Thursday, May 29, 2008


Talk radio + light + mothballs = no raccoon for a night!

I was actually able to get seven hours of sleep last night, my buddy seems to have either stayed in for the night or has taken off to never return. I actually stepped out the door very apprehensively this AM expecting to be accosted by a masked bandit wearing little brass knuckles for being such a home wrecker. Luckily my adversary was no place to be found, but I'll be watching my six and keeping my fingers crossed. Something tells me I have not seen the last of my squatter.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Let there be light!

Shock and awe phase three has begun, mrs. coon is going to love her new lighting in the crawlspace.

Day two and a new idea

Last night's trapping attempt was fruitless, something had stolen the bait and left the trap empty by 11:00 at night. I re-baited and set the trap but it ws undisturbed this AM.

I however was not left undisturbed, the raccoon was indeed back and romping around in the wall again. A couple good knocks on the access panel shut her up long enough for a little more sleep, but nothing of quality.

So this morning I was thinking about how dark it was under the house and in the wall. She stumbles around and finds her way to the same place every morning in the dark, and seems to like it. What if I were to light up the crawlspace like Las Vegas on Christmas eve? I know that if I were nocturnal I'd hate living in bright place that had shitty top 40 playing all day and smelled like moth balls.

After some googling, apparently I'm on the right track:

So I need to switch out the top 40 for Rush Limbaugh. If I had to listen to any pundit for hours on end I'd either leave or shoot myself as well. I'll change the station up for day three if needed.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sonic warfare

So my under-house buddy was back this morning around 5:30, bumping into things and creating a ruckus. It's actaully starting to crack me up a bit as it reminds me of my early 20's. Stay out late, party, come stumbling home, sleep all day on Saturday and go out to do it again the next night.

Unfortunately Mr. Nocturnal is in direct conflict with my sleeping habits so I'm trying a new idea before just shooting the bastard.

Before I left today I took a bookshelf stereo and pointed the speakers at the wall by the bathtub that he likes to hang out in. Just before leaving the house I turned it on, cranked the volume a bit and walked out. he stole precious sleep from me, I shall do the same to him.

Tonight the live trap goes under the house, we'll see how well it works.

Monday, May 26, 2008

31 years and a thanks

This Saturday marked the 31st year after having been given birth at good old Providence hospital in Southfield Michigan. To celebrate my 31st it was road trip time to Northport to camp and to watch the Tour De Leelenau come storming through Northport and various other cities north west of Traverse City.

Saturday night we camped in Northport with Erin and Bryce. We had fantastic campfire food, a couple beverages and proceeded to freeze as it got chilly that night. Sunday started sunny and warm, but got cold and overcast, we packed up the camp sites and it soon began to rain. Scrap the plan of riding into Northport to watch the race, we drove to Suttons bay and watched there and at the finish line instead. The finish was amazing, those guys were sprinting 22MPH+ up a giant hill at the end of nearly 110 miles of riding, incredible!

Today was a relaxed morning and a triple loop of Hanson Hills before I had to roll south on I75 sharing the southbound lanes with half the population of metro Detroit. The first two loops were great, loop # three had my legs feeling like lead as I did a near time trial pace loop for #2. Overall the third was still worth it, gotta keep the base alive for Ore To Shore. And if I'm feeling stupid enough, perhaps the Boyne Marathon.

On a final note, I'd just like to officially thank all the vets and those lost to preserve my freedoms so that I can enjoy not just memorial day weekend, but every weekend in my lifetime. I'm truly blessed to live in such a great country and I owe it to every man and woman who puts on a uniform to protect this country.

Friday, May 23, 2008

He's baaaaack

So this morning I'm sound asleep and I wake up from a bit of noise which I attribute to an animal drinking out of the beer bucket I left on the back porch filled with water for cleaning. An hour later I'm woken up by something that sounded like it was ready to crawl into bed with me!

I could hear some type of critter scaling the inner wall of my house up around the pipes and into the open space around the bath tub. While pulling the access cover off the pipes and proceeding to go hand to hand crossed my mind, I figured the ensuing bloodbath would end up with me getting rabies shots and having a hell of a mess to clean up. Clearly this was a wise choice as the moth balls seem of little deterrence, either this animal has no sense of smell or he's a badass capable of defeating my weak LAN geek fighting skills.

Unless the elusive acrobatic climbing skunk has found my crawlspace habitat I'm pretty certain I'm dealing with just a raccoon so a live trap and a drive down the road to the park should be all I need to address this one. Then up goes the razor wire over all the access points.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Still alive

The melting moth balls have yet to kill me, but for some reason my sinuses have never been more clear...

Great day today! Commuted via bike, transfered the fat tire ale clone wort in to the big carboy and I got out for the ride of silence. I'm already up to 378 miles for the month of May and my legs and lungs feel great. Time to hit the pool at least twice a week and get ready for the Motor City Triathlon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Moth Balls

According to, these little beauty's contain napthalene and my favorite, paradichlorobenzene. They kill moths and larvae via the fumes they produce, it's best to put the clothes you wish to protect in a sealed container to maximize concentration and limit your exposure as both chemicals are not exactly good for you. Good thing I read up on this before I decided to dump two boxes worth in the crawl space of my house!

Yep, two boxes of moth balls have been spread wildly underneath
my house in an effort to rid my domicile from what ever creature took up residence underneath it.

Last night at 2:30 in the morning I awoke to what I thought was something or some one at my back door. Out came the super retina blaster 5000 flashlight and other protection and I just waited. It got really quiet and I heard nothing and figured it must have been an animal on the porch or the wind was kicking up. Not quite, the wind was still as can be and nothing was in the backyard. Then suddenly I heard something under my feet hitting the duct work, damn near made me jump once again.

I have no clue of exactly what creature is down there, but I knew that moth balls will rid attics of squirrels and raccoons and skunks hate them too so tossing a few under a deck is a good thing. It was that or break out the .22, piss off the neighbors, break some laws and perforate my duct work and plumbing at the same time, being a more modern redneck, this will be my last approach.

So today on my lunch break I hit the hardware store and got two boxes of stinky little white balls to do my dirty work instead of Ruger. Just before I left for my Tuesday night ride I dumped some in all the foundation vents and tossed an entire box in the access hatch area. Being outside, the smell didn't seem like much and I was worried that it may not work.

Upon arriving home I was greeted with the smell of one of grandma's garment bags when I opened the door. The fumes were/are overwhelming and I am now unhappily heating the outdoors as I refuse to close the open windows as I fear all my brain cells are going to fry and all my possessions are going to smell like grandma and grandpas attic.

If nobody hears from me tomorrow it's because I inflicted death upon myself for a sake of using a humane way of driving off what ever occupant has begun to squat in my crawlspace. You know, the Ruger and leaky pipes smells like a much better idea at this point. Fines are cheaper than cancer any day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

73.7 Miles and 12 hours of smiles

This Saturday marked my first race this season having decided to stick to endurance mountain bike events and triathlons this summer. While my knee has been iffy and my training a little less than I wished it was, Dirty Picasso Girl and I decided to do a two person, 12 hour team for the 6/12 hours of Addison Oaks.

We arrived at Addison later than we wanted to thanks to a freeway detour that had us taking side roads up through Royal Oak and Birmingham and the long drive down Rochester road felt like it was taking forever, but we finally made it.

We found the team compound being setup, dropped off the food goods for the day, got registered and started getting ready. After the announcements I had about six minutes to get ready for the first lap. Luckily I had some of my gear on, so I got back to the start with one minute to spare.

The first lap wasn't too bad, lots of being passed, but I was out there for 12 hours so I didn't plan on winning it in the first lap. First strange sight of the day, half a squirrel with the tail still moving. First feeling of my newly stans'd tubeless tire loosing pressure.

Got back in, handed off to DPG and she rolled out and I filled my tubeless tire, shook it all around and it seemed to be sealed up so I decided to run with it still. This turned out to be a bad idea as it started to deflate a third of the way into my second lap. Pulled out the inflater, shot some C02 in it, went to pull off the inflater and out came the valve stem with it resulting in a flatter than flat tire. Luckily I had another co2, I screwed the inflater back in, stuck the new c02 cartridge in the inflater, shot air in the tire and then left the inflater head on the wheel and pulled the co2 off. Hole plugged, but it was ugly. I managed to ride almost all the way out and only had to run the last 1/4 mile on that lap.

Back at the compound I went back to my old setup and put a tube equipped wheel and tire on, back in business and ready to rock. DPG came in and I went out for a double, almost hitting a cat at the top of the fence climb! I was starting to feel the flow of the trail, but my legs were letting me know how under trained I was. DPG went out for the next double and I did one more at which time we switched to singles for the duration.

The next couple laps felt hard, I didn't have good recovery food back at the compound, I had to do something different so I tried some endurolytes, sure enough, my kick was back. At this point I was feeling the flow, I knew every shift point on the trail, but I was flopping down into granny gear for the last climb to save my legs. Both us and the other 12 hour team had an even lap count and we had to keep going even if my mind was ready to settle for drinking beer at the compound. :) Lap #9, that damn cat is back running right up the middle of the trail where myself and a 12 hour solo rider we hitting out brakes and laughing our asses of how this cat was out playing with everyone today. We both looked up in time to see a deer bound off into the woods, it was a cool race for seeing nature, but that cat probably lost a life or two that day. :)

As the night fell the cooler temps really helped us turn it up, my last two laps were great and I was able to push as hard as I was in the morning, the potato and endurolyte combo really worked for recovery. The second to the last lap in partial day light was in the 35 minute range, I was astounded, but the coolest part of the race was taking off in complete darkness with only my headlamp and the moon behind me. I got to the top of the first two track climb and started to spin when I noticed a bat flying along in front of me, guiding my way down the corridor of trees. He flapped and bobbed back and fourth fairly erratically and I chased after him until he pulled off just before the fun downhill at the gate. As the moon was huge and bright I kept looking back thinking it was another rider, but I never saw another soul on the last solo run. I was more timid in the downhills and missed some of the features I used as land marks for the twisty navigation, but still did ok.

Upon getting back in I found DPG waiting for me at the timing booth, we won! Well at least we thought we won, turns out we were actually a lap down. :( Even so, we made amazing accomplishments that day. Together we rode 134 miles of mostly single track, we never both took a break at the same time for the over 12 hours of riding. We gave it our all, I made a personal single track mileage record and had a blast doing it. A huge thanks to Cycle To Fitness and the Greyhounds crew!

We'll be passing on Boyne next weekend in favor of viewing the Tour de Leelanau, however the 12 hours of Ithaca seems to be calling.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Stick a fork in it

I'm done! With...... my fork!

Sitting over at Cycle to Fitness is a shiny new Rock Shox SID with 100MM travel to almost perfectly match the axle to crown of the worn out Headshok on the Cannondale. I'll gain some travel, adjustability and have a fork that doesn't leak down. I could have just rebuilt it, however my procrastination got me on this one. Race season is here and I can't afford the downtime.

To offset some of the weight I'll be adding I'll finally be going tubeless on the rear with my Stans crow and there is a nice new Juicy Ultimate rear brake waiting for me too. :)

So tomorrow becomes a build day, good thing I got in 6 miles of road to and from and two 10 mile loops at the tree farm tonight.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

CSI - Traverse City

This weekend when visiting DPG I noticed a post card from one of her area bike shops advertising a big sale, but what caught my eye was the seriousness of it. The photo in the corner, so dark and dramatic. The folks there look like they are ready to solve any bike problem or mystery.

Obviously the marketing guy has been watching a little too much TV lately, the uncanny appearance reminds me of.

Or maybe Bob Mclain's true passion is solving crimes and bringing bad people to justice. Either way, not a bad bike shop despite the over dramatic look.

Overall, a great weekend in the north. Two laps of VASA, beer, shots, live music, a bad karaoke solo show, boss hog, dueling guitars, perfect omolettes, sunny walks, relaxing naps, family visits and a ladder climbing cat. I couldn't have asked for a more fun and relaxing time with DPG.