Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Internet Saves my Head and Preserves Balance

Hello from our new home in Elkridge.

There are two things.
1. We now have a cable modem instead of DSL, and YouTube is much more enjoyable.
2. YouTube has about a billion music videos.

I am very happy at the moment.

Black Flag - Thirsty and Miserable, live from 1983! Holy crap! Henry only has like 1 tattoo.
Black Flag - Rise Above, 1984, live
The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker, live, looks like early 80's. 1234!
The Ramones - Pinhead, live at CBGBs in 1977!
The Clash - White Riot, live, 1977
Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized, the one song that sums up the 80's best of all. Video.
The Minutemen - Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing. Live, early 80's. (D. Boon died in 1985.) Has one of the best punk lyrics ever: "If we heard mortar shells, we'd cuss more in our songs, and cut down the guitar solos."
The Minutemen - Vietnam, Live
Flipper - Nothing, Live 1985
Elvis Costello - Pump it up, video. Quintessential New Wave.
Elvis Costello - Lipstick Vogue, live, 1979
Pretenders - Tattooed Love Boys, pre-MTV music video. Band lineup is from the first album, James Honeyman-Scott (guitar) died in 1982, Pete Farndon (bass) kicked out in 1982, died in 1983.
The New York Dolls - Personality Crisis, video from 1973!
The Cramps - The Hot Pearl Snatch, I think I have this on a vinyl picture disk in the basement.
The Cramps - Garbageman, 1980? Pre-MTV, the band has the no-bass lineup from "Songs the Lord Taught Us" album.
The Cramps - Can Your Pussy Do the Dog?, I can't believe there is a video of this.
The Cramps - The Way I Walk, 1978, live at Napa State Mental Hospital!!!
Howlin Wolf - Shake for Me

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Northern Illinois Day 4 - Aurora to Chicago to Winnetka

After a week and a half of riding through cornfields, it's pretty exciting to roll into Chicago.

Today's ride was all suburban and city streets. The suburbs of Chicago start 60 miles out. We didn't make nearly as good time as the past few days due to the constant starting and stopping. We got to the end of the Northern Illinois ride about 11:20.

We had a snack (smoothie for me, iced coffee for Laura) at the Caribou Coffee across the street from where Rob of Bicycle Illinois was unloading the bags from the U-Haul.

Then we had to load all our baggage and gear on our bikes and ride another 24 miles to my sister's house in Winnetka. By the time we started this leg, it was in the mid-90s and the head index was way over 100. It was really tough riding in the heat, and we went pretty slow.

Here's the end of the road at my sister's yard.

We went inside to the nice air conditioning and collapsed on the couch for an hour or so to recover. It sure was hot out.

The Bicycle Illinois tour was a really great extension to RAGBRAI. This is the first year for it, and there were about 30 riders. The route was very scenic, and very well marked. Accomodations were typically in school gyms, which was pretty posh compared to the grubby anarchy of RAGBRAI. I'm looking forward to doing it again next year.

Here's the route for today. It wound up being 87 flat miles, but the heat was brutal.

Northern Illinois Day 3 - Mendota to Aurora

After the incredible heat of yesterday (high of 106) and the forcast saying more of the same, "Team in by 11" put the hammer down and took advantage of the howling tailwinds to be "Team in by 10". It was barely over 90 by then.

The route for today was still flat, and all corn and soybeans, but it did go through Paw Paw, Illinois. On my first ever bike tour, I went through Paw Paw, West Virginia. How's that for a web of coincidence. I should have had a plate of shrimp in Paw Paw.

Our camp site for the night was in West Aurora High School. We all camped out in the air conditioned field house. We had to wait around for volleyball practice to end.

This was a gigantic high school. Iwas talking to one of the administrators. He said they have 2200 students, and they are adding space for 300 more, and they building is something like 420000 square feet. It was pretty amazing. I walked all over it trying to find wifi. It has at least four different access points, but all of them were so slow they were unusable. I think somebody left their computer on over the summer, and it's now owned and sending out spam as fast as possible.

I rode about three miles with Laura to the movies in the hot hot heat. We saw Clerks 2. Laura stayed to watch two more movies, and I went to Popeye's for lunch, and then back to pursue my futile quest for Internet access in the sprawling educational complex.

Clerks 2 is everything you would want it to be. I was glad that even though Kevin Smith has made lots of movies with real budgets, Clerks 2 still is a zero-budget movie that wallows in it's New Jerseyness to the maximum extent possible.

The ride for today was the flattest yet with the strongest tailwinds yet. We had a clock average of well over 15 mph.

Northern Illinois Day 2 - Geneseo to Mendota

It was hot, hot, hot. Laura said there was no way we could ride in 100 degree head. I told her don't worry, we won't be riding in the heat because we are going to get going early, not dawdle, and be in early. I said we are "Team in by 11".

She scoffed ("Can't we be Team in by 1? I want to take pictures.") but we were in fact in by 11, which is a good thing, because it got up to 106 degrees.

Nonetheless, I took a couple pictures in La Moille, Illinois. My great-grandparents lived in La Moille, Minnesota. How many La Moille's are there?

There wasn't much in Mendota. Not even a movie theater. We went to lunch at Pizza Hut and since it was too hot to deal with the pool, we hid in the library for most of the afternoon.

We were staying at an elementary school. The plan was for us to stay in the gym, but it wasn't air conditioned, and due to the extreme heat, the school administrators took pity on us and let us stay in the library, which had a window unit.

It was an easy ride. It was flat with a tailwind. We made great time and covered 70 miles in about 5 hours clock time. The scenery was corn and soybeans.