Ben Wilson

Ben Wilson

ben wilson This is the blog of a one Ben Wilson, a Louisville, Kentucky native who enjoys baseball, beer, music, bikes, things that fly and good food. By day he pushes pixels and makes the Internet happen for a local advertising agency. His wife, Kelly is an Ironman, and his baby Amelia is the cutest thing ever.

It just so happened that Kelly and I conceived “Fig Newton” 12 weeks before Christmas – and the general wisdom is that 12 weeks is a “safe” time to let people know you are expecting a child, so Kelly and I kept it a state secret (save for a few needed “leaks”) until Christmas morning. We placed copies of an early (but very baby-looking) ultrasound into some cheap frames and had family open them at the same time after we were done with the rest of the presents.

After much squinting and guessing, everyone figured it out and all were very, very surprised. It would seem they had given up on us having kids! What with Kelly’s epic IronMan adventure I guess that was a little warranted, but c’mon folks!

Kelly received a Flip Video Ultra videocam from Santa and we used it to capture the moment:

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filed under Baby and then tagged as ,,
Dec 31 2008 ~ 12:22 pm ~ Comments (2) ~

No really good way to “tee this up”, so here goes:

Lima Bean at 12 weeks

Lima Bean at 12 weeks

It’s a baaaaaby! Kelly is pregnant! Right now she’s 12 weeks and a handful of days pregnant with a due date of July 12th! There are not enough exclamation points in the world.

We won’t know the sex for another couple of months, so in the meantime Kelly and I have been referring to it according to it’s relative size. It was Raisinette for a time and then Pinto Bean and then Lima Been and I’m voting for Fig Newton next.

The timing was as such that we surprised all of our families at Christmas with surprise ultrasound photos. Much screaming and yelling and flapping of hands and crying ensued! It was very special and everyone was very surprised and excited – especially considering they’d given up hope on us! Sheesh – we’re only 30 years old here, folks. Not like we need children ’cause we are going to die at 35 like it’s 1787 or we have a large farm to tend to!

Oh my god oh my god oh my god.

filed under Baby and then tagged as ,,
Dec 30 2008 ~ 2:31 pm ~ Comments (5) ~

Christmas 2008 Booty

Christmas 2008 Booty

Man, when did I become a cooking nerd? I’ll look back later and this will likely be the day. Almost all of my major Christmas spoils were cooking-related, and I can’t complain! I’ve gotten into grilling, bread-making, studying chili-fu and cookie-making in the past couple years and have acquired a taste for tools that are simple, strong and useful.

Sowing the seeds of these (perceived) needs in my gift-giving friends and family I came out with a bounty of culinary prep tools, listed herein after the jump…


filed under Food and then tagged as ,
Dec 26 2008 ~ 11:36 pm ~ Comments (1) ~

ottercreek_logoThe Sunday before last (Dec 14th), Kelly and I ran the 2008 Otter Creek Trail Run. Though, in 1980′s TV parlance, one could call it “A Very Special Otter Creek Trail Run”, as Otter Creek Park is closing indefinitely on January 1st due to Louisville Metro budget constraints. The race is always well-attended by a group of trail-running nuts who ramble over the singletrack trails and up some 45-degree grades for… no awards, no t-shirts and no official times. It’s different if you run the marathon, but most people run the 8- or 16-mile routes. Kelly and I run the 8.


filed under Athletics and then tagged as ,,
Dec 23 2008 ~ 12:24 am ~ Comments (1) ~

I’ve been on a real documentary kick as of late and here are a few that should be mandatory viewing for anyone who calls Louisville, Kentucky home.

When We Were Kings – Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, he was and is the product of both the racial tensions and the revolutionary times and no film shows all of those sides better than When We Were Kings. Ali has become a transcendent figure in his old age – but at the time of the Ali/Foreman fight in 1974, he was still a divisive figure. He went to jail because he refused the Vietnam draft, he joined the Nation of Islam, and to top it off he was a gregarious civil rights activist. But at the core of his being, beneath the pride and the talent was a man who cared deeply about where he came from, who he was and what he and his people could achieve. And all that from a dyslexic street kid from Louisville.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson

Like Ali, Hunter S. Thompson was born and raised in Louisville and took his natural talent and revolutionary thinking and helped to transform the world. Ali and Thompson ultimately shared a similar fate – crippled by the sport they entered into – Ali crippled by Parkinson’s and Hunter S. Thompson’s drug abuse. Their heydays were amazing shows of force and talent spawned by unbelievable creativity, and their slides into the autumns of their lives are terribly sad.

Harlan County USA

While I might live in Kentucky, I love the rest of the state, from the mines in the east to the lakes in the west and the horses in the middle. And while the people in between might not share the same values that I do here in the “big city” of Louisville, they are nonetheless my people and people that shaped the person who I am today. Harlan County USA is a fascinating snapshot of life in a mining town in Harlan County, Kentucky in the early 1970s. An gripping tale of workers and the machine – and what happens when a people have so few options to survive.

filed under Film and then tagged as ,,
Dec 3 2008 ~ 6:48 pm ~ Comments (1) ~

Kelly and I took a week-long trip in September 2007 to Barcelona, Spain. I kept a journal of our ramblings then and have just now finally scanned it in. Perhaps I’ll transcribe it soon, too! The penmanship is pretty poor, so it’ll be like your own little adventure reading it! Click on the image(s) below to bring up a slideshow/gallery thing!

More pages: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.

The journal itself was a very handy Moleskine City Journal (Barcelona Edition), packed with city maps, bus routes, underground stops… and a pocket in the back that contained the following:

FC Barcelona TicketFC Barcelona Ticket FC Barcelona Ticket

You can also read my then-live dispatches from Barcelona, and view photos from our trip in the 2007/09 Barcelona gallery.

A full transcript of the journal appears after the jump.


filed under Travel and then tagged as ,,
Nov 13 2008 ~ 12:00 pm ~ Comments Off ~

Tomorrow, I will cast my vote in Louisville, Kentucky, Precinct D130 at Klondike Elementary School for Barack Obama. And below is why I will be doing so…

Civility in Government

The last 8 years of my life, I have seen the reputation of the United States of America go from a vibrant, hopeful and welcoming place to a self-centered, dogmatic and stubborn cloister. You could likely blame that on 9/11 or the economic woes of our irresponsible economic optimism, but when faced with those challenges the current administration tightened up its belt and stomped through the yard like an angry old man. Refusing to resort to the politics of peace and diplomacy while seemingly ignorant of the harm it was doing to we, a nation of individuals.

The rights and hopes of the individual, both home and abroad, have been treated with a disrespect unseen since the Cold War.

Call me wistful if you will, but I couldn’t help but to imagine what the prior administration would have done in similar circumstances. Clinton could be downright reprehensible at times, but he was always the consummate professional and mindful of the United States’ place as a leader and role-model for the rest of the world

That is what I am hopeful for with an Obama victory. To bring this nation back to a place where we are respected not out of fear, but admired because of our treatment of not only the people within our borders, but of those which our actions may affect. We cannot be a nation of frightened, confused and easily provoked individuals. That is not the nation that we began as and that is not our future.

The War and it’s Future

I was and always have been against the War in Iraq. Though, when the deed had been done and we were solidly there I believed that it would not be wise just to extract ourselves from the beehive that we had stirred up – I didn’t believe that would be responsible or would have the desired outcome.

I have come to change my stance.

Our war there is an unwinnable one and as it did when we invaded, it shows a remarkable lack of respect of sovereignity on our part. I want our military out of Iraq now.  Our being there will only cause further aggravation and I believe with some civility returned to our own government we could begin to influence an international peace in that region.

The Rights of the Individual

So often in the last 8 years, I have seen policies that favor the nation and discount the individual. Whether it is the Patriot Act, healthcare or civil rights – these things have been given less weight than defense or the top-end of our economy.

Our individual rights granted to us as citizens are part of what makes our democracy novel. The guiding priniciples of our government should seek to benefit the individual with the ultimate goal of benefiting the nation.


Healthcare is an issue on which I feel strongly. I believe that it is our duty as a nation of individuals to help to provide that to all. Like roads, libraries and our own defense. No one in this country should fear becoming ill. While I am fortunate enough to have always had health insurance, I know plenty that go without. And should they fall ill, they should know that they will always be treated to the best of our nation’s medical ability.

The Continuing Civil Rights Struggle

Barack Obama’s campaign represents to me the triumph of those “Individual Rights” that make our country so full of promise. The confidence in those individual rights were the bedrock of the many great Americans that stood before him on the precipice of great change – Martin Luther King, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and countless others. Those incremental challenges have led to where we are now – when a man of mixed race is not viewed as some novelty, but as a serious and competent leader.

The perspective that he has on this issue will hopefully shape many of his decisions – sometimes in small measures, sometimes in grand. To have his perspective is uniquely American and best represents the nation as a whole.

What an amazing step forward we have already taken in casting aside race in nominating this man for president! When I was in 4th grade (1987) and we held a Democratic primary election in our classroom (keeping in mind that it was at least 80% white) – the man who won was Jesse Jackson. Looking back, it would have been a terrible choice if it had actually happened – but consider that a roomful of white children in a Southern state chose a black man as a candidate. I knew even then that our generation was taking a step forward by casting off our segregationist history. I feel proud about that time, and that is one reason why I feel proud now casting a vote for Barack Obama.

Equal Rights for All

And if the future will follow the past, the next major struggle we will see in America will not be over race, but over the rights of the gay community. To not treat these people – these friends and family members – as equal citizens with equal rights is on par with any sex or race discrimination. As ridiculous as considering women or non-whites partial citizens with partial rights, so is considering those who do not and can not follow the given path of man-and-woman. It is my hope that the breakthrough that would be electing Barack Obama would continue to debase the injustices against the gay community.

In Closing

I am voting for Barack Obama tomorrow because I believe in his attitude towards government as an institution for the people, by the people. I believe in a nation of individuals that respect the rights of the individual, and respect the power of individuals united in a common cause of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We, perhaps unlike any nation on this planet are comprised of so many walks of life, so many different beliefs and so many opportunities that we cannot and must not retreat into policies of exclusion and negativity. Hope and liberty are what we as a nation were founded upon and with out it we shall fail.

filed under Politics and then tagged as ,
Nov 3 2008 ~ 10:43 am ~ Comments (9) ~

Consider this Biketober, Supplemental… excellent advomovie from Hutchinson, a tire maker…

filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as ,
Oct 21 2008 ~ 7:50 am ~ Comments Off ~

As Biketober Day 10 comes to a close it is warm here in Louisville – the high topped out at 80-something today. Even the mornings are 60+ and I’m left wanting a chill in the air. It’s been a good second week of Biketober, and you can read more about it after the jump…


filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as ,
Oct 15 2008 ~ 7:30 pm ~ Comments Off ~

So yeah, it rained on Day 4 on the way home. It was actually kinda awesome (I thought so, Matt was withholding comment) – with the exception of the splashy-splashy from the wheels. Matt also mentioned something about constant stream of water flying in his face when he was travelling behind me -  but I can’t double-source that actually happened. :)

It was slated to rain on the way to work on Day 5 in the morning, and I wasn’t really looking forward to getting all splashy-splashy on the way to work.  Fenders to the rescue!  Cheap fenders.  Fenders inspired by the Internets – Kent’s Bike Blog Coroplast Fenders.

I went to my local Lowe’s and picked up a blank coroplast yard sign for $6 (which is !@$& highway robbery, but I digress). With that I found I could easily make 4 sets of fenders as pictured above.  I had some plastic zip ties already and I was set.  A quick measuring job told me that 13 “flutes” wide (the little segments in coroplast are called flutes) for the actually fender parts was right on. The length of the sign was actually just right as well. I cut some 5-flute wide fender supports for the rear and trimmed them appropriately.

Rear fender-y thing

Front fender thing!

Worked like a charm in the rain that morning and Matt reports that rearward projecting rainwater from my tires was effectively reduced to zero.  The front fender works great as well – my feet were kept somewhat less wet from splashy-splashy from the front tire. I may make some front fender supports to wrap the fender around the front tire.

filed under Athletics,Cycling and then tagged as ,
Oct 9 2008 ~ 10:30 pm ~ Comments Off ~
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