Sunday, July 31, 2005

I Need Some Help

Someone, please someone, convince me not to get Hitch from On Demand. Really, please.

Can anyone tell me where I placed my attention span? I get the feeling that I'm going to be needing it again in a couple of weeks, and I'm not sure I've really, confidently known where it was since 2001.

Anyone know a group of about 7-10 other people who want to split a season ticket package for the Note this year?

Does anyone know how many viewings of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is officially too much? Maybe I should just turn it on for the closing credits with the Marauder's Map and the John Williams music. Oh, and the scene where Hermione whacks away Harry's hand when he tries to grab the time turner.

What is the record for most months in a row with a different insurance plan? August will be 3, and September will make 4. Good lord willin' and the creek don't rise, that'll be the last for a while.

What will it take to get HBO to have longer seasons for their shows? I'd rather watch The Wire, Deadwood, and Entourage than just about anything else. Commercials? Do it (says the guy with TiVo)!

I need to know where on the 1-10 scale of guilty pleasures TiVoing Days of Our Lives rates?

Can someone guarantee me that Starbuck is going to actually be in the next episode of Battlestar? Anybody? More Starbuck, less boring ass drug swilling president. I just want to sleep when she is on the screen. Her nancy little aid could take a bullet too.

Ok, thanks.

Mischief Managed. Nox.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Sweet Analogy

Glenn Anderson
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
So I was listening to a local radio station here in Virginia Beach as I was driving back from Insurance round Z downtown, and heard a stellar analogy.

The discussion between the DJ's on the alternative station and their callers was the typical "which rock star had the most sex," with Gene Simmons of KISS installed at number 1, and some other KISS guy ranking in the top 10.

The discussion went to to a comparison of the other 2(?) memebers of KISS verses second tier rock stars (Steve Perry's name was brought up). Then came the analogy.

"Being one of the other two members of KISS was like Glenn Anderson or Jari Kuri on the Oilers. Grezky and Messier scored a lot of goals, but Kuri and Anderson scored a lot just by being around those guys."

And then Steve Perry was compared to Luc Robitaille, a guy who scored a lot, but didn't do as well because he didn't have anyone passing him the puck.

Ok, what the hell were DJs in Virginia Beach doing with that kind of puck knowledge. Warren should listen to these guys the next time he needs an analogy.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I Can Hardly Wait...

to know a lot less about insurance than I do today.

to know a lot more traffic paterns on I-270.

to not have to run out of a room when I hear Warren starting to mix up the coolaid. Although, it was nice to be able to walk out of the room. Er, sorry former coworkers.

to go clothes shoppin' for my new work duds. Any advice Ed? Not sure linen flies.

to not have to think about the Crew losing because the pitcher hit a 3 run homer.

to go for some training rides with my nephew and brother.

to do some house shoppin'.

for it to be Sept. 8, because they are actually starting the new season on time this year. Tell my sister in law I'll bring the popcorn.

to get my offer via FedEx tomorrow.

to see the NHL without the redline. Lets Go Blues!

to move out of the hose we are in. Like K said to me today, she was always a little bit heartbroken when we got snaked at the last second on the house she really wanted.

to actually get back on the bike tomorrow now that the 110+ heat index has receded.

to see the next Harry Potter movie in November. I think all of the Harry movies should be released in the winter, preferably around Christmas. I don't know what it is about John Williams soundtracks for Harry and that time of year, but it resonates for me. Just wish the same guy was directing movie 4 that directed 3.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
Nothing too deep here. Just wanted to report that having watched Closer and Garden State in the last week or so, it was in fact the crushing poo that Star Wars became that made Natalie Portman look like a bad actor, not her actually being a bad actor.

Other people may have realized this, but I hadn't had a chance to see anything she'd been in since EII and then EIII, so I'm sure you could understand my concern.

Don't Say Anything But...

They are only 5 1/2 out of the wildcard.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Comfort Food

Hot Sammich
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
So I was riding along today and planning dinner in my head. Was it time to start the watermellon diet I had heard about? Not a bad compliment to cycling, carbs and fiber (just add a little protein and it is probably about what I should be eating).

K got home from work though and looked beat. I asked her what she wanted for dinner, and when she started naming ingredients, and I knew it was on, the hotsammiches. With all of the waiting going on lately, I thought some comfort food might be in order.

The hotsammich is food from Kathy's youth, and boy are they good. Especially the little crusty bits that leak out onto the foil in the oven.


Ham (small squares)
Turkey (small squares)
White Cheese (mozzarella typically, small cubes)
Yellow Cheese (cheddar typically, small cubes)
Sweet Relish
Chopped Black Olives

Stuff it into half a pita, wrap in foil, add heat. The sweet relish is the key...mess up that, and they are just all wrong.


Heh, those three and about 6 more. Not exactly the watermellon diet.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Voices of the Tour

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I love watching the Tour. Surprise, right? I love watching those guys push themselves and hurt themselves for 3 weeks. I love the glory of the stage win, but equally, the nobility of sucking it up to make it to Paris when you are in 143rd and your body is begging you to stop.

But I don't think I'd have near the appreciation for it if not for the voices of the Tour de France, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Cripes, this blog is almost a shrine ot them with all of the quotes.

My wife is pictured above at the Bike Expo in Vegas with Phil (rumor has it that for the rest of the people asking for pictures, he just sat at the table, sly devil).


Paul is what we would refer to in the States as the color man of the team. Phil calls most of the action, Paul breaks it down. Paul rode in the Tour. But he did it poorly enough that Phil sticks it to him. They are a great team, and have a wonderful British flavour. Something cycling should have, as U.S. cycling is pretty johnycomelately.

As I was watching the Tour with Brad, Kathy and Tee this morning, Brad said "I wish U.S. announcers were more like these guys." I agree. In fact, one of the reasons that I like watching Premiere League Football (British Soccer) is just to hear the annoucers. The are precise and have beautiful vocabulary. It is a shame that in the U.S. we are so focused with sucking off ex-players that we demand they do the broadcasts. Yuck. Fucking Troy Aikman is never going to use the word capitulate.

The most we can hope for with our announcers is that they have some fun and don't take the games they call too seriously. It is just a damn game. One of the reasons that I enjoy the Brewers broadcasters more than most is that they are willing to do shit like interviewing Mr. Red.

Mr. Red

So, as the Tour de France winds down, my five favourite quotes from Phil and Paul this year.

5. He's a good man you know.
~ Paul

4. When we use the word complicated (to describe the race) we usually mean we don’t have a clue what is going on.
~ Phil

3. He has lept across the gap like a scalded cat.
~ Paul

2. He rode like a sack of potatoes.
~ Phil

1. And my favorite was an exchange between the two, as the Tour rode past a run down castle:
It was pillaged by the Huguenots. You must remember that, don’t you?
~ Paul
I do. I never did trust them.
~ Phil

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Happy Birthday Jenks!

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
When Jenks goes deep to the opposite field, the boy is wired in. 'bout time. Happy 31st birthday Jenks.

Crew splits with the hated Cards. Good deal.

J.J. Hardy jumped his average up 25 points during the series with a bunch of extra base hits. Looks like his shoulder is finally healed.

A couple of clutch hits on Wednesday, and the Brewers would have taken 3 of 4. Oh well. Next year I'll be greedy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Devil Car
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
Sweet, the Devil has a Devil-Mobile. Well, I guess if the Pope does, it is only fair.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

3 Posts Tonight? Musta Been a Brewer Game On!

And there was! Against the hated Cards, no less, and the Brewers were down 4-0, but rallied for a 5-4 win. Ah, how sweet.


So, I had opportunity to go into my old company today and talk to Pamela, corporate counsel and HR guru.

Let me just say, what a star.

When I started with the company, I kept seeing people bang their heads into "people issues" over and over. For all of the lip service that was paid to how important people were at the company, in reality, it was awful nice to be one of the "circle of friends," but if you weren't that, you were not likely to meet with a lot of understanding in terms of your needs. Or at least, nothing proactive. More likely, you would be given an $800 chair to sit on, a hideously expensive rug to walk on, and some ugly ass "art" chairs to walk past. And godhelpyou if you had to take a dump in the mirrored monstrosity known as the basement bathroom. Raises? Nah, we had bonuses! Flex time? Heh, if you were a VP, you could come in at noon. Other than that, god help you if you weren't in your desk by 9, even if you routinely stayed until 7 or 8. Since the managers didn't live like the rest of us, no accomodation was really given to the rest of us.

All of that changed when Pamela started. People below the VP level had a great advocate. All sorts of great things happened. Flex time (of a sort), people coming into the office from retirement planning and insurance groups to explain things, goofy little picnics and cooking contests, and a host of other "people" things.

Well, all that is nice, but when the chips really went down, she showed her true mettle.

When I decided that getting out of the game industry and back into straight engineering was the right thing for me and K and Pavel(ina), there was a lot of work to be done on my resume. A lot. I took revision after revision to Pamela, and she worked through it with me. I had resumes out before Friday the 13th even happened. And they've worked. She came up with a format, and a way to look at things that I would never have gotten to.

Well, yay for me or whatever. What is even bigger is her dedication to the empolyees still there and recently gone. Things are a total mess there, and she is still holding together what she can. And it can't be easy, as it all has to go through the big two. What a nightmare. And yet she still fights, and has managed to fight the insanity to a draw and take care of an ugly insurance mess. So thanks Pamela.

Songs On My MP3 Player

Further research on the "songs during cycling." Here are 7 that are working well for me.

Hollaback Girl -Gwen Stefani "That's right, put your pom-poms down, getting everybody fired up." Well, I'm fired up.

g.o.a.t. drummer

La Villa Strangiato -Rush There is a lot of this...Neil Peart, best drummer ever, makes it very easy to keep the pedals going.

Hook -Blues Traveller I like harmonica, so sue me.

Boom -Pod Ok, I admit it, I was watching Grind and it made me chase down this song and a couple of others.

Send Me On My Way -Rusted Root That much percussion can't be a bad thing for keeping up a cadence.

Down -311 I got nothin.

Jimmy Olsen's Blues -Spin Doctors "I can't believe my dilema is real/I'm competing with the Man of Steel."

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hug It Out

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
For those of you at dinner tonight, Jeremy Piven is the guy on the left. Speaking of which, Entourage calls, and in 30 minutes I will be there to answer.

Dribs vs. Drabs

For a (lazy) Sunday afternoon, listening to the Brewers beats reading the new H. Pot book. Well, at least as long as the Crew is winning 5-1 (editor's note, now 5-3, Crew is still holding off Harry).

Scoring my first goal in any organized soccer beats taking a perfect pass 12 yards in front of goal later in the game that should have been my second goal and passing it instead. Need to shoot more, but not in my nature.

Talented and supportive soccer teammates with cool Irish accents beat lazy and loud (and lazy!) American soccer teammates who think they are much better than they are.

Baseball teams with TV contracts beat teams without them. I hate it when the Brewers play the Nats, as I'm pretty sure that the Nats aren't allowed to broadcast (maybe just this year??? to protect Baltimore's territory??? I've wondered about this before, and still haven't looked into it). And for some reason, even though it was listed, the Brewers broadcast didn't make it out to digital cable last night.

Having a wife who walks into the room, sees that I'm listening to the game instead of watching it, and says "They're still playing the Nationals?" beats just about anything.

Lance Armsrtrong beats the Euro riders who don't seem to have the heart or focus to train or suffer like him. Ok, that was an Ugly American moment. But today he didn't beat his teammate and the only rider who has ridden on his team each year he has won, George Hincapie. Georgie, a very talented rider, has embraced the role of super-domestique, sacrificing for Lance. George looked almost confused as he crossed the finish line. Nice moment when Lance got to him back in the compound.

Danica Patrick qualifying on the front row and finishing 7th beats qalifying 7th and finishing 14th. But why did they change tires on that last stop and cost her 8 track positions when nobody else changed?

When the heat index is going to cross 100, playing at 8 a.m. beats the snot out of playing at 1:45 in the afternoon.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Saturday With Harry

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
So K went out and bought Harry last night/this morning at midnight. I was just finishing up Battlestar on the Tivo, and going to sleep.

I got up in the morning at 7 for the freeforallsufferfest at Fat Frogs. On my way out to the bike, I noticed Harry and checked to see how far K had got (which page was folded). I couldn't find a page that was folded. Who knew the carnage that she had wrought?

I got to Fat Frogs and noticed that it looked like a little bit lighter crowd (only 50 or 60 riders, but some of the fast kids weren't there...there was a race somewhere). I've been stacking up the miles, and saturdays are the measuring stick of progress.

I sat behind the ride leader to make sure I didn't get caught by a traffic light or bad cross traffic and have to chase to catch up right off the bat. The downside is having the 2nd pull of the ride (before I'm warmed up) and then still having a lot of people in line to get behind (riding in the wind while dropping back). Also, a lot of those people are going to blow up. And did.

When the gaps started opening, I had to chase across one at 26 mph. Ouch! But I got across it and got back with the lead group. This is a little stunt that would have got me dropped a couple weeks ago.

After a lot of sweating, feeling like I was breathing water (it was humid!), and chasing, I managed to get back to the shop with the first group. I haven't pulled that off in two years on a saturday.

I came home, and shortly thereafter Brad and I were watching the best stage of the Tour de France so far. Constant attacks, only the "Heads of State" riding together for the last 45 minutes. I turned to Brad and asked "How do we watch the Tour next year? Who do we cheer for?" Not sure. Maybe Z takes the next step? Not sure he is a GC guy though.

I found out Kathy had finished Harry, meaning we didn't have to go out and buy another copy! Good when don't have friggen' job. So I set up out on the deck, put my feet up, and dug in. I won't be staying up all night to read it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Devil Revealed

The Devil
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
If you watch the Tour de France, and especially the mountain stages, there is one character who appears over and over at the side of the road. The Devil. I was always curious!

In America, we used to have that guy with the rainbow wig who would show up at all of the major sporting events with his John 3:16 sign. NBA finals, the Masters, World Series, etc.

What motivates these guys? Well, our friends at VeloNews gave the scoop yesterday:

We met old Didi at the 1996 Tour and then interviewed him at the world cyclo-cross championships in Munich that winter. Didi has been coming to the grand tours and other big events for years. He grew up in the old East Germany and used to watch the Tour on television. There's an old German saying, referring to the final kilometer of a bike race as the "Devil's Lap." Being a literal thinker, Didi always wondered why there was no Devil there. Well, after the wall came down and German unification followed, Didi decided there was a job that needed to be filled.

He is a kinetic sculptor and has the world record for having constructed the world's largest bicycle, by the way.

Who Knew?

The Tour and other major cycling events aren't real sure about having a wild German with a massive bike hanging around in the final kilometer, so our man Didi, usually picks a key point in the stage to let the peloton know he's around. He always paints a trident on the road every few dozen meters, starting about a kilometer before his spot. Anyway, he's something of a celebrity these days... and even appeared in a French fashion magazine, posing with runway models on a big climb in the '03 Tour.

Communism can do strange things to a person.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Stupid American League

American League
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I hate it when the Brewers lose homefield advantage in the World Series. They just haven't been a great road team this year, so this hurts.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tour Quick Hitters

Attack Dog
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
K had a precise recap of the stage today.

Did you notice that Discovery had a guy with a water bottle to hand to Lance on the final climb? I don't think that is normal and I don't think any other team did it. Lance was the only one hydrating on the climb. A small advantage, but the type of thing only they seem to think of.

What do you think Lance was saying to Popovych just before he shredded the field for Lance? Do you think Lance knows the russian words for "Rip their legs off"?

Thoughts From the Road

Jan's Grimace
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I try to model my Mask of Daze after Jan Ullrich. That guy knows how to look like he is suffering. I had that look for the last 20 miles of the 50 mile ride today. I think I scared some wildlife.

It is nice to come home from the ride and see tasty Chinese food waiting for you. Especially when you had no idea that it would be waiting. The dumplings were good.

When I stopped at the shop at 4 p.m. to have my new pedals adjusted, one of the people watching the wrench do his magic said "you're pretty tough to be going out in the heat of the day." I said, "or pretty stupid." Actually, I wanted to go out eariler, but was still dealing with yesterday.

90 degrees with 100 degree heat index is actually quite hot.

You know you are on good cycling roads when you can ride for 2 hours without clipping out of your pedals once.

Accelerade tastes bad when it is cold. When it has been cooking in a water bottle for 2 hours, it is nothing short of putrid.

Song of the day:

I'm Nothing by Violent Femmes

I’m nothing’
I’m nothin’
Are you a republican or a democrat
A liberal fascist full of crap
I’m nothin’
I’m nothin’
Somebody somewhere might be something
But everybody everywhere
Knows that I’m nothin
Politics and dirty tricks
I got no time for stones and sticks
Politics and dirty tricks
I got no time I’m chasing chicks
I’m nothin’
I’m nothin’
Somebody somewhere might be something
But everybody everywhere
Knows that I'm nothing

CK may have been right, and I need to pull the Yes songs out of the rotation.

It is always easier to suffer during a ride on days when you watch Tour de France riders go up a mountain for 45 minutes. How can you feel sorry for yourself after watching that?

Carnage Cam

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
One of the reasons that I love the mountain stages of the Tour de France is what I like to call the Carnage Cam.

Tour coverage is done using four cameras for most of the stage. One on the helicopter, and three of them on the backs of motercycles. That isn't a large number to cover 160 riders.

The mountains cause huge gaps and the peleton (the typical main group of riders) breaks into five to ten gropus. How do you cover that with three motorcycles?

Well, they typically leave one with the breakaway, and one with the group of contenders for the GC (general classification, or overall leader).

The other is often used for Carnage Cam. They drop the cycle back to the autobus (the group of non-climbers that huddle together to stay inside the timelimit) and ride forward, pausing at each dropped rider to see the look of pain and suffering, before speeding on to the next rider or group.

If they stay with that view for a while, you get a feel for the gaps that form, and as it moves to the head of the race, there is always anticipation to see who (Lance has) dropped.

I love the mountains.

Monday, July 11, 2005

A Funny...

All my Tour de France posts involving Lance Armstrong seems to have triggered my google ads at the bottom of the page to switch from bl*gging related (don't want them to switch back) to Livestrong bands. Heh, cool!

As those of you who worked with my at my last company may know, I submitted a game proposal that used the idea of the bands to play a game. My lovely wife K worked at a bike shop and suggested that with the pile of kids that were constantly coming in looking for Livestong bands, it was an idea that might work. Having seen how things work with the managers, I threw the proposal over the wall and tried to run.

I was right to run. If there was ever a story to sum up my last company, it would be the story of the attempt by management to bring that product to market. I believe it is still ongoing (with other evolutions of the concept puttering around). Never mind that the fad has faded.

The google ads have other kinds of bands...if they ever turn into ads for the game I submitted, I'm shutting the this thing down. All of it.

Worst...Preride Meal...Evar

The Pain
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
What the hell was I thinking.

I went to Wendys at 4:30 today and grabbed a Single con queso, some fries, and (to quote Wil, guh) another jr. cheeseburger.

My only excuse is skipping lunch and then tap dancing on the phone for a couple of hours, which wore me out.

So, out on the bike for a couple of hours after that, and at the park, as I stopped to fill bottles, I had an idea that the crud in my stomach might not be sitting too well.

The ride back and the battle against my innerds confirmed for me that I will never eat that crap before a ride again.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Farewell to Dave

Dave Zabriskie dropped out of the Tour de France today. He had a few crashes, including one in the yellow jersery, and one while crossing wet rail tracks at about a 30 degree angle (bad idea).

Interestingly, he said he couldn't even really pinpoint what hurt. Bob Roll theorized it was straight loss of moral after his team abandoned him bleeding on the road in the team time trial. Hard call to say they should have sent someone back for him, as they almost won the stage, and Ivan Basso is really the team leader. But maybe they should have sent someone back out of respect for the jersey.

So here is to Dave. Follow this link and scroll down a little bit to see some of Dave's one question "on the bike" interviews. If you scan, you'll see them. Funny. After reading those, I think I am a Z fan for life.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Ugly Jersey, Strong Ride

Prowler at the Door
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
Do you think Alexandre Vinokourov could have declined to wear the jersey of the champion of Kazakhstan? That light blue and yellow is unsightly.

However, the Tour de France really started today. Great stage, unless you were wearing Discovery kit.

Looks likes a healthy Vino is just what T-Mobile needs to agitate. With Vino, Ullrich, and the unexpected resurgence of Andreas Kloden, Lance had his hands more than full. Add to that the inexplicable disappearance of Discovery on the fairly gentle cat. 2 climb, and things may get really interesting.

T-Mobile aside, the mellow johnny was attacked by contenders from CSC (who had 3 or 4 riders in the final group), Landis of Phonac, and maybe even Heras and our old friend Beloki of Liberty.

Said Bobby Julich of CSC, "I've never seen a team (Discovery) just implode like that. I don't even think Lance understood what was going on there. T-Mobile are either over their limit or they're much stronger than I thought they were. We got a race on our hands."

This week should be very interesting with the mountains tomorrow, and then some nasty Alps on Tuesday-Thursday. Unless Discovery gets themselves straightened out, there is no way Lance can continue to repel attacks from five or six contenders. Someone is going to get up the road and ding him hard.

Friday, July 08, 2005

I Thought Magnus Had One

Magnus Backstedt
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
The pic has Magnus Backstedt getting beat at the line by Robbie McEwen. Magnus is in the middle.

Being 6'5", it is hard not to cheer for the 6'4" (1.93m) Swede. I love hearing the announcers talk about the "immense" rider, especially his massive 200 lb frame. 200 lbs, HA!

That mass makes him a great rider on the flat stages with all of the long term power it provides (though I was surprised at how well he sprinted today, but things broke his way a little bit).

But god help him when the roads head up. He's got to haul that extra 60-70 lbs up the big mts. So, it was good to see him at the front today, and we'll hope he's back there when the roads flatten out again.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I was a few minutes late for the ride yesterday, and missed the groups leaving. One of the things I like about Fat Frogs is the community of riders, and it includes people of all ages.

I was actually pretty late, and cruised out at about 21 mph, and eventually caught up with the B pace ride. Included in that ride are Joe, one of the shop owners, and Pat (pictured) and LeRoy. All three are over 50, and I'm betting over 60. But they are still cruising at 17-20 mph. I can only hope that I'm workin' it like that at their age.

Of course, they stop a couple of times to look at ducks and generally stretch out. Nothing wrong with that. I stopped with them and chatted before breaking off at the 10 mile mark to do my own ride.

And then there is Jay.


He caught up with me on the ride today while I was riding by myself. Jay rides in the 55+ age bracket. I was huffing and puffing along at 21 (I'm pretty burned by the miles this week, so I was really fighting to hold 21). Jay pulls along side and starts chatting. Asks how K is doing with the pregnancy, gives me some advice on life, just yapping away. I gasp some replies and try to hold my pathetic pace without looking totally gassed.

Then, obviously bored by the pace, Jay says "wanna catch my wheel?" meaning he was willing to pull me along. He had a solid disc on the back wheel that makes this cool ominous groaning noise. He slowly raised the pace up to to 25 where I had to let him go. I thought "damn."

I watched him go up the road and catch up with another rider, a kid in better shape then me. It looked to me like he chatted, pulled ahead, and the two road off together and disappeared around a bend. I came around that bend a couple minutes later, and only saw the kid. Jay had toasted him too.

I think he was just toying with us like a cat with mice. I hope he was! I want to be doing that when I'm 60!

Tosca Says...

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.

A Day of Crashing

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I was yelling at my TV cheering for this man earlier in the day. He had been away in a breakaway for 180 km. That is like 100 fricken' miles. He fought through brutal rain and the loss of his fellow escapies, and was about to be collected by a Professional Catch inside the last 700 meters. That would have sucked. Worse was that his bike slid out from under him going through the last turn and he ended up in the barriers. And then a yard sale ensued.

I feel especially bad as he is 36, which is very old for someone riding at that level, and was riding only 20k from his home. This was likely his last chance to leave his mark. Add that to the fact that he was a domestique that I'd never heard of, and this may have been the defining moment in his career.

And speaking of crashing, I was nearly collected in a nasty one this morning. Christian, arguably the strongest rider in our group, was riding 2 in front of me in the pace line when he hit a dip.
As he weighs about 130 lbs and we were doing 25 mph, his front wheel shot up, locked up, and then came back down. Because it was locked up, it served as a plant, and suddenly I heard one of those ugly noises and saw his body and bike above Jeff, the tall rider in front of me. Jeff said he saw Christian's face upsidedown. That'll be a sight that sticks with Jeff.

Christian did a full summersault and landed on his butt in the drainage ditch next to the road. He and his bike were at least three feet off the ground at the top. The guy behind 6'5" me saw him. Amazingly, he only had some scratches and torn up shorts. I think if he landed on the tarmac, he might have broken his tailbone.

When I heard that noise ahead (and there is no noise like a bike tire no longer spinning and hitting the pavement), I was getting ready to smash into a bike across the road in front of me and try to do the forward roll when I went over the bars to avoid breaking my collar bone. Fortunately no acrobatics were required as Jeff did a wonderful job of keeping his bike upright (Christain and bike both went right).

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

No Good Deed

Quick Change
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
This is a reason to like Lance.

Yesterday Dave Zabriskie crashed while leading the Tour de France, and Lance Armstrong became the new leader, holder of the maillot jaune, or yellow jersey. (Lance's nickname is Mellow Johnny, a phonetic texasese pronunciation).

After watching the tapes of the stage last night, Lance determined that if Zabriskie wouldn't have crashed, he would still be wearing the jersey. Tradition says that the jersey should not pass due to a crash, so Lance decided to wear his team kit instead of the yellow jersey in today's stage.

Well, the Tour organizers had other ideas, and stopped the race to make Lance put it on. Sponsors and what not. Actually, they didn't make him put it on, they gave him the option of not doing it and not starting tomorrow's stage.

Ah well, it was a neat thing to try to do, and I'm sure Zabriskie, a rookie rider, appreciates the respect that the patron of the tour is showing him. It is also the kind of thing that keeps other riders from trying to "flick," or "screw with" Lance.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I think I know...

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
...blogging might be the perfect complement to watching baseball. I can split my attention between the two of them and not feel like a total slug for sitting in front of the TV for that time.

...serving utensil selection is important for community queso, and not to be taken lightly. Otherwise, tongs may be required.

...the Tour de France is more fun to watch with people and tasty sandwiches.

...I miss riding with K. Or much more accurately, bitching at her for riding too fast and making me work too hard to keep up. The girl can't go slow. CAN'T.

...floating is fun. of the meanest things that can be said to a man or woman in a relationship, and that it couldn't have been said to a more deserving person.

...Derrick Turnbow is still a goofy looking mofo.

...Kristine makes quality homemade salsa. I need the recipe. Are the tomatoes from her garden? I suspect they are.

...the summer is slipping away.

...I wish I was with my family at the lake in Minnesota like most Julys.

...I'm happy that Benny found his fucking curveball and the missing 3 mph on his fastball.

...I need a haircut.

...Magic Shell needs to be shaken well, upside down, for 20 seconds, to function properly. Or does it?

...there should not be multiple bags of potato/tortilla chips in my house when I return from a 60 mile bike ride, though the problem tends to be self #$%!ing correcting.


Did my first 60 miles since the century (100 miles) last year. The short version is that it hurt and I screwed up, but I'll live.

Went 21 miles with the group from Fat Frogs. Shop door to shop door in 58 minutes. Under an hour is the mark for movin. Still felt reasonably fresh and I had my MP3 player in my jersey pocket, so I filled my bottles and went back out thinking to head down to Munden Point (40 miles out and back).

Headwind out, so I slowed up pretty good, down to about 17 mph, but I was still working. About the time I got to Munden Point park, I realized the flaw in my plan. I hadn't eaten anything before the ride, and had no sources of calories with me. When I'm riding, I burn about 1400 calories per hour (an average adult is supposed to eat between 2000 and 2500 a day). So I was 2800 calories in the hole, with another 1400 of looming debt.

Of course, on one hand, great! I'm riding a bunch to burn some flab. But even when the body starts primarily burning fat, it still likes to have a little carb fuel around to kind of light the fires. When you don't have that, you can either ride hard and get loopy or ride really slowly. I had done the former.

I ended up spending my tire dollar from my tire pack (that reminds me, need to replace it!) in the soda machine at the park. Tire dollar - If you get a tear in your tire from glass or somefin and the tire can't hold 100 lbs per inch of pressure anymore, sometimes you can put a dollar bill between the tube and the tire and it will hold the pressure. I think it is because of cloth content in the dollar. No coke, sold out. No sprite, sold out. Lemon ice tea. As the meatloaf crew can attest, I don't do tea. And of course, the damn machine wasn't actually cooling the drinks. Just the opposite. So it was, uh, hot lemon ice tea (good for 200 total cals). It was amazing how much good that 200 calories did though. I flew back, with the tailwind, at about 21 mph.

So, my legs hurt, I was way dehydrated when I got home, but I'm up to 60 in a shot, and they were fairly quick.

What a Crappy Way to Lose the Jersey

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
Dave Zabriskie went for a little slide along the pavement today. He's now over a minute back, but on the bright side "X-rays were negative." That is some nasty rash. And I thought I was hurting on my ride today.

Training the Attack Cat

K and Muse
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
Looking for alternate forms of exercise to replace the bike and hard core dancing that is on hold until Pavel(ina) arrives in another trimester or two, K has taken to working Muse as an attack cat.

Actually, we just think cats working the harness is funny. When asked to be photographed, Tosca said "Hssssssst."

The Pain of the 290 lb. Cyclist

Replaced Pedal
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
So lets talk pedals. I'll be brief.

Pedals lock into cleats (cleats are attached to your shoes) to make sure your feet to don't slip around. Max power transfer, slipping leads to chaffing. Enough reason to lock in right there.

I use Speedplays. There is a grove in the front and back of the pedal that thick wires on the cleats snap into.

Busted Cleat

Well, I break the damn things. Notice the wire broken in the cleat and the hunk out of the pedal (there is another hunk on the other side of the pedal that is gone).

The physics goes like this. Most cyclists go maybe 180-200 pounds (Tour de France riders go 130-150 pounds). They need to generage a certain amount of force to move them along. I need to generate 50-100% more force to go the same speed (sloppy, but ballpark). And at least for short periods, I can! But it all has go down through the cleats and pedals.

Before replacing the pedal, I checked to see if there was a weight limit in the docs. Nope. But the talented wrench at Fat Frogs, John, had advised Shimano pedals (no delicate little bars in their version). I stupidly didn't listen. And now look at the repacement:

Busted New Pedal

To quote the emporer, now I'm going to pay for my lack of vision. Never second guess John. Or you end up with this:

Last Resort

And nobody wants that. But you can help! And it will be fun! Go here. They are giving away 50 sets of the pedals I need (they ain't cheap) as a Tour de France promotion. I'll make it worth your while! Plus, you get rub that junk off of the game cards with magnets and voodoo idols and whatnot.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Professional Catch

Aussie Love?
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
Is there anything more cruel in all the world than the Professional Catch?

For the uninitiated, there are several types of bike riders in the tour. The main types are climbers, rolleurs (riders who can hold high tempo for miles and miles), and sprinters. Sprinters can only really contest flat stages, and when they do, you have a finish like the one pictured. Robbie McEwan is at about 40 mph and has the bike control to lean on fellow Aussie Stewie O'Grady. Foul!

Anyways, the way drafting works, big groups of riders move faster than little groups unless the guys in the little groups work about twice as hard as the big group. But the big group is content to let breakaways stay away until right at the end.

Today, 3 riders were away for 188 of the 212 kilometers (give me that in miles? 120!). They were giving everything, but the sprinters teams, as they almost always do, closed the gap to them with about 3 miles to go so the team leaders could sprint for the win. A perfect Professional Catch. But I can't imagine anything crueler than letting them work for 4 hours thinking they have a shot, and then pulling it away.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Pole Position

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
There she goes, starting from the point, winning the pole by 2 thousandths of a second. .002 seconds!

I'm going to have to squeeze time in on Sunday to watch this one. Her team has had success there in the past, and she seems to feel comfortable on this type of track. Just has to keep her nose clean.

Mask of Daze

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
An American won the first stage of the Tour today. Not the one everybody thought though (well, K's boyfriend Phil Liggett did, but only because he wasn't allowed to pick Lance in the fantasy draft). Dave Zabriskie won by a couple of seconds over Lance.

Paul Sherwin, the color commentator, caught my ear with a great turn of phrase. The Mask of Daze. When all of a body's energy is going down through the pedals, and nothing is left for inconsequentials like facial control, funny things happen to a cyclist's face. Dave has a bit of it in the above picture. The trick is to get it right near the end of the race (or maybe the end of a climb). Because what follows can be pretty ugly.

Speaking of which, as I suspected, I got chewed up and spit out on the Saturday ride today. I made it (much) further than last week. Got to the turnaround with the fast boys, which was basically my goal, but paid a price to do it. I was gasping for air 10 minutes into the ride, and anerobic shortly there after. Bad.

I remember Sean, the strongest rider out there, congratulating me for my fight to stay on (he was right behind me when I dropped from the line, and watched me battle the bike the last 10 was nice to hear him comment on the effort). He must have noticed me choking my guts back down a couple of times. Thought I might have to pull to the side and yack.

After the drop, I caught on with four or five other droppies and got back up to speed (22-23 mph as opposed to the 26-30 of the fastest group). Worked with them for 5 miles, and then one of them attacked. I still didn't have my breath, and went fatty anaerobic.

Then the Mask of Daze came, and the lights in the engine room started going out. I pulled out of line, and started getting a little dizzy. Chills next. Bad news. I just sort of rolled the last 5 miles back to the shop.

K and I were talking Friday night about the ride I had been on that morning. The ride leader had called for a 23 mph max, which is a taper for all of the fast boys, to let them be strong for the free for all on Saturday. We realized that for me, that isn't really a taper, it is still a challenge becuase the whole hour is at that speed.

So, between that ride in the heat, drinking coffee all day without drinking water, and not having a bite before the ride, I doomed myself. Lesson learned.

Time For Change?

Time For Change?
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
Interesting results from the promotion at the Brewers game last night. Given a choice, about 60% of the people at the game chose the old "ball and glove" logo.

Not unexpected, as it is the one tied to the one era of sucesss in the team's history, the Paul Molitor/Robin Yount/'Stormin' Gorman Thomas time. Darron Sutton, the TV play by play guy had an interesting suggestion, combining the team's present colors with the old logo.

Not an option is the old Barrelman logo. I have a tee-shirt with that logo, and I'm kinda partial to it. And, I have some additional justification.


If only Prince Fielder (who had another RBI last night pinch hitting) was right-handed, he'd be a dead ringer.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Now I Feel Bad

Slippry Spot
Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I was talking with Brad today about getting together to watch the prologue of the Tour tomorrow, and I believe I said "If we're lucky, Ullrich will crash and we'll get to hear K cheer."

What was that I just heard?