Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Quality Viewing, White Elephant and Stuff

Doing a lot lately, but none of it is blogging. I'm about 2 months behind on updating Ryan's page, hopefully i can remedy this soon.

The Tivo really went through a dry spell for a while, scarcely getting anything worth watching but it broke out with a vengeance last week. Items of note include:

30 Rock is the funniest show on television. Granted, we've been missing the Office this season due to scheduling conflicts with Survivor, so as far as i know, it is the funniest. Last week was so damned funny, with Alec Baldwin evidently having a trist with Condy Rice.

Everest got interesting as two of the expedition's climbers went HAC (high altitude crazy) and continued climbing against Brice's orders. No one could turn them back, total morons. Little did i know that the show earned such high praise from MountEverest.Net.

SNL was hosted by Justin Timberlake. While i'm not a big fan of the modern day JT, i must say these made me laugh a whole bunch: Barry Gibb Talk Show, Dick in a Box, Target and finally Homelessville. Thanks for Youtube for being all OVER that episode, geez.

We also caught Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, directed by the King of Smug, George Clooney. This movie was tough to look away from, tough to believe, but very cool, i'm still thinking about it.

Yesterday was our office White Elephant, i think my gift earned the title for Most Traded. I tried in desperation to get it back, but alas ended up with a two prong key rack emblazoned with the word "BISTRO". I'm not sure what the !@#$% that was about. I do take a certain pride though in bringing a highly traded item. Last year, i brought a 4-pack of Guinness with a box of dominoes. It bounced around a lot.

My funniest all time contribution though was once when i brought a Cindy Crawford swimsuit calendar to Gaynor's White Elephant and nearly everyone stole it, because they knew they'd be able to pick again later, when someone else stole it. The highlight of the night was when my grandmother stole it. I wish i'd had a camera.

This interview with Sager did make me laugh a lot.

The HID is illin, but still under warranty. With such power comes evidently great frailty in the bulb structure. I hope to receive it back from NiteRider soon, i only used it maybe a half dozen times.

Get a load of the chocked full LAMBRA calendar for next year, that's a lot of racing.

And finally, under the O yeah, he's white and nerdy category, if anybody is still looking for a Christmas gift for me, check this out. Of course i'm joking.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

cricket vid et al

Haven't had time to blog much as of late, but here are the bullets...

The half-marathon photos came out, here's various photos of me, Charles looking smooth, and the lead pack we kept in sight led by Joe "The Legend" Lee.

Enjoyed a nice group ride Saturday after the Delta Racing IHOP meeting. The 1:00 ride out of Walgreens is becoming pretty popular, maybe 15-20 riders made it this week. It was very nice, double paceline 20-23 conversational pace. The number of words per conversation varied inversely to where you were in the range of 19-23, if you catch my drift.

19 = "What a beautiful day, don't you love cool weather?"
21 = "you been riding much?"
23 = "Tough wind"
and so on

Dr. Wolshon, Keith and I exchanged youtube cycling video finds.
The best of these is the Bettini footage from this year's Giro di Lombardia. This is the emotional win Bettini got a couple of weeks after learning of his brother's death in a car accident. His mad descending skills are incredible to watch as he curls around a guardrail, then takes it all the way to the wall. Check it out, very cool.

Keith was rapping about the 89 World's footage he found, which is awesome to watch. I remember reading about it back in college, but had never seen the video. Fignon, LeMond, Kelly, Konyshev, Bauer; they're all there mixing it up. Well Bauer exits quickly with a flat, but it's still fun to watch.

Yesterday i managed to get in a little under two hours on the bike, i would have gotten more but didn't get out the door as early as i wanted. I headed out to River Road about 6:15 or so, did about an hour of riding there before heading towards work. Saw Taylor A. on the way back in.

The sunrise was nice, and then, as if on queue in a fabricated Marty Stouffer PBS moment, a hawk landed on a fencepost very near the road and began chowing down on his morning breakfast mouse. Not a bad way to start the day.

I was supremely mellow until i turned onto the Interstate, err i mean Bluebonnet, where 55 seems to be the rule. Can't wait for the casino to come so these drivers will be more "lubricated" if you catch my drift.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

what the frick!

Lance's post-retirement gluttonous dining at the trough of pain continues.

Monday, December 04, 2006


It's in the books, not exactly the plan i had in mind, but the result was more than i expected.

I went to bed Friday night a little intimidated by the weather prediction which was in the mid to high 20's depending upon where you looked. When i woke up Saturday morning i was relieved to see that it was a toasty 35!

I probably ran about a mile to warm up and all was good. Charles had good advice, "Don't get on the front, those guys are going to go off too fast", so i didn't but i still went off fast. All i thought was "easy, take it easy" and mile 1 came in 6:52, for the next mile i thought "relax, coast, relax" and mile 2 was 6:50.

At this point, Joe Lee blew by me and i continued to try to chill, but the weather, the race, etc. kept me under 7 for mile three. Right about then Charles caught up to me and we started running side by side. Mile 4 must be long, i'm guessing it's long and 5 is short, just looking at my times.

From that point on, Charles and i ran together consistently knocking down miles and slowly bringing back a few runners from the lead group ahead of us.

In the last few miles, it seemed like we'd be way under 1:30 but it was not to be. Maybe the last tenth is long? 52 seconds seems pokey (52x10 = 520/60 = 8 min + mile?) It didn't matter, in the end, i got 9th overall and 4th in my age group, with 1:30.18 way more than i thought i'd do.

The weather was really perfect for the race, i didn't take a drink until mile 10, and i never touched my gu. I was jealous of Charles' drink belt, i know he got more out of his little bottles than i did from a paper cup.

Thanks go out to Jenni who made us scientifically pick this course apart over the last few months and to Charles who was great to run with.

Also thanks to my wife who is awesome! and it's a chocolate chip cookie too for God's sake.

Let's do the numbers:


Official results are here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Steph on Around Town TV Show

Here's the clip of Steph promoting the Stomp Out MS event on TV last weekend. I thought she did a great job, super smooth...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Weather for the Half

PERFECT! earlier today it predicted snow flurries.

If you're into Fantasy Football

Joseph Addai made Week 12 possible, you can imagine my frustration when Rivers threw to Ladanian who then threw the TD pass, THANKS I needed that.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

HID is a friend to ME

Tonight was my first ride home in the dark with the NiteRider Enduro HID headlight.
To describe it in one word ... UNBELIEVABLE.
The only other light i've ever used was a small Cateye that didn't do anything.
This thing lights up the road like you're a car.
Everything you look at gets lit up, the road, speed limit signs, street signs, cars, houses, anything.
A car passed me closely on the parkway, so i turned to look at them and completely illuminated the four passengers inside.
Instantly you are seen by every vehicle on the road. I had my blinkie red and white lights on the bike but i'm not sure that anyone can see them because of this enormous beacon on my helmet. I might give up riding in the day just to ride at night.
Yes, it's a pricey purchase, but it's worth it if you're going to ride at night. There's no question you are seen.

Speaking of seen, in our ongoing evolutionary fascination of reality shows, my new favs are Miami Ink and this Everest one. There's just something about permanently dyeing your skin or getting your toes cut off that just sets me up right for the next workday. You know what i mean?

Stomp Out MS with Marcia Ball

If you don't have plans for December 8th, you should check out the Marcia Ball concert, benefiting the Stomp Out MS Foundation. My sister Steph was diagnosed with MS, and she's worked hard to make this show a great night. The Reilly Theatre is a nice venue so there's no such thing as a bad seat. Marcia puts on a cool show, and your donation benefits MS research and support services locally. Check it out, i'll be there.

just stuff

Dr. Frusha sent me this bit of information which i knew instinctively, but it's always great when science confirms one of my favorite post-ride pasttimes.

Did Kramer get some bad drugs or something? What the hell was he going for with this? That was just ugly, and his apology sounds lame too. Dave tries to help him out his hole, but he dug it way too deep, not even Jerry could smooth things out.

This morning was cold, 39 degrees at the house, but i rode in wearing my new cycling jacket and it was awesome. I've never been so warm.

Inside of two weeks now for the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon. We're doing a much more active form of taper than i'm used to. My previous definition of tapering was to reduce mileage and intensity approaching an event. Jenny has us reducing mileage but she replaces it with intensity, she forwarded an article to us from Running Research News, which recommends shorter faster workouts in the two weeks approaching your race.

Saturday, we did 10 miles, which included 3 miles at race-pace, then a jog to Catholic High, then 2 miles on the track with 220 pick-ups on each lap, then a jog back to the 5K course, for one mile faster than race-pace. Yesterday was another track-like workout that i ended up doing on the road at lunch. I'm psyched to see how the race goes with this prep.

There was plenty of interesting conversation here about blue jeans. I know i'd never considered it before, but it explains a lot.

Monday, November 13, 2006

what swimming is like to me

Hello, my name is Nuni.
Oh, hi Noonie!
No, my name is Nuni.
No, Nuni.
No, Nuni.
No, that is my wife's name, i am Nuni.
No, Nuni.
lap after lap

Sunday, November 12, 2006

rectal hernia

This post was originally called The Power of Urban Legend, but i didn't think it would sell as well.

So i'm cooking supper tonight, actually just heating since The Supper Studio entered our lives, THANK GOD, and the phone rings. It's Caroline, and she's laughing hard,

"Dude, we were just watching Rocky III and Mr. T was doing these pull-ups and he sounded like he was having a hernia, and i told Roper that some dude did that once at a gym where i was, and he blew out his butt, and Roper said you told him that happened to you once in a track race because you pushed so hard."

Um, no. No, that never happened to me, if it had, i would have remembered it. If that had happened at a race i'd been at, i'd remember it. If it had ever happened to anyone that i'd ever heard of ever, i'd have remembered it. So if nothing else, we laughed our asses off (no pun intended).

Another classic bit of me in urban legend came to mind, this time with complete strangers. Antique cycling flashback begins here...

Back in 96, i returned to Jackson, MS to race the Tour LeFleur Crit. This was a year after attempting to knock down a traffic sign with my face and causing more than a little damage to myself. I was warming up on the course before my race and i stopped at a corner to adjust something on my bike and that's when i overheard two ladies talking.

Lady 1: "Girl, they are ridin them bikes some fast"
Lady 2: "You know last year, one of em hit a street sign and died!"
Lady 1: "That's a damned shame"

If it adds to the collective lore of the sport, then i'm honored, in the mean time it still makes me laugh hard.

Deer O'Lantern

In case you haven't heard, this deer was successfully tranquilized and the Jack O Lantern was removed from it's head earlier today. Researchers were surprised to find an Easter Egg stuck in it's left ear, Mardi Gras beads wedged in the animal's hooves and a small statuette of Santa Claus lodged in the deer's ass. All of these findings are lending great credence to the biologist's theory that if there is one thing deer hate more than humans, it's human holidays.

Ryan and Dad's Excellent Adventure

Saturday morning was meant to be a dress rehearsal for the Baton Rouge Beach Half Marathon. I woke up to a very chilly 60 degrees, i don't mean that 60 is chilly, i mean that it felt like 45, something about the humidity that morning was just plain cold seeming. Not one to slack, Ryan was up like a champ and after donning some cold weather duds, including one ski cap, fleece, layers, etc. was ready to go. I stuck him in the BOB and wrapped him up with a blanket and off we went.

Right after we started, i realized that the course isn't exactly jogging stroller friendly. It involves hopping more than a couple of traffic islands, crossing some major thoroughfares and the climb of the day, the Perkins Road overpass, which can be terrifying when you are just running by yourself. We took a bit of a shortcut on Nicholson, taking the LSU side to skip an island hop. Then ran with Scott all the way up to the tennis courts. Ryan fell asleep somewhere in this section even though we had a few malfunctions with the BOB's adjusting frontwheel. That took some looking into, and i finally returned it to it's fixed position.

The next section of the run was through the Garden District then back by my old stomping grounds on Parker Street. At the turn on to Perkins Road, Ryan and i kept on Eugene and doubled back to the Lakes. This adjustment ended up only adding a half mile to our course.

Ryan woke up with about a mile to go and started some singing. We hit the finish in 1:49.02 which included stopping to feed and the various bits of stroller malfunction, approximately 8:04 miles. I'm thinking race day, without the baby stroller, the addition of a full arm-swing, and in full-on race mode sub-1:40 will be no problem. My goal of 1:35 is doable, it's going to be fun.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

... and we have a winner

The best predictor of Lance's NYC time was none other than Eric, so eternal or temporary UCC fame is his.

Lance A. ticked off 2:59:36

Eric 2:58:11
Lance M. <2:55
Me 2:53:21
Jeff 2:47:07

Remarkably and much to Bob Barker's chagrin, no one overbid.
womp womp womp

The limited tv coverage looked great, the two Kenyans hunting down the Brazilian but it was not to be for them. I thought Lance looked good solid through to the end, considering they asked him about returning right after crossing the line, i would think he enjoyed himself.

"Now's not the time to ask that question. The answer now is no, I'll never be back. But I reserve the right to change my mind".

My favorite image was the guy who finished right before Lance, he hoisted his arms like he'd won the thing. Either it was his life's accomplishment to beat Lance in a race or break 3 hours, or maybe do both.

and so it is

The paperwork is done, money has changed hands and somewhere in California, my name has been written down next to a number.

After much debate over the I word. I've signed up for the "Half I" that is Vineman. I'm not at liberty to discuss the other participants signed up for the suffer-fest, as their respective press agents may have elaborate plans for each of them. But do know this, i will win Vineman*. If you don't have any plans for the end of next July, consider it.

* Winning is defined as exiting the water under my own power.

Monday, October 30, 2006

For your viewing pleasure

With this you can do this.

Powerpoint in the final briefing, i have a tough time getting tired of it.

If the sound on this one doesn't sync up perfectly, hit reload.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Pablo Picasso never ran a Yasso

Yasso 800's, there seem to be as many believers as doubters in this particular workout.

We did our second night of these last night on the Fat Boy 5K course which was fun. These are modified Yasso's for the half marathon, so we only do 6. You take your desired half marathon time, double it, and that is the pace that you should run your half mile in. In our case, 1:35 x 2 = 3:10 and there's your target. Of course the company you keep has a profound impact on how these turn out. Last night with Tim, Charles and Scott as my compadres, the pace was swifter than planned.

no 1 - 3:06 rest - 3:02
no 2 - 3:00 rest - 2:59
no 3 - 2:59 rest - 2:51
no 4 - 3:04 rest - 2:57
no 5 - 2:59 rest - 2:59
no 6 - 2:59 cooldown - 15

Don't ask me why our recovery was so whacky, i guess we were chomping at the bit. Three miles gets done in 18:07 with 14:48 of rest in between. I agree that it is a cool workout, only made cooler with a large group of people coming in and departing at separate times.

I think the notion that some sort of mathematical constant exists between your 800 time and your marathon time is intriguing, sort of like America's preoccupation with medical dramas. But I disagree whole-heartedly with the notion that i could ever approach a 3:00 marathon, or a 3:15 or a 3:30 for that matter, so that part doesn't jive with me, but hey, maybe i'm wrong. Maybe if i started sleeping in a hypoxic tent, running 70 a week, yada yada yada...

Congrats to Lance Bo Bance who smoked the Chicago Marathon, while he didn't qualify for Boston, he can take solace in the fact that at least he didn't finish like race winner Robert Cheruiyot. That just looks horrible, but he was released today.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Good things come to those who wait...

For anyone out there who ever thought of getting an SRM or Powertap but thought both options sucked, the Microtech Revolution might be the answer, only $499! what a bargain

Thursday, October 12, 2006

the run that was

I know running isn't as exciting to read about, but when headlights are showing up on cars at 5:30 in the evening, it's obviously that time of year.

Tonight we enjoyed another light workout in our easy/recovery week. It was a 2 mile out, 2 mile back course around the lake BUT no watches were allowed. Instead, Jenni recorded everyone's best predictions and the runner to come closest to their pace would win a new pair of shoes. Ryan and i huddled up, considered the various sidewalk and bikepath crossings and came up with 32 flat.

The run went well with very few slowdowns and no dropped toys, so we ended up at 30:18, not good. Amy came in within 35 seconds of her prediction which i thought was very good, but not good enough. The winner came in 1 second under her predicted time, i was impressed.

an open letter to esquire magazine

Dear Sirs,
Once again i am confused by your Sexiest Woman Alive feature. In each of the six issues leading up to the November issue revelation, i witnessed an unattractive and unsexy mystery woman in unflattering poses featured in the same magazine as more attractive but less heralded women. Now i am supposed to believe that the newly revealed Scarlett Johansson is the Sexiest Woman Alive (page 136) when a much sexier woman, Emmanuelle Chriqui, is clearly shown on page 149.

This fact would be hard enough to swallow on it's own, but what has caused me the greatest consternation is the uncanny resemblance of Ms. Johansson's centerfold pullout to 70's pin-up star Leif Garrett. Google (image) it and you will be afraid, very afraid as am i.

Please tell me now, has your editorial staff been taken over by late 30-something women caught up in a hazy Tiger Beat induced coma? Keep up the great writing and leave the gimmicks to Maxim.

David A.
Baton Rouge, LA

Oh sweet interbike porn

there's just too much to look at, but my favorites

an affordable Colnago?
dimple-hubbed madness
the new P3 paint job
and what i hope will be my new tt bike

Lance at the NYC Marathon

Any takers?
Only 23 days to go and he claims to have not yet run more than 13 miles.
I've got him down for 2:53:21.08, anyone else?
Eternal UCC Glory to the guy who picks the closest.
I think it would be cool if he attacked the Kenyans and ran the first 4 or 5 miles faster than them, but that's probably not possible. It would just be funny to hear the announcers going, that is if they still televised it.

Monday, October 09, 2006

if a bear poops in the woods, does it still stink?

So maybe Opera's simAquarium isn't for everybody, but this is great.

I wielded a $100 lightsaber this weekend at the Halloween Superstore. I mean sure it's cool that it has both power up and power down sounds but $100? I know i'm White and Nerdy but who would buy this? Thanks Taylor, now i can't stop singing that. It took 3 or 4 viewings to make out the PacMan in red lights behind Weird Al.

On the running scene, we did 9 miles Saturday morning with 4 one mile pickups sprinkled throughout for effect. Tonight the plan is 5 easy, but we're also meeting Sam Thompson who's going to talk about his accomplishment, i don't know if he's running with us or not. Wednesday, Dean Karnazes will be passing through town doing his thing and you can run with him if you like for only $100, i'm thinking maybe the lightsaber might be a better deal. Isn't running 26.2 enough? geez

Saturday night we put on a track race and ... 7 people showed up. That took me back, back to the old days. Way back, when i used to race track. I remember once Norm and i did an entire night of racing against Lorenzo. Ever done a 3 person points race? Drama, pure and simple drama.

Well, Saturday night didn't suck, what we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality as Team Chad Harris and Jaro came in from New Orleans, and Butch made the drive from Natchez. Representing Baton Rouge was Tre, the only real track racer in the city, and probably a dozen skateboard punks who just wanted us to get off the track so they could get all Tony Hawk and stuff. I'll have the results up on the Delta site tonight.

Just when you think 80's trivia is occupying your brain for nothing, last night Amy bet me that Steve Perry didn't sing Oh Sherry solo. She thought that he had formed another band after Journey by the name of Extreme (you know More than Words) and they sang it. Talk about bonus, she now owes me a P3 Carbon. How sweet is that!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

got Opera?

If you browse with Opera, i highly recommend the simAquarium. It's an addictive addition to your desktop. You accrue a dollar per minute, plus your fish breed and can be sold for more cash. I left it open Tuesday night and when i returned the next morning, i had this school of 48 pirahna to greet me.

Dolphins and discus are nice looking, but don't reproduce.

Of course, this one is nice too.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

weekend that was

good times, good times

saturday morning's marathon training run was a 10 miler, two miles chillin, two miles at race-pace, one mile chillin, one mile race-pace then 2x1/2 milers scattered over the way home. All the activity, plus running in a group made it go by fast and we got back to the cars in 1:16 which i was pleased with.

Ryan and i spent some quality time at Gymboree which was cool, imagine 2000 square feet of stuff that can't hurt your child, padding, foam, etc all led by your tour guide, perhaps the most well-versed person i've ever met in nursery rhymes.

In what's becoming a habit for us, we hit Our Daily Bread for the lunch special in this case .... Baked Tempeh ... mmmmm.

Sunday we caught Diamond's Du Bayou Du out at Hooper Road, very envious of all the suffering that was going on there. The number of curse words heard while the racers came by attested to the difficulty of the course. Caroline wins with "I'd rather have gum surgery than do this again", well-played.

I put the flyer out for next weekend's track race. The theme being mass start, mass start, mass start.

I noticed that Dash Rip Rock will be playing the Live After Five series on the 13th which should be a blast, i haven't seen them in ages and i was surprised, although i shouldn't be, to see that they actually have a wikipedia entry. Not sure how that particular crowd is going to react to Let's Go Smoke Some Pot or P-Whipped, should be interesting to say the least.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

i am unfrozen caveman runner

Definitely not forever, but for the past week it's been the case. Running workouts become fun when you can't grip a handlebar due to roadrash stigmata. It's not like i'm some kind of weenie but whenever anything comes close to the palm of my hand i break into a bout of turret's syndrome that Chris Jackson would be proud of.

Lots and lots going on, i turned 3 dozen yesterday.

The night before, BeBe had a heart attack and fell in her room. She's doing better now, but she's obviously still very sore. Jose is her doctor in the hospital, which is both awesome and bizarre at the same time. It never fails to trip me out that the Hoch is an M.D. We're walking around OLOL yesterday and i'm all "JOSE!" and everyone else is all "Dr. Mendoza". Enough of that.

Runs. Stuff i never thought i'd do. Saturday was an 8 miler with a mile casual then a 2 mile pickup, then a mile casual. Turn around, do it again. Last night was the ladder down Lakeshore to the lake, slam a mile, jog back, slam a half, jog back, slam a quarter, jog back, each time up the hill. It's a character builder to say the least.

In the wacky world of sports, get a load of these beauties, whoops i mean these beauties. I love the P3 Carbons, they're just so sweet looking with the rearwheel cutout and all. I hope the aerobar mounted brake thing stays in the pro ranks if you catch my drift.

Hats off to Fabian and the Cricket who will now be the rainbow touting cricket. Sounds like Spain's tactic didn't quite work.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

ttt crap sandwich

How prophetic was my prediction from last week?

Should be fun and painful.

It was fun, then it was extremely painful.
For some reason, i decided not to wear gloves Saturday morning, this would come back to haunt me. We started well, and because everyone is on the course at once, began to pass teams almost immediately.

The first lap flew by in 23 minutes something. Everybody was looking strong and taking at least one minute pulls, Norm took over twice that long once in the tailwind. We were really flying and the second lap seemed to go easier. Brian appeared to be getting stronger. We passed some more teams which had follow vehicles and that made passing interesting, then a rebellious bunch of tri people swerved into the left lane and made us pass them on the right, more thrills, but the best was yet to come.

With about a mile or so to go in the second lap, we came upon our Cat 4 team. The way that we came up on them, it felt like we were probably going 4 or 5 mph faster than them in the headwind. I couldn't tell our speed there because my trusty cyclocomputer (!@#$%!@#$%!@) went out in the first lap. They were middle of the lane, Norm was on the front and we passed them near the centerline. We let them know we were passing, they heard us. I'm not sure what happened next, stories vary, the major theme being that the Cat 4 team rotated as we passed them and evidently our guys slowed down. I know this last part to be true because i was third wheel and i ran up the back of Brandon, who was second, pronto and before i could do much i was down. While sliding i started wondering if Brian would be able to avoid me but soon he was sliding past me. Race over.

Once i made sure i hadn't broken my collar bone i looked at my bike and it wasn't good. In an effort to stay up, my handle bars had slipped straight down and then been driven into the side of the top tube putting a nice size dent in two places. So Erik Espade is now going to be a wall decoration in my garage. Luckily i didn't hit my head, so the tt helmet survived.

The damage to me was skin loss, the best being a hunk of flesh removed from my knee with a little flap left to cover it, looking like some sort of pathetic epidermis comb-over. Then in no specific order elbow, shoulder, hip, tricep, shin and best for last, the palms of my hands. Thanks to Gloria for cleaning me up after.

I was bummed out, because for once our team was actually very evenly matched and i know we would have had a good time. Brandon said we had "27 high" for an average at that point. Norm was the wisest, "Hey remember the most important thing here, you didn't crash me!"

The crash didn't seem to affect Brian too much who won the Cat 4 road race on Sunday. Since then i've been walking around like Edward frickin Scissorhands unable to grasp most things. NICE.

Oh yeah, and never ever use this liquid bandage crap. Amy put some on my hands and i haven't had a burn that bad since using a stiptic pencil as a teenager. Later i read the instructions and wasn't suprised to see BOTTLED IN MORDOR hidden tactfully on the bottom of the box. DON'T DO IT!

Friday, September 15, 2006

blog blog blog blog blog blog

too much to write about

as if this weren't enough, clearly this is the sign that the end of days is among us for they are surely the front-runners of the four riders of the apocalypse

Get Fuzzy's take on Floyd

i haven't paid so little attention to a stage race in years, but the Vuelta has definitely been hot over the past few days with the Kazakh's rolling and Tommy D. coming correct

Our runs lately with Jenny have been tough, last Saturday was a 6 mile run containing 3 pick up miles within it. I chose the wrong (or maybe the right) partners in Robbie and Sam and they drug me around faster than i've been in a while. We did the first pick up with an uphill finish around 6:55, jogged for maybe 200 meters and hit the second one at 6:35 which hurt. I licked my wounds and got the last one done around 6:50 or so while my partners went 6:30. It hurt.

Sunday, i rode with Brian, Darren, Kristen and Keith down to Bayou Paul road which i'd never been on before. It is super nice, best pavement in town without a doubt, until you reach the gravel section which eventually connects you back to Bluff.

Monday's run was sadistic, 440, 220, 110 repeats on Hillsdale. The last 150 or so are uphill so they seem to just get harder. For an added challenge i pushed the boy, he liked it.

Our ttt squad is set for tomorrow with Norm, Brandon and Brian so it should be fun and painful. I took Erik Espade out last night with the race wheels just to make sure all was well, i rode in the group for a while then picked it up around the ferry. Darren, Steve and Yoni came with, but Darren was just flying. I started it by pulling around 32 or so in the tailwind, but Darren finished it, geez he is flying. I'm glad i'm not on his team!

Packed up the bike while talking to Steve and who should magically appear but the Aussie! Yep, Troy is in town, i guess we'll see him Saturday morning for a little while at least.

Friday, September 08, 2006

speaking of glitter gleam gloss floss

i hit the ground running like Santana Moss

ok that doesn't roll off the tongue quite the same as Randy,
but he was as good as i could do in our Fantasy Football draft.

i don't really watch the nfl, but i get really addicted to fantasy football. As far as i can tell, my squad The Usual Suspects did pretty well in the draft and on paper appear to be the highest point team based on pre-season numbers, we'll see.

I got Plaxico which is one of my favorite names, as well as Leveranues. With my last pick i did get the Southern University Jaguars Defense, which i'm not too sure about, but who knows.

With no Fantasy Vuelta (sniff, sniff) this is the only game in town.

last night

Caught my first training race in a few weeks. Endless thunder storms, eye maladies, and then the Utah trip all have kept me from the pancake lasso-shaped slice of pain that we do over and over and over again. It was fun, with a light turnout we compressed the A and B groups to make one AB group. Got some more great feedback on the pimped-out Polar from Dr. Brian W W (* more on that later). There was a bit of sir sketchiness going on, enough to make Tom keep the pace high. Then we picked up Darren and Steve and it got very fast at this point.

That's really as good as i can do b/c i was sans-cycling computer, with no tv to watch, i had to use my advanced jedi-hearing to determine our speed, so it was somewhere between 24 and 48 mph +-20 mph. Anyway, after yacking all over myself i had a good time, in the end a few turned off at Gardere, effectively gapping the group and that left Yoni and me in the a small group off the front. Tim D. and i kept the pace high, setting up Yoni with a Fassa B caliber leadout, well maybe not that good but he did win.

* W W comes from the Vuelta riders who have the same name in their names twice, like David Alexander de la Randy Moss Alexander. I think Budweiser could do a Real Men of Genius on that.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Parrish Place B and B

Some shots from our beloved B&B from last week. Corinne and Jeff were great hosts and we're really missing those baskets on the doorstep, let me tell ya.

frickin cool

Check out these mormon aerobic studs i caught on the tube in SLC. That is one helluva ponytail.

Magical Inscriptions

Some see the Virgin Mary in a nacho chip, others Jimi Hendrix on a hamburger, in my office it's crazy stuff coming out of T-Ham's mouth.

Friday, August 25, 2006


I know sometimes i bash BR a bit, but after reading this i thought the town deserved a tourniquet, yow!

In other news, Amy, Ryan and I have joined the Varsity Sports marathon training program. Jenny guarantees in three months you'll run your first or just a faster half-marathon. In order to celebrate our embrace of a more formal running training plan, the three of us joined Caroline and ran a willy nilly seven miler Saturday morning. We paid for the rest of the day with the funny walking thing. Tonight we ran over to Kleinert and ran 8x220 in front of BBT's old pad. Definitely the most fun i've ever had doing running speed work.

Amy and i are both getting deeper into the world of tri. It's fitting into our schedules better and it's optimizing the smaller chunks of training time that we're able to eke out lately. That being said i limped through a swim workout today at lunch. I don't think there's a worse swimmer in the world than me. I'm in desperate need of some coaching or maybe just a shrink. Tomorrow was looking pretty exciting as two docs and myself were planning to swim the PBRC lake at lunch but our plan to have a boat to escort us fell through, so i guess it's thrash time in the pool again.

Mucho thanks to JJR who gave me some great advice on this gadget, i think i may go this way which is virtually the same, just minus the altitude. I was heavily swayed by the new Garmin which looks super cool, but i think the Polar will be a better fit for me. No purchase yet, still weighing my options.

Next post will probably be from the Beehive State, we're heading to Utah on Wednesday. PEACE OUT

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Amy's Tri Debut

Saturday was Amy's debut in a swim/bike/run tri and she kicked butt, finishing third in her age group. Ryan and i were there for moral support and to take these photos. The start was staged with swimmers entering the pool 10 seconds apart which kept the mayhem to a minimum. The bike leg was a loop with a small hill in it, and then the final run ended up at the Cajun Dome. It was a really good time, fun hanging out after, and great to see Amy race so well.

Oh yeah and i almost forgot the best part, Dwyer's Sweet Potato Pancakes on the way home. Very nice.

Kimmage Interview

I thought this was worth reading for some interesting insight.

coming soon to a blogger blog near you

These new features sound pretty sweet, i think i'll wait to give my site the facelift that i've been putting off for months.

Monday, August 21, 2006

District Timetrial Report brought to you by MASTER CARD

Earplugs ... 20 cents

Disposable Razor ... 50 cents

Aero booties ... 16 bucks

Crappy Cateye Computer, guaranteed to stop working 5Ks after the turn around ... 30 bucks

Dorky bullet shaped timetrial helmet ... 150 bucks

Vintage Specialized Trispoke from the Team Motorola Garage Sale ... 250 bucks

Renn Forrest Renn Disc Wheel ... 400 bucks

Euskaltel Flavored Erik Espade Orbea TT Bike ... 1,500 bucks

Coming in over two minutes past your goal even though you had all this aero shit ... PRICELESS

Friday, August 18, 2006

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

my 250th post!

like the cobbler's kids who have no shoes
my household bears the brunt of being owned by an IT professional
alas our internet has been down for days and days now
i replaced my cable modem, and things were good
then record-breaking lightening storms hit the area and just like that, the modem died
lucky for me, comp-usa comp'd us a replacement and we should be back in business tonight
haven't blogged in a while, so much to cover
apparently the ugliest kit in pro cycling will be no more, who can blame them after their last two leaders eh?

Austin has a crit course for cyclists, how does Baton Rouge answer?
The Mall of Louisiana.

That is until yesterday. Jealous of Randy's morning rides in NOLA, i started my own, riding various established rides in BR as well as the loop around the mall, which i'd heard about from various tripeople. It is a nice place to ride, it might be one of the nicer places to ride in the city, which is both ironic and sad.

But anyway, there i was rolling my 2.3 km loop when i decided to switch it up and hone my crit skills by blasting up the Col du Sears, then nailing the descent into the off-camber 180 lining up for the Col du Foleys. Things were good, very good as the various islands and flower beds around the mall were creating infinite crit possibilities. I even began to visualize AM training crits, perhaps one day a race, and that's when a couple of Baton Rouge's finest Mall Security guys pulled me over. Basically, cyclists are welcome to use the "outer ring" but not the parking areas...grrrr.

Down but not out, i proceeded towards work. As i negotiated traffic and pulled into the turning lane on Perkins, i saw a window open ahead of me and heard "Hey Unfrozen Caveman!" Who could it be but Ed "The Nemesis" Hardin heading home from an am workout of his own. We chatted very briefly then as i exited Walden, i ran into Uncle Gaynor and his trusty companion Bandit the wonder dog. I've never seen a dog as laid back as Bandit, he must have Californian or Hawaiian roots. He has no interest in other dogs, he is in his own space and he's happy with it.

Gotta run.

Friday, August 11, 2006

friday lunch blog

Now my dad's getting in on the Landis bashing, i got this from him today:

Landis Excuse #88
The reason he tested for steroids was because on the second to last day he French kissed Barry Bonds.

Not a pretty image, but hey doping is ugly. On that topic, i gotta get a pair of these.

My eye doctor appointment last week has evolved into multiple trips back, filled with lots of phrases you don't want to hear from your doc such as:

"I don't want to touch you, you're infected!"
"It's strange to see so many punctate ulcerations"
and let's not forget
"I want you to see our corneal specialist, because this isn't your average run-of-the-mill single punctate ulceration"
then finally
"you mean on top of all of this you've developed iritis too! You are a special case!"

What does all of this mean? It means i've put more drops in my eyes over the past week then i've done in my entire life. I'm off contacts perhaps for good, and i have a sensitivity to light that makes me sympathize with vampires. This last one has me walking around town with the drop-in style glare blocker pseudo-sunglass thing that sort of screams School Bus Driver or Granny or Ray Charles.

I did manage to put in about an 11 mile timetrial last Saturday, followed by a 60 miler or so on Sunday up in the Felicianas. But since then due to the whole eye thing, i've been hitting early morning spin classes at the Y. Everyone is good natured and trying their best, but these just suck. Some of the top phrases over heard this morning include:

"Okay the climbing is over, let's slow back down to race-pace"
"This is not recovery people, you should just be at race-pace!"
"Get back into that raceline! go! go! go!"
"Next up sprints, the first one will be 4 minutes, go! go! go!"

And somebody's not being truthful because we did about a 5 minute climb this morning to an extended dance mix of Frankie goes to Hollywood's Relax and about half-way through when our instructor said "Give it a full turn" i could hardly turn the dial at all. The resistance was so high that i immediately pulled out of the spd pedal and yet we continued to add "one more turn" every minute for 3 or 4 more minutes. All the while the 100 pound woman next to me is spinning at about 120 or so. Well at least i got a "ride" in.

Off to the rodeo tonight with my nephew! Maybe i'll become a fan and it will explain the strange love affair that OLN/VS has with cycling and bull riding.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Friday, August 04, 2006

new heroes

I love juggling. I've probably been juggling for about 20 years and up to this point i've always worked with 3 balls, but a few years ago on a cruise i was able to attend a brief clinic taught by Pete Matthews where he showed the basics of how to 3-ball juggle and for the more experienced jugglers, 4-ball and even a bit of 5-ball. Well i've struggled with 4-ball ever since, but i stumbled upon this video a few weeks ago. Check out the ease that this kid juggles with, and that was back in 1997. The stuff he does now is unbelievable, turns out he and his sister are professional juggling studs (obviously) and their videos are incredible. Don't you love youtube?

Anyhow, i got some clubs on ebay yesterday, we'll see how that goes.

Eric needs a blog again

Eric emailed me this little gem, and i thought it was in need of reprint, so with permission...

Alright, I gotta get this off my chest. I know doping bugs the crap outta you, I can relate, so you may just as well should delete this right now. Chances are high I won't say anything that's new or relevant anyway. This is to help me vent.

Now that I've given you fair warning....

We, the cycling fans, are stupid. For years we have heard DOPING DOPING DOPING. BLAH BLAH BLAH. We generally bought the party line that if a rider didn't' test positive he/she was clean. "Freaks of nature" or "Naturally gifted athletes" are the terms we called them.

Man did we have our heads in the sand. They all dope. Anabolic steroids are easy to catch but synthetic HGH, Testosterone and the like are close to impossible. All we can do is monitor the blood for "signs" of doping... like too many red blood cells and a rider isn't using EPO he's just unfit to race. It's just all about levels in the blood.

How did we come up with these "approved" blood levels anyway? Who negotiated these terms? "Look fellas, we still want you to be able to ride faster than the wind so you can use a little just not a lot. Okay?" "Deal."

The fact that each team has a bevy of doctors should be a sign something is up. Why would each team needs blood work done on a daily/weekly basis? Oh, because cycling is a gruel ling sport. Yeah, that's it.

Is it cheating to take something right up to the line? "They say I can only have 4 to 1 ratio of testosterone... Ok doc give me a 3.9999999999999999999 to 1 batch please." Then it's shame on you for going over. But an athlete can never say "Yeah, I took a shot, a pill, and a patch. My doctor just screwed up on the dose." We want them to be like us only better.

Who should we blame? The riders? The Cycling governing body? Fans? Sponsors? Hell, I don't know. I'm just pissed off.

and this was pretty great too,

Thanks EZ-E

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Tuesday Night's Alright

First off, Congratulations to Taylor and Chris who were married last Saturday. We had a super nice ride that morning to send them off, i was able to catch up with Norman, Kenny and Jairo none of whom had i seen in a while. Joining us for my last lap was none other than Bob "the legend" Abbott, always a treat. And also good to hang with Nixon, the first time i'd ridden with him in months, at least Pre-Cheaha.

Last night's training race was a blast, i decided to follow the lead of many other riders and break out the timetrial bike. My beloved Orbea, which i've decided to nickname Erik Espada, more in homage to Indurain's bike and my favorite California Highway Patrolman than to the Obsequious Psychophant, but hell, he's in there too. Anyway, Seabass was on his Colnago TT rig and Norm was on board this brand spankin new Bianchi curvy beauty.

I was anxious to try out my new position, i talked with Darren a bunch and decided to raise my handlebar by nearly 5cm and bring it back a bit. My previous position had been a bit extreme and this one, while still very aero, is more comfortable and less Chris Boardman-esque.

Anyway, we kept the pace pretty high all the way out, then Seabass and Ben got away at the prop sprint. I bridged up to them with Tre and the four of us started rolling, opening up a big gap. Eventually Ben dropped off and it was just the three of us in full blown TTT mode. The gap got even bigger and we kept it all the way back to the finish.

Not long after us, Smackey rolled in alone then Patrick and Warren. Patrick was mad that Smackey had punched tickets for the last miles then sprinted for 4th and called him a Zorro. We all laughed so hard, it was hilarious, not sure what it means, but it was damned funny.

Speaking of slang, i'm proud to announce that two of my own personal favorites, toolshed and chupe, are now published at psuedodictionary. I didn't create them, that honor belongs to Patrick A. and Chris K. i just like to say them. Look them up, they're there and it's a pretty cool site.


Sunday, July 30, 2006


Right now, i don't have the energy to comment properly about this piece, so i'll leave you with my favorite quotes...

"If i didn't have my roosters, i don't know what i would do with the rest of my life."

"This is what i live for every day. ... This is what keeps me going. I'm serious."

"If i get to heaven, i sure hope cockfighting is there, because this is what i like."

Anybody who thinks cyclists are strange, needs to read this article.

"Backers of the pasttime contend that roosters are born to fight."

Well for God's sake then, let's tie knives to them!!!

I love it, how many sports failed with the same formula?
Bulls with swords tied to their horns?
Dogs with machine guns on their tails?
Maybe Betta fighting fish with frickin lasers?

Another reason to be proud of our state, commentary off.

Friday, July 28, 2006

must see tivo

The tivo turned up a nice surprise this week called Tabloid Wars on Bravo. Very cool show, an insider look at life at the New York Daily News and it's ongoing competition with the Post. We're hooked, what's cool to see is that reporters report, that's it. They don't write, they report back to their editors and some of them don't even write, i guess they keep writers on staff as well. Reporters read their stories for the first time when they come out. The pace is frenetic to say the least as they seem to work all day and into the night to meet their 10:30 pm deadlines. It's addictive stuff, working for a daily, making news out of maybe what isn't news, just notable. But like the editor said last night, everything is news.

On a similar local note, i talked to an unnamed insider on this story who said that really wasn't the story at all. Basically a granny with a gun had enough with her family and wanted them out, when the police showed up, she was happy to see them and offered them coffee. Pretty funny.

We also caught OLN's coverage of the Captech Classic. This course was a bitch, a crit with a climb in it that was so steep they had a feed zone. Very technical suffer-fest, anyhow the story of the race was 2nd place Sergey Lagutin who evidently missed the start and had to catch the pack from about a minute back. He did that, then went with the winning break. Unbelievable or doping? Tough to tell these days.

In other tivo news, we are completely 100% addicted to Denis Leary's Rescue Me. Thanks Don! I wouldn't be surprised if we rent season 1 soon to catch up.

Last plug, Dave Chappelle's Lost Season, this is too funny.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Post-tour stuff

So the Tour is over and TV and the web just aren't the same, even without the pomp and circumstance that is the Fantasy Tour de France, there's a hole in my collective media sponge where the Tour used to be. I sort of got into a groove of listening to the Eurosport radio while working, then catching the tour on tivo at night.

Anyway, here's some of my favorite memories from last week

When Floyd detonated, i think Cyclingnews said it best when they wrote "He looks bad today, as bad as a David Hasselhoff music video."

Salvatore Commesso got second back on stage 14. I like Salvatore Commesso, he's always in breakaways. But i think i like him the most because he looks more like a USCF cyclist than anyone else in the pro peloton. He always cuts the sleeves of his jersey, and i'm not saying the guy is fat, i'm just saying if the Tour jet were to go down in the Andes, my money is on Salvatore to have dibs on the Chicken's femur, if you know what i mean.

Sager says that one of my favorite cycling names, Ruben Lobato is a doper. I'm not a fan one way or another, i just like to shout out "Domo Oregato Ruben Lobato!" whenever he's on screen. But hey, who isn't doping right? Unemployed Frankie said Lance did (somehow i missed this back in June).

I completely approve of Lance's bash on the French World Cup Soccer team, when he said: "All their players tested positive ... for being assholes." Well played... INTO THE BACK OF THE NET!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

mad props to the wife

Haven't been able to post too often as of late due to internet troubles at the home base, but i did want to get this out because the link may or may not be there tomorrow. After Floyd went all medieval on everyone on Thursday, Amy pitched the idea of a Floyd profile to her editor and bam, slam, wham it ran in the paper yesterday. I'm proud to say that i'm at least Executive Research Assistant on this piece, as we did legwork over the weekend on it. Can't really say where the obscure Kenesaw Mountain Landis reference comes from, somebody out on the West coast must have thought that was a cool coincidence or something and added it because it just doesn't fit at all. The rest is all Amy.

Monday, July 24, 2006

eye doc

So my eyes have been bothering me a bit, and i scheduled a doctor's appointment. Is it just me or is my doctor's image a little fuzzy? do you think he does that to get new business?

Gotta get ready and desensitize myself from this impending dialog which always makes me laugh.

how bout now?
better or worse?
bout now? and now?
1 or 2?
what about this?
and 1 or 2?
great, first or second?
how about now?
you're doing fine, and now?
and last one now?
what about this?
and now?
and 1 or 2?

You think they learn this in school?

Friday, July 14, 2006

The week that was ...

It's been quite a week, Happy Bastille Day to all those francophiles out there.
To recap briefly some highlights, last weekend we were honored to attend the Robert Tour de France Party which was, in the words of Will Ferrell impersonating Robert Lipton, ... a DELIGHT. Unfortunately though, the performance of the Disco boys rained on everyone's picks, maybe i snuck off with the prognosticator award, getting Rogers in my top 3, have to defer to Jeff on the call there. Photos soon on the Ryan Blog.

Saturday night, we babysat Ryan's girlfriend Sierra, then had supper with Jen and Mike. LPM's apron should have been burning as my menu featured the Cuke, our new favorite, and Adobo. The dessert was also quite nice, though i just assembled it, raspberry sherbet (as in sure bet) topped with blueberries.

Tuesday, i made it to my first training race in 4 weeks or so, with work and vacation getting in the way too much. Luckily, my vacation spent exercising at altitude, served me well with a bit of blood-doping au naturale, and i enjoyed a nice no-chain type training race. It was fun, rolling off the front a bunch with Sebastian and Steve on his tt bike. Also along was Brian "inbetween trips to China" Darby who was really cranking. He and i got way off the front before the left hand turn with Steve, and try as we might, we couldn't talk him into riding the rest of the way with us. From that point, it's probably 5 miles to his house as opposed to 30 roundtrip otherwise. So there we were, me and Brian with a big lead, trying to do our best TTT. On this day it wasn't to be however, as the remainder of the group caught us, after about 7 miles of hard work, with just-back-from-high-altitude-himself Tim D. at the front, in aerobars. It was fun, lots of attacking after that.

The tour has been great to watch, Floyd looks to be the strongest, but who knows this year, there's still a lot of racing to go.

Also, after two attempts to scale this book, i've decided to retire it. Ranked by Outside magazine as one of the top 100 adventure reads of all time, it's pages are perhaps as hard to scale as the mountain itself. Maybe something was lost in the translation, cause Herzog ain't no Krakauer that's for sure. Next up, maybe a reread of Banner, to get ready for our Salt Lake City visit or this Lenny Bruce bio i've been meaning to read.

One other tour note, i've been listening to the eurosport feed on race days and it's pretty nice, good commentators including the smooth brogue of all-time mack Sean Kelly.

To all a good weekend.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

the Col du Marie-Blanque

What did you ride today?
The Lakes
We hit the Loop, you guys?
Up JVC, back on Joe Daniel, bout you?
Woodville with Jackson tacked on
Oh me? i rode over the Col du Marie-Blanque
Damn that sounds better.

Grand Junction

Otter Pop Girl of the Desert

Kokopelli Cruising

Monday, July 10, 2006

Turkey Flats

About 25 miles south of Fruita, above the monument, we had a picnic then rode some cool singletrack. This was Amy's first ride in the dirt and she loved it.

Dinosaur, CO

On the way back, Dad and i hit Dinosaur National Monument which was super cool, a museum built into a cut-away mountain.

Utah Homeys

These are some more photos from the Cabin, below are Sam, cousin Marck and Uncle Bob chillin pre-campfire, then later in our high-stakes poker game with Ted. Uncle Bob aboard my rental and finally me and Annie up on top of Slaters which overlooks the cabin.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Stupid Week

Patrick "Floyd" Q is going to be blogging here about his time at Super Week, no word yet.

Ah Super Week, tough to believe but it's been 10 years since Norm, Trent and i ventured out to Wisconsin to pillage the Cheesehead prizelist. Unfortunately we did no such thing.

The memories come rushing back...

driving, driving, driving
huge fields
Norm slicing his finger open yanking the pump off his Spinergy
two hour crits
Seeing some guy (not me) slide into a big mailbox, helmet first
cytomax and excedrin
Heckling Sven Teutenberg in Milwaukee
buying trispokes at the Motorola garage sale
no breakaways ever working
Preparing meals in the ice bucket of our hotel room
Marcel Wust winning a crit
Getting murdered at Alpine Valley in the rain
Lance coming back from France to win there over Horner
Being asked if we'd been to a "clam bake" after eating sushi
emptying bottles on Trent while he slept

good times, good times

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Late Night Moose Encounter

So what better way to say "Welcome to Utah" than to meet up with a moose while out on a hike. Dad and i ran into this gal by Yellow Lake. I know the photo quality isn't stellar but i was in low light, after adding some brightness to the image i know it looks a bit like the Zapruder film meets Sasquatch footage but, i was happy to get it on film ... err sd card.

Good grief George!

Is this what Eddie B. meant when he said the skin on your legs should be as thin as the skin on the back of your hand?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

First Vacation Stop - The Cabin

So i flew in to Grand Junction, spent a day with il bambino and the fam, then blammo, Amy's dad and i busted out to Utah to spend a few days working at the Cabin. If memory serves me right, it was built in 1923 by Amy's great grandfather. Since that time it's been added on to and fixed up, primarily by Amy's Uncle Bob. Located high up in the Uintas, it was a real climate shift from desert-like Fruita with much cooler temps and a bit more humidity and as you can see from these photos, it's just down right ugly around there.

more photos to come...