Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

I said I wasn't going to do a New Years post, but what the hell...

Thank you all for another great year here. The site traffic continues to be strong here, even though the posts haven't always been consistent or exactly "content rich". I am floored by how well the very simple Daily Drive posts have been received. It amazes me how you have all found a value in visiting this site and continue to keep coming back. I am thankful, so very thankful, for the faithful following this blog has generated- you all are what makes this endeavor so much more enjoyable.

2006 has been the year that I have made many great new friends- too many to list here- and have been able to do many things I never thought I would. I have traveled and enjoyed meeting many new people and riding in many new places. Yes, I'm a lucky guy and I know it. I've been lucky enough to be featured in the New York Times. I've become a contributor on a marketing website that I have a ton of respect for (though I haven't contributed much of anything for too long). I consider this one of the highlights of my year. I've gotten to know some fantastic bloggers who will hopefully be life-long friends... even if we ever stop blogging.

All in all, 2006 has been pretty good to me. It's pretty amazing to think that in just over a year and a half of blogging that I have been able to get to know so many fantastic people and experience so many great things.

Outside of blogging, the year has been pretty good to me too. Masi has grown in sales and overall scope. We've added new models to the line and sales continue to improve. In fact, the last fiscal year (ending in June) our sales had doubled over the previous fiscal year period. As awesome as that sounds, we're still a very small and modest company so I get to continue to be the little guy under dog. I wouldn't be surprised if Trek knows we exist, but I doubt they are losing any sleep worrying about what I'm cooking up now (which is some really cool sh@%). Though the market is beginning to soften now- road sales grew at the lowest rate in a long time- we still represent 1% of the US road bike market. That means I still have a lot of market share to steal from the other guys. That said, I am very happy with how things have been progressing.

I got to work with one of the best teams in the peloton this year- the A&F/ Inferno team. These guys didn't go the Tour de France and didn't win any of the NRC titles, but they are the best group of guys any sponsor could ever hope to work with. I consider the guys to be friends and not just sponsored athletes. (Look for rider bios and team announcements here very soon.) I am very happy to say that the guys will be racing on Masi frames again in 2007, so watch the podiums at the races. Thanks again guys for a great year- it was a pleasure working with you (except for Rich... you're a nut).

2007 promises to be another great year and the new products in devo' are pretty darned cool. I'm pretty darned happy. January sees my first trip to Taiwan, February is the team's training camp, March is the Taipei tradeshow, April is possibly Australia/ New Zealand again as well as the MS150 in Houston again and then May is something I can't remember... and then there is lots of small trips in the US planned as well. Who knows, I might even be conducting a wedding in Minnesota in July... maybe.

On top of all of this travel, I also really plan to finally get my act together and start podcasting here (as well as continuing to be a member of the Spokesmen/ Spokespeople podcast) and I am going to do my best to also start doing a lot more video- look for Conversations with Masiguy podcasts and vidcasts some time in 2007 (I hope).

So here's to a great new year. I wish a fantastic year to each and every one of you. May it be full of health, happiness and prosperity.

Thank you all,

Saturn Saga; an open letter to Saturn.

After having a few days to "cool off" and reevaluate things, I felt it only fair to come back and say that though I am still extremely upset with Saturn and still fully expect them to resolve this problem with my VUE, it is a bit harsh for me to say "I hate Saturn". I still expect things to be resolved a certain way, but Saturn deserves the chance to make things right before being executed in the public domain because before all of this happened, I really loved my car and being a Saturn owner- which is why this set of horrible occurrences has hurt so bad.

Saturn (especially Director of Marketing Sam Mancuso),

I've been a very happy Saturn VUE owner for the past year and 2 months. I own a 2002 VUE V6 AWD. As I've detailed here, I've had a string of very frightening and unacceptable problems with the car. Each of these occurrences have put me and/or my family in danger and yet the problem has not been resolved, even after spending a big chunk of money to get a replacement Engine Control Module (ECM). This expensive repair did nothing and left me stranded again the very same evening I picked the car up from the local dealership where the vehicle was purchased and all repairs have been completed.

Prior to the string of current issues that began on 12/22, approximately 6 months ago I took the car to the dealership for a routine oil change. While there, the service technician did his job and offered me a wheel rotation for a slight upcharge since the vehicle was already in the shop. I agreed and got the wheel rotation and oil change done. The very next day, while driving the vehicle to work, the rear passenger side wheel nearly fell off the car, but I was able to maintain control of the vehicle and pulled into a safe area off the freeway. It turns out that one of the wheel lug bolts had snapped off because the lug nuts had not been re-tightened after the rotation. One of the lug nuts came off and the excessive play in the wheel caused the bolt to snap off while I was driving. The remaining three lug nuts were on by a few threads and came off in my hand with barely more than one turn. The dealership, Saturn of Kearney Mesa, paid to have the car towed back to the shop and fixed the rear wheel. At that time it was determined that the remaining lug nuts on the other three wheels were not tightened to torque spec either- this was a potentially deadly combination. The dealership apologized and I accepted because I was happy with my car and the fact that the issue was handled immediately, though my confidence in the service capabilities was a bit "shaken".

Fast forward to the current situation where the engine shuts off and the power steering and brakes cut out. As mentioned previously, this problem has happened both with and without my family in the car with me and has endangered all of us not once or even twice, but 5 times now- 4 of those times after being inspected or serviced by the dealership. I do not think I am off the mark by feeling that this is totally unacceptable and that I should not be expected to pay for the repair that did nothing or expect to put my family back in the vehicle ever again. That particular option is not acceptable.

Currently, thanks to the involvement of Saturn corporate in Spring Hill, TN, I am driving a rental car that is being paid for by the local dealership (though I had to use my own credit card for the deposit that is supposed to be refunded when the car is returned). In defense of the people I have dealt with, I have been treated well by each person and can not say that any person has been impolite or rude or even dismissive. Jim the service consultant, Mark the service manager, Sheron with Saturn corporate customer service and Sierra the Area Manager at corporate have all been easy to deal with on a personal level. Each has done a good job of doing their job with a very upset consumer- me. As a former customer service and repair manager myself, I have a huge appreciation for good customer service. It is this good customer service, frankly, that has kept me from going straight to an attorney after the rear wheel incident 6 months ago. I think this needed to be mentioned in an attempt to be fair.

Saturn, you have a very good opportunity to do the right thing and make this situation right and turn me back into an evangelist for your brand. On a larger scale, General Motors, you too have a chance to improve your public image... which could certainly use the help these days. I have been a fan of Saturn for many years longer than I've been a Saturn driver due to Saturn's former title sponsorship of the Saturn professional cycling teams of years past. I have always tried to support those companies who support cycling and I was pretty proud of my decision to buy a Saturn. This is your chance to make me proud of that decision all over again. For the record- I really would prefer to be happy with my choice again.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter of hope.

Tim Jackson

Saturday, December 30, 2006

I am Spider-Man?

I always kind of related more to Iron Man because I liked the costume better, but The Flash was always cool too. I always thought Peter Parker was kind of a dork... so I guess that explains more than I thought.

Your results:
You are Spider-Man

The Flash
Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

(I found this on the site of one of my very favoritest bloggers ever... thanks Diva!)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Video contest entry;

This kicks ass!


Daily Drive- the "I hate Saturn" edition...

I tried to compose my self, but I couldn't contain my rage as I drove to work in my wife's car again today. So you get a picture of me at my desk today... after the drive*;

SockGuy sock dujour;

Green Royale... if only they could conceal my seething rage.

*You may remember from a few posts ago that I have had a recent scary occurrence with my 2002 Saturn VUE. Well, last night after work, I went and picked up my car from the dealership after paying more than a thousand bucks to get it out of limbo. Let me tell you, signing that credit card slip hurt more than I can ever explain right now... Anyway, I drive off in my car and get home and then turn around and drive to my mother-in-law's house to deliver her birthday flowers (she's very good to me, so I got her flowers). Once it was time for me to leave and get back to my wife and sick 5 year old, I returned to my car... which I just paid a lot of money (for me) to have fixed... and it would not start again! After spending what is for me a fortune, the damned thing still has the exact same problem! After punching the roof a few times, I went back in to my mother-in-law's home and borrowed her car to drive home. This morning the car was towed back to the dealership. I told them in no uncertain terms that the car now belongs to them. I do not want it back ever and will not under any circumstances drive the thing again and will only be in it to collect my belongings this weekend. You might remember that the car does two things; it won't start and then when it does, turns off while I am driving it and then I lose the steering and brakes. On Christmas day it did this 3 times after it had been inspected by the dealership- all three times with my family in the car and twice while I was driving the car. As the poop flavored icing on this crap cake, the fuel gauge system of the vehicle is faulty, with a known defect... which isn't covered by any kind of warranty or service agreement, even though it is a known commodity with the vehicle (I basically never show a full tank and the low fuel light comes on and the tank registers empty after 18-180 miles... nice range huh).

I have been in touch with the dealership and now also with the Area Manager from Saturn at the headquarters in TN. I have to say that prior to these problems, I loved the car. Now, I am scared to death of it and am really heartbroken by my experience with Saturn. At the moment, the status is that the dealership is paying for me to have a rental car, the Area Manager is researching resolution options and will have an answer to me by next Tuesday and I have begun the process of getting an attorney. I am so disappointed by this development because I was very proud of my car and having bought an American car. I felt like I did a good thing and now I am sickened. I really, silly as it sounds, feel let down by Saturn because I bought into their marketing and image of the company and people.

Saturn, here's your chance to make this right. I don't think I am asking for too much when I say that I want a car I can rely on and is safe for me to transport my family in. I want my money back for the repair that didn't repair anything and I want a different car to drive because I refuse to get back in the one I used to love so much and am now terrified to drive with my family in it. In all fairness and openness, I promise I will share Saturn's responses and welcome comment from Saturn or the dealership. The people I have dealt with from the dealership to Saturn's corporate offices have all been pretty good to me and I can not fault any one person for being rude or unhelpful- quite the opposite. Collectively though, this situation has ruined my belief in what I once thought was a fantastic car company and it quite literally breaks my heart. I was so sold...

Good luck Saturn, I hope you make the right decisions.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Daily Drive

My car is still in the shop, so I'm in the Masiwife's car. She's home with the sick 5 year old this time...

SockGuy sock dujour;
Evil... and don't think I'm not!

Dumbass Update; It looks like I have cracked, strained or badly bruised a rib on my left side and so I am having a hard time moving around without pain. I rode today for the first time since last Thursday and it really hurt getting out of the saddle or getting in the drops. How'd I hurt myself; I let the weight sled come down too low when doing leg presses and my thighs squashed my rib cage. This is what I get for doing roughly 15 sets of 30 reps while attempting to burn off frustration about my car. Yeah, I know... shut up.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Please give your support;

A fellow blogger in Australia, Gavin, has had the very unfortunate experience of nearly losing a loved one in a car versus cyclist incident in Australia. Gavin's father-in-law was in a group of riders hit by a car on Saturday the 23rd, just before Christmas. Noel, Gavin's father in law and avid cyclist, was nearly killed in the accident that seriously injured several others as well. The elderly driver of the car was also injured when the car finally collided with a tree and pinned her in the car by the legs for more than an hour.

Noel is beginning to make a positive recovery, but he will have a long journey ahead of him with his broken leg and pelvis and a punctured lung to deal with. He is still in serious condition, but indicators appear to keep getting better.

As a cyclist who has gone through the near death scenario myself and have lost people and known others who have, this incident saddens me deeply. Having also ridden in Australia, I feel an even closer connection to this incident. I hope that you will join me in extending best wishes and support to Gavin, his family and especially Noel right now. Please go to the site linked in the title of this post and leave a message of support- I know that the cycling community always looks after its fallen friends. Please show Noel that he is in our collective thoughts right now.


PS- Here's the link again, in case you have trouble with the title thing...
PSS- If you click on the image in the upper left, you will be taken to a site where you can donate to a fund to help Noel with his presumably extensive bills from this injury.

Daily "Drive"...

Still no car and now my 5 year old is sick with the flu (or something else with a short fever spike), so today's commute was from the bedroom to the kitchen table with the laptop.

And the SockGuy sock dujour...

A little love for my friends at Adams Avenue Bicycles... even if they rig races to keep me from winning. They know who the real winner is and so do the fans.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Daily Drive- Christmas edition (late I know...)

Ok, it's a day late and all, but lots of stuff has been happening and all that... so just gimme a break.

Not exactly over the river or through any woods, but we are off to my mom's house for x-mas morning brunch. Even the dog squeezed in to the picture.

This is what Christmas is all about for me... that's it, right there. Nothing is better to me than seeing my children revel in glee. That is as good as it gets.

Well, this is pretty cool too... my first boat. Now I can fly fish in all kinds of places I couldn't before... HOT DAMN!

Unfortunately Christmas wasn't all smiles and laughter; my car (2002 Saturn VUE) decided to start having a crazy electrical problem... where the ngine simply shuts off while I'm driving, leaving me with no power brakes or power steering. Needless to say, the problem is a major issue. Well, the first such incident was Friday night as I was trying to go to the gym. The engine shut off while I was driving downhill... leaving me with very little brakes and almost no steering. I was able to avoid a collision and stopped at the corner. While trying to get a tow truck, about an hour later the car started. Saturday morning I drove the car to the dealership and left it for the day. They were unable to find any problems, so I picked it back up and drove it home... where it would not start again after I shut it off. I left it sitting all day SUnday and then started it again Sunday night. It seemed ok... so we drove it to Mom's on Sunday for brunch. When it was time to go, the car would not start yet again. At this point I was now pissed. We moved all our stuff into my Mom's car and were about to leave when I went back to my car to roll the windows up... and the car started! We drove the car to my mother-in-law's house, since we were now running an hour late for lunch/ dinner there. Later that evening, out of paranoia, I started the car and left it running so that I could load the kids' goodies and get every body in the car and off to home... but the engine was getting hot sitting there idling so I drove around the block and my daughter came along with me... when the car shut off again and left me stranded a few blocks away from the house... again. After my daughter cried nervously about being afraid (breaking Daddy's heart), the car finally started back up and I grabbed my wife and son and away we went back home. No problems on the freeway (scary) and we got off the freeway just about 2 miles from home when the damned thing shut off AGAIN. I got out after realizing the car was not restarting and ran home to get my wife's car to get the family back home. I rode my bike back to the car and tried to start the car for more than an hour before giving up for the night. Pissed and tired. After leaving the car over night in a parking space, I rode the bike back to the car and it started, so I drove it back to the dealership and gave them "a piece of my mind". Outcome? I'm selling a kidney and part of my liver to pay for the repair; new ECM is needed. That's the engine's computer that tells it that it is supposed to be running, among other things. GREAT! The day after Christmas I find out that I need to sell half of the shtuff I own to pay for this repair. The car is used, I bought it in 2005 after the 3 year 30,000 mile warranty expired and no other warranty was offered. I've got 93,000 miles on it now, so there is nothing I can do. Needless to say, the car that I have loved owning for the past year is now something that is leaving me "disappointed". It sucks. It really sucks, but I am lucky that there were no injuries and that we all got home safe and the car can actually be repaired... right? It still sucks though and is making me really angry- which is why I am venting my rage here! Now maybe I will be able to stay out of the clock tower with my rifle. Maybe...

Other than that lovely happening, Christmas was great. Yeah, I admit that the events of the day with the car took some of the shine off the day, but my kids had a great time and got lots of really cool stuff that made them very happy... AND I got to spend time with people I love very much. I have to be thankful for that.

I hope that you all had less dramatic but deeply gratifying holidays.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Holidays, Happy Christmas and all that stuff...

Here it is, the Friday before Christmas. It's slow as can be here since any retailer who is looking for a bike today is going to be completely unhappy. Today is largely a day to close up a few things and send a few emails to friends and associates and prepare to be out of the office for a few days.

I always look forward to this time of year and this holiday because of my kids. As a parent, Christmas really becomes about your children- other parents know what I'm talking about. I thoroughly enjoy Christmas day, even if getting to that day drives me insane starting around September/ October when Christmas lights and other stuff start getting crammed into my face. Didn't Christmas use to start in December years ago? Anyway, watching the kids on Christmas day and playing with all of my nieces and nephews really makes the day for me now. I'll probably get another sweater from somebody, not that I'm complaining, and I'll eat too much and ride too little (if at all)... and generally come back to work feeling like a beached whale. Yeah me!

As cliched as it has become, like with Thanksgiving, I really do find myself looking at the year that's closing and looking forward to the one that is rapidly approaching. It is easy for me to say that I feel blessed to have the life that I do, with a family I cherish and a job that I love and friends who mean the world to me. The blogosphere has given me many wonderful new friends, almost all of them I've never met and yet I feel very much connected to them. This blog has become a very effective way for me to stay connected to many people all at once, as well as helping to grow the Masi business. The blgos that I read every day have become more important to me than the news or television in general. Just ask my wife, I watch very, very little television anymore, but I read countless blogs and participate in the blogosphere regularly. I have a huge network of friends now- that'd be you.

I am very thankful all of the readers who have made this silly space a part of their lives or their day. I am floored by how many of you did not vanish when the content here as gotten "soft". Thank you for your patience and understanding. Thank you also for finding something to like about the Daily Drive posts... it amazes me how many readers have been following this silly series. DOn't forget the video contest. Submissions have to be to me by the end of January.

The new year comes with new challenges and adventures. I'll continue to travel and will be in your neighborhood at some point most likely. January brings a trip to Taiwan for the first time. February brings trips to multiple places and some time during the spring I will be in Australia (and possibly New Zealand) again. It will be a great year for challenges, growth and new opportunities. It should be very exciting- to say the least.

Sincerely, I wish each and every one of you a fantastic holiday season and I hope that the coming year brings you much prosperity and joy. Thank you for your continued support and friendship- it means more to me than you all know.


Daily Drive

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Festive Festivus, Joyful Ramadan and Happy Chrismahanukwanza! That should cover them all... I hope.

Since this weekend is all of the holiday stuff, I haven't shaved in a few days, so yes, I know I need a shave... jeesh!

Socks dujour from SockGuy?

The very first repeat sock in the series since October 18th! iheartbikes socks. Custom from SockGuy!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Daily Drive

Today is meeting day... got vendors coming in and all that good fun, so it is a "not get much done day"...
Yep, she's stealing the show again...

Special Haro socks from SockGuy today... the dujour sock... yummy!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bos is the BOSS...

I know- everybody has been using that title, but it works so just shut up already.

(Photo AFP)
As a track racer, specifically a sprinter, I've been meaning to comment about the new 200m World Record just set by Theo Bos of the Netherlands. Seeing as to how I've ridden with the former holder of the record, Curt Harnett of Canada, and knew the previous holder of the record before that, Ken Carpenter (formerly of San Diego and a guy I hung out with), I feel a little connection to this new record.

9.772 seconds to cover 200m on a velodrome may not seem like much of a feat to anybody who is unaware of what that record means... but it is really freakin' fast! In contrast, my very best 200m I've ever ridden here in San Diego was 11.1 seconds- which was one of the fastest times recorded here that year ('96). That was a fast damn time back then, for here, but 9.772 is light years faster in the world of sprinting. Harnett's 11 year old record was 9.865 and was set at high altitude in Bogota Colombia. Bos set his record at sea level in Moscow. The magnitude of this can not be overlooked.

I admit that I am a bit of a fan of Bos. The guy represents what I believe to be the new era of track sprinting; he's not as bulky as most other sprinters of the previous era, he's got phenomenal strength to weight power and has blistering leg speed. He's simply a better sprinting machine. Look at his World Championship record; he's won all three of the sprint disciplines of Keirin, Match Sprint and Kilo. He is uniquely gifted as a rider and is still only 23 years old, so he has great years still ahead of him. According to one recent report, he's planning to switch to racing on the road after the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Road sprinters should be terrified of that news.

In the current climate of "they're all dopers", many people have come out and said that they feel that he simply has to be doping to accomplish this new record at sea level and to accomplish it all all. We have a very cynical view of our beloved sport these days because doping is out of control and our heroes are often tainted. The constant barrage of bad news has given many of us a jaundiced eye towards our sport and our "heroes". I believe that doping is an issue that has to be addressed, but I do not believe that riders are guilty until proven innocent. More importantly, I refuse to simply sit here with my mouth shut and allow the sport to be raked over the coals. People, mostly the press, have to stop painting cycling as the worst offender in the doping crisis. Look at baseball, football, soccer, basketball, swimming... all sports have a doping problem and they always will. I have said this before, but I'll go ahead and repeat myself again; as long as there is money, fame, recognition or even the whiff of "glory" to be won, people will cheat in sport, just as in life itself. Hell, I've known guys racing just at the Masters level who doped. For what? A freaking water bottle, a few packets of energy gel and a gift certificate to a local bike shop for winning the local office park crit? Bullshit! People are tempted to cheat for all kinds of reasons every day all day. It's a fact of life and it ain't confined to cycling.

Back up a second and catch your breath before you suggest that all riders or other athletes are doping. Many of them are, maybe even the majority, but not all. Not in cycling and not in any other sport. More importantly, don't act like they committed murder when they do get caught. They are athletes who happen to be damned good at playing a game, catching, kicking, throwing or hitting a ball or riding a bike. They are not role models for our children for being athletes. Maybe if they come from a really bad background and overcame to become a better person who helps the greater community, but not for being an athlete. Not even for a second. If we want to hold models up in front of our children as aspirational goals, then point them at teachers, firemen, doctors or anybody who does something to make this a better world. Not an athlete or other celebrity who simply entertains us. Every time I hear the public outrage about our children being lead down a path of destruction because of fallen "heroes" who happen to be athletes or celebrities I just want to vomit! Seriously? You're upset because an athlete is going to make a bigger impact on your child than their teacher? That's when you have to grab the emergency brake and yank that son of a bitch up hard and fast. I love this sport and others very much, but I will never be caught telling my children they should "be like Mike". Unless Mike happens to be a soldier who has returned from Iraq and has dedicated his life to helping his fellow vets recover from the horrors of war by helping them cope with that adjustment to life after war or injury. That's a good role model... not somebody who can run fast.

So, after that rant, I am really excited by Theo's new World Record. I'll be super bummed if he ever gets caught doping because I like the guy and respect what he has done. He seems like a decent human being too. Now, if he saves a kitty from a burning building, maybe I'll add him to a hero list of some kind.


Daily Drive!

Yippee... during regular hours this time!

Another chilly morning.

40 is cold people... I don't care who you are.

SockGuy sock dujour;

Bad Kitty... just for the ladies (again). Spreadin' the love... the Masiguy way. Beside, the first new video submission came from the Masiguy pseudo-sister Bitch Kittie... see the connection now?


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Daily Drive- Late again, but with pictures!

Yes, I'm really late again, but I've got the camera thing worked out now- thanks to a little card reader that I plug in and use to download with. So I'll back to a more normal posting schedule from now on... I hope.

I know my friends who live with real weather will mock me, but it was freakin' cold here this morning. At one point on my drive this morning, the temp read 37 degrees. Shut up! That's cold for here.

The cap reads, "Volvo for Life". For all my marketing friends; I used to drive a Volvo (just like the other hot soccer moms) and now drive a Saturn. I loved my Volvo wagon, right up until it finally died. The hat was something one of my coworkers brought back to me from a race- Volvo was a major sponsor in cycling for years and still has some involvement. I keep the cap and still wear it out of love for my old wagon and out of support of Volvo's support of cycling. Like the Festina watch, I've stood by Volvo because they've stood by the sport I love so much.

The SockGuy socks dujour?

D'luxe... a classic goodie. The bottom of the sock reads, "It's D'luxe son. D'luxe!" (As it turns out, looks like I might have some socks to award to the contest winner and possibly even 2nd and 3rd place too...)

The drive home... I tried to get some sunset pictures, but they came out really crappy. It was a beautiful sunset this evening though. The sky was full of pinks and oranges. It was lovely.



Just a couple quick random notes;

1) Hopefully I'll get the laptop fixed today and will be able to get back to a more normal picture uploading schedule... we'll see later today.

2) Jessi "Bitch Kittie" Pacetti posted her Daily Drive spoof video yesterday, so check it out. She's like a little sister, so I have to encourage her to do her homework and go to school, not pick her nose in public and eat her vegetables... she's a good kid.

3) Taliah Lempert simply kicks ass! Her paintings are so amazing and she's just damned cool. I got to meet her briefly, finally, in Vegas where she was painting during the trade show. Sadly, I never got out of the booth long enough to go watch her work and that is one of the biggest disappointments of the show for me. Anyway, Taliah sends me her show dates and I wanted to post the current one because if you are in NYC (and I know people who are) you simply MUST go check out her show;


I’m showing some work At NYC Velo, 64 2nd Avenue (between 3rd and 4th Streets) we’re having an opening reception Tuesday,December 19th 7-10pm

I hope you can make it & join me for a glass of wine, it’s been awhile since I’ve had work up in NYC!

Here’s a link with more information;

In addition to the paintings, there’ll be a bunch of stuff from my stuff page;

It will be a good place to pick up some holiday gifts.



So you have to go check out her show and her website... DO IT NOW!

That's all I got for now...


Monday, December 18, 2006

Contest announcement... again... WIN A MASI FRAME!

Since I posted this contest over the weekend and it was buried in a longer post, I thought I'd bring it out into the bright light of day for those folks who didn't see it the first time.

I have decided to run a contest, starting now until the end of January. Submit a video to YouTube and then send me the link or put the video on your own blog and send me the link to the post. The videos will be judged by me and the other viewers who rate the videos at YouTube and by the number of views the videos get (just to keep it remotely scientific). The winner will be picked by the end of February and will receive a special prize- most likely a Masi frameset. Just for submitting a video.

Here are the particulars;

1) The video has to be based on the Daily Drive posts. You can be on your bike, in your car, on a boat, on a train, on a plane, riding a unicycle... I don't even care. It just has to be about getting to work or school or something.

2) You have to show off your socks, just like I do. They don't have to be SockGuy socks, but I am going to see if I can get some for the contest winner.

3) It has to be fun and/ or funny. Seriously, don't get too serious with this or you're going to lose faster than the Detroit Lions or Oakland Raiders.

4) Anybody is eligible, even the folks who have already put up their videos. There are no limits to the length of the videos and you can be as artsy and abstract as you want, so long as the theme is intact.

5) Videos have to be posted to YouTube since that is one of the judging parameters.

Let your inner Fellini, Lucas, Spielberg, Kurosawa, Lynch or Craven run wild... so long as you have fun. If I don't laugh... you don't win.

So, I hope that gets your attention and gets your creative juices flowing!


Daily Drive- Late again...

So it looks like I am gonna have to break down and buy one of them silly plug-in flash card readers so I can download pictures again. That stinks... but the new computer is otherwise great!

For at least another day, the Daily Drive is an evening thing... I'll get back to a better schedule again one day soon. For now I have to download pictures at home...

And today's SockGuy sock dujour is something just for the ladies... solidarity girls!

Sometimes a fella just likes to feel pretty... Hottie socks for the man in touch with his feminine side, or the gal who knows the score.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Daily Drive- a bunch of stuff...

For some stupid reason that is beyond my expertise (the expertise I do not have), I am unable to get this great new laptop to find my camera when I plug it in with the USB cable. The new computer doesn't have that wonderful card reader slot, so I am forced to use the USB cable, but for some reason it doesn't recognize the camera. Maybe it is a driver deal, so I am going to try to find a driver for the camera online, since I can't find the box with the CD and instructions.

For the moment, I am now forced to download the images to my home PC and email the images to my laptop. It sucks, but it is the only way I have figured out how to get around the problem until I can go buy a card reader.

Anyway, I just have to thank my friends out there who have been having some great fun with video and the whole Daily Drive theme. First Tim Grahl (my blogging buddy, fellow Spokesman, contributor to my marketing blog and the unofficial Rupert Murdoch of the cycling web) did a parody of the Daily Drive, then his video spawned a new video by Fritz (another good blogging friend of mine with a great blog) and then Phil chimed in (my best Australian friend with an amazingly good blog). Each of these three flatter me more than you can possibly know with their videos. I laughed my ass off with each of the three and really enjoyed the sense of humor and spoofery. Thank you to each of you. Then today, my very good blogging marketing friend CK (and fellow contributor to the Marketing Profs Daily Fix) posted a piece about the success of the goofy Daily Drive posts and the viral goodness of the videos. Needless to say, I was more than just a little touched by her kind words and the kindness of the commentors as well.

As I have said before many times here, it is the readers of this blog who make it such a success. I would come here and write my usual drivel whether you folks showed up or not, but the fact that you folks do read this site and offer up so much feedback and support makes it so much more gratifying and fun than I can ever tell you. Thank you all so very much.

So, in light of all these great spoofs that have come out, I have decided to run a contest, starting now until the end of January. Submit a video to YouTube and then send me the link or put the video on your own blog and send me the link to the post. The videos will be judged by me and the other viewers who rate the videos at YouTube and by the number of views the videos get (just to keep it remotely scientific). The winner will be picked by the end of February and will receive a special prize- most likely a Masi frameset. Just for submitting a video.

Here are the particulars;
1) The video has to be based on the Daily Drive posts. You can be on your bike, in your car, on a boat, on a train, on a plane, riding a unicycle... I don't even care. It just has to be about getting to work or school or something.
2) You have to show off your socks, just like I do. They don't have to be SockGuy socks, but I am going to see if I can get some for the contest winner.
3) It has to be fun and/ or funny. Seriously, don't get too serious with this or you're going to lose faster than the Detroit Lions or Oakland Raiders.
4) Anybody is eligible, even the folks who have already put up their videos. There are no limits to the length of the videos and you can be as artsy and abstract as you want, so long as the theme is intact.
5) Videos have to be posted to YouTube since that is one of the judging parameters.

Let your inner Fellini, Lucas, Spielberg, Kurosawa, Lynch or Craven run wild... so long as you have fun. If I don't laugh... you don't win.

Have fun- I know I will.

Now, time for some delayed Daily Drive images from the past few days;

Here's the SockGuy sock dujour from my drive to work Wednesday- Kegger.

My drive home from Los Angeles on Thursday night. The trip to LA was successful, so you Los Angelinos (and "linas") can expect to see a few more Masi bikes in your worlds. And I'll be back a few more times over the next few months, so maybe a bike blogger/ wanker meeting should be arranged next time I'm there.

The drive to work Friday morning... I don't know what happened to the sock picture, but I was wearing the new Crash socks.

Once again thanks to the great friends I have out there and all of you readers for making this such a great experience for me. Don't forget to get your video submissions in before the end of January. I'll make it worth the while of the lucky winner.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Daily Drive- ARGH!

Well, no pictures to show today... although I did take several.

You might remember my previous ongoing saga of computer crashes. Well, I got a new HP laptop yesterday and now I have a much more stable system to operate with- YEAH ME! BUT... it doesn't have an integrated media card reader and for some reason it won't pull the images off the camera with the USB cable. So now I am trying to figure this all out... and I'm NOT a computer guy, so it is painful. So we find ourselves in a position where I am at least temporarily unable to show you my socks or my goofy head. DAMN!

For the record though, I am wearing cool socks today- Kegger.

Also, I will be traveling with my sales rep, Dennis Barrett, in Los Angeles tomorrow. So there might not be any posting until Friday. Don't run off thinking I've abandoned the place because I haven't. I'll be back... and hopefully with pictures too.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Daily Drive- Feel the love...

Once again the Masidaughter is the star of the show!

SockGuy sock dujour- Big Rooster... it's a wordplay thing, just think about it.

Lastly, Tim Grahl, my buddy at Crooked Cog, has blasted me pretty good with a video tribute to the Daily Drive... it's freakin' hilarious! (Thanks buddy!)


Monday, December 11, 2006


A teammate of mine sent me a great gift today (thank you Noah) and I just have to rave about it for a moment...

Today I got a package in the mail that contained the movie and accompanying photo book Pedal. The movie is a documentary about New York City bicycle messengers. Right there, that alone makes it pretty darned cool, but this documentary is done so amazingly well that you are sucked in and riveted to the characters from the very beginning. New York is full of characters, but NYC messengers are some of the most incredible and entertaining of them all. Not to mention how intense their stories are. The footage of riders is enough to make you sweat and twitch from start to finish, but the stories being told are equally as gripping. The film was originally aired in 2001 and then was purchased by the Sundance Channel in 2004 and aired there, so it is not exactly new. Outside of the messenger world though, the documentary is still somewhat unknown. Hopefully that changes.

Whether you ever ride a fixed gear bike or have any interest in messengers, I highly recommend this movie. I've seen lots and lots of documentaries over the years and this simple 56 minute film is so deeply engrossing and compelling that you are left wishing for more.

It isn't for the faint of heart though, so be prepared. The bike footage is fantastic and the interviews are so compelling and genuine that you really do bond to the messengers and the lives they live.

So if you are looking for a gift for a cyclist in your life, or simply looking to add something to your own collection, go out and buy this fantastic and amazing documentary. It won't let you down, until you realize it's over and you want more.

Thanks again Noah- I really appreciate the thoughtful gift.


The return of "5 Things"...

My good friend and Editor in Chief (Ann Handley) at The Marketing Profs;Daily Fix has tagged me with the yearly "5 Things" list of things you might not know about me. I did this last year as well, so this seems to be a yearly December tradition.

1) I am an ordained minister. I use "ordained" very loosely as the ordination comes via the Beer Church and the Universal Life Church. I am, however, legally able to perform weddings in the state of California, so keep me in mind. As I know some real ministers, please forgive me.

2) When I was in 9th grade, I hit 6 feet tall. It was a while later that I cracked 100 pounds... yeah, I was a babe magnet.

3) My other passion is writing, specifically poetry. For a few years, I wrote nearly all day every day. In the early 90's, I worked in a coffee house/ art gallery and did countless poetry readings. To this day, I dream of finally publishing a book of my poetry and having it reviewed by the New Yorker or having a single poem published in it. (Robert Creeley is my all-time favorite poet.)

4) I have buried a fish hook into every finger on my hands, my cheek just below my right eye and in the back of my head. The one in the back of my head was with a lure I borrowed from my uncle, so I was scared I'd have to cut the hook off and give it to my uncle minus a hook. I was also fishing when I was supposed to be at home doing homework, so my mom was really pissed when I called her and she took me to the doctor to get the lure removed from my dumbass head. (She still remembers this too... don't you Mom?)

5) When I was a small child/ toddler, I grabbed a jar of Vaseline while I was in my crib and smeared my entire body with it, as well as my hair. My Mom says it took days to get the stuff out of my hair.

BONUS; I have fractured my left elbow, fractured 6 ribs, broken my right clavicle, fractured a few fingers and gotten more stitches than I can possibly count... and yet I'm still alive, even if only by the sheer grace of God/ Allah/ Budha/ Yoda.

So now, who will read this to see they have been tagged in return? Paul, Chris, Nick, Phil, Gilby (since you got me last year)- it's your turn now!


Daily Drive

A pretty morning with the pretty Masidaughter...

... and I am not a doper- no matter what they say.

SockGuy sock dujour;
The "Flying F"... just give it a thought and you'll figure it out.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saturday ride...

I almost never get out and ride on the weekends because I feel that I owe the weekends to my family, since I spend so much time at work and working at home each night. The weekends belong to them. However, now and again the time and circumstances work out so that I actually do get out and ride. Usually it's a short hour+ loop that I enjoy, which is what I got to do today.

The family was off at a birthday party, so I got offered the chance to go ride later in the afternoon. I scrambled to find some clean gear and headed out the door for a great loop that runs along a peninsula (Point Loma) that helps to create the San Diego Bay and is also home to the Navy and the Fort Rosecrans military cemetery (which is where my Grandfather and Grandmother are buried- so I stopped to visit them as well).

My Grandparents were pretty special to me, so I visit them every time I go out on Point Loma. It's such a beautiful view of the ocean on one side and the bay on the other.

In the distance is the San Diego downtown area.

It was great to get out for a nice spin to keep the legs fresh. Sales pitch time; it is rides like the one today that make me really appreciate the ride quality of my 3VC carbon frame. It simply kicks ass on the rough roads this loop offers. It is stiff enough that I can climb out of the saddle or sprint without noticable flex from the back end, but it is also really plush over the bad stuff. One of the biggest reasons for that ride quality is the shape and curve of the seat stays. The curve of the stays aids in increasing rear brake power since the stays can not flex back toward the seat tube when you apply the rear brake. The curve also hellps to keep the rear wheel in contact with the ground, sort of like a spring. It's something you can actually feel in the ride... not just me waxing poetic with the marketing speak. Ok... I'm done with that.

So needless to say, I had a nice ride. After the ride, I headed out to pick up the family from the birthday party.
This is what San Diego looks like from the Coronado Bay Bridge;

It was a not-so-bad day today.

And the SockGuy sock dujour today?

You can not go wrong with classy argyle socks... ever!

And... Skinny... I'm coming to get you!

Bring it!


Friday, December 08, 2006

The boys are back in town...

As mentioned yesterday, Chad Thompson and Ryan Gamm from the A&F/ Inferno team were in town Wednesday afternoon through this morning. Chad and Ryan were also accompanied by Chad's father Bruce, who handles all of their legal issues, and Matt Olson, the creative genius.

Chad and Ryan were here specifically to meet with Canari to get the team's new kits set up and try out the clothing. They were also here to work out the details of what clothing would be needed for the coming season attacking the NRC calendar and some other major events; it's no small feat to outfit a team of 16+ riders for an entire year of racing everything from crits to road races to stage races to time trials to track events in conditions ranging from hot to cold to rain to snow. Canari is my former employer and they are still great friends of mine, so I am double happy with this arrangement; the team is getting great gear from good friends. That's a good gig! And, just so you kow, they were very happy with the clothing they got to ride in.

I got to get out for a short ride Wednesday with the guys. Basically I escorted them the couple miles from our office to their hotel. Then I had to bug out of work early to go pick up The Princess from school.

This picture was taken about an hour before Chad had the crash in the parking lot that I promised I wouldn't mention because he fell on his butt and possibly cracked his tail bone. But since I promised I wouldn't mention it, I can't tell you how he was goofing off and did a badly timed wheelie that put him on his buns just inches in front of the hotel door. (Don't worry man, your secret is totally safe with me.)

Thursday morning I met the guys at the hotel so we could get out for a good ride before I headed in to the office. Chad's tail bone was sore for some reason, so he was a little concerned about spending time in the saddle... I don't know why. Canari set them up with some good cool weather gear since the morning air was pretty chilly, though it was a beautiful sunny day and would eventually warm up nicely.

I'm not exactly sure why Ryan is grimacing, but he was staring past me to the ocean and the rolling waves.
As you can see, it was a pretty crappy morning in SoCal. Chad and Lynn from Canari heading up our little peloton.
Here's Ryan doing the tourist thing getting his picture taken at the beach in December with surfers in the background. He wanted to capture the moment- something about rubbing it in the faces of his friends at home... something like that.

This is a rare image- Chad on his cell phone. This almost never happens... NOT! As it turns out though, on this particular call, Chad was speaking to a newly signed rider from England. (More details to follow.)

Lynn, Ryan and Chad (still on the phone with England).

The ride was about 3.5 hours and we had perfect weather the entire time. For the record; 1) Chad and I are both sprinters and track riders. As such, it was invariable that at some point or another that he and I would end up playing "who's faster" and sprinting. 2) The sprint was close, almost too close to call, but deep in Chad's heart he knows who won (me)... just ask Ryan. (Something tells me he might have thrown the sprint to make the old, fat, out of shape sponsor feel better about himself... but said sponsor is not complaining.)

Friday the guys rode without me, but I swung by the hotel to pick up the bikes they were riding and to give Gamm-bino his present I promised him at training camp back in February. He didn't get the pink camo booties I promised, but he got a few other cool trinkets for his fast little feet. He was happy... I think I saw a tear.

So it was great having the guys in town for a few days. Thanks to Canari for arranging the trip out west and allowing me a little time with the guys. Seriously people, this is a team of great guys who I really enjoyed working with in 2006 and 2007 is only going to be that much better. I will have a bunch of team news coming soon; full press releases on the team and sponsors and new rider bios like last year. Training camp is in Macon, GA in February and will be fantastic, so stay tuned for that report as well. '07 is going to be one fantastic year for the team and its riders, so I recommend keeping an eye out for them... just look for the coolest team kit in the US Pro peloton (possibly anywhere for that matter).


Daily Drive- Late edition

(I know I am hours past due... so stop bugging me already!)

This picture almost manages to hide the fact that I need to shave... almost. It was a nice sunny morning in between patches of near white-out fog.

SockGuy sock dujour...
Something for the ladies- Pink Flames! Admit it- you want some!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Daily Drive/Ride

Another day at the office...

The two good-lookin guys are Chad Thompson and Ryan Gamm from the A&F/ Inferno Pro Development team that I proudly sponsor. Ryan won a couple races this year and Chad is the Boss/ Team Director (and father to be... congrats). The boys are out meeting with Canari Cyclewear, my former employers and friends, as they will be the team's new clothing supplier for 2007! Cool...

More to follow.

And though you can't see them, the SockGuy sock dujour is... Evil!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Daily Drive

Sunny day, cold morning.

SockGuy sock dujour;

A little love for my friends at Kenda! (It is of course a SockGuy custom.)