DJB

Finding Adventure...

Movie Reviews...

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I just realized I haven't been keeping up with my movie reviews! For shame!

Just got off a plane where I watched Untraceable. It's a little bit Silence of the Lambs without such a scary villain. I thought it was really good, but you need to be okay with a little bit of gore. I was thankful to be watching on the iPod small screen since I'm generally not quite okay with that kind of gore.



I watched Juno a few months ago. Very good movie. It's very witty and fun, even though it's about a very serious topic. Doesn't matter if you're Pro Life or Pro Choice, you will laugh at the abortion clinic protester.




Another good movie is Charlie Wilson's War. It's a great American movie about a truly interesting part of the cold war that few probably knew about. Highly recommended. No gore, either. Some T&A, though.
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Share the Road?

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The law says we have to share the road with bicycles. And in this age of high gas prices, perhaps we'll have to share the road with more of them at some point. But when that point gets here I'll be fine with it, because the bikes we're sharing the road with are going somewhere. Going somewhere? What could I mean by that? Aren't all bikes on the road going somewhere?


No. Most are really just exercising. How do I know? They are out on the road riding bikes that cost more than a lot of cars on the road. They're wearing skin tight clothes and aerodynamic helmets to reduce drag. They're riding in small trains and taking turns leading for the draft effect. The bikes are on half inch wide tires that would puncture if they hit a single pothole at speed. Worst of all, many folks are doing this exercising on two lane, 55 mile per hour, country roads that are narrow, have no shoulder suitable for a bike of this nature, and have many blind curves.

I know why they seek out those roads...they aren't that busy. They can pedal at full speed for long stretches without interruption from traffic lights and stop signs. Oh, not that most of them stop for traffic lights and stop signs anyway if the coast is clear...oh no. Heaven forbid they should unclip from those pedals and sit there like the rest of the traffic. Or, should I say, like the law says they should do. Nope, most look both ways and roll on through if the coast is clear. I've even seen them do it with a police officer looking on, and the officer did nothing about it. Talking about steaming me. If I hadn't been in a hurry I would have reported the officer. There's a chance he wasn't even on duty, I suppose, but it still seemed unlikely.

So, what's my real fear or beef with having to share the road? Simple. I fear that someone I love will be driving that country road at the posted speed limit and come around a curve and get hit head on by someone who is illegally passing a bicyclist. Is that the fault of the bicyclist? Not entirely, no. Maybe not even at all, really. But the reality is that people will continue to pass these folks in an unsafe manner. The cyclists see it happen all the time. Many even know someone who was hit by a car or were hit themselves. Yet a lot of them continue to do it, and they do it on the roads near my house even though the town of Carrboro has a lot of roads with bike lanes. I know, can't get the same amount of exercise in. But at least they should be safer than mixing with dump trucks and other high speed traffic on tiny roads.

The other reality is that you can get a lot of good exercise on a bike by heading off road if you get a mountain bike. There are great trails in this particular area and in many areas of the country. There's nobody to hurt but yourself that way (and don't I know that!).

Now, I can somewhat sympathize with triathletes who actually need to train at least some on the road. Somewhat. But that's still a choice you're making, especially since there are now more off-road triathlons you could participate in.

No, I'm not one of those folks that intentionally passes closely when passing a cyclist somewhere I don't think they should be, and I certainly don't condone that kind of dangerous behavior. I wouldn't ever even get in someone's face when stopped about it. I do believe courteous dialog on this topic is a good thing, and I do think cyclists should strongly consider alternatives to riding on 55 mile per hour roads. Please. Before more people get hurt.
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In my effort to post every day...

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I like it! Long neck cold bottles, please.

It's Memorial Day weekend, we're at the lake, and we have Bud Light. Sweet.
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Memorial Day Weekend

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So, it's Memorial Day weekend. I'd like to ask that everyone reading this remember what that means and take some time out of your busy weekend and salute our troops, both past and present. Doesn't matter how, just find some way.
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Afraid of walking outside at night?

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Are you afraid of nocturnal animals? Do you live in fear or walking face first into a spider web? Do you let stories from TV and books scare you that the boogieman might be waiting in the woods to get you? If so, I've got a solution for you! It's a walking stick with integrated flashlight!


Or you can also try this folding cane with flashlight! Makes a great gift for the scaredycat in your life!

Use these devices to light your way, knock those gargantuan spider webs down, and even fight off evil hockey-mask-wearing villains! Note: None of these devices are intended to fight off any villain larger than 6'4". If you live in sasquatch-infested areas, please consult your local police department for recommendations.

(Yes, this post is a little joke in response to Alisa's recent blog entry. I couldn't help it. cough).

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Idol versus Dancing

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Okay, it's the biggest TV week of the year with the final episodes of both American Idol and Dancing with the Stars. Which is better, though?

Neither. It's all personal opinion. But I'll point out why I watch Dancing and don't watch Idol. It's about the fact that Idol is more about a performing talent and Dancing is more about learning to perform. Idol is a bit more pure in that each contestant has to learn their thing completely on their own and then just bring it to the competition. Dancing is less pure since the contestants are more or less just chosen by producers and then paired somehow with a professional dancer to instruct them. But to me Dancing is a more interesting competition because each competitor must then go learn and perform something they've never really done.

You could say "oh, but there are going to be contestants who are going to come in with more talent and have a much better shot at it." There has been no better example of that than this past season when Kristi Yamaguchi won. And while that did cause this season to be a bit anti-climactic, in general the competition is not dominated and has been won by folks not necessarily considered predisposed to being good at dancing. Helio Castroneves was a good example of a winner who was somewhat unlikely.

This past season also showed you never know about how well people are going to dance simply based on their past. One might have assumed that a female tennis star would likely be better than an NFL defensive player, but that was far from the case.

Anyway, I'm not giving Idol a hard time. I've never really given it a shot, and probably won't. But watching Dancing has become important to me, and it's about way more than the beautiful dancers. Okay, so they help. But watching an NFL defensive player go from an awkward and scared mediocre dancer to a really good dancer was fun. Watching Helio do the same was fun. And hopefully next year's cast is as good as previous years.
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Last day of the trip...

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...and I'm kicking back again while everyone else enjoys one last quick ride. I had a blast on my two rides, but that was all my body had in it for a four day period. My knees are creaky, and the rest of me just aches. Hopefully they get their ride in before the rain gets here...seems they might just luck out. We'll see.

I should mention some more about yesterday...we had to cross streams about ten times. Creeks? No, streams. And one river, I believe. Most all were mid-shin deep with one being just above knee deep. A few rides were attempted across, but in general everyone just carried their bikes. The streambeds were mostly pretty large rocks, so riding it wasn't terribly possible since you couldn't always see thanks to shadows and small whitecaps.

We did see some very cool waterfalls (none huge, but still cool) and the best part was a giant overlook with a huge rock face we could stand on to take it in. We could see for miles and miles and not see anything man-made. Unfortunately I didn't take a camera, but other guys did so hopefully I can get the pictures from them and post them at some point.

The trip has been really great...everyone on it is really great to be around. Hopefully I can get in better shape and do it again next year!
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I WANTED to nap today, but...

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The guys talked me into riding instead. I'm glad I did as it wasn't nearly as brutal as the Thursday ride, but the data says otherwise...we did 30.2 miles with a max speed of 24.9MPH. The moving time was 5:52 and we were stopped 2:56. The total ascent was 3900 feet! I will definitely not be riding tomorrow! I'm not hurting, but I am completely and totally spent. I did keep up pretty well and I walked a lot less than I did on Thursday, even though we went twice as far. Here's the pic of all three rides (today is the one in the middle...and I missed a little bit of the track at the start, but you get the idea).


Pardon me while I pass out and die.
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For the Lonegan kids...

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A little bit of the cabin and some of the guys...

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While I was napping...

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The left side is what we rode yesterday (almost 15 miles). The right side is what everyone else rode today (27 miles). Glad I stayed here.
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