Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Talk About Reading In Bed

I'll admit it, I read chick-lit. It's true, just like romance novels, they're all about the same. On occasion, one will make me laugh out loud. Some might make me feel all mushy-gushy romantic. Others might bore me to tears.

My current read is The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr. I bought the book when Barnes & Noble was running a sinful 75% off deal. (I can rarely resist those!) I had a hankerin' to read something with little to no substance and I got exactly what I was looking for! To be completely honest, the book appealed to me because like Ally (the main character), I also work in a library. It has been a lot of fun to read her descriptions of the library's patrons, there's no doubt that every public library everywhere has the same daily visitors.

Anyway, a co-worker (who is a librarian, like Ally) was asking about the book she saw me reading during lunch one day, so I told her about it. I warned her of its fluff but she said she'd check the catalog to see if we, the library, had a copy. We both agreed that sometimes reading fluff is good for us.

When I saw my co-worker a day later, she told me that we, the library (as you recall), did have a copy and she snagged it. Then she told me about this hotel in NYC that she read about some time ago. Later that night I snooped the net for it, I learned that it was actually featured on the Travel Channel at some point. The hotel she spoke of was The Library Hotel. What an interesting concept and a beautiful place to stay. You'd truly be in a reader's utopia where reading in bed was required.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Au Revoir Le Tour De Lance

It's the first day after the previous twenty three and I'm at a loss. No more Lance in the tour and no more tour until next July. Watching le Tour de France is a tradition in my home and my daily schedule was forced to change since this year's tour concluded yesterday in Paris.

Discovery Channel team member, George Hincapie, rode one helluva ride on stage 15 in which he won. It was a real thrill to see him win his first stage in a tour considering the many tours he's ridden. I was happy for him and his accomplishment.

This year's tour was filled with upsets and surprises. I was most proud of Michael Rasmussen and the effort he put forth on the day when everything went to hell for him. Two crashes and four bikes... he demonstrated determination and deserved the King of the Mountain jersey hands down. There's no denying that he earned that title and the recognition that goes along with it. Kudos to the King!

I suppose it could have been a really cool thing to see a French rider win the final stage, stage 21, in Paris. But I must say, I was delighted to see that it wasn't and that Alexandre Vinokourov was the first to cross the final finish line first. He's a fighter on two wheels and would amaze viewers with his ability to burst into action after drifting back into the peloton. I look forward to watching him race in future tours.

It was downright heartwarming to see Ivan Basso and Jan Ullrich on the podium on day #23 at the end of the tour. Although they are Lance's enemies while on their bikes, they are friends otherwise. Both riders have proven themselves as worthy competitors and as honorable sportsmen. The top riders in the tour never cease to set an example for good sportsmanship even when a decision change could have a positive impact on their position.

I don't give a poo what people think of Lance. I believe most of the folks making negative comments like "I can't believe he dumped his wife after all the support she provided while he was sick" don't have their facts straight. Do some Googling and learn a thing or two is what I say to those folks. Oh, and SHUT UP! People never know what goes on in people's personal lives and for some reason, so many think they do.

Lance is a man with what seems to be super-hero ability. His body and the way it works has been monitored for years and his consistent championing has become a science. He's unique in his physiology and is a remarkable example for believing in one's self and one's abilities. He has faith and commitment, determination and heart.

Thank you Lance for: 1) showing people that we all have choices on the life-path we choose; 2) sharing your struggle and your strength through a life-threatening disease; 3) encouraging kindness and contribution; 4) wanting to be a part of your children's lives, not just their provider; 5) your determination to be the very best you could be as an athlete.

Best wishes in your days ahead.... and congratulations on achieving what many have thought was impossible.

Oh--one other thing... I'll miss the OLN commentators, especially Bob Roll. The man is a maniac and I love him!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Shaken & Stirred

Enjoy a Pink Martini today!
Leah introduced me to this groovy group and thanks to her I have both PM CDs to enjoy! They're really worth listening to if you enjoy a retro orchestra/swing jazz sound mixed with French, Afro-Cuban, Asian and classical influences.
Sympathique *my favorite of the two*
Pink Martini will perform on the World Café radio program TODAY. The World Café with David Dye can be heard on more than 180 radio stations in the US. You can find your local station by going to the World Café website or you can listen online today at 2pm EST or tomorrow at 1am EST by going to If you are unable to catch the show live, it will be archived for the rest of the month at

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Making a Mess of Mesa Verde

I just read that the Mesa Verde National Park is in danger due to forest fires. Oh the horror! What an amazing place...

Mesa Verde N.P., Colorado
Square Tower House, Mesa Verde N.P.
Sun Temple, Mesa Verde N.P.

Ride To Work

Tomorrow is the annual Ride to Work day. For those of you who ride, do so tomorrow. For those of you who don't, be mindful of motorcycles on the road -- tomorrow and EVERY day. Be sure to check your mirrors once then twice! And keep your head on a swivel, pay attention to your blindspots--damnit!

My friend Jean. We met up in NC and rode to WV a couple years back. It was a blast! She's a mother of twins... and a very capable motorcyclist. Her bike is a Honda SuperHawk ... or ChickenHawk, as she calls it.
Me on a twisty in WV. I didn't see snow that day.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I Deserved A Good Paddling

For years I've wanted to go kayaking. The closest I ever came, I suppose, was when Jeremy and I went canoeing years ago. It was groovy going down the historic Suwannee River and seeing the wild and natural Florida that few tourists ever see. The downside of canoeing, for me anyway, was the sharing part. (Yeah, I share moderately well.) Kayaking seemed like the perfect way to travel on a waterway: there's great nature viewing (especially birds), you can go any direction you damn well want and you're in total control of navigating the vessel as you see fit. I was right, it WAS perfect for me. I went kayaking on Saturday and absolutely loved it! I have a few friends who have kayaks of their own and I have listened with envy when they've told of times out in their yaks. Now I know I was envious for a good reason.

Since I don't have my own equipment (PFD, paddle, uh, kayak) I had to go to an outfitter to rent the goods. A few locals told me about
Kayak Amelia and with their recommendations, that's where I went. The folks at KA are great! Very friendly and especially, very informative and knowledgeable. I have camped on Little Talbot Island and now I can say I've kayaked near it as well.

On approach to a sandy barrier between the sound and the ocean.

For little over three hours (six miles), I enjoyed paddling on the Fort George River which led to the Nassau Sound, a gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way I saw a very wet raccoon, countless birds of all types, crabs of all sizes, fish of all flavors, as well as fishin' folk and other kayakers and canoers.

Terns on a sandbar.
Fishing Man
You say oyster, I say urster. Just one of the many oyster beds along the waterway.
A conch nestled in the reeds.
Yours Truly in the tannic water. I was shocked to see this bluff. There's little to no elevation here, as I commonly complain about.

Is It Irony or Coincidence?

Bad news for readers of the marvelous motorcycle touring magazine RoadRunner. The founder/editor-in-chief was killed Friday in a motorcycling accident in Winston-Salem, NC. By viewing photos from the accident scene, it appears he was riding a Ural.
Keep your knees in the breeze Christian!
Peace to his friends and family.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Lilies in the Field

I love lilies. I love tiger lilies, to be exact. They hold a special sentimental spot in my heart because they were so abundant in the backyard of my childhood home. It seemed as though hundreds of thousands of blooms came to life every summer along the fence row. Their striking orange petals were so vibrant they could almost burn your eyes on a day of full sunshine. They had a strength about them with their tall stalks and fresh green leaves. They were bold with color, they appeared to be royalty due to their adornment.

I loved those lilies so much that I had a pair tattooed onto my upper left arm. That tattoo serves as a pleasant reminder of playful days in the sun from my youth.

When given the opportunity, I will stop to admire lilies in bloom. These particular barn-side blooms were located in West Virginia.

Near Harman, WV

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Best Laid Plans

I have a nasty habit of getting big ideas about going someplace and then I'll back out. Does that mean I'm not reliable? No, I don't think so. In most, nearly all, cases the plans only include myself so no one else is affected. The thing that bothers me about me when this happens is that I open my big mouth and tell other people that (___ this___) *fill in the blank* is what I'm gonna do. This really has no impact on anyone, I know, but it still bothers me. Bygones. It's inconsequencial and therefore matters not.

With that said, I didn't ride to the Blue Ridge as mentioned several days ago. There were a couple of factors that led to my change-of-mind with the biggie being the weather. I'm not a wuss, so take that back! The deal is, I love to camp and camping in the rain isn't such a big deal -- except when I'm on the bike. I have motorcycle camped many times and several times in the rain but it was not to my liking. I figured I had a choice this time and I decided against it. I am sorry to have missed Wine Down the Music Trail but I have this guy's pictures to make me feel like I got to enjoy a road trip.

As to not break my normal behavior, I'll now share my idea for another road trip. The Floyd Fest in Floyd, VA. I discovered Floyd a couple years ago while bike camping at the Willville Motorcycle Camp. I camped there a couple times within a summer and found the area to be absolutely wonderful.
Willville Bike Camp, Meadows of Dan, VA
Campsite at Willville
Two Steps, The Dog of Willville
One of my favorite attractions was the music played out in the streets on Friday night in Floyd.
Friday night at the Floyd Country Store, Floyd, VA
Banjo pickin' on the streets of Floyd, VA
Corner concert, Floyd, VA