instant gramming

December 31, 2008


Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
Epicurus Greek philosopher (341 BC - 270 BC)

December 30, 2008


In the face of Holiday sales, it's time again when I need to challenge myself to stop thinking about buying certain, unneeded things for myself and consider a target or goal to put my consumption in perspective. For example, there are two things I've been craving lately: a new pair of shoes and a new coat. It might be worth mentioning that for a long time now I have harbored four fetishes including bikes, hats, backpacks, and shoes. Lately, due to the fact that I'm outside more than ever before, I've added jackets to the growing list. This last obsession is at least a little more practical than the others... right?

I've taken inventory of the things I already have which includes nine pairs of various types of shoes and two winter coats. Damn. What this tells me is I need to get better about fulfilling the useful lives of these things before considering replacing them--and when that time comes around, I need to be more considerate about the quality and utility of each thing I buy. That last part has to do with things like proper fit, good materials, and multiple uses.

So, I have set two general targets for myself: no new casual shoes before my next birthday and no winter coat until next year. It will be a good exercise in self-control. Do I hear New Year's Resolution???

Hmm... I've only thought of one other N.Y.R. for 2009: run at least twice a week, every week. See how I am being specific? Oh yeah. Probably more to come...

If you have any fixations, feel free to use the Comments section as a therapy session of sorts. Or, if you have managed to transcend the binds of such mundane compulsions, take this opportunity to confess your superiority. But seriously, write something; participate.

December 29, 2008

Effin' Catalina Winemixer!

Back to work after a great Holiday up in Cleveland with C's family. I really enjoy spending time with everybody up there. I drank a lot of coffee and a lot of beer, in tandem, all the while eating lots of sugary foods. My first trip to downtown Cleveland, including a visit to the West-side market and Great Lakes Brewery, was a highlight. Also, watched Stepbrothers and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Jess and Mike bought us some B.A. coffees, including a shade-grown, fair-trade Guatemalan light roast from Peace Coffee which is getting me super hyped for a day at the office.

C got me a computer for my bike which I hope to use to keep track of miles-traveled in 2009--something which I'll try to keep track of on this here blog. I was at first hesitant about needing the thing, but I'm getting excited to use it and learn about how fast I bike and how far I travel for certain trips. It was great to get back on my bike this morning--even though my body was totally out-of-shape after a week of not riding.

I'm sure there's so much more about which to write, but I need to get some more work done before another long weekend. Sue/Mom and Gary/Dad are coming down later this week to celebrate New Years as well as to help do some work around the house including install canned lights in the living room and hang some doors! I can't wait.

Big ups to C for buying all eight of us matching PJ's to wear on Xmas morning.

December 22, 2008


This weekend was the highly anticipated Gag/Red Shadows/Coffinworm show in Indianapolis. Chris did a great job pulling everything together and making it happen. You just can't beat a house show... except with a free house show with lots of cheap beer, some home-brewed porters, and a bunch of cool people. I'm really glad I made the commitment to Chris to play with the band and I can chalk this one down as another one of my glory years (but, this was not a last-hurrah). It reminded me of how great if feels to make music. Also I made some friends through the project and hope to keep in contact with them. This week I will work on downloading videos of the show.

Yesterday, our friend Zane and his family hosted a winter solstice party. There was a bonfire that struggled valiantly against something like 30 mph winds and 3 degree temperatures--but we weren't as strong. I'm glad we went though. Not only because the winter solstice is one of the best days of the year to celebrate (the beginning of longer days!), but because Zane is such a good guy. Incidentally I realized he rides a really nice fixed gear bike which blew my mind... While we were downtown, we got to visit with Jess, Mike, and a friend, Ed, while the dogs played, and retrieved some dinner fromThe North Star Cafe...

As for now, I have lots of work to do before leaving town for the holidays, so I'm gonna cut this short. Stay warm: it was reported that Columbus was experiencing a windchill of 16 degrees-below-zero this morning. Balls

December 18, 2008


hang out with J & M and bella

and bouclé all over Columbus-town.


In other news, I experienced divine intervention yesterday. It occurred to me that by simply shortening the chain on my bicycle [rather than waiting for my new crankset and buying a smaller chainring] and running my 42-tooth chainring, in the stead of my 52-tooth ring, I could greatly reduce the gearing [from 87.8 to 70.9 gear inches] and subsequently enhance the enjoyment of riding my bike in fixed gear mode... So, after a troubling bout dismantling my grimy chain, I shortened it appropriately and rode around in the street to try it out like a giddy child on Christmas day... The roads were still wet from melting ice--ideal conditions to learn how to skid-stop. Perfect.

Speaking of Christmas-come-early, C bought me some wicked good slippers that are blowing my mind. I even brought them to work to wear at the office today. Sipping coffee, wearing slippers, and blogging. Shit. I need to work. I'm out

December 17, 2008

December 15, 2008

This isn't just the coffee talking

I'm feeling great today

I went out to the Homestead (at Denison University) last night to visit with Chris and Nolan who were driving through Ohio to West Virginia. I got to hang with some of the current Homesteaders and retrieved my old acoustic guitar!

Also, I bought a new crankset for my bike on Ebay. This means I can finally mess with the gearing... Hopefully I might be able to sell off the stuff I'm switching out to recoup some of that dough, making it "stupid cheap"...

C made killer vegan sugar cookies last night; I've got pizza for lunch; this is my last full week of work for two weeks; this weekend is the Gag show and Nolan will be there... shit, what else?

I dunno. Just felt like counting some blessings for a few minutes...
New playlist... Light This City's album,
Facing The Thousands. It's metal music - not for the faint of heart: BYAH!

December 14, 2008

No name post

It's a gray Sunday. C has been painting doors. I've been... watching Ebay and growing a doom-errific beard to prepare for the "Gag" show this weekend. Also, practicing my bass lines and drinking beer to get ready. What else? Drinking lots of coffee. Bought the movie "A Mighty Wind"--haha: "Wha' happened?!" Watching football--Bengals are winning... This weekend is the winter solstice--almost halfway done with these short days, right?

I love C--she's been cooking some really awesome stuff lately. I don't think I do enough to repay her for how well she treats me...

C made the point that someday soon Work-life, for everyone, may have to make a compromise of sorts with Self-sufficiency (i.e. making stuff, growing food, etc.). It's a good point. I'm looking forward to next year's garden: more vegetables, stuff to freeze, stuff to share...

Last thought: thesauruses might be better than dictionaries

December 10, 2008


If you're looking for a good time--and by a good time I mean a healthy dose of DOOM--check out this playlist of Mastodon's album, Remission. If you feel hesitant to listen to any of it, do me the favor by listening to the second track, March of the Fire Ants. It will blow you away. I've been groovin so hard to this album all day. It might even replace the Kanye playlist despite the fact that RoboCop keeps getting stuck in my head.

I've been learning the "Gag" songs Chris wrote and they are nothing less than epic. John said Chris was the J.R.R. Tolkien of writing songs, and as it happens that I hate reading books, perhaps I disagree because I love this music... Just kidding; I understand the allusion...

Work can seem... so pointless

December 9, 2008

If you've been sleeping... might not have noticed the playlist on the right side of this blog with the new Kanye West album, 808's & Heartbreak. It's pretty decent, overall. I can't help but think some of the songs are biting Phil Collins, or something along those lines. "RoboCop" is straight up goofy--should've featured Chris Brown, or a cameo by Bow-Wow. Also, you might recognize "Street Lights" as it was featured during the last episode of Grey's Anatomy. "See You In My Nightmares," featuring Lil' Wayne, hurts the flow I was feeling in the album. I'm not sure if I don't like that particular song, or if I just hate it {Lil' Wayne exerpt: "You think your shit don't stink, but you are Missus P.U." What?! That's dumb.} might not have realized that weather is getting wintry (read: crappy). I've been biking every day though and have been pleased that during my last few commutes I've felt overdressed. Too warm, that is, as opposed to too cold. I guess that's a good problem. I'm still trying to fine-tune my idea of appropriate attire. With a pair of jeans and some long underwear, plus the occasional rain paints over all, my legs have felt great. On top, I've been wearing a t-shirt, a long sleeve tee, a button-up or sweater, my puffy jacket, and either my rain jacket or other winter shell... I think my most cherished article of warmth is my fleece neck warmer. I just wish it were a little longer and didn't hold on to the moisture from my breath, because after a while it gets soaking wet. My fleece beanie has been good to me also. Two things I've been struggling with keeping warm are my hands and feet. Naturally, my fingers and toes tend to get (and stay) ice cold in the winter. I haven't figured out a great solution yet. I care to have some dexterity in my fingers, and that is compromised by increased insulation. My feet need to fit in some tennis shoes, so I can only fit so many layers of socks; plus, my shoes and socks get soaked when it's raining... oh well. Overall, I feel really good and proud about my warmth. The other obstacle I need to surmount is the snowy & icy bike path that is neglected by city crews. My mountain bike gets goin when the goin gets rough, fa-sho.
I feel like I should be keeping track of the miles I commute by bike. Not sure why I haven't, or why I would. It would be interesting to add it up, but I don't think it would blow my mind. I would guess I've been biking an average of 12 miles per week... might not have been keeping up with Get Buck. Brandi's been posting some great quotes, like this one and this one. probably haven't heard any good Doom and should go listen to some. I recommend Gates of Slumber. haha

December 7, 2008

Capital of DOOM

This weekend I visited my college roommate, Chris, in Indianapolis. He's been writing music for a Doom band called Gag--which, surprisingly, will include me on bass for the band's one and only show to be held in Chris's parents' basement in two weeks, just before he moves to Portland, Oregon. Yeah, it is that chaotic. We had our first of two practices; the second of which will be on the day of our show. It's gonna be brutal.

My eyes were opened to the strange and hypnotic world that is DOOM. After practice, Chris and I went to a Doom show to see four Doom bands, before going to the after-show to see two more bands that were full of Doom. It was doomalicious. This has led me to believe that Indianapolis may very well be the American capital of Doom--and I mean that in a good way. All I can say is that Doom is heavy and full of soul and, after four beers, it will put me to sleep.

The other two guys in the band, John (guitar) and Patrick (drums), are awesome and I'm pumped to even have met them. They used to be in a band called Angelville. John is married, has a great house, lots of pets, and a really really (really) awesome bike. The similarities are even more eerie: we both got married on the same day of the same year and had both asked Chris to be in our wedding parties. I can't wait for C to meet John and his wife because I think it's so cool to meet another couple that, in my opinion, shares so much in common with us. Too bad Indy is as far from Columbus as it is...

Anyways, I'm excited about this project. It will be the band that Chris and I always wanted to start but never did during the four years we lived together. It's been so meaningful to me and I want to thank C for being so supportive. The music is amazing. I'll try to make sure to get video at the show and post it on this blog. The show will be December 20. Be there and prepare to get a face full of Doom: Doom to the face--Woop!

December 3, 2008


They are a perfect food. And the sound of an apple is that of puppy dreams and rainbows.

When I was a freshman in college, I had the opportunity to tag along with a small group that included a couple of professors and students from somewhere around Wooster to attend a conference titled "Students for Sustainable Agriculture" in Madison, Wisconsin... I think. The whole trip was a whorl-wind and the details were hazy from the start. All I knew for sure was I didn't have to pay for anything, the trip in the van was 8 or so hours, and I was going to a part of the country I had never visited.

Along the way, one of the professors pulled out a bag of apples--probably local and organic, based on the theme of the weekend. As she was talking, she took one out and began eating--that is to say, she never stopped talking, but continued as she crunched through each bite loudly, slurping and crunching, such that I imagine she was gasping for breaths in between the chaos. At first I was grossed out, but became fascinated that she was talking and eating that crisp-slash-juicy apple at once. I don't know about what was the conversation. I am suspicious that all five of us were eventually eating apples and talking. It was marvelous. It gave such life to the apple, as if the perfect sound of an apple was channeled through talking while it was being eaten. It includes that low, muffled bellow that is made when your mouth is full and you try to shield the fact from your friend while continuing to talk; your jaw is hung out a little more than normal as if to hold that food like a plate; your tongue slips to the back of your throat to prevent choking and make space for both food and sound. It defines the collective sound of farms and autumn and sustainability and positive energy...

I am eating one now--a Royal Gala--and the loud, crisp crunch and slurp together fill the relative silence of my closet-sized office.

And it is imperative that a crispy apple be chosen. I'm no connoisseur, but highly recommend Fuji and Galas. No "Red Delicious" for me. That mushy shit has got to go.

Go buy (or pick, then buy... or grow, then pick) a crispy apple and eat that ish off the core. Swim through the sound and make sure it is extra loud. If you can, find someone with an apple and have a lively conversation while you both eat so that chunks of apple flesh and juice are exploding from your mouths like joyous fireworks.
Ok. I'm being a little too sappy here. Admittedly, I really have to be in the mood for an apple--and usually I'm not. Today, I've been hungry all day--so, needless to say, I was really feelin that apple... I didn't mean to belittle puppy dreams or anything. Enjoy at your own risk.

December 1, 2008

Winter Wonder

Thanksgiving just passed and it seems like we're moving full speed ahead towards winter. I think this is the reason I've been contemplating, more seriously, how I want to spend my free time. In the summer, there's no question that time should be spent outside, in the garden, on my bike, or with Alden. As the temperatures have dropped, I've found myself in front of the TV more and more. I've managed to find a lot of shows that I enjoy watching. But my conscience has been pestering me to find something better to do. C and I talked about limiting our television time, and instigating a reward system to "earn" time to sit and zone out. I'm struggling with ideas for good alternatives. I would care to crochet another hat--this time for C. Also, I would like to make use of the sewing machine we borrowed from our parents--maybe make some useful winter layers, or convert my old army duffel into a messenger bag... Read a book, maybe? Cook? In the dead of winter, I will hopefully find some motivation to order seeds for next years garden. Maybe I'll make more art...

November 26, 2008

Ball-buster: Attack on Hipsters

An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning... While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the “hipster” – a youth subculture that mirrors the doomed shallowness of mainstream society.

I don't have enough time to react to the entire article. It's a scathing critique of "hipster" sub-culture, which [it claims] lacks purpose and originality unlike many youth movements preceding it (punk, hip-hop), and rather it steals from those counter-cultures, while being wholly manipulated by the mainstream. That is, hipsterdom is just fashion. It's not anti-fashion, nor is it apathetic to fashion. The look, which was probably born from creativity and frugality (think thrift stores), is now mass produced and consumable in every facet of mainstream society. The way is shallow and dumb and narcissistic.

There are a couple cheap shots about fixed-gear bicycles. My only complaint is that bicycles (of any type) should be free from association in such criticism. Granted, bikes should be accessible and free from co-optation by elitists. However, I find that by making bikes "cool," cycling might be encouraged in a society built for the automobile to revolutionize how we live, work, and travel.

The article makes good points, but makes no attempt at offering a redirection for the so-called misled youth, save the part about picking up a rock instead of holding an iPhone or something... I guess I would suppose that skinny jeans and passionate, creative, revolutionary purpose aren't mutually exclusive. Now that we got the scolding out of the way, let's be helpful.

Don't do drugs.

I originally found the article here.

November 24, 2008


In the interest of avoiding world wide w'redundancy, I'm including a link here to a bmx video (re-)posted at Lately, I've been really geeking out on fixed gear bike videos that have been comin out--a branch of freestyling that basically evolved from BMX.

When I was younger, we skateboarders used to despise BMX-ers and inliners (a.k.a. aggressive rollerbladers). I'm not really sure why there tended to be a breakdown of respect among the three factions that fell under the banner of Alternative Sports. I guess one reason comes to mind: BMX bikes used to blast huge chunks out of wood surfaces and the metal and concrete edges of "obstacles," thereby really fudging up the buttery smooth grinds to which we skaters aspired. Anyway, the rivalry was unquestioned. Sure--these barriers were occasionally transgressed as a skater and biker would find some common ground, but generally the spheres were essentially isolated (due to the respective nature of each sport), without much overlap, and the potential for a tight bond was strained.

These days I've stopped making time to ride my skateboard. The few times I have, I feel stiff and heavy; I barely cruise or carve, let alone pop or flip. I feel like an anvil, and trying to jump is as hard as if I were fighting some force pulling me in the opposite direction. The wood feels stiff and flat and cold; the wheels, like stone or clay, with no forgiveness.

Fortunately, my body has found refuge in my bicycle--with it, I've found a familiar connection with the ground, akin to the connection once afforded me by my skateboard. I move fast and organically. I bounce and dodge and absorb and launch. I claim the street. I learn, intimately, the surfaces of the pavement and sidewalks, and take in the scenery around me. I push and exert myself.

The BMX video above--besides blowing my mind--squelched any remnant barriers between biking and skateboaring in my mind. It's an inspiration to get outside and rekindle that connection with the ground; to live and play, daily, with the world as my playground; to be creative and foster new style; to learn something new and improve my abilities; to share that connection and enjoyment with others...

November 22, 2008

Alden - Birthday #1

Alden is 1 year old today! Here he is with the birthday card sent to him from my mom and Glenn. Wooha

November 21, 2008


C baked a pumpkin pie,
I whipped up some heavy cream
We were meant to be

November 19, 2008

"Chill yourself before you kill yourself" and other thoughts

"Chill yo'self before you kill yo'self"
was precisely what I said to Alden last week when he was getting particularly raucous on a walk outside. I made it up and now you can use it as you see fit.
I had an epiphany the other day about my bike and hopefully I'll get it done this winter. I'm going to switch out my chainwheels and get a track cog that is larger than my freewheel so that I can flip the free and fixed sides of my wheel and ride different gear ratios with the same length of chain. Brilliant! I will have a higher gear for the "free" side and a lower gear for the fixed side so I can avoid busting my knees trying to slow down or skid... This is doubtful, but if I were truly ambitious I would even try to repaint the frame...
Here's a little vid for your viewing pleasure, via

Fixed 2 from Charge Bikes on Vimeo.


My childhood dog, Rambo--the dog that my sister and I lovingly referred to as our brother--recently fell ill and was put to sleep yesterday. He had to be 15 years old, or more. The last few times I saw him he was in poor health: bad sight, poor hearing, and, lately, he could barely walk or stand.

His health plummeted in the past week and doctors could find no hope for his recovery. My mom was faced with the extremely tough decision to let go of him so he could move on to a better place.

I appreciate my sister and her fiance (Andy) for helping to support my mom during this time of loss. My mom and her fiance (Glenn) have lost several dogs recently due to old age. I'm sure all this has been very hard on both of them--but I know they are helping each other get through.

Rambo was a good companion and he will be missed sorely by all of us.

November 14, 2008

Snow, Art Contest

It might not be the official start to winter but we woke up to snow today, experienced a (figurative) blizzard of gigantic flakes, and currently have a quarter inch blanket of whiteness as we are heading to bed. I don't care much for this season, but the first snow is exciting and makes me nostalgic for "hot chocolate" and "peppermint" and all those other winter things. Alden is really excited by the snowy ground too. You could see the expression on his face when he first stepped outside this morning: "What the f---?!"

Blue Moon Brewing Company finally posted up the art contest winners and finalists on their website. Visit this site, if you wish--you'll need to enter your birthday, click the "Art Project" flash, enter your birthday again, then find your way to the Columbus gallery. Big props to the person who took home first place, but boo to the others [<-- that's my poor sportsmanship side coming out]. If you care not to go through the hassle, here's a picture of the original. (Have I posted this yet?)

Maybe the judges were offended by the image of a beer-bellied, large-nipple'd sasquatch irresponsibly guzzling a beer. Oh well. I can't make everyone happy.

November 12, 2008


Big ups to Jessica Love for having been born 27 years ago, today.

Check out her flicks and hire her to photograph something before you lose: boo-ya

She's got a sharp eye, which explains her impeccable style, and her passion for life is clearly the driving force that produces such powerful photos.

Happy birthday, again, Jess--you are good folk. I've never been interested in photography until recently--you inspire me with your dedication to document the lives we are living and your desire to find more life to live.

November 4, 2008

Election 08

It's election day. Hope you last-minute voters aren't having too much trouble casting votes. C and I walked over to our "spot" around 6:00am and were out within 20 minutes after voting began (which was 6:30am).

I spent the rest of the day planting 150+ trees with some others in Dayton at a mitigation wetland. Besides the fact that it pushed our lunch back a few hours, the work was fun. The sun was out and I won't even mind the sunburn I probably got. It will be eclipsed by the tingling of my "Sh-erpes." Feel free to use that new word: it is a hybrid of "shingles" and "herpes." I think "Shingles" makes people uncomfortable, and "herpes" is worse. Sherpes is fun. Kinda' like Sherpa--and who doesn't want to know a Sherpa?

Aside from NPR, I hope to avoid election coverage tonight. Nothing will be decided before tomorrow and I'm sure it will just drive me nutty.

Nap time! PEACE!

November 1, 2008

You know when you get that tingly feeling all over...?

So, a higher power decided to help me figure out a costume for Halloween. I was to be a Roof. No, not really. But I apparently have Shingles. That's right: the varicella zoster virus (A.K.A. herpes zoster (A.K.A. same thing as chickenpox, but different (A.K.A. this fuckin sucks!))).

Here is a really colorful description of my recently latent friend Shingles.

Basically I've been experiencing sharp, pinching pains along the right side of my body, a burning rash of blisters on a small, isolated spot on my back, and tingling, sensitive sensations on the skin all over my torso.

I guess I've been harboring this virus since I had chickenpox as a kid, but my immune system decided to take a break and shit went haywire. Am I emotionally distressed? I don't think so. As I understand it, this should be my only Shingles outbreak for the rest of my life.

Oh well. That's all the venting I want to do about it. Tonight C and I went to see Olympic gymnasts at the Tour of Gymnastic Superstars. That was pretty cool. The best part was C being really excited to go. The second best part was rhythmic gymnastics. Then we hung out with J&M--they had bought Alden a little shirt that says "Bark for Barack" on the back of it! How rad.

Ok, it's Saturday night and I'm ready for sleep. Peeeeeeeeace
Here's a video to lift your spirits. Special dedication to Brandi Lee and all the hippies at the Homestead.

October 31, 2008

Today is Halloween?

I just heard a sound bite of "Joe, Plumber" giving his surprise, out-of-left-field endorsement for "real American, John McCain." I've not been following Republican rhetoric too closely over the past week or so, but I've heard enough to piece together that Republicans have revived the lies that Obama is a terrorist and not a "real American."

On Wednesday, C and I watched Obama's prime-time television spot or uninterrupted "infomercial" of sorts. The best part--which C pointed out when it was over--was that there was not one mention of McCain. It was all very forward-looking and positive and full of solutions. I have a strong suspicion that a spotlight on McCain would have been very different, and focused on Obama.
And apparently, today is Halloween. I'm disappointed that I'm not prepared at all. I've been out of town all week, I have no costume, no candy to pass out, and no pumpkin! I have to even stop handing out candy early to get to my soccer game this evening. It's all quite a bummer. Hopefully I'll find some time this weekend to eat candy, carve a pumpkin, cook some seeds, and dress-up Alden. Maybe I'll make an Obama pumpkin...

Voting happens on Tuesday, for those of us who have not voted early. Coincidentally I am taking a "personal day" on Wednesday, and was pleased to realize I might be able to use the day to either (1) recover from a long night of celebrating or (2) pack and move to Canada. Ha. Just kidding America, I love you.

Signing off,
Dave The Scientist

October 22, 2008

Enjoy Life

I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.
Rita Mae Brown

I hate being away from home because of work. Not only do I enjoy the good company of C and Alden, and the comfort of our house, but I also feel terrible when I'm away and am not able to help with the chores, forcing C to shoulder all responsibility. Monday I left town to go on two-day business trip, like I've done many times before. Sometimes, trips like these, or even long day-trips, really wear me out. The work can be rough, the conditions can be awful, and by the time I return to our doorstep I can be downright miserable. There have been many times when I walk through our door and expect C to run up to me, with all kinds of pity and sympathy and unconditional happiness to see me--as Alden does every time. But to expect that has been a selfish fault of mine--C's job is as physically and mentally taxing, and the job of taking care of Alden for an entire night and morning alone puts my efforts to shame. As much as I need it, C needs the same amount of excitement and enthusiasm and sympathy from me the second I see her. So yesterday, I made sure to go straight to her, with a huge smile on my face, and give her the biggest hug she could imagine. I thanked her for the great dinner she made and for taking good care of Alden and the house. I had even brought home Graeter's ice cream, knowing well that black raspberry chip ice cream is a great way to help swallow some of our daily frustrations. To come in the door with a smile and to give/get a big hug was much nicer than I had hoped.

Later in the evening C turned on some music and set off another one of our increasingly frequent dance parties. I'm not a big fan of participating in structured dance (e.g. ballroom style), but really can't deny C my cooperation. And fortunately I did start dancing with her because things got silly and, after getting kicked really hard in the head, we both enjoyed really good, uncontrollable, boisterous laughter. I love laughing with C. In fact, I would say that C laughing is my favorite thing in the world. It goes well beyond being satisfied, beyond being simply happy. Laughing so fully is the best indication that you are really enjoying life--the only reason to be alive.

So, I guess my lesson here is to get better about not wallowing in defeat, not expecting sympathy or pity, and to rise up with a smile on my face and give the love and appreciation I hope to receive. It's well worth the little bit of effort. If you want to enjoy life, you better expect to put some work into it and to stay positive.

Positive Mental Attitude

October 19, 2008

Buju Banton - Til Shiloh

Link to album Til Shiloh on

Updater [updated]

1. Great soccer game on Friday. I got a lot of props from my teammates about my game, which was really uplifting.

2. Saturday C and I traveled to KY (by way of Cincinnati) to experience my grandparents' annual "weenie roast" down on the farm. The set up was perfect, the food was endless, and the best part was hanging out with family I don't often get to see. My grandpa was in high spirits, despite the cold. Two memorable things he said were: (1) "The truth is better if you lie a little bit," and (2) when asked if he wanted to go home because he was cold he said something along the lines of, "No I'm okay, I'm not cold. I'm only freezing. I'll go in when I warm up and get cold." Oh yeah, when Grandma was looking for the switch for the headlights on his golf cart and a flashlight, Grandpa said he didn't have either of those. She said, "Well you just don't have anything then." And his response was, "I have a hot wife." [Apparently my language doesn't translate precisely what he said and how he said it--I've not managed to insert the amount of "cuteness" and enthusiasm with which he talks. But you gotta believe me] What a good time. Unfortunately C and I felt like we needed to get back to Columbus, so 7 hours of our 13 hour trip were spent in cars. The good part of that was 3 of those hours were with Amanda and Andy, and I've appreciated all the time I've had to spend with those two--getting to know Andy and see what their relationship is like. He's a good guy for sure.

3. Frost last night--not sure how that will mess with some of our especially young plants (kale, lettuce, cilantro...), but it seems to be okay.

4. Getting the house clean today--that's always worth the while. A clean house is very calming.

5. Gonna go on a long walk with C and Aldy to a nearby nature preserve. The sun is out and really warm--it could be one of the last really beautiful weekends we have left. Go enjoy it. PEACE!

October 17, 2008

"One good thing about music..."

"...when it hits you, you feel okay." - Bob Marley

Hey party peoples. How are you? I'm good. This week has been a busy one--hence the lack of blogging--and the next few will carry on the same way. Last Friday, during the midnight soccer game I rolled my ankle and wrecked it in a gnarly way. I blame it on the cleats I bought and had never worn. Also, I was getting pretty aggressive and playing my best game yet. Anyways, the whole team played well and we won.
At work, I've been in the field every day, wearing rubber boots with no support whatsoever, walking steep inclines and through rocky stream beds. Sucks. I have a soccer game tonight, and expect to play, but will take it all easy.
Last night, C bought a Sizzla album (reggae) and it's really making me feel good today. It's a sort of "greatest hits" album. Anyways, it's good music.

I'm not sure what it is about reggae music, but I always feel good when I'm listening to it. Whether it is slow and mellow, or up-beat ska/roots reggae, or a heavy dub mix, it fills me up. It's good to dance to, it can ease oppressive summer heat, and it can warm a Midwestern winter.

So, go find some good reggae. If you don't know where to start, I recommend Bob Marley, or Sizzla. It will make you feel good. Check out and create a Bob Marley "radio station." Actually, this is one I created: check it out.

[Brandi--I hope I don't sound like a total dork. You probably have a lot of insights about reggae. Feel free to school me on it. Say word?]

October 10, 2008


Yesterday was a great day at work--I traveled to southern Ohio, hiking around some impressive topography surrounding a landfill to check out stream quality. Fortunately, for us, the stream beds were mostly dry, so most of our time was spent looking for salamanders and we found four species (The photo above is of a tentatively-identified Slimy salamander). Plus we returned home several hours earlier than we expected and I had the insurmountable pleasure of eating Carlyn's homemade pizzas (Greek, BBQ, and sausage).
Right now I'm getting hyped on some good coffee and music by The Promise Ring after an eye exam I had scheduled this morning. Turns out my right eye cares to wander in certain ways (upward, that is), independent of my left eye. When my brain is tired, it stops trying to control this habit and then I have fun, late-night double-vision. Or "beer-eyes" as I should call it. It's like beer-goggles, but without the goggles. When the doctor was testing this, I was cracking up.
Tonight I have a soccer game at midnight. That should be a good time--hopefully I'm not much more useless than I have been during our earlier games.
I'm looking forward to a fun filled weekend of family, football, and fund raising. (We're participating in a Walk for Autism on Sunday). Cooolness.
In other news, I just learned about an interesting amendment/add-on to the $700b "bail-out plan" that was recently passed: inclusion of the Bicycle Commuter Act. This amends Section 132(f) of the IRS code of 1986 to include “bicycles” in the definition of transportation covered by the qualified transportation fringe benefit, thereby extending commuter benefits to bicyclists. More info is found here. Not sure if this helps me out much, but I might pass this on to my boss to see if he can do anything with it--he bikes too!
I'm out

October 8, 2008

True hope responds

"True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome. True hope responds to the real world, to real life; it is an active effort." - Walter Anderson, American painter
+ listen: Mogwai

September 30, 2008

The distance

In just a matter of time, A Day in the Good Life has shattered the 2000 mark and is plodding its way towards 2030 visitors. I feel like life has been packed full of eventful happenings and the internet has taken a backseat to more urgent matters. The most massive of these priorities has been Alden's flea problem. Fortunately, it's not a huge infestation-size problem--but it is a persistent one and we're going insane trying to find a remedy.

On a positive note, the fleas have kept our minds off the looming financial crisis. Other than our (fixed-rate) mortgage, we don't hold much (if any) debt and all our other assets are cash. I wish I understood better the pro's and con's of the governmental "bail-out." Supposedly it would be bandage the expanding wound that is the collective of our economic problems. Probably, it would be more of a tourniquet. As little as I make sense of it all, I suspect there is some irony in the whole situation. Capitalism is looking for a socialist solution; Wall Street is the new family on Welfare; stocks are the new food stamps; republican economic solutions are the new democrats' massive government. I know these formulas are over-simplified. I also understand that a lot of Republicans are opposed to the proposed bail-out--but I don't know why. The proposal doesn't appear to be a partisan issue. Why are people opposing the bail-out? Are they holding on to laissez-faires economic ideology? Or is it that they just want the bail-out restructured in some other way? What would that plan look like?

I am resisting the urge to get panicked. Carlyn's car is about to kick the bucket, as they say. I've been wondering if, in the name of simplicity, we should trade-in both of our cars for one new one, and learn to live as a one-car household. The question would be, would we get enough in trade to minimize our cost and save enough by eliminating car insurance, that we could afford a car with little to no debt and in fact save money in the long run? Thoughts?
In other news:
1. The glasses I ordered (pictured below) were too small so will be returned, just as I will return to search for the perfect pair of vintage frames! Wish me luck...
2. Carlyn's parents invited us to join them in Hocking Hills over the weekend. They rented a chalet with a beautiful hilltop view. We hiked the ~6 mile loop between Cedar Falls and Old Man's Cave--which is at least three times longer than the longest walk Alden has ever completed. He made it the whole way with no complaint! I was super excited and proud of him. Overall, the retreat was much needed and really appreciated.
3. This weekend, Carlyn's mom brought down another shipment of plants from her garden to get us started on our lawn-less landscape. Hopefully by this time next year, our front yard will be exploding with biomass/habitat/food/color!

September 24, 2008


Supposedly, this blog is about to burst through the "2000 visits" mark since I first applied the web counting widget months after I started the thing. As of ten seconds ago the count was "1,997." I guarantee an overwhelming majority of those visits were me furiously editing, checking, and re-editing every post I publish. Nonetheless, I feel very satisfied that the page is getting as much traffic as it supposedly is--even if many virtual passers-by are accidental intruders that stay only long enough to realize this wasn't the website they hoped it would be. So, thanks to you, everyone.

I don't have much else to report... My poison ivy is subsiding and I didn't have pink-eye. It's Wednesday, and I'm already getting nervous for my soccer game on Friday. I bought these vintage eyeglass frames on Ebay and hope they fit....

September 23, 2008

Pass the ruckus - Part 2: Brandi Lee Gets Buck

I cannot remain silent any longer: my friend Brandi Lee is running a blog called Get Buck and it is perhaps the most enjoyable website I visit on a daily basis. Brandi is from Brooklyn, she happens to be the coolest person I've ever met, and she's proving it daily. Get Buck is a growing treasure trove of quotes, video clips, thoughts, photos, music, and links. Absorb all of it you possibly can.

On a quick note, I met Brandi in Louisville, KY, back in...1999? 2000? After she moved back to NY, she invited me to travel across the country with her. We drove from Cincy out to LA, then over to Austin, TX. She visited me at Denison a couple times and even came out to our wedding last year. Brandi is the hardest working, most loyal, and most genuine person I've ever met in my life. I'm truly grateful to have met her and to have the honor of keeping in touch with her. Anyways, check out her blog. And go buy some of her art

Say word?

September 19, 2008


I just got home from my first indoor soccer game. Long explanation short, it was a rough ending for a rough week, although hardly cathartic. I was surprised to find out that I really REALLY suck at soccer. I was like a blubbering idiot on the field--but damned if I didn't run the entire stretch, back and forth, back and forth. The guy who organized the team was trying to give me some tips while I was playing. When that apparently didn't help, he asked if I had ever played basketball. I said, "Yeah, and I sucked at that too." Hopefully he enjoyed the laugh he got out of that. If you've ever seen the movie (or read the book), Fight Club, imagine those guys if they formed an indoor soccer team. Then imagine the warehouse where they built two fields to play. That's what the experience is like. I felt like I was thrown into the deep end of a pool... with sharks. And the sharks are all really good at soccer. In fact, the sharks are all obsessed with it. I played as hard as I could and may have contributed with a few steals and blocks and scare-tactics. We have some really good players on our team, The Tools, and they were all generous with their support and compliments. The final score was 5-2, them. Anyways, I hope I improve dramatically over the next eleven games.

In other news, in addition to the spreading poison ivy, I believe I've been cultivating "conjunctivitis" in my right eye throughout this entire day. This means I might be able to justify the $75 co-pay to visit the Urgent Care in the morning to get prescriptions of steroids and whatever it is that clears up pink-eye. It also means I get to schedule an eye exam and maybe treat myself to a new pair of eyeglasses.

September 16, 2008

Pass the ruckus + horse power

You may have noticed that I have set up the navigation bar on the right side of my blog site to be a dashboard filled with all the sites I visit almost daily. In case you've managed to restrain yourself from visiting those sites as much as I do, let me pluck one, whose latest entry deserves more attention:
Only One Manda - Choose? You Can't Make Me
All of Amanda's posts are thought provoking, let alone brilliant. This particular one was inspiring and encapsulated many of the feelings that have stirred in me: the conflict of being an enthusiastic proponent of life, but also considering myself pro-woman's-choice. Anyways, feel free to visit, or not. Either way, I'll rest easy knowing I made an effort to prod you in the direction of this piece of writing. In fact, I recommend bookmarking the blog and reading it often. Amanda is what I would call a Theological Scholar, so take into account the uniqueness of her perspective.
Not only is this a "tip of the hat" to Amanda, but it's also a way of shirking the responsibility of coming up with something better about which to write. Yesterday I made a prediction that small towns in America will experience a resurgence of transportation by horse. I would care to know how expensive a gallon of gasoline will need to be to make it cost-effective for a person in a rural area to ride a horse to town to run errands... Anyways, that's what I whipped up, and didn't feel like it was so inspiring. So, enjoy Amanda's thoughts and then go do something great.

peace - D

September 15, 2008

grumplestiltskin [amended]

Brutal winds pushed through town yesterday. It was a pretty awesome occurrence unlike a wind storm I've ever experienced. Fortunately it seems that our house and yard kept pretty solid, with the exception being most of our tomato plants.

I don't have much else to write about--I'm at the office early this Monday morning, getting prepared for a full week of long, torturous days in the field. As much as I understand how beneficial it could be to be full of positivity [C has been teaching me about The Secret--shhhhh], instead I'm full of resentment.

Part of the reason could be the poison ivy on my right arm, the yellow-jacket sting on my left arm, the fact that both of those things were acquired during the... volunteer work I did on Saturday morning..., or the random rash that has been hangin out on my back side for about a week or so...


[It's now two days later--Wednesday--and the week is going a bit better than I had expected. Today we spent a short bit outside--trying out new equipment for applying herbicides to narrow-leaved cattail--but the rest of the day is to be spent at the office. I was dropped off at home for lunch, took Aldy on a walk/run in the nearby field, and biked to work. Also, the cattail control we're expected to do over the next two days should be easier and faster than we originally anticipated. That said, I'm doing fine--despite the fact that the reaction my body is having to the poison ivy has spread to both my armpits! So, sorry for sounding so desperate and miserable on Monday--but it was apparently just a case of the Mondays... I'm looking forward to Friday: my first indoor soccer game. The rest of the weekend will be spent in Cleveland and will include the celebration of my grandfater-in-law's (Papa's) birthday... Ok, peace f'real.]

September 6, 2008


This is the first weekend in a long time that we didn't have anything planned and it hit me like a car. It's a great feeling to have nothing to do--and it's even better to realize all the things you want to do to fill that time. I spent a lot of Saturday outside, planting some more spinach, kale, cilantro, and a lettuce mix in the garden. Then I performed some heavy-duty overhauling on the cherry tomato plants, pulling off rotten fruit and clipping off spent branches. We were so overwhelmed with cherry tomatoes early in the season that I had been neglecting them over the past few weeks. After that, I plugged in some creeping juniper shrubs and a rhododendron in the front yard. All the while, C painted us a new canvas for our bedroom then painted our front door a refreshing teal color [picture to come].
Sunday morning we met up with J&M for breakfast at North Star downtown. The rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning our house like maniacs. I managed to get down to the bike shop to get a fixed gear cog put on my bike. That ish is ridic.
Tonight I also had my first (and maybe only) practice for the soccer team I just joined. Some people from C's office formed a team for the local, indoor, co-ed, "fun" league. I think we're called "The Tools." That should explain how serious we are. Everybody was super nice and it was painfully clear that I really suck at soccer. I think we have enough experienced players that our team will put up a fight each game. I'm sure there will be a lot more to say about all that after games start--Friday nights, starting September 19th.
Currently, I'm exhausted and am going to be disappointed at the lameness of this post when I re-read it tomorrow...
A la prochain

September 3, 2008

One down

On Monday, C and I celebrated our ONE YEAR wedding anniversary! It's almost hard to believe that one year has already passed. I say "almost" because I'm not completely surprised. C is an amazing person. I never get bored of spending time with her. She has great ideas that keep us doing good things--despite the few times we've hit ruts of boredom, we usually find something to do. For this reason, time slips by us. Also, I believe marriage has afforded a profound sense of security and peace between us. I'm grateful for all thatshe is and all she gives. I'm constantly learning how to be a better person, and hope she feels the same way about me.

And, as if it were a Saturday afternoon infomercial (if you act now you will also receive this free gift!), I married into the best family I never could have imagined. C's parents came down over the weekend to help install a ceiling fan in our bedroom, overhaul our landscaping, and treat us to dinner. The best part was that they had saved the top tier of our wedding cake and brought it. It was AMAZINGLY good--better than I remember. J stopped by on Monday with a gift she crafted, plus a plate of some awesome almond sushi and a sweet card. Terry sent us really beautiful messages of love and congratulations. I never thought I could feel like such a loved member of a new family.

I'm blessed to have met C and knew that we were meant to be together from day one. I'm constantly attracted to her and I know that feeling will never fade. She is the greatest gift I could receive and I hope to provide her with the best life she could want.

As you can see in the picture above, C and I celebrated the first anniversary of our marriage in a very permanent way. Think of it as a metaphor...

August 26, 2008

Greed Life

This just in: Good Life clothing company (A.K.A. GLIFE or GEELIFE) of Montreal capitalized on the name that I wanted for my dream company name. This appears to be their mission statement:

Born out of the inner revolutionary stance of everyday street life, at GOOD LIFE aka GLIFE we strive to create art & fashion-forward collectables that reflect our dedication in defining what inspires us NOW… so we can avoid waking up one morning to the horror of having what we all love being defined for us.


Collectables? Not only is the word misspelled, but I believe the "GOOD LIFE" should have nothing to do with collecting. Investing is good. Upgrading is fine. But collecting? Don't argue semantics with me--I'm talking about hording stupid shit, keeping it in mint condition (i.e., not using it), and then expecting others to be impressed by your piles of shit. That's dumb. (At the same time, I see value in general record collecting, preservation, and maintenance of other historically relevant artifacts, so don't get it twisted.)

While I realize that all the ideals I've loaded into the term "Good Life" wouldn't ever be embodied in something material, and buying material things won't transfer the thrills and enjoyment of a Good Life to a consumer, I'm still sore that the name has been taken and abused. Of course my definition of the Good Life is meaningless to the next person, but I will continue to live as if my vision (despite its ever-changing nature) is the one and only.

If I had a company that was based on the (real) Good Life, it would have integrity. It wouldn't be cheap designs slapped on shirts. Granted, their concepts are similar to designs I've created in the past, and are akin to designs of other brands that I would care to emulate, but it's been executed in poor taste. I would hope that my company wouldn't even be primarily focused on the merchandise--it's about the message. GEELIFE's Good Life is filled with gang signs, dollar signs, and a crown that looks like the Intel Inside logo's inbred, clip-art cousin. A few collaborations with some established names and Glife is rolling.

Anyways, jealousy and envy have got my blood boiling right now.
Lesson learned? Get on it.

Thoughts about reading, work

Let it be known: I don't like to read. In most cases, I read slowly, and often need to re-read parts of or entire sections of the printed material, whatever it is. What's worse is even this strategy fails to result in a permanent deposit of the information in my memory bank. I quickly get bored and set the book down, possibly returning to start from the beginning at a later time. I do well with short articles and video clips. I don't believe I have a "learning disability," but feel free to leave a diagnosis in the Comments section...or perhaps an interesting fact you may have picked up in a book recently.

I do admire the person who enjoys reading and recognize that there is an endless amount of useful information and advice contained in printed pages... I'm not sure where this leaves me. Fortunately for me, our society is super-saturated with electronic media containing concise bites of information. Some of it is bunk. Take my commentary on the 2008 Presidential Elections. Most of the information I include is useless, emotionally charged opinions. That's not to say it's baseless, but it is rather useless.

So, back on topic: I hope to read something one day. I'm not sure where to start, or when. I guess I'm usually drawn to non-fiction materials (the most boring of all) as they seem to contain the most "bang for your buck," as far as "learning stuff" is concerned. I'm just not sure when I'll make time for it. I don't think I ever have a free moment. I'm either working, playing, fetching, or resting. If I get a free moment, I can find something with which I would rather fill it.

Speaking of personal behaviors, I also want to talk about work ethic. I don't care too much about the work for which I am employed. I'm not "invested" in it as much as my boss would hope. I get paid for 40 hours of work, and care to be present for only that many hours. My boss sees it differently. As I am an "exempt, salaried employee," he would have me working well over 40 hours (but never less). He has lost sight of the fact that I am invested in my home life (my wife, my dog, my house, and my hobbies) and expects me to take some stake in the company--motivation to work hard without compensation in the short term. One of these days this fact might become unavoidable, or it might change. For now, I am getting by, as they say.

Oh well. Enjoy the new blog header. The photo was taken by Jessica Love. I've also made a few other amendments, like changing colors and adding a couple links of sites I enjoy visiting.

Stay up! D

August 25, 2008

lion life

"it's better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb"
New music project by Zach de la Rocha and Jon Theodore

August 21, 2008

The Goods (Plus, "Everyday is the Worst Day")

Been thinking about employer-employee relationships, or tensions, lately, and remembered there's a band called Employer Employee. I looked them up and they are really good. Their style sums up that very tension on which I've been dwelling. I think my friend Brandi used to listen to them, no? She probably did. I can imagine her imitating a mosh pit like, making a face like she's singing, like: ----!!!! Nevermind. Ha

John McCain...I forget what I was going to say. Not sure why I feel compelled to attack his reputation and his campaign. I wouldn't hesitate to say that I've been very negative against him and I'm not too worried about it. Today I heard a sound bite of an interview with McCain in which he was asked how many homes he owned, and he declined to answer. He had to check with his staff or something. At a later time he claimed four homes, while an attack add by Obama claims seven. Supposedly McCain has four residences and other "investments." Does that matter? Not really. But it irks me.

Also, I can't figure out my bike tire and that makes me feel really stupid. And when I feel stupid, I get angry. Like, piping hot mad. Ask C. Haha

Also #2, I came home to find that Alden had eaten an entire bag of dog treats. What a jerk!

This is the most pointless entry.


I "figured out" my bike tire! Apparently my car-powered air pump just sucked and the floor pump I purchased at the local bike shop did the trick...

Also, "Everyday is the Worst Day" was C's suggestion for today's blog post. We're both exhausted from the additive effects of small problems and stupid happenings that seem to have been more frequent than usual. However, I'm sure even she will admit that we live a charmed life.

Say word?

August 20, 2008


On my ride to work this morning, two men in a pickup truck yelled at me to "Get off the road!" as they passed while revving the engine. As loud as I could, just short of cupping my hand around my mouth in appropriate bullhorn fashion, I responded "Fuck you!" It appeared as if they had then entered into a lively discussion about cyclists' disregard for the rights of motor vehicles, affirming their correctness and moral duty to remind me of where bikes don't belong. I recall shaking my fist in the air in a comical, grumpy-old-man sort of way, but I don't think that really happened. I was really hoping the stop-light ahead of us would have turned red so that I could pass and give them an angry look, or to offer them a brief lesson on Ohio roadway legislation; although, I never think "on my feet," as they say, and the whole incident might have escalated into fisticuffs. Almost simultaneously (but unrelated to the ignorant hecklers) I heard a succinct "POOF!" underneath me and concluded I ran over some trash that usually lines the margins of the road. About 100 feet later my deflated front tire sounded the buzzing moan that characterizes the resistance of flabby rubber on pavement. Fortunately, my commute to the office is a short one (~1.5 mi) and I was already two-thirds of the way there. So, I walked. I regret not having a spare tube with me--and I look forward to being better prepared next time, especially if I find myself much further from my destination, down a creek without a paddle, or up a creek with a bike instead of a boat, or whatever...

I've decided not to interpret the flat as karma; a supernatural sign that I shouldn't curse loudly in public or shouldn't respond to ignorance with anger and ill-will. Instead, I've chalked it up to out-of-the-ordinary obstacles trying to derail my enjoyment of biking that add up to an eventful morning before a mundane day at the office.

By the way, cyclists are allowed to be on the road and are allowed to claim the full width of the lane as necessary for safety in certain situations. In some (if not most) cities, bicycles are legally obligated to be ridden on the road, as it has been proven that biking on sidewalks is generally unsafe.

August 15, 2008

Shout-out + Re-vision

Reviewing yesterday's post I had one of those smack-my-own-forehead moments of self-disapproval; I failed to send out a very public "Happy Birthday" to my dad. He turned 51 yesterday! Also, a point worthy of note, C will be turning a very beautiful 25-years old tomorrow. I will admit, the dread inside is growing as I really don't want her to be disappointed in her special day. She deserves the world and I want to be the one to give it to her, on a silver platter. Or a polka-dotted one if she would like it.

Speaking of C, she and I had an interesting discussion yesterday about jobs, the economy, and our parallel vision of the Good Life. I don't want to give away any secrets, but I would care to say that I feel very good about the future, which will hopefully include checking-off most of the items on that list I wrote up in high-school... Nothing is very certain, and some of our radical ideas are in a very primitive stage, but I realized C has the imagination to create a better life and I'm on board. I also realized that since high school I've not "stepped outside the box," and have found myself in a stream that might be carrying me away from the original ideals that originally inspired me. The Good Life--which I'm apparently NOT living--seems more feasible than ever and it's within reach. I just need to accept the challenge and take the leap. [and I don't mean "plunge" here!]

Say word?

August 14, 2008

Garden 2008: Successes and Failures

I realized yesterday I should take a minute to jot down some of the many things I've learned from our garden this growing season; successes, failures, and ideas for different approaches to next year's garden. I'm not sure what would be the best model for this entry, and in light of the carpel tunnel I've developed after a few hours of weed-whacking cattails at a local mitigation wetland yesterday, I'll keep it as a brief list that might be expanded on later...

1. We got vegetables! Lots of vegetables. Maybe too many of only a couple varieties (see Failure #1). What was also cool was that this crop is pretty tolerant of the climate without needing lots of maintenance.

2. The seeds were started in good time so that tomatoes were rocking to be put in the ground not long after the last frost and really started growing huge!

1. We planted too much of only a few things all at the same time. This included 3 zucchini plants, 3 hot jalapa pepper plants, and 6 tomato plants! What?! Are you kidding? Nope. We really did that. It might not have been so overwhelming if we staggered the plantings by about one month. That way, by the time the first plant started closing up shop, a new one would be all fired up. Instead we have ended up with a pile of zucchini and tomatoes, and don't have any more cilantro coming to us this year.

2. (This sort of ties in with Failure #1...) We planted ALL of the seeds of a few varieties of plants. This included all of our tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, parsley, and cilantro. What we could have done was planted only a few seeds of each (because, as we learned above, we didn't need so much all at one time) and saved the rest to either stagger the plantings to extend the harvest or to use next year and save a good amount of money.

3. We didn't pick the zucchini fast enough. The result: giant zucchini! It is my belief that by letting the fruits grow too big, it sucks lots of nutrients out of the rest of the plant (and the ground) and hurts other fruits that could be produced.

4. We didn't stake the tomatoes or pepper plants early enough which hurt the plants and made it very complicated to finally get the cages around them. Hopefully this will be done at the same time the starts are plugged into the ground!

New Ideas for 2009
1. More vegetables! Here are veggies I would like to try:
- romaine lettuce
- beets
- beans and/or peas
- onions
- edible flowers (i.e. pansies)

2. More structure. It would be cool to have a trellis or a bamboo tepee for certain plants (runner beans) to climb. Maybe a raised section of the bed, or introducing a potted plant, will add an interesting aesthetic...

3. Lots more flowers! Sunflowers especially! Other herbs, like chamomile are pretty and interesting, and fill space well...

4. Try to use organic pesticides or repellents to keep away certain insects (esp. those that like our zucchini!)

Ok. That's all for now...Peas! D

August 12, 2008

A few things that would care for some attention

- In my last post, I didn't intend to suggest that the two "highlights" I provided there were the only good things that happened over my week in the OBX. I wanted them to illustrate the awesomeness and the hilarity we were fortunate to experience on vacation. What I failed to mention was that, (as I predicted) C and I were able to spend a lot of really high quality time together, one-on-one. There's nothing better than that.

- Returning to the aforementioned "highlights" of the OBX trip, I've tentatively identified the sea turtle as a Loggerhead. Out of the five species found in North Carolina, the Loggerhead is the most common. Incidentally, all five of those same species are endangered.

- I'm pretty confident I did not place in any of the top three spots of the Blue Moon art contest, nor did I receive the audience choice award... Oh well. I still get $100 which will be the most money I've received for a piece of art work yet.

- C loves the Olympics and I wish I was Mike Phelps, for her sake.

- The McCain campaign is full of douche-baggery.

August 10, 2008

Home on the Range

We've returned from vacation and I really wish I had another week to unwind from the trip. My brain is so tired that I can't even think about writing much. Really, the middle of the week was very relaxing. Every day was spent on soaking up the sun at the pool, boogie-boarding in the ocean, napping, eating, contributing to the group's efforts toward finishing the puzzle, and drinking. I was even so relaxed I was persuaded to finally pick up a book and start reading it. [While I care to mention said book is Bill Bryson's The Lost Continent, I would also care to note I do not necessarily endorse this author due to his outstanding arrogance and pretentiousness.]

Two highlights of the trip:
1. Witnessing a massive sea turtle patrolling the shoreline, probably looking for a safe place to lay eggs.
2. Terry asking "Whatcha gon' doooo?!"

It's great to be at home with Alden who we missed so much. The garden was in shambles, and I will hopefully spend the next eight months accumulating a much better plan for our landscaping and next year's vegetables. The weather is perfect and I really don't want to return to work...

More later...


July 31, 2008


Today is my last post forever. Not really--I'm going on vacation and plan on not spending any appreciable time at a computer. Instead, I'll be learning how to surf at the beach, or getting my stank-on at Uncle Pauly's. While I'm not sad about not posting for 10 or so days, I am sad to be leaving Alden in Ohio, and my bike (which is not nearly as dear to my heart as my dog).

One or two positives is that my time away from a computer will hopefully break me of my latest habit of obsessively checking Craigslist and Ebay for bikes and bike parts. It's a ridiculous phenomenon, these 24/7 auction houses available on the internet. I've seen some really great deals come and go on the computer, and it's enough to drive a greedy man insane. I need to face the fact that my "lucrative trading business" just won't get off the ground and wasn't meant to be. Anyways, I hope to return to the Midwest cured of this and many other vices.

Another positive will hopefully be the quality time spent with C, where we can talk, not about work and not while fighting with Alden to stop eating one thing then another.

Until then, enjoy the new (and temporary) background color. Soak it up like you would the penetrating radiation of the sun. Better yet, go outside (if it's daylight when you read this) and soak up the real stuff, and pretend you're at the beach.


July 30, 2008

Driving Report

Almost every day in the past two months I've ridden my bike past the intruding gas station marquee that advertises the current price for a gallon of gasoline. It has become my morning news; my ticker-tape for the state of the economy. As prices have been increasing, I've felt an increasing sense of pride that I've been driving less and biking more. The fear of economic depression and insecurity is looming, but hasn't gotten under my skin, yet. I was also proud to hear that driving has declined across America. Yesterday, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported this:

Federal Highway Administration data released Monday [shows] Americans drove 9.6 billion fewer miles this May than in May 2007, the third-largest monthly drop in the 66 years the data has been collected.

The May decline was 3.7 percent from a year earlier and continues a seven-month decrease in driving that has amounted to more than 40 billion fewer miles traveled since November 2007 compared with the same period a year earlier.

It is apparent that Americans' driving behaviors are changing dramatically and quickly, in response to increasing gas prices. This will have interesting effects in a society whose infrastructure has evolved in the past 50 years to accommodate almost exclusively the privately-owned automobile.

Very recently, gasoline prices have begun to recede slightly--presumably due to the decrease in driving (i.e., demand). I am wondering, if dramatic increases in prices will modify behavior as we are seeing, will the opposite be true, and in just as little time? My suspicion is that is will not. People's behaviors are also changing because our future is becoming less certain or predictable. Driving less is a result of economic fearfulness and we won't be quick to peek our heads out from under the comforter. [Any thoughts or comments on this?]

Perhaps driving less will force us to stay within and move around our neighborhoods, by bike, or on foot. Maybe this will at first feel like a trap or prison, with limited breathing room. I'll admit, I'm worried to think that traveling to Cincinnati or Cleveland, let alone North Carolina, will become increasingly difficult. But it's also exciting to think that maybe our communities will be better because of this new (potential) situation. Of course, new technologies and alternative options will become more available. One day we might find ourselves catching a solar powered (?) train traveling between Cleveland and Porkopolis, right down the middle of empty ol' Interstate 71.

July 25, 2008


I've been drinking too much coffee lately. This fact was confirmed yesterday at the dentist's office during my not-so-routine cleaning. When asked if I have been experiencing any problems of the oral variety, I mentioned a nagging pain in my jaw. Turns out that pain stems from the more-than-usual teeth grinding I've be doing lately. Turns out, that grinding is likely the result of "a lot of coffee." I interpreted that as I am addicted to coffee and have been grinding my teeth during withdraws. Shit! Oh well. If I can stop grinding, then I'm good to go, right? Maybe I need to mix my caf' with a little bit of de-caf... Also found out that my poor flossing routine has resulted in a minor gum infection that should clear up if I start flossing regularly. Groooooss!

In other news, I just bought some bike-specific pants that will hopefully fit and look good from a company in L.A. called SWRVE. I'm not talking about the painted-on spandex you'll see on many-a leisure trail. These are like semi-stretchy capris (a.k.a. knickers, shants, or man-pris) that add a little function to form. Anyways, I always feel a little uneasy about spending "a lot" of money on one particular thing, and this purchase was no exception.

Will you go to the prom with me?

July 24, 2008

What the dizzle?

Do you know what is a "bull pizzle"? Well we didn't either until after we bought one for Aldy--his reward for walking to the pet store to get a new type of leash. This "pizzle" smells as gross as it probably should, so tonight it's going in the trash! Sorry pup. But you should've seen him; he carried the thing all the way home from the store and was walking with the proudest gait I've seen.

I think C is gonna puke.

July 23, 2008

Gas Problem

After suffering through exposure to numerous lists of how to survive the current gas-price crisis, through local news programs, newspaper articles, chain emails, and radio sound bites, I decided to write an entry expressing my frustration that I wasn't hearing what I thought should be the number one tip: don't drive! A quick internet search and it seemed like my frustration was going to be validated. In this list of "30 Gas Saving Tips," there is not ONE mention of "not driving" as a way to decrease one's spending on gas! I expected that if a list of thirty tips wouldn't provide the answer for which I was hoping, none of the more popular "top ten" lists would. Interestingly, the thirty-tip list included a link, immediately under its own article, to "45 Professional Tips to Cut Big Gasoline Bills." This would be the clincher--if I couldn't find a recommendation that not driving was the answer, I could rest (un-) easy that our society was mentally screwed by the automobile industry. Alas, the TOP TWO suggestions were these:

# 1. Before getting into your car, ask yourself "Is this trip necessary?"!
# 2. On short trips, try walking or bicycling. It's good exercise.

What a relief! This is the promotion I was hoping to see. To figuratively "pinch myself," I decided best-out-of-three would afford me real hope. Back in the search engine, I clicked the link to "Top Ten Fuel Saving Tips." After each tip, my heart sank a little lower. Was our country destined to be enslaved by the automobile? Finally, seconds left on the clock, in overtime, and the hail-Mary pass was received in the in-zone:

#10. Don't drive. Not a popular thing to say on a car site, I know, but the fact is that if you can avoid driving, you'll save gas...

It's not too often when I feel okay about being wrong. I'm glad to know that at least some journalists--more than I expected--are willing to slip in an endorsement that really tackles the bigger issues at hand. I'll admit, all of the lists--whether they promote alternatives to driving or not--are useful for helping to conserve gasoline and make driving more efficient which is relatively better for the environment. However, I "personally believe" that it's essential to promote alternative forms of transportation and really revolutionize the way our towns and cities are structured--to benefit communities and the environment, rather than cater to out-dated, out-of-scale industries.


July 18, 2008

Birthday No. 25

Sorry for letting that last relatively negative post stink up this blog for two entire days. It's Friday, the sun is out, and I'm completely refreshed after a wonderful 25th birthday.

First off, I need to publish to the world (wide web) that my wife is the greatest, most generous person I could've fallen so deeply in love with and married, and the only with whom I want to spend the rest of my life. She has spoiled me rotten, even more than normally. She showered me with presents that I don't deserve and then organized a really wonderful night with some family and close friends to end it all right. I enjoyed a quality dinner at Cornerstone Deli, downtown, with C, J&M, Liz, and Ben, which was followed by decadent cake (made and decorated by C), candles, wishes, and The Birthday Song, all in the deli. Then we spent the evening enjoying great seats at The Crew soccer game. Also: shout out to J&M for the really great "Urban Gardener" shirt (it fits!) and my sister, Amanda, for sending me a badass lunch box made from recycled billboard vinyl! What great surprises!

Not sure what's going on this weekend, but I know it wont be work for me. Maybe a little time in the garden, some on my bike, and hopefully all of it will be with C and Alden (who just got neutered, earlier this week). Two weeks and counting 'til we get packed to go on a Galicki/Love/Ferguson-style vacation in the O-B-X, which I'm more than excited about.

Chin up

July 16, 2008

Let Downs, All Around

[This post has been slightly modified]

So, yesterday it seemed like I had been hit with a cluster bomb. Just some really "bummer" things happening all around me, with friends and family, not to mention across America. And all at once. Seriously! One day. Well, since most of it is not my business to talk about, I will write about the recent and second admonishment I received at work for my choice of office attire... I'll admit my clothes--which have for a long time been an integral part of my self-identity--are a part of my motivation to get dressed everyday and leave the house, with pride and confidence, to come sit and write a report, or to go get a sunburn in a tick-infested field of poison ivy and thorn bushes, at the same time ankle-deep in mud and constantly battling mosquitos. [I also realize that after clothes comes dictation of my hair style, etc... When does it stop?!]

With the economy in this state, I understand I don't have much wiggle room and should care to keep what is truthfully a great job. Oh well. If I didn't have this job, what would I do? I don't think I'd be hired to do anything very similar, and I'm not sure I'd care for anything that is. In that regard, I am inclined to prefer working as a bike mechanic or tattoo artist and spending more time at home growing a bigger garden. But I'll let that happen when it happens.

July 11, 2008

Self Portrait [edited 07/24/08]

I just submitted [a] photo for an art show hosted by Blue Moon Brewing Company here in Columbus, Ohio. If my piece, "Summer Night Sasquatch," is accepted for the show, it will be hung with the other finalists' (up to 40 of them, I think) and could be judged as one of the top three, or audience choice, and receive a favorable cash prize (my motivator).

[My piece has been accepted as a potential finalist! I need to fill out some paperwork and jump through a couple of hoops of fire, but it looks like I'm a step closer to 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place!]

July 7, 2008

Senior Will

This is the page I submitted at the end of high school for the compilation of my senior class' "Senior Wills." I suspect the whole student-organized publication was more relevant to the high school fraternity and sorority which both included underclassman members to whom advice and inside jokes could be passed. Either way, I felt like I could leave a mark or make a lasting impression on my peers by listing out goals based on certain ideals I had been cultivating during my last years in high school. I realize now my page comes off a little self-righteous, but that wasn't my entire intention. Maybe I hoped more to inspire others than I cared to publicize my pretentiousness. These thoughts were fertilized by the writings of authors such as Wendell Berry (esp. The Unsettling of America) and the Nearings' Living the Good Life. At the time I was getting into self-reliance, subsistence and sustainable living, and voluntary simplicity. Real hippie shit. I also wanted to create a page that stood out from all the other boring pages of inside-the-box, word-processor typed paragraphs.

Long explanation short: I found my copy of Senior Wills whilst cleaning out old stuff from my mom's house. I decided to keep this as a measuring stick of what goals or ideals I've kept with me over the past 6 years, and what I might keep as future goals. Click on the photo for a bigger version you might be able to read.

There are many goals on that list I haven't accomplished yet, but I was pretty impressed that I had completed several, including the ability to touch my toes [periodically].

If I could I would change this sentence: "If anything, find LOVE, PEACE, and HAPPINESS" to say "If anything, make LOVE, PEACE, and HAPPINESS." As I've been told, happiness is not an end, it's a path.

June 30, 2008

Weekend end

I had a particularly good weekend this Friday, my co-worker Kashmira brought me a tub full of beautiful bright orange day-lilies to transplant to my yard. As soon as I got home from work, I plugged them in our front yard around the eyesore we call a gas line. Saturday, C and I were up by 6:30 a.m. Can't remember much of what we did, but the day seemed to go by pretty slow... Sometime that afternoon, I bought a brand new wheelset for my bike off a guy for an unbelievable price (in my novice opinion)-- apparently this guy, who is the manager of a nearby bike shop, bought a complete bike, and replaced the wheels with his own custom set. The wheels are unused, and outfitted with tubes and tires. What's more, for those of you who care, the rear wheel came with a flip-flop hub and a freewheel. At some point in the afternoon, I think C and I went to the gym and worked out a bit. We also had a really pleasant dinner at Westerville's Uptown Market Bistro... and maybe it's worth mentioning that C found that one of our zucchini plants produced a monster zucch, compared to the other fruits it's been putting out. By Sunday, the new day-lilies were putting our brilliant new blossoms adding a terrific display of firework-like color to our front yard of solid green foliage. I bought a new bike chain and tool and successfully finished the conversion of my bike to a single speed. C and I biked a long way to get some good food at the "good Skyline" and went swimming at the Community Center (and my wheel and new chain stayed on the entire trip!). Later in the day, C made some perfect-as-usual pizza and we took Aldy downtown to check out Comfest and a local band called Pirate. While we were there I got a really great compliment ("Niiiice kicks") on my new shoes (an early birtday present from C). We hung out with J and Bella, then came home to eat some more good pizza and homemade smoothies... Fortunately this work week is a short one, due to the holiday weekend, so hopefully we can make our next mini-vacation even better than the last.

June 9, 2008

Love Life

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin, 'Poor Richard's Almanack,' June 1746

This weekend I was fortunate to be a part of the beautiful wedding ceremony and celebration of Michael and Jessica MacMaster: two people I love very much for all they are and all they do. I'm not going to try to rival C's speech/toast from the reception, so I'll keep my discussion short... for now. I do want to admit that watching Jess walk down the aisle had me tearing up and it was all I could do, including turning around to look at the bridge behind us, to hold myself together. I think my emotions were the result of a combination of being ecstatic for Jess and Mike, remembering the feelings from my recent wedding (which included so many of the same people), and the selfish happiness I was feeling for being part of such an awesome family that now includes Mike.

Life is flying and we need to keep up with it. It's easy to forget that time is precious and I'm glad that the past four days were spent with family and good friends from out-of-town and across the country. This morning, Mom and Dad Love were the last of those out-of-towners to leave and I was sad. There's nothing better than being around people you love and enjoying their company. Everyone put in a lot of effort to make this weekend great. I want to give a special mention of the selfless efforts of my beautiful and generous wife, C, that I was able to witness, first hand, over the past several months. I can't begin to list all that she did, but would care to say that I am constantly impressed and always proud and hope that soon I might develop her intuition and absorb even only a fraction of her generosity.

Mike and Jess, I wish you a long life of happiness together and hope that the four of us are never far apart (literally!) for long.
See? That was selfish.

Enjoy it before it's passed.

June 4, 2008

Rainy daze

Today, central Ohioans woke up to the second day of rain in what is supposed to be nearly a week of continuous downpour. Throughout my post-adolescent life, I've grown to be so mentally affected by gray and rainy weather: I get irritable and lethargic, depressed and offensive. I trace this back to the days when Ryan and I would skateboard in the streets, sunup to sundown; when our only enemies were cops, cars, and inclement weather. In more recent years I've started mending my relationship with the periodic nimbus cloud. Above all other reasons, it brings the rain that helps my garden grow.

As you may know, I've fostered a new, fervent interest in wheeled transportation: this time, of the two-wheel variety. It's not that you can't bicycle in the rain, but the various metal parts are so sensitive to water. Also, as a bicycle commuter, a ride in the rain equals a soggy arrival to work. Cycling in a shower is actually pretty refreshing, maybe cathartic. It requires that you stretch your comfort limits and really embrace the weather that might otherwise make a modern suburbanite cringe as they look out of their insulated window panes, pent up in their isolated, climate-controlled domiciles. I will admit, I don't necessarily jump at the chance to commute to work in the rain, and in fact would prefer to not. But today I was forced to make a decision: bike in the rain, or drive? I knew at the moment the question was pressed on me, I needed to bike. The decision was an effort to prove to myself that I am not (or don't want to be) a fair-weather bicycle commuter. So, I packed my lunch, a thermos full of hot coffee, and some dry clothes into my backpack; donned my swim trunks and a rain jacket; slipped into my sandals; then took off to the bike path on my mountain bike--which is my all-weather tank. I'm not sure which made me more wet: the falling rain or the massive puddles I had to bike through, though I suspect it were the puddles. Anyways, I arrived at work like a wet dog, wiped down my bike, and changed into my dry clothes. Knowing that days like this will be few and (hopefully) far between, I'm happy now that I decided to ride--it was a great way to wake up. Also, I know I will be sitting behind a dry desk all day, staring at this computer...
Enjoy it before it's passed