Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Breaking Zappadan News - What's New In Baltimore

Baltimore declares August 9th Frank Zappa Day

Monday, December 21, 2009

Nothing to say here.... just enjoy

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zappadan Covers

On this penultimate day of Zappadan, I think it's good to have a number of various covers. These are the Ed Palermo Big Band covering G-Spot Tornado and King Kong with some added mutations for your dancing pleasure. Here we go...

And now for the big sing along... Rockapella covering Heavenly Bank Account from Zappa'a Universe. I don't seem to remember them doing this on Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hot Plate Heaven

Ah yes... Mike Keneally. My favorite of Frank Zappa's "Stunt Guitarists". Here's a clip from him at Zappa's Universe in 1991 doing the solo from Hot Plate Heaven.

You might want to check out Mike's newest work, Scambot 1. Have look for it at www.keneally.com

The Yellow Shark

One of my favorite things that Frank Zappa did was his work with the Ensemble Modern . Here is a tasty little treat from one of the shows in Germany. The level of talent in these folks is simply amazing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Big Note: B Flat

"Everything in the universe is ... is ... is made of one element, which is a note, a single note. Atoms are really vibrations, you know, which are extensions of THE BIG NOTE ... Everything's one note. Everything, even the ponies. The note, however, is the ultimate power, but see, the pigs don't know that, the ponies don't know that ..."

Spider in Very Distraughtening ~ Lumpy Gravy

Well... It turns out Spider was indeed correct. Back in September 2003, scientists working with the Chandra X-Ray Observatory detected wave like features emanating from a super massive black hole in the Perseus galaxy cluster (See Link). When analyzed, the pitch of this wave is B-Flat.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Humble Zappadan Offering For The Day After BummerNacht

Ah yes... You heard right. The secret word for tonight is Zappadan. It's time to break out the collection in a quest for conceptual continuity.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mud Studs & Studettes

Went over to watch Jingle Cross under the lights on Friday. Had a good time hanging with various members of ShortBus. It was good to see some of the Colorado contingent back in Iowa. The usual beer drinking and heckling ensued. It was fun for all, even the folks on the bikes. We even managed to get a smile out of Mer on the Mt. Krumpet descent. It was mud city owing to the rains the preceding three days in the week. Wheels were ceasing to turn and rear derailleurs were departing frames with great regularity. Fun Fun.

Meredith Miller, the "800 Pound Gorilla" (sorry Mer *lol*), slew all in the elite women. That was great since she's been on the podium several times this year, but never on the top step in this year's cross season. As expected, it was someone named Wells winning the men's race. A link to Cyclocross Magazine here provides more detail.

The above clip is something I found when looking for results for Saturday. It's from last year, but it provides a taste of the insanity. A very nice film.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Le Tour

Well... I'm now starting to wonder about the 2010 edition of The Tour de France. The route has been out for awhile, but I've not really looked until now. Velonews has a nice little "review" of it here. So that got me to thinking about Kraftwerk and their song Tour de France. There are a couple of Youtube videos of it up. One old school and one new school. They both have their own charm. That said, the old school one has much cooler cycling footage. These were the hard men of the tour.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The King Of Yoga

Well... not really. Although I do recall a person in the Led Primary series class today being sort of "stuck" on the floor in Garbha Pindasana like The King.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mississippi Fred McDowell

I was introduced to Mississippi Fred's music back in 1975. An amazing player.

Cycling Is Booming Again!

Found a link to this over on Copenhagenize. Way cool clip from a 1933 film...


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Night Guitar Madness

I should have run this one on Halloween, but better later than never. Once again, it's Unknown Hinson. I gotta get to a show....

Note: I like the bike wheel in the background at 00:23 into the video.

A Bill Board I'd Like To See

Found this over at Copenhagenizer.

I'm getting a bit tired of seeing all of the onus for safety being placed on the cyclist. It's the folks in the cars that really need to change behaviors.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

About time someone spends some quality time in the Gray Bar Hotel.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Salute The Cars?

Here's an image from a piece that ran in the NY Times. The story was about odd ball odd rules and laws in China. Here's a link to the story.

It seems that some nameless offical thinks that having kids salute cars will reduce traffic accidents and teach children courtesy.

I have a much better salute for cars.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Night Guitar Madness Returns!

Here's an interesting guitar player...

Commenting On The State Of Rock Music

Unknown Hinson Killing It

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Race Across The Sky

Be there or be square! As it turns out, I have 7 tickets for this to give away, Thursday evening at 1900. If you're interested and are in the QC's, drop me an email or message me on FaceBook. The deadline is noon on Wednesday. These are courtesy of the Kim West Radio Cycling Show. Listen in on Sunday nights! (Use IE for best results)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Not Dead

Too much stuff going on and not enough time. Quick update.

  • Did Cycle Oregon. The ride wasn't epic although suffering was involved. The beer and coffee was epic.
  • Ramping the yoga practice up.
  • Less than 1100 miles to go to make 10000 again this year.
  • Riding spin classes is no substitute for riding outside.

I'll have a more detailed post, with images (and there are some good ones) from Cycle Oregon at some point... Now, I think I'll go for a walk.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Go West Young Man

Well... I'll be hopping on the airplane for Cycle Oregon next Thursday. I'm thinking that I'm good to go. I've packed everything with the exception of things that I can't until it's time to head for the airport. I think I'm there fitness wise, but it's always an unknown for me when I start doing real™ climbs. Not the faux ones we have here.

You know, like 10 mile long ones. Like on Day Three, Happy Camp to Lake Selmac. A nice little 54 mile ride with 5200 feet of climbing.

The only wild card in the whole deal is the weather. They've had an odd summer out there. More like the summer that Iowa normally gets, but didn't this year. That bit of weirdness makes trying to pack interesting™.

For example, there was the "epic" day on Cycle Oregon 10 when they went up Mc Kenzie pass. It managed to snow that day. They were busing people off the mountain. I wasn't there for that bit of "fun". The image to the left is of me when we went over it on CO20 in 2007. So, it boils down to bring lots of stuff that you hope you don't need to use.

My biggest challenge is going to be trying to ride well within my limits. It's going to be hard to dial everything back several notches. But if I can manage that, it should be fun and not a bunch of extreme suffering. I'll be riding with my friend Steve who lives out there. There is also a friend of a friend that I'm hoping to get a chance to talk to. This year, we are also going to be hanging with Camp Aloha. It's an informal bike club, but it should help to simplify the daily camp logistics. So... I should have a good little group of people to hang with.

Note From Steve: Oregon sucks... don't move here.

Yoga Notes: My practice won't go into complete hiatus with this trip. CO does daily yoga classes that are tailored to cycling. I've done these on my past trips there and it helps. Here's a link to the newsletter story about it. I figure on bending the instructors ear some given his cycling background.

In other yoga news, a few of us did a "semi-private" lesson to review jumping up/back last Friday. I have a few new things to try. I did try to work a number of them in during the class at the Shala. It's going to be a very long journey to get to the land of "magically float". I'm hoping that I'm not too sore tomorrow. But, if I am, I'm probably doing it right.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Guitar Strangler Deluxe

Joe Bonnamassa was headlining the River Roots Festival last night. Alas, I didn't make it down there... too tired. The daughter reports he was killing it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Skillz?

Grape Soda??? I'm down wit it.

YogaSkillz Workshop Part II

Did the second of the workshops at the Shala yesterday. The temperatures were near arctic in comparison to last week. We had pretty much the same crew as last week. We worked on headstand, feather of peacock, and handstand. I still need to get the hips up over the shoulders. I'm going to have to find some time to work on this. All of this is "variations on a basic theme". That theme being: hips over shoulders over hands or in physics terms, the center of mass / gravity perpendicular to the floor. We do this all of the time... walking and standing are two examples. The tricksy bit here is that ones hands are on the floor instead of your feet. Back bending is up next.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Today's Ride

Went riding with Jen today instead of doing the Sunday class at the Shala. She's back from Colorado and positively flying. We rolled this morning about twenty minutes later than planned since the skies looked a bit threatening. Turns out, we didn't get rained on until we were about a third of the way into the ride. I haven't gone this hard in awhile. It was way harder than the Wednesday group rides have been since I was working and there wasn't really anyplace for me to hide. The ride clocked in at 60 miles in 3:15. Not too bad.

The only odd thing was I must of had my Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak on for the last two miles. In that last two miles, I had two cars try and turn through me. You'd think that they could see me. Jen also had some weirdness too. She had turned to get a few more miles in and had someone shooting a shotgun out his front door. I can't wait to read the report in the local paper.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cutting Edge Research

Wow... Here's an interesting little paper. It's well worth the read if you have an interest in modeling infectious disease. The infectious disease in this study is Zombie-ism. Given my stumbling across this on the InterTubes today and the V3 class, I'm reprising a video I posted last year. Enjoy!

Note: One of my mathematician friends thinks that this will be a great way to introduce a standard model to his students.

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Workshop Time

Did the Jump Up / Jump back workshop at the Shala this evening. It was well attended, I think we had twelve in the house. T'was interesting, as these things always are. I need to work on getting the hips up over the hands, then it's all easy. *lol* Anyway, in honor of the workshop...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thoughts On Her Bike

Shamelessly appropriated from Copenhagenize

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Perfect Temperature

Wow... It was a hot one at the Shala today. I think a number of us were sweating before we even walked in the door. The daughter said she knew it was going to be rough on the second Surya Namaskara A. I have some photographic evidence of things there today.



I think it was close to a world's record there. A hot yoga class in the afternoon might be a good cool down.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Group Ride

Click For Detail

Did the group ride tonight. I managed to finish in the group. That was one of my goals for the year. I was following wheels and hanging on for dear life. I almost got sawed off a couple of times, but managed to stay on. I think that was largely an act of will. That said, I got lucky. There was close to zero wind, it was relatively cool (80F or so), and we went the flat way. The above image is the download from my heart rate monitor. Fortunately, we only climbed 500 feet in the 48 miles. My average heart rate for the 2 hours was 136 with a peak of 159. Can you say ouch?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Oh Yeah.... I Have This Blog Thing

Wow... another blog hiatus. That must mean, I've had way to much other stuff going on. Let's see... I managed to survive RAGBRAI. It was a good one. I had lots of fun, as always.

The most fun occurred on the day out of Indianola. I rolled over to where the ShortBus was ensconced around 0730. Hung out and helped them break camp and get on the road about 0830. That consisted of a roll over to some local breakfast emporium that had a most lovely breakfast and several large screen tellys so we could watch Le Tour as we digested and sipped coffee. Then around 1045, it was a leisurely 20 mile roll to Milo, Iowa.

In Milo, there was a kick ass band playing, Crooked Mile. We got there with a little bit left in their first set and then hung out through their second. Lots of fun. This was the best band on RAGBRAI. We apparently didn't get there early enough to watch my dear friend Ms. Bets from the Whiners have them take the "Whiner Goddess Bitch" oath. I did see that on video over on Facebook.

Not much else of note to report. The best news is that my legs seem to have shown up. I haven't been going this well in ages. I'm hoping to be able to ride this peak through Cycle Oregon in mid September.

In the yoga world, Tapas had Sara Strother back for another workshop. That was good. I wasn't anywhere close to as wrung out as the last one (probably because this one was only an hour and a half long). Learned an interesting way to enter into Standing Hand to Big Toe (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana). Today's led Primary series class had me in full rain mode. Wow... was I sweating... check that... raining.

My friend and next door neighbor in the blog-o-sphere in McSmithlyville posted a link on Facebook to the most frighten yoga video ever. Not sure I should post it, but hey... it's the InterTubes

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Le Tour

Well... "America's Team As Presented by Kazakhstan", a.k.a. Astana is looking really good right now. The other teams needed to get one of them into The Jersey to force them to work on these flat stages. Now all of Astana'a droids are all well rested for the fun and games that begins tomorrow.

Former Tour winner, Bernard Hinault has an interview up over at VeloNews. I like his take on Le Tour and Lance boy. Here's are a couple of quotes:

VN: What do you make of the Armstrong return?

BH: Pfft … I couldn’t care less in the end. It’s not my problem.

VN: Don’t you think it’s impressive that he’s been able to return to the top level after being away from the sport for three years?

BH: But what is his motive for coming back? Is it to win? To fight cancer, or something else in the future? To one day be the governor of Texas? I think at this moment, the Tour serves him more than what he serves the Tour.

My New Ride

We stopped at Arnold's Bike Shop in Thompson, Illinois on the Saturday leg of the Cedar Valley Nature Tour - Re-located. I scored a Zefal HPX frame pump there for fifteen bucks. We all bought one. These are the best frame pumps ever made. Sadly, they are out of production.

I also "test rode" a new bike. I don't think that I'll be riding this one on RAGBRAI this year.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Librarians Just Want To Have Fun

Who says those librarians don't know how to have fun? The daughter went to the American Library Association meeting in Chicagoland this weekend. She's hoping to catch the Book Cart World Championships. Here's a clip from last year:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Le Tour

Well... I am now fully in the grip of that annual madness known as Le Tour. So far it's been a good one and it really starts to hot up tomorrow on stage 7. It's a lovely little 224 km from Barcelona to the ski station at Arcalis in the tiny Principality of Andorra. The last 10.6 km of the stage is at an average grade of 7.1%. Can you say ouch?

I have to give major props to the Shimano-Skil team. They are rocking Le Tour old school. They been sending riders in the breaks, working at the front, trying to get their sprinter to the line. It's the way it should be ridden.

Speaking of old school... I will admit, I didn't realize that this team still in existence. I was smiling when I saw those jerseys. I was remembering back to the old days, when Sean Kelly was in the red and white stripes. Now there was one of the iron men of the road.

Here's the definitive picture of him. It's from the podium of 1984's Liege Bastogne Liege. Be amazed...

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Well... Another week has gone by. Did a quick trip down to the St. Louis area for the 4th. A good trip. The drive was nice and boring, just like I like it. I actually made it over to the gym that was close to the hotel to ride a spin class so I could keep the legs working. It was pretty good, but I really don't care for the bikes they had. That said, it was a massive drip fest.

I'm now starting to get into RAGBY mode. I have to seal the floor of the tent and the ground sheet, but the magic stuff showed up a couple of days ago. Then it's find a few things here and there and start stuffing it into bags.

I plan to put the Ti beer wrench pictured above to good use with the folks from The Bus during the week. It will be nice to see everyone again. I find it interesting that since I started doing RAGBRAI, I've made a number of good friends that I see once a year. That's the best part of the ride.

Also... The 2009 edition of the Tour de France. I'm somewhat bummed that Jason McCartney didn't make the Saxo Bank Tour team. I would have loved to see Jason and Jens sitting on the front of the field and shredding it to pieces. There are a number of interesting twists to this year's race. The Team Time Trial (TTT) is back, but with time losses unlimited. Also, there are no time bonuses at the end of stages. I'm really hoping that someone other than Lance Boy wins. It will be very interesting to see how Astana manages to get four potential TdF winners making a team effort.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Saturday

Well Cats and Kittens... I'm back from GITAP, a lovely little week long bike ride from State park to State park in Illinois. The highlight of the trip was the 60+ mph thunder storm that roared through camp last night. Woo Hoo! The tent stayed up and dry despite me having it pitched 180 degrees out of phase with respect to the the storm. I feel good.

Then it was drive Vito's van home and then dash over to the Healthy Living Fair, where I was part of Tapas Yoga Shala's demo. We basically did a scaled down class for the demo. Practicing under a tent, in the the heat, with an audience. Fun Fun Fun...

Tonight's Guitar Madness is dedicated to yesterday's t-storm. I was listening to this as I was flat on my back in the tent as it was raging... Ronnie Baker Brooks: Born In Chicago. I've seen his dad a couple of times and now I need to see him...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Convicts Of The Road

Ah... The Convicts of the Road. In the 1920s, a reporter coined the term "Convicts of the Road" to describe the racers in the Tour de France. It seems things have come around.... A group of 196 French prisoners and 124 guards are having their own little Tour de Penitentiaire. I hear that you really do get "bonus time" for breakaways and escapes.

Read about it here

I wonder where I can get one of those jerseys...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oh Yeah... I Should Post To This Thing

Man... I've been AWOL from the blog. Not sure how much that is going to change. It's been an interesting last couple of weeks.

Pearls Before Swine was pretty funny today. Here it is:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oh Yeah... It's Saturday Night Guitar Madness

DOn't have time to do this justice right now... a future update forth coming

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bike To Work Week - Nothing New

Well... It's Bike To Work week and nothing is new in Iowa. A cyclist hit this morning near Polk City. Apparently, she was helicoptered to the hospital. A later report has her injuries as - 1 broken leg, (in 2 places), broken nose & some hip pain. Having surgery on her leg later today.

Now here is the interesting part of the story... The person that was hit is Leesa Shoemaker, and she is a division chief with the Polk County Sheriff's office.

I hope Leesa is back up and on the bike soon. It will be very interesting to see what charges are filed in this one.

The story can be found here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mike Keneally

Well... It Saturday... It's night... That must mean... It's Saturday Night Guitar Madness time! I've had this little clip for quite awhile. I saved it off of his site and got it out of that nasty RealPlayer format. This is of Mike Keneally at a Hendrix tribute show a bunch of years ago. Mike Keneally came to fame as one of Frank Zappa's "Stunt Guitarists". He's my favorite of them all. Mike's site can be found here. If Mike is anywhere close, go see him. Buy his stuff.

Fine Print - This is not an official MK/BFD product

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's Just So Freaking Huge

Well... Here's a post that I meant to do back in April. In my post, Long Live The Queen, I was talking about the use of Carl Orrf's O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. Here's another instance of a most righteous use of O Fortuna.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This Weekend

My oh... The fun-o-meter was full on this weekend. On Saturday, I did the QCBC Tailwind Century ride. The club takes a look at the wind forecast the day before and then pulls out a route sheet that should work. So... we hopped on the bus and went to Norway, Iowa. Got the bike off the truck and started heading home. I spent the day riding with a friend of mine, Laurel, who is training for an IronMan distance triathlon. We were rolling pretty well all day. Given that she wanted to do this with the same sort of nutrition plan she'd be using, it was kind of the same sort of deal for me. For the ride, I had 3 Gatorade's, 1 bag of SportsBeans, 1 PowerBar, 1 PowerGel, and I did grab 1 cookie from what the ride had for lunch. (Just about 1000 calories) All that for a ride of 112 miles with an on the road time of 6 hours flat and an elapsed time of 7 hours. I was a tired little teddy bear when I got home. Then it was rest a bit, have dinner and the mow the yard. From the HR data, I had an average HR of 120 and used up about 3500 calories.

The riding today was a bit more sedate. Did a cruise for a bagel and a coffee this morning before the Primary Series at the Shala. That went way... way... better than I thought it would. I was figuring that the abuse I heaped on myself yesterday would make things be "not happy". I also changed where I was practicing in the room. Given that the radiator wasn't radiating, I practiced next to it. It was a different perspective, but I really don't care for being next to it. Then it was head home and then out for another ride with the daughter. That was the first one of the year for her. She even made up the hill by the house without walking. She was pretty happy with that. She attributes her success from a bunch of work on the elliptical trainer at the Y this winter.

Now it's time to pack up for tomorrow and the ride to work.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Charlie Hunter

Well Kats & Kittens... It's yet another late Saturday Night Guitar Madness. I was too trashed from today's little ride to get it out on time. Anyway... I digress.

SNGM features Charlie Hunter. Who... will be playing at the Redstone Room next Tuesday evening. If I can figure out how to make it to the show, I'll be there.

Charlie's offical site

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Duffy Strikes Again

I've not only shamelessly appropriated Brian Duffy's toon, I've also stolen the idea for this post from the Rev. We've had yet another car vs bike incident in Iowa - http://www.lemarssentinel.com/story/1534176.html

Someone else needs to spend some quality time in the gray bar hotel.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Why Not Here?

Copenhagen - City of Cyclists from Colville Andersen on Vimeo

This is how things need to be transportation wise.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hola! It's Saturday Night Guitar Madness!

I've found a good one. If you aren't nodding your head or tapping your toes, it's time to make an appointment with the doctor or perhaps the mortician. This is a little different than thrash metal they cut their teeth on, so to speak. You can visit the official Rodrigo and Gabriela site here. Here's the wiki about them.

Bonus Clip

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Of Bikes And Sharing The Road

A week ago, a group of cyclists were out on a ride on the roads of Madison County Iowa. One of them, Doug Smith was struck and seriously injured by a truck that was towing a trailer. I've read the stories from the folks that were there. A number of my friends were on that ride. It's time that the folks behind the wheel, treat the folks behind the handlebars with the same respect that they insist on having. There have been calls for new laws to give cyclists "special rights". The only special right that cyclists need in law is to be acknowledged as legitimate users of the road. I've buried too many friends over the years. No more.

The little clip here is of the several hundred cyclists that gather of the west steps of Iowa's Capitol building riding to voice their opinion. I'm on that ride every time I'm on the bike and I think of Chris, Block, and Dave.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On The Verge

Well.... It's another late Saturday Night Guitar Madness post. Ah well... Given the "electric" post of last week, I've decided to go even deeper... Right into the Funkadelics. I'm not sure where and when I stumbled into the George Clinton Parliament / Funkadelics world, but it's a show not to be missed. This clip is of the late Eddie Hazel absolutely killing Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On. Be amazed...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Long Live The Queen

It's Sunday... It's April... It's time... L'Enfer du Nord. Paris-Roubaix, the Queen of the classics. The wiki page for this race is one of the best I've seen, well worth the read if you are interested. If you're not, here's the short version. 259km long, 28 sections of cobblestone roads, runs rain or shine. Shine is better.

The image above is from Sector 18, Trouée d'Arenberg. The Arenberg is one of the most famous sections of pavé. You hit it at 96km to go. You don't win the race here, but over the 2.4km of it, you certainly can lose it.

Here are a couple of YouTube clips. The first is the from best cycling movie ever, A Sunday In Hell.

The second is from the centenary edition of the race in 2002, set to that most awesome tune, O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. Carl Orrf's music is quite fitting here. It was not dry that year, also fitting.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

On Fire

Well cats and kittens... This Z been schooled. Did the Hearts on Fire: An Anusara Radical Expansion Class at the Shala this morning. The class was led by Sara Strothers who practices and teaches in the Chicago area. This was definitely big city work. I was completely and utterly toasted and it didn't take 40 miles in a nasty crosswind to do it. That said, I'm quite glad that I did this. I learned a number of new things and perhaps more importantly a little more about how to approach my practice. We get the day off tomorrow from the normal Sunday practice and I'm thinking most folks that were in the room aren't too sad about that.

In honor of today's little exercise in flexibility, here's a something that's a bit out of character for my "normal" Saturday Night Guitar Madness posts, Joe Satriani doing Up In Flames, with bonus points for being shot in Tokyo.

Note: I really wanted something with ninja's but I couldn't find anything I liked.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I've been a fan forever. Finally got around to seeing what I could find on You Tube. Here's a good one. I love the minimalist drum kit.

"It can't be any new note. When you look at the keyboard, all the notes are there already. But if you mean a note enough, it will sound different. You got to pick the notes you really mean!" - Thelonious Monk when asked how he managed to get a certain special sound out of the piano.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ouch! or Surrender Z!

Holy Socks! I am officially toast. I went on the group ride today after work. I believe that it could be characterized as "hard". We had a really nasty wind to deal with. So... there was tailwind, there was cross wind, there was head wind. Did I mention the head wind? Oh yeah... I also rode in and out of work today. That helped to soft the legs up some first. *lol* When will I learn?

I got sawed off about 18 miles in. I just couldn't managed to deal with going 33mph for that long in the first cross section. So... I suffered by myself for a few miles until a small group got up to me. I then had some help to get through it. Wound up with 37 miles in 1:59. Not too bad for one of my first go fast attempts of the year.

We did have one Quote-tastic moment. On the bike path section heading back in, a woman that I hadn't met that was in the little suffer group managed to get herself "stuck" at the front. In an attempt to shame one of us into coming to the front and get someone else to work, she said "Ok ladies... who else wants to work?" I was laughing hard at that comment. In a later conversation, I found out that she had been on one or two of the previous weeks ride. But she didn't know anyone in the suffer group. She's going to fit right in with this crew.

Now it's time to crawl into bed and attempt to sleep. I suspect I'm not going to be sleeping well tonight give the level of effort from the group ride and how wired I am right now.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Here's a lovely little clip. The Peter Green Splinter Group doing Peter's Albatross. Enjoy!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

While I'll be in full drip mode at the Primary Series class at the Shala, one of the true one day classics of the cycling world will be taking place. None other than the Ronde van Vlaanderen or the Tour of Flanders for you English speakers out there. Think of this as bigger than the Super Bowl, at least in Flanders. The race has been running since 1913. It features a number of "climbs", 17 to be precise. One of nasty ones is the Koppenburg, as seen in the second image. It's 600 meters at an average grade of 11.6%. A nice little cow path at kilometer 188 into a nice little 260 kilometer Sunday ride.

I'm thinking that the yoga class will be way, way easier. Just one week after this, the Queen of the Classics, aka l'Enfer du Nord, or more properly Paris Roubaix. Rest up and eat your Wheaties!

Update: Oh yeah... I forgot all about Ghent-Wevelgem on the 8th. It's the Classics week!

"I told the organisers it wasn't a race but a war game. It's hard to explain what the Koppenberg means to a racing cyclist. Instead of being a race, it's a lottery. Only the first five or six riders have any chance: the rest fall off or scramble up as best they can. What on earth have we done to send us to hell now?" - Bernard Hinault

"As a Belgian, winning Flanders for the first time is far more important than wearing the maillot jaune in the Tour" - Johan Museeuw.

"Looking back, you get a bit nostalgic, but from a competitive point of view, Flanders was one of the most horrible races to ride but one of the greatest races to win." - Sean Kelly

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Relieve stress, yoga will

The pointy haired guy in Dilbert was suggesting yoga as a way to relieve stress in yesterday's strip. That reminded me of this strip that was in my Dilbert calendar a few years ago. You can use this handy web page to do translations into Yoda Speak. Speaking of speaking like Yoda... Apparently the 21st of May is Talk Like Yoda day. I'm not sure that this will surpass International Talk Like A Pirate Day, but it's at least a close second.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One Post Fits All

My oh... Today's led Primary Series class at the Shala had me in full drip mode early on. I'm thinking that the folks surrounding me might have been thinking about starting to fill sand bags to deal with the sweatage. My rug was completely damp when I folded it up after practice. *lol* We had a whole bunch of folks in the room today. We were missing the Iowa City visitors, I suspect the weather yesterday was the cause of that. We were also missing a couple of regulars. Which means we had some new folks, which is always a good thing.

Now I need to get into recovery mode and maybe to a ride in. The snow is pretty much gone where the sun has been hitting it. The ride into work tomorrow morning isn't looking like it will be something approaching "circus act", as I had been fearing.

Then it's off to the Redstone Room to see Railroad Earth this evening. I'm hoping that I'll be able to make most of the show. I had a great time the last time these folks played there. I just need to keep in mind when my alarm goes off for the ride into work. Doors are early, so that should help.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Late Guitar Madness

Man... It was a long day yesterday. Did the spin class, the V3 class (I believe the Russian judge had the 9.7 card out for degree of difficulty), then the Music Guild production of The Producers. That show rocked! But then... it's a Mel Brooks musical. What's not to like? Then a bit of snow shoveling at 2300 hours after we put the car in the garage. Sick.

In honor of yesterday's crap-tasic weather and hoping for better...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Everybody's Party & Green Tea

I've been listening to lots of John Scofield in the last couple of months. I really haven't been able to find what I want on YouTube, but this is real close... You get Pat Metheny , John Scofield, Steve Swallow (bass), and Bill Swewart (drums). The last two are absolutely monster players.

Stop the presses! I found one of the things I was looking for! Whoo Hoo!

Long Week

Man... It's been a long week and there is still Sunday to go. Between work, life, yoga, and the bike, I feel lucky to be awake. I managed 230 miles for the week so far and I still have Sunday's miles after yoga to go. I'm hoping it stays dry. Wednesday was the long day for the week. Did 30 on the commuter since the rain was in the forecast. Then, since it stayed dry, I went out with the Wednesday evening training ride. It was surprisingly sane. We did 35 in a bit over 1:50. I did some work at the front and the HR average for the ride was 125 bpm. I'm encouraged by that.

Tomorrow, it's going to be a ride to the bagel shop in the morning, the led Primary Series class at the Shala, and then more miles. Sometime after that, I need to get my tax stuff together. Oh Joy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Embryonic Journey

This was a bit of serendipity. This morning on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, the were talking with Jorma Kaukonen (story link). Jorma was one of the guitarist's in the Jefferson Airplane. On one of their first albums, Surrealistic Pillow, that I can remember listening to, there was the track, Embryonic Journey. This was probably one of the first times that I can recall listening to an acoustic guitar track that I really liked. Here's Jorma playing Embryonic Journey at the Airplane's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. I haven't thought about this song in ages.

Pi Day!

Woo Hoo! Irrationality Rules!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

RAGBRAI Route Detail Announced

The Des Moines Register has published the full RAGBRAI route. See it here. Here's the breakdown of the days.
  • Council Bluffs, Mineola, Henderson, Emerson, Red Oak - 52.6 miles; 3,684 feet
  • Red Oak, Stanton, Villisca, Nodaway, Corning, Prescott, Williamson, Fontanelle, Greenfield - 72.6 miles; 5,096 feet
  • Greenfield, Orient, Macksburg, East Peru, Truro, St. Charles, St. Marys, Martensdale, Prole, Indianola - 77.1 miles; 4,470 feet
  • Indianola, Ackworth, Sandyville, Milo, Lacona, Oakley, Chariton - 44.4 miles; 2,182 feet
  • Chariton, Millerton, Bethlehem, Confidence, Iconium, Honey Creek Resort State Park, Moravia, Rathbun Lake, Unionville, Blakesburg, Ottumwa - 76.9 miles; 3,388 feet (Plus the century miles and climbing)
  • Ottumwa, Hedrick, Martinsburg, Pekin, Packwood, Pleasant Plain ,Brighton ,Germanville, Lockridge, Mt. Pleasant - 75.5 miles; 2,841 feet
  • Mt. Pleasant, New London, Lowell, Geode State Park, Burlington - 43.2 miles; 1,145 feet
The total without loop, 442 miles and 22800 feet of climbing. Easy cheesy... Just depends on the weather.


Well... After two hard days at the Shala, I'm starting to recover. Yesterday was the normal off the hook V3 class. Some things I can do, something things I can't. I find it very easy to tell the difference. Then it was a little rest and back for the Primary Series 2nd half workshop. I was hurting at the end of that. The left leg was going in and out of cramps, so I elected to sit out the some of the walk through. I did find it useful and learned a number of things.

Then this morning, as I was looking for the directions to where I was going in Iowa City, I discovered that I was going to be early. About seven days early. Good thing I noticed. So... it was a mad dash to get out the door for the led Primary Series class. Man... my arms were not being happy. The right one basically decided it was done being useful after Utpluthee. The next vinyasa wasn't pretty. Then I hung out for the Student Conference. It was informative and interesting.

In musicland, I've just stumbled into Jonathan Coulton. There are number of songs you can listen to. I find Code Monkey amusing.

And here's a cover that's also amusing

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fenton Robinson

After careful consideration, I've decided to continue with some of the greats that I had the privilege to see perform at the Maintenance Shop during my days at ISU. Here is none other than Fenton Robinson. This clip is from 1974. I saw him perform there in 1975 and again in 1977. Enjoy!

Sings "I've got those post Shala limp and bitch blues" and hits "Publish Post"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New Tools

I went to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Indianapolis last Friday. I've got another post with a few images that I took coming soon. That said, I did pick up some specialized tooling while I was there. The folks at Paragon Machine Works make some really, really nice frame parts. I'm really in love with the Sliders. If I ever get a bike custom built for me again, it will have these on it. The folks at Paragon also make some other fine tooling that I picked up.

Everyone needs a titanium combination beer opener and 15mm wrench or at the very least a nice red aluminum one.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Night Guitar Madness - Albert Collins

Last Saturday's post got me to thinking about everyone that I saw at the Maintenance Shop when I was at ISU. I think I pretty much saw the entire Alligator Records roster. One of the best was the Master Of The Telecaster, Mr. Albert Collins. This clip has a kickin' horn section and two "bonus" guitar slingers, Ms. Debbie Davies and Duke Robillard.

Note: Debbie Davies will be playing the Red Stone Room on the 14th of March. I'll be there, will you?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Elegent Weapons

I've been prompted to pull out and dust off my copy of The Little Schemer to brush up my LISP skills, after seeing this toon (please click the image to do it justice) over on xkcd. Now I just need to find a decent LISP compiler for this WinDoze box. That and figure out how to find more hours in the day...

Check out all of the fine toons by Randall Munroe at xkcd.com.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Night Guitar Madness

Peter Lang is someone that I've been listening to for a long time. How long? Well... I was in the audience at the Maintenance Shop at ISU in 1977 when he was recording the show for use in a live album, Prime Cuts. YouTube has a video of a television interview on Minnesota Public Television in 1977 where he played Wide Oval Rip-off, which opened Prime Cuts and was taken from the ISU show. Enjoy!

Captain! We're Having A Power Fall-off!

Where's Mr. Scott when you need him? Man... I'm sitting here 3+ hours after today's V3 class at the Shala and I still am whooped. I did the 90 minute spin class at the gym this morning, after Round One of me wielding the snow shovel. Then it was to the cafe for a latté and muffin. Then back home for Round Two of snow removal. A brief recovery and then it was off to the V3 class. We did a number of "interesting" things, as usual. By the time we got to Urdhva Dhanurasana, I believe my arms could be best categorized as toast. I managed to get myself home and passed a snow plow as I turned up the street. It was now time for Round Three. I don't believe that the snow will be answering the bell for Round Four, but you never can tell. Right now, I'm hoping to crawl into bed early tonight. Not sure how much sleep I may get tonight because of major work stuff happening overnight. We'll see. I'm hoping I am recovered enough to do the Primary Series class tomorrow and maybe a little bike ride.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cycle Oregon 2009

Well... I sent a note to a friend of mine asking if he's going on Cycle Oregon this year. I'd ridden it with him in 2005 and 2007. They announced the route on the 7th and the ride has already sold almost all of it's 2000 slots. Steve said that he was going and so... I'm now "all in".

At the moment, I am in the throws of complete self doubt. It's a very different sort of riding that I do here in Fly Over, aka Iowa. For example, the total distance of RAGBRAI this year is 442 miles and about 22.8k feet of climbing. I'm thinking nothing about this, *yawn*. In contrast, CO 2009, is 437 miles and by my estimate, just about the same amount of climbing. Nothing on that route is at altitude. So why the self doubt? Maybe it's a day like this:

By eyeball, my "guess-ti-mate" of the climbing for the day is about 5500 feet. The real difference, in riding here vs. riding there, is that it done in two climbs, the first being something on the order of 9 to 10 miles long. Then there is that descending stuff. In Fly Over, it's up and down, sapta again, rinse and repeat, ad nauseam, until your legs have been properly tenderized and morphed into useless stumps of quivering jello.

Well... I now have the proper motivation for cranking up the training this year. I'll be hoping for 20 mph winds out of the west now and then so I can simulate the climbs... Just ride straight into it for two or three hours. Now... Where did I leave that 27 tooth cog?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday Night Guitar Madness

Don Ross is someone that I've been listening to for awhile. I first heard him on NPR back in 2001. I was very, very impressed with what I heard. Now it's your turn. Enjoy!

Loaded, Leather, Moonroof

A Harbinger Of Spring

Well... I was feeling the need to replenish the beer supply the other day since I was down to my last 4 bottles of 2 Below. I was hoping to pick more of that up. So... after abusing myself at the Saturday Vinyasa III class at the Shala, it was beer run time. I headed over to HyVee in Rock Island. I wandered in, grabbed a trolley (British for cart), and headed to where the 2 Below should be. I found the New Belgium products, but... no 2 Below! There was 1554 and Fat Tire, but no 2 Below. There was one other beer sporting the NB colors. Something called Mighty Arrow. Upon further inspection, I discovered that it's NB's spring seasonal. So... I picked up a six of it to give it a test drive. It's an IPA, which is right up there in my book. After a bottle of it, I'm thinking that I'm glad it's spring. It grades out as a B+ over at Beer Advocate.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Global Warming!

If you heard reports on the news today about a large pasty white object moving at low speed on the bike path don't be alarmed... It was me riding home from work with bare legs. I just could not pass up the chance to ride sans tights. It was actually cooler than I normally will ride without covering the legs, 65F, but hey.... 60 degrees? February? How many times is that going to happen? I managed to get a grand total of 34 miles in today despite a meeting at work that went into overtime.

It's going to be heading back toward reality tomorrow. The forecast calls for rain and a high of 45F dropping throughout the day. Oh Joy! There there is that white crap that may be falling on us Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday Night Guitar Madness

The friendly folks over at The Aristocrats have been doing Saturday Night Guitar Madness and I've decided to play along too. So... I humbly offer this tasty little morsel. The California Guitar Trio doing a cover of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

On The Down Slope

Man... It's been a long day. I didn't have near enough of the alkaloid referenced to the left. I also wimped out in a major league fashion today. I rode over and caught the bus this morning since the air temp was a balmy 2F when I rolled and then there was that wind out of the northwest at 14mph. I wasn't really in the mood to suffer this morning. When I was loading the bike, I managed to slip on some ice and hyper-extend the left knee. It's not been happy since. So... I decided to do the bus home since I didn't want to find out it wouldn't work where I couldn't get an easy extraction from my stupidity. It seem to work ok for the ride from the bus to the house. So... I elected to go to yoga at Indigo tonight. It wasn't the best practice and the knee reminded me that it was there a couple of times. Right now, I have a fair amount of ibuprofen in me and a liberal slathering of Polar lotion on it and the calf. We'll see how it is in the morning.

I'll probably be wimping out again in the morning as it's supposed to be -3F for a low.

Note: The graph above is from Tom Edwards. You can purchase a lovely coffee mug with this graph on it here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Stupid Rodent

That stupid rodent, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow again this morning, heralding six more weeks of winter. It it were up to me, February 2nd would mark the beginning of open season on these vile weather prognosticators. His New York City counterpart, Chuck, took a bite out of Mayor Bloomberg. I don't know what that predicts.

The ride into work this morning wasn't nearly as icy as I expected it would be. That said, it was still very slick in places. The studs were worth their weight in tungsten carbide steel. On the ride home, I managed to "recover" a nice set of work gloves.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


The Des Moines Register has announce the overnight towns for the 2009 edition of the ride.They are:

  • Council Bluffs (4)
  • Red Oak (3)
  • Greenfield (2)
  • Chariton (1)
  • Indianola (0)
  • Ottumwa (2)
  • Mt. Pleasant (4)
  • Burlington (4)
It's going to be a short one, 442 miles and 22.8k feet of climbing. We've been in most of these towns before, the number of times noted in the parentheses. All except for Indianola where the traveling freak show / circus that is RAGBRAI will stop for the first time. That is going to give us two logical day one's midweek with everyone and their brother joining us on the ride in and/or out Indianola from Des Moines.

I have not so fond memories of Mt. Pleasant from the 1984 edition. Ever since then, I've been calling it Mud Unpleasant. We overnight in Red Oak, which was my Dad's home town. I'll have to see if I can remember where the farm is and maybe do a ride by. I haven't been to Red Oak since the last time RAGBRAI was there in 1997. Just 170 days and a wake up to go.

Note: One other highlight for this year is the lack of Lance Armstrong. Lance Boy will be "le Touring" in France, so his little entourage / sideshow won't be with us this year. Woo Hoo! RAGBRAI - It's not about the Lance.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yo Sparky!

Man... Some people can just ruin your day. On the way home tonight this dim bulb in his pick'em up truck full of brush, decided that I was on his road. He was on the horn as he passed me way, way too close. I must have slowed him up on his way to dump his load of important crap. Grrr.....

So... if you are in Iowa, I urge you to write your various State Senators and urge passage of SF34 in the Senate. It's about time cyclists get treated correctly.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bent Hair!

Did the Cy-Yo class at the gym this morning. This is the normal Saturday morning gig for me. Kathy L. was teaching and we did her "interval" bit. Nothing close to true intervals, but I can deal with it. Didn't go too hard and the HRM data backs that up (118bpm average for the 90 minutes). The yoga segment helped stretch me out a little bit. Then it was off to the Cafe for some coffee with my wife. *smiles*

Got home, relaxed a bit, and then it was off to the Shala for the V3 class. This didn't seem as hard as past ones, perhaps I'm just getting numb. This was the 24th day in a row for my practice. There were a few things that came back from the V2 class on Wednesday and the V1 class, aka private lesson, on Thursday. But, I was still working and sweating. I'm going to have to start working on Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand) given that we are practicing it in every V3 class and I'm getting tired of skipping that. I'm going to give it a whirl against the wall before I give it a go in V3 class with a spot in the middle of the room.

I'd thought about stopping for a coffee on the way home, but elected not to. Had some lunch and when I went back to hang my stuff up from class, there was a box sitting in the desk chair. From Stumptown! The Hairbender had arrived! So... I decided to fire up the Silva and grind up a double. It's way good stuff. Now I just have to keep myself from having two or three more. I'd really like to sleep tonight.