Friday, December 12, 2008

Yeah, We Know It's Coming...

Yeah, I know it'll hurt. But not any more than the past few DECADES of crap coming out of Detroit and lack of innovation. You know how many rad cars these companies sell in the EU that we can't get here? Yeah, all the good ones.

It's time for the greedy UAW and poorly-managed Big 3 to re-organize in bankruptcy, like the rest of the irresponsible companies out there.

Free markets. Let's pull the plug on crap from Detroit.

Let's get to the bottom fast so we can turn this economy around. Propping up Detroit is not helpful to anyone.

Normally I love unions and I love 'Made in the USA' for whatever they are worth, but in practice, the UAW and Detroit have screwed each other and all of us over the years.

Bring on more Toyotas and Hondas. I'm not scared. Didja see my SmartCar pic? Daimler product... Work fleet vehicle.

I've heard of big pimpin' but little blue pimpin'?

I'm doing what I can.

I just can't figure out where to fit all my ladies...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

LandSpeedRecord and Girls Like Cigarettes

WAY back in the day, music was my life. The way bikes were my life (until earlier this year).

That meant that somebody gave me a bass guitar and I learned how to play it. And the drums. And the guitar. And write and arrange music. And record music. And play shows and make flyers and stuff.

This started in middle school and ended sometime in college. When I got my first real mtn bike. Hmm...

So back in the day, my buddy Joe lived not too far from me and he had a band and a basement. I spent a lot of time there. I was a roadie. I sat in every now and then. I went to shows with them and carried stuff. I watched the shows up close, sang the lyrics, made jokes and had a great time. Shawn organized some of the shows and I helped him as much as I could. This was the original internet: rock and roll shows with bad flyers that were photocopied and handed around. Lots of phone calls were made (from home!) and people came to shows.

So Joe needed a drummer. Remember Joe? I knew that Marc was a drummer and the two of them made great music with random guitarists and covered Pixies songs (when the songs were new!) and Jane's Addiction songs too. This was before the Music Revolution of the early 1990s. Bad music was everywhere.

Jeebus this is going nowhere...

Joe is now in NYC in GLC (above right). He's in the middle. He's very serious. On the left, I think that's Marc with his hand to his head... heh...

Joe and Marc made music and I was around a lot. Joe's new band doesn't really grab me. They are great, sure, but just not my style. People like them, Joe is happy and that's all that matters. Marc's band I really like. He wouldn't ever say this but I think they are like polished Fugazi. I'm not sure that's by design but they really rock. It's fun enough, loud enough, angry enough... If you don't like them, I hate you.

Hate is a strong word. Maybe I just won't give you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but I don't hate you... much...

Listen to Marc's band here. It's ok for work, but not super loud.
Listen to Joe's band here. They have a show in B-more on the 13th. Sonar. Small chance I make it, it's a busy weekend. Maybe I'll get Joel to go and get him in a fight... That would be funny.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Severn Run Stuff

As y'all may or may not know, I'm working on a trails project with DNR and MORE at Severn Run Natural Environment Area. So now you know if you didn't.

Severn Run (Google it) is about 1800 acres of underused land right in the middle of Anne Arundel County. MORE and DNR have agreed that data of the current trails is needed in order to have a feasibility discussion for more multi-use trails. Of course, I have a LARGE personal interest in the improvement of this area because I work across the street and live just 8 miles away.

Can you say 'lunchtime laps?' I will be soon!

The whole point of this project is to figure out what is out there as DNR doesn't have resources to get in there and figure that out. They are busy. Check some of this out. I like our Gov and he's going in the right direction.

Ok, so we're having some local meetings about the project and how you (yes, YOU!) can get involved.

We'll be getting in there to hike around and find trails and classify them as 'good,' 'needs work,' 'gotta go' and 'proposed trail.'

After DNR checks out what we put together (late Winter, early Spring), we should be able to surmise how feasible the area would be for new trails. Based on the time I've spent out there, I'm very hopeful. The pics on this page are of the area. There's no map of the area around that I can find. I've got a local engineer guy helping out and we have the county GIS data so we should have a working map up and running in Google Earth in the coming days.

This Thursday, Dec 11, we are having our first meeting about this project at Bike Dr in Linthicum. Show up around 7pm. Yes, beer and pizza. I'm trying not to waste anybody's time and we'll have a LARGE copy of the map to look at.

NEXT Thursday, Dec 18, we are having a meeting at Family Bikes in Crofton. 7pm, beer and pizza.

RSVP for either event please (so we don't run out of food/beer) to me or to Jeff or Jonathan.

Here's hoping to see you out there!

Just a picture recap here... These are pics of Severn Run near Najoles Rd and Dicus Mill Rd. There are trails out there and there are hikers out there (although not last Friday).

If you want to, you can park at the little gate at the bottom of Dicus Mill Rd right near the bridge over Severn Run. They kinda loop around themselves so a GPS would help the first time out. There's no map so GPS might be a good idea.

You can see how rutted some of the trails are. A lot of them are on steep ground and have been either cut or just bedded in about 1 foot, or even a bit more.

The first pic is most likely a future drop (TTF) near the top of the trail system.

Big thanks to Mike and Gretta for coming out to hike with us. There is private property near where we were and I have seen hunters out there all week so that's why we were wearing blaze orange and some hi-viz safety vests I had at work...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Here Comes the Sun

Every time my buddy Kent eats a grape, he smiles and says, 'I'm solar powered!'

He eats a lot of grapes.

At work, our solar panels are going up. There's about 2 acres behind the building at second floor-level almost covered in panels. Here's a good shot.

It's a good-sized array back there, and on the roof. We'll be 100% off the grid in summer (lotsa sun) and about 60% in low-sun Winter.

This past long weekend was Turkeyday weekend. Of course, we kicked the week off right by killing our washing machine. It's about 12 years old and the motor went up. I've been lucky enough to figure out how to fix a bunch of other stuff in the house and I figured out that it was the motor.

Problem is, the motor is the most expensive part of the whole machine. Add that to the cost of a few other parts that I found out it needs (broken stuff) and we were just below a new washer. AND couple that with the current state of durable goods sales (ie: washers) and there were some SUPER cheap options out there. We got new washer/dryer for the cost of a new washer AND they are the super-efficient NEW Energy Star models. Susan wanted front-loading washer 'cuz they are trendy now or something so that's what we got.

We went to William's birthday party at the bounce zone or whatever. You know the place: inflatable stuff everywhere. Kids go NUTS for these things. And the kids went nuts. As did the wife... Pizza, cake and ice cream finished off the event and William got what every little boy wants: something related to Spiderman, Superman or Batman...

Almost forgot to mention the annual Turkeyday ride at Patapsco. About 80 or so miscreants showed up for this annual event. The 8am Hot Lap was quick. Mr Eatough and other local super-fast boys showed up and kept the first hour very fast (for me, not for them). We got back to the parking lot for the rest of the ride at 9am and the photo op... I survived.

Send good thoughts over to Jonathan at Family Bikes. He and Sarah have had a rough week so stop by, email him or whatever to let him know we are thinking about them...

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