Friday, December 19, 2008

Bringing the well to the thirsty



Wired Online has a story up called Study Says Cars Make Us Fat.

-----
"Countries with the highest levels of active transportation generally had the lowest obesity rates," Bassett and Pucher conclude in the study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. "Walking and bicycling are far more common in European countries than in the United States, Australia and Canada. Active transportation is inversely related to obesity in these countries."

Nowhere is this more obvious than the United States, where 12 percent of the population walks, rides a bike or takes mass transit, and as many as one in three people are obese.
-----

Ever think that sometime in the 22nd or 23rd century (if we last that long) a primary school history teacher is going to tell their class about the 20th century and sprawlurbia and building cities that necessitated traveling in pollution emitting / natural resource consuming automobiles, and some cute kid is going to put up his or her hand and say "What did they do that for?" and there simply won't be a good answer?

P.S. Get a kick out of wacky philosophy books? Take a look at this series from Open Court Publishing in Chicago.
James Bond and Philosophy, Johnny Cash and Philosophy, the Undead and Philosophy... they're even doing one in 2009 called Jimmy Buffett and Philosophy.

So a quick look tells me that Buffett has songs with titles like:
* The Missionary
* Captain America
* Truckstop Salvation
* God Don't Own a Car
* My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don't Love Jesus

Perhaps a Buffet / Philosophy book isn't as crazy as I thought!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Land Ethic (or, are we screwed?)


I've been reading about Aldo Leopold, a conservationist, amateur philosopher, and one of the earliest of the modern day eco-warriors. In 1949 he wrote the first edition of the Sand County Almanac, and most notably within this book, his piece The Land Ethic, which was very much of a throwing-down of the environmental gauntlet.

What Leopold did was assert that the long held assumption that humans only had moral obligations towards other humans was wrong - that it didn't go far enough. There was no real thought within philosophy that along with humans, maybe plants, animals and ecosystems had rights as well. In the Land Ethic, Leopold says that humans, plants, animals, the entire ecosystem, should be considered one thing - a "biotic community". In considering what a moral action is, he wrote A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

I basically agree with this, but nothing is easy. If we are to state (what I consider a defensible argument) that the earth doesn't really have the carrying capacity to support 6 billion people (much less the 9 billion the U.N. expects by 2050) - does this mean that too many humans = a fractured biotic community, and that getting rid of some of these humans is morally correct? Leopold's position has been attacked in just this way before. Later philosophers, like J. Baird Callicot have tried to refine Leopold's argument so that it doesn't seem to legitimize setting limits on world population.


A lot of the climate change literature makes you scratch your head though and wonder what the hell it will take to get humanity to live sustainably on this pale blue dot of ours.
My library has a number of the climate change books that have been coming out the last couple years. This topic is actually so hot that the literature defending the climate change deniers has even become respectable... for example this one and this one.

Anyway, I was leafing through Humanity's Footprint, which is a very academic book put out by Columbia University Press, and love this chapter title:
Seven - Searching for Answers: Can we achieve sustainability, or are we Screwed?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Plus ca change

I just read this story about the nearly finished bailout of the Detroit Three automakers.

I love these points:
- A breakthrough came when Democrats agreed to scrap language — which the White House had called a poison pill — that would have forced the carmakers to drop lawsuits challenging tough emissions limits in California and other states, said congressional aides.

- Environmentalists already were livid that the measure draws the emergency loans from an existing loan program to help carmakers retool their factories to make greener cars.



So are North American governments REALLY going to take this opportunity to force the big three to turn green? They haven't pulled enough crap over the last 80 some years, so we're just going to shrug and say "Hey - keep up your lawsuits against cleaner air measures?"

Once we got the tobacco companies in a headlock we kept the pressure on them, are we not going to do that with the car companies?

plus ca change, plus c'est la meme

Friday, December 05, 2008

Turn it into a sexy dance

More so than hell, I think the road to winter fitness is paved with good intentions. Though it has since fallen apart, I had a good start to my quest to get into shape this winter - allowing me to be a hill-climbing machine right out of the gate this spring.
trek_trainer
I set my Trek up on my trainer, down in my basement, and with IPOD in my ears I felt fairly energized, and seemed, for about two weeks, not to be succumbing to that "holy crap, training in the basement is damned boring and depressing" bug that is associated with this type of training.

At the same time, and this is a project I'll be working on all winter, as money is saved to buy new parts, I've been working on my brother's old beater mountain bike.
norco_onstand
When I picked it up, the chain and gears were rusted enough that they weren't even moving anymore. A firm believer in the theory that everyone needs a bare-bones, maintenance free, single-speed commuter, I'm turning the bike into a single-speed, as I've done with a few bikes before. I'm going to be a complete idiot actually, and put some very good (entry level race for example) wheels onto the bike. I can't wait to give it back to my brother and let him feel what a difference it makes to strip crap parts off of a frame, and replace them with good parts.

house_tree
Anyway, the single-speed project will keep going on, but I don't see how I'm going to get the training in. My town of Orillia has already had several snowstorms, and (see picture below) I have the longest driveway in the world, plus a few other walkways to shovel. I have never been able to train in the evening, but every morning these days my training time is over-ruled by having to get out and get shovelling.

long_driveway
It's kind of ironic, because my wife and I rarely drive. I'm a bit too green to give up and buy a snowblower, so it's a shovelling life for me. Come summer, rather than great legs and great cardio ability, I'll have a bad back, good abs, and strong shovelling arms.

I really wanted to, but I don't really "get" HBO's Flight of the Conchords. I do however really like this song and performance. That's why they call it business socks!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

who's gonna take the weight?

As is my usual pattern, in September when the students come back I have very little time for blogging.

But - here's the important thing - Orillia had its first ever bike rally!
rally1

Up to the last minute, we weren't sure what kind of turn out to expect. Through word of mouth, all of the serious cyclists in the area knew about the event, but how many "people with a bike in the garage" folks would come out, we weren't sure. In the end we had 100 people do an easy 10km loop through the city. Much to my relief, no one got hit by a car and the first bike rally wasn't marred by an accident.

rally8

I think it was a nice bit of bike activism, and we even had two federal political candidates do the ride (conservative and green party). Hopefully the rally, and an upcoming report on active transportation, will spur some movement in this town.

morningride4


I didn't start work until 11:00a.m. today, so I did that ride I was doing in the summer, out to a town called Hawkestone and back. Beautiful morning to be on a cross bike on some trails.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

the active transportation hurricane

To begin - anyone else think the guy leaving comments on this post is a little bit too angry about something?

During my life in Toronto, I took part in a few cycling events, and organized that petition, but never really got involved with cycling activism the way I thought I should. When I moved to Orillia, I wanted to get involved in city life and look into bike issues, and so I won a spot on a city committee that deals with trails in general (more commonly hiking / nature trails) and a small group of us from this committee have started promoting active transportation issues.



This is fun stuff. Orillia has had a strong recreational cycling culture for a while, but very little of a commuting cycling culture. Cycling infrastructure doesn't really exist here at all - there are next-to-no bike parking posts in this town, and no bike lanes which are useful for journeying to work/school etc (i.e. no bike lanes going through or across town).

So - we're trying to get something started here. On Sept. 10th we're running a bike/walk to work day, and a Bike Rally (think a critical mass ride, but one in a small town where you're forced to get a parade permit from the cops). We've also been handed responsibility for buying bike parking posts, and we're planning an active transportation report which will wake council up to the importance of shifting planning away from cars to public transit/bikes/walking.

It's kind of like being at the beginning of a revolution - active transportation makes so much sense as a solution to so many problems, that you wonder why governments aren't being as vocal as these guys are about replacing car trips with bike and walking trips.

As they mention over at Dandyhorse - Bicycles lie at the intersection of two of today’s fastest growing trends: personal physical health and urban sustainability.

About time - we never should have fallen for the automobile dependence con-job in the first place.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Orillia Team Tri wrap-up

On Sunday, my brother (in the middle), my partner Anna and I did the team relay at the Orillia triathlon. I biked, my brother ran, and Anna swam, and we came in 9th out of 21 teams.

As I mentioned below, on Saturday my Trek road bike, which I haven't ridden much this summer, was shifting terribly. The front derailleur was throwing the chain over the big ring onto the crank arm every time I tried shifting from the small to the big ring. A choice I considered for a while was shifting my road wheels onto my Jamis cross-bike. This ended however when I picked up the cross-bike right after picking up the Trek, and noticed the 6 pound difference between the two bikes. So, I said "screw it" and decided just to ride the whole race in the big chain ring.

This obviously isn't ideal, but it all turned out fine actually. I did a bunch of training rides on the race route prior to the race, and knew exactly how all the hills worked (and how all the downhills worked, i.e. where I had no business being below 50km/hr). So in the three spots on the route where it would have been nice to have the small ring, I just got out of the saddle and hammered the best I could, and in the end I did the 33km in 1:01:07 - coming in fifth out of the 21 cyclists in the team tri. My brother came in fifth out of the 21 runners, so we put on a pretty good show.

PS - Anna got called in as the swimmer only a week or two prior to the race, when my friend Duncan messed up his leg. Thanks for being brave and doing the swim for us Anna!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

damned derailleurs and farmers

So - regarding the below mentioned triathlon that I'm participating in tomorrow, I have a spot of bother. I haven't actually ridden the carbon Trek in ages, and ever since I bought it the bike has had front derailleur issues. I tried riding it around today and the derailleur kept throwing the chain over the big chain ring, no matter what I did with the limit screw.

I almost decided to put my road wheels onto my Jamis cross bike today, switching over the cassette, but in the process of lifting the Jamis and the Trek, with the Jamis weighing... I don't know... 6 pounds more than the Trek... I couldn't bring myself to do it. So screw it. I'm riding the Trek tomorrow and I'm not going to use the smaller chainring at all. I'll let you know how this goes.



Another dumb thing I did today - the day before a race - was ride 50 km (on the Jamis). I tried to go Friday afternoon (had the day off) but right when I was set to go, thunder started rumbling in the distance, with grey clouds filling the sky. So, fairly pissed (this has been a wet and crappy summer here in Ontario), I called off the ride, but was really anxious to go this morning.
Anyway - on Burnside Line - a quiet two lane 80 km / hour road that runs south into Orillia, I was cycling along with almost no traffic around me, when a pickup that was headed towards me veered over into my lane and more or less played chicken with me for 15 or 20 seconds, veering back when he was maybe 20 metres away from me.

And it wasn't even some stupid kid! It was about a 55 year old guy with white hair who looked like a normal guy that you'd run into at the farmer's market or something. Jackass. I sat up in the saddle and held my arms out in the "what the f*&K was that" pose, but it totally slipped my mind to get the guys license plate.

I can't wait for peak oil. You old guys and your pickup trucks... enjoy it while it lasts.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Orillia Triathlon & Tuco's bike collection


Although I can't claim to have ever been a "racer", from 2003 to 2005 I did lots of running races and several duathlons. Since moving to Orillia - where I walk most places and haven't been road riding much - I've completely fallen out of cycling shape. Not letting that deter me, I'm doing the cycling portion of a team tri this weekend - the annual Northern (Orillia) Triathlon.

Now, coincidentally, way before I moved to Orillia, I did the duathlon here twice, in 2003 and 2004, coming about middle of the pack in my age group both times, and doing the 33km bike portion in about 1:05 each time. Ironically, in 2003/04, when I was probably in the best shape I'll ever be in, I was riding the worst road bike I'll probably ever own. I mean, it was my first road bike and it did what entry level bikes are supposed to do (ie addict you to the sport) but it was a heavy chromo frame with low level Shimano Sora and whatever type of wheelset you get with a $500.00 bike.

I'll always wish that I had the Cervelo Soloist that I owned for a while in 2006/2007 when I was racing in 2003/2004, just to see what a difference the (much!) better bike would have made in my placings.
Anyway - here is what I'm hoping: that the new(ish) Trek (pictured above) and my local knowledge of the bike route, and the fact that the bike portion is all I have to do, will balance out my much better 2003/04 fitness level, and let me come close to the 1:05 mark again. Fingers and toes crossed.

So the last time I did a bike roundup, was in April 2007. In that picture we see my girlfriends' Giant and KHS, and my Kona Hahanna, Kona Dew Deluxe, Cervelo Soloist, and almost invisible, my Cannondale road bike.
In August 2008 we now have Anna's KHS, and a Specialized CrossTrail (bought to ride the rail trails here in Simcoe County). She still owns the Giant, but it is a terrible bike, more or less on permanent loan to a friend in Toronto.

My collection is almost completely different. The only two bikes which remain are the Kona Hahanna and the Cannondale, but both were reinvented and now live very happily as freewheel singlespeeds. I sold the Cervelo and I gave the Hahanna to my brother.

Added since April 2007 is my Jamis Nova cross bike, my Trek (which is actually a bit too big for me and I need to get a smaller stem when I have money again), and the Raleigh that my dad bought for $50.00 at a garage sale, and which I've had fun riding around town on a few times. The bike dangling badly from the wall is my brother's Norco mountain bike, which is falling apart, and which I'm planning to turn into a single-speed, but as mentioned I have no money so it'll have to wait for a while.
Additionally, I have the Fleetwing that Geoffrey gave me. I keep it in Bancroft though, to ride when I visit my parents.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

We need a freeway, not a bikepath...

Newsweek has two stories up now that people might be interested in:

Why the government wants you to drive more discusses the subsidization of automobile culture by the federal government in the States. The writer calculates the the feds spend approximately $100 billion a year on driving related subsidies. What's the best news?
The Transportation Department reported that Americans drove 9.6 billion fewer miles in May 2008 than in May 2007, a 3.7 percent drop. The result: rising demand for mass transit and declining revenues for the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which is funded by gas taxes. The Bush administration's counterintuitive policy response, as the New York Times reported, has been for the Highway Trust Fund to borrow funds from the department's mass-transit account.

Yes - President Bush pulled money OUT of mass transit to put into the highway system.


And Pedal vs. Metal is about the growing popularity of cycling causing friction between motorists and cyclists, now that motorists are feeling their superiority on the roads being threatened.

Ah well, tough for them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

open letter to the guy who stole my bike wheel

Police in Toronto have recently recovered over 3000 stolen bicycles. An investigation into one notoriously shady bike shop owner has led them to all these bikes, and the "reuniting" process - owners coming in with proof of ownership - has gone very slowly.
I personally think that they're going to end up with at least 2500 bikes that they have to get rid of somehow. Traditionally, this would be done via a police auction, but even if they do this, I can't see them selling 2500 bikes.
Instead, I think that, in this age of active transportation, the cops should search for a good way to use these bikes, and my solution, despite the problem of annual costs, is for the province of Ontario to take these bikes and then hand them out to cities across the province to start up bike share programs. If municipalities balk at the ongoing costs, up the gasoline tax and give the revenue to the cities to cover the bike share program.

As the price of oil is sliding away from the $145.00 / barrel mark, Business Week has an article about whether or not oil should be cheap.
Expensive energy, in many ways, is good. Why? When the price of oil goes up, people will use less, find substitutes, and develop new supplies. Those effects are just basic economics. Things are so painful now, many economists say, because of the past two decades of cheap oil. Prices stayed low in part because they didn't reflect the full cost of extras such as pollution, so there was little incentive to use energy more wisely. If those extras had been counted, the country would be better prepared for both today's soaring prices and the day that global oil production begins to decline.

I wasn't really in love with this year's tour, probably because I was simply too busy to pay much attention, but I loved Sastre's attack on Alpe-d'Huez. Stay quiet for two and a bit weeks, make sure no one is even talking about you, and then, on a 210km day which has three climbs so tough they can't even be categorized using pro cycling's classification system, simply explode on the last climb and gain enough time on everyone else to win the tour. Mountains rock.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

From Orillia to Coldwater on the Uhthoff Trail

Leading out from Orillia there are a few old rail trails that are fun to ride, especially if you have a cyclocross bike and can put the hammer down to ride at speed for a while.
You can click on all these photos to go to my Flickr page, and look at the large version of these photos if you like
nearorillia2
This morning I went north out of Orillia and rode the Uhthoff Trail to a town called Coldwater, which is a 25km trip one way.
aroundhalfway
The ride is dead flat the entire way. It's also pretty much dead straight - so it isn't exactly the most interesting ride in the world. However, it is really nice to be cycling all alone through forests and past farmland for two hours.
hayfield
In places the trail is a bit overgrown. It's a shame, but I don't think this trail gets used very much, not like the Oro-Medonte trail which goes between Barrie and Orillia. After turning around in Coldwater, and starting the ride back to Orillia, I passed two ladies on bikes who were going to give up with their ride - worried that there was actually a lot of poison ivy in the overgrown sections.
overgrowth
If there is poison ivy in there (and it's very possible), I might be immune because I got through without lots of scratching occurring later in the day. Actually, I also scared up a skunk this morning, which I was lucky to encounter when I was riding fast, and he didn't have time to spray me.
sunlightforest
So, this trail isn't perfect, but it is worth doing. It's listed on the Huronia Trails and Greenways website, and I also found another gentleman talking about the trail on his website.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Batman

To go along with this old classic Campy Batman panel, Macleans magazine here in Canada has given us another example of a Batman comic, which, in 2008, just makes you giggle (if, like me, you have a weakness for juvenile humour).

P.S. - You can click on this image to get a slightly bigger, more readable version (once on the Flickr page, click on the All Sizes link and view the Large version).
batman_joker


P.P.S. - if you look at the big version, at look at the newspaper in the Joker's hands, even the headline is funny... Chortle at the Joker's Boner!

And, from this page, here's why the Dutch are awesome - they even have trailside garbage bins designed for cyclists!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Naked, you are blue as a night in Cuba

Yeah, you have to love Pablo Neruda (supplier of my subject line up there).

Peak Oil is even becoming a popular topic in academic and college magazines! This article from the Chronicle mentions that within 10 years of the peak, if we are to come anywhere close to the type of living that we have right now, alternative fuels will have to be able to produce as much energy as Saudia Arabia currently produces, by far the world's largest oil producer. The article is mainly about how colleges and universities need to start reassessing their entire business model in preparation for the end of cheap oil.

jamisforest1
I'm really loving my Jamis. You know when a bike stops being some bike that you bought, and becomes your best friend, or your brother or something? My Jamis has pretty much reached that point. I'm currently riding it in training for the Orillia triathlon. I'm only doing the cycling portion, in a relay with my brother and a friend. My friend who is swimming has the hardest job - over the last few weeks thousands of carp have been dying in the same body of water that the swim portion of the triathlon is being held in. Hopefully all the triathletes will come out of the water with the proper number of limbs.

nashbar
Nashbar could really do me a favour by NOT having these amazing sales all the time, just to drive me crazy. As I'm about to blow all my money on a house and wedding, I'd rather they had a few months of "Sorry! We're jacking up all our prices!!" promotions.

owen_shreddies
This is my cat Owen. Our orange one, Clarence, is cuter, but Owen has more personality. This cereal box was lying on the floor, inspiring him to take a running leap/dive into it, break through the other side, and then propel himself around the floor in the box for a while.

Annalise's cousin Mary came to Orillia a little while back, and using her nifty digital recorder, we made a couple music videos. They're all here on YouTube if you're curious. Being the suckiest, I just did two, but Mary and Annalise have four up there I think.

P.S., we tried, but our videos are quite as good as those from Feist:

Monday, July 07, 2008

mariposa folk festival

Holy Cow, I have not been blogging very much. I do have some very valid reasons however... getting married in September, bought a house and moving in on July 31..
old muskoka_front
pretty busy at work, and busy with the trails for life committee that I'm on in Orillia, specifically helping write a report on Active Transportation that we're going to send to city council. I'll be drawing on some material from my active transportation articles for the report (mainly the calamitous health effects of automobile exhaust from article 2).
festivallocation_map
Enjoying the first "summery" thing I've done this year, we spent the weekend at the Mariposa Folk Festival. The festival is in Orillia, and we spent the weekend cycling from our house in the north part of the city, along the lake, to Tudhope Park where the festival is situated, mainly on that northward point of land which means that when you're walking around the festival there is water all around you.
mariposa6
My God, it was a gorgeous weekend, with crystal clear blue skies from Friday to Sunday, and amazing music no matter what stage you plunked yourself down at.
mariposa8
I even ran into a guy I worked with around 2000 at Indigo Books in Toronto. I remember him being a full-on cyclist back when I knew him (when he closed the store at midnight he used to just fly around the city on his bike on the nighttime streets, enjoying having the streets to himself). Turns out he'd cycled up from Toronto to Orillia (not sure how far that is... but at least 120kim). Now this is obviously very doable, and every guy doing Sunday rides with his buddies probably does this... but my co-worker was carrying gear to camp for three nights... that ups the difficulty a bit.
mariposa1
Anyway, it was a great weekend, and for me the highlights include the following:
plaskett_1
Seeing Joel Plaskett about three times, and finally understanding why he's taking the Canadian music world by storm (he performed Natural Disaster so powerfully at one point, that it left your heart in your throat)....
jorynash
Seeing Jory Nash, J.P. Cormier, Pavlo, and Dala do a Gordon Lightfoot tribute set. Jory Nash is a great storyteller, and despite not having a powerful voice, he gets a lot of soul into his singing. Dala was great as well, but what was really wicked was hearing Cormier and Pavlo play together. Pavlo is a spanish guitarist, and Cormier is an eastcoast maritime player. Pavlo took some Lightfoot songs and played them acoustically with no vocal, and he'd nod at Cormier and the two of them would improvise long, amazing guitar riffs with each other.
dala_2
And for a final note, it was really a revelation to discover Dala - two girls from Scarborough who have amazingly ethereal vocals, and a great sense of humour. I must have seen them perform with J.P. Cormier twice, because it wouldn't have been the Lightfoot set when they did a Neil Young cover, and when they finished, and their voices were still drifting over the crowd, Cormier said "I think I just saw God...... Jesus..... I hate crying during a set" (he was kind of joking, but still...).

Anyway - after a lot of lame weather, I think I finally feel like summer is here. Hope everyone is doing well out there in blogland!

P.S. did a lot of night cycling this weekend, and for anyone who rides at night the Firefly Supernovas from Road I.D. are awesome. I had one velcroed around my ankle, and we stuck one onto Anna's backpack, and just with these two you are so lit up that you look like a city maintenance truck with all its warning and hazard lights going.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What you guys rebelling against?


A little while back I posted a question with a couple of groups in Facebook asking if anyone knew of any books about bicycle culture - especially the history of the recent explosion of bicycle activism. Nobody answered my posts, and I tucked the idea of writing my own book on this topic into my back pocket (I've also written to Bicycling Magazine asking if they'd consider publishing an article on bike bloggers. So far I've had no reply).
Well - it looks like a book on this has arrived. Chris Carlsson has written Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today.




This curious, multifaceted phenomenon constitutes an important arena of autonomous politics. The bicycle has become a cultural signifier that begins to unite people across economic and racial strata. It signals a sensibility that stands against oil wars and the environmental devastation wrought by the oil and chemical industries, the urban decay imposed by cars and highways, the endless monocultural sprawl spreading outward across exurban zones. This new bicycling subculture stands for localism, a more human pace, more face-to-face interaction, hands-on technological self-sufficiency, reuse and recycling, and a healthy urban environment that is friendly to self-propulsion, pleasant smells and sights, and human conviviality.
Fixed photo from this page.

P.S. - my left I.T. band basically aches all the time these days. me no likey.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Cycling with e.e. cummings

Up and on the bike early - rained hard all night but sun broke out nicely on a day meant to hit 30Celsius.

creekfromtrail2

up into the silence the green
silence with a white earth in it

you will(kiss me)go

out into the morning the young
morning with a warm world in it
hawkstonebridge2
(kiss me)you will go

on into the sunlight the fine
sunlight with a firm day in it
creekjamis3
you will go(kiss me

down into your memory and
a memory and memory

i)kiss me,(will go)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Say goodbye to suburban living

The June 9th issue of Macleans magazine has a good cover story titled After Cheap Oil.
I guess I'm mainly impressed because - finally - peak oil is in the mainstream media, and blurbs like You won't be able to eat, travel or live as you do now. Say goodbye to the age of plenty are appearing on the covers of national popular magazines.

Here are a few good passages:

Last week, the International Energy Agency said it will re-examine the oil supply in 400 major oil fields around the world - a sobering acknowledgement that there may be even less oil than once thought. Even industry insiders are waking to the idea that the world is nearing the supply wall. Last year, former U.S. energy secretary james Schlesinger declared the battle is over, the peakists have won.

Peak Oil theory...describes the point at which the supply of oil can no longer keep up with the world's growing demand... When supplies run short oil prices don't just go up, they skyrocket. A 2005 U.S. government report concluded that a four percent shortfall would result in a 177 per cent increase in oil prices.

P.S. - none of this should be new to anybody. Heck, Hubbert Theory goes back to the 1950's.


And this really terrible picture comes from this story.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Keep adding stones

I did much the same route as mentioned in the post below, but stopped at a couple different places to take some photos.
may30_pond

When I've been on these morning rides south of Orillia, I'm simply reveling in the joy of cycling through forests, past lakes, along country roads, with almost no traffic anywhere near me. It makes it very easy for me to believe that nature deficit disorder (wait for ad to clear and Enter Salon link to show in upper right corner) is a very real problem.

may30_lakeedge

After a bit of a break, I'm doing the Becel Ride for the Heart this weekend. I'll be doing it on the new Trek, and it'll probably be the fifth different bike I've used for this ride.
may30_countryroad

I don't know if there's anything sweeter than being up early in the morning and riding a well tuned bike along a well paved country road. I love it when you're all alone, see a small hill coming up, attack it like you're breaking away from the peloton in the Tour, and after you crest the hill you see a second one and you go "oh crap" and sit back in the saddle and start clicking your chain up to your biggest cog. Yeah, we all suck, but its still fun.

You know what I love most about the Scott McClellan / George Bush story? The response from hard-core Republicans like Karl Rove that (their formerly loyal buddy) McClellan has either a) gone insane, in which case we should pity him, or b) let a left wing blogger/ghost writer use his name to generate more publicity for a book attacking Bush.

The implication? There's no way the former Bush Press Secretary actually thinks that Bush bullied the country into an immoral war. Come On!! he's obviously insane!!! Oh there's no talking to you pinkos... where's my limo... I gotta go blow up more of the third world somewhere...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

As sweet as tupelo honey


At my last job, I was biking about 66km one way to get to work in the morning, passing through the strip malls and strip housing of Scarburbia.

This year, I can either walk straight to work in 20 minutes, or I can suit up and go for a long optional bike ride in the morning. It's pretty sweet. If you live in Orillia, and if you get up early, pack your bag and clip into the pedals on your Jamis, and follow this route out of town into the countryside, you see lots of farmland, four deer, and lots of waterfront.