Monday, October 31, 2005

NY Times Home Delivery

When the paper is in my driveway on Sunday morning...
Bluebirds and robins appear, the weather is great, perhaps a breeze in the air, my coffee tastes perfect, breakfast is delicious and in my ear i can hear Lionel Ritchie and the boys singing Easy.

When the paper isn't in my driveway on Sunday morning...
Ants invade my kitchen, humidity exceeds 100%, a stink fillls the air doubtless from some River Road petro-chemical disaster, my coffee is cold, all we have is oatmeal and NPR is doing some bizarre tribute to Helen Reddy.

Four out of the last five Sundays have been the latter, and i'm tired of it. The game goes like this, call the Times before 10:00 am to report your missing paper and they'll get one out to you by 2:00 pm. At least twice this "sympathy" delivery contains two copies of the paper. So voila, Amy and i each have our own personal copy to read in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes we get no paper, or a Sunday paper on Monday, it's always interesting and never as fulfilling as the rare ontime no-phonecall needed delivery.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

mmm ... toothfish

I usually don't make it through the whole Sunday NY Times, but this week i did and found this cool story about the Chilean Sea Bass. Turns out the species began life as the South Patagonian Toothfish, but switched to its more welll known moniker as a marketing move. Gotta admit, Chilean Sea Bass rolls off the tongue a little easier.

The piece has a lot to say about overfishing, the decline of large predatory fish in the ocean, the role of wildlife in our everyday diet, the politics of large-scale commercial fishing, and even more interestingly, the cost to oceanic eco-systems of farm-raising fish like salmon. No answers here, just good stuff to know.

If you don't have time to read it, here's a cool tidbit. The CSB (or SPT) is a bottom-dwelling predator that has through time evolved to not possess an air bladder. In order to regulate his buoyancy in its absence, the fish actuallly secretes fat directly into his tissues. The fat is less dense than the surrounding water, and bingo, the fish rises. This is cool enough in itself, but according to a chef interviewed in the piece, CSB spend the greater part of their lives marinating themselves in their own delicious fat. Thus making them a dish that is nearly impossible to ruin. Interesting.


Satsumas are the Mackinaw Peaches of Louisiana
Damn! they're good and available at produce stands across Baton Rouge.

Thought for the day...

Do babies smell like Dreft? or does Dreft smell like babies?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Dog trapped in a largely vegetarian household...

I think it might not be right to keep a dog in a mostly vegetarian household. It all started last night, when Norm and Elizabeth stopped by and cooked up some mack-daddy T-bone steaks in our kitchen. Like everything that Norm makes, they were awesome. But Riley gave the meal special attention. Tonight, we decided to give her the bone from one of the steaks and she still hasn't left her pillow. She is loving life in a big way. I'm thinking that tofu riblets just don't have the same effect on her. Look at that claw action!

Sleep Dep

Sleep Deprivation does interesting stuff to your body. Kind of like the way they describe life at super-high altitude. You have no sense of anything changing, but you're really functioning at super-low levels. Yesterday, Amy and i had some Chinese food, and i heard her ask me the following:

Do wonton fry dolphin want neat?

Of course this led me to demand a clarification to which she responded:

I said, Do you want to hold Ryan while i eat?

At this point i'm thinking, maybe i shouldn't drive the car until i get some sleep.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Aaron Neville's Forearms

So Amy, Ryan and I caught Aaron Neville last night singing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch of game 3. No offense to Aaron, his voice is very unique and all, but wouldn't it be cooler if he'd just taken batting practice? This guy has got serious pythons with popeye shaped forearms. I'm pretty sure he could smack one out the park.

Keeping the Javanese Monkey at bay

My first UCC post since Ryan's arrival last week. A few months ago, i decided to give up coffee in an effort to lower my blood pressure which was a little high. I figured i'd better, when i asked the nurse how to lower it, she replied "exercise and watch your diet." Since i already do a lot of both of those, the coffee was the next place i looked. And it worked, my blood pressure became extremely favorable, however i morphed a bit into of an early-to-bed and early-to-rise kind of guy. Anyhow, the guys in my office have been taunting me, "Wait until that baby comes, you'll come back to coffee, you'll see" etc.

Well, i still haven't but i'm desperate for decaf these days. I need it, maybe i'm addicted to the trace amounts of caffeine in it, i don't know. Today, after a week of being dissatisfied with the brands we've had, i bought some Starbucks decaf and made it according to the directions on the bag which call for 2 tbsp of coffee per 6 ounces of water. That seems excessive, but realize that Starbucks is in the business of selling coffee. To wrap up this longer than need be post, it's damn good that way. Curiously strong of course, but tastier than any of the others i've tried. And i think it's still way cheaper than going to Starbucks, so i'm going to stick with this plan.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

wednesday stuff

So here is a photo of the product of my nesting, our square foot garden. It's really coming along great, in the foreground is romaine and another type of lettuce, in the background cabbage and broccoli. I overplanted the space expecting some plants not to make it, and nearly all of them have, so it will be an ultra-compact growing space. We'll see how that turns out.

In other news, Amy and i really thought Ryan was coming today. Contractions went all night, and we even went to the hospital this morning, but no, not yet. Our doula even guessed he won't be in before Saturday or Sunday. This kid has got his dad's laid-back vibe down to a science.

Just like yard sales have a season, so it seems for ebay auctions. DJW has a nice sale going on some cool vintage bike parts and Eric is trying to unload a classic Apple Powerbook with other goodies which would make a nice exhibit at the Apple Museum. I got in on some of the bidding action on the Powerbook but quickly got shoved to the side, my $2 wouldn't hold. :) Maybe i'll try to sell my Cinelli Angel ONE MORE TIME.

I'm still blown away by Roscoe, from the Weekend America post, replying to my blog. That was a cool bit of internet serendipity at it's finest.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lunchtime Surf

i love podcasts
Today i was catching up with Weekend America and they had a bit on this musician who has fallen in love with fixed gear bikes. Pretty cool piece, the photo gallery on the page shows his current bikes including this one. Which is listed as a 1999 vintage khs painted orange. I want to bet that this bike originated in baton rouge. I remember a mechanic, Adam?, at the shop who had one painted up Conti Orange for his girlfriend.
Maybe i got that one wrong, anyway they also linked here which is a great way to kill time.
While i'm dreaming about fixed gear bikes, why don't i add even more links to this blog post? my current three favorites in no particular order.

Surly Pugsley - Gotta love it, just the right number of moving parts. I can't get enough of this bike, i wish i lived somewhere where it snowed.
Bianchi Pista - Yeah, the Concept might be prettier, but this one is going to survive longer, it's CrMo and cheap.
NYCBikes City Fixed - Two words, PAINTED RIMS

No baby yet!

Still no baby to report on. Amy and i had a fun weekend, attending my cousin's wedding. We also watched a quirky movie called Bride and Prejudice directed by Gurinder Chadha who did Bend it Like Beckham, which we really loved. It's the story of Pride and Prejudice as you might expect, set in India with a Grease like feel (singing and dancing, etc.) Pretty darn entertaining.

Got in a couple of multi-hour rides over the weekend on River Road. Just me and the iPod, which i finally reloaded with all of my tunes. It's nice to shuffle and get Johnny Cash, Kanye West, Pearl Jam, The Police, Handel's Messiah, Korn, Beastie Boys, Billie Holiday, Bach, Enya, Bob Marley. Okay, so i need to develop some playlists.

Also trying to run a little each day just to mix things up. It's hard to believe how out-of-shape Riley is. This is a dog who has done 8 milers with me before and now she can't even go a whole mile without stopping. She really let herself go :) I know, it's my fault.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Vintage 1995 Bad Karma

So, here's the short version, last night my front tooth fell out. Currently I look and sound like a pre-faceguard hockey player or Bruce Willis in the Twelve Monkeys, take your pick.

It all started ten years ago with a simple idea. Win a Cat 4 NRC race, Dave Lettieri of L.A. Sheriff's would see me, recruit me to be on the team, voila my cubicle days are behind me. Of course I never said this out loud, but it's probably what i and most other yahoos are thinking at an NRC.

Anyway, the plan didn't work, i crashed hard in the crit and smacked a No Parking sign with my face, breaking a lot of bones, deflating my lung and ejecting a couple of teeth onto the downtown streets of Jackson, Mississippi. For good measure, when my jaw was set the doc stuck my front tooth back into place. "It probably won't make it a year, but let's try" they told me.

Eight years later the tooth was still going strong, but my dentist detected some "absorption" going on and recommended that i have it removed. This is where it got ugly, when I awoke from the procedure, i found my oral surgeon hastily sewing up my mouth, explaining to me that it "hadn't gone as well as he had hoped". This would have meant something to me if i hadn't been a drooling idiot from the drugs that they gave me. The effect of the absorption was that my tooth had become a collection of fragments that he had had to fish out of me. NICE.

Back with my dentist now, he took the crown of the disintegrating tooth and epoxied it into place, giving me a sort of messed-up mono-front-tooth smile, that, while functional, wasn't going to get me on the cover of GQ anytime soon. This really didn't matter though because my modeling days were behind me, so I let it ride.

Now cut to last night, on the eve of Ryan's due date, Amy and i are having supper. I bite into a bean burrito oddly and blammo, the whole epoxied-pseudo-tooth apparatus comes out. I couldn't believe it. I immediately forbade Amy from having the baby because i'll be damned if i'm going to welcome Ryan Sebastian into this world with a lisp. So, I'm off to the dentist now, hopefully he can work some magic.

I think it's time to get a proper bridge installed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

flickr daily zeitgeist

I uploaded some photos from the dragon boat races to flickr and then added this nifty zeitgeist to the page. Just testing it out to see how it works. I think it will shuffle the most recent photos that i've added.

turning japanese

Amy bought me a book of sudoku puzzles and i'm completely addicted. For those numerophobes out there, fear not. Sudoku doesn't involve any addition or subtraction, just strategy. Try it out at the free site, it's pretty cool.

My other Japanese love right now is a quirky game on the PS2 called We Love Katamari. Through a seemingly unofficial barrage of press delivered by Slashdot and Wired, i became interested and finally bit. You wouldn't think that rolling a ball around and getting stuff to stick to it would be soothing, but it is. There's something really nice about playing it that is unlike other games i've played recently. There's also a real freaky-deaky cultural lost-in-translation weirdness to it that i can't explain in words. You can get a sense of it by visiting it's homepage.


Monday, October 10, 2005

recent rides

Not too many to speak of, a sign of the joyful period of time between last season and next. I caught up with the Coffee Call ride Saturday morning which wasn't very well attended considering the perfect weather. What we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality with Norm, Charles, Keith, Stan, and Courtney. I was heading to the Dragon Boat races down at the LSU lakes, Charles was hungry for mileage due to his upcoming Ironman Florida. It's pretty crazy when you ride 30 miles with somebody and they still have 110 to go. Hats off to him, he's got the discipline down. It may be a while or never before I do an Ironman.

After that it was time to take care of lots of small things around the house as we are in full tilt Ryan preparation mode.

Amy and I continued our tour of good food and fun with killer fish tacos at Serrano's. Strange vibe there as this drunk guy on crutches began harrassing other customers and was eventually asked to leave. On the way out, we ran into Troy who was very high on this new flick Serenity. I couldn't place it during our conversation, but yesterday i realized i'd seen the trailer in the theater and it did look pretty cool, the elusive combination of a witty script and Star Wars quality special effects, paired with some sort of uber-teenage girl killing machine. I'd see it.

Later on, we caught The Talented Mr. Ripley at home. This is one of the eeriest flicks i've seen in a long time. Something about a homosexual identity-stealing murderous Matt Damon weaving his craft across Italy was just straight-out unsettling. It was like the Bird Cage meets the Bourne Identity on crystal meth. Really great movie though that I recommend to anybody, it was directed by Anthony Minghella who did Amy's fav of all time The English Patient.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bidder's Remorse

So have you ever become the leading bidder in an e-bay auction and then prayed to God that you would lose?

That was me last night. I came across a vintage Levi's Pinarello jersey and decided to make it mine. I think this is one of the jerseys Andy Hampsten wore pre-La Vie Claire but i might have that wrong. Images of an earlier more innocent time flashed through my head, back when Eric and i knew that although he seemed like a nice-enough guy we could definitely kick Andy's ass if he'd only show up on a ride with us. Anyhow, i always liked the design and decided to try to make it mine. Instantly i was outbid.

Now that right there is always frustrating, you wonder, is it only a dollar more than what i bid? Maybe 2? I'd go 2 more, but not 3. Ok 3 but not 5, etc. Before you know it, you've got two dorks engaged in a high-stakes bidding war for some chupe's grubby stuff.

So anyway, i bit and took the lead back for only a buck more. Then i started thinking, dude this jersey is used, what if some freak with an overactive gland problem owned it before me, and it wreaks of his B.O. That is just straight out gross.

This haunted me throughout the 2nd disc of The Godfather Part II. Amy and i checked back and with only a few minutes to go i was still winning. ERRRR! We hit refresh like 100 times begging for somebody to outbid me and luckily... with only 8 seconds to go some poor sap couldn't hold back and outbid me.

PHEW, no more nostalgic web shopping for me, although i did find this sweet Gianni Bugno number.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Excursion, Expedition, Expletive

Yep, soccer moms with poor driving skills, that's what i have to complain about today. Not the few who wield their behemoths with all the skill of a crit racer trying to keep a watermelon at bay inside their skinsuit. No, no, i'm talking about the ones who think their bad-boy-gas-guzzler can accelerate like a crotch rocket and who stare you in the eye while they pull out right in front of you. My absolute fav is this one. You're doing 20 mph, they punch it at 50 to get around you, then slam on their brakes as they pass you to avoid rear-ending the car in front of them.

I'm the guy who has been complaining about Baton Rouge traffic, so i feel obliged to give equal airtime to when it isn't as bad. That's right, it's like city-wide carpooling policies began, or maybe all the Metairie-iens moved home, or maybe Mayor Kip's light rail kicked in. I don't know why, but suddenly the traffic just doesn't seem as horrible. Perhaps it's a numbing effect. I rode with Giselle Monday night and she thinks it's moved to later in the evening like 6:30 now. I can't say, the loss of daylight is forcing me home earlier and earlier.

Gotta agree with djw's commuting observations.

In other news, one of Amy's pieces got picked up by a poetry blog.

The Amy and Dave Pre-Ryan-Arrival Tour of Restaurants continued last night at Portabello's. Great food and we ran into Guy and MiMi which was cool to visit with them.

Some coworkers told me about facebook so i joined yesterday, pretty depressing, for 24 hours it told me You have no friends at LSU. Which is a fact i already knew, i don't need a free service to inform me of this. My profile is uncool and a work in process.

In the world of New Orleans bike shops, Randy writes that Mark of Bayou Bicycles is currently at Richardson Bike Mart and i got an e-mail today stating that Adams Bicycle World is open now at 701 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, LA. Good luck to all.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Paolo "The Cricket" Bettini smacked the field around like a bunch of red-headed step-children at the Championship of Zurich this weekend. The conditions looked gross and you know it's bad when only 49 pros finish.

Rode the old Serotta into work today as it is now in full "commuter" effect. Granted it's running 28's now, but i find it hard to believe i raced on this bike just 3 years ago. It feels like it's made out of lead, after carefully considering this, i've decided to award myself the victory in the 2001 Rouge-Roubaix because i know Stig Somme's bike didn't weigh that much.

Amy and i experienced a strange moment this past weekend, in a video store we saw a display for the Nightmare Before Christmas, amid all the crappy merchandising we saw a coffee cup that had "Jack and Sally" printed on the side of it. We never put together this movie was the inspiration for the opening lyric in Blink 182's I Miss You. Call me dense, but i never gave "We'll have Halloween on Christmas" a second thought, and to tell the truth, Amy figured the whole thing out, i just walked right by it.

Finally, this from Michael is pretty darned entertaining.

More Interbike Porn

Charles posted this noteworthy Slowtwitch link today on BR Tri with 150 photos from Interbike.

Just in case you don't have time to look at them all, here are my favorites, in no particular order...
crazy shaped tubing on guru
funky cold pursuit bike
Time TT bike and again
new cervelo carbon
Basso's Lid - available for public consumption?
the BMC taking carbon to ridiculous new places
super swoopy orbea