11.30.2005

cyclicious and their "best bicycle blog of 2005" award

share this with your bicycle blogging friends
certainly there are some local favorites
Joe Foley?
Single Speed Outlaw?
Arliegh?
you name it
they need to be nominated!

the photos
the photos are taken under various circumstances
when the multi shots are taken they are usually after or during an approach which always involves the explaination of my BLOG and a passing of my "blog card"
wonder if anyone ever bothers to take a look at the images
some people may have a greater computer priority than others... like myself
others..... well... may never see the images of themselves

then there may be an alternate situation
I may take some pictures... give the explanation and make the exchange
in that explanation there is talk of a posting of images on the blog
the creation of a montage or a collage
well
what if I take a series of pictures and never get around to creating a pictorial
that person may tune in and not find the image

the photos a few days after the download may get lost in the shuffle
some photos may get lost forever
that is the greatness and the sadness of digital

honestly.....
it is more a matter of disorganization
these shots are take
these shots are downloaded
these shots are manipulated in Photoshop
then
these shots are thrown onto my BLOG
more random stuff tossed out in to cyber space
sorry to repeat myself
but repeating myself is my style

this following message seems important enough to post about again

As many of you already know, Ricardo "Rico" Palacios, a bike messenger at Apple Courier, was critically injured on Thursday, November 3. He has been in intensive care at Washington Hospital Center in a coma since then. He was put on a respirator this past Monday. His situation, frankly, does not look promising.

To add yet another layer of tragedy on top of this, the insurance company that should be paying his medical expenses and disability payments may well deny this claim. The company's position is that there is no way to prove this claim, as Rico is completely incapacitated and unable to communicate the circumstances of the accident. As yet, no eyewitnesses have come forward. Thereis a need to loccate an eyewitness to this accident and do so very soon.

Rico's accident occurred sometime just before 5:00 PM on Thursday, November 3, 2005. He was most likely near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and K Street, NW or somewhere en route to that location from 19th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW in DC. There would have been literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people in that area at that time. Surely at least one must have seen something and would be able to recount the circumstances of this accident for the insurance company.

Libby is turning to you for help. Please ask your friends, co-workers, neighbors, anyone at all that could have been in the area of Rico's accident if they witnessed anything. It should be noted that Rico's mother, an immigrant working as a housekeeper at the Capital Hilton, having to not only suffer the tragedy of possibly losing her only son, but also then be laden with outrageous medical bills.

Contact information is below; she can be reached on the Apple phone numbers 24 hours day.

Elizabeth "Libby" Francis
Customer Relations Manager
Apple Courier, Inc.
Washington, DC
phone: 202-338-0930 toll free: 888-620-3300
fax: 202-338-7600
email: info@applecourierinc.com or libby@applecourierinc.com
I will tell ya...
this incident must ring close to Libby's heart
as she was involved in a serious motorcycle accident some time ago
(do not want to say the years... as I would not to aid in revealing a woman's age)
we can only hope that this situation gets better
insurance?
maybe if this story gets some press there will be more reason for people with power to investigate things

11.29.2005


two movies
okay, more than two movies
at my high school reunion there was a guy who told me that he had worked on a soon to be released animated film, Aeon Flux
I do not doubt this as this guy was artistic in high school
in our discussion there was talk of the MTV Aeon Flux
turns out in the classic hollywood fashion it is a loose association

as I do not go to the movies that often...
kids and all

the notion of whehter or not Charlie Theron is cool enough to pull it off may take a while to be determined

as much as I want to dislike her as an actor.... I think she has developed to be diverse
l
ike nicole kidman shocking me with
Moulin Rouge

then there is a movie I just saw a commercial for First Descents
cool or cheesy?

I still have never seen the feature film version of The Dogtown and Z Boys

loved the documentary
had hesitation about the feature film still yet to be decided

we will see ends up on the shelf from an impulse purchase at Best Buy

Madonna
with fear of what people may think I openly admit that I am loving the new Madonna album
it is odd
I doubt that she can be eternally cool
but then again... Sting and Mick Jagger have seemed to swayed the masses

will it come down to an issue that men are distinguished with wrinkles while women are just old?

cool madonna site
Dirt Rag Forum: Looking for a Fat Chance
what is this... last call?
actually the author is an old friend in San Fran
the brother... well... he was my soccer coach for a year or so
he put up with my shit
he put up with me hacking at his ankles
if anyone knows where they can locate a similar such ride
make contact with them through this posting
anyone who put up with me for no money deserves a hook up

DC Messenger: Jay Moglia Rambling Shadows
December 22nd at DC NINE

some of his words can be found at THE MOBILE CITY

Rico: A DC Bicycle Messenger a victim of "hit and run"
Rico is currently in a coma and not taking visitors
although I did not know Rico this incident effects me and all cyclists
I have been the victim of numerous hit and runs
as well as been given bogus information at the scene
ontop of that....
I have been hit and not gone to the hospital
Rico hit his head... went home... and well... now he is in the ICU

Craig's List Report
Rico Suave Alley Cat
Bike Forum
Rock Creek Park remains Open to Cars
story on WTOP
there was a movement to try and get Rock Creek Park to close to cars during non-Rush Hour periods of the day
honestly, this is an idea that I never supported
the volume of cycling traffic during these periods is not great enough to justify this move
the cars would be forced to clog up other arteries
some of the cars would stay in near by routes
making neighborhoods and less major tributaries of the park be their personal AUTOBAHN

what I would like to see is car drivers to drive in a more civil manner while on Rock Creek Park
well, actually I would like to see cars drive in more civil manner all the time and every where
but right now we are dealing with Rock Creek Park
the roadways of Rock Creek Park are marked for 25MPH speed limits with double yellow lines
the number of near death experiences from cars passing too fast and too close are only trumped by the number of cars that nearly hit me head on as they pass a cyclist traveling in the same direction
if people exhibited a little common sense and a tad bit of common courtesy the world would be a better place
but
as of yet
I have not found a way to inject empathy into the mindless masses

the person who reported this piece on WTOP, Neal Augenstein, was a singer in some MOD bands during the '80's

11.28.2005

Plugging the Blog-
it is true... I will shamelessly plug my BLOG
I will SPAM my friends on group emails reminding them to tune into my BLOG
but
at my 20th High School Reunion I had a pocket full of GWADZILLA BLOG CARDS
to which I think I handed out two
both to guys I grew up playing soccer with
both of these guys were once messengers
both of these guys are still cyclists
for some reason I do not see a reason to force my BLOG on anyone and everyone

in a bit of irony I brought up a fellow graduate's "web presence" to another graduate
to which he responded awkwardly
only after speaking without thinking did I realize how awkward I am when someone brings up my blog to someone I am not sure if I want to share it with

it is out there
if they want to see it they just need to GOOGLE me
but
my guess is that there are those who get the BLOG and there are those that just can not be bothered

11.27.2005

milestone behind me: my 20th high school reunion
there was extensive build up
there had been months of anticipation
there was some solid preparation
there was also a certain lack of preparation*

relieved

hung over
a little tired
it was a late night
it was an early morning
more tired than hung over

glad I went
glad it is behind me
everything went well, perhaps better than expected
may have escaped without offending anyone
only felt awkward in a few situations
a few awkward situations were avoided
some awkward moments were abandoned with rapid evacuation

was not seeking closure to any relationships
really just spent the evening wandering around
there was no one in particular that I was seeking out
there was no one in particular that I had any great urge to see or catch up with
there may have been a few people that did not show up that would have been nice to see
but
the night moved by rather quickly
there were actually a few people that I waved to or shook hands with...
but never managed to make contact with

if I really needed to catch up with anyone I could use GOOGLE and the telephone rather than a 20th high school reunion

it was great seeing everyone
it was great seeing how people had grown and developed

so many familiar faces
so many unfamiliar names.... until the glance at the name tag
the senior year high school photo on some of the name tags answered many questions
the eyes
a deep stare into any individual's eyes revealed who they are
that is the one thing that never really changes
some lost weight
some gained weight
most everyone had different hair styles than 20 years ago
there were many men like myself wearing the absent of hair style

everyone was friendly
everyone was approachable
there were so many people who I got to speak with for the first time
for many of these people this was more than a high school reunion
many other than myself went to grade school and junior high with each other
groups, friendships, and cliques

there were many admissions of crushes
there were a few people trying to close deals that had never been closed
the classic reunion stuff
neither by me


although I traveled with a camera
there were no pictures taken
in hindsight I wish I had snapped some random photos
not posed smiles and hugs
just random shots around the room
that would have aided to make the memory of the evening less of a blurr

*only 9 of the 435 graduates put personal profiles on the Official Reunion Website
thus forcing so many of us to ask and aswer the question...
"so... what have you been up to since you graduated?"

why those images?
senior yearbook photo
and
me sledding with some friends 20 years ago
the image was on the cover of the Washington Post

11.23.2005

BLOGGING FROM THE ROAD
typing to you from Pittsburgh PA
home of Dirt Rag magazine
home of Primanti's sandwiches
and of course home of everything Gold and Black
flash back to the "terrible towel" if you must
(Steelers, Penguins, Pirates... check ESPN.com if that is too obscure)

no time to blog lately
work and life have been taking up all the hours of my day
a stock pile of images are stacking up untitled and unorganized on my hard drive
while in Pittsburgh I hope to take the camera out and snap a few shots of the cycling culture here
not far north from Washington DC
yet Pittsburgh has a much more wintery winter

wish me luck
time to dress the kids
we are off to the Pittsburgh Children's Museum

11.21.2005

hot off the presses....
the sound of the keyboard is still carrying through the air....
check out capitalbikesmike
two posts
this could be the beginning of something
then again...
maybe not
as the blog is not for everyone
many people have started blogs
but not everyone getting bitten by the blog bug

in case you can not tell.... I am infected

11.17.2005

The Notion of Safety-
so much attention to safety is based around protecting the people within the vehicle

yet there is far less concern for how the exterior of the vehicle will impact pedestrians or cyclists
in the case of the collision
the crumple resistant side panels and all the various airbags will do nothing for person on the outside who may be a victim of a Blackberry weilding car driver
Martino at
The Bike Diary posted this editorial about trucks and mandatory guard rails
Japan's technology leads the way in pedestrian concerns
Honda's G-Control Technology also takes the human element into consideration

exterior airbags to protect pedestrians

honestly...
these adaptations would be less vital if people could be injected with a dose of common sense and a tad bit of empathy
Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse
it has been many years since I watched the
Tom and Jerry Cartoons
yet there are many plot lines or at least instances that stand out strong in my head
there is Tom Cat singing
"Is You Is" from the alley way trying to earn the affection of a cat in a house above
there are as many pans to Tom Cat's face as there are anvils to Wiley Coyote's head that stick out in my head.... sort of a precursor to the now epic
"Itchy and Scrachy Show"
then there is one episode where Tom and Jerry go to an uninhabitied tropical island to photo the never before photographed
"bip-squack bird"
well....
this is how I am feeling
there are some people on their bikes I see in my travels
they pass before I have an opportunity to grab my camera
they pass at a point when I do not have my camera
I know where I may see them at certain times...
as I pass these points I look in anticipation
sometimes they are there
sometimes they are not

thus far all the photos have been taken after approaching the individual
then asking for permission to take the photo and post the images
but
for action shots...
these are more scenes of the city
no need for permission on those shots
they are just part of the backdrop which is life in the city

11.16.2005





scanned my blog
looked to see what other people may be seeing
looked at the photos I took
looked at the images I created
looked at the words I typed

part of blogging for me is just a free verse experience
the experience goes the same for the images
there is very little structure
more of a natural progression
just putting together a puzzle

sometimes it works
sometimes it doesn't
sometimes the puzzle has balance
sometimes it doesn't

looked at the picture of my old friend Scott
wondered if he will look at the blog
wondered if he will laugh at what I wrote
thought about how Scott and I met nearly 20 years ago
thought about the rides, the conversations and the laughs

looked at the photo montages of my kids
but not for long
as I showed my kids the kid images before they went to bed
then more photos
then more words

checked for new comments
got fooled and checked old comments that I had commented upon earlier myself
then found a new comment
it was a comment from a person who calls himself Rogue Mechanic
the site is under construction
yet it sounds like he is in full operation mode for the "pick up and return bicycle repair" business
an idea that I blogged about last night
only to him it is more than an idea
the business is his reality

he has a link to his own blog
not sure if it is active
not sure if he has started blogging
it did not open for me

the ethnography of work is fascinating
shop blogs and mechanic blogs can be a hoot
even if they do not blog solely about work
once again... I think of a feature film or even a documentary for the activities within a bike shop
sort of a bike shop "Clerks"

check out ROGUE MECHANIC
it seems like he may be in Ohio
about a decade ago I ran into the Washington DC Better Bikes owner and operator
tried making small talk... but all I got was... "you tryin' to steal my idea? you tryin' to steal my ideas?"
I felt like I was curious more than trying to steal ideas

ah
Rocco found the Rogue Mechanic Blog

Asgede out on the streets....
from messenger
to bicycle mechanic
to airplane mechanic
back to messenger again

DCBCA: The District of Columbia Bicycle Courier Association
The
DCBCA is having a Tax Filing Seminar
this is something that could be really helpful to the messengers who actually file taxes

I can recall having the IRS contact me

I can recall the IRS hitting me with penalties
I can recall the IRS hitting me with a list of add on fees

and

I can recall living with a Black Cloud over my head until I finally finished off my payment plan

a few added links
Bike Messenger Emergency Fund
demoncats (alley cats and other great stuff)
bike shops
the personality of a bike shop can be dictated by many things
the owner, the location, and of course the employees at the shop

so often a consumer goes into a bike shop looking to make a purchase
instead of getting what they want they end up getting all sorts of attitude
they leave with their money in their pocket and no product in their hands

this can happen for many reasons...
I am not a psychologist.... but I have witnessed this enough times to know that it does happen
and
it tends to happen for a variety of reasons
reasons I will not attempt to list

it is a shame
this is especially a shame when I send someone to a shop with a strong recommendation
that is way the worst
I hate when these people come back to me with a negative report
it is awkward from all ends
all these people want is some good advice and a good bicycle
they usually end up leaving without a bike and a poor opinion of the shop
these people may not buy the bike for months or a year after this experience
thus keeping them off the bike... allowing them to miss the glory that is riding a bike
a pleasure that should be mandatory in everybody's life at least once a year!

the bicycle shop tends to employ a colorful group of characters with an alternative approach to life
the employees of the bike shop tend not to be cookie cutter retail shop folk
but rather a variety of different types
usually they fall into a wide range of cyclists
then from there there they can be more colorful than the rainbow
well
this flare and this color often gets in the way of the objective... selling product

too often I watch botched sales
too often I question in my head why a sale is not being closed
it is good to give the shopper some space... I know... I hate being suffocated by the staff of a store, be that a bike shop or a book store
but... the employee needs to be able to read their shoppers
some people arrive to buy that day
others are comparision shopping
it is vital to get the impulse shopper to buy then and there
while it is important to win the comparision shopper over so that they leave with a good experience... a winning experinence over their next shop experience

years ago I worked for Mike Sendar of Big Wheel Bikes
he like many people has his flaws....
but, this is also a man with many strengths
business and sales fall within his list of strengths
although he can piss off and anger people at his whim
Mike Sendar also has a strange charisma that wins people over
his ability to remember people always astounded me... not just the person from the previous Sunday
but Sendar can remember someone who bought a bike from him in 1971

in addition to facial recognition Mike Sendar also has some serious sales tactics
his methods can be aggressive, but he has his successes
personally I think his "forced sales" can chase a few people away
but... the hit miss ratio seems to be in his favor
ontop of his effort to close the deal that day
Sendar also understands that with each bicycle purchase there are a list of vital accessories that need to go along with the bike
too often a bike shop sales person will sell the bike
but will not introduce the need to get a helmet, a lock, and some lights
sure.... the year of free warranty tune ups will bring the people back
but... the sales of these items is not just good for the register
the sales of these items is good for the cyclist

if a person is seeking advice on creating a commuter...
I would immediately sell them on the idea of fenders, rack, and rechargable headlamp system
this of course on top of the already obvious helmet, lock, and perhaps gloves and shoes

pep talks and incentives...
the employee needs an occassional speed check

coffee is gone
the tasks at my desk are complete
time to move on

Bike Nerd Knox Gardner and I have spoke on this topic
the City Paper has written some articles on Mike Sendar
and Robin Williams starred in Cadillac Man
Big Wheel Bikes
in the list of projects I will never do.... a collection of short stories from the various employees of many Big Wheel Bikes locations over the last thirty plus years would most definitely be a great read

11.15.2005



The Used Bike Bike Shop

(a bike shop that sells used bikes)

in addition to the concept of a bike shop that subsits primarily on repairs
there is also the ignored market of the used bike
apparently there is a shop in the Other Washington, more specifically Seattle that develops this idea
the shop is aptly titled Recycled Cycles

during the slow months tor maybe the slow hours of the Coffee Shop/Bike Shop the idle time in the shop would be spent resurrecting old bikes into ridable machines
not Schwinn Varsities.... but something of that era just a little nicer
the bikes are out there
it would justify my dumpster diving and my never ending searches at yard sales and flea markets

there would be customization requestings
urban creations
and of course
lots of single speeds
and the urban favorite, "the fixie," would be a popular used bike dumpster dive creation

unique frankebikes would be built
maybe never sold
but fun to ride and definitely fun to make
maybe interesting enough to inspire people to customize their old rig

it would be a business
but as a neighborhood shop it would also be part of the community
this would be a biproduct of the Bicycle Coffee Shop
so, this would be a Bicycle Coffee Shop that sells Used Bikes*

*but does not buy used bikes
the used market is a strange place
best to know your source
as no one wants to ride a bad karma bike

Recycled Cycles
Logo was split....
check out their site for the whole logo and the whole deal
they even sponsor a cycling team
that is the type of shop I would love to see in this neighborhood or at least somewhere in this city

that said
I love my neighborhood shop
City Bikes is the shop that I shop at
and City Bikes is the shop that I ride for
I would still shop there even if I did not get a deal through them
they are a great addition to the community
they contribute a great deal to the cycling community and to the community as a whole
there is also Chain Reaction that works the .ORG angle of the cycling community
also vital
also a great addition to both the cycling community and the community as a whole
the idea of the Used Bike Bike Shop that sells Coffee is really something different
there is room for it all

bikes and coffee...
bikes and coffee...
a coffee shop/bike shop

it may be an original idea... but that does not mean it is not worth doing

this is an idea that should be done in my neighborhood
this is an idea that could work in my neighborhood
I would like to see this bicylcle/coffee conglomerant appear in my neighborhood

there seems to be a need for more bicycle repair options in this city
there may be a need for more bicycle repair options in many cities
people need to call ahead
people need to make appointments
this is for a bicycle... not for a dentist
what happened to rolling in... getting a claim ticket, getting your bike in two days??? if there is no need to order special parts of course
there should be a chance for a quicker turn around

on top of that
with people's busy shedule this repair only shop would have a pick up and return option
pick up and return for a fee of course
a pick up and return when a bicycle is being brought in for a complete tune up

there is definitely a market for this addition to the bicycle repair business
as we know that the time it takes to load a bike, go to an urban shop during the hours they are open, in the city finding a parking space can always be an issue, and the hours of operation may not always correspond with the time balance of work, family, whatever

there are those of us that like to go to the bike shop
those of us that like to soak in the bike shop
see what has arrived on the market
see what is coming down the road
check to see what has landed in the bargain bin
and
maybe do a little dreaming

back to the concept of delivery....
this pick up and delivery extends to the delivery of rental bikes
it makes more sense for someone to have a rental bike delivered to their hotel
rather than having the tourist or traveler take a cab or a rental car without a bike rack to the shop
they need to get directions to the shop
they need to drive around an unfamiliar city
then on top of that they need to arrive at the shop during the classic bike shop standard late opening hours and then return the bike during the designated closing time.... or risk a late fee
cab fee alone could justify the drop off fee

of course there are those of us that enjoy learning a new city
moving about the streets of an unfamilar town
meeting the locals
having an exchange with the natives

both of these ideas have been done
there is Bike and Bean in Sedona Arizona for a coffee selling bike shop
while locally here in DC there is Better Bikes rolling around town with a van full of bikes and tools
Better Bikes is dropping off rentals and doing the pick up repairs on the spot!

there must be more Bicycle Shops that double as Coffee Shops
and certainly the Rolling Repair Stand makes sense in many towns
but I am not the Yellow Pages so I will waste no more time GOOGLE-ING for any more listings
although it may be interesting to travel down that electric road

one last mention
there was once an attempt to have a bicycle shop in Mount Pleasant...
could have been too soon
the timing could be right
if I won the lottery... this would be a project of mine
but I would rather have someone else do this
so I could go hang out there rather than work there


sleep
sleep... better yet... sleeplessness
recently twenty one month old Grant has been waking in the middle of the night
we think it is his teeth
"we think it is his teeth" this is the type of thing that parents say

grant cries
he cries until we bring him down to our bed
then he stops crying
I know
I know
we are enabling his crying
we are rewarding his crying
but he stops crying
then he sleeps then we all sleep
well
he sleeps as he kicks each of us in the head
he wakes and he talks
he talks and he talks
he tugs and he pulls
this is a several hour process
till finally
one of us has to get up
well... with grant's preference
mommy gets up
actually to grant's demand... mommy gets up
daddy can not buy his son's attention away from his mommy at this time of the day
the final moments of sleep are a guilty pleasure

so
we are considering "the sleep lady"
this is what the readers say at babycenter.com




roll reversal...
this morning there was much on my plate
managed to achieve a number of the goals of the morning
perhaps I spaced on a few others.. ie. Brutus' ear medicine

the boys were dressed and fed by my over achieving wife
by her summons I stumbled into the kitchen towards the coffee pot
grabbed the largest cup in the cupboard and filled it to the brim
coached the boys as they finished up their Cheerios and strawberries
we all put on our shoes and went across the street with the dogs
everyone wanted to walk deeper into the woods
that was not an option
there were a few pauses on the way back to inspect some unique mushrooms

we marched back up the path
returned the dogs to the house
then we all climbed into the Honda Element
Grant's babysitter could not work today so I dropped the little man off at a neighborhood day care
interestingly enough.... our dog walker's mother runs a day care from her house
guess their family likes caring for other people's loved ones
both the furry and the fleshy

the drop off went moderately smooth
the dog of the house, Duke, barked at us which muffled Grant's crying
the crying is to be expected
I tried to explain to Dean why Grant was crying as we drove through the National Zoo to get Dean to school
as I drove I got to monitor the city activity from the perspective of a car driver
as I drove I tried to fight the driving impluses that make the streets so unbearable
after a few minutes at Dean's school it was off to work
rather than driving home and walking the 40 minutes to work I went ahead and drove into work
the traffic was maddening... how do people do this everyday?

found a pay lot with a daily fee
cringed each time my roof rack collided with the drooping overhead pipes

walking from the car to the office I felt tightly wound
more tightly wound then I already am
clearly the bike ride or the long walk is a more healthy approach to work
healthy for both mind and for body

had an MRI for my shoulder
will meet with the doctor later this week to find out my next step towards recovery
once recovered
back on the bike

sitting is a car can be nothing but frustration
the radio sucks
the car drivers around me suck
cars suck!
well, I love my car
the car is great for when I need it
but
I do not need the car to get me to work
there are far more pleasing options

11.14.2005

monday is here
monday morning I tend to be slow out of the gate
coffee helps
actually coffee is mandatory... yes I am dependant on coffee
I drink what is in the coffee pot in my kitchen... just as long as it has a kick I am happy
no coffee snob here
no political adgenda as I start my day
but
there are those that.... never mind as the coffee rants are from previous posts

so....
monday is here and we all reflect upon our weekend
this is a cycle I witnessed at a young age
we spend monday, tuesday, and part of wednesday relecting on the weekend past
then we spend part of wednesday into thursday, and friday planning for the weekend approaching
so many of my cycling friends are blogging as we speak, blogging about races and blogging about rides

here are a few
www.timfaia.blogspot.com
www.fatmarc.blogspot.com
bikesandbeer.blogspot.com
joefoley.blogspot.com
mdonahue.blogspot.com
wrenchinthegears.blogspot.com
www.singlespeedoutlaw.com
www.mtb-blog.com
raisindetra.blogspot.com
izzyisadog.blogspot.com
fearlessdogeaters.blogspot.com


that should get you started!
take those links and run!

oh
and this is a flash piece that I took off bike riding donut guy
(a link that I found on this blog, AlaskaBikeBlog)
((there was also this paris hilton flash piece that was clever enough)

oh
and this
a very cool bike that is very inexpensive IRO Cross Single
snagged from here cycling.finial.com

11.13.2005


product selection
taste... personal taste
fashion?
ethics?
so much goes into our product selections
it happens when we buy a bicycle
it happens when we buy a cup of coffee
sometimes it happens for good reason
sometimes it happens for little reason at all

there are some products that we like to be associated with for one reason or another
we become types
we become predictable

greenwashing is a notion I was introduced to as I scanned a dc birding blog
tonight I was reading through some bicycling blogs and I was at an old favorite, gundog99
on his blog there was an entry about a coffee advocacy blog
there was talk about the Starbucks Challenge

a short time back I saw some magazine television show do a piece on coffee shops and accuracy for caffiene and decafe coffees
it was disturbing
good thing they were not selling non-alcoholic beer
there were people skipping their 12 step meetings and going straight to happy hour

I blogged about a Starbucks Store Delocator some time back...
here is my archive for that page
it is fun to see what the direction of my blog goes through from time to time
I know... I like to push my blog from time to time

should I be eating Ben and Jerry's instead of Breyers just because I like Ben and Jerry's political and social stands?
I don't even know Breyer's position

not a birthday party
not a holiday event
no special occassion
just a beautiful fall day
just an average saturday morning

my wife thinks the leaves needed be raked, bagged, and put in the alley
while I think that the leaves need to be raked and carried up to the clubhouse
loaded into the clubhouse
then sent down the slide
then the children get to repeatedly slide down into a glorious pile of leaves

lunch?

hot dogs fresh off the grill!

some time ago I created this little piece in Photoshop
it got a bit of a response
friends and e-quaintences flooded me with emails

there was much discussion back and forth on the issue

since then I have been more and more conscious of my criticism


this is what I have come up with...
in the heavily populated areas on the crowded multi-use trails...

in the city on the heavily trafficked streets...

in these places the variables are different than on the country road
or on a remote section of dirt in the woods
on the trail where a person will be passing people or where people will be passing them...
iPODs and other headphone devices are not a good iDea


too often I approach a rider (or walker, jogger, or rollerbladder) and they are maintaining a straight trajectory

as I get more near I give an audible of my pass

the person being passed may drift or may make an irrational movement into my path

the movement is not due to my audible alert

the movement is not due to an obstacle in their path

but due to their wandering mind
risking a crash that could easily avoided


then from the perspective of the rider with headphones

there are cars approaching that are counting on the cyclist (or runner or walker) hearing the approaching vehicle
the car driver expects the person to clear the path as they come barreling through
the headphone wearing individual may not sense the approaching vehicle and may not respond appropriately


one of the main issues of the headphones is not so much its removal of the individual's ability to hear

it is more the combination of the inability to hear and the lack of focus
instead of being in tune to the surroundings
the individual is focused on the music
letting the focus drift away from the variables around them

the same goes for mountainbiking... snowboarding... rollerbladding... whatever...


lately with my recent shoulder injury I have been walking to work
I own an iPOD and I enjoy music

as of yet I have not used my iPod on my 40 minute walk

to me there is enough around me to entertain me

it is not so much a safety issue it is more an issue of taking in the world around me
the sounds of the city...
every day is as poetic as Paul Weller's
"That's Entertainment"
which is a great song that rests on my iPod

11.12.2005

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
http://www.urinal.net/


I need to go to the bathroom
reality
life and its little realities
the reality.... we are not all destine for great things
we are all capable of great things
but
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 Superficial.com, GAWKER.com, 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
but
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

11.11.2005

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
and...
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
www.emusic.com
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?