Thursday, October 29, 2009

I killed some guy today

"I killed some guy today. I was driving home from work and he was on a bicycle up ahead. Sure, I saw him but I'm not gonna change speed or move over for some jerk on a bike. I laid on the horn to scare that asshole but I got a little too close and hit his arm with my mirror. He went flying ass over tin cups! Then his head hit the curb. I pulled over, but it was too late. His neck was broken. It wasn't funny anymore. I killed some guy today.


"My dad killed somebody on the road yesterday. He hit a guy on a bike and the guy died! Dad always bitches about bicyclists, slow drivers, and those fuckin' Amish buggies. They don't belong on the road, he says. But he killed some guy! Dude! He's a bad ass! Hey, Marsha, what's wrong? Dude, she just got up and ran out of class all cryin' and stuff."


"A boy in my trig class started talking about how his dad killed a bicyclist yesterday. He was my best friend's father! I was so shocked I ran across the hall to the girls restroom and threw up. I'll be okay in a minute. What am I gonna tell Andrea?"


"My friend Marsha called last night. She's in a class with the boy whose father killed Daddy. I don't know how to process that right now. I'm numb. Mom and I take turns breaking down and crying. We try to comfort each other. We try to be strong for each other, but the tears just well up in us. My heart truly aches. I always thought that was just an expression, but it's true. It aches. What are we gonna do? My Daddy died."


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

OBC Annual Meeting

From the OBC website:

OBC Annual Meeting

In Meetings and Discussions - Agendas

Annual Meeting of the Oklahoma Bicycling Coalition2 PM, November 8, 2009 Parks and Recreation 315 E 9th Stillwater, OKPre-meeting bike ride 11 AM - Cooper's Bicycle Center, 220 S Main, Stillwater


Wednesday: More shiny objects

Yesterday I said that my old ring almost fits inside the new one. You can see that here. But just for fun, I tried something different in doing this photo. I cut a hole in a piece of 8x10 copier paper, poked the lens of the Canon A590IS through it, and shot a couple of photos with the paper diffusing the flash. It looks much better than the harsh light from the on-camera flash, though I had to bump it up 2 stops. This would be perfect for photographing some other small, shiny objects - like old Campy parts out in the garage.

You know where this is heading!


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Another shiny object

My wedding too small for my hand over the last couple of years. I guess repeated washing made it shrink. Yeah, it was all that hot water.

Actually, my knuckles are larger, probably due to the arthritis in my hands. The old ring was too small, and I could only remove it with copious amounts of soap. The last time I took it off, some skin came along with it.

I work with machinery and electronics, so jewelry is a safety concern. There's a gruesome photo showing the damage a ring can do when it gets caught in a lathe. Trust me, it's something you don't want to see. My watch and ring stay in a toolbox drawer all day.

But I really don't like to be without my wedding ring, and for the last couple of months I've done so...until yesterday.

I ordered a titanium wedding band last week. It arrived yesterday and I'm very happy with it. This one has what's called 'comfort fit', a slight radius on the inner circumference. It makes the ring feel loose, but it cannot fall off it it's sized properly.

My old ring almost fits inside this one. That's a considerable difference and one I should photograph. Maybe tomorrow. The other ring is in my toolbox at work.

Now, maybe those super models lurking around town will leave me alone.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday's shiny objects

Today's shiny object is a Rolleicord IV from the mid 1950s. Yes, it's almost as old as I am. This camera gives 6x6cm negatives on 120 roll film. I took my daughter's graduation photos with it.

This is a Rolleiflash unit. It attaches to the upper taking lens via a bayonet mount and a tightening knob. I've never used it and I don't even know what flash bulbs it takes.

Now, before you think this is wretched excess, consider that I bought one of these for $90 some time ago. The other one turned up at a garage sale where my mom paid $10 for it! Who could resist? I've carried both at the same time, one loaded with slow, fine-grained film and the other loaded with faster stuff. One problem - I used to put stickers on the backs so I'd know which one had which film. The adhesive tended to migrate, so these days I load only one at a time. Sure, there's an ASA reminder wheel on one of them, but I always forget to use it.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Voigtlander Bessa

In keeping with my fascination for shiny objects, here's today's.

This is a Voigtlander Bessa, possibly a pre-war model. Here's a link to Photo Utopia for more information, and some much better photos. This one came from a garage sale. It takes 120 roll film. Apparently it had a filter or lens cover on a hinge in front of the lens at one time, but it's long gone.

Yep, great big negatives! Unfortunately, the shutter quit on this one. I managed a few shots with it before that happened and was impressed with the quality. Sure, you have to guess at the range, but in sunlight it's possible to stop down and use the hyperfocal distance scale atop the camera.

This could probably use new seals, and I'll eventually get the shutter fixed. It's nice to have a medium format camera that folds up to fit in a pocket! This one is simple and rugged.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Long time no see...

My apologies for not updating this more regularly. The previous post was on the seventh! That's a loooong time in blog world.

I've been busy with other projects, one at work and one on-line. If you read the Examiner pieces, you may have noticed the longish one about the League of American Bicyclist instructors and their possible links to advocacy. That came from a local story about bicycle friendliness in Tulsa, and a response from LAB president Andy Clarke.

In all honesty, the story was difficult to write. Naturally, since I'm a firm believer in advocacy, I had a decidedly personal interest in it. That's not a good thing when I'm trying to get something just right, so I asked for help from my editor, Grant Davis. He's had an unusually light touch as an editor, something I really appreciate. This time he made some insightful comments that helped to tighten the article up and helped me avoid some genuine problems. After some back and forth, the piece went live on Monday.

In the meantime, I heard from another Examiner who said he'd posted something mildly controversial and saw his hits soar as a result. I've seen the same effect when I posted some articles about bike bans in Iowa and Colorado. Sure, I'm as shameless an attention whore as some guy out in California, whose name I won't mention though it rhymes with 'Fritz.' But I can't do manufactured controversy. It's just not in me.

And believe me, there's a strong temptation to do so. Examiners are paid on the basis of page hits. More hits = more money. Some of the political writers know this equation quite well.

But writing for the Examiner has had a downside as it's sapped some of my energy and creativity. I'm feeling worn out, tired, and bereft of ideas. I've had stretches like this before. It's no fun.

There's been one bright spot recently, and that's the rediscovery of the fun inherent in photography. Lyndsay and I took a photo class a few weeks ago. Both of us learned from it, but I came away with renewed interest in playing with cameras. Sure enough, I started using my old film cameras again, and never left home without a digital one in my pocket. Over the next couple of weeks, I'll post more photos. Until then, here's a shot of the newest acquisition, a Canon Canonet GIII Model 17, probably from the early 1970s.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Free Speedo Man!

In Tallahassee Florida, Richard Irby achieved minor celebrity status for riding his bicycle while wearing a thong. Oh, the horror!


Judge tells 'Speedo Man:' No more thongs

An avid bicyclist who regularly rides around town wearing only a thong, Richard Irby, 55, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for exposing himself in three different instances...

...Greenwood Mobile Home Park resident Daniel Blair told police that as he drove out of the park, 6-foot-3, 220-pound Irby was walking toward the park's office wearing only a blue thong with his genitals exposed. Blair was concerned for office manager Thelma Wylie and so he confronted Irby and insisted he cover himself.

The incident was caught on video surveillance, but it was inconclusive as to whether Irby was exposed.

Regardless, Irby ended up in court where he agreed to wear bicycle shorts that reached his knees.

After consultation with the large legal staff here at CycleDog, I must speak out on this issue. Cyclists must have the right to wear whatever they choose - even if the image of a large, hairy man in a Speedo causes people to wake up screaming at night. Provided he does so legally, i.e. no exposed genitalia, we stand firmly behind (well, off to one side with eyes averted, really) Mr. Irby in his quest to attain sartorial freedom. This is America, after all, and what is more peculiarly American than allowing one's freak flag to fly? We must come to attention and salute Mr. Irby's devotion to American freedom. We must highlight his cause by running it up the biggest pole we can find.

And what bigger pole could we find than Dr. Wally Crankset?

With that thought uppermost in our minds, the huge legal staff here at CycleDog decided that in the interest of true American freedom, Mr. Irby should be offered political asylum in that bastion of freedom, Broken Elbow, Oklahoma. None other than Dr. Walter Crankset, noted constitutional scholar from the University of Northeastern Oklahoma - Extension Branch in Broken Elbow, will travel to Florida to consult with Mr. Irby. If they can reach an agreement, look for news of it here in CycleDog.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

FTC requires full disclosure

The Federal Trade Commission adopted a new rule requiring bloggers to disclose any products or services they've used that have been provided without charge by the manufacturers. One news story described it as a form of payola - touting products because there's money on offer.

I can state unequivocally that there have been no paid product endorsements here on CycleDog, not that I'm opposed to it, mind you, but because no one has offered me money. (Except for the Brazilian supermodel who wanted me to father her child, but that doesn't count. Come to think of it, she couldn't count any higher than ten, either.)

This brings up an interesting question, however, one that the FTC may have over looked. I've noticed that some of the glossy magazines, not necessarily just cycling magazines, will have a product review on one page and a full page advertisement for said product on the facing page. This is not payola, of course, it's merely a coincidence. Yep, sheer chance.

So let's be perfectly clear. I have never accepted money from Adidas, Bianchi, Campagnolo, Dahon, Eisentraut, Fuji, Giant, Holdsworth, Italvega, Jamis, KHS, Lynskey, Masi, Novara, Orbea, Pinarello, Quintana Roo , Raleigh, Shimano, Tommasini, Univega, Van Dessel, Waterford, etc. However, it they want to throw some my way, I won't complain. Not me. But they should realize that by mentioning their names in such an influential blog as CycleDog, I'm guaranteeing them a place in the New World Order once all the CycleDog followers take over the world.

It's what we live for. And once we're in power, the FTC will have to kowtow to me! Well, us...uh...somebody.


Thursday, October 01, 2009


I've had it with comment spammers. No, I don't need cheap, Mexican Viagra. And no, I don't really need a longer penis. They're like kickstands anyway. Too long, and you flop over on your back all the time in bed, and when that happens, I snore. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed kicks me and I roll onto my side again. And then the cycle repeats.

I've changed the comments setting to permit them for posts over the last 7 days, but comments to older posts require moderation (i.e. kill the freakin' spam!).

Did I mention that I hate spammers?