31 May 2007

DeLorean DMC-12

As I was walking to work on Tuesday morning, I saw this:

This is my dream car. I have seen this particular one before, it seems like the owner shows up here about the same time each year. It has a few dents, but overall in pretty good condition. There are some after market parts. Skirts are not stock, license plate holder has been painted, extra mirrors, and had obviously been lowered.

I was hoping to catch the owner so I could maybe sit in it. Better yet, he may let me take a for a spin around the block. I do not even mind just sitting there and he drive me around. I would even pay for gas. Notice the gas cap on the hood, that means this one is from 1981. Yeah, I am that obsessed!

Needless to say, someday I hope to have my very own DeLorean DMC-12. Feel free to get me one for whatever reason, thanks.

29 May 2007

Santa Ana to San Diego, 100 Miles Part Deux

Here are more pictures from the ride. Photos by Jeff O'Brien.

SwarmLA pumping up his tires. If you like that wheel, it was for sale.

My bike, along with John Martin's and the Ostendorff's tandem bike in the back of John's truck. Thanks again, John, for taxiing us to the train station and back home after a long day.

Unloading the bikes, I just like standing in the bed of a truck.

Putting on my shoes. That is John on the right, this time he remembered his.

Ah, the founding members of the Yellow Swarm.

SwarmLA is not the only one pumping tires that day. Notice the goofy tan line.

Group photo of the riders. Twenty four total riders, twenty regular bikes, two tandems. The one in the red Hot Wheels jersey is the driver of the support vehicle. If you look really close, you can see my bike in the back...the one with the monkey on it.

At 07:30, set our computers to zero and rolled out. It was like a red mile, only this one is blue. You can see the support vehicle in the back. Steve, president of the club, is in front in the yellow helmet. Eric and Debbie on the tandem.

There I am towards the back of the pack. Next to me is SwarmLA, and way in the back is John Martin. It was a great ride, I am sure will do it again next year.

28 May 2007

Bike Maintenance

After 100 miles, a bike can acquire a lot of dirt and grime. Filth from car exhaust and stuff picked and kicked up from the tires eventually end up on the bike and rider. I figure since I took a shower after a long ride, the bike needs a good cleaning too. I have already washed the clothes I wore. So, I decided to take a few hours on my day off and do it. Notice the monkey I have on my stem, he is my co-pilot...or am I his?

All my tools and supplies are at work, so I took the bike there and went at it. I put it on my stand, which is the Ultimate BRS-50R Recreation Repair Stand. Why an Ultimate Support Stand you ask? Because Depeche Mode uses Ultimate keyboard stands, and I am a geek like that. Anyway, I wiped the bike down with a cleaner and de-greased the chain. I also took the time to clean the wheels, wiping down each spoke, rim, and the tire itself. After the cogs and cassette was cleaned, I re-lubed the chain and oiled all moving parts.

Then, I noticed that one of my handle bar plugs was missing. Must have fell out somewhere between here and San Diego. What am I going to do? I am sure someone I know has a pair that they can give me. Or, I can buy some new ones. Since I am here at work, I decided to make a new pair. I took a piece of delrin, my calipers, and existing plug and went to the lathe. After about 45 minutes, I had a new pair of plugs.

Hey, they fit. I think these are temporary, I do not mind that they are white and kinda stand out. One of the best quotes of design, "If you cannot conceal it, you must reveal it". I might just make custom plugs in Freeform with Hot Wheels logos on it. Should not take me more that an hour to model one up. I am sure SwarmLA would love to have a pair to match the custom Hot Wheels pedal end caps I made for him.

Detailed Route Description

I am glad today is a holiday, I would not get much done. Anyway, here is the route we took.

Mile Dir Street/Landmark Dist Remarks

0 Station Flagpoles RESET ODOMETER, take closest exit

0.02 R Santiago St .08

0.1 L Santa Ana Blvd 1.6

1.7 L Bristol 0.2

1.9 R 1st Street 1.4

3.3 R Enter Bike Path 8.7 after mobile homes, then U-turn south on path

5.7 Detour Left, Follow signs up across Warner, then right & down to path

6.2 Cont Ignore detour Ignore detour signs

9.7 R--L Wooden bridge follow path right across bridge, then left

12.0 South PCH SAG STOP 21.0 Go under PCH, curve right, onto PCH SOUTH

23.5 Laguna Mini Mart Stop &Go on left, Ritz-Carlton Starbucks @ 30.6

33.0 veer R Coast Highway 5.8 after nice downhill & fast food on right

36.2 CONSTRUCTION stay right of cones (3) 7-11’s in next 2 miles!

38.0 AMTRAK station San Clemente: ONLY 4:13 pm and 5:14 today

38.8 R Valencia 0.02 just before 5 fwy overpass, then quick left

38.82 L A. Presidente SAG 1.8 sag somewhere in the next 1.8 miles

40.6 R enter Bike Path 1.1 to right before fwy/ keep left@fork/exit thru fence

41.7 Cont Old Pacific Hwy 7.8 cont south toward San Onofre campground

44.5 water/restroom 14 water/restroom stops then desolation

47.6 Cont Enter Bike path through narrow entrance at southern end of park

49.3 Cont Under 5 overpass curve left through tunnel under Fwy, DIRT

49.5 R Bear right at fork 1.4 keep right

50.9 L LasPulgas SAG end bike path, through parking lot, left at T-int

51.2 enter MC base Camp Pendleton MUST SHOW ID

51.6 R Stuart Mesa Rd 7.2

58.6 R Vandergrift 1.7 right at stoplight, stores, fast food, lunch soon!

60.2 Cont Under 5 overpass 0.1 5 freeway, Oceanside, becomes Harbor Dr.

60.4 LUNCH Del Taco SAG 0.1 ~30 minutes Del Taco plus SAG food, Denny’s

60.5 Cont same direction 0.1

60.6 L Harbor Dr. 0.1 left at T-int, quick left at Oceanside Harbor sign

60.7 veer L Harbor Dr SOUTH 0.4 road curves right

61.1 L Pacific 2.7 Oceanside TRAIN STATION Herbie & Batmobile in 2 miles

63.8 L Cassidy 0.1

63.9 R Broadway 0.2

64.1 L Eaton 0.1

64.2 R Coast Hwy 21.1

80.2 AMTRAK station Solana Beach, follow signs dep 3:33 4:34 5:53

82.4 Torrey Pines hill SAG ~1.6 miles climb, sag near top stoplight ~mile 84

85.3 R N. Torrey Pines Rd. 1.6

86.9 veer L La Jolla Village Dr. 0.1 quick veer right coming

87.0 veer R Gilman Dr. ramp 0.2 right on Gilman after steep downhill ramp

87.2 R Gilman Dr. 1.6 near end, under 5 fwy overpass

88.8 path after 5 fwy at stoplight 1.1 cross street, enter bike path to right

89.9 Cont becomes Santa Fe 2.0 bike path exits onto Santa Fe

91.9 R Damon Ave 0.3 after Fon-Jon kennels

92.1 L Mission Bay Dr. 0.5 busy street, look for bike path on right

92.6 Cont Mission Bay Dr. 0.1 BUSY merge with Grand, cont Mission Bay

92.9 jog r/l Mission Bay Dr. 2.5 right, stop, left to stay on E Mission Bay

95.3 cont Pacific 0.8 name changes across Sea World Dr

96.3 L Taylor 0.1 take first right after RR tracks

96.4 R Congress 0.6

97.0 R Old Towne 0.2 over Fwy then left

97.2 L Hancock 2.7 becomes Kettner ~ mile 98

99.9 FINISH SAG Amtrak station on right after C Street 1050 Kettner Congratulations!

Dep 4:00 arr SNA 5:53 pm alt dep 5:20 6:20

27 May 2007

Santa Ana to San Diego, 100 Miles

The day started with me waking up at 04:00. I got dressed and packed, loaded my bike and headed over to John (the guy who forgot his shoes last time) Martin's house. Then we headed to Torrance to pick up Eric and Debbie Ostendorff. It was off to Santa Ana train station to meet up with the rest of the gang.

We arrived on time and rolled out at 07:30, just after the team photo shoot in front of the fountain. There was twenty-four of us this time with two tandem bikes in the mix.

Everything when pretty smooth just as last time. I remembered most of the route. As we approached Laguna, the spot where Steve broke his crank two weeks ago, Steve got a flat. He got a new bike, but I guess he likes it when something goes wrong. That is why he is the president on the club. This time, we had a support vehicle with food, water and spare tubes. Steve fixed his first of two flats and we were on our way.

I noticed that this ride was a lot faster than the last one. Most of the ride was a blur. We had snacks from the support van at mile forty. Then off to Camp Pendleton Marine Base and lunch at Del Taco at mile sixty.

At mile sixty three, we passed Oceanside train station. This is were I ended the ride last time. From this point on, every second and every inch added to my personal best. We kept a pretty fast pace at about 20 mph. I approached Torrey Pines, a hill at mile 82 where my speed dropped to about 7 mph. I could not stop to get to my gel, so I just took the 1.6 mile hill at a slow but steady pace.

Once I reached the top the hill, we had our final stop before the end of the ride. I streched and fueled up and off we went. It was smooth sailing after that. I think we averaged 23 mph as it was mostly downhill and flats the rest of the way.

I could see San Diego at mile 92. I was kept looking at my computer to make sure I was going to hit 100. We reached the train station and the computer read 99.98 miles, I quickly took a lap around the fountain (I guess all train stations have fountains) and the parking lot.

Final count 100.52 miles, in 6 hours of riding, average speed of 16.5 mph, maximum speed of 36.8 mph. I also had a heart monitor on, average rate of 156 bpm, with a max of 186 bpm. Yeah, that is pretty high. We originally planned for the 17:20 train, but since we rode faster this time, we made it in time for the 16:00 train.

The fine conductors of Amtrak hooked us up with our own luggage compartment for our bikes. with seats in the same car. The train ride back with a good time to finally rest without worrying about keeping up with the pack. We got back to Santa Ana around 18:00, said our goodbyes and headed home. I am pretty exhausted, but I did it. 100 miles, my first century!

Thanks again to Eric and Debbie for the ride photos, Jeff O'Brien for the group shot...oh, and me for the shot of the cycle computer. More pictures to come.

26 May 2007

Best Wedding Ever

It has been a while since I met up with my buddies from the rink. Yesterday, on the 30th anniversary of Star Wars (Ep. IV - A New Hope), my friend Rich got married, with John being his best man. There was about 100 or 150 people at the wedding, I knew three of them-Rich, John, and Rich's mom whom I have not seen in ten years.

Anyway, it was a non traditional wedding. It started out in the park in Newport Beach. Airplanes from near by John Wayne airport decided to fly by a few times during the ceremony, which set the tone for the night. It was short yet effective ceremony, with a lot of laughs. When the officiant asked for the rings, John handed him spider rings (ones you get on Halloween) as a joke. The ceremony ended as the real rings were exchanged and the bride kissed the groom.

The reception was at Juliet, the bride's grandparents' house down the street. The house was pretty awesome, about three thousand square feet overlooking Newport Bay, indoor pool, weird mushy grass, really cool bathroom (I did not get pictures of, damn it)...and lots more. Did I mention there was a pool at the house...inside!!!

Back to the wedding. Keeping up with the tradition of a non-traditional wedding, there were many unique things to do and see (like the indoor pool). The father of the bride came up with a treasure hunt game for all the play. I had nothing, way too complex for me. A photo area complete with treasure chest to complement the hunt. Oh, and the food was good. There was no 'assigned' seating, everyone just walked around and mingled with everyone else. Rich, John, and I talked about the old rink we used to work at which is now closed, bummer.

I found this spider just hanging around in the backyard. I guess it matches the rings that were given to the bride and groom. At the end of the night, the treasure hunt/Halloween theme capped off with a buffet of candy for all to take home. As the guests started leaving and catering team packed up, the after party began as Guitar Hero and PS2 came out to play. I do not think any wedding I will ever go to can top this.

Congratulations, Juliet and Rich! Enjoy your new life together...oh, and enjoy your new knife together.

23 May 2007

100 miles this weekend

Big ride this weekend, the second annual Hot Wheels Cycling Team ride to San Diego. Two weeks ago I only rode to Oceanside. That was about 63 miles, that is a "metric century" 100 kilometers (62.137 miles). This weekend I will add to my personal record with 100 miles, my first official century...hopefully.

20 May 2007

Heroes Season Finale, Tomorrow!

As if NBC is not plugging this to death, I am reminding you that tomorrow is the season finale of Heroes. Do they stop the bomb? Do they save the world? Who dies? Who lives? Who cares?

I am a Wii-junkie Part 2

Every week at WiiNintendo.net, there is a weekly challenge based on Wii games. Here are screen shots of my top score in Billiards in Wii Play. There was a competition a few weeks ago on WiiNintendo and with a score of 63, I won this event. You can see the results for the weekly challenge here:


I sunk all nine balls in six shots. This also earns you a platinum medal in the event. By the way, this is a great site for Wii news. I sometimes surf the site using my Wii. Yeah, I have no life.

18 May 2007

I have goofy tan lines

First off, yeah, those are Snoopy PJ's. Snoopy and I have history together, but more about that later. Anyway, I have some pretty non-sexy tan lines. In fact, they look really stupid. I look like I wearing thigh high stockings.

This is a result of last week's ride from Santa Ana to Oceanside. A four hour date with the sun and my legs scored. I guess this is normal for cyclist, but check out my wrists...

This is what happens when you wear a long sleeve shirt and full finger gloves. On my right hand there is a nice tan line from my Livestrong wrist band. On my right, the gap between my watch and gloves. It looks like I was whipped by Indiana Jones. I keep thinking my wrists are dirty, at least they sorta match.

Next week is the ride (from Santa Ana) to San Diego. I am sure I will have some more interesting tan lines to share afterwards.

13 May 2007

Santa Ana to Oceanside

Early Saturday morning, 12 May 2007. The Hot Wheels Cycling Team did a pre-ride to San Diego, some only went to Oceanside. I was one of the ones that only went to Oceanside. So, the few of us that went met at Santa Ana train station at 7:00 AM. The ride would start at 7:30.

It was an interesting day. My longest distance before this ride would be 25 miles. Santa Ana to Oceanside is about 60 miles, San Diego is 100 miles. This would be a long day. There were a total of ten riders, five going to San Diego, five going to Ocean side.

To start things off, one of the riders, John Martin, forgot his shoes. Shoes are critical to cycling as they lock your feet onto your pedals, providing direct power transfer from your legs to the crank. On top of that, John only brought flip flops. He had to borrow regular shoes from one of the other riders. A size too large, but no matter. He used a strap to "secure" his shoes to the pedals. This meant John could not 'clip out' of his pedals when he came to a stop. He needed to lean against a wall, pole, or another rider at the stop lights.

The ride went pretty smoothly as we pulled up to our first stop, bathroom break at the Newport Beach at about 15 miles, one hour into the ride. John was holding up pretty well with his MacGyver toe clips.

As we approach Laguna Beach, there were a lot of hills, up an down. For some reason, I like climbing hills. This is where the more seasoned riders broke pack and went ahead. I stayed behind...because I am only a beginner. There was one last hill before we reached Laguna Beach. I decided to sprint up the hill and try to catch up with the others. I passed Steve Florides, President of the Hot Wheels Cycling team, then Eric Ostendorff and his wife Debbie who were on a tandem.

Once I reached the top of the hill, I saw another John and waited up there with him for the other riders. John and I waited at the top for quite a while. There was no sign of Eric and Debbie or Steve and his wife Claudia. We decided to track back and investigate the situation. I saw them at the mid point of the hill. It seemed that they were all taking a break. But this was not the case...

Steve had broken the crank off his bike. He crashed with the crank arm and pedal still attached to his right shoe. While he was climbing, he stood up to apply more force to the crank. He might have already had a small fracture, since I noticed a clicking sound the past few times I rode with him. Anyway, the six of us were stuck 22 miles from Santa Ana, the nearest train station. We called AAA, they only help motored vehicles. John's wife was on stand by. Eric tried to flag down passing trucks. We started to walk up the hill and get into town to the nearest bike shop.

A couple in an Infinity SUV stopped at the top and offered help and a ride into town, to a bike shop. Hitchhiking does work, thanks Eric. We called head to inform the others and had them meet us at the shop. The couple in the SUV gave us directions we met them at Laguna Cyclery. The shop was not even open since it was only about nine. Luckily, there were people inside, they took Steve's bike and started to work on it. This was a good time for the rest of us to get something to munch on. We thanked the couple in the SUV as they drove off.

The repair took about twenty minutes. They replaced the axle on the crank. Total charge for the parts and repair...$20!!! Steve gave an extra ten dollars to the bike mechanic. The mech not only knew what he was doing, he did it fast, and only charged $20. Now that we are all set, we were on our way. I guess John Martin could have got a new pair of shoes and cleats to go with it...he choose to stick with is borrowed over sized shoes and luggage straps. Next time you are in Laguna Beach stop by Laguna Cyclery, and if you see the couple in the Infinity SUV, buy them a drink.

Oh, here is a like to Laguna Cyclery: http://lagunacyclery.net/index.cfm

Anyway, the rest of the ride went pretty smooth as we cruised down Pacific Coast Highway and along Interstate 5. Every second and every inch added to my personal best. There were a few stops along the way. The short rests are a god time to refuel on gels. At some point, your body and mind forget that your legs are moving and you just go.

We arrived at Camp Pendleton and showed ID before our last stretch before lunch. Lunch at sixty miles was at Del Taco, I had another energy bar. After lunch the Oceanside group had another three miles to the train station. The San Diego group had about another forty to go.

The groups split at the Oceanside train station. John Martin, sans clips, muscled on to San Diego. I hope everything went smoothly for the five that went to San Diego. The final count for Oceanside: Total of 63 miles, average speed of 15.3, maximum speed (downhill or course, I think I got around 27 on the flats) of 34.8, with a total riding time of 3 hours, 54 minutes. We even got to the station with about 30 minutes to spare and that is including the unplanned stop in Laguna Beach.

As I said, this is the pre-ride. In two weeks, on 27 May, I will attempt the 100 mile ride from Santa Ana to San Diego. I felt fine and not tired after 63, I am sure I can do 100. This time, since it is the official ride, there will be a support car following us, just in case there is a flat or is someone pulls out...or if one forgets his shoes or breaks a crank.

Sorry there are no pictures, it is kinda hard to ride and snap photos at the same time. Debbie took some photos, when I get those I will post them up. No one got photos of John's ghetto foot straps or Steve's broken crank.

UPDATE: Thanks to Debbie and Eric, I posted the pictures. Of course I had to represent The Yellow Swarm with my yellow undershirt, shoes, sunglasses, and yellow trim helmet.

11 May 2007

Is there a doctor in the house?

Imagine you, or someone close to you, is in need of medical attention and you scream the words, "I need a doctor, now!" Obviously, you want someone with better medical knowledge than yourself, a 'doctor'.

But, there seems to be more than one kind of doctor. I am not just talking about a pediatrician, dentist, dermatologist, optometrist, etc. Those are real doctors and have earned the right to be called that. I am talking about doctors of philosophy, art, history, english...etc. No medical training, whatsoever! If I have a deep cut on my leg, I will need stitches, not a theory on impressionists.

I have a friend that is studying to be a doctor. That is hardcore dedication. First (forgive me if i missed a few steps) there is pre-med, regular med, rotations, residency, internship...then some more stuff...then you get to be called 'doctor'. That is a lot to learn and go through just to get started in an industry.

Hey, I went to a junior college for a few years, then went to an art college and "studied" toy design. Now, I sit there and basically make toys all day...easy! Nothing compared to what doctors do. As far as helping and healing people, all I can offer is a band aid, maybe a toy if you are good.

Then we get people who are 'doctors' because they studied and wrote papers on philosophy, art...you know what I am talking about...and they get to be called 'doctor'??? Yeah, I know you worked hard to get your degree, but are you helping anyone??? You will get no such respect from me. Hey, I will give you the term 'professor', since all you pretty much do is teach your subject.

So, here is my idea. Only people that have proper medical training and are recognized by the board (I am sure that there is a governing body somewhere in Washington), can be called 'doctor'. They have to have those cool diplomas in their office and were white coats with long tails and have pens in the pockets.

All other 'doctors', shall have that title revoked and reinstated as 'professor' upon further review from the board in Washington. Oh, those scientist that have the long white coats and pens...and lack proper medical training...sorry, you do not get to be called 'doctor' either.

Okay, I will make one exception...Dr. Emmet Lathrop Brown.