Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Items: Halloween

A bit of Halloween morbidity - Sunday evening someone visited after Googling "michael christensen - suicide 2005." I was pleased to see the hit was from Arizona, lending me plenty of hope it wasn't someone who knows me (or recently heard me speak) and was wondering just how bad my 2005 started out. Thankfully The MinusCar Project isn't the #1 hit for that search. Erm, at least it wasn't on that day.

I received an unusual food allergy alert today. Seems Dutch Kettle failed to include anchovies in their BBQ sauce ingredient list (seafood is one of the main food allergens). Being a guy who is interested in the variety of secret ingredients that can be tossed into a BBQ recipe I was pleased to learn of this unique one. I suppose they didn't want to include anchovies on the list for fear that nobody would buy it.

Speaking of allergies - how was trick or treating? We did the usual. Send the kids out and have them occasionally drop by home to fill up our candy bowl with all their nut tainted candy. Re-trick-or-treating, it's great fun.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween

For something truly scary head over to the Living on Liguid blog. You'll find a photo of mewithhim and the mewithoutyou drummer. I'm the one who doesn't know how to act when he's getting his picture taken.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Report: October 22-28

I guess I’m healed. I watched CNN’s Planet in Peril this week. I didn’t lose a bit of sleep. Excellent. I think that means I can finally watch An Inconvenient Truth. That’s so last year!

I understand from Planet in Peril that the UN says the Earth is losing species at 1100 times the natural rate. That’s interesting.

Have you ever sat amongst the cars at a red light on a cold morning and all around you are those nice puffs of white steam from the nearby exhaust pipes intermixed with the shiny red brake lights? We understand that’s poison right? We understand on that cold day when we warm up the car for 15 minutes before we travel 20 minutes to work, if we fail to open our garage door the species population in the garage will decline at much higher than natural rate.

Speaking of Al Gore and his energy sucking home…next time you hear someone complain about it you’ll be sure to ask them to show you how they reduced electricity consumption in their home over the last 12 months.

When you hear someone complain about the CNN crew visiting 14 different countries for their TV show and the environmental damage it causes, you’ll be sure to check with them about their flying habits now that they seem to understand the damage just one flight does.

I’m feeling good. I had an exceptional weekend and today didn’t let me down either. Moron that later.

Trips -
MinusCar: 14
Multi-occupant Auto: 6
Single occupant Auto: 1
Destinations: 30

I was in the car alone on Wednesday so I could pick up KT. We me The Pastor and the blogger that is Living On Liquid and enjoyed the musical stylings of mewithoutyou. It was like a Souled Out Stage reunion there. Lots of Too Write Love On Her Arms t-shirts, which I guess is all the rage these days. Just once was I in a car by myself this week. He’s a mile away.

Otherwise, I was in a car Friday so I could date my wife. Sunday we drove to The Parents to jump in their pile of leaves. It was fun until someone got hurt…and then it was still sort of fun because it wasn’t me that got hurt.

My Car Miles: 0
My Bike Miles: 91

I met my friend (yep I have one) for lunch on Thursday. On the way out the restaurant he told me about a required 2 hour bit of solitude he needed to do for a seminar or educational experience. He was pleased it seemed like 20 minutes. I declined his offer for a ride back to work, on the grounds that walking is a solitude type experience for me.

Not 2 minutes later I’m helping a young man and two rather helpless women stuff a 5 foot wide mattress into a 4 foot wide SUV. We put 10 years of wear on that mattress before it left the parking lot, and she thanked me for my good deed of the day. I said it wasn't a problem, I’m not in a hurry. If I was in a hurry I’d be driving, not destroying your mattress.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Date Night

I dated The Wife tonight. We tried and failed to go to a movie.

I was reading Ebert reviews to pick some possibilities. Near the bottom of his Rendition review I found the best turn of phrase I've heard in a long time.

See, Rendition is about Extraordinary Rendition, the procedure of removing a suspect from their life and doing stuff to them that - depending on what your definition of is - is torture.

Ebert quotes James Rocchi from - "Anytime someone tells you that you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, immediately demand to see the omelet."


This is LB CX.

This is what goes on in other cities while you were sitting in your garage with cold fingers wiping last week's rain off you bike.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Report: October 15-21

If you’re not riding now, you’re never going to be riding when it actually gets cold. It’s most helpful to me to track windchill, clothing, and perceived comfort. I know from year to year what to wear at most any temperature giving me NO temperature related EXCUSES for not riding.

Rain! Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Rain! I didn’t get to ride my bike much because it was too wet for me. I became practiced at getting ready for work early enough to catch a ride downtown with The Wife. From there I took the bus toward work. Ironically, Friday it stopped raining but I wasted my extra morning minutes until I had to drive or be unreasonably late.

I got stranded at a bus transfer station Monday. Bus A was so late I was unable to catch bus B. I had to call The Wife out of work to go pick up The Boys. Not good! I caught a more frequent bus to downtown and brought them home. As the week progressed they appeared to continue to struggle with that route.

Trips -

MinusCar: 10

Multi-occupant Auto: 13

Single occupant Auto: 4

Destinations: 43

My notes say I was a single occupant once because of the transit fiasco. The second time to return The Car home after having the radiator replaced (driving the car for the sake of the car). Once to pick up The Boy 9 and two friends at the school skate party (we car pooled but I could have made it better by just going to the party), and finally Friday’s previously mentioned laziness.

My Car Miles: 16

My Bike Miles: 44

For all the rain I’m pretty happy with 16 miles on my car. I’ve had bigger weeks with much nicer weather.

Most of the bike miles came from the Friday FAB Starlight ride. I hooked up with a nice group of 12 for a nighttime lap around the local multi-trail.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is This Kansas?

"Citing concerns about global warming, Kansas’ top regulator today denied a long-awaited permit to build a controversial coal plant in western Kansas."
It doesn't matter to me if this was a good or bad decision. It doesn't matter to me if the decision gets overturned in court or somewhere else. What does matter to me is...
"'I believe it would be irresponsible to ignore emerging information about the contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to climate change and the potential harm to our environment and health if we do nothing,' said Rod Bremby, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Surely there are huge concerns about the economy -
"The announcement comes as a huge blow to Sunflower Electric Power Corp. and many in western Kansas who had argued the plant was vital to the region’s economy."
But just as surely there are more important things than the economy -
"...I'm encouraged by this decision because protecting the people of Kansas in every corner of our state has always mattered to me more than anything else." - Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
I was unable to determine if pro-life Kansas presidential candidate Senator Sam Brownback agrees.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Report: October 8-14

Trips -

MinusCar: 9
Multi-occupant Auto: 6
Single occupant Auto: 5
Destinations: 30

I’m in a pretty unmotivated period right now. I seem to have misplaced my muse. Or I burned out. Or both. Maybe I’ll uncover it later. In the meantime starting up these reports again will give me a good way to keep The Project alive.

My Car Miles: 23
My Bike Miles: 82.5

The highlight of the week was the 50 mile Saturday. Beginning with the Snakebite led Coffee & Doughnut ride. A trip to the LBS where somehow I ended up hanging the I.F. in the back room and rode away on a single speed roadster (Cannondale Capo).

After a bit of lunch I then joined the FAB Apple Orchard ride. I rode nice and slow behind The Owner and his three daughters. It was fun to hang with them and watch the 30 some riders ahead of us mixing it up with the unusually heavy traffic. Most everybody seemed to get along fine. Speaking of FAB children, I count 6 child rollers on that trip.

Pizza and FAB board elections followed that. I’ll be treasurer for another year.

Off to The Boy 5’s soccer game. “I don’t know dear, these bikes just seem to attach themselves to me.” And back home.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Road Trip: MC In MPLS

Saturday morning, after covering up The Boy 5’s vomit on the fine linen table cloth with the fine linen napkin, The Family left The Car behind in Minneapolis for a day.

It all begins here on Nicollet Island. That’s our car, the one with the South Dakota plates.

The playground beckons.

We walked along the river front to the Stone Arch Bridge. We gazed downstream and said things like, “see the bridge between the one we’re on and that one? No? That’s because there only used to be a bridge there.”

We had a very nice vantage to link what we learned in Chicago about river locks to this trip. That’s quite a drop! Almost 50ft if we believe the nearby Segway tour guide.

We visited the Mill City Farmer’s Market. The dried apples from Ames Farm became a weekend companion for The Boy 5 and a suitable substitute for the breakfast he left on the table earlier.

We were also particularly impressed with Molly O’Brien’s Sassy Knitwear (not so much her website), “always organic or recycled content.” I have a feeling I’ll be seeing some of this stuff around the house before too long…but we can’t consume on this trip for want of a vehicle.

We couldn’t resist the nearby Guthrie Theater’s reflective - things.

We got some tourist to take this family photo.

We abandoned our visit to the Mill City Museum after The Wife had the presence of mind to inquire after the likelihood we’d encounter wheat within. Apparently allergic reactions have even occurred in the lobby.

We ventured by the Metrodome to catch the light rail. The Boy 9 was impressed that the Packers would be playing there Sunday.

In this family no trip is complete without a train ride. This one took us to Lake Street to catch the fabled Bus 21 and included the following conversation:

"Would you mind if I gave your son a $1?"

"I appreciate the thought but I'd rather you didn't."

"'s for, you know, his bank."

"Yes, I know. Thank you. Please don't."

Lunch and an actual clothing purchase at the Midtown Global Market. "We exist to develop and maintain a public market that builds upon the economic, social and cultural assets within the surrounding community..."

The Boy 9 scans the directory for vendors that might be selling Legos.

Back on the 21 to Lake Calhoun. Please don’t bother the boys at Calhoun Rentals when it’s raining. Instead of a tandem, trailer and rollerblades we sat under the pavilion and wondered if the wind surfers would get struck by lightning. They didn’t. We didn’t either.

The Sculpture Garden was next. This is a photograph of the most photographed sculpture in the garden, "Spoonbridge and cherry."

Look. Traffic.

Back on the train to ride to the end of the line. The Mall Of America. We supped. The Boy 9 wanted Legos. The Boy 5 wanted to play the boats. In the food court The Boy 9 observed the log ride logs are…wait…fake. I suggested, in fact, the whole building was fake. He rightly pushed back about the McDonalds he was about to enjoy. I abandoned the argument and resolved to resume the conversation after he’d seen The Matrix.

Indeed the length of this post somewhat matched the length of the day. We returned to the inn and observed it still standing and The Car still parked.