Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cruel and Tacky

Nothing completes an outfit quite like a dead animal on your head.

Yes, this guy is wearing a dead red fox.

Saw him today while shopping at a warehouse club store.

Animal cruelty is a statement, but certainly not a fashionable one.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cycling Jersey Insanity

For people who have considered cycling, but just haven't made the leap into the sport yet, I am sure at least some of the hesitation must be due the hideousness of most cycling jerseys.

This one tops them all.

Yes, it's just what I always wanted, a cycling jersey that looks like I am wearing a wedding gown. My favorite detail on this stunning number is the peek at the bride's butt hat. Classy.

Of course, there's the male equivalent--a tuxedo cycling jersey:

Potential cyclists, let not these tacky togs deter you!

Saturday, January 19, 2008


In my pastor's homily this morning, he brought up a great point about today's readings (1 Sm 9:1-4, 17-19; 10:1 and Mk 2:13-17). Both of these stories are about being called and the call is heard by people in the midst of doing ordinary things; Saul is trying to find a couple of stray donkeys that got away from the herd and Levi is doing his job at a customs post.

My takeaway from these readings is it's a great reminder that God is with us all the time -- not only in the exciting and fantastic or even grief-stricken moments of our lives. Even the ordinary of everyday life is extraordinary, because God is there with me always.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

2008 Goals

Been thinking about goals for 2008, especially cycling goals.

Last year, my goal was to ride at least one century (100-mile ride). I did that three times over -- my first one ever on May 12, then on July 7, and the final one on October 7. Between the July and October one, I was off the bike for 2 months due to a shoulder injury sustained while doing some off-road biking.

The next logical goal would be to do a multi-day ride or harder century rides (e.g., more hills, tougher riding conditions). Or if I were really a glutton for punishment, randonneurring. It's safe to say that while randonneurring intrigues me from an endurance standpoint, I am not all that keen on 3 AM start times!
RAGBRAI is one of those must-do at least once in your lifetime deals. It also requires a lot of gear -- camping gear -- that I don't have. Plus I'm not sure I am ready to camp in a field with a few thousand of my closest friends.

MS150 is a good intermediate level challenge. 150 miles in two days. Not too hard -- I'm in the condition to do it now. Plus the dollars raised go to a good cause. There's a team at work I have been invited to join.

Team in Training is one of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's fundraisers. I hear it is a stunning ride, but also challenging. The other challenge is meeting the fundraising requirements, which are a substantial.

The Tornado Alley 100 is high on my list for its uniqueness (the ride touches 4 states in one day), its proximity to STL (it's in Joplin), and its fun jersey.

The Hotter 'n Hell 100 is compelling because of the conditions (August in Texas), but also because they claim to have one of the fastest 100-mile road courses. It would be very cool to be able to get a century done in under 5h:30m (so far my best time has been 6h:19m).
This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous. And uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Recycling Styrofoam

Ever wonder what to do with those huge chunks of styrofoam packing materials that come in appliance or computer boxes? Someone on the forum had the same question. Turns out, it is a little difficult to find resources who will take it for recycling, but not impossible.

Whole Foods will take your styrofoam while a lot of municipalities will not. There are currently two Whole Foods stores in the St. Louis area -- you can use their store finder to locate them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Three Monkeys

Hubby and I just tried a relatively new (open just a couple of months) restaurant last Thursday called Three Monkeys.

We ordered the Romeo's Red Wings tossed in Jamaican BBQ sauce. Having had some exposure to West Indian and Jamaican food -- maybe a little more than the average St. Louisan -- I had a hard time discerning what about these wings made them "Jamaican BBQ" style, but it didn't matter that much to me since they were pretty darned tasty. I also ordered a bowl of their chili, which, according to their menu has beer and tequila in it. If it does, I couldn't taste it or, if I did taste it, it didn't seem to add much to the flavor. The menu also says it is served piping hot. On a cold January evening, I was looking forward to a steaming bowl of chili, but it was served just a little warmer than lukewarm. The final nail in the coffin on the chili selection was the consistency. I hate to say it, but it looked like the consistency of Alpo. Sorry -- it's the truth, though. So, if I were you, I would give the chili a miss.

However, 3mstl redeemed itself with its wood-fired pizza. Boy oh boy, was it good! We had the "Quick-Sand" variety, which is topped with sausage, pepperoni, bacon, and andouille sausage. And, at the risk of offending my native St. Louisan friends, thank God there was no icky provel cheese on it -- mozzarella is the only way to go!

Their interior is by far one of the most beautifully done bar/pub spaces I have ever seen. The details of the wavy glass in the doors is captivating, the woodwork is so warm and inviting, and even the bathrooms are stylish.

They have half-price pizza Tuesday through Friday from 3 - 6 PM, and drink specials during the same hours. I look forward to trying other menu items in the future.

Monday, January 07, 2008

One for the Monty Python fans

I was registering on the site today and saw this in their list of security questions. In working in the web development world/IT, I have often joked this should be one of the security questions offered to users.

I am sure they shortened it in the interest of space, removing the term "velocity" from the question. Still funny, though.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Highway 40/I-64 Shutdown

Well in case you haven't heard -- and you should have if you live in/around the St. Louis metropolitan area -- MoDot closed a major portion of I-64 this week. Starting Jan. 2, I-64 (or highway 40 as it is affectionately known to many St. Louisans) was closed in both directions from Ballas to the I-170 interchange. It won't reopen again until December 31 of this year. Then, once that is reopened, all lanes in both directions will be closed between I-170 and Kingshighway for a year.

So far, the construction efforts I have seen have been pretty impressive. Last year, I worked in a building at the corner of Hanley and Eager roads, and was afforded a pretty good view of the construction of the new I-170/I-64 flyover ramp interchange. Amazing what was accomplished in just one summer!

There doesn't seem to be a lot of dilly-dallying around in this construction effort and while I appreciate there are going to be some major inconveniences for people who are trying work around the closures, I would rather see the project get done in a couple of years and in relatively safety for the workers vs. it dragging on for years on end. And hey, you could always live and work in the city, where no such headaches exist; even if a major interstate is closed, there are lots of ways to get into downtown via the streets. ;)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Celebrating the Mother of God

Today was the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. You may know that the rose is a commonly used symbol for Mary. While out shopping before Christmas on the Hill at Viviano's market, I ran across one of Father Dominic's books, called Tis the Season to be Baking: Christmas Reflections and Bread Recipes. Always looking for interesting recipes to try, and since it was a signed copy, I picked it up on a whim.

It's a lovely little book filled with reflections on bread making/breaking, stories about Christmas traditions, and spiritual lessons. One of the items in the book is something called a rose roll, which is a dinner roll made to resemble a rose. Since Mary's feast began last evening, I decided to make this roll for a little dinner party last night.

Happily, they turned out very much resembling roses! It was a lovely addition to the table and a nice reminder of Mary.