Saturday, December 29, 2007


Wilder Path, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

I have to play games in order to trick myself to ride on the road in wet wintry weather. Maybe say I am going to meet someone, or promise myself some pizza aftwerwards.

And I'll still lay in bed and make excuses and sleep in with the warm kitties.

But, if its an mtb ride in the drizzle, then the kitties and the covers are tossed aside.

Where's breakfast? I got a ride to do.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Not the Camera Phone

Wilder Doorstop, originally uploaded by sabinedukes.

I am spending waaaaaay too much time in Photoshop these days. And I spend most of my time there trying to look like I am not spending any time there.

But thank goodness for Photoshop.

Back in college I would spend hours in the darkroom fidgeting with some inconsequential detail until I went either cross-eyed or broke. Usually both.

Except...photoshop is fun and all, but nothing quite captures that moment of magic when your photo is in the developer and the picture slowly appears.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Drunken Yams

I lost the actual recipe to this long ago. Since i make it by taste now, I have no idea of the quantities of ingredients. All I know is I love me some drunken yams.

Ingredients -

Yams - peeled and quartered into big bite sized chunks
Orange Marmalade - the gross kind with the peels and stuff in the jam
Fresh Squeezed orange juice - fresh. Not the nasty orange juice that comes in a milk carton. You need the orange bits for this recipe.
Mace, Allspice, Nutmeg, ginger - I think those are the names of them. All those pumpkin pie, eggnog kind of spices. I just go digging around my mom's cabinets and smell the spices to pick them out.
Butter - any dish worth eating has butter. For you vegan people, pick your favorite butter replacement.
Dark Rum - Cuban rum is best because its naughty, but Myers will do as well. If you really really can't use rum (then why even read this)you will need to add some amount of brown sugar instead.
Marshmallows - please don't!! I'm not sure who first starting putting marshmallows in yams and calling it a dish, but please don't.
Pecans, Walnuts or sunflower seeds

Put Yams, 2-3 tablespoons butter, about 3-4 tablespoons marmalade, juice from 2-3 oranges (and if you are feeling it, grate a bit of the peel in as well)and about a cup (or more!!) of dark rum into a casserole dish. Cover and bake at some moderate temperature (maybe 375?) for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Add mace, allspice, ginger etc to taste. Add more juice, marmalade, etc to taste if needed. Dish will sweeten up considerably at end.

Cover and put back in oven until yams are almost done (about one hour, you can also do all of this in a microwave for about 30 minutes)

Uncover, stir, add nuts, maybe reseason one more time, definately add more rum. Put back in oven UNCOVERED for another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and put on high heat on stove. Uncover and stir until sauce carmalizes into yummy goodness all over the yams.

Serve with a really big spoon.

We enjoyed ours with a yummy Tempranillo from the Hootch.

And Laura, I don't think we saved you any.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I've been taking my new camera out for some lunch rides. But lunch is long enough for neither, much less both.

I wasted a perfectly good lunch ride yesterday taking some pretty stupid photos of buzzards and trees.

See, I carry the equipment in a backpack. If I see something I want to take a picture of, I have to stop, take off my gloves, open the backpack, determine which lens and filter to use, take a light meter reading, calculate exposures, focus, click, look at the picture in the review, recalculate exposure, click, change lenses, get frustrated because the buzzards aren't doing anything interesting anymore, wait for buzzards to do buzardy things, finally give up and pack up camera, put on backpack, put on gloves, clip in to bike and watch as all the buzzards spread their wings and do some weird buzzard bird dance with each other just as some light breaks through a cloud and shines perfectly on them.

I might have to go back to the camphone

LIke oooze from a black hole

Between work and riding and christmas shopping for myself, I have been chipping away at "The Men of Cross"


Monday, December 17, 2007


I am too soft for cross.

Cuz there's no way in hell I would have raced in the conditions they had in Kansas City this past weekend. Frost nip, crashing in icy puddles, snow ruts.

But the hardcore award has to go to the pit crews. Washing bikes in the freezing cold? I'd just cry and walk away.


Instead, I spent the weekend in the luxury of my own house. The only time I ventured outside was to ride over to Demo. Yes, ride over to Demo. That is what is luxurious about my house. I can ride to a place like Demo.

It really shouldn't be that way. We should have patches of earth to ride and walk no matter where we live. It wouldnt be that hard if you planned for it. And then, maybe more people would give a damn about whats happening to it. (and maybe we wouldn't be so obese)

As it is now, nature is place that people go visit. We fence off little sections of it to be traveled to and ooooed and awwwed at. Vacations planned around it and RV reservations made.


There's talk that we might have passed one of those global warming tipping points. The northwest passage will be clear for the first time, some thirty years ahead of when climatologists expected. And what does this alarming news inspire countries to do? Well, to fight over it of course, and lay claim to the riches such a passage opens up.


I'm not sure what I think of all that. Its too early on a Monday morning for such thoughts. I really only meant to talk about Cross Nationals and somehow the conversation wandered over to this. I hate when that happens. Its so sobering and grown up.

Nothing a little bike ride at lunch won't solve though.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Poofter of Light

I rode by the Thomas Kincade World Headquarters today.

God is a limited edition of 15,000.

It was pretty scary. I should have taken camphone pictures, but I felt all trespassy. And all the god stuff was freaking me out. I don't know why, because churches don't freak me out. Maybe its the mix of the corporate offices with the god stuff that was messing with me. Maybe its all that use of surreal pastel.

Whatever it was, it made me glad that I work at a motocross company.

But you gotta give old Thomas some props. He is an artist (yes, I know we could argue that point) that got rich before he died of alcoholism and without relying on tshirt and watch sales to do it. Of course, there is still time for him to wreck his life with drink I suppose.

But anyhoo, Kincade bashing is too easy and not really the point. The point really was, that no one here in my office has ever seen the Kincade World Headquarters. They've also never seen the quarries that are now cute little lakes, or the turtles that live in the mud at the reservoirs, or the little old ladies that plant the flowers along some sidewalks, or the big hippo sculptures, or the bobcat that is always hanging around the model airplane field. And they've lived in Morgan Hill all their lives.

After I described the creepy world headquarters, my coworker said, "you sure see a lot of stuff while on your bike, don't you?"


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Encino Men

Michael and I went down to Encino this weekend. Willingly. Well, I didn't go so willingly. I went because Michael wanted to go and he is very cute and so usually gets his way.

He wanted to go because there was a 400 lap (that is not a misprint) $10,000 (also not a misprint) scratch race on Sunday. $10,000? We could run Velo Bella for two years on that. I can think of few women's races of any kind that give out that kind of prize money. I can think of no track races. But in SoCal, money grows on trees (just like water and gasoline and nail salons) and so they can throw this kind of cash at stuff like this I suppose.

400 laps. At least the earning of that cash would not be easy. 400 laps of a track may not sound like much, unless you have ridden on the track. Everything about the track is amplified times ten. A small teeny one foot gap on the track is like a 100 foot gap on the road. And a 6 minute race feels like a one hour crit. Time on the track is time spent stuck in fast forward. So you can get out the ten key to figure out what a 400 lap track race feels like.

We headed down The Five (freeways in SoCal are proper nouns)(The Five is an abomination of a road by the way)Saturday night and clicked off the miles, looking forward to the king sized bed awaiting us in Van Nuys. Whenever we travel, we like to get the king sized bed. We are like two kids when we see a king sized bed. Two naughty doctor playing kids, but kids nonetheless.

However, just before the approach to the Grapevine we noticed a sign that said the Grapevine was closed. I think we both read it and took the same few moments to comprehend what that really meant. And thats because its so incomprehensible. The Grapevine is 4 heavily traveled lanes of traffic in each direction. Saying the Grapevine is closed is sort of like saying the state of Kansas is closed. Something that big, can't "close".

We took the exit and looked for a hotel. With thousands of drivers abandoning the highway, we thought we would be forced to spend the night in Sputnik, but suprisingly, the Ramada had a room. And it had a king sized bed!

Unfortunately, this Ramada used something nasty and caustic in their laundry and Michael spent half the night in the throes of an allergy attack of some kind. He was caughing and choking and really making a gawdawful amount of noise. I was having a very tough time sleeping. So I kicked him out of the king sized allergenic bed and he spent the rest of the night on the floor. I used the opportunity to sleep totally cross ways on the bed.

We got up early and the road was open. We discovered the freeway was closed for a whopping 3 inches of snow. But we remembered that lady in the hotel who was all pissed off because she couldn't get to Burbank and it was all the Ramada check in guy's fault and someone had to pay for this as it just wasn't fair and didn't anyone understand how important it was for her to get to Burbank who's in charge here anyway, and we agreed that closing the freeway probably saved about 87 selfish insulated lives.

We arrived at the Encino velodrome (after a quick visit to IHOP which I love because they give you your very own pot of coffee) bright and early. Michael registered and I fiddled with my new camera. Michael made some new friends. I read a book. Michael warmed up on the trainer. I ate a bagel. Michael put on his racing gear. I looked at my shoes for a very long time and wondered if I should buy another pair of Danskos.

Then I went to watch the messenger race. That was fun. They got to race with cool clothes on. The kind of clothes that wouldn't get you kicked out of a bar in Texas. I have no idea who won that race, because I was too busy trying to figure out how to get my camera to focus and taking pictures of their shoes.

Then Michael's fan club showed up. A real live fan club. They had tshirts and everything. They reminded me of Mel and that scared me a little. But they had beer and were adorable and so it was okay.

Michael's race started off pretty civilized but as soon as it wound up, I could see something was not right with Michael. I can tell instantly by how he moves on the bike. And by the the fact that he wasn't off the front.

He pulled out after about 20 laps and I saw him in the infield (through my new very cool telephoto lens) wheezing in the infield. It scared the crap out of me but they wouldn't let anyone in the infield and I couldn't do anything. So I got a beer and took pics and contemplated my Dansko situation again.

The race had a halftime break and Michael escaped the infield. Apprently, his throat was still messed up from the hotel and he had some kind of allergy or asthma attack and couldn't breathe. Pretty scary and I won't joke in this part and I hope he goes and sees a doc about it but he doesn't listen to me.

The good news was he was full of some good natured piss and vinegar from being denied a chance at a race he was looking forward to. He started a great heckling/cheering section in the NorCal seats that made the SoCal audience look like storefront mannequins.

We all had a good time the rest of the afternoon being the fans of the sport that we are. In the end, the race whittled down to five riders and Curtis Gunn won. I think. I sort of lost interest after the DeWalt tool dude dropped out.

The drive home was uneventful, except for the part where I fell asleep while Michael was sleeping.

More pics here

Monday, December 10, 2007

Adventures of Encino Man

Coming soon......

Shiny lights

Eek, a week with no post.

Not that I haven't written any blogs, because I have. But they were all in my head. They were pretty good too. The ones in my head usually are. Its not until the reality of the words on "paper" do I realize that I am only brilliant in my own mind.

But anyway, these blogs, which were about mountain lions and nutty mud women and ridiculous yoga poses, never made it past the grey matter.

Because I have been distracted with an old wordless love.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Its time

I went out on my lunch ride today, not because I felt I had to, or because I knew I would feel better afterwards, or so that I could eat a bigger dinner...but because I needed to.

As if there were no other reasonable option.

And then, riding along at the walk-like pace that I have adopted these past few happened.

I wondered what it would feel like to suddenly spring cat like from my pedals. To mash power down and pull it back up. To ride the tailwind at motorized speeds.

I'm not going to push it, but, I think its almost time.

He just has to fix my shifting first...


Last week sometime, I made a dentist appointment for 8:00 this morning. I forgot all about it until Michael just reminded me this evening.

8:00 on a Monday morning? What was I thinking? I'm lucky to remember where I work on a Monday morning much less to remember something as unmemorable as a dentist appointment.

I also forgot that my mom had planned a short visit for yesterday afternoon. Michael and I were just about to drive away on some random errand when my mom pulled into our driveway. Oh, oopsie! Hi Mom.

Not that my mom and dental appointments have anything in common. They don't. Well, except for the guilt about not flossing. And earlier I was a little hard on myself for being so addled and forgetful. But I'm going to call the momma one a fluke, and the 8:00 Monday morning one was just stupid in the first place.


The camera phone was feeling spunky today

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy Christmas to meeeee

Because if I got another bike, I would explode.