Tuesday, April 28, 2009

F You, Penguin

I have to thank my brother for sending me to this gem of a site:
F*ck You, Penguin.

Makes me laugh every time. From today's post about Stingrays:
I know you think you are going to get me to come over there and give you a big hug, Stingray. And, yeah, I am pretty impressed with your winning smile, I'm not going to lie. But you have "sting" right there in your name. I mean, Manta Ray, no problem, let's hug like crazy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Herb dealer

We have an herb dealer. Wait, it's not what you're thinking. He actually grows a ton of herbs in his house and he hooks us up with some fresh goods. We got this great basil plant from him last week:
2009-04-23 _01_basil_from_brian
I forget which kind of basil this is (he grows a ton of different varieties that I wouldn't be able to try elsewhere). He also hooked us up with some cilantro and various lettuce varieties. I put the basil to good use today and made some pesto for Christine and I. We put it on a little bread with some tomato and fresh mozzarella. So delicious!

For dinner, I made a yogurt based chicken marinade with (among other things) basil and cilantro. Really tasty. Looking forward to more fresh herbs to try.

Getting Dirty

We made dirt. We bought a tumbling composter last year and we've been throwing crap in it ever since. Today was the first time I've taken anything out of it. Normally, I wouldn't find dirt all that exciting, but it's cool to know that the nice nutrient rich food I just gave my garden would have otherwise become garbage.

It was interesting to see what stuff did and didn't break down. In addition to the normal organic scraps, we tossed some other things in there. A couple experiments were a wine cork and a wooden french fry fork (from Belgium). Both still looked brand new. I had also tossed some compostable cutlery, and it all decomposed. We tossed some shredded paper in there early on, and it composted pretty well except that it formed into small clay-like balls that I needed to break up by hand. I also found several mango pits. They didn't break down completely on their own, but I could easily crumble them with my hands. Same with corn cobs. Peach pits didn't break down much at all. Neither did some small branches that we put in.

Now our composter is just about empty and I'm ready to get back to tossing our would-be garbage in there.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Air Force Academy Road Race

I raced the AFA RR yesterday. I finally feel like I had a decent race this season.

Thankfully, the weather cooperated enough for the race. It was a cold start at 7:50AM, but the roads were clear with only a few puddles to splash through. Lucky for the other riders, Dave, Austin, and were looking so hot in our new kits that it warmed up the rest of the group.

For the first lap, I sat on the front. Not a great idea from an energy saving standpoint, but it was nice to keep a reasonable tempo up there and prevent people from getting too worked up about any early escape attempts (of which there were several).

On the second lap, I settled in near the back of our shrunken group. It was more sketchy back there, but it was also easier not being out front. On the long climb up Pine Dr, people made some surges. I was able to stay with the group, but I could tell I was getting tired. Apparently some other people were getting tired too, because there was 1 crash and another near crash on this lap.

As expected, things really heated up on the third and final lap. On the downhill sections, people were throwing in attacks and I had to work hard to stay with them. It certainly softened me up. I had to laugh a bit when one person launched a counter attack only to be chased down by his teammate. Classic.

We turned on to Pine, and there was a calm before the storm. I knew the attacks were coming and I knew I didn't have the legs. I stayed with the first few and then I finally popped and rode to the finish solo for 12th place. Dave finished in the 20's and Austin in the 30's.

The first year I did this race I got dropped on the first lap. Last year I got dropped on the second lap. This year I got dropped on the third lap. I don't like to get dropped, but at least I can say I'm making year to year progress. I'll have to work on my accelerations on climbs for next year.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

All dressed up and noplace to go

I had planned on racing both days this weekend, but the weather had something else in mind. I woke up to some snow on the ground Saturday morning and knew that I was destined for the indoor trainer. About the only thing that makes indoor rides bearable is when I'm doing intervals. At least then I have some suffering to keep me company. I did some 20 minute Z4 intervals and some shorter Z5 intervals while watching Milk*.

Saturday night, I hoped for the best and packed up my stuff for a race Sunday morning. I woke up on Sunday and the roads were dry in Fort Collins, but not Golden (where the race was happening). I eventually decided to ride around home instead of waiting for them to decide whether or not they were going to actually have a race.

It was chilly, but I'm glad I got out. I did 2+ hours and had a good time doing it. I saw only one other rider, but several runners for some reason. It was quite odd. As I rode across the dams at Horsetooth reservior I saw about a dozen runners.

The dog was feeling a little be rejected when I got home so I called up my friend and had a dog play session. Kuzca and Marlo get along famously. It's awesome to see them play together because Kuzca doesn't get along with lot of dogs, but there's never a problem with Marlo.

Kuzca and Marlo

I rounded out the evening by wathcing the Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen)). It's always been a cool race to watch because its covered in cobblestones and a real tough riders race. It's even cooler now that I've been to Belgium and know the area they're riding. Looking at the race map today brought me back to our Belgium trip. Man, I'd love to go back there. After much indecision staring at the beer in our basement, I finally chose a nice Rochefort 10 for my race drink. I felt guilty about depleting our Belgian stash while Christine was out of town, so I switched to the decidedly American Jack Daniels when I finished the beer.

Watching Tour of Flanders

*Milk was great. I had never heard of Harvey Milk before this movie. In some ways it feels like there has been a lot of progress made in gay rights, but on the other hand it's obvious there's a long way to go. I'm glad there are people like Harvey Milk who have the ability put themselves out there like that and fight for what they feel is right. I'm not saying he was a saint, but I'm thankful for the change he was able to bring.