America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

31 July 2007

World's Largest Handmade Carpet in Tehran

Looks like astro-turf.
A view of the handmade carpet at the Imam Khomeini grand mosque in Tehran, July 31, 2007. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

30 July 2007

NOT a soccer fan

I wouldn't be either. This is a tragic, disgusting, freak accident. This is what happens when idiots fire guns in the air. Those responsible are likely to be oblivious to the loss.. What a heart breaker. Many have died this way in the past week in Iraq. Shame on anyone who fires a pistol as an expression of joy. Unforgiveable stupidity which should be punished. Don't you think? This is what confetti, air horns and party hats are for, no?.
A woman reacts outside a hospital morgue in Mahmoudiya, 30 km (20 miles) south of Baghdad, July 29, 2007, after her daughter was killed by stray bullets as Iraqis celebrate winning the final match of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup soccer tournament against Saudi Arabia held in Jakarta. Police in Baghdad and Kut reported at least seven deaths and more than 50 people wounded by stray bullets as gun-toting revellers took to the streets in a wave of euphoria unprecedented after four years of war. REUTERS/Ibrahim Sultan

Beach Day!

People play on a beach in Qingdao, east China's Shandong province July 28, 2007. The local temperature hit 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday, according to local media. Picture taken July 28, 2007.  REUTERS/China Daily

29 July 2007

Guess who!

No, it's not Adrianna from the Sopranos.. she's my seeeester!
Elif is an Interior Design tycoon. She doesn't answer the phone for less than $1000.

28 July 2007

More racing, less blogging

Above: Attleboro Criterium July 21. Below Cox Classic Criterium June 24

24 July 2007

Catch and release..

I knew he was after me. The way he cut into traffic to avoid losing me up the road. There was still hope until about a mile later. Separated by a Cadillac as we're turning left, the lights and siren powered up as soon as we cleared the intersection. I'm sure Cadillac driver got a scare. I pulled over. Inspection sticker expired in December. Plus I have no front license plate. Having a clean driving record has it's advantages, as it was just a "catch and release", with a warning.. Time to quit pressing my luck? My car needs four new tires to pass inspection. That's $600 which I don't have lying around... Tempting to just trade it in and get a new VW Rabbit. So cute how VW went from Rabbit to Golf and back to Rabbit. Only $14,990 for the stripped-down two-door base-model. Cute commercials too Too bad that I'd probably be offered only about $1200 for my 2001 Hyundai Elantra depreciation nightmare.
The rabbit tramp stamp (above) is by far the most suggestive one can imagine, isn't it?

Year to date miles: 4,694

I don't believe it either.. but it's definitely time for me to get some great results. Looking at the power numbers.. I've trained much harder solo, than I raced on Saturday in Attleboro, and it's unacceptable. No more pissing and moaning and excuses. My form is better than it's ever been, yet I'm blowing it with bad habits such as self-doubt, hesitance and fear. I'm also over-estimating the strength of the competition. No more. It's time to make all of this training worth something. The gloves are off.

23 July 2007

Iraq's Ali Hussein Rehema

Iraq's Ali Hussein Rehema (L) kicks the ball past Vietnam's Nguyen Anh Duc during their 2007 AFC Asian Cup quarter-final match at Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok July 21, 2007. (THAILAND)  REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

20 July 2007

Life's cruel joke

I work in an industry which I have zero, zip, nada, zilch interest in, what-so-effin-ever. How did I end up here? Feeling so jaded.. I so badly want to get a job doing something I love.. too bad I'd probably have to take a 60-70% pay cut.. That's what you call STUCK... and it makes the distaste for one's profession ever fiercer. That I never got to choose the path I really wanted grinds my gears the most though... I'm cursed/blessed with great hands.. I can make things, create, repair.. but once you reach the limits of income which using the hands brings, you look up the totem pole and discover that there's folks up there keeping their hands clean and making triple the money.. Attracts you like a moth to a flame.. So you pursue it, you position yourself higher, thumb your nose at those still on the shop floor.. But you get burnt.. not right away..over time.. it's a slow, smoldering kind of burn.. you don't realize you're on fire until it's too late. Candles burn only at the top for a reason.. Burn-out. I don't have a college education. But I make as much money as if I had a masters degree. Construction is nice that way. As long as you can perform, edumacation don't matter. It's a one way street though.. choose the path of learning a trade, skip college, work your way to the top.. there's no turning back. No other industry will pay big bucks to a high school grad who's a good carpenter or good cabinet maker or a good project manager or a good estimator. No way out. Construction, and all the douch-bag mofos who I deal with day in and day out (not refering to co-workers here), are an inextricable part of my life.. and it breaks my heart to think about it. Partly explains why I must commute to work by bike every day.. Riding home especially, it creates a buffer for the noggin, so that all of the toxicity fed in through my ear and into my head is diluted with fresh air, speed, effort, and the time I get home.. It's the equivalent of knocking back a glass of wine or chugging a beer.. So.. where is my dream job in the bicycle industry? it's probably out there.. and probably pays too little. Ebru would need to take a 2nd husband for us to make ends meet. Either that or get a job herself.. So why not start my own business? I don't have an apetite for risk. Sure money is available to make a go of it.. but it will require sacrifice. The question being.. is it as large a sacrifice as my slow death in construction? Who the fuck knows. Maybe I'll never know. My head hurts now.    

16 July 2007

What do those arrows mean?

A boy walks past a Turkish flag as he carries the flag of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) during a party rally in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep July 14, 2007.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas

13 July 2007

Vote for Ayse Tukrukcu and Saliha Ermez

From friend and fellow Turkish Rhode Islander Ozge:
I recently learned that some Turkish feminist non-govermental organizations are supporting two independent women candidates in the coming elections, Ayse Tukrukcu and Saliha Ermez. What's so interesting about this? Well, when a group of intelligent well-educated activist women come together to support used-to-be prostitutes who held government certificates to do their jobs, it's interesting I think.
I love my country in the respect that such candidacies are "possible" in Turkey. It is so possible that there is an election campaign for these women driven by real intellectuals and illiterates alike with the hope that these women will fight best for the rights of "en diptekiler" (the ones at the very bottom) in their words. This is hope that first they can gather 60,000 "en diptekiler" to vote for these fellow "en dipteki"s and then when they enter the parliament they will beat up the "en tepedekiler" (the ones at the very top) real hard.
Once again, the basic principle of being competent for the job has been a tad overlooked, but one cannot help but want them to be elected from the bottom of the heart. Its a great joy just to imagine the scene where one of these candidates meets Hillary Clinton as the welcoming committee and whispers into her ear with no shame that she is no less whore than herself..
Well I wouldn't, but I bet one of the "en dipteki" would have the courage to do that when needed..

Israel, Turkey, Malaysia, and the nation formerly known as Iraq

Finderss:keepers, losers:weepers!

How about this? Malaysian Muslims insult ME!
"Friendly fire"??:
NOT friendly fire:
(this is the 2nd Times employee killed in Iraq)
So.. we should decide how to refer to the location which US forces now occupy in the Middle East.. dont you think?
Do you like: "the nation formerly known as Iraq".. or..
should we select a proper symbol a la "the artist formerly known as Prince"??
Some suggestions??

10 July 2007

Some chest beating for my non-bike racing readers

Murat has moved up in the rankings! I'm now 6th in the USCF Masters Criterium Rankings for the state of Rhode Island. My results from this past weekend's race in New Britain CT helped to put me there, with a 12th place in the 35+ event and then a 14th place in the 30+ event which followed. Nationally.. Murat is ranked 286th out of all Masters (age 30-99) in the US, out of 3974 total competitors. For what it's worth, I'm happy about my position and look forward to moving higher still on the bike race food chain, before this season ends.
Tell me, how ridiculous is it that for the past five or so years, myself and another Turkish bike racer have competed at the same New Britain event about 10 times, sometimes in the same race, and never met or even seen eachother? Turgut Balikci earned a solid and respectable 8th place in the Masters 45+ event on Sunday.. Turgut, are you avoiding me or what? My bike has a Turkish flag AND my name on it, right above the rear brake caliper. A month ago at the Nutmeg Criterium, we were both in the 35+ race. Would sure help if I knew what he looked like.
Is it 'Nationalist' of me to want to meet another Turkish bike racer? :)

06 July 2007

Haruki: go experience lunchtime bliss

Superb. I ordered the "Chef Box" for $12.00 from Haruki's Lunch Menu.. and now I can die a happy man. You get California roll sushi, you get vegetable tempura (carrot, squash, pepper), shrimp tempura, shrimp dumplings, Miso soup, side salad with sesame dressing, and a serving of fruit! Chopsticks, wasabi and soy sauce all thoughtfully included. I am so satisfied. Highly recommended for those days when you want to blow more than a fin on lunch. Worth every penny. Treat yourself now and then. I always feel more energetic leaving Haruki, than when I arrived. The food seems to fit just right, every time. In Cranston, Rhode Island.

05 July 2007

Is the weekend here yet?

Just told the boss here at work that I'm going away for two weeks at the end of August. Call it a pre-vacation request. They don't like it when anyone takes two consecutive weeks.. so it's best to tell them as early as possible. Where am I going? To the Republic of Turkey of course! Where else? I should be back in time, fresh and strong, for Bob Beal and Topsfield RR.. Who's gonna let me borrow their bike case? Just think, you'll get some very nice exotic security stickers on it when it's returned to you..  
Some levity:
Borat: [while driving] Look, there is a woman in a car! Can we follow her and maybe make a sexy time with her?
Driving Instructor: No, no, no, no, no, no!
Borat: A-why not?
Driving Instructor: Because a woman has the right to choose who she has sex with.
Borat: [stunned] WHAT...? You joke?
Driving Instructor: It must be consentual. How 'bout that?
Borat: [turns to Instructor, pauses] Ahahahahaha!
Driving Instructor: That's good, huh?
Borat: [pause] Is not good for me.
While it may be true that "Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium, all other countries have inferior potassium.".. Turkey has almost 63% of the world's boron potential and boron reserves... How boring.

03 July 2007


Relaxing after the Cox Criterium in Providence

Tall ships in Newport Rhode Island

"Drillin it" at Wells Ave Criterium July 1st. 7th place

02 July 2007

I am not Hrant Dink. I am not Armenian.

Demonstrators hold up placards which read: "We all are Hrant Dink, we all are Armenians" before the trial of the suspects charged with the killing of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink starts at a Turkish court in Istanbul July 2, 2007. The banner in front reads: "We all are witnesses". The trial of the suspects charged with killing the editor began on Monday. (TURKEY)  REUTERS/Stringer
Is it unacceptable to mourn this tragic loss without jumping on some bandwagon?
If a journalist of Turkish etnicity were murdered, which Armenian would declare "We are all Turkish"? How many Turkish diplomats and journalists were struck down in cold blood in the past few decades? Who mourns and remembers them? Who is paying for those crimes?