Saturday, August 27, 2011


Hmmm...reality came to my fantasy bike racing world today  all the way from Europe.

125 meters from the field sprint finish of today's Stage 7 of the Vuelta a España, a crash in the front of the peloton took out Team CorduroyPlanet's sprinter Tyler Farrar and GC contender (and defending 2010 Vuelta Champion) Vincenzo Nibali, along with contenders Joaquím Rodríguez (Team Katusha) and Michele Scarponi (Team Lampre-ISD) All riders appear to be OK except Team Garmin-Cervélo/Team CorduroyPlanet's Tyler Farrar who couldn't put weight on his leg, and went straight to the hospital.

“The first X-rays seem to indicate that nothing is broken, but there is a lot of muscular and tissue damage. We are still waiting to hear what the doctors have to say.” Garmin-Cervélo sport director Bingen Fernández told VeloNews by telephone.

As I write, I'm monitoring Twitter for up-to-the-second intel on Farrar's condition, while taking in the LIVE coverage of Stage 4 of the US Pro Cycling Challenge from Steamboat Springs, Colorado. If as is likely, Tyler can't continue Saturday, Team CorduroyPlanet will have lost both sprinters...I'm cellar-dwelling already after coming out of the blocks tied for second for a couple of days.

I'm getting used to my cellar-dweller sunlight can penetrate the depths to which Team CorduroyPlanet has descended this season.

While not yet descended to the cellar, my SF Giants continued their slide Thursday evening, losing to the lowly Houston Astros, 3-1. It probably seemed worse than it actually was because I listened to the game on the radio...everything gets more dramatic when the listener's brain provides the pictures!

While I'm in Truckee, I'll be taking in a Triple-A ballgame. The Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants play the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple-A farm club Monday evening. 

SF Giants' Shortstop Brandon Crawford is starting for Fresno after being sent down in late July. Giants' Center Fielder Andres Torres is with Fresno to rehab a lower leg contusion. I expect both players to be back with the Giants come September 1st when the MLB rosters expand from 25 man to 40 man.

Also playing for Fresno until the roster expansion allows them to move up the San Francisco club, are infielders Emmanuel Burriss and Conor Gillespie, and RH Pitcher Waldis Joaquin.

I never have attended a AAA game, but I'm told the Reno Aces' new ballpark is a beauty. 

You can't beat the Old-Timey ticket price...I just bought my ticket online for $16+$2.50 service charge...though I'm not sure that I got the service...I printed my ticket on my printer in the DaveCave...maybe I got "the business", not service, but it's nothing compared to the Big League Business (er Service Charge that the SF Giants ticket website much was that BajaBabe?)

Looking forward to Monday night's game leavened my troubled mind a I chronicle my CorduroyPlanet daily, injuries to many of the Pro Athletes I enjoy continue to mount.

The SF Giants Injured Reserve List looks like an All-Star Roster. Just 3-6 weeks ago, the Tour de France turned into a La Niña-Lubricated Meat Grinder, and today's crash-marred sprint in reminded me of the perilous nature of cycle racing. Formula One returns this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian GP, and both of Friday's Free Practices were rainy. Sunday's forecast is Partly Cloudy, though anything can happen high in the Ardennes Forest.

Cool! Twitter delivers: @Vaughters: "Tyler seems to be doing better. He wants to start tomorrow. We'll see what the Doctors say in the AM."

I'm afraid I'm gonna need all the Niche Sports (plus Giants' baseball) I can stand to drown out the 24/7 buzz concerning Hurricane Irene. Even though the storm has calmed back down to a Cat 2 hurricane, when one of these messes with the Eastern Seabord DC/NYC Media/Government Axis, the caterwauling will be deafening!

I don't suppose the denizens of the Old Coast will ever get over their own damn selves. If we Westerners flooded both the Legacy Media and the New Media after a puny magnitude 5.8 earthquake the way the "highly nuanced" Eastern Crowd did, we'd never hear the end of it!

Oh, I put a lid on the Spam Musubi experiment for's lunch? Bakesale Betty's Fried Chicken Sandwiches, Baby!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Little Baking

No, not cookies or a cake, it's me! It feels like an oven in here this afternoon.

Down at the grocery store it was about 85°F at Truckee! This time of year, the sun stops shining directly on the southwest walls of the DaveCave around 5:30PM. I use a small fan to blow cool wind from the northern window through the place to keep things civil until I can open those southwest windows.

It could be hotter I suppose...I just read that Austin, Texas just recorded their 70th day over 100°F for this year, with another ten days forecast to top the triple-digit mark. The article said the longest 100°F+ heat wave on record is 160 days, though they didn't say when or where the record's from.

I dig the dichotomy, in the West, we've recorded seven months of below normal temps, and above normal precipitation, while in the Midwest and Southeast it's drought and heat. Mix it up there, Ma Nature! Somethin' for everybody!

Damn, it's still hot in here...the Giants booted another one, and I'm still having trouble with the new Digital Cable...I made some so-called Hawaiian comfort food, Spam Musubi...solidarity with the hot sweaty Tradewinds set as it were...I was taken in by the hype, I guess...I liked the "home-grown, grass roots nature of the dish...peasant food is always the best cuisine regardless of location...yada, yada...

Tool Making...makes us human...despite a few crows armed with twigs.
Well, I can report that Spam Musubi isn't living up to the Foodie's hype...perhaps if I had some Furikake (seaweed seasoning) to offset the Soy, Mirin and Sugar glaze...I've got one more can of Hormel's Mystery Meat to try it again...perhaps the seaweed and sesame flavors will mitigate the saltiness and sweetness enough to make the snack memorable...we'll see...

Mmmm...rice that falls off the Spam...
What musubi was, was picturesque. I like the Spam Can pressed into duty as the "Musubi Press". A little handywork with a knock-off Swiss Army Knife, and I had the sushi form. A Plexiglass Musubi Press runs $10+S&H from Amazon...I'm sure the Spam Can and a little Yankee (read Hawaiian) Ingenuity predated the formal Musubi Press by several decades of Post-War Progress...I wrapped a rectangular can with saran wrap to use as the rice tamper-downer.

In the morning I'm running into Reno for provisions...hopefully I can find a shaker of  Nori Komi Furikake! I'll be taking some photos of Lincoln highway stuff too!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Not exactly...I'm back! Safely ensconced in my Fortress Of Solitude, the DaveCave.

I ran the gauntlet Wednesday...I crossed the Big Valley after lunch time...fortunately the Toyota doesn't have an Outside Thermometer to scare me! (It was 97F when I traversed Sacramento)

So..why Insomnia? Well, I'm up and the clock says: 4:16AM. Granted, I fell asleep during the Giants' game...say 7:45PM, then awoke around midnight...just in time to catch the rebroadcast of the game. How nice that Tim Lincecum and the Giants prevailed...every game counts now.

Here in Truckee, our two bit Cable TV Provider doesn't offer NBC's Universal Sports, so I'm following today's Stage 6 of the Vuelta a España via Live Update Guy on the internet. Thanks, Live Update Guy! "Evil Plan" is working...just reading about the heat and suffering in Spain is doin' the trick! Good night all!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beginning a New Week: Vuelta a España Edition

A new week and...count 'em...two new bicycle races began over my weekend. The Vuelta a España, and The US Pro Cycling Challenge up in Colorado. The Vuelta began on Saturday, and runs for three weeks, like the Tour de France and the Giro d' Italia. The US Pro CC kicked off Monday, and lasts a week. Both races have good television coverage in the States as well as World-Wide. The US Pro CC is broadcast to 161 countries, the Vuelta a España is seen in even more.

On Monday, I was reminded of the Favorite Motto (read: Prime Directive) of my old grooming boss from my rookie days. Now my memory fades when it comes to the exact title of the Boss' Rule..."The Rule Of Six" or "The Rule Of Six 'P's" are my best I say, it has been 30 years! The Rule:

"Poor Prior Planning makes for Piss-Poor Performance"

I'm calling The Rule on NBC Sports...The 6P Rule for short...well, for succinct...and this reminds me of KirkVallus and his whippet, Rose.

When we were introduced (the dog and yours truly) KV said: "TruckeeDave, this is Rose...or Rosy for short"...I didn't say my brain was knocked slightly askance until I processed the words for a minute...OK...not shorter...twice the syllables...OK...HiHo... 

But I digress...(I've always wanted to say that...rimshot!...I'm in town all week, folks...rimshot again!) OK, OK! Here's the NBC 6P Rule violation...

NBC Sports is televising the Vuelta a España on their CableSports channel Universal Sports. They join the race LIVE from Spain every morning (North American time) for the last two hours of each stage daily, then replay the show several times throughout the day.

NBC Sports also broadcasts the US Pro Challenge LIVE on their Versus Network every day starting at 1PM PDT...right when I prefer to watch the Vuelta replay! The magic of DVRs is not lost on me, but as I've been saying since I got my first Betamax, "The one thing they don't tell you when they're selling you the machine is: You have to have the time to watch what you record" Those recorded programs pile up quick!

NBC Sports has the two races on at the same time at 1PM and 8PM, and there's a 5PM Vuelta Showing. Further complicating my viewing pleasure planning is the Giants''s stretch-run time in baseball's Big Leagues. There's 34 games left for the Giants to regain the lead in their division. As I write, the first pitch of tonight's game is a half an hour away, with the Giants one game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Amazingly, the Giants looked like their old selves, coming from behind in the 8th to tie it up, only to lose it in the ninth. Two games back now...On the bright side, no new injuries.

On the roads of Colorado, quite the picturesque vistas, I didn't get to see the finish at Crested Butte yet.

Over in Spain, the riders were suffering...and they looked like it. Spain's Mediterranean Coast reminds me of Baja, sans cacti. Temps in the 90s...humidity too. Team CorduroyPlanet's sprinter Manxman Mark Cavendish abandoned today citing heat and fatigue.

Today's finish was at Sierra Nevada, the Vuelta's first mountaintop finish of six. The trees on the way up the mountain looked pretty scrubby compared to my Sierra Nevada's trees...

I'll be seeing and smelling those High Sierra conifers beginning mañana! I'm fleeing the little Heat Wave for a few days...maybe I'll touch a Lincoln Highway concrete milepost along my way

Sunday, August 21, 2011

On The Lincoln Highway

Good afternoon! I've just returned from my mini-road trip over to Livermore, CA. I rolled over there to visit the Duarte Garage, the 1915 service station that sat on the original Lincoln Highway. Today, 97 years later, the Livermore Heritage Guild opens the building on the third Sunday of the month from 10AM 'till 2PM. It's now their Lincoln Highway Museum, and a very nice museum it is.

Lots of cool artifacts, tin signs, maps and photographs, and some very nice volunteers doing the docent duties. My docent was one of the folks who are restoring the beautiful 1920 Seagrave Fire Engine. You should see the new paintjob on this beauty!

Purchased in 1919, this old fire truck served Livermore's Fire Department until 1955, and then it was "stored" outdoors down at Livermore's sewage treatment plant until the City loaned it to the Heritage Guild for restoration in 1980.

Amazingly, Seagrave is still in business, and still making Fire Aparatus!

The big inline six cylinder engine was finally restarted in 2010. This is one gorgeous power plant! 1000 cubic inches, making around 100hp, twin ignition systems- one coil & distributor, and one magneto, with two spark plugs in each cylinder. You can run either or both. I'll have to go back, this time with a tripod for my camera!

Each cylinder has a little bronze Priming Cup. On cold mornings, you'd put a little gasoline in each cup, then open each cup's valve to prime the cylinders before you turned the engine over. These little bronze do-dads are just beautiful, you can see them in the engine photo.

Below the Priming Cups you see the sand-cast aluminum Intake Manifold.

The rear suspension Swing Arms are made of wood. In the photo it's hard to's painted black. It connects the drive axle through the outboard brakes to the final drive axle that supports the rear wheels. Did I mention that it's chain final drive? My docent reminded me that most "big" trucks of the day ran the chain drive finals.

They say: "A picture is worth a thousand words", so I'll let my photos do the talking while I bask in the reflected glory of the San Francisco Giants who finally won a game this weekend.

As seen in my rearview mirror as I blew by on Portola Avenue
Lots of copper tubing, brass and bronze fittings, and aluminum.
Rear brakes, one each side- there are no brakes up front! These double as parking brakes.
On Friday, the mailman delivered my "Driving Maps of the Lincoln Highway in California". Published by the California Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association. The maps are very nicely done, spiral bound in the 11X17 inch size. Well worth the $16.00 including S+H.

I wish all the State Chapters offered such a useful set of maps for the Lincoln Highway in their respective states. I ordered the next  book in Gregory M Franzwa's series, "Lincoln Highway: Nevada" after I read most of his "Lincoln Highway: California" as soon as it arrived.