Tucker has spent the majority of the last month romping around the Northwoods. He is going to be 10 months old in a few days and has really gotten a ton more agile. I know I haven’t put many Tucker pictures on the past week, so here are a few taken recently.
I went over to the Walberg’s and did some measuring of a porch roof that needs to be redone. It is a super cool porch, with a tongue and groove ceiling and skylights, but has an ancient tar and gravel roof that leaks. And I happen to know how to adhere rubber roofing, so it is a perfect fit.
I put a huge, well maybe not huge compared to warehouses and giant manufacturing plants, but huge for a few bike racers learning how to roof as we go, rubber roof on. This roof was on a building my grandmother bought back in the early 50’s. It had continually leaked and should have been replaced a decade earlier.
This was 7 years ago. I probably wouldn’t have started the project without Michael Fatka just showing up in Topeka ready to work. He ended up staying there for over a month, helping out immensely.
It took me nearly 60 days straight of 16-20 hours days to complete. I am still amazed that I didn’t really run out of steam with so little sleep. I owe that to bike racing. I saved somewhere are 80K I figure. I spent $16000 and half of that was on insulation.
I only rode 3 miles in two months. The longest I’d ever taken off the bike since I was in high school. And it worked out fine. I felt better that February than I had in years. Weird.
Anyway, it was the biggest single project that I’ve continuously done. Normally a whole roofing crew would have been involved. Roofs usually need to be replaced in a hasty fashion. We got pretty lucky with the weather.
The Walberg’s roof is much smaller. I learned a ton, so it should go way quicker. Micheal still needs a new roof too. I patched that one together last fall and it has been problematic, so it needs to be completely ripped off and replaced. I didn’t realize how many flat roofs were out there.
There is a certain comradery working together in manual labor brings. I didn’t realize it so much until after this project. It is sort of like a bike racing team. Pretty rewarding. Okay, here are some pictures of the project. I had just started writing web posts and had Google ads back then. All the ads changed from bike related subjects to roofing advertisements. That was the sign I needed to finish up the job.
I was out riding trails yesterday evening and got a call from Pat Lemieux, a good friend, and Gwen Jorgensen’s husband. Since she won a gold medal in Rio last Saturday, I assumed they would be back here in the US right about now. I was hoping he was going to say that they were done for the year and that he was going to do Chequamegon again next month.
Instead he said that Gwen was running the New York City marathon, November 6th. Between that time they are going down to Florida for a training camp before the ITU WTS finals in Mexico and also doing another triathlon in the Bahamas. Pretty jam-packed scheduled for a triathlete.
I think she has ran one marathon before, but I’m not sure about that. Nothing like this though. I assume she’s do fine. I have no idea whether she will be competitive. She can run a low 32 minute 10000 meters, so she is fast enough, for sure. But putting over 4 of those together back to back is a different deal. But I applaud venturing out.
Why not do some bucket list stuff when you have the form to do it? She eventually might turn exclusively to running, so it is a good idea seeing if that is a realistic possibility.
The next couple days are going to be my favorite days of the Olympics. (Not that the road cycling wasn’t great.) Tomorrow is the day for women’s racing. It is the day for MTB and also Triathlon. Both are tomorrow morning. Then on Sunday, men’s MTB.
The MTB is just going to be interesting. I have no prediction for the women’s race tomorrow morning. It is really wide open. On Sunday, I’m going with Nino. It is the only medal the guy is missing and he has been on a roll this year. Like I said before, I’m picking Sagan to finish somewhere between 5-10. I don’t think he has the speed, plus his MTB skills have to be rusty compared to the guys that have been doing this for years, even though he has been training exclusively off-road since the Tour.
The women’s triathlon is hopefully going to be a continuation of same-old by Gwen Jorgensen. She is pretty much undefeated for the past 3 years. She had a couple blips, but those blips were nothing. I follow Gwen pretty closely and she had been focused on this one event for years. Funny how the Olympics dwarf other events. You can win every race for years, but if you don’t win the Olympics, your career is missing something. Doesn’t seem right, but that is the way of sport.
I’m hopefully going to ride some this weekend too. My knee is still super swollen. I know inflammation causes more inflammation, so I’ve been pretty cautious about bending it much. The stitches are healing pretty good and no infection so far, which is mildly surprising. I have been cleaning it a couple times a day, which isn’t in my personality normally. I was thinking about taking some oral antibiotics and now am glad I skipped them.
I picked my brother up yesterday at KU Med in Kansas CIty. They pulled the chest tube out, which he says was the size of a quarter. He seems to be getting around pretty good, at least walking around, but that is probably the pain killers. They sent him home with a backpack full of Schedule 2 pills, which I told him he should take sparingly. He was on oxycotin, oxycodone and fentanyl at the hospital. Bet he sleeps a lot the next few days. He final score was broken collarbone, broken scapula, 6 broken ribs and a collapsed lung that was filling full of liquid. Hopefully the lung has been taken care of. Now the bone healing starts.
Okay, supposed to really storm this afternoon. 70+ mph winds. I like storms, but winds that high sometimes play havoc on infrastructure. No tornadoes predicted though. It is August and that would be pretty unusual.
I am a tinkerer. Not always, but I have an interest in how some things go together. Not all things, but some things.
It started out as a necessity. At least with cycling. When I first started, if you didn’t know how to work on your bike, you didn’t race bikes. I didn’t know a cyclist that didn’t work on their own equipment. That isn’t the case anymore.
I bought my first car when I was 17. It was a 1964 Volkswagen pickup truck. I still own it. I drove it just a few months before the engine blew. We borrowed the Idiot’s manual for VW’s from MIke Hudson and dug in.
We did most of the work at night, down in the basement. When my grandmother would go to bed, we’d sometimes bring the engine up to the kitchen for better light. She would have died if she had walked in when we were working on the engine on our kitchen table. Back then we could rebuild the complete engine for next to nothing, Even the machining was affordable to poor cyclists.
I still do virtually all my own auto work. I’ve rebuilt a few engines and can do just about anything. I’m not too big on working on the engines in my diesel vans. Those engines are very difficult to get to and when they have issues, it takes a lot of time and energy.
The past couple days I replaced the AC clutch on my AWD van. I drove Trudi to the airport yesterday and the AC is too cold now. I also put an exhaust gasket on my Honda InSight. I had to buy the parts at the dealer. Two bolts and an exhaust gasket was nearly $60. That seemed insanely expensive compared to other auto part costs. I’d replaced the AC clutch in December, so it was under warranty, so it was free. And it didn’t take any time at all.
Repairing things is pretty rewarding in this throwaway world we live in. I’ve garbage picked lawn mowers that were left at the curb because the pull cord broke. It is like a 10 minute job putting a new pull cord on a mower. What a waste.
Anyway, I’m sitting here watching the Tour and was thinking I don’t really have a small fix-it job to do today. Most the stuff I have to do are big job. When it is so stickin’ hot out, long rides aren’t really an option. We’re meeting at 11 am, after the Tour, before the heat index gets crazy, but still late enough to be stifling hot.
I had no doubt that Tucker would think that up at Dennis’ would be super. How could he not? Hundreds of square miles of woods where he can run freely.
Tucker loves it. I took him on the Lollipop Loop yesterday with Hawkeye. Tucker seems really fast compared to Hawk, but Hawkeye likes to pace himself since he doesn’t know how far he might be going.
We ended up down at the Lake. Hawkeye swam and it drove Tucker crazy. Tucker got in once, totally freaked out, dog paddling like crazy, but went back to shore immediately. I think he’ll be fine and eventually take the plunge.
At the Rivers Eatery last night, Tucker got to meet Tessie, Mick and Beth’s Chocolate Lab. Tessie is a hoot. She plays tether ball by herself. I’ve never heard of a dog doing that. I guess Tessie doesn’t/didn’t play with other dogs. That was until she met Tucker.
By the end of the night, out behind the eatery, Tucker and Tessie were chasing each other around like crazy. Tucker likes to play.
It is supposed to be in the 80’s today, so I’m going to try to coax Tucker into the lake. He is super interested in water, he is just a little scared of it just now.