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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Urban Cyclist: Counting My Blessings

I had to ride my bike (my Valenbisi bike, that is) home in the rain last night. I’m not complaining, at least I was wearing a raincoat. Sometimes it’s a little annoying when I have to ride in the rain and I arrive somewhere a little wet (and really annoying if I’m soaked).  Sometimes—but not often—I feel tired and I don’t exactly relish a long haul across town on a bike. Having a bicycle as my main means of transportation comes with the occasional annoyance but for the most part I love it. On most occasions I seriously think to myself, “Yippee, I get to ride my bike!” I really do let out a cheer. I love bike riding and almost everything that comes along with it: fresh air, exercise, great scenery, and it’s just plain fun!

The shit storms I avoid by not having a car are almost too numerous to list. As I was riding home in the rain last night I witnessed two drivers fighting over a parking spot like two hyenas growling over a rotted wildebeest carcass—something I am never forced to do.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The End of the World as We Know It?

Legalized sport gambling accessible from the convenience of your bar stool just may be the end of Western civilization.  These new machines are like having the Caesar’s Palace sports book in your local bar, allowing you to bet on just about any sporting activity you can imagine as well as wagering on every ridiculous aspect of that event. Not only can you bet on Valencia CF to win but you can place a few euros on which team will have the most corner kicks, or how many yellow cards will be called.  Perhaps in Spain these machines won’t be too dangerous but if they make it to the shores of America it will only take football fans there a month or so to lose everything they have worked their lives to earn.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Oil Problem? What Problem?

 High gas prices are a devastating burden for America’s poor but it’s probably the only way to force the country to start making wise choices about fuel consumption. How else are we going to get people to stop buying 10 cylinder trucks? Or is that some sort of constitutionally protected right, like cheap gas? High gas prices have made many Americans reconsider living in suburbia and commuting insanely long distances to work every day.  Europeans have been dealing with high gas prices for decades and as a result their car industry specializes in small, super-efficient cars and their urban design and public transportation models also reflect the need to conserve fuel.

If a bicycle isn’t already a part of your personal transportation model it probably should be. If you live in an area where riding a bike isn’t practical you should probably ask why.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Emoticon of Death!


That’s my attempt at creating a new emoticon that means “Stick It in Your Corn Hole,” or something to that effect.  To me Emoticons are more offensive than the most graphic profanity. For those who don’t know this, we already have something to express our emotions in print; it’s called the written word.  A keyboard shortcut is not much of a substitute for language unless you think that a colon and a parenthesis say the same things as…I don’t know, maybe, “I am deeply saddened by the news of your loss and my heart goes out to you and other family members who survived your husband’s tragic meth lab explosion.”

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Valencia Rice Harvest

October is the month for the yearly rice harvest in Valencia. There is only one a year.  One if farmers are lucky, as a local harvester told me. The wetlands of Valencia's Albufera provide a perfect environment for rice cultivation.The Comunidad Valenciana has nearly 16,000 ha of rice. The rice varieties produced in this region are mainly Japonica or short/medium length rice grain kernels.

Learn more about Valencia rice here.