Rants on Cycling and on Life


it can take great patience to be a parent
your child will not always want to be a part of the activity that you plan
for example
last night at a wonderful Chinese New Year party, complete with a Lion Dragon Dance, we made more than tentative plans to join another couple and thier daughter Zoe for an afternoon of ice skating
Dean was in a mood
His mood put Lisa in a mood
and well, you can guess that these variables may have acted to put me in a mood as well
I lack certain patience with things
I hate crowds. It is not the crowd per se, but rather the idiocy that those within the crowd are guided by
the in efficiency of the mob
well, on a winter weekend afternoon you can imagine that Open Skate will be a madhouse
but if you want to skate you have little choice

ah, the BLOG interface on the Mac is hosted best by NETSCAPE
in IE there were certain lacking features; spell check, link, BOLD, and ITALIC


memories of nepal
several years ago, while lisa and I were just boyfriend and girlfriend, not the owners of two dogs, not the parents of a little boy named Dean; these were freer times as youth can often be. we were off in asia on a bit of a "walk about." we jumped from one country to the next like frogs leaping from lily pad to lily pad. in our haphazardly planned travels we found ourselves in Nepal for nearly a month. Just over three weeks of that time was spent trekking the Annapurna circuit. In the 18 days of trekking we were to covering all sorts of altitude, often encountering a different season and a different climate on each day. Along with the different climate came different environmental niches and often slightly different cultures. Some points of the trek offered little towns or villages, while other nights were spent in teahouse built to house the passing travelers, each house packed tightly in an agrarian world. There were long stretches of wide open mountains, always glaciers and hymalayan peaks surrounding us, and an occassional waterfall dropping into the icey cold blue glacial fed river in the gulley bellow. The wildlife was astounding, long tailed monkeys in a quasi-tropical area one day, then long haired yaks maneuvering the steep rocky mountain walls on the next. The route of the trek was not for the sole use of trekking, this was also the route of villagers heading to town to buy or sell vegtables, there were long trains of mules, donkeys, and massive SUV sized water buffalo. At times it was a tight path, I set a rule to myself, always be on the hillside of any passing animal train, To stand cliffside could send a person falling to a very painful death. (enough of the macabe) The trek was a joy. We were out in the world, much of the trip was more of a trekking experience than a Nepali experience, but I tried to get a taste of Nepal. In my own way I tried to politely encounter Nepali culture, in each of the various towns. if we arrived early enough I would stroll through the town and survey the area. Stand aside and take in the sights and sounds of the village, often chancing on a gathering of men or boys playing games. Whether it were game or sport after a short time I was invited into the action. In the backyard of a police station the standerbys got great pleasure as a young boy beat the tall bearded american in ping pong, or the older gentlemen drinking tea and playing Karem, which was often a more delicate situation. Karem was new to me, it was clear that I played more like a child than a man. It was fun to try and make combinations, and to evoke laughter, I cheered myself on in Nepali phrases that I now forget and congratulations my opponents on especially good shots with words I now can not remember. There were soccer games in one village and volleyball in the next, volleyball was a real treat, each of the stronger hitters slammed the ball as hard as they could alternating between Kumer and myself as we waited in the service recieve position, I was in the moment. There were no winners and there were no losers, no score was kept, just good play and good fun. The day of trekking and the hiking boots on my feet did not slow me down a bit. The trek was long and hard. I had carried my own pack and carried too much stuff. Many of the nights were spent playing chess with austrailians or drinking with the fins, sleep came, but was often short and cold. many mornings were early and many days were long. there was time to smell the roses and the yak, but there was some serious trekking to do. our pace and our timing were such that I had recommended that lisa's hire porter, Ravi (a story in itself), Ravi was the cook in a restaurant in a village that was our starting point, just miles from where the school bus had dropped us off. Ravi had never hiked the circuit was having a great time learning about the world from Kumer, a porter/guide for two british boys. Kumer told Ravi about the world and life, not that Ravi had not traveled, as a matter of fact he was in the routine of spending several months a year in india sewing clothes. Kumer was a Gurka, a village of Nepalis that have a long history of being mercenaries. Kumer had become my Nepali friend and my link to understanding a good deal of Nepali culture. We played cards once, we each held 7 cards, we were each playing a different game. I tried to explain my rules, he tried to explain his. I tried to play my game, he continued to play his. We exchanged stories about our lives and our homes. His english was not good, and my Nepali phrases were few. there were many points were were were not sure what the other was saying, this even came to simple things like direction or how far to hike. we could always tell when he was confused, his reply was always, "I think so, yes" Always with the same rhythm and pause just before the yes. This phrase to this day brings great joy to lisa and myself as it was so confusing for us. Because sometimes he meant it yes, other times he just did not know. Kumer and I had a friendly competitive relationship, he was very skilled at many things, great balance and dexterity, with strength I could not match. He carried a pack with a tumpline that I could barely carry across the room he carried all day. One day towards the end of this trekking circuit Kumer ran into an old friend. He let us walk ahead, the two me laughed, embraced, and caught up. On this day there was a long set of stairs, hard stone stairs, the longest set of stairs I had ever seen. the stairs winded and turned between a network of terraced fields with a sparse small structure from time to time. Long after Kumer was out of sight lisa and I heard some noise behind us, not quite a stampede, but fast footsteps rapidly approaching. We turned back to see Kumar and his old friend were running down this endless staircase, both carrying a load twice mine, in flip flops. it was quite a site. Both men were glowing with smiles and laughter, these men were having the time of their lives, what a moment. with a few more days and a few more different changes in seasons we were finally at the end. ravi had met kumer, hiked the annapurna circuit for his first time, got paid well, and got drunk for his first time on apple brandy in a small village that was famous for its apple orchards and their local alcohol. we were towards the end of the last day. the elevation had dropped significantly. rapid change in elevation gives me gas. dahl bat, the mainstay of our trekking lunches gave me gas. well, lots of things give me gas. we had finished the trek, there were may long days behind us and less than a mile or two to the bus station. we stopped to rest, as their was no rush to get to the station and spend our time there, when there was one last little tea stand to get a snack and take in the view. we gathered. and waited for a few lisa and the brits to catch up. kumer and ravi by my side and a nepali women with her small child and a women running the tea and snack stand, not really a tea house, but there were benches and some wonderful stone walls to lean upon, I rested my pack on the stone wall, lifting the weight off my back, and let my sweaty back breath, while resting my back without removing my pack I felt a gas pocket in my belly, it increase rapidly and was giving me a tad bit of discomfort. I thought that it would be slight and discrete if I used the wall to lift one of my butt cheeks and let this gas pass. I pivoted side to side, spread my cheeks, and let is sneak out. It snuck out alright, with a loud voicestruss rumble. The baby cried, the men and women laughed, and another laughing woman made a gesture with her fingers to the side of the head like horns and some words in Nepali. with her statement and gesture they all laughed harder. I turned to Kumer and asked, what did she say. Kumer said, "She thinks maybe that you are the Yeti." I laughed, we all laughed.

I tried to be an ambassador.
There had been no time for an "excuse me"...."pardon me" in english or Nepali. We were all too busy laughing.

hopefully they did not judge me and my gas as an american
but as a human
a human male or maybe the yeti with his mystical roar

Annapurna Circuit

Lonely Planet: Nepal


Dahl Bat Recipe


here is a lesson in introspection
the results of this quiz are interesting

take the test


check your results

they may or may not flatter
they may or may not be accurate

you may or may not like the results of this QUIZ

for me it was a stroll down memory lane
it reminded me of past relationships and past actions
I have grown
I have changed
my actions are more intentional
but I still express actions as described by my categorization

winter arrived yet again
then the snow came
another winter ill prepared

so with no research
no knowledge of the subject
just a quick pick off the sale rack at an online cross country ski specialist
(or so they call themselves)
more than anything there was a price point
this package met my price point

as I have no real previous experience with this sport I will know no difference

let me know

does this look like a good purchase?

XC Ski Package

my brother fears that my purchase may not meet my personal needs
my needs as a larger athlete
a 6'4", 240 pound orc of an athlete

then anna questioned if it was a good investment for the 3 times a year when there is enough snow in this town for such an activity

that is exactly why I bought them
for those 3 times a year

the package should arrive by wednesday of next week
the snow should be melted by monday

food coma.
not a pleasure, nothing pleasurable about this sensation, well I guess it would be okay if I could lie down and take a nap this would be a great. but I can not take a nap. i have to work. or at least i need to stay awake at work.

note to self-
do not go to Greek Deli for Meatloaf Thursday

what are the secret ingredients?

barbecue sauce?
onion soup mix?


quote of the day
the actual root of this quote is unknown to me
Frank Giles learned if from his father and passed it down to me

"it is tough to be consistent in life,
even an asshole tries to be nice sometimes"

this morning was a mixture of pain and pleasure

this morning was tough
dean was in a "mood"
he did not want to do anything
he did not want to eat
he did not want to sled
he did not want to play in the snow
he did not want to go to art class
he did not want to get dressed
well, getting him dressed is often as much fun as bathing a cat

there was plenty of time
and if he did not want to go sledding
that was more chill out time for me
so we put in the Disney film dinosaurs and hung out
he was mellow and pleasant

the dogs did not eat the cereal that dean had thrown onto the bench/chair so I cleaned it up
tossed the green apple that he specifically requested away
and ended up throwing away the fruit cup of mandarin oranges that he selected from the pantry

once dean was dressed
I got dressed
we headed out the door
crossed Park Road into Rock Creek Park
our house is in an excellent location, 20 yards from the woods
less than 2 miles from the White House
(get the Texan out before he brings down our property value)
loaded dean into the sled against his will
he enjoyed it as we meandered down the path towards "art class"
thought that he would want to sled, sort of get bitten by the bug
it seemed to have worked
he was grinning ear to ear
his smiles ended he wanted to go home
he tried to bail out
"man over board"
he did a high speed dismount
gloves were off
and his hands were cold
he definitely wanted to go home
brushed the snow off his 38 inch tall body
removed the snow from inside his gloves
and then got him on my shoulders and walked him to art class made the drop off leashed the dogs to the rail fence out front of Rosemount

after dean was dropped off
back to the woods with the dogs
got to drink my coffee
as I lack enough hands to juggle child/sled/dogs/and coffee
as I drank my coffee
Roscoe and Brutus took inspiration from the snow and leaped into a heated battle
it was like a chapter from a Jack London book
there was tugging and biting that would have surely sent any non dog person running
then, not sure what happened
the already heated battle got hotter
the tone of the growl went from play to actual fighting
I rushed the dogs and tried to break them free with verbal commands
seconds later I grabbed and pulled them apart
not knowing who was at fault or what had actually happened I kicked some snow in their faces and told them to mellow out
this sort of thing has happened before
my guess is that one of them got their lower jaw stuck under the other's collar
but who knows
they each walked behind me
keeping their distance from each other
I called each one to me independently
checked them over for injury
and gave them each a little love

in less than ten minutes they were back together
ah brothers
that wonderful relationship of brothers
first they ran off
soon enough they were back to that wrestle and chase game that they do
no grudges between this set of brothers

an interactive BUSH page
Hear your favorite set of lies (and there are plenty to choose from)
Dress him up in your favorite outfit!
Have him say something stupid!

BUSH Action Figure

there is more to it than just the loading page
get interactive on it
and keep the volume low if your boss is a Republican


this is clearly not the way that I want the world to view me or my country
it is bothersome that this person acts in any way to represent me or my country

I am not saying I am agreeing with the parallel
but I do think it is sameful that the stars and stripes are associated with Bush

BUSH/Hitler Posters

looks like it is in Germany

what a night. what a night. the moon is not particularly full nor is the moon particularly visible tonight. yet the white lit snow was bright enough to do some hiking in the woods "sans" torch. the dogs loved it, and I loved watching the dogs love it. they were all hyped up. their personal game creation of wrestle and chase was in rare form, the volume was set at eleven. when they ran off trail on the open snow there was a loud thick thud with each contact of each paw to the several inch deep snow with its think coat of near ice with its thin dusting of freshly fallen snow. I closed my eyes and listened to the rhythmless rhythm of nature. the hike was short, just a dash across the street into Rock Creek and then the loop (Mark and Karin's Loop) behind Dean's Art Class, Rosemount Center. The trail is moderately steep with its conveluted terrain, the trail mixes single track wtih some moderately wide double track with trees young and old shooting out of the earth on each side. not exactly the old open hill I grew up on as a suburban kid. this network of trails would be classified as high intermediate to double black in the world of sledding in the world created in a kids mind. clearly some hills offer greater danger than others, sharper turns, steeper drops, less run off, no run off. dean and I opted for one of the more moderate runs this morning before I dropped him off at Rosemount. we did a handful of runs, went off the trail into a snow drift nearly covering him completely in light soft powder. immediate smiles and giggles at the rush of the whole crash experience quickly grew into displeasure and near crying. dean had refused to wear his snowpants. one of his blue snow boots was filled with snow. his little leg was already flush from the cold. he made it clear, "I want to go home now. I want to go to Dean's house!" but the direction we needed to go was the opposite way, Art Class. it was a silly game of my putting him in the sled and him popping up and out. "no, I do not want to go sledding." I tried one more time, first putting my (yes "my" not Dean's) backpack on the sled for back support. then put Dean in the sled and said, relax. Dean relaxed as I pulled him up a not so steep trail towards the school. the dogs off running not offering once to help pull.
guess it was a pretty good day from morning to night, well, if you subtract the 9 hours spent at work.

. .

The Billy Goat Trail (Great Falls, Maryland side)
My Secret Trail (a dense patch of woods)

. .


it actually snowed last night
enough for sledding
enough for messing up the streets
enough for people to get off work
enough for people to get off work who get work canceled due to snow
I do not get off work because of snow

when i got to work this morning I rolled in the front door
and the guard asked, "how do you ride your bike in the snow?"
I replied, "better than most people drive in the snow

life is funny
the dynamics of women and men can be silly
especially when the two try to communicate as couple or better yet as a married couple
I am a beast, a big old beast, yet I am scared of my petite wife
lisa is totally cool
as my 3rd grade neighbor Kara said last year as we were sledding at Klingle Mansion, "for a wife, Lisa is pretty cool."
Kara is right, for a wife lisa is pretty cool, I must consider myself lucky
but if lisa is so cool, why was I scared to tell her that I bought the Karate Monkey?
what would she do? ground me?
oh, it was not a matter of "to tell her or not to tell her..."
it was a matter of "when to tell her..."
so I waited
monitored her moods and her mood swings
watched for her sensitivity to various issues
and when the moment struck, I dropped the bomb

we were driving back from a hike with the dogs at Great Falls, right by Old Angler's Inn
Dean had spent the morning with my mom
Lisa had been able to spend some time to herself
she was refreshed and re-energized
so I said it....
we were talking about my BLOG
lisa asked who reads it
I said no one reads it, but rather it is written as an outlet
then I told her, "well, if you had been reading my blog you would know that I bought a new bike two weeks ago."
but without any ruffled feathers

with that said

Married Men Must Unionize
Standing Alone we are getting Stomped Upon!


here is a short quiz on different breeds, their origins, and where they are from in the world

if you have the time and like dogs you may like this test


it did snow
and being without cross country skies
I had to rough it on the bike
the streets were a mess
and the city can be a brutal place for the bike
I was being tailgated by each and every cyclist
only to catch a pack of cars
pass that pack of cars
and then be tailgated by the leader of that pack
only to catch more cars at the next light
pass that pack of cars
move forward fluidly forward
only to be moving safe, not speedy, yet faster than car pace
only to find myself being tailgated by some speeding car
exceeding the speed limit to catch me
and foregoing common sense
risking my life
and risking the paint job on their car
if only they knew i was acting as a pace vehicle for them
not intentionally, but by proxy
keeping them from slamming into another car
or worse yet losing control and running over a sidewalk full of pedestrians

to BLOG or not to BLOG
that is often the question
seems that at times I BLOG out of compulsion
rather than having a need of something to say

that synopsis of the weekend did my weekend no justice
thus proving
it is not what you say
but rather, how you say it!

many years back a friend of mine was involved with this girl from Alaska
on each meeting I would have her tell me anecdotes about life in last frontier
her tales had potential
but they lacked adverbs and adjectives

my BLOGS are lacking adjectives and adverbs
each plate needs a little garnish
or perhaps some condiments
there is a need to spice it up a bit!

with that said
my next entry best have some adjectives and adverbs
there needs to be substance
but if there is no substance
there better be some spice

this weekend past was "mas excellente"

after showtime I headed out the door
turned on my lights
jumped on my bike
and hit the trail
it was cold
but I was dressed for the weather
and loved having an excuse to go out and ride
I am lazy that way
motivation is weak
so I need to hide my workouts in errands or activities

on this day I was headed out to bethesda to walk my dad's dog
and put him in for the night

it was a good ride
met up with a roadie from a local riding club
my single speed was over spinning
and my legs were burning
but it was good to have company on this cold dark trail

upon arrival at my dad/'s max was excited to see me
he was doing his 3.5 vertical leap into the air
and then a series of spins
this dog is 99% enthusiasim
went inside
put some of my sweat soaked gear in the dryer
and took the dog to the nearest stretch of land so he could run
it was not much
but better than nothing

after the walk I cooked up some of my dad's food
ate, watched some tube, and kept the dog company

bored yet?

it is the tallest bike I have ever ridden
it has the tallest wheels I have ever ridden
it rides different than any other set up I have ever had
it is a fresh experience

all in a good way
this may be the first bike that ever fit me
as I am a 6'4" Clydesdale
many manufacturers stop at 20 or 21 inches
so that is what I have been riding (and toss in an era of some 19
inchers, not sure what I was thinking there)



Saddam Flash Feature
a better example of some fun FLASH
than any substance
but funny just the same