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Friday, May 31, 2002
There is a good article in the New York Times comparing the new Nokia 9290 cellphone/PDA with the Handspring Treo 270. The Nokia is very close to what I've been waiting for, a very small computer with a keyboard, that can be used to compose and edit documents, browse the web, and contains all the normal PDA functions. The 640 x 200 screen is almost big enough to view most web pages. Unfortunately it doesn't appear to be available in the U.S. yet. I still prefer a slightly larger unit that contains an OS that supports Perl, Emacs and other basic programs.
Wednesday, May 29, 2002
It's been great being able to watch the Giro d'Italia on OLN TV every day, either live in the morning, or the taped show each night. Tyler Hamilton, the sole American contender, is now in 2nd place, just seconds out of the lead. If Tyler can survive tomorrow's mountain stage in the top 10 and not lose much time, he should be able to take the pink jersey after the time trial and have an excellent chance to win the race.
This has been a wonderful Spring, one of the few in which relatively cool days have lasted for most of the season. Seems like we usually have a few cool days and then the heat and humidity move in. Been riding lots of miles lately, using all 4 bikes at various times. The old Trek 1200 seems so light after riding the fully loaded mountain and touring bikes, and each time I try out the Bike Friday I remember how much fun it is to ride. Been riding up a nearby short and very steep hill, telling myself I'm getting ready for the Manayunk Wall Climb the day before the US Pro campionship race in Philadelphia.
Sunday, May 26, 2002
Oh, by the way, Lance just won the 54th Grand Prix du Midi-Libre. I think it's time for another letter to the editor of the Washington Post sports section. The only time cycling makes the news is when there is a drug scandal or during the Tour de France. Luckily there are sites like Cycling News to keep us cycling fans up to date.
Once again the Washington Post Book World section contains reviews of several interesting books, including a biography of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, a biography of Glenway Westcott, a book about the bawdy travels of ancient Romans, and an article about the poet Adam Zagajewski. I guess Shakey, the Neil Young biography didn't rate a review.
I mentioned the other day that I bought a very nice edition of stories by Paul Bowles published by Black Sparrow Press. The Post is reporting that those fine publications will be no more, now that Black Sparrow has been purchased by HarperCollins' Ecco imprint.
Tyler Hamilton finally kicked some butt in the Giro today, winning the time trial by a convincing margin of 31 seconds over the next fastest rider, placing him third in the overall classification. Now he needs to win a mountain tour over the next couple of days. He's only the third American to win a stage in the Giro, joining Andy Hampsten and Ron Keifel in that select group.
Had another long ride on the trail today, riding to Purcellville, a 60-mile round trip, averaging 16.7 m.p.h. I think I'm finally getting into good shape.
Saturday, May 25, 2002
Lance has taken over the lead at the Midi-Libre. Looks like he is in good shape for the upcoming Tour de France which begins on July 6.
Tyler Hamilton's team did a great job of pacing him up towards the mountaintop finish in stage 13 of the Giro, but he wasn't able to pull away from the crowd and finished in 16th place, 41 seconds behind Julio Perez of Mexico. I've seen Hamilton lead out Lance in a similar fashion on the Tour de France, but I've never seen him pull away from a group and win in a mountaintop finish. There's still time though as there are several mountain stages left in the Giro. Tyler is in 11th place overall, 3 minutes and 38 seconds behind Jens Heppner of Team Telekom.
Reserved a copy of Shakey, the biography of Neil Young, at the local library.
Went on a good 40-mile ride on the Trail today. It was an overcast, cool to warm day, nearly ideal for cycling (I seem to say that a lot. Maybe every day is ideal for cycling). For the fourth time in two years I rescued someone who had broken a chain. The man, accompanied by his two children on their bikes, had coasted and walked about 10 miles and had another 3 or 4 to go.
Thursday, May 23, 2002
Time to enter the Tableart contest?
Xenu seems to do a good job of finding broken links on a site, and it's free.
It was a beautiful day for a 10 mile ride to the government center for a trails focus group meeting. When asked if I really did ride all the way from Reston I thought how odd to be feeling like I'm defending my decision to be outside riding a bicycle on a cool, crystal clear spring day. There were very few people riding on the trail at 8:00 a.m. which seemed a little odd. In a way I like the idea that bicycle commuting is perceived to be such a strange activity because I usually prefer to be doing the opposite of what most people consider to be normal. But on the other hand, it is so sad that so few people get to enjoy the benefits of cycling in such an ideal climate as we have here in Northern Virginia. Whenever I think of moving I realize the many things I like about this place, most of all the mild climate.
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
The smell of honeysuckle is overpowering when riding along the Trail.
We've got a family of Robins and one of Catbirds in our yard. Unfortunately there is a grackle family as well. Should we have broken up the grackle nest when we discovered it?
Monday, May 20, 2002
There is review of the new biography of Neil Young at the Washington Post. I might have to break a personal rule and buy a new hardback book. His words of wisdom helped me make a decision recently: "A lot of people won't make changes out of loyalty, out of their perception of what loyalty is... But if you're on a path and there's a fork, and you know which way you have to go and you know that something's stopping you... Well, I mean, if you're on your life path, then you follow it." And he has throughout the years.
Spent some time doing a self portrait that I hated, then in frustration did a small study that I thought came out much better. Whenever I labor over a work too long it shows, in a negative way.
Friday, May 17, 2002
What is a print?, an excellent Flash application with examples of various printing techniques (thanks to Zeldman).
Wednesday, May 15, 2002
Nina, how could you? Nina was my last choice for the mole in CTU. Next week's show should be interesting.
In today's Stage 4 of the Giro, Super Mario was surprised to see Robbie McEwen throw his bike across the line just ahead of the Lion King. It's quite a sight to watch Cipollini's team in the group sprint lead the pack up to the last seconds before a finish, riding so hard that no other teams could pass, and giving Mario a great leadout. It worked in Stage 3 yesterday when Cipollini won his 36th stage victory in the Giro,
Monday, May 13, 2002
I'm going through trip report withdrawal. Two major online trips, New York to Alaska, and Nick's cross country email messages from the road (S2SridebyNick@topica.com), are both ending. The NY2AK person broke a braze-on that held on a pannier, and decided to stop the trip somewhere in Colorado. Nick is riding into St. Augustine tomorrow. I'll have to find replacements.
Tyler Hamilton finished 5th in today's stage of the Giro. Guess he recovered from his spectacular head-over-heels spill he took in the Prologue.
It will be interesting to see if Infoworld will really cut me off as they say they will. I got tired of making up stories about the millions of dollars of IT equipment that I purchase as head of the IT department. I have a feeling that they will continue to send the magazine, that has degenerated over the past couple of years.
That's odd...looks like Blogger stopped inserting break tags between my entries, at least in edit mode.
Sunday, May 12, 2002
Replaced the sprocket and chain on the old Trek mountain bike. With the new rear derailleur, it's in better shape now than it has been in years. With my luck it's probably time for the frame to crack or some such thing. The bike probably has around 10,000 miles on it, but I hope to get a few more thousand before I'm through. The good thing about having an older bike is that I worry much less about it getting stolen than my newer bikes, even with the new components. I understand why many bike messengers in DC dress down their regular bikes to make them less attractive to the bad guys.
Fed my gardening urge by planting some vegetables at The Home. The ladies seemed uninterested, but it will give us something to do when we visit each week.
Rode the Tour de Madison yesterday, the 46-mile loop. The ride was in a beautiful area. We passed by Montpelier, the home of James Madison, and stopped at the town of Orange for a snack. It was an excellent ride that we look forward to each year.
The Touring season has begun. The Giro (Tour of Italy) started yesterday with the prologue. Tyler Hamilton had a rather spectacular beginning when he went head over heals into the barrier early in the prologue. He recovered OK and even had a good finishing time. Super Mario was quite a site in his Tiger skin suit yesterday, and his zebra team suit today as he won his 35th Giro stage, a record.
Thursday, May 09, 2002
Finally, a computer small enough to be truly considered a portable, made by Sony. The downside is that it costs $2200. I'll wait for the stripped down version. Or, since it is only available in Japan and must be imported, it may be cheaper once it hits these shores.
There is something very theraputic about washing windows. I used to be a little obsessed with clean windows, even to the point of washing the windows in my hotel room in Beijing when I spent a couple of weeks there. I haven't been too fanatic in recent years, but now I see what a difference really clean windows makes on ones outlook.
Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Salsa blog pointed to the world's largest flower that started blooming on May 1. I say started blooming because it is so large, that the unfolding takes a while.
Here's another article on Bike to Work Day in Reston. I'm hoping all the recent publicity will inspire others to try bike commuting.
Monday, May 06, 2002
Hauled so more of the downed oak along one of the community paths, to later split for firewood. Even though we still have some firewood from the 1/2 cord we bought for the winter, I figure you can never have too much firewood.
Worked on the mountain bike. Replaced the derailleur with one that a mechanic gave to me a few years back after commenting that the factory one was a piece of crap. The new one is a Shimano deore which is incredibly smooth. Also stop the caterwauling sound my brakes were making I adjusted the toe-in. Now I'm anxious to check it out.
Sunday, May 05, 2002
Wondering how many of the Top-10 New Mistakes of Web Design I make on this site. I admit to having moved some pages to new URLs, but plead innocent to any other offenses.
Cycled to the coffee shop at Lake Anne Plaza to see the Java Kings, a mostly instrumental rock group. The group consists of a lead guitar, bass, and two percussionists. It was a great way to spend a cool, clear Sunday afternoon. Later rode around some of the many Reston paths, testing my knowledge of the system by randomly following paths to see where they led.
Saturday, May 04, 2002
Reading trip reports by a guy named Nick, who sends his reports through a mailing list at topica.com. He's doing the same cross country bike route that I did in 1999, and it is interesting to read his opinions about some of the same places where we stopped. Know nothing about Nick, but read his reports religiously each day.
40 mile ride to Leesburg on the Trail, where we ran into a guy about my age who could barely walk into the Deli. As we got talking he told us that he has done the Reston Triathlon several times, and will do the Columbia Triathlon in a couple of weeks. He had just finished reviewing the Columbia course earlier in the day. Obviously he doesn't have any problems running, swimming or cycling, just walking.
Friday, May 03, 2002
The first Reston Bike to Work Day was a great success. Over 140 people signed in, and probably a few didn't. There was a group there at 6:25 a.m., just as we were getting set up, so we started off a little hectic, and the pace continued over the next 2 1/2 hours. I think there were several people who hadn't ridden to work before, so I'm hoping to see many more bike commuters on the trails and roads in this area in the future. Now it's time for some sleep...
Wednesday, May 01, 2002
Saw an old gentleman walk into the road today as cars screeched to a stop to avoid hitting him. He seemed oblivious. As he got to the median, where I was waiting to make a left-hand turn, I asked him where he was going. "I'm headed to the Safeway, just over there" he said in an English accent. Turns out he wandered from his new home here in the U.S. having arrived 2 days ago from London. The Police later told me it was the second time in two days he's been picked up. You really wonder about how someone could let their parent, recently arrived, wander off TWICE in two days. He was a nice old guy, and we had a spot of tea at the local Starbucks waiting for the officer to come and take him home.
It's been a hectic week; making final preparations for the Reston Bike to Work Day event on Friday, May 3, only 3 days away. We must have done a good job promoting the event since over 150 people are signed up. We'll probably run out of food and drinks, but it's difficult planning an event for the first time, without having any idea how many people might show up. It looks like the rain will end Thurs. night and Friday should be relatively clear but cool.
The guest column I wrote for the local paper had a short shelf life; it's no longer on the web. An article on the W&OD Trail in the same issue is still available. [The article on Bike to Work Week is still online. I was searching for my name, the author, and it was not found. When I searched for the title, sure enough, it turned up.]