3.31.2005

.


MUSIC LINKS: here are some great
LINKS off my friend Steve's site


.
The Current Plan is to RACE in PA this weekend
but there are other factors...
there are of course family obligations and a friend's one year old's birthday party
there is the long drive...
there is my lack of conditioning
there is my lack of preparation
and on the positive note
they added a Clydesdale Class...
which has me psyched...
but this forcast is bumming me out!

this WEB CAM shot is good enough to discourage Snowboarders and Mountainbikers!
(of course... it is live.... so the archive version will give a different image)





right now i am enjoying some classic DAGNASTY from their downloads section
here it is friday afternoon.... the updated forcast in the area of this race is calling for HEAVY RAIN.... looks like I may be working or going to a one year old's birthday party


Punk Rock was always about "the kids!"
now Punk Rock is really about the kids
Pancake Mountain
check it out.... you may get a kick out of some of the faces you see rocking out with the kids!

all this 20 year reunion crap is dragging me up and down memory lane
some memories more choice than others
some memories that are best forgotten

music most definitely has some strong positive memories
music was something that was very important to me in my misspent youth

here are a few sites that steve shared with me



DAGNASTY

and this pheer.com... which seems to be a tad more up to date
at this point in my life waking up with my ears ringing and smelling like smoke do not rank up in my priorities... prefer to lay low and have my drinks at home
two things....

1. Normally when I take this test.... I am SOA... today I am Minor Threat... does that mean I am EVOLVING?



You are MINOR THREAT! You are intelligent,
energetic and DIY embodied. You don't take any
crap from anybody, but are willing to accept
anyone in the underground. You love to exchange
new ideas and are well respected in the scene.
People like you because you started it all, you
are passionate and you are great at what you
do.


WHAT D.C. HARDCORE BAND ARE YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla


2. Last Night I got a Drink with two friends from high school, this is the year of our 20th high school reunion... no I am not old... I am Doggie Howser!
during this get together at Columbia Heights still sort of new, sorta new, and sort of cool dive, The Wonderland Ballroom... we did a little catching up... Bill and Steve are into music... Steve credits the path of his passion for music to one tape.... a mix tape that I made for him of DC Hardcore 7 Inches
it is pretty cool to hear that I was able to have such a positive effect on someone... just by sharing something with him that I thought was worth sharing

oh....
my head hurts
also
did not get my beauty sleep.... again!

3.29.2005

The Circus is in Town! this weekend past I took my son Dean and my brother's eldest son Eric to the circus

I feel about the circus the same way I feel about the zoo.... I am torn
my question about the ethical nature of the circus is greater than my questioning of the zoo
then once viewing the circus and its various "acts" my questioning becomes more percise.... per animal... per display

at this point I have no boycott of either the zoo or the circus
as a matter of fact I am a regular at the zoo and I am an anual attender (is that a word?... attender... not attendant?) of the circus... more specifically The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus

the circus is a wonderful part of child's youth
the animals... the clowns... the MAGIC or it all
it is really quite spectacular... all the lights... all the sounds....
all the overly priced junk at the consession stands!
the circus has always had a bit of the medicine show swindler side of things... some things never change
six dollar popcorn
nine dollar cotton candy... was that 9 dollar cotton candy!?!??!
sure it comes with a mask or a hat... I don't want the mask or the hat.... I want cotton candy
I want sticky fingers and a quick sugar buzz!
whipped sugar with colored dye.... give it to me... and give it to me cheap! for 9 bucks I could rent that dam machine and make my own cotton candy!
the list of over priced food continues on into a long list of overpriced spinners, lights, stuffed animals, and other assorted junk that would most certainly break before getting home
needless to say I wanted it all... but as the adult with the wallet.... I needed to lead by example
let the standard be set.... no junk will be purchased at the concession stands!

Dean and Eric were out of control!
their level of energy had very little to do with the circus
they feed off each other
they both regress into a little balls of energy that are just bouncing off each other and bouncing off the walls
it can be a frustrating experience...
it is vital to keep them in control.... so on this trip I am not there on level playing ground
I am not there as their buddy... I am there as a chaparone.... I am there as a cop

SLOW IT DOWN!
NO... DON'T TOUCH THAT!
BRING IT BACK!
DON'T RUN SO FAR AHEAD
BE CAREFUL NOT TO KICK THE CHAIR IN FRONT OF YOU
NO MORE WRESTLING
BECAREFUL NOT TO RUN INTO ANYONE
STAND IN ONE PLACE ON THE ESCALATOR
HOLD MY HAND
WHILE IN THE SUBWAY STATION THE RUNNING AND THE PLAYING STOPS!

for me.... as much as I want to hang and be one of the guys... it is a party of two... I am just coming along for the ride... I am just the person with the tickets... I am just the person with the money to buy the popcorn

it was unclear to me what the boys were watching, what entertained or intrigued the children, they were bouncing in the seat, grabbing at each other, shoveling mouthfuls of popcorn down their throats, wrestling in the seats, still bouncing in their seats,
at intermission we did a long lap around the MCI Center
this lap included more running, more wrestling, more spinning, more falling, more bumping and bouncing into people and each other
this lap also included many passes past the very attractive concession stands... those spinning lights drew the boys in like a moth to a flame... I had to swat them away before the "you break it... you buy it" policy went into effect
not sure who... but someone was sure to buy the snowcone that has been touched by a thousand little hands!

after intermission we stayed close to the end
but evacuated before the close of the show....
this was done in the classic Bob Gwadz Style, Bob is my dad.....
in hindsight.... maybe we should have stayed till the end
my father spent way too much time trying to beat traffic... trying to make good time.... trying to beat the crowd
in this situation there was no complaint... the boys did not seem too concerned about the Chinese Contortionist act
I do not want this evacuation to be the norm... I remember as a child seeing the Washington DC Fourth of July Fireworks display from the back window as we drove back to Bethesda from downtown...

we had seen the Lions which was quite spectacular (and perhaps the most questionable of the animal displays in the circus)
we had seen what I thought was the highlight of the show... the women instructing the white horses to move about in a dance-like fashion around her
we had seen what I thought was enough
they were bouncing in their seat more than ever
so we left

the metro ride home was uneventful
Eric seemed to be playing up to me in an effort to make Dean jealous
Dean seemed to be falling right into Eric's trap.... as well was I... it was pretty far into our discussion of the Metro Map that I realize Dean was completely left out
it is tough wanting to be a good uncle and wanting to be a good dad....
just as I can not pet both my dogs simultaneously....
I can not give my full attention to two children at the same time
to pet both dogs at the same time only gives a one handed pat.... which just is not the same thing
in this case... I felt that a two handed full attention discussion of the map was worth the risk

once out of the Metro we marched on the sidewalk from Columbia Heights to Mount Pleasant
when on the street with the kids I am not much fun
can be a bit of a drill sergant
as we walked along 16th Street I never took my eyes off the two boys
always anticipating any sudden acceleration or sudden movements
forbidding them to make contact with each other..... for fear that someone may trip or fall into the street

as it is a long walk from the Metro to my house
we took a break to recharge at the new toddler park over by Sacred Heart Church
the boys ran around exploring this park that they had never played in before
I watched the boys as I pumped back and forth on the swing
they seemed pretty well entertained, no need for my interaction/intervention or guidance
when they started to lose interest I swayed them towards our departure
it was time to go just the same... people were expecting us home

as we moved towards the gated exit of the park a young Latino boy came strutting over with a handful of those little POPPERS... he tossed them to the ground in exhibition for Dean and Eric to see
he was a sweet little boy who was more than willing to share his final POPPERS with Dean and Eric
there were two left... then they were all gone
before we could evacuate.... this little boy asked I Dean and Eric wanted to play FREEZE TAG
to the best of my knowledge my three and a half year old had never played tag before
so I had the boys each introduce themselves
then I had this little Latino boy, Andy, explain the rules to the game
he was clear and articulate... and maybe less Lation than he appeared
then I went over the rules again

to make things simple I was "IT"
the boys ran and hid
they climbed and jumped
I chased while they screamed
everyone was very good about staying FROZEN in place waiting and calling out to be freed
tried to capture everyone equally
always trying to be fair
never wanting anyone to be upset
always trying to let someone have the pleasure of freeing the other FROZEN players
that was fun
we played for some time
time was passing fast and I had told my brother we
were on our way home
there was still Peruvian Chicken to pick up for dinner
so we stopped the game while the game was still going
good
always great to stop before someone is crying
we said our thanks and our goodbyes to little Andy
then marched down the block to Mount Pleasant Main
Street

once on the strip there was trash to kick and grates
to jump on
it was tough to corral the kids to the rotisserie
chicken joint... then once inside they were running
wild while I ordered
they were shaking the gumball machine
then once I got them to stop that they started to lick
the glass windows of the tall refrigerators
the notion of looking at the images of Macchu Picchu
did not appeal to them
so I resorted to having them sit
I had them sit on each side of me to keep them calm
eventually the food came
we left
saw my brother drive down the road
he had called when I was ordering the food, but my
phone battery died mid conversation
I chased him down the block with the two children
he turned the corner
we went down to the other corner in anticipation...
he had gone a different direction
we headed for home
enough chasing around

he found us
gave us a ride home

it was the end of a long day for me
was glad the boys got to see the circus
was glad that I got to see the circus
was glad I got to see the circus with the boys
was glad I got to see the boys see the circus





3.26.2005

.


OLD BAY
old bay.... we all know... it is great on crabs
then those of us with a little more knowledge know... old bay.... it is great on corn
and
old bay is great on popcorn

in small less dominant doses old bay is great with anything and everything
most any meat
but tuck it in there with anything you like spicy....
partner it up with a little cumin or have it team up with a little curry

in some cases I like to enbrace the dominance that is old bay
other times I just like to let the taste leave me wondering what is it that makes this so great
tonight I learned something obvious

you know goldfish
sure you know goldfish
old bay... it is great on goldfish
no.... not your pet goldfish
the goldfish cracker product
is it disney or is it just the smile of the modern day

let me jump right into this one
just bought the Incredibles
they got my money in the movie theater and they got my money here with the DVD

not sure which to approach first... the advertising or the full screen/wide screen thing
easy enough
first I will ask this question...
Did the Incredibles come out on FULLSCREEN and WIDESCREEN
and would I have been more happy with the WIDESCREEN version
how do they expect me to be that concerned with which screen version is on the DVD I grab while I race through Target in a made dash before bedtime
details are usually important to me... how long have I been ignorant to the two package options.. Full or Wide screen?

now the bigger issue....
what is up with Disney and marketing?
is it really all about money?
their product has gone down hill and they have gotten more involved in marketing
across the board I am against previews at movies.... or more precisely.... at children's movies
heck.... I love previews... trailers at the Apple site are one of my favorite things to do
sure.... if the commercial is entertaining in a movie style and can only be seen in the movie.. believe it or not I can accept that
ADCRITICS.com was once one of my most favorite sites... till it became a pay site
but lay off the children
give the children some space
take their money
heck... sell them your toys
but please... please..... please.... keep your images off the sugar cereal, don't make fruit flavored figurines made of sugar and who knows what.... the toys at McDonalds fall into the same category of zoos and the circus... so good... so fun... yet so questionable
and lastly... when I buy your DVD even when I get FULLSCREEN when I may have wanted WIDESCREEN please... please... please keep your little advertising packets and coupons away
this little packet that may be a little book
and I know Dean is not the only kid that is opening the DVD package to pull out the little book!
this little book is not a book
this little book is not even a book of coupons
this little book-like package is a a collection of ads....
disney is selling our kids Pringles, Frigo Cheese snacks, several kids yogurt products, and some detergent.... with a few images of the Incredibles tossed in the corner of each page
talk about sell outs.....
they are selling their souls
they are selling our children into a world of product

yes... this does sound a little like a chapter from SUPERSIZE ME
there is some genius there
just saw the McDonald's commercial for the INCREDIBLE'S HAPPY MEAL
looks like a good toy
too bad I don't eat at McDonalds... like it too much.... still eat crap... just not their crap

again I ask.....
obesity is an epidemic?

3.25.2005

what is happening here?

I was trying to figure out my mountainbike race plans
starting to look forward to racing in two weeks
starting to think I better take a look at my bicycle
realizing that racing is training
realizing that other people are in a similar lack of condition this time of year

was really looking forward to racing in the newly established Clydesdale Class for this event/series

well..... not sure if the Clydesdale Class is going to happen

bummer.

emailed the promoter..... wondering if there is an error in the race information or if there was a change in plans

sort of a bummer as I thought we had worked this all out a few months prior

some one riddle me this...
why is the SINGLE SPEED a more legit class than a Clydesdale Class?
seems to me a person can decide to ride with or without gears
while I can not decide to race at a weight of 160lbs.... I have to race at 235lbs
sure I could drop a few pounds.... but I would still be over 200 pounds no matter what I do

this is a NORBA event....
(National Off-Road Bicycle Association)
NORBA has yet to recognize the Clydesdale Class....
I have had some brief email communication with the folks at NORBA
there were several replies back... both positive.... both from the only names I knew/recognized on the NORBA board
there were no further responses

we will see.....

the removal of the Clydesdale Class will effect my desire to race
I still want to race... but it takes it from a definitely to a strong maybe
if the weather seems wrong... if my car pool falls through... or if there is a rumor of a wet muddy course
then my "definitely" switches to a strong maybe and "a strong maybe" is closer to "no" than "definitely"
mountain bike race info for April 3rd in PA
notice... no mention of a Clydesdale Class

such is life being stuck between being a Moderately Fast Sport Racer and a Moderately Slow Expert Racer.....
the easy answer....
compete as a CLYDESDALE as CLYDESDALE IS MY CLASS!

great GWADZILLA RANDOM ARCHIVE

3.24.2005

never mind

as it turns out there is a change of plans
the reunion committee is going to create an official website
my MYSPACE experience was short and sweet

perhaps it is in my favor that this electronic addiction is put to rest before it started to control my life

the MYSPACE site had some amazing group potential

it was free and easy to join...

sure the server seemed to be a tad buggy... some difficulty loading images at first

that was cleared up and there have been no image issues since... in fact I swapped out my DEFAULT image to that old animated gif... the Hindu God Self Portrait... it has motion...

then once things started to pick up I managed to catch up with a person or two via the internal email
even made contact with a fellow graduate who I had never said more than hello or excuse me in the hall to
it was good to catch up with her.... it was interesting to hear the path of her life

yes... I had to dodge a few bogus MYSPACE friends... basically the equivelant of a POP-UPS

they were easy to spot out and then easy to DENY/BLOCK

there were the Instant Message Features, a MYSPACE Blog Feature, and of course plenty of room for a profile.... there were forums.... there were bulletins... the capacity to post 10 images
but....
but...

but it took a week for new MYSPACE Users to have rights to use the Forums and Bulletins

this is a protection mechanism against SPAMMERS and pratical jokers.....
again part of the Internet... as the site MODERATOR I could have easily knocked that stuff out

so this is now the unOfficial B-CC Class of 1985 Reunion Page
no... just kidding.. I am not trying to piss anyone off with what may be misconstrued as an ANTI-OFFICIAL Class of 1985 Reunion Page
cause that is not the case
I will no longer be pushing people to join the MYSPACE thing
sure I may miss the MYSPACE thing...
it is no different than FRIENDSTER or DOGSTER
it is no different than a YAHOO GROUP
it just happened go be a good excuse for me to dabble in the technology
as I never really found the interest to do the FRIENDSTER/DOGSTER/TRIBE thing
and ya know what
the kids must be having a lot of fun with the technology of the day
this stuff would have entertained me for hours as a college student
actually.... this stuff entertains me for hours now.... only problem is... I lack the hours to spare

to make contact
to catch up
to learn the path of various people's lives
that was the goal of the MYSPACE thing
these goals will be achieved just as easily with the Official Site

I will wait for the Official Site
I will look forward to the Official Site

I wonder if I have an excuse to create a different group in MYSPACE.... guess not
actually... just realized... MYSPACE is My Space... and the GROUP is something different
I am going to check some stuff out with the MYSPACE WORLD


this is an oldie but a goodie
it is great having a car that starts and runs
really love having lights that illuminate the road
can't believe that the windshield wipers can push away the rain
but having my old truck with all of its faults.... its refusal to start.. its refusal to go.... getting this old truck stolen caused me some stress.....

here is a story about coming home from work to find my truck missing


how does this happen?
my life is not a movie

so I a heading up Lamont Street after a days work
this new cross bike has put a little zest in my pedal
so I am trying to finish my post work ride strong
as I pass david, sharon, their two dogs and their newborn baby ZOE I give a half hearted hello
I am distracted
things are not as they should be
the spot where I parked my car the day prior is filled by a cab

I turn back down the block
and scan for my big blue truck
no sign of it
this truck is hard to overlook

I pass david and sharon again
they laugh and ask if I am trying to get a little more exercise
I tell them my truck was stolen or towed
sharon laughs and says something to the effect of how stupid we can feel when we forget where we parked our car
but I know where I parked my car
and it is not there

I do one more scan and even try one street over
I resign myself to the fact my car has been stolen
my heart rate has not changed
this is life in the city
getting angry will not bring my car back

I go home
check some emails
make sure I did not get the latest email virus
then jump into the shower
get out
dry off
no real rush
only just had my truck stolen
I scan the phone book for the nonemergency number to call the police
and in walks lisa with the baby and the dogs
I tell her the news.....my car was stolen
she says she saw it going down lamont just seconds ago
she figured it was me driving
she knew it was my car by the red bumper sticker that reads, "follow me and my SUV to the next gas crisis"

she thought it was parking in front of the halfway house
a second does not pass
I am on the line with the police
as I search frantically for my license plate information
I give the police the information
and rush to get a bicycle to see if I can chance on meeting with my truck

no lights
no helmet
no geeky reflective vest
I rush down the block like that crazy little chicken
only my exclamation has nothing to do with a falling sky
but with a 17 year old stolen truck
my rant seems almost as as absurd

I get down the block and there is my truck

oh silly me

sharon is right
I do feel stupid

I head for home
and think about how stupid I looked
as I approach up pulls DC's finest
they are sent on their way with my humblest apologies

I walk in and tell lisa that I was wrong
it had not been stolen
it had been parked it further down the block
she assures me that she saw it being parked and assumed it was me driving it

without a word I rush back
sure enough
the engine is hot
and their is a trail of various fluids still damp in the road
showing the curve of a well parked truck
off to the neighborhood 7-11 to get a flat foot
no luck
back to call 911
as I spot a black and white, only it is red white and blue with graphics that would be more fitting on a clown car, but go unnoticed since they have decorated the cars for nearly a decade
he is headed the other way
he call it in
it is my job to go back and guard my car

things start to feel a little crazy
am I mad?
the facts are reviewed and reviewed again and again
surely that car was not there 10 minutes prior
there is no way I could have passed it
am I high?
is this a scene from Memento?
what is happening here

as I wait for the police to return to the scene
the tale and all of its pieces are shared with any random passerby that will listen
my rants are mad
one woman allows me to use her cell phone
as I call 911 again a suspicious car makes its third pass down the block
she gets the plate

the police arrive
there are several cars
my story is told and retold
action is not happening
no one is interested in dusting for prints
my story is unbelievable
to the officer the engine is not hot
the drops of various fluid are not a trail of clues in his eyes
the engine does not appear to be hot to him
the doors are locked
no evidence of forced entry
no jimmied ignition
nothing
just the rants of a bald bearded man

the story deviates very little as I tell it for the 50th time
yet they seem less than convinced
the facts are there
car parked there
now here
engine hot
I ride my bicycle to work

what more do they want!
my car was stolen!

all the long I am thinking
is my car stolen every day?
at times I notice the gas seems to be significantly lower than the last time
but it is always dispelled as my usual paranoia
and the car runs great for months and then something dramatic is different
to me this is the character of the car, but has someone been driving this car daily?

the car was well parked
a good parking job especially with the brakes failing as they are
and no disrespect to the car
sure the steering wheel and the seat are in a position for a much shorter driver
but no trash or cigarette butts

it is all too weird
no X-files weird
but violated weird

the range of emotions have left me energized and confused

what was lost
is now found
that big piece of steel that I love so much is back
thought it was out of my life forever

wacky
truely wacky
let the season begin
let the rain cease so I can get out on some dirt


here it is Mid-March... time for me to start getting a little more active on the bike

as I get more active on the bike... expect that my blog posts will be more bike oriented and hopefully more interesting


yesterday on my very short commute home from Downtown DC to my urban/suburban home in Mt Pleasant I was scanning the road for potholes

the scanning was done not just for avoidance but also out of curiosity and interest
underneath six inches of asphalt there is a memory of a time past
just blocks from my house as the streets get more heavily trafficked the roads become more convoluted

people like to joke about crater size potholes...
this is an bit of an exaggeration
it is not so much the diameter of these crater-like holes in the road it is more an issue of the frequency and the depth of many of these potholes
these potholes are everywhere....
when driving a person may hit several potholes in an effort to dodge one pothole


so I was cruising down the road admiring cobble stone at the base of one pothole

than more asphalt at the bottom of another
than a pot hole with nothing but more pothole inside
then what appear to be trolley tracks under many of these holes

once turning off the major roads onto the side streets of Mount Pleasant my focus left the road
then moved towards the architecture of the 100 year old row houses that line the streets around me
I scanned for car doors soon to open, cars looking to jump out of their parking spaces, dog walkers not picking up their poop, and maybe a familiar face
then wham crack

with no warning what-so-ever I slam right into a major pothole
not a moon crater... just a large and deep pothole.... a pot large enough to cook spaghetti for an Italian Family reunion

luckily my grip was strong enough as so not to slip of the hoods of my cross bikes brake levers
while I was also lucky enough to have my arms relaxed enough at the elbow to take some of the shock
after the wham and crack I glanced down at the front tire and moved the front end from side to side checking to see if this encounter had caused a flat tire

seeing that the front tire was not flat I stood out of the saddle as to accelerate as I turned off Lamont onto 19th Street

as I started my turn I felt my rear end start to squish
let off the gas and started to coast my front end survived the impact....
my rear end did not
I flatted out in the rear

being just a few blocks from home I pedalled a few more strokes as the last bit of air worked its way out of the tube
then made a fluid cross style dismount
leaving me walking alongside my cross bike
walking not riding
heading home rather than replacing the tube
sure I have a tube and pump in my pack but the idea of making the repair with an actual floor pump and music in the background sounded more pleasing than fixing things on the spot
as per usual
when I got up the next morning the flat had not fixed itself
seems the gnomes and fairies are on strike
sure I could have grabbed another bike but there is that issue of the pedals
so time is spent fixing my bike when I should be riding my bike

oh well.... it is tough to teach this old dog new tricks
.

DT has created a very solid
Mid Atlantic Race Schedule

not familiar with DT?
check out DT's BLOG

.

3.23.2005

thanks R O B...

ah....
MYWORLD66 ?
not sure what it is....
but
it has these cool map functions

this map depicts the countries I have visited on this planet
it may be missing a country....
maybe Holland, that would be about it
not a great ratio.... great times... but much more land to cover

I think my travel through various states may be a more impressive ratio
let me try the United States map now....




create your own visited country map
or check our Costa Rica travel guide

I would rather that the states I visited be colored in BLUE
but that is not how the election painted it
here is the map of states I have visited



create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourFlorida travel guide

it looks cool
but I fear joining....
maybe I will get into after I settle down with the MYSPACE REUNION PAGE

I had thought about removing their little plug for the TRAVEL GUIDES
but.... I have nothing against travel guides
let me go check out their travel guides... they were good enough to give me those cool maps
electronic addictions

for years I have had various electronic addictions
pong was good.... but lacked that compulsion
it all started with the coin operated video games
there were some crazy moments as a money-less child in bethesda
I was HOOKED! I had to play!
lie cheat and steal... just for a game of Space Invaders or Asteroids
don't insult me with the single joy stick Pac Man
give me the variety of controls on Defender
or get old school with the roller ball on Missle Command
or the spinner on Tempest
okay... maybe a quarter spent on Pac Man if I was out for pizza and there was nothing else to play
it was never my game.... I was good.... but it was never my pleasure

had to play
just had to play

I recall as a small child wandering through Bethesda Square
this was before there was an established "arcade" in town... No Jerry's.... no Games People Play... certainly no Pins and Qs
there were two machines across the hall from the pet store where I would go to watch them feed the chameleons
one time I noticed the glass was missing off the front of the video machine
then I noticed that you could see the coin box
there were all sorts of coins on top of the box
I thought I could most certainly reach one of those coins and play a game of Space Invaders
after all... I was good... real good.... and I had to play... really had to play
the only problem was that you could not look down at the coin and reach through the opening at the same time
so I had to reach down and feel around
there I was with knees on the ground and my arm in this machine feeling around when
SNAP
CRACKLE
and POP!

a shock ran through me and the power went off in the whole building
if the Carosel was running it stopped along with the lights
I was out the back door lucky to be alive
yet only worried about whether or not I was going to get in trouble

now in adult life I have had several electronic addictions...
email has been a good long lasting addiction
recently email has been replaced by the BLOG
not replaced entirely.... email is still a vital form of communication.... but it does not fulfill that need like BLOGGING does
ah.... so I BLOG
I read BLOGS
I write BLOGS
I BLOG SURF
I even have a card to my blog
man I am such a BLOG-NERD would that be a BLERD?

in any case....
so out pops my 20th High School Reunion and along with it I figure MYSPACE would be a good way for people to get back in touch with each other
there was talk of someone building a site
but
I figured in the time these people start talking about it... we could be up and going at MYSPACE.com
sure I had wait a week before I could create a group.... but that is still weeks before they would even get started on this "said website."

then what happens...
I get this email from a friend who I have been trying to start BLOGGING

there are these.... they are interesting and well traveled
when they travel or have something to say they send out these emails....
I think that the whole story could be more palettable if posted on a BLOG
it would be there to be read instead of deleted
then left their as an archive rather than lost in the SPAM
not every Blog needs to have daily entries....
just email people when some FRESH stuff has been loaded up
they can check it out or they can ignore it

so I am curious.... WORLD66
could this be a better interface than the BLOG at BLOGGER.com?
do I need this in my world?

most certainly not
especially with the new electronic addiction... MYSPACE

here is my MYSPACE PROFILE and the link to my High School Reunion Page at MYSPACE.com....
which would only be interesting to you if two things happen....

1) You know people who graduated from B-CC in 1985

and

2) Some people start to join up, load some images, and slap those keys to get some info down

okay....
I checked out MYROUTE66
it seems pretty cool
I had to back out quickly
could feel that pull
things started to get interesting
then I realized I just do not have the time for another electronic addiction
Blogging and the Risks of Blogging....

there are certain risks that we take when we blog
the topics and opinions we share
as well as the stories that we may tell
I have made a beyond concious level to not BLOG about work...
but what about BLOGGING about friends and neighbors?
I guess if you say something favorable.... they will be thankful.... but what about the other stuff?
what are the risks?

we know the risks.... the risks are high....
as a rule... nothing should be said in a BLOG that you would not be willing to say to their face
my previous two posts are both a tad questionable
as a matter of fact.... many of my posts are a tad questionable
guess I am willing to take these risks

not ready to risk my job
not ready to risk my marriage
but... as far as pissing off a friend... if they are my friend they know me well enough to know what to expect from me
they have all been pissed off at me before and will be pissed off at me again

just as long as I keep everything else together I am cool....
well, not cool.... I am alright.



for me....
the topics of what I BLOG about are not as questionable as the time I spend BLOGGING
I think I have started to keep things in perspective... but I must control the BLOGGING BEAST that is part of me
back from the beach
still rested
still moderately tan
still moderately sun burned
still feeling invigorated
yet happy to be back

my vacation seemed to do what vacations are supposed to do
for that... I am thankful

now that I am back from the beach I am able to reflect on my time in florida...

first a little fun fact about Florida from MYWORLD66

It is also the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles exist side by side


it was an awesome vacation
it was a f-cking awesome vacation
the weather was perfect, well not perfect.... but good enough
each day easily fell under that bumper sticker philosophy...

a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work

we did not go fishing... but you get the point

sure the rain came down in Biblical Proportions on Thursday....
sure it was high seventies and not mid-eighties...
those factors did not make a difference
there was still plenty of sun for us to have "fun in the sun"
and we most definitely had some serious fun in the sun!

sand castles of many varieties were created on the beach
hours upon hours of swimming in the pool and splashing in the Gulf

it was a good time
we got to visit my 95 year old grandmother and hang with the inlaws
a good time was shared by all even with "the overlap"

"the overlap" is the intersection of our family vacation in florida with lisa's brother's family in florida
we have experienced "the overlap" before and I questioned if I should ever do it again
when planning our trip I saw the benefits of "the overlap" as well as the negative side of "the overlap"

as it turns out.... I left early.... only leaving a little more than a 24 hour overlap...
that was plenty

"the overlap" can be stressfull...
so many people in such a small space
so many small children
so many individual needs

lisa's brother has 4 children under 6 years of age
they are great kids.... and the parents are great parents
but... we just seem to have a few different approaches to things...
that whole "co-parenting" thing is tough
every parent deals with it
it is tough for everyone

lisa stayed a few extra days.... it is great for Dean and Grant to get to hang with thier cousins

my brother and sister inlaw are great.... we have a blast together
my four nephews on that side of the family are awesome.... I love them dearly
but there are issues
the issues are small... but there are issues

examples?
you want examples?

okay...
Dean and six year old cousin Billy are in the pool splashing around
each of them is playing very nicely... sharing a SCUBA mask as they each float around in their life jackets
after some time Dean feels the need to go to the bathroom.... he stresses that he needs to go bad
so I tell Dean to swim to the side of the pool and meet me at the door to the locker rooms
I swim towards our stuff at the other end of the pool to get the keys to let us into the building
I get to the door
peel off Dean's life jacket
unlock door
we rush to the bathroom
and ahhhhhh.....
we get to the bathroom in time for Dean to relieve himself
we return to the pool, put the life jacket back on and we both jump back into the pool
at this time 6 year old billy tells me gleefully that he has just peed in the pool
I try to explain to Billy that people should not pee in the pool
in between spitting out mouthfuls of water Billy explains to me "how it just feels so good"
I again try to explain why this behavior is not just inappropriate but is gross
then as I feel I am getting no where I drop the subject
then Billy's father Bill comes down to the pool.... here... now I have back up... this guy understands his son's logic
so I tell father Bill about little Billy's peeing in the pool..... Bill shrugs his shoulders...
the topic is dropped

I leave it at that
then the next day...
Billy is crying and upset.... he has a rash in his groin region....
the parents are racing about franticly looking for some vasaline...
I ask billy if he had peed in the pool.... his mother "shooshes" me
I continue my line of questioning... not waiting for an answer I inform Billy...
"you know... you may have gotten this rash from peeing in the pool...."
again there is "shooshing"
there is no back up... there is no effort to change this behavior...
this would have been the perfect opportunity to teach a lesson... to change behavior
even if the rash was not caused by his peeing in the pool.... maybe it would make him think twice before peeing in the pool next time
do I really care if Billy pees in the pool?
well... not so much...
what I do care about is having a child teaching my son such behaviors....

that was just one example of many that occurred in a overlap that was just over 24 hours long where 24 hours may have been just long enough

again....
I love these people all very dearly...
it is just tough when we are all in such close quarters....

oh....
maybe I should have kept my opinion to myself....

this is a relationship where we all speak freely together
last fall my sister inlaw and I had a fight because of my lack of concern for teaching my sons about Santa Claus
she was offended that when I told her that had no interest in telling Dean about Santa Claus.... sure we have a tree... presents.... lights... the works... even have a box set of those corny old animated classics! what I said that pissed her off was something like this....

"we are sure to be watching Rudolph films and I will talk with Dean about Santa.... but I will talk about Santa like a character in a movie in the same way I would talk about Darth Vader in Star Wars.... he will get plenty of reinforcement of the Santa Myth from school and friends... he does not need to get it from me...."


on this trip I got virtually the same lecture about my lack of desire to present the myth of The Tooth Fairy....

it is tough....
there are so many things I want to say or do as a father....
right now I feel that I am doing a pretty good job
looking at my children and the priorities I am stressing I think I will stay my course
I would much rather be stressing appropriate behavior in the pool, on the bicycle, or when hiking on the trails instead of switching my objectives to Santa and the Tooth Fairy....

this weekend we will be having an Easter Egg hunt at my father's house.....
this is not to say that I am going to tell my son about some massive bunny rabbit with all sorts of store bought candy.... no.... we are just going to run around and gather up plastic eggs


TRUE OF FALSE: There is a chemical that can be added to pool water that will color the water if a person were to pee in the water....the answer.

3.22.2005

Planning and Capturing a Passing Moment

the other night back from Florida at home alone without Lisa and the kids
perfect opportunity for heading to Mount Pleasant Street for some bachelor grub

was not sure if I was headed for Cheapie Chinese from ChinaTown, rotissery chicken from the Peruvian Chicken join; El Pollo, or head into the local "Cheers" aka Tonic for some solid gormet bar food and a few adult flavored drinks
I weigh
my options as I walk... keeping those top three options as my main considerations
sure there are multiple
Pupusarias to choose from, but that is not where I am headed on this evening... that is not to say that Don Juan and Haydees are not frequent feeding frenzy options
then it occurred to me that maybe my old neighbor was available for getting a drink
lets just call this neighbor John... as John is his name
so I headed up Lamont Street instead of the parallel option of Park Road
this is familiar terroitory
back to my old block just several doors down from our old place
yet still just a few blocks from our new house... well our several year old 100 year old house

John is a few years older than myself, married, has a wonderful preteen daughter and a law practice and an old Boxer named Maggie and a wife who I love and respect dearly
John and I have shared a million stories on a million different days
but now that I am several blocks away all those chance meetings are missed
no longer do we catch each other on that last dog walk of the night
not headed out to the car or taking out the trash
or shoveling the front walks on those very infrequent Washington DC Snow Days
it just is not the same

so I try to make the occasional visit when passing by on the bike or times like this when I am headed up the block
with a glance at the watch it is a tad later than I would like to knock on the door of a family's house
but
this is not a frequent thing
so, I stop in and his wife invites me up
she is a wonderful women.... a strong women... a beautifully strong women.... I am scared of her
not in a bad way.... just in a way that I know to keep my place
we are friends... but only on the days she wants to be friends

in any case...
she invites me up
I get a glass of water after my two hour single speed spin on pavement
throat parched
john and I start into the usual topics... bush bashing politics... neighborhood politics... neighborhood hot topics... you name it.... we are covering it
once we start things get rolling...

I like John... he is a good friend
his faults remind me of myself

bummer!
caught john at the wrong time.... he is headed to the "Y" to work out

yet.... we have started talking.... and when we start talking.... we can talk
several times I go to leave.... john draws me back in..... then as I am stepping out the door again I step back in to finish a thought or maybe to tangent hop into another topic that seems vital at the time...

I have already tried to leave so that I am not John's excuse for working out
as I leave John gives me a sound piece of advice,

"planning.... great things are achieved through planning!"


or something to that effect.... I am not sure as I am not sure if I was listening.... with a pat on the back and a shake of the hand john responds to my blank stare with explanation,

"call ahead... you should call ahead next time"


john is right... but without hesitation and without thinking I send this old lawyer my counter point,

"in life you need to snatch up opportunity when it presents itself... I have not done much planning in the this life but I have managed to do pretty well by recognizing a good opportunity when it presents itself."


I am not lawyer but I do enjoy being that obnoxious devil's advocate from time to time

we are both right...

there has to be a balance between planning and ceasing the moment

John and I have not gone out for a drink that many times
the last time I had a drink with John... well other than on his porch on Halloween evening
it was during last summer the night his wife went away with their daughter to a caribbean island for some work and for some play
that was chance and timing
don't always ask
but happened to ask at a moment in time where he had the freedom to just do whatever
that night was a night for me to do whatever
it is hard to plan for whatever

last week... or maybe two weeks ago... whatever...
when we arrived to Marco Island it was already getting late

not quite sunset, but getting there
there had been plane flights and long drives all in addition to an afternoon visit with my self sufficient 95 year old grandmother
upon arrival Marco there was the car to unload and greetings to exchange
after Dean and Grant had a little time with Pa and Miga (grandpa and grandma)
Dean and I headed to the beach for a little sunset and sand inbetween the toes action
as the sun set we combed the beach dodging the waves of the cool water as the ambient temperature dropped slowly with the sun

as I looked in the water I could see an assortment of shells caught in the tide right at the break
already shoeless I walked out to take a closer look pulling a small Conch shell then a Lightning whelk.... both without an organism inside.... both very clean, pure, and pretty
I showed Dean... we started to collect some of these shells
it must have been from a storm a few days prior...... usually there are not such an abundance of pristine shells at the shore..... usually when a shell is found in this condition the organism is still living or recently dead inside
conch or whelk soup..... YUK!
Dean spent more time gathering the half shells of various clams and mollusks
with no bag or no pale I we id not grab that many shells
after all.... this was just day one of a stay over a week long

sure enough
tonight I picked out a nice Conch and a pretty Tulip Shell for Grant's babysitter Soledad
Soledad is also a very strong women who happens to live a few doors down
out of the Whelks, Olive Shells, no Sharkeyes although they are common to this area, a various other shells whose name I do not know
with Soledad... she could love the shells or shrug her shoulders
soledad is as complex as she is strong

as it turns out that night was special
on no other day were there so many shells of this quality to be found
perhaps the early nerds had already scooped up the good ones
or maybe it was just a weird dynamic of timing
I am sure that the timing was such that shelling was not a priority for the rest of the trip
so I was lucky in my ability to capture that moment before it passed
certainly there were other moments for shelling
but apparently I was able to over lap my interest in shelling with the timing of the greatest presentation of shells

good thing I had not planned on shelling on the Monday after this day
as that would not have been the best time or opportunity

one last thing about John
as he is older and has experienced many things before I have
with time he has had the time to ponder such moments
so at times John shares with me the wisdom of life
at this very serious moment John tells......

"after a certain amount of time the relationship of marriage becomes something
more similar to brother and sister"

to that I rapidly responded....

"well that is fine for you and your wife.... as you are from West Virginia.... you guys can still have a good sexual relationship.... that sucks for the rest of us!"

call me simple but I love a good West Virginia joke
John has some great stories and some great wisdom.... he is a great friend
I think I will have to call him so that we can get a drink
can't always depend on chance!
not sure how to plan to capture a moment, but I guess I will have to try

3.21.2005

one quick post....

it is good to be back in DC

good to be in the woods with the dogs
good to be on the bike
good to be sleeping in my own bed

last night I witnessed an amazing sunset over the National Cathedral
Mt. Pleasant has some stellar views
as I walked dogless to Tonic to get dinner and a drink I turned around to catch a glimpse of the Cathedral
a view I saw ever evening when I lived on that block of Lamont Street
to my pleasure I was able to catch the last few minutes of the day's sun
the sun set was a massive orange orb
almost surreal
there was no glowing sky along side of this large orange glowing orb
just the orb itself

a friend passed by and I drew his attention to the setting sun
then made mention of my watching the setting sun over the Gulf of Mexico for the last 8 days
he asked which was better
both are beautiful
neither is better
I am just lucky enough to experience them both


. this link was shared with me from my friend the colorado transplant rocco (rocco who weird genetic meld of donny osmond and johnny depp) DISPOSABLE: A History of Skateboard Art .

and
here is a plug for my friend's business...



it is a fun little package!

3.20.2005


this is one of those very rare shot with the whole family
most shots of either child or of either parent with either child
but.....
the seldom photographed "bip-squack" family
"bip-squack!"
"bip-squack!"

this is Grant getting to know a sea turtle made of sand

3.16.2005

The New Beach
(okay… I wore my iPOD while running today)

depending on the moment the beach can be two different places

the beach can be a tranquil place where a person can soak in the sun and be awestruck by the power of the ocean

then there are other moments
painful moments on the beach….
moments that are common not just on the beach but exist any time when in public

cigars…..
cigars and pipes are basically billboards of an individual’s personality
that person’s billboard reads loud and clear... “I AM AN ASSHOLE!”
and maybe in smaller letters… “what are you going to do about it?”
even with the breeze on the beach… cigars do not belong in public

the type of person who smokes a cigar is the same type of person who chooses the the rival team as their favorite team...
come on you know that guy…
I grew up in a Redskins town… and I know so many people who were Cowboys fans they all fit this description
they are not bad people…. I can most certainly see each and every one of them out there smoking a cigar

jet skis
the Gulf of Mexico is a big place
so why do these boneheads feel that they need to cruise up and down the coast… just 20 yards from shore
the sight
the sound
the sound
the sound
did I mention the sound
and the smell

honestly… I am not sure if a jet ski could be much fun for more than a half hour
okay… the redneck is strong in me… but after a few donuts… maybe an hour of donuts... it is pretty much over
if I were to rent a vehicle I would go for a sailboat or a sea kayak…. but if I went for a power boat…. it would not be at the expense of others
that sound of a weed wacker is more than we all really need to deal with
at least the weed wacker will be gone in five minutes leaving things more beautiful
the jet ski leaves the smell of exhaust, an oil spill, and a ringing in my ear

and finally

iPODs , Cell Phones, and Blackberrys
How did we ever walk on the beach without these devices?
even grandpa and grandma are zoned out on the cell phone
there was a time where searching for shells and panning the horizon for dolphins was enough
now people are existing elsewhere

sure make your call, check your email… then come back to the beach
come back to the beach or stay in your office
your plane ticket and your condo rental are expensive... make use of the beach while you are there

as far as the iPOD goes…
I wore the iPOD when I went running
perhaps I wore my iPOD to drown out the sound of the jet skis
or maybe this is just another example of my ever existing hypocracy
but....
as I ran down the beach with my iPOD I never lost my focus
never for a second did I space out to such a point where I was tripping over the people around me

the world is rapidly becoming an uglier and uglier place

Kevin Costner the best worst actor of all time!

check out his filmography!
he was involved in some great work from roughly '85 to '89
not that he is such a great actor
he was just really well cast for each roll
this filmography is incomplete... they failed to mention that he played the dead guy in The Big Chill
I can not verify this.... but this is a BLOG.... who cares!

for those who have never seen Fandango..... check it out! NETFLIXS IT! What have you got to lose?

want more material for your NETFLIXS list?

Norman Jewison

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0422484/

Fiddler on the Roof was on tonight… I own it on DVD I own a thirty four inch wide screen TV
yet... I still could not stop myself from sitting back and watching
even though I was sitting in the kitchen at my inlaws' place watching a 15 inch screen box that is only slightly larger than a GAMEOY

if I were ever to make a film….

I would do my best to rip off the cool of The Thomas Crown Affair (the original… the remake was good…. but the original was smooth)

Norman Jewison also directed another favorite of mine… Jesus Christ Superstar

Robots

caught ROBOTS last night with Dean
it is no Incredibles…. and I say that on the day that Incredibles is released on DVD

Robots is good… but it is for the kids
Robots does not try for the adult audience like the PIXAR films do
Robots goes for the kids laughter in the same low brow way that Shrek does
and well
many people love Shrek... I enjoyed Shrek... own it.... watch it.... but do not love it

Shrek seemed like a series of fart jokes

if farting was really that funny…. then my family would be laughing hysterically from the moment I wake till the moment I go to sleep

ROBOTS was amazing from a graphic creation point of view... so much going on so fast... maybe too fast
I will most certainly be buying this film.... maybe after the second... third... or fourth viewing I will have a greater appreciation for it
but... it you ask the kids what he best part was.... they will tell you it was the "Whoops I did it again!" moment
which is another indicator that this film was not directed to my demographic...

on vacation down in florida

this vacation is pretty much bike free
actually this vacation is entirely bike free
there have been been a few opportunities to blog about bikes....
yet I refrain
as I said... I am on vacation here

that is not to say that I am entirely on vacation
been doing some running and walking on the beach
but... if I were to do the math... the duration of my hikes/runs are less than my daily walks with my dogs

running in florida

ran again today
this time I scheduled my run later in the day; less sun…. less heat
this time I left the kids and the double stroller behind
this time I took off a little slower out of the gate
my results were not too different

there were a variety of factors that kept my run down to a 25 minute run and a 30 minute walk

this time I went the opposite direction down the beach… it took 25 minutes to head to the end of the beach and back
once back the iPod was till pumping but I was not feeling inspired
not to sound like a simple minded male pig
running just is not that fun for me
I can deal with the sun
but
I can not deal with running on the beach without the eye candy
without the sun to brown the skin of the kiddies on spring break things were pretty vacant
it is the babes on the beach that keep me going
I run from the vision of each beach towel to each beach towel
waiting, hoping, expecting, wanting these girls to be hot
they are usually less than hot
but it keeps me going
the hard stares from the ladies' men keep my pace going as well

this method got me through a marathon a few years ago
although this was chasing skimpy pair of running shorts to skimpy pair of running shorts

sorry…

any guy that thinks I am any more of a pig than they are for saying this… they are just not being honest

3.15.2005

dam blog

just wrote up a long synopsis of the trip thus far.....

need to remember to CUT AND PASTE the entry as the dial up is not always the best way to connect to the BLOG
fun in Florida
some basic highlights
...

days on the beach days
days in the pool

too much sun and too much fun
sand castles.... sand sculptures
sea snakes.... sea serpents... sea turtles
sharks.... mermaids... and star fish
the lion with its glorious mane
all made of sand... some with shells for scales others with sea weed for hair
all created with the aid of Dean, the destructive forces of Grant, and the fun and creative Canadian friends Lindsay and Shelby

loving the pleasure of the DOLLAR STORE!
who would think that two for a dollar kites will fly....
the do and they did and they will again!
Dean more interested in letting out all the string than the flight itself
Dean blew my mind as he methodically pulled the kite in and rolled up the string
in the pool one afternoon

Dean is introduced to the mask and snorkel

Grant is reintroduced to the water.... not quite the fish that Dean was at his age... it may be the cold.... it may not be his thing... either way... he was not panicked... he just was not drawn... a short splashing adventure is enough to "wet his desires"

another afternoon Dean is introduced to flippers....
trying to limit the variables

a mask may be too much for a child less than four to grasp

flippers too may be much more than a child who is less than four to grasp

the two together....
clearly too much for a child less than four to grasp
each as a separate unit were pretty well figured out on each afternoon no rush to put them all together
but thrilled by Dean's development to the exposure

a short drive south to towards the Everglades for a SWAMP BOAT RIDE
grandma (aka Miga) was good enough to hand with Grant
the drive was long enough for Dean to switch his desire to go boating into a desire to go home
it was not the sight of the swamp boat, it was not the noise from the motor, it was not fear of the alligators, nor was it the heat of the sun
it was just the strong opinion of a three and a half year old
we waited on buying tickets
there was time to kill before the next hour ride left the docks
several half hour rides returned and left as we tried to convince Dean that "daddy knows best"
opinion morphed into tantrum
had to go to the old standby..... bribery... as Dean was calmed by a spin in the souvenir shop a few toys caught his eye
he wanted this
he wanted that
he wanted everything
so I cut him a deal... go for a Swamp Boat ride then once we are back you may select one of these toys
easy enough
tears were gone and we were off to buy tickets
in no time Dean was shaking hands with Captain Bill as we boarded a propeller powered swamp vehicle
the wind in his face and the exhilaration of speed changed Dean's mood in no time
the birds, the mangrove, and the occasional alligator were of less interest to Dean than the fast winding through the maze of mangrove
donuts in the larger sections of water and maximum speed through the straight aways
Dean got to pee off the side of the boat and before the boat was stalled at the dock there was a reminder of the gift to come
it is funny how Dean can remember deals when they fall in his favor.... while the concept of promise is unclear to him when it is a matter of him going to bed or him having to behave...

to my pleasure fickle Dean could not decide on an over priced gift at the souvenir shop
I was able to promise him his reward at a different toy story.... of course... THE DOLLAR STORE
at the Dollar Store I was able to buy four Alligators for the price of one
Dean got his bounty and I got my boat ride
everybody won

there was also the discussion later that day
we discussed his lack of desire to go on the boat
then we discussed all that was fun about the boat
after that I tried to express that Dean should listen to mommy and daddy as they both have his best interest in mind
most certainly that is logic for an adult
all these little tantrums and attacks of stubbornness are a bit of poetic justice....
as Dean's actions are identical to mine when I was his age
I can remember a long drive to Monticello where I wanted to go.... then changed my mood and did not want to go in... once in.... they had a hard time taking me home
guess some behaviors are genetic
we can only hope that Grant will take after his mother