Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Random Thoughts from Black Butte Ranch

Growing out my facial hair. Hate this 2 week old stage, it's itchy and ugly.

Found out that 30 to 32 lbs of pressure is too low to take my tubeless 'cross wheel on a trail filled with sharp edged volcanic rocks. It could have been ugly.

Realized that being alone in a cabin with only my iPhone is very boring. Better than being alone with just the TV though.

I also realized that owning deep rim carbon wheels for cyclocross is stupid. Yet I have a set....I am a sucker for cool wheels.

I won't even bring up my non-deep rim carbon wheels...

I ate a high calorie fatty mexican food lunch. It was almost too much for me. I really felt nauseated for eating too much of the wrong kind of food. After a couple of months eating fairly well, I think my body went into shock for a bit.

My Curtlo is fast....

I am least not compared to where I want to be.

I saw an older gentleman with his shirt sticking out of the fly of his pants. Could have been worse...

I sent of application materials for a federal job in D.C. I both hope I do and hope I don't get it. If they have a decent 'cross series that would go a long way towards tempting me. Odds are long though...

Thinking of doing the Race Across Oregon. It would be a relay. You ride all out for 15 minutes and then pass off to the next teammate. There are 4 guys on a team. It takes well over 40 hours of continuous riding by the relay team to finish. Sounds sort of crazy. But possible. Neil is the one egging me on to do it. History has shown the I can be egged...

I know I wrote basically that carbon wheels are for suckers, but dang as I set here looking at a set with some brand new tires on them I sort start to drool. Something about knobby tires on carbon gets me going....I need help I think.

Ok, enough is enough....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Getting Closer

190.0 lbs this morning.

In August I was at or near 200 lbs except for the time immediately after the morning dregs. I feel pretty good about this. It is been a fairly steady decline and I need to continue the downward trend. 185 lbs. was the goal when I set out to get ready for cross, but I am thinking that the long term goal is to get to under 180. That will require some new clothes probably which I don't have the money for, but I will cross that bridge later.

For reference, I was very briefly at 187.4 for a day or two last fall. I spent about a month at 188 to 189 before gradually going back up to 200. Still, while my weight yo-yos a bit, it has continually yo-yo'd downward. I lose 15 or so and then gain back 5 to 10. I lose another 15 or so and gain back 5 to has been this way for about 5 years. I just need to make sure the swing down keeps following this pattern.


I am heading to Black Butte for a couple of days this week to take care of a couple of things. I am going without the family so I think I will also try and get my Vittoria XM tubulars glued on my trustworthy Neuvation C50 carbons wheels while I am down there. Or at least started on them.

The Ksyrium/Hutchinson Bulldog tubeless setup still is holding air. Seems like it will be a great set up despite having no glue involved.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Life is about progress. Hopefully we are all making progress in our lives towards what we want to be and who we should be. Sometimes it seems like you can get caught in the doldrums. There is just no external wind to help get you to where you want to go. You have to paddle. With regard to work I feel that way. Things just aren't progressing and neither am I in the way that I want to...and it is mostly my fault. So briefly, I am flogging myself in public to remind myself to get my butt in gear and make something happen somehow. No excuses.

In other ways, in other areas, things are progressing decently. I feel I more fit than I was last month. I have lost a little more weight, not counting last night's gluttony and today's carryover. Neil, Jimbo, and Dave know of what I speak. Brianero should know of this too, except his claimed an illness kept him away. Anyway, I try to find time to ride even if it is for less than an hour. Faster is the goal, and again there are no excuses. In this area of my life is easier to measure progress. I get on the scale usually every morning to see what is up. There are fluctuations, much of it depending upon whether I have evacuated yesterday's intake or not yet when I step on the scale. As I lose more weight it is evident that I could surely lose another 20 pounds and still not look too skinny. Doubtful that this will happen anytime soon though. I can also look to race results to see how I am fairing against guys that finish near me race after race.

The Cernitz bikes are making great progress. One frame's at paint and the other in its initial stages of formation. I am really grateful for Neil and all the thought and work that he has put into these frames. I am lucky to know him for a variety of reasons actually.

The ButterCup Team is on the fast track to reality. Kits have been ordered and by the end of October we will most likely be a registered team with OBRA. Ours is a team of 4 guys, but you have to start somewhere. I will delve more into that in later posts certainly. I should probably post links on my blog to our sponsors...yeah, need to do that pronto. Anyway, I didn't have much to do with the heading up this team, that was mainly Packfodder Jim. Nevertheless, I support him and his efforts. He a is dedicated guy. You need dedication to make progress...

My family is increasingly busy. Bridget has work occasionally and lots of work that she does for church (which has been overwhelming at times), Ryan--school and soccer, Jack--preschool and soccer, and Colin is dead set on deconstruction of his known universe (i.e., he tosses food all over the floor, removes everything from cupboards, and rips hair off of the cat fairly often). It is hard to keep everything straight, luckily Bridget does so for me. We don't get to sit at home often. This is a good thing.

The main thing that is required for me to be at peace in important areas of my life is to be make progress is a goal. For instance, I have some weight goals and I now know how to lose weight if I am willing to pay the price to do so. If I want to get faster at cyclocross, I know certain training regimens that will help further this goal. A lack of time makes it difficult to do everything I would like to do to train, but I do what I can. In opening my own law firm, it has been difficult because I don't really know how, and I haven't spent the time to figure it out. I mean I have these vague notions of what should be done. And I know of some specific things that needed to be done as well. But as far as an actual goal with something specific attached to it that can be aimed at and accomplished....not so much. Part of it is because I don't really know what to expect. Part of it is because I haven't spent much time finding out the best route to get this done. And part is because, frankly, I didn't really want to have my own firm as a first option. The amount of work that I foresee to get things rolling seems daunting. I would have much rather joined a entity that already existed. I am already working 40 hours at the bike shop and commuting another 8 to 10 hours per week on top of that....(sigh) excuses....they are so easy to make. I just need to pay the price.

Anyway, this morning I just sort of blew up. Not at anyone really, just myself. I hate the situation I am in. I need to bring in some income to survive and the income I am bringing in is not really enough in the long term. I want to start actually practicing law, but the transition back into it will be difficult. If only I had gone about things a little differently a couple of years ago. If I hadn't been so picky about what area of law I doubt I would be in this situation...but perhaps I am in this situation for a reason. At least, that is what Bridget has thought. She is very supportive and she tries to be an effective rudder in our lives. Good thing, because I feel like the captain of the Exxon Valdes much of the time recently. Enough babbling though. I don't want to be like some people that talk a good game and never follow through. That is not really my schtick.

Progress...time to get going and make things happen somehow, someway.


A quick note: I ran my Mavic Ksyrium Elites tubeless for the first time today. The tires are Hutchinson Bulldogs. Early indications are that I only have to run them about 2 to 4 pounds more pressure than I run in most of my tubulars. The feel is similar to my Tufo tubulars, not as plush feeling as the Fangos I ran last year. But I think that the Bulldogs have better mud capabilities. I also have Vittoria XM tubulars to glue up. More on all this in the days to come.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To Paint

I woke up this morning and drove down to the Wilsonville area. I picked up my friend and part-time co-worker Neil Cernitz and we drove to work. Wilsonville is not exactly on my route to work. But, I am just a really nice guy and so I offered to pick up Neil since we had to be there at 8 am. I am a giver, what can I say.

The fact that Neil had a frame ready to take to paint may have had something to do with it.

The pictures below were taken with my crappy little camera phone. The fact that they are low quality will only make all of you even more amazed when the frame is finished and I take pictures with an actually high quality camera.

The picture of the complete frame I stole from Neil's blog.

At lunch today we went to the Class Act Powdercoating and Paint. It was a little drive out there. Once we arrived we were bluntly informed that we were idiots with regard to paint and prep. I felt like I was talking to the painter's version of the Soup Nazi. Man, the woman we talked to was about as blunt and plainspeaking as you can get. That is about as positive a spin as I can do. Nevertheless, I think they will do great work. I sure hope so, the paint job is costing way too much. Not that I am going super fancy, but still. I was going to paint the fork as well, but I decided I didn't want to spend the money. After all, I still have another Cernitz coming down the pipe.

I won't divulge the details here about the paint. But in about 3 weeks I will post it. Hopefully the combo will look good.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It is all my fault...

Today I wore this jersey to the Hood River Double Cross race. I am never wearing it again, at least on a race day or when BYU plays. I thought I would wear it to show support for the Cougars and for some good luck. I figured that since the Cougars had been doing so well this football season, maybe some of that would rub off on me. Umm, that would be a "no". Today was a bad day I guess for all things associated with BYU perhaps.

Recently, not including today I have worn it to work and have gotten flats 2 of the 3 times. The last time I sliced a very nice tire beyond repair. I didn't really put much stock into this as being caused by me wearing the jersey. After all, I have worn this jersey in the past several times to work.

But after today I will be careful when I wear it. Here is the breakdown:

I got a bad start off the line and got squeezed between a few guys and had to dab and then ran into a guy who slowed down for some reason going through the first little bit of sand. The collision caused my bars to be tweeked a bit down. There was a loud "POP" that was associated with this I and I feared that something broke. A close inspection later today revealed no damage luckily. At the time I wasn't sure, but kept riding anyway.

Then, I again nearly ran again into someone's rear wheel that suddenly slowed needlessly in a turn (in my opinion) and so I had to dab and lost a spot or two.

On the 2nd or 3rd lap I dropped my bike down a little too severely following the first run-up of the lap and the chain fell off on the inside of the ring as the rear end bounced off the ground. I thought I had it back on and started to ride and if fell off again because it wasn't I suppose. After muttering several curse words I got it done correctly and started back up. I lost a good 5 to 6 spots and much of my motivation at that point.

I soldiered on eventually able to put it all behind me and had a pretty good final 4 laps of the race. I finished 23rd out of 41 after being probably near the 27th or 28th after the chain dropped judging by the guys I passed later. Had the race gone well I am sure that I would have finished around the 15th or so. So it is not like I would have won or anything, but still...

Anyway, crap happens right?

Then on the way back home I checked on the college football scores. I root for a few teams, one being USC since I grew up in Southern California. They got beat by Washington. Bummer. But that loss could have helped BYU, where I did my undergrad. Nope. Later in the day, they got their butts whooped at home by FSU. I am really glad I didn't see that game. I did check on it frequently though while at work. I don't know what was up during the game, but that game put me in a foul mood.

Then tonight near close at work I was going to pick up a couple of parts for the Cernitz ButterCup singlespeed cross bike and my PayPal Debt card was declined for some reason. I think it is probably because I have ordered some parts for it from various places around the US and the credit card company probably suspected fraud. This happened once before a few months ago. There is no problem with money in the account, there is plenty from selling a bike or two recently. That just topped it off today.

I blame the BYU jersey. I have never worn that jersey to a cross race before and that must be the reason all these things happened today. Either that or all things associated with BYU today got slapped down. I should have stuck to a my Dad's Root Beer Jersey or my Fat Cyclist jersey. Both of those are proven winners, especially the Fat Cyclist jersey. I have gotten my best results wearing that one. Needless to say, I will be wearing that one for Alpenrose in a couple of weeks.


I will say just a bit more about the race. I expected rain. It was pouring down in Portland when I left. The forecast said the same was expected in Hood River. Umm...not so much. I didn't eat enough prior to my race nor drink enough. Halfway through my 8 laps I would have traded my...well, for sure my jersey for a nice bottle of water or something cold. My engine was starting to overheat. I kept pushing, hoping after my 5th lap that I would only have a couple of laps left. But nope, I had to do 8 laps, just like the leader. While it is good that I finished on the lead lap, it really sucked the big one at the time. I was dying. Still I pushed and managed to pass two guys that last lap. Barely holding one of them off from re-passing me at the finish line.

After crossing the finish I barely had time to dismount before I was dry heaving. I didn't have much in my stomach but some mucus and so that is all that came out. After a few minutes I felt OK. I have never dry heaved after or during any cycling related activity. In fact the last time I remember dry heaving following an athletic activity was back in high school when I ran on the track team. That happened no more than twice back then.

Anyway, I was spent. I did my Team ButterCup best, at least the last half of the race, and just gave'r.

Congrats to Tim and Packfodder Jim who both are going to be on our ButterCup team. Tim placed 2nd in his first cross race ever in the Beginner Class. Jim placed 8th in Master C. Marcelo killed his back this week, hopefully he is well by the start of the Cross Crusade series.

(And Jimbo, if you have any pics of me, send 'em my way. That one on your blog looks great!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hood River Double Cross: Pre Race Mulling

1) Why do I bother driving 71 miles to do a 45 minute race? Really a 142 miles just for 45 minutes and pain and suffering? Well, because it is cross...what other reason is there?

2) I have approximately lost another pound this week. I will be in the solid 191 range tomorrow morning probably. Last week the morning of the race I was just under 193. So, it has been a good week for eating and training. Hopefully results will bear this out.

3) I do believe that Mr. Packfodder will kick my butt again tomorrow. I hope that I can make it closer than the last race.

4) My lungs feel pretty good right now. Which figures since I finally have gone to see the doctor and I have some seriously comprehensive asthma test next week for which I will undoubtedly feel great for. I sort of hope I don't so they can figure out what is wrong. My lungs feel great for a time and then I hit a bad streak. It seems random. Hopefully, something gets figured out so I can manage it better. Racing is so much easier when you can breathe.

5) I am tired but I am sort of excited and so I don't wanna go to bed. Going to sleep is really what I need though....where is my discipline? I think she went to bed about a half an hour ago. Ha!

6) This week I did some hill climbing in Forest Park. I felt really good. But last night during my commute home my left knee was in some pain. My knees usually don't bug me. Again today, a couple of times I felt some oddness in that area. Not sure what the deal is. Hopefully, all is well. I didn't ride today to give everything a rest. My lower back was also letting me know it needed a rest.

7) My Curtlo is on its fourth season of racing. Man, is it sweet. It looks sort of rough in places. I don't clean it as often as I used to. I am still picky about creaks. There are none, thankfully. My drivetrain is the best it has ever been functionally and ergonomically. The bike is differently in its best iteration yet.

8) I know very little about the course tomorrow. I just know that it typically has singletrack. I am excited and hope that it is sketchy and that people are scared. That sort of course helps me out typically and makes up for my fatness.

9) Alright, I am going to bed. Or at least read in bed so that I don't obsess more about this race.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Team ButterCup Uni's

I don't think anyone will mind, but here is the design for our cyclocross team uni's.

Packfodder Jim likes it because it doesn't look like we take ourselves too seriously. I just think it nice and different. We will definitely be easy to spot out there. The goal is to have these by the USGP in Portland and then the Nationals in Bend.

The "HUP" on each side is for our rallying cry of "Hup! Hup! ButterCup!"

Monday, September 14, 2009

Triathlon Update: I am out ....I think

Two of my good friends, Dave and Fish are going to do the St. George Utah Ironman next year. I don't think they even tried to get me to do it, they knew better.

For the record, I have done two 70.3 or half ironman distance triathlons. I have also done a few olympic and sprint distance triathlons. I have done them to push myself farther than I would have normally pushed myself.

I have had to get out of my comfort zone and swim in open water. Swimming in open water has caused me to have many sleepless nights. I stress about that part in a big way. Luckily, I have never drown, nor really come close to it despite freaking out on every single open water swim I have done.

The runs I do OK on. I mean, I am not fast, I just have found that I can suffer on at a nice 10 to 11 minute per mile pace indefinitely on the long distance runs. Shorter runs, I am about an 8 minute mile guy after a bit of training. But regardless, I don't really enjoy running too much either.

The cycling...I quite like the bike part. I appreciate the technology that goes into these TT/tri bikes. They are very cool. But impractical. They are spendy and if you are going to have one you better use it. I sold my half-breed Fuji Aloha Carbon Concept bike a couple of months ago. I have another road bike that I like to ride more than that one. I didn't feel like tying up that much of my bike assets with that bike so I sold it. I figured if I was going to do more triathlons I could do them just as well on the Specialized. I am only going to save maybe 2 to 5 minutes with that bike, and I will take the time penalty in a triathlon to have something else that I enjoy more the rest of the year.

Anyway, where is this post going....

I had told Fish that I needed to do the Boise Half Ironman again this next year. I wasn't really pleased with my race this year. I feel I can do better. But, as time has gone on, I am just not feeling it. So for now I am saying that next year will be a triathlon-free year. I only did one this year instead of my planned three. And I don't feel bad about that at all.

Marcelo, who is going to be on our Buttercup Team not only wins his age group but beats just about everyone in the local triathlons. But even with him around and Dave training for an Ironman, I am not tempted at all right now. OK, maybe a little bit, but not enough to start running and swimming again anytime soon.

Now that cyclocross season is here I am happy. I am doing the sport that I love the most. It is just too bad that it ends before Christmas here. I will have to find some challenge for next spring or summer. Not sure what though.

Seattle to Portland in one day sounds sort of tempting. Dave and I were talking about a long distance mtb event next year. That might be OK. My body doesn't really like spending all day on a mountain bike anymore. My back just starts to kill. That would take some training for sure. Just going down the McKenzie River trail tuckered my back right out. I wouldn't mind figuring out something that would be tempting to Fish, my friend in Utah, if I could get him to do something other than a triathlon. The only time I get to see him lately is when there is an event that we all do together like the Half Ironman races.

Anyway, the search begins for something cool to do next year. Just triathlons. I am saving that for 2011. I plan on doing something stupid that year for my 40th year on this planet.

Spray on Tan

Not the sort of spray on tan that some may think of, this version came from the Pain on the Peak cyclocross opener. I imagine I had a similar coating inside my lungs. No wonder I still can't breathe well. Seriously, at least 50% of the difference in skin color came from a fine coating of dirt from the race.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pain on the Peak

Course--dusty, dusty, dusty. Lungs--hurt, hurt, hurt.

I thought I finished in the back 1/3 or 1/4 of the master C field. Instead, I finished 23rd out of 49 racers. Could be worse. I was surprised that I did that well. However, once the knowledge of the result sat for a couple of minutes the internal berating began.

"I should not have let my weight go up that high this summer."

"I should have trained harder"

"I should have gone to a doctor to get my lungs checked by now"

But the facts are that I did pretty much the same as I did last year. I don't think that any one that I beat last year at this race beat me this year. That is sort of comforting. There were some guys that I beat on other courses last year that did indeed beat me at this race, but nothing glaring.

Packfodder Jim did very well. He started near the back of the pack to finish 11th. Marcelo, finished 2nd. Both of them also raced in the master C class. Both of them kicked my butt. Both of them are also going to be on our little team, Team Buttercup. And I am glad to have a reason to be there, the Anchor. Every team needs one. I am that guy on ours.

Good ol' Brianero seems to be in great shape as well. He placed 3rd in the master A's. Geesh! And this from a guy that didn't even want to race today, at that venue and in that class.

Anyway, perhaps I will write more about the race later. But I am tired and it has been a long day. Goodnight

Friday, September 11, 2009


A shotgun blast of random thoughts:

Somebody please tell Robert Smith of the Cure to give up the old look. It is painful to watch him. There was a concert being shown in HD on cable tonight. I really like the Cure's music, but he was just, I don't know what he is, but it is ugly. I love ya Robert, but're pushing 50. Time to give up the rats-nest hair, and messy make up look. And the baggy clothes can't hide the fact that your are packin' extra under there buddy. With the HD...woof. Scary stuff.


Tomorrow is the first cross race of the season. I had a marvelous pre-race dinner tonight at the Back-To-School bar-b-q. Hamburger, Doritos and then later some peanut butter toast and an ice cream cone. At least I ate healthy the rest of the day.


Speaking of the cross race tomorrow...I wasn't even nervous about it at all until PackFodder Jim and Marcelo started in about how they hadn't slept well in a few days, how Jim was considering wearing a pre-race diaper to guard against incontinence (he getting up there as he likes to tell people), and Marcelo worrying about rolling a tire. Man, I am already resigned to sucking it up tomorrow. I had been worried, more like sort of excited in a subdued manner. I know that both of them are going to kill me--this is not my sort of course. It will be really hilly. Give me a flat course and I will do ok, like at the Veloshop race and Barton course last year. I blame my gut.


My Cernitz, the Buttercup, is nearing completion. Just some filing and sanding left I think. Time for paint soon. I think I have it pretty well figured out. The Mule is next up, the disc only monster-cross-commuter frame.


Oh, and a shout out to guys who use yard work and their families to consistently get out of riding and everything else. Seriously guys...Are We Not Men!?!? Can't we men of the married-type occasionally all assert ourselves so that we can go out and be men without our women and children? Can't we all just tell our spouses that no we need a personal day to maintain our sanity? I don't mean that this has to happen every weekend, but perhaps once over the course of the year? The conversations, emails, or text messages go like this with one particular friend:

ME: "Hey, xxx (name withheld to protect the guilty) wanna go for a ride Saturday morning?"

xxx, "Yeah, sounds good, that would be great, what time?" (Plans are then made.)

Then the night before the ride, usually around 11pm, I get this text from xxx,

"Are you awake?"

ME, "Yep, what's up?"

xxx, "Sorry gotta mulch my yard/pick the lice off my children/floss my dog's teeth/I am too tired/etc. so I can't go tomorrow. But let's try again in a couple of weeks."

There is always the initial interest with a half commitment, followed by a disengagement later in the week. It is very much like Charlie and Lucy with the football. I being Charlie Brown to his Lucy. Yet, I persist in inviting this person occasionally. Why? Because I know he loves bikes. And he is generally a great person to be around. But seriously, dude needs to put the smack down and get out.

I have considered the possibility that he just doesn't want to ride with me. But I can't fathom that anyone wouldn't want to ride with me. I am so damn entertaining that this is unlikely.

And I need to change the subject...


Why does it take Mavic 3 weeks (so far) to process an order for a stupid set of wheels? I am getting pissy about this. They don't make it easy to contact whoever does the E.P.'s either.


I am done complaining. At least until tomorrow after the race.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Damn It

I wasn't able to eat dinner tonight until after nine and I ended eating half of a Domino's pepperoni pizza. It was a bad day all the way around. Got nothing done. Kids were not cooperative. And do to circumstances not entirely my fault, Ryan ended up playing on the wrong soccer team tonight.

Yeah, that one needs some explanation. First of all, the league decided that all teams would all have the same color jersey. Freaking brilliant move. I am sure that it save like 50 cents per child to bulk order all blue jersey instead of jerseys of different colors for each team. Then teams get these "penny" jerseys to put on over the regular jersey. The penny jerseys are sleeveless mesh things that do come in different colors.

What ends up happening is that each team practices for 30 minutes and then has a game for 30 minutes. For the game, each team splits in half and then plays half of the opposing team. The half of our team that stays on our "home" field (which measures out to be not much bigger than a half of a basketball court--totally ridiculous!) puts on their colored penny jerseys and the half that goes doesn't, they stay in blue. Ryan was on the half of the team that traveled to the opposing team. The color of the opposing team's penny jerseys? Freaking the exact shade of blue as every single child's jersey. What a cluster.

How Ryan started playing for the wrong team is simple--we couldn't find the correct team since there were approximately 16 teams in a field of blue. We started looking for players that we recognized. I also brought one of Ryan's two good friends, Evan. We found the other one, Reed, that we knew was on the team and I had Ryan and Evan start playing. We had it arranged so that all three of them--Reed, Evan, and my boy Ryan--would be on the same team. I just assumed that Ryan's friend's mom had done due diligence in looking for the correct team. Umm, not so much.

So if this were not bad enough, tonight on the first night of the season they also took pictures. So now, there are three boys that are in a picture with the wrong team. Sweet. But at least they are in the pictures together, which is all they will care about in the future.

Still, I have had a couple of screwed up days off. Worthless. No riding and eatin' crap.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I went to ride with Brianero this evening. Got out there and found I had brought one of my shoes and then my wife's road shoe. Awesome. I felt like a total dork. I blame my wife. I don't know how it is her fault, but I can't be mine...right?

Instead, after shooting the bull with Brian, I went and took a look at the Cernitz. It was my first time laying hands on it. Awesome. It is coming in a little heavier than either Neil or I thought, but it should spot on with regard to what I wanted. I took pictures but I promised I would not post them. Neil kept making excuses for the frame and its unfinished condition and pointing out what still had to be done. But, I was very impressed. I think it is going to be stellar. We also figured out what is going to be done with the Mule cross/commuter frame. Nova sent the wrong chainstays, mtb s-bend stays. But they look so sweet that we are going to use them. Now I just have to reorder some seatstays to match. Luckily they are pretty cheap.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Short bits

Hit 191.8 and then stalled thanks to not having time to ride and too many family get-togethers. Back to the straight and narrow...well, back to it on Tuesday. Tomorrow is dinner at the golf club. FAAAT!

Colin turned one tonight by the way, the same day my father would have been 65 this year.

The Cernitz SS Cross frame, Buttercup, is nearing completion. The Mule, commuter/cross disc frame is on deck. I am such a lucky bastard.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Just a quick thought. Above is the chainstay of Pack Fodder Jim's Vanilla.

I'm thinking that on my Cernitz I could have something like, "Fabricated with Blood & Sweat in Neil's Garage" on the chainstay.

Random, but I sort of like it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oswego Grill

Bridget needed to get out. I needed to have a break from life in general. So we went out. We had a little bit unexpected money come our way, so we went out on the town...or at least as out on the town as a married couple with 3 kids and limited time with a babysitter tend to go.

We did dress up, and if I had been thinking I would have taken pictures of us, because we (and when I say we, I mean she) looked mahvahlous. Not that one needs to dress up to go to the Oswego Grill, but sometimes it is just nice to look good. We were going to take advantage of a special deal at Morton's Steakhouse, but Bridget talked me into trying this place.

The food is sort of like Stanford's restaurant/steakhouse but probably a little cheaper. Or maybe about the same, it has been a long time since I ate at Stanfords. I guess the guy that started the Oswego Grill used to be the head chef or something at Stanfords. Oh, and Stanfords is just across the street. Talking about giving your former employer the finger...

Anyway, I was determined to keep the damage to my gut to a minimum. I had a wedge salad with the salad dressing on the side. I probably only used about 2 table spoons of the dressing, but ate every speck of blue cheese and bacon that came with the salad. Bridget had a spinach artichoke dip appetizer instead of a salad. I had a taste of that and it was amazingly good. I don't normally like those dips--they are usually too mayo-ee or something. This wasn't and it was great, luckily my salad was good enough to keep me from chowing in to that fat bomb. Bridget can handle it, she is looking great and has room to spare. Me...not so much.

Here is a nice grainy picture of our starters. It was dark and when the lighting is poor, my iPhone camera has issues.

Next came the main dish. I had the New York 12 oz cut. The beef was USDA Choice. That was the only new york cut that they offered. No size differences or anything. Notice that the cut is not particularly thick, I would rather have had it shorter and thicker than the way this was presented. Nevertheless, it did have very good flavor. I would have liked a better crust on the outside of the meat, but what can I expect for less than half the price of Morton's.

My steak was supposed to come with Buttermilk mashed potatoes, but that would have been a really been a gut bomb, so I replaced it with some asparagus. I didn't know that the deep fried onion wedges were included, I ate a bite of one and then stripped it of its batter and ate it with my steak. It was very good and I would have eaten all of them had I not been trying to be leaner tonight.

Bridget had some sort of asian flavored salad with steak strips. It was pretty good. It had noodles and some veggies. I had one bite, thought is was good and went back to savoring my steak.

We wavered on dessert or not. I caved and felt bad about it afterwards. We both thought our selections were ok, but not great. Bridget has some banana cake, chocolate mousse and vanilla ice cream deal.

I ended up with a molten chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream thing. It was ok, but not worth the guilt I felt eating it.

Overall, I thought that the place had good value. We ate for about 30 per person, not including tip. It was probably worth it.

Food: B+
Value: B
Service: B
Overall: B

I would go back if I wanted something more than a Chili's/Olive Garden or whatever restaurant, but didn't want to pay for something like, the Ringside, Morton's or the similar ilk. I think part of the reason I didn't enjoy it more was that I was trying to thread the line between total gluttony and healthiness. What happens is that you get neither and aren't really satisfied either--I didn't eat healthy enough to feel good about my willpower, but neither did I let it go enough to enjoy the food like I would have liked to. I ended up not totally satisfied and that is not the restaurant's fault. I will say that eating light is not exactly easy at the Oswego Grill.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Thanks to cross practice and a good couple of days, I hit a new recent low. I haven't been this weight since around Christmas. The thing is I still feel heavy. 6.8 lbs to hit my goal weight.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cross Practice

Lungs: 90% back to normal. The last couple of weeks it had really hurt me.

Legs: meh. Still not as much power as I would like. Not by a longshot.

Handling: Better, much better than before. Getting used to the bike still after a long season or two of riding 95% or more on the road. It felt good to pass a couple of guys while weaving through the trees. However, one of the guys just passed me again on the straight section like I was standing still.

Attitude: Pretty darn good actually. I slightly dreaded going out there tonight, but I did better than I thought. I realize the pain and discomfort are friends. Without them I am not getting better.

Overall: Feeling better. Feeling stronger. Still at or near the back, so no worries there. I consider who I am I riding with and it doesn't bug me for the most part.

Weight update: Still about the same. I had a couple of ugly days, but I am hoping for a new low tomorrow of something under 193.

Other News: I expect that the Cernitz SS Cross frame, "Buttercup" will be ready early to mid October. I ordered tubes this week for my Voodoo Wazoo commuter bike replacement also to be fabricated by Cernitz. Its name is "The Mule." Slightly heavier tubes. Disc brake only. Fender Friendly. Geared Friendly, but to be build SS for now. I suspect it will weigh about 3/4 of a pound more than Buttercup with the same geometry. I don't know what Buttercup will weigh, but it shouldn't be much more than my Curtlo steel geared cross frame which weighs 3.55 lbs.