Sunday, December 30, 2007

Video roundup.

Oh the vastness of the internet.

Whatever you think art is or isn't, your opinion is most likely represented here.

I know you've all seen the bulldog on the skateboard, but this jack russell terrier puts Tony Hawk to shame!

It's almost too bad that the world's most ambitious stop-motion project was done in an effort to sell TVs. Almost.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Little Housekeeping

Blog-off Update:

This just in: contrary to earlier reports that the members of TheMonstro had all suffered either massive computer problems or bodily injuries that prevented typing, there appear to be at least two TheMonstro bloggers (or monstronauts as they prefer to be called) capable of posting updates. "They're definitely still alive," Sam Johnson, senior blog rivarly corespondent said Thursday, "I just don't think they know they've been challenged to a blog-off." The initial challenge to a blog-off was issued well over one week ago, and the lack of activity over at TheMonstro would suggest that none of those guys read this blog. "There is a small chance that TheMonstro's bloggers simply don't care about being made total fools of on the internet, or even being called things like namby-panby, 'fraidy-cat, weaklings. I never thought this could happen, mostly due to the intensely competitive instincts usually found in [monstronaut] Aaron Mandel. I knew him in college, and he was a total savage, but I guess he turned into a big sissy," Johnson said.

The Quest for the Tights That Were Never There:

For those of you following my attempt to procure a tasty pair of thermal bibtights for a tasty price, it appears I was chasing a mirage. (the online retailer offering the deal) finally received my check, but had long since sold out of the ones I wanted. I told them to shred the check. The cycling gods did not want me to have bibtights this winter. I have learned not to piss off the gods. The tights I have are just fine, the six year-old bright blue ones with the hole in the crotch. They've got another season in them no problem!

Ari is Still in India:

For those of you who know my friend Ari Phillips, you most likely already check his travel blog on a regular basis. For those who don't, but are interested in reading some quick-witted musings by a young American artist/music aficionado I'd recommend paying this blog a visit. Ari works for a small time publishing company as a designer. How he got hooked up with this job is anyone's guess, but he gets to see the country, and make enough money to buy fish and lime juice along the way. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

BLOG FIESTA 2007 cool-down/Re: Cycling Weenies

Well that concludes the 2007 Blog Fiesta. I found that upon arriving at the Minneapolis International Airport, my desire to "blog till the cows come home" was satisfied. To my surprise, the cows actually made it home well before I did. You should consider yourself lucky you even got those poems out of me. It took me 19 hours of travel time to go from Kansas City to Boise. According to google maps, I could have driven there in exactly that amount of time. I did give myself the master tour of the Minneapolis airport, and I'll tell ya -- wow -- it's a doosie!

On another note, Gus and I have been going to the gym a lot. Mostly I do my cyclist-specific stuff outlined carefully in my personalized online weight training guide over at; however Gus's workouts have a way of rubbing off on me, and inspiring me to work on my "total body fitness", which means (gasp!) exercising my arms. Now I'm not looking to "bulk up", or even gain any muscle in my upper body -- I've got plenty of that left over from my swimming days. No, I'm just interested in not feeling like such a huge weenie when I have to do things that require massive upper body strength -- like moving heavy objects (a phonebook for instance), throwing a game of darts, or even pushing around a lawnmower (the UNpowered kind). So Gus makes me do the bench press. Gus makes me do the bicep curl. Gus makes me do that one where I lift the 12.5 lb. weights with straight arms, and at first it feels easy, but before 10 reps I'm grimacing, and snorting, and about to give myself a hernia it's so hard. I'll be lifting 15 lb. weights in no time. I can't wait to show off my rippling guns at the next bike race and make all the other racers fear terrified of me -- not that I'll beat them in the race, but rather that I'll beat the snot out of them (with my rippling guns) once I catch them.

Monday, December 17, 2007

BLOG FIESTA #1,283: Poems


While I was flying back from the race,
The man across the aisle

Was nice enough to wake me before
The drink cart came; my knee

Was in the way. He cared [deeply?] about football,
And spoke with his son about the tragic Chiefs.

But when the plane commenced its descent
From its 30,000 foot perch, the man began

To fidget. His fingers massaged
Each other like they were polishing metal,

But his hands were empty. And his knees bounced
An invisible baby. The plane lurched; the man

Jerked. “It’s just the wheels dad” his son reassured,
Unnerved by his father’s discomfort.

They both laughed, as though humor
Would veil the nakedness of the man’s fear

And even after the plane was on the ground
The man shook, until the

Door opened.


Three straight meals of peanut butter and jelly,
are about two meals more than I needed.
My poor stomach is coiled up in knots
of pain. Woe unto me, and my wretched cramp.

Oh how my stomach,
Literally dying from boredom,
Wracked by monotony,
Wishes for the sweet embrace of other flavors.

Any goddam kind of food,
In this whole goddam airport.
Would be welcomed like a brother,
Would be welcomed like a son.

My stomach bays into the night
Like a lost wolf begging answers from the moon.
And the only reply comes
In the form of even more peanut butter and jelly.


BLOG FIESTA #7: I get what I want...

So let me get this straight, my jars of peanut butter and jelly can't go on the plane. They clearly look just like bomb parts. But if I take that same peanut butter and jelly, smear some of it on bread, and put the rest into little plastic containers, it's suddenly OK? Carrying several sandwiches made with a poorly sliced sourdough baguette stuffed with three times more jelly and peanut better than is recommended for a clean consumption is in my humble opinion MORE dangerous to America's safety than bomb parts -- I'm no doubt going to be getting every door knob, hand rail, and airplane seatbelt sticky from here to Boise.

Finally. It's time to get on the plane. The airport is undergoing it's 5th false fire alarm of the day. My next stop is Minneapolis Minnesota, where I'll have another 4 hours of layover. THIS FIESTA IS JUST GETTING STARTED!!!!!

Airport Evacuation Procedure for Dummies...

Have you ever been stuck in an airport* and had the lights start strobing and the buzzer start buzzing and the calm-voiced woman over the loud speaker starts instructing you to head towards your nearest exit, but you don't really feel like going outside? Well just sight tight buckaroo -- it's most likely a false alarm. Just hold your ground. Calmly wave at the flight crews as they walk down the stairs. They're just suckers. Don't flinch as the other passengers pour out into the cold, where they will shiver (like suckers). There's no smoke in the air -- you know better. Call the bluff of the airport emergency alert system, and wait, right where you are, without moving a muscle (except for your rapidly typing fingers). Before long, another calm voice, but this time clearly not a recording, will be coming on soon, to inform you and the rest of the airport that it was just a false alarm, and that you shouldn't evacuate.

Any second now.

Any second...

In just a second or two that voice will be coming over the loud speaker and telling you that you should return to the building.

At least you hope that's what will happen.

*for 8 hours straight


There is a goddam FIRE ALARM in the GODDAM AIRPORT!!! more to come...

BLOG FIESTA #2: The depraved words of a hungry man.

Horseshit! HORSESHIT! This is horseshit. I set my bag down for a mere, mere, mere minute and a half, and you TSA fools, you TSA jerks, you TSA assholes took it away. It was filled from bread and bagels, muffins and danishes, all recklessly pilfered from the Holiday Inn's breakfast buffet. I needed those bread items, you fools jerks assholes, because I have elsewhere in my baggage, a near full jar of peanut butter, and a near full jar of jelly. I was eagerly anticipating the time when I could transmogrify those lifeless gels and bland shingles into satisfying, satiating, triple-decker sandwiches. PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY ALONE ARE WORTHLESS TO ME, YOU HEAR ME FOOLS JERKS ASSHOLES??? Not to mention that when I try to pass through security you will no doubt identify my harmless food items as being probable bomb components, and confiscate them, shamelessly. You'll take my delicious peanut paste and strawberry mash into some back room where you'll construct your own delicious, delightful, triple-decker sandwiches PROBABLY WITH MY GODDAM BREAD!!!



I must be

I must


Airport food I shall buy.
But not


BLOG FIESTA #1: blog-off rule addendum

As many of you know (but clearly not enough of you), I recently challenged my friends over at The Monstro to a friendly blog competition, a "blog-off" if you will. Due to the extraneous circumstances of late, I've decided to exercise my right to blog-off rules and regulations article three:

Other rules and conditions may be introduced, by either party, throughout the competition.

Thus, from here and hence forth:
"in the event of an airport layover of six hours or more, bloggers are allowed to upload unlimited blog entries for the duration of the layover, and at any subsequent layovers during the same travel period [travel period being defined as the continuous and contiguous time elapsed between arrival at and departure from airport property, including (but not limited to) all time spent on-board an aircraft, all dining or shopping activities performed in airport shops, any usage of airport bathroom facilities, all time spent exercising or napping in airport waiting areas, and any overnight stays in hotels due to cancellations, delays, or any other airline based inconvenience]. "


Thanks to the exceptional planning abilities of the Whitman College Cycling Team's travel agent (AKA a college student so busy he can barely groom himself, let alone search for convenient flight times (no offense Ben)), I've been stranded at the Kansas City International Airport a solid eight hours BEFORE my departure time. With the rental car returned long ago, everyone I know long departed, and my chances of getting on an earlier flight long gone (as in never existed), I'm happy and proud to announce the inaugural (and first tri-annual):


I'm going to blog till the cows come home. I'm going to blog till my face goes blue. I'm going to blog till the grapes go sour. Hell, I'm going to blog till the airport employees go home after a full day's work, and the next shift of airport employees are halfway to quittin' time.

If I were one of those Monstro Bloggers, I'd be shakin' in my boots right now...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My kingdom for a camera!

Wow. Today was grand. If only I hadn't lost my camera so I could actually SHOW you what was grand.

The racing out here in Kansas was spectacular. Friday's races were muddy and sloppy, and the course was chewed up pretty bad by the day's races. By Friday night it was snowing and getting colder. This allowed for deep ruts, sometimes up to 4 inches deep, to be carved in the semi-frozen mud on Saturday. Later that night, the clouds cleared, the temperature dropped, and whole course froze solid, so by Sunday morning, there was just a mish-mash of rock hard, narrow little ruts that (if not hit absolutely dead on, and with perfect balance) would grab your tire and jerk it around all over the place. There were an average of six crashes per hour per person on the course, according to the announcers, and dang it looked hard to ride on.

The conditions were beautiful, cold and sunny. By the afternoon, by the time the elite men raced, the temperature had gone back above freezing and the race track had (for the most part) returned to mud. We got to see Ryan Trabon (the defending cyclocross national champion) crash head on with another racer who couldn't hold his line. We got to see Tim Johnson (an ex-pro tour rider, and former cyclocross national champ himself) give Johnathan Page (considered by many to be the nation's best cross racer, and the US's only European based professional) the shaft on the last lap of the race. We got to see many thousands of people yelling and screaming and honking horns and ringing cowbells and drinking beer, all in the name of cyclocross.

Now we have to go to Danny and Benny's, a local restaurant to catch some dinner, and enjoy the massive after party, but we can't go totally nuts because one of the Whitman racers is leaving at 8AM. My flight isn't until 4pm, so expect some serious blogging over the next twenty-four hours.

Friday, December 14, 2007

How to kill a couple hours...

Pitchfork Media just released its list of the top fifty music videos of 2007. If you’re in the mood, expose yourself to some of these; they are some of the most interesting and creative examples of my favorite art form. Yes that’s right: music videos are my favorite art form. There is no other media that so easily and consistently generates such a powerful emotional response in me. Music alone is pretty good at stirring up feelings, triggering memories, and inducing moods, but when combined with the skillful use of film, the effect is dramatically compounded. Now let me be clear, I am NOT talking about the kind of music videos whose sole function is to drive record sales, the kind frequently shown on MTV2 (now that MTV doesn’t show music videos any more*). I absolutely hate videos that do nothing more than glamorize a musician. No, I’m talking about the honest attempt to create a better piece of artwork through the joining of music and film. If doing so happens to glamorize the artist or drive record sales – that’s fine – but it’s the intent of the artists that I care about. It doesn’t matter whether the artists’ aim is to augment a song’s impact through the use of moving imagery, to tell a better story with film by employing an appropriate piece of music, or simply to crack people up with a crazy dance on treadmills, I enjoy the collaboration. At least when done well.

I don’t agree with all of Pitchfork’s selections. Some of the videos are boring. But most of them were extremely satisfying, and you'll agree goddamit. It's my blog after all. Enjoy.

*Does that fact, that I remember when MTV used to show music videos, betray my age? I think so. I must be nearing a quarter century.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Am I nuts?

I'm about to head out to Kansas for the weekend. I'm going there to assist and chaperon the Whitman College Cycling Team while they compete in the Cyclocross National Championships. It should be grand.

Now, I've been complaining about the weather in Boise. But compared to what Kansas is going through, I feel like a total whiner. Kansas was recently declared to be in a state of emergency due to the intense ice storms that coated everything in a thick layer of ice. I've heard this phenomenon is absolutely breathtaking, the ice turning every surface into a prism, reflecting light everywhere, making the entire outdoors a shiny wonderland:

Ice storms are also about as destructive as a hurricane. Trees are unable to shed the weight of the ice as it builds up, causing their branches to snap off left and right. It also does this to bikes:

AND I'M GOING OUT THERE!! I'll stand around and freeze my butt off, and yell like crazy, and cheer for the whitties, and watch people slip on the ice and mud, and stand in the wheel pit in case someone has a mechanical problem, and ring that cowbell -- CAN WE GET A LITTLE MORE COWBELL PLEASE??? -- and then I'll drive everybody to get hot cocoa once the race is over. It's cyclocross baby, and as I said, it should be grand!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A friendly wager....

I'm betting that I will blog more than my friends over there at TheMonstro during the month of December. Yessir, I'd be willing to make that wager if only to inspire a little friendly competition between our blogs (and to see if anyone is actually reading this). So Monstro bloggers, here are the conditions of the bet:

1. Blog posts must be good. No simple "check this video out" posts. Blogging about a video is acceptable, provided there is some thoughtful commentary from the blogger.

2. Each blogger will be limited to a maximum of one post per day. I know this puts me at HUGE disadvantage, seeing as how I'm outnumbered at least three (possibly four) to one, but seeing as how we're dang near halfway through December already, and seeing as how I've got a three-post lead already, aaaand seeing as how I doubt my opponents will notice they've been challenged for a few days, I still think this is fair.

3. Other rules and conditions may be introduced, by either party, throughout the competition.

4. All blogging must be done by 12:00AM January 1st, 2008.

That's it. Real simple. Monstronauts, consider yourselves challenged.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Book of Tights

I might have to channel my frustration like this:

And there arrived a letter in the Inbox,
And the letter told of a spectacular offer on nice new Castelli tights,

And the tights were closeout 2006

So the people rejoiced

And the people pounced on the offer,

And they filled out their check right away,

And they mailed their order the next day

So the people waited

And they waited six holy nights and six holy days,

And the people's housemate returned with the letter,

And it had merely fallen out of the mailbox into a bush

So the people steeled their nerves and tried again

And the letter with the check was again placed in the mailbox

And the mailman came

And again, the order was placed

So again, the people waited

And they waited six holy nights and six holy days

And the letter was FUCKING RETURNED TO SENDER???

And they just couldn't believe this shit

So the people cursed at the sky, and tore at their hair, and once again re-mailed that goddam letter

And the people hated snail mail all the more
And the question was asked: "what's it take to get my goddam tights?"

And there was only silence

Because there was no answer

Saturday, December 8, 2007

For my friends still in college...

From the bottom of my heart, I wish to extend my sympathy towards all you poor souls stuck deep within the trenches of finals week back at my alma mater, Whitman College. While I might (at times) envy your rich environment of intellectual engagement, your beautifully manicured campus, your easy access to the gym and dining halls -- in short your status as current students -- I have no desire to go through another finals week, nor would I wish such living hell on my worst enemies. There is no doubt in my mind that my eight semesters worth of finals weeks took a collective total of at least eight years off my life, far more than all my drugs and alcohol, saturated fat, and exposure to pesticides combined. Staying awake for two straight weeks, surviving on a diet of vending machine snacks and redbull, and sitting in front of a computer screen for upwards of sixteen hours per day is profoundly wrong. An utter abomination. A flagrant disregard for all that is natural and good. Finals week is the cursed offspring of the unholy union between deadlines, school, and stimulants. And it is evil.

Good luck Whitties, and may god have mercy on your sleep-deprived, bleary-eyed, over-caffeinated souls.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Letters to the editor:

Dear editors of the Boise Weather,

I moved to Boise several months ago, and subscribed to the Weather upon my arrival. At first, I was nothing short of amazed with your publication. The sun shone upwards of sixteen hours per day, the temperature was comfortable both during the day and night, and my bike rides were seldom inconvenienced by rain or high winds. I was a satisfied customer. Until now.

Lately the quality of the Weather has undergone a precipitous decline (yes, pun fucking intended). More than once in the last month I've found myself riding my bike to work in total darkness over ice covered streets through blustering winds and pouring rain. I'm even considering putting studs in my 'cross tires for added traction! This is insanity! What happened up there? What happened to your quality control program? Did all the Weather's writers go on strike along with the screenwriters guild? Have the normal editors been fired and replaced with a team of PC literate baboons? Furthermore, I've heard rumors from numerous reliable sources that this trend is likely to continue. I'm honestly considering canceling my subscription, which would have been inconceivable less than one month ago. Weather, you make me sad. Please make me happy again...

I've included a picture of what I've heard described as a "cold front." Supposedly this is the root cause of some of the problems in your service I've described. If this is the case, please remove this feature from my current Weather package -- I don't recall signing up for "cold fronts," nor do I want them. Thank you.
Bitter in Boise

Monday, December 3, 2007

The blogger elves are restless....

Are you qualified to take care of small children? Find out with this easy quiz!

Question: Which video is better to show to small children?

Video 1

Video 2

Answer: video 1