America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

31 May 2007

Top general: Turkey ready for PKK strike in Iraq

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's top general said Thursday the military was ready to stage a cross-border offensive to fight Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq and that he already had sought government approval to mount military action.
 
You can clip a bird's wings only so many times before you are bitten. -AT
 

30 May 2007

Stefano Garzelli celebrates on the Stage 16 Giro d'Italia podium

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Italian rider Stefano Garzelli celebrates on the podium after the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia from Agordo to Lienz in Austria May 29, 2007. (AUSTRIA)  REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

28 May 2007

Hartford Criterium of 2007: Pro-1-2 Race Video

As promised! I stayed up quite late getting this completed and uploaded to Google. The brightness and contrast is good, but Google compresses the file and we lose some resolution. Nothing we can do about that.. unless we burn the original uncompressed file to a DVD...
A note about comments. If you view this video at the Google website (click on the title above) then you can leave comments there and give everyone a heads up of when your team mates are in view. Simply indicate the "minutes: seconds" and Google turns it into a clickable link which takes visitors there automatically.
Additionally, please take a few seconds to click on my sponsor links, both here and at www.unionvelo.blogspot.com. I make a few pennies with each click, and it costs you nothing. Thanks for watching. Hope you will share the link to this page with your friends. Many thanks.

26 May 2007

25 May 2007

Eurovision Song Contest 2007: Not impressed with the weiners

The Serbian presentation was a horror show. Singing was excellent, especially the lead singer.. but the tennis shoes? the androgyny? the un-tucked shirt?
It's Pat! (reference the Saturday Night Live character from the 90s)
Look at me! I'm unattractive, I've stopped trying, the women behind me look beautiful, but my voice redeems my horrible appearance.. Uh… No. At least slick your hair back, tuck in your shirt and wear a pair of black wingtip shoes. You want to look like a man that's your business, but winning the competition looking like a slob- that's just too much for me to stay quiet about. Even the glasses are annoying... I'm in an exceptionally cruel mood.

Fatih Akin at Cannes Film Festival: Auf Der Andersen Seite

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Director Fatih Akin attends a news conference for his film "Auf Der Anderen Seite" at the 60th Cannes Film Festival May 23, 2007. REUTERS/Jean-paul Pelissier
As a huge fan of "Gegen die Wand", it goes without saying that I have immense respect for this man. Akin is Turkey's answer to Quentin Tarantino. Only 33 years old according to IMDB Bravo. -AT 

Reis caught skinny dipping at Goddard Park Beach

Reis (above), mommy and grandma went to the beach yesterday at Goddard Park, where they were ambushed by the papparazzi.. Reporters took pictures, words were exchanged, no lenses were smashed.. He's also on the front page of the Providence Journal website. (Probably today only) The newspaper was kind enough to deposit a packet of copies on our doorstep this morning- hard copies of the newspaper- remember those??
Thank you Providence Journal. Very cool.

24 May 2007

Turkey plans for attack on Kurds

ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- "The war drums are getting louder in Turkey, and they can be heard next door in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, and across the globe in Washington as well.
Many Turkish officials and citizens -- enraged by Tuesday's deadly bombing -- want the Turkish military to hit back at the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, the hard-line Kurdish separatist group thought by many in the government and on the street to have staged the blast and other militant actions.
At least six people died and more than 100 were injured in the rush hour bombing at an Ankara shopping district. (Full story)
Senior Turkish officers have said that operations against the PKK would require troops to cross into the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, which many PKK militants -- also long situated in southeastern Turkey -- have chosen as their base." Full CNN Article

2551st Birthday of the Buddha Celebrated Today

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A worker attaches name cards to lotus lanterns during a ceremony celebrating the 2,551st birthday of Buddha at the Chogye temple in Seoul, May 24, 2007. REUTERS/Jo Yong-hak

22 May 2007

Cutty Sark: Dad's whiskey of choice

He would do shots of Cutty Sark and chase it down with a little glass of beer. Shot, chaser, shot, chaser, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat... You get the idea. Good old "Five Corners Pub" in College Point was one of his favorite watering holes. It's still there, 30 years later. We drove past it the other week, while in New York. We're in the habit of stopping at a pizzeria where I would eat as a kid in the seventies- Copolla Restaurant on 14th Avenue, down the street from Five Corners. To die for, their pizza. Worth the pit stop. Well worth it. One day I'll stop into Five Corners too and have a shot of Cutty Sark and chase it down with a small glass of beer, shitty beer like Pabst Blue Ribbon or Schlitz. I'll go in there and probably see the same haggard faces from 25-30 years ago and tell them "Charlie" says hello. Cheers.
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21 May 2007

Marco Pinotti: An unflattering photo of the Giro d' Italia leader

Thanks to... last night's episode of The Sopranos.. Am I the only one who sees that suicidal AJ bears a very strong resemblance to Floyd Landis?  
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Italian rider Marco Pinotti celebrates on the podium after the eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, 200 km (124 miles) from Barberino di Mugello to Fiorano Modenese, May 20, 2007. Norwegian rider Kurt-Asle Arvesen won the stage while Pinotti took the leader's pink jersey. (ITALY)  REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

18 May 2007

Jalilipour sisters: Iranian 'Dukes of Hazard' in the Tehran Rally

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Iranian rally driver Marzieh Jalilipour (R) listens to her sister and navigator Razieh Jalilipour as they prepare to start the fourth test of the Tehran rally in the desert southwest of Tehran May 17, 2007. (IRAN)  REUTERS/Caren Firouz
Bravo!

17 May 2007

Turkish Republic Celebrates Youth Day

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Trumpeters of a school band blow their instruments as thousands of youths attend a march through a main street in Istanbul May 16, 2007. Turkey is to celebrate May 19 Youth Day this week, that marks the 88th anniversary of the start of Turkey's independence war when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, arrived in Samsun during the collapse of Ottoman empire in the end of World War I.  REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

16 May 2007

Orhan Pamuk: Jury Member of the 60th Cannes Film Festival

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Jury president Stephen Frears (4th R) poses with jury members, from L-R, Orhan Pamuk, Marco Bellocchio, Abderrahmane Sissako,Toni Collette, Maria De Medeiros, Frears, Sarah Polley, Maggie Cheung, Michel Piccoli during a photocall at the 60th Cannes Film Festival May 16, 2007. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Greenpeace builds replica of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey

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In this picture provided by Greenpeace, a Turkish villager looks at the replica of Noah's Ark as its under being construction near mount Ararat in Agri, eastern Turkey, Saturday, May 12, 2007. Greenpeace activists are building a replica of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat, the mountain where the original Biblical Ark is said to have landed after the great flood, in an appeal to world leaders to take action against global warming. Turkish and German volunteer carpenters were building the wooden ship on the mountain in eastern Turkey, that sits on the border with Iran. (AP Photo/Manuel Citak, Greenpeace, HO) AP Story

Drop Box for unwanted babies in Japan

I repeat: Is Japan falling apart? My image of Japan was always one word: excellence. I can explain that delusion for hours I suppose.. and won't.

15 May 2007

Is Japan "falling to pieces"?

Strong Stomach? I don't know about you, but I don't even like cutting hard boiled eggs in half.

14 May 2007

Over One Million Turks Rally to Support Secularism

Demonstrators waving national flags during an anti-government rally in Turkey's western coastal city of Izmir on Sunday. (Fatih Saribas/Reuters ) Herald Tribune

11 May 2007

Powertap: Little, yellow, different

Yeah that's the old "Nuprin" catch phrase from the 80s I think. Picked up my Powertap SL yesterday.. Not impressed with the amount of hardware your get for the money! (Talking over $1000 here) I'm assuming most of the bling-bling cost is in the hub and the 'puter. Worked out nicely that I was up in Boston yesterday, getting my ass reamed at an owner's meeting, by an architect who I have some history with at other projects.. Why can't I work with guys like John Lowenstein? or Wade Tardiff? or Tom Officer or Gulay's Husband Andy? (actually I did work with Tom long ago). (Any other racers work in carpentry, millwork, construction or architecture? Speak up! We'll form our own team!) At any rate, my sponsor calls and says the PT is IN. YESSS. I swing by on the way back to Providence and settle up. (My yellow epx bike is offered for sale, btw) The rest of the day sucked because I had to drive with wife and child down to JFK to pick up mother-in-law who flew in from Turkey. I love my mother in law, but I hate NYC.. even though I was born in Queens, and even though I lived in Woodside, Kew Gardens, and College Point until I was fifteen, I renew my vow never to live there again during every visit. Needless to say we got home pretty late. That's a lot of driving though.. Round trip to Boston, round trip to JFK, all in one day. Rode in to work this morning.. Keep seeing the same group of 2-3-4 guys on the bike path in the mornings, from the opposite direction. Can't make out the faces or the kits as we greet eachother. It's nice to see friendly faces before getting to work though.. I wonder if any of them are visitors here and think "there goes Murat". I flatter myself completely, I know. Not to pick at old wounds, but I can't help but note the irony of having so much weight given to my words, while being called a "nobody" at the same time. I guess that I'm not the only one who is prone to letting emotions cloud my judgment. Bygones. Peace.

08 May 2007

Schoolhouse Rock Cartoon of the Week: Pronouns

As a child of the seventies, I was deeply affected by this this educational cartoon series. We couldn't wait until the real cartoons ended, because these were interspersed in between the episodes of Looney Toons, Superfriends and Scooby Doo. I recently bought our three year old son Reis a DVD containing all of the favorites. He loves it, and asks to watch it every night before bed. Here's one of my favorites. Pronouns. One of the cutest of all the Schoolhouse Rock videos.

Slums in Mumbai Demolished: Where's UNICEF?

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Akshay, 5, reclines on his father, Rajan while sitting in the rubble of their shelter, which was demolished by the government in a drive to remove slums from the streets of Mumbai, May 4, 2007.  REUTERS/Arko Datta
Feeling lucky now? Is it so easy to shrug off the extremely favorable lives we live, as we look at those less fortunate? The next person I hear complaining about their cell phone's reception or the speed of their internet connection or the resolution of their flat screen tv or the price of gasoline or the food and alcohol they abuse or their credit score, gets and a kick in the crotch and an uppercut on the chin. -AT

Jessica Simpson: Beady eyes and chicken lips anyone?

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Actress Jessica Simpson kisses designer Roberto Cavalli as they arrive to attend the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala "Poiret: King Of Fashion" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York May 7, 2007. (UNITED STATES)  
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
 
Bestowing her with the distinction of "actress" or "singer" is a cruel joke the world's played on her. No talent whatsoever. Yecch. Couldn't quite put my finger on it, but now I realize that in Turkey we have a word for what she looks like above. -AT

07 May 2007

Miss Belly Dance Contest in Budapest Hungary: Who won?

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A dancer performs at the Miss Belly-Dance contest in Budapest, May 6, 2007.  
REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh
Makes Paris Hilton look like a pile of puke. -AT

02 May 2007

I knew Jack Russels were feisty.. R.I.P. George..

I don't care how many pit bull owners are out there who have the cutest, cuddliest one on earth. Kill it. Get rid of it. Now. Rottweilers too.. Accessorize your life with something that doesn't have a jaw rated at 1500 psi. My remarks may come off as ignorant. That's quite alright with me.. Pit bull Wiki

Amazingly Simple Home Remedies

This is via one of my must-visit-daily sites, that of fellow bike racer and blogger, Gewilli
1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of
boiling water down your throat and presto, the blockage will be almost
instantly removed.
2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting
someone else to hold them while you chop away.
3. You can avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat
just by using the sink.
4. For high blood pressure sufferers: simply cut yourself and bleed for
a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use
an egg timer.
5. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from
rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.
6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you
will be afraid to cough.
7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb with a hammer and you will
forget all about the toothache.
8. In life, you only need two tools - WD-40 and Duct Tape.
If it doesn't move but should, use the WD-40.
If it should not move and does, use the duct tape.
9. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.
Thought for the Day:
SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... THEY ARE NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING
... BUT THEY STILL BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN YOU PUSH THEM DOWN A
FLIGHT OF STAIRS.

Venues needed for Armenia-Azerbaijan showdown

Story What's all the fuss about?

01 May 2007

Mayday! May Day! Happy Birthday!

Today is dear wife's birthday! Happy Birthday Ebru! Sorry to be at work :(
Readers, on this day exactly 30 years ago, Ebru managed to convince her father not to attend the May Day rallies and demonstrations. We believe it might have saved his life. Ebru is better at telling the story, hopefully she weighs in!
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May Day protesters are dosed with a water canon by police during clashes in Istanbul, May 1, 2007.
REUTERS/Fatih Saribas
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Riot police fire tear gas to stop May Day protesters from forcing their way into Taksim Square in Istanbul May 1, 2007.  
REUTERS/Fatih Saribas