Rants on Cycling and on Life


grant is napping
dean is at the movies with some friends
lisa is at the store
the dogs are guarding the house
I am blogging

it is a beautiful day
perhaps I can experience the outside world before the sunsets
okay... I had an awesome morning with the boys
not just the boys
but the boys and many of the neighbor's boys
had about eight kids in the clubhouse out back
Issiah's father aided me in racking the leaves and loading all of the crisp fallen leaves and putting them into the clubhouse
it was fun for the kids and for the adults

Photo Essays: Projects I talk about... Projects I never get active on...
I am an "ideas man"
but sadly... I am not a man of action

all the time I come up projects and inventions
seldom do I ever take action on these projects or inventions
correction, I never take action on these projects or inventions

some of these ideas float around my brain for months only to leave and return again
I have written short stories and novels in my head, working and reworking the stories
never writing them down
until these stories drift from my brain to never return again

there are also photo projects that come to my mind
local documentaion that would be easy enough to do
yet, I never do these things
only to be sad that the photo essay can not be done as the world has changed and the photo can no longer be taken

there were ideas of collecting images of favorite dive bars and favorite mom and pop restuarants in Washington, DC
rapidly my favorite places disappear for the next Fresh Fields, GNC, or Starbucks

another photo project that I have never started and will never be done is a photo essay of interesting urinals in and around Washington DC

apparently this idea has been approached by others

I need to go to the bathroom

life and its little realities
the reality.... we are not all destine for great things
we are all capable of great things
we are not all destine for great things
nor will most of us ever reach our potential

I will never ride on Air Force One
never will I be a guest at the Playboy Mansion
A&E Biography will never make a documentary based on my life
most certainly I will never make the FORBES LIST
for that matter I do not expect to be on a list for Washingtonian, VH1, or even a Top Ten list of David Letterman's
there is nothing wrong with this
this is just the reality of my life

on a global level I may never be the top 100 at anything
I was 101 at the Shenadoah Mountain 100, not even top 100 on the local level
this does not bother me
as I accept my reality
understanding my faults and dealing with my limitations
knowing I am above average but not great

life is good
I enjoy life
my rankings are more local and more immediate
I do not need to be father of the year in anyone's eyes accept for my wife and my children's
it is not important to connectg with all animals, just my own dogs, but it would be nice for other animals to accept me or at least not growl at me
that is enough for me
my families' lists are the lists that matter to me
I can deal with the happenings in my life being ignored by The,, or one of those faux news organizations like The Onion or Fox News
most of that fame seems like it is more trouble than it is worth
really... I don't see how anyone, even Paris Hilton, would want to be like Paris Hilton

the reality is that my reality is actually quite desireable
I have a beautiful house and even a beautiful wife
my children are beautiful and my dogs... well... my dogs are uncontrolable beast, but that is another story
at least my dogs are beautiful to me
not having any ambitions has lead me to a life where I have exceeded my ambitions
like a fool I have let the wind dictate my path
lucky for me the wind has blown me where I have landed
I like my life
I like where I am
I would not change my past
as I would not want to risk what I have now

The Only American Waiter
a book by my neighbor Jim Reed
honestly.... the only books I read these days are to the kids
there are other books.... but those are coloring books

Jim is quite a character
if his writing is as interesting as his conversations
it must be a good read
and I am not saying this for fear that he may read my BLOG

the cover image is of Jim
it is a few years old
the image captures his persona quite well
the book

talking with Jim about the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant can be fun
his perspective predates my experience by multiple decades
makes me realize
a great book would be a collection of short stories about the neighborhood from various neighborhood folk from the "old school"
fact or fiction
it would be great to get these stories down
as oral history is gone if it is not documented


Bells of: Eleven Eleven
my iPod likes
Bells of
on shuffle
Bells of gets more than the usual appearance in the roatation
which works out fine as I like Bells of as well
Bells of
has no pop hook
Bells of
has no hollywood ending
Bells of is catchy in a Bells of sort of way
the Bells of flavor may be an acquired taste
I like it I like some Bells of more than other
there is Bells of that I just do not like

the earliest
Bells of stuff is a tad more folk well... post punk... post hardcore.... some sort of neo folk
it was Cornrows that had some random person in California email me looking a place to find the early
Bells of
what do I know?

Bells of
some history

and a final mention
the to the cd shown, "3's Company" was designed by myself and my design mentor Rob Myers
the image used was a painting by Peter Quinn
Lawrence used art from Peter Quinn on all of the
Bells of releases

Dalia Lama in DC
yesterday I saw a few Buddhist Monks across the street as I got back from lunch

I dashed across the street and greeted them with a quick Namaste
then asked if they minded if I took their picture

they did not mind the photo
then I asked where they were going and needed any directions

sure enough they did
need directions
they were looking for two embassies

rather than pointing this way and that way
I asked them to wait as I went to my office to get them accurate addresses and directions
in a matter of minutes they had directions and maps

it was a warm exchange
they blessed me as they left

in our goodbye I gave them a the lesser known Tibetian version of Namaste, Tah shi de leh

they lit up
wish I could have spent more time with them
as I am always on a spiritual quest
but I had to get back to work

Dalia Lama in DC
Tibetan Greetings

Another addiction for the work place
there was solitaire
there was tetris
then solitaire morphed into free cell
now there is su do ku

I wonder
are these games sent to us from our world competitors to keep this nation from becoming more productive?

Trash or Treasure?
it is true
I save everything
well, not everything
just everything with some meaning
there may be some sentimental value
there may be some sort of notion that I will use something for a future art project
in this case...
well... a little of both

many years ago
in the years before children
in the years before marriage
when lisa was not my wife
when lisa was my girlfriend
we took a few months off from work and went traveling around Southeast Asia
the trip was epic
we saw and experienced things that help to mold our lives and our future perceptions

while treking in Northern Thailand not far from the Golden Triangle I purchased this packet at a small little hut on stilts that was run by a village member of a remote hill tribe
the packet was purchased for its graphic
I then learned that this was an asprin
in further discussion I learned that this is not really the best medication available on the market for pain relief
but rather
this certain medication in its powder form was used to cut heroin

this all amused me
because at this time in the mid 1990's Cannondale was using a very similar graphic for their then newly developed "HEADSHOCK"
I think he had a name, perhaps it was Bob
I do not recall
either way
last night I was cleaning up some stuff in my basement when I stumbled upon this torn little wrapper
did I throw it away?
I don't throw anything away

cannondale has two blogs that I know nothing about
will read them later when I am in a reading mood and not a writing mood
Cannondale Blogs: The Brad Blog and the Cannondale Race Blog


Disagreement over Life Support for their 10 Year old Son
a ten year old boy had a heart attack on his bicycle while riding to school
this real life story is nothing shy of a tradgedy
it pains me to think about this incident as a father of two young boys

so often I think of all the worst case scenarios while on a bike
skinned knees, broken arms, and bloody noses
of course the risks in traffic with speeding cars drivers

but who would think a young child would suffer cardiac arrest?

news story

it is hard to look into the eyes of this young boy in this image
my heart goes out to the parents
I respect both of their perspectives on what should be done

Unrelated: Utah Cyclist Seeks Professional Racing Career
Oddly enough.... Two year missionary service was without a bike
It seems that all the Mormon Missionaries here in DC travel by bicycle, why not in Brazil?
that story

The Price of a Bike
better yet...
What people feel they should spend on a bike

people have no issue with 100 dollar bottles of wine, a 100 dollar tie, several hundred dollar sweaters, thousand dollar suits, and righteously expensive meals
but when it comes to buying a bike people don't want to open their wallet
well.... when I talk about people... I am referring to "non-cyclists"

in the used marked people are always looking for that 25 or 50 dollar bike
something that may or may not exist
when people ask for me to find them this twent-five to fifty dollar bike I try to break things down...

"a set of tires with tubes will cost you roughly fifty dollars... how do you expect to find a running bike for that much?"
then there are other sales talk approaches were I talk about the economics of a bicycle
comparing the price of a bike versus a gym
the price of a bike (theft aside) breaking down to a per use over the next many years etc.

non-cyclists can be very cheap when looking to buy a bicycle
what shocks me most is that people can understand the breakdown of quality when it comes to the tools of their hobby or sport....
but they can not transfer this to the bike

a rower may know that you can not row without buying an elite hand crafted skull
yet they may buy a department store bike
a car buff may drive a Mercedes or a top of the line Beamer... but when shopping for a bike... they go right to the industry start point of two hundred and fifty bucks

a friend at work recently approached me with the excitement of his new bicycle purchase
I asked him what he had bought and where he had bought it

there was question of why he did not "support his local bike shop"
then there was the question as to why he bought a Dahon folding bike
I held back and did not try to snuff out his excitement

he did not purchase from his local bike shop which happens to be my team sponsor because they did not have folding bikes...
and because he did not like their response when they tried to redirect his interest to non-folding bikes

when he was in the shop
after this he decided that the "niche" shop that had folding bikes, recumbents, and tandems was a better shop after our discussion he agreed the shop is not better that other shop is just directing thier interests and their stock to a different clientle with a different set of needs
but what I did not get into was my lack of excitement for his folding bike purchase
this man is a few years older than myself and pretty fit he works out in the gym and he roller blades passionately
he travels for races and he does long endurance events

he also commutes from time to time on his skates

in my mind I questioned how he would feel if I tried to buy some "shoe skates"
then try and use these in the same way that he uses his skates how can his knowledge of quality can exist for one sport and its tools but not to another
he is not alone
it is an oddly common dilema for some reason people get stuck in thinking that they do not need to spend "x" amount of dollars on a bike


yesterday after work...
lisa had a parent/teacher meeting at Dean's school
this put me in the Mr. Mom roll
before Lisa left... I could already see that Dean was "in a mood"
we all get in moods... the difference with children
well... we still need to interact with them and guide their behavior
while if an adult were in a mood, they could avoid people or people could avoid them

as Lisa pulled away Dean approached me asking for some candy
I appreciated his request rather than him climbing like a little monkey and getting at the candy self service style
Grant heard the request.... he chimmed in.... "candy? candy? candy?"
as it is just a short time past Halloween and candy is part of the season
so, rather than argue things I agree to one piece of candy for each of them
figuring that if I give them each a piece of candy then I have bought enough time to start dinner

not so lucky
Grant tastes his candy then rests it ontop of the lid of the kitchen garbage can
seems the mystery candy in the foil wrapper did meet his desires
Dean did not care for his options either
it turns out that Dean did not want anything that was in front of him
I pursuaded him to try the Reeses Peanut Butter cup
with some objection he ate it
he stuffed the whole thing in his mouth and chewed it with displeasure
it was not what he wanted

Dean petitioned for some more candy, "just one more piece, that is the last one"
I dennied his option
dean cried
dean kicked
dean screamed
dean got nothing more

yes.... I offered other options
tootsie rolls and tootsie pops
but nothing met his liking
so rather than putting too much time into trying to please the little prince I accepted the arguement and shifted my physical attention towards dinner

dean stood at my side and I went throught the freezer, the fridge, and the cupboards

we argued back and forth about why he could not get another piece of candy as I worked on creating dinner
before his eyes I poured two sippy cups filled with milk
in an effort to placate his candy desires I fulfilled Grant's desire to have a Pop Tarts
my junk food... not theirs
Grant found it in the basement
so I toasted the Pop Tarts and had the boys each sit at the table as I served them milk
Dean informed me that "drinks are not food"
as the pop tarts cooled I toased some bagels
in my mind I thought I was giving them the treat of their lives

the pop tarts were served
they met poor reviews
perhaps they were a tad over cooker
maybe the various combinations of sugar in the toaster did not appeal to them

then a bagel was served with humus
Grant was into the bagel, but he was more into eating the humus off the bagel
Dean ate a bagel without humus.... refused anything with humus
which was odd... as Dean usually loves humus
the toasted pita bread was a failed proposition as it was too similar to the bagel
Grant was pleased to get more humus on his "ABC" bagel

by this time the hot dogs were ready
sliced, cooled, and served
I walked from the kitchen to the dining room two steps away I found that Grant had tossed the bagel slices with humus to the floor
the dogs were not in the mood for bagels with humus
a handful of hot dogs went on both Dean and Grant's plastic plates
I removed the uneaten over cooked Pop Tarts
picked up the humus and bagel from the floor
Grant ate his hot dogs
Dean complained.... Dean ate a few hot dog bites

Dean then put in a request for "soft tacos"
in seconds the same pan that was frying up the dogs was now heating up tortillas with cheese and pepperoni
in a mater of minutes the boys were eating soft tacos
not sure how many hot dog pieces were eaten by the kids
not sure how many hot dogs pieces were eaten by the dogs
both Dean and Grant snacked on the "soft tacos"
there was no complaint or favoritism for the soft taco with cheddar over the soft taco with Munster

as Dean ate his mood improved
it was not candy that he craved
it was hunger
he was starving
I asked if he had enough for lunch
he did not give me a straight answer
fearing that I had sampled a piece too many I quickly cooked one more "soft taco"
as there is always the need to make sure things are too hot to eat
if things are safe
if things need to sit or be blown upon

it was good to have the boys eating
lisa had been gone for all of 15 minutes
the house was already a wreck
at least the boys were fed
the boys and the dogs

we went from the dinning room for a movie of my choice upstairs
Dean's mood was still questionable
it was his way or never ending whinning and complaining
we watched a Scholastic DVD, Where the Wild things Are and other classic Maurice Senak stories
Dean watched and complained and drifted into interest
at the close of each story he renewed his petition for race cars and explosions
then with the start of the next stories his complaints moved to interest again
the cycle continued after 4 short stories that added up to a half hour

we went upstairs without much of a fight
the three of us brushed our teeth shirtless in the bathroom
then I dressed Grant in his Bob the Builder pjs while Dean put on his camo pjs

the three of us climbed into Dean's bed with our black dog Brutus following right behind
climbing in at the foot of the bed
there was a debate of what book was to be read
Dean wanted "the Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein
Grant wanted a text rich book about dinosaurs
the democratic vote was in favor of the writing of Shel Silverstein
Dean was again holding his ground
I read the dinosaur book
struggling to pronounce the various dinosaurs

then there was a sound
it was mommy back from Dean's school function
she was greeted with cheers... "mommy's home!"
in the excitement of the moment mommy wisked Grant away
I went through the dinosaur book one last time
with a good night kiss
a good night hug
I handed over a book on bats
a favorite of Dean's to read to himself

with parenting there are good moments
there are bad moments
and there are nights like last night
that are somewhere in between
not the bonding moment of memories that I seek
not a night of hugs and photo opportunities
just a night of trying to muscle our way through the motions

The Style of Parenting: the kids have a say
with my sons it is all about options
they get a say in most anything

what food they eat
what clothes they wear

what movies they watch
what they wear for Halloween
how they want to spend their time

it is up to the parent to try and provide options that are suitable to the parent's liking
sort of a lesser of two evils sort of thing
(let the options be carrots or green beans.... not carrots of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups)

it is also a matter of
picking your battles...
if a child is in a headstrong mood... chances are they will get their way over a matter of time
in these cases it is best to cut your losses
accept losing the battle early
rather than dealing with excessive whinning and crying
if the whinning and crying continue
then the parent gives in... well... then the lesson is learned
whinning and crying work.
well, whinning and crying does work, but we do not want to reinforce that notion
so... cut your loses early... know when you can guide your child's behavior
know when it is okay to accept their demands and give them what they want
within reason of course
if they are freaking out and want to watch a movie.... well.... try to calm them down
if there is no calming them down... then maybe there is no guiding them into anything productive and well a movie may be the best thing for them
what movie? well... that is another issue

doctor has called
gotta roll

out of the waiting room
into the patient room
guess what
there is a computer here
so I continue

in this age of "the new child" and "the new parent" there are some questions
what sort of freedom do we give our children with certain choices?
hairstyles? clothes? involvement in activities?
in my era... it was done my dad's way
this continued with punishment and blackmail all the way through the early years of college
but things seem to be different now
parents seem to be more allowing of a children's effort to explore options and choices
but when should the parent intervene?

in the waiting room is a child with dyed blonde hair?
was that his choice? did his parents guide him to that choice? how did this happen?
on the street or in the park I will see small children with "rat tails"
is the rat tail the parent's idea? did the kid want this?
should there be an intervention? is it okay for me to yell something from across the play yard?
is there some sort of Anti-Rat Tail literature that I can hand out?

so it is a matter of taste
I see that the dyed hair can be cool
never in my life has there been a moment when the rat tail was cool
okay... there may have been a second in 1982 where someone may have fooled me into thinking it was cool... Bo Cleveland may have worked it well in 1984... but it was at the end of his "fin" which was pretty close to a mohawk... much cooler than the Ryan Seacrest faux-hawk... and he was a jock doing something against the mainstream.... so he worked it
but what about now?
back to my battle
should parents allow these things?
if so.... at what age?
certainly I decide my son's haircut when he is four.... but what about when he is fourteen?
can I tell him that is just not cool?

perhaps not...
what is cool to me or what was cool in my era may have changed dramatically in this new age...
the faux hawk may have been poser bullshit that would have gotten you slammed against a locker in my day may very well work with the pretty boys of today

but what if this fashion is leading towards androgeny.... or an alternate sexual preference?
do we desuade it?
a few years ago at a friend's wedding there was a cute young lady in her early teens
only.... she was dressed like a cute young boy
her hair was short and spikey....
she wore a suit rather than a dress
was Annie Lenox heterosexual?
does her boyish styly mean that she will grow to prefer woman over men?

I clearly do not have the answer to this
and well
this situation is clearly an issue for those parents
I have no issue with a young teen discovering their sexual orientation at a young age
while I do have an issue with a rat tail
does this apply to my kids or my parenting?
no rat tails in my house... let me make that a rule
and sexuality?
that is an issue that we may not have to approach for a few years to come
it may very well an issue similar to the candy or the movie
rather than having a long battle that can not be won
it may be best to allow the development of the personality
but that is more than I can contend with as I blog between tasks

Blogging from the Doctor's Office:
this makes the trip to the doctor a tad less painful
the long time spent in the waiting room is far less idle
this is the first of two separate doctor visits
seeking various treatment opinions
one is within my plan
one is out of my plan
hopefully the within plan doctor gives me the advice I am looking for
both are sports medicine doctors working with a variety of college and professional athletes
both came under strong recommendation
wish me luck!


Bicycle Blogger Project: Messenger Profile
today I was talking with a messenger I see on the streets from time to time
actually I see him on the sidewalks more than on the streets
but I see him just the same

this messenger has a home made cargo trailer
he has his own delivery business where he specializes in the delivery or larger into packages
it is really a unique rig

I have spoken with him
will try to get a few images of him and his rig
then want to give him a questionaire
currently compiling questions....
any questions anyone can think of that would be good to ask messengers to aid in creating an interesting Messenger Profile?

The Bestman or should I say... "Bestmen!"
A few weeks past one of my oldest and dearest friends got married, Rob Rob the Heart Throb
to my pleasure and surprise I was selected as one of his bestmen
this is quite an honor
Rob and I share a long and colorful history
We have grown through the years together. Metting in high school, Skateboarding, Traveling, Cycling, and just hanging out.
Some years ago I introduced Rob to what would become one his closest friends, Kevin aka Snoopy.

Rob selected us to tag team the Bestman tasks
Snoopy set up the whole Vegas Affair
definitely an "affair to remember"
I did little more than show up
Attendance does count for something.
It was a beautiful event.
The whole party was a pleasure to attend and an honor to be a part of....
Both of these guys are old friends.... we have covered many miles of trail together.
We all hope to keep pushing the pedals into the future and see where the world takes us.
Some of my earliest 24 Hour Racing memories are shared with these guys!

the hardesty wedding:
there are several posts from a few weeks prior
images there as well
those posts touched upon Rob and his tie smoke screen
the classic straight from a movie.... "The Case of the Missing Wedding Rings"
will try to post another tale from this event after I knock out some work
I traveled without camera on this day
so I had to wait for other guests to send me some images


HBO: Real Time with Bill Maher
Bill Maher is one intelligent comic
the season is over

but I question
do news organizations have a break between seasons?

where will I get my news?
where will I get my insight?

from the Comedy Channel? come on... I don't want to watch Fox!

oh the other Comedy Channel....
guess I could move over to Jon Stewart

Bill Maher's standup is pretty standup as well... as he is a pretty standup sort of guy

six days
it has been six days
not even a week since I went over the handlebars and dislocated my shoulder
this is a pretty depressing injury
all injuries carry the potential for depression
as all injuries will take the active person away from the activities that they love
the shoulder dislocation has the potential of becoming a recurring injury
breaks, if given enough time, will heal stronger than before
while the dislocation of the ball and socket joint ends up giving the person a greater likelihood of dislocating their shoulder in similar situations

that bums me out

I do not want further dislocations
I did not want this dislocation

I have two doctor's appointments this week
trying to get the medical opinion of two different physicians
one doctor treated my brother for a dislocation several years ago
the other doctor treated me for a broken clavicle over a decade ago

not sure why I am going for two opinions...
guess I am looking for a doctor that will take me out of the sling and lead me towards rehab ASAP
I want out of this sling!

it has only been six days...
I am fearing it will be six weeks
six weeks will overlap into a family vacation that we had scheduled with the boys
I am not going to the Carribean if I can not swim.... wadding is not enough
if would be more painful to be in paradise and not be able to immerse myself in it than to be back at home in the salt mines

we will see where the doctors point me this week

the article that came with the images on shoulder dislocation
do a GOOGLE for IMAGES with the topic of shoulder dislocation.... it makes me cringe

famous rays
another famous rays
no more famous than any other ray
equally as tastee!

rays indoor mountainbike park
opens for its second season!

a great set of useless links
be careful
you may lose hours of your day
be careful
you may lose your job

gossip blog links

(as measured by the Gossip Blogad Netword)

a funny shirt
a funny message
a nice font

more t-shirts

yes.... I am wandering the net
best I get back to work
monday blues got me dragging...
maybe a few more minutes of madness
then an afternoon coffee

one of my dogs has a double ear infection
we are treating him... we are doing our best to reverse whatever damage may have been done
then there is my shoulder....
a bit of a bummer
other than that all is well
my family is happy, healthy, and whole
in an effort to put things in perspective I did a little GOOGLE

did a search for BLOGGERS that hate BUSH
the first few did the trick
shifted my depression from a local self absorbed level to a world view
learned I was not actually depressed
but ya know what
now I am fully depressed

my shoulder will heal...
there are american soliders who have lost limbs in Iraq.... their limbs will not grow back
my dog's hearing may be permanently impaired...
there are american soldiers who have lost their sight, their hearing, and perhaps their senses....
my dog is just a dog... he can deal with it
my family is moderately healthy
there are families losing husbands, daughters, fathers.... you fill in the rest
soldiers are dying
people are dying
innocent Iraqis are dying as well
and for what
I seemed to have forgotten why we sent troops to Iraq in the first place
does anyone remember any more?
did anyone ever know?

bush flash
animation piece

a blog... love america, hate bush