Tuesday, January 29, 2008


I continue my foray into eastern style cooking, tonight was a winner! The key is totally in the right combination of brown and soy sauce.

Chicken cooked in sesame oil, brown sauce, and soy. Half cook chicken, add broccoli, pea pods, sprouts and carrot. Continue to cook for five to ten more minutes, I covered it for five.

Outcome is some tasty stuff and depending on how much chicken you use, fairly low cal too.

On another note, todays training was a little brick of a 25 minute spin and 1.75 mile run. Knee is letting me know it's there. It's gym time to strengthen it.

Calories consumed today, between 2300 and 2500.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Free to a good home!

Thanks to the moving help of DPG, my trainer has a new home!

Gone is the matching love seat mate of my bachelor green couch, in it's place is a cool new Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer, mat and re-forked bad luck bike that will probably never see the road again. Given what has happened to it before I'm expecting a lightning bolt to blast it through the window during a storm this spring. :)

I think the addition of a bike is exactly what every living room needs. Make your company spin while they chat and enjoy that tea or frosty beverage of barley and hops. Just encourage visitors to wear shorts or pants with some type of chamois, that SLR saddle is a little more harsh than I was hoping for.

So here it is, in poor lighting quality, this highly sought after, green linen couch. Free for the taking until Thursday when it will be dragged to the curb and sent to smelly death after years of faithful service.

On an entirely different note, I'd just like to give a big thanks to DPG for taking the edge off these past couple days and brining a sense of normalcy to my life. Despite car issues and other obligations she was right there for me, my best friend whom I'm blessed to have in my life.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Godspeed Grandma

Your jovial laugh, your kindness and your remarkable ability to beat us all at cards will be missed!

We love you grandma!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Feed the warrior!

That's it, I have my new training mantra thanks to seeing this little gem on youtube.

Hey Kevin, you mind showing this nice customer how to kill the coward within?

Short spin tonight but with killer exploding chest and burning legs sprints. 2,300 calories consumed.

Monday, January 21, 2008

If we aren't the fastest

We may still be the best dressed cycling and tri team in the state of Michigan this season.

While lots of teams are bringing back argyle, our leader decided that it would be in good fashion to bring a little plaid to the cycling scene.

Now that's some seriously fashionable cycling gear, as for tri, well you can't beat the look of skin tight plaid now can you? :)

Also new for this year is the sponsor of Woodland Lanes which opens up a whole new fun side to our attire.

Last year we had some very cool day glow "safety yellow" tee shirts with the team logo that made us stand out in a major way. They were perfect for wearing before and after races when you want to get the sweaty garb off. Thanks to Ali's cool Christmas gift of a nifty vintage bowling shirt, the following dawned on me. Team bowling shirts! Nothing screams class like a bowling shirt. Rob has already done a quick first pass on a design and it looks pretty promsing, colors and final design TBD.

Now won't we look swanky on the podium!

On another note, I'm finally getting back on the stick. Spun for an hour and consumed 2400 calories today. This off season has officially come to an end.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Something is fishy in South Bend

And the taste isn't too bad.

It's always interesting trying new places to eat while on the road. If you want standard affair there are always big chains to ensure the quality of your mostly bland American style food is consistent from eatery to eatery. There is always a Friday's, Chili's or Applebee's around most major cities and they have the quality control thing down pat. A burger at Applebee's in South Bend will most likely taste exactly like one in Savanna. It's great and safe if you actually like that shit.

The problems with travel and eating start to arise when you would rather eat lo-mien than a big plate of hot wings or a 1.6 lb. burger. Asian restaurants are rarely chains, they are all different and the quality can range from flavors that make you want to have the chef's love child to something that even the dumpster diving raccoons will turn their noses up at.

The past two evening's I've gotten lucky in my findings, nothing the equivalent of knocking one out of the park, but neither was a pathetic failed bunt attempt either. The Great Wall Chinese restaurant and Mikado Japanese steakhouse and Sushi are both base hits. Tonights rainbow roll and spicy tuna don't compare to Happy Sushi, but it sure beats a sharp stick in the eye or super market sushi any day of the week.

Overall it was a good day in South Bend. 12 hours worked, two servers near completion, two more right around the corner most and most things are going according to schedule. Time to enjoy this nice Dark Horse Raspberry Ale and continue to get some training inspiration from Bike magazine. The articles are good enough to make me actually miss my trainer, I can't wait to get out for a ride when I get home.

So long from the land of the Irish, Touchdown Jesus says it's good and goodnight!

Monday, January 14, 2008

I love my mutt

My trusty 2004 Pontiac Vibe that is.

After listening to the brakes groan for the first couple stops for the past week I decided it was time to stick some new pads on there as it's going to be due for new ones soon. I knew I wasn't down to tabs or rivets, but the car has close to 60k on it now so it must be due for new pads, or is it?

Now I knew the brakes on this little econocar were pretty decent, I'm yet to warp them no matter how hard I drive it or what I'm hauling. It would come right down from speed even hauling 700+ lbs of personal watercraft and gear. It wasn't until I pulled the wheel today that I realized how good they actually are for a 2,800 lb car.

At first glance they looked bigger in diameter and thicker than the ones on the Taurus I used to drive. They looked way beefier than the Miata brakes I was used to looking at too. No wonder why I can't warp these puppies, they are actually engineered to get the job done for a very long time.

I whipped out the 15 MM socket and proceeded to remove the caliper on the right side first. When I removed the shims from the pads it became very clear why, the pads said "Toyota" on them.

That's right, the Vibe is just a Corolla in disguise making me look like a good American while I get to enjoy Toyota engineering with some GM parts peppered in for good measure.

Just for kicks I looked up the rotor size on my warp o' matic 1999 Ford Tortise. 10.8 inches of squishy brake action. Turn or replace every 15,000 miles on this 3,350 lb car. Under braked and under sprung, my what an underachiever. The vibe brakes? Also 10.8", however the car weighs 550 lbs less than the Ford. A little under engineering on fords part, or does Toyota overkill? Given the rotor life on the Ford I'd say Toyota is on the proper track.

On to the pads!

Given my racing background the regular cheap parts store pads just won't cut it. They generally don't even do as well as the OEM pads do on today vehicles, though they are cheap.

To date I've pretty much tried all the performance street pads out there. EBC Gree, Carbotech SSF, Hawk HP+ and HPS, Metal Masters, PBR, KVR and more. Hawk HPS and Carbotech SSF's are definitely my favorites for stopping power, but they are indeed the most spendy. KVR's were a joke, the PBR, Metal Masters, and EBC's were in the middle.

I figured it was time to give something new a try as the brakes I wanted were available locally, but had a $90 price tag attached, ouch! Now they were on the net for $25 less, but who knows when they would get here.

I stopped by Auto Zone and they didn't have anything that struck my fancy despite the guy telling me they were great pads and would last a lifetime. "long life isn't high friction" I mentioned before walking out the door. Murray's however could order me up some Performance Friction pads that would be here by my Monday return, perfect. Performance Friction has true racing heritage and are on all kinds of race cars albeit a much different compound. I don't exactly need the CM93 compound on my daily driver. :)

The install was a breeze, all the hardware was in great shape and the job took just over an hour. initial thoughts on the pads are, well disappointing, worse than oem. But I did only put a mile on them and a few stops. They will break in tomorrow on my South Bend trip and I'll get a better idea on what they are capable of.

Overall I'm totally impressed with my little mutt. It gets a synthetic oil change every 8,000 miles and uses half a quart of oil between changes. The only operational costs so far have been the normal things. Oil changes, an air filter, tires and now brakes. Not one dime in repairs other than the covered under warranty roof leak. My only complaints are the shitty seats and the tranny seems a little off these days. Although, after learning that it has Hydromatic stamped on it, well it's par for the course.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Parts and pepper

Well today was "Candy Day" at Cycle to Fitness. Candy day is when all the parts from the team orders start rolling in. You walk into the shop and see boxes of goodies like XTR and XO components along with cool new frames, White Brothers forks, Dura Ace cassettes and all kinds of other fun stuff.

This of course draws us geeks out of the wood work to fondle, ogle and talk smack over the big contest. The contest you ask? Why it's just like the midway game of "Guess my weight." Items get unwrapped, we pass them around and everyone tries to guess the weight of every component. I walked in and won two, but got screwed by a gram on another. The rest, well that scale is a liar.

Upon getting home I was hungry so I decided to bust out some chicken, notta pasta, pea pods, eggs and various sauces. The bummer of it all? Well I didn't have any red pepper. :( I will say that Oyster sauce, brown sauce, garlic and soy make a wonderful marinade to cook chicken and egg in. Not quite the perfect Pad See Ew style dish, but I'm getting close!

On a good note, 50 minute spin before the door to door salesmen came by and knocked twice. I thought it may have been the neighbors complaining about the noise or I never would have stopped my wind machine. I felt as if I had quite a while left in me so all the holiday relaxation is starting to get blown out of the system. Hopefully I can get another light spin in tomorrow!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Notta Pasta

Today I ventured out into the world after hibernating all day yesterday recovering from not only still being a bit sick, but from a foolish night of drinking, playing guitar hero and watching the disgustingly funny Grandma's Boy. I don't recommend heavy beer consumption a couple days after kicking the flu, but I do recommend this movie if you like humor that pushes the envelope and would make your mother smack you upside the head.

So there I was, shopping list in hand pushing my cart down the aisles of the local super market looking for some type of whole wheat blend pasta when I found this little gem.

Notta pasta indeed, hell not even Italian and most certainly not Fettuccine. however I have now found a source for wide rice noodles locally and won't have to special order them from DPG when she makes it back down state.

So is this really worth blogging about? Hell yes, my tape worm loves Thai and anything that gets me closer to perfecting Pad See Ew at home makes him and I both happy.

Beyond finding my poorly simulated rice based fettuccine it was simply a good day. I felt well enough to spin for 50 minutes to blow the cob webs out of the legs. Not to do it all with some type of consistency as Climb Detroit is only six weeks away!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A new years buzz!

Multiple choice question:

Shakey buzzed his head due to:

A: A new fashion trend?

B: Meeting weight loss goals for the new year?

C: Loves frosty single digit temps directly on his scalp?

D: A continued effort toward low maintenance and cheap hair cuts.

If you answered D you go it!

After going really short this summer and loving it I decided it was just costing me too much money to keep it nice and short. Getting a hair cut every four weeks is becoming a pain so it's time to take matters into my own hands.

Today I hit the cheapo place to have them buzz it all off with a #1 guard. If it looked ok I'd then proceed to buying a electric clipper and just cut my own hair every other time and only visit a shop for cleanup work. If I play my cards right I may even be able to get DPG to give me a hand now and then. Although she owes me a kick in the pants first subjecting her to a "Happy Flu Year" and having to watch the Dirty Jobs marathon all day on the couch with me. Something tells me the hair decision is up to her at this point anyhow. :)