Getting ready for the 5th

So I'm all excited to once again be taking part in the democratic process and, hopefully, making a little bit of history on the side. These past two terms have left me champing at the bit to get someone new and diametrically opposed to everything the current administration stands for, so I've been doing my research and getting ready for the big day. For those of you going through the same process right now, I have found that the Chicago Tribune has provided a nice little tool that helps you compile a sample ballot to bring with you to the polling place; this feature even goes so far as to provide links for candidates' sites (when they have them), and to show who the Trib endorses and why. Now I've got my little cheat sheet in my purse, and am ready to rock on Tuesday.

So, even if you're not from Chicago and can't use the Trib's ballot creator, please make sure you go out on Tuesday and vote if there is a primary in your state. If you don't know if you have one, or want to know when your state's is, check this site out.


The 'news that made me incredibly angry' post of the afternoon


"Sea lions massacred in Galapagos"

What the hell is wrong with people? I can't imagine why anyone would go so far out of their way, probably at great expense, to do such a thing.

Bike neglect

I've been cheating. The last couple work days I have driven in to work; I always pass it off as being tired - driving in allows me to sleep in an extra half hour. Before I avoided buying the cheap parking passes ($6/a pass) because the $15/day parking charge that museum guests pay is a pretty big deterrent for me driving; now I have three sitting in my center console. Thing is, it's not the weather - it's actually been warmer here in the last couple of days than it has been in months - it's that extra half hour of sleep, burrowed under the blankets and spooning with Dan. Ahhh to hit the snooze a few extra times, and know I'll still be on time. I try to make myself feel better about it by acknowledging that I'm working out a lot more and eating much better, but I still miss my bike... just not enough it would seem.

The cards seem stacked against tomorrow's ride as well; the weather forecast tells me there will be snow all night, 50mph gusts, a pre-dawn wind chill of -23, and temps won't get above -3 until after noon. Now, it's not the wind or the cold that gets me, it's the snow accumulation. I can always bundle up, but I have this fear (not completely unfounded) that on one of the hills I have to go down either to or from work, I just won't be able to brake and will slide right into traffic at a red light. I have had trouble stopping my bike before when the streets have been too wet/snowy because my old bike is quite heavy and the brakes get choked with snow; luckily I've always managed to throw my feet down and force my bike to stop in time. Still, it's been a bit hair-raising now and then. Add to that the fact that even the best flashing lights in the world don't make me more visible to the people who don't clear the snow off their side windows, run the defroster to clear their front and back windows, or are just too preoccupied with the other cars in snowy conditions to expect, notice, or even care about a cyclist on the road. Still, I intend to get back to it. Hopefully the snow will subside early enough in the evening that the roads will have time to clear. No promises, but at least the desire is still there!


Lunchtime 5k

Another week, another challenge. I've decided (and have had it suggested to me) that I should try running some 5k events after I train a bit more. Keeping this in mind, I decided that from here on out (unless I have more than a 1/2 hour to run), I'll try to do roughly a 5k run every session. Because our treadmill at work only goes one decimal point, I set my goal at 3.2 miles (a little overkill, but having that little extra bit can only help).
The run went fairly smoothly, but the gym was stupidly hot today; I guess that is a good wakeup call for when summer begins and I start running outside again. I was able to finish the run in 27:20, but cramped up a little in the middle; I guess when it's hotter I need to try to hydrate even more. I just find it hard to run while the ground is rapidly moving under me while trying to drink out of my travel mug - perhaps I need to get myself some kind of sport bottle that is a little more user-friendly. All in all, it was a good run. I have hockey tonight, so it'll be interesting to see how my run inpacts, if at all, my energy level while skating. One thing I learned from this weekend is that I really need to find a way to increase my speed on the ice; I get by, but when I'm skating the puck up from the defensive zone, I always feel like I'm going in slow motion. If I didn't have decent puck handling skills and didn't know how to protect it with my own body, I'd get picked off every time. I'd like to get to the point where I can actually make a move and blow past forwards (defense are easy, they're all slow like me!).

A successful weekend

This weekend the mighty Team Glacier took on the Red Raiders of St. Louis in a no-holds-barred competition of good versus evil on the ice. Game #1 on Saturday was a fiasco from the word 'go' due to the incredible incompetence of the officials. In the first period alone, they called 12 separate penalties (including one that the ref called 'body contact' - I'm sorry, we forgot ice hockey was a contact sport!); it was so bad that all the stoppage cut into out ice time so much that we had to play 12 min periods instead of 20 for the rest of the game. During the first period I received a 10 minute misconduct, essentially because the ref thought that I called him a naughty name; in reality, this comment was directed at a girl that I had gotten into an altercation with because she purposefully dove to take me out at the knees. While I'm not above trying to draw a penalty by harassing people in front of the net, I would never purposefully try to injure someone like this girl did; it was something I couldn't let go. Regardless, I didn't deserve to spend half the game in the box, chatting with my dad who was running the scoreboard!
A funny side note to my little vacation in the box was that whenever a member of the other team was brought in for some minor (b.s.) infraction, she and I would inevitably sit there and rip on the refs until her time was done; yes, the reffing was so bad that it united two violently-opposed teams under one common goal - ridicule for terrible officiating. In the end, we wound up beating the Red Raiders both on Saturday and Sunday, which was a nice confidence boost because they will most likely be the team we will have to face to advance to nationals in PA.
More updates to come next week, when we face our new rivals (who we will see in nationals if all goes well), Michigan Tech. Last time we met, there was a brawl, so it's going to be good. Who knew a women's league where ages range from 18-50+ could get so feisty?


Day of rest

So, heeding Julie's advice, I have decided to make today a 'day of rest' from lunch time running. This now leaves me with the question of what to do with myself for an hour. I have already succumbed to the evil temptations of online shopping and bought some cute things off etsy, I think next it's on to the debauched world of online forum trolling until the rest of my time is up. I am looking forward to warmer days when my free time can again be spent eating outside by the lake, or napping on the lawn in the sun.


Different Strategy

For today's lunch run I tried doing things in reverse: this time I set a time limit and ran at a comfortable pace to see how far I could get. I wound up doing 3.41 miles in the 30 minutes I allotted myself. While the run was pain free, and I comfortably ran at a slightly faster pace, I felt much more fatigued in the last five minutes; this makes me wonder if it is a better strategy to soldier through at the same pace, slightly reduce my pace on days when I am more tired, or skip a day between runs while I'm first starting out. I know people who run every day, but they're experienced runners who are probably in good enough shape not to injure themselves due to fatigue and sloppy form. I plan to take the weekends off because, for at least the next month and a half, I have hockey every Saturday and Sunday in preparation for nationals, so I am guaranteed at least two consecutive days off a week. Anyone out there have any opinions out there? As of right now, due to the fact that I can only spare about a half hour a day, I would only be running shorter (~3mi) runs, so it's not like I'm really going for it. I plan on giving it a go again tomorrow, so I guess we'll see how my body feels about the matter; as it is, I intend to take it easy because this weekend's games are against a team from St. Louis that we will have to face in a couple weeks for regionals. I'd like to be in top form when we face off Saturday night because it's going to be a good game.

Personal music

I've never really had the conversation with anyone else, mainly because I feel like repeatedly hearing things is the first sign that I've got schizophrenia, so I'm not sure how many other people experience a phenomena similar to what I go through nearly every week day. I have personal music. This music is never something of my choosing. How it works is that, sometimes upon waking, I have a soundtrack playing in my head that I can't really deviate from unless I actually put on real music of my own (think Oliver Sachs - The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat), or am mentally engaged in something more than just moving from point A to point B. This may not sound that bad, but remember that these songs weren't added to my mental playlist by me.

Let me give you an example: at least once a week, perhaps more, I wake up and get out of bed to the sounds of Smashmouth's All Star (for those of you who don't know this one, it's popular at sporting events, and was on the Shrek soundtrack). Somehow my inner cheerleader thought that this would be the most inspiring tune to play for me while I got dressed, brushed my teeth, and biked to work; it really is like warm-up music at a hockey game, in that it usually disappears when the real action starts and I enter the museum. Still doesn't sound too bad? Try having the theme song from Twin Peaks stuck in your head for 5 days. I was able to divert my inner music to other songs, but with a catch: they had to be other soundtrack material from the show. So, sometimes there is a bit of control over it, but for the most part - like a bad case of hiccups - it just needs to run its course.

So, here I am. Smashmouth has receded into the mental jukebox for the morning, and it's time to throw on my ipod and get to work. If anyone else out there feels me on this one, you know how much of a relief it is when the intrusion passes and you have your personal music freedom back; if not, please don't send the padded wagon for me just yet - I have a Hawks game to go to tonight!


That felt good...

3 miles in about 26min 15sec. No cramping, no fatigue, and I was able to 'sprint' the final .15miles at a 7.7 minute pace (I started at a 9min pace and bumped up my speed at every mile mark). So, the at-work lunch run is doable. I think when it gets nicer out, I'll start figuring out runs to do on the lake path in that time.

For your browsing pleasure

The new and improved Internet Rave Archive site is up (though still very much under construction) here.
Right now there are a ton of scanned 'zines, a forum, a chat feature, games, and other goodies; eventually there will be audio, flyer scans, photos and more. Check it out if you're looking for a good way to kill time at work.

Lack of energy

This week I'm going through a bad spell of insomnia (it always seems to happen after extended weekends, probably because I sleep so much during them). Yesterday it was almost impossible to keep my eyes open, yet when I finally got home and into bed, I wanted to read all night; that's what I get for being involved in a good book! Anyway, today I am going to try some different things to increase my energy to get through the day (that, hopefully, don't involve caffeine), but will tire me out in time for sleep. These will include drinking one extra britta pitcher of water to keep hydrated, and going to the gym over my lunch break to get my three miles in. I figure that an hour lunch break should be enough time to walk to the gym from my office, run, stretch a bit, walk back (this place is huge, so those walks actually take a few minutes), change out of my exercise clothes, clean up, and get back to work. I'm actually wearing my workout gear under my street clothing right now in order to save time. We'll see how it goes! I'll have more to report later.


Sorry for not having written much lately; I'm at the start of a new semester, so needless to say, I'm overwhelmed with procrastination of all kinds. This heightened level of putting things off has extended as far as blogging, and other pursuits which I normally find pleasurable. I promise that I will get my act together by the end of the week, and will have much more to say, once I've fully settled back into my role as disgruntled grad student. Until then, stay warm and dry.



Last night Karen and I went to the gym at work (which we're trying to do at least twice a week), and I hit the treadmill again. This time I was able to run the three miles without any cramping (I had water with me and managed to take a sip or two), and actually cut my time down by about three minutes. I started at running a ten minute mile pace, then bumped it to a 9.5minute pace for the second mile, then up to the 9minute mile for the third, and finished the final .50miles at an 8.4minute pace. For some reason it actually feels better for me to increase my pace as I progress, rather than plodding along without any changes; I guess it gives the workout a bit more of a variety. I'm not sure if this is good form, but I was comfortable with it. Next week I'll start at the 9.5minute pace, and try to up my distance to 4 miles. Baby steps.


Chicago Winter Biking in the News

From the Chicago Sun Times: White Wheeling

WINTER SPORTS | It takes more than a little snow to slow down Chicago cyclists

January 16, 2008

Winter bicycling in Chicago is gaining momentum. Just ask veteran cyclist Alex Wilson and he'll tell you the evidence is in the snow.

"This last heavy snow, on my way home, I was really surprised to see at least two sets of fresh tracks in front of me. It was pretty nasty out," said Wilson, whose not-for-profit community workshop West Town Bikes, 2418 W. North, offers everything from youth earn-a-bike programs to adult bike-building classes.

Up until about five years ago, Wilson was among a smallish group of familiar faces blazing the trails though Chicago's sleet, subzero temperatures, and around sidetracked drivers. (The latter, of course, is a year-round annoyance.)

But a confluence of events -- a spike in gas prices, road congestion, slow zones during CTA construction and the expansion of the city's cycling lanes -- have led to a rise in bike riding in the city, observers say. And the winter is no exception.

T.C. O'Rourke says the proof can be found off-road, too, from more winter gear on the shelves of cycling and sporting shops to dating Web sites.

"Just last night, I saw a personal ad that said they were a year-round cyclist," the 35-year-old O'Rourke said recently. His point was that year-round biking has become a lifestyle, even a philosophy. O'Rourke's eight-mile commute from his East Garfield Park home to his Loop job is done on two wheels most days. On particularly rainy or snowy days, he might opt for public transportation.

This Friday's Bike-to-Work event, from 7 to 9 a.m. in Daley Plaza, is just one of many winter cycling events aimed at educating commuters about riding in the cold. It doesn't hurt that they'll get some treats and a nice warm drink before heading to the office.

Year-round cyclists have heard the amazement in the voices of the curious -- those who say they wish they knew the secret of winter biking. And Wilson answers the question: "Confidence and commitment to do it. There's no great secret to riding your bike during winter."

Urban Bikers' Tricks & Tips (Wordspace Press, $14.99) offers a concise explanation on how to ride in snow, from staying off the ice to wiggling your fingers to keep the blood circulating. Author Dave Glowacz also offers instructions on how to dress for the ride to work and how to fold work clothes to minimize wrinkling.

Winter bikers agree that the streets are plowed so quickly that you seldom have to fret over road conditions.

Margo O'Hara, spokeswoman for the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, whose membership is on the rise, says this is her first winter on a bike and, now that she has her fenders -- which deflect water and mud that might otherwise end up on her back -- she's rolling along.

She admits there is a learning curve when it comes to dressing.

"The temperature was the biggest surprise," she said. "Halfway to work, I'd have to pull over and take my hat off because I was sweating."

Adds Wilson of West Town Bikes: "Some cyclists find out they put on their big parka and they're overdressed."

Julie Sherman, past president of the Chicago Cycling Club, a social cycling organization, says getting started may be a matter of just joining an organized ride to get a feel for cruising through the cold and chatting with others about how they do it.

"In winter, sometimes I think you need that motivation that there's going to be a social gathering," Sherman said.

"Then you think, 'If I can do this now, think what I can do when spring rolls around.' "

For more information on winter biking in Chicago, check out www.bike winter.org.

John Ladner makes holiday cycling a festive occasion with decorative lights. It?s all part of the motivation to keep riding during the winter.
(Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)

RELATED STORIES Layer up for winter riding jump: Local bike paths

For your viewing pleasure,

because I don't really have anything exciting to write (other than it's cold as hell in Chicago right now, and about to get worse) I would like to share with you some cool art. I got an email newsletter from Brandon Bird, an artist I have mentioned on here before, about a submission he made to a Stan Lee tribute show that was put on by Gallery 1988. I clicked on the link to check out his new stuff, but stayed to look through the whole thing because there was some really incredible work in there. Even if you aren't a fan of comics, you can't help but be impressed by the skill, sense of humor, and creativity shown by most (if not all) of the submissions on there.

Some of my favorites, just to whet your appetite:

Leanne Biank
oil and acrylic on panel
12 x 22 inches

Jen Rarey
one of a kind hand sewn plush
9 inches tall

Evan B. Harris
ink on board
9 x 9 inches

and I'd love a print of this one:

Roland Tamayo
acrylic on panel
18x24 inches


Belated Follow-up

For those of you who have followed this blog for a little while, you might remember that I was trying to take our condo association to task for illegally not offering recycling services or alternatives for its residents. Well, my attempts have thus far failed, and I am still hauling our recyclables to work in my mess bag every morning; they never even bothered to respond to my letter, though I provided my cell phone number, my unit number, and my email address in the signature. Now, better late than never, considering that we're probably a month or two away from moving out, I am writing to our alderman to see if something might be done on that end. From the looks of things in this wonderful article that I just found online from the Reader, my efforts are probably futile right now, but I want to at least know that I am being one of the squeaky wheels while I still can be. I wonder if anyone else in the building has even bothered trying to do the same; in large buildings people are forever moving in and out, so I get the feeling that nobody feels that they're permanent enough to have a voice.
I'm sure this letter won't get any immediate results, but hopefully it will remind the alderman that this isn't a dead issue, but that there really are Chicagoins out there that care. It disturbed me to see reactions to this issue online in comments sections, which demonstrated a commonly-held opinion of Chicago residents being apathetic in terms of conservation efforts and even 'backward' environmentally. I do applaud Daley and his administration for all the things that have been accomplished in these areas in recent history, but I do think it is completely unacceptable that cities the size of Los Angeles and New York have aggressively tackled the very basic issue of residential recycling while we still, for the large part, continue to look the other way. Anyway, I'm starting to rant. Let's just see where this move leads to.


Today was supposed to be my first day back in classes, but thanks to poor travel weather, my prof won't be able to come in. Instead, I think I'm going to hit up the free yoga session in the Maori meeting house at the museum, and then go home to do some reading. We never made it to the bike swap last weekend, but we did manage to do a lot of lounging around at the lake; now it's time to get to some exercising!


Nothing really to report today

I came in to work at noon because I wasn't feeling well in the morning, and drove to avoid being late. That always puts me out of sorts; I really hate driving in my area of the city; open road is fine, but dealing with commuters and tourists sucks. Tonight we're all going out to a Hawks game, and then Dan and I are driving up to the lake to meet up with some bike friends. We might hit up the bike swap in Madison on Saturday morning, but Dan and I agreed we don't really need any more bike stuff before we move (we'll see if we actually resist the temptation of bike stuff, browsing, and bargains).

I hope everyone has a good weekend, and that mine turns out to be as relaxing as I'm hoping it to be.




Health and Benefits Fair at work = free 15minute massage if you're lucky enough to get on the list in time. I didn't but a friend of mine did and wound up giving me his time slot because he had to leave early. Best 15 minutes at work ever; I could use something like that every day. He told me my back was tight, and when he got to the neck and shoulders, I said "that's tight too, right?" He laughed and said he hoped my paycheck reflected that. Not really, but I guess it's the thought that counts, right? Gotta love these little bread and circus events to keep the grunts happy. At least I got a massage, a tiny sandwich, and a lot of pens; not too shabby!

Running on

Even though at the moment my personal life feels like a disaster, I feel like my workouts are constantly improving. During the holiday season I had managed to gain a couple pounds, but now I'm actually under my initial weigh in weight for Fat Race. Last night I ran for three miles on the treadmill and finished in under a half hour. Throughout my run, I felt pretty good, but about halfway into it I caught a side cramp that didn't subside until about 10min before I finished. I need to figure out what causes cramps like that when I'm running (I got them before when I ran outside in the summer), and how to remedy them. Apparently I must have been feeling crappy, though I ran through it without slacking off, because once I got home and tried to eat something my jaw hurt like crazy; apparently I must have been clenching my teeth while I was running, probably to deal with the cramp. Thankfully, other than the jaw, I feel great this morning. Unlike after my run a couple days ago, I don't feel sore anywhere, even though I ran farther, faster, and even increased my pace to a 9.5 minute pace for the last 5min. I'm getting better!


Scavanger's breakfast

You've got to love the day after the president's address. This morning I feasted on a toasted whole wheat bagel, lite veggie cream cheese, and orange juice, all pilfered from the snack leftovers (normally it's just a bowl of muesli, which is still yummy, and water). I felt a little funny walking back to my office through the public spaces with a stack of bagels balancing on a small tub of cream cheese, a large jug of orange juice clutched in the other hand, and an orange stuffed in each of my back pockets, but I guess I didn't look nearly as desperate as my friend Andrew who walked away with a massive box of bagels cradled in his arms. I guess that's what happens in an non-profit institution filled with underpaid worker bees; we never grow out of the starving college student phase where you can't pass up a free meal (or three)!


ITunes Fascination

For those of you who work in large office environments with very liberal computer/network/internet usage policies, you may be aware that there is the option to look at and listen to the music libraries of other ITunes users on your network. For those of you who aren't aware of this option, it's awesome; the only downside is that you can listen but can't transfer anyone else's music to your own library or ipod. Regardless of these restrictions, I've had a great time the past month or so (since I learned about this neat feature) exploring the musical tastes of the denizens of this massive museum, trying to figure out which user name corresponds with which researcher or gift shop clerk by their choice in title and, of course, taste in tunes. With names like Diplopodophile, cosmicopus, chasing tornadoes, and tangy gnat, you know you're dealing with natural history museum folk! So far, I've only been able to guess about 1 out of 20, probably because there are so many people here, and I know so few of them.

In this time, I have managed to develop a clear favorite, MG, who is apparently my ITunes soul mate. This user has just about every album I own, and what I haven't heard before, I immediately like and have (in one instance) actually bought. Hooray for finding new music from unlikely sources after a couple years of stagnation. Granted the things I find myself liking are still from the same mid-to-late-90s niche, at least I'm moving to new artists. As someone who has been passionate about music as long as I can remember, this long period of musical hibernation has been kind of getting me down. To MG, because there regrettably is no messaging function in ITunes and I can't really tell you this, thanks in spirit. I hope some of the folks checking out my tunes (well, all DJ mixes because that's all I have access to at work) manage to pick up something new as well.


Harrison: Amusing Rather than Punishing Today

I'm never able to follow good advice - not even my own. That's why this morning I again found myself trundling down Harrison on my way to work; who can resist shaving a few minutes off their commute? As I passed over the bridge over the river, I saw ahead of me a person on a red cruiser that was slowly making his or her way East, awkwardly burdened with various bags and mildly weaving nearer and farther from the curb. In no time I overtook him (now I could tell which it was), and wound up catching him at a red light. He just about fell over and made eye contact, so I said good morning to him.

He looked a bit disoriented, but overall pleasant and even boyish, though he had on business attire and carried a leather shoulder bag/briefcase in addition to what looked like a gym bag on his other shoulder, and a large sack of carryout over his handlebar. Instead of reciprocating my greeting, he said he had bad insomnia which, having been up until 3am this morning, I was able to empathize with. Then, without a moment's hesitation, he asked if I had any weed, and mused that his insomnia was so bad that he was even asking strangers. Being a relatively-level-headed soul quite a few years out of high school and the days of capriciously carrying illegals with me to work, I apologetically told him no, but that if I had been holding I would have shared with him. He smiled, the light turned, and I rode off.

I passed the fateful 'dooring' site uneventfully and made my turn into the park. I kind of missed the scenery, so I enjoyed once again being able to push through the mud, over the railroad tracks, and on to work. The nearly 60F weather made the whole ride feel like I was back in the summer, dealing with the humidity and malaise again (for you warm weather readers this may not seem like a heat wave, but after hitting 0F here last week, it feels positively balmy right now). It was a surreal ride to go along with this surreal January weather.


Running the fat race

Yesterday I started back out onto the campaign trail to fitness after having gone A.W.O.L. for the holidays. Karen and I went to the gym at work after we finished for the day, and I put in a solid half hour on the treadmill doing some kind of fat burning program. In hindsight, the program was completely worthless because all it did was monitor my heart rate and restrict how fast I went; I only went 2.25 miles in the allotted time, which if I remember correctly how long it took me to run three miles outside in the blazing heat of summer, is a load of garbage. Next time I will just run on the manual setting and quit once I've done three miles at a pace more to my liking.

All that being said, I was really surprised at how effortless the whole thing was; I finished without ever having become tired or short of breath, and definitely ready for more. However, this isn't to say that I didn't feel like I got a good workout - my abs were definitely feeling it (for some reason they always do when I run) and my calves were as well. This morning, on the other hand, I'm feeling it all over. I've got that wonderful/terrible, all-over feeling of having been run over by a truck a few times, especially my hips and abs - riding Big Bertha felt like I was pedaling with a weighted suit on. I find it funny that something that seemed so effortless in t he doing has made me feel so out of shape in the fallout. At least I've gotten back on the trail though. This morning it's my usual bowl of muesli, a cup of Emergen-C to try to fight off this cold, and a lot of water.


Fear the Door

So I finally got doored for the first time this morning. It could have been worse, but it's a wakeup call. I'm not sure there was any way I could have avoided it really. On the plus side, I was still riding my old behemoth of a cruiser, so I was going slow enough to avoid it for the most part; all that got clipped was my right hand, and I had time to put my leg down to avoid getting knocked over. It would have been an entirely different situation if there had been a car to the left of me.

For those who know the city, I was biking East down Harrison, about to emerge by the park. It's a pretty narrow street, so when it's empty I'm usually near the curb, and when there's someone parked there unloading (there's no actual parking), I have to skirt them pretty closely to avoid going into traffic. I was about to pass a smaller moving truck when the door swung open; I didn't want to swerve too far left because I was afraid someone might be coming from behind me, so I yelled out and hoped for the best. I thudded, rebounded, stopped to get my balance, and really couldn't restrain yelling "you have rear-view mirrors - what are you doing?!" He claimed he didn't see me, and I responded that he hadn't been looking and rode on. I feel kind of bad now, having yelled at him, because I have a feeling with truck mirrors (which are made to see wide) he might not have seen me considering I had to pass him so close.

That being said though, if he had looked out more than a second or two before opening the door, he would have seen me coming from further back. I don't know about you, but when I'm looking in those mirrors before opening the door, it usually takes me a few seconds to asses the situation. I guess that's all part of being a biker though - you really do become hyper-aware of these things when you get behind the wheel of a car.

All in all, I got pretty lucky and escaped relatively free of damage: just a sore hand and a bruise on my calf where my pedal dug into my leg when I had to steady myself. I guess I'm glad I wasn't clipped in as well; I would have gone right over! So, lessons learned:

- Avoid Harrison for a while - at least until it's warmer and people are expecting bikers to be on the road a bit more.
- Strap a police siren to my fender so people actually look to see where I am before opening their doors.


Internet Rave Archive be blowin' up

So, Dan has been putting in a ton of time scanning old rave 'zines like Massive, Bean, etc. the last few days. The end result of all his had work has been the growing 'zine section on his (I don't know if I can really call it 'our' because he's doing all the work!) site the Internet Rave Archive*. For anyone interested in early-to-mid-90s dance music, specifically in the Midwestern United States, though not exclusive to that region, go check it out. Also, if you have any 'zines you'd be interested in having added to the site, please contact me by commenting to this post and we'll go from there. If you want to donate them outright, that's cool; if you want to have them mailed back after scanning, that's do-able as well.

* For all you archivists out there, I know the proper terminology would have been Chicago Rave Archives, but Dan registered that domain before I took him under my wing!