Friday, December 31, 2010

Jeep. It's Time For Something New

Given that 2010 was largely a bust as far as cycling goes, I didn't really keep up the blog habit. Hopefully 2011 will be better on the bike, in the meantime this is going to become a blog for my new toy.

A 1986 Jeep CJ7. It kind of surprised me at first when I realized I wanted one. I think it all started with my spending a month in Yellowstone. Outdoors is a great place to be. I tend to forget that when I spend a lot of time in SF. Yellowstone got me reading about Grizzlies, and there seems to be no better author on the subject than Doug Peacock. Reading Peacock led me into reading the Monkey Wrench Gang, and that's what planted the seed of wanting a Jeep. Continuing to read Ed Abbey only reinforced it.

The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws. - Abbey

So after some pondering and some researching, I found the one I wanted. It had been sitting for a long time, pretty much unused, so I knew it was going to need a bunch of work, but everything looked in good shape, so I brought it home.

That drive home was a pretty memorable one- maybe not as memorable as when I flew my airplane home, but still pretty good. I only had to drive maybe 40 miles, but with the Jeep needing a carb adjustment and hitting on 4-5 of the 6 cylinders, it took a while to get home. I stayed to the back roads, which meant residential areas, which meant stop signs, so the 40 mile drive took about 2 1/2 hours.

I had already made an appointment to take it into Golden Gate Jeep the next morning. The first thing the mechanic asks me is "You know you bought a project, right?" I chuckled and acknowledged that yes, I was prepared to spend some money on my newest machine. The next day we spent about 15 minutes going over the list of stuff that needed to be replaced. Carb, plugs, cap, rotors, T-stat, water pump, vacuum lines... on and on. All was expected so I was prepared for it. So we prioritized the list and he got started.

I was hoping to have it for Christmas, but that didn't happen. Too much work needed, not enough time. Then I was hoping to have it to drive to Vegas next week (actually this weekend), but I was advised against it until I spent a bit more money on it. Since one of the reasons behind getting the Jeep was to have it to drive the desert trails around Vegas, this was a bit of a bitter pill.

So yesterday I get the call that it's ready to go, I pick it up and am pleased with it's much improved condition. I brought it home and E was helpful in getting the neighbors to move their cars a bit so I could fit in "just for a couple of days".
This morning we were going to go for a drive, nope. No starting today. So we go get a new battery- again not a surprising discovery. I replace the battery and voila, nothing (ok, not "nothing", but nothing good). So I pull the starter, yep it's busted.

Now I'm waiting for a new starter to arrive, Hopefully when I come home next weekend I can bolt in the new starter and go for a drive. If nothing else, I need to be able to move it out of its current parking space, lest good will amongst neighbors be tested.

Maybe next time I'll post a picture...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Contador, Doping, etc.

Well hell, it's really hitting the fan today. First the news of Alberto Contador, followed by the news of his compatriot Ezequiel Mosquera. All this coming to light while Fabian Cancellara wins his 4th Worlds TT championship.

First off, I don't like Contador, never have. Well before he and Lance got into it at last years TdF. Which is pretty much irrelevant to anything, but since it's a bias, I should disclose it.

My first reaction to Contador's positive was "it's about time" followed by a bit of surprise that he actually allowed himself to be caught. But as more and more is written, I'm finding that he may actually be right. Being right, in reality won't mean much. Plenty of other cyclists have been "right" and still been suspended. I've always believed Tom Zirbel got a bad deal, but then again, he was a rider I liked.

It's interesting to me that cycling has such a bad rap for doping. It's easy to see, just look at the headlines in todays sports section. Interesting because cycling seems to be the only sport with the pretense of being serious about eliminating performance enhancing drugs. Even more interesting in that riders, in the cases of Zirbel and Contador, if they are to be believed, are being found guilty of wrongdoing without them knowingly doing anything wrong.

Contador is claiming that he ingested Clenbuterol because of some tainted meat. Basically the claim is that some rancher used it to make more money from the beef he was selling. It seems this actually has some traction.

To me, the fact that our food contains products that cause athletes to fail drug tests is a much bigger issue than one cyclist testing positive. It's not enough to avoid supplements, multi-vitamins, energy drinks, etc. Riders are now going to have to even know the source of the food they're eating (which is a good idea anyway, and something I try to do).

So Contador may very well be getting screwed, but it only serves to show how little control an individual has over the food they eat. The regulatory agencies are far too cozy with the industries they should be regulating to do anything about. Big Agriculture increases its shareholdings, and the people get screwed.

Locally grown veggies are the way to go.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

"That's what the war looks like"

So yeah, this is old news, but I'm slow these days...

Veterans Defend Accused WikiLeaks' Source Bradley Manning
"I don't think it takes a whole lot of imagination to think about what would happen if something similar were to happen in our own neighborhoods," Stieber told the crowd. "We probably wouldn't be very sympathetic to the army that came in and did that." George frames it similarly, talking about the "Collateral Murder" shootings. "If someone were to do that on the streets in our own country," he suggests, "how would they be treated?"

Collateral Murder

Bradley Manning

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"They're Just Mad..."

..."because their wives won't let them come to my club."

This one just speaks for itself. Chapeau to the "30-year-old married mother of six".

Churchgoers, strippers protest one another in Coshocton County

Every weekend for the last four years, Dunfee and members of his ministry have stood watch over George's joint, taking up residence in the right of way with signs, video cameras and bullhorns in hand. They videotape customers' license plates and post them online, and they try to save the souls of anyone who comes and goes.

Now, the dancers have turned the tables, so to speak. Fed up with the tactics of Dunfee and his flock, they say they have finally accepted his constant invitation to come to church.

It's just that they've come wearing see-through shorts and toting Super Soakers.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August??? Already

Hard to believe it's August, since it's like 55° outside. I spent a month in Yellowstone, which was amazing. There are some pics here. The best stuff involved things I couldn't photograph: wolves, bears, eagles and the like. Some really breathtaking stuff was observed- wolves confronting bears, eagles fighting each other over fish... you know stuff that happens in nature. Which is an awful reminder that Yellowstone is about the only place left in the continental US where nature can still be observed. Sadly, there are people that think even this is too much. Lots of residents in the surrounding areas don't think that the bears and wolves even have a right to exist. I've taken to supporting the groups I think are doing the best jobs. Defenders of Wildlife is particularly devoted to Yellowstone's wolves.

I've been reading a book dealing with bears that has been quite good, I highly recommend it.

Other than that, nothing to see here, carry on.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The More Things Change

Still relevant after twenty years;

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Tea Party members should listen up. As long as Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are your torchbearers, you don’t have much credibility with me. One echoes between the ears and the other is 12 shy of a dozen. You honestly want me to think that your biggest issue is the cost of healthcare reform? You sat idly by while Bush squandered billions on a failed war, but all children having health insurance is too much to handle? That’s your beef? You realize, of course, that some of those children are white, don’t you?

We survived Bush. You’ll survive Obama.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thanks for Nothing

What exactly did you think you'd accomplish Mr Stack? Seriously. Ranting about there being no justice and then flying a plane into a building where hundreds of people work? I suppose anyone that worked there would have been considered a necessary casualty in pursuit of your- what? Dream? Plan? Manifesto?

Guess what, the world is better without you.

Too bad, a lot of what you had to say is valid. But now you've made it that much easier for anyone with valid arguements to be dismissed.

Thanks for nothing.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hi Blog

It's been a while. So let's see what going on the world....

Bike Racing is back. The Tom Boonen Invitational, aka Tour of Qatar, was won by none other than... Wouter Mol. Wouter Mol?!?! I guess your decision not to chase the break shows you still have a lot to learn, eh Team Sky?

Lot of other little races as riders get tuned up for the Spring Classics which kick off Feb 27 with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. I think it's going to be a fun season to watch, I don't see any races that are a lock going in. A lot of people will say Contador is a lock to win the tour, but I'm not one of them.

As for my own racing, I missed the Cherry Pie Crit last weekend, but my teammate Anna got 6th in her race which kicks ass. I'm driving down to Cowschwitz tonight to do the Cantua Creek Road Race tomorrow morning. It should be a good test of where I'm at fitness wise.

I'm looking at getting a coach, I think I've found someone that should work pretty well. I'm hoping this will alleviate some of the training frustration I've been experiencing.

I've been spending a bit of time on the track, and having a lot of fun with it. We'll see how it goes when I start racing, I'm hoping I'll be competitive enough for it to be enjoyable.

Aside from that, here are some things to help enjoy your Friday.

Our Girls, Their Cars
Colbert FTW!
Pre Order the New DBT Album
Josh Ritter has a new album coming out

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jon Stewart Again

"It's not that the Democrats are playing checkers while the Republicans are playing chess. The Republicans are playing chess, while the Democrats are in the nurses office because, once again, they glued their balls to their thighs."

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mass Backwards
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Monday, January 11, 2010

Airport Security- A Rational Perspective

Another good piece from Patrick Smith at

Its reactionary policies in general are folly: The hijacker uses a box cutter; we ban box cutters. The bomber stands; we ban standing. And so on, in a childish, rock-paper-scissors version of national security.

I Keep Ignoring Her, But She Won't Go Away

Oh good, another clown in the Idiot Circus.

It was inevitable. Fox News confirms to the New York Times today that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will become a regular contributor to the cable news channel.

And Of Course:

McCain aide: Palin believed candidacy 'God's plan'

That's good, because clearly that means it was "God's Plan" for her to lose. But of course that's not how "God" works. "God" only gets credit, never blame. Imaging Palin having to come to terms with the knowledge that "God" might actually hate her.

I bet "God" thinks this is as funny as I do:

Tea Party Nation: Liberals Have Attacked And Are Uploading Porn To Our Site


And the obligatory Power File from EB2 yesterday. Exactly as "God" wanted it to be...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stewart Nails It... Again

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Terror 2.0 by Yemen
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


And for the hell of it, here's my power chart for the first race of the season.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Terrorism Myths

It's kind of sad that something so obvious isn't the prevailing wisdom with the American people (albeit not surprising from a Nation of Happy Meal eaters), but here it is anyway: 5 myths about keeping America safe from terrorism
By grounding commercial aviation and effectively closing our borders after the 2001 attacks, Washington accomplished something no foreign state could have hoped to achieve: a blockade on the economy of the world's sole superpower.