Rants on Cycling and on Life


For some strange reason people have these strong opinions about STARBUCKS.
I really do not get it. Maybe people just feel like they need a common enemy. So, these same people as individuals reach for a David and Goliath approach and attack the big guy. It is always the BIG GUY, even if Mom and Pop are total assholes, people want to support them. As for me.... I want my coffee and that is about that. As for places like Walmart and Target.... I am all for paying the SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE versus some crazy mark up at some over crowded M&P. Sam Walton seemed like a good guy to me. I drive cross town then across a bridge into Virginia to get to COSTCO and BEST BUY as the local bodegas in my neighborhood are good for some things yet deficient in others.

The same goes for anything that grows in popularity. Whether it be a musical band or a product. Whenever the masses learn of its value people seem to think that the product is no longer organic or that it has become some watered down version of the original. For some reason when a band plays the large arena vs. the neighborhood pub all of a sudden they are sell outs. When fame and fortune were their goals long before they learned to play Wild Thing and Smoke on the Water on their first guitar.

Starbucks Store Locator

there are apparently 63 Starbucks within a 5 mile radius of my home
I am waiting for there to be one 5 blocks!
yes we have a Mom and Pop Coffee House..... well.... sorry Dos Gringos
somehow I still feel that there is room for a Starbucks
in my mind I feel it would help the community on many levels
give a large social setting where people can meet and greet
as well as provide fast dependable service with a tad less attitude

now if someone can explain why I need to tip someone for my House Coffee at the local coffee shop, while at an other store where I go to the counter I just need to pay for my goods!?!??!

have fun with the store locator
see who has the most Starbucks in their neighborhood.....
wonder which city has the greatest number of Starbucks? SF, NY, DC, or Seattle?

this is an idea I have had for years....
but just like most of my ideas it rests dormant in my rotting brain


are animated gifs making a comeback
oh yes
I am so cutting edge
and people laughed at my pink leg warmers
I knew if I kept wearing them they would come back

a not so family oriented paris hilton animated gif

DOA a must see film for anyone who thinks they know PUNK ROCK

okay RIDERX has taken this post to the next level
I have blogged on about my favorite Cycling Movies of all time
now... let me try to recall what movies I watched over and over again in high school
and that is the list that you will get
btw.... my high school 20 year reunion is this year
dam I am old

here is the list
not in any order


DOA (The Sex Pistol's first US Tour)
REPOMAN (as suggested by RIDERX)
Suburbia (a little known film... when Independent Film really meant small budget, a very young Flea from the Chilli Peppers is in it)
Mad Max and Road Warrior (yes, these movies are cool! even if Mel grew up to become a bible thumper)
The Hunger (there is very little that Bowie touches that does not turn to gold)
Blade Runner (all the true geeks love this film)
A Clockwork Orange (you don't need to wait till Halloween to dress up like these boys)

Not so Quiet on the Western Front
Rock and Roll High School (The Ramones. Need I say more?)
Another State of Mind (Social Distortion pre-rockabilly cool and Minor Threat stealing the show)
The Clash 1977 (if you want to hear White Riot 17 times)

on the lighter side of things.... Less Punk perhaps a tad more New Wave

Liquid Sky (I don't know if this movie was any good, but it was always playing on a tv screen at Whispers, Carmichael's, Cagney's, and Posers ((DC Clubs)) when I was an underage drinker)
Duran Duran Videos (gundog99 is not the only one who enjoys Duran Duran)

I found this when I was trying to wind up my collection
the INSTA PUNK KIT has links to these movies.... something that I did not want to bother with.... so check that site out to track down these movies
I fear that the last time I wore tartan red bondage pants.... the creator of INSTA PUNK was not born yet.... which means... I AM DAM OLD!
all those bars mentioned have been closed for at least 15 years

a few late additions....

some honorable mentions that were somehow left off the list.....

Quadrophenia (THE WHO: an amazing film, must see for any adolescent... young or old. Sting is in this film as whatelse.... THE ACE ((the ace face))))

Sid and Nancy (a feature film of the rise and fall of Sid Vicious, if I recall it was pretty good, gary oldman is cocky, but a great actor)

Bicycle Choppers....

I stole this HUFFY and Jesse James link from FAT GUY CYCLING*
here is the AMERICAN CHOPPER Schwinn Version of the kids chopper bike

*the FATGUYCYCLING (which has three very different contributors) is not to be confused with FAT MARC or even Gwadzilla who has been called fat by men built like children

they say it changes your life.....

everything "they" say is true
all the good
all the bad
everything that "they" say about how having children will change your life is true

when my wife was pregnant people gave endless advice
go to the movies....
go on a vacation just the two of you...
read a book....
whatever they said.... I ignored
that advice did not make sense until it was too late
the cat was out of the bag.... or the baby was out of the box

who would think that we need to get a babysitter so that we can do something that we once took for granted
a few weekends ago we got a babysitter so we could take a hike in the woods with the dogs
hiking without the boys is a different experience
no weight from the backpack
no worries that a little one is cold, tired, hungry.....

here are some shots from Rock Creek Park

okay.... we can all tell that that is not a real film strip negative
just messing around in PHOTOSHOP trying to find a more clever way to present some basic images


here is my own blog rolling
so I was checking out DT who reminded me of a place I had not been in some time, Hippy Blogger... who linked to some eye candy

what else....

went to Jeremiah Bishop's blog
then from there went to some guy who commented
then some of his links
down to some of their links
all over and no where

just about time for bed

Drugs and Sports....

during my lunch I was catching up with some friends and their BLOGS
Cross Tim not to be confused with TimmyP; although they both live and ride in Colorado, had BLOGGED about a racer named Matt Decanio
apparently this guy got fired from his sponsors for his stand against Doping in Sports (more specifically doping in cycling)
at this time I do not know much about it
just scratching the surface
trying to catch up on the history leading up to this moment in the world of Matt Decanio
Matt has started the USADO, The United States Anti Doping Organization

and his other site..... Stolen Underground

it is an interesting story
he seems to be a very interesting character
glad to see someone strong enough to stand AND PEDAL on their own!

it blows my mind
I am an avid cyclist and a low level racer
it bums me out....

on a lighter side of things... ROCCO send me a link to this eBay item
which turns out to be Decanio's letter of termination


reading bicycle blogs was starting to make me feel guilty
other cyclists blog on about another trail ride in the snow or their experiences on the trainers
so this morning before work I opted to do a quick ride around town....
just a loop around the Capitol Building and back to my office at 20th and M just south of Dupont
set out for a 45 minute loop.... but found myself in front of my office after only 35 minutes
oh well....
better than nothing
and honestly... as I do not train... not sure if I could even define the term "interval"
if I could explain the proper approach to get the proper results
but I do know that the Red Lights cause me to stop and go
(or at least slow down a tad.... it is more like leading and stealing than running a red light)
forcing me to burst into a sprint then come to an abrupt stop of at least very slow
then to burst again
was not feeling the burst that I had intended
spent more time spinning in the middle ring that exploding int a sprint in the big ring
it is winter
it is cold
I am a tad out of shape.... such is the nature of winter
it is my dormant cycle

here are two shots of the Karate Monkey in the winter
I actually rode the Rocky Mountain Blizzard this morning
as I have yet to investigate the bottom bracket issues of the Monkey

the left shot is not obvious.... but if you look closely you can see the White House between the seat ant the handlebars
and the shot on the left... clearly my KM in front of the Lincoln Memorial

these shots were brought to surface as I am sending them to fellow Monkeyman TimmyP
check out TimmyP's Blog and Photo of the day
his world in Colorado is beautiful, interesting, and well documented



Another Animated Gif
from my Archives
(refresh your page to get it to play again.... or read the instructions below on how to save and play the little animated Gifs)

joel as a Hindu god

that is a little piece that I did with Gif Builder
(Gif Builder may be Mac ONLY)
the actual image was taken with my Canon AE1 that is older than me
it was my father's camera before it was mine
the shot was taken with 100 speed film a dark room and an open shutter
(the bulb setting which my Canon EOS seems to lack)
((by "dark room" I am speaking about my lights being off in the bedroom of the group house on Irving Street I was living in at the time))
I had my camera flash in my hands
the room was completely dark until I hit the FLASH after each recharge
I was pleased with the results
the Animated Gif was an after thought a year or so later as I started to try and learn more about computer graphics

and you can not tell from that image
I actually had hair back then

if the Animated Gif does not play for you
you can Right Click on the image..... save to disk.... save it to your desktop... open a new Explorer windo....
then File.... Open.... and Browse to your Desktop and Open it
that is a process that could be valuable to opening any attachement that may not be working for you in the future

another evening assault on the sledding trail....

last night lisa was schedule to have a work dinner
which put me into the Mr. Mom scenario
left overs from Magiannos would help with the dinner preparation
but.... somewhere in the course of her day Lisa decided that she just was not in the mood...
not feeling up to it....
or just did not have the strength for a post work function
in any case she ran an errand on her way home
when Mommy Lisa arrived home Dean and Grant were content to be in my lap as we read various books
everyone was happy and whole enjoying the antics of Dr. Suess, Bob the Builder, and some Monster Truck story from Tonka.... up until Lisa appeared and tapped on the exterior of the glass from our front porch
Dean leaped to his feet and ran around through the hall to meet mommy at the front door
while Grant is a little less aware of his surroundings and crawled towards the window which was now vacant
He had seen her... now he was fixated on being with her... now she is gone
Grant climbed up as close as he could to the mommiless windown
crying and complaining
looking and yearning
Lisa entered the house and walked down the hall with Dean, Roscoe, and Brutus all gathered excitedly around her feet
quite a flurry of fluffy and not so fluffy activity
meanwhile Grant was still trying to get a better vantage point from which he could make contact with his mommy in the spot where she no longer stood
I called out to Lisa and asked her to call out to Grant
Lisa called Grant's name from the dinning room
Grant's expression changed from wanting, waiting, and alone to a wide smile
a smile from ear to ear
a smile that could be seen in his eyes
without hesitation Grant did a cross house crawling sprint
he covered that ground fast and furious not letting anything in his way slow his pace
no dog or child could hinder his momentum
lisa was home and so was Grant
Grant needed to make contact with mommy!

with Lisa home to help with Grant it was time to walk the dogs

with the ground still covered with snow it seemed that I could achieve several goals simultaneously
I asked Dean if he wanted to go sledding....
sure enough he did
so as I gathered my gear and the dog's leashes I had Dean suit up in his winter snow apparell
he pulled on his snowsuit (with some aid from mommy)
then put on his boots and jacket himself
we met at the door
dogs on leashes
Petzl headlamps on our heads
my Outdoor Research mittens on Dean's diminutive hands

across the heavily trafficked Park Road into the woods of Rock Creek
we took the long route to get to the sledding section of trail
a little hike for the dogs to run and Dean to stretch his legs
the dogs did their think and we did ours
it was not clear if Dean could appreciate the power of the headlamp or if he just liked wearing some cool gear
in an effort to show him the advantages of the headlamp I turned off our lights to show how dark it is without them
Dean did not seem to be impressed.... he is three and a half... perhaps such subtle things are not important to him
we got to the snow hill and Dean sat down for a rest and told me that he would meet me at the top
Dean was lying flat on his back
his breath was visible with aid of his headlamp
he was starring at the sky through the trees
I marched on towards the top of the hill with the dogs running wild
the snow and the cold always bring the volume of Roscoe and Brutus' CALL OF THE WILD game up to ELEVEN!
Dean eventually got to his feet and started up the hill
I waited as he stomped up
before he could slip I took his hand and walked up the hill with him
we ended up doing four runs down the icy hill in the woods
Dean wanted more..... so did I, but... my hunger for dinner outweighed my hunger for sledding
so we headed home
we took the long way home
I towed Dean behind me up and down the path over fallen trees and various obstacles
Roscoe and Brutus got to run around a little longer before they too were taken inside for the rest of the night

we got home and messed around with our Snowmen out front before going inside for the rest of the night

that was a long post
especially since all I wanted to say is that Dean and I went sledding last night with the Petzl's on
and that we had a good time


Animated Gifs
this is years old..... more than years old....
created with GIF BUILDER a 'shareware' program
not sure if it is still available or even viable in this age with FLASH and other such motion design programs

Dirt Rag: the mountain bike forum

Dirt Rag is a glossy mag that started out as little more than a black and white 'zine'
the pages are always filled with readers comments, reader's submitted articles, and reader's submitted art and photographs..... the cover also changes monthly displaying reader's art!

here is something that I sent to Dirt Rag a few years ago
it was displayed in the Submitted Art section one month... I can not recall when


go figure.....

last weekend dean and I went sledding on saturday, sunday, and then a quick session in the morning with the dogs before work then again with Dean sporting a Petzl after work on Monday night

sledding on top of all the other outdoor snow related activities
which for me included some cross country skiing


we got a very wet DC style snow
that is... when it snows but it is 40 degrees the next day
I was all pumped to go sledding
Dean helped me tape up that broken piece of plastic that we call a sled
vital!!!! teaching the kids early that most things can be fixed with tape
well to my surprise
Dean was not interested.....
there was not getting him to go sledding
which was fine as we were booked for a morning into the afternoon birthday party at his buddy maggie's house on capitol hill
offered after the prospect of sledding after the party and a 15 minute nap
Dean was not interested
well he was not interested until we saw a mob of people on a hill at Fort Reno park as we drove to pick up my mom for an evening birthday event at Magiannos
Dean missed his window of opportunity
and with the weather of the week
we may have missed our window of opportunity

hope we get another shot at sledding before the season is up

I love that stuff!
it is good fun

we did have some fun building some snow men casted out of a recycling bin base as a bucket form for the head
dean got great joy in adding the standar stick arms, celery eyes, and carrot nose
which may have been topped with a winter session on the back deck in and around the clubhouse that my father built
the crown jewel of his deck project
that moment proved that his efforts were right on the mark
dean with leo, alec, elijah, roscoe, and brutus
the snow added to the imagination of the event
although I could not tell you the game that they were playing