Thursday, April 29, 2010

Building A Better Father: Aggressively Granola

I've always been into nature. I've always been outdoorsy. Until now I've been passive in my granolaness. Sure I've done my share of cool outdoor adventure stuff but It's always been just for fun. Now that I am a father it takes on a more serious meaning. I want and need to instill a love for nature in my daughter and am taking calculated measures to do so.

I am becoming obsessed with increasing my knowledge of the outdoors, from gardening to backpacking. I know a lot of the birds that are indigenous to our area; I know most of their calls. Now I want to know theit migration patterns so I can tell my girl where they're going and when. I've created an indoor worm composting bin for our kitchen scraps. Lately I've been studying what plants and mushrooms are safe for eating, where they grow and when so she'll know that not all food has to come from the store. I recently joined MAW (The Mycological Association of Washington) to hasten my mushroom education. Last week I went on my first guided mushroom foray and loved it. I found a handful of morels which I threw in an egg scramble, very tasty.

Doing this research and gaining these new experiences have become my main goal. Hopefully some of what I am learning will turn into future lessons for my daughter with the off chance that one of them might take root and turn into genuine interest, passion, and ultimately gratitude toward nature.

My dad was and is the same way, we would hike a lot, go on the occasional camping trip and generally have fun in outdoors. While hiking, he would make my brother, sister and me stop yaking and stand still in silence for 5 minutes just to see what else was in the woods with us.  This would bring us back into the moment. Sometimes it was a deer sometimes a pileated woodpecker, sometimes just air flowing through leaves; stopping and appreciating almost always resulted in something cool that we would have never seen or heard if we had kept on our way.

Maybe he felt the same call to duty as I do.

The more passions I have and the more experienced I become, the better off my little girl will be.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Purple Nurple: Dark Days Ahead?

Ok, I don't usually (ever) give any credit to hearsay or rumors but I have a juicy one. As you may have read there has been an increase of activity on the Georgetown Branch Trail above Bethesda. Last week I stopped to talk to someone who was working on the trail and ask what gives. I asked if all this new activity was for the Purple Nurple and he said that was indeed. He went on to say that is was preliminary work and that the Project was years away. I wasn't sure is he was referring to the beginning of the project or the end of it.

Here's where it gets interesting. I explained my stance on the PurpNurp and how it was needed but unfortunate. I then made a comment about how at least we'll still have a path and he winced a little. He went on to say that it's a shame we can't have both but with the insurance costs of having cyclist and pedestrians that close to a light rail blah blah blah... that's when I got a little dizzy.

Isn't it confirmed that there will be a path along with the light rail system on the Purple Nurple?

According to their website it's a fact.
A proposed 16-mile east-west Light Rail Transit (LRT) line extending inside the Capital Beltway from New Carrollton in Prince George's County to Bethesda in Montgomery County. The Purple Line would:
  • Include a hiker/biker trail along the Georgetown Branch and CSX/Metrorail corridors between Bethesda and Silver Spring.
So was this worker simply uninformed or is there some really bad news coming our way? Does anyone have more info (or rumors)?

On a side note I'm pretty happy the MTA started seeing things my way and adjusted their marketing campaign thusly.

Friday, April 23, 2010

South African Bike Commuter Portraits

This is a pretty cool project. A fascinating look at portraits and stories of South African cyclists by two guys on bikes. Kind of makes the world seem a little smaller.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Everyone Is Trying To Kill Me... Says BSNYC

This pretty much nails the feeling of my commute this morning.  This is a sneak peak of some of the illustrations in the Snob's new book.
I want a poster of this.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Giro d'Italia Coming to DC In 2012!

Via DCist

According to VeloNation, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and race organizers will make the announcement tomorrow at the Italian Embassy that the famed Giro will take place in Washington.


Friday, April 16, 2010

The Great Purple Nurple

Something is happening on the Georgetown Branch Trail. Change is in the air and it smells funny. For the past few months I have been noticing surveyors and work crews of different kinds scattered about the trail. There is some serious work going on at Connecticut Ave. and some even more serious work going on in the woods  just south of the bridge near Jones Mill Rd. Yesterday survey markers popped up along the path. 

So what does all this mean? It this the beginning of the Purple Nurple?

What is a Purple Nurple you ask? Maybe it's one of theses, or perhaps this or this or maybe some of these?.

The spelling challenged Urban Dictionary describes it thusly:
The act of grabbing and twisting a nipple of another person, one's self, and even occasionaly other mammals.
I think it's one of these, which isn't a terrible thing all around. 

Sure it's going to suck to loose the quiet space and beautiful track of green that is the Georgetown Branch between Silver Spring and Bethesda. Watching the trail get violated by bulldozers could feel much like getting a pinch full of nipple twisted 180 degrees. But I would be a hypocrite if I didn't welcome this Purple Nurple. One of the major reasons I commute by bike is so there will be one less car on the road, so I can't get too bent out of shape at the prospect of potentiality removing thousands of cars from our local roads every day.

So weather this recent work on the trail is the coming of the Purple Line, I can't say. It is coming however and I will have to accept my Purple Nurple with a smile and take a different route to work for a while.

You know, some people like getting their nipples twisted...  It's not my thing but I'm just sayin.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pink Floyd Thursday

So I was held up in my house with a stomach virus for the weekend and needless to say I watched my fair share of television. Most of it was garbage but there were a few jems. The highlight I think was watching "Which One's Pink?"  A documentary focusing on the band members. This got me listening to Pink Floyd quite a bit this week. I even broke out my "Live from Pompeii" DVD the other night. Anyway I think all this floyd deserves a blog post.

Here's Live From Pompeii in it's entirety. The music starts at 3:36

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.

I just thought this was kind of cool.

Here is a slice of "Making of The Dark Side of the Moon"

This kind of blew my mind the listen to the band discuss in great detail all the layers of complexity that went into every song from that album. If you do a search on youtube you can find the rest of the documentary.

I can't really put any other band in the same category as Pink Floyd. To have so much material that seems like so much more than good music is extraordinary.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cyclist Killed in Collision with Motorcade

Via WaPo.

A bicyclist was struck and killed in downtown Washington Monday evening by a military truck that was providing protection for the Nuclear Security Summit, authorities said.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Creative Release: The Witches Of Eastwood

Something I whipped up over lunch.

Have a punderful weekend.

Monday, April 5, 2010

GoPro HD Bar Cam tests. I approve.

Here is the initial test run this morning with my new GoPro HD cam mounted on the bars. You might want to go to my YouTube page to see the larger version.

Here is another video with the original audio.

Larger Version.

I'm pretty impressed. I thought with a rigid steel fork the picture would be much more shaky. I'll have a more detailed product review once I take it out mountain biking.

Also, I saw a painted doe on the ride in today. I think it might have been my spirit animal. I'll have to eat some peyote for breakfast tomorrow just to make sure.

Not a bad way to start the Monday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

DC Guerrilla Bike Swap - This Saturday

If you're in the DC area and you're a guerrilla, you better get down to Mt pleasant this weekend. .

Saturday, April 3rd, 11am-2pm in Lamont Park in Mount Pleasant across from DC's historic Heller's Bakery.

Bring out your old, your dusty, your shiny and new, the bike that you can't store, the extra wheels you can't part with,
your new hat, your old bag, your rattle-canned handlebars and your pristine internal headset and trade them in for cash or that one part you really need.

There will be swapping and selling and lots of bike talk. Bike themed art, bike clothes, etc.

There will be a free clinic provided by the DC's Farmers Market Bike Clinics (!/pages/Farmers-Market-Bike-Clinics/463260070180?ref=ts ) as well as a workshop on how to create your own community bike clinic.

Set up begins at 10:30, simply bring a blanket or groundcloth and whatever items you have to trade or sell. There will be no overhead or registration necessary. Bring your lawn chairs and cigar boxes. Umbrellas if it looks rainy. Coffee and Doughnuts at Heller's and we will retire to Marx cafe for Heffeweizen afterwords.


Parts, gear, tools, bikes, frames, books, posters, bags, wheels, are all encouraged. Baskets, trailers, racks are in particular demand.

Already promised to appear:

- Ciocc San Cristobal lugged steel road bike with Shimano 600 parts.
- Burley Trailer
- Suntour Superbe road cranks 172.5mm Black finish
- Ross Signature 10 Spd. (Shimano 600 parts)
- A couple cute 3 speed bikes
and more.

 You may already know how I feel about bike swap meet participation.  Get off yer arse and bring some gear on Saturday. It's going to be nice out, you'll be near the park. Shut up already.

On a completely separate note: