Archive for the ‘Life’ Category:


Carmel Beach Wave, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Okay, totally corny, but the first time I saw the ocean, I cried.

And I don’t cry.

I was about 11 years old. We had just moved to Seaside from Munich. For whatever strange reason, we landed in NYC and drove across the country. I don’t remember much from the back seat of that Dodge Polara. Just a bunch of cornfields and nothingness and Holiday Inns.

But I do remember very clearly the first time we drove down Highway 1 and the Pacific Ocean came into view.

I remember it was sparkly. And it stretched to forever. And it was the most magnificent thing I had ever seen. And when I realized that I was going to be living near it, I was so overwhelmed that I started to cry.

To this day I have no idea where those feelings came from. I don’t believe in past lives or anything, but something inside my little 11 year old soul felt like it was coming home.

September 18th, 2009 / 4 Comments » / by sabine

Not Going Gentle

Morning Ride, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


I have been following Fat Cyclist’s blog for several years now. He has an honest, refreshing, self deprecating and joyful way of writing about his passion for mountain biking that make his blog a fun read.

Almost two year’s ago, his wife’s breast cancer came back.

Elden continued to write, but more and more often, the stories were about his wife’s fight. They were written with the same easy style and candor, except this time the words were not for the love for his bike, but the love for his wife and the concern for his children.

And we knew when he was overwhelmed, frustrated, relieved, and angry.

I screamed “fuck cancer!” with him.

I cried.

I donated.

Somehow, across the country, I and many more like me were touched by Elden’s passion.

Yesterday night, Susan died.

Yesterday night, I giggled like a 6 year old down some sweet illegal singletrack.

Win, Susan.

August 6th, 2009 / 1 Comment » / by sabine

Don’t you DARE tell anyone

Touching Down, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

There is that moment when deer-eyed confusion gives way to narrow-eyed understanding.

And that moment is almost overwhelming in its ability to shatter everything you thought you knew while simultaneously answering all your questions.

But if you hang on tight to who you are, there is peace on the other side.

July 17th, 2009 / 9 Comments » / by sabine

How I avoid the Bummer Life

I go here

And read stuff and giggle at things that I may not admit in public to giggling to.

And then I steal something for my own blog.

June 23rd, 2009 / 5 Comments » / by sabine

Poppy Dance

Poppy Dance, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Another from the crackberry taken this spring and i am finally getting around to posting it.

This one is my backdrop on the phone. It makes me happy. It also makes me happy to be posting photos again.

Might even revive the old blog and fire up the printer.

I mean, I am feeling a little frisky…

June 23rd, 2009 / 1 Comment » / by sabine

More Lameness on this Blog

Moss Landing Sand Blast, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I said earlier that you can tell I am getting fit, by the sorry condition of my house and car.

I guess I can add the state of my blog to that as well.

It sure is getting harder to juggle everything. When I really focus on work, exercise suffers, when I stop exercising, the house is better, but I am unhappy. Well, whatchya gonna do?

And it doesn’t help that I have added two more sports to my life. I currently have 4 backpacks rolling around in my car: cycling clothes, swim thiingies, gym clothes and camera stuff. Needless to say, my car looks like crap and the chaos freaks me out sometimes.

But I rode in the sun today, and will bust a lung in swimming tonight and maybe take another 5 seconds off my 100 time. I am stretching enough that I can finally touch my toes. I am up to 20 pushups and can probably crack walnuts with my abs.

So there.

February 19th, 2009 / 8 Comments » / by sabine

All these bitches checking out my britches

This song along totally makes up for all the weak songs last week.

My Jemaine crush just got bigger. 

Their randomness kills me. Whats Bret doing wearing a Prince outfit in the kitchen? 



January 26th, 2009 / 10 Comments » / by sabine

Drive By Vineyard

Drive By Vineyard, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I had my real camera with me in the car this morning. I really really should have stopped.

Too bad my job isn’t to drive/ride/walk around looking for lovely things.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

December 23rd, 2008 / 3 Comments » / by sabine


wingsuit base jumping from doubleA on Vimeo.

You must click on this video. The images of these guys, flying next to cliffs is both breathtaking and profound.

I love how people stretch possibilities. I love that there are people creative and brave enough to do this.

I love that its not me.

December 10th, 2008 / 8 Comments » / by sabine


Defects, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

My crackberry phone has this weird camera defect that makes starburst thingies when light hits it.


I love imperfections.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

December 5th, 2008 / 6 Comments » / by sabine

Early Riser

Early Riser, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I gotta remember to get up earlier in the mornings. But I am not a morning person.

If I got up earlier though, I might have a little time to stop and pull out my camera when I see something cool during my commute (which happens all the time because I live in an amazing place).

Instead, I roll down my window, aim my crackberry, swerve, piss off the people behind me and snap a pic. And I tell myself, tomorrow I will for sure get up early.

And yes Steve, I gave in and used the Flickr to blog. There goes the neighborhood.

December 3rd, 2008 / 3 Comments » / by sabine

Just a Test

Don’t mind me. Just trying to figure out how to post to my blog from my crackberry. I’ve figured it out mostly. Just can’t figure out how to post with pics. If anyone out there has some tips or tricks for this, let me know!

November 29th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Is Your Costume Ready Yet?

Only 12 more days till Costume Cross.

October 14th, 2008 / 10 Comments » / by sabine

Can’t Katch Up

Bear Creek Aspens, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I was too busy before our Ketchum trip, too busy during, and now too busy afterwards to get a decent post going.

Hopefully soon…

In the meantime, enjoy the Aspens

October 4th, 2008 / 3 Comments » / by sabine

Don’t Look Up

Under the Redwoods, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Haven’t posted in a few days because I have been busy whining about my recovery.

Things were going fine. A little too slow for my liking, but I was mostly coping.

Then I went and picked blackberries.

Picking blackberries in my yard is just about my favorite thing to do. Its calming and its fulfilling and I get to eat sweet blackberries grown without any water or attention or effort on my part.

And the blackberry part was all cool, but after I was done I went in my little garden shed (which since I dont garden I should just call a shed) . The garden shed features a doorway thats about 5’5″ tall. I am 5’7″ tall and sure as shit, I smacked the hell out of my forehead on the way out.

I could hear my doctor’s words ringing in my ears….”just don’t hurt your head again while you heal”.

And of course, I am back to being as dizzy as I was several weeks ago.

Just to make certain I didn’t do anything dangerous to myself, I went to see a neurologist. He gave me lots of tests. It was sort of like a combination of a DUI and a high school equivalency test.

I had to touch my nose, walk in a straight line. I almost launched into that 5-4-3-2-2-3-4-5 thing on the fingers out of habit (you guys who know that know who you are….).

But then the doc asked me to spell “world” backwards.




then I wrote the word with my finger in the air in front of me.

d..l…r…ow !

I have no idea if I got demerits for spelling it in the air, but I was pretty pleased with myself.

Next, the doctor asked me what 17 times 3 was. I totally thought he was kidding…who knows what that is just in their heads? I sure don’t, even without a concussion. Give me a ten-key dammit. Or an excel spreadsheet.

But he was quite serious and he started to look really concerned and worried so I scrambled for an answer. 17……..


17 is a stupid number. 20 is better.

Aha! 20 times 3 equals 60. And 60 minus 9 is

I said this calculation out loud, so I probably got more demerits.

I was worried that I was going to have to do trigonometry or that isoceles triangle theorem thing or something next, but he seemed satisfied.

The final test involved the little mallet and a tuning fork. For real, a tuning fork. He pulled it right out of his little black bag. I had no idea doctors still used tuning forks or little black bags. He bopped me with the mallet and dinged me with the fork. Stuffed it all back into the little black bag, And said my brain seemed fine and that I would just have to be patient and wait for the concussion to heal.

Which could take several months.

Waaaahhhh..months? But what if I get stuck like this? waaaaahh.

Fortunately, I am part of an awesome team of cyclists (who bang their heads a lot it seems!) and I asked them to share their concussion stories…and something about hearing similar stories, just made me feel so much better.

Well, that and Tracie’s yummy peanut butter cupcakes.

August 10th, 2008 / 13 Comments » / by sabine

Delicate Little Flower

Fainting Sunflowers, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


I saw these little sunflowers on my way home from work yesterday and had to stop and take pics. I don’t carry my regular camera around right now, because with my injury, I can’t hold the camera up to take pics.

But I did have my trusty Motorola.

So I used my camphone instead and all was swell until I got super dizzy. The concussion effects leave me a bit swoony these days and i guess leaning over and doing all the posturing necessary to take these pics was too much.

I almost fainted right there in the field. Luckily, a few solid breaths later I was able to clambor back to my car and drive the 2.2 miles home. (where I milked it a bit for some lovey sympathy)

I have to admit to being a bit frustrated last night. Almost fainting in a field is just a wee bit pitiful…and I hate being pitiful.

I’m gonna have to go back to that field and show it who’s boss.

Oh yeah, almost forgot! Scar picture:


July 30th, 2008 / 16 Comments » / by sabine

Tour Hangover

Photos from The Big Picture


I got up early this morning, ready to head downstairs, make some Smooth Move (don’t laugh, its better than prunes) tea and settle in on the couch for some Tour…when I remembered that its over.

If there was one good thing about my crash, it was that I timed it with the tour.

So, now what?


This blog is all about cycling and photography and sometimes those worlds collide and make beautiful things. Thanks to Beth, one of my photography links on the sidebar over there is The Big Picture from They update each day with large wonderful photos that are all great examples of photojournalism.

Well, I noticed that today’s update was a celebration of Tour photos. So, if you are feeling Tour withdrawals, its worth a little peek over there to check out the shots.

July 28th, 2008 / 14 Comments » / by sabine

Air Time

Skyrider, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


I went for a walk yesterday.

It was a little disappointing. It was just a short walk, but I could barely complete it. My hip cramped up (yes, hips can cramp), my ribs all tightened up, and I was out of breath. The worst part was that I could not even take pictures and I looked like a total goober trying to hold up the camera with one hand.

By the time I got back to the car, I was limping and scrunched all sideways and could barely move. And the only pictures I could take were of the ground.

It was pretty pitiful.

Healing is weird like that. The day after the accident, Donna and I were doing laps around the hospital ward. We had boundless energy as we dragged our giant iv poles around and around the halls. Maybe we were doped up on morphine, maybe we were thrilled to be moving and breathing on our own, maybe we weren’t really going as fast as I remember. But it just seems like I haven’t made a lot of progress since that day.


(I totally took a lap on Donna in our IV crit by the way…just sayin…and dont laugh at my bed head)

I am going to try walking again today..maybe just a few feet further, cuz thats what us athletic types do. We can’t sit still and if folks tell us to rest, we do the opposite and if a walk disappoints, we come back the next day and try again.


I’ve totally gotten into the Tour this year. Have no idea if I would have had I not be laid up, but I am glad I gave it a chance. What a show these guys are giving! Love the CSC team tag, and Cadel crying with the lion, and Menchov all emotionless and tenacious, and Christian finding confidence and its still wide open for the top spot.

Good stuff


July 25th, 2008 / 29 Comments » / by sabine

Forest for the Trees

Forest for the Trees, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes (be back soon).


Welcome to my new blog!

Bella babble is gone. Time to seperate myself from so much bellaness. Plus, there was just no place for me on the new Bella site. As it should be.

And, with me laid up on the couch, I had a little time to put together my new personal site. However, I am still feeling the effects of the concussion, so there’s no warranty on this place. It could come crashing down any moment and probably looks terrible in any browser except IE7. I am blaming all my failings right now on the concussion.

When I think back on the crash, the bonk to the head is what keeps me awake at nights. The broken ribs are a real pain, the broken collarbone an expensive annoyance…but a bonk to the head is scary stuff. I wasted too many brain cells in my youth and can’t really afford to lose any more.

I have come to LOVE racing on the track…but have no idea if I will be able to get back into it like before. I feel like a jilted lover. I had no idea the track could do this to me and if I can ever trust again.

Maybe its time for long lovely mountain bike rides. Somehow, the relief to my soul, always comes in the mountains.


In other news, I hope to be offering prints for sale on this site. Look for info on that soon!

Be sure to check out the slideshow on the sidebar over there —> . It contains photos from some of my Flickr contacts and there is some wonderful stuff being created out there.

What else, oh, for you facebookers, there is a feed of facebook status thingies down there. So, thats nice.

Okay, see you out there.

July 21st, 2008 / 17 Comments » / by sabine

This Old House

My Barn, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


I got my car insurance renewal paperwork in the mail the other day, and it said I qualify for a new discount because I have 25 years of driving experience.

25 years?

I flipped the letter around to make certain it really was addressed to me.

Then I got on the 10key just to be extra sure.

41-25 = 16

I am too young to have 25 years experience doing anything. I’m not even really an adult yet.

I am not usually one to be hung up on age, and mostly its not something I think about. And 41 really is still young.

But sometimes I am reminded in ways I’d rather not be reminded. Like the other day I went to get my eyebrows waxed. And I am like most of you bike racer types, getting my eyebrows waxed is not high on the priority list and its probably been a few years since the last one.

So I am laying on the table and the estetician is putting the wax on (this is the part before the part that hurts). I notice that she is also putting the wax waaaay up on my forehead. Not just my brow, but my forehead. Maybe she’s thorough, I think. Or maybe….maybe I have brows on my forehead.

I asked myself out loud “since when did my eyebrows start growing out of my forehead?” And the estetician sweetly responds that its normal for that to happen as we age.

So there’s that. Brittle bones and eyebrows on our foreheads.

June 4th, 2008 / 14 Comments » / by sabine

God Damn DoGooders

Midnight Walk, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

The nice thing about emergency situations, is that you get to see a lot of acts of kindness.

There sure are some amazingingly kind people.

The people who run the Corralitos Community Church came down as soon as the evacuation orders went out and opened their doors so that people had a place to go, and bathrooms and they made sandwiches and passed out water to everyone.

The folks from Gayles Bakery came by and dropped off a bunch of food.

Neighbors helped each other with rescuing pets and arranging lodging and finding missing family members.

And, this was all hours before Red Cross showed up.

After that, I witnessed people coming into Corralitos and dropping off fresh baked goods and offering their homes.

I was so touched by all of the acts of kindness that I was seeing, that I got all verklempt and I wanted to be a dogooder too. I was all weepy eyed and touched and I was probably PMSing, but I didn’t care. At that moment, I wanted to be good too.

So, as I snuck back into my house by cutting into the fire caravan, I was thinking of ways to be good. I looked back at the fireman I had just cut off and decided I wanted to thank them. I decided to make a big sign and put it up by the mailbox.

So, I got home and found an old road barrier sign thingie that I stole for cyclocross, and got some pens that I borrowed and never returned to Laura and thought about the sign.

Then I checked email, and grabbed some clean socks and sportsbras (I was NOT wearing my mom’s socks and underwear thankyouverymuch) and drank a beer, and cursed the trees that were close to my house, and watered the stupid apple tree that won’t grow and hopped in the car and left.

I forgot all about the sign. So much for my pledge to be a dogooder. I didn’t even last 30 minutes as a dogooder.

I was feeling like a dogooder failure, until Monday night. I got the fun chance to help teach beginners (which seems silly since I am still a beginner myself) on how to ride at the track. People kept thanking us for being there, but really it was me who should have been doing the thanking. Nothing like feeling helpful to help you when you are feeling helpless.

Turns out, all my neighbors made signs thanking the firefighters. There are signs all over our street and on our little mailbox corner, there are four signs alone. Not as cute as I would have made with my stolen sign and pens, but cute enough.

May 30th, 2008 / 5 Comments » / by sabine


Evening in the Apple Orchard, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I get to go home today!


On Thursday, after evacuating out the kitties, I spent some time just hanging around the Corralitos “center”. Most of the residents were there. I had someplace to go, as did most others there, but we all just hung around near town instead.

And each time I came back to my neighborhood during the evacuation I did the same thing. Just sort of stood around town. I wasn’t alone in this on those days either.

And, while I was worried about the fire, mostly I was distressed that I could not go home. My home.

There is nothing material in my home that I am so fond of that I would be devastated to lose. I’d be bummed to lose any bikes, but even that, with the right insurance, is just an inconvenience. Yes, if my home had burned down it would have been a HUGE inconvenience, but thats all it would have been.

What would have bothered me more, would be not being able to go home.

I was talking to this woman who was also loitering around Corralitos. She said, “I don’t mean to be cavalier, but I don’t worry about my house burning down. I would gladly hand over my house and all my possessions to have my two children who are in Iraq returned home safely. I would give up my house, to have them home”.


Thanks everyone for all the concern. I really am lucky. And not because the fire missed my house, but because I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

It meant everything to me to have my friends calling and offering room in their homes, or space in their trucks, or just a shoulder to lean against. That reminder of how fortunate I am was a shot in the arm as much as a kick in the pants. I love you guys.

May 27th, 2008 / 14 Comments » / by sabine

2 Cats and a Dawg

Thats all I had time to grab.

Left for work this morning and thought it was just super foggy. Started driving up Hecker Pass and saw the full fire and just about flipped.

Uh…thats over my house.

I foolishly went to work, then turned right back around and came home. By the time I got back to Eureka Canyon, they were not letting any more cars up the road.

“Downtown” Corralitos was mayhem. Traffic jam, camera crews, police barricades and a stream of cars coming down the mountain.

All I could think about was my little Kuku and the husky Pupu. So I took the bike out of my car and rode it up to my house. I just hopped on, no shoes, no helmet. I pedaled up a very smoky and windy Eureka Canyon in my work clothes and Danskos. Cars going in the other direction yelled “Where are you going?”

I’m going to get my cats.

Luckily two of my neighbors were still home. One was leaving in 5 minutes and one was staying until he saw burning embers. I don’t need to see burning embers, so I had five minutes to pack. I grabbed my cats and stuffed an overnight bag with bike clothes (figured I could get regular clothes anywhere) and then had about 1 minute to decide on which bike to bring (My neightbor had one spot on his rack open).

1 Minute to choose between a bikelifetime of bikes?

Luckily, the Bonny is out on loan, so she is safe.

And Michael’s has one or two in his car.

That left all of my Steelmen, my track bike, my xc bike, my Kona road bike, some other bikes I couldn’t quite identify and my Dawg.

My Dawg was the bike in the car and the one I rode up to get the kitties. We sorta bonded in the smoke. He got me here safely and I just couldn’t leave him behind. So, I chose the Dawg.

So, that pic there is all I was able to take with me (except the neighbor, he’s not mine). And except for the fact that I smell like a bbq, I’m feeling okay.

But don’t laugh if you see Michael and I in my mom and Theo’s clothes.

May 22nd, 2008 / 42 Comments » / by sabine

Hear me Roar?

Daydream Wanderlust, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Is it possible to feel both chaotic despair and to feel at peace?

Proving your own strength of spirit is a powerful lift. The self doubts aren’t really self doubts. Not when you can climb mountains.

May 18th, 2008 / 5 Comments » / by sabine

Winding down

This is how Michael and I wind down after a night of promotin and announcin and racin.

Just us and the fireplace and some wine and the kitties and listening to some awesome music.

And the comfort of each other.

(after listening a few times, be sure to watch his fret hand and her strumming hand)

And then some more wine.

May 11th, 2008 / 4 Comments » / by sabine

Existst,,,wha huh?

Into the Grassy Sea, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I am having one of those days where i think too much. And maybe blogging will make it stop.

You ever have a moment where you are slapped with such clarity of thought, that it threatens to just make you implode or something?

So, I was walking in to work, when I spotted a little bird gathering up twiggly things for its nest. And I made some kind of comment to the bird about how it looks like were are both going to work. The bird flew off with its twigglies and I opened the door to our offices.

And the receptionist said hello and then BAM it just hit me.

What the F am I doing? What the F are any of us doing? Life is so fleeting and we humans burn it up doing these strange tasks and getting all pent up about minutae of stuff, that when you put it into universal persepctive, is laughably inconsequential.

The little birdy has it easy. Eat to be strong enough to have sex and make nests and feed little birdys. Not that I think we should just hang out and eat and have sex all day….(Do I smell a new religion?).

But we have the amazing power of awareness of our situation (religious beliefs notwithstanding) and what do we do with that awareness? We put staples in papers and file them in drawers and wash our windows and collect little spoons from tourist shops.

It just seems so….flat. And I don’t mean that we should all go out and devote ourselves to some cause, because even that kind of stuff is “meh” in the scope of the universe.

Maybe this is philosophical crap that people without kids engage in. Maybe we are so wired to populate, that when we don’t, some part of our brain is sort of freaked out by our lack of purpose.

Maybe that explains my opossum dream last night.

I dreamt that I rescued this really dirty and ugly (is there any other kind) opossum. And it became all domesticated and a pet like a cat or something. But I was a little embarrased that my cat was a dirty opossum. And then it sort of morphed into a baby, but it was still an opossum. I was trying to convince these other people that it was totally cool to have a dirty opossum instead of a baby, when the opossum peed all over me.

But I am digressing.

And hungry. I think someone brought in bagels.

May 9th, 2008 / 8 Comments » / by sabine

Kenny Live at the Drome

Kenny Live at the Drome, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Looking for something a little different to do on some summer Friday Nights? How about a Track Night at Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose?

Michael is promoting this summer’s Friday Night Track Races at Hellyer. Even if you are not interested in racing, you can still come out and have some fun watching. The races are fun and easy to watch, there’s music (as soon as I fill up the iPod) and food. Also, you can bring your own food and refreshments (wine and beer is allowed in Hellyer).

The first race is this Friday, May 9th at 7:00, but the track opens at 6:00. My good friend and fellow mountain biker, Kenny Schick will be playing from 6-7, so I would love some folks to come out and hear his stuff.

Should be fun! See you guys there!

Directions are here

More info on Friday races are here

May 6th, 2008 / 6 Comments » / by sabine

Cool down

Carmel Beach Wave, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Oy…what a weekend.

Seeing Michael in the throes of heat exhaustion was a wee bit scary. He is not allowed to do that ever again.

That was hard.

It also hard to fake your way through a stage race. I mean, faking it in a 15 minute points race is one thing…faking it in multiple days of racing in the heat is another.

I had lots of fun though. Our team really is special. Its not so much the racing as getting together with fun-minded folks and playing like a bunch of silly kids (who drink wine).

Now its Monday and the weather has cooled and already it seems like the weekend was some funny dream or something.


Here’s a little Happy Monday video

April 14th, 2008 / 6 Comments » / by sabine


Exeter Time Trial, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Its Monday and I have a neuroma.

And I hope this won’t be a whine post, but it just might.

The neuroma is killin me. I thought I was a tough chick, but this little bundle of nerves has brought me to my knees.

Michael says my Danskos are probably to blame and that I shouldn’t wear them anymore!

Excuse me?

Have you seen my shoe collection? If I don’t wear Dansko’s I am left with only a pair of flip flops, an old pair of running shoes (as if), some cheap ass Target garden clogs, my go-go boots (that I can only wear for about 7 minutes), and lots and lots of Sidis.

So I went online to look for neuroma friendly shoes. I don’t suggest that anyone under the age of 80 ever ever do this. Ever. Not even to just look. Its that scary.

So, now I am walking around the office in my socks and hoping for the best.


Everyone’s racing but me. I’m not really sure how I feel about that yet.


Sulpher Springs is every bit a tough climb as I remembered. Are climbs ever easier than you remembered? And, I’m sorry Beth!


Doesn’t Michael look like a little misplaced cloud in that photo above?


So, I’ve been too busy to blog. And too busy to do bella stuff…but not too busy to work on Michael’s new site or my pictures. I have had a great time working on Michael’s blog and tinkering with it, and getting community interaction going on it and almost breaking the interwebs and stuff. I think it means that I needed something new to fiddle with. So, there you go.

April 1st, 2008 / 20 Comments » / by sabine


Camphone 22, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

My laptop is dead…long live my laptop.

Well, less than 24 hours after learning that my laptop would be an expensive fix (i’ve been wanting a new one anyway because all the photo editing has been stretching it the hilt) I bought a new laptop.

I researched, read reviews, comparison shopped, and plunked down the cash within 24 hours!

Thats a new record for me. I don’t make these decisions easily. I usually have to ferret out every piece of information on the subject possible and twist and turn the data and do various scenario analysis and then change my mind 37 times.

But, not having a laptop was a serious hitch in my life. I was motivated. The computer on my desk has spider webs. Thats because sitting at a desk longer than absolutely necessary sucks ass.

I do all my surfing, emailing and photo-ing in 4 places: bed, couch, patio, hotel room.

So I got all impulsive and bought a new one.

And now I am questioning my hasty decision.

Because I did not buy a laptop. Not unless you count Andre the Giant’s lap in the assessment. Its more like a suitcase computer. This thing is HUUUUGE. Michael warned me not to pick it up by the monitor (which probably led to the early demise of my old computer) and my new computer weighs so much that it would give me a hernia to even try.

And I hate Windows Vista.

And stupid controls that don’t let you see hidden files.

And moving the backspace and delete key to new places.

But I LOVE that big ol mackdaddy 17″ widescreen monitor. Not as much as I love chocolate, or Michael, or beer (not necessarily in that order), but its up there.

March 19th, 2008 / 21 Comments » / by sabine


Approaching, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

For some reason this photo makes me hungry. Maybe because it reminds me of a jolly rancher candy.

But there is no time to sit back and enjoy a long lunch hour. No instead, I rush to the bathroom to change, rush to the car, pull out my bike, throw on my shoes, roll off to ride, forget my gloves, roll back to the car, grab the gloves and the cell phone just in case, then roll off again. Then figure out where I want to ride, then change my mind about 8 times, then ride, then ride some more, then realize I am late, then frantically pedal back to work, then throw the bike in the car, run to the bathroom, wash the stinky parts (french bath), fluff my helmet hair, walk through the hallway as if I have been there all afternoon, throw something in the microwave and sit back down to work.

Wouldn’t have it any other way.

March 13th, 2008 / 8 Comments » / by sabine

Waiting Room

Morning Stretch, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I took this photo while I was waiting for my mom to come out of a small operation.

Yeah, I snuck out of the hospital waiting room.

Like she would know.

Actually, I practically fled from the room as soon as they wheeled her into the pre-op. And I hopped on my bike and headed for Carmel.

And I rode around in the sunshine and walked on the beach in my bike shoes. And I took pictures of waves and surfers and golden retrievers. And I made cockamamie daydreaming plans of how to retire at age 50.

And five minutes past the last minute I should have left, I hurried back to the hospital.

I am a total believer that every moment of life must be savored. Even if it means leaving the waiting room.

Today I learned of yet another tragedy in our cycling community. Each one seems to hit me harder than the last. I can’t imagine how those close to the victims feel. My thoughts go out to the friends and family involved.

March 10th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Wild Adventures in Photography, part 1

Disappointment, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Dog behind fence: ruff ruff ruff….ruff ruff

me: (click click…

Dog behind fence: (more intently now) ruff ruff ruff….ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff….ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff….ruff ruff

me: (click click…

Man behind fence: Roscoe! What’s going on out there?

Man behind fence: (peering around fence) What’s going on out here?

me: (pointing at knothole in fence) Oh, I’m sorry, I was just taking a picture of your fence.

Man peering around fence: My fence? Well that doesn’t seem very interesting.

me: Its not (then trying to add levity to a tense encounter) but maybe if you had something interesting that showed through the peephole?

Man peering around fence: Is that your bike?

me: (hopeful that maybe he wants to put my bike in the peephole view, which is a little trite, but since when has trite stopped me) Yes, it is!

Man peering around fence: Then maybe you should ride it to somewhere more interesting and take pictures there.


February 28th, 2008 / 14 Comments » / by sabine

And now for something completely different

I need a little Walken this morning.

Don’t you?

and yes, that his him dancing most of those moves. I’m gonna memorize it and bust it out some night.

February 26th, 2008 / 11 Comments » / by sabine

Cabin Fever

The Morning of My Content, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.


Double Ack!

Its raining a thousand rains right now, with those little teaser breaks that make you think maybe, just maybe…then it comes down again.

Yesterday was nice, but I need more…I still have energy to burn.

But not enough that I want to get on the trainer or anything. Maybe just go see a movie instead.

This tree is in my neighbor’s yard. It gives me hope.

February 24th, 2008 / 8 Comments » / by sabine

Sunshine Dilemna

Sunseekers, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

To ride in it?

Or nap in it?

February 12th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

We’re smarter than we look

NO, thats not Cherry Pie, its Ollalieberry Pie.

And its better than Cherry Pie because we didn’t have to race to eat it. We just pedaled our bikes on sunshiney roads at whatever pace we felt like.

We didn’t plan on pie. Didn’t even think about it. Until we came up on the Gizdich ranch sign and Stella said “blah blah blah blah pie?”

So we all searched our pockets for whatever chumpchange we might have with us, and between all of our jersey pockets we had enough for one pie and 5 forks.

Erika complained that we couldn’t possibly buy and eat a WHOLE pie. “A WHOLE pie???”, she exclaimed.

This picture was taken right before (or maybe after) she helped herself to seconds.

February 12th, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Not April Fool’s

I just got engaged last night.

Don’t know if I will be able to do my usual plethora of Friday blogging…


I’m so lucky.

March 31st, 2006 / 25 Comments » / by sabine

Pupus please


poke and da big kahuna and sweet potato fries and a pink bimini….

March 30th, 2006 / 5 Comments » / by sabine

The Cat’s Meow

This race has always scared me.

Not sure why.

It could be the hill.

It could be the crappy pavement and a sketchy descent.

But quite honestly, its more likely the large crowds witnessing your personal agony.

Last year I watched a dear teammate who had demons as big as mine, conquer them at this race.

Because every once in a while you have to do something that scares you.


March 29th, 2006 / 10 Comments » / by sabine