Rants on Cycling and on Life


Valentines Day finally means something to me.
At 1:37 am at Sibley Hospital in Northwest Washington DC my wife gave birth to our second son, Grant. It was a smooth pregnancy with a smooth deliver, certainly there were some speed bumps here and there, but in comparision to the world of "complications" we were very very lucky. My healthy wife had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy drug free delivery. She screamed and shouted with a red face with a number of veins on her temples, yet she did not complain. It was a funny thursday and friday as she went about her daily business nowing full well that was on the path to delivery. She worked on Friday but left early. Knowing she left early, on my ride home I took a path that would take me to the parking lot at the Melvin Hazen trail. Often when she gets home early she picks up the dogs and takes a hike in the woods before getting Dean. She deserves a moments piece, some time to herself, some time away. But being a protective father I tracked her down. As I did not know how far along she had gone or which direction to find her I shouted out too the dogs in am personalized dog call that I have.
It is some sort of american indian chinese influenced yodel, "hok-hok" The dogs came running. Not immediately. But as I hiked in with my bike at my side I got around a few turns and my voice carried the rest. There was lisa within view up on a switchback nearly out of ear shot (not far actually, this is Rock Creek, not the Grand Canyon) We relayed messages. Unable to decifer the full message, but was able to let her know that I did not want her to have the baby there, and that if he is born there....we are not naming him Melvin (after the trail) She laughed and agreed, but guess not everything translated, I got Dean, leaving the bike outside and strutting down the school halls like some strange coal miner of the future with my gortex gear, helmet, and helmet light, the backpack and the lights strapped about added to the image (no lights on, I am not that geeky)
Lisa got back home with the dogs. She laughed. I could tell she had gone to pick up Dean. We hung at the dinner table and discussed the night's events to come. I was scheduled for work that night, we wondered if lisa was biologically scheduled for delivery. We discussed issues that should have been discussed months ago and we packed bags that should have been packed weeks ago. I called my dad and asked him if he was available for coming over and watching Dean if we were headed to the hospital that night, he agreed to offered his services at our call. So I scurried about and got some things ready and also got ready to head back to work. Went out front, got in my truck and headed to work.
this is getting old
send a comment if you want the rest
too tired after 4 hours of sleep and a full day to finish the tale
maybe after a glass of wine


this seems to be working simple and clean
not as clean as I would like
but I will fudge with it later at home
right now I need to fudge with computers at work, and not my own

just the same
there is a free COMMENT for blogs
seems pretty cool
stole it off a friend's site

check out this site
a new shop opened in Ohio in early 2003
the new owner has kept a diary of progress and experiences
I have not gone that deep into it
not sure if they are descendents of the Wright brothers or not
or if they were on the set of the filming of Breaking Away
but it may prove to be a good read just the same

Gaansari Cylcle Shop


sipping wine
and listening to The Jam
right now I am going through a phase of rediscovering the music of my past
mainly of my adolescence
some of this music is proving to have some staying power
The Jam is definitely an under appreciated contribution

oh shit
just remembered
we are having a cleaning lady come tomorrow
I better clean up
is this so we will not be embarressed
lisa has cleaned up the house to such a level
that I asked her to call Doris and tell her that she does not need to come
lisa laughed like I was joking
but the bathrooms and the kitchen could use a wipe with a damp rag
by now Doris knows what to expect
she arrives, the house is spotless
and not because it is always this clean
but because lisa makes it so the night before her arrival
I imagine that Doris takes the money that she makes for this cleaning job and throws a party
and throws it in our house while we are at work
she takes the time she would use to clean the house to throw a party
then once the party is over
it is actually dirty enough that she has something to do
then she cleans up leaving no trace
but how would I know....I am at work

I need a web cam!
that way I would know what Doris does when she is supposed to clean our clean house
and what Roscoe and Brutus are doing all day long
I know that they are barking at the mailman, Harold and I have talked at lenght about their special relationship
an additional plexiglass shield is on the door
our placid domesticated pets transform into CUJO ONE AND CUJO TWO at the sight and sound of the mailman
class has been broken
blood has been drawn, luckily Brutus' and not Harold's

tonight my ride home took a very similar path to last night
the single speed is growing to be a good fit
the curbs and the stairs are more natural
still no air
but when was there ever any air?
those big wheels like to roll
and my body likes to stay on the ground

as I pedaled about my mind wandered
my memory told me of old routes now unavailable
national security is one thing
construction is another
the roads downtown have changed
don't expect to ride or drive on the roads directly in front of the White House
Jersey Barriers and crossing guards with bullet proof vests and glocks; one in the chamber /17 in the clip;

so I spun down memory lane with no set route
just a basic direction
take whichever path is flowing
whichever lights are green
go where there is the least resistance
always modifying the course
it can be fun just let "the journey be the destination"
as I meandered about the business district past the Federal buildings towards the mall I witnessed before me that the city has changed
and keeps changing
and not entirely for the better
not at all for the better

I am not historian
but it seems to me that when Pierre L'Enfant designed the mall
it was designed, mapped out, a scale model was crafted, and the actual building process went on from there
there was to be green space outlined by trees and surrounded by buildings
I have felt like a small figurine under one of those trees
not in this time
but in a past time on a conference room table as Pierre sold a room full of men wearing powder coated wigs on his ideas
there are more and more buildings
and now more and more monuments that he had ever planned
(Vietnam, then Korean War, now WWII)
there are also subways, buses, and lots of cars
and then some more cars
then maybe one or two horse drawn carriages
these monuments and buildings are taking up more and more of the green space
areas that were once great vistas of the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial are obstructed
enough is enough
we need the MALL ANNEX II
no more memorial
no more museums
the National Museum of the Native American blocks what was a wonderful view of the Capitol from Independence
sure it is a great looking building, but could it not have been great looking our near Dulles Airport?
or maybe underground with just a few hidden trap door enterances
afterall...we don't want natural light on art or artifacts

the 4th of July use to be a great time for set a blanket out on the grass for a picnic
well if you can find any
more paved trails
more paths
more monuments
more visitors centers
again less is more
less is more attractive
less is more sensible

but those with a concrete vision have never biked on the mall
never had a date with carry out chinese food on the mall
never thrown a frisbee on the mall
never attended a protest, a ralley, or a quasi-political concert on the mall
never hooked up beneith a tree on the mall
they may see the mall as a photo op when in town from Kansas
but the mall is more than that
it is a place to fly kites
to play kick ball
to toss a frisbee
or even ride your bike


NPS: The Mall

Second G 1984


today I am totally ripping off ROBLOG
I am not just stealing style
right now I am posting the exact information!
sort of
some of the same links
and similar information
Turns out we are both Henry!

You are STATE OF ALERT! Very pissed off in general,
you don't mess around. Even rednecks don't like
to get in fights with you because you are
crazy. You aren't afraid to promote yourself,
not to mention you are a loud mouth. Outspoken
in what you believe, you will ALWAYS be there
to help out and fight for your friends and
those you love. And of course to create a
whilwind of senseless violence.

brought to you by Quizilla

guess THE JAM was not an option
they were pissed with a fashion sense!

this map is a tad vague
my passport is less than impressive
yet it seems like a good deal is colored in
no alaska
no hawaii
yet since I have traveled in the US
it exaggerates my experience
sure, the stories are my own
each trip was a wonderful experience
no visit was long enough to do more than maybe take a few snap shots and learn a few of the native greetings
then time to head home
perhaps in our family's future we can plot our course overseas
an alternative learning period for the whole family
something that could make the record skip
break the rhythm and direction of some of American culture*

create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

*American: I hate to use the term American to try and describe someone from the United States. It is a tad ethnocentric for one country of so many countries within two hemispheres/two continents to claim the term American for themselves. We are all Americans, but we are the ugly ones (although I try not to be.)


this evening was well spent
my pregnant wife hung with Dean
work held me back a little late
and to shake that feeling of work I headed the opposite direction of home on the Karate Monkey
rode the wave of traffic downtown
caught a good rhythm
held good speed
but really
how fast can I spin the 32X17
passed the monuments and crossed the 14th Street Bridge
checked for penguins as the ice floated down the Potomac river below me
got onto the Mt Vernon trail and headed towards the Key Bridge into Georgetown
a short loop
but a healthy spin considering the gearing I am pusthing
over the bridge after a stellar view of the city from the other side of the river
back into traffice
buses, cabs, and potholes
plenty of obstacles to test the senses of this still somewhat forgein machine
dropped into the park to cross under some very epic arched bridges
Q far more spectacular than P
but Q's size no rival for Mass Ave then Conn then Calvert
the ability to breath in the views was broken up by the need to concentrate on remaining patches of ice
some sections barely navigatable on foot
arrived home
grabbed roscoe and brutus and headed for a quick march through the woods
it was either ice, mud, or wet leaves
in the dark shadows I must have looked like a 90 year old man
as I tensed up with each baby step fearing falling on my ass

checked in with lisa and dean
we all giggled and played
it was short and sweet as I was off to a local pub
for some bar food with my brother and an old high school buddy jason
we laughed
we covered a lot of years
and a good deal of the same old stories
it was a good time
our little reunions should happen more often
so we can talk in the present instead of the past
it is tough to alwas catch up or reminise

on the trip through downtown
passed an old old friend, scott
he is a lifer, riding an old british style 3 speed
and not in a retro or cool way
got his number and am going to try to put one of my old lead sleds into his hands
a fully built low end mountainbike from the mid 80's with thumb shifters and bear traps will be a step forward
not need for me to cling to these low end retro parts
it is an old Nashbar bike that one of my wife's coworker had
he let me grab it
I figured I could donate it to Chain Reaction
but this is a more immediate donation passing it on to Scott
had thought of handing it over to Crackhead Tommy
as I spotted him in Malcom X Park the other day as I manovered the terraced stairs on the 29inch wheels
he had a good road bike that he just found in an alley

that site is really bad
information based sites are great
but they do not have to be ugly with dead links
wish I had the time to figure out a tad more web stuff to spruce it up
but with two dogs, a wife, a 2 year old son, another son on the way, and a serious BLOG habit I clearly do not have the time

that MAP below is the first image that I have hosted/posted my BLOG
many if not most of the states that I have "visited"
I have barely tasted
many I just passed through
never to return to again
road trips in my early to mid 20's
glorious free times
they were amazing
and you know what
at that moment I knew that they were amazing
but perhaps not to the highest level
the power and energy of youth
I like the dinosaurs that that my rein on earth would be forever
not that I am living in any sort of ice age
my life has just evolved into something different

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

This is a Map of the STATES I HAVE VISITED
RED being the States I have been to or been through

Green would be the states that I have yet to visit

there is no option or color for states I have no intention of ever visiting
if there were
Texas would be that color
No need to ever go there
Had I never traveled to New Mexico I would have created a healthy buffer between myself and Texas

Anybody But Bush

A friend and fellow BLOGGER shared this set of tests with me....
they are really quite interesting
anyone with an interest in Psychology or Sociology would have an interest in these test

here is the source of the tests

Science: THE MIND (this lists all of the tests)

some of the individual tests I have taken and enjoyed



and just in time for VALENTINES DAY
here are two good ones for you




here is the link to that BLOGGER's PAGE



Learning to be a good parent...
(when the ice melts, the temp rises, and the races start I will be more focused on cycling, until is all about family on my BLOG)
((and if it will hear of my antics on the XC Skis))

right now Dean is two and half
he wins every battle
it is not that he is spoiled
he is strong willed
lisa and I need to find some tactics to start winning SOME of these battles

the battles are small but they comeback to bite you....
"I wanna sleep in the mommy bed."
so rather than fight it
we take him and lie him down in the mommy bed
lisa and I are both tired and are not looking for a fight
it was tough enough to convince him to go to bed
the time is rapidly approaching 10
neither of us have really had a chance to put our feet up after a long day at work
so he falls asleep and is transferred to "the big boy bed" after he drifts off to a deep sleep
the failure of this
he then requests to sleep in the mommy bed the next night, and then everynight
each night we buckle for the same reasons
too tired to fight
tired from carrying him up the stairs and placing him gently in the bottom bunk of his bed
tired from a long day of work
tired from just a long day
we put him down in his bed and tip toe away
only to hear a stamped of little footsteps
and then when he enters the room and announces, "I don't want to go to bed."
the game starts again, to convince him to go to bed
our strategies are different
I let him play, as I see he is getting tired
I offer for him to take the toy he is playing with to bed with him
there have been nights where he was put in bed with several Buzz Lightyear action figures a few dinosaurs
and sometimes whatever was in bed from the night before
then once in bed lisa and I will sit idlely
waiting to hear those footsteps of maybe a stealth approach
where he just appears like a ghost
standing silent at the door with his "fire" (his pacifier, used for sleeping only) and his blanket (which has no cute name)

then once in bed and asleep
lisa has a few moments to her self
well, maybe a few seconds, where she cleans up the house and preps for the day to come
washes up and gets ready for bed
climbs into bed, can not read even if she would like to, as the light would wake Dean
as for me, the night owl in me grants me more time
I have time to work on freelance design projects, tune up one of my many bikes, or read a good book
although I have the time for any of these activities, my actions usually involve a glass of wine, sometimes two

if I am lucky enough there is Monster Garage, Monster House, American Chopper
if not to save my thumb from carpal tunnel syndrome I tape the channel scan button down
and just watch the channels change
it goes around and around and around
as the clock approaches midnight I question why I did not go to bed an hour ago
head up stairs
brush my teeth
flip the light on in the bedroom to see if Dean, Roscoe, or Brutus are in my spot
climb into bed

fall asleep only to wake up to dean at 5am demanding an apple juice
now, it would be easy enough to say no and go back to bed
but in my ignorant state I gave him a sippy cup full of juice several times before
so now it is expected
as they say, "it is tough to put the genie back in the bottle"

we pay for our mistakes
we script our own misery
this little battles all add up
right now Dean is not only winning the battle, he is winning the War

in an effort to make a moment easier
we are making our lives harder
Lisa and I are currently regrouping and planning our next offensive
we want Dean happy but we also want our lives back
or at least a solid nights sleep from time to time

since this was written we now have Dean sleeping in his own bed
and sleeping through the night
he gets up early
climbs into our bed
he wiggles and he giggles
often kicks me in the head
on my lucky days he falls back asleep and we wake up late
on most days we both wake up and I console him as mommy goes off to work
then we do our thing
we walk the dogs
I drop dean off at daycare
then I get on my bike and head to work




this weekend I saw a woman hammering a DEAN FOR AMERICA poster into the frozen ground just a few blocks down from my mother's house in Bethesda
while watching this I thought....'I would like to have one of those Dean posters for my son Dean.'
then I thought about the whole notion of campaign posters
then my Adult ADD took that thought one step further
I would like a John Kerry, Howard Dean, John Edwards, Wesley Clark, Dennis Kucinich, and Even Al Sharpton poster in my yard. Hammer them all into one tall totem pole like stake. Then have a small sign at the bottom that read, "ANY BODY BUT BUSH!"

good night
would love to hang out and blog
but need to go to bed

This is a newswire from the Associated Press....
this story explains why I do not own a gun
I think that the cyclist should be rewarded for his reserve. Each morning on my short 15 minute commute to work I would shoot several people for similar behavior (this is said tongue and cheek, but emotions do run high and that is why such things do happen)
Although I was not there, I find it safe to say that it was more than the obscene gesture that ticked this cyclist off. Hope he gets a good lawyer and a sympathetic jury, but I would figure that he is ready to face a stiff sentence and a less than understanding car driving judge and jury.

BC-BRF--Bicycle Road Rage,0188
Bicyclist charged with shooting motorist in fight over obscene
MONROEVILLE, Pa. (AP) - A bicyclist shot a truck driver in the
arm during a confrontation that began when the man pedaling the
bike made an obscene gesture, police said.
Robert Urick, 41, was charged with attempted homicide,
aggravated assault and weapons offenses.
William Nicoletti, 51, told police that when he drove past Urick
in his pickup truck Saturday, Urick made an obscene gesture.
Nicoletti said he turned around and drove toward Urick, who
pulled out a pistol and threatened to shoot, police said. Officers
said Urick then reached into the truck and shot Nicoletti once in
the arm, and rode away on his bike.
Nicoletti rammed Urick off his bike and they fought briefly
until Urick fled again, police said.
Police said they arrested Urick, of Monroeville, later that day,
and he told them he made the gesture because Nicoletti had told him
to get off the road.
Urick remained in jail Monday in lieu of $100,000 bail. A
hearing was set for Feb. 17.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

APTV-02-09-04 1048EST

oh yea,
I forgot to mention I HATE GUNS!I see very little need for anyone to own a gun. Sure I can appreciate sport and hunting, but who hunts with a handgun?
And for those who have guns for home security....if I really felt that I was at risk where I lived...I WOULD MOVE!

the ice on the trails would work great for downhill ice skating!
not quite the light and airy powder I need for learning to XC Ski

Dean and I always take the dogs through the woods to Rosemount
it is a short hike that meanders through a small section of Rock Creek Park
he walked a section
holding my hand
and slipping and falling with each steps
limber enough not to pull a muscle as he did the plits
never hitting the ground as I had his right hand with my left
while my right firmly grasped my hot cup of morning coffee

after enough slipping and falling
and very slow progress
I carried Dean on my shoulders
without getting very far he wanted down
he did not necessarily want to walk
I think he just did not want to come slamming down from 7 feet in the air!
the short descent down the path was all ice

then Kona, a plump 2 year old Burnese Mountain Dog, took his stick
and Ajax, an overly energetic Golden Retriever, kept jumping on him with his wet paws
the Ajax wet paws to the chest and nose to the face meant nothing to him
but Dean cried that Kona had run off with his stick
that stick was selected for his morning session of "Fighter Power*"

*Fighter Power: an imaginary game created by Lisa and Dean. This game involves a stick for each participant. Dean's stick always being larger than his opponents. The objective? Unknown. There appears to be some Wizardry and perhaps some Martial Arts. Occassionally Dean will be hit with an imaginary blow that causes him to fall to the ground and play dead. Swooshing and Shooshing noises are to be used throught play. Play at your own Risk!