Sunday, August 30, 2009
An ancient Zen proverb says: “In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” Here is an example of why, Don't wobble."The only thing I wish I would have done is quit Webcor when they told ne to take it off," said Clinger. "I went for it and tried to take it off, so I compromised myself. I should have just left the team and said, 'You guys don't like it, fine.' "
Friday, August 28, 2009
I saw my big, 12 quart stainless steel cooking pot yesterday. It's just sitting out there in the warehouse, waiting for the call to action that will mark the kick-off for the '09-'10 Bean Season. What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 300,000!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I love riding all alone out there on my bicycle. Setting my own pace, taking my own routes, thinking my own thoughts. It is true that sometimes my "Head-Movies" tend to take me a bit too far out there. Abruptly screaming things out, oblivious to elderly couples staring at me, I roll on by. Thankfully, I seem to retain enough control of the bicycle to regularly finish up unharmed and happy. Last week I held an imaginary Zen koan session in my head wherein the master asked, "What is the meaning of bird?" Then my inner Bronx-Jew voice yelled out "Bird... What Bird?" The calm Zen voice replied "The bird of the mind!" and the Jew yelled out, "GO TO HELL!" Unwittingly, I burst into a huge, straggle-toothed, guffaw, only to then realize that I was within clear earshot of a small group of team riders from a local Pharmacy. They had stopped to help a mate out with a flat. I instantly tried to feign a throat clearing but there was no hiding the truth... pure insanity! I rolled by and tried to deliver, in my best Marlboro-Man voice, "HOWDY!" but it came out weird, hung there like a rancid fart and then crashed to the ground. The real insanity then ensued when for no reason at all I yelled out, "What is the meaning of bird?" Someone yelled back "F#@% YOU!" Which I thought was actually quite inspired.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
I have always liked the old saying, "Embrace your inner basket-case." Actually, technically, I wrote it. But, the inspiration came from watching Wes Anderson movies. If you haven't seen; Life Aquatic, The Royal Tenenbaums or The Darjeeling Limited, try them!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I read, The Moon and Sixpence it is a 1919 short novel by William Somerset Maugham based on the life of the painter Paul Gauguin. It took me 6 weeks, I reckon I understood a grat deal of it,Hmmmm. The story is told in episodic form by the first-person narrator as a series of glimpses into the mind and soul of the central character, Charles Strickland hmmmm, a middle aged English stock broker who abandons his wife and children abruptly to pursue his desire to become an artist hmmmm.
Strickland first goes to Paris and lives a destitute but defiantly content life there as an artist, lodging in run-down hotels and falling prey to both illness and hunger mmmm-mmm. Strickland cares nothing for physical comfort, but is generously supported by a commercially successful yet unexceptional Dutch painter, Dirk Stroeve, who immediately recognizes Strickland's genius hmmmm. After helping Strickland recover from a life-threatening condition, Stroeve is repaid by having his wife abandon him for Strickland. Strickland later discards the wife, who then commits suicide - yet another human casualty in Strickland's single-minded pursuit of Art and Beauty. I reckon he made a fair amount of sport of him hmmmm.
After the Paris episode, the story continues in Tahiti. Strickland has already died, and the narrator attempts to piece together his life there from the recollections of others. He finds that Strickland had taken up with a native woman and started painting profusely HMMMM. We learn that Strickland had settled for a short while in the French port of Marseilles before traveling to Tahiti, where he lived for a few years before finally dying of leprosy hmmm. Strickland left behind numerous paintings, but his magnum opus, which he painted on the walls of his hut in a half-crazed state of leprosy-induced blindness, was burnt down after his death by his wife under his orders hmmmm.
The inspiration for this story, Gauguin, is considered to be the founder of primitivism in art. The main differences between Gauguin and Strickland are that Gauguin was French rather than English, and whilst(oh sure, like that's a word I use!) Maugham describes the character of Strickland as being ignorant of his contemporaries in Modern art, Gauguin himself was well acquainted with Van Gogh. How many of the details of the story are based on fact is not known. However, Maugham had visited the place where Gauguin lived in Tahiti, and purchased some glass panels painted by Gauguin in his final dayshmmmm.
The book was filmed by Albert Lewin in 1943.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
As I have mentioned to the production team over at SanFranCup, I don't mind hauling a bit of extra weight while I'm on extended tour, as long as I'm riding one of these bikes! All secondary highways, 200 miles a day, camp 3 nights, hotel every fourth. Talked to Tyler Hamilton yesterday, he will be mailing info about his training camps forthcoming.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Did you hear it? This morning at 3:33 a.m. the year 2009 cracked. Up until that very instant in time, the year thought it was omnipotent, infinite, rolling along without a care, thinking itself unstoppable. But then, like a branch of a pear tree, loading with ripening fruit, bending, the angle of the sun lowering, seasons queueing up; readying the earth for that darker, colder haltering, She cracked. The year can no longer deny, it is time to gather up all She has been building toward and make ready for the solstice, looming in the the early autumn sky.
Friday, August 14, 2009
As many people know, last night "The Bike Thief" held a group ride for all who wanted to participate. I thought it might be an excellent opportunity to get some of my clients at, "Hook-a-Homie-Up-Cycles" out for a little ride. Since the state prison system has recently found it necessary to release thousands of prisoners back into our communities, affordable bicycles are in huge demand. Here is a group photo of just a few of the many satisfied customers I work with daily. Unfortunately, last night was also Half-Off Tatt-Night at the new 24 hour tattoo parlor here in town called, Killer's Ink. Oh well, maybe next time guys!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Ever long for a good ol' baked tuna casserole on a hot, Redding-Summer afternoon? You see, back in the olden days, people pretty much stopped using their ovens 'roundabouts May and didn't light 'em up again 'til pert near Halloweenie! That's 'cause the oven used to heat the inside of a house up and the old air conditioner just couldn't keep up! Welcome to my world. I cooked a beautiful, creamy-cheesy tuna casserole on my gas grill last night, in my back yard. A homemade garlic bread wrapped in foil also went in. Then we all went swimming over at the Casa Blanca Hotel pool, after the perfunctory hour long wait.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Well actually, they were here only briefly on their way to the Dead Baby Downhill near Seattle. I saw their giant bus over at the downtown Safeway and stopped and talked with them. It may have been the closest I have ever come to running away with the circus.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Many of you know that I was court mandated to stay away from coffee years ago. Luckily, I can still buy it for my friends and watch them drink it. I can drink as much Tea as a South African cricket team during a luncheon interval but coffee creates serious problems for this filter. Apparently, my reaction is not to caffeine but to some other constituent of coffee. So, all this month, we will delve deep into the molecular make up of coffee and it's Non-volatine chlorogenic acid content.
Chlorogenic acids belong to a group consisting of compounds which are known as polyphenols, which are antioxidants. The content of chlorogeneic acid in dried green coffee beans of robusta is 65 mg/ g and of arabica 140 mg / g, depending on the timing of harvesting. At roasting temperature, more than 70% of chlorogenic acids are destroyed, leaving a residue of less than 30 mg/g in the roasted coffee bean. In contrast to green coffee, green tea contains an average of 85 mg polyphenols/g. These chlorogenic acids could be a valuable inexpensive source of antioxydants. Chlorogenic acids are homologous compounds comprising caffeic acid, ferulic acid and 3,4 dimethoxycinnamic acid which are connected by an ester-bond to the hydroxy groups of quinic acid (1alpha, 3R, 4 alpha, 5R-tetrahydroxy-cyclohexane carboxylic acid). The anti-oxydation capacity of Chlorogenic acid is more potent than of ascorbic acid (vitamine-C) or mannitol, which is a selective hydroxy-radical scavenger. Chlorgenic acids have a bitter taste in low concentrations such as 50 mg / 1 L water. At higher concentrations of 1 g/ 1 L water they have a sour taste. Chlorogenic acid increase the solubility of caffeine and are important modulaters of taste. More later.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Well, we all ended up in Mt. Shasta after a small mix-up of rendezvous times. We registered and lined up for the start and at 9 a.m. we started off, each on our own personal pain-fest. I was rolling a 34x18 fixed gear set-up on my Redline 925 bike. The plan, as it was 2 years ago, was to ride up fixed and then flip the wheel over to the free-wheel and coast back down. I got out fairly fast and was pushing a fairly high heart rate for the first 5 miles. I had my rear view mirror on so I was able to look behind and I could not see Tim anywhere back there. I remember thinking that it would be ironic if I ended up grenading half way up the mountain because I didn't heed my own advice to stay within my limits. The gear I used this time was not easy, but much better than last time. I felt like I was probably going to handily crack my 2 hour goal time with ease. By mile 8 my mind was completely at ease, so when I saw the guy in the sag wagon holding out an ice-cold Crystal geyser water, I reached out and grabbed it. I cracked it open and had a lovely bit o' refreshment. Then I decided to pour some of the water on my forehead, which combined with the battery-acid-sweat-crystals on my brow and sent them straight into my eyes. I started blinking and blinking, trying to clear my vision. Knowing that I was running out of wide road shoulder, I simply had to stop. My sunglasses were a complete mess from sweat and melting sunscreen so after I got my eyes working again, I started trying to clean up my glasses. As I frantically worked, I heard something hit the ground and there lay the rearview mirror that had been attached to the glasses. No time for that now I thought, so I stuck it in my jersey pocket. Soon I was rolling again and felt great. I missed not being able to survey the field behind me, but by then the field was pretty much set for the finish. At about the Bunny Flat area (10 miles) I saw the first of the fast boys heading back down the hill. Flying by at 50 mph, the sound of the screaming bikes is a truly frightening experience. Some of them yelled out words of encouragement and promises of my almost being there! At about mile 12, I was reduced to riding like a little baby, just barely rolling the pedals over and trying to simply finish, BLOWN! My buddy Mark Noonan came riding down from what he described as a terrible time of 1 hour and 28 minutes. He said that I was going to be close on my 2 hour goal and good luck, then he headed off down the mountain. As I approached the last few switch-backs I heard Noel yelling for me to GO, then he completely shattered my mind with the words, "Your brother is right behind you!" What the F#&*! I must have been half asleep for the last few miles. I got a shot of adrenaline but when I went for an acceleration my legs bit hard with the promise of crippling cramps if I intended to try that little trick. Anyway, I rolled through at 2Hrs. and 3 Mins. and Tim rolled in at 2 o' four! Where Tim came from and how he closed that gap, I will never know!