Archive for October, 2007


Halloween Party Fun

batman and horsey

batman and horsey,

Today is the party at school, and while I’m not sure kids are dressing up for it, I got him his Batman outfit out and he put it on. His hair is not just “messed up” but was my feeble attempt at putting “ears” on his head like Batman. Daddy wasn’t really prepared for this so it is what it is!

Horsey is coming along as his sleeping buddy, crime stopping buddy, and share day toy. Lots of mileage outta that donkey!


Boys Days!

Menko was treated to several days of Mattheus time while Cami was at a conference in Chicago. After our scare with the pee pee problem on Thursday (see story), Friday morning was the turning point for the weekend. Kiddo woke up happy and energized, and most importantly unafraid of peeing! After work we had planned to meet up with some friends, but they had to change their plans at the last minute, which meant we had the freedom to whatever we wanted. We worked on restoring my “new” Vitus road bike and played some basketball in the driveway. Bed time was all Clifford and good cheer, with a big weekend plan ahead of us. The weekend was all planned out: Saturday was Jakob’s birthday party, followed by a visit to his friend Parker for dinner, and Sunday we were going to breakfast and taking a hike before picking Cami up at SFO. Well…things didn’t quite go as planned, but we had a great time regardless.

Saturday morning was spent taking a nice bike ride to Peets coffee in Palo Alto via the most circuitous route I could find. Matty was a little tired (he woke up at 6:15am afterall and resisted all suggestions to go back to sleep!) so the long ride in the trailer was welcomed. Crackers, juice and a chauffeured ride were all good by him. After a nice coffee and a few rays of sunlight, we set off back towards Greg’s house to pick up some bike parts. Greg ended up needing some “help” with the twins, so we stayed for a while Mattheus fascinated Bethany and Devon with his coordination and other amazing things that 3 year old can do! Bethany’s personality is really starting to emerge and she was all smiles and excitement, eyes glued to Matty. Greg’s 67 VW Bus also came back to the house while were there, and his Halloween decorations were set out to terrify all would-be trick-or-treaters (pic). Continue Reading »


Passat fun

After changing the oil, I noticed that one of the wheels had grease all over the inside of it, the origin of which was a the CV boot. Thinking this job wouldn’t be too much trouble, I set out to find good information on what I was in for. Finding these instructions, I thought, “I can do this!” RockAuto came through big time by delivering my boot kit is less than 24 hours of ordering, which seemed like a good start. However, I quickly realized this new Passat uses all kinds of funky tools that I don’t have in my toolkit (shocking! I figured I had every tool I could ever need!) I needed a 14mm hex wrench for the hub, a 10mm triple-square, 12 point bit (looks like Torx, but isn’t) and other neat little numbers to simply get it apart. Finding those particular bits turned out to be a little more challenging than I had anticipated. Three trips to Napa, AutoZone and Kragen told me only that they were either very expensive or “an order” item. No worries, I thought I could get around that.

So far I’ve spent $40 for jack pads, $20 for the boot kit, $35 for the triple square set , $10 for the 14mm hex (came as part of a 12/14/ 16 set) and I haven’t even gotten dirty! Much of that time was spent looking at the proper jacking points and locations for jack stands on the Passat, as all my maintenance up until this point has been with the stock jack or ramps. Oh, and I have to fashion some kind of adapter for my floor jack and jack stands so they can sit on my pinch welds without mangling them! While I wish I had some plastic to make them out of, I can either buy adapters or try to make some out of 2×4. Since Trent has a table saw with a dado blade, I’m going that route first.

All of this wrangling is making me think I should just order a rebuilt axle and replace the whole darn setup instead of messing with the boot, but I’m going to wait until I have the axle off to see if that’s the route I should go. Judging by my usual record, I’ll end up with the axle, but only after buying all the other parts first, messing them up, and then deciding the axle was the way to go in the first place! I just feel like my OEM axle is going to be better quality and in good shape with only 60k miles on it if dirt did not penetrate it. I think I caught it soon enough….I hope!

Stay tuned, more on this escapade soon….


Pumpkin Patch



Matty’s class went to a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay today where they were treated to hay rides, pony rides, and inflatable slides. He of course wanted to dress up in his favorite color, so we put his Halloween sweatshirt on, but didn’t want to give him the pants for fear that he would be mistaken as an over-sized pumpkin and left behind at the pumpkin patch. The boy loves his orange! As a bonus, it was going to rain, so he dressed up with his boots and rain jacket on top of the orange? Does life get any better?


Matty gets the “all clear!”

Dr. Tsai and Mattheus

Dr. Tsai and Mattheus

On Thursday, Matty started complaining that he was having pain while peeing, and he became quite frantic. Fearing a repeat of 3 weeks ago, I immediately checked a few things, and made an appointment for the following day to see his pediatrician. The last thing I wanted was for a repeat infection to get out of control.

To confirm my fears, Mattheus woke at 2am and came running into my room and hopped into bed with me. He curled up against me and went back to sleep for the rest of the night. However, on waking, he hadn’t peed all night and was clearly uncomfortable. I took him to school, and told them to keep an eye on him. He stayed glued to his teacher and didn’t do gymnastics, so we knew he was holding it and being uncomfortable. However, once he fell asleep after lunch, the floodgates opened and the kid needed a new set of clothes. Terrified he was sick again, we went to see his doctor and got him checked out.

Luckily, the tests showed he was in the clear, and we celebrated with some stickers, a new race car and went home feeling good. Mattheus saw pictures of all the kids on the wall, so he asked me to snap this photo so he can go up on the wall as well. I guess we’ll see the next time we visit the doctor.


Vitus rides again!

Vitus rides again!

Vitus rides again!,

While my cycling career is long behind me, I stumbled across a surprisingly powerful reminder of my early days—my first racing bike! The 54cm black Vitus 979 Duraluminum that I bought back in 1988 has been under the tendor care of my brother Pieter since about 1991 when I upgraded from that frame to a carbon version, the 990 (that frame met an unfortunate end in my sophomore year in the San Luis Obispo Road Race—the A field had a high speed crash which found me boxed with people falling across my front and rear wheels. The frame cracked in 4 places and the wheel tacoed). When I visited Pieter in Colorado, the Vitus was a nice piece of wall candy, but he wasn’t riding it. I packed it up in a box and shipped back to Redwood City, hoping that after nearly 20 years, I could ride it a bit again, with some modifications. I purchased an upright stem and flat bar setup, and immediately set off on rehabilitation. However, I find that not having STI shifters is sort of disconcerting, but I’m not converting to a single speed simply because I need the gears for pulling up the hills. As you can see by these pics, its almost ready to go! Some of my old racing stickers that Esteban Chavez and I put on back in high school are still attached, albeit a bit ragged. I think I may debadge it entirely and run it stealth. I still get that rush of adrenaline when I hop on it! Its amazing that after all this time, simply hoping on that race bike gets my heart pounding!


Pumpkins, Surfing and Sunshine

This weekend was a tornado of activity with Saturday being spent at SJSU during alumni weekend. I was barely able to drag myself out of bed since this week was just packed with short nights and long days, but the event was packed with bagels, coffee, and good humor, making it most enjoyable. The afternoon sped on past as we took a nap, did some cleaning, and played a bit. Kayla and Chris invited Mattheus and Menko out for some ice cream, which meant lots of frantic running around and playing at the ice cream store. Clearly both kids were on the rebound but the parents were still worn out! They ran and ran while Chris and Menko just tried their best to keep them from losing a limb or becoming too much of a nuisance.

Continue Reading »


And even more photoshop


My father, the kind guy that he is, wanted to warn us off from these crazy playgrounds. Here I thought there was a push for safer, less-exciting playground equipment to forever protect today’s youth. How misinformed I am! It looks a bit “dicey”


Photoshop strikes again

In the spirit of audience participation, my friend Trent decided to take one of those lovely photos you can’t live down and make a statement about my blog. Well ok, so its not well-read, but come on! The truth does hurt sometimes!

menko no blog

nobody cares


Matty grows up fast

Looking back at old pictures of Matty, its amazing how much he has grown. Is this my little boy? He has grown up so much its astounding. Sure he wasn’t yet 2, but dang! He’s so little! Matty sitting in the 4runnerMatty posing by 87 4runner

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