I’ve still got my men’s basketball season ticket to the Richmond Spiders. Live sports are fun.
Rolling Stone : Stories from the Edge is a 4-hour, 2-part documentary from HBO about Rolling Stone Magazine. It tells the story from the magazine’s start in 60’s San Francisco and runs through the most recent US Presidential election.
I remember liking RS in high school (which was the mid-late-80’s ). My folks weren’t Rolling Stone people but I have a friend whose parents were and I usually read it when I was at his house.
There was a lot for me to enjoy in this documentary:
A lot of it was also a handjob to Baby Boomers. I get frustrated at the way a whole generation will take credit for simply being alive when large cultural shifts happened. You know how that Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine show sure did a great job of telling us how important Dr, Dre and Jimmy Iovene were? This RS thing is kind of like that. Yes, the magazine had an effect on culture, but it’s silly to suggest that it was a driving force of the culture.
I was cooking chili a could of weeks back and in my recipe research came across Alabama Firecrackers (as featured in Southern Living magazine). The recipe is easy enough, it just takes some time since you leave the crackers overnight in the oil and spice mixture.
16 oz package of saltine crackers
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp (2 packages) ranch dressing mix
3 Tbsp red pepper flakes (if you can handle the heat, add more)
2 cups olive oil
1. Using a large gallon Ziploc bag, pour in the olive oil, seasonings, and spices. Close the bag and knead to thoroughly mix the ingredients together.
2. Place all 4 sleeves of crackers in the bag, re-seal, and gently turn the bag over several times to coat the crackers with the spice mixture. The more times you do this the better the coating.
3. Let the bag sit overnight.
4. Remove crackers and lay out on a baking sheet. Bake at 250°F for about 15 minutes. (Note: If you are short on time, the crackers still taste great skipping the baking Step 4.)
Saltines hold up really well in all of that oil. I guess that makes sense since there is a whole pound of crackers in the bag. The red pepper flakes make them spicy, but not so aggressively so. They make a great partner to a bowl of chili and they’re not bad with a cube of mild cheese.
Took in the Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China exhibit this weekend and it was damn impressive. I’d read about the Terracotta Army before, but to see these 2000-year-old figures in person was humbling. It was shocking to see the level of detail that still exists in this clay. The horse and chariot, above, is a recreation based on the originals from the tomb network.
The below figures are the real-deal statues. You can see the detail in the hair and moustahces. It’s bonkers.
The exhibit runs through March of 2018, so check it out if you can.
Got out with Adam to the Ancarrow’s Landing Trail, better known as The Poop Loop. We parked over by Legend Brewing and made our way to one of the Slave Trail access points. Turns out there was one a lot closer to our spot and we’ll be ready next time. It was also cold.
The last time I was down here was with Stella and when she and I ride we stay at her pace. Since Adam and I didn’t have kids with us yesterday, I opened up the throttle a little bit as we made our way to the Loop. I opened it so much, in fact, that I had a solid crash when my front wheel got just slightly off the track and into some leaves and softer dirt. I was able to use my belly and arms to break my fall and I escaped with some scraped knees. It’s been worse.
I’m not an aggressive enough rider to really shred on the Poop Loop and it’s a track that rewards that kind of riding. It’s still fun (when I can stay upright).
After a lap there we backtracked up The Slave Trail to Belle Isle. There is a great MTB skills park on the island that we goofed around in for a little bit. Then it was a fireroad ride to Riverside Drive and back to the car. It’s been a long, long time since I fired up the cardio machine like that. I had almost forgotten how the cold air dregs up the wet cotton from the bottom of my lungs. Gross. I should do it more.
4:47am Unwelcome alarm clock but I set it so I’d have room for one Snooze.
4:54am I didn’t even make it through the whole Snooze. Disappointing.
5:40am Coffee in-hand, I’m in the car and driving. I’ve got to deliver a forgotten gym bag to another lifter so I need to get to Chesapeake by 7:30 (for my 8M weigh-in).
6:28am Construction cut I64 down to one lane but it only lasted 10 minutes. Still on time.
7:20am Parked at the Chesapeake Conference Center. Easy enough drive. Gym bag delivered. I could use a nap.
7:45am Nap cut short by a vendor who was trying to set up in my nap corner.
8:03am Weighed in. It’s not a stressful occasion when there isn’t a ceiling on your weight class. I declared openers of a 64kg snatch and a 92kg clean and jerk. Those are doable based on training results.
9:08am Potty break. Apologies to the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. I had to get that out. Like my old friend Bob used to say, “Better an empty apartment than an angry tenant”.
10:00am Group photo for the session.
(The timeline gets a little hinky in here because I was either backstage warming up or on the platform competing and I didn’t have my phone.)
10:10am-12pm Getting coached up by Chris. I am still such a newb at these things. I’d be lost without him. Seriously. The gifs below are my best lifts of the day, a 72 kg snatch and a 100kg clean and jerk for 172kg meet total.
I had 6 good lifts in 6 attempts and it all felt great. I’m probably a little stronger than my numbers suggest and meet-day adrenaline carried me even further.
12:15pm More friendly faces from my gym got to the venue for their weigh-ins. Even though it’s a solitary sport we definitely share the support you get from being on a team.
1:10pm I stuck around for the award ceremony from my session and got my 2nd place medal. It was easy, since there were only two people in my class.
1:15pm I wished everyone well and hit the road for home.
I’m already signed up for the next local meet, the Old Dominion Classic, in January. It’ll be fun.
Sunday Bikes 10/15/2017
Stella and I got out to Pocahontas State Park with Adam and Kaden for another crack at the Blueberry Hill Trail. Luckily, the rain we had during the week didn’t keep us off of the trail. It probably even helped a little bit since things had gotten sandy in the couple of weeks without rain.
This is the 4th(?) time we’ve been on Blueberry Hill and I think Stella’s getting the hang of it. In fact, she did such a good job there wasn’t a photo break. It is rated as an Easy trail in the park guide so there are very few technical (rocky or rooty) sections and none of the climbs/descents are too steep. It’s a fun ride for me, too, since I’m pretty damn far from cycling fitness.
Stella has started Nutcracker rehearsals so I don’t think we’re going to be able to keep riding on days she has to dance. She’s also a bit of a chicken about the cold, so she might not be on too much until the Spring. Luckily Adam got a new bike so there should at least be plenty of dad rides through the winter.
Stella has been working me to get out on the bike with her for months. I have been out of the bike riding mode for the last couple of years and, honestly, the couple of times she and I have been on the road for rides it has been way too stressful. On a lark, we took our bikes out to Pocahontas State Park to see how riding on some fire road trails would pan out and it ended up being a great time.
This is us on our first ride at the park. Fire road trails are wide open and multi-use so we saw joggers and hikers out there, too. The climbing was never steep and it didn’t go on very long, despite being marked as “moderate” difficulty. We got a little turned around and had to ride on the park road to get back to our car but it was still fun.
Our next time out we went with some friends. This was an “easy” difficulty single track trail called Blueberry Hill at Pocahontas State Park and Stella struggled a little bit. The climbs were short and never steep, but the lack of bailout room had Stella being extra tentative. It also raised the stress level for me because I really didn’t want to watch her take a dip off of the track into a tree. She had just a few slow-speed crashes and, as evidenced in the above photo, finished with a smile. We’ve been out to PSP a couple of times with this group and it’s been a lot of fun.
Stella and I took a Labor Day ride down to the James River Park System for some easy loops around Belle Isle. A sunny holiday meant that the place was packed but it was good practice for Stella’s share-the-road skills. That’s a photo of us on the rocks at the river. After a couple of laps around the island, we took off down the Richmond Slave Trail and Kanawha Canal. It was mostly riding on paved multi-use trail. Easy stuff and a good time.
I had heard of a downtown trail called the “Poop Loop” for it’s proximity to Richmond’s water treatment facility. The Loop is just under 2 miles long and sits at the far end of the Slave Trail. It was described as a good place for new riders to work on mountain bike skills, so we were stoked to get on it. Turns out, Stella needs some more seasoning before she can qualify as a “new rider”. It’s a pretty technical trail (meaning lots of roots and rocks with occasional felled trees) that had her super gun-shy by the end. It was not ideal, but she toughed it out. She’s no quitter.
Our most recent rise was new-to-us trail at PSP call Box Turtle. It was rated “easy”, but I am starting to think these rating are more about grade and less about trail obstructions. The roots and rocks here weren’t as bad as they were on the Poop Loop, but she was still reeling a bit from that misadventure and so was quick to dismount some rideable sections. She’ll come around, I’m sure.
And that catches us up to date. I’ll be sure and post up after our next ride.
Ain’t she a beaut? I’ve been bringing this Zojirushi 12oz stainless travel mug/thermos to work every day for the last couple of years. It’s the same size as a Tall from Starbucks but I can enjoy it for an hour if I just have a couple of hot ounces at a time.
We’ve had a couple of different Zojirushi products over the years and they’ve been useful and durable. The cute elephant logo is a nice bonus:
- The Music – Have Mercy! The soundtrack for this movie is so great. There is a Spotify playlist of the songs that I’ve been listening to non-stop. The way it is used in the movie is smart, too. I stuck around through the credits and saw that Kid Koala made all of Baby’s tape remixes. He’s an excellent DJ you should check out if you haven’t heard of him.
- The Driving – I’m a big fan of the Ken Block-style Gymkhana stunt driving videos and the car chases in Baby Driver are directly influenced by them. All of that crazy drifting and hand brake skidding is fun to watch.
- The Edgar Wright Stuff – Edgar Wright makes cool-looking movies that have lots of little treats for attentive viewers. His Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy is stuffed with signature scenes and moments that tie the whole thing together. It’s clever film making and I was ready to see what would be in Baby Driver. I noticed:
- the lyrics to the opening song show up as graffiti and on pasted-flyers in the background as Baby is walking to work
- the gunshots in the numerous firefights all seemed to be on the beat of the song that was playing at the time (this made a neat effect)
- the music in the film is just a little bit louder than you normally hear soundtracks in other movies (which I think is a nod to Baby’s tinnitus)
I’m recommending this movie to everyone who will listen. It’s a near-perfect summer movie.