Thursday, January 29, 2009

Breakfast

It was delicious.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Need something tasty...

to wash the nasty taste out of my mouth after watching Shia LaDouche in "Eagle Eye".

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snow!!

It is dumping and we're still in the shuttle. Ahhhh!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

here's to the new guy...

A Christmas gift from Tough Cookie's brother:


Avery's Ale to the Chief! To be consumed in honor of the transfer of power from a huge idiot to an unknown full of possibilty.

It is a full-bodied Imperial (Democratic) Pale Ale with a deep copper color and a creamy head for a beer with 8.75% ABV. The high level of alcohol isn't too overwhelming as in some Imperials, and the hop flavor is really nice. There is a robust malty sweetness to the beer that is a little more than I usually prefer, but in general, it is a tasty beer.

Here's to 4 years that can't be nearly as bad as the last 8!

Monday, January 19, 2009

oil change...

I woke up early today to make a 7:30 appointment to get my oil changed and have my tires rotated. I got to the service station a little early, and passed the time sipping my coffee and listening to coverage of MLK Day and the upcoming inauguration. I wouldn't say I have my hopes tied to the incoming adminsitration as much as some people do, but I am optimistic. And the fact that a black man is entering the oval office as we celebrate Dr. King's life certainly forces one to reflect on the past half-century.

Anyway, the station manager pulled into the parking spot next to mine, and I followed him into the shop. He let me know he'd need 10 minutes to get started, and went about his business. As he was counting out the cash in his register, he flipped on his TV to CNN which, of course, was airing news similar to my morning radio.

He calls me up to the counter, I remind him what I need done with my car, and he agreeably passes the orders off to his service tech. I'm ready to re-enter my early-morning oblivion when he stirs me from the haze.

"What do you think of this?" he asks. The blank expression on my face tells him that we are not on the same page. He elaborates: "You know, all of them celebrating... The black caucus... that kind of thing?"

Not knowing who this guy was, and seeing the MD plates on his pickup truck (could be a Rising Sun boy), I tried to give the most neutral answer: "Um, I don't know... I think the black community has a few reasons to celebrate this week."

His eyes narrow a little, and he responds. "Yeah, maybe... but you don't see any other minority group in this country celebrating like them."

Still not sure where this conversation is headed, I point to left field and decide to try and knock one out of the park. "Well... in fairness, no other minority group in the US was systematically enslaved for 200-plus years."

His eyes widened a little, he was quiet for a moment, and he responded genuinely, "I suppose you're right."

We continued talking topically about the craziness of the Inauguration: the train ride, the traffic, the spectacle. It turns out, dear Reader, that this guy is actually rooting for Obama. After referring to the 43rd president as "the worst in history" he said he's bought into the message of hope and change, and thinks the new guy will get a full eight years in the Oval Office.

At the end of the day, I'm not sure the guy thought of Obama as the same kind of African American as the rest of "them", but he seemed open to changing more than just oil. That's a start I suppose.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

quick review...

I intended this to be a quick comparison of my mountain bikes, but typing "review" derailed me. So, I'll throw in my 2 cent on "My Bloody Valentine 3D". I went to see it last night with some friends and it held its own as far as cheesy slasher flicks go. The 3D was a super cheap thrill, and well executed for the most part. The plot and acting were laughable; but hey, I don't know about you - I love that in a slasher flick. And of course the blood and guts were too much, but I'm not going to complain about gratuitous boobies in 3D. Honestly, I hope you get the nerdy high school kids next to you making cracks at perfect moments. They had me clutching my ribs in pain I was laughing so hard.

Anyway, on to the bikes. I don't want this to be a boring spec list of my two mountain bikes. Really, dear Reader, I am just amazed at the very different personalities of my bikes, and I wanted to write it down for me as much as anyone else.

I'm not a super bike-tech nerd; generally, I prefer reliability and uber-low maintenance in components above weight or bling. That being said, I'm fairly happy with the parts on both bikes. They are both a pleasure to ride.

The Singlespeed: Kona Kula Deluxe 2-9

The easiest way to differentiate between the bikes, gearing aside, is that riding the Kona is like sitting in the passenger seat of a Cadillac while riding the Niner is like driving a super-tuned rally car.

The Gears: Niner Air9

The Kona frame size is a Large, and I think the longer wheelbase and more relaxed head angle really stabilize the bike at speed. Behind the handlebars, I really feel like the thing is on auto-pilot, and even with the rigid fork, it descends better than the Niner. I rode the SM100 on the Kona and it was like riding on a cloud. The comfort and stability come at a price, however, and that is turning radius and handling responsiveness.

This is where the Niner is king. Aside from the fact that 5 years on a singlespeed have completely ruined my ability to use gears, I feel like I'm a fairly smooth rider. The Niner really forces me to think to keep the flow. But, when my brain and body are on the same page, this bike lets me cut tighter turns harder and faster and smoother than any other 29er I've ridden. It feels twitchy when I come off of the Kona, but once I settle in, it is like riding a magnified BMX bike. In short, it is snappy and it reminds me why I love to ride in the woods.

So there you go - I really like these bikes. Rode the SS in the cold today with a nice group, and will pull out the gears for tomorrow's hang-over ride. Sorry for the weak post, here's a picture of Faticus blasting a snot rocket to boost my ratings:


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SSWC 2009

I doubt I'll get in as I'm way late getting my entry form in... but here it is. Click it to see it in it's full glory.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

holidaze...

The winter holidays are for me, as for many others I'm sure, a mixed blessing. While I love the annual trip to the motherland, and I love seeing my family and brothers, and I love the food and beer; these can be a frantic, scattered, emotionally charged few weeks. This year was no different, but the good definitely outweighed the bad.

Rather than bore you, dear Reader, with a play-by-play recount of my last 3 weeks, allow me to take you on an audio-visual journal (also known as lazy-man's blogging). Enjoy.

Sledding in Saratoga Springs, NY.



Lots of snow in Maine.


Shredding some gnarly lines at Shawnee Peak.


Brothers and cousins.



Craps.



I wish I looked this good on telemark skis.



Best beer of '09 so far.


and a good old fashioned game of bag-snatch.

Flaming balls.




Now it's back to the normal shenanigans: