Friday, April 30, 2010

Old Stumpy

1991 Stumpjumper Comp. Frame; Tange Prestige DB. Fork; Cro-Mo. Headset; Specialized SV2 alloy. Rear Derailleur; Shimano Deore XT II SIS. Front Derailleur; Shimano Deore XT II. Hubs; Shimano Deore XT II 32. Rims; Specialized BX23. Tires; Ground Control Extreme. Brakes; Shimano Deore XT II canti's. Levers; Shimano Deore XT II 2-finger. Cranks; Shimano Deore XT II Super Glide 24/36/46. Pedals; Shimano Deore XT II Comp. Shifters; Shimano Deore XT II Thumb. Bars; Specialized. Freewheel; Shimano Deore XT II 7 cassette 12/28. Stem; Specialized SL Cro-Mo. Color; Matte Gray.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Carve Away the Stone

As a punishment from the gods for his trickery, Sisyphus was made to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but before he could reach the top of the hill, the rock would always roll back down again, forcing him to begin again. The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus. Sisyphus took the bold step of reporting one of Zeus' sexual conquests, telling the river god Asopus of the whereabouts of his daughter Aegina. Zeus had taken her away, but regardless of the impropriety of Zeus' frequent conquests, Sisyphus overstepped his bounds by considering himself a peer of the gods who could rightfully report their indiscretions. As a result, Zeus displayed his own cleverness by binding Sisyphus to an eternity of frustration. Accordingly, pointless or interminable activities are often described as Sisyphean. Sisyphus was a common subject for ancient writers and was depicted by the painter Polygnotus on the walls of the Lesche at Delphi.

You call roll the stone
To the top of the hill
You can carry that weight
With an iron will
You can drive those wheels
To the end of the road
You can try to deny
The weight of the load. Lyrics by RUSH

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Enemy Within

Suspicious-looking stranger
Flashes you a dangerous grin
Shadows across your window...
Was it only trees in the wind? Lyrics by RUSH.

I've been talking to several people about dreams that feature sinister, little monsters, be they mechanical or flesh, that crawl around looking for you only to stick you with a hatpin or spray you with acid or poison. For god sake man! Get a frickin' grip!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Magic Mushroom!

Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive mushrooms appear honeycomb-like in that the upper portion is composed of a network of ridges with pits between them.
These ascocarps are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly for French cuisine. Commercial value aside, morels are hunted by thousands of people every year simply for their taste and the joy of the hunt. The American state of Minnesota has adopted the morel as its state mushroom.
Morels have been called by many local names; some of the more colorful include dryland fish, due to the fact that when sliced lengthwise then breaded and fried, their outline resembles the shape of a fish; hickory chickens, as they are known in many parts of Kentucky; and merkels or miracles, based on a story of how a mountain family was saved from starvation by eating morels. In parts of West Virginia, they're known as "molly moochers." Other common names for morels include sponge mushroom. Genus Morchella is derived from morchel, an old German word for mushroom, while morel itself is derived from the Latin maurus meaning brown.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chains and Gears

It really does not need to be as complicated as I am making it, but here I go. I am baffled by the wear pattern on the teeth of my bicycles gears. It seems to me that the backside of the teeth should be ramped and not the front. Of course, back and front are relative terms. Without a diagram to accompany my little mechanical mystery I must simply ask you to bear with me here. To my way of thinking... forget it! I'll report back to you. Seems to me it's Chemistry.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Super Conductor

"And so you see, it really is all in the presentation my son," the old man said from of the corner of his mouth, as he simultaneously lighted his enormous pipe and sent billowing clouds of aromatic smoke up to the rafters of the old cabin. I briefly considered trying to explain that these were "Exceptional Circumstances" and that I really did not appreciate his skimming over my case as though it was just run-of-the-mill, stock stuff! I felt like I was suffocating, the air in the room was growing rank. Finally I could stand it no longer and I launched into a tirade of obscenities and oaths.

Watch his every move
Orchestrate illusions
Watch his every move
Hoping you'll believe
Designing to deceive
That's entertainment! Lyrics by RUSH

Friday, April 16, 2010

If I Could Wave My Magic Wand

I had a dream I was swimming in open water, way out at sea. It was so deep, I could never reach bottom. You said you'd meet me there, a midnight rendezvous you called it! We spoke briefly of our essential constituents, nothing really more than just elemental star dust. But now I'm beginning to suspect that I have been a fool for you, that I was nothing but a fool for you.

I'm not one to believe in magic
But I sometimes have a second-sight
I'm not one with a sense of proportion
When my heart still changes overnight. Lyrics by RUSH

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Red Lenses

Sir! Sir! You there! You were standing here when all of this went down! Tell us what happened! Well, I was standin' over there by the tomaters! Suddenly this dang ol' fool walks in and says that the mercury is rising and somethin' about a pair of dancin' shoes, the soviets are the blues. Well sir, I just seen Red!

I see red
and it hurts my head
guess it must be something
that I read. Lyrics by RUSH.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Body Electric

I awake to the sound of a large truck pulling up along side the house. Outside the bedroom window, the thing is inching straight up to my house so that the driver and I are eye to eye. I can see that it is a milk tanker and realize that the guy has missed his destination by one block. Through the window I begin motioning to the driver that he needs to go a block over. He starts trying to back out, so I decide to get out there to help him. I emerge to find the driver laying under the trailer with a remote control devise that allows him to move his truck. Everything is proceeding nicely when suddenly I see that the trailer is slowly backing into a power pole. I began to yell for the guy to stop, but the pole began to bend down under the weight of the still moving truck. I looked up to see high tension wires coming down on top of me, but I was paralyzed and could not move. I began screaming for him to stop, the wires only inches away from my chest, I awoke again, gasping for breath.
Memory banks unloading
Bytes break into bits
Unit One's in trouble and it's scared out of its wits. lyrics by RUSH

Monday, April 12, 2010

High Water

Shortly after entering the old hut, I laid down for a nap. I went instantly into a lucid dream. Waters were rising in the darkness, amidst an endless flood. They flowed into my memory, they flowed into my blood. I watched as something broke the surface and stared up at the starry dome. I still feel that relation, when the water takes me home. In the flying spray of the ocean, the water takes me home.

Springing from the weight of the mountains
Like the heart of the earth would burst
Flowing out from marble fountains
In the dreams of a desert thirst. lyrics by RUSH

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Finally, after hours of hacking through dense under growth, we broke out of the woods. I could hear the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Once again, my father's orienteering skills were impeccable, we were only a few hundred yards away from old Keetah's hut. I remembered hearing the old man once say that here, every bird and fish knew it's course and that every tree had it's own place upon this earth, but that man alone had lost his way. Well, maybe figuratively speaking.

I believe in what I see
I believe in what I hear
I believe that what I'm feeling
Changes how the world appears. Rush Totem lyrics.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

You'll Ruin Your New Shoes!

Dang! I seem to be a magnet for road debris out there on my new tires. I have already had a pinch flat (at 100 psi?) and tonight as I was rollin' back in on Placer, a puncture that I thought was caused by a small piece of glass (sticking in the sidewall) but turned out to be a needle-like nail. Problem is it's all happened to the rear tire. My peer group told me to get the folding tires even though I had put 2 seasons on the same tire with a wire bead and loved them. The new ones are extremely supple and sweet, but are they less flat resistant?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Final Farewell

We arrived at the front door of the cabin and yelled for Ted. Finally my dad had waited long enough, he opened it himself. There, pinned to a chair was a note with the words "To whom it may concern; Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas ... with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether, or in my case Red Bluff to Montana.” We never saw old Ted again (in person) but when "they" finally caught up to him, he had definitely had his hand (and a few others) in the making of history.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Freeze; Part Four of FEAR

The saffron-robed monk known as Bhakti, escorted us the final mile into Ted's place talking the entire way. "So I say's to the guy, I say's, so you're dying, but look how many problems you're saving. At least with what's going on in the world today, you should thank God that you're going out!” Turns out that Bhakti was born Harvey Strassman, a Jew, from the Bronx of New York. My father was trying to ask him questions about Ted, but Bhakti just kept on blabbering. "Hey, What did the waiter ask the group of dining Jewish women?" My dad was getting frustrated now but politely re-asked the question back to Bhakti. "I don't know Bhakti, What did the waiter ask the group of dining Jewish women?" "Is ANYTHING all right?" He yelled laughing, falling to the ground, completely useless for the rest of the day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Run For The Hills

Since it was Friday just prior to Spring break, the school officials decided to release me to my father's custody. They smiled nervously, if not politely, as we left the office building, adding their best wishes for a Happy Easter, see you in 10 days. On our way home I asked my dad how in the world those old stuffed shirts could have changed their tune so quickly and who was the man he had mentioned to them as being his attorney. He told me that he was one of his friend's back in L.A. and not to worry about it any more. He then told me that what was important was that we get out to Ted's cabin immediately because he thought there might be a few "visitors" heading out that way.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Witch Hunt; Part Three of FEAR

The night is black
Without a moon
The air is thick and still
The vigilantes gather on
The lonely torch lit hill

Features distorted in the flickering light
The faces are twisted and grotesque
Silent and stern in the sweltering night
The mob moves like demons possessed
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right
Confident their ways are best

The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill

They say there are strangers who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness too dangerous
In our theaters and bookstore shelves
That those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves

Quick to judge
Quick to anger
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand...

lyrics by RUSH