Wednesday, October 29, 2008

#4 has a party

#4 didn't help vaccuum or do dishes but it was fun to have family over and have an excuse to eat soup.
After dinner we had some staring contests and #4 easily defeated everybody that was there.

Next week are going to go to the zoo and see if we can find her some real competition so she can continue to hone her staring skills.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An Important Message

I have been commissioned to do a lot of things throughout my life, but sometimes, someone comes along with a project that is so important, that i turn down any kind of monetary compensation and do it pro bono. This was one of those projects.

Thank you K-Bone for getting me involved in this vision of yours.

If you have the capability to view this at full screen i suggest you do because the message is more powerful that way.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

California 08

The nice thing about having a blog is that i can post all of our pics for the year here and i will not have to do an elaborate Christmas card again this year.
Had a great time in Southern California with the in-laws for a week.
We got a beach house near San Juan Capistrano. We could walk out the back door and get right into the ocean. I am still amazed at how long kids can stay entertained by digging in sand.

We spent 2 magical days of fun and magic at the very special, magical place of special, wonderful, magic called Disneyland. The kids loved it and the lines were not as long as other times i have been, but i still have trouble waiting in line for 30 minutes for a 3 minute ride. And what's the deal with that log ride? does that thing ever work?
#1 finally getting on the log ride on day 2 after it being broken for all of the first day we were there and had fast passes to ride it.

We learned something new about the kids.

#3 is a chicken on rides and #2 is a daredevil. #2 wanted to go on everything and was really upset when she wasn't tall enough to go on indiana jones. Her favorite was the tower of terror.

2 of my greatest loves in this world combined.

A conversation:

#3: Hey K-Bone, will you carry me on your shoulders?

K-Bone: Sure!

As K-Bone bends down and lifts her up and sits her upon his shoulders:

#3: I am only a little bit wet.

Ever since her surgery, her bladder is not working at 100%. I think they might have gone in and shrunk it while they were in there. Try doing a 12 hour drive with a child who can't go more than 20 minutes without going to the bathroom. She only went to the bathroom on my hand on the side of the road once this trip.
#4 traveled wonderfully and we didn't have to stop for her to go to the bathroom

A couple of pictures taken with a lensbaby
I got a new camera online and was glad it showed up in the mail the day we left. It is a HOLGA and is quite possible the crappiest camera ever made. And that is the point. It takes wonderful dreamlike pictures, but you have very little control over much of anything. I got a polaroid attachment for the back but it is made to shoot medium format 120 film. It is completely plastic including the lens and they suggest you use tape on the seems to prevent unwanted light from coming in. Yes, i did take 2 bags full of camera equipment and used all of it.
I bought a skim board and tried that out. It did not go well. I will post videos of that later. Apparently the beach you skim board on makes a big difference.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Holy Crap That was Hard

I will post pics of the girls on vacation once i get a chance to go through them.
but for now, bike race stuff.
After feeling good about my podium finish last week, i went into the 2nd of 2 california races very optimistic. I should have never shaved the mustache. This was by far the hardest race i can ever remember doing, and not in a good way. I must admit that i like to see other people in pain, pushing themselves to new levels they didn't think they could achieve. This was one of those races. How much can a 50 minute race hurt? A LOT!
When i found this race, it sounded fun and exotic. Racing along the coast with the waves lapping at your tires. A nice, salty breeze blowing through your helmet as you cruised along the beach.
It was none of those things.

I like races with lots of tight, technical sections, and quick out of the saddle efforts with time to recover in between. This course had none of those. Instead it played to every weekness in cycling i have. The only 2 hills were less than 25 yards long. There were headwinds. Very long sections that you had to power through. I don't have any power to power throught those sections. Power is definately is not my strength. No technical sections. Just lots of long, sandy flat roads, with headwinds both ways. The run-ups were sandy, and i supppose that a sandy run-up is not a strength for anybody but boy those hurt. Riding in the very, very, very long surf section, you had 2 choices; 1.) ride high and out of the water but suffer through sand that is almost too hard to pedal through or 2.) Ride down lower where the water has hardened the sand slightly but try and dodge the waves as they come in. When the waves come in and you are bottom bracket deep in water that immediately softens the sand you are riding on, it is also almost imppossible to pedal. I found myself riding serpentine down the beach trying to get the best of both worlds but in most cases get the worst of both.
Coming into the second lap i was in second place, but that is where i peaked. I could make up a little time on the 2 short climbs and the run - ups, but the amount of time i could make up there compared to the amount of time i lost on the other 4k of the course was not in my favor. I started loosing places and finished in around 8th or 10th out of around 25 guys. My mustache could have really helped me. After the race, we found a donut shop, and a car wash so megan could hose me down and i could wash my bikes off before making the 12 hour drive back to utah.

I have a renewed sense of respect for alberto contador and his amazing story of coming from vacationing on the beach, to getting a surprise invite to the gyro de italia only a week before it's start and then winning it. All of the things i did on the beach last week do not help with bike racing.

Here is an edgy, out of focus, raw, independent film style video of the long beach portion followed by some sand running.

I had to include the picture of a guy wearing a dress for the race. The girls absolutely loved it. So much so that i am thinking of getting one to race in.
This is a pic i stole off the race site but shows you how much fun this course was

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sure we can go on vacation with your long as i can bring my bike and find a race.

We packed up the family truckster and headed south-west for the week to avoid the snow in Utah. I love snow, but it is hard to go from the 80's to the 30's and snowing with no transitional fall weather to speak of.

Now to the majority of people that read this blog to read updates on the family, tune out because it is time for the boring bike stuff;

I did bring a couple of bikes with me because as much as i was going to miss not racing in the snow this weekend in Utah, i found a couple of cyclocross races down here to do. Having no idea what to expect from socal cross races, i went back and forth on whether or not to bring both bikes or just 1. in the end i decided it wasn't any harder to bring 2, so i did. They race things a little differently here. A little more official than the series in utah. You have to have a USCF license and the barriers are a regulation 18 inches high. They have actual categories instead of just A, B and C and race wherever you want.
We had around 35 guys in our cat 3/4 group to start, and i have been riding well in utah lately, so my goal was to win. Not having any idea what to expect from the field, it was a lofty goal. A friend has raced here before and told me that people will start to fade as the race goes on so, so i looked forward to that. I also wasn't sure what to expect from coming from racing at 4500', to racing at sea level and what it would do to me physiologically. I was expecting much more flat but it was fun terrain. Here is a picture of the 75 yard run up

My A#1 fans and their cousin, who would rather be at Disneyland

The start was insane, with 35 guys, headed downhill at 30 miles an hour, in 3 inch deep bark headed for a 180 degree turn. I tried to get out fast but got stuck behind a bunch of people, but luckily i wasn't in the back, where i could hear people and bikes going down. After a couple corners, i worked my way up to 3rd position. We had a long, uphill, single track section, and i worked my way up to the wheel of the guy in first. I sat there for a while, comfortably as we worked our way up. We came down a fast single track section and he got a little time on me but i was fine with that. We had 50 minutes and i knew if i could beat him on the uphill, i could hold him off on the downhill. I sat on for a few laps with 6 or 7 guys close behind. It was around the 3rd or 4th lap that i went down on a fast bark section and almost got run over by those guys right behind me. Although my rear does not look as firm and shapely as cousin Kevin's does and my crash was not as bad as cousin kevin's from earlier in the year, it still left a mark. Luckily, i came away from my crash much better than another guy from my race. This would make getting into the salt water very painful.
I got back on my bike after losing several spots and and plugged away. I made up several spots and finally came around to what i thought was the front. I asked a guy i passed if there was anybody off the front. He said that i was the the lead now. After another lap or so, i noticed that there was a guy with the same number series that we had, about 15 seconds in front of me. I knew that it wasn't a lapper yet, but he was in our same group. I tried to chase but couldn't make up any time so i knew he was in front. Before coming into the start finish and pit area, i felt my rear wheel getting soft. With a couple hundred yards before that point there is a barrier. After dismounting and remounting, i could feel it was rim on ground and was completely flat. I rode a flat to the pit and switched bikes. Luckily i had a good enough gap on 3rd place that i got back out fast enough to keep my 2nd place finish for the final lap to the line. I was also lucky that i decided to bring that second bike.
My heart rate in utah for something similar is around 174 . Down here it started at 180-182 for the first little bit and then settled down to around 177. I have been growing a beard lately, but megan brought to my attention that eventually i will shave it, and after spending a week in the california sun, it will leave a weird tan line. I decided to shave a handlebar mustache to try and intimidate the competition. Everyone was intimidated except for the guy who won. It is probably because he also has facial hair.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Harvest Moon Iron Chef Competition and Dance Party

The Doctor bought our house several years ago and turned most of the yard into a giant vegetable/cutting garden. He is in his late 30's, is not married, loves gardening and has a hot tub. HMMMMMMMMM?
Anyway, with fall setting in and the temps dropping, he was afraid that he would have frozen crops that would not get used. He had an idea, no, let's call it a vision. To have people take his crops and turn them into something delicious and edible. He contacted all of his friends and they both seemed excited. He contacted some family members and Megan loves to cook so of course she was on board. The hook was, he would give you a bag full of produce and then 24 hours before the competition, he would release the secret ingredient that must be used in every dish.
The secret ingredient was pumpkin. But not canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin would result in immediate DQ. After some research, we found out that there are different kinds of pumpkins and we didn't grow the right kind, so Megan went and bought some sugar pumpkins and we started looking for recipes. We spent sunday afternoon cooking and baking and prepping for a great time.#3 and Nanny waiting for go time

#2 wore her dancing outfit and practiced her moves before dinner

#4 drooled but didn't end up eating anything

The savory spread

The dessert spread

The competition trying to intimidate us with heckling and pointing

Everyone ended up a winner in some category or another including the winners of Best Crossover Dish also known as Best soup-like dish of Indian decent incorporating a musical instrument.

Megan came in as a heavy favorite in the competition because she has a FLOG (food blog) but we were very pleasantly surprised by the vast selection and diversity in all of the dishes. We all left full and enlightened.
I will now have to introduce my wife as "The Award Winning Cook, Megan"

It is best that i don't mention the Dance part of the evening for eveyone's sake.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Another great weekend of Cross racing. It rained and rained and rained. After running the 8 miles from our house to where the race was in Draper, Megan spent most of the time watching from here and drinking hot chocolate warming up and drying off, while the girls got in and out of the car and ran around in the rain.
There were many first timers out for this race and i don't know if it is good or bad that this was their first experience.Bryce bought one of my old bikes and is going to race this season. I just need to keep getting people who are roughly my same size into cycling, so it allows me to upgrade my bikes. This picture was taken after Bryce threw up the first time on the second lap of the race but before he threw up the second time in the parking lot after the race.
My motto is; "If you're not throwing up, you're not trying hard enough."

Tayler showed up and took 4th in her first cross race.

Nancy showed up and was just glad to find a bike that had brakes. Not bad for a girl who had a baby 2 months ago.

Joe remembered why it is a good reason to ride your bike more than once in the month before you go and try and race. Work and family commitments don't help with conditioning much but props for him getting out and doing it.

Before our race, Cousin Kevin asked his wife if she would hand him a waterbottle as he came by every lap so he wouldn't have to carry it on his bike. The picture on the left shows jenn's reaction to his question. The picture on the right shows cousin Kevin riding with a waterbottle on his bike. Nice try Kevin.

The Robot showed up and raced Cyclocross for his first time and is showing off the mud on his teeth.

The Doctor didn't do as well as he would have liked. He had most of the summer off to ride and play. It is amazing what happens when a couple weeks ago he had to go back to school and start teaching again. Welcome to the rest of our lives of working.

During the Doctors race, there was a guy handing out a wad of dollar bills to people after they ran up the hill carrying their bikes. It was amazing that not more people took the dollars. It is kind of mean to be doing it at the hardest, most miserable part of the course, but very entertaining for the spectators.

After racing, it took a couple hours for me to get my body back to a comfortable temperature but #3 lit a fire and we played Yahtzee or as she calls it "Texxi", while megan took #1 and #2 to the store. They had to go and buy sugar pumpkins so we could compete in the Doctors "Iron Chef" party on sunday night. Pumpkins are the secret ingredient, and luckily, we get to make it at our own homes and bring them.

On saturday night, i heard some guys talk, and with a house full of women this quote stuck out.
"Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth."
Gordon B. Hinckley