Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Toys!!!! Yaaaaaaaay!!!!!!

I'm not normally one to go on about getting stuff, unless of course it's some great bike item, but I felt very appreciated by my family's show of not just getting me christmas presents, but things they knew I would appreciate.

My daughter decided to use her imagination, and bought me these:

A collection of beer coasters. I guess they have some sort of "beer store" at the mall where they sell all things related to beer, except for beer. She wrapped them all individually.

She also must have heard me mention how cool I thought this was:

It's a double-ended ratcheting box wrench. And yes, it's as cool as it looked on TV. I haven't had the chance to use it yet, but there's no doubt I will.

My wife went a bit overboard, and decided to spring for this:

It's an english bottom-bracket chase and face tool. For chasing and facing your bottom-bracket. I know I enjoy a thorough bottom-bracket chasing and facing, and I'm sure you would too. There's something of a comforting satisfaction that comes with a freshly chased and faced bottom-bracket.

Before chasing and facing:

Chased and faced!

But this one threw me. After all these years I know she's paying attention:

No, it's not a personally autographed picture of Randy Mantooth (What Do You Want From Life?), it's a personally autographed picture of Bernard Hinault. I was incredulous.

Me: "that's bernard hinault, wait, is that real signature?"
Her: "yeah, I'm really relieved you knew who it was"
Me: "it's bernard hinault, of course I know who it is. Where on earth did you get the idea for this?"
Her: "I was browsing ebay looking for something different for you and saw it. I googled him to see if it was anyone worthwhile and figured he was"
Me: "uh, YEAH he's worthwhile...."
Her: "so I did good?"
Me: "You did fucking awesome"
(I just love saying 'fuck' in the context of christmas)

To top it all off, my parents bought me the complete box set of the entire Monty Python Flying Circus TV show.

Up Next - Pictures of me chasing and facing whilst singing The Lumberjack Song:

Everyone sing along now!

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay,
I sleep all night and I work all day.
(He's a lumberjack and he's okay,
he sleeps all night and he works all day)

I cut down trees, I eat my lunch, I go to the lavatory,
On Wednesdays I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea.
(He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch, he goes to thelavatory,
On Wednesdays he goes shopping, and has buttered scones fortea)

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

I cut down trees, I skip and jump, I like to press wildflowers,
I put on women's clothing and hang around in bars.
(He cuts down trees, he skips and jumps, he likes to press wildflowers
He puts on women's clothing and hangs around in bars??)

I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay,
I sleep all night and I work all day.

I cut down trees, I wear high heels, suspenders and a bra.
I wish I'd been a girly, just like my dear Papa.
(He cuts down trees, he wears high heels, suspenders? and abra???)
(girlfriend: I thought you were so rugged! oh, you!!)

(walks out)

He's a lumberjack and he's okay,
he sleeps all night and he works all day.
He's a lumberjack and he's okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay.....
he sleeps all night and he works all day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Balls, and Other Shit

I know, you have a cyclist in your life, and your wondering "what can I get them, that they don't already have, that I know they'll appreciate"

Well, the folks at So Fresh, So Dry have a solution, for the male _or_ female cyclist in your life. Yes, this hygiene product will show them that you care about them, and their comfort. To quote from the video "The here in my hand" (yes, it's a real product, and it allegedly works as described. While not aimed at cyclists specifically, it's sure to pique a reaction as a stocking stuffer)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alternative Fuel Source

Reblogged from BikeJerks:

I'm no fan of miller, but I dig this commercial.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Well, that's just fucking great.

Here I spend the entire day saturday taking up boards on my front porch, and digging down into two varmint holes I found, but no skunk.

OK, that's good and bad. I really didn't want to find a skunk, since that would mean I'd have to deal with it, but I missed a fabulous day of racing at Ice Weasels. Not that I didn't get a good workout, lot's of good core work from twisting, digging, and moving rocks underneath the porch joists mostly on my knees. So the stink is dissipating, and as of this morning there was only a faint hint of the odor in my basement.

Still, had I been given a choice, I would much rather have gone to ice weasels.

All told, I got a days worth of hard labor on saturday, and then helped a neighbor move a room full of furniture from his second floor to his garage sunday, so it isn't like I was slacking, but it wasn't the workouts I had hoped for. It was actually a pretty bad follow up to running the Mill Cities Relay the sunday before

(How's that for a segue, solo?)

The Mill Cities Relay is a 27 mile relay race in 5 legs from Nashua to Lawrence. I ran the last leg. It was a weird team event. The first two guys went home right after their legs and didn't bother to show up for the beer and pasta fest at the claddah pub afterwards. The middle guy leapfrogged me during my leg, up to about 1 mile to go - giving me much needed cheer, but didn't make it to the pub after for some reason. The 4th runner, the dude that got me into it, was sick and had his relatives visiting, so he met me at the pub, we had a quick bite of the pasta feed and split.

Not that I minded, I really didn't feel like hanging around anyways. Still, we stayed around long enough to chat with a couple of local cycling luminaries that had decided to trade racing flats for speedplays.

Ray Johnson, ten year record holder of the Men's Non-Aero category at the Charlie Baker time Trial was there with the Shamrock Road Runners. He announced that he had officially retired from bike racing. He usually runs a well-sub-6 pace, but today was on a mixed masters fun team, so they ended up 23rd

Fabio Piergentili was there with the Whirlaway Masters team - one of the premier running teams in new england. He ran on a team with craig fram. Craig is like the Skip Foley of running races in New England. That Fabio was asked to run on a team with craig speak volumes of Fabios running ability let alone his cycling ability. I may be mistaken about this, but I beleive Fabio was 3rd in his very first race as a cat 3 - which just happened to be the pro/1/2/3 Yarmouth Clamfest (Tom Payson) Road Race. Today, Fabios team got 2nd overall, and the first place masters team, running the 27.1 miles in 2:29:27

But enough about me feeling like a waterboy on the patriots sidelines. I did manage to knock off a 6:31 pace, which I was quite happy with because I've been doing NO speed work, just 8 minute pace hour-long runs a few times a week, and there is a pretty sizable hill for a running race on this leg.

I went out very fast for me, the first mile was 6:00. Too fast.
Second mile, 6:48. That's fine, I had the hill coming up.
Third mile, 7:30. That's the climb, I can live with that. I suck at running hills.
Fourth mile, 6:12. That's the downhill, that's about right, but I could feel I was pretty whipped when the road leveled out again.
The last leg is 4.75 miles, and I did the last 3/4 mile in 4:30, which works out to a 6:00 pace. I faded horribly, and got passed by two guys, but I wasn't going to let the 2nd guy go so close to the end. I struggled to keep him within wht IU thought would be striking distance for a sprint. One thing I've learned in the short time I've been running is that most guys at my level can't sprint.

He had about 5 seconds on me with 1/4 mile to go, so I opened it up.

I got so close to him I had to move along side to keep our legs clear.

He sensed it and picked up his pace.

I matched him, and as we approached the line his club-mates were screaming. Hey, I didn't have no stinkin' club-mates.....

I gave it every last bit I had with 100 yards to go, but he kept up the pace, matching my speed, the crowd screaming wildly.

We finished nearly side by side, but with me just behind his left shoulder. We both nearly collapsed, and attempted a high 5 but ended up doing a kind of lower 2 or three since we couldn't quite get our hands up. I'm thinking the sort-of-negative-split on the last mile was strictly due to the sprint.

While it was only for about 5oth place, it was arguably one of the better finishes to that point base4d on the cheers from the crowd. Our team finishing time was 2:58:13. The last time I ran it we did a 2:43:17, but that was with a group of guys who were arguably more serious about running in general

I'm back into my winter routine now, grumbling about skunk smell in my basement while I'm banging out squat sets.

Friday, December 10, 2010

GODDAMN it stinks in here!!!!!!

It's back.

I was going through a circuit set on wednesday night in my basment when it hit me. Ever so faintly, then seemingly getting stronger in waves as I went through my sets.

Fucking skunk.

I wasn't sure at first, since it was so slight. I didn't smell it up-stairs, but when I went back downstairs later - no mistaking.

Last night, I got home from work and smelled around my house - oh yeah, under the front porch, not the breezeway like last time. As the furnace and the wood stove aspirated 'fresh' air from outside last night, the coldest night in ten months, it drew the odor in the house. By the time I went to bed, it was so pungent I could actually taste it. It didn't wake me up from sleep last night, but I did wake up to pee and hard a hard time getting back to sleep.

So now what? Now I have to go digging under my front porch and hope that it's dead, and hope there aren't any live ones. Because coming face to face with a skunk while trapped under the porch will NOT be a good thing.

I got to thinking - I'm a liberal with a strong sense of environment. As such, I'm hesitant to kill anything I have no intention of eating....but really, what good are skunks? Do they fill a niche that can't be filled by other scavangers that don't fucking stink? No. there are plenty of other creatures from the family musteloidea that scavenge, eat insects, and are actually beneficial rather than just stinkin' up the place.

I've trapped quite a few nuisance animals at my house over the years. I catch them in a have-a-heart, then drive them across the new hampshire border to release them. You can't exactly do that with a skunk, because they fucking stink. I mean, they spray that shit. Even if I were to get it into a trap, would I be able to move the trap without it spraying? What if I do manage to get it in my car and it decides to spray in there?

Fucking skunks, if there was ever a more useless creature.......