Thursday, November 30, 2006

What drug problem?

If you ever needed proof the pro-sports has a doping problem, just read about Justin Gatlin's workout with the Houston Texans. Here's a guy who failed a drug test, admitted to it, and is serving an 8 year ban from T&F (hell, he doesn't have to worry about tests from them during that period) and he gets an invite to join the national roid-rage league. I love football and all, but don't even try to tell me that Romo is the only nutjob who was on the juice.

Ok, enough ranting. The pizza from the caf looks surprisingly good today and it's calling me...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Whole New Level of Early

I think I've hit a new low (or high depending on how you look at it). The daycare has to close early today so I have to leave work no later than 2 to get the boys. That meant if I didn't want to fall further behind in time I owe at work, I had to get here by 5. Yes folks, that meant a 3:30 alarm. I was here so early that there were no guards at the desk yet. I felt like an ass because I had to buzz into security and tell them I was stupid and didn't know how to get in. Hopefully I don't have a reason to learn how the off-hours system works here.

In other news it's back to school this week so the bathroom project has come to a screeching halt again. I'm hoping I can keep the motivation going and get the painting done this week. Probably nothing before I finish this week's paper though. Got out early enough to get in a run yesterday so that was good other than the fact that I felt a little loopy from the headcold I caught from the biohazards living with me.

Ok... better do something productive with the fact that NOBODY else is in the freaking building...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Water World

Well here's a way you don't want to be waken up in the middle of the night... Last night around 2:30 I woke up for a reason I couldn't quite place and as I was laying there semi-conscious, I heard this annoying high-pitched tone. I thought it was coming from outside so I almost ignored it, but then I decided to check it out. Well I found that it was the overflow alarm on our sump pump letting me know that I was in deep sh&t (or water as the case may be). After much fumbling around standing in a couple inches of water and playing in some really gross ground water that was creeping around the basement, I found that the silt that runs through the pump had clogged the backflow valve to the point that it wouldn't open any more. In the end, I spent over an hour getting the pump back together and cleaning up most of the mess. So instead of mountain biking and helping fix Gram's roof this morning, I get to clean up more water, make a Home Depot run to buy supplies, and upgrading the basement drainage system. So a word of advice, especially for Mikey and Tray... don't buy a house where someone got paid off to ignore the fact that the water table made it borderline swampland.

If things go ok I'll get out on the MTB later anyways and I have to pick up the now repaired cross bike for tomorrow's race. I'm not sure how the day could go a lot worse so here's hoping...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving is in 2 days... Let's all leave now!

I love this state... it's 2 days before Thanksgiving and the roads looked like they ordered an evacuation of everyone inside 128. You figure that after the last 5 freaking years people would have figure out that the "Let's leave on Tuesday to beat the Wednesday traffic" trick doesn't work. It just shifts the problem to one day earlier. If effectively took me 3 hours to get home by the time I left work, spent over an hour getting to Waltham to meet the wife and get the boys so she could go to class (late because she was in traffic), gave up and took the boys to McD's, then sat in traffic that was still lingering to get home in time to put the little guy to bed. Argh...

No other real news today. Fortunately what could have been a quiet and boring week at work has turned out to be not bad and is flying by. Meeting the old crew from my last job after work tomorrow for beers so I should be able to avoid the few idiots who didn't get in their cars tonight to leave for Grandma's. I guess the only downside of the week is that the cross bike won't be fixed and ready until Friday... I think I'll give it a careful check over before Sterling Saturday morning. I think we're mountain biking Friday anyways to burn off the stuffing so I get to enjoy the fat squishy tires. Speaking of the mountain bike, I'll probably post pictures of all the bikes once the cross bike is back... that is if anyone is reading and cares. Oh well, too bad if you don't care because I'll post them anyways :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What could possibly go wrong?

So I got the single-speed cross bike up and running Friday night and then went out and hacked around yesterday for about a half hour to get used to it. This morning I threw it on the car and headed up to Lowell for the BRC cross race. Got in a decent warmup and decided that my 36x17 gear was going to work out pretty well overall. Got a terrible start so I was way back by the time we headed up the stairs the first time, but didn't panic too much because some guys started coming back. After 3 laps I was really feeling pretty good and was making up time on the upper half of the course while not getting beat too bad on the lower (flat) half. Then it all came apart... literally. Going over the barriers, I jump back on the bike and suddenly I dropped the chain. I'm thinking to myself "How the hell do you drop the chain on a SS?" so of course panic set in that the rear wheel had come loose and the chain tension was gone. I finally got the chain back on, made it through the cinder, up the stairs, and headed up the hill then dropped it again at the top. One more quick fix, down the hill, around the u-turn and then it goes again sprinting into the next little bump. Finally this time I noticed that 2 chain ring bolts were completely missing so the chain ring was all out of whack. Game over for me. It was a real pisser because I was making up ground on some guys that I thought I could catch by the end. Oh well... Saturday is Sterling so I'll hope for better. I did have to head straight to the shop after the race and give it to them a little since they did the install of the new parts. Oh well... my own fault for not double-checking.

Hung around after for parts of the master's race. Highlights were Coley riding the stairs like they were barely a speed bump and getting to chat for a while with Kerry Litka . She seems pretty cool and down to earth and we got to compare the various woes we suffer in cross/riding from our extreme heights or lack of.

In non-bike news, I finally made progress on the new bathroom project yesterday and I may even make more this week. If I can have it painted by the end of the long weekend I'm doing well.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Is it Friday yet?

Don't you hate it when you finally hit Friday and then your work day gets dragged out? I had to get the family truckster serviced this morning which meant I got here late which means I leave late. On the plus side, I still get out on time to pick up the cross bike which is now ready after a few mods at the shop. A little bar tape and a front wheel swap tonight and I'll be styling. Now lets just hope I don't create new work for the shop during Sunday's race. Let this be a header free weekend.

With the short week coming up I may actually get a chance (there, I just jinxed it) to work on the now long overdue new bathroom project. It's getting close to me needing to check how long building permits are good for before they expire. Let's hope I can put in a few hours and make progress. The amount of remaining work is painfully small so once I get started things should be good.

By the way, in case you were wondering, waiting for simulations to run is even more fun that watching grass grow. I guess the "bonus" is that it gives me time to post mindless commentary...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

O-5-30... What's the O stand for?

Oh my God it's early! I work 30 miles from home. I pulled into the garage here at 5:30 a.m. You do the math.

So this afternoon is our first ever parent-teacher conference. There shouldn't be any surprises because the teacher is pretty good about keeping us updated. We do have to ask about his first progress report though because it said he's having trouble with "problem solving". What we don't know is this is an analytical skill thing meaning he'll never go to a tech school or if it's a social skill problem meaning he'll fit right in at a tech school ;) Should be interesting.

I've got nothing else for this early in the morning.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cursed Alarm Clock

So one down side of living in MA (and trust me, there are many) is that if you want a house which is not in your neighbor's yard and maybe a tree and a few blades of grass, you have to live way out in the burbs. Unfortunately, that is not where most jobs are so you become a commuter (def: commuter - One who spends 20% of their life in an automobile traveling at well below posted speed limits in order to travel great distances between home and work). That means you can either a) get up at 4:30 a.m. or b) sit in traffice for 4 hours a day. I tend to go with a) which means I spend many days in a sleepy haze. Today would be one of those.

The new cross rig was delivered yesterday and I got it as set up as I could last night. Need to transfer some parts over from the now trashed Lemond and pick up a couple new ones to have it race ready for Sunday. The timing may dictate though that I get no more than an hour to get used to the bike before heading into battle. It's got 2 wheels, handlebars, and some brakes... how much different could it be? :) The real risk factor is that I think I'm going with the reversed cross brakes so the likelihood of a flaming endo is very very high. Pictures of new bike to follow when available.

Oh, and for those who want to read the occasional mindless commentary of a deranged Steelers fan, check out Mikey's Page .

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Whirlwind Weekend

Holy smokes things have been nuts since Friday. I finally scored a cross bike which I've been searching for for a bit now off of ebay on Friday and it should be arriving tomorrow. Then Friday night I was checking over my old Lemond and found out that when the guy ran me over in Sunday's race, he bent one of the seat stays and the rear triangle was all out of whack so that frame is toast. Saturday I had to actually do some real work for a change to help out Dad and then when I got home I found out that the guy who was supposed to be buying the motorcycle was bailing because his wife started giving him crap. On the fun side of things I got to have a few beers and play some awful pool Saturday night and then today was my grandfather's 80th b-day party. As usual we've been running around non-stop.

Back to the trashed bike, I know have to make a decision... I had my mind made up that I'll be commuting by bike several days a week come spring (yes I know far off), but I had also decided that I wasn't buying any more bikes (after the cross bike) until I could afford custom since stock frames don't really fit. Now that the bike that would have been my commuter is gone, I have to decide to replace it for cheap or follow my no more stock frames rule. I guess I have a bit to decide so I'll probably worry about it after Xmas.

Enough rambling for now...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Juggling life

As much as I love my kids, man does it suck when one of them gets sick and has to stay home from the daycare. This of course is the downside of trying to lead what should be a normal life where a couple both work and have kids. It most certainly doesn't help that I've been playing catch up at work since April when I started this job due to factors outside of my control. Oh well, the upside is I should be able to avoid a repeat of last week's midnight paper writing session and get it done while he naps. I might even *gasp* get to train tonight. Maybe I shouldn't get ahead of myself yet...

Monday, November 06, 2006

All Things Cross

So I survived another cross experience yesterday with only minor dings to show for it (both on me and the bike). I've done a whole 3 cross races... the first was on a crappy mountain bike and the 2 this year have been on the Lemond "pseudocross" which is my 2001 Buenos Aires road bike with cross tires crammed onto it. It serves the purpose, but I'm in the market for a real ride (read on). For some reason during warmups my left foot was having a bad morning. Second time into the big runup, it just didn't come off the pedal and I think I caught my warmup shirt on the seat too, but the result was a near neutering. Then on the same lap I took another one going into the small hill. By now I was unnerved so I dismounted about 15 feet before the barriers and almost had an adventure there. Fortuntately, it all worked itself out and I managed to not crash in the race despite plenty of opportunities. Since cross is a beautiful thing and there are no secrets about where people finish in the field, I was of course 40-somethingth place since I a) don't train, and b) have 3 races experience. I did hang with some of the killer-B's who started 30 seconds back of us once they caught me so that was satisfying. There's even photo evidence of me shouldering the psuedocross and I sort of look like I knew what I was doing:

So speaking of cross, as in angry and pissed off, it gets a little old when everything you want to get in life that's a factor of your body size (clothes, shoes, cars, bicycles) ends up having to be custom or you have to pay extra to go to the one place that has something that will fit. Fortunately since Americans love giant cars they can put their generally fat butts in, I'm all set with the car thing. But getting bikes really sucks ass. The three bikes I have fit mostly, but it's primarly because they've been stretched and made to fit well enough. Now I want to get a cross bike and you'd think I was asking for the original hand-written copy of the Declaration of Independence. The manager of Landry's is on the case and he's trying to hook me up, but all the talk so far is of trying to make the biggest stock-bike he can find fit well enough. I think I've decided that I'm going to pimp myself out and become a walking billboard for whatever company is willing to give a mediocre bike rider a ride that fits. Doesn't even have to be a great ride... just one with a 64cm frame will be fine. If you know someone crazy enough to take me up on my offer, send them my way.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why am I in school again?

It's nearly 11 p.m. I'm writing a paper for grad school. I just made a cup of coffee. Need I say more?

Post 1... It can only get worse from here

I've finally given in and become a blogging dork like everyone else... I'm so ashamed. Oh hell, maybe it will allow me to actually keep in touch with people. Let's see what happens...