31 May 2006

more notes

Thom Yorke's solo album has leaked. I suppose if you're not a fan of Radiohead, that doesn't mean anything to you. If you were me, and if this were an actual Radiohead album (instead of a solo album) you'd go into a Radiohead related cloud of obliviousness for the next week. Luckily this album is a bit more low key, perhaps better for a bike ride.

I've already gotten tired of it looping (but it did play about 5 times first).

MY BOSS IS OUT OF TOWN ON JUNE 22ND. Why would that matter? Because that makes it pretty much impossible for me to not be at work. And why wouldn't I want to be at work?

Ghana vs. United States (in Nurnberg), 9:55 a.m. ESPN

So now I've got to figure out how I'm going to work that into the schedule. Unless I'm overlooking something, the games aren't available online. This seems impossible to believe, but I'm not finding anything...

Anyone know something I don't?

29 May 2006

a few announcements

Jewel's career is just about over with. I shouldn't care, but for some reason I find pleasure in this fact. I only know this because CBS television is on just to my right.

My pal in Japan (Jon) is back at blogging. That may be of no interest to you, but it certainly is to me.

My garbage disposal is no longer stuck. Who knew all you needed was an allen wrench? To my surprise, there was a penny stuck in there. It's been making horrible noises for something like 8 months, and I was just pretending that it was supposed to make those noises. It's making new noises now (probably not good noises), but they're not nearly as unpleasant. Also, I have dishwashing detergent in my hair now, probably from laying my head under the sink.

I used this rub recipe on my catfish fillet dinner. It was okay. A little salty.

I also rode 50 miles today, 5 or so yesterday (just to keep loose), and 40 on Saturday. I need a lot of work before the RAIN ride or I will die somewhere on Indiana Route 40.

25 May 2006

lost and found

Somehow I've been pulled into the vast web that is Lost viewing. And if you want to, you can get pulled in further and further thanks to a bunch of websites that only seek to confuse you further. I really don't have any interest in getting to involved in that, but somehow my follow-up Lost research (was the statue the foot of The Colossus of Rhodes? Probably not.) led me to Wikipedia again, where I started reading up about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The seven wonders (the Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis, Mausoleum of Maussollos, Colossus of Rhodes, and Lighthouse of Alexandria) are actually sort of boring. That's not to say they're not impressive, but none of them are as cool as the world's largest pendulum clock (inside a building in Tokyo), or even Indianapolis' largest Mr. Bendo (who knew there were so many?).

The 21 official candidates on the new Seven Modern Wonders of the World list are much cooler. Now I might just be saying that because I've been to Kiyomizu-dera, and it's on the list, or perhaps I just find the Great Wall a little more impressive than a status of Zeus.

No matter how you structure the argument, I think it's easy to see those olden-timers got nothing on us. In fact, I think it's entirely possible that we've got seven Indianapolis wonders as impressive as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (which don't even really hang). For example, who can deny the wonders of The Cancer Row Dumps That Smell Like Dog Food of the Near South Side*? Or the Neverending Construction of the Central Library?

Take that, Lighthouse of Alexandria.



Footnotes

*"An Indianapolis census tract southwest of Downtown that lies between White River and Belmont Avenue had a (cancer) risk of 274 in a million." This article (Indy Star), about half way down the page.

23 May 2006

22 May 2006

because bike posts generate a ton of comments

After deciding that I'm fed up with my general lack of fitness I made a commitment this weekend to ride in the annual Ride Across Indiana this year. The 160 mile ride takes place on July 15th and runs from Terre Haute all the way to Richmond.*

I'd like to say this is a huge test and act like it's a generally big deal, but almost 1000 people finished it in the allotted 16 hours last year, so I really have no excuse not to finish. And even though the route runs right behind my beautiful south-side subdivision (and along my daily commute route), I'll really have no excuse to quit at that point. Thought it'll probably be about mile 80, and my current long ride is 86.

In any case, it's going to require a little bit of training, and my weekend rides will slowly ramp up to the suggested 75% ride the week before. In case you're wondering what that schedule looks like:

5/27 - 50 miles
6/3 - 55 miles
6/10 - 60 miles
6/17 - 70 miles
6/24 - 80 miles
7/1 - 100 miles
7/8 - 120 miles

There are a few problems with the schedule, one being F1 weekend (perhaps the only weekend I'm glad I chose Indianapolis over anywhere else*), the other being that it seems like a lot more commitment than I'm used to. BUT...

We'll see how it goes. I suspect that I may actually ride a little ahead of schedule, because 50 miles doesn't seem like that much anymore, especially since I'm getting at least 25 in most days. The best part about the whole thing is that I'll be doing it with a couple of guys from work, and that makes the whole thing amazingly easier and better.

* * * * *

If you've never rode a bike around downtown on a busy weekend, you should try it some time. I suggest riding wherever you want in traffic. I just wish I could explain how sort of freeing it is....


Footnotes Section

*Which is where you'll find the pieces of my broken body afterwards.

*No offense meant to those happy Indianapolis residents.

Log

5/20 - 40.5 miles
5/21 - 23.5 miles
5/22 - 11.5 miles so far...

18 May 2006

tight pants and fruity little hats (i own both)

I just received a phone call from a coworker who wanted to know if "I wear those bike shorts with the pad in the butt."

"Yes."

"Do you wear something over them?"

"Yes, when I ride to work I do. Obviously."

* * * * *

Just not in time for bike week, the IMAX theater at the State Musuem will be showing Wired To Win, a film about the Tour De France and the human brain. I know next to nothing about this movie, but when my Indy Critical Mass* email hit my box with the details, I went ahead and ordered tickets* anyway. It's a "one time test screening", and will be showing next Thursday, the 25th, at 7:30 pm. I'd highly recommend it if I knew anything about it. The trailer looks cool, anyway, and I think those guys are riding Colnagos, which means absolutely nothing to anyone who wouldn't be caught dead in one of these hats*.


*I have never actually participated in this event

*Warning: Ordering page doesn't work with firefox

*That's could almost be considered pulling out a Breaking Away reference. And maybe one of those double negative things. All in one sentence.

17 May 2006

Philips is a sponser of your United States Men's National Soccer Team

Shaveeverywhere.com is Philips' new website for their Bodygroom line of razors. Why am I writing about a website for a razor? Well, this isn't a regular razor, it's one you can use to shave anywhere. Instead of beating around the bush* , Philips has decided to embrace what people are going to really use the product for.

You should really just see the website. I highly recommend the testimonials.

*pun alert

birds are singing

The blogging has gotten a bit slower as of late, but I'd like to think that's because things are humming along in my personal life.

When I moved to Indy in back in 2000, I was a not-so-fresh from college graduate (it took me six months to find work) with few aspirations and a cigarette addiction. Gina (my girlfriend of four years at that point) was a high school graduate with a few college courses under her belt and no real future plans.

Since then: Gina found a job, my dad was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, I went to Japan, Gina's mother had a stroke, Gina lost her job when she went to care for her mother, Gina started at the University of Indianapolis, my dad died from multiple myeloma, I bought a house, Gina and I both quit smoking, I went back to Japan, the Cardinals lost a world series, and finally...

Gina finished school.

If you're counting, we've been dating 10 or 11 years. And while it hasn't always been perfect, I'm not going to pretend like it's been tough (like people like to say a long marriage is). We've always tried to keep in mind (even when we were bored with everything) that eventually we'd both be making money, and then, finally, we could do whatever we wanted.

Well, Gina is interning with a newspaper (one you've probably heard of) right now, and she's interviewing a bit, so I'd say we're 95% there. Things have been going so swimmingly lately that I'm starting to wonder if I deserve any of it, and I'm waiting for the roof to fall in.

But I feel like I've got most things figured out. I don't need to make a lot of money; it's not going to make me any happier. I know I want to move out of my boring CP Morgan neighborhood to somewhere a bit more diverse (and perhaps even more dilapidated). I want to have somewhere to walk to. I want to know my neighbors well. I want Gina to enjoy her job environment as much as I enjoy mine.

I want to sell my stupid truck.

I want someone to suggest a nice diverse neighborhood with small (no bigger than 1500 square feet) homes in the $100-150s.

It's all right over the next hill. Jinx.

14 May 2006



3-0


RSL's first ever road win, and first win of the season. the train is back on the tracks.

08 May 2006

riding down a trail with a dog with no name

As I mentioned before, I spent this past weekend biking Missouri's Katy Trail. If you're wondering what that's like, take a trip to Indianapolis' own Central Canal Towpath, pretend that you're riding next to a river instead of a canal, and throw in some bluffs (obscured by trees). Ride for for 225 miles. Rinse and repeat.

To be honest, it's sort of repetitive and perhaps even a little boring. But it is pretty, and since I'm the kind of person who finds boredom entertaining, I'll be back. My friends and I didn't make the full 60 or so mile trek we had originally planned, but that turned out for the best, I think. Instead, we twice ate at Augusta Missouri's Augusta Brewing Company, and got to enjoy some locally brewed Hyde Park Stout. After a lunch of beef brisket, the only logical choice for dinner was a steak. I normally don't eat much red meat, but Saturday's 60 or so mile trek brought the carnivore out in me.

Having finished dinner (and a few glasses of the stout), we jumped back on our bikes and headed to Klondike park, which is the former site of a rock quarry that overlooks the Missouri River (and a factory). After setting up our tents and showering we headed over to a pond area that had even more bluffs. But these bluffs were unlike any other we had seen in that they were covered with a fine, almost ash-like, white sand. I'm sure my engineer friend explained what the sand was, but I'm not a very good listener.

Sunday we cleaned up our campsite and hit the trail again, and after a short distance we were accompanied by a very well behaved dog. The dog ended up running with us for an unbelievable 10 (or so) miles in total, and because her tags were worn completely unreadable (except for a rabies vaccination number), we really had no clear plan of action to rid ourselves of our her.

First we called the local police, and they informed us that unless the dog was aggressive there was nothing they would do. We then considered calling back and saying that the dog had attacked us, but obviously that wasn't a very good solution. As a pet owner myself, I was completely blown away with the fact that the police didn't want to bother; the dog could have easily been reunited with its owner if they'd just made the effort to match the rabies tag to an owner name.

In the end we ended up having a gentleman hold the dog until we rode out of sight. So we really don't know what happened to the dog, but I do know I didn't end up bringing it home, which looked like the only solution for a short while.

All in all, it was a very worthwhile trip, mainly due to the fact that we ate well. I've already started looking for a better suited bike for the trail, and I suspect I'll be back sooner than later.

07 May 2006

real salt lake vs columbus crew

Instead of writing match reports as I watch the game, I'll just be doing postgame notes from here on out.

I wish I could say this was a game that RSL deserved to win; but you've got to get shots on goal to deserve a win. The postgame stat sheet says the shots were RSL 11 to Columbus' 4, but watching the game it seemed more like RSL 0 to Columbus 0. The post game stat sheet also says that RSL had 6 shots on goal; I don't remember any of them.

It was that sort of effort. Once again RSL had a defensive breakdown that cost them a cheap goal. In fact, the goal was so cheap that Scott "No Go" Garlick decided to not make an effort to stop it. If you're keeping track, that's two times in two weeks that Go Go made no effort on an opponent goal. I know the guy has a pretty decent MLS career, but a complete lack of effort might mean it's time to hang it up. Even I'm capable of throwing a leg out.

Medhi Ballouchy had a fantastic game, and I found myself wishing he'd just try to run through the Columbus defense. He pulled some new footwork tricks out of his bag this week, and (probably because I haven't seen that AT ALL in MLS yet) I briefly thought of Christiano Ronaldo. Medhi did get pushed around a little bit in the second half, but he was easily RSL's best player. His passes were consistently on target, including a double step-over nutmeg ball to a teammate inside the Columbus 18 yard box that SHOULD have been a goal (instead, Atiba Harris stood and watched it roll not more that two yards in front of him... maybe they should try Atiba in goal). Medhi was all over the field, and he showed that he's perfectly capable of extended possession. The only thing he didn't do was put the ball on goal.

But you can't blame him for that, because he was just following the example of his forwards. Jeff Cunningham attempted a couple shots when he should have passed, and it was never more obvious that he didn't care for his strike partner than when they collided going after the same ball. Atiba Harris immediately fell to the ground in pain, and Cunningham walked off (without looking back) like he felt that Harris had gotten what he deserved for getting in the way.

I really don't have much to say about the efforts of Columbus; they were consistently lackluster and were outplayed by RSL. But they did finish when they needed to, and thus got the 1-0 win.

I can't help but think that Jason Kreis would have been a huge help in this game, but he was out because of last week's red card. I'd like to see someone other than Scott Garlick in net next week. And I wish Eddie Pope didn't make at least one play per week that made me nervous to have him playing on the National Team. I don't know what else to say other than I'm pretty glad I haven't been a RSL fan since last year; 6 straight games without a win is pretty rough, I can't imagine what it's like to watch 18 winless.

* * * * *

For those of you still reading, here's a link to all the MLS players' salaries. I was mildly surprised to find out that a lot of guys are making less money than I do, but completely amazed that some of the guys don't make a third of what I do.

But then again, a lot of these guys don't finish their runs (a definite difference between MLS and the Premier League) and some of them don't really seem interested at all. Maybe you get what you pay for?

03 May 2006

the trail to victory


Real Salt Lake will be getting their first win of the year Saturday, when they take on the Columbus Crew at Rice-Eccles Stadium. You can't help but feel a little sorry for the Crew this year. With just one win and one tie versus three loses and only four goals scored, it would be hard to call this team anything but horrible. But at least they have a nice GM. Look for a huge game from Mehdi Ballouchy, who did a nice job in the middle after coming on as a sub last week.

I won't be watching the game though, because I'll be spending Saturday and Sunday on a bicycle on Missouri's Katy Trail. Katy is not unlike the Monon trail in that it's a rails to trails project. But whereas the Monon trail only runs 20-some miles in total, Katy runs 225 miles across most of Missouri, from St. Charles (just northwest of St. Louis) to Clinton, which is 75 miles southeast of Kansas City.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone that didn't see the benefit of a bike trail like The Monon trail. Anyone who has ever used it could tell you how worthwhile it is to spend a couple hours walking, biking, or skating, and interacting with (or just looking at, really) other people from the city. Rail to trails projects do this for communities all over the country. These trails are also beneficial in that they bring a sort of eco-friendly positive tourism* and business to small communities that most people would never visit if it weren't for the trail.

I also think that communities with a wide network of trails are attractive to young people as places to live. In a city that reportedly has issues with brain drain, I think that might be worth noting.



*eco-friendly positive tourism? this whole post ended up reading like a bad high school research paper

Other important notes:

1) If it's Bike to Work Month and you actually bike to work, shouldn't there be some sort of prize? I'll take a tank of gas for the stupid truck I traded my VW golf for. Coming soon to a classified ad near you...

2) Among the higlights of Indiana Bikefest is the opportunity to "Ride by basketball legend Larry Bird’s summer home". Just in case you forgot what state you're in.

3) I don't know who designed the promo poster (or graphics or whatever) for Bike IN 2006 (the bike festival in White River State park on May 20th and 21st), but they did a fine job. I'd like a poster for my garage.

01 May 2006

pot smokers put to death

Ok, that's not the case at all, but it did get your attention, right?

University of Colorado police are smarter than any old group of dumb kids. Especially if that group of kids are out to celebrate 4/20.

First, you post warning signs.

Then you start videotaping and wait for everyone to incriminate themselves (for trespassing, if nothing else).

And then you post all the pictures online and wait for people they know to rat them out for $50.

420 dudes! Enjoy your fine!

That's what you get for wearing a bandana in public.

audience participation time

So as you can see, I've (well, Gina actually) changed the background. The photo is from the top of Mount Misen, which is located at Miyajima, outside of Hiroshima, Japan. There are a group of rocks atop Mount Misen, and my friend Jason attempted to climb to the top of one of them. Much to my amusement, this proved to be impossible. I like the photo a lot... but perhaps it's a bit much for a background.

Do you find the transparency (if you're using Firefox, anyway) annoying? If you're using Internet Explorer it's probably not an issue, since you should just be seeing white boxes...



By the way, I just want to point out how cool my user pic is.