weekend update, january version

one of things i wanted to do in the new year was post more often to the blog. little did i know that the mca gig was going to be so time consuming, its great, but it takes a lot of the spare time i have in a day to do things. here is a little catch-up from this past weekend.

i've decided to go with the changes to the 29er frame, that is, adding a new rear brake mount and a dropout for gears. of course making the bike gear friendly, means more bike parts and new rear wheel - my addiction is so hard to cure.

stripped the rear triangle with a little Permatex Gasket Remover, which actually worked quite well for removing powder coat.

mike truelove is going to mill a new brake dropout based on this drawing i provided. the new brake mount will allow me to use the full travel of the dropout (fewer chains to change out), as well as allowing me to remove the rear wheel by simply loosening two bolts (previously i had to loosen one bolt and take the other one out completely - not a lot of fun when you need to fix a flat in a race).

diagram of the dropout

saturday tinker tim, kevinb and i snowshoed the bur oak trail. we saw a couple of potential lines that will be helpful for next year's wednesday night series and found ourselves really wishing that spring would get here soon.

sunday night was reserved for the schubertiad. it was a really cool performance that combined excellent singing and playing, poetry reading, cool pictures projected on a screen to the left (out of picture), and really interesting sound scapes mixed into the more traditional schubert lieder.

i had a hell of time trying to take an inconspicuous picture of the performance (no flash etc.)

post concert tenacious v and mrs. dr. reflect on the choices of wine sitting on a table just out of the picture

i have had an ongoing battle with electronic devices this past year. so far i am down one camera, one ipod (suffering the same fate as the cell phone), and now my cell phone. at the moment i am trying to revive my cell phone which i sent through a wash cycle. as you can see it is sitting in a bag of rice which i am using to draw the moisture out, and it seems to be working. at first nothing happened when i turned on my phone after i pulled it out of the washing machine, but after a few days i am finally able to call and receive calls. the ring tone is pretty quiet and the there is no image on the screen to speak of, well there is, but it is both backwards and really weird colours. i am going to let it sit in the rice for a few more days.


a new project

here is a project that i am working on; its called wednesdays in pictures. the concept for the project can be found here (i shamelessly stole the idea from here). send me an email if you are at all interested in putting up photos of your wednesday (not here, but on the blog i created for the project).

here is a sample of how it looks...

Name: Hal
Occupation: Librarian
City: Winnipeg
Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2009

early alarm

breakfast of oatmeal with cranberries

today was run to work day instead of bike to work day - it was bloody cold

after arriving at work i decided to check the temperature

the banana i brought for coffee break did not fare so well in the knapsack

computer stations at work

had to buy lunch today: spinach soup, grilled cheese with pickle, apple and a orange

at the end of lunch, waking up from a little refresher nap on the yoga mat

having to order a new copy of this book because someone decided to cut out the pages rather than photocopy them - jerk

on the reference desk waiting to help someone

later, helping a student with her literature search assignment

getting ready for the run home

what was on the ipod when i got home

off to the supermarket to get groceries

mottle waiting for her dinner

making our dinner: penne with vodka tomato sauce

driving to my 10:20 volleyball game - not my farvourite time to play volleyball on a week night

we (dark blue) beat them 3 games to 1

finishing a long day by watching the daily show


librarian humor

thanks go to gianni for this one

from here


skiing is hard

i did not know what to call this blog, potential title's included:

  1. in the pain locker
  2. i got a long way to go
  3. waxing is a science beyond me

first race of the year for me took place at grand beach today and it was painful, rewarding, but painful. ski racing is fun and it is quite the work out. after my first loppet last year it took me three days before i could put my pants on without sitting on the edge of the bed and using my hand to lift my knees up. not in that type of pain today, but i am feeling it.

the other thing, and definitely the more important, is that my techniqe sucks. it is one thing to ski around windsor, but skiing around grand beach with those hills is another. only bit it twice, but it was watching the 13 year old kid pull away from me that was somewhat humiliating. like biking, learning good techniques and building skiing muscels will take some time.

the other thing that i am discovering about x-country ski racing is that waxing in iffy conditions: colder (borderline between two different glide wax ratings) and fresh snow, made today's wax choices difficult. yesterday i spent the morning at the shop putting on what i thought would be the right glide wax and today i felt like i was skiing in sand. the grip wax was not an issue, but the glide was not what i wanted. now, i don't think anyone had great glide, the fresh snow took care of that, but some seemed to be faring better than others. i know that waxing can be tricky and it can also be expensive with some waxes running $40-60 and more. i am not about to spend huge bucks on waxes (one expensive hobby is enough). waxing also requires a fair amount of knowledge and creativity, one of my fellow competitors used two different waxes and a fluro powder. you can do quite well with some of the more reasonable waxes, but i do need to pay better attention to upcoming conditions and i really need to get my waxing bench made so i can change waxes if needed.

all that said, i'm looking forward to the next race


friday distractions

t was my birthday over the holidays and for a gift i received a bottle of wine from my sister-in-law who works at kenaston wine market. it was a bottle of cono sur reserva syrah and it was lovely. the cono sur winery makes some very nice bottles of wine and they have an appealing philosophy with environmental considerations. also appealing is the use of the bicycle image on their bottles, but it does not stop there, they extend it their overall philosophy as well...

"Both in life and in wine we believe in returning to bicycle basics, to those simple things you never forget."

very nice. we often buy the organic wine for our "table" wine and quite enjoy it.

on another note, the other day something triggered my memory to an album that i used to own called "the secret policeman's ball" the album contained music from an amnesty international benefit concert which also featured british comedy acts from monty python and rowan atkinson. this was one of my favourite albums at the time because it contained killer tracks by pete townshend doing solo acoustic versions of drowned and won't get fooled again; youtube is truly a great thing...

(sorry, they don't allow embedding of the video below, if you want, use the link above to see the video)


to cave or not

hmmmm, anyone in for iditabike?

so, any day now i will be packing my 29er frame and sending it off to mike truelove to do some modifications on the brake mount. he is going to cut and weld on a new rear brake mount for me that will be more adjustable than the current mount. here is a picture of the type of mount that i am having added, the curve of the bottom slot makes it easier to adjust the brake as the wheel moves back and forth, as well as removing the wheel.

as there is no prefab mount that mike can add he needs to cut a mount himself based on drawings that i provide (yikes!).

the question is, do i have him add a hanger at the same time. one part of me likes the idea of having the option of gears (the part of me that wants to see if gears would be faster and more beneficial for some races), while the other part of me is totally repulsed by the idea of having anything to do with gears when it comes to mountain biking.

a decision will need to be made soon.


too much snow for skiing

the new snow is great but when it comes to the misery sticks, too much of it puts too much emphasis on the misery part of the equation.

mrs. dr. and i really don't do the x-mas present exchange anymore, opting to make donations instead. however, we did buy ourselves some snowshoes this last week to give us another outdoor option when we get too much snow, or the temperature gets to cold. i guess you might call them seasonal gifts, i like to think of them as another way to stay active, a nice thing about living near assiniboine park and the river is there is always an option to go for a quick stomp through the snow. last night mrs. dr. tried it for the first time and had a great time, because it is snowing again today it looks like we'll go for another walk tonight.

if anybody want's to give it a try please let me know and we'll be glad to let you borrow them.


project funtown

i had full intentions of completing "project funtown" this holiday season but preparations for our new year's eve meal, some skiing, and family gatherings have interfered with my intended schedule. typically these areas, known as mantown or man towns (in fact that's what i was calling it up until now) are areas in the basement or garage which guys set up to reflect their hobbies, drink beer, and put up pictures of half-naked women. i decided to switch the name of the project to "funtown" because it better reflects the intentions of the space that i am trying to create: a place to work on my bikes, store my sport's stuff, wax my skis, and set up my rollers and a tv; it is not intended to be some misogynistic hovel with pictures of half-naked women on the wall.

project funtown is back on track and shortly i hope to have it completed with such functional features as: a bike repair station (sort of there, but needs to be organized better), a wax bench for skis (this is the model i am using with some modifications for holding the skis in place); an indoor bike wash station, jersey and sport's wear storage, tv and roller set up, work bench, and a couple of comfy chairs.



out with the old and in with the new. hoping all have a happy and joy filled new year.

mrs. dr. swears she bought this tree, i think she found it in a ditch somewhere

part of the meal preparation for new year's eve meal - lamb stew for the cassoulet

making duck confit for the cassoulet, hmmmmm confit...

working off the libations from the previous evening, a 6km showshoe in the park