30 January 2006

first my mouth...now the car.

my muffler has been fixed. new tires and battery too. the tires and battery were originals (1998) so i guess it's money well spent. and really, this car has been pain free since i bought it...

i'm feeling a little under the weather today. i'm sure riding in the rain didn't help, but either did going to a bar in verona saturday night. what is so bad about verona? they still allow smoking. but the bar has anchor steam on tap. so what is a guy supposed to do?

i'm hoping to spend some time on the trainer tonight...but if i continue feeling like this i'll probably take another day off and hope it gets better with some good sleep.

that's all i've got. pretty weak. weak sauce if you will.

it's weird that it will be nearly 3 more months before i race again...

28 January 2006

wet to drizzle to pour-izzle.

i just returned from my saturday ride...it started off with wet roads into some drizzle into a solid rain. most people would say i'm an idiot for riding in the wet weather...but damn, usually this time of year we're hoping that the day time high is above zero. so, 40 degrees and rain felt like a dream. i cloverleafed around our house to never get too far away from home, but rode for a couple of hours at a perfect base heartrate. 11 training hours (80% riding outdoors) for the week with one day to go...not bad for january.

now the fun continues with a trip to wollershime for the port debut party followed by great eats and drinks at r and c's. not bad at all...

while i was out riding, i kept thinking about how humans are really a peculiar lot. drama, politics, and weirdness seem to increase with age. i always thought that maturity meant something other than it really does. at the office, in personal lives...it seems that discretion has been replaced with secrecy. and secrets can be very hurtful.

can't we all just shoot straight?

27 January 2006

crank it up...it's friday.

our party is no more. it's getting tough to get people here...we had more guests when we lived in marshfield. hmmmm. i guess it wouldn't hurt to plan a little further in advance...

the 1x1 got me through another 2hrs of love last night. the military ridge trail was soft in spots which really makes for perfect base riding. average bpm: 140, for two hours. not bad.

it's been a remarkable january (weather wise) and the weather idiots are saying at least another week in the 30s. as the meteorologist said this morning, this is proof that we are experiencing global warming. or the earth is experiencing one of it's many cycles that cause fluctuations (she didn't say that). we've got to be doing something but it doesn't seem like us having a mild winter or two is ultimate proof for global warming. maybe i'm in denial...

this weekend's amended plans: riding and maybe some running with robin, continue organizing the "man room" (ie hobby shop ie basement). celebrate life saturday night with ron and christy (and hopefully greg) with some drinks and some food. sunday...we'll just have to see how i feel.

26 January 2006

basketball is for tall people.

and yao ming i am not. although i had a few moments of not sucking, my performance was less than stellar. i guess that is what i get for only playing 10-15 times per year...

i think italians drink while they build furniture. the cabinet we've been waiting on was built cock-eyed. so, after an 8 week wait, we had it delivered and picked up again on the same day. here's to another 8 weeks of waiting.

so there is a spring event that has caught my attention. the 2006 alp Bl'Huez uphill time trial. it's a WISPORT event...so all the uscf roadies may snob out of this one. but this race has the making for a good one. 20k tt, the first 10 miles or so are only slightly uphill. the last 2 miles gain around 900 vertical feet. beee there! http://www.active.com/event_detail.cfm?event_id=1288103

25 January 2006

more from the grind.

looks like i struck a chord with some readers about office talk. bottom line is that it is a bunch of bullshit. it's good to know that it doesn't just happen here though. i figured that if they can nail office crap in a movie, then it must be a common theme. why is that? what is it about being with the same people 8+ hours a day that make us act like fools? (by 'us' i mean 'them'...i am in denial) it's the whole trying to act professional when most humans have no clue what that means.

i've always thought that i could never work with customers. like, "here comes a customer, they are an idiot and that pisses me off." but really, it's my colleagues that make work difficult. at least with customers (in most cases), you get a bad one...they hang around and piss you off for a while, but usually they leave. the people you work with you are stuck with. and 5 days a week, i have to spend more time with them than my wife. bullshit. but reality. and if i didn't complain about the dim-wits i work with, i'd be complaining about even more trivial matters, like how the superbowl is going to suck even more than normal.

but since i bring it up, wtf is with this year's version? i mean, does anyone care about seattle and pittsburg (talk about overrated (seattle) vs. under acheiving (pittsburg))? at least pittsburg has a feel good story with 'the bus'. the networks need something to cover besides the game itself. what else are they going to hype for two weeks? commercials i guess.

ok, so i'm a little bitter this morning. i guess i should apologize...screw it.
i hope you are all less bitter than i. (how's that for a wish of cheer?)

24 January 2006

blogblogblog

why is it that people need to use the phrase "think outside the box." or "raise the bar" for that matter. the "think outside the box" phrase in particular has been so over used that if you use it you are not actually "thinking outside the box." what makes it worse is that around here, it is said by management who have no managerial training...just science training. what's my point? i've got nothing...

suffered hard last night on the bike. my toes froze, the bike bath had a bunch of foot traffic that had frozen so it was hard not to fall. plus my main light only lasted me 5 minutes (when it's below 30 my battery is a pile of crap). i will remember these types of rides in september when i'm racing.

i'm sending off another proposal today...it's getting close to crunch time.

my last in a series of dental appts is today as well. finish the crown and fill a couple of cavities. both sides of my mouth will be numb...sounds like great fun. but i'm on the road to healthy teeth again, and it all happened at a good time of the year.

23 January 2006

say something.

another weekend is done. man it went fast, but it was good anyway. after receiving calls from our maid of honor and best man in the wedding saturday morning (i hope your day went well, pat), we ventured out to the madison car show. in our eyes, the best automobile of the show was the toyota rav 4. they've increased it's size so it is no longer just a tall hatch back, but a rather functional small suv. it is comparable to the nissan murano (which has caught our fancy of late) but is $10k cheaper fully loaded. plus, the v6 engine has like 260 horse power. peppy. we're not really in the market, but it is fun to look.

another note...i'm really disappointed with hondas. as honda people, the simplistic style and the dependability are what we like about them. they seem to be trying too hard to get the gen-xers by adding in a few more 'novelties' stylistically. the new civic is alright, but it seems like they pretty much copied the prius.

enough of that. trainer time on saturday due to fresh fallen snow. but, the snow would not keep me in on sunday, and i pushed through 2+ hrs on the military ridge trail. the snow made for a great workout. and sun was good for the soul.

i hope everyone else had a nice weekend.

20 January 2006

big ride (for a week night)

2+ hours last night. the weather was primo so i took full advantage. the ride finished with me bombing down the 18th hole cartpath back to the neighborhood. it was so much fun. it is important to note that no fairways or greens were harmed in association with the ride.

it's friday. supposedly we're getting some snow. we'll see about that though.

i heard a funny saying on npr this morning regarding ice conditions on the great lakes.

the only safe ice is the ice in a glass of scotch

19 January 2006

jolly good.

thirsty thursday. this was the day back in college when the weekend began. as a science major, one needed to be mindful of lab days. but, there's no lab on fridays so thursday happy hour was usually on the slate. but now, i even think about a drink on thursday and my friday is ruined. i guess that is good. instead, i'll go out and ride for two hours (3/4 of which is in the dark of night).

speaking of labs...gunnar bikes have been the focus of my fancy the past few days (the company is named after the factory pet: gunnar the labrador). i think it's something to do with the amount of fun i've been having on my steel frame 1x1 (i know...everyone is sick of hearing about it). anyway, the rock hound may have become my dream bike. simple, clean lines, and the unmistable ride of steel. the 29er version would be really cool...but that would be a new build from scratch. i'm just not as willing to dump thousands of dollars into a bike anymore. hmmmmmm. maybe it could become a work in progress? we'll have to do our taxes first to see if we're not eating mac and cheese for the next 2 months.

18 January 2006

core duo.

intel and apple. makes you want to drool, no?

and speaking of apple, i autofilled my shuffle last night and i haven't heard a bad song yet this morning. as robin would say, ipods are the best invention ever. i would argue that a couple of small things surpass its importance (wheel, internal combustion, cotton gin, antibiotics, etc. etc.) but it's definately right up there.

i rode last night and holy shit it was cold. what is this, january? i really am getting spoiled lately. my toes are just now thawing out.

my muffler has detached from the exhuaust pipe on my car. just when i thought i had out run my redneck past. now when i rev the engine, it sounds like a monster truck rally. sunday, sunday, SUNDAY!

17 January 2006

base.

in 1994, i bought my steel frame diamond back response elite. if you would have told me then that i would be having more fun on it in 2006 than i did in 1994, i would not have believed you. but here i am, riding 1.5 hrs/day in january on it having a blast. maybe it's the fact that i'm riding outside in january? maybe it's the 'what's old is new again' factor? maybe it's just my cycling pilot light is buring a little brighter? all of the above probably.

i'm really focused on having fun this year. not using my place as a metric for success, but rather if i gave it all i had on that particular race day. unquantifiable measures is not what i'm wired to process, but i'm going to try really hard.

i had some really weird dreams last night. they have to be weird for me to remember them...

16 January 2006

no trauma.

wow, what a weekend. nothing remarkable happened really...but that is what made it so nice.

saturday, robin and i split up to do some shopping. her: the outlets of johnson creek. me: the annual chronometro bike swap. i spent 60 dollars...and for that meager some i got a wheelset for the 1x1, some avid speed dial levers, carbon headset spacers and cleats for my atacs. ron got the big deal of the day. a brand new trek fuel 100 frame w/fox rear shock, year=2002, $300. not bad (i would have bought it for myself but it was a 19.5"). as always, i was reminded that there are a lot of bike folks...and those bike folks range from grungy single speed freaks all the way up to the high end roadies. somehow, everyone coexists very nicely.

after the sale, the madison contingent of big ring racing did a road ride around the hills of cross plains and mount horeb. what a great day for a ride. plus...ron, sam and i looked pretty official sporting our brr jackets. afterwards, robin and i went to quivey's grove for some food. i love that place. i finally scored the ribs and it was worth the wait (they've been out our past couple of attempts).

yesterday we grocery shopped, organized around the house (including work on the 1x1), drank coffee and lounged a bit. a good weekend for sure...

10 January 2006

trainer time.

i got done with work later than normal last night, so i was forced on the trainer. 1.5 hrs is about all i can take right now, so that is what i did. individual leg drills and cadence drills with a warm up and cool down. i'm starting to get the itch these days, i think it has a lot to do with the weather. 40 degrees feels like 65 this time of the year. hopefully i can ditch early today and ride the rocket outside a bit...

that's assuming i don't feel like crap after the initial dentist visit for my crown. i really don't have a feel for what the pain is like after one of these, but i don't forsee it keeping me off the bike.

grandpa is doing better. old people are tough...that is the second grandparent i've written off in a fortnight. i'm pretty glad that they are tough.

have a good tuesday.

09 January 2006

somber note.

almost 1 week to the day that robin's grandmother fell ill, i received a call regarding my grandfather on my mother's side. since information gets lost in the panic that ensued, i didn't get the full scope of what was going on until later in the evening when my sister called me and passed the phone to my mother...both sobbing. "the doctor said that if there are out of town family members...they should come soon."

driving to wausau, i kept thinking about the good times. about the cottage up north and the belly laughs from his chair in the living room of his home. i kept thinking about what i was going to say to him now, if he was awake. the only requirement i put on myself was not to ask 'how is it going?'

we got to wausau around 10 in the evening. shortly after, we went to see him. he looked like a different person than the one i know...small, feeble, writhing in what seemed to be pain (although he insisted it wasn't bad). sharp as ever though. "andy and robin, it's so good to see you."

and i responded: "hi grandpa, how is it going?" i'm an idiot. he should have retorted "i'm in the fucking icu with kidney and conjestive heart failure sparked by a heart attack...how do you think i'm doing, a-hole?" but he just said "not so good."

the next 24 hours was spent checking in on him and sitting in the icu waiting room, talking with family. i wasn't able to see them over the holidays, so in a way it was good...under not so good circumstances.

saturday morning, we arrived back at the hospital around 8:30. we sat down and said our hellos in the waiting area and then heard an intercom announcment: 'first aid team to the icu.' turns out, morten hadn't eaten since lunch the day before and passed out, hitting his head on grandpa's bed. poor guy had to go to the er for treatment, adding a little more stress (and levity) to the situation.

we had to leave to get morten and beth ready for their flight on sunday, and admittantly i was glad. after we got back to madison, we had a nice dinner out. ethiopian food and a bottle of australian wine. it was exactly what the four of us needed after the past 24 hours.

anyway, grandpa has improved. he underwent dialysis and that has helped a lot. it was almost a mirror image of what happened to robin's grandma. so if you have any more spare positive thoughts, we could use them again.

grandpa, beth leaving, robin's grandma last week, constant dental work, sporadic training, the holidays and a few rough days at work. it's been a rough couple weeks.

06 January 2006

bikes rule.

hit the capital city trail last night for some dusk to night riding. my new red tail light had a screw come loose, so it was banging against the seatpost everytime i hit a bump. so i clipped it to my jacket pocket. exciting freaking story.

another bike thought...biking is expensive. i've got an ever expanding list of things i need (want) for my bikes. wheels for the single speed; crankset, carbon bar, brake levers and shock for the race bike, and the list goes on. i really enjoy single speeding, i think it would frustrate me in races but for training it's nice to go out, hit a heartrate with a bike that doesn't shift. simplifies it a little for me, which, especially during base, is good. i usually push too hard during base and with this set up i cannot. wow, i am on a role today with exciting freaking stories.

this week has been nice, robin and i have just been super chill, not doing much at night. decompressing from the hectic holidays i guess. more tv than i would normally like to watch, but this week it has seemed right. we'll do better next week...

anybody watch this old house? now i want a cantilevered vanity in the bathroom...

05 January 2006

the biggest...

there is a group of people i work with that are doing a weight loss pool. whoever loses the most weight by some day in march wins the prize. but, people were weighing in with staplers, paper weights, small volkswagons...anything that would increase their weight at the intial weight in which would give them a shot without actually having to lose weight. classic.

played basketball last night and felt good. i didn't necessarily play well, but my strength and stamina are getting better without a doubt. i didn't end up riding outside on tuesday, there was just too much fog to be riding around at night. but i did manage 1.5 hrs on the trainer with 1 leg and high cadence drills mixed in. man i wish the trainer was more exciting...

so is vince young human? jaw dropping. both his skills and the inability of the usc defense to stop him. the outcome wasn't what i was hoping for, but what a great game. and tonight...i go to bed at ten instead of almost midnight.

03 January 2006

the real start to 2006.

the first work day of the year we get off. then we don't get another until the end of april. time to buckle down. i'm talking about work. and training. and living. i get so lazy over the christmas and new years holidays, and that leads to a little extra waddle here and there. but i will officially christen the new year tonight, light(s) in tow, on the single speed. and as stewy would say, that is a good thing.

after flicking through a couple of bikerblogs this morning, it would appear that scotty had a great night on nye followed by a not so great day on two wheels. i'll never admit where i read that...

the badgers flexed a little big ten muscle and pounded out a biggy yesterday. i'm proud of them, they out played a far superior team to show the nation that they just might be a team to be reckoned with next year. to make it even better...the hawkeyes got beat. i know, one should cheer for the big ten, but i cannot root for iowa and you can't convince me to!

and the pear shaped loser got fired in green bay (jim rome reference). ted thompson is an idiot (did you see any of the press conference?) but this is the right thing to do. i know that sherman couldn't control the health of his team, but they have been on the slow decline for the past few years or so and that was on his watch.

anyway, time to grab this year by the throat and shake it around a little. or maybe i should go grab a little more coffee?