I have always loved to waste my time
as a child it was coin operated video games
then later in life it was various Nintendo systems
now it is the BLOG!

there is a classic quote from the advertisment that was pushing the game Dr. Mario

"if you liked tetris....... you will love Dr. Mario"
(or something to that effect.)


if you liked Velorution...... you will love bikelanediary

you get the idea
check it out
you will thank me!

(and yes.... it may be more clear to describe my actions as "an escape" rather than "a waste of time." I have always like to escape into different things!)
where are lev and lodi when I need them?
they were always good for a snow filled night hike
we have years and years of night trail hiking memories

will phone tom and hutch one more time

either way...
contemplating taking roscoe and brutus out just the same

I think they could use it
I think I could use it
I know I need it
I still have not shed the tension of the day
red wine is not always the best cure for yension release
let me stand up and look outside

wet and cold=no
winter wonderland=yes

let me scope it out
putting on and taking off gear can get so old

it is a WINTER WONDERLAND.. so yes... we are headed out

back from my winter wonderland experince
both wooded and neighborhooded.....

the snow was not that wet but was real crunchy
the type of snow that one would see in a Benny Hill skit
the type of snow that makes a sound with each foot step
leaving a perfect foot print with each step... whether it be dog, cat, deer, bicycle, car, or man
man or beast could be identified and easily tracked in this snow

yes.... back
no... I still have not taken off my gear
will take all this gear off before I fall into bed....

the sight of the streetlamp out front my house drew me closer
staring out the front window from the inside was not enough
after greater concentration I realized that these moments are fleeting
grab them when they are here
just as a sailor needs to follow the wind
a hiker needs to follow the peak moments of each season
the changing multi colored leaves of fall
the natural flowers in bloom the trees budding green each spring
the hot sweaty humid mosquito filled afternoons of summer
the velvety snow covered leafless branches of winter

night hiking in the city is very different than rural winter night hiking
even with the cloud covered sky and the world filled with falling snow
visibility is still good
the city lights the clouds
and the reflection off the clouds light the city
the surface of the snow covered woods reflects back
everything is a light soft glow

the Petzl headlamp with its blue halogen glow was on my head, but for the most part was unneeded and went unused

had I had a camera and known something about long term exposures and large format film I would have been able to take some epic shots from various vantage points on my hike

my hike was short
never far from home
so I meandered to extend the duration
still never going far from home

my first objective was to check out my handiwork
where I had done rogue maintenance on a renegade trail earlier this day
Dean even helped out
at one point in our trail repair Dean complimented himself by saying...
"hey... I am getting pretty good at this..."
and he was!
every little bit help
just understanding that trails need repair and that someone needs to take action is "getting pretty good at this"
everyone could do to get at least a little better at this
the steps were good....
more natural than stairs
really too large for anyone to call stairs
even a giant like myself needs to take large deliberate steps
but it is a trail
not a sidewalk

I doubled back over my own footprints and headed over to the Rosemount Loop
a loop behind Dean's school, Rosemount Center
a building that is historic and beautiful
currently being renovated
hopefully will continue to be historic and beautiful

too bad I did not take those Ansel Adams-esque photos before they started the addition
but I still lack the know how and the equipment
(my Canon EOS film camera is so new age that it lacks a bulb setting, while my little Minolta digital camera lacks the flash capabilities to take any decent night shots)

change is not always better
even if change is better is some cases
it is not always better all around
there is something sad about renovations
all those memories being stripped away
the character
the history
the unspoken stories
stories that can easily be seen
stories that to some can easily be heard

then once out of the woods I realized that not too much time had passed... maybe not even a half an hour.... okay.. maybe a little more
so I kept to the streets
with the dogs on leash I took an alley route meandering through Mt Pleasant then looping back down Park Road
the sidewalks were well pounded by a wide variety of unidentifiable foot steps unlike the pristine trails
the roads were not plowed, yet they were far more clear than just a few random tire tracks... well other than the tire tracks that went wide fast and out of countrol causing then to hit the curb

not sure what this means..... but...
the city looks like a "village" when the snow is falling down
the hard edge is softened and everything becomes a little more simple a little more gentle
each house takes on a different feel, warmer, more cozy
trees lean with a fluffy white fur coat; leaning and hanging further than any wind has ever made them bend before
lawnless lawn are a blanket of white rather than a blanket of weeds
cracked concrete's imperfections go unnoticed
the street lights and porch lights add their orange, their white, their light pink glow adding to the gentleness of the atmosphere

I Blogged enough
time for bed
no time to reread... just publish and post... never time for Spell Check
just like college... burning the midnight oil
glad that I got out and experienced this moment
tomorrow I will bring my little digital camera and take a few shots of this winter wonderland

quick commute
well.... a direct commute
direct snow filled commute
a short ride....
a short ride that was long enough to let this pressure cooker get steamed

the weatherman was right
it snowed nearly all day
massive snowflakes
massive fluffy snowflakes
at other times
steady snowflakes
steady small fast falling snowflakes
for the most part it was wet snowflakes that did not add up to anything
wet snowflakes falling on warm ground
all day not one flake stuck to the ground until slightly after six in the evening

remind me why Dean did not have school again today?

the whistle blew at he end of a Monday that felt confusingly like a Friday
not entirely in a good way
I suited up in all my Gortex and polypropalean gear, lights a flashing, headlamp beaming, various refectors waiting to shine back light, all ontop of the Karate Monkey pointed the most direct route home
trying to keep my bicycle vertical and out of the way of all the idiots and assholes on the road
confident... not cocky
self assured... not stupid

this is not a time to show off
this is not a time to prove anything

let me tell you.... the IDIOTS AND ASSHOLES were showing their colors!
H2 here
H2 there
like the multi colored ass of a babboon... strutting around all inflamed
BMW driving too fast sure to crash.... a sight I would like to see, as long as no one gets hurt
cars spinning out displaying no understanding of how to drive in snow or slush
who would have thought that.... that Mercedes does so poorly in snow... oh.... it is not the car..... that idiot can not drive in snow! technology in a idiot's hand can not only be useless.. but it can be dangerous!

people pass with the same lack of consideration on snow days as they pass on anyday

"you are three inches from my handlebar are quite far enough over for me! slide over please!"

so, the full lane is as far to the right as I feel I must be
an unexpect opening of a car door or an assertive pedestrian stepping out from between two parked cars could demand more rapid response that I could mustard with the snowy conditions

so,let me make the decision for you
as I am smarter and faster than you.... let me remove the need for you to think
as you are more than likely to make the wrong choice.. perhaps a selfish and foolish choice that could endanger me
as you cars behind me are sure to make the wrong decision just as the few cars before me did
as I am more capable of thinking of both our our needs than you are.... as you have yet to consider considering mine
as always it is vital to stay vertical as they may not be able to stop
as they may not be playing close enough attention to notice I fell in time to stop
after all there are XM radio startions to select from, less than vital phone calls to answer, emails on the blackberry to check, porn DVDs to watch, and of course my beloved iPOD Playlists to scroll through (don't get me wrong... i have a phone and an ipod.... but I try to be courtesy and safe when I do stupid things)

I slide by the same cars that just past me so close so fast, risking my life did not get them to their destinatin any quicker... I am past them again.... if they were in my backpack they would get home more quickly... under my breath I curse at those that have endangered me.... foolishly I let the anger steamroll.... on near situation that could be avoided....... then another near sitiation that could have been avoided
with some I am making eye contact
maybe putting a human element upon it
some look at me in question like they never saw me..... like then never almost ran me over a few blocks back
other look back aggressively
while others are even more combative and competitive as the locked eyes are enough to fuel the battle
all the while to these select few drivers I mouth ugly words through my balacava
more than likely the words are seen in my eyes as I can hear the words in theirs

the roads are virtually vacant for a monday evening
well... backed up for sections
and vacant for others....
cars getting bunched behind grandmother's who should not be driving on the street today... behind grandmothers who should not be on the street anyday! traffic gets blocked by the parked car that should not be parked on this stretch of road during Rush Hour! causing a bottleneck causing traffic to nearly stop as cars have to merge

I stay on the streets away from the sidewalks and move my way steadily home
for the most part sidewalks are good for a quick cross cut..... but never more than a block and never at speed
and never never downtown in the snow and rain
too many stretches of sidewalk infront of buildings downtown are marble not concrete
altering body position and braking are enough to throw a bike down when you combine snow and this marble sidewalk
then the pedestrians deserve the sidewalk
when I walk... I hate getting buzzed by a biker.... especially when I see they are lacking brake pads, braking power, and braking skill
best not to be a hypocrite
best to stay on the street
leave the sidewalk to the pregnant mother or mr. mom pushing the stroller.... the young kids learning to skateboard... and the elderly woman with the walker
it is not cool to move like Walter Payton heading for the endzone

back to my ride...

it is a short trek, but long enough for an idiot to do something to put my life at risk
so I stay alert the whole way
as I move from New Hampshire past Dupont I roll one block the wrong way on a one way
then onto 16th Street
for a second I consider the sidewalk
then I realize I am still moving faster than the majority of traffic
with extra care I move the wrong way down this one way street
anticipating any cars coming out of their parking space or any car turning my way
also looking to the light at 16th and U
how should I set my pace..... speed or slow or bust a move?
the light is against me so I move to the head of the queue
not sure how that metro bus feels... but he has a stop just ahead and there looks like parked traffic is taking the lane before that poing
green light go, but only after making sure it is clear
the lights say one thing... yes... the cars just like the bicycles often do the other
at the base of this less than hill climb a variety of unskilled drivers spin their wheels looking helpless like turtles on their backs
I laugh out loud
up 16th with Malcom X park just to my right I stay the same pace as the car to my side rather than risk moving faster than traffic and having to reintroduce myself to the car to my left
as I pedal the single gear up the hill the same rate as traffic I feel the hum of a car feet behind me
I begin to ride foolishly one handed
the one handedness is not the foolishness of my efforts
the extended middle finger is the short sighted response to anything
a potentially suicidal action on the bicycle
sure enough
a car passes on the left with the window down and a man saying something in a language I did not understand
in a completely serious, not rude.... perhaps stupid.... but not rude I said in a sort of bewildered questioning sort of way... "In English Please?"
the car continued forward, rolling the window up, getting stuck in car traffic 15 feet ahead as I rolled to a stop and waited for him to roll down the window
not in an arrogant asshole aggressive sort of way... no... I just stopped and waited, then as he turned then started down the window I turned to the side and turned off my headlamp so we could talk without me obnoxiously flashing a 15 watt old school Niterider Dual Classic Pro.... the water bottle style..... any way.... we get to talking.... perhaps I start..... we talk... there is mention of respect...... there is mention of rights.... there is not much back and forth.... then I am reminded.... what about the finger?
for a minute there I had forgotten what I had done.... I was still fixated on being tailgated on a snow covered street as I am moving faster than traffic on a yet to be plowed section of road. but somehow I had forgotten about giving him.... that car... that car's driver the finger.....well, until he mentioned it... again I responded just as calm just as sincere, don't you think you were following me a little close back there.... all I am asking for is for you to give me as much respect as i would give you. to that the male passanger of this female driven high end honda with extras. this was a conversation that took seconds. it went well, but it could have gone another way. this guy was rational this guy was cool. most people are not rational. most people are not cool. on another day this person may have responded differently, hopefully not.... hopefully he has grown from this experience just as I am trying to grow from this experience. that was only seconds.... seconds that maybe added up to a little less than a minute.

back pedaling forward.... passing this same car giving a nod and rolling past..... cutting through a clear space.... across the center lane of traffic..... behind the left turn lane... across head on traffic on16th Street... and right onto Mt Pleasant street being more than aware of the lights.... what the lights are.... what the lights are going to become..... where the cars are...... where are the cars going... what will the car do next..... I have to know what the car will do next before the car knows.... so that I will be someplace else... the same goes for pedestrians..... I need to see that that pedestrian is going to step out as they have not looked for me as they may not have looked to check for a car......
left turning car
red light ahead
pedestrians in a pack snailing in the middle of the road
cab parked on the right
oncoming car trying to take a left
car coming out of a space
metro bus unloading passangers
metro bus passangers stepping into traffic without looking
more double parked cars
more cars pulling out of parking spaces
more pedestrians doing something without looking
stop sign ahead
thread the needle very little reason for me to slow down
pop... a snowball explodes on my hand.... wow.... did not see that coming!
no blood.... no foul!
I raise the hand that has just been hit and give a thumbs up! Good Shot! Would have never expected that.....
then down Park Road still faster than the standard flowless flow of traffic
park road is a little more clear as it is a little more trafficked
right on 18th
not too fast
not feeling too confident
not feeling like falling down
the whole ride home was a series of connected Drag Races
even with the front disc brake I take caution about approaching and set of variables too quickly
also the rear brakes were making a serious Canada Goose HONK!
so braking was not only sketchy
braking was also embarressing... never want anyone able to hear your brake pads
especially on a downhill!
so where was I right on 18th then left on Monroe then slow to a near stop at 19th street before I dip down into the alley behind my house
taking it all very cautiously
being happy I made it thus far without falling
laughing at myself for my excess caution and my drag racing style
then again....
just as I am asking that car driver to respect me
it is vital for me to respect him by not giving him the finger
it is vital to respect myself for trying to respect the dangers that surround me
it is vital not to become a statistic

must mellow
must let it out in a different way....
cabin fever?
road rage?
years of baggage?

yes, D: All of the Above
but I am working on..... most definitely working on it

this post took longer to type than it took to live through.....

tough day?
not sure why I was feeling so much tension all day
especially after such a great weekend.... such a weekend that involved so much activity

weekend gone
new week begins
rinse and repeat....
rinse and repeat
repeat again if you do so desire
those of us with no hair..... we can save on the shampoo and conditioner and spend our money elsewhere

another weekend behind me
another work week has begun
another tic of the clock somehow adds up to be another seven days on the calendar

last weekend was very similar to the weekends past...

worked late on friday night bringing me home just as the boys were winding up their baths
which allowed me to aid in getting the dressed and into bed
only after the requisite..... no splashing in the tub.... I said.... no splashing in the tub
Grant with his kisses, his waves goodbye, and his new found love for foot steps
walking just weeks past one
Dean with his need to be coerced into going to bed, he can be such a riddle, always wanting to be solved.... never wanting to be simple...
in Dean's mind... everything is up for negotiation

Dean was read a few books then tried to weasel his way back downstairs....

"read me another story"
I just read you "another story"
"read me just one last story"
the last story was your one last story
as it was one more story than we agreed
I would read you
"I am scared of the dark"
no you are not scared of the dark... back to bed Dean
"I need to go to the bathroom"
okay.... go to the bathroom.... then back to bed
"I want to come downstairs with you"
back to bed Dean

this process can continue until everyone involved is entirely exhausted

actually... this process occurs nearly every night until both sides are entirely exhausted
it is exhausting
not complaining.... just describing

once both boys were down and asleep there was time for a glass or two of red wine
okay, maybe three glasses of red wine or just two really big ones
red wine aids in losing the day and losening up all the anxiety which is life

red wine..... good in the evening.... bad the next morning
always trying to find that perfect balance
almost always going a little too far and falling over the edge

saturday morning usually comes with a blink of an eye
head to the pillow then time to get up
as if someone has changed the clock
then sometimes that blink of an eye is cut in half by some mid night trauma... a wet bed, a bad dream, or something randomly insignificant as needing a particular toy

unsure if that blink was cut short...

either way after a short night's sleep it is morning and time to be dad again
lisa is up and about motoring around with Dean and Grant as I try to steal that last second of shut eye
lisa is a machine.... some sort of high powered machine.... high powered super efficient machine
with a gentle nudge lisa gets me out of bed so she can go to yoga
with lisa off to yoga it is my duty to walk the dogs and entertain the boys
easy enough
breakfast bars all around then out the door
well, easy enough... out the door after everyone gets suited up for a wet winter morning
snow suits all around!
grant is so stuffed in all of his gear he can not walk or crawl

with the boys dressed and the dogs leashed we drive down to Pierce Mill in a hope to cut through the Melvin Hazen for some sledding at Klingle Mansion....


mother nature has been kind and cruel all in the same motion
she can give and she can take away
that snow that covered the earth just days ago has now been taken away by some pleasant sunshine
well, other than a few random patches of snow in the open areas there was still good coverage in the woods
so with Grant in the backpack and Dean on the sled I went up and down the trails of the Melvin Hazen
the hill at Klingle Mansion was also patchy and not worth sledding

so back into the woods where the dogs ran free
up and down the hill
in and out of the near freezing water
after the trails I took Grant out of the backpack and put him in the sled with his brother
then towed them both in circles as I ran as fast as I could on what snow remained at Pierce Mill
loaded the Element then zipped across town for the changing of the guard
Lisa walked out with yoga mat in hand, we exchanged a few words and exchanged the keys
my turn for yoga... lisa's turn to entertain the boys.... my turn for some yoga

back to the house to the age old riddle, "what do we do now?"
saturday afternoon was a mess
toys were thrown everywhere
dean was feeling less than productive
stuck in a funk
not wanting to do anything
not wanting to play productively
not wanting to go to the zoo
ask him what he wanted to do....
and his three year old response was nothing shy of adolescent..."I don't want to do anything"
then.... anything you suggest gets a no
dean do you want to go to the zoo?
dean do you want to walk up to the park?
"dean do you want to go for a hike in the woods with the dogs?
dean do you want to....

finally lisa was able to coerce him into riding his bike while she pushed grant in the stroller

I tried to take a nap, but had no luck
foolishly lied down during a window of opportunity, but Dean had all sorts of questions
which required my attention but did not require any real answers
window of opportunity closed

no time and no ambition for a bike ride
guess I will make myself useful and tidy up after hurricane dean
for some strange reason I concentrate on grouping toys...
army men with army men... legos with legos... lincoln logs with lincoln logs
baby toys over here
balls in this basket
costumes, masks, helmets, and hats in this boxy container
a few broken toys into the trash
only a few... I hate to throw anything away

that night lisa and I had the pleasure of a double date
off to Glover Park to get a tour or Rob and Vida's hip house before we walk over to Wisconsin Ave. for a little Indian food
it was good to get together with good friends
perhaps a last viewing before this boy friend and girl friend become husband and wife
the people with kids just don't get together with the non-parent people frequently enough
two very different tribes whose lives are dictated by nothing else.... bedtime and waking time

good to get out of the house
good to get to eat with someone who is not throwing their food or issuing some sort of demand
we had to wait an hour and six minutes to get our table, even with our reservation!
no worries... we had good company, a bottle of wine, and a competitive session of backgammon
to me it was no different if we sat there in the waiting area by the bar or at our dining table
sure it did seem a tad long as many multi-cultural families walked straight in without a word
guess not having an member of our party from India may have caused some discrimination
if only Rob had his sitar with him!
where is that sitar when you need it?

the food was excellent and so was the company!

we were all home and in bed before midnight
yes... no... maybe so?

but it is vital to go to bed at a reasonable time
there is no rationalizing with young children that you need a few more minutes of sleep
children wake and are revved and ready to go

that morning Dean's best buddy Elijah crime came over
Elijah and Dean are not seeing enough of each other lately... renovations on their house have Elijah's family sleeping across town
there was plenty of catching up to do with these boys
mischief to be had
trouble to cause
as they played pirate ninja turtle I built a fire in the chimeria and entertained Grant
lisa walked the dogs
once the fire was a blaze with clippings from the christmas tree that I have held onto for just such a purpose it was time for hot dogs
Elijah and Dean helped grilling the dogs over the hot coals
then ate hot dogs, grapes, baked beans, and apple juice
kids love apple juice!

after hours of healthy play in the back yard I thought it was enough outside and time for some inside activity
once inside playing for a while with Hot Wheels cars and various track set ups I figured enough playing for a while
time to slow things down a bit
with the boys crying out for Power Rangers I offered some Bugs Bunny
rather than using the 34 inch wide screen I pulled out the 6 inch portable DVD player
they got in close and shared a bean bag
there were pillows everywhere
and not an inch between the boys
by the end of the second little cartoon feature Elijah was asleep and Dean' breathing pattern was calm and sleep-like although his eyes were still open and awake
they watched a number of short cartoons.... all Warner Brother's Classic.... none of them Bugs Bunny, although all of that same genera..... maybe a few more cartoons than they needed.... but they each had had a full morning and it was good to let things slow down for a bit
good for them
good for me

then once Elijah left we were not sure how to use the rest of the afternoon
until Dean reminded me that I had promised to take him out in the bicycle trailer
kill two birds with one stone!
I get to ride!
I get to give Dean what he wants!
Lisa gets to chill while Dean is out and Grant is napping!
all parties are satisfied

how often does that happen?

I hitched the Burley Trailer to the back of my Cyclocross bike and then suited Dean up for the two wheeled adventure..... well,... four wheeled; two on the bike and two on the trailer

just as I had expected in less than 10 minutes Dean was out.... flopped over like a rag doll
something about riding in the trailer knocks him out every time

I peddled forward and further planning about an hour and a half on the bike
25-30 minutes later I hear Dean talking to me
not sure if the sound icy ground woke him or if he had just needed to recharge his batteries
Dean made observations and comments as we rolled down the unpaved section of the Capitol Crescent Trail
with the wind in my ears and my focus ahead I was not sure what he was saying
I listened for complaints and requests while asking if he was good from time to time
once on the paved section it was all..... "excuse me," "on your left," "heads up..... on your left"
as I meandered at a healthy pace through all the weekend traffic
lots of strollers parked in the middle of the trail
I try to exhibit trail etiquette
now if only they could exhibit common sense

I listened to Dean's observations and checked that he was okay as we moved down the path at a healthy pace
miles adding up quickly behind us
it was a good pace... a pace not too much slower than if I were moving without a trailer in tow

it was cold
not fridgid
but it was cold
maybe brisk would describe it best
Dean was a good sport
as we passed Fletchers he let me know that he wanted to go home
I told him we were on our way, but there was still a little further
then in an effort to distract him I stopped the bike for 20 seconds to give him a juice boxes then slammed out the final miles
there were a few more "I want to go home" but never a whine, never a complaint, never a tear.... just a statement of fact
that is not to say he does not whine or complain... he is a child of three and a half
whinnying and complaining are part of their nature

finally we rolled into the alley behind the house
with the trailer stopped Dean then let me know that he had to go to the bathroom
I opened the trailer, removed his helmet, unclipped his belts, and watched him tear down the stairs of the deck into the kitchen and up the stairs to the bathroom
dropping gloves, hat, and jacket as he moved up to the second floor to relieve himself

once downstairs I could see that his chin was a tad discolored from the cold
blue not red
but he was fine
nothing that a little snuggling with mom could not help
momma lisa offered hot chocolate
dean asked for fresh meatballs instead
I got the hot chocolate as mommy made it anyway
lucky me... replace the calories I just burned!

I asked if he had fun...
to that Dean replied.... " I want to go in the trailer again..... when it gets warm"

the evening went its usual course of trying to feed, entertain, clean up, and put to bed the two boys....

parenthood is a strange vocation of servitude...
hard to explain to those who are not attracted to it....
hard to explain to those who have never had an opportunity to experience it....
but it is magical!
not sure if it is hypnosis
I am sure that it is magical
moments that add up to a lifetime

crazy to think that these kids who I love so much are both going to be giving me the finger as they take the keys to my car when they are sixteen!
Crash Video

One of the City Bikes Mountain Bike Team members, Eric Welp, sent me this link to a CRASH VIDEO.....

it is intense....
puts a little perspective on things
it does not take much more than being on the edge to go over the edge

here is the video
here is a play by play


secret weapon
my life contains several secret weapons
in an effort to be a faster cyclist most people would train
me... it is all about chasing my two sons and sometimes they chase me

saturday morning while lisa was at yoga I walked the dogs
well, I walked the dogs and I hike with the dogs
with Grant in a backpack and Dean in a sled we went down to Pierce Mill then over towards Klingle Mansion
upon arrival to Pierce Mill we were saddened to see that most of the snow was gone....
Dean was persistent so we pulled the sled.... portaging over the snowless sections
once in the tree canopy of the woods there was plenty of snow on the trails to pull Dean behind me
he was loving every minute of it, digging each obstacle that we cleared, each rock or root he bounced off of, and laughing hysterically each time he was tossed from the sled into the snow
once at Klingle Mansion we were saddened to see that the hill had just a few patches of snow remaining
yet.... Dean was inspired to run on the grassy sections, he told me that the sun made it beautiful
he is correct
the sun did make it beautiful
since there are Park Service offices within Klingle Mansion I felt that it best that I move back into the woods with the leashless dogs
back to hauling Dean and carrying Grant.... there was an occassional slip but I never fell
Dean on the other hand... he fell a few more times out of the sled than he cared to enjoy
his hands were cold and he had had enough.... it was time to for me to head to pick up lisa so I could go to yoga anyway
once out of the woods and back into the playing field at Pierce Mill I pulled both Grant and Dean in the sled
many times they got to slide down a small embankment, Grant grinning widely the first two times
finding it to be fun but old hat for all the times that followed
then into the car
once at the car I loaded up the boys and the dogs and tried to politely exit a parking lot filled with roadies getting ready for a group ride
a wide range or riders filled the small parking lot
most over dressed
many with bikes far beyond their needs

I can hear lisa is out of the tub with the boys
time for me to aid in the bedtime routine

yes.... it is early
we can try
grand weekend thus far...
still not over yet.

here it is Sunday afternoon
Dean is sharing his bean bag chair with his buddy Elijah
they are spent
now they are kicking it watching some classic Bugs Bunny style cartoons on the portable DVD player
not sure of the sense in having them watch a 6 inch screen when there is a wide screen tv in the same room
somehow it just made sense to me
there was no arguement from either boys...

ut oh!
Elijah's mom just came over
time to log off and take Dean for a winter ride in the Burley Trailer
more updates to the weekend's event later


should I ride or should I nap?

the bags under my eyes say nap.......

either way....
I am not going to waste my time BLOGGING
Punk in early to mid 80's
at least a basic introduction to my limited suburban perspective

having an older sister who listened to cool music gave me an advantage
what she listened to... I got to listen to as well
even if we did grow up in different houses
my sister was cutting edge in a wacky sort of way
punk rock was still young and had yet to be marketed
sure Malcom McClarren had his "Cash for Chaos"
but for the most part punk was still hanging in the shadows
not even fringe yet
the malls had not yet started to sell the punk image

somehow my sister had her hands on the pulse of what was happening in music
in the underground
local and across the pond
there was no internet
there was no "alternative music" or at least the term had yet to be coined
the concept of "indy rock" and the "independent label" were still just ideas
that had yet blossom
there was no BORDERS BOOKS with a helpful clerk to direct you to the BEAT
READER SECTION or the whatever else would educate someone how to be a non

records were bought three for ten dollars at Kemp Mill or at Second Story
don't expect them to have whay you are looking for
unless you chance on finding it at Choice Cuts in Bethesda or rush out to
Rockville for the museum of what would later be known as Alternative Rock at
Yesterday and Today
there was definitely no Amazon.com and even SMASH RECORDS did not exist yet
and when SMASH first opened it opened as Spotlight Records in Bethesda and
them eventunally moved to Georgetown, but originally on the other side of
the street from where it exists today

thrift stores were the place for each and every kids effort to create a
fashion that was both individualistic and punk
Value Village was an adventure
it would be humorous who you would see shopping for a golf jacket or some
wing tips
there was both the 14th Street and teh Rhode Island Avenue locations
my sister attended a conservative all girl's school in Georgetown....
a demi jacket still spelled REBEL!
add her combat boots, multi-colored socks, and assorted pins of her favorite
bands were enough to make her stand out... enough for her to make a
statement... enough for her to piss off the nuns!*
(*this is of course an over simplification of my sister's rebellion, her
individuality and her efforts to rebel came more from within, while her
efforts on the outside, as slight as they are.... were in that world of the
early 80's in a private school were enough to get the effect from authority
that she was seeking while the core of her rebellion was about independence)

for those who wanted more.... perhaps shoes that actually fit, a special
style that was cutting edge, an outlandish hair dye color that was not
available a People's Drug Store, or something that was seen on a record
cover or a music magazine...... these people had to go the extra mile and
get their hands on catalog and order things from across the pond;
England.... fill out some forms... figure out the conversion and get a money
order in POUNDS!

Doc Martin boots were from England.... not Nordstroms.

There were a few processes. There was a friend headed to Europe with their
family (which oddly happened for me as I piggy backed an order with
childhood friend Eamon while the Mercurio family was taking a trip to
London. Jenny made the offer at no charge.) Then there was the catalog...
that magical catalog that showed any and all different types of Doc
Martins.... boots with various numbers of eyelets and creepers with any
number of lepard or zebra print. That was not always as easy. Somehow it
seemed that something always got lost in the translation from American to
English. Wrong sizes.. Wrong colors.... someone got some shoes.... and
someone didn't.

okay.... there was and still is Commander Salamander
google it yourself

as for bars....
there were very few bars...
if there were't punk bars there were bars that had PUNK NIGHT
even back alley was just one night a week

there was Whisper and Charmichael's
and believe it or not there was a bar called Posers..... and people went
I only went there on dollar beer nights......

Punk Dialogue: Three primary words; sell out, poser, and anarchy

it is late
no time for these meaningless rants

rather than a DRAFT I will just PUBLISH AND POST



Laird Knight
Mountain Bike Hall of Fame Inductee
Founder of Granny Gear Productions/Creator of the 24 Hour Relay Race format

I once met a main who had filmed a documentary on one of the Granny Gear 24 Hour events that Laird hosted in Snowshoe West Virginia. It was clear that the topic of this documentary made this film maker's blood boil... rather than saying anything negative or having to tell me the tale of what went wrong this man said one thing.....

"Laird has an ego that could be seen from a helicopter a mile high in the sky."

I have no doubt that this dramatic imagry has its metaphorical truth. Having met Laird I find that he is a very charismatic and personalble individual with a passion for his work and a passion for the sport of mountainbiking. BUT... there are aspects of his ego that are so grand that they may be a tad self destructive. Perhaps a word from one of my high school English classes would aid to explain Laird a little more clearly.

here is a definition from Britannica.com

Pronunciation: 'hyĆ¼-br&s
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek hybris
: exaggerated pride or self-confidence

not what I was looking for.... lets try Dictionary.com
()Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance:
neither definition went into the detail that this great level of pride or arrogance leads to the individual's downfall
Perhaps I will have to reread Homer's ODDESSY to deliver a more clear definition

In additon to Laird's contribution to the sport of mountain biking, Laird is most certainly to be respected for his faithfulness to the state of West Virginia. For whatever reason Laird is determined to continue hosting a 24 Hour Race in the state of West Virginia.

In an email between former East Coaster, present day Colorado Local, Rocco there was some back and forth about the new 24 Hour race venue of Big Bear Lake in West Virginia.
In short....
Rocco is calling for mud....
with the confidence of prediction sand in the desert and snow in the artic Rocco has called for mud at Big Bear Lake the weekend of the 24 hour race.... he claims it is a wet muddy state

not mud....
there is no way that Laird can sell us on a new location where we have to carry our bikes rather than riding them
no one is that arrogant
no one is that obnoxious
no one is that self destructive

no one will ever race at his races again if he does this to us again

several years ago after racing the 24 Hours of Snowshoe in knee deep mud I swore I would not race there again....
then the next year I held to my promise.... the course was fast and dry
I felt like I had missed something that I loved
I felt like I had backed down from something that I am not afraid of
so like the fool I am.... I raced Snowshoe again last year
sure enough.....
the course was wet, there was as much walking as there was riding
it was racing
but I am not quite sure if it qualifies as mountainbike racing
lucky for me I did not have much training under my belt, but had been walking my dogs
so I was well prepared
during one of my late night laps I again swore that I would not race at SNOWSHOE AGAIN!

to my pleasure before the weekend was over Laird announced that he would be moving to a new location which was not to be announced at that point.
then the announcement earlier this year, Big Bear Lake in Bruceton Mills would host the next Granny Gear 24 Hour race hosted in West Virginia
am I fool to think that this course will be any different?
am I just happy that the drive to the race location will not be as long?

I feel like I am taking back a girlfriend who won't stop cheating on me
sorry Laird... the sex is not that good.... it is just a little too muddy

Laird will walk away a hero if it is fast and dry....
if this course is muddy I think I will have to ask for my money back

here is a RACE REPORT from former City Bikes Team Captain and one of my Snowshoe Team mates from last year's race, Brian Kemler
Still wondering what sort of response I will get from the folks at NORBA
perhaps I should say....
Still waiting for a response from the folks at NORBA

Earlier this week I sent a few emails out...

One email was sent to a variety of people on the board of NORBA; National Off-Road Bicycle Association, while another email was sent to a number of race promoters who are throwing the AMBC NORBA sanctioned series that determines the NORBA Mid Atlantic Champion. Both set of emails were centered around having a Clydesdale Class in NORBA mountainbike events. To those that do not know... the Clydesdale Class is a class of mountainbikers each weighing over a minimum of 200 pounds, as far as I know the class is not gender specific, but in my limited racing experience I have yet to encounter a female Clydesdale at the starting line.

The AMBC Mid Atlantic Series promoters were kind enough to get back to me quite quickly.
Not only did they get back to me with a rapid response, but they gave me the answer that I was looking for.... they will be having a Clydesdale Class in their series! While the folks at NORBA are all giving it a tad more time... either they are dwelling on the idea or they just hit the DELETE key (DELETE is a response that my emails are not entirely unfamiliar with) There was one response from one of the NORBA representatives, it was a short and pleasant response that voiced support and a future vote in my favor at any future meetings. It was cool to get an email from this individual as well as getting backing on this issue. But... this was just an individual's response/opinion and not the NORBA boards reaction/decision.

we will wait and see

one thing for sure....
we need to have the Clydesdales show their support by getting out to race at this AMBC race series!
Mark Your Calendars!
the camera is often less than kind to me....
but in my mind I am beautiful

after all.....
people say my sons look just like me
there is no debating that these are two beautiful boys!
here are a few shots off the digital camera
thought my posts have been way too text rich lately
need to break things up with more information and more images
here you go

daddy reading to dean

grant being grant
Ticket and Tow
if that does not change behavior
scan their records and issue the Death Penalty

today I did the cross town drive to drop Dean off at Daycare
lisa had the pleasure of taking Roscoe and Brutus into the woods which is currently a winter wonderland
while I ventured the city streets of Washington DC where I had to wrestle the anarchy which is a SNOW DAY
easy enough..... finish feeding the boys.... get Dean dressed... leave Grant in his PJs.... load up the Element... clear snow of car as engine warms up.... and go!

not so easy....

there are a few barriers slowing the flow of traffic
the primary "butt plug" causing traffic delays are the cars left parked over night and not moved for Rush Hour in the morning
it would be a harsh education for the owner of this car to wake and find their car gone
well, they are ready for that education as common courtesy is not inspiring them to move their cars

sadly there is an economic component
the law is not administered judiciously
in so many cases the law is imposed on various groups more so than others....
in the case of tickets and towing....
the more affluent neighborhoods are more likely to be ticket and/or towed than in the less affluent neighborhood
the Rush Hour streets near Dupont are flushed clean each morning, by the owners of the cars and by the DOT work force
but not in Columbia Heights or Shaw
as there are too many cars sitting in the lots at Traffic Adjucication as it is
they can not take any more cars in that will not be picked up
so they tow the cars of those who they know can afford the fines
rather than risking picking up another car that will never be retrieved

okay.... this is unfounded theory on my part
in my limited experience
in my limited scope this is what appears to be happening

I know some of this is true
I do not know if the economic discrimiation against the middle and upper class is actually policy
just something in my head
as Ezra will tell you the inner workings of my head are a dangerous place...

the other barriers?
people are idiots and assholes (sorry, more cussing on my BLOG, my bad.... but they are)
there are people who are doing drop off and pick up all along these city streets causing temporary blockage
death penalty?
I would settle for public shaming or maybe caneing...

either way I survived
had a few close calls doing that cross town drive
it seems that stopping at stop signs throws driver's off
nearly got rear ended a few times

managed to keep my speed bellow 40mph, rarely over 35mph

I did almost cause a little backlog at the red light at 14th and Columbia Road in Columbia Heights
when I saw Soledad's high school age son Jose..... I could not help but shout hey
he did not see me....
so I played the hurt lover and accused him of being too cool with his friends to say hey
he claimed he had not seen me
just when he thought he was safe and had escaped me.....
I got out of my car and started a snowball fight....
neither of us connected with the target
but the energy of the moment was there.....
public shaming or caneing for my behavior?
nope.... I was back in my car and rolling just as the light turned green....
even "juked" the car in the center lane at pole position to pass one of those wrongfully parked cars

time to suit up and head to work
The Short Bus...
(no offense Rocco)

it seems that those that drive the short bus now rode the short bus as children


last night I went through a number of great blogs that i must link to......
great tangents....

need to make mention of how there is a movement to some people to close their blogs while others move to expand their blogs

it is an interesting thing what a concious decision this whole BLOG thing can become
tonight was a mixture of events....

tried to rush home to free up soledad and watch the kids before lisa got home
lisa beat me home, guess the weather did not effect her drive as much as we all feared
perhaps the weather slowed me down on my short pedal up the slushy and slick streets of DC

with fresh snow on the ground and the dogs needing to be walked I asked Dean if he wanted to go sledding
99.9% of the time Dean would want to do certain things
there are things that he loves
there are things that he looks forward to
there are things that he really really enjoys
Dean enjoys everything
as much as Dean loves roller coasters (at least the ones he is tall enough to ride)
Dean loves sledding
Dean loves sledding so much that his favorite hooded sweatshirt says SNOW DAY on it

Dean responded with excitement.... YES!.. then started to scamper around to get ready
actually, I was shocked he was not in his snow suit before I walked in the door
we each suited up
at three and a half he is pretty good at getting dressed
at three and a half he is not very good at staying focused
after the usual hoops the dogs were on leash, we had Petzel headlamps on our heads, snow protection head to tow and we were out the door
we crossed the very busy street in front of our house and stepped into my sanctuary, Rock Creek Park
the snow was more shallow from morning foot steps so the trail was not hard to follow to foot path
Dean hung on tight as he sat in his sled and we moved down the trail
in an almost hurmous fashion Dean ran over my hels as the sled picked up speed faster than I could walk
most certainly he wiped out on a few curves laughing all the way, face full of snow smile glsitening
when we got to the preferred sledding hill across the street there were some teen age girls on the trail
Dean and I did not want to cramp their style
but we needed to share the hill
they were more than willling to share the experience
one of the girls lives up the block and we are familiar with each other
they made no mention of the headlamps
the girls walked up the sledding path while Dean and I walked along side the sledding path

in a very teen age girl way these girls were dressed more for fashion than function
they were soaking wet without a piece of winter clothes within a mile of them
no hats
no gloves
no gortex
they were wet and it was dark
drentched head to tow they headed in leaving one of their sleds behind

we had the hill to our selves
like the freak I am I tossed as much snow from the sidelines onto the trail
trying to make the path faster and perhaps give it a little more cushion

dean and I unlike the girls treked up the side of the sledding path rather than right down the middle
is it because I am a guy
is it because I am me
after a few trips down the hill
including one ride down the hill where Dean insisted I ride in the front and him in the back
he had fun
eventually Dean realized that it did make more sense for him to be in the front

after a number or rides down the hill I decided to mix it up and pulled Dean through the woods up and down some small little rolling hills
all the while I was cautious that he did not slip down the off camber sections
that all the times we went over a fallen tree or an anti-erosion barrier that was created by me
that he would clear it or if he were to fall it would not be too bad
sure he fell
but it was part of the fun
we had a blast
the dogs had a blast
snowing all the while
the snow disoriented Dean
he got all disoriented but eventually grasped where we were
after a downhill over several water bars that I built I debated with some other methods to repair these trails
Dean laughed as we flew off each ledge while I clintched my teeth
there had never been a complaint of being too cold
there was mention of some snow in his pants, but not a complaint
in my effort to educate Dean about clapping his hands to keep his hands from getting wet from melting snow I think I may have given mixed emotions
trying to be serious, Dean thought I was being stern, perhaps I was, but it seemed like he could do to learn that he needs to keep the snow from clinging to his cloth mittens
there were no pee breaks
there was no crying or whinning
there was no incident with my dogs chasing a homeless man or a apartment poodle
it was a good experience
it was all good
then it got even better
we got home to a little PHO
lisa and grant went out to Nam Viet to grab some vietamese soup
oh man....
what could warm us better from the inside
we all love it
the whole family eating PHO is an experience
Dean wanting dipping sauce
Dean wanting to know what sauce is spicy, what is tangy, what sauce he might like...
not sure if people get what this little three and a half year old is doing
well.... let me tell you... Dean is talking just like you and me.... it is like a little adult alien dropped on our planet learning about things for the first time.... it is magical.. and not just through his parent's eyes

dinner went its usual course with the dogs getting the lion's share
what they snatch and what grant gives them adds up to be a feast
it was a great bonding session for grant and myself
he crawled up from the floor into my lap to eat what I was eating
Dean is right... grant is a little noodle monster
and ya know ahte. he is a little broth monster too

after that we kicked it in the living room
the snow coming down only visible under the street light
boys going to bed late after finally dressing them for sleep and reading them some books
the boys always go to bed late
we script our own misery
now me going to bed late
we script our own misery

Pre and Post race shoes and boots....
something that would be excellent for those rainy multi lap races
like Lodi Farms or Snowshoe (this year's Big Bear)

okay.... shamefully the Cyclocross season came and left without me approaching the starting line once....
well, as the snow falls on the warm wet earth I am thinking about cross....

I was thinking of some shoes that would be great for standing on the sidelines watching the fast guys as I let my heart rate drop to a normal healthy level

this is what I came up with..... MUCK BOOTS.... here is what Elaine from J. Peterman had to say about the Muck Product

a HOT TIP for the Winter Commuter in Wet Weather

a few years ago I saw a crazy cycling commuter at the local health food store in Boise Idaho
as I scoped out his very custom rig we had a pleasant exchange
I noticed he had clipless pedals.... then I saw that his shoes were covered with an inexpensive version of a rubber slip over shoe cover (totes or something from a surplus store)
when I questioned whether or not he was using the cleats and shoes with the pedals on his bike
he showed me that he had cut a square out of the sole of the rubber boot cover
I examined things more closely... these boot covers were more solid than they appeared
almost a hard sole
he said that the water may splash up from a puddle

for the most part they were a good inexpensive way of keeping the feet dry
definitely a custom set up that I had considered before the purchase of the LAKE winter shoes

I hope that this post finds someone looking for an inexpensive option
too many commuters and couriers still putting their feet into plastic bags before they step into their shoes
a good short term fix

this rubber boot cover seems like a much more warm and toasty option!
and not that expensive!

Clydesdale Class added at the Norba race at Liberty in PA
UPDATED: the word on the street is that a CLYDESDALE CLASS has been added to the series.... so.... BIG BOYS.... get out and race.... bring respect to all the Fred Flintstones out there!

had a friendly little email exchange with the folks at highspeedcycling
they are in fact having a CLYDESDALE CLASS!
if the series has a CLYDESDALE CLASS is not yet clear to me

will keep you posted
also sent an email to some folks at NORBA asking about NORBA's adding a Clydesdale to all of their Mountain Bike Races

the friendly exchange paid off.....


there was not always the internet
before the internet there were books....
but most people fell back upon word of mouth
me.... sometimes I just talked without knowing anything

when I was young and punk there was this big hang up about "selling out"

so without knowing anything about gary fisher or even fisher bikes
when TREK bought fisher I just without any knowledge figured that this cat was "selling out"
ya know what..... I don't know shit!
did not know shit then
don't know shit now

only then I was a little more opinionated..... yes.... more opinionated
just as most people are when they are young... I was an exhaggeration of myself

I was wrong

gary is cool
gary is punk

I still don't know shit
again... I could be wrong
I changed my opinion years ago
it is unlikely I will change my opinion again
there are just too many facts out there confirming it..... gary is cool

here are some links
Fisher 101 teaches about 29 inch wheel technology
History according to Fisher
History according to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
okay... that was the History of Mountainbiking according to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
here is Hall of Fame Inductee; Gary Fisher
(the history is worth looking into... hope your afternoon is free.... you may find it interesting)

also cool
and get your Punk GED here

a must see animation piece from Elizabeth Furnace
the endless loop has its value and purpose
I think I need to learn to read faster as I kept reading the the tale from the trail the animation started to make my head spin after a bit

ladies and gentlemen.... the original joep


today after work I ran a quick errand
actually left a few minutes early as I had to get there before it closed at 5PM, just made it!... after the time it took to change, swing by the bank, get to the location, lock the bike, and find the right room it was just minutes before 5PM
most certainly that door behind me closes and locks by 5PM if not by 4:59!
I was IN! I was IN LINE! all before the doors closed and locked no matter what time they closed
the cross town pedal was under double rush mode
so rushed that there was no more time then a quick game of chicken as a childish hello to friend and rival kevin dillard.... okay arch enemy
so perhaps the game of chicken was not so childish.... okay... it was
then once the errand was done I was in the thick of it downtown on the bike
not wanting to take the most direct room home as it was still early
not at work
not working late
lisa getting home from work and picking up Dean from Rosemount were on my timing for schedule and return time
I pointed away from home not sure of the best path to take

as I pedaled towards home I got distracted
somehow I thought I would be more comfortable at speed on the cross bike with its skinny little tires and well worn brake pads, which even at their best they do not meet the braking power of V-brakes then of course the USCF forbidden disc brakes
man... I want disc brakes on a cross bike... hold on getting distracted
braking in traffic is a style I like very much
the track bike never spoke to me in the urban setting
so on a geared cross bike I hammered through traffic fighting a little rub from a rear wheel that is asking to be retired
so I went down past the Smithsonian on The Mall towards the Washington Monument, then the Jefferson Memorial, and across the 14th street bridge towards the Mt. Vernon trail
this is a well trafficed bike path
with impressive numbers for daily users
respect to those that founded this project
respect to those that keep this thing going....
if only there were more trails
but for that to happen we need more people that understand the value of the trail
does not look like the majority of America "gets it"
after all... this is a country that considers obesity to be an epidemic
okay.... off the topic again
humorously enough all this tangent stuff is me trying to edit

so almost without notice I pedal towards and then under the Memorial Bridge as the marble monuments on the other side of the river take a glorious pinkish orange glow... subtle yet beautiful
then after memorial comes the Key Bridge after a little island which has some urban outdoor culture... Roosevelt Island

before I knew it I was spinning fast and hard on the towpath between the C&O Canal and the Potomac
the hard packed orange gravel earth mixture of the tow path was pretty dry for the most part
with one side of the path, the side closest to the water of the canal was the fast line
I stayed within the fast line as much as possible
but things were solid and dry enough to get a tad sloppy
not intentionally sloppy, but sloppy as I was distracted by the view through the leafless trees of the Potomac
the canal at this point is without water and is really not much of a site
well, yes, a site... as in an eyesore

the sun had already set
but there was still plenty of light and some magical coloring over the Potomac as I headed northwest further and further from home
now do not let me give you the wrong impression.... I was not headed to Cumberland
I was not even going as far as Great Falls
all I was trying to do was get a little more than the usual post work ride in as I feared that the next few days will be too wet and too cold with rain and snow for anything more than a mad dash from home to work then work to home
with a glance at my watch I made a turn around at an arbitrary point and headed back down the towpath towards Georgetown and then home
the path is a slight grade downhill which aided the momentum
while freeing me to spend more time gazing out over the Potomac
as the light grew more and more dim the objects on the water became nothing more than sillouettes
until it was not so dark that I needed a headlamp
but dark enough that I needed to focus on the trail ahead and did not have enough light to bother to look out over the water

at Fletcher's boathouse I rolled off the canal onto the Capital Crescent Trail where the wheels would feel less friction
once on the paved trail I focused on the bicyclists ahead as motivation to maintain pace
one by one I rolled past a variety of commuters
giving each individual a respectful "on your left"
pleased that I am not being passed...
being that hypocrite that is maybe going a little too fast on the trail
or is it the guy going past me that is the asshole going too fast
either way caution and respect are on my mind, so is a little risk for a little pleasure
with a glance at my watch to get an estimate of my duration I realized a few things
it was getting late and lisa would be expecting me
it is wednesday
yes, wednesday, not tuesday, president's day threw me off
lisa is at home with the kids.... there is the potential for an earlier pickup as it all is not dictated by what time she leaves work and the post work commute traffic that can be altered by accident or weather each day having or or the other.... lisa and I had planned for her to go to yoga wednesday night... tonight


the pleasure of a brisk winter ride vanished immediately
any notion of taking my ride any further into Rock Creek for some rolling hill climbs were dashed
there were no options but whatever would get me home most rapidly

sure enough
there was lisa
entertaining Dean and Grant
both boys fed and involved in one project or another
it was too late for yoga
lisa asked if I worked late
I hung my head and admitted that I had forgotten that it was wednesday, that president's day had thrown me off, and that I had the best intentions for her to go to yoga
best intentions suck!


it is wrong for me to take advantage of her like that
unintentional or not
it is wrong
I need to focus on her needs as well as my own
had it been her late for me to meet some people for a ride.... well I would have thrown a tantrum
sure I got some "negative energy"
but had this happened to me I would have acted like a 3 year old
believe me I know what a three year old acts like
(okay, Dean is an angel, but I have a history for throwing tantrums)
negative energy?
I deserved it

it was still a pretty good winter ride
just need to be more careful and not f_ck up so much

forgot to mention the moon
even before the city was in actual darkness the moon was our full and white
as I finished the last couple of hundred of yards on the Capitol Cresent Trail I gave the moon as much attention as I could afford
the rest of the ride home was too demanding to take in the stars
I do love the moon
if I were not such a lazy mothe....
sorry, I never cuss in my blog and could not contain myself
but I am a little too lazy to suit up some gear and get the dogs out into the woods
maybe we will be blessed with some snow....
then tomorrow night I will take the dogs out for a long one before I try the cross country skiis again


so I just emailed a bunch of folks at NORBA asking them, "when they are going to have a CLYDESDALE CLASS at their races?"

wonder what sort of response I will get....
baby names...
naming a child or even naming a dog should take a little thought
and maybe.... just maybe.... a little web searching

how important is a name?
does the name make the person or does the person make the name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."

--William Shakespeare From Romeo and Juliet
significant or insignificant?
how has your name effected the development of you and your "self?"

perhaps we should reference the Shel Silverstein song made famous by Johnny Cash; A Boy Named Sue
maybe we can just look back at our grade school years and reflect on how children responded to common names and how children responded to unusual names....
I do recall there was always a slight bond with any other child that I happened to meet that shared my name

in this day and age the naming has grown to be more and more obscure
or at least the common names have grown to be more and more obscure

everyone has a story or a reason why they have selected a certain name for their child
as for me.... well... I went through a list of names

go to the toddler park and scream out in a friendly parental way, "Madison" then wait... try "Zoe" then wait... then "Aiden" and then try "Jackson"
more than likely you will attract 95% of the kids in the park

check this list Babycenter.com's top 100 names for 2004
here is a short list from the Social Security offices

funny to see a name like Madison hit the top 100 list for girl's name...
What is the first recorded usage of Madison as a first name for a women on record?
Daryll Hannah's mermaid character in the movie SPLASH!
yes, a cute name... but a name that is turning out to be less than unusual
I anticpate my sons to be having crushes and dates with all sorts of Zoes, Madisons, McKenzies... when they get older

the whole naming issue can be funny...
a parent does their best to seek out a name that is unusual, strong, independent, and cool

for girls this can be difficult
as many women in different aspects of the "adult industry" have gone through a self re-naming process where they went through that same set of ideas for their new and improved name...
so when the mom's name their daughter Aspen, Jade, Ashley, or Jenna.... why don't their husbands speak up and tell them that the porn they just downloaded showed doing some Kama Sutra with the football team as she answered to that unusual, strong, independent, and cool name

boys are a little easier...
but I do find that there are some geeky couples giving their kids names that may be stronger than they can hold
not sure if my sons would want the pressure of living up to Laird, Zeus, or Thor
okay... I have not met any Zeus' out there
and Laird and Thor are fine names... but not if you are going to raise a skinny little book worm like yourself!

there can also be nicknames...
there can be pet names...
perhaps these will grow into the real name
as people intentionally have a "third/III" so that their child can be called Tre or Tripper (for triple_

when naming my two sons I went through this little process with my wife
we each had a list of favorites
we shared our lists
we canceled names off each others lists
then finally we came down to a few names.... and that is what we ended up with
names that we hope do not hit the top 100 for at least the next few years

for me I was concious of the names I gave to my two sons....
in the same what I was concious how I named my two dogs

people respond to the name
although it does not define them... it does label them
I wanted my children and my dogs to wear a label that they would enjoy
a label that would hopefully suit them

but in the same respect I did not give them a name that I thought would be fitting of a pro snowboarder or even a future cyclist....

to all who named their children names that were listed in my short list of names that have become of too common
my apologise
I know many wonderful little Jacksons and Zoes
Jackson was a name that we had considered

it boggles the mind how there could be these naming streams of conciousness
that girls could turn to women carrying a piece of paper in their perverbial pocket with that one perfect name that they had kept a secret
that name that they did not even share with their best friend as they knew that if their best friend were to have a child first they would steal that name

this rant has wandered and rambled enough
to give cyclists that one little cyclist tangent....
as if being Eddy Merckx's son is not enough pressure... but to name him Axle
last year at the Olympics he lived up to his name
did the name add additional pressure?
I think not.... the pressure was their at birth... before ink on the birth certificate was dry
there was pressure for him to reach for greatness on the bike
the name is just a name

so that is how I will close....

the name is just a name

with that said.... how can I change my name?



this blog on the topic of the FIXED GEAR OFF ROAD (www.63xc.com/) is more for my friend and electronic rival DT

currently DT and I are racing to see who can control the world faster through BLOGGING!
right now we are both tied for last!

afternoon snack for a Clydesdale

hunger and boredom frequently dance together
some times one confuses itself for the other

while exiting the neighboring offices I as usual opted for the stairs rather than the elevator
after all... life is cumulative... every little bit adds up
before I opened the doors to the stairs I slapped my chubby belly and pinched more than an inch
contemplate what it would take to shed that less than glorious spare tire

then moved slowly down the stairs letting gravity do the six flights of effort
upon exiting the building I turned right instead of left towards the main offices
at the corner I was greeted by JJ a local panhandler
honestly... I do not get much pleasure from our encounters
actually... I would prefer not to be bothered by him
the error was mine.... when he had his dog KING on the streets with him I could not resist to give him food for his dog, actual IAMS dog food... King rejected the food... King was accustom to the scraps of the scraps that JJ tossed his way

then this winter as I tried to do some spring cleaning I ended up with a garbage bag full of clothing
random stuff, cycling tights with tears on the seem, sweaters, sweatshirts, t-shirts that I never expect to wear, and a few jackets
clothing that I went ahead and shared with this same man, JJ, who is now without his dog
animal control took his dog, by now that dog has more than likely been put down, poor king... poor poor king... at least all dogs go to heaven

well... now as I walk down the block he feels compelled to approach and give me that urban hello... you know the wonder twins power thing... that thing where two people gently and cooly touch fists
normally I try not to do such things as it is not my style, but it is easier to meet him on his ground and then move away
he may think that he is helping whitey feel a little cooler.... a little more in touch with "the brotherman," but he is not... he is making me feel awkward

we say a few hellos
then I try to move away before he tries to hit me up for some change

after our encounter I moved towards Jack's carryout for a grilled cheese sandwich with lettuce tomato, and bacon.....YUMMY!
not sure why... but that is what the belly was calling for.... and I always listen to the belly

Jack's was closed! BUMMER!
so I fell back on Old Standby.... Mohammud's corner hot dog stand
standing in front of Jack's locked doors and dark interior left me victim to the scent of hot dogs standing in day old boiling water, topped with everything.... that is everything!; onions, hot peppers, cheese, mustard, ketchup, and chilli.... there may have been more than that
who knows what is on this dog... it all melds into one goopy mess of flavor

needless to say I ate and enjoyed two hot dogs, a bag of Sour Cream, and an icy cold can of Coca Cola
the food was not all the way down my throat and in my belly while the juices of various condiments were still on my hands and I felt immediate regret.... guilt
a sickening guilty feeling....
or maybe that was just indigestion