1.31.2010

a few more shots of Colin from last week...



this clearly was not taken today... I do not have any photographs of the snow

GOT SNOW?

DC got Dumped on
I was no where near the local sledding hill to take advantage of the situation
there are all sorts of photographs by various camera men from The Snot Cycle mountain bike race that was held on a snow covered course
that happened without me

yes... this weekend past I pretty much missed the Washington snow storm
not entirely... but almost

this weekend I was involved in a pilgrimage with my family to celebrate the life of my recently deceased grandmother... my children's great grandmother

it was a quick three day weekend that involved quite a gathering
lots of activity... most of which involved eating and drinking
all tucked in between the exhausting task of air travel



my grandmother passed away just before Christmas at the age of 99
she had already arranged to be cremated a
nd placed in a mausoleum in a plot that was purchased decades ago
in fact I remember going to this cemetery when they purchased the spaces in the mausoleum when i was just a kid

the gathering met shortly after the day that would have been my grandmother's hundredth birthday

she was the pinnacle of the family pyramid
the family gathered to celebrate her life and our link
it was good to get together
I got to see so many people that I had not seen since I was a child
I got to hang out with my cousins and their families
we got to watch the twelve great grandchildren get wild and out of control like we used to get wild and out of control when we were their age and we got to get together

we gathered and we ate
we ate and we played
we told stories that we had all told before


grandma rest in peace
thank you for a lifetime's worth of memories

once back home with my bags unpacked I tried to take a nap
instead I just chilled out and listened to one side of The Who's Quadrophenia
then went out back and played in the snow with my boys
leaving out with just enough time for a hour of solitude with my dog in the woods

our tracks were not fresh
it was a well beaten path
the woods was beautiful in all its winter splendor


I think that is a ladies Electra Bicycle

hard to tell...
not only is it hard to tell
but I do not really know that much about the bicycles on the market
yet it appears to be an Electra Bicycle
www.electrabike.com

shaken not stirred...



okay...
I am tired and need a nap
currently not napping because of multi-SCABBLE games on FACEBOOK and this rant on BLOGGER
I need to listen to my body and rest after a travel weekend
the boys are playing with some friends... I need a nap
jet travel and family weekends wear me out
but I can not seem to get away from finishing this entry
so... I am calling this entry as finished
it could use a few edits... but that is not really my style
a glance
but never really a full edit
this like so many of my jumbled thoughts could use a few more reviews
but I need a nap... so I am going to select this text.... make it BOLD and then ITALIC
then hit publish and post
so I can nap.

shaken not stirred.
shaken... stirred?

heck... just pour it in a glass and I will drink it

cool is not part of my design
I never figured out cool
I do not have the time to concern myself with it now
cool is not my aptitude

it can be sloppy...

it is my style
but it can be sloppy
my style has some sloppy aspects to it

the attention deficit disorder in me will often take quantity over quality
it can be seen in all aspects of my life

this combined with the energy of an extrovert
the need for lots to go out

the motivation can be experience oriented

the multi-post style of my blog

that is the style of my life
not just electronically... but also in the real world
the way it makes me feel... it is an experience for me

it can be seen in my many athletic interests giving me that badge of "jack of all trades... master of none"
rather than selecting one interest and devoting myself... it is more a situation of intense dabbling
sometimes just an intense scratching of the surface
this sort of approach to sport can also be seen in my "creative interests"

the blog is a creative outlet for me

electronically creative... yet creative just the same
it is a good release
it is a place for me to get lost
I enjoy my electronic time almost as much as I enjoy my time in the real world

I enjoy the electronic experience

but really... I love the things I love doing actively outdoors long before I settle in to be bothered by anything outdoors
I love to experience things outdoors

active activity versus a passive activity
so many electronic activities would fall into a passive activity
blogging is an activity much like fishing
okay... there are aspects of fishing that can be active
like sport fishing off a boat in the gulf or fly fishing
but dropping a line with a worm and a bobber is a passive activity
much like electronic activities like video games and blogging are moderately passive activities
but this rant is not about passive versus active activities
no... this rant is about my input to reward ratio
and the thought that how we play games is how we live our lives

the passive activity of the electronic world is not only the inactivity of the body but more so the robotic mindlessness of the electronic experience
just as talking on the phone is not the same as talking face to face
video games also take us a bit out of the situation
just as the computer and its many experiences are often a watered down version of the real world version

the other night I had this great opportunity to photo Thievery Corporation moderately up close and mod
erately personal... them live on stage... not them hanging casually back stage
which is fine... because normally I do not like to photo anybody without a bicycle
it was the fifth and final night of Five Nights of Thievery and I had a photo pass
a photo pass and my glorious point and shoot



there was a moment there where I thought about my Canon G10 with its scratched lens absent a flash in the hot shoe...
yes... for a moment I thought about whether I was missing an opportunity where I should be working harder with the camera
getting deeper in into the setting

paying closer attention to what I was doing


there were other thoughts of the potential of the moment where I thought about whether it would have made sense to have rented or borrowed some nicer equipment


that thought was fleeting
those thoughts were fleeting
I was there to enjoy myself not to do homework or go to work
I have a job... taking photographs is a hobby

yes... there is some work to hobbies
yes... there was some fiddling with the settings

but... no more than the usual tricks never with any great long analysis of the results where are there for immediate review


not only did I not upgrade to a more high tech higher quality camera
I also decided not to bring any of my seldom used tripods
yes... tripods

going out to see a band was the objective of the evening
not shooting photos for Spin or Rolling Stone

it all worked out fine with the little G1o without a tripod

I like my results... the photos came out to my liking
I had an awesome time

in fact...
it was an awesome time listening to the music, taking some photos, and hanging out
like Frank I did it my way... or perhaps more like the rough and a tad uglier way I did it My Way like Sid Vicious did it his way
my way... yes... I did it my way

did other people take better shots? could another person take better shots?
certainly... certainly...
of course

that is not the point


I did it my way... that was my evening... those are my shots
not much more
it was my good time
it was my experience
taking the photos and viewing the photos and then posting the photos was my experience
this rant... a continuation of the process
my way... this is my way

those shots were mine and they do not look so much like everyone elses
in drawing classes in college I never could really understand why we were being taught to draw in such a manner that if all our drawings were stacked without our names written on them that we would not be able to tell whose is whose by much more than the perspective of where their stool or easel were in relation to the still life

later I grew to understand... or maybe grew to believe that people must learn to paint before they unpaint

but then I struggled with the exercises
even thought my still life drawings were not as good as most of the other s
till life drawings
or at least

my still life drawings did not look anything like most of the other still life drawings

drawing a still life with an effort for photographic accuracy was like riding the trainer in the basement
it is not really how things work for me
but of course... I have drawn still life drawings and I have ridden the trainer in the basement
there was a time when it was rollers and not a trainer

I was never that good on my second hand rollers
and drawing was a pleasure more than a skill
I can not paint... but have not really every tried
it has been a long time since I have drawn more than a scribble

cameras are not paints and brushes
these words are a metaphor

just a metaphor...
how I approach photography is a metaphor for how I approach life
how I approach life is seen in everything that I do

how is that working for you?
the results are the results
we all struggle with the results
most of us care about the results
even if the results fall into the measure of personal best

the results are part of what define the experience


results... we all want good results... we all want better results
if nothing else we all seek the best results that we personally can achieve

results
it is that simple... even the kid who did not study for the tes
t wants to score a high mark
I know... I was that kid that never studied for the test
and of course... I wanted a high mark
and of course... it hurt me that I did not get a high mark

even if I did not do what it would take to get the highest mark

again... the metaphor
it is the same in the classroom as it is with the camera o
r on the bike
it is the same in life

always wanting better results

never doing quite what it takes to get there
but of course... getting some pretty okay results
even if those results could be better

in the early 90's I lived in Summit County Colorado
it was a simple life that involved an assortment of jobs and a great deal of time on the mountain
snowboarding was my alpine pleasure
practicing and repeating tricks was not my thing

I was not seeking an eleven hundred... heck I was not even looking for a 360

when I hit the halfpipe it was usually just because I was headed that way down the hill
hiking the halfpipes... waiting my turn for the man made or natural "hit" was never my thing
if it was there I would take it
just flow on through and sometimes flow on past
sitting on my ass waiting my turn was not my style
that was not my experience

it was about the turns

I guess I would say I was "a soul rider"
soul riders ride for the feeling

I definitely rode for the feeling


I am not coining this phrase of "soul rider" I have heard others use this term to describe their style of riding
I rode with a number of riders of various ambitions
it weirded me out to see a friend of mine who I only knew trained GS on his planks... it weirded me out to see him jam "free riding"

I just did not get it
as I am older now... I get it... but it is not my approach to sport and life
a little too much work
a little too much sacrifice

stepping out of bounds just off the resort was about as "out of bounds" as I knew how to get
when stepping out to Billy's Bowl, The Windows, Imperial Bowl, or whatever else was available with chair access
well... there would be a measure... a measure of input and reward

there was a measure of the footstep to the turn ratio

as well as a measure of the level of exertion versus the returned level of pleasure

input to reward ratio
there are some simple rules in life

there is a correlation between input and reward
and
nothing comes without sacrifice


I like my input to reward ratio

things are pretty good

sure... everything could be better
of course I am working on that... hopefully that is the quest of each and every individual

life is an expression

we all express ourselves in the way that we live our lives

some better shots along with my post on
DC' Six Degrees of Thievery Corp


GWADZILLA MENTION OF THIEVERY CORP

1.30.2010

Chasing Legends (S)

I did not know him... but I heard it said

I did not know him...
he was a friend of some friends
through the electronic networks I have heard people mourning his death
the nicest thing I heard from a rad skater ex-DC-messenger...

"that dude was the punkest hippie I ever knew"

sad story...

www.nvdaily.com


I am not sure if he was a member of the East Coast Toke Team
but that was his circle of friends
Gwadzilla Mention of the East Coast Toke Team

1.28.2010

too long... it has been too long since I have done a proper yoga class

stretching a few stretches each day has become part of my life routine just like brushing my teeth
but an actual yoga practice
well...
it has been way too long

I need to try to find a space for a yoga practice in my life

1.27.2010

had not seen colin in months... now he is passing in front of the camera as what seems like every day

some more shots of Nico and his push bike




Phoniex Bikes in NOVA


BIKE SHOW 2010

Phoenix Bikes' BIKE SHOW 2010 is on!

BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW

The DC area is home to incredible cyclists and amazing rides!

At BIKE SHOW 2010, we will celebrate our region's most extraordinary rides. The portraits, bicycles, and people behind it all will come together with fanfare and food, a silent auction, a chance to win a commuter bike customized by Phoenix Bikes, and lots more fun.

Mark your calendars! April 8, from 7pm to 9pm at 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington

Submit your extraordinary ride!

Submit your Extraordinary Ride!

At this year's BIKE SHOW, Phoenix Bikes will be celebrating the seven most inspirational rides of the DC area . If you are into bikes, chances are you have been on an extraordinary ride. Whether it was a century through the Rockies or your first trip around the parking lot without training wheels, we want to see it and hear your story!

Your submission of an extraordinary ride is due by February 15th, so don't delay! Click here to tell us your story!


some words about the post that has yet to gestate in my head...

it happens... it does not happen often but it happens...
it happened today

today was the usual routine...

I woke up in a haze that the coffee just could not cut through
I went about my morning tasks in a robotic fashion
aided in getting the boys out of bed... assisted in feeding the boys... helped to push the boys out the door
then I walked the dog

in the winter I sometimes choose to speed up the morning process by suiting up once rather than twice
so... rather than dressing for the cold walk with the dog in street clothes
I go straight to the basement and suit up in cycling gear
this streamlines the process
this has its risks


it happens... not often... but it happens
I got out of the house and I was on my bike and I could tell something was off
not sure what it was... but I knew that something was off

today when I got on the bike... I knew something was off

knowing I had to get into work and did not have much time to troubleshoot the situation I started to pedal forward as I thought about what was missing

BLACKBERRY? check.
BUILDING PASS? check.

WALLET? check.
CHANGE OF CLOTHES? check.
HELMET? check.

a few strokes down the alley and it was all revealed to me... I was still wearing "street shoes" not my cy
cling shoes with the cleat that connect me to the pedals
knowing that I had to be at work and get my day started I stayed the course and did not alter my trajectory
this day was not going to have any riding to speak of other than the short straight ride to work and then home again

luckily last night offered a post work spin...
I could manage the short straight ride to work and then back home with street shoes balancing on the clipless pedals

yesterday I got out of work a few minutes early...
having the afternoon sun and some time before heading home to be with the family I decided I would take a spin around town with the camera dangling around my neck

on my Jamis Exile 29er Single Speed I over spun the small gear that is geared for mountain in an effort to keep pace with traffic
I rolled with traffic gliding forward with the lights
not having any real destination in mind I went where the flow of traffic allowed me
knowing all along that any deviation from my undecided course could be modified and set back on this undefined course to the undetermined location

it felt good to spin the cranks
it has been too long since I have done anything that would really constitute as a ride
heck... it has been a long while since I have done anything that would constitute a work out
the cold weather with the wet earth has robbed me of any ambition to go mountain biking

the responsibilities of life and the pleasures of parenthood have pushed the bicycle back a few slots in the queue

weekends have been all about kid's basketball... ice skating... and hanging out
there have been very few efforts to get on the bike
there just has not been that much desire to get on the bike
so yesterday... as short as it was... it was good to be out on the bike


out on the bike with the camera around my neck I snapped some shots of cyclists I tried to carry on a conversation all the while focusing on being smart and safe on the bike

now if and only if we could get the car drivers to have some of the same concern for themselves and others

around me I see the same set of actions repeated car after car
cell phones... blackberrys... and iPhones...

drivers splitting their attention between the real world and the electronic world
more of their focus on the electronic than the real

putting others in more danger then themselves

DANGER... DANGER... DANGER!

I try to scoot past and put myself somewhere where I am free and clear

at a good pace I split lanes of traffic always anticipating that there will be a lane switch in front of me

multiple times I am put at risk by drivers failing to behave as they should

in the dual turn lane I take a turn while the car in the center lane which is left turn only decides to go
straight
I accelerate and make the pass in front of his or her grill... there was really no time for eye contact... no time to identify the driver
did they every see me? do they see me now? do they see me flipping them off?

I know... I know... I know...
giving somebody the finger is no way to improve the bicycle car relationship
but there is something about an idiot or an asshole putting my life at risk gets my blood boiling
sometimes I react inappropriately

further on I get an inverse to that situation

this time I am in the center lane which is left turn only
the car to the right of me makes the turn then tries to take my lane as his lane is being blocked by constru
ction
good foresight my friend... but please take all variables into account... my life being one of those variables

no flipping of the bird... there was no real danger... I was seen and he slowed to let me pass at the las
t minute... granting me not only my right of way but also my right to my own personal safety

sprinting ahead I make the light before yellow turns to red
maintaining a good pace I am in the left hand lane
there is a car in the right hand lane
fast... wild... with no turn signal... and right in front of me this ASSHOLE takes a U-turn mid block right
had the timing been different it would have been right on top of me

I panic stop
... brakes are pulled hard
I am out of the saddle and ridding the dual wheel skid
knobbies are being worn down as my pace is slowed


my heart rate goes up as my speed comes down

T-Bone averted
as the car finishes its ignorant and erratic mid block U-turn I admire the whiskey dents all over a car that does not look that old
it seems that foolish behavior is that drivers signature
they get the finger
they did not see me before... I would not expect them to see me now

ahead I spot a subject for the camera
I thrust forward to get the shot before we reach the bumper to bumper traffic
a hello and then a mention of the blog

he is a messenger and aware of the Gwadzilla Page

he has been on the page... he is pleased with the prospect of having his picture taken
this cyclist slows as if to stop for the photo opportunity

I tell him to keep rolling and we can shoot on the move


I split my focus between the line of cars piled up in front of me and he cyclist along side of me

I snap a few shots before it is time to focus on the traffic around me

we exchange a few words as we roll down Massachusetts Avenue towards Union Station
I gain some ground on him after a good by but am then caught at a red light that can not be run
I snap another shot then we all pedal forward

approaching Union Station I pass a commuter in business casual
only after making the pass and rolling on ahead I realize it is my old friend Craig
I slow and stop allowing Craig to catch up
he catches up... we catch up... I snap a few shots
we exchange pleasantries and discuss what is happening with the families
there is no mention that this is the eve of his 11th Anniversary
lots of information is passing back and forth but no mention of this

happy anniversary craig and agi


my trajectory is altered as I let my path follow craig's path... we catch up some more as we ride...
as we approach Eastern Market I see Jay Moglia... WOW!... three times in a day... had not seen or photoed Jay in months... then I catch Jay three times in a day... go figure

Craig and I peel off in different directions after a few more social blocks
the light is starting to drop and I start pointing things towards home

the light is such that I am no longer so focused on the camera

with both hands on the grips I hammer through traffic that has become more thick and a tad more aggressive... this is rush hour in the city

pointed back for home I circle a number of the urban parks on Capital Hill
the dog walkers and the families in the toddler parks are making good use of this urban space
not so worked up by the winter temperatures
in the last and final park before Union Station I spot a small child on a "like-a-bike" push bike apparatus

I slow myself down and move in that direction
normally I do not ask to take photos of people on the move

but children are a little different

I approach the young boy's father and make quick mention of the blog and wanting to take picture of his son
he is open to the idea... we connect... it is an open and friendly conversation between two men who love bikes and love their children

he is obviously proud of his son who is quite the master of his little push bike
I snap a few shots then share a genuine goodbye


I am reminded that I enjoy my photo hobby for its social benefits as much as anything else
it is interesting to meet strangers and get invited into their heads

I like that

back on the bike and am fighting traffic again
there have been a number of near misses and close calls
I shed them as they happen

no need to carry that stuff with me
just important to anticipate and avoid the danger

as I pass the NPR building I snap a shot of a woman riding her bike on the sidewalk

in a happy go lucky sort of way she asks while smiling why I have just taken her photograph
I take to the sidewalk... a little winded with a mouth full of spit I try to explain things... I try to snap a few more
shots... none of the shots come out... not enough light
she more than likely forgot my last name that would aid in GOOGLE-ING and finding the Gwadzilla Page

she goes straight while I turn left by the Washington Convention Center
on the move I take a shot of a man on the bike... he shouts out... I recognize the voice as I recognize the form
it is Moose... Moose was a messenger decades ago... I know him from way back when

I stop and we catch up
more men talking about life... life and kids


this ride has been more social and more photography than a work out
yet there is some exercise tucked in there somewhere
something is better than nothing
I finish my ride zigging and zagging my way up to 14th Street and then on towards Columbia Heights

when passing Marvin I spot a woman on the bike... she had a rough urban look... but there was not
enough light to concern myself with trying to capture the shot
instead I hammer up the hill... feeling pretty okay... but feeling the reality that I am not in very good shape
I take the full lane forcing cars to pass on the left
there is the usual tailgating bus behind me

but i have learned that if I ride submissively it just rewards the aggressive driver
that metro bus can pass me if it wishes... but I am not looking
to get doored or pinnd against the curb

we all have to share the space... I am making the drivers around me make the safe smart decision
a few drivers pass me without exiting the lane
either sloppy driving or obnoxious

so seldom do drivers pass the suggested three feet away


through Columbia Heights and then on towards Mount Pleasant
PARK ROAD between 14th Street and 16th Street is the usual cluster fuck... the Wizards at DDOT did a great job of designing a slow rolling parking lot here
I make my way through with some frustration but little issue

at home I am greeted by my boys, my wife, and my dog
it is a lazy post school day evening

there is mention of the Wilson pool... but we went their the night prior... no need to burn out on that winter w
eekday option
we stay local... Grant runs over to a neighbors... Lisa walks the dog... Dean and I try to figure out th
e WiFi potential of his Nintendo DSi

the night winds down with more of the same

Grant returned from his friends house... I settled in with the boys and put on some college basketball in an effort to give them a better understanding of the sport of basketball as whole
then we followed it up with some Discovery Channel thing on Thai Kick Boxing

then bedtime for the boys
like a fool I blog after the kids go to bed rather than go to bed myself
too many images on the camera... tough to resist checking them all out


my hobby is a passion and a compulsion
I like it
but i need to sleep

1.26.2010

this kid was rocking the downhill!

I think MORE has a rule of trail etiquette

if you are wearing your galoshes
it may be too muddy to go mountain biking

luckily he is not so heavy to leave an imprint

MORE
http://www.more-mtb.org/

Banff at NGS


The Banff Film Festival is coming to National Geographic
http://events.nationalgeographic.com

the films are inspirational

good to see moose... always good to see moose

moose was a messenger back in the day

there was a video crew shooting at the Thievery Show on Sunday night

at the 930 club on sunday night there was a video crew documenting thievery corporation on stage

I think this may be a mention of it
http://cvillehdtv.blogspot.com


below I am going to post a not yet mention of Sunday night with some photos I took...
photos loaded and waiting for words
wanted to try to get some thoughts down about Six Degrees of Thievery Corporation

that must have been a pretty wild trip!

the c&o canal

I have many memories from the c&o canal
it has been the bicycle destination for me many times on many levels
I have ridden the cumberland to dc ride a few times
the stretch between whites ferry and dc is more familiar
harpers ferry has been a destination
the miles between Old Anglers and DC have been looped coutless times

but never have I considered a winter approach to the c&o canal
here is a report from someone who did
and it was blessed with not just cold... but also snow!

http://masternaters.blogspot.com

thanks nathan

thanks chad...

this is progressive...

www.likecool.com

a note from elliott


Hey folks,

So, I finally figured out how to podcast my radio show and figured I would
let more people know about it. Its called This Wheels on Fire, and its a
mix of country/alt-country/bluegrass/americana music with news/interviews
about bicycles and bicycle culture.

Its on Radio CPR - 97.5 FM in Washington DC, 1st and 3rd Sundays from 7-9
PM. If you are in NW DC, especially near Mt Pleasant/Adams Morgan/Columbia
Heights/Petworth, you may be able to hear it on your home radio or in your
car.

If you cant get the signal, you can download by podcast at the below address:

- http://twofradio.libsyn.com/

Apparently, the show is now available on itunes as well, but I dont know
enough about itunes to look for it and find it. But you can search by the
show name or dj bottom bracket or dj bb.


The show has a blog at www.thiswheelsonfireradio.wordpress.com


I will probably combine these two in the next few weeks. I will get rid of
the wordpress.com account and just put all of it on libsyn.com.

Feel free to pass this around, but please take my name/email off the
forward, as technically radio cpr does not operate with a FCC license.

Thanks and enjoy.

Elliott aka dj bottom bracket


Jay and The Raw Talent Ranch and The Lost River Classic

ran into Jay Moglia today
I mentioned the Banff Film Festival at National Geo
then Jay asked me if I had seen the film about The Lost River Classic

http://www.visithardy.com/video/Lost_River_Classic/biking4.html

more on Moglia
http://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/search?q=moglia

then there is this...
10 Questions with Jay Moglia on Gam Jams
www.gamjams.net