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Monday, January 29, 2007
 Ped/bike conditions in New York City 
The NY Times has an op-ed piece, The City That Never Walks, on conditions in the city for pedestrians and bicyclists.
...here in New York, we even have the debate over bicycle traffic backwards. We focus on drivers’ complaints about the bicycle commuter who races through red lights, rather than on the concerns of the mother biking her child around organic-food delivery trucks that idle in bike-only lanes. In December, the police say, a bicyclist was killed on the Hudson River Greenway by a drunken driver speeding along a bike lane that was completely separated from the road. Asked what was being done to improve safety in light of the biker’s death, Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested that bikers “pay attention”

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Thursday, January 25, 2007
 Recumbent blog 
The Recumbent Blog continues to contain many good articles about recumbents and cycling in general. The new TerraCycle LWB Light Mount, mentioned earlier in the week, is a very useful add-on for those riding long wheelbase recumbents like the Tour Easy. It mounts on the fork and the light is not obstructed by cables or a fairing. In today's post there is good advice to those who ride regularly with a significant other or friend.

And then there's the new titanium Barcroft Virginia. It's not a pretty frame but looks comfortable and is very light.

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 Gore Vidal and Robert Stone 
Both Gore Vidal and Robert Stone recently published their memoirs. I couldn't bring myself to purchase a new hardcover book. I did happen across Vidal's book, Point to Point Navigation, at the library. I enjoyed his first memoir, Palimpsest, about his early life. In Point to Point Navigation he reminisces about his later years in a rather random, free association fashion that is still entertaining. He has been involved with an amazing number of influential people from the last 50 years.

Instead of reading his memoirs, I happened across a relatively recent novel by Robert Stone, Bay of Souls. I enjoyed his earlier novels, especially A Flag for Sunrise. He's one of those rare authors whose work rarely disappoints.

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 Bike Friday tikit - 01- the fastest folding bicycle 
Here's a video of someone folding the new 16-inch wheel Bike Friday, the tikit, posted using Google Video's "post to blog" function. It appears to be a very portable bike. One nice feature is the ability to roll it when folded using the front wheel:
This is a demonstration of the new Bike Friday tikit being released February 2007.

The bikes folds very easily and with some practise you'll be able to fold it within 5 seconds! The unfolding (see other video) can be done in 2 seconds. No screws, no quick releases, no fuss!

For more information please see: www.bikefriday.com or www. bikefriday.de

Cycle safe!

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 Retrofitting the burbs 
One of the problems with suburban living is the lack of nearby neighborhood stores, places to walk or bike to pick up a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread, a book. In Northern Virginia there are acres and acres of suburbs located miles from the nearest convenience store. People are finally realizing the importance of mixed use developments. There is a solution. Why not retrofit these older suburbs by allowing the development of old-fashioned corner stores. They may end up being as banal as a local Starbucks, but they would bring life back to these sterile environments. Many battles would have to be fought to overcome the NIMBY attitudes, but I think it would be worth the fight.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The other day I fixed a simple lunch of fruit and cheese. It was a clear, sunny day and the dining room table was washed in sunlight. It made for a beautiful setting and I took these two pictures to capture the moment.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007
 Martin Scorsese 
Martin Scorsese won the Golden Globe award for Best Director for his film The Departed. That's not particularly big news for me but it's a lead-in for this drawing done from a Washington Post article on his chances for winning the award this year.

This year I thought about posting a drawing a day during the month of January, as I did in 2004. It didn't quite work out that way so I'll post a few as they are produced. Most are simple sketches done quickly, but it still takes time, and more importantly inspiration. One doesn't always feel like creating a drawing, but by doodling and getting warmed up, that feeling can be coaxed out.

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 Springtime in January 
It's another spring-like day, although it's about to change, with a cold front coming in during the day today. We've been busy at the shop, since the riding season hasn't ended and we're getting ready for the upcoming season. The new bike models are arriving and people are coming in to try them out. We're closed today so I'll be going downtown to attend the regional bike/ped committee meeting, probably overheated going in and freezing coming back. With the constant fluctuations in temperature it's hard to get acclimated to colder weather.

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Friday, January 12, 2007
This is my drawing from a botanical drawing in the New York Times in an article on the Pittosporum which has flowers that smell like orange blossoms.

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 Bicycle cellphone charger 
Motorola is developing a bicycle cellphone charger
Motorola Inc. will release a new, bicycle-powered cellphone charger aimed at Third World residents who lack regular household power supplies.

Zander said with the bicycle-wheel power source and handlebar mounted cradle, the phones will be even more attractive in emerging markets. Many people overseas live in areas where regular power feeds are scarce. As a result, simply charging a cellular phone becomes a problem.

With the bicycle charging system, Zander hopes to tap into the more than 500 million Chinese people who ride a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007
 The Mystery of Picasso 

Found a link to this video on kottke.org. It's a fascinating look at the creative process. What appears is the result of an automatic post to this blog from Google Video, which include this added text: "Time lapse of Pablo Picasso painting in oils, allowing us to see his creative process at work."

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Friday, January 05, 2007
 Basel street scene 
When in Basel this fall I took lots of photos, many of street scenes like this. We enjoyed walking the streets, discovering the various stores and watching the people, dodging trams and bikes, wandering. It's that kind of city.

This is a quick sketch from one of those photos. I don't remember the street name (Falknerstrasse?). We ate a lunch of falafel sandwiches in front of a small kabob place nearby.

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 Seymour Martin Lipset 
His picture was in the Post obituaries recently. It's a simple pen and ink drawing that I think turned out well; simple, bold, and that captured a fair likeness.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007
 Philip Roth 
I happened across this photo of Philip Roth in an old New Yorker magazine (1aug05, p.75; does not include the photo). It's an excellent image of him as a younger man smoking a cigarette, his hand in perspective that is difficult to capture in a drawing.

The drawing was done in ink. I start most of my drawings of a face near the center, usually on the right eyebrow (subjects right), and work outward. This goes against what I was taught, which is to draw the outline of the head, making sure that the width and height are correct, then estimating the placement of the eyes, the tip of the nose, the mouth, etc. By working outward I judge those locations in relation to each other. You run the risk of making a major error in size or placement of facial parts, but it seems to work ok for me.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007
 Sago Mine disaster 
Fred Jamison survived the Sago Mine disaster. I liked his face. The drawing was from a photo in the paper. It doesn't much look like him but I like the drawing anyway. The online image is much larger, and the drawing probably would have been better had I used that image.

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Ken Kesey's infamous bus Further is still around and there's an effort underway to restore it to it's former glory. I fondly remember reading about Kesey and his Merry Pranksters in Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, a great chronicle of the wackiness of the 60's.

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