America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

29 December 2007

Meet Olivia and Nathan Anderson

Here, do the math:
"In this small room, witnessing this horror, was 6-year-old Olivia Anderson and her 3-year-old brother, Nathan. We alleged that McEnroe spoke to each child and apologized for what he was about to do. The evidence will show that McEnroe then shot each child in the head from very close range," said Satterberg.
The court documents indicate the couple tried to flee to Canada after the killings, but returned to the scene the following day for some reason, where they were detained and confessed.

So let me get this straight.. This loser girl (Michele Anderson) and her boyfriend (Joseph McEnroe) pre-meditate a plan to kill her parents, on Christmas eve, of all days. After shooting them both to death, they drag the bodies to the shed (you must be fucked in the head and high on dope to get this far, BTW).. then they ambush her brother and his immediate family, (who were visiting to celebrate CHRISTMAS) which included her brother's wife and two children, aged 3 and 6.. After offing her brother over some money issue which I'm sure was in the few hundred dollar range.. she shoots her sister in law to death, who by the way.. begged for them to have mercy and not kill her or her two children... Then lowlife Joe McEnroe, this piece of shit Target employee.. gets down on his knees to engage the wailing and terrified toddler and child, and he apologizes IN ADVANCE before blowing their brains out. He does this.. to avoid being caught, to leave no one living who might possibly ID him and his loser girlfriend (who he met online). The IRONY of the story? Read the words in RED, above.. and hope that this IRONY haunts every fucking moment of the rest of their miserable fucking lives. Full Story
Death penalty? I'm always against it, except for when children are involved.. because if you cannot show mercy to innocent babies and children, then you are not a person.. you are some kind of parasitic demonic animal,.. too dangerous and too frightening to let live.

28 December 2007

Wyoming's is the coolest...

The Wyoming Quarter
The Utah Quarter

..State Quarter . It has the most distinctive and cleanest look of them all, IMHO. Check your pockets, you might have one.
On the other hand.. Utah's state quarter has me scratching my head.. (Check your pockets, get rid of these..) That vertical figure in the center looks like I-don't-know-what, positioned in between two spread legs.. I'm not a perv.. just highly visual. I see things.. Making those mountains nearly symmetrical- big mistake! The only thing missing here is a tunnel! Utah, what were you thinking? Is that Brokeback Mountain or a person's crotch in the background? Ugh.

27 December 2007

Hedo Turkoglu..the Magic beat the Knicks 110-96

Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu (L) shoots the ball over New York Knicks forward David Lee during the second half of NBA basketball action in Orlando, Florida, December 26, 2007. The Magic beat the Knicks 110 - 96. REUTERS/Kevin Kolczynski (UNITED STATES)

Please vote on my new team uniforms! Which one rocks?

24 December 2007

Turkish Soldiers on patrol in Yuksekova

..and all I can think about is how cool it would be ride my bike down that road.. What a majestic view.
Turkish soldiers patrol on a road near Yuksekova in southeastern Turkey, bordering Iraq, December 24, 2007. Turkish warplanes targeting Kurdish rebels bombed areas in northern Iraq on Sunday for the second day in a row but caused no casualties, an Iraqi Kurdish official said. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

21 December 2007

Update on my father's condition

It's not so much that I want the whole world to know and feel pity or anything.. I have to get this stuff out of my system, and this blog is as good a listener as anyone. At least it doesn't judge me.. Here's where I "spill my poison", as the saying goes.. and no one has a gun to your head forcing you to read..
My father has lung cancer, stage 4, inoperable. Tumors have spread to his liver and to his bones.. His clavicle has been fractured by the tumor which grows on and around it, so pain is a big issue right now. When he was here a month or so ago, the doctor told him that chemotherapy would not be very effective, so my father declined the treatment. He decided to return to Turkey. As it turns out, he's started another round of chemo over there, and continues to treat the pain with morphine and other narcotic drugs. Last week he sounded quite cheerful on the phone.. Still on his feet, still trying to build his musical instruments, still smoking cigarettes too.. what's the point of stopping now if it gives you comfort? I wouldn't.
When my brother and I took him to TF Green airport the other month for his connection to JFK, we sat there with him at the gate, not knowing what to say or how to act. When it was time to board, we stood with him in line, said our farewells, hugged, kissed.. He entered the ramp to board and started walking away from us.. and just before turning the corner, he stopped, and he turned around and he looked at us for a moment, waving.. realizing that maybe, it was for the very last time. I almost fell apart right then and there.. and then he continued.. out of sight. As my younger brother and I walked down the concourse and away from the gate, I had to stay a few paces in front of him to hide the anguished and tearful look on my face.. and perhaps it would have been like looking in the mirror, had I turned around to face him, I don't know.. and who the hell knows what my father's face looked like after he turned the corner away from us.. I think I might have an idea, but it hurts to try and imagine it. Thanks for reading. 

20 December 2007

Galatasaray defection

Little known fact: My parents and the whole extended Altinbasak Family is densely populated with die hard Galatasaray fans. I didn't realize this until after my dear wife Ebru and her brother Umit indoctrinated me into a Fenerbahce fan.. Meanwhile, I can barely name any of the players. Such shame I feel.. such a turncoat I am.. my parents tell me so.. So who won?
Galatasaray's Umit Karan reacts to a missed shot during their UEFA Cup Group H soccer match against Austria Vienna at Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, December 19, 2007. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

Song title and artist?

When you look through the years and see what you could have been...
What you might have been...
If you had haaaad mooooore time..

The moral: don't let your head hit the pillow each night without the satisfaction of knowing that you did everything humanly possible to advance towards achieving your goals.. What can be worse than looking back upon your life and seeing that you squandered your most precious asset? Time... You don't even KNOW how much of it you have left!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

17 December 2007


When I was a young boy, I'd have these disturbing dreams. In them, I'd become a tiny being, small enough to climb through the eye of a needle, or stand on it's tip, or be crushed into paste by the fingers handling the needle. Sounds would be so amplified at my small size that I would clasp my ears in pain at the slightest movement of air around me. My eardrums would puncture. I'd wake up feeling so weak and disoriented.. I don't have those dreams anymore, but instead I imagine that the universe is a piece of floating dandelion fuzz, carried by the wind and caught in between my fingers. Sleep disorders have vexed me for a long time. Sleep paralysis has been kept at bay for a couple of years, but there was a time when the "Old Hag" would visit me night after night after night, making my slumber into a painful exercise in avoiding death- that's how it feels- like you're being crushed and suffocated, or like someone's extinguishing a giant cigarette and you're caught under it.. I even wrote a blog post about it a couple of years ago- to this day it's one of my most visited pages.. These days, I sleep for not more than two hours at a time, I wake up shivering. I change out of my soaking wet tee shirt and try to go back to sleep on the damp sheets and pillow. The other night I went through four tee shirts in this way. The morning comes and I welcome it.. A steaming hot shower prepares me for that blast of icy air hitting my face when I exit the house and ride my bike to work in temperatures which would make your skin crawl. It's during such rides that it feels as though my brain may erupt into a fireball and blast through my skull and into the sky like a flare. When you're doing exactly what you want to be doing, and when you're positioned exactly where you want to be, that's how it's supposed to feel. That's what you call joy.. I'm a little bit drunk.. so ignore me.


Dear wife took this picture of me at Denny's today. We always swear never to return to that awful place.. and then a few months go by, amnesia sets in and we try it again. Denny's sucks. Avoid.
It's been a few days and I'm kind of out of it- sorry dear readers! With the recent blizzard and follow up storm we had here in New England, it's been gray and dreary and kind of depressing to be in the clutch of winter. I'm busily building my new bike racing team, finding new sponsors, recruiting racers, ordering custom apparel, working, blogging whenever I can, commuting to work by bike as much as possible, growing my hair out a bit.. Bought myself a new fixed gear commuter bike.. About to buy new bike racks for our minivan. Selling kid's bikes on the internet.. Training for 2008 as much as possible, sometimes indoors on the wind trainer or the rollers.. In good health and feeling pretty strong lately.. Here's a picture I took of myself after a 100 minute ride in the 20 degree cold of this past Saturday. It's colder than it looks, especially on the water in Colt Park. I went out there to do the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen ride at 11:00 on Saturday, only to realize that the ride was actually on Sunday! Never to waste a chance to ride my bike, I instead went for a solo ride through the towns of Bristol, Warren and Barrington.. Stopped and saw a friend who was at work.. tried unsuccessfully to ride on the snowy bike path.. Good times.. almost fell on some black ice (that slipping sensation is so much scarier on a fixed gear bike!) Keep warm!

11 December 2007

Cute AND Delicious!

Even rats are a delicacy, so why not cats? If PETA can't think of a better way to handle over population- both creatively and nutritiously, then they should just shut the hell up. Animals are consumed. They are slaughtered in order to be consumed, usually. Slaughtering an animal is considered unethical treatment. So does this mean that every PETA a vegetarian? Please cure my ignorance.  
.. and do cats have wishbones? Can you hear it snapping as two Chinese people play tug of war with it? 
A cat is caged at Qingping market in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, China, December 10, 2007. Scorpions scamper in bowls, water snakes coil in tanks and cats whine in cramped cages, waiting to be slaughtered, skinned and served for dinner. Welcome to the Qingping market, where everything from turtles to insects are sold alongside fowl and freshly caught fish. REUTERS/Joe Tan

Commuting by Bike: Hazardous to your mental health (?)

Yesterday, I decided to punish myself with a bike commute to and from work. I use the word "punish" because I've been quite a sissy-boy in the "cold weather riding" department. Resolving to ride the fixed gear bike to work 2-3 times a week, all winter long, I decided to pick one of the nastier days as a way to "break myself in". "Future rides to work won't seem as bad" I reasoned.. Well.. aside from a quick fall on black ice, my ride to work was quite enjoyable, all 9 miles of it. The ride home.. a different story.. It wasn't the darkness that ruined it, it wasn't the cold wind or the damp drizzle or the slick roads.. It was the people who I shared the road with. Quittin' time does something to New Englanders I think. Getting home seems to be a bigger urgency than getting to work, that's for damn sure. 
A motorist driving an enormous pick up truck- the kind with four rear wheels and four doors- thoughtfully slowed to my pace, lowered his window, wagged his finger and yelled at me to "GET ON THE SIDEWALK!". On at least three other occasions, motorists blared their horns at me, and then once they could get past me, gunned the throttle while shaking their heads in disapproval. I can't read their moving lips too well, but their "body language" makes it pretty clear that feathering their brakes for a few seconds while basking in the warmth and comfort of their car, in order to avoid pasting the road with my shivering body parts, , is not appreciated.. at all.
Mentally, it really takes the wind out of your sails. You know you're doing something good for the body, for the mind and even for the environment, but those who can't afford to be delayed for 5 seconds by a human life perched precariously on top of a 20 pound machine going 20 miles an hour through the darkness on top of frozen asphalt, really make it hard to be optimistic about anything to do with PEOPLE. Enough said.
If you're a motorist and encounter a person riding a bicycle on the road, try something new: YIELD deliberately- give way- wave them through- let them pass before you make your turn. I PROMISE you that the cyclist will respond to you with a wave and a smile, or otherwise go out of their way to express thanks. If they don't, caulk it up as a rare exception- friendly motorists are so rare these days that sometimes an act of kindness is met with shock or disbelief. Have faith. WE still do.. or else we'd give up on this bike cummuting thing entirely.

06 December 2007

Captain Sinan Eroglu: Laid to rest in Istanbul

We must salute all of those men and women who serve our country as it's protectors, and we must especially honor those who pay the ultimate price fighting on the front lines. G-d bless Sinan Eroglu and his grieving family.
Tugba Eroglu (L) follows a soldier carrying a picture of her husband Captain Sinan Eroglu, who was killed during clashes in southeast Turkey a day before, during a funeral ceremony in Istanbul December 5, 2007. Eight more Kurdish PKK guerrillas have been killed in continuing clashes with Turkish troops in southeastern Turkey, bringing the toal death toll among the rebels so far to 14, the military General Staff said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

04 December 2007

Some feedback please?

Does my latest angry diatribe offend anyone? Is it more interesting? less interesting? than say the typical Amerikan Turk news photo with my two sentence comment?
I'm trying to find a way to bring visitors back here regularly. Screw Google. I want people to WANT to come here. I want people to say "I wonder what he's pissed off about today?"
As I approach the 100,000 visitor mark, I want to be poised to reach 1 million visits before I'm 40.. Recognizing that overall, I'm not a very interesting person, I'm thinking about at least making what I say, very interesting. That means taking off the gloves and throwing political correctness out the window, going on the offensive, attacking the things which are incompatible with my principles, my convictions, my beliefs. Am I just asking for trouble?
Traffic.. Yeah huge traffic would be fine and dandy.. as would making more than $1-2 a day on Google Adsense. But what it all boils down to for me is one thing: Having a willing audience, not an audience driven here by a Google search result. For this transformation, I think I need to get out on top of my glass house and start casting stones galore. Am I nuts?

Boycott Dunkin Donuts

They are the single biggest contributor to the pear and watermelon shaped profile of New Englanders with their various 1000 calorie sugar bomb drinks, not to mention the abundant trash and debris on the roads next to the curb.. Ask me, I ride my bike, I see this stuff up closer than the average motorist. Anyone who compulsively drinks their disgusting concoctions day after day and then wonders why their body's covered with 3" of flab- I have no fucking pity for you. You deserve it.
They gave me a croissant soaked in butter this morning, no napkins, and when I sipped my coffee (cream, two sugars) and it had the consistency of chocolate milk, except with twice the sugar, and the addition of a disgusting pumpkin "spice" flavor. I promptly dumped it in the bathroom toilet. Whoever among you out there actually drinks that crap- get your head examined. As for me- Never again. 

03 December 2007

Prescription Drug Rip-off & Radio Advertising

Explain this to me:
My father gets a 30 day supply (180 pills) of Vicodin for $11.69 at Rite Aid. (he has no insurance) My dentist gives me a seven day supply (15 pills) of the same exact drug, and I pay CVS Pharmacy a $20 CO-PAY!?!?!? What the fuck is wrong here? According to Rite Aid's pricing, my 15 pills should have cost me 97 cents. I'm going to CVS tomorrow to ask for my money back. Mark my words.. The health insurance industry is a JOKE. My wife went to her doctor the other day to get a very sore throat looked at. They told her to go home and take Advil.. Fuck you! Pardon me.. actually the doctor couldn't be bothered so the RN tends to my wife. Then we get a notice in the mail telling us that our insurance was billed $80, and that we owe them a $20 Co-Pay.. This will not stand. Not on my watch. You don't charge $80 just because you told someone to take Advil. Prescribe some antibiotics for Christ's sake you fornicator of hard working Americans!
And while I'm fired up I may as well list some of the companies I will NEVER do business with because of their "you're a retard" advertising on the radio:
Belden Jewelers, Tarbox Hyundai/Toyota etc, My Free Laptop dot com, Pride Ford/Hyundai, Kay Jewelers, and any company with ads in which an inanimate object like a box of cereal "speaks" and says "Hi, I'm a box of cereal" and any car dealer who hires a deep throated asshole who sounds like he's announcing the end of the world. You've insulted the intelligence of radio listeners for too long. You're black-listed. You suck balls. I'll add more loser companies as the mood strikes. Belden and Kay, I hate you especially. I would sooner stab myself in the eye with my letter opener than buy a watch battery from you.

Tag! You're IT!

When you guys get around to discovering this link to your site, kindly share seven facts about yourself, on your blog, as I've done below. Keep it light and breezy.. We don't want to know your cholestrol level or how often you clip your toe nails.
Athanasia's Daily
Turkish Delight
Gulay, Galatasaray and the dogs
ignore me if you can
The Istanbulian

Seven Things About Murat

In accordance with Ardent's "tag", I will honor the code and share these facts about myself:
  1. I used to own a cockatiel which I named "Schulzie" and a mutt I picked up at the dog pound which I named "Fritz". I gave Schulzie away because I couldn't take care of him, and Fritzs ran away and got hit by a car. Fritz had no tags and bit his rescuer. He was put down the day before I tracked him down at the animal hostpital.
  2. My right wrist has a deformity caused by a crash while riding my bike in Turkey in 1989. My wrist ws fractured and now there's a growth of bone which looks a bit freakish. At the time, I was 17 and racing at an elite level, and assured of winning the Junior National Championship Road Race title, if only I didn't crash and end my season. Dreams.. dashed.
  3. For my 16th birthday, my parents foolishly bought me a lightly used Pontiac Fiero with T-tops. I crashed it at an intersection going 60+ miles an hour. Totaled it. After that, my dad got me a Ford Fiesta.
  4. I bought my first house when I was 20 years old for $76,100. Later on, I rented it out but had to evict the renters after about 6 months. After they left, I ripped out all the carpeting and tossed it because it was so filthy.
  5. I was scammed for $600 trying to buy a Herman Miller Aeron chair on Ebay in 2004. I e-mailed the scammer that I was disabled and needed the special chair in order to try to work again and support my family. He believed me.. and out of pity, he sent me a bunch of Visa gift cards to cover the $600 that he stole from me.. all presumed to be bought with stolen credit card numbers. I tossed all of them except for one $100 card I used to buy groceries with. Ebay sent me $250.
  6. My road race bike (a Look 486 carbon- $7000 retail) is worth twice what I can sell my Hyundai Elantra for, and weighs only 16 pounds.
  7. I was arrested [only] once for forgetting to appear in court for a summons regarding my dog barking too much. No cuffs, I was just aked to follow the policeman in my car.

So that's my seven things. Now I need to tag seven others, but I'll do that tomorrow night!

01 December 2007

Fatih Akin wins again with "Auf der anderen Seite"

Not only do they mis-spell his name, they also dismiss his Turkishness. Oh well.. Fatih's latest hit movie "Auf der anderen Seite" (The Edge of Heaven) earned him the distinction of "Best European Screenwriter". So what's "The Edge of Heaven" all about? It's won four awards including at Cannes, so I need to get my hands on a copy and find out.
German director Fathi Akin poses with his trophy after the European film award ceremony in Berlin December 1, 2007. Akin won the European film award for best "European Screenwriter 2007" for his film "Auf der anderen Seite" (The Edge of Heaven). REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke (GERMANY)