Friday, January 2, 2009


I must say that I've come to expect New Years Eve to be somewhat of a let down. This year was the exception, it was fabulous! Unfourtunatly much of what made the night so great can not be spoken of here, such is the ways of debauchery and antics, never the less I must share. As most of you know I worked, rigging for Nicole and Alicia's cloth piece in City Hall that was commissioned for First Night.

They had shows at 5pm and 8:45pm, and both were amazing! (despite working with a difficult choir director; Connie Kirk!) I arrived at City Hall (on bike of course) around 2pm, wearing black shirts and a black three button pin-stripe suit and my bike shoes (white w/ red, gray,and black accents), Nicole later gave me a red miniature rose for my lapel. We were supposed to have rehearsal at 2pm that was pushed to 3pm, no problem. Around 2:30 we met Ivry, who was helping me with rigging, actually just lowering and raising the cloth. Once he arrived the four of us went to Austin Java for lunch. After lunch we had a short rehearsal and then Nicole, Ivry, and I walked over to see Graham Reynolds play a set from his show "DUKE!". We then booked it back for our 5pm show, it went alright, the cloth got cought up in Ali's swivel and prevented it from rotating, not a huge deal but not at all good. The show started about 10 min. late as we were waiting on the choir, their set then ran over an extra 10 min. so the girls didn't go on until ~5:35, unfourtinate as we lost some viewers who came to see the 5-5:30 set.

Shortly after the first set the grand procession came by City Hall so we all went out and watched that which was really fun. I then learned of (and more importantly how to sneak into!) a private party on the top level of the City Hall balcony (sponsored by Savvy Vodka and Live Oak Brewing!). As I was leaving the party to go get the others I passed Art Acevedo, APD Police Chief, who was on his way in, I said hi and let him know I thought he was doing a good job and wished him a happy new year! I then rallied the others to come up to watch the clock tower burn and snuck them in, after that we all ran back for our second show. The second show was great, started on time, fixed Ali's swivel, and we asked Connie to cut the set list back. We had a great audience, lobby was at capacity and people were gathered on all balcony levels looking in:

Larry Kolvord took the above two photos at the 5pm show, I just ripped them from the Statesman page.

After the show Ivry and I tore down all the rigging and stored it and then he went home :( I then grabed Jon-Michael and Evan, respective boyfriends of our stars Ali and Nicole, and we headed up to the party in search of the open bar! The girls changed and met us up there, and along the way ran into our friend Beatrice who gave us 'front door' access to the party. We brought up Ali's parents (who are awesome!) and family friends as well and we all danced the night away! Well... until midnight, then we watched an amazing fireworks show right from our front row balcony. Around 1am they closed the bar down and ran the last of us out... really just us by that point.

As we were walking to down to the garage (Nicole and Evan were leaving and I was picking up my bike helmet) I ran in to this bitch:

Now God bless his soul, I love him... but Stephen Moser total dissed my style! You see I'm a big fan of Mr. Moser and imideatly recognized him and approached to tell him how fabulous he looked, where upon he looked me up and down and sarcasticly said "nice shoes" drunkenly missing the sarcasm I replied "yes, there functional and fashionable", he then said "... functional" Haha! The best part is that I was on such a high from meeting him that I walked away not even realizing what had just happened until Nicole was like "he totally just dissed you!" Oh well, he was right, my outfit was pretty rediculous, I had been making fun of it all day myself.

Ali, her folks, Jon-Michael and I then went on to Cru, where the General Manager graciously served us free bottles of champaign, which he opened with a chrome saber! I later found this picture on my phone:


I also met a really cool girl named Hope there, she was visiting from Perth (AUS), I should have got her contact to have new years day brunch with her but I'm just terrible at that sort of thing. Come 2am we were once again on the move, after having shut down our second party. Jon-Michael and I ran for a bottle of champagne that he had in his car and we met the family at their hotel. We got some snacks, drank more champagne, and chatted until 5am. I then took a leisurely bike ride home, the perfect ending to a wonderful night.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Capture the Flag the funnest game ever! Especially when the Fuckin' A Rodeo puts it on bikes, downtown! That game was ill, so much fun, quite a bit more intense that I had imagined, a bit scary actually, but I loved it. Can't wait to play again. It's something that I would consider getting a helmet cam for.

So set-up was; four teams, colors, each had 'home turf' in which they had a jail with one guard, hid their 'Flag' (see 5gal. bucket) (wo)maned by two guards, and could not be 'taged'. For everything outside your turf you were fair game and could be jailed, which sucks! But on enemy turf is where glory comes 5 gallons at a time, so naturally there was a battle royal. I must say, I'm happy to have only been jailed once, and have captured two enemy, and participated in two Flag acquiring raids, that's like a 1-2-2 record or something, bad ass, oh! and I acquired no new medical bills! Wish I had pictures, this game is too insane.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I was watching Current TV and learned the search term "Sonic Boom" had just spiked on Google, search terms interest me and this one was too cool not to follow up on! I found the origin had been the Space Shuttle Discovery as it approached Edwards Air Force Base just north of LA.

Perhaps it was in combination with recently watching a documentary (wish I could find a link) on Air Force One. But I had a new enthusiasm for Endeavour. By the way the presidential 747 can break Mach 1, has an identical back-up that fly's every mission, and neither have ever failed a mission. Impressive. On the other hand it only took this picture of Endeavour's landing and a little imagination for me to be impressed:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well let's see, lots of cool things have been going on: First off, Nicole's First Night proposal has been coming along nicely, Nicole and I have been meeting with lots of folks, from the Executive and Associate Directors to COA Facilitys and Building Services and everyone in between. The show is a go and we've managed to add Ali, which is awesome! So if you don't have plans you should check this out New Years Eve, probably around 9pm or so, I'll let you all know. We will be in City Hall performing with a choir.

Two weekends ago I went down to the farmers market, intending to spend $100. See I had never spent much there, maybe $25 at most and usually for some artisan item. Call it a test in grocery shopping, finance, sustainability; really I just wanted to try and spend more there and less other places. As I've been biking much more lately (and currently have limited cargo) I find I go to HEB much less, pity that is. I'd say I get ~30% of my grocery's at the downtown F.M. and ~60% at Fresh Plus. Anyways, here is what I got:

I spent $80, not bad; all in one trip by bike.

This past weekend my parents came in, that was pretty cool. My step-father Sam learned that a map seller he liked was going to be at The Junior League of Austin 2008 A Christmas Affair (link warning: may lead to annoying music, themes, pictures, events, color schemes, fonts and/or anything else that could be any more annoying). So, I hear this event likened to "The Nutcracker" in Houston, I have not been there myself. Anyways the map vendor was really cool, great old maps. They had a couple of original large prints (~40"x40") that UT was printing of the 1961 Geologic Atlas of Texas. Pretty cool stuff. Sam found two cool US maps, one of native linguistics and another of Civil War boundaries. I forgot to take pictures.

That was Saturday. On Sunday we had a most excellent bike/art/soup adventure! Our objectives were 1) ride bikes 2) make stops on the East Austin Studio Tour 3) roll by the Empty Bowl Project at the MACC; we did all three and had a great time. The weather was perfect, overcast and just right temps.

Here was our route, done clockwise starting at my apt off W. 6th:

View Larger Map

Ahh yes, all was great. Unfortunately Thanksgiving was one of the worst I've had in a while. No friends, no food, no family. I was hoping to catch a ride with said friend to Houston (see: family/food ..i.e. my favorite things ever!) when upon learning Wed. night he'd decided to leave early and forgot to let me know. Now I had thought pretty hard about riding in the Gobble Wobble, but had not found a partner to ride with and despite the high chance of being able to find one in the morning I pretty much lost hope and motivation. Oh well, you have to have the bad ones to have the good ones, I'm sure next year will be great! Plus, the day is not even over yet, ha!, I'm still going out, to eat, watch football, celebrate football, meet friends, and go on a bike ride.... (I'm feeling shoal creek). So, hey, not a total loss. I've also been reminded of my moodiness again today.

Ok, time to roll folks, ya'll have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Close Call!

Ok, so I thought I should post more, here is a good one... I just witnessed a pretty big wreck downtown! Some drunk girl ran a red light, 30 ft. in front of me and a group of bikes! She rolled an SUV with four passengers!!!... Holly Fuck!... ya... I felt bad... I have this weird reflex... I checked the people involved and once I knew everyone was alive... and there lives were not immediately threatened I could not help but crack up... I was fascinated... thrilled, I was like ... "HOLLY SHIT, DID YOU SEE THAT, BAMM!!! YOU FUCKED UP!!! 30 FEET IN FRONT OF ME, IF WE HAD LEFT FOUR SECONDS EARLIER YOU WOULD HAVE FUCKED US UP!... LIKE DEAD!!!!"... Stupid bitch, I attended to her, first thing she did was call some friend..."ya, I think I might need you to pick me up... like the airbag went off and everything".. Ya, like no shit you dumb fucking bitch I hope they lock you away where you get fucked every day!!!... ok, ill calm down, fair trial and yada yada...,. but whatever! I was waiting around to give a witness statement but there were so many people lined up to give a statement on the same thing that I saw that by the time they took there 10th statement and then walked by us, we said piece. Casey said it best... "the dude with the notepad just walked by us"... game over, bitch.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Power to the pedal

So on Tuesday I was in a pedaling study at UT conducted by Ann Newstead, it was pretty awesome. Her team put all these little marble sized reflective balls on me, which were picked up by a dozen or so high speed infra-red cameras placed all around the room. They shaved and placed electrodes all over the lower right side of my body. I spun a stationary bike using clipless pedals attached to power meters. Pretty trick!

(There was a picture taken, I'll try to get it, it will go here)

The first test was max power, I pedaled as hard and as fast as I could for five seconds from a stand still under a medium(3-4kg?) load, I was to do this six times. My first try I peaked around 1,100 watts, Ann seemed impressed and told me so, she said that I was probably going to peak higher than she had seen through "a lot" of testing, which was ~1,200 watts. I didn't believe her, I told her that she was probably just trying to make me feel good, she insisted otherwise. My second test peaked around 1,200. The excitement of the assistants then made me think perhaps I was doing alright. By the sixth test I was still improving so we did about four more until my power plateaued. I finely hit my max power of 1,360 watts spinning a 136 cadence at the peak.

I then just spun 15 second intervals holding steady cadences at 60, 90, and 120 rpms. All tests were repeated six times. Each time they would record a bunch of data and monitor my heart rate and ask me my preserved level of exertion. Pretty easy, then Ann wrote me a check, gave me candy, and sent me on my way!

I just read this, which says an average cyclist produces ~800 watts where as pro cyclist top out at 1,700watts!

So, anyone know their max power? I'd like to know real life numbers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Look hot on your bike

I found this on the Girl Meets Bike blog. I think Austin could pull off a bike fashion show. This one was shown at this years Interbike.

"Cycling for transportation is one of the hottest sectors in the bike industry today. A change is happening on the streets and people are integrating bikes into their everyday lives. Urban Legend is about expanding our perceptions of what it looks like to ride a bike."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another New Work Toy

(I wrote this about a month ago and must have forgot to hit publish, opps. Funny as since then I actual have acquired a 'real' messenger bag... but it's ok, it's being custom made buy a bad ass (climbing!) company that few will know)

As part of my job I often carry files back and forth between my office and another one downtown. Seeing as how I hate walking (its just so damn slow) and I ride my bike to work everyday, its natural that I would rather RIDE back and forth. So I asked Norm, the dude who hooks us up with office supplies, if I could get a messenger type bag to carry files around with; low and behold he reached under his desk and pulled out this, still in the package!

Hells ya Norm!

Now you can tell by the cushy fat handle and the weak ass candy strap that despite the product name on the label "messenger bag" that this is not a bag a messenger would carry. But, you know what... I'm going to use it to carry files on my bike for work! How many people can say that about there messenger bags, huh!?! Do they carry important files in them, do they use them for work, do they even use them on a bike?!

Well I'll tell you what, my new bag may not have retro neon colors or a seatbelt buckle, hell it's not even mine, but I'm damn proud to carry that bag!

Another way Travis County supports commuting by bike. Good on ya TC!

First Alleycat

Yesterday afternoon I rode in the Halloween Alleycat, my first bike race ever. I actually thought I was going to do pretty well, and then I got my ass kicked.

For those of you not familiar with an Alleycat, they are unsanctioned underground bike races, traditionally 'messenger style' races (short sprints through downtown) which have been known to draw some bad press. Now, this ride was a little different, first it was an endurance race and second it was a costumeed ride, but given the fact that the race orginizer, Les, had a bad accident with an SUV last week, and this was my first Alleycat, I decided that if I was going to die I didn't want to be dressed up like a fool doing it, so I wore an orange shirt and street clothes.

The race started at 5:30 so I arrived at 5:10 to pay my $10 and get a manifest (map of checkpoints which fell out of my pocket during the race). At promptly 5:30pm we all laid our bikes down in the alley behind Wahoo's and on Les' call we ran down the alley to the next street over and back, hopped on our bikes and took off on our own route. It was pretty damn cool. I decided to go counter-clockwise, thinking that from the Drought House to Hula Hut to Wahoo's would be downhill, turns out it's actually pretty rolling. As I shoot out of the alley and onto 5th street it was cool to see about 10 other racers already on the road, and shooting the light none the less which provided cover for me (safety in numbers!). We all rode down to Congress, pretty safely for the most part I might add, to Riverside where I went south, by myself (I think, didn't look back). As I turned on to Riverside I saw 4-5 fixed racers go by just ahead of me who must have turned down 1st, now at this point I'm thinking that I could fly past them... I mean I'm on a geared bike! So I put the hammer down, and no sooner than when I finally caught them did they then put their hammers down and charge the final hill and blow through the I-35 intersection, I never saw them again. I think they went on to win.

I then preceded to chug up Riverside and missed my damn turn, which cost me an extra half mile! The worst part was when I got to the first checkpoint (in good time and ahead of most folks I should add!) I could not find what I was looking for... not only that, I had no idea WHAT I was looking for! After about 5 minutes of looking up and down the street, a group of racers tipped me off to where the first check point was. From there the rest of the CP's were pretty strait forward. I took Springdale up north, which sucked as it was FULL of glass, getto, and hilly, (but had nice wide streets) to the old Yellow Bike Project and found the second check point on the ground. A short jaunt down the street lead me to the third check point at the Carousel Lounge, I was lucky there were people there to tip me off to where the CP was and I didn't even have to get off my bike, just rolled by and snapped the photo. I was also lucky that I went counter-clockwise saving my two signature checkpoints for last because I then learned that I had lost my manifest somewhere along the way, luckily I had memorized my route and did't need it for reference. I got back on 51st and took it 'till it dead ended at Lamar, which I forgot about so I had to stop and scratch my head for a second, then went down Lamar to 45th to Medical Parkway. At the Drought House I told them hat I had lost my manifest but had got all my other (picture) check points, they said no problem and signed my chest instead of manifest. When I got to Hulla Hut same thing, then I was leaving there and kicked my stupid chain off and had to reset that... hence my orange shirt covered on grease. Ughh.

When I finally made it back to Wahoo's and checked in I couldn't believe how many people had already beat me there! I'm guessing I came in some where around 25th out of 40, far worse than I had hoped, but ok I guess, considering it was only my first bike race. When all was said and done my route took me 22 miles in just over an hour and a half. Best of all was that waiting at the finish line was a t-shirt and free food and BEER!

Here is the route I took:

View Larger Map

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Playing With Rocks

Today I went out with Barry and Roger to Azailia Red Quarry to get more rock for the Friends of Enchanted Rock trail project stock pile. We got permission to pick through their 'trash pile' from Tarry, the regional manager of Cold Springs Quarry's, and he even helped out for a few hours with a huge front end loader. We had been trying to make this trip happen for quite some time now... close to two years, I was psyched to finally go. And not surprising, it was awesome!

We met at Barry's at 6:30am and had tacos and doughnuts, we arrived in Oxford at 9:00am and met the guy dropping off our skid steer and Tarry. We signed some waivers and then had a "safety talk", in which we were basically told to wear hard hats (we had brought helmets which are way better). Tarry had a really cool 'pick' that he used to bring large slabs down from the trash pile with, then we would use our skid steer and hook up chain and cable and drag the slabs out and then into our pile.

Here he is dropping the pick down on large slabs (~6ton) and breaking them into 'manageable' pieces (<1 ton). Despite the pictures of large machines doing all the big work this was actually a very physical day; crawling over boulders, digging, prying, hooking up chain (~20lbs.) and cable, and all while having to stay extremely alert to our surroundings and be able to jump out of the way of falling boulders!

Here is our rock pile, it's actually pretty big, I wish there was a person or something in the pic for better reference.

And the best thing I brought back from the trip was this awesome rock!! It's my new favorite! Huge perfectly cleaved chunks of orthoclase feldspar in a matrix of quartz and garnished by a fine specimen of Biotite:

Beyond sore muscles, battered arms, and a sunburn, I have to say that today was a blast! And after that tilapia and risotto diner with Nick, I will be sleeping great tonight!