Friday, December 21, 2007

singlespeeding in December

nothing quite like a greenbelt singlespeed ride in 70 degree December weather. Although I have commuted several times on my SS, I have not done a greenbelt ride since James and Chris crashed into each other last month. Trails were virtually empty, I came across one group of riders heading back as I was heading out. I had a little trouble on mini Moab and some of the ledges, but I retried and got them. I have to get more time on this Fox fork and tune it in properly -- I think there was too much air/not enough sag and too little rebound damping, causing me to bounce out. I felt slow, but I expected that.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

biking goals for next year

looking at how out of shape I have gotten this year, due to hamstring injury, work,friends all getting injured,etc., I need to come up with a plan for getting in shape for next year -- the first race goal is Terilingua, which is 2 months away. I may resort to spin classes for the winter, as it is very difficult to get the biking hours in during the week. Rollers are okay, but they are very monotonous. NIght riding is difficult, since I dont like soloing it, and the usual suspects to ride with me have broken limbs. So the winter plan is roughly -
-Progress Coffee ride or long greenbelt ride every Sunday (50 miles)
-Monday "off" or light commute
-Tuesday - singlespeed ride early morning, yoga evening
-Wed - spin class or rollers
-Thursday - morning /midday ride, yoga evening
-Friday - post work ride
-Saturday- ATC ride or some hill route.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


looking at my last post two days after my playing spree. Totally dorked out there.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


situational awareness helps to smack these kids around. My favorite weapon combo is BR+ shotgun or mauler and throw grenades liberally. Battle Rifle for medium to long distance, shotgun for close range. I have yet to get decent with the energy sword or spartan laser. New heroic map pack is fun, except for Foundry as it is currently offered only as a 6 vs 6 map on matchmaking, which is far too many for such a tiny map. Rat's Nest is the best of the bunch -- it turns into a massive urban vehicle battle. Standoff is great for capture the flag or bomb games. If someone competent grabs the laser and camps on top of their base, it can get quite nasty - clear line-of-site virtually anywhere on the map.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


finally got around to seeing this movie on DVD, what a poor move. The only redeeming value to it was Mark Kozelik's(Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) guest appearance as the leader of the fictional band in the movie, and the usage of the song "Carry Me Ohio". Otherwise, the music usage in the movie alone drove me batty -- how often did they have to play that same sequence of string notes? Over and over and over.

Friday, December 07, 2007

soon,very soon!

Originally uploaded by tylernol
my bike came back from paint on monday, I got some photos of it sent to me yesterday, it looks pretty darn nice. Sacha says the green is far more vibrant in person, the pictures dont do it justice. I am pretty excited. No more new bikes fore a while though, this broke the piggy bank!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


first triple in a team game. happened right when I turned 33. weird.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

gizmo happy as a clam

gizmo happy as a clam
Originally uploaded by tylernol
I am slowly figuring this camera out. It takes great shots in well-lit situations. The flash and low-light performance are lame. I would probably figure it out faster if I RTFM.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

new (sortof) music

I snagged the MMJ EP "Chocolate and Ice" on colored vinyl at Waterloo this weekend. Sounds great! The phone conversation on it is a bit weird, but gives a window into their lives a few years back. I downloaded the new Radiohead a few weeks ago, it has been slowly growing on me -- "All I Need" is a favorite. And I stumbled across an obscure band in my friend Sean's iTunes folder --
Joy Zipper, which is a small band from Long Island, which does the psychedelic /Elephant Six style rock I enjoy so much quite well. "Dosed and Became Invisible" has been on repeat for the last 2 days.

Friday, November 09, 2007

halo 3 - crack!

I have been feeling a need to play a first-person shooter for a couple of years and I finally succumbed when Halo 3 came out. It looks fantastic on my flatscreen TV and online is fun, I am trying not to get frustrated by getting fragged by 6 year olds. The XBox360 is insanely loud though -- I though Microsoft had fixed the thing with 65 nm chips, but it sounds like a vacuum cleaner the whole time. Architecturally , Microsoft did the right thing with the XBox360 -- supposedly it is easy to program for, and it has plenty of power. Proof of that is games that look great and have been released relatively on time.. Halo 3, Bioshock, Gears of War, Mass Effect, all look great. They just blew it with the cooling design with their rush to market, hence the bad rep the console has now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

patagonia footprints

it's nice to see patagonia showing their entire supply chain and sourcing philosophy. Even when they outsource oversees, they ensure that their contractors are audited for build quality and builder quality of life.

vanilla frame

frame unpainted
Originally uploaded by tylernol
here is a photo of my brazed vanilla frame at the workshop. It looks darned nice even unpainted. Nice simple elegant lugs, lovely polished dropout detail. sweet!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

bad refs

how much are the colts paying these dirty fucking refs to call against the patriots???

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

vanilla eta: December

Sacha has built my frame and fork, and it is now queued up for paint at #7, which means roughly 6 weeks. So hopefully I will get it on or around my birthday! I ended up having him build a rally-style road frame with clearance for cross tires , long read road caliper brakes, S & S couplings for travel, carbon fenders for crap weather.
The frame is a lugged frame, compact geometry, based on his measurements of me in may and the IF crown jewel measurements from last year. I am leaving the paint up to him,he likes painting his frames a certain way, and I am fine with that. I will leave my loud color schemes for my IF and Vicious stable.
My singlespeed is due for some dent repair and a repaint, I think I will paint it an old school "kandy wild cherry", which will be fun.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


what's this? Polycom's margins are getting squeezed? "If sales will increase 37% this quarter, even as the more forgiving "pro forma" flavor of earnings increases only about 26%, I'd say that suggests some margin compression. Such a squeeze would seem to conflict Polycom's assertion that its strongest growth is coming in its most profitable business line"


Friday, October 05, 2007

gizmo in action

gizmo in action
Originally uploaded by tylernol
nice thing about my new camera is that it has a faster "shutter" speed/ integration time compared to my older cameras, so now it is easier to take action shots like this!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

fox f29

speedgoat shipped my fox f29 yesterday, I am pretty excited about it. The Reba has been decent, but it never really matched up with the quality of the fox I had on my old racer-x. What I may do is keep the Reba at 100m and then run the f29 at 80mm and swap between them, since both require being opened up and rebuilt in order to modify the travel. 80 mm = race, WC, 100 mm = greenbelt, CP.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

canon G9

first replacement in my burglery recovery is a new camera -- I went with the Canon G9. Not as portable as the SD650 I had before, but it has a lot more control in it and better sensors and processing capabilities, so it's one step closer to  a DSLR. I love the feel of it and the old-school buttons and looks. It has a nice weight to it. Do I need 12.1 Mpixels? No. But larger prints are a possibility, which will be nice, since my sister's wedding is 3 weeks away.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

allergies ..

it has not been raining much recently, but now the ragweed is totally out of control because of the rainy spring and summer. Neti pot helps a bit, but I still have to take sudafed or clariten which makes me tired and grouchy. grr.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

patriots spy scandal

i dont see the big deal.. dont all the teams in football and baseball examine the signaling on the sidelines and try to correlate it to the plays being run? I thought that was why wireless headsets were becomming prevalent?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

more RS6 Avant eye-candy

it is a crime it is not coming to the states. The sedan may, which is great, but I love the stealth factor of a high performance station wagon -- it is just far more subtle than a Porsche or Jaguar. Too bad AoA does not think American buyers "get it". So it looks like I am stuck with the S4 Avant, it would be nice to go a bit larger, but I'll survive.

Monday, September 10, 2007

RS6 Avant

I'll take one in Daytona Gray please!

Friday, September 07, 2007

so long racer-x!

it was a good ride, I am sure you will be happy in your new home. *sob*

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

rides so far this week

I tried the Progress Coffee 50 mile east Austin road ride on Sunday, very fast paced, no steep hills like the ATC ride, so my clydesdale status did not hurt me that much. Monday I started out towards a solo Mt. Bonnel ride but it started raining, so I did rollers for an hour. And last night James,Chris, and I did an urban ride on my cross bike around Town/LadyBird Lake in the rain, it was fun, but I was encased in mud by the end.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

vanilla build starts this week

got an e-mail from Sacha today. He is starting work this week on my "swoopy 29r". It should be pretty sweet. In a weird way , I almost hope I dont love it, because if I do, it will be 4 years before I can get another from him. :(

Friday, August 31, 2007


Cycle Chic
Originally uploaded by [Zakkaliciousness]
what a country!

Monday, August 27, 2007

bye gonzo!

what a fuckhead. About time.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

2 lessons from today's ATC ride

1- triathletes have no bike handling skills, give them a wide berth.
2- always bring a rider ID-card or cell phone with ICE contacts.

new new pornographers

I totally missed that this was coming out this week and had to be reminded by a co-worker, I grabbed the vinyl/mp3 download at Waterloo on Thursday night. Overall, it is very good, very catchy and well-written. Not very ambitious in terms of new artistic directions, however, they are still a great pop band. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

damn rain!

well it is hurricane season again, so now is the time it does usually rain. I was trying to be as optimistic as possible today. Ignored the clouds, unloaded my bike, started putting on my helmet, and then it started pouring.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Garmin GPS unit, getting to 10 hours week

I received my Garmin GPS Edge 305 last week and attached the cadence and speedometers which seem to work, I still have not figured out the actual gps functionality, I need to sit down with the manual, or bring the manual along on my next ride. 
 My plan is to get to 10 hours a week of riding and stick with that as consistantly as possible going into December. Last week I managed 7 hours -- Sunday greenbelt ride, Tuesday greenbelt ride, Friday Mt. Bonnel ride, and Saturday ATC ride. I detoured a bit on my ATC ride and did 44 miles total. It was great to actually see how far I had gone. 

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


it has been sunny for over a week now, i have been bogged down in a hellish release at work, and now my allergies are kicking in. bleh.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

vanilla build time approaches

build date is supposed to be in two weeks I believe, but I suspect it will be later than that. This guy has a similar idea to what I want, except i was thinking of sticking with disc brakes and trying to put more retro curves into it.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

two days of sun in a row?

no way. Must be a joke.

Friday, July 27, 2007

rain rain rain rain rain rain

rain rain rain rain rain rain go way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

early AM ride

got up at 6 this morning, walked Gizmo, and then did the Mt.  Bonnel loop in about 90 minutes. Perfect weather. Very little traffic going out, coming back, I was dodging SUV's flying downtown.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

still relegated to road riding

it does not appear to be possible to go two days without a rainstorm in Texas this year. I have not attempted to ride the Greenbelt in over a month now and my singlespeed and groover are collecting dust in the "bike room".  So more road-riding it is. I road about 45-50 miles yesteday on an improvised dam loop ride starting from where 360 cycleworks used to be. I did not cramp up, as 1/2 the people in my group did,  I attribute that to yoga and drinking proper fluids, and staying reasonably in shape on weekly rides; I was terribly slow on the hill climbs, I have to drop the 10 lbs I have gained this year during my hamstring injury recovery.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Sync In Progress
Originally uploaded by tylernol
I caved to peer pressure, materialism, geekness, yuppie-ism, and bought an Apple iPhone on Friday. It's lovely, and I am glad I went for it.
Call quality is far better than my Razr, I have my work, google, and apple e-mail accounts configured, it can access the wi-fi at home and at work and I will be adding Bouldin Creek, Jo's, Whole Foods, etc, wi-fi as I go there. I almost dont really need a laptop anymore. e-mail is great, web-browsing is fairly convenient, so it is good enough for the coffee shops. Annoyances -- typing takes getting used to and entering passwords is a pain since there is no option to see the password you are typing. No iChat or Messenger. There should be. SMS emulates ichat, but it is not quite the same. And no GPS or cell-tower triangulation to help with google maps, which really sucks.

final fantasy xii completionism..

found the yagyu darkblade ninja sword, and built the whale whisker pole, both are useful combo weapons against the higher level mobs. The yagyu ninja sword is supposed to be very useful against the final hidden boss. I am focusing next on the bow and gun weapons. 

Thursday, June 28, 2007

vicious finally has the fleisher's jersey back in stock. It's a classic, who wouldnt want to look like a cut of meat?


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

v8 twinturbos oh my.

they are finally doing coupes again.  I like my avant wagon a lot but the rear legroom is tight, not that great for more than 2 and a dog in the trunk. Perhaps a larger, less powerfull station wagon with better ground clearance and then get one of these? hmm.

Monday, June 25, 2007

more rain

this rain in Austin is getting ridiculous.  The greenbelt is never going to dry out this year at this rate :(  More yoga and road riding I guess.

Friday, June 22, 2007

almost done with FF12

I have been playing this game since early March, the gameplay is amazing and the game itself is huge. There are tons of sidequests and optional bosses to fight. I have 3 espers, and a few optional bosses remaining, their difficulty is a couple of notches above the main storyline bosses -- in other words, brutal. Here's a sample of fafnir:

Friday, June 15, 2007

bike commuting

I commuted to work yesterday by bike, it was crazy hot out. And I forgot my bike lock at home, so I had to lug it up to the office. I wish I could do that every day, rather than have to chain it up downstairs, it feels safer in my office. Unfortunately, the building managers have a policy against bikes in the offices, a policy they have had since the Vignette days, when employees did lunchtime greenbelt rides and carried their bikes back inside. Not "professional" for the mortgage companies on the first floor I guess.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

singlespeed ride, gizmo kills a crow

I rode Walnut Creek on my singlespeed last night, that was the first time I had ridden WC all year, and still one of the first few singlespeed rides this year after my hamstring injury. It is amazing to see how built up the trails are up there. Mark Heneke has done a great job. I feel like I have good endurance but I just feel slow. Dropping the 10+ lbs I have gained this winter will help out -- bike commuting to work and at least 4 rides a week will contribute a lot.

Gizmo has killed his second animal this year. He snagged a crow, or some other black bird, that was on the ground and taking off -- he jumped up and grabbed its wing and brough it down and bit it a couple of times. I got him out of the park quickly as there were about 20 pissed birds squawking up a storm and diving at him.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


I have not even gotten my vanilla built and I am already eyeballing 953 frames. They are priced as high as titanium, which makes me wonder how sensible they are. Probably more sensible for a large rider rather than TI, but I am a bit worried about dent-resistance, it seems susceptible. A 953 frame seems like it would make sense for a lightweight steel road bike, but not for a mountain bike.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

death to yuppies

some ner-do-well on a Wal-mart mongoose bike said that to me as I stepped out of my Audi to get some lunch at Flip Happy Crepes. Funny.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

getting back into shape

I am about 10 lbs over where I was last year, it should not be difficult to lose, if I stick with my plan of commuting to work at least twice a week, 3 yoga classes, and 3-4 bike rides, with the intent of getting to regularly riding the 50 mile ATC dam loop this summer, and doing something like 24 miles/ 3 laps at muleshoe or some backtrail on the greenbelt. The ATC ride this past Saturday was difficult -- I tried keeping up with the "A"'s for a little while but got dropped on a long uphill. And singlespeeding on the greenbelt last night was a bit painful as well - I got myself dehydrated and was suffering. Question for myself is -- should I quit rowing? I have not done it all year.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

fixed gear mower!

fixed gear mower!
Originally uploaded by tylernol.
bought a nice Brill push mower a few weeks ago. No noisy, polluting gas motor to deal with, nor annoying batteries or cords associated with an electric. My front and back yards are not exactly small, and it does get snagged on twigs and tall grass, but it feels good to mow the lawn in this manner.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Sacha with my frankenbike fit
Originally uploaded by tylernol.
went to Portland,OR this past weekend for three reasons. One - check out Portland,OR as a potential next place to live, if my current job does not work out and/or I get tired of Austin. Two- visit my friend Elizabeth, who moved out there last year for culinary school. Three - get fitted for a new bike at Vanilla. Portland was very nice, it did not rain at all when I was visiting, it has an amazingly strong bike culture and loads of hipsters, I even ran into Stephen Malkmus at the coffee shop.
my bike is going to be pretty cool..

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

mt. bonnel

tyler and jose on mt. bonnel
Originally uploaded by tylernol.
I did the full mt. Bonnel /Shoal Creek ride with James and Jose last night. I was a bit sluggish, but I did not feel like my hamstring was underpowered. Now and then there was a little twitch of pain in it, so I backed off. Today, my legs are sore, but it is a normal type of soreness from doing ~ 30-40 miles.

Monday, April 09, 2007

gizmo: squirrel killer

gizmo scanning for squirrels
Originally uploaded by tylernol.
Gizmo got his first squirrel Saturday. The scene -- it is raining, I am walking Gizmo leashless past my neighbors house, he spots one a squirrel in the driveway, minding its own business and being a good tree rat. Gizmo sneeks up to about 10 feet away, the rain helped. He bolts after it, it trys getting to the closest tree, but he snags it in his teeth and shakes it to death. The squirrel screamed and let out a death gasp as well. Gizmo was thrilled.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

hamstring recovery

So I had a grade 2 left hamstring pull pre-riding the course at Terilingua in Febuary, which really sucked. I am mostly recovered now, after spending mucho dinero going to physical therapy and weekly massage. It is still not 100%, and gets a bit ache-y after a long ride, like last night's Mt. Bonnel/ Shoal Creek ride. I am up about 8 lbs since the beginning of the year, so I have some major training to do before the MS150 in two weeks.
So in my reduced activity, I have gotten addicted to RPG video games again -- Final Fantasy XII has sucked up 60 hours of my life in the past month, and I think I am about 1/3 of the way into it. The gameplay is very complex but addicting -- it is a great feeling to defeat boses such as this one:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

my new hi-fi system is here

Originally uploaded by tylernol.
after 2 years of mulling it over, I finally bought it when I moved to my new house. Audio Research Vs55i amp, dynaudio 220 speakers, it sounds great. I probably need a standalone tuner, and a power conditioner and a better phono pre-amp, but all of that will have to wait a bit.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Originally uploaded by tylernol.
after almost going nuts with all the rain and ice, I bought these a week ago and have managed to figure them out, I can stay on for 10 plus minutes and I am improving quickly. It was very daunting at first, and I cannot put the rollers on the hardwood floor like you see here because if I start losing my balance, the rollers go skidding across the floor. The deck outside works fine, and the new rug I got also works.

Friday, January 26, 2007

SSWC2007 in Scotland

this year the singlespeed world championships are in Scotland. I went in 2005 when it was in State College,PA, and had a blast. Last year was in Stockholm,Sweden and I really wish I went as I really want to visit Sweden(nothing to do with the plethora of tall blondes there I swear). After talking with a Swede I met in Florence, I have a list of things to check out in Sweden, which I could combine with a trip to Scotland. So -- fly first to Scotland for the SSWC and stay a few days there checking out Scotland, which is high on my list of places to visit. And then fly or take a boat over to Sweden for about a week.

Friday, January 19, 2007

latest LP

someone sold their AC/DC collection to Waterloo, most were in pretty bad shape, but I managed to snag this copy of Back in Black, which is in pretty good shape -- it needs cleaning, but no scratches. I also finally got Red House Painters II and Ocean Beach on CD, it was time for me to stop mooching them off Sean's iTunes collection at work.
I also picked out my new eyeglass frames today - a really nice blue pair of Alain Mikli frames. My eyesite is quite bad now -- I will probably be wearing them all the time, so this will be the most major appearance change for me since I grew my beard out over a year ago.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

ice storm, Pan's Labrynth

I ventured off to work for about 4 hours in the middle of the day yesterday before it started icing up again. I grabbed some more food to stock my kitchen a bit better and stopped by Design Within Reach to order some cubit shelving -- the size is perfect for LP's and I can reconfigure the shelving as my needs change. I have to figure out my carpeting situation - I need some area rugs. I also saw Pan's Labrynth last light at Drafthouse S. Lamar with some friends -- we could not take being cooped up any more. I thought it was probably Guillermo Del Toro's best movie yet. It was definitely a fairy tale, but more in the Grimm's fairy tale model. It was extremely beautiful in many scenes, but graphically disturbing in others. I could not bear to watch the Captain stitch up his slashed mouth. The only thing I did not like about it was how it tried too hard to drop clues about what would happen later in the movie -- how many times did we have to see the knife wrapped up in the dress?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

austin ice storm

took forever to get my DSL service operational, but finally I have connectivity, which is good because I am effectively marooned inside my house today. The ice storm has made it quite trecherous to drive, let alone walk, outside. I should have bought more food becuase I all bought the other night at whole foods was a quart of butternut squash apple soup, wasabi peas, bacon, whole yogurt,cheese, a case of session ale, and a 6-pack of some wheat beer, banana, and some baby carrots. I have already consumed the soup and half the package of bacon, and all the wasabi peas, so I am down to carrot, banana, cheese, and beer. I have my turntable set up, so I am listening to some B-52's, which seems appropriate for some reason today.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


with the assistance of James and Jose, I moved from my apartment on S. Congress to my new house on S. First. I still have to clean up my apartment, but all my stuff is at my new place. Gizmo is a bit confused, but he loves the huge new backyard. New neighborhood coffee shop - Green Muse. New neigborhood bar -- G & S Lounge. I will still frequent S. Congress, but it is not walking distance like it used to be. I have a lot of unpacking to do and I am tired.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

new singlespeed wheelset

pink chris singlespeed king hubs
Originally uploaded by tylernol.
before I crashed the other night, I did manage to experience my brand new, "lightweight" (for me) singlespeed wheelset. My old wheelset was 36H king hub/rhino lite rims/brass nipples/heavy duty spokes, which was heavy. The new wheelset is 32H king hub/bontrager mustang rims/brass nipples/heavy duty spokes. I have not weighed them, but they are noticeably lighter than the rhino lite wheelset. I also moved the kenda nevagel tires over, they were rubbing in the chain stays on my vicious groover. No clearance issues on the stays of my indy fab.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

dented toptube on my singlespeed

ouch . Did a nightride on the greenbelt and my HID lamp went out right when I was crossing through a rock garden, causing me to crash very hard into some nasty rocks . I have a prominent dent in the toptube of my IF singlespeed and I bashed my right knee hard as well, causing it to swell up dramatically. It is very painful to bend it at the moment. I dont think I broke anything, it will just be very painful for a week or two. My IF is still rideable, the dent is cosmetic. When I get it repainted, they should be able to get rid of the dent or cover it up with some putty. It makes me think I should eventually get a straight-gauge Ti frame at some point - it would be more durable in crashes, and no paint to chip either.