Friday, December 2, 2011

Updates in Photos

Black Friday meant I got to take Ethan and Brock to the big park in Wilkesville.  Weather was crazy nice.

We finally started getting some eggs from our new chickens.  Mmmm, fresh happy eggs.

Finished off the pre-deer hunting week Saturday with a trip to Lake Hope for a ride with the new SLX brakes.  What a difference.  Single finger stopping, modulation is excellent, quiet, they don't drag.  Been a while since I was on the trail, too long.

Obligatory picture of our Christmas tree.  Thanks to Shelly, it got put up and decorated.
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Got a new camera at work so I can shoot detailed photos of parts for the many reports I seem to be writing lately. Of course, no time at work to shoot so I can get familiar with the camera. Had bring it home to do that. On the plus side, I got to play around with to taking shots of my new disc brakes (Shimano SLX M666 with XT rotors) for the Monocog Flight. Pictures taken with a Panasonic Lumix LX5 on apature priority, without flash.


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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life Updates

Today is a strange day.  Looking back over the last week and wondering what took place, why I am exhausted, why my back hurts so bad...

Last Friday, November 11, 11, while we were honoring not only the US Vets but also remembering Eric's life on the anniversary of his death, we received the phone call that Helen Pidcock had just passed.  Helen was like a grandmother.  I say like, though she called us her grand-kids and we called her our adopted grandmother, we were not actually related.  Helen was just 92 years old.  She was as mentally sharp as I can ever remember and if it wasn't for her failing body, you would not have know she was a day over 50.  She was a colorful person.  Not only her personality but literally.  The inside of her house was painted in almost fluorescent colors.  She always dressed in bright colors.  I say this as it just didn't seem right to wear black clothes and drive my gray car to her funeral services.  I found my brightest dress shirt (purple) to wear with my black pants.  Then, thanks to Chris at Don Wood, I drove a Sunbeam Yellow Toyota FJ Cruiser to the funeral.  I think she would have loved that.  She was a big influence on my family's life and she will be missed.

Spent the weekend trying to get caught up, if only a little.  Split and stacked the rest of my firewood Saturday.  We finished the day planning to get pizza at Fox's in Rutland.  When we arrived, there was a large party and we were told that it would be over an hour before they could start our pizza.  Instead we ended up at the Court Street Grill in Pomeroy for burgers.  Not the plan, but worked out anyway.

Sunday I managed to get in a 20 mile ride in 20mph+ winds between lunch at mom's and dinner at the OU-AIA Thanksmas gathering.  We made food for their event and were supposed to help serve.  Ended up just helping clean up as they had more servers than they needed.

Woke up Monday barley able to stand up.  Not sure exactly how I did it, but managed to injure my back.  Not fun.

One more commentary.  Ethan had saved money to buy an iPod Touch.  We ordered it from Amazon over the weekend and it shipped from Lexington, KY on Monday via "Super Saver" shipping.  To save shipping costs, the box went from Lexington, past Athens to Grove City (Columbus), before it came back to Athens today for expected delivery on Weds.  Logistics...

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

That bites

Yeh, so after all the other little annoyances of the last few weeks, I broke a molar.  Luckily, not much of any pain with it other than the sharp edge of the tooth.  The dentist got me right in for xrays and a cleaning before fixing the tooth today.  They placed a form around the tooth and filled it in.  Good as new.

I know  I have complained about all the little stuff going on.  Not to say they aren't a pain to deal with, but it all could be so much worse.  The car fire was minor and the alternator fix a pain, but I had a backup vehicle that did a fine job.  My truck needed two trips to Pomeroy requiring me to burn time off from work just to replace the LED cab lights, but it is under warranty and the washed it.  Brock is still exhausting but healthy after a round of antibiotics and steroids.  Have to deal with the pain of getting Shelly's car fixed but nobody was hurt when she was rear-ended.  I can still eat and have plenty of food.  Firewood still isn't split and stacked, but I have a heat pump.  Work is a lot of work right now, but I have a good job.  The list goes on...

There are real pains and real issues.  Please consider supporting the groups that are at work for the horn of Africa.  Over 30,000 children have died of hunger from the famine. the real 'F' word, sign the petition.
World Vision: donate to the relief fund.

Cycling front: need a new rear tire on the Masi already, squared mine off.  Also need to replace the brakes on the SS.  Between the crash last year that ripped the hose off and the mud race at Lake Hope, they are shot.  Big shout to Athens Cycle Path.  They have been very patient with me and all my questions about what to do regarding the brake set.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


If it wasn't enough to have Brock and Shelly sick, I finished out the week with it.  Then, icing on the cake; Shelly gets rear-ended uptown Athens by a college student.  Luckily, even though she had all three boys with her, nobody was injured.  Brock screamed his little head off, but not injured.  Now the joy of dealing with another persons insurance carrier and to get Shelly's first new car ever repaired.

Working a night test at work.  Decided to open my brand new Bodum and make a pot of coffee.  Yep, it never ends.

In the cycling world, well, nothing is happening.  I do need new brakes for the Redline, new tires for both the MTB and road bike.  Thinking of a set of Kenda Slant 6's for the MTB after racing twice in the rain this year.  Part of the reason I need new brakes too, pads and discs are shot.  Have not ridden anything since my last post with a lunch time ride.  Feel like it is going to be a long winter.

Well look at that, it just turned November.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ah, Fall

Fall, my favorite season, that is, when I can enjoy it.  Fall is such a busy time that is just slips by, sometimes without notice.  Brock ended up sick this week which meant Shelly was home from work with him.  When this happens, I get to be the school bus.  Dropping two boys off at school doesn't allow me to ride my motorcycle either (something else that has not happened much).  Since Tuesday was forcasted to be the best day of the week, and probably the last of these days, I threw the Masi on the trunk rack and brought it to work.  Managed a nice hour long lunch time ride.  

Unfortunately, my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS quit working (again).  It has done this twice before.  The GPS quits, everything else works.  The watch even reports the GPS as version 0.00. A message to Garmin resulted in the only option to fix it is to send it to them plus $80 to repair.  Not sure what to do, this is only 15 months old.  $80 plus shipping and a 90 day warranty seems steep.  New 305's are under $150 with heart rate strap and full 1 year warranty.  Plus, looks like a couple of other options are about to hit the shelves with the Motorola MOTOACTV (that includes MP3 and touch screen) or the new Garmin 910XT.  Both are much more expensive than the repair of mine, but...

Anyway, back to rollers I guess.  The nighttime lows are dropping into the 20s.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Views of Fall

Penne with butternut squash and goat cheese.  Mmmm.

Not nearly enough miles enjoying the fall views and weather.

Need a better camera (phone).  This tree in my backyard was vibrant yellow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Riding, Racing, and Life

Once again I find myself trying to figure out what happened to the last 4 weeks.  Got a few rides in.  manged a Sunday 42 miler a couple weeks ago.  Did the Pawpaw Double Nickle, 55 miles from Albany around Zaleski State Forest.  Have not even managed to ride a Worlds ride.  Oh well.

Soccer season continues with only 3 Saturdays worth of games left.  I do enjoy it, but it has been a challenge with Brock.  Two practices during the week and two games on Saturday is a lot of time that I am not helping out with him.  And yes, he needs constant attention or you may find him in the middle of the dining table.

I did manage to squeeze in another race, the WVMBA/OMBC Farmhand XC at Bob Evan's farm in Rio Grande, OH.  Got to the race about an hour and half early.  While standing in the registration line, bam, lightning and thunder, followed by a good hard rain for the next hour.  It finally stopped about 30 minutes before the start, but the damage was done.  I again registered for the SS Sport (OMBC) class which puts me in the massive Sport class start (and more specifically, the Sport Vet WVMBA class).  Not problem, the half mile long ride to the trailhead should let the field get way ahead of me.  I thought I was good until the first climb on the trail (about 10 yards in).  There was already a line of riders pushing their bikes.  This pattern repeated several times in the next two miles.  Tight climbs, off camber roots, lots of very slick trails.  It seemed to clear out a bit after the first long climb (in the grassy area).  Though, this too ended up a hike rather than bike.  Passed several riders in the next couple miles.  By mile 6 I was hurting with my stomach in knots.  Couldn't drink without an instant sick feeling.  Pushed it through the first lap of 10 miles just doing my best to not crash and not vomit.  By the end of my second lap I was in bad shape.  Stomach cramps had set in and I still couldn't get anything in my stomach.  Returned my number plate, changed clothes and grabbed my after race dinner plate (sponsored by Bob Evans).  I got most of that food down including a can of Coke. It wasn't long until I was ready to curl up in a ball.  Drove home, showered and spent the rest of the day either in the bathroom or on the couch.  Very little sleep overnight and much of the same otherwise.  It was Monday evening before I could eat and drink again.  And just when I though relief was in sight, I developed a strong pain in my middle back that circled around under my ribs.  It was suggested that I had strained my diaphragm.  Hard to breath and very painful to lay down meant more sleepless nights.  Or maybe I was just sick from being dizzy?

Anyway, I think I have fully recovered. I have to figure out what is going on though.  This is the third time I have had similar symptoms after a mountain bike race, with this being the worst yet.  Was hoping to ride the Wayne Ultra on Oct. 2, not sure I want to risk it though.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why is this so hard?

I can't get out on the bike.  I have tried and tried.  Was hoping for a ride on Sunday but called in to help my brother throw up some trusses on his garage.  Even that got cut short with a serious thunderstorm.  Trees down and the driveway was really cut up.  For anyone that thinks the Grand Canyon took millions of years to cut, come to my house when we get a hard downpour for 15 minutes, 40 days of downpours seems about right when you scale things up.

Monday was beautiful weather wise.  But with work and school open house, no riding again.  I ended up on the tractor fixing the storm damage after everyone got home, finishing in the dark.  Tuesday I brought my bike to work thinking I would at least get a lunch ride, and again, just wishful thinking.  Work had me, well, working through lunch.  Today is Team Athens Wednesday and what do I do?  I have my bike, helmet but my shoes are at home.  I could blame my oldest son who thought it was a good idea to sit his mother's cup of coffee on the arm rest in the car rather than the cup holder.  Instead of loading my vehicle for the day, I was grabbing towels to help with the cleanup.  Or I could blame a friend who needs my truck today.  My shoes are actually in my car. Or I could blame work for keeping my stress levels high and now I can't think clearly.

I need a vacation.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The End of Summer

I can't believe summer is over.  Shelly starts back to work Monday followed by the kids back in school on Tuesday.  My list for summer never got started, heck, the list from spring never got started.  No real summer vacation this year.  Money has been going to fix all the broken appliances and termites.  Time has been scarce with the way work has been.  Not sure how Brock would travel for a long time anyway.  Still, I know my wife is disappointed.

End of summer also ends the riding season for me.  Soccer has begun.  Ethan is playing with the U12 traveling team and I am assistant coach.  That means two practices a week plus two games on Saturday's.  I love the game and am glad to get to coach again, but I am going to miss the evening and Saturday morning rides.

I missed Wednesday World's this week.  Long story short, had to work late and missed the one hard ride I was going to do.  Brought the monocog to work on Thursday and ran around Strouds Run state park at lunch (OK, a slightly long lunch).  Was good to be on a trail, except for all the spider webs. Had them in my ears, up my nose, in my mouth, covering the bike.  It was crazy.

Friday started with a trip to Columbus with folks from NASA.  Shelly was going to be in Columbus anyway, so it was to be a great plan to meet up after meetings for a little shopping and dinner.  Things went kind of south when I got a phone call from her that she had a flat.  Lost air quick too.  Made it into a gas station where someone put air in the tire for her.  Got her from there to a Firestone (at Polaris).  They were very helpful to her, but would not repair the tire (due to liability) and since we have an AWD car, all four tires would need to be replaced.  Oh, did I mention that she had all three boys with her?  Pretty well ruined the day for her.  They were good enough to install the spare for her to get her back to Athens.  We hoped to try out a Greek restaurant for dinner, but had to change plans and go to UNO's.  Even that was a big wait because of the high chair for Brock and the "fire hazard".  Really?  We can't get a tire fixed and can't get a table. Too much liability.  Finally made it home and to bed at midnight.  Long day.

Saturday morning meant getting up early to get Michael to the school for drama rehearsal at 7am and on to Warehouse Tire.  They fixed the tire and I had it back on the car before 9am.  Shower, coffee, and out the door for soccer games.  Not sure what meals I have eaten today but 10pm sure is coming quickly.

A side note: saw some of the Pelatonia riders coming in to Athens.  Good job folks!  100 miles and lots of money for cancer research.  Special atta-boy to Chad and Jenn Sickles.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Where did summer go!?

Really?  My last post was over a month ago?  What happened? Sad part is, I can hardly remember.

First, the bike:
My history shows I logged 375 on the road and climbed over 24,000 feet.  I did get to ride with Team Athens several times on their Weds. Worlds ride.  They dropped me each time, but I am averaging 60 miles a week, a typical daily ride for those kids.

I was noticing trouble with shifting and drive-train noise on the Masi. Katsu did his best to adjust the shifting, but it was still there.  I also began to notice a snapping/creaking from the crankset.  Found the Jagwire in-line adjuster for the rear was broken.  Athens Cycle Path replaced them with metal ones and the shifting is like new.  Katsu could not find the noise in the crank so I pulled the crankset, cleaned it, and re-installed it per the manual. Noise is gone.  Of course, I had replaced my 18 year old pedals thinking that was the source of the noise first.  Feel like I have a brand new bike again.

The family:
I have taken a sabbatical from playing guitar at church.  This allowed me to visit some close friends when their daughter was baptized, in the Ohio River.  We took over the boat ramp in Belpre on a very nice Sunday afternoon.

Ethan's birthday really sneaked up on me.  We didn't want to just buy him more "stuff" so I took the day off from work and we went to Magic Mountain in Columbus to ride Go-Karts.  He had a blast (even Shelly enjoyed it).  Finished it off with some ribs from City BBQ.  Followed the next day with a mountain bike ride on the Athens Trails to Stroud's Run, a picnic lunch of Miller's chicken and fried perch, then a kayak paddle on the lake with his mom.

 Of course Brock requires much less for a good time, a pile of rocks would be fine...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Picture Monday

All photos copyright 2011 - Shelly Mansfield

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lake Hope Continued

Though it has been dry for several days, I am still finding water. After moving the Monocog last night and finding the cranks nearly frozen, I removed the bottom bracket. Water ran out! Pulled the front fork and more water ran out. Going to strip the frame this weekend, take it outside and fog the inside of the tubes with a can of WD40.  Not sure of how many parts will need replaced.

Ran across a couple of photos.  Looks like I was having fun.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OMBC #4 "Race to the Hills" at Lake Hope State Park

Woke up Sunday morning looking forward to hitting Lake Hope State Park for OMBC series race #4.  While I have not been on the trails a lot this year due to schedule and weather, I was feeling really good about the race.  Unfortunately, my body wasn't feeling as excited.  I did not sleep well with a lot of pain in my middle back and got up with an upset stomach.  Excusing it as pain from working at the house the day before and nervousness, I prepared for the day.  Turned on the local radar to see a giant yellow blob rolling onto us.  So much for an 80 degree with clouds race.  I was now having second thoughts to be honest, but Ethan was still ready to ride, so we ate breakfast, loaded the truck, dropped Michael at church, Brock at my brothers and off to the lake we drove.... in the rain.

By now it is raining pretty good, plus it is only about 61 degrees.  Cool and wet we registered and got the bikes out.  The kids race, much to the race organizers surprise, had 8 kids.  The course is a bit of gravel road and a section of Copperhead trail to the same finish as the adults.  Ethan looked miserable at the start, though he says afterwards it was more fun in the mud (just like a kid).  He placed 2nd in his age group, not too bad.

I get geared up for my race.  My stomach is hurting quite a bit by now, but still excusing it as nerves, it should go away.  The sport race is a mass start.  I quickly fall towards the back as most the guys crank it out the road.  I pedal out around 14mph, so I coast a couple of the hills on the road.  The rain is really pouring now, but despite my tires (hard pack tires: WTB Nano Raptor in the rear and an Exiwolf in the front) the bike is handling well and pedaling is easy.  I slowly started picking off riders, several of whom either were hitting the ground or having drive train problems. One problem with racing is managing my momentum, especially on a SS.  I try to carry as much into a climb as I can and then really crank it up the hill to maintain some cadence.  All these geared guys just drop to granny, sit and spin.  While this did affect me more than once, I was able to pass a lot of riders on the climbs. In fact, a polite request to pass was given each time this day.  I was having a difficult time drinking.  My stomach was just not cooperating, excusing it now for hard effort.  I was having fun though.  A side note, the front Crud Catcher worked perfectly.  My bike and back was plastered with mud, but my face was clean.

The race went down Copperhead, onto Bobcat, cross the road to Wildcat, to Copperhead at Grouse Point, back across the road and on to the campground connector.  Sometime around the second road crossing the rain had all but quit.  The trails changed drastically.  Traction was much harder to come by and effort level was much higher.  I ended up losing the front end and slamming a tree with my left shoulder.  With enough distance to the rider behind me though, I did not lose a position.  Ended up catching about three more riders in the last couple miles.  I was glad to see the finish line.  My Garmin said 1 hour, 44 minutes.

Jumped in the bike wash line and then cleaned myself up.  Two hours after my finish, they finally announced the class placings.  They ended up combining single speed with sport vet.  I was disappointed, not in how I rode, but that classes got combined.  I really am not there for the prize money, but I cannot compete with some of these sport vet racers.  Anyway, it is what it is.  I finished 9th in the combined field of 25 riders, and second in my class, just three minuets back from the leader.  My official time: 1:42:32.

Oh, and my stomach still hurt.  Turns out I had a bit of a virus that was shared around the family, finishing the day fighting chills followed by hot sweats.  Not sure what kind of damage the bike took.  It is all cleaned up now, but the bottom bracket turns rough.  Need to inspect the fork seals and brake pads, and clean and lube the chain too.

Thanks to the Athens Bicycle Club for clearing the trails and marshaling the race.  You all did a fantastic job.

Epic race.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Present

Shelly and Ethan surprised me with a framed photo for Father's Day.  Took some work for them too, as my bike hangs upside down from the ceiling in the basement.  Ladder and poster board was involved.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day update

Another father's day has come and gone. First one in a couple of years that my teenager acknowledged it (he actually told me happy father's day).  Family (or at least Shelly, E, and Brock) did the father's day thing for me on Saturday knowing Sunday would be busy and for our dad's.  Finished off the day with fried perch and a tomato, olive, and mozzarella salad, completed with a piece of peanut butter pie.  Yummm.  Sunday meant lunch with my dad and supper with the in-laws.  Both good times with a short ride in between.

Speaking of riding, I did manage a few of note this week.  VBS at church meant no rehearsal and a free Wednesday evening.   Joined Team Athens for their Worlds ride.  Good practice and a good workout (meaning: I got dropped).  Those kids can ride.  Saturday I shot out to Lake Hope.  The OMBC Race to the Hills is just a week away!  Ended up meeting and riding with 4 other guys (all on full suspension geared bikes and me on my 29er SS hardtail).  Got in about 18 miles before the thunderstorm hit.  In about 30 seconds the trails turned from hard packed dirt to streams of brown water.  Ended up hitting the ground pretty hard when the back tire spun on a wet rock.  I have not been that wet and muddy for long time (thankfully, no pictures...).

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to Back to Back

The weekend started a little early when I left work during the afternoon on Friday to be home with the kids as Shelly headed for Columbus.  Let Brock play in the basement while I installed the WB Magic 80 fork on the Monocog Flight.  Decided to go with the suspension fork for the Lake Hope race.  After dinner, Ethan and I threw the bikes and B.o.B. trailer in the truck and headed to the paved road to take Brock on his first bike ride. I think he enjoyed it, in fact, he started to fall asleep.  It was swamp like humid out.  Back to the house and Brock and Ethan took a dip in the pool to cool off.

Saturday started with the tractor.  The storms a few days earlier did a real number to the driveway.  The Kubota made quick work of it though and we soon had driveway without ditches in it.  Shelly and the two youngest boys headed to town around lunch, so I headed out on the bike.  Just a mile in, I came up on a helicopter trimming a power line right of way.  Fun to watch, not sure I would want to fly that chopper though.  Took the Masi out to Chicken Hill to get in some good climbing.  All in, just over 40 miles and about 3000 feet of climbing.

Sunday was the typical, out to church for sound checks at 8, Sunday school at 9:15, service at 10:30, to my folks for lunch at 1.  The weather had changed, for the better.  High temps in the upper 70's and low humidity.  Late in the afternoon I headed out to Lake Hope State Park with the Monocog for some single speed and single track.  With responsibilities at home , church, and work, compounded with the extra wet spring, this is only the second time in 2011 I have been on a trail.  The road miles have been good to my legs, but I forget sometimes how many upper body muscles I use on the trail.  Did my favorite loop.  In at Hope Furnace, up Bobcat to Wildcat to Copperhead and back out. 15+ miles with a couple thousand feet of climbing.

A note on elevation.  I use a Garmin Forerunner 305 to track all my rides and runs.  The GPS estimated elevation is terribly inaccurate.  All my elevation numbers come from SportTracks with the Elevation Correction Plugin.  All my data is smoothed over 3 seconds and only includes grades steeper than 2%.  Garmin Connect uses some unknown algorithm and always shows a significant difference.  I have also used sites like MapMyRide and RideWithGPS.  Each one is different.  For example: Saturday ride was 1056ft at MapMyRide, 2026ft at Garmin Connect, 3046 with SportTracks, and 3045 at RideWithGPS.  Sunday was 548ft at MapMyRide, 1264ft at Garmin Connect, 2136ft with SportTracks, and 3406 at RideWithGPS.  That is a huge variance.  I believe MapMyRide and Garmin Connect both do some heavy smoothing.  Around here though, the smoothing takes away from a lot of the hills.  I also suspect that RideWithGPS may do very little smoothing or includes grades that are less than 2%.  I seem to get the most consistent results with SportTracks, which is what I primarily use to log my rides.

Three days, three rides.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Washing dishes and other weekend fun

I ripped into the dishwasher first thing Saturday morning with the plan to get a seal kit and a new bearing and have the dishwasher back together all for less than $25. That plan was quickly crushed when I finally got the motor out. The rust and other crud buildup on the impeller shaft was the only thing keeping the water from leaking out.  The motor shaft was so far damaged that no seal would hold back the water.  Now the decision is whether to replace the entire motor assembly and impeller or just buy a new dishwasher.  Fun.

Put my tools away and hit the road for a couple hour ride.  Consistent with how the last few weeks have gone, the ride ended in a thunderstorm and a few miles of pouring rain.  36+ miles with about 2000' of climbing.  Rode past the Snowville Creamery farm where they were having an open house / farm tour.  It was good to see the place was packed.  Between that and it was the annual St. Rt. 143 yard sale made for a lot of traffic.  Still, it was great to ride.

Friday, June 3, 2011

When it rains

For the first time in a long time, it hasn't rained.  At least not in the literal sense.

We have been in our house 6 years last April.  Apparently there is a 6 year warranty.  Just having found termites, and then replacing our water heater, I now have a loud noise coming from the heat pump blower fan, and this morning, the dishwasher pump locked up.

We lost a chick yesterday.  Not sure if something grabbed it and pulled it through the fence overnight or grabbed it during the middle of the day when they were in the yard.  Left work early yesterday so I could run 3' high chicken wire fence around the bottom of the chain link.  I also had to run a heat lamp out to the coop last night with temps dropping into the low 50's.  Bonus for the chicks, they had all the bugs they could chase and eat last night.

Did get to ride the Masi though.  I have said it before, but I really am liking this bike.  Did the typical loop through Wilkesville.  Down Point Rock Rd to Salem School Lot Rd, to 124 into Wilkesville, then 689 back to Point Rock.  18.5 miles with about 1000 ft of climbing.  It felt good.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fixing up the 'cog

The WVMBA/OMBC XC race at Lake Hope is just a few weeks away.  Time to get the machine ready.  Planning to race the Sport SS class on the Redline Monocog Flight.  The headset was in darn sad shape so I found am un-used Cane Creek S3 in silver to install.  Was going to take it to Katsu, but thought what is the worst that can happen?  I used a piece of copper tubing to remove the old headset.  With just a few whacks with the rubber mallet it popped right out.  Put the new cups in the freezer, greased the headtube and they popped right in.  Nice and smooth now.  Been really digging the Fizik Antares saddle I put on the Masi, so I found a Gobi, the MTB equivalent, on eBay for $15.  Fantastic, light (261g) saddle. Now, I only really need a nice set of light weight 29er wheels.

With the temps now in the 90's during the day and 70's at night, seemed like time to move the chicks outside. A bucket of chicken anyone?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Weekend

Long week. With family, work, and church responsibilities, I have not been riding or running. Friday was to be different though. Kids were now out of school for the summer and Shelly only had to work until noon. I decided to bike to work. Dragged out the old Jamis Coda and loaded the panniers. It has been months since I last rode this bike. In fact, I have not been on it since getting my new Masi. Did not take long until I was missing the Masi. 21 miles to work, not a bad way to start the day. Decided to take the money I saved on gas and by a nice Cuban steak sandwhich from the Chica Chica Chop Chop buggy uptown for lunch.

The ride home was longer. I took more back roads to avoid traffic. Dropped the chain once, had my front brake start rubbing, I was starting to get sore around my neck and shoulders (poor bit fit I guess, never get sore riding my new bike). 23 miles home.

Set up Brock's birthday swing. He was a little terrified at first but was soon giggling away. Had Brock and E swinging, the chicks were running around in the yard, and Pepper was just hanging out at my feet. Ah, the coutnry life.

This is about how I felt as well.

Saturday was a rough start. Michael had friends over for the night and I got about 3 hours of sleep. Up and out of the house so I could be at a firends by 9am to help them move. Packed a full U-haul and two pickups and then unloaded at their new place. Even made it home in time to watch the UEFA finals live.

Sunday was out to church for sound checks at 8 and then to Sunday School.  I got to say how much I enjoy my SS class.  Anyway, first service sans our senior pastor.  Off to get E from one friends house and deliver him to another while Michael ran camera for high school graduation.  Left Shelly , Brock, and me on our own for lunch.  Grabbed a pizza from Courtside in Athens.  Though, the college kids working were watching a less than tasteful movie, the pizza was very tasty.  Got in a road ride on the Masi in the afternoon heat.

Off work on Monday meant hard work at home.  Set up Ethan's pool, got the place bush-hog'd, and dragged out the ladders to caulk some fresh carpenter bee holes in the house.  Another hot one.  Tried to finish the day off with a 5k run.  Seemed slower than usual and by the 2 mile mark I couldn't get my feet to move.  Light headed I slowed to a walk.  One thing I really need to know more about is nutrition.  Short on calories? Sleep? Fat, protein, electrolytes?  I don't know, I just know I was tanked.

I tried to cram some calories when I got home (by this time my stomach was growling).  Not much to make, how about a PB&J sandwich made from two chocolate chip Eggo waffles and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top?  Yes, I still felt hungry even after I ate it.

Back to work on today.  Can't get enough to eat and my legs feel like bricks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday updates.

Life sure seems crazy recently, both good and bad kinds of crazy.

Grandma Erma passed away on Sunday evening.  What a humble lady.  I am glad to have known her and I know she will be missed by her friends, her family, and her church.

Speaking of church, our Senior Pastor, Rob Vernon, resigned on Sunday citing irreconcilable differences with the church leadership team.  I don't know for sure how to think about this.  I am disappointed and frustrated by it.  We are the church and unless these are doctrinal differences, they are not irreconcilable.  We are the church though, and while it may be tough, we will get through.  Time will tell...

Monday evening I helped a close friend pick up some chicken coops.  We hauled three of these things about 12 miles (one way) down Ohio St. Rt. 555, one of the most twisty roads in SE Ohio.  Glad to help them out though.

Pretty sure there is a redneck joke here somewhere.
We also picked up our chicks.  Our friends helped us get started with 8 Buff Rock laying hens.  Figured I live in the sticks, might as well have some chickens.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Everyone needed some sunshine

Found this guy basking in the sunshine on my run yesterday. Even the reptiles are sick of the rain.

Two days of sun was enough though.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The days are long, but the years are short.

Long week.  Monday started with a phone call that Shelly's grandmother, Erma (for those of you that went to Albany Elementary, Erma cooked you lunches for years), had been admitted to the ICU and things were not looking promising that she would make it much longer.  After a long day at the hospital for Shelly , her sister, cousins, folks, aunt, etc., they moved Erma to a private room and stopped all life sustaining efforts.  She has since been moved back to Hickory Creek to make her feel more "at home".  She was apparently spelling out heaven, "H-E-A-V-E-N, I am ready to go".

Little less than 16 years ago, Erma was coming to our apartment to watch Michael, who was just a baby, so Shelly and I could go to college and work.  Now Michael has turned 16 and Erma is in her last days.

Late Monday evening I heard a sudden hissing sound.  A quick search of the house showed a 1/8" stream of water spraying out of our hot water heater.  Luckily, Brock had already had his bath.  Luckily I was home and awake to hear and find it.  Shut off the water and informed the fam that there would be no more hot showers.  A quick call to Lowe's before they closed to see if they could replace it.  We have a propane power vent heater than exhausts out PVC.  Of course, those are special order and will take 10-14 days!

Tuesday morning, Brock's 1st birthday: ran to Economy Supply in Athens.  They could get one, but it would take a couple days and was rather expensive.  I really try to support these folks any time I can, but I need hot water.  Off to another dealer that says they have them in stock in Marietta.  Run by the office for a few minutes to check in and hit the road.  I took the opportunity to check into a tankless water heater.  The salesman in Marietta informed me that my gas line was too small and would have to be replaced to go tankless (the heater regulates from 11,000 to 199,000 BTU's).  OK then, we'll just take the tank type.  Back home and unload in the rain (surprise).  Old one drained, pulled out, new one in place.  Ahh, not a single fitting lines up with the old one.  Tank is 1" shorter, exhaust is in the front rather than the rear, and the gas line is on the other left rather than the right.  Back to Economy Supply to get all the fittings, etc. to make this work.  Finally around 7pm, water is heating.  Happy birthday Brock, today you get to have a warm bath.

Brock inspects my work. Luckily, it passes.
Can't even remember Wednesday.

Thursday, Michael's 16th birthday.  Really? 16?  Crazy.  Even crazier, 16 year old that does not want to drive.  Off to a crazy day at work and to the math fair for Ethan at 5.  He had just left soccer practice and was so muddy, we had to go to my folks house so he could shower before going back to the math fair.  Finally home by 6:30 and dinner in the oven.  Next thing I know it is 10:30.

Not a single bit of training all week.  I went to bed planning to bike to work for National Bike to Work Day.  About a 22 mile commute, I was looking forward to the ride.  Weather was supposed to be better and I just need to be in the office by 9am for a meeting.  What better way to start the day?

What do I wake up to on Friday morning?  Seriously?  Rain?  I do not have a regular commuting bike, no fenders, no commuting clothing, and no shower at work.  Drove the car.

No commuting by bike today.
Going to finish the day with a date with my wife.  Hope that goes better than the rest of the week.