3.31.2006

I love Coca Cola

I love Coca Cola
I truly love Coca-Cola
up until recently I drank Coca Cola several times a day
some may say that I was a habitual Coke drinker

well, in an effort to appreciate my love of Coca Cola I have started to limit my intake
rather than reaching for a Coca Cola each time my tongue gets dry
I am going to slow the decision process
as Coca Cola is not what my body needs
it is all more a matter of habit than taste or need

so....
rather than ordering an icy cold coke or cracking open a chilly cold cold can of Coke at each meal I reach for what I need... usually water and sometimes juice
that does not mean that I have stopped drinking Coca Cola
I am just trying to break the robotic behavior of going for Coca Cola rather than considering what I may actually want to drink
there are times when I may actually want a Coke...
at these times I will have a Coke
but, I am going to do this out of taste and desire rather than robotic habit

think about it
next time a waiter asks you what you want to drink
rather than answering before you think
slow it down....
you may prefer a lemonade or an ice tea

there may be some advantages to this...
in addition to the Coca Cola tasting better because it is not such a common taste
there are the health benefits
less caffine intake
less sugar to rot my teeth
etc.

splenda... not so splenda

in one of my recent shopping sprees at Costco I was drawn towards a few products
without looking I had not noticed the Splenda logo on these products
one was a Yogurt Smoothie for the kids
the other was a flavored water

as it turns out Splenda tastes like crap
not only does it taste bad... but I do not think I want my kids eating it
money wasted
been trying to drink the crap flavored water... what is it called? CRAP-2-O or something to that effect
water tastes great
so... they added the flavor of crap
but no calories
great deal?

all sorts of bikes downtown...

similar... but different

the joy of digital
just keep hitting that button
figured I would post a few more of these as they will just get burriedin the endless stockpile of untitled JPEG files in obscure directories called BIKE or FIXED GEAR
I really need to back this junk up
I may want this stuff at a later date

cherry blossom fever

cherry blossom fever
I have got it
the whole city has got it
the parks are filled with people sunbathing taking long lunches
no I am not on WiFi
I am here at my desk
but I did see those people basking in the glory of spring as I picked up my lunch

fireworks this weekend
we will see where we are at
it is right at bedtime

the times are changing

music was a big part of my life growing up
not that I was ever a musician
because I was not and am not a musician
but because I loved listening to music and going to music related events
all sorts of music

so many of my greatest memories are from concerts, shows, rallys, and whatever
even the high school dance was a great place for music
sometimes it was the music that was great
while other times the music was background to a great time
there were many nights in clubs and bars
there were countless road trips to various concert venues
so many great memories

I have seen the world change
punk rock was not store bought when I was growing up
no, it was something that was saught out
punk was a secret that was shared and discovered
we did not go to "concerts"
we went to "shows"
so, many of the local bands played at the community centers rather than the bars
it was a very different time
now you can get your punk image at the mall
then go see your favorite band at the local mega arena or stadium
it is all very different
it is packaged different
it is just different

the same goes for other aspects of music
the electronica movement has really exploded
from botlegged cassette tapes and warehouse parties
yes... we listened to cassette tapes
parties that were not announced till you purchased your ticket at a "map point"
well, now every coffee shop and bar is spinning music and flashing lights
the world is saturated
what was once label "uncool" is now hip and cool or actually just mainstream

the washington post has an article on sasha and digweed
also in the post is an article about a vegetarian place in shaw that has djs

not saying it is better or if it is worse
it is just different
we are all products of society
I grew up in a different time
it is sometimes odd to see the world around me
to see what is cutting edge
to see what is retro
so much that I do not understand
so much I do not care to understand

vegetate in shaw

banned in dc
the very clique-ish yearbook for the clique-iest anti-click there every was

discord records
the little label that started all
so much great music
a tad incestuous.... but great just the same

tit for tat? show-n-tell? one up ya?

in the world of converstation things can be a bit competitive
while one person is talking our minds may deviate from the words that are being spoken to the thoughts in our head
the speaker will present a point
in our minds we then get a valid point that we feel is worth sharing
rather than interject with our point
we wait politely
we phase out what is being said
we focus on repeating a catch phrase or the core of our response in our head
by the time the other person finishes speaking the point in our head is no longer relevant
well, that is what happens in my head... among other things

in polite conversations we try to listen and talk
let the avenue of conversation be a two way street
the ratio of ears to mouth is 2:1... but our exchange does not always go that way
when time allows conversation can get into a battle of "one upping the other"
you know the way.... one person tells a story on a topic then the next person wants to tell their story on that same topic to extend it
I hate when these stories involve sickness, injury, or death
honestly... these stories do not entertain me.... keep it to yourself
I don't need to watch FACES OF DEATH or hear about some surgery
I have had surgery, I have seen child birth, I have been a victim of many accidents...
I do not need a visualization of another accident
I also am not a fan of the show-n-tell situation where someone has to tell me their bicycle story...
more specifically a car driver wants to tell me their story of a confrontation or incident with a cyclist

so often people talk about cyclists as if we are one ameboid mass that shares a unified brain
that we can understand and explain the actions of other cyclist
the ability to generalize about cyclists and the things that they do boggles my mind

honestly, if I ride my bike for 30 miles
I am confident that I am spending far less of that duration breaking laws then a car is
if I happen to roll through a stop sign... more than likely I was was within the limits of the law leading up to that point
while a car driver can be speeding excessively, talking on a non-hands free phone, drinking a beer, before they run that light
okay, I am getting out of control here
but, my an old friend of mine just told me a 20 year old story of an incident he had with a bicyclist

the car drivers often attack the cyclist saying things like.... "they want to a bike... then they want to be a car."
trying to state that we should either ride to the right or stay in the center
that we should line up in the queque rather than cutting lanes
well, my simple response is... it is up the the cyclist to put themselves in the place on the road that is most safe
and to their credit the cyclist also wants to put themselves in the place that is most efficienent
in the course of my ride I will certainly take the full lane at certain times and split lanes at other times
most often I share the road and share the lane when it is most safe for me

it is vital for the cyclist to make the decision for the car behind them
when I am on a winding road I will not ride all the way to the right
I will help the car driver make the intellegent decision
I will aid them to fight their impulse to pass blindly on a curved section of road
as I do not want them to choose between running me off the road or having a head on collision
we know what they would choose
so, I choose for them

do I alter their destiny?
I hope not
they may be slowed for a few seconds before there is an opening to pass
at which point that can push that pedal and make up for lost time
if I am altering their destiny... they need a new program

this car/bike fight will continue as long as their are cars and as long as their are bikes
each side thinking they are right in their actions
the failure of most car drivers and their opionion is that they are only looking at the cyclists and their wrong doing
but, most cyclists are also car drivers thus giving them the perspective of both sides
seeing how other car drivers behave has guided me to be a better driver
as I know I do not want to behave like the drivers I see each day

there is the old saying
something to the effect of "until you have walked a mile in my shoes"
well, I think it would be a good lesson for car drivers to commute via bicycle
it will open some eyes and create some empathy
because there is a saying that has not yet come to be but there should be one that goes something to this effect, "do not judge me and my bicycle until you have ridden many miles for many days in my saddle"
or something like that

enough on this less than structured rant

a single down the block

3.30.2006

Park Service Trike

Bob was kind enough to pause for a moment for me to take a few photos
he was resistent
as he had some place he really had to be
but... he did pause for me long enough to get my camera from my bag and get a few photos before he rolled away

Washington Post Things to Do for the Cherry Blossom Festival

caption please

this was stolen from cyclelicious

advertising.... sex sells

just when I think I will never ride my B-17 again I see this...
man, I want a BROOKS SADDLE
I want it bad

had I been involved in this
I would have either Photoshoped the Peace Sign tattoo off her "fanny"
or put make-up over it at the photo shoot
as it detracts from the handmade saddle

this stolen from FIXEDGEARCYCLING

commuter with a camera


photography

photography....
just because I may fish
that does not make me a fisherman
just because I own a camera and take lots of photographs
this does not make me a photographer

returning from this morning's spin around the tidal basin with my camera proved this true
running late from work
and trying to crop tourists out of the camera did not help
but for the most part my images did not come out as planned
the Washington Monument must have moved while I was taking my shot
things just did not seem balanced right
the monument was coming out of my seat when it should have been situated to the side

well... i got it covered
it is digital

digital cameras are like cable television
still only a few good things worth looking at
just a greater number of crap

more pink

gary fisher

gary fisher...
I can vaguely recall being a bit bitter and angry about fisher being engulfed by trek
it pissed me off
for some reason there was this blurred notion that money was bad
that a merger like this meant "selling out"

selling out was this big thing to the kids growing up listening to punk
some sort of "ideal"
going for the mom and pop store rather than the chain
reaching for the smaller name product rather than the mainstream choice
there were bands like the clash that boasted about taking the van and sending the equipment in the limo
then there was ian mackaye of minor threat living his ideology
for some reason it seemed like black and white
big business was bad

so, when gary fisher... a man who I knew nothing about.... allowed his company to be bought out by the evil big guys, trek... well... I had an opinion
I had an opinion about something I knew little about
knew nothing about his racing in the past or the riding/racing at that moment
knew nothing about his business or his future involvement in the fisher product after trek took control
yet... I went around saying stuff
funny... people will do that

well....
the age of the Internet sure does allow to clear some things up
years ago I changed my song
but I never forgot that i had spouted out more then once against somebody I didn't know about a situation I knew nothing about
good thing when I talk.... no one listens

here are a few good links to the world of gary fisher
gary fisher: mountainbike hall of fame
fisher history on the fisher page
fisher 29ers
and
the very fun
fisher 101

my favorite soda is coca cola
when I pass a walmart I always go and buy new socks
I own a honda instead of a home made car
and I have no issue with owning a specialized bicycle

fight club






FIGHT CLUB
the first rule of the FIGHT CLUB
you do not BLOG about the FIGHT CLUB

my iPod

my iPod screen is cracked
the iPod is old so I see no need to throw good money at a soon to be dying device
just a game of whack a mole
just as I were to replace the screen
I am certain that the battery would die

that said...
I am curious how much it would cost for the iPODMODS
to replace my screen

I found the iPodMods at THISISBROKEN

pink-stars-headphones-a track bike

sex education

in this world society gets the ability to mold its people
our decisions and our identity are created by more than just the influences of our immediate family
we are created through what we learn from our family, from our schools, and from the world around us
the schools may need to start adding a few things to the list as the direction of our current population is pretty ugly...

idea one: this morning while dropping my son off at school I had an idea
my dogs were in the back of the Element waiting for a chance to chase a squirrel in the woods
as my son colored in a print out of a rabbit with his classmates I tried to exit
my son kept pleading me to stay
sure... I would love to stay... but I have to go to work
I reminded Dean of my needing to go to work and my needing to walk the dogs
the mention of the dogs got some of his friends excited
this also distracted Dean
we had a short exchange about the dogs
I may have embarressed my son by having him kiss me then I made my way to the door

before I left I paused and said my goodbyes to the teacher
a teacher who may feel about me the way many teachers felt about me
she just doesn't like me
but, I try to see past that and help where I can
so, I proposed something to her... not for that moment... but for a time when she felt worked for the class
I proposed coming in with my two dogs and helping to educate the class on how to behave appropriately around dogs
some simple rules...
-don't pet a strange dog
-never pet a dog without asking the owner first
-how to approach a dog
-why not to run from a dog (even if you are scared_
-etc.

this seemed like a good idea
expose these kids to the dogs and appropriate behavior
as not all children have daily contact with dogs like my sons do

before I could finish my first sentence of introduction my idea was being shot down
instantly deflated
the quickest excuse she came up with was allergies...
well, I agreed and retracted my offer and went on with my day
it seemed like a good idea
but she was not interested

the schools spend more hours a day with our kids then our family does
the schools need to take responsibility for a great deal of the development of our children
in this age of the obesity epidemic it is amazing that gym class is being cut from schools
so the next notion seems a little far fetched... but I will share it just the same

idea two: the dog thing was more of a "show and tell" experience that would take a morning of a day
but, I truly believe that there should be a bicycle class for kids
just as there is sex education
not a full semester, but maybe a three week class

the class would happen twice in a child's life
maybe sixth grade and then again in 9th grade
the class would cover the basics...
refresher on how to ride a bike
some bicycle safety
maybe free helmets to those who can not afford them
in addition to riding there would also be an introduction to repairs
every child by the age of 12 should know how to fix a flat
the thought of spending 10-15 bucks for a flat repair is outrageous
especially to those without a GOLD CARD

this class like many classes would touch a few and would be ignored by many
but that is how classes go
I am certain that there have been more than one case in the history of children where a couple of kids went out and got pregnant even after the basic ideas that had been covered in sex ed that day
so... some kids may miss the message
but the few that get the message
their lives may be changed
you may turn some kids onto the bike who had not considered it
a few kids may learn to love riding bikes
other kids may learn to love fixing bikes
another kid may learn to ride a bike when they had not previously had the opportunity
just think... if mom or dad does not ride a bike... would the kids learn to ride a bike

a bike is a simple pleasure that every child should get to enjoy
be that child six years old or sixty

3.29.2006

clever and cool

tim at Blue Colar Mountainbiking had a post about an alternative for filling your tires with air after a patch or tube replacement in the urban environment

unrelated
over at BikingBis I learned that there was a donation that will aid the linkage of Pittsburgh to Cumberland
which would benefit me
as my inlaws are in Pittsburgh and I live in DC
the C&O Canal goes from Cumberland to DC
you do the math

cycling movies


red light go
(a wonderful site... I bet the movie is just as powerful)
((squirrel turn me this direction... I may have to follow up and buy this film)


list of cycling movies at bicycle universe
transportation alternatives

BI CYCLE FILM FESTIVAL


and a short called LOVE GENERATION which I stole from Nicomachus

lessons in humility- learning new stuff

in life it is good to be humbled
I am not saying that it is good to be kicked when you are down
nor am I saying that it is good to have your spirit broken
all I am saying is that it is good to have an experience that puts you in check... something that humbles you

drinking can do this
drinking too much can make a person stumble
stumble literally or figuratively
the feeling the next day
the effort to piece together reality and the drunken dream state
the sickening feeling in the gut in itself is humbling

trying to learn something new can be a humbling experience
to be a beginner is humbling
trying something for the first time can be... yes.... you guessed it... a humbling experience
I continue to try new stuff
always trying to grow and develop
often having to be meak and humble as I awkwardly approach the unknown

it would be easy to stick to the few things I know...
but that would be redundent
that is why I built a fix gear... to mix it up
one day I will buy a unicycle... maybe even get back on a skateboard
I do not have to ever get good at these things.... but I must try to manage them

when my now wife then girlfriend was learning to snowboard
in an effort to be more sympathetic to her efforts I tried to ride fakie while she road regular
well.... I did not learn to ride fakie very well
but, it did humble me and made me more understanding of her efforts as a beginner

a few years back my brother took me white water kayaking....
he was very patient
I was very wet
this experience was an eye opener...
one: I needed to learn to "roll"
two: I need to be more patient of the beginner
since then I have tried to be more patient

the list goes on of things I have tried and have not even reached the beginner stage
although I am a solid all mountain snowboarder good in the trees having no issues with the bumps and love the steeps (or at least this was the case last time I snowboarded in the west)
but... on cross country skiis i look like some goober in a warren miller film

nothing wrong with being humbled
yet
there is something wrong with laughing at someone else falling down on the ice
okay... you can laugh... I love to laugh at the misfortune of others... as long as they are not hurt...
the site of someone else falling always brings me great joy
but we must remember that when we fall as well... we too muct remember to laugh at ourselves

The Collective









the colllective
some great films.... I should buy this dvd
happened to catch one piece at the Banff Film Festival as it traveled through DC last year
it was a great piece
what blew my mind was the choice of music for the background score
it was a few friends of mine's band, THUNDERBALL
Thunderball has now morphed into Fort Knox Five

in April there is an new film project from these folks, ROAM
while also in April there is a CD being released from the Fort Knox Five

marriage

marriage is many things
one thing marriage is not... is easy

marriage is a friendship, a union, a love affair, a diplomatic partnership
the list goes on
marriage can also be a pain in the ass
but so can any relationship
especially a relationship that puts two people together in close quarters for such a long period of time
there is no other friendship other that siblings that ask people to live and grow together like this
friends come and go... then return again
family is there for the long haul
just as the relationship of siblings has highs and lows so does marriage
all relationships take work

one difference between siblings and marriage (and no don's say sex) is the aim to make the other a better person
that is one of the primary goals of marriage
marriage is a relationship where each person works to aid the other in becoming the best person that they can be
that is not an easy task
especially since men and women are different animals with a different approach to doing things and a different approach to presenting a thought

this morning was a a basic morning
my hyper efficient wife was up with the boys drinking coffee getting things done
as I am scheduled to be the "late guy" at work this week I had more time about the house
lisa asked to switch dogs for boys
so I dropped my older son off at school while lisa walked the mutts
I love the occassional switch
I love to drop my son off at school
it is special because I do not do it everyday
I think I would hate to do it everyday
especially since I can hardly make it into work on time as it is
one more task would make my mornings more insane

after dropping dean off at school
I passed grant back of to lisa
the dogs were wagging their tails
while I was dragging my tail
still had to get ready and get into work

as I gathered my gear lisa and I updated each other on all the goings on...
there was talk about drop off and the interactions there
there was admission that our son may be normal and not a genius
as parents we only see the dynamic moments and ignore the short comings
there was talk about the approaching weekend and the scheduling of more activities
no dinner with friends
yes to circus with family
soccer... yoga... extended hikes with the dogs... maybe some sleep
it amazed me that my wife can do more before 9am each morning than I manage all week

in our talk we discussed the gear that Dean will need for his first soccer game this weekend
I offered to go to Sports Authority after work to grab this stuff
there was hesitancy in my wife's response
trying to read her mind
much of marriage is trying to read your wife's mind
I quickly retracted the idea
trying to agree with her that it was a bad idea and should have never been presented

there was a long pause
lisa said it was a good idea.... that I would get "a ride in"
there was some short back and forth
I tried to lessen the commitment and said that we could confirm in the afternoon
still thinking that I had presented an idea that did not work for the team
the decision was final... lisa said that it would work
she could put the kids to bed while I went out to northern virginia on my bike to the sports authority at crystal city

such actions take planning
a cyclist must travel with lights and a lock for such an adventure
in this case I will ignore the lock
knowing that it may work to bring the bike into the store
as I have done it before with no complaints or reprimand

this is a case where my wife is looking out for me
trying to help me be a better me
helping to carve away time for me to ride my bike
riding my bike is something I want to do
sometimes I lack the motivation to ride
other times I lack the time to ride my bike
this is a time that lisa helped to create so I could ride my bike
in this lisa is aiding me to become a better person
she is helping me to be the me I want to be

now if I could only get her to go to YOGA
sadly enough.... tonight would be the night for her weeknight class
she is so out of the rhythm of going to yoga that it does not even hit her radar
now it is my turn to try and help her to be the best lisa she can be
try and help her to do the things that she wants to do
try to help her to be the person she wants to be
as I said it is not easy
it is tough to motivate oneself
perhaps even more difficult to motivate another
but... I do try
when I succeed.... it is best for all involved

got my lights
got my list
left the lock at home
hope the temperature does not drop as I ony have gear for a spring day ride
it should be a nice night on the Mount Vernon Trail
I do love the sight of the monuments from the virginia side of the potomac

3.28.2006

demoncats


scrooge (again)

scrooge and his cargo bike
taking a break and reading the city paper
I should take a closer look and link to the manufacturer
but... I really need to knock a few more things out before the day is done
enough distractions
photos on dcbca.org some
not sure which images are to be credited to scrooge

interesting game

bicycle truck

lunch time ride

snaged a few shots of this guy who was suited up to ride during lunch time
not sure if it was his lunch time
but it was mine

DC has an active lunch time culture
there are not only those of us packing on the pounds by buying the food from the buffet table by the pound
no, there are also those that run/cycle/play soccer or ultimate during lunch

there is a full on cycling culture that meets at Haines Point for some loops every day
with a history of known level of intensity for each day of the week
sounds like a good idea for a documentary

ghost bike


ghost bike
stole this link from bittercyclist

missing links

chicago DOT bike page
freewheels: bicycle defense fund
cyclelicious
mt nittany wheel works

BITTERCYCLIST (ghost bike project)


dcmatt
vas es das?

squirrel

and
the old bag

WIKIPEDIA defines FIXED GEAR

morning ride on the fixie

this morning I repeated the same prework ride as the day prior
took a few city streets towards Bethesda
then jumped onto the Capitol Crescent Trail
before I was even a mile from my house the turrets started to break out in full force
words left my mouth that would have had me immediately expelled from even the slackest of public schools
the fast pass of the tailgating cars was extra stressful on the unfamiliar fixed gear bike

managed to keep composure
trying to keep my blood pressure in check
and my fingers on the handlebars
no need to get into a road rage dispute first thing in the morning
actually it is best to avoid these conflicts all together
although soem drivers were issued gestures as well as words

so I meandered through the neighborhood streets pretty much going against the morning car commuter traffic
keeping extra careful for aggessive left turns in front of me and staying out of the door zone
once on the Capitol Crescent trail it was all down hill
just had to be respectful of other trail users

there was some trail maintenace and some bridge work being done
I took my speed down for the workers and for myself
then I gave my thanks to the workers for their efforts
yes... it is their job... but their clean up and repairs make for better paths and trails
everyone enjoys knowing that their work is appreciated
a paycheck is not the only reward for a job well done

riding a fixed gear is easy
it is the stopping and starting that is hard
at a few points in my trip I tried to coast then was woken up abruptly by my leg getting snapped back into rotation
there is much to be learned
I enjoy learning
the biggest thing to learn is to step out of second nature
having been on a bike for so many years I do things somewhat intuitively
the actions of a fixed gear are not within my mental framework
have to shut down auto pilot and turn things over to manual overdrive

at one point I had to pull over in traffic
not due to the tailgating pickup truck whose talk radio show was almost close enough to hear
but because I could feel some play from the drive side crank
initially I thought it was the bad marriage of the cleat and the pedal
but the level of play became visible
it was the drive side crank arm itself

this same arm had come loose on its maiden voyage
so I was shrew enough to throw the right size hex key into my commuter pack... just in case
well, it was just in case
which was good.... as it was earlier than any shop would be open
and I would hate to have to walk to the nearest hardware store just to buy one overpriced tool that I already own several of

the ride was a pleasure as most morning rides are
the weather was brisk... not cold... but brisk
the knickers were a good choice although my feet could have used a second pair of socks
as I rolled into town I passed various cyclists
there were so many photo opportunities
I lacked time and camera to consider stopping
as it was approaching time to show up for work

once through georgetown and in the more active business areas of town I ran into Cargo Mike, saw Kevin Dillard and a few faces I have photoed and a few faces I have wanted to photo
the warm weather really brings everybody out
as I rolled up the sidewalk in front of my office Scrooge rolled up to the office across the street
as much as I wanted to ask if he had a chance to see his image on the blog
I knew I had to start my work day

got inside
took a few minutes to take a shower... for the office as much as for myself
then started my day
well.. knocked a few things out
then made this post

last night I gathered a number of images from yesterday's walk at lunch
more good images of the cycling culture in Washington DC to come

3.27.2006

finally finished the fixie

the wide angle on the lense alter the image
making the gearing look a little different than it is
39X16 for those that care about such things
1973 Colnago frame
Phil Wood flip flop hub in the back, riding the fixed side
the bars do not work with the ascetic for me... but fine for now

scrooge


scrooge has some photos here at dcbca
scrooge himself

more alleycat images at
demoncats
(not from scrooge)

its madness I tell you

march madness....
yes, it is madness
complete and utter madness
a madness that I can not relate to in any way shape and/or form

it is not like I am some cigarette smoking artist that hates sports
I love sports
I have always loved sports
in my less than dynamic past I lettered in track and volleyball in high school
then went on to play division three soccer in college as well as all sorts of intramural crap
(I was not good enough for my high school soccer team, yet I managed to start all four years on my college team)

I can appreciate sports and all of the potential benefits at all levels
be those team or individual sports
it is easy for me to understand the merit
the lessons on the playing field translate directly to life
not to mention the health benefits for both the body and mind

what I do not understand is the focus on college sports
football and basketball being the primary offenders
when did the colleges and the universities of this country become the stepping stone for professional sports?
when did our education system lose site of their priorities?

to me it is all a mess
as a former slacker student I know how easy it is to be distracted
I know how parties and sports can effect an individual's studies
we traveled once a week for away games
there were wednesday evening games and saturday day games through the fall
practices on all remaining days other than sunday
I will admit... there were times when I was tired
the combination of the workouts and the parties definitely cut into my studies
as sleep was higher on the list than classes

how do these college athletes do it?
clearly there has to be a greater amount of time devoted to travel
they may travel days before and not return until the day after
if the athletes are studying on the bus or the plane there may be a chance for them to get an education.... but I doubt that is what is happening

then when the athletes return....
there are the parties
win or lose there is going to be a party
these guys are more than likely the campus kings

where does the notion of education fall into the picture here?

this is not an issue of race
this is an issue of education
now honestly.... if I were a hard working student who was on my varsity basketball team in high school
I may want to play basketball on my college team
but... unless I were destine for the NBA they I would not even bother with try outs at a school like Georgetown
shouldn't the sports be for the students?
shouldn't a student athlete have a chance to be an athlete have a chance to be an altlete for their school?

I understand the advertising/recognition/exposure that sports bring the colleges
I feel that it is all a bit of an embarressment
if the local Pizza Hut wanted to have a softball team they would have two basic options
they could have a team made up of employees
or
they could sponsor a team and slap their logo on the back
college sports have come to a point where they might as well sponsor a team and slap their logo on the back
as the majority of these students do not belong in these colleges
come on...
your average student at Georgetown got 800 on their SAT in either math or verbal
asking for a combined score of 800 to an elite athlete so that they can play basket ball?
come on!!!!

this week I heard that John Thompson Jr. is a consultant for Georgetown
not the coach... but the ex-coach
he is on the Georgetown payroll for 400 thousand dollars a year
if I were a parent of a student at Georgetown... I would question where my student's tuition is going
maybe college is a joke across the board
just another business that our culture is buying into
at this point I see college as a place to grow up
a bit of a finishing school for the rich
sure it is vital for those that want to go on to higher education
but for those seeking a liberal arts degree....
come on

red bull road rage


redbullroadrage

dirt rag interview with MylesRockwell

a great interview
an interesting topic of discussion in many subcultures

3.26.2006

dream job

at times I play with ideas
just the basic daydreams
there are the daydreams about what I would do if I won the lottery
there are the daydreams about me being rich and famous... rich and famous for what? who knows... I am just rich and famous perhaps like a bearded paris hilton
then there is the more realistic dream that I punish myself with
the daydream about what job would I hold if I could have any job in the world

some people dream about being a rock star
while I dream about more simple things
like converting an old ice cream truck into a rolling java shack
driving that truck around from dog park to dog park
driving that truck from toddler park to toddler park
selling over priced coffee and over priced cookies
make a few regular afternoon stops downtown
then go home and count my money
but that is not my dream job... that is just a daydream

my dream job would be working for the city or washington dc running the department titled Beautiful and Safe Streets
this would be a department that ignored all the bureacratic red tape and actually got things done

the objective would be to make the city more pleasing to the eye
while also taking into account ways to make the city streets more safe
when people think of keeping the streets safe they usually think about keeping the criminals from doing their thing
my concerns would be more around the ideas of slowing and controling traffic
although I am not adverse to the notion of the streets being safe from non-traffic forms of crime
since people are out of their minds and can not drive like civil human beings
then the roads would be altered to dictate the behavior of the drivers

in certain spots the crosswalks would be raised like a big speed bump
so no matter if there is a pedestrian there or not the cars would be forced to slow for the cross walk
not all crosswalks would be raised
just the problem ones
there are a number of crosswalks where the bike paths cross the road
most each and every one of these cross walks would be raised
as runner, hikers, and bikers have been stuck in a dangerous game of dodge the asshole in the SUV long enough

if the little ideas like speed bumps, narrowing roads, median strips and other such efforts do not slow traffic then I have some better ideas
shock colars or shock seats in the driver's seat would be issued to driver's with bad habits
the colar would be tied into the car's dashboard as well as communicate via Wifi to various systems on the street

drivers with cell phones would get shocks
speeding cars drivers would get shocked
those failing to make complete stops at stop lights and stop lines would get shocked
the level of intensity would apply to the level at which the driver breaks the law
there would have to an alternate to the shock colars for the types that enjoy such things
maybe ABBA over the stereo and the scent of roses would be enough to turn their stomach and change their behavior

adversive techniques work.....

but maybe not as good as shaming....
but that is for another blog

3.25.2006

images from the hill

washington dc is a beautiful city
a city with an amazing history
history that still happens with this changing world

the incident on the hill with the issue with taking pictures was a bit unsettling
to quote george carlin, "we give up certain liberties in the name of freedom"
or something to that effect

as I was doing nothing wrong I took no offense to the approach of these officers
but
my heart rate still rose significantly
it was awkward, not quite scary
but somewhat intimidating just the same

intimidating to the point where I question what images I should post and what images I should not
now that is scary

to quote the charles bukowski character in that classic film, barfly, "I don't dislike cops, I just feel better when they are not around"
"to all my friends"

just some stuff from the city

kill my television

kill my television?
kill your television.

honestly...
I agree with this idea
in theory

I know that I would be a more productive person, a healthier person, and maybe a happier person if I did not have television
television is a habitual addiction
do I turn it on because there is something to watch?
I watch because I turn it on...

but honestly... if you are going to do television you need to do cable
and well... if you do cable you need to do HBO
HBO is really what justifies it for me

a few things georgy carlin on now, bill maher, the documentaries are amazing (they know this.. they tell us.. they are right) last letters home in itself is worth a month's cost of cable
the series are great... entourage, sopranos, six feet under.... I may hate sex in the city now... but I used to love it

enough blog
more george carlin
oh... curb your enthusiasm has already made me a better person
on a few occassions I halted my behavior as it was about to become too much like something larry david would do

not all cyclists are messengers... not all messengers are hypsters on trackbikes


mathew for action if I remember correctly

saturday... this saturday... today

this morning neither lisa nor myself made it to yoga
we are out of our routine
it is tough to get the rhythm back
it is time to get back into the rhythm
it is time to get back into yoga

we took the dogs and the boys for a hike in Rock Creek that we do not usually hit
well, we do this hike with the dogs individually
not normally together
not normally with the kids
but, the trailhead to this section of woods is a hike from the house
a hike that is beyond the current span of our children's endurance
there are more logical loops that offer as much earlier on the hike
without demanding that I carry everyone back on my shoulders

while on the trails I was admiring how packed and dry the earth was beneith my feet
the air was also warm and dry
as I walked the path I imagined differed trails in the area that I would really love to rolling on at that exact moment
the thought of shaffer was more appealing to my mood than gambril
although gambril started to sound pretty nice
knew it would not happen, both 29ers are at the shop and well... not sure if my old Rocky Mountain Blizzard is currently trail worthy
accepted something I had already plotted
my riding would be on the road for another week or so

we walked forward
neither boy moving at their sometime olympic pace
I drifted back to the moment and tried to get the boys to pick up the pace
a few quick steps and grant was demanding that I put him on my shoulders
this is often the case with a 2 year old
one day they walk miles the next they refuse to walk a few feet
on this day grant got a free ride up the climbs and motored at a mind boggling pace for a child who just past his second birthday

the temperature and the state of the trail had me yearning for some off road riding
knowing it was not an option I tried to get psyched to take the boys out in the burley trailer
thoughts of an hour and a half pulling the trailer
looping back on the mall for various monuments and the kite flying festival
maybe try to occestrate some monument photos with the kids

I proposed this to the boys
grant was game
dean was not
this was fine with me
less weight.... nearly fifty pounds less weight

we finished our hike
the boys doing much better with being on their feet as we backtracked
the dogs had been able to chase a few squirels and splash in the creek
we returned to the car for some saturday afternoon errands

the errands took us to the post office and a bagel store that is closed for business
without food everyone was irratable
we drove with four passagers each whinning until we arrived at a park in georgetown
we arrive just as my brother and his sons left
they had a noon children's birthday party
our hike did not free us up in time for much more than crossing paths
the cousins were all excited to see each other
cousins is a special relationship similiar to that of siblings
maybe with less fighing... or so we will see

the park offered much entertainment
kept everyone distracted from their hunger for some time
we left before anyone got irratable
home for lunch momma lisa made up an assortment of stuff for the boys
while I had some cereal
as we wound up eating lunch I started to try and get the boys hyped
thinking I could sell dean on the trailer
no dice rock slice
dean was not up for the trailer
which was fine... it is good to get some one on one with grant
even if he becomes sleeping dead weight 10 minutes into my heavily weighted pull
before dean could get loud and bossy about not wanting to go
I said that it was fine
he could either go in the trailer or go shopping with mommy
in an almost smarmy way he said he would go shopping with mommy

grant in hearing this decided to swap options
grant was abandoning the trailer option for shopping with mommy
my ride just dropped another 30 pounds in child and 30 pounds in trailer
it also altered my duration of potential ride time

I only had the time lisa would be out at the store... and then some
that time is a variable
a variable of an unknown that would not be determined until after the ride
then I would know if I rode too long or if I could have ridden longer

lisa packed up the car with boys
I rushed downstairs and put on some gear
knowing I did not have much time
it was time to maximize my window of opportunity
like batman down the batpole and out of the bat cave
I was in black tights heading out of my basement and into the alley with a bike over my shoulder

down park road
out of mount pleasant
down rock creek parkway/beach drive
then through the gate onto the closed section of beach drive
closed to car traffic
open to recreation traffic

there was plenty of traffic
dogs on leashes
kids on scooters
parents helmetless riding along side of their helmeted children still riding with training wheels
coming the opposite direction can an long list of road riders
no familiar faces
but lots of nice bikes
many older gentlemen maintaining a good pace
as each rider comes at me and passes I try to imagine how far they road
what paths they took
where they will end up

ahead there is a petite rider moving at a pace similar to mine
I fight the desire to catch this ride
as I am trying to stay in the saddle and just spin
no muscle
no burn
just pedal.... not not long enough to qualify for LSD (long slow distance)
but something of that idea
my riding is not so much a science of training
just sort of rides I do and have done

as I settle in on a pace the rider pulls a little further ahead
at last glance I decide that this rider is female
as the road curved the small female road rider drifted out of sight

there were points where I got a little closer to the same female road cyclist
but I fought the urge to pick up the pace and tried to focus on spinning
and if not spinning
riding with more rotation than muscle
which means riding a gear or two easier than I would normally be pushing

the wind was in my face
in my mind I tried to plot my course and estimate my time
the four or five hour road ride is not really my thing
my numbers were more trying to figure and hour and a half to three
knowing when I start the mental debate the number three would immediately be tossed aside

more road cyclist came the opposite direction
more in a post ride chatty state then they were more than likely in some time ago
I imagined who was coming from where.... short up and back for them? or are they on their way back from Sugarloaf? mysteries whose answers I will never know mysteries hardly worth considering
but these are the things that occupy my mind as I ride on the road

at some point I get caught in a light and she disappears
which is fine
as I am focused on my own thing

just as I am thinking about the flying squirrels that I seldom see and the bat house I have been meaning to build I feel the moistness in the air start to build
the air grew a tad more cold
some solid yet sparse cold rain drops fell
my route was still under consideration
rather than letting turning around to avoid getting cold and wet becoming option one
I decided on riding this section of road out and back
only turning right onto the Capitol Crescent trail for some more gentle downhill spinning taking me home

as I come around a corner I see that same small female road rider
she is along side the road about to start up again
I imagine she has put on some warmer gear
maybe full finger gloves or arm warmers

we exchange smiles as I pass
I refrain from mentioning the headphones
as soon as she mounts the bike she is making the pass
as I am not moving too fast I am easy catch
she drifts into that same pace
only a little faster than me
I try to pace off myself rather than her

she pulls away and is often hidden by turns
it is an unententional game of cat and mouse
she gets caught at a light
I get to continue my pace past
only to be passed shortly after

on each pass there is no warning or alert
this is not the roadie way
I always try to accept that this is the roadie way
as I am more of a fred type that likes to give a hearty warning
then again
I am not normally giving audibles about cracks in the road or such
as mountianbikers tend to read things for themselves
although there are warnings and recommendations of gear changing, step up in techincal section approaching, and the guide to the best line to make it work

the cat and mouse continued
we had passed a number of cyclist at our clip
we both had turned around and were working our way back

at conneticut avenue we get caught at a light together
some friendly words were shared
eye contact was made
she was in fact female
she slowed her pace and we pedaled along side of each other

it was nice to share the ride with someone
some quick exhange of Q&A
all very friendly and nice
I mention I wish I had my camera
thinking of mounting it on the handlebars

there is mention of my blog and the images of cyclists

we run out of road
I pass the turn to the Capitol Crescent Trail
she slows for the slight downhill and I wait for her at the light
we say our goodbyes
as much as I would have liked to continue the conversation I could already feel that I was not going to make my two and a half hour desired destination

it makes sense to think that I could just keep riding
but I couldn't
I would just have to go home and end my ride
the capitol crescent trail would extend my ride a little bit
and allow for more if I felt the need

the slight grade down the capitol crescent trail was a pleasure
the slow pace allowed for a pretty much no handed glide
going for the handlebars when passing other trail users
going for the brakes when unpredictable trail users came from the opposite direction

the paved path runs parallel to the c&o canal in its final miles
another great place for me to let my mind wander
I think about so many rides on so many different stretches of the canal
my mind wanders about the pieces of land between the canal and the potomac

a recurring daydream about the nps allowing some of this land by fletchers boat house opening up to some formally built trails
through the trees I see some rocky sections
there are signs of high water pushing deadwood great a decent distance from the potomac shores
my daydream include irragation, bridges
and of course clean up
the wasteland of deadwood becomes an urban playground

the trail feeds into georgetown
before dipping under the whitehurst freeway I check the time
consider stretching it
consider a right turn to haines point
or maybe a right turn then over the bridge into virginia only to grab the next bridge back into washington

the glance at the watch had me thinking of the value to a few more minutes on the bike versus the value of getting home to the family

got home to the kids
grant was just waking up from a nap
woke up with a serious mood

it took some serious work to get grant distracted and playing
his runny nose and slight cold has taken over his mood
but bionicles were able to distract him
dean and grant were playing impressively well

there was need for a diaper change and me to start dinner
lisa had at my request some ingredients for fajitas
it was getting late
if we were going to eat I had best start cooking

it was not easy to lure the boys downstairs
they were playing so well
grant's mood could still be grumpy so I tried to coral them gently
I offered to make a couch fort

couch forts are big with the kids
not so much fun for parents
lots of fun for the kids
at times the boys can tear the fort down in less time that it takes to make
part of making a couch fort is rebuilding it and maintaining it

evolving it to a working state

once the structure was solid enough
and to their liking
I could slip into the kitchen while they played
before I had the flank steak and the chicken out of the fridge there were boys at each knee
they were playing well
dean was chasing grant
grant was seeking shelter in a joking manner at my side

without being too grumpy I tried to persuade them to stick to the fort
the meat started to cook so I went back into the living room to maintain the fort

it was not easy chopping onions and peppers without chopping off a finger

just as the dinner was complete lisa came in the door with a load of groceries
like racoons at a campsite the boys started tearing through the plastic bags
I demanded that no one eat as I was cooking something better
everything in the bag was presented as a better option...

lisa was able to gather the boys
she had them wash their hands then sit at the table
with them everyone at the table I was ready to serve dinner

the whole process makes me appreciate the actions of my wife
she is not a stay at home mom
she works part time
although she is a full time mom
every time lisa cooks she is able to cook with the monkeys hanging from her hip
without much complaint
without chopping off a finger