Thursday, April 30, 2009

Avert Your Gaze

[Gross photo warning!]

This photo doesn't really capture the yellow-green tinge of the non-purple areas, but you get the idea. It's also hard to see how lumpy the hip is. Consider yourselves lucky.

This picture is actually from a couple days ago, and the bruising continues to expand. I'm told I'll be purple from my ribs to my knee in another week or so. Cool, huh?

I've been working form home all week, but I'm hoping to be able to go in to the office tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Alright, Where Was I?

Before I was so rudely interrupted by my hospital visit, I was having the best day ever. Making that afternoon even better was the fact that I fixed my motorcycle...all by my damn self! Although, technically, it didn't need fixin'.

I know you people love stories where I fuck something up. Jerks. Anyway, here ya go.

I'm pretty much the anti-mechanic. It's just not my thing. When I bought my motorcycle, I kept reading about what a simplistic design it had and how easy it was to fix. Recently, the bike went nutso. When I would turn the key on, all the gauges would go crazy and it wouldn't start. I tested the battery, and it was reading 12 volts. Then I fried my volt-meter. Oops.

After determining that the battery was OK, I took the whole damn bike apart. I posted on internet forums and scoured my Haynes Manual. Obviously this was an electrical problem, but where to start? After looking at the wiring diagram, I determined that the starter relay was bad. I took a trip down to Monticello to pick up a new one, but it didn't fix my issue. Obviously, that wasn't the problem.

I spent the next several hours doing various tests. I hotwired the ignition, jumped the battery straight to the ignition coil, bridged the battery lead to the starter solenoid with a screwdriver, and checked every ground circuit on the bike...all sorts of crazy shit that I had to learn how to do. Nothin'.

Since I had fried my volt-meter and needed a new one, I decided I may as well bring the battery to the store with me and have it tested. Can you see where this is going? Sure enough, it's got 12 volts, but 0 amps. Yeah, it turns out batteries have to have amps, too. Lame.

One battery later, and the bike starts right up. Wow, do I ever feel like a moron. What could possibly make me feel dumber? How about taking it for a ride and running out of gas, then having to push it home. Yep. Did that.


Even my wife laughed at me.

At least I learned some things about my motorcycle that I didn't know before. Like the fact that I should bring it to a qualified mechanic next time.

Apparently, Pigeons Can't Read

[sent by The Richter, who is in Sandy Eggo]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Now that I'm coming out of my Percocet-induced fog, I'm realizing that just lying around is boring as hell. I'm officially working from home today, but I'm still trying to lay low and not push myself too much. I can get up and move around for about 15 minutes at a time before I need to get back on the couch and ice my hip. Every part of my lower left side is turning all sorts of purple, blue, green, and yellow. Each day is a little better than the last...but it's a very little bit.

I had the news on TV this morning, but all they talk about is swine flu. I'm sick of hearing about it. If I were to sit home and watch the news every day, I would be the most depressed man in the world. Talk about doom & gloom! Sheesh.

My pain meds have now started giving me headaches, which is incredibly ironic. I thought they were supposed to elimate pain! What a cruel joke.

I was up to 204 pounds last night, which is 10 more than Thursday morning. Hmmmm...wonder if I'm retaining some fluids?

I'm pretty much over feeling sorry for myself, but now I feel sorry for all the people around me who I'm inconveniencing. I don't like being helpless and making others perform menial tasks for me. It drives me nuts. The kids were really good and helpful at first, but now they're over that and I'm just no fun. Tell me about it!

I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. Fate, destiny, karma, whatever you want to call it. I may never find out why this happened, but I can accept it and move on.

I just can't wait till I can get out and do something...ANYTHING!

In the meantime, I've got sweet crutches featuring the latest in animal-sticker design. Yeah, the 3-year-old went a little crazy.

Monday, April 27, 2009

At Least I'm Not Alone

Bandit hasn't left my side once since I got home from rhe hospital.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Damage Assessment

I got to come home yesterday afternoon, and have basically just been popping pain meds and napping ever since. Yesterday was really rough, but I got a good night sleep last night and was able to wrangle myself out of bed this morning and, hey, I'm blogging now! That's something, right?

My helmet cracked all the way through. I'm extremely grateful to have avoided any sort of head injury. I'll never ride without a helmet again, and neither will my kids.

My first time up on crutches. I feel worthless.

This is what my hip looked like the day after the crash. It looks about twice as bad now, and the doctor said I can expect it to continue to look even grosser.

Surprisingly, the part that's actually injured isn't showing any bruising yet because the blood is all inside the hematoma and hasn't started escaping yet. It's hard to tell from this angle, but right on my hip bone is where all the swelling is.

You can kind of see how big it is here. That's not a muscle bulge.

In addition to the muscular damage and bruising, the ortho doctor said that there's a significant injury to my IT band, but he won't be able to really assess it until the swelling goes down, which could be a couple weeks. They still said I'm looking at 3 months recovery. I'm hoping for better. I'd like to at least be able to get out for some easy spinning on the road bike once the swelling goes down.

My bike seems to be fine. There's a slight wobble in the rear wheel, but it should be easy to fix. Other than that, I can't find anything wrong with it. Gotta be happy with the small victories.

Alright, the meds are kicking in, so it's back to bed for me. Thanks again to everyone who's helped keep my spirits up.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I had to spend another night at the hospital last night. Because so much blood had pooled in the hematoma in my leg, the rest of my body didn't have enough blood to pump all the way up to my brain when I was standing upright. This caused me to get dizzy and lightheaded when I did anything other than lay flat on my back.

It takes about 24 hours for the body to regenerate an appreciable amount of blood, so I was finally able to get up and walk with crutches at around midnight last night, so I should be going home this morning.

The pain is getting more manageable as well.

Thanks to everyone who left comments and sent e-mails, texts, and phone calls. It's a huge morale booster to know there are so many great people out there who care. Youz guys is teh awesome.

Friday, April 24, 2009

So I'm In The Hospital

I crashed last night at Madison practice when DGC slid down the track in front of me and I had nowhere to go.

I slammed onto my hip and also cracked my helmet, but was able to walk to the car after about 10 minutes. On the way home my hip started swelling up and getting really tight.

I had to basically crawl into the house and prop myself up on the couch. When I was unable to get up after trying for over an hour, my wife called Franz and Mrs. Franz to come help get me out to the car to go to the hospital. Getting out and into the car was the most excruciating moment of my life. The pain was so bad that I nearly passed out several times. My hip is swollen out about 4 inches. It's freaky gross.

The doctor just came in and told me that the hip isn't broken, but there's severe soft tissue trauma and I'm looking at about a 3-month recovery period and a couple weeks on crutches. Guess I'll need to find a new hobby!

The doctor actually said "it'll be about 3 months before you feel like jogging. ". That's funny because I NEVER feel like jogging.

They wanted to discharge me, but I kept getting dizzy and almost passing out, so they ordered an MRI and I'm spending the night.

Now it's sleepy time.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Maybe I Should Leave Him Home

Working From Home

I may be having the greatest day anyone has ever had.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So Many Options

OK, so it's a little gay, but I like rollerblading. It's something I can do with the wife and the kids and the dog. The 5-year-old K2 skates that I've had for 5 years (duh) were getting worn out, so I decided I needed a new pair. The technology has come a long way in 5 years! I felt like a moron as the teenage sales associate patiently explained all the subtle differences between skates to me.

I settled on some RollerBlade brand skates with Abec-9 bearings, which are supposedly the best. They've also got bigger 90mm wheels. They're super fast, which makes me feel super-awesome.

The Real Thor

The Thor Controversy of '09 has compelled me to tell this cautionary tale.

My sister once dated a guy whose actual name was Thor. While this name was certainly unique in the small farm town where he grew up, it was even more out of place in Duluth, where he attended college. One night Thor was returning to the dorms after a party when a man approached him.

The man asked, "What's your name?"

Thor replied, "Thor".

The man then said, "That's a fag name", and proceeded to pull out a sword. No shit.

The situation was diffused (Thor ran away), but it still lends a valuable lesson to everyone: if your name is Thor, someone will probably accost with a sword at some point.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's Been 10 Years Since I've Been In The Back Of A Cop Car

I'm now banned for life from Princeton, MN. The cops literally told us that if we ever returned, they'd arrest us.

What a wonderful day that was. If you want to hear the whole story, you'll have to buy me a beer sometime.


I was entertaining the idea of racing Oh-Piss tonight, but after several lack-luster workouts I've decided that racing would only serve to bring shame upon myself.

I think it has something to do with seasonal allergies. I've been really run down and can't seem to do anything without falling asleep. It's incredibly fucking annoying. Everyone around me has been getting sick, so I could be fighting something off. Or I could just be a pussy.

I'm going to take it easy for a bit and let my body come around on its own. I'm going to try a bit more "training by feel" this year instead of rigidly following a pre-defined daily program. I'm tired of being burnt-out by July, and I'm ready for riding and racing to be FUN again. Otherwise, what's the point?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quick Weekend Recap

I'm busy as shit at work, so blogging is going to suffer. What can I say? Priorities...

Friday night we got a babysitter and had "date night". Sorta. We were going to go mini-golfing (I know, livin' large!), but the place was closed when we got there. The sign said 'Open' but they were all locked up. Dicks. Since it was nice out, we went to the Green Mill and had a beer and dinner out on the patio. We then proceeded to the mall. I bought pants. We got home and the kids still weren't in bed, which completely negates the purpose of getting a babysitter in the first place.

Saturday was crazy-time-with-multiple-children day. First, my friend Corey came over right away in the morning with his 2 boys. There was much shouting and running. They ate pancakes. After they left, I took my kids to have lunch with my sister, then to my neice's birthday party in Farmington, which is even further away than it sounds. They had fun, but the birthday girl ended up puking everywhere, so we went home. Eeew. Long drive again with tired kids. At least they were coming down from a sugar high, so they were extra crabby. Over 12 hours of straight screaming on the day. I fell asleep on the couch at 9:00pm.

Sunday I tried to do a workout, but I was sucking big-time, so I cut it short. Pushing myself through a mediocre workout isn't going to make me any faster. I then played 6 different sports with Max. He got a new bat. I won't bore you with the details. I watched the Rock of Love Bus Reunion. In a word: LAME.

That's about all. Suck it.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I snuck out this afternoon for a mountain bike ride. The plan originally called for sprints on the ergo, but it was too damn nice out to pass up a ride outside so I loaded Bandit up and headed out for 3 laps at Plum Creek. There were only 2 muddy spots, and they were pretty small. Overall the trail was in great shape.

My new TIME shoes and pedals were great, too. Clipping in is a bit different from my Eggbeaters, so it'll take a bit of getting used to.

The drive home kind of sucked, since Bandit decided to go swimming in the swamp right before we got in the car. He stunk. Lots of wood ticks, too. 3 on me, 2 on Bandit. I hate those fuckin' things. I'm not normally wierd about bugs...but ticks? Eeew.

Good thing the dog can't read signs!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wine Opening Fail

I was in such a hurry to get into this bottle of wine that I didn't realize it was a twist-off until I used the foil cutter to hack the top off. Aw, I have to drink the whole bottle!

Group Ride Recap

I broke one of my shoes last fall. It was replaced under warranty, but I still wanted to use them, since I like to use fixed cleats on the track and floating cleats on the road. A zip-tie solved the problem, in the most ghetto way imaginable.

The weather was perfect for the ride last night. We had 8 guys: Ted, Charlie, Mike, some guy, another guy, Mark, another guy, and me.

I wanted to wear my new Highroad cycling cap, but it was a bit too warm for that. I did, however, wear my knee warmers. My wonky knee has been feeling pretty good, but I wanted to keep it covered just to be sure. It felt good through the whole ride.

We rode some roads that I haven't ridden in several years, so that was a nice change of scenery. We ended up at just over 2 hours at an average speed of around 33kph. Not too slow, not too fast.

All the cables have stretched on my new bike, so the shifting was getting a bit jumpy during the ride. Lots of big THUNKs when I would stomp on the pedals and the chain would skip gears. I'll be dropping that off at the shop today for tweaking. Aside from that, the bike was great. I like it more and more every time I ride it.

We had a couple good sprints for Stop Ahead sings (and Ted managed to sprint for an intersection sign and a Trucks Hauling sign - FAIL). The first one was pretty early in the day, and it was a pretty long sprint. I forgot how long it takes me to recover from that shit. I was hurting for the next 15 minutes.

On the way back into town we ramped up the pace a bit and I was able to hang on with no problems, so my fitness must be getting a bit better. I actually felt strong throughout the whole ride. Of course, I spent very little time on the front, so I was probably fresher than those other suckers who dragged me around the countryside.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I am not racing Opus. While the hill may be small, it's still a hill, and I don't race on no stinkin' hills. Plus, that's a long drive for a ~15 minute race.

Instead, I'm opting for the local group ride tonight. I hope no one fast shows up. I was hoping my new bar and stem would be here in time for me to show them off (because they're super awesome), but they're not. I imagine they'll show up tomorrow.

To all you poor suckers who are following me on Twitter...sorry, I doubt I'll ever tweet anything. I only have the account so I can spy on the rest of you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rock Of Love Bus Finale And Other Musings

I totally knew Bret was going to pick Taya. How? Because the whole episode was skewed to make us think he was leaning towards Mindy. Plus, Taya kept her legs closed, so Bret had to choose her in order to get some. Well played.

The last four weeks have been brutal. Ever since Britanya and Ashley got sent home the remaining girls have been boring as fuck. I get it...the whole purpose of the show is to make Bret look like he's not a huge douchebag (fail), so he's got to keep the "good girls". Although ultimately choosing the ambiguously slutty former-stripper-turned-classy-centerfold was pretty transparent. He's banking on the fact that she's a freak when the cameras are off. Which she probably is.

Plus...Mindy? Seriously? No man wants a pouty bitch, and Mindy is as pouty as they come. But she put out. Hmmmm. Must not have been that good.

Congrats, Taya. You've won yourself a makeup-wearing aging diabetic rock star with a wandering eye. Great success!

After how much this season sucked, I'm over it. So is my sister. Holla!

In other TV news, Paris Roubaix was awesome. It brings me great joy to know that Boonen can win races even when he's (presumably) not coked up. It's also nice to see a rider who made his career as a sprinter win a race in a solo break, though this ability seems to have come at the expense of his sprinting prowess. It would have been fun to see the final group of 6 come into the velodrome together, but the crashes sure added excitement to the race.

One thing I noticed was that it seems like a lot of the pros have their saddles really low and there is a huge bend in their knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. This goes against pretty much everything I've read about bike fit. What's the deal? I've gotta get to the bottom of this.

Even more TV news...I saw the absolute worst kids' show this morning. Special Agent Oso is a bear ("Oso" = "Bear" in spanish...get it??? Ha! Clever.) who helps kids learn how to do menial tasks like brush their teeth and play hide-and-seek. The only problem is that the fucking bear doesn't know how to do any of these things, and relies and a computer to teach him how to do it. Seriously, who did this moron bear suck off to get promoted to "Special Agent" when he is clearly unfit for the task? Oh, and the theme song..."He's Oso special!"...makes him sound like he should be sitting in a corner somewhere drooling on himself.

Even my kids thought it was lame, and they love anything animated.

OK, I'm done.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Super Cycling Stuff Saturday

Today kicked major ass in the cycling department. Franz and I headed down to ride the track this morning. It was pretty cold, but it's always fun to get out on the boards. This was the first time I'd been on my track bike since Nationals last year, so it felt really unnatural for the first 10 minutes or so. After a while, though, I settled in and felt great. There were even a couple moment where I wasn't a slow pile of excrement!

Ted learned how to do Madison throws and we did a few hard efforts, but it wasn't really what I'd call a "workout". Just getting re-acclimated to the track.

The most exciting part of the day was all the new shit I got. Sickboy had been hording all the stuff I ordered from sponsors into a closet. Today I took delivery of everything, so he can now have his closet back.

New Banjo Bros. bag

New team bowling shirts (with our names hand-embroidered by Gilby!)

TIME mountain bike shoes...

...and pedals

Tufo tubulars

Then when I got home, the new Columbia Highroad cycling cap I ordered had come in the mail!

It looks stupid with the bill flipped up.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Easter Project

I generally don't like arts and crafts, but this was actually kind of fun. My wife, kids, and neices, and I all decorated eggs and put them on a little tree thing.

I made a punk egg

Kristin's egg thinks it's soooo hot.


Margaux's goth egg

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Max Power Testing

Franz and I got together last night to do some short maximum efforts on the ergo to see where our power is at in relation to last year at this time.

I'm happy to say that we both crushed our numbers from last year, and are also at a lower body weight. That should bode well for racing this year!

Please ignore the mess in my basement.

Monday, April 06, 2009


I hate forums.

When I first "discovered" the internets I spent a lot of time browsing forums, mistakenly believing that there was this vast pool of knowledge out there, just waiting to get into my brain. Within a few months I determined that forums were mostly made up of n00bs asking stupid questions and trolls giving stupid answers. Even if someone does have something valuable to say, that person is generally such a dick about it that I don't care to read their diatribe anyway.

I came across this little gem the other day, and it made me laugh because it's so fucking true.

How many forum members does it takes to change a light bulb?

  • 1 to change the light bulb and to post that the light bulb has been changed
  • 14 to share similar experiences of changing light bulbs and how the light bulb could have been changed differently
  • 7 to caution about the dangers of changing light bulbs
  • 1 to move it to the Lighting section
  • 2 to argue then move it to the Electricals section
  • 7 to point out spelling/grammar errors in posts about changing light bulbs
  • 5 to flame the spell checkers
  • 3 to correct spelling/grammar flames
  • 6 to argue over whether it's "lightbulb" or "light bulb"
  • 6 to condemn those 6 as stupid
  • 2 industry professionals to inform the group that the proper term is "lamp"
  • 15 know-it-alls who claim they were in the industry, and that "light bulb" is perfectly correct
  • 19 to post that this forum is not about light bulbs and to please take this discussion to a lightbulb forum
  • 11 to defend the posting to this forum saying that we all use light bulbs and therefore the posts are relevant to this forum
  • 36 to debate which method of changing light bulbs is superior, where to buy the best light bulbs, what brand of light bulbs work best for this technique and what brands are faulty
  • 7 to post URL's where one can see examples of different light bulbs
  • 4 to post that the URL's were posted incorrectly and then post the corrected URL's
  • 3 to post about links they found from the URL's that are relevant to this group which makes light bulbs relevant to this group
  • 13 to link all posts to date, quote them in their entirety including all headers and signatures, and add "Me too"
  • 5 to post to the group that they will no longer post because they cannot handle the light bulb controversy
  • 4 to say "didn't we go through this already a short time ago?"
  • 13 to say "do a Google search on light bulbs before posting questions about light bulbs"
  • 1 forum lurker to respond to the original post 6 months from now and start it all over again.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Team Ride

I attended a team ride this morning (it's part of my restructured contract). The enduros dragged my ass for 50 miles around the Twin Cities today, although it felt closer to 200 miles. Fuck, I'm tired! It was my longest ride in about 3 years.

The new bike rode great, and my knee felt decent. It was nice to ride some unfamiliar roads.

We had one exciting moment where I thought we were going to get into a fight with a motorist, but he bitched out and turned into his driveway. Why the hell would you be a huge dick then let the people you're being a dick to see where you live? Douchetard.

On the way home I figured I'd treat myself to a delicious double cheeseburger from Culver's, but when I went to eat it, it was completely void of condiments. Gross.

That's about all I got. It's family movie night tonight.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Contract Negotiations

Brain and I finally came to terms with Speedfix management over our contracts for 2009. Now that that's out of the way, we can get back to training.

Look how happy Kruse is! I think he gets more pleasure out of this than he does buying hookers.

32 Grams Of Pretty

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Turtle Shoes

I wore these shoes for track and cross country when I was in high school. We called them the "Turtle Shoes". Not sure why, maybe because they kind of look like turtles. The split toe looks odd, but feels kinda cool.

These shoes sucked for sprinting so I never really used them much, except when it was raining...because the Turtle Shoes are impervious to water. Why woulnd't they be, they're turtles? Unlike actual turtles, however, the shoes are quite light.

I recently gave them to my nephew, telling him, "You take the torch, carry on the legend of the Turtle Shoes." He gave me an odd look, then left.

Undoubtedly, he's intimidated by the immense pressure of living up to the shoes.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Look How Hard I'm Trying!

And look how incredibly un-aero I am!

[photo by OTB Photo]