Monday, January 26, 2009

MOAB Photography

Ok, I may be obsessing a bit about Moab.

Especially since I have purchased exactly zero plane tickets, nailed down absolutely no hotel, motel, hostel, or tents to stay in, set up no rental bikes or tours, and even have only tentative agreement on dates, but to heck with all that!

This is important!

I was just reading one of my favorite blogs and ran across this item. I actually have been wondering on the best ways to document Moab’s epic-ness for the rest of the unfortunate souls that couldn’t come out with me.

(And YES epic-ness IS a word that perfectly describes my thoughts of Moab…pffft. If you don't believe me, then here is the definition from a reputable source...I think.

EPICNESS (epic-ness) adj -- Something like... uh... that is uh... so totally cool that it like rivals only like uh... a heroic story...something so cool that uh... you just can't like believe it's true...uh like...yeah...

-Wubsters Unedited

Anyhoo... I saw this camera being used by Fatty to ride around Utah.
Seriously, that's a term of endearment. Fatty is awesome.

It’s a wearable video-camera that has a slight chance of surviving being strapped to me while riding a mountain bike. It would be beyond awesome (see epicness) to have video of us white-knuckling our way around the rocks, canyons, and desert cliffs.

I would of course edit out my girlish shrieks of terror at every drop and scary turn and set the video to some very manly music instead...

Shortly after seeing this fantastic product, I impulsively went out to the net to see how much this little wonder would cost me.



(The thump was me falling out of my chair…the “eeek” was…uh…I’m sure there’s a mouse in here somewhere…)

Fellow readers, I am afraid you will have to make do with my still camera’s video option and some good quality action photos instead. I can’t justify taking out a second mortgage to pay for a gadget that will be battered, sweated on, dusted up and abused for only a week of my life.

Unless Rick will go half-ies with me…LOL

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tour Down Under - Stage 5

Alan Davis is having a great race in his home country. That is his second stage in a row, and apparently the cameramen that are allowed onto the course to capture the "winning moments" need to watch out! Don't put yourself in front of a tired cyclist that is doing 30+ MPH and celebrating a win!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tour Down Under - Stage 3 & 4 Highlights

I read a few articles today, and it seems that I am yet again impressed by the power of professional cyclists. The tour has mainly been a series of bunch sprints even with some climbing involved that separated the field all over the road.

In regards to the power I mentioned above. I am a pretty average (if not below average) cyclist in the world of novice but competitive amateur riders, and I took a power test with a new coach in November. I averaged around 340 watts for 13 minutes and was maxed out. I was seeing stars and was about to barf at the effort. 13 minutes mind you. Then I read this article today about Lance and his "training being on track". In stage 3, he "glanced down and saw that for the first 2 hours he averaged 340 watts"...and was working very hard to stay with the lead group. Holy Cow...there is no comparison between elite cyclists and the rest of human kind.

A quick highlight reel with a couple of interviews:

A 7 minute highlight with the Versus commentators:

Tour Down Under -- Stage 4

Kinduva uneventful stage so I put some really short highlights in... The announcer's comments that this years Tour Down Under was too difficult (unfair) for the sprinters is a bit silly because every single stage has ended with a bunch sprint. In order to catch back up with the race days, here are the Stage 4 Highlights.

Maybe tomorrow will be something amazing.

I, on the other hand, am going to wait until the rain stops and go ride for a few hours this afternoon, and imagine that I am fast.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I’m moving to live on the Riviera with this idea!

I was sitting with a friend of mine the other day and I came up with a fantastic business idea.

I can’t remember quite what sparked the idea, but even after a few days it seems to still make sense. What’s sad is that this idea will more than likely be wasted on my lack of experience, serious risk aversion, and my superhuman ability to procrastinate until someone else comes up with the same idea and actually acts on it.

I blame myself for having not tried something entrepreneurial prior to having kids and needing a proper stream of income to support my family and feed my bicycle/coffee addictions.

It’s tough to abandon good income once you have got the family attached to a certain level of living.

I truly respect people who have the guts to risk it all…

Now after all that has been needlessly typed out, drumroll please!

The Idea!


The idea is to provide a short portable 8x8x7 size box (think a PODS storage size box) with a ready-made bar in it. One of the long sides of the Box would swing up as a kind of patio roof, and inside would be a narrow bar, complete with kegger-ators, taps, coolers, Xmas lights for party atmosphere and decorations fit for any party.

The open side would allow walk in access to the bar where there would probably be room for a few stools in a row. There would be a supplied generator to run all this during your party as part of the rental.

It would work for any fun neighborhood party, summer back-yard party, weddings and other functions where indoor bar space is limited, perhaps outdoor frat parties, and church functions…

Well maybe not that last one

I know that the equipment is available to lift and transport these Bars In Boxes thanks to the advent of the portable storage companies, so that part is simply a question of getting some trucks. Now the capital requirement to build the actual Bar Boxes would be something for more research.

The final question in this back of an envelope business plan would be alcohol.

My thought on this, due to legal concerns and licensing issues, would be to let the party goers that rented the box supply the booze. Bar In A Box would just supply the very ├╝ber cool and unusual bar itself. If left to my initial thoughts, the container would come fully stocked, but then the first schmuck that serves a 16 year old that kills him or herself behind the wheel and I become the guy they sue for everything.

Even with a disclaimer signed by the customer that stated explicitly that the renter is responsible for anything and everything that could potentially happen during the use of the Bar In A Box including but not limited to catastrophic meteor impacts, I would still be ruined by the litigious morons that populate society in the US today, so I guess the decision is made.

The customers provide their own booze.

If anyone actually reads this silly drivel, please don’t steal my idea, secondly give me some feedback on it. Does it sound viable? Would you change anything?

Based on your feedback, I may decide to research it further, because it could be a fun enterprise.

And I know you are all dying for more Tour Down Under coverage. I will catch back up on that tomorrow. I needed to post something different that actually required creativity vs. just mentioning something about cycling racing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tour Down Under - Stage 2

I don’t really have too much to say about Stage 2 aside from it must simply be wonderful to be riding in warm weather. I am completely sick of riding my trainer in the basement and winter just started.

It’s easy to watch a show to try to distract myself, but the riding experience itself is so boring that I find myself not working hard enough on the bike and subsequently not getting much out of the workout.

I do wish that every time I had a mechanical “issue” with my bike that a neutral service vehicle would appear and set me on my way again. That would be a plus…

It looks like Lance Armstrong has a way to go before he is truly strong again. I thought an interview with Johan Bruyneel was funny. Lance, apparently is too heavy and needs to lose some muscle. At 4% body fat, or some other absurdly low number, there isn’t much fat weight to lose, but they expect him to drop 3-4 Kilos (6-9lbs) or he will have trouble.

You just don’t hear that much from your doctor or the trainer at the gym. “You have too much muscle. Drop those weights you beefcake!”

Stage 2 - Highlight

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Digging up Tour Down Under Coverage - Stage 1 Highlights

The season of watching bicycle racing doesn't start for me until the Spring Classics, but this year is a touch different. Lance Armstrong has returned to the Pro tour under the Astana sponsor. Of course this team looks a lot like the Discovery team did, which also looked a rather similar to the US Postal Service team.

I'm not sure if I'm happy that a cycling legend has come back. I do believe his line about just wanting to promote the fight against cancer and to raise some money/awareness, and it most certainly will do that. Even now the buzz in the cycling community is just shy of standing next to a jet engine (or my kids on sugar).

On his return from this sporting fans perspective, I hate it when guys retire and come back. Look at Favre for example. These elite athletes come back but they generally don't do well.

Lance retired while on top, and as much as I would love to see him win and win for years to come, that can't happen. The human body, even with EPO, can't maintain that level of fitness. I just don't want to watch his slow demise into a cycling has-been rather than remembering him as the greatest of all time.

I guess that last comment won't stop me from watching anyway. I just can't help it. Enjoy!

Stage 1 - Tour Down Under Highlights

Monday, January 19, 2009

Havana Daydreaming

Thank goodness Brenna is home.

I am happy to report that she had a fantastic "Girls Weekend" and she absolutely deserved it.

Now, I would report how my weekend went with all the kids, my work demands, a visit to the office Sunday morning after a visit to my house by my boss on Saturday, and one broken computer laptop that will probably cost me more than my right arm is worth... After thinking about it, I feel my weekend report might be a bit too negative for this brilliantly funny and positive family blog to handle, so I'll move on to the real thought behind this post.

I was called by a certain close friend of mine who is on a vacation binge that I can only look at as epic. Fortunately, I am part of one of these trips later this year, and I can't wait...

He calls me from Key West to gloat. And after receiving a couple of explicative laden voice mails about me not picking up my phone, I called him so he could officially, and gleefully, tease me that he was there I and I am here.

I was waiting for him to break into boisterous and somewhat off key song on the phone:

The beer is too cold, the daiquiri’s too fruitful
There’s no place like home when it’s this far away
I don’t care what they say...

-Jimmy Buffet

I doggedly defended living in Birmingham this time of year... And I do like it here, but man I could use some warm sunny stuff pretty soon.

It's like I have been magically transported to Portland this winter. It hasn't stopped raining. The kids are cooped up, it's cold, and riding a bike with suicidal earthworms, that have been flooded out of their homes onto the roads, leaves interesting (and gross) stuff to clean off the bike after a ride.

I decided, Dangit! I'm gonna have some warm fun here if it kills me, so when I got home, I threw off the suit and tie, and put on my loudest Hawaiian shirt (over a long sleeve tee's winter for goodness sake and I'm not totally stupid). I put on every Jimmy Buffet album I own in a shuffle playlist and got to work on my change in lattitude.

I cooked up some Hawaiian chicken for dinner. Never mind that I didn't notice that I didn't have actual Pineapple until I had to make due with sauteed pears after noting that I was lacking this major ingredient to my recipe. The kids liked it enough...meaning not much of it got thrown on the floor, and the wife liked it...meaning she didn't have to cook it.

As I cleaned up after dinner and was feeling a little bit more island-ish, I stepped out back (onto my massive deck) with my drink to look at the stars. As I looked up into the heavens and imagined a starry night with warm breezes and waves crashing on some very far away began to snow.