Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bike? Car? Whatever I Want One.

I would LOVE to drive around in one of these suckers. I have to imagine that the kids would too. Of course, all I have to do is come up with $35k or so and figure out how to get a bike onto the back of it. I'm sure I have enough duct tape and bungees to make that happen...

Of course, they just filed for bankruptcy. The good news is that the underlying technology company that developed it is still around.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Car free German Town

Pretty cool stuff. Here's the background then Google or Bing yourself to more details and stories. There's tons out there. Here's the Wiki on the city. Vauban, here I come!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Humanity, Where Art Thou?

I just finished reading John Dickerson's Heartless in Slate about Gov. Sanford.

Please read the following without a hint of irony: poor guy.

I'm pretty liberal. I don't like a lot of this guy's ideas but I tell ya, I feel pretty bad for him. Of course, I know it's hard on his family, and I wish them the best through this hard time as well, but the vitriol that is being slammed onto this guy with such ardor seems a bit much.

Sure, I've made a few watercooler jokes (He wasn't hiking the Appalachian trail, he was hiked up on some Argentinian tail), but that was just me trying to be clever. Obviously, I'm not very clever, but I digress.

When did imperfect people become fair game for attack? This guy needs our symapthy, not our anger. I defended Clinton when he was having his fun and I think the same standard needs to be applied to Gov. Sanford.

As humans, we should be able to remove the actions from the person. Is he a bad guy because of this? Nope. He should be feeling horrible and we should acknowledge his feeling horrible by saying 'Yeah, you really screwed the pooch on this one' but we don't need to drill him into the ground by calling him names or portraying all Republicans or right-wingers this way. If anything, imperfection is the one thing that all politicians seem to have, and in fact, all humans.

Sure he's a hypocrit. He attacked Clinton and voted for his impeachment. BUT! The man will learn. I don't pity a man for mistakes, I pity him if he doesn't LEARN from them. I hope that Sanford keeps his marriage together and manages to get his life back together.

I hope more people can feel generous with their empathy. I know I need to work on it myself, but you don't have to kick me in the arse about it...

Good luck to the Sanford family. I hope that things work out for you. It's going to be harder than ever.

Monday, June 15, 2009

2009 24 Hours of Big Bear

Friday was great! Good ride in wet conditions with some good teammates, great dinner, plenty of off-color conversation, mostly at Darren's expense... We were ready to race! We had already looked at the caliber of the other teams and I had decided that fifth was likely our best outcome. Not to spoil the ending, but we got fifth. It was a good thing we pre-rode: there were numerous issues that needed to be addressed on various DCMTB bikes (more later). GrannyGear results here.

Kent jumped on the grenade for the run and went into the woods in reasonable position. The first of three flats contributed to a frustrating lap for Kent. We were solidly in sixth place out of six teams. After Wheaton and I tried to fix Darren's stripped shock mounting bolt, Darren was pushed from his hard-fought-for second slot into fourth. He managed to head into Morgantown and find a replacement before he was due for a lap. It's a good thing that Wheaton noticed that nut because it would have caused a HUGE problem, most likely at night, knowing Darren. And no, Darren, rubber cement will not keep a shock mount nut on a bolt...

(Reminder: PLEASE make sure your equipment is in good working order WELL BEFORE a race.)

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful from my viewpoint. I got pretty frustrated estimating Kent's lap times and ending up waiting in the start/finish for him to come in 10-20 minutes later than expected for the first three laps. Kent's three flats kept us from fourth place. Such is racing. I'm glad that somebody took a look at Kent's tire before his fourth lap so he could have one clean lap. I imagine that was a big relief for Kent.

On my fourth lap, I passed a guy with a double-flat on a tricky section before the super technical g-out/hike-a-bike section. I had my eyes on the wet, muddy, slippery rocks to keep it together so I didn't realize who it was, even after asking him if he was ok and hearing about his double-flats. I shouted words of encouragement and kept slogging it out. Wheaton asked me if I passed the fifth-placed Gripped Films expert team and I said 'I don't think so.' Wheaton pointed to the Gripped Films guy standing behind him so I shouted at him to 'GO! GO! GO!' I headed for the showers and ran into Dave Olsen from Gripped Films heading back to camp and he just smiled. I asked him how he was doing and he said 'Nice pass. That double-flat killed me' and related a story of borrowing CO2 and a tube from somebody. I realized that was him on the side of the trail. We both laughed it off. Such is racing...

In a perfect world, we could have made it to fourth. That assumes that we would have had no other mechanicals besides those flats (and Darren not breaking his bike!) I'm really glad nobody got seriously injured although the jury is still out on Wheaton's mid-shin puncture would. I think it re-opened something from 'Nam as his eyes glazed over and he started shouting 'Di di mau!' Laird put on a top-notch event once again.

The conditions were wet enough to frustrate many people and forced quite a few 2+ hour laps. The DCMTB co-ed open team seemed to have a great time and did well. I had a great time hanging out with everyone. HUGE thanks to Miss Communication for her swimsuit modeling and caged GoGo dancing! That really made the difference! She deserves that crown!

I don't have many pics but I'll get some up later and steal some from others...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jon Stewart Pulls Through Again

Please, please, please watch this. Peter Schiff knows what he is talking about.

WV Friends: Thanks Kent!

We always take Kent up on his invitations to the house in WV. This year was no exception. It's always a great time and Kent and Paula have some fantastic taste when it comes to food, fun and people (me excluded, of course).

It was Kent's birthday weekend. Here's a few great shots of some great people. Jon, Maura, Robert, Kent, Paula and the fam are in here but we missed a few people who were on a hike during this shot.

As usual, we had a great time, met some great people and Foxy got to run around like a free dog all weekend. Boy, was she tired. And dirty. And covered in ticks.

Here's Emma's first bow and arrow shot. I didn't have my camera for Jeremy's.

Here's Mr Jon and Jeremy and some daytime light-up frisbee. We are big on light-up frisbee around these parts. Jeremy managed to snag all the discs so he could practice. Emma and Jeremy are both pretty good disc throwers. Like their momma, they pick stuff up pretty quickly. They are naturally coordinated, thankfully.

There's no way I could avoid posting a pic of the dog. When we went on a hike up around Kent's property, Foxy took off for a few minutes. After Susan calling the dog at length, she decided to show up while we walked along the ridge. At first, I thought it was a different dog. You can see from the pic, she's COVERED in mud.

As many of you know, Foxy is an off-white dog. She has a few brown spots but not from her paws up to her shoulders. She clearly found a solid mud puddle and decided to take a bath. Oh, to be a dog.

We rode over the mountain to hit Stokesville during the VA IMBA mtn bike festival hosted by your boyfriend and mine, Chris Scott. We did a ride up and over Hankey and down Dowell's. I was running out of time so I just rode around on the road. It was a solid 45 minutes although who remembers such things...

Thanks again Kent and friends. Hope to see you again soon.

Pope: Yeah, No Kidding

This post is also parenthetically titled: Reason number 927 why I'm going to Hell.

Beastie Boys

I managed to get tickets for the Beastie Boys show last night. Wow. I had a full unobstructed view from the floor about 30 feet from the stage on a little ramp next to the sound board. Punga tagged along.

Great show. Really fun. Biz Markie opened up. Love that guy. He sang Bennie and the Jets about half-way through the BBoys set. He seemed to be having the best time all night. It's between him and Mixmaster Mike. Btw, that guy is pretty talented... Like you didn't know.

More on the evening here. And here.

I haven't seen the Beastie Boys since I was just out of high school in 1992. The Boys are gettin' old. They still rock. The fame and fortune hasn't ruined them one bit.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

DCMTB 2009 Team Photo

What a good looking bunch of people!
Big ups to JoFo for working through our comedy performances to get the shot.
The new kit looks pretty good. I forget who on the team designed it (Tris?) but I likey!

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