Monday, August 27, 2007

Out of season gear

It's hard to think about snow sports when you're picking bugs out of your teeth from your latest ride in triple digit weather. Maybe it's been the recent cool nights, or the rapidly approaching cyclocross season, but I've thought about my equipment needs for the winter season and I need some suggestions.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bourne again

Christine and I went and saw the Bourne Ultimatum tonight. Pretty good movie with lots of action, as you would expect. It's been a while since I've seen the second one, but if I remember correctly this one has the same type of camera work. It's kind of shakey (maybe shot handheld without a steadicam?), and it makes the whole thing feel more tense. The director really loves an over the shoulder shot where you're behind one person looking at another and the view is partially obscured by the first persons back and shoulder. I lost count of how many times they used that shot.

A couple comments:

There's a VW commercial where they mention some role of VW's in the movie. They're there, but I wouldn't exactly brag about it. I don't think it's a good commercial when someone hotwires your car in 3 seconds, or when your car is demolished but an airbag never goes off. Not that I expect things to be too realistic in the movie, but still...

I had to laugh when the CIA-esque chief walks into a cramped room full of worker bees and huge television screens that seem to be able to display anything at a moments notice. The dialog always goes something like: "Drop everything. This is super-duper top priority. I need you to find out everything about Person X and be so inside their head that you'll know their next move before they do. Quick, somebody put the take-out menu for In-n-Out on screen 1 immediately..." I would love to see a scene like that where the worker bee interrupts the commander before he can open his mouth and says "Alright. We get it. You need all sorts of info."

Good movie though. Go see it.

(I was just looking at movie reviews and say this hillarious comment from a negative reviewer: "Director Paul Greengrass insists on utilizing cameramen with Parkinson's disease and editors more concerned with celluloid masturbation than continuity.")

1000 miles

In April my mom awoke her bike from its winter slumber and made a goal to ride 1000 miles over the summer. She accomplished that goal at the beginning of August. Way to go mom! Truely an iron butt worthy accomplishment.

Christine and I made her a commerative plaque:
Mom's 1000 mile plaque

Roadie makes good on dirt

I did my first mountain bike race of the year yesterday at finale of Winter Park's summer series on the 25 mile Tipperary Creek point to point course.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


We just bought a new washer recently, but maybe I should have waited for the Cyclean.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Road trip

We're hiking in the Grand Canyon in October (awesome!), and our hiking permit is for Monday-Thursday. This means that we have some weekend days on either end of the trip for road tripping. We'll probably check out Bryce and Zion since they're kind of on the way and pretty cool. Got any suggestions for other places to visit? We'll have some time to kill, so I figure we can check out things in southern Utah, northern Arizona, or northern New Mexico. Of course we like tree-huggin' kind of stuff, but I'm also envisioning cheezy roadside tourist attractions (e.g. World's Largest Ball of Yarn).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Copper Lake , Crested Butte

2007-08-18_17_copper lake
I've always heard that Crested Butte is a beautiful place, but I had never actually been there until last weekend. Christine and I took Friday off to go backpacking to Copper Lake.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Wikipedia says: Cyclo-cross (sometimes Cyclocross, CX, cyclo-X or 'cross) is a form of bicycle racing. Races take place typically in the autumn and winter, and consists of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5  km or 1.5–2  mile) course featuring pavement,wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike whilst navigating the obstruction and remount in one graceful motion.


That's my new Specialized Tricross cyclocross bike. I'm excited to go play in the cyclocross races this fall. I rode my new bike into work today and it was great to have a bike that can run over so much more stuff than my road bike. It was more like riding a bike through the neighborhood as a kid: riding through grass, off curbs, through gravel. Good fun.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I used to be...

A UK (Remarkable)company is making products from recycled materials that tell you what they used to be. While I highly doubt that they can say only a certain type of recycled material went into the product, I still think it's a fun idea. I want a pencil bag that says "I used to be a dirty diaper", or maybe a pint glass that says "I used to be your hippie neighbor's bong".

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me

The NPR program Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! was in Boulder last night to tape this week's show and Christine, Shana, and I attended.

The taping was at the Chautauqua Auditorium, which is essentially a very large barn in Chautauqua park. (For those who came to the wedding, Chautauqua is where we did our hike.) Even with some light drizzle, it was quite a warm evening. The barn doesn't have AC.

Being at the live taping you get to see all the things that don't make the radio show. The version you hear on NPR always comes off so flawless sounding, but there's a lot of stuff that gets edited out of the final cut. Hopefully they cut out as much of Kyrie O'Connor's dialog as possible. I never realized how unfunny she is. She was terrible.

The most entertaining portion of the show for me was the "Not My Job" segment. The guest was Kevin Fitzgerald, a vet from Denver who has been on several Animal Planet shows as well as being a former bouncer for bands like The Rolling Stones. He kind of has a Tommy Chong sounding voice and drawl and he was pretty entertaining.

It's always interesting to see the people that you've only heard on the radio before. I think Shana now has a crush on Peter Sagal. I don't know if that is in place of or in addition to her voice crush of Carl Kassell.

Vélib - Paris bike program

A few weeks ago, Paris unleashed 10,000 self-service bicycles on the city for public use. With a €29 yearly subscription you get a free half hour use of a bike every day, or you can purchase a day pass for €1 and take a bike around Paris.

So far it sounds like it's working. According to this article in the London Times, the bikes have been borrowed 1.2 million times in the first 3 weeks. The program is not without it's difficulties. Some bikes have been vandalized and stolen. It's amusing that the bike stations on the downhill sides are crowded with bikes because people will pick up a bike uphill and coast down. I wonder if they have some way to re-allocate bikes to the 750 Vélib stations throughout the town.

Hopefully they can become a model for other large cities as a way to reduce traffic congestion.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


Fort Collins has a new cinema/cafe called the Lyric Cinema Cafe. It's a small place with 2 screens and you can grab a beer and some light food while you watch some independent and foreign films.

Last night Christine went and saw Once. I really liked this movie and would recommend you go out and see it (or put it on your Netflix queue if that's your deal). The theater itself is pretty plain. No stadium seating, so for shorties like us that means making sure we don't go to a crowded showing. If movie seats aren't your thing, they also have some couches. I think they should replace every other row of seats with tables (like they do at the Alamo Draft House). As it is, there's no place to set your beer, and I don't know what you'd do if you got a pitcher or some food. It also helps alleviate the problem of having someone tall sit in front of you.

Testing Waterproof

I decided to ride my bike to work yesterday morning because I was up early enough to beat the heat and the forecast wasn't showing rain. It was a really nice ride in with cool weather and little traffic and I made it to work in a little over 20 minutes.

The weather forecast changed throughout the day, and eventually there was some rain moving in. A few minutes after leaving work it starting sprinkling rain and got steadily harder all the way home. By the time I got close to home, the rain was coming down with face pelting hardness and I could barely see. I was soaked and it was actually fun to be riding around. I was riding with my Timbuk2 messenger bag and this was about as good a test for its waterproof-ness as anything. There ended up being a few drops in the bottom of my bag, but everything else was dry. I'm not sure how the water got in there, but it may have been road spray sneaking past the top flap. Overall, pretty impressed.

Kuzca usually gets all excited when I get home after work but yesterday she stood back when she saw the water dripping off me.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Gear Engine

And you thought you wasted time on Steep And Cheap. Check out New gear every 3 minutes. You can sell your own gear on Gear Engine too.


We finally broke down last night and got an LCD monitor to replace our 17" tube. I'm glad I waited for the prices to go down because Best Buy had a 22" Westinghouse widescreen on sale this week. It looks great and takes up way less desk space. If nothing else, it was nice to carry the monitor up to my desk with one hand. Try doing that with a CRT.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

LJ-cut in RSS readers

Does anybody know how to get a LJ-cut to work for RSS feeds? My last post had stuff behind a LJ-cut, but anyone who is reading on an RSS reader gets the whole post.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Deathly Hallows

I finally finished reading the new Harry Potter book (Christine had to help me sound out some of the bigger words). It was good and all, but I could have done without the Hollywood/Happily Ever After ending. I think it would have been way more compelling to end it with the chapter where Voldemort "kills" Harry.

I was put off by how contrived things were in this book. It was like Rowling was inventing the rules that govern that world in order to build a story, which I guess is one of the nice things about writing about a fictional world. The loopholes in the wizarding "physics" (that somehow hardly anybody in all the years of wizarding had figured out) was hack. Maybe I'm no fun and that's why I prefer non-fiction on the rare occasion that I actually pick up a book.

I don't know how the Harry Potter licensing works, but I would expect to see some spin-off books involving the children in that were introduced in the (shiny, happy) epilogue. And I wouldn't be surprised to see a prequel (a great way to rehash beloved characters that got axed in the last installment).

Friday, August 3, 2007

High and Dry

Wow, did it ever rain last night. Christine and I (and Kuzca) have a dog training class in a park on Thursday nights. It started raining on our way there, and when it didn't look like it was going to let up, the class was canceled.

On our way home, it start raining harder than I've ever seen. On top of that, it was really really windy. There were a couple times when I couldn't even see two feet in front of me. And then there were the trucks driving by that throw a huge wave of water on car windows.

Kuzca isn't a fan of rain. She's not scared of it, she just doesn't like getting wet. It's pretty funny. She just wanted to hang in the back of my car until the rain stopped.

I didn't see any damage around my house, but on the way into work I saw a huge tree limb that had fallen over. There were literally rivers running down my street and this morning I saw the small landscaping rocks from one yard had been carried all the way down the road (and around the corner).

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fun in the sun

The Environmental Working Group did an interesting investigation of sunblock:

In a new investigation of 785 name-brand sunscreens, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found widespread evidence that many products on the market are not safe and effective, including one of every eight high-SPF sunscreens that does not protect from UVA radiation. We have also identified 130 products that offer very good sun protection with ingredients that present minimal health risks to users.

Check out the data here.