Where I’m Livin’

December 16th, 2009

I just got back from Princeton and realized that the last time I posted here was after I got back from Princeton . . . almost a year ago. Contrary to what you might think I have not taken a year off of blogging, I have just taken a year off blogging here. I have spent a great deal of time writing for BikeHacks.com. I still have random thoughts that I think about putting over here, but I seem to keep busy enough to avoid posting.

I also wonder if the blog is “so yesterday.” With Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter and all of the other social media applications maybe the blog is just a thing of the past. I’m really happy to have a history of my move to NYC as I blogged for four years, but now that I’m somewhat of a local, not much phases me anymore about the city.

So, if you have this blog in your RSS reader perhaps I’ll get a wild hair and decide to put some stuff up, but if you want to hear me rant and rave about how cool bikes are you don’t have to wait – just visit BikeHacks.com. Peace!

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Princeton

January 14th, 2009

I went to Princeton last month for a meeting and although I had been through Princeton before, I never really had time to walk around. This time I had the chance to walk around a bit and it was pretty much how I pictured it in my mind – beautiful. The day I arrived it was like 60 degrees and the next day it was snowing so the weather was freaky, but if you ever get the chance to walk around the campus it is well worth your time.

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Proud to be an American?

January 9th, 2009

I’m all for the concept of spending money to make money, but this is a little too much for me. Headline from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Newsletter . . .

The federal budget deficit will reach $1.2 trillion for the 2009 budget year, according to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) figures issued yesterday. The estimated budget deficit is larger than the previous record of $455 billion, represents about 8 percent of the economy, and could be larger if Congress passes an additional economic stimulus bill which could cost $800 billion or more.

I’m no economics expert, but might we be digging ourselves into a bit of a hole?

Touchy Subject

January 8th, 2009

So I watched the movie Edward Scissor Hands recently. I don’t know why, Tim Burton is not one of my favorite directors. A little too dark and freaky for me. Actually I know why I watched it, I watch reruns of Seinfeld all the time and they recently showed the one where Jerry gets a terrible haircut and goes behind his barber’s back to get it fixed. The barbers are father and son and when the treachery is discovered in Jerry’s apartment, the two barbers reconcile when they realize Jerry is watching Edward Scissor Hands on T.V. and the barbers think the movie is beautiful.

Anyway, it was a terrible movie if you ask me and it left me with one burning question, how did Edward Scissor hands pee?

May the Force Be With You

January 8th, 2009

This is just awesome. From the house of Connelly . . .

Rockefeller Center

January 7th, 2009

We had friends in town over in late December and we tramped around town a bit. One of our stops was Rockefeller Center. It was a madhouse for sure, but fun at the same time.

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Is this thing on?

January 3rd, 2009

Wow, does this digital space really still exist? I think there is like 6 inches of digital dust on top of this Web site. Why the lack of attention over here? Well, a few reasons. First, Brendon and I started www.bikehacks.com last January and I posted to that site 247 times last year. How many times in that same time frame did I post here? 35. Do me a favor and go subscribe to the bikehacks feed, good stuff over there!

Second, for some reason I have had a lot of technical problems with the pintglass server. No one seems to know the reason, but I can only log in like half the time. Maybe 2009 will be better.

Third, I ventured a bit into Facebook. I opened an account for work (to experiment with advertising) and have used it for personal stuff as well. I’m not an addict or anything – you will never, ever hear me mention how many Facebook friends I have – don’t those people just annoy you? It is a cool site though but I don’t see it serving the same purpose as a blog.

I do miss writing and posting a bit over here so we will see what 2009 brings. Many people I know have blogger accounts and I have thought about moving over there with all the technical issues I have had, but I do like the sense of an old school blog as well. For now, yes, I am alive and still have many weird thoughts jumping around in my brain . . . the latest is annoying tag line for the movie Frost Nixon. It states something about an encounter that changed history. Um, you don’t change history, you make history. Happy 2009!

Democratic National Convention: Bike Free

August 24th, 2008

You can count me among those who were disappointed to hear that the Democratic National Convention is going to be bike free. As reported by the Colorado Independent:

Organizers for the Democratic National Convention and party leaders have touted the official greenness of the upcoming convention in Denver, including everything from biodiesel buses and recyclable materials to carbon counting.

But in the rush to secure everything green -— even setting up a “hybrid-only parking lot” at the Pepsi Center -— it seems one simple and fairly obvious LEED-certified step was overlooked: Installing bike racks.

Indeed, there will be no bikes allowed within the DNC perimeter of the Pepsi Center, nor at Invesco Field, where Barack Obama will deliver his acceptance speech, DNCC organizers confirmed this week.

I’m a bit baffled because one of the concerns sited is security. Did I miss an announcement citing the bicycle as a security threat risk? As I read this news I thought back to this picture:

What is it your are looking at here? You are looking at a taxi that just randomly caught on fire outside the NBC studio in New York City. It would seem to me that cars, with large tanks filled with highly flammable liquids would pose just the tiniest bit more of a security risk than bicycles, but that’s just me.

I am not loyal to one political party or the other, they both disappoint me on numerous counts but it is easy to see who I will be voting for by visiting a previous post.

I am disappointed by the decision of the DNCC not to promote cycling as a part of it’s convention agenda. I will not be at the convention, but I offer this up to anyone who might be. Maybe a group of like minded folks can stand outside the Pepsi Center and to the tune of Imagine by John Lennon offer the following . . .

Imagine there’s no combustion engines
It’s easy if you try
No oil streak below us
Above us only car pollution free sky
Imagine all the people
Traveling by bike…

Imagine there’s no car companies
It isn’t hard to do
No oil to drill or lie for
And reduced carbon dioxide too
Imagine all the people
Riding bikes in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll pedal with us
And the world will bike in the sun

Imagine no congestion
I wonder if you can
No need for road rage
A brotherhood of bikes
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the roads…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will bike as one

Brazilian Soccer

August 4th, 2008

On our trip to Brazil we were lucky to be able to take in a soccer game. I’m not a huge fan of soccer, I think it is pretty boring to watch. I like to play it, but in my opinion there is very little action, not a lot of strategy, and too many players roll on the ground as if they have just suffered a career ending injury. Never mind that after they roll around and grimace they get up and run around as if nothing happened. I’m not looking to start a fight, I know soccer is “the world’s” sport, but it just does not do much for me.

Baseball games just ooze with strategy. When you look at a baseball score board it’s common to see batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, RBI’s, home runs, singles, doubles, triples, along with the pitchers strikes, balls, total pitches made, and pitch speed. You are literally overwhelmed with information and any number of things can happen each time the pitcher rears back and lets it rip.

In a soccer game you have only two things on the score board: goals, of which there are very, very, very few and time elapsed. What else are you going to put up there? Perhaps how many times a particular player kicks with each foot? In soccer possession is most often messy with teams constantly turning over the ball and goal keepers kicking the ball great distances with no discernible strategy other than a vague hope that his team will gain possession when the ball drops from the sky. And if a game ends in a tie they settle it with penalty kicks – how random is that? You struggle for almost two hours as a team and can’t even score enough to win and then you tee up the ball for individuals to start firing it at the goal keeper in a Mano e Mano type format? I’m sorry, it makes no logical sense to me. Why transform a team game into the ultimate game of one on one? In my opinion, if it’s a team sport you have to keep playing as a team until there is a winner.

However, I do love cultural experiences and a soccer game is a cultural experience. We attended a game at one of the most famous stadiums in the world – Maracana Stadium. It is interesting to note that the stadium was built to hold 100,000 people, but when Brazil met Uruguay in the World Cup in 1950 they jammed 200,000 people into the stadium. Overcrowding is just one hazard you face at a soccer game we found out. Take a look at this picture . . .

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Legions of fans of both teams light fireworks in what has to be one of the most unsafe things you could possibly do in a crowded stadium. I can’t imagine how many people end up with serious burns during games. This practice also fills the stadium with smoke which obscures you view of the game . . .

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I guess maybe I’m just a wet blanket. I will say that the fans put American sports fans to shame. Well over an hour before kick off fans were chanting, singing, and waving flags with fervor unseen in all but maybe the most intense playoff games in American Professional sports leagues. And this fervor is not aided by alcohol. Alcohol is not sold in the stadium, but me thinks that if someone can smuggle burning hot fireworks into a game, they probably end up smuggling a bit of alcohol as well. And then there is the incredibly safe practice of letting children stand on the seats . . .

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In the end I am just a random observer who I am sure will be shouted down by ardent soccer supporters. It was a fun cultural experience, but soccer for me will continue to be something that garners a bit of interest every four years when the World Cup occurs.

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Central Park Boat Ride

August 3rd, 2008

One of the things we did with our visitors from Philly was rent a boat on the Lake. You have to hand it to the people who named “The Lake” – they were very creative. As far as entertainment in NYC goes, renting a boat to cruise around The Lake is about as inexpensive as it gets. I had passed The Lake many times but never looked into actually paddling around. We decided to check it out and it’s only $12 per hour. It was fun . . . especially when you have energetic kids at the oars doing the work.

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There was also a nice sky show.

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