Archives for: "October 2006"

Halloween At Two Of My Favorite Places

October 31st, 2006

Image by Bitterroot. Some rights reserved. gwadzilla describes his weekend charmingly. Here's a bit: Sunday morning involved carving pumpkins I sketched out outlines of ghosts, bats, spiders, and yes... pumpkins had dean and grant draw faces for me to… more »

Gerty & Entropy

October 30th, 2006

Image by Keith Pelletier. Some rights reserved. Gerty has been reading about physics, and it's been hard on all of us. As Gerty likes to say "I just view the world differently." That's a truth beyond dispute. When I walk around our house or peer into… more »

Why I Love The IRS

October 30th, 2006

On Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica in the mid-teens, on the curb outside a car dealership. Image by Rich Lem. Some rights reserved. Saturday, I was delighted to receive my annual letter from the IRS. Yes, that's right. I was DELIGHTED to get a… more »

Warning: All Cars Harm The Environment

October 30th, 2006

From The Independent: On Monday, ministers will be under pressure to legislate so that advertisements for new cars would have to carry a prominent notice like the health warning on cigarette packets. A potential buyer would be able to see at a glance… more »

Car Insurance As A Cure For Global Warming

October 30th, 2006

Dean Baker at Beat the Press has a proposal that would encourage people to reduce the miles they drive: pay-by-the-mile insurance. Dean's proposal should be more acceptable to people than raising the gas tax. It avoids both taxes and gasoline, which in… more »

Comments! I'm Very Sorry.

October 29th, 2006

This is a "tit" isn't it? Image by Marty DeAngelo. Some rights reserved. I thought I was just unloved. Please accept my apologies. The entertaining (and polite) gentleman at longrider was kind enough to point out that I had overlooked the comment he… more »

Is It Ethical To Slash SUV Tires?

October 28th, 2006

Will Duguid in The Guardian has a significantly less violent, and more articulate, response to the Richmond plan to charge high emissions vehicles higher parking fees: I raised my glass - "To the future!" Rowan raised hers. "No, to Toyota", and we… more »

Reading "Planning" Papers

October 28th, 2006

I have started wading into "planning literature." Unlike reading sociology papers, where I sometimes feel as if I am drowning in a sea of jargon, the planning papers I have read so far have a few shallow spots. Some use English words that may actually… more »

How Not To Write A Persuasive Argument

October 27th, 2006

Image by kandyjaxx. Some rights reserved. I guess I am in a good mood. This had me laughing aloud. From a site called Longrider, the author argues against a plan by the Richmond town council to charge high emissions vehicles higher parking fees: [A… more »

Riding In The Snow!

October 27th, 2006

What the world looked like yesterday. As you can see from the picture, yesterday was a great cycling day. At least it was for me. I enjoy the "rotten" days for a few reasons. First, they break the routine. Second, getting to work and back on snowy days… more »

Homicide Defense: The Sun Was In My Eyes?

October 27th, 2006

Image by katerw. Some rights reserved. Check out the way this reporter describes the reason the driver of a Ford Expedition killed a 12-year old cyclist: Botello claims glare from the sun limited his visibility. However, speed may have also been a… more »

Bike Beats Chelsea Tractor

October 26th, 2006

I found the Daily Mail's review of a number of "green" cars (most not sold in the U.S.) interesting. I don't think "green" cars are a solution to anything. Ultimately, they won't reduce petroleum consumption or all the other problems caused by reliance… more »

Finland makes Latin the King

October 25th, 2006

Finnish latin primer. Image by venticello. Some rights reserved. Of course, I like Latin. I loved looking out the window - through the stone, gothic lattice - while listening to my dry latin tutor's pleasant drone. (I still enjoy identifying a… more »

H2's Gas Mileage

October 25th, 2006

A really dull article from the New York Times, contains this new (to me) information about the H2's mileage: G.M. helpfully provides a fuel consumption computer right on the H2’s dash. On a round trip from Philadelphia (the closest place to Washington I… more »

What's That Again, An Eruv?

October 25th, 2006

A map of the East Denver Eruv. This LA Times story caught my eye this morning. First, I find the accommodations that religions make to the realities of life interesting. Second, this essentially unseen, really metaphorical boundary, carefully checked… more »

The Odyssey As Written By Bike-Riding Hero

October 25th, 2006

Image by jhary. Some rights reserved. JoJo's version of The Odyssey, complete with deadly pools, human swine, and a deadly monster. Odysseus is on a Bianchi and the deadly monster is hauling twinkies, but the story is nonetheless irresistable. And,… more »

Gwadzilla's Family Hike

October 25th, 2006

gwadzilla has made me smile more than once this week: finally after some magical form of reason I had the boys agreeing to going outside the shoes and jackets were on hats were not vital and not going to happen but petzel headbands were definitely part… more »

Denver Critical Mass Friday

October 25th, 2006

Mona Caron's great poster commemorating San Francisco CM's 10-year anniversary. Some rights reserved. Yahoo! Groups Denver Critical Mass: PLEASE LEAVE ONE LANE OPEN and STOP AT ALL STOPLIGHTS - The police stated that if we do this they will not issue… more »

I Know It's True, But . . .

October 24th, 2006

Based on an original image by Emily Walker. Some rights reserved. When Gerty came home and told us the news last night, my attention immediately returned to what the kids and I were doing. My mind just refused to believe it. A 14-year old child cannot… more »

Putting Cars Behind

October 24th, 2006

Image by Danny McL. Some rights reserved. This article from the Gotham Gazette is really a summary of a talk by Enrique Peñalosa, the mayor of Bogotá from 1998 to 2001. Peñalosa talks about transportation decisions, but also about how those decisions… more »

Voting & Not Voting

October 23rd, 2006

Gerty & I rode downtown to vote early. The day was brilliant, warm, inspiring, and full of promise. The candidates were not. Gerty voted for a pro-life, pro-death penalty candidate for governor and a pro-voucher candidate for lieutenant governor -… more »

Spouse Better Than Aspirin

October 23rd, 2006

Gran Sasso d'Italia (9560 feet), the highest summit of the Apennines. Image by pissodisevo. Some rights reserved. Eric Newby, died last Friday. There are some people's lives that are worth pondering, even if the only reason to do so is to have a… more »

Rocket-Powered Bike

October 22nd, 2006

Stored inside [Orion Propulsion's] portable trailer/workshop I found a bicycle that seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary, until I noticed the tank, pipes and frame behind the seat. Now, keep in mind that Orion does not build vehicles -- they… more »

Gerty and The Noisy World

October 22nd, 2006

Gerty and I emerged from a quiet Indian restaurant into the din of a little shopping district. As we walked toward our bikes, Gerty stopped and looked around as if she were seeing the world for the first time. Gerty: The world is a lot noiser now. Me:… more »

Suit With Fixie

October 22nd, 2006

JoJo, who writes not nearly often enough at Den of Awkwardness, is back on her fixie, "Julep": Several times while riding to meetings or even walking alongside a colleague while rolling the Julep with us, I’ve gotten appreciative nods from messengers.… more »

It's About Style

October 22nd, 2006

If talking about practicality and simplicity and economics and health are not enough, time for the secret weapon: style. From TimeOut New York (via StreetsBlog): When it comes to style, New Yorkers like theirs with an edge. . . . What is New York style?… more »


October 21st, 2006

With last night's snow on the ground, the sun made everything brilliant. The kids and I rode over to the coffeeshop for breakfast. Then Milly and I rode down to my office. The sun, the kids, riding from place to place, the company at the coffeeshop, my… more »

Mayhem Is Good?

October 21st, 2006

Shiny, mayhem-capable codpiece. Image by Mike Roberts. Some rights reserved. This Times of London article troubling on a couple levels. The first is the headline. The second is the car itself. But the interesting part is what it says about people who… more »

Dunderheads & Ears: Quick Release Ban?

October 21st, 2006

From the Glouster County Times: Officials want to ban quick-release wheels Friday, October 20, 2006 By Martin C. Bricketto TRENTON - South Jersey legislators want bike makers to move forward with what they say is an inexpensive change that would protect… more »

Photos From Montreal Car-free day Die-in

October 20th, 2006

Photo by Le Presse from Montreal Carfree "Die-In on September 22." We need to do this. [via Martino's Bike Lane Diary] There are more, and more frightening, pictures here and here. more »

Not "The End"

October 20th, 2006

A week ago, on Friday the 13th (naturally), the 13th and final Lemony Snicket book, "The End," went on sale. The kids and their friends started reading the series about 7 years ago. All the kids are in high school (or college) now. You might think that… more »

Strolls, not Rolls on Rodeo Drive

October 20th, 2006

From the LA Times: Beverly Hills officials are considering banning cars on part of the famous street to create a pedestrian attraction. "It'd be a nightmare," said Gillian Cohen, a Rodeo regular who was shopping at Ralph Lauren on Thursday. "I think it… more »

The Magnitude Of Our Culpability

October 19th, 2006

Eric Alterman in the Huffington Post: According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, George Bush's lies have killed not 30,000 innocent Iraqis, as the president not long ago estimated, but nearly 22 times that amount, or 655,000.… more »

In Denver, Bikes "Use Sidewalk"

October 19th, 2006

One of the many "Use Sidewalk" signs in Denver There is one amusing, bright spot in the draft regional bicycle plan. The draft notes: Sidewalks . . . are generally not well suited for typical bicycle speeds. . . In addition, bicycling on sidewalks has a… more »

Separate And Unequal In Denver

October 19th, 2006

Image by Patrick Boury. Some rights reserved. Below are the first two paragraphs in the Denver Regional Council of Government's draft Pedestrian and Bicycle plan. Why are cyclists (who use mainly streets) and pedestrians (who use mainly sidewalks)… more »

I'm Not The Only One

October 19th, 2006

My morning commute takes place mostly before dawn. This morning I passed about one cyclist per mile on the way. I find that extraordinary. (All using lights, by the way.) more »

Fifty-five possessions (and a TV show.)

October 19th, 2006

Can simplicity and refraining from buying things have enough appeal to sustain a TV audience? Seems unlikely to me. The whole idea of not buying things is so contrary to our fundamental cultural norms. Yet, various sorts of "freak shows" seem popular -… more »


October 18th, 2006

Yesterday it snowed for the first time this season. The pavement wasn't icy until this morning, but I had to keep wiping off my glasses on the way home last night. I loved it. I always feel happy when I get home after a snowy day. more »

Imagine Earth without people

October 18th, 2006

Image by doviende of Anarchocyclist I'm not a misanthrope. Still I love imagining the Earth without people. Plants and animals interacting, growing, increasing, and waning all in flux but also in balance, without the interference of man. As a child,… more »

We're Cooked

October 18th, 2006

From the New Scientist article, "Imagining Earth without people", here's something that I hadn't considered: Even if CO2 emissions stop tomorrow, though, global warming will continue for another century, boosting average temperatures by a further few… more »

Read Today's Doonesbury

October 18th, 2006

U.S. Militarizing Space

October 18th, 2006

President Bush has signed a new National Space Policy that rejects future arms-control agreements that might limit U.S. flexibility in space and asserts a right to deny access to space to anyone "hostile to U.S. interests." The document, the first full… more »

Geek-A-Cycle. Um. Okay.

October 18th, 2006

We at Geek-a-Cycle Inter-Galactic Headquarters strive to produce a good product to improve Geeks fitness everywhere. It all started when our beloved Founder's mother started nagging him about spending too much time staring at a computer screen. You've… more »

Gerty & The Stendhal Syndrome

October 17th, 2006

Image by Molly Holzschlag of her mother. (Definitely not Gerty.) Over lunch, I told Gerty about Stendhal Syndrome. Gerty, who is reading a book about physics, had just told me about Maxwell's Demon, and I thought if she could explain somebody's demon I… more »

Something I Need To Remember

October 17th, 2006

From a comment by Paul over at Oil is for sissies: There's nothing wrong with venting, but if the negative aspects of life consume us, then the bastards have won. It's a hard balance, to be aware of the crap in the world and also revel in the joy of… more »

Fat People Really ARE Dumb

October 16th, 2006

If drivers are fatter than cyclists and walkers, then drivers are dumber than cyclists and walkers? Seems right to me. From the Telegraph: The new five-year study of more than 2,200 adults claims to have found a link between obesity and the decline in a… more »

Picasso, Penises, & Elbows

October 16th, 2006

Pablo Picasso Le Reve ("The Dream") 1932 Picasso is still dead, but he appears again in a couple interesting stories. Nora Ephron, in the Huffington Post, describes her reaction after carefully looking at Picasso's Le Reve. The whole piece is great… more »

Picasso & Pollock

October 16th, 2006

Jackson Pollock Number 27, 1950 A Washington Post article about a new show at the Whitney recounts a curious story about Picasso's influence on Jackson Pollock: A particularly telling moment in "Picasso and American Art," a major new exhibition at the… more »

Not The Onion: U.S. Militarizing Great Lakes

October 16th, 2006

M-240B machine gun on Coast Guard vessel on Lake Erie The Coast Guard intends to periodically close 2,500 square miles of the Great Lakes to blast away with machine guns. If you think being in a place where military people are blasting away, you will… more »

National Academies Study: Americans Crazy

October 16th, 2006

According to Commuting in America III, The Third National Report on Commuting and Trends, by researcher Alan Pisarski for the Transportation Research Council, an arm of the National Academies: 85 percent of workers live in households with at least as… more »

Enflamed By Modern Culture

October 15th, 2006

Yesterday I read Scott Stoll's declaration of independence from his culture and its expectations (and looked at the photo of him sporting an outfit that is about as far from “designer” as I can imagine.) Today I ran across the sad tale of Neil Boorman… more »

A Beautiful Day

October 15th, 2006

I haven't stopped smiling since I woke up. The fall leaves are brilliant. The little kids at the local coffee shop all seem happy. And (unlike gwadzilla) everyone I've run into had at least one interesting or thought-provoking thing to say. A 64-year… more »

Gerty's Catholic Diet

October 15th, 2006

Gerty turns up as I am eating a slice of homemade bread and drinking a glass of water. Gerty: Are you on the prison diet? Me: Huh? Gerty: Bread and water. Me: Oh. I guess so. Gerty: I'm on the Catholic diet. Me: What are you talking about? Gerty: Bread… more »

More Winter Dream Food

October 14th, 2006

Every day for years, people worried me by saying I was crazy. Eventually, I decided that anyone who has the courage to break his cultural mold and follow a dream needs to be a little crazy. And, in my case, have a desire to see the world from the seat… more »

Winter Dream Food

October 14th, 2006

Lysefjorden, Rogaland, from the North Sea Cycle's photo gallery. Just in time for winter planning or (more likely) winter dreaming, the Telegraph has an article about Canada's Icefields Parkway and a list of 5 more bike routes that, for the most part,… more »

he on his "Red Cob"; she on her "Grasshopper"

October 14th, 2006

Richard Holmes's review of Claire Tomalin's new biography of Thomas Hardy, "Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man," makes me want to race over to the bookstore to grab the book (and discover more about Hardy's and Emma's bicycles!) (The subtitle - "The… more »

I Am Not An Idiot; I Am An Idiot

October 13th, 2006

It turns out that I actually built that last wheel the right way. I found another MA-3 rim and compared the drilling to the that on the rim that I used. Surprise! I did it correctly. I was not an idiot. Then I found a Jobst Brandt post about reusing a… more »

Mexico Bans Unsanitary America Lettuce

October 13th, 2006

From today's New York Times: Earlier this week, Mexico announced that it would halt its imports of lettuce grown in the United States after another Salinas Valley company, the Nunes Company, issued a voluntary recall, believing that some of its lettuce… more »

A Problem (and Solution) I Wish We Had

October 13th, 2006

Wouldn't it be nice to have so many people cycling that drunk cyclists became worthy of a police crackdown? In May this year, a nationwide police crackdown on cyclists led to four apprehensions for drunken riding. The apprehensions came after the… more »

Melting Glaciers

October 12th, 2006

Two views of Ag Upsala glacier in Patagonia. First from 1928 and second from 2004. From the Guardian Unlimited: A survey has revealed that the rate of melting across the world has sharply accelerated in recent years, placing even previously stable… more »

Gerty Knows

October 11th, 2006

I took yesterday off to spend with Gerty. But Gerty didn't call for her tea until around 10:30 and wasn't ready to go anywhere until around noon. Gerty's extended nap gave me a chance to catch up on some bike maintenance, including building a wheel from… more »

Cyclist Killed In Bike Lane; Driver Gets 90 Days

October 11th, 2006

"[H]is Mercedes-Benz drifted into the bicycle lane on Woodside Road, hitting Michelle Mazzei . . . " Another case of a car (possessed by demons?) doing things on its own? What really possessed the car (and reporter and the driver) is our car culture, In… more »

Love In The Classroom - Al Zolynas

October 11th, 2006

LOVE IN THE CLASSROOM —for my students Afternoon. Across the garden, in Green Hall, someone begins playing the old piano— a spontaneous piece, amateurish and alive, full of a simple, joyful melody. The music floats among us in the classroom. I stand in… more »

City Acts To Prevent Drug-Crazed, Elderly, Library Volunteers From Wreaking Havoc

October 10th, 2006

Library volunteers just say no to drug testing By KAREN VOYLES Sun staff writer BRONSON - Levy County's public libraries are struggling to get books checked out or reshelved because retirees who usually handle many of those chores have balked at a… more »

Landis lays out "Defense"

October 10th, 2006

Landis spokesman Michael Henson says, at this point, the rider is not contending that the positive sample is not his, only that the lab work was extremely sloppy. Ah yes, the old "My sample tested positive but the labeling was sloppy" defense. That's… more »

The Earth Fights Back?

October 10th, 2006

From It's pleasant to imagine the earth swallowing cars, but it's probably just a defective drain. Ah well, I can dream. more »

Poisoning the Children

October 9th, 2006

On weekdays, I make breakfast for the kids (before waking them and sending them off to school.) This morning I made Indian potato pancakes. They were not a hit. I consoled myself with the thought that all day long they got to tell their friends about… more »

Throwing Rocks At Cars

October 9th, 2006

Throwing rocks at speeding cars? Now that's a way to enforce speed limits that might actually work. . . . Interesting that road construction in Indonesia raises many of the same issues as it should in the U.S., but the Indonesian villagers, unlike most… more »

Gerty's Getting A New Bike!

October 9th, 2006

How Gerty feels about her new bike. (Source: Raleigh Japan) Gerty rides every single day. Leaving aside overseas trips and the annual Christmas trip, she has probably missed fewer than 20 days in the last decade. Yes, you read that right . . . 20 days… more »

Wow! (In Amsterdam)

October 8th, 2006

Bike Parking in front of Amsterdam's Central Train Station, from "Eyes on the Street: Amsterdam" at StreetsBlog more »

Choosing to take this as a compliment

October 8th, 2006

The headline above, which is the key, and the quote below are from Zbicyclist: "... theoretical physics is the cheapest of endeavors. Its practitioners require no expensive equipment. All they need is legal pads and pencils and blackboards and chalk to… more »

The Elephant Is Not Going Out Quietly

October 8th, 2006

Elephant tracks in sand by Muriel Gottrop (September 2004). From the New York Times: It has long been apparent that every large, land-based animal on this planet is ultimately fighting a losing battle with humankind. And yet entirely befitting of an… more »

Happy Sunday

October 8th, 2006

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them. - H. L. Mencken more »

DIY Alien Detection

October 7th, 2006

Is it me or is it them? The phone call seemed innocuous. As I collected my notes on the scintillating details of competing employee retirement options, I never expected that within seconds I would be unmasked, and the secret I had concealed for years… more »

An encouraging note about Copenhagen

October 6th, 2006

Copenhagen, Denmark is not a natural bicycling city. In the early 1960's it was very much of a car town. In 1962 the city created its first pedestrian street, the Stroget, and every year since then Copenhagen has allocated more and more of its public… more »

Salazar: Disappointment? Disappointment?!

October 5th, 2006

Ken Salazar. Ken was one of 12 Democrats who voted for the Military Commissions Act. . . .I have concerns with this bill, but on balance it meets my personal view of what America needs to get the job done. Some of my friends have told me, good Democrats… more »

Time for Congressional Drug Testing

October 4th, 2006

From today's New York Times: Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not… more »


October 3rd, 2006

The New Yorker Isn't Crazy About The New DAM Either

October 2nd, 2006

KM Newnham: Denver Art Museum, "Prow" of Libeskind's Hamilton Building and Ponti's Main Building (some street furniture photoshopped out) Libeskind’s new Denver Art Museum is an eruption of hard-edged rhomboids that suggests gargantuan quartz crystals.… more »

Riding A Fixie: Lashed To A Runaway Horse . . .

October 2nd, 2006

JoJo's Beloved Julep JoJo at Den of Awkwardness is back on her fixie after a fixie-free summer: Riding [the bike she named Julep] reminded me of when I first made her. There is this feeling of being lashed to something not completely within my control –… more »

Oh Good.

October 1st, 2006

THERE is growing speculation across Europe that Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich and Floyd Landis may be free to race in the 2007 Tour de France, which starts in London, if doping charges against the riders are dismissed. Great. The prospect of yet another Tour… more »

Disraeli Gears (Another Thing I Didn't Know)

October 1st, 2006

From Kent's Bike Blog: The title of the album was an inside joke. Clapton had been thinking of getting a racing bike and was discussing it with Baker, when Mick Turner, one of the roadies, commented on the performance of "those Disraeli gears", meaning… more »