America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

31 March 2007

A Turkish-Armenian Concert: Armenian Composers of the Ottoman Period

Dedicated to dialogue and the memory of Hrant Dink
Date: Friday, April 6, 2007
Time: 8:30pm - 11:30pm
Location: List Arts Center 120, Brown University (64 College St. Providence, RI)
All the details **updated**

Great news:

Is this an idea whose time has come? Does fighting the advancement of this technology seem like the dumbest thing you've ever heard? Build them EVERYWHERE! They're far more beautiful than the cell phone towers which are all over the place..

30 March 2007

Inmate sets cell ablaze before execution

"Pippin was the 11th convicted killer executed this year in Texas, the nation's busiest capital punishment state, and the second in as many nights."
I can't help but ask.. when a man is convicted of killing two accomplices in a drug deal gone bad, and is executed by lethal injection.. does our wonderful democracy become a better place? Are potential murderers deterred? Pffft! Or is this yet another example of the United States MO of "Ready! Fire! Aim!"? Justice seems as costly as the crime committed, doesn't it?.
Nowhere in the EU is there a death penalty, even in countries which aspire to be members, such as the Turkish Republic. Nope.., only in America and in Arab states which enforce Sharia Law, and in backwater 3rd world countries, and in communist regimes, are convicts executed. Does it make any sense that Americans support certain policies at home, but call it "barbaric" when other governments act in kind? -AT

For Sean: Armenian church has been renovated, what more do you want?

Locals visit the renovated Armenian church, perched on Akdamar Island in Lake Van, near the eastern Turkish city of Van, March 29, 2007. Turkey spent USD1,5 million in the restoration of the ancient Akdamar church, one of the most precious remnants of Armenian culture that will be converted in a museum.  
REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Only in America: Encouraged by 17 year old, 10 Year Old Boys Beat Up Homeless Man

story.jumpsuits.wkmg.jpgThe Daytona Beach 10-year-olds in white jumpsuits walk into court Wednesday. They are facing aggravated battery charges for allegedly attacking a homeless man.
My last posting about tattoos isn't too well received so far. Sorry for that.. I'll accept it as a character defect and try to be more open-minded. No, I do not assume that everyone with a tattoo has been to prison, dummy. Maybe it's time for a poll.
"The 17-year-old, Jeremy Woods, punched D'Amico who then fell over a concrete wall. As he lay on the ground, one of the 10-year-olds -- whose names are not being released -- used parts of the concrete to bash D'Amico in the head, a police report shows. (Watch cuffed 10-year-olds in court Video)...D'Amico's eye was severely damaged in the attack."

Saturday's Bike Ride at Goddard Park

29 March 2007

Marines rush to get last minute tattoos, before the ban

Defacing your body is not allowed. GOOD! I hate tattoos.
Let me express this in the clearest manner possible: A person with a tattoo of any kind will NEVER baby-sit my kid. To me, tattoos indicate emotional turmoil or distress, above all else. The human body is perfect without the use of permanent decorations. That's what clothing and jewelry are for.. Don't even get me started on piercings. They're all disgusting. 

One round trip completed

As promised, I rode the bike home last night, taking my usual extended route of 21 miles (33 km?). Nice and windy 55 degrees F.. This morning though.. 34 degrees (what's that just above freezing? 1 degree Celcius?) C-c-c-cold. Beginning is the hard part. The rest is easy. After building courage enough to throw a leg over the bike, there's no turning back. Took the short route in though, 14 miles (20km?) And for a change, I'm here at work early.

28 March 2007

It's time.. begin ridng the bike to work and back, as much as possible. If only the temp wouldn't drop below freezing at night.. No matter, Murat does 2007's inaugural ride home from work in just a few hours.. This of course requires me to stock up my office with clothing, underwear, socks, shoes, belts etc.. but it's a small price to pay... and a great way to ride 30-40 miles per day without sacrificing family time. Also gets my ass out of bed in the morning with a spring in my step!

23 March 2007

Hrant Dink: Water Finds It's Crack

We suffer from serious illness due to the poor relations between our people, Turks and Armenians... Armenians live in an unshakable state of paralysis, while Turks live with an uncurable paranoia. We both require clinical assistance.. Who will help to cure us? Is this the responsibility of French Parliament? Or of the United States Congress? Who will prescribe an antidote? Which doctor will diagnose our condition? My answer is this: Armenians must help to cure Turks and Turks must help to cure Armenians. Without exception, there is no other prescription, no other doctor and no other effective treatment.
Speaking openly, to the Armenian Diaspora, I reach out to you and say that you should not anchor yourselves to the year 1915. Do not let the world's acceptance or rejection of genocide imprison you. Is this history painful to you? We lived it, our forefathers lived it. There is an old Anatolian saying.. [We consider ourselves to be Anatolian]
"If we must carry baggage which causes us pain and hardship, we must hoist it upon our backs and carry it honorably, without complaint or protest"
I say to the world: Whether you accept and recognize or whether you dismiss and reject the Armenian Genocide, means absolutely nothing to me..
Did Armenians kill Turks? Yes they did in the year 1918.. when the Russians were advancing with designs on revenge, [a concept which I detest completely]. These events took place..
Why do Armenians persist with their goal of spreading awareness and recognition? Turks should ask themselves this question and approach the answer emphatically. Only then will Turks realize that [our] ambitions are honorable Turks continually deny that a genocide took place and Armenians should also approach this position with empathy in kind, in order to discover the reasons for it, to find the element of pride and dignity which precludes such acceptance. For example: "As a Turk, I am against genocide! I am against racism! Genocide is a crime and a sin! My forefathers could not have possibly commited such acts! because I certainly would not!" Evidently, the Turkish position is also one of self-respect.
One day my telephone rings, and an elderly man from a village in Sivas is calling me because others have recommended for him do so. He tells me of an elderly woman from France who was visiting the village and who spent about ten days there before she suddenly passed away. "We took and buried her. We said our prayers, we paid our respects and we buried her.. Then we discovered that she was Armenian and it was recommended to me that I find you.." The old man gave me her name and asked me to help find her next of kin. He said the village would want to help anyone who came forth and who might travel to Sivas in order to take her body elsewhere for burial. "We buried her but we want to give notice and make it easy for anyone wishing to move her to another location", he said.
I agreed to help find her relatives.
I called an old friend of mine in Sivas and repeated the story, and gave him the woman's name.. He told me to go to a cobbler shop across the street from me and to ask about her there. "They will know". So I went to this place and asked if they knew this woman. I told them her name.. Someone turned around and said "That's my mother". I asked, "where does your mother live?".. I was told she lives in France.. I asked, "Does she visit Turkey?" I was told that yes, she visits Turkey occasionally but that her journeys do not always include a visit to Istanbul.. and that she was in the habit of visiting her hometown and birth place, a village near Sivas.. "She goes there and spends about 15 days with the people in the village, and she sometimes visits us on her way back to France..and sometimes not.." I repeated the story of what had happened.. We called the village and of course she cried and cried..
The following day, they traveled to Sivas and confirmed that it was in fact their mother who died.. I received their call..
"So are you bringing her back?"
"Yes we were going to but there is a village elder here who spoke to me"
"What did he say?"
She started to cry again on the other end..
"Why are you crying? What happened?" I panicked in reply..Then I heard the village elder on the phone and asked what was going on..
"I didn't do anything.. Everything's fine..I just told her it's their choice whether the body is moved to another location or not..after all it's their family and all... but that if you ask me..leave her where she lies...the water has found it's crack.. Leave her in peace.."
This expression really got through to me.. I had to also sit down and cry at this point.. "Water finds it's crack.." What an amazing thing to God.. A literal depth of meaning found only in Anatolia.. one which would require many paragraphs and pages to describe, using only three words [in Turkish].. "Water comes, finds it's own crack and fills it"..
Water has once again found a crack..

22 March 2007

I do not support the death penalty...

..but I make exceptions when it comes to children. If I am this shaken up over the son of another, I can't even imagine how I'd feel if it were my son.. I don't think I could handle it.. I'd fall apart completely. Planning to follow this prosecution closely to the end, because we might find some relief when these mother fuckers draw their last breath. -AT
SAVANNAH, Georgia (AP) -- A convicted child molester and his father took turns sexually assaulting a 6-year-old boy while the molester's mother watched, then they choked the boy to death, according to an indictment issued Wednesday.
The indictment charges all three family members with murder and child molestation in the slaying of young Christopher Michael Barrios, whose body was found last Thursday inside a trash bag dumped by a roadside.
District Attorney Stephen D. Kelley said he will seek the death penalty against 32-year-old George David Edenfield, who has a prior child molestation conviction from 1997, and his parents, David and Peggy Edenfield.
"This is one of the most horrific crimes that I have seen in 21 years of prosecutions," Kelley said.
Christopher went missing for a week before police found his body about three miles from his trailer park home outside Brunswick, a Georgia port city 60 miles south of Savannah. The suspects lived in a mobile home across the street from the boy's grandmother.
The indictment contains grim details about the case that police and prosecutors had not previously revealed. It says Christopher died from asphyxiation March 8 -- the day he was reported missing -- after the suspects choked him while "ignoring his complaints that they were hurting him." The indictment does not say which of three caused the boy's death. (Watch how three shovels helped police Video)
It also claims George Edenfield and his 58-year-old father sodomized the boy and forced him to perform oral sex while Peggy Edenfield watched and masturbated.
"They deserve the worst, for them to torture my son like that, every last one of them," said Mike Barrios, the slain boy's father.

Kurds celebrate "Newroz" in Diyarbakir Turkey

A Kurdish girl poses during a gathering to celebrate Newroz in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir March 21, 2007. Newroz, which means 'new day' in Kurdish, marks the arrival of spring and is also celebrated in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Tajikistan.  
REUTERS/Umit Bektas
There's no "w" in Turkish.. and while tolerance for Kurdish culture, language, media and education is slowly reaching levels acceptable to the "free world", the Turkish government still does not tolerate official use of the letter "w".. unless of course it's a fashionable word such as "BMW". -AT

21 March 2007

Christopher Michael Barrios: Rest in Peace

As the father of a 3-1/2 year old boy, I mourn the death of Christopher and hope that his parents have the strength to bear this terrible loss. I can't help but fixate more on the how than the why.. because it is the thought of a child being injured and terrified by events not in their control, which gives parents the most pain. Back before Reis was born, I didn't give such stories a second glance. Nowadays they attract me for whatever reason. The pain which this family now endures, I swear I can feel it... it's as if the marrow in my bones is sizzling. This is no special distinction other than perhaps, being a fellow parent. I wish I could take some of their pain away and give them some relief. But no, I only add to the collective pain of all the like minded ones who read this story and also mourn the child of another. As it should be.

20 March 2007

Religious Pissing Contest: No minarets allowed

Pete Blackwell's recent post at Parenthetical Remarks just cracks me up. If Iraq ever "returned the favor", these would be among the first "monuments" which should be toppled.

Why race bicycles?

You can't fake a smile like that.. and for good reason.
Discovery Channel's team rider Alberto Contador (C) of Spain is kissed on the podium after winning the Paris-Nice cycling race in Nice, southeastern France, March 18, 2007. Contador won the stage and the race ahead of Davide Rebellin of Italy.
REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

"In the event of an emergency water landing...

...this aircraft will disintegrate into a billion fiery pieces and your physical being will instantaneously transorm into the consistency of cooked 'chum'..."
As a kid flying to Turkey every couple of years, I imagined that an emergency water landing would be awesome fun. There were huge self-inflating rafts! Super-slides to joyfully launch down! (no shoes allowed!) Some of the slides doubled as rafts! Self-inflating life vests! What a crock of SHIT.
Then there was that movie from the seventies, where a 747 gently touches down on the ocean without striking a wing tip, and then sinks to the bottom, completely intact.. It's rescued using inflated balloons... Further re-inforcing my delusion that air travel is as safe as jumping into a pool from a diving board, or as safe as riding in a submarine. I'm not pleased about being fed these lies.. My skin crawls with every take off and landing.
Wife hates when I bring this stuff up.. I can't help it.
Triggered by yesterday's landing in NY and LA by the behemoth A380 Airbus, I had to get this off my chest. Murat's a major weenie when it comes to flying in a plane. These things have no business being up there. Would be interested to see the safety pamphlets on board the A380, or view the safety vids and demonstrations. Remember these are double decker aircraft, which means I would probably pay double to be on the top floor, in order that the steerage below serves to cushion the impact. It could work. 

18 March 2007

It's going to be a depressing day: Murat turns 36

in exactly 3 minutes actually. In Turkey, it's even worse, they count the year you're in, instead of the year you just completed. So I'm in my 37th year... Depressing. Seems like yesterday I was walking to grade school munching freshly sliced and salted cucumber... dreading class and wishing I were a grown man..

17 March 2007

Kebab Connection

Not an awful movie, not great by any stretch... and not a movie I'll watch again. The lead character "Ibo" was played by someone named Denis Moschitto?? Not Turkish? I was duped, though I've never seen a Turk with a mullet before.. Ibo had a combination of bad mullet and "hat head" throughout the film.. Favorite character was the Greek guy.

I Just Did A Three Way

It was harder than I expected, but I did it.. and got it right on the first try no less.. I took a deep breath and powered it up and everything worked just fine. I'll make final connections and final-mount everything properly in the morning. You see, our home has a "butler staircase", which leads up to our third floor, which is a separate apartment. Well until now, there has not been any lighting in the two flights of stairs leading up there. So I installed a pair of three way light switches- one on the ground floor, and one on the 3rd floor. For those unfamiliar, these switches are wired such that they both control the same light fixture. In our case PLURAL- I installed three light fixtures in between the two 3-way switches... which made an already difficult task much more complicated. I guess I'm done patting myself on the back. Going to bed. Thanks for reading.

16 March 2007

Only in America: Father stabs baby son, throws him from car

• Police ask FBI's help in searching for father, 30
• 11-month-old thrown from car with kitchen knife stuck in back, police say
• Father, boy's mother argued in car before incident, police say
This baby has a guardian angel for sure as he is now in stable condition. The blade narrowly missed vital organs. I hope they find this parasite and put him away for good this time. -AT
This is the first installment of my new series "Only in America". If it happens to fixate upon the abundance of crimes against children in this country, don't be surprised. In America as in every other country, children are often treated worse than dogs treat eachother.
But only in America do you see people who treat their dogs better than many people treat their children. We need licenses to hunt, to go fishing, to drive cars, to race bikes, to give massages, to carry guns, to be a plumber or electrician, to fly planes, and to operate forklifts.. But any pair of douchebags can be parents.. No experience, education, or other qualifications required.

15 March 2007

Insulters of Turkish-ness beware

An idea, a potentially stupid one at that, yet one which no one has ever thought of or had the stones to execute: I am going to add a Blogroll to Amerikan Turk which lists all of the blogs out there which habitually "insult Turkishness". Some believe that I am a card-carrying supporter of Article 301....pause...NOT! I will now prove it to you, by gathering all of the toxic waste dump blog sites out there which passionately spew venom, fecal matter and other poisonous tripe towards Turkish people and the Turkish Republic. The size of this list might surprise you, and hopefully give some indication of why it's so important for Turks to be perpetually on their guard against such racism and hatred. Recommendations for inclusion are welcomed.
Right now this is just an idea. I haven't done it yet. Maybe I'll come to my senses and re-consider... but I doubt it.  

Sitemeter Hates Me

Why am I having these problems? Is this a clever way to get me to upgrade to the not-for-free version? Grrrrrr. Meanwhile, my little red Hyundai is about to overtake my Sitemeter's (last known) traffic count of about 58,000... on it's odomoeter, that is. It's pretty bad when you're driving more miles than you have visitors at your blog. Even worse that you notice it.

Mini-DVR is going back, different one is on order

I was disgusted with the quality of the credit card sized digital video recorder I bought, so I'm returning it for a refund (less 15% restocking charge).. Also come to find out that the 2 gig SD card I bought from the same people is a fake. No wonder it was only $39. Apparently there is a huge black market for fake SD cards. Found a site last night which describes and shows how to spot the fakes. Not that mine doesn't work.. it does. It's just a cheap knock-off though. Buyer beware! Lately I am more and more attracted to the idea of selling sporting goods online to buyers in Turkey. (mainly for bicycling) I see and hear about what people pay for bike parts, computers and clothing etc, and I want to do something about it. Bicycling and bike racing will be more popular in Turkey if the equipment was less cost-prohibitive... I think I can help.

11 March 2007

Murat's 2nd race of 2007: Wells Ave Opener

I minor mishap left Murat with a parched mouth and a scorched throat, so all things considered, 9th place isn't all that bad...

09 March 2007

Video from Borrego Springs California

The whole story of this epic day of my recent training camp can be found at Bisikletci.. or just watch this short vid and be done with it.

Mini DVR is on it's way

Murat finally broke down on his cheap-ness and bought the tiniest DVR (digital video recorder) that money can buy. It will arrive tomorrow and I will be racing on Sunday with it attached to my person, as inconspicuously as possible. I've researched this to death, there are so many options to choose from.. This is going to be the starting point, the beta. If this thing does what they say, it will record up to 6 hours of footage with sound onto a 2 gig SD card, all in a unit the size of a credit card, which will be velcroed to either my clothing or my bike. If it records as well as my three year old Kodak digital camera, I'm happy. Question is, should I do a front view or a rear view? Guess it depends upon where I find myself during the race. Stay tuned...

07 March 2007


My latest is posted over at Bisikletci, giving you a run-down and charts of the first day of training camp in San Diego- including altitude profile! Kind to nerdy and stuff, but it's my thing. Other news: Sitemeter is working again, sort of. It's counting visitors, but not recording IPs or dates, times etc. Last visitor is noted to be March 3rd, yet the ticker is moving nicely and matches up with Google Analytics reporting. It looks like a decent weekend is in store for New England... meaning that Sunday's Well's Avenue criterium opener will be well attended on Sunday. I hope to go and make everyone suffer immeasurably in my wake. Why? Because last spring, the first Wells Ave race I did (April 2) averaged 24-1/2 mph.. Last Sunday I raced in California, averaging 27-1/2 mph, without much difficulty. To me, this is a huge confidence boost. I should get back to work, it's bad enough I arrived an hour late.

04 March 2007

Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Turkish Blogs-Volume 3 Final Episode 1 of 2

Here's the latest activity in the A thru J portion of the Turkish blog matrix:
A Foreign Perspective Check the view from his balcony. To die for.
A Space Odyysey in English Flat-lining since November
Aegean Disclosure Movie reviews and why "Dark hands have chosen Turkey" (2/14)
almost turkish recipes Mouth-watering Puff Pastries
and misadventures of Adventures from Delhi to Bangalore, if only the whole post would display! Goodly written.
Athanasia's Daily Besides a horoscope posted on 2/18 Burcu's blog is flat-lining
Baris's World Look at this mess.. Page is only 1/2 full, and everything's just all over the place. Like Ziddi's blog, done poorly.
Beton Dans gives us reviews of five movies I'd no intention of seeing, until now (2/12)
Binnur's Turkish Cookbook Recipe for Bread with black olives
Carpetblogger Will be visiting us State-side this week. Read a good TO DO List No cow tipping?
crebro Meltem is sparring with a Kung Fu grasshopper of her own it seems. One of Ebru's favorite blogs.
dbadioxide Dilek frets about the Ungdomshuset while battling a cold (Just finishing one myself)
De Review De-what?? Where are De-links?
Derin Sular Serdar's blog celebrates 2 years of publishing, and don't miss the 11 part series: "Lale Devri'nden Günümüze Bireysel Haklar", if your Turkish reading comprehension isn't as weak as mine is.
Energy Newsletter TURKEY I learned more about lignite powered power plants in 2 minutes, than ever
Erkan's field diary Erkan is smiling ear to ear since Besiktas' latest conquest against loser Glatasaray. Here is a fine picture from the game.
Fabulous Finds Chairs, lighting, other furniture.. Nergis is an invisible mute, as always, hasn't responded to a simgle comment I've ever left.
Farid's crazy world... Our half Turkish brother blogs from Azerbaijan.. Happy belated birthday!
Fenerbahce Worldwide Nathan in Louisville (pronouced "Loo-vl") blogging about a Turkish team like no Turk has ever blogged.
Feridun in Japan Check out the largest tramp stamp you ever saw.. Feridun has a Flickr badge I need to check out.
fikirbaz:com New addition here. I'm a big fan and customer of IKEA, so the latest post got my attention.
GeWilli Bad-ass New England bike racer with a Canadian twang. Everything is from the heart at Geoff's blog, which is why it's on my daily "must-visit" list.
Global Voices Online Turkey Deborah- the original name-dropper, getting it done.
Gulay, Galatasaray and the dogs What could be finer than a husband & wife who share a passion for soccer and who blog together? The parents of new-born Leana are lucky indeed.
Hakan Aydin Covers Mehmet Okur's All-Star Game appearance
Icarus Redeemed Celal proves that his glass is (almost) half-full
ignore me if you can Idil is terrorized by things that go thump in the night (My house has 44 windows, 20 of which are on the ground floor, so I sort of know how you feel)..(You mis-spelled 'cry')
James in Turkey Covers recent comments by Kenan Evren and the ubiquitious "Burasi Turkiye" mantra.
Jepalert - news from Turkey A half-decent news-feed-site.. Sorry, it's not really a blog unless you link to other blogs..
Joe's Ramblings Joe was recently Boing-boinged! Love when that happens. (I got Sullivaned and Malkined a few times, it's cool) Joe's latest pictures and videos from Pakistan are awesome.

Coming soon: K through Z!

03 March 2007

Blogger Malfunction? or Malfunctioning Blogger?

I don't know what's going on.. My sidebar appears only occasionally, my daily traffic is down to 1/3 of what it used to be, and I'm getting a little bit angry about it... at myself, of course. Sitemeter is dead to me. I'm having a spell of blogger burn-out, it seems. This just isn't fun anymore. Additionally, one of my new pet peaves is bloggers who do not reciprocate being linked. Petty and immature of me, but it's a real kick in the teeth when you go out of your way to promote and pump up the blogs of others... Murat is sensitive to this stuff. Whatever. I'm going to bed before I put my fist through the monitor.