Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Checking Out New Roads

Yesterday I headed out with the intent to ride Valley Chapel Road and then following Harvard Road north from the small town of Rockford, connecting with Mica Peak Access Road, summiting the peak, and coming down the north side on Henry.

Valley Chapel Road is a very pleasant ride. It runs alongside Latah Creek for a while and offers some beautiful countryside.

Heading north from Rockford did not go as planned. First, I made a wrong turn onto East Harvard Branch. Then I climbed that road to a dead end. Getting back onto Harvard I found that the part that connects to Micah Peak Access Road is an unmaintained summer road that starts out with a pretty steep climb. I didn't feel like putting out the effort so I wandered my way back home. I think next time I'll come in from the north on Henry. That way I won't have as many miles under my belt by the time I start climbing.

Regardless, all in all it was a very nice 67-mile ride.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Death Cab For Cutie Song About Donald Trump

"Lyrically, ‘Million Dollar Loan’ deals with a particularly tone deaf moment in Donald Trump's ascent to the Republican nomination. While campaigning in New Hampshire last year, he attempted to cast himself as a self-made man by claiming he built his fortune with just a ‘small loan of a million dollars’ from his father. Not only has this statement been proven to be wildly untrue, he was so flippant about it."

Great use of imagery in the video.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cathy McMorris Rodgers And Donald Trump

Cathy McMorris Rodgers' support for Donald Trump from hank greer on Vimeo.

I wonder how much she would support him if he was more of an asshole than he already is. But then, how much worse can he be?\ Here's a guy who not only thinks it's okay to sexually assault a woman because he's a celebrity, but then brags about it. A positive disruption indeed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Crosstoberfest 5

John came over from Tacoma for two days of cyclocross racing at Crosstoberfest 5 in Sandpoint. He brought a couple of push up canopies that we planned to sleep under since we could camp at the race site. Thunderstorms and rain moved in Friday night and gave us a good drenching. The yellow canopy leaked at the seams. After enough water torture I got into the truck a little before midnight. I didn't sleep much better there but I was dry. Some time later, I guess John moved things around and used the bikes as weight to hold the canopies in place. The rain continued in the morning. The juniors were the first to race. The poor kids were miserable.

I signed up for single speed, 60+ masters, and men's cat 4 on Saturday. John was in 50+ masters and men's cat 4. The rain finally let up about halfway through the single speed race. The course was slick and muddy, which means it was great although a bit treacherous in a couple of spots. AFter the rain stopped and the clouds slowly moved out the weather warmed and the course got stickier and drier. By the time John and I did the cat 4 race, the last of the day, the course was completely dry except for the descent and run up by the creek.

The course was reversed and slightly rerouted for Sunday. We had one set of barriers instead of two and if you weren't too tired or too weak--like me--you could ride up what I was walking up. I did the single speed followed by the 60+ again. John, who was in the 50+, dropped back and rode with me. It was nice riding together. I felt bad because he was basically just doing warm up laps since I was out of gas from being out on the course so much. But it was cool of him to hang out with me as I plodded along. We crossed the finish line together and wrapped up the weekend.

After viewing the accommodations of everyone else who camped out...

 ...John proudly noted, "Nobody's got what we got." 
(Photo by John Greer)

John can make the best of any situation.

Ready to get muddy.
(Photo by John Greer)

Coming out of the sand pit on the single speed.
(Photo by John Greer)

Grabbing some cash hand ups during the cat 4 race on Saturday afternoon.
(Photo by Chris Hogan)

Just grabbed a dollar from the sign during the Sunday morning single speed race. 
(Photo by John Greer)

Here are a couple of photos from the first day of racing taken by Jacob Green. I don't know him but I thank him very much.

 Still smiling on the single speed.

Not so much after my nth time on the run up.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Homemade Strap For The Ukulele

I took up the ukulele about six weeks ago. It's a fun instrument. It's easy to carry around. And it's a ukulele so you don't have to be that good at it. I got a concert uke, which is longer than the soprano. The soprano was too small for me.

Since the concert uke is a longer instrument, I can't hold it against my chest with my right arm. So I need a strap. Instead of buying one I decided to make my own using the instructions I found here. I bought three sets of 45-inch laces: black, gray, and red. But I did a couple things different from the instructions.

Instead of tying the ends of each set of laces together, I cut off the ends and sewed them together. This made for a cleaner look once I braided the laces.

Instead of tying the ends of the shoelaces together at the end, I cut the ends off, lined them up and sewed them together. This, too, also made for a cleaner look.

At first I tied the strap just above the nut. In that position the strap interfered with my left hand just a bit. So I moved it to between the two sets of tuning keys. 

It works great and it looks pretty good.