Friday, October 29, 2010

"hey buddy, how they hangin' "

Believe it or not, that was the typical greeting I used to get from a female co-worker at HP about 15 years ago. She was from colorado, and I guess that was common vernacular. She stopped saying it when I replied one day "wanna see?"

But that's not what this post is about.

I've had a reasonably good week. I managed to ride in to work tuesday, wednesday, and thursday, taking advantage of the summer-like temperatures. I got actual work done at work, and even made significant progress on my fuji suncrest single speed project bike (painting almost done).

I feel myself coming out of the funk I've been feeling since the Debacle At Sucker Brook. I'm actually motivated to ride and run, though not enough to fork out $30 to do the canton cup this weekend. In Lieu, I'll be heading out to the Wicked Ride Of The East on sunday - yeah, $25, but a lot closer, a lot more casual, less pain, and I'm thinkin more fun.

And since I've been remiss in posting HNTs lately, I'll leave you with this - just in time for halloween

See more of Morrigan Hel Here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"I'm Not Dead Yet!"

Gotta Luv MPFC

My motivation received a rather substantial boost over the past two weeks. I was asked by a former teammate to go running in my local park, and to show some new trails - albeit on foot.

He's a former elite runner - took some time off after a debilitation achilles injury and got into cycling as rehab. and immediately started kicking ass. He's a natural athlete, innate aerobic capacity. I showed him my trails, we were out for about an hour, then I paid for it for the next week. We've gone running three times since, and now I'm no longer in pain - though he's just casually running and I'm pushing it. He alleges to not mind the slower pace, and I appreciate the push. Turns out the guy is the senior executive for a rather notable bicycle product company. I'd name names, but since his only reference to me is a vague mention on his blog, I'll let him make that move.

Last week though, I took wedesday afternoon off and met up with him, a couple of his employees, and Phil Keyes of NEMBA for a little spin around the winnekenni park and Millvale Reservoir. We were a bit over two hours, The weather was great, and I think everyone had a good time except for a younger downhill specialist who wasn't used to 2 1/2 hour cross country excursions.

That's me in the stars and stripes. More pictures here.

I haven't seen Phil in 12 years. Seriously - haven't seen, heard from, or communicated with at all. He didn't know I was going to be there, and immediately remembered riding together in the forests of Groton 12 years ago with a group who called ourselves "the Puke Boys" when he saw me. Remembered my name, and remembered the bike I was riding back then. Phil's a super nice guy. Too nice for the likes of me.

Other than that, I did a few other interesting things. The weekend before last I spent a total of 18 hours ripping out and replacing the pantry floor in my parents in-law apartment in my house, for the purpose of removing a skunk that had crawled inside to die. This was quite possibly the most disgusting thing I've ever done (and I've done a lot of disgusting things). I have video, but it recorded in some new version of a high definition .MOV, and I don't have the patience to download an editor to edit out my trying to figure out the new camera.

Last week, after the MTB ride I called in to work, and my boss informed me that some people from our Rockford office were in the area, and the big boss decided to spring for a Celtics game for the whole group, and I should get back to work if I wanted in. Big Baby, Shaq, and the crew did well, coming back from 15 points down at the half to 20 points up with a few minutes to play.

The day after the game I got a call from my (soon to be former) tenant saying a locksmith had padlocked the first floor apartment. I own a piece of shit triple decker apartment building that we had to let go to foreclosure. It appears that a real estate agent looking to assert the banks ownership has been harassing my tenants to move. Problem is, The bank hasn't taken the building yet. I'm still the legal owner. Even still, New Hampshire state law is very clear - upon the transfer of deed, tenants-at-will can be given no less that 90 days notice to quit. This woman was pounding on the door a week after the auction, and has now padlocked one the apartments.

I placed a call to the attorney generals office, who assured me this behavior was in violation of the law. They suggested I file a complaint.

I faxed the complaint on thursday afternoon.

Friday morning I'm giving an interview to an assistant AG over the phone. She said she was going to call the mortgage company to let them know their agent in New Hampshire was in violation of the law. She also suggested I file a complaint with the NH Real Estate Commission which is in the works.

That went well.

I rode to work today, first time in maybe a month. It felt like it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Hardware - Giant XTC SE2

This is an old bike, but I really like it. It fits well, and it's very friendly. I got it from the shop that used to sponsor my old team. It sat for a while at the shop and no one bought it, so the owner stripped the parts and I bought the frame for $300.

I tried racing it, but the geometry is a bit off for that. The wheelbase is short, the rear triangle is very tight, and it's very stiff. It's actually one of the lightest MTB frames ever mass produced if you believe the literature. It's made from Giants proprietary AlCU, whatever that is. Since the tubes are so thin, you can see they had to go with the 'beer can' downtube for strength. As such it doesn't do well on rough courses. Of course, the thing climbs like a solid fuel rocket, but I can't keep the rear wheel on the ground on a rough descent. Between the 'active' rear end and the fact that I race well under 150 pounds, it's just to skittish.

So, I decided to set it up for 'cross. I had an aluminum Kinesis rigid fork that weighs about one pound. I put on some left over parts from my old Proflex 853: tektro blue anodized brakes, Real blue anodized levers, sampson stratics blue anodized crankset, Sram X-ray 8 speed shifters, and some old 8 speed XTR deraileurs I had laying around. For a while I had a stupid light MTB wheelset consisting of American Classic hubs and Mavic 213 rims. Eventually though, the Regina 8 speed freewheel wore out, and you simply can't find 8 speed freewheel replacements anywhere anymore. (If you have a link, let me know). So I how have the american classic on the front, but a WTB offset rim laced to a white industries cassette hub on the rear. Gearing is 24/34/44 x 12/21. For 'cross use, I put Continental Cross Country 1.5's front and rear.

As it sits in the picture, the bike weighs 9 Kg even. My 'real' 'cross bike - a steel bontrager CX - weighs over 1 Kg more. It's still not very good for 'cross, since it doesn't accelerate or handle as well as a real XC bike, and even I can tell the difference - as shitty as a 'cross rider that I am - between this and my bontrager. I have it for that special race where we've had 6 inches of rain for the past week and the course is a mud bog. This thing does fantastic in those conditions.

I found another good use for it this past summer. A local bike club has a weekly time trial, and they called out a day for MTB. Ride the TT course on your MTB. The rules - had to be a frame designed as a mountain bike; flat bars; off road tires of at least 1.85 " (no slicks or road tires), and no aero accessories (wheel covers, clip-on bars, aero helmet). Well, I just happened to have a set of tires by Kenda called the Kosmic Lite. 1.95", 395 grams, max pressure of 80 PSI, miminalist off road tread - similar to a ritchey speedmax. As shitty as a time trialist as I am, I got 2nd, only six seconds behind the winner. Most times they tell you "it aint the bike, it's the motor". Not this time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

E-Mail Of The Week

well, last week...

I just love these. I get variations on them all the time, though not nearly as often as the ones from the Tanzanian widow of the government finance minister who beseeches my help in storing her vast wealth in my private bank account for which she would give me a sizable percentage after the Coup d'├ętat...but I digress.

Most of the letters of the following type are ostensibly penned by american college women, new in town and looking for someone more experienced to show them around. This one, however, was a first - even for me....

Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 12:06 PM
Subject: Hello!!!

Hello My New friend!!!
How are you? My name is Irina. To me of 28 years. I was born at 14 of October in 1981. Today I have come in Internet-cafe to find for myself the real person. For me it is mine the first dating on the Internet. I have addressed to the operator in Internet-cafe that it has shown me a site where I could get acquainted. I have found yours email the address on dating site which call "be 2". Still I would like to explain you the reason why I have decided to get acquainted through the Internet.

It because I have been disappointed in men from Russia. And I think that I will find the special person from other country. Which will understand me as the woman instead of as a thing from which it is possible to address as you want. I wish to have real love that we approached each other. I wanted that in which that man I wish to meet there were such lines: Honesty, goodwill, openness, trustfulness, sincerity, fair.

I think that this all the basic lines which should be concluded in the man. The most important thing that should be at two loving each other people this trust and love. If it is that I think that that cannot separate two enamoured people. That I always could rely on favourite in difficult minute and that I could help it when to it it will be heavy. A little more on itself. I the independent woman. Has always got used to achieve all, not addressing to whose or the help. Lonely, no children I have. Married when was not. At present I try to find the person special for. I have written to you because you to me have seemed to the interesting. And I have decided to get acquainted with you. I hope that our acquaintance to proceed, As it is very interesting to me to learn about you more. I will wait from you for the letter. You can write to me on my personal address:
With the best regards your new friend Irina.

This picture was attached:

This line struck me : Which will understand me as the woman instead of as a thing from which it is possible to address as you want.

Does that mean I can't call you Daddy's Good Little Whore? Well, fucking forget it then.......

Monday, October 4, 2010

And So It Waits

This is where I parked it on september 24

This is where it was this morning.

Get that? Right. It's the same picture. In other words, my 'daily' bike hasn't moved in ten days.

I have a small awning outside my basment door, I usually park the bike there all summer, thought it rarely sits more that a couple days.

My motivation has reached a significant low, due in no part to the ridiculous performance I registered at Sucker Brook last weekend. It started out well enough, I even got one of my best starts I've ever had in a cross race. I went into the firs serpentine section in maybe 10th spot. It went downhill from there - rapidly. Halfway through I was getting passed by dudes that haven't beat me in 2 years. By the end of the race I had dropped below the 50th percentile. No energy, no snap, I was actually accelerating faster seated than standing.

Coupled with other personal issues that are not blog fodder (yet) I've decided to pack it in for the year.

Before sucker brook

After sucker book

Time to focus somewhere else. I'll be commuting until it gets dark too early, but I'll be enjoying my MTB on weekends. I'll get more running in, and maybe take a yoga class. I just hope I don't end up have a shape resembling a turkey before I'm done.