Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Book Recommendation:

For those who do any sort of street biking, be it on the one way streets of Brooklyn, packed with parked cars, or on the bicycle-unfriendly streets of Cleveland, I can't recommend enough: The Art of Urban Cycling by Robert Hurst. I picked this up from the library a few weeks ago and it's positively the most entertaining book on cycling I have seen. It's written in a very conversational and low-key style with a message of flexibility and safety throughout. It, numerous times, simply tells the reader to break the law. This is not to get you somewhere faster, but with the idea of keeping the cyclist safe and riding easily in a car heavy environment. Though it lays the facts about accidents out: that basically every cyclist who travels with frequency will "wipe-out" about once a year and get in a serious accident once every five years, regardless of skill level, it does so in a way that doesn't intend to scare the reader, but to reinforce why paying attention to your surroundings and biking defensively are so important. Even in these past few rides, I find myself not only biking with more awareness of potential hazards but with additional confidence from this knowledge.

In related news, Genevieve found this t-shirt for me the other day.

I am definitely buying this!


Monday, November 27, 2006

Going home again..

For once, I am ignoring my weekly cheese article in favor of posting to my personal blog, instead of the other way around.

Saturday night, Genevieve and I returned from a visit back to Cleveland. Though the city will always be my home and fills me with a certain amount of the type of comfort one gets from something familiar, I doubt I could ever truly return. Driving a car around a loosely populated city is a poor comparison to biking around tight and svelte New York. Even in the few days we were there, I missed: my bike, good bagels, good restaurants within walking distance..shoot, I missed walking as a means of honest transportation.

I did get to see some things I missed while in Brooklyn, namely, my family and friends. This Thanksgiving marked the first time in many years that my mom, sister and I were all together under one roof for the holidays. The opportunity was taken to lay on some nostalgia quite thick. My sister brought a DVD player, which could play the DVD transfer of some old home movies my mom had. Most of the movie consisted of me as a baby, though there were appearances by my cousins, aunts & uncles and a brief cameo from my sister. We also thumbed through a library old photo albums and my sister took a trip back to the old farm.

In addition to seeing my family, I had a chance to hang out with some friends at a bar which has popped up since I left town and whose mix of Belgian beers and nearby Vietnamese and Cambodian food would have made it a permanent fixture in my day, if I still lived there.

Turkey day, itself, was busy and went by pretty quickly. I woke up early in the morning to prepare the bird for roasting. I had brined it overnight and spent the morning roasting it and preparing all the accoutrements (gravy, stuffing and some roasted veggies). It was the first time I'd cooked the bird for Thanksgiving and despite, through school, having previously roasted just about every animal out there, I was a bit nervous. It all turned out though and I was proud of how moist the bird was.

Well, life is pretty much back to normal now. I returned to work yesterday and Genevieve had her first day back today. I have some good cheese ready to review and I better get on that.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A perfect lunch:
German Potato Salad, battered trout, tomato soup w/ paprika & sour cream and a pint of lager.