Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Killed me a Bar, when I was only three.

I swear! Sometimes I feel like I was born on a mountain top, Tennessee. The results of the Record Searchlight's "Best of the North State" are in. And a better barometer of the area's demographic would be hard to find. Chrikie! I am, not really. This place is a time warp my friends. A place where real life Davy Crocketts and John Denvers still not only exist, but flourish and thrive. Best sandwich...SUBWAY! Best coffee...Starbucks! But the best, Best seafood...RED FARGIN' LOBSTER!!! I'm done!

Monday, January 28, 2008

It was 30 Years Ago Today!

January 1978, I am the last one left here at the at experimental living situation here in Dairyville, Cal. A commune known as The Orange Toad. Mathew scrambled his brains in a motorcycle crash high on 'Shrooms, Michael is getting really weird on a new drug called Crank (he has left for Sac.), Bart has moved to Oregon to live at an Ashram with a guru named Bhaghan Sri Rashneesh and I am here in the paper thin walled shack, burning furniture and boiling seed corn in stove ashes to make HOMINY! If I can get Franks old Schwinn Varsity bicycle rollin', I will load up my back pack, toss a match into the middle of this flea bitten hut, cut the goat loose and head to Redding.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Bicycle, A new flag.

Another old bike found me this week. A 1988(?) Bianchi Axis. Nice Tange steel frame with cantilever brakes, 700c wheels; Mavic hoops, Specialized hubs, Wheelsmith spokes. Suntour dérailleurs, 7 speed freewheel, shifters are bar top mounted. She's cleaning up nicely and with the bottom bracket overhauled (thanks randy!) and a new chain and some cables we'll be rollin' some cross terrain!
After a year of conspicuous absence, a brand new flag has been hoisted to the top of the USA gas station flag pole on E. Cypress. The absence of the flag has impacted me not in a patriotic way so much as in an orientational sense. You see I depend on it as my personal wind guage. And a fine, brightly colored one she is!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Feels like Community.

So that's it for cyclocross this season. Wait a minute---That's it!? So many wonderful people, so many stories, Such a good BBQ. Wow! Is it November yet? Thank You Brian, Noel, Randy, Nick, All the Ladies and all the Gentlemen who make these CX's so special. So local. So much fun! P.S. Turtle Bay East rocks! We should try to get it established as the Shasta race series home track. And don't be surprised if some of us continue to show up out there for informal, "Out-Law" events!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A strong wind is freshenin' outta t' North!

I am getting ready to fly to L.A. tomorrow with my Boss. We going to attend a floor covering convention (OBOY!) and then we will mill around Disneyland awhile. Chrikie, two old farts skulking around kiddie land, wonder how they'll profile us! The good news is that on Friday we are going to go over to the L.A. Velodrome to watch abit of track racing, UCI World's Cup. 35 countries will be represented there. Then it's home on Saturday morning. Cyclo Cross Sunday is up in the air for me as I seem to have residual pain from a calf muscle pull I sustained at the last race. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

YouTube - Ferrari F355 Kreissieg F1 Sound Exhaust

YouTube - Ferrari F355 Kreissieg F1 Sound Exhaust
This is one of Italy's most beautiful voices!

Who's counting?

It was the late eighties, I was in my mid-thirties, on a cold night in the low forties. I was dressed to the nines!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A game of Fox and Hound

I joined the Gazzigli group for a beautiful Sunday ride yesterday. I was on my Redline 925, one speed with a freewheel. It's a 34x18 gear, so it's a real spinner! I got off the front immediately going up the Gold St. hill to St. Joesph's then out Placer St. when I suddenly realized, hey this ain't a gad dern'd cyclo-cross race! But then, since I knew where they were going, (the gate, out on Iron Mt.) I decided that since I was riding the CX tires why not cross country over hill and dale and see if I can rejoin them out there . So I spun and tucked and spun and tucked and I worked my way out to the Keswick boat ramp. The Redding Marathon was in full progress so I saw many runners pounding and limping their way along. I stopped to see the bicycles coming up the road behind me so I waved adieu to them, then dropped down to the Rail Trail below and took the Dirt Shunt over to Keswick Dam. Then it was a simple roll in on the River Trail. Along the way I saw the broken and twisted bodies of runners at their sport and I thought to myself, Thank God I'm Cyclin' Boy!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Where are you coming from?

I mean, what is your personal agenda? What ghost is running your machine? I'm not talking about how you portray yourself to society, I'm talking about the underpinnings of your psyche, man! Now I'm not advocating an assault upon your mind with the kind of high powered nuclear devices that my colleagues and I (see; Merry Pranksters) so casually tossed on our tongues like so many Tic Tacs back in the '70's. But I will say this, when the detonations were complete and nothing but a mushroom cloud (tinged purple with oxides of atmospheric nitrogen) towered 50,000 feet high into the sky, we just sat there at ground zero (on white sands that had been fused into glass) and felt as if a gigantic chalkboard had been wiped clean of volumes of internalized data that had never been seriously questioned before. Then a fresh stick of chalk was handed to each of us and we were told to write our own stories, to choose the books we read wisely, to listen with the heart and to Know Thyself !

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving O Canada! (previously lost )

I am not interested in producing some idealistically embellished recap of the years events or recording my loved one's doings. Suffice it to say that we are all still here plugging away, at least semi conscious of our good fortune here in the great crap shoot of the universe.
I am extremely thankful for the hours of of free time that living in such close proximity to my job affords me. The thought of spending 2 or 3 hours a day just to get to and from work is never far from my mind as I make my 6 to 10 minute jaunt to work. Instead I spend my mornings musing over little thoughts and ideas, toying with subjects ranging from physics to philosophy to food. I hold court on issues with a jury of my own emotions, studying thoughts in the palm of my mind, holding them up to strong light, subjecting them to examination with powerful lenses, dissecting with utmost care their grainy, subconscious constituents.
I leisurely brew a pint of tea while perusing the limitless vocabularic buffet searching for choice morsels to add to my journalistic salads. Here a bit of spice, here a splash of colour. Cracking open the dictionary or thesaurus like some literary monk in a cloistered cell with his bibles, lounging on my pallet as the smell of morning dews waft through my open window. The unobtrusive OM of wheels on the interstate is shattered by the 7 a.m. flyby of a flock of local Canadian geese only 20 feet above our house.
Yes, I am truly thankful that my station in life (for now) does not necessitate daily runs (crawls?) down the eight lane, meat grinder-conveyor belt, freeways that most of my fellow American, workaday-stiffs must. And a very merry stiffmust to you!

Feels like I'm steppin' into the Twilight Zone!

Even at the tender young age of 15, I suspected that I was the unwilling participant in some kind of sociogenetic experiment. Of course, I must try to keep things in perspective. My ridiculous decision to "blow the cover" of one of "Them" (back in the days of my employment at Raley's) nearly netted me a net over my head and a stay at the Shasta County rubber room hotel. How was I to know that the thinly disguised "Agent" was actually a "Secret Shopper" as Raley's likes to call them, who was simply trying to catch me doing something right so that they could give me a customer service award. ARRGH!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New twist on an old game

My idea goes like this. I would like to become the biggest loser on Jeopardy EVER! But to pull it off I would need the presence of a stage actor, the timing of a comedian, and the mind of a chess champion. I'll need to be first to buzz in every time. My answers will need to be (at least) plausible and my reaction to the pronouncement of INCORRECT, believable. I reckon that by the end of the Double Jeopardy round I can easily dig myself into a $30,000 hole. What the Hell! I've seen contestants who were not invited back to Final Jeopardy for being a measly $200 in debt. I have been practicing a sort off Bizzaro World version of Jeopardy at home wherein I try to come up with the nearest solutions, without actually being right. Example; Also known as the Fab Four, this rock and roll band swept the nation in 1964 with the help of the Ed Sullivan Show. BANG, I hit the buzzer and scream,"Who were the Rolling Stones!" WRONG! "DOH! (also something I am considering.) When I sense that the studio is starting to suspect that I am up to something, I'll get all sincere and start proffering up my solutions with the ever popular, "What is blah, blah, blah... ALEX! Surely a guy who is on a first name basis with Big Al has to be sincere.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Communal Mud Bath

Once again I would like to thank all the wonderful people who made the first annual, "Bicycle Mud Bath" such a success. My skin is refreshed by the mineral emollients found only in the native soils of Shasta Lake (Summit City) and after a good soaking in a wash tub, my clothes all washed out good as new. Funny thing though, this morning upon wheeling my trusty Stumpjumper to the shed (after drying over night in my house) I noticed a scraping sound emanating from both front and rear wheel axles. I stood the bike up on it's rear wheel and discovered that the headset also has a gritty, kind o' scratchy feel to it. I spun the cranks... same deal! What is up here! Why is my bike making such strange sounds? I guess I need to buy a new bicycle!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Big Ben

Imagine if you will, the plight of my buddy Ben Johnson. Ben is a big man! No really, I mean big! Ben weighs 525 lbs. He played high school football at 340 in Oakland and they went all state in the Fall of '79. Ben won a scholarship to a minor college to play but he soon realized that though he was big and strong, he was not very fast or quick. He got beat by little (260lbs.) guys all the time. By the time Ben hit 30 years old he was washed up and weighed 400 lbs. He started hanging out at his favorite BBQ joint on a very regular basis. One day the owner of the business said, "Ben you here alla time!" "You ought just buy my place, that way you can eat all you want and make a livin'!" Ben took over the business and for awhile he did real well. But after about four years the numbers started falling. His book keeper was puzzled and showed him the balance sheets. "Ben, according to this inventory sheet we are losing about a ton of meat a year, that's over 5 lbs. a day!" "I think that meat company's rippin' you off!" she scowled. But only Ben knew the truth about the missing meat. Now age 40 and 500 lbs, he happened to see a contest on T.V. that he knew he could win, hot dog eating. So he took his meager savings and flew to the Nathan's World Championships. He paid the entry fees and lined up with the others. The gun fired and they were off. Ben tucked into a mountain o' dogs and then another. At 31 down, he mis-swallowed and refunded all his hard work... automatic disqualification! He got owned by an Asian boy who stripped like a boxer and ate like a robot.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's really quite simple captain...

"Please tell me how many lights you see." " I see three!" Picard Say's with a beautiful roll of the R. "Wrong!" " There are four lights!" Whoops, did I just say that out loud? "They're here Honey!" "Who are, THEY?" I yell, my tongue like Play Dough. "Your tickets to the L.A. Velodrome." Holy mackerel Catfish, we're going to the World's Cup Jan. 18Th!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Strange encounter with an ancient cougar!

My little Eve ( mother of our teenager/adults...teendults?) and I were at Safeway the other day when we had one of those rare, chance encounters with that remarkable creature known as the human cougar. You know, the 40 + woman who is still operating at a purely sexual level who's only real objective is to get in the check out with the "Hot" guy who'll play along with her (who's actually younger than her son!). YIKES! We had the privilege of observing an extremely rare, Octogenarian version of the cougar. Replete with the garish, fire engine red dyed hair, the orange rouged cheeks, twin penciled-on eyebrows that resembled a pair of St Louis, Gateway arches and of course the perfunctory "Bit o' cleavage" low cut top. To consummate the package, she was either completely 'toons or (more likely) senile. For you see, when I discreetly signaled Eve's attention to the phenomenal-freak show-twleve'o'clock-in front of the deli case, she spun on her heels and glowered at us, then mumbled something foul. We both responded with beaming smiles and hearty waves to which she then grabbed an innocent, woman by-standers arm and began pointing us out and telling the bewildered lady God knows what about the menace that was us! As we left the store still smiling, I casually mentioned to Eve. Honey, this is why we live in the North State. The wildlife and closeness to nature is truly second to none!