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I'm about as sure of your reasons for visiting this blog as my reasons for keeping it. So sit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mamet Speak

An excerpt from my parents take on a Mamet play.

DH: Did you take your pill?
TH: What?
DH ( louder): YOUR PILL?
DH ( now shouting): YES, PILL.
TH: not yet.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Thoreau, woodpiles and satisfaction.

IMG_2439.JPG, originally uploaded by crankles.

Let me introduce "jams 2012" from left to right. Bing, apricot, olallie. Your looking at 708 oz of jam....that's 5 1/2 Gallons! SWEET!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble....Race reports #2, 3, & 4

Race #2 was prior to vacation and so all that remains is a vague memory of suffering in Prunedale. Oh, and the fact that my team mate beat me on one of  my own bicycles! That is so low C(l)ass. To my thinking, if you smash your bike the day before in training and your teammate loans you HIS STEVENS for the race, you should at least have the common decency to sit up before the line, right? Well, two days after returning from vacation, I did races #3 and #4, 90 minutes apart. What made me think that this was a good idea is still under investigation. Earlier findings indicate a screw loose. The course was typical Candlestick; fast, dry, bumpy and technical. Anyway, I managed to pulled off the double, racing the SS race in at 9:40 and the 45+ race at 12:30.  Don't let that photo fool you (thanks Jon). I'm only smiling because Cass had just farted.... and the race hadn't started yet. I felt pretty ok during the SS race. I let 7th place slip through my fingers, but was pretty satisfied with 8th. There was a decent gap, maybe 30 seconds, to Chris in 6th place. Nice jobs Chris. Next time don't fall down so much;-) I ran a 60in gear and was completely spun out on the long straight. I should have run a 63, but I'm not sure I could have survived it. I really had pretty modest goals for the 45+ race. Stay on the lead lap. It was harder than I thought. Coats, Mundelius and Myrah decided to race a minute ahead in the 35+ race. Heck, it's hard enough to stay lead lap when they race age appropriate! The first 3 laps felt ok. I started at the back with Hans so that I could get my butt on camera as much as possible and was actually passing more folks than not. This was to be short lived. Lap 4 hurt. Lap 5 really hurt. The remaining 43 laps were a complete blurr. Whining aside, I acheived my goal finishing 21st, losing most of my places in the last two laps. I think top 15 on fresh legs. The folks running the BASP series really upped their game a notch this year with a fly-over, totally PRO race numbers and a remote fly-cam. The ML3RDL tent was in full swing with the team posting a couple of 1sts, a 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th....well, alot! Sadly, the cross gods required their sacrifce and both Max and Janie offered up flesh. Heal up and see y'ins next week.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs. RIP

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in confederacy against him.”
Jonathan Swift

Monday, October 03, 2011

In the Bag. 2011 race #1

SS CX rule # 12. If the gear feels good in warm-up, it's too big.
SS CX rule #33. Get that F-ing 18t cog back that you loaned to your teammate BEFORE you go to the race.

Raced SS at Lion of Fairfax on Saturday. It always feels good to get that first one outta the way. I wasn't 100% due to that mid Sept. cold so when faced with either a 64 or a 54 inch gear, I chose the latter (A 60 would have been perfect in retrospect ). I was woefully undergeared on the front half of the course, but was drilling it on the slow rooted climb....and no cramping. I ignored the "Go Hampster Go" cat calls through the start finish and told myself I had made the right choice. I finished mid-pack without having to go too deep. That's not to say I didnt' suffer. I made some big efforts to reel in a friend of mine over the first few laps, but I paid the price and was hurting as I came through the start/finish. When I looked up to see "5 to go" on the lap cards, I was sure they had made a mistake. When they showed "4 to go" one lap, later, I realized it was no mistake and almost headed to the car. Not sure how I hung on for 4 more laps, but I'm happy with the result considering I"m about 3 weeks behind schedule fitness wise.

Side note: checked out Tim C's latest incarnation of his hydraulic setup. It's pretty damn sweet. Fantastic modulation with a single finger. CX discs are definitely in my future. Hurry up Shimano/Sram/Sacha!

Friday, September 30, 2011

If the shoe fits...

My friend Schultzie said this reminded him of me. I can't understand why ;-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Heavens to Murgatroid! I was reading this pretty decent NYT article about failure and success when I made the mistake of clicking through to UrbanBaby. It's entertaining in that tabloid sort of way. Funny for about 10 seconds, then just sad. Do yourself a favor and dont click through....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I train during my lunch hour. I don't want to train at lunch. I'd rather go to Vik's. I'd rather ride after work. I'd rather come home late and eat dinner on the sofa with my legs up. But such is not my life, so I ride at lunch. Almost without fail, someone will ask as I stink my way back to my office if I had a nice ride. I use to say "Yes". I would tell them what they expected to hear. I use to lie. My rides are never nice. I don't have the hours for 'nice'. Mine are invariably some form of 'ugly'. They range from slightly off-putting to down right Rob Zombie. As a result, my co-workers will no longer ride with me. So I'm alone in my misery, talkin' crazy talk to no one. But at least I no longer lie...except to myself ;-)

It must be my birthday!

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy. The 15c rides again! I'm such a loser.

mini sabbatical

Since I'm the only one that reads my blog, I want to apologize to myself for the lazy pic posts of late. It's all I've had time for...Last season started strong (again) and ended abruptly (again). I really didn't feel like revisiting many races. Ok. I will post something about the Michigan race soon as I plan on hanging the entire 2010/2011 season on that single result. This seaon, it's happening again, albeit a  month sooner, so there is hope.
Anyone see a pattern? Maybe it's just a perfect storm of peak fitness meets the beginning of the school year. I'm most vunerable to vectors just as the number of them I'm exposed to increases by an orders of magnitude.
I wish I could blame the kids. Wait. I can. Damn Kids.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

I'm not worried about America's youth, nope, not worried one bit.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I need one of these installed at work...

IMG_0492.JPG, originally uploaded by crankles.

Narrowing the Choices

As you can see from the removed pink post-its, the number of potential candidates has been greatly reduced. Whew.
IMG_0517.JPG, originally uploaded by crankles.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Me and the Dude

This pretty much sums me up right now....minus the white russian. Dude 1, Me 0.

Merritt College whiners dig this....

Pretty certain this was a Velopromo race.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Toast Jam!

3 batches of Bing, 2 batches of Sour Cherry, and 3 batches of Olallie! To the untrained eye, that looks like a lot of jam, but trust me, it's barely enough. Oh, and the maslin pan changed my life (as much as a pan can do such a thing).

Friday, April 16, 2010

I have tears in my eyes...

P1000593, originally uploaded by jknotzke.

such a beautiful thing

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Wanna play "Go Fish" or "Run Commrade Run! it's a Yperite Attack!"

I'm not really sure what the objectives of this or some of the other games are, but I'm pretty sure they are probably nothing like Candy Land. Pat, little help?

Monday, April 05, 2010


...riding is just not that fun. Period.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

!nice ride.

Pictured is what I'd call a 'Nice Ride', a '55 Bel Air Wagon. It was parked at my local Safeway yesterday. Doubtful if that was a stock color, but jeet sweesus, who cares! Doesn't' it just cry out to be the new Speedvagen Team car?

What I do at lunch is not, however, is not a nice ride. Ya see, I train during my lunch hour. I don't want to train at lunch. I'd rather go to Vik's. I'd rather ride after work. I'd rather come home late and eat dinner on the sofa with my legs up. But such is not my life, so I ride at lunch. Almost without fail, someone will ask as I stink my way back to my office if I had a nice ride. I use to say "Yes". I would tell them what they expected to hear. I use to lie. My rides are never nice. I don't have the hours for 'nice'. Mine are invariably some form of 'ugly'. They range from slightly off-putting to down right Rob Zombie. As a result, my co-workers will no longer ride with me. So I'm alone in my misery, talkin' crazy talk to no one. But I no longer lie.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Here Kitty Kitty!

Last year I got bupkis. This year I got's Boozleys and a small child and that was for 4th place! Ya see, once cross season ends, there's not much to motivate in the off-season. I usually schedule some idiocy mid-year just to give myself something at which to throw darts. Enter the East Bay Rally Cat. My favoritest "race" of that other season. Why is it so great you ask? Do tell.

Great Location? 5 miles from my house!
Great Course? Check!
Great Promoter? Got it!
Great Prizes? Did I mention pickles and kids?
Great after-party? Yeppers!
Great crowd? in Spades!
Even an illustrious dignitary and PuddinPie!
oh, and entry fee was a fin!

This year was the 2nd annual. 86 bandits. Gone were the unmanned checkpoints, but an ad hoc route between checkpoints 3 & 4 was added. This would prove to be my Flutie. For those unfamiliar (mainly my sisters, the only ones who read this rag), an alley cat is to formal bike racing what a hash run is to the Olympic 10k. You're given a map (Sorry Mary, no ham sandwiches) with checkpoints and sent on your way to navigate a route somewhat of your choosing, collecting stamps along the way. Hopefully you arrive back safely at the keg, er finish line. There are no race numbers, no team tents, no PA system, no race officials. Go Hard, have fun, don't get run over. That's about it. There is always much discussion before the start as to the best routes, the subtle difference between cheating and being cheeky, and how to pull a Rosie Ruiz without getting caught. Successful execution of the latter at this type of event is to be lauded. And while a party atmosphere abounds, the race can be anything but a picnic if you so choose. This year again sent us straight up Tunnel Rd (a 4+ mile climb) and again the pace was brutal. Krishna, Kea, Jon (you bastard), James and a few other nutjobs (Fred?) were killin' it at the front. I clung about 20 meters back. I tried to go with Mark as he bridged up to the lead of 5 or 6 and paid dearly. I backed off, got passed by a few, regrouped, passed a few back, and hit the first checkpoint in about 9th place, maybe a minute back of the leaders. What followed was the crazed mud slick decent in Sibley. I completely forgot how to go downhill, got passed by Murphy, Blake and probably a few others, but passed Murphy back on the butt-steep climb to the water tower (another 2 mile buster where the 1st mile averages 9.5%) . I could see a few other riders strung out on the ridge, but the leaders were now all but gone. At the trail turn off to the tower, I saw a few heading up the ridge, missing the split. "HEY, YOU'RE GOING THE WRONG WAY", I whispered. There, I tried. Once past the water tower, I tip-toed down Pinehurst and settled into tempo trying to save something for the final 6+ mile climb to the third checkpoint. I knew Adam had passed Murphy as well up to the tower so he couldn't be far back. I looked to see him at about 300 meters. I sat up a tad, waiting for the catch so we could work together along the false flats. A minute later, as I looked to check on his progress, a freight train come barreling past. HOLY CRAP! Adam AND Murphy had latched onto some HOSS of a roadie who was driving the pace Hard. I jumped HAAARDerrrr and barely become the caboose as we steamed at 28MPH through the rollers. Didn't have to take a single pull. It was worth it. I was one very Happy Noodle. At the base of south Pinehurst, no one pushed it. We all knew what was coming...the self mortification that is Eastridge trail. Once there, Murphy poured it on and took off. Mercifully, the climb wasn't the wet clay mess of last year so my choice of file treads made me look like Wile E. Coyote. Adam and I yo-yo'ed a bit as two young upstarts had the nerve to catch AND pass us (and Murphy as well). Adam dropped off the pace as I tried in vain to keep those three in site. I was also cramping bad and there was something in my jersey pocket pressing like a rock on my lower back bugging the heck outta me! What the hell was that thing?! Oh Jeet Sweebus. A water bottle. Yeah, now I remember. I'm suppose to be drinking that. Somehow, four of us regroup at Skyline Gate. Click the link. See. Don't I just look daisy fresh. I'm now running 13th. If you remember, it was from this point on that you were on your own. Anyway you could get to checkpoint 4 was fair game. If you followed the map, you were in for another 3+ miles of rolling trails and some hairball decsents. I had no intention of doing any such thing (like last year). I hopped on to Skyline with Murphy and the two youngsters in tow. As we rode along, I was wondering if they were thinking what I was thinking...bust it down Castle and come at the cabin from the opposite direction? Only one way to find out...play dead. I was looking the part anyway. As we approached Moongate, I upped the tempo, took a pull , then faded to the back as we rounded the bend. They held the pace and I faded a bit more. As they swept left, passing the point of no return, I grabbed a handful of binder and dropped it hard right down the descent. A quick look back...Nada! MUWAHAHA! I flew down as fast as I dare, not wanting to miss the unmarked exit of the trail. There it was...with lots of fresh tracks to boot. No sooner had I headed in when Krishna and Kea came flying out...a few seconds later and here came Jeff, Matthias, Mark and a few of the others from the original lead group. So I wasn't the only one with this tidbit of knowledge. I stormed to the cabin trail, stashed the bike, ran down, got the stamp and scrambled back up. I flew back out and rode the last miles to the lake solo, 9th overall! But wait, what,s this...Mark and Jeff had missed the water tower, which put me 7th! Matthias, Kea and some other freak of nature were on SS cross rigs and in a category of their own. That put me 4th in the gear afflicted! Be still my heart! Was I in the "money". Was there enough schwag to go that deep. I decided to use the Force. "You do not want the Bread&Butter pickles". "They will only aggrivate your diverticulitis". "That De La Paz Coffee smells sooo good". Sunshine, CX, Pickles, Family, A very good day. Tip hats to Evan and Jason. Thanks Everyone for the photos.

Check out the streams.

Jon flickr set
Jenny flickr set
hotMARK Flickr set

p.s. PuddinPie, I really didn't want to go that hard. Jon made me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


We're sitting outside the Majestic just a few doors down from the Plaza...drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, shootin' shine. Nothing much. The movie has just let out. Frankie says, in almost a whisper, "Isn't that Alie?"I turn and look. I see her. She's holding his hand. She looks happy. I realize she looks happier than I've ever seen her...with me that is. She sees me seeing her and the expression changes to one of profound sadness. No, not sadness, pity. Profound pity, as if to say "Awe Gee, I really didn't mean for you to find out this way." The silence at the table is glacial. "That's cold" someone finally says. I'm not sure who said it. I no longer recognize the voices of my own friends. I'm too numb to notice.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Total War

Saw a specialist yesterday. He took a look at the CT, looked at the previous med courses and decided on the William Tecumseh Sherman approach. Took me off the Moxifloxacin, put me on a 21 day run of Augmentin (basically the amoxycillin I was on but with an added beta-lactamase inhibitor...damn those pesky beta-lactams) and a 10 day run of prednisone (yikes!). He compared the nasal steroid I was on to "pissing in the ocean" compared to the prednisone. That's her in the picture. She is one mean looking lady. Careful, there's a brick in her purse.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mr Know-it-all.

I've glued hundreds of tires over the years and have perfected my system simply from making almost as many mistakes. I've pretty much got it dialed now though, or so I thought. Zank's post is the best compendium I've seen to date. I even picked up a new trick re: the srynges. I was gluing tires a few weeks back thinking there had to be a better way...and Shazaam! Thanks Zank. I'm also feeling a bit smuggish, as I've been taping cross tires going on 6-7 yrs now! Pthfffft!

post scriptum. I'll repost many of the pics and much of the text shortly for those of you who don't have/want to join velocipede salon.

Honey, bring me my gun. Bring me my biggest gun!

Well, it's not really the biggest gun, but it's pretty big. After developing the symptoms AGAIN, the Doc ordered a CT scan. The bad news is that I have bilateral sinusitis. The good news is that I have bilateral sinusitis, so least they know what they're treating. That makes three bouts in 4 months. Actually, it probably never went away. Two 1o day runs of Amoxicillin weren't enough. So now I'm on Moxifloxacin. That's her in the picture. Pretty hot as far as small molecules go don't you think? Just look at how that cyclopropyl group dangles so tantalizingly off the quinolone. Toooo sexy. Anyway, it's a big time broad-spectrum antibacterial, strong enough to kill almost any bug w/in a 10 foot radius. It make me feel pretty nauseous in the 1st hour, but I'll deal if it will clear this up. I'm also headed to a specialist tomorrow to see why it might be recurring. Hey, I'll take any excuse I can get to explain away this past cross season.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I raced one last time. I thought I had gotten a little fitness back. Well, I did, but it was very little. Not enough to match what others already had. Not even close. That was a real hard pill. While it may look like I had fun, I did not. It was not the storybook ending to the season I had envisioned. I couldn't salvage jack the latter part of the it despite what I thought was a decent effort. Instead, in my final attempt to get a point or two, I flatted, cutting the sidewall of an FMB, pitted, gutted out a half lap on the SS, pitted back to the gearie, flatted again, ran 1/2 a lap, pitted, puked it on the SS for another half a lap, and pitted again to finish on the gearie. Thanks to my KPTO mates for the wheels changes. I owe you each a sock in the nose. Couldn't you have just let me die in peace. All I know is, someone had it worse than me as I wasn't DFL. I destroyed more equipement and pitted more times this season that I have in the last 4 combined. I batted one for three on season goals. .333 in baseball gets you signed. In my line of work it gets you fired. At first, I was pretty down in the dumps about the whole mess. When I was finally getting better, someone asked how my season was going and I said "disasterous". That's plain silly. Truth is, I'm lucky to still be racing at all. Thanks to my family for all the support. It matters. A lot.

Where's the ketchup at!

I've been slackin'. If you don't already visit these sites, they're worth checking out. I've been meaning to add them for months. Pave. Good Commentary (but black backgrounds make me carsick),
Velogogo. Pretty Pictures,
Cyclocosm. More good commentary,
Emrocation. What he just said.
Now go waste more time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Making amends.

I hope this will purge the last post from your brain, A tall order for sure.


I almost want to apologize for posting this...please dont' ask how I found it.

Monday, January 18, 2010


But they are so damn cute I bet they go platinum.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Science always has an answer!

But sometimes it's just not the answer we want.

Why I Don't Have a Girlfriend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Race report #10. It gets worse!

In a lame attempt to salvage this season, I chose to train too hard, race the wrong tires (see pic), and choose the wrong gear again. File treads? What was I smokin'?!?!?! 42x17? I must be insane.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Race Report #9. Bah! Humbug!

Grrr. Felt like crap. Picked the wrong gear. suffered mightily.
This season sux!

Cyclocross. Something for everyone.

This either needs no explanation or one that is longer than I'm prepared to give...

Cyclocross Fixie from Baylor Blessing on Vimeo.

Thanks Baylor Blessing.