Wednesday, February 28, 2007

when did something that cost $250 become a disposable appliance? On my ride to work I brought my digital camera to take some pictures of the lakes and snow covered trees along the route. The sun was just coming up over Manchaug Lake, and there was this groovy weird fog sitting on the snow covered ice: it looked like there was a 10 foot high blizzard hovering over the lake. Camera out and... nothin'. E18. Try again... E18. What the hell is E18?

At work I google Canon E18 and find thousands of hits, including one to a site called When someone goes through the trouble of registering and paying for a domain name like that, you knew you've got trouble. Apparently, E18 is akin to a death sentence for canon cameras, the $150 repair hardly worth it on the $250 camera. I really despise thinking that I have to replace this thing. What did we all do before all of this gratituous technology? How did we survive?

Anyway, I got it to work and took this shot on the way home, the fog was gone though. Damn.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

training update

this was a good week for me. I was able to ride in Tues, Wed & Thurs, though the thursday ride home was nixed thanks to the latest round of "wintry mix." No complaints here though, this has been a winter like no other relative to snow fall. So the 23 mile round trip to work three times a week is a good... no great base at this time of year. I'm also in a "biggest loser" contest at work with some mtn biking buddies. I've got less weight to loose than any of them, but the added incentive helps. I'd like to be at 170 by June 1 down from 181 now.

There is a new section on the blog here, an area where I'll post a general thank you to contributors and also recognize those whom I'll be riding in support and in honor of. Check it...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

PMC update & a big I told ya so!

The donations are starting to come in, I want to thank all of you for your generosity. I'm struggling as to when to send out thank you notes, but rest assured you'll get them. The warm weather allowed me to ride in to work today, there is no better way to start and end the work day. Much better than being on the rollersor a trainer, those just suck. I'm trying to justify some of this time off the bike as a necessary recovery period.

the latest chapter in the incredible world of pro cycling unfolded yesterday as I was writing the post about how this crazy the sport can be. There was a crash with 9km to go in the first stage of the tour of california that caught some of the favorites and broke the field in half. The officials at the race decided to give everyone the same overall time even though the second half of the field rolled in about 2 minutes after the first. The stated rules allow officials to grant everyone in the main group the same time if there is a crash inside the last 3km of a flat stage because that is when the big boys come to the front to prepare for the very dangerous sprint to the line. It is a good rule: there is no need to make it more dangerous than necessary at the end of a race, but to do it with 9km to go is unprecidented. Imagine the umpires at a red sox game declaring the last 4 innings of a game irrelevant to the final score because the starting pitcher took a line drive off the shin. The toc is now little more than a sham.

Monday, February 19, 2007

pro cycling

NASCAR kicked off its season yesterday, and for the most part, so did pro cycling with the prologue of the tour de california (tdc). Sure, there is racing year round in cycling... with track, road and cross basically filling up the calendar, but the tdc seems to be the first race where the grand tour contenders come out with a full complement of riders and execute serious team strategy.

It is hard to get too excited about it though: pro cycling has become a characture of itself, much like boxing, where it is hard to really know who is on the up and up. I'd have compared it to wrestling, but at least with that you know it is fake. The people running and participating in this sport say and do the craziest things: teammates and officials flaming riders in public comments, organizers blackballing entire teams to stick it to the international governing authority, teams employing riders under serious suspicion of drug use... the list goes on. If it were just a fringe sport, you could almost understand it, but there are guys in the peloton making millions of euro per year: big money in this game. Even with the dollars floating around, sponsors regularly get torched on their investments (i.e. Liberty Mutual two years ago) when a scandal blows up. You'd think that the folks with the most to gain or loose would smarten up, get organized, and run it like every other pro sport. However, they seem content with the status quo.

Bike racing's ongoing salvation is due two things imho: it is something anyone can do that is relatively safe and the pro racing is great, whether the athletes are chemically enhanced or not. Enjoy the tdc and the inevitable melt down that someone will have... and try not to think to hard about who is clean and who isn't.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

ice capades

We live on a hill, or up a hill, 350' off the road. I've heard "that driveway must be a bitch in the winter!" from everyone that has ever visited. My all too proud response is usually something like "yeah, it was tough for the first two years, we didn't have a snowblower and would try and shovel before the snow was finished or wouldn't let the sun help melt it. Now, I'm a pro, I've always got the cleanest driveway on the street. I've got 5 different words for snow, like the eskimos."

Make it six. I was humbled last night. I ignored the weatherman's warning to get the snow removed last night and left the 4 inches of snow for this morning. It was supposed to snow more overnight and I despise clearing that monster driveway more than once per storm. So at 5:30 am, ready to start clearing, I walked out the garage and onto the snow. That's right... onto it. The enorimty of the task ahead of me instantly hit me like a ton of bricks. Some quick math and I figured this would be no less than a 2 hour job. Three hours later, I had chipped, chiseled, scraped and shoveled the entire thing down to bare asphalt. I'm exhausted and heading to be early, but at least I have the cleanest driveway on the street ;)

The kids got to do some sleding today with Ali. Charlie declared today as the best day of his life and Cory got to use the portable training potty while sitting in the front seat of the 4runner. Good times...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

fstrthnu? ummm... yeah

So... our planned ride for today (50 miles, 17 mph) was altered a bit when Justin S. asked to join. With two others bailing out that left me & Mike Z. to try to keep him under control. He's a really nice guy and I guess his next best option to riding with us slow people was walking around Providence Place. The first 20 miles were conversational but things picked up for the next 25 or so before settling back down for the last 12, just as it started to get cold. The average HR was low, but those 25 miles hurt. It was certainly more of a workout than Mike or I had originally planned for but JS was a good sport to put up with our significant limitations. He probably wishes he had decided to walk the mall!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

first email sent to PMC sponsors!

My fingers are raw from folding 200+ letters, & the worst part is that I found an error and I've got to do it all over again. Ugh... I'm not looking forward to licking all those envelopes. Maybe I'll get the kids to help.

Mtn bike ride with Justin C, Rob P, Brian Q thursday was great, but man was it cold. The toes lasted about 25 minutes, so it must have been around 17 degrees. Tomorrow will be 50 miles on the road with Mike Z, Kenny A, & Bryan G. Talented guys for sure, our proposed 17mph average may be a bit slow for this group. The weather looks like it will be a comfy 30F.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Normally an early adopter of technology, it took years for me to give the whole tax filing on line thing a shot, but I'm glad I did. It was still pretty technical (tax technical not technology technical) but I think I got through it. Maybe a new bike with the $$$??