Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fred, you're my hero

Just got back from a group ride at Monty Bell. It was a perfect ride. The sky was clear, there was a chill in the air, the trail was dry, 7 people showed up to ride, my legs felt great, bike worked well, broke in my new wool Yazoo jersey, no knee pain, 11.5 miles at a very leisurely pace.

Fred, I can't thank you enough for the cleat alignment!! My knees haven't felt this good in months! I felt I had more power with less strain. I didn't even need to move my saddle to be comfy. I still need to do the plum bob trick and see where I stand on both bikes, but the Ventana felt great today. Even just standing up and coasting or riding downhill, I felt more comfortable on the bike and could give the bike more body english. Maybe it was just a great karma day of riding, but I know that the cleat alignment helped immensely. Apparently my feet are shaped differently so one cleat is quite a bit farther forward than the other, but Fred said his cleats are similar and it felt good riding. I'm not going to second guess it.

The wool kept me very cozy today. The temps were about 32-34 when we started and I just wore a long sleeve base layer, wool short sleeve jersey and my normal riding shorts. The only cold bits were my fingers towards the end of the ride, but I attribute it to wet gloves from sweat.

Got 11.5 more miles logged for 2007, putting me at 962 for the year, a little shy of my goal of 1000. Oh well, I'm pleased with my riding this year and my progress. I'm excited for the upcoming season and for my road/commuter/cyclocross bike. I'm sure I will log may more miles next year. I haven't decided if I am going to set a mileage goal or just wing it.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Radiohead Podcast

There is a podcast up on iTunes right now for Radiohead : In Rainbows.

I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but it looks like "in the studio" footage.

Here is the link:

Old Greg- Love Games

The soundtrack to December.

Snoop around Youtube for the full length version of this. Beware it may cause nightmares, but Thad offered to stay over with anyone who's scared.

The continued video is great too

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Xmas booty and barn raising

Beth and I celebrated Christmas over at her parent's house with her parents (Tad and Rosemary), brother(Greg) and sister (Lacey). We managed to get Lacey, who's 12, to let us wait until 8:30am to come over and start the day. She was good this year and didn't open anything until we showed up, and also opened slower so we could actually watch her open some of our gifts. Rosemary made some great sausage balls and coffee and then it was off to the races.

Everyone received some great presents and it was a lot of fun to watch and just sit around as a family. Lacey received some of her first makeup, Rosemary got a nice gold necklace and some artwork, Greg got an Ipod Nano and some nice headphones, Tad got a cool antique match striker and some war artifacts. Beth got a nice digital SLR camera that she can use her old 35mm lenses with. She'll use it mainly to take better pictures of her jewelry to apply to shows and for her website, but I'm sure when she gets good with it, she'll want to use it for other things. It's a 10 mega pixel camera! That is just crazy to me. My old point-and-shoot Sony camera is only 3.2; of course it's probably 5 years old and I've had to fix the LCD screen on it twice.

I gave Beth a beautiful rose gold ring from Anatra Jewelry. Months ago she had gone and picked out a couple rings she liked. Between then and now she had it in her head that I didn't get either of them. She even went by the store with her Mom the week before Xmas to show her the two rings she liked and the guy working couldn't find her wish list. The two rings were not in the cases anymore and she got a little aggravated when he mentioned that maybe I had already come and bought one of the rings. She told him, "I don't think he could buy one since you can't even find my wish list." :o) oh it was all perfect! I had asked her repeatedly for some present ideas, knowing I'd already gotten the big gift. In the end she didn't have any idea what she was getting and it was awesome. She was so happy to see the Anatra bag with the ring.

Some of the highlights of my gifts are a brown and yellow Chrome Citizen messenger bag. If you don't know them, it's an over the shoulder style bag with a waterproof interior. You can cinch is down to wear while you are riding around town. I think it is also going to replace my currently computer/work bag for studio work. I also got two Walz caps from Beth's brother Greg. One is a dark grey thin wool and the other is a blueish/grey corduroy. Both of them are super comfortable. I've been wearing them almost none stop since Christmas. Beth gave me a hand printed cycling shirt that she bought of It's a great print and I love the saturated blue color. Beth also bought me a bike, as my big gift, which I've talked about a lot lately. It hasn't come in yet so we weren't able to have it by the tree. I'll be calling and checking on it tomorrow, hopefully it's in or will be in very soon!

The rest of Christmas was spent eating, playing with new toys, and watching movies. We watched The Borne Ultimatum, Harry Potter 4 and about half of Talladega Nights. We just hung out and relaxed, it was great!

Thad texted me late in the day about a ride at Chickasaw the next day, the 26th. I couldn't wait to get out again and ride after all the eating I'd done the past two days. Rosemary made two wonderful meals for us, Christmas Eve and Christmas brunch. And of course I couldn't turn down seconds or dessert.

Dan Hensley and I met up with Thad at the farm around 9. Dan and I noticed a horse was out when we were driving in so Thad had to reign it in and do some quick fence fixes. After a short detour at Harpeth Bikes to chat with Fred and show off Thad's new meats, we headed down to Columbia. The weather was looking great but no one was in the parking lot when we showed up, strange sign. We started a 'normal direction' loop and I eased in for a relaxed, easy pace ride. My SS wheel is still down at MOAB so I was on the Ventana and just spinning. I was trying to feel out my legs and see if they felt better than they had on the Franklin State Forest ride. It was a combination of trying not to think too much about them and ride 'normally', think about them and see if they were hurting in the same way, and think about why I thought they may be hurting and what I could do to fix the problem. I have a way of making things hurt just by thinking about them while I'm riding so I tried not to dwell on it and just pedal. My left thigh was feeling a lot better so it's looking like the stretching and rest is really helping.

We stopped a lot to regroup and rest and kept playing leap frog with a group of walkers. When we made it back to the parking lot, there were two more cars which was a good sign. I guess everyone had to head back to work today or they were just too lazy to ride. We decided to go back out and ride a backwards loop. I'm still not very confident in a lot of sections going reverse but overall the trail feels a lot better that direction. There is so much flow with some sections that allow you to really pump the bike and gain speed without pedaling. I'll have to try to do a bass-ackwards race in 08.

We stopped by the sandwich place for lunch after the ride and Thad got a text from him boss asking if we could go help him with a tree house. Sounds like an adventure! I know it was a bit more work than we anticipated, but man it was a lot of fun. It was totally out of the ordinary for me which made it more cool. Helping out and building something that you know some kids are just going to totally love.... good stuff! The project was quite the combination of planning and going by the seat of your pants. No one was hurt which was a miracle!

I've decided that my main problem with my left leg is cleat related, and possibly saddle position related. Fred over at Harpeth has completed some training from Serotta in bike fitting so I'm going to head down there tomorrow and see if he can straighten me out. I was noticing while riding today that my left leg feels like my toes are pointed too far out. I think this is leading to my pain in that leg. I hope it is something as simple as getting my cleats in the correct place. After moving my right cleat forward just slightly, all my pain in my right leg is gone.

My parents are coming tomorrow to visit for a couple days. They won't be getting in until late afternoon so I'll be missing the tap room most likely. We'll exchange presents tomorrow night and then chill during the day friday. We've talked about going out to dinner with Beth's family friday night which will be a lot of fun, just need to pick a restaurant.

You can view all my Xmas pictures HERE and you can view the rest of the tree house building HERE.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Makers and Eggnog

Makers and Eggnog
Originally uploaded by Chewieez
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

Beth and I enjoyed a scrumptious dinner at the Porter's after some yummy beverages and cheese dip.

I'd never experienced Eggnog and Whiskey, I've always been a Eggnog and Rum kinda guy. I approve I must say. It was quite tasty!

Off to bed so we can get up and be back over at the Porter's by 8:30am to open presents with Lacey, Tad, Rosemary and Greg. (the other Greg, no, not Old Greg)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Fall is still around in Mid TN

Troy and Thad and I packed up the Element and drove over to the mtn and rode Franklin State Forest yesterday with their friend Chris from Tullahoma. We were looking forward to a day of great riding and great weather. In the end we got decent weather and great riding that we had to cut short. It was colder than we expected and some of us, Thad, didn't bring the correct equipment. He had to sport the Dicky look but at least there was no socks and sandals going on. I just brought my underarmor long sleeve base layer and was toasty after a few miles of warm up. December 22nd and we all still wearing shorts.... Fall is still in effect.

The trail was in good shape and has a long new section that isn't quite burnt in yet. We started with this section first with the idea that we would finish across from the ranger station and not have to ride any road back. The new section is twisty and relatively flat. A lot of sections are still very bumpy with loose, clumpy dirt. I felt like it took me a long time to really warm up and get the legs feeling good. My left thigh never felt good and progressively got worse through out the ride. I'm still not sure of the cause, whether it's muscle or tendon related, or if it's a bit of an over-use injury, or a tight tendon issue. The pain would be there on every down pedal stroke and was feeling similar to the IT band issues that I had in my right knee a couple years ago. That injury was mainly brought on from over-use too early in the season, but also from tight IT bands and a mis-aligned pedal stroke. One other idea on my left leg issue is Thad and I's small crash around 21st ave after the Tap Room on thurs. I can't remember if I landed on my left thigh or not.

The pain during the FSF side was enough to get me worried about being able to complete Snake Creek in two weeks. I did a long stretching session last night and iced both knees. I plan to be diligent about my stretching for the next couple weeks and take a little time off from the bike. I was not able to ride much in Oct and Nov, but have put in 50 off road miles this past week so I am wondering if maybe I just hit it too hard doing two laps at Hammy. My body probably just needs to repair and rest.

After we crossed the bridge over the creek at FSF and were riding the other side, everything started to look familiar to me. The trail gets more flowy and I was getting into a groove and keeping up with Thad and Troy for a bit. Each time we'd stop though I had to 'work' through the pain in my thigh to get back in a groove again. Each stop seemed to make it harder and harder to get going again. This section of trail was completely covered in thick leaves. Most of it fast rolling but some sections gave you the 'do I have a flat' sensation.

We stopped at a couple overlooks and chowed on some snacks. I brought my camera on the trail this time so I was able to snap some during-the-ride shots for once. During one of our pit stops a hunter strolled past us and barely acknowledged us except to mutter, "You guys are pretty brave to be out here during big game season." I hadn't even thought about hunting season and of course, none of us were wearing very visible clothes or vests. We shoved off and continued riding. The trail snaked around and in about 10 minutes we were in a valley next to the same hunter. We hear this crazy loud gun shot go off and look up to see this hunter saying something to us. He was clearly not raising his voice loud enough to be heard by us, so we can only speculate what he was saying. We were all taken back that he would shoot over us and were coming up with all these reason to explain it. Finally, seeing that it was after 2pm we decided to find the highway and duck out and ride the road back to the parking lot to be safe. This hunter was clearly POed that we were out there and we didn't feel safe continuing the ride. We rode 5 miles back on the highway as the weather continued to cool down and starting misting.

After a post-ride Yazoo we changed into dry clothes and packed the cars up and headed to the local Mexican joint. They were dead and we rested and chowed down on chips and salsa. The food really hit the spot and the $1.75 Dos Equis went down smooth. I crashed on the ride home and got a short nap in. Thanks again for driving Troy! I'll get you back for gas next time or your next few beers are on me!

The rest of the pictures from the ride are HERE.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hammy, pain and The Snake

Rode Hammy Wednesday with Dan Hensley. It was great to be able to fit a ride in before the impending rain. I didn't realize how long it's been since I'd ridden Hammy. There are some new reroutes that were a bit of challenge. They are over on the 'Advanced Side'. The one that gave me issue was just a few quick up and down some loose mounds of rocks. Since I didn't know what to expect, I didn't hit them hard enough to get up and over. We rode the short loop counterclockwise and headed over to the Advanced side. We rode clockwise once over to that side. I'm still a rookie riding the long loop clockwise so it's a blast, like a totally new trail. Dan was looking to do two laps and I thought there was no way I'd be up for that. Surprisingly, after the first loop I was jonesin' for some more miles. We headed back to the parking lot to check our phones and see if Hillary wanted to ride and then headed back into the trail, this time going clockwise on the short loop and riding the long loop counterclockwise. I was really feelin' it towards the end of the advanced side, thighs burning on some of the climbs. We decided to not hit the rest of the short loop clockwise and just headed back to the parking lot through the slot. It was the most miles I'd ever ridden at Hammy in one ride. Hopefully it was good training for Snake.

Snake.... a total mystery to me, but I'm committed to racing it on Jan 5th. I know I'm not ready, but I need to open my eyes to longer rides and more adventurous trails. My goal is simply to finish, hopefully still in the saddle. I haven't decided which bike I'm riding for the first race. I want to try it on the SS, but not sure if that is just a stupid idea. I've thought out just about every option I have. . . SS 32x18, 32x19; geared bike, geared bike minus my stiffing link (-1/2 pound). My rear SS wheel is still getting work done at MOAB so if it isn't ready for Snake, that may make my decision easy.

I decided to join Team Yazoo this week. It's not official yet as I haven't gotten a jersey, but I hope to get one before Snake. Thad and Troy said they pretty much saw it coming. I actually didn't give it much thought until last week. I didn't see anything weird about hanging and riding with them and still being on Team NMB. I have been riding a lot with Thad and company and hitting the tap room and polo. I really like how the team is a close-nit bunch and do a lot of things together during the week. I like that they live close to town and ride a lot. I think it is going to help my riding to be on a team with a lot of endurance riders and riders that are better than me. (not that there aren't riders better than me on NMB). It is sounding like team NMB will be ran different next year with a little less structure, and a more, "make it what you'd like" vibe. Yazoo has a great group of riders with a great community feel; everyone looking out for everyone else. (again, not trying to say NMB doesn't have a similar vibe). Man, when it comes down to it, it's hard to put in words my reasoning. Don't want to burn any bridges or upset anyone. :) Hopefully no strange feelings will erupt between NMB and me.

I'm getting geared up for Xmas. I'm really excited this year. I know some of the big gifts I'll be getting, but I'm excited that Beth doesn't know most of her gifts. I can't wait to watch her open her gifts from me! Even knowing that I'm getting a bike for Xmas doesn't make me less excited about it! Hopefully it will come in very soon! It's going to be the beas-knees. I'm excited about my gifts to my parents. I'm excited that I finished my shopping early this year, just got some wrapping left. We are going to celebrate at Beth's parents and then my parents will come visit later in the week.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The two parties are of course on the same night

Beth and I were only invited to three Xmas parties this year. The first one we missed while were in Decatur, drinking yummy beer. The other two were this past weekend and both were saturday. Beth worked a half day and I finished up my xmas shopping. We headed over to the first party around 7:30pm thinking we'd be fashionable late. Apparently now it's fashionable to come a few hours after it started. Our friend Marissa hosted and had a great spread of cheese, crackers, prosciutto and salami, wine, champagne jam punch and some great deserts!! It was fun to see Todd and Marissa and Jamie again. We hadn't hung out with them in months. The party was low key with a lot of chatting and munching.

Around 10 we went over to party #2 at Kelly's pad. Right when we walked in we knew this was going to be an entirely different kind of party. The dining room was a huge dance party and the place was packed with around 40 people. The self serve wine table was out back so we headed there first. We needed some libations to lose some inhibitions and hit the dance floor. Of course I volunteered (or was I volunteered?) to drive, so I could not partake like Beth could. We had a great time chattin' with Kelly and others and dancing it up. They had a great party soundtrack going with some of Beth's new favorite songs. Midnight came quickly and I made the executive decision to head home. Of course given my new internal clock schedule, I couldn't sleep until about 2am and slept in this morning a bit.

Today after some omelette's, it was all about the office. The home office, not the TV show everyone thinks is revolutionary. We set up some shelves that we picked up in Atlanta last weekend. Rearranged some other shelves and moved everything around. Beth planned out this intricate work space for her FreshieandZero packaging and shipping department. She's still waiting on a mail sorter to help with keeping multiple orders organized pre-shipment, but the shelves looks great and the feng shui is really workin'.

I'm thinking about riding Monty Bell early tomorrow morning with some NMB guys. (HAWT Mike may be there too!!) I'll have to take the full suspension bike which I'm not excited about. No need for it at Monty Bell. My single speed rear wheel is still down at MOAB bike shop, probably ready for me to pick up. There's no way I'm driving to Murfreesboro to get it before I drive to White Bluff to ride MB. I'll just suffer through the gears and squish. I really need to try to get as many miles as I can in before the Snake Creek races start. I'm not sure yet if I'll make the January one, it may depend on how in-shape I feel.

As usual, you can see more pics from the weekends parties here: Xmas Party on my Flickr Page

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Not much going on this week. I did a last minute tracking session for Blake Shelton on Thurs. That went very smoothly and was fun. I was once again able to work at a new-to-me studio in town which is great. I was lucky that when I first went freelance, I was still booked a lot at Emerald Studios, where I used to be on staff for a few years. This spoiled me and allowed me to not have to work very hard to find sessions. Now that Emerald is closed, I've been forced to worked harder and exploit my contacts. It has allowed me though to work at a lot of different studios around town, each time making new contacts; which is something I really should of been doing when I first went freelance back in 2004.

Thurs night tap room was a lot of fun. I got off work just in time to get over there and have two pints before last call. The place was full of Yazoo guys with an appearance from Clay of DSG. We rolled to Pizza Perfect afterwards for some dinner and more beer. Beth had just finished doing a truck show at Queen Bee in the Edgehill Village area so she met us at Pizza Perfect. She enjoyed meeting some more of my biking friends. She got a good dose of Sharpie at his best, cracking constant jokes and impersonations.

Thad invited us to sushi last night at Peter's Sushi in Brentwood. Beth and I loved the food and the company! Peter's has some unique rolls. Unfortunately it's in Brentwood, but atleast it's not across the river right? Thad was supposed to browse through Beth's jewelry but we all forgot on the way out. Don't forget Beth has a website: Freshie and Zero where you can shop from the comfort of your own home, in your skivies if you want! (this is a reminder for everyone, not just Thad! )

This weekends weather is going to be crummy so it doesn't look like I'll get much riding in, probably none. I was able to do some more xmas shopping today. I dare say I'm finished at this point. I just need to get some stocking stuffers for Beth, I mean for santa to put in Beth's stocking.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The spot won't be empty for long

It has been done...
2 years in the making...
Choices have been made...
The waiting has begun...

new techie stuff

Alright I admit that I still have iphone envy and in a perfect world, I think I'd still like to have one on a Sprint network. I just found out about this guy who is building this amazing software for the iphone/ipod touch and it is really making me jealous!!

Check out this link:

ProRemote Protools Controler

He is developing an iphone remote for Protools software that will allow you to control the software from anywhere. Engineers have been asking for a way to control their mix from either the back of the control room or even a different room. This would allow the engineer to listen in a different environment than right in front of the console and yet still be able to have real-time control over their software! No more walking up to the console to make small tweaks and then heading back to where you are listening; no more having the assistant go and start the mix again or do a little tweak for you.

I think it is just brilliant and really shows you what the iphone/touch is capable of and what people are capable of given the correct tools and ingenuity.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I didn't work today, but I feel especially accomplished!! I was finally able to get my Sprint account setup the way I wanted. I'm sure this doesn't sound like a big task, but it took about 10 customer service calls where I probably spoke with 15 different people. I won't go into all the details but I basically have my new phone working on my old phone number with a very nice plan. The power of persistence and patience is amazing!

So much has happened this past week it's hard to know where to start. I'll work to keep giving the short version.

Last tuesday I did a tracking session at a new (to me) studio at Sony Tree. I hadn't done a tracking date in a month so I was a little rusty but the guys on the session were a lot of fun and made the day really enjoyable. The studio just got a new (to them) console installed and there are still some bugs to work out. We were able to work around it all, but it would of been a pain if we were working there for more than 1 day. I really do enjoy tracking though. I wasn't the engineer on this session but tracking is still so rewarding to me. You get a great sense of accomplishment that you don't always get from mixing. At the end of the day you can look and see the fruits of your hard work. With mixing you're always second guessing yourself and the clients has little changes, and many times continues to have little changes until they learn to let go. Tracking is a more final process. You come in, setup, record music, and then you're done. You've helped create something that didn't exist at the beginning of the day.

On thurs afternoon Thad and I headed down to MOAB to hang and I started building my "dream bike" aka the crosscheck, or aka "the spot filler". I admit I was underprepared, but I also didn't know what to expect. Brian (at MOAB) and I worked through some different builds and then hit some internet trouble. Thankfully about 1/2 an hour later Thad was able to rescue us and fix their laptop. I'm happy with most of the build. Now that I've had a few days to ponder it more there are a few changes I'd like to make and I still haven't decided on a wheelset. I'm thinking of sticking with a pretty standard 105 group but can't pick wheels. I know so little about road components that it's hard to know what things cost. Even without wheels, I'm pretty close to the top of my budget so I'm trying to get some affordable, durable, non-tank wheels. So far the ideas are 105 hub/Delgado CX rim, XT hub/Delgado rim, or something cheap like the Mavis Aksium. I'm not sure what a 105/xt with delgado wheel will cost so I need to get back to MOAB and work some more and ask some more questions. I'd like to order this by the end of the week if I can... then my spot won't be void for much longer.

Beth and I traveled to Decatur, GA this weekend for a craft show. It went well and we were able to have dinner at a place we both love there called the Brick Store Pub. They have great fish and chips and amazing beer. They have some great microbrews from across the US. They had the Great Divide Hibernation ale again so I was in heaven! There are few beers that I enjoy as much as this one. I mean its a hoppy, dark, strong ale with a 8.2% alcohol content, what's not to love.

Grant posted a great update to DSG 2.0 on NMB and has really got me pumped. I keep forgetting about DSG and that I have a team set up. I wasn't able to go last year because of my wedding so I am super psyched for this year. Our team needs to get our butts in gear and get registered!

Here are the photos from our weekend adventure. (sorry there aren't many this time)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Mimosas are nice

It's been a fun week since Thanksgiving break. I helped Beth setup and tear down two shows in one day and Thurs night tap room was fun. I've been glued to my new Centro, personalizing it and downloading programs. On Saturday, Thad and I rode Chickasaw in the amazing weather we had. Our bodies didn't know what was up with the 70 degree temps and clear skies. We were both feeling less than 100% but we still managed a great ride. The trail was in perfect shape. I really enjoyed riding the Soma, it was one of those good mojo days. Even with the lack of riding lately, I managed to have a great ride and not feel empty after. I really need to try to step up the riding in December to be ready for Snake Creek.

I took it easy on Sunday and got a lot of errands done with Beth. We had brunch with her parents and Beth did some needed rearranging of the office. Today was the first day I've had engineering work since before Thanksgiving. I'm assisting on a demo session with the Warren Brothers tomorrow so I went and setup the studio this afternoon. It's a new-to-me studio so the setup took a bit longer than I'd have liked. It should be a fun day tomorrow though (I hope). The engineer is always fun to work with and the Warren Bros are a trip.

The town is turning into one big Xmas decoration. It feels strange to think we are so close to Christmas. All the decorations are helping get me in the mood but it still feels like we've rushed into it. At least people waited until after Thanksgiving this year.

My brother and sister-in-law are having a baby girl on Wednesday! My first niece ever! It is so exciting, I can't imagine what they are feeling! We are going to try to go and see them before Christmas if we can.

There is rumor that there may be a new bike ordered soon for the Lawrence's.... It already has a place waiting for it in the living room. (shut up Thad!)

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