Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bicycling in advertising - Citibank

I've been fascinated how bicycles and biking have come to represent so many things in life.

To those of us in the field of promoting bicycling and walking, bikes are a form of transportation, recreation, and sport. We use them instead of cars. We ride them hard to get our heart rate up. We see the countryside. We enjoy time with friends while pedaling. We compete with others.

But it has become obvious to me that bikes also are used to represent values and desires. Just as the classic apple pie and baseball used to represent American values and Mom in an apron meant home, a bicycle has come to represent many positive attributes.

Thanksgiving gallette: squash, apples, onions, and stilton cheese

Just a short note to post the recipe that I used for my requested appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner. It is called a "Butternut Squash, Apple and Onion Galette with Stilton."

Both when I was researching an appropriate pre-meal offering, and from those who tasted it, there were requests for the recipe. This one I can't take credit for, because unlike most of my cooking, I followed the recipe almost exactly.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Thanksgiving invitation not extended

Every year at Thanksgiving I think about someone I turned away. Although it was in my selfish and thoughtless youth, so perhaps forgivable - we often can't see the need in others until we have experienced it ourselves - I still feel terrible about how I treated someone who asked for my help and company.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm not a hero for riding my bike

People sometimes comment that I’m very committed or virtuous for riding my bike, even in bad weather. At least they used to say that when I drove less. (I’ve gotten sort of lazy.) But the truth is that I’m not being virtuous or committed to the environment. I’m cheap and like the flexibility of my bike.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bike racks on buses slow to start in Milwaukee

A writer for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel asked about our experiences with bike racks on buses here in Madison. A recent article there had been drawing some negative comments because usage of the racks was slow. Here's what I told him, with a few edits for this blog:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dane RTA - where to get more information

For those interested in finding out more information about the Dane County RTA, I would recommend three current pages to start off. They have links to other sources of information, and each has a slightly different audience and slant, but they are each accurate, in my opinion.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New urbanism: Where's the door?

In the last week I have twice been to places in Middleton that seemed to have one address, but apparently have their main entrance off a parking lot.

Unfamiliar with either location, I looked up the addressed on Google Maps. Both are in "new urbanist" areas, and the streets where their primary addresses are located appear to be relatively transit/pedestrian/bicyclist friendly. Sort of. At least they are trying to be those things.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Links and futher information on smart transportation policy

For the Bringing Bioneers to Wisconsin, From Here to There conference today and tomorrow, I was asked to fill in at the last moment for someone who couldn't make it. Since I don't have a web page of my own up, I'm using this blog as a way to give the participants access to some info that might be helpful to them in the future.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Other recipes from the week past

I'm behind on my blogging - I thought I'd try to post every day, and maybe actually get out 4-5 per week - so I'm posting another short item about other dishes I made this week.

Apples, apples, apples!

The past week or so, I've been working my way through a huge bag of apples that I bought on a trip up north. For the past couple of years, I've been buying "deer apples" - apples that have flaws, holes, buises, or are just too small to sell. There really is nothing wrong with them, except that they don't quite fit the perfect, red, round, smooth image we have of apples.

There is no way I can eat all the apples I buy, nor would I want to. So I make dried apples slices and apple sauce. (Pies and other desserts are both too tempting and unlikely to be consumed in a timely manner.) In winter, or when I'm traveling, it's fun and healthy to have my dried apple slices to munch on. I also use them in oatmeal or other dishes. The apple sauce is sometimes given away to friends or added to yogurt or oatmeal.

This year I'm trying to be especially frugal and not waste anything. It's fun to see how much I can get out of the same batch of apples. This year, here's what I've produced:

Friday, November 6, 2009

Phoenix makes the case for Dane County rail

Last night I sat through the entire Dane County Board meeting, which lasted until 1:30 AM, and heard many concerns about the RTA being formed. I'm not going to go on a rant yet, as I don't want my first newsy blog post to be that tone, but more will come later.

However, one of the common complaints was that Dane County/Madison wasn't dense enough or big enough to support rail. (We still don't know whether rail will come about - the RTA could end up being bus only - but everyone seems to focus on the rail component.) Several people have told me about an interesting article in the NY Times about the new light rail system in Phoenix.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog. This is my first, so please be gentle with me. I've been wanting a place to post my thought, ideas, rants, musings, and ramblings, so here it is.

This blog is my thoughts only, and does not represent the views of any group, person, organization, employer, or demographic with whom I may be associated in any way.

The topics presented in this blog will be those that I find interesting. There are no limits or overarching themes, but this blog will generally cover those things that catch my fancy: the wonders of the world, sustainable development, gardening and local food, local politics, environmental issues, my wanderings and travels, community, and life in general.

The name of the blog represents one of my favorite activities: sitting on my porch and musing about the world with a big mug of good coffee. (OK, beer in the evening.) I love it when friends visit, so we can share the perspective of the porch.

More on porches and the role they play in community life in a future post.

Thanks for dropping by!