Thursday, December 29, 2005

great 24 hours

Here's me in front of Karen's brother's King Ranch F150 Pick-up. Pardon the picture quality, but i wanted to commemorate the moment more than the actual event. :) Among those people who like to haul things, or at least look like they do, this is the Porsche 911.

Yes, it's been 24 great hours. Last night, Jeff and Charlene stopped by and we came up with the idea of hitting Roberto's on River Road which we've never made it too and still haven't because, as we soon found out, they closed up shop for Christmas week. In need of grub, we decided to hit India's which is always good and it maintained it's rep with us. We also had a lasse tasting competition. I started with a salted one, amy countered with the sweetened one, then Kumar suggested a sweet and salted one. A good idea at the time, maybe now overkill.

Today Karen came in from Colorado Springs via Houma and we had a great time with her, by immediately going back to India's, then chilling at Varsity Sports and finally Perks. Good laughter was had by all. Karen works at the OTC and she's soon heading to Italy for the Winter Games. Get that blog in place Karen!

HARK! a blog from the West Coast.

Eric has gotten off the bench and is in the game!

This could be as big as Tivo, ok no, not that big.

what the tivo is for

I love tivo, tivo tivo tivo
It is perhaps the most important invention in recent history.
We have been liberated from the chains of tv boredom that have enslaved us.

No more bland piece-mealed E eye-candy documentaries featuring commentary by people you've never heard of but who are being treated as celebrities.

No more mindless dwelling on what exactly is being blurred out on the Howard Stern show.

No more Real World/Road Rules Part 17 - Cancun the Final Inferno to Hell.

No, now untethered i can spend my time on what's really important. Tonight it was nearly 90 minutes of uninterrupted commercial freeSouth Park. Oh sweet gluttony.

I'd never seen the episode on Scientology, where Stan is identified as the second coming of L. Ron Hubbard. Too funny and scary, especially when they went over what Scientology is actually about. Yow. Then Tom Cruise, John Travolta and eventually R. Kelly all hid in Stan's closet and refused to come out. You can see where this is going.

While on the subject of Mr. Cruise, Esquire magazine recently published a column which drew into question Mr. Cruise's sexuality as well as the authenticity of his relationship with Katie Holmes. This alone is about as interesting as a pair of dingo's kidneys, who really cares? one way or the other. What is much more intriguing is that in the next issue, Mr. Cruise's lawyer wrote a letter to the Editor pointing out how "false and defamatory" these assertions were and basically demanding a retraction. Highly entertaining, but come on is this guy overcompensating or what?

team swag

Here's our thank you to Cane's for their sponsorship. Pretty sweet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Make the wind your friend and you'll never ride alone.

This is one of many cheese-ball sayings i've come up with over time. I always envision it being engraved into the marble floor at the entrance to the David Alexander Memorial Cycling Museum. But i digress, this saying was made for today, it was a windy mofo kind of day. The wind was so bad, you sort of assumed the "rainy crit" posture with your handlebars so that they wouldn't be whipped out of your hands. It was a swervy-ditch-pointing day of grunting and grinding your teeth.

Did two laps of iFartlek again, this is turning into my new addiction. Sometimes it's perfect, slow song for recovery, fast song for interval, but other times it happens in reverse which is strange. Like today, i recovered to Jesus built my Hot Rod, which ain't slow then jammed to Karma Police, let's call it introspective. During my last loop in the tail-wind section i saw Tom coming the other way, but i wasn't about to turn around into it. Sorry, Tom.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

merry christmas to all

Ah yes, Amy and i must have been nice this year because Santa brought us TIVO and early reports concur, it is a good thing.

This morning we caught the Dash and Dine Christmas Party at Jennifer and Carl's which was great, maybe a 6 or 7 mile run followed by a white elephant. Good times, great people.

Yesterday i rolled the loop twice doing iFartlek. This is my new favorite workout, i shuffle my hits playlist and you go hard for song 1, recover for song 2, hard for song 3, recover for song 4, rinse, repeat. You get the deal.

No word yet on the grand G-town ride this morning which i couldn't make, hope all stayed dry, but the downpour that i saw makes that hard to believe.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

fantastic read

Hal Cohen's piece on walking in Baton Rouge is superb, check it out.

this kind of morning

oh yeah, it really is this kind of morning.

doing more before 7 am than most people blah blah blah

So Chuck convinced me to try Pat's Supper Studio 6 AM Spin Class and i gave it a whirl this morning. It was great, i think this whole parenthood gig is working on me, i was up at 5 AM bright-eyed and bushy tailed and joined Mitch, Pat, Chuck and Trip for a good hour of spin followed by a mad-cap run down Stuart and back, the highlight of which was playing real-time frogger as we perilously crossed Perkins Road in early morning traffic.

On a side note, Pat let me try out his power cranks. Talk about feeling like a kid again on a bike. These things are trippy, they completely isolate each leg's motion through the pedal stroke. 15 seconds of spinning and i was whimpering like a badly beaten step-child. Pretty wild, they're supposed to help your pedal stroke and your running at the same time. I'm intrigued. Pat says they've forced him to push a larger gear. Going to have to do more reading on this one...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Got $14.99 to spare?

Last summer i decided that i would write the great cycling video game, the likes of which had never been seen before. Not only would you be able to control pro cyclists individually, but there would also be a team element that would allow you to call on teammates to chase down breaks or jump across to them or go for individual glory in stage races, etc. All the drama of bicycle racing in a nice neat package. I figured i'd implement it as either a 2-dimensional racer with Flash or maybe a 3-dimensional game using some 3rd party 3-d tools. That part i hadn't figured out yet, but i began working on how the interfaces would work and what the most basic functionality would be needed to implement it. I thought of using the pro calendar to implement a "season", which would allow you to have different athletes training and peaking at different times and eventually introducing the idea of "farm teams" that could develop new talent and eventually incorporate them into the game. This i figured would take years to produce, but hey it would be fun right?

Then 2 weeks ago i came across this website. There it is, the whole shebang all written, produced and perfected. Well, maybe not perfected, but let's say i've stopped any development efforts on my part. For $14.99 you can buy Cycling Manager 4 which is last year's version, but it's plenty awesome.

I tried the demo of the new version, called Pro Cycling Manager, but it seemed to have issues with my video card. CM4, as it is called in the forum, features a very full euro calendar with most major teams and riders represented. Each rider's individual talents are rated and simulated in race scenarios. Some teams must have bawked at being represented so they have "stage names" such as U.S. Pystol which is led by Lance Niilstrong and George Hancapie. Others feature their complete roster plus actual photographs of riders.

The game has a cool 3d engine a few steps better than my Computrainer. The simulation of racing is where the game really shines. In Paris Roubaix you can watch the pack thin dramatically with each crossing of the pave'. I did a hilly circuit race in Austria and the pack got smaller and smaller with each lap. I even tried to win Ghent Wevelgem with Cipo but he got creamed on the last cobbled climbs, the race went to Van Petegem who beat out Museeuw for the win which is a testament to the AI and rider ratings. They even have a timetrial mode which i used on the Alpe d'Huez, can't say i understand it yet, but it was cool to watch. My apologies go out to David Zabriskie who i forced to finish last.

That's another reason why i want other people to buy this game. It doesn't come with instructions so i'm developing my own strategies on what works. So far my best finish was Boonen's 3rd at Paris-Roubaix.

Plus in Europe, supposedly people load their own rider databases to simulate their favorite year of racing. Rating their favorite riders and even designing their jerseys so the whole game changes. I haven't gotten that far yet, but you can see how addictive this could become.

Anyway, if you are a cyclist with the slightest interest in strategy-based video games then this game is probably for you. Check it out and let me know if you do, i'd love to hear your take on it.

monday monday monday monday

It was a fun weekend, Saturday night Amy and i left the boy with Steph and Dave and went out for the first tme in 8 weeks. We hit the French Market Bistro which is always super nice, i had the Tiki Tuna and Amy had the Redfish on the Cedar Plank. I always wonder what they do with all these cedar planks. After that we headed out to G-town for the Robert Open House which was a blast. Great food, what can i say, it was a blast.

Sunday i rode my bike! I know it's something i hardly do these days. I met up with Charles, Lawson and Mike and we rolled about 50 at an honest pace. A little more honest than i've been riding, so it felt good. The winds were surprisingly strong, much more than it seemed when we started, but that's the way River Road works right?

That's it, i need to start Christmas shopping.

Friday, December 16, 2005

In case you're still shopping for me...

this would make a great gift, because i've been really good this year.


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

learning something every day

Back in the Gopher hey-day, most things internet were knowable. There was only so much you could do with a bunch of menus and nobody had bandwidth to speak of. Now a days, there are more acronyms than you can shake an warehouse of sticks at, and so it is with today's entry which comes from Michael, the YTMND or You're The Man Now Dog's which can be found here. According to the wikipedia, these are odd little graphics paired with a sound file that tile to fill your screen and loop endlessly. Some of these are racey or just plain trashy but my favorites include Chewbacca Sings and the funnniest Tom Cruise kills Oprah. Check them out if you have time to kill...

Monday, December 12, 2005

word of the day

this from Steve, he called me one today and i had to look it up. I love the origin.


[n. LUH-dite] The noun Luddite specifically refers to one of a group of early 19th century English workmen who were campaigning against the automation of the power loom. Under cover of night and generally masked, the workers often destroyed the equipment that had displaced them. Today the word broadly refers to anyone who is opposed to technological change or new working methods. The name Luddite is presumed to come from the leader of these angry workmen: Ned Ludd

everybody's probably seen these

but i just came across these Lance interviews on velonews, here and here. Some of it is dull, but check out Lance's account of the Fillipo Simeoni story, that made me laugh. Also, he admits that he hates Velonews and he only did the interview for Wilcockson.

A simple request

"Hey Dave, would you mind letting our dogs into our house Saturday night?" asked my sister, who was out of town. Hey no problem i thought, i'm practically a dog whisperer, this will be a piece of cake. O no, no it wasn't.

Steph's pups had spent the day outside, and since it was approaching freezing, it was probably a good idea to get them inside. I figured i'd open the door and they'd jump in, nope it wasn't that easy. Upon seeing me, these guys began growling and snarling and in no uncertain terms expressed that they weren't coming in. Jerky Treats and sliced turkey be damned, they weren't having it.

Beauty tames the beast, so Amy gave it a shot and managed to get JoJo the brown one in, but Jacques would have no part of it. I decided i'd have to play cowboy and try to corral him, however when i approached him, he took one look at me and dove under the fence triggering his electronic shock collar. I fell to my knees laughing as i watched his white curly haired butt spasm as it ran away from me under the fence.

About this time i figured we were going to have to patrol the neighborhood to find him but i guess the pain of the shock collar was enough to turn him around, and we found him on the front porch. When i opened the door, he shot in like a lightning bolt.

This was when i began laughing hysterically, i couldn't stop myself as we tried to corner him inside. Corral, chase, corral, chase and corral again, finally i got to him and tried to feed some sliced turkey but he wouldn't even look at it. So i gave up, picked him up and he tried to bite me! Into the cage they finally went, and my face hurt from laughing...little demon dogs.

Look out... she's back.

Pekoe bows to Cat Mecca

Not sure when our cat converted to Islam, but it's his favorite pose lately.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

it isn't hard to sleep in ...

after yesterday morning's commute. Waking temp in the 30's and I heard the windchill was in the 20's. I even wore my Jacques Cousteau Old School Neoprene Booties and still had a quarter-sized white spot on the end of each big toe when i took my shoes off. This after only 10-11 miles! If there is such a thing as good roller/trainer weather this is it.

In much more interesting news, Jeff has started his blog, Me, My Moots and I which features some impressive video footage of his no-hands roller work. I'm still impressed and i'm thinking that is now my goal for the off-season. Welcome to blogdom Mr. Robert.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

djw you are to blame

By the beard of Zeus!!!

Ron Burgundy is a god

HBO's movie of the month, or so it seems, is Anchorman. This means it comes on probably 5 times a day, and that isn't enough.

more rasterbation

In response to my post on the rasterbator, Jeff sent me this image of his awesome creation done with legal size paper and a color printer. That is very cool, Lance in the 2003 Dauphine. I dig it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


For the last week, i've been sick, Amy's been sick, Ryan was sick a little, then two of my bikes got sick.

The commuter bit the dust on my excellent levee-top adventure. It's in the shop getting it's front-derailleur bent back.

Today, Josh informed me that my rear training wheel is trashed, kaput, disintegrating, etc. I asked for more details and he handed me about a dozen eyelets from the inside of my rim that fell out when he took the rimstrip off! He says the rim is cracked, falling apart and just generally trashed.

Three years of abuse on all sorts of roads and other various surfaces and voila blammo gone. So he's rebuilding it for me, but what's that i hear? off in the distance? could it be the sweet seductive sirens of Vicenza calling? Probably not for a while, gotta keep the boy in huggies.

I'm not making this stuff up...

Be thankful for your company's name

Today i saw a guy getting out of a truck for the Coastal Erection Company.

These guys probably never hear the end of it in softball leagues, etc.

Monday, December 05, 2005

tis the season

Christmas is the greatest time of the year, after July, August and May, but what i really love is the dialog that can be overheard while Christmas shopping. Granted, i hate Christmas shopping more than just regular shopping, so i probably miss out on a lot of this but last week i encountered a real gem while buying our new fancy shmancy artificial Christmas tree at Hobby Lobby. I'm pretty sure they were two co-workers a youngish guy and an oldish lady shopping together.

Youngish Guy: Oh wow, look there are the new mini-sharpies
Oldish lady: REALLY!!! Gee thanks so much for telling me that, I can't read English.

NICE and well-played
I love Christmas

Sunday, December 04, 2005

back to the blog

haven't blogged in a few, me and the fam got sick last week, figured i would have plenty of time to write, but instead i retreated to a steady diet of alka seltzer cold medicine martinis and sleeping. Ryan got better Friday, i felt better yesterday and amy today.

I have a thing for undersestimating distances, today i thought it would be cool to ride out to Jeff and Charlene's in G-town then ride with them for 25 and come back. I fiigured it would be 65 tops so i started beating myself up on the way home for feeling flat. Since i'm generally cyclocomputer-less, when i got home i did the math on the Gmap Pedometer, and turns out i did 88 on a granola bar and a banana. Flat was ok.

In other news, i've learned an important lesson about fatherhood. It means watching a LOT of football with your son. I've never been one to watch any football really, but both Saturday and Sunday, Ryan and i caught the better part of 3 different games. It's all making sense now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

movie reviews

I think it is really important to expose Ryan to a variety of movies so that his tastes can evolve appropriately. This weekend was no exception. We started off with Amy's pick Never Cry Wolf which was very enjoyable, kind of a shorter softer version of Dances with Wolves mixed with Into the Wild but with a happy ending .

Saturday, I needed a fix of Fight Club, which i've easily seen a dozen times, but to mix it up, we watched it with Palahniuk and Uhls commentary piped over it. This was great and i highly recommend it, the insight you gain about production decisions and the interaction between the author and the screenwriter was cool. Palahniuk even complimented Uhls a few times for doing things better than the book.

From there it was on to the new version of the Amityville Horror which managed to spook the bejesus out of me, creepy, not overly creepy though and at times just plain silly.

Last night we caught War of the Worlds, with Tom Cruise. It comes complete with many scenes of Tom Cruise running. I'm pretty sure this gets worked out by his agent for each flick he does. Everytime he does it, i imagine Ben Stiller in his place. It's hard to take him seriously. The movie reaked of Signs with plenty of hinting, as opposed to showing or telling. I think it could have been great, but the ending just fizzled big time.

My favorite lines in the movie were an exchange between Cruise and this soldier and we couldn't make out a single word of it. It seemed pivotal b/c they destroyed an alien ship right after but we couldn't figure it out for anything. We backed up the scene three times and finally turned on the subtitles to learn that he was saying something like "Look at the Birds! There's no armor there" wow, deep.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Post Turkey Day Stuff

Lots to talk about, and i haven't had much time to post lately.

First off, my Uncle Gaynor, who is currently battling mantle cell lymphoma, received a stem cell transplant this week. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he begins his recovery in Houston.

While on the topic of prayer and positive thinking, I happened to run into Gary McCrary last week at Lod Cook, and he looked great. Gary was struck by a car last year and suffered some of the worst injuries i've ever heard of in a bicycle accident. Turns out he still has some surgeries in his future, but he's riding a mountain bike on the levee, working out and doing well. It was awesome to see him.

Yesterday was Turkey Day, and we had a great time visiting with Bobbie and Bob, as well as DJW and Carrie. I tried John Folse's Yam recipe again, and this time it was a real hit. The syrup promised in the recipe appeared right on queue and they turned out great, or at least i thought so until i asked my grandmother what she thought. She is the uber-cook of the family, and things aren't good until she says so. She replied "They taste like Sweet Potatoes". Ok, well maybe not.

On a much lighter note, Eric alerted me this morning to Roberto's positive b sample for EPO use. What a drag! Sure the guy climbed like a freak, but he always has, and i figured he just had a Pantani-like gift, turns out he's more like Pantani than i thought. Since, he will forfeit his victory in this year's Vuelta a Espana, it will probably have a profound effect on the scoring of the Fantasy Vuelta, but i'm not seeing a recount taking place, sorry EZ-E.

My new career as a professional writer began this week, as the piece on riding my bike to work showed up in the new 225 Magazine. If you're interested in an autographed copy, just e-mail me, they go for $29.99.

In sad news, my boss wrote an incredible nomination for me to be included in The Top 40 Under 40. It was the kind of essay that made me say, "Is this about me? Sounds like someone else." Unfortunately it fell on deaf ears. Since i didn't make it, i can only rejoice in the fact that i must be ranked 41st, there's just no way that i could be any lower than that in this town. I mean come on.

I'm hoping to catch a ride with Taylor tomorrow, maybe River Road? Anyone?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Revenge of the Flick

Finished reading the Revenge of the Sith this weekend, and it was a real treat. Very enjoyable, the themes made much more sense than they did in the movie. Lots of background information is provided that could have been conveyed in the movie but for whatever reason was just skipped, modified or plain left out.

I enjoyed the book so much that I went right out and bought a copy of the dvd to try to spread the love back to the flick. I hadn't seen it since the first time in the theater and I was hopeful that perhaps this would become one of those 360 type movies. A movie that you hated the first time you saw it, then slowly you turned around and began to really like it. For me these include: Good Will Hunting (or Rainman gets a Soloflex) and most recently Sideways (or Swingers hits the Wine Country). It didn't happen.

While i had a better understanding perhaps of how the movie could have been better, i still thought it fell flat. Grievous is annoying with this cough thing going on all the time and his bad posture. What's up with Palpatine's make up after he revelas him self as Sidious? He looks like something from the first Star Trek. Did they blow the whole special effects budget on that opening space battle? Here's the pitch Anakin, Join the Sith, have a plastic face!

Plus, it's a big galaxy out there, everything doesn't have to connect! Yoda and Chewbacca are tight? and hey Obi Wan, work on that life after death crap eh?

What else? Why didn't they show Gran Moff Tarkin bouncing a little baby Han Solo on his knee? I can just see him now with a little black vest on.
Did Anakin build the Millenium Falcon too? Is Lando Calrissian Mace Windu's grandson? Are jawas actually jedi younglings in hiding? Come on.

What a drag. The book is really great though. The author uses this device where he writes about "What it's like to be (fill in the blank) right now:". It's cool because he does this with Anakin, Obi Wan, Mace and many others, but the best one is when he steps inside the mind of an Imperial Guard who is being manipulated by the Force. Very funny.

mmm...real fruit strip

Friday, November 18, 2005

30 Degree Commutes

So, since winter has finally arrived here in Red Stick, i thought i would review the joys of riding in 30 degree weather.

Step 1.
Put on all of your cycling clothes, i mean everything you own. You'll probably need more. Each ride necessitates doing a load of laundry... excellent.

Step 2.
Dive out into the cold air, instantly you can detect where each seam and stitch in your clothing is as you are instantly more awake than any espresso could manage.

Step 3.
Immediately begin losing feeling in toes and fingers.

Step 4.
5 minutes into the ride, you begin to worry about the severe pain in the tip of your right index finger, even though you're wearing the heavy-duty Colorado ski gloves.

Step 5.
5 minutes later, you begin to worry that the pain has gone away, will this require amputation? Finally, i'll have something in common with high altitude mountain climbers.

Step 6.
The iPod's bizarre shuffle circuitry cooks up some odd Yoko Ono sounding piece, cutting to Sting then over to Yellow Ledbetter live at the Tibetan Freedom concert. Of course you can't do anything about this b/c your iPod is buried three layers down in your jersey.

Step 7.
Arrive at work frozen, but numbed enough that riding more would be much easier than the ride over.

Step 8.
Take a very painful hot shower that forces blood to rush into every part of you where it previously wasn't.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

God is telling me to get back on caffeine

Because i believe everything i read on slashdot, this will get me back off the wagon or on the wagon. Is it off the no-caffeine wagon or onto the caffeine wagon?

Where does this whole wagon stuff come from?
I've often wondered as well, so here i found out. Just like any good Johnny Cash song, "off the wagon" has to do with a hanging. I like it more already.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Rasterbator

Haven't posted in a few days, but i've been meaning to post a link to the Rasterbator site. It's a very cool free web-based tool that will blow up any image you can find to nearly any size you want. Here's a few snapshots of my office and the photo of George winning atop Pla d'Adet blown up to 4x5 pages. Try it out, it's very cool.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

bidding lust

Last week, i fell in love with this bike. The lugged steel Bridgestone MB*s have always been a favorite of mine, and i thought it was my chance to own a little piece of cycling history.

It stayed on ebay all week under $50, until yesterday when it got close to $100. I had this scene playing out in my head of waiting until a minute to go and then throwing down a max of $150 and walking away with it like a gangsta just knowing that nobody would be foolish enough to spend that much money it. I mean, it's a classic but it is 13 years old, scratched up and has a ding in the top tube. Maybe i'd get it for $110, that would be sweet.

Didn't happen, i got to my desk, hit refresh and voila it was $177 with a minute to go. I lamely tried to take it at $180 which i figured was too much and that was instantly outbid. In shock but thankful, i hit refresh again just in time to see it close at $202.51 plus $50 shipping. It's a bummer, but i think i made the right decision to not engage in ego-bidding here.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

random morning ride ipod quote for the day

Life's like sanskrit read to a pony. -- Lou Reed


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

o beloved beverage

So today, i crossed something off my LONG LONG list of things Baton Rouge needs to be cool...

1075. Border's Bookstore
1076. Jumba Juice
1077. A Mountain
1078. Bubble Tea
1079. Intra-city mountain bike trails
1080. A variety of vegetarian restaurants

That's right, Bubble Tea,
right here in River City.
That starts with B,
that rhymes with T,
that stands for trouble.

Yes, the Ice Cream shop at the Food Court at the Mall of Louisiana now sells Bubble Tea at the amazing low price of $4 a glass. Provided, that isn't cheap, but when you consider that i was willing to drive to Austin just to get one, it's a steal. Thanks Taylor for getting me addicted.
Go check it out. You won't regret it.

Blatant Plug

Since Christmas is just around the corner, how about a new Angel to put atop your tree?

Perhaps a magic stem? or some other goody or stocking stuffer?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ever see this?

Today i got that which was puzzling. Uninstalling it and reinstalling cleared up matters, but i didn't find a satisfactory answer as to why it occurred.

Monday, November 07, 2005

channeling rasta bob --or-- the curse of the serotta colorado lt

now me and me wad ridin home dis night
big ringin da gravel
racin dem sun
like a mad cap gilby duclos
spinnin the 53 like it be a bitch
knockin it down like no ting
now Jah bless me wit power a plenty
but before tonight
i and i never did this to a chain ring

monday monday

Today is my first day back at work! YAHOO!

Yeah, it didn't work for me either. Anyhow, i wanted to get in 20 or so this morning by taking River Road into work, then cutting through LSU, etc. etc. This plan was changed rapidly when i awoke to find San Francisco class fog engulfing my subdivision. My decision to avoid becoming a hood ornament, led me to take the short cut through Kenilworth, blah blah blah. Not as scenic, and only 6 and some change. I'm thinking tonight will be Levee Top Shootout Part II, the sequel.

How frickin boring is Baton Rouge riding when moving the ride approximately 50 feet to the side, and riding on gravel makes it NEW AND EXCITING.

My quote of the day for you comes from Warren Miller, Ski Film Maker Extraordinaire

If you don't move to Colorado this year, that's fine, just keep in mind, that when you finally do move to Colorado, you'll be a year older.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Tis the Season!

So in keeping with the e-bay spirit of DJW and Eric, i've decided to sell some stuff that's been sitting around my garage for a while now. Bid away, if you say you saw it on unfrozen caveman cyclist, i'll throw in some halloween candy FOR FREE!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Longest bike path in Baton Rouge

So Thursday was my first post-Ryan bike ride and i decided to make it interesting by riding down to LSU and back on the beater bike atop the levee. I think i rode through ten different grades of gravel, from bb sized all the way up to charcoal briquet. What's nice about it, is that you get up there and you can forget about all the rednecks trying to drive over you, and focus on picking good lines, checking out the wildlife and the scenery. What's tough about it, is that some of the gravel is just bone-jarring arthritis-inducing stuff. Even on the 700x28's. The worst of it is limited to a short stretch near the house, so i think i'll leave that part off in the future. If you like the gravel sections of the Rouge Roubaix, then you could probably dig this ride. If you didn't, then don't even bother trying it.

Monday, October 31, 2005

NY Times Home Delivery

When the paper is in my driveway on Sunday morning...
Bluebirds and robins appear, the weather is great, perhaps a breeze in the air, my coffee tastes perfect, breakfast is delicious and in my ear i can hear Lionel Ritchie and the boys singing Easy.

When the paper isn't in my driveway on Sunday morning...
Ants invade my kitchen, humidity exceeds 100%, a stink fillls the air doubtless from some River Road petro-chemical disaster, my coffee is cold, all we have is oatmeal and NPR is doing some bizarre tribute to Helen Reddy.

Four out of the last five Sundays have been the latter, and i'm tired of it. The game goes like this, call the Times before 10:00 am to report your missing paper and they'll get one out to you by 2:00 pm. At least twice this "sympathy" delivery contains two copies of the paper. So voila, Amy and i each have our own personal copy to read in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes we get no paper, or a Sunday paper on Monday, it's always interesting and never as fulfilling as the rare ontime no-phonecall needed delivery.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

mmm ... toothfish

I usually don't make it through the whole Sunday NY Times, but this week i did and found this cool story about the Chilean Sea Bass. Turns out the species began life as the South Patagonian Toothfish, but switched to its more welll known moniker as a marketing move. Gotta admit, Chilean Sea Bass rolls off the tongue a little easier.

The piece has a lot to say about overfishing, the decline of large predatory fish in the ocean, the role of wildlife in our everyday diet, the politics of large-scale commercial fishing, and even more interestingly, the cost to oceanic eco-systems of farm-raising fish like salmon. No answers here, just good stuff to know.

If you don't have time to read it, here's a cool tidbit. The CSB (or SPT) is a bottom-dwelling predator that has through time evolved to not possess an air bladder. In order to regulate his buoyancy in its absence, the fish actuallly secretes fat directly into his tissues. The fat is less dense than the surrounding water, and bingo, the fish rises. This is cool enough in itself, but according to a chef interviewed in the piece, CSB spend the greater part of their lives marinating themselves in their own delicious fat. Thus making them a dish that is nearly impossible to ruin. Interesting.


Satsumas are the Mackinaw Peaches of Louisiana
Damn! they're good and available at produce stands across Baton Rouge.

Thought for the day...

Do babies smell like Dreft? or does Dreft smell like babies?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dog trapped in a largely vegetarian household...

I think it might not be right to keep a dog in a mostly vegetarian household. It all started last night, when Norm and Elizabeth stopped by and cooked up some mack-daddy T-bone steaks in our kitchen. Like everything that Norm makes, they were awesome. But Riley gave the meal special attention. Tonight, we decided to give her the bone from one of the steaks and she still hasn't left her pillow. She is loving life in a big way. I'm thinking that tofu riblets just don't have the same effect on her. Look at that claw action!

Sleep Dep

Sleep Deprivation does interesting stuff to your body. Kind of like the way they describe life at super-high altitude. You have no sense of anything changing, but you're really functioning at super-low levels. Yesterday, Amy and i had some Chinese food, and i heard her ask me the following:

Do wonton fry dolphin want neat?

Of course this led me to demand a clarification to which she responded:

I said, Do you want to hold Ryan while i eat?

At this point i'm thinking, maybe i shouldn't drive the car until i get some sleep.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Aaron Neville's Forearms

So Amy, Ryan and I caught Aaron Neville last night singing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch of game 3. No offense to Aaron, his voice is very unique and all, but wouldn't it be cooler if he'd just taken batting practice? This guy has got serious pythons with popeye shaped forearms. I'm pretty sure he could smack one out the park.

Keeping the Javanese Monkey at bay

My first UCC post since Ryan's arrival last week. A few months ago, i decided to give up coffee in an effort to lower my blood pressure which was a little high. I figured i'd better, when i asked the nurse how to lower it, she replied "exercise and watch your diet." Since i already do a lot of both of those, the coffee was the next place i looked. And it worked, my blood pressure became extremely favorable, however i morphed a bit into of an early-to-bed and early-to-rise kind of guy. Anyhow, the guys in my office have been taunting me, "Wait until that baby comes, you'll come back to coffee, you'll see" etc.

Well, i still haven't but i'm desperate for decaf these days. I need it, maybe i'm addicted to the trace amounts of caffeine in it, i don't know. Today, after a week of being dissatisfied with the brands we've had, i bought some Starbucks decaf and made it according to the directions on the bag which call for 2 tbsp of coffee per 6 ounces of water. That seems excessive, but realize that Starbucks is in the business of selling coffee. To wrap up this longer than need be post, it's damn good that way. Curiously strong of course, but tastier than any of the others i've tried. And i think it's still way cheaper than going to Starbucks, so i'm going to stick with this plan.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

wednesday stuff

So here is a photo of the product of my nesting, our square foot garden. It's really coming along great, in the foreground is romaine and another type of lettuce, in the background cabbage and broccoli. I overplanted the space expecting some plants not to make it, and nearly all of them have, so it will be an ultra-compact growing space. We'll see how that turns out.

In other news, Amy and i really thought Ryan was coming today. Contractions went all night, and we even went to the hospital this morning, but no, not yet. Our doula even guessed he won't be in before Saturday or Sunday. This kid has got his dad's laid-back vibe down to a science.

Just like yard sales have a season, so it seems for ebay auctions. DJW has a nice sale going on some cool vintage bike parts and Eric is trying to unload a classic Apple Powerbook with other goodies which would make a nice exhibit at the Apple Museum. I got in on some of the bidding action on the Powerbook but quickly got shoved to the side, my $2 wouldn't hold. :) Maybe i'll try to sell my Cinelli Angel ONE MORE TIME.

I'm still blown away by Roscoe, from the Weekend America post, replying to my blog. That was a cool bit of internet serendipity at it's finest.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lunchtime Surf

i love podcasts
Today i was catching up with Weekend America and they had a bit on this musician who has fallen in love with fixed gear bikes. Pretty cool piece, the photo gallery on the page shows his current bikes including this one. Which is listed as a 1999 vintage khs painted orange. I want to bet that this bike originated in baton rouge. I remember a mechanic, Adam?, at the shop who had one painted up Conti Orange for his girlfriend.
Maybe i got that one wrong, anyway they also linked here which is a great way to kill time.
While i'm dreaming about fixed gear bikes, why don't i add even more links to this blog post? my current three favorites in no particular order.

Surly Pugsley - Gotta love it, just the right number of moving parts. I can't get enough of this bike, i wish i lived somewhere where it snowed.
Bianchi Pista - Yeah, the Concept might be prettier, but this one is going to survive longer, it's CrMo and cheap.
NYCBikes City Fixed - Two words, PAINTED RIMS

No baby yet!

Still no baby to report on. Amy and i had a fun weekend, attending my cousin's wedding. We also watched a quirky movie called Bride and Prejudice directed by Gurinder Chadha who did Bend it Like Beckham, which we really loved. It's the story of Pride and Prejudice as you might expect, set in India with a Grease like feel (singing and dancing, etc.) Pretty darn entertaining.

Got in a couple of multi-hour rides over the weekend on River Road. Just me and the iPod, which i finally reloaded with all of my tunes. It's nice to shuffle and get Johnny Cash, Kanye West, Pearl Jam, The Police, Handel's Messiah, Korn, Beastie Boys, Billie Holiday, Bach, Enya, Bob Marley. Okay, so i need to develop some playlists.

Also trying to run a little each day just to mix things up. It's hard to believe how out-of-shape Riley is. This is a dog who has done 8 milers with me before and now she can't even go a whole mile without stopping. She really let herself go :) I know, it's my fault.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Vintage 1995 Bad Karma

So, here's the short version, last night my front tooth fell out. Currently I look and sound like a pre-faceguard hockey player or Bruce Willis in the Twelve Monkeys, take your pick.

It all started ten years ago with a simple idea. Win a Cat 4 NRC race, Dave Lettieri of L.A. Sheriff's would see me, recruit me to be on the team, voila my cubicle days are behind me. Of course I never said this out loud, but it's probably what i and most other yahoos are thinking at an NRC.

Anyway, the plan didn't work, i crashed hard in the crit and smacked a No Parking sign with my face, breaking a lot of bones, deflating my lung and ejecting a couple of teeth onto the downtown streets of Jackson, Mississippi. For good measure, when my jaw was set the doc stuck my front tooth back into place. "It probably won't make it a year, but let's try" they told me.

Eight years later the tooth was still going strong, but my dentist detected some "absorption" going on and recommended that i have it removed. This is where it got ugly, when I awoke from the procedure, i found my oral surgeon hastily sewing up my mouth, explaining to me that it "hadn't gone as well as he had hoped". This would have meant something to me if i hadn't been a drooling idiot from the drugs that they gave me. The effect of the absorption was that my tooth had become a collection of fragments that he had had to fish out of me. NICE.

Back with my dentist now, he took the crown of the disintegrating tooth and epoxied it into place, giving me a sort of messed-up mono-front-tooth smile, that, while functional, wasn't going to get me on the cover of GQ anytime soon. This really didn't matter though because my modeling days were behind me, so I let it ride.

Now cut to last night, on the eve of Ryan's due date, Amy and i are having supper. I bite into a bean burrito oddly and blammo, the whole epoxied-pseudo-tooth apparatus comes out. I couldn't believe it. I immediately forbade Amy from having the baby because i'll be damned if i'm going to welcome Ryan Sebastian into this world with a lisp. So, I'm off to the dentist now, hopefully he can work some magic.

I think it's time to get a proper bridge installed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

flickr daily zeitgeist

I uploaded some photos from the dragon boat races to flickr and then added this nifty zeitgeist to the page. Just testing it out to see how it works. I think it will shuffle the most recent photos that i've added.

turning japanese

Amy bought me a book of sudoku puzzles and i'm completely addicted. For those numerophobes out there, fear not. Sudoku doesn't involve any addition or subtraction, just strategy. Try it out at the free site, it's pretty cool.

My other Japanese love right now is a quirky game on the PS2 called We Love Katamari. Through a seemingly unofficial barrage of press delivered by Slashdot and Wired, i became interested and finally bit. You wouldn't think that rolling a ball around and getting stuff to stick to it would be soothing, but it is. There's something really nice about playing it that is unlike other games i've played recently. There's also a real freaky-deaky cultural lost-in-translation weirdness to it that i can't explain in words. You can get a sense of it by visiting it's homepage.


Monday, October 10, 2005

recent rides

Not too many to speak of, a sign of the joyful period of time between last season and next. I caught up with the Coffee Call ride Saturday morning which wasn't very well attended considering the perfect weather. What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality with Norm, Charles, Keith, Stan, and Courtney. I was heading to the Dragon Boat races down at the LSU lakes, Charles was hungry for mileage due to his upcoming Ironman Florida. It's pretty crazy when you ride 30 miles with somebody and they still have 110 to go. Hats off to him, he's got the discipline down. It may be a while or never before I do an Ironman.

After that it was time to take care of lots of small things around the house as we are in full tilt Ryan preparation mode.

Amy and I continued our tour of good food and fun with killer fish tacos at Serrano's. Strange vibe there as this drunk guy on crutches began harrassing other customers and was eventually asked to leave. On the way out, we ran into Troy who was very high on this new flick Serenity. I couldn't place it during our conversation, but yesterday i realized i'd seen the trailer in the theater and it did look pretty cool, the elusive combination of a witty script and Star Wars quality special effects, paired with some sort of uber-teenage girl killing machine. I'd see it.

Later on, we caught The Talented Mr. Ripley at home. This is one of the eeriest flicks i've seen in a long time. Something about a homosexual identity-stealing murderous Matt Damon weaving his craft across Italy was just straight-out unsettling. It was like the Bird Cage meets the Bourne Identity on crystal meth. Really great movie though that I recommend to anybody, it was directed by Anthony Minghella who did Amy's fav of all time The English Patient.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bidder's Remorse

So have you ever become the leading bidder in an e-bay auction and then prayed to God that you would lose?

That was me last night. I came across a vintage Levi's Pinarello jersey and decided to make it mine. I think this is one of the jerseys Andy Hampsten wore pre-La Vie Claire but i might have that wrong. Images of an earlier more innocent time flashed through my head, back when Eric and i knew that although he seemed like a nice-enough guy we could definitely kick Andy's ass if he'd only show up on a ride with us. Anyhow, i always liked the design and decided to try to make it mine. Instantly i was outbid.

Now that right there is always frustrating, you wonder, is it only a dollar more than what i bid? Maybe 2? I'd go 2 more, but not 3. Ok 3 but not 5, etc. Before you know it, you've got two dorks engaged in a high-stakes bidding war for some chupe's grubby stuff.

So anyway, i bit and took the lead back for only a buck more. Then i started thinking, dude this jersey is used, what if some freak with an overactive gland problem owned it before me, and it wreaks of his B.O. That is just straight out gross.

This haunted me throughout the 2nd disc of The Godfather Part II. Amy and i checked back and with only a few minutes to go i was still winning. ERRRR! We hit refresh like 100 times begging for somebody to outbid me and luckily... with only 8 seconds to go some poor sap couldn't hold back and outbid me.

PHEW, no more nostalgic web shopping for me, although i did find this sweet Gianni Bugno number.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Excursion, Expedition, Expletive

Yep, soccer moms with poor driving skills, that's what i have to complain about today. Not the few who wield their behemoths with all the skill of a crit racer trying to keep a watermelon at bay inside their skinsuit. No, no, i'm talking about the ones who think their bad-boy-gas-guzzler can accelerate like a crotch rocket and who stare you in the eye while they pull out right in front of you. My absolute fav is this one. You're doing 20 mph, they punch it at 50 to get around you, then slam on their brakes as they pass you to avoid rear-ending the car in front of them.

I'm the guy who has been complaining about Baton Rouge traffic, so i feel obliged to give equal airtime to when it isn't as bad. That's right, it's like city-wide carpooling policies began, or maybe all the Metairie-iens moved home, or maybe Mayor Kip's light rail kicked in. I don't know why, but suddenly the traffic just doesn't seem as horrible. Perhaps it's a numbing effect. I rode with Giselle Monday night and she thinks it's moved to later in the evening like 6:30 now. I can't say, the loss of daylight is forcing me home earlier and earlier.

Gotta agree with djw's commuting observations.

In other news, one of Amy's pieces got picked up by a poetry blog.

The Amy and Dave Pre-Ryan-Arrival Tour of Restaurants continued last night at Portabello's. Great food and we ran into Guy and MiMi which was cool to visit with them.

Some coworkers told me about facebook so i joined yesterday, pretty depressing, for 24 hours it told me You have no friends at LSU. Which is a fact i already knew, i don't need a free service to inform me of this. My profile is uncool and a work in process.

In the world of New Orleans bike shops, Randy writes that Mark of Bayou Bicycles is currently at Richardson Bike Mart and i got an e-mail today stating that Adams Bicycle World is open now at 701 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, LA. Good luck to all.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Paolo "The Cricket" Bettini smacked the field around like a bunch of red-headed step-children at the Championship of Zurich this weekend. The conditions looked gross and you know it's bad when only 49 pros finish.

Rode the old Serotta into work today as it is now in full "commuter" effect. Granted it's running 28's now, but i find it hard to believe i raced on this bike just 3 years ago. It feels like it's made out of lead, after carefully considering this, i've decided to award myself the victory in the 2001 Rouge-Roubaix because i know Stig Somme's bike didn't weigh that much.

Amy and i experienced a strange moment this past weekend, in a video store we saw a display for the Nightmare Before Christmas, amid all the crappy merchandising we saw a coffee cup that had "Jack and Sally" printed on the side of it. We never put together this movie was the inspiration for the opening lyric in Blink 182's I Miss You. Call me dense, but i never gave "We'll have Halloween on Christmas" a second thought, and to tell the truth, Amy figured the whole thing out, i just walked right by it.

Finally, this from Michael is pretty darned entertaining.

More Interbike Porn

Charles posted this noteworthy Slowtwitch link today on BR Tri with 150 photos from Interbike.

Just in case you don't have time to look at them all, here are my favorites, in no particular order...
crazy shaped tubing on guru
funky cold pursuit bike
Time TT bike and again
new cervelo carbon
Basso's Lid - available for public consumption?
the BMC taking carbon to ridiculous new places
super swoopy orbea

Friday, September 30, 2005

more on Bob

This morning's bike ride was sweet due to a break in the heat (FINALLY) and the great breakfast that i had with my Aunt Susie and Uncle Gaynor who live on the route.

Rapping about Dylan with Gaynor, who is also a Bob fan, has got me thinking about the two shows that i've seen him do and it turns out i got the chronology wrong. I saw him with Paul Simon in 1999 and then the Pueblo show came in 2001 on my sister's birthday, it's hell getting old. Here's some reports about the Lafayette show and the playlists from Lafayette and from Pueblo. Finding those playlists brings back some memories. Very cool, i need to add them to my iPod.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Interbike Toy #1 - the Pugsley

Check out this wicked ride. Surly's got these enormous tires acting like suspension so it's a hard tail with a rigid fork but a soft ride. With my maintenance background the fewer moving parts the better. And it can run a single-speed, even fewer.

Velvet Revolver Morning

This morning it was Pekoe, our 16 lb orange terror cat's turn to visit the Vet. I left the house around 7:30 and put in Velvet Revolver's Contraband. On the way down Highland i noticed the humongous line of cars queued up bumper to bumper for miles starting at Siegen. All the while, Pekoe was demonstrating his collection of odd cat sounds that he can make. His favorite was a pretty clear meow that began with the letter "j".

Right outside the Vets, I punched it to make a left turn in front of an oncoming car and the next thing i know Pekoe's Kitty Carrier is rolling from one side of my car to the other. The shock of his roll did a lot for his mood because he became quiet and uncharacteristically polite. Fat cat delivered, i shot back down Highland and cut across on Pecue to get over to Perkins which seemed to be moving ok that is until i hit Siegen.

I was the 2nd car in line and when the light turned green i unexpectedly became that guy. That guy who gets stuck in the middle of the intersection when the light turns red that everyone wants to kill, strange since i only moved about 4 car lengths for the cycle. From Siegen to Bluebonnet i never got out of 2nd gear, between there and Essen i got to 3rd twice. I pulled into the Center at 8:30, just in time for the last track to wrap on Contraband, helluva way to spend a morning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dylan Documentary

AAARGH! I missed all but the last 40 minutes or so of the two-part Scorsese directed Dylan documentary. Granted, 2 nights of Dylan may have been too much for most but a lot of what i saw was completely awesome. To see Dylan young and vibrant and coherent in interviews and onstage was a real treat. He looked like a kid belting out "It's alright Ma". Endless footage of interviews and ridiculous questions by journalists. Our favorite was "Do you consider yourself the leader of all singers?" which when it came out sounded a lot more like something from an Ali G bit.

My buddy Ken has seen Dylan like over 100 times. He and i were lucky enough to catch him in Pueblo at the Colorado State Fair a few years ago, (the night before the Pike's Peak Marathon but that's another story), and he told me about how when Dylan went electric the audiences would boo him until he'd finally play an acoustic set. You can clearly hear the boos in the footage included, but then the same crowd would go crazy, minutes later. Incredible.

Mos Eisley

Undoubtebly Baton Rouge is in post-Katrinarita flux, sure the traffic is out of control, yes restaurants are constantly overflowing, of course the grocery stores still run out of odd products at strange times. Most recently though i've noticed a real Mos Eisley spaceport feel to the old town. Interesting characters are popping out everywhere. Maybe they've always been there but i've never had to wait in line so long so i never noticed them. Perhaps hours spent trapped in the car are making us more sociable when we can finally interact.

Today i'm at B&N and this dude asks me something, we start talking, where are you from, i'm displaced from houma, what do you do, yadda yadda yadda. Next thing you know we're talking about technology, he wants to meet next week to talk about some companies that he owns that need some tech consulting type work. I'm praying to God this isn't frickin Amway.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

the weekend that was

Haven't posted in a few days, crazy weekend with Hurricane Rita coming in ... just in time for my Birthday! Rita's projected path came a little too close to Carencro for comfort so Tommy, Connie and baby Maria hung out with us for a few days which was a good time.

This morning i was watching a telecast from Cameron, LA and the reporter heard a sound from the ditch behind him, when he turned he found a dolphin stuck and alive in a flooded ditch. Pretty wild, they're going to try to rescue him today.

Boonen won the World Championship road race on Sunday, the race sounded pretty cool. It would have been sweet to see the final sprint turn out to be between Bettini and Vino but that wasn't in the cards. With Boonen in the WC stripes, there shouldn't be any "Curse of the Jersey" happening, not with the year that he's had.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Weekend happenings

It has been a very full few days...

Saturday i caught the Coffee Call ride on Kenilworth and rode all the way around to Gardere with Laurence Cohen from New Orleans, his buddy, Courtney, Tom and Brennan! (who i hadn't seen in ages and is now sporting a full Lion-King Cippo Hairdo). I'd read Laurence's reports on tri's and adventure racing for a long time but had never met him before so that was cool.

Saturday night my sister threw the baby shower to end all baby showers for us and we are so grateful. It was a really great time and we feel really lucky to have had such a get together. Amy and I are truly lucky. I'll get some photos up from this soon.

Sunday I started the ground work on my first attempt at a square foot garden. I know the website looks queer as all get-out but the idea is very cool and i think it will work for me, considering how much time i usually spend in the yard.

Sunday evening we hit the Festival Acadiens in Lafayette and saw Balfa Toujours and the Bluerunners play. This is a great time that we always enjoy and we got to hang with Maria, Tommy, Connie, Lana, Brian and Kristie. I'm pretty sure it will be our last event like that before Ryan's arrival.

On the drive home I thought i was having more allergy problems but i must have picked up some sort of sinus infection. By bedtime, breathing became a real challenge and i did my best insomniac impersonation all night. I gave up this morning, e-mailed in sick and went to see a doctor. A steroid shot in my butt and a prescription for a 5-day Z-pac later and i'm feeling better. Gotta credit the steroid for the multiple blog posts tonight. Suddenly i'm wide awake and can breath.

Tonight we hit a Breastfeeding class, let's just say i saw a lot of different breasts on screen. In fact, the last time i saw that many breasts... oh well nevermind. It was informative, the real fun however started when we left and the Camry decided to randomly arm it's security system that will disconnect the ignition. Many efforts to remedy this failed and finally my Pop had to come out and give us a ride home. GEEZ, oh well back to work tomorrow. You always have an extra feeling of security when that system kicks in because not only can you not start your car but neither could a potential thief. This is either poor or brilliant engineering. Later

New section

I added a new section to the right-hand side regarding recent reads. Drop me a line if you've read something great recently. I'm going to stack up a queue on the list too. It's interesting to organize your reads to try to add some balance to it.

Coyle's Book on Armstrong

I finished Coyle's book on Armstrong last week, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a Lance fan, a Tour de France fan or just someone with a mild interest in bicycling. Coyle does a great job of explaining the intricacies of road racing, team work, and the modern crusade to eradicate drugs from the sport. Interesting insight and background is provided on Lance of course but also Dr. Ferrari, Bruyneel, Ullrich, Vino, Mayo, Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.

Here's a great quote that prefaced Chapter 25
Road racing imitates life, the way it would be without the corruptive influence of civilization. When you see an enemy lying on the ground, what's your first reaction? To help him to his feet?
In road racing, you kick him to death.
-- Tim Krabbe, in his novel, The Rider

That is harsh and true.

Coyle cracked me up with this one:
Like boxing or horse-racing --- or the Catholic Church, for that matter --- the professional cycling calendar is organized around a random-seeming sequence of big and small events...


Friday, September 16, 2005

holy kryptonite

Commuting to work last week, i began to think about my kryptonite lock. Wondering if it was affected by the whole plastic pen hack that came up last year. Turns out it can be hacked and Kryptonite has a very easy to use exchange policy posted here. I registered for it, and a day later i got an e-mail which contained a pre-paid UPS airbill. I slapped that puppy on a box and voila, my new lock should be in next week. Very slick, thanks Kryptonite

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

new training race format

So tonight i got home about 5:30 and decided to spin out to the loop and catch the new training race format, three loops starting at the split. On the way out there, i started to wonder what the new finish line would be, since it's pretty hectic there at the split most times.

Anyhow, i caught the group just as they were finishing the first lap. We had a good time on the second lap, but after the prop sprint it seemed to turn into a points race with attacks coming fast and furious. I had some fun, but one lap was enough and it was getting late, so I headed back to Bluebonnet with Darren. I'm thinking the new race format will just have the sprint occur back in the loop, then we'll regroup after the initial left hand turn and spin to the next one. That is pretty vague, we can work all this out next season.

Wes Anderson flicks

The first time i saw Rushmore, i fell in love. I think it's a perfect smart comedy with incredible characters paired with clever shots and a steller cast all tied to a great soundtrack. I want to watch it often, it never gets old.

Next came The Royal Tenenbaums. Here you see the same collection of incredible characters, but i felt they were wasted in a storyline that didn't fully utilize them. I wanted them to stick around for another movie and do more. I hated the film and never wanted to see it again. Months later, against my better judgement, i watched it again, and started to like it. Anderson uses this device where obscure tunes by the Stones and other bands get played against slow-motion action shots. Ben Stiller's kids, Luke Wilson's breakdown as a professional tennis player. I felt like maybe the best parts of this film got left on the cutting room floor and we were seeing something that wasn't meant to be. But i started to like it.

Since then, i've completed the quadrumvirate by renting The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Bottle Rocket. Both of these feature fascinating characters that i feel are just wasted. I loved Willem Dafoe in Life Aquatic, but he's hardly used and there are more characters that just don't go anywhere. It's a unique movie, but i just didn't dig it. Bottle Rocket, his first, was just more of the same. Awesome characters, allusions to other themes that might make another great movie after the one you're currently watching. But the truth of the matter is you want to turn the one you're currently watching off and go do something else right now. What a pisser...

Anyway, i've been wanting to write about that for a while, maybe someone can give me some insight into these that i'm missing. Basically, my take
Rushmore = Godlike
the rest = flawed

Monday, September 12, 2005

weekend highlights

Had a busy weekend, Saturday Amy and i took a Baby Care Basics course, i'm not certified or anything, but i feel a lot better than i did before taking it. Saturday night, we had everybody over for my Mom's birthday celebration. I made manicotti stuffed with a nice concoction of ricotta, sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, spinach and onion. I think they turned out pretty well as most of it went.

Sunday was spent doing a lot of chores around the house. We found out the Guarisco's are moving into Spring Lake which is great news.

Today marked my 4th day in a row of commuting to work on the bike, and now i'm considering selling my Mazda. It hasn't been used since last Tuesday, and bike commuting is just turning out to be too great. More to come on that front.

Friday, September 09, 2005

coming straight out of austin...

This is hilarious and sadly not a joke. My favorite lines from this are...

a precision keyboard that says who you are.
my colleagues looked at me like I was a superhero!

my quote of course would be
I gained the same performance goals by NEVER LOOKING DOWN and i saved $70!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

bike commute

Last night's training race was fun because i hadn't been on one since before Katrina. I caught on at Gardere, rode the loop and stayed on until Ben Hur. At that point i circled back and headed home. Steve had warned me about the traffic but it was worse than i imagined. I found out later that Nicholson was shut down to all but emergency vehicles, so the overflow was on River Road and there was a lot of it. I also heard that local radio programs had callers dialing in to voice concern for the "poor cyclists riding out there". In Red Stick, concern like that is a huge step forward in the collective cycling consciousness.

Decided to ride the Guru into work today and it was great, only had a few interactions with angry drivers. The afternoon was better, i ran into Steve Z. while doing Kenilworth laps and we rode together for a while, until i ran into my Aunt Sue walking her dog, Bandit. I got home about seven and there was still bumper to bumper traffic in both lanes on Bluebonnet. But riding in the muck was a lot better then sitting in a car.

Today was the first day off in the Vuelta and my Fantasy Vuelta as well. Through 11 stages there have been several different leaders, but Taylor A. is in control for the moment with Denis Menchov leading her squad.

More news on Lance's comeback today also, was this more of Bruyneel's tactical wizardry? In related news, Amy gave me Coyle's book and it's been a very good read, cool inside look at the riders, the coaches and their personalities. later

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Lance Update


Saturday, September 03, 2005


Caught on with the group ride this morning with Steve, Norm, Kenny, Mike, Stan, Jan, Taylor and Courtney from NO. She's staying with her in-laws in Baton Rouge and is doing well under the circumstances.

Amy and i ran errands all day and we finally got a baby bed. The mattress that we purchased comes with a 35 year warranty, which begs the question ... no, i'm not going to use that joke again.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Euro Eye Candy

Ok, here is a much lighter Friday post. Velonews has a report from EUROBIKE.

I love my helmet, but this catlike looks very fly.

Here's a piece of carbon sexual chocolate.

I'm guessing this is a stiff bottom bracket.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

various ramblings

I'm keeping up to date on the New Orleans news via this wwl link I got from Randy.

Tom Guarisco wrote a great piece about New Orleans in the Daily Report yesterday entitled Missing New Orleans.

Baton Rouge is definitely entering into widespread panic mode.

Surface streets are constantly swollen with traffic, lines for gas are stacking up, that is, where gas is available. Today there are rumors of violence everywhere you look. In the past few hours i've heard:

Cars are being broken into downtown office parking lots
Carjackings are happening downtown
A hostage situation occured on Bluebonnet

To a degree, these are being refuted.

I stopped by Capitol during lunch and Darren had the place locked up. He let me and the mailman in, but there were rumors that OLOL had closed it's doors. I'm not sure if that is due to the volume they are experiencing or out of fear. Anyhow, i brought the shop a bunch of parts that i hope will become my commuter bike, since it looks like gas will be pretty scarce and $5 a gallon soon.
While i was there Mal from GNO stopped by. He told us he'd driven into Harahan last night, and what he described was straight out of a Mad Max movie. Any male over 21 was eligible to be deputized on the spot and issued a gun. Deputies were then stationed on top of fire engines which were everywhere. It is a total war zone.

Meanwhile, the ladies of Louisiana politics are just killing me. Our governor has her "older long-lost sister of Forrest Gump" impersonation down everytime she's on the national media. And this morning Senator Landrieu described proudly how hotels are now working together so that each and every evacuee will receive a "handi-wipe and a hamburger"? Not quite a "chicken in every pot" but then again she's no Huey P. Long.

Now, this just in from CNN, sniper fire on Charity Hospital???

Sunday, August 28, 2005

katrina is coming

Just finished picking up the flower pots, the bird feeders, the bbq pit, the St. Francis of Assisi statue, etc. from the back yard. We've got candles, flashlights, water, and most importantly dvd's and beer. This Katrina is looking like a real bitch.

This morning the weather was great though for the Rocketkidz triathlon. My nephew Alex competed in his first multisport event and did a great job. Hats off to Baton Rouge Tri who did a whole lot with a little space. This race is a marvel of organizational efficiency. Within the grounds of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center they host a 250 yard swim, a 7 mile bike and a 1.8 mile run. All this with three different age categories all on course, eventually at once. It was a great time and Alex had a lot of fun.

I took the day off on Friday to run some errands and Amy and I caught Red Eye in the afternoon. It was pretty good, not what i had hoped. For some reason i thought it was a supernatural thriller, instead it was just good old fashioned terrestrial high drama. Still, a pretty good movie.

Finally, the Vuelta is in effect, and the drama of the Fantasy Vuelta is already starting. I think the new draft is going to work out well.

Also, i just read this note about Ullrich's wheel at the Tour of Germany. What a drag for Jan, this guy can't catch a break.

Well, when i started writing this it was dry and hot, now the rain has started, better get used to it.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Last Call for Fantasy Vuelta

Tonight at midnight is the deadline for registering for the Fantasy Vuelta 2005.

Currently there are 9 teams in the running which means 90 riders will be drafted. Since only 68 are "ranked" this means 22 riders will be picked up randomly from the remainder of the field. I think this might be pretty interesting.

Natalie Alexander 1991 - 2005

Our cat Natalie is finally at peace. Just recently, I joked about her ferocious lip-smacking in the blog but her condition began to deteriorate rapidly at the end of last week. She began to have difficulties moving, and she was staring into space a lot. It was a very tough call to make, but yesterday our super vet, Dr. Tim Armstrong, came by the house in the morning and put her to sleep while we held her. We set aside a special place in the back yard and buried her there.

Without Natalie, the house is much quieter. She was a loud cat who constantly meowed and "barked" at us. We think that Pekoe and Riley are in a bit shock because they don't know what to do without their noisy sibling. We're definitely adjusting to the quiet, which I imagine will change dramatically in only 48 days(!). Thanks to my folks who took us out last night to the French Picadilly, that really helped, it was good to laugh a bunch .

More on Lance

I love these quotes on Velonews. Especially the one from Laurent Fignon:
I don't give a shit. 1999? This is ancient history. What does this prove and what does this solve? What interests me now is keeping the next generation of cyclists clean and drug-free.

I was reading this very cool article about Oregon and saw that Lance will be on Larry King tonight with Bob Costas.

I can just see it now, "Next caller, Bob from New England, he wants to testicles...does it help?". This is an SNL skit waiting to happen.

Here is an enterprising angle on the whole fiasco, a German sports columnist believes that Ullrich should sue Armstrong for the damages he did to the German's career.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Fantasy Vuelta 2005

Back by popular demand! (and less fanfare and hype)

The Fantasy Vuelta 2005

Check out the webpage, not much there on rules, this pretty much assumes you've played before. The field is limited to 19 teams, shouldn't be a problem there. But if you want to get in on some friendly competition for little or no prizes, then shoot me an e-mail with your teamname and/or a revised draft list. I think this will be fun, but ultimately you'll be the judge of that.

This just in...

L'Equipe still makes the world's best birdcage lining.

Monday, August 22, 2005

starhill death march

Anybody who knows me, knows that i am meticulous when it comes to bicycle maintenance. I'm a stickler, i can't stand for my bike to be dirty in the least. After each ride, i clean my chain, wipe down the frame and inspect all visible parts for wear.

Of course the above paragraph is pure crap. I rarely do any of those things. I never clean my bike. The dust comes off when i ride in the rain. My handlebar tape has gaps in the wrap. I lube the chain when it gets noisy or on race day.

A former teammate once rode my bike a short way and the stopping power of my brakes led him to conclude "Dude, you're not a bike racer, you're a stunt man". Ouch.

I've had numerous consults on this, but i can't seem to change. A clean bike is a beautiful bike it's true. But given the choice between riding or cleaning, i go with the former.

Now cut to Saturday's ride, Maybe 20 or more riders showed up at Starhill for what Tom touted as the "hottest day of the year". I haven't heard if this was accurate but it felt that way. I figured with so many riders it would be a semi-relaxed ride with lots of folks sharing the love. Not exactly, it seemed like we started shedding people pretty early on. Numerous times there was talk of "slowing down" but i never really saw it happen.

While the majority of riders opted for 40 or 60, for some reason, i decided to stick it out for the whole 85ish with 4 other sadistic types (Tom, Jerry, Trey and Stan). Somewhere in the rough stuff near Solitude, my rear tire exploded in two places. I had to swallow a lot of jawing about what crappy condition my tires were in, while everyone sweated buckets and watched my spare explode because duct tape failed to seal the deal. Luckily for me, Stan had two of these things in his kit. BUY SOME TODAY. I know i will, along with new tires. They held everything together for the final 15 miles.

I wouldn't exactly describe it as a fun ride, but Trey did tell me about this place which needs to be visited.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Mistaken Identity

Classic case of mistaken identity this week, Jeff of Gonzales, LA wrote a great letter featured in velonews but they gave the credit to a Jeff Robert Gonzales of Los Angeles, CA.

I agree with Jeff about Lance, and i don't know who Alydar is. Personally, i'm a bit of a Bobby Julich fan, even though he did push my wife into a rose bush when they played little league baseball together way back in the day back in Glenwood Springs, CO. This is all moot (moots?) though because who really reads velonews anyway?

THIS JUST IN: Jeff stirred up the pot pretty well, folks are chiming in right and left. My question, isn't that what "arguably" means? That it can be argued and is worth arguing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Fantasy Vuelta Prototype

Ok, here's my idea for the Fantasy Vuelta 2005.

The goal here is to ease administration (on me) and assist everybody to get a semi-balanced team.

I'll compile a list of riders ranking them in order of their points earned from last year's Vuelta. Then remove those riders not riding this year, and add in riders of note who didn't ride last year with my own personal ranking. This list will be your default "pick list".

Each team captain is free to modify their ranking list and submit it to me by say August 25th. On that day, the draft will occur. This means that each rider can only appear on one team. To help illustrate this better, here is a list of the top 20 point earners from last year.

1 Santiago Perez Fernandez 593
2 Roberto Heras Hernandez 547
3 Erik Zabel 478
4 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte 475
5 Alessandro Petacchi 455
6 Francisco Mancebo Perez 446
7 Stuart O´Grady 408
8 Oscar Freire Gomez 351
9 FĂ©lix Rafael Cardenas Ravalo 288
10 Eladio Jimenez Sanchez 278
11 Denis Menchov 209
12 Isidro Nozal Vega 204
13 David Zabriskie 193
14 Floyd Landis 193
15 Leonardo Piepoli 181
16 Carlos Sastre Candil 180
17 Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez 178
18 Victor Hugo Pena Grisales 170
19 Manuel Beltran Martinez 161
20 Javier Pascual Rodriguez 160

So you can see that the top point earners are scattered among sprinters, GC riders and climbers which makes it interesting. Anyhow, the draft would occur much like Yahoo Fantasy Football. Let's say there are only three teams, and these teams didn't make any modifications to their pick lists, the draft would go something like this. The pick order would be randomly determined. For our case, let's say the pick order is Team 1, Team 2, Team 3.

Team 1 Perez
Team 2 Heras
Team 3 Zabel
Team 3 Valverde
Team 2 Petacchi
Team 1 Mancebo
Team 1 O'Grady
Team 2 Freire
Team 3 Cardenas
Team 3 Jimenez
Team 2 Menchov
Team 1 Nozal

etc. until each team has 9 riders.
Then this is your set team for the whole Vuelta, no more picks.
Points accrue the same as they did last year.
What do you think?

Also this year, no entry fee and no prizes! maybe one will show up.

Let me know what you think of the format.
Here are the previous years
Fantasy Vuelta 2004
Fantasy Vuelta 2003

tuesday night cycling news

Last night i drove lead vehicle at the training race. Nothing gives you more perspective on the training race, then driving 400 yards in front of it at 24mph for 90 minutes. I'm telling you, it's a real joy to watch cars blow by the pack then you at 70, while you pray to God that they didn't misjudge the gap between you. Something about being anaerobic masks this fear to a degree when you're riding. I do have to say, what i could see of the A race was very well-behaved. Folks minded the centerline and kept things very safe. After the A race finished, I jetted, but i learned later that there was an accident at the finish of the B race where somebody broke their collarbone, hate to see that.

In much better cycling local cycling news, Gary McCrary who survived the most extensive injuries i've ever heard of in a cycling accident, was back on his bike last week. Here's a link.

fortune cookie reads...

Make sure you like your life insurance agent a lot. That's all i'm saying.

If you're going to spend hours with a guy, talking about ...
what will happen when you die or your wife dies.

or how things are pretty much taken care of if your wife dies, but if you die you need to have more term insurance.

or how if both you and your wife die at the same time, your unborn son will need to be taken care of.

You really need to like this guy, otherwise you could get even more depressed. Our agent is great, he's more than great, he's super-friendly and knowledgable and he looks out for us. But geez...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

weekend wrap-up

Constantino Zaballa won the Classica San Sebastian on Saturday. I really hoped that this would be covered by OLN but no dice. I think if it doesn't involve Lance, or a rerun of Survivor or a large bull stomping on a cowboy, OLN doesn't cover it.

This race is awesome with the climb of the Jaizkibel and now they've added another climb, the Alto de Gurutze, to spice things up toward the run back into town. I was happy that Saunier Duval won with Zaballa and not Horner who was active toward the end and finished 12th. For some reason, Horner has always bugged me the way that Virenque did.

cool tool

So djw sent me this very cool tool that integrates with Google Maps to determine the distance of a run / walk / bike ride / swim / boat trip / hover craft ride, etc. It gives you the bird's eye view and let's you measure distances even when there may not be roads listed on the map.

Have you ever run to your office and not known the mileage?

Or been on vacation, ridden sans bike computer and wondered how far you went?

I think it is super cool, but maybe just because i always manage to break cyclocomputers.

Friday, August 12, 2005

dead cat walking

So this is Natalie, my beloved cat of 14 years who was recently diagnosed with CRF. It's terminal, but you can help buy your cat some time by subcutaneously injecting fluid into him or her daily.

At first she didn't mind being injected, but recently she's grown a bit tired of that and in order to stick her you have to bribe her with a healthy serving of tuna, salmon or other available fish parts.

This alone isn't funny, but while she eats, she smacks her manky mouth, lips and tongue so loud you can hear it throughout the house, and i didn't think anybody would believe that, so here it is for your Friday afternoon listening pleasure. Don't get too grossed out...

fav shoes

Here's an interesting article on my new favorite shoes, the Nike Free. I don't run in them yet, i just think that they are cool and comfortable.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Liggett inspired report of Tuesday Night

On the roads of the training race, pain is not a stranger.
It comes often and to some more often than others.
And so it was on Tuesday night, a virtual symphony of pain,
led by the maestro himself Chris Alexander.

Last night's training race was fierce with what seemed like a surplus of evil cross and head winds. Chris, my "brother by another mother", is getting ready for a stage race in French Guyana and he demo'ed some of his fitness. It was fun going that fast but brutal, i feel sorry for those other teams. I heard in the last stretch before everyone chilled out we were doing 34ish. I believe it, i was pegged in the 50x11 which i hardly ever use.

I stopped with Norm, Tom and Steve to catch some water at the church and nobody else did. It's pretty bad when you elect a team time trial effort over riding in the pack, but it was easier and good practice.

Good luck to the Herrings heading down south.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

only two more episodes...

of the most depressing television show ever created, sure i'm addicted to it. I can't stand to miss an episode, like the way you can't help but look at a car accident when you pass it. but i swear the only thing that keeps thousands of viewers from committing suicide each week is that Da Ali G show comes on right after.