31 December 2006
• NEW: Bush: American will not have "died in vain"
• NEW: 3,000th soldier died Wednesday in Texas military hospital
Also: More than 22,000 other U.S. troops have been wounded in Iraq since the war began nearly four years ago.
Here's something I stumbled upon while searching for the "Nouns" cartoon:
Turkish Enchantress Gamze, I love that song. But who the hell is Ray Davies?
The Turkish Invasion gives us "Kill marks on Ladas". I hope those bicyclists were wearing helmets..
Mert Ulas (Turkce) Mert should be in the movies. A perfect Turkish version of Jim Carrey. His latest post is well, mmmm, how you say... 'carsaf gibi'? Grrrr. Proper Turkish sentences don't get to the point until the very last word, and that pisses me off.
Also don't miss: The Infidel's three part Turkish-Armenian debate...Part One...Part Two...Part Three.
30 December 2006
December 14, 2006: Ahmet Ertegun, 83, Turkish-born co-founder of Atlantic Records, head injury from a fall at a Rolling Stones concert.
December 21, 2006: Saparmurat Niyazov, 66, President of Turkmenistan, cardiac arrest.
December 25, 2006: James Brown, 73, American rhythm and blues singer and bandleader, heart failure related to pneumonia.
December 26, 2006: Gerald Ford, 93, 38th President of the United States, natural causes.
December 30, 2006: Saddam Hussein, 69, former President of Iraq, execution by hanging.
Complete list of notable deaths in December 2006
29 December 2006
28 December 2006
What is your favorite proverb or saying from where you live that you would want to share with the world? What does your proverb tell us about today? -
Before you high-tail it out of here to post your answer, please share it here first.
27 December 2006
• Ford had battled pneumonia in January 2006 and underwent two heart treatments
• Was only president never elected to vice president or president
• Survived by wife, three sons and a daughter
...all flags at half-staff tomorrow! I wonder.. has he ever been featured in The Simpsons? I thought so and this confirms it.. So does this. The words "Do you like nachos?.. and beer?.."" come to mind. Rest in peace, President Ford.
26 December 2006
Will I make a few bucks? Hopefully. What I'm most thrilled about is that I figured out exactly where in my template I am supposed to insert the code for the banner! Yeah that blows my hair back more than anything else about this. That, and I like the way it separates each of my entries and gives them some contrast and definition. That said, it would be no skin off my nose if every other Turkish blogger out there did the same...
Incidentally, nobody I know, no matter how much money they make, pays cash for their new vehicles. Americans would sooner eat Macaroni & Cheese everyday, or buy their clothing at the Salvation Army thrift shop, than give up their sweetly toxic smelling new rides. Too bad the new car high only lasts a few months.. Alas, we're conditioned to accept this life long burden on our finances as if it's an absolute necessity. I'm living proof.
25 December 2006
24 December 2006
Videos courtesy of http://www.ride-downhill.de/ (Don't sue me for promoting your site, 'k?)
Today Murat embarked on an off-road adventure at Big River again.. This time.. I took my digital camera with me, hung it from my neck and taped it to my chest to see what the recording would look like (it was bad, but I will post it here anyway, when time permits) My companions pussied out at the last minute, so Murat was alone in the woods while hunters were heard in the distance seemingly trying to put down a bull elephant.. I completely lost my way and had to traverse shallow bodies of water in order to extricate myself from the wilderness. Eventually ending up in a swamp behind someone's house, I went down a fire road and found civilization, making it back to my car a shivering heap of cramped up wussiness. It was a good day.
The Blackeye is going to be a huge hit in my opinion. Now to convince race promoters to let me use it in criteriums and road races. .
Or maybe they won't even notice? Leave it to me to find out.. Hehe. It will happen. And I will be perhaps the first road racer to post vids of every race I compete in. That will be a huge draw for traffic
23 December 2006
Why do I love rock music where the vocalist is passionately screaming?
Why do people watch sad movies, or go for long drives while listening to nostalgic songs?
Why do we push our bodies to the limit, be it running, biking, climbing, or swimming?
Why has it become so popular to have a blog?
The answer I think, is in the title of this entry. Literal translation is: "to spill one's poison", which really means "to unburden" or "to let go of something and find relief" or "to spill your guts"...
It's all about having a relief valve, so that we don't explode.
We should all allow ourselves to cry more often, it seems.
"Spilling our poison" sounds like it's good for our health.
22 December 2006
Original, I'll admit.. But let's average this POS down to no stars.
21 December 2006
I can claim one triumph which put a spring in my step today: The discovery that I still have three unused vacation days.. I am rolling them over into '07. Thought about using all my 2007 vacation time in an unconventional way: I will take all Fridays off during the months of April-May-June-July-August. Now that would be good for my health.. Twenty 3-day weekends in a row. Nice. Dogs sweat from their mouths.. which arguably cleanses their tongues a little bit. But still.. Is the well dry tonight, or what?
18 December 2006
"Perhaps we need to find a new concept for people who have spend their lives in America, and lived in American culture according to American criteria of success.
Can we call them "American Turks"?
Or would "Americanized Turks" be better?"
Until then, my contributions may be a little sporadic. Lately my mind is filled with static- no signal!
Here's the latest from Velo News:
End of the road: A conversation with Mark McCormack
VeloNews Photo Contest: A new winner and a new gallery
Compton takes women's 'cross title in Providence
Trebon charges away for national 'cross title
The new champ's dad: A conversation with General Trebon
14 December 2006
13 December 2006
Late one Thursday afternoon, I was riding my stolen TREK touring bike (which was really a touring bike, and a few sizes too small for me), from Penfield into Brighton on route 441, where it meets East Avenue. As I approached the corner, four super-fit elite bike racers, all wearing the same team kit (GELATO FRESCO!), whizzed through the intersection in front of me. I remember how they appeared to be connected at the hip, riding two abreast in perfect unison. Like an image out of a cycling magazine... I was awestruck by the sight of them. I wanted to BE one of them. I decided then and there that this would be so, inevitably. When I snapped out of this trance, I immediately turned the corner in pursuit of the four Gelatos. With my tongue hanging out, lungs burning and legs scorched from the lactic acid, I managed to catch up to them within a couple of miles... and to meet Steve Paulini, Scott Hollenbeck, Kieran Dunne and Albert Ranieri.
"Hi! Can I ride with you guys? Where are you headed?" I blurted with a mouthful of phlegm..
These monotone words, delivered to me with an arrogance which I believed to be completely justified, changed me forever: "Training race.. every Thursday... this week it's in Victor.. follow us there."
That I did, and for the first time in my short life, I had the chance to join a club and race regularly with a great group of people, known as the Genesee Valley Cycling Club (GVCC). Needless to say, I was blown out the back of these training races about 6 or 8 weeks in a row, completely demoralized and spent, before I gained enough form to eventually finish with the main field, and later, to become a contender for the win. I did the 'A' races from day one, punishing myself mercilessly to become a better bicyclist. A couple of years later, I was an officer of the GVCC, and in the following year, at the tender age of 18, I was elected as it's president (by default because no one else wanted it).. It was during that same year that I found myself racing at an elite level, on the same racing team with two of the four original Gelatos, Scott and Kieran, who I met by chance and followed to my first race only 3 years earlier.. I have a team photo which I'll post one day..
I raced a few times with Steve Paulini, but didn't have much exposure to Albert, the undisputed leader of the old Gelato team. He was known to be a fierce competitor, with a distinguished list of results earned competing in regional and national events.. A google search did not yield any results from 20 years ago, but I believe that Albert was a podium finisher in a junior national road race during the early to mid 1980s.. Having only heard of his legendary ability, it was a treat for me to race with him for the first time in 1990, at the UB Classic Criterium (a real bloodbath of an event, known for being dangerous and filled with crashes) I loved this race, having placed well there the previous two years (4th in 1988, 3rd in 1989) The year 1990 was different though- I was on an elite amateur team, as a category two contender, and this was not an 18 and under event like the previous years. This was the big boy's race.
Our team had not less than five or six of us at the start line, and so was Albert. I made it my mission to mark him closely and not let anything develop into a breakaway. It ws fortunate that I kept a little bit of distance between us, I would later realize.. Early in the 25 lap event, which wound it's way around the bumpy, sinuous roads of the University of Buffalo campus, a prime lap was announced, the bell was rung announcing a prize fore the first to cross the finish line of the following lap. Finding myself in a favorable position in the final corner, I had thoughts of surprising everyone with a sprint to the line to claim the prize.. But he who hesitates, is lost.. because Albert was aleady out of the saddle, opening a gap on all of us about 150 meters from the finish. The rest of us gave chase, but the result was sealed.. until Albert, the perennial favorite at this event for years, hit the deck at full speed, just 20 meters from the line, and skidded in a mangled heap to the curb.. The race was neutralized until his bloody and broken body could be cleared from the course..
In the end, I take credit for sprinting to a 7th place finish at the 1990 UB Classic, better than any of my more seasoned, more experienced team mates. And several years later, during a time when I had hung my bike up so that I could get my life and career in order, I was stunned when I read the first developments of this news..
And to borrow Paul Harvey's famous line, now you know the rest of the story..
Thanks for reading.
12 December 2006
11 December 2006
A couple of years later when we were living in Rochester NY, my precious Atala was stolen from the front of my friend's house, while I was inside visiting. My friends, being of the unwholesome but kind-hearted type, were saddened to witness my horror upon discovering this crime. I loved that bike.. A couple of days later there's a knock on the door. I open the door and my eyes dart immediately to the bicycle before me, in the hands of my friends, who just stood there grinning. No, this Trek road bike wasn't my old Atala, it was a bike they had stolen for me. I greedily accepted it and raced on it during my first year as a junior (under 18 racer). Whatever became of that bike, I have no recollection, but you can be sure that I probably gave it away to someone who needed it.
Coming soon, how a bank robber inspired me to race.
10 December 2006
Today I decided that most every aspect of my life seems to be out-of-control... Family issues, this blog, my work, my health, finances, sports and fitness... How to reign it all in? It's impossible to satisfy every need, every desire, every goal or ambition.. It's perhaps time to re-define what those needs, desires and goals are, prioritize them, establish plans which are compatible with my family's needs, and finally, execute said plans... This will definitely require some soul-searching.
"Character", as I define it, is "having the resolve to see a project through to the end, even after the original enthusiasm has worn off".. How easy it is to abandon the best laid plans before completion, simply because you or someone close to you has lost sight of why the goal was worthwhile in the first place.
In our new site you will find the most detailed descriptions and pictures of all the LikeaBike models, found anywhere.. period. Hopefully your product knowledge will be ehanced and hopefully you will make a better informed buying decision which includes our humble little company, WeeBike. Many thanks.
Originalpost from December10, 2006:
We saw this thing at the Caster's Grand Prix of Cyclocross today, where we went as a family to see the course and watch middle aged guys in tights hump their bikes through sand pits, carry them over wooden barriers and crash them in off-camber corners.. We were headed back to the car when we spy a toddler, much younger than Reis, straddling an eight pound dream machine of a training bicycle- look! no pedals to bugger up balancing skills. Some friends of ours recently bought Reis a kid's bike, bless their hearts- they meant well.. but it weighs 30-35 pounds and doesn't track a straight line. LOOK at this thing though- the KOKUA is made in Germany with the same precision and quality as an entry level race bike. I drooled at the sight of it while I had flash-backs to the time when I learned to ride a two wheeler... in Kew Gardens, Queens. Our apartment building had a sweeping downhill driveway which led under the building and into the parking lot out back... Without bothering to pedal, I learned to balance myself by coasting down this driveway repeatedly, around the age of 4, unsupervised, no helmet. Reis is one lucky kid, and I'm happily $245 poorer..
Happy to see that Iraq was able to send athletes to the road race, but why were Farkad Mohammad and Reauf Mihsien disqualified? Hey at least they won't be tortured or killed..
Award for the most unique name goes to a Phillipino named "Bitbit"
And I thought I was too old to get good results.. Is Mongolian Jamsran Ulzii Orshikh the next Andre Tchmil? (Check his birth date and salute his 4th place in the road race)
Noor Azian Alias of Malaysia is simply the cutest of them all.
While Syria's Kenaz Hamchou looks like she was plucked from a remote village.
Try to tell me that Ali Dilsher of Pakistan doesn't remind you of Borat.
Here's the page where you can find all of the results of the cycling events.
I wish I could have been there to see them compete.
Anonymous said...For the record, any such comment left here by a Turk , will be deleted immediately... Has never happened though... We Mongol barbarians have manners believe it or not.
"Fucking Turk POS. The only terrorists are the Muslim Nomadic Altaic Mongol Turkic Horsebackriding barbarian varieties that you find in Ankara, Constantinople,
and the chief terrorist is that POS buried under that disgusting monument in
Ankara. I hope someone defecates and pisses on him when he's dragged up,
after they destroy that monument to the Butcher of Smyrna"
09 December 2006
08 December 2006
Love prevails, but the melancholy has hung over us all day long like a threatening rain cloud.. even though it was bright and sunny all day. Temperatures are in the teens, and that's kind of a buzz-kill as well..
Tuesday night I had a weird dream... I'm in a high school library, actually it's one which I'll actually be remodeling in January.. Crawling all over the library are these robotic looking insects.. they're the size of my hand. No one seems to notice them but me. They're extremely simple looking- like a few white lollipop sticks connected at the joints with red gumballs.. Kind of like this >--<
Wednesday night in another dream, I am talking to someone, describing something to them... It isn't until the end of this dream, after I open my eyes that I realize: I was describing last night's dream to someone in this night's dream.
My most recurrent dream is of piloting an airliner, trying to land it safely, but always managing to stike a tower, power lines, or a bridge or something. The plane always ends up smacking the earth and disintegrating, and I always find myself miraculously thrown from the plane with just some cuts and bruises... I'm more or less convinced that I will draw my last breath while traveling towards earth at 1000 miles an hour.
My worst nightmare is being in a jet at 35,000 feet, middle of the Arctic or Atlantic, pitch black night sky, and the plane suddenly disintegrates.. I am not injured, nor do I die, but instead I survive the event and take a 30,000 free-fall in the darkness of -50 degree temperatures, down to the pitch black, icy ocean below.. Air travel terrifies me.
Speaking of nightmares, it's been a while since my last episode of sleep paralysis, in spite of my recent off-the-chart stress level. People think it's some kind of supernatural event.. it's not. Sleep paralysis is a chemical imbalance in the brain. There's a hormone that's released when you sleep- it paralyzes you so that you don't hurt yourself while sleeping. People with the disorder have episodes where the brain is trying to wake up (usually after a bad dream), but the hormone in charge of curbing the voice and motor functions, is still flowing, giving the sensation of paralysis, even when you are fully awake and conscious. In Turkey I believe it's called 'bastirik'. Very common among pregnant women and postpartum moms...
Reminds me of a story my mother often tells me about. She awakens from a bad episode of sleep paralysis, really bad.. I am only two or three years old at the time. When she opens her eyes, she notices something standing in the doorway of her bedroom.. It's a tall dark being of some sort with a hood and red eyes, and whatever other frightening features you can possibly imagine. Just standing there, gazing at her, one arm extended with an elbow leaning against the door frame. None other than yours truly in his pajamas scampers under it's arm and into the room as if there's nothing there. I guess I climb into bed and hug my mother before the thing finally disappears..
My mother tells another story about a time when she went to a fortune teller or something. I was described in detail by this total stranger, to my bewildered mother... She also told her that everything I ever touched would turn to gold. For a long while after hearing this, I actually believed it. Many hundreds of failures later, I believe my mom was sold a bill of goods on that one.
07 Dec 2006 REUTERS/Stringer
07 December 2006
This story caught my eye, because I find flatulence to be a most hilarious, delightfully light-hearted subject.
Better to burp and taste it than to fart and waste it.
Ever strain your sphincter trying to contain intestinal gases? Don't lie. You did it all through your courtship, maybe all through your engagement... You did it while standing in line at the bank, in a crowded movie theater... You did it during your job interview and you probably did it in an airplane too.. (unlike some shameless and smelly people)
And if you're anything like me, you wonder where it goes when you shut the door on it... Does it travel away from the exit for a few moments, get angrier and then return? or does it just wait there for a bit, until some friends come and join in helping break down the door? When the hard questions need to be asked..leave it to me.
06 December 2006
My answer is 'no'... but what I don't say is that I still want it to happen... without changing Turkey into a lap dog for the West.
03 December 2006
(parenthetical remarks) See some excellent ice-storm pictures
2 Our Allies This is a recip link and I don't understand a word of it
A Space Odyysey in English NOT the worst blogger out there- plays 'musical chairs' with the theme!
Aegean Disclosure Quality trumps quantity, but give me a break. More please.
almost turkish recipes A recent addition.. Food. Turkish. Enough said.
Amerikan Turks FORUM Plagued with tumbleweeds and spammers lately
Amerikanturks Yahoo Group Be great if you could end the drought and join
Andre Recip link. Doesn't work anymore- Must remove.
Athanasia's Daily Burcu: Obsessed with death? Or just in need of what's missing? Like me!
Athanasia's Daily (Turkce) Burcu's Turkish language blog. As useful as a Peugeot in the US
Beton Dans Recip link. Turkish blogs just don't do it for me.. I won't lie.
Binnur's Turkish Cookbook A very popular food blog (which one isn't?)
crebro New addition, cool artwork.
dbadioxide My new crush (Sorry idil and phanja, you will have to share me)
Derin Sular Serdar Kaya is a maven on matters involving Samuel Huntington
Energy Newsletter TURKEY I don't even know why I link here.
Erkan's field diary Turkish blogger of the year, if you ask me. The run-away leader.
Fabulous Finds Great site, but Nergis is as quiet as a foam rubber wind chime
Farid's crazy world... Read about our jet-setting Azeri-Turk's adventures
Fenerbahce Worldwide New addition. We kicked Galata ass today, didn't we!
Global Voices Online ? Turkey Past 11 months- 25 Kurdish posts- only 17 Turkish posts.. blogging gods angry!
Gulay, Galatasaray and the dogs There are no posts about dogs! What's up with that?
Hakan Aydin Good blog, give it to us more often Hakan. THY RULES!
Icarus Redeemed Brother Celal: passionate about the Bible and about Jesus Christ
ignore me if you can Should she stay or should she go? Take me with you! I'll be a fly on the wall
James in Turkey A recent addition. No links, no blogroll. So anti-social, James..
Joe's Ramblings Joe resides in Mersin, parties with beautiful Turkish girls, living the dream..
Kartal'in Gunlugu! Erkan's new project, in Turkish. Everything he touches turns to gold.
Left of Center I'm not a regular visitor since the Sopranos ended.. Sorry.
Living in Turkey: A Travel Diary Open to invited readers only??? Kiss my blogroll goodbye!
me and others Has what I consider to be a dream job. Grass is always greener...
Metroblogging Istanbul Shame on me for not visiting in a coon's age...
Michael J. Totten Another who has a dream life. Please DONATE via Paypal and keep it alive..
Mutfaktakiler Food blog. I'm sorry food blogs! I just don't visit enough! I'd be like an alcoholic in a liquor store
Narrator I should really do this post when I'm in a better mood. Enough said.
Obur Kedi [Glutton Cat] ANOTHER food blog. Hey only the best ones are linked here, btw
Pappillon A pro bike racer, sold me a helmet on ebay, missing his wife in Cuba, raced in Turkey this year
Radical Disbelief Serdar Kaya's new project. Makes "Socioeconomics" look like a pile of puke.
Randomview My brother Noel down in Texas. We share a passion for tools. Both his discussion forum and his tool collection no doubt makes mine look like a pile of puke.
Redneck's Revenge Another brother of mine down in the Lone Star State. Good site if you're a thick-skinned liberal "Mooselimb", as they like to say. Go leave a comment and wait for the hillbillie gang-bang to begin
Sailing Nomad Ahmet owes me a boat ride.. That's all I can say
Six Arrows A newer blog, sure to grow fast in good content and audience, in my opinion
SOCIOECONOMICS Dead. The former "Radical Disbelief". That back ground pattern is mesmerizing though. Soon to be de-blog-rolled.
Talk Turkey I imagine Metin drives a convertible, has a California condo with a waterview, and a new companion every night of the week... Did I just think that, or say it?
Tall Armenian Tale No comment. Except for 'thank you'.
The Infidel Full of piss and vinegar, says what he means, means what he says. winners never quit and quitters never win.. 'Respek'!
The Need To Know Phanja is lost in some SIMS game somewhere on the net, trying to build a virtual empire and fortune. Hence the 60 day (in)frequency of contributions. If I check in, it's just to see her pretty face.
The round ball in Ankara The best damned Ankara football blog in existence, and a key member of the Amerikan Turks Yahoo Group (see above for link)
The Truth Will Set You Free Another recip, although I do check in regularly to read the latest jab at Israel
The White Path That's funny- you used to link to me Mr Akyol. And I even bought your book! Damn and blast it
Turkish Blog Count Deborah's stalled attempt to cover all Turkish blogs. A beautiful start.. Please follow through!
Turkish Business Ugur Akinci's companion site to Turkish Torque
Turkish Delight Deborah's personal site, steeped with intimate personal trials and tribulations
Turkish Diary Selene, a French woman with some Turkish or Kurdish connections.. or do I have that reversed?
Turkish Digest When you want the news quick and ad-free, go here... every day. Do it now. Updated more frequently than you can handle.
Turkish Torque The original by Ugur. Back in the saddle with guns blazing.
TurkishSoccer.com Ahmet Turgut. Enough said. If you don't check in here daily, you don't know soccer.
Union Velo Blog My pathetic attempt to multi-task, as neglected as a red-headed step child
We are the Turks Still waiting for my profile to appear here. Murat Altinbasak: blogger
ZiddiBLOG Putting the word "blog" in the title is like putting tail lights in a chrome bumper. Like an El Camino.. Cool as hell.
Hopefully no feelings are hurt. Thanks for reading.
My rear derailleur was destroyed today. A branch jammed it during my mountain bike ride, breaking it off and stranding me in the woods. Couldn't ride and had to hitch a ride back to my car. A real pity considering the sacrifice I made earlier in the day..
I slept in this morning and skipped the cyclocross race in Wrentham. Grrrr. Apparently there was a big soccer game which I am mistaken for caring about.. Later on in the day one of my team mates sends everyone on our racing team pictures from the event. Like rubbing my nose in it...
Also missed yesterday's antique tool auction- the one which comes around every four months or so- the one which helps supplement our income via ebay, the one I wanted to go to with my father in law (who is visiting from Turkey for the first time and would have enjoyed himself immensely) Why did I miss it? Because Murat is a gutless fucking weenie when it comes to certain domestic conflicts. This also explains why I opted not to go to the Wrentham race. I feel just like a caged lion. In a way I can't wait to get to work in the morning and pour all of this fire and poison into the impossible situations which I must conquer..
One of my highest level projects is going to have a complete melt-down tomorrow because a certain stone vendor in Ohio can't deliver my laboratory counters in time... I'm already thinking forward to what I will do with my free time, you know, in between jobs.
My father-in-law decided to break his abstinence of the past few weeks and bought himself some cheap vodka. I saw the brand and got a hangover... We broke out the bottle of raki we had been hiding (from both he and my father, who was also visiting recently) As long as he's going to drink, it may as well be something he likes.
My weight is up. Since the last road race of the season in October, I've been riding the bike only on weekends (when I am given permission), so instead of a caloric deficit, I have a huge surplus. I've gained 5-6 pounds so far and the sky's the limit, especially when I'm depressed, see I self medicate with food. One would think that the provider of a family would be encouraged to exercise and be healthy.. to train, race compete, be strong as a bull...but nyet.. Murat has the strength of four small children, not a bull.. Let me let everyone in on a little secret: I have to beg and plead and sometimes lie in order to spend time riding or training or racing on my bike. It's been the story of my life- the one thing which I am most bitter about- the one thing which I curse to hell and hate with every ounce of my being. Sometimes I fantasize about taking an ax or hacksaw and chopping all of my bikes into shattered bits, and leaving them in a pile in our garage for the family to find. I will plant a flag in the center which reads" "You win". And then I will walk in upon the astonished discoverers of my break-down, puffing a cigarette and guzzling a beer... Back to reality. That would be an awful waste of $10,000, so better just to sell them on ebay and use the money for the less wholesome habits and activities.
Thanks for reading.
02 December 2006
Maybe it's time to add to the effort? Who wants to be a contributor here, for a short while? or perhaps on a regular pre-determined basis? (for example- one post every Thursday) Should it be reciprocal? Probably not as I barely have time to post here in the first place. I don't know.. It's important to define a clear cut goal or goals. "Aim for nothing and you will hit it everytime".. as the saying goes. I feel lost. Do I keep doing what I'm doing? (posting whatever I feel like posting indiscriminately) or do I need to choose a path, a specialty, a core competence? I reach out to my readers for some answers or suggestions.. In my mind, even this post sucks, it's an embarrassment. I feel out of control. My posts are random, unpredictable, from the hip, hastily thrown together without a lot of proof-reading or forethought. Someone grab me by the shoulders and shake vigorously until I come to my senses please.
And what's up with the word verification that I'm subjected to when using my own blogger dashboard?!? Grrrr.
01 December 2006
PS: Kaan and I felt like a couple of old farts, jumping up and down with 3000 screaming teenagers. Actually, I didn't mind it at all, but Kaan seems to have a complex about his age.
A Turkish policeman from the bomb squad approaches a suspect package on the street some 500 meters from the St. Esprit church in Istanbul November 29, 2006. Pope Benedict, pursuing a journey of fence-mending with Islam and Turkey, on Wednesday pays tribute to one of Christianity's most revered sites before heading to Istanbul, city at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
29 Nov 2006 REUTERS/Fatih Saribas
28 November 2006
-When I was a kid in grade school, I was teased for my name. Kids called me the 'rat in the 'applebasket'. Go figure. Scarred me for life.
-Growing up in Queens NY, a favorite pastime was smashing the windows and puncturing the gas tanks of stolen, stripped and abandoned cars, and then setting them on fire. We would then flee to the rooftop of my elementary school and smoke cigarettes while we watched the smoke and waited for the fire engines. (The cars were dumped in a huge piece of vacant land)
-You can see my grade school as you cross the Whitestone Bridge into Queens, btw. Look over to the right for a tallish red brick building. We lived around the block from my school, with a magnificent view of the Whitestone Bridge, and the homes across the street were all waterfront.
-In 9th grade, we were given an assignment to write about the person we most admire. One of the girls in the class wrote all about me.. I don't remember who I picked.
-When I was 12, my parents made me fly home from Turkey, by myself. This included a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam. The pilot came and talked to me out of concern.
-At 14, I took advantage of my mother's absence and drove our brand new 1984 Buick Regal to junior high school, every day for a week. Drove all my friends home too. I would leave after dad left for work, and return before he got home. My punishment was light as I don't remember it at all.
-That same year I bought a Suzuki DS80 motorcycle, without permission, and secretly hid it in our basement in a secret crawlspace. The vacant land I mentioned was my personal race track.
-I have 20 first cousins- the youngest is a month old and the oldest is in her fifties. I speak with only a few of them regularly.
-Of my three paternal aunts and three paternal uncles, all but one of them is divorced, he never married.
-I skipped my high school graduation in favor of going to a bike race. I also didn't buy a cap and gown, didn't buy a year book, didn't even submit a photo to my yearbook. Ironically, I was the one who organized my 10 year high school reunion.
-I've never tried cocaine (all of my high school friends did it, I later discovered) and the smell of marijuana makes me sick to my stomach.
-I used to be a HUGE band-wagon fan of the Buffalo Bills.
-I bought a 1983 Honda Shadow 750 motorcycle in 1993 and drove it around for a year without a motorcycle license or insurance.
-Around that time, I broke up with a girl who immediately became the girlfriend of my room mate. Yes they were making out on our couch in our apartment, the SAME day. I thought it was funny at the time.
-When I was 20 or so, a home builder hired me to construct and frame an entire 2000 square foot log home, from the foundation up. I hired one of my room mates as an assistant. We goofed off most of the time, being completely unsupervised in the middle of the woods, but we got it done. Good times.
-I had a girlfriend when I was 14 who freely admitted she was using me as practise for later seducing someone else much older than me. I didn't care. I recall that she eventually got her wish.
-In 2001, during a vacation in Turkey, I had my hair bleached WHITE. It burned like a 'mo'fo. I have pictures..
-A kid who lived across the street from me back in 1976 (the year we moved to College Point, when I was six), who held a knife to my neck in the instant we met, later became my best friend. We never spoke of the incident.
-My dad made me play soccer when I was 10- it was an easy way for him to get out of the house and have an excuse to drink beer with his buddies on the sidelines. "How did I play?" I'd always ask...and "Lousy" was always the answer. The day that our Yugoslavian coach (whose son had a cleft lip) gave me a beat up old race bike from the trunk of his car, was the day that I found my new hero... Thanks Lazlo.. (sp?) You have no idea what your kindness meant to me, or what it inspired in me, or that I am obsessed with bicycles to this day...
-I wish I had an older brother.
Thanks for reading.
26 November 2006
At the super-luxury Wegman's supermarkets, you can rent a DVD for $1, by simply swiping your credit card and making a selection. Machine dispenses your disc and takes it back from you when you're done. Brilliant. When will they open some of these magnificent stores in New England? In comparison, Shaws and Stop & Shop markets over here look like a pile of puke.
People in Rochester, and I mean total strangers on the street, in the market or on the mountain bike trails, are about the nicest and friendliest I've ever encountered... Impressive. I lived there for 10 years and I tend to forget this attractive feature of the Flour City
It's been a long four day weekend, one which included a trip to Niagara Falls on Saturday, and I'm terribly tired, especially after that seven hour drive. I am so glad I took my off-road bike with us and I'm so glad and grateful that my brother Ali introduced me to the best mountain biking venue I've ever ridden. If you're ever in town, be sure to bring you're mountain bike, and spend a few hours at Dyer Road Trails Park. Heck I'd pay to get in and use the facilities if I had to. Yes I had that much fun, in spite of a few nasty crashes. To wit:
Click to enlarge. It's like a si resort for bikes! I rode on most every trail at least 3 times each, and I was also the only one in the park using a cyclocross bike. Most everyone else had full front and rear suspension, and disc brakes, the weenies.
26 Nov 2006 REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski
To the 20,000 anti-pope demonstators of the "Islamist Felicity" party: Get your disgraceful selves the hell out of the Turkish Republic and go live in Iran, 'k? -AT
ISTANBUL, Turkey (Reuters) -- More than 20,000 Muslims in
Istanbul on Sunday staged the biggest protest so far against Pope Benedict's
trip to Turkey as Islamic opposition to this week's controversial visit gathered
Benedict, due to begin his first official visit to a Muslim country
next Tuesday, angered many Muslims in September with a speech they took as an
insult to Islam.
Youths wearing headbands with Islamic scripts, beating drums and waving Turkish red and white flags chanted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) in the peaceful rally.
"I cannot remain silent when the Prophet Mohammed is
insulted. I love him more than myself," said Husamettin Aycan Alp, 25, a science
student from Izmir in western Turkey.
He said Roman Catholic cardinals chose this pope last year "because he is against Islam and are concerned Islam is spreading in Europe."
The four-day visit is billed as an opportunity to heal
wounds with the Muslim world after the pope quoted a Byzantine emperor saying
Islam was violent and irrational. He has said he did not share that view.
Speaking in the Vatican on Sunday, Benedict said he wanted the visit to
show his "esteem and sincere friendship" for Turkey and its people.
22 November 2006
Murat will be going to the sold-out 37th WBRU Birthday Bash featuring My Chemical Romance, on November 29th.. Ebru and I will be joined by our good friends Kaan and Laima..
We're traveling to Rochester for the Thanksgiving holiday, so a seven hour drive awaits me after work today. I hope to sneak out early..
We're very happy with out recent purchase of a portable DVD player, by the way. Nothing silences an unhappy toddler better than watching the animated movie CARS for the 27th time... though I must admit this film is an instant classic, especially with Paul Newman lending his voice to one of the main characters, "Doc Hudson".
Greed is an ugly habit.. I was stunned to discover that many of the people who I waited in line with last week, [to get Orhan Pamuk's autograph in our books], did it only for the CASH. Click here to see what I mean. Who will pay $500, $1000 or $1500 for one of these books? Should Pamuk be offended or flattered? I will never sell mine, and I resolve to read all of them without regard for wear and tear or dog-eared covers.
Praying in the terminal was a poor choice. That three of the imams did not pray in the terminal is a bit telling- means we have a compaasionate and understanding G-d, who would rather see people travel safely and unfettered than be worshipped, at least in certain delicate circumstances. So give it a rest. My forehead hasn't touched a prayer rug in over ten years, and G-d loves me just the same as he loves you IMHO.. Oh, and gratuitous use of the word "Allah" in the presence of others- bad idea. Regrettably, for many Americans it has the same ring to it as the words "...make my day". Get my drift?
I know this sounds extremely anti-Muslim, especially coming from one whose religion is also "other", but I will also say this: The person who wrote a note and passed it to US Airways staff is a fucking weenie with an ax to grind.
21 November 2006
"...there must be a link between peas and Brazil- not just because
Brazil is Brezilya in Turkish and the word for pea is bezelye
but also because the Brazilian flag has, it seems, an enormous pea on