Thursday, December 28, 2006
Here's a glance at the beauty. Ta-da!
The Turkey we purchased turned bad on the 24th and RV said that 'normal people' usually eat on Christmas day so luckily we enjoy improvisation.
We finished off the stuffing properly though the day after for Boxing Day after a match of chess with chicken filets as the Turkey stench never left us and we were too scared to try again and be disappointed. We weren't. Yummy. It was the first time in my life I made a Christmas dinner.
We finished the evening with a viewing of 'Shortbus'. Surprisingly this is a great film to see as a couple, or maybe more appropriately, for the kind of couple we are. John Cameron Mitchell made a film so warm and human that the fact of real sexual acts being performed is relevant without it being 'porn' or awkward or whatever it was/is negative responses have deemed. Don't follow the sheep, see it for yourself. If you haven't seen JCM's Hedwig yet, watch that too and make it a double feature.
I'm kind of surprised the end of year is already near. RV picked up our key for the workshop yesterday, on bike, and now we have to load up on champagne, supplies and get the place running. I can't wait. We have been slowly leading up to bigger and greater things and like it always feels, some things are worth the wait.
Hope your Christmas was wonderful, no matter what shape or form.
-RV's Girl Listening to Trente Moller Essential Mix
Friday, December 22, 2006
Anyway, my special lady friend found this wonderful website somewhere on the net the other day and I've been itching to post about it since she dropped it in my inbox. Millegomme is a site which specializes in the creation of a range of objects which utilize old bike and car tyres in their construction. There is very little information on the site that describes Millegomme but I think their primary mission is to put on workshops that teach children and adults about recycling by focusing on the reuse of tyres which are a cheap and abundant material.
Today Make magazine has a link to a site which supplies kits that can turn your modest bike into a crazy pedal powered snow mobile. I don't know what sort of ride this would be but it looks like a barrel of fun. Just add snow.
So its bye bye from me, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the rest of In the Actors Studio with Eddie Murphy. Have a great holiday everyone.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Anyway, my girl spotted this the other day on Treehugger. Sussex enterprises are a company that builds shaft driven bikes, yes bikes with no chain. I like this idea it add to the complexity of the bike but the overall performance and efficiency is apparently increased. It seem like the type of assembly that would require very little maintenance and it looks solid enough to me. Some people a sticklers for doing things the old way and are not open to new concepts like this so I hope it takes off. I feel their folding city bike is the perfect thing for those commuters who would bring a bike on a train or bus for a portion of their journey and the shaft system should drastically reduce the possibility of getting oil on you work clothes while you carry it.
Well winter is here and you may have noticed that it gets dark a lot earlier now so you'll be needing a decent light on that bike or your so you don't cripple yourself by hitting a pothole or curb. I would always forget to take the little LED lights off me bike when I parked it in the city and so they were always being stolen. These little lights never really worked for me as I could be seen by other road users but on a dark road I couldn't really see what was in front of me. The construction was crap to, the little plastic mounts were weak and attaching them with cable ties made the vandals were more determined. One solution is to make your own bike lamp. The Make magazine blog has this little piece (Is well as other links) on how to build your own heavy duty, 18V (Looks like a drill battery), super duper bike light. The full instruction set is available here through instructables.
Reuters has an article today about extreme recycling in Antarctica. Everything that is produced by the myriad of scientific expeditions there is boxed up and sent back to America to be recycled. There are fines and other punishments for anybody on the continent who breaks the strict rules which are in place to protect the delicate environment there which is under threat as it is from global warming. This is something that should be a lessen to us all in my opinion.
Another environmental piece that has been doing the rounds the last few days is this list of the top ten alternative energy solutions for the future. An interesting read, no one of these technologies will be the saving grace of humanity but if we combine them all an apply them in environments where they will be best suited then we can replace virtually all our current fossil fuel dependent transport and power stations.
Ok I'm off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday. Bye bye...
Friday, December 15, 2006
Things here are pretty relaxed now that my parents have gone home. They did bring over my micro-synth so RV and Girl can make crazy sounds together and I received the Arduino micro-controller I ordered last week so lots of little projects to look forward to over the Christmas period.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
"When 73-year-old Sylvester Roper showed up at a local bicycle track in Boston aboard this machine—a steam-powered motorcycle he invented—the young bicycle racers just laughed.
Here was this old man riding a strange contraption who wanted to race the local hotshots around the one-third-mile Charles River Park track. It wasn’t until the race was on that they realized the old man had come up with something truly amazing."
Robert "Buck" Boudeman
"The machine was cutting out a lively pace on the back stretch when the men seated near the training quarters noticed the bicycle was unsteady,” the paper said. “The forward wheel wobbled, and then suddenly, the cycle was deflected from its course and plunged off the track into the sand, throwing the rider and overturning."
For more, read the rest of the story here.
-RV's Girl Listening to KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic
Sunday, December 10, 2006
We hung out with Mom and Dad last night which was a treat. They seemed to genuinely appreciate the intimacy of the diverse crowds walking through Lyon in the search for the numerous interactive light sculptures decorating the city until Monday.
The festival itself has grown and many locals are a little dismayed by the popular-isation of the event but I don't care. It was a very happy moment to see these two kind people see their son making his own in a foreign city. Their kindness and warmth, towards yours truly, touched and reassured me as I walked nervously to meet them at the local. They are discovering a new French city, they are discovering their son's new world and also having, what I hope to be, a small relaxing vacation in "our" home. I am a very happy girl...
We are a bit strapped for cash at the moment but hope to reconcile this with creative projects and some future gigs in Paris after the New Year, so it isn't so bad.
Christmas can be hard on lonely people and those who have no relatives nearby but it doesn't have to be so. I have a feeling things will work out just fine.
-RV's Girl Listening to John Coltrane
Thursday, December 07, 2006
The only news I have that is bike related is this colourful group. My girl spotted it while surfing, it seems to be some sort of bike modification cult/gang in Japan. I love the Japanese for this kind of thing I don't understand what a culture has to experience for this sort of activity to flourish but its wonderful to see people express themselves all the same.
As I said before I planned to do more posts with an environmental slant in the future. Today I would like to impart the news that Boeing-Spectrolab have developed a solar panel that is 40.7% efficient which is a huge increase from the 12-18% efficiency rating found in modern panels currently available to the public. Hopefully companies will move away from silicon panels in favor of polymer based models in the future to reduce the environmental impact of the construction process.
The other day I came across this design company which produce a range of different item a few of which are bikes. I don't know if they are available for purchase but I like them anyway.
Until next time, bye bye.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Well it I suppose since my journey to visit my girl is over I've been here four months now and something big happened. My special lady cleared some space in the closet for me so am I no longer living out of my backpack. This made me a little bit wet eye to be honest. We just returned from a design Biennale in St. Etienne and are now both loaded with energy and inspiration. We plan to morph this blog and broaden its scope to include issues we are both passionate about including sustainability in architecture and design and other environmental issues. The future is brighter, cleaner and has more possibilities than either of us know. But for anyone reading this just for the bikes do not worry they tie in nicely with our new direction so check out these wicked ultra old school chinese bikes I found somewhere on the net the other day. We spotted the bike in the picture above at the design show it is by Luc Simon but I can not find him anywhere on the net so no link I'm afraid.