Devil Cats

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

It feels like months since I blogged at 2am. Still kicking around the idea of going daily. One blog per day. It’s really tempting. I remember when Hugh in Indiana talked about going daily, and it seems to work well for him. On occasion, bloggers such as he get into baseball. I admit I don’t really follow organized sports of any kind, except what I hear via the blogosphere.

But I was interested, as an admirer of DC, in the idea of the Montreal Expos moving to DC. So who better to consult on this subject than the infamous DC mover and shaker: D-Rock. Now my initial thoughts were: BAD IDEA. Bad for the Orioles in Baltimore and generally ils sont toujours les Expos, always French-Canadian as far as I’m concerned.

But again… what do I know.. so D-Rock broke it down: they should be called the Senators, new stadium, a short metro ride and you’re there, lots of Virginians would come, Baltimore is too dam far. But then we started talking team names, to which he declared:

I hope they don’t name the baseball team a stupid freaking name like razor bob devil cats, or some stupid crap like the wizards what was wrong having the Bullets? Oh look at us we’re the wizards…we dress up and play dungeons and

dragons…ohh I’m going to put a spell on you, oh did you read the

newest Harry Potter? Fucking Horrible!

The devil rays, thunder, raptors, avalanche all of its crap!

Giants, Redskins, Yankees, Cubs, White Sox, Flyers, Brewers (my favorite)

Those are team names!

So there you have it.. direct from one DC horse’s mouth.

Crazy Dr. M who was hanging out at the bicyclemark ranch this evening, referred me to NEWSMAP. This project takes all the news stories.. I guess via the google news aggregator.. and shows the prevalence of certain stories based on square sizes. Well, something like that, see for yourself what stories are getting big squares. I still find it annoying what a big square this Dan Rather story is getting. Go away Dan Rather, I promise this blogger doesn’t give a shit what you and your network do or don’t report on. PS- You can Take Fox or NBC or whatever call letter network you want, with you. Maybe leave us the BBC and NPR.

Hey doesn’t it seem a bit late in the game for debates? I mean, usually don’t the US presidential debates take place by now.. end of september? I did a quick yahoo search (as opposed to the usual google) and found this debate between Bush and Gore from Oct. 3rd, so we haven’t missed that date yet. THIS JUST IN– I just noticed the first one scheduled for the 30th of Sept. My money is on yet another in the long history of bland, empty talking, back and forth, with no direct answers. I’ll be counting how often the candidates agree with each other… because with Bush-Gore I thought they were going to make love on stage. (just sex would be too crass)

Today’s Muic: The Hidden Cameras – as per Torontonienne’s recommendation


by bicyclemark 0 Comments

One of my emails yesterday was simply this sentence:

plantage middenlaan and kerklaan, koosje at 21h30. see you then. i have brown hair.

I wandered that caf? for a good 15 minutes greeting lovely brown haired ladies who I thought looked Canadian. Kept thinking, this is no way to meet a new friend.

Well that’s not true… I changed the plan and my new Canadian friend came to the bicyclemark ranch to drink fancy tea with exotic chocolates. I mention this for one major reason, beyond being an evening of really fun conversation, this torontonienne’s job prior to moving to Amsterdam, was promoting CYCLING in her home city. I repeat- Promoting Cycling!

Yeah.. I was both jealous and in complete admiration. She informed me that the number of cyclists in “Torono” is on the rise, and they know this because part of their function was to keep track of the numbers. I kept imagining someone running next me in Amsterdam, clip-board-in-hand, counting me and asking questions about my cycling habit. Anyway this is what Amsterdam so often is for me… a big collection of people with fun backgrounds deciding to come do their thing here. I also thought this earlier in the evening when I started chatting with the man behind the Known Universe, who – to my surprise- has also lived in Amsterdam at one time.

In other news I have a pair of reflections regarding the United Nations to share. The first involves the opening statements of the General Assembly this week. I was disappointed at how the delegates applauded GW Bush’s speech. Naively.. I had hoped they would keep in mind how his decisions had undermined the work of the UN, and simply hold their applause as a sign of disapproval. But sure enough, most delegates conveniently forgot and applauded him like he was Eleanor Roosevelt in her old-lady black dress. Fortunately Kofi was there and to his credit, he had the nerve to hit back against all sides contributing to war and terrorism in the world.

The other thing is in his speech he said “welcome to the US and welcome to NY” now I might be knit-picking, but someone should finally explain to him that the UN is located on international territory, so he shouldn’t welcome them, it should probably be vice-versa.

Finally today, I’m prepared to issue a statement regarding the CBS-Dan Rather boring-ass memo scandal, which A-list bloggers have beaten to death:

Who cares what CBS news does? It’s ironic title “CBS NEWS” I mean, since when do we actually expect journalism to come out of that or any television network?

Dan Rather might quit you say? Is he still alive?

Conservative bloggers brought the scandal to light? So I guess bloggers are now famous for being crappy-network watchdogs. And apparently traveling in packs. I wonder if soon I’ll have a blogger-gang, then we can go out and break shit.

Today’s Music: Broken Social Scene – Feel Good Lost

Trains,World Order, and Moms

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

Part of the reason I am such an avid blog reader is simply the fantastic quality of writers presently populating the blogosphere. Some being extremely popular and others seemingly only read by a handful, either way – truly talented and all-around-fun people. In this case I wanted to refer to two such beings who’s recent posts were especially an adventure and a pleasure to read.

First comes Tony Pierce+Busblog’s tribute to his mother on her birthday. Like him, I will someday lay out a huge thank you and tribute to my mother, not mention my father as well, for being the incredible people that they are, and helping me get where I am. (where am I?) But nevermind me, his post is fantastic, not to mention the timeless photos, and I’m sure all of us Busblog readers will be referring to it throughout the blogosphere.

Now I also wanted to point out another insane-genius who does not get as much press: No Coins. This week’s recounting of his city-to-shore MS Bike ride from Jersey to Philly was funnier than funny. I’m not only entertained by his madness, it makes me wish I was there! Now that’s good writing, ain’t it? (by the way, I’m leading the campaign to bring ain’t officially into MY English language cause it adds style and flows well)

The AGVThat being said, climb aboard won’t you, because it’s time once again to talk trains. Now I heart trains, they rank just below bicycles on the “transport that best represents me” list. I love looking at trains, riding in them, and picturing future trains. So needless to say I’ve been reading every little article in today’s FT special on the rail industry. Here are my favorite details so far:

– You thought TGV was hip? Or maybe I did. Well, Alstom has developed the AGV (Automatrice ? Grande Vitesse) which has distributed power and will pull into a station like a warm summer’s breeze baby. Maybe minus the baby.

– The ICE-3 (Aka: Velaro), which can be found in Germany and I swear I’ve seen it in the Netherlands, is a stylish but pricey little serpent. It’s about time I head to central station and hop on one of those. I should also by a ticket beforehand to ensure a comfy and legal ride.

– Automated, Driver-less metros are getting more popular. Paris’s line 14 is what the FT talks about. The first one of these I was ever on was in Lyon, France back in 2000. While I was disappointed that there was no driver (and a bit scared) but I must admit there’s nothing quite like that view sitting right up in the front.

We could, of course, talk a bit about rail travel in North America, but I was hoping to go out on a positive note. So instead I’ll refer to the guy who found a memory card in a taxi and is now creating a story for each picture. Amazingly odd. I just noticed the blog has suddenly been stopped, I wonder if the owner found the photos and got pissed. I would definitely feel a bit violated… but also highly entertained.

Today’s Music: Coheed & Cambria – Delirium Trigger (I’m addicted to Coheed)

Blog Bonanza

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I’ve been on a blog-reading/discovering RAMPAGE this weekend. In between cleaning, seeing some apartment way out west, having a drink with a friend visiting from Portugal, I have had this insatiable desire to read and find more and more blogs. It started with reading the Accordian Guy who lives in Toronto and is quite a household name for some circles. Then the Canada theme continues with Raymi, who I actually became curious about because of Bunny McIntosh and her whimsical interview with Raymi. BUT IT DOESN’T END THERE. Oh no… I re-discovered Patrik’s Sprawl, a PhD student somewhere in Sweden, no less. After a clicking around a Prisoner’s Blog, which is not written from prison, but in fact a blog consisting of letters from a prisoner, I read Bitch PHD, and then ended up at another one of those NYC blogs. Needless to say my eyes are tired, and I’m now thinking I must stop spending so much time reading these, and get into my new book “Post Office” by Charles Bukowski as recommended by one of his biggest fans at Busblog.

This reminds me of that explanation I’m always giving to people who ask me “Where do I find blogs?” The response goes something like this: “There are quite a few ways to find blogs, the most obvious is just to do a google search for certain topics or blogs, but a very common one is the BLOGROLL. Think if it as a bookshelf in someone’s house. When you go to visit someone, especially if it’s a friend or someone who’s taste or style you admire, you might look at the bookshelf to see what they are reading, and then proceed to seek those books yourself. A blogroll – or list of blogs – is similar. You like someone’s writing, so you think.. “hmmm.. let me look at what he/she/it reads. And so you may become a reader of those blogs as well, and it just snowballs from there. Trust me… I rolled one of those big cartoon snowballs this weekend and read all kinds of crap. Mostly entertaining crap, mind you.

Before I drop the subject… the reason I have time for this is largely due to bloglines. If you’re not using bloglines or some kind of news/blog/rss reader I highly recommend looking into it. Its the idea of new information, new posts, coming directly to YOU instead of the impossible task of taking the time to manually go to each URL and check if there’s anything new. I read my newspapers, check TV listings, read blogs, READ MY NEW COMMENTS, check the weather, all using bloglines. It even includes LiveJournals which is beautiful because of my many LJ friends and family who can now all be found in my (fed)blogroll.

It’s disappointing to be reminded of the lack of memory in mass media and politics. Not only are the same mistakes repeated (war, genocide, etc) but so often facts are simply forgotten. I’m referring, in this case, to Kofi Annan’s statement that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. Illegal because it was done without a UN resolution and therefore in violation of the UN Charter. Now this bit of info shouldn’t surprise anyone, because it was known even BACK THEN. Yet a year and a half later, Kofi says this and its news and some people are shocked. Of course it is and was illegal according to the UN charter, and as I love to mention.. the consistently disrespected but still technically in effect, Kellog-Briand Pact, which outlawed the use of war as a tool for doing anything.

At this point you mind be shouting “that’s your opinion.” And to some extent you’re right… but it is a LEGAL opinion based on my interpretation of international law. And I’m not alone.

Today’s Music: Jimmy Eat World – Clarity (cause they’re in town right now)