The world's largest truck stop is not to be missed, especially if you need some animal themed clothing...
Attending the Minnecycle show today, I was afforded a great look at some local MN frame builders. Appleman seems to fill the bill well for a unique/boutique carbon frame.
They had this great looking complete track bike and an equally swell looking complete road bike. Check 'em out.
... in theory, but I can adjust and try again. This is a small size Blizzard from DQ. I thought I could get it home in the water bottle cage, not quite. I had to stop a couple times and drink the melt. Perhaps the best part was the DQ counter person who helped me pick out the Chocolate Xtreme mix, and to show me how blizzardy and extreme it is, handed it to me upsidedown. Not a drip...til the ride home.
(yes, the bike was rinsed immediately upon getting home)
"Inside each of you is an inexhaustible well of grit, guts and determination...And when the time comes when you are suffering and want to quit – and that time will come – you will reach deep inside that well of grit, guts and determination and find the will to keep going. And to do that remember that you are better than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can."
- Ken Chlouber
We all had fun and maybe it's actually only my own feelings on nudity that I was dealing with... the boys sure didn't seem to care one way or the other.
"On your Marks ... Get Set ... GO!!!!"
- Requires the giver only wish only to please the recipient
- Should be a luxury, something the recipient wouldn't normally buy for themselves
- Should be appropriate to the recipient
- Should be surprising, yet...
- ...Should be one that the recipient desires
Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can.
The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!
The headline is the quick bit of text you have to grab the potential suitors attention, like...
- Slightly Used; No Box [sounds attractive, but no]
- Not getting rid of my 773 area code [ok, this almost worked on me]
- hi [very catchy - how did you come up with this gem?]
- No, honey, you can't steal a cop car [I have no words, well, except the ones I wrote here]
- "Cake or death?" " Cake please." [Death please]
- Wanna do a crossword puzzle with me? [do I have to?]
- Looking for the Sparkles [is Sparkles really capitalized? What is sparkles? Look elsewhere]
- Hi [notice the subtle capitalization of the 'h', sure to pull in would-be suitors... but did she copy that other girl?]
- Is it my turn yet? [I don't know, I'll ask the teenager running this ride]
- Love to laugh [wow, that is a unique trait that really draws in the boys]
Those are all direct quotes, I couldn't make this stuff up.
I only wish you could all see the photos too.
"Because today we live by playing, even as adults. Playing with mobile phones, sending millions of useless messages, we play games on the computer, in front of the television and on the internet. Football is a game that pulls well in a society like this. Most other sports are games. Cycling is something profoundly different: It is a way of life."
Alfredo Martini, Interviewed in Cycling Pro, May 2010
- Edith Wharton
A female friend of mine sent this to me and I thought it was interesting and thought-provoking enough to re-post it here.
You want to get married. It's taken a while to admit it. Saying it out loud -- even in your mind -- feels kind of desperate, kind of unfeminist, kind of definitely not you, or at least not any you that you recognize. Because you're hardly like those girls on TLC saying yes to the dress and you would never compete for a man like those poor actress-wannabes on The Bachelor. You've never dreamt of an aqua-blue ring box.
Then, something happened. Another birthday, maybe. A breakup. Your brother's wedding. His wife-elect asked you to be a bridesmaid, and suddenly there you were, wondering how in hell you came to be 36-years-old, walking down the aisle wearing something halfway decent from J. Crew that you could totally repurpose with a cute pair of boots and a jean jacket. You started to hate the bride -- she was so effing happy -- and for the first time ever you began to have feelings about the fact that you're not married. You never really cared that much before. But suddenly (it was so sudden) you found yourself wondering... Deep, deep breath... Why you're not married.
Well, I know why.
How? It basically comes down to this: I've been married three times. Yes, three. To a very nice MBA at 19; a very nice minister's son at 32 (and pregnant); and at 40, to a very nice liar and cheater who was just like my dad, if my dad had gone to Harvard instead of doing multiple stints in federal prison.
I was, for some reason, born knowing how to get married. Growing up in foster care is a big part of it. The need for security made me look for very specific traits in the men I dated -- traits it turns out lead to marriage a surprisingly high percentage of the time. Without really trying to, I've become a sort of jailhouse lawyer of relationships -- someone who's had to do so much work on her own case that I can now help you with yours.
But I won't lie. The problem is not men, it's you. Sure, there are lame men out there, but they're not really standing in your way. Because the fact is -- if whatever you're doing right now was going to get you married, you'd already have a ring on it. So without further ado, let's look at the top six reasons why you're not married.
1. You're a Bitch.
Here's what I mean by bitch. I mean you're angry. You probably don't think you're angry. You think you're super smart, or if you've been to a lot of therapy, that you're setting boundaries. But the truth is you're pissed. At your mom. At the military-industrial complex. At Sarah Palin. And it's scaring men off.
The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here's what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian. Have you ever seen Kim Kardashian angry? I didn't think so. You've seen Kim Kardashian smile, wiggle, and make a sex tape. Female anger terrifies men. I know it seems unfair that you have to work around a man's fear and insecurity in order to get married -- but actually, it's perfect, since working around a man's fear and insecurity is big part of what you'll be doing as a wife.
2. You're Shallow.
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man's character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you're not married, I already know it isn't. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.
Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls. Because teenage girls are never happy. And they never feel like cooking, either.
3. You're a Slut.
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of Jersey Shore -- but they're not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you're having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin -- it doesn't stay recreational for long.
That's due in part to this thing called oxytocin -- a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm -- that will totally mess up your casual-sex game. It's why you can be f**k-buddying with some dude who isn't even all that great and the next thing you know, you're totally strung out on him. And you have no idea how it happened. Oxytocin, that's how it happened. And since nature can't discriminate between marriage material and Charlie Sheen, you're going to have to start being way more selective than you are right now.
4. You're a Liar.
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he's not really available for a relationship. He has some condition that absolutely precludes his availability, like he's married, or he gets around town on a skateboard. Or maybe he just comes right out and says something cryptic and open to interpretation like, "I'm not really available for a relationship right now."
You know if you tell him the truth -- that you're ready for marriage -- he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don't want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun! You love having fun sex! And you don't want to get in a relationship at all! You swear!
About ten minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don't tell him that. That's your secret -- just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends. Instead, you hang around, having sex with him, waiting for him to figure out that he can't live without you. I have news: he will never "figure" this out. He already knows he can live without you just fine. And so do you. Or you wouldn't be lying to him in the first place.
5. You're Selfish.
If you're not married, chances are you think a lot about you. You think about your thighs, your outfits, your naso-labial folds. You think about your career, or if you don't have one, you think about doing yoga teacher training. Sometimes you think about how marrying a wealthy guy -- or at least a guy with a really, really good job -- would solve all your problems.
Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt. The kids put the woman on notice: Bitch, hello! It's not all about you anymore! After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say -- if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.
6. You're Not Good Enough.
Oh, I don't think that. You do. I can tell because you're not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.
Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don't know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won't love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.
I see this at my son's artsy, progressive school. Of 183 kids, maybe six have moms who are as cute as you're trying to be. They're attractive, sure. They're just not objects. Their husbands (wisely) chose them for their character, not their cup size.
Alright, so that's the bad news. The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You're just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won't. Once the initial high wears off, you'll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.
Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.
The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because most of the time, your messy, farting, macaroni-and-cheese eating man will not be doing what you want him to. But as you give him love anyway -- because you
It is with that in mind that I offer a list of foodstuffs that I had on a recent, two-night trip to NYC.
- 1 $17 dirty martini - I know, the price, but it's NYC... and it was good
- 1 hot-from-the-pan traditional English popover - this was pretty dang good and fun to try in "real-life" after seeing it on TV
- 1 wonderful, almost spring-like, Bib lettuce salad with a mustard vinagrette
- 1 hunk of NY strip steak - too crusty for my taste, but great sauces along with it
- 2 glasses of a very nice Malbec HERE
- 1/2 of a very simple and tasty Apple Tart with cinnamon ice cream
- 1 bite of a peanut-butter chocolate cake concoction that the table next to us insisted we try - no joke
- ~5 vodka-sodas (tonic has sugar you know)
- 1 egg, ham, potato & bagel breakfast delivered to the apartment - not a bad way to start the day
- 1 free, 2oz. Illy espresso HERE - who said NYC is expensive?
- 1 Gray's Papaya hot dog - well worth it and not too filling before actual dinner
- 1 not-so-good Moscow Mule - made with lemon. Bad juj-ju... visit Omaha for the real deal
- 3 nice tapas dishes - fresh, spicy sausage; smoked almonds; traditional Spanish tomato bread
- 1/2 of a Cornish game hen HERE - quite tasty, could have had crispier skin
- Mashed yaro root - alot like the most buttery mashed potatoes you ever had, but slightly stickier
- Oyster bread stuffing - not a fan of this fishy-ish flavored stuffing... and I like stuffing
- Really tasty fingerling potatoes at two different spots, and some french fries at one place too
- 2 glasses of a decent red wine
- 1 blueberry, pineapple juice, orange juice smoothie
- 2 glasses of fresh squeezed OJ, a great way to get your C
- 2 shots of unknown name, though we did see some flavored vodkas being poured in
- British breakfast HERE that included steamed eggs with herbs (very good!) and a scone with Devon ceam, also quite tasty
- 1 Vitamin Water at JFK - waaaay overpriced, but I needed the minerals & electrolytes
One thing surprises me - I had no beer during the whole trip. There are still some things I've not been able to sample in true NYC fashion, that I would love to try - pastrami or corned beef at a traditional deli (Carnigie or Katz'), the hearty grub at Vaselka's, Montreal BBQ from one place in NYC that serves it, and I'm sure the list could go on...
Caller: "Yes, hello. I am hoping you can help me with my service."
Company: "What seems to be the issue, Ma'am?"
Caller: "I'm not getting any cable signal - it's not working - I can't watch my shows."
Company: "I see. What's your account number, social security number, phone number, and address?"
Caller: "I'll get all that..."
[4 minutes later, after finally conceding she has an account]
Company: "Thanks for inquiring with us today about your signal issue. I'll check a few things right now... Everything looks fine on our end, Ma'am."
Caller: "No one else has called about problems in the building?"
Company: "No, Ma'am. It's ship-shape."
Caller: "You're sure everything in the building, inside and out looks good?"
Company: "Yes, Ma'am. Please check with your TV support center for issues that maybe causing this problem. and have a great day."
Caller: "Oh, alright. I'll ask my son to come over and look at it. Thanks [click]..."
> Bicycling and walking make up 10% of all trips made in the U.S., but receive less than 2% of federal transportation funding.
> Bicyclists and pedestrians account for 13% of traffic fatalities, but receive less than 1% of federal safety funding.40% of all trips in America are two miles or less, 74% of which are traveled by car.
> Americans spend, on average, 18% of their annual income for transportation. The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is 3.75% ($308) of an average car ($8,220).
> A small reduction in driving causes a large drop in traffic. In 2008, the number of vehicle miles traveled dropped 3%, translating to a nearly 30% reduction in peak hour congestion.
> Transportation sources account for 70% of our nation's oil consumption and for 30% of total U.S. GHC emissions.
> Simply increasing bicycling and walking from 10% of trips to 13% could lead to fuel savings of around 3.8 billion gallons a year. This is equivalent to having 19 million more hybrid cars on the road.
> 89% of Americans believe that transportation investments should support the goals of reducing energy use. > 71% of Americans report that they would like to bicycle more.
> 53% favor increasing federal spending on bicycle lanes and paths.
> For the price of one mile of four-lane urban highway, around $50 million, hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure can be built, an investment that could complete an entire network of active transportation facilities for a mid-sized city.
View the source document with citations →
America Bikes →
Looking Back at 2010: Are Accelerating Weather Extremes A Symptom Of Climate Change? Gary Betts, climate scientist and commentator, had a few thoughts for Vermont Public Radio which I thought were worthy of sharing: "The Earth's climate system, which is rather unstable, is being driven by the increase in greenhouse gases and the warming of the Arctic into new patterns, and these are giving us new extremes of weather. Climate change is forcing us to face something that nobody wants to face. It is now widely acknowledged that our industrialized world, created by science and technology and a market economy, is polluting the atmosphere and oceans; and driving rapid climate change. We now face the paradox that although humanity is responsible for this; the longer we delay in changing direction as a society, the more the Earth system is slipping beyond our control. Climate scientists have been issuing warnings for twenty years, and every year our understanding of the Earth improves; so we can better estimate the climate risks we face. But there is a naïve assumption that our politicians will use this valuable information to redirect the economy away from fossil fuels, and so steer us away from the looming precipice of irreversible climate change. But in fact, politicians will say and do almost anything to avoid responsibility for difficult and painful decisions. So at the national level our paralysis has deepened." Image courtesy of Stu Ostro, forecaster at the Weather Channel.
Taken from this area-weather blog: http://www.startribune.com/blogs/114448069.html?elr=KArks:DCiUBDEaLDyUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUebcOQ_17cQ_eciaU
... no, not because it's below zero out, but because I figure if hot foods and drinks can keep you cool in the summer, ice cream will keep me warmer in the dead of winter - right? I'm willing to test the theory with MN's Sebastian Joe's premium Hazelnut and Chocolate English Toffee flavor choices tonight... and they have a cold weather discount (20%) in January and February - hot (pun intended) diggity!