Friday, December 9, 2011


Yeah, I'm ordained. Deal with it.
One of the subjects that often seems to divide democrats and republicans is how to handle marriage, especially as is pertains to "gays."

The right wing can be heard screaming that homosexual marriages will ruin the sanctity of marriage. And while, I've personally interpreted marriage to be define the joining of two people who love each other into a committed relationship, apparently, that's not enough. Reading between the lines, others infer that specific genitalia, i.e., the joining of a penis and a vagina, is required to maintain the sanctity. Certainly, while God (?) didn't spell it out, you can't have a loving relationship without the prerequisite genitals.

So okay, maybe they're right. The sanctity of marriage is being threatened. So instead of allowing dirty, heathen, gays to marry, maybe we need to be more strict. Why do religious leaders stop at prohibiting homosexuals from marrying?

Why don't we, instead, make marriage MORE of a commitment.

I say, you're allowed ONE government sanctioned marriage unless a spouse dies. After all, isn't marriage a lifetime commitment?

Could a republican, say, a serial husband like current leader in the polls, Newt Gingrich support such an idea?

What about penalties for adultery?

Could ANY politician support such an idea?

Unless pro-marriage homophobes stand up and argue for stricter marriage rules, I say they are all hippocrates. In an era when media weddings like that crazy TV chick with no appreciable talent (honestly can't remember her name and don't care enough to look it up) can have a multi-million dollar wedding that lasts less than 90 days, and the leading republican presidential candidate is on his third marriage after cheating on the first two wives, the problem is certainly NOT same-sex marriage.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Yes, it's my favorite time of the year (well, at least in terms of the bike racing calendar), cyclocross season!

If you haven't been to our team's Web site (which would beg the question, "why not?"), here are some links to some recent race info:

Only two more 'cross races left on my schedule for this season--already looking forward to next season!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Magazine Madness

It's no secret, I love bikes. I've got bike "crap" all over the house, and a big portion of that "crap" includes cycling publications. I can be just as happy reading the latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine or Dirt Rag, as I can be leafing through the pages of a Dan's Comp catalog. From Singletracks, to Adventure Cyclist, to my IMBA newsletter, I get plenty of magazines. I love 'em all, but it seems like the one magazine I love to hate is Bicycling.

I can't remember an issue where I didn't have a "WTF are they talking about?" moment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Florida... it's still there.

I took a quick trip down to Orlando to check some things out.

First, I had to check on my mom. She's still alive. Check.

Next, I had to check on her house. It needed a little bit of work and I was able to take on a few of the more minor issues. I trimmed and cleaned out the front year and put down about 15 bags of mulch. I also replaced a shower head, fixed a loose board on the fence, changed some lightbulbs that were too high up for mom to reach safely, replaced the front door knob and lock, patched some cement, replaced some tension wires that support the giant screen over the pool and generally made critical comments on various parts of the house. I AM good at critical comments.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Time Flies...

WTF. Really? No blog post since September? Shame on me. You know, of course, you can get nearly daily blatherings by following me on Twitter (I'm @BeardedBiker). But that's only 140 characters, and if you know me, you know I can talk WAY more than that.

So let's see, where did I last leave off? I had just come back from a few days down on the Cape with that lovely wife of mine and the in-laws. Good times.

When I got back, I was essentially punished for taking time off by working lots and lots of shifts.

I was also trying to immerse myself into the cyclocross season which is the only reason I actually look forward to the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

Before heading down to the Cape, I raced in the Quad Cross race. It was super fun and a great season opener, but I got a flat, setting the stage for many mechanical issues for me thus far this season. I flatted in the next race too, Sucker Brook. If you add to the that the flat tires I had on my BMX bike and my road bike, you can imagine that I was getting a little frustrated (first world problems, I know). I got my tires squared away with some new Michelins in time for one of the biggest races in New England, the GP Gloucester which spans the first weekend of October each year. On Saturday I had a good race (video or photos), but on Sunday (video or photos) a different mechanical issue reared it's ugly head. My chain guard, which is supposed to keep my chain ON my bike, actually allowed the chain to pop off and thus prevented me from getting it back on. Eventually, I was able to get the chain back on, but it was a struggle, and I was a the absolute back of the race once I got back in the game. Oh well, I wasn't going to win anyway, and it was fun to work my way up as far as I could. In case you're wondering, yes, this did happen to me before, and I have since replaced said chain guard with an e13 chainguard that looks fool proof. And, right after Gloucester's weekend of racing, the Wednesday night Night Weasel (video or photos) race was on. This is a super fun race with a great vibe. The course was pretty muddy, but I didn't have any mechanical issues and I stayed on the bike (something not all my competitors can say), and it was another race in the history books.

It hasn't all been about the cyclocross bike though... I have been on the mountain bike, including another trip up to Kingdom Trails (check out the video!) with my buddies Mike and Jason.

I also shot up to North Conway, NH, for an off road ride and was very impressed with the trails. I look forward to more exploration...

And, in addition to mountain bikes and cyclocross bikes, I've been trying to spend as much time as possible on my BMX bike. In fact, I've even tried to bring myself up to speed with the current style of riding, and I've built up a bike with no brakes. It's an interesting transition for a rider who started in an era where locking brakes were the coolest accessory. I'm old, and out of practice, but I still absolutely love riding my BMX bike. I was off for WAAAAAAAAAAY too long.

Of course, while I've been trying to bring my riding up to date, I still have fond memories of the early days of neon bikes and 80's hair. I've got HUNDREDS of old photos rotting in various albums so I've taken it upon myself to get the scanner up and running to save these little pieces of BMX history.

I've only just BEGUN to start scanning, but here's a good first effort:

Oh, I forgot to mention that I've been taking more photos. Yeah, in addition to my attempts at a steady stream of race photos for my team mates over on the Racer-X Web site, a group of friends and I have started a Project 365 blog where we're all posting a photo every day. It's great seeing some of the awesome pics my friends have been taking, and seeing some of the lame ones I've been posting, but hey, it's a journey, right?

We, in New England, also weathered the first big snow storm of the year, which came VERY early--the end of October. There wasn't too much snow accumulation in my neck of the woods, but some parts of MA got more than two feet. Damn. More problematic than the snow was the fact that the trees still had plenty of leaves on them making them more susceptible to damage from the heavy snow. To say that there were lots of trees and limbs down would be quite the understatement. Parts of the state looked like a war zone or like the aftermath of a hurricane. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, and some for several days. Everyone was enraged that the utility companies were taking so long to restore power, but I say "hey homeowners, how about taking some personal responsibility and being PREPARED for storms." I know not everyone can afford to be fully prepared, but for the homeowners that CAN afford it, but prefer to spend their money on flat screen TVs, Blu-Ray players, and other crap, how about popping a grand down on a generator? No? Rather spend the money on an iPhone and an expensive car? Well, then don't bitch if you lose power for a couple of days.

Okay, I'm off my soap box.

Gotta go... gonna get a quick ride in before work... also gotta post my pic for yesterday AND today...

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Cape of Cod

The days were warm, but not very sunny.
While I've never seen a cod wearing a cape, I did just spend a few days down in Falmouth. It was nice to go down there "off season." I can't imagine being there when the place is swarming with people, but then again, I don't really like people, so the same could be said for just about anywhere. Jean's parents had rented a beautiful house for a two week vacation. Jean went down for a few days, came back to do some work, and then went down again. Once my work schedule cleared up a bit, I went down for a few days as well.

All in all, it was a relaxing time. We did a little road cycling, a little running, I took some photos of random things (Jean took plenty of photos too), I did some reading, oh, and I did my fair share of wading waist deep (or deeper), into cold water to dig up quahogs. Jean's dad LOVES digging for quahogs, and if left to his own devices, would still be out there. My first couple of days doing this were a bust, but on my third day, I had 20 before Del had one.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I love Vermont, I love Kingdom Trails, and I am saddened by the fact that I had not been up there yet this season...

So, I threw the dogs in the back of the car, battled some morning traffic, and made the day trip up to East Burke to get my "fix." Perfect weather, perfect trail conditions, and no mechanical issues on the bike--what more could I ask for?

Now, I feel the need to get up there one more time before the season ends...

Antique Freak Show

Like many husbands, I've been dragged to my fair share of antique shops. It's in the marriage vows, I think, as one of the husbandly obligations. Anyway, I usually go along, "oohing" and "aahing" at the appropriate times, but my mind is usually somewhere else (on a bike likely).

However, Jean has recently taken me to Todd's Farm and Antique Flea Market in Rowley, and I actually like it there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hampshire 100

I'm not sure why I thought this 100K MTB race would be a good idea. I don't remember that last time I have put that kind of miles in on the mountain bike (I don't think I've even gone that far on the road bike this year). I guess last year at the Wild Cat Epic 100, and the Vermont 30, but that was a year ago...

And I *think,* if I recall, last year I had done that thing where you ride your bike lots and lots in order to prepare for an event... I think it's called "training." Yeah, training. I didn't really do much of that this year. Oh well, what's the worst that can happen, right?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Going back to Cali...

One of my very good friends invited me to his wedding. Then, he threw the curveball at me by asking if I would officiate the wedding. Hmmmm….  I had just completed the lengthy ordination process to become a minister (filling in some data fields and clicking "submit"), so rather than let all of that hard work go to waste, I agreed. Later, I'd reflect, what the hell had I gotten myself into?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A ride of meh-pic proportions

It was going to be a good ride. In reality, any ride that you make it home in one piece is a good ride, but there are certain factors that can make a ride bad; getting lost, having mechanical issues, crashing, getting swarmed by mosquitoes and biting flies. Independently, all tolerable, but when combined, I was pretty close to having a hissy-fit.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer = Riding

I've been trying to ride as much as I can with the summer weather finally upon us.

I do have silly number of bikes, but I can say that I use them. Over the past few weeks, I have ridden my time trial bike, my road bike, my singlespeed mountain bike, my geared mountain bike, my cyclocross bike and my beloved freestyle bike. Sadly, my diversity proves the "Jack of all trades, master of none" theory.


Sunday, June 26, 2011


Yep, it's true. My trusty Element has been squished. Here's how it went down.. I was at work, minding my own business, saving lives and such when one of the security guards asks if I have a black Honda. "I do," I replied, and that's when he informed me that it was involved in a 7-car accident.

I just can't let go...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I DO love technology. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't go too far without some form of gadgetry, but sometimes, this stuff is just a huge pain in the ass.

Right now, I'm trying to get my TV set up. It's not so long ago when I remember having a giant antenna on the roof of the house that would sometimes need adjusting after some strong winds. Then cable TV came along and changed everything. With a connection from the outside cable to a cable box to the TV, we had clear signals and oh so many channels. Adding a VCR in to the mix, or, to really get crazy, adding a video game system (Atari 2600), would really be fancy. I remember taking things to the next level by having two VCRs in parallel to copy tapes and having external speakers for better sound.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spain--Day 2

Sunday, we awoke, with alarm at the fact that it was 11am! I hadn't slept that late since I was working night shifts. Fortunately, Jean-Francios and Luc, who thought we might have died in our sleep, still had breakfast for us: more freshly baked breads, fresh squeezed orange juice, a bowl of cut fresh fruits, and sliced meats. Oh, and the coffee...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spain--Day 1

I was awoken at about 1am, on my body's time, for a breakfast of Milano cookies and bright red orange juice. These are the sorts of things that happen when flying across oceans and time zones, and about 24hrs after our original departure, things were still a bit odd.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Buenos Dias!

Okay, Jean and I just got back from Spain, and the day-to-day mania of our regular lives has already begun. I won't bore you with the details, but I will say that I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with Adobe Lightroom and sifting through my nearly 1000 photos from the trip!

In a nutshell, the trip was great. We flew into the coastal city of Malaga, then spent a couple of days at an amazing B&B called Tapa Luz. More details on this, and everything else on the trip later, but for now, know that Tapa Luz served absolutely amazing food.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blah, blah, blah... the winter blahs...

Anyone who has known me for a long time knows that I hate winter. I hate the cold. I hate the snow. I hate the ice. And as you know, the 2010/2011 winter has had PLENTY of cold, snow, and ice.

Aside from my daily walks with the dogs, who, I think, are also a bit fed up with the snow, I have TRIED to do "winter" activities.

Take a photo journey with me...

Yep, I dug the cross-country skis out, and well, they peeled like bananas. Sigh. That's okay, I didn't really want to go skiing anyway.

My snowshoes are still intact though, so I've been out on them a few times. Great hip flexor work-out, but Jean enjoys the snowshoes much more than me. As far as I'm concerned, snowshoeing is just plodding through the snow. And the idea of "flotation" is a myth. I've got the largest snowshoes I could find, 36" back country Tubbs, and if the snow wasn't already packed down, my leg would sink to knee.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


My dogs love snow. I hate snow. Fortunately, I get some enjoyment seeing them have fun wrestling in it. I took this little video this morning, when it was about 0-degrees F. They didn't seem to mind.

You can check out some pics here too, from another snow romp.

Anyway, while they do have fun in the snow, I'm looking forward to the warmer weather, and they can get back to the beach...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter Health Tips

I've seen a recurring theme in the Emergency Department in the winter months. Sure, regardless of the weather, people are going to have abdominal pain, and chest pain, and headaches; and little old ladies are forever going to be weak and dizzy, but there are some ED complaints that are certainly seasonal.

I'd like to provide you with some tips on avoiding the need to come in to see me at work.