Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday follies

Best chance for a road win tonight, against the lowly bobcats. Charlotte put up a whopping 59 points in their season opening loss to Boston. Can the Knicks "defense" turn Charlottes's terrible offense around? I say knicks win 100-87 (and I lap the field at Boogie Nights)
A boy can dream, right?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Knicks

The New York Knicks opened their season in expected fashion, with a miserable loss that was far worse than even the final score (115-93) let on.  "The Rooster"(Gallinari), hit 7 useless 3's and David Lee was one rebound shy of the first of many totally inconsequential and misleading double doubles of the season.  Their always suspect, expected to be lousy defense was somewhere between porous and non-existent.  An argument could be made that this team doesn't field a single player who would start on any other team in the league.  In this (non) season of limbo before next year's free agent signings the only things of interest will be silly sideshows, such as:

Does Eddy Curry play more than 30 games this season?  

Does Jared Jeffries get traded?  (For that matter, does Nate or David Lee get traded)?

Will coach's head actually explode?  

Totally unrelated, I am greatly looking forward to riding alongside a wheelchair racer in this Sunday's NY marathon.  

Friday, October 23, 2009

On monkey pee and common sense

As a coworker said, "maybe we wouldn't need to be so litigious if people just understood some basic shit, like it's not ok to have monkey urine coming through the ceiling."

In light of our recent monkey urine situation, receiving this oh so clever invite was maybe not so funny:

Dear RU students, staff, and faculty:

We regret to inform you that many of the animals on campus have suddenly taken on a horrifying suite of mutations, all of which confer great murderous powers. Species such as C. elegans, M. musculus, and D. melanogaster, our faithful workhorses for so many years, are now particularly disgruntled. They are amassing in the Faculty club into an army of gangrenous, spindly, gelatinous, venomous  vengeance.

We can adhere to safety protocols and hide, but this will only defer the carnage which is to descend. Our only option is to confront these creatures with music, nibbles, and refreshments.

Where: Faculty Club
When: Friday, October 30.  Show up at 9 pm; particularly courageous people should show up at 6 pm for happy hour as well.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Home Cookin'!

What I ate during my weekend in Charleston, from beginning to end:

Meatloaf Sandwich
French Fries
Coconut Cream Pie
Carnitas Taco
Black Beans
Biscuit with Ham, Egg, and Cheese
Fried Flounder
French Fries
Hush Puppies
She Crab Soup
Fried Chicken
Mashed Potatoes
Butter Beans
Collard Greens
BBQ sandwich
Baked Beans

Tons of bikes around Charleston, and without exaggeration, not a single helmet.  Of course, most of these were beach cruisers, and there was a ton 
of salmoning and sidewalk riding.  Nice bike path along here:

I associate South Carolina with "Porgy and Bess":

"Summertime, and the livin is easy....."

Didn't feel too summery this past weekend with temperatures in the 50's, and it is difficult to walk around the city and take in the history without feeling slightly uncomfortable at best, as if they are a little too proud of their history, a little too unapologetic for their role in such massive repression and inequality, a little too ready to celebrate the rich, white landowners, a little too preppy. 

They do have some lovely cobblestone streets and it's incredibly flat, would love to bike around, from Mt. Pleasant, to Folly Beach, and around the Battery, happily helmet free....

Oh, the flag is also a thing of beauty:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


As is often the case with events I am looking forward to, the best parts of the trip were the unexpected bits.  I like a good road trip, and the bagel and coffee and checking out CD's I hadn't gotten a chance to listen to while seeing some pretty leaves did the trick.  In this case, it was some Skeeter Davis,  and a random "hilbilly fever" mix made by a friend.  Did the obligatory getting lost after exiting for gas somewhere in Jersey.  Somehow, even though you never seem to be far from an interstate in Jersey, I can never seem to find my way back on.  Not bad though, I wasn't really stressed for time and I do find it a pretty state (in parts) to drive around, and I was enjoying my first time driving a hybrid.  

I got to the velodrome fairly late into the proceedings and I can believe that the good stuff was pretty well picked over by this point.  Still, even hours into it, there were plenty of options for complete bikes, road or track, frames, and more parts at cheap prices than one usually sees in one spot.  Wish it was all like that, the only disappointing part, for me, maybe not for others, was the plethora of bike stores just hawking clothing at none too deep discounts.  It isn't terribly hard to find jerseys and gloves for 10-30% off anywhere, even in NYC, but, did seem to be what a lot of the people were there for.  

The part that was most pleasantly surprising for me was the people, who were generally friendly, fun, very enthusiastic cyclists and collectors, and were happy to t
alk shop.  I'm excited to go back next year, now that I have a bit of an idea what is there, I think it'll help to go with a bit more of a mental shopping list.  

Other than big stuff, fun stuff I came home with included cool espresso mugs, socks, pint glasses and coffee mugs from, booth manned by a couple nice guys from the Gotham team.  Love the demitasse (picture this in espresso cup size):

Unfortunately, the Kutztown Cutters were sold out of their very cool caps, 
but were extremely friendly, knew Stacey (pres of Kissena) and despite their half joking dismissal of our home track (and T town is one beautifully smooth oval), and the fact that they were both taller than me (I hate it when people are taller than me, height is one of the few things I have working for me), I was very happy to meet them.  Not to mention, they just have a very cool kit/logo:

I ended up where my search began many months ago, and after adding the price of a rental car, didn't save all that much from had I bought in Brooklyn, but I had a good time, learned a bit, and am looking forward, already, to next year, and returning wit
h a big bin and a wish list of parts. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

With bells on....

I love the people in this world who have bells on their bike.  That sounds condescending, but I truly, truly don't mean it that way.  I think they are the optimists of the world, I think one would have to be to believe that the pleasant little ring a ding will make a difference among the horrible screeches, blats, honks, and squeals of the big city.  It's like the Miles Davis Quintet, circa 1956, with Red Garland gently caressing the sweet little piano intro, "Ding, dong, ding, dong," in the middle of a mashup of Masada, Minor Threat, and Gwar. 

"Ask me how do I feel, ask me now that we're cosy and clinging.  Well sir, all I can say is if I were a bell I'd be ringing..."

It's genteel and sweet, and I was lucky enough to have a bird's eye view of a classic bell scene this morning while going north on the fairly brand spanking new, drainage challenged Allen Street bike lane.  I was stuck behind a very upright woman on a dutch city style bicycle of the sort that people keep claiming to be the ideal commuter.  I personally don't find anything ideal about 40 lbs and a wingspan that barely fits the Manhattan bridge bike lane, let alone squeezing between cars in traffic, but to each their own.  That's the thing about all these commuter proclamations "your lock should cost more than your bike," "you have to have fenders," "we need more bike lanes," "bike lanes are no good."  Different people have different styles, different priorities.  Personally, I prefer taking a lane and actually feel safer being in traffic.  To some, comfort is important, and they would prefer to sit upright, separated from the cars and not have street scum splash all over them (yes, I eschew fenders, I know...I know...), but we use the street differently, and what works for the bike messenger might not work for the businessman.  The best we can do is try to empathize with what other people might find important, try to look beyond ourselves, at least try.  But I digress.  

Finally having passed the giant wingspanned commuter, I nearly clocked a Lindsay Lohan lookalike.  Fortunately, I was spared the pedestrian hate, since she never noticed a thing.  She was crossing the street, I think she was at least, in a very meandering way and had just gotten to the giant potted plant partitions when I passed her, head bobbing away and looking North through giant Aviators, even though traffic was coming from the south.  I heard the tinkle tinkle of the little bell and had to look back.  Li-lo continued staring north, the bell continued to ring and the cyclist eventually went around the still roaming aimlessly child star look alike, never saying a word, but ringing constantly.  

"Ask me how do I feel, little me with my quiet upbringing.  Well, sir, all I can say is if I were a gate I'd be swinging!  And if I were a watch I'd start popping my springs, or if I were a bell I'd go ding, dong, ding, dong, ding!"

"Well, if I were a salad I know I'd be splashing my dressing" -  interestingly, I did see a man pouring salad dressing onto this very same bike lane..., "ask me how to describe this whole beautiful thing, well if I were a bell I'd go ding dong, ding dong.....GET THE HELL OUT MY WAY, WHY IN THE WORLD DO YOU THINK IT IS OK TO AMBLE AIMLESSLY IN TRAFFIC WHILE WEARING HEADPHONES??!!"

Just not zen enough I guess, I strive to be "Relaxin with the Miles Davis Quintet," but often am still much more "Never Mind the Bollocks."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Classic Ramblings

Post-season baseball time, great time of year.  The Mets had a hugely disappointing season (an understatement) so I am stuck in the position of rooting against teams.  Thankfully, that is easy when the Yankees are involved, so.... Let's go Twins!  This is made even easier by Minnesota being where my wife is from.  I had a great, old school Twins baseball cap given to me by a great guy named Tim, bluegrass guitarist, cyclist, artist, art installer, who was living in the house in Jamaica Plain where I ended up living for a couple of years while at Berklee Factory of Music.  My friend Drex (just married last weekend, congrats Drex) was living there and I remember going to visit and being woken up by the sound of a coffee grinder and an espresso machine (of the very old and thunderously loud variety).  On a crisp New England morning, that just sounded and smelled like about the very best thing in the world.  I came from a Maxwell House family, and from this time forward was totally hooked on freshly ground dark, shiny, aromatic as hell beans.  A little party for the ol' olfactory....  Anyway, I fully expect them to get crushed, but it would be fantastic if they could pull off the upset.  With the wind gusting away today in the ridiculous new ballpark (only 1 game where neither team has homered the entire season!!) should at least be fun to watch.  Thankfully, I can also ride my wife's family coattails and root against the Phillies, as her parents live in Frisco, CO, and we were married there in her grandfather's cabin, one of my favorite places.  I'll take Dodgers over Cards and Red Sox over Angels.  

College football, all I can say is UVa is terrible and it's time to fire Groh (oddly enough exactly what I spent most of last winter saying just substituting basketball for football and Leitao for Groh).  Other than that too exhausting to take up here, ditto for NFL, NHL, and Premier League.   NBA - I'll just get too irate talking about the Knicks.  Think it was summed up pretty well by the recent quote regarding umpteen million dollar man Eddy Curry = "we're just trying to get him to a place where he can run up and down a court".....sigh.   

The only cycling related news for me is that I am very excited for the T town swap this weekend. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This has much to do with nothing, or actually to be more precise, has fuckall to do with anything. 

I like it, have liked it for a while, but was only thinking about it today through a stream of consciousness that started with talking about Zurich, led to Needle Park, which made me think of Gorky Park....