And I really am thankful for Friday.  I haven’t slept 6 hours in two nights, trying to get to a point in this bathroom project that I can take a break.  And I am taking a break.

Tomorrow I’m flying out to Orange County and going up to Newbury Park to to the Mike Nosco Memorial Ride on Monday .  I think this is 5th or 6th year they’ve done the ride.  I’ve done it nearly everytime I think.  I’ll be staying with my buddy, Jimmy Mac, newly inducted into the MTB Hall of Fall, at Interbike in Las Vegas, a couple months ago.

Today I had PT at 8 ish, and I went to bed at 4 ish.  That was ugly.  I quit working around 1am, but foolishly decided to put a new back camera in my iPhone when I got home.  That project went south after about an hour.  First the flash didn’t work, so I took it back apart and repositioned it.  Then when I reassembled it, the phone wouldn’t power on, so I took it all apart once again.  So by the time I got it going, it was a 2 1/2 hour ordeal.  Plus I was half asleep.

So after PT, I went and voted early.  There were a ton of people there, but the line went super fast.  I don’t really vote for most of the things on the ballot.  Retaining judges and such, I have no knowledge of.  Governor, senators, etc. I know some about.  It is kind a social responsibility, but I never feel that good when I’m done with it.  Strange.

Then, changed the oil in the Insight and got the car ready for a road trip.  Trudi is going up to Chicago to visit here mom for a few days.  It is nice that it only takes 25 gallons of gas roundtrip.

Okay, I have a ton of more stuff to do today, so I doubt I’ll catch up much.  It will be nice to get a little down time.  I’m a little worried that I’m not fit enough to ride the ride, but that is never the case.

Bill's hand after making his bike a singlespeed when his rear derailleur exploded.

Bill’s hand after making his bike a singlespeed when his rear derailleur exploded.

Before his hands got super greasy.

Before his hands got super greasy.


This pipe first broke off, then it took a ton of torching and quenching to finally break it free.  It was probably older than me.

This pipe first broke off, then it took a ton of torching and quenching to finally break it free. It was probably older than me.


New supplies lines to the bathroom.

New supplies lines to the bathroom.


Me and older folks voting today.

Me and older folks voting today.

Blood Test Questions, Construction, Royals, etc.


I’m super underslept, but it’s not like I don’t have valid reasons.  It seems that there aren’t enough hours in the day anymore.  This is without riding, which usually takes up the biggest chunk of time of my day.

I’ve been working on this bathroom most of my waking hours.  My time day rotated to 4 am yesterday morning, which means that yesterday was over almost by the time I woke up.  It takes a lot of thinking before there is any doing in this project.  The building is 125 years old and everything is a little out of whack.  Anyway, it is slowly getting there.

I took time to watch most of the Royals game last night.  It happens that it was on Tuesday night beer ride, which makes it hard to get back to work after.  They only had beer that  had at least 7% alcohol, so it got a little ugly.  I left after a couple beers to go eat at the Burgerstand and watch the rest of the game.  It was already 8-0 Royals by that time.  So, it comes down to game 7 tonight.

There is talk about driving down to Kansas City to the Power and LIght District or the Plaza, for tonight’s games, but I’ll have to see how the day goes.   That would probably get real long, like tomorrow long.

Okay, below is the blood test results from a friend.  Check out the hematocrit and hemoglobin numbers.  Also the MCV.  What’s up with these numbers?  Maybe JV if he’s reading this could pipe in with his ideas.  He is an expert on blood values.  Anyone else have any ideas about these crazy numbers?

Okay, I need to get going.  Physical therapy again this afternoon.  Part of that is sort of an upper leg massage thing, but it always comes first.  I told Burt last time that I’d like the massage after the PT exercises, not before.  We’ll see if he rotates the schedule.

Blood test.  Dehydration doesn't explain these numbers.

Blood test. Dehydration doesn’t explain these numbers.

Smear by the Royals last night in the World Series.

Smear by the Royals last night in the World Series.

In floor heating mat.

In floor heating mat.

I'm using 18 x 18 tile.  It takes a ton of thinset.

I’m using 18 x 18 tile. It takes a ton of thinset.

I found this old t-shirt in the grout cleaning rag pile.  Fresca for cycling, yum.

I found this old t-shirt in the grout cleaning rag pile. Fresca for cycling, yum.

I'm putting in a baby sink.  The whole space is only 6 foot by 6 foot.

I’m putting in a baby sink. The whole space is only 6 foot by 6 foot.

The Insight has turned into the work truck.  It doesn't much like weight.

The Insight has turned into the work truck. It doesn’t much like weight.

Finished shower pan.

Finished shower pan.



Bike Racing without Me


This past weekend was nearly a slap in my face.  The Berrryman MTB Epic, a 56 mile MTB race I’ve done the past 5 years or so, plus the Gateway UCI cyclocross races were both happening.  And of course I would nearly give my left arm to do either.

But, I’m building a bathroom and trying to figure out how to walk properly.  I did try to take a few running steps in physical therapy the other day.  I thought that I did real good, but Burt, my PT guy said I was running with a limp.

Berryman did have Topeka/Kansas attendance.  Brian Jensen had planned to go, but fell out training and hurt his shoulder, so he gave his entry to Bill.  Bill went and finished 2nd, which is his best finish there ever.  I was 2nd there last year, to the rider that won this year, Garet Steinmetz.  Garret has been ripping it up here in the Midwest on his MTB bike, so Bill must of had a good race.  My other team mate that went, Benn Stover finished 4th, so two guys in the top 4.  Pretty good.

Then yesterday at the Gateway Cup, B-Matter won the race.  That was a super result.  It is good when guys I race locally win national caliber races.

So if I can’t race, at least I can project how I would of, could of, should of finished in these races.  I always tend to do better when I race this way.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Brian Matter winning the UCI race on Sunday in St. Louis.

Brian Matter winning the UCI race on Sunday in St. Louis.  Photo: © Matt James

Shower pan I made last night.

Start of shower pan I did last night.

Tedious or Physical Projects – Which are Harder?


Yesterday was a pretty productive day for me.  It didn’t seem like it at the time, but now looking back upon it, I got a fair amount done.

I was putting in the bathroom and am finally done just thinking and am actually constructing.  I build the shower walls, most of the shower pan, put cement board on the floor and a few other misc. things.  I had extra fortified topping mix, so I patched the back loading dock area of the building, which turned out to be the most rewarding part of the building day.

I got home and the World Series game had gone to hell.  The Royals were ahead, 4-1, then the Giants got a ton of hits and it was a blowout.  I watched to the end, the looked through the mail.

The new screen for  my iPhone came.  It only took one day after buying it on eBay.  Supposedly it was sent from Springfield Missouri, but it seemed the company was really from China.  The LCD screen with digitizer was $30 shipped, which seems amazing after holding it in my hand.

I went to Youtube and watched a short video showing how to do it.  It seemed pretty simple, watching it.  And it really was.

The main problem was my agility.  And eyesight.  The screws are so small that it was hard to tell what tool to use to remove them.  Apple uses a proprietary 5-point pentalobe screw which you can use other tools to remove also.  I used a knife blade, but you can use a small nail too.

It probably took me close to an hour to replace the screen, but I was going pretty slowly.  I have cheap tools that don’t really bite into the small phillips, etc.  It was close to 1 am before I was finished.  It is nice having a new, clear screen.

I couldn’t believe how wiped out I was this morning.  I am way more tired that the previous week.  I am thinking that it was the iPhone repair, not the physical work.  I’ve been doing the physical everyday for the past week.  If this is true, it is amazing that just concentrating, with just a tad of stress, can physical rack you.  Maybe it is just additive and Sunday needs to be a rest day.

I’m meeting Joseph Schmalz in an hour, on gravel.  He is riding over from Lawrence and I’m going to head back there with him.   I haven’t seen Joseph for awhile, so it will be fun catching up.  It is supposed to be in the mid-80’s, today.  Very unusual for Kansas in October.

I still have a back camera coming for my phone.  My camera has been jacked for the past month.  The camera looks way more complicated to replace than the screen.  Better rest up for that one.


Smashed screen piece.

Smashed screen piece.

New screen.  You can see how jacked up my camera is.

New screen. You can see how jacked up my camera is.



Rental Tools


I’ve had a fair amount of experience renting tools in my life.  Not huge, but enough to realize the in-and-outs of the business.

And here’s the deal, don’t rent anything from a place that isn’t a tool rental business.  That means, skip Home Depot, and such, if at all possible.   Their tools usually cause more anxiety than the accomplishment of your task.

It’s not like the Home Depots of the world don’t have good tools to rent.  It is that they have no ability to keep the tools working properly.  Every tool I’ve ever rented from them, I repair before I can use it.  Plus, if it has a blade of any kind, the blade is always duller than shit.  Case in point.

I had to rent a sewer auger a couple of nights ago, later in the evening.  All the “real rental” places were closed, so Kris and I drove out to Home Depot to rent a one.  It was around $60 bucks for 4 hours.  We loaded the auger into the car and were back home and were at it pretty quickly.

But, that is when the fun started.  The tool was a POS.  The belt was so loose that the auger wouldn’t spin.  There was a way to move the motor up and down, to adjust the belt, but someone had screwed with the bolt and it wasn’t there, just some threads and a nut on them.

We finally got the thing sort of working, but when it was out around 80 feet in the sewer, the resistance was too much and it bogged down.  Eventually, we were having to spin the thing with our hands, propelling it manually.

The ordeal kept going.  It took forever to get the thing out of the clean out.  It was spinning so slowly, I was pretty much just yanking it out of the drain.  I was wasted.

I’ve used sewer augers lots of times with no problems.  This was a tool issue.

When I returned the thing I told the lady at the rental counter the issue.  She told me that it wasn’t an automatic auger and “of course” you have to use it manually.  I asked her what the motor was for then.  She looked at me quizzically, not understanding what I was saying.  I told her someone should look the tool over before she rented it again.   She put it back into its slot, waiting for the next idiot.


I rented the 1 inch model on the left.  Just wait until a real tool rental store is open if you can.



George’s Gran Fondo


There is plenty of media attention all ready surround George’s Gran Fondo this weekend.  Lots of people commenting on Facebook about Lance’s supposed appearance, along with a bunch of their old USPS team mates.  I was going to wait until next week, after the fact,  when we all see what USADA, USAC and all current pros that are attending, decided to do, before  commenting.

But, once again, Crankpunk once again, wrote a post that mimics most of my thoughts, way more eloquently than I ever could.   He covers pretty  much  everything I am thinking.  Here is the link to his post today. 

There are so many things going on here, that it’s super hard to address it all.  Having Lance in the equation sure focuses a lot of attention on an already controversial deal.   We’ll see how it all plays out.