Rode the Brown down to Dover then north through South Natick, Wellesley, Cliff Road up to Rt 30. Recently redid the gearing on the Brown, with a 9-speed 11-32 cassette. For this ride, I never used the front derailer, stayed on the 52 tooth ring all the way and never felt any temptation to use the 42, much less the 28. Hit 38.5 mph coming down Rt 30, didn't realize that I had forgotten to shift into top gear!
Film: (DVD) Johnny EnglishA poor imitation of The Pink Panther
Had a nice ride on the Quickbeam, out to Mt. Misery in Lincoln, riding 40/14 fixed, then switched to the 33/18 freewheel for a couple of miles through the woods. When I got out of the woods, I switched to the 40/18 freewheel gear for a couple of miles heading toward Concord, but found the gear painfully low, so I turned the wheel back around for the rest of the ride. Rode up to Concord, then headed back along Route 2A, which has changed a bit since the last time I rode it. I took a bit of a detour along the Battle Road, which I had not been on before. It's mostly a nice smooth dirt path, with a few boardwalks through swampy areas. I came upon a small crowd at the restored Hartwell Tavern, where a docent was giving a musket demo, which I enjoyed.
Home via 2A to Mill street, through Belmont and Waverly Oaks. For most of this 34 mile ride, I was listening to Borodin's Prince Igor on my iPod.
Film: (VHS) 48 HoursScraping the bottom of the barrel, this action/adventure film was not a genre I much care for, but pickings are slim with the library closed for the Labor Day weekend and Netflix overdue.
Another very nice ride this afternoon, took the Rambouillet (recently converted to 7-speed: 11-34, 42 front) out through Dover to Holliston, absolutely delightful ride listening to the Shostakovich revision of Boris Godunov. 41 miles, averaging 15.2 mph! That makes over 100 miles this three-day weekend.
Film: (DVD) The GriftersA "caper" film about a family of con artists, lots of fun, lots of strange twists.
Film: (DVD) Goodbye LeninThis is a hilarious German film, in which am East Berlin mother goes into a coma on the eve of the fall of the Berlin wall and the Honekker regime. She wakes up several months later, but her children are advised that she must be spared all excitement, due to her weak heart, so they try to re-create the old DDR in their apartment for their mother's benefit. Good fun.
Film: (DVD) The Ladykillers The Coen BrothersThe original Shepperton Studios The Ladykillers was such a classic that my initial reaction to the idea fo a remake was overwhelmingly negative...until I heard that it would be the Coen Brothers who would do the deed.
The result, starring Tom Hanks in the Alec Guinness role, truly does justice to the original, and I recommend both versions unreservedly.
eBook: 3 x T Harry TurtledoveThis is a collection of some of Turtledove's early science fiction. Not of a level to compare with his later work, but enjoyable for a True Fan like myself.
Film: (DVD) The Mystic Masseur
Tova goes back to Santa Cruz tomorrow. Just time for a family photo:
Film: (DVD) Foyle's WarThis is a British TV series, detective stories set against the background of southern England in the early days of World War 2. I like it very much, and will be getting additional episodes from Netflix
This film did bring to mind a question: How far into the war did it take until people started calling it "World War 2," and stopped calling World War 1 "The Great War?"
eBook: The Da Vinci Code Dan BrownThis popular thriller is a bit silly, but a page turner nonetheless. There's a fair amount of cheap cliffhanger suspense, but it's hard to put down.
Film: (DVD) Iron Jawed AngelsThis was a great story, of the climax of the women's suffrage movement in the early 20th century, but the film is pretty badly flawed. The dialogue is anachronistic, but not unforgivably so. What is unforgivable is the horrible job they did with the music, all of which is highly inappropriate. Most of it is generic '90s pop, and there's even a hip-hop sequence at one point! The only music that was not in this mold was the Satie Gymnopedie that was used in a scene that was supposed to be a silent film show. It was for solo piano, but certainly didn't sound like silent film music. This scene also featured lead actors talking to one another during the film but being shushed angrily by other moviegoers, as if their talking would keep them from hearing the "dialogue."
Too bad this wasn't better executed, it did have its good points.
TV PilotJack and BobbyThe new season is upon us, and this one comes highly touted. The pilot looks promising, I'll be following this for at least a few episodes.
Film: (DVD) Broadway Danny Rose Woody AllenNot Woody's best, but not terrible either. Woody plays a low-rent theatrical agent who gets on the wrong side of The Mob.
September 18-19, Brookline, Massachusetts
Rode the Brown over to the AltWheels festival, but didn't find it all that interesting...most of the exhibits were cars of various sorts.
I did get to take a very brief test ride on a Segway. It was less intuitive than I had expected.
Also had a nice chat with Dave Wilson and his family, admired their Thorn triplet, which they just did Land's End to John O'Groats on.
After checking out the festival, I went for a nice ride, out through Dedham and Natick to Sherborn and back home, 44 miles altogether.
With the new gearing on the Brown, 11-32 in back, I never got off of the 52 tooth chainring!
iPod musical accompaniment to this ride was Das Rheingold. I really like riding with Wagner!
Film: (DVD) Les CompèresThis was a lot of fun, a slapstick farce mostly set in Nice, starring Gerard Depardieu. The title is a bit of a pun, as there are three men who each believe that the same son is their own offspring.
Harriet and I rode the Picchio over to Cambridge, for the Revels RiverSing event near Harvard Square. They had a group on each bank, and others on the Weeks footbridge. There was a lot of antiphonal stuff between the two banks, coordinated by radio (speed of sound is an issue for groups that far apart.)
There were also dancers and instrumentalists, including even alphorns!
This was the first attempt at what is intended to be an annual equinoctial event, and went quite well considering the inherent difficulties involved.
A beautiful day for a ride. I took the Quickbeam out for 40 miles on fixed gear (40/14). Headed out to the Minuteman bikeway, then continued on the old railroad bed after the bikeway ends in Bedford.
Got back on pavement on Concord road, headed out Rt 225 to Carlisle, then back through Concord and Lincoln. Here's a photo along Sandy Pond Road in Lincoln, just around the corner from Walden Pond:
I was somewhat bemused to be riding along these beautiful country roads, having a ball, and being passed by behemoth SUVs festooned with bike racks and shiny dual-boinger mountain bikes...some folks don't know what they're missing!
My iPod was playing a recording of Siegfried, with Wolfgang Windgassen, from the 1953 Bayreuth Festival. Not stereo but otherwise a good recording, and a fine performance.
Coming back from Carlisle into Concord, very near the "Rude Bridge that Arched The Flood" I spotted these signs:
I've put the Winwood plastic fork back on the IRO, along with some cool Thorn add-on extensions. (Put the Rock Shox on the Bianchi B.a.S.S.)
Borrowed Harriet's front wheel from her Bottechia (now that she's running the Shimano Nexus dyno on that bike) with a Rol-y Pol-y tire, and it's considerably more comfortable than it had been the last time I rode it with that fork.
Took it for a very pleasant ride out through Dover, including a stop at a little-kid lemonade stand for two cups of very tasty lemonade. I make it a rule never to pass one of these when I'm cycling.
eBook: Resurgence Charles SheffieldA pretty good "hard" science fiction novel set in the far future, lots of different aliens scattered all around our arm of the Galaxy, and a trip to the adjacent arm via wormhole. This was good enough that I didn't put it down even after receiving the new Neal Stephenson book, The System of the World!
Film: (DVD) Angels in America Mike Nichols 2004Very, very fine film. Al Pacino was especially fine as the despicable Roy Cohn, who deserved everything he got. Meryl Streep as an aged male rabbi was a hoot, and she was also just fine in her two other roles. Emma Thompson made a fabulous and terrifying angel.
To Las Vegas for the Interbike showLooong flight with a layover in Chicago.
This year we're staying at the Stratosphere, which is a bit of an improvement over the Frontier. According to their Web site they were supposed to offer in-room WiFi high speed Internet as of the first of October. Turns out our 7-th floor room isn't on it, so no connection today.
The Stratosphere folks say the WiFi system has only been installed on the 18th floor and higher, so they move us to the 19th floor.
No dice, no connection, called the desk, got transferred... "Oh, no, the WiFi is only on the 20th floor and higher.
Move to a 20th floor room. No signal in the room, but a good signal in the hall.
Moved to a different 20th floor room, able to get a signal from the bathroom. Turns out, however that the system hasn't been brought up fully. I can send, but can't receive.
At this point, I'm sick of moving from room to room, so I give up and use the dial-up, slow though it is.
Interbike Outdoor Demo, Boulder City, NevadaHot and dry, but a bit more comfortable than last hear. I test rode a plastic Giant road bike, liked it; an Airnimal folder, liked it too, and lastly a Salsa Juan Solo singlespeed MTB. Liked that too.
Didn't really get knocked out by anything new, but got a chance to do a bunch of good networking.
Ordered a couple of copies of the new Sutherland's Handbook for Bicycle Mechanics, 7th edition.
InterbikeSpent the day at the show, checking out the 2005 lines, not too much changed this year. Gathered lots of literature in my rolling suitcase. Had good contacts with Shimano, Sturmey-Archer/SunRace and Phil Wood. Brent from Phil Wood gave me a cool pair of miniature Phil hubs, definitely the best schwag of the day. Shimano gave me a pin with 6 yellow jerseys, and a Nexus Tee shirt.
In the evening, I went out to dinner with Gilles Berthoud and David Chadwick (Carradice) and a couple of their other dealers. Went to a nice restaurant at the Venetian, and a grand time was had by all. David and I got there a bit early and spent a bit of time comparing notes and family photos. I mentioned that I had been to Boscastle, Cornwall in June and he brought me up to date about the terribly destructive flood that hit there in August, first I had heard of it.
I sat between Gilles and his brother-in-law Alain at dinner, speaking a mix of French and English. Gilles's English is maybe a bit better than my French, we really hit it off very well.
From left: Gilles Berthoud , Sheldon Brown , David Chadwick (Carradice ) Bill Laine (Wallingford ), Peter White , Alain Beau Frère
Will Petscher photo
After dinner we strolled over to the Bellagio to watch the fountain/light show, then back through Paris Las Vegas, first I've been there. Gilles said that was the closest he had ever been to Paris!
Interbike (continued)I only spent half a day at the show, due to the fact that my feet were killing me. My left foot has what feels like a stress fracture, and my right big toe has a very painful corn/bunion. As a result I'm limping on both feet!
Back at the Stratoshpere I went down to the swimming pool, which is an unusually large one of serpentine shape. Lying in the sun feels good, but the swimming pool turns out to leave something to be desired: it's 3 feet deep at the shallow end, and all of 4 feet at the "deep" end, with most of it at 3 1/2 feet.
I cold do the back stroke OK, but swimming on my front I would tend to bump my sore toe into the bottom.
To Santa CruzA short flight from 'Vegas to San José. Picked up a Chrysler Sebring from Alamo, drove down to Santa Cruz. This is my first visit to Northern California. The freeway drive was different than what I expected, steeper, narrower lanes, and more winding as it went across the mountains, but very attractive country, especially after the moonscape of Nevada.
The drive across the mountains reminded me a bit of Kosovo, near the Albanian border, though not quite so rugged, and the road was a LOT better.
Staying at the Guest House Pacific, a small motel a few blocks from the beach. Not up for much walking (still recovering from Interbike) so I drove around a bit. Tried to call Tova but could't get anything but voice mail.
Went out to dinner with Tova at a nice Taqueria on Pacific St (not easy to find a place where we're both happy eating, since she's vegan and I'm still on the Atkins diet!) Afterward, we went to see a
Film: (DVD) The Motorcycle DiariesThis is the story of a motorcycle journey pretty much the length of South America, undertaken in 1952 by a very young Ché Guevara and his best friend on a creaky old Notrun, sorry, Norton 500. Actually, the later part of the journey was a mixture of shank's mare and hitchhiking.
They were both medical students taking some time off from their studies, with the intent of doing some volunteer work in a leper colony in Peru.
Once the bike bit the dust, and they were traveling as virtual hobos among the poor campesinos, Ch&eaute; saw a side of Latin American society that they had been sheltered from in his bourgeois Buenos Aires home, and also to see that the various national borders dividing South America were artificial and ultimately meaningless. The experience radicalized Guevara's outlook, and he went on to become a revolutionary agitator with considerable success.
After the film, I drove Tova home and came in to meet some of her housemates. Her house is a student co-op, very reminiscent of hippie communes of the '60s, including the wall decorations. Had a nice chat with some of her housemates, who seem like nice folks.
Drove up to Walnut Creek to borrow a bike from Rivendell. Found Grant Petersen putting the finishing touches on a 59 Rambouillet for me to ride, equipped with big fat Schwalbe tires and a low-normal Shimano XT rear derailer. Grant took me for a great ride over Mount Diablo, which is sort of in the back yard of Rivendell. Climbing 2000 feet in 6 1/2 miles was a bit of a challenge for this 60 year old New Englander, not used to such extended climbs, but I made it up OK. Coming down the mountain we rode on dirt trails which were often quite challenging. I had to get off and walk a couple of the descents, and a couple of the climbs (I fell over sideways on one of them when I stalled.)
The scenery was just gorgeous, especially on the descent. The view over Elephant Rock was particularly breathtaking.
I probably didn't pace myself too well, going too hard at the beginning, so I kinda bonked near the end. Fortunately Grant had brought a couple of PB&Js along, which somewhat revived me.
My Nikon 990 suffered some sort of damage during the drive up (probably shouldn't have carried it in the trunk of the car) and the focus locked up, so I didn't bring it along on the ride. Fortunately, Grant brought a camera along, shot a roll of film (remember film?) I am looking forward to seeing the results.
My Nikon 990 mysteriously healed overnight, mirabile dictu!
Rode out to Natural Bridges beach, took a bunch of photos:
Tova had a class to teach, met her at the University afterwards, we went out to a Chinese restaurant.
Rode out a few miles past Natural Bridges, along a bike path next to Rt1. The Rambouillet's shifting has gone bad since it fell over while I was trying to take a photo, landed on the derailer.
Thanks, Grant!Met up with Tova and took her over to the Spokesman bike shop to get her a helmet, mirror and new toe straps (one of her roommates had made off with the ones she had.) We rode down to the beach and went for a swim. My first time ever in the Pacific, but it tasted the same as the Atlantic.
Santa Cruz is beset with poor bike lanes, often in the door zone, but one thing I'll say for it is that they have trained the bus drivers well! There are a lot of busses zooming around town, but they seem very careful not to cut off cyclists, even if it means (gasp!) slowing down!
Off to dinner with Tova, "Cafe Mare" a fairly fancy Italian restaurant. I had a rare steak, actually cooked perfectly, which is not a common thing for those of us who like it rare.
|--Jobst Brandt Photo
Went for a great ride with Jobst Brandt. We headed out to the south from Santa Cruz, through Capitola, then inland to Corralitos, then 1200 feet of climbing along Corralitos creek, Eureka Canyon Road, Highland Way, topping out at a fancy grocery store on Summit Road. From there, Jobst headed back to Palo Alto, and I had an amazing descent down Soquel-San José road through Soquel and back to Santa Cruz. About 50 miles, pretty well burned me out, not being used to such sustained climbing. The roads were gorgeous, mostly thick redwood forest, and most of the route was completely in shade, so we were spared the ravages of the heat. A fine ride, though there were not so many vistas as the ride over Mt. Diablo, due to the thick tree cover.
Got back in time to pick Tova up and bring her to my motel room to watch the final presidential debate. Planned to go out to dinner later, but too wiped out, and too full from nibbling on cheese and pistachios.
Had a great time in Santa Cruz, what a fine place my daughter has found! During the time I was there I never either turned on the air conditioner nor closed the window in my motel room.
It is amazing to me how different the two areas I rode in were, with Mt. Diablo being nearly desert-like, with grass covered hills, while the route I took with Jobst was all deep, dark redwood forest.
Dropped the Rambouillet off at Rivendell this morning, typing this in the San José airport waiting for my homeward flight.
A rare occurrence: both my brother and my sister in town at the same time! Went over to Charlestown for dinner at my niece's house.
Drove out to Marblehead with Richard and Arlene, also grand-nephew Nick and grand-niece Lucy. Lucy was the only one brave enough to actually go swimming at Grace Oliver's beach. From there we went to Gas House beach, where the kids climbed on the scary rocks, causing much nervousness. Headed out to Fort Sewall for more rock climbing, then to the town landing for ice cream (not for me, I had a double espresso instead.)
Film: (DVD) Tie Me Up, Tie Me DownVery politically incorrect Spanish comedy about a stalker who wins the heart of a B-move actress by kidnapping her. I enjoyed it pretty much.
The Red Sox beat the Yankees and won the Pennant!
Got an email from a Radio Canada reporter, asking if he could interview me about the Red Sox. He was looking for a Bostonian French speaker, not quite sure how he found me. Anyway, I said "oui" and he called me later in the day for a couple of sound bites. I didn't feel particularly fluent, and had a bit of trouble understanding the rapid speech of the reporter, but he evidently found something usable, because it was mentioned on rec.bicycles.tech. Like most threads in this season, it rapidly degenerated into a political screed.
Film: (DVD) The Butterfly EffectI got this from Netflix 'cause I've always been a sucker for time travel stories, ever since reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (I wonder, was that the first of the genre? I can't think of any earlier ones.)
This was well done, but a bit gloomy for my taste. We watched the "director's cut" version on the DVD, then some of the alternate takes (this DVD has a lot of stuff on it.) The director's cut ending did seem better than the theatrical version.
Session: Sean and Shawn's houseOur friends and neighbors Sean and Shawn had an all-day music party, with lots of assorted folkies and Morris dance folks. Harriet, George and I went over in the afternoon, and George's trombone was a very welcome addition to the fiddles, guitar, bouzouki and bhodran.
I sang "The Cumberland and the Merrimack." Harriet and I had to make an early exit because we had tickets to:
Concert: Boston Symphony Orchestra Mahler, Symphony #8 James Levine, conductorA very fine performance, a bit faster than I'm used to (which is a good thing, because parts of this piece tend to drag a bit sometimes.) The chorusses were especially fine.
Nominally the "Symphony of a Thousand" this performance seemed to have less than 300 performers. The choruses were in 7 rows, 25 columns, and I doubt the orchestra was much over 100. There certainly wasn't any spare room on stage. There was also a second brass section down at the audience left end of the second balcony.
This was the first time I've heard the Symphony Hall Aeolian-Skinner organ since they restored it over this past summer. It seems to be in fine fettle.
Cycled into M.I.T. for the "sitzprobe" rehearsal for Iolanthe. This is the first time the cast and orchestra get to rehearse together, always fun. The orchestra sounds quite good, which is particularly important for Iolanthe, since the score is probably Sullivan's best.
I rode the Rambouillet, now with some "plump and pleasing" 27 x 1 1/4 Michelin tires instead of the 27 x 7/8 Avocets. The Avocets never gave me any trouble, but I was nervous to ride them on rough surfaces, and now that it's getting dark earlier, it's time to get off the skinnies until next season. The 7-speed rig (11-34, 42 in front) is surprisingly satisfactory, and I'm even getting used to the down-tube shifter.
Film: (DVD) The Father of the Bride Vincente Minnelli 1950Spencer Tracy in the title role, Elizabeth Taylor as the Bride in a droll comedy.
eBook: The System of the World Neal Stephenson, 2004This is the conclusion of the "Baroque Trilogy" that began with Quicksilver and continued with The Confusion. I was sorry to come to the end of this wonderful trilogy. Very highly recommended.
Drove out to Gloucester to take photos of a cyclocross race. I'll put up some photos later...
Film: (DVD) The Swimmer Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack 1968A rather quirky film based on a John Cheever short about a man whose life has fallen apart, and he decides to swim across his county in an upscale Connecticut suburb, going from swimming pool to swimming pool, "portaging" on foot in between. Burt Lancaster is great, possibly the best thing he ever did.
|Books reviewed on this page:
|3 x T
|The Da Vinci Code
|The System of the World
|Films reviewed on this page:
|The Mystic Masseur
|Iron Jawed Angels
|Broadway Danny Rose
|Angels in America
|The Motorcycle Diaries
|Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down
|The Butterfly Effect
|The Father of the Bride
|Music reviewed on this page:
|October 23, 2004
|B.S.O., James Levine
|Mahler: Symphony #8
|November 29, 2002
|November 23, 2001
|Helen Mirren, Ian McKelln
|The Dance of Death-August Strindberg
|September 30, 2000
|Tova/Black Box Theatre, Cornell University
|The Maids-Jean Genet
|May 30, 2000
|Kelsey Grammer/Colonial Theatre
|May 26, 2000
|The Huntington Theatre Co.
|King Hedley II
|September 3, 1999
|The Publick Theatre
|August 21, 1999
|Orange Tree Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.
|August 13, 1999
|Firehouse Theatre, Ithaca, N.Y.
|Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All For You
|Newton South/North High Schools
|December 18, 1998
|Newton North High School
|The Bone Violin, May Flies
|November 12, 1998
|Newton North High School
|To Kill a Mockingbird
|November 21-24, 2007
|September 25-28, 2007
|Las Vegas, Nevada
|August 18-25, 2007
|Truro, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
|November 22-26, 2006
|September 25-28, 2006
|Las Vegas (Interbike)
|June 10-20, 2006
|Santa Cruz, California
|May 5-7, 2006
|November 23, 2005
|September 26-29, 2005
|Interbike, Las Vegas, Nevada
|August 26-28, 2005
|'Bentride 2005, Bath, N.Y.
|July 21-24, 2005
|Family Reunion, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
|April 29, 2005
|Cirque de Cyclisme, Greensboro, N.C.
|February 16, 2005
|November 24, 2004
|October 8, 2004
|Santa Cruz, California
|October 4, 2004
|Las Vegas, Nevada
|June 8, 2004
|December 22, 2003
|Halifax, Nova Scotia
|November 27, 2003
|October 31, 2003
|October 10, 2003
|Las Vegas, Nevada
|September 21, 2003
|New York, N.Y.
|November 27-30, 2002
|New York, N.Y.
|October 8-13, 2002
|October 4-8, 2002
|Las Vegas, Nevada
|July 3-9, 2002
|Canso, Nova Scotia
|May 24-27, 2002
|Long Island, New York
|November 21-24, 2001
|New York City
|October 16-19, 2001
|Cape Cod, Massachusetts
|September 29-October 3, 2001
|Las Vegas, Nevada (Interbike Show)
|June 16-23, 2001
|Nags Head, North Carolina
|October 5-14, 2000
|September 30-October 2, 2000
|Ithaca, New York
|June 22-25, 2000
|October 7-13, 1999
|August 19-28, 1999
|Ithaca, New York
|August 12-13, 1999
|Ithaca, New York
|July 23-25, 1999
|November 25-28, 1998
|Fort Lauderdale, Florida
|England, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Turkey
Last Updated: by Harriet Fell