Friday, October 31, 2008

Spooky Bacteria

So ...I'm fairly new to cooking meat. I bought this lovely specimen of organic free-range chicken from an Amish farmer in State College last weekend. Now to defrost it ...I seem to remember something about not defrosting with warm water? I decided to call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline. I wonder how many calls they get per day? What kind of credentials make one fit for such a position? Is it a 24 hour service?

Turns out defrosting with warm water can lead to some kind of crazy bacteria that can cause serious illness and even death especially for the young and elderly. Glad I asked!

Have any meat or poultry questions?



Now that I am riding to Gambrill from our apartment rather than driving from DC, it is rare that I have a chance to frequent my favorite church bulletin along Gambrill Park Rd. for the latest in creative religious judgement. Yesterday I took a special detour to check out the new material.... Damn! And I thought I was onto something!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beards BeCause

Beards BeCause
"A bearded fight against domestic violence."

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

11/18 @ 11

Mark your calendars!
November 18, 2008 @ 11pm

Julie Parker of ABC News is covering a story on bike commuting in DC. Today she stopped by the EPA bike locker room for a quick interview. Jenn and I did our best to show off our beloved bike haven. At 4 months pregnant, Jenn is one of the most dedicated bike commuters I know. Look for us in November!

Monday, October 27, 2008


We did lots of fun stuff this weekend. Friday I headed up to State College where I met with a few professors, did some scavenging, paid a quick visit to Freeze Thaw, and perused the farmer’s market. Sparky was sporting the new Freeze Thaw wool cap …so classy. They also recently started carrying Alchemy Goods , a company that makes stuff from used bike tubes such as bags, belts, purses, wallets, and other miscellaneous accessories. (photo: The Kelso Squat)

Maggie and her friend Dave came down from NYC for a quick weekend visit. Maggie and I were housemates as undergrads at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!) and have remained the closest of friends through all these years ...coaching each other through life's ups and downs.

Water woes put a damper on Saturday's events. Heavy rains cancelled our plans to ride and broken drain pipes kept us from life's essentials ...such as personal hygiene and discharging effluent. Thanks again Ange for the shower!

Saturday night we went around the corner to the Weinberg Center to see the Capitol Steps ….I believe we were the only people in the audience who did not belong to the AARP. Bitter political satire set to a collection of Broadway tunes made for an entertaining evening. Equally as entertaining, Maggie and Dave examined Matt's 32 stitches that are soon to come out. Jeff refused to look. Nasty Gash! Get well soon Matt!

Sunday morning we awoke to clear blue skies and crisp fall air. Jeff was feeling a bit sick and therefore pulled the plug on his orginal plans to race down in Virginia. Maggie, Dave, Jeff and I set off for the Watershed on a nice long ride. Hillary even caught up with us just as we were about to head down Super Sweet. I think Maggie had a good time overall …turns out SuperSweet is not her favorite trail.

Miss you Maggie!

(photo: don't f@#! with this gate)

In other news...
This past weekend the 2008 Collegiate MTB National Championship was hosted by Lees-McRae College (LMC) down in Banner Elk, NC. Although LMC put up a good fight, Fort Lewis College ultimately won the team omnium by a narrow margin. Topping the women's XC podium, the east coast ladies held their own.

Division I Cross Country Results

1) Carla Swart - Lees-McRae College
2) Jamie Dinkins - University of Tennessee
3) Eszter Horanyi - Univeristy of Colorado
4) Teal Stetson Lee - Fort Lewis College
5) Sage Wilderman - Fort Lewis College
6) Chloe Forsman - University of Arizona

(taken from

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I Heart Working From Home

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stale Blog

This blog is almost as stale as a forgotten loaf of moldy bread. I've been meaning to get a post up about how absolutely AWESOME life in Frederick is, but I've too busy enjoying myself. Last Sunday Jeff and I went out for a beautiful mtb ride in the watershed. We rode directly from our apartment! What a treat! Absolutely no vehicles were involved in what can only be described as the most beautiful ride EVER ...the leaves are changing ...the air is crisp ...the hunters can't shoot stuff on the Lord's day ...I brought my camera ...but didn't want to interrupt the ride for a photo shoot I snapped one on the way home ...while Jeff was choking on his Powerbar.

In other news, the invasive exotic species of the month is ....

Tree of Heaven/Chinese Sumac
(Ailanthus altissima)

This is a particularly pesky species in the Frederick County Watershed. As the name implies, it is a native species of China and was introduced to these United States in 1784 through the handy work of a gardener in Philadelphia (way to go buddy). It is a rapidly growing deciduous tree that can quickly out compete native species, creating a dense thicket, further impeding native species from surviving in the understory (kind of a microcosm of our current economic situation).

As if this wasn't bad enough, the sap of the Chinese Sumac is highly toxic. Should you decide to manually eradicate this bothersome botanical be sure to wear gloves so as not to absorb the sap. This lesson was learned the hard way by a 24 year old tree surgeon who suffered three days of fevers and chills after working with this loathsome shrub. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, "this toxin may have miticondrial mechanisms of action consistent with the pathophysiologice characteristics of transient myocarditis." (Frederick County Forestry Board, 2007).

So, the take home message is ...don't bring back plants from China and take more photos on long mtb rides in the fall.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Something New

Life is a funny succession of seemingly random events that ultimately bring us to profound moments in our lives. I am of the mind that there are no coincidences in this world. Everything happens for a reason and wherever you are right now, that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be (I'm not really sure how this philosophy explains times of horrific warfare). We might not always know where we’re headed, or understand why things happen, but sometimes we get lucky and arrive at a place in life that leaves us with a heart full of gratitude. (photo: The new family! Oh, and also my lovely lady shoulder hump left over from Mt. Snow)

And so, this past weekend we witnessed the culmination of these events that resulted in the marriage of my father and Rosa. Through their marriage we have become a happy family of five and I am technically no longer an only child (Got that Lorena? I am no longer suffering from OCS. I’ve been cured!) Yay! I have twin sisters! Ana & Betty! (photo: Ay que lindo!)

It is also not by coincidence that marriages are usually followed by wedding cake. Jeff and I looked forward to this part with eager anticipation. We were not disappointed ….that was until the remaining cake carcass was snatched away before Jeff could have seconds. Boooo! (photo: wedding cake & Miami skyline)

Two Left Feet

Due to the high cost of traveling with a bike, Jeff and I decided to try out the Broward County Velodrome which cost us a grand total of $8.00. Now that’s value!!! Normally it would have cost $18; however, they did not charge us for the bike rental as their bikes were in a sad state of disrepair. But how bad can things really go with one speed and no brakes? (photo: WTF?)

We played a romantic game of pursuit. Jeff hunted me down with the speed and stealth of the great Florida panther. I did the best I could given I was working with two left feet. We really need to get some more lamps for our new place. I was packing in the dark ….these shoes look nothing alike.

Considering my options, I decided to rock the flat pedal on the right side and the Speedplay on the left. Like the Royal Palm, I too bend in the winds of adversity.

Sky Mall is awesome. I think I may have found Jeff’s Christmas present.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vamos a Miami

Esta noche, Jeff y yo vamos a Miami para la boda de mi papa y Rosa. Estoy muy emocionado!!! Tengo hambre para la tarta de boda tambien!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My New Commute

Since moving to Frederick a week ago, I have been commuting into work via the MARC train ….which I find to be most exciting. Each morning I walk the three blocks to the station, bid adieu to the sleepy town of Frederick and head off on my grand voyage to the big city. Perhaps the novelty will wear off, but for now I enjoy feeling as though I am living in the 1940s, throwing my scarf to Jeff as he waves goodbye.
This morning I decided to give the bike commute a try ….roughly amounting to 60 miles from Frederick to DC (this morning was longer due to my decision to hop on MacArthur for the final stretch). It is indeed a stark contrast to my former 10 minute commute down 16th street …and it took much longer than I originally expected (4 hrs total), but once I get the kinks worked out I think it just might work.

This morning I set off for DC on my trusty Soma Double Cross at roughly 6:30am. Although I was fairly well lit, the ride to the C&O trail in the pitch dark was a little on the sketchy side, but it didn’t take long before I hit the river and began heading south into the city.

What a beautiful commute! The sunrise was amazing, the river was breathtaking, the trail was alive with wildlife and cute old people out for their morning bird watch (I love cute old people). Somewhere along the way I burned through my breakfast …by the time I arrived at work (a little on the late side) I had already devoured my lunch …I even ate my veggie burger raw. My new Crumpler backpack worked out pretty well. Lots of clearance for head movement; however the shoulder straps are a bit wide for female shoulders, resulting in some armpit chafing.

Yup, I think it’s gonna work …I just need to leave a little earlier, ride a little faster, pack a little lighter and eat a bigger breakfast and I think I can easily incorporate this into my collection of commuting adventure options. Yay!

Tonight I think I’ll take the train home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Taking Root

Monday night Jeff and I made met up at the National Geographic Museum where we saw Taking Root, the biography of 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. Wangari Maathai . This was a particularly special occasion, as Dr. Maathai was also in attendance and provided further commentary following the film.

For over 30 years she has fought for the rights of the Kenyan people and the protection of Kenya's forests with a fierce passion. Founding the Greenbelt Movement in 1977 she not only helped to improve rural livelihoods through sustainable natural resource management, but she also helped women find their voice at a time of extreme political turbulence. Through her work she has brought to light the interconnectedness of environmental degradation, political corruption, and human rights and is responsible for tremendous political change in a country that is slow to listen to the female voice.

She is truly a living legacy and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to hear her speak. (photos taken from wikipedia)

Front Cover

Wow, we got a lot of good press out of that gig. DCMTB has now requested our attendance at the DCCX. Lorena, are you in?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kelley Acres CX !!!

It was a tremendous honor for Lorena and I to make a special appearance as the podium girls at the very first Kelley Acres Cyclocross Race. Chris trusted us with this very important task and we were more than happy to oblige.

Hard to believe it was just last year that Lorena and I went head to head at the Miss Maryland Beauty pageant ...unfortunately, Miss Montgomery County took the title. But that wasn't enough to keep Lorena and I down. Together as Miss Frederick and Washington County, we make guest appearances at bike races, birthday parties, and fundraisers as well as our own respective county fairs ....I usually bring in a much bigger crowd than Lorena. (photo: Lorena, Chris, and I)

The Kelley Acres Cross race was a HUGE success!!! Chris and Fred, you really know how to throw a race! Can't wait for next year! I would provide more narrative, but I'll just let the photos tell the story. It's so much easier to take pictures when you're not racing!

left: Me, Jennette, and Lorena
right: porto-princess

left: Lorena makes final preparations in Fred's garage
right: Miss Frederick and Washington County!

The HPC crew!!!!

left: pro men's podium
right: Lorena & I dominate the women's field

left: Roger strikes a pose
right: Jennette, former homecoming queen, eats her well deserved sloppy joe

Lorena's photo shoot

left: Arley gets some puppy love. Oh, and congrats on 2nd place!
right: Jennette recently scored some sweet winter booties.

left: more awesome boots!
right: Coach!

left: the Foley Family!
right: men's podium ...can't remember what category???

left: HPC/Kenda developmental team
right: Former HPC developmental team

left: it was a double win day for the Shogrens!
right: Chris races with a broken wrist :(

left: lady's 1,2,3, race
right: Cheryl tears it up with an impressive 3rd place finish!

More Coverage Here: