Monday, September 27, 2004


Buckets of Doom: Update

I've got about 100+ miles on the Buckets of Doom. I use them to haul books to class. They are holding up quite well. I've ridden on and off road. I've even used them as a chair while making repairs to my bike. The only problem I see is that after a couple days of riding the bolt that attaches the the Arkel hook thingy to the buckets gets a little loose. Only a little. They've never come off. However, I went to Lowes this morning and bought some lock washers. That should keep things tight.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


Super Powers

We've all thought about it. What would your superpowers be? (No invincibility or immortality.) Posted by Hello

If you could choose 2 super powers what would they be? I've thought of this. It's a very entertaining thought. Everything from shooting lighting bolts from me arse, to flying, to having some kind of supersuit with lots of firepower crossed my mind.

What powers would I choose? I would choose the ability to disappear and to replicate myself. As I entertained this thought of being a super hero, I found the powers I would choose to be disturbing. Basically, I would choose powers that would allow me to divorce myself from the world, from life if you will.

Surprisingly, this is exactly what the addiction gave me. When I would act out it was a way for me to get away from reality. In fact, I don't remember some parts of my life because I spent so much time thinking of ways to get my next high. It was a dream world.

I find it odd that I would choose powers that would at least emotionally allow me to run away from life as opposed to stand and fight. For me, this not the answer I wanted. One of the things God has given me is the power to stand and fight, yet in and of my own power I would not chose that.

My point? I will share a dream I have when I first started my recoveryprocess over 2 years ago. In the dream I was walking to class. Then out of nowhere someone hit me. But there was no one in sight. Another blow came and another. Someone or something(s) was beating me up. I fought, swinging as hard and as fast as I could but wasting energy hitting nothing but air. I was taking a serious beating. Furthermore,whoever attacked also had the ability to enter and exit my bodywhenever he/they saw fit. I could feel them flying through me. All seemed hopeless.

After a while, I noticed someone approaching me from a distance. Itwas a man dressed in white. I mean pure white. His hair was white hiseyes were strange. He came straight up to me and said, "You need to step out of this world."

I thought, "Who's this guy? Don't you see that I getting beaten here?Help!" He must have read my mind because just as I finished that thought he said again, "You need to step out of this world." Just ashe finished those words, the earth began to shake and fall apart."Maybe I should listen to this guy," I thought to myself. So I didexactly what he said. I stepped out of the universe into a strangeplace, a place very much like the Construct Program in the Matrix. It was all white and you could not tell the difference between the floor,the wall, and the ceiling.

As I stepped through the portal the man stepped with me. I noticed howquickly the portal closed after I got through. After the portal closed, I noticed something streak overhead. I saw for the first time who hadbeen attacking me. It was a demon, and he was fast. He came around foranother pass. I got a good look at his face. He was dressed in a graycloak and had a black face. As he set up for his attack I became scared, thinking I was about to undergo another beating. I braced myself for the blow when I noticed I was holding a double-edged sword.I looked over and saw the man dressed in white. I turned back to notice the demon approaching very swiftly. As he reached attack range I took up the sword with all my might and swung at him. The demon wasno more.

Afterwards, I looked at the sword and I remembered the man dressed in white. I looked over and he was still there, looking me straight inthe eyes. He had seen the entire incident. As I looked and admired this man I noticed a bond with him. It felt like an umbilical cordmade of energy connected us and the connection was completely inseparable.

There were many other attacks from the enemy. Sometimes the attackswould come like a bed of fire ants. Sometimes there would only be 1 or 2 demons attacking. Sometimes there would be long periods of time between attacks. I always stood in battle stance, never letting up, always on the lookout. However, many times I would look over to see if the man (Christ) was there. He was always there. He never left, and was always looking me in the eyes.

The demons never attacked the bond between Christ and myself. They would only attack me. In the dream I never lost a battle. I stood my ground and never let the enemy over run my position. All because of the power Christ had given me through the Holy Spirit and his word.

When I awoke from the dream I had the sense that the dream had taken place over my life time. So you can see that thinking of having superpowers would allow me to, essentially, "run away," is still proof that God truly works in weakness. It amazes me that God can turnsinners into Saints. If he can to that, there is truly nothing too difficult for God.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


The U-lock Debacle

A Bic pen defeats the only thing known to kill Superman! Posted by Hello

Posted by Hello

Many college students use bicycles to get around campus. In fact, it has been my experience to be the fast way around campus. Students will often purchase a good bicycle worth hundreds from the local bike shop. Obviously, if someone spend $500 on a bicycle they don't want it to be stolen. However, bicycle security has become a threat here in the past few days. The New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, as well as ABC have made reports of a security threat concerning Kryptonite bicycle locks. Here is an article from The Oregonian about the fiasco.

Kryptonite, the large bicycle-lock maker, has been regarded by many cyclists as the "Microsoft" or "Xerox" of bicycle locks. These U- locks made from steel are quite difficult to break. However, the picking these locks seem quite easy. The U-lock uses a round type key that looks similar to a key to a Coke machine. At contain many videos of how the lock can be pick by using a simple Bic pen.

I tried to unlock my Krypto. It did not work. However my lock was bought in 2000 so it maybe one of the locks that are less susceptible to the Bic technique. Kryptonite is offering a refund program for locks bough since 2002. I'm not gonna take chances. I had a bicycle stolen from me once and I don't intend on that happening again. I'm thinking of buying a lock from Squire, a lock maker from the U.K. that has been making lock for over 200 years. They seem to use a flat key design, thus would be less tamper resistant.

Theft is probably the most common crime on UA campus. This concern could effect many students. Kryptonite also offers a $3,000 theft insurance. If your bicycle is stolen while locked with a Kryptonite u-lock, then they will give you the cash value of your bicycle up to $3,000. This could be a disaster for Kryptonite if the claims start rolling in. Word has spread very rapidly throughout the cyclist community through online forums and newsgroups.

An official statement from Kryptonite can be found on their website. Also, Kryptonite seems to be doing the right thing. They have a replacement program for those with defective locks. Information can be found here:

Friday, September 17, 2004


The Bronze Snake

Moses speaks to Israelites about healing. Posted by Hello

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time reading in the Old, rather as my Sunday School teacher would say Foundational Testament. I find that more than any other way the Lord speaks to me primarily through the written Word.

I've been reading about the ancient Israelites and their journey from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan. I've discovered several attitudes of Ancient Israelites that I find in my own life. Today I read about the Bronze Snake (Numbers 21). The Lord had just given the Israelites a huge victory over the Arads. Some time after this victory the Israelites began to complain, as they usually did about the lack of food, water, that they should have died in Egypt, etc. Throughout the book of Numbers at almost encounter when first sign of trouble come up they lose all faith. God repeatedly supplies their needs and provide for them in miraculous ways. You would figure that they would learn eventually.

However, trusting God wasn't the case. I wondered were these people stupid or something? Even Aaron and Moses rebelled against God and both suffered consequences of their actions. Aaron died seemingly not long after he rebelled against Moses' leadership with Miriam. Likewise, God told Moses to speak to he rock to bring water to the people. Moses decided to strike instead. Thus, he was forbidden to enter the Land of Canaan.

Like the Israelites, I've noticed in my own life that complain. I too was in slavery, bondage to sexual sin. God sent someone to bring me out of that slavery. God has shown me the Land of Canaan in my life. That is to say the reason why I exist is to help other recovery from the very same addiction I have with which I have struggled. Along the there were seemingly impossible barriers. Even today there are things that stand in my way of fulfilling my life mission. However, as I read about the Israelites God always come through.

After the defeat of Arad, the Israelites moved toward the Red Sea to go around Edom. Once again the people started complaining, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! there is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"(Numbers 21:5) Wow! Because of their rebellion God sent venomous snakes. Many died. However even in the midst of his wrath and consequences of their sin, God provides a way out. He commands Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole so that anyone who was bitten could look at it and live. The snake was made of bronze.


Ivan on Campus

I went out yesterday facing certain doom to catch a few images what Ivan has done on campus.

Hardcore Rugby players. Hurricane or not Rugby will be played. Could these brave men have scared Ivan away? Posted by Hello

Fraternity Lane. Fortunately, it didn't land on any Frat Houses. This tree also still stands. That lamp post should have taken lessons! Posted by Hello

Strong tree. 70+ mph wind and it still stands. Much better than the light post. Posted by Hello

This lamp post didn't make it Posted by Hello

Homebuilt Camping Stove. Uses rubbing alcohol. Needs pot stand. I only had 2 bottles of Isobutane for the MSR stove. I used one pretty quickly. So, I had to build something so that I would have a way to cook. Fortunately, the power was back on in 8 hours. Posted by Hello

Deep fat fried chicken during Ivan. Posted by Hello

My MSR Campfire stove. During power outage. I haven't used this stove in a few years. Hey, it still works!!! Posted by Hello

Monday, September 13, 2004


Major Taylor

Major Taylor. The Lance Armstrong of the 1890s Posted by Hello

At the turn of the previous Marshall W. "Major" Taylor, dispite racial discrimination, threat physical assault, had become a world champion cyclist competing in the United States and Europe. Not only was he a champion on the track but he was a believer also. "After his mother's death in 1898 and was a steadfast member of the John Street Baptist Church in Worcester. For years, he resisted invitations to race in Europe because he refused to race on Sundays. He finally signed a European contract in 1901, was welcomed as a hero in France, and proceeded to beat every European champion."(Major Taylor Association)

I would love to read a biography about this man. It gives me hope that I could start long distance bicycle touring. So often the media portray blacks with negative view points. Much of the racism today is not blatant as 100 years ago, but there is still racism. It's hidden and very subtle nowadays.

Anyway, Major Taylor's accomplishments include

For more info. check out

A great article by the late great Ken Kifer:

A good article that compares Lance Armstrong to "Major" Taylor.


A trike it 'tis!

I just ordered the Greenspeed GTR Plans a few days ago. Hopefully I'll get them in about a week. The plan is to get the trike plans, buy the tubes state-side, build a jig, and take a welding class at the local community college. Hopefully by Spring Break I can have this thing built up and off on some wild expidition!

Friday, September 03, 2004


Eureka, Touring at Last!!!

Rans Fusion. Perhaps, the cutest bike known to mankind. Posted by Hello

As you know I've looking for a good touring bike. However, because I'm a graduate student my budget is quite limited. I don't like the learning curve of SWB and LWB recumbents and I don't have the money for a trike. DF are just out of the question.

I first read about the Rans Fusion about a year ago. I thought it was a cute bike and nothing more. But, now the thing is really a contender. It's half recumbent, half traditional diamond frame. If I could build a smaller set of panniers (Buckets of Doom: Mini edition) and a trailer, this thing could work.

I just got and email from Rans. They told me they have several customer that have ridden Centuries with favorably results. WOW!!! A successful century is something to brag about. This bike could be the ticket.

See ya

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Shackles: The Elephant Syndrome

Nepali elephant driver Posted by Hello

Elephants are perhaps the most powerful and mightiest creatures on all the face of the Earth. Some once asked, "Where does an elephant sleep?" Wherever they want. I mean who is gonna tell an elephant what to do or where to go? Unless you've got a high powered rifle or an M1 Abrams Tank, trying to control wild elephants it not a good proposition.

Well, truth be told your can control wild elephants. The people of Nepal give tours of the Royal Chitwan National Park on elephant back. But, how do they tame these creatures? Well, the elephant must be psychologically "broken". They do this by chaining the elephant to a post and encircle them in a ring of fire for up to 2 or 3 evenings. A skilled trainer, atop an already "broken" elephant will sing and talk to the new captive until he is fully broken. Then, he will use what's called an ankush, basically a metal rod that has been sharpened at the tip to strike a large sinus area of the elephant's skull. When struck creates loud inner reverberations. While teaching an elephant the eighteen paired commands (go, stop, sit, stand, etc.), the trainer constantly taps the skull to focus its attention. The ankush will sometimes also have a curved appendage, which can be hooked into a small natural hole in both of the elephant’s upper ears and given a hard yank. As a last resort for aggressive behavior, the sharpened tip of the ankush can be driven into the skull like a giant nail (

Notice, what hasn't changed is that the elephant, even though broken, is still that same immensely powerful creature. I imagine if anyone told him the power he truly had, there is no way these elephant drivers could control them.

I will tell you first hand that Satan has use a similar tactic in my life regarding sexual addiction. I am a child of the most High God. The God of all Heaven and Earth. Even before I was saved I was still created and sought after by him. In other words, humans are they most powerful spiritual creates on Earth. Even if they are not saved they still have access to the creator of the universe through Christ.

Likewise, Satan has psychologically "broken" many into believing they can never be free from addictions. I have struggled with sexual addiction for 20 years. I'm only 28 so your talking all my life I've struggled with this. Satan did not wait until I was fully mature in all the power that Christ has given me to defeat something like this, but he started when I was only a child. Sure, I've made plenty of poor decisions over the years. Decisions I am not proud of have caused me to suffer consequences for the rest of my life. However, many of those decisions were made while shackled to a steel post, encircled in a ring of fire with a metal rod being slammed against my head, with the enemy of all that is good, whispering words of evil and deceit.

On the other hand, the recovery process is just like someone telling that elephant who he is. As if someone walked into that ring of fire and told him that power and the might that possesses. That he no longer has to be tortured and beaten and prodded and shackled. This person is Christ. I truly believe wit hall my heart that God took me out of that ring of fire. He taught me who I was and the power I had in him. I encourage anyone that is struggling with any kind of addiction that there is help and recovery. You can have life. Just don't stop trying.

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