Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Batty at the Citty

Hard to believe that this little guy was right outside of my building the other day. He was parked under the giant picture window about 6 inches off the ground right near the bike racks. I really wanted to pet him, but common decency prevailed and I didn't have the heart to disturb his slumber.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Better make it 4

Jennifer and I spent a great weekend up in East Hampton with Kyle, Marie, Nick and Amy, and some new friends Annika and Joel. This was the first summer time repeat of our famous New Years in the Hamptons adventures of 2008 and 2009. What can I say, it's better to be able to go outside. Day 1 included Patanque (french for bocce), apple picking, beach walking, and the eating of an alarming number of clams. Nick, Jennifer, Marie and I went on a procurement run to get apples from the pick your own joint, as well as some seafood from the local fishmonger. We have historically gotten some delicious local oysters, but when the fishmonger with the green teeth pointed out that there was a "buy 2 dozen, get 1 dozen free" deal on the jumbo cherrystone clams, we opted for that. Thinking of the number of seafood lovers in the mix, we decided to get a total of 4 dozen clams, thinking that we would get one of those dozen for free. A good deal, at $5.50 per dozen. The clam salesman must have interpreted my request for 4 dozen to mean that we wanted 4 dozen clams, plus the additional 24 for free, a fact that I discovered at the house when after polishing off 8 clams the size of my fist, that there were still 64 left. Holy shit that was a lot of clams. We were grilling them and then dousing them with a bit of sauce as they opened. Everyone ate their fill, and then some.

Perhaps the best part is that we discovered that clam shells fit perfectly into the dog-ball chucking thing that they had at the house. We hucked 72 clam shells out into the sea dunes that night. Some of them were mysteriously filled with lighter fluid and newspaper, and somehow managed to make incandescent arcs through the night sky.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

We are so pro

Absolutely maxed out bike carrying capacity for the state RR. 4 bikes, 4 guys. Go Magu-chan! I wish I had changed my rear tire the night before. Stupid flat out of the winning break. Bad luck I guess.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surprising Ma

Since we knew that my mom would probably not get as much of a kick out of a bamboo bicycle as my dad, the other young Ritz's and I decided that a surprise convergence on Ames for her birthday would be the ideal plan. It was was a whirlwind weekend, over Labor Day so we had about 3 days to hang out and kick it family style.

Ian drove back from Madison, and picked up my brother Asa in Iowa City, and then they proceeded directly to Des Moines to pick me up at the airport. It was as seamless an operation as you can expect from my family, and we arrived together in Ames at about 9:30. Claire, who couldn't be there that night called my mom on the phone as Leah was poised with the camera. First Asa walked in to surprise Mom. "Oh, my God Asa!"

Then Ian walked in, "OH MY GOD IAN!!"

Then I walked in, "OH MY GOD AARON!!"

Great success, we surprised the crap out of her. Spent the rest of the weekend eating tasty food, Leah and I made our standard Indian dinner, I smoked a pork shoulder, and my sister's boyfriend DJ made a stupendous rolled pork loin with all the fixins.

Not only that, but Asa and I sprung for a new BB gun after I had the bright idea to "fix" my old one last Christmas. Many tomatoes were killed, much fun was had.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Leah and Ian's Project

Leah and Ian provided a lovely awning for the back door to the kitchen. The top is covered with plexi-glass that my dad salvaged from a display case somewhere. We tested it with the hose in back. It works.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mom's birthday gate

Asa and I were in charge of taking out the old gate in the back of the house and replacing it with this awesome fella. I could stand on the lower rung without it sagging. GO TEAM!
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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Been a long bike season

And it's not quite over yet. I've got three more races that I'm planning on doing. The first is the state criterium this weekend. It'll undoubtedly draw out some of the big boys, but then again, I suppose that I should probably stop being intimidated by fast guys, since my own team is full of them. My teammate Brett is in the running for the state overall title, a points series compiled from results in select races throughout the season. It'll be a squeaker though, as there is a guy from our rival team breathing down my neck.

More my style, however, will be the state road race in two weeks. Held on a great rolling loop near Reading, PA, it is much better suited to me as an all arounder who doesn't mind climbing too much. I've been training pretty specifically for this race, and hope things will work out well for me.

My last race, of course will be the Brompton World Championships, held near Oxford in England. Jennifer and I are going for the race and will be touristing a bit around the country afterwards. I'm pretty psyched, as it'll be a really great chance to see the English Countryside and maybe partake in the fabulous fall sport of Mangold Hurling.