Friday, January 30, 2009

Weird Wide Web

Want a freaky lesson regarding how close knit the web has made us all? Google up your email address, or maybe your user names for you favorite bulletin board, and see what happens. I'm not talking about seeing your old posts, some that are painful to read and maybe a little embarrassing when taken out of context. Nope...I'm talking about the pretty bizarre stuff that comes up via word association. For example...

I'm a Land Rover fan, which means I'm partial to a few aftermarket parts manufacturers, like Hella, OME and Safety Devices. Now, Hella makes lighting equipment, OME makes suspension components, and Safety Devices is known for roof racks for carrying expedition equipment and rollover protection equipment etc, and was a product sponsor to the famed and now defunct Camel Trophy from years ago. Those who know Safety Devices, know the company is also known as 'SD'. They make roof racks. Their roof racks are powder coated black.

Somewhere in my life, on a Land Rover board far, far away, I typed the phrase 'black SD racks'.

So now, because I'm a fan of Land Rovers, And I spend time on a message board about British trucks and their aftermarket accessories, I'm affiliated, via Google, with...

Wait for it...

"Blacks D racks"

Yep, that's me alright, associated with a porn site featuring inter-racial pictures of black guys snuggling up to porky white boobs. The best part?... The site apparently is a portal for gay porn too! Hey! Why be picky! Woo!

So it's official...I'm never going to be President after THAT background check! (unless McCain tries a third time and needs a running mate, apparently there's no background review at all for that gig.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rolex 24 hours of Daytona

The 1st and 3rd place cars are on display at Brumos Porsche here in town. I stopped by over lunch and took a few quick pictures. Its neat to see these machines in battle dress, rather than all flossed and waxed, as they are usually on display. These suckers were literally pushed out of the transport and onto the showroom floor.

Brumos, the famous local Porsche Dealer located here in Jacksonville, is the title sponsor.

The 1st place 58 car.

Battle worn.

59 car engine, looks darn dirty, and sports typical goo from 24 hours of competition, despite only mild oil leaks .

58 on the other hand, sported the notorious oil leak that was talked about (and agonized over)during the race.

Carbon bodywork damaged around the mirror stalk of car 58. This is what the stress of 195 mph drag does to even the most advanced of man made materials. The green is confetti from the winners circle.

59 car sports delaminating bodywork, again from the forces exerted on the car during competition. These things basically rattle and rumble themselves into oblivion.

Body damage to the splitter on the front of the 59 car. Some collision during competition. There were reports of this damage negatively affecting straight line speed on the high oval portions of the course during the race.

Monster disc brakes worn to nubs.

It was neat to see these suckers on display in this post race condition. Next, 58 heads down to Daytona to be displayed there for a week, and then both cars get taken apart and rebuilt for the next race in Virginia a little over a month away. 1st and 3rd place! File that under Local Boys Done Good.

Mr Beer!

For Christmas, Kristen got me a Mr Beer home brewing kit. I've been interested in trying out a little home brewing, and this little sucker boils the process down (no pun intended!) so even a total knucklehead can figure out how it's done...

Here are the bottles, ready to go. I won't need these until 10 days in, when stage two of the fermenting process starts.

The keg, washed and cleaned out, and ready to roll..

Making the Wort. This is the first stage, boiling up what Mr Beer calls the 'Booster', which is essentially a big honkin' bag of sugar.

One Bag of 'Booster', one can of hopped extract, and a teeny packet of yeast, and then she sits. About 10 days in, when the yeast is done doing it's thing (minimum of 7 days, max of three weeks), I'll transfer the sludge to the quart bottles and cap them off and let the beer condition. Then I'm going to drink them all, all 2 gallons worth, in one sitting, and throw up on myself. Should be fun!

Happy little yeasts...GET TO WORK!

Sleeping yeasts. Stay out of the sun, little yeasts! I need my liquid bread.

The website has a billion recipes for custom beers and almost as many off the shelf mixes ready to go. I've bumped around on some home brewing web pages too, and a good many of the folks there say the Mr Beer is a cool way to start up in the hobby, and with 8 quarts of beer in the works, I think Mr Beer will turn out enough to keep me happy. Garrett Oliver, on the other hand...would probably not agree.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Santos, January 2009, round two.

Pictures from the Sunday Santos ride...

This is on the land bridge going over the interstate. Neat how they made it look like a ground based footpath even though you're 30 feet off the ground...

Looking over the edge, over a few bikes, of course...

Detailing on the bridge

Skully, protecting me on my ride, as he's done since 1994.

Props to the retro crowd. And the country too, I guess.
Florida Trail intersects the bike paths at many points along the route. The iconic FT logo...

The FT orange hashes...this is an intersection, I swear I wasn't on the FT with a bike!!!

Saturday Road, Sunday Trail

Saturday road ride with the Orange Park guys. There were about 7 of us this time, so attendance was a little light. The ride started out a little hot, pace-wise, and my hamstring bothered me a bit, so I cut my ride off at the short length and returned to the shop with Craig and Travis. The short route is an option that the About Bikes folks usually have available to people who join the Saturday organized ride. Typically, the first 5 miles or so is warm-up pace, and considering the temperatures lately, that comes in handy. 12 miles after that the group hits the turnaround point at a public bathroom for the recreation path along hwy 17. Long group then carries on, while the short heads on back. The 4 of us on the short (Curt was there too, a new guy to the group) kept the pace pretty quick and we finished well before 10am. Craig usually rides short on Saturdays because he opens the shop for the owner, Kent. It was a pretty cold morning, but the cool weather jersey and vest that Kristen got me for Christmas really worked well to keep my pudge comfy. Shortened route distance for the ride, 34 miles. Headed home and watched little miss pissy while mom went to the store. Then I made some spaghetti for dinner. Nice domestic day.

Sunday, Travis and I hit Santos in Ocala again, same place as last week. I picked up Travis at a bout 6am, so we would get an early start and be back in tone to contribute meaningfully to our respected households. Funny-oops of the day...I fell on my head on the kiddy obstacles in the parking lot. Ha! I'm not sure of the distance, but we went from the Santos trail head to the Land Bridge over I-75, and then beyond by about 5-7 miles, into the next trail quadrant, called Christmas, believe it or not. Pics to follow!

Friday, January 23, 2009

SDG update

The saddle arrived yesterday, and it's in pretty good shape, so I'm pleased with that one. Grand total of SDG saddles in the collection?...9 Mavic 217 Sunsets?...7 Altek lever sets?...7 Deore DX short cage rear derailleurs?...8

Too bad I slept through the local Beast of the East eBay auction. A red Pepperoni fork would have been a nice addition to mine, rather than the NOS black Pepperoni I've got sitting in the shop.

It's a good thing most of my retro interests fly under the radar, or I'd be left eating bean curds and bread crumbs!

This looks like a Twitter post. "I am drinking a cup of coffee and eating a bagel." Or some such nonsense...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fun with Flea ('bay)

From the ol' fleabay, these are the two newest retro additions to my spare component megaplex here at Utahdog World Headquarters... First, another blue SDG 7000 titanium railed Kevlar covered saddle. These fit my big butt very well, thanks. And no, dear wife of mine, I can never have enough.

Pictures of make Bikesnob proud...

And a Mavic 217 Sunset 32 hole wheel set, laced to some 950 XTR hubs. Front wheel is one cross (and USED, despite what the auction said...grr) and the rear is 3x on both drive and non drive. The rear wheel seems to be a legit take-off item, with very little signs of use, but the front wheel has been ridden. I'm pretty happy non-the-less though, as both wheels are dead straight and evenly tensioned, and the sidewall of the front wheel doesn't show excessive wear, so it's not seen much use. Still, people, list you stuff as honestly as possible...this wheel set would have still brought a pretty penny without any misdirection or slight of hand regarding condition...

Both pictures are from their respective auctions, so I'm not responsible for the pic quality, and I'll assume that the sellers don't give a hoot as they no longer own the stuff, but rather have pockets stuffed with green-backs instead... "Let not he who hath mounds of Franklin's in thine pockets be tempted to wreak havoc in the courtrooms of the land, for thou who art stuffed with cash shall in the end slew the fatted goats themselves." Or something to that effect...

In other Fleabay news...I slept through an auction for another Beast of the East, located here in town this time, which would have afforded me the chance to add a matching fork to my personal Beast. Blame the Benadryl... Again...grrr.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More Homestead Diversion

Pergo Premium floor in the Dining Room. Weee! Took about a day, cost: about 300 bones. Looks much nicer than garage floor paint over Asbestos Tile. Here we are with the vapor barrier down, ready to lay some test-tube wood looking product.

A few courses under my belt, shown here with quarter inch shims to allow for expansion. (hey, I can read directions!)

My crew...

The Pergo down, now for the baseboards. We'll be using 1x4" rough sawn cedar, same as what's on the ceiling in this room, and used also as trim around my cedar ceiling in the kitchen. House smells like a sawmill now. It's nice.

Baseboards in, furniture in place. The baseboards worked pretty well. They are installed with construction adhesive, as the walls in this converted Florida Room are concrete. Only in the below picture was there a fit issue, where a rise in the middle of the floor, coupled with an uneven wall, made for some slappy looking fit. I'll just make sure anybody sitting in this room gets an extra large rum and coke before they notice it...and then they'll never notice it! Yeah, I like hats.
In the room looking out into the living room and kitchen. The Dining room is sunken, so there is a convenient step up to the rest of the house. This worked out great as I didn't need to undercut any door jams or anything like that during the flooring installation.

Pergo Premium, a pretty nice product. Went in easy. Has an insulated backing so you don't get that hollow sensation when you walk on it, like many laminate products, which keeps the floor from feeling like a Gap clothing store.

Sunday Singlespeeding Santos

I took the white EWR, still set up as a single speeder although fitted with the hunk of poo Marzocchi ganked from the wife's bike, to Santos and hit the trails there for about three and a half hours of good solid riding. Travis and I went, and we were supposed to meet up with a few guys from Open Road, but we never found them. The morning was very cool and I can only assume that they opted for either a warmer tee time for their ride, or maybe a local park instead, or maybe they just stayed home and shaved their legs. At any rate, the trails were very tasty and the day was a smashing success. As usual, I took little in the way of pictures (hey, who wants to stop for pictures when you're having a hoot on the trail!) There are a few though, so I'll post them up.

First, the trusty steed, approaching 15 years old and still going strong. Still as heavy as a Buick. Still 4130 straight guage steel. Still mistaken for a girls bike. Sometimes.

Trail markers...Red for naughty, including the freeride park. We did a bit of the trails out in the Vortex freeride area, but not too much. I'm fat and old and shameful, so elevated bridges and ramps frighten me. The technical trails were a treat however. I should find my Hammer Guards and get busy. Yeah, old guys have Hammer Gards too.

Blue, for the medium intensity stuff, good tight twisties with some solid obstacles to traverse... The pic is at the end of the trail, obviously where the sign was, and obviously NOT where the twisties or the obstacles were. Looks like a bloody sidewalk! (or as bike activists prefer, a 12' multi-use path'.)

And finally, the yellow, advertised as easy, but in reality, these are the great, sweeping, twisty, speedy trails that I remember Santos (or back in the day, 'Barge Canal') as having.
Note the green directional arrow on this yellow marker. It advertises the "Epic Ride" route.
Now, back in the day, Santos was about a quarter of its current size, and back then there wasn't anything even remotely considerable as 'epic'. Today though, you can ride for hours and not do the same trails, and actually feel like you are traveling a legitimate distance and not just spinning in circles, as is the case with many Florida parks. From the OMBA website..."The Office of Greenways and Trails recently received the IMBA designation of "Epic Ride" for its Cross Florida Greenway Santos Trail System. One of only three sites designated in 2006, the Santos trails join an elite list of only 40 rides named as "Epic" by IMBA since 1999. This is a 42 mile ride if you choose to do the whole thing." Very nice.

And of course...we are in Florida, so the parking lot was stuffed with a good many folks just posing on their Dubs and gabbing. Word, Dog.(!) We passed maybe 5 different people on the trails, not counting the 4 rubber kids on the dirt jump bikes in Vortex, and yet the parking lot was full, some 50 plus cars. Most folks seemed happy to just hang around the marking lot and ask each other for help with their shock pumps and crap like that.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

With a nod to the HMS

What can I say, it's question day, and again, a question that people are only asking me through OTHER venues and not through the Blog! Come on guys! Participate! WOO!

The subtitle to this blog..."Ventis Secundis - Qui Tangit Frangatur" comes from a little World War II naval history. And there's a nest of irony here so follow along.

"Ventis Secundis" means "With Favorable Winds", and was the motto of the HMS Hood, A Battle Cruiser with the Royal Navy from 1920 until 1941. During her 21 year life the Hood came to epitomize the Royal Navy, what with her clean stately lines and high draught, she seemed to hunker down in the water when at rest, and under steam proved to be one of the 'wettest' ships in the royal navy, a characteristic which provided for some dramatic photos of her at sea. Here's the irony...She lasted only 21 years of service, and was built at a time, following the lessons of the Battle of Jutland (armor that deck!), when all 'modern' Battleships and Cruisers were designed to include heavy armor on their topsides. Hood was conceived prior to Jutland, and her design was altered while under construction to include heavy topside armor and decking, which resulted in a ship much heavier than her original design, hence her tendency to ride low in the water and throw spray while underway. In 1941, while on patrol with HMS Prince of Whales in the North Atlantic, HMS Hood was sunk by the German Battleship Bismarck after being struck in her aft ammunition magazine by a shell penetrating through her 'reinforced' deck. The Pride of the British Navy stood face to face with the German flagship for all of 40 minutes before being split in two by the fate full shell. Of the over 1400 men assigned to Hood, only three survived.
Below, Hood does what she did best, cruising low and mean, and throwing spray over her bow while underway.

Connection to me and cycling? Overly pride full yet ill-equipped for assigned duty. 40 minutes and we're both spent. Irony - "With Favorable Winds"...seemingly indicating that HMS Hood was designed to appreciate a calm day rather than the choppy froth of the North Atlantic where she would meet her doom. Everyone knows I'll take a nice tailwind any day. Plus, I'm heavier than my original design...and my beard gets kinda frothy when I ride.

"Qui Tangit Frangatur" is Latin for "Whoever Touches Me Is Broken", the motto for the also ill fated British warship, the Battleship HMS Repulse. Launched in 1916, Repulse was one of two Renown Class Battleships built for the British Navy during World War I. Along with her classmate, HMS Renown, she had the distinction of being one of the most ill conceived and unreliable Battleships in the Royal Navy, earning the nickname HMS Repair, (while the Renown earned the equally dubious nickname Refit). Designed well before the Battle of Jutland, and featuring none of the reinforcements that the Jutland confrontation revealed as necessary, she was a bit of a white elephant even before she hit the water. While she served out WWI with little engagement, her function in WWII was much more broad. Repulse was involved in many operations in the Atlantic, most of which proved to be benign. However that would all change when in late 1941 Repulse was reassigned to Indian Ocean duty. December 8th, 1941, one day after Pearl harbor, she was relocated to the Pacific theater and assigned to the Force Z battle group, where she teamed up with the Fast Attack Battleship, HMS Prince of Whales. Just two days later, on December 10th after being struck by no less than 5 Japanese torpedoes, she capsized and was lost. 327 men lost their lives with HMS Repulse.
Below, steaming fat and happy, Repulse belches diesel smoke into the sky while on maneuvers.

Connection. If anything touching me is broken, it usually IS me - myself, unless of course I've got that Hood tailwind. Even then I'm usually in need of refit and repair rather than deserving of renown. Irony...both Hood and Repulse were lost while on maneuvers with Prince of Whales, even though their final action saw them on opposite sides of the globe. I should screen all my riding buddies for lineage back to that ship and avoid those fellas at all costs! Unfortunately for Prince of Whales, she only saw commissioned duty for eleven months before being lost in the same engagement as Repulse.
So, in summary, With Favorable Winds, Whoever Touches Me Is Broken.

With all due respect to the men who lost their lives serving on these storied war ships, it is under the protection of the security that their sacrifice provided me that I am able to make light of their fate full occurrences. Like many events of history that seem today to be so bisected from modern times. WWII Naval warship service, unrelated to modern functions such as aircraft assignment or sub duty, seems to be so much more romance than reality. Some sacrifices are meant to be remembered, however, and even in light hearted reference such as in a minuscule cycling blog as this, it is with best intentions that these two ships are referenced here.

Here Hood seems to lead Repulse (and HMS Nelson) in a little drafting echelon. That's the History degree in me talking through the cyclist.

Regionalisms, folks. Regionalisms

I've gotten a lot of flack from some of my friends (who apparently DO actually read the blog, but are too wussy to comment here. Humph!), who like to poke the fun at me about my weather pouting. I know, I know...there are many websites and blogs out there stuffed to the gills with pictures and stories about riding and training in cold weather. MTBR has a fantastic Winter Passion picture thread going over at, for example. BKW has a whole cultural overtone to their blog that almost, almost, makes me feel like a complete wimp, what with their ingrained cultural promotion of the northern European cyclists and their winter training regimens. Still...there is a difference...and I'm not just saying this because I'm a wimp (although Admittedly, I may be...)

I live in FLORIDA people! As my brother so eloquently pointed out a little while ago when I whined about the weather earlier, temperature is all relative. I live in an area where the average daily temperature is nearly 70 degrees! I challenge any cyclists who gives me the razz about my lack of temperature tolerance to acclimate to a 70 degree yearly average and then ride on a frosty 39 degree morning. Yeah I though so. You either haven't tried it, or you haven't tried it. Period.

When I moved to Colorado (for all of a year and a winter was enough, thanks), I remember the first summer when I worked at the Sports Garage in Boulder, the owners at the time, Frank and Thom, were complaining about the heat wave they were having. In the afternoons in July, the temperature would "soar" to about 85...and there would be Frank...sitting on the front steps with a hose over his head in the middle of the day! Now let me explain...Frank was a tough man. Frank was hard as nails. Frank used to split time working in the primary shop and next door assembling X-IT components, or working in the machine shop or whatever, then he'd head on down to the local joint for a tasty beverage, or three, or nine. He'd come back the next day and do it all over again. 6 days a week. His only chair at home if I recall was a dentist's chair. (that's hard as nails). One day he came in to work, very quiet and somber, with his knuckles all busted up. I knew why, and I didn't ask for the story. On top of all this, Frank was a brutal rider. Brutal. The man WAS energy and fierce strength, and yet there he was, in temperatures that had me wearing a fleece vest and calling the weather 'balmy', sitting on the steps to the shop trying to stave off heat stroke!

Similarly, I knew a local rider in college who competed in many road races, although I don't recall his CAT. His Name was Randy, and he was a machine on a road bike. he would commute to the shop every day, rain or shine, on an older Shogun time trial bike. Some days he'd take out his road bike instead, which was a Falcon made Reynolds steel model...none too light as I recall. Anyway, he'd thunder around on rides, jumping into the wake of large vehicles and drafting up to speeds well in excess of 30 mile per hour. Transit Buses were a favorite target to draft behind, and not always with positive results,(e.g. he was a scabby man from his risky riding style). Randy was also hard as nails.

Off road in Florida, I learned to ride on "mountain" trails where the cypress knees reached 2 plus feet tall. We're talking wooden stalagmites here. Intermingled with black muck that would seize your drive train in 100 feet. Wet logs and roots made trail riding akin to ice skating amongst the stalagmites. Bike handling skills came fast in these slippery conditions. In the wet season there would be trails in the local park that would literally be 3 plus feet underwater. I remember doing night rides with our Night Rider lights lighting up the Hillsborough River like a fish tank. Literally fish swimming across the beam of the submerged light. There were trails where you would ride a big long loop, planning on doing a flood gate crossing to complete the loop, only to find that the gates were locked. So, the solution, throw the bikes in the river and swim for it. One of our friends in the group at the time was Canadian, and he'd get all glassy eyed and chant "Gators!" when we'd swim it. Leeches were always a possibility, and Ticks were the norm. There's a reason that two thirds of the Spanish soldiers who "discovered" Florida died of disease.

I tell you that story because Frank would have never tolerated that. Randy once said he hated that "shit" because it wasn't mountain biking it was mountain walking. These were hard guys, and yet their sphere of comfort didn't include things that an old softy like me considered standard fair. Regionalisms apply to cycling as much or more than to other sports. We're not claiming to be Kamloops riders down here, but then again, Kamloops riders posses a different skill set as well, one cultivated over years of taking speed and drops for granted. Cyclists master their local conditions, and deviations produce mediocrity. I'm not making excuses for my overall mediocrity as a cyclists (because I'm pretty damn mediocre), I'm just pointing out the obvious. If it were 10 degrees below zero in North Dakota, probably not many North Dakotan's on a bike. 35 here in Florida yields the same reaction. If I were still in Colorado and acclimated once again to the altitude and temperatures, I'd be on a bike in a heartbeat if it were 35 with no snow on the ground...hell even some snow is a good time. But that summer when I first arrived in Colorado I remember doing trails along the Front Range like Walker Ranch and Sourdough and Miller's Rock, in the heat of the day in July, and those trails were lonely and abandoned, and yet the weather seemed pretty nice to me. The Altitude on the other hand, had me grabbing my chest. Again, regionalisms.

So to those of you suffering in your winter white cycling slumber, just remember that I'm suffering too, just on a sliding scale of pain. And when I complain about weather in the thirties, to many a southern cyclists, that's a very real impediment to a day on the bike.

For example...25 on Saturday in Florida will have me in bed until Monday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grubby Day

No bike yesterday, no bike today. Spent the weekend in the yard working and catching up on the post holiday chores. I'm suffering from withdrawal!

Friday, January 9, 2009


We had a cold front push through yesterday, and it dropped the temps sharply and lowered the dew point by an equal amount. We had lots of wind throughout the day, and the top of a Cherry Laurel blew out and landed on my hammock in the back yard. (I didn't know Cherry Laurels did that!) Last night was crystal clear and brightly lit by the moon (night ride on Tuesday!) and this morning paid the price for it. Clear, cool and windy on the commute ride in. My new wind breaker vest is getting a workout for sure! Nothing like a 27 lb mountain bike and a ripping headwind to make 5.5 miles feel like a metric. Hell, it was cool and windy enough that I thought about the Pearl Izumi Amfib tights that I'd sent back thinking they would be way too warm for my riding! Hey, what can I say? Floridians aren't used to stuff like this!

And we sure aren't used to stuff like...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Found the problem in the fridge room. Wouldn't you know it? The ONLY place in my house with aluminum wiring! Yeah, those wires are supposed to be the white ones. *gulp!*

Outlet was an unused 2 phase job located behind the fridge, unused by us, but wired in series to the switch and then overhead light. Turn on the switch for the light and the increased load on the outlet would make the loose connection arc. As it was an unused 2 phase outlet (made redundant by the 3 phase outlet not more than 2 feet away), we just opened the box and tied off the connection, eliminating the outlet all together and covering it with a face plate. Electrician averted.

The remaining connections were all checked and were snug, so close the book on the sizzling lights mystery, and I don't need to demo my nice new ceiling. Don't you just love old homes?

Rode to work yesterday and today...put a total of 22 miles on the books.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Two rides and a residential step backwards...

The Two rides...

Saturday was the 52 miler with the Orange Park crew. For a no-drop ride this thing is getting pretty screwed up. This time, after my New Years Resolution to not always try to play clean-up, I ignored how many people were with me and focused on keeping up with some of the quicker guys, with some success I might add, so I felt good about that. I still think these rides should be longer though, but I'll lobby for that on another occasion. The group held together pretty well for the out trip, and the halfway sprint, which is on a wide open hill passing some silos on what looks like maybe a pig farm, and heading toward the landfill (lovely!). The group spit out a few new guys, but the turnaround point means the quicker crew comes back through and collects everyone for the return trip. On the return though, things got sort of screwy. A few fellas got hung at a light, and then there wasn't much of an effort to wait to collect them (again, I'm not making that decision anymore, other than saying something about them being off the back, my work is done. Talk to the shop owners and organizers of their no-drop events).

Then the same thing happened to the remaining group as two more guys got hung off at another light later in the day, splitting the group into three. Travis got stuck in the second group, not because he was off the back, but he fell into the roll of waiting for the slower guys, after that part had been dropped by me. In hindsight, I should have told him my plans (or he should have read my blog!) Anyway, he fell back after another new guy got dumped at the light. He was pretty incredulous that there were no volunteers with shop ties to go back or wait up, and that the group as a whole did the same split-up maneuver twice. I felt bad for personal reasons, Travis has been there for me when I felt like crap, and I left him for the faster group. I think he's vowed to not be the new-guy collector anymore either. What can I say, I want to progress as a cyclist, and I need to be LEFT because I couldn't hang, rather than be the guy who sits back for the slower folks. I still contend that slower-folk sitting is for shop guys, and seeing as my Thomson seat post was over $100, I don't think I qualify as shop guy yet.

Sunday was the San Felasco ride, a warm-up tune-up ride for next weeks Tour De Felasco. The tour is a fund raising ride put together by Friends of the park, with the goal of raising money to reinvest in the off-road infrastructure there. The ride is limited to 400 people, and competition to get a slot is tight. I sent my registration in the day it posted on the website and still didn't get in. Found out yesterday that the address had been 'leaked' and that a good many folks pre-registered for the event, sucking up many of the 400 spots, which I though was sort of weasel-like. Plus, it seems that every shop owner I've spoken to has told me that they didn't register on time, but that 'so-and-so' got them in. Crap like that really sucks. I don't think event organisers consider the bad PR that these types of stories create for their groups. I'm all for doing events to raise money or volunteering to do trail maintenance, but when it becomes a high-school clique party, well then I'll pay my 2 bucks at the gate and be wear and tear instead. Too bad too, because the park is a great place. Travis and I hung with the lead group for the first trail and then the previous days road work, and Travis' shoes and pedals (he's still using flats and running shoes, needs to make the clipless leap...are you listening Travis?) conspired to pull us off and into our own group of two. We kept up a pretty quick pace and worked the trails for about two and a half hours before heading on back to the Rover for the drive home. It was a beautiful day on the trails.

Came home, turned on the new light in the kitchen, and heard a faint buzzing and the light flickered. Ugh. House built in 1949, plus 2 phase wiring, plus shitty previous owner hack job repairs equals electrician time. I'm sure I didn't nic any lines, and the light install is about as straight forward as you can get, so I'll just have to have the pros come out and check it out. Probably have to tear a big hole in my ceiling! AAAYEE!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Joe in hand, on to the house!

This is the ceiling in out dining room, or what we used to use as the dining room, it's now sort of a den, as we've relocated the dining room table to the proper location in the house's original dining room (this room was originally a Florida Room, a three season porch.) I show you this ceiling because... This is the ceiling in the fridge room, which is a small enclosed porch off of the back of the kitchen, housing the rear door to the screen porch. As you can see, the ceiling here was a nice exposed beam job, with a gloss white paint job. Simple and least until the roofers drove a thousand screws and nails into it from above and turned the poor thing into a porcupine! Here I've installed 5 2"x3" firing strips and a junction box for the overhead light to start the process of...

Covering the ceiling in rough sawn tongue and groove cedar planks! And the end result looks great, exactly what I was hoping for! Here you can also see the new art-glass overhead light, which replaces the hideous tube fluorescent monstrosity that was in the space prior. Ignore the darker trim in these shots. It was installed by the previous homeowner. Someone who apparently not only lacked understanding of the concept of a 45 degree angle, but also didn't bother to research "coping saw" either.
Close up of le corner. Nice joint on my trim, total crap joint from the PO.
More. Note the vast pint glass collection. A man can never have enough beer glasses.

As you can guess from the first picture, I was trying to emulate the feel of the ceiling in the dining room/den. The cedar in there is much older and darker, but the fresh cedar in the fridge room turned out great, and should age, dirty and darken over time. Total time, about 7 hours. Total cost, about $120. Best part, no drywall dust!

There, brief diversion from cycling, but I think you'll live.