Tuesday, April 29, 2008

listeners are talking about...

and here's what they have to say:
"Ryan and I caught your show on the way home yesterday. That hour flew by. Great show. Entertaining and funny." -- Dave, 4/28/08"I'm actually listening to the show right now and I think you have exceptional talent for this; conversational and enjoyable delivery." -- Danny, 4/29/08
you STILL haven't listened to the kim west radio cycling show? click here, and get on it RIGHT NOW!!
now available on i-tunes, too! it's not lil' kim, it's "the kim west radio cycling show!"
[all you need to know is right here]

old capitol memories, 2008

she IS her father's child, as the evidence plainly shows--well done, brianna!
brendon, impressive in his riding this weekend, foretells a hale ragby
things i love about this photo, beginning with dirty dick
the first-ever "kim west radio cycling show aggressive rider award"
[thanks to fry guy photos!]

jack and the magic bean bus

chapter 29 - never on sundays?

“Why is your copy of the newspaper being delivered to a car wash?” asked Jack.
Mrs. Karras spoke before Mr. Karras could answer the question. “We’re not sending him down the mountain in two feet of fresh snow just to get your newspaper! He might get lost; or worse yet, someone might see him.”
“Oh, he’ll be fine,” said Mr. Karras. “It’s easy to follow the road down to town and back up again. Besides, the kid will be so bundled up that no one will be able to tell who he is.”
Then, turning to Jack, Mr. Karras began to explain, “My copy of the Des Moines Register is supposed to be delivered to my mailbox at the bottom of the hill, but due to a glitch in that new-fangled computer system the newspaper is using, my copy gets delivered to the Mr. Kar Wash car wash in town instead.”
“I’ve tried to fix the problem countless times over the phone and through the mail, but they can’t figure out how to change the address stored by the computer,” continued Mr. Karras. “My newspaper continues to be delivered to, of all places, a business run by people who think intentionally misspelling a word like ‘car’ with a ‘k’ is clever. Do you know how annoying that is?”
“Intentional misspellings. It’s one of his pet peeves,” Mrs. Karras chimed in, shaking her head.
“The only solution the circulation desk could come up with was to offer to pay a local newspaper carrier to take the paper from the car wash and drop it off in my mailbox each day. I’m supposed to keep track and send them a bill in order to pay the paperboy,” grumbled Mr. Karras. “What a preposterous mess!”
“I’ll go get the paper and save you the trouble,” said Jack. “Just tell me how to get to the car wash.”
“Terrific!” exclaimed Mr. Karras and he leaped up from the table to find a suitable map in the drawer near the phone. Meanwhile, Mrs. Karras cleared the breakfast dishes and then went in search of warm clothes that would fit Jack.
Within a half hour, Jack was dressed and ready to go. His layers of clothing were warm, but still allowed him to move freely and could be opened or removed to keep Jack from overheating while he hiked. Mr. Karras went over the directions one last time as Jack fumbled with the straps of the snowshoes. Then, with a hearty slap on the back, Mr. Karras sent Jack out the door into the deep snow.
It didn’t take long for Jack to get the hang of the snowshoes as he made his way down the mountain. The snowshoes kept him on top of the snow, but every once in a while, Jack would get going a little too quickly and take a tumble. After a while, Jack found that he could take his attention away from walking with the snowshoes and enjoy the scenery instead.
The snow was fresh and deep all around, with fir trees standing straight and tall everywhere except for the cut of the road. Once in a while, Jack could see through a small clearing to the valley below and the mountains on the other side, majestic in their white robes of new snow.
The steepness of the mountain road gradually leveled off, and Jack soon found himself nearing the edge of town. Following the directions Mr. Karras had given him, Jack veered off of the road and along a creek that ran past the edge of town. A bridge crossed the creek a bit farther on, and Jack was able to scramble up the embankment to the snow-covered road above. Along the road, just a few hundred feet from where Jack was, stood the Mr. Kar Wash car wash, closed on Sunday.

[editor's note: i tried to find a photo of a closed car wash. this is the best i could do. sorry.]
to be continued... [a serial by little orphan dbax]

Monday, April 28, 2008

old capitol wrap up

1--i made a glaring factual error during my report on the women's cat 4 crit on yesterday's kim west radio cycling show; what was it?

2--the kim west radio cycling show sponsored its first award, in the cat 3 crit. the winner was matt pavlovich, who executed my game plan, designed especially for him. i was delighted to learn that the judges determined--totally without my input--that matt's riding exemplified the most aggressive riding in the race. amd he nearly rode it to a solo victory. SO THERE, all you smarty-pants who think sitting in to sprint is the best and most exciting way to race: matt has the t-shirt, nya na na na NA na. there will be similar prizes in up-coming races. get your tough guy t-shirts here!

3--coolest tattoo i've seen in YEARS!! nice tat, chad; great photo, gummi

4--with the exception of brianna hantelmann, where were the des moines juniors?

Friday, April 25, 2008

found while cruising my favorite sites

cross posting [a double entendre]

no, no, no. not that again.

no, what i mean is that i have posted an angry [ie, cross] post on my other blog, the kim west radio cycling show blog, in which i rant and rave about the situation pictured above, which is the city's latest crown jewel in their "wonderful" trail network. yup, they expect us to RIDE in--and through--this shit.

well, goddammit, i'm TIRED of this crap. any wonder why i hate trails, and why i hate the official mentality that says we should have to ride on them? geebus, why do we put up with this shit? no WONDER jerks like SNOWDOG feel they can get away with it. need further proof? read this.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

snowdog update

i suspect our mystery man SNOWDOG envisions himself as the cold, frosted canine at left. in reality, however, i suspect most folks who have encountered snowdog think of him, well, kinda like the second photo: just some dick in a truck. we may have picked up his scent, by the way, and i would like to thank and congratulate the metro running community for not just stepping up to the plate, but running up to it in droves, by helping out and spreading the word about these posts and this menace to society.

a local station is prepared to run a story about the snowdog affairs, and we have some reliable spottings, so this chance encounter just might have a happy ending. we shall see.

kenny lefler tour de georgia trip reports

NOTE: you may once again view ALL of kenny's TDG trip reports at the kim west radio cycling show blog. click here to go there.
you may thank blogger for the inconvenience. sorry.

Yes boys and girls it is another beautiful day in the peach state. Lu and I walked to downtown Athens from our hotel and spent some quality time in a local Mexican restaurant where they mix the margaritas by hand. We sample several just to test the consistency. I like Athens. That is just a blanket statement but I stand by it. Very fun town. We enjoyed a few cocktails in the hotel and then slept well. Today we had several things to take care of and it all worked out perfectly. A good breakfast of Country fried steak, I would die if I lived down here. Everything is fried but you have to try it your in the south. I don't know if I have ever talked about the sweet tea line and my thoughts on it but there is such a thing. As you travel south you will hit a line where they will ask if you would like sweet tea. It is some where in Missery. Then as you get farther south they just quit asking. In Savannah I asked for unsweetened tea, they looked at me like I was sick. We made a nice ride up to Gainesville and found a spot to park. Guys I did not do as well on the parking space today. I parked at the 150 meter to go sign. We did the expo since I think if they took the time to set up I should do a run through then we watched the race on the big screen. It didn't take long before our friends the Danielson's showed up. We had a couple months worth of catching up and some talk about wine then the race was heating up. It was not a hilly stage so those all lay out about the same. There is a break of 4 or 5 then near the end the pack sucks it back and they all come in together. Today they had a hard down hill finish with a couple of hilly circuits. While we were standing there watching on the big screen Kevin Livingston walked up and stood by us. He is the technical director of the race. I asked him why they always have that Dave guy announce and he laughed. Then he said haven't I met you guys before. I said yes that we were from Iowa and that I had followed his career for since he was about 14. He said yes that Jason had introduced us the year before. The racers were drilling it for the circuits and they dropped some pretty stud riders. Jason was right in the mix so no lost time. I talked to him right after and he said that the finish was pretty sketchy. Talking to Terry Danielson, he said that is exactly what Tom said as well. We did some more catching up with the Danielsons and then we headed back to Athens. We had a couple of chores to do. Our friend Lisa designs play grounds and Athens has a huge one. We paid it a visit and took several photos for her. Then it was laundry time. There is only so much room on the big GS and it was necessary to hit the laundromat. Our time there made me think. First I hate it there and avoid it at all costs, that said this was a good visit. It made me realize that some times on these trips it is the people you meet that make the trip. The young guy that was running the place was a joy. He was maybe thirty years old and he owns a laundromat. He clearly worked his butt off and he knew 90% of the people walking in that place. He kept it clean and helped several of the people that came in. He was a motorcycle rider and had his crutch rocket parked out front. I was impressed and that says a lot at a laundromat. Now it is more Captain and the Daily Show.
PS I have been hearing rumors that there is a special guest mechanic at Open Shop night at my house tonight. Just remember all my tools need to hung back up where they belong. I will know if they are out of place.

kenny lefler tour de georgia trip report 6.5
I almost forgot, Lu and I tuned into the podcast of the Kim West Cycling show tonight and it was great. I liked the show and I didn't sound like an idiot. I recommend it highly. Isn't technology great. I am on a motorcycle tour of Georgia and I can listen to a radio show from Sunday in my hotel room.

[thanks, kenny!!]

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

snowdog exposed: a killer in the making?

just last night, i wrote of a series of weird events that happened during the course of 7 hours in des moines. the incident that kicked it off was a run-in with a pudgy, shaggy-haired driver of a small pick-up with SNOWDOG vanity plates. he seemed hell-bent on scarring the shit out of us [curiously, it didn't really have that effect]. but despite his emphatic denial ["i didn't do anything! i didn't do anything!"], this reply would seem to indicate to the contrary:

Dear Kim--
I read with interest the recounting of the run-in April 23 between a group of cyclists and the driver of a pickup truck with SNOWDOG vanity plates. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that SNOWDOG has exhibited dangerous behavior.
Here are some examples from the running community. I fear that if we ask additional runners and cyclists, more incidents will surface.
All of these incidents have been in the neighborhood surrounding Westminster Presbyterian Church (Beaver and Franklin avenues). Many involve women. All are too scary.
Deb Bull, a long-time runner, had her first near-hit with SNOWDOG in January 2006 (not a typo). In 2008 alone, Deb has had two near-accidents with the same driver, who intentionally swerves toward runners. In one case she was running with Julie Howe. In another incident, Deb was running with Bill Brown. One of these near-hits occurred on March 8, which was reported to 911. Deb was encouraged to carry a cell phone so she could promptly call if this happened again.
After making a few calls to friends, it appears that SNOWDOG was probably involved with an attempted run-down of a group of women, including Ruth Jordal. The women in Ruth's group know it was a red pickup that aimed for them, but they didn't think to get a license plate. Yes, the same neighborhood, same behavior.
This is a rogue driver that we simply can't allow to imperil our residents--many of them my friends! Given the number of incidents, it would be most unfortunate if the city chooses to do nothing.
Does the city need more examples regarding SNOWDOG before taking action?
How will the city respond?
When will the city respond?
Please escalate this issue.
Carl Voss

. . . . .
hey, folks--any additional stories? i wonder how long it will take for the county attorney to investigate SNOWDOG? weather dude: can you guys sick an investigative crew after SNOWDOG? let's nail this s.o.b. before he nails YOU!

at least i can still deliver the sermonette

NYC Premiere May 16, 2008
"Please Call Home: The Big House Years"
Documentary Film Captures Defining Years of the Allman Brothers Band
In the early 1970s, an 18-room, turn-of-the-centuryTudor-style mansion on Vineville Avenue in Macon, Georgia, known asThe Big House, served as the center of the universe for the members ofthe Allman Brothers Band, their families, road crew, friends andwayward fellow travelers. Within the walls of The Big House, timeless songs were written, romances blossomed, children were reared and parties were thrown. During the years in The Big House, the AllmanBrothers Band established themselves as the premiere live performance group in rock music.
The role of The Big House in the making of the legendary band is explored in the documentary Please Call Home: The Big HouseYears. This 100-minute documentary will debut in New York City on Friday, May 16, 2008, at the historic Hudson Theatre located at 145 W.44th Street, an ornate 700-seat theater in the heart of Times Square.
The screening of the documentary will begin at 8:30 p.m. Attending the premiere will be the filmmakers and the entire production team from Macon, Georgia's Bright Blue Sky Productions, officers of The BigHouse Foundation plus various band members and other distinguished guests.
"This is not a comprehensive biography of the band per se, but rather an intimate look at the family that was this band," states Director Kirk West, who has served as the Allman Brothers Band Tour Manager since 1989 and lived in The Big House with his wife Kirsten from 1993 to 2007. The film explores the making of the band, some of its most successful songs, its big breaks and darkest hours faced bythe band members with the death of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley. "What it really talks about is the life of a family in a particular house for three years," said West, "and in the story of this band,that is an amazing three years."
Two levels of tickets will be available. VIP Tickets willbe $100 per person (a portion of which is tax deductible) and will include a cocktail reception from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., preferred seating for the screening and guests will receive a special gift bag which will include a copy of an extended version of the Please Call HomeDVD. General Admission Tickets for the screening only will be sold for $25 per person (a portion of which is tax deductible).
To purchase tickets, please email pchpremiere@aol.com.
For additional information, please contact E.J.Devokaitis, The Big House Foundation @ 478-973-6338.
Proceeds from the premiere will benefit The Big HouseFoundation/The Allman Brothers Band Museum, which is being developed in Macon Georgia to preserve the home and history of the AllmanBrothers Band. Scheduled to open in April 2009, the interactive museum will house the world's largest collection of Allman BrothersBand memorabilia.
From the day Linda Oakley answers the "for rent" ad in the local newspaper in hopes of finding a bigger home for her family–husband Berry, baby daughter Brittany and eventually Berry's sister Candice, Gregg and Duane Allman, Duane's girlfriend Donna and their daughter Galadriel – Please Call Home looks at the spirit of brotherhood and love of family that defined The Big House era of theAllman Brothers Band.
"The heart and soul of the house was Linda Oakley, or 'Big Linda' as she was known," said West. "In the movie, she speaks and shares in the same way that the band played their music. She is poetic, lyrical, mystical – it's moving." Others brought back to the house for filming include roadies Tuffy Phillips, Kim Payne, Willie Perkins and Mike Callahan. While there haven't been many music documentaries to spend as much time on the road crew's perspectives,West said it was essential.
"This is what really went on. It's the story about this house, this family. It's not just a story about a rock band," West emphasized. The story explores the good times, the love shared and the tragedies endured by the band during these years.
Revealing interviews also are included with AllmanBrothers Band members Gregg Allman, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe and Chuck Leavell.
Macon film makers Bright Blue Sky Productions also captured personal recollections by Macon residents connected to the band, including music promoter Alan Walden, family members, girlfriends and friends.
"The band moved into that house making $1,000 a night and playing three sets to earn it. When they moved out, they were making $100,000 a night," said West. "Those three years were a dynamic and tragic period. The music that came out of that house – the joy, thefamily, the tragedy – it's a heavy address."
To purchase tickets, please email pchpremiere@aol.com.
NYC Premiere: May 16, 2008 "Please Call Home: The Big House Years" 8:30 p.m. Screening Time
The Hudson Theatre at The Millennium Broadway Hotel 145 W. 44th Street New York City Friday, May 16, 2008.

from the saddle: earth day, 2008

it was a wonderful spring day: sunny, warm, light northerly wind. great day for two-wheeled travel, right? put it in this context:

1--as i roll out on my scooter to motorpace a few teammates, we are accosted and nearly run over [less than 3 inches, maybe] by a pudge in a small pickup [license plate "snowdog"] who says "i didn't do anything!"
2--as a very large group rolls out of town from bike world, and a natural split twice happens, none-the-less, too many people whose riding strength exceeds their bike-handling skills allows a re-groupment and the inevitable and yet totally avoidable takes place: idiots overlapping the wheels of folks who have no business mixing it up with those around them, sudden braking, and--boom--ass over handlebars, and a bloody and broken face results. kelli goes to hospital after the 3 stooges medical team initially clears her for private transport. 3--the resident of the home at the scene of the crash, when asked for a bag of ice, said, "you guys oughta be on a bike trail," and then sits on the porch, watching in what appeared to be disgust as the events unfolded.
4--later that evening, as i was picking up a couple of badly needed donations to the bike kollective [two highly desired schwinn town and country tricycles], i learned that some anonymous motorist called bike world to complain that "those bikers were going too fast."
lesson learned: stupidity comes in all forms on earth day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

observing earth day, 2008

in honor of earth day, i have communed with nature, and am spewing green from most orifices in my head. i haven't check elsewhere to see if i'm sending out roots. what are YOU doing?

marsupial porn [and bikes]

i had no idea...
...that these lovely creatures, known to most northern hemispheroids as "kangaroos" are actually "red necked wallabies." it's like learning that your favorite porn star is a bush fan.
it's earth day, tree huggers. park your cars and monster trucks for just a day, for christ's sake. go for a walk of a bike ride, and appreciate all the little leaf buds that are popping out. my autumn blaze maples are starting their annual rebirth.

the trees, mere twigs when i planted them just five years ago, have grown to near astronomical proportions.

i think it's the accumulated dog pee and poo over the years. even the little dwarf lilacs have shot up like mad. so the annual reforestation of the orphanage has begun. ahhh. so notice these things as you go about your daily activities today--under your own power.

i spoke at the monthly meeting of the des moines cycle club last night. my first chance to cash in on my new-found radio stardom. i sound pretty much the same, but i noticed that 1] i didn't curse as much as i like to; 2] that when i talk about things that get me worked up, like when friends and strangers are mowed down by motorists and spineless county attorneys refuse to prosecute, that there is a little recognition that at least i'll have a louder forum through which i can bang that drum; 3] that good things really ARE starting to happen here in des moines, things which i view as good [i'm still waiting for that jerk smithson permanently to close ALL his stupid bars downtown], and somehow--like zelig--i've gotten sucked into the vortex. it's pretty cool, actually. so thanks to the dmcc for putting up with my little rant.

by the way, i scored a couple town and country bikes yesterday from a guy who is new to the kollective family. one for a woman in elkhart who desparately needs one, and one to replace the one that was stolen from the orphanage a couple weeks ago. the dogs and i WILL be in the beaverdale parade for the third consecutive year this fall. what a great place, eh?

be cool today.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

roller blades, popes, cults, fox news

for paul

some tasty pickin' and grinnin' and slidin'

thanks for saturdays

things learned over the course of a lifetime

in this case, less than four years

regular readers know that i have two grandkids, nyla kim, and jabari charles, with whom i spend thursdays, playing grandpa, or "papa" in the language of the little scallions. since august, 2004, i've not been there maybe seven or eight thursdays, max. i'm missing another one this thursday [i'd hoped to be covering the tour of georgia, but instead will be playing fake patient at dmu], but over the course of her life, i've done my best to make little nyla a tree-hugging hippie: a dyed-in-the-cotton bleeding heart liberal, who is kind to strangers [mindful of "stranger danger," she asked the other day if it was okay to talk to a particular person on the street, and, after being assured that it was, she went straight up and chatted], is an ardent obama supporter, and is--in the truest sense of the phrase--a tree-hugging little hippie.
since before she was able to walk, we would walk up to trees--either in her yard, on strolls around the block, while on our hours-long rides with the burley, at my house, and while visiting other folk's homes--at give them big, sincere hugs, and thank them for all the shade and oxygen they provide, for standing out all winter long in the freezing cold, and during the harsh rain and wind storms. before she leaves my house, before getting in the car, she'll run out to my maples and give them each big hugs, and thank them. she even hugs the dwarf lilac bushes by my sidewalk.
she's not doing it for show, or to be cute. she's just sincere.
it came as no surprise to me [though a great delight, obviously] that as she and her mom were walking around the block today, the following exchange took place:
nyla, observing that her neighbor was cutting down the weeping willow tree in the front yard, a tree that nyla had hugged countless times, speedily ran a half block to him, put her hands menacingly on her hips, and shouted, "hey, why did you broke that tree?"
axman: "because it was taking up too much room."
nyla [throwing arms skyward]: "you shouldn't have; trees belong here."
surprise for the neighbor: next time i'm in ames [may 1st], nyla, jabari, and i will take a bike ride to the greenhouse to pick out, purchase, and plant a weeping willow tree on nyla's side of the property line, to replace the tree he cut down.
tree hugger revenge is the greenest.

things learned in just one short hour

the hardest working man in cycling radio?
i felt as the non-custodial father must feel when he has the kids on saturday afternoon, from 2 to 4 pm, and wants to take them to the zoo, the amusement park, and the ice cream shop, only to learn that they really just wanted ice cream.
lesson learned: don't try to do too much. i felt horrible running out of time for bob mionske. guests will have more time; i might even try to talk less at the beginning.
i'd love to hear the feedback, please.
thanks to all of you who called in; thanks to all of you who called and didn't get through, and thanks to all of you who listened. don't feel bad if you missed it. like my daughter, who called me halfway through the show--i didn't take her call, dammit--to find out when it began, you can catch a podcast of the show some time tomorrow by going here.
and send your questions for our contributors, around town sidney brown [gossip], dr. kelby [medical], bob mionske [legal], and to the mostly reverend [how to remove blood stains from bike jerseys] to kimwest@kxno.com
next week: featured race--old capitol criterium,
report from our tour of georgia reporter, kenny lefler,
spotlighted team of the week, and
a discussion of silly but serious bicycling ordinances

caught with their patriotism around their ankles

what's notable about this sextet?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

4/20--it happens 733 times this year

i don't usually post about marijuana use or laws, but this email came through my in-box today, and it seemed like a reasonable thing to post. among the many archane, idiotic, big-business-protective anti-liberty oriented sets of laws in this country, american drug laws and policies have caused more heartache, broken more families, imprisoned more people [mostly young minority males], ruined more lives, and cost more money that any wrong-headed thing this side of the bush-cheney-rumsfeld-mccain iraq folly. so here it is . . . and if you folks want to vent on me, go for it. i'll wear a helmet, and it won't matter.

optimism reigns in smoke-filled rooms
April 19, 2008
Dear Friend of Freedom, I’m writing today to urge you to be a part of history. That’s right, I said history. For the first time in nearly 25 years, NORML is spearheading a campaign in Congress to end the federal prohibition of marijuana. Congress created cannabis prohibition, and the courts say time and again to reformers: ‘Congress is the place to change marijuana laws.’ Bi-Partisan Support in Congress for ReformTo wage this long-overdue effort, NORML has teamed up with two of our closest Congressional allies: Democrat Congressman Barney Frank from Massachusetts and Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas. Over the past several months I have worked closely with these courageous Representatives to draft legislation that would strip the federal government of its authority to enforce marijuana possession laws. This legislation is now pending before Congress as House Bill HR 5843, an ‘Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults.’
Yes indeed, for the first time in more than two decades, we have legislation in Congress that, if enacted, would end the federal prosecution of adult marijuana consumers! The Federal Marijuana Decrim BillAs introduced, NORML’s proposal would eliminate all federal penalties prohibiting the personal use and possession of up to three ounces of marijuana. Under our measure, adults who consume cannabis would no longer face arrest, prison, or even the threat of a civil fine. In addition, this bill eliminates all penalties prohibiting the not-for-profit transfers of up to one ounce of pot. In other words, for the first time since 1937, the possession, use, and transfer of marijuana by adults would be legal under federal law! I must admit, in my 40+ years working on marijuana law reform, I’ve rarely been as excited about the introduction of a piece of legislation – or its prospects of success – as I am today.
That is why I’m humbly asking you to join me in making this effort the success I know it can be, but only with your help. Sustained Funding Drives Successful Congressional Educational Campaigns Waging and maintaining a high-profile Congressional campaign like this one requires sustained funding, and it requires the involvement of tens of thousands of dedicated citizens like you. By donating $50.00 or more today to NORML’s 2008 ‘Re-Legalization’ Campaign, you will enable us to: Lobby the Democrat Congress for hearings in support of ending the federal government’s war on weed; Build a broad coalition of diverse and powerful allies to petition Congress to pass HR 5843;Coordinate national media efforts to generate frequent news stories and television appearances favorable to HR 5843. Of course, generating substantive support for HR 5843, requires more than just your financial assistance; it also requires a small donation of your time.
Celebrate Cannabis On 4/20 — Help Re-Legalize It On 4/21!
For a moment, just imagine the impact of 1,000 phone calls to Congress – all on the same day, all at the same time, all with one single message: stop arresting responsible marijuana consumers! Now imagine the impact of 10,000 phone calls – or even 50,000 calls – jamming the Congressional phone lines! That’s the outpouring of support we need to show to Congress, and it’s the type of support we intend to generate – with your help. You are receiving this heartfelt appeal from me today, as are hundreds of thousands of other NORML supporters. And on Monday, April 21, we need every one of you to send an unmistakeable and unforgettable message to the 110th Congress.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS LET’S MAKE APRIL 21 A DAY THAT CONGRESS NEVER FORGETS! NORML needs you to call your Congressional Representative on Monday, April 21, and deliver the following message:
“Millions of hard-working Americans use marijuana. Most consume it responsibly, in the privacy of their own homes, and in a manner similar to alcohol. Why then are we spending millions of dollars each year to arrest these otherwise law-abiding individuals? It’s time to end the madness; it’s time to stop arresting responsible marijuana consumers. I urge you to support House Bill HR 5843, an ‘Act to Remove Federal Penalties for Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults’."
(You can contact the office of your US Representative directly dialing the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121.)
After you have done so, we also ask that you please e-mail this message to Congress. Simply click here and enter your zip code and NORML will instantly send a pre-written message in your name to your Congressional Representative.
Imagine the ‘buzz’ on Capitol Hill as thousands upon thousands of phone calls and e-mails begin pouring in to the Congressional offices in support of legalizing marijuana. Never before has the marijuana law reform movement made this sort of political statement to Washington; we intend to make it a statement that our elected officials won’t soon forget. As I said at the opening of this letter, we truly will be making history!
Sincerely, R. Keith Stroup, Esq., Founder, National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws legal@norml.org

Friday, April 18, 2008

reminder: sunday, 600 pm, kxno.com

I was tuning in the shine on the light night dial
Doing anything my radio advised
With every one of those late night stations
Playing songs bringing tears to my eyes

I was seriously thinking about hiding the receiver
When the switch broke 'cause it's old
They're saying things that I can hardly believe
They really think we're getting out of control

(CHORUS) Radio is a sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation
They say you better listen to the voice of reason
But they don't give you any choice 'cause they think that it's treason
So you had better do as you are told
You better listen to the radio

I wanna bite the hand that feeds me
I wanna bite that hand so badly
I want to make them wish they'd never seen me

Some of my friends sit around every evening
And they worry about the times ahead
But everybody else is overwhelmed by indifference
And the promise of an early bed

You either shut up or get cut up,
they don't wanna hear about it
It's only inches on the reel-to-reel
And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools
Tryin' to anaesthetise the way that you feel


Wonderful radio
Marvelous radio
Wonderful radio
Radio, radio

* * * * *
seriously, i had no idea.

jack and the magic bean bus

chapter 28 -- a storm passes; a storm brews
Despite the early winter storm, the power outage, and the intense discussion with Mr. Karras about the Ragbrai conspiracy, Jack slept soundly that night. He awoke to find the dark clouds and the blowing snow of the blizzard long gone, leaving behind a bright blue sky and the morning sun shining through the fir trees outside his window.
A strange sight greeted Jack as he made his way down to the kitchen. There, on a mat in front of the sliding glass doors that looked out over the valley below the house, sat Mr. Karras in a pretzel-like position.
“Pull up a mat, kid,” said Mr. Karras cheerfully. “You are just in time for the Half Lord of the Fishes pose.”
Jack looked doubtful.
“Don’t be a stick-in-the-mud,” added Mr. Karras. “You’ve got enough stress in your life that some good old fashioned yoga would do you a lot of good. Now unroll that extra mat, and I’ll show you how to do the Cat-Cow Stretch. It’s an easy way to start.”
Jack dutifully unrolled the extra mat in front of the window next to Mr. Karras and got down on all fours beside him.
“Imitate what I do,” instructed Mr. Karras. “Now curl your toes under, drop your belly slowly and look up toward the ceiling. The movement should start at the base of the spine and end with your neck. Good, that is the cow pose.”
Mr. Karras continued, “Now release your toes and relax your feet, round your back and drop your head until you can see your belly button. Okay, this is the cat pose. Very good, kid. Now repeat while you inhale and exhale through each pose.”
Jack followed Mr. Karras through different poses and stretches until Mrs. Karras began to put breakfast on the table. Then, while Mr. Karras rolled up both mats and set them aside, Jack stood up with a half sigh-half yawn and felt better than he had in a long time.
Along with a plate of scrambled eggs and toast came a dubious looking drinking glass full of thick, dark red juice. “Drink up, kid,” said Mr. Karras, finishing his own glass and smacking his lips. “That glass contains three servings of vegetables run through a juicer. It has all the vitamins you’ll need in a day. It’s good for you.”
Jack took a careful taste. He thought he could sort out the flavors of tomato, carrot, and maybe even cucumber. The vegetable drink didn’t taste bad, but it didn’t exactly taste good either, so Jack gulped it down as quickly as possible and then moved on to the rest of the meal.
“I don’t suppose we’ll be able to get the newspaper today with all this snow,” said Mr. Karras after breakfast. “The towns down below will be cleared and plowed right away, but it might be a few days until they reach us up here in the mountains.”
Mrs. Karras replied, “It can wait a day, can’t it?”
“Not when I’m so close to breaking this story wide open!” exclaimed Mr. Karras. “And we don’t know what kind of danger Jack is really in. It’s very frustrating to know that my copy of the newspaper is sitting down there in town, just a few miles away.”
“I’ll go get the newspaper,” volunteered Jack. He was just as anxious as Mr. Karras to get to the bottom of the scandal.
“Excellent!” beamed Mr. Karras. “You can use my snow shoes. It should only take you a few hours to get there and back.”
“Where is ‘there’?” asked Jack. “Is the newspaper waiting at the post office or something?”
“Actually,” said Mr. Karras, “you’ll find my copy of the Des Moines Register newspaper waiting at the Mr. Kar Wash car wash.”

to be continued... [a serial by little orphan dbax]

think you're pretty tough?

until i have power numbers like this [pay special heed to the gold line], i won't be posting my numbers. who could possibly care?
if you followed paris-roubaix, you know the story of this rider.
[thanks, mr. dimple]

then what the hell's a SNIPE?

[click on article to save eye-strain]

what an excellent idea

let's help make this happen here in des moines.

leave your thoughts in the comments section, and we can get it rolling for perhaps later this spring, after the monsoon season ends...
. . . . . .

from the orphanage in-box: $3.35/gallon

Thursday, April 17, 2008

got my microsoft-iowa settlement check today

...ought to be just about enough to pay the fee to "legitimize" the bootleg software i have installed on my desktop pc so the little warning i get every five to ten minutes that freezes my computer until i click on "resolve later" will go away, and so that all the other stuff on this pc i bought from an insurance it-guy will work properly.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

you meet the most interesting people riding a bike

from the orphanage mail box:
I was taking a leisurely ride through a ritzy neighborhood near sugar bottom when a huge v8 pickup swings over towards my lane to give me a little scare (Why do they think this is cool?), I angle out a little so the driver can see me, as I am not sure what they are doing. He swerves more toward me and just misses me with his mirror. I flip him off (oops!) and he locks up the brakes and turns around and drives insanely back to confront me. I stop a guy walking his dog and say I please need a witness as I guy just tried to run me over and I think he might harm/kill me.
The truck driver returns foaming at the mouth screaming, blah blah blah “you fucking puke”, blah-blah-blah, “you messed with the wrong fuckin guy!, blah-blah-blah, “you don’t pay taxes with that fucking thing!” blah-blah, “you ever fuckin do that again I’ll pick your ass up and throw you in the back of my truck and drive you to the police station!”, blah...”you ever put your bike in front of my truck again I’ll run you down!”
Nice that he threatened me with kidnapping and murder for riding my bike on my side of the road. Is it ok to just go around threatening to kill people?
Other notes: I guess it was labeled private drive on one end of the development. I looked at his plates and he was a volunteer fireman. I think I am going to buy a little mini recorder to carry so I can record conversation like these.
--befuddled bikie from river city

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

kim west radio cycling show trailer

my good friend mark, at the aristocrats, has so very generously offered to host this little promo i recorded last night, touting my upcoming show.
click here to listen. [i fixed this link!]
click here to read my benefactor's blog.

and tune in sunday night, 600-700 pm,
AM 1460, or kxno.com
call me at 866.333.5966,
or email me at kimwest@kxno.com

the latest in safe rest...

but can you still get really GOOD head in it?

Monday, April 14, 2008

radrenn training fahrt ["not TNWC"]

from our intrepid german reporter
dear mostly reverend--
Here's an account of the training race I did. On Sunday, I woke up early for a training race that I was going to do here in Hamburg. They're called RTF's (Radrenn Training Fahrt) While riding there with my friend, I asked him how many people might show up. Now, I was expecting it to be like a typical training race, and I had a ballpark figure in my head of around 100. And he replied. ''Well, with the nice weather, maybe a thousand.'' ''Holy Shit,'' I said, ''Is that normal?'' ''Yeah, it's still early in the season, there's usually more in the summer.'' A thousand people. No, a thousand bike racers on open streets, some of whom take these RTF's very seriously. They take crazy risks: running red lights, dodging tractors on narrow roads, and every thing else dangerous, all for the sake of their own pride. They can't let their buddy beat them, right? To do these RTF's, you're supposed to pay 4 euro, and then you get a number. Well, I didn't pay the entry fee, but I have two legitimate reasons. 1. I didn't have 4 euro 2. I didn't feel like paying for a race in which there was no actual finish line. That's right, race numbers, but no finish line. I was a little confused but I just put it in the ''funny things to remember'' part of my brain and started riding my bike. So, since the ride/race was on open roads, I just started riding conveniently on the same course as this event was about take place. When, I looked back at a group of a 1000 bike riders behind me, you can understand my bewilderment. So, I did what any bike rider would do when they are about to get caught, I started riding fast with them. The ride was split into three distances, 60, 110 and 150 kilometers. There were less than confusing signs on the road showing the direction for all of them, and you could choose whatever distance you like. Everyone in my group opted for the 150, none of us wanted to be the pussy that didn't do the extra 40 kilometers. So, we rode fast and it was fun, and after 50k or so, I saw a red sign with the letter K and 200 meters. In my raced out, brainwashed mind, I instantly assumed it was some sort of sprint and reached instantly for the drops. But to my surprise, we turned into a fire station and an awesome spread of everything lovely. Bread, fruit, granola bars, cake, juice, water... All free and delicious for us. Before ride was over, we had made two more stops like this one, and I had had four rosinen brötchen with nutella. Awesome. I really enjoyed my first RTF, it's a little less stressful than doing UCI races in Belgium. Hopefully, I'll be able to do some more of them later on. -Andy