Showing posts from September, 2006

Saturday Night Live

This morning I wake up to the news that the U.S. Senate has passed a bill (similar to one that already made it through the House of Representatives) to endorse George Bush’s proposals for the treatment of terror suspects - i.e. how badly they can be tortured.

I really don't understand the United States. Since the Gore/Bush election the President's Office has been like a long-running Saturday Night Live sketch. Throw a cartoon figure into the role of the President, have him lie to the country, talk like a hillbilly from Deliverance much of the time, and lead the nation into a terrible war, and then just keep going - dragging the sketch on and on until you want to shoot the television.
Not only has Bush so far escaped impeachment (see a lot more in this post), he's now going to be able to decide how cruelly terrorism suspects can be tortured -
The measure would create military commissions to prosecute terror suspects. It would bar blatant abuses of detainees but allow the Pres…

The World of Indecision

I really can't decide what to do this winter. My options are a) remain in Toronto and suck it up and do the two hour commute, by bike/public transit or public transit only, OR b) find a cheap place in Oshawa to crash in Monday to Friday and go back to the Toronto apartment with Anna on weekends.
They both have benefits. Staying solely in Toronto would save me some money, with which I could buy one of these bad boys in the spring (Specialized, Schwinn and Bianchi cross bikes, all of which take fenders):

But - staying solely in Toronto means a long winter of having basically no life. Even at the best of times right now, I get home at 6:30 and go to bed around 9:00, meaning that my daily gap of free time is 2 1/2 hours.

And finding a cheap place in Oshawa would cost me some dough, but I'd have free time, could do some writing, do some yoga and try to repair my body, and mornings wouldn't be such a terrible rush anymore.
Decisions Decisions!

In other news, please visit Joe's

Why Men Without Cars Are Sexy

Sometime next week I'm going to buy a monthly GO Train Pass for October. What this means is that I'm officially giving up the idea of doing the full morning ride to Oshawa as my means to get to work. Instead I'll be doing the bike to Danforth / Train to Whitby / bike to school version, which puts 45km on the bike for me for the whole day, so I'll still get some distance in.
I honestly don't know what I'll do this winter. I've been a winter commuter in Toronto, but doing this ride will be different, plus I'll have to figure out where to store a bike that's dripping slush and grime here at work.

Anyway.... there are SO MANY interesting stories popping up right now!!!!!
Remember how quickly and happily Pakistan signed on with Team America's fight against terrorism after 9/11? Ever wonder why? Because the Americans threatened that they'd bomb Pakistan back into the Stone Age if they didn't get on board. That's nice, eh?

I don't really kn…

Bill Bryson and why Swedes should rule the world

I'm still feeling too burnt out to be creative, so I thought I'd just steal from my current book, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

Bryson writes about Thomas Midgley, Jr., the man who invented leaded gasoline around 1921. Leaded gasoline, while being wildly destructive to humans and the environment, really made engines run smoothly, so GM, Du Pont and Standard Oil invested heavily in it - the new fuel being released for public use in 1923.

"Almost at once production workers began to exhibit the staggered gait and confused faculties that mark the recently poisoned. Also almost at once, the Ethyl Corporation embarked on a policy of calm but unyielding denial that would serve it well for decades. As Sharon Bertsch McGrayne notes in her aborbing history of industrial chemistry, Prometheans in the Lab, when employees at one plant developed irreversible delusions, a spokesman blandly informed reporters: "These men probably went insane because they worked …

Why I want a cross bike

So many things to write about and so little time!

Two of Lance Armstrong's former teammates have admitted
to doping
in 1999. One only made the admission anonymously, but the other is well-known Frankie Andreu, who has since been a commentator on OLN.
Good for them. I'm starting to think that the only solution to all the doping is for the anti-doping agencies to continue to nail people like Floyd and Tyler, to investigate Ullrich and Basso etc, and to just scare all the up and coming kids in the sport to death so that the incentive to dope just dies away.

The price of oil is the lowest it has been in ages. Hell, gas in Toronto was down around .75 recently! I know why this happens - I know that gas ping pongs from .75 to 1.10 mainly because of market panic and speculation, but holy cow, that is crazy.

AND - I was contemplating writing a post yesterday saying how I thought the great commute might be coming to an end. I never really planned to do this ride after the end of September,…

Rain on Friday Night

Before I begin, I really want to congratulate, and say "thank you," to Joe over at Biking Toronto. Besides running the most informative blog on Toronto cycling (basically, if there's any cycling event happening in Toronto, you go to Biking Toronto to get the news), Joe has also (as far as I know), single-handedly started Bike Fridays.
Previously Toronto had a once-a-year "Bike to Work" day during BikeWeek in the summer. Joe thought that should happen far more often, and has been organizing monthly Bike to Work days the last Friday of every month. The next one is Sept. 29, and for interested Torontonians, you can go to the above mentioned Bike Friday site and find a route that works for you.
Incidentally, it also appears that Joe is one of the forces behind Car Free Day. Sept. 22 is the next date for this awareness raising event regarding the various evils of automobile-centred transportation systems.

So, Thanks Joe!!

I haven't complained about the rain much sin…

Cycling's hidden moments

Before I begin, I should (sadly) admit that my blogging is about to take a nosedive. I work at a university, and September is hyper-drive nuts for me.

I've been meaning to do a post about all those little moments that cycling has that make you smile, that make you glad to be on your bike. I might start a few here, and add to this list as some more come to me.

I like the following:

When you're zooming downhill with more speed than you need, and you take a moment to reach out on the hoods, move your butt back, and do a biiigggggg cat stretch at 50km an hour.

Those times when your legs take over. When your legs sense a hill that needs to be attacked, or a swoop that needs to be taken fully advantage of, and without the thought actually crossing your mind, you're either up out of the saddle pounding into a hill, or dropping low and powering in a high gear into a dip in the road.

Times when you see a piece of glass, or a screwnail, or something tiny but vicious, and all of a sudden …