Sunday, February 28, 2010

Squid Fishing and Riding

I figured that I should put up some photos from squid fishing when we were out in California.

Cale with Nick's Squid

When they were brought on deck, they changed colors from dark red to white really quickly. It kind of looked like they were malfunctioning.

Nick's Squid

Here's me with my first squid of the night. Also, the guy who helped me reminded me of the guy from Coldplay. Anyone?

One of the first squids of the night.

At the end of the night, there was much squid to be had.

Bags of Squid

Here we are, frying up some tasty squid. And by 'we' I mean the chefs that fixed my dinner every night. Tout de suite!



Without further fanfare, here are some photos of the riding.

Cale Descending



Very Steep Climbing

Here are Cale and Nick at Stone Brewery, where we waited for a looong time for a table but had a very nice meal. It was such a cool place, waiting around was no big deal.

Stone Brewery

Hiking at Torrey Pines.


Torrey Pines

Did I happen to mention we did a lot of reading pool-side and soaking in the hot tub? Well it happened here! Yes, it's as good as it looks.


Midas Touch

The black and gold bike is still on, and I've got this inkling that I'm getting seriously weak at resisting gold and/or gold-and-black things. The bike, the swimming suit and now a logo book. Granted, I love a good logo book, but I don't usually pull the plug with so little thought. I was reading an article about the designer and a review of the book, and was doing ok. Then I clicked on a link and behold:

Black cover? Gold lettering? Well ok. :S My fixation's getting a little worrisome.

So how about that biking, huh? On the bike for the first time in a week this afternoon. Cale and I went for a ride on the river trails. Warm out (39 is warm, right?), and it was snowing, which was pretty. The trials were packed down nicely, if not a little slippery from the soft snow. Good snowball weather, though.

Cale and I spent most of the weekend organizing and picking up the bike room and the apartment. It was a long time coming. We donated some clothes and some other awesome things, like a vacuum cleaner that doesn't work very well and an iron from the early 80's. One man's trash is another man's... well, I can't really turn those two around.

I think I'll leave you with that thought.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

iMagic is Magic

The new VR trainer is amazing. It doesn't even work without a computer, it's sooo high tech. Cale set it up the other night and then he took it over! He was excited to try it so he got the first ride. It's really cool. You get to choose your route (from all over the world), the kit you wear and even if it's raining and windy (there's sound and increased resistance). The trainer kicks up the resistance when you're going up a hill. It's like a video game for most of the routes, I think, but there's at least one short route where it's actually a video of a road, complete with cars in the oncoming lane. All they need is a simulated group ride, or maybe a tandem ride, where you stare at someone's ass for 2.5 hours.

You can choose to race someone (I wonder, can you set the game to 'easy'!) on the road or track, and all sorts of wonderful things. There's a software upgrade I can get, should I feel so inclined, that will let me map a route on Google maps and the computer would then show my progress along the route.

This machine from the future also acts as a Powertap, though we want to check it against an actual Powertap to see how accurate it is. Speed, RPM, watts and heart rate (from an uncoded strap) are all things you can track.

So is this overkill? Heck yes. And is it more exciting than riding outside in freezing temps? Well, it's still pretty novel so I'll have to answer that later when I'm less giddy about it and my head's clearer.

But here's the real magic of iMagic; I used it tonight for a 10 mile loop through some lovely mountains (with areas of clear-cut. How realistic!) and I was actually working really hard. It's the hardest I've ever gone on a trainer, outside of tests. (Heheh, I originally typed 'testes') With this, at least for now, I wanted my little guy on the screen to do well, so I actually got in a good workout. Very surprising, as I am exceeding lazy, and never so lazy as when I'm on the trainer. When Cale came into the apartment last night covered in sweat and saying the trainer had kicked his ass, I kind of laughed to myself that he could get so worked up about new technology, but now it's sucked me in, too. Are none of us safe? It pierces even the thickest clouds of apathy about training. I think people who already like training and trainers might be in trouble, like when people in second life games online forget to go to work and eat and sleep.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Frame Find and Book Review

First things first, I'm up in the twin cities for Frostbike. It's actually the first time I've been to QBP, and I'm very impressed. The native peoples (employees) seem happy, and with good reason. There's tons of natural light, the offices look really cool and their bathrooms/locker rooms are rad. Plus, the whole building is Green as f***. Really great. There's some funny signage around in the packing area (I think that's what it is) that makes it seem like they have fun doing their jobs.

Anyway, I didn't just come on here to sing praises about QBP. I came on here to brag. At the scratch and dent sale this morning, I got a couple of really great deals. The first thing I picked up was a BMC TT02 timemachine track/TT frame. It has some chips in the paint, though none of them appear to be actual dents in the frame. Anyway, it's awesome. I wasn't looking for a track frame, but this is certainly a step up from what I had.

Yes, Please.

Come spring everybody's going to be so jealous, like "Who's that fat chick on the awesome bike?" Yes friends, dieting is not going so well yet, but that's another story.

My other great find of the swap was a new trainer. I got my old one off of Craigslist when I was in college. It doesn't really... work well anymore... and is very noisy. So I found an iMagic Tacx trainer for $50 in an incredibly beaten up box and I picked it up, thinking anything would be an upgrade from what I have. Come to find out, it's a $1000 virtual reality trainer. Upgrade? Yes.

Ok, now I'm done bragging about my finds and I'll just ease on into bragging about my vacation. Last year in San Diego we did a heck of a lot of stuff, and it was awesome, but I came back feeling like I needed a vacation. Very tiring. This year I had so much lounging time by the pool, I read a total of five books. FIVE. We rode most days, did a hike, went squid fishing and ate at some pretty cool places. So how about a book review?!

1) The Shelters of Stone- I read this in middle school (I read the whole series of five books, this being the last) and I remembered it being better. I like any of the other five better, but I stuck it out and finished it.

2) Survivor- A reread. (If you read that whole Wikipedia page, you might as well have just read the book. It's not that long.) I had read it in high school and wanted to check it out again. I like Palahniuk's style and it was kind of fun to read again. I'd like to reread Choke, too. It seems like each book he puts out gets weirder and weirder. As in, less likely and more magical-type happenings. I just got 'Haunted' from a friend, so that's next. Interesting fact, I own a copy of Survivor in Dutch, which Palahniuk signed "To Katy, How's your Dutch?" and sent to me. Long Story, ask me sometime if you want to hear it. I like telling it.

3) A Million Little Pieces- I found this at a thrift store out in California and remembered that there had been controversy over the content of this 'memoir'. The author embellished and Oprah blew it wide open. So I thought I'd check it out. It was interesting, but I kept waiting for the author to be humbled and learn his lesson, and he never did. He seemed pretty arrogant and stubborn. Oh well. You can't all be perfect like me.

4) A book about the Donner Party- It seemed like a good idea at the time. Reading about 'local' history and a really fascinating time and story. However, it was weird to be reading about starvation and death in the mountains while lounging by a pool in 70 degree weather. It was a downer, but I regret nothing!

5) The Devil Wears Prada- Another trift store book. Never seen the movie, wanted to check it out, liked it alright. Entertaining.

Well, hope you enjoyed the book review. I know everyone enjoys hearing my opinion on everything and just can't get enough, so you're welcome ;) Tomorrow is another day at QBP, so I'd better patter off to bed. Sometime soon I'll have to post up some photos of the vacation. Until next time...

Ah, I almost forgot, here's a topical photo of me reading. Plus, Russell required a pic of the fancy gold swimsuit.


Here's a little something for the ladies, too. Cale's brother battles chafing:


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


When I was little, my mom and I used to sing a song that went: "V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N! We're going to have a ball on va-ca-tion!"

I find myself humming that to myself more frequently as we get closer to Saturday, when we will jet off for CA. Squid fishing, ocean kayaking and tons of cycling, here I come!

Last night I got the shiny gold bikini (cheesy, and perfect for Vegas and parts of CA) in the mail that I've been lusting after for about a year. I was surprised, but not displeased, to find that the top has a quite a bit of padding in it. I suppose if you're going to go cheesy, you just go for it, right? Plus side, I don't think I'll need to sport my water wings, because the bikini top should keep me afloat.