Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Alaska Vacation -- Round Island

You can get a permit that allows you to take, harass, or kill marine mammals, if you have a good enough reason. If you have a good enough reason -- you can take a walrus. And if you're big enough. But where?

I don't want to take any walrus, I just want to take their picture. This is not like taking a picture of a petroglyph (or the honeycombs behind the petroglyphs) in Carrizo Plain National Moneymint, where you get threatened with ticketing and or arrest if you suggest taking pictures of petroglyph rock (If I even see you here with a camera ..."), this is a walrus we're talking about. This is not some light love making.

This is serious. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, it is illegal to take, harrass or kill a marine mammal, specifically whales, dolphins, seals, polar bears and walrus. If you take a camera and approach a walrus close enough to get a good picture without a $5000 lens, you probably need a permit. If he feels harassed, you may need to be able to run. I don't think the Marine Mammal Protection Act actually says any thing about that. Quote: "You must be able to run like a ... 'If I even see you here with a camera,' says the walrus"

Go figure, aren't I a marine mammal, in need of protection? Doesn't the walrus need a permit to hassle me. No -- I have to take my chances.

Flight to Dillinger -- $1000
Fly to somewhere -- I am not sure where -- a point on Homer spit or a beach -- $400
Boat to Round Island $400
Hotels meals etc. -- $600
One week Camping, permits, fees, food, film, and ... did I mention food? ... $500

12 day trip to Round Island to photograph walrus -- $2900

Holy shit, Batman

Any one care to join me?

About your Car ...

It went like this. I got caught at the light, and there was a young guy trackstanding for an eternity, then sped away. I, of course can barely stand, so trackstanding seems impossible. I did catch him and comment on his talents and then blow by him into traffic. I was wailing throught the ring street at the end of Townsend onto John Henry at speed, and this woman in front of me saw a parking spot and stopped. I hit the brakes and watched ... sliding ... an eternity passed. I was picking out how I was going to (safely) land on the back of her car, when she looked up and hit the gas. I think I was less than an inch from her bumber when the car lunged forward. Raise one for the driver. She actually gave up her parking spot to save me.

But don't raise one for this driver.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Ok so this Cool for the Bikers

Photo © Jill Homer 2007.

Jill the uber winter cyclist in Juneau, Alaska, who is currently preparing for the Susitna 100 (A 100 mile winter bike race in Alaska, and did I mention Winter?) and blogging about it, was nominated for a Bloggy award in the Best Sports Blog category. I think this is pretty impressive. Even to get nominated for that. A young woman who rides her bike in the snow and writes about it. No super bowl, no fantasy football, just a girl woman on a bike with a camera and a pen.

If you like winter, your bike, or women, or great achievements, then please go and vote for her. If that doesn't work for you -- then go read her blog and see if you like that.

Today, she rode a Big Century. Amen to that.
Date: 27 January 2007
Mileage for the week: 66.03
January total: 326.21
On the Ipod: David Grisman and Tony Rice: Tone Poems

Friday, January 26, 2007

Soon-dubu Chigae

Ok, some soups are unique colorful and photogenic. When I was in Korea I learned some things about food. First, when you buy stuff like cereal, look on the back of the box to see if there's a picture of a woman dumping it into a washing machine or cleaning a drain with it or any other obvious signs that its not food.

If it looks good, smells good, or has a lot of garlic, live octopi, chili, or kimchi, it's probably good to eat. Three or four or five foods became my staple diet there, with surprises occasionally. I love kimchi. There was a vendor right near my place there that made kimchee mandu in a tall stack of steamer baskets, which became a regular afternoon snack between classes. Another street vender would sell a garbage bag filled with puffed corn for about a buck. This was frequently breakfast. In the city I was in, bibimbop was the regional specialty. I preferred bibimbap hot (Dulsot) but one of my roommates there would rather it be cold.

My favorite breakfast of all time is the Adobo chile at the Horseman's Haven in Santa Fe, NM -- but I'll need to talk about Korea now, and that later. Second, of course was soon-dubu chigae, which is a Korean Soup described with other common Korean soups here:

Korean stews (chigae) generally have two things in common, they're hot and spicy. The most common stews, which are all served with rice, are kimchi chigae, dwen-jang chigae, soon-dubu chigae and boo-dae chigae. All of these stews contain enough hot pepper to burn the hairs in your nostrils. On a frigid winter day, nothing will warm you up more than a hot bowl of boo-dae chigae (my preference). Kimchi chigae is loaded with kimchi, small pieces of pork and various vegetables. Dwen-jang chigae is a soy bean paste based soup filled with vegetables and clams. If you like tofu, you'll love soon-dubu chigae. Vegetables, clams and an egg are added to this tofu bonanza. Boo-dae chigae originated from the Korean War. After the American soldiers finished eating, many times they had a little food remaining that they threw away. The Koreans were very poor at that time and they would go around collecting that thrown away food and put it in a big pot and presto, the birth of boo-dae chigae. It includes hot dogs slices, ham, glutinous rice, and other vegetables. Ramen noodles are usually thrown in as well.

Soon-dubu chigae is a hot spicy meal. It's a power packed food and tasty. In my notebooks from Korea a recipe exists, along with how to make pickled garlic, which everyone should experience one in their life. I need to find a good recipe for Soon-dubu Chigae. Although it is a vegetable soup, it does contain Anchovy Sauce, meaning it's not really vegetarian.

The with clams part of the recipes, may rely on regional differences in Korea. Places nearer the sea include more seafood in there diet ... as students and teachers in Korea, we really didn't have all that much money, so certain foods were luxurious.

Photo from The Tofu House in San Francisco.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why do People take Pictures of their Feet?

Because of the cool and stealthy new cycling shoes that arrived in the mail today from Lake Cycling.

Sunday Morning Social Ride

I'll be leading a ride from the Bean Street Cafe in San Mateo, on B street between Third and Fourth, Sunday at 10 AM, to the San Mateo-Hayward bridge on the Bay Front Trail. It's a social there and back ride -- so come and enjoy it. I think Bean Street is going buy the coffee.

It's about 10 miles round trip to the bridge. If you don't want to go that far, turn around and go back. Maybe we can all eat shrimp tacos at Pancho Villa afterwards. Maybe we will get back so soon we'll have to have bagels with cream cheese, onions, and smoked salmon at the cafe.

Note: I just changed the time from 8 to 10 AM.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Stuff came in boxes today. I bet there was a time in the not too distant past when a Luthier had to spend quite a bit of time aquiring and drying appropriate woods for his craft.

The internet speeds that process up a bit. So does fedex.

The picture above shows the better parts of the skinny end of a guitar. Clockwise from the top left: wicker trunk, ebony fingerboard, Honduran mahogany neck stock, adjustable truss rod, more Honduran mahogany, racoon, remote, mahogany heel block, gold tuning machines, zebrawood head veneer.

That means that there's work to do. Before that, however, I am going to try out Fritz' Grandmother's miso soup recipe. But first I have to find some Niboshi Dashi. Or whatever that was that his grandmother had on the wall in her kitchen. There's a bonus venison onion soup recipe in the comments.

Soup Recipe

Really -- I am looking for Cioppino, Minestrone, Italian Wedding Soup, Clam Chowder, Gumbo, Tortilla soup and the other great soups of the world to round out my list. I'll be happy to test out your soup recipes.

And I am listening to the Cream -- Live at Winterland. Crossroads. The man on the street in my building is Robert Johnson. I was thinking of making a CD for him. He's never actually heard Robert Johnson. I can't imagine what that's like.

I was too young to see the Cream at Winterland on March 10, 1968 -- but I did see The Who there and many great shows. Rumor Myth has it that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil for his musical talent at the Crossroads. That's powerful juju. I would recommend turning it up -- A lot.

I believe I am sinking down. Make soup outta that. Go through the list of great musicians that went down the road with Robert Johnson:

Eric Clapton and Cream -- Crossroads and a variety of other songs
The Cowboy Junkies -- Me and the Devil
Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett with Duane Allman -- Come on in my Kitchen
The Rolling Stones -- Love in Vain
Ramblin on my Mind -- John Mayall and the BluesBreakers
SweetHome Chicago -- The Blues Brothers

and you got great soup. Maybe the Blues Brothers are a stretch -- but what the heck. I shouldn't have any trouble making a great Robert Johnson CD.

Yeah, I followed her to the station with a suitcase in my hand
Well, it's hard to tell, it's hard to tell, but all true love's in vain
When the train come in the station I looked her in the eye
Well, the train come in the station I looked her in the eye
Well, I felt so sad and lonesome that I could not help but cry
When the train left the station, it had two lights on behind
Well, the blue light was my baby and the red light was my mind
All my love's in vain

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Guitar Project

I have a long and serious relationship with wood. Being a Sculptor -- I learned early on to appreciate its virtues. I have pieces of ebony and walnut and purpleheart and bloodwood lying around in my house, my studio, in my sculpture. In my living room is a table I built from Port Orford cedar and zebrawood. I walked in to my local hardwood supplier (I bet you all have one) and talked to a young guy for a while about Honduran mahogany. I bought a single small piece of rosewood.

The old man walked in while I was paying my bill, and said ... "How you been?" I said -- "I am good, how about you? ." He remembered me from God knows when. 1997. He hasn't aged a day. I bought a lot of wood from him when I was trying to get through grad school.

When I buy a piece of wood I tap on it, test it, check its worthyness. I listen to it. I look at it -- Is it gorgeous or just crap. I want to know that it's a sweet piece.

Over the last few days I have bought a variety of stuff. Tuning machines. Honduran mahogany stock for necks, the rosewood mentioned above, an already cut for frets fingerboard in the Martin length, and ebony, fretwire, a zebrawood plate for the tuning pegs. Ivory. A readymade tensioner for an acoustic guitar. A spokeshave. I never got to tap on any of it. I'll have to check it out when it gets here.

I am thinking -- a 1964 gibson acoustic might be cheaper ...

I said to that kid -- that piece is flatsawn. I need a quartersawn piece, do you have one. No. Thanks. Bye. Gotta go.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chrome Citizen Messenger Bag

Ever since the time I first saw a messenger bag, I thought it would be nice to try a great one out. Today I managed to get my hands on a Chrome Citizen messenger bag from Chrome Transport located here in San Francisco. The Citizen is a medium sized bag on a scale which includes small (Mini Metro), medium(Citizen), large (metropolis) and the huge Kremlin.

Mine is a right shouldered model, unlike most, and I put my old bag right into it for the ride home. I added the Chrome Ipod holder and the existing phone holder I had. Despite the medium size, it easily accomodated the old bag I had and all it's contents. I can see it's ample size handling cartons of milk, six packs of beer and loaves of bread, contents of soup recipes, along with some other more difficult projects like my 4x5 camera rig, or my Canon SLR digital setup.

The vertical orientation of the bag when riding will mean that certain cargo may be easier to carry, like a tripod, or snowboard. This totally defeats the racktop bags, like this one, or the one from the Banjo Brothers, which can't possibly manage the length of a tripod, much less a snowboard.
It has an outer shell with a full interior lining of waterproof material, which should mean you precious cargo will be dry when you arrive, unless you happen to fully submerge. The closure on the bag is broad velcro and clipped reflective straps.

I think it may be fair to say that I am more than a little enamored of the big metal seat buckle and hardware. The photo below shows the buckle and the pull ring which combine to provide one handed closing, opening, and adjustment. Pulling the ring loosens the strap -- while yanking on the end of the strap will tighten it -- so it's easy to adjust when riding. Also included in this foto are the Chrome IPod holder, which is quite secure, although provides no opportunity for operating easily while riding. Be sure not to miss the clip for securing the load to your body, which totally comes out the wrong side of the strap, proving itself complete impossible to easily operate.

Timbuk2's bag after being removed from the new bag is shown below for a size comparison.

Although the yellow color on the Chrome bag is bright, there could be more reflective material, but as one of my fellow riders said to me recently, "Visibility at night is really about lights, after that it's just a fashion statement." That large field of reflective material on the Timbuk2 bag leaves me feeling secure about being visible.

There are three pockets along the back here to organize the smaller items, one zippered and two open. These would all be under the back flap when closed. The reflective strapping is clearly visible in this flash shot.

Because of the criss cross pattern of the velcro in the rear closure, odd shaped items like this tripod are no sweat. Notice the verticle orientation of the tripod.

It's a good bag-- it's secure, tough, well built, and looks great -- I give it a peace sign for eco-friendly construction, and a thumbs up for being totally smart. It rocks. I hope for a long and happy life together.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Early Guitar Project

... hmmm... well, it's started. I am reminded of the time two of my neighbors were talking once in the street in Hayward and I could hear them, because of a peculiar twist of the wind.

"What do you think our crazy neighbor is up to today?"
"You don't suppose he's going to cook up a boiling, smoky, oil filled cauldon out in the
driveway today?"
"Hard to say. He's probably going to wait till dark to do that, don't ya think?."
"Hmm, yeah."

This of course, was the day after I mixed a 20 gallon batch of oil-based clay in a drum over an open fire in my driveway. It started on the coleman stove, and then briquets and sticks, and then bark and firewood. It takes quite a bit of fuel to melt 20lbs of wax. Looking back ...

One of my friends gave me the strangest look the other day when I was describing the guitar project. It's clear that some people think this is an interesting project. Too interesting. It was one of those "you actually make baskets?" sort of looks.

The image above is a 1.5 inch thick workboard with a paper pattern and guitar shaped gasket (the shim) and "shoe," ultimately to hold and assembly the guitar. The next step is to layout the strings and neck, but let's just say, I am making some progress.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Perhaps. I am charging the batteries in my camera and having a hot chocolate now , and waiting.

It's supposed to fall to 35°F. overnight with a 60% chance of rain. The front has already passed and the temperature is already falling. With scatterred clouds and a chance of precipitation -- there's a chance we may see snow on the flat in the morning. And we definitely should see it on the surrounding hills.


Update : Yes -- here.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Feeding a Tapeworm

Gluttony is still one of the seven deadly sins. Looking at this empty carton you'll discover that it contains 4 servings of 300 calories each. Burp.

The temps have been low, and it's been windy. Over the last two days it has been below freezing a few times and the onshore breeze has kept everyone a bit chilly. I rode my bicycle on sheet ice and black ice over the past two days. What I notice the most is this insatiable hunger like I might get if I had a tapeworm, even noticeable right after I eat.

Number of comparable items required to deliver 1200 calories:

Qt. Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream -- 1
Venti® Caramel Machiatto -- 1.5
12 oz. Beers -- 6
Small cans of bumble bee tuna -- 12.2

The ice cream is clearly the best choice from this list. Why do we eat it on hot days? Because it's cold. Why eat it on cold days? Because we are cold.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pick of the Week®

Goes to Fritz! Great Photo.
Date: 13 January 2007
Mileage for the week: 58.89
January total: 189.40
On the Ipod: Don't Look Back, Luscious Jackson

Buying a Guitar Really Might be Easier

So now -- I've read the faq here. and I've read two books on the subject. Since I am now into it more that it would take to buy an acoustic guitar, it seems that I have again chosen the harder less travelled path. I haven't memorized them yet, but I did read Guitarmaking, Tradition and Technology, by William D. Cumpiano and Jonathan D. Natelson and The Guitar Masters Workshop, by Rik Middleton, which I didn't like because he calls clamping "cramping" and a c-clamp a "G-cramp". That troubles me. I am not sure what a G-cramp is, but I think it might have to do with not having sex during pregnancy. I shouldn't be so irreverant of someone skilled enough to make a guitar. The book was quite informative. It primarily talks about making a classical guitar. Later, when I have taught my self to play Flamenco -- I will be more interested in classical guitars.

Now, I am sure you are wondering what has possesed me to think I should build a guitar. I once read a detailed description of how to build a violin and it was quite facinating. Right now I am shopping around for that thing that is going to carry me emotionally and financially through the next 20 or so years of my life and it seems that making something with craft, tradition. and history, could be a cool place to start. I have the kind of patience, hands, and intent, to do quite well at something so simple and sophisticated.

I considered some other things, like being a bum, or just getting paid to travel.

I have a great piece of Port Orford Cedar which is just an inch or so too small to make a guitar soundboard ... so I think I am going to need to buy some spruce. Tomorrow -- I will do what I always do when starting a project. Clean up and collect the tools in one place.

After I go for a nice long ride.

Monday, January 8, 2007

1966 Miles Riding in 2006

Although this is a great photo of Mono Lake, I didn't ride there, or ride in the snow. © Shawn Kielty 2005. All rights reserved.


January 6
February 211.7
March 330.47
April 415.21
May 303.89
June 159.67
July 95.16
August 139.47
September 70.21
October 67.05
November 194.36
December 299.91

Total 1966.10

Well -- that's not really 2000 miles; now is it? Maybe if I count the miles hiked, too (it's only 5ish miles a day, which ain't so good).

Per Volquartz' Joshua Tree Photography Workshop

It's free. Dates: January 26-27-28, come all three days or just for one day! Place: Jumbo Rock campground, second to the last loop, Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California.
I think I'll be there! For more info find Per Volquartz here. Just to make sure sure there's no confusion, that image is © Shawn Kielty, 2005.

Shoot the Dog

It's quite nice right at the moment. The cold of the recent past was replaced with warmth and sunshine in the seriously California way. Shoot the Dog by The Alison Brown Quartet on the iPod.

It won't last is what I hear. But let's just say it was a nice ride into work.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Date: 7 January 2007
Mileage for the week: 94.65
January total: 130.51
On the Ipod: Do the Do, Howlin Wolf, from The London Howling Wolf Sessions

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Lentil Soup Monastery Style

This is adapted from Frances Moore Lappe's recipe in Diet for a Small Planet, which is good, hearty and well ... it just needs garlic, ham and a few more carrots. Her original recipe is tried and true, since her book is now over 20 years old. It's guest tested. I personally have served it to several dozen guinea pigs people.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 or 3 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped (optional)
2 fresh (never frozen) carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each thyme and marjoram
3 cups Seasoned Stock (Lappe calls for vegetable broth -- I never use that I always use chicken stock)
1 cups lentils, rinsed
salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1-pound can tomatoes
6 oz or so cubed ham pieces (optional)
1/4 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup grated swiss cheese

Heat oil in a large pot and saute onions, garlic and carrots for 3 to 5 minutes. Add herbs and saute 1 minute. Add stock, lentils, salt, parsley, ham and tomatoes and cook, covered,until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Add sherry (or use red wine, or my personal favorite, beer). To serve, put 2 tablespoons cheese in each bowl and fill with soup. Or grate the cheese on top. Or do both Serves 4-6.

With this soup I would choose a light salad (Romaine hearts and endive with a dressing made from plain yogurt, maple syrup and Indian curry) before it with a crisp white like a Suave Bollo or Pinot Grigio. Serve this with flatbread and a red like a Merlot and follow with a plate of aromatic cheeses and a Petite Sirah.

Or -- just toss it down with a beer.


Friday, January 5, 2007

Notes on Making a Guitar

[Air guitar playing]
I walked 47 miles of bobwire
I got a cobra snake for a necktie
A brand new house on the roadside
and its made out of rattlesnake hide
Gat a brand new chimney made to fit on top
and it's made outta human skulls
Com'on take a little walk with me baby
And tell me who do you love ...
Now around the town I
Use a rattlesnake whip ...

Around noon today I set out across the soccer field after eating a bowl of miso soup, butteryaki somethingfish, and about a pound of rice, when I realized that the internal furnace was kickin in. I was hot. It was still bitter wind winter San Francisco California freezing, but I was feeling normal.

This has happened to me before, like the time I decided to put cream in my coffee. I was a grad student in Eastern Washington, and I got up one morning and it was 15 degrees out (the day before it was like 47) ... and there was snow on the ground. I walked across town and froze. And decided to start putting cream in my coffee to add some fat in my diet. I had already started putting the cream in my coffee, when a couple of days later -- I suddenly got warm. I stayed warm until March when it started to rain.

Yes, I was overdressed. Yes, I wasn't all tucked in in the right places. Yes, I left my Goretex™ windbreaker and jacket™ at home. Yes, I was getting sweaty. And I wasn't even playing soccer. Just burning rice and evolving. Just surviving.

Darwin was right... Here's to evolution.

As a sculptor, I occasional get these bright ideas to build things. I was looking at a piece of sculpture I made a few years ago (It's made from the arm of a chair and invokes the image of a violin) and thinking about my son and a guy named Tim Doebler and what was so special about Stratovarious anyway. I never really cared for Tim's ironwork, but he often made these sardine can mandolins, and other weird and unique string instruments, which I thought were brilliant. I hear a Stratovarios™ is actually brilliant.

So there I was, remembering the book I read about building a violin, and thinking how I never managed to get that boat I built all those years ago to float -- how I never built that wood canoe ... and I was thinking that I would never manage to build a guitar. Then I remembered that I know how to do that. I have an advanced degree in building stuff. SO I went to the bookstore and the big library in sky.

Tomorrow I am going to look for some wood.

Then, I'll start to make notes about building a guitar.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

I am Cold

I am cold. It's 46 degrees out. I rode a measly 9.35 miles today. The wind is out of the NW at about 10-15 and gusty. Nothing like the weather reports of yesterday. But I am cold. Folks in places like Alaska, Minneapolis and Colorado, Toronto even, must think I am a bit crazy.

Let's not forget I just spent 2 and a half years in *&$#*@& hell paradise. Arizona.

So I put on an extra layer today. I saw the guy with a balaclava and shorts on the train, Lauren. I threw the rain gear in my bike bag. I even ate breakfast, to help me keep warm. I froze totally. Anything I might have offered as advice about how to keep warm is pretty much crap at this point. The one part of my anatomy that wasn't cold was my lunch office feet. The Mysterioso™ are good socks when they are not wet. All those clothes and I am cold.

I never was wet. When I got on the bike at 9:30 Pm across town to ride home -- I threw on my raincoat. It was 30 someodd degrees and straight into the wind. Grin and bear it. I grew up here on a bike. It can be nasty here. I rode home and I wasn't wet. Now I am here with hot chocolate and a heater. It was a character building experience.

And a lot of you are in places like Minnesota and Colorado and Juneau. I will get warm eventually, as for you, I can't say. I hear that with the exception of the occasional blizzard -- it's been warm there. But it's still colder than here.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

It's Acting all like it's Going to Rain ... And Stuff

Tim and Marco play Felice Navidad at the Cafe.

The weather tomorrow looks like it might be a bit scary. Particularly this bit:

Thursday: Rain showers. Strong winds developing in the afternoon. Highs in the lower 50s. West winds 15 to 25 mph...becoming northwest 30 to 40 mph with gusts
to 60 mph possible in the afternoon.

"Rain Showers ... Gusts to 60 mph." "Dress thoughtfully," to quote Jill. I will be testing out the Mysteriouso™ Sock under my Shimano™ riding shoes tomorrow, as I continue with my plan to avoid buying any $50 (at the local bike shop) waterproof shoe covers by Louis Garneau™.

I am not good at the calculation of any thing really, so rather than try any sort of math, I'll try this. At 52° F. with 60 mph gusts it could get freaky cold, especially with the wet from rain part included. So ...

PatagoniaCapileneperformance baselayer (sometimes referred to as long underwear) , SmartWool™ 100% wool long sleeve pullover, thin REI™ balaclava, helmet with helmet raincap, levi's and Marmot™ rain pants, Cotton shirt, fleece pullover, NorthFace™ Goretex™ rain jacket, wool socks with the Mysterioso™ socks, and the Shimano™ shoes. Some Fox™ insulated gloves.

In the messenger bag: A change of shoes and socks. bag of m&m's™ and Gu™.

Something tells me it's either not going to materialize, or it's going to be quite nasty™. Sometimes it just get's that way here. Maybe I'll just stay in with a hot coffee.

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year's Day 2007

Last year on this day I was out in the shed digging up an old bicycle and washing it off because I was having a hard time walking more than about a mile driving through the Nevada desert, dodging a blizzard. This would be the first year I can go back into my blog and check to see what I was really doing. I will have to be pretty honest from now on. By this time last year that bike was clean and in the truck -- I think. Any way -- some time around now last year I was thinking about a bike ride.

Date: 1 January 2007
Mileage: 35.86
Average: 14.8
Max: 24.0
Week: 45.96
January total: 35.86
On the Ipod: Time out of Mind, Steely Dan

This morning my back was troubling me, and I was sitting around thinking about how to start out the New Year. I looked around at my messy house and the state of the place and being reminded by the gnawing thing in my back that I am not getting enough exercise and I thought -- I should go for a decent ride. I could hustle out to Coyote Point and ride down the Bay Front Trail and find out how far I can go.

Since I had to be at my parents for a little later in the day, I cleaned the house instead I suited up immediately. The best way to cross the 101 at Peninsula is to walk, to use the staircases and walk your bike.

From Coyote Point south the Bay Front trail is a hodge podge of routes adjacent or very near the San Francico Bay, mostly paved multi-use trail with a lot of folks on it. New bikes, new runners, new riders, and me; I was trying to keep my pace above 15 mph for the day overall. Since it follows the west shore of the bay down the Peninsula, it's dead flat ... and nothing about it is straight. I traveled about 15 miles before I gave up on a gravelled stretch, just past the dog park in Redwood City, after some debate about whether it was going to be possible to continue in a 1/2 mile or so.

Ultimately, I was hoping that it would be possible to ride a century out my door on that route. Maybe next time. It may be possible to connect the stretch of it further South with this section of it by actually riding on the road. I'll need to get out a map and start earlier.

These are Canvasback Ducks, red head, white body, formerly fairly rare, having been overhunted.

I think Thom is going to give us annual tallies from the Saturday Spinners. It will be interesting to see what I have tallied since then ... I am guessing my miles for the year to be about 2500. We'll see.

Since I was in the desert last year -- It probably wouldn't have mattered if there was an earthquake on the Parkfield section of the San Andreas Fault, like there was today. The USGS is banking the farm on that one going next. Let's all wait and see.

I think that these cats out on the trail are maybe being overfed by the cat feeders. If you notice, that cat seems unaware that there is a pigeon right next to him. There were so many fat and healthy cats along the trail, I was beginning to wonder if they were actually pets feral. I guess we are a benevolent society after all, towards cats at least. And, I guess I am still a cynic, despite the New Year and all it's optimism.

Happy New Year everyone!

That's your moment of optimism; enjoy it.