Friday, February 29, 2008

Can Eddy Come Out To Play?

A new friend came home with me yesterday. His name is Eddy.

Sadly, he can't come out to play yet. See, he's missing several appendages. But I'll be working on that tonight. I tried last night, but ran into a few issues. Eddy and I had to get to know one another a little bit more slowly, you know, not to rush the relationship and all. So after some time off, to get to know his new surroundings while I was at work today, we'll work on putting him together this evening.

Hopefully he'll be relaxed, because this is what's in store for tomorrow... a world of a pain;

Not sure if I'll actually take him with me. I mean, taking a freshly built bike with all new pieces, way way out into the mountains on an epic ride with still somewhat limited daylight, can be a risky venture.

But will I be able to resist the combination of temperatures in the 70's, epic mountain roads, and a shiny new friend?

Don't forget... Happy Leap Year! it's February 29th... so if you're on salary, you just got screwed! Damnit!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Little Green Men, and White Beer

This guy is awesome... I came across him the other day, looking for conspiracy reasons that we would shoot down a failing satellite. He didn't dissapoint, as he was ready to point out that the government was shooting down the satelite since it was occupied by a hybrid alien/human, using spy equipment that was designed using alien technology. Of course he went into plenty of detail. Though his personal website is even better, and this is my favorite article - that I have found so far anyway. Hopefully I'll remember to check back next year, after the aliens fail to show up, to see what reason he comes up with.

Back in reality... I'm enjoying a lovely bottle of La Grande Blanche this fine evening. It's quite tasty! It's listed as a "Belgian Imperial White Ale". I'd say it's got quite a bite for a Wit, but I guess that's the Imperial part... It's definitely a good bottle, though be careful with the bigger bottles, since it's 7.5% alcohol. I'd call it perfect for carbo-loading before what should be two solid group rides this weekend, with decent weather even!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

This Little Piggy...

Oh sweet mother mary... The holy grail of cycling shoes. Bont now makes Cycling shoes! I mean, who hasn't dreamt of having a pair of Bont inline/ice skate boots!? When I was racing inline, I couldn't afford them; when I could afford them, there wasn't enough inline races around to justify the expense. Now though, now Bont makes some gorgeous cycling shoes! And if they fit, and perform, anywhere near as well as skate boots, they should be simply amazing. The price is even fairly "reasonable" in the world of cycling shoes. When do mine get here!?

The skies are cloudy tonight, which is helping keep the temperatures up. That's great and all, but cloudy skies, while good for insulation, are horrible for viewing lunar eclipses. The worst part, is that the sky is just teasing us. You can just barely see the moon through the clouds, but not well enough for any detail, and definitely no color. Argh... just frustrating. Oh well, just hope for clear skies in 2010 when the next lunar eclipse is here. Well, actually, I'm not even sure if that one will be visible from our area, but I guess we have plenty of time to find out.

Full Moon Fever

I was wondering why yesterday was so strange. It seemed like everyone at the work place was incredibly high-maintenance, and just plain a bit "batty". Then I realized it's time for the full moon again.

It was relatively warm last night (all of about 28 degrees) so I got to play with the telescope some more. Even with a full moon, I figured I'd play around a bit, and managed to get some detail out of Mars. It actually had depth, rather than just being a point of light, so that was cool. Even though it was clear, there wasn't a whole lot to check out, since the really bright moon was washing everything out. But I managed to get this picture of the moon that came out okay;

Total lunar eclipse tonight, but I'm trying to not get too excited, since the forcast isn't looking particularly good for it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Knight Rider and Night Viewing

So did you catch the premier of the redone Knight Rider last night? It was pretty silly, well, REALLY silly. 2 hour premiere, which of course meant 1hr and 10m of stupid commercials. A silly story line, beyond ridiculous action, and well, it just isn't the original series. People always have to go and destroy classic shows. At least The Hof made a reappearance in the show. That part was goofy too, but you know they just had to figure some way to work him in. I'm sure I'll watch at least one more episode just to see if it goes anywhere. Of course, I'll make sure it's recorded next time, so I can skip the commercials.

Here is a picture of that hideous kit I referred to yesterday. Though, while being hypnotized by the cacophony of stripes, argyle, stars and spinning logos, I noticed that Dave Z was running a powertap equiped Zipp disc. Interesting. That would be one expensive wheel to throw away once your powertap goes bezerk...

I'll be lurking on slowtwitch today, because I know someone will point out that Cervelo bikes MUST be faster than Felt bikes, since Dave Z wasn't on the podium.

As far as the night sky goes... did you catch the Space Station flyover this past week? Saturday was prime viewing, with a high angle flyover which meant plenty of viewing time. Plus the shuttle was attached, so it was a bit larger than normal. Jessica and I were in Denver, and it was cloudy, but amazingly, I managed to catch a glimpse of it for a couple seconds through broken clouds. The shuttle undocked just this morning, but sadly they won't be in view from Colorado this week.

Bigger news though, is that Wednesday evening will host a total lunar eclipse! Sweet. It's even in the evening, unlike last time when I was awake at 3am... Now we just have to hope for clear skies (looks like it could go either way)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Work Shop Calendar Girl

Friday was potluck day at work. I provided some tasty homemade Mac-N-Cheese for the party. That night I had to do some big gear intervals on the trainer, to work off the "calorie-dense" dish I made.

Saturday was the one shot to get outside this weekend, since the weather was supposed to go quickly downhill for the rest of the weekend. So I got out with Matt and Craig. Matt's plan was 10x2min climbing intervals, so we found a quiet little hill and got to work. I was cross-eyed every effort, but made it to within about the same 5meter spot each time, so I was working hard. Good ride.

That evening, I caught the final show of Jessica's current show, The Lion in Winter. So if you missed it, now you'll have to go see Stones In His Pocket. But since it was the last show, that means Jessica suckered me into working strike for the set. Jessica kind of forgot about strike, and had dressed up for the final show... so had to pose for the Work-shop Calendar Girl shot;

Sorry for the shitty camera-phone shot, but nothing like chicks and power tools... right?
Sunday we woke up to snow, and cold weather. Perfect weather to go with our plans of getting some breakfast at the Sundance Lodge in Ned, and then lounging about for the day! Mmmm... French toast.

This is a flashback, since I came across this picture on my phone, when downloading the calendar girl shot above this morning. I had totally forgotten about it; when we were in PA this past November, we went to Longwood Gardens. Pretty cool place, with many different gardens to wander through. While we were in the gift shop though, wandering around with many other people, I seemed to be the only one that noticed this sign, and it just plain struck me as hysterical;

This just in as I'm watching the coverage of the Tour of California prologue; Dave Zabriski has the ugliest damned skinsuit (combined with the orange bike and argyle helmet) that I have EVER seen. I'd throw a link in, but I figure if I hit up any of
the cycling sites, it will spoil the results.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cupid Week

Another week done. Let's see if I can even remember what happened. The weather has been all over the place, dumping snow one day, 60 degrees the next. The weekend was looking good, but now it's looking worse, every time I check. At least the days are getting slightly longer all the time.

Valentine's Day was this week. Sure, it's a silly holiday, but you don't HAVE to celebrate it. Mostly, I get annoyed that there are only commercials for guys buying stuff for girls. Not vice-versa. Jessica and I use it as a nice excuse to go out for a tasty, special dinner. This year we were off to Westfalen Hof, just outside of Wondervu. It's a cool, cozy little German restaurant.

Dinner was quite good;

Appetizers (Yep, BOTH)
Flaky pastry shell filled with Veal Ragout in Riesling Sauce with Mushrooms.
Gebackener (Baked) Camembert
Camembert breaded and deep-fried. Served with Cranberry Sauce.

Main course;
Frikadellen (Berliner Bulette)
Made from ground Pork and Beef with onions, parsley and several spices, rolled, breaded and pan-fried. Served with Mashed Potatoes, Red Cabbage and homemade Brown Gravy.

Black Forest Cake and coffee

Mmmm... dessert...

Now I've got some work to do this weekend to burn off those extra calories!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday Ride

Amy Winehouse... seriously... 5 grammys? Well if you needed any more proof that these award shows are nothing but a hoax, designed to sell advertising time on tv, further inflate the inflated egos of these "stars", and to entertain you... there it is. I mean, really. Some cracked-out, shootin'-up, can't remember the words to her own songs, jailbait-boyfried having, fall down drunk chick that the record industries decided would be "your" new favorite star... Thank jeebus I didn't give a damn to begin with.

50 degrees is what the forecast said for a high temperature today. It sure as hell was 50 degrees when we rolled out of Boulder this morning, not even at 10.30. All I know is I could see my breath, and had ALL my kit on, and it was still cold. Good inversion though; we decided to climb, and as we did, there was literally a 100 meter long window that we passed through where the temperature suddenly jumped 15 degrees. I met up with a group of teamates, a nice solid group, and we did the St. Vrain-Ward loop. Good ride all in all, though I started to crack in a bad way just before Ward. Should have eaten more, especially given the cold starting conditions. Always hard to remember that's essentially 22 miles of climbing that direction

Nothing a fish burrito and a Sol cerveza from Illegal Pete's couldn't fix...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Killer Plants From Space

Busy week... This week included a visit to the caterer to taste some samples for the wedding. Good stuff, the hard part will be narrowing down the choices, and even worse, figuring out how to best work within the budget. Tasty appetizers though!

Also hit up the Boulder Dinner Theatre to see Little Shop of Horrors. Definitely an entertaining production, and well done. Now I just need an Audry II of my own.

I also cut my stitches out from last weeks "little fall", and all looks good. Everything looks well healed, now it's just a matter to see how it scars, so that I can plan the next one to properly connect the two I already have. I did also get another cut this week, but this one was a bit less dramatic. Damned papercuts;

Mmmm... Tastykakes right here in The Bubble! Not a big selection, but the most important one;

Good sunset tonight, let's hope the weather continues getting warmer for tomorrow. I'm not real confident, I think a cold wind will be back, ushering in some more crappy weather for Monday. But, I'll try to stay positive for tomorrows ride!

Tonight TiVo has treated me with the first cycling coverage of the year!

-Oh, nevermind, it's just a preview of the Tour of California. What a robbery, like there aren't any ProTour races going on. Or we couldn't put on something "minor", like the World Cyclocross Championships.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wow... what a game!

Did everyone catch that game!? It was amazing!

Anyway, it appears that it's time to wrap up another weekend, and get back to the grind in the morning. Ugh. As much as I love Fridays, and the glorious way they are the start of the weekend, I hate Sunday evenings for being the end of your freedom. Nothing to do but go to bed, and wake up ready to start from the longest part of the week. Oh well, I really shouldn't complain, I mean things could be a whole lot worse.

Friday I had another tough trainer ride. It was a fairly tough week on the bike, but I survived it. And so Saturday morning I convinced Jessica that maybe we should hit up the ice rink for some excellent cross training. That's always a great time, and even though we only ever end up doing it about once a year, I seem to adjust quicker and quicker to the subtle differences of "blades" vs. the inline "wheels" I'm so used to.

Things sure were fun! Look at us going around, everyone is so happy!

I was getting a decent workout in even. Dodging the 13 different little miss ice skating princesses that wanted to figure skate through the center of the rotating mass of "normal" skaters. I realized I don't hate them, as much as I hate their "coaches", full grown humans, that encourage the ice-princesses to skate backwards through the crowds. But I digress... anyway, time was almost up, and with my confidence on the blades growing, I seem to have pushed the physics just a tad over the edge...

Wham! "Oh... so that's what it feels like when you slap your face off frozen water... rough, but not too bad", I say to myself. I don't really know what I did to extend myself beyond the physics of staying upright while wearing blades on ice, but I'm pretty sure I was doing a triple lutz, or something fantastic like that...

Anyway, turns out I needed a mirror to assess the damage. Damnit, I wasn't going to be able to fix that one on my own. I wasn't hurt, but I was very very cranky, knowing straight away that I had purchased myself a trip to the ER. Great. Into the car after a quick hatchet job by the tech at the ice rink;

Jessica, aka "my ambulance" tried to keep a stiff upper lip;

Oh yeah... looking good in the ER. That's a nice deep gash;

And after a little cleaning up, I was all set for some fresh sutures.

Now you know, this whole time I was more pissed, than I was in pain. The biggest reason is because I had done pretty much this exact same thing 7 or 8 years ago (God damn, was it that long ago!?) Anyway, one night out on the speedskates, I was getting a nice workout in, when I decided to do one more lap through the parking lot before I would head home. Suddenly, a pile of gravel took me out while I was in a full on turn, and my head lead me to the pavement. I bounced right up, but was bleeding and figured I should head home and get a mirror. Yep, couldn't fix that one on my own either. I had done the same thing I did this weekend, slamming my jawbone on the ground so that I could split right through my delicate skin. If you check in the pictures, you can see the scar, that almost perfectly meets up with what will be my newest scar. Last time was worse though, more dirt in the wound, chipped teeth, and a jaw so sore I couldn't eat solid food for about a week. Ouchie.

The ER did a good job though, and we were lucky to be in and out quickly, after stitching me back up;

I'm such an idiot. But at least something about it makes me feel young and alive when I get to do fun things that cause crashes that need to get fixed up. Not that I want to do it again anytime soon...