Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Vegan Recipe of the Day: A hastily thrown together curry recipe!

...because the roads are icy and I've been riding the bus!

Yeah, I know, I've let you all down. I'm not the ultra badass biker I make myself out to be. The thing is, though, that I don't want to die--which would surely happen if Lucy and I ventured out onto ice-slick streets.

So I've decided to do some cooking! And to present to you, my first, fully original, vegan recipe of the day! Mind you, if you're considering making this for yourself, that I had no idea what I was doing when I conceived of this dish. In other words, don't blame me when it (inevitably) turns out nasty.

Hastily Thrown Together Curry

A lovely, poorly-focused image of the carnage which is to ensue

Serves: two (or one, if you eat like I do)

As you probably remember, I alluded to this day in my last recipe, in which I stated that I was determined to do something with my mistakenly purchased curry powder. This, my friends, is the fruition of that dream: a slightly spicy curry which is probably nowhere near the real thing.

Here we go.

  • (1/2) yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • (1/2) bag stirfry mix (it's what I had, okay? back off. Also, feel free to substitute real vegetables for this one)
  • 1 tspn yellow curry powder
  • 1 tspn powdered cayenne pepper
  • (1/4) cup water
  • (1/4) cup soy or coconut milk
  • 1 tspn vegetable oil
First off, throw your roughly chopped onion, finely minced garlic, water, and oil into a pan to saute. (the oil is especially important, since the oily components of the garlic, supposedly very good for you, will not dissolve properly into water) When the house is filled with that distinctive vampire-killing aroma, you're going to add in the spices and the rest of the veg. Feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne to your liking, but for now, make it a bit spicier that you'd normally take it, since the soy/coconut milk we're adding in later will dilute a bit of that. Once the veg mixture is happy, mix in the soy milk, reduce heat, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat. When this step is done, bring it back up to the piping-hot serving temperature (by now your kitchen may be smelling like an indian brothel, this is a good sign) and serve the mixture over steamed rice (I added salt/pepper/paprika to my rice for a bit more flavor/color).

Now, before you taste it once, gag, and throw it out, remember that we made this adventure together, and it's probably your fault if it's nasty.

Thanks, and bon appetit.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bike-on-bike action!

...and by "action," I don't mean bike-pr0n (yeah, I know what you sick people come here for)

I meant, dear readers, that my bike, Lucy, and I were involved in a collision today. And yes, don't worry. Be assured that both bikes were unscathed (or at the very least, very lightly scathed). And so, the tale begins...

It was early morning, with the chill of the dawn laying heavily upon the air...when suddenly, disaster struck. (dum dum dummmm <--dramatic minor or augmented chord)

Nope, hold on. I don't think I'm properly conveying the intended tone of this post. If you need some mood music, open this in a tab whilst reading. (Or if you're feeling like something a bit more whimsical, try this)

Have you gotten it going? Good, let's continue.

So, I hit a dude with my bike.

As usual, I was barreling through campus with little to no regard for the safety of pedestrians, when ahead, streaking across the clearly-marked-"no bike"-crosswalk, another safety disregarding, barreling cyclist crossed my path. Now, I say "crossed my path," in the sense that, Lucy's front tire jammed into [as of yet unnamed bike's] front wheel, at which point both riders and their concomitant bicycles fell to the ground.

Before I continue, I'd like to take this moment to note that I did have time to react. My cat-like reflexes kicked in just in time, allowing me the wherewithal to shout, "whoa, whoa, WHOA!" before impact. However, my apparently sloth-like motor skills did not kick in, since I was spending that precious second between the realization and impact shouting in terror, i.e. NOT BRAKING.

Anyway, we're on the ground...but I spring up quickly, preparing (bravely) for the imminent pummeling, and turn to face my rival. "What? :o" I think, inserting an incredulous emoticon at the end of my thought-sentence, "an old dude? Oh great, it's not going to look good, at all, when he pummels me." Actually, let me rephrase. I shouldn't say "old," he was pretty spry for a guy looking fifty, especially when he jumped up and started to chuckle (at our situation, not in a maniacal way). When I soon realized that the pummeling situation was (hopefully) diffused, we exchanged the usual, "Are you all right? / Naw, it was totally my fault / I was just headed to class / How's the bike?" convo. Turns out everything was okay.

Then came the fifty-year-old guy, swooping in with a bro-hug.

And there I stood, amidst the crowds of students rushing to class, in the street, being embraced by a man I had met seconds before. It was a bit weird, but certainly better than the no-holds-barred, you-bent-my-bianchi, hipster beatdown I was expecting.

And, I guess that's about it. I straightened my front wheel and biked the rest of the way to class. Though I will say, for my first major accident involving a second party, it wasn't really that bad. Sure there was a bit of awkwardness involved, and I could have broken a guy's hip today, but I think that it's more important that we pay attention to the moral of the story:

Don't hit people with your bicycle, it leads to awkward moments.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Remember when movies used to be good?

...the high water mark in bicycle boogie.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lucy's lost some weight

...(alternate, more pervy title: Lucy's been stripped down)

About a week ago, I noticed that on my many death-defying adventures about town, I was feeling a bit bogged down. First I thought to blame my level of PHYSICAL FITNESS, which probably isn't the greatest, considering the lack of time spent on the bike in these few winter months. But when my egoistic instincts kicked in, I felt that the blame needed to be placed elsewhere. I looked to my bike, Lucy, instead.

I found that I had fallen into the treacherous and self-perpetuating trap which befalls many cyclist - triathletes, most notably. Namely, this: I had too much crap on my bike.

Now I'm (hopefully) not going to become one of those guys who cares about weight over style or function, nor am I going to start measuring my burden in tenths of grams. However, I took it upon myself to do a little bit of weight management, taking everything unnecessary off of the bike.

When I finished I found a pile at my feet, comprised of all of those things which fall into the "well, that might someday be useful" category. As you can see in the following photo, these are the things which have been, at some point, strapped, bolted, or duct-taped to my bike.

The list includes: Steel/Teflon cable lock, LED head/tail light set, emergency flat repair kit, spare reflectors (front, rear, and wheel-mounted), adjustable bottle holder, high-PSI hand-pump, multitool, spare tube, handlebar-mounted horn (for comedic effect), and, that's right, a GPS speedometer/navigation system.

Granted, all of these things are useful for their purposes. But the trap to which I previously alluded was the fallacious thinking that I needed all of them for every ride. For example, if I'm just popping down to the coffee shop at midday, I only need exactly one of these items - and not even that if I'm taking my bike into the shop with me. So I've simply done away with them until I know I'll be requiring their services. Now, Lucy is looking slimmer than ever, riding very well after a bit of a tune-up and some new chain oil, and we're off to the races (figuratively).

Simplify, simplify, simplify. That's my motto. (also Thoreau, coincidentally, who I can only presume got it from me)


The punchline to this particular story, and also the take-home message is this. Check the basic functioning of the bike before you start forcibly removing items from your bike. It turns out, that the underlying reason for Lucy's sluggish responsiveness was nothing more than a maladjusted rear brake set, which had picked up some tension and was (apparently) constantly rubbing the back rim. I was, in effect, pedaling and braking at the same time, all the time.

So there you have it. Simplify. But also, don't be dumb.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Back from the abyss

...so here's a post about a raccoon.

Well, as you all know, I've just returned from an unplanned and unannounced hiatus from the blogging life. Since school's just begun again, I've needed to take some time to catch up on some all-important video gaming. But I'm back now, with some very exciting news.

I have a new friend. His(?) name is Rasputin.

In order to properly introduce my new animal companion, I need to begin with a tale of horror and redemption, which I will call: The tale of Horror and Redemption.

It all started last week, on a dark, moonlit night. I was taking out a bit of trash when I heard a strange rustling in the bin. Living in a college town, as I do, I thought nothing of it. To make myself heard, I inquired, "Um...is somebody dumpster diving in there?"

I received no reply.

As I inched closer to the trash bins, the noise abruptly stopped. Whoever, or whatever, was in the trash was aware of my presence. In a fit of bravery, I tossed the bag in and scurried (bravely) back to the apartment.

I soon finished crying (bravely) and set out once again with a flashlight, intent on discovering the true nature of this strange occurrence. I obtained this photo.

Okay, fine...I cowered in fear before taking a proper shot. The thing was growling at me, what was I supposed to do? So for the second shot, I waited out the length of the flash, ducked behind the wall of the enclosure (valiantly protecting myself from the imminent dose of rabies) and stuck my camera over the fence.

I knew the face of my enemy. I thought that the ordeal was over. I was wrong.

On a second night, I returned to the trash bins and heard the tell-tale rustling once again. This time, knowing exactly what I was dealing with, I tossed my trash in and scurried back to the apartment. A bit more crying, a search for my camera, and back I went, this time with peace offering in hand.

I tossed in an apple, (because I am a friend to all animals, and also aware of what a diet of leftover hot-n-ready's will do to your health) and again took a photo from behind the enclosure.

I once again found the raccoon, which, as previously alluded, is now named Rasputin, hungrily chomping on the bit of fresh fruit. The deed was done.

Rasputin and I are now BFF, even though I have yet to see him again, and if I were to see him again, he'd probably waste not a thought about gleefully giving me some kind of disease. We'll see how this friendship works out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Training for the Oklahoma Freewheel

...so that the week-long ride doesn't murder me.

Every summer, around mid-June, over 1,000 crazy people line up at the southern border of Oklahoma, and prepare themselves to trek northward across the state. This is a 7-day affair, which means that you're pulling 50-70 miles per day. Rough.

So I've gotten up the nerve to try this, which means that I need to be in PRIME PHYSICAL CONDITION when I attempt this ride. It's the tour de oklahoma, if you will, and I need to be able to finish without dying.

So yesterday I went running. That's right, I had the gall to leave Lucy at home and exercise without her. Down at the local park/running trail/lake, I ran an easy 2.5 miles. Which brings up an important question:

When did running get so hard?!

I guess that I'm used to being on the bike, but, holy crap do my legs hurt today. I really don't get it. I can go 60 miles on a bike and be tired the next day, yes. But I try and go 2.5 - that's less than a 5k, mind you - and it seems that the fires of hell have taken up residence in my quads.

This tells me two things:

1.) That the bicycle is a wonder of human achievement and a marvelous example of efficiency.

2.) I'm out of shape.

That's all for today. I'm going to ice my calves for a while, maybe do some yoga. My hamstrings are also obviously very angry with me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gonna get me a leather hat!

...because I'm the kind of guy who wears leather hats.

Since new years I've been really bummed out, man. I mean, I had to pawn the wedding rings from my first and second marriages to pay the rent, my new girl, Jocelyn, dumped me, and I'm beginning to get a real strange rash. I'm startin to see why january is the month with the most suicides, cuz one of those is looken pretty good right now.

But just when I was feeling worst, I get this in the mail.

Holy crap. This is what I need.

You can see from the ad that (the guy who looks like) Vince Vaughn looks pretty sad, but that--on the inside--he knows that he's superbadass in his new leather hat. Check it out, man, they come in FOUR DIFFERENT STYLES. Ima get me one for every day of the week, brother!

Look at how cheap them shits are, too!

This is it. I'm writing the check, right now, and I'm gonna get to starting my brand new life. You know why I love leather so much? Because somebody hadta kill somethin for me to get it. Badass. When I get these in, I'm gonna go down to the mall with my wolf shirt on, throw on one of my many leather hats, and start reeling in the chicks in no-time. Whoo!

Gotta go, I can't send in my check and/or money order at the same time I'm typing!


The guy who loves leather hats.

Seriously, I got this in the mail. Now, no offense to those of you who like leather hats--wait, yes. Yes, offense to you leather hat likers. Do you know who else likes to wear leather? Cows.

btw, if you haven't already, click on the wolf shirt link and read the comments. It's the best product ever invented.