Wednesday, December 8, 2010

holiday miracle

Today, an access a ride not only didn't do it's all to kill me, but avoided me when I did something stupid, stopped, and waved me on.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

audience participation

Riding home from work down 2nd avenue, around 50th or so, I was in the far right (bus) lane, cabbie swerves sharply into my lane, I cut around him to the left, he starts coming back into the lane he just left. I yell 'yo' (seems to be what always comes out of my mouth) and he looks at me and keeps coming over, so i move over a little, traffic slows, I flip him off and keep going. Move back to the right, all of a sudden there is all this honking and he's yelling at me through the open window on the passenger side, over a woman sitting in the passenger seat looking all freaked out. Then he speeds off, I chase him, and am happy to see he gets stopped at the light. Pull up next to him, signal him to roll down the window and ask him what he's yelling at me about. He says "you were in my lane". I ask him which one, the one he pulled into without signaling, making me go around him, or the one he then tried to shove me out of? he says "you were in my lane". over and over, we do this, I stupidly become fixated on the no turn signal and asked him if it would kill him to signal. A woman on the corner listening says "maybe he's from South Carolina, " the guy next to her says "no, probably Ohio", somebody else says "or Pennsylvania". I think everyone thinks their home state has the worst drivers.

Monday, October 25, 2010


olympic village, funded with federal funds on the condition that it would then be used as a federal prison.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Circus is in town

I was riding back from Floyd a few weeks ago when I passed by the circus tent. People were filing in and a marching band was playing. Probably not a good sign that I couldn't tell if they were rehearsing or performing. I was soft pedaling through the crowd and a clown with a sad face painted on was giving me the universal sign to slow down. I thought it was a little annoying since I was hardly moving, and there was no other way to get out of the parking lot, but thought "ok, well, I guess there are a lot of kids around, and it's just a tiny inconvenience" so I started to slow down, got near the clown and apologized. She asked me a question I couldn't understand, so I stopped, thinking "oh great, this clown is gonna mess with me since I look like a clown all kitted up, etc". Her english wasn't too hot, and I could hardly und
erstand her but after a while I determined that she was asking if there was a bike store over there (direction I came from). I assume she saw all these people riding by and came to that conclusion. She was saying something about needing a new tire. I felt bad since all of these kids were walking by her, looking up, waiting for her to do something funny and she just kept asking where she could get a new tire.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Friendly Skies

NY post stole my headline: LeBum.

But on to the story. I have just spent 7 hours at LaGuardia and been booked on 2 airlines and gotten absolutely nowhere.

Flight 687 is the one that really burns me, especially since after some research I see that Flight 689 was scheduled for an hour later, and still arrived an hour earlier, even though their story was that due to weather noone was taking off.

On the way back, all flights to NYC were canceled, so I flew to DC and caught the last flight to LGA. Got to PDX at 745 am, arrived in LGA at 1:45 am.

Speaking of flight risks, and being a horrible place, NYC is killing geese. Gassed 4o0 in Prospect Park last week.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"not up in here"

I thought I liked Chuck Schumer and I thought I didn't care too deeply about bike lanes but his planned protest of the new Prospect Park West bike lane is changing both of those things.  He happens to live (part time) on PPW and feels it destroys the 'grand boulevard' appearance of the speedway.  That's rifuckindiculous.  I think I'll go out in support of my heretofore not cared about bike lane tonight at 7 PM. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

the Wow! signal

Renting a car means listening to the radio. Not necessarily and not always, but often, especially when you are running late and as a result have way overpacked, stuffing far too much into one bag carelessly and trying to find CDs to stuff into the bag, deciding that they will take up too much room, etc.
I heard Tom Petty, Ace of Bass, John Cougar Mellencamp, Bush (Everything Zen, no, I don't think so). I definitely did not hear any song recorded since the last time I listened to the radio. Maybe this is due to the death of the major label stranglehold on music, or the reconciliation of that death with the fact that they still have a stranglehold on radio.

I did hear an incredibly interesting piece on sounds from outer space,ie. the Wow! signal (great name for a band)

Here is a very blurry shot of the order of events:

I won't go into too much detail, but the day was a huge amount of fun. I didn't do that well competitively speaking, but 
I learned a great deal and will definitely be going back, often.  There were 2 crashes, a not so nasty one that happened directly in front of me when a guy snapped his chain, and then one that happened in the B Feature, second to last race of the day, that was very nasty. 
 Fortunately, the guy 
seemed alert and relatively ok as he was loaded into the ambulance.  

Here are a few more pics from the day.  I love the Kutztown Cutters kit, so asked Patty to model it for me. 

Patty is fantastically nice, and turns out she, like me, is a basketball junkie.  She was the first 1000 pt scorer in Marist history, overshadowed by the Dunkin' Dutchman:  Most importantly, she was a big fan of my boyhood idol, Jeff Lamp. 

A few more:

The age range was 
amazing, probably from about 10-70, and the number of people who come out to watch is really surprising.   Finally, this kid is freaking awesome, and me at the end, saying ow, :

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

goin postal

No, not a post about the recent stunning (sarcastic) allegations from Floyd, although maybe roid rage explains the postal worker phenomenon.  I was just in the Post Office on the Upper East side where the following interaction took place.  I was called to the window, very normal average 50ish white male says "does this envelope contain any liquid, any hazardous substances...."? I say no, a monotone (at first) monologue ensues.  He says, "look at those old women in line, what the fuck is wrong with them, old bats..."  His voice is becoming far more effeminate.  "That one that was behind you is ready to start some shit, she better not start it with me, old bitch, I'll punch her in the goddamn neck. I don't know if she is trying to look sexy, or missed her fiber this morning.  So, we have to ask everyone this question, does your envelope contain any liquid or hazardous substances"  I say no, he says "I know, I asked you already, I'm telling you a story.  So, I ask one of these old bitches that, and she yells, no!  I tell her she better keep her panties on and not fuck with me.  Have a good day."

When I get back to the office I have a text from my wife, who is living in Portland for the summer, which says: "a woman just inched up next to me at the curb so that her umbrella would cover my head."  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

on the road again....

off to Denver, then driving to Portland, will put up some pics if I get some decent ones.  

Awesome Giro, dvr better get it all.  And the Tour of California. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

PPW bike lane (siddown and shutup Marty)

Please join the New York City Department of Transportation, Brooklyn Community Board 6, Council Member Brad Lander and Council Member Steve Levin at the Prospect Park West Traffic Calming and Protected Bicycle Path Open House Monday, April 12, 2010 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Congregation Beth Elohim 274 Garfield Pl., Bet. 8th Ave. & Prospect Park West Fully accessible facility • New York City DOT has undertaken a plan to improve conditions for all users on Prospect Park West, by installing a parking protected two-way bicycle path, removing one through travel lane and installing flush pedestrian refuge islands. • This will enhance safety by creating shorter pedestrian crossings and reducing vehicle speeds. • It will also improve connectivity and safety for cyclists by providing links to existing bicycle lanes in the area. For More Information: Visit Our Website: or send an e-mail or call NYCDOT’s Brooklyn Borough Commissioner, at or (718) 222-7259. Drop in at a convenient time to: • Learn about the proposed safety improvements to Prospect Park West. • View design plans for the corridor. • Provide your input and talk with project team members. Marty's comments this morning:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

when a young man's fancy turns to glove

3 days to go. 

Arsenal plays Barca to a draw, amazing considering how badly they were outplayed. I've become fairly obsessed with Arsenal after listening to hours and hours of "It's Up for Grabs Now," the hilarious podcast with Alan Davies.  

Federer lost to Berdych in 4th round of Sony Ericcson, after losing early in Indian Wells. 

I have to stop bidding on ebay, have a wheelset coming I don't need, because I didn't expect to win, and a crankset that I need even less, but the fact that it is coming makes me want to buy a frame to put it on.  

But most importantly, the internet frightens me.  A friend mentioned "baby Einstein" and all it took was typing those words into a google image search to find this:

Happy Easter, have a good weekend.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Spring has sprung, and with it comes various countdowns. Number of pts off the playoff hunt for the Rangers (something like 10 with 5 to play), number of games under .500 that the Knicks will finish (a zillion, but oddly not nearly bad enough in the woeful east to be considered terrible), and number of days until the Mets opener (13). It was a beautiful weekend in New York and I happily made it to my first bike race of the season. No small feat considering that I had been out of town for a week and hadn't reset my alarm clock to Daylight Savings, so woke up thinking I had about an hour to get ready, turned on NY1 and realized that I had to leave within 10 minutes if I had any chance in hell of making it.  Sprinted down Flatbush and got there just in time.  The race itself was pretty uneventful other than someone trying to bail in the middle making a sharp turn directly into me.  Fortunately I was able to hold both of us and he was tremendously apologetic.  

Red Hook Crit was the same evening, didn't race it, just watched, and it was a blast.  

Good vacation in Seattle, Vancouver, and Orcas Island, will put a couple of pics up soon.  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Stop the madness

All I needed was a simple wrench, I should have just gone to the hardware store, but no....Having just undergone the second part of a root canal I talked myself into some retail therapy and decided to stop by Conrad's, a bike store in a very odd part of Manhattan that is not on the beaten path from anywhere to anywhere else, unless you are coming from, say, Tudor City Dental, and happen to be going back to work on the Upper East Side, and even then it isn't really on the way.   I had commuted on my track bike today and had just realized that I didn't have a wrench in my bag of tubes and patches, since I normally am on road bike with quick release.  I could have easily hedged my bets, and just assumed I would get home without a flat, but it seemed like a good excuse to buy something, and the novocaine was still wearing off, so why not?  They had 2 wrenches (single speed 15 mm spanners), a beautiful, simple Campy "peanut butter wrench" that cost 40 dollars, and the usual Park Tools for half that.  As pretty as the campy was, I couldn't justify 40 dollars for something I didn't actually need at all, but probably could do 20, and the Park Tools one had a pedal wrench on the other side as well, which would actually be useful, potentially (I have one at home, but it's huge and heavy, portable wouldn't be all bad). So far so good, except for the fact that it has a mothertruckin bottle opener on it as well.  Just to be clear, I love beer.  A lot. (This might be one of the problems, many of us beer lovers have trained ourselves to be able to open bottles on many different sources).  More than most things.  However, I am really sick of bike companies putting bottle openers on everything from seats to tools.  Those damn flip flops you always see at the beach are bad enough, but at least in that case, it's the beach, where beer is prevalent, and one often does not have pockets.  

Monday, March 1, 2010


Olympics are over, racing starts 
(for real this time, think we knew the Feb FBF date was wishful 
thinking) in earnest this weekend.  Knicks really phoned it in against 
Cleveland tonight, UVa has fallen back to earth, ie, near the bottom of the ACC.  Good news is that daylight savings is right around the corner.  

Days I knew as happy sweet
Sequestered days
Olden days
Golden days
Days of mad romance and love
Then gay youth was mine
And truth was mine
Joyous free and flaming life
Forsooth was mine
Sad am I
Glad am I
For today I'm dreaming of
Of yesterdays
Then gay youth was mine
The truth was mine
Sad am I
Glad am I
For today I'm dreaming of
Of yesterdays

This song appeared on a ridiculous number of records,
a few of my favorites are:
Helen Merrill off her insanely good recording with Clifford Brown
Charles Mingus off an early trio record entitled Mingus Three
not to mention Blakey, Wes and PC all with great versions.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cleaning up my CD's....

I have CD's filling up every available bit of closet space that isn't occupied by extra bike parts, cycling caps, basketballs, or tennis rackets.  So, in the interest of not having my wife walk out on me so soon, I tried to free up some space.  Of course, I can't just throw things away, or digitize them (the obvious solution), so I brought a sack full (20ish), into my office today to give a listen to, things that were on the "maybe I could just toss this" fence.  Considering I receive a lot of promo cd's to review and that a friend is a DJ who made me a lot of joke mixes, I should be able to get rid of most of them. 

A few thoughts:

The Lucksmiths - good, solid Aussie indie.  Good songwriting, solid band, have a surprisingly easy time deciding to toss, not very special, can't see needing to hear them again. 

Skip James - just beautiful, one of the eeriest voices I can imagine, blues from 1931 that sounds oddly fresh.  No way I can toss this.  

Charlie Palmieri - considering I am dancing in my chair I can't toss it.  Salsa the way it should be. 

The Makers of Smooth Music - this is the problem with having a friend who is a DJ, don't know why he made this atrocious mix, but I'm sure it worked within the context of his show.  But, we aren't in that context now.  No brainer - toss with great satisfaction. 

George Jones - Some collection that people seem to rave about online as "good George Jones."  I think that is an oxymoron.  Toss.  

Maddox Brothers and Rose - this was the hard one.  Important to the history of music and arguably fun I decided I couldn't toss, in spite of her voice giving me chills, in a bad way.   (Mazza, up your alley?)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Come Rain or Come Shine

This beautiful standard was stuck in my head on the ride in to work and I decided it was appropriate, that it serves as an homage to my

I'm gonna love you, like nobody's loved you
Come rain or come shine
High as a mountain, deep as a river
Come rain or come shine
I guess when you met me
It was just one of those things
But don't you ever bet me
'Cause I'm gonna be true if you let me
You're gonna love me, like nobody's loved me
Come rain or come shine
We'll be happy together, unhappy together
Now won't that be just fine
The days may be cloudy or sunny
We're in or out of the money
But I'm with you always
I'm with you rain or shine

It shouldn't surprise me that it was stuck in my head since I've been ob
sessed with it lately, playing many versions over and over, transcribing Grant Green's solo on the great Stanley Turrentine album Up at Minton's, and generally driving my wife bonkers with it.  

A few favorite versions are 
1) Art Blakey - Moanin'....Lee Morgan just kills me, actually makes me laugh out loud. 

3) Frank Sinatra

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I attended a lot of schools, which makes rooting for various teams more a question of labor than heart.  At the moment, UVa is the one making me most proud.  I never actually was a student there, other than a couple of summer school classes, but they have always been my home team as I was born and raised in Charlottesville, my father was a professor at UVa, and both of my brothers went there.  I went to basketball camp there, and was a ballboy during the Sampson era. They have a 2-0 start in the ACC after a good win last night over 18th ranked Georgia Tech. Will the good times last? Probably not, but at least it should be more fun, now that they have gotten rid of huge curmudgeon Dave Leitao,
 (who happened to drag down another of my schools, DePaul).  

Monday, January 11, 2010

down under

Aussie open just around the corner, here are some interesting recent results

Personally, I'm happy to see Henin and Clijsters back and beating everyone.  They must have been going crazy through retirement at how horrible the women were playing. 

Davydenko continues to clean up in non-slams, beating Fed and Nadal at the end of 09, and doing it again in 2010.  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Forgive me?

I don't know how to explain all the Knicks recent success, other than that there are a lot of bad teams in the association.  They play one tonight, always seems to come down to the wire against the Bobcats, I'm going to say they actually win this one easily.

Contador-esque fingerbanging, something tells me he is not really sorry. 

Gilbert Arenas
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesGilbert Arenas apologized after he joked with Washington teammates before Tuesday's game at Philadelphia.