Thursday, January 31, 2008

Trainer Motivation

Riding the indoor trainer is far from one of my favorite activities, but maybe there is a way to make it more fun? Maybe with some pipe fittings, an old air compressor, and a few spuds, I could come up with something like this;

Though, I guess while it's still the trainer, I would have to ride it outdoors. Maybe there is a way to run some airlines so I can set the barrel up outdoors to shoot the potato. And there could definitely be some better ergonomics to the design. I mean, you don't want a setup where you need to get off the bike in order to load or shoot it. Especially not during those 30 minute AT efforts.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Riding Earns You a Pizza

Totally weird weather... TWO days of outside riding were in the forecast this past weekend!

Saturday it was relatively warm, though the wind was crazy. I met up with the HART gang to ride out of Golden. We had to take advantage of the warmer ("warmer", not "warm") weather, and went climbing. Craig, Seth and I peeled off and went up to Evergreen for a donut. A donut!? We didn't do quite enough climbing for the donut... so off for some more climbing. A nice long day in the saddle, with a lot of climbing for this time of year.

After that, Seth hosted a pizza party to help everyone build their calorie reserves back up.

I must have eaten too much pizza though, or at least felt I did, because it was back out on the bike for Sunday. Weather was even nicer; warmer temps, less wind, and I met up with the VC gang this time riding out of Boulder. We went up to the Carter Lake loop, with the short addition of the Masonville loop as well! A great ride, though I was on the edge all day, with a good bit of fatigue in the legs from the day before. Made it home finally, no visit from the bonk, though I was completely trashed afterwards. 9+ hours for the weekend.

Rest day on Monday, hard day on Tuesday, harder day on today (I was cursing whoever it was that wrote my training plan this week)... but March will be here before we know it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Family Update

Another family update, but this is a good one!

I think for some time now Jessica has had the little thought in her head of getting a bird. I think she has a secret goal of collecting a complete food chain. So after several days of non-stop research and searching, Jessica found a sweet little Green Cheek Conure that needed a home.

So welcome Cyrus to the family!

He's a real cutie, but a total mommie's boy. He's really well-behaved, and just absolutely loves attention. Really, he believes that he should be held, or should be sitting on someones shoulder every minute of the day. I've been really impressed just how smart the feathery little bugger is.

I've had lots of pets, but never a bird. So I've been learning a lot about little birdies. Mostly, that they like to poop a lot.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Good Morning

Ah... this seems like a good way to spend a Monday morning. Slept in, had some breakfast, made a toasty warm fire, and now having a big ol' cup of joe while surfing and watching Seinfeld. It should be time for my nap soon...

It's cold today, real cold. The thermometer currently says 6 degrees. Brr. Last night a crazy frozen fog surrounded the house, and left everything nice and "crystally" today.

Trees too;

Yesterday it turned out to be nicer than originally forecast. Still cold, but not too windy and the sun was out. So I had Jessica drop me off at the bottom of the hill to minimize my descending, then did some good climbing on the mountain bike. It was a pretty good ride with solid climbing. Too bad for the snow, it would have been fun to hit up a couple of the trails I rode past.

Topping out on the climb;

Hey look... Twin Sisters means "home". They sure look close, but it's another 15 miles of road from here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Family Update

Sad news this week for us regarding the family. Jessica and I found out that Jessica's doggie Jordan has bone cancer. It's never easy, especially as this was Jessica's first dog that she got as a puppy and raised all on her own. They have been through a lot together, as anyone has been with a pet they got as they were moving out to live on their own, and all the challenges that life throws at you at that time.

That Jordan... she's such a ham.

Basically a 165lb. kitty cat.

So now it's mostly just a matter of making her as comfortable as possible, spending lots of time with her, and of course... spoiling her rotten.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Yep... it's still cold. But hey, it's the start of a three day weekend. The first time I get to have off for one of the "less-real" holidays, MLK Day.

This week Craig, Jeff, Jesse, Jessica and I hit the aquarium for our own little baby jeebus birthday celebration, you know, to treat ourselves. There is always something odd about sitting in front of a 150,000 gallon fish tank, watching exotic fish swim around, while you enjoy your dinner of seafood. And the aquarium does have the best calamari around. Definitely try it out if you get a chance. I think everyone ate seafood until they were ready to pop.

The coolest guy in the tank was this giant puffer fish that was hanging out near us. There's no scale in the picture, but he was easily the size of a basketball!

I wanted to see what he looked like puffed up though!

With it being a 3-day weekend, I figured I should make sure I had some liquids for the weekend. The liquor store had one of my favorites, Fraoch Heather Ale. So very tasty... made in Scotland, since 2000 BCE, using heather flowers. I also had to pick up another giant bottle of St. Bernardus Abt 12. I can't help it, I'm addicted.

It was entirely too cold today, but Craig, Tanis, Neo and I hit up Brainard Lake for some snowshoeing. It was a good time, we cranked out a good fast pace. The 20 degree temps, 40+ mph winds and subsequent wind chills probably helped us move faster to stay warm! It was great to have Tanis out too, just a crazy little puppy who's grown so much since last time I saw him.

Wow... This on right now on Barrett Jackson as I'm typing; A 2009 ZR1 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe. Now, I'm not normally crazy about vettes, but this thing is insane. Build Number 001, you could have the option of picking up the car in the Chevrolet Factory, after you watch it being built, so that you can be the first person to turn the key. Or, you can pick it up at Jay Leno's garage, so you can check out his cars and meet him. All kinds of other crazy extras like track time, racing instruction and so on. Just think what this puppy will be worth if you roll it out of your garage in 50 years with 2000 miles on it. Though that seems like a shame, to have this thing and not drive it. It took all of 20 seconds of bidding to hit $800,000 then sold for $1,000,000 even. Anyway, it's a nice little mobile.

-Scary, now "Bo Duke" is standing on top of a General Lee (The last one used in the original show, signed under the hood by the cast) leading the entire place on to sing the opening theme of Duke's of Hazzard. Yikes. If it came with a gallon of Uncle Jesse's moonshine, I'd bid myself.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Saturday Lacrosse, Sunday Trainer

Saturday I convinced Jessica and Alex we should take a morning trip to Ned for some coffee and a muffin from the co-op. Both were delicious. Then Alex convinced Jessica, Neo, Taylor and myself that we should take advantage of the cold, but sunny weather, to take a good walk.

And Taylor was pretty good, and of course happy about taking a walk;

Neo of course found a good stick;

Later that night, I met up with Craig, Jeff and some others so we could check out the Mammoth Lacrosse game. I was surprised how many people actually showed up for the game! Of course, I had to wonder how many people were there just for "Wing Bowl", including the 10 people next to us that all left after the Wing Bowl at halftime. It was a pretty good time, but I've gotta say, it wasn't nearly as cool as Roller Derby.

We had total nose-bleed seats... as in with our backs to the wall. That's what happens when you buy $5 tickets, 10 minutes before start time. Hey, at least we could see ALL the action, and they were all of $5 (about the same price as my pretzel);

Face off time;

I caught a sweet flying goal shot!

Look ma! I can eat 50 ounces of chicken wings! Please note, this was the final round of Wing Bowl, which means this healthy specimens had already eaten 50 ounces of wings earlier that same day;

Game play action;

Today (Sunday) it was colder than yesterday. But at least the sun was out. I wanted to ride outdoors, but it likely wasn't going to be the best for my health, or efforts, so I did a nice hard trainer ride. Not terribly exciting, I know. And I didn't take any pictures of the trainer, because, well, who wants to see that anyway!? At least it was a relaxing day.

Friday, January 11, 2008

60 days...

A lot of things coming up in 60 days...

Sure, it's dorky, but I'm pumped for the return of Battlestar Gallactica. Finally, we will get to see what those pesky Cylons have been up to!

This week the Formula 1 teams unveiled their cars for the 2008 season. That's right, only 61 days left until the first Friday Practice! McLaren (adios Alonzo!) launched their brand new MP4-23 Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes, and it's a real looker. I can't wait, since word is they have lots of updated body surfaces that they will introduce between now and the Melbourne race. 3000 hours of time in the wind tunnel, over 14,000 hours of engineering design already, and well over the same amount of time in fabrication.

To be fair though, the 2008 Ferrari is an absolutely gorgeous car as well. And I'm sure these two will be battling throughout the season again. Standardized Electronic Control Units and the elimination of Traction Control Systems is only going to heat the battle up that much more.

Also in 60 days, it will be time to dust off the bicycles, take them to some nearby office park, and start the racing up again! Remember a few posts back how I mentioned some other big changes coming? Well the return of the race season is going to bring another one. After 3 years, and many great times with the guys on the Haul'n Ass Race Team, I'll be leaving to start a new adventure. I've accepted a spot on the Orange and Purple of the Vitamin Cottage Cycling team! After 3 years (in particular) of battling against them at every race, I'll be joining up with them. I'm looking forward to the new scene, and riding with a new group of guys, many of whom I know from racing against them, but I look forward to getting to know them better as we race together. I have no doubt it will be a great season!

It won't be all new guys on the team, as Randy and D-Rock are coming over to the new colors as well. It should all make a great combination of guys and skills and well, I can't wait for the first race of the season. I'll miss the guys on HART, but they are all great friends, and I know I'll see them at the races. This whole process got me to thinking that the changes that happen as guys shuffle around to different teams in the off-season, while stressful, actually keeps the racing that much more interesting when you have the same guys, just in different groupings, racing the same scene each year. You know, it's like shuffling up your kick-ball teams in gym class so the games are never the same.

Hmmm... 60 days? I better get some good sleep tonight, I need to get some good training in tomorrow!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Microwave Cooking

So you think it gets boring in the winter where you are at? You want to complain about the weather being shitty, and how it's making you insane? Well, you definitely don't want to go to Idaho then;

HAYDEN, Idaho — A man who believed he bore the "mark of the beast" used a circular saw to cut off one hand, then he cooked it in the microwave and called 911, authorities said.

The man, in his mid-20s, was calm when Kootenai County sheriff's deputies arrived Saturday in this northern Idaho town. He was in protective custody in the mental health unit of Kootenai Medical Center.

"It had been somewhat cooked by the time the deputy arrived," sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. "He put a tourniquet on his arm before, so he didn't bleed to death. That kind of mental illness is just sad."

It was not immediately clear whether the man has a history of mental illness. Hospital spokeswoman Lisa Johnson would not say whether an attempt was made to reattach the hand, citing patient confidentiality.

The Book of Revelation in the New Testament contains a passage in which an angel is quoted as saying: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God's fury."

The book of Matthew also contains the passage: "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

Wolfinger said he didn't know which hand was amputated.

Circular saw vs. wrist bones... I wonder what that sounds like?

And since it's winter... if you are bored, are of the female variety, and need something to do indoors... Try out for the Roller Dolls! I promise I'll even show up to cheer!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Weekend Update

The telescope nearly killed me on Friday... It was clear out, so I couldn't resist, and I tried to pop outside for a little bit to take a peek. The problem was, it was WAY too cold out. I had to hurry and be quick, because within about 10 minutes I was freezing to death. Ten minutes was of course, barely enough time to start to figure things out. Plus, it's hard to peak through the eyepiece when you are shivering. Oh well, got a good first peek at least. I'm anxious for the moon to start coming back towards full. It was almost scary though, peaking through that thing, and suddenly seeing a zillion more stars than you could with the naked eye. Crazy. I can't wait to get back out again... though it might be awhile with snow falling again tonight.

Saturday the weather gods were feeling generous, and they gave us a nice enough day to squeeze in an outdoor ride. Not a moment too soon either, because I thought I was going to crack if I didn't get outside soon! It took a second when I first jumped on the bike, to remember how to balance and ride the thing... riding the trainer definitely harms your skills! I met up with Derek and Randy and we hit up the Carter Lake ride in town. Not a huge group, but a perfect little group that pretty much all knew one another, and we all went out to face the elements together. And sure, it was cloudy, it was insanely windy, and it was raining when we got back to Boulder, but it was a solid 4-hours of being out on the bike!

One of these is not like the other! I tried to pass the vodka "gel pack" to Randy during the ride, but he was paying to much attention, rather than just eating what I gave him. Though I think he wanted it back after we stopped in Hygeine and he filled up the bottles with SOBE - would have made a nice cocktail.

Sunday was pretty good. I had met up the night before with Jeff, Craig and Jesse for some dinner, beer, and general social hour. And Craig surprised me with a super cool classic Dunkin Donuts coffee mug he had picked up when he was in Jersey a few weeks ago! Awesome! I had my eye on one of these, but didn't see any in the stores when we were out there. Great job Craig! So I started the morning off by sleeping in, having pancakes, and then drinking some fine Peet's House Blend from my perfectly understated mug;

I try to avoid making stupid mistakes, and most of the time I do pretty well. But was starting to worry on Sunday that I had made a stupid mistake;

It was cold out, not as nice as the weather was on Saturday. But it was nicer than they had forecast, with only the off and on snow showers up here. Pretty cold though, hovering right around freezing. I didn't want to snowshoe, wanted to get a tough ride in, but didn't want to face the trainer and didn't have much time to do a ride. So I figured I'd leave (roughly) from the house and do some quick hills. Well, quickly I saw that going down Magnolia was going to be a bit tricky. It was snow covered on the top half, as you can see above. So the going was slow, and very cold. I was really glad when I got to the canyon knowing that pretty much all the descending was done. I'd never been so happy knowing that I was going to have to ride uphill to get home! So I got a couple rides up the hill to Betasso, nice, 10-minute climbs. It felt really good to be out climbing! And that part of the climb was in the sun, and had good weather. Then it was time to head back up Magnolia. It was covered in gravel, and wet, but definitely manageable, and it was so nice to be out climbing.

As expected, the top half had a good bit of snow and ice on the road, and it was even starting to snow again as I worked my way up. I like climbing in the snow, or with big drifts on the side of the road... it just makes you feel tough. And like I keep saying, at least I was outside. You know it's cold when you pile on the clothes for the descent, but don't end up taking anything off for the climb! It was good to make it back to the house, and the legs felt good after a short but tough workout.

Neo and I had just enough time for a super quick doggie nap;

Then we were off to dinner and a movie with Jessica's mom, and the gang. It was her birthday, so it was time to party! Good food, then caught "The Golden Compass". Pretty good movie, though I felt (believe it or not) that it was moving too fast. It was like they were only reading every third line of the book, and moving along super quickly. There could have been lots more detail to the story. Then of course they spent the last 15 minutes, no lie, of the movie, beating you over the head with the knowledge that there would be a follow-up episode. I'm pretty sure that by the end, even the people in the theater next door picked up on the fact that there would be a sequel.

And of course... Monday meant it was time to get back to work. A full 5-day week no less!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Speaking of Jesus Camp...

First off, wow, do I hate election time. Well, normally I hate it more, but this time, I really just want it to get here so we can get the current criminal out of the most powerful position in the free world. The only problem, is that I'm really afraid it's going to get worse before it gets better. Well, even if it isn't worse, as scary as that sounds, it isn't going to get much better. And speaking of that;

This just in... Great job Iowa, voting for Mike Huckabee. Who wouldn't want a "flat-earther" that thinks the world is only a couple thousand years old. A guy who thinks AIDS patients should have been quarantined away from the rest of society. A guy that doesn't believe in the separation of church and state. Sure why not, I mean I totally think that god decided to make America "his" country. Obviously he's against any sort of same-sex marriages, civil unions, or a woman's right over her own body. Hell, he thinks we wouldn't have a problem with illegal immigrant labor, if we would have allowed all the aborted fetuses to grow up to working age! He used the assassination of Benazir Buhutto as a reason to rant on about building a fence to limit all those crazy Pakistanis that are flooding over the borders. There are no shortage of questions regarding ethical violations while he was governor. He wants to "take back America for christ". And of course, like any good evangelical, he thinks that wives should submit to the leadership of her husband.

Great. Here we go again.

The Tropics

It was like the tropics this morning... an amazing 38 degrees at 7am. Really, it's not warm, but given the temperatures of late, it sure was nice. I even found myself headed to work, without the usual cursing about the weather.

When I got to the top of the driveway, this big guy was hangin' out with his women.

The warm weather made for a nice orange-tinted morning as well.

I was reminded today that a certain store in town, actually has Taylor pork roll... the real deal... and in the cloth wrapper no less. I decided it was time to get some, and so dinner tonight was the real "cholesterol-sandwich". Pork roll, egg, and cheese. Well... I never go all the way to make it real, since that means putting mayo on it, and well, that's just not right.

The other night I finally watched the movie Jesus Camp. It was definitely one of the most disturbing movies I've seen. Downright amazing the way some people think. And by "amazing", I mean "crazy". I could go on and on about this movie. But really, the highlight for me, came when they stopped by Colorado Springs to visit Ted Haggard and his "little church". In particular, watching him go on about how they don't have "wonder whether homosexuality is right or not, because the bible says it's a sin". I'm pretty sure that includes having sex with gay prostitutes that you are buying methamphetamine from, even though it doesn't specifically mention it. Going on and on about the sins of the world, and all the while in the back of his mind he's thinking about scoring some ice. Setting an excellent example, living the holy life.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Part II

The plan for the New Year's Festivities was to head over to Seth's for the night. I was hoping for spring rolls, with rice crispy treats for dessert, and I wasn't disappointed. A good crew was there, and things got rolling.

First real mayhem started, when the Sock 'em Boppers made an appearance. Though they weren't going to slow down Joey's drinking;

Joey and Drake are having too much fun. Sock 'em Boppers are about pain and punishment, not joking around and having a good time with friends! (Ask Matt... he made me bleed - I still say the alcohol thinned my blood).

But Matt hadn't had enough... yes, that's his girlfriend's face distorted behind his flying punch.

Beating up his girlfriend tired Matt out a bit, so he took some time out to update Seth's blog. Why is Seth's computer monitor bigger than his tv? I think someone has a complex.

There sure are a lot of pictures of Matt, but then, he can be pretty entertaining while drinking Hamm's. That Sarah, she's a lucky woman. Matt learns what a palindrome is, and ways to spell Nevin, I mean Neven.

And hey, with all that space in the family room, Matt then decided to teach us all the proper technique for cross country skiing;

New Year's came, and it still bothers me living in Colorado, and watching the ball drop two hours after it already has. It's just weird. Colorado needs it's own celebration, like maybe dropping a bronco off the state building or something.

Still in a wintery mood, Matt wanted to stop and make "Matt-angels" in the snow bank along the sidewalk. Yes, it was really, really cold.

So, HAPPY NEW YEAR! It's 2008, and every year, updating that number, seems as weird as it did the year before. New Year's Day was mostly spent on the couch, staring at the tv, completely wasting the first day of the year. But hey, there are like 360-some days left to be productive.

New Year's Part I

It was a cold weekend... a really cold weekend. Ugh. But hey, at least it was a 4-day weekend on tap! I was feeling a bit trapped at home though, since it was really too cold to do much of anything outdoors. I couldn't even shovel the walk, as much as I wanted to, since it would have taken just a matter of minutes for the high winds to drift it over again anyway.

I'm getting sick of the drive looking like this;

So yeah, not too much going on. Some trainer time on Saturday. Sunday I aligned my sighting scope on the new telescope. I still haven't gotten to use really use it, since it's been cloudy every night... well, last night it was finally clear, but I wasn't going outside since it was 8 degrees.

Monday was New Years, and Jessica had to work, so Neo and I decided to head out to do some cross country skiing. Sure, there was 30-40mph winds, blowing snow, and a high temperature of 10, but it was go outside and freeze, or stay inside and die of boredom. Plus, there was some partying planned for later on, and we needed to be sure to get a workout in, so that we wouldn't have to feel to guilty about eating 7 or 8 rice crispy treats.

Trusty Neo stayed right in my tracks most of the trip, boy loves the snow;

We went to Eldora, and did the same trail that we had snowshoed last week. We bi-passed the lake though, and went on a slightly longer trail. There was a fresh 6 inches of snow, and the trail wasn't very packed. We followed a single other set of x-country ski tracks all morning. Finally, we reached the "end" of the trail. Our trail-breaker, much like I had, got sick of poling through 2.5feet of snow on the side of the trail.

End of the line;

The view back down the valley. Yes, it was as cold as it looks.

A pretty good ski day though, 2.5 hours on the trail, and then we were headed home to rest up for the nights festivities...