31 August 2006
(TURKEY)30 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Ahmet Ada
30 August 2006
27 August 2006
REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY) 26 Aug 2006
AT: Last year's grid girls also shown. I saved this picture and never had a chance to use it until now.
Turkey's Fatih Solak holds bandages in his mouth after cutting his lip during Turkey's match against Slovenia at the world basketball championships in Saitama August 26, 2006. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (JAPAN) 26 Aug 2006
25 August 2006
Strangely productive day! I rode the bike to work, gathered my things, and hit the road for Connecticut. Visited three jobsites in a row and still made it back to the office at 5:45. Jumped on the bike and went home, where a hot meal was waiting for me courtesy of my beautiful and talented wife.
Bike stuff: Today while in Connecticut, there's two teenage girls riding their bikes along a busy road, clearly neither of them have any bike handling skills and they're putting their lives at risk... Worst of all, they did the unforgivable: crash helmets were REMOVED and dangling from their respective bike's HANDLEBARS! Who do they think they are? Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie? I HAD to roll down my window and say something, but they couldn't hear me too well and probably thought I was some kind of wing nut shouting obcenities... When you get hit by a car as I did, you tend to care about this kind of thing..
Also today, during my ride home from work, pfffffft flat tire. I patched it and continued of course, but five miles later, pfffffft again! The patch didn't stick very well and I had to stop again, not far from home to repair it again... Weird..
Tomorrow morning we are getting our custom granite kitchen counters delivered and installed. I must get up early to do some preparatory carpentry. Will probably go in to work late, where a mountain of work the size of Everest awaits me.. Watched Cinderella Man AGAIN tonight, with my mom who is visiting. I must say, this film makes "Rocky" et al, look like camel spit. -AT
24 August 2006
23 August 2006
22 August 2006
20 August 2006
Let's see... Saturday started out nicely enough. I got up early and went for a two hour bike ride, a nice challenging route at a strong tempo. Then I get home and realize that my heart rate monitor recorded none of it- memory FULL! Apparently last night something started the timer and the watch recorded 13 hours... of nothing. Anyway, I get home around 9:30, and we promptly board our van to reach a dentist appointment at 10:00 am. I'm in a pissy mood and decide to wait in the car with Reis... Ebru emerges an hour later and gets NOTHING accomplished. Our dentist is a fucking cunt who is in the habit of doing piss-poor dental work, and taking our money for it. Okaaaay. We're pissed and don't know what to do. We go home and stress out over whether to go to a wedding we're invited to at 4:00. Trouble is, our brand new mattress is being delivered between 2:30 and 5:30. So we ultimately decide to blow off the wedding, cancel the babysitter etc. When does the bed finally show up?: 6:30 pm. So the guys set it up and it looks completely ridiculous in the room where we placed it. Furthermore, the sheet set we bought the day before is mis-labeled as a king- it's really a California King, so it's too large by 6". So we hop in the car to go and buy another set- Linens & Things has a nice set for $59.. We go to the register and discover it's really $79.. so we double back and choose another one, pay for it. Then we go to TJ Maxx to return the original set, the California King. We buy a couple of king sized Calvin Klein pillows, stop for some Chinese take out, and go home. Well, the 2nd set of sheets didn't fit too well either. The fitted sheet was baggy and flaccid looking on our extremely expensive mattress, making it look like a piece of shit.. So we re-package those sheets for returning and throw a flat sheet on there for the night. As all of these little annoyances are happening, we are wringing our hands waiting for Reis to take a shit. He's in potty training, and hasn't taken a dump since WEDNESDAY, when he decided to go in his underwear while Ebru was visiting friends... So it's 4 days and we're very concerned, coaxing him is not helping- he's holding it... Another downer: I had planned to go to the office after my bike ride, at least until the mattress delivery time frame.. Ebru's sudden dentist appointment made this impossible, and it cut my bike ride short. As I said... little things, little things... building up.
Sunday morning it's raining, and I presume it's going to rain all day. Wells Ave training race is no doubt cancelled, so I decide, "oh well- a day of rest could do me good". (Ha!- rest) This lame rationalization is the only thing which redeems a rainy day. We hop in the car late morning and head out to some furniture stores. We're looking for either a bed room set or a head board/foot board for our new king sized set-up. We enter the first store and immediately a sales person attaches himself to us like a parasite, follows us all the way to the clearance section and starts dispensing with the chit-chat... the kind that I hate, the kind which insults my intelligence to no end, the kind which makes me want to knock him out... We escape to the snack center- free cookies! (the high light of our weekend) He shows up a few minutes later... We leave the store a little later, but not before splitting up in an effort to confuse the sales dude. Ha! Follow us both, douch bag! As I'm loading Reis into his car seat, Ebru accidentally (?) slams the front door on my leg, pinning my shin against the running board for a sec.. I cursed like a g-d damned sailor.
Next we go to a better store- Ethan Allen, and the first thing we discover is that anything we choose to buy has a 4-10 week lead time. Buzz-kill number...10? 12? Whatever... At least it stopped raining by this time, which makes me curse myself for not going for a bike ride while I had the chance. We proceed from there to Home Depot to buy some new bedroom doors. I opt for the expensive solid pine doors, two of them, because they are easier to cut to size and modify.. I loaded them into our pick-up truck and it immediately starts to pour rain- a thunderstorm. Well I didn't just spend $200+ on doors to have them get destroyed in the rain.. So I take a detour and park the truck under an over-pass, until the rain slows at least- it doesn't, not much, and we drive home, seething with anger, breathing fire while drugged up senior citizens go out of their way to make us drive home at 10 mph in the pouring rain- our brand new pine doors turning into potato chips... We're home around three, and I promptly unload the doors, dry them off. The rain stops and the sun comes out! What to do: go for a bike ride and say screw the doors? No. My head is into the door installation and I get the tools out- cutting and routing and mortising and fitting a brand new door into a 140 year old door frame, which is crooked, out of plumb and out of square. By 6:00 I have the first door successfully swung on it's hinges, no hardware yet though. Ebru suggests I go for a quick bike ride before dark, and I go change immediately.
For my previous insolence I decide to punsish my body with a tour of my "hilly route"- one which I mercilessly use to gauge my fitness, by going all-out and wasting myself over the 26 miles. At the top of the first hill, the first check point, my time is a new record, but I think I lit all my matches to do it, because half way up the second hill (which is a mile long), my legs stop turning, my heart's not into it, I'm not in the mood to go 100% and conquer pain.. I turn around and decide to take an easier route. I get home after an hour and ten minutes, feeling drained, I go to the 3rd floor bath to take a shower.
Downstairs, Ebru is upset about our decision to change the location of our bedroom- you see the king sized bed wouldn't make it up the stairs, so our family room on the 1st floor became our bedroom, for one night anyway. She wants the queen (it will make it upstairs to our bedroom), and I'm not certain we can exchange it.. We'll find out tomorrow. What really upsets me is all of the time we spent shopping for furniture, moving couches up to the third floor, buying and installing doors, buying and returning linens. That's a LOT of premium weekend time that we'll never see again. FUCK!
Well, there's more.. Since Reis stuffed as many pennies and dimes he could find into the CD player of our Honda Odyssey, the security system is shorted and the lights won't turn off. Needless to say, the battery is dead, so we're driving my Ford F-150, since Saturday night. Ebru can't drive the Ford, so we head out late tonight to swap it with my Hyundai (the one that was hit while parked in Hartford). After a stop at Wendy's (where they gave me a burger completely devoid of the mushrooms it is advertised to include) we get to my place of business, where the Hyundai's parked. I get out to swap Reis' car seat, and guess what happens? Pouring fucking rain- cats and dogs... I get back in the Ford to wait it out. Ultimately it stops and we switch everything between cars and drive home.
I'll admit that all of this is pretty trivial stupid stuff, but when it's this relentless, it wears you down, buries you in doubt, unhappiness and even self-pity. The biggest failure of the weekend was never getting to go to the office to catch up on my work, like I promised myself I'd do on Friday as I left the office. More than anything else, breaking promises to myself is the most depressing, most upsetting thing of all. If you can't even trust yourself to do what you say you're going to do, who else can you trust? To hell with this weekend. I'm glad it's over.
18 August 2006
(TURKEY)16 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Fatih Saribas
Frankly, the PETA protesters are a lot easier on the eyes, if you get my drift.. Sign reads: "Meat is delicious". -AT
17 August 2006
"How dare you break wind before me!"
"I'm sorry, baby, I didn't know it was your turn!
What movie is that from? Which 1981 film used similar lines?
16 August 2006
Other than that, it was a pretty boring and uneventful trip. Almost forgot: Stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in Cromwell CT... Asked for a room and the girl says "it's $159 a night" without even looking up at me. "Hold on a second" I immediately replied. "Three weeks ago I stayed at the Wallingford Courtyard for about 1/2 of that price.. Why should I pay double? What's special about this location???". She types on her keyboard for a sec and then says "Okay how about $109??".
What the fuck? Opening my mouth saves me $50???? I should have pressed for a bigger discount, but I was tired. Clearly she mistook me for someone who has never stayed at the Marriott. Went to my room and found that it was a handicapped unit without a bath tub- it had an ADA compliant shower stall instead. Also, the room smelled like pee. So Ebru called and bitched and got us switched to another room, with a four person jacuzzi.. for the same price. So I guess the policy is: "If the customer negotiates a lower price, give them the shittiest most undesirable room we have." Not on my watch! Shame on you Marriot!
14 August 2006
13 August 2006
Taken today at the Wells Avenue race in Newton. Here you see me trying to bridge up to a break, with someone in tow. I checked my chart for this point in the race and saw that I was pushing 33 miles per hour, with a heart rate of 187!
My little red Hyundai... Someone violated it the other day as it was parked in Hartford CT, so I had to take pictures. The passenger doors are dented! The person responsible left his business card and it'll be covered on their insurance.
Reis at Mystic Aquarium.
Ebru Body-surfs at Narragansett Beach.
Reis washes up on shore.
Must....contain....maniacal....laughter.... Yours truly, looking dumb for the camera per usual. Everyone thinks there's an "i" missing from my hat. I tell them no, it's stands for "Fuck Bush".
A Lebanese medic attends to 11-year-old Muhamed Sameer Moussa, whose legs were amputated after he was injured in an Israeli air strike in al-Daheera, in a hospital in the port city of Tyre (Soure) in southern Lebanon August 12, 2006.
How often do we truly understand the meaning of the word "injury"? Media reports tend to mentions so many deaths, so many injuries. Seems to be a common ratio of 1:3... of every four people attacked, one dies and three are injured, some quite seriously, and permanently... like Muhamed Sameer Moussa above. What is his crime? Who has he wronged? Does he deserve this brutality? Dumb questions, I know. This image of an innocent 11 year old kid with no feet... what does it do to you? My heart's broken.. and I curse the times I bitched and complained about spraining my ankle and getting hit by a car recently. I guess I don't know good luck even when it kicks me in the teeth.. Is Muhamed an unlucky victim? or a part of G-d's plan for us? Did Muhamed not pray enough? Or did he fail to mention in his prayers that he never wants to lose his legs in an IDF air strike or be hit by one? Who prayed for this to happen? What fucking difference does it make? We're told that G-d already knows everything that will happen to each of us, and to everybody else... Makes prayer seem a bit like pissing into the wind, don't you think?
My heart goes out to Muhamed and his family. And remember, there are over 3000 Lebanese "injured" so far. That doesn't mean they skinned their knee or bumped their head folks... Regardless of your mental image of an "injury", know that other children aren't as "lucky" as Muhamed... Some of them are on the other side of the ratio.
A Palestinian man carries the body of three year-old Raja Abu Shaban, after she was killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza August 9, 2006. An Israeli helicopter gunship fired at least one missile into a Palestinian militant training camp in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing two gunmen and a three-year-old girl, witnesses said. (PALESTINIAN TERRITORES)09 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
11 August 2006
Then I realized... The bike I recently bought for myself... doesn't have a single individual part on it which costs less than $150... Would you pay $200 for a carbon fiber handlebar which weighs 190 grams? Or $850 for a pair of wheels which weigh 1500 grams? Yeah, me too.
The other day I was traveling to a project in Connecticut, doing 80+ mph, when a rather large object smacked my windshield. Sounded like I crossed a bird's flight path, and judging from the blood on the glass, he didn't survive.
Today as I'm traveling to Massachusetts for another project, a moth the size of my hand climbed out of my a/c vent and perched itself on my dashboard. Forgot all about it until later. The windows were up and it was a hot day. Mothra didn't survive either..
Couple of weeks ago, I spied a STREAM of carpenter ants emerging from the door panel of my pick-up truck. Whacking on the door agitated 'em good. My truck reeks of bug spray.
Last summer, a skunk got into our garage and hid behind some clutter, wouldn't leave. So I grabbed a broom handle and cornered it, stabbing away at it like a man possessed, dumb fuck that I am... Skunks have two scents- one is the initial residual odor... the other is the pure stench of the fluid they discharge when they're afraid or threatened or poked with a wooden stick. Our garage reeked of skunk piss, gasoline, paint thinner, bleach, ammonia and fabric softener, for weeks.
Today as I'm riding home from work by bike, another near miss with a douch bag in a white van... Pulls out in front of me because douch bag no 2 yielded to him... These mother fuckers who stop and wave other cars in front of them should be strung up by their testicles.. Sorry for the swearing... I called the guy a cunt under my breath.. it's what Larry David would have said..
Aaah work... My cruel mistress. I have about 80 deadlines which I am supposed to meet, about 30 days ago. Do the math... I have a crew of carpenters at each of six school projects... Believing I can pull it all off before school starts in three weeks, is a delusion I will fight for with guns blazing. Picture Tony Montana double fisting a pair of AK-47s.. That's me right now. At the end of the day, there's one thing which helps me get my feet back on the ground.
You know why I love to ride and race my bike so damn much? No, not because I'm addicted to the adrenaline rush of potentially fatal near misses with 3000 pound automobiles.. It's more than that- My bicycle, is just about the one thing in the world which does EXACTLY what I want it to do, whenever I want, and does it perfectly, without talking back or bitching or complaining... Complete and unfettered control of speed, direction, altitude, and location, driven forward entirely by the energy of my body, is an addiction which I can't live without. No fire arms required.
A recruiter has been calling me and offering me hugely lucrative opportunities in Seattle and Milwaukee. I'm flattered, intrigued, afraid, doubtful and optimistic. Go figure. Opportunity knocks only once. Should I answer?
Lately, I miss my father a lot. The very person who contributed most to my psychopathic tendencies, paranoia, insecurities and inability to trust anyone, weighs heavy on my mind. I'm such a fucking asshole. I never call him. Fuck it. I'm going to bed. Thanks for reading this far.
10 August 2006
Aegean Disclosure No comment- need more information!
Athanasia's Daily Burcu is silent for the past two weeks. Cat got your tongue?
Binnur's Turkish Cookbook Simit Kebap!
Derin Sular this one's in Turkish, which makes it hard for me to get into (Sorry Serdar)
Energy Newsletter TURKEY This one's a new discovery for me.. seems to be right up my alley
Erkan's field diary continues to set the bar way too high for the rest of us.. Erkan! Link to me and make my day!
Fabulous Finds Need a place to sit? Come see the latest designs, presumably cost prohibitive
Farid's crazy world... One of my favorites!! I want to hug him every time I read his blog
Global Voices Online ? Turkey This is Deborah's baby, and I consider it a privilege to have my blog mentioned in her reporting
Gulay, Galatasaray and the dogs*updated* Gulay, Gulay...Gulay...... Afflicted with the anti-FB chromosome. Gecmis olsun.. ;)
Hakan Aydin Hakan, get on the stick! We were eating out of your hand for a while there... Where are you?
Icarus Redeemed See above comment to Hakan, Celal.. Don't play hard to get. We hunger for your posts.
ignore me if you can Idil... my beautiful Belgian/Turkish long distance crush. I knew I married too young!
Mellow Musing Hilal: One month of inactivity- our patience grows thin! We want you back!
Metroblogging Istanbul This blog has many contributors, some are members here. Great site
Mutfaktakiler Elmali Tart! Looking forward to the next recipe
Obur Kedi [Glutton Cat] Good advice about onions just posted!
Sailing Nomad My other local friend up in Boston (Hakan lives up in Bean Town too) Ahmet is independently wealthy and lives on a yacht (kidding!)
SOCIOECONOMICS One of Serdar Kaya's other blogs (the one he neglects) Derin Sular is also Serdar's
Talk Turkey Metin- my fellow soldier, shoulder to shoulder with me in the fight against ignorance, mis-information and prejudice
The Infidel I want to smack him for that last contribution, but then I'd be a hypocrite because I looked at EVERY picture :)
The Need To Know Phanja. My other long-distance crush, and yet another reason why I wish I lived in Istanbul
The round ball in Ankara Got soccer? This is the place for Ankara fanatics, and not for any supporters of "the big three"
The White Path Mustafa Akyol is a journalist in the professional sense, has authored a book I can't read, because my Turkish is too weak
Turkish Delight When bad things happen to good people... Deborah's personal blog is addictive
Turkish Diary Selene is like 'mystery woman' to me. Hope to hear from her and make her a member here.
Turkish Digest*updated* This blog is updated with news about Turkey, many times a day! Often enough that I can't keep up!
TurkishSoccer.com Ahmet Turgut know soccer, and you don't know diddley. If soccer were a religion, he would be given sainthood
We are the Turks Want to see how many successful and dynamic Turks there are who you DON'T know yet? Pay a visit.
ZiddiBLOG The best blog out there which looks nothing like any other blog out there. We zig, he zags...
PS: If you're a member of Amerikan Turks Yahoo Group with a blog that I don't know about, please send me a link!
PS2: Our "chat" feature at Amerikan Turks Yahoo Group, is enabled. Maybe we should plan a live get together one of these days, on a weekend afternoon (US eastern time) Let me know if this interests any of you. It could be kind of fun.
PS3: I am back on the bike and stronger than ever! "We are created, by being destroyed"...
08 August 2006
(TURKEY)07 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Fatih Saribas
07 August 2006
(ITALY)07 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Chris Helgren
(TURKEY)06 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Umit Bektas
That's a total of 412 mother-in-laws and 412 father-in-laws, making sure that each couple's first year together is more or less miserable... "Everybody Loves Raymond" comes to mind... -AT
06 August 2006
A Lebanese man holds the body of his child after he was killed during an overnight Israeli airborne operation on the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbeck, 60 miles (100 km) northeast of Beirut, August 2, 2006. Israeli commandoes snatched three Hizbollah members, killing 19 civilians in the raid.
(LEBANON)02 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Mohammed Solh
Looks to be about the age of our son Reis, who turns three on August 29th... The sight of this makes me speechless. -AT
A protester hangs a pacifier with a black ribbon to the gate of the United Nations House in Ankara August 2, 2006, during a demostration against the killing of children as a result of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon.
(TURKEY)02 Aug 2006 REUTERS/Umit Bektas
05 August 2006
Feel like taking the gloves off and coming out swinging? Take a peek and test your restraint. If you reveal that you're a Muslim, be prepared for the gang-bang which I promise will ensue (Unless you denounce your faith- then you're considered intelligent, courageous, and better than pond scum.)
04 August 2006
01 August 2006
Isn't that somethin'? -AT
PS: What ever happened to those gangly and unflattering stirrup pants girls would all wear during the '80s? Leg warmers?? Hello? Bueller?.. Bueller?..
Today on NPR's All Things Considered: Tweens and Media: What's Too Adult?
(CHINA)31 Jul 2006 REUTERS/China Daily