25 October 2008

the aminals

I've been carrying mail for the last two weeks, and anyone following me would conclude that I am a certifiable lunatic. I talk in goofy dog voice to almost all the dogs, and I meow at all the cats. Today, my heart just about burst when, after I'd already delivered the mail and was on my way back to the truck, the big husky emerged from behind the fence and loped over to me, and when I scratched behind her ears, she immediately flopped onto the ground for a belly rub. Awwwww. Shortly after that, I got to my favorite kitty's house, and she seemed hungry, and I couldn't tell if the people had been around lately, so later on, I went back with a plate of cat food. She didn't come when I meowed, and the people *may* have been around, so I didn't stay too long, but I did leave the food.

I'm lurching toward 1000--I think I'm at 980 miles right now. I missed two days of riding this week--one planned, and one the result of being ridiculously foggy headed, and thereby LATE. Thursday might be the day...

21 October 2008

my kid is funny.

I have one of those square peg sorts of kids, which is awesome, and which tends to mean that our many, many parenting challenges do *not* include staving off boredom.

That said, he may be catching on.

(notation in the corner of his school planner): "Note to self: Do not make Coach angry."

me: Hey kiddo, did you get into trouble in PE class?

kid: No! But another kid did, and he was doing something I would do, like making smart alecky comments, and he had to do eighteen pushups!

20 October 2008

leavenworth, pt. 2

Hi Mark!

Okay, Mark, in the comments on the previous post, took me to task for describing Leavenworth as "kitschy." I take his point, sort of, in that I actually do know enough about the history of the town to appreciate its transformation into a successful Bavarian-themed tourist destination. (Short version: hard times, dying local economy, business community transforms the city by mutual decision and sheer force of will. Inventive, and fairly awesome.) HOWEVER, it was created, and while its achievements are notable*, without actual Bavarians, it is not authentic.

*It is thriving--I was there on a Monday, and there were LOTS of people in the streets.

It should be further noted that I *like* kitsch. Folks were very friendly, I was able to find a satisfactory vegetarian lunch with no trouble at all, and the natural beauty is breathtaking. Plus there is Bavarian-themed mini-golf, which I didn't play (why?!??), so I will return. That there's an artificial conceit in play bothers me not at all.

In other news, the rain is potentially hampering my efforts at reaching the 1000 mile mark. I rode today, but got utterly drenched on the way home. Hopefully it will let up by morning, as arriving at work that wet is not so fabulous. At least if I come home soaking wet, I can take a hot shower and put on my pajamas right away.

17 October 2008


Columbus Day is a minor annual holiday for me; a day on which I take myself off on an adventure someplace. Alone. This year, I drove north to Leavenworth, a kind of kitschy Bavarian-themed tourist town. I managed to get my hair trimmed (a major achievement), wandered around a lot, bought only a couple of balls of yarn, and rode my bike* on the rather excellent city trails that parallel the river.

I enjoy monkeying around with the self-timer, although I tend to try to avoid being observed....

*Bianchi, not the electric. It did quite well on the trail, even though I had to switch to the road tires. I dismounted briefly three times--once for loose gravel, once for big rocks, and once for mud.

15 October 2008

pointing out the obvious

(Listening to the third presidential debate in the car on the way home from soccer practice. Kid starts talking about something unrelated with great enthusiasm.)

Me: SSHHHH! This is really important!

Me: I'm sorry. You're really important, too. But they're only going to say this once.

Kid: MOM, it'll be on YouTube later....

11 October 2008

bonus post!

1) Using Biology, Not Religion, to Argue Against Same-Sex Marriage HEAD THUNK. 6.6 billion people, folks. Protecting human procreation is not really our issue just now.

2) Raphael Saadiq.

That an album released in 2008 sounds like this makes me REALLY happy. There's a live video on YouTube, but it doesn't do this track justice.

3) Charlie Haden - Rambling Boy

No adequate video on this, but go listen at iTunes or Amazon or something. Or you could go to the official site but I warned you about the Flash attack. Lots of the Haden Triplets, together and separately, plus lots of well-chosen guest artists. Even Jack Black's contribution on "Old Joe Clark" works.

4) Extra more, because I am nice like that:

5) (further video aside: Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! is on heavy rotation around here, but Nick Cave's mustache here is blowing my mind.)

Oh. hi.

Regular busy, three places at once, etc. etc. sort of stuff. Riding still, even though it has only been 30 freaking degrees in the morning. I gave up and wore long johns the last two days, and my wool mittens are pulled on over my riding gloves, and sometimes I'm wearing my Buff and a wool stocking cap, but whatever. It's also getting darker, so there are lots of blinkies--LED headlight, a seatpost taillight, and one attached to my messenger bag. My coworkers who pass me up in their cars assure me that I am visible.

I'm up to 920 miles since I installed the bike computer, and my goal is 1000 before the snow sidelines me for the winter. I ride about 45 miles/week, so I fervently hope this is not unrealistic.

I've also had a number of irritating mechanical issues, which are making me a bit paranoid. It started a couple of months ago when I had a bent front rim, but no corresponding bending event. Then a while later, I went out back one afternoon, and my rear tire was flat. Then again this week. (Lucky break: dad (and all-around nice guy) of one of the kid's friends was driving by in his pickup, threw my bike in the back, and gave me a ride home.) Anyway, that all of these events have occurred in conjunction with my commute HOME, not TO work, has me struggling not to be a paranoid freak. I have my reasons. So the bike is coming inside in the afternoons, even though there is no incredibly spectacular place for it.

We have Columbus Day off at work, and even though I harbor all the usual skepticism about that particular holiday, it serves the annual purpose of providing me with a day to go mess around all by myself. The town I am visiting this year has a yarn shop, an independent bookstore, and bike paths, so it's all good. I am taking the Bianchi with me, and in advance of this, I knew I had a flat to change (I'm getting quite good at this...). When I went to do it, discovered that it wasn't the tube, exactly, that was the problem--the tire itself was totally shredded. Luckily, I had the original road tires for the bike in the basement, so I swapped them for the hybrid tires I'd been riding with. On which I'd been riding. I adore that bike, even though the electric suits my commuting needs better. Hoping for a nice day.

04 October 2008

I highly

highly, highly recommend the audiobook version of Dreams from My Father, read by the author.

Sarah Palin makes me furious on so many levels, but her snarky description of him as a "man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate" (which is false) makes me wonder if she has bothered to read them, which I think would surely be wise. Dreams is a thoughtful, honest, and insightful meditation on race and family. Mocking it reveals a world view that is so debased and cynical, that...well, consider the source.