Friday, January 29, 2010

the book of eli

deanna and i went to see the book of eli tonight at the movies. and not because we have a little terror named eli. i'm always intrigued by apocalyptic movies, and denzel is a favorite of mine, so it seemed like a no brainer to me.

we saw it, and it was good.

it's rather dark and violent, perhaps too violent, but it's also very powerful. denzel is the perfect man for the part. i could watch the first confrontational scene over and over again. maybe i will when the dvd comes out. i really liked jennifer beals character, especially at the end. gary oldman plays the perfectly believable bad guy. he must be a bad guy in real life, because he plays one so well in all the movies that he's cast in.

i'd pay to see it again, i think.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

there is a dodge ram in my driveway

yes. and i drove it there. some time ago, the beautiful mrs k had a guy back into her front bumper. finally getting around to fix it, we were given this as a rental from enterprise. truth be told, the guy at the counter asked deanna if she wouldn't mind a truck. i nearly gasped when she said, "sure, why not?"

visions of her backing into stuff and giving us an accidental lawn job flashed through my mind.

"uh, honey...are you sure?"

she insisted that she could drive it and i ceased pressing the issue. the guy at the counter gave in a little and said she could have a special edition hyundai cheap skate deluxe, but she never even heard that as she was out the door with keys in hand. we walked up to the monster and i just laughed. she drove it home without incident. i drove it to pick up the boys and to help her drop off the fusion at the body shop.

it's huge. but surprisingly, it drives about like a car does. it has no hemi. it has the 4.7 v8, which i think has 310 horsepower and 330-ish lb/ft to play with...but it needs every bit. if it was a person, it would shop at the big and tall men's store. the boys love it, of course.

Monday, January 25, 2010

actual photo of me

hey olivia, i'm looking pretty good these days, eh? what was that, i can't hear you?

the magic house

we took advantage of some buy-one-get-one tickets to the magic house on sunday. the kids were beaming and ready to go. except for hanna, who is napping here.
there, she woke up in the bubble room.
the whole family is mesmerized by the bubble room displays. deanna is transfixed.
tyson attempts to pull the bubble up around him. it wasn't working out so well.
faces in the rod thing. it was good for at least 5 minutes of fun alone. i think that's hanna and tyson's faces.
eli and hanna dress up and pet a fake ferret-like creature.
shelby and hanna climb the little climbing wall. hanna is wearing the latest fashion in climbing boots.
hanna really liked the bank. she was writing out bills and checks.
eli really likes curious george. here, he sits on george's lap.
and here he meets a very large, living curious george. the other kid needs to scram and quit hogging george's attention.

then the camera batteries were dead.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

birthday party for hanna, max, and gus

and of course, we didn't bring our real camera. these sorry photos were taken from my phone. anyway, hanna, max, and gus have birthdays really close together, and even though the big day isn't here yet we had a little party for them. she looks older than 10, huh?
eli was quite excited. secretly he was hoping that someone brought him presents, too. max tore into his and eli was there to help.
hanna reads one of the cards. funny seeing my little girl wear chuck taylors.
eli was feeling much better after his bout with the stomach flu earlier in the week. the beautiful mrs k and grandma look on.
hanna brought cousin shelby with her. they are such a great pair and certainly keep the boys settled to a sane level.

picky dog

hey dad, could you move this laundry basket somewhere else? it really sucks trying to lay on your pillow with this thing in the way. i'm just sayin'.

Friday, January 22, 2010

aston martin DB5

to these eyes, this may well be one of the most gorgeous cars ever. the 1965 aston martin db5. up for sale at the RM auctions, photo courtesy of autoblog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

heart rate and such

i suppose this is what a heart looks like to illustrators. every time i see an open chest on tv or the movies, it doesn't look anything like that. it looks like a slimy wet blob of red goo.

my slimy wet blob of red goo has been going pretty well lately. it seems to be right where it should most of the time and i'm rather impressed that it works so well when it has to. over the past couple of years i've had an odd skip-beat thing going on, PVC i think it's called, premature ventricular contraction. yeah, i read a lot on the internet. anyway, it was fairly bad this past summer, sometimes skipping it's way along every few minutes for an hour or so before resuming normal old guy pumping. lately, i haven't felt any of it, but yesterday it did the salsa dance for about a full minute before it finally found it's way. that's never happened before. so, to make myself feel better, i pinned it on the trainer tonight. oh yeah, i showed it who's boss. in fact, i've never gone better.

still no serious testing going on, training wise. again, i don't believe i can call it training if i don't do it more than 5 or 6 hours a week. it's more like angry bike riding, sort of quickly.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

team cannondale

back long ago, after the homegrown team had dissolved, i was lucky enough to get onto the cannondale sobe team. we had our choices of sobe scalpels or hardtails which was awesome. that was 2002, and over the years i've had quite a few cannondale mtb's that i've bought on my own. i've owned 3 or 4 scalpels, 2 or 3 hardtails, and my favorite, a rush. so, team bike or not, i've always been a cannondale fan.

for 2010, i have an opportunity to be on another regional cannondale off-road team. i'm not factory sponsored or anything like that, but it is a very nice situation and i'm very lucky to be a part of it. i get to pick the bike, too, and naturally, since i'm such a huge fan of my current carbon 29'er (fisher superfly), i will be stylin' on the new flash carbon 29'er 1. oh, if i was only as good as this bike.

exciting things for 2010!

bugatti veyron enters realm of the ridiculous


a long time ago i stopped lusting after...nay...even reading about such vehicles. they just became ridiculous characatures of cars to me. it's just so hard to get excited (for me) about something that is so far out from the prospect of ownership as to be fantasy.

autoblog has a little insight into the cost of ownership of a bugatti veyron. 4000 mile life span for $30,000 TIRES? a yearly running cost of $300,000??

uh, that's ok. i'll stick to lusting after mustangs and maybe used corvettes and porches. call me boring.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

it's my birthday today

11 years ago, i was born somewhere in middle missouri. some nice people came to check out us little pups to choose which one they wanted to take home. at first, these nice people chose some wimpy little guy that i used to push around a lot. i was sad, but a few weeks later, those same nice people took me home! seems the wimpy guy developed a hernia and couldn't be adopted just yet, and i was next in line. lucky me! my older brother was adopted by these same people a couple of months earlier.

i was dad's birthday present for his 32nd birthday. over the years, rudy and i saw LOTS of changes. we lived in st. charles, glendale, maplewood, and affton. we saw the addition of a little girl named hanna, a boy named tyson, and another little terror named eli. along the way, we also gained a new buddy, a big ass dalmatian named rocky. we've always had nice back yards and certainly nice living accommodations.

a short while back, i lost my brother rudy. that wasn't so easy. even though he was a cranky, sort of chunky guy, i miss curling up with him on mom and dad's bed. so i've had to make some changes, like curling up to rocky and he's really big and he smells sometimes, but i have learned to love him. the first time i met him i really let him have it. i think i could have taken him if dad would have let me.

through everything, i'm still dad's shadow. i still hunt animals in the back yard, i still drag in the occasional rabbit carcass or dead bird, and i never back down from a big dog (except certain pittbulls, which are pretty scary).

i'm 11 years old today and i don't feel much different than the day i came home.

Friday, January 15, 2010

holy 1975 ford ranchero

ranchero's and el camino's have always baffled me. i kind of liked them way back in the most redneck portion of my brain, yet loathed them all at the same time. the ranchero, being a ford, was my pick but i rarely admit to anyone that i'd be caught dead in one. truth is, if i found a nice one, early or late, i'd be tempted into buying one and turning it into something vaguely like this one. credit autoblog for this story.
underhood is a 604 cubic inch version of ford's own "hemi" engine, the boss 429. this thing is off the hook.
mmmmm, delicious.

my little pirate

eli, myself, and the beautiful mrs k were sitting at bread co. eating tonight when out of the blue, eli said: "arrrrr, matey" and stuck his fist up to his eye like he is in this photo.

at that moment, deanna and i looked over and saw an older man walking toward the door to leave. he had an old fashioned leather eye patch over one eye.

we will probably go to hell for it, but deanna and i laughed and laughed in amazement that our little not-yet-4-year-old was making pirate noises at someone who, to him, looked like a pirate.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

giant tcr advanced 1 final iteration

and so it goes. after robbing my cross bike of it's shifters, bargaining my friend doug out of his brakes and derailleurs, and flat out buying some new cranks, i have shimano-ed my tcr. and it feels like home again. i kind of like the new ultegra crank look. not completely. but it will grow on me, especially given the price of the new 7900 cranks. hell, the 7800 cranks, if you can find them new, are more than a car payment for me.

i love this bike.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

kids like winter weather

i don't know if they like the COLD, but they sure do like the snow. the kids have been praying for snow since halloween. i thought they were collectively going to have a cow when it flurried on christmas day. hanna and tyson have school on the mind first...snow equals snow day. after that, every other snow benefit is gravy. eli loves it because it turns the whole outside world into a playground. i think he'd lay down and sleep in it if we'd let him. no wait, he doesn't sleep.

so naturally, the entire time all of this snow talk is going on, i'm gritting my teeth praying that it won't snow. it makes me feel so guilty. i mean, here are my little angels (poetic license taken with term) just dying to get out in the snow and i'm hoping that the entire world never sees snow again. even the north pole. santa can rent a 4 wheeler for all i care, or walk because he looks like he could stand to lose a few pounds.

we took the kids over to a nice little sledding spot pretty close to the house on sunday afternoon. i was dreading it, of course, but i really wanted them to get out and have some fun in it. even the beautiful mrs k had suited up to do some sledding. i hung in there for a while, helping push them down the hill for extra speed, cheering them on in their distance contest, laughing at them when they would yard sale....then i got into the car,turned the heater on full blast and that's where i stayed. deanna took some photos of the day and i'll see if i can get them up tomorrow.

some time around 7 or 8 years old i learned to hate snow and cold weather and nothing has changed my mind about that yet.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

ah, that's better

i lifted the entire bar/stem combo from my cross bike, complete with dura ace shifters...
and added it to my new dura ace rear derailleur....
and calipers. thanks, doug!

hand made bicycle

this is as close as i'm going to get to a handmade bike for a while. it's a great little gift that grandma picked up for deanna and i on one of their trips this year. the frame is all brazed steel tubing, and the cranks turn, the pedals turn (cool sheet metal), and the handlebars turn with the steel wire cables. the little chain is awesome. i need to tighten it.
i want to replace the rather rudimentary axles with allen head bolts. in this photo you can see that the spokes are even brazed to the rims. check out the moto fender in the back!

i love this kind of stuff.

Friday, January 08, 2010

give me dura ace or give me death

so i'm completely in love with my new road bike. the giant is stiff, smoooove, and it looks way faster than i can make it go. but it doesn't have my dura ace shifters on it.

you know how you find something that you really like? and you stay with it? ok, well maybe most of you are not like that. i am. i still have a 2001 fastback and a 2000 homegrown sitting around. and after 10 years on campagnolo ergo shifters, i found my soul mate with the 7800 dura ace (and 6600 ultegra) shifters.

they fit my hand. they feel like home. i still have a pair and i'm putting them on the tcr. it's a shame, because i wanted to fall in love with the 2010 force. but, it's sort of like an arranged marriage....the force is there for me, but my heart is with the d/a's.

pretty deep, i know.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

good news bad news scenario

good news. i marched up to target yesterday and bought myself a ceramic heater for the basement. promptly ticked off my super-sensitive surge protector several times until i plugged it into another outlet without any other devices in it. ahhh, i have pointed it directly at me, about 3 feet away. it's sort of like a mini wind tunnel of warmth.

bad news. it's snowing. a lot. and it's getting even colder, if that were possible. somebody wake me when it's june.
good news. i rode the tcr outside today for the first time. in fact, it was my first venture outdoors in a few weeks. then tonight, the beautiful mrs k and i worked out in tandem while watching the 1999 tour de france on dvd. yuck, that is in fact sweat on the floor mats.

bad news. it's snowing. a lot. and that means i'll be riding even more inside. somebody wake me when it's july.

Monday, January 04, 2010

dear god it's cold

anyone who knows me knows that i am not a fan of cold weather. any cold weather. i don't even like the 60's. so what's a guy like me to do here?

the cold is even more daunting right now because my office and work space is in my basement. it's a balmy 45 degrees down there. so i'm working in temps far below my threshold for coldness, and then i have to suit up to go out into even more cold when stepping outside. the only time i'm warm these days is when i'm in bed, where the beautiful mrs k and rosco do a wonderful job.

much to my chagrin, it's getting even colder, and even a bit of snow will be added in.

i will have to dig deep into my suitcase of courage to brave this. come on, spring. please.

Friday, January 01, 2010

happy new year, or, this ain't no st. charles!

the beautiful mrs k made plans for us to go to aya sofia for new years eve festivities. we love the food and the owners are friends of her family. here, we had just arrived.
kevin and katie came along, too. they drove all the way in from their wilderness love nest somewhere's out west.
jim and denise were actually our chauffeurs. before hitting aya sofia, we all went to the movies and saw "in the air". it was depressing from my point of view. which meant it was time for some frivolity.
"oh!" the belly dancer said to kevin, "it's your birthday??"
yeeee haaaaw. now that's some good old fashioned fun! although a quarter of his size, the diminutive belly dancer lassoed her some kevin. she probably would have hogtied him right there in the restaurant, but the shocked and appalled lady in the lower left of the photo would not stand for it.
i, on the other hand, decided that her efforts were worth at least two bucks. i'm always a bit nervous at these moments, especially a few years after my stripper experiences have past.
and for this, she turned up the heat and gave us a little sword play action. you can plainly see the cash hanging from her waist band. it was at this point that we lamented keith and 'reesa's absence from the family new years fun. we couldn't imagine that they were having as much fun as we were, since they were in st. charles. you know, this ain't no st. charles.
kevin: happy new years, honey!
katie: happy new years to you, too. and if you mess with that belly dancer again i'll use that sword for something really painful. this ain't st. charles, you know.
happy new years, bucks! it's evident here that jim has truly topped out, and that it wasn't st. charles.
looking quite drunk even though we weren't, we rang in the new years with complimentary champagne. i don't even like champagne. but, i pretended and we closed out our non-st. charles new years eve bash with style.