Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Faith | Hope | Love | 2009

I have very little faith in the economy.

I have very little hope in politicians.

I am not afraid and I no longer worry.

Welcome 2009. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

1,000,000,000 | Wall*E

The first time I saw Wall*E I understood that the movie is about what we might look like in the future - what with the bone atrophy and the uninhabitable planet. They were buried under their own garbage and left the planet. At least we know we'll never get that bad.

Maybe we are that bad - I'm starting to think about the movie more and more within this context.

In their race to grow the economy to continue to enrich the already richest 10% of the planet - banks found themselves holding more toxic paper than they could contain. Many ordinary folks have lost their primary investment - their homes.

In their race to supply the energy necessary to continue to enrich the already richest 10% of the planet - the Tennessee Valley Authority found themselves holding more toxic sludge than they could contain. Many people have lost their homes - or their homes are uninhabitable.

Interestingly I found a Popular Mechanics article indicating that new regulations dis-allowed the release of this waste into the atmosphere. Apparently instead it's gathered in sludge ponds to be released into the rivers after accumulation of 1,000,000,000 gallons. Civil disobedience?

I wonder how long it will take Wall*E to clean up 1,000,000,000 gallons of sludge from 400 acres of land - and how long after that it will be before the first plant sprouts through the damage - and how long after that the first probe reports back that we can re inhabit the land and start growing pizzas again.

One thing is for sure - toxic waste flows down hill.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Get Out

My day began with the Coffee Doughnut Ride. I met the guy with all the G's and the B's in his name at 8am sharp. We didn't mess around too much with waiting for the Hooterville Mayor or touring the crunchy frozen streets - we selected the Phillips Ave Diner as our destination and pretty much went straight away there. I think 10 was the number of degrees in the air at the time but the NW wind was making them hard to hold on to.

We each enjoyed a 2+2+2, links for me, bacon for he. Our server claimed to be a 75 to 100 mile a week roller. Mostly hybrid miles but she found herself a Gunnar on the internets at the end of summer. She likes riding enough to have a trainer. She likes having a trainer enough to complain about having one.

The bikes outside parked in the bike rack made from shoveled snow (that we were lucky enough to be seated by) garnered their fair share of curiosity as we covertly looked on over maple syrup infused pastry through tinted restaurant glass.

We chatted about the incredible difficulty found in crossing Western Ave between 41st and 49th Street - which brings up interesting ideas and thoughts about roads and habitat disruption and roads and human habitat disruption. Who's responsibility is it to be sure this human habitat remains human inhabitable? Apparently it's not the Tennessee Valley Authority. But that's for a future likely non-existent post.

After our ride blew apart into two distinct pieces I found my way back to Caribou Coffee where I was lucky enough to discover then end my ride with a festive chat with The Owner. I'd do that more often if I could. I rode seven more miles than start-time degrees, which makes for an interesting formula for minimum ride length requirements.

The afternoon featured a walk in the park. Literally.

It was still cold...

Some of us didn't seem to mind...

If you're the type of person that finds shades of grey pretty then you're the type of person who might find this photo pretty...

The Mom mentioned that The Great Aunt In Illinois indicated via Christmas card that she's a MinusCar Project reader. All I can say to that is...

Merry Christmas Runell.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It’s Like A Group Ride, With Tubistas

Some of the tubas even looked like the Hooterville Mayor's bike.

Recent research concludes that band students might suffer some hearing damage.

Ya think!

Have I ever told the story of the time I, as a Washington High cheerleader tangled with a Lincoln High band parent at Howard Wood Field? Of course I haven’t.

This is a family blog. I'm not even sure my family knows the story.

20 years provides me this perspective – the band parent was still wrong.

I stepped into the dark side today. I played a band parent – in real life. The Boy 10 began playing the baritone this year in school. Today was Tuba Christmas.

Tuba Christmas is a call to all tuba players: pay $5, rehearse for an hour, eat lunch, play three free afternoon concerts at three different venues. The Boy 10 was among a handful of 5th graders. I guess the oldest was 73. Many of the tubas looked 73.

They played many familiar Christmas songs. We sang along to Silent Night – well, once we found an octave that wasn’t waaaaay toooo loooow. At the end they wished us a “Merry TubaChristmas.”

Quite a satisfying day for a first time band parent. My role: carry the music stand and the sit stool. Hold the coat during the performance. Transport to next venue.

BUT - today the MinusCar Family participated in the Federal Highway Administration National Household Travel Survey. Did I mention there was a rehearsal and three concerts at three venues? And lunch?

I filled up the survey log and had to continue on a separate additional sheet of paper. That’s not how I imagined my log would look when I agreed a few weeks ago to participate.

Oh well - I guess the feds get to waste another year believing 0% of trips in Sioux Falls are taken by bicycle.


Sioux Falls singletrack discussion continues tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

12/12/12 (photos)

Tomorrow I'm participating in the 12 Hours In Photo's photo project. See the invitation.

I'll probably live blog the day here from my cell phone, then combine the photos and copy them over there.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"The Race"

Bike riding feels like the wind
blowing in my cold ear

It sounds like a white wolf
howling at night

I see the big mountain
with my bright eyes

I taste victory
when I start a race

It smells like maple syrup in the sky


Jason Z. age 8 years
Matamoras, PA
Taking Care, 2008 December

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hello Alone

In the snow it's easier to tell I'm not riding alone.

Best Google search ever(?) - "who looked at Marty Sterzinger"

Monday, December 01, 2008

Weekend Update

Wednesday I described The Saturday Plan with some work mates. Upon running down the itinery:

Theodore Wirth Park
Central Library
Soo Visual Arts Center
Weisman Art Museum
The Soap Factory
The Guthrie Theater

- one freshly transplanted former Minneapolis resident thought simply driving from place to place seemed exhausting. That's the thing isn't it. Driving. It ruins a perfectly good day in a modern city. I recommend doing it without driving.

Google Maps : Directions : By Public Transit.

iTouch - load it up with .jpg's of the maps.

Cell phone - to call Metro Transit NexTrip.