Sunday, February 24, 2008

Why Ralph, Why?

I am sure you heard already, but this morning on NBC's "Meet the Press", Ralph Nader announced that he would once again be running for president. Now Ralph, don't get me wrong, I am a fan. I voted for you twice, I've read your books, and I agree with your disenchantment with the Democratic and Republican parties. There most definitely should be a third-party, and all parties should be allowed to participate in all debates, this we are on the same page. Maybe I am still bitter from what happened in Florida in 2000. I know that having Nader in the race isn't going to have much of an impact on the outcome, but why risk it? We need a change in Washington, and I finally feel that this year there is a Democrat that I can get behind, someone with a chance to make some changes. Please don't mess with that.

Listening to: Burning Spear- Calling Rastafari

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Someone recently asked me why I blogged. Fair enough question. I thought about it for a few moments and gave them the standard answer- it is a fun way to keep in contact with a few far-off friends who also blog, and a way to share ideas with people who may be like minded or share similar interests. The truth is, who doesn't like to see their words in print? It is all self-serving really, no? I think that bloggers blog because we have something we want to share and we like to see how others react to what we have to say. That's not so bad really, in today's world we often live in a bubble, and the net is a way for people to connect to the rest of the world. When I was in college I was enrolled in a creative writing class and one of my classmates and I started a "zine". Remember those? It was nothing more than a collection of artwork, short stories, and poems written by those of us in the class. We typed them up on a word processor, made copies, and "published" them in a small twenty-page magazine. I say published because I think we printed something like fifty copies in my friend's basement and handed them out to friends, nobody beyond our small circle of friends ever read them. I see blogs as the 21st century version of the "zine", the difference being that blogs have the potential of reaching a much larger audience. When I started this blog three years ago I didn't have a goal, and not much has changed. The blogs I tend to check daily are way more defined than mine; blogs about music, bicycles, travel, parenting, and brewing beer. Others are simple time wasters. Not sure where mine fits in. Sometimes I wish I was more focused, maybe then more than four people would actually read what I have to say. I sometimes think about giving it up, I could be using the time I spend on the computer more productively; spending time with my wife, reading, playing music, building something, riding my bike, but I really like the idea of putting my thoughts out there for others to read, even if it is only a handful of folks. So why do you blog?

Listening to: The The- Dusk

Monday, February 04, 2008

RIP Sheldon Brown

The cycling community of New England (and the world) lost a real icon last night. Sheldon Brown served as the parts manager of Harris Cyclery, a bike shop in West Newton, Massachusetts. Though I never met him in person, his incredible website helped me when I built up my first single speed, and I truly believe his interest in English three-speed cycles is responsible for the resurgence in the Sturmey-Archer hub in New England. He will be missed, but because of the wealth of information he left behind on his website, he will not be forgotten.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Kids Are Alright

I work with ten and eleven year-old kids all day, and lately I have become very concerned about how pop-culture is affecting them. There seems to be so much crap being fed to kids today. High School Musical, Hannah Montana, and the Soulja Boy dance seem to be the only things on a ten year-old's radar these days. What will my kids be into when they are in 5th grade? It's scary to think about. Who knows, but today my five year-old daughter gave me hope. This is a transcript of an actual conversation that happened on the way home yesterday:

Me: "What do you want to listen to?"
Kid: "I want to listen to that band you like, you know, Spoon."
Me: "Cool, okay, let me find it on my iPod."
Kid: "I want to hear that song, The Underdog."

3 minutes and 42 seconds go by. We are both bopping our heads and singing along.

Kid: "I really like the horns and clapping. Play it again."

Repeat 3 times.

There is hope for our future yet.