Rants on Cycling and on Life



Michael Moore


he can talk for himself
enough said
(for those that do not realize that the words in COLOR are links ((hypertextlinks or some term like that)))

more on bikes
gotta bring it back to the bikes

it is everything I expected
and more!
(including more expensive and more weight)
well, also more in a good way as well
got it out on the road
the gearing is definitely for the dirt
and also got it out on the dirt
just a twist here
and a turn there
just so hungry
can not help but pointing that thing to shoot through the trees

my current work schedule, the cold, and me being a bit of a pussy have kept me from the woods
there has been some poaching*

Main Entry: 1poach
Pronunciation: 'pOch
Function: transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English pochen, from Middle French pocher, from Old French pochier, literally, to put into a bag, from poche bag, pocket, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English pocca bag
Date: 15th century
: to cook in simmering liquid
Date: late 20th-21st century
Pronunciation: 'pOch (dude)
Function: verb/noun/whatever dude
Etymology: Surfer/Snowboarder/Mountainbiker Slang
literally to step off the legal trail or path and explore ride further; often with no reguard for the law or rules

in my efforts to share my love and excitement for this new ride
a friend out in California shared with me the info on the makers of his (or one of his) single speed

thank you Peter Funk for this information
as a SOULRIDER I can appreciate their philosophy
good looking site
and a solid logo


and while we are on the topic



let me try to lessen the tone with a reprint of an early posting
a posting that was actually an email
an email in my Pre-Blog State, yes there was life before BLOG

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 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 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
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

truely wacky

or more clearly


check it out if for nothing else
all those great links!

as the saying goes...

"the revolution will not be motorized!"

MOVEON.ORG is back in the news
not sure if any of this stuff will make a difference
hope it does
I am sure glad that someone is trying
if nothing else history will record that this country was not behind the actions of George W

this organization MOVEON had a contest
the slate was clear and open
it was up to the artist/activist/whatever to create what they wanted to create
the winner of the contest would have their ads hosted on national television the night of the STATE OF THE UNION
the one basic notion was to express displeasure with Bush and/or his policy

here is a submission by my friend ROB

Bush and the Environment

it is very SOUTH PARK and well worth a look
the audio bits are all snipits of George W himself

and here is the winner of the contest
and a write up about its being refused by CBS to be aired during the SUPERBOWL


share these movies and ideas with your friends
both that agree and disagree
anything to keep people thinking

oh, no
I need to tag this on as well
it seems that one of the entries (not a winner) has caused some outrage

Bush/Hilter Ad Response

the Ad is not available through
did not see it
will not try to defend or attack it
just putting it out there

I am not cool enough to be out in Salt Lake City with Britney Spears and Brian Kemler
but my wife was cool enough to turn me onto this site


this looks like something worth a look
can not wait to see it
but I guess I will have to

What a way to start the morning!
or better yet
What a way to start a work day!

as my morning was spent with the regular routine of hangin, playin, wrestlin, and dressin Dean
load an assortment of toys into the backpack and out the door
then a very brisk hike with the dogs
Dean left the house gloveless, but made a rapid request for the gloves before we were able to cross the street into the woods, they were in my pocket, just in case
he was excited to walk/hike his way through the woods as the dogs ran leashless about their merry way
but the wind was so that I offered him a piggy back ride to accelerate the process
we did the drop off at Rosemount Daycare, what Dean refers to as, "art class"

back to the topic at hand; Minor Threat

What a way to start a work day!
Two cups of coffee and a viewing of some clips from this MINOR THREAT:DC SPACE-BUFF HALL-9:30 Club DVD.
Something about the energy of these performances aided to bring up all sorts of adolescent anger. Not sure where it comes from or where it should go, but these guys definitely knew what to do with their anger....pick up some instruments and start a band.
Ian took it one step further, then another, and yet another. Ian (certainly with the help of those that surrounded him) started a band (or two), a record label, and a movement (or two). WOW! This stuff is powerful. Crazy Powerful!

I am not going to write a history of Minor Threat
it is up to you to reseach further

Not sure where to go with this
Guess I will sit back, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pop open a coke and take in some more of this DVD.

Man these guys ROCKED!
So young
so full of power
so DRIVEN (and yes, in an MTV/VH1 sort of way)
these guys not only had an idea
but they developed it and developed it well
the music is raw yet polished, so the sound quality is not that of one of their records
but it offers for that SING ALONG experience that we all grew up with!

Get your hands on this thing!
Buy it!
View it!
Live it!
(I was not at these shows, but the music was part of me while it was happening, so I do not get to relive these shows, but I do get to relive those songs. As this band and their music was a large part of my adolescence and the formation of my IDENTITY)

this is the place to start your shopping
cut out the middleman!


the KARATE MONKEY has arrived
it is really quite a site (is that sight?)
sort of looks like a Hum V with a military paint job
it is a monster of a bike
towers over anything I have seen or felt ever in my life

the frame is larger than any mountain frame I have ever owned; 22 inches
and the wheels
did I mention the wheels?
the wheels are measured at approximately 29 inches in diameter
(a normal mountainbike has 26 inch diameter wheels)
this is one MONSTER BIKE! Sitting on this thing is like being on top of a wave
it will take some serious getting use to
the taller frame with the taller wheels makes for a sick stand over height

but in actuality
what is weird about this bike
it may be the first bike that I have ever owned that actually fits me
will let you know how it goes

for those techies out there I will give a basic breakdown of the machine
Deore Levers
an assortment of SALSA COMPONENTS (bars, stem, etc)
Cane Creek headset
WTB MOTO Raptor 29 inch tires
WTB SPEED V saddle
I am a little weak on the tech talk
there are also some other parts, cranks and such
guess I would prefer to get out and ride it or get back to work so I do not lose my job
180mm Cranks
32X17 gearing

here is a DIRT RAG article on the KARATE MONKEY!

Here are a few valuable links to offer some FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

Take a moment a view some of these links

This site paid for advertising spots during the STATE OF THE UNION and for airtime leading up to it!


there are also some other interesting sites that I will point you towards

this FLASH animation gives an interesting account of Saddam's rise to power
I am not sure of its historical accuracy, but it is interesting to consider

Saddam's Rise to Power

that should be enough for now
both of those sites are littered with information
and Animation to make the info more entertaining

and one more to the mix


I am not a very political person
but, I do have an opinion

Last night was the STATE OF THE UNION
I missed it
not sure what I was doing at the time
must not have been watching TV, as it would have been on nearly every channel my limited DC cable has to provide
had I watched last nights speech
more than likely I would have been more intrigued by they different skin tones that are represented by each network
if just to bounce between NBC, ABC, and CBS you will see that each network favors a different hue
one may be more yellow, while another may be saturated with red
this goes unnoticed, unless you are a compulsive channel surfer (otherwise known as being male)

last night I did manage to catch some MOVEON.ORG advertisements
very clever

and did tune in for some reactions to the BUSH speech
but could not bring myself to sit and watch BUSH feed America a load of his BULLSHIT
this rant will be ended with a classic joke....

"How can you tell when Bush is telling a lie?"

"He is moving his lips."


what happened this weekend?
so my sister inlaw (kathy) left for home (Pittsburgh) not talking to me
left without saying goodbye
well, my antisocial response to her ignoring me contributed to that
but there were many factors that built up to that moment
once she started to not speak to me, once I was being ignored
I took that as an opportunity to escape
my feeling, I wanted these guys to come down and have a good time
if they have a better time with me out walking the dogs or checking my email in the other room
well, I will cater to them and offer them a more positive experience

it is rather silly actually
her kids like the dogs; Roscoe and Brutus
well, three of her four kids under five like the dogs
(Carson is too young to care either way)
the cousins like the dogs sort of like dean liking the cat
they do not know how to behave around dogs
just like dean does not know how to behave around cats
(which I think is to just ignore cats and let them be)
so I am trying to keep the children from flopping all over the dogs
and when they do flop onto the dogs I make sure that the dogs do not over react
billy, a very spirited child weighing in at 60 plus pounds at 4 years old can be unpredictable
at one point Billy was looking like he is going to intentionally step on Roscoe
the routine with Billy is if you say "no don't do that"
he does it with great joy, he aims to displease
he has discovered that it is good to be bad
so while talking with others I just block his foot
he goes to kick again
I block it
now, my efforts may have been wrong
I should have verbalized my intentions and the guidelines for dealing with dogs
but, I am human, and well by this time the 4 cousins and dean had been swarming around me all day, and the day prior
so, my blocking billy's foot became a game to him, and he kept doing it
I did not mind it becoming a game
as it prevented any trouble between dog and child
well, I spoke too soon
apparently billy's mother thought my actions were inappropriate
she chewed me out and refused to talk to me the rest of the day
this was the second time I got attitude from her
earlier that day she was appauled by my lack of prioritizing Santa in Dean's holiday experience
(I will aid in perpetuating that myth, but I do not need to instill it or create it, his natural surroundings will handle that just fine)

in short...

when in a family group situation I feel that disciplining a child can be the duty of any parent present
that is not to say that I would hit another person's child, I would not even hit my own
nor would I be as firm in discipling another person's child
but I do think that certain behaviors should be stopped, and the inappropriate action should be discussed
especially if a child was doing anything unsafe, then I would take it upon my self to calmly approach the situation

with any child this can be frustrating
with a highly spirited child this can be real frustrating

Billy is off the charts for highly spirited children
he can not keep a deal or a promise
his actions are understandable, he is acting out
he is striving for attention, he is the oldest of 4 kids under 5
the baby demands constant attention, the twins are less than self sufficient
so he obviously feels that negative attention is better than no attention
so he can often behave inappropriately

one on one he can be an angel
he can also be a devil
but he can be an angel, I try to get him away from the crowd so that we can connect
it is not always easy or fun
but when he does behave it is a great relief and quite a pleasure

with that said
this was a weekend with the best intentions
we had all looked forward to having the "cousins" visit
Dean loves the cousins (and of course so do I)
but a house with that many kids can really cause some anxiety

note to self...
do not have 4 kids
especially that close in age


as we travel the road of life we are often hit with a variety of choices
these choices are looked upon as crossroads

I am once again at a CROSSROAD
although most of my life is on a bit of an autopilot*
there are still some choices to be made from time to time

*I am married
father of one child and soon to have our second son
currently slaving for the man in classic 9-5 position
a wife, child, and job can act to script the decisions of my day to day life
there are routines and tasks or everyday life

my current crossroad is the decision of what to do with my truck
my 1984 Toyota Landcruiser is proving to have a list of short comings
winter is just not the season for this machine
the full size engine and its need to start with the assistance of the choke cause some inconveniences
the truck just does not like to start without the assistance of STARTER FLUID
actually the truck does not start at all, it has not been driven in over a month
(Napo "Napoleon Garcia" my mechanic has towed my truck away)
there are other issues
as a father I think that a safer machine would serve me better
airbags, crumple resistance side beams, and a functioning suspension system
plus, heat would be a nice treat in the winter
and a radio that played loud enough to hear over the engine would also be a bonus

with that said there may also be some need for some personal growth
as I am severely attached to the aesthetic of this old truck
although I do understand that it is foolish to cling to material goods
it is a major part of my existence
the character should not be able to outweigh it lack of functionality
yet I debate the issues further in my head

or is it PLAYOFFS!
or is it the WORLD SERIES?
the Stanley Cup?
who gives a shit?

so I am supposed to work all week only to spend one of my two days off watching someone else do something?
I am not sure if I get that
actually I do not get that at all

most "sports fans" are not athletes at all
but I guess that is the point
they are living through the actions of others
wearing their jerseys
sporting their colors

I have better things to do
I have a life
I have a family
I have things to do

for me cycling tends to fill that space of time on Sundays
the standard procedure is for mountainbike races to be held on Sundays
and when there are no races I also have my family to hang out with or the house to work on
there is always something that needs to be done
I just do not see how watching someone else play a game will help me in any way
heck! Give me a backgammon board over an NFL Playoff Game anyday!

sadly I am drawn towards it
if I go to a bar and the blue box is glowing in the corner I turn my head and I watch
the powerful draw of that blue glow is too strong
it can not be fought
it is easy to get sucked in
but if given another option, any option I will take it

that is not to say that I can not appreciate good play!
highlights often catch my eye
the catch of the day or play of the game
that can occupy my mind, but a whole game
not for me

there are a few other thoughts that go with this rule
I will go to nearly any sporting event live
get me baseball tickets, I am there
but I have never seen a game on TV, not a second of a World Series
I just don't get it
football, sure, it is great to get out to the game
but once a year tends to be enough
the traffic getting in, the cattle call to file into the stadium, security, hassles, crowds, assholes, and then more traffic to get out
tailgating party seems like and oxymoron, or better yet, just a bunch of morons
sure I like to get drunk as much as the next idiot
but please leave your car at home
or better yet, stay at home

other sporting events also offer that once a year sampler pleasure
many of these events can be a people watching paradise
hockey games? sure
it is like a mullet convention
where do these people come from

live music is similar
most people would not be playing music if it were not for the stage
there have been enough days spent with my ears ringing due to an overly amplified concert/show
just don't need it
if I do go to a show now days there better be some space to dance
and no matter who the act is
I am wearing earplugs

why does it have to be so loud?

and more on the TV thing
my actions are classically male
I decompress infront of the tv everyday
channel surfing takes up a huge chunk of my day
but I would much rather watch VH1 Behind the Music
or American Chopper than any of that other crap


my rants today are really not going anywhere
I really could be using my time more productively

but work keeps distracting me
so my BLOG is getting limited attention in between tasks

I need to get paid to BLOG

did I mention
I hate Reality TV!
Reality TV Bites!
and that Star Search American Idol Crap!
what is that?
never seen it
but when I heard the buzz about it
I could just tell
it is not for me
most of that stuff just pisses me off
(which is not hard to do)

It is about the MUSIC!
Remember, It is about the MUSIC!
well actually, nothing is that simple
people can often have an alternative agenda
even something as simple as a high school dance....

is it just about the music?
perhaps not, or people would just be playing the radio or a cd at home!

the music gets people together
it gets people moving
it can also help to allow people to express themselves
as well as allow two people to communicate
(often in ways that words can not convey)
the music can be very powerful, very very powerful
let it take control

everyone should dance
even if it is alone at home where no one can see
I seldomly dance
but I enjoy it when I do
let me take that back, I strut around the house like a miner who has struck gold or a rooster trying to get the attention of a mother hen, but these are more in an effort to get my son to giggle
guess it is dancing just the same, not pretty, but it is dancing

different music can ask for different settings
some music aids to excite
while other music may aid in relaxation
some music is perfect in a dimly lit room and a glass of red wine (choose your own poison)
sink deeply into a soft sofa and let your mind unwind
create your own FANTASIA!
other music acts as a sleep aid

people often use music to make a setting more romantic or perhaps seductive
(I say try some classic 80's SADE or some BRYAN FERRY)

you don't even need to listen to the lyrics
but you should listen to the emotions
chances are the emotions are more powerful than the lyrics

give it a shot
let me know what you come up with!

hold on
I think I confused two things
all I wanted to say is GET UP AND DANCE
that 80's music stuff was a sidebar, I was not giving tips on hooking up or getting laid
go to
they will clear up your confusion


Okay, lets give it a shot...

(the dates are rough estimations)

1.1981 THE WHO; Athena tour
I was in 9th grade and a big WHO fan. Had never been to a large concert before. There were plans to go with my brother and a friend Jason, somehow tickets got lost, tickets changed hands. There were two nights of shows, they ended up going a one night, I ended up going the night prior. My night was spent trying to figure it all out. The opening act of no interest to anyone, Davy Jo Hanson. THE WHO came on and I could not get close enough. The nose bleeder seats were not good enough for me. I made several successful attacks to get onto the floor, succeeded each time, also succeeded to get physically removed from the floor each time. Managed not to get kicked out of the Capitol Center for my efforts and decided the large venue concert was not where it was at.....from then on it was "shows" rather than "concerts."
so I revise that this list be...

2.Minor Threat/Trouble Funk 1985 Landsburgh Culture Center (what was once the Landsburgh Department Store): The Funk Punk Spectacular
This goes without saying to be one of the best shows of my limited rock and roll history. If you have to ask, you will never know. Minor Threat, the raw power, the energy, the magic, and perhaps the honesty. There is no question about this band's influence on my adolescence and on modern music and the music industry as a whole. To be able to catch this moment in music history and to appreciate it at the same time is really something. And GO-GO, there is a piece of music history that gives Washingtonians much pride, that is our hometown sound, and that drum makes you want to get up and dance! It was great to get to ride the TROUBLE FUNK EXPRESS even if I had to leave before the set was over so that I would not break my already extended curfew for that evening.

3. The SMITHS; 1985 At Warner Theater, part of The Smiths first American/World Tour. This band goes in a very different direction than the prior punk band. The music, the composition, and the energy of this band is phenomenal, Johnny Mar rocks, and well, Morrisessy he ranks number one in my list of Whinning Whusses!

here is where my memory starts to fail me
it has been a long time since I have tabulated such a list
and much of my old memories have become blurs

4. A Memory of many outdoor festivals: RAR aka Rock Against Reagan and/or Lollopalossa (pick any one, well other than the first, I was in San Francisco, Johnny Ray had my ticket, but we did not connect till the day after the event, he still had my ticket, but I lacked the time machine to get me to the show on time) By this point in time my idea of a Concert/Show had become many things, both social and the show itself. The multiband experience, with the large show and the side shows offered a great opportunity to entertain my short attention span.

5. Okay I will have to cop out one step further. Hard for me to remember any one show from my misspent youth. There were countless trips to the Wilson Center in Mt Pleasant at the corner of 15th and Irving, or Pierce Hall, or even Sacred Heart Church. Black Flag, DOA, or even better, local heros and local greats; Rites of Spring, the never appreciated Marginal Man, Bad Brains (HR or any other incarnation), Scream and Beefeater, or the overblown bravado of King Face....but no one show stands out. As now these shows are not each individual memories, but rather just one whole memory. Many shows acts as a conglomeration to become one blurred memory. In my youth we went to hardcore shows as something to do. There were many nights were we would go to the (old) 9:30 Club to see a band that we were less than familiar with, but that is what music was about at that point in time. We would bring our skateboards and skate before the show, during the opening acts we had no interest in, and after the show. There were people who went to the shows with no interest of ever entering the front door. The steps of the Wilson Center was always crowded with a bunch of Circle Jerks (no the California Skate rock band, but a group of beer drinking lounge abouts that tended to meet and hang at Dupont Circle, then at night they would migrate to various shows or bars)

The DC punk scene was alive and well. But just as I went to the local punk shows I also went to high school dances, Go-Go was alive and well and pumping and bumping through the veins of the B-CC students. And when we weren't dancing in the gym we were heading downtown to some of the clubs who hosted DJs that played New Wave and SKA dance music. We were underage, but too poor to buy enough alcohol to get drunk. It was actually about the music and having a good time. We just like to get up and dance. With the DC drinking age being 18, being tall and 15 was often close enough, then after going enough times, the door men let us in.....chances are they knew we were good kids, not up to any trouble, and it helped to keep some numbers on the dance one wants to go out on an empty dance floor.