First Ride on the New Bike

>> Saturday, October 31, 2015

A few days ago, I posted this photo on Instagram:

Caption from Instagram: "Took my new ride out for its maiden voyage yesterday,
and I MAY have gone out a little hot to see what she could do."


Devon commented back with "Va va voom!" Thanks friend.

I rode with a multi-tool in my back pocket, and I stopped to make some adjustments along the way. I need to REALLY crank down on the seat post or it slowly slips down. I also think I'll put my old saddle from Goldilocks on my new bike because it's a bit longer - I'm just *slightly* stretched out on my new bike.

Oh, and I think my new bike has a name now. Her name is "Eiffel." Here's why. The bike is Blue (both the brand and the color). Remember one of the worst songs from 1999? It was also called BLUE, and it was sung by a band called "Eiffel 65." So please welcome my new bike EIFFEL to the world!


Friday Funny 1003: Math Book Humor (and funny links)

>> Friday, October 30, 2015

Like I do every couple of weeks, here are a dozen of my recent favorite posts from my tumblr page:

Athletic-Related Funnies:

"Shoulder work." Awesome.
Started using my gym card.
Sweet bike.
Dirty bike t-shirt.
Effort on this morning's run.
Saturday mornings when you're a runner.
Social life.
A "hard body of the day:" Brooke Ence is awesome.
A strong person made a healthy decision.
Running quote from Benjamin Franklin.
A running princess.
This weekend's running forecast.

Non-Athletic Funnies:

Dirty joke.
Marriage: it's weird.
[VIDEO] Baby-proofing the house.
2015 wasn't all that Doc hoped it would be.
Spongebob tampons.
Remember, God says this is OK.
Every morning.
A great break-up mix-tape.
Pick up line and retort.
Carving a simple but inappropriate jack-o-lantern.
Browser history.

And as always, stop by for funnies all week long. Happy weekend!!


Friday Funny 1002: Clients from Hell

Clients from Hell has been entertaining me for the last few days. Anyone can submit a story about working with... well... a client from hell. Here are 10 good ones:

In the clients defense, I've complained to my design students
about something like this with regards to an interactive InDesign file.

Lots more funny things posted all the time on


Friday Funny 1001: Preschoolers Talk About Bats

Henry's in "Room 2" at preschool. The younger kids in Room 1 just hung their thoughts on bats in the hallway just like Henry's class did last year. Here are 6 that were kinda funny:

Oh yes. Daddy will love that surprise when he opens his suitcase in Atlanta.

Again, another nice surprise for someone in your family.

"Granny eats with us" is the last line that gets a little cut off. Which is random.
Abigail's a bit all over the place. Get your shit together, Abby.

If she works the graveyard shift in a graveyard, then yes, probably.

What? Wait, did you overhear your Dad saying he should keep a [baseball] bat in the car
to wail on potential thieves? Do you feel safe at home, Gavin?
Should I contact someone at Child Protection Services?

Is this a reference to Daddy wishing he had more sex with Mommy?

Here's the "Friday Funny" post from last year that shows 5 bat quotes from Henry's class last year.

More funny things posted on all week long!


Friday Funny 1000: Halloween Pinterest Fails

Sometimes things look easy online. But we're not all Martha Stewart. (From Bored Panda.)

More funny things on


Official Photos from the Loony Challenge (10K, 5K, 10 Mile)

>> Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I saw friends posting these all over Facebook after they came out, even though they have "do not copy" plastered all over them. As a photographer, I'm not at all offended - I've always thought it was a weird business plan to take thousands of photos of everyone just to try to make a sale to 1 out of ever 100 runners, and then get pissed when someone wants to grab a 300 pixel image to show their friends.

I found a legal loophole. According to "fair use" through US trademark law, you can reproduce images for use of "commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship." I consider most of these parodies and commentary, with a few having "teaching" intent. (It's true that I HAVE been referred to a "parody of a real, live runner!")

If you want, you can head to the race photographer's website and look for #148 in the 10K/5K and #20351 in the 10 Mile if you want to see more.

Here are 9 photos shown chronologically from that race weekend:

The coveted "1-legged pirate stance while stopping the watch" photo at the end of the 10K. Excellent.

Evan was happier about finishing in front of me than I was about finishing behind him. Obviously.

Later that day, I struggled to finish in front of Evan in the 5K,
only to learn that he started well behind me so he had a better time by 0:02.

Tip for the photographers: having all the finishers face the sun will give you decent lighting, but also closed eyes. Also, my red nose makes me look drunk. Well, "drunker" than I actually was.

This was mile 6 of the 10 Mile. Do you know who looks fast at mile 6 of a 10 Mile? No one.

I finished the 10 Mile just 0:14 after Evan, and he was there to witness the pain!

I always look graceful at the end of any race.

So gosh darn graceful.

College buddy Dena and I after the 10 Mile.
We were still in the shade, so our eyes could be open.

(You might remember Dena from the 24 Hour Relay last December. We closed out the relay for the last hour, and she averaged sub-7:00 miles over the five 1-mile intervals she ran that hour. She was HOPING to run sub-70 for the TC 10, but was just shy of her goal. Still, solid running, Dena!)

Here's some "Loony Challenge" links to previous posts if you missed them:
- My 10K and 5K race reports
- My TC 10 Mile race report
- The final Loony Challenge standings (also with finish line video screenshots to show Evan and I)



>> Monday, October 26, 2015

So Devon (my Best Friend Forever For Now) saw my post about 2 weeks ago about there being a hole in my bike frame. Here's the hole as shown in that post:


Devon sent me this text just a few hours after I posted about my bike:

I was really not in the market for a new bike. In fact, my first thought when I heard Jared at Gear West Bike and Tri tell me there was a hole in my bike frame was "Well dang, what am I going to ride next year?" And not "WOO HOO! I'm gonna get a new bike!" Then when he said it wasn't structurally a problem for the bike, I was relived. So I texted Devon back with this:

I showed my wife my messages with Devon, and we had a laugh. It was in NO way a passive aggressive way to ask about getting a new bike (I hate crap like that).

The $200 comment was about getting a big tune-up, new cables, a new chain, etc.
We still weren't interested in getting a new bike at the moment.

That was the end of the conversation.

Then, out of the blue the next morning, my wife texts me this from work:

I sent Devon that screenshot ASAP:

I went out to test ride the bike last weekend. It was nice. Carbon frame with super nice Sram Red 22 components. It was a little big, but the stem, aerobars, and seat could all be adjusted. I didn't bring any money because I knew I wanted to think about it and talk it about with Pharmie. I'm not an impulse buyer, and I knew I'd have this bike for a long time (note that my bike Goldilocks is 7-8 years old).

Then, a few days later, I get out of the gym to find FOURTEEN missed messages from Devon:

Here's most of Devon's messages - I took the ones out that mentioned "confidential" info:

So I went back on Wednesday to try the new, cheaper bike. And I FINALLY delivered our winning relay trophy to Devon from 3 months ago:

Jeremy and I accepting our 3 trophies without Devon as seen in my LTF Tri Relay race report.

Sidenote: Here's a little-known story. Devon, Jeremy, and I met in the military on a special forces team. Here we are in our greatest moment in training:

Basically, the set up Devon had for me was a Blue full carbon frame, nice Sram Red 22 components (worth more than the frame), a super deep front wheel, a disc back wheel, a set of training wheels, and matching cassettes for both rear wheels to make swapping wheels easy. That's a $5-6,000 set up that he could sell to me for 1/3 that price. Here she is:

SEXY, RIGHT?!?!?!?!

Their mechanic had a few things to do to it, so I left it there for a few days. They wrapped the bars and installed the 2 cassettes. Devon brought it to his house, and I went to pick it up from him this past weekend:

Getting major smoochies from Teddy.

Devon loaded my bike for me. That's service... service in sweet man slippers.

Charlie trying to make sense of what is in the backseat with him.

How'd I get such a great deal? It wasn't really because Devon and I are BFFFNs. Devon works at The Racery in the west Metro. The Racery gets bikes from racing teams and pro bikers after they're done with them. The mechanics at The Racery fix them up, they take some photos in their photo studio (where the 4 photos of my bike came from), and put them online. They're mainly an online store, but they don't mind people stopping by. (Devon told me that he sees 1-4 real, live people each week.) If you know what you want, they're a great resource. They have super nice components, nice wheelsets, and sweet frames moving through all the time.

If you want a Zipp wheelset, or you have $XXX to spend on wheels, or want a high-end 54" road bike frame for less than $XXX, shoot them a note and have them keep an eye out for you.

The *possible* story of my bike is probably like many they have there. It was probably on tour with a cycling team, sat in a truck full of bikes for a few months, was ridden for a few TTs (at most), was thrown back into the team truck for a while, and then ended up at The Racery. There's some tape residue on the bars and some scuffs on the frame. But it's a hell-a-va deal. Devon didn't ask me to say anything about them; all these thoughts are my own perception of what they do at The Racery. Contact them if you have some cycling needs.

As for my trusty old bike Goldilocks... I think I'll keep her through the winter. I'll do most of my winter trainer work on her (just because I feel like that's a lot of stress on a bike frame). Then I'll probably see if I can sell her in the early spring. Want a sturdy, well-maintained, old bike? I know a guy...

Now if you'll excuse me, I hope to take an hour today (my 15th day of rest) to go test my new bike. Keep an eye on my Instagram and/or twitter to see how it goes. And big thanks to the fellas at The Racery for the sweet new ride! And thanks to Devon OF COURSE.


Final Garden Update of 2015

>> Saturday, October 24, 2015

Well, I'm almost 2 weeks into my 2-3 weeks of rest. I used some rest time this past week to do some yard work and clean up our garden.

We just wrapped up a successful 2nd year of growing veggies in our tiny garden. (Here's a link to some photos from the first year.) Below are some photos from throughout the summer of 2015. Any of the photos that are a "scrapbook" of multiple images are files that I Instagrammed throughout the summer.

May 9th: shortly after planting.

In the north box: zucchinis, cucumbers, peppers, and basil peppered in.

In the south box: peppers, tomatoes, basil, lavender, and rosemary.

Before a mid-May frost.

A month later. We also had a cherry tomato plant on our patio, and we transplanted some rhubarb
from the neighbor's yard (the home that's for sale - it was going to be dug up during landscaping).

July 1st: the cucumbers reached the top of the trellis.

July 7th: Charlie and I both got stung before we found a burrowing wasp nest

Harvesting a lot of cucumbers on July 12th (and then grilling tasty food).

Henry with 2 cukes a few days later...

… and 3 more cukes and 2 nice zucchinis.

Sometime in mid-July, we had a big storm come through and knock a lot of stuff down: all the peppers were tipped over, and the tomatoes fell too (including the one in the pot on the patio). It didn't seem to damage our yields, but it made everything ugly and harder to manage. (Like my body hair.) Next year, I'm going to cage our peppers, and do a better job with the tomato cages.

Early August. Note the big tomatoes tipped out of the planter box and into our neighbor's yard.
Also the pepper plant that looked so nice 2 photos above is now tipped over sideways.

A good harvest on Aug 13. (Along with an onion from my Mom's garden.)

Then, about a week ago, we did some final "green" veggie picking before a hard frost to close out the year. Here's Henry dancing around the garden last Thursday:

The cucumber vines were all dried up, and the tomato plants were more horizontal than vertical.

Final harvest: lots of tiny zucchinis, some final cukes, and a lot of green tomatoes.

Earlier this week, we pulled everything out:

Henry yanking on one of the tomato plants to pull it out.

Everything out except for the rosemary in the middle (which I want to pot and bring inside).
The zucchinis to the left were pulled out and set aside to dry up a bit.

Here's our final 2015 "harvest count" for our little 18" wide garden:

- "Early Girl" tomatoes: 33
- "Beefmaster" tomatoes: 22
- Cherry tomatoes: 97 (but my wife ate a LOT off the plant without keeping good count, so it's probably more like 120+)
- Cucumbers: 50
- Zucchinis: 16
- Yellow peppers: 9
- Red peppers: 1
- Orange peppers: 1 (Squirrels/bunnies got a lot of our red and orange peppers as they ripened.)
- Lots of basil
- Final end-of-season picking yielded 28 more tomatoes ("early girl" and "beefmaster"), 7 small zucchinis, and 4 red/orange peppers.

Oh, and I used up most of those final tiny zucchinis 2 nights ago by sautéing them with garlic salt, rosemary, and some parmesan cheese. We ate them on top of lasagna:

So I'll cage the peppers and tomatoes better next year, and MAYBE do more with containers on the patio, but otherwise we'll plan on doing something similar in 2016. Happy Fall!



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