Tuesday, December 22, 2009
As for the bike, I've given myself permission to bag it until spring. And of course, since I gave myself that permission I've been kind of wanting to get out. I was thinking about the HC Christmas Day ride. But with the Storm of the Century bearing down right then, it may not come to pass.
Anyhow, I wanted to give a quick holiday greeting to any readers still out there. At our house, the Three Wise Men go for a ride in the Gravy Boat Sleigh. However you plan to celebrate, spend some time with friends and family.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
This picture is from a series on Boston.com's The Big Picture, an always wonderful photo blog. Check it out.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
I spent some quality time in the garage this afternoon, aimlessly moving things from one place to another without really accomplishing much. I did dust off a couple of bikes I hadn't touched for quite some time and reacquainted myself with them. One, my Schwinn Premis, has really been neglected these past several years. I bought this bike from an employee of Twin City Outboard while I was looking for parts for my ancient Johnson Sea Horse in about 2002. A little off topic here, but that's a great shop if you are a boat nut. They've got everything.
Anyway, the Premis was quite a step up from the Raleigh Eclipse I had been commuting on. Light and fast, this was the first true "go fast" bike I'd ever owned. While I think it's just a hair too tall for me (about 25" frame), I rode it for several years and it treated me very well. But as I became more of a commuter, the bike's lack of any cargo carrying or ability to fit fenders became more and more of a liability.
After I got my Jamis, the Premis became superfluous and hung in the garage full time. It deserves to be ridden. It's a great bike. I kept it around for a while thinking it would make a good fixie conversion. But the white components which scream 80s (along with the fade paint job) are still such a nice matched set I never had the heart to tear the bike apart. White components include: Dia-Compe Aero-Compe Brakes, Sakae cranks, Suntour Cyclone shifters and derailleurs.
I upgraded the handlebars to a set of Modolos with an anatomic bend that are wider than the original bars, but kept the white on white bar tape to match the hoods.
I also replaced the rear freewheel with a Shimano one after the original self destructed.
So if you're a taller fellow who is in the need of a classic steel ride, let me know. I want it to go to a good home.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Saw the hand guy last week, surgery is not in my immediate future. I have a follow up for 30 days out, but he was optimistic about the signs of healing noted in my CT scan and newest x-ray. He did note that the break was all the way across the bone, not just the little chip I'd initially highlighted. I'm too lazy to go back and retouch the x-rays I posted earlier. You'll have to use your imagination.
I'll leave you with this gem:
Friday, August 21, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
And the same picture without the red, so the gap is more visible. This is the x-ray that the radiologist said was not a fracture.
Then we have the x-ray from two weeks later, on July 21. Pretty much the same from this angle.
This one shows a strange bump than neither my doc or I remarked on.
At this point I was put in a cast, because both doc and radiologist agreed it was a non-displaced fracture. After 4 weeks in the case, I had a third set of x-rays taken, on 8/19. Now I'm no doctor or radiologist, but it doesn't look like anything has changed. This is the shot that made my doctor say, "That looks like a non-union." and refer me to the hand guy.
I was showing these pictures to my daughters tonight, and Morgan said, "Dad, that's a pretty small piece of bone that's broken off. Do you need that?" And I thought, probably not. I'm sure the hand guy will totally agree.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
I saw an ad today for authentic Michael Jackson lithographs on TV in the breakroom at work today. I guess this will be the Michael Jackson generation's version of the Velvet Elvis. I wonder how log it will take before guys are selling these out of a van in the K-Mart parking lot.
Friday, July 24, 2009
_ -\ <, _
( * ) / ( * )
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
But the entire weekend was pretty light on the physical activity, and with my time off for the wrist injury I was feeling a little antsy. So I took the lime Suburban out for a short 10 mile ramble just to see how things were feeling. After the first few miles I started feeling each bump a little bit more in the wrist than the previous one. So I probably rode 6 of the remaining 8 or so miles with my injured hand resting on my leg. But it was awfully nice to get out.
I had my follow-up appointment with the doc this morning. New x-rays confirmed that it truly is a fracture, and after a quick consult with the radiologist the doc wrapped my arm in fiberglass. I chose green, to match the Schwinn I'd most recently ridden and probably won't ride again for a while.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
These days it seems like the entire household is banged up. The kids have had skinned knees and elbows since the weather got warm (nothing more serious recently, thank goodness). The Mrs. has been fighting a nasty case of plantar fasciitis for the last couple of months. I broke a bone in my hand. And the dog even got into the act by somehow ripping his dewclaw off.
I talked with my doc, and he says I just cracked the bone and doesn't think a hard cast is needed. So I'm wearing this brace and will have to get it x-rayed again in two weeks.
At least I don't have to wear a cone.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
"When you happen to step off an edge you didn't see and lurch forward into space waving you arms, it's the end of the world for a second or two, and after you do land, even if you know you're OK and no bones are broken, it may take a few seconds to decide whether this is funny or not."
Nancy and I went for a ride on Saturday, and I fell off my bike. First time I've fallen since the Hiawatha Pub Crawl. After those few seconds, I decided this was funny. We were riding through Crosby Farm in St. Paul and ended up on the wetland trail. This is a boardwalk that allows you to travel across the marshland. As we approached the end of this section of trail, the boardwalk angled up, sharply. I slowed down some and headed up. And of course, on the other side was a drop of at least a foot that I totally wasn't expecting. The front tire made the drop, and for a brief second I thought I was going to make it. But then my pedal caught on the peak of the boardwalk and I pitched over sideways. Nancy was behind me and said I fell very gracefully. I have a couple of red spots on my left palm, but didn't even break the skin. Nice! We finished out the last 5 miles of the ride, but my wrist was sore.
Later that day, I noticed that it is nicely swollen. And today, well over 24 hours later, it's still nicely swollen. But all in all, a funny experience. Even if my wrist might disagree.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Bicycling Update Subscribers,
On Wednesday, June 10th, Minneapolis Public Works will host a public meeting (pdf) to present the draft proposal for new bicycle lanes on 4 street segments:
* 10th Avenue SE – Como to University Avenue (pdf)
* 19th Avenue S – University to Riverside Avenue (pdf)
* 20th Avenue S – Riverside to Minnehaha Avenue (pdf)
* Minnehaha Avenue – 20th Avenue to 31st Street (see pdf above)
The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm in Room 114 of the Oren Gateway Center at Augsburg College. A bicycle ride will also take place before the meeting at 5:15 pm to tour the proposed bike lanes. Meet at the old North Country Co-op and bring a bicycle.
For more information about the project, including project summaries and opportunities for online feedback, visit the Bicycle Operations project website.
City of Minneapolis Bicycle Program
So get thee to the meeting on Wednesday. The Pro-Parking League usually shows up in force for these types of things, so the cyclists need to balance things out.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Last week I turned 40 years old, Thursday to be precise. I'd thought about how to celebrate this for a while, and decided I wanted to have a party. So, have a party we did. I don't often consider myself a popular person, as most of the time I'm an introvert and don't easily insert myself into social situations. Yet ironically, I love gatherings. But I certainly felt quite popular on Saturday and was extremely pleased to be surrounded by friends and family who came from both near and also much farther than I ever would have imagined. We had a great time, spun yarns about the old days, caught up on what is happening in the current, stayed up too late and enjoyed each other's company. I'm not completely deluding myself, free food and beer is a big draw, but it was great to see every single person there even if I didn't get a chance to chat with half of you as much as I would have liked, and talked to less than half of you twice as much as you deserved. A big heartfelt thanks to everybody who came out and made this a great party!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Fast forward a year, and what a difference. Health wise, Nancy has been doing great. And the tour, while still the same, had a very different undercurrent for me. It was much more fun knowing that she was not just dragging along, but truly enjoying herself in all aspects. The route of the tour was familiar and comforting, but we still managed to find some newness to get that sense of adventure. We also stayed at a new hotel, The Bridgewaters, which was wonderful. We got to see some familiar faces from last year and some friends from the area, plus get to know new folks. What could be better that to hang out with a bunch of people who share your same brand of crazy?
Nancy has already blogged about most of our trip, and has shamelessly stolen the cream of the photo crop (from her camera and mine, the scoundrel!). So if you want a first rate recap of the tour, check out her blog post. Below are some additional photos that she didn't already use, with my comments.
Consider the lilies of the goddamn field!
The woman who rode this bike really does have a foot issue, and every time we dismounted (or at least, when I saw her) she took her shoe off and put this boot on. Pretty amazing that she could do the tour at all.
One of the better pictures of my bike. Last year we tried to go authentic, with original cheap Brooks saddle, vintage rack and a wicker basket to carry our belongings. It was cute, but not super functional. Toward the tail end of last year's tour my bike started to make a horrible grinding noise and had sprayed gear lube all over the rear rim. I was terrified that something within the Sturmey Archer hub was about to fail and leave us 10-15 miles outside of Red Wing. I gutted it out and more or less white knuckled it back in to town, thinking the whole rig was going to come apart. Later, when I got home I realized that the rack's attachment point had come loose and lodged itself into the rear brake. The brake was askew and rubbing against the rim. The gear lube was just incidental. So this year I used a modern seat post mount rack with modern panniers. I also swapped out the crappy old Brooks for my nice one. I also added a frame pump, since I'm pretty sure we went through last year's tour without.
After our hike-a-bike adventure in Maiden Rock. This pic is easily within my top 5 favorites of all the pictures we took this year. No idea why Nancy didn't poach it.
Isn't she cute?
The oldest bicycle on the tour, 94 years old.
A super fun trinket I got from Sallie Gurth, a beer mug valve stem cover! Sallie makes these, and she and her husband Ron have a website where they sell them along with other bike themed jewelry. So here's a shameless plug. Go visit them at Velo Amore' and buy some stuff!
It's a Robin Hood sandwich! Several of us were noting the particular shade of red our bikes shared. So we put two Robin Hoods on the outside and the Dunelt in the middle for a photo op.
Nancy looking fabulous from behind, with her scarf flapping in the breeze.
That pretty much sums it up. We will definitely be back next year, unless the popularity overtakes us and we don't get registered before the cutoff!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Pretty soon, Kevin showed up. After that, nobody else showed up. This was the smallest group I've ever led. Which is ironic, because I think there are more bikes out on the streets this spring than there have been in the last several springs. After we realized nobody else was coming, we headed out. Made a pit stop at The Reuse Center where they had quite an impressive breakfast buffet going on.
We saw M.A. Rosko outside, but not while she was interviewing the Mayor. After our brief stop we headed to the Greenway to battle the fierce headwinds all the way to the Government Center. Once there, I availed myself of some free coffee and inadvertently got nabbed on film (pixels?) while doing so.
The crowd at the downtown celebration was thinner than in past years too. I think the chilly temp and blustery wind kept a lot of folks away. I managed to snag a new Civia water bottle with some Park Tire Irons inside and also a Bängo Brothers pocket messenger bag in addition to the previously mentioned coffee. A pretty good way to start the work day. Too bad I can't convince my boss to let me hang out, drink coffee and schmooze with other bikers for an hour and a half every time I bike to work.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The biggest difference this year is the organizers want us to do a "bus stop" where we stop, midroute, and pick up additional bikers. I decided to keep this minimal, since I don't think we'll pick many, if any, people up. The last few years there have been less than 7 people on this route, and often several of them aren't biking to work but just joined to have an excuse to ride (Hi Jim and Kevin!). So my idea was to stop at the Green Institute. Last year, they were rumored to have the best food of all the Bike to Work celebrations, and I've always meant to stop and check them out.
So with that in mind, we'll convene at Minnehaha Park between the Falls and the Sea Salt restauraunt/shelter. I plan to be there around 6:30-6:40. Leaving at 6:45 should put us at the Green Institute around 7:15 or so. We'll take a temperature check with the riders to see if we want to make it a quick stop or linger a bit. If we don't linger we should be downtown around 7:30 or so, depending on red lights and the overall speed of the group. If we do stop, it could be closer to 8.
A couple of quick points:
- If you haven't already, register: www.bikewalkweek.org It sounds as if you will need a printed copy of your registration to be eligible for certain prizes. So if you're into that kind of thing, register.
- If you forget to register, they will have forms to fill out downtown. But it's a hassle, and everything's more fun to do on the web. And, as of this writing, my picture is still on the website.
- Um, I can't think of anything else. Oh, wait, the date! It's this Thursday, May 14! See you then!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Monday, May 04, 2009
...stepfather Renardo Sr. directed a club basketball team with financial backing that was unclear beyond a relatively modest shoe company sponsorship.
Friday, May 01, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The new update is it's now two weeks later, and I've been to the doctor because the knee wasn't getting better. He diagnosed me with bursitis. Which I've always thought of as something that happens to old people, like lumbago. And bunions. But, since I'm not old this clearly isn't the case. I've been taking it easy, driving to the bus station like an ordinary joe and popping Aleve. It's getting better, but the doc said it will probably take a good month to be back to normal. Great. My 5k event is this Friday, and since my knee still gets sore walking from my cube to the bathroom there's still no way I'm participating.
But my woes all pale compared to the daughter. Yesterday I get a call from my wife saying Morgan slammed her finger in the car door and they're heading to the ER. I met them there in time to see the x-rays get taken and find out that she broke her pinkey finger. Plus, while she was panicked and trying to pull her finger out of the car door (yes, it was stuck) she managed to cut herself deep enough to require two stitches. So we've got her on antibiotics and codine and her hand is splinted up to her elbow. Pretty awful experience all around. The only bright point was going to dinner with my folks (who were at the hospital as well) after it was all over and having two huge slices of pizza at Cossettas.
And to top it off, I'm listening to iTunes on shuffle and I have a duet of Julio Iglesias and Ricky Martin singing a medley of "Light My Fire" by The Doors and "Oye Como Va" by Santana. God help me, but I have no idea how that got there.
Not to end things on a down note (or a completely bizarre note, as in the Julio/Ricky thing), I did manage to get the brakes fixed on the car this past weekend. So I got that going for me, which is nice.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
1. I signed up to do a 5k. Yes, I know that's a run, not a bike ride. But, what the heck. My wife is a runner, and as she points out she rides her bike with me. Not often, but certainly more often than I run with her. And it's probably good cross training. After running for about a week I could feel a difference in my inner thigh muscles. It makes me wonder if too much cycle training has left those muscles weak and prone to injury, as I did last spring.
The down side to running is, well, I injured myself. The training was going well, I got a new pair of shoes, and I was starting to find my stride. But on Sunday after about 1/2 a mile my knee started to hurt. And it hurt more with every step. I stopped running and walked back home. The knee felt better on Monday, but hasn't improved since. I'm starting to wonder exactly what I've done to it. Fortunately it feels fine when I bike (which is fortunate, see below). But since I procrastinated starting my running regimen, I don't have the slack in my schedule to be able to take time off and still get up to a full 5k by April 17.
Tonight I went out to see how things would go if I tried running. I walked for about 1/3 of a mile and the knee felt OK. No worse than it has been for the last few days. I started running and quit after about 30 seconds and then limped my way back home. I have a feeling this 5k will be a complete FAIL.
2. Because of the previously mentioned injury, I drove to work Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday night on the way home, my brakes decided to stop functioning. I realized this when the light turned yellow and I was approaching it on a downhill while going approximately 50mph. As the light turned red and I wasn't slowing, I cranked the wheel over hard right (screeeeech!) and careened onto a lesser travelled and more level road. The combination of the turn and the flattening allowed me to coast to a stop on the shoulder while I tried not to have a complete panic attack. I managed to get turned around and make it the remaining 1/2 mile home (fortunately I live on a hill and I could approach from downhill). I eased the car into the garage and haven't touched it since.
3. The best of all is that tonight, I was making dinner and tidying up the house and my daughter, Morgan, came up and gave me a hand made card that said I was the best dad ever. And she even put a funny joke inside. She wrote "You're like a father to me. Ha ha." Which, for a fourth grader, is hilarious. Often fourth grader jokes are, um, not. Totally out of the blue, and totally made my day.
The Associated Press quotes an anonymous marine biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who says she knew all along that "this climate change stuff was completely bogus."
"But I played along," she said. "The opportunities for securing global-warming-related grant money were just too great for me to resist."
"Sweet, sweet grant money," she added.
Read the entire article about Mr. Gore's fraud. Living as close to Canada as I do, I'll be watching for a massive infestation of polar bears.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Subject: 36 & snowing, and Morgan's biking to school
That's your girl!
She *really* wanted to bike to school yesterday, but the forecast was so dire, I wouldn't let her. Boy, was she mad at me when she came home (because it wasn't raining, lightning, or thundering at that exact moment). So today, there was no stopping her.
So if you didn't ride in today because it was a little snowy, you've been pwned by a 9 year old girl and her purple, sparkly bike.
At the Metrodome, eight men's basketball teams played first - and second-round games in the NCAA Tournament, the Big Dance.Crowds for six games, split into three sessions were 14,279, 15,794, and 12,814. Add those numbers up, the grand total was 42,887.In the Mill City's sister sister [sic], St. Paul, there was the WCHA Final Five. It had five teams, hence the name and five games, all sold as separate sessions.Those one-game crowds were 17,611 (for the Gophers-UMD), 14,744, 17,779, 15,254 and 16,749. That's a grand total of 82,137.To be fair, many of those fans going to the Final Five expected the Gophers to be around for more than one game. So maybe they both [sic] an all-sessions pass.Also there were five separate gates for hockey. But pick the lowest three, and hockey still outdraws college basketball.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Commuters are the Labrador retrievers of the pack. Throw them a good bicycle route, and they'll keep coming back. They love a good game of "catch" — that is, they race to catch green lights. They're highly sociable, largely domesticated and don't mind being leashed to the same roads day after day.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
There has been lots of talk over the last few months about The Dow, and how every time we cross a certain number it's a "psychological barrier" or some other such drivel. But yesterday The Dow closed at a number that I actually did find interesting. The close yesterday was 6594.44. Nothing much in and of itself. But if you look at the 52 week range, that's when things get interesting. The 52 week high was 13,191.50, and half of that number is 6595.75. Which means that, by a margin of 1.31 The Dow has lost a full 50% of it's value in the last year. I'm not sure this is unprecedented, and I'm frankly not interested enough to research it. But it's something.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I drove in on Friday and spent an uneventful weekend taking care of some household tasks. I got my minor wiring project done, and now we can turn the bar lights on from both the top and the bottom of the stairs. Pulling romex is thankless work, but I'm happy I was able to complete the project. Monday in the small hours of the morning I came down with some sort of plague that caused me to leave work early and stay home Tuesday. An actual sick day. I can't remember the last time I took an actual sick day. Back to work again today, feeling more or less back to 100%. I plan to ride again tomorrow, one week to the day since the snowstorm and the last time I was on a bike.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Dear Interested Party,
In our letter of December 3, 2008, we told you public meetings would be conducted in
the winter and spring of 2009 to help determine some of the details for restoration of the
An informational open house has been scheduled to give the public an opportunity to
provide comment on planning for the reuse and restoration of federal property formally
occupied by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines.
The open house will be held Monday February 23, 2009 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the
auditorium on the first floor of the VA Hospital, located at One Veterans Drive in
National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff will be available to
provide information concerning the DEIS preferred alternative, historical preservation
and interpretation, and to gather input to guide planning for the future reuse and
restoration of the site.
If you are interested in this site (and if you cycle in the Twin Cities, you should be), attend the meeting.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Soon enough, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will make more than just tasty beer--it will also manufacture high-grade ethanol fuel from leftover beer yeast. The company announced today that it is partnering with E-Fuel--the inventor of the world's first home ethanol machine--to test portable ethanol refineries at its Chico, California brewery.
Sierra Nevada generates an average of 1.6 million gallons of unusable beer yeast waste each year, which it currently sells to farmers as dairy feed. The brewer's beer dregs contain only 5 to 7% alcohol, but E-Fuel's MicroFueler can raise the alcohol content to 15%, resulting in a higher ethanol yield. The MicroFueler also removes water from the mix for increased quality.
Testing of Sierra Nevada's waste-to-ethanol system will begin in the second quarter of this year, with full-scale production expected soon after. The company plans on using the ethanol in its own vehicles initially, but may eventually supply employees with fuel and distribute extra fuel through E-Fuel's network.
Enterprising small business owners who want to create their own ethanol blend can purchase E-Fuel's MicroFueler for the low price of $9,995.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Monday, February 02, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I got out of work and I headed for the neighborhood beer joint
I sat around and had a beer with the boys like I always do
Well I didn't have nothin' to say anyway there ain't no point
There's just something 'bout a Monday that always makes me blue
Well it was well after dark so I knew my wife and kids were waitin'
And I guess I took a left where I generally take a right
Well I filled her up with gas, checked the oil at the Texaco station
I threw the car seat in the dumpster and headed off into the night
There's somethin' 'bout a Monday that always makes me blue
Well I headed south on 35 hell bent for vinyl
I hadn't never had her up past 55 before
Well somethin' 'bout that little red line always looked so final
Buddy you'd be surprised how fast a Chevrolet truck can go
Now, down in Mexico they've got a little place called Boystown
Where a man's still a man if you know what I'm talkin' about
Well, I walked into the Cadillac bar and I laid my cash down
I said "there's plenty more where that came from" and the lights went out
Well I woke up in a county jail 'cross the line in Laredo
With a headache and a deputy staring at me through the door
Well he said "Now how you got across that river alive, I don't know
But your wife just made your bail so now you're really dead for sure"
Now my wife, she called my boss and cried so I got my job back
And the boys down at the plant, they whisper and stare at me
Yea well my wife can find a lot of little jobs to keep me on the right track
Well, but that's a small price to pay for a week of living dangerously
That's a small price to pay for a week of living dangerously