Monday, July 27, 2009

No Auto Parts Available

The Capitol crit officially sucked for me. I felt hot and my legs felt heavy. Luckily Terra and I were able to ride together after sadly (sigh) we both got dropped. I was excited for this race since I like the course a lot, oh well, already looking forward to next year.
I rode my bike to the race and on the way home I had to stop at NAPA to pick up a serpentine belt. I knew there was one at 2400 block of E Hennepin, No Auto Parts Available lives up to its name as NAPA was no longer there and it had turned into a golf store. I stop at another car mechanic place asking for new NAPA directions, turns out NAPA moved over to Kasota Ave/280. It was well worth the ride, the new NAPA is huge and they have my belt. I'm in my kit and one of the guys asked if I was at the Aquatennial ride or something, I took off my race number before the ride home because I didn't want to look as much of a freak, I told him about the race and he mentioned that there might be a race at the Aquatennial next year...hmm. At home I'm trying to get this belt on and after a 45min of trying on my own I call for backup. Terra comes over and we get that bastard on in 5min. Nice job.
Elbow high in grease and utilizing pedal wrench:

It's been a nutty last week. Between my commuter bike getting stolen (walking to work sucks, all 5 blocks of it), almost dying in a thunderstorm and getting up the next day to almost die again, I don't know how I do it sometimes. I really must love outside research, if I make it to 45yrs old I would consider myself lucky, cavemen would have longer lifespans than me. In the middle of the thunderstorm as I'm moving a $20K aluminum velocity instrument thigh high in water I remember screaming, "I'm not dying for someone else's research!"...as dying for my own research would be any better.

Waiting to die for research, surveying with the total station on an aluminum base:


Looks like a couple of weekends off from racing, I'll be at the beach, but first, this week I'll be at an Ojibwe Treaty Rights Symposium, should be good chance to meet people I want to work with in the future. Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tour of Granite Country

ToGC last weekend, went pretty well, racing is fun, bowling in Albany is fun.
I got 5th overall but I had to endure a TT to finish it. I hate TTs, I only do them when I have to, like in this race. I don't even own a pair of aero bars. Whoever invented the TT is a real genius. It's up there with Michael Buble and Billy Mays (wait, that was mean...oh well) in my list of dislikes. I shouldn't complain so much, it's only ~22min of my life. I'm always a fan of the RR course in Richmond, I like hills even though I didn't have the best climbing legs that day. I got last in the circuit race. I tried to set up Terra for the finish in circuit race, she still got an exciting 4th so I was happy with that.

Me and Terra feeling surly and on our way to hell:


Last weekend in Duluth was the Lincoln Park MTB Race and Challenge. My nieces, Emily the 11 year old, and Riley the 7 year old, went 1-2 in the Kids category.
Emily is already a better bike racer than I am, she wins more money than I do in bike racing, too. $35 payout for winning the Kids category is a great day! She'll probably spend it all on candy. Goofy kid. Nothing could make me prouder! Please Please I hope they don't end up like me, an old cat 4 racer who likes beer and doesn't give a shit about TTs.
Riley spinning the legs:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

pvc

Apparently pvc is bad. I'm around pvc all day and I work with it constantly. What else is new? I went to Home Depot yesterday, and I wasn't even there for work, which felt weird. I go there about every week for work supplies. My bathroom sink has been draining slow so I picked up some stuff my landlord recommended. It's supposed to be safe for pvc pipes. Seemed to have worked its magic, the bottle warning was kind of scary though, it kept mentioning lye eruptions.


One of my project designs calls for pvc welding. I recently tried pvc welding with a hot air welder and black pvc rods on white pvc, since all I had was the black pvc sticks. Either it doesn't work since my weld didn't hold, or I simply suck at pvc welding, since it was my first time--or both. I need to order white pvc welding rods. Must try all possibilities, I love doing research.
The welder:

Trial #1, I just ended up burning the plastic, effing great:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

enjoying summer

I was in Duluth last weekend. I got in a couple of bike rides, went to the beach, and worked at the bike shop. My favorite customer of the day was some 13yr old kid from the neighborhood with an oversized tshirt with grease marks and no shoes who needed his chain shortened. He came back 3 times just to get it right.
Former TPC employee, BIG MIKE, making an appearance.



Saw this movie at Bicycle Film Festival last week with Katie, inspiring!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Northfield Crit

Northfield crit last weekend. I've always liked the course, like the hill. Thanks to Jake, Ben, and all the wonderful volunteers for putting on a fine race. Rossi showed up, had to take a photo to prove it!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Can I Get My Life Back Now?

Wow, what a week at work. Friday's a holiday so trying to get stuff done in a 4 day work-week can be hellish. I've had a couple of late nights at the lab, some may laugh, as I wasn't even the last one to leave the lab. A couple of the PhD candidates were still hammering at their desks 10,11pm at night. This week has been my biggest weeks at the lab. A visiting researcher couldn't be around for an experiment he wanted conducted so I was in charge of executing the plan. No pressure, eh? This was just round one, round two comes next week but should be better. Tuesday I had a group presentation on this summer's research and that was nothing compared to worrying about how the Bromide probe would calibrate. I had people helping me out and it still felt like I could have used a couple more extra helpers.

Katie and Jordan collecting samples in the drizzly morning.



Just a portion of the samples collected, time to get processing!


Yay, I get to work with chemicals! Watch out! Almost 9:30pm and I'm still working...


At this point I couldn't even put on a matching pair of boots.


At my desk, Shoes a recurring theme at work.