Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!



Austen fixes you with his gaze. He can't talk, but those eyes say one thing so authoritatively: Don't look away.  I always try to look back as deeply, give him his fill.


Brewing Journal: Batch #7, Entry #3

Batch #7 (Black IPA) racked to a secondary vessel with 1 oz. Ahtanum hop pellets for dry-hop. Hope to rack it to the keg on Friday.  Measured Final Gravity at 1.020, with Original Gravity at 1.075, this gives an ABV of 7.425% Tasted the hydrometer sample (at 68 degrees, flat)- a little sweet, as to be expected, very nice bitter finish.  I thought I had an off flavor I could only identify as "raw four" or "over-risen bread," but it is most likely the alcohol at such a warm temperature. I'm having a hard time identifying the hops other than the bittering hops at this point. Very interesting. Nowhere near as sweet as the Bourbon Barrel Porter tasted at this point, so I'm happy.  The forums on Northern Brewer suggest that this kit in extract form rarely finished below 1.020, so I'm going to call it good. 


What Would it Take for You to Bike?

There's an interesting discussion going on today over at Cyclelicious about the "fear of traffic." Is the fear of riding a bicycle in traffic keeping you from choosing to ride your bike to work?

Deeper into the article, the author says:

"I still really believe that, for most people, “lack of facilities” is an cop out. 98% of the American population drive cars to work because it’s easy and convenient. Build a bike path from their front door to their office or factory, and they’re still going to drive most of the time."

So what do you think? If there was a bike path "from your front door to the office," would that entice you to ditch the car and ride to work?  What if you had shower and changing facilities at the office? If your employer offered an incentive program with weekly prizes? What about this "fear of traffic" business?  


More Cold Weather Activities

Cold days are perfect days to look over our new illustrated copy of Thoreau's Cape Cod.

One of the things I truly love about our house is that the south-facing picture window in the living room absolutely floods it with natural light and radiant warmth. It does, however, make taking anything other than ultra-contrasty pictures a challenge. Even with pretty powerful fill flash, the result usually looks something like this.

Austen is fascinated by books. It's more than just the pictures- it's the motion of the turning pages, the "reading voice" we each use that is different form the voice we use when we speak to him, maybe even the smell of the ink.  I don't think about it a lot, but when I look at our living room and its ragged collection of bookshelves and their contents, I feel proud that Austen will grow up among them.  Just having them there, maybe some rainy or cold day, he'll wonder what a Hemingway or a Tennyson is, or maybe he'll pick up one of the many hiking guides we've accumulated and spend an afternoon dreaming about the Rattlesnake or Mount Mansfield or Yellowstone or the dunes in Provincetown.  Maybe he'll find The Far Side Gallery and wonder why anybody thinks half of those cartoons are even funny. I mean really, talking cows?

I'm so proud that Kate and I have have created this space for him, and hope that we maintain it as one he can always return to. 


It Says 3-6 Months on the Tag

...but there's an awful lot of room in there. It was cold this weekened. Bone chilling, bright and clear. It's Sunday night, and I have not been outside since Saturday afternoon- more then 24 hours. Wait, that doesn't really convey it- I haven't opened the door to the house, haven't peeked out to the doorstep to grap the mail, haven't taken a bucket of potato peelings out to the compost heap. Oh well. The basement is better organized and I rode my rollers unassisted, briefly tonight. I made focaccia and stuffed it with spinach and balsamic vinegar and grated Grana Padano, baked it again. I made tomato soup out of all of the basil and most of the frozen tomatoes we had left in the freezer. Summer in a bowl. Austen kept me busy today- he wants to be held all the time. Those 5 pound bags of flour they give to kids in high school are a joke. Ought to give 'em 15 pound weights that scream if you put them down, unless you spend 45 minutes putting them down and the stars are aligned. One smile out of him and it's all worth it. I was holding him today, looking away, then I looked down and he was looking up at me smiling. That perfect half circle topped by a straight line of an upper lip. Wide open, eyes sparkling. I missed the beginning of it looking out the window. There's that feeling that every second going by is one you won't get back. So I didn't go outside today.
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Christmas Decoration

This was what I did for this year's outdoor display:

I wrapped my winter commuting bike entirely in lights and put it up on my workstand in the front yard.  It was visible from 116. This gave me yet another excuse not to ride for a few weeks.  Truth be told, although this is the bike with the studded tires, I have found that I like my cross bike with low tire pressure just as well for the conditions I ride in.


Catching Up

Here's the 2010 tree:

As promised. Not very exciting since I didn't take a nighttime picture, but the addition of two more big strands of "warm white" LED's this year meant that this thing was actually capable of illuminating the entire living room at night, along with a good portion of the front of the house, when the curtains were open.  Austen showed a little interest, but was pretty much oblivious this year. You can't tell from the picture, but there's a multitude of "baby's first Christmas" ornaments on that tree now.


Little Time Sucker

Anybody who can make this many faces in about a minute and a half is bound to demand some of your time and focus:

The new year has been great so far- I'm back on my bike, there's snow on the ground, and the days are getting longer. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  More to tell later.