America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

30 September 2007

Turkish Dreams

Found a new addition for my Blogroll. Made in Poland.

29 September 2007

The Latest From Serdar Kaya: Civic Images

Serdar and I met for coffee in August.. He was passing through my area and we decided to take advantage of the opportunity. We met in the AM so naturally I rode my bike to meet him, on my way to work. The latest feature of his new blog, Civic Images (new to me) are the many pictures he has posted of the city where I live (actually I'm about 10 miles away, in a suburb). Providence has made a remarkable comeback in the last 10 years. Property values doubled, downtown is revitalized with many large construction projects, we have Waterfire, Brown, RISD, Johnson & Wales.. A TON of Turkish students all over the place. We're a waterfront city. Close to New York, even closer to Boston.. Great beaches nearby. We have the two largest casinos in the world just 45 minutes away in CT. We have had numerous movies filmed here (There's Something About Mary, Dumb & Dumber, to name a couple) Anyway, please check out Civic Images for some great photography of city scenes from all over the country, most recently Providence.

28 September 2007

American Ambassadors Unite

American Ambassadors Unite Against H.Res./S.Res. 106 Armenian Resolutions,
Defend American Principles of Fairness and Justice


September 25, 2007


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington , DC 20515-0508

Dear Madam Speaker:

We are writing to express concern that H. Res. 106 could soon be put to a vote. Passage of the resolution would harm our foreign policy objectives to promote reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia . It would also strain our relations with Turkey , and would endanger our national security interests in the region, including the safety of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan .


We do not minimize or deny the enormous significance of the horrible tragedy suffered by ethnic Armenian from 1915 to 1923. During our tenures as Secretaries of the State, we each supported Presidential statements recognizing the mass killings and forced exile of Armenians. It has been longstanding U.S. policy to encourage reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia and to urge the government of Turkey to acknowledge the tragedy. We understand the Administration continues to urge the Turkish government to reexamine its history and to encourage both Turkey and Armenia to work towards reconciliation, including normalizing relations and opening the border. There are some hopeful signs already that both parties are engaging each other. We believe that a public statement by the U.S. Congress at this juncture is likely to undermine what has been painstakingly achieved to date.

We must also recognize the important contributions Turkey is making to U.S. national security, including security and stability in the Middle East and Europe . The United States continues to rely on Turkey for its geo-strategic importance. Turkey is an indispensable partner to our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan , helping U.S military with access to Turkish airspace, military bases, and the border crossing with Iraq , Turkey is a linchpin in the transshipment of vital cargo and fuel resources to U.S. troops, coalition partners and Iraqi civilians. Turkish troops serve shoulder-to- shoulder with distinction with U.S. and other NATO allies in the Balkans. Turkey is also a transit hub for non-OPEC oil and gas and remains key to our effort s to help the Euro-Atlantic community bolster its energy security by providing alternative supply sources and routes around Russia and Iran .

It is our view that passage of this resolution could quickly extend beyond symbolic significance. The popularly elected Turkish Grand National Assembly might react strongly to a House resolution, as it did to a French National Assembly resolution a year ago. The result could endanger our national security interests in the region, including our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan , and damage efforts to promote reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey . We strongly urge you to prevent the resolution from reaching the house floor.

Sincerely,

Madeleine K. Albright
James A. Baker III
Warren Christopher
Lawrence S. Eagleburger
Alexander M. Haig, Jr
Henry A. Kissinger
Colin L. Powell
George P. Shultz”


Dayana Cadeau: Millions of joules.. for what?

This is so wrong. Possibly the only sport in the world in which you work out just to "look" strong. VOmax? Aerobic conditioning? Flexibility? Healthy enlargement of heart and blood vessels? All of the physical enhancements which are proven to add years to your life? Dismissed in favor of growing large muscles and eliminating bodyfat. Is this something you feel like applauding? 
Photo
Professional bodybuilder Dayana Cadeau of Canada poses during a press conference for the 2007 Ms. Olympia in Las Vegas, Nevada September 27, 2007. Ms. Olympia finals will be held September 28. (UNITED STATES)  
REUTERS/HO

Colecovision, Atari, Commodore, Texas Instruments




27 September 2007

Why buy ink when you can get a new printer and ink for the same money?

I visited our local Office Max store on my lunch break and walked out of the store pretty much disgusted.. A black ink cartidge for my Epson printer is $37.. Problem is, I'm not sure if my printer is out of ink, or if it's broken.. Should I pay $40 to find out? Then I spy a new Lexmark printer on the shelf for $40, ink included.. But I like my printer! It accepts those high capacity ink cartridges which last very long! Besides this Lexmark is pretty chintsy looking.. I pass on the new printer and the new cartridge.. Then I find this Epson dot matrix printer- the only one offered.. $279. Apparently they haven't faded away completely as many retailers who print invoices in duplicate need to use them. Funny how the low-tech stuff went up in price while the high tech stuff is given away for free whenever you buy a new computer. The money's in the ink cartridges. This is why, the last two times I went to the store for $40 of new ink, I walked out with a new $60 printer, ink included. But not today.

26 September 2007

Is this for real? PTSD for children of cancer patients?

Why is every natural human response to trauma labeled a "disorder"? Does it mean that those who cope well (or good at faking it) are normal and those who fall apart have something wrong with them? The pharmaceutical companies lead us all into the weeds, per usual. They'll try to make us believe anything for a buck. There's a pill for everything.. except greed.

Father's health

We're going to lose him to lung cancer. A botched attempt at surgery today, in Bursa.. They were supposed to burn some nerve endings leading to his arm for pain relief. Equipment failure.. They will try again tomorrow. I'm a fucking mess. I don't know how to deal with a dying parent.. especially one who's either oblivious or in denial of his condition.. or do I describe myself here? Fuck.

25 September 2007

Road Rash: Not for the Squeamish!

Okay.. Caulk this up as the most disgusting post I've ever given you.. If you have a weakness for the sight of blood and/or asphalt abrasion injuries, do not scroll down (yet I know you will anyway) With all of the well wishers asking how I'm healing up, I owe it to them to give the most accurate answer possible. Pictures speak a thousand words! I'm healing fast. No infections. The body is a miraculously remarkable regenerating machine with natural self defense mechanisms.. even pain killers! After a physical injury, endorphins activate opiate receptors and produce an analgesic effect, alleviating severe pain. This doesn't last for very long, regrettably. Above: Two days after the crash. Below: Six days later.

Above: Day after the crash. Below: One week later.


Above: Day after he crash. Below: One week later. (Yes I've been picking at this one and snipping away the arm hairs that are caught in the scab.)

The coin has dropped.. (Jeton dustu)

..this blog is about what interests ME! and lately there isn't much worth mentioning, in my mind. I could try to be psychic and predict what will interest all of YOU.. but that would be the equivalent of selling out, now wouldn't it? Which is worse? The selfish "it's all about me-me-me" approach, or the "I know what you like" sell-out approach? Neither sounds much better than the other. For my mental health, it's best when I use this place as a toxic waste dump for my brain, without regard to anything else. When I get in the mood to spotlight the blogs of others with one of my "Hitchhiker's Guides".. that is by far the most satisfying. What to do? Maybe I'll just start regurgitating some of my very early posts.. especially the ones with 50+ comments.. Whacking some of the older hornet's nests might be just the thing, for now.

24 September 2007

Feeling Loopy

Ever since returning from Turkey and crashing in the race last Sunday and nursing all my wounds and falling back in love with our home here in Rhode Island (we cleared our extra lot of trees and we're about to hydroseed it and turn it into a playground for our son).. among other things.. I'm feeling kind of weird. As if the past 3-4 weeks was the mid-point intermission of an epic movie, and the 2nd half of it is about to begin.. Is this mid life? I'm only 36! For whatever reason, I feel fired up like an athlete emerging from the locker room after half time. At the same time there's a little bit of fear, some anxiety, and some urgency all tossed together with some cautious optimism. One full week of refraining from riding the bicycle might have caused an accumulation of pent up energy as well. I don't know where to begin, what to focus on, or what to abandon (I can't do it all). Time never stops.. and that's what causes me the most panic of all.
243818-508473-thumbnail.jpg

23 September 2007

Flaccid

This place, this site.. for the past many months, perhaps a year or more, I've really failed to give visitors anything compelling, controversial, intelligent or even mildly interesting. There's a new fork in the road.. Either I bring Amerikan Turk to a dignified ending, or else I must really breath some life into it! Not sure which direction to take. The two year anniversary for this blog passed on July 5th.. Time to shit or get off the pot.. as the saying goes.

20 September 2007

Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl: My hero

Foo Fighters are one of my favorites... and I love Dave Grohl's look.. the longish hair and ungroomed beard. This is how I picture myself. Would work for me if I could get away with looking like that at work.. but I can't.. Damnit. Great new song too. Dave does a lot of the screaming and shouting for me which I cannot do for myself. It's chicken soup for my soul..

19 September 2007

Close Encounters with other bloggers

Before my trip to Turkey last month, the day before leaving actually, I had the honor of meeting two bloggers for coffee in the morning. They were passing through Providence on their way to Boston's Logan Airport and contacted me in advance. I won't reveal their identities, but I will say this much: I wasn't planning on meeting two bloggers on that day, just one.. and his spouse. Turns out that my blog friend was married to the author of another blog in my Blogroll. Astonishing. Meeting both of them was one thing, discovering they are married was quite another.
Then in Turkey, I tried to arrange for a meeting with
Hans, Erkan and Idil, but plans fell through at the last minute, with Hans falling ill, Idil blowing me off.. er, going to work, and Erkan attending a conference which I could not get to. I did get to speak with each of them on the phone, however.. and that was a treat, though way short of a consolation. Maybe next time!

17 September 2007

Crash Video: Murat takes a bad spill today



2007 Bob Beal 30-39 Criterium from Murat Altinbasak on Vimeo.

Some recent pictures..

Our pride and joy, Reis.. A fish out of water, with fingers and toes shriveled like raisins.
A chip off the old block, like father like son, acorn never falls far from the tree.. etc.
Father and son swimming at Ela Quality Resort's beach..
Mother and son doing the same.
Riding the backroads of Aspendos area near Antalya
From a tea garden someplace in Bebek..
All you can eat at the resort. So much food is wasted..
The sign marking the street where my grandparents have lived, forever. I see a curse word under the blue..
Too sexy for my shirt.. Wife will be astonished that I posted this one.
The view from the highway, while driving our rental car from Antalya to Bursa. Makes the spirit soar, doesn't it?
Honoring The One who requires no introduction.
Along Route 101 in Rhode Island, the day I stopped to rescue a turtle in the middle of the road.


Walking on the beach in Conimicut. (Used the timer)
The huge 'cinar' which is at the mouth of my grandmother's dead end street in Maksem, Bursa.
The view from my father's balcony in Mudanya. Not too shabby.
The dead end street where I grew up playing ball with the neighbor's kids, 30 years ago. This street used to be cobblestone.

16 September 2007

Bob Beal Criterium 2007: Murat takes a fall

Video grabs.. Shredded my knee pretty bad.


Both hands, wrist, fore arm, knee, shin, hip, shoulder and elbow are now skin free!

My shoulder under that tattered base layer looks like calf's liver.
The camera man being yours truly... Murat crashed hard today. At the beginning of the 4th or 5th lap, diving into the hard left hand corner, my rear tire blew out, and I went skidding and sliding on my left side for what seemed like an eternity. Had kind of an out-of body experience in the 2.5 seconds it took to come to a stop.. Saw myself sliding and saying to myself.. "this is bad".. My first thought upon standing up and checking myself, was taking a free lap and getting back into the race. Then I saw my brake levers both bent inwards, my knuckles all shredded, and my rear flat.. I limped back to the car and nursed my wounds. I will post the video soon, which includes gratuitous coverage of my injuries, post-crash..
I counted a total of 25 isolated areas of skin loss, half of them on my hands. My shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist, knee and shin have all been stripped of skin. I bathed when I got home, and scrubbed every wound in the shower with soap.. The most pain I've felt since being hit by a car last year..

12 September 2007

Photos from Turkey

There's a NEW Flickr badge on the left, with almost 100 pictures from our trip to Turkey. Enjoy!

11 September 2007

Blackberry me

I'm getting one tomorrow, from work. Every project manager but me already has one, because I was expected to  move into the estimating department and do very limited travel. This transition is going to be delayed, so my unit is on order. I'm not sure if this is something to be happy about, but I love techie stuff, so I guess I'll like it for at least the first few weeks. Any good video games in those things? On that note..
You know what the world needs? A bike race video game. Similar to Grand Theft Auto, except you're an American in Europe, start out broke, doing odd jobs like trafficking dope to survive, to buy bikes, race, get fit etc. It could work. Put me down for one, when it comes out.   

More Automobiles

Forgot to also mention Opel, Skoda and Seat. My grandfather had one of those old Skoda pick up trucks in the 70s.. the one with the crokked rear wheels. Those big ugly Lincoln Navigoators were conspicuously absent! They were all the rage at one time. Seems that Land Rovers and Range Rovers have taken over.

10 September 2007

Automobiles

Is it me or are the cars on the road in Turkey just so much cooler than the ones we have here? Fiats, Peugeots, Renaults, Citroens.. You have to see some of these things. Our friends in Istanbul have a Citroen Picasso (C4?) It's a minivan like I've never seen before. I won't bore you with details.. except that when you put your hand into the map pockets on the front doors, they light up inside. One example. The dashboard is a-mazing. (Am I easily impressed?) In Istanbul, we spent a little time in Bebek, which in my mind, is the equivalent of Beverly Hills. I saw more Land Rover Discoveries in one short drive than I've seen all year in Providence. An Aston Martin was double parked with it's four ways blinking. WTF. Man, those Citroens are cool.. all of them. And if you haven't seen the new Peugeots (no longer sold in the US for 10-15 years) go to their website and look. They're hot.   

Home sweet home

We made it home last night, safe and sound. More later!

04 September 2007

Hans & Oz..

Cant do the image verification so.. heres my comment reply
Yes Oz.. I cant seem to find the comma either.. and I've given up on the apostrophy.
We are transferring to Istanbul Sat early morning from Mudanya..
Im gonna need your number as I dont yet know how I can be reached!

I trust I wont ever spend 200YTL for a fish dinner for four ever again.. Never again. That sucked. I dont understand how anyone in this country affords anything. I make a lot of money yet I'm still feeling sticker shock.. Everythings cheaper in the US.. What the fuck is up with NINE DOLLARS for a gallon of gas? Who sets these prices? What are they smoking? Americans piss and moan about paying 2.75!!!!!!!!! SHUT THE F UP!!!!!!!!!!!! Next American who complains about it near me will get punched in the head and kicked in the crotch. It cost me 100 dollars to fill the tank of a god damned KIA RIO!

01 September 2007

Dinner in Antalya

Having just returned from dinner at a very nice restaurant, Ým thoroughly stuffed with grilled lamb and beef, salads, fruit, and my favorite dessert, kunefe.. Ý was at first grateful that the waiters cared so much about my hydration, constantly filling my glass with water, me hungrily drinkýng it down.. then Ý realized what a racket it was.. We were charged for every large bottle we consumed.. 2 YTL each x three. Silly me. Dinner for four was 133 YTL, or a little over 100 dollars. Anadolu Et Lokanta isnt cheap! but worth it Ý guess.. Today we checked out of our second resort (Club Mega Saray in Kadrýye) Previously we spent fýve nights at Ela Qualýty Resort ýn Belek. We wanted another night, but they were full to capacity. More to come..