Dec 31, 2008

Delayed V-Ball wrap

I'd missed two weeks of volleyball for various reasons, so I was happy to get back in action this past Monday night. Making it a bit more interesting was the fact that I was playing my uncle's team, a fact which he was sure to let me know by calling me ahead of time to make sure I was coming. Knowing Eric, it was mostly an attempt to start rubbing his (assumed) victory in ahead of time!

A couple things had happened in the intervening weeks, we lost two of our better players with injuries. Hard to believe we could be any worse, but it could happen! We still had only 3 wins on the season, and when I arrived it looked like we might have 3 more without even getting to play. It was myself, Kate and Christine, only three players which would mean a forfeit. At the last minute, Leighana showed up and then Missy. So for the first game, it was myself and the 4 ladies! Predictably... we won! We really played a smooth game, rotating and covering nicely for each other and taking advantage of our opponents mistakes where we could.

For the second game, Diego showed up and we promptly lost the last two games. So, we still stink, but I was able to "practically single-handedly" beat Eric's team! I did get to play a few games of racquetball, and then some pickup volleyball for a full evening!


Dec 17, 2008

New running partner

Went for a run this morning with my latest running partner, my 10 year old daughter! We got up at 5:30, and went for a short run in the snow! It was dark, but I brought along my headlamp, and our neighborhood is well lighted.

She seemed to have a lot of fun, so hopefully this will be at least a weekly thing for us.


Dec 16, 2008


Shared by a friend, ironically on twitter!


Dec 15, 2008

Weekend recap

It started pretty promising, I got lots of work done in the morning when my wife headed to RI to visit her Aunt. I finally finished putting the door knobs on my new closet and fixed the entry knob and deadbolt on the garage door.

I left for a nice bike ride on Soapstone around 1:00. It started nicely, but I was soon left in the dust by the three riders who were in better shape and then I started having trouble with the bike. It was really cold, and as we would break through some iced over puddles the water would freeze on the frame, chain and derailleurs. It was pretty nasty with all the rain over the last few days, but the worst part was when my shifting started to freeze up. The derailleurs were soon totally froze and I was left with a middle gear in the back and only the granny in the front. Then my pedal froze and I could no longer clip in.

Turned into a pretty nasty but entertaining ride. Unfortunately at some point I sprained my wrist pretty badly. I think it was just landing on a hard jump and all the weight coming on my wrist since my foot slipped off the pedal. It was so cold out that I think it stayed numb until later that evening, but even today I can't type without pain and my wrist is really sore. Sore enough that I'm going to have to skip volleyball tonight.

It may well be for the best since I can let my knee heal up completely as well and hopefully be back next week.


Dec 10, 2008

Delayed Volleyball Recap

Mostly because it was ugly! Another 0-3 night, I guess I need to concede that we are just not very good as a team.

I played fairly well I think and had some fun but it was a bit brutal to lose all three games again. Even worse, it was to my uncle's team, and we were close in all three but couldn't get over the hump. Oh well, I still had fun playing pickup afterwards and working on my serving and hitting. I got the overhand serve in consistently enough that I will probably go back to it in the real games. We also played with 4 people for a bit which was a lot of fun and keeps you running pretty good.

It was nice to get a win in the pickup game... even if it didn't count in the standings!


Dec 5, 2008

Conferences and Dinner... oh, and Twitter

Last night my wife and I went to the kid's parent/teacher conferences and then out to dinner. The conferences went well, this year we had to visit two schools as my oldest is now in Intermediate school. They are all doing relatively well for the most part.

Afterwards, we went out to dinner and tried a new Indian restaurant called Utsav. Very, very tasty. My wife was not as impressed, she thought it was tasty but ultimately it didn't sit very well in her stomach. I had a dish called Uppu Kari *, which is described in the menu as "Traditional South Indian lamb preparation with shallots, ginger, garlic and curry leaves." It was spicy, but not overwhelming and really filled me up very well. I'm eating the leftovers for lunch right now!

Also, I described a bit of this in Twitter, and you can see my updates on the right. Twitter is for smaller, more frequent posts and I just started using it. It's hard to really describe the value, in some ways it seems non-sensical but I did use it already to connect with friends. Worth taking a look at, I can post to it from my phone or over the web.


Dec 2, 2008


Ugly... very ugly. We seem to find a way to lose every game! Another 0-3 evening, this is getting old fast. We would play well, then miss a serve to change momentum, or not call the ball and let it fall between two players. I feel like a broken record, but we can play well and did for stretches, but couldn't stay consistent.

My hitting was better, I'm focused on staying behind the ball, then jumping through it with power instead of jumping directly underneath. My passing needs work, no surprise, I struggled with that last year as well. I haven't been aggressive with my serve at all yet, staying with the underhand because we can't afford to miss the serves. At some point I would like to go back to overhand serves, but I need to practice a bit before I try in a game.

Perhaps next week, when I play my uncles team in the late game we could stay afterwards and play pick-up or just practice a bit??


Dec 1, 2008

Last MTB with my brother... at least for a while

Matt is moving to upstate New York, but we got in a nice ride on Friday at Case before he left.

I didn't have a great day, really struggling with my knee hurting a bit and the wet leaves don't help. We did discover some new trails that were a lot of fun, and pretty intimidating as well. Some pretty big rocks and stunts that would be really tough to pull off. It was nice to get out on the bike though... here's 2 pics from our day.


Nov 26, 2008


Somewhat better, but still not good! We only won a single game and lost two, but I'm still encouraged by our team's talent. Our current problem is the lack of good setters, we have 2 setters out of 8 people, and a few others that do a little bit of setting when necessary.

We need to play better next week for sure!


Nov 20, 2008

On the Train

On the way to our office in Aurora on the ouskirts of Chicago. I'm planning to spend the day working there, including a tour of our MedBill operations.
Had a nice day yesterday, somehow we got upgraded to a suite at the hotel and its really nice with a separate living room and huge bathroom. We walked around a bit and I went into the Garmin GPS store. Nice watches, but my wife wasn't impressed so we moved on.

I also stopped at the Nike store and ended up buying some tennis shoes. (Don't get carried away Jack, I'm not playing tennis). My legs and feet have been bothering me from playing Volleyball and Racquetball lately and I decided that I needed some better supporting shoes.

Speaking of Volleyball, I started again on Monday, but its been a hectic week so I haent posted. The results were poor, but our team definitely has talent. We were out of sync, but I could see flashes of really good play.

I also got a good tip from Norm on my spiking and I'm looking forward to trying it next week.

Carry on...


Nov 19, 2008


Landed in Chicago. We don't have much planned for the rest of the day. Looking forward to lunch at Giordanos Pizza though.

Posted from my Blackberry


Nov 12, 2008

Message of the Day


Nov 11, 2008

Racquetball results

Had a few good games last night. I lost both games of cutthroat, but then when we played 2vs2 I was on the winning side both times. I've been thinking of getting some new shoes though, the games have been beating up my legs pretty good. Perhaps some basketball like sneakers would be better than running shoes for the cutting and jumping that is necessary for racquetball and volleyball as well.


Nov 10, 2008

Biking in the rain...

... is not a whole lot of fun, but better than nothing. I got out for a nice ride on Saturday afternoon, with plenty of time to get a good ride in, and then it started pouring. Still managed to get some good miles in, although with slick conditions it can get a little tricky. I slid out a few times, including up on top of the big rock where I posted the video from last week. The new knee pads work great by the way!

Racquetball tonight, only one more week before Volleyball starts. It looks like I have a good team from what I can see, and I finally got to be on my cousin's team for a change!


Nov 4, 2008

Almost 3 hours of Racquetball

Yeah, it's a workout! I'm a bit stiff and sore this morning, both from running around like crazy and all the crashing I did. Had a good time though, it's always nice to get a good workout in the form of sports. It's definitely easier to keep moving when you are playing a game!

I played for a while with my brother and then my uncle and cousin showed up. It's interesting the differences between 1vs1, 2vs2 and 1v2 or cutthroat. One on one is a lot more work, and you get pretty tired because you have to get to every shot. The rallies are shorter however, so it's more bursts of energy and less endurance to some extent. Two on two leads to really long rallies, and you need to try and make shots instead of just returning the ball. You're not going to win a lot of doubles games by playing defensive.

In some ways, I think 1vs2 or cutthroat may be my favorite. It's a good mix of intensity with a little bit longer rallies. As a defender, you are trying to make good shots and stay aggressive since you have a partner to cover for you if you get out of position. When you are on offense, you need to play a bit more defensive and maintain good positioning but still take a chance when you have a good shot. There's a bit more strategy in the 1vs2 game, since you need to know when to take your chances, you don't have anyone to cover for you if you get out of position.

Would have been a perfect evening if the Redskins had managed to hold up their end...


Mooseman followup

Got a couple of questions lately about Mooseman and where to stay so I thought I'd post...

The first year I went, I stayed at the "Race Camp" which was a summer camp that they had opened early for racers. It was bunk style lodging and not a very good experience! 10 people to a room and uncomfortable cots made for a pretty poor nights sleep.

Ever since then, I've borrowed my parents camper and stayed at the Newfound RV Park. This has worked great, it's been fun to hang out with a group of friends who are racing and we ususally have plenty of space. It's a bit early in the year for most campers, but there is typically 4 or 5 other groups of racers there and a very relaxed atmosphere. I highly recommend it, it's clean and right on the bike course not far from the park where the race is held.


Oct 29, 2008


I've been thinking about this topic for a while... my brother has recently decided to move to upstate New York, about 3 1/2 hours drive from here. If you know my family well, you would realize that for a while I was the farthest away of all my extended family members when I lived in MA, a whole 1/2 hour from my hometown. Some of my cousins have begun to migrate a bit, but I still consider myself extremely fortunate in that I've had really close ties to most of my family members.

In the last few years, my "sports career" has rebuilt some of that closeness. I've written about this in the past, as parts of my family has joined me in races or biking or just working out in general. Matt has been a big part of that, joining me in Volleyball, Mooseman and Winding trails triathlon, canoe races, racquetball, and just riding in general. I know it's the right decision for him, he and his wife are exploring an experience that they have wanted to try for a long time. I'm going to spend the next month or so before he leaves trying to get in as much fun as I can, and then I'll try to find ways to connect for bike rides or races somewhere between here and there when I can.

Hold on to your family wherever and however you can.

P.S. Matt, do you want to go mountain biking on Saturday?


Oct 27, 2008

Not quite...

You should watch this video first... I didn't quite make it.


MTB Video??

Attempting to show a video from my ride this weekend...


Oct 22, 2008

Wrench work

As I mentioned, my front derailleur snapped off during my crash at Killington last week. I ordered a new one, and just installed it this week. It wasn't as hard as I figured, essentially you bolt it on, attach the cable while in the lowest chain ring and then tune the shifting with the two screws.

It's a pretty good feeling to do more and more of my own bike maintenance! I'm ready to try it out a bit this weekend.


Oct 20, 2008

Killington Recap

I drove up late Friday night to crash at my uncle's house in anticipation of mountain biking at Killington Ski Resort on Saturday. There was a big group on hand to spend the day bombing down the mountain and trying not to crash... at least trying not to crash too badly.

A few cousins, a second cousin, my dentist and a few other friends were all ready to go at 10 when the lift opened.

We did spend a bit of time before leaving the house lubing the bikes and lowering our seats. It's much easier to stay way back and not go over the handle bars if your seat as low and since we didn't foresee a lot of pedaling we decided it would be the best way to go. It was a beautiful day, so pretty much no matter how much riding we were going to get in it was going to be a great time.

Headed up the lift, and trying to plan our route. The first run was great, but we got a bit separated and turned around so that we had to do a bit of uphill backtracking. We decided on a bit tougher trail for the second run and ended up staying in the black diamond area for the rest of the day.

The trail was steep and twisty, mostly all single-track and a blast!

This was the play area... we spent a few minutes there in between runs while we were waiting for another group. It was kind of fun, hitting the seesaw and log ride in the middle... especially when Kevin wiped out waiting for the see saw to come down on the other side :)

Yeah... did I mention it was a beautiful day?? Most of the trails where in the woods, but you would occasionally head across the ski trails.
It was perfect shorts weather... although having some pants on would probably have protected my legs a bit better later in the day!

My cousin Kevin crossing one of the many bridges... this one he made it across. Later in the day he would skid off a bridge and end up covered in leaves and mud :)
Here's my crash site... I caught the pedal of my bike on a tree root while hauling down the trail. The root stopped my bike, but not me! If you look closely, you can see the root behind Bruce's shoulder (the guy standing in blue). I'm sitting about where I landed, so you can get an idea of how far I flew through the air.

I lay there for a while, pretty convinced I had broken my leg, but fortunately no permanent damage occurred, to me anyway. My knee swelled up pretty bad and I'm banged and scraped up on my left side. I also snapped the front derailleur off of my bike... oh well, more maintenance to learn :)

Overall, a fantastic time and beautiful day! I can't wait to do it again, unfortunately it will have to wait until next year as Killington is closed to bikes now as they get ready for ski season.


Oct 17, 2008

Christmas yet?

I want one of these!!


Oct 15, 2008

Pics from Killington

Just a couple... I'll have to write up a recap with more...


Oct 13, 2008

Mooseman 2009

Time to register for Mooseman again! If you're interested in a great weekend, this is the place to be in early June.



Killington was a blast!!

What a beautiful day, it was sunny and warm and we had a great time. We spent the whole day hitting fun trails that were steep and challenging but not impossible. Unfortunately, I ended up a bit bruised and battered by a freak crash but overall it was great. My buddy Shawn took a bunch of pictures and has promised to send them to me so I will post them when I get them.

In the meantime, here's a brief description of my crash since I'm sure that's all you guys care about :) I was headed down a relatively smooth section of trail and let the bike run. Although the trail was decently wide and smooth, there was a root across it which snagged on my pedal as I was going past. This of course, stopped my bike rather quickly, but it didn't help me stop at all. Before I knew what was happening I was airborne! Judging by how far from the root I was when I finally could sit up, I flew about 15-20 feet. I landed on my left side pretty hard and was sort of stunned. I lay there thinking my leg was broken, and being unable to even talk for a few minutes. Fortunately, nothing was broken although I do have some pretty good scrapes and my knee swelled up nicely. The crash also snapped off my front derailleur, so I had to disconnect the cable and ride in the small ring for the rest of the day. The good thing was it was close to the last run of the day, so it didn't affect me all that much.

We took one more easy run as a cool down and called it a day! I can't believe it took me this long to head up there and ride, I'll definitely be doing it again next year!


Oct 10, 2008

Change of venue!

Instead of Case Mountain... we're headed to Killington in Vermont!

I promise to take lots of pictures, this should be a blast! I've always wanted to go, but haven't yet had the chance.


Oct 7, 2008

Volleyball League

Signed back up for Volleyball again, it will be nice to have a little competition going... It's been a bit tough to get up early and hit the gym lately, hopefully after my long weekend away I'll be able to get motivated again.

Planning a mountain bike outing Saturday morning at Case Mountain, so I have that to look forward to at least :)


Oct 2, 2008

My life lately...

Sorry for the lack of posts... I did sign up for Volleyball, but much of what I've been doing lately is stressing about work...

Stock price from over $100 bucks this this past spring to $34 at the moment. Not a particularly comforting situation.


Sep 17, 2008


What does this say about me?? I have Google ads enabled, and the Google algorithm tries to put up appropriate ads based on the content of the blog...

Guess I need to stick more to one thing perhaps?



Sorry for the slacking, but just a quick update. A solid two days of lifting so far this week, and I managed to play some racquetball as well. A bit of cutthroat with my brother and cousin (1 vs. 2), and then played a doubles match with my uncle and 2 other gym rats. I have really enjoyed playing racquetball even though I'm not a great player. It's definitely a workout; short bursts of energy and constant motion especially in a 2v2 environment. The rallies can be much longer and you get into the flow of the game better I think.

Much better than tennis anyway!


Sep 2, 2008

Case Mtn on Saturday!

Just getting around to posting this, but I had a great ride on Saturday with my uncle Eric and Sean, who happens to be my dentist!

We met at 7:30, or at least we were supposed to meet them, but due to various alarm clock defiecencies we didn't get connected until 8 and Josh never showed up at all! Ultimately, we followed the blue trail all the way out past slick rock and the big drop, check out the map below that I hijacked from at We came back on the purple trail and then straight down from the peak instead of via the road on a trail I hadn't been on before. It was a blast, almost 2 1/2 hours of work!

It rained much of the time, so I didn't pull the camera out much, but here are the two guys I went with.


Monthly Summary - August

It's been a while, but since I have a good result to announce I figure I should do a monthly summary. This was a good month in terms of overall hours at least, and also good in terms of racing and general good times!

It was nice to see that I got over 30 hours for the month! This is composed mostly by over 20 hours of strength training! The rest is racing at Winding Trails, a bunch of mountain bike rides and my restart of running.

I almost forgot how motivating it was to see the numbers pile up in terms of hours that I've completed. I'm hopeful that September will be almost as big.


Aug 25, 2008

Training log update

It's been a while since I shared monthly or weekly totals, mostly because I'd gotten pretty lazy about tracking my workouts. With my bum knee and apathetic attitude I really hadn't been writing stuff down consistently since April. Getting back in the swing of things a bit at the gym made me think of updating it this morning and I was pleased to see that even with all the stuff I missed I was still at over 170 hours for the year.

I did add the racing I did to the sheet since I remember those dates, but had to guess at a few other things. My running has really been pathetic this year, no real surprise but I would like to get it dialed back up again. I suppose I will have to get out at least once a week from work during the day to really make a difference. I've done a long run the last two Sundays, and that really fits well in my schedule, but I need to get out during the week a couple times as well.

August is shaping up to be a big month, again mostly because the rest have been weak but in any case it is encouraging to see.


Aug 22, 2008

Lifting Program - week 3

As I mentioned earlier, I've started a weight-lifting regimen based on a program developed by my sister-in-law. I had two goals when I started, mix up my workouts and get a bit of a kick in the pants to refocus my attention. Any strength and fitness gains are purely incidental ;)

The good news is that both of my goals have been achieved, I have been interested in going to the gym more and have managed to get there 4 times a week for 3 straight weeks now. I've also felt better and feel like I'm moving things around. My upper body feels a bit more defined already and my legs feel very strong. I have noticed the difference in my racing the last couple weeks as well as I was able to bike and run faster.

Two good components that I would particularly recommend; foam rolling and combination lifts. Foam rolling had intrigued me for a while, it's essentially self deep tissue massage. Laying on the roller and slowing moving through the muscles feels pretty good, and when you hit a sore spot... Ouch! It can be painful, but almost immediately afterward the muscle feels much better. Secondly, the combination lifts are something she has recommended that puts a couple different exercises together. For example, this morning I was doing a squat, then stand up and curl the weight and then military press above my head. I also do a lot of these kind of exercises standing on one leg. This works the arms, but also makes your core and leg muscles fire the whole time as well. It makes for a bit more complete workout, and feels like I'm doing more than just trying to pump as much weight as I can.

Looking forward to a few more challenging weeks...


Aug 20, 2008

WT - Final Race Report 2008

Last night was the final race in the series, and the whole gang was on hand for the final party. At risk was my brother's third place in his age group, but he mostly just had to finish upright to hold off his challengers and keep his spot. Everyone else was locked out of finishing in the money, myself included sadly :(

Personally though, I was ready for my best effort of the season. I was feeling very good, and have felt stronger and stronger as the weeks have passed and my knee has been feeling better. I was hoping to pull off a strong run and determined to push hard the whole way.

It was a bigger crowd again, the race has grown tremendously and gotten very popular. The size has an impact for sure, especially in the swim as I got bumped a lot. Overall, a good swim, and my quickest of the year by a few seconds. The bike was also good, I pushed very hard and managed to pass a lot of people. Unfortunately, the last 1/2 mile or so I had chain issues, dropping it once and making tons of noise and making me nervous the rest of the way. I took it easy to try not to cause any more problems. Ended up with my fastest bike split of the year (27:39), but I still felt that I could have been faster.

Started the run feeling good and running hard. I didn't slow for the first hill, and just kept running as fast as I could. I had hoped to hold off Brendan who's the quickest runner among the family group. I hit the last uphill feeling that I had done it when he went past me. I tried desperately to stay with him, but he pulled away on the hill and then I couldn't reel him in over the finish line sprint. I did still finish with a great run time, (27:39) also my fastest time of the year and finished with a year best (obviously) of 1:02:49.

Disappointed a bit that it's the last race of the year... but I'm motivated again to hit the off-season hard and be much faster out of the gate next year.

Final results here:


Aug 19, 2008

Final Chance

Today's the last night for the Winding Trails race! The party has grown bigger than ever, with up to 8 of my friends and family competing tonight. Hmm... perhaps I should ask the race director for a commission!

I had a good race last week and I'm looking forward to another good result this week. My weight-training regimen has gotten me feeling much better and has resulted in a faster time last week.

Perhaps there's another race out there this season after all, I'll have to do a little checking.


Aug 15, 2008

Strange to have Mike without the Mad Dog... If you're a fan at all, it's worth listening to the "farewell".

8-15 Mike & the Mad Dog Farewell
via Mike Francesa on 8/15/08The last opening to Mike & the Mad Dog radio show. Mike addresses the public for the first time since Thursday's announcement that the show was ending. Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo joins Mike by phone to talk about the end of the show.


WT Race Report

A bit late, but I had a great race this week... finished in first place in the family race, and 99 out of 212 overall at 1:03:58. I finally felt "good" throughout, which is not to say that it wasn't painful :)

Swim focused, biked hard, and tried to run fast, not just steady. Once again, it's the run stupid! I kept trying to move my feet faster instead of just stay moving... ultimately rewarded with a 28:17 run time, my best time of the year.

Final week next week... last chance this year for all you slackers.


Aug 11, 2008

Weight lifting week 2

Starting my second week...

Feels pretty good, I'm enjoying the program so far. I feel stronger and better already and I'm down 5 lbs. Admittedly, I don't expect that to last or have even expected that result. I'm guessing it's more a focused workout approach has made me focus more on eating better and getting other workouts in.

Hopefully, I can keep making progress.


Aug 10, 2008

Nice Weekend

Fun week in general, I started my new lifting program thanks to my sister-in-law, and I got a ton of time on the bike in this weekend.

Rode to the beach with my uncle to go to my cousin's graduation party (55 miles) and then played volleyball for a couple hours. Yeah, I was shot at the end of the day! Today, we went for a quick mountain bike ride and then I sat in the hot tub to recover.

I'm headed back to the gym in the morning to start my next week's workout. Hopefully it will be as fun as this past week... it looks like it from what I've seen.


Aug 7, 2008

Better late than never

Crazy week at work after the week off...

I did race this week, the knee is feeling much better with the prescribed exercises. It was a fun race, although I did try and take it easy. I finished behind my uncle but ahead of the two young guns, not sure that would have happened if Brendan hadn't cramped up on his run and been unable to keep his usual pace.

Also, interesting quote and reading from another blog that I subscribe to, relating to my day job a bit:

"Architecture, for me anyway, involves intention, game theory, systems thinking and relentless testing and improvement. Fine with me if you want to call it design, just don't forget to do it."


Jul 29, 2008

Cape Cod

Having a nice time so far. Two beautiful days on th beach and I've gotten two bike rides. I've also managed to get a long (1 mile+) swim in both days.

My knee is feeling much better. Two weeks away from running and making sure to really focus on the stretches the Doc recommended seemed to have helped.

Also heard the new floor going in on my new porch looks great. I'll have to post some pictures when I get a chance.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


Jul 24, 2008


Sort of interesting.. build your own word cloud. It takes your last few posts and creates a word cloud

Here's my blog:


Crazy week + Injury = No posting

And no racing for that matter...

My uncle, brother and assorted others did very well at winding trails this week, check out the results at

Going to see the Doctor tomorrow, I'm not sure I'll have an answer, but hopefully at least some more information.

In the last couple of weeks, I've referred at least 3 people who I wouldn't have suspected to Tolland Bike shop, is it becoming a trend???


Jul 18, 2008

Work from Home?

My company is starting to roll out this concept in limited numbers with the idea of making it more available in the future...

Everyone Works at Home at Chorus, Part One - - Business Technology Leadership

The technology and management issues are interesting, and there is clearly still the issue that some have regarding working from home being an easy way to do nothing. I really enjoyed the second two parts of the story about the policies and the approaches they took to ensure people stayed productive.

Along the same lines, I dug into this article and I especially like the point about speaking up on conference calls and not multitasking. In fact, I think those are valid points for people in the room as well! Nothing irritates me more than having some dope typing away on their laptop and not paying attention when you ask them a question. Don't come to the meeting if you don't want to participate! I don't think I could have said it better than Rands himself. (Great site for management advice, and I highly recommend his book)


Jul 15, 2008

Race Day

I'm sure the suspense is killing you... I'm still not sure what the plan is tonight. I brought the bike, but my knee is still painful enough that I really shouldn't run. I'm thinking of swimming and then biking and pulling out right after that. We'll see how the leg feels...


Jul 14, 2008

One of my old favorites

How to tell the difference between a black bear and a grizzly bear:

Warning: The National Park Rangers are advising hiker’s & biker’s in Glacier
National Park and other Rocky Mountain parks to be alert for bears and take
extra precautions to avoid an encounter.
They advise park visitors to wear
little bells on their clothes so they make noise when hiking & biking. The
bell noise allows bears to hear them coming from a distance and not be startled
by a hiker or biker accidentally sneaking up on them. This might cause a bear to
Visitors should also carry a pepper spray can just in case a bear is
encountered. Spraying the pepper into the air will irritate the bear’s sensitive
nose and it will run away.
It is also a good idea to keep an eye out for
fresh bear scat [droppings] so you have an idea if bears are in the area. People
should be able to recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear
Black bear droppings are smaller and often contain berries, leaves, and
possibly bits of fur. Grizzly bear droppings tend to contain small bells, bike
parts and smell like pepper.


Jul 10, 2008


Worse that last week, I couldn't finish the race. My knee is really bothering me, and it folded up on me at the beginning of the run. I was neck and neck with my uncle at the time, so it was a bit frustrating and embarrassing. I've never quit in the middle of a race before..

I do have an appointment with a Doc in a few weeks, not sure what I'm going to do between now and then...


Jul 7, 2008

Links for the week...

Some interesting things I've stumbled on lately...
It's like Steepandcheap for bikes only. Great deals on bikes, one at a time. I'm hoping to see some tires there soon.

This seemed like a very interesting premise, a way to help poor entrepreneurs...

I forgot how much fun ThinkGeek was... I especially like the handset for my phone and who wouldn't have fun with a rocket launcher!


Have knee... can't travel

Yeah, my knee is still killing me. I'm going to stop at the store on the way home from work and pick up a knee brace, so I'm hoping that will help. I've managed to stay on the bike all weekend though, which is good since it keeps me sane and doesn't seem to hurt (or help) my knee.

I'm second guessing my chances to race tomorrow night already, but I suspect I probably will go ahead.


Jul 2, 2008

Winding Trails Du?

Short report... thunderstorms last night caused the cancellation of the swim portion, so we did a Run - Bike - Run instead. Ugg... I'd rather swim, but at least the first run was short, about a 1/2 mile just to spread the field a tad before the bike. It didn't work, the trails were jammed but I still managed to pass quite a few. Unfortunatly, the first run meant that my knee was killing me throughout the race instead of just at the end. Not a great race for me, 1:02 but I'll take it I guess. My brother broke an hour and had a pretty good race.

Good fireworks in Vernon afterwards.


Jun 25, 2008


DNS - Did Not Start - As in no racing last night... why? Because I'm an idiot, that's why!

Last week, when attempting to take my bike of the rack on my truck, I broke the key in the lock and couldn't remove it. I spent a few days looking for the second key and after having finally found it I was relieved to not have to cut off the lock. So I got ready and headed for Winding Trails in order to race last night, but discover 1/2 hour before race time that I didn't bring the good key with me! Thus, I was all dressed up with my bike locked firmly to my truck! I supposed I could have lobbied for using the truck instead of my bike but I was out of the race!

Instead I headed for my uncle's birthday party a bit early and had some cake! Oh well... there's always next week.


Jun 24, 2008

T-Storms and Cycling

We were on the beach for my cousin Carolyn's wedding on Saturday and I wanted to stay later while my wife went home to let the babysitter go. Unfortunately, she took the keys with her and so we had to leave the van for the night. This seemed like a good reason to take a long bike ride on Sunday since I needed to get the van and I didn't want to use the gas or someone else's time to make the round trip.

I headed out for the 56 mile trip at around 10 AM with everything looking pretty good except the weather seemed a bit shaky. I made it about halfway before the downpour started and I heard the loudest clap of thunder I've ever heard. I was pretty close to vaulting off my bike! I stopped to wait out the worst of it, but needed to get going so that I could get home for my daughter's birthday party. It was a hilly and wet ride, but ultimately a pretty nice route.

Next time I should probably check the weather, but I suspect I would probably have good anyway :)

Here's the route I took:

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Jun 19, 2008


When considering my post below with the 3 Amigos posing, I ask you to consider the following article.

Free ice cream to everyone that can correctly match the pose technique with the 3 pictures! Let me know your answers and I'll mail the winner a sundae. :)


WT Race #1 Results / Splits

From Platt Systems

Overall 1:04:35 Place in Division 6/9 Swim 7:37 Bike 28:37 Run 28:21
Overall 1:06:14 Place in Division 21/33 Swim 7:51 Bike 28:40 Run 29:43
Overall 1:08:39 Place in Division 26/31 Swim 8:01 Bike 31:19 Run 29:19
Overall 1:21:10 Place in Division 5/6 Swim 9:45 Bike 34:14 Run 37:11
Overall 1:21:13 Place in Division 6/6 Swim 10:01 Bike 34:01 Run 37:11


Jun 18, 2008

And the winner is...

My brother!

It was a great race, we were neck and neck throughout the race. He was slightly better at each event, but I would catch and pass him in the transition area. He beat me out of the water by 13 seconds, but I changed faster and was out on the bike first. We went back and forth a few times on the course which they had changed from last year. It was a tougher course in that it was harder to get a good rhythm going because of all the turns. (From the times, it appears to be a bit slower course as well) He ended up passing me and staying ahead into transition where I promptly passed again and left for the run ahead of him. I tried my best to drop him for good, thinking if I could get out of his sight he would be a bit down and I could stay ahead but apparently I was never out of range entirely. We a little over a mile to go he passed me for good and I pulled up a bit realizing I would not be able to stay with him and I was hurting pretty good.

Really fun though and it should be a good season of us pushing each other back and forth all year!


Jun 17, 2008

WT Series - It's on Tonight!

Step up boys... who wants it most? We have the regular contenders, Myself, Matt, Eric, Greg, Nate, Brendan... perhaps a few new folks, Kevin, Jack, Satish, Jon... an old standby Sean!

There can be only one!

Well... do you have what it takes?


Jun 16, 2008

Mooseman Adventure - Day 1

Friday - June 6

I took the day off on Friday to finish my packing, take my youngest daughter on her field trip with preschool and then head up to New Hampshire for the start of Moosefest. It was promising to be an exciting and fun weekend, there was lots of racing involved, and hopefully a good time for everyone including the 3 racers and 3 spectators. My brother Matt and uncle Eric were racing with me on Sunday, and I was also racing on Saturday. I had 2 brother's in law coming up to spectate along with a family friend. The plan was to camp out for the weekend and spend a relaxing few days in grueling exercise :)

Friday morning was pretty rainy and my daughter's field trip got cancelled so I was able to get a little bit earlier start. Unfortunately, since it was pouring everything was soaked when we wanted to pack up the camper. After closing everything up and throwing a fan in to help air things out when we got there, I picked up my uncle and brother and hit the road. We stopped for lunch on the way up at Subway and arrived in Bristol, NH at around 4 pm. After setting up the camper and trying to air things out we headed over to Wellington State Park for the race expo and sign in.

Sign in went smoothly, we were able to pick up our packets for Sunday's race as well as my packet for Saturday's Olympic distance race. I posted pictures from the expo and park site previously if you are interested in the view. We then headed home for a dinner of Pork Ribs and Edamame salad and waited for the rest of the crew to arrive.


3 Amigos

Who's the sexiest?


Jun 13, 2008


Crazy week, so I haven't gotten a chance to write much of a report on the race in New Hampshire, the big remodeling project that we are doing at home, the trip to a Pawtucket Red Sox game, or my planned weekend away with my wife for our anniversary!

Hopefully the suspense is killing everyone and the wait will make it better!


Jun 9, 2008


It was really hot!

Not a great race as a result of the heat and my legs being tired from Saturday's race. I did finish though and was one of only 20 or so that completed both events over the weekend.


Jun 7, 2008

The volunteer Moosemen

Here's my brother-in-laws volunteering.

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Day 1 Done

I finished! 3 hours and 26 seconds. Shortened swim due to really bad fog, but a great race. It was pretty hot, and its supposed to be even hotter tomorrow.

Looking forward to it.

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Jun 6, 2008


Dinner time.

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We've arrived! Rainy start so far, everything is pretty damp in the camper still, but the forecast looks good. We're at the park for packet pick-up and registration.

Headed back to the campground in a bit for dinner.

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Jun 5, 2008


1 day till I leave. I'm hoping to post from my phone again, so this is a brief test.

I'll keep everyone posted.

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Jun 2, 2008

Taper time!

I'm ready to taper again... 5 days till Mooseman weekend!

I had a pretty good weekend, went for a nice swim on Saturday morning, and did a little running. I'll be riding to work a couple of days, including today, and maybe two swim practices. My knee is still not feeling 100 percent, so I'm pretty sure I'm in for some pain this weekend but overall it should still be fun.

My plan is to head to NH sometime on Friday, probably midday with my brother and uncle. We need to set up the camper and pick up race packets and probably check out the race expo a bit. I grabbed some ribs for dinner on Friday night as well, it should be an enjoyable evening. Hopefully it will be relaxing before the carnage to come. As I've mentioned before, I'm racing Saturday and Sunday, about 35 miles total on Sat. and just over 70 miles on Sun. No, I don't have a logical explanation, it just sort of happened.

Stay tuned...


May 30, 2008

1 Week till Mooseman

One week to go till I head up to New Hampshire for the Mooseman race weekend. I'm really looking forward to it, it will be fun, but I'm thinking it's going to be a world of pain. I'm racing Saturday and Sunday, and with my knee still aching a bit my training hasn't been all that great, especially the run. I'm sure it will be good pain though :)

I'm planning to borrow my parents camper and head up to the Newfound RV Park again, it was nice and clean and close to the race. I'm thinking my brother, uncle and brother-in-law are going at this point. My cousin and his friend have backed out so it may be just the 4 of us.

Looking forward to it.


May 27, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Hope your weekend was great, the weather was beautiful around here!

We had a nice hike up in the Presidential Range in New Hampshire with my parents and brother and sister-in-law. We stayed overnight in the Joe Dodge Lodge at the base of Mt Washington. It was pretty nice actually, a fun atmosphere for the kids.

On Monday I went for a long bike ride with my uncle Eric and we got in close to 40 miles. A very hilly ride, it wasn't very fast but I felt good when we were done, not sore at all.

Overall, a productive and relaxing weekend!


May 20, 2008

Great ride to work

Rode my bike in again today... it really starts the day nicely. I have to make sure I hustle on the way home though, I have my uncle coming to talk about the bathroom project.

I need to remember how enjoyable it is to ride and do it more often. It's pretty easy to roll back over in bed and decide to just drive instead!


May 19, 2008


This weekend I become a USAT Certified Official and referred my first race!

Saturday, I attended a quick clinic which consisted of myself and another potential referee going over the rules book and manual for officiating USAT sanctioned Triathlons and Duathlons. The meat of the rules and indeed the job of the official is to control the bike course and emphasize fairness. This means controlling drafting, ensuring safety and making sure that the course if followed.

Sunday morning, I had to be in Glastonbury for the Shamrock Duathlon at 6:30 when the transition area opened to support the race and then be ready to go out on the bike course. We started by gong through transition, checking for missing bar end plugs and making sure bikes were racked in the correct spot. We had a lot of trouble with mis-racking mostly because the racks they used were the boxes with slits to hold the bikes. I think those racks are terrible, and are very difficult to use, but I'm sure race directors like them because they are quick and easy to setup.

I also ran into a few people I knew, a coworker, a friend of my sister-in-law, and a bunch of people from my gym. I watched them head out on the run course, and go ready to get on the motorcycle to patrol the bike course. Riding the course on a motorcycle looking for drafting or other fouls is totally different than biking it. It's really interesting to watch not only the leaders charging around the course but also how the middle of the pack responds to officials and other racers. I really got an interesting perspective on how passing is supposed to work.

I ended up documenting 4 issues and ultimately only penalized one of the bike riders for drafting. The other penalties I gave out were for racking violations and wearing headphones on the run. I'm looking forward to do another race or two this year.


May 15, 2008

Bike ride with my daughter

Took a little spin yesterday with the middle daughter. She's really gotten much better on the bike over the last few weeks. It was rough early in the spring when she was rusty after the winter, but she's enjoyed going for a ride around the neighborhood after dinner!


More bikes

In the spirit of Bike Month, I found this to be a very encouraging sign, bike production on a world wide basis is far outpacing automobile production. 13o0 million bikes to 57 million cars. Check out the graph that really illustrates the difference.

Sure, I realize not a lot of this is in the U.S. but I've also seen evidence (at least anecdotaly) that bicycling is increasing in popularity here as well. Bike shops are busier, I see many more bikes on the road, and gas prices have caused more people to consider biking at times.

This is definitely a good thing on many levels! If you're interested in commuting by bike (Jack, I'm talking to you), there are a lot of great resources on the net... start with An especially easy way to start is to bring all the stuff you need the day before, so you don't have to carry too much. Or even start by driving with your bike, leave your truck at the office and ride home then ride back the next day. This way you've split your commute across two days and reduced your ride distance for one day. Either way, I guarantee it will be fun and you'll feel good for the day as well as save a bit of money.


May 13, 2008

National Bike to Work week

I meant to post this earlier, but this week is Bike to Work week, part of National Bike Month. After struggling to get my commuter bike back in shape I did bike in yesterday in spite of the somewhat threatening weather. It turned out that we got no rain, but the wind was just brutal on the way home and played havoc with my commuting time as there were moments when I could hardly coast downhill into the headwind.

I'm still looking for a good pannier, specifically a garment style bag to keep my clothes nicely, but apparently everyone else is as well since they seem to be sold out everywhere. Dave at Tolland Bike also mentioned that he's been very busy, clearly the high gas prices are having an impact.

It was nice to get back on the road early in the morning. Planning on 3 days a week if possible, we'll see how it works out in practice.


May 12, 2008

Cold water

After attempting and failing to get in the water a couple weeks ago, Matt and I were determined to go for a swim this Saturday in Crystal Lake. We met there at 6am which would give us plenty of time for a nice leisurely swim and probably even some breakfast before I headed to track practice.

I'm not sure what the water temperature was, but it's safe to say that it would have qualified as an ice bath! Very cold, I'm guessing high 40's, maybe 50 or 51 degrees. It took a while to get my head in the water and start really swimming. Speeding up helped a bit since working managed to keep me a bit warmer, but I never felt anything other than really cold. We lasted about 45 minutes or so and did about a mile of swimming, down to the boat launch and back from my grandfather's house. The sleeveless wetsuit and swim cap didn't really help a whole lot, but it was certainly warmer for my legs than my bare feet. I noticed about 15 minutes after getting out and on the way home that my feet started tingling and stinging a bit as they finally thawed out!

I had some time to warm up before heading to track with my daughters for the distance challenge. The distance challenge is a test to see how far the kids can run in 1 hour. We start them on the track and keep track of how many laps they can do before time expires. My older daughter, age 10 did 5 1/2 miles, and my younger daughter age 7 did 4 1/2 miles. I was quite proud of them, they both put in a pretty good effort!


May 8, 2008

A new form of torture

I have many times in the past ruminated on the blissful pain that is "kick sets", so it was with restrained optimism that I watched to coach walk over with the kick board this morning at swim practice...

Before I continue, let me explain a bit more what I mean by kick sets. The concept is pretty simple, you hang onto a kick board and flap your legs back and forth in a pattern that is supposed to resemble the kicking you would do during your normal swimming. A typical kick set would consist of 10 - 25 meter kick on 1 minute. This means that you kick the length of the pool and then wait for the rest of the minute bfore starting over. The ten at the beginning means you do this pattern 10 times. The key is that the faster you finish the interval, the more rest you get so if it takes 50 seconds to kick the distance, then you get 10 seconds of rest. Take 58 seconds and you only get 2 seconds to catch your breath.

This set is pretty tough for me because I don't go very far or fast when I kick from a combination of inflexible ankles and legs, and probably poor form. Most men aren't very good kickers from what I've read so I'm not entirely alone on this. Sometimes to make the set a bit tougher, the coach will ask us to do 5 - 50 meter kick on 2 minutes, or two lengths of the pool with the remainder of the 2 minutes to rest. This just means that my legs are really burning towards the end, and I need every second of recovery. You can't slow down either, because then your legs never recover.

So, back to this morning... it would seem that there isn't a way to make kicking a whole lot tougher but clearly this was one factor I didn't consider. How 'bout if we take out all of the rest! My coach handed me the board and said "10 minutes, just keep kicking and see how far you get". Ouch!

I tried to stay steady and push pretty hard but not all out to start. I quickly figured that 250 meters was my baseline, and I needed to reach that at a minimum. The first 50 meters hurt, but I built a bit of a cushion finishing in under 100 seconds. The pace was good, it would get me to 300 meters but I wasn't sure I could keep it up. Every 50 meters got progressively harder as the lactic acid built up in my legs and I ate into my cushion. I knew I could definitely make it though, the question was going to be could I get an extra 25 meter length in. Finishing the 250 meter length, I had 40 seconds to spare and I just went all out. I was kicking towards the clock so I could see the seconds ticking off through the haze as my vision started to blur! The last fifteen meters were at a sprint pace, furiously churning through the water... and I was just short!

I think I touched the wall at around 3-4 seconds over the ten minutes and just hung there for a few minutes trying to catch my breath and get my legs back. My coach graciously allowed me to count 275 meters as my total though, very considerate of him I thought. All and all, it was a bit exhilarating and more interesting than the last practice, but I'm definitely sore now. Still looking forward to my next session though!

Oh, and Matt... where were you??


May 7, 2008

This week...

Good and bad, it's been a crazy week. Swimming practice started (good), I discovered more issues with wheels (bad), track practice has gotten my running back on track (good), running hasn't helped my knee any (bad).

I'm gearing up to start commuting to work via bike again, but I had trouble with my road bike the last time I took it out. Investigating a little further last time, I'm afraid that the hook on the edge of the rim that keeps the tire on is worn out. The tire doesn't stay seated on the rim correctly, and this has created bumps when fully inflated. Nothing like a constant steady thumping every time the wheel goes around to drive you totally nuts! I gotta run it up to the bike shop again and get it looked at a little closer. Hopefully I'm not looking at another new wheel! In other commuting news I ordered a garment bag that clips onto my bike rack for transporting my clothes. Hopefully, I can get some rides to work in starting next week.

The other problem that I mentioned is my knee bothering me which it tends to do with any significant change in running volume. I've learned that it usually goes away if I work through it and also increase my biking to help straighten the area, so I'm optimistic. Hopefully the swimming will also help as I work on leg strength without any pounding at all.


May 6, 2008

New swimming season

News Flash! Kick sets still hurt!

A new season of Master's swim has started, and I was in the pool at 5AM today excited ready to go! It was kind of nice to get started though, it's been a few months since I was in the pool. My form was definitely rusty though, I could feel it a bit in my arms and shoulders. It took a few laps for me to get back in the groove, especially with the flip turns.

All told, I probably got in 2500 yards, so it was a good start. I should be back to my regular Tues. / Thurs. schedule, so I'm hoping to get back in the groove quickly.


May 1, 2008

What are you doing today??

Here's how I'm planning to spend my day!


Apr 30, 2008

Wheel Carnage

Here's the gory details on my crash this past Sunday... fortunately I look better than my wheel does!

You can see on this picture that the rim itself snapped...
I went to see my buddy Dave at Tolland Bike, and he was quite impressed with my handiwork. Hoping to get a new wheel this week, and if I'm luck I won't need anything else. The new disc brake looked okay, and my fork seemed fine as well, so I'm thinking just the wheel at this point. I asked Dave if they had any titanium ones that I wouldn't be able to break, but he seemed dubious that I wouldn't be able to find a way to break whatever I got!


Apr 29, 2008


The recap will come, things are a bit tight for me today... we won after falling behind 2-1, and took the decisive 5th game in a really fun match!


Apr 28, 2008

Crazy Weekend

Well... it was a good and bad weekend, productive and fun, stimulating and painful. I got a solid workout day in on Saturday, starting by dipping my toes in the lake early in the morning. It was too cold to do more than that, and we decided on a bike ride instead. We got in about 20 miles but with a lot of climbing, including the notorious Plains Rd in Tolland which is just a brutal hill. I didn't have my phone with me... I'd like to take some pictures of it next time to show just how much fun can be had!

After the bike ride, I got home in time to get my kids to track practice and some longer runs with the kids (I'm guessing about 4-5 miles total with them), and ended with some sprints across the football field. I was nicely warmed up, so I let it rip on the sprints and felt good. I was a bit sore, but felt good the rest of the day. I also managed to get some yardwork done, mostly landscaping and getting ready for planting the garden.

Sunday morning was set up for a nice mountain bike ride, we had plenty of time for a nice long ride. However, it got pretty ugly as we headed over the top of Soapstone! My legs were a bit sluggish still, but I made it to the top. Unfortunately, my ride ended soon after on the way done as I crashed hard, whacking my head against a tree, and snapping my front wheen almost entirely in half! It's pretty hard to ride on just a back wheel, so I spent the next half hour walking out to a point where I could get picked up. I'll post a picture when I get a chance, the wheel is bent up nicely!

Volleyball finals tonight...


Apr 25, 2008

Doors and Notes

News and notes...

My new doors came yesterday, so I'll be spending the next few days staining them to get them ready for hanging. It will be nice to have the closet finished so that we can start moving stuff over and I can begin on the bathroom...

Track went well on Wednesday even though the coach wasn't there since he hadn't returned from vacation. The other assistants and I handled it pretty well I thought, making sure the kids had fun and keeping them running. I felt pretty good on all of the runs we did, leading the older kids through their paces and keeping them going. It's tough to get some of the kids to keep moving at times, they want to stop, but with a bit of encouragement and occasional beatings :), I manage to keep them going...

Swim practice starts back up in a week and a half for the month of May, and probably into June. I'm looking forward to getting back in the pool and outside in the lake in the next few weeks...

Bike and run on tap for tomorrow...


Apr 23, 2008

Youth Track

Our local youth recreation track club starts up tonight for a new season. Kids in town from 2nd to 8th grade get together to run and participate in track meets with other towns in the area. I've helped "coach" for the last couple of years and had my two older daughters involved as well and its been very rewarding.

We'll get together to run on Wednesdays and Saturdays with up to 100 kids. It's generally a lot of fun for everyone and it helps me get in my run training as well. We won't do a ton of mileage, but I can count on staying on my feet and moving for an hour at least! I'm going to be getting out my bike early on Saturdays and getting in a pseudo brick when I combine it with track... should be lots of fun! Any parents are also welcome to join, so if my brother or uncle are reading this, they are welcome to come and run with us (9 AM on Saturday mornings, or 5:30 on Wed afternoon)


Apr 22, 2008

Volleyball Semifinals

Our volleyball playoffs started last night and I was very fired up to go. We came is as the heavy favorite being the number one seed and a long distance from the second place team. We would start with the number 4 team, and if we won the best of 5 series we would face either the 2 or 3 seed next week.

I arrived a bit early, and had plenty of time to warm up for the game. We played with 7 people again, one of our players has been hurt and has not come in a month or so, but it works out just fine having one less player to rotate out. We started out pretty tight, I could tell right away that everyone was a bit nervous and feeling the pressure. It was definitely a case of playing tentatively and trying not to lose instead of attacking and playing our game. Midway through the first game we were down by five or so but we had started to relax and play a bit better. I also have to give the other team credit, they came out fired up and ready to go. As we got a bit relaxed and started to play more aggressive we came back, but it wasn't enough as we lost the first game in a tight 25-22 contest. 0-1

We talked a bit going into the second game about staying aggressive and forcing the other team into mistakes instead of being tentative and it seemed to work. We started a bit slowly again, and fell behind early, but we could feel the momentum shifting as we were playing well, but getting a couple bad bounces. We went on a quick run to pull even at 13 but then fell behind again as the other team got some nice serves in. Once again we battled back and started hitting some tough spikes to keep them off balance. I managed to get a couple blocks and was playing pretty well as we pulled ahead for good and took the second game, again by a close score of around 25-22. 1-1

The third game felt very key, we knew if we took it that it would really hurt the other teams confidence and momentum. We could see a bit of frustration on their part and we had gotten quite a bit more comfortable. We simply needed to continue our game plan of staying aggressive. We came out strong, but they battled back and we fell behind again in the mid teens. It seemed like we were behind the whole game, but it never felt too bad because we were playing well. We pulled ahead towards the end and took the third game a little more comfortably. 2-1

We really wanted to end the match now, the final game would only be to 15 points if needed and it would be much more of a crap shoot. Fortunately we had gotten our rhythm and the other team was much more frustrated. Personally I was playing very well, and the rest of the team stayed strong also as we won pretty comfortably to take the match 3-1

I didn't get to watch much of the next match as I ended up playing racquetball with a teammate, but it sounded like it was a good match between my brother and uncle's team and the team with my other cousin on it. It went to the fifth and deciding game before my cousin Jon's team took the match and the right to face us next week in the finals. I'm looking forward to a good match, hopefully we can start off a little better!


Apr 18, 2008

Project 2008 Part 1 - The Closet

Well... in case you're curious, here's what I've been doing on my week off! Building a new closet in the Master Bedroom. We've decided to spend this spring remodeling, we're going to take a home equity loan and do all the projects we've been dreaming of, instead of trying to do them bit by bit. We'll see if it's a good idea, or if I lose my sanity...

Step 1 was adding a new closet extending into my daughter's room. This will enable us to combine the existing closet with our bathroom and actually have room for a tub and larger shower and vanity. My brother came over to help me with the framing and getting started and I've spent the rest of the week taping, sanding, taping, sanding, taping, sanding, and then painting.

Here's the photo documentary:

Wall opened up... need to move the outlet

Hole through to Leah's room

Framing the new wall

New wall, back of the closet mostly framed

Moving the wiring into the new wall

Starting to hand the Sheetrock

More Sheetrock

Kids decorated the wall for posterity

Inside of the closet sheetrocked

Sheetrock done... ready to tape

Corner bead and remodeling strip along the top to avoid taping into the ceiling

Done taping... finally, after 3-4 coats

painting begins

Little help from Rachel

My daughter decided on lime green... color is a bit off in the photo

Inside of closet finished..

Yeah... it's green.

I'm still waiting for the doors to come in... I'll get some finished photos as well!


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