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???