Wednesday, November 30, 2005
So what about when the back wheel starts to slide. You Minneapolis folks know that sometimes the back wheel slides out so fast that you're on the ground in a heartbeat. Faster than a heartbeat at times. Ice you can see isn't so bad. Ice hidden by a fresh dusting of snow can be evil. I'm riding cyclocross tires (Continental twisters) on my black Crosscheck. I like them a lot. Some people still prefer to ride slicks in the winter. Do they really cut through like a pizza cutter as Connor (kid on the next block who also rides to work at an un-Godly hour) says. I'll take the Salsa out to find out for myself.
More snow is at the doorstep. Put the cap on tighter on that water bottle my love.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Since I shared some of the items on my Christmas wish list I thought I should share some of Debra's items on her list.
1. Personal cd player to listen to her Monkeys Greatest Hits cd
2. Wicking long sleeve shirts
3. Hope diamond
4. Charms for her bracelet
5. Biking gloves - preferably pink
6. Paper shredder - like the one the FEMA people use to shred internal memos
7. Any large dog - something the size of a small rv to help pull studded tire bike
8. Autographed picture of Martha Stewart
9. Instructional video of laundry procedures for husband
10. Subscription to Directv magazine
11. Larger bed - big dumb husband and his dog take up too much room
Most of these items are going to be pretty easy. I'm having lunch with Martha later this week and I have a line on a Great Dane puppy.
Monday, November 28, 2005
E on Green Giant. I would've ridden the Parade Bike in the rain if I knew she was going to stop by.
Happy E and reflective Raymond at my desk. An otherwise gloomy Monday was brightened by the girls' visit. E's mommy is always impressed by our building. This place is listed on the historic register right alongside Jefferson's boyhood home.
Actually, my wallet is in my new Banjo Brothers bag that was given to me by the nice folks at Banjo Brothers. I be a field tester. It's smaller than my Chrome Kremlin bag which is ok. At one point I had 7 pairs of gloves, 4 pairs of socks and the transmission to a 67 Buick in my Chrome bag. Last night when I was making the bag changeover I found the other missing short-fingered black glove that had been missing for over a month. I guess Mrs can take that off my Christmas wish list. I really like the white interior of the new bag which makes it much easier to find stuff. Interior pockets and large reflective stripe on back are cool as well. The Banjo people also sent me a really swanky attache' case which will be nice to carry important papers in. New bag sheds rain very well which was important this morning. I had to ride Green Giant this morning because right before we left I found out that my black Crosscheck had a flat front tire. Grrr! Is that proper usage of grrr, hereNT? I'm giving the Giant to a guy at work so he was all geeked up to see his new/old bike. Debra in front of massive Christmas tree which was wrestled (with huge amounts of laughter) into the stand yesterday afternoon. Picture brings to light a couple of facts. Tree is very large and Mrs is quite small. Lights will go on soon. Hopefully, before temps plummet to single digits. Ribbon Girl has been contacted/schmoozed and is ' in for the big win' (Full Metal Jacket). Why is your Christmas tree on the back porch you may ask? Because there's a nine year-old, lovable, bratty dog who just can't find it in herself to leave the tree alone when we're at work.
11:15 am addition to this post - I was just on the Banjo Brothers web page and noticed that the attache' case thingy is actually a laptop case. Yep, I'm an idjit and deserve to be run over by a soccer mom on her cell phone this afternoon.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Melting snow and smattering of rain make for soggy day on the old Dragger. Wienery was closed so we rode to Uptown Diner for breakfast. I've found out that the tandem doesn't handle so well on packed down melting snow. Almost put it on its side once. I took two days off riding after reaching 7000 so today is really fun. Have ridden a bike all but 59 days this year. Not bad when time allotted for drinking used to be so important. Back to work tomorrow. Yuck!! Still need to get massive Christmas tree in its stand this afternoon. Will need to beg professional ribbon maker to tie ribbons for tree. Oh great ribbon twister would you please, please, please make up the ribbons for massive tree?
Mrs and I traded wish lists for Christmas. Each list consists of twenty items to help each other out. She even cut out ads to help me out. I wrote mine down. A portion of my list follows.
1. Cheapest rain jacket available for biking
2. Salad Shooter
3. Tall wool socks
4. Polka dot bike like that Rasmussen guy rode on the last day of the tour
5. Mr T starter set
6. Dog of any size
7. Shitto's chicken - a guy at work got this chicken for his 40th birthday and is looking to unload it
8. Smartwool balaclava - not a Greek pastry
9. Large Krispy Kreme coffee mug
10. Any ratty looking wool sweater from a thrift store
11. Short fingered cycling gloves
12. Windproof underwear - male cyclists and runners understand
I think I have a shot at getting some of this stuff. Unfortunately, I bet I won't be getting the dog, chicken or $10,000 bike.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Snow is very pretty while it's falling, isn't it? I took my black Crosscheck out for a while to play. Stayed out until I was good and cold. That's 42nd Street in the background where motorists just refer to me as that idiot on his bike.
Ma and Snowy on Thanksgiving Day. We took Ma out to eat and then brought her home to see the dogs. As you can see Snowy is shy and not that affectionate.
Mileage for the year is 7027. Eating cake at every opportunity. What's the most memorable thing that happened while riding that far? Easy. While I was waiting for the light to change at 32nd and Hiawatha the guy next to me looked over and then locked his car doors. I've ridden 3000 miles between mid-August and now. If I hadn't screwed around until mid-August, there's no telling how far I could've ridden.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
There's something incredibly liberating to me about staying out all night with your bike. Being out on a fairly cold evening from 8:30 pm to 6 the next morning. Much more fun at 6 am sober than the days I had to pilot the damn thing home drunk. Downtown at 6 on a Sunday morning is a mix of cabs, homeless people and holdovers from the night's festivities. For me it's a time when I feel in complete control of my existence. The pictures you take pale in comparison to what your eyes see.
Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for many things, not the least of which is my sobriety. It's given me my life back. Entertaining a little girl with a hand puppet would've never been so much fun in the old days.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
As of this minute I've got 77 miles to ride to make 7000 for the year. The goal was originally 6000, then 7000, then 7000 by the end of November. I'll have it done by Friday. Then we eat cake.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Green dragon taking his frustrations out on Elmo. Green dragon is a bad ass and quickly established supremacy over all stuffed animals in the house.
E in a reflective pose wishing she could take my camera away from me and beat some sense into me with it.
Aah. This is how she got into the pink outfit. Debra wanted a green outfit but I lobbied hard for pink. I guess we were only supposed to change outfits if they got dirty. Just like at home, I'm good at increasing the laundry load.
Lazy dogs on a huge Marshall Field's couch, drunk from pizza crust.
The evening with E went swimmingly. Mommy came home and was able to put E to bed without a problem. Syracuse 81 Texas Tech 46.
Off all of next week. You can work for the City in your next life. But you can't be the forester. Ride your bike. It's not cold. Not yet.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Phase 2 of my treatment program ended last night. The group wanted me to talk about what the program had done for me. The program made me take a hard look at myself. It made me see what alcohol was doing to my life and my family. I reveled in the hard-drinking party animal image. As I said at the end of Phase 1, I've buried the party animal along side my house. The program showed me that there's a life for me without alcohol. I had to admit that I was in fact an alcoholic. That was tough. I was lucky. I have the support of family and friends. Lucky to have had William as my counselor. I couldn't imagine going through treatment without William as my counselor. He made me face the hard truth. But he also bolstered my self-esteem. He told me last night I can stop in for group any time I want. I'm sure I'll ride there some cold Wednesdays this winter.
Tonight, Debbie and I are watching Ella. Kris is going out with her mommy group to a Japanese steak place. I told her to think of me when the calculator comes out to figure out the bill down to the penny. I was informed that she's not like that. I know, but it's still fun to tease.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
The new pedals for black Crosscheck are the kind with spd's on one side and a platform with great big teeth on the other side. I thought about the pedal covers but it's nice to have some teeth for when you're riding in heavy winter boots.
New links are here: Go to links section - Too lazy to set up quick links here
Super Rookie - former Minneapolis messenger Tim who now lives in Chicago. Tim was one of the main organizers of Stupor Bowl.
The Old Bag - a Twin Cities woman who likes bikes, beer and cigars among other stuff.
Commute-a-blog - Cape Cod cyclist
The Fog Of Work - Twin Cities guy who likes to post about sports
Treatment tonight. Not much of phase two left. I need to ride there so the boys can ask me why I'm still riding a bike in this weather.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
So let's get this snow machine going. The snow has been out there on the radar all day. It's been raining for quite a while, but no snow. Maybe tonight. We're ready at work for snow. Boy, are we ever ready. All of the equipment has been changed over for snow. We'll finish the third pass through the city for leaf sweeping today. I still get calls for a few leaves in the street a couple of times a day. Some of these people have total unrealistic expectations.
I don't know if I'm alone on this but I'd rather ride when it's snowing than when it's raining. Rain finds every part of your clothing and just soaks you. At least with snow you can usually shake yourself off like a dog to get it off you. Riding on ice is a whole different matter. Be ready to fall, get back up, ride some more and fall again. The key on ice is to not fall into oncoming traffic.
Debra drug her old Diamondback out of the recesses of the basement last night so I could get it roadworthy. I washed it, degreased the chain and cassette, put air in the tires and took the horn off so she could attach her headlight. I also attached a clip-on fender to help with road splashing. I took the "loaner" sticker off. Freewheel People: Don't tell Kevin. Of course I have bought four new bikes from you in a one year period.
Tonight after work I'm riding to Freewheel for a new set of pedals for the black Crosscheck. One pedal locked up on the way home yesterday and finally broke loose. That pedal is kind of wobbly now. I want a pedal with a platform on one side and clipless on the other. I hope they don't make me ride back home for the fender.
Monday, November 14, 2005
This isn't my leg or my socks. I bootlegged the picture off the blog called A Flower Called Nowhere. These socks were given out as a prize at Homie Fall Fest by Hurl (Cars-R-Coffins). He told me he obtained them at Interbike last year. I think they're pretty cool. I probably wouldn't ride in them when my wife was with me or stop at any kid's lemonade stands either. Nonetheless, I'm still searching the galaxy for a pair. I'd trade two cases of beer, Debbie's Monkeys cd and a pair of Your Bike Sucks socks for a pair. I'd even rake leaves for a pair.
I made some purchases of wool items for the upcoming winter. The two green sweaters are from Turnstyle, a consignment shop in Saint Paul for $9 a piece. The Surly long sleeve wool jersey came from Freewheel. It wasn't $9. Debbie has a Surly jersey too. We try not to wear them in the same place at the same time. We also try to not ride our black Crosschecks together. Dog in picture not purchased at Turnstyle or Freewheel. She'd also be hard to fit in your bag to use as an extra layer.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Mrs. made another run to Marshall Field's this evening to take advantage of the 13 Hour sale (and her birthday) to make more purchases and keep the economy running. I took a stroll through the mall and found her in the Field's shoe department. No shoe purchase for her so she'll have to settle for the 100 pairs of shoes she currently owns. It took me a long time to pay off the shoe debt Snowy established for me a couple of years ago.
I watched some of the Ford Ironman World Championship today and was inspired by Sarah Reinertsen, a lady with one prostetic leg. This event is made up of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike "ride" and a 26.2 mile run. This woman is truely the shit. I hope I can find a poster of her to put up on the door I leave with my bike.
Friday, November 11, 2005
It's a monkey. At least he/she wasn't doing anything rude.
A polar bear that could use a trip to the groomer.
Besides the zoo, there's a conservatory at Como Park. It's warm and humid in here. I was wearing a long sleeve wool jersey. Get the picture.
Somebody leave a comment and tell me what the hell kind of animal this is.
Dinner at Axel's. We didn't ride our bike there. Mrs was dressed way too nice for riding and I dug a shirt out of the laundry and put on extra cologne. Yeah, I could've taken a picture of our food before we attacked it, but I was really hungry and dove right in.
We're out on the Dragger tonight. I already had to yell at some guy who almost hit us. I think I yelled, "excuse me, but didn't you see us on our bike"?
Have a great weekend. Ride your bike and smile (but look tough). Eat like there's no tomorrow. Keep the profanity to a minimum when an asshole almost hits you in traffic. In 100 years it won't matter that I left the leaves on my lawn over the winter.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
A wind-starched American flag besides being a beautiful sight means something else to a cyclist. It represents tough going into that wind. Much less fun on a 40 degree day than a 80 degree day. Luckily, my commute to work was against the wind and the ride home will have the wind at my back for the most part. Return on investment as Dave Gray from Surly put it.
Tomorrow is Debra's birthday. Her birthday tradition for many years is a trip to the Como Park Zoo in Saint Paul. She likes the Como Zoo because it reminds her of the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Me too. I think we'll ride the Dragger there with a stop at the Wienery for breakfast. Big Daddy is having the boys over after work tomorrow for a poetry reading. That, and shitloads of beer. I'll stop with the birthday girl so she can read The Raven. Then it's off to Axel's for dinner.
Treatment group is tonight. I don't think I have too many more sessions for this phase. Since I don't have to get up at 5 tomorrow I believe I'll ride for quite a while after group. Hopefully the wind will have died down some by then. So, keep the coffee pot on. I may stop by. I'll bring the donuts.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Tonight we move in for the kill on E-bay. There's a Swobo blue wool long sleeve jersey that I want to get for Debbie. The kids have bid it up to $53. I'm thinking it's worth at least $75. I'll ambush them with about 30 seconds to go before the auction ends. This is Big Daddy's tried and true method of bidding. It works almost every time. Get in at the end and leave them wondering.
One more day of work left. Debbie and I are off on Thursday and Friday. Thursday is her birthday. I don't remember how old she is. I know I'm a lot older. Well, older chronologically. Inside I'll be 12 forever. I do have one knee that's like 60.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Yeah, my Crosscheck is cool, but I wanted to show our new institutional carpeting in our spacious offices. My boss picked this color because he wanted something that blended in well with dirt. I lobbied for green shag. I was told to put my straight jacket back on and go sit in the corner. My boss had made the statement, "you won't be bringing that f-ing bike into the office after we get the new carpeting". I told him my bikes were worth more than his carpeting. He couldn't argue with my reasoning.
Rode the Dragger twice this weekend and the Parade Bike once. New shoes and a birthday party for Potter's girlfriend Rina on Saturday. Bike washing and football on Sunday. We fed Josh and Cip Sunday evening and then I escorted them to the 38th Street Light Rail Station.
Added two new links today. My great-niece Aimee's picture blog and Evil Cycling. That way the universe is in balance.
Yes, another weekend has come and gone, and about 15 bags of leaves (DNR estimate) remain on our lawn. I know, I'm bringing down property values in the neighborhood. I do have one ally - Jim, the creator of Oil Is For Sissies. Solidarity Brother.
I hope Ella lives in the neighborhood for a really long time because:
1) I like her a lot.
2) When she's old enough I can pay her large sums of money for yard work.
I just read this post. It took me 20 seconds to read it. I don't know how long it took you. Don't bellyache to me about wasting 20 seconds of your life reading about some lazy bastard's leaves.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Friday Pizza Ride with Debbie on the Dragger tonight. We're going to the downtown Pizza Luce. Dodging rush hour traffic on the way to pizza. Yee Hah!!
So, have a great weekend. Ride your bike. If you live in Richfield, drop me a voicemail if we've missed your stump. We'll get it next June. Don't worry, the snow will cover it in a month or so.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Speaking of leaves. The boys are out leaf sweeping right now. We make like four passes through the city and people still call to complain. We don't go back just because a car that was in the way got moved. The travelling circus can't spot sweep 10 spots and still get the job done. Stump grinding is also in progress. It's a pipe dream that every stump gets ground before winter. Part of the reason is that the forester is such a shitty paperwork jockey. Come to think of it, the forester is actually a pretty shitty tree inspector too.
And now a word about peak oil. Sorry Jim, I was just messing around. Don't give a half-wit access to the internet.
On a positive note I was able to squeeze my fat ass into a pair of size 34 jeans. That may not be a big deal to some of you but I once had to squeeze into size 46 pants. I had the 34's on long enough to blow a rivet through the wall. Oh well.
Sorry about this post. No, I haven't started drinking again. I'm just in a really weird mood.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
One plan that seems to float through my pea brain is to ride my Rockhopper this winter. Change the front fork so fenders can be mounted and set it up with knobby tires again. I don't know if the fork from Green Giant can be used on the Rockhopper. I've already promised Green Giant to one of the guys at work. He doesn't get the fenders, mud flaps or other schwag. He's happy anyway. Hell, it's better than the Magna he's riding now.
Mrs has been hinting that it's her turn to get another bike. Boy would I love to get her a pink Surly 1 x 1. The whole pink thing would fit her so well and I'm positive she's ready for the whole single-speed experience. Single-speed is beautiful. You just pedal. No up one gear or down one gear looking for the porridge that's just right. Who the hell uses all those gears anyway?
Somebody rake my leaves. I'll pay you well and feed you.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I passed out candy last night in my doggie costume. Some of the little kids were afraid of the big dog. The older kids loved my costume. I think we had like 50 or 60 trick-or-treaters. After the candy giveaway we attended my tattooer Adam's art show at Oddfellows on east Hennepin. Everything was done on black velvet. The painting I really liked was $1000. Oddfellows is hooked to a gay bar called Boom. Some pretty interesting costumes were seen there. There was also a nun (not a real one) hanging (yes by the throat) from the ceiling. Yeah, nobody liked getting hit with that f-ing ruler.
738 miles to go for 7000. Between riding the fleet and the Dragger I rode 1043 miles in October. That's by far my best month ever. No time spent drinking means more time to ride. It's not hard to ride that far in a month. You just throw your leg over the seat and pedal. You don't even have to go all that fast.
Our little buddy Ella has been in the hospital since Saturday. She's not gaining weight like she should be and is being checked out for all kind of things. Kris sent me a picture of her in her Halloween costume from the hospital. Hang in there E. We'll be walking in the neighborhood with you in that baby sling in no time. I wonder what my great niece Aimee was for her first Halloween. I better go check her picture blog to find out.