Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sore de France

So USA Cycling sends me a sample copy of Road Bike Action Magazine. Reading anything with a pro on the cover feels illicit nowadays with all the doping scandals. But this one is slightly different. More of a high-end Bicycling Magazine, more about everyday riders and training tips (with top-shelf bike porn to keep publishers happy) . What's really cool, though, are the pages dedicated to the readers in a section called "Why We Ride." Like this gem:

In the beginning I had no worries
In the beginning I was healthy
In the end I'm diabetic
In the end my child's autistic.
Now, in the beginning and the ending, I ride.

--Albert Galatan

Speaking of cool magazines, check out Rouleur. From their banner: "Rouleur is a quarterly cycling journal. It is beautiful, rich and deep - an antidote to conventional cycling media." Gotta love publications that describe themselves as "journals." This is what Wax Poetics is to hip-hop.

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A Scanner Darkly
1408
The Lives of Others

300
Curse of the Golden Flower
Babel
The Departed
Pan's Labyrinth

...

Tonight I Burn Brightly
, Bill Ricchini
Both Sides of the Gun (disc one), Ben Harper
Man With a Movie Camera, The Cinematic Orchestra
Languidity, Sun Ra
Sound Grammar, Ornette Coleman

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Safe Place

Spent a couple hours straightening out my work area, optimizing it, as Lisa would say. I've been itching to get some work done, but with the tighter space I have to keep lotsa supplies in the closet. I'm trying to practice a lesson I learned from watching Ratatouille (go Pete!): Gotta keep your station clean.

I've named the work area The Safe Place.


At The Safe Place, Corncob Kitty uses our spare change to support his Lambretta addiction.


Random bookcase cubes:


Speaking of books, I just finished Floyd Landis' (with Loren Mooney) Positively False -- a good counter balance to the skepticism of my last read. And that makes it three straight books on cycling added to my suggested reads :

Positively False, Floyd Landis
From Lance to Landis, David Walsh
Ten Points, Bill Strickland

I guess that makes me a sucker for sport celebrity. Funny thing is, I've also been reading Tim Krabbe's The Rider, widely regarded as a cult classic -- not just for cycling or sports writing, but for literature, period. Style- and language-wise, it's a gorgeous read. Best taken in a few pages at a time and absorbed. But, alas, I want gossip!

So, anyhow, partly for work, but mostly for myself, I picked up a couple more technical books I could crush at home for kicks. It's like being able to home-school myself, follow where my interests take me. See, the plan is, I'll learn job-specific stuff while at work (currently focused on QA conventions and SQL and Unix), then complement that with more exciting lessons at home. Yes! So a book covering XHTML and CSS (for XML and XSLT at the job) and a beginner programming book for an intro to Java and C++ (to put developers' efforts at work in perspective).

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I'm adding a couple older albums I've re-discovered recently that I thought worth adding to the listening list:

Both Sides of the Gun (1st disc), Ben Harper
Man With a Movie Camera, The Cinematic Orchestra
Languidity, Sun Ra
Sound Grammar, Ornette Coleman

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Flicks

1408
The Lives of Others

300
Curse of the Golden Flower
Babel
The Departed
Pan's Labyrinth

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Stage 2 Bike Lust

How dorky is this? I spent an hour last night selecting a Tour de France fantasy team. My roster:

HUSHOVD Thor ($1,000.00)
RASMUSSEN Mickael ($850.00)
PEREIRO SIO Oscar ($450.00)
VANDEVELDE Christian ($400.00)
KLÖDEN Andréas ($500.00)
WIGGINS Bradley ($200.00)
DESSEL Cyril ($200.00)
CUESTA Inigo ($200.00)*
ARRIETA Jose Luis ($200.00)

*Inigo? Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my Father. Prepare to die.

Also just finished David Walsh's From Lance to Landis. Lotsa he-said-she-said and a re-hash of his earlier work (though the juicy stuff wasn't available in English till now). It does have a hint of personal vendetta and exploitation. On the other hand, in context of the recent doping admissions and revelations, it's a healthy counter-balance to the Armstrong Industrial Complex.

So it goes on the list of suggested reads:

From Lance to Landis, David Walsh
Ten Points, Bill Strickland
The Stranger, Albert Camus

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Tunes

Again and Again..., Destani Wolf
Languidity, Sun Ra
Sound Grammar, Ornette Coleman

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Maverick Supersonic

So anyhow. I try to keep these entries short just so I can get them posted. But they wind up longer than anticipated, meaning they take longer to prepare, meaning I end up not having enough time to do it.

But, today calls for a post - however long it might become. I contributed a special edition 13"x19" Perhaps poster to yesterday evening's Galleon Trade Ship Launch, a silent auction to support the Galleon Trade's three-country (PI, US, Mexico) arts exchange program. Being without a date I didn't stay long, but when I left, my print had a couple bids, the last one a $50 jump from the previous bid ($20 being the minimum increment), so I was sufficiently flattered. My faves from the auction were by Megan Wilson, Jennifer Wofford and Michael Hall


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With summer is in full swing I'm more likely to be out enjoying the nicer weather than indoors doing art stuff. And the bike lust is in full force. I did complete May's Grizzly Peaks Century with its 9,000 feet of climbing over 109 miles. Exhibit A:


I'd also flirted with the idea of organized racing, and abruptly learned (by lasting just 10 painful minutes in my first race) that it's a whole other ballgame. Group rides and tours, even alley cat races, are one thing. Riding in a pack of 50-75 riders bent on spitting each other out the back is another. Whoa.


So, as it's said, if you can't be fast, you can at least look fast (or ironic). Two new jerseys that increase my power output:


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Flick List


1408
The Lives of Others
300
Babel
The Departed
Pan's Labyrinth


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Reads

Ten Points, Bill Strickland
The Stranger, Albert Camus