Rants on Cycling and on Life


Another link to another DIRT RAG ARTICLE

this one rants about CYCLOCROSS and racers and riders need to get all the latest and all the greatest gadgets and gizmos to finish on top!


Kindergarden Camera: A Web Service that lets us spy on our Daycare

It is a funny thing being able to look in on Dean as he runs and plays at Rosemount Daycare Center. The image is blurred and it only refreshes with a still image every few seconds, but the simple idea of looking at him makes me smile. It is not so much actually being able to see him. If it were not for the fact that he is the only blonde haired boy in the class and that I know what clothing he is wearing each day I would not be able to identify him. Yet, it gives me great joy. For a few minutes there I could see him at the head of the table eating his snack. I can see that the cots are already set out and I can see his blanket on the cot all the way to the left. There have been times when I logged in to catch him going up and down the slide. I have also had the happen stance to catch him running full speed into another child. It sounds like I am watching him all day. I think I could, but I have to go back to doing some work.

Funny that they offer this, there was a time when I thought that the Nanny Cam may not be a bad idea to see what goes on with our nanny when we go to work. But I soon figured out that they all get in her car and evacuate as soon as I leave for work. That said, the Nanny Camera would have been a waste of money.

More images of Todd at the Cross Nationals....

Coming at ya!



Last spring Lisa, Dean, and I grabbed the dogs and moved down the road. I managed to sell the house FISBO style. It was worth the stress as it was a fun and educational experience...the question, "whether or not I would have made a greater profit with a real estate agent will never be know." We feel good with how we did and it matched quite well with the "comps" that we saw.

Shortly after we got the keys to our new place I was doing some minor touching up around the place. Painting some walls while unintentionally painting some wooden floors, some ceilings, and some stained trim (painting does not go on my resume.) During this period I found a set of keys in the street. In an effort to do the neighborly thing I put up some signs, "Found Keys, all and describe them and they are yours." A few days later I got a call, I asked for a description, in a mellow sort of way the guy nonchalently told me that there were a mess of keys on there. I asked him to describe some of the unual keys. He did not bite. It seemed like the keys were not his. He mentioned an approcimation of the key count and mentioned the kyptonite lock key, but he did not mention the odd key that I thought was a drum tightening key. As it turns out the keys were his, and the key of interest was not a drum key at all but rather a key used to bleed radiators. My new neighbor Chris gave me that key. Since then I have bled my radiators and have paid him "mucho dinero" to touch up my paint job and to repaint some of the other rooms. He does more than just put paint on the walls, he improves the house.

open lunches in High School
and optional attendance in college

Well, a quick break for some more time travel
as fun as it could be
it turned out to be a tad more frustrating than anything else

I was playing Joust and Robotron
but only a few games each
the keyboard controls are not as intuitive as the joystick controls of the originial Aracade verisons.

not to mention I missed out on High School and college because of these very games
so I best not lose my job because of these same games or worse yet, because of my blog.


Okay, I know how much people hate my RACE REPORTS.
Well, I am going one further. I am posting a friend of mine's race report from the Cyclocross Nationals that were held in Portland Oregon last weekend.
It sounds like a great race. Well, at least it sounded like a great time. I have the option to race in the mud this weekend, well I am not sure if that is where I want to spend my time. My race season is behind me. The eye of the tiger got lazy some time ago.
But, who knows? Once on the bike and on the start line I am always quickly reminded of how much I love bikes and enjoy racing.

did the masters 35-40 race on Saturday and the B-race on Sunday. It rained the entire time during those races, it was cold, the course was was great!

It was so muddy....much worse than even the Kalmthout DVD, and no I'm not exaggerating. There were 4 long flat sections (100yds) where it was faster to run than ride. It was like 9 minute laps, and the ONLY non-muddy part was 400m road section and a 500m gravel road; other than mud! Check out my self portrait to get an idea of how muddy it was (Picture 003.jpg). I was really impressed by the mud. I think the key was to sit upright (hands on flats) and spin the easiest gear. In some sections, I was able to ride by alot of runners that way.

I went as hard as possible on Saturday, and had a really good race, probably my personal best effort of the season. I was fired up (me?) and I felt really strong during the race. I ended up getting 45 out of 75, I'd guess 10 or so DNF'ers. They ran the 35-40 and another age group at the same time, so there were 140 people in the race at the same time. It was very exciting, since you were always in a group battling for position...and OLN's Richard Fries was screaming on the mic the whole time. I was in the last group not to get lapped (I think the winners were also Elite guys), so it was a long race...56 minutes! A crash at the beggining road sent alot of us into a christmas light display on the side of the start-road. I bunny hopped a light-string (6" high...and I actually made it!) but I heard alot of popping (tubes or bulbs?), and lots of crashes.

On Sunday B-race I had a really bad start and was literally LAST going into the mud. Someone's got to do it. Again there were >100 people in the race, so it was kind of funny. My legs were cooked from Saturday, so couldn't go as fast. But it was still alot of fun since I got to pass the whole time and see alot of people wallowing in the mud. Luckily, Sunday was one lap shorter than Saturday for me. I think I was going about 20 seconds slower per lap than Saturday, which wasn't too bad. I ended up getting 47 out of something like 90+. Near the end, I tried to pass a group of 5 by making a power move off of the popular mud-line and onto some greenery on the edge, but it was a mistake (see pt. 11 below) and a few people passed me, D'oh!

Some highlights of the weekend:

1. When I got in to town on Friday and saw how awful the mud was, I headed straight to Target to try and score some rubber boots for spectating the pro races....I wasn't the only was funny, Target was like a looting zone with cross racers/fans scrounging for boots, umbrellas, and rain suits!

2. The women pro's couldn't ride any of the flat sections...I think they had to run most of the course. no power.

3. In between laps during the men's pro race, some nearly-nude guy in a leather S&M suit and Mexican wrestling mask was sliding down the muddy run-up on his stomach, and breakdancing at the bottom (he wasn't too bad).
He got more cheers than the racers.

4. Marching Drum band playing war songs during the pro races was pretty intense.

5. my new tires worked great!

6. Jonathan Page was really impressive, I'm sure you'll read all about it in Velonews. He really made everyone else look bad. I saw him PEDALING (!!!) down a super-slick down-hill off-camber that caused atleast half of my field to crash and slide off the course just two hours earlier. And most of us crashers were even walking when we slid out!!!!

7. Monday AM in the airport checkin line atleast 1/3 of the people had bike boxes...for the first time they actually enforced the overweight bag rule and we had to pay $25 bucks. Extra fuel needed to lug the weight back east??

8. Sat. night "media event" at the host hotel's Bar was comical. You've never seen a bar filled with so many skinny white guys drinking water! Not a profitable night for the bar owners.

9. Hotel had a bike washing station and rags...pretty cool.

10. The course was full of fans even for my races. Most people yelling the standard "you're looking good" stuff, but I did get some funny ones:
"welcome to portand" a few times. While floundering up the main muddy hill right next to the tape some guy screamed in my ear, "You're not an animal!!!". The weirdest was some lady who yelled "You're finished!!" at me...but it was only on the second lap so I'm not sure what that meant!

11. You know how its no fun to ride in tall wet grass....well, they had some weird moldy-moss...MOSS... sections that looked firm to me, but were like quicksand!

Anyway, it was super fun. If I'm in shape next year, I'm going again.


a still shot of some of the action


(I better get back to work)

As the Post Tetris ads said,
"If you liked TETRIS, you will love Dr. Mario!"
(as the two headed zit faced adolescent sat on his couch and argued amongst himself while playing his primitive Nintendo Box)


if you like SUSHI
and loved Dr. Mario
well than you may be able to appreciate this


you may need SHOCKWAVE
but it is a tried, true, and tested product of Marcomedia
and it is free
the install is fast and easy
it does it all itself


more Classic internet

definitely worth a look
if you grew up liking video games and cartoons
then there may be something here for you

I just poked my head into here and found some awesome skate footage
a beautiful wooden bowl
although I can not skate
I can appreciate it for both its beauty and its difficulty

Oldies but a goodie
Joe's Cartoon
this one with a contemporary topic has a classic ending.....
reward yourself and take a look
now if that classic ending is not classic to you
then you may want to check out a true internet classic
FROG in a Blender
take a moment and treat yourself

this stuff is all interactive
some really great FLASH animation without much point or purpose other than to entertain


Several years ago I thought that I would show some neighborhood pride (and create a marketing tool for my graphic design services) and I created a EURO STICKER for my neighborhood, Mount Pleasant in Northwest Washington DC.


It was not and effort to be original.
Nor was it an effort to get rich, breaking even was my goal.
Now some years later those stickers are everywhere.
The People Garden (now no more) was doing well selling them. And I donated them to various organizations for their bazaars/yardsales/and flea markets.
Now there are B for Bethesda and CH for Columbia Heights.
These things are everywhere....

It is no big deal but I do get a giggle when I see an MtP sticker on a car when I am miles from my neighborhood. And an even bigger giggle is I am at a party and I hear someone talking about them, like when I heard my friend Katie (who lived in Columbia Heights at the time) hated them!

This weekend Dean had a cold...

dean dean jelly bean
the most handsome man I have ever seen

this weekend dean was hit with a fever
Motrin is magical
with some wheeling and dealing we are able to get him to take the medicine
it amazes me how this manages to bring down his fever
and with his fever down he gets to be active and normal
but when the fever spikes he becomes a different child

hope a good night sleep helps him to wake up healthy and strong in the am
lisa has plans to head to NY for work
but with my boss in NY and headed to Vegas for vacation
I have to man the company store
so if dean can not make it to daycare
lisa will have to stay home

In an effort to occupy myself over the last few days I tried to make some BLOG entries...
I wrote some crap
some serious crap

it has been a very wacky weekend
Dean is suffering a fever
went to my wife's work dinner
stayed late at a party after the dinner
had to work a 12 hour day on Friday
was on call all Saturday
and still at work pushing towards 12 hours on here, Sunday
not that I have actually been working for this 12 hour stint
but I have been at work
stuck here like a prisoner
I have some tasks to do, sort of part of a team
but my computer related tasks can not be approached until some of the techs finish assembling the ROBO Cam and the Rack
but it seems not to be working
so I sit here in the CBS press booth at the Pentagon reading BLOGS
and sending BLOGS
getting to a slap happy state

in addition to my weekend of work I was able to squeeze in some fun
drove out to Bethesda to drop my wife's car off for a tune up
got to ride back, cold and soon to be rainy
would not have ridden if I did not have an actual destination
routed myself in the opposite direction of home passing through Norwood Park
my brother had plans to host another informal CYCLCROSS PRACTICE RACE
he has hosted two similar events at FT Reno park in DC, but it turns out we needed a permit for such an event
the permit was refused
so he changed venues
he had not had time to scope out the park
and I was unable to attend the race
so in an effort to not miss out on the fun, and to feel like I was part of the action
I made a morning visit and plotted out what I thought would be a suitable course in this park
creating a cross course is like laying out the wooden Thomas the Train track
set it
let them run
see how effective the layout in the mind matches the layout in the real world

as mentioned
I was not able to attend the race
was on call and had to be close to work
but I heard that some of the course additions that were not obvious worked well
and the rest of the course was fine
but more of a "country cross"
long sections of grass
with long sections of paved path on most of the climbs
no off camber
nothing real technical
a few stairs to run up
a small stream to cross, steeple chase being most effective
and the basic slogging in the soft grassy earth

it snowed all night
and it rained all day today
marc was wise and hosted the event on Saturday rather than Sunday

it is a bummer missing the party
but such are the responsibilities of trying to be an adult

there is clearly a correlation between sacrifice and achievement

I am starting with some sacrifice and starting to see some achievement..

looks like they have thier linkage to the main office
my tasks may be approaching fast

more in a bit