Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter Camping This Week!

I'm going camping this week. No mosquitoes! I'm not sure if I'm doing an overnight car camp, a combination ski & pugsley adventure or both. Expand the picture to see snow camping old school.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Little Dick Power

The builder of this tiny bike is Dick Power, no joke. Dick build a number of track bikes in the 50's.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Starting a Minnesota Youth Ski League Team

Claire and Harris have long wanted to go out skiing with me. I've additionaly wanted to get a feeder program going for my high school team. Thus, I'm excited about working with the Minnesota Youth Ski League. They seem to have kid friendly objectives and offer good support for working with younger skiers.

I'm looking to start the club the first half of Jan. and run 8 sessions through feb/early March. Should be a blast.

Anyone want to volunteer? No experience needed?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Giant Salamanders

I learned about two giant salamanders from Asia today, one from Japan and one from China. They can grow up to 6ft long. I'd of thought that I would have heard of these creatures before; especially since I lived in Asia for three years.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Snowy Commute of The Winter

Ok, it's officially autumn for a couple of weeks, but it's cold, dark and snowing. I ended up doing a fair amount of sidewalk riding to get off the crud snow on the streets. Despite being called "crazy," commuting on days like this are more fun than a challenge.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Grimm Dec. Ride with Jared

Jared and I went for an exploratory ride today at the Carver County Park Reserve. In addition to the trails and nature, we walked through the ruins of an old trappers camp and a late 1800's farm stead.

The historic Grimm Farm is where Wendelin Grimm, who immigrated to Minnesota from Germany in 1857., developed a winter hardy strain of alfalfa. The Grimm Farm has been restored. (from the park website)

A view of the snow dusted trails. It was quite rough in places.

My bike next to a wall of the trappers cabin. Plaster still clung to the rock surface in some spots.

Jared on his Pugsly. I'm amazed at how well his bike works in a range of riding conditions. He'll have some great rides here once the trail is too covered with snow for my bike.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A simple joy/Good socks.

I found something that make me happy today. Wigwam Distance Running Socks - 2 Pair $12.00 XL sizes 12-15. How can $6 dollars a pair make my feet feel so good? I'm going to sleep in them. Thank you Jared for your longitudinal research data.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fun to Drive BMW X6 M

Once again I had the good fortune to drive a truly world class car. Tonight I was tooling around in this elegant beast. 555hp and 0-60 in the 4 second range. Stunning!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A new toy for my ski course

The groomer arrived in boxes today. I hauled it home to start assembly tonight. The Tidd Tech 4' Trail Tenderizer with track setter, say that 4 times fast, will give the students well groomed snow to develop their skills on. Bring on the corduroy.

Anybody have a good snowmobile they would like to give away?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thoughts on The Letter C

The letter c is worse than worthless; it infringes on the letters k and s, two outstanding phonemes. Restated, c is a poser letter waffling in sound from s to k; it is nothing on its own. Any word with the letter c may be better written with one of the other two based on the word’s sound. Thus, the letter c needs to be removed from English.

A c supporter may argue that c is needed in words like cheese and chip. However this digraph or letter blend makes its own sound independent of either the c or h. The letter k would work equally well here.

The letter c’s insidious behavior is not limited to it’s wan-a-bee sounds. It has undeservedly removed E from poor students’ grade reports. The letter grades A, B, D E, F would work quite well without modifying a 4 point grading system. c doesn’t belong here either.

It gets worse, fine words like see, seize, sea and even the Spanish si are needlessly libeled by c. None of these plaintiff homophones are even written with a c

Again, the undeserving, c sneaks into our language as a prefix in words like c-section and c-clamp. It fails here as well. A c-section delivery of a baby has nothing to do with a c shape. Instead, based on word origin, it refers to the method of Julius Cesar’s birth, thus cesarean-section. Under the improved system it would rightly be referred to as an s-sektion. Next, c-clamp is equally wrong. The tool would more truly be named a D-klamp based on shape. Note the improved spelling.

I implore you to think about the damage c’s do everyday. A thoughtful pondering to this essay will inevitably have you seeing the alphabet my way.

Heath Anderson

P.S I must note a key dissimilarity to c’s in musik where they are in the midst of many great works.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cold Night Hot Fire

Ember swirls @ -27 degrees Fahrenheit from a camping trip last winter.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'd like to Make

Jared and I were making crude atlatls out of sticks on a hike in the woods with our kids last weekend. I'd like to make one using a bit of care. I'm thinking a dowel or bamboo cane would work for first projectiles.
I could join the The World Atlatl Association, Inc.
For more information.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My Bikes

I've included pictures of my three main bikes. The first one is a Trek 950 that I purchase new in Moorhead in the mid 90's for around $700. It has been solid. I wore out two geared drive trains, ran it as a single speed for a year to now have it as a 1x8. Perfect gearing for its use as a winter commuter. I lubed it up and tightened the rear hub; an adjustment after putting the freehub body in.

The next bike is a 2000 Diamondback XR4. I purchased this a NOS in 2002 for $1000, about $800 below list price since it was a held over two years. This has been a good bike with few problems. I'm, however, leaking some oil out of the front shock. I emailed Shockspital for a price quote and possible diagnosis. I also need the rear wheel trued and tensioned. I will not likely ride this bike again until next spring.

The final bike is my LHT that I purchased in Sept of this year. I cleaned up the drive train and relubed it. I'm very please with this bike thus far. I was fortunate enough to get this bike for cost, $690. It retails for $1,100.

All three of these bikes are mid-level bikes that have served me quite well. The 950 and XR4 have proven overtime to be quite dependable; I expect the LHT to do the same with good maintenance.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

More Luce Line Trip Oct. 17-18 2009

Riding home.

The Long Haul Trucker loaded up.

My bike and tent, the morning after.

A group photo of the riders on the trip.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Autumnal Fun

Harris' Halloween costume this year. He's a road-killed, biker, zombie. We made his outfit by spray painting the car tire and running over his shirt. Click on the picture to see the road-rash face make-up. Also note the antelope skull on the fence.

Earlier in the day, a family photo at Willow River State Park, followed by a shot of Claire. We had a picnic of Vietnamese sandwiches and walked to the waterfall.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Warm Feet on the Cheap

I read fatboybiking blog today comment on cold feet in this sleety weather.

My new idea for morning bed warm feet, as yet untried, is to wear an old pair of XC ski boots. They are waterproof and lightly insulated. I'm relying on the fact that they were designed for active use to prevent my feet from becoming pools of sweat.

The toe bar in front and other accouterments might look a little geeky, but, one fat boy biker to another, it won't be the bottle-neck of our cool. If you know what I mean.

Please note the rental boot numbers and love the magenta trim. Very 1980's meets thrift-store modernity ala Michael Jordan #23. I also have another pair of old three-pin boots that I might try. Less insulation, less color, less hang-time. I may trim the toe off.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The year in Taiwan

A few pictures and a video from 2004-2005 when we were living in Taipei.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

FREEhub body

My neighbor, a bike geek, and I both thought we were having issues with freehub bodies on our old Trek bikes. His is a 930 single speed, and mine's a 950 1x8. I mined a freehub body off an old wheel I had. I think it was the original wheel from my mid 90's bike. It, however, didn't work for me because it was a 7 speed. So I gave it to my neighbor to fix his wheel.

Turns out his freehub body wasn't his problem. After replacing the freehub body on his wheel, we discovered that it was a worn single speed cog causing his troubles. Thus, he picked up a new cog cheap. I was then able to put his 8 speed hub on my bike since it was still good.

This is cool for three reasons. First we thought that we were both going to have to buy new wheels, but didn't. Second we learned how to fix freehub bodies. Finally, by working together, we both go our bikes fixed for $6.

I learned to replace a freehub body by watching a video They have other helpful videos as well.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Luce Line Oddities Oct. 17,18 2009

A garter snake in the shadow of a bike wheel. (above) What a cool mellow snake; it didn't even try to bite me. However, Q lost his boyish innocence upon eating an apple swerved up by this subtle serpent.

Ugenuius' homemade camera holder. I'd title this photo "If NASA had to shop at the Home Depot." (above) We're resting on Geppetto's bridge in the picture. Someone else became a real boy on this trip; no lie.

Jared with a giant puff-ball. Speaking of puff-balls, I wish I would have gotten a photo of his "satchel." (above) To keep the theme alive, We discovered Jared's saddle taint the most comfortable. Finally, (below)in the last picture we see nice weather for the first time in weeks during the two days we all arranged to go on our overnight ride. We even had a tailwind on the way home. Boy was it fun. More later.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Touring circa 1230 BLHT

That's Before the Long Haul Trucker. 12:20am, I'm too excited for our trip to sleep. Off to bed anyway. I'll post pictures when I return.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bear, Venison, Carrots and Corn Bread.

Wild dinner tonight. We had cubed bear meat sauteed with onions, garlic and peppers from our garden.

In addition to the bear, the center of the plate holds venison tenderloin fillets that were dredged with flour and lightly fried with onions. I used the drippings, wine and a pad of butter to make a sauce to go with the venison.

It seemed a little wrong to serve a prey animal on the same plate as flesh from one of its predators. But, I got over it. It's good to be the top of a food chain.

Accompanying the two meat dishes, we enjoyed steamed garden carrots with a light shot of butter and brown sugar. Cornbread muffins served as our carbohydrate for the meal.

The kids picked the peppers, and dug the carrots. I'm proud that my family shared in and enjoyed this meal with me. The bear was everyone's favorite.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day is Dumb

It's time to change our national story regarding Christopher Columbus to something more reality based.

Also, It's funny how some of the same people who rail against Spanish language initiatives and Latino immigrants laud the work of the first undocumented Spanish speaking immigrant in America.