Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cheap Filler of the Day, or, Why We Have to Wait for Chinese Democracy

courtesy of The Onion:



Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Library Run

Borrowed the following items from the NYPL today....yet another posthumous collection of Bukowskiana, Charles B.'s Come on In! I'll post some poems if there are any worth sharing....




Next is a compilation of Edward Hirsch's columns on poetry for The Washington Post:


And let's wash it down with Judas Priest's classic album British Steel. Interesting, as the band was featured on a VH1 episode of Heavy: The Story of Metal. This record preceded Priest's breakthough Screaming for Vengeance, but is still worth a mention. Great stuff.


Judas Priest - You Don't Have to Be Old to be Wise.mp3

Buy the album from Amazon here.

All MP3s provided on this site are hosted via official sites or with the artist/label's permission. On the extremely rare occasion when this isn't the case, the track will only be available for a very limited time. If you are the owner of a sound file and would like it removed, please email me directly. If you like what you hear, PLEASE follow the links provided to buy the records and support the music.

Chalk it Up to Experience

This is a lazy, day after a holiday post. On March 2, 2006, someone sent me an e-mail about a British artist whose public chalk drawings appear to be quite phenomenal. I am regurgitating some of this e-mail here, for your enjoyment. It also will allow me to finally drop this from my mailbox. Enjoy!

More chalk drawings from Julian Beever, an English artist who's famous for his art on the pavement of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium. Beever gives his drawings an amazing 3D illusion.











It's all a matter of perspective, as is exhibited by this example. The wrong view:


and the right view:







Pretty amazing stuff. You can see these and more examples here.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Necrology

NECROLOGY

Words
replace the vessel.
Bury it, burn it, scatter
a lifetime
into the sea.

The syllables speak each missed step,
periods, commas, semi-colons:
they all add up,
a string of life sentences
cemented in oblivion.

Copyright © 2006 William Dickenson Cohen.
All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Somatotypes

I'm trying something new. Although I added a feature on the sidebar, it messed up my formatting, so you will have to go all the way to the bottom to see - BillyBlog's word of the day, courtesy of The Free Dictionary.

In the past, friends of Billy would toss a word Billy's way and a poem would be created, courtesy of whatever the word would bring. This Sunday gives us our first word, somatotype. Here is the poem, and I make no claims that it is good or bad, but I hope it is at least interesting. Comments appreciated.



SOMATOTYPES

The somatotypes reveal themselves
in the heat.
It is an unveiling that makes me
curse Winter:
the unfurling of flesh,
pale at first, then reddening,
then bronzing-
the bodies peeling away layers
as the mercury rises.

The guilt lurks behind sunglasses,
eyes averted
(but not really),
my daughter approaching that age
where she will soon travel in packs
and wolves will leer
their statutory glances-

it is enough to drive a dad daffy:
the resentment toward others
yearning for days long gone,
when they were young and handsome,
and such taunting temptations
kept them up all night
throughout the summer,
tossing and turning,
trapped in an adolescent torture
it seemed would never end.

Copyright © 2006 William Dickenson Cohen.
All rights reserved.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Went to Mama's House


Found in Brooklyn, 4th Avenue, May 27, 2006.

Pearl Jam in Philadelphia

Friday, May 26, 2006

New York Hospitality on the Subway

I spotted it on the subway the other day. I found it amusing, in a New York sort of way. Someone who shall remain nameless was unimpressed, but then she's been exposed to such graffiti over a lifetime.


Have a great weekend!

Unleashed

As a follow-up to my Pearl Jam post earlier this month, Pearl Jam played "Leash" last night in Boston. It was the first performance of that song since March 14, 1995 . . .

Playing it as it Lays

I hate to give these guys credit, but the New York Post rarely fails to entertain me with their headlines. Today's issue offers another shining example:


Thursday, May 25, 2006

Fun With Bucks, Redux

Hey. Remember way back when, back here?

Basically, you track where you bills have gone via a website called Where's George?

That was March 6, and I started logging bills. I think I found six more from other people. I bought a couple of stamps to more boldly mark my bills. But as of noon Wednesday, I had nothing. How much of nothing? Between March 6 and May 22, I logged 227 bills and I still had a "0" George score. That means no one found one of my bills and registered it with the site.

Well, my drought is over, I finally got a hit, two days after releasing a bill in Manhattan, it was snagged down on Wall Street and entered by the finder 16 miles away in Elmont, out on Long Island. Click here to see the report. Yippee!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Pearl Jam in Boston

Hard Rock Hallelujah!

Spinal Tap meets GWAR meets KISS. Thanks to Benjie for the tip. This clip is hilarious and includes a short interview by a BBC reporter at the end.



Lordi, the band featured, the best thing to come out of Finland since, well, anything, has won the Eurovision Pop contest with their song "Hard Rock Halleluja," an anti-war song that refers, much to my delight, to the "Iraq-olypse".

Enjoy, or recoil in horror. I find these guys more entertaining than Taylor Hicks or Katherine McPhee. . . .

It Hurts My Family and Friends

I found this in Brooklyn, around 79th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues. It appears to be some self-help/recovery questionaire that was done as an exercise about drugs.



Of course, this is purely speculation. It could be a class assignment....

Then the bit below shows where the person's priorities are.......


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Happy Birthday BillyMom!


Well, it's BillyMom's birthday today, so I thought I'd celebrate with the following poem:

LIKE BUTTER

She was 19, with a Summer job waitressing
at the Monmouth Beach Hotel, New Jersey.
When working a banquet, a customer offered her
fifty bucks if she “dropped” the soup
all over the place. My young mother,
still a teenager, laughed it off.
But when she emerged
weighted down by twenty bowls
of tomato soup, her foot met a pat
of butter and
a scream, a gasp, the calamitous
CRASH! of the platter and a score of bowls
detonating like bombs ---
blood every-
where.
The soup soaked a radius, a red-faced
nineteen year old at the epicenter,
and the fifty-dollar bill not discreetly passed.

I still imagine the chaos, my mother
relating this tale, wondering, wondering
what about the butter?
Was it strategically placed
or just chance carelessness
that set in motion the event
that would be remembered decades later
not just by me,
but by any one of those diners
or by my mother,
whenever she dipped a knife
into butter?

There is no better butter story
in my book. And though her manager was bitter,
my mother was richer.
Fifty dollars went far in 1959
and the image of catastrophe
nourishes me even today:
the blonde waitress falling,
the drops of soup spilling over,
the supper murmur before the clatter,
and there, the smile on the floor,
the arc of yellow
smeared by a comfortable shoe.

Brooklyn, January 9-10, 2002

Monday, May 22, 2006

Pearl Jam in Detroit

Forgetfulness

An interesting e-mail arrived Saturday. Its subject was "Poem called Forgetfulness by Bill Cohen" and proceeded as follows:


Dear Sir or Dear To Whom It May Concern

I would like to get a copy of Mr. Cohen's poem called Forgetfulness.Could one be e mailed to me?

My dear wife Billie Ann and I had our 50th Wedding anniversary this year and I forgot it. I need a defense and your poem might provide it.
Thanks
Harv


Initially, I was confused. Had I written a poem called "Forgetfulness" and posted it on BillyBlog? I couldn't remember any such entry. Then again, the poem in question was entitled "Forgetfulness". However, I quickly solved the mystery and replied:

I think you mean Billy Collins. I'm Bill Cohen. For a second I had to think if I had written a poem called "Forgetfulness." Good luck!

Forgetfulness

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Billy Collins


Billy Collins wrote the poem, and since I did a two-part post on the former poet laureate back in November, he had linked me up with the older, wiser, and better-selling Billy Poet.

Later that night, he replied:

Thank you for your kind response.. I give P.B.S credit for the error. Today someone read the poem "Forgetfulness" on the air and attributed it Billy Cohen. I am sure I'm not so far gone that I somehow I heard Billy Collins and wrote down Billy Cohen. I feel fortunate however that I was able to read several of your delightful poems published on your website. Thanks again.

Harv


Now I thought this was just a dandy exchange and wanted to share it with y'all, so I did what any self-respecting blogger would do and asked for permission:

I enjoyed your e-mail and found it interesting indeed (and flattering, thank you for the compliment). May I have your permission to post your e-mails on the site so that my readers enjoy the exchange as well? If no, that's fine, but I didn't want to just do it and have you be upset that I had posted your e-mails without permission.

Thanks much,

Bill


And yes, the nice gentleman said it was okay:

Please do if you like. My dear wife has completely forgiven me (as usual) and even restated her feeling that all of our 50+ years of marriage have been a joy and a pleasure.
Once again thank you for your response. It must be wonderful to know you are leaving something of value behind for the world through your poems.
Sincerely,
Harvey Lewis


So, this post is dedicated to Harvey and Billie Ann (another Bill/Billy/Billie!) on celebrating 50 years of marriage! Your shining example is inspiration to me (looking ahead to April, 2045) and others, I would imagine. Have a great week....

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The New York Post....Objective Reporting at its Best

A picture's worth a thousand words....


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Gol By L.Lib

The kids and I, over the last two days, have been playing the backwards game, reading signs in the neighborhood backwards. Those who know me well, know that I am better than most at translating words backwards. At one point, in my early twenties, I was firghteningly good at it, so good that no one would play my boardgame BackWords with me.

It goes back to my childhood when my dad and I would exchange greetings backwards. And so I answer to Lib Nos-neck'id Ne'hoc.

Anyway, this article appeared in today's New York Times:


And if It's a Boy, Will It Be Lleh?
By JENNIFER 8. LEE

Published: May 18, 2006

Chances are you don't have any friends named Nevaeh. Chances are today's toddlers will.

In 1999, there were only eight newborn American girls named Nevaeh. Last year, it was the 70th-most-popular name for baby girls, ahead of Sara, Vanessa and Amanda.

The spectacular rise of Nevaeh (commonly pronounced nah-VAY-uh) has little precedent, name experts say. They watched it break into the top 1,000 of girls' names in 2001 at No. 266, the third-highest debut ever. Four years later it cracked the top 100 with 4,457 newborn Nevaehs, having made the fastest climb among all names in more than a century, the entire period for which the Social Security Administration has such records.

Nevaeh is not in the Bible or any religious text. It is not from a foreign language. It is not the name of a celebrity, real or fictional.

Nevaeh is Heaven spelled backward.

The name has hit a cultural nerve with its religious overtones, creative twist and fashionable final "ah" sound. It has risen most quickly among blacks but is also popular with evangelical Christians, who have helped propel other religious names like Grace (ranked 14th) up the charts, experts say. By contrast, the name Heaven is ranked 245th.

"Of the last couple of generations, Nevaeh is certainly the most remarkable phenomenon in baby names," said Cleveland Kent Evans, president of the American Name Society and a professor of psychology at Bellevue University in Nebraska.

The surge of Nevaeh can be traced to a single event: the appearance of a Christian rock star, Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D., on MTV in 2000 with his baby daughter, Nevaeh. "Heaven spelled backwards," he said.

Among the many inspired by Mr. Sandoval's appearance was Jade San Luis, who named his first daughter Nevaeh two years later. "It felt original," said Mr. San Luis, 26, of Cerritos, Calif. "Now, not anymore."

Today Mr. Sandoval is introduced to and photographed with baby Nevaehs all the time. His own Nevaeh, now 6, skateboards and, when introduced, pipes up that her name is Heaven spelled backward. Does she understand the meaning of heaven? Mr. Sandoval replied, "She knows that is where her grandmother is."





In response to the posted comments, I have added this tidbit:

True story: a woman at Occidental a couple of years ahead of me had the best (and worst, depending on your perspective) name spelled backwards. What? Curious? Click here.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Biscellany

Some odds and ends:

1) Thanks to Mars Needs Guitars for putting me on their blogroll. And I didn't even ask to be put on it. It's always nice when someone links to you because it makes you more "relevant" on Google and other search engines. I am on Mars' list of "music blogs," so I guess I'll continue talking about music. By the way, Mars currently has an embed of XTC's "Dear God" video. Great song.

2) Speaking of blogrolls, the first one I was ever added to was Ron Silliman's. He added me after I asked nicely. Silliman's blog is dedicated to poetics, mostly. He puts much more thought and effort into his than I do mine. His site meter reads around 730,000. Anyway, the other day, I posted about the "Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years," which is a New York Times piece that Jill alerted me to. Silliman discusses the same article here. He gives it much greater analysis than I did. If you found my post at all compelling, then check out Ron's blog.

3) Segue-ing my way through this post, Silliman's blog, which usually is among the first webspots to announce the passing of a great poet, hasn't even mentioned Stanley Kunitz' passsing. Since I just posted his picture and a poem, I thought I'd do a little more. First, I am linking a video of Kunitz reading a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins here. This is from the "Favorite Poem Project" website, a great site if you are interested in exploring a little poetry read by average Americans. Granted, Kunitz was beyond average, but the majority of the readers are your average Joes and Janes.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kunitz on several occasions, twice at the 1998 and 2000 Geraldine Dodge Poetry Festival. Even in his nineties, Kunitz was a pleasure to hear reading, and a pleasant amiable person. On those two occasions and one more, he signed seven items for me, many of which are anthologies. Click here for a very nice obit, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

Here's another one of my favorites of his:

Touch Me

Summer is late, my heart.
Words plucked out of the air
some forty years ago
when I was wild with love
and torn almost in two
scatter like leaves this night
of whistling wind and rain.
It is my heart that's late,
it is my song that's flown.
Outdoors all afternoon
under a gunmetal sky
staking my garden down,
I kneeled to the crickets trilling
underfoot as if about
to burst from their crusty shells;
and like a child again
marveled to hear so clear
and brave a music pour
from such a small machine.
What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
One season only,
and it's done.
So let the battered old willow
thrash against the windowpanes
and the house timbers creak.
Darling, do you remember
the man you married? Touch me,
remind me who I am.


4) I hereby lay claim to the term "Biscellany," referring to the miscellaneous thoughts of someone named Bill. There is no link of this word on google (although there will be once I click "Publish Post"). William Safire, if you're reading this, I want credit.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Band Madness - Round Three

It's still going on....go vote!

Parent of the Year

The publishers of Stupid Parent magazine announced today that they were not waiting until the end of the year to award their coveted "Parent of the Year" prize. They have decided to present the award early to Britney Spears, as she has gone above and beyond the call of duty. An SP magazine spokesperson said, "Britney is the perfect illustration that money can't buy good parenting skills or even a nanny with good childcare sense."

On a side note, a formal complaint against Ms. Spears has been filed by the ASPCA claiming that her loosely strapping a young infant in a carseat in a convertible is cruel to the eagles and hawks circling overhead, as they would have little to no chance at successfully extracting a sun-burned Sean Preston Federline from a moving vehicle and could be in harms way if they even made the attempt.

Pearl Jam in Chicago

Monday, May 15, 2006

Stanley Kunitz, 1905-2006


Halley's Comet


Miss Murphy in first grade
wrote its name in chalk
across the board and told us
it was roaring down the stormtracks
of the Milky Way at frightful speed
and if it wandered off its course
and smashed into the earth
there'd be no school tomorrow.
A red-bearded preacher from the hills
with a wild look in his eyes
stood in the public square
at the playground's edge
proclaiming he was sent by God
to save every one of us,
even the little children.
"Repent, ye sinners!" he shouted,
waving his hand-lettered sign.
At supper I felt sad to think
that it was probably
the last meal I'd share
with my mother and my sisters;
but I felt excited too
and scarcely touched my plate.
So mother scolded me
and sent me early to my room.
The whole family's asleep
except for me. They never heard me steal
into the stairwell hall and climb
the ladder to the fresh night air.
Look for me, Father, on the roof
of the red brick building
at the foot of Green Street—
that's where we live, you know, on the top floor.
I'm the boy in the white flannel gown
sprawled on this coarse gravel bed
searching the starry sky,
waiting for the world to end.

A Message from BillyBlog


This isn't exactly how I feel, but it's close. The BlogMuse is on vacation and I think people are sick of Pearl Jam talk. Should we alert the ASPCA?

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

BilliPod Strikes Again

It's another iPod question meme for my own amusement and maybe the amusement of others, I have no idea.

Directions: Put your music player on shuffle. Press forward for each question. Use the song title as the answer to the question. You may shuffle until the answer makes sense. Post the replies in comments.

Where is your ideal vacation spot?


"Garden" by Pearl Jam

If you could give one snippet of advice to President Bush, what would it be?

"Hangin' Tree" by Queens of the Stone Age

If you could give one snippet of advice to Hilary Clinton, what would it be?

"Custard Pie" by Helmet (Zeppelin tribute album)

You have just won ten million dollars and are throwing a party, what musical act do you hire, and what song do you insist they play?

Dusty Springfield, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me."

You open a fortune cookie, the fortune says:

"Rock the World" by Pantera

You are walking down the street in a Quentin Tarantino movie, what song is on the soundtrack?

"Torn & Frayed" by The Rolling Stones

You are stuck in a haunted house, what song do you sing to keep you from being scared?

"Into the Void" by Soundgarden

You obtain magical powers and bring back Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, John Entwhistle, and John Bonham back from the dead. What song do you ask them to play?

"This is the Place" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Should BillyBlog ever do one of these memes again?

"How About Tonight" by Harry Connick Jr.

Awkward Photo of the Day

From left, Vice President Cheney, President Bush, Secetary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Secretaries of State Colin L. Powell and Madeleine Albright.

Body Language and Facial Expressions Say it All....

Bush Meets With Former Secretaries to Discuss Iraq Strategy

Published: May 12, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush said Friday that militias are the biggest roadblock to Iraq's effort to getting a unity government up and running, a goal that would help bolster the president's sagging approval ratings over its handling of the war.

Bush spoke at the White House where he met with 10 former secretaries of state and defense from both Republican and Democratic administrations to discuss Iraq and the broader Middle East.

''Perhaps the main challenge is the militia that tend to take the law into their own hands and it's going to be up to the government to step up and take care of that militia so that the Iraqi people are confident in the security of their country,'' Bush said.

Iraqi officials plan to restructure police forces in the capital under the newly formed National Police force to rein in militias and death squads.

''It's important to have a secure Iraq in order for people to go about their daily lives,'' Bush said.

Just over a third of Americans say they support Bush's handling of Iraq more than three years after the U.S.-led invasion, according to AP-Ipsos polling in early April.

Bush also met briefly in January with former secretaries of state and defense to discuss Iraq. Among those who were there Friday was Madeleine Albright, President Clinton's secretary of state, who has criticized Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

''We've had our disagreements in this country about whether or not we should be there in the first place,'' Bush said. ''Now the fundamental question is how do we achieve our objective, which is a democracy which can defend itself, sustain itself -- a country which an ally in the war on terror and a country, which serves as a powerful example for others who desire to be free.''

How BillyBlog Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Collector's Item


Recognize this smiling face? She may look familiar. Her name is Kaavya Viswanathan. She's not smiling anymore, as her debut novel How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, was pulled from stores and her book deal with Little, Brown was cancelled amid plagiarism allegations.




In true capitalist form, the day that Little, Brown announced that they would not be publishing a revised version of the book, I ordered a copy through an Amazon subsidiary. My copy arrived last night and it is really a very attractive book.

On Bookfinder.com, there are only 2 copies listed, at $75 and $150, respectively. Although I cane down to earth today when I checked eBay and saw 90+ copies.

Only time will tell if this will be a "collector's item" or just a lurid footnote in publishing history.

Pearl Jam in Albany

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?

From The New York Times:

Early this year, the Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years."


The results? Read on....

The winner:

Beloved
by
Toni Morrison

(#8 on BillyBlog)


THE RUNNERS-UP:

Underworld
by Don DeLillo

(#20 on BillyBlog)


Blood Meridian
by Cormac McCarthy

(Never read it, or anything by McCarthy)

Rabbit Angstrom: The Four Novels
by John Updike

Read Rabbit, Run, but none of the others.

American Pastoral
by Philip Roth

Started it, never finished.


THE FOLLOWING BOOKS ALSO RECEIVED MULTIPLE VOTES:

A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole

Started it, never finished. It's my friend Rebecca's favorite book.

Housekeeping
by Marilynne Robinson

Never read it, although I am about to embark on her second book, Gilead.

Winter's Tale
by Mark Helprin

Did not read.

White Noise
by Don DeLillo

Read it, loved it, but not as much as Underworld.

The Counterlife
by Philip Roth

Didn't read.

Libra
by Don DeLillo

Didn't read.

Where I'm Calling From
by Raymond Carver

Read, excellent.

The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien

Did not read. Have only read his great Vietnam novel In the Lake of the Woods.

Mating
by Norman Rush

Did not read.

Jesus' Son
by Denis Johnson

Didn't read.

Operation Shylock
by Philip Roth

Didn't read.

Independence Day
by Richard Ford

Didn't read, but enjoyed the prequel, The Sportswriter.

Sabbath's Theater
by Philip Roth

One of my favorite Roth books, definitely top 30.

Border Trilogy
by Cormac McCarthy

Never read.

The Human Stain
by Philip Roth

Didn't read.

The Known World
by Edward P. Jones

Didn't read.

The Plot Against America
by Philip Roth

Read recently, see here.


Thanks to Jill for recommending this as blogworthy. These books definitely go on the must read list (along with all the others).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Beating a Dead Horse

Just an FYI, I have added a webclip of the song during the Letterman webcast where you can see us in the crowd during the chorus. Go to the end of the original post here.

Eddie Vedder Sings with the Strokes

Check this out from last Thursday night. After Letterman, Rolling Stone had their 1000th issue party and Eddie Vedder joined the Strokes on stage at the Hammerstein Ballroom for "Juicebox". The quality is not so good, but you get a good sense of how it sounded.



Link to video here.

Pearl Jam in Toronto

Found at 31st Street and 7th Avenue, Manhattan



Obviously, someone's advertising homework/speech presentation. There were other cards, but it was a bustling sidewalk, so this is all I managed to pick up without causing a pedestrian pile-up. Normally, I don't find schoolwork all that interesting from a blogworthiness sense, but these piqued my curiosity. My favorite bit is the target consumer being the "Burnt out high school & college std".

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Worst Album Covers


This is ranked #1 as the best of the worst ten album covers on the Pork Tornado blog here.

I like this one particularly (it translates to "For the First Time") as I have a good friend named Tino and this is a great way to see if he reads my blog.

So what do you all think? Want to add some terrible album cover to the mix? Send me a comment and I'll post it here. And don't forget to go to Bandmadness. Vote in the lower brackets for the better band.

Here is another memorable bad album cover:




And the scariest:

Pearl Jam in Toronto

Monday, May 08, 2006

Pearl Jam Redux

Just a side note, BillyBlog, normally averaging 25-30 hits per day, got a little boost on Friday from the Porch, a fan-based message board. After posting my fanview here, I linked the page on the board and scored 272 hits on Friday and over another 64 on Saturday.

Also, the video from the performance/webcast is still available online, and you can hear the audio by subscribing to the Given to Cast podcast (episode 11.5).

Bikes, Boroughs, Bridges, Beautiful!

Yesterday I rode in the 29th annual 5-Boro Bike Tour. There were 30,000 riders in all. Bicycles wherever you looked. Here's a shot from Church Street in lower Manhattan near the start:






It was a little chilly at the beginning, but by the time I reached Astoria Park in Queens (approx. 19 miles in), it was warm and pleasant. Here's a shot of me under the Triborough Bridge:









I also traversed the Third Avenue and Willits Bridges (into and out of the Bronx, respectively). The Queensborough a.k.a. the 59th Street Bridge is the first real climb of the ride. Bridge #4 is the Pulaski that goes into Brooklyn from Queens. And, at the end of the ride, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge looms like a spectre over riders as they hit the 38-mile mark.

You can see more pictures of me riding here.

When the ride ends, it's the Staten Island Ferry back to lower Manhattan. This year, I was feeling so good, and the weather was so nice, I went for another bridge, the famous one from Brooklyn. In all I logged 50 miles on the day. Summer is officialy here!