Thinking about Next Year’s Ride

June 9, 2009

Tour de Cure 100 mile Start

Except for a slightly sore butt I feel completely recovered from Saturday’s 100 km Tour de Cure bike ride.  Next year I think I’ll start training just a little earlier, and go for the 100-miler.

To everyone who donated on my behalf or for anyone else, thank you so much for the support.  The Tour de Cure is much more than a fund-raising event; it’s a festival, the first of many festivals held during our wonderful summer months, when the glorious weather brings out the best in us.

Last week was also the Greek Festival and this weekend it’s the Allentown Art Festival; then the Ride for Roswell; and shortly after that the Taste of Buffalo and the Italian Festival and many other great places to gather and celebrate.

Buffalo’s great for that kind of stuff.


Songs in Odd Times

May 31, 2009


Regardless of what Wikipedia says about Radiohead’s Pyramid Song, it is cannot possibly be written in 4/4 time.  If you ignore the first three-and-a-half beats and meter eighth notes then the piano consistently plays in 11/8 while the first measure is 7/8.  Maybe Phil Selway is playing drums in 4/4; with all the syncopation I find it impossible to pick up and hold the beat when the percussion enters halfway into the song.  But listen to the piano and you get a sense for what plays out as consistent 11/8.

Pyramid Song is one of many Radiohead tunes using sophisticated rhythm patterns that are not for the faint of heart.  In the jazz scene there’s Dave Brubeck, who’s always good for one or two oddly-metered pieces per album.  It’s interesting how our minds resist rhythm that is not in 2 or 3 or 4.  I personally love the edginess that weird beat brings to music.

On Thursday, June 11th this radio station will dedicate 2 hours (starting at 2 pm) to rock songs not tied to our natural rhythms.  Should be a great listen, but probably not something you’ll consider dance music.

Strange Dreams

March 19, 2009

Why is this?

Sure didn’t seem like a dream while I was dreaming it.

And I dream this, regularly.

R.I.P Dick Bob

March 7, 2009

dick-bobI’ve never been good with eulogies, especially for those dear to me.  At times of death I’m generally at a loss for words, not knowing how to convey my thoughts or bring comfort to those in grief.

This past week my colleague and friend Dick succumbed to his battle with cancer.  Anyone with more than 10 or 15 years in Buffalo’s manufacturing circles probably knew this guy.  He was a whirlwind of energy, not easily forgettable.

To the very end he insisted on coming to work – it was his passion – never complaining about the chemotherapy or the radiation, treating each day like all the others.  He did not bemoan his fate, but rather reveled in his life’s accomplishments.  He had many.

Two days before he went into hospice he was still calling clients, weak but alert.  Six days later his life ended.

I can only hope that I face my mortality as bravely as he faced his.

The Tenderest Moments

February 27, 2009


The most touching moment of my life was looking into my fiancee’s eyes as she recited her wedding vows to me.  Witnessing the birth of our children were close seconds.  Those tenderest of moments embody humanity’s great beauty and are unforgettable.  They are as clear to me as the day they occurred; I have but a handful of them to cherish.

Last Saturday I walked a young woman down the aisle and gave her away to her husband-to-be.  This was an unexpected gift – one that a father of boys does not normally receive.  And looking into her eyes as we reached the altar, I realized that she had just added one more tender moment to my life.

Thanks, J.

Food Poisoning

October 7, 2008

So I had all these thoughts inside my head to write about.  More on the economy and those crazy credit default swaps, Zogby Research, the upcoming presidential debate, Geoge Bush’s recent words to soothe America (or perhaps himself; notice how the phrase “The fundamentals are sound” isn’t being said anymore)?

All that has been put aside while I recover from what I think is a bad case of food poisoning, brought on by my wife, the chaplain.  Actually, it was probably brought on by some Maryland crabs she bought while in Baltimore.  They were delicious, for about an hour or so.  Since then I’ve been dividing my time between laying on the couch in a fetal position and running to the bathroom to vomit.  Ooh; too much information there.  I won’t mention that that’s not the only bodily orifice that’s seen more than enough action for a while.

I can’t eat, and the general weakness that goes along with that is probably more a revelation than the nausea.  It’s only been a day since I’ve been able to digest anything and already the fatigue and inability to stay focused has set in.

Pity the many poor whose lack of a next meal is a constant, whose life under these conditions is not rare, but commonplace.

For the Sake of My Hands

September 9, 2008

Today I could no longer take the wrist pain that develops while typing so I purchased the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000.

Not that I like Microsoft very much; on the contrary, their gorilla tactics, legal tactics and marketing tactics all leave me wanting for other options.  However, the reviews on this type of keyboard were quite positive, I was at Office Max anyway, and I was desperate.

The pain from repetitive strain injury is alarmingly chronic:  It doesn’t go away for a long time, and mine has been with me for much of the past year.  Most of my achiness was coming from having my hands cocked at a funny angle over a very flat laptop keyboard.  The 4000 lays out the keys so that my hands are in a much less strained position, almost as if I’m trying to shake hands with the keyboard rather than lay them flat.  Although the photo doesn’t show it well, the middle keys (the ones nearest my index fingers) rest on a hill higher than the keys nearest my pinkies.  It took me all of twenty minutes to get used to that hill and the obviously split keyboard.

The reduction in pain was almost immediate, and I recommend this to anyone suffering from even the slightest wrist pain – it will only get worse.  Now, if only they would bring back those tactile, spring-loaded keys like they had on the IBM Selectric typewriters.  Those were the best.