Web-log entries from 2012


The Hobbit

We tried reading The Hobbit a few months ago but got bogged down by all the words. We put it away for awhile, but this week Orion wanted to pick it up again. I started ...cont’d


Lord of the Rings vs. Star Wars

Lately Orion is all about Lord of the Rings. As a media-lite household we receive most of our pop culture through the Lego catalog. Lego has just released two lines of LoTR and Hobbit models, ...cont’d


Now that the election’s over: Politics!

Couple thoughts I’ve been sitting on through this election.First: if ever there were an election where I could’ve been persuaded to vote Republican, this was it. I’m more conservative than I once was, and vaguely ...cont’d


Drive to work

Yesterday I drove to work. Actually, before I drove to work I fell down the stairs and hurt my foot. OK, my toe.[1] The toe turned blue and swelled up and it hurt(s) to walk. ...cont’d


Be a dolphin, not a turtle

The rains have arrived, time for the ritual BikePortland “what do you wear on your winter commute” thread. We’ll get to my “advice” in a minute but (spoiler!) you’ll hate it. Everyone does.Firstly though, I ...cont’d



My pals Thom and Chris have some thoughts about Lance Armstrong. I started to reply via Facebook but it got unwieldy.I am also of two minds, and they are, briefly:if Lance were doping, prolly safe ...cont’d


Sticks and stones

Last night I realized I was wearing my heart rate monitor during yesterday’s little adventure. Interesting to note the fight-or-flight stuff going on here. The actual accident spiked my heartrate to 160+ bpm, but as ...cont’d


Grasping a hot coal

First: I am fine, the bike is fine. Scrapes and bumps for both of us. I get worse than this almost every week racing.Second: this kind of accident never happens to me. I know to ...cont’d


Cars vs. Phones

Serious question: if you were forced to give up either 1) driving a car or 2) using an iphone/android/smartphone/cel phone/whatever…which would you choose?I ask because this morning I and two nice old ladies walking a ...cont’d


Why we race: a manifesto

No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the sofa

We can’t choose when to win, but we can choose when to quit. Racing is a metaphor. Bicycles are a metaphor. Losing is a metaphor. Quitting is for fucking quitters. Pros DNF all the time. ...cont’d


Mat Barton

I learned this morning through the OBRA mailing list that Monday’s injury at the Short Track Mountain Bike race was far worse than the usual busted collarbone. Mat Barton, a pro/elite racer, seriously injured his ...cont’d


Why I Live Here, Part 326

The arborists who trimmed our Doug Firs measured them at at least 165' apiece. I had guessed 100' and thought that guess a little high.The tallest tree in Nebraska (my home state)” is 115' tall.  ...cont’d


Really Fun or Fun for All Riders?

I wrote this letter apropos of a discussion on the OBRA mailing list about the kind of scary rate of injury at the PIR Short Track MTB races this year: I’m one of the riders ...cont’d


Two regrets about bicycles

I am a naturally regretful person. I regret almost every decision. Simultaneously I have such gratitude for my life, rich in love if not much else, that I wouldn’t do many things differently.But if I ...cont’d


Programming is like an analogy

I have a one-liner I like to whip out whenever someone tries to explain what programming is “like.”Programming is like an analogy.(This is a joke about recursion. See also “GNU’s Not Unix”)Anyway, I spent a ...cont’d


Bodhisattva Vow (For Adam “MCA” Yauch)

Earlier this week, maybe Wednesday, “Bodhisattva Vow” popped up in my iTunes. I may have listened to it intentionally. Regardless, I hadn’t gone out of my way to listen to a Beastie Boys song in ...cont’d


People in cars on the Sylvan Overpass

Every day, on the Sylvan overpass, I pass a line of people in cars waiting to turn right off Scholls Ferry onto US-26. About four miles from downtown, all downhill.About these people: they are mostly ...cont’d


Ten years ago, I took a bike ride...

…down the Oregon Coast. It took six days. I blogged about it and took pictures. Even at the time I knew I was engaged in a transformative experience. I had never (before or since) done ...cont’d


Taxing bikes is like lassoing bumblebees

Treehugger just published The Terrible Catch-22 That Happens When Cities Choose BikesThe gist of which is: when more people ride bikes, revenues from the gas tax go down, and there’s less money for roads. Which ...cont’d


Screens = booze

Clay Shirky, in an interview about e-books, says: The reading experience is so much more valuable now than it was ten years ago because it’s rarer. I remember, as a child, being bored. I grew ...cont’d


The Gordian Knot of Lifestyle Happiness

I just finished reading Tom Vanderbilt’s excellent 4-part series “America’s Pedestrian Problem,” and he knocks it out of the park at the end with this: Ian Lockwood, a transportation engineer based in Florida, makes the ...cont’d


Can You See Mt. Hood from Council Crest?

In my idiotic endeavor to climb 100,000 cumulative vertical feet before April 30, I will be summiting Council Crest park twice daily. Every time I do I’ll take a picture of Mt. Hood. Or, failing ...cont’d


One way or another I will regret this

I just joined the Classic Climbing Challenge from Specialized on Strava. Climb 105,312 vertical feet between March 15 and April 30. I’ve already climbed 4156 feet (Yay!) which leaves me “only” 101,156'. My life being ...cont’d


Why I ride

It’s fun.  The first thing my wife  ever said to me was “do you know any good bike rides?” It saves money.  (My family saves $6000 a year with one less car.) Um, because it’s ...cont’d


The Instructions of Shuruppak

Well, I’m off to a strong start on The Stupidest Awesome Idea. I just finished The Instructions of Shuruppak, a collection of pithy wisdom from the 26th century B.C.I’m with Shuruppak about half the time: ...cont’d


The trees are the right height

Once when flying into Nebraska (from Oregon) I was sitting behind some high school kids who were (kind of surmising here...) visiting a sibling/friend/cousin attending the University of Nebraska. As we approached Lincoln they spent ...cont’d


The Love Competition

I just watched this remarkable short film, The Love Competition. The film puts seven “contestants” in an MRI and asks them to meditate on love, or on a person they love. Neuroscientists at Stanford measure ...cont’d


Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood

As a non-profit fundraiser, Komen really gets my dander up. This has nothing to do with their decision to drop support for Planned Parenthood, which is actually an obvious move given their fundraising strategy, at ...cont’d


My Commute Today

“Ride to Atlantis” by James Gurney I love riding my bike in warm, wet weather like this. Makes you feel good to be alive. Bummer is that I have to use “wet” lube which attracts ...cont’d



I suck at Resolutions (New Year’s or otherwise). I lack follow-through. So instead of resolving to do, I did. I took my life off the cloud and disconnected most of the digital noise that distracts ...cont’d