Tuesday, August 31, 2010


This is one of my slideshow/music collaborations that I made a couple years ago.  Music is by the amazing Assemblage 23 (Tom Shear). This song always makes me feel warm and fuzzy and the lyrics are put together so perfectly. Thanks to everyone who commented on my video on youtube, I love to hear everyone's responses.

Click here if you would like to watch it on Youtube :)

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Wonderful Artistic Painting

Monday, August 30, 2010

Amazzing work by world class CG artists.

Fantasy CG Girls Wallpapers by World Class CG Artists ( Vol.4 )  - Fantasy CG Artwork Girls Wallpaper - Green Wisper 1920x1200 5

Fantasy CG Girls Wallpapers by World Class CG Artists ( Vol.4 )  - Amazing Art CG Girls Wallpaper - Digital Art Fantasy 1920x1200 4One of my favorite's

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I'm hoping to one day draw like this... I just need the inspiration.


So I am starting school again. This time I'm taking all online classes. I spend WAY too much time at school, so I figured I needed a small break and some extra time to myself at home. It's just me and my laptop, and the sound of rain. =)


Hello and welcome. I am very excited to announce the birth of my new blog. This will be a place where people can share their thoughts about anything under the sun (and beyond it =)). I would also like this to be a place where I can share my interests, rants about life, and where I can share my knowledge with you.

Get comfortable, and happy reading!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekly Tally #10

Here's the quick stats for last week:

walking:  17.5 miles
biking:  22.8 miles
subway: 6 miles
boat:  35 miles (I took Noah to Salem by boat to the Pirate Museum)
car:  10  (zipcar)

Kind of interesting that it was such a multi-modal kind of week.  Not much bike riding (I didn't have many meetings and the kids were home, so we didn't stray too far from home).  Some people have to commute more miles every day than I log in a week.  I feel lucky.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weekly Tally #9

Here's the quick stats for last week  (I'm super late in posting, because it's been a busy week of writing other stuff):

walking:  13.1 miles
biking:  49.6 miles
subway: 8 miles

 Noah and I took the T to the Common to see Toy Story III.  I don't mind riding my bike downtown, but I'm still a little wary of Noah (who is 10 years old) riding there.  The drivers are too crazy and the bike lanes are not quite well defined enough to get us all the way there.  And the T is fun sometimes, too.

We did a little geocaching by bike on Sunday, which was fun.  I need to see how many are within bike range of us--we started doing this years ago, and have slowed down a lot over the past few years.  Tracy found two caches within Brookline that were a nice easy ride, and got us riding on streets that we don't usually visit.  One of them was right near Clear Flour Bakery, which meant we had to buy pastries and bread, of course.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekly Tally #8 plus New York bike lanes

Here's the quick stats for last week:

walking:  15.4 miles
biking:  34.2 miles
car (zipcar): 450 miles

We drove, via Zipcar, to visit family and friends in Connecticut and New York this weekend.  Normally, we'd use a rental car from this airport for a weekend trip, but the car rental companies jack up the rates to double the normal during the summer.  We were able to get a Zipcar for $237.04 for Friday 2pm - Sunday 2pm (it ended up being a two-day rental, plus extra mileage charges and tolls), whereas a standard rental company was charging more than $205 for the two days, but we'd had to have purchased gas, which would have cost about $50.  Zipcar included gas, let us rent a Hybrid (Honda Civic that got 45 mpg) and a was a LOT more convenient (plus we like Zipcar better as a company).

Normally, we'd take the train from New Haven (where we were staying) into NYC for the day, but the fares were running $14 each way.  For four of us, that means we'd spend $112 for tickets, plus subway fares, and a lot of time.  Driving meant paying tolls and probably paying to park.  But we were certain to pay less than $100 for parking.  On a weekday, traffic would have made the train the easy choice, but on a Saturday morning, we knew traffic probably wouldn't be a big factor.

So we drove into the City.  Found a free parking spot on the street in front of our friends' building.  So we came out more than $100 ahead for the day.  In terms of carbon emissions, it wasn't the greatest choice, but driving the Hybrid helped a little (perhaps).

One big surprise on this visit to New York was all the bike lanes they've added.  I saw more bikes than I'd ever seen in NYC before, and also found a fun new bike shop (that might, sadly, be temporary) on Charles Street in the West Village.
(you can see the painted green bike lane above)

Some the bike lanes were kind of narrow (and maybe a little scary), but lots of them looked great, and a few of them used a model that I wish they'd use here in Boston.  Instead of the setup being:  sidewalk, parked cars, bike lane, car traffic, it was set up like this:  sidewalk, bike lane, parked cars, car traffic.  I'm sure there are lots of pluses and minuses to this setup, but I really like how it protects the bike riders, and creates a space that can be plowed in the winter time.  The big disadvantage would seem to be what happens if someone parks in the bike lane, then there's a big roadblock to the cyclist.

I'm guessing that NYC bikers have the same problem we have in Boston, even with bike lanes, and that's lack of bike parking.  It's great to be able to get someplace by bike, and I think NYC seems especially bikable--it's flat and laid out in a grid--but you need someplace secure to park your bike when you get there.

Still, it was exciting to see New York embracing the bike.  I hope more cities follow the trend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Interesting Slate Article: How Not Having a Car Became Shorthand for Loser

Saw this article on Slate today:  How Not Having a Car Became Shorthand for Loser

I was very glad to see this in print, to see what I've felt for a long time so well articulated.  When making the change to get rid of our car last year, I definitely bumped into this whole cultural instinct.  Like most Americans, I equated having a car with a certain sensation of adulthood, of being fully a part of our society and culture.  Getting rid of the car felt somehow like a step back, socially.    Even though there were lots of rational arguments for getting rid of the car and using less oil (health, money, not wanting to support big oil companies or oppressive regimes or wars for oil, global warming, greater awareness of my surroundings, etc.), culture is a little harder to kick to the curb than I might have thought. 

And the normalcy of car culture is pushed all the time, by car companies spending millions and millions of dollars on ads equating driving their cars with all sorts of positive social values (manhood, family values, coolness, you name it) and is just as fully embraced by film (as pointed out in the article).  There's no equivalent power/push/leverage from the makers of bicycles or walking shoes.  This was brought home by GM being one of the sponsors of the recent PlanetHugger Expo, where I talked about worms and the 200 Foot Garden.  They had a 21 mpg hybrid SUV.  There were no bike companies, bike shops, or even any bike gear companies, or even bike advocacy groups represented. 

And walking?  Who thinks walking is sexy and profitable?  (Though I have a character in my first novel, Tornado Siren, who is pretty mysterious and attractive, who has walked everywhere for centuries, but he is, let's say, certainly an outsider, in the most extreme way possible.)

I don't know if I've completely gotten over the American longing to own a car, but I'm pretty close.  I accept that if we ever move to the country, it'll be necessary to own a car, because of infrastructure needs.  But until that happens, I don't find myself tempted very often.  I guess I don't care that much if Hollywood, or anyone else for that matters, thinks I'm a loser for not owning a car.

Weekly Tally #7: How I Got Around Last Week

Here's the quick stats for last week:

walking:  14.8 miles
biking:   67.7 miles
car (zipcar): 0 miles
bus:  6 miles

Took the bus to go see Hound of the Baskervilles at the Central Square Theatre with my daughter, Kira (she's not big on biking at night), which worked out great.  Tracy has a new app for her Droid phone that shows exactly where the T buses are on a given route.  (I might be tempted to get a smart phone myself.)

Had to hit the bike shop yesterday, as I broke another spoke on my back wheel.  Three spokes in a month was a sign that it was time to get a new wheel, so I sprung for one yesterday.  $75 for the rim, plus I needed new tubes (this wheel has a presta valve), and new tools in order to install the wheel and change the cassette.  I spent more than the cost of the bike (which was $65 on Craig's List a couple years ago), but it'll be worth it.  It might be nice to ride with a back wheel that's actually round.  Now I need to see if I remember everything that I learned at the bike repair class last winter (seems like a long time ago).