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The Time Has Come

My (center left) first time riding up the steepest street on the planet: Canton Ave! Yow!

The training rides are over. Now it’s time for the main event: my first ever Dirty Dozen, climbing 13 of the steepest hills in this stupidly hilly town. I give a little more background in this blogpost following last year’s first (and last) training ride.

It’ll probably be the most difficult athletic achievement of my life. It’s been a long time since I experienced the dread I felt when the “2017 Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen Bike Ride” event started showing up in the sidebar of my Facebook page last weekend!

My (center left) first time riding up the steepest street on the planet: Canton Ave! Yow!

This ride has been my sole focus for the past two months. In the middle of each week I did solo training rides on those hills, then group training rides organized by the WPW on the weekends.


First Air Wing

Syma quadcopter

It’s been a year, so let’s debrief about my experience as a drone aircraft owner/operator.

I’m not terribly good at spatial orientation in three dimensions, so I bought a cheap $50 quadcopter, mostly to see whether I could develop the skills to become a competent remote operator before dropping real money on a quality drone. The craft—a Syma x5c—had a low-quality video camera, but no live video feed or stabilization or other advanced features. And it was light enough to elude most FAA regulation.

Syma quadcopter

Over the winter I flew it around our apartment in an effort to learn fine control, but of course that was pretty limited in terms of the flying I could do. I did get the cat’s attention, tho.

Meanwhile, I educated myself on the existing regulations for drone pilots. What I l »more

Pee En Doubleyew

Seattle Skyline & Rainier

Inna wanted to go to the 2017 Meetin national celebration in Seattle in September, and it made sense to piggyback that with a detour up to Victoria BC to visit my brother, since—after my mother’s death—he’s unlikely to be coming east any longer.

The logistics were enough of a nightmare that we actually needed a travel agent’s services. Inna and her mother flew direct to SFO to visit family for a few days. Then Inna flew OAK (not SFO) to SEA while I simultaneously got from PIT to SEA via IAD. After the Meetin gathering, we’d take the ferry to Victoria BC, then eventually get home flying Air Canada together from YYJ to YYZ to PIT. Meanwhile, Inna’s mother returned on a direct flight from SFO. Yeah. Glad to have an agent handle all that.

Seattle Skyline & Rainier

Danger Man


Love Is All You Need

Blocking all your bullshit fitness tips

Someone is wrong on the internet… I hate that. And I woke up feeling self-indulgent and ranty, so here’s what we old-schoolers would call a “flame”.

An article appeared in my news feed: “The Health And Fitness Audit: 15 Questions You Must Know in Order to Succeed in Fitness”.

Well, I’ve been an endurance cyclist for twenty years—and an inline skater and basketball player before that—but I’m openminded and willing to learn. I wonder if this guy will point out anything I missed.

Since I’m pretty sure I’ve “Succeeded in Fitness”, just for fun, let’s see how many of his “15 Things You Must Know” I actually did when I embarked upon life as a cyclist back before the turn of the millennium.

Here’s his list:

1. Do you know why you want to change?

Nope. I wanted to ride a bike. For long d »more

I Have Been—and Always Shall Be—Your Friend

Swashbuckling Heroes

I lost one of my high school buddies recently.

I met Mark through some organized wargaming activity back in the day, and a half dozen of us quickly formed an inseparable pack that lasted for years, with perhaps another dozen occasional co-conspirators.

He was quick-witted, charismatic, and a mischievous instigator of the highest order, probably partially in response to what seemed like a difficult family situation. But whatever the psychological underpinnings, Mark made every day an opportunity for outrageous adventure, which was irresistible to us as a pack of bored adolescent guys.

While I can only relate a small number of our many adventures, here—to amuse my captain—are some of the memories I have of my time with Mark.

Swashbuckling Heroes

Bring in that Floating Fat Man!


Perpendicular Brothers

Perpendicular Brothers

Brothers Josh and Mark are clearly headed in opposite directions aboard Joel's boat, circa 1987.

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