Monday, November 24, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy Cat Cali

He makes me smile, so patient and so sweet. Such a little talker too.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Late night walks with animals, adventures in "dumpster diving", and a wonderful nighttime read.

Here I am doing the dog (and cat) walk after hours. It was intended to be a short walk. I was cold! Notice the hood does get chilly here in Huntington Beach you know!

I was also a little tired. I had fallen asleep sitting up in my chair waiting for a phone call that never came. Time had ticked on by though, and still had a job to do for the animals of the house. I got my act together for the sake of the little dog Dyani, who NEEDS her daily dose of fresh air and sniffs and smells. I called the cat to join us (Cali loves to come along), and off we went for a short little walk.
I took the first "turn for home" option, as I intended this to be a short little adventure. I was already feeling a little spaced out and ready for bed. Heck...(I was thinking) the pets will be just fine with a short walk we went a short ways, and rounded the turn back towards the house. By the's trash/recyling night in our neighborhood so all the cans are out ready for the big trucks to scoot along and scoop up all the waste and recyclables.

I spotted something of interest next to one of the cans sitting curbside, I didn't exactly dumpster dive for this little gem, but I definitely took one good look at what I was seeing and immediately thought...YES...I want that. Well what I saw and wanted wasn't exactly a little gem, it was a 6ft tall, solid wood shelf unit with a heavy built, sturdy base. The solid wood and sturdiness of this piece sure did mean it was going to be HEAVY to carry home. But after assessing my options, like trying to drag it along the grass (no good) I figured out how would I leverage my body with this big old beast and make it another full block home. I decided to give it a go. Thank goodness only one car came along to see me and my antics. I tried a few different carrying positions, and at one point I ended up practically carrying this gigantic thing on my head. Don't forget I still have the dog on a leash, too. I literally worked up this remarkably intense heat in my body within two minutes of carting this thing home.....! After a few stops to reposition myself, and untangle the dog leash from my ankles, I actually made it home with the thing. And now...I have a new shelf unit that needs a little TLC but hey....reduce reuse recycle, right.
It will be put to good use.

It's a welcome addition to the scene.

After lugging that thing a little bit of a long way though, I came home a little charged up, no longer as tired as I was when I left the house, and so I decided to get on the web and read into a few topics that interest me.

I like what I found.

The article below was too good in it's entirety for me to end up butchering it by attempting to explain the content, so I just decided to copy and paste the whole darn thing into the post.

Hope you will find it to be as much of a good read as I have.
Good Nite.


Ethics and Virtue
Developed by Manuel Velasquez, Claire Andre, Thomas Shanks, S.J., and Michael J. Meyer

For many of us, the fundamental question of ethics is, "What should I do?" or "How should I act?" Ethics is supposed to provide us with "moral principles" or universal rules that tell us what to do. Many people, for example, read passionate adherents of the moral principle of utilitarianism: "Everyone is obligated to do whatever will achieve the greatest good for the greatest number." Others are just as devoted to the basic principle of Immanuel Kant: "Everyone is obligated to act only in ways that respect the human dignity and moral rights of all persons."

Moral principles like these focus primarily on people's actions and doings. We "apply" them by asking what these principles require of us in particular circumstances, e.g., when considering whether to lie or to commit suicide. We also apply them when we ask what they require of us as professionals, e.g., lawyers, doctors, or business people, or what they require of our social policies and institutions. In the last decade, dozens of ethics centers and programs devoted to "business ethics", "legal ethics", "medical ethics", and "ethics in public policy" have sprung up. These centers are designed to examine the implications moral principles have for our lives.

But are moral principles all that ethics consists of? Critics have rightly claimed that this emphasis on moral principles smacks of a thoughtless and slavish worship of rules, as if the moral life was a matter of scrupulously checking our every action against a table of do's and don'ts. Fortunately, this obsession with principles and rules has been recently challenged by several ethicists who argue that the emphasis on principles ignores a fundamental component of ethics--virtue. These ethicists point our that by focusing on what people should do or how people should act, the "moral principles approach" neglects the more important issue--what people should be. In other words, the fundamental question of ethics is not "What should I do?" but "What kind of person should I be?"

According to "virtue ethics", there are certain ideals, such as excellence or dedication to the common good, toward which we should strive and which allow the full development of our humanity. These ideals are discovered through thoughtful reflection on what we as human beings have the potential to become.

"Virtues" are attitudes, dispositions, or character traits that enable us to be and to act in ways that develop this potential. They enable us to pursue the ideals we have adopted. Honesty, courage, compassion, generosity, fidelity, integrity, fairness, self-control, and prudence are all examples of virtues.

How does a person develop virtues? Virtues are developed through learning and through practice. As the ancient philosopher Aristotle suggested, a person can improve his or her character by practicing self-discipline, while a good character can be corrupted by repeated self-indulgence. Just as the ability to run a marathon develops through much training and practice, so too does our capacity to be fair, to be courageous, or to be compassionate.

Virtues are habits. That is, once they are acquired, they become characteristic of a person. For example, a person who has developed the virtue of generosity is often referred to as a generous person because he or she tends to be generous in all circumstances. Moreover, a person who has developed virtues will be naturally disposed to act in ways that are consistent with moral principles. The virtuous person is the ethical person.

At the heart of the virtue approach to ethics is the idea of "community". A person's character traits are not developed in isolation, but within and by the communities to which he or she belongs, including family, school, and other private and public associations. As people grow and mature, their personalities are deeply affected by the values that their communities prize, by the personality traits that their communities encourage, and by the role models that their communities put forth for imitation through traditional stories, fiction, movies, television, and so on. The virtue approach urges us to pay attention to the contours of our communities and the habits of character they encourage and instill.

The moral life, then, is not simply a matter of following moral rules and of learning to apply them to specific situations. The moral life is also a matter of trying to determine the kind of people we should be and of attending to the development of character within our communities and ourselves.

Out in the world

The beauty of simplicity......

Main Street Cyclery --Seal Beach, Ca.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Pedal pedal pedal, breathe breathe, pedal.

So here we are well into a busy active Autumn with the holidays just around the corner (heck how did that happen!!). I have made a choice lately to keep the skinny tires hanging on the hook, and have been taken instead to the great pleasure and joy of spending time in the woods and on the dirt rediscovering the world of mountain biking in all it's beauty and wonder. It's been a refreshing change getting off the pavement, and up into the hills exploring new places and new trails. It's like soul food. I'm feeling a little fitness coming on too, which is incredibly good news for me. Good for me in a way that goes far beyond the obvious athletic gains that are so easily visible from consistent activity.

I know I am not the only one who experiences this, but over the years I have often recognized that there is a distinct parallel with my level of fitness and my ability to create the quality of life that I strive for. I have also been completely aware of the fact that there will come a tipping point for me (that isn't so pretty!), if I am not keen to stay in touch with my core values, and remain on the path of taking care of my physical well-being.

As a matter of fact (a bit of reminiscence for me since I am just finishing my first annual cycle in bicycle industry sales), I was thinking today about what a difference a year makes. Just last November.....a month or two into this new position as "sales rep", my new boss came to spend a few days with me in my territory. We had literally been on the go from early morning until well into the evening for two straight days. My life had been jam packed with activity and change for weeks and weeks on end. No joke.

So there we were, finishing up day two of three busy days together.
As I was dropping him off at his hotel after a very full day of travel, he says to me "Okay....see you at 8am." ( was after 9pm already). I remember this moment very clearly. I was in the driver's seat, slightly amped from two straight days of race-like highway driving, just having buzzed around my territory like a hummingbird on sugar, introduced to new roads, new areas of my work territory and the new language of this entirely "new to me position" that I had literally launched into without ANY training.

Never mind the fact that I had just completely uprooted myself from a home of eleven years in a community that I had lived for the last twenty. That was all part of the grand adventure though ...I and was totally into opening up new doors in my life. However, I found myself suddenly getting lost trying to normal things like find gas stations that carried diesel for instance and I became instantly aware of the fact that I would have to go through grand procedures to find the health food store, the bank, highway entrances and exits ...etc etc etc. I was coming from a place where I could do most of those things in my sleep. Here, EVERYTHING was completely new (to me) and I was totally spinning in the whirlwind of change.

I had been a living like a sponge, soaking up a life in a whole new world, and had been completely committed to not missing a beat, and making sure to get the most out of every moment.

However...I was coming to a place of information overload, I was also on day three without any physical activity (funny how there are some of us in the world who think that three days without sweating is like an eternity). I could feel the anxious swell rising up inside of me, like an orchestra preparing for the crescendo. my boss continues on, completely unaware of the swell, he rallys me for another day of action packed travel.

I couldn't go on.

I looked at him from the driver's seat of my car and boldly told him "No.. 8:30 is too early".

He looked at me, slightly stunned and at a loss for words. I think at that moment he was saying to himself..."who does this this little "rookie" junior sales rep think she is challenging my itinerary and agenda"....

He challenged back and said to me that 8:30 was NOT too early.

I took pause. Then said (in a calm voice).......
"Roy, I need to go for a run in the morning. Here's the deal. When Brenda exercises, Brenda is happy. When Brenda is happy, she does her job more effectively."

(in other words, Hellllooooooo....I NEED physical activity in my life!!)

We went around and around for a minute, but I was adamant about my situation, position, feeling....whatever you want to call it. He was equally pressing with his opinion..."no you don't need...blah blah blah...exercise blah blah blah to do your job well blah blah blah".

Little did he know that run was absolutely going to happen.

And it did.

And as the story went, we hashed it out, compromised our agenda... and met at 9am ;)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Think about it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My inbox

Got an email this morning that made me smile.

My faraway friend Benny Ma (our former Lipton Soigneur)said..

"I'm actually rediscovering how much fun it is to ride my commuter bike around the streets of NYC. Makes you wonder if the word "bicycle" really means life."

I'm right there with ya Benny, right there.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


On Yoga

“Without intention, all these postures, these breathing practices, meditations, and the like can become little more than ineffectual gestures. When animated by intention, however, the simplest movement, the briefest meditation, and the contents of one breath cycle are made potent.” Donna Farhi

Donna Farhi--I studied with her at Oberlin College about ten years ago. She was a fantastic teacher who taught me to explore my practice in a way like never before. After working with her, I found my grace as teacher and guide.

I will be back on the mat teaching in January......

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hip style...


How's that for sweet?

This swanky hotel down here in SoCal has decided to outfit each guest room with a bike for guests to use during their stay. Even sweeter that they chose The Lager, a bike from our SE BIKES line (and one my of my brother's designs), as the bike of choice for their guests. In my humble opinion, bikes definitely belong on the road (or dirt!), but I have to admit...that one looks pretty hot hanging on the wall like a piece of art. Nice going a rider, racer, all around great brother, and (at least in my mind)...accomplished "artist".


Sunday, November 09, 2008

There's nothing like dancing the night away with good friends!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Introducing Lily .... a bright little light!

Recently (and completely out of the blue), I received an email and photo from Lily's dad, Jim. It was a real treat to get this email and photo.

Here is the story....
This picture was taken after The CSC Invitational in 2007.
Let me explain a little bit about this day, leading up to the moment I met Lily.

I had a very frustrating race (all my Lipton teammates were up in Montreal). After this race was over, I realized that I REALLY love racing with a team and not alone(!), and just how spoiled I had become by being on Victory Brewing and Lipton, racing with some of the best riders in the world! I was all on my own on a day where there were strong teams represented in a race that had always been hotly contested....and historically, a break was known to go up the road.
Prior to this race, we Lipton ladies had just completed a round of three weeks of racing in Europe. We had a great racing streak (and an amazing trip!), and all of us were gaining some great form from that "block" of racing.
I, personally, was anxious to get back to some U.S. racing (criteriums especially!), so I asked to be left off of the Montreal roster, and took it upon myself to race a bunch of east coast criteriums ---solo.

In this particular race, the break went early. I went after it and bridged up with one rider (playing defense)in tow. I caught the break in a hard, lap and a half effort, only to have Laura Van Gilder attack...just as I was making contact (she is such a savvy rider!!). She got off the front at that moment, and took Rebecca Larson with her.

That would be the race.

I was pretty knackered at a crucial moment...and ultimately, missed the move of the day! The rest of us in the break were reabsorbed by the pack shortly thereafter, and although I felt strong and capable in the race, and made several unsuccessful attempts to bring back the pair...I would not have a fruitful day of racing. If my memory serves me correctly, it seemed that the field was just letting them go. And the two teams defending were doing a great job at that! Anyway....long story short, I left the course feeling a bit bothered by the outcome of the race on a day that I knew I had good legs.

Then.... along comes Lily.

This smiling, jubilant, little lady... shining brightly in the crowd (always big crowds at CSC). Her dad asked if he could take our picture together. Our conversation was brief, but Lily made me smile. It made me happy again....just to see so much excitement coming out of this little gal, and her pure love for bicycles.

That's what it's all simple.

Meeting Lily reminded me to check myself, and my attitude. She made my day. I left the course with a smile on my face after all (little did she know what an impact she had on me!). I was happy that I met a new little gal who loved bikes as much as I do, and happy to have the life I have. I am a bike racer, and that's a dream come true....regardless of the day's outcome.

I hear from Lily's dad that she is super pumped about getting a new bike for xmas this year. That Rocks. Go Lily Go!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

And it went like this...

Three hours on that thing....and I DID too pedal!

And you know what else,
even though I'm not a gambling woman, I am willing to bet something pounds of organic, fair-trade espresso, or many bottles of tasty Russian River pinot noir, that I was one of the best stokers that captain has ever had along for a ride.

Oh wait a second, did I say "one" of the best?
Sorry...I meant to say "the" best.