stumbled upon this flyer I made for a friend's going away party
it is a few years old....
Lev is a good friend
a rather complex person
a rough blue colar exterior with the scent of alcohol on his breath
more thoughts and sensitivity below the surface than many would think
Lev's main companion in life is his dog Lodi
a well trained Huskie mix with as much personality as his owner; minus the alcohol tainted breath
Lev owns some land "off the grid" in Alaska
for years he has been splitting his time between DC and Alaska
step by step building his dream escape cabin
yet with all of his Alaskan sensibilities he is still half cityboy
he is beyond the Jack of All Trades....as he is the master of many
a skilled carpenter
a creative decorative finisher
and has some unique plaster skills
and this is just on his work resume

off to breakfast

I definitely need to make more of an effort to see my friends
it is tough....family can be such a VORTEX
certainly there are positive aspects to this VORTEX
it is important that I do not shut out the outside world

the weekend past....
no race reports
no riding...well, nearly no riding, crossed town with Dean in the trailer
so, no riding to speak of
definitely no dirt
no work on the deck
but, there was some work on the deck plans
odd to have to draw up plans for approval for a structure I already build
hopefully my handiwork in Adobe Illustrator is enough to get the message across to the approval board/inspector
yes, there are highlights
both Saturday and Sunday were fun packed
family filled fun pack
Yoga was missed, sorely missed, missed for the second week in a row....ouch
Saturday afternoon was spent in Glover Park with my brother and his family, me and mine, our mom, a mess of crabs and shrimp...yummy
Dean and Eric were too busy playing to eat, which is often the case when they get together
soccer played the sidelines to the fort made by the 3 foot tall portable goalieless goals
then some frisbee tossing
and then some play with some unknown boy and his frisbeelike toy
some sort of "as seen on TV UFO"
Sunday was more of the same
more work on the deck plan design in the am then a crazy car filled dash to Reston Virginia for some suburban action
we headed off to the suburbs for a grand taste of americana
the Montgomery County fair offered that taste of America with a country flare
while the Reston Water Mine (water park) offered a different taste of america, more of a suburban flare
it was my first time at this perfab place with its stocked lake, paddded jungle gyms, and pavillion facilities, well other than the cross races hosted on the grass and grounds around manmade Lake Fairfax
although I tend to hate crowds
there is no agoraphobia to keep me from sharing this experience with my sons Dean and Grant and my nephew/godson Eric
Dean and Eric were crazed
amazingly well behaved for the level of excitement that they maintained
the park seemed small in some ways and huge in others
through the eyes of Dean and Eric it was something spectacular
there were two sets of water slides, each one by one
perfect for racing
Eric jumped the gun on each...."on your marks.....get set.." eric is gone
so competitive
winning is important to him
just like his dad
this repeated false start caused me to give Dean a stronger push
they each slide down and SPASHED
all winners each time
it was a tough call which was more fun
the gentle river loop, which we called "The Current"
the umbrella water fall
or those two sets of water slides

to me it was perfect
Papa John's Pizza on site was just the icing on the cake
we managed to spend more than 4 hours in the park
add transport back and forth and that is the whole day

after we dropped Eric off at his Glover Park home Dean did not stop talking about the water park and Eric until he passed out in the car on the 12 minute drive home
just enough rest to juice him up for the rest of the evening
wish a 5 minute nap would work such magic on me
maybe it would
perhaps I will try to make it part of my day
knowing me I would pull a Rip Van Winkle and over sleep my 5 minutes and my duties
best I do not try

on that note....
I am going to start my week with a quick breakfast


MY iPOD Not Only Has a Brain.....
but it has a sense of humor!

Last night when hanging in the basement with my buddy Tom we tangent hopped from topic to topic. Tom drank his Sierra Nevada beer while I drank my Smoking Loon red wine. Our conversation with the mountianbike wheels that he was taking out of my trash heap, I mean bicycle stock pile. Tom was given a history of how one of the wheels had been to Europe, California, Utah, Colorado.....years of courier work and even some beginner races....Tom blanked out and kept his mouth shut so he could walk away with the goods. We leaped from topic to topic stumbling upon the events of the weekend past for him and the events of the weekend past for me. Being that Tom had been emailed my last race report 3 times he did not have to hear my tales of woe and the one second loss more than once this evening, which gave him a chance to tell the tale about his weekend with mutual friend Lawrence; and Lawrence's life on the farm. There was talk about Lawrence as a farmer, a potter, his art, his versatility as an athlete, and of course his creativity as a musician. Tom has been playing drums with Lawrence on and off since high school, when Tom is not helping out with organic farming or bee keeping, they are inthe studio making music. Tom told me of his new 8 track and the ghosts in Lawrence's 2oo year old house love for the mixing board. To affirm Tom that I do listen to the Bells of classics (lawrence's music project of the last two decades) I reached for the iPod and hit the forward button without even glancing at the device. I assured him that on the SHUFFLE function that BELLS OF comes up an inordinant amount of time. After 12 pushes of the SHUFFLE BUTTON there was no BELLS OF to be heard. I resigned myself to its absence. We went back to talking; or perhaps more accurately...me talking and tom listening....I do have a bit of a disorder that way. The night went on....tom left with his wheels and an earful....sometimes the hook up just does not pay. As it is said.....nothing comes without a price.
This morning as I collected my gear (including 29inch spare tube and 15 mm wrench and multi-tool) and got dressed for work. The iPod was turned on for some background music. There it was...the first song.....a Bells of classic; Cornrows. I smiled and laughed and watched the story and images unfold in my head.
A few minutes passed and I had to grab some stuff from upstairs...upon my return song one was over and done with....song two or three had begun.....it was Bells of again!

Funny stuff.....

there are those that feel that the iPOD has a BRAIN
and that it does not SHUFFLE
but it learns
it inspires
I like my iPod's Humor
it is the type of joke I would pull if I were an iPOD

the New York Times had an article on this topic earlier this week
an article that a coworker, Doug, turned me onto this am
even before hearing my tale


check out Bells of on the TEENBEAT site.


different BLOGGERS use the BLOG in different ways
some people make one long well thought out post a day
while others just put in a quick several sentence post a day
others host an assortment of links

I on the other hand am a BLOGAMANIC!
my BLOG MANIA is in all directions all the time
as if I suffer from multiBLOGpersonality
some short blogs
other long long blogs
and then an occassional link

Dean's look for 2003

who knows what winter fashion barriers he will be breaking this year?

Boyscout, I am not....
yesterday I tried to do a quick post work ride
often my 45 minute to an hour ride is an effort to leave work, ride, and return home shortly after lisa arrives home from work and grabs Grant from Soledad and Dean from the Rosemount Center
where I usually give a kiss to everyone's forehead and then grab the dogs (sometimes Dean or Grant) and head to the woods
sometimes things do not go as planned
often things do not go as planned
sometimes Chatty Cathy (me!) runs into an old friend and starts catching up
other times the ride takes longer than anticipated
and this time
the combination of a flat tire and meeting with a contractor friend to discuss my plans all took up major time
major time!
the flat should not have taken that long....but....my 29incher needs 15mm wrench fo the bolt on rear wheel and a large 29 inch tube were in my camel back along with a multitool for last Saturday's race (tale of woe written bellow...the 22 miles ending in a one second loss)
I was over around Key Bridge on the Virginia side
I had detoured onto a dirt trail
what seemed like a couple of hundred yards while rolling on the single speed
turned out to be a tad longer when I walked/jogged back
a strange lesson to be relearned for a well seasoned commuter....
pack it all in their with you
be self contained
there were 26 inch tube and some tools
but no, 29 inch tube and no 15mm wrench
what a rookie mistake!
I walked across the Key Bridge taking in the view of the Potomac River bellow
went to Revolution Cycles on M Street
(no chance that my friends at Big Wheel would have a 29 inch tube)
once repaired I flew out of Revolution Cycles as fast as I had stormed in
zipped up and across town
through various neighborhoods
experiencing a stark contrast between the archetecture, culture, and economics between Georgetown and Petworth and the various neighborhoods in between
the meeting with a friend was more social...he had little input to the plans other than they look good, but you better have all the information and you best get it right
so I called lisa on the cell serveral times to update her on my situation
had she been looking at some sort of GPS tracking device she would have noticed that I was always 5-10 minutes from the house
circling and passing
getting distracted and held up by various encounters....several Chatty Cathy incidents
(hanging with Super Dave at Revolution Cycles....chatting about the permit with contractor Lev, and shooting the shit with old friend Clark who just got a new motorcycle)
the cell phone showed it benefits and I met the family at Lamont Park on the Mount Pleasant Strip
Lisa had her hands full....she had Grant in the backpack, the dogs on the leashes, and Dean was cruising circles around her on his bicycle with training wheels.
I rolled up on my HUGE KARATE MONKEY with its 22 inch frame and its 29 inch wheels
DEAN saw me lit up and challenged me to a race!
I zipped up the handicapped ramp with Dean peadling fast behind me
the dogs nearly decapitated four young boys who were tamely petting them
this scenario was repeated for the next 30 minutes
as the race became more of a follow the leader with Dean and myself and a young Asian boy on a scooter in tow
after many figure eights and zig zagging loops we all pointed for home
stomachs were growling
and attitudes were beginning to surface
Dean and I raced ahead of Lisa, Grant, and the dogs
We rode along side of each other down the urban alleys behind the 100 year old row houses
Dean blew my mind how comfortable he has grown on the bicycle
he was fast and secure
as well as responsive and responsible
we slowed to a stop at each intersection
Dean pulled over to the right hand side of the alley at my request
as we ZOOMED past an old neighbor behind our old Lamont Street house
Tim gave us a wave, I nodded and kept my focus on Dean and our Safety

The whole ride was a rush
downhill all the way
only 4 blocks
we got home so fast that we went ahead and raced down the sidewalk past our house
offering more time for lisa. grant, and the dogs to arrive home with the keys

we went inside
Dean helped me make cheese quesadilla, which we call soft tacos
we talked about our day
lisa fed Grant
then while lisa put Grant to bed, Dean and I played with blocks
it was a good evening
flat tire and all

here are a few rough digital sketches of some logo ideas I did for Mount Pleasant Main Streed
similar to the Chain Reaction stuff
everything was shelved for months and months and then years
when they woke up for movement forward
I had lost interest and motivation
not to mention a change in careers (no real graphic design right now)
and a change in family dynamics (dean is older and on the move and grant has arrived)

at one point in time many years ago Mount Pleasant was a trolley stop
as were many of the other neighborhoods in DC
the tracks still remain under the asphault and concrete
revealed each winter through crater sized potholls are the tracks and the cobble stones


Dean on Guitar
this photo is over a year old
but so classic I thought I would post it

what an adorable child!

More on the DC Bicycle thing...

There are always events and opportunities to volunteer with CHAIN REACTION!
Don't know what Chain Reaction is? Check it out!

here is a logo idea I threw together for them
a few years after I sent it their way they asked me to touch it up for them
but....two kids and no time
was unable to clean it up
oh well
pr0 bono another day

My Man Made Black Cloud...
Although most of the issues that gather together to become one massive black cloud overhead are fabricated by my own actions...this does not mean that the stress is artificial. The stress has been great enough that it is visible from the outside, this can not be good. My boss asked me how much vacation I had left for this year...upon my response that all of my vacation still remains...he said, "you should use it....you need it....come back refreshed and focused." Does this mean that my performance is not peak or does it mean that my personality is less than copasetic? Either way....I will take his advice and try to recharge my batteries. But before I can get a full charge on my batteries I feel that I need to do everything that I can to destroy the BLACK CLOUD that hovers above me and lurks in the recesses of my brain.
On the home front all is well, Lisa and I are good....it is marriage so it can be work and it can be hard, but we are good. The boys are healthy and strong. Dean is growing like a weed, dropping his infant/toddler ways fast and furious; no more fire (pacifier) and no more Linus-like blanket behaviors...no pull up in the day....and soon to be no pull up in the night (to those without wee ones in their world....Pull Ups are the diapers for the bigger/older kids who are moving away from the diaper needs) Grant has become this grand explorer. His ability to crawl is fed by his need to explore. LOOK OUT! Grant must be watched and followed....he is following in Dean's footsteps for being an action magnet which leads to DANGER and DESTRUCTION! Anything and everything goes to his mouth. Today I thought I was being attacked by Hannibal the Cannibal as he sampled my nose.
On the darker side of things....
The deck project is moving forward. Rather than stumbling through AUTOCAD I went ahead and created some Deck Plans in Adobe Illustrator. They are less than perfect, but anything is better than my chicken scratch handwriting and my scraggly scribbles that I call drawings. I will print them out...review them....add to them...and see if I can pay a runner to take them over to the Permit Office. Better to pay someone than to use a vacation day for a stressful day of waiting for my number to be called, and the Permit Guy may be able to help me shore-up the plans for approval. As I am neither contractor or architect....these drawings are lacking.
My big blue truck, the 1984 Toyota Landcruiser has a FOR SALE sign on it. Like a fool with no desire to sell it....the price is twice its Blue Book value..no bids yet. I think that dontating the truck to charity is a better idea. This week I will slash the prices before I make the call to give the truck away!
Soledad is not taking the other nanny job. To our delight our friend and nanny, Soledad, will continue to watch Grant three days a week. What a relief. She is so great with Grant. And always on time and all the other great things one looks for in a nanny!
The SM100 Mountainbike Race is right around the corner. Racing and riding should be fun. But this race is around the bend. I look forward to it. I look forward to it being over. I want to have success at this race, success means finishing (top half would suit me fine but I may have to settle for at all.) This race may be more than I am prepared for, but I have a strong will....and a strong will can carry a person pretty far....hopefully it can carry me 100 miles off road.
What else was there?
There are always more issues in the world than we can see in front of our faces. If you owe the IRS money. You may not even realize it, but your subconscious does. It is a silent invisible Black Cloud, perhaps the more vicious black cloud there is. I do not owe the IRS money right now..but I have so I know.
Selling my truck will be a great relief....then I will no longer have Maryland tags in the city....so my worries will be less about parking tickets and more about the thieves in the night.
well....best I get to the tasks at hand
it is not good for my boss to walk in and see this dam BLOG page
he is now cognizant of my addiction
He is a great guy, but he does not understand much of my life.
He does not get bikes and he does not get blogs.....

bye for now
mark your calendars
Bike DC is right around the corner

go to WABA.org for the full skinny!


Quirky Cousins

Jenn and Annielou are cousins
they are both nothing shy of quirky
not sure if it is independent or genetic
but I do know that it is worth a look
for Jenn her site is about her Ribbon Watch Product
and for Annielou.....well, I am not quite sure what it is about
perhaps you can explain
(annielou has two sites.....site one and site two)


this evening Lisa left work, went home, walked the dogs, grabbed the boys and headed out to Pentagon City for dinner at Noodles
this allowed me to finish a few things at work and head directly to dinner after getting in some miles
while waiting for lisa and the gang (dogs returned home) to arrive I went to Harris Teeters to grab some of Lisa's coveted Lemon Yogurt that she can not find anywhere in the District
while there the six foot seven store manager followed me around the store...
the store that has self service check out
if I were to beat the system it would not be through shop lifting
slight of hand would do the trick
in any case
it appears that I considered this already
but I have and had not
so I am grabbing some banannas....some no cal flavored water....crap flavored water to be exact....and searching for the coveted lemon yogurt
when I found the yogurt I noticed that this Lurch like character was still somewhere on my tail
oddly enough....
other than being in cycling gear I am not sure what sets me apart form anyone else in the place
I am clean, clean cut, well groomed hair (well, absence of hair) and clothing that is slightly more desireable than you would find at the local thrift store
in actuality I was wearing some expensive gear
cycling gear on the lower body
had changed the gear on the upper body....to some fresh Prana gear my wife had bought me
so in short
feeling well dressed and clean cut
what was it that set me apart from the other shoppers?
beady eyes?
George Bush has the BEADDIEST eyes in the world
and 49 percent of the voting population had no issue with him
I lack beady eyes
it must have been the gear
it has to be the gear
it has to be the shoes (well, the gear)
the helmet may have been on the head it may have been the bag
but what was it?
guess I will have to ask Lurch if it happens again

dinner was good
dean had a blast
a good time was shared by all
there are some good things about the suburbsb
Joe Foley

Joe is a man of few words
here are a few of his words
and some fun links and information

Here is Joe's Cartoons
nothing to do with Joe Foley
other than sharing the same first name


Today is BLOGGER's Birthday
and my Birthday as well

this is a card tossed together by my friend Vida
lisa took the photo while we were in Santa Cruz last fall

sadly my abs of stone are burried under a tub of jello!
Race Report: Fairhill Classic 2004
The Fairhill Classic is well hosted local race with endless twists and turns of singletrack, 22 miles of twisting and turning for the Sport Class and 26 miles of twists and turns for the Experts and the Pros. I have raced this venue several times before and was always shocked at the high speed and high numbers of the racers, this year was no different. In years prior I was beyond frustrated by the singletrack catapillar (otherwise known to some as the conga line,) it can be so hard to get any speed and even harder to pass. Last year my brother Marc had the wisdom to race the Expert Class to avoid being stuck racing the course in a long line of bicycles at other racer's pace. This year things are different...both Marc and I are opting to race Expert at most races and the hosts of the Fairhill Classic have added a Clydesdale Class.
Getting to the race had the usual set of variables to overcome. Getting my wife to sign my permission slip was harder than usual as this weekend was a weekend with a family gathering for our younger son Grant's baptism. Ontop of that my truck's plates are not up to date. And finally there was a motorcycle tour to commemorate the deaths of 9-11 and to honor all who respond to 911 calls. TRAFFIC WAS A BITCH! I sat in my big blue truck without AC, without radio, surrounded by motorcycles checking my watch every two seconds fearing that I was going to miss this race all together. There were moments where I debated with turning around and going home. There were sections of road that were wall to wall motorcycles, all on their side stands with leather clad dentists and rednecks stretching their legs.
Eventually I arrived and registered with 10 minutes to suit up, warm up, and line up. With the newly added Clydesdale Class I lined up with 6 other XL Sized racers. There were dark skies and an occasional flash of lightning. We awaited the race start and rain patiently. As I made pleasant exchanges with my fellow Clydesdale racers a familiar face and form pushed his way through the crowd to line up for the start. It was friend, rival, former NCVC mountainbiker Bill Davis. Before he could get past the line of women behind our class I was calling out to the officials for a scale. Bill was looking lean...well, not lean...but leaner than he has been in years past and this is not just an illusion created by the absence of his mustache. As I continued to jokingly call to the officials to get Bill on the scale, Bill declared his official Clydesdale Status crying out that he weighs 205 pounds. Lucky for him he did not say 203....as this race is calling the Clydesdale cutoff at 205. It was all friendly ribbing, just trying to keep the rivalry healthy. In no time at all we were lined up side by side the last 2 of 7 racers in our oversized class. We killed time by filling in each other how life was going....work, kids, and cycling; all bases were covered. It was good to see him. I had heard he was lean and fast and I wanted to see if I still had the edge over him.
When finally the gun went off Bill and I pushed ahead of the pack and raced for the singletrack. Knowing that this course was slightly more lengthy most Clydesdale events I slowed my pace once we were leading the pack. We entered the singletrack and played a little cat and mouse. We traded the lead back and forth a few times, keeping the pace fast. It is always my wish to build some distance from the other racers at the start of the race to provide some space when I die at the end of the race. Bill eventually resigned himself the position as my shadow. We rode fast and hard, as fast as the tight winding single track would allow. The 29 inch wheels have their advantage, but not on this course. I was fearing my head clearing low lying branches and was unable to get any speed or flow in the endless winding, twisting, and turning. At certain points in the race I tried to break away from Bill, but his heavy breathing was always right behind me. I would gain some ground and then get stuck behind a racer from one of the classes that set off before us. Never once was I able to use another racer as a blocker to create some distance between us. As I waited patiently to make a safe and courteous pass Bill was able to reel me in. As I made each pass before I could thank the racer for allowing me to pass I could hear Bill requesting that the racer leave room for one more racer from a different class. The cat and mouse game continued. I felt as if I was controling the pace. Trying to save my legs for future breakaways and what appeared to be an eventual sprint finish.

Not far into the race both of us were feeling the heat and humidity of the day. The rain was sparse, never enough to cool us off, but cool enough to moisten up the roots and rocks to effect the traction on the turns and off camber. I rode slow and cautious over certain sections, Bill fell once, but was not gone from my rear wheel for long. Each of us grew anxious for the end of the course. The game of cat and mouse had become more like a road race or even a pursuit race on the track. Bill was accepting the fact that he could beat me on a short sprint to the finish. I tried to save my legs for this moment. After the first water stop we each started to try and make a move. Bill came up along side of me on some double track, we made eye contact and I tried to pull ahead....seeing that I could not lose him I dropped the pace back to a rational level of exertion. Neither of us were familiar with the course. We asked racers that we passed if they knew how far it was to the finish. Then as we passed spectators at various sections we were mislead into thinking that the end was around the corner. All in all there must have been 3 or four false sprint finishes. The expending of this energy had not only effected my body, but had also started to blur my mind. My calves were starting to cramp and my head was getting cloudy. We each tried to gather in some oxygen for the next break away effort. We picked up the pace as the spectators told us the end was near, neither went for a full sprint as we had already made that mistake too many times before. Then when we crested a small climb we exited the woods and the Finishline was 30 yards ahead. Before my mind could grasp what my body should do I felt an unnecessary elbow to the ribs. It was short stocky Bill Davis thrusting his thick tattooed arms into my personal space. Before I could figure out the reality of the situation Bill was a bike length ahead of me and crossed the finishline before me. The finishline split for the Sport and Expert racers, I went to the right of the queues and Bill went between the two lines. He crashed hard into the plastic ribbons and wooden stakes. It was still unclear in my oxygen deprived brain if I was at the finish or if we had crossed the finish seconds earlier. Anyway it happened Bill had won the race. All the while I thought that I had controlled the race and I had controlled the pace....I was wrong. It was Bill that controlled the race. He accepted my pace knowing all the while he would have enough gas in the tank to take me at the finish. It was a humbling experience. I had been SCHOOLED! There was no great pleasure in the efforts of the day. It was all for not. Bill Davis rival and friend had finished on top....sure someone had to come in second, but I was hopping it would be Bill and not me.
Bill and I rode back to the parking lot together. I washed my bike and showered clean under the hose. I gulped water down my throat as fast as the water pressure could send it feeling my throat expand to take down the great volume of water. In seconds I had several gallons of water in my camel like belly. Once clean I loaded up the truck and went to meet up with Bill. Bill gave me a handshake and I gave him a hug. There was no time for exchanging tales of the trail, I had a wife and family at home waiting for me. Inlaws....brother-in-law and four nephews were at my house, in town for my younger son's baptism. The rain held out until I got back onto Interstate 95 South. Bill offered to grab my second place grab bag for an exchange later this week downtown.
When I arrived home there was no glory of the day to share with anyone. No one could understand the pain and frustration of getting second. I felt empty. It had been a two man race and I had come in last place. Falsely thinking that I had controlled the race was such a humbling experience. I have so much to learn about actual racing. This race was more than likely more similar to an actual competitive mountianbike race than my usual CLYDESDALE CLASS experiences. Sure had there been a few climbs I could have had an advantage on Bill, guess that is a race for a different course on a different day, but a few technical rock gardens would have favored Bill and his skills.

In the bigger picture...the SM100 in this weekend. If I were not preregistered I would not race it. My lack of long miles showed this weekend past. The short post work rides may be good enough training for the short courses of Lodi, Wakefield, and even Snowshoe....but when the race becomes and endurance race I showed that I lack base miles. Wish me luck for this weekend.

if you look closely you will see that Bill Davis is right in my shadow

and again
there he is BILL DAVIS...rival and friend....playing me like NINTENDO!
The final RESULTS have yet to be posted. I am curious to see how we did against the leading CLYDESDALES in this series as well as how we did against the fast guys on the 22 mile course. No real way to compare my times to the EXPERTS, but the SPORT guys at this event tend to be pretty SPEEDY so I doubt that we finished in the top five of the SPORTS especially with the occassional acceptance of the conga line catapillar to allow my legs and lungs to recharge.

"A little advice is always nice" or so the elephant said in that cartoon film strip we were shown in elementary school. On Friday before the weekend I was hanging with a co-worker and discussing my weekend dilema about Saturday's Bike race. In short, Lisa did not want me to go. I was going to go either way, again....Father (things he) Knows Best. Lew (pronounced Lou) got slightly metaphorical with a story and some sage advice. Lew is a slightly older gentlemen with the wisdom of years behind him. Lew told a quick little story of himself and his interests and his balance in life to try and give me an example of how to live life. Lew is a handgun target shooter. He competes, officiates, and helps out at the firing range/gun club. There are events all the time, nearly every weekend and then some. Lew tries to create a balance. In short, Lew tried to impress upon me that as much as he would like to attend each and every event he has to opt out of some events for the obvious reasons. It was a nice little parallel. His advice was clear and crisp. I was thankful for his candor and his ability to give advice through example rather than just telling me what I should do. I listened and I learned and went ahead and did this race anyway.
I do skip races.....I do blow off events....my family and my wife do get me on weekends....
This is one of the last races of the summer....I had not ridden on a weekend since the Snowshoe race and I felt that I needed a good ride before the SM100. So I went and raced anyway....
I live the same balance in my life that Lew does. There are days when a person needs to hold their ground....I understand and respect that lisa did not want me to race. But, I felt that I could meet all the requirments of the weekend even with Saturday's race.
In hindsight.....this time I was right. It all worked out!.
a great weekend

this weekend past went well
a Race Report is to come; it all needs to brew in my head
this weekend's race was eventful in an educational sort of way
waiting to see how my results ranked over all

a great deal of energy was wasted trying to negotiate my approach to the race on saturday
there was a 9-11 motorcycle tribute tour that I got stuck behind, within, infront of
lisa did not want me to go as we had her family in town
in hindsight we found that even with me being gone most of saturday
I was able to spend plenty of time with in-laws and other intown guests
I took some heat for going to the race
but looking back this weekend was far better with the race added to the weekend madness

on sunday grant was baptised
it was a great sociological experience going to the local church, Sacred Heart
it is a glorious building with a colorful congregation
the setting is comfortable and entertaining
it was fun to share Sacred Heart church with family and friends
I am still torn on this organized religion thing
but there are no questions about the value of family and tradition
it was great to get everyone together this weekend
even if my dad, brother, and I bored my father-in-law out of the room by discussing the difference of Lance Armstrong being a professional cyclist in this modern age versus the career of Eddie Merckx and being a professional cyclist in that era
he was more curious about how the Steelers had done
Lisa is Smart
Much smarter than I am
last week Lisa spent her work week at a project management conference downtown rather than at her Reston VA office
she walked away with all sorts of valuable skills
the one thing that she shared with me was this
"we have two ears and one mouth...that is the ratio of listening to speaking that we should live by"
had I been at the conference I would have been too busy talking to hear that said
that is one of the reasons Lisa is smarter than I am, she is a good listener

maybe I should implement that ratio of 2:1 for reading blogs vs. writting blogs

Happy Birthday 2 Me!
Today is my birthday....37 today
for some reason I still feel and act like I am 17.
well, except for the abscence of hair and the addition of other hairs
much more hair on my chest
far less hair on my head then when I ws 17 years old
what I call the Hair Relocation Program
I am still just as ignorant and just as foolish as I was 20 years ago
those first 17 years...
those were the building blocks of my understanding of the world
I may have peaked at 17...I knew things then that I do not know now
certainly there are things that I have learned
it is just that I can not remember them now
maybe I should have started BLOGGING sooner

Dean and Grant are on the floor in front of me
Roscoe and Brutus just rushed downstairs at the sound of the babysitter at the door
the Olympics are being reviewed on one of those morning shows
coffee is in my cup beside me

now Dean is telling me he wants to go to THE RESTAURANT
best we start making the momentum towards his art class/preschool


Music and Personality blurs into a mention of THE IBA
Music is funny. We do not always listen to the music for what it is, but rather we look to the singer before we listen to the song. We are all victims of it. We want our rock stars to be cool. We want to be able to identify with our singers. Then on the other side of the coin...from my earliest memories I can recall judging music before I heard it by seeing the fans who opted to identify with each band and their music. Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and Rush were all bands that I could not even stand before I heard them. In the 70's growing up they left their mark on the kids growing up. Those baseball tour shirts and the non-running running shoes were too much for me to get past....well on top of that the hair styles and the styles across the board had no appeal to me...no appeal to anyone...except for others within their very odd subculture. Eventually I was able to get past the fashion and the fans and listen to Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead (going to St Mary's College of Maryland durning a crunch time may have opened my eyes) but I was never able to get past the RUSH fans (or Getty Lee's voice and the Ayn Rand psuedo deep lyrics)

What may have opened my eyes to Pink Floyd being cool may have been a flim of theirs...not THE WALL....but rather....Live at Pompeii. Now I see Dark Side of the Moon as one of the greatest albums of all time.

let me hope tangents here....

St Mary's College of Maryland, a college that I attended for 4.5 years between the years of 1984 and 1990. This school had a party atmosphere, right now it has a greater reputation for high SAT scores and education, but before US News and World Reports was ranking it as some sort of Mid Atlantic Liberal Arts Something or prior to this SMC was being written up by Playboy as a Party School.....or so I was told. I have not gone through the archives of Playboy for that information...well....if I have I got distracted. College was a fun time, I recall the campus store selling shirts that said ST. MARY'S COLLEGE and RESORT. I do not think that my college experience was all that different from most people's. St Mary's may have partied more than other colleges, but how would I know...I only went to one college. We drank. We drank a lot. We drank a lot very often, very very often. The weekend started on Wednesday night and ended on Tuesday night. Most of the women at St Mary's could out drink the obnoxious frat boys from Universtity of Maryland. The women at St. Mary's were nothing to brag about.....there were some cool ones...all of them were crazy...must have been something in the water. St Mary's was not only know for a party atmostphere...but it was also known as "a safe place to send your boyfriend." (that is to say it was not known for its ladies) During my time in college there was a subculture of people that existed that I witness from a far. There was a throwback to the 70's hippie culture. The modern world had not hit SMC (St Mary's) when I had arrive. Paved paths around the campus had just been installed, right in time for me and my skateboard. Things were clearly more online with a Dead Show than the Punk Show. In 1985 my dyed hair was more than many of the students could take, they had accepted the "dirt dogs," but were not ready for the punker side of things. But, this tangent rant is not about me....it is about a funny aspect of the SMC Hippie culture that had me laughing to myself as I walked my dogs in the woods this morning.
and this is it....
While in college there was this elite club that hosted parties and formals....they had their group houses which had their off campus parties. This group was called IBA. The IBA was known to be a once school sponsored club know as I Believe in America, but to the students it was better known as International Bong Association. I know very little of the inner workings of this club. But they had some very basic notions that seemed to work for them. Work hard/Party Hard was their motto, well actually it was the meaning of their motto, the actual motto of the IBA was DO B's...GET A's! Honestly, I do not think I could tell you who was in this group and who was not. I could not tell you when their functions were held, or if the group and their functions formal or informal actually ever happened. But there is some great lore in their somewhere. And I thought that the idea should be shared while it is fresh in my mind.

that should be enough for now
just wanted to get that whole IBA thing into the BLOG
I am in no position to document such information
but someone should definitely try to document it
as ORAL HISTORY (or BLOG ENTRIES) may be the only way to get this stuff documented

I can recall playing Ultimate Frisbee on land that is now covered by a building or a parking lot
there were acoustic guitars strumming "friend of the devil"
and someone was complaining because his dog was throwing up from eating his magic mushrooms
I am not sure if he was bummed that his dog was sick
or more likely that he no longer had those mushrooms

in any case.....
it was then in my life that I heard the music that I had previously had distain for
the music was fine
I maintained my overall feeling for Deadheads... most of them were hypocrites and flakes
then again I never cared for anyone who joined a fashion to state identity
I loved going to hardcore shows...but Punks? Never cared for them either....I always felt that Punk was a '77 thing. It was here and gone by the '80s. DC Hardcore was Post Punk.

Lisa and I went to the Bread and Puppet Festival in Vermont a few times....
we always had a great time
always met great people
it was a very earthy experience
but the hypocrisy of the so called Deadhead was alive and well all over the place

it is hard to put my feeling in words

it all goes back to my notion of taking the best of any or all trends and not fully commiting to just one trend to form an identity
be no trends be all trends
for someone to be punk, hippie, or whatever always seemed so limiting

in high school I was not going to not play sports or not dye my hair or not go to a high school dance because it did not fit into some cookie cutter identity that someone else created

I can be a hypocrite
I like to flip flop
I am still trying to figure out adolescence
and I am 37 years old
not sue what I was trying to say
the wine may have clouded my brain


it is around MIDNIGHT on a SCHOOL NIGHT
I must admit that I am up and awake watching George Michael Behind the Music
it is all very amusing
it is all very funny
it is all very curious
(not in a gay-bi-curious sort of way)
WHAM and George Michael had music in the background of much of high school and for a few years in college
the videos, the music, and the dance clubs
George Michael had that sort of goofiness that is hard to explain
WHAM was so uncool, but you could not deny that POP SENSIBILITIES
then when he went solo....
we all hated it
we all loved it
it was there on the car stereo, on Friday Night Videos (cable had not spread to all the world) and dance mixes were in the clubs (and so was I)
I was all trends I was no trends
I was at the punk shows and I was in the clubs dancing
but I never would have owned a George Michael or a WHAM record
well, unless it were for COLUMBIA RECORDS and that amazing ONE CENT DEAL
in a group house under a different name I may have joined and purchased
it was and is an awesome album
then he does some pious bullshit and disappears

by this time in my life I was becoming secure enough in my music taste
I knew it was okay for a straight guy to listen to gay music
there was no longer an issue to say that seeing THE SMITHS on their first American Tour was one of my top 5 shows of all times
so I no longer had issues with liking DEPECHE MODE
who the fuck cares
it is music and it is all very silly
it is completely possible to listen and like THE BAD BRAINS or MINOR THREAT and then to also like U2 and REM
or on the lighter side....Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and the Cure
and then George Michael when Listen Without Prejudice Volume One came out
the early stuff was fun to sing along to as a giggle
(only when it came on the radio, never did I intentionally play a tape, but I did not always change the station...and the videos...when he put the super models in the film rather than him...he hit new heights)

too many people let the msic define them
getting all stuck in a certain genera

back to George Michael, and not the George from the SPORTS MACHINE
now how did the world not know that he was gay?
I think it was clear to me...but how did the world not know....
those shorts in the WHAM videos?
come on
come out
George Michael was obviously gay from day one....

oh almost forgot DURAN DURAN always rocked

the world was a very naive place for a long time
elton john was just a flamboyant rock star?
figure it out?
rob halford was a heavy metal singer for one reason...so he could wear those leather chaps
go down the list
it is all so clear now that the facts have been told
the world was a far more conservative place not so long ago
anything different was often thought to be a threat (and often gay.....and homosexuality was considered to be a threat....what am I saying....to many it is still considered a threat....anything and everything different was considered Gay.....then how did George Michael get under the radar? ((gay-dar?)))


more rants about nothing
late night after an exhausting weekend
and half a bottle of red wine


he has not been religious about it
but check out REDLACK and his rants
give him some space and some feedback
and maybe he will blog forward and further

check out his banner on the side for PHOTOS and INFORMATION


My Big Blue Truck
Owning a truck with character is an odd thing. Holding on strong to something that can fail me over and over again seems so illogical. Here is this old truck with a long list of imperfections that I have refused to UPGRADE. All the time I talk with people and they tell me that their bicycle needs some work and some replacement parts. When I hear the make, model, and year; I often recommend that they just spend that money to get a new bike with all the new technology. These people never listen. There is always some story about how that bike was here or there, or the had this great ride or survived a great crash. Strange how we clinge to material possessions. SHIT! If it were an old Windows 98 Machine or some old Apple II machine and someone tried to tell me that they were attached to "old faithful." I would have to laugh. While with cars and bicycles people think that they can explain their refusal to understand "the law of diminishing returns" with some sort of sentimental song; yet, with a computer we all get the picture. There is no retro geeks in the computer world....just el cheapos (of course that is not true.....there are SUPER MEGA GEEKS still using old machines hot wired and modified to their personal geek needs.....like the cult of users that use the old Apple Newtons as their PDAs....so i admit I am wrong....there are retro geeks for all cultures) So why do I drive this old truck whose radio is not loud enough to be heard over the engine? Why do I drive this old truck that needs a choke and a three minute warm up on a summer day anda 5 minute warm up ona winter day? No air bags for me and the kids. No anti-lock brakes. No independant suspension. No power this. No power that. Just a crusty old truck.

Oh, by the way....do you know anyone who wants to buy a 1984 Toyota Landcruiser?
It is fun to drive and super cool!

yes, that is my old truck parked on my busy DC street
with its Maryland tags and its Mount Pleasant sticker
right at the trailhead to the small loop in the woods that Dean has traded in for his bicycle sidewalk route to school each morning (daycare)

I love my Big Old Truck!
Dean was sad to hear I was going to sell it.
He has asked several times why I need to sell it.
I have had to make up mature adult reasons that do not make any sense to him or to me.
Oh well, guess it is time for me to grow up and move on....
The Umbrella!
sure it looks tame
but looks can be decieving!
Dean's grand pleasure brought me grand pleasure
we laughed and smiled at the views and the stomach tickling drops

(I posted this image upside down!)

and the long march to the top!

the ride!
off the burlap sack and back to the stairs to do it AGAIN!

the reaction


Montgomery County Fair
This evening I was able to convince Lisa that we should all go to the Montgomery County Fair. It was a battle for all involved right from the start. It seemed like a case of Father Knows Best, but once again...father does not know best. Lisa faintly hinted on Grant not being in the mood for such an event, but I did not take the hint...her hint should not be great enough for an "I told you so" attitude as it was such a silent and subtle hint. All in all it was worth it. Had we not gone to the fair tonight, we would have missed it all together. Sure, there are other fairs, the Maryland State Fair is just a month away. But, there is no guarantee that we will make it to that event either. Yet the approach could have been smoother....the turn around for a forgotten stroller...only to recall as we loaded the car that we had a stroller in the trunk already.
There were moments of great joy that out weighed the endless displeasure that Grant seemed to be experiencing. Dean was able to see all sorts of cows, horses, and chickens (there were also sheep, goats, pigs, lamas, and who knows what else) as well as ride some rides. We arrived as the sun was setting. It was getting late and no one had eaten dinner. Everyone was a tad grumpy the evening was a bit forced. Lisa seemed as if she was determined to have a good time, she got was she was seeking. The event was nothing shy of a festival; the lights, the sounds, and the smells....the endless barns filled with various farm animals, the vendors and their chicken on a stick, the game booths after game booth with the barkers barking trying to pawn off their cheap stuffed animals that only a child could love, and the rides! The rides run by toothless rednecks. Assembled with duck tape and shoe laces, swaying with the wind, settling into the ground, and somehow evading OSHA and EPA safety ratings. It was all very awesome.

Dean was drawn to anything and everything. I tried to guide him from the first booth to the next, then distracting him further. We played one of those squirt gun race horse games, where the water through the bullseyes propels the horse forward, yet in this case it was NASCAR. Lisa assited Dean, it was me and them. Dean edged me out in the end and won one of those crappy little stuffed characters that only a child could love, basically I bought it for 4 bucks (each of our 2 dollar entry fee) He enjoyed it, he liked the prize and the experience of winning. He was distracted from a sales booth with various balloons, including a spiderman balloon. From the games we went to the rides...Dean was drawn to some rides that seemed too violent, and others that he was too short for. I was able to convince him to try the Umbrella Ride, a ride I know he had enjoyed the weekend prior. I had the joy of riding with him. We were the first in line and the first in the chair. This gave us a chance to sit and view the park from above as the other people took their seats. Dean raised his hands in anticipation. The little daredevil was ready to take this ride no handed, hands in the air minutes before the actual ride would begin. We looked around and pointed out various things to each other. Dean was all smiles. Then once the ride started spinning Deans smile grew larger and he began to glow. Lisa smiled and waved as we circled around. We all shared the joy that Dean was experiencing...well....all but Grant who had to be walked around in the stroller to keep him from crying. Once out of the umbrella ride we moved among the crowds past more games and more rides. Again Dean was drawn to the first thing he saw. He did not want anything or everything. He wanted the first thing he saw and he was not to be dissuaded. On several counts I had to pull him away kicking and screaming only to rationalize with him to get him to stop crying. Dean is very good at rationalizing...but he is a better negotiator. Again, Father Tries to impose his feeling of what he feels is best.
Dean wanted to ride some odd canoe ride. I felt that the Super Slide would be a better option.
Again kicking and screaming....again distractions and rationalization...and finally replacement. The Super Slide quickly replaced the canoe ride. Dean took the burlap sack and like a little soldier he marched up the long set of stairs. Sure I was nervous letting him go all that way alone on those stairs that may not be up to code. But he went without fear and without hesitation. At the top he had to wait patiently for his turn and then the ride conductor at the top of the slide had to negotiate with him to get down the slide on the sack rather than just on his bum. Dean raced down with a Super Slide Smile; ear to ear. Eyes wide with the immediate...."Can I do it again?!?!?"
Sure enough!
Dean got to ride again.
With the same smiling results.
We had more tickets, but a line had developed. Grant's crying was back and Lisa's face showed that it was time to go. It was time to go.
We had to pass all the rides, all the games, all the food, and all the vendors. Dean did not want to leave. He was entertained by the fireman mascot. But he was not so sure he wanted leave.
We made that long exhaustive walk back to the car, unused tickets in hand. Loaded the car. Grants crying grew steady. Dean demanded that I put on a Fireman Temporary tattoo. I obliged, partially because I wanted to put in on and see how it worked anyhow. It was a long drive back. Grant cried the whole way. There was no consoling him. The car and all of things that lead children off to sleep did nothing to soothe Grant, Grant wanted his bed and no substitute.
The boys were up way past their bedtime.
Lisa and I got into a basic, "I told you so" sort of argument.
It was all blown out of proportion.
I will take the dog house, it is all worth it when I reflect back on Dean's face on the Umbrella ride, on the Super Slide, and when he was checking out the chickens and the cows.

Hope this evening does something positive to Grant's sleep cycle. We need him to sleep through the night. It will be better for him. It would be better for everyone.

almost midnight
I best got to bed
great Olympics again tonight
I am shocked how into this Olympics I have been into this year
less talk of performance enhancing drugs
but track and field has not really started yet
and they did not say anything about Tyler Hamilton being tested

here are a few images from last night to tell the tale

It is funny. In life there can be this small gatherings of moisture....not enough money....car is broken down.....stop work order on the house.....nanny may be quitting....All of these little gatherings of moisture on their own are quite manageable. But together they form one big crippling black cloud. A daunting beast with such great mass that it seems like it will wipe out anything and everything that gets in its way. So rather than braving the storm I run in denial for cover.

Then a moment of clarity. If I can just approach one of these conflicts and see it through then perhaps I can see a ray of light poke through. With that warm ray of light I will know that this black cloud does not possess the power that I once feared and then I can break up that large mass, back into its many small gatherings of moisture and dispel them one by one.

some updates...

MR. Permit does not do work for STOP WORK ORDERS
so my work order is still in limbo
but primarily due to my inability to get my shit together and draw up some plans
guess I need to just sit down and do it
I have talked about it at length with friends who are contractors and friends who are architects
now it is time to get to the drawing board
hand drawn should be good enough

'84 Toyota Landcruiser for sale:
I am selling my old blue truck; end of an era. This old truck has been good to me. Most of the time it waited till it got in front of my house before it died. As I have entered a more adult stage of life I need a car that is more dependable, heat and AC would be nice as well and sure a stereo that plays louder than the sound of the engine would be a luxury.
Currently torn....the truck has a low Blue Book Value....but a high Coolness Factor...
I am trying to sell it via a FOR SALE sign and a posting on CRAIG's LIST, but debating with just donating it to charity so I do not have to contend with the issues of selling a car.

Dean and Grant are awesome. Grant is crawling like turtle hopped up on speed. He is here there everywhere. Dean is a loving big brother with the speech skills of a high school valedictorian. Dean rides his bike three short blocks to school each morning, asking for the training wheels to come off, but not at all focused enough for riding without them.

Lisa and I are dealing with Grant's sleepless nights. He wakes and cries; like fools we come to his aid...we know we are supposed to let him cry it out, but for some reason we can not let him cry like that. The sleepless nights are wearing on both of us, more on lisa than me as she is still breast feeding and some of those cries are alerts for feedings.

My initial intention with the BLOG was to post my race reports from various mountainbike races. The reports are normally written to my cycling team mates and shared with a few others. I had no idea how addictive this aspect of the electronic world could be. The BLOG has become a monster, a monster far more powerful than the movie, The Blob.
The Blog is so much for me. It is a journal. It is a theraputic outlet. It is a way to communicate with friends, strangers, and the world. It is an escape.
Thank you BLOGGER.com for coming into my world, now try and quiet down so I can get to work. It gets so bothersome to hear your voice in my head.... "the boss stepped out for coffee....time to BLOG"...."quick.....BLOG in that spare office where no one else can see"....."blog now while the work load is all stuffed under the rug."

I hate those dam voices in my head!
The Balance of Life
Simple enough....there has to be a balance in life. Priorities need to be set and there needs to be a constant check that all things are in order. At times there may be a shift in priorities so that a certain area of life may be either brought up to speed or taken to the next level. In high school during my one year of JV soccer coach Hostetler gave us each what he thought was to be our list of priorities.

1. God
2. Family
3. School
and then somewhere down the line...soccer.....then lower.....self

well....that is a good basic guideline...but I think that my current list of priorities may be a little different as I am not in school and organized religion is not really my thing.

so my priorities may look more like this...
(such a hard list to make....as any man knows there are givens that need not be said; for example....keeping the wife happy is priority one, cause if the momma ain't happy....no one is happy)

so here is my list

1. Keep Lisa Happy
2. Keep Lisa Happy
3. Keep Lisa Happy

which at different parts of the day will mean that there are sub categories.....
as in this weekend

1. Keep Lisa Happy by having a baptism for our 6 month old baby; Grant (religion/god)
2. Keep Lisa Happy by being a good host to her family that will be in town from Pittsburgh (family)
3. Keep Lisa Happy by not losing my job (work; which was school of most people's youth)
and so on
and so on
and so on
then somewhere down the list I have to throw in cycling instead of soccer
then go further down the list and see if I can sneak my name in there are a priority

my boss just walked in
so it is time for me to concentrate on PRIORITY NUMBER THREE!

taking a break from the installation of the New Windows XP SP2

don't get me wrong...MY WIFE IS A MACHINE!
as that commercial once said...."She can bring home the bacon! Fry it up in the pan!"
and much, much, more
Lisa has an immeasurable amount of energy. She gets up early after a sleepless breast feeding night. She handles all sorts of things around the house in the am long before I even get out of bed. Lisa is more than the glue that holds our family together, she is the buttressing that holds up the house....the gas that fuels our cars....the food we have on our plates....she is all....she is everything. Lisa has always been a giving person. As a mother and wife she gives all she can and then gives some more. For this I thank her...and for her not reading my BLOG...I thank her again. Lisa is amazing, yet she is still a woman, so I am forced to contend with some of the basic conflicts of the Male/Female interpersonal relationship. We are different beasts with a different approach to life and a different way of communicating our needs and our wants.

Currently, I want to do a race this Saturday. My weekends have been bike-less for months. No dirt since the last Wakefield Race, and no real dirt since the 24 Hours of Snowshoe. Family and Deck have taken priority over the bike for all weekends since the 24 Hours of Snowshoe. Hey, I think I put things in the right priority....Family....then work (house work in this case) and then down the ladder...ME (excuse me, that is me.)

more in a bit
gotta jam on some work
these machines on my side have just caught up with me

this is getting super annoying
BLOGGER.com is getting buggy
or at least on this machine
no I take that back
BLOGGER.com is getting buggy!
At home and now at work I have had glitchy issues with my Posts Being Published

this post continued on with a sappy statement about how I love my wife and my family is lucky and all that

I love my wife Lisa
I appreciate all that she does for me and all that she does for our family
I consider myself lucky to have lisa as a wife and as a friend
Dean and Grant should consider themselves lucky to have Lisa as a mom
Roscoe and Brutus are lucky to have Lisa as an owner
to quote our third grade neighbor Kara as we were sledding down the hill at Klingle Mansion last winter, "lisa is cool for a wife"
yes, lisa is cool for a wife
our family is lucky to have her

I just remembered that I ended the original post that never got published with this statement
lisa is amazing, but she is still a women

The British Invasion Strikes Again!
New Dance Craze from Across the Pond!

check this out!

well worth a look
as classic as any Mullett Page!
stolen from the mind of Roblog


(Publish early and Publish often....some basic rules when you know your connection is tentative. Over here on a remote site at the State Department, the Verizon guys are working on the lines.....I had worked this story in a direction that it made sense...it all came together and now it is all gone.....no draft saved...nothing but the skeletal beginings.)

In the mid-70's there was a soccer explosion and I was a part of it. The soccer invasion process was not at all gradual, it all grew rapidly into a grand monster. Pele was king and all the kids wanted to be number 10. Well, nearly all of the kids. My personal 'goals' as a soccer player were slightly different...Franz Beckenbauer was more my model player. Lacking the golden touch for putting the ball into the net as well as being devoid of the grace, speed, and agility to dance like a gazelle through a pride of lions I concentrated on defense, making me lion...the one who hunts, not the hunted. At a young age, like third grade, I moved from team to team....until finally our team had tryouts and cuts; we had gone select. With Mr. Flannery as the fitness stressing coach we ended up having an assortment of assitant coaches along the way. Assitant coach may be an over exaggeration of the situation, these were actually parents of some of the players who had a desire to coach, but respected that that position was already taken or perhaps did not have the time to devote to the tasks of a fulltime coach. Ariel Sabban's father was one assistant coach and John "Hilmay" Emikle's father was another. Each had a European background and had grown up with the sport of soccer. John's father was a stern man with dark skin that some of the parents called "Turk" in reference to his Turkish heritage. It was Mr. Flannery that stressed fitness, hustle, and focus while it was Turk Emikle that stressed forcing the man to the outside, get the ball, and why not take out the man.

These were the building blocks of sport for me. I played with these players and these coaches for many years and many more games all the way through grade school. As High School approached I foolishly quit my select team to allow myself to move from fullback to center half, and allow myself a little more glory as one of the key players. In the open league playing for Mr. Nolen we lived a soccer version of "The Bad News Bears." Each game was chock full of mishap and folly. Eventually, the Nolen team was no more. High School had begun and many of us had expectations of playing for our various High School teams. This of course is easier said then done. At this point in time Bethesda Chevy Chase's varsity team was on a roll. The had achieved near legendary status as a soccer powerhouse. It was niave of me to think that I could just walk up to tryout and become part of this team. Many of the would be players had spent time at soccer camps while most of the rest spent the summer afternoons playing pick up soccer and running drills. I showed up cold. Not in my best running shape and certainly not having a touch on the ball


Mr. Permit

As it turns out I am going to have to get in touch with Mr. Permit. Seems that he is the man to talk to in situations like this RED TAG AFFAIR. Before I even talk with this Mr. Permit I will have to get a better idea of what sort of plans I need to draw up for approval. There are all types of codes and regulations for such structures. Very odd drawing up these plans retroactively.

Wish me luck!

Washington Hill Scandal makes Washington Post Magazine


an·thro·po·mor·phism Pronunciation: -"fi-z&mFunction: nounDate: 1753: an interpretation of what is not human or personal in terms of human or personal characteristics : HUMANIZATION- an·thro·po·mor·phist /-fist/ noun
definition courtesy of BRITANNICA.com

Last night at a going away dinner for the former City Bikes Mountainbike Team Captain, Brian Kemler, I boldly teased a cute female friend of the host about her over rationalization of her dog's behavior. She was a good sport about it all, often my dry sense of humor can just be seen as obnoxious behavior, when more often than not it is nothing but obnoxious behavior. Apparently her little lapdog bit Kemler on one of their first encounters, the bite was not serious, yet serious enough to draw blood and to be a topic of conversation at this dinner party. The owner of this vicious little lap dog had a long list of reasons why her dog had behaved out of character and bit Kemler. There was the change of surroundings, the presence of the cats, the hair cut from the day prior....and the list goes on. Again rudely, I broke in..."you are forgetting the primary rational....it is a dog." My intention was not to be rude, but it did seem a little overboard to rationalize the minutiae of what changes in this dog's life may had caused it to lash out unprovoked on to Brian Kemler. Then I thought back to the events of the day and how my dogs had bum rushed a Rodesian Ridgeback in Rock Creek Park. After I was able to dispel the near attack I too gave off a list of rationales trying to excuse my dogs inexcusable behavior. The owners were pleasant, accepted my apology, my over rationalization, and we made good with some small talk about cycling and the Olympics.

This leads me to this question...

"Do our pets experience the same set of emotions that we experience?"

As a dog owner I can clearly see that my dogs do experience the same basic sets of emotions that we experience. Certainly the dogs get hungry, feel cold, experience pain, exhaustion, even loneliness, etc....but what about the more complex set of emotions that we feel; do dogs feel insecurity...vanity...compassion? (to name a few)

This is a difficult issue to approach. Each pet owner looks at the actions of their dog and ends up putting a greater meaning to the behavior then any stranger would. Is it possible that this girl's dog lashed out at Kemler because she was still in a bad mood about a haircut she had received the day prior?
When my dogs get their hair trimmed (not styled) they do behave differently. Roscoe and Brutus run faster and more free, but do they feel more stylish? The absence of the excess of hair gives them a burst of energy; they appear to be energized for the next few days after the trimming of their hair, is the behavior due to the light weight aerodynamics of it all or do they feel slick and cool? Do they care about how this haircut makes them look or just how it makes them feel? Do dogs think on that level? Are dogs that vain or insecure? At first thought I would answer no, but after a short reflection to the 6 plus years with these dogs and I can think of some humanlike reactions to various situations. There have been times where we have put hats, sunglasses, or bandanas on the dogs and they have wrestled their way out of them. Did Roscoe or Brutus dislike the feel of the accessories or did they not care for the look? In the case of the Elizabethan Colar I would have to say that there is some sort of deeper emotion than the basic physical discomfort. The dogs see the colar and the roll their eyes back, draw in their tales, and try to squirm away. Once the collar is on they look and act depressed. Or am I just another dog owner falsely putting unfounded human emotions onto the behaviors of a dog?

Can a dog feel depression? Do dogs have moods or mood swings?
I would say certainly yes. My dogs behave differently after they are well exercised rather than during the times when they are given just the short loop to poop and pee. These guys hit some sort of boiling point where they become more prone to what I call "an incident." An Incident can be any negative encounter where the dogs rush or attack another dog or even a person (the attack on a person is quite seldom, but the none dog person who runs and screams in fear draws attention to themselves. the dogs who may have previously been uninterested in this person then fall back on instinct; you run from the dog...the dog chases) In any case, it is vital to give the dogs some vigorous exercise so that they can exist "incident free." This may be drifting from the point, but when the dogs are well exercised they seem more even keeled or perhaps more well adjusted.

need to get back to work
this blog
as most blogs
is starting to blog on
guess I like to plant the seed
my intention is not to prove or disprove an argument
but to aid in presenting my side or another side
to aid in people thinking about these things
and hopefully people will respond to my posts in an effort to help me to expand my thoughts, opinions, and ideas

dog-ter: a pun about a dog owners over protective somewhat parental treatment of their dog; as in daughter. As in; My dogter did the cutest thing this morning...

as far as cats go...
cats are just furry fish that swim around their house


chasing the peleton

watching the olympics
reading blogs
surfing the internet

was reading blogs about LIVESTRONG
then went to the NIKE PAGE
joined the PELETON
not unlike life on the bike
I am fighting to keep up

it is really rather clever
use the scroll bar and see who is in the Peleton
people from all over the world
click on each rider with the different colored jersey
click on the leader
sure enough
Lance Armstrong

so many commercials
way too many commercials
the ratio to actual Olympic Sport and advertising is not good
some good swimming and diving tonight
and of course....this cycling is quite exciting
last lap
got to go

and off to a party with a bottle of Richard



a moment of base filled silence as a sign of respect to the passing of Rick James
David Chappelle had some create CLIPS spoofing Rick, but they may have been removed out of respect
oh well, I wanted to celebrate his life with a laugh
guess I will have to buy the dvd
Red Bean: A restaurant Review-
today went well...I dove headfirst into a day of some serious work...anything to escape the thought of my Red Tag situation. The Stop Work Order has been occupying my thoughts, so much that every I am ignoring it all together. This weekend I need to devote some serious time to this project, next week I need to take this permit process to the next step. With that said, after work today I got on the Geared Karate Monkey to test out the rear hub repack, the new SIDI shoes, and the new Time pedals. Being that Lisa and the boys are in Pittsburgh I took advantage of the situation and tried to go for an extended post work ride. Like a fool I stepped out the door with a healthy pace...on this ride I ran into old school skater/snowboarding buddy Mirco. He was out helmetless on his roadbike 'jocking out.' We rode together for some time, exchanging who lead...I was an excellent draft for him while he did not offer such a comfortable wind slip as I may well be a foot taller than him. The highlight of that ride was when I was on his tail headed south west towards the airport from Old Town Alexandria. Being able to see his cell phone in his cycling jersey pocket I thought it would be clever to give him a ring. My cell was in my mountainbike style baggy shorts so I pulled it out and scrolled through my cell phone book. There is was in my short list of logged numbers; Micro. I hit SEND and began smiling. Sure enough there was the ring. Micro's hand drifted back and pulled the phone from his jersey pocket. It was too funny...Micro answered and I spoke up, "Put down the cell phone and pick up the pace!" Our third ridder a Ramptech employee Mike laughed in the background. Micro picked up the pace and we put away the phones.
At Key Bridge we said a quick good-bye and pedaled away before our heart rates dropped. I rolled down through Georgetown onto the Capitol Crescent Trail. The legs were still fresh, the bike was feeling good...with some unknown drag...maybe the rear wheel out of true or maybe a rear hub that is too tight. I rode upright hands off the bars with my legs spinning fast and hard. Relaxed and fast. Before I knew it I was being passed by some cat on a road bike. His lack of audible warning triggered an aggressive response. I asked for the audible and then told him that my grandmother rides faster than him. We picked up the pace. Not being the drafting type we move forward and further at a fast pace.

need a drink
don't think I will make it to the review

thumbs up
good fish tacos
nice atmosphere

we will be back


Although they are completely different.....there is the basic similarity that both the LIVESTRONG bracelet and the Madonna Bracelet of the 80's are made of RUBBER

which caused me to surf and stumble on this site...

Which Madonna are you?

You are the Ray of Light Madonna!!
You are Ray of light Madonna!!

Which Madonna Are You?
brought to you by


which has nothing to do with GWADZILLA!

The Right Tool for the Job!
There are a few simple rules in life that are vital to be learned and lived by; the right tool for the job is definitely one of those basic rules. Before the Red Tag was glued to my front window I was out back working on the first section of my deck. In an effort to make things as sturdy as possible I decided to use some expansion bolts in through the joist into the concrete base of garage. There I was with a drill in my hand and several drills by my side....various speeds and varying power.....a variety of drill bits many new and sharp. Minutes with the drill and nothing but a scratch to the surface.....20 minutes and on the verge of some serious carpel tunnel syndrome and I stopped and reached for my cell phone. I had heard that there was a tool for this type of task, a hammer drill. One call to my friend Lev and I had a short term loan of this particular tool, contractor grade. Lev is a good friend, it was wrong to ask to borrow this tool, no one likes to lend tools, especially the tools of the trade, but Lev is too good of a person to not say yes...he mind said no while his heart said yes. A quick pedal from Mt Pleasant to Petworth and the hammer drill was in hand....only to return to Mt Pleasant to do the job and then back to Petworth. I took a short pass through Brown's Carribean Bakery for some Jamacian Beef patties and Coco Bread. YUMMY! Lev was psyched! The tools were back in the short time frame as promised, the tool was not damaged, and he had a fresh Jamacian Beef Patty with Coco Bread.

In this morning's rant I bitched about some spacers in the hub of my geared Karate Monkey's rear wheel. I also questioned the best way to fix the hub. Well, I must have stressed that I did not have a 17mm cone wrench. Sure I have a 13mm,14mm,15mm, and 16mm cone wrench as well as a 17mm box wrench and 17mm box wrench....but no 17mm cone wrench. A quick trip to my local bike shop, City Bikes, and I was able to get two 17mm cone wrenches in hand. They had them in stock and now I have them in my tool box. Once home and once in the basement I was able to get some grease on my hands and get things fixed. It was an enriching experience. It is an enriching experience. Working on a bike always has a special gratification once it is done.....tomorrow I will ride the Geared Monkey to work and test my repairs to the hub as well as my wheel true. The Clydesdale can be tough on gear....the repairs need to be done right!

an aside.....
It is good to have the right tool for the job. When I worked at the Big Wheel Bikes Capitol Hill location some many years ago I was always amused by the local kids and their misconcepetion of tools and their usage. BMX bikes would roll in with severly stripped bolts. Bolts so rounded it was impossible to tighten them...it was impossible to remove them. Some of these kids cruised around with the culpret that stripped these bolts into submission; lock plyers. It is quite a sight....the lock plyers locked tightly onto the seat post as if it has any business being used on a bike. How many times did I replace these bolts on these bikes? Each time trying to explain how wrenches work and how there are bolts and wrenches that are certain sizes. Who knows who learned what ihn those exchanges? I have often been curious of those local kids and who and what they have grown to become in the time that has nearly grown to be a decade. I fear that the anger and the violence of the city may have sculpted this wide eyed children into hard and jaded crimials. The survival skills as children were clear.....and drugs and violence are after school jobs of the average go getter teenagers. Internships in the hood are different.
this evening rob and snoopy came down from baltimore for a late afternoon assault on the Cabin John trails. snoopy called me on my cell as I was headed home from work, there was a tad sprinkle coming down, not much more, but the storm was on the horizon if I cared to look that way. Perhaps I looked the other way so I could honestly lure Rob and Snoopy down for a little 'guy time;' not exactly 'boys night out' but similar....only without the stumbling and the hangover. My words were honest...it was just a sprinkle...but the storm ahead was eminent. Sure enough, I stopped by City Bikes to grab the right tools for the job and the clouds spilled over. Some time was killed in the mechanic's area and then the shop, kicking it with the various different employees and grabbing some 17mm cone wrenches. As the time was surely not going to pass I was forced to mount up and ride home with buckets of rain falling down on me. Visibility was down, my lights blinked, but I feared the anarchy-like driving style that occurs when DC drivers encounter a storm. Every winter the same thing, some driver gets behind the wheel and says to themselves, " I can not drive in the snow!" So, THEY GUN IT! Durning Armagedon-like storms just like this evenings running red lights becomes more regular for the cars. So I rushed home gritting my teeth, avoiding all rolling obstacles, until my cell rang. It was Snoopy again. I knew it was him...sure enough it was him. I was forced to pull over in this rain and answer the phone. Long story short....I asked Snoopy to stop and get some sun screen as I was sunbathing in the backyard. Then stressed that he grabbed SPH 45 as it was getting quite bright this late in the day. There were jokes about riding....making sure that they had lights.....and that they had the right tires for the deep mud.
Once home I did my tasks as a home owner. Rainfall of this volume tends to run the risk of flooding my basement. The water volume is great, but it is the debrie that is carried that is the true villian. The leaves, mud, and silt clog the drains...when all three drains are clogged the water stacks up and soon enough the basement begins to fill up. I scurried around in my underwear and no socks cleaning all the drains...moving to the gutters....then back to the drains again. The rain slowed and drains were cleared and there was only slight mopping to be done in the basement and even the kitchen, the kitchen got wet on my entering and exiting.
Rob and Snoopy arrived and were greeted by my bare chest, sockless feet, and drentched underwear....no one batted an eye...after all it is 'guy time!'
There was no convincing Rob Wrenches Hardesty to fix my rear wheel as I walked the dogs. So I walked the dogs as he tunned my guitars.....guitars that I can not and do not play. The dogs ran wild in the woods as the rain came down. Watching the water gush down the trails showed some areas that were highly vuenerable to errosion so I threw down some dead wood and debrie to create some temporary water bars. All the while with shorts and shoes on, as I do not want to be caught in the woods soaking wet, sockless, in my underwear.
Once back with the dogs we ordered pizza and I fixed the rear hub. With the right tools it was all possible. The hub was packed, my new TIME cleats were put on my new SIDI shoes, with time for me to show my inability to play guitar all before the pizza came. During that time Snoopy had the time to give me a simple gift; a yellow rubber wrist band. I had seen these wrist bands around town, but had not known what to make of them. Had seen one on a crazy traveler telling his tale of spider bites in the mechanic section of City Bikes...I thought it was a hospital bracelet...but no...it is a LIVESTRONG band.

How can I be so in the dark with these things?
Tomorrow at work I am going to go online and make a donation and order some LIVESTRONG wrist bands for some friends, maybe even enough wristbands for Dean's whole preschool class.

hmmm....seems to be backordered
guess i will order them just the same and hand them out when they finally catch up with all the orders
Blog Blog Blog....
When I first started to BLOG it was all about bikes. Well, actually....it was supposed to be a place for me to post my already written Race Reports. After each race that any member of our team does they are encouraged to share their experience with the rest of the team. Most people wrote a sentence or two about the event, the weather, and their finishing standings from that day. My reports tended to be more about the stress of arriving late, the traffic to and from, or how my son and I spent the night vomitting which kept me from racing. Then after the first couple of entries I went ahead and posted a few other old reports and then some humorous emails....
Well, my BLOG much like my Race Reports ended up being more about me/my life/and my family then just about bikes. Funny how that all works out.
If I were racing more then there would be more Race Reports....no racing for the last few weeks. Just Deck Building! Now with the Red Tag I am freed up for riding....earlier today I overheard someone claiming that I sent an anymous tip so that I would get this Stop Work Order so I could put the hammer down and go out and play.
Karate Monkey....
A few weeks ago I did a night ride in Patapsco State Park with my friend Dave...we rode single speeds. There were two reasons for the single speed over the geared bike; first of all Dave showed up at my back gate with his rigid single speed. This dictated my choice in rides...being that I am a tad faster than he is on either bike...had I taken my geared bike with front shock...well...I would have been waiting around for him a whole lot (as opposed to waiting around for him a little...which I had to do on the single) Secondly, my rear hub was crazy loose, which I did not realize until I took my bike off the stand after a rapid post Snowshoe Tune Up. With two kids, the demands of my job, and the now Red Tagged deck project I had very little time. The bikes got an occassional clean up with a lube of the chain, but the Geared Monkey got not riding and no love since the 24 Hours of Snowshoe...well it was tunned other than the rear hub. With the HOOHA this weekend I figured it best for me to fix that rear hub....to my disgust the spacing seemed wrong. There were an assortment of spacers in there that just did not fit right. I took it all apart and threw some grease in there, but was unable to get things to lock down. There were two issues....one.....I lacked a 17mm cone wrench, that was easily remedied by flipping the thin spacers so that the notched side for the thin cone wrench was on the outside, thus allowing a standard 17mm wrench to do the trick....but then...and maybe a greasy gearhead will know the answer to this....


in short...
I was frustrated
went to the garage and grabbed a few old wheels
cursed my donations to Chain Reaction, my generosity may have shot me in the foot
was going to pirate some spacers off some old axles, but the axles are different diameters
and I did not have as many wheels to chose from as I had expected
in any case
I need a new cone wrench, a special took if it exists, and the correct spacers...
And this needs to be done by SUNDAY
wanted it done for today so that I could do a test ride
see that this machine was running in 'tip/top' shape

guess not
so that was a no go!


Genetic Potential and Sports
and perhaps the notion of TELOS

A few weeks ago some joker from the midwest wrote an article questioning cycling/the tour as a sport. This article that was shared greatly among the cycling community acted to enraged many readers, including me. For this guy to have a job where he is being paid to share his thoughts is what angered me the most. To think he has an editor as equally uninformed enraged me even greater. When people talk about guns...I step back and listen. I know nothing about guns....don't claim to know anything...don't care to know anything....there are gun experts and those guys are not me. My opinion on guns....well I have one, but that is an opinion not factual information.

This Mike Imrem character said so many things that revealed that he not only does not know about cycling, but he lacks any idea about sport as a whole. If he were to analize football he would have to understand that when a budding athlete is moving through the ranks of pee-wee leagues onto high school and then college ball that this individual must realize that they have strengths and short comings dictated by their build. As much as a lineman may want to carry the ball....well....they may lack the speed and agility, thus their dinosaur build is better placed on the line. Or the tight end...not fast enough to be wide reciever....not strong or quick enough to be a running back....a kicker or a punter....a quarter back.....you name the position. There are body types that dictate to a certain degree who would be best suited for each position. It does not take a genius to see this.....these words from a person who has not seen any more than an occassional highlight since I stopped watching sports on TV some 15 years ago. Now, if this Imrem character was shrewd enough to understand that there are basic limitations to where a person would be best suited to play on the football field than maybe he should be shrewd enough to expand this notion to sports as a whole.

Clearly a world class jockey would not make a good basketball player and vice versa. Clearly the build of a world class cyclist is different to a world class running back...obvious enough. Where a bulky muscular build is an advantage when getting groped by a stack of steroid bound dinosaurs, this same build as strong as it may be is certainly going to be a grand disadvantage to the cyclist climbing uphill.

te·los Pronunciation: 'te-"läs, 'tE-Function: nounEtymology: Greek; probably akin to Greek tellein to accomplish, tlEnai to bear -- more at TOLERATEDate: 1904: an ultimate end

or perhaps

tel·e·o·log·i·cal Pronunciation: "te-lE-&-'lä-ji-k&l, "tE-Variant(s): also tel·e·o·log·ic /-'lä-jik/Function: adjectiveDate: 1798: exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature- tel·e·o·log·i·cal·ly /-ji-k(&-)lE/ adverb

There is something amazing in this world that guides people to one direction or another. Why did Wayne Gretzsky play hockey andMichael Jordan play basketball? Would each of them of been as prolific had that each been drawn to the other's sport? Sure their achievements are a testiment to their hard work and dedication, but...there is certainly something more. Is somebody actually 'a natural?'

Height is clearly an advantage in basketball...
yet this same advantage would be a distinct disadvantage in various other sports.
Great gurth is an advantage for linemen in american football or sumo wrestling in Japan, but these qualities are clearly not advantages in most other sports. Desire will only take an athlete so far.... It is unlikely that with all the hardwork in the world that Lance Armstrong could ever dunk on a regulation height rim....but he can ride a bike like no other.

that is enough for now
this is a discussion that could drag on forever
but the seed is planted
the basis of my idea is layed out
expand on it if you will
or dispell any of my misconceptions
do what you will
I best get back to work

next topic?
performance enhancement drugs?
(and I am not talking about Viagra)
who uses them?
is it still cheating even if those drugs are not banned?
can someone be competitive against the other atheletes if they are clean while the others use?
can we get two fields of athletes...
let the clean athletes compete and have the enhancement drug using atheletes go home?