Wednesday, October 31, 2007


It's a sad sight. I'm referring to the mycyclinglog stats that are shown to the right....

0 rides in the past 7 days.  40 miles in the past 30 days.  

Life is obviously keeping me busy. I felt a little guilty driving home from work at 7:30pm watching all the trick-or-treaters on Belmont Blvd. I've been in my own world and quite content with not participating in Halloween this year. Tonight reminded me the fun to be had. 

time to crash for the evening. Hopefully I'll be off work in time for a ride tomorrow. 

Monday, October 29, 2007

catching up

I realized I never mentioned our trip to Oklahoma City here in the blog. I meant to and even thought of cool blog titles while on the trip. Unfortunately I was just too busy when we got back to Nashville and life moved on. The trip was a lot of fun. We realized that Oklahoma City isn't really all that cool of a place, it has a lot of crickets (A lot!) and the roads truly suck. If you've complained about Arkansas's roads, they've got nothing on Oklahoma! The Girlie Show was a lot of fun and was successful for Freshie and Zero. The show was in an old Farmer's Market building (pic to the left)
just outside of the downtown area. The show opened on Friday night and they had DJs and free food donated by local restaurants and cafes. Saturday was more mellow and included a bunch of bands instead of DJs. Most were not memorable except the last one. They were a Rockabilly/Punk band with a girl singer and kicked ass. EDIT: The band is called The Oh Johnny! Girls and you can check out their website here: Our hotel was nice but wasn't without it's quirks. Our room was in an annex from the main building and next to the outdoor pool. We had a nice warning on the back of our door.... "Caution: Door Opens Directly Into Pool Area" Apparently they were worried we'd exit the room in a our skivvies or something not realizing innocent swimmers may be just outside.
Photo's of our trip are here: Flickr: Oklahoma City Trip

This past week I went and saw a Virginia Tech football game with my brother. Roanoke was getting the same rain we had here when I got there. It was a thurs. night game and it rained the entire game. My brother (Chris) and I still enjoyed the game in our ponchos. Like most Tech games they kicked butt for 57 minutes and lost the game in the last 3 min. We got back to Chris' house around 1am where I crashed on the couch and woke up to my nephew telling Chris to "Be Quiet! Someone is sleeping!" He's 2 and a 1/2 and a chatter box now. He's entered his "why" phase and wants everything explained. He still randomly runs into the room where Chris is and blurts: "Hi Daddy!!" Then runs right back out. It's hilarious. Chris' wife is 7 months pregnant with a girl so Beth and I will have a niece in a couple months! We are all getting older and life is moving fast! I don't feel old, but being married now and talking about kids and spending time with nephews makes me feel all adult-like.... strange. What's next? Retirement planning, house, wills?? Started the first one already, planning the second and should probably make a will at some point.

Beth and I drove up to Indianapolis this past weekend for another show. Unfortunately this one was a bust. The first bad show all year. Money wasn't lost, but very little profit was made. This coming weekend we are driving down to Alabama for the Moss Rock Festival and then Austin, Texas the next weekend. With all these out of town shows, Thanksgiving is going to be a welcome break. Unfortunately it will involve more traveling as we'll be celebrating it in Syracuse, NY with my family.

Beth and I skipped all of the Halloween festivities this year. I don't get very excited about it anymore for some reason. I think it's mainly because I wait too long to come up with a costume idea, and I never want to buy a $50+ costume that will just be worn once. Beth wasn't excited about it this year either. She blamed being out of town so much lately and having too much on her plate. We were gonna speed back from Indianapolis on Sat and go to a party but decided it wasn't worth it and then found out the party was canceled anyhow. Maybe next year I'll get inspired early. It's hard to beat my Paris Hilton costume 2 years ago. . . it was pure perfection.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Breathing time

Life has settled down finally and I've been able to relax and enjoy being injured and not working. My sessions last week went well and were fun. I have a light week this week and then a trip to Roanoke, Virginia to see my brother on Thursday. We're going to go to a Virginia Tech football game that will hopefully involve some tailgating. Then I have to shoot back to Nashville early Friday and pick up Beth and her truck to head to Indianapolis for a Saturday craft show. I'm exciting to go to Virginia even though it's going to be a 15 hour round trip drive in two days. I've only seen my brother once since my wedding in April and I haven't been to a Tech game in a while. I'm not a big sports fan and don't watch sports on TV, but you can't help but enjoy going to a game and watching it in person. Being at Virginia Tech is always fun as it reminds me of college and JMU. That area of Virginia is also ridiculously beautiful and I miss it.

I was thankful to have the time this week to make it to Polo even though I had a session on Tuesday. I generally have to write-off my entire day when I'm booked so it's always a surprise to be able do something at night after work. We had 6 players so we played some hard fought games of 3 on 3. Teams seemed a little mismatched at first with the first couple games being blowouts. We rearranged a couple players and were more competitive. A new guy who met the Yazoo guys at Cyclocross came out and rocked it hard on his 29er Redline. He is an x track racer so he picked up the game quickly and the aggression/competitiveness came naturally. At one point I was making a meager "fast break" attempt and did a sweeping turn towards the ball, at the last minute looking up and seeing the new guy right in front of me. I was past the point of being able to stop or even slow down and I just t-boned him. Up and over the bars I went with my right knee slamming into my stem and my left arm scraping down my handlebars. I hit the ground hard on my left shoulder with my head quickly behind it. Luckily I was wearing my helmet because I remember feeling the impact. Troy and Dan thought I must of broken a collarbone or something seeing how I fell. I took a sec on the ground to check for broken parts and figure out what had happened. Once again I avoided any broken bones and just had a scraped knee and some blood on my arm. I slammed my knee hard though and it was already feeling tight. I had full range of motion and was able to pedal around and stretch it out but I could tell it was going to be a lasting pain. The bike managed to come out almost unscathed with just a broken pop-loc lever and a drooping brake lever. We took a short break for me to get back to my senses and enjoy some beer and then we played two more games. My knee has been slowly getting better. It's still sore and hurts when coming down stairs. I was able to ride a little this weekend on it and loosen it up some. Being on the bike felt better than expected but it still hurt to bunny hop and soak up the landing.

This weekend was the Race to the Canal at Land Between the Lakes. I was planning on entering this race but knew with my injury at polo, I wouldn't be able to. I went back and forth about going and camping knowing I couldn't race. Finally Beth helped remind me how much fun I would still have and Thad mentioned I could help the racers shuttle to the start so I decided to go. Very glad I decided go because I had a blast! We got up to LBL around 3 ish on saturday and met up with Jut, who'd left Thursday and ridden his crosscheck up there. (crazy!) We reserved a camp site and quickly setup camp. Thad and Jamie wanted to get a pre-ride in so the three of us headed out. I knew immediately I would have trouble keeping up. I haven't ridden trail in over 3 weeks and was clearly out of shape. I was leery of my knee as well which made me even slower. Thad reminded me that I was on my handicap bike, the geared Ventana, and make it sound like that was my only excuse. I wish that was it, but it was clear I just didn't have a lot of strength. Once we hit trail I fell even farther back and just tried to enjoy my own ride. About 2 miles in my calves really started to cramp, like full-on charlie horse style cramp. I've never had trouble with cramping and never that early in a ride. The only reasoning I could think of was not being well hydrated and being on antibiotics which possibly dehydrated me more. I tried my best to just ride through the cramps and drink a ton of water. Thad and Jamie waited for me at the confusing intersections and I stopped a few times to stretch my calves. I was enjoying being on dirt and riding but also really frustrated with myself.

We headed back to camp and met up with Chris Ivory and ogled his new Dekerf Solitare. What a sweet bike! He headed out for the inaugural ride on his new bike and we all chilled at the campsite and enjoyed some beer. Thad started cooking us spaghetti dinner and we snacked on nuts and chips and salsa. The pasta was great and the beer was cold and we were camping. Life was good! Brandon showed up a couple hours later with some more beer and a liter of Makers Mark and the party hit a new level. We partied hard and had a lot of great conversation. Next thing I remember was waking up in the tent at 6am. Thad was already up starting breakfast and it was still dark out. I tried to sleep a little longer but the gravel campsite was not too comfy. I got up to watch the sun rise and snap some photos. Everyone was looking a little rough at breakfast. I think Jamie and I probably felt the worse, though I didn't have to race thankfully. Thad made a killer egg/ham and bagel breakfast with fresh coffee! Everyone started their pre-race preparations and I tried my best to keep my food down.

Registration took longer then expected and then we met up with Mike N and Jeanie at the Welcome Station. Everyone piled in the truck and we headed off to the starting line. Clearly the race wasn't going to start on time but there was a big turnout of racers. The crew got geared up at the starting line and waited for their turn. We saw Jeremie from NMB racing for Cumberland Transit, Michael Cook from Team NMB and Bikerchickie. The crew took off with the SS class and Jeanie and I headed back to the Welcome Station in the truck. We had some time to kill and had some naps planned while the guys were racing. We took the cars down to the finish line and found some good shaded parking spots and just waited. I lounged in the passenger seat and tried to get a nap. I never did fall asleep but it felt good to just relax and listen to the sounds of animals, people and the occasional acorn hitting the truck. Jeanie and I estimated the guys would be done around 12:30pm which turned out to be about 30 minutes late. I headed up to see if I could find a bathroom and noticed some of the sport racers were done like Michael Cook. Ooops! Looks like we missed the Yazoo guys finishing! I saw Thad and Mike and Jeanie down by the finish line and walked up. Sorry guys! Sounds like the race was fun.

What a great weekend of camping! It really satisfied my camping fix. I'd been talking with Beth lately about camping and wanting to get her out. I hadn't camped in about 3-4 years. I grew up camping with my family and with Boyscouts. Beth has never camped so there is a little barrier there. I hope we can plan the perfect trip to ease her into camping. There are so many different levels of "roughin it" that I think if planned well, she will enjoy it. Maybe match it up with a day of rafting. There is just something about spending a lot of time outside away from technology that is relaxing.

I uploaded my photos from the weekend to my Flickr account. You can check them out here:
Flickr- LBL Camping Weekend

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Erythema Multiforme.....say what?

Life has been speeding along lately. Things are happening, work is getting done, trips are being planned. I've been quite busy with work lately which has been fun. It has been very managable with the engineer not choosing to work much past 7pm. I like to think I operate better when I am busy. If I have too much time on my hands I just procrastinate everything. Not that I don't procrastinate a lot of things when I am busy it's just when I have nothing to do, I can even procrastinate things I WANT to do.

My skin has been under attack this month. I got a bad case of Poison Ivy about 3 weeks ago on a night ride out at Chickasaw. Once that cleared up I started getting some other strange rash on my ankles, mid leg, elbows and hands. Trying to self diagnose, I got some cream and hoped it'd go away. It just got worse on my ankles and having it on my hands made normal tasks very frustating so off to the Dermatologist I went. (after much poking from Beth) It turns out I have Erythema Multiforme. What is that you ask.... it translates to "Red Multiformed Rash"... in so many words. It's a mysterious, non-contagious rash that many people get and doctors really have no clear idea what causes it. I was given a whole slew of possible causes, few of which seemed to click with my recent experiences. No worries though, got a shot at the docs office and a prescription for 8 days of steriods. I'm wish I could go compete at the Cyclocross races this weekend since I'm pumped up with the juice too! Anyhow, this is probably info no one needs to hear but rashed are like normal life to me. I've been very fortunate the past 10 years or so to only have to deal with the occasional poison ivy. As a kid I had every rash under the sun it seemed. I even had pictures taken once to be put in a medical book based on the rarity of the rash I had. Fun stuff!!
It's strange to me that taking Prednisone actually clears up random, itchy red bumps. Creams I understand....localized medicine; pills are a mystery.

I woke up early today for work and already had the new Radiohead album on my mind. I did some internet searching and found out the online release consists of 160 bit rate DRM free .mp3 files. I admit I was a little bummed that the sample rate wasn't higher, but it is a small step above the itunes rate of 128. I spent many minutes trying to get on the Radiohead site and put my order in. Finally I was able to get in and purchased my copy for 4 pounds ($8). Fair amount I think. I am still holding on the thought that eventually there will be an official CD release of the album in record stores. Hopefully near the first of the new year. I'll definitely be buying that CD with artwork when it comes out. Unfortunately I've been at work all day so I've only been able to preview about 4 of the tracks. I like what I hear so far. It was immediately somewhat calming to listen to some Radiohead that I'd never heard. I'd say the first 4 tracks definitely exhibit enough of the elements I love about Radiohead to get me excited about the release. They seem to have more classic band structure with less keyboard/spacey experimentation. I'm excited to put some more time in listening this weekend.

Beth and I are heading to Oklahoma City tomorrow morning. She has a craft show friday/saturday and we're gonna go a half day early to get settled and check out the night life a bit. We're getting all geared up for the 10 hour drive with some podcasts and audiobooks. We'll have the new Radiohead to listen to as well which will be fun. I'm sure I'll have to listen to the new Interpol atleast twice each way as well. That album just rocks! First album I've bought in a long time that makes me just want to put it in and hit play and just listen to the entire album. No shuffle, no skipping tracks....just great new rock music that doesn't suck.

Last night was another night of bike polo. Once again we had some great games with minimal accidents. We played four 4on4 games where my team was unfortunately shut out every game, or atleast most. We then started our last game to be played to 11 points. About a 1/3 way into the game Sharp's buddy exploded his rear derailleur so unfortunately he was out. Jut decided he needed to head-on and get some good shut eye so we continued our game 3on3. Man what a difference 1 person on each side makes. The entire game dynamic changes with more full on team offense. You don't have the luxury of leavin' a man back for defense. Our team actually seemed to step it up a notch when we went to 3on3 and managed to score some quick points and make the game more competitive. We ended up down to 10 to 7 and finally surrendered the game winning point. I decided to bring along my bike computer this game and get a feel for how many miles a night of polo ends up being. I was suprised to see it say 9.9 miles. 10 miles of riding around a indoor court, that's pretty good! It also showed a 15.5 mph max speed and an average speed of 5.5 mph. Fun tidbits to know. Yuengling has finally made it to mid-TN so a few of the guys enjoyed some beers pre-game and during. Of course cans of Pabst were also on hand as usual.

I'm looking forward to getting out of town for a few days. I hope the show goes well and that Oklahoma ends up being a fun city to visit. I have a full work week next week as well. Monday-Tuesday I am tracking some song demo's for a songwriter named Mark Collie. This should be a fun session. I like Mark's style of going for things full throttle. After that I have a client coming into town from Florida to do some more singing on a jazz/bossanova project. She wants to fix some vocals and then have me remix the songs. I started working with her at the beginning of the year. All the songs have been mixed already, but we will have new vocals to sit in and she may want a slightly different direction for the mixes. It's the new way of working and mixing "in-the-box". You gain the convenience of being able to tweak mixes easily without having to recall a console and outboard gear, but you sometimes can get caught up in the "never done" mentality of too many changes. It has been fun to work on a non-Nashville project though and the band she got to play with her are wonderful players from Rio de Jeneiro.

Unfortunately due to travel I'll be missing the first Nashville cyclocross race this weekend. I've never done one and am curious if I'd enjoy them. I'm thinking about entering the race at Land Between the Lakes next weekend. Maybe it will involve some camping/partying the night before. I need to see who all is going and see if I feel I'm ready for the 25 mile race. I'll have to put some work into my Ventana and make sure it's race worthy. I've been slacking lately and just riding the SS. I finally fixed a cut in my tubeless setup so I hope that patch holds. It will be the first time I've attempted patching a tubeless tire.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Music?

Another night of Polo occurred Tuesday. It felt like I'd missed a month (might have) and everyone seemed excited to be back playin'. We played with a different, smaller ball which changed the dynamic quite a bit. It's a field hockey ball filled with water so it rolls differently than the other rubber ball we were using. It doesn't ricochet near as much either which lead to a much harder time getting it out of corners and off the wall. Even the material was different enough to make an impact to me. I needed to be much more careful with my angle. If I hit it on the top too much my mallet would just drive it into the court and I'd roll right by it.

I was able to shoot some better footage of the action this week. I posted them up on my flickr page: Nashville Bike Polo Oct 2nd

I fixed my lcd screen on my digital camera again after squishing it for the second time. My camera has a key weakness in that there isn't a protective shield over the screen. The first time I broke it I was hiking with it in my jacket pocket and was bouldering. This second time I had it with me while mountain biking and presumably something just happened to press right on the screen with enough force to crack it. The fix is really quite simple. The only hard part is watching ebay for a good deal on a broken camera with a good LCD screen. The first time I got one I had to pay $40 which was a great deal at the time. I swapped out the screen and re-sold the broken camera with my broken screen for $20. Gotta love ebay, people looking for everything! This time I was able to score a camera with a broken lens motor for $6!! I swapped the screens in about 5 minutes and am all fixed up again. I guess the value of broken 3.2 megapixel Sony cameras is falling.

Through his blog, Troy brought to my attention the new Radiohead album that will be available Oct 10th through their site. They are looking to stir the pot a little with a few weird quirks to the release. Oct. 10th they are releasing the songs for download exclusively through their website. You are able to preorder a large collectors edition including 2 CDs, 2 LPs and some artwork for 40 Pounds ($80), which will be released in December. I gathered that the actual CD will hit the stores in Dec as well. The big catch to the entire deal is they are asking people to name their own price on the digital download that is being released Oct 10th. You can even name your price as $0.00 if you feel that is fair. It all seems a big experiment. What will the average person decide to pay to enjoy the songs 3 months before their official release? Radiohead is in a very unique situation in that they are a superband (popularity/success wise, not subjectively) and are currently not signed with any label. A lot of blogs are calling this move a big middle finger to the large labels and corporate music. As it can appear that way I can't help but remind people that it was these very establishments that helped Radiohead become the household name they are. It's easy to say all music should be free, but in the long term what will this mean for artists? Should all paintings be free as well? Photography? Art is so hard to qualify, and also put a monetary value on, but I still feel there needs to be a price. I've been thinking of posting an entire blog entry on my thoughts about music, downloads, burning/cloning etc. This might have to wait for a lazy sunday afternoon. I am always curious to discuss the matter with my friends as long as they are willing to have constructive discussion.

So back to the Radiohead discussion. I was all ready to plunk down at least $10 for the downloaded songs. Then I started wondering what format would they be. Would they include some manner of DRM or copy protection? This info is hard to find and I think purposefully not divulged by Radiohead. As I said earlier, I'm set on the idea that music is worth something. Especially from a band which I revere as much as Radiohead. They are on my very short list of bands I don't even give a second thought to purchasing their music. If the songs are presented in a subpar .mp3 format (below 192 bitrate) I have to admit I feel much less willing to open the wallet as much. I acknowledge though that I am a bit of an audio snob due to my profession and that the majority of the world doesn't have the same feelings. My plan is to wait and see what Radiohead actually releases and then maybe later on the 10th or the 11th I'll make my purchase. It is nice to see someone going about things from a different perspective though and I applaud them. It will be very interesting to hear about the outcome.

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