Reboot. Recharge.

When all else fails, just shut it down for 5 seconds and turn it back on. Just like new!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

For you Phish and Dead fans


FYI: The same girl who made my drink incorrectly last Friday, made my drink incorrectly today as well. It's not like its a hard drink - a non-fat cappucino, with 1 squirt of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup. What is so hard about that?
Today, the girl gave me a latte, not a cappucino.
What's the difference you ask?
Well, it's all in the foam to milk ratio.
The cappucino should be almost all foam, like 3/4 foam, 1/8 coffee, 1/8 steamed milk.
The latte should be almost all milk, like 7/8 steamed milk, 1/8 coffee and the smallest hint of foam.
Thus, the latte has far more milk in it than a cappucino.

I am going to make a call to Starbucks to complain about this girl and to tell them that she needs to be retrained. It's ridiculous already.

Friday, February 23, 2007

F-off, please

I am in a foul mood this morning.

It might have something to do with the frigging suck-ass Starbucks employee who frigging not only forgot my drink in the busy shuffle, but who also made it incorrectly. So, I'm rip about pissing away $3.50, because after taking a sip of this beverage in my car, I decided it wasn't worth consuming. And I'm rip about having to watch people who ordered AFTER me, get their drinks as I stood there like an asshole.

It might also have something to do with my computer here at work which SUCKS, and decides to quit Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook without notice, giving me a message: Oh, I'm sorry, but we experienced a problem and need to shut down. Oh, and by the way, you're going to lose everything you've been working on. My question is this: Who do they mean by "WE"? Because, I don't recall experiencing any problems. We, my ass.

So, don't take offense. I just can't deal today, or most days nowadays, and I'm just ripshit. Ok, time to put on my happy face, and act like I actually care at work and deal with my jerkoff supervisor. He just loves to hear himself talk. Please stop telling me what you think you know.


Have a good day.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Spin Cycle 02/22/07

I can honestly say that this morning's class was one of the strongest, most rewarding classes I have taught in years. I'm not sure what made it different. I just felt like everyone was "on" and connecting with the music, with their bikes, with me, with themselves etc. You get the idea.
I had one student tell me that I was the best instructor that the club has. I was very thankful and flattered.

The music was a trubute to the 2007 Grammy Award nominees and winners. With the Dixie Chicks having such a strong night, I featured 3 songs from Taking the Long Way. I also stuck newcomer Corrine Bailey Rae on the ride. Please check her out. Her voice is out of this world.

1. You Can Close Your Eyes - Sheryl Crow
2. Put Your Records On - Corrine Bailey Rae
3. Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray
4. Lubbock or Leave It - Dixie Chicks
5. Be Without You - Mary J Blige
6. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
7. Is it Any Wonder? - Keane
8. Silent House - Dixie chicks
9. SexyBack - Justin Timberlake
10. Dani California - Red Hot Chili Peppers
11. Not Ready To Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
12. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree - K.T. Turnstall
13. Waiting on the World to Change - John Mayer
14. Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aquilera
15. You're Beautiful - James Blunt
16. I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
17. Jesus Take the Wheel - Carrie Underwood

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Billion Tree Campaign

I learned this morning about the Billion Tree Campaign, a campaign to plant a billion trees, worldwide in 2007.
From the billiontreecampaign website:

Under the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign, people, communities, organizations, business and industry, civil society and governments are being encouraged to plant trees and enter their tree planting pledges on this web site. The objective is to plant at least one billion trees worldwide during 2007.
The idea for the Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign was inspired by Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2004 and founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement, which has planted more than 30 million trees in 12 African countries since 1977. When a corporate group in the United States told Professor Maathai it was planning to plant a million trees, her response was: “That’s great, but what we really need is to plant a billion trees.”

You can go to the website and pledge to plant a tree on the website. You don't need a yard to do it, you can pledge to plant a tree in a pot if that is all you can manage. There is also advice on the website about how to plant a tree correctly.
I think this is a wonderful idea, and will look into pledging a tree. I would like to put in a Lilac or a Japanese Maple this season....
Here are some interesting facts from the website about forestation and deforestation:

1. Trees quite literally form the foundations of many natural systems. They help to conserve soil and water, control avalanches, prevent desertification, protect coastal areas and stabilize sand dunes. Forests are the most important repositories of terrestrial biological biodiversity, housing up to 90 per cent of known terrestrial species. Trees and shrubs play a vital role in the daily life of rural communities. They provide sources of timber, fuel wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins and latex, medicines and shade. Forest animals have a vital role in forest ecology such as pollination, seed dispersal and germination.

2. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and are vital carbon sinks. It is estimated that the world’s forests store 283 Gigatonnes of carbon in their biomass alone, and that carbon stored in forest biomass, deadwood, litter and soil together is roughly 50 per cent more than the carbon in the atmosphere.

3. The loss of natural forests around the world contributes more to global emissions each year than the transport sector. Curbing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions. Other solutions include increased energy efficiency, reduced energy demand, better transport and the use of green energy.

4. World population currently stands at 6.5 billion people. It is projected to grow to 9 billion by 2042. The expansion of agricultural and industrial needs, population growth, poverty, landlessness and consumer demand are the major driving forces behind deforestation. Most deforestation is due to conversion of forests to agricultural land. Global removals of wood for timber and fuel amounted to 3.1 billion cubic metres in 2005.

5. Forest planting and the natural expansion of forests help to reduce the net loss of forests. The net change in forested area in the period 2000–2005 is estimated at 7.3 million hectares a year (an area about the size of Sierra Leone or Panama), down from 8.9 million hectares a year in the period 1990–2000.

6. The Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign encourages the planting of trees in four key areas, namely: (i) degraded natural forests and wilderness areas; (ii) farms and rural landscapes; (iii) sustainably managed plantations; and (iv) urban environments.

7. To make up for the loss of trees in the past decade, we would need to plant 130 million hectares (or 1.3 million km2), an area as large as Peru.

8. Covering the equivalent of 130 million hectares would entail planting approximately 14 billion trees every year for 10 consecutive years. This would require each person to plant and care for at least two seedlings a year.

9. In one year, an average tree inhales 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of CO2 and exhales enough oxygen for a family of four for a year.

"If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed. If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree." Chinese poet, 500 BC

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pure Bliss

I spent the weekend at my in-laws house, located in a small town called Big Indian, NY, right smack in the middle of the Catskills. Belleayre Mountain is right down the road. My in-laws are very active at the mountain, fundraising etc, since it is a public mountain and gets funding from the state of NY or from what they generate themselves.

The mountain is pretty small as far as ski mountains go, and is a family mountain, no bells or whistles here. The top is short and steep and gives way to some nice intermediate and beginner trails.

Rob spent both Saturday and Sunday working with Max on his skiing. Max is 4.5 yrs old, and this is his 3rd "season" skiing.

On Sunday I went snowshoeing, by myself, at the cross-country area, located all the way at the bottom of the mountain. It was awesome. I had Umphrey's cranking in my ears and I was totally alone, in the crisp air, with a light snow falling, temperature in the mid 20s.
I picked an intermediate trail, which for the life of me, I have no idea how anyone could cross-country ski - on the picture below, it is marked as "HH". I entered it on the bottom right, from the X-country parking lot.

The first 20 minutes I considered my warm-up - a long, relatively flat portion, with just the slightest rise. Then, BOOM, the next 20 minutes was pure vertical! I loved it, it was great. But I had snow shoes on. I couldn't imagine attempting that terrain with skis on.
The snow was deep, probably 3 ft base. I used my ski poles to negotiate the walk. The trail eventually led into a trail marked "H", which led me back to the parking lot. The entire walk took 45 minutes. It was pure bliss.

I then had the task of getting myself up to the lodge where everyone was, the Overlook lodge, at 2541 ft elevation. The cross-country area is below the beginner area (which is at 2025 ft elevation). I'd say the cross-country area is most likely around a 1900 ft elevation, so I had quite a walk ahead of me. I took the snowshoes off and got walking. It took 45 minutes just to walk up to the Overlook lodge. At one point, a shuttle driver stopped me and asked if I wanted a ride and I kindly declined. It was a super workout and I felt totally empowered.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Kudos to chocolate milk

I recently read a blurb on the benefits of chocoalte milk. Read on:
From the LifeScript website:

Drink Milk and Say ‘Moo’ to a Fitter You
By Jennifer Gruenemay, ACE-Certified, LifeScript Staff Writer
Thursday, February 15, 2007
They say that milk does a body good, but what about chocolate milk? This sweet concoction has been known to turn many a milk frown upside-down, and mothers across the globe have chocolate to thank for making their kids drink milk. But what excuse do you, as an adult, have to drink chocolate milk? Actually, quite a few – especially if you’re a fitness buff. Not only is chocolate milk a great vehicle for that calcium your bones crave, it’s also nature’s perfect post-workout snack. According to a study from Indiana University, researchers found that athletes who drink 17-ounces of low-fat, lip-smacking chocolate milk after their workout facilitated faster muscle recovery. And the benefits didn’t stop there; at their next workout, the athletes were able to work out for 50% longer than before. This is great news for anyone looking to improve athletic performance or just have a great workout. Just make sure you still count those calories, because 17-ounces of low-fat chocolate milk can easily add up to over 400 calories, depending on the brand. But after you’ve accounted for the calories, be sure to grab a tall glass of ice-cold, low-fat chocolate milk after your next workout and proudly display your milk mustache alongside your lean physique.

Spin Cycle 02/15/07

International day!
If you love music of all kinds, is a great website to check out. They feature independent artists of all types, from all over the planet and have a wide range of music to chose from.

I wasn't planning on using the music I used this morning until I found these 2 really interesting klezmer-like songs on there. Klezmer is a type of music that is Hebrew in nature and has clarinets and other brass in it. The songs that I found were not true Klezmer songs but had the Klezmer sound to them, with a techno feel. I decided to just go international from there and build around them.
I used some Cuban music, some French house/techno, and some Japanese jazz, and we were off....Also included in the playlist today was an African singer with an absolute amazing voice, Angelique Kidjo. Enjoy.

1. Que Bueno Baila Usted - Ibrahim Ferrer (from Buena Vista Social Club)
2. Bucogeasca Dub - Shantel
3. Substream - Kyoto Jazz Massive
4. Itche Kouche - Angelique Kidjo
5. Motor Launch for Hire - Back to Earth
6. Yay Boy - Africando
7. Sponji Regaee - Putamayo
8. Balkan Beat Box - Shantel
9. Samba - Faze Action
10. Yaki Yaki - Angelique Kidjo
11. Candela - Buena Vista Social Club

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I do know how to spell "said".....
I just reread a couple of my posts where I spelled said, siad, and you know what, I'm too damn lazy to go back and change them.....

Spin cycle 02/08/07

Today I used music that I feel very strongly about. It is an exciting time for the "jam band" and there are many good ones out there worth giving a listen to.

The first is moe., whom many of you know I love dearly. They have just released their new album, The Conch. I am pretty thrilled with it. See, moe. is a band that is best experienced live. Their studio releases, in my opinion, have not been that strong (except for their last release, Wormwood, which was a studio album that was recorded live, and portions of the live music were actually mixed together with studio recordings).
Having siad that, The Conch is extremely listenable, and serves well to capture what moe. is all about: good song writing, melodic music, and good jams.

Next up, on my list is a band out of Chicago, UM or Umphrey's McGee, who I am totally digging these days. They are so technically compotent, they blow my mind. Their guitarists, Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger are insanely good. Give their podcasts a listen....check out podcast #37, from August 2006, which features Joshua Redman, a jazz saxaphonist sitting in with them as well as a cover of Pink Floyd's Shine on You Crazy Diamond. UM and moe. happen to have a great relationship, and Brendan actually recently helped out sitting in with moe. when Al, one of moe.'s guitarists, was sidelined with tendonitis and could not play for a while. Like moe., the true essence of UM's music is captured live, however, their release, Safety in Numbers is a good representation of their musical capabilities.

I also used the music of Tea Leaf Green (website), a band out of San Fran this morning. They are slowly making their way onto the jamband scene, and are gaining popularity by the day. They have a real grassroots sound, loose and airy and to me sound mostly like a mix between the Dead and Phish. Taught to Be Proud is their most recent studio release. They too have podcasts, and you can see some video of them on their music page.

Lastly, I used the music of Trey Anastasio, the guitarist/singer of Phish (my first love). You know I always sneak in some Phish or Trey when I can....

I wondered what the reaction was going to be. I had 1 student approach me and ask what the music was. She said she loved it. So, I was successful in touching at least 1 person today with the music!
Here's the list:
1. Blue Jeans and Pizza - moe., The Conch
2. Nemo - UM, Safety in Numbers
3. Dragonfly - Trey Anastasio, Bar 17
4. Taught to be Proud - Tea Leaf Green, Taught to be Proud
5. Downboy - moe., The Conch
6. Wind it Up - moe., The Conch
7. Morning Sun - Tea Leaf Green, Taught to be Proud
8. Shine - Trey Anastasio, Shine
9. Macintyre Range - moe., The Conch
10. Tailspin - moe., The Conch
11. Words - UM, Safety in Numbers

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

He brought Sexy Back

Let me preface this post by saying the sound at the Fleet Center or whatever it's called these days, is TERRIBLE.
Now having siad that, the show last night was GREAT!

I was thoroughly impressed with Timberlake's musical capabilities. I went in not knowing what to expect, but Timberlake played the acoustic guitar, piano, synthesizer, sang, and danced, and did it well. There was a 7 piece band, 4 back-up singers, a bunch of dancers, and some rap dude, Timbaland, who worked with Timberlake on his latest album. They played for little over 2 hours (which included a 20 minute "intermission" where Timbaland did a DJ scratching set, complete with music videos etc- it was about 10 minutes too long, in my humble opinion).

The stage set-up was incredible - it was center of the floor, with 3 tiers to both sides of the room, making what looked like an egg shape with 2 circular stages on either side and a dog bone going up the middle. The band was set up on both sides of the middle dog bone part. Hard to really explain.
Here's an excerpt from the review in the Boston Globe:

Timberlake's was arguably the most elaborate concert set ever erected at the Garden. A winding series of performance spaces connected by staircases filled much of the arena floor, with band members situated on both sides of the structure. Massive, semi-circular scrims encased pieces of the stage, doubling as gauzy video screens during the two-and-a-half-hour show.

Other than the sound really sucking, the production of the show was impressive. Timberlake played a great mix of songs, and some were even rearranged.

The crowd was different than I expected - waaaaay less younger girls than I thought there were going to be, and more middle aged women. Not too many guys, some guy couples, some girl couples. The screaming factor was huge though. I have never heard screaming like that before - the term deafening comes to mind.

Pink was a perfect choice for an opener. She sported a 5 piece band and 2 back-up singers as well as 2 dancers. She played for only 45 minutes - I thought that was lame, and that she should have had more time. That girl can sing, her voice is super. Mid-set, all the band members left the stage except for the guitar player (who donned an acoustic guitar) and back-up singers, and they sang Pink's controversial song "Mr President" - highlight of the set for me. For her last song, 2 pink drapey rope thingys were dropped from the lighting truss. Pink and her 2 dancers used the drapes to suspend themselves, being raised up towards the truss doing all sorts of spins and twirls and acrobatics. Very cool.

All and all, I can say that I am glad I dished out the money for this one, and despite that fact that everyone is ragging on me here at work in my group, I am in no way ashamed that I went last night. Besides even if I was ashamed, I have moe. on Friday night to look forward to as a redemptive strike....:)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm going to the Justin Timberlake show tonight.
Can't believe it?
Hey, I happen to like him.

I'll report back tomorrow on the cheese factor, the screaming girly girl factor, the "I'm too old to be here" factor (is that me??), the "that guy is prettier than I am" factor (not that there's anything wrong with that) and the wow factor.
Pink is opening and I'm pretty psyched to see her live. I caught her on M-HD, the High Definition music channel, and she can throw it down. She writes her own songs, sings them and plays guitar. Me likey.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Spin cycle 02/01/07

Can't believe its February already! Where does the time go......

Nice solid ride this morning, continuing with the interval theme of last week. This week's intervals were purely hills. Started off with a ladder scheme, 2 min down, 30 sec up in 3, 2 min down, 60 sec up in 3, 2 min down, 90 sec up in 3, 2 min down, 2 min up in 3, 2 min down, 90 sec up in 3, 2 min down, 60 sec up in 3, 2 min down, 30 sec up in 3, 2 min down - When in 3, everyone added resistance every 30 seconds. After the ladder, we did 4 killer rolling hills.
Good stuff- screaming hamstrings -I just tell the class, your hams will thank you for it tomorrow.

The music was an interesting mix of songs that have a back beat. I'm not quite sure how to classify them - dance music? I don't know. Some of the songs came from an album called Back To Mine, and is a collection of songs picked by the dynamic dance duo, Groove Armada; basically, it's an album of songs that inspired them. One of the songs, Karmastition was mixed by a solid mixologist, Mark Vidler (Go Home Productions) from the UK. His stuff is great - not really mash-ups per se, but rather mix-ups. Go to his website to sample some of his stuff: GoHomeProductions A fellow Spinning and Weight Watchers buddy of mine turned me on to him (Thanks Nancy!).


1. Sound of Music - Dayton (Back to Mine)
2. Good to Be Alive - DJ Rap (from soundtrack to the movie Go)
3. Crash - The Propellerheads
4. Believer - BT (from Go)
5. Karmastition - GoHomeProductions
6. Soulchild - Gorillaz
7. No 1 - Sir Raymond Mang - (Back to Mine)
8. Chaser - Tall Stories - (Back to Mine)
9. History Repeating - The Propellerheads
10. Destination - Schmoov - (Back to Mine)
11. Bang On! - The Propellerheads
12. I Should have Known Better - Mica Paris (Back to Mine)
13. Piano Grand - Tony D -(Back to Mine)