Saturday, February 26, 2011


Its 2011. Next year according to the Mayan calendar, the world will end. That means if you want to have fun and get things done, you'd better get on the stick right quick!

Unless some sadistic tree hating Bozo has printed this out, you are reading it on-line, just like the other guy who accidentally stumbled across it (not to be confused with StumbleUpon, but that is a post of another day). I've had numerous (4) people ask me, "How do I subscribe to your entertaining, enlightening, educating, and inspiring blogs, Rock?"

All I can say is that if you are on-line and you don't have a FREE Google account, you are probably braindead or at least severely retarded. Really really Effing seriously severely retarded.

A Google account will get you an iGoogle Homepage and a Gmail account (which is awesome and transfers no matter where you live or how many times you change ISPs (Internet Service Providers). It offers Google AdSense, which is one of the leading ways to make money off of your web sites or blogs. It can be used to create an account on Blogger and to log in.

Google Voice gives you a free local phone number that you can forward and make calls or send text messages with from your PC.

It offers Buzz as a social network, chat, calendar, translator, and much much more.

Google Reader is a great utility for subscribing to blogs, checking web sites, and more.

And let us never forget the super fast, simple, and reliable Google Chrome browser that works on PCs, Macs, and Linux systems.

The more productive you can be on-line, the less time you need to spend on-line, and the more time you will have to do all of those great things that you read about on-line! (Like not watching TV!).

Did I mention almost everything was FREE?

Its the Twenty First Century, follow the advice I give my wife;  Get our from under your Rock and go outside and play. Have a life!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dieting sucks, but the alternative is worse.

 Okay, so the 4 Hour Body program was not meant to be fun. Its designed to lose weight fast and in a healthy manner. You can eat anything you want as long as it is meat, beans or vegetables (but not white ones like corn or potatoes).

I've been on it for three days already and I am sick of it. Maybe I need to be more creative. I'm a bit spoiled and lazy. I tend to eat out or eat out of a box or a bag. If its not ready on the fly or under three minutes its not worth bothering with. This is an adjustment, kind of like being crucified. There is no comfortable position. Its just something you gotta grin and bear.

Well after riding my new bike a mere tortuous mile on hilly curvy roads and eating shitty chili, beans, bland chicken, beans, nuked sausage, beans, raw mushrooms, beans, fried eggs, beans, and beans, I was feeling a bit cranky and sorry for myself. Then I saw this video:

I don't want to be this guy! I mean I'm happy he's happy and I don't want to judge, but this is not good.

Pass the effing beans.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rock on a Giant Boulder

At the end of last year I designed a web site for my friend, Mike Henley's new bike shop, Mike's Got Wheels, in Gaffney, South Carolina. Last time I owned a bike I had a lot of trouble with my legs and thought my bike riding days were behind me. I test rode a few recumbent trikes and had no leg pain! I thought Hallelujah! I have a hundred pounds to lose, here is my answer. I was all set to get a recumbent trike when I rode several upright diamond frame bikes on a whim. No leg pain! Wahg! Mass confusion set it before I learned that the problem was most likely a poor fit on my previous bike than my legs.

So after learning a ton about recumbent trikes and even setting up a recumbent bike web site,, I decided I liked the upright position, agility, and better vision and visibility of a traditional bike. I visited eleven bike shops and manufacturers, dozens and dozens of web sites, read books and magazines, and finally created a list of the things I wanted on my perfect bike that I would love and ride forever.

It had to have; the recommended medium sized aluminum frame, 29" or 700c wheels, a rigid fork or a fork with a mechanical lockout, disc brakes, double walled rims, trigger (not twist) shifter, low enough gears to handle all of the nasty curvy hills in SC, and a fairly wide tire in case I had to ride on the shoulder of the road. I narrowed it down to four that met my "needs", all of which ran right at around six hundred dollars; Felt Trail 9, Trek PDX, Giant Roam 1, or Giant Seek 2.

Today I bought a new 2010 Giant Boulder. It has a large Cro-moly (steel) frame, 26" tires, caliper brakes, single wall rims, trigger shifters with a 14 - 34 teeth cassette, and 26 x 2.10" Kenda K-Rad tires. The bike cost $299.00. I enjoyed the test ride on it more than some $1,200.00 bikes I rode. The Shimano components shifted flawlessly.

The steel frame absorbs vibration much better than an aluminum one. I like the "improper" fit of the large frame much better than the cramped feel of the recommended medium sized frames. The 26" wheels are a bit more agile and since I am riding for enjoyment and exercise, not speed or transportation, I didn't need the bigger 29" wheels. Double walled rims are really for off road riding or riding on really crappy roads with lots of potholes. Disc brakes are a nice option, but unless I am riding Cyclocross, have a bent or out of true rim, or ride in the rain a lot, they are really just a luxury.

It came down to getting a dependable, solid bike that I would enjoy riding and that would last me for a good long while. Most of my wish list was frills, not necessities. I can't see a need to upgrade anytime soon. Sometimes the saying "You get what you pay for" just isn't true. A lot of it is just marketing and brand recognition. Nobody is going to convince me that a ten thousand dollar bike has eight thousand dollars more value than a two thousand dollar bike. Take off the price tags and labels and it comes down to which ride feels the best. I'd guess less than 2% of riders can see any difference!

I got a bike I love for half the price of the bikes I "wanted" by shaking off the advertising (and some of the experts), and trusting my body and my intelligence.

Should a Rock ride on a Giant Boulder? My answer is definitely yes.

Thanks to Mike Henley and the guys at BikeWorx, The Great Escape, Sunrift Adventures, Carolina Triathlon, TTR Bikes, Sunshine Bikes, Ride On Bikes, Gusto Cycles, and others for their patience with my endless questions.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mensa Fitness Challenge

I've been in Mensa, the so called high IQ Society, off and on for over twenty years. My belief has long been that intelligence is a gift. I didn't do anything to earn it or to give me a reason to be proud of it. Having it is not as important as what I do with it, like any other talent or gift.

I was thinking earlier today that Mensa might just be one of the greatest groups of underachievers anywhere. We obviously have some bright shining stars, but as a whole, we seem to be average in most categories. I think we totally bomb the fitness group, reinforcing the nerd geek stereotype.

I think everyone in Mensa has been asked at least one question that started with. "If you are so smart, then why do/don't, are/aren't you _____(Fill in the blank). Most of the answers ring hollow, whether the blank is rich, in charge, famous, highly successful, perfect, happy, or other.

I'm digging around in Timothy Ferriss' new book, "The 4 Hour Body" and wondering if we had a Mensa Fitness Challenge how we would do compared to the average Joe. I shudder to think.

What mark will you leave? What have you contributed to the human race and your great grandchildren's future? What have you done with your gift? Its like the parable of the talents.

Can we, the brightest minds, devise a workable fitness plan for the masses and ourselves?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nine Trail - Felt Bicycles

Nine Trail - Felt Bicycles

I think this will be my new bike. 29" tires, disc brakes, front shock with mechanical lockout, aluminum frame, all for under $600.

Its more versatile than a hybrid bike.

I believe I will swap out the tires for a set of Drifters with a reversed tread also.

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles

Twisted Faces - Caricature Art from Rock Cowles
Twisted Faces Web Site

Kowulz on Facebook

Dave Cowles's Facebook profile

Caricatures by Rock Kowulz