Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California ended in Santa Rosa yesterday. I'm not a big fan of sports, but I'm beginning to get interested in bike racing. Not having cable for most of the Lance Armstrong years meant that I missed out on most of the TdF video coverage. The small bits I did see were riveting. One of the things that is hard to convey on TV is just how fast these guys are going. So here it is, after 70-somthing miles on a pretty cold day in February and these guys are just hammering around Santa Rosa (9th street in this photo) at really crazy fast speeds.

The Tour of California (for those who haven't been bombarded by newspaper articles like we have) is hoping to become THE premier U.S. race, attracting lots of Euro competitors (which is key) and hopefully vaulting more U.S. cyclists onto the international scene. I hope they succeed.

If anyone has cable, and can record the coverage on ESPN2 for me, I'll be infinately obliged. I think it's on 10pm PST every night.


Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.

Oh, it's lunch time. Maybe it's time for pizza.

Pinky's Pizza Party

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Heidi turned 30. So that must mean: Pizza Party. Pinky's...sheesh I haven't been there since I was in organized sports as a kid. Which is funny because I work like 2 blocks from it.

It must be because the vice-principal of my junior high used to bartend there.

The pizza was good though.

Dang Cute.

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Dog in skeleton costume. Super adorable. According to his owner, he likes wearing costumes. Just like Fargo.

Paranomal Paramours @ Boomerang

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
The openning to Paranormal Paramours, a group show, at Boomerang in Petaluma. It was PACKED. They recently enlarged their space, but the turnout increased too. Meredith had a lovely piece in it, as did Heidi and others. I think my favorite was Phoebe's which you can kinda see in the background (the girl with red hair). The evening was marred however by some bad behaviour by one of the artists. He decided to take down someone elses (fragile) work, and put up something else. What a chump.

Yoda and his pink pillow

Yoda and his pink pillow
Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Pet Tuesday: My new cat Yoda. He's a strange, puffy cat who is always yelling 'myeh'. He's the only cat I've met who prefers to be under things then on top. In our house we have lots of cozy, plushy spaces for a cat to sleep, but Yoda is always sleeping under a chair. Or in the middle of the floor. Like all cats, he loves loves loves wool. He's our non-evil cat.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Cables are too new fangled.

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Give me a solid rod to stop my bike. Here's the mechanical linkage for the brakes. Another thing I love, mechanical age goofiness. Linkages, belt driven wood working tools, arcane electromechanical whozits...he says while typing on the antithesis of all things mechanical: A Powerbook.

Rod Brakes, and integral lock

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
The rusty thing on the left is a built in rear wheel lock. The best part is that it still had the key in it!

Breda, in all it's pre-war tech glory

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
I think it was made in the last 20 years, but it's based on OLD-school dutch bikes. There's only a little plastic on the rack and the reflector.

On any Saturday

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
I had a lucky Saturday (two in row, if you count last weeks flip-flop wheel find). This classy dutch-esque town bike was at the dump for $10. I saw the pin striping and rod brakes and was smitten.

I've been trying to control my bike collection lately, but really...rod brakes?

Of course it didn't look this good there. It was half taken apart, covered with weeds, mud, and just looked heavy.

I did a google search on the brand (Breda) and found nothing (!). After making sure I wouldn't be making a grave error by bringing another bike home, I woke up early Sunday and rushed back to the dump. I pulled up just in time to watch some guy poking at MY bike! And he already had a pile of bikes picked out. I wandered around feigning interest in kids BMX bikes, until he gave it up as a lost cause. Whoohoo!

I swooped in before he had a chance to reconsider. Paid my $10 and scurried, well drove, home.

To my delight, Orion showed up, and I immediately put him on polishing duty. Within a couple of hours we had fixed all the major problems and cleaned of most of the gunk. The tires even held air!

That afternoon Meredith and I rode around Roseland enjoying the warm sun.

Someday I'll probably sell it, but not yet.

Brooks B.17

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
I like modern technology. But I like some traditional stuff better. I like traditional materials over all. Ride in wool? Yes. Sit on leather? yes. Steel frame? Please.

A lot of people swear by brooks saddles, and an almost equal number hate them with a passion. I was unsure, but curious for a long time, but I tried many different modern saddles and none of them were comfortable for long.

Then I bought this. After a couple of weeks riding, it started getting really comfortable. Now every time I ride on anything else I wish it was this saddle.

I also bought a green one and I'm still (months later) breaking it in. It's taking much much longer.

Davidson Deraileur

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Campy something or other. When I was younger (11-13) I was a cycling fanatic. I couldn't afford the top end stuff (not to mention I was 11), but I lusted after campagnolo anything. As an older, one would hope, wiser man, I no longer lust after labels like I once did. But I still like the look of older Campy stuff. Does it work better than a cheap suntour or something? Nah, probably not, but it shifts when I want it to, and looks pretty. That's enough for me.

Davidson Front Hub

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
This hub and wheel was built by my friend Pat at the Bicycle Factory (sadly gond). It's a Campy Tipo hub, and I think it's one of the most beautiful hubs ever made. Pat did a nice job, and I love the crow's foot lacing. Someday, I'll have a rear to match.

Studio Bikes, my roadie

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Since spring in on the way, my bike love has blossommed again. It took a hiatus for a little while because...well..life just wasn't very bike friendly. But now that my commute is back to reasonable, and I'm not commuting to see my lovely girlfriend, I've got the time to ride.

So I though I should document my bikes as they are right now (because I'm always tinkering and changing them).

This bike is my favorite to ride. It fits me just right, and handles really well, even with that atrocious aluminum fork. This was my main bike for commuting to school, and midnight mass rides. It is a lugged steel frame from davidson in Seattle. I traded an early 80's Merckx that was too small for it at Recyclery in San Rafael. The fork was the only thing they had that fit the frame, but someday I'll pony up the dough for a proper Davidson fork, but I don't have $250 sitting around...

Motobecane makeover, ver. 0.9, the whole package.

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Due to the cramped setup of my studio, the wide angle lens make the bike look a little funny.

These are great tires, Avocet Cross II in a neato grey sidewall. High volume, cushy without feeling sluggish, and so far (3 different bikes, over a couple of years) very flat resistant. The rubber rots pretty quickly though.

Motobecane makeover, ver. 0.9

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
I love this bike. It's almost perfect for rolling around town on a weekend morning. The kids and I were enjoying the great weather by going for bike rides whenever we got the chance. So far the makeover was on the cheap, as a proof-of-concept. Cheapo steel bars, and a lucky day at the recyclery netted me a flip-flop fixed gear wheel for only a few hamiltons. All the other stuff I had in my lab. What it needs now is a rack, some nice fenders, and a springy brooks saddle. In fact I like the setup of this thing so much I'm thinking of changing over my black fixie to this permanently.

Motobecane makeover, ver. 0.9, drive train

Originally uploaded by ScottyJ.
Simple, effective, and low-maintenance. It's also very very quiet, which has become really important to me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Oh man.

It just keeps getting worse. From Newsweek: Presidential hits.

What happened to Congress? What happened to the Supreme Court? Where's my damn country?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

There's a John Cleese in my dreams

My afternoon nap microdream:

Radio Newsguy Voice: On a sad note, famed comedian and former member of Monty Python's Flying Circus committed himself to a mental institution outside of London. Several years ago we intervied Mr. Cleese on this very subject.

Cut to taped interview:

Interviewer: You work over the years has been called loopy, crazy, wonderful, and strange. How do you determine what is sane or crazy?

John Cleese: Well, I know my work has had crazy moments, but it's intentional. I think if elements of my work started showing up in real life, then I would in trouble. If naked organists, or silly walks began making a regular appearance then that would be it, wouldn't it? I'd have myself committed.

Radio Newsguy Voice: One of Mr. Cleese's well known skits was reading nonsense newscasts. Evidently the proliferation of nonsense spam emails appearing worldwide was enough to for him to decide that enough was enough. We wish well, and hope he makes a speedy recovery.