Monday, August 31, 2009

What a doll

I haven't blogged much cuz I'm stupid busy with life, and besides, would you rather post blogs or play with this doll?

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 10, 2009


Katie samples a little refreshment from the Lil' Tykes lagoon, demonstrates her fearlessness for any and all playground equipment, and receives enthusiastic adulation from her secret admirer, Milo.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 31, 2009

Katie Greets You

Soulmate got a fancy MacBook for her birthday, and Katie doesn't know it has a built-in camera. The paparazzi triumph over the diva again!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Katie Up Nort'

Half the family went to the BWCA yesterday for 5 days of canoeing and portaging, but the smart half stayed at the lake: Grandma, Katie, Soulmate, and yours truly. I finally got out on the MTB today to start the payback on a lot of good eating. We do not starve here--it's one of the most important camp rules at the cabin. In fact, it's the only rule, and the corollary is written on a sign on Grandma's kitchen: "Free Food: Fix it Yourself".

Which directive I take seriously. While waiting for the girls who were shopping at the Jenny Shop in the metrop (Grand Rapids), I scored a copy of "A Man, A Can, and A Grill", the sequel to the scintillating "A Man, A Can, and a Plan". These are serious reads for serious (male) foodies, written by Mens' Health mag. "MCP" was a best seller for good reason: lots of pix, simple and simply delicious recipes, and no putzy purees, hollandaise, bernaise, or any other -aise (except mayonaise, of course).

"MCG" is at least as good, and since it's summer, even more apropos, since no self-respecting Y chromosome wants to spend a minute more indoors than necessary, and a grill hearkens back to the days of men with spears taking down the mastodon and banging rocks together to start the bonfire.

Last night I grilled up some pollo mole, which was delicious in spite of my substituting chocolate chips for cocoa powder, which my nephew had used up making a yummy cooked pudding (male cooking seems to run in the family). Maybe it was delicious BECAUSE I had to use the choco chips...

Tonight I grilled up pretty much the best burgers I've ever had, using my Mom's sloppy joe sauce, tabasco, green chilis, diced cooked tomatoes, an egg, and 1 lb of ground beef. Patted 'em up into 5 burgers, grilled 'em to medium, toasted the buns, and slathered more manly sauce onto the steaming patties, and got all hotted up inside. Mmmmmm.

Tomorrow, who knows? But it'll be grilled. Maybe "Poultry with Polenta Pucks". Good thing the 4 wheelers have been busy around here--I've got a lot of MTB payback to go.

Speaking of 4 wheelers, here's Katie at the end of her first ride. It was pretty tame, so I skipped the whole helmet thing. Can't recommend it, never miss it on the bike, but there it is--caught on tape. Kids: do as I say, not as I do.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Soulmate has a Birthday

I won't tell you which one, since they're all just anniversaries of her 29th birthday anyway. Katie and I took her to the megamall last Sunday, and while the two of us (me & Katie) whooped it up on the Nickelodeon rides, SM hit the Apple store to pick out her sparkly new MacBookPro. Good thing she teaches the MC kids at our church, since they threw me a bone and gave her the educator's discount (and a free iTouch for Katie and I to boot!). She loves her first ever Mac (she's a graphic designer and has lusted after a Mac for years, but has always had to put up with my castoff office PCs).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Katie is Two

Katie had a big party at Riverside Park with her playgroup friends this morning, then Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Sue, Uncle Jeff, Cousins Jenny and Josh, and friends and neighbors descended upon us for cake and ice cream this evening.

Katie got lots of stuff, but liked Daddy's present best: a combined water and sand box for the deck, which of course I had to stay up late into the night assembling last night. The video shows that it was certainly worth the effort.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. The whole birthday concept is just beginning to dawn on Katie, so I'm sure next year will be a whole different experience. For now, the innocent and ignorant approach is just fine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1st Adoption Anniversary

Katie, you came to us a year ago yesterday in Nanning, China ("Gotcha Day"), and became ours a year ago today. Happy 1st adoption anniversary, sweetheart. You have so changed, and so changed us in a single year, that we cannot remember life before you. When we do vaguely recall some previous activity or pleasure, we wonder why we thought it was important or rich or substantial.

Now I hurry home from work, which isn't easy right now, hoping I haven't missed too much of the fun. Your bedtime comes much too soon, and when you decide to sleep in, or I have an especially early morning start, I feel like there's something wrong all day long.

Tonight we celebrated by dressing you in your Chinese silk dress and going to our favorite little Chinese restaurant, The Golden Dragon. The two couples who run the restaurant doted on you as always, saying funny little things to you in Cantonese and Mandarin, and laughed as you showed off and strutted around. Then we came home and watched all the videos we took of your first and second days with us a year ago. You laughed, pointed, and snuggled with us as if to say, "I remember that, and I'm so glad I came home with you."

Here's that very first look we got of you on that wonderful day a year ago when we became a real family. You came home a little baby; now you're a little girl. Either way, you're our real live China Doll.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lame Update

Worked my butt off the past couple of weeks. I set some records for stuff that I really never thought anyone would keep track of, but they do. All it means is that I've been at the office longer than I should be and not doing everything else as much as I'd like. For instance:

I ate supper somewhere other than my house every night this past week until Saturday, and even then, dinner started at around 9pm. Katie was really cranky all week because she didn't get her "comfort object" (me) much at all.

I sat on my road bike for the first time since I got knocked into the ditch 2 weeks ago in the East Union circuit race. Big Jim took me for our 4 hour, 6 hill hammerfest, and we did 82 miles and 4000 feet of climbing in 3:58. Today I didn't feel like riding at all.

I feel like my margin is all used up right now, but things are changing for the better. We have a new partner coming for the office, so schedules should be better by August. I don't plan to set any more records for the rest of my working life.

Katie is a joy and a challenge, but much more joy than challenge. She's been in "swimming school" as Soulmate calls it (Katie loves anything associated with "school") Mon-Thur last week, and 4 days this coming week as well. I took her to the pool yesterday so she could show Daddy how she was doing, and she was ecstatic to be there. We paddled around and played with an Ariel beach ball until she was shivering almost uncontrollably, and even then she cried her eyes out when I announced our imminent departure.

Today was hot enough that we went to the local splash pad to get wet. Katie was quite excited until the moment came to actually get wet, and then she lost her nerve. She finally managed to get somewhat wet, but we bailed and went on the swings and slides instead. Oh, and she hung out in the "fire truck" previously mentioned, but someone had ripped the steering wheels out so she was disappointed not to be able to steer it.

Next week I hope to eat a couple dinners at home, get wet at the splash pad, and race a road race. Then it's my first official Father's Day with Katie (last year we were still waiting to fly to China). I wonder what she'll give me...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Katie, Camping, and Karma

Katie: adorable as usual, very busy, into everything. Loves daddy & mommy, camping, and blueberries in that order (I hope). Also loves her Cozy Coupe (see photo). She found her dream home in my sister-in-law's back yard (see other photo).

Camping: another weekend of family fun in the Katiemobile. We spent Friday night in the camper in the driveway of sis-in-law's house so we could make an early exit for my bike race 10 miles away in the metrop of East Union. When you're camping in the Katiemobile, a driveway is just as good as a KOA. After the race, we hung out at their house and jumped on the trampoline for hours.

Karma: bad for me at the race. Everything pointed to a top 5 finish: short (27 miles), flat as a pancake, and fast--the finish line was 500 yards after the last turn into a howling tailwind of 30mph. Needless to say, this was the race where somebody had to bump me hard at 25mph while I was riding right next to the shoulder, which was deep gravel, which pulled me into the ditch, which was at least 10 feet deep and steep. By the time I screeched to a stop, ran my bike up the ditch and hopped on, the peloton was 200 yards ahead and going gangbusters. I chased for half an hour at TT+ pace, but only passed the stragglers who popped off the back of the peloton. At least I didn't end up DFL.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Katie's Kozy Koupe

Thanks to Ashton's mom, Katie is the proud new owner of a gently used, low-mileage kiddie car. Thanks, Jessica!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Do it Myself!

We're all scurrying around packing the Katiemobile so we can leave tomorrow around noon, so we can get to Duluth in time for my time trial start. Energy and anxiety is high around here.

To lighten the mood a little, I gave Katie a spoon and a cup of yogurt to try by herself, since she wasn't in the mood to take any of the foods I was offering. Soulmate and I did a little reverse psychology on Katie, saying "I don't know if Katie is big enough to eat yogurt with her own spoon." Beth then said, "yes, I think she can" and sure enough, she started scooping up spoonfuls of yogurt and using a variety of interesting approaches to get the yogurt mostly in her mouth. Here's a sample:

Sunday, May 17, 2009

TT Troubles

I skipped the Synergy TT yesterday but did the Charity TT on Black Dog Road this afternoon. I think I did pretty well, running the 7 mile pothole rally in 15:34, which was good enough for a tie for 5th place. Trouble is, the judges had me down for 19:04 (good for 19th place) because they say I missed my start time. I say I didn't, and have the proof.

Nobody likes a whiner, so I'll take my lumps, even though I could have used the points for the Rider of the Year competition. Is it just me, or does it seem ironic that every one of the 4 road races so far this year have run a half hour late (and with 9am starts, that means 30 minutes spent shivering in 40 degree weather). Now, with the first nice day for a race (and a 12:15 start), they decide to start 5 minutes early.

Start times for TTs aren't that hard: today's race had the first rider go off at 12:15:00, the second one at 12:15:30, and so on every 30 seconds. I was given number 34, which means I was to start 34 riders, or 17 minutes, after the first rider. My math puts that at 12:32:00. I showed up at the start line at 12:30:00 by my watch (correct time, BTW), and even asked one of the judges what time it was. He agreed it was 12:30.

Trouble was, they were sending rider #41 off at that point, so I had "missed" my start time by 3.5 minutes already! Then they were going to hold me up for even longer since they had just sent a rider off, but I took off like my hair was on fire and almost blew up in the first mile before I dialed back a notch and grimly rode on for personal satisfaction.

I haven't ridden a TT on the Dog in 4 years, and I can safely say the road conditions have definitely deteriorated. I spent the entire 15 minutes hanging on to my aero bars for dear life over "repaired" potholes and frost heaves so numerous I couldn't tell what was original and what was repair. If they had thrown a little more tar out of the truck, they would have repaved it.

OK, enough grousing. I was pleasantly surprised by my time (and my would-be place). I've never been good at TTs, and I'm not sure why I'm so fascinated by them, but after Jacobs and I won the Henderson two-man last fall, I've been more motivated to work at it. At least in this shorter distance, it looks like it has paid off.

We'll see next Friday in Duluth where I have a 16 mile TT to kick off a 4-day, 4-race Memorial Day weekend.

Just for fun, here's an update on the Highway 23 bridge just upriver from us:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food for a 2 year old

Peanut butter--nothing better, whether you're eating it or wearing it.

Katie got a new Lil' Tikes kitchen from Auntie Sue and cousin Jenny on Mother's Day. She loves it a lot:

Monday, May 11, 2009

More Crazy Stuff from Kooza2

My nephew is "Elastaboy". Check this vid out.

BTW, he just won a gold and two silver medals in his region (5 regions in the country) in gymnastics competition. He switched this year from standard gymnastics (think Olympics) to T & T (tumbling and trampoline), and scored a gold and two silvers in his first attempt!

He has been accepted to the National Circus School's 2 week elite summer circus camp. It is in Montreal, across the street from the Cirque du Soliel's international headquarters. His ultimate goal is to be a Cirque du Soliel performer. I think he'll make it, don't you?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sibley County RR Recap

Pretty short recap: felt good, found out I can climb OK, got boxed in on the uphill finish but got out, ended up 4th behind Mliner, Coyle, and Binkowski who just squeezed his tire tread over the line ahead of me. As usual, Bell pounded out the entire race either on the front or in a 2nd lap break with Pete Hanna and a Flanders guy that didn't quite stick.

The teams that didn't have anyone in the break worked like mad for most of a lap to reel them in. Big Jim then calmly went to the front again and took control of the last lap to make sure nobody escaped, and then set the pace up the final climb. After the melee for the sprint started, he sat up and watched it all go by.

My legs felt fantastic the last two races, and I'm not sure why. I've put on way fewer miles this winter, and I only train Tuesday nights and race on the weekend. Must be all that hanging around with Big Jim. It rubs off.

In the Pro/1/2 race, Doug Swanson won the field sprint, but 7 guys were already up the road in a race-long breakaway won by GrandStay's own enfant terrible Jens Brabbit, a 21 year old cycling and X/C ski phenom. Good job, Jens!

Katie and Soulmate went shopping instead of spectating at the race, since it was only 46 degrees at race time, and 20 mph winds from the NW. Tomorrow is mother's day, so we're off to Roseville to the in-laws after church. Next Sunday is the Charity TT on the Black Dog TT course. The asphalt is said to be in pretty sketchy condition, but hopefully I will be able to dodge the potholes and put in a good time.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Outdoors Girl

Katie has discovered Riverside park. It has a fire truck. I can't get her out of the driver's seat. She sat here for an hour on Sunday, and then the babysitter took her there Monday and she "drove" for another hour or so.

I can't wait until the splash pad opens. After another barnburner Tuesday night ride driven by Big Jim, I need some hydrotherapy on my legs.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Race Report: Marty RR

Katie looks a little dazed (and maybe I do too) because we just got back from a day of playing outside in and around beautiful Marty, MN. I use the term "playing" loosely since Katie and Soulmate spent the day alternately snacking, napping, and walking around intently studying sticks.

I, on the other hand, spent the morning chasing a couple of southerners around a very windy "Sprinters' Classic" roadrace course. We failed to reel them in, so I had to settle for sprinting for 3rd place, which I also failed to acheive. It wasn't a total failure though. 

First the recap: in the Pro/1/2s, ho hum, Doug Swanson again delivers a stunning sprint to win and draw the first blood toward qualifying GrandStay for the Nature Valley Grand Prix pro stage race in June. The Qualifier Events are: 
May 2 - Gluek Road Race, Marty, MN 
May 20 - Black Dog TT, Burnsville, MN 
May 30 - East Union Circuit Race, East Union, MN 
June 2 - State Fair Criterium, St. Paul, MN.

In the Master 35+, a couple of ringers drove up from KC or Iowa or somewhere and went off the front in the 3rd of 4 laps to go 1 & 2. I started the tailwind, slightly downhill sprint early, maybe at 350 yards, thinking I could catch the other sprinters off guard and still hang on, but it wasn't to be. I did get a big gap right away, but Donimator came around me with 50 yards to go, about the time my thighs were cramping up, and he pulled 3 other guys up to me who got past me as I faded.

7th out of 50 starters isn't too bad, but they only paid to 5th place, so I was out of the money. I was disappointed, but Big Jim pointed out that I made the front group when more than half the field got shelled. Now that I think of it, I remember a couple guys trying to bridge up to the remnants of a strong break at the beginning of the 3rd lap, and Jim told me to chase down a GS guy who was bridging up.

I put my head down and hit the gas, and thought I'd bridged up by myself, only to look back and see guys behind me. I thought I had towed the entire peloton back to the break, but apparently only ten guys made it, leaving the rest of the field shattered in little groups. Some of the favorites had picked that point to lounge in the back of the peloton, and skinny Chad and Mliner in particular spent the rest of the race trying and failing to time trial up to our group.

Mind you, I had no idea that this was happening; I was just trying to follow wheels and stay out of the wind and out of trouble. I guess I need to work on race awareness a little. Anyway, when Big Jim cranked it up over the last mile of the finishing straight, I got twitchy and pulled the trigger too soon, with the above mentioned result. Oh well, you live and learn.

What I did learn was that my new training technique is doing wonders for my racing legs. Get your notebooks out, I'm spilling secrets here: I race hard on Saturday, ride the Tuesday night Rev/GCC hammerfest, and commute 30 minutes a day on my Bianchi Cafe Racer. That's it. On breakthrough weeks I add a Dairy Queen run towing Katie in the Chariot.

Best of all, the Katiemobile is working to perfection. Well, there have been a few bumps in the road, mostly related to the ephemistically termed "black water tank", which hasn't been flushing perfectly, and the first time I tried to dump it, the 3" hose literally flew into my hands after it broke off of its internal moorings. Fortunately I hadn't pulled the gate valve or I would have had had more than just a broken hose on my hands. 'Nuf said.

In all, a good day was had by all, and now it's (long past) time for bed. G'night John Boy...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


You guys who raced Opus tonight got off easy. At most, you had 45 minutes of pain.

Big Jim took 20 of us out for a good ol' fashion 3 hour leg rippin' lactic acid fest. It ended with a 30mph rampage back into Waite Park that dropped everyone but Charlie Schad and me (and I would have been the next one to fall if they hadn't sat up).

We previewed the "Sprinters' Classic" course for Saturday's race. After tonight's ride, that race is going to be a picnic.

OK, maybe not.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fun with Katie

When I'm not at work or hanging out with the boys in Spandex, this is my world. I wouldn't trade it for Bill Gates' billions or Doug Swanson's sprint.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


The short version: Ray: 4th, Jim 6th, Charlie 12th, me 17th of 34 in the Masters 35+ field.

In the Pro/1/2 elite field, surprise, surprise, Doug Swanson crossed first. Last week it was crushing the field in the final sprint; today he roared across a gap that Daniel Casper had opened on a solo break, then won the breakaway sprint handily.

The long version: sorry, I'm too blame tired for any play-by-play. Kudos to Chad Macy (NOT Fat Chad this year) who showed a clean pair of wheels to the rest of the 35+ field, though Mark Mliner wasn't far behind. The two of them snuck in behind Ray who wasn't able to anticpate their sprint, but still did very well for the team.

I felt great all race, knowing that I wouldn't be likely to contest the sprint a mile after the big hill. I was right, but I surprised myself by chasing down attacks, spent a fair amount of time at the front trading pulls with Mark from GS and Goblirsh from LSC, and even went on a flyer with Goblirsh and 2 others that stayed away for half a lap before Mliner and GS finally pulled us back.

Big Jim proved that he can stay off the bike all winter and still put us all in the hurt locker. He went away on a solo attack that stuck for half a lap or so. Charlie worked like a dog throughout the race to chase erstwhile breakaways.

Next week is the "Sprinters' Classic" right here in my back yard. It has one good hill that's several miles from the finish, and a looooong straight slightly downhill finish. I have a fair chance for a good finish there. Big Jim and I (and maybe Charlie) will ride it Tuesday night to figure out the timing for a good ending.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tossin' a bone... you Katie junkies: here she is hamming it up at Grandma's place yesterday. She also spent an hour at Great Aunt Ardele's nursing home entertaining the entire wing of residents. She had every little old lady and man chasing her around at full speed, waving both hands madly and yelling "hi there, cutie!"

I thought that one tiny little Japanese lady was going to wisk her away to her room and keep her there. Both Katie and the Japanese lady thought the other one was the cutest thing they'd ever seen. I thought that they both were.

She got ahold of a yellow "Caution: wet floor" stand-up sign and pushed and pulled it around the dining room, even though the sign was taller (and maybe heavier) than herself. I made the mistake of trying to hide it, but prevented a full-on meltdown by hastily producing it again. Several residents followed her around the dining room trying to get her to let them give her a hug, but no go.

No physical therapist or speech clinician could have done so much rehab in so little time for so many cute little old ladies and guys. Hmm, maybe I should rent her out. But then I'd be bored to tears, since she's my main form of entertainment these days.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


First race of the season--Durand, Wisconsin. Also the first win of the season for Doug Swanson and Grandstay. When I looked down the hill to the beginning of the sprint zone, all I saw were green, orange, and white jerseys spread across the road. By the 50 meter point, Doug was so far ahead, Gregg Brandt and Adam Bergman didn't have a chance. Here's the finish, complete with yours truly cheering:

My race (Masters 35+) ended a lap early, when Charlie and I (of Team Sparky fame) traded hard pulls to (mostly) reel in Mike Johnson and Guy Alvarez on the back side of the 3rd lap, just before one of the leg benders. Charlie popped, and I did one more pull to the bottom of the hill, figuring that our man Ray could easily pick the pair off by the top of the hill. Which he did.

Unfortunately, he got boxed in during the sprint and had no chance to finish it off. Hats off to Mark Mliner, who you never see for the whole race until the last 100 meters. A man after my own heart, except faster. Anyway, I got a great 3-lap workout to get me a little further along in my fitness. I should be ready for crit season.

The real fun for the weekend came in camping with Soulmate and Katie in the Katiemobile. We stayed in the Durand city park, which I can highly recommend for any of you RVers out there. The 'mobile worked perfectly, and we all 3 slept like babies and woke up to the birds singing. Then we drove back to St. Paul to drop Katie off with the grandparents and Soulmate and I went to Kinkaid's (from gatoraid to poached halibut, the ridiculous to the sublime) and then to the opera. We stayed overnight at the grandparents' and just got back this evening. We're all tired but looking forward to next weekend in Cannon Falls.

The Katiemobile is up to the camping part; we'll see if my legs are up to all 3 laps of the KWMRR.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter--He is Risen!

Happy Resurrection Day--He is risen indeed!

We had a lovely Easter service this morning, followed by an Easter feast at our house. Soulmate's parents and sister and family came bearing dish after dish of delicious dinner fare. Soulmate prepared the Easter ham with help from our ancient edition of "Joy of Cooking".

Katie was quite pleased with her pink Easter dress, and sashay'd around church like a princess (when she wasn't disrupting the service by squealing loudly or stuffing her face with fruit snacks).

Soulmate's dad and brother-in-law helped me figure out a couple of key items on the Katiemobile. The awning is very nice, and will come in handy for race warm-ups this summer. I think I have all the water, electrical, and propane systems figured out, now I just have to de-winterize the water system so it's ready for this weekend.

We plan to camp in Durand, Wisconsin Friday night so we can drive to the race there Saturday morning. This will be our first try at RV camping, so I think I'll have the RV to the local dealer to have it checked out this week. I want them to drain the anti-freeze out of the water system so nobody gets poisoned, and to make sure I know how to avoid Robin Williams' dumping downer in the movie "RV".

If I can get done with work in time on Tuesday, I hope to make it down to Plymouth for the first "Tuesday Night Worlds" at Opus. I'm pretty sure I'll get dropped quickly, given my lack of training this winter and early spring, but who knows. If I don't make it down, I'll go riding with Soulmate and Katie. Same diff.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Day of Darkness

Jn 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?"
They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean."
He said to them, "I AM."
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, "I AM,"
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
"Whom are you looking for?"
They said, "Jesus the Nazorean."
Jesus answered,
"I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go."
This was to fulfill what he had said,
"I have not lost any of those you gave me."
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave's name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
"Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?"

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
"You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?"
He said, "I am not."
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
"I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said."
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
"Is this the way you answer the high priest?"
Jesus answered him,
"If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
"You are not one of his disciples, are you?"
He denied it and said,
"I am not."
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
"Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
"What charge do you bring against this man?"
They answered and said to him,
"If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you."
At this, Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law."
The Jews answered him,
"We do not have the right to execute anyone,"
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered,
"Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?"
Pilate answered,
"I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered,
"My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to him,
"Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered,
"You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
"I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
They cried out again,
"Not this one but Barabbas!"
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
"Hail, King of the Jews!"
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
"Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him."
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, "Behold, the man!"
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
"Crucify him, crucify him!"

Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him."
The Jews answered,
"We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God."
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
"Where are you from?"
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
"Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?"
Jesus answered him,
"You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin."
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
"If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge's bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
"Behold, your king!"
They cried out,
"Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!"
Pilate said to them,
"Shall I crucify your king?"
The chief priests answered,
"We have no king but Caesar."
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
"Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
"Do not write 'The King of the Jews,'
but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews.'"
Pilate answered,
"What I have written, I have written."

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
"Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be,"
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
"It is finished."
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Top Secret Training Camp

I smuggled these photos back from GrandStay's top secret training camp this weekend. All in all, it was pretty painful (for me, at least).

Daniel Casper missed, but he phoned in to say he was keeping up by training a minimum of 8 hours a day out west. Jim Bell worked a full day and THEN rode 8 hours a day back in Lake Wobegon.

Dougo missed with some lame excuse named Stella (around 8 pounds, born Friday night at 2am, says brother Dan). Anne and Stella are doing fine, Doug snapped somewhere 'round midnight apparently. Congrats, and don't worry--sleep deprivation doesn't affect your racing in the least. I think it just affects your memory. I forget.

We didn't just hammer the hills all weekend; we relaxed as well. Nothing funnier than watching bike racers play pickup basketball (I can laugh because I didn't play).

What??!! A Revolution SPY??? Don't worry--we dropped him every time we started any super-secret training exercises. Oh, and I stayed back with him just to make sure he didn't see anything sensitive.

OK, so I got dropped more than Schlicht. C'mon, I'm twice his age!

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Weekend For Everyone

Soulmate is off to a hermitage for the weekend, and you'll see why in this video:

She is a gentle and quiet soul who craves only silence and asks only for enough time to contemplate life a little. What she gets is a noisy and demanding toddler and a noisy and demanding husband too. I thrive on noise and chaos, and Katie seems to be following in my footsteps, not Soulmate's. She loves music (hooray!) and is really into singing and dancing (or at least dancing while mommy or daddy sings). She has started to find all sorts of things screamingly funny, such as "Row Your Boat" at variable speed:

Actually, the weekend is shaping up well for all 3 of us. Soulmate gets all weekend to sleep in, sit quietly and read, think, and pray to her heart's content. Katie gets most of the weekend with me, running errands, going to "Run and Read" at the ECFE school Saturday am, church Sunday, and lots of time poking around the backyard looking at stuff (her new passion is going up and down the 4 stone steps from the patio to the goldfish pond).

I get to entertain Katie and do all the other fun Daddy stuff, AND ride with Big Jim and the young punks on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Katie's favorite babysitter will be over both days to spot me while Big Jim puts the hurt on. Plan is for the same 4 hour 5 climb marathon we've done the past 2 Saturdays. I haven't ridden since Sunday, so we'll see how the climbing goes.

We need to get some decent riding in soon, since training camp is next Thursday through Sunday, and I doubt my younger Cat 1,2 teammates will want to wait around for an old geezer like me to catch up after a hard climb or tempo effort. This is usually when I make big gains in my fitness, since I'm running at a very high intensity level just to keep up with my teammates' moderate ones. Oh well, that's what happens in races too, so I might as well get used to it in training.

I'm psyched for training camp for another reason: the reigning state TT champ is on our team, and he's going to dish on a bunch of training secrets, as well as help us dial in our TT bike fits. I hope a whole bunch of talent rubs off on me in a hurry. I'd love to make some big gains in my TT speed before the age curve catches up to me fully. TT bike and equipement: check. Training secrets and bike fit: check. Winning my age group category at the state TT: jury's still out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Biking AND Katie

This blog started out as a biking blog, trumpeting my bike racing success. That didn't last long, since I haven't had that much success. Last year before we adopted Katie, I added her to my blog subtitle, and have actually attracted a fair number of viewers. I guess a cute little girl trumps athletic (non)prowess anyday.

Fortunately the two topics sometimes converge, like yesterday when Katie tried on my racing cap and took her first ride of the year on the trike.
We haven't hooked up the Chariot yet, but that's soon to come.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Big Jim took me out for a good 'ol fashioned 4.5 hour 5 hill thrashin'. I pounded the alp, almost conquered farming hill, and begged for mercy on old shep, tower, and some horrific unnamed final punishment. I don't remember ever bonking that badly. Jim flew over all of them like he was coasting downhill.

For those of you in the 35+ who are hoping that Big Jim has gone to seed with all his home remodeling over the winter, forget it. He's gonna spank you at Durand. And every other race this year. My condolences.

At least you don't have to train with him...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

2.5 @ 40

The fixie patrol prowled the roads of Stearns county today. Big Jim and I rode 2 1/2 hours and had a blast. It's so good to feel the road under my wheels instead of a little metal cylinder attached to my trainer.
Oh, and it was above freezing for the first time in close to a year. OK, maybe for the first time this year. 40 today, 50 tomorrow. Nice start to my real bike season.

Itsy Bitsy Song

Katie has learned a new song. Betcha remember this one. C'mon, sing along with Katie!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Ride 'em cowgirl!

Here's Katie riding her rocking horse. No offense Andy, but I hope she never trades the stuffed one in for the real thing. Baby poop is one thing, but horse poop is something else. I know, I'm a doctor, but even when the dogs have an accident, Soulmate usually has cleanup duty. Sorry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Useful Waste of Time

My big training weekend to southern Missouri got cancelled on account of a 6" snowfall and high winds in MN. So I bagged biking and engaged in idle chatter and other time wasters with Katie and Soulmate. In the past, I would have been in trouble for slothfulness, but now, it's OK: it's called fatherhood.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Katie is tempting fate and testing the law of gravity again. She has shown a great deal of interest lately in the stairs going to the second floor, both up and down. We've tried to teach her to crawl up and down with her tummy against the stairs, but to no avail: she wants to walk up while holding the handrail which is much too high for her, and to slid down on her butt:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Doc is wearing his glasses more these days for whatever reason, and Katie has discovered them. She loves to put her tiny little fingerprints all over them, though she doesn't do it for spite like my brothers used to when we were growing up. She just likes to monkey with stuff.

Seeing my distress (one of my pettest pet peeves is streaks on my glasses), Soulmate sprung into action, quickly finding the pair of green glasses I brought home from the musical "Wicked" that I saw in Chicago last September. Here we are, showing off our "four eyes" in style.

Since Katie is playing the part of the "Green Witch", I guess that makes me "Glenda the Good Witch", who in the musical at least is a ditzie blond. If the shoe fits...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

MN creativity

A disproportionate amount of the world's creativity resides in Minnesota, and our household is no exception. The state has given birth to more edible snacks on a stick than the rest of the world combined, and there are more hotdish recipes in MN than there are Johnsons (and the 2000 census folk gave up trying to count 'em all).

Soulmate is 100% Minnesotan (and 50% Johnson), so creativity oozes from her every pore. We were reading Parent Power! and got an idea to help Katie ease into bedtime a little easier by making her a going-to-bed book.

First, our rationale for the book: since Katie came to us after 11 months in a Chinese orphanage, we had decided up front to cuddle her and spoil her just a little for our first 6 months together. We rocked her to sleep every night, and if she woke up, we got up and rocked her again until she went back to sleep.

I made a goal of beginning her transition to going to sleep on her own starting when she turned 18 months old on Jan 1. Soulmate couldn't bear the thought, though, so we shelved the idea for a few weeks. Last week's trip to Rochester ended with Katie sleeping really well on the way home, so when we arrived at 9pm, she wasn't the least bit sleepy. Two and a half hours later, mommy had back spasms from rocking, and daddy got hornswaggled into playing the sandman.

A half hour of fruitless rocking led to a bit of an epiphany, and I laid Katie in her crib, kissed her and patted her tummy, said "it's time for night-night now", and left the room. 20 minutes of blood-curdling screams continued non-stop from the closed door, and I almost expected Jason or Freddie Kruger to burst out of the bedroom, but instead the screams stopped abruptly.

I waited a minute or two, but fearing for her life, I cautiously crept into the room and used my cellphone to illuminate my way. Lo and behold, Katie was asleep near the head of the crib, with one leg partially out and one hand still clutching one of the bars. I think she stood and cried until she lost consciousness, then slid slowly down the bar into a piteous crumpled pile of tears and blanket sleeper. If Soulmate had seen it, the experiment would have been terminated immediately.

We bought Katie a small aquarium the next day, and filled it with water, plastic plants, and 4 baby goldfish, offspring from our goldfish pond this summer. We leave a little nightlight on behind it so she has something to look at while she's falling asleep (or screaming bloody murder as the case may be). Katie is trying really hard to fit in with the new ritual: when we tell her it's time for night-night, she squinches her eyes shut hard and pretends to be asleep in the sweetest way.

When it comes time for the real deal, she still screams when we get up to leave the room, but it doesn't last as long as before. So, in order to ease her progress toward somnolence without hysteria, Soulmate made her a book, using all her Minnesota Johnson creativity. Here's a video tour of the newest parenting best-seller:

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Katie got a new hat from our friend and gardener extraodinaire Chris Z. When she's not coaxing beautiful things to grow in our zone 3 climate (like now when it's 20 below zero), she is knitting cute caps for preemies at the NICU. Here she has knit a perfectly delightful cream cap with a pink stripe (hard to see the pink in this crummy cellphone pic) to keep Katie's head warm in this beastly cold. Katie, in turn, seems delighted to be wearing it.

Over on the left coast, this sort of accessory is all the rage for its aesthetic value, but here in the heartland it's all about warding off frostbite. That being said, we don't all dress like the sheriff in Fargo (or talk like that either, yah sure you betcha).

We took the Katiemobile on a trial run down to Soulmate's cousin in Rochester, and it was a complete success in every way. Easy to drive, decent gas mileage (15mph give or take), and a perfect napping location while mommy visited the famous Mayo brothers for a checkup. Katie scored a 3 hour marathon nap on Wednesday, lulled apparently by the propane furnace (which belted out perfectly toasty air) and the generator, which supplies an almost imperceptible vibration that added an additional soporific effect.

Here's Katie playing with her cousins' toys. She especially took to the Minnie Mouse ears that matched her outfit.

Big Jim says he's giving up bike racing in order to spend all his time remodeling the house next door. I don't believe it for a minute, although right now he seems to be addicted to breaking down plaster and lath walls. For all you competitors who hope he's out of shape with lungs full of construction dust: don't count on it. I hope to borrow the Katiemobile for a trip south in February to find some real hills to hammer. By April he'll be hurting you all like usual.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Katiemobile is Ready for Action!

First a caveat: I have never in all my 48 years wished to own an RV. I will admit to riding in one a couple of times, and even having a pretty good time on the road, but I've never actually slept in one. I've always been a silent sport type guy, except for football, which involves a lot of grunting and crashing. Motors have never held much allure for me.

My father-in-law has always been a little disappointed in me whenever the snowmobile and 4-wheeler are out, because I've never really been into driving them. He, on the other hand, has always enjoyed motorized toys, especially motorcross bikes, snowmobiles, 4 wheelers, and boats. And Soulmate inherited his love of motors.

I will confess right now that in shop class in 9th grade, I was not able to tear down the lawnmower engine and get it running again. Soulmate, on the other hand, was able to tear down her Kawasaki 175 and put it back together again (at least that's how I heard her story). Anyway, she always loved RVing in their little Cortez, which was one of the first mini-motorhomes ever made.

I'm getting a little loquacious at this point (when am I not?), so I'll shorten it. Since Katie has arrived on the scene, we have curtailed our travel to some extent, not wanting to coop her up in a child seat or on an airplane. So last fall, as we began to plan for the spring, Soulmate brought up the idea of a mini-motorhome to get out camping. Given my anti-RV bias, I was naturally a little cool to the idea.

Then Soulmate made the fateful promise that started it all: "if we got a little RV, Katie and I would go to more of your bike races."

I only needed to hear it once, and immediately threw myself into researching our options. Fortunately, my father in law had already done most of the research, having looked at almost all the "class B" (conversion van) RVs available. He had come this close to buying a Roadtrek, then decided on a pull trailer instead, since he already has a nice Dodge Ram pickup (yes, I know I've ranted about pickup drivers in previous posts, but several of my friends and family have them, and I've come to terms with that now.

Anyway, after pricing new Roadtreks, I realized that they were pretty much out of our budget, so I started tracking used ones on eBay motors and on other RV websites. I almost bought a 1997 model for a steal on eBay, but the sellers pulled it after 1 day, probably because someone told them they were way underpriced.

Then I saw a posting on an RV bulletin board for a 2002 model located in West Fargo, ND. Most of the RVs I've researched are in AZ, FL, and CA, so I read this ad with interest. The price was in budget, so I called Todd and checked it out. Soulmate and I studied the pictures Todd posted on PhotoBucket and decided on the spot to buy it. Since I'm on call this weekend, Todd volunteered to drive it down with his wife for one last road trip, pulling their Pacifica on a trailer so they could drive back.

After lunch with Todd and Darcy at our favorite Chinese buffet, we had a short shakedown ride and a full orientation tour to discover all the goodies this baby offers. I was pretty sure this was the one, so I had a cashier's check ready, and off they went back to West Fargo. Soulmate has spent the weekend shopping and collecting stuff from around the house to stock the new MMH (mini-motor home).

We have a shake-down ride planned tomorrow night: after I get back from my clinic in Alexandria, we're leaving for Rochester, a 3 hour drive. Soulmate has some appointments at the famous Mayo Brothers place on Tuesday and Wednesday, so we'll stay with her cousin and family on Monday and Tuesday night, and drive back Wednesday evening.

We hope to do some weekend camping this summer, and I'll try to steer us close to my bike races when possible, since it's an ideal staging vehicle for getting ready for races and for cleaning up afterwards. Cost to GrandStay riders using the facilities: $0. Value of watching other teams eat their heart out waiting with 250 other racers to use the portapotty: priceless.

For you Katie junkies who made it this far hoping for a glimpse, here here she is wearing my new waterproof gloves:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ho hum

I have nothing to report.

OK, just to make you southerners happy, it's currently 10:35am in MN, and the actual temperature is minus 17 degrees F. Today's high just might rise above minus 10 F. We have gotten several feet of snow this winter, and almost all of it is still sitting on the ground.

I plan to take my next bike ride when the temp reaches 10 degrees above zero, which may come by this weekend. Until then, I'll be watching a lot of movies on my trainer downstairs. Thank goodness the new season of "24" has started. It looks to be another good one.

How long 'til spring?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Katie Goes Sledding

And daddy gets some really good aerobic exercise. I blew off my bike workouts (sorry coach!) for most of the week, opting for a huge amount of year-end work at the clinic and in surgery until New Year's eve, then we headed up to the cabin for more family time.

Here's Katie's first tobogan run with daddy steering the two of us down the hill and onto the frozen lake. Auntie Sue is filming, and cousins Joshua and Jenny are assisting. We've had a ton of snow this December, and the sledding, skiing, and snowshoeing is fantastic. Now if I could just find some time to do anything during daylight hours...