Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Further excitement came from Christmas at my Mom's house with my sister and her two kids.
The day after that, Sunday I think, Lauren and I met up with my friend Chris and we went skiing. Lauren and I are both pretty good skiers and apparently Chris had never skied before. We showed him the ropes, and how to fall. It was good times and we had Chris skiing some Blacks before we were done. Chris actually found out that skiing without falling is much more fun than falling continuously.
Monday we left for the cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) although we pretty much hung out only in St. Paul.
Tuesday we toured some potential wedding venues but we have not picked one.
Wednesday we had a joint engagement party with Lauren's sister and her fiance. It was quite a bit of fun, got to meet lots of people and then drive home in lots of snow.
Thursday brought us loads of nice packy snow with which Lauren, Buddy (Lauren's brother), Sasha (Lauren's sister's fiance) and I built a remarkable scene. Something sort of like this but not really. I will soon post pictures of our masterpiece.
We also had a big family Christmas at Lauren's on Thursday night, everyone was awed by the snow sculpture.
On a side note: Lauren's Dad hooked us up with iPhones for Christmas!
Friday we had Christmas with Lauren's family in the morning and then drove back to my house for Christmas at my Dad's. Getting pretty exhausted of Christmas by now but I persevered.
Saturday we had the big Barber family Christmas and it was great to see all of the family. I also saw my Grandfather who is quite ill, I sure hope he starts getting better.
Sunday we were supposed to fly out of Madison early (6:30 a.m.) but the plane was held due to maintenance issues. Oh well, we had iPhones to play on. Finally we got home about 3:30 - 4 and I raked the back yard. Random, yes, but our back yard sure looks good. Then we watched Idiocracy, dumbest movie ever made!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Little bookshelf and bike and desk. Need to organize a little maybe...
Other good news revolves around work, Seu, and Snow.
At work I've been in training for the past two weeks learning how to do geology, turns out it's pretty dang fun! Geophysics isn't so scary anymore and I found out people actually use Sequence Stratigraphy. Nice.
Seu, forcefully or not, was removed the breeding pool of dogs as of last Tuesday, he is still barking at a slightly higher pitch.
In case you didn't hear, Houston got snow last Friday. Exciting, right? We did actually get out of work early but not because the snow was piling up but because the already terrible drivers in Houston don't actually know what snow is so they drive around like the sky is falling, it could be also be caused when people see squirrels doing this. Chaos!
We did document this unusual occasion:
Notice Seu's look of displeasure, it's not from the snow or the cold.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Lauren ended up fourth in her class, CONGRATS!!
It came at some cost though:
After the race quote from Lauren, "I need to learn to fall on my right side!"
Now a little off time before training for Spring racing. I'll be going back to Wisconsin for some exciting deer hunting next weekend and all of next week. Probably have to shop for Christmas sometime soon and plan a wedding. Please give tips for the wedding part!!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I was clearly celebrating Halloween a little early, good times.
Lauren and I partook in the annual festivities that include knives and punkins, yes punkins. This year, actually, I think I carved a rather large, whitish gourd but I'm still not too sure about the species of my jack-o'-lantern.
While carving, the masterpiece of Stanley Kubrik played in the background featuring Jack Torrance, Wendy Torrance, and Danny Torrance.
This is Lauren's happy cyclops thing
This is my whitish gourd thing, turned out well I thought. The outer shell was ridiculously hard leading me to use a hammer in addition to my knife to carve it. I actually ended up breaking the knife, sorry Lauren.
For Halloween evening we did the traditional Trick-or-Treat handing out of candy to all the little monsters and Michael Jacksons running around. We almost ran out of candy before we had to go to Lauren's co-worker's house for a little get-together. We had some pretty sweet costumes, I'll put up some pics once they become available to me. Halloween was pretty fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the "extra" hour of sleep last night.
Today Lauren and I ventured out to IKEA to get a shelf, a table, and a couple of chairs. Pretty sweet, I'll get some pics soon.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
This race was a little different from most races as there was a short track and time trial on Saturday and the typical cross country race on Sunday. I haven't ever done a time trial on either the road or the mountain (No special bikes or cool pictures of BA mountain bike time trials) bike so I didn't really know what to expect.
SIDE NOTE: I've also never tried a tandem time trial, I'm gonna have to ask Lauren if she's into that kind of thing.
The short track race was the first race on Saturday but I didn't do it because it didn't count for the Cat 2 GC and it costed more money. The time trial was pretty much what I expected it to be, a painfest. I downed a GU and some drink right before I started which may not have been a good idea. Oh well. The race was pretty good. The first guy I caught was nice and got off the trail for me right before a slippery corner which I slid out in losing a couple second for sure. The second guy I caught was not so nice and he didn't let me by even though I was considerably faster than he. He did proceed to stall out on a switchback leading up to the finish making me stop and costing me a few more seconds. In the end I got second a mere six seconds out of first.
Here's some TT pics:
The cross country race was on Sunday and I was really looking for a win. I started out pretty fast trying to stay at the front and was feeling pretty sore from the TT and probably a little sore still from the 24 hour race but feeling alright. We stayed with the whole field for a while and then three of us (James, Josh, and I) started pulling away. I went back in forth from second to first to third and when I pulled back into second James took off. Neither Josh or I could respond and James built a decent lead. Josh and I took turns pulling until Josh tore off his derailleur. This happened at a good time for me since I looked back and saw a couple guys from our class closing in. I picked up the pace a little and held everyone off for second.
Here's a XC photo:
Lauren did tear it up at Ruston, too:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Not feeling so well, little cramping going on
Friday, October 16, 2009
After some ups and downs I've found a team for the 24 Hours of Rocky Hill! First I started off on a four-person expert team then one of the dude's was having a baby. He was out. Then someone wanted to race solo. He's out. Then I was going to race as a Duo with my buddy Joshua but then he got the flu and we both decided the race after the flu. So I was teamless about a week ago then a guy contacted me about doing the race on his team. RIGHT ON!! So now I'm racing on a 4-man senior sport team. Woohoo! 24 hour race!
It starts tomorrow by the way, hopefully Rocky Hill has dried out a little and the weather is looking perfect.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I wasn't really sure what to expect since thoughts of bingo typically bring about visions of suspender and bow-tie clad gents and dames with hair curlers still in place. Well, that was pretty much the case. There were quite a few younger folks, however, doubtlessly lured in by the cheap beer and popcorn.
The actual playing of bingo was relatively relaxing as the mono-toned gentleman calling the numbers had a very soothing voice. There was a raucous bunch of girls next to us who had clearly consumed more than just beer. I also found the pace of the game to be quick and somewhat frustrating:
Notice the dude in the back with a Texas hat on, way to go buddy!
I clearly once thought I was going to win! Hope dashed when some jerk in the back got bingo before me.
Maybe next time...
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Last hill, it hurt, I think my tongue is sticking out.
MuddyBike bath time, I think I dropped something...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I'm winning for sure!!
This weekend is the third race in the fall TMBRA series up at Lake Bryan, hopefully it goes well!
I also got my new shoes!!! Super sweet!!! Can't wait to rock 'em!!! (Sidi Dominator 6 w/carbon soles)
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Since I haven't written in a while, a brief recap of last week:
Last week was the restart of Yetti cross which is good, new route looks tough, can't wait to get out there and race again.
Went to Wisconsin last weekend for a good friend's wedding and got to see some of the family.
Lauren took the GRE, that test you have to take to get into grad school, tough test.
Seu is getting a little better at rolling over.
Went to training for work.
Went to the Astros game on Friday with some sweet fireworks afterwards.
Figured out I'm doing the 24 hours of Rocky Hill as a duo team, should be interesting.
Prediction of this week:
Will get my new mountain biking shoes!!!! I'm excited!!!!
Do Yetti cross sometime around Wednesday.
Race at Bryan on Sunday.
Ride horses sometime.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I was feeling pretty good at the start of the race and they started us with the collegiate B's so there was quite a few people at the start. My goal was to not blow up on the first lap but still ride fast. I know, smart plan, right. Since the start was so fast and the course was so ... non ... technical I figured I would blow up chasing roadies. The first lap went pretty well as I led most of it pulling away in the technical sections and having the other kid catch up in the flats. Around the start/finish line the other kid started pulling away and some other kid passed me. I didn't know how I was feeling but apparently I was fading. I started getting a little tired and then it was more tired and then I was struggling to keep going. After a little recovery I kicked it in again to hold of the other Cat 2's at least. Just as the rain started to come I passed some Cat 2's from another class that had passed me earlier but my effort was a little too late and I ended up third about two and a half minutes out of first. Not too bad after a hard week and I got a super-duper trophy.
At the start of Lauren's race, where she ended up fifth, I ended up standing on a dang fire any mound and the little suckers got me about 8 - 9 times before I killed them all. Later that week Brandon's ankle would go on to get all swollen due to those dang fire ants but it is getting better now.
On a side note the Yetti Cross races are on hold as the Harris County Flood Control decided they don't want us racing down there. Lame but true.
Seu is learning to roll over.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Not too long after the start, notice face not grimacing
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We pulled up to the First-Time Racers clinic to say hi to the Johnson's just as the rain started. We thought it might end quickly but we were wrong. Alan jinxed us as well by keeping on saying, "Oh I think it's letting up" or, "It's getting lighter over there". So it rained for a while and we didn't end up pre-riding at all.
After a good pasta dinner, a good game of scrabble (somehow I beat Kyle), and an lovely night of sleep on a nice rubber coated mattress it was race time.
Westley started early, at 8:30, and the Cat 1's and 2's starting at 10:30. Westley started strong and ended up winning his race. Congrats!!
My race was interesting, there was a little 13 year-old who is apparently really fast. The kid was with us, or should I say, we were with him for the first, oh, ten minutes of the race and then he was gone. Crazy fast. I was in second with Ryan and we were holding a pretty good pace. The first loop was just nasty as the rain had made everything muddy and the rocks were all super slippery. I almost took a couple people out as I slid while passing them, they weren't too happy.
Ryan started to ride away from me and pretty soon I couldn't see him anymore, I was a little worried but trying to not blow myself up trying to catch him. I eventually caught back up to him on a long, steady, nastily-slippery hill climb. Going across a side-hill Ryan crashed and I passed him back for second. Seeing that, I rode a little more cautious and figured Ryan might catch up to me again. The trail was getting considerably better near the end of the race and my second trip down the old river bed was much better and faster. I ended up getting second behind the kid by about four minutes for second. I felt good and the race was good, now I have to take out that little kid since he got the prize that I really wanted. Here are some pictures snapped by Lauren:
Somewhere during the race
Finish! Rough race, in the bumpy sort of rough!
Podium, notice tiny kid on top.
By the way, the eighth of a tank of gas was barely enough to get us back to the only gas station out in that area of the world approximately 40 miles away. I love my car!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sunday came around and Kathy and I had talked Lauren into racing. Early start but we made it with a little time to warm up. The start went out around a paved loop and then into the singletrack. I kept with the middle of the pack around the loop and then made a move to get into the front of the group right before the singletrack which was a good move since people behind me crashed and slowed everyone down. I was in the top five about two miles in and hanging on pretty easily. About a third of the way through the first lap (5 mile laps) I decided to go and was in the lead for the rest of the lap. At about the same point on the next lap two guys that were behind me just took off and I never saw them again. Stupid Cat 1 sandbaggers!!! I kept on though but I was hurtin' a little, some other Cat 2's had caught up so I was in about third and then fifth and then like 10th. I started recovering a little and then started passing some of the guys that had passed me and by race end I placed seventh. Not too bad, would have liked to place higher but I felt ok.
Tuesday I met up with a kid and rode Memorial Park. Forgetting the Yetti cross race on Wednesday I decided to push it and do intervals. It was a good workout and I got to scare some roadies and make them mad when I passed them "really close" according to them. Ha ha, there wasn't even contact.
Last night was the first Yetti cross race of the season. Running late, I spaced any money that would actually enter me into the race so I ended up just riding but at race effort. It was a hard effort after pushing it hard the night before but I didn't let up. 45 minutes is a long time to go hard, too. I started with the C's since I wasn't officially in the race and even though I wasn't contesting anyone I did end up lapping about a third to half of the C field. The barriers were certainly interesting, should probably do some work in that area, but it was still a sweet race. I definitely need to look into getting a 'cross bike (Lauren rolls eyes now) so if you have any connections or know someone selling a 54 cm let me know.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
After I got home and calmed down a bit Lauren and I went to Memorial Park for some mountain biking. Not know for sure what to think as I've gotten several reviews on a wide range from "don't waste your time" to "you probably won't be able to ride it your first time because it's so technical" I wasn't overly impressed nor severely disappointed. We also showed up and didn't really know where to go so we ended up riding the "Black" loop, the most technical trail. Lauren had previously told me she wouldn't ride that part but since she didn't know I made her.
Lauren also pulled out one of Seu's baby teeth. Sick!
I hope the Dirt Derby is going well. If you ride a bike and you are in Austin or the surrounding area you should definitely go check it out!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
We got to the concert only to find out they weren't letting anyone in because there was a tornado. They sent us to the parking garage across the street to "ride out" the tornado. Long story short, no tornado, angry Incubus-loving fans, show must go on. The show started late but it was great.
Go home late and go up a little late but now it's time to go to some garage sales.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Something like this but a little cooler maybe.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, Lauren and I went up to Double Lake near Coldspring to get some much needed mountain biking in. It was good to get back out on the trail. The handling skills were a little rough to start but after the first couple of miles they came back pretty quick. It was pretty dang hot and Lauren decided to let Seu follow her down the trail but Seu didn't quite know what to do so Lauren ended up going pretty slow but I think she had fun.
After riding we went out to the horse barn and rode the horses for a little bit until I thought I was going to be hear exhausted so we headed to Dairy Queen and then home.
I am hoping to go check out Memorial Park this week sometime.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009