Archive for December, 2008

December 20, 2008

Last Sunday FrDcn Jesse helped me put my new studded snow tires on my bike.


Although I have yet to commute to work with my new setup, I have taken a couple of afternoon rides and the results have been positive.


twenty-four years ago

December 20, 2008

I have to admit that I didn’t know that there was another version of this song done in 1989 and then again another one in 2004.

The 1984 version of this song is the only version as far as I am concerned.

snow and bikes

December 13, 2008

I have written a couple of posts about my becoming a bicycle commuter. You can read them here, here and here.

Well today snow fell on Walla Walla and so I thot I had better take a trial bike run to see how this Winter bike commuting will go.

I put on my foul weather gear, helmet, goggles and gloves and pedaled out of our driveway….

Initially I rode in one of the grooves in the snow that had been made by previous auto traffic, but then ventured into the snow closer to the curb as a car going the same direction as I was going got closer.

This riding in the snow was not too bad; but I will acknowledged that it takes the same kind of pedal energy as riding an incline does.

Okay, so it will take me a little longer to get to work in the morning. But it won’t be too bad since traffic is rather minimal at 5am and so I can dominate the path created by cars. The ride home will take a little longer too, and I must share the road with more cars who probably are not expecting a bike.

As I rode along I began to experience some of the slipping that Winter riding provides.

I had read somewhere that one should put weight over their rear tire, so I did that. But there was still some slidding going on, although I did manage to correct things; even if it meant stopping briefly.

At one point I did forsake the road and took to the sidewalk for a bit. Note: Thanks to those people who shovel their walks, you made it a little easier.

My goggles did start to fog up and so I had to remove them for safety.

I was aware that car drivers were probably not expecting to see bicyclists out and about and so I tried to watch out for them, and give them room–although if I was in a car I probably would not have given them the extra attention that I did being on a bike.

The end result of my ride was that I thot studded bike tires would be a plus in my commute and so I ventured (okay I admit it… I drove) to a local bike shop and purchased two studded bike tires. I had a nice conversation with the man who works there about Winter riding. He shared that last year he used bicycle chains, and that he once made his own studded bike tires. But this year he was using conventional studded bike tires. Also in my drive to and from the bike store I noticed 2 bicycle commuters riding along.

The final verdict of all of this is: Yes, a person can commute during the Winter months. And yes, Winte bicycle commuting is not as convienent as riding in other Seasons. But I must admit, in beginning the Winter bike commute (even if I mix some car-driving days into my week) I feel like I am crossing the line from a guy who rides a bike, to being a guy who is a bicycle commuter… I almost feel like I am joining a club; although I don’t know who the other members are.

Here is a news piece about Winter Bike Commuters in Chicago:

Props and thanks to my friends Fr. Jesse P., Bill S., and Carl K. who have given me advice and encouragement regarding bike riding in Winter. Also props to Willow N. from the Chicago area (formerly from Eastern WA) who responded to my email to the Chicago Bike Winter peoples regarding advice for Winter bike riding.

Some websites that might be of interest to Winter bike riders:
+Chicago Bike Winter
+Winter cycling? Don’t get cold feet.
+Bike Advocacy (from Utah)
+Winter Warriors
+Winter Bike Commuting: 10 Tips to Ride Safe
+Winter Cycling

And to all of my car driving friends– Remember that you are sharing the road with bicycle riders, even in the Winter. Bike riders are still out there, even when there is snow on the ground.

more than a hole in the ground

December 9, 2008

After reading about the earthen hut (barabara- semisubterranean dwelling built of logs covered by sod) that St. Herman of Alaska lived in, I thot it would be cool to try and dig one-of-sorts out in the garden area at our house a couple of years back.
I tried to get my son Becket to buy into the idea.
I guess I thot I could kind of hang out-monk out in it when curious animals were not around in it to freak me out.

Needless to say, I got a wee bit of a hole dug, and no more. Although I imagined how I would need to provide some support for it and etc.


Recently I came across an online video featuring the cool digs (literally) of the man behind the Moonlight Chronicles: Dan Price.
Pretty cool stuff. Check it our here.

It would be fun to have something like Dan Price has in the backyard.

a phrase that vegans should avoid

December 7, 2008

Today it dawned on me that one of the phrases that vegans should not use is “saved my bacon.”

Why would a vegan want anyone to save their bacon? I mean, a vegan doesn’t even eat bacon, so why would they want it saved?

Now if they were to say “Saved my tofurky” then that would make sense or “Saved my green beans” then that would be okay too.
But “Saved my bacon.” Nah. They should not use that phrase.

Also, vegans should not drink those energy drinks with taurine.
Taurine comes from beef.

These are just some of the thots that run through my head.
Be thankful that you do not live in my skin.

Pearl meets purl

December 6, 2008

“Pearl” is a company that makes drums and percussion instruments.

“Purl” is a knitting term that I have learned from my wife who knits.
By being married to a knitter, a person picks up the lingo here and there.

Corey Fogel is a drummer with a Bachelors in Music and who also has a Master of Fine Arts in Integrated Media/Music.
Corel Fogel is also a knitter.
As a drummer and a knitter he has joined the two together in “Purl Drums.”

Fogel shares: “Purl Drums is an experiment intersecting my two favorite activities: drumming and knitting. The point of intersection is the implements. I try to keep each craft as authentic as possible, with few creative leanings towards either. The result was a mutual crippling of my knitting and drumming form and technique.”

Check it out:

As Fogel said regarding mixing drums and knitting together: “The result was a mutual crippling of my knitting and drumming form and technique.” You can see/hear an example of his drumming and percussion skills here.

PS: For whatever it is worth, Pearl is also the name of a pet chicken that we used to have; but that is a different story for another time.

Memory Eternal

December 3, 2008

When our family first started attending St. Silouan’s Orthodox Church in Walla Walla we were meeting in a family room that was converted into an Orthodox Chapel, complete with Iconostasis.

Our son, Becket, was 2 years old. There was a man who took an interest in our little one, his name was Chuck (Irenaeus.) As our family approached baptism we asked Chuck to be Becket’s Godfather.

It was on this day, December 3, a couple of years back that after a struggle with an illness our dear friend Chuck reposed.

I will never forget being at the Vesper’s Service on the Eve of the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, it was during this Service that we learned of Chuck’s death. I remember hearing our Priest, Father Seraphim, say with tear’s in his voice Chuck’s Christian name “Irenaeus” in the prayers of those who reposed. It was then that we learned that Chuck had left us.

It was at Chuck’s funeral that I realized more about the role of a Godparent. A Godparent is a ‘compadre’… a co-parent who can offer insight into a child. A Godparent can touch the life of a child. As our kids grow and they go through those times of rebellion a Godparent can be there to offer guidance when the child will not listen to their own parents.

With Chuck’s death I know that he is still keeping an eye on his Godson.
I know that Becket has the intercessions of his Godfather, Chuck.

May his Memory be Eternal!!!


December 3, 2008

As an individual who is riding his bike more, I have taken an interest in Washington bicycle laws.

Apparently it is legal in the State of Washington to ride your bicycle while intoxicated; but you are in violation of the law if you are carrying something that prevents you from keeping at least one hand on the handle bars.

Check it out here.
Or see here.


December 2, 2008

In the song ‘The Boxer’ by Simon and Garfunkel… What are a “pocketful of mumbles”?

Just wondering.