Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gobbledygook!

Is it me, or are well-made ads for products some of the most entertaining things on the internet? I friggin' love me a well-made ad (remember the Old Spice guy?), so much so that I'm willing to share a well-made ad with you. Just think about what this means if you're a company that wants to get its name out there. Let's say you're a company. You've got a budget of 2 million dollars. You could spend $1 million making a pretty-sweet ad, and then the other $1 million buying time on TV (and then hope that people don't TiVo right past it), or you could just spend all $2 million on making an ad that's twice as awesome. Then post it on YouTube, and wait for schmucks like me to smear it all around the internet for free. Check out this ad:


This man is awesome! Who doesn't love a stinkin' rich Russian speaking in broken english? See that tiny giraffe? I WANT ONE!!

Or this ad:





I MEAN COME ON! WHO DOESN'T WANT TO GO OUT AND BUY A KIA?



Ok. Enough kow-towing to the gods of capitalism.


Another beautiful thing that the internet brings us is Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR. I love music, and like many, I place great value on bearing witness to the acto fo music creating (usually in the form of going to a concert). There's something so magical about being in the room with musicians when they're engaged in the act of making music. It's the same as viewing any live performance, be it dance, or theater, or a sporting event -- there's a magic that cones from actually being there that a video just can't transmit. However, these tiny desk concerts are the next best thing. My recommendation would be to download the whole concert via their podcast (so you don't have to deal with lousy video quality). I've been swept away by the intimacy, honesty, and candidness transmitted across the internet to my computer screen. Here are some of my favorites:

Gogol Bordello plays a raucous, drunken, and incredibly fun set of gypsy songs. By the end, I'm ready to start dancing on my desk too!

Tom Jones blows my mind with his voice as much as his song choices. Could this possibly be the same guy who brought us "sex bomb?" Enjoy:





And lastly, I'm planning on going to Interbike, the cycling industry's trade show, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. I've never gone to this strange gathering of the nation's bike dorks, but I feel I'm ready. I'm finally dorky enough to attend. I'm not sure what I'll do (probably run around with a chicken with my head cut off trying to get autographs from the pros!), but I'm pretty sure I'll have fun.


Ok. Enough.

Creams, Butters, and Balms!



While the team was out at Cascade, the Sportique fairy came to visit, and dropped off the full line of Sportique body care products. I've never felt so pampered in my life! Now all the members of the team smell great, feel great, and look great. I haven't had a chance to review every product, but here's what I've used so far:

Century Riding Cream: awesome chamois cream! Just a little bit of tingle, and it lasts all day.

Shaving Oil: wonderful for your skin, smells great, and yields a smooth shave.

Cooling Cream: this stuff isn't joking around! I put it on after shaving one day, and was freezing cold for 20 minutes! I wore a jacket inside! Note: cooling cream is NOT a good substitute for ice when making margaritas.

The Body Soap: gentle, not super smelly, easy on your skin. Does not de-grease chains.

Elements Cream: a mild embrocation, good for a variety of conditions. This product claims to protect you from the elements. This may be true, but sadly, Elements Cream does not protect you from mean dogs or angry drivers. I really think Sportique should release Anti-Angry Driver Balm.

Warming Up Cream: be careful with this one. You put some on, and a few minutes later start thinking "did I put on enough? I don't really feel any warming." While the temptation might be to apply more Warming Up Cream -- YOU SHOULD GIVE IT ANOTHER MINUTE. TRUST ME.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Cascade Classic Wrap-Up

Alright sports fans, coverage of the Cascade Classic starts now! Whoops -- I mean coverage of the Cascade Classic ends now!

That's right folks, it's a wrap. 2010 Cascade Classic: in the books. It was a beautiful race, despite the controversy, the incorrect predictions, and the sweltering heat!

Saturday night was the criterium. After my performance here less than one month ago at nationals, I wasn't thrilled at the idea of building another "fan club" at the back. So, I actually raced the thing -- well kind of. I never really mixed it up in the moves, but I never was at risk of getting dropped. I only got heckled once; after the race was over, I heard "go number 38!" Oh really? Thanks numbnuts, nice memory -- by the way, I'm number 91 now bitch!

Sunday's race was on the now-familiar Aubrey Butte Circuit, and the thermometer read 95 degrees. The team came prepared, with roughly 30 pounds of ice stuffed into nylon stockings. We periodically grabbed these ice socks from our angels in the feed zone, and shoved them down our jerseys. It's amazing what a hunk of ice melting on the back of one's neck can do when the mercury rises; it can be the difference between finishing and floundering.

As for yours truly, I made one last bid to get in that "big breakaway." Sadly, that's all it was: a bid. On the start of the third lap, I could tell that United Healthcare was ready to let a break go (after they nearly ended up on the wrong end of a field split). A move went, and I wasn't in quite the right position. Knowing that my chances of bridging across the gap were getting smaller by the second, I worked my way up to the front, and SWAN DIVE.


Sadly, I'm not an Old Spice man, and despite getting really really friggin close, I couldn't get up there. It was a do or die move. Let's just say I didn't "do."


Now it's time to rest. Rest and train and rest and train and get ready for the Tour of Utah. Giddyup.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

ORACLE PAUL SPEAKS AGAIN!!!!

BREAKING NEWS: ORACLE PAUL SPEAKS AGAIN!
The Associated Press


In a shocking development, Oracle Paul, the recently disgraced psychic octopus, has made another series of predictions that rocked the cycling world as much as the Vegas betting tables Sunday morning. Among other predictions, Oracle Paul claims that Sam Johnson, a racer on the Hagens Berman Cycling Team, shall lap the field, win the stage, and claim the coveted yellow jersey at the stage 4 criterium of this year's Cascade Cycling Classic. Should this prediction come true, Johnson's performance would be one of the biggest come-backs in the history of the sport. Johnson now sits in 125th place, 26:14 behind race leader Rory Sutherland. In order to capture the yellow jersey off Sutherland's shoulders, Johnson would have to lap the field approximately seventeen times. Oracle Paul appeared unfazed when told the the betting odds of Johnson doing this were approximately 1,453,221,458:1, as set by online betting agent SportsBook.com. When asked for a comment, Oracle Paul simply grabbed a hunk of crab meat with his tentacle, and shoved it into his fearsome beak.
This is a surprise turnaround for the eight-legged prognosticator, who retired from the field of sports predictions in disgrace after incorrectly pegging the same HB rider as the winner of both the prologue and the time trial. Oracle Paul, now deeply aware of his credibility issues, is asking his fans for a second chance.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cascade Stage 4: Krogg's Eye View

OK sports fan -- Krogg coverage begin now. Krogg have very very little energy right now, so please bare with Krogg.


This stage traditionally very bad for Krogg. Stage start in Bend, but first thing racers climb straight up Mt. Bachelor. This mean it exceedingly easy to swing axe right out of hands. On more than one occasion, Krogg find himself completely dropped (dropped from field, dropped from caravan, and dropped from line of 50 pickup trucks towing boats on way to lakes) before race even reach summit of first KOM, and Krogg spend better part of next 40 miles chasing and chasing and chasing. Keep in mind, Krogg only do this stage twice before, and both times, Krogg get shelled like bag of pecans, so Krogg especially eager to not get dropped. See how hard race is:




This time Krogg still attack on slopes of Mt. Bachelor, but only once or twice, and Krogg never really in danger of getting dropped. Krogg tell self "easy does it Krogg -- maintain firm grip on axe -- there plenty more chances to swing!"


Then, on blisteringly fast descent from Mt. Bachelor, Krogg use super aero tuck and drift off front of field. Krogg look back and see several other racers (Paul Mach, some Trek/Livestrong kid, some Garmin kid, and some Yahoo kid), so Krogg work together with racers for several miles. Yikes we go hard! Krogg pretty sure him started big breakaway of day! GOOOOO KROGG!!! Krogg achieve one small goal of getting race numbers read over race radio (Krogg hope something like "Hagens Berman rider number 91 is friggin' killing it right now.")


Sadly, Krogg not get to live dreams of being in big breakaway at Cascade. Field chase down Krogg, and then Krogg very very tired. No, make that very very very very tired. Krogg spend rest of race getting water bottles for team, and distributing Swedish Fish to other racers (yes Krogg bring bag of Swedish fish in race, and yes, Krogg give some to Floyd!). On second trip up Mt. Bachelor, Krogg get dropped and just slowly ride it in with Andrew Pinfold. This ok -- at least Krogg break spell of getting dropped over first climb. 

Floyd Landis Special!

So Floyd is on TV tonight! He'll be on Nightline from 11:30 to 12:00, on your local ABC affiliate. He clearly did these interviews this week from Bend. Yaaaaaay Floyd! Spill your guts!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cascade Stage 3

Alright sports fans, coverage of the Cascade Cycling Classic begins now!

Today the sports world wept a collective tear when Oracle Paul, the famed psychic octopus form the soccer world cup, made his first incorrect prediction of his otherwise spotless career. Unfortunately, I did not take the yellow jersey by crushing race leader Rory Sutherland by nine and a half minutes. In fact, I didn't even win the stage -- Oracle Paul was way off!


I did however get to pass Floyd Landis. It took me a long time to reel him in, and I wasn't able to actually pass him until we'd gone through the turnaround, but I'll admit, it was kind of fun. This time trial is an out-and-back up a hill, so the return trip is blazing fast. Once I was able to get all 58 teeth on my chain ring spinning around nice and fast, I put the final nail in the coffin of Floyd's time trial. On my way by, I couldn't help myself....I yelled "Swedish Fish."

Five Fun Floyd Facts

After spending the last 20 minutes of the race at Floyd's side, and seeing as how I now consider Floyd a member of my extended family we're so "tight," I thought I'd share the following fun facts about Floyd:

1: Floyd Loves CANDY!!!
I shit you not, Floyd ate a big old bag of candy during the race. What kind? Swedish Fish.

Yes, while most of us were slurping down Hammer Gel or Clif Bloks, Floyd was enjoying himself a nice big bag of soft chewey Swedish Fish.  I asked him if this was some kind of secret from the pro-tour, and he replied "no man, they didn't really work; I got a stomach ache." Regardless, I'm pretty tempted to eat Swedish Fish on Friday's stage.

2: Floyd Loves Butting Heads With the Officials

The officials have been giving Floyd a very hard time at this race. To begin with, Floyd was not allowed to wear his skinsuit at the start of the prologue. Apparently Floyd's skinsuits have sponsor logos, and there is a rule somewhere out there that says something or other about skinsuits and what kind of sponsor logos they can have. The officials decided to enforce said rule, and the scandal that transpired has been dubbed "jerseygate." Here's Floyd looking like a cat 10 bicycle racer. Now these officials are famous for being sticklers about rules, but Floyd certainly didn't make things any easier for himself by forgetting to sign in to today's road race. Now he owes USA Cycling $30 for failing to sign in before he can start tomorrow's time trial. I'm sure the whole cycling world is eagerly awaiting his next outfit.

3: Floyd Knows When His Race is Over

So I got dropped, and Floyd got dropped. There we are, riding together up the hill, keeping each other company, and keeping each other from pulling off to the side of the road to join the numerous beer-drinking spectators. After ten minutes of this, this guy comes by us, huffing and puffing and pushing as hard as he can. He slowly creeps past us, and then dangles 40 meters up the road the rest of the way up the climb. "That guy really didn't want to ride with us," Floyd said. Hay, dude who got dropped well before us and insisted on riding as hard as you friggin' could instead of joining Floyd and me for some friendly conversation -- YOUR RACE WAS OVER BY THEN. Whether we arrive 8 minutes down or 9 minutes down doesn't really matter.

4: Floyd Must Have a Lot of Lawyers

Floyd told me two stories which involved the use of lawyers. One was regarding the use of his skinsuit: "Yeah, so the official quotes some crazy rule from like 1982 about sponsor logos on jerseys, so I get on the phone and call all my lawyers and 20 minutes later they call me back..." And the other about how he tried to get a car in the caravan: "She said I needed four racers to get a car, so I pointed out that when Lance rode in the tour of the Gila he didn't have four riders, but he still got to have a car in the caravan, but she was having none of it, so I get on the phone and call all my lawyers...." Considering Floyd's last few months, I suppose this shouldn't be surprising. Floyd probably has more lawyers on speed dial than anyone I know, including my friends who are lawyers.

5: Floyd Has Class

Now some of you are going to roll your eyes in disgust when you read that, but hear me out. I'm not necessarily talking about class in all situations, but as a racer dragging his dropped ass up a hill, he's got class. I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but Floyd totally gifted me 79th place. He probably could have come around me in the sprint, but after all the work I'd done, and all the jokes I told, he let me have it. In fact, he even offered to lead me out! Talk about a classy!


UPDATE!
6: Floyd Better Watch His Back!
I get to start a mere 30 seconds behind Floyd in today's time trial! Floyd will be my rabbit, and I shall be Floyd's rabbit hound. Nothing like chasing down a former tour winner. Good luck Floyd -- and I'd suggest wearing a real skinsuit today (one without flapping numbers).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cascade Stages 1 & 2

Alright sports fans, coverage for the Cascade Classic begins now! As it turns out, Oracle Paul, when he predicted I would crush the field in the time trial was only half-right. Apparently he wasn't referring to the "Old Mill District Prologue Time Trial," but rather prognosticated my impending victory (and subsequent capturing of the race lead) at the "Skyliner's Time Trial," which begins tomorrow. Thank goodness, because for a moment I had my doubts about the famous octopus' predictive abilities. So yeah, look for me to overcome my nine-minute deficit in tomorrow's time trial. I'll be winning the a stage and taking the leader's jersey yet.



But yeah, so I didn't win the Prologue. Nor did I don the race-leader's jersey. In fact, I placed 69th, roughly 13 seconds down on the winner.

Sadly, I also didn't win today's stage. I don't really remember much, but Krogg does. Take it away Krogg:

So Krogg start day in 69th place. This not especially good number for caveman, seeing how caveman really can't count past twenty (things get difficult once out of fingers and toes). So Krogg want to win stage, right? Well how Krogg do this? Krogg tell you: KROGG SWING AXE! YES THAT'S RIGHT! KROGG RATHER DIE ON FEET STANDING UP BOTH HANDS FIRMLY GRIPPING AXE HANDLE THAN COWER IN PELOTON UNTIL MARC DE MAAR AND RORY SUTHERLAND PUNCH KROGG'S TICKET, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!! Krogg not really feel like fighting tooth-and-nail for spot in top 40. So, Krogg look at stage profile:

This spell big ouch for big caveman. Krogg think. Krogg see very few opportunities to attack in early part of race (racers go too fast down hill, draft too good). Krogg attack once or twice on little bumps around mile 9.2, but Krogg afterwards tell himself "no more attack Krogg -- put axe back in holster [yes axe have holster] you must not get dropped over McKenzie Pass, ok?"  Then peloton starts GIGANTIC climb up McKenzie Pass. Krogg amazed with how friggin' hard this climb is, and how long. Krogg climb for 20 goddam miles! Eventually Krogg get dropped, but very close to summit of climb, so Krogg chase like banshee and catch back onto front of race (along with many others) by crest of climb. Then peloton (only 75 cavemen at this point from start of 200!), descend to other side of climb. Once peloton finally get down from climb, Krogg ATTACK!  Krogg attack several times, and come darn close to getting in breakway, but not quite. Then peloton start final climb up some other humongous mountain, and Krogg get dropped right when things get steep (mile 67). After little while, Krogg catch well known racer Floyd Landis. Floyd also dropped. Krogg and Floyd spend next six miles dragging our bodies up mountain together. Floyd lead-out Krogg for 79th place. Many good times. Side note: Krogg feel like vomiting for nearly hour and half following race. Big big ouch for caveman today. 

Thanks Krogg. So that's right. I spent the final few miles of the race hangin' out with Floyd. I'd go so far as to say we're "tight," as in "yeah, me and Floyd, we're tight."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sure -- Why Not?

Alright sports fans -- the results from Stage 1 of the Cascade Cycling Classic are in! LOOKS LIKE I'LL BE WEARING THE LEADER'S JERSEY FOR STAGE ONE!!! I'm not actually sure of our "results", but out of the three people I talked to, I had the fastest time (assuming we both timed ourselves accurately), and I'm just going to assume that I beat all 197 others too, and won the race flat out. As far as I know, I'm the race leader! GOOOOOOOO ME! (read: keep checking Oregon Cycling Action for results.)

In other news, Floyd Landis has decided to show up at the race, and not only are we brothers by number (he's 19 and I'm 91), we also have similar fashion sense:

Really Floyd?A t-shirt for the Cascade prologue?Do u have any... on Twitpic
Yes that's a former tour de france winner about to start a prologue at a stage race wearing a baggy grey tee-shirt. Floyd appears ready to do an afternoon of yard work, not start a 2-mile time trial. Regardless, I'll be looking for Floyd out there (he should be easy to spot), and see if he wants to go in a breakaway with me. Then I bet we'd be virtually indistinguishable! Floyd Floyd Floyd Floyd!

Cascade Coverage Begins Now!

Welcome sports fans to the best coverage on the face of the internet of the most exciting bicycle race on the face of the planet, the Cascade Cycling Classic.

Now mark my words, I am here to personally kick the snot of every single other racer here. Pro contracts, impressive resumes, or bulging muscles be damned, heads will roll! Not only that, I have a whole team of highly-trained bicycle ninjas at my side to help me do the kicking (not that I need help per-se, but should there be any runaways, teammates could come in handy).

I have contracted the services of Oracle Paul, the magical octopus, to predict who will win the first stage.

Just like at the world cup, I gave Oracle Paul a choice between two boxes: one containing a picture of my face, and another covered with a picture of the rest of the peloton. Inside the box with my face on it, I placed several pieces of clam meat (Paul's favorite food), and inside the other box, I places a small pile of steel ball-bearings (Paul's other favorite food). Oracle paul was allowed to choose between the two boxes, and lo -- he chose the one with my face on it!

Things get started at the ripe (I'd even say past-ripe) hour of 8:30 pm with a 2-mile prologue. I shall win this, according to Oracle Paul, and my teammates will all pack inside the top ten. Huzzuh.

To see more in depth coverage, tune into Oregon Cycling Action.

Some Meals Are Too Good Not to Share!


So I gotta brag about this meal I got to eat last week. My dad promised to make me a special meal for my birthday, and boy did he pulled out all the stops. Seeing as how I can no longer share this meal with you, I'll "share" this meal with you on my blog instead. He started by digging into his freezer to retrieve the New Mexican Green Chile he's been hiding since last winter. From this he made a pulled-pork green chile stew in the dutch oven.


Then he fried some veggies in a wok (peppers, zucchini, and corn)

Next he grilled some shrimp....
...and added them to the salad made from his home-grown lettuce.

Drew opened some wine in anticipation:

Even Nikki started to sense something good was about to happen!

Then my dad started to really get serious. He grilled some chicken drumsticks...




...and then thawed out the last bit of the mole I brought back from Oaxaca! 


This really surprised me. I did NOT expect to be eating chicken drumsticks covered in mole negro. My taste buds start to tingle: 


Oh yeah, and I got a haircut. Drew became overwhelmingly excited -- here he is losing his mind while setting the table: 


Here's the spread in it's entirety. How splendid!


Very excited Sam:
My plate:

Emily dives into the mole like a pro.
What a meal! Thanks dad for my birthday dinner!

Friday, July 16, 2010

We've Got a BIG ONE!!!!

Next up: Boise Twilight.

Buckle up!

Here's a good summery, recklessly pilfered from my friend Ryan Parnes' Facebook status:

Boise Twilight on Sat. the 17th. Its true bike racing: 120 crazed racers ripping around the fastest course in America and 20,000 booze-drenched, crazy fans spurred into frenzy by the smell of blood, the rush of air and the flash of sparks in the night. Downtown will become a riotous street party and the promise of glory and cold, hard cash will turn mild-mannered bike dorks into fire-eyed savages. Don't miss it.


After that, the mighty mighty Cascade Cycling Classic.

Buckle up even more!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hilarious Antagonistic E-mail Exchanges

Hilarious antagonistic e-mail exchanges have finally matured, blossoming into a beautiful art form that crystalizes 21st century life like few other modes of expression can. Many of you are familiar with this story, in which a woman tries to extract a "missing cat" poster from her busy (and brilliantly snarky) co-worker. If this back-and-forth chronicle of miscommunication and subtle insults doesn't crack you up, you're seriously depressed and should seek psychiatric help, or you're Amish, in which case, shame on you for using the Devil's internet! I was initially forwarded this story via e-mail, but decided to track this to its source. What I discovered was the life's work of one David Thorne, an artist who has elevated the simple craft of e-mail writing to a medium capable of rivaling the frescoes of Michelangelo. Behold this treasure trove of hilarious antagonistic e-mail exchanges at Thorne's website 27/6.

Naturally any great genius attracts copy cats, and David Thorne is no exception. Cycling's own Floyd Landis has long been an amateur crafter of entertaining e-mail exchanges. Surely you'll all remember his explosive leaked e-mails that rocked the cycling community last May. However, I saw Floyd's early work as more of a statement of intent than a fully developed talent. He showed potential for sure, but needed to polish his skills before he could touch the hearts and minds of his audience. Well it's been several months since Floyd's first bout of explosive leakage, and while his symptoms subsided temporarily, it appears he's caught the bug again; Floyd has squirted out yet another uncontrolled, messy discharge of words -- but this one is different. This one is beautiful. Elegant. This isn't the work of a clumsy craftsperson; Floyd's skills have matured. He is now the artist he has always dreamed of being, and may now sit atop the throne alongside David Thorn. Behold, Floyd's masterpiece.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sweet! BMC Want's a "Fresh One!"

Looks like the list of teams who are eager to get a big'ole batch of whoop-ass courtesy of Sam Johnson and his band of Hagens Berman ruffians just keeps getting longer. The latest additions to the fray include George Hincapie and his BMC thugs. This is sweet, because I've never raced against Big George. I remember back in 2004, the year after he won the queen stage of the Tour, and spent a day or two in the Yellow Jersey, I had pictures of him up on on my wall, and used him as inspiration. I still considered myself a triathlete at the time, but by then I could at least see the appeal of this whole bicycle racing thing. I didn't consider myself a good climber, but I figured I'm tall like George Hincapie, and if George Hincapie can climb like that, then maybe I can too. Granted, this is back before I really knew much about how much blood doping improves your watts per kilogram at threshold (note: George Hincapie is the only racer who graced the wall of my college dorm who hasn't tested positive for performance enhancing drugs), but he's still an inspiration, and a legend of American cycling. It will be an honor to take to the same start line.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pottery Gods Do Weird Things in the Kiln

As you may remember, I recently glazed the pots I made over Christmas. Well sure enough, the gods of high-fire reduction kilns decided to play all sorts of pranks on my pots while they were in there. Some of the drips were purposeful, and some weren't, but everything turned out fine. See for yourself:














Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wonderful Whitman Winners!

The Whitman College cycling team is the womb from which really fast bicycle racers are born. Holy shit did Whitman aumni have a good day:

Today, Mara Abbott won her second consecutive stage of the Women's Giro de Italia, further extending her lead, and setting herself up to be the first American woman to win this stage race. She did so wearing the US champion's jersey, freshly awarded a mere two weeks ago in Bend Oregon. Mara's success is staggering -- she is now the undisputed best climber in the world. Mara, congratulations.

Also, Ben Chaddock astonished the field at the Tour of Delta by FRIGGIN WINNING THE PROLOGUE!! AHEAD OF SVEIN TUFT!!!  What the fuck Ben? Amazing job! Read Ben's blog here.

That might not be all -- there are lots of other bike races going on around the country -- Whitties, am I missing anyone?

Krogg CRUSHA CRUSHA Boise Time Trial

First Krogg CRUSHA Boise time trial. Then Krogg CRUSHA again! Not many other racers out there, but still, Krogg get good practice for Cascade. Thanks Garmin Edge 500 for showing the world.

CRUSHA! CRUSHA! CRUSHA!  CRUSHA! CRUSHA! CRUSHA!

Krogg Review Garmin Edge 500


So Krogg have splendid new toy to play with: Garmin Edge 500.

This pretty much best invention ever -- better than fire, better than wheel, and even better than spear! Garmin Edge 500 allow Krogg to train with the legs of 1,000 woolly antelope (fastest animal known to caveman), and the brains of 1,000 snow weasel (craftiest animal known to caveman). Garmin Edge 500 have GPS, which stand for Giant Pigeon in Sky. This giant pigeon fly waaaaay up high, and keep track of where Krogg go on training ride. Then Krogg can look at route afterwards on computer, and share with blog like this: 

See? Krogg climb Bogus Basin! Click "View Details" to see more magic Garmin Edge 500 information. Krogg never imagined in craziest caveman dream he have so much information at fingertips! Krogg can view useful training data (like wattage or lap time), or Krogg can see crazy things (like temperature, %grade, and distance to nearest mammoth herd). Here photos of Krogg's ride:




Bogus Basin great! When you reach ski area, you think you at top of mountain, but noooo, road keep going! Climb several more miles and finally get to spot where you look down on ski area! How sweet this? 



Garmin Edge 500 have many other amazing features. It easy to attach to bicycle, and easy to set up. In fact, Garmin Edge 500 so easy to use, Krogg wager even cave sloth could use one (stupidest animal known to caveman)! All menus are easy, and Krogg never need to use instructions to make Garmin Edge 500 work -- this good thing, Krogg hate instructions! Garmin Edge 500 very smart toy: not only does Garmin Edge 500 talk to Giant Pigeon in Sky, it talk to other new toy, Powertap SL+.

That way, when Krogg pedal, Krogg know exactly how many woolly antelope Krogg worth. Krogg can also look at powerfiles on computer too! See?
Krogg love Garmin Edge 500. And Krogg excited to share many more rides with blog.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pottery! And Bugsy!

So last winter, as a Christmas present, I was given some studio time at Boulder Mountain Clayworks. Christine and I cranked out some cups, bowls, a pitcher, and my first ever tea pot. Here they after being bisque fired, a process that involves cooking the pots for a long time in a creamy, crustacean-based broth. They have since been glazed, and I thought it might be nice to show you the "before" pictures, since the "after" ones might not be quite what I'd hoped; you see, instead of dunking my cups into a giant bucket of Lipstick Purple, a color that in theory would beautifully match the other colors I'd chosen, I accidently covered my cups in a thick coating of Mystery #2 -- the ceramic equivalent of a Jersey Turnpike. I have no idea how these pots will turn out, but we'll all see shortly! Here's the bisque-ware:



And, for your viewing pleasure, Bugsy, the long haired daschund. He's kiiiiind of a jerk (in that he barks at me like I'm a burglar, and won't even come near me if I've got bacon to feed him) but he's very very cute. Bugsy, take a bow: 








Thursday, July 8, 2010

STOP. Training Time!

Allrighty Sports Fans, pop quiz:

1: Let's say you finished Nationals feeling a little worn down, a little beat up, a little burned out -- and you have to get ready for the mighty mighty Cascade Classic a mere three weeks away. What would you do? 

A) Go home and cry for three weeks.
B) Go to Idaho where the weather is nice, and the roads are smooth, and the birds are singing, and cry for three weeks.
C) Go home and rest for a week (or cry, depending), but then go to Idaho and train your mother-lickin'-legs off!

The answer is C.

2: Let's say you've decided to go to Idaho and train your legs off. Where should you go: 

A) Boise, because you know the roads like the back of your hand, and it's nice and hot so you can acclimatize to the heat, and there's lots of fun stuff to do while you're not training.
B) Sun Valley, because you know the roads like the back of your hand, and it's high altitude, and it's downright gorgeous there right now.
C) A and B
D) Nampa.

The answer is C. Never go to Nampa.

3: Ok, so you're going to Idaho to train. How are you going to measure your workload? 

A) Well you don't own a working power meter at the moment, so you could leave a trail of bread crumbs on your rides, and go back in the car and count your milage with the car's odometer. Then you could go in a wind tunnel and calculate your drag coefficient, and finally hire a scientist to calculate your wattage.
B) You do own a broken power meter. Maybe you could fix it?
C) Nope. You don't have enough time to do that -- plus your old power meter doesn't work with your new Garmin Edge. I'd suggest contracting that psychic octopus, Oracle Paul, to predict what your wattage will be on your rides.

There is no answer to life's biggest questions. Or this idiotic one.

4: By the way, how the hell did that octopus predict Spain would win? 

A) He's a psychic dude! Psychics know!
B) He's actually the supreme master of the universe and his will becomes manifest, always. Spain won because the Oracle Paul wishes it so.
C) He's a patsy! The Germans needed someone to blame if they lost, and Oracle Paul happened to be in the wrong aquarium at the wrong time.

The answer is B. All hail Oracle Paul!

5: Anyway, none of those power meter ideas sound like good ideas. What about just getting a new one? 

A) Holy shit. I hadn't thought of that.
B) Are you a genius or what? Psychic octopus? How did you know that's what I would do?!
C) Say hello to my new power meter.


5: Awesome. Now get out there and train. How's it going? 

A) So far, so good!
B) So far, so bad!

The answer is A

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Twenty-Seven

Today marks the 27th anniversary of my birth. You may begin celebrating.

Things to think about if you share your birthday with the 4th of July:

1: You always get fire works.
2: You're usually somewhere cool.
3: As a young child, your parents couldn't help themselves, and convinced you that the entire nationwide celebration was for you. By kindergarden you'd developed a massive superiority complex.
4: If you also happen to be named Sam, the Uncle Sam jokes are everywhere! This really doesn't make much sense, because you're not actually an uncle.
5: However, should you some day actually become an uncle -- watch out! Cuz this uncle Sam is going to make sure that his nephews and nieces have some un-fuckin-believably fun 4th of July's. Mark my words.



Happy 4th of July everybody.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

GliderBison Says: WATCH VELOCENTER!

Hello, Krogg here. Krogg have message for you: watch Velocenter at this year's big big bike race in France. Krogg know host of Velocenter. Him named Todd Gogulski, and him good friend of Gliderbison. Todd good announcer and sharp analyst. Velocenter have everything: recap of stage, interviews with winners, analysis from Gogo, and preview of what's to come from girl shaped like Barbie Doll. So, do what Krogg say: WATCH VELOCENTER.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hands

This shall be a story about hands.

As a child, his mother read him a story, a fantasy novel not unlike Harry Potter but less well known, and quite possibly better. In it the main character, a woman who shares a special relationship with dragons [I forget her name], meets another central character, a princess by birth who lives on a dragon farm. The two women shake hands, and the author goes through great lengths to describe the hands of the princess as being not the hands of pampered royalty, but rather the hands of someone who had worked hard, rough callused  capable hands. Hands that know what to do when gripping a tool, or a sword, or the reigns of a dragon harness. Part of him fell in love with that princess at that handshake, and it is the only part of that story he still remembers clearly.

As an adolescent, he read The Girl With the Pearl Earring at his grandmother's suggestion. He was struck by the description of the main character, a sixteen year old housemaid, and her hands: swollen, rough, cracked, "ruined" hands from years of laundry, dishes, and housework. He looked at his own sixteen year old hands and felt inferior, starkly aware that he had never labored like the character in his book. His hands weren't unusually soft, but his fingers were delicate, and the only callus he had was just below his pinkie on his left hand from gripping a hockey stick. His fingers all bled periodically, as the boy had a terrible habit of biting his nails, and chewing the tips of his fingers when he was nervous. He was nervous rather frequently, and thus, had terribly manicured finger nails nearly all the time.

As a seventeen year old, he traveled around central Italy in search of god knows what -- most likely nothing more than a few good stories to tell, and perhaps a few calluses for his hands. He worked on organic fruit and vegetable farms in exchange for food and lodging, mostly simple farm labor, such as clearing overgrown thorn bushes from a neglected piece of land with a machete, but sometimes less agrarian tasks like refinishing old furniture or jackhammering out the foundation of a deteriorating, three-hundred year old farmhouse. He avoided working with gloves in an attempt to build his calluses faster, but instead only succeeded in giving himself terrible blisters, chronic blisters due to his inability to restrain himself from picking the loose skin away from his hand instead of letting it heal. At one farm in Tuscany he worked alongside a man named Dan, a 34 year old illegal immigrant from Romania, a former policeman who was clubbed in the head on his birthday two years before, who spent three months in a coma, and who, upon waking, decided to leave Romania forever. Dan had calluses a quarter-inch thick. The boy envied those calluses, and Dan's immense physical strength. However, they were very evenly matched chess players. Each day, they would work side by side, the boy trying his best to keep up with Dan's pace, machete swipe for machete swipe, shovel-full for shovel-full, and each night, after they cooked dinner, they would play chess for hours and listen to music from the boy's laptop computer. Despite the routine presence of dirt from the farm-work lodged under the boy's nails, his nail-biting habit persisted.

As a college student, the boy, rapidly growing into a man now, found himself pedaling a bicycle more than nearly every other activity he performed. He loved the wind in his hair, the burning in his lungs, and the sweat on his brow, but his hands, almost always protected with thin padded gloves, grew soft again. His hands acquired several more interesting scars, a burn sustained while camping when a blob of molten plastic fell from a freshly cut and cauterized climbing rope, a gouge given by the plastic cover of a car door the boy was trying to wedge his hand inside to retrieve the keys locked within, a slice in his finger from cutting corn off it's cob, and numerous scrapes from unplanned encounters with the road while bicycling. The nail biting continued, though by now, the boy was no longer surprised by this. As a youth, the boy was convinced he would grow out of his nail biting phase, probably because his uncle claimed to be a reformed nail-biter, thus proving the habit was possible to kick; however, by this time, the boy merely accepted his nail-biting as he did many of the other surprises that accompany growing older: the beginnings of crows feet near his eyes, the occasional gray hair hiding among his black curls, or unusual (and unexplainable) stiffness in his joints.