Monday, May 31, 2010

off to family camp

friday, we packed the kids up for family camp. this arrangement in the freestyle was temporary, as we were going to swap everything into the flex at the dealership. yes, the freestyle is still with us. we returned the fusion which was on lease, but had to use the freestyle to get everything for the trip.
the new flex, with the bike rack attached.
the view from "hill top", our deluxe cabin for the weekend. i cannot tell you how many times i had to trek up and down those stairs.
the view up to hill top.
the effervescent hanna, meal time at the mess hall.
i told tyson that every time he made a goofy face for the camera, i would publish it. done.
eli, mastering the art of fishing. he loves it. he was infuriated after going fishless the entire weekend. perhaps neumann will give him some pointers.
he had better luck with digging. the kids helped do a little gardening for the camp and he was in heaven.
hanna and her band of girls hefted some pretty big rocks and had a good time digging, too.
tyson caught a fish. he did it in front of his new camp squeeze. she was impressed with tyson's outdoor abilities. and his carefree personal hygiene.
tyson got a bulls eye in archery. very nice, young man.
i got a bulls eye, too. i did not get a bulls eye on the first day, but scraped my left arm with the string. do it once, and you WON'T do it again. check.
hanna, slip slidin' away on the giant slip n slide tarp. it was again doused with baby shampoo for maximum slipperyness and minimum burning of the eyes.
eli, kickin' some style down the tarp. he wouldn't go very far because of his weight.

tyson slid all the way to the grass several times. his belly was red.
this is not man love. this is camp honchos kevin and phil, wrestling for all-time slip n slide supremacy. but, it's tough to be tough on a tarp with baby oil all over you...while partially naked.
hanna, regal as ever while wearing a life jacket. the girl on the left with the nifty socks and stylish doo-rag was tyson's squeeze.
and thus ended the long weekend at family camp. amen.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

bye bye bees

there once was an oak tree with bees
and it brought the little dog to his knees
try as he might
the dog was fraught with fright
because getting stung was no delight

then along came the chainsaws
and down came the branches
would the workmen get stung?
they took their chances

now there is a stump
and the wood is at the dump
the little dog now runs free
and that's good news to me
because now there's no bees in the trees

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

castlewood with the garmin

i have to come clean. the garmin isn't mine. it's deanna's. the only computer i have ridden with over the past few years has been the power tap, and that's only on the road bike. so with mountain biking, i've just used my watch.

i found deanna's garmin in one of the gear bags a little while ago and charged it up. then, somehow, i finally remembered to use it one day. it's an old 305 forerunner, so it really is nice to use for running or cycling. i've been trying to remember it on rides lately, and as luck would have it i brought it with me to castlewood.

i am rather fond of the course that was used for the drj race last august. so i decided to hit it hard for four laps and see what happened. each lap was 5.5 miles. the only sloppy schtuff to be found was on the way up grotpeter backwards, the gravel road there has turned into somewhat of a drainage path. otherwise it was tacky.

the numbers:
21.98 miles
12.0 avg speed
25.4 max speed
163 avg heart rate (!!!!)
4974 feet of climbing

i was blown when i left the park. that heart rate shows i was right on race pace the whole time. i wish that i was able to ride with people more often, perhaps get a little kick in the ass to speed me along.

Monday, May 24, 2010

a "long" road ride

sunday i got out early on the road bike for what is for me a long ride. i rode out to wildwood and back, putting in almost 55 miles.

i have been complaining about the cold and rain, so of course the heat and humidity and sun have come in spades. i was suffering a bit, as i was not riding slowly and i tried to take the hilly routes wherever possible.

the numbers:
54.68 miles
17.5 avg speed (this includes sitting and sweating at stop lights...grrrrr.)
151 avg heart rate
3499 feet of climbing
total time was 3:08

it felt good to go "long."

ford flex

well, it's that time again. the beautiful mrs k's lease is up on the fusion...and not a bit too soon. it's been sort of a mixed bag. the fusion is a great car, but, it's a CAR. and that means it doesn't carry much, the rear seats are tight for the kids, and it feels pretty low to the ground compared to an suv/wagon type vehicle.

so mrs k has been salivating (yes, salivating) at the chance to get another suv-thing. we have both liked the ford flex since the first spy photos started showing up in 2006 or 2007. it's essentially my car with a TON of improvements. smoother ride, stronger engine, quieter transmission, beautiful interior (the big fault with my car), and equal gas mileage to mine. and not to mention the obvious..but i looks a lot cooler.

we have a 2010 on loan for a couple of days to be sure it's the car for us. i almost feel bad for this car if it becomes ours. it doesn't stand a chance to remain as nice as it is now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

3rd grade olympics

every year, tyson's school has what they call the 3rd grade olympics. this year, he's a third grader, so naturally he'd compete in these prestigious games. he competed in the obstacle course and arm wrestling. he won a first place medal in his class. here, he is graciously accepting the prize. way to go buddy!

is this how this works?

slip n slide time

whitecliff park

sunday mrs k and i took eli to whitecliff park in crestwood. we wanted to check out the pool there and get an idea if it was worth the membership for the kids to swim this summer. the actual community center was closed, though. so, we let eli play on the cool playground for a while. being pretty hot, we decided to explore a bit more of the park, having read online that there were some trails there.

we walked down the double-track jeep trails, which are nicely covered in a beautiful canopy of trees. it was cooler back there, and the trails go up and down and twist and turn in a nice way. we found that the trails all bottom out at an old quarry. this is a photo of the awesome cave. we were very excited at our find. whitecliff is probably 4 miles as the crow flies from our house, so it's nice to know there are cool things to explore there. we are always on the lookout for new experiences for the kids, and we want to bring the older kids here, too.

eli prepares for the hour record

eli and the beautiful mrs k came by the store on saturday to pick me up for another shindig we had with the family. after terrorizing the store for a while with his prospective bike choices, he tried on the latest louis garneau time trial helmet and deemed it perfect for his assault on the hour record.

lewis and clark field trip

last week i joined hanna in old st. charles for a field trip with her school. this is the lewis and clark museum on the st. charles riverfront. yes, the water is RIGHT up to the foundation of the building.
before we actually hit the museum, we walked along main street. it's not really a great area for 10 year olds. lots of antique shops, including one that was called the popcorn shoppe. so, we settled on ice cream before lunch. then we had lunch.

the presentation at the museum was great. i'm a big history buff and i really enjoy it. hanna's class has been studying lewis and clark, so this trip was the culmination of those studies. afterward, they visited the first capital building.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the garmin says

i don't know why i bothered today, but i did. i had so much to get done today that did not include bike riding. but i fit in a very hard, short ride and i'm glad i did.

i did the eureka ride that i did a couple of weeks ago, except i figured out where i went wrong and this time i incorporated little tavern. the ride totaled 40 miles, 4500 feet of climbing, and 19.1 average miles per hour. the good climbs were tamara lane, woods, rieger, little tavern, hwy OO, and allenton. there were a few smaller ones in there that i don't really count. adding insult to my low fitness level was the incessant wind. wooooooooosh.

i was a little wobbly when i finished. i never let up the whole ride, and hit the climbing parts quite hard.

when i got done, i mowed the lawn, did laundry, took the boys to baseball practice, etc.

now i'm watching the beautiful mrs k work out. no way i could join her tonight.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

scuzzlebutt guzzling water

a long time ago on south park, there was a goofy character by the name of scuzzlebutt. scuzzlebutt was a big foot style monster with patrick duffy for a leg. a short time ago, i started calling eli scuzzlebutt, or scuzz for short. we all get a big kick out of it.

yesterday, i took both boys to tyson's baseball practice. of course, i didn't get to watch much practice. eli had to play on the playground. then he needed water, which we had to go to the convenience store to get. finally, i sat down and watched some of the practice. and scuzz alternately drenched himself with, and guzzled his liter of water.

boys. can't live with 'em. can't sell 'em.


yesterday, i was struck by the fact that neither dog was yapping outside the back door wanting to come inside. odd, i thought. maybe they found something to eat? or roll around in?? i sprung into action and found this. sunbathing. i asked them to come inside, and no response. and they had no interest in playing golf, either.

a closer look

i meant to talk about a couple of the knick knacks in the photo. on the coffee table, you'll see a lighter and an ash tray. (my dad smoked like a chimney, my mom did at times and said she didn't) on the end table in the back ground, there is another ash tray and a reddish candy dish. my grandmother made all of those. she was really into ceramics and such. the cool lighter was always a favorite of mine. it never worked but i loved the sparks. the black ashtray in the back ground was shaped like a flat triangle, and it had 1964 coins arrayed around the center. i don't know if my brother or i saved this stuff. i hope so, they have such great memories.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

family photos

this photo is from 1971, when i was eli's age. here, you can see that my brother and i are very much into our hats.

you can also see the how eli resembled me at that age. and, i think you can see that i look a bit like my father...except he had more hair than i do now! speaking of hair, my mom was always on the cutting edge of fashion. when the hair styles were short, she had the short hair. when the style was long, she had the long hair. you can probably tell that she was a skinny little thing, probably weighing in at about 105 pounds here. what do you think about that couch? i really miss that lamp. there were two of them, and you can't see the monster plastic globes that housed the bulbs. totally 60's kickin' style.
this is a bit earlier, but i don't know how much. remember my mom's hair? oh, yeah. the hair. and why doesn't she ever smile for the camera?? i'm sure my dad is smiling because he had a couple of vodka's on the can see the clear liquid in front of him and i can assure you it wasn't water.
and this is 1967. the suave looking older guy is my oldest brother. he was one cool dude. the girl with the killer glasses is my sister. somehow, she got stuck holding me, probably the "oops" baby. and my next older brother, who will be 45 this year, is the other kid.
this is my dad, 1990 or so. it's christmas at my mom's house. he still had more hair than me, and he was 70 years old! he also continuously wore a stocking hat on the back of his head like a yamaka. yet another fantastic choice in couches here as well. not so fond of the paneling, which i had removed in 2006 before i sold the house. it was put up in 1974, when everyone was doing such nonsense. it was glued to the plaster can imagine what that was like coming off.


i took the video from the deck in my back yard. some new neighbors have moved in adjacent to my yard, and they wasted no time building a couple of pretty trick ramps. we thought that they were building skate board ramps, but to our pleasant surprise, they were building them for bikes.

that white 2 x 4 is pretty high off the tops of the ramps...and they don't have much room to get speed. it's almost like slow motion!

the kids really liked watching.

my new neighbors

because it never gets old

motorcycles are fun!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

tyson's pitching debut

tyson made his baseball pitching debut friday night. his batting is quite good, so it was nice to see that his throwing is not far behind. he struck out quite a few batters, and only faltered late in the LOOOOOOOOOONG game. his team won 10 to 9.

aya sophia for mother's day

the boys and i took the beautiful mrs k to aya sophia for mother's day brunch. it was nice enough to sit out on the patio. and it was nice enough for eli's construction crew to join us. eli had a stack of pancakes as big as a car battery.
tyson takes a big swig of apple juice to wash down the enormous french toast meal.
the cosmopolitan mrs k enjoys a mimosa with her breakfast. oops, brunch.
i don't believe my head looks this odd in real life. i had the best eggs benedict i've ever had. yum, yum, yum!
and a little "arrrrr, matey!" to go with the brunch.

mother's day part one

eli and tyson made some fetching mother's day cards for the beautiful mrs k. they love their mommy.

rosco loves the laundry

rosco did a double hop to make it into the basket back there. good thing i gave him a bath recently.
eli appears to be rubbing rosco's head into another dimension.

Thursday, May 06, 2010


originally i wanted to ride out at greensfelder just so i could climb the gravel road a half dozen times or so. it's hard to find off-road climbs like that around here. after i got there yesterday, i just decided to ride the trail and get my fix of the climb when it came.

to me, the trail was in better shape than it was two weeks ago when i last visited. it was obvious that it's been enjoying a lot of action lately. the rough dirt sections, pock marked by horse hoofs, were a bit smoother. don't mistake "a bit smoother" for smooth. greensfelder is not now, and will never be, smooth. but it was more fun and somewhat less punishing.

i saw chris ploch finishing up a ride when i arrived, and none other than mitch the masher and jeremy bock were riding their road bikes on the scenic loop when i crossed paths with them. i also crossed paths with a VERY angry old hag and her horse on the gravel climb. she was shouting at me from about 100 yards away as i climbed. as i closed withing sight distance and began walking, i had enough and told her to pipe down. she wasn't going to stop shouting at me for being a bike rider in the vicinity of her and her horse. i very nicely told her i had been doing this for 20 years and had no intention of scaring her or any horseback rider intentionally. after passing, she continued to ramble and shout and again i told her to relax and have a nice ride...although i did not use my indoor voice. i understand the need to co-exist with other trail users, but i don't have to be talked to like a second class person.

in the end, i turned in two nearly identical 44 minute laps and i was not as abused as i was two weeks ago. i call that progress.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

nosy and annoying neighbors

it's never a good sign when the little piece of junk white cavalier with "st. louis county" imprinted on it's side rolls up your street. you know what it is. it's some county inspector looking for any number of inane violations of any number of inane, obscure county laws or statutes.

a couple of years ago, i got a letter in the mail about my lawn. my lawn was out of control, i was told, and it would be cut by county appointed lawn care people at an enormous cost if i did not cut it. of course, initially i went ballistic. then i thought for a moment and remembered that the grass was a bit tall for a few days the previous week because of rain and my lack of time. what made me go ballistic a second time was the realization that some nosy, good for nothing neighbor must have made the complaint to cause the little white cavalier to show up on my street. who on my street would be so petty? we live in affton, for god's sake, not ladue. and while it may have been taller than it should have been, it did not warrant a complaint.

this blog post is not about me receiving another notice. nope, it's about nearly everyone on my block getting one except me. the nosy neighbor has struck again, during the height of the spring rains when the grass grows so quickly that normal people haven't the time to get out and mow. bill, the good old guy next door, caught me outside the other day and let me in on the displeasure that everyone is expressing about the notices. seems no one can pinpoint who the little snitch is this time, since so many people, including those that we thought would have snitched in the past, have gotten notices. i admit that i have kept my lawn pretty clean cut, with very few lapses in care. not because of the notice i got years ago, but because we care about our lawn and the appearance of our home.

i would never call the county on a neighbor. things would have to be car-on-blocks-in-the-front-yard bad before i did anything. and you know what? i would have a talk with them first. maybe they need help? maybe they're broke and can't get the job done? last thing they would need then would be a fine from the county. and, if it turned out that they were just lazy and dirty, some one else would call.

nothing worse than nosy and annoying neighbors.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

yada yada yada and i don't like ticks

no, i mentioned the bisque!

this weekend was filled with enough drama that i will yada over some of the best and worst parts.

i dropped the fusion off for new tires friday morning. grandma gave me a ride to work...and my kids were in the car. somehow, i felt very young and small having my mother in law drive me to work. call me crazy.

while i worked on saturday, deanna took an entire freestyle full of kids to kevin and katie's for tyson's birthday celebration. they live in a land that time forgot, a beautiful cabin with a bluff over look and lots of ticks. i removed 4 ticks from rosco saturday night, and another today. the kids had tons of fun, and no entrenched ticks. i don't like ticks.

i got to the festivities late on saturday, in time for dinner and a game of kick ball. yes, i did in fact throw, kick, catch, and run after a ball. then, all of those that like marshmallows had smores. i don't like marshmallows. rosco doesn't either, but he had an entire melted marshmallow smeared up one paw. i didn't even hesitate to cut it out. don't worry, little guy, it will grow back.

hanna has a fascination with vampires. after much convincing by me, she finally admitted that one of the kids attending was probably NOT a vampire.

eli was so dirty i didn't want to touch him. he is convinced that having fun is directly linked to dirt, i.e., how much dirt he has on his person determines how much fun he is having. after scrubbing him this morning for a while, i gave up and decided he would have dirt under his toe nails until someone else removes it.

today we made a trip to the pet store for flea and tick shampoo, as well as flea and tick repellent. i don't like fleas and ticks.

the freestyle was so dirty this morning that i considered using the water hose to spray out the interior. instead, i settled for a vacuum and a regular wash. we went to the self-serve car wash by my house, and eli was nearly knocked over when i let him operate the spray gun. the force of the water through the nozzle has quite a kick for a 4 year old.

i have done 6 loads of laundry today. i considered putting the laundry into the freestyle and filling it up with water and soap, thereby killing two birds with one stone. again, i settled for doing 6 loads the conventional way, and it's still not done. next time, i will act on my impulse and the laundry and car will be clean in no time.

and a 10+ hour day awaits me tomorrow. i'm going to yada that.