May is National Bike Month, with lots of events in NYC and the Tour de Montclair closer to Exit 151. The theme for this year's TdM is "Complete Streets," meaning town planning that accommodates pedestrian, cyclist, auto, and mass transit use of township streets. It's a timely idea – townships with shovel-ready Complete Streets projects are eligible for federal economic stimulus grants. But enough philosophy and politics – this year the TdM is on Sunday, May 17 and has a child-friendly, car-free route and a challenging route for more experienced riders, on-site and online registration, nice T-shirts, and live music at the finish.
The first weekend in May is always the mighty Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, largest in the country. Attendance seemed down this year, perhaps due to an unhappy combination of the bad economy, overcast skies, and this year's T-shirt (which actively repulses me). Nonetheless, my carpool had a grand time. Nancy's first MDS&W included posing with alpaca...
... while Risa bought a wheel. I'll leave it to them to tell the stories of their festival experiences.
Kitchen crafter that I am, I think I was most excited to have my trusty old chef's knife rehabilitated by my spinning teacher's father (shown with a pair of garden shears) in their booth, G&W Sharpening.
The knife had gotten rather dull, but now is literally as sharp as a razor. It's almost alarming how happy that makes me [slices gleefully]. There are few pleasures like having a good tool restored to working well.
Upon returning from Maryland, I rushed off to a symposium on global warming. One of several highlights was hearing Dr. James Hansen, a leading U.S. climate scientist who was censored by the previous administration. I was moved to hear his motivation for speaking out, even when it was so costly – he did not want to have to tell his grandchildren that he knew what was happening to the planet, but did nothing to stop it. Never underestimate the power of a grandfather's determination to secure intergenerational justice.
With so much gallivanting going on, it's hardly a surprise that I'm out of the running for Sock Madness 3. It had to happen sooner or later – even without distractions, I can't match the obsessive speed of some SM knitters. I'd still like to knit the Sock Madness patterns non-competitively, perhaps for Summer of Socks 2009, which is officially on and starts on the solstice. That should give me time to set out my tomatoes, right?