Archive for September, 2007

Why get bent?

Why would anyone ride a recumbent bicycle? … it’s not for everybody.

It’s been almost two years since I splashed some hard-earned cash on a shiny new recumbent. Since then, I’ve built three of my own, joined a club which does regular social rides and competed in the OzHPV Challenge. That’s probably enough time and experience to organise my thoughts about this fringe area of cycling and to make some observations. I’m not going to evangelise here. Nothing but the facts, folks. Continue reading ‘Why get bent?’

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Draw, Pardner!

My old hang gliding friend Pete (who now runs a cycling store and sells Aeros hang gliders) turned 50 last week, and it was his party last night. Here’s the cover of the card I made for him. OK, not much of a joke, but give me an “A” for effort!

It may help if I tell you that modern hang gliders have hollow sails and we sometimes stash stuff inside that we might need after we land…

A sign of thrift.

I’m blessed with living 1-1/2 blocks from a very nice little strip shopping street. You can get (almost) everything you want, including a quite reasonable (IMHO) haircut for $14.

You can also get a fix of grease. The closest shop is a fish and chippery. It has burnt out twice in the last year. They’re not good with cooking oil. It’s just been rebuilt, and opened again last week. Unfortunately, the owners are all -too-obviously feeling the financial pinch and have done all the signwriting themselves. I leave you to marvel at the attractive, mostly hand-lettered-with-a-wall-paintbrush street sign and a furtively snapped shot of the menu board…. (I’ve obscured the phone number for obvious reasons!)

The menu is in dayglo yellow on white using badly applied stick-on lettering. It’s damn hard to read.

Half-baked effort

Doug is having a contest. But I can’t enter unless I blog something about baked goods. Well, I bake pretty much as well as I make fascinating small talk at noisy parties, which is to say, you have to be pretty much plastered to appreciate the result.

So here’s my recipe:

  • Go to Safeway and buy a big bag of Crusty White Bread Pre-Mix.
  • Leave it in the cupboard for about 2 years.
  • Decide one wet weekend that fresh, home-made bread would be nice.
  • Dust the cobwebs off the breadmaker machine tucked away behind the 2 year old bread mix.
  • Open the bread mix bag, pull out the yeast satchet, slit it open and then realise you don’t have a measuring spoon. Pour some yeast into the mixing bowl, estimating one and a half teaspoons by the size of the mound. Measure out 620 grams of flour on the postage scales and pour it in. Then 450ml of water, estimated by drawing lines on a 1 litre milk carton after measuring it with a ruler.
  • Put the bowl in the machine, press “Easy Bake/1kg/white/crusty” and wait 3 hungry hours while enjoying enticing baking smells.
  • Try unsuccessfully to cut the resulting crusty but essentially unleavened brick. Remind self that yeast has a use by date.
  • Visit bakery.

Bam! Biff! Thwack! Not!

from Kurt Busiek/Stuart Immonen’s graphic novel “Secret Identity”.

Read it.

Paternal pride

Here’s the boy (in black on lead guitar) performing at his school at lunchtime with others from his music class. The piece is a series of variations on Kasey Chambers “Not Pretty Enough”.  They deliberately chose the “worst” song on the list of options available to them, and it ended up a hoot.  Here they are playing it for laughs – and getting audience participation.

The (improvised) guitar solo at the end was overlong due to some confusion – it was supposed to keep going until the drummer gave the wrapup…

Not a bad effort, I think, both arranging and performing this piece after only 2 years since starting to learn the guitar.

The Big Training Ride

Summary of the weekends’ ride:

We had well nigh perfect weather for the run down to Sorrento (100km), with cool conditions and a light quartering tailwind. The run back from Queenscliff to Melbourne (110km) was in a fierce cross/headwind(25 knots gusting to 35 in some areas)for most of the way.

More detail …..


Continue reading ‘The Big Training Ride’