Wednesday, October 17, 2007

God Bless Ya Keef!

With apologies to Mr. Knight, but honest when I read this, I just couldn't help myself. Opportunities like this only come rarely and I'm so glad one motorist got the message.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

100 Pointless Things About Me

1. Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Either, it doesn't matter, I don't believe in monsters

2. Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?
Not anymore, they aren't useful to a bald guy

3. Have you ever 'done it' in a hotel room?
Yes, so, it was my honeymoon

4. Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
Yeah, stole a stop sign once, I was stupid in my youth

5. Do you like to use post-it notes?
Yes, they are cool to nerds like me

6. Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?
Sure, I misplace them

7. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
one bear please

8. Somehow either the creator or someone that did this survey before me couldn't count and 8 seems to be missing. Once again, I'm going to create my own and answer it. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Dogs, they are always happy to see you, they give unconditional love, some cats seem to care less if you are around or not, unless they are pissed off at you. Dogs don't behave that way. I don't need a sarcastic depressed pet.

9. Do you always smile for pictures?
generally, only my 15 YO son doesn't to the best of my knowledge

10. What is your biggest pet peeve?

11. Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
either, its the sleep that matters not the arrangement of the bed

12. Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
No, I don't see why you would

13. Have you ever pee'd in the woods?
yes, I'm a male its easy for me to do that

14. Do you ever dance even if there's no music playing?
No, I don't dance when there is music playing, fool

15. Do you chew your pens and pencils?
No, I stick them behind my ear, I can afford gum

16. How many people have you slept with this week?

17. Someone must have deleted 17 as it offended them or they couldn't handle an answer. Therefore I get to create my own and answer it too. Do you like the NFL?
Not in the least. I think its the sport that people who need another excuse to get over served need to drink heavily. They also seem to be fat from eating too much shitty snack food.

18. What is your "Song of the week"?
I don't have one, I listen to a lot of music

19. Is it okay for guys to wear pink?
sure, I'm not into generalizations

20. Do you still watch cartoons?
sure, cartoons can be fun for adults and children, you got a problem with that?

21. Whats your least favorite movie?
Anything stupid like many Adam Sandler movies or Will Ferrell movies

22. Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
A bank you moron, what is this 1928?

23. What do you drink with dinner?
water, soda, coffee, tea, juice

24. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
Eeeyew, parts is parts, I don't buy them, I don't eat them

25. What is your favorite food/cuisine?

26. What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Cinema Paradiso

27. Last person you kissed/kissed you?
I can't remember, its been a very long time and I'm trying not to think about it you bastard

28. Were you ever a boy/girl scout?
I was a boy scout leader as an adult

29. Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
No one wants to see me naked, least of all me

30. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
My ex-wife this summer

31. Can you change the oil on a car?
I do, always have

32. Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
I just walked away without one when I deserved it, I admitted to speeding and still didn't get a ticket, go figure, being polite to officers of the law can be beneficial

33. Ran out of gas?
not in a long time, it pissed my ex-wife off a great deal, it turns out she told everyone about it

34. Favorite kind of sandwich?:
varies, its a problem, there aren't many foods I can't enjoy

35. Best thing to eat for breakfast?
some twigs and leaves with gravel for roughage

36. What is your usual bedtime?
between 9 and 10

37. Are you lazy?
yes, sadly, because I'm depressed

38. When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for halloween?
stupid things, I was poor and didn't have much to work with

39. There was no 39 so I get to make one up. Do you enjoy riding bicycles more than driving in cars?
Absolutely, cars are for lazy people.

40. How many languages can you speak?
English and a few words in many languages

41. Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
yes, music and cycling magazines you've never heard of

42..Which are better legos or lincoln logs?
its all good

43. Are you stubborn?
I can be

44. Who is better...Leno or Letterman?
Letterman is an asshole to the planet

45. Ever watch soap operas?
I do not, except when it made my ailing mother-in-law happy

46. Afraid of heights?
I am as an adult, wasn't as a kid

47. Sing in the car?

48. Dance in the shower?
No, I'm usually holding a blade, it isn't wise. Have you forgotten 14 already?

49. Dance in the car?
Never. See 48 and 14 idiot.

50. Ever used a gun?
I've fired them and killed something with one, its not a thing I enjoyed, its more a been there done that

51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
My family years ago

52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?
Others enjoy them, why knock that?

53. Is Christmas stressful?
I've begun to dislike the holiday yes

54. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I've been an engineer for more than 20 years and grateful to be what I want to be

55. Favorite type of fruit pie?

56. Occupations as a kid?
Kids have occupations where you live? How stupid.

57. Do you believe in ghosts?

58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?

59. Take a vitamin daily?
I do

60. Wear slippers?
not now

61. Wear a bath robe?

62. What do you wear to bed?
undershorts and a tee shirt

63. First concert?
Bob Seger and Bachman Turner Overdrive. Seger blew BTO off the stage even if he was just the warm up. BTO was a bunch of fat guys that played bar chords. Even at 13 I knew they blew chunks. It was the only concert that came through Marquette Michigan at the time that I had any interest in. Seeing REO TwatSpit never interested me.

64. Wal-Mart, Target or K-Mart?
Target, the other two are for welfare rejects

65. Nike or Adidas?
either they're just shoes

66.Cheetos Or Fritos?

67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?

68. Ever hear of, "gorp"?
Yup, I've made it and ate it

69. Ever take dance lessons?
I once had to do square dancing in junior high, it sucked, I'd rather play basketball in PE

70. Is there a profession you picture your spouse doing?
No preconceived notions

71. Can you curl your tongue?

72. Ever won a spelling bee?
I'm a failure at spelling

73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?

74. Own any record albums?

75. Own a record player?
its called a turntable you moron

76. Regularly burn incense?
no, I burn scented candles after I leave a big dump or make some strongly seasoned chili. Funny how those two incidents seem to follow one another.

77. Ever been in love?
sadly I was, am, probably always will be, and it will never be reciprocated again

78. Who would you like to see in concert?
Jimi Hendrix, but he's dead

79. What was the last concert you saw?
Richard Thompson

80.Hot tea or cold tea?
both are good

81.Tea or coffee?
Coffee, but i like tea too

82.Favorite kind of cookie?
I've never met a dessert I didn't like

83.Can you swim well?
I won't die usually

84.Can you hold your breath w/o manually holding your nose?
yes, even infants can do that. Just try dunking one under water once, its an innate ability. Humans don't seem to want to drown by some reason. Hard for you to grasp huh?

85. Are you patient?
not always, who is?

86. DJ or band, at a wedding?

87.Ever won a contest?

88. Ever have plastic surgery?
I'm bald, what's the point?

89. Which are better black or green olives?

90.Can you knit or crochet?
no interest in either, its just fine for lots of other folks though

91. Best room for a fireplace?
in your house, not mine

92. Do you want to get married?
Good grief, maybe I should date someone first, huh?

93. If married, how long have you been married?

94. Who was your HS crush?
I didn't have crushes, I went on dates. If I liked them I asked them out. It was that simple. I wasn't a chicken shit. Ever. He who snoozes loses.

95. Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?
Hopefully not since I was two

96. Do you have kids?

97. Do you want kids?
not anymore

98. Whats your favorite color?

99. Do you miss anyone right now?
it doesn't matter, they could give a fuck

100. current relationship?
single and not looking seriously

Stupid Survey I did on Myspace

Corona, Smirnoff or Bud light?
Ugh, Mountain Dew yah drunkard

Flowers, Candy, or Cards?
You know this sucker was written by a chick

Beer, Wine, or Mixed drinks:
Two of the first three questions are about alcohol, sure can tell where your mind was at dear alcoholic author

Football, soccer or baseball:
baseball, the other two suck

Kiss, Hand Holding, or Hug?
hand holding is for children.

Buy, Borrow, or Lease:
Save until you can buy

Ford, Chevy, or Dodge.
Haven't owned one of those in years, they all suck at reliability

Email, Telephone, or Letter?
Letters or email, but then I'm literate

California, New York, or Florida?
All of those locations are for people that need to be "seen", none of the above

Kisses on the Neck, Stomach, or Ears?
Did I TELL you to stop yet?

Morning, Afternoon, or Night?

Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Halloween?
Halloween, scaring the shit out of the little bastards is loads of fun and all my pranks get blamed on teenagers

Dogs, Cats, or Hamsters:

Beach, Mountains, or Desert.
mountains are cool, water and deserts are boring

Cookies, Cake, or Brownies?
never met a dessert I didn't like

March, July, or October:

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner:

Giver, Sharer, or Keeper:

Eyes, Nose, or Mouth:
stupid question, ear hair of course

Friends that lie, Enemies that pretend to be your friend, or Alone:
yet another stupid question


1. last beverage:
mountain dew

2. last in-coming call:
my brother

3. last cd played:
Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers

4. last time you cried:
last Friday

5. last text message:
to my youngest son


1. Made a new friend?

2. Laughed until you cried?
Nope, it has to be really funny for that

3. Met someone who changed your life?

4. Found out who are your true friends?
sadly yes


1. How many kids do you want to have?
have three, lets stop while we're ahead, shall we?

2. Do you have any pets?
Yes and no, and that's all I'm going to say about that

3. Do you wanna change your name?
not really

4. What did you do yesterday?
went to work, got lots done

5. Do you get butterflies when you talk to that "special" someone?
more like wasps buzzing inside my noggin talking to that "unspecial" someone

6. What were you doing last night at 10:30pm?
trying to fall asleep

7. Last time you saw your father?
Years ago the week before he died

8. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life?
divorce or marriage take your pick

9. What are you listening to right now?
Fresh Air on KNOW

10. Mariah, Madonna, Christina or Britney?
Not one of them can write a song by themselves worth a shit. I'm not sure any of the group could play an instrument without Special High Intensity Training (SHIT) before hand. I prefer music by the people that really create it in their heads and see the vision through to reality. Like Dylan, Hendrix, and so many more worthwhile artists. In 25 years, no one will remember Britney unless she's trashing some trailer park somewhere.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Yooper Off Road Riding

This past weekend I went to the Upper Peninsula and rode bikes. I forgot my camera so I didn't have any photos, but this morning my pal Kelly graced my in box with three photos. Two are really good and one not so hot since it had grown dark and was raining.

During the weekend, I managed to bust my Rock Shock on my Jamis Dakar. It slides, but has no damping ability whatsoever. I rode it anyway. Made descents terrible. I was leaning over on the handlebars more than usual and my hands took a beating. Some downhills were too rocky and steep and I had to walk down. With the leaves and the rain, skidding and slipping was a constant companion.

I'd also hauled along my Quickbeam and Kelly and I did a fixed gear road ride too. Great fun as we climbed Mount Marquette via the roadway. Its the site of a ski hill, so you can imagine what it was to climb. I've no idea how long it is, but it was a hoot even though by mid way up you begin to rethink your priorities. I had to use the brakes on the way down, I just didn't have the leg to maintain any control at the cadence required. Fixed is fun!

In the photo above, that is Luther on the left, Kelly in the middle and some big oaf that slowed them down all day long. Thankfully some fellow happened by to help by taking the photo. The second photo was taken by Kelly at the top of the first climb before it began to rain. You of course can tell the conditioning of the big dummy as I promptly got prone the moment I found them waiting for me. Hell of a warm up to climb that hill right from the get go. I should have asked Kelly to take a photo of the vista to give an idea of how high the climb was. Otherwise, I'm a lousy estimator and don't know how high we'd just climbed. For me it went downhill from there. Still had fun though. A bad day of cycling even in less than idea weather, is better than a great day at work.

Harleys in Peru

Do these photos make anyone else think of the Flintstones?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

G'day Ms. Hooker

Okay, so you've never have heard of her by that name. Heck, I'm sure you didn't know her by her real name.

If you grew up as a male in the 60s through early 80s you do know what this character's name is; Miss Moneypenny. Yes, the double-entendre spewing administrative assistant of the big boss in James Bond movies. God bless her soul she passed away quietly due to cancer in Australia, her final homeland.

I grew up reading Bond books, that is books by Ian Fleming. I didn't see the movies because well, TV sucked in the 60s and 70s in the UP so I didn't see a Bond movie until, well, I no longer cared. By then I'd moved on to John le Carre' instead. Less sex, but far more intrigue. Yet, I always remembered the character of Moneypenny as she was referred. And always impressed with the early films with Connery, Lazenby, and Moore that had the exact same Moneypenny. I liked that loyalty. Loyalty is a big deal in my life. I don't know why or how, but it means something to me.

She was born some 80 years ago in Kitchener, Ontario as Lois Hooker. During WWII she fled home at 15, lied about her age, and joined the Royal Canadian Army to get away from her rural home life. She was a part of the Canadian Academy Entertainment Corp in England until her age was discovered. From there she managed to gain entrance to the Royal Academy of Arts in England where she made friends with Roger Moore whom she'd eventually share the screen with in seven Bond pictures. They remained lifelong friends to the end. She began her movie career in
A Matter of Life and Death and soon won a Golden Globe for her acting in That Hagen Girl in 1947 and retired from films in 1989 when the Bond movies no longer came calling.

Lois Maxwell as her stage name, she was in many films in Hollywood including Stanley Kubrick's
Lolita in 1962 which was followed by her fourteen picture stint as Miss Moneypenny starting with Dr. No in 1962. She was the perfect foil for the Bond character. Always exact, a little matronly, but yet with just the right touch of smitten for that dashing agent. The most recent Bond film with its new star Daniel Craig was the first Bond picture without a Moneypenny character. The succession of actors that tried to fill the character during the Dalton years, didn't warm anyone's hearts like Lois did.

Some of us are great by birth, some of us have greatness thrust upon us. Others don't achieve anything truly lasting. Lois was content to accept a character that I think is lasting and although small will be a legacy anyone should be proud of. Its sad that at least one Bond character never took her out for one long night on the town or more. She'd deserved that much. Rest well, Lois, you've earned it.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Sometimes, I need help connecting the dots. Time passes and a guy forgets things. Like in this case what scum Alan Greenspan was. And all I thought was he wanted to sell books. Thanks for the screw job pal.

Apologies to Tom Tomorrow. Thanks for keeping me in the know, dude. Keep those cards and letters comming.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hilly, I Barely Knew Ye

Rest in peace Hilly. That is Hilly Kristal (photo above) to those of you that don't know. He past away this weekend of complications due to lung cancer according to his son Dana. He created an establishment he called CBGB & OMFUG. This was to mean Country, BlueGrass, Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. Truthfully a Gormandizer is a voracious eater of food, but to Hilly it meant a voracious devourer of music. To be honest Hilly was personally a country music fan. He only began letting almost unknown bands play at his bar when country bands wouldn't come there for he was located in the Bowery and the bands pestered him until he gave in.

The names that he permitted to play are the stuff of legends. And his requirements go hand in hand. They had to play their own compositions. You could get one cover a night, do two and he'd pull your plug and you might not get another gig there for a long time. He fostered the new sounds from the newest bands. The Ramones, Television, Blondie, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth and Patti Smith. Patti was the last artist to play there last fall when CBGB closed permanently. It closed because he was a victim of the old adage, "location, location, and location." The Bowery went from being the last place you wanted to visit, to a hub of artists and upscale renters. He simply couldn't afford the rent because the rents around him went up. Consider that the crafty or lucky Hilly actually made on the order of 2 million dollars just on his tee shirt concession with the simple statement CBGB.

Ah, he could be a pain in the ass. He liked country and here he was listening to guys that could barely play, much less competently. The Ramones are legend among his gripes. They argued, they walked off stage, they played very loud, the members played different songs at the same time, they simply didn't know how to play at first. But he let them come back. Why? Who knows. Hilly was known to say once they became a legend of their own, "Shit, they got better." And maybe that was all Hilly needed. I think he lived for the crazy people that showed up like Wayne Country. His joint became an icon before we of that era knew what icon meant.

I never made it to CBGB. In 1978-1980 I wanted to. I had begun hearing the Ramones, the Clash, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith, and more and they all ventured through those doors. By then the bar was a magnet for more than just bands and their victims, er fans. A close friend got the chance to go while on a NYC trip. He met a mutual friend we knew that lived in NYC and they took the subway and walked down to CBGB. He was really excited. He was close enough to hear it and see the line of people out front.

When out of a dark alley stepped 5-7 Puerto Rican youths. The one closest had the always dangerous "Saturday Night Special." A cheap black .22 revolver not known for accuracy, but its ability to go off at the wrong moment. His graduation watch, his cash, his entire wallet in fact. The pal had used the old trick of holding back a $20 and a few subway tokens in a shoe. It was all they had. They caught a cab/subway home. No tee shirt even.

I've always kept that story as the epitome of Midwesterners visiting CBGBs. Just as likely to see a cool band, you could see some dud that you'd not remember two weeks later. And you could as likely be mugged. Few mention the seamy side of the Bowery. That is how that neighborhood really was. People got beat up in the street. Read any of the books by the people that lived in the era. Drugs were easy to find and so was the trouble.

Just the same, without CBGB a lot of bands wouldn't exist. The goofy guy with the goofy name with the most notorious bathrooms in history made it happen. No one can say what might have not happened without him. Its impossible to separate the music era and its history without Hilly. I'm sorry I missed out. Damn youth is wasted on the young.

Monday, August 27, 2007

With Apologies to Tom Tomorrow

Holy shit if that isn't the funniest in a while.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What the hell was that?




Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I Didn't Do It

This is the saddest tragedy in my lifetime that was actually close enough that I'm sure to know someone that is effected. Here is to hoping all of my friends and their loved ones are as safe and sound (well as sound as I'll ever be) as I am.

So, You Think It Will Sell On eBay?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Kevin McHale Sucks

McHales' WoodMutts. That is what this team shall be called forthwith. Not the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Its being rumored strongly that McHales' WoodMutts will be trading off their finest player. That would be Kevin Garnett. For KG I am grateful. He's going somewhere that he might actually win a few games and work with people that want to win. For us, dog shit. Trouble is, I never ever ever want to see the Celtics win or contend for a championship. Sorry KG. Hating those pricks in Boston comes first. You should have gone to LA or Phoenix.

The trade is being made by old pals Kevin McHale and that feared and dreaded former Celtic partner, Danny Ainge. First of all, let it be said, the Celtics are the Yankees of professional basketball. Have been, and always will be. Since Red Auerbach (bet them ci-gars are easy to light in hell, right Red?) swindled, cheated, and berated every other team into bowing at his stinkin' cheap cigars. I smell a swindle here. KM couldn't pull off a smart trade with a blind, deaf, and dumb person unacquainted with the sport basketball. Ainge, ever the cagey one was a man known throughout his career for getting under the skin of others, regardless if it was legal or not. He's a grade A jerk and a successful one. KM? No so much. He got hit with too many pucks back in Hibbing. Shoulda wore a face mask dude.

Under his fine care the team has gone no where but down hill. From decent to lousy to worse coaches. From a increasingly older and less talented group of players around KG. Can anyone name one successful thing the man did? I can't. I don't know anyone that can. The Wild (gosh I hate that team name) have been wildly successful because they have no competition. Yeah, the pun was intended. And won't for some time.

Good luck KG, you were a good guy for the team and the area. You were never a jerk, you were never in trouble, and you put you heart out on the court. Now get outta here before they change their minds.

McHale, why didn't you stick with playing hockey for cryin' out loud? Sixth man? Shit man.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Yeah, I stole this video from How to Avoid the Bummer Life. So what. Its too good not to share. Everybody needs a hero some days.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Too Funny Not To Pass Along

What some fans in France will do to get their photos printed. Their best side too.

It Ain't Over Until the Drug Tests Come In

If you haven't been under a rock or reading HP7 full time and follow the Le Tour at all you know what I'm talking about. Once considered a top contender for the GC leadership, Alexander Vinokouov of Kazakhstan, rider for the Astana team, won a time trial stage this past weekend. Now a few days later the blood test on his sample from that stage was determined to have blood cells that were not his own. This test will be performed on his second sample (called sample B), but the damage is done. His team fired him. His team dropped out of the tour. His team has said he is guilty until proven by Sample B to be questionable. Vino of course contends it must have been something that resulted from the treatment of his injuries.

Vino? Just how stupid are you? Vino has not had his most successful of rides this year. He crashed in the first week, losing minutes in the flat stages. Time that is often hard to make up then. He crashed again in a moderate climbing stage, losing enough time (almost 30 minutes) that he was thought to be out of contention this year. He then went and won the time trial regardless of his wounds (he required stitches on his knees, considered rather painful for a cyclist. It was the sample from that stage that Vino was tested for and found to have failed.

He'd later won a serious mountain stage, demonstrating he was capable in two areas of cycle racing. His win was overshadowed by a test of wills between two riders, one a rider of Discovery, Contador the new leader of that team and the
current maliot jaune wearer Rasmussen. The Discovery rider could not drop the Dane, although there was some signs that he began his attacks too late and near the summit were the telltale signs of the Dane cracking. The idea was to get the Dane to crack, then make a jump to the next group where George Hincapie was riding as your lead out to open a real gap.

This is the third blow to the biggest event in bicycle racing. The first came when a German racer of little note was identified as failing a drug test while he rode for the T-Mobile squad. Following through on a commitment, some German television stations stopped broadcasting the tour. Germans were not always greatly interested in cycle racing until Jan Ullrich won the tour in the 90s. This surely isn't good for their interest. T-Mobile has announced they are reviewing their sponsorship of cycle racing. This generally has meant they intend to drop sponsoring teams as soon as possible to distance themselves. They aren't the first. The team Landis was on last year is no more. Others have dropped out. Even the one American team is again looking for a sponsor after first Motorola, then the USPS, and now the Discover Channel have announced the end of their sponsorship.

Soon after the first positive drug test was announced, it was leaked that the Danish national federation had dropped the current general classification (GC) leader, wearer of the yellow jersey, Michael Rasmussen from their team. The reason was that Rasmussen had not taken the required drug tests, nor advised officials of his wear abouts during the past year. This isn't a large infraction, but large enough that had the Tour officials known, he wouldn't have been riding in it. Some have been quoted as saying if he wins, it will be bad for the tour.

The French police are again raiding team vehicles. Three raids were conducted on Monday before the start of the stage. Riders conducted a protest on Monday suggesting the treatment is insulting.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter Spoiler Alert!

Okay, campers, I'm not really talking spoiler here as I have no premature information and I'm not going to any of the "spoiler" sites on book 7. No, these are my predictions. Beware if you've not read book 6 by now. Shame on you, and get reading and I'm not talking about my blog either.

I do not believe that Snape is the evil being he's made out to be, I believe there is a hero inside of him. I think he mistreated Harry in part because of hatred of his father and the treatment he received by him and that it played so well into the need for that borderline traitor that is needed by Tom Riddle, AKA Voldemort, AKA the Dark Lord. He played a part very well and I think he was meant to.

There has never been discussion of how previous Headmaster's died. Nor of great wizards. Is it possible that if when Tom Riddle tried to kill Harry, he passed on his power at some level to Harry that maybe when Dumbledore permitted himself to be killed by Snape, that something likewise can happen. Sort of like Obie Wan in Star Wars. In death he achieved something not even Tom Riddle can match. He is the one Tom always feared.

I think Harry and Tom Riddle will die as a consequence of that last fight. They are the two characters that must die, otherwise there is a reason to continue for the author. I have a high appreciation for the author, but if she's the least bit smart its what she must do. I believe the key to their death is not Snape, who will have proved his mettle before that final confrontation. I believe that none other than Neville will be the one to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the prophecy. Since when did Sybil ever get anything right. Okay, she did predict the return of the Dark Lord. Yeah, like I didn't see that coming too. Pfft.

And what of the rest? Happily ever after? I haven't a clue. It doesn't matter. Hermoine for headmaster? Ron for chief auror? I don't know. Life goes on. Just without any new Harry Potter stories that's all. Hey, all great things must come to an end.

One thing I've really liked is they are distinctly British tales. People don't steal things, they nick them. People who annoy you are buggers or gits, not dolts or buttheads. Youth in authority positions are "pre-ficts" not officers. She didn't make them more American just to gain more readers in America. Bravo to Ms. Rowling both for the way she wrote as well as what she wrote as well as keeping her family out of the limelight. She could teach Kathy Lee Gifford a hell of a lot. Really glad that whore for publicity's career tanked after she bolted her daytime program with what's his name. And she was replaced quicker than undershorts with a skid mark.

Poof and she was gone.

Make no mistake, I'm a big fan of the books and the author. I've enjoyed them. My kids enjoy them and have read them all several times. I don't mind the least bit that she's ending on chapter in her life that brought her bajillions. I don't begrudge her the money a single bit. She's one person I'm glad is rich. She came from pretty humble beginnings and is now earned her dough by creating something I expect to have as long a lifetime as the Hobbit books. I just hope that unlike so many sports stars that can't hang the jock up when they should, I hope she writes something else. Whatever it is, I'll be in line to buy it, regardless of the reviews. She's earned my trust and me as a fan.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Does This Deserve A New Word?

A saw a new book has come out about the Shrubbery's Presidency with the title, A Tragic Legacy. For some reason this got me to thinking about some of the mangling of the English language by the Shrub. Words "the Decider" and "strategerdy" and so forth. Maybe we need a new word that encapsulates the Shrub and Mr. Grimace's legacy? I was thinking along the lines of a "Traggacy" or "Tragercy". Or maybe it should be "Legagic." The upchuck sort of sound at the end of that one has a nice ring, don't you think?

I suspect that there will be great debate over the years what to call the time of the Shrub and Mr. Grimace and their folly of leadership. Leadership heck, you can't even apply that. There should be a new word to describe the lying, revenge getting, war starting, talking point sticking, fear mongering, power abusing, emergency incompetence, junk science spreading, self righteous bible thumpin', anti-environment, pro-capitalism at any cost, tax cut makin' these "leaders" of the free world have perpetrated on the planet. I haven't come up with one yet, but I'm thinking on it. First one with the word gets to write the book defining it. But you'll owe me 10% of the gross profits for giving you the idea. And don't try to flatter me by giving me some stinkin' byline on the cover. I want the cash man, before the crummy publisher takes their cut.

On the other hand, doesn't impeach have a great ring to it?

Gosh, how ballistic are you going to go when the GOP starts trying to name some airport in Technicolor Yawn, Kentucky; Bush International Airport? Good grief, this will never be over. Nixon at least resigned in disgrace, this pair of arrogant twits getting out office scott free is a travesty of ginormous proportions.

Jesus. Would you want to send *your* child to George W. Bush Middle School? I'd homeschool the little carpet climber first myself.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Boat Anchor or How I Came to Love Fatigue and Friends

Good grief is that a face only a mother can love? I don't know as my mother's been gone a long time so I can't ask. I personally know it to be the face of someone that foolishly rode much further in less time than in any other time in his life.

Rewind. Friday night I went on the HC night ride. Oh it was fun. Twenty two miles of great cool entertainment. So far so good.

After three hours of sleep, I got up, got on the Bleriot and rode to HC and rode with the same bunch and more. Only its 21 miles there from my house. We rode to breakfast in St. Paul. We rode back, and I bailed out early and headed toward home. I arrived home with 56 miles. This adds up to 78 miles. Nice training regime. Dodo. The day before riding 200K.

So I got lots of sleep and met these two at Bill's house at 6:30 AM.Here Jim (in red) and Bill (in green) stare at me in wonder why I'd photograph them. Realistically? They should be named; Kind and Kinder. Why, that will come, be patient.

The train loading process was confusing. We were hanging around the baggage loading area when an Amtrak gal saved us with the ominous question, "What are you doing here?" Timidly we mentioned boxing bikes and tickets and junk. Ultimately, she was a huge help, she got us the boxes, she got us the paperwork, she got us tape to close the boxes, she lent us a pen to write our names on the boxes, she loaded the boxes on the cart upright. Although gruff on the exterior, she was a very pleasant person to deal with.

Soon it was obvious the train was late and there were no spare seats in the waiting lounge. We'd pulled our Carradice bags off the bikes with our helmets and sat around yakking. It was an interesting segment of society at the train
depot. While I stood in line for my ticket, I ended up speaking with a fellow out of a long stay in rehab. Four years. Meth. He was as nervous as a cat as it was the first return home since entering rehab. He made a succession of cell phone calls from the train on his way to Milwaukee. I wanted to wish him luck, but I chickened out.

The prime reason I neglected to do my boy scout best was I went to pick up my Camelback from the overhead bin only to discover it was empty. Did I not screw the top on tight enough? Gravity feed? Maybe the weight of the saddlebag was on the mouthpiece? I don't know, and I didn't know where the liquid was so what could I tell some attendant? Um, see, this here sugary blue liquid is going somewhere, maybe you'll have a clue? I hope it didn't get sucked into some poor person's baggage. It was also obvious there were not many getting off and they were in a hurry got get us off and try to make up time.Here you have the "seen better days" of the Winona depot.

And here you can see one of the finer Amtrak baggage handlers about to drop the first bike out of the train baggage car.

I do mean drop as the recipient didn't prepare and the dropper didn't care. They then proceeded to pile them onto the top of the baggage cart which was convex so that they looked rather precarious. Instead of trying to snap a photo of the impending disaster, Jim ran up and politely requested if we could take them right there and save them the trouble? Good lord, what a smart idea.

While he did that, I amused myself thus. And then I took this.

While Jim filled his water bottles and Bill made sure things were ready and soon we were off. Me on a Bleriot, Jim on a Romulus, and Bill on his Redwood.

We discussed what route to start with, and we soon went the scenic route over the bridge in Winona over to Highway 35 in Wisconsin. When we turned North it was obvious the tail wind was favorable. Bill quickly set a quick pace and I tried to hang on close enough to his slip stream. I knew I wasn't in
shape to lead this trio. It took hours, but a noon start, and by the heat of the day at 5 PM we were trying to climb the hill outside of Bay City. A nice two mile ride up and a great two plus ride down. Only I sucked. I just no longer had it. I was the boat anchor. Kind and Kinder? They waited for me. I had no business riding with them, but they put up with me admirably.

Soon every peak was an excuse to wait for me.

I can explain how demoralizing it feels to be waited for at every stop. That is the way it is. I kept resolving not to blow up, not to expend needless energy on any chase or efforts to win back my ability to rise to a challenge. I kept remembering the words the commentators would make when a rider in the Tour de France would go off the front in an effort to win a stage or gain a climber points. Then later, they blow up, completely. And the commentator would always say, okay, forget it, stick to your own pace. Recover and ignore it all, the people passing, the lack of cheering, the impending red lantern and the broom behind you. No, I'm not comparing myself to anyone capable of the tour, but the method of sticking to pedaling in circles, to conservation and pushing the pain and the fatigue and the heat out of your mind and just climb at a rate you can handle. Regardless if its an overweight 50 YO climbing at 4 MPH or a racer flying up a mountain at 19 MPH while his competitors fly by at 22 or 25 MPH its all the same. Give up? Go home? Keep going to live another day?

The worst thing about Highway 35 was the fucking motorcycles. On a bicycle alone you can hear a lot. Birds, wind, crickets, cars, trucks, and the stupid harley loud pipes that in their mind save lives. I can tell you from experience its bullshit in the best redneck form. You hardly hear the stupid pipes from their approach. Their pointed backwards, how can you? Oh, Lord, when they
go by? Of course you can hear them for miles. Does a horn section face the curtain when on stage? Do they point the loudspeakers at the ball park toward the parking lot? Of course not. But harley riders want you to think they work regardless of the law of physics. I could hear the radio playing and tell the music style on the quiet Honda Goldwings. Sometimes they were so constant it was enough to give them a headache. The police let those assholes get away with that shit, because the cops are surely in someone's pocket. The classic case of the money and bullshit are doing the talking and it surely isn't logic that applies. I will NEVER look upon a loud harley rider as anything but an arrogant idiot. They have NO HONOR and NO CLASS, only self centered arrogance from completly intelligence people who want to desperately be back in a group just like high school. Where everyone dresses alike, where how your bike looks more that what kind of human is and where how loud your pipes are is more important than the rest of your community. This is the very definition of the me generation and the definition of what is wrong with America.
Then there was the two vehicles that went by with the horn blarring, and the middle finger extended. They followed this by swerving off the road intentionally to throw up rocks and dust never realizing their timing was awful. The only thing they taught me was that Wisconsin drivers are bigger idiots than those in Minnesota. That was a first having riding in five or six states even in the south, I'd never seen that behavior before.

You'll note, I have no more photos except the one at the top which came from my house when I was finished for the day. Okay there is one, where the guys stopped for a break to eat stuff and rest a little.

This is a photo of Bill attempting to wash the gnats out of his eyes. Since I always wear goggles or glasses or sunglasses to protect my eyes and contacts from such thing, I didn't have any trouble. Okay, I'm sure I swallow a few and surely inhaled a few. Gnats I'll take anytime over harleys.

I was so fatigued at this point I'm not sure what town it was. Red Wing? Hastings? Gabuti?

I remember eating something. We ended up in a Perkins at 9 PM. Which meant it was really slow, as there was only a minimal crew. As in one waitstaff. One host and one cook. I had French Toast and I'm not a slow eater normally. Its probably why I tend to get food on myself, I'm in a hurry. I didn't have the energy to shovel hot sugary food in. I wasn't looking for a hotel anymore, though. I really knew I could to it, with the help of my friends.

There is no doubt I would not have made the distance without encouragement and hearing, "Hey! We're in no hurry." for the hundredth time and still gullibly believing them. Honest Bill and Jim would have been back at 10 PM or at least midnight without me. Did I make it more fun for them? God I hope so. I hope something came from the debt I owe them both. So the last photo is the Bleriot, after getting hauled out of the elephant. The saddlebag emptied into a carry bag because I couldn't make decisions on what should stay in the garage and what should go in to the house. Can you tell its dang glad it got that 200 pound engine off the saddle finally?

I'm not usually much on mileage until someone pointed out what I'd done. Take the 22 and the 56 and add the 147. Its about 225 miles. Or about 365 kilometers. Okay, I did it over four days, Friday night at 10 through Monday morning at 2:30 AM. I'm ignorant of what needs to be done in a brevet to qualify, but now I know I can do the mileage and with realistic training (not 80 miles the day before) I could manage to do one in better shape. And have more fun, and be more fun to be with. And be much better at ignoring the stupid motorcycles. I am deeply grateful to Kind and Kinder. Thanks for waitin'.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

What the hell was I thinking?

It was here at breakfast this morning midway on the morning HC ride that Monty predicted he'd drop us all and hang on to a bunch of skinny tired weight wienie racer boys. Monty, I think its time to shave those legs again and order that custom Rivendell track bike.

Let us go back in time to 10 PM on June 29th. I, in the elephant arrived late for the night time HC ride. Thankfully the rest of the bunch waited for at the light (which I seemed to fail to recognize was red). I was late because I'd forgotten 35W Southbound was closed and had to map a new route. No paper map, no GPS, no TomT
om on my dash baby, all brains. Which is why I was late. We looped around the city for a outstanding 22 miles. What a night to ride and many awesome scenes were observed. The hill by the Guthrie and riding the bike lane down the middle of Hennepin were two of mine. Low light, not finding any food at the end of the ride beyond, gulp, White Castle. I can attest that everyone resisted that strange urge. Gosh we're all old.

I got home and into the sack at 2.

Three hours later the alarm went off. I wasn't driving in that mess again. I got up showered, scraped my noggin, dressed up, ate a bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran (Ray is their signature rider and personal spokesperson), and launched. Seeing the clock on the cyclometer, I thought I was late. No, I was sleep deprived. I went to the big ring and pushed a pace that was unwise. To arrive half an hour early. After getting rather bored, I was about to lie down on the bus bench across the street after taking this shot as testimony I was there in case I fell asleep and they left me. Thank God, Velocopete showed up to keep me awake.I had clocked 21 miles already by that point. Plus the breakfast ride, plus the return trip added to 56 miles.

And tomorrow someone arm twisted (they asked, "want to?" and I said "Sure") into joining them to ride the Empire builder to Winona. And then yes, Ladies and Gentlemen ride our bikes back.

My legs still feel weak. I will be toast tomorrow. And somehow regret one of these foolish maneuvers, for at least a moment or two. Wish me luck and cool weather.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The danger with writing is the possibility someone will read it. :-D

I mentioned an altercation. The altercation occurred after the ride was complete and in fact I'd spent a few sheckles in the HC headquarters. I had ridden to the ride with someone else who helped me a great deal with navigation in the south end of town. They were kind enough to accompany me back the same way. It was at the corner of 54th or just down the street and Highway 55. We only became involved when a very annoyed cager shoved a lone cyclist on the east end of the street light. We were waiting at the west end of the light and began to yell. The cager jumped in his cage and went away, the cyclist shouted his thanks to us and we rode away. I think he is okay. I don't think I knew him.

It was a situation I've put myself into many times. I yell at a cager that does me what I think a wrong. From what I could tell, the black car buzzed the cyclist. And didn't care. And was more than willing to beat the shit out of the cyclist too. We pointed out we had his license plate and a cell phone and unless he knocked it off, we'd have the police and a lot of witnesses.

As we rode away, we agreed that we've been there and done what the rider did. Attempt to educate a stupid cager by yelling. It ain't going to work. In this case it initiated more trouble that it was worth. Even polite discussion is rarely a solution. A cager finds a cyclist the last person they will take roadway behavior advice from. We don't drive a motor vehicle (at that moment) what can we know?

It upset me over the day. It could have been me. None of the other cages cared a wit. We two cyclist were the only ones involved. Yeah, we helped a little. I didn't bother (didn't have a pen) to get his license. I didn't call 911. I'm not sure it matters. The instantaneous violence shocked me.

The cyclist didn't appear to be gravely injured. He could have been.

Bleriot Redux

Here is a photo or two of my Bleriot. Kit includes a Sugino crank, MSK pedals, Soma clips, Phil rear free wheel hub, IRD freewheel, Schmidt front hub, Berthoud fenders, Brooks Saddle, Carradice saddle bag. Berthoud fenders, ToPeak frame pmp, Nitto stem and handlebars, Modolo brake levers, Dia Compe brakes with Mathhouser pads and a Brooks saddle, Silver shift pods and Shimano 600 down tube shifters, Shimano XT front derailer and Suntour rear derailer, and Nitto bottle cages.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

New Bike

Today was the long awaited (by some) maiden voyage of the Bleriot. An example is above, but its not mine. I'll post photos later. I just finished assembly last night and haven't even shellacked the bar tape yet. I rode it down to work, meeting pal Bill along the way. We rode together for the Hiawatha Cyclery ride. There I'm guessing we put on about 14 miles or so. Add to that the 18 miles to the shop from home and back, I'm guessing I put on 50 miles. Maybe more, but 50 will be close enough. I didn't have the cyclometer installed yet. I need to change out the shifters got get better rear and front shifting. Tally for the day:

50 miles
1 flat tire, which made no sense (the hole was on the inside (rim side) of the tube)
Two lost bolts - I had not tightened the clips to the pedals and two fell off before I realized. I got two replacement from Jim at HC
One scratch obtained while leaning it against a light post near Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown
One fall over, where I didn't pay attention and Mark Stonich made a right and I hadn't slowed enough and panic braked without pulling my feet out of the clips and fell over.
Annoyed everyone in hearing distance from my braking, I didn't toe in the Dia Compe center pulls and they squeal outrageously
One altercation observed - maybe I'll right about this later, its begun to really bug me (my behavior or specifically lack there of)
Wonderful conversation with Bill - just one of those great riding partners

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Last night the Twins played the Mets in New York. The pitcher for the Twins was Santana. At some point in the pre-game warm up and visit by the broadcasting staff, a conversation occurred between Santana and Bert Blyleven, former Twins pitcher and now broadcaster for the Twins. Here is the gist as reported in this morning's New York Times:

Santana may be involved in a more entertaining event today. Bert Blyleven, a former Twins pitcher who is now a broadcaster, told Santana before the game that if he pitched a complete-game shutout, Blyleven would allow his head to be shaved.

“Believe me, it’s going to happen,” Santana said of Blyleven’s haircut. “I will definitely look for him. Hopefully, by game time, he’ll be bald."

Me, I'll be looking for that new hair style on Bert and it will be interesting if he can find a way to motivate the next pitcher to throw a full game shut-out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day To All You Dad's

I heard a neat idea on Weekend Edition this morning on public radio. At the end of the program they always mention the people you don't hear and give their positions in thanks for their efforts. Somewhat like the credits at the end of the movie. This morning they listed them as Eliza Grace our sound engineer, daughter of Albert Grace. Or out sound engineer was the the daughter of Albert Grace, Eliza Grace. I'm sure its been done before and some would think it trite, but I thought it was a nice way of recognizing we all have fathers we should be thankful for. Even if they were horrible parents, left you penniless, showed no support, or whatever you wouldn't exist without them and unless you'd rather be dead, you ought to be grateful, at least a little. On the other hand, I think it is another useless made up holiday, so the greeting card industry won't go out of business.

Here's a joke for this father's day, which I'd bet is apocryphal. In theory this is supposed to have been a chart entry made by a doctor while seeing a patient.

"The patient admitted to having four children, but appears to have no other abnormalities."

Only a dad will admit to having children is an abnormality.


So someone wrote and asked, database? You mention a database? What chu talking 'bout Willis?

Years ago, while injured I was playing around with databases on my computer and decided to organize my music collection onto a database on my computer. Later I started to put the things into the database as owned or want so I could print out a small "desired" list.

Then years ago, I bought my first PDA and discovered I could put a database onto it. What a concept! I'd got it so I could have my mobile schedule as I wandered work and it would remind me, be here there or whatever. This was a bonus. I could have a listing of recordings I wanted, and those I owned whenever I carried it. It took a lot of learning to translate the database I'd created in one program to convert to the Palm, but it worked.

Eventually it died.
It got carried everywhere. And like my issues with getting food into my mouth instead of on my clothing, it got dropped. Not damaged, but it began to behave peculiarly. So I found someone with a used one that was color! Oh, man, and the software available was even better. But the database I'd been using wasn't available for this language. Grrr, stupid Microshaft.
So once again I set about converting.
This was a little trickier as I had to translate to a third mutual language, and then back to something this little bugger could read. I used this one so much I wore out rechargeable batteries. I created a vast shopping list system, so I could create a list based on what I liked to buy in groceries, by aisle, in order of their location, so it was an easy way to shop and you didn't look for things. Having a list is good, being able to skip aisles you shouldn't be on (like cookies) is even better. I found I stuck to budget. Finally the display on this one began to go wacky. I'd just used the sucker to death. Got my money's worth you might say. Yay me. So I began to look for another. I found one that I liked, would take my database language, no conversion, and eliminated my cell phone. One thing instead of two. Yippee! Its smaller in some ways (width) and has its own keyboard so I didn't have to write using a stylus although I can if I want. Its thicker, but it fits into a shirt pocket. Now, I was really relying on the bugger. How to prevent dropping it? A lanyard around my neck? Surgically implant a hoop for my hip and connect it to that? Piercings? Nope, my solution was to buy an aluminum padded case to take the abuse.

So far so good. I've had my accidents in the six months I've owned it and it seems to have
taken the punishment.
Back to this geekness database. So I have a listing of my recordings in it. As long as I update the thing every time I buy something, all is well. Sometimes I procrastinate (always!) and forget to put it in the day I discover something at a garage sale. Or a sale at the Minneapolis Library, which sometimes has great sales of eclectic music and books. So I bought a copy of "Blue" by
The Jayhawks and didn't put it in. By the looks of the box and disc, it was a garage sale as the disc appears completely unused. Now I bought a second copy, but a later version that has extra songs and came in the easily damaged cardboard box thing. I'll keep that although he cardboard is more beaten, but the extra songs are the big plus. The database is easily searchable, buy artist, title, year released, producer, label, if its on my Sony cheap imitation iPod, if I own it, or if I was at least at one time interested in owning it. I have written screens so that it will show me only those I want, and only those I own.

Like everything else, garbage in, garbage out. If I don't put it in, I won't know I own it. Yeah, technology saves you only when you use it consistently. You moron. And yes, Sony no longer produces my little device and in fact there hasn't been a software update since the year made. Can you say, "ass kicked by Apple, iTunes, and the iPod?" I knew you could. Even big companies don't always figure it out. Note, this is the fifth generation of a device to compete with the iPod. So its not like they failed once; they failed five times with a target to shoot at. And trust me, I'm not laying the blame on the engineers and designers. This is all about timing and management.

So I've got a copy of "Blue" to drop off at either Cheapo or Electric Fetus for sale as used. I'm a little broke now, so it will wait. I'm not quite capable of going in with less money than I come out with.