Monday, August 17, 2009

Stretching out

After not having a lot of time over the summer to stretch out and relax a few weeks back Abby, Boogs, and I ran off for her B-day weekend for a little R&R at the beach for 3 days. We had lots of fun and got a much needed reprieve from the somehow busy components of our lives. We're fortunate enough to have a place to go where there are few people and lots of nature on the Coast so it's even more relaxing. Here's some photos from our trip...

Stormy afternoons made for some neat morning clouds.

Boogs doubles as a pillow when he's tired.

Big and pretty spiders where everywhere.



Ripples in a tidal pool hold fast onto water trying desperately to escape.

The clouds made for lots of neat contrast. In a deeper tidal pool like this I had a closer than I would have liked encounter with a Bonnet head shark that brushed up against my leg. Some mom on the beach was squawking at her kids about a shark but people usually confuse them with dolphins around the island so I didn't give it a second thought. Should've listened to that mom...

In the spartina salt marshes I did a little sampling and took some grass back to one of my colleagues on our floor for research purposes. He's looking for lignocellulosic degraders of lignin and I supplied him with many pounds of spartina after wading through thick marsh mud and cutting a few trash bags worth for him. It's drying out on the roof of my building now as I type.

Sunrise again.

Funny/neat Dolphins stories...We saw some Dolphins wrangling fish up and forcing them onto steep banks of the spartina marshes. It was really amazing and I unfortunately didn't get a picture of them doing it. Pelicans would in turn also wait on the shore where the breeches were occuring and would get anything the Dolphins missed. The banks were steep enough that the Dolphins could kick and roll back into the water. The lower tidal creeks seemed to concentrate the fish for them as well. Above is a baby I'm assuming was learning the pod trade.

This is what I thought that mom was squawking about but it was in fact a shark not a Dolphin fin as pictured here. This Dolphin came over to our shore and was quite curious about Boogy. You could see it rolling on its side to take a look at him. I jokingly asked Boogs "what's that?!" like I always do to get him excited and the unintended consequence was that Boogy tried to retrieve the Dolphin, which was now about 15 feet off the shoreline. He jumped headfirst into the tidal creek and I thought for a second Boogy was going to be killed by flipper, as Dolphins can be quite brutal when provoked.

The Dolphin came up saw Boogy and turned on it's side and blasted him with water and slapped his tail loudly on the surface. At this point Boogs realized he was out sized and immediately retreated very rapidly to the shoreline. He then proceeded to point and bark every time a Dolphin surfaced and would not go back into any water for the remainder of the walk in the creek/marsh area. Relieved that he wasn't going to be eaten it was quite funny to watch him nervously pace and bark.

Tail tucked...yeah real confident looking there man.

We rescued a couple of starfish along the way back from the receding tides.

Some kind of fishing bird.

The biggest chicken tractor we have seen in some time. This one had about 150-200 Rhode Island Reds in it with shaved beaks. If I ever have land and a tractor...I will build on the these suckers. It was massive.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Material World and Trek Nuts

More posts coming later this week, however in the meantime I present the great American Bicycle making company's new pitch to get you to buy their champion making products...

Now we've never known Lance Armstrong to be a humble man. His first book, "It's not about the Bike", definitely spelled that out for us who were in doubt.

It seems Trek has decided to part ways with Lance and even Contador for that matter now and in an increasingly material world has come up with a new brazen announcement that we should have all known from the beginning. That announcement is simply that it seems that everything is about the bike. However I knew something more sinister was at work here, as one of Lance's victories was aided by Litespeed bikes painted to look like Treks. I just happened upon their website this morning through a url error to be greeted with this...

Which to me read something like this...

With this new XXX dual groupo you're sure to win everything you try, which explains this year's TDF result. Obviously Lance was not able to upgrade to the new model Trek nuts (opting unwisely for the XXX collarbone, and thus the 2010 model Contador was sporting clearly shows that the new model was superior, being "beefier, stiffer, more precise (you can really see those veins) and lighter". Sorry Lance but I seriously doubt "The Shack" nuts are going to be as good. With all the years of internal R and D going in in cold winter months in Wisconsin, it looks like Trek has a good head start on the competition in performance design in this area.

And of course as we all know now "It's all about performance".