Friday, October 23, 2009

work and play

I've been stripping wallpaper for the past few days. I thought it wouldn't be that bad. The room is small, the wall paper is only on the top half of each wall and I only needed to remove it from 3 of the 4 walls. Even after I did a little test spot to see how many layers I needed to go through and what the paint was like under the wallpaper, again I thought it wouldn't be that bad. It appears to be just 1 thick layer of wallpaper with about 2-3 coats of paint on top but no paint underneath. Looks as though someone just slapped the wallpaper right onto the plaster. Sweet, this won't be that hard. rrriiight.

Let me tell you, never underestimate the time it takes to remove wallpaper and what a arduous job it is. After 3 days of work I have all the paper removed from the plaster walls, but still have a couple sections where there are drywall patches that are much, much harder to work on. Having the wallpaper on the top half of the walls and having 2 of the wall slant in is very hard on your shoulders since it seems all the work has my hands above my head. I've got some sore arms and sore hands from using the big scraper but progress is being made, all-be-it slowly.

After a fun mix session out in Bellevue yesterday, I had plans to head down to Opry Mills Mall to meet up with a bunch of cycling friends and watch Race Across the Sky. We met at Dave & Busters for a few beers before the show and ended up taking up the entire bar in the game room. I was amazed at how many people came out and really enjoyed catching up with some old friends like Reed & Daniel. After I finally was able to get and enjoy a 25 ounce Yazoo Pale, it was time to mosey into the movie.

The movie was about the Leadville 100 race which is a 100 mile ultra-endurance mountain bike race held in Leadville, CO. It started off with a panel interview session with Lance Armstrong, Dave Weins and the race organizer and 2 other big name riders who competed this year. It was fun to hear them talk about the race and also to hear them share how much they enjoy hearing the stories of the folk to compete in these races and aren't Tour de France riders. The movie seemed to do a good job of showing what it's like to compete in the Leadville 100 but yet it still didn't really show how hard it is. It was inspirational to see everyone in the movie pushing themselves realizing just how far they truly can go. It was fun to sit next to Thad too and hear his comentary as he's raced the Leadville 100 and finished in under 12 hours to earn the coveted buckle. The scenery was amazing. I loved the trail that wound through the tall old growth forest. It makes me want to take a trip and ride somewhere new and totally different. Something that is nothing like TN and NC or GA riding....maybe out west riding.

It was a great movie, but more importantly it was a fun night with friends. We hung for another beer after the movie then we all disbanded and went our separate ways. Would of been a 100% complete day if I'd been able to fit a bike ride in. I just got a new handlebar for my Surly that I'm itching to try out!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

catch up

Lots going on these days. I've been blessed to go from wondering where I'd be working to wondering where I'll get some free time. Beth and I have been on the road a ton lately which has been a lot of fun and we've been fortunate to have some good shows.

I've slowly been ramping up my riding again. The weekend before last had a group of us back down in our old gravel grinding grounds of Fly, TN. Thad has a good write up of the ride complete with photos. I was hoping to bring along my camera in my feed bag, but it decided to be cranky that day and not work. The ride was exactly what I needed. I need rides like this to push me past my comfort zone and show me what I can do. The idea that if I quit, I'm a long way from my car helps me keep pedaling and show me what I really have in the tank. Not to mention that the hang time and comradery on these rides are second to none. We had some fresh blood on this ride and everyone finished with big smiles and spent legs. 63 miles were shown on my computer. Not bad for a dreary, brisk fall day and a bunch of mountain bikers.

Since then I've been in the recording studio, spent 4 days in Alabama with Freshie & Zero and this week, ridden Monty Bell with KRS-1 and MeanJoe and started tearing down wallpaper in our guest room. Busy busy. We had to miss a big Halloween party while we were in Alabama. From the pictures I've been it looks like a ton a fun was had, and most of it was probably remembered the next day. Beth and I had a party on the books for this saturday night and then we're off to the beach for a few days. It's been too long since we've taken a trip to get away from it all as a couple so we're super excited!

(on a side note: I've been enjoying using the new interface. Handles images much better than the default blogger interface and it has a re-sizable window... what a concept!)

Friday, October 09, 2009

That's how you end a day

Yesterday ended on yet another high note. After chilling at home for a few hours and working out vaca plays with Beth, I suited back up and rode the ole crosscheck down to the Yazoo Tap Room, expecting lots of friends I hadn't seen in a while. After enjoying a Fall Fest alone Mike N. and Matt K (from GA) rolled in and filled the table I'd been saving for 'the crowd'. Troy made it out also with Melanie and Jennie rolling in right under last call. The group was small but it was great to catch up with Matt who I hadn't seen since Dirt Sweat & Gears and hear all the fun police stories from Mike.

We split up over dinner plans and Mike, Jennie, Matt and I hit up the usual Pizza Perfect. The dual-income Mike and Jennie treated Matt and I do some yummy pizza and a couple more Yazoo brews! Thanks guys!

I still wanted to go and check out the Live on the Green concert to I rolled back downtown and followed the music to the show. I'd planned on using Walk/Bike Nashville's free bike parking but I found many bike stands open on the way so I just locked up and headed into the crown. A couple friends of mine were already there so the trick was finding them in the sea of people who came out to enjoy the free show, and drink a ton of cheap beer.

Citizen Cope was good. He played a lot of newer stuff which I didn't know but after a few songs they all tend to sound the same. I still love his vibe and the band just gets you in the relaxed Reggae feel. Also love the absence of whiney or screaming vocals. We all decided to head out around 10:15pm. I knew I had at least a 40 minute ride home and it seems like a smart idea to head out before EVERYONE was heading out. By this time there was a nice breeze and it was a pleasant 70 degrees. Perfect night riding weather. I rode through downtown pecking my way over to Demonbreun and seeing lots of other cyclists who'd also be at the show. I met up with a couple riding home just before the single's bar strip on Demonbreun. We ended up riding all the way to their place off 12th South and then I continued on to Kirkwood and through Berry Hill. It was nice to have some company on the ride home and they seemed like real cool people. He moved here a year ago from Austin, TX and said he thinks Nashville is just getting more and more hip to biking. He said he's seen a big surge in riders just in the past year. It was nice to hear a more outsiders perspective of our town...especially a positive one.

Got in just after 11, showered up and hit the sack. Slept like a rock too! A good day on the bike with around 35-40 miles and my truck never left the driveway. Nice.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

All rides should start with a headwind and end with a tailwind.

Well ok, not all rides. But it's always fun when you can benefit from what you were just fighting on your way home.

I rode down to REI today to try and find some bike stuff I could buy with my dividend check. It's awesome that REI gives you back money for shopping there. I don't buy a ton a things there as I find their bike department rarely has the very specific things I'm looking for, but as far as an outdoor store, their selection is incredible. I remember I bought a new pair of ski pants there last year around this time.... oh yea that's why I got a good dividend.

It was nice to be able to pick up some needed cycling maintenance items like butt cream and have it be free! Didn't even cost me any gas money to get down there?

So far today as been a win win day. Slept in a bit, got stuff done around the house, rode my bike to a cool store where I got something for free and am now planning my evening around my bicycle. Yazoo Tap Room? Live on the Green concert with free bike parking?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Where has free time gone?

I feel like I've gone from wondering what to do with my time to wondering where my time is going. Work has been plentiful lately and Beth and I have been out of town on numerous trips for Freshie & Zero. It's been a month since I put a post it's flown by.

I haven't gotten back on the cycling train yet but I've made a few meager attempts. I got out to Monty Bell last week for a solo ride. I was leery that the trail would be a sloppy mess with the wet month that Sept was but I was surprised yet again by the resilience of that trail. It was definitely wet, but there was no mud to be seen. My bike wasn't even dirty minus a little bit of wet crushed leaves and trail debris.

I had the entire trail to myself which was quite peaceful. I took it easy since I don't have the fitness I am accustomed to and stopped to take photos. It takes creativity (and a good camera timer) to get self portraits on a solo bike ride. I was using Beth's old Canon which only has a 10 sec timer so it made it that much more difficult, and fun.

We've been to Chicago and Memphis for craft shows this past month and Beth did a show down in Murfreesboro between them. All three shows were a success which is a great morale boost coming off the miserable shows we did in the Spring. We're both pretty worn out those from the cycle of: make a ton of jewelry, travel/setup/sell it, come home and make a ton more, travel/setup/sell it then come home and make more. Beth has also had some big wholesale orders to fill for stores around the country. Lots to do for sure!

Here is a bit of a picture dump from our last two shows:

Chicago Renegade Craft Show (Chicago is so fun!)

Some samples of the healthy cuisine we're treated to on the road.

This is what happens when it rains from 5am-5pm at an outdoor craft show

And I'll end with a new beer discovery. Theakston Old Peculier

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