Monday, February 28, 2005

john's global adventure

my friend john, whom i met on a european backpacking/hostelling trip as a college student, is still on the travel trail.

in fact, now that he has a ph.d. under his belt, his world tour has commenced. i'm sooooooo jealous.

after all, here i sit, chained to my office desk. well, not really, it was self-imposed.

here's a link to his travel photos, updated (it looks like) weekly, or whenever he can snag internet access.

john's sweet, smart and full of adventure, so if you happen to meet john along the way, you're in for some fun times!

and, he has been travelling with a nice looking woman. do i hear wedding bells???? :)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Hasidic rebel

The old site hasn't been updated for a few years now, but my belief is that HR is posting on a new blog somewhere. There was some speculation that HR is now posting here, but I don't think so.

By the way, if you don't know what I'm talking about... HR is the diary of a Chasidic man, who not unlike other bloggers, wrote about the details of his life and openly pondered those "big" questions rolling around in his head. What made the blog interesting was 1) the fact that he really wasn't supposed to be blogging, 2) he let people in on the "secret" lives of the Chasidic, and 3) he clamed to be a rebel, doing such forbidden things as watching DVDs.

Luckily, there are a few other Chasidic blogs out there these days:

  • A Hassid and a Heretic
  • The Shiagetz
  • Friday, February 25, 2005


    while at the airport the other day, i had a sample of starbucks' new chantico hot chocolate.

    i have to say that it was a bit eh.

    it was good, but not as special as i was expecting. actually, when it comes down to it, it tasted exactly like the hot chocolate i make at work: two or three packets of swiss miss + a dash of water.

    my problem with most hot chocolate is that i like muddy, goopy texture similar to cake batter. chantico was just too much like real hot chocolate for me to care. oh well, not many people like to slurp cake batter as a drink.

    in other words, i'm sticking to my starbucks iced chai latte!

    so there's my take on chantico....

    it looks, however, like i'm in the minority on this topic.

    Wednesday, February 23, 2005

    Science of cycling

    Wanna know how cycling works? Check out this site from those wonderful Exploratorium folks.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    Workmare (like nightmare, but about work)

    I had a bad dream last night...

    Charlie Gibson was doing GMA from our market and on this particular day he was jazzed because he had done a piece about life at his house. He shot the video (yeah, right!) and edited the video at his home edit suite (yeah, right!).

    It was all him, one man banding his package.

    I don't work at GMA, but just from a viewer's perspective, Charlie seems like an 8 hours and I'm out kinda guy. Never excited about any segment, any guest. Therefore, in my dreamworld, this was a pretty big deal...

    Charlie had put his package on some odd Beta format I'd never heard of (Beta TSX, never heard of that before the dream) and in order to play back the tape for the show (as if they didn't have their own production truck!), it needed to be dubbed to DVCPro.

    Well I was standing there just as he was quite casually explaining his dilemma (hello! where is his producer?!? shouldn't he work this out beforehand?), and decided to "look good for the station" and jump in and offer to dub the piece for him.

    Well, that was pretty dumb, seeing that isn't my area of expertise. I do web stuff.

    He said sure, seemed to trust me, and went off to do his show, where he just kept on teasing his one-man-band piece. During every chat segment, he would completely ignore the TelePrompter and start promoting his own piece.

    I had a monitor in the edit bay and was watching this in horror, because I didn't know how to work the machines! We didn't even have Beta TSX. I did manage to get the Beta tape into a standard Beta deck, but of course the tape wouldn't play, so it was no use, but I kept on trying.

    He said the piece would air at 8:45, but then I noticed it was 9 a.m., and I still hadn't made the dub. Then, I woke up.

    bikes, bikes everywhere

    nothing makes me happier than bicycles in a big city. i love the sheer number of bikes and the wonderful variety of bikes.

    that was the case in washington d.c. this weekend.

    Thursday, February 17, 2005

    Article on biking to work

    Hurst, 36, is a 13-year veteran of the bike-messenger trade on the hectic streets of Denver. He was reached by cell phone Monday, while sprinting his Waterford 2200 race bike to a legislative center to snag some documents.
    Such a visual paragraph: A courier (the epitome of cool) sprinting on a high class racing bike while talking on the tele. Rad.

    That fine piece of writing is from today's SF Chronicle. (Found via DevilRides)

    The article has some great pointers about urban riding.

    Speaking of urban riding, I rode to work a few times this week before Mother Nature decided to turn the thermostat way down AGAIN.

    Let me tell you, my ride is UR-BAN. Mix a bit of hood (I'll never forget passing the adults dry-humping on the front lawn next to the toddler todding towards the busy street) with the pothole hell the city has turned into (scary for the car as well), and it's safe to say things are never dull.

    cool promo with bikes

    just saw a :20 promo on mtv of a bike race. okay, i've officially watched too much tv. time to put the tv away again.

    Wednesday, February 16, 2005

    one more post then i'm going to bed

    the bike shows

    what i found tonight while sweet husband produces TV show and i veg on couch instead of taking out the garbage:

    1) velo diablo has a nice flickr album of bike shots

    2) lance armstrong's radio show - i think it's odd that sirius shows aren't archived. even archiving for a week would make sense. how is the potential audience supposed to sample the product? sampling a product is good. that's why they hand stuff out at the grocery on sundays.

    3) this page is about b.d. mckay. don't know who he is? that's because he was not famous, not in the least. the site is a tribute by his grandon.

    bike training your kids

    Only when I started cycling as an adult did I fully understand how great a job my parents (my dad, really) did 'bike training' me. Yes, like potty training but on a bike.


    My early cycling memories are all about the red tricycle. It was so rad and metal-y and chrome-y and had one of those steps on the back. I think it was an American Flyer. I hope my parents have it for uh, the FUTURE. (Not that my mom knows this blog exists, but if she did, she'd enlist you, kind reader(s?), to urge me to procreate immediately so she won't be so (in her words) "grandchild deprived.") Anyway, to recap, I was perfectly content zooming 'round and 'round the back of the driveway.


    Yes, I'm a child of the '70's. I had another red bike. this time a two wheeler with a white banana seat decorated with pastel flowers. No training wheels on this puppy. Shoot, no helmet in those days, either!

    This is where the real training took place. My dad and I would go on rides down the street to the cul de sac where my grandma lived and then back up the hill (an eighth of a mile of steepness, thankyouverymuch) and around more streets in the neighborhood.

    I remember initially complaining about that hill, but I remember my dad being firm about my staying on the bike and making it up that hill. That's where I learned to "ride through it".


    My dad started taking me to the bike trail on weekends. He on his ultralight Fuji racing bike -- my mom still brags about how he got his speeding ticket on the bike while my dad "tries" to stop her from telling that story again -- and me on my banana seat contraption with the coast breaks.

    My mom was never much of a cyclist, so this was good father-daughter time.

    First of all came the mental toughening exercises. I used to be positive my dad was out to embarrass me with his funny clothing. He's a finicky dresser - he doesn't even like sweaters. When it comes to bikes, he's definitely not the spandex type, so he'd wear shorts if it was warm. Sometimes he'd embarrass me by wearing jeans and that little strap around his right pants leg -- I'm sure there's a proper term for that equipment like dorkustrap, el-nerd-strap, or something. It looked awful funny in the dead of summer.

    So we'd set out on the trail and he'd figure a good pace that was a little faster than what I was good at. I'd be panting along and he'd push me to keep going. I'd holler back and complain (Lance Armstrong I wasn't!) but he'd keep pedaling along at the same exact pace for miles and miles. If I stopped for a non-legitimate reason (laziness!), he'd keep pedaling at that damn annoying pace and I'd just have to catch up.

    I'd like to say this was all because I am an only child, but I have a feeling that my dad would have pushed me on the bike and taught me how to change the carborator on the old car even if he had boys, too.

    His hard work paid off when I invited a friend from my soccer team to ride bikes with us on the trail. I absolutely crushed her. We had to slow way down. I felt awesome.


    Sometime before my 12th birthday, I was riding my dad's bike an awful lot. Well, not riding so much as climbing on the rock wall and pushing off while teetering on the bike, unable to reach the pedals. Wow, no helmet then, either.

    Around then, my parents started taking me to the bike shop. Now that I look back on it, it could have been an attempt to get me to focus on cycling, not horses. (Horses won out, by the way.)

    It was time to get a bigger bike, my parents announced. The only problem was that they took me to the "boy bikes" section.

    My parents wanted to buy something nice and fast. Looking back, I should have been grateful, but all I remember is fighting it every step of the way. I did want a 10-speed, but I wanted a PINK one. A girls version. A Huffy if possible.

    Although I didn't vocalize it, I was afraid of a horizontal top tube. My dad still mounts bikes like cyclocross riders do by running a bit and swinging the right leg over (must be some old fashioned thing having to do with toe clips) and I just didn't think I'd be coordinated enough to do that.

    My parents, being extremely good parents, surprised me on my birthday with that crappy pink bike. I remember being disappointed and hating the feel of the bike -- it felt like "Unsafe at any Speed" but bike style. But, I was reminded not to complain because I'd "made my choice" and they did indulge my silly request.


    I did feel somewhat cooler when I took my 10-speed back to the bike trail. I think everyone felt just a tad adult when they graduated to their first multi-geared bike.

    Now we were going longer distances. Not long enough to bring lunch, but longer than before. My dad was still pretty patient, but we had a new game: catch me if you can. He'd say he was taking off and was going to turn around after five miles. He'd spin off into the distance, like the RoadRunner in the cartoon. I would try to catch him but, of course, I couldn't, but he'd be back in no time anyway.


    Soon enough I realized how crappy my choice of bikes was. The bike was so finicky. Everything from the brakes to the deraileur would go wacky if pushed with the component with your hand one way or the other. I pretty much gave up on the bike thing and started focusing on my other hobbies, piano, ballet, soccer and my new favorite kind of riding: riding horses.

    I wish I would have known about bike racing when I was a kid. I have a feeling I would have kicked ass with my combination of iron legs and that fearlessness that is inherent in all kids.


    By the way, my parents did indulge me one more time in bike land. They got me a great mountain bike for college. It was perfect for those cobblestone streets. Never had to adjust anything on the bike. It was truly rock solid. Too bad that bike was stolen a few years ago. It was such a great bike.

    Sunday, February 13, 2005

    love this article

    stumbled upon this humorous article about cyclist nicole freedman, the erma bombeck of women's pro cycling.

    here's a link to her official site.

    Saturday, February 12, 2005


    i saw an old friend over the holidays. her parents are moving out of her childhood home and she flew into town not only to see them but to go through her old room.

    she hasn't lived in town since middle school, so i can only guess her room was some sort of dumping ground during boarding school and college.

    when we met for brunch, she brought me a cute photo of us at the zoo. my memory of that day is sketchy - all i remember is my awesome giant plastic spider from the gift shop and that my dad brought us.

    my friend didn't seem to have any particular memories of the day.

    my dad does. my mom showed him the photo, which is currently featured top of my website, and he told her (and she told me) that the zoo trip was going along just fine when my friend said she had to use the bathroom... NOW.

    we must have been 4 years old at the time.

    well she apparently didn't want to go into the mens room and my dad obviously wasn't going into the ladies room with her, and she refused to go on her own so ...

    that would explain why she's holding a popcorn box in front of her crotch!

    i haven't told her this. i think she'd think it's funny, but i'm not sure.

    ah, memories.

    Friday, February 11, 2005

    WARNING: Spring cycling dangers

    Although the groundhog saw his shadow last week, many less than hardcore cyclists are gearing up for the warmer weather.

    I, for one, have been training extremely hard. I faithfully read my over-the-toilet copy of VeloNews that I got in the airport over Christmas vacation.

    Because I look out for your welfare, faithful reader(s?), I want to warn you of some dangers that lurk during the spring riding season.

    I know you have been patient during the winter, sipping Starbucks and gumming Krispy Kremes, but I also know as soon as the pavement is dry, you'll be taking your shiny, new Trek Madone (a Christmas present to yourself) out for a spin.

    DANGER #1:
    Please, if you must ride, DRESS YOUR SPEED.

    Yes, I'm talking to you, CEO boy. Yes, you, with the 90+ hour day job. You, who has enough time to ride every a few hours every other month, but keeps the bike rack on the mega-SUV just in case.

    I know you've already purchased your favorite team kit, but please, observe the first of the Sacred Laws of Spandex.

    MANBOOBS * BEERGUT * HOURS SPENT IN THE OFFICE / 12 = your team kit quotient.

    If your team kit quotient is over 1, I'm sorry, but you'll have to shelve the T-Mobile kit for another season.

    Try a grungy old tee shirt to hide the mboobs, gut and roached back. It's a good plan because it'll make you look more humble on your high-class steed. Plain black cycling shorts will complete the ensemble.

    Sure, back in your fraternity days, you could still look good after endless nights and days of debauchery. At 40, those days have sadly passed just like the skinny 20-somethings who smoke your ass on the bike trail. Be mindful of this and...

    DANGER #2:
    Learn to stay to the right.

    Again, this applies to the fancypants guys who ride the trails. (What, you can ride a bike on the roadway, too? Isn't that unsafe?)

    Weaving like a 10-year-old child is highly unacceptable. Remember the rules of the trail apply to you and your fancypants bike as much as the next guy.

    If you have made it to warp speed (10 mph), be sure to yell out, "Outta my way!" as you run over kids on training wheels.

    DANGER #3:
    Make sure your bike's operable before you set out.

    This actually applies to every ride, but after a long winter in the basement, your bike may need some adjustment.

    Just remember, if your chain is dragging on the ground, don't you dare get your hands dirty popping the chain back on. That's dangerous! Instead, immediately bring your bike to the snobbish (yes, they are being snobby to you, ignoramus!) bike shop that caters to little kids and hobbyists just like yourself.

    They'll pop that chain back on for you and even put some air in the tires. (What, I have to put air in the tires?!?)


    Thursday, February 10, 2005

    if we have kids

    this site will be a good resource

    it's fun to look at your own name as well!


    Good Morning America has really turned up the schmaltz. They now start their show every morning with a "WHOOSH" sounder and one of the anchors announcing "BREAKING NEWS!"

    Today's BREAKING NEWS was Prince Charles' impending marriage to his lontime girlfriend Camilla P.B. Well DUH.

    Ironically, though the prince's engagement is leading all US news sites as far as I can tell, the suspended North Korean nuclear talks are leading the Beeb's site.

    Tuesday, February 08, 2005

    suggestion not welcomed

    the husband has a nice chest cold going on. it's such a nice cold that we've run out of tissues.

    when husband asked what to use, since we were out of tissues, i suggested he use those plastic bags that we get from the grocery, the ones that seem to be multiplying in the closet, having little blue plastic bag babies.

    he said something nasty, but funny.

    home sick

    i woke up and every limb was stiff. at first i thought it was meningitis! i doubt it now. i felt a little nauseous as well. i ended up going in to work for a few hours but i'm back home. i'll be hanging out, answering e-mails, doing many work tasks that i usually don't get to finish because of constant interruptions.

    the downstairs neighbor (we're in a duplex) has been jobless for approximately 6 months. he is downstairs blaring postal service, probably assuming no one's home upstairs. at least i enjoy his taste in music.

    my day in technology

    rex had a good post on this. my post will reveal how behind the times i am.

    5:40 a.m. -- Mickey Mouse screams at me -- My mom got me an obnoxious Mickey Mouse alarm clock when I was in high school. Plays the song while Mickey screams "Hi!! Good morning!!! Wake up!!!!" Seems it's pretty hard to wake me up. Definitely annoying, definitely analog.

    Then, I turn in the small TV in the kitchen, which is close to the bedroom. The downstairs neighbors must hate this because I crank up the volume so I can hear it all the way from the bedroom. I tune in to the local news.

    6 a.m. -- Yoga or cold cereal -- The Inhale show on Oxygen is great. Steve's lots of fun. My only complaint is that I've seen all of the episodes. If I skip morning yoga, I go directly to step two: cold cereal.

    6:30 a.m. -- iPod mini with iTrip -- I usually catch the gist of what's going on from my TV listening (don't worry, I turn this off while practicing yoga), so I use the commute for music pleasure before a stressful day. I prefer Coverville or The Daily Source Code as my morning podcasts.

    If it's warm enough to ride the bike, my only music is the sounds of the street. I just can't risk deafness with such busy roads. I've considered putting the iPod in only one ear, but I think that's a bad idea.

    Weekdays -- TV, IM and Web all day long -- This is how I function on a daily basis. The TV is a must-have (unfortunately, I only have one), but the workpace is littered with TVs everywhere due to the business I'm in. I IM with my company counterparts around the country and sometimes get a ping or two from family.

    Web is integral to my job, so I hit plenty of sites for research purposes every morning. I constantly check news via pages and RSS. I look at industry blogs, and check Google News while I'm at work, too.

    E-mail, well it goes without saying that I check this constantly at work. I check and check, and keep my personal account up as well. I am on a few e-mail lists, so I'm always getting updates there too.

    I only have one work e-mail account and one personal e-mail account (a Yahoo! mail account that I set up in 1995, I think). In contrast, my husband has, like five accounts. Well, okay, I do have a Gmail account that I never use and will probably get rid of. I never set up any e-mail boxes with my personal domain. No interest - I like my Google account even if it doesn't have the cache of an address.

    Weekdays -- I usually pick up the morning papers -- local paper and the NYT. I am lucky to have a workplace that provides them for me. We work with the local paper, so I'm interested in their choices and presentation, not actually reading the news from a paper. (Wow, that'd be nonproductive.) I like to steal the NYT crossword for when I get home. I read most of my news from the web.

    Weekdays -- Cell phone. Just an old one -- I don't have a Treo or anything fancy like that. Frankly, I don't want one. I don't text and I don't surf the web on my phone. I don't like those flip phone camera dealies. I don't even check news headlines with my phone. Nope, I just use it to make calls. I also don't have a leash, er, Blackberry. Don't want one of those, either. I do put the phone on silent and take it to meetings. I'm astounded at how some people don't put their phones on silent during meetings. So uncool.

    7ish -- Wireless internet -- My wireless was a wedding gift several years ago from a friend who felt (and still does!) that our lives are tech-challenged. I must admit I'd never go back to wired Internet at home because that would mean I couldn't be typing this post from my comfy bed.

    Weeknights -- some TV, if it's out of the closet -- We put the big color TV into the closet when we've been watching too much. There it stays until we feel the need to watch again. During these times, we catch up with the news via the tiny black and white TV in the kitchen that we have to hit on the side when the audio goes away. We have basic cable. That's it. I admit an affinity for House Hunters, but know that's such a vapid show that when I've watched it two days in a row, it's TV in the closet time!

    Summary: I'm fairly happy with my technology life the way it is.

    I used to be much more intense about staying connected, but shifted a few years ago from an unhealthy workaholic (I used to greet my boss as he was arriving and say good night when he left!) to someone who does what they can during the day, and stays a little late every day, but doesn't put in quite the hours I used to.

    I don't even know where my old (circa 1998) Palm Pilot is anymore. I thought of replacing it, but frankly, I don't want to. I usually bring my laptop home, and if I don't, I just check what's on tomorrow's schedule before I leave. I do sync it before a long trip when I know I'll need to access addresses or maps (I can download beforehand) and I know I'm not taking the laptop.

    In terms of personal technology, I kinda wish I had TiVo, but I am too much of a cheapskate to pay the monthly fee. I could make my own DVR, but I'm too lazy, and frankly, I don't have enough interest in watching TV.

    I am a female non-gamer. In the olden days, we used to have company Quake tourneys during lunchtime. I even grew up adoring Atari and still own Nintendo 64, but I spent way too much time with my keyster glued to the couch -a way to unwind between marathon workdays, so I put down the controller a few years ago. Perhaps that will change (if!) when we have kids and I start sneaking turns after the youngster has gone to bed.

    One other item to touch upon: Robomower/Roomba. I put Roomba on the Xmas list tow years ago, to no avail. It's okay, we don't vaccuum that often anyway so why change things? And we don't yet have a lawn to mow, so no need for outdoor Roomba, er, Robomower.

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    nyc critical mass riders arrested

    Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    how come you do this, browser friend?

    so i found a MINOR mozilla bug today: wrong favicon when sites that don't have favicons are brought up/bookmarked.

    best example is Pez Cycling News displays a WebMD favicon. [ironic]

    so like a good girl, i went to bugzilla and found that the error had already been logged.

    the guy who logged the problem provided a screenshot. it seems like he's from yugoslavia. isn't that so cool that a guy around the world (who incidentially, as indicated in the bookmarks on his screenshot, visits the calvin and hobbes site on a regular basis) can have the same problem?

    how cool is that?!? bugzilla is cool. the web is cool. cool is cool.

    my life is now on demand

    on demand news: Internet. check!

    on demand TV: TIVO. check! (okay, so not check, but I'll get it eventually)

    on demand radio: Podcasts. Check!

    on demand life. Check!

    I check out media on MY schedule and I like it.

    I do listen to a bit of Stern when I'm driving to work, but since my job is news-oriented, I might catch NPR on the way home for features, but that's it.

    We veg in front of the net, but not so much in front of the TV anymore.

    didn't mean to diss plaxo, really.

    hi stacy,

    that was a heated post, i'm the first to admit....

    i didn't mean to diss plaxo, or any of the free online contact management software companies. after all, it's a great idea to be able to take your contacts with you. people wouldn't be signing up if it wasn't a good idea, right?

    plus, the price of FREE is awfully cool.

    i also hope you didn't interpret my post to mean that i was being plaxo spammed. i haven't been.

    my only dish is that i am one of those people who want to do everything just right and, frankly, i used to fill out the whole plaxo form every time. when i got my 19,999th (not really but it seemed like it at the time) request to fill out my contact info, i got mad.

    so, i see three solutions:
    • join plaxo
    • opt out completely
    • approve the friend requests one by one
    and i have decided to join plaxo.

    yes, the fact that you took the time to leave a comment on my little blog shows a committment to your product and customer base. sure, some traditional folks would say you're wasting your time, but you obviously understand the idea that word-of-mouth marketing is the best way to go. strictly for those reasons, i'll try your service.

    i'll blog about it here and i hope to have a great experience. (what's ironic is that i am part of a semi-well known group blog, but this is the blog i thought no one knew about. after all, who wants to read about some girl who rides her bike to work?)

    i have a hunch i'll like it!