"Is Rome worth one good man's life? You made us believe it once. Make us believe it again." The same for freedom today, I think: is freedom worth one good man's life? I think it is, but maybe those who fight for it should be the ones who will appreciate it and not soldiers who've traveled from afar to spread the greatness of America. If the insurrection continues, if men my age must continue to die to bring the Iraqi people something that they apparently don't want, why not bring them home? I've quoted The West Wing before - "Why does the U.S. have to take every Arab country out for an ice cream cone? They'll like us when we win!" - but I think that Tobey Z just might have been wrong. Well you know what, if they decide that they'd rather run around in the street and sucker punch their liberators then to hell with them. We'll load up our boys and go home. We've got the Fourth of July and you've got nothing. Sorry folks, the ice cream shop is closed, you can keep your poverty-stricken country with its miserable politics.
Here at home it was a quiet weekend, where I was free to do whatever I wanted, which included a fun evening out on Friday with some friends, a haircut and library trip on Saturday, church A/V duty on Sunday followed by house and clothes cleaning, and reading reading reading all in between. Now a tiny 3-day week before jetting away for "The Fourth up North."
Oh man, did the bad luck set in timing-wise on last night's ride. I caught every bad break and hold-up on the way out to the split-up point on Lido and missed the departure of both the B and C+ groups. So, I rode with a pack that I was near the top of and we carried a respectable 23.1 over the island. The upside was a more social ride with a better mix of company and the chance to learn some names and actually interact with the other people in the pace line.
posted at 12:47 PM - comments
Thursday, June 26, 2003
Crazy new look to Blogger. As has been documented here I'm a fan of change and progress, but here it seems like less is still less. Maybe it will improve as I learn my way around - but with the old Blogger you didn't have to navigate, it was all laid out in front of you. In other news here in the non-virtual world, I'm cruising through "Engineers of Dreams" and enjoying it very much. I'm also starting to look forward to next week's mini-vacay in Lansing with the closest of friends. Good stuff.
posted at 8:33 AM - comments
Wednesday, June 25, 2003
Tough winds and a bad choice of groups left me with a depressing 22.5 mph average last night, but my cycling goods finally arrived from Bike Nashbar so the evening wasn't a total loss. Bill's back in the office today after spending Monday evening & Tuesday helping his in-laws prep their home in Hidden River from a potential flood after the levees holding the water back broke. Sometimes a little perspective is a good thing. I've also been catching up with peeps from hither and yon this week via telephone: Megan's back from her trip out west and Mom and Dad have returned from their travels in Europe, so I was really glad to catch up with those three in particular.
posted at 12:52 PM - comments
Monday, June 23, 2003
Weather dominates this report: over a foot of rain has fallen in the last week, and over two feet were in North Briggs Avenue Sunday afternoon. Since it was rainy and dreary all weekend I made the most of it by visiting the library, shopping for Oriental food, and reading. Got the whole skinny on the Eastland and started into Henry Petroski's exploration of the men behind famous bridges.
posted at 3:19 PM - comments
Friday, June 20, 2003
Last day of a week that has flown by. Rain prevented a ride last night, but I finished my book and worked on my Bay Stewards article for the DP. I think that so much of great writing must stem from a great prompt...I find myself pondering the direction of this piece and worrying, for really the first time, about whose toes I may or may not crush - an unforeseen downside of an audience of potentially tens of thousands of people. Looking forward to the weekend, but being realistic about the poor chances that it might be nice enough to do what I want.
posted at 2:57 PM - comments
Thursday, June 19, 2003
A ton of rain falling all over the place, so I stayed in and read about the Eastland last evening. Boy oh boy am I ever all about the non-fiction lately. That was about it for the evening - some stir-fry, couple glasses of wine, a leather sofa, a chill stereo, and a good book. Nice.
posted at 12:56 PM - comments
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Finally made it back up to 25 last night, but not anywhere past - 25.01 mph over the flying island and back to the parking garage just as a massive storm broke over downtown. It's good to be fast, because the 22-23 mph crew must have gotten absolutely demolished by torrential rains and gale-force winds. After the ride I headed right home and wipped up a massive stir-fry that tasted so very good. Mmm baby corn! Say what you will about 'bad for the environment' or 'socially irresponsible' but that things are guuuud. Then I put some chill tunes on the stereo and looked through my pictures. It's good to reminisce, especially with my new Yamaha pumping out such fine sound. I definitely waited too long before buying a new receiver - the power and sound quality of the HTR-5550 might have livened up a night or two back at Webb.
posted at 12:49 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Plenty of rain lately, which has made staying at home on the sofa with a book even easier. First normal week in quite a long while, so I'm planning to ramp back up to the full 80 miles I'd been doing - despite the sweltering summer heat. In sports-related news, a local Toughman competition turned ugly this week as a woman died from her injuries some 48 hours after the event. Oh right, boxing isn't a bloodsport, it's entertainment. Do not get me started.
posted at 12:55 PM - comments
Sunday, June 15, 2003
Kind of a quiet weekend here. Checked out the Spurs big game 5 win over the Nets on Friday, spent Saturday exploring east of I75 and giving blood, and hopefully today will be good for polishing up an article for the Daily Mess about shipping on Little Bay de Noc. Rough morning for the A/V guy at church as the main man neglected to turn on his microphone - DOH! But, calmer heads and a constant hand on the mic levels averted disaster. Man, this is hard!
posted at 1:22 PM - comments
Thursday, June 12, 2003
I'm all about fairness in sports, but when Rod Thorn says that the game is not being called right and New Jersey should get more free throws than a team with 3 7-footers, something is flawed. Oh well...not much longer until football season starts and in the meantime there's always NASCAR. Got set up with tickets to head "North for the Fourth" last night. Should be a fun time. Tonight I'm getting back onto my bike and thus back into the routine, but I'm looking forward to it.
posted at 12:35 PM - comments
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
An almost entirely car-oriented evening last night: I washed and waxed the exterior, cleaned both sides of all the windows, cleaned the headlights, taillights, and mirrors, blackened the tires (even managed to get some tire black in my eye) and cleaned the alloys. Not bad for a stuffy warm evening in the middle of the week. There was also laundry and a belated birthday call to Robin, but other than that it was a pretty quiet night at 511.
posted at 12:51 PM - comments
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
So last night the Devils won their 3rd Stanley Cup in 9 years, which means that they are pretty much atop the league along with Detroit and, to a lesser extent, Colorado for dominance of the NHL. Kudos. Yes, I am bitter, especially now that the Red Wings are going to be dipping into a rebuilding cycle of sorts. I also worked on getting my life reassembled in Florida after the weekend - a touch of laundry, sorting out the pictures from the trip, resting up for a full week (my first in awhile), and going grocery shopping. When all of that was done I kept racing through a most fascinating book, The Tyranny of Distance, about how geography shaped the culture and history of Australia as a western civilization. Very interesting and I'm learning a ton about many different subjects.
posted at 12:37 PM - comments
Monday, June 09, 2003
A weekend on Long Island full of friends and fun has been and gone. A even dozen members of my class were present, along with a bevy of underclassmen and a few of the cooler members of the special class. Friday was a day to get reacquainted, with a nice drive from BWI and lunch at Karyn's before rendezvousing with the class at Marra's, Webb, and the Comptons. We had some difficulties with the weather on Saturday, so I spent much of the day enjoying the music but lamenting the pain in my frozen feet, which got exponentially worse after a long game of ultimate on third terrace. The c.b.g.b. band "Bootleg Remedy" was a big hit, playing indoors, and, at times, swelling to 10 pieces with the addition of Spider Nick and his bari player James. After that set Spider Nick & his Mad Dogs played a jamming ska set before a DJ took the stage and spun into the night. After the music stopped it was thumpers and the pub scene until bedtime. Sunday we rose and caravaned to East Quogue for a day of fun in the semi-sun, with swimming in the pool, relaxing in the hot tub, playing with Liberty the dog, and bocce on the lawn. It all ended too soon as I had to depart around dinnertime to get back to JFK for the flight home.
Speaking of flights, I had a most enjoyable travelling experience. On my northbound trip I rode AirTran's new B717, which is a fine little jetliner. Then on the return leg I flew Song for the first time. The service was excellent, the crew friendly and funny, the seats comfortable, and the whole experience very short on the downsides of the routine of travelling by air. "Should the cabin lose air pressure, oxygen masks will fall from the overhead. Once you've stopped screaming, put the mask over your nose and mouth." They even gave sports scores in the air.
Last night's activity was new and different: I surfed in the big waves off Lido Beach after work. Didn't take long in the water to remember two things, firstly that it's been three years since I've surfed and second that I'm absolutely a beginner. But, I caught a couple of waves which was really fun and got rocked by a couple of other ones which wasn't so fun.
Looks like Sammy turns out to be one of the good guys after all. Alright baseball, see you again in September. In the meantime, I'm all about old vets playing like fearless rookies. The Admiral steps up for his final series and the twin towers go to town on the Nets. Poor New Jersey - who really cheers for them? I'm sure every single person in East Rutherford, but that's like what, 5000 people?
Tough ride last night with a stiff southwesterly wind. I still managed to ride with the B group, albeit towards the tail of the beast, and had an average of 24.3. Had it been a bit calmer I might have climbed back above 25, but instead the speed was slower and I was more tired than any previous ride. Even woke up this morning a little bit sore for the first time. I'm going to have to work on that.
In other news, Sammy Sosa was using a corked bat. He grabbed the wrong one. Seems like for whatever un-Godly sum he earns to participate in the majors he could hire somebody to hand him an uncorked bat when he steps up....that way he would save himself from looking like a lying cheating scumbag and save somebody else from this recessing economy. But look on the bright side for baseball - one of its heros might be finished, but at least in leaving he got the league a headline. Perfecto.
So the new look is finally complete, although I forgot to upload the PDF files of my resume and travel journals. Nonetheless, the site looks sharp and hopefully everyone enjoys it.
Tonight will be my first Tuesday ride in a couple of weeks, so I'm pumped to try and get a good turn of speed, although the weather map shows that I might go directly home instead. Speaking of home, boy is it hard to be inspired on a nightly basis in the kitchen. And when you lack expertise you are really starting off behing the 8-ball. My botched twice-baked potatos from the weekend are probably going to last me through this week and might even be here when I get back from the party up north over the weekend. Speaking of which! Spoke with Madame le Social Chair last evening and got the run-down on the bands...should be rockin.