Sunday, December 30, 2007

Someone I haven't heard from in a while...

I was going through my iPhoto album the other day and came across this picture...

This reminds me of a great day I had riding with someone I haven't seen in a while but really enjoyed riding with.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


When you lack certain proprietary utensils... home canning sucks.

It is very doable, but still sucks.

That is all.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wear your helmet...

I think my daughter would love this one.

She always comments on people not wearing their helmets on bikes, skateboards, and motorcycles. She even yelled at some guy the other day. Not every day you get chastised by a three year old.

The wire sculpture is by Terry over at Bent Objects. An incredibly creative person who does some really great things with common household objects. I think he has a coffee table book coming out soon. You should buy it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Parade of Lights

This year marked the 25 year the Fort Worth Parade of Lights has taken place. It also marks the first year that I wasn't working and Gracie was old enough to sit through a parade that happens after dark.

It was an incredibly fun event, if a bit long. If you were unable to attend, here are a few highlights. Sure there are tons of pics... but it's a parade so you gotta take pics.

It finally darkened enough for the parade to start (yes, a parade of lights generally takes place after dark).

We found a good spot and waited for the floats to start their pass. We were at the end of the parade, so it was a bit after 6 before the festivities began.

Gracie and Sharon took their spots:

Along with our special guest, Aunt Liz:

Finally, the first float passed:

Followed by the Fort Worth Mounted division that acted as the color guard:

Followed by marching bands:




Old Cars:


Fire Engines:

Both new...

And old...

As well as more traditional floats:

(some a little more commercial than others...)

More than a few Elvis' (would that be Elvi?) showed up on motor scooters:

Not to be outdone in the large men in small vehicles category, the Shriners made an appearance.

And of course, more horses...

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl float was judged Best Overall :

Gracie was getting antsy though. She came all this way, braving the cold and crowds to see Santa. She was ready for some results!

Finally, after about 200 floats, at least 600 horses, several hundred dogs, and a gaggle of unicycles... Santa finally made his appearance (only to have his face blocked by some random fan):

Afterwards, a tired Gracie wanted to get something to eat and then go home. So we opted not to stay for the tree lighting. We'll leave that adventure for another time. Perhaps when we take her to visit Santa in the upcoming weeks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

One I forgot to add...

On my Dad's las visit he brought some Overalls. Pretty good fit if you ask me...

They go well with her pink boots too.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


It's pretty cool when your child is old enough to actually enjoy Halloween. The concept of dressing up, going out and getting candy, getting trampled by rude children older than them... who should know better but don't... it finally starts to make sense to them.

Pics of the Island Princess:

Ryan Place is a really cool neighborhood in the sense that they really embrace these holidays. It's more like a block party than anything else. Adults sit out on the porch handing out candy and drinking a little wine. Great concept really, especially if you know anyone on that particular street. Gives you a chance to fill up yourself while your child loads up on candy. Nancy was really loading Gracie up with candy at this stop!

I'm glad she had fun, because I really enjoy Halloween. Now I can enjoy it that much more through her...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

If you live in Fort Worth and ride a bike...

Or live near Fort Worth and ride a bike, or are thinking about riding a bike in or around Fort Worth (you get my drift). Then take a look at this survey the city is doing at this time.

Please take the time to fill this out and send it in. The effort required is only a few minutes, but the effects could reach much further than that...

That is all.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Quite possibly one of the greatest blog post ever!

If you don't read Bike Snob NYC, you should. There is some great stuff in there. Here is an example, quite possibly one of the best post I've read in quite some time. Pithy, yet poignant...


I’m going to come right out and say it—there’s been a lot of arguing here lately. Messengers vs. non-messengers, roadies vs. commuters, and everybody vs. the so-called “hipsters.” Hey, I’m not going to get all self-righteous. I’m all in favor of passing judgement and name-calling. It’s fun! At the same time, though, as cyclists, it’s time we set all that aside for a moment and teamed up against something together. No, not triathletes. (Not today anyway.) Cars.

Look, I’ve got nothing against cars in general. We need them. Many of us own them. That’s not what this is about. This is about being cyclists first and foremost, and about being at the bottom of the vehicular pecking order when we’re out on our bikes. Regardless of whether you don’t own a car or you own three, when you’re riding you’re inevitably going to encounter coffee-slurping, text-message-spewing morons who think the fact that some bank gave them a lease on an Explorer makes them important enough to try to run you off the road.

I thought about this as I read a short piece in the “Talk of the Town” section of The New Yorker this morning about the Smart ForTwo. If you’re in Europe, you’re of course familiar with this car. But here in the US they’re only just appearing on our radar, and will be available for the first time in January 2008. Apparently the president of Smart USA recently visited Manhattan in a Smart car, and the piece offered up an irritatingly delightful sketch of how the locals were alternately charmed, perplexed, and nonplussed by its diminutive size and unusual appearance.

It is small. It is inexpensive. It gets excellent gas mileage. We’re supposed to admire it for these qualities. I don’t. As cyclists we’ve been bossed around by cars for too long. And like the Yorkshire terrier at the dog run who after constantly being terrorized by Rottweilers finally gets a chance to hump a Chihuahua, here at long last is a car we can intimidate and dominate. This car has a shorter wheelbase than a recumbent, the same passenger capacity as a tandem, and a curb weight lower than most people’s Rivendells.

When you’re the kid who gets picked on in school, what do you do when a new kid transfers in who’s nerdier than you? Do you become his friend and team up against your oppressors? No! You pretend to be his friend, and then when the cool kids are looking you push him into the girls’ bathroom.

So I say when these things hit the street we in turn hit them with everything we’ve got. You Euros might not understand this, but here in the US we’ve been “sharing” the road with vehicles that are, on average, larger than your homes. This is our chance to exact payback for years of oppression. And the great thing is that every segment of the cycling population can take part. Just imagine:

--Three or four bearded guys in “One Less Car” t-shirts with SPD sandals and panniers full of organic groceries stopping on their way home from the food co-op to tip one over;

--The Sunday morning group ride swarming around one and forcing the driver to take part in a mandatory motorpacing session;

--Locking your bike up to one when you run into the store. What are they gonna do about it? Or, better yet, just locking the car itself to a street sign;

--Using them for skitching. Messengers have long skitched off of trucks, but like pilot fish they did so surreptitiously and with no say as to the destination. With a Smart car, now’s your chance to be the shark. When your legs get tired, just grab onto the side mirror, rap on the glass, and say, “Dag Hammarskjold Plaza—and step on it!”;

--Some nutcase in a neon windbreaker on a recumbent overtaking one on a stretch of country road, taking quick stock of it in his helmet mirror, and running it into a ditch.

The possibilities are endless. So next time that Hummer driver ignores your right-of-way and almost flattens you at an intersection, take a deep breath and just let it go. Soon you’ll be able to grab a Smart car by the bumper and hold it there while you berate the driver.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Confessions of a Bag junkie

Ok, I can admit it. I'm a bag junkie. It all started off innocently enough when Gracie was a wee tyke and I bought my first bag to carry stuff for both her and I more easily. It was the Maxpedition Jumbo Versapack. An all around great bag for anything you might want to carry. Juice cup, snacks, knife, wallet, phone, camera, gun (if you're into that sort of thing), gum, handi wipes, kleenex, keys... you name it and it'll probably hold it.

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I love this bag. It's well constructed and holds just about everything you might need for a day out on the town.

When I started riding, it just fed into my bag obsession. If you want to collect bags, cycling is the way to do it. There are bags under the saddles, and even bags to carry your phone in on long training rides so they don't get sweat all over them...

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I just picked up another nifty little bag today at the gun show. It's another Maxpedition bag, a smaller version that is just the right size to wear on my waist when riding the fixed gear. It's called the M-4 Waistpack. Holds a spare tube, mini U-lock, wallet, phone, and CO2.

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I think it will work out perfectly.

Another bag I like to use is my Topeak Trunk bag. I throw it on the rear rack of the Cross Check when I commute into work. It holds everything I need perfectly.

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Of course, every now and then I find a bag I may, or may not, need. A few cases of this are the Nascar phone case (with Nascar label conveniently taken off- hey it was on clearance what can I say). Which is the perfect size for those small items that get lost in bigger bags.

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The other clearance bag I bought, was this little Crumpler. Found it at REI in their little clearance closet one day when I was looking for something to use my dividend on. It's a handy little bag.

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Of course, the pride of my collection is the Chrome Metropolis. It is the end all- be all of man bags. I can carry more beer than I can drink in a day, or a months worth of diapers (don't ask me how I know both of these facts, just trust me). It is tough, waterproof, and easy to carry stuff in. I've used it to commute with, run errands, and work the hard streets of Funky Town as a bike messenger (well, not too many days as a bike messenger... and the streets of Fort Worth aren't really that rough), and even won an alleycat with this very bag.

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I like this bag so much, that it even has it's own bag on it to carry my phone. Yes, a bag within a bag within a bag...

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Now I will say that I get some grief from time to time. Mainly from people at work, or my wife, or friends, or... well you get the idea. Things like manbag, Metro, Murse, Manpris, Shants, etc... are thrown out. That's fine, since I don't have (or need, or want) a car, I do need something to tote all my stuff around in. Women should understand how handy a bag is to carry everything in. Other men, well I give them the benefit of the doubt as they just haven't tried it yet. If they did, I'm sure they would enjoy it as much as I do. I know one other guy that enjoys a man bag as much as I do... if not more.

Monday, September 3, 2007

A little bonus for Tricky...

Because I know you live to read my blog (and I've left you hanging for so long)...

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A little attempt at photochopping with the Gimp.

The Anatomy of a Rally

Today was the big rally to try and save the Trinity Trees. A very good turnout in my opinion. Here are a few pics of the event...

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There was info presented by both sides...

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However, my bias shows a bit. I very much preferred to see what Trinity Trees group was offering. Instead of glossed over information, they handed out more trees to plant. Ours will go in the front yard on the parkway, something we've been planning anyway. However, it is even more special since the symbolism ties in nicely.

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The people were great! Everyone seemed motivated by the same purpose... a nice picnic and a good time for a good cause.

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And of course there were bikes. You know it wouldn't be part of my blog if I couldn't tie in some bikes!

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A rare portrait of our Hero...

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However, as much fun as we had at this event... it's important to remember the two reasons why we all showed up:

The trees...

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And the reason it's so important we save them:

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