Bicycle Diaries: October 2009

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Everything you wanted to know about Cricket

...but were afraid
to rap!

Thanks to San Francisco Tweed, here's the latest track from a new album from the chap-hop sensation. On the mean streets and cricket pitches of Surrey, Mr. B, the Gentleman Rhymer, reveals the strength of his cricket knowledge.

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3 cheers for Dutch vélopunk

five minutes
in heaven

With Stardust Memories
Artie Shaw

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3 cheers for Dansk vélopunk

The Voice of the Globe 1937
rolls in Copenhagen

From James A. Fitzpatrick's

The American documentary film director specialized throughout his career in travel documentaries. Besides directing, he also wrote, produced, and narrated. As well as The Voice of the Globe, MGM distributed a series of his travel films under the umbrella title Fitzpatrick Traveltalks. Paramount also distributed his series, Vistavision Visits. Their hallmarks were Technicolor photography and stolidity.

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And you thought computers suck...



So one day that old mediator between Good & Evil, the Egyptian god Thoth, invents writing. Up till then, folks just filled up their noggins with pretty much everything. And Thoth proudly offering it as a gift to the Pharaoh of Egypt, claiming it'll be
an elixir of memory and wisdom.
Pharaoh ain't all that impressed. In fact, he's downright horrified, replying,
This invention will induce forgetfulness in the souls of those who have learned it, because they will not need to exercise their memories, being able to rely on what is written…rather than, from within, their own unaided powers to call things to mind.

So it’s not a remedy for memory, but for reminding, that you have discovered. And as for wisdom, you are equipping your pupils with only a semblance of it, not with truth.

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Oprah's not famous in Europe

so the Olympics
won't be in Chicago

As you know, lots have been going on with me over the past few months. I haven't had time to comment of recent events ... like the Windy City's lost bid for the 2016 Olympics. So here's a funny mash-up of Downfall that brings us into the Mayor Bunker to reveal just how disappointing all this has been for The City that Works. Especially hilarious is the line 53 seconds in:
Everyone who has already been indicted for something, leave now.

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Remember, remember...

the 7th of November

Well, it's supposed to be on the 5th when the Brits captured poor Guido, AKA Guy, in the cellars of Parliament. But that's a school night so we're doing it on Saturday, when he finally admitted to The Gun Powder Plot after some extreme interrogation methods. In any case, Viscount Wallace has submitted preliminary details here!

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
the Gunpowder Treason and Plot,

I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, t’was his intent to blow up King and Parliament.

Three score barrels were laid below to prove old England’s overthrow;
By God’s mercy he was catch’d with a dark lantern and lighted match.

Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip hoorah!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope
A farthing o’ cheese to choke him.

A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.

Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.

Burn his body from his head.
Then we’ll say ol’ Pope is dead.

Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah hoorah!

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Biker killed by truck

Liza Whitacre
1986 - 2009

Jeremy Gorner reported yesterday on Chicago's Breaking News Center,
A 23-year-old woman died this afternoon after she fell from her bicycle, landed underneath a truck and was run over by the vehicle outside Hamlin Park on Chicago's North Side, police said. The victim, Liza Whitacre, was riding south on Damen Avenue with another cyclist, a 24-year-old woman, when they came across the truck and a CTA bus about 12:30 p.m. The 24-year-old, Whitacre's roommate, was able to travel "between" the two vehicles as Whitacre followed, Chicago police said.

But the victim slipped and fell underneath the truck.

"The truck driver was apparently unaware that the woman had fallen underneath," said Officer John Mirabelli, a police spokesman.

The truck then rode over Whitacre, 23, of the 4900 block of North Winthrop Avenue, and she was pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, officials said.

The operator of the CTA No. 50 Damen Avenue bus was questioned by police as a potential witness to the crash since the bus was in the "vicinity," said Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Wanda Taylor.

She did not know if the operator witnessed the crash, but said no CTA buses were involved in it.

Buses traveling along the Damen route were temporarily rerouted around the accident site, Taylor said.

No citations have been issued in the crash, Mirabelli said early this evening.

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I've been remiss...

but now
I'm back

It's been a hell of a last 9 months or so. Laid off in February, underemployed until just last month. Among other things, the blog has suffered. First it was the general funk that accompanies what became is the worst unemployment experience in my life. I wasn't turned out of my apartment of a decade; nor did I starve. A lot of good, good friends and close acquaintances had my back. Perhaps the depth of our national economic crisis has brought out in the best of folks or maybe after almost 11 years in the same neighborhood I've found my community: I've certainly learned that it takes a village to survive The Great Recession.

Whatever the reason, I did survive. I've back in a full-time job thanks to some very fine folks in the bike community here. It's as the Resource Development Manager for the Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation. That's a fancy title for grant-writer and all around fund-raiser. Bickerdike is a member-based, non-profit community development corporation that advocates for, builds, and maintains affordable housing in the Latino and African-American neighborhoods on the northwest. That's a big change for all kinds of reasons. But I'm liking both the mission and the organization. It's also exposing to a whole new world in this great, grand city.

Second, nine months is a damned long time. There were days when my own problems coupled with the general mood of the country nearly overwhelmed me. I kept my sanity by riding ... a lot of riding. With a little help from my friends, I put together The 2nd Winston's Tweed Ride on 12 September. A lot of new folks joined us on a Don't Mention the War bummel that ended up at my neighborhood's annual German-American Festival. Get it?

Then a few weeks ago, Sir Aaron heard about a new tweed ride in Grand Rapids, MI. We loaded up the steeds on his cage and headed over for the day! Amanda, the organizer, as well as her small group of tight friends made us very welcome indeed. I don't think we considered the impact two big city gents would make on our country cousins. And let me say, Grand Rapids is a fantastic city. Imagine a slightly smaller version of Milwaukee, with the same turn of the century architecture, surrounded by rolling meadows and gentle hills a few minutes from Lake Michigan. I would seriously consider moving there if the job were right.

Even outside the City of Big Shoulders,
it takes a tweedy village to survive...

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