Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Deer Trail Weekend

Sure, gas was at $3.63 a gallon the other day when I filled up, but we're all making more money, just like Shell, right? 9 BILLION dollar profit in just the first quarter!? That seems reasonable, right?

So after filling up with some black gold, it was time to head off to Deer Trail for some road racing. We left Golden with insane winds at our back, and arrived in Deer Trail with dropping temperatures, even higher winds, and horizontal snow;

But the weather for the race ended up going "okay". The sun came out to keep the temps fairly reasonable and the snow went away, but we still had crazy wind for the entire race. Mostly all head-wind or tail-wind, depending on the section of course. I felt pretty good, but of all places, got gapped off on the last tail wind section. Grrrr... but the legs were feeling pretty good, so I can't complain in that area. Just gotta stay smart in the races.

After racing, it was up to Jeff and Craig's for some party action. And we made it there just in time, as Seth was hungry and needed to reload after a long day in the saddle;

The beer-pong table was in full effect, and a popular item;

Joey showed up and managed to park his Porsche in the ditch. Sure, it cost a lot of money, but that doesn't mean it's high-speed-rated tires are any good at pulling itself out of a water and mud filled ditch. Nothing a little tow-strap couldn't handle though, and it was back inside for more partying!

And with Jessica's birthday coming up, it meant that Jessica was due to have some special drinks to celebrate! Bonnie was even kind enough to hold the shot glass for her! What are friends for?

Craig and Jeff focus on the task at hand...

Even Draven decided he would have a few beers (yes, there are about 5 beers in that box)

And Craig does a little dance to celebrate a successful party;

Sunday was pretty much spent trying to recover from a very long, and very busy Saturday.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Friday Already

Sorry... I was lazy on the update front this week.

In some ways, it feels like it should be time for Spring to stick, finally, but every time you think that, crappy weather seems to rear it's head. It's been a solid week of training, which makes it feel like spring. I got to head out and do my first Bus Stop group ride of the year, which makes it feel like spring. That ride went well, I was feeling good, and spent plenty of time up front. Rode up to Peak to Peak the following day, and the weather was horrible. Windy, cold, cloudy, and windy again... Team Time Trial practice on Thursday was a great workout, though if it was summer time, I would have been seeking cover, because it sure looked like tornado season. So a good week of training... I'm just hoping I didn't burn all my matches for tomorrow's road race in Deer Trail. The weather is looking far from "friendly". Either way, the drivetrain is clean, and ready to roll!

Just in time for Friday, Formula 1 is finally back on this weekend! With the return of Friday practice in Catalunya. And might as well have a tasty beer since it's Friday as well!

This week I have Ten Fidy from Oskar Blues. No doubt, it's quite tasty! Black as the oil rolling out of your engine, that time you forgot to do an oil change for 10k miles, and enough flavor to wake the dead. I don't like many of the stouts from local breweries, but as mentioned, this one is quite tasty. A lot of coffee flavor that I notice. Far from something I would drink every day, no doubt helped by the 10+% alcohol content!

Uh oh... the McClarens seem to be struggling at practice...

Friday, April 18, 2008

PranQster

It's been awhile since we've celebrated "Beer Friday", but no racing tomorrow, and a good thirst motivated me to visit the store and see what might be in stock. I was amazed to see that the store actually had a handful of bottles of La Folie! No way I could say no to picking up a bottle! But I decided to a save that bottle for another night. Tonight, PranQster, a Belgian Style golden ale from North Coast Brewing Company caught my eye.

It presented quite a bit of citrus in the nose, and had a surprisingly fresh taste. It was quite good actually, so I was happy with my choice. If you get a chance, I definitely recommend it.

Sadly, no Formula 1 again this weekend. I have to wait one more week for it's return. Next Friday with the race in Spain, will mark the beginning of the European races. After two weeks of testing, there will likely be some new advances in the car. This past week Top Gear had a great section, demonstrating just how difficult driving an F1 car really is. Sure, guys like Lewis Hamilton make it look simple, turning consistent laps within less than half a second... but I can only imagine. And don't even consider for a second, that you are a better driver than Richard Hammond (who's trying to drive the F1 car).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stop snowing already!

Yep... 82 degrees yesterday, 40's and 5+ inches of snow (and still snowing) today. I'd be perfectly happy if we only had summer.

If you don't think money exchanged hands here, then I don't know what to tell you. It's really a shame that Saunier pulled out, I've enjoyed watching them race, and especially their consistency with coming to the States to race. Now we get to watch Rock Racing in Georgia. Let's see what they do...

Thinking about buying into one of those quick-weight-loss schemes? Might as well see if The Diarrhea Diet is right for you. I think the article was summed up best with the statement;

"But you can't blame GSK for the public's willingness to accept anal leakage and an eating disorder as the price of being thin."

Do you need to waste some time? Check out Mixwit for some musical fun. It's pretty sweet; an online way to make your own mixed tapes.



Or if you need crave something a little more "aggro", tune into this one;

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Weekend Racing

Time Trial racin' this past weekend, if you remember. The weather was a bit cool, and of course, plenty windy. I felt pretty good at the start, though I knew I would have issues with this course. But at least it was a longer course. I started out conservatively... that is until I did the dumbest thing possible (well, second dumbest, missing your start has to be the dumbest) and I missed the first turn on the course. No excuse really, just a momentary lapse of attention. Ugh. So freakin' dumb. I lost a bit over a minute there, and then spent the rest of the race cursing myself for missing that turn. To say my concentration was off after that, would be an understatement, to say my results sucked... would be just as understated.

At least I had another chance to try and go fast in the Team Time Trial. Randy and Mr. Pink charged up in between races with some tasty brautwursts... their stomachs are definitely stronger than mine.

I made it to about the last 1.5 miles before cracking and coming off the pace. I had done all I could do. But I was pretty satisfied, as I was on the edge for most of the race, but think I was definitely able to help some. I bet we'll get some more team time trial practice in before Rabbit Mountain, and before the boulder TT series starts, and we'll be faster next time.

Sunday my legs were pretty darn toasty, after 34 miles of full-on time trial effort the day before. But going into Ned for some hippy muffins with Jessica and Alex helped give me some energy. Not to mention the warmer weather! So I got several climbs in, and though all those torn muscle fibers from Saturday were protesting with all their might, they gradually gave in, and we all got along fine for several solid climbs.

When I got home, the weather was still way too nice!

So Neo, Tayler and myself all went out walk. More work for Tayler and getting along with other dogs... most importantly with Neo. But she is coming along, and though it's been quite some time since our last walk with everyone together, she was incredibly well behaved. I even convinced the two of them to hang out together!

Good ol' Colorado... 80 degrees the last two days... several inches of snow in the forecast for tomorrow.

Roller Derby '08

It was a busy weekend; "Skaters ready..."

Friday was the first match of the year for the Denver Roller Dolls! Can't miss that one! Jessica (some how!) had a Friday night off, so she even got to go! The Green Berretts vs. The Bad Apples - a rematch of last years title match. We were greeted at the colesium by good ol' DumpTruck, showing off his new outfit.

And there was the usual assortment of "interesting" people;

The match itself had plenty of action, and a good amount of contact, made for a physical match;

I really have no idea what was going on during halftime... but it was funny as hell to watch;
video
The match itself came down to a sudden death overtime! Full-on action with the Green Berretts taking the win.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Title Goes Here

Another day, another dollar... and some more snow... And it was an easier day on the bike, which was good, because the legs were feeling pretty toasty after the last two days on the "harder" side.

So I had some time to do some work around the house. I picked up some wood for Project #0308-S01. Then made the somewhat sketchy drive up the mountain. Please note, 4x8 sheets of plywood do not really fit in a Ford Escape. I always stress driving with wood or other building materials temporarily tied into the car. But I made it up without issue. At first I thought I'd skip it, but I turned around and got the sheeting all screwed on. It came out NICE! For various reasons, including the fact that I have to finish building the deck, I didn't really skate it tonight. Though of course I had to hit it a few times to check it out, and it's sweet! I can't wait to play on it for real! Once the deck is built, it should be all done.

While I was sawing and screwing, the coyotes made their presence known. For once I had the camera with me, and I managed a couple shots. Sorry they aren't better, but I think they came out all right considering they were a good 80 meters away.

This guy stuck around longer than the others.

Before trotting off to rejoin his pals.

The forecast for Saturday keeps getting a little worse. I would definitely prefer for it to be not just warm, but hot. Of course, I guess I would say that any given time, but more so since we have a sweet time trial to do! The Haystack Time Trial features both an individual TT, and a Team Time Trial. We don't get to do too many TTTs, so this should be fun. Plus, the course is on the longer side of things, at about 17 miles, so that's very cool as well. I always prefer the longer time trials. On the other hand, 34 miles worth of time trialing should work the legs over pretty well.

Before the time trial on Saturday though...

It's time for the first match of the year for the Denver Roller Dolls!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Another Snowy Monday

Well, it's Monday again... and it's snowing again. I guess if you are going to have a day that has snow, Monday is pretty good. It's usually a rest day off the bike, and you are back inside and back to work, so who cares. Though I can't lie... I would totally prefer it to be 85 degrees and sunny.

After ending up just slightly ahead of midpack in the TT Saturday, yesterday was the Oredigger crit. It was a pretty sweet course, though I was glad it was a smaller field. Basically a roller coaster ride going downhill, with 6 turns or so, then a nice smooth power-climb back to the top, so you could do it all again. The legs felt really good, but after following some moves, and pushing the pace a few times, I was jumped by the move I SHOULD have followed, at a time when I needed to recover.

Patience... must be more patient. It was the first time in awhile I was riding on my own in a crit, so it felt a little strange, but also a nice change. Like I said, it was good because the legs felt really good. Though the race didn't exactly work out the way I would have liked. I did a solid effort at the end, on the front for the last 5 laps dragging around my group, but we didn't quite catch the little group I shouldn't have lost in the first place. It was cool too, that busy, busy Jessica was even able to come out to the first race in a while, and yell at me to go faster.

Sadly, the weather looks less than optimal for outdoor riding, for the entire week...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April Racin'

After crappy weather last weekend, and a good portion of this week, the skies finally started to clear, and the mountains were showing off their fresh coating of snow.

Good timing too, with a pair of races this weekend - The 2008 Oredigger Classic in Golden. Started off today with the Lookout Mountain Hill Climb Time Trial. Long name, for a short, violent race. I felt pretty consistent on the way up, but that means I should have gone uphill a little faster. In fact, I definitely had a bit too much left in the tank, at the top. Damn. Still waiting for the results to see how they stacked up, but I wasn't terribly happy with the time. I had a good race at this race 2 years ago... and now I've been battling to get back to that time. Tomorrow is a 75 minute crit, and the course looks tough. Basically the course consists of a bunch of downhill turns, and a sharp uphill section. It should make for a long 75 minute race tomorrow...

Meanwhile... in Bahrain, the Formula 1 cars are back on track! It's shaping up to be an interesting race. Ferrari tested at Bahrain in the winter, and no doubt learned a lot as their cars were flying in the practice sessions. Hamilton was up there as well, though gave a scare with a nasty crash at the end of Fridays afternoon practice. But the real big news was Robert Kubica and BMW Sauber... remember his big crash last year in Canada?

Well today he gave BMW Sauber, and Poland for that matter, their first pole position ever! It's the first time in 22 races that pole wasn't held by either Ferrari or McLaren. Massa in P2, Hamilton in P3 - setting up the scene for what should make for a very exciting race tomorrow!

Project #0401-H01
Completed another project. This one was to update the house marker. The existing one was on it's last legs, and the snow shovel, while adding some very nice character, was also nearly the only thing holding up the marker.

Chunk of wood, some sawing, bolts, staining, some hammering, some concrete... and there we go - new house marker!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Toys

Last night I stumbled into a (somewhat) local establishment, and picked up some toys to go along with Project #0308-S01.

I've been shopping around, with the need to eventually get a new deck, but last night the shop just happened to have the right board, in the right size and I just had to pull the trigger. I was bouncing between a couple Enjoi boards, and this Element board for a bit. The shop even had both, so I could compare them side by side, and the Element won out because of the tail kick, and the profile on the nose and tail. It's almost too pretty to start thrashing it!

The shop even had some wheels that I hadn't seen before, but were definitely the ticket! I still prefer softer wheels than what most of them are these days, so finding these 85A wheels, in a nice (fairly) large 60mm size, plus some sweet graphics, meant they were going home with me. I still love my trucks, risers, and hardware, so I stuck with that stuff, and I just got some brand new ABEC 7 bearings a few weeks back. It was cold and snowy last night, so I only got a few seconds on the board in the garage... but everything feels smooooooth like butta!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Stupid Fools Day

Thank Jeebus we made it through another April Fool's Day. I'm all for April Fool's Day, but it's been getting almost unbearable the last few years. It seems like every single news website, blog, and even newspaper now, feels the need to post some retarded made-up story that is so obviously not real. Meanwhile wasting the effort of my "click-finger" which is practically worn out as it is, and the story takes up valuable real estate in the interwebs. JUST STOP ALREADY - that's so 2001...

Last night watching the tele, I was encouraged to not insure anything I own through State Farm. They had this commercial, with some guy complaining about how the high costs of vehicle ownership was forcing him to "drastic" things... like riding his bike to work. He's locking up his bike all dejected, while co-workers (fresh out of their H3 Hummers) skip past him, and make fun of his ridiculous cycling get-up. Sure, they made him look ridiculous, red lycra shorts, and a jacket and tie; but way to discourage people from riding their bikes to work. All while the narrator is telling the guy that if he just switched to State Farm, he somehow should be able to save enough money to afford $3.50 gas for his Hummer.

Annoying story #2... as if capital proceedings are ridiculous enough as it is. This morning there was a story on KUNC about the practice, I mean State Constitutional LAW, that requires all laws coming before the lawmakers to be read aloud 3 times. Apparently back in the day this helped for obvious reasons, like for lawmakers that couldn't read, or the ineffeciency of hand-writing 100 copies of a given law. Great... now it's 2008 and we are still paying people to do this, and wasting the time involved in reading the bills? Nevermind that it sounds like an auctioner reading the bills, so whoever can make sense of what the guy is saying, is beyond me. Just more fluff for lawmakers to fill their time between receiving cash payments from special interests "friends", and evenings with hookers.

Annoying story #3... The state of Colorado was considering doing the logical thing, like most other companies in the 21st century, and eliminating the difference between "sick pay" and "vacation time" and just combining the two. It only makes sense, since otherwise people like me, who never call in sick, get screwed with less vacation time, and a bank filled with useless hours of sick time. It only encourages people to thow on the fake cough, and call in sick from the destination of their choice (gotta love cell phones). So I was happy to see that the goal was to change over to just one bank of combined time, and that the changes (if elected into action) would take place this summer at the beginning of the new fiscal year. Great! Then I got an email the other day stating that whether or not to proceed with the proposed changes would NOT be voted on CALENDAR year of 2008! What!? Apparently "all the necessary information to render a decision regarding this policy has not been gathered and analyzed" yet. What!? All the information is there, it has to be... You've been paying people on the current system for quite some time. And now you are saying it's going to take basically a full YEAR before the information can be "gathered and analyzed"!? I think I did enough analyzing in the 20 minutes it took me to read their website, in order to form an opinion on what would be best for the state, and it's employees... Ugh... what was that? I think I'm going to be sick on the 3rd Friday in June. I can feel it coming on... Jerks...

I must be cranky today, no doubt... so here is a funny picture of Cyrus, just because he's such a goofball;