12.30.2005

Vace Pizza
clearly the best pizza in washington dc
carry out only
number one on the speed dial
with no need for the speed dial as the number is etched into my brain
called ahead when I dropped off Dean's buddy after we saw the film Narnia
tried to time things right
tried to find a space
rolled around the block
saw no spots freeing up
took a close but not legal space
after the parking ticket my 10 dollar pizza cost me thirty bucks
took the ticket off the windshield with a smile
laughed with the valet staff that stood before me
then drove home
got home with Dean only to see that Lisa and Grant had already picked up a Vace Pizza

Vace Pizza

12.29.2005



andy singer cartoons
andy singer's style is easily recognizable
andy singer's message rings true to those with bicycle bells
andy singer's images are worth checking out
andy singer's t-shirts look stylish

you have most certainly seen the work of andy singer before


A CLOSER LOOK AT CARGO MIKE'S BIKE
been running into mike a fair amount lately

it is not tough to see him when he is around
his trailer in tow makes him stand out

took a closer look at his rig I learned that he gets credit for the PVC structure that mounts on a bicycle specific trailer that is made by the folks at Bikes at Work
it is an impressive structure
fashion and function!
some links I have been to today
citybikes portland
(no association with citybikes dc)
ask the old wise bicycle guy
trackstar
velorution
marino's bike diary
fixed gear101

and for the go go gadget in you
instructables

that is just a few that have stolen my day...
there were others.... but they are not within view on my task bar as I type

and photoshop stole some of my day as well

oh
there was this NSFW stuff as well
scroll
previous/next... you can spend hours wading through this stuff
the cremaster cycle
watch the trailer
then please.... explain this to me
what does it have to do with bikes?
it has the word "cycle" in it.
all riders
any riders
not just messengers
not just racers
not just the freaks on their funky bikes
any riders
all riders


keith and his cruiser
a student at a washington dc high school
keith has a passion for customizing his low riders
from our brief conversation it sounded like keith works on bicycles and cars
all riding low
originally from florida, keith is finding that his love for low riders is not shared by his new friends
hopefully over time he can inspire his friends to take up his love for design and fabrication

toys, toys, and more toys
a few simple rules
there can never be enough blocks when working with Lego
there can never be enough track with working with Thomas the Tank Engine
and
there is something to be said about "age appropriate"

so many of the modern day parents (like myself) are so quick to share adult ideas with their children
the films my sons watch are often more on par with what young teen agers should be watching rather than developing four and two year olds
we see them as little people... not like small children
just as we let them watch movies that are for older children
we often present them with toys that are for people of an older age as well

so there are times when I try to slow things down a bit
put aside the Star Wars movies
refuse the request for the Spiderman films
and ignore the endless demands for Power Rangers
but instead I reach for some classic old school Scholastic films
many of the Scholastic DVDs and Videos take classic childrens books and put them on the screen
it amazes me to see the children absorb Harold and the Purple Crayon
or for them to soak in the various Maurice Sendak classics with Carol King soundtracks
or even the story of Cordoroy that goes nearly 10 minutes with zero dialogue
they enjoy these dvds more
and ya know what
I enjoy them as well
as far as the toys go.....
my boys have standard Legos
but I like to pull out the larger Legos that meets their age and little hand requirements
there should be no stigma to Duplo
cause if there is... I should wear the scarlet letter for having such a love for Duplo

that said...
I made the Duplo castle in the image above
took the new toys they got for Christmas and pulled out the old toys in the closet
merged the similar toys to get what appears to be one grandious new toy
when it is a collection of toys acquired over the years

love life bags
if Timbuk2 has gone too mainstream for ya... then lovelifebags may be for you
ya never hear anything about ZO BAGS anymore...
in my misspent youth... the Zo bag was "da shit"
had a Zo and a De Martini
(although I was frustrated at the time that City Bikes had a virual monopoly of the De Martini bags and did not sell any of these bags without their logo screened on the exterior)
and
from a Messenger Site... a list of Messenger Bags
personally... I think that the standard backpack style is better for your body and better for riding a bike

and of course
The Old Bag Blog
the Stolen Camera Saga Continues
yesterday after the kids were asleep...
lisa requested that I check on her car... her oil light was on
so I went out to her car and poured a few cans of oil into the engine

with the woods of Rock Creek Park by my side I simply tossed the empty oil containers into the woods
the cans feel comfortably next to the other various trash

the empty radiator fluid bottle made it all just seem right
then once inside the house I got a call on the phone
it was a DC police officer calling to make a follow up on my stolen camera

seems that they ran the tags

chased down the thief
got the camera back

made the streets safter and the world a better place

ah...
my tax dollars at work!
rewarding knowing I had done the right thing by going to the police
good to know that we have these people working for us



okay... hold on
that is not how things happened
yes, I did put oil in Lisa's car
yes, there is various trash in the woods including an empty radiator fluid container
yes, the police did make a follow up call
but
no, I did not toss my trash into the woods
no, the police had not caught the criminal
as a matter of fact... the police had done nothing on this case since I was proactive and went to the station to file my report
the courtesy call from the Keystone Cops was fluff
since the time of my call there had been no research of the suspect in question
not only did I have my camera missing but I had to give up my personal time to deal with this incompetience
this fluff was just more fuel to my already existing anger
their calling me over a week later simply showed that they did not follow up on my report
the police had done nothing with the information I had given them

the call was just a superficial niceity
something to make the citizen feel as if their hired guns were on the case, which they were not

not only was nothing done it was clear that the case was not understood
the officer calling did not have the tag information that I had given them
there was no data on the report to show his tag
the officer calling did not understand that this theft was not a camera thief, but rather a person who was paranoid that their illegal behavior was "caught on tape"
the camera had been stolen not for the value of the camera
but rather for the information that it stored

don't police watch police shows?

so... frustrated and irrate I asked the officer to hold and went to find the tag information
although the officer took the paper with the tag information from me without returning it I had scribbled it down again before I left the station
thinking that I may want to follow up on this further on my own

once I had the tag information in hand I returned to the phone composed
a tad winded I tried to aid the officer in further understanding this case
starting with the idea that a camera was stolen
but that this person was not a camera thief
then going onto the idea of the image and the tag information
if this is the correct tag information and it did not match the vehicle that was being driven....
does this tell you anything?
yes... the tags may be stolen, the tags may be to another vehicle registered to this man, this vehicle may not be registered...
okay, take it from there as there are multiple scenarios

our converstation ended pleasantly enough
did she get on her computer and start chasing criminals?
more than likely not
more than likely this officer got on the phone and made more vacant phone calls
I had recieved similar such calls
calls responding to email complaints
calls responding to phone call complaints
in some cases the officer talked at such great length that I felt that they may be punishing me
causing me such great pain that I would think twice before calling the police with information


this my stolen camera story
keystone cops

calling the police
involving the police
it just is not my style
in front of my house a car has been in front of the hydrant for 5 days now
my wife wants to call the police
I would prefer to leave a note
or just make mention to the car driver when/if I see them moving their car
clearly we can resolve things fine on our own
and in the case where we try to involve the police.... unless both parties are on the site
well
there is just nothing that they can do
or better yet
there is just nothing that they are going to do
cowbell...
"we need more cowbell"

custom cowbells
rock and roll cowbells
t-shirts

and
it would not be Go Go without he cowbell!

I will do a quick search to see if there is someplace that makes inexpensive Cowbells and drops a logo on it
that would be a fun stocking stuffer for the cross racer who has everything
a cowbell with their favorite shop logo on it

12.27.2005

.

local rider/racer studies racing at a scientific level
also trying his hand at coaching
from the looks of his friend's results... his tips are effective
kette rechts coaching blog

get in now while the coaching is cheap
.
Comet Deli scheduled to close
this is a sad day
the loss of one of the great Mom and Pop delis in the Adams Morgan in Washington DC for that matter
Mom and Pop are now Grandma and Grandpa, if not great-Grandma and great-Grandpa
(after reading the article I learn that pop died last March)
the time to retire may have come....
but what is to take the place of the Comet Deli?
a laundra-mat?
another Tapas place?
a hair salon?
something privately owned or a national chain?

along with the aledged Gentrification
there is some sort of Generi-fication.... everything is becoming Generic!
so much of the United States has become Anywhere USA

all over the city I have seen the places with character removed for something hipper with a spalsh of neon
or worse yet....
another Starbucks or a Whole Foods
come on...
do we need another Tapas joint in Adams Morgan?
sure, I eat Whole Foods and drink Starbucks
but... when given the option.. Mom and Pop get my cash!

what is a guy to do?
sit back and watch change take its course?

photo from the Washington Post
back on the bike
the year of 2005 was a year of multiple set backs
got knocked off the bike early in the spring season
crashed on the first rock in the first race of the season
(scroll down for the race report)
healed, recovered, got back on the bike, then got knocked down again
surgery on the hand
physical therapy on the hand
a manic effort to get into race shape
managed to do a handful of races
then, well, got knocked down again
first it was a major break and dislocation of my index finger on my left hand
then in mid-Fall I fell while riding my cross bike ending in a dislocated shoulder
no surgery for the shoulder
currently involved in Physical Therapy for the shoulder
missed the complete cross season
waited in grand anticipation for my bike
once I got on the bike I tried to make an attack like a clown being shot out of a canon
well....
there are certain risks to being shot out of a canon

today was Day One BACK ON THE BIKE!

last night I put air in the tires and lube on the chain
good to see the Karate Monkey Single Speed has a use other than hanging towels to dry
dug deep into the piles of gear for cold weather gear I have not worn for 8 months
gathered an assortment of tights/pants/jerseys/jackets/gloves/skull cap/and helmet
put aside my walking pack
loaded up my riding pack

this morning I got up walked the dogs as I sipped my coffee
then went to the basement to get into my gear
like Batman in the Batcave I put on my suit
then out the back door
into the alley
onto the bike
onto the streets of Washington DC
wanted to extend my morning commute
but...
the morning of walking the dogs and playing with my two son's and our new Christmas Toys cut into my ability to break a real sweat before work

there will be plenty of time to sweat
good to get back into it slowly
will be good to work some different muscles
those long power walks to and from work were starting to wear on me

wish me luck!
hopefully 2006 will be as good as 2005
remove the injury from 2005 and it was an amazing year
focus on the injury? never
there was far too much good stuff to focus on the negative

good to be back on the bike
good to be a cyclist again
cheering from the sidelines is not really my thing

12.26.2005


The National Aquarium Washington DC
larger than your average pet store
a tad less than impressive in comparision to Monteray or even Hatteras
but....
far closer than Baltimore and far less crowded as well
a good way to spend the day
inexpensive and nearly people free
National Aquarium WDC

12.23.2005

my friend Gibby sent me this....
he sends me all sorts of stuff
he sent me that Passing the Cyclist Quiz
told me about Honeymoon with my Brother
and well
he sent me this....
FATMAN WALKING
the pictures of him years ago make me wonder
how does this happen?
good luck to him

12.22.2005

take the quiz
a short little ethics test on driving and passing cyclists
Quiz

12.21.2005


there has always been a popularity of piercing in the cycling culture
but this is ridiculous

from
forgot where I found it
sorry
back from jamaica
thinking of the jamaican influence on american culture

of course we have the
rastafarians both from jamaica and from the states
then there are the
trustafarians often seen in ski towns out west
now there is the ever growing tribe of matzafarians

not defined on my quick google search
not defined here an effort to avoid offending too many people

well now there is a new tribe sprouting up........
the pastafarians

this is definitely a complex world

saw my first FSM insignia on a bumper today
was not clear what it was until now
no photos taken since my camera was stolen
I have carried my new camera with me
but have yet to take it out of my bag
it is a greater issue of time and the cold then the camera itself

the small point and shoot definitely had its advantages
hopefully I will get over the technology hump and start getting accustom to my new camera

here is a shot from a DC Blog, In Shaw
as snagged from DC Blogs

DC Blogs
my posting on the camera snatcher got some attention from
DC Blogs
DC Blogs is a blog resource that gives attention to various bloggers about the city

the topics range beyond bikes...
yes people blog about things other than bikes
I heard on the news that people blog about politics.... but I did not find that to be so interesting

12.19.2005

if my life were a movie
sometimes when things happen to me I try to think of what the audience would say if my life were a movie
you know, like when you are at some chop 'em up thriller film and it seems obvious that the monster is in the closet or hiding under the bed

is if that obvious to everyone else but me what lurks around the corner?

there was a span of time in my life were I had been held up at gun point, my house had been broken into, and my truck had been stolen
at this point in time I asked myself, "if my life were a movie... what would the audience be saying?"
would it be clear to the audience the next move to take should be?
was I supposed to grab my things and move to Kansas?
it may be obvious to everyone but me, the beloved protagonist, that all of these little events are building up to one major event
a major event that would be best to avoid
but... I lack dramatic irony
I just have the drama
(as it turns out those three events did not build up to a terrible fourth event)

well...
if my life were a movie today would have been tossed in for a little comic relief

left work early to go to physical therapy for my shoulder
turns out my appointment was for 4 and not 4:30
so they sent me on my way
trying to turn lemons into lemonade I started my walk home
in no time I had my digital camera out and I was starting to take some random bicycle photos
it was nice to have a little day light left for my forty minute urban walk home

I know the random shots are not as good as the close ups.... but
those take timing, something about the right moment
coming out of my PT office I ran into an old school messenger and passed my card warning him that I may snap a few shots of him when I get a chance
so the plotting of future Cyclist Photo Profiles are being worked in my head
but at this moment I only had time for my brisk march home with the occassional pause to snap a shot

so I am snapping some shots of moving cyclists
shots that are never composed well
shots that seldom come out well
shots that end up being a small fraction of a less than perfect/less than interesting composition
this camera is not suited toward motion shots
the digital delay makes it almost a camera toss

a few blocks past Dupont circle I found what seemed like a good score
a classic Raliegh five speed with an old row house under construction behind it
the house had a major trash removal tube attached to the exterior that made it an interesting piece in the background with the bike in the foreground
as I took the third shot and got ready for a different angle for the fourth shot a driver shouted at me from his truck, "what you flashing at me?"
we shout from across the street
me hearing him
him not able to make sense of what I am saying
he pulls over
he gets out of his car
we talk
it is not an aggressive exchange
yet it is not positive or friendly

after a few minutes of back and fourth
he still does not believe that I took a shot of the bike path and that he just happened to be driving by
even finding me taking pictures of a locked bike just moments later does not assist my case
as I show him the several shots of various bikes and different cyclist
there is some more talk
still he is in disbelief that I am taking photos of bikes and bikers
he is convinced that I was taking the picture of him, his truck, and his tags
as I go to show him the image in greater detail he snatches the camera from my hands
the camera slides into his pants pocket

never raising my voice
never getting angry
just shocked
in complete disbelief with the odd situation that has presented itself

I try to have him give my camera back

"come on... you must be joking"
disbelief is my primary emotion

he moves towards his truck
at each incidental brush and touch he get irrate
still trying to get past me and back into his truck
in a passive way I obstruct his route
finally stepping aside

in haste I take a look at his plate
as he pulls away in his truck I pull the driver's side door open
not trying to initiate anything
(okay... maybe finally trying to initiate something... perhaps a little late)
just trying to get my camera back
okay maybe wishing that as he pulls away his car door will strike something else

as he pulls away I repeat the tag to myself as I dial 911
the tag numbers are continued to be repeated
the police are of no use...
apparently they have to dispatch someone to my location
it is cold out
damn cold out
so rather than waiting an undeterminable time I walk several blocks to the nearest police station to file my report

honestly.....
I do not like going to the police station
blowing the whistle in not how I like to handle things
yet, it seems like the only option I have
the tag number is in my head
being reasonable was already a passed futile effort

in just two or three minutes I am in the District Three police station
I sign in
the back and forth with the officers on duty is less than pleasant
they are gruff... they treat me more like a criminal than a victim of a crime
with some basic urban static I file a report
up from her desk the officer is questioning why I did not wait at the scene for an officer to arrive
the cold was a good enough excuse
yet she was still less than pleasant

it seemed like the 20-30 minutes spent was a waste of time
the tag did not match the vehicle
no wonder he did not want his picture taken
either the tag is stolen or he is using a tag from a different vehicle
then again there is always the chance that I got the tag wrong in all my haste

the description was awkward
there was question of height, weight, and apparrell
but never did she ask the race
at the tail end of the description after the hair she asked if he was black
it was awkward
not clear if she was offended that I did not present it earlier
it was not that I thought it was a given
it was just that I was answering the questions as she gave them

height??? about six foot
weight???? about 600 pounds
(six hundred pounds.... exclaims the woman to my side.... who was also waiting to be helped)
okay... 500 pound.... he was big... he was fat
clothing????? white t-shirt and dark pants
hair???? short
facial hair??? none
how long was his hair???? short
okay
perhaps he was not even 500 pounds, maybe 350lbs
but he was large and apparently in charge
significantly larger than me and well.... apparently in charge of me
and well... I am not a slight being
after filing my report I was just relieved to get out of there

leaving more frustrated than when I had arrived
knowing that my camera was gone and there was nothing to do about it
knowing I had wasted my time going to the police

as I walked up 16th Street with Malcom X park just across the way I day dreamed what I should have done
not entertained the conversation and kept walking away from this man?
like David Carradine in the old Kung Fu films I should have set things right?
better yet make that Bill Bixbey to Lou Ferigno Incredible Hulk transformation?
each of these fantasies got ugly
neither ending good for either party
there is no winning a fight
even filing the police report is more likely to stir a hornets nest than get my camera back

then I realized that things went fine....
I had lost my camera
but I did not get injured
now I know that I should explain myself and offer to delete the image
now I know for future encounters... not everyone wants their picture taken
the silver lining to this...
this will force me to get accustomed to using my new camera
a much more high tech device that is that "too expensive to use" mode
well
this is a gentle push in that direction
this new camera will take better pictures day and night
its motion potential is greater as well
the use of this camera for a portrait scenario is pinacle as well

do I thank him....
no
but I am thankful that he did not run or gun me down
clearly he had issues
clearly he was paranoid about why the photo was taken
in the end his tags did not match the vehicle

if my life were a movie and this were the Truman show I am sure that people would have to laugh
as it was an absurd incident
my calm non-agressive response was out of character but clearly the best response

yet I wonder
if my life were a movie....
what book would it be based off of?
The Book of Job?




.





*a beautiful poem worth reading
my mom shared it with me in an effort to aid my battle with the blues
the date and author are a subject for debate
as for me... I had never heard the poem
only knew the word from one of Amanda MacKaye's band
Snopes.com clears things up

12.18.2005

Henry Garfield
today as I switched between the tasks of hanging christmas lights and cleaning my gutters I could not get the lines of
Henry Rollin's Family Man out of my head
it was a spoken word piece that he had recorded in his later days with Black Flag
pre Rollins Band post SOA
at the time of listening to this it always amused me
although I never found agreement in his bitter distain for such a person as the "family man"

Damaged was definitely an album that got worn thin on my turn table as a teen
his spoken word thing was awesome

words to family man

I can recall hanging at DC Space sitting indian style listening to the Henry Rollins
it was like a group of scouts listening to ghost stories at the campfire
now Rollins is doing his thing in Vegas at Mandalay Bay

Straight From Henry....

not exactly a BLOG
but I am sure if he blogged.... people would tune in

saturday i was forced to cross the bridge into virginia
the directions to the funeral home were incorrect
which is odd... as the funeral director gave me the directions himself
when back tracking on Interstate 95 I found myself in bumper to bumper Christmas Shopper traffic headed to Potomac Mills or some other mess of malls in Northern VA
it was hell
ended up missing the whole memorial service for my old friend, the marlboro man

was able to arrive just as the people were headed out of the chapel and into a greeting room
there I was able to gather with friends and family
from there I went to a reception that I had not intended upon attending
but having missed the memorial service I had to change some plans
called lisa and let her know that she would have to go to the second children's birthday party with our boys that day without me
I missed the morning party due to my having volunteered to sell Christmas trees at my son's school
it was a full day

was able to relax at the reception
spoke at length with the marlboro man's wife and an assortment of friends and realitives

on my way back into the city I stopped by to see an old friend at a bike shop in old town alexandria
it was really what I needed
Bennet has a knack for story telling
his day to day adventures would be a best selling novel or better yet a reality show that could air 24 hours a day
he is always causing incidents
then cleaning up after his incidents
on this visit he caught me up to date on some of the more recent incidents
if only bennet blogged

his life is like a Jerky Boys tape

bumper stickers are fine
it makes it easy for a person to identify their common car in a crowded parking log
but
in a situation in traffic when a driver makes an error or misbehaves those stickers can get dangerous
if I am passed aggressively by an asshole in an SUV and there is a "W" sticker....
my anger grows
my distain for the driver is not just for their driving style but for their ideas
they become a representative for those ideas

although I agree with the ideas of most of these stickers I still see there being some danger
but
it is good to see that there is someone from Texas who thinks like me

at times we must all think of ourselves as ambassadors of our tribe
not just when we travel abroad
but
as we exist in our everyday lives
don't be a stereotype

12.17.2005

death of a marloborro man
nineteen years ago I was nineteen
during that time I landed a gig as a motorcycle messenger
it was summertime and I was a college kid
bike messenger was my usual day to day summertime gig
but the opportunity to work as an inhouse motorcycle messenger presented itself
I had a motorcycle but did not have a motorcycle license
somehow the thought of making more money after taxes than I was making before taxes as a bicycle messenger appealed to me
there were various attractions to the contrast of a very similar set of jobs

on my first day I met a veteran motorcycle messenger for this company
he was old and grumpy and his grumpiness was exhaggerated by his recently quitting drinking and his recent separation
I was told by the other messengers to give him some space
of course
I did not give him any space

in hindsight I can see how it was
an adult man approaching 50 looking at a 19 year old boy that thinks he is a man
my ideas
my opinions
my appearance
and
my attitude
these things most certainly did not win him over at first
but slowly
I chiseled away at him
it did not take long before we were friends

in my youthful eyes he was old
he had a strange blend of cowboy and biker
all with a southern way
yet he was born and brought up right here in Washington DC

there was a prickley shell on top of a tender interior

his mannerisms
his ways
the logic
the actions
there was a wonderful blue colar wisdom to him
simple and profound at the same time

we played cards
we talked about books and we talked about life
we just talked about nothing
sometimes we just relaxed and watched the human parade that passed on the sidewalk in front of us

years past I we worked different jobs
I went back and forth between the bike and the motorcycle
I worked other jobs than messenger
I left the area and I came back
I took different jobs then I returned to that same job
through that time we stayed in sporatic contact
most of the time I just stopped in to say hello
knowing where he would be between runs
passing the spot I would expect to see him
stopping or just hollering if he was there

it was a friendship that has outlasted many of my friendships

I learned about his family and he learned about mine
we learned about each other and we learned about life

after quitting drinking 19 years ago
stopping smoking 12 years ago
and
retiring after working 35 years
the recently retired marlboro man was diagnosed with lung cancer
treatment started immediately
somehow I had struck up contact with his wife
she shared with me the news of his illness and swore me to secrecy
it was a secret I fought successfully to keep
although my behavior was somewhat altered
I made more frequent efforts to contact the Marlboro Man

there was suspicion
he asked why I called the first time
then a month or so later he asked again
come the third call he did not have to ask... I told him that I knew he was sick

he was busy with treatment
while I was busy being me
there was email corresspondence with his wife
I sent pictures of me and pictures of my kids
usually something that would make him laugh
apparently the photo of me dressed up as a cheerleader was a keeper
he kept that image under a book on his desk
when he needed a laugh he took a look

guess the image of a six foot four two hundred and thirty five pound bald man in a short skirt and halter top evokes laughter

around thanks giving the emails from his wife spoke of a turn for the worst
I called
he was not available to talk
yet it was good to talk to his wife.... good for her... good for me... and good for him
some time passed and the emails spoke of the end of treatment
and the inevitable end
again I called
his condition had worsened
when I called he did not have the strength to talk
so I talked more with his wife....
had her share an anecdote of two with him...
then told her to tell him that he is an asshole
she stepped away from the phone
I am not sure
but I am pretty sure I heard him laugh
he died one week later
sooner than his wife had thought
she was confident that he was going to wait until christmas to die
he could not wait
ruining her Christmas was not part of his plan

today I went to a memorial/funeral for him
it was great to see a cast of old friends
it was great to see his wife and family
at the memorial were all sorts of images from his life
one wall was decorated with a poster devoted to all the different id cards and credentials he has used over the years of working as a motorcycle courier
it was classic to see his youthful face
brown hair rather than silver
in that same brill creme 50's style pompador through each decade

sad that he had to die
even at 67 it is sad
I lost a friend
but a woman lost her husband
some children lost a father
and a man lost the chance to enjoy his retirement

one last thing about the Marlboro Man
every thursday is payday at his company
every thursday as far back as I can remember
my friend the marlboro man wore a red shirt
one day I asked him why he wore a red shirt every thursday
to this he replied
"even though it is payday.... I am still in the red"
that was the way it went with him

he pulled out a pocket knife to cut the wrapper off his bottle of asprin
sure you could tear it off
but that is not how he did things
he had a certain way about things

a little corny piece of pop spirituality
it does not help me in my search
it may not enlighten but it does entertain
sure I am a sucker for that Chicken Soup for the Soup type of stuff
and well
on top of that.... today I went to a funeral for an old friend today
guess I a vuenerable to such stuff at this moment
my aunt who never emails me
emailed me at a moment of weakness
the mood was right
I was open to listening
she got lucky

Interview with God

and
for those who smoke
quit smoking
some stats
some help


(this is not new...
seen it before from other sources
it amused me that I had the page in the background
it kept forcing its way to the surface)

12.16.2005

life just gets watered down
as we move further and further away from the past things just get watered down more and more
we lose the meaning of certain things
then there are certain things that just get lost

fixing things is a lost art
nobody fixes anything any more

there was a time when a large glass bowl broke... then it was fixed
now we just throw the parts away and buy a new bowl
while a few centuries ago there was not the liquid income or the mass production
perhaps this is why there is the myth that breaking a mirror brings bad luck
as mirrors may have been a prized possession
a prized possession that was expensive to purchase, easy to break, and perhaps not so accessible
a little myth like seven years of bad luck may have been a little like my dad telling me that it cost 25 cents each time the lights were turned on and off
a white lie to try and guide my behavior
so nobody fixes anything anymore
a broken vase is not glued
our time is spent doing other things
the value and our wealth dictates our behavior

last night lisa and were setting up the Christmas tree
there are boxes and boxes of lights
some that I had purchased others that I had been give by my dad
some lights worked others did not
the process of changing fuses is worth a shot
but
chasing a string of lights replacing blubs goes out the window with glueing a broken bowl
much easier to get another string of lights than to trouble shoot things
such are modern times
times with disposable income
times with disposable everything

I admit that I am a victim of the times
our house of four humans and two dogs creates a great amount of trash
too much trash

that's enough now
I am tired of blogging

back
next day
next morning

the bicycle is one of the last organic tools
something that an individual can build, fix, and maintain
there was a time when men tinkered with their cars
but now it is all computer diagnosed
the idea of changing plugs or oil is a thought of the past
the time it would take to change the oil then take the oil to a recycling station is clearly greater than the cost it would take to pay the corner gas station or the nation wide chain of Jiffy Lube to handle the task

the bicycle and all of its glory has gone the way of the broken bowl in some ways
the light weight components
the thinner chains
the many many speed rear cassettes are all disposable
there was a time with the 5 speed free wheel that people went years and years on the same chain and free wheel
now chains and cassettes are replaced oh too frequently...

the industry needs to adapt
a three hundred dollar bike should not need several hundred dollars of parts replacement every year and a half
that is not cost effective
in no ways is that logical
perhaps the lower end bicycles could drift back from nine speed to cassettes to eight or maybe even seven speed cassettes
where they could use wider longer lasting chains
and cassettes that do not wear down as fast as well

unlikely though
the bicycle industry is a business
they want you to continue to spend money on their product

sorry
more mindless rants
I think the holiday parties are making my already manic mind even far less focused


Alley Cat Results/NY Messenger Blog
BIKE BLOG from NYC posted some great images and the results from the RICO SUAVE ALLEY CAT
check it out!

12.15.2005


from the mind of a shark scientist, Aiden Martin


“It’s essentially projectile, and it has sacrificed maneuverability for speed. So it’s a little bit like having a truck trying to run down one of those bicycle couriers. I know we’ve all had fantasies about that,” says Martin.


from a 60 Minutes piece on SHARKS
for hypsters with kids...
Pancake Mountain...
Pancake Mountain CD/DVD release Party
at The Warehouse Theater

TONIGHT!

and for horny hypsters there are always
the Suicide Girls
but you may not want to scan this site at work
and
please, please, please do not confuse
Eon Mckai with Ian MacKaye

12.14.2005

Cool "Disco" Dan
another great piece of
DC folklore
another great
City Paper story

graffitti artist Cool Disco Dan....
how long will his art remain?

here is a graffiti art page
and an image off that page
although I am sure I could stroll around at lunch and snap a few shots of Dan's ever so famous "tag"

in high school I had a friend who went by "Hobo"then into his twenties he went by "Ultra"
always loved his work
he was all ways a good dude
not sure what he is up to these days
hope he is still creating
before I Publish and Post I will Google him

ah
sure enough Google got me there
not immediately
but there is this DC Graffiti Resource, very cool

in my life I only tagged things twice
once in third gradel I wrote some stuff under the Air Rights Building in Bethesda
did the classic heart with initials plus initials
only I did not do my own plus another
then
the next occassion was on a temporary fence at the construction site of what is now the Friendship Heights Metro stop
I had done a mural with some other students from my high school but had become embarressed by it
so we went back and touched it up
What ever happened to Featherhead?
earlier this week I got a random email
as it turns out someone Googled Featherhead in an effort to find Jim Rapp
well... they did not find Jim Rapp, but they did find me

anyone out there in touch with Jim
anyone know how to get in touch with him
some Independent Film makers are looking to get in touch with him
his story is plenty interesting... I can see the attraction
it is a story I would love to see told on film

email me if you know how to get in touch with Jim Rapp
thanks

City Paper
had a cover story about Featherhead as told by Featherhead
Gwadzilla Archive
(worth a peak to see how the blog grows and changes) with mention of Featherhead

Washington City Paper
as much as I love the City Paper.... it is a lot of paper every thursday
especially since so many people grab it
read the News of the Weird and then toss it aside
maybe they could have a stack of print outs of the News of the Weird along side of each Thursday release in an effort to conserve paper

wool jerseys...
nothing shy of classic!

our team, City Bikes Mountainbike Team, went ahead and had some classic wool jerseys made this year
they turned out real nice
the color are not well represented here
but the basic idea can be seen

snagged this image of
Joe Foley's Image Page
here is Joe's blog
and well
here is where we had the jerseys made; Portland Cycle Wear

these jerseys are sweeeeettt....
too bad I got injured and did not have a chance to test the wool out sweating on the cross bike in some of the local races
such is life....

12.13.2005

not riding
not racing
not that great a rider
not that great a racer
really just a guy who loves to ride his bike

just the same
just like the monday morning quarterback
I can still have an opinion
I can still stand by the water cooler and spout off
this stuff is so lame
it is quite removed from my lifestyle from how I feel games should be played
yes it is clearly lame

professional cyclists are really closer to professional football players than being close to a recreational rider like me
and well
the use of banned substances in football is unacceptable as well

why take a cab to win a marathon?
trick your opponent in chess by stealing their pieces if they glance away for a second?
hide a dictionary in the bathroom while you are playing scrabble?*
*

race clean

got the link from my old buddy tim faia

there is mention of east coast local hero jeremiah bishop in the heros section of race clean

jeremiah bishop's blog


*dont forget to drink lots of water so you have to go to the bathroom over and over and over again
also from the mind of my brother
well.. from the creater of Calvin and Hobbes
my brother sent it to me

here is a report of the Cross Nationals in Rhode Island from my brother marc....
(not my photos here either)

When CX nationals were announced for Providence, my first thoughts were that maybe this would be a good year to check out Natz, and my second thought was hoping it wouldn't be a winter wonderland. As the race approach it seemed likely that there would be snow and hopes changed to wishing for nice dry snow and not a course refrozen into an ice rink. Thursday I skipped out of work early, loaded my gear, and drove my kids up to their grandparents in NJ- so that my wife wouldn't be stuck alone with them all weekend. This detour around rush hour plus road work in CT extended my trip so that I got in late and tired to Providence. I was crashing with Todd Pittman and Kevin McCarthy (and old college chum of joel's), and it was great to pop right in to the official hotel of the race, the swanky Providence Biltmore- kind of odd to see all the bikes being wheeled around and crossers lounging gin their athletic garb. I knew the forecast was for snow overnight, and part of me wanted to just sleep in. My only chance to practice before my 11:00am race would be the 8-9am slot, and I figured I needed to pre-ride more than I needed the sleep. The mantra we used to use was that it was sleep the night before the night before that matter- so getting up a little under-rested wouldn't be a problem. As it turned out, getting out to the course before the crowds was a big bonus- I found a parking space easily very close the course, which allowed me to pop back to the car to swap equipment clothes, and to just warm up. I picked up my number then grabbed my bike for some practice. The snow was coming down a couple inches deep, but riding it wasn't too bad. I called Todd to give him a race report and told him it says something when they are laying down wet leaves to improve the traction. I was a little tentative on some of the downhills and turns, so I decided to change from my usual tufos to Michelin muds, for the extra confidence and traction. I could just barely ride up anything that didn't have barriers that forced a dismount, but I worried that while tired I would want a lower gear. So, after a little internal debate I decided to swap my chainring for a smaller one (I'd been using a 42 x 12-27 all season but changed to a spare 38T I had around). Changing out equipment without a chance to test it can be risky, but I figured I wouldn't miss the biggest gear and going a little lower could be a help. At the start it was still snowing (here's a pict from Kirk reisinger). I'm in the 2nd row, far left My plan was to try to go out hard and be towards the front on the first turn. I had 'earned' my starting spot by signing up early. ( I was number 18, and each row held 14 people). off we go... (I'm in the middle, #18) after the uphill snow covered pavement the course took a hard right into the snow-covered grass. things bunched up here on the frist lap, but I was still ok as we hit the fun roller-coaster section they called the candy bowl. for the most part I was able to stay out of trouble and work my way slowly up the field in the first couple laps. here's some velo news shots from early in my race: After a lap or 2 things were more strung out. Looking back I couldn't really see anyone chasing me. Actually, I couldn't see anything- my glasses were so fogged up I threw them on the side of the trail. I was able to work my way past a few people. Passed John Lux, who was complaining to a by-stander that he couldn't clip in to his pedal (that sucks, but Tim Johnson ripped his cleat out of his shoe and still made the elite podium...). Spectators were telling me I was in the top 25, which sounded pretty cool. By this point the snow had turned to rain, I was just looking to finish strong but without any stupid mistakes. Found myself playing cat and mouse with 2 super-stars of the masters cross scene (multiple CX champ james coats and andy applegate). Coats (the #3 seed) would fly by me on the fast sections then slow to a creep on the turns. apparently he doesn't like snow...as the pace sped up in the last lap I couldn't quite hang with those guys, but finished less than 10 seconds behind Applegate. in the end, 24th of 115 starters in 40-44. (150+ had signed up, but perhaps the weather discouraged some?) Although I really didn't know what to expect performance-wise coming into this race, I don't think I could have predicted a top 25 finish. My fitness is ok but not great right now, and I never really ride on snow much. But I think I was pretty relaxed out there and didn't fight the course. I went in with a pretty positive frame of mind to have fun out there, and maybe that is part of the reason it went well. And maybe the slower conditions suited me. After my race I was pretty wet and worried about getting too cold, so after the race I picked up my clothes and bike from the pit and went to warm up in my car. After changing into dry clothes I came back to watch the 1pm race, the 35-39. The weather for this race was the worst of the weekend- snow turned to sleet and driving rain. Everyone seemed to struggle with frozen hands (except for maybe the guy I saw peel off after the starting sprint- when everyone turned onto the course, he just rode on straight for his car). It was really brutal. I got to cheer on Marc Vettori, who along with me and Roger Masse, managed 24th place. And Chris Scott pulled out a top 20 finish. Todd Pittman had a hard time in the cold and wasn't too happy with his 43rd, but he and Kevin gutted it out while 50 people didn't even finish. The weather was was pretty crazy, and they post-poned the rest of the day's racing after that. The elite race on sunday was awesome- the course was perfect for spectating and the weather was nice. Todd Wells kicked butt on the slick course over a strong but less comfortable ryan trebon and an ailing jonathon page. fantastic watching those guy up close. I didn't stick around for sunday, but katie compton was denied a call-up but dominated anyway.
results:
http://www.cyclocrossnationals.com/
one year to get ready for next time!

Marc