a bit choppier. could have been my awesome driving skills were more compatible with the cayman....who can say....ahem....

i was left with the notion that porsche not only builds some desirable cars, but incredibly durable as well. the amateur drivers among us were hard on the cars, but the pro's drove those things like they stole 'em! they did scores of launches with the launch control engaged and that can't be easy on the car. over and over, the cars were tortured. and after we left, there was another group scheduled to do it over again! the cars only needed gas (a lot) and tires (a lot).

i can't thank greg enough, nor can i thank the people at plaza motors enough for giving us the chance to have fun at their expense. a day to remember!

Monday, May 18, 2009

random elijah photography

this is a photo of a cartoon on tv. how did the camera get down there??
this is after a little rough housing incident. i'm sure that little ice pack is doing a heck of a lot of good on top of that melon.
my hats are always a great source of amusement to him. he takes them, wears them, hides them, puts them back on for me backward, etc. i need to catch him when he puts household stuff on his head like pots and pans.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

micky rooney


we all get a kick out of "night at the museum." it's such a hilarious movie, and personally i'm a fan of ben stiller.

one thing we all laugh at is the micky rooney character. he's a gruff little guy named gus and throughout the movie he's calling ben stiller's character all sorts of funny names. each time he addresses him with another. so as the family watched the movie again saturday night, we said that we'd all go by the names as our nicknames as we heard them. so, without further explanation:

eli: snackshack
tyson: lunchbox
hanna: hopscotch
me: butterscotch
deanna: hotdog
rosco: cupcake
rocky: hotshot

we laughed pretty hard about it and all day today we've been going by these nick names.

i took hopscotch home tonight, lunchbox went to bed at 8:30, snackshack ran around the house naked after his bath, cupcake stole some of my fried potatoes, hotshot did pretty much nothing, and hotdog gave me the weeks schedule tonight.

weekend review

weekends are always busy when hanna visits. we usually pack in all that we possibly can, and plan even more.

saturday, the beautiful mrs k evicted us from the house so she could clean. so hanna, elijah, and i went for a bike ride. i put the little guy in the trailer and hanna mounted her bike and we got out of the lady's hair.

i might be a total sissy, but i did 40 miles in the hills on friday and it was 86 degrees. it was a bit grueling, since i hadn't done that sort of effort in that sort of heat yet. i'm saying i'm a sissy because i was downright cold on the family ride because it was 62 and really windy. hanna and eli were really enjoying it, though, so i forged ahead and we got in about 10 miles. hanna is such a good bike rider, and she hardly touches the thing.

later, mrs k left us for a bike ride, so again the kids accompanied me for a bike pick up. of course, by this time we had to have snacks. and later tyson joined us, so it was a full family affair. we even threw in a lowes visit for some killer shelves.

sunday was more house cleaning, although i didn't get sent outside. the kids helped deanna (well, eli actually made more messes, but that's another story) and earned a bit of allowance for that.

when all the kid stuff and adult responsibility subsided, i went for an hour bike ride.

i am so pro....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

those crazy english

from autoblog:

it seems some guy took a kids toy car and put in a 150cc lawn mower engine, working headlights, tail lights, wipers, turn signals...the works. it goes 40 miles per hour.

i can think of a lot of things that i wouldn't want to be going 40mph in.

danny macaskill

sorry, couldn't figure out how to write text after i installed the youtube video.

holy cow! i'm utterly blown away by this video. and this guy has tons of videos on youtube. the things he does...just watch the video. seriously. i heard deanna and the kids oooohhhh-ing and ahhhh-ing in the next room and i came in to see them watching this. i thought it was some sorry freestyle video.

danny macaskill is amazing

Friday, May 15, 2009

the kakouris house

you never know what's going to happen around here. hanna is here with us, and no, i'm not going to make her work on the website all weekend. i promise.
eli took this. his photo skills are getting better even if his content is not.
i bet she's on facebook.
after his bath, eli rushed to the window to see tyson playing out in the backyard. he was just standing there in his birthday suit shouting out the open window. i have the original that does not have his butt bleeped out. he'll like that when he's 13. or at least his friends will.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

it's coming

and hopefully in this color green, too. i just love this little fiesta.

from 60's rattle traps to the new generation of fuel efficient automobiles...i'm all over it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1968 mustang

seeing vintage mustangs on the roads these days is getting more and more rare. let's face it, they are getting pretty old. good ones get squirrelled away so they can stay good, and bad ones are withering away.

i saw a 68 fastback today, like the one in the photo. different wheels, no hockey stripe. otherwise pretty close. it's 41 years old. that's a lot of time for steel and rubber and vinyl to last, especially exposed to the elements.

i don't think about classic cars much anymore. as they fade from the roads, they fade from the forefront of my mind. whenever i see one, though, it brings back the flood of memories for my own classics. and those memories are good and bad. i'm not too nostalgic over my old ponies, nor my old torino. if i never have to see another rusted floorboard again, it will be too soon.

but one can dream, right?

weird weather days

it's not like i really had a chance to ride today, but it would've been tough to get out with the schizophrenic weather. sunny, cloudy, storming, sunny, storming, windy, calm...a little consistency never hurt anyone!!!!

i traveled the world over today (city, county, city, county) in search of: padded envelopes, a new tape gun, tape, boxes, a fedex/ups shipper, people handing over bikes and goods, and even had someone come to the house and drop off goods. my head is swimming.

for the first time, tonight i uploaded things to my webstore. deanna and hanna have done it all up until now, and i hadn't the foggiest idea how. but i was excited to get some of the rock racing stuff up, so i learned what i could until the beautiful mrs k came home to help. she was crabby, also having a very busy day, so i told her to go shoe shopping and then she felt better and helped me more. i've got a lot of it up, but i have more to go.

eli lost one of my best screwdrivers tonight. he was "fixing" the rack on the car with it one minute, and the next it was gone. tomorrow, i will find it stuck in my exhaust pipe. "hey, i ain't fallin' for no banana in the tailpipe trick."

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

tuesday is the day after monday

(i find all kinds of photos on the cameras. it has become my habit to put them up high so that they don't get dropped and batteries don't get run down. this is a masterpiece, however, taken on the saturday of the tour of st. louis. it seems my performance was so riveting that elijah took to photographing hay.)

today was an incredible day for pedalbrakepedal. i shipped out more stuff today than i ever have, and i'm still not quite done. and more orders came in tonight. i'm not on my way to the trump towers or anything, but it's nice.

tonight was another gut wrenching, face distorting, leg burning night at the tuesday night worlds. it was windy again and the attacks never stopped. really, the strong guys just seemed to take pleasure in getting on the front and going mach 5. i surprised myself by bridging up to what seemed to be the winning break. it wasn't. but i was surprised, anyway. on the last lap i latched on to the sunset guys and thought i had second sewn up (justin motored away with 3 to go, i think) when fellow old guy kurt fletcher went by me like i had stopped to pee. third is ok. actually, third is great. even if it is just the tuesday night worlds.

Monday, May 11, 2009

goober

for whatever reason, bath time is rowdy time. eli literally climbs the walls in the shower. the kids bathroom regularly gets soaked from the shenanigans.
and what better to dry off the savage beast than a bear towel? he gets pretty upset when it's in the laundry and he has to use a plain, old, dry towel. rough life, i know.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

weekends don't stop us

just a cute shot of the little princess.

the beautiful mrs k had to work this morning, so i was in charge of the boys. i tried to round them up quickly before they could do too much damage, but it was too late. but, i dragged them to the post office and to the grocery store and that seemed to be ok. it was a nice morning but i couldn't get them to play outside and it seemed like eli was particularly needy this morning. he's been really tired and crabby for the last few days.
every time i pick up the camera there is another self-portrait by tyson. some of them are good, some of them....

after a lot of work this morning, deanna and i were able to go for a ride for the first time in weeks and weeks. flannery, who is one of the kids favorite people, came over to babysit for a while. we rode into valley park and back, clocking right about 40 miles or so. i was trying to keep the hills moderate and the pace pleasurable, and it worked. mrs k was pleased and didn't cuss at me one time.
i'm a little surprised that i can't come up with one funny thing to say about eli walking around with a fuzzy, stuffed dump truck in his mouth, but i can't.

after our ride, we all went out to dinner. bandanna's is a favorite of ours. tyson gets ribs, eli loves the fried corn, and i just eat. i skipped lunch, sort of unintentionally, and was very hungry. afterwards, we drove flannery home and eli fell asleep in the car, so we toured south grand area and holly hills looking at the houses. now, of course, eli is wide awake and ready for a loooong night of complaining.

ah, saturdays....

Thursday, May 07, 2009

merica

after i picked up tyson and eli tonight, he was babbling along as usual and asked where mommy was.

me: she's still at work. she'll be home in a little while.
eli: where's work?
me: well, she's in frontenac today but that's not where she usually works.
eli: no, no, no. she's in the nighted states for merica.

tyson and i just laughed.

this blessed life

as much as i seem to complain (or do i actually complain, not 'seem to'?), i have to admit i have an incredibly gifted, blessed life.

it's been a hard last few years for my little family. we've had a lot of tough times and situations to deal with.

there were times, and not just recently, that i felt i might just fold under the pressure. not just the actual pressure but the self-imposed pressure that i have always administered with reckless abandon. what does fold mean? crawl up into a ball and cry? yeah, i suppose it does. and mom and dad aren't there anymore, so going crying to them is not an option. and the bills and dishes and laundry and kids toys still pile up whether i'm crying in the fetal position or standing upright like a man.

i've had friends give me a good talking to and i trust that they really know what they are talking about. they've opened my eyes to what i really do have and how blessed i really am. it's a shame that i have to be told by others how great i have it, but i use the excuse that it's human nature. well, it's my nature, at least.

this little endeavor that i'm undertaking is probably the biggest leap i've ever taken. every day i wonder how i'm going to get it all done, and every day i have more of my great friends and family hand me what i need on a silver platter. at the height of panic i usually get a call or an email from someone with great news.

i will never stop worrying. my mom worried her whole life and i'm way too much like her to think that i will ever kick that habit. but, through the blessings that are heaped upon me every day, the worry will not beat me.

again, i say thanks to those that, for whatever reason, keep me in their thoughts. and, maybe for the first time here, i have to thank God.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

sylvan springs criterium, revisited


so while i said that i felt terrible and all that at sunday's crit, i now know why. i just downloaded my power file from the race. i know, i know, i'm a terrible technical athlete.
.
so sunday set a new hour power record for me, 292 watts. wow! and i finished so far back. that just goes to show how hard i was working to stay in that race.
---------------------------------------------
1. the race was not slow. we averaged 25.2 mph.
*
2. i was working very hard. my average was 292w, but my average from 30 to 60 minutes was 296!
*
3. i was working too hard for my performance in the race. hard work and no results means there is something going wrong.
*
----------------------------------------------
certainly, my poor cornering in the rain contributed to my extra work load. every time i would eek through the corner, i would have to ramp up the power until the downhill again to stay in contact. that's a long interval every lap.
.
a power meter does not show you how good you are. it shows how bad some aspects of your riding can be. in this case, my reluctance to hit one corner in the race.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

tuesday night worlds for everyone!

i've done almost all of the tuesday night races this year. it's so convenient. i can get an hour warmup riding over to the course (not directly, of course) and then get in some quality bike riding for an hour.

mrs k, on the other hand, has never done one. really, she only rides a little bit anyway, and really she only rides DURING races, so the worlds are perfect. she made the race tonight, and promptly got into the fast group straight away. me and the guys on the sidelines were cracking up about it. she was 5th wheel for a couple of laps then got gapped off by a guy. she was pissed. but she soldiered on and probably hit 250bpm in the process.

she'll stay away from "the gapper" next tuesday. it's pretty fun to see her get so into this racing thing.

something about this volvo p1800 i really like

there are thousands of concept cars made every year and by this point in my car enthusiast life i can only yawn at 99 out of 100 of them. but that one car that catches my eye is usually a dandy mix of modern and classic. this volvo p1800 has been turned into something absolutely jaw dropping to this amateur car buff. stunning, i'd say.