Sunday, April 29, 2007

Last week on the bike

Talk about a great week to be biking. Now to be sure there was a chill in the air in the mornings and such, but since most of my mid-week riding is towards the end of the day it didn't bother me too much.

Unfortunately I did have to take Thursday off from riding but only because I had ridden the previous 6 days straight and my legs were shot. I know that to those who ride as sole means of transportation I might seem like a sissy, but I am trying to build up so cut me some slack.

I cut out of work early on Monday to commute to class and I ended up staying home on Wednesday so I commuted to class then as well as Friday.

As for the road bike I went Tuesday after work for a quick ride down to the river and back for 8 miles just to stretch. Then on Saturday L & I rode the river road to Franklin St and back about 12 miles. L was a little rusty this being her first ride over 10 miles this year, but I felt great. It was exciting to see all my riding paying off.

Sunday I decided to get up and essentially ride the same route by myself before riding to meet E for brunch. Needless to say it was a little more difficult day 2 in a row, but I fully expect it to get easier each week.

It looks like weather will keep me from commuting to school Monday, but I should be on the bike most of the remaining week.

I also made a deal with myself that if I ride 1000 miles this summer, I will get a new tattoo. I am thinking that it won't be that hard since I should be 20% there by end of next week.

Weekly Total:
33 Road/30 Commute
Season Total 165

Friday, April 27, 2007

Good things come in threes

Monday was a good day as my latest orders from Amazon finally showed up in the mail. Unfortunately for me I had class so I did not get a chance to listen to anything until the next day, but for the most part everything was worth the wait.

And what did I buy you're asking? Well I'm glad you asked:

First up is the Mitchell Brothers - a breath of fresh attire
for anyone not familiar and I am guessing that is pretty much anyone reading this, the Mitchell Brothers are on the Beats, the label started by Mike Skinner of the Streets, and is produced by him as well. They came to my attention recently when I was checking out the downloads available from the Streets' website where they grace a remix of Blinded by the Lights that is absolutely massive. Anyone familiar with Mike Skinner's production style knows exactly what to expect from the music on this one, down to the obligatory slow jam in the vain of Dry Your Eyes, It's Too Late, Nite Nite for Kano, etc. Don't get me wrong cause I am a sucker for these tunes (I have a playlist of just these numbers on my iPod). The album also features a number of guests vocalists like Beats alum Streets and Leo the Lion along with Sway and Kano (where is his new album???). All in all a solid album but not great as the Mitchell Brothers flow doesn't always work with the stilted beats that are de rigeur of a Streets production. Word is they are pretty solid live though and a new album should be dropping soon so be on the look out.

Next up is Vex'd - Degenerate
killer album from one of the more original dubstep producers on the scene. 2 disc in all-one is the album and the other is a collection of previously released singles. Opener Pop Pop VIP is all sharp crackly drums and wobbly, distorted bass somewhat reminiscent of the old DJ Zinc breaks tune s in the two-step days. This formula continues throughout the album but doesn't get old because they keep the atmosphere fresh and original with tunes that wouldn't sound out of place in an Adam Freeland set. As a matter of fact the only criticism I could level this album is that it is a bit more of a breaks feel than a dubstep feel. But as soon as you start feeling that way they drop the digital dub madness of Crusher Dub and of course the highlight in my mind has to be the incredible Lion VIP, which lulls you in with a basic drum groove before absolutely crushing you with a massive bassline. This is one for the dubstep and the breaks crowd.

and Finally Dubstep Allstars Vol 3 mixed by Kode 9 w/ Spaceape
As for this mix cd, it is absolutely MASSIVE!!!!!! Living in MPLS, I don't have access to any DJs representing Dubstep so this to me is great cause it is all the tunes that I have heard on various streams throughout the year. Most of the tracks are dubs as of the CD being mixed and they represent the best producers in the scene-Skream, Loefah, Plasticman, Burial, the list goes on and on. Add to that the MCing of Spaceape and you have an incredible combination. Highly reccomended and a great starting point if you need one.

Domestic Terrorist Attack Foiled

In Austin yesterday an explosive device was discovered packed with nails. Federal officials will be joining the investigation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Rapture of the Bees

So as you may have seen in the news billions of bees are disappearing. This is pretty serious because it can have severe consequences because so much of our food supply needs pollinators.

Well in today's NY Times there was another article on this issue and it included the best theory about this issue that I have heard:
"Or, as some blogs have asserted, the rapture of the bees, in which God recalled them to heaven?"
How awesome of an image is this that the day of judgment is at hand and the only creatures that deserve to go to Heaven are honeybees?

Sunday, April 22, 2007


L and I decided to check out Toast a newish wine bar in the warehouse district on Friday.

I am not completely sure of the ownership but the former Sommelier from Auriga is involved in some way and he has created a fabulous wine list. It is full of small wineries with most being organic or biodynamic which is always a plus. It is also very affordable with a few quirky or less well know wines to interest hopefully even the wine snobs in town. We went with a simple selection of a 2005 Sangiovese that was fabulous.

The food selection is good with a selection of very thin crust pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and a selection of bruchetta that you order by the piece. We had an excellent plate of antipasti with olives and cheese to start and followed up with a pizza with olives, arugula, and something I am forgetting.

It is lacking a little in atmosphere being a sparsely decorated, echoey space, but not annoyingly so. It was very intimate earlier in the evening but by 8-8:30 it started to get loud.

Also Sam's Wine Shop (the best wine shop in Minneapolis maybe the twin cities) is having a tasting there tomorrow the 25th. I know last minute.

If you are into wine and good food, I highly recommend checking this place out

Last week on the bike

This week was a good week for biking and I was able to log a decent amount of miles.

I was only able to get out on the road bike 2 days, but Saturday I rode the FSH route and added cemetery hill at the end which was rough but not too bad. I do think that I need to stop drinking a bottle of wine every Friday night if I plan on long rides Saturday mornings, but all in all the miles are starting to feel good.

Beginning this week I also started commuting to work via bike on Fridays and I plan on keeping it up unless there is rain in the morning until Fall. I also rode to class on Monday and went to brunch and ran some errands today before getting caught in the rain today.

This week I hope to start increasing the mid-week rides, but it all comes down to weather and homework.

Weekly Total 20 road/27 commuter
Season Total 102

Friday, April 20, 2007

Until next time and the problem with Democrats

All right...I am a little late on this as I wasn't sure if I was going to mention it but what the hell.

I planned a little date night for April 8th and it was a ton of fun.

WE went to Adelita's on Central for some Mexican which was a little mixed. I liked my dish but L was not so enamored with her seafood burrito, though she didn't mind bringing it for leftovers so it couldn't have been too bad. Apparently it is owned by the same people who own Chiapas across the street, but they are intending to make it a touch more upscale than that.

Afterwards we went to the Mexican bakery and grabbed a couple deserts for later (again L struck out by discovering she does not like flan).

Then finally we were off to the main event of the evening the season finale of the Electric Arc Radio Show. The show was really good as always and the New Standards were pretty good, though I thought their arrangement of London Calling could have been a little more original (a very minor complaint though).

This brings me to my complaint about Democrats. They had a special guest at the show and it was Al Franken. He came out at the end and talked a little and it was a very underwhelming experience. I would like to point out that up until now I have been very excited to see what he was going to bring to the race for senate in '08 as I respect a lot of his views on issues.

Unfortunately he did not live up to my expectations at all. He seemed uncomfortable with the whole politician shtick and most of what he had to say was about Democrats doing this and Democrats doing that and we need to get Democrats into this office and that one.

I'm sorry but just electing card-carrying Democrats isn't the solution to all the issues in our country. Democrats don't come pre-loaded with all the answers and frequently make dumb mistakes too.

I guess that what I want from my politicians are answers. I want to know what they think can be done to fix things and even what they think needs fixing. All in all Franken is going to have to do a lot more now to get me to give him my vote.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

On the nightstand

Just finished reading Perfume. Not quite sure what so many people see in it. Just didn't do much for me I guess.

Next Up: The End of Poverty - Jeffrey Sachs

Last week on the bike

Finally...after 2 weeks of awful weather and basically no time on the bike, we have spring again in Minnesota.

I was lazy on Tues so I didn't get out and then it snowed that night into Wed and I had plans on both Thu and Fri so no riding then. Saturday however, I had a chance to go. I had to wait until around noon, but that let the temp get over 40 so I was happy about that.

I decided to ride the river road up the hill at Franklin Street and then circle back past the U. I usually use this route as an early training route and it typically takes few rides to become comfortable but not this year. The ride felt great and the climb while not easy went very smooth. I am not sure if it is due to riding the stationary bike all winter or he Roubaix (probably a little of both), but I am psyched that I am a little ahead of my training this year. I am already past my total for all of April last year and fully expect to be riding 4-5 days a week from now on.
Today I took out the MTB and went to brunch with some friends. The ride into town was pretty lazy but got a couple of good hills in and every little bit helps right?

Miles this week 19.6
Total for the season 55

Friday, April 13, 2007

MPLS Transit Plan

I found out about the new MPLS transit plan the night before the first public comment meeting and didn't have a chance to check it out until a day or 2 later.

Needless to say I am not thrilled at all on a couple of the plans. A lot of it does make sense but I think the biking situation must have been done by people who never bike downtown.

The worst of it being the plan for Hennepin Ave. Basically they want to make it a 2-way street and have bike lanes in the middle. This is such a bad dangerous idea that I cannot believe it is in the final plan. People already don't pay attention to bikes in the Henn ave bike lane, but this will be much worse. I just see people thinking it is a turn lane or not looking before turning and I am betting that car-bike accidents would increase dramatically due to it.

There are some good things like making a better connection from the Cedar Lake Trail to the river road but all in all I hope they reconsider the bike lane in the middle of two way traffic.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Last week on the bike

Well since the weather is seriously not cooperating, I did not get out on the road this week at all and instead put in all my miles on the stationary bike which totally sucks. I am hoping this will change next week as it looks like the temps will be creeping into the 40s by Thursday, but I don't want to count on anything yet.

On a different note, I had been thinking about getting a cheap bike frame from a garage sale this summer and turning it into a fixed-gear to teach myself about the mechanics of bikes so imagine my surprise when I looked out the window the other day and my neighbor had left a bike out by the trash.

I figured what the hell and went to grab it and noticed it was already set up as a fixed-gear, only with a couple of problems. It was missing a front wheel, the brake cable doesn't seem to be attached, the chain is more rust than not, and there are small rust spots all over the bolts and frame. The frame is a Concorso(?), it has flopped and chopped handlebars, a fender, and the chainring says Sugino 39 (not that that means anything to me).

I'm not sure why someone would go to the effort of converting a bike and then let it get trashed, but better for me I guess. I think I will start by taking it apart, sanding off the rust, repaint it to hopefully stop the rusting and then go from there.

Wish me luck and any tips would be appreciated

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Flood of Memories

Wow!! Someone posted a video of the live performance by Daft Punk at Even Further '96.

This was Daft Punk's first appearance of any kind in the US and I was in the audience, so this brought back a ton of memories.

At this point in my life I was barely making ends meet, while trying to kick start a DJ career that was stalled. I was friends with a lot of promoters and had even thrown a couple raves, but I was never very good at the schmoozing so I never seemed to be able to make it happen. I as in this weird on again off again relationship with someone who is now my best friend (she was even my best "man" in my wedding) but at this point was just messing with my head.

Enter Even Further '96.

I had missed the inaugural Further in '94, but had been there for the torrential downpour that was Even Further the next year, so there was no way I was missing the '96 addition. I had a bunch of friends coming into town to play and these Daft Punk guys were going to be there. At this point I had only heard the Da Funk/Rollin and Scratching single so I wasn't sure what to expect.

Friday kicked off with some incredible set from my boys Speedy and Hugge and the next day I got a chance to throw down at a couple of mini soundsystems so that was cool. Saturday night however was THE NIGHT. Daft Punk were incredible and then I took a break during Frankie Bones to get some air and made it back in time to hear Scott Hardkiss play one of the most amazing sets I have ever heard him play.

All in all a fab weekend. Great music, way too many people, illicit substances causing someone to jump all over the top of my friends RV, good times all around.

Needless to say all of this and so much more came flooding back upon watching the tinny-sounding, grainy video of Daft Punk's performance.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Last week on the bike

Typical Minnesota spring weather. Last weekend it's 80 degrees and then come Monday it's 50 and rainy.

Needless to say, not a lot of biking going on this week. Tuesday I got home ahead of the rain and thought I might have time for a short ride so I got suited up and was just about to leave and it started to poor. I rode the stationary bike instead but it's just not the same (I should really save up for a trainer but that will have to wait until the end of the season). It also rained on Friday and Saturday so no biking for me.

I was able to get out on Thursday for a short ride that kicked my ass after a long day at work and also a short short ride today. Short due to the 40 degree temps when I was riding.

Total miles on the road 11.5
Total for the year 35