Captain Suburbia

I seem to have stumbled on what is quite possibly the greatest song ever recorded.

I’m a bird, I’m a plane,
I’m Captain Suburbia!
The weeds will grow
The grey will show
My garage will overflow
Lucky me! I’m Captain Suburbia!

I’m not too young for anything
I meet all my friends and neighbors
at the liquor store
I’m mechanically inclined,
Blissfully insane,
rescuing the sacred
from the jaws of the mundane


Lucky me! I’m Captain Suburbia!
I’m a bird, I’m a plane,
I’m Captain Suburbia!
The weeds will grow
The grey will show
My garage will overflow
Lucky me! I’m Captain Suburbia!

— Roger Clyne “Captain Suburbia”

There’s even a video…

Half-Arsed Commute

I left my bike on the roof last night, and drove to the Camp Hill mall this morning for my half-ass commute.

It’s getting warmer out in the morning. I had to take my jacket off after a few miles.

Wildlife Encountered:
1 mallard duck (male) in a mud puddle in the mall parking lot.
3 white-tailed deer (female) crossing E. Penn Drive
1 cottontail rabbit (deceased) A rather grizzly scene, I’m afraid

Today: 16 miles
March: 82 miles
2007: 181 miles

Jihad at the Speed of Sound

I got word from the Great and Powerful Oz that my Trek will be done next weekend. After a week of shakedown, I’m heading to NYC to ride with that Master of Vegan Cookery, The Large Fella.

We are planning a ride of epic proportions. 43 stone of studliness rolling the mean streets of NYC, leaving a trail of broken hearts and cracked pavement in our wake.

Ladies, please form an orderly queue.

Spring Ride

It was warm and sunny outside today. Brandi and I went for a leisurely ride on the Conewago Rec. Trail. The conditions were a little bit muddy and sloppy, but the trail was packed nonetheless.

Badly lit bicycles

We got about three miles in, and there was a big tree down across the trail. We weren’t in the mood for outrageous adventures today, so we turned around.

Bikes on the Roof
The happy couple on the roof

Today: 6 miles
March: 66 miles
2007: 165 miles


A long time ago, I set up a cafepress account with the plan to make some silly blasphemous bicycling t-shirts.

I never bothered to make up any artwork, so I kind of back-burnered the project.
Here’s a very early concept. lemme know what y’all think.


I like the idea of using a US DOT approved road sign for evil purposes. I think it’s probably too much black for a shirt though. I’ll also probably have to secure the rights to the faux arabic font before I go too much further down this road.

A (Possibly Smelly) Commute

I rode to work today, all the way. No monkey business shuttling bikes around on top of the car.

I used the baby-wipes-in-a-bathroom-stall “showering” technique. So far, no one has told me that I smell bad. Of course, I’m probably fairly malodorous most of the time, anyways, so maybe there’s no difference.

My car gets 28 miles to the gallon, so, by the time I get home tonight, I will have saved one gallon of gas.


Today: 28 miles
March: 60 miles
2007: 159 miles

A Curious Book

People in my line of work are often proud of their geek credentials. Being unpopular, awkward, and antisocial is something to be celebrated, as these qualities are thought to make one a better programmer.

This state of affairs has progressed to the point where some programmers actually envy people with Asberger’s Syndrome.

An Asperger’s diagnosis has acquired a kind of mystic status in the geek world. It’s become the kind of thing people boast about on programmer mailing lists, and will probably soon be included on programmers’ résumés .

I do not have Aspergers, but I am a geek, and I can kind of relate to some of the symptoms, albeit in a very watered-down sort of way. At the very least, I am sometimes awkward, goofy, and frequently obsessed with strange and obscure things.

My sister works with Autistic children as part of her job, and she thinks this whole phenomemon of computer geeks worshiping a neurological disorder is kind of stupid.

One of her co-workers loaned a book to her, which she, in turn loaned to me. It’s a story of a mildly Autistic boy named Christopher who is trying to investigate the death of a neighborhood dog.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

The book is called The Curious Incident of the Dog in The Night-Time. It’s a lot of fun to read. Once I got started reading it, I had a hard time stopping, and ripped through it in about 3 afternoons. When I was finished I wished that there was more to the story, but there wasn’t.

The writing is beautiful.

Siobhan said we have to use those words [“learning disabled” and “special needs”] because people used to call children like the children at my school spaz, and crip and mong, which were nasty words. But that is stupid too because sometimes the children from the school down the road see us in the street when we’re getting off the bus and they shout “Special Needs! Special Needs!” But I don’t take any notice because I don’t listen to what other people say and only stick and stones can break my bones and I have my Swiss Army knife if they hit me and if I kill them it will be in self defense and I won’t go to prison.

The whole book is written like this. It seems like it would get monotonous, but it doesn’t.

The author/narrator likes prime numbers, so the chapters are numbered 2,3,5,7,11… etc. This makes it feel like you’ve read a great deal more than you have, especially towards chapter 233.

I give The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 5 Jihadis out of 5.

5 Jihadis out of 5
5 Jihadis out of 5

Indoor Birdwatching

Last week it was 70° outside, so I took the studded tires off the Diamondback. Yesterday we got 10 inches of snow. Crap.

I was too lazy to switch out the tires and go for a ride, so Brandi and I did some indoor birdwatching today. We put some birdseed outside the big glass door, put up the digicam on the tripod, and waited. And waited.

Then we built sort of a duck blind out of the curtains, and rigged up a kind of remote-shutter system where I would look out the window from across the room and Brandi kept a finger on the shutter button whilst hiding behind the curtains.
After several dozen crappy, out of focus, and poorly composed pictures, we got one that almost didn’t suck.

A  bird eating birdseed
Birdseed – Click for big

There you have it: a bird eating birdseed on my porch. You can even see the little seed in his beak.

If I had known how much work birdwatching was going to be, I would have put the studs on the bike instead.

No Church

Last night, Brandi and I made a trip to see the aforementioned church without the Realtor.

It did not go well.

We found the church about 3 miles out of town on a very twisty, narrow road. The front door of the building was set back about 6 inches from the roadway such that opening the front door would have stopped traffic. The two bathrooms listed in the ad appeared to be the “his and hers” outhouses in the back yard.


Across the street, in the front yard of what appeared to be an abandoned farm house (but surprisingly wasn’t), sat no fewer that three partially disassembled automobiles (on blocks, of course), and about three dozen tires strewn randomly about the lawn. Assorted household trash was spread decoratively throughout the neighborhood.

The coon hounds tied to pickup trucks were conspicuously absent, but it was otherwise almost a textbook scene of Appalachian hillbilly squalor.

A different nasty building
Another shabby building

The little towns in north central PA are kind of hit or miss. Some of them are very nice and quaint. Some of them are outlandishly disgusting.

Middleburg is the latter.

I’ll keep looking.

Buggies Only!
Buggies Only!