Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Allison in Austin

Last week I rode the train down to Austin and back. I wanted to visit my Sister-in-Law before the fall semester started back up. I’ve never gone down to Austin to visit her, so I thought it would be nice. I’m glad I did, we had a great time. She’s a great young lady with big things in store for her in life. I always enjoy visiting with her because she has the perspective of youth. I always take something worthwhile back with me after our great talks. Hopefully she gets something with me as well.

It was cool spending time with her. We went to Mothers CafĂ© on Duval St. , and I was very impressed. It is a kinda upscale Vegetarian/Vegan establishment with great food. She tried the Chile Relleno, a first for her, and she really liked it. I think it’s cool that she wants to try new things, and I’m glad she lets me help her. I had a roasted Poblano topped with a chipotle reduction, black beans, and grilled seasonal veggies. It was beyond excellent! This is a place I will go to again, for that and the blueberry pie I had for dessert. Who says vegetarians don’t eat well?

Afterwards she showed me Austin as she knows it. We checked out covert park, which is a really cool place that has a view of the entire city and Town Lake. I can’t recommend it enough if you’re ever in that area. Then we just hung out and talked. I had a great time, and will try to go back soon….next time with my bike and a real camera.

Some serious catching up to do...

I've drafted several entries over the last couple of weeks but just haven't had time to post them.  Give me a little time and I'll catch up.  Been an interesting few weeks.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

First Wheel Build

This is the first wheelset I built on my own. The rear was done a few weeks ago, and I finally found the time to lace up the front. Haven't ridden them yet, but I'm glad I've finally done it. For people that work on their own bikes, knowing how to build up a wheelset is a big step.

With the help of my crack photographer, we thought I would share some of my work...

First a self portrait of the crack photographer:


Next, the aspiring wheel builder:



Finally, some artsy shots of the wheel itself. A Campy hub laced to a Velocity Deep V wheel with Black double butted DT Swiss spokes and red anodized nipples. 32 hole, laced 3x for those that are interested...






I'll snap some pics when I get them mounted. Hopefully they don't implode!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

One small dent...

While it seems like a small dent to you. To me this is a yawning chasm. It signifies many things.


First, it is possibly the end of a great wheelset. My friend Bernie built these wheels for me. I've logged close to 20000 miles and over 100 pounds of weight loss with these wheels.
I love these wheels...


Secondly, at 530 am it signifies the end of a great commuting streak. Over 3 years I've ridden my bike to work and never needed a bail out. Fortunately I was riding with my good friend Loyd who was able to ride back to his house and get his car. Bless you Loyd.
This might set me back, but it won't stop me. I will just build up another wheel and fet back on the road.


P.s. railroad tracks suck. Should have ridden the fixed gear.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day Riders

For Mothers Day, Grace and I picked up an adult sized scooter for Sharon. It's actually the perfect gift, as Grace loves her scooter and Sharon and I spend most of our time chasing behind her at the park. This allows Sharon to level the playing field a little bit... although Grace can still ride circles around us with a scooter. They had so much fun I might even get one.

This time I took the fixed gear to ride along with them and take a few pictures:



As usual, Grace was flying along without a care in the world:



Sharon put forth a valiant effort to keep up with her:



We then got to one of my favorite spots for reflections (as my brother would say):







This spot is special to me because it always makes me think of my mother.

Afterwards, a short break and some exploring along the creek:










You'll notice that Grace has a sense of style that any hipster would be envious of:



A shot of Sharons sweet new ride (and of course my sweet sweet ride in the background):




It was a great Sunday afternoon. I hope everyone else had as good of a weekend as we did.
Today is Mothers Day. I thought I would share a commentary from Ben Stein. He wrote this the first Mothers Day after my mother died. I miss her terribly, but I have nothing but good memories of her so that helps greatly.

Take care of your Mother and tell her you love her.



The most permanent feature of life, when you are a child, is your mother. She is always there telling you to study more, to stand straighter, to clean up your room, to speak more clearly. She is always warning you, cautioning you, telling you what a bleak future you are going to have if you don't mend your ways.

That, at least, was my mother. She had grown up with a father who died when she was nine, had to make it through the Great Depression by studying super hard and getting scholarships, and that was the way she saw life.

And, truth to tell, I didn't like her much for it. I didn't like her paying so much attention to me. I wanted her to leave me alone.

Time passed. My mother didn't leave me alone.

When I went off to college in a city where I knew hardly a soul, a city called New York, my mother wrote me a letter, sometimes two, every day, so I would have something in my mail box at Columbia. There were no e-mails then and long distance was expensive so she sat down with a pen and paper and wrote me letters, often hilarious, about her life in Maryland.

I had a girlfriend at the University of Chicago one year and my mother insisted on sending me a plane ticket to go see her--again, so I would not be lonely.

When I went to law school in New Haven, my mother also wrote me every day. She did not want me to be alone or lonely. She had been a lonely child and she knew it hurt.

When I got married, she called my wife or me every few days and wrote us frequent letters.

When I lost my job at the White House because my boss, Mr. Nixon, resigned, my mother called her high powered friends until she got me not just one but many job offers. I didn't take any of them, but there she was, not leaving me alone, again.

She loved dogs and she loved to travel. She was in France when my beloved Weimaraner, Mary, died. She offered to come home to help bury Mary. To Los Angeles.

When she grew old, I would go once a month to visit her and my Pop in Washington. When I would leave, she would follow me down the hallway at The Watergate and look at me as if she were trying to work me into her immortal soul forever. Wherever I went, she would be on the phone calling me before anyone else. She would not let me alone.

My mother died unexpectedly of heart failure on April 21, 1997. She left me alone, and I hate it. I hate that there are no more letters from her, no more long last looks as walk down the hall at The Watergate. I still look to see if there are any messages from her at the hotels where I spend most of my time. I have a great wife and she pays attention to me, and I am old by now anyway. But I miss having someone telling me what to do, paying attention to me every single second at every moment of my life. When you are a child, it's a pain and a burden. But love it anyway. The time will come when your mother does leave you alone, and the silence is deafening. And, yes, it's lonely.


-Ben Stein, Mothers Day 2005


To leave it on a lighter note...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Marketing at its finest?

Possibly the greatest entrepreneurial Craigslist post ever?

Heck, I've got tons of those here in the kitchen. I might possibly sitting on thousands of dollars just going to waste in a drawer! A veritable silver mine!


Vintage "Slide Spoons" Blues Action! - $39 (Swampland)
Reply to: sale-7w7ad-1128587198@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
Date: 2009-04-18, 1:24PM CDT


What I have listed here are a pair of blues player's must have items.These are "slide spoons" ..... can be used on acoustic and eletric guitars! Very comfortably shaped,come in "medim" and "large" sizes as seen in pic.
I'm asking $39.00 apiece,or you can buy 2 for $49.00.I will ship if neccesary,might be around $29.00 in the US only,that's Parcel Post too.

I only have these 2...so get to buying if you want in on these !!! They have plenty of "MOJO"!!!



Email is serious!

* Location: Swampland
* it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

image 1128587198-0

PostingID: 1128587198

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sidewalk art

I didn't race tonight... Had a long 24 shift yesterday so I was a bit too tired to race tonight. Stayed home, had a little Chadra for dinner, walked at the park while Grace scooted, and then had a little sidewalk chalk art before dark.

All in all I would say it was a fair trade-off...






Plus a little crazyface to wrap up the night:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter

Wanted to say Happy Easter to everyone.

While I don't have much time to write as much as usual (have a test on Monday) this counts as a shameless padding of my post count

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Crit Updates!

For those of you on the edge of your seats that are following my racing career, here's my weekly report.

Started off well, hit the wind and fell off the back of the pack. Seemed faster tonight that it was last week. These guys are pretty disorganized, although most of them are fast enough that it really doesn't affect them much. Instead of a peleton, it's more like a strung out paceline. Not that big of a deal if you stay in it. However, it sucks if you fall off the back(like I seem to do).

Again, I didn't finish last. In fact I managed to actually lap someone! I'm not sure how that happened. I was pretty much solo the entire race. However, it gives me hope that I have a strong chance of a pack finish sometime soon.

Here's a pic from my phone of the "B" race. Actually I'll include two:





Until next time...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Racing season is upon us once again!

Some of you may remember I did my first (and only) criterium two years ago. What a whoopin!

For better or for worse, April 1st was the first running of the Wednesday night crit series here in Funkytown.

Well today I decided to punish myself further. However, I was in for a pleasant surprise. I didn't suck nearly as much this time around.

Not only did I not finish last... but I put the hurting on at least 4 people. Sure, one of them was a girl and the other was a teenage boy... but let's focus people, they were there to race and I crushed them under the heel of my Sidi's.

Seriously, I had fun and was impressed at the progress I've made. I can't wait to do it next week.

Monday, March 30, 2009

So, I haven't posted in a while. I know, I suck.

I thought I'd share something at least a little funny with you. I've gone back to school (not the funny part), and I usually ride my bike (still not the funny part). It's 20 miles each way. I generally bring a change of clothes, as I'm sure no one would want to sit next to me in sweaty, smelly cycling clothes.

All semester I've been parking by the library and changing clothes in a bathroom the size of a small closet. Big fun!

Well, I found a new bike rack closer to the science building. Bonus! Last time I was there I thought I'd try going in through a different door to get there. Imagine my surprise when I realized it wasn't a shortcut through the science building, but a gym! Double bonus!!

Yes, an old guy like me wouldn't even think of there being a gym on that part of the campus. A really nice one too! With nice big changing room with lockers, showers, and everything! Not only do I have a place to shower and change, but I can also hang up my cycling clothes in an open air locker and let them dry out a little. The added bonus is that it keeps my bag from being smelly as well!

Please, feel free to have a laugh at my expense.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another milestone

Grace lost her first tooth tonight. Freaked her out a bit. She thought she'd lose her voice too. They're so cute at this age...

She finally came to grips with it, and actually perked up at the thought of the tooth fairy.

One of the first kids in her class to sport that "snaggletooth" look:


The Carnage!


Preparing for the tooth fairy...


She doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at this point, but either way it's still bedtime.


Ah, dreams of the future.



This is a big step. Makes you realize just how quickly they grow up.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

She Hearts FW

Because Funkytown can always use another ambassador of goodwill...


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Oh Wickles Sweet Wickles how you've cast your spell on me...

Sorry, being back in the world makes one busier than I thought...

I generally hate sweet pickles. Seriously, I hate them. I will go out of my way to avoid them, won't even eat foods that have sweet pickles in them. So why is this different? I bought them by accident. We went to Central Market today to pick up some fresh produce and a few things I've been needing. While cruising the aisles I saw these:


I didn't think they were sweet, I thought they'd be like a spicy dill. I even glanced at the ingredient list to make sure. Flat out missed the sugar part. Anyway, we get home and unload the groceries. I do a little yard work, then it's time for a light lunch.

I made an awesome sandwich. Toasted Wheat, some really good Kerrygold cheese, sliced avacado, cucumber, fresh spinach, shredded carrots, veganaisse, and of course some wickles.

Before I ate the sandwich I popped one of those wickles in my mouth. My first instinct was to immediately spit it out when the sweet flavor hit my mouth. Fortunately, I decided to give it a second. I'm glad I did. Right after the sweet, was a slow fire that began to build. However it was never really hot, just comforting... like a good bowl of chili. Meaning it won't burn on the tongue but you'll feel it in your gut for a while after. Which was exactly what it did. It was that good.

I have to say, it really made a great sandwich that much greater. After eating that and some fruit, I got out the jar of Wickles and ate a few more. In fact, as I write this post... I'm still eating some. If this jar makes it past midnight it will be a miracle. The only hope for wickle survival past the midnight mark is the promise of another great sandwich tomorrow. As of this moment a stay of exocution has been issued, we shall see if it holds true til morn.