Rants on Cycling and on Life


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

depending on the moment the beach can be two different places

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

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

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

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

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

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

and finally

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

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

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

the world is rapidly becoming an uglier and uglier place

Kevin Costner the best worst actor of all time!

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

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

want more material for your NETFLIXS list?

Norman Jewison

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

if I were ever to make a film….

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

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


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

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

Shrek seemed like a series of fart jokes

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

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

on vacation down in florida

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

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

running in florida

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

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

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

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


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


fun in Florida
some basic highlights

days on the beach days
days in the pool

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

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

Dean is introduced to the mask and snorkel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dam blog

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

need to remember to CUT AND PASTE the entry as the dial up is not always the best way to connect to the BLOG


space... it is important to know when to give people space

when I was young and single I remember trying to share some unsolicitated advice with a friend as he tried to "score" with a little hottie at the Green Door (a bar, the only bar down the road from our college)
he was doing pretty well... but it was obvious that he was suffocating her
he was working overtime blocking and deflecting any and all suitors that breezed by her
in my mind it made more sense for him to give her some room to breath
for him to move about the bar and mix and mingle with his friends
it was a bar filled with college students... most of which he knew as he had graduated from this school the year prior
he was well known and well liked and to me.... it seemed like it would be good for him to have her see others see him
it was also of my belief... give her some space... if you give her some room and she hooks up with someone else.... well... just as well... she is ready to go home with anyone
and who wants to go home with the girl who will go home with anyone or anybody
my friend went off to shoot some pool, won a few games and lost the girl
she ended up going home with someone else
he was bummed
turns out he wanted to go home with the girl who would go home with anyone or anybody

space... it is important to know when to give a child some space

one of my prior rants had a comment from an old friend from grade school
in this comment Helder spoke of how he likes to give his son some space when he watches a DVD

parents can be protective of their children
some parents can be over protective of thier children
at the toddler park it is not uncommon to see parents hovering over their children
breaking up any potential fight before it happens and spotting them as they climb the monkey bars
it is tough as a parent to step back and find a healthy balance

there are times to give your child space and there are times when it is important to give them support and guidance

with a son that just reached 13 months today and another son who will be four in june I deal with my involvement and interaction on a case by case basis

Dean swims like a fish... his comfort in the pool would boggle your mind
all of this while he is wearing a life jacket
it is too much to ask for him to try and swim without a life jacket at three and a half
but yesterday when he asked if he could swim without his life jacket I had to give him some space
we were already in the water
as I walked to towards the side Dean doggie paddled at my side
as we got closer to the steps I looked him in the eyes and stressed that he is never to go in the pool without his life jacket... that he is never to remove his life jacket while in the pool
then I removed his lifejacket
with him in my hands I tried to test his balance
then let him try his little doggie paddle "sans" life jacket
sure enough... he sunk
it was neither dramatic nor was it traumatic
he just slowly sunk to where his feet hit the ground
before he could had a moment to struggle or panic I took hold of him and aided his head above surface
I explained to him what had just happened
then we tested the waters so to speak
with Dean now vertical we tested his abliltiy to stand in the shallow water
with his efforts to tread water and his leg extended to "tippy toes" he was able to bob above water

there I was... two feet from him... never a second out of reach
my eyes would not blink
this was not a time for lessons hard learned
again I tried to aid him in his stroke and his balance
as I am not a swim instructor we moved back to the life jacket for the remainder of our pool adventure
again stressing the dangers of the pool and the rules of always wearing a life jacket when in or AROUND the pool
the beach is a little different....
I am torn as to whether or not to have him wear the life jacket while we run and play on the water's edge
this season we have not had him wear the jacket unless we know we are headed into the water (the Gulf of Mexico)
it is not a matter of what people think
it is a matter of calculated risks...
the water is cold and he is not as drawn towards the surf as he is to the pool
but there are moments

there has to be a balance...
a helmet on a bicycle?
oh... post definitely....
a skateboard without pads? he is three and a half... as much as he asks... as much as I want to buy him... I am not buying him a skateboard... yet
balance must be learned... he is not riding his bicycle without training wheels.... the skateboard will happen... injuries will happen... but they do not have to happen today


People Need To Take Credit and Blame for Their Own Actions two basic issues that are at the failure of our modern culture

this idea of The Obesity Epidemic
the notion that we are having a Fuel Crisis

I already wrote a long winded diatribe about these two ideas
before I could finish
I decided to just go ahead and let those absurd concepts speak for themselves.....

a few ideas to ponder
How can a Lincoln Navigator that seats 7 comfortably qualify as an HIGH OCCUPANCY VEHICLE when it travels with two people?
Why does every asshole whole smokes Marlboro and drinks Bubweiser feel that they need a full size pick up truck?
How can people call Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11 a "cheap shot" when they have not seen it?
(okay.... that has nothing to do with either of these issues, but it had to come out... it all has to come out... that is why I am BLOGGING as I watch The Truman Show on TBS)
Why do car drivers feel that bicycles have less right to be on the road and why bicyclists have less right to life?
How can a society have a fitness obsession and an Obesity Epidemic at the same time?
How can a government whose history was based on "separation of Church and State" have a president who makes his decisions based off a Faith Based Initiative? (I can accept In God We Trust on our currency... but to have major decisions of a country of so many beliefs to be decided by a religious fundamentalist seems a little screwed up!
Oh.... and if we are going to follow the Ten Commandments? why are we only paying attention to 9 of them? What happened to Thou Shall Not Kill? Lets get some consistency here? If there is a time for war.... then there is a time for
how can there be a controversy as transparent as the STEROID CONTROVERSY in baseball?
(baseball players on steroids is as obvious as rock stars on drugs)
if we can put enviromental controls on emissions... why can't we put enviromental controls on cars and their fuel efficiency limitations?
(am I talking about Freedom? I guess an asshole should be free to buy a pick up that will never haul anything... but maybe we need ot help this person make an educated decision.... we are telling them to wear a seat belt.... to put on a motor cycle helmet.... why can't we tell them what truck they can or can not buy? okay... I am torn on that one)
if I would like to lose 10 pounds? why am I about to make a sandwich after I just had ice cream and half a bottle of wine?

Children's Films....
a wonderful blend of entertainment and propaganda

as a father I have the pleasure of watching many children's films
we watch the same films over and over and over again
some films are better than others
some films are as entertaining for me as they are for my three and half year old son Dean
Grant's only pleasure at 13 months with TV is turning it on and off... he loves the response he gets
some films are entertaining to me even though I have seen them over a hundred times
sometimes when Dean and I watch a film it is a great little bonding session as we discuss what is happening on the screen

to me the television is not so much the "babysitter with the blue glow"
the television is a tool for entertainment, education, and fun
sure I may try to take a nap on a Sunday afternoon as we watch a film, Dean will not let me.. but I try... it is always the same routine... as my breathing reveals me drifting off to a sleep state... sure enough... Dean weans over and shouts in face.... "Daddy, no sleeping!"
for the most part... I like to watch the films with him and discuss what is happening
helping him to understand the film
helping me to understand his understanding of the film and the world
always trying to make sure that he does not get scared
always amazed at how much he understands and often how much he does not understand
(children can be very literal.... some times they are just watching the action on the screen with no concern for plot... many of their favorites have very little plot, Power Rangers ((which I hate)) is a good example, Dean just likes the fighting and the flash)

tonight Dean and I watched one of the films that is not in the usual rotation
we have watched it many times, but not with the frequency of some of the other films
as Dean develops his understanding things becomes such that it is as if they are being experienced for the first time
that is how things went when we watched the beautiful animated film SPIRIT

Spirit is one of those many films that has a pretty obvious subtext
in this animated feature, like most films, there are clear cut good guys and bad guys
in this film the main character Spirit (who is a horse) is a good guy as well is the Native American character
the bad guys.... the white man (the US Calvary)
Dean grasped it all pretty well
we talked about things as they happened and he built on the ideas as we discussed them
Dean also got excited to see the horses run and jump as he told me that he did not realize the horses could run and jump like that
but it was Dean's ability to empathize with various characters boggled my mind.... his ability to use and reuse the word and idea of FREEDOM intrigued me
as Spirit was tied up.... Dean talked about how he wanted to run free and be with the eagle
as the various riders tried to ride him... Dean expressed how Spirit did not want to be ridden, that he just wanted to run FREE
when the herd of horses yearned for Spirit to be with them... Dean spoke in detail of what must be going through the various horses' minds
this is a moderately anti-US film... stressing the negative side of our expansion across the United States
where we robbed animals and people of freedom
in this film the horse and the Native American Indian were treated with the same level of disregard as well as with the same brutal unethical methods of punishment
(well, in some cases we drove animals and people to extinction)
it is an ugly history... a history that continues today
but I do not want to start getting all anti-Bush right now
this blog is not about Bush... but about children's films

enough with Spirit
let me go through a quick synopsis of some other children's films with a hidden message

Don't Eat Meat!
this is a favorite topic in the children's film world
Babe; that movie with that cute talking pig. Clearly a film that will make a few young children vow to never eat meat again.
Chicken Run: this is even more obvious... they are plotting an escape so they do not become chicken pot pies! I love CHICKEN POT PIES!
Finding Nemo: the sharks start a support group to aid in the effort to stop eating fish with a little slogan to help them through the process, "fish are our friends"
yesterday Dean asked why the SCUBA divers catch the fish... oh no... had to talk about fish tanks... and how we like to take animals away from their families and keep them as pets

let me see if I can think of some others...
perhaps some films that try to guide children to an idea other than vegetarianism
(this blog topic was in my head on a bike ride the other day... but it seems I left the details and the flow on the bike)
Iron Giant is must see classic that has a message that I really enjoyed. This message is anti-gun. The other day as Dean and I left the dollar store. Dean was upset because I would not buy him a gun. Not buying him a gun was as much a matter of me not wanting to buy him a gun as it was a fear that his grandfather would get irritated by having suction cup bullets streaming about the room. As we drove back from the store Dean started to quote the main character Hogarth in Iron Giant. The specifics are not important. It is just an example of a case where the message if picked up by the child, whether we like it or not.
In this case... I like it.
Guns are for chumps.

another blog attempt that may or may not make it to the PUBLISH AND POST
I have had a number of these lately
thoughts that I want to BLOG about
but somehow I feel I am missing the mark
not developing ideas with a Beginning.... Middle.... and End

also on the Banff topic
(see.... The Banff Mountain Film Festival even inspires people to BLOG!)

there was a great film on FREE RIDING that included a THUNDERBALL track (track=music to those who are not trying to be hip or pretend that they are in "the industry")

don't ask.... just check the link
then go buy it!

if you have not heard of Thunderball...
you may have heard of Theivery Corporation who are the big daddies on the ESL LABEL

do you guys like the links?
sometimes I am not sure why I bother?

my brother inspired this entry
there is another entry in my head inspired by Ezra
but as Ezra will tell ya.... just because it is in my head..... does not mean it should be let out

oh.... at the banff film festival I saw Jason Berry in the audience.... when he was not looking on gathering inspiration... he was being handed a free fleece after his name was pulled from a hat during intermission