Posted May 23, 2007, 1:34 pm.


Kurt, Joe, Joey, Sid, arise!

If dead musicians hawking leather boots from some boring archetypal judaeo-christian concept of an after-life isn’t punk rock, then I don’t know what is.

Posted May 23, 2007, 1:38 am.

On Cars

Inspired by a few conversations on the topics of bike safety, wearing helmets, and investing in one’s own health, I’ve been thinking about cars a lot lately.

What we have now, at least in these United States, is a culture dominated by cars. And I worry, have we made grave miscalculations? Certainly automotive transport fills a vital role in the infrastructure of our society; the benefits are countless. But perhaps the consequences outweigh them? 1987, Heathcote Williams publishes his epic poem Autogeddon in the Whole Earth Catalog.

…This is half-way house.
Half the world’s paychecks are auto-related,
Half the world’s resources are auto-devoted,
And half the world will be involved in an auto-accident
At some time during their life.
Interconnecting roads, laid out like lattice-work,
Might sometimes strike a moderately subtle viewer
As a predatory web…

Accidental death is the third biggest killer of men in the United States, and the seventh biggest of women. Of these accidental deaths, 44.3% are classifies as Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA), according to a National Vital Statistics report.

Are these acceptable losses? Of our personal daily trips, nearly 90% are made by car, while their average distance is only 10 miles. Considering also the abundant anecdotal evidence, it’s obvious that there is a lot of unnecessary driving going on. The desire to drive, the right to drive, the need to drive is so deeply ingrained in us, so heavily thrown upon us through advertising, so encouraged that it may be hard to imagine how little and how rarely it’s actually necessary that we do drive.

If people chose to drive less, instead opting for other means of transport that didn’t involve 3 ton of steel hurling through residential areas, would this have an impact the number of MVA deaths every year? Of course it would, but I don’t presume to be able to predict by how much. Our brains time and time again fail to accurately model large statistical systems; we’re just not good at fitting big numbers in there. Sure, we can make inferences about the tendencies of large data sets, and I assume that less driving would result in fewer deaths, but to what degree I couldn’t say. For accurate statistical modeling real data is needed, and it just doesn’t exist for this hypothetical model.

“There’s a slight chance” blurs to “it’d never happen to me.” But it does happen, often. In all likelihood, it will happen to me in my lifetime, and to you in yours. This is why I worry.

Posted May 17, 2007, 8:25 pm.

Zoom Boom.

U.S. F-16s unleash “shock and awe” on South Jersey.

As a New Jersey resident once-removed, I demand the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. Their presence is only feeding fuel to the fire of sectarian violence between the North-Jerseyunnis and the South-Jerseyiites. They say we hate them “for their freedom”, but this is just mindless rhetoric. Those closer to the pulse that beats beneath the garden state would be wise to consider the possibility of “blowback”.

Posted May 17, 2007, 12:32 am.

Summer? Schway.

I’ve got an opportunity. A company that runs fully-supported cross-country group rides is looking to hire an assistant mechanic. If I got this job, I would ride my bike across the continental United States with free meals and lodgings for three months, I’d get paid to fix the bikes of other riders, and I could easily make more money than I would if I was being paid to do something I wouldn’t enjoy nearly as much.

The only problem with this plan is that it will most likely consume my entire summer, save for a few days at the ass-end in August. I wouldn’t be able to do any of the things I’ve been planning on doing, like spending weeks on the East coast with family and friends, or the same thing on the West coast for that matter. I wouldn’t be able to re-record the 20 tracks of the album High-Five Lo-Fi with Jon, I wouldn’t be able to make a movie with Molly, I wouldn’t be able to start a rockabilly fusion band with Goldy, I wouldn’t be able to play with my mom’s new kittens Presta and Schrader, I wouldn’t get to curl up in my bed and sleep for days on end.

But I would get to ride my bike through what promises to be some of the most beautiful parts of this country. I would get to make a living doing something I love, something most people pay over a grand for the chance to do. I would get to keep a travelogue. I would get to improve my talents in many adjacent fields. I would get to tune this body in to the well-oiled machine it ought to be. I would get to tune countless undoubtedly fancy bikes.

All things considered, I can’t think of any reason to not pursue this job with everything in me. I still need to send in an application and resume, so any advice concerning methods for effective coverletter/resume/skill-set writing would be greatly appreciated. I hope all this excitement isn’t for naught.

: For naught. I’m just not 21 years old enough for them.

Posted May 16, 2007, 11:42 pm.

Growing Boy

An affiliation,
of bone muscle and cord,
a heart beats unaware;
for no limb, no love.
The whole communicating
only hunger and debt,
but I’m not
listening anymore.

When you ask me,
for what won’t be the last time today,
“when are you going to come home?”
With your eyes that cut
through me like a ghost in the way,
and your voice as low as a thunder roll.

The summer comes from behind,
like an old friend you’d forgotten
and you can’t trust
anything he says nowadays.
The cottonwood chaff floats down and
it reminds me of snowfall,
but this California,
we’ll have none of that here.


Posted May 13, 2007, 9:19 pm.


“Just before the music ended, Bush turned to Falletta, who stood on a step below him, kissed the top of her head and left without saying a word.”

Wow, I want presidential kisses.

Underneath the political-elite/skull and bones/warhawkish exterior, there’s a boy who just wants to kiss up on people, and that’s something we can all relate to.

Posted May 11, 2007, 11:42 pm.

"Going straight to hell...

…so we might as well” -Jon Flores

A couple things.

M*A*S*H and Macaframa; fixie skate videos. Lucas Brunelle is also always good for making me want to ride faster.


I’m no good at giving advice to teenage girls. If you’re feeling pitiable because your boyfriend dumped you for someone else, and you’re resigned to mope around because moving on with your life is “too hard”, then being accused of living in bad faith is probably not going to help.


The initial flood of “We went to CHS together!11!! Alcohol!” seems to have died down, and I’m finding Facebook a little bit more comfortable now. It’s strange to see how complex social sites have gotten in the past few years. Facebook is a perfect example of function and design working together for a better user experience, m-space being the opposite. I still want something better though, something as ubiquitous and cross-provider as telephony. The few services I’ve seen that try to merge networking sites only seem to combine their separate contact lists, without actually merging the services. C’mon Internet Duece point Oh, get it together.

Posted May 11, 2007, 10:14 am.

Make our own fun

At 6:50 on Thursday night there were about 3 of us standing there, nervously pulling pillows from our bags. The downtown farmer’s market was in full swing and there were a lot of people in the plaza without pillows, giving us strange looks. As minutes passed I noticed more people entering the plaza with pillows over their shoulders, or under their shirts, or bulging out of their backpacks. By 6:58 there was a group of maybe 30. “How do we begin?”

At exactly 7:00 I screamed “pillow fight” at the top of my lungs. Personal space was invaded, public space was taken back, (unfortunately) no pillows exploded, good times were had. At 7:07 we fell to the ground en masse and used our pillows as they were intended.

Ryan and I began to advertise this pillow fight flash mob only four days prior, word of mouth, the internets, a couple strategically posted fliers. It seems there were almost as many people with cameras as there were pillow combatants. Next time it will be bigger, next time it will be better, next time it will be more mischievous.

Local paper coverage here, with video.

Photo by stilldavid, more available here.

Posted May 10, 2007, 2:54 pm.

Tastes like knowledge

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

NYT Magazine put out this wonderful article about four months ago, I should’ve posted it sooner. It’s a wonderful starting point for anyone concerned with what’s going in to their body.

Michael Pollan covers the ideology of nutritionism, the simplification and homogenizing of the industrialized Western diet, the overwriting of food culture by food science, and the un-sustainability of a capitalist system that pushes less-healthy more profitable foods, and then pays to develop increasingly advanced and expensive medical science to cure its problems.

Posted May 9, 2007, 12:03 am.

California Burning

A spreading brush fire in Griffith Park, Los Angeles. Everything I’ve heard about the situation thus far has been coming through citizen journalists, blogging their photos and videos. A lot of information can be found on

It’s as if a distinct language exists for such disasters. Egregious damage transformed into numbers; 600 acres scorched, 20% under control, 2,000 homes without power, 300 people evacuated so far. Verbosity is stripped away and communication streamlined. Many struggle to convey their reactions. “I wish I could convey how nuts this is.” I recall the same language on September 11th, 2001, and August 31st, 2005.

There is fear, awe, worry, disbelief. “They should have sent a poet.”

photo by Sew Darn Jenny

Posted May 3, 2007, 4:21 pm.


I’m In Ur Memes, Contributing More Obscurity.

Posted May 2, 2007, 6:50 pm.

Based on truth/events.

Went to the doctors today, because my chest hurts. I learned that nearly half of the reported cases of “this mysterious ache” are without identifiable cause. Luckily, the doctors tell me that the pains I’m experiencing are coming from the muscle around the junction of ribs and sternum, which is much better than the heart/lungs/other important stuff.

Went to the art store today, because I wanted to get a brush and some ink. I learned that cheap ink isn’t worth it, and that what I desire is a finer brush and fine motor control.

Also: 100th post, woo.

Posted May 2, 2007, 2:11 pm.

Think Alike

A familiar thought experiment:

Instead of being one of six billion people on a big planet, let’s suppose you were alone on a comparable asteroid. We’ll give you your six-billionth share of the surface area, your six-billionth share of each of the major landmasses and biomes, your own six-billionth scale Africa, your own little Australia. In other words, you will have exactly the average resource ownership of everyone else on earth…

…Your little world is a model of the sustainability problem. In some ways it is a fantasy, but the scales and constraints are real, expressed not as huge global numbers but as per capita quantities…

…The fact that the planet is finite can’t be treated as a minor facto in this crucial question: how well can we sustain ourselves, meaning a modern society of six to ten billion people?

From Grist (thanks, Dad!)

Posted May 2, 2007, 12:03 am.

Writing of riding.

It used to be I would go on my longer bike rides unaccompanied, but for the past 5 weeks I’ve been going on increasingly longer rides with friends, all of them in better shape than I. One thing I’ve discovered about riding in a group is that it’s a lot easier to ignore my body’s nagging desires to rest. I’ve also learned that I have a really terrible perception of my physical limits.

Little more than a week ago was the annual Chico Wildflower ride. A metric century (100kilometer) ride that climbs up the switchbacks of Honey run, across the buttes, back down in to the central valley, around and up Table Mountain, and then finally back down and around into Chico. I’d ridden Honey Run before, and I’d ridden Table Mountain before, but never one after another, and never amongst over 1000 other riders. The Wildflower brings an enormous crowd, some of them fully geared-out roadies, some of them people who haven’t been on their bikes in months and just want to enjoy the scenery, and a few damn fools like me, riding a fixed gear running 44x16 with an 18lb. messenger bag on my back.

Ryan (riding a balls-nasty 52x18 single-speed with flat pedals), Nathan (with lots of gears), Brad (also riding a fixed-gear bike, 42x17) and I (see damn fool above) met at Ryan’s house around 7:30. We made breakfast, double checked our bikes, and were off before 8:30. The first significant part of the ride was the climb up Honey Run. This road is a switchback that slowly climbs about 1500 feet up from the valley floor. For me, one of the most challenging aspects of this climb is simply maintaining momentum, even if I’m only pushing 5mph. As soon as I let myself come to a complete stop, the task of starting up again becomes a grueling ordeal.

Last Sunday Ryan, Nathan, Quin and I completed an imperial century (100mile) ride. It was mostly flats with a few rolling hills, but it challenged something inside me I never knew the location of before. Highlights included hundreds (if not millions) of sparrows flying out from their mud nest on the side of a bridge, and riding alongside a herd of galloping horses (just like in American Flyers).

Next Sunday we are scheming a ride of about 90-100 miles, but this time it will include over 3500 feet of climbing. If I die, bury me with my bike.

Posted May 1, 2007, 10:20 pm.

And Frank'd

Drew this up for breakfast, click to enlarge.

I found that quote from Ms. Frank on the bottom of a cap of a bottle of tea. I think writing conversation could be a lot more interesting than a monologue, so Le Danse Electrique has effectively replaced Foil’d Revolutionaire (especially since whatever Foil’d Revolutionaire was is now gone the way of the great deleting, sigh…).

I’ve already started working on expanding this page out into a larger and much more coherent piece, so you can stop worrying.

Self-indulgent philosophical double-speak through the mouths of two skeletons set against a backdrop of a fantasy American-midwest trapped in time (feat. famous zombified scientists somehow). That’s what I call a tagline.

Posted May 1, 2007, 2:05 pm.

126,144,000 Seconds Later

May 1, 2003, President Bush landed on the USS Lincoln aircraft carrier and declared that

“Major combat operations have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

Think Progress has the numbers, and they’re as bad as you’d expect.

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