Monday, July 31, 2006

Ok that is the route I took from the co-op to the Riverview this evening. Nothing special right? Considering it was 101 when I left the house, and the entire route took me 18 minutes, I don't feel that bad about it. Average of 23.3 MPH isn't great, but for me it is ok, I am not exactly the fastest person on the planet.

Seems like I have been riding lots in this oppressive heat.

The satuday night ride was hot, and fun. We ended up pushing ourselves far further than we probably should have, something about L wining the NE race just got him all riled up. Even half drunk/stoned (not I) we were keeping pace faster than I would have normally expected. There were new people, old people and lots of fun. At one point I was able to squeeze a steady stream of liquid from the nylon strap which keeps the helmet secured to my noggin. It was just that hot. I was keeping it low on the whole drinking end of things, I am at least smart enough to know that it is dangerous to drink heavily while physically active in temps over 95.

At one point we were all stopped so bjorn could fix a flat, right by minnehaha creek and chicago. There resounded this thunderous crash about 25 yards away, like a tree getting chopped down. Inspection revealed that one of the cotton wood trees that thrive on the wet conditions on the bank of the creek had lost one of it's larger branches. Not just a little branch, this one came from about 30 feet off of the ground, far up high. This heat, the lack of rain and low rivers I am sure contributed somewhat to the falling of the branch. Something screwy is going on with the climate, don't really know what to make of it.

My mattress has been moved into my living room, under the chill of a 8000+ btu AC unit. The little guy I had in my bedroom has something wrong with it, the water from the condenser is just dripping onto the window ledge, which has be afraid of causing some long term damage. The rest of my apartment is nice and frosty.

I still don't have a job, just 2 weeks left and still nothing solidified.

I really have to start pimping my resume around a bit more, considering I have basically turned down 2 jobs which I don't think will be exactly "right". One of them I might just take on a part time basis, almost like consulting. Heh, Felipe the consultant, funny shit.

Oh yeah I know there are lots of misspallings and I don't care.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Well by now it is old news, but my bro started up a little MPLS specific bike forum yesterday. So far the response is awesome, better than anyone could have expected.

Check it out if you haven't already.

I tried to bike around to find a new messenger bag, something that will hold a laptop as well as a slew of school books. It hasn't quite hit me yet that I am going to be a full time student again in little over a month, probably will not until I sit down to take finals next December. Anyway I was having a hell of a time finding a bag, something I liked that wasn't horribly expensive. I went to both hubs, freewheel and behind bars, not that there was a bad selection, just nothing I would be willing to drop that much cash on. From freewheel I biked over to the menards on university, I needed a new garden hose, even though I have 2 that won't be getting much use if that damn house ever sells.

After cleaning a bit and doing some laundry I biked over to my dentist appointment, fucking dentist, oh how I hate you. It was just a cleaning, but I still was having a hard time sitting and listening to that vibrating water spraying device spray up into my gums. Then the scraping, poking, prodding, flossing, enough to piss a guy off.

I got another 25+ miles in today, don't know how much this week, but enough. Too bad I don't have the diligence to record every mile I ride, but really I just like riding my bike.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Power and Molasses.


The power has kicked a couple of times today in my little apartment, no real reason why as far as I can see. That isn't entirely true, the second time I am fairly certain was more of a neighborhood phenomenon as the ATM wasn't working a mile away. We just had some nice rain pass through the cities, giving some relief to the sweltering humidity we all have been suffering through all day. I was lucky enough to escape the rain on my way to one of the job interviews, so I wasn't soaked sitting in front of a trio of potential employers. This place (coffee bike delivery) is quite corporate and structured in terms of the hiring process, this was just the first of 3 interviews, that is if I progress to the next level. I am thinking I might not have the greatest chance with this one, just on account of my schooling taking up too much of my time. They are looking for someone who is available until the later hours of the evening, just in case a customer has an espresso emergency.

I left the interview felt a little anxious and caffeinated so I took the merckx out for a little sprint around the wet pavement. I was hoping my careless and reckless cycling and tight cornering would have slammed my ass down into the pavement, that just didn't happen. I took lake up over marshall to about cleveland and then over to summit. I didn't really have anywhere to go, I just felt like going uphill a bit. Right where summit summits, I turned right and followed some random streets south for a couple of blocks. Right about here, where I was planning on turning around anyway, the rain started falling again. Downhill most of the way to the river road I got myself plenty wet, even more so on the way to Franklin. I think I actually may have avoided the worst of it, right now it is windy and pouring, while I am nice and warm in my apartment drying off.

I borrowed T's Audi A6 like I do often on saturday to run some errands, pick up "groceries", mop buckets etc. One thing the bakers needed for the whole grain bread was molasses, somehow it didn't get ordered like it should have. Some bouillon cups, aforementioned mop bucket, clam juice and molasses stuffed in the back of the car I then went to Coastal to pick up the pescado. No problems here, I put the fish in the back and drive the 1/2-3/4 miles back to the cafe. Park, open the trunk and start cursing. Somehow one of the gallon jugs of molasses has breached, spilling 90% of it's contents in the back of the trunk. Think about it, a gallon of sticky, nasty, black goo all over. Luckily it was all on the removable piece that covers the spare tire, so I was able to take and spray that piece off. The rest of the molasses was collected in the spare tire basin, which took some time but wasn't horrible to clean.

F'k'n Mo-Lasis

Did the saturday night ride for the first time in over a year, it was fun I think I might be back soon. I didn't stay for the entire duration, but from the sounds of it I didn't miss much more than some drinking and Josh fixing a flat. I think that might not be a bad idea, convincing a bike mechanic to go on a ride everywhere I go, I wouldn't even have to bring my own tools. Like my own drunken support team.

One more interview tomorrow, and the dreaded Dentist. I am already formulating my excuse as to why I don't floss enough, this time I think I am going to blame gremlins.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sparks Tape And Jobs.

I rode the orange bike down to the place I was trying out this morning, no flats 1 point bike -1 point truck. I was a little later than I said I was going to be, arriving 10 minutes or so after 11 am. I would have been on time, but I got caught up when I went to the cafe to pick up my paycheck and tell my sous some ordering stuff. I was talking to some of the hub people about the tour when I noticed how Landis was just going crazy, big time. I don't have a clue where all that energy was coming from but he was far outperforming everyone in the field. Not only was he going faster than everyone, but he was doing it without the support of any team members. He turned a 8+ minute deficit into a scant 30 seconds, well within striking distance.

Anyway the place I worked was nice and slow, nothing crazy and I can see lots of room for improvement. Already I was making changes just in the 3 hours I was "watching". I don't know for sure if I wan't to work there, even within just the capacity of a consultant which is what they want me for. The kitchen is small and there isn't enough business to keep myself occupied as of yet, it could all change especially with one good write up. The neighborhood would be able to support a cafe like that one, but I have my doubts as to if it would ever be as busy as the place I am at right now, probably not.

I got a call while I was there from another place I turned my resume into. So that is 4/4 for resumes turned in and interviews scheduled. So here are my options, run another kitchen, even a slow one. Make ice cream, anyone who knows me knows that for a while I defined myself in terms of my ice cream making prowess. Work on campus as a banquet cook, easy, probably highest paying, most likely insurance. Deliver coffee on bike, which would be by far the funnest job I could get. Imagine how strong my legs would get hauling around a trailer full of hundreds of pounds of coffee through the snow. After a winter of hauling, imagine how fast I would be on my road bike, I would be able to kick the highest gear with ease going uphill into the wind. Hell give me a couple of years of that and I will take that punk Landis on.....

Oh and finally I just bought some new brake cables and bar tape from freewheel this time for the orange bike. They are having a big sale on lots of stuff, I almost bought myself some new Racelite tires, at 19.99 a pop it would be hard to resist. PW talked me out of it saying next time I need some just give him a call, the cost is quite a bit under the sale price. I also got myself two sparks, so this afternoon is going to be spent outside with the bike stand enjoying the weather and relaxing while doing some minor bike repairs.

Um I think that is it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I was supposed to work today at that new place, you all remember I think I was just talking about it yesterday. I woke up to pouring rain and a bit of a headache, enough to convince me that driving my truck would be the best decision for the 6-7 mile commute. I don't have any problem riding my bike in the rain, don't get me wrong, I just prefer to stay nice and dry while interviewing for a job. About a mile and a half from the new place someone behind me starts honking and asking my to roll down my window, my rear tire is flat not just low but dead flat. I have no idea how long I was riding on the rim, but it couldn't have been too long. I pulled right over to the side of the road and parked the car and stepped out into the rain.

For the next 1/2 hour I slowly walked through the rain getting wetter than I would have it I would have just ridden my bike. They were cool with rescheduling so I called a tow truck and waited for the call. Long story short 100 dollars....

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Organic Bread Flour Woes.

Tell me world where in the hell is a guy supposed to find a high gluten, high protein organic flour suited for bread? I have been looking and calling all over the place and as of yet nothing. The flour we were using for our bread isn't being carried any longer, so I have to search around for it's replacement. Even calling the w3dge didn't yield anything in the way of results, turns out the bread for their house baked stuff isn't organic. So far I think I have called somewhere around 10 companies and I may just be forced to take the "organic" label off of the baguette sign.

Why should I even care though, I am going to be gone in a month anyway.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Just got back from doing this.

Best part about the whole deal was that I didn't feel tired in the least, I just rode and didn't really care who passed me or about much. HereNT caught up with me for a section of the ride but he decided to pull off back at Nicollet in search of some dinner. We were planning on doing the whole Hopkins loop, but the trail was closed right as it turned up 169. The yellow tape and fresh asphalt aroma convinced me I was better off not breaking the rules and riding on the trail anyway.

Got more comments on my bike, people just seem to dig the Merckx as much as I do. If you have the chance don't put it off or try to rationalize it, just buy the bike and I am sure you will be happy.

Training in my replacment.

They are still looking hard as hell for someone to phil (err fill) my shoes come the middle of next month when I move on to perhaps greener pastures. Usually it is a good idea for people to work for a while figuring out if they would be happy in a situation before they go ahead and accept a job. After you get to a certain point, you cannot just get a job without doing a little trial run, cook some stuff, generally get a feel for the place. Even when it wasn't required I volunteered to jump in and work a day for free, mostly for myself more than for them.

Anyway, today I spent with someone following me around, asking questions and what not. I personally don't care, I gladly accept the help, it made it so I didn't have to make soup this morning, bonus. Though I don't really like it when I have to then give feedback about how I thought that person would work out, but what can you do.

Enough work.

My plants are again double in size, or at very least much bigger. The soil is getting dry with this intolerable heat, so daily watering is essential just to keep them alive. Emily has started the onslaught of plants into my apartment, by current count a bit over 3/4 of the plants inhabiting my apartment came from her. There are more waiting as well, some big some small, all healthy and energetic. I just hope I don't have to find a place for her rubber tree.

Ok bike ride time.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fire, CSA, and Heat.

I have to head to work soon so this is going to have to be quick. It is a bit overly hot right now, like sweaty nasty sticky horrible hot. Everything I hate about Minnesota in the summer, too hot to even want to ride my bike. Last year about this time I remember the major ice company actually ran out of ice, interesting. I have AC in my bedroom, but I am just too cheap to keep it turned on, with the ceiling fan and big floor fan I can usually stay nice and cool.

We at the cafe are a drop off point for an organic CSA farm. This means that every Thursday people come pick up boxes of fresh organic produce from out in front of the cafe, or at least they are supposed to. Often they just ignore or forget to pick up the boxes and the rest is left for us employees to sort through. Add to that the school kids selling produce on Fridays, of which I play "clean up" at the end of the day and buy whatever leftovers ats bargain prices. So for little to no money I have been filling up my fridge with awesome zucchini and yellow squash, lots of onions, broccoli, new potatoes (just last week harvested), snow peas, green beans and grape tomatoes (the tomatoes stay outside the cooler though). Next week we should be able to get some eggplant, that I am looking forwards to.

I got a call last night about 12:30, my friend Molly who lives right on the other side of the river was calling for some reason. I was trying to sleep by that point so I didn't answer. Follow that up with a text message that said just "the railroad bridge is up flames!" This got me up from my slumber and I stumbled the three blocks to the river to take a look. Sure enough just like she said the bridge was blazing, flames spewing and gigantic embers falling off into the Mississippi. They must have been big pieces of railroad ties or something, from my vantage of Franklin I could easily see the flames and falling pieces 1/2 mile up river. This morning you cannot really even notice though, the frame of the bridge is steel and that is still intact. This might change the scheduled greenway expansion though, which sucks obviously.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Been a While.

Not much going on, or at least anything worthy of writing about.

Ok well I did go to the new library this morning, the first time since it opened a couple of months ago. I was on a mission to find a bunch of cookbook, you know inspiration for next weeks menu and what not. I got a little side tracked, the DVD section on the first floor was more than impressive. The actually had Dave Chappelle season one uncensored, the library had that. My whole plan was to spend a couple of hours in the library, avoiding the scorching heat wave that is starting to blanket Minnesota this week. I found a couple of movies and was blown away by the cookbook selection, impressive to say the least. I read somewhere that the new library actually is like the 3rd largest collection of public books in the US, damn well should be considering how much they paid for the place. I was impressed, much nicer than the old one, but I don't see how that was in dispute.

With my bag full of books and movies I headed over to 1x1 for a little Java and to wait for my buddy working next door to take his lunch break. The cafe got a little packed so I let someone else have my table and started waiting outside $exworld. Interesting seeing the range of people that pack into that place during the noon hour, everyone from strippers, to sleazy greasy haired men to older gentlemen in nice suits hopping out of lexuses. I even busted one of my ex-co-workers from the downtown club I used to work at, he said he was looking for a "bachelor party". Look there is nothing wrong about wanting to bust a nut in a smut house during your lunch break, at least have some pride in your own personal sleaze. Or maybe he was actually looking for a gift, I just for some reason have a tough time buying it.

Lunch was good, just a slice and a salad from a pza place. I don't get the chance to eat romaine that often anymore, the lettuce we usually get at the cafe tends to be more arugula/mizuna/bibb than your typical restaurant lettuces.

I couldn't stay downtown that long, I had gotten a call from a potential employer in NE while I was at 1x1 and had setup a preliminary interview for later in the day. The ride up marshall from downtown was fun, then again I cannot imagine anytime riding on that sexy merckx being anything less than orgasmic. The interview went well, I just am not sure if it would be the best thing for me right now, basically it is another job running a kitchen, albeit on a much smaller scale than the one I am running now. I haven't ruled it out yet, but like everything I am stepping with a bit of trepidation.

I ended up just about a mile from Emily's house so I called her up and helped her with potting some of her plants before she had to leave for work. I think I am going to get somewhere around 1/2 of her plants when she moves at the end of the month, which will make my apartment resemble something of a jungle. One of the first things she ever said to me was "my house is puking plants!" she wasn't lying, there are probably about 50+ potted plants throughout. The three plants she gave me for my b-day are doing awesome, over doubled in size in less than 2 months.

The bike ride home was fun, I took the longer hillier route, so I got a nice workout. Since I built up the merckx I think I have been averaging 15-30 miles a day, up substancially from the 0-3 that I was riding for those couple of months I was smoking. It gets easier everyday, even under that sticky hot and humid Minnesota summer air.

We are having some sort of a keg party at the cafe tonight, replaying the tour from this morning. Two kegs of oberon, biker girls and AC, I think I know where I am going to rest my bones tonight. Shit I almost forgot D@nce Band is playing tonight at the nomad, I can't really miss that considering I am on a first name basis with all but one of the members of the band.

No spell check, deal.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Gummi Bears

I as we speak am finishing off a bag of German gummi bears that someone was foolish enough to leave at my house. I don't really have too much to say about the chewy little bears, but they are good isn't that enough?

The weekend was your typical 4th full of far too much to possibly get done. I hate having to pick and choose one party over another, just makes life frustrating. I probably ate too much bbq, drank far too much beer/wine/jameson/jose not all in the same outing mind you.

I got a bit of riding in on the Merckx, nothing major just a couple of hours here, couple of hours there. The more I ride that bike the more I like it, it feels like a little rocket between my legs (pull mind out of gutter here people). I should probably buy new tires, but I am biding my time until I have more case on hand. There is the possiblity that I may someday upgrade the entire drive train, wheels, deraillers, shifters, brakes etc. That is a bit of an undertaking and would be upwards of 1000 dollars so I am going to be forced to wait a little.

Em and I did some hiking yesterday, down deep into the wildlife preserve that sits just a 1/2 mile from the MOA. That place is a like a hidden little jewel in the middle of the cities, no one is ever there and it goes for miles upon miles where you see nothing but eagles, deer, and planes desending onto the runway. I think all together we made it about 6 miles, which was just about right, anymore and I would have turned into jello. After the plan was to hit dairy queen up for some delic frozen goodness, which of course was closed for the holiday. No peanut butter cup/espresso blizzard for sr. felipe, I had to settle for a frozen snickers from the gas station.

*insert nap here*

I woke up too late realizing I had missed 1 friends BBQ as well as a bunch of calls.

Jer and K were downtown ST. Paul waiting to watch the fireworks, so I jumped on the bike and booked it down university at a frenzied pace. After the initial upward grade of the road it sloped down with the wind at my back. I didn't time myself exactly, but I think it took me about 20 minutes from my apartment until I was locking up the bike. The traffic on Kellogg was terrible, I was glad I was riding my geared bike instead of the fixie. Once I had to coast all the way to the right to the point were my foot was hovering above the curb, just so I could make it passed a nice shiny white escalade that didn't leave me much in the way of room.

After that the night was fun, the fireworks were awesome.

The ride home was interesting, Jer already talked a little about it, so I see no need to elaborate.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Back from the Dead.

I really don't have anything that important going on in my life which I feel compelled to spill here online, I guess I have learned my lesson (sorry I am a little slow).

Let's talk about bikes.

I finally got the Merckx up and running, it had spent the last few months on the stand in my basement. The STI levers (mismatched as well) didn't exactly operate properly, so shifting would not be possible unless I did something to rectify the situation. I also needed all new cables, chain, housing, etc. I wasn't about to be buying new STI levers, the cheapest I would be able to find them would be well over 100 dollars, more than I was willing to spend, at least right now. I in turn took PW's advice and used an older set of dura-ace bar end shifter levers and some new (to me) rx100 brake levers. The good thing about bar end shifters, especially compared to STI is that there literally is no chance of them crapping out on you, it just doesn't happen. STI levers on the other hand don't last for shit, too many small moving parts. All told the bike is bright and shiny with nearly everything new and in perfect working order, the favorite of my fleet right now. The weather was conducive to setting my stand up outside where I could bask in the sun and enjoy wrenching outside the confines of the dingy basement. I did get PW to help me out a little with my chain length and adjusting the limits a tad, but mostly it was good.

I have been riding more than usual, I think I am starting to slowly get my "legs" back, or better put my lungs. Just a couple of months of smoking and my energy level was diminished more than I probably would like to admit. I know I am not quite in the riding shape I was when I had a 6-7 mile commute each way, but I am getting there. My arms, neck and face all have dark tan lines which are in stark contrast with the pale flesh the rest of my body sports. I think I am beginning to realize that I actually do "tan" I just haven't been outside enough to do so, that is changing this year big time. Hell just yesterday I spent a couple of hours chilling on the beach, drinking Molson and playing bones. I am now about to go for a ride, don't really know where to, but just out.

Oh, I am still looking for a job come middle August if anyone hears anything.

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