Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Shiver me timbers

I ain't no pirate, but I spy some photos off to the side!

Monday, November 14, 2005


Originally uploaded by brianchapman.

boxes are on my mind. big boxes. small boxes. wet pavement. boxes

Get to work

Originally uploaded by Ginger nut.

Not a fat butt anywhere to be seen. Carpool? I love bikes and the people who ride them.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Getting the band together

I'm going to record some songs I've been kicking around over the past year. Then I'll post them if they don't horribly suck.

So you probably won't see them, or care even to hear them. No matter. I'm still gonna sing and dance!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What's selling?

Well, it has been a while since my last confession. Entry. Whatever.

I've been busy, it's summer. I spend too much time at work on the puter to put in more time at home on my blog.

Well, I had my first major sale the other day - a college sale. More to come, I hope.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Girls knitting

From Erin,

Heather started taking knitting classes and I thought that was classic so I went, too. I thought I would make my own beanies for cheap. I love beanies. Anyway, turns out yarn is CASH. I am making a scarf, the yarn for which was $13. So much for frugality.

So Jane, the nice lady at The Golden Fleece, showed me how to hold the needles and how to loop the yarn and stuff. At first I literally felt brain damaged. I couldn't figure out what went where. Every time I messed up, it was total disaster and I would have to go find Jane so she could fix it and get me back on track.

Heather was making a hat using three needles...who knows what the hell was going on with that. Totally confusing for me. So we were there for about an hour or so, then I felt I had the hang of it. I was stoked to go home and knit. But there was drama because when I was at home I did something wrong and couldn't figure out what and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. So I had to stop and go back to Jane the next day. An hour later I had messed up again and went to ANOTHER yarn shop for help. They tried to show me what to do, but it's all just string to me. The lady showed me how to pull the needles out and unravel back a row or two to fix things. After I learned how to do that, my scarf kept getting shorter and shorter over the next few days. But now I kinda have the hang of it. My scarf is like four feet long now!!

It is amazing how many people knit. You think a yarn store would be barely in business, but every time I go in the place it is totally packed with ladies. Crazy.

Friday, June 10, 2005

bottle rocket

Originally uploaded by 月月.

In a clean laboratory
There was a girl making rockets from bottles and matchsticks plenty.
I can see the sun shining through the windows on the door
I can hear squeaky shoes on the fresh polished floor.

What was this post about? I don't know anymore.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Coffee is A Drug

Yep. I confess and I digress and I really feel I'm in a mess without my cup of Joe.

I'm in my 8th hour of not tasting the nector- the Shade Grown Organic French Roast Coffee from Trader Joe's.

Oh, wicked is my addiction.

I sipped the vile brew they stew here at MW, but it was swill and made my stomach ill.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


DO you have a racing bike? A modern one? One that goes FAST? Carbon fibre. Lightweight wheels? does the term 53x11 mean anything to you? Well, good. You're the folks to convert. Try this... you won't be sorry, and as side note, you'll INSTANTLY be able to sell it all used on eBay within a week after you've tried it out and thought you were too manly for it.

Here's what you do:
Take your racing bike. See previous post. Remove handlebars, brakes, stem, derailleurs without removing the cables. Your bike has slotted cable guides for just this purpose. No need to undo anything except unbolt it from the frame.

Now that you've done that... it should have taken less than 10 minutes... you're ready to slap on the stuff that you've recently bought from Rivbike.com or from Harris Cyclery. Shop at Rivendell, talk to John, tell him Number 2 sent you. Shop at Harris and talk to Sheldon Brown. I met Sheldon once, he's a really nice guy.

If you've got a box of old parts lying around, USE THEM! Stem, bars, brake levers, STI levers, downtube shifters, old derailleurs, cassettes, hubs. Reuse those!

Okay, here's the list (with $) from Rivendell:
HANDLEBAR Nitto Noodle -46HT Mod. 177 - Part Number: 16113
Member Price $52 Non-Member $57

STEM you pick one up to match your bike and your like.

Threaded: If you've got an"older" racing bike, like from the late 80s early 90s, threaded and 1" and normal-like, get this one in a size you can stomach:
STEM Nitto Technomic Dlx 10cm Part Number: 16040
STEM Nitto Technomic Dlx 11cm Part Number: 16041
STEM Nitto Technomic Dlx 12cm Part Number: 16042
Member Price $42 Non-Member $47
If you're rich, get this one, don't worry about the size, Slim:
STEM, LUGGED Rivendell 10cm Part Number: 16090
Member Price $200 Non-Member $205

1 1/8" or 1" threadless, get this beauty; just pick your size:
STEM NITTO threadless TFL 95mm Part Number: 16134
STEM NITTO threadless TFL105mm Part Number: 16135
STEM NITTO threadless TFL 115mm Part Number: 16136
Member Price $80 Non-Member $85

COOL CAPS: BAR PLUG Reflector style (Pair) Part Number: 16115
Member Price $3 Non-Member $8

BRAKE CENTERPULL D/C 750 62-78mm pair Part Number: 15111
Member Price $45 Non-Member $50

GET CABLE STOPS TO FIT FRONT AND BACK. Ask John/Sheldon, they'll set you up. $20

NEVER RODE A BIKE WITHOUT STI? Well, you'll need two things then:
BRAKE Levers D/C 204Q BROWN Part Number: 15101
Member Price $30 Non-Member $35
SHIFTERS DT SILVER® Part Number: 17101
Member Price $38 Non-Member $43
**** if your bike doesn't have downtube shifter bosses...meaning if it's a new bike purchased within the last 5 years....GET THE FOLLOWING INSTEAD:**********
Member Price $75 Non-Member $80

FIND A FRONT DERAILLEUR AND A REAR DER AND A CHAIN TO MATCH YOUR GEARING. Ex-racers, this should be a freebie...you can use a played derailleur that won't index. Come on, you can do it...

WHEELS: $150 - $600
FRONT WHEEL: BUY THIS ONE... it's a bargain:
WHEEL 650B F XC9000 SYNERGY 32H Part Number: 18188
Member Price $115 Non-Member $120
REAR WHEEL: PICK YOUR POISON, build up using a shimano cassette hub or campy cassette hub, or whatever you've got lying around. Build them up around this hoop:
RIM 650B SYNERGY 32h ASYM Part Number: 18184
Member Price $50 Non-Member $55
John or Sheldon will take care of building it up for you if you buy a hub from them. (At least Sheldon will. I believe Rivendell offers custom wheel building too...John will know.)

TWO TIRE CHOICES: $56 - $100
Pick the bigger one (and it's cheaper, BONUS!) for bikes with more clearance.
ONLY go with the Megamium if your bike lacks clearance with the tires you currently ride (700x23 or so):
TIRE 650B x 38 (35) Pana C de la V Part Number: 10063
Member Price $28 Non-Member $33
TIRE 650B x 32 (30) Michelin Megamium Part Number: 10064
Member Price $50 Non-Member $55

TUBE 650B & other, Schwalbe Part Number: 10066
Member Price $6
Non-Member $11

Mount up some fenders and go exploring like never before.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


Francophile boy, whatcha lookin' at?

650B wheelset for my sled. I've got this plan in the works...a super nifty invention. It's called the Kinda Quick Change. It came into my head a long time ago, when I had my Rambouillet. I had downtube shifters on that bike...modolo kronos actually. I still have them. They're still attached to the cables and housing. When I sold the frame (to my friend cause I had a front end crash and my wife wouldn't let me ride a damaged frame with the baby on the way...the friend promised to get it fixed...) so when I sold the frame I just took everything off without taking the cables off or undoing everything. I just popped the stem out, took the wheels off, broke the chain, unscrewed the derailleurs and shifters from their perches. What I essentially had was a Rambouillet 60cm build kit sitting in a small box. That's when I figured out, I had invented the Kinda Quick Change.

Here's how it works:

You start with your expensive road bike and all your spare parts. You end up with 2 completely different yet exceptional bicycles for the price of less than 2 exceptional bikes. You can't ride them both at the same time, but heck, you aren't two people at the same time, are you!? Here's the nitty gritty...

1. Get your favorite road racing bike. Outfit it for racing or however you normally ride it with 700c wheels, STI/Ergo, Carbon bars and stem, etc. Please do yourself a favor and install a 110 BCD crank or 110/74 BCD triple. You'll love me tomorrow and you'll like the weight savings now.

2. Order a set of 650B wheels and tires and tubes. Go here to order. Tires here.

3. Order the largest cassette that will work with your rear derailleur. Get that anywhere.

4. Get a set of derailleurs that will work with both A) your frame, B) your shifters, C) your dreamy gearing for riding the back roads. If you've got downtube bosses, for CRSakes, get downtube shifters. It's all gonna be cheaper and better that way anyway. I'm hoping you took my advice up at 1. and got yourself a sensible 50x36 or some such gearing. Not that it matters, but I use and love my 48x34. Anyway, mount that new cassette on your 650B wheelset. Get a chain that will work with your new gearing.

5. Buy a stem, handlebars, and brake levers (or Ergo/STI levers if you need'em.) Buy yourself some centerpull brakes. Get them here. Get a set of cable hangers while you're at it.

6. Put your bike in the work stand. Get a 5mm and a 6mm allen wrench. Take off nearly everything nailed down on your bike, but don't undo any cables. This includes 1. The brakes 2. The derailleurs. 3. The stem (with handlebars and possiblybrake levers/shifters, cables, housing, brakes, derailleurs attached.) 4. Break the chain, heck invest in a quicklink.

7. Mount up the new stuff. Adjust everything. Get some fenders while you're at it. Nice ones. They'll fit. Don't worry.

8. Go for a ride in the woods. Jeep trails, not Northshore. Enjoy your bike like you've never enjoyed it before.

9. When the fashion suits you, repeat set 6 and 7. Pull a switcheroo on your buddies, on your signif other, or just do it monthly. The shifting should stay pretty much the same. Thank goodness for split cable stops. Not every bike has them, I know, but most do and you'll be thankful.

I'll go over this again when I get prices all together. I swear, this could be a huge deal.

Friday, May 27, 2005


So I finally made some shelves. Well, I am actually still technically "making" them. Should be done this weekend if all goes according to my wife's plans. That could be the single source of my life's troubles at the moment. Her expectations, versus my lallygagging.

I have wanted to make these shelves for a long time. But the time was never carved out for the doing. So my wife gradually and logically went more and more stir-crazy at my inactivity. Trouble is, I need a motivator. I need a cheer leader. I'm not my own best friend who can just start up a project and see it done lickety split. I'm okay once I get started, if I can really tie into it...you know, spend my attention on the thing. But that didn't really happen here. She blew one week (after months of keeping her fumes under rap) on a Wednesday and by Saturday morning I was buying $399 worth of Mahagony. Is that how you spell it? We need a dictionary on this thing.

Anyway, I couldn't get it all done in two days. I had to learn how to use the radial arm saw. I had to have my father-in-law show me how to work it. (I miss you Dad. You would have really enjoyed showing me how to work that thing. I kept a chair you probably once sat in in the little area where I cut all the wood, just so I'd have a reminder.) I had to overcome a lot of self doubt about being able to do this project and not either 1) cut off an arm or 2) make it look like I was a failure in shop class (I nearly was!). Thankfully it has come out stunning. My dadoes were cleverly cut, and the trim will hide the nail gun mistakes.

Can you get quarterround trim in mahagony? Who knows? I'm gonna try this weekend at Noho Lumber.

I need a drink now. This was a heavy personal rant. I hope my marriage survives this lasting shelfbuilding experience. For the sake of my sanity and my little girl's future.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Black Keys at The Culture Room

The Black Keys at The Culture Room
Originally uploaded by viejagloria.

There are few bands that poke as much good vibe and energy into a show with only a drum kit and a guitar. This is one band. The other is that brother and sister duo who are coming out with a new album very soon. (I can't wait, and neither can my 2 year old! Supersweet!)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Alone on the Playground in NYC

Alone on the Playground in NYC
Originally uploaded by OrdinaryLifeMan.

She's not unaccustomed to having fun by herself. It's hard to have fun with more than just yourself on a slide in the park. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


There's not much fun dealing with cars. Automobiles. If only they drove themselves, looked after themselves, and paid for themselves. Well, in the world of cars, I have two places of business which I have found plenty helpful...if not downright useful: Performance Motoring, Inc for Volvos in Hadley, MA and TireRack.com somewhere on the internet.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Drummer Hoff

Drummer Hoff
Originally uploaded by OrdinaryLifeMan.

There is a book. Read this book ordinary people. Drummer Hoff is a grand book. It says much with its blowing up and its careful phrasing. It is a book to teach with. It is a book to share. Go here, and buy it.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

People have babies everyday. Why not today!?

I took a hospital blanket, and I wrapped her tightly in it.
She looked like a tiny sausage with round saucer eyes.
She looked like a burrito, am I hungry like she is, I'm certain.
I look at her and my eyes devour every last detail.
Tiny eyelashes on unblinking watery eyes.
Softest nose of anything that has ever smelled.
Heart. my heart melted. I knew right then.
I would do anything for my little girl.
I held her tighter. In her hospital blanket..


Originally uploaded by OrdinaryLifeMan.

I gush for gus.


So there were many babies born today. Here's one.

He's gus, the big footed one. Cute as they come, when they come like he did.

I shed some tears thinking about the little one. I even cried some thinking about my own wee one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Napoleon D

After the local nightly news, I was too amped to sleep. I'd already painted two bathrooms after dinner. We had bbq chicken. I got up and turned off the tube and put in a dvd. I watched Napoleon Dynamite. I had a good time. I was entertained. I could see all my friends laughing at crucial parts in the movie. It was a little freaky, since I was the only one there in the room. I went to bed and mentally compared the movie, at length, to Harold & Maud. Go figure!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Blue Bike

Blue Bike
Originally uploaded by Monster..

Shiney. Not so new, but blue!

embracer toilet

embracer toilet
Originally uploaded by OrdinaryLifeMan.

Tidy. White. Ordinary. I like it. I could be off white actually.


There was a fair bit of stupendous exertion committed this weekend - more attention to 2x4s and the like than to getting outside, however. I hope to rectify that in the coming days.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

dam age

ain't no ordinary damage ma'am
result of pure neg-li-gance

crazy drivin' what's I suspect
a dot here a dot there - connect

yellow line violation for sure
blame it all on Thurston Moore.


Do you have a bike?

Yeah. It's Maroon and it was my grandmother's first bike. When I was on my way to Portland, I lived there for a few months back in March a year ago. She couldn't ride it, so three months after she got it she gave it to me.

And now you live in New York, the capitol of bike theft.

Oh yeah. Twice my bike has been stolen. Both times it sucked. But I'm not going to let that happen to this bike.

Do people say, "Hello Cat Power" to you?

People sometimes call me Cat. Warren from the Dirty Three calls me Ms. Powers.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Mille G

Art Stump
Originally uploaded by OrdinaryLifeMan.

Sometimes ordinary people like myself have to pay respect to those extraordinary people who we come across. I'd like to today pay respect to Art Stump. The man who drilled bike parts, made everything light, and could possibly have been the most remarkable guy in bike world. His bike, shown here, belongs in a museum. I'm not sure where he is or what happened to his bike since this photo was taken (off the web somewhere, sometime). My loss. Your gain.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Bursey, ordinary man

Network Director Found Guilty
Brett Bursey was convicted Jan. 6 in federal court of refusing to leave a restricted area and go to a free speech zone. Bursey, who faced 6 months in prison and a $5000 fine, was fined $500. "We are appealing," Bursey said, "because this establishes the bad legal precident that the Secret Service has no limits on the size of restricted zones they establish around the president." The restricted zone when Bursey was arrested was over 70 acres and stretched for a mile.

Lewis Pitts, Bursey's lead attorney said, "we are dismayed that the judiciary failed in its role of keeping the executive branch of our government operating within constitutional boundaries. We we made the case that Mr. Bursey was not arrested because he was a threat to the president's physical security, but because the White House has a policy of keeping protesters out of sight at Mr. Bush's appearances. I'm sure we would have won if we had a jury."

"We believe that it is important that we appeal, because the ever increasing size of the sanitized areas around the president make a mockery of the first amendment," Bursey said.

Daze during Days

these days I've spent some time on intraspection. I've turned the french fry warmer light inwards and examined all there is inside. Not much. Heart. Lungs. Kidneys. (Keep workin' babies!) Little more than sacks of meat, vitals, vittles for fish and dogs. Maybe cats. My cat would probably not eat me and my internals, but there are probably some out there who would. Bad kitties.

these days i've spent those hours, contemplating job, resources, wealth, value, and goals. I realize I have no goals to guide me. Ordinarily, this would be a shock. Years ago, when in school, I had a goal. Graduate. When that time came, I moved on to another type of school. Once I got to graduate school, I got the feeling I should probably try some other goals. I tried. Failed. Very ordinary story so far, I'm sure.

hence these days spent on intraspection. is that even the right word? goodness knows I could look it up. there is only one high quality free dictionary on the web, BTW. Find those guys, those Noah Webster descendants. I was always a bad speller, just good enough, but never perfect. Very ordinary speller. Maybe not too bad. Maybe just not confident. I never paid too much attention to the words I spelled right, and too little to all the words I'll never know how to spell. Hence the online dictionary trend.

so the intraspection. What did I learn. No goals to speak of, except: make money, love thy offspring, and don't forget to scoop. These are the things, sadly, that form and frame my life. Make money. So sad. Never gonna make enough. What is enough? More than I'm making now, I guess. The scoop is for my loved one, a tight scooping regime is required for her sanity...surprisingly not for my own. I do that for her, and insist I do it for myself. I guess in a way I do it for us. When I forget, I haven't done it for anybody. If you understand that, you understand me. Nobody does, so don't feel bad. I won't hold it against you, eventhough others do. ...no, I'm just kidding. Nobody holds it against you. Except a few folks here and there. Don't fret.

The offspring is the center - the be all of my soul. The frisky cat toy to my feline mind. The nip that tips and makes us giddy. The characteristic air of freshness that invigorates and enboldens us to do more, with less, and accomplish every curiosity as if it were an easy to climb tree. Up we go, seldom falling, always hanging on to the limbs with smiles on our faces, feet and arms dangling. Like monkeys. Ah. To go to the zoo and watch those guys just hanging around. They're crazy - why wouldn't they be without newspapers or tv or the radio...although they might here the radio somewhere...that probably keeps some of them sane some of the time. They're crazy, but they seem to have fun. I doubt they're depressed all year or even for months on end.

I've only been depressed for a week now, maybe just a few days. It's getting better, I can see I'll get out of the funk. Spring is here. We can all go for a ride.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Failure, oh so ordinary!

There are many failures that go unacknowledged. Failures in relationships ("he/she was always on my back" "he never picked up" "she never stopped complaining") often get blamed on the other person. Self blame is a terrible thing in this modern age. Humility is gone. The swaggering braggert is king or president, and the USA, despite oh, so many failures, is in charge? It's ordinary.

Failure on purpose is another story. The ability to knowingly derail the myth of success is a tough one.

"If the art of the failure on purpose could be taken for what it is... then maybe you'll be alright. Sort of enjoying the success of not succeeding on purpose?" - Jack White

Meg and Jack have a new album coming out in June. Here's a snippet:

White Stripes Set June 14 Release Date For New CD

03/29/2005 2:00 PM, LAUNCH
LAUNCH Radio Networks

The White Stripes have set June 14 as the release date for their fifth full-length album, which the duo recently finished recording at singer/guitarist Jack White's home studio in Detroit, Michigan. The disc's title has not been announced yet. The record follows up 2002's Elephant, which has sold 1.7 million copies since its release, according to Billboard.com.

The White Stripes will return to live performing in May and June, playing a handful of shows in Mexico during May and appearing at Atlanta's Midtown Music Festival on June 10. The pair will also perform at England's prestigious Glastonbury Festival on June 24.

For kind souls who don't know much about the WS other than what they hear on the radio, I think it best to forget what you heard on the radio, then take your pizza money and go buy De Stijl, the stripes' second album. Buy the vinyl if you can. Buy an old used turntable. Be less than ordinary about it, okay? They're not an ordinary band. When you've heard them play you should also buy their first album and their fourth album, and then all the rare stuff you can find. But more than anything, you should go see them perform. They are performers. Entertainers. It's just wholesome entertainment. And don't forget your earplugs.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Toothbrushes of Note

Braun DLX. Now appearing live in our bathroom. Helping to keep mine clean and tidy. The kit we bought direct from our dentist. The toothpaste we supplied.

While still partial to recycline's Preserve model (kids version too!) I think I like the Brauny. It could just be ordinarily that new things are likeable. Unlike the pimply faced kid who just moved in down the block.

It does make your bathroom a bit like a Euro-Disco at night. Not the kid. The new brush on the recharge stand. To be honest, I thought the cops were busting me for a late night potty break, but it was just the blue light a-flashing.

Last night, in a partial daze, I felt like I was gonna have a, um, moment with a Peace Officer. Here's the conversation: "Really, Officer, sir, madam. I think I own this bathroom, and although I do have my pants down at the moment, and may be half asleep, I don't think you need to have your blue light flashing...maybe you could persuade me I'm breaking some decency ordinance with holes in my pants, but do you really need the flashing light...it IS 4:27am after all...what!? These pajamas are not indecent! I got these on sale at Macy's - they're Calvin Klein - for like $20!"

I didn't pay with a new fangled $20. I think I used the old fashioned Jackson. No, wait, I probably charged it. Yep, got a few miles.

Not at Home without Trust

I don't often sit at home and just wonder how ordinary it all is. The cereal eating, the job, the toilet duties, the toothbrushing. I did just get a new Braun Toothbrush, electric model, the DLX toothbrush - and it seems like it is extra-ordinary, but since I'm the last guy on earth to get one, I'm now simply back to being ordinary guy when I brush my teeth. I probably was more of a stand out with my manual brush. I had one of those Preserve models. Curved. Ivory colored. Softy. It was nice, did the job. Still does. Trusty. I can't wait to use it again when the power's off. Of course this new Braun is good for 45 hours of continuous brushing. That seems like a lot of days with the power off. National disaster even wouldn't cause me to turn to Ole Trusty.

I sit here and wonder how ordinary it all is. How ordinary am I? I'm not rock star famous. Not exemplary at anything of note. Perhaps I have a talent for brushing my teeth, but the cavities I've had would probably negate any claim I have to that talent. Latent talent. That's what I probably have. Many ordinary folks have it too. I always thought, as I rode my bike, that somewhere somehow there is a kid (probably a girl!) who is faster than Lance. Naturally gifted. Who is never going to realize their talent. Latent talent.

Latent talent. You have to trust that it exists in everyone. Just assume everybody has some skill or facet that they might not ever exhibit that just would about scare the bejesus out of you if they pulled it out. Like screaming really loud. Or singing the alphabet song backwards in the key of e. Or blogging like there's no tomorrow, about the most ordinary things. That's not my hidden talent. That's probably not even a latent talent of anyone in the world.

Here's a descartes quotation. I had to read it a couple of times. I'm slow with philosophy, and I forget what I learned and already know. It's perhaps a latent talent. "Of all things, good sense is the most fairly distributed: everyone thinks he is so well supplied with it that even those who are the hardest to satisfy in every other respect never desire more of it than they already have."

René Descartes, Discourse on Method, 1637